Monthly Archives: May 2006

May 2006 Books

23. Bait and Switch: the (futile) pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich
24. Black Silk by Metsy Hingle
25. Megan by Vivian Scherfranz
26. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
27. A New Kind of Christian: a tale of two friends on a spiritual journey by Brian McLaren
28. Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc. By Mary Kay Ash.
29. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
30. Gabrielle by Mary Francis Shura

I won an ebay auction for a bunch of the sunfire romances, which were my absolute favorite when I was in middle school. honestly, I learned more about american history from these books than I did from school – thank goodness they were reasonably correct!

am nuts.

call me crazy, but I when I get a new cell phone I am seriously leaning towards the pink moto razr v3.

it is SO FLASH. I saw a girl on the PATH train with it and she was dressed entirely in pink and had a tiny little dog in a designer pink carrier bag and she didn’t look ridiculous at all. I loved it! sure, the phone comes in black and silver, and sure, I’ll probably have this new phone for several years (leading to the inevitable question: do I want a pink phone when I’m 33?), but it is so great. Want.

so many things.

1. The wedding I went to was so pretty and all of the marvelous photos are here. we all had such a great time and improvized couples weekend with mariss and kelly was more than wonderful.

here are the handsome bride and gorgeous groom
digicam 027

I love this photo of kelly and I:
digicam 045

and this pic of the giant dead fish that was below our hotel room:
digicam 113

here’s a lovely pic of mariss and kelly
digicam 118

and I LOVE this winky photo of me.
digicam 084

2. I spent 3 days in our “philly office” and was so busy there! phew! I am also so stressed about the work load I have now. I have been tagged to work on a very large, high profile, lump sum, 10 year project in a position that is a titch better than my current position. if only it came with more vacation time!

3. very special bonus: new photo project: INSIGHT VS HUMMER!
my car is SO TINY. this is an H2, in case you were wondering.

4. last and certainly not least, and even more very special bonus: yay to sweet joy who has hatched! yay! welcome, little (BIG) benjamin!

working from home makes my 4 day week even better.

Yesterday, in the course of our office expansion to the space next door, oil and latex paints were used and stank was created and we all went home around lunch time in order to avoid bloody noses and other chronic health effects. you’d think, wouldn’t you, that a company including a bunch of environmental professionals would be able to avoid this kind of workplace hazard? not so much. my eyes were dried out and my nose was burning by the time I left. it was teh yuck!

so even though it’s not really approved by the company, we all worked from home. which was amazingly wonderful: I got a lot done quickly, because I wanted to go to the post office and the library. I have a theory that mgmt recognized that maybe we’d get more work done alone at home than we would in the office when we could take breaks to bitch together. The hardest part about working from home was not doing the things I REALLY wanted to do, including: the dishes, make cupcakes, try on my dresses for the wedding I’m attending this weekend, and sew a new skirt for post-wedding brunch. the last one was especially hard to avoid. But I did it!

I do wish, however, that I had tried on the dresses yesterday afternoon. I’m wearing the dress I sewed for paulina’s wedding last year, and when I tried it on last night I found out that I hadn’t finished the side seams well enough and they’ve split open as the fabric has worn and frayed. luckily I’ve lost some weight since I made it, and can stand to take the whole thing in about an inch and a half all around, so tomorrow morning I will sew up the sides, trim the frays, and finish the seams very very nicely. oh, my kingdom for a serger! though truth be told I don’t

(I would just wear my silver dress, but I have a harebrained scheme to match matt! and he’s wearing his new tan suit! it was so fun to accidentally match gibson when we were at paulinas… so unless he can’t get the pants hemmed on the tan suit and HAS to wear his charcoal one then I’m sticking with the green, despite having to repair it…)

[[EDITED: matt can’t get suits hemmed in time, so charcoal suit/silver dress are good to go! yay, I get to wear the gorgeous jewelry my friend susan makes!]]

observent readers may have observed that I’m taking tomorrow off and will be tripping down to MD for wedding and a happy weekend off in a fancy hotel. we’re sharing a suite with mariss and kelly! I am so excited!


updated the insight mileage page and would like to note that while I’ve been flirting with the 60 mpg line for a few tanks now, on the last tank I was definatively over it! thank goodness, I didn’t want to have to return my 60+ mpg sticker!

also, FYI the green hybrid mileage database is a brilliant resource showing the different hybrids and their actual user-obtained mileage. It’s interesting to note that the insight has the largest standard deviation of all cars, indicating that HOW you drive it really has a huge impact on what kind of mileage you get. I know I drive too fast to be a hypermiler (check out the dudes with 90+ mpg!) but at least I know it’s MY fault, not the EPA testing methodology, or some failure of the vehicle.

six things meme

a long time ago, I was tagged for the six things meme by stacey. Of course, I think SHE waited for a while to do the meme, so it’s no big deal that I’m a total meme slacker. Plus, she’s on a big bike trip so she won’t know I’ve even updated for 2 weeks!
so: SIX THINGS MEME, wherein I reveal six “unusual or little known” things about myself:

  1. Believe it or not, I’m really shy. I think this is a cop-out thing to reveal because I am so used to thinking of myself as shy, but I guess it’s not. so here are my words of wisdom for shy people who want to stop being shy and to interact with other human beans like you are not worried about them or yourself or what people think or how they’ll react or how they’re perceiving you: Fake it ’till you MAKE IT. seriously! it worked for me.
  2. Even though I’m an engineer I’m not that great at math. I’m decent at it, and I am awfully stubborn about doing it and getting it done, but I always score much higher on verbal standardized tests than I do on the maths.
  3. This is all rumor, but although we lived a comfortable and typical paycheck-to-paycheck middle class existance when I was in elementary school, apparently, my mom thought we were poor, or maybe thought we were about to become poor b/c of all the regional layoffs of engineers, and didn’t feed us very much meat. we ate a lot of beans and rice and other veggies. this isn’t a bad thing! my work girlfriend majdah’ from palestine is super impressed that I am so well versed in hummus and falafel and tabouleh (“why on earth do you know about tabouleh!? your mother cooked it for you? and she’s AMERICAN?”), and also, I don’t feel like I need to eat meat with every meal, or even every day. Which is super helpful when it’s CSA time. (we also ate a lot of raw cabbage when I was a kid, which dad says was to keep us from catching the scurvy, and mom says was b/c dad didn’t like to eat any other veggies so she fed us all that one. and when I say raw, I don’t mean in a slaw. I mean a 1/4 or an 1/8 of a cabbage, smack dab on your plate.) [[mom — feel free to add or dispute in the comments!]]
  4. I love to sing the national anthem. I sang it at my graduation and again at the new president of my college’s inauguration. so, at my wee small university, apparently if you are rumored to have taken voice lessons you are approached by the head of graduation ceremonies (also head of student athletics, which were strictly on a club or intramural basis) to sing, and then you don’t have to do anything else until rehersal when you stand in a special place and then 30 minutes before the ceremony when you get to practice with the brass ensemble. Aren’t they lucky, then, that I actually am pretty good at singing the national anthem?
  5. I get pretty obsessive about new hobbies. I was obsessive about persephone books, I was obsessive about knitting, I was obsessive about spinning (though I haven’t had a chance to allow myself to open my spinning wheel yet), I get obsessive about sewing the perfect outfit days before I ought to have it to wear, and I get obsessive about my CSA veggies. I’m starting to worry about where I’m going to go with this Mary Kay thing: into obsession, or safely into casual thing I do sometime?
  6. and lastly: I have a stepbrother! I have 2 stepsisters! and a brother! I know that a lot of my friends are shocked when they find out that I have a stepbrother b/c I usually talk about my brother-brother ad nauseum, and my stepbro lives on the left coast and I don’t see him more than every year or two. we’re friendly, but we just don’t know each other at all.

what homemaking means for the weekend of May 6 and 7.

  • hand wash silk scarves
  • fold and put away dry laundry
  • hang all not-to-be-machine-dried laundry
  • make bed with clean sheets
  • air out apartment
  • transplant sprouty herbs and plant some more seeds
  • wash and put away all dishes
  • scrub out tub and bathroom sink with favorite japanese brand of magic eraser
  • clean up food cupboard in kitchen (incl. eating ends of boxes of crackers to make room for other stuff
  • clean off kitchen counter and scrub clean
  • read in bed with clean sheets, freshly aired room, and drying-laundry-humidifier.

weekend of brilliance

this weekend was beautiful.

firstly, three of my lovely friends got married to three very lucky men: libby, kayte, and celeste all hitched up on friday! how splendid!

I got to go to yoga on saturday for the 2nd time in the week. I usually try to go 1x a week but on those occasions I can make 2x it’s really fantasticly amazing. and then I puttered around the house. I finished reading mary kay’s autobiography, wherein I learned that while I get points for always wearing a skirt, I lose them for being so quick to tell people how old I am. Sigh. I think if I start wearing lipstick more frequently I’ll come out ahead on the “being a lady” scale.

Then sat. night was a fantastic wedding party in brooklyn, including karaoke and also my first train trip in and out of the city from my home. I usually punk out and stop in jersey city to avoid the scheduled NJTransit last train situation, but it went very well. and karaoke! awesome!

sunday I slept in, did 3 loads of laundry, and meet Kathleen for lunch in Montclair. we explored the town a little and ate, and then on our way to ice cream dessert got lost in verona and sidetracked by PADDLEBOATS!


the park in verona is awfully pretty, and also, so are kathleen and I. hee!


veronapark veronaduck

kathleen and I agree that getting lost and finding paddleboats (and more so, stopping and paddleboating) probaby indicates that we may be some of the Best Aunts Ever. Now, the next time we do this kind of thing we need to make it a point to have our nieces and/or nephews with us.
after all that fun, we finally found the ice cream and had a surprise guest appearance from the mister and his coworker on their way home from party weekend in montreal. and then I went home, finished up my homemaking, and watched 1940s house on dvd. not too shabby, really. like I said, BRILLIANT.

think pink!

ok, to get all mary kay lady on y’all, I must admit that their face cleanser system is really fantastic. I was all punk rock with my olive/castor oils cleansing regimen, and it worked really well for me too, but I thought “hey, if I’m going to be a mary kay lady, I really ought to give THEIR regimen a chance.” so sunday night I used the cleanser/night cream/moisturizer, and when I woke up the next morning my nose pores were smaller. no kidding, I really didn’t expect it and was v. skeptical about it happening overnight, but heck! and it’s only gotten better. I’ve had these enlarged pores on my nose for a few years now with non-black blackhead type plugs and now they’re nearly GONE. heh. I called my stepsis right away and told her and she was like “I KNOW! me too!” and today a lady from the LI office walked by and said “you look great!” and I said “well, I’m a mary kay lady now!” and she said “really? your skin looks FANTASTIC!” ha! so I gave her a brochure.

so, with this, plus their no testing on animals policy, well, maybe it’s a cult. but my nose looks fantastic! THINK PINK! besides, every year I ask all my internet friends if they can think of a spf over-15 moisturizer that doesn’t test on animals and it’s REALLY hard to find. this spf 25 is a great find. I can’t wait to see if it makes my skin less pink than it is, because I am VERY PINK. that would be so fantastic. I didn’t used to be so pink! the photos don’t lie!


so far the only downside is the my trepidation that because I am using the timewise stuff, I am going to reverse age to a gangly and awkward phase. I found out this week that everyone at work thinks I look like a baby, so even though I’m 29 apparently I appear to be in my early 20s? so if this regimen reverses the signs of aging I bet I start to look 12 again and I hope that doesn’t slide me back into that shy, self-consious phase. I would REALLY be a bad marykay lady then.


random thoughts from the conference that was very near (but not in) atlantic city that I attended and presented at yesterday and today:

1. the safety pin held the front of my shirt together awfully nicely. wouldn’t it be nice, friends, if I could buy a button down shirt in a store and wear it without worrying about accidental exposure?

2. Cocktail hour, while presenting just the amount of time that could result in ME getting drunk and NO ONE ELSE, was not scandelous at all.

3. how come all the lady politicians in the program include how many kids they have and usually their husbands names? none of the gentleman politicians do. I’m so tired of seeing women in power or technical jobs feminize themselves so they’re not written off as another hilary or martha. HEAVENS FORBID! Anyway, which is worse: that ladies need to feminize themselves like that, or that men don’t feel like they should put their kids in the program?

4. I want to balance my life and be just like the njdep commissioner! she is so cool, so into the environment, so charming on the podium in front of an industry crowd, so committed to infill development and economic development environmentally and environmental justice. she’s so smart! and smooth! and knows her stuff! and (from her bio) she has 3 kids and a husband and is the bomb! JEALOUS. I hear that she’s career DEP and got the highest score in her year on the civil service exam and was instantly mentored and promoted and valued and look at her now!

5. sadly, she said that the way they’re addressing budget concerns is through staffattrition. maybe some day I’ll be a happy, productive, valued government employee. maybe.

6. Everyone LOVES sustainability. I keep talking to more and more people and I really feel like the momentum MUST be building within my company to start pushing it to our industrial/corporate clients. I made a good in-house contact with regards to that, so maybe October will find me proctering a conference in Savannah GA? that would be SUPER.

7. Speaking of SUPER, I say that a lot! a woman from my company pointed that out to me and now I am very consious of my bizarro verbal tick of choice. Super!