Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30. Heavy heart.

I had a plan for a blog for today, especially because I haven't really written a good post in a week. But recent events have led to me having a heavy heart and not quite feeling like myself. So for this, the final day of NaBloPoMo, I leave you with a verse I'll be meditating on:

"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you" - Isaiah 41:13

I don't include a lot of my faith in my blog--not because it isn't important to me, but because I choose to talk about other things. But this blog is about me and my life, and this is what's happening in my life now. So there you go.

Please pray and/or send out your vibes for peace to some friends who are so dear to me that I really do consider them family. Thank you, friends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

29. The finish line!

It's so close! And once again, I'm down to the wire. I was pretty gung-ho about this early on but have since let this here blog fall down on my list of priorities. Sorry about that, friends!

I've certainly learned a lot, though. I think my writing has improved, on the days where I put a lot of time into blogging. I learned that if I have time, I like to write the night before and let the post "soak" before I post it the following day. I also found an interesting tool for planning blog posts (, anyone?) and I hope to actually put that into action soon.

I also learned that I don't always like people telling me what to write (prompts), but I don't always have words to say. Like tonight. I'm forcing it.

But it's still happening, so I guess that's something. And a good metaphor for work: even if you don't want to do something, force yourself to do it. Maybe it won't be so bad.

One more day to go!

Monday, November 28, 2011

28. Almost!

I can't believe it! I'm almost done with this whole NaBloPoMo business. I'll admit, I'm feeling a little burdened by blogging every day. But more reflection on Day 30.

Right now, I'm still recovering from the weekend. I had so much fun. It amazes me that my niece is 16 months now. She walks way more than she crawls. She speaks so much jibberish, you're certain she's carrying on a conversation with you. She says real words. She communicates what she wants through simple points & grunts. She understands what you say when you talk to her. She feeds her baby dolls, wipes their bottoms and burps them. For all of these reasons, she's a toddler now. Not a baby!

The best reason? She's such a ham. This little girl knows what makes her audience laugh and when to milk it! She makes adults melt. All of them. She's so wonderful. She claps and squints and makes giggly noise something akin to "hee hee" but with a bit more "ng" at the end. "Heeng," maybe? And her faces. So expressive!

 I had the amazing privilege of seeing her first steps in North Carolina in October, and on this trip to Greensburg I had the chance to ride the Christmas train with her! She loved it.

Yes, Aunt Maggie bought her a Steelers jersey. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

27. Back in the 'Burgh.

I'm back in the 'Burgh. It was wonderful to see family, but I'm ready to be here again.

The Stillers are on and we just fumbled, so I'm not going to write much. I'm fuming. If I did stream-of-consciousness Sunday today, I'd have to edit it. A lot.

Point of excitement: I get to listen to Christmas music now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

26. Navidad, numero uno.

We just celebrated Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. I'm still processing this weekend and thinking about all of the things I experienced with them, what I appreciate about each of them and the things I miss about them when they're gone.

Sorry that once again I'm cutting this short, but we're going to watch Crazy Stupid Love and craft. brother-in-law will just watch. But sissy and I will craft. Felt roses, ribbon roses, knitted socks. It's what the Graham girls are all about.

Friday, November 25, 2011

25. Down to the wire.

Just minutes left! I bought a camera today. I got up at 4:20 a.m., went shopping for five hours and came home with sulfate-free shampoo from Target.

Now, I'm enjoying time with my family.

Don't forget to participate in Small Business Saturday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24. Thank you!

Today, dear reader, I am thankful for you!

Thanks for sticking with me over the past 15 months. Even though I had a 5-month hiatus, and sometimes didn't write for months, you're still reading! Thank you, friend.

Thanks for starting to read this blog over NaBloPoMo. I'm going 24 days strong and I'm quite proud of that. It's because you're still reading that I keep writing. Thank you, friend.

Fellow bloggers, fellow PULSErs, fellow Pittsburghers: you're all amazing. Thanks for everything you do for me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23. Today's the day!

My family is in from North Carolina! Sister, brother-in-law, and niece. Look at her sweet profile!

(She was a monkey for Halloween.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

22. Lucky?

I'm feeling at a loss for words today, so I'm going to write from the prompt. What's the luckiest thing that's ever happened to me, and why?

This is hard! Maybe if I wasn't feeling such a loss for words, I could come up with something. I guess in general, though, I think the luckiest thing to happen to me was to join PULSE.

That single decision, to move to the city of Pittsburgh, brought me:

-seven amazing women to share in community for a year
-a job at an amazing organization
-a love of place (Pittsburgh, I love you. Not a secret.)
-a supportive community of PULSE alumni, staff and friends
-service opportunities and ways to get involved in my neighborhood
-friends who do amazing things, like a pre-Thanksgiving stuffing & pie bake off
-a chance to further explore my passions

And about a million other things. But really, I can't tell you enough how much PULSE has meant to me.

If you want to support PULSE and our mission to cultivate a community of service leaders to transform Pittsburgh, join us at our holiday shopping night at Ten Thousand Villages in Squirrel Hill. Support PULSE, support fair trade artisans, support Pittsburgh's economy! Three great things in one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

21. Motivate me!

Alright, Pittsburgh. It's raining right now. Today's work plan includes taking care of trees in East Liberty's commercial core. In the rain. I am feeling ultra-miserable about this right now, and I need a bit of motivation to get through it.

Something to remember today, then:

I'm going to remain positive about this afternoon. Taking care of the trees in our commercial core is super important for the vitality of the entire neighborhood. Commence positive thinking--it might change the world!

What are you less than excited about today? Think positive.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20. Stream of Consciousness.

Today, I'm trying out Stream of Consciousness Sunday. I'm going to try my best to keep this unedited, not checking for spelling or grammar. Writing for five minutes straight, whatever pops into my head. Ready, go.

I can't belive I'm going to a baby shower today. How did I get old enough to be going to a BABY shower? I feel like I just was a baby and now here I am, having friends with kids. And I'm still living as a volunteer. These people are buying houses and cars and I still drive the car my parents gave me when they got a new one. Is that so wrong? I"m kind of mad at that car right now anyways. Specifically I'm mad at whoever hit Latoya. It's nothing too noticeable just a scratch on the front of the driver's side by the lights but still. And now I'll never know who did it. Latoya is my car by the way, I dont't hink people know that about me. But my TOyota is named Latoya. It's always been that way, since I was 11 and it was my parents car. My aparents have a nice Hyundai now, I wish I drove that. Though it rides differently than my car. Or what I call my car but it really isn't. Oh I have to pay for a bridesmaids dress. Kari's wedding is in May and we have to order the dresses ASAP. I don't even know what size I'll be in the dress boo. It's purple htough, that's pretty. I'm excited for their wedding. I'm excited for this baby shower too. Are you supposed to wear blue for a boy baby shower? I"m wearing pink and purple. Because I just like that dress much more than I like my blue dresses.Today, at least. I've made a lot of mistakes in this I hope no one judges me. Someone once asked if I was judging him based on his grammar because I like to fix it. Truth is, yes, I do judge you a bit when you use poor grammar. Because it's just not right. You/your/your and to/too/two and there/they're/their oh my gosh it's too much for me to handle when people get those wrong. And "good" does not mean "well" so wehn you say you're doing good, you better mean that you're out there serving meals or helping someone in need. Because that's what doing good is. There's that old cliche for graduation speeches. "Go out in the world and do good. Yes, do well. But most importantly, do good." I like that. It checks grammar.

Whew. I made mistakes! Sometimes I backspaced, but I tried really hard not to. This was kind of fun but I had to coax myself to not think in terms of forming a blog post, and just to write. Interesting.

ALSO. I only have ten days of #NaBloPoMo until it's all over. Are you excited? I'm kind of excited.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

19. Saturday!

Happy weekend, everyone! I'm going to a stuffing/pie bake off tonight. Isn't that fun? Love my friends.

Also love this mashup. Naya Rivera? Powerhouse.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

18. Pinny.

Not much time for writing today, but I'm going to gush for a few moments here. Allow me.

I love Pinterest. I love it so much that it has taken the #3 spot on my Chrome list of most-visited links. I love it! I know most of you are probably already on, but if you aren't--drop me a line with your email and I'll invite you (or you can request an invite, but I heard that takes longer).

Pinterest allows me the opportunity to gather up all of the things that I think are cool in one visual place, instead of folders full of links to recipes/patterns I can't see. It's just fun to look at!

I obviously like every board I have, but some of my favorites are:

My crafty board
Some highlights:
--these vases
--t-shirt puff necklace
--modge podge crafts!
--homemade cake stands

My home board
Some highlights:
--this easy-peasy spray painted canvas
--wallpaper on top of a coffee table
--pearl strand chandelier
--cheap roller blinds

My random board

Some highlights:
--grammatically correct = hot
--a Hall and Oates costume
--wedding dresses (for some day)
--"hussy" and "floozy" tea cups

So there you have it! Pinterest. Follow me!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

17. Between.

I'm not super keen on today's prompt (something about listing every crush you've ever had; seems unnecessary to me) so, I'm going back to an October prompt. October 20, to be exact. What do I like to do between coming home and going to bed?

I'm currently in a great place where I don't have to worry about school work when I come home, but I also don't have to worry about kids or taking care of other people. Just me. And making food for my roommates when I have time/they're around. But other than that, no responsibilities.

I always have a ton of things that I want to do or need to do in between, but an ideal night would look like this:

-come home
-check personal email, respond
-peruse my Google reader
-start some deliciously nutritious dinner
-eat said dinner with roommates, preferably while watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune
-knit while watching a movie/whatever TV shows we like that air on that day
-at 10 p.m., go to my room and write a blog post (or do some research for another one)
-finish that miraculously by 10:30 so I can read
-go to bed

(A variation of this would include having my PULSErs over for dinner and TV watching/knitting)

Homebody at heart. What's your ideal night between work and bed look like?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

16. No words.

I've covered today's prompt a few times before (see here, here and here). The prompt acts for a specific moment that one leaves childhood and enters adulthood. Do you think that exists? I don't.

Instead, let's focus on someone who left babyhood for toddlerhood. My beautiful 16-month old niece Anna.

Those teeth (and those sprinkles on her chin)! No words for this little toddler.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

15. Favorites.

Today, I'm recruiting for PULSE on Waynesburg University's campus. I'm so excited to go back with my good friend and current PULSEr Sarah to talk to current students about our experiences thus far with the program.

Waynesburg, smallest town I've ever lived in, is one of my favorite places. I've lived in teeny tiny city/big small town Greensburg, huge city London and small city/giant town Pittsburgh and enjoyed each of them. for different reasons. While I'm discovering that I'm truly a city girl at heart, this little town has a special place in it.

Why do I love Waynesburg? The ridiculous one-way streets? The complete lack of parking. The crazy squirrels? The getting older and in need of some love buildings? The somewhat apathetic student body?

Yes. (Except for that last bit, I tried not to interact with that last bit too often.)

But it's also the football games. And nights spent on the front porch of the house I shared with my friends senior year. And feeling a genuine sense of community for the first time. And wasting time in the caf with a friend instead of going to class. And going to class. And walking across the lawn in front of Miller Hall on my first day on campus to be welcomed into the WU (or, at the time, WC) family. And walking across the lawn in front of Miller Hall on my last day of campus, to receive my diploma.

So, one of this city girl's favorite places is a coal mining town with a population of less than 5,000. Surprise! What's one of your favorite places?

Monday, November 14, 2011

14. Motivation Mondays.

Good morning! It's Monday. Mondays are usually everyone's least favorite day of the week. Because we just had a weekend and we feel like we wasted it, or because we have five long days ahead of us until the next exciting weekend.

I don't like Mondays very much, either. Especially a Monday like it is today in Pittsburgh: rainy, dreary. It's actually warm, which is nice, but it's still raining. It's supposed to rain for the next 3 days. Not the best weather for cheering you up out of a little funk.

So, I say we take back Mondays. Make them work for you instead of against you! Put your mind to working hard all day, and it will fly by. And then we'll only be four days from the weekend!

Case of the Mondays no more. It's a good day to have a good day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

13. Whoops!

I nearly forgot to post today. All I have to say is that I'm quite excited about this week: a visit to Waynesburg on Tuesday, Thanksgiving meal with PULSErs on Wednesday and Kelley's baby shower on Sunday.

Writing this week is going to be tough. Let's see if I can handle it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

12. Singin' Saturdays.

New series! Music I love, every Saturday. I hope.

This week-Fitz and the Tantrums. I've seen them twice this year, and they were excellent both times.

Who are you listening to this Saturday?

Friday, November 11, 2011

11. I wish.

Today's prompt (make 3 wishes for 11/11/11!) is so perfect. Mainly because I've been listening to the Into the Woods soundtrack lately, and the show is based around wishes.

The show closes Act I with a song called "Ever After" which includes these lyrics:

Though it's fearful
Though it's deep, though it's dark
And though you may lose the path
Though you may encounter wolves
You mustn't stop, you mustn't swerve
You mustn't ponder, you have to act
(In the show, it turns out that what the characters wished for had dire consequences. Ignore that.)

What inspirational words! Going after what you wish is scary. But you mustn't stop, you mustn't swerve! Even if it's dark, and you may lose the path, and you may encounter wolves. You mustn't ponder. You have to act!

Last night, Propelle hosted a Networking Happy Hour at AVA. It was SO inspiring to be in a room with 40-50 women who were all interested in sharing their passions and connecting. I have so many passions (as evidenced here) that it's hard to know what I want to do sometimes. But being in a room filled with so many passionate, kind, effervescent women was so energizing and convinced me that no matter what, if I pursue my dreams, it will be okay. I can't gush enough about the night. Just phenomenal.

Anyway, back to those three wishes! Maybe wishes are supposed to be things you can't achieve on your own but I'm feeling very goal-oriented and so, I'm going to list three attainable wishes.

1. Complete my first ever knitted, adult-sized blanket. I've been working on it on and off for a year, but I keep getting distracted. So I've got to sit down (a lot) and just do it! Knit my heart out. That is, of course, after Christmas and baby showers are out of the way. ;)

2. Join a choir or find an outlet for my musical side. It's not something from which I'll ever make any money, but that's not why I like singing. Any choir recommendations for an alto?

3. Have a signature thing. Whether that's always wearing scarves, or having a "color," or sporting some awesome rings...I want to have a thing that people always expect me to do or have or wear. Because it just seems fun.

And just for good measure, three things I wish for that are less easily attainable:
- The chance to go back to Europe.
- Cutting out all of the states that sit between PA and NC (expressed here).
- An iPad 2. Not easily attainable on a volunteer's salary, thankyouverymuch.

What are your three wishes?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10. Passion.

First things first, I've written for ten days in a row. This is monumental.

Moving on. I really, really like today's prompt. Except there are too many options. My secret or not-so-secret passions? There are plenty. Brief paragraphs on five of them:

My sister and I taught ourselves how to knit one Christmas Eve, and I've never looked back. I make knitted Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, random I-love-you gifts. I've made hats, blankets, scarves, sweaters, coasters...even a cell phone cover. My friends Joel and Anna decided that, should they get married and have children, I will be the godmother of all babies. Why, you ask? In the words of Joel: "HAND KNITTED SWEATERS. SCORE!" So there you have it. Make me godmother of your children so they can have handknitted sweaters, people.

Food is delicious and I love it. More importantly, I love making food. Cooking or baking, it's all wonderful. I am learning more about what spices go with which herbs and flavors and how to do more than just sauté some vegetables. Learning more like that, that makes me excited. Then when I get to share it with others, that makes me even happier.

I know. Lots of people like music and it's really cool and oh my gosh fun. But I don't just listen to music. I mean, I don't write it. Which is kind of a shame because I love it. Anyway, I've always sung. And I've played the flute since I was...9? 8? However old you are when you start 4th grade, that's how long I've played. Then I did musicals and show choir in high school. In college, I was a leader for the praise band. Music has always been how I release emotion. I may be a writer but I'm not so good at saying what I feel, so I use songs. Maybe #nablopomo will help!?

Social Media
I don't care what you say, social media is a legitimate source of news. Things spread like wildfire on there. Unfortunately, that can mean that a whole lot of ugly spreads very quickly. But it can also mean that exciting news--like Beyonce's pregnancy announcement, which broke all kinds of Twitter records--spreads quickly, too. Since moving to Pittsburgh, I've been very lucky to be in some great communities. I count Twitter as one of them, highlighted by the experience of PodCamp 6 and meeting all of these wonderful people who like the same stuff I do. And uh, social media is kinda my bread & butter. So there's that, too.

C'mon, you had to know this was coming. I've written love notes to Pittsburgh here, here, here and here. If you're a frequent reader (if you are, kudos to you for making it 15 months with me), you know that my heart beats for this city, and that I want to dedicate my professional life to it. I certainly don't want to count any chickens before they've hatched or put the horse before the cart or whatever, but I really don't see myself leaving this city. I want to be here forever. And some day, my husband will act like this:

I love it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

9. Off the path.

I'm going off-prompt today, and participating in Wordless Wednesday.

Isn't she a beauty? One of my Guatemalan niños.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8. Trauma.

Today's prompt asks about traumatic experiences. Reverting to my old journalistic technique of defining a word in the lede (I was quite the creative little high school/college journalist, huh? ;), traumatic is defined as:
  1. A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.
  2. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis.
  3. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
Luckily, option one doesn't apply to me. Other than breaking my arm and getting kicked in the eye during a rousing game of tug-of-war (seriously), I've never really experienced any terrible injuries. And as far as three goes, I can blow things out of proportion so sometimes I'm sure events cause more distress than they need to. But they're not huge problems.

Which leaves us at number two. Now, I haven't had an emotional wound or shock that has lead to neurosis or caused damage to my psychological development, but I have had an emotional "wound," one that I still carry. Time to get all personal up in here.

I grew up for most of my life only knowing one grandparent. My mom's father passed away when she was in college and my dad's parents both passed away when I was a little, little girl. I try to remember things about my Grandma Graham as much as possible, and I like to think that I get my affinity for cooking and baking from her. Yarn work, too. 

Anyway, I grew up only knowing my mom's mom, whom we called Nana. When I was young, Nana moved from New Jersey (where my mom grew up) to Tampa, Florida. She came up to visit us at least twice/year, in August/September and at Christmas. My sister and I each visited her alone some summers, and my whole family drove down once when I was a tween.

Some of my favorite memories are laying on my bedroom floor, when Nana was in my bed, and she'd let me stay up late reading--because she was reading, too. Nana loved reading. She would also spoil me when I came to visit (read a bit about it here), but made me work, too. One time, I vacuumed her condo and she took me to see The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. Now, Lindsay Lohan is in jail. Times have changed.

Anyway. Nana was an amazing, inspiring woman. She was a hard worker, volunteered at her local library and was an elder (or deacon?) at her church, St. Mark's. She raised two children, lost her husband too early and remained strong. She traveled the world.

Nana was the inspiration behind me applying for the Vira Heinz Scholarship my sophomore year of college. I remember getting calls from Nana when I was little when she was in Italy, or France, and wanted to say hi. I always dreamed that I'd go with her some day. Nana's health began to decline and she moved to Greensburg so that we could all be closer. That's when I knew that instead of going with Nana, I'd have to go for her. I got the scholarship to study in London, and couldn't wait to ask Nana where I should go, what I should see, etc.

Nana's health declined even more throughout the remainder of my sophomore year. On the day I moved home for the summer (about 6 weeks before going to Europe), Nana passed away. I will never forget exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I got the call from mom. I will never forget the way my friends held me and let me sob, in the stairwell of the dorm, for what seemed like hours. Those same friends packed up my belongings for me and loaded my dad's truck for the move home. What kind, compassionate, giving friends I have.

I considered declining the scholarship and staying home for the summer, because it was just too much. Nana had been such an important figure in my life, and her absence left me unsure about so many things. So many regrets about things I should have done, or said. 

I'm so thankful now that I did not decline the scholarship and instead went forward with going to Europe. I thought about Nana a lot on that trip, and I still think about her now. It's been three and a half years, almost to the day, and she's still my inspiration. Maybe it's not a wound or a scar, but losing Nana is one of the most traumatic things I've ever experienced.

If you read through this whole post, thank you. Thanks for sharing in the memory of Nana and letting me be the most personal I have ever been on this blog. I cried, and I think that was a good thing. Love you, Nana.

Monday, November 7, 2011

7. Balance.

I don't have a boyfriend/fiance/husband and I don't have any kids, but I still have plenty to say about today's prompt. "How do you find balance with your kids, relationship and work life?"

Balance is hard. I know, I know, some day I'll look back on this period of my life and think "I had so much free time, and I wasted it." Whatever. I'm living in the moment and in the moment, my life is busy. And--good news--it just got busier!

I am SO excited to say that I have joined the Propelle flight crew, co-piloted by Carrie, Emily and Kate. Three inspiring women who started a new venture, focused on helping women entrepreneurs take flight. I feel honored just knowing them, let alone being on the crew. I'll be your social media manager, directing you to information and tips for ladies who women entrepreneurs. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

I'm sure more than one of you is wondering how I have time to take on another role when I already have one other full-time position, and two part-time ones (let alone friends and responsibilities to my housemates!). You think I sound like a crazy person. You're at least half right. I'm a little insane, but like I said at the beginning of this post: I don't have anything holding me back from taking on this position and the chance to meet and be molded by tons of inspiring women who are already connecting with Propelle (not to mention the three co-pilots, who have been incredibly gracious and kind to me already). Gotta take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. In the words of my friend Erica, a yinzster's gotta hustle.

So even though I'm a nut job, I still like to make time for things in my life aside from work. How do I do it? First, I love what I do. Then it doesn't seem like work so much. It should still feel like work, because otherwise you're not growing. But, it helps if the work is challenging, but not soul-crushing.

I also schedule time for myself on my calendar. I try to say "yes" as much as possible to friends' invitations. But at the same time, I listen to my body. If I am exhausted at 9:30 on a Saturday night, maybe it's best that I stay in and watch movies on the couch (why yes, that did happen this weekend).

Living with other people is sometimes so challenging, but it's also super rewarding. If I have a particularly tough day at work and don't feel like seeing other humans, I know that my roommates will both respect my privacy and pull me out of my funk. All while I get to relax in my PJs.

How do you find balance?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

6. Distracted.

I'm going to attempt to post, using a prompt from October, but we'll see what happens. The Stillers are currently playing the Rat-birds so we'll see if I can form coherent sentences. My apologies up front if this doesn't flow.

Friday, October 14. Which was the best year of your life (so far)?

2011. Best year of my life so far, and it's not over yet. I'm in a place I love, surrounded by the people I love, doing work that I love. Learning about myself, my priorities, my strengths. Being in my 20s and (mostly) not being ashamed about it. Making new friends, new contacts, new discoveries.

2011, you've been great.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

5. Why I love the East End, v. 1

Unblurred on Penn Avenue. Art galleries, friends all over the place, interactive installations. What isn't there to love?

Friday, November 4, 2011

4. Pen.

Pen vs. computer: the age-old battle. Well, at least the battle from 2000-present.

This might surprise you, but I much prefer the pen to the computer. Yes, I use a computer at least 3 times more than I use a pen. Yes, most of my job(s) revolve around typing things as opposed to hand-writing them. But sometimes, there's nothing more satisfying than putting pen to paper.

This sounds crazy, but go with me on this. Things on the computer just seem less real. I guess because the document I'm creating can't be held in my hands, it's not physically tangible and therefore becomes kind of intellectually intangible too. Like what I'm doing here doesn't exist. Which is a crazy thing to say for someone whose bread and butter is the digital realm. But that's what I feel.

What about you? Do you prefer pen, or computer? And, just to stir things up: pen or pencil? Mac or PC? The debate here could be endless...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3. Tunes.

I love music. I have since I was a little girl. I've always been that girl who is singing--in the office, in the shower (even in the freshman dorms), humming along to her iPod while walking down Penn Ave. That's me.

So I'm really excited that today's topic is music. Today as I was walking back to the office, a song came on my iPod that I haven't heard for awhile. Remember this?

I love this song, for so many reasons. First, even though it wasn't intended for the movie, it reminds me of The Devil Wears Prada. Like the book, like the movie, like the song. Done.

But more importantly, this is a girl power song. According to Wikipedia (clearly the legitimate source for everything), the song describes KT Tunstall's realization that she wanted to be a musician: by looking at Patti Smith.

Okay so looking at a photograph of Patti Smith doesn't inspire me (it's okay if it inspires you; I won't judge!). But this song totally does! I kind of imagine the song to be about realizing that "this" is me.

Suddenly I see...this is what I want to be.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2. Nutella. Ella. Ella.

Ey. Ey. Ey.

Nutella is the food of the gods. Of this I am nearly certain. And I'm only nearly certain because I don't know if these mythical gods (not God--I personally make a distinction) we speak of actually eat. But if they do, I'm sure they sustain themselves on Nutella.

But alas, I am not a mythical semi-powerful being. Therefore, I need more than Nutella to keep my body going.

Sad, I know. But it's okay--I like to eat other things, too. My ultimate last meal is probably pretty ridiculous and should I someday become a fancy-dancy food critic (pshhhh), my credibility will be washed away when some sneaky journalist Googles me, finds this post and shares it with the world. Because in fantasies like these (where I'm a fancy-dancy food critic, or a spy, or a schoolteacher) there's always someone trying to bring you down. Just like the movies.

I digress. My ultimate last meal. First thing's first, it's gotta have asparagus. And corn. Because YUM. Actually, roasted asparagus and potatoes. With rosemary, basil and thyme. And then corn on the side. Maybe that could be grilled and shucked off the husk. I'll leave that to you because, well, if this is my last meal then by golly someone else is cooking it for me. Might as well be you.

But I need some kind of protein. And more starches. Carbs don't matter if it's your last meal. As far as protein goes, I'm torn between hot dogs and a pulled pork sandwich. Seriously, I love hot dogs. As a kid, we'd go to Hoss's and I'd get a hot dog every. single. time. Even though mom made them for me at home, too. I loved them. I still love them, but now I get ones that are either turkey or the all-beef ones. Nathan's, specifically. Yum. As for the pulled pork. I can't explain it, but I love it.

Where was I? Oh, right. Starches. Carbs yummy yummy. I love rice. I remember my Nana making me rice for breakfast when I was 11 or 12 and I was staying with her in Florida. Gosh, I haven't thought about that for a long time. She spoiled me. She let me eat breakfast in her recliner in front of the TV that day. It was great. Minute rice with butter and salt. Yeah, I'd want that. But because I've grown up a little bit more, I'd like it to at least be jasmine rice. A little healthier than the Minute variety.

I may not be a mythical being but I love Nutella a lot, so it would definitely be the cherry on the top of this meal. Specifically, these Nutella Chocolate Chip cookies I made last night. Pretty good, if I do say so myself. And by "pretty good" I mean "oh my gosh it tastes like heaven." And for good measure, I'd probably just put a big ol' heaping spoonful of Nutella on top of the cookie.

So there you have it. Roasted asparagus and potatoes, grilled corn, hot dogs/pulled pork, white rice and Nutella cookies. I'm currently reading Julia Child's "My Life in France" and am 99% sure she's looking down on me with shame. My apologies, Julia.

[Just a reminder, I'm participating in NaBloPoMo for November. Are you?]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1. Writing.

So here I am. Blogging all month long. First prompt: "What is your favorite part about writing?"

Writing is funny. It is easily my favorite, and least favorite thing to do. I spoke to 1st and 2nd graders at a career fair (I KNOW RIGHT) a few weeks ago and told them that my love of writing is what got me into public relations, and eventually into my current position. Most of what I do is writing. Most of what I do, I like.

Writing is great because it's kind of like putting together a puzzle. You have all of these thoughts and ideas and (sometimes) quotes and then you pull them all together and when it works, it works. It flows and paints a picture or conveys your ideas or convinces without being too overbearing.

But that puzzle aspect is also what makes writing not so great. No shoving in things that you just. want. to. make. work. Even if you try to hide it really well, someone's still going to notice that something about the puzzle just isn't right. That works for writing, too. So it takes me an extra-long time to write things, because I hate when they're off. Even by a little bit.

I guess what I'm saying is, writing is a fickle fickle mistress (mister?). I love him and I hate him, and that's my favorite part about him.

(Favorite part about writing this post, though? The wikipedia entry for "mistress" which produced this gem: "The 'Pool Boy' is the most general male role of a 'male mistress,' or at times the 'Fitness Trainer' or 'Tennis Instructor.' Some people may even refer to this as a 'mastress.'" LOL)