Posts Tagged ‘i heart happy little surprises’

Not for you. Don’t worry.

For me. Or rather, I am the spoiler.*

To say that I am impatient is an understatement. I like to think that it’s part of my charm, but I don’t ask just in case that’s not the case.

The thing is, I don’t think of it as “spoiling.” I think of it as enjoying the journey once I know the destination. I might already know the outcome, but I love finding out how we get there.

I do it with books, movies, TV shows – not all of them, but a lot. And occasionally I’ve even played Nancy Drew (can “detective” be another word for spoiler?) when I know BNF has a surprise up his sleeve. Which I suppose would only count as spoiling if I were ever able to figure out the surprise ahead of time.

But in preparing for this coming weekend I gave my inner Nancy Drew time off.

This weekend is my bridal shower and bachelorette party up in Philly, and I know next to nothing about what’s involved. Cla, the bridesmaids, and my mom have skillfully kept all details to themselves.

At one point, early on, I was talking to my mom, trying to weasel out some information.

Oh, do you want me to pass anything on to Cla? Any details or thoughts?

(I don’t remember my exact wording. I like to think I was sneakier than that. I probably wasn’t.)

No. I’ll call her myself.

Well played, Mama.

The thing I’m realizing, though, as I go into this, is that I’m SO excited to be surprised!

I mean, of course the control freak in me is dying to know every last detail, but the bigger part of me is as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. (A normal kid, who didn’t sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to dig through her stocking and try to peek at presents, and thus know what to expect.)

Now, does recognition of this feeling mean that I’m a reformed spoiler, and that I’m not going to look up the episodes of Game of Thrones anymore before I watch them?

Don’t be ridiculous.

But maybe I’ll resist the urge to guess the next time BNF mentions a surprise.


*For the record, I only ever spoil myself. I fully realize that not everyone shares my “must know now!” attitude.

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From December 2010:

“2010 seems hard to beat, but I think 2011 is up to the challenge.

Next year will see more marathons (or, at least one); the halfway point of my grad school career; five weddings within a three month period (plus another one over Labor Day); hopefully the completion of my birthday list; and a potential trip to Buenos Aires.

I can’t wait to see what else 2011 has up its sleeve.”

  • That potential trip to Buenos Aires turned out to be a beautiful reality. It was relaxing, warm, and amazing to meet so much of BNF’s family and friends. And my Spanish was passable, so I’ll count that part a success.

  • I didn’t fully complete my birthday list, but I did come up with a new one for 26 that I’m slowly working my way through.
  • The weddings were fantastic. We danced and ate and celebrated fairly consistently from March through June (and then in September).

  • At this point, I only have one semester left of grad school, and this past semester was the best one so far.
  • And as for the marathons…well, I grossly underestimated how many I’d be doing in 2011.

  • But the best surprise of all of 2011 was the proposal. Talk about having something up your sleeve!

2010 was a hard act to follow, but 2011 did just fine. And 2012 has a clear advantage, because how could I not be excited about the year in which I get married and get my M.A.?

I love making resolutions, mostly because I love making to-do lists, but at the same time I haven’t really made any these past few years, and things seems to be falling nicely into place. So I think I’ll stick with that method.

No resolutions, just happy years.

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I could sit here and tell you all the things I loved about Chicago this weekend. And it would be a long list because the weekend was amazing, and MJ and I had a blast being tourists. But the best part of the weekend was the reason we were there in the first place.

The Marathon.

About 6:30am...

About an hour later, as we near the starting mat

In my last marathon I finished in 4:56:29 – a new personal record for me, beating my old time by more than two minutes. When I set my new goal of 4:45 to 4:50, I felt it was a stretch because I remembered what the previous marathons felt like; it was as if I’d been pushing myself as much as humanly possible.

Turns out, that may not have been entirely accurate.

When MJ and I lined up Sunday morning, I could feel the butterflies, and I knew I wanted the 4:45.

As we crossed the start line, I felt stronger than ever. We wound through the streets of Chicago, passing through neighborhoods full of spectators and supporters. There was cheering and singing and high fives. And I’ve never been more grateful for the signs reading, “Way to go, complete stranger! You look great!

I checked Guillermo each time I passed a mile marker, just to make sure I was staying on pace, and before I knew it I was building up a time-cushion. First it was just a couple minutes, and then by the half mark I realized that I was roughly 10 minutes ahead of where I should have been.

That knowledge, coupled with the encouraging texts from Mama, BNF, LB, and RB, was what kept me pushing through the end.

When other people were walking, I was getting messages along the lines of, “Run like Tony DiNozzo is watching!” How could I not get a little kick in my step?

In a race like this you can feel the energy of the finish line before you see it. The crowds get thicker, the cheering gets louder, and you find the reserves you thought you’d already depleted. And when I felt that, I sprinted.

When I crossed the finish line, Guillermo was practically beaming back at me.

Official time: 4:34:25.

Official feeling: Fuck yeah! (Followed quickly by the thought of – dear God, how am I going to do this again in just three weeks?)

Who knows – maybe the runner’s high will last until Marine Corps.

But even if it doesn’t, Guillermo and I will always have Chicago.

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I know I’ve been talking about the move a lot, and how much work it was (and continues to be). But this weekend wasn’t all work and no play. In fact, the weekend started off with plans with MJ – dinner, drinks, and a date with Harry Potter.

Now, I’ve ranted briefly about this series before. I love the books, without question, and I fully enjoyed the first four movies. The fifth one irritated me, in that it seemed as though the director (or whoever else was in charge) made sloppy mistakes or blatant changes in the story. After the sixth one, I was beyond irritated. I was furious.

I left the theater wishing I had seen it with someone, just so I could rant. In fact, I called my brother, who had already seen it, and wasted no time in outlining everything wrong with it. I was in the middle of ranting about the language, the made up scenes, the changes in timeline, and the casting choices as he told me that I was being hypercritical.

I disagree.

In any case, with those past experiences I went into the first part of the seventh movie preparing to hate it. I was seeing it because that’s what you do when you love the books and you’ve seen all the movies leading up to it. And how can I fairly critique something without seeing it first? (Not that that’s stopped me before.)

But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. I might even say I enjoyed the movie.

There were, of course, some things that I disagreed with as far as timeline and casting, but overall? Very well done.

I might even see it again.

Plus, I kind of loved the two girls in the audience that dressed up as Harry and the Snitch and ran a lap around the theater.

Can’t wait for Part II – it seems so far away now!

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This morning I woke up with a start. Not just an I-have-to-get-out-of-bed-ASAP start, but an oh-shit-I-can’t-believe-I-forgot-that start.

I had forgotten to renew my parking permit, so my car had been sitting, illegally parked for TWO WHOLE DAYS.

Maybe in some places this wouldn’t be a big deal. But in DC, it’s practically a death sentence for your car. What do you mean I’m exaggerating? I was once parked in the street – legally – for less than a day and I got two tickets within the course of two hours. (I fought it. I won. Nice try, DC.)

But this time, I knew I was in the wrong. There would be no fighting these tickets, if that was even the worst of it. As I rushed to my car I was praying (yes, praying) that there would only be tickets – that the car wouldn’t be towed, that there wouldn’t be a boot.

duh duh duuuuuuh (or some other scary music)

Once my little Ford Focus came into sight I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief (yay no towing!) and tried to guess how many tickets would be on my windshield. I settled on six, which I thought was conservative for 48 hours without a legal permit.

But the windshield was clear. And no boot!

I was in such shock that I actually walked around the car a couple times to see what the catch was. There was no way I could have gotten off scot-free, was there?

Apparently, there was.

Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt – the cost of towing and tickets really adds up – but I’ll take it.

How cute! A little lucky duck!

I still renewed my parking permit before I went to work, though. Luck happens, but I’m not about to bank on it.

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So, I know I’ve been slacking a bit recently on the, I guess, more substantive posts around here, but I’ve got some big BIG news. And I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it.

Remember waaaaaaaaay back in the day (i.e. 2009) when I took the GRE? And later, when I confessed that I didn’t have a backup plan if I didn’t get into grad school? And then, in January, I turned in my applications and have been waiting with bated breath ever since. Everyone told me that after a while I’d forget that I was waiting, that March would be here before I knew it.

Well, they were half right. March got here SUPER quick, but I never for a second forgot what I was waiting for. And as February crept slowly by, I got antsier and antsier. And one day, I saw this headline, that made my heart nearly stop:

GWU Erroneously Congratulates Rejected Applicants

Oh.My.God. Talk about my worst fears. Nevermind that it was for undergrad applications. If it can happen once, it can happen again. And if it can happen at GW, what’s to stop it from happening at Georgetown or American? So, from that point on, I was terrified of receiving emails from any of the three schools I applied to.

I suppose that’s why I couldn’t believe what I was reading, when I saw:

On behalf of the Graduate Political Science Association, congratulations on your admission to Georgetown!

No, really, I couldn’t believe it. I must have sent it to about 5 different people, asking them to clarify some of the other language in the email, wondering if the school had made a mistake. But once I got the all-clear, well, I’ve been bouncing in my chair for the past few days.

I’m not making any decisions yet; I’m still waiting to hear from the other two. But my god it feels good to know that I’m definitely going somewhere.

Watch out, world. Here I come!

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I don’t usually get too political over here. Sure, I have my opinions, but I don’t claim to be a political guru, by any means. Last night, however, I watched Obama’s news conference focusing on the economy, and felt the urge to comment.

I can’t lie – for a little while, I was having bad flashbacks to my college econ classes, hearing him throw around terms like “gross domestic product” and “structural deficits” and “fiscal responsibility.” (Responsibility? That’s just crazy talk.) And I was really only partially tuned in at first, as I was finally sitting down to do my taxes (woo.freaking.hoo.). But then, during the questions on AIG and why it took so long to react, Obama said one of the best things I’ve heard from him since he’s taken office:

It took us a couple of days [to react] because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.

Why am I so struck by this comment? I mean, you should expect politicians to know what they’re talking about, right? Right…? Or maybe:


You know why someecards are funny? Because they’re usually true.

It’s been said before, but the bar was set so low that anything even moderately acceptable that Obama does, is a happy surprise. Even speaking coherently. (Granted, that sentiment has faded a bit in these past couple months.)

Ideally, we should be able to look to our leaders as role models. So, maybe this whole “knowing what you’re talking about before you speak” idea will eventually sweep the nation.

Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

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