Top of the World

During the week, I stress about my job, my commute, my bills, my "to do" list.

But the weekends are mine. I am the queen of my destiny and the ruler of my universe. I am on top of the world!


House guest

from Advice and Humor from Mr. Condescending has invited himself to spend a night in my home. Presumptuous, I know.

Anyway, back to our lovely evening Mr. C....
For our main course on this night, we'd have grilled Tilapia
with a tomato and fresh herb salsa, garden-fresh green beans and rice pilaf.

Our meal would be accompanied my mojitos, made with the chocolate-mint from my garden. We'd enjoy our meal and drinks in my lovely backyard.

How does that sound, Mr. C?


Let me count the ways

What I love about Jack.....

He pets my hair until I fall asleep each night.

When he makes me a sandwich, he cuts it into four pieces and turns the pieces of bread so I have the perfect amount of crust in every bite, just like I like.

He smiles the biggest, most-genuine smile when he dances.

He's not afraid to be silly. Just last night, Jack and I sat around making up ridiculous songs to sing to our kitties. "Puss-cat, puss-cat, why you bug-gin'?"

His kisses are deep and passionate.

In the six years that we've been together, he has never raised his voice at me. Not once. This is not to say that we don't have disagreements. We do. But, Jack stays calm when we argue and never resorts to intimidation or personal attacks to win a fight.

When I ask him to do something, he always responds, "as you wish."

I have never know Jack to falter on a promise to me, to a friend, to a family member or an associate for that matter.

He treats his mother like a queen. My mom always told me, "You can tell how a man will treat you as his wife by the way he treats his mother."



Originally uploaded by Mara J.


Another design project

Ok, now enough playing. I need to pack...My mom and I are going to Ocean City for the weekend.

Me, Me, ME!

The oh-so-fabulous Margarita at Ramblings of a Fab Brunette tagged me for the MeMe award.

Recipients of this award are supposed to share seven things about themselves and tag seven fellow bloggers to do the same, so here goes...

It's all about me!

I often visualize my own demise. For example, when stepping out of the shower, I see myself slipping, falling over the side of the tub and breaking my spine. Or, when I'm making a turn, I imagine my power steering going out, losing control and wrecking head on into the guardrail. Morbid, right?

During my junior year of college I took a leave of absence from my regular university to take a semester at la Universidad de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica. That experience, combined with the six weeks I spent in Guatemala doing volunteer work after I graduated, opened my eyes and changed me forever.

Growing up, my mother and I had a very strained relationship, to say the least. When I graduated high school, I moved out and got an apartment with a boyfriend. My mom didn't approve and I was cut off financially. About a year into paying my own way, I called home and apologized for being a horrible daughter. Eventually, I got rid of the scummy boyfriend and even spent the last quarter of my senior year living at my parents' house.

I don't understand--and never have understood--the allure of drinking games like beer pong and flip cup. Card games like Rummy and Poker are fun, but I don't need to play games to drink. I can pound my liquor without being forced, thank you very much.

I am not a "girly girl." I rarely wear make-up. When I do, it's mascara and translucent powder. And maybe some tinted Burt's Bees. I can't scream one of those high-pitch, horror-movie style screams. My voice is just too sultry for that frequency. I don't squeal. I'm not afraid to get dirty. I prefer sneakers to heels. (Though I do have some red patent-leather stilettos that are to die for). I can't hold a conversation about celebrity relationships, shopping, reality TV or make-up. With, ease I spout out words that many women are embarrassed to even hear. I don't freak out at the sight of an insect or rodent. I do get pedicures regularly though......

The only sport I like to watch is soccer. D.C. United games are so much fun. There's this group, "La Norte," that comes to every match with war paint, drums and smoke bombs. They sit in the crappy seats, behind the goal on the north-side of the field. I have always wanted to join them, but I never see any women in their section. I'd probably be eaten alive.

When I was a cocktail waitress, all I wanted to do was finish college and get a "real" job. Now that I have a "real" job, I pine for the days of slinging drinks, sporadic work schedules and late-night partying. I guess it's true what they say--The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

I tag....
Lora (because I know how much she loves talking about herself ;)
Fidgeting Gidget
Novelista Barista



Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seems to fall perfectly into place?

Yesterday I had planned to drive down to a stained glass supply shop near D.C. to buy red, orange, and copper and gold-flecked glass for my next mosaic project. I'm designing a mosaic for the front of my raised flower bed to match the wind catcher that Jack got be for my birthday back in April.

At the last minute, just before Jack and I walked out to the car, I decided to call the shop and make sure they were open. Good thing I did. The shop owners were away on vacation, according to the recording on their answering machine.

I went back to the drawing board (aka my Mac) and searched for another stained glass store. I found one, just 15 minutes up 95 in Baltimore County. Jack and I drove out there only to find that the shop was also closed. "Summer Vacation" said the sign on the door.

Hungry and still determined, Jack and I headed to Hampden, a section of Baltimore made popular by John Waters' films where artists studios and shops, and restaurants and bars line the streets. Maybe we could find stained glass supplies there?

Our first stop was Cafe Hon. We had beers and eyed the menu, which did nothing for us. Again, technology to the rescue! I whipped out my iPhone and opened the Urban Spoon application I had recently downloaded. I waited for the app to find my "current location" and I pressed "nearby." A list of restaurants came up, with Rocket to Venus getting the best reviews.

Convinced, we walked up 36th St. and took a left on Chestnut Ave. On our walk, I pointed out to Jack a few pieces of glass-metal sculptures on a number of storefronts that appeared to be made by Steve, the same artist who did the beautiful piece that hangs in our living room window. Just before reaching Rocket to Venus, we happened to pass by his studio! We stopped in and talked to Steve, who also happens to be a friend of Jack's sister, about his work. I happened to mention to Steve that I was getting into mosaic art and he promptly toured me around his studio, proudly showing off his shelves full of different size sheets of colored glass. He even offered to save me all of his scrap pieces of glass for my projects and sent me on my way with a bag full of copper scraps that I can hammer out and incorporate into my mosaic!

We said goodbye and crossed the street to Rocket to Venus. Closed until 5 p.m. Not willing to wait another half hour to eat, we walked back to 36th St. and stumbled across a new BYOB called King's Grille. Imagine my excitement when I saw shawarma and falafel on the menu outside. A place to relive my trip to Israel through cuisine! The food was delicious, and the owner, originally from Egypt, was as warm and welcoming as could be. I left him a $10 tip on our $17 check. I was on cloud nine.

Here's a picture of some of the tacky, errr unique, art you will find in Hampden. Visit my other blog to see more pics from that day.


Honest Scrap

For me? You shouldn't have!

Joe Ordinary—who's anything but ordinary in my book—at Ink for Thought and SarahBeth—a super cool chick who's not afraid of a challenge—at My So Called Life tagged me for the Honest Scrap Award.

This award recognizes bloggers who "keep it real," and as blog awards go, it comes with a couple of rules:

- Tell your readers 10 things about yourself that they may not know.
- Tag 10 fellow bloggers for the award.

I'm breaking the rules and only listing 8 things and only tagging three fellow bloggers...
  1. I broke my left femur in a car accident when I was 10 years old. Because of the accident, and years of subsequent surgeries, I now have mechanical scoliosis and a serious scar all the way down my thigh. Having a gnarly scar and a limp during my pre-teen years definitely did a number on my self-esteem.

  2. Saying "no" is really difficult for me, both in my personal life and at work.

  3. When it comes to music, I'm all about the underground baby! The only radio stations I ever listen to are National Public Radio and 99.1 El Sol, our local Spanish-language radio station.

  4. Despite my hot high-top kicks, ghetto hoops, crooked hat and city-strut, I'm secretly a tree-hugging hippie. Maybe this isn't as big of a secret as I'd like to think....

  5. Earlier this year I convinced my boss to let me move into a Web content manager position, despite having no formal training in the field.

  6. Back to self-esteem issues. I have had a horrible time adjusting to my new, late-20s voluptuous figure. I have almost no clothes that fit me, because when I try to go shopping I wind up frustrated and angry or crying in the dressing room. Pathetic, huh?

  7. I often find myself completely disenchanted with the United States, its policies and people. Maybe that's a direct result of working in Washington, D.C.

  8. When I eat a sandwich, its contents must be perfectly proportional for every bite. I cut my sandwiches into four equal pieces and turn the bread so I get just the right amount of crust in every bite.
I would like to pass this award to:


I do. Don't I?

If you've followed my blog for a while, you probably know how I feel about marriage. I wrote about it here. And here.

For me, accepting that Jack and I will get married one day has been a lot like the grieving process.

Stage 1, denial. "I'll never get married," I told him when we were first dating.

Stage 2, anger. A couple years in to our relationship, Jack told me that he wanted to marry me someday. Threats were made.

Stage 3, bargaining. "I can't marry you until you finish your degree." "I can't marry you until you start your career," "...until your credit card debt is paid off." "...until...until," until I ran out of excuses.

Stage 4, depression. I would say I was more doubtful than depressed. "Will things change when we're married?" "What happens if we grow apart?" "What if he changes his mind and decides he wants kids? What if I do?" "What if, what if, what if?!?"

Stage 5, acceptance. Last month, Jack told me that he intends to propose by the end of the year. I didn't freak out. I didn't make any threats or excuses. I didn't ask any questions. I just smiled and thought about what my answer will be. Yes. I will say "yes." I just hope I can say it with enthusiasm. I am terrified of my reaction when Jack finally does pop the question. What if I am not happy and excited when he asks? What if I still have lingering fears and doubts that he can read on my face when I respond? It would break his heart.