grammar makes me laugh and other miscellany

Pinterest is my new best friend. I have seen this everywhere on the internet but it gets me every time. Seriously. Like today when a co-worker was talking to me, and I saw it, cracked up, and tried unsuccessfully to turn it into a cough. And then I showed it to her, and because she’s cool, she loved it. And now she’s on Pinterest. Win.

I found this recipe for nutella cheesecake layer bars. Seriously. Nutella. And cheesecake. Two of my favorite things ever. Would making these send me into a coma? Probably, but it would be worth it.

Also I’m psyched that I got to celebrate yesterday with this lady who recently got a new job in New York! (But sad she’ll be leaving NC, so it’s one of those bittersweet things). Definitely looking forward to hearing about her NYC adventures.

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

picture here, via Pinterest


tuesday happiness

(Only a few days late)…Friday, New York became the largest state to allow same-sex marriage, yay! Like a nerd, I watched part of the Senate session online.  It was pretty cool watching various Senators standing up to explain why they were supporting the bill. Also cool was watching the words “applause and cheers” come up on the screen after the bill passed (I may or may not have muted it because we were also watching UVA in the college world series). Also, you know you’re doing something right when they change the colors of the Empire State Building to celebrate it.

picture from the Atlantic

swimming in blueberries


Last Friday I had what I thought was both a stroke of genius and a fortuitous occasion of luck. Whole Foods had a one-day sale on organic blueberries, $2/pint instead of the usual $5. Since blueberries are on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, they’re one of those things I try to buy organic, or not at all  (usually the latter, because I’m definitely just a grad student). Because blueberries are 1) awesome, 2) good for you and 3) I usually buy them frozen in bulk for my smoothies anyway, I decided the best approach would be to buy several pints and freeze them myself.

And then! I saw the sign advertising the special, a whole case (12 pints) for $20. The logical part of my brain reminded myself that I live alone, and that $20 is a lot to spend on one type of fruit for only one person. But the logical side was also attracted to the idea of getting a great deal on something so healthy that I use anyway.

So I left the store carrying a box, only a little self-conscious that people were probably staring at me and surmising that one person could not possibly need a case! of blueberries (I shouldn’t have been, the guy in front of me at check-out was carrying 3).

I have spent the last week using my minimal freezer space to rotate blueberries on cookie sheets. And making blueberry pie (which seemed like a great idea, until I remembered I really prefer peach and apple. But it was ok). And then I had a mild panic attack when I remembered that I’m moving out of my apartment in August so all the blueberries need to be gone by then.

It sounds like I’m complaining about my self-induced influx of fruit and I don’t mean to be. I do, however, look back fondly on my life before last Friday, to the days when I didn’t arrive at work with blueberries stuck to my shoes (I still haven’t mastered not losing blueberries during freezer transport).

Also, if you know me, you will understand while I might start trying to foist blueberries on you at our every meeting.

Photo credit: here, via Pinterest


on being a hypocrite

Last week I was at dinner with a friend, seated outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. A man passing by paused briefly at our table to comment that I was wearing the wrong shirt for this college town and then laughing, went on his way. The exchange lasted less than 10 seconds, but from the moment the man paused at our table, my friend had turned away to ignore him. I was surprised, because she’s a nice person and the man was definitely non-threatening. Then she made the comment that she still wasn’t used to “southerners who want to talk to everybody” because being from New England, it was kind of a foreign concept.

I laughed. In my head I scoffed at the notion that you wouldn’t talk to someone who was talking to you (forgetting for a moment that in a lot of cases this is a perfectly legitimate reaction). I think I probably also thought something like “geez, northerners”  while ruminating on how southerners are generally a friendly, if chatty, bunch. I usually don’t stand on the southern soapbox, my mom being from Pennsylvania and all, but in this situation I thought it was warranted.

Yes well, about that.

On Saturday I was standing outside my favorite bookstore, reading a sign in their window, when a voice a few feet behind me said “I saw you at the library.” I turned to encounter a man whose delivery had not been one of funny coincidence (like “hey! you were at the library this morning too!”) but one of flat affect that off the bat made him seem creepy. I had, in fact, been at the library, but I hadn’t seen him. I smiled and quickly tried to come up with an exit strategy. Deciding the bookstore was the best bet, I was reaching for the door when he said “I write screenplays.”

Southerner or not, I decided that “great, bye!” was probably a rude response, and given the setting (12 in the afternoon on the sidewalk of a very safe street) I was likely not in any danger. So I proceeded to ask him about his supposed line of work, which yielded that he was actually a writer of horror screenplays, and did I like horror? Um, no. Definitely not. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen was Gremlins, when I was 3, and I have been terrified of pretty much everything ever since. Well that’s ok, he writes comedy too.

At this point I thought I had fulfilled all conversational obligations and was trying to extricate myself when he began telling me about the most recent comedy he’d written, about high school girls who try to hypnotize someone (each other? someone else? it wasn’t clear). And then he asked the clincher, “if you were trying to hypnotize someone, what would you use?”

Do you have a good answer to this question? I didn’t. While I stood, immobilized by competing thoughts (i.e. What kind of person asks that question? What would you use to hypnotize someone? and I should probably run screaming down this street) the door to the bookstore blessedly opened. I mumbled a hasty goodbye and practically leaped through the doorway into the store, prompting a few strange looks from the guys behind the counter.

After making sure that I wasn’t followed (yes, I have always wanted to be a secret agent), I paused to reflect on the extent to which I am a hypocrite. From here on out I advocate never speaking to anyone you don’t know, or watching horror movies, or anything involving hypnotism. This new policy will obviously require big changes in my life, so I’m going to go get started on that.

Southern soapbox, indeed.

wedding nightmares

This time it was 45 minutes before the wedding, and one of the bridesmaids called to say she would be an hour late. While trying to figure out how to back up the wedding to ensure that she would make it, my friend who is acting as coordinator called to say she had forgotten about my wedding and wouldn’t be attending. Or coordinating. I’m not sure how I managed to make it to 45 minutes before the wedding without realizing neither of them was there, but I guess that’s typical of wedding nightmares.

The worst part of the whole thing, to my dream-self, was the programs. 2 of my best friends had just called to say they wouldn’t be there, but I was more horrified by the programs. Because they had misspellings! Lots of them (which would bug me in real life yes, but nice priorities, right?).

Perhaps the best part of this dream was that my mom had seen the misspellings and anticipated my reaction, so she was attempting to fix it (she’s good that way). Except that her version of “fixing it” involved cutting out rectangles of construction paper and writing on them the correctly spelled words to paste on to the programs. At this point in the dream, with the wedding 20 minutes away, she had finished half the programs and was telling me not to worry, that no one would notice (as a stack of programs fluttered on a table behind her, curling at the edges from all the glue).

We still have a year. This is getting a little silly.

observations from the side of the road

On Friday we left for Pennsylvania, a trip we have taken many, many times in my lifetime, usually in an uneventful manner. Friday’s trip, however,  included an exciting new twist that left us on the side of the interstate, 2 hours from our destination. While my sister and I made phone calls to various family members, my mom called Triple A. What ensued on her end was an hilarious (to us, not her) few minutes when the lady with whom she was speaking said she could call a taxi, but unfortunately some only seat two. Given that there were three of us, my mom tried to explain to this lady that even though my sister and I are adult children (20 and 23, respectively) that we were still children! and could not be left alone on the side of the road. Or sent off by ourselves with some possibly strange taxi-driver.

I should stop here to note that my mother wasn’t just being overprotective. Neither my sister nor myself possess the survival skills required of this situation. And by “survival skills”, I mean the ability to sit alone in a car on the side of the interstate, unsupervised.

45 minutes later a tow truck big enough to transport both our car and ourselves arrived to solve our problem. The truck ride was pretty exciting, as was the time we spent bonding with the truck driver’s 7 year old daughter while we waited. We now know her summer plans, the names (first and middle) of all her siblings, and the names of all the Wiggles characters. Cute.

Fortunately for us, there was a homemade ice cream shop next door to the car repair place. We suffered through the wait for my aunt to rescue us by drowning our sorrows in anise, pear sorbet, and chocolate marshmallow (I think). 

We highly recommend this place if you’re every traveling through Carlisle, PA. Also please let me know if you know what exactly the Wiggles are. 

similar to a day at the beach

Today at lunch I had to call a Dr.’s office at home about an appointment on Friday. When I told Doris (cute) that I live in North Carolina she asked me how I liked “living at the beach.” Oh Doris. I would love living at the beach, if I lived there and not somewhere in the amorphous center of the state. And since it feels like I live at the beach, temperature-wise, she was close anyway. I know this winter I will reflect upon this post and want to hit myself in the face for whining about the weather. Oh well. 

In other news, this is Restaurant Week! Which means trying a new place not usually frequented by poor grad students. A place with tiramisu on the dessert menu? Yes please.  (Note: WordPress is telling me that “tiramisu” is a misspelled word. Looks like Doris isn’t the only one being silly today). 

And finally, in wedding news, my sister is horrified that I don’t care if the tablecloths match the bridesmaid dresses. We’re thinking of making her dress out of a tablecloth to remedy this problem. We’re also debating whether we could make chocolate covered pretzels as favors without eating all of them before the wedding. So far it’s a toss-up.