June 30, 2012

When You Have to Shower At LEAST Twice a Day


When you HAVE TO (not want to or choose to. HAVE TO) shower at least twice a day, you know it's summa'time in DC.

You know what I'm talking about.


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I mean the time of year that makes you want to rip your clothes off the second you get home and never let your necklaces touch your skin (tooo... HOT...). The time of year where you can't breathe because it's so humid, and dangitt, all you want to do at night is sleep in yo' skivvs!

That blessed time is now upon us.

I remember my first summer here in DC (You know. Back when I actually lived IN DC. Sad face.). There I was, livin' the life in a historic row house apartment from the 1800's (read: OLD), sharing this little one-bedroom space with another girl. Our kitchen was so tiny, I don't think we both fit in there at once. At least the living room was HUGE (or maybe it just appeared HUGE because we had no furniture). It was June, and summer was upon us!

I remember being excited about being able to walk to work. I could WALK TO WORK! What a concept! That meant I was saving LOADS on metro fare! I love it when I save $$! It also meant that I could wake up at 8:30am, roll out of bed, and easily be to work by 9am. AND did I mention I lived in Dupont Circle? Not actually IN the circle, duh. But close! We were two blocks away from the Dupont metro station, and it. was. GLORIOUS! (or so I thought.) I had visions of all the DC-type activities I would engage in during my leisure time (the bookstores, the farmer's markets, the free events on the Mall, the runs through all the DC neighborhoods, the Drum Circle on Sundays... Oh, DC in the summer is such a wonderful place!)

And then, the fact that SUMMER WAS UPON US became horribly, horribly real to me.

My walk to work was 10 minutes-- TOPS. But those 10 minutes every day (20 really, because I had to walk home, too.) were the most miserable 10 minutes I had ever experienced in DC (Note: I may be exaggerating. But don't you just feel so sorry for me now?). Who knew my body could produce that much sweat in 10 minutes? Who knew how quickly my hours of blow drying, straightening, curling, and brushing could become... pointless? Who knew that 10 minutes was a long enough period of time for a girl to die of thirst (because it's so hot), wither like a reed (also because it's so hot), and be brought back to life (because in addition to being so hot, it was also SO humid, so the withering like a reed didn't last very long...) and have frizzy hair to boot??! I'll tell you I sure didn't.

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That's when I started showering at least twice a day. More if I went running. I showered in the morning before work. And I showered THE SECOND I got home from work. I showered here. I showered there. I showered everywhere. (But really just in my bathroom.)

Last summer was better. And now that the Time-of-Year-When-You-Have-to-Shower-at-LEAST-Twice-a-Day is upon us once more, here's how I survive.


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My Summa'time Tips for Success and Melting Prevention

I've learned:

  • to stay indoors as much as possible (AC, people! All y'all who eat lunch outside are nuts!), 
  • to always, ALWAYS carry a water bottle with me (ALWAYS!),
  • if it's disposable, to not throw away said water bottle when I'm finished, because I'd better just refill it and put it back in my bag,
  • to carry a mini water bottle when I go running after 8am, even if it's a short run. (This would NEVER happen in my beautiful mountain desert!)
  • to always keep a comb/brush and bobby pins in my bag, a hair clip on my backpack, and a hair elastic on my wrist, 
  • that sandals are preferable but when closed-toe shoes are required, sock liners are a MUST,
  • to never again buy summer clothing that involves wearing more than one layer, 
  • that when an undershirt is required, THESE little beauties are my saviors! (Thanks for the discovery, C-lin!)
  • to buy the fancy deodorant that supposedly keeps you from sweating? (Even though it's more expensive. It's definitely worth it!)
  • to wear as little makeup as possible. It's going to melt off anyway. (Tinted moisturizer, how do I love thee?!)
  • that receipts from the store, toilet seat covers, and sometimes napkins can double in a pinch for  those fancy oil-blotting sheets they sell you at drug stores and department stores,
  • that braids are my hair's summa'time best friend. Braids in my bangs, braids across my forehead, braids to the side, braids, braids, BRAIDS!
  • that if it's not a curly hair day, I should at least CURL my hair, because it sure ain't gonna stay straight. (That one, I actually learned on my mission. Don't fight the humidity. Let your hair work WITH it!) The humidity makes it curl more, and you'll look like you did it on purpose.
  • to never underestimate the wisdom of keeping a travel-sized deodorant in your desk drawer and hand sanitizer in your purse (use as deodorant in case of unexpected emergencies! And in not-emergencies, bonus: clean hands!).

The irony of this summer is that I'm in school, and for some reason, the classrooms at GW are FREEZING! So now, in addition to abiding by my Summa'time Tips for Success and Melting Prevention, I now have to bring a cardigan to class with me. Go figure.

June 28, 2012

Things Happen For a Reason


I'm blogging twice today (just for you, C!).

This morning, I was trying to pack and work on my homework before leaving for the airport. I was going to catch the metro to Greenbelt, then I was going to hop on a bus to BWI from there, buuut I missed my train!!

And the next one wouldn't have gotten me to the bus stop 'til AFTER the bus to the airport left!! I called a friend to ask for a ride, and by the good graces of God, her roommate was actually going to the SAME airport at the SAME time I needed to go, and she said I could catch a ride!! It was a MIRACLE!! I was so thankful!

I trudged and trudged and lugged my heavy suitcase back to my house, only to remember as soon as I walked in the door.... That I hadn't packed any underthings!!! Nada! Zip! Not even one pair!

And then I was glad I had missed the train.

I learned three important things today:

1- Things don't always work out the way we planned, but they always turn out all right.
2- Things happen for a reason.
3- When packing, be sure to pack all your underthings FIRST!

Funeral Potatoes: On Being a Real Mormon Woman


A real Mormon woman knows how to cook. And in her vast arsenal of delicious recipes, there is none so delicious and so revered... as the funeral potato.


Now, the funeral potato need not be served only at funerals (though a funeral is certainly an appropriate place to eat this delectable dish). It's perfect for potlucks, picnics, and Saturday-nights-when-you're-hungry-and-want-real-food-and-all-you're-doing-tonight-anyway-is-homework-and-laundry-(and running into your ex-boyfriend who is now married while wearing your scrubbiest scrubs, wet hair, and no makeup, but whatevs. NBD.)-and-you-just-went-to-the-grocery-store-today-and-you-have-all-the-ingredients-on-hand. Last Saturday was one such night.

There are many recipes for the funeral potato, but this is my version. Typically, these recipes call for some sort of top crust made out of corn flakes or crackers. I personally find that to be gross, so I choose to leave my funeral potato crustless. My measurements aren't exact, because I'm Latina, and we don't measure when we cook, OK? But here's what you'll need and what you'll do with what you'll need:

The Funeral Potato




INGREDIENTS

  • Potatoes (Fancy that! I used 7 regular sized potatoes for a 9x13 casserole dish)
  • 1/3 of an onion, finely chopped 
  • Olive oil (enough to sautee said onion)  
  • Sour cream (I used somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 regular 16 oz. containers)
  • 1 1/2 cans, cream of chicken soup
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • a few handfuls of your favorite cheese (I used Colby Jack)
The funeral potato, pre-oven


DIRECTIONS
  1. Boil, peel, and grate potatoes. Put the grated potatoes into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, sautee the chopped onion in olive oil until it's cooked but not burned. Wipe the onion tears from your eyes.
  3. In a bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Taste test to see if you need more salt or pepper. My mixture seemed a little thick, so I added a splash of milk, too. You can also just add more sour cream and/or soup.
  4. Add the onions to the creamy mixture. Then add as much cheese as you'd like. (I think I used 3 handfuls? My size handfuls, not your 6'6" linebacker boyfriend's hands.)
  5. Pour the creamy/cheesy mixture over the grated potatoes, and stir until all the potatoes have been creamed/cheesed. 
  6. Put the mixture into your greased baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Let the dish sit while cooling, then ENJOY!

And THAT is how I make a funeral potato. (And how I preserve my hope of becoming a REAL Mormon woman.)



* Bonus: Since I'm not-yet-married and have no one else for whom to cook, I got to eat this whole pan all by myself! Funeral potatoes all week long! Yessss!

June 26, 2012

PEOPLE

Between being out of town every other week this summer so far (literally), having the blessing to often work at home, and being stressed out about getting caught up in school, I haven't done much socializing lately. I know it's pretty lame, but this past weekend, Friday and Saturday nights were both filled with A- me staring at my laptop, B- me washing/sorting/folding laundry, or C- running errands/cooking. No hanging out with friends. No leisurely leisure time. (Not even any running time!! This is NOT. good.)

So when Sunday came around, I was DYING. I almost gave my afternoon to a much-needed nap, but instead, I headed down to Virginia for an Iron Chef competition at the house of some of my girlfriends. I didn't actually take any photos of the Iron Chef part of the night (which is sad, because my friend Stephen, who couldn't make it, told me to take pictures, so he could see what he was missing out on and so he would have more incentive to go next time).

Back to my story. It was so... REFRESHING and FUN(!) to be around PEOPLE!! I've decided that I'm sorta going crazy by being at home so much, so I've started walking (walking, because I'm too cheap to pay for the bus/metro if I don't need to) to different libraries in the area during the day to do my work.

Awesome little bench I passed today on my way to the Bethesda Library. The caption reads,
"Missing person found unharmed, deep in a chair. Returned from a good book." Love it!

I actually didn't eat any of the food at Iron Chef, because I was too busy ENJOYING the company of other human beings!! I caught up with a lot of friends with whom I haven't gotten to chat in a while (some just a few weeks, others several MONTHS!). It was just so wonderful to be surrounded by people! It was fun to catch up with Rachel on the goings-on of her life, and to listen to Ginette's latest international adventures, hear of Rob's interesting new landlord, listen to the story of Joe putting on a bulletproof vest to stay safe during his commute to PG County (Hyperbole, people. Hyperbole.), etc. etc. It was even fun to get to know a few new friends a little better.

One part of the night that I particularly loved was catching up with my no-longer roomies, Emily and Liz. (Well, Emily is technically still my roommate, but she is house-sitting in Virginia for a month, and she has left a giant VOID in our apartment!) Liz defected and moved to Virginia, but for realz. 

Anyway, I love these girls. We all miss living together, just the three of us, in our tiny little apartment with the ugly furniture.





 My carload of peeps and I were some of the last to leave the party, because it was hard to tear myself from such good friends. I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle my week!

New mantra.

And also ready to sleep! (Isn't it the nicest thing to come home to a freshly-made bed? I washed all my bedding -- even my comforter -- on Saturday, remember? Ha ha.)


So, people of the world, I need you in my life! Otherwise, I'mma go CrAzY!!

June 25, 2012

An Amusing Post Featuring a Few Thoughts on Dating


These are my rambling thoughts on dating lately (in no particular order). This is meant to be light-hearted and not 100% serious. :)

This image is quite clever. For those who don't read Spanish, the title on the top left is "The Perfect Man." The image on the bottom right says, "Women... waiting for the Perfect Man..." and the sub-caption is, "Because there is no such thing as the Perfect Man..." (Remember that, chicas.)

Note that those women... DIED!


I was chatting with my friend Greg yesterday about men and well, how in my case, it's really rare for me to be genuinely interested in someone. (Perhaps I need to keep a more open mind?) I told Greg how it's disappointing when something doesn't work out, because I know it'll be a while before I'm interested in someone else, mostly because I can't seem to find a really good guy to be interested IN.

He reminded me that there are good guys everywhere. And that me saying that there aren't any good men is like telling Heavenly Father that all the men He created are crappy, and why didn't He make good ones?? And yikes! That's definitely a perspective I hadn't thought of before. And it's definitely not the message I want to send!

And let me just say that Greg IS an incredible man, and any ladies reading this who want his number should feel free to message me privately. (*wink, wink*)

And right when we were having this conversation (we were in the car), we drove past this lovely couple chatting on a bench on Mass Ave. I'm a creeper for taking this, but the timing was so comical, I had to do it. (Don't judge!)

For those considering messaging me about Greg, I hope you enjoy this sneak preview of his arm. ;)


Then there's this image from a recent LDS YSA (Young Single Adult) outing. Apparently, the process looks the same, whether you're LDS or not. (Perhaps I should hang out on park benches more often? Kidding!)

Image has been altered to protect the innocent. :)


Lately, I've been thinking about a Jane Austen quote.  Does anyone else agree with this philosophy? I was once told to think of the craziest, boldest thing I could do to show a guy I'm interested in him, and that even then, he probably still wouldn't get it. Also, my thoughts are that if at the beginning, you're not sure you like a guy, act like you do  (*Disclaimer: This is ain't a NCMO endorsement or anything. I'm just sayin' call him back, go on that second date, etc.). It's not like you're marrying him or anything. Maybe you'll realize you actually DO like being around him, and if you don't, well, that's OK, too. At least you tried. 


 In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more

affection than she feels.
 



Greg and I also discussed how dating (or trying to) involves taking risks with your heart, but they're risks worth taking. (I agree wholeheartedly. No pun intended.) And this John Greenleaf Whittier quote is what comes to mind. (Cue Neil Young.) Basically, if you're a chicken, don't be. Valdra la pena algun día, no?


 For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!   


In conclusion, here's this fun frame from my friends' bathroom:



It made me laugh. :) Take heart, ladies, if Peter could catch men, so can we! :)

Texas and the Beatles


Last Saturday night (06/16/2012), I went with some friends to Hill Country BBQ for a Beatles tribute concert. It was surprisingly good!


The band

Em and Sergio

Me with Em

The whole restaurant was Texas-themed, and even the drinks came in glass canning jars. Cute, no?


Sergio was SO excited to be there!

Texas decor


David was really excited, too.

Am I a horrible person for wanting to take a picture of this guy's leather pants... so I could laugh at them?

Me with David

Apparently, Hill Country does these concerts (and sometimes even karaoke!) often, so be sure to check it out. 


Because sometimes, you just want to chill with your friends while listening to Beatles music. And  who doesn't need a little bit o' Texas in their life every now and then?

June 24, 2012

Bon Voyage, Jeffrey Howard!


This is a post about a farewell party last Saturday for one, Jeffrey Howard. But first, an account of how I studied at the pool that day.



OK, that's basically it.

Sooo, the goodbye party. Yes. It was at a park, there was food, there were friends, and there was definitely a lot of love for Jeff.

Ladies' man

Maybe a little TOO much love from Camille.

The scandal! The violations!


Also, there were backflips.



And handstands.

 



And there were swings!


We were trying to swing in unison.
But Jeff was CLEARLY not doing it right!

So I yelled at him. (Just kidding. I didn't!)

And then he got the hang of it.

Mostly. ;)

Jeff and Jenn

Underbums.

Jeff and Steph

There was also an arabesque.



See you in Utah next week, Jeff! :)