Funny stuff

For those of you who don't know, I also have a photo blog. Check it out!


The small things

I've been tagged by Nicole at My Teacups in Peony to list six seemingly unimportant things that make me really happy.

.1 Hills of yellow flowers make me grin ear-to-ear.

2. Goofing off with my honey.

3. Checking things off my to-do list

4. Bubble baths

5. Eating ripe, red tomatoes from my garden

6. Lazy Sundays


Love note, from Jack

The hours flash by....
Days turn to weeks, weeks to
months, and months to years
Yet the intoxication of your love remains.
- Jack


Reversing a trend {week 3}

Each week I post a compliment to myself and a compliment to a friend. The goal of this project is to help myself and all the amazing women I know to embrace our inner-beauty.

I am not afraid to be silly. I like to make silly faces, interject witty (read:immature) commentary into conversations and break out cheesy dance moves like the "grocery cart" on a crowded dance floor. This may sound like a strange compliment to give myself, but I feel like not taking yourself to seriously is an important quality to have.

Lizzi (Life According to Lizzi) is a creative and talented artist. She's an excellent painter, photographer and writer. Even more impressive than her shear talent is that Lizzi does not allow her roles as a mother, a wife and a working professional to keep her from exploring her creative side. She makes time for self-expression and is bold enough to post her work to a blog and share it with the world.

I met Lizzi in the blogosphere earlier this year. Since then, we have become modern-day pen pals, reading and commenting on one another's blogs and keeping the conversation going through e-mail. I am certain that Lizzi and I would be real-life-flesh-and-blood friends if we weren't separated by 2,000+ miles....

Just last week, Lizzi bestowed upon me the "Queen of ALLL Things Awe-Summm!!!" award. Thanks Lizzi!

Before I can officially accept my crown, here's what I am supposed to do:

1. List 7 things that make me Awe-Summm
2. Pass this award onto 7 deserving bloggers
3. Tag said bloggers and link back to who tagged you

Here's my list:
1. I make silly faces at strangers.
2. I make people laugh.
3. I am willing to try anything, at least once.
4. I can rap my favorite ghetto-tek tracks at 160 beats per minute.
5. I am a good cook, and my dishes range from Latin American to Israeli inspired.
6. I love to learn about everything and anything.
7. I am friends with people of all different backgrounds.

And, here is a list of seven bloggers who I think are totally awe-summ!!!!! Be sure to check them out.

1. Chef Green at Sauce on the Side
2. The Wife in Stilletos
3. Jasmine at An Experiment in Poverty
4. Floreta at The Solitary Panda
5. All the wonderful women at Wednesday Spaghetti
6. Diane at The Pits
7. ShansPLC at Word.


Hollywood in Poliwood

Friday was no normal day at work. The Smithsonian hosted a press junket for 20th Century Fox's new movie, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

Mega-stars, camera-flashing paparazzi and red carpets are not normally part of the poliwood scene, where we consider Senator Feinstein and Chief Justice John Roberts celebrities. So you can imagine that having Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria and Amy Adams here in D.C. was a big deal.

On Friday, I stood by while Extra's anchor interviewed each of these celebs, two at a time. When Fox yelled, I jumped--grabbing phone numbers, hushing gathering crowds of excited tourists and keeping inept visitors out of the crew's shot.

I am not the type to get star-struck, but it was absolutely amazing to hear Robin Williams casually joking about the goofy looking tourists that had rolled up on segways. (Segway tours are all the rage in D.C.) I just kept thinking, "I am in the presence of one of the funniest people to be alive in my lifetime."

Also, Owen Wilson is way hotter in person. (On TV he comes across as a little to "pretty" for my taste.)

I didn't actually meet or shake hands with any of these celebs, but Ben Stiller gave me his signature, super-cool "hey" when I passed him in the hall on the way out of a press conference.

Anyway, the movie opens this Friday. It's super cute--go see it! (Besides, every dollar the movie makes, the Smithsonian gets a cut. How often do you get to support education, preservation, research and conservation [read: keep Mara in a job] by going to the movies?)

Photo by Ken Rahaim


Reversing a trend {week 2}

Each week I post a compliment to myself and a compliment to a friend. The goal of this project is to help myself and all the amazing women I know to embrace our inner-beauty.

I am motivated. My motivation is intrinsic--it comes from within. I am on a never-ending quest to better myself and my position in life. I set goals for myself, and I achieve them. Throughout high school I held two two jobs to save money for college. When I was in college, I decided that I wanted to work at the Smithsonian and nowhere else. Three unpaid internships later, I got the job offer. Now that I have the job, I realize that this is not the way I want to live my life, rushing around, working overtime and dealing with office politics. No. This is not for me. I want to be my own boss, and I will.

Natasha is passionate. Through her poetry, Natasha bares her soul with intricately woven words that are sometime delicate and other times harsh. She writes constantly and performs often, allowing life to be her muse. She doesn't hold back. Natasha encourages others to express themselves, supporting fellow writers and collaborating with other local wordsmiths.

Taking a break from grad school, Natasha is currently focusing all her energy on getting her name and art out into the world. She has already been published a couple of times, as well as invited to be a featured performer at a number of poetry/spoken word venues. I know more opportunities and good things are coming her way!


Dirty little secrets

I own a pair of gold, bamboo earrings that are at least 4-inches in diameter.

My car hasn't been cleaned out in over a year.

I proudly display a "Pimp of the Year" trophy on the TV stand in my bedroom.

I am smoking again.

My greatest fear is that I'm exactly like my father.

My errand-running outfit is a teal, velor track suit.

I constantly doubt myself.

I talk to my cats, usually in English, sometimes in Spanish and occassionally in "meows."

I have seen the movie Clueless at least 20 times.

My new nickname "MJ" makes me smile--I never had a nickname before.

I am the worst at cliches--I say things like "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free."

I am terrified of marriage.

I wish I were the "hugging type."

I often go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.


The universe works in mysterious ways

On Saturday, Jack and I were sitting at Brewer's Hill, a local pub, talking about our plans to build a raised flower bed in the backyard. I asked him if he thought we could get the 10 bags of rocks and the 16+ bags of dirt we were going to need into my car or if we should just rent a truck. Suddenly, one of the guys sitting next to us at the bar, chimes in: "You need dirt? I have a truck-bed full of it that I need to get rid of."

With that, we paid our tab, bought the guy a six pack of Coors Light and pointed him to our house. He pulled his pick-up into the alley and we (by we, I mean he and Jack) shoveled the dirt from his truck into a pile just outside our yard. This saved us about $100!

The very next day, we built this lovely raised flower bed.


Reversing a trend

Earlier this week, Jasmine at An Experiment in Poverty, and I were talking about the sad fact that there are so many wonderful, beautiful and competent women who suffer from low self-esteem. Instead of going on a tirade about how fashion magazines teach little girls that you have to be thin and pretty to be liked and about the unspoken expectation that women be good mothers, wives, housekeepers and hostesses all while holding down 9-5 jobs, I have decided to tackle the problem head-on.

Each week, I am going to post a compliment to myself and a compliment to a friend.

I am competent. My life--like anyone's life--has been like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs. But, no matter what life throws my way, I can walk away a stronger person. I have made mistakes. It's only human. But, my mistakes do not make me any less of a person.

Lora (at Jakezilla) is someone I know I can always count on. If you need advice, talk to her. She will look at your problem objectively, without making you feel stupid for not being able to do so yourself.

I met Lora about a decade ago--we were both waitresses at an Irish bar in Philly. I don't remember much about the Lora I first met, except that she liked whiskey and making silly faces. We weren't great friends back then, but we kept in touch and grew closer over the years. I'm not sure what she saw in me, but I always liked Lora because she was didn't--and still doesn't --allow others to tell her how to live her life. She refuses to conform to society's definition of what a woman--a wife, a mother, a daughter, a professional--is supposed to be. Lora is just Lora, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Eco-warrior, part 2

Taking the city by storm! I am on a mission to beautify my city through a little act I like to call "renegade gardening." Here's how it works:

I scope out a patch of unkempt land, like this grassy patch behind my house:

Then, I sprinkle wild flower seeds onto the ground and hope for the best!

After my weekend renegade mission to beautify my own block, I set-out spread blossoms across the city. I hit a couple of wild, weed- and garbage-covered hills of West Baltimore while I waited for the train this morning......Where next?


Eco-warrior, part 1

Last weekend there was a festival in my neighborhood,
Go Green! Baltimore
I became a "block leader" for a neighborhood beautification project.
Jack won a huge basket of green cleaning products.
We planted lettuce to grow in the backyard.
And we won a rain barrel.

We will use the water we collect from our roof to water
our tomatoes, herbs and other plants.

Next, we are going to build a raised bed and connect a drip irrigation
system to the barrel. (By drip irrigation system,
I mean a hose with holes poked in it!)