Monday, March 29, 2010

My Recent Adventures

Work has kept me incredibly busy this past two weeks. It has felt as if every possible job that I usually do has been multiplied by 10, and that new responsibilities  have been added on at an astonishing rate. Not to mention the "other duties as assigned" that tend to make their inevitable presence known in my job description whenever things are at their busiest.  This is all to say that lately, it has been, in every way, shape, and form, a Non Profit Paradise.

But I've had some fun, as well.

Last weekend, I had the unique pleasure of escorting a college friend to a military ball...

Okay, more details are needed before I continue:
~ It was the annual Air Force Charity Ball
~ I attended a women's college, so my hot date was my friend M (whom, you will see, is quite hot)
~ M invited me to attend this event with her because her brother wasn't available, and her family gets a ticket for each member of the family (her father was in the Air Force)


This was a black tie event. Which threw me into a tizzy because, despite all of the dresses that I own -- DVF wrap dresses, cocktail dresses, "tropical casual" dresses (and I didn't know they were called that until I had to go to a wedding in St. Kitts last summer), and countless sundresses -- I didn't have anything that was black-tie-appropriate. Besides old bridesmaid dresses, and I really, really didn't want to wear any of those.

So, first things first: M and I went dress shopping. I found an amazing dress for a mere $75. Then I had to spend about the same amount getting it tailored. But, in the end, I think it was worth it:

attempting to look sweet and innocent

M and I on our way out the door:

We drank champagne, we danced, we were flirted with by (much older and unavailable) men in uniform, we snickered at awful outfits (worn by the wives of these aforementioned unavailable men in uniform), we ate a huge meal, and ultimately, a grand time was had by all.

Then, a few days later, I decided to chop my hair off:

I'm surprised at how much I love it - it's a huge difference, as you can tell. But I'm getting used to it and am thrilled at how many positive reactions I'm getting to my new 'do. Although I've been told everything from "wow, you look amazing!" from various friends, to "my my, don't you look all grown up now - don't you feel grown up?!" (ummmm ...) to "....can I see you sometime soon?" from a guy I used to date (ha!).

And, at long last, it has finally become my favorite time of year: Spring. And in Washington, it means it's cherry blossom season.  I spent most of this past Saturday afternoon at the Tidal Basin with my friend F and her son.  Granted, it was not nearly as warm as I'd like it to be (I swear, I'll stop bitching about the weather .... eventually) but it was wonderful to see all of the trees starting to come into bloom:

This is but one of a few dozen photos I took on Saturday, of the trees, Monuments and Kite Festival -- I will share more later on!

Back to the grind. Happy Passover, everyone :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Friendship, love, health, energy, enthusiasm, and joy are the things that make life worth living and exploring.”

~ Denise Austin

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.”

~ Betty Bende

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote Of The Day

"Unless we know people well, we sit around with our words and our minds starched, afraid of being ourselves for fear of wrinkling them."

~ Budd Schulberg

Monday, March 15, 2010

Used To Be

From a list of Creative Writing Exercises to Cure Writers Block, I shall now attempt the following experiment:
Write a poem with each line filling in the blanks of "I used to be _____ but now I am ______." (This may not be a poem, though. So sue me.)

I used to be a girl who hated wearing skirts, but now I am a woman who prefers dresses.

I used to be afraid of asking other people for help, but now I am okay knowing that  I can't do everything alone.

I used to be someone who whined about her broken TV, but now I am someone who loves her new HDTV (...even though I've only had it for three days... and still need to figure out my DVR....)

I used to be convinced that I would be a reporter for a newspaper or magazine, but now I am a public health educator.

I used to think there were things in life that I would never be able to do, but now I am of the belief that I can do any damn thing that I decide to do.

I used to be worried about what people thought of me when I opened my mouth, scribbled a sentence, shared my opinion or simply left the house in the morning, but now I am someone who dresses, speaks and writes with confidence (99% of the time).

I used to be terrified of change, but now I am opening up to new suggestions and ready to welcome new experiences. (And I hope this feeling lasts.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy 101 Award

This is my first blog award! I'm really and truly honored! Many, many thanks to the amazing Pure Gold Lady for giving me this award. She's an inspiring woman and an excellent writer, so go check out her blog if you haven't already! (And if you have already....well, go back and do it again.)

This award comes with the following rules, which I am pleased to follow:
1. When you receive this award you must thank the person that awarded you this in the new post.
2. Name 10 things that make you happy.
3. Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers and inform the winners.

10 Things That Make Me Happy
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Being outside on a warm spring day
4. Taking a nap
5. A good glass of white wine
6. Laughing
7. Goofing off with my friends
8. Good hair days
9. Spending time with my sister
10. My wonderful, silly cat (and yes, of course I had to include Stormy in this list)

The 10 Bloggers To Whom I Am Passing This Award
1. Jessph @ Consume or Consumed
2. PrincessQ @ DCPrincessQ
3. Ali @ Holden It Together
4. Doctor G @ Memoirs from a Mind on Fire
5. May @ mayk all day every day.
6. Flan @ La Bonne Flaneuse
7. Rachel @ RachelSmiles
8. Maxie @ i hate so much...
9. FloridaGirlinDC @ adventures of a florida girl in dc...
10. LiLu @ Livit, Luvit

I'm awarding these bloggers because some have made me laugh; others have made me think; and still others have made me envy their closets. But all of them have inspired me and my blogging.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This post originally started as musings on the beautiful, springlike weather that we've had for the past few days. I was rhapsodizing about the sunshine, 50 to 60 degree temperatures, and the feeling that winter was almost over. I looked for photos of the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin and through my own photos of springtimes past in and around DC.

Then I got distracted by work (funny thing about that) and by the time I came back to this post, I was unimpressed with what I'd written. And my usual routine of "work is busy but that's good, where's my new TV, I'm a crazy cat lady, wish I liked to exercise more" just was not going to cut it. Yes, I'm relentlessly self-editing -- but really,  if it's not entertaining to me, it's definitely not going to be entertaining to you.

I think what I need more than anything else is a re-reading of one of my very favorite books, Eloise, by Kay Thompson.

Maybe that will help me clear my head, and help me come up with something creative to share....

Quote Of The Day

"Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts. Pull yourself out of bad ways as an elephant raises itself out of the mud."

~ Eknath Easwaran

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”

~ Patricia Neal

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Don’t compromise yourself.  You’re all you’ve got.”

~ Janis Joplin

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Single Gal

So, there was a time, not too long ago, when I was in a relationship. That ended, rather abruptly, last October.

The grisly details are not worth sharing. It's enough to say that it was unexpected and I was left heartbroken.  And I still am, in some ways.

I've avoided writing about it directly here because, for a while, the breakup was too painful to think about, let alone write about. It was as if there was a part of me that didn't want to acknowledge that it was over - not because I wanted to pretend I still had a boyfriend, but it was almost as if ... well, if I didn't write about it here, I could just focus on life as Me, Moving Forward.

Not to mention the fact that I felt as though I was spending enough time on Twitter (and in my personal journal, and on my therapist's couch, and into the ears of my friends and family, and the occasional coworker) going over what had happened to me. I gained a great deal of inspiration from fellow blogger Pure Gold Lady -- she's an amazing woman who writes beautifully and candidly about her life, moving forward, after a painful breakup.

But now, enough time has passed that I don't constantly ache. I don't feel like an open wound. I'm not having panic attacks at the idea of leaving my apartment. I'm slowly but surely, moving forward in my life. This has been a long process - and one that is not quite complete - that has included drowning myself in work, getting a body piercing, reading a lot, letting myself stay at home and cry once in a while, and constantly reminding myself that I'm doing okay.

And... I'm doing okay.


Monday, March 1, 2010

My Florida Vacation, by Jess

While Dr. Mom was (ostensibly) attending a conference, here's what I did for the past five days
(in no particular order):
~ slept a lot
~ drank various rum-based concoctions
 One such concoction

~ read "The Postmistress" and started "Grapes of Wrath"
~ sat on the beach
Windy but gawgeous
~ bought new sunglasses
~ made friends with the bartenders on the beach, at the pool and in the main hotel bar
~ bonded with my mom
~ argued with my mom
~ took lots of photos
Back deck of the hotel 
~ got a sunburn
~ ate a lot, including a fantastic Cuban lunch with my friend R
~ heard Desmond Tutu speak (he was amazing)
~ bought an absurd amount of chocolate at a local candy store
~ attended receptions with my mom and drank cheap white wine
~ watched TV (still have no TV at home, so yes, this was a treat)

Here's what I didn't do:
~ go on a Twitter/email/text message vacation
~ exercise
~ miss the cold weather in DC

It's a good thing I checked my email, because there was still an absurd amount waiting for me when I got back to the office. And I needed to be able to access Twitter constantly because.... because I say so, okay?

I have no excuse as to why I did not exercise.