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Archive for February, 2009

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A week from today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent – 40 days of sacrifice leading up to Easter. And despite what it may sound like from some of the stories I share here, I do consider myself fairly religious. Therefore, come next Wednesday, I’ll be giving something up. I’m just not sure what yet.

Now, I’m a WASP to the max, so I have it a little easier: I don’t have to fast at all, or give up meat on Fridays. And if I do mess up, I don’t have to go to confession. (Which really works out fine, considering I already carry around an ample amount of guilt – vestiges from my grandmother’s guilt trips, you see.) But every year I try to sacrifice something different, with varying degrees of success.

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  • There was the year I gave up chocolate – and had hot cocoa by accident on a Girl Scout retreat.
  • Once I gave up beer, but not alcohol in general. (Let me tell you, playing flip cup and beirut with mixed drinks…not the best idea I’ve ever had.)
  • Another time I gave up trash-talking/gossiping about a specific person (who totally had it coming), and my friends celebrated with cake and a party when I was done.
  • And another, I gave up T.V. – which made it awkward when I walked out of the room while someone else had it on.

But this year? I’m out. I have no idea what to give up. I asked Cla about it and she said, “Don’t do alcohol! We’ll be in Argentina!” Duly noted.

That being said, I’m open to suggestions. Regardless of your religious or non inclinations, what would you (or have you) sacrifice(d) for 40 days and nights? (Or even a week – I’m not picky, I just need ideas.)

I really can’t do chocolate again. It might be better for my waistline, but it totally makes me cranky.

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One of Geico’s newer commercials involves the lizard and the boss participating in a trust fall:

The boss has complete faith, but, to say the lizard looks wary, would be an understatement. That’s the look that reminds me of my very first (and last) trust fall – which happened about 15 years ago. It was the week of Vacation Bible School at the church I went to, and the lesson of the day was, obviously trust.

One of the first exercises we did was with a partner, where one person closed their eyes and the other person led them around the church, making sure they didn’t run into or trip on anything. I was nervous enough about that, and shuffled around with my arms stretched out, while my partner gave me directions. When all the pairs were done, it was time for the fall.

We had one big youth room in the basement of the church – really, a place for us all to hang out. We had a pinball machine, foosball table, air hockey, and a ping pong table. The last one was our “base point” for the fall. One at a time, each kid stood on the table and the rest of us stood at the base in two lines, so that our arms interlocked, creating a cradle with which to catch. (For the record, we *did* have adult supervision who made sure we were standing in in the right formation to catch anyone that came off the ping pong table.) Everything was going well – numerous people got up, fell off, and had nothing more to worry about than a stray hand on their ass.

Then it was my turn.

Now, considering I was falling backwards, I couldn’t exactly *see* what had happened. But, good god did I feel it. I was NOT caught.

Think “Mean Girls” (around 1:25…but no Karen):

I went down on my butt and back and onto the floor (which was concrete, covered by carpet that was less than an inch thick). Not only did I go down, but the force caused my head to hit the floor – then bounce back up again. Even better? It was caught on video tape – and later shown to our congregation as one of the highlights of the week.

Maybe I was crazy to attempt a fall off the table. Maybe we needed a little more adult supervision – and some pillows.

And maybe this explains why I have a certain amount of trouble trusting people. I just don’t want to get dropped on my head again.

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I know that the movie’s been out for about a week, now, and that others have already written posts about it, but who would I be if I didn’t put my two cents in?

I saw “He’s Just Not That Into You” yesterday.

I fancied myself prepared for all the cringe-worthy moments, and to take the “dating lessons” with a grain of salt. I’d read the book when it came out and, while it didn’t change my life, it had a few valid points – and no cheesy happy ending. But I have to be honest: some of the behavior and situations were absolutely *painful* to see on screen. Some were painful because they were just so exaggerated and over the top (a la Ginnifer Goodwin’s character), some because they hit too close to home.

At one point, Jennifer Aniston’s character said something to the effect of, “I’ve been hiding how I feel because I didn’t want to seem too demanding or pushy, but I can’t do it any more.” And Cla, who I saw the movie with, leaned over and said, “Oh my god, that’s me. That’s what I’ve been doing.” I, on the other hand, identified more with Scarlet Johansson’s character – essentially always choosing the wrong guy, sometimes when I know it’s wrong and sometimes when I don’t realize that fact until I’m in it.

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But this is not a pity party, by any means. I didn’t sit in the theater and come to any (new) shocking self-realizations. The movie made no ground-breaking observations. You could see the same scenarios if you spent a weekend people-watching in any major city, be it outside, in restaurants, at the bar – anywhere, really. (The only thing you wouldn’t see is the contrived Hollywood ending. Quelle surprise.)

So next time I want to see mixed signals, miscommunication, and general relationship dysfunction, I’m not going to the movies. I’m going to the bar. Same scenarios – with the added bonus of alcohol. So much more enjoyable.

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When I got an invite to a BOCA sponsored spa night in D.C., I thought it might be a mistake. Or that there was a catch. What do you mean I get to go get pampered for free? No comprendo. But there was no catch. And I loved every minute. Especially hanging out with all these fabulous ladies.

Some highlights:

1) Getting my hands and legs massaged (during the mani/pedi) while sipping wine. No downside!

2) The bathroom was *gorgeous*, fully stocked, and roughly the same size as my apartment.

3) This is where it gets fuzzy: I think I got an empanada some time after the pampering. If I did, it’s totally a highlight (I prefer empanadas to jumbo slice). If I didn’t, there’s always this weekend.

4) I got a ride back to my apartment from Deutlich (right?). Although, I remember sitting in the back of the car at one point and thinking, Wow, this cab is really nice.

5) I woke up at 5am, fully dressed – including my shoes, jewelry, and coat. I changed, but now that I think about it, I shouldn’t have. It would have been much easier to roll in to work not worrying about what to put on.

6) For all that we drank before, during, and after the spa night, I’m not hungover at ALL.

I’m still drunk.

Maybe I should have started with that disclaimer.

So, for your Friday enjoyment, watch this:

Maybe you’ve already seen it. Maybe you think it’s as funny as I do. Maybe you think it’s stupid. Whatever.

I’m drunk.

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My entire freshman year of college, I dated a guy I had met in my first week on campus. (I know, I know – way to shop around.) Without going into too much detail, I’ll say that it probably definitely wasn’t the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in, but the end of it did teach me one very important life lesson: Jose Cuervo does NOT cure break-ups.

During my sophomore year, he went abroad, and we made the decision to have an open relationship (red flag!) with the intention of being together once he got back. That plan was, however, canned when I received a call from him in October saying (45 minutes into the conversation during which I was SO happy to talk to him), “By the way, I started seeing someone else. We [you and I] won’t be together when I get back.

Just stick the knife in and turn a little more.

That conversation took place on a Wednesday night and I spent the better part of the next day curled up on my couch, watching “Friends.” My roommates and other girlfriends were insanely supportive and immediately followed through on the first to steps of “what to do after a break-up” – they brought baked goodies and trash talked the Ex. I had cookies, brownies, ice cream, and some delicious red velvet cupcakes that Cla had made. And the food coma sustained me until it was time for the alcohol step of “what to do”. But that was, I believe, my fatal mistake.

You see, my favorite shot is tequila. Even to this day. And I decided, with the urging of another friend whose frat we were going to, that 10 Rounds With Jose Cuervo would make all my pain go away. I was so young and foolish. (Or stupid. Stupid’s probably a better word for it.)

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I did the ten rounds (to the song, no less). And more. And still made it to the house. (That part’s a little fuzzy, though.) I knew, however, shortly after arriving there, that things were not looking good. And so I rushed, with the support of several friends, to the cleanest possible bathroom in a frat house – the one on the third floor, farthest away from the basement. As the girls held my hair back, I emptied my stomach, and we all blamed the Ex for my alcohol consumption, I pointed to the thing that I could see most clearly, even through my tequila haze.

Oh look, Cla – there’s your cupcake.

Red velvet really hasn’t been appetizing since.

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Because I am, on occasion, super sappy, I had to include at least one post this week regarding Valentine’s Day. Really, you’re just lucky that I didn’t do an entire week of them. (Or maybe I’m the lucky one, as V-Day posts probably alienate more than TMI Thursdays do…)

Aaaanyway.

I’ve definitely had my share of memorable Valentine’s Days. Good (an adorable gigantic teddy bear stuffed in my locker – it was high school, whatever); bad (a reneged invitation to junior prom); and girly (drinks at the bar and only slight amounts of boy-bashing).

But one of the cutest valentines I ever got came in 5th grade. It wasn’t a cookie cutter valentine, where you just fill in the “to” and “from” fields – this one was handmade, by Austin. Of course, it being elementary school and all, he couldn’t just give it to me himself. He gave it to Danny to give to me and told Danny not to read it. Yeah, right.

In the hall that day, after library time, Danny waved the card in front of my face and the teasing began. And as I grabbed for the card, my card, he started quoting the poem inside that Austin had written for me. In fact, he quoted so often – even after I snagged the valentine – that the rest of my 5th grade class knew the words, too, and would quote it on occasion. (Austin was in another 5th grade class – thank God for small miracles.) But to this day, I still remember what he wrote:

Your face is nice, like sugar and spice

Your bodies* fly like the birds in the sky

You’re very good at basketball, after all

I’m not a poet

As you can see, I show it

*”Bodies” instead of “body” threw me (and still does), but it’s still kind of adorable.

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It was also signed:

Love,

???

(as if you don’t know!)

Which totally makes me laugh now. Truth be told, I still have that valentine. It’s back at home, tucked in a folder that has other mementos, letters, and cards from growing up. If I’d thought about it, I’d have taken a picture to show you Austin’s fantastic artwork on the cover.

As it is, trust me when I say it was (and still is) one of the sweetest, and most creative, valentines I’ve ever received. The bar is set, gentlemen.

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Running outside has always been a little bit of an adventure for me. When I was traveling after my semester abroad, I used my morning run to explore whatever city we were in at the time. Sometimes that would lead to getting lost, but I still maintain that that’s all part of the exploration. And running outside is SO much more rewarding and entertaining than running on the treadmill – which is why I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm D.C. weather this weekend and last.

When I started out, my biggest worry was my inherent lack of gracefulness and the uneven sidewalks – I once turned my ankle mid-run and had to walk most of the way back to my apartment. Not pleasant. These past couple times, though, I met far more interesting interruptions.

Not pretty. Also, not necessary in 60 degree weather.

Not pretty. Also, not necessary in 60 degree weather.

1) The route that I run takes me down by the Mall. I understand that D.C. is a tourist mecca, but I didn’t quite expect the crowds that I saw, considering it’s only February. Clearly, everyone was thinking along the same lines of taking advantage of the weather. But tourists, as glad as I am to have them here, are a very “interesting” bunch to judge observe. I saw more fanny packs, open maps, and combinations of long denim skirts and furry clogs than I ever have (or, really, ever should) in one place. I know that some tourists can blend in with their surroundings – but those tourists weren’t at the Mall this weekend or last. At least, I didn’t see them.

2) As I continued my run up 15th Street, I could feel my energy flagging. And I suppose Abe Lincoln could tell, too. What? What’s that you say? He’s dead? Well, not downtown he’s not. Somewhere on 15th Street, a man dressed as Honest Abe leaned in toward me as I ran past, urging me to, “Come on in [to the souvenir shop]! Take a break!” while trying to hand me a coupon. The encounter fueled my energy reserve, partly from the laughter, partly because he was bordering on creepy and I wanted to get away.

3) This one was really the kicker. Going up 14th Street, I saw a couple up ahead of me, and saw something small fly into a trash can immediately to their right. As I got closer and pulled up nearly level to the trash can, I realized what it was, because a similar small “something” had flown right past my face, not an inch from my nose. A ketchup packet! Ketchup! When I looked in the direction it had come from, I saw a bum (is that not PC?) sitting in an alcove, with a stash of ketchup packets that he apparently liked to throw at passersby.

I may not be the most city savvy, but I don’t usually consider myself too easily surprised. Point to the ketchup thrower.

If you, too, decide to run in the city, let me offer you some advice: enjoy the tourists; laugh at/run away from Abe; and watch out for the flying ketchup – with all that practice, I’m sure his aim is getting better.bullseye

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I’ve been wondering, recently, about this whole cable transition thing that was originally scheduled for February 17th. I remember when they first started advertising it and I thought, February 2009 seems so far away. Well now it’s here and I’m not quite sure how it’s going to affect me. (Because that’s the most important thing, right? How it’ll affect me.)

[Ed. note: I’ve seen that Congress has pushed the transition date back to June. But I’ve also seen reports that people are already having trouble with their cable boxes. What’s an extra four months going to accomplish? Anyway…]

I have cable. I just don’t have a cable box. Or an antenna. I have, what I like to call, cable gratis. (I don’t know if I used that right, but you get my drift.) Back in September, when I couldn’t steal a signal anymore finally caved and ordered internet, Chris the Comcast guy came by to help me with my order. He asked where I wanted the router, looking for a hook up by the TV, and I told him it didn’t matter because I wasn’t getting cable.

Chris: “Do you want cable?”

Liebchen: “Well, I’m just getting internet for right now.”

Chris: “I can hook up the cable for you. Do you have $20? It won’t show up on your bill at all, as long as you keep it between us.”

Liebchen: [looking around for the hidden camera] “It really won’t show up? You’re sure?”

Chris: “As long as you don’t say anything to Comcast. It’s cool.”

I told a friend about my lucky day to which he replied: “Why’d you get it for free? I mean, you’re hot, but are you free cable hot? I am, and I don’t get it for free.” He’s modest, that one. (I’d have argued, but I was shocked myself.)

If my cable does get discontinued, I’m honestly not sure if I’ll call Comcast to get it back. (Hard to pay for something you’ve gotten for free for nearly five months – nine, if it lasts until June.)

Good thing Chris left me his cell phone number. Maybe he can help me out.

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I was interviewed by the lovely Lilu the other week, so, just in case I haven’t shared enough with you all, here are a few more tidbits for your reading pleasure. Rules are below if you’d like to participate.

1. What are the three most important things you look for in a partner? The three things you absolutely can’t abide?

Hmm…I guess the three most important things would be a sense of humor, kind eyes (I know it sounds cheesy, but I don’t know a better way to explain it), and a sense of adventure/try-anything-once attitude. In any case, I love a guy that can make me laugh, and someone who can bring me just a little more out of my shell.

Deal-breakers, though, would be someone who takes himself too seriously (obviously, given the sense of humor requirement), who’s constantly condescending, and who needs constant attention. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE attention (hey! look at my blog!), but I also appreciate some “me” time.

2. Nora Jones wants to know what really “Turns You On”. What does a guy do that really makes your kitten purr? Wait… that sounded more sexual than I meant it to… oh well.

More sexual than you meant it to? Is there a non-sexual answer to this question?

Well, avoiding most of the truly obvious answers, a massage really makes “my kitten purr.” Especially when he goes at it hard and deep and slow and thorough (hey, I like what I like).

Plus, a massage like that is almost always just Act I.

3. Admit the three songs that you are most ashamed of being in LURVE with. You can defer to your “Most Played” on your iPod, if that will help you be more honest.

If we’re being honest (and at this point, why the hell not?) I have to admit that I listen to unhealthy amounts of pop music. My brain is probably rotting…but at least it’s going to a catchy beat. That said, I’m ashamed of loving…

1) Britney Spears – Right now it’s a tie between “Womanizer” and “Circus”

2) Hilary Duff – “Anywhere But Here” (It’s from the soundtrack for “A Cinderella Story” – another shameful love.)

3) Nelly Furtado – “Promiscuous”

Please still be my friend.

4. If you had all the money you ever wanted but you had to live in one town/city for the rest of your life, where would it be? What if you were dirt poor but you still had to choose- where would it be?

With all the money I ever wanted, I’d probably still live in D.C., but travel like crazy. There are so many places I still want to see. I do like D.C. as a home base, though.

If I were dirt poor (which isn’t so far off track right now…), I might still choose D.C., but Philadelphia would be in the running. There’s something comforting about being able to mooch off close to Mom and Dad if I had zero means.

5. You’re 18 and back in high school, with a BOY in your room that you LIKE like. Would you rather your mom or your dad walked in on you?

It’s probably much more likely that I’d get walked in on by my brother – but that’s my own fault for “hanging out” in our downstairs rec room.

In this case, though, I’d MUCH rather have mom walk in. It would absolutely be awkward for a little bit, but by the time I was 18, she and I had already had several, fairly honest, “relationship” talks. She probably would have just mocked me for being an idiot and not locking the door.

All right, kids – that’s it from me!

If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me,” with your email address.

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Happy weekend!

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