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Posts Tagged ‘quirky’s the new cute’

I am the kind of person who looks at a restaurant’s menu online before she goes out to dinner. I like to have an idea of what I’m going to order ahead of time, to cut down on the on-the-spot decision making.

I am a planner.

But I found out over the weekend that it’s much harder to plan your meal when you’re eating dim sum.

This particular meal made it on my 27 list mostly because Husband has raved about it, and I’m always up for trying new things.

And, to a degree, I knew what to expect: servers pushing around carts full of food that we could say either yes or no to.

dimsum-1

What I didn’t know was how competitive/frantic dim sum could make me feel.

The first couple carts came around fairly quickly, and we enjoyed pork buns and sticky rice – two of the best dishes of the day.

dimsum-2

But then there was a lull.

The next carts I saw were loaded with clams and shrimp and beef and chicken…but they were empty by the time they got to us. And I think that made me even hungrier. I know it added to this frantic need I felt to have to choose quickly (and a lot) once the server stopped at our table.

dimsum-3

Which is why, when the dessert cart came around and we had a choice between custard pie and custard in a bun, I practically shouted, “The bun! The bun!” to Husband, as if there were a time limit on the decision. Or as if someone else would take it if we didn’t act NOW. (Even though there were plenty available.)

In my defense, the custard bun was fantastic – possibly the best dish of the meal.

dimsum-4-custardbun

But it probably would have been just as delicious if I’d been a little calmer about the decision.

Probably.

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Don’t act like you weren’t expecting this. You know how I love me a list.

If the 26 list had several items requiring attitude adjustment (letting go of grudges, judging less), 27 is a little more concrete.

So, as I march into my late-20s, I want to:

1) Get married!

2) Go to Phillies spring training in Clearwater.

3) Learn to drive stick. My younger cousin tried to teach me once. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to give me another shot.

4) Make my own creme brulee. (I already own the blowtorch!)

5) Run Boston (which will also mean fundraising, because try as I might, I’m not qualifying).

6) Stop talking about doing more yoga and actually DO more yoga. Let’s aim for once a week.

7) Read more. Last year I set the bar at 10 books, and finished 18. So let’s go for 30 this year. With my new Kindle Fire I’m unstoppable!

8 ) Try a new recipe every other week.

9) Travel somewhere new, even if it’s a neighborhood in DC I’ve never been to before. Though I would like to branch out a little more than that.

10) Create a bucket list. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t done that yet.

11) Learn to fear the ocean less.

12) Eat dimsum. It just sounds fun.

13) Get involved with the youth program at church. For all the work I do with camp, you’d think I could do a little more locally.

14) Visit the Statue of Liberty. I was sick the day of the middle school class trip and I’ve never made up for it. Maybe we could even throw Ellis Island on there for good measure!

15) Replace my computer. My trusty MacBook is 5 1/2 years old and the hard drive has crashed twice. It’s time.

16) Host a seder.

17) Learn to make challah from scratch. (Do you notice the trend of food goals?)

18) Visit at least one new state.

19) Finish all the “thank you” notes within 2 months of the wedding.

20) Set a new half marathon PR.

21) Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon.

22) See all the Oscar nominations for Best Picture (before the Oscars).

23) Get involved in international volunteer work.

24) Volunteer at a race.

25) Explore my career options. (Yes, this is intentionally vague.)

26) Give blood. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you have to wait a year after getting a tattoo, so I should be eligible in May 2013.)

27) Set a new 10k PR.

I suppose this list could be summed up in three words: food, running, travel.

And I see nothing wrong with that.

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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.

Maybe.

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

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Today’s the day.

Today marks the start of Marine Corps Marathon training. And, consequently, the beginning of the end of my social life. For the next 16 weeks, my weekends are down to one day (not necessarily a bad thing), so I can run anywhere from 10 to 22 miles on the other. My week nights will be dominated by easy runs, brutal hills, and speed workouts. And my free time…well, we’ll see what kind of energy is left.

I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. Not really. I voluntarily signed up for this, and I’m excited to have a goal and a plan again. Not shockingly, I like structure.

But, that said, I’m also very much aware of how this is supposed to be my super fun summer – kind of a preemptive strike at grad school, which will shortly be dominating my life. I have a list, actually (I like lists – especially the checking off part), of all the fun things I want to do in and around DC and the day trips I want to take.

And you know how many things I’ve checked off so far? One. Soon to be two, but still. That’s kind of pathetic.

So, with summer just about half over (what?!), and training starting up, I’m feeling the time crunch. But I’m hoping that the procrastination law will come into effect – the longer I put things off, the more motivated I’ll become, and therefore I’ll accomplish more things in a shorter amount of time.

That’s how it works, right?

In any case, I can guarantee you that I’ll be making the most out of this next month-plus.

Unless, of course, training wipes me out – which is a distinct possibility.

What about you? Any big plans for the rest of the summer? Or am I the only one who keeps a summer fun list?

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Part of my responsibilities when I’m home for big holiday family dinners (aside from making the desserts) is to set the table. We break out the good dishes, the silver, the water goblets, etc. and my job is to pull it all together and make it look good. Of course, this also appeals to my OCD-like neuroses, wherein I feel the need to make sure that every plate is evenly spaced, every utensil is straight, and every glass is lined up above the proper utensil.

Emily Post would be so proud.

Credit

But, apparently, this year I went a little overboard.

I was setting the table Sunday morning – for 11, mind you, which already threw me off because then there wouldn’t be an even number of people on each side – when my mom came into the room and saw me tweaking one of the place settings. She started asking if I had an idea of where I wanted people to sit, or where I was going to sit, and I told her, “Well, I think I’ll just sit in the same seat I’m always in, otherwise it’d just feel weird.” Which probably wouldn’t have been too strange, in and of itself, but as I said it, I continued to adjust the place setting, trying to get it to line up exactly with the seat it was intended for.

So, I guess I should have seen it coming when my mom said, “Now, no offense, and don’t take this the wrong way, but when you were in therapy, did you ever touch on possibly actually having OCD?

I hadn’t, because we were working through a whole other set of issues, but I also never would have thought to bring it up. Because I’ve always been under the impression that everyone has at least some slight form of OCD, and we all just chalk it up to quirks.

But, who knows, maybe I’ve finally moved from quirky to neurotic. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

What little quirks do you have, that you might find getting more and more pronounced? Please tell me I’m not the only one here.

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I’ve written a couple posts here about how much I’m like my mom. Just the other week, actually, I said to Memo, “I’m turning into my mother.” To which she replied, “That’s not the first time you’ve said that.” At least I’m consistent.

But, even as I slowly turn into one parent, I’m also very much like the other.

  • I may resist it at times, but my love for math – numbers and patterns – comes from my father. He was the one who would patiently walk me through my algebra, trig, or calculus homework – even as I got particularly frustrated. He’s also the one who introduced me to sudoku. Numbers are our thing.
  • Whatever softball skills I may have, they come from him. He’s turning 69 today and not only does he still play (as a star left fielder, I’ll have you know), but his stats are probably better than mine.
  • And speaking of sports, there’s no one I’d rather call after watching either a fantastic or truly horrendous Phillies (or Eagles) game. I can count on my dad to dissect the game with me – raving about some players and questioning the ability and preparedness of some others, and whether or not their head was even in the game.
  • I get some of my driving habits from my father, too. He once told me to never trust old man drivers who wear hats, and, funny enough, he was right. As a general rule, those old men don’t like to stay in their own lane and so I avoid them like the plague.
  • But, even beyond the actual driving, he is also where I get my sense of direction from. Both parents like to take the back roads, but my dad is the one who would always play the “direction” game with us. He’d pick us up from school/a friend’s/camp/what have you, we’d close our eyes for the entire ride home, and then we’d only open them once we pulled into the driveway. If we opened them too soon, we lost. (I say “we” but I don’t think my brother actually played. Just me.) As a result, though, I can get myself home from nearly anywhere. And if I can’t? Well, I can read a map like nobody’s business. (Re-folding one is a different story, however.)

There are plenty more quirky similarities and little rituals we have, but, you know, I don’t want to use up all my material in one swell foop.* I just want to say happy birthday, Daddy. I’m sorry I can’t be there, but I can’t wait to see you next week.

Love you,

Liebchen

*I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, but this is one that both my parents are responsible for. Instead of saying “one fell swoop” they say “one swell foop” – so much so that I thought that’s what it was…until high school.

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Yesterday as I was perusing Jezebel, I saw a very exciting piece of news:

Betty White Says Yes To Saturday Night Live

Finally!

The campaign to get her on the show has been in full force since her stellar Super Bowl Snickers commercial:

And I say it’s about time. I’ve loved Betty White since I was a kid, watching Golden Girls with my Mamie.

Dorothy and Sophia had that dry humor, that cutting wit. Blanche was a little (or a lot) on the inappropriate side, which, thankfully, went over my head most of the time. But Rose was always the unintentionally funny, clueless, yet completely genuine one.

And, really, how many people would recognize St. Olaf without her?

I can’t wait to see what she comes up with on SNL. I’m imagining something epic.

But no pressure, Betty. No pressure at all…

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