5 things

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

5 things you might not know about me

  1. I really like serial crime fiction novels starring a male, loner, military veteran. Seriously. I read three religiously: Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Walt Longmire. These are the only hardcover fiction books I will generally buy. Because I really like them.
  2. I love cottage cheese. I can eat it straight from the container, I can eat it with anything, Alex makes cottage cheese pancakes, and I’ve been known to add it to scrambled eggs and regular pancake batter. I. Love. Cottage. Cheese.
  3. My favorite online work distractions are…fashion blogs. Which you would probably not be able to tell by the way I dress.
  4. I like dramatic television shows more than I like comedic ones. I just never got into The Office. And I know that 30 Rock is funny, but I just…I never got in the habit of watching them on TV. (Netflix, on the other hand, is a whole ‘nother story.) My Thursday night TV line up will always be Grey’s Anatomy over Parks and Rec. I know. I’m weird.
  5. I don’t like writing on the computer.  No, I know what you’re thinking, this is writing on a computer, but my first urge is always to write drafts of things on paper. I understand that computer is the way to go now, blogging, ease of editing, track changes, etc, but there is still nothing like putting pen to paper, and writing.
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Judgemental

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

In high school I did an Outward Bound program where we got to go hiking in the NC mountains for 10 days, and then we came back and did a service project. We went to an elementary school in our district and did a three week session on stereotypes, complete with team building activities. It’s interesting to hear how kids encounter prejudices and how they process them. In short, kids are way more observant than you would think. There was this one little girl, cute-as-a-button blonde haired blue eyed kid, who raises her hand when we were sharing times where we thought we were unjustly stereotyped, and says, “My daddy drives a Hummer, and whenever we go to Weaver Street Market, people stare at us and give us looks.”

To which I turned to my partner, who was leading the discussion with me, and we both thought, “Guilty.” Because I stare at people that drive Hummers because what could you POSSIBLY need a Hummer for, you live in CHAPEL HILL, and they get like 7 miles to the gallon.

So I try to reign in my snarky side, the sarcasm, the snap judgements that are unjustly deserved (except sometimes are), because some people surprise you.

There are some that I just can’t help but judge you on.

  • People that drive Hummers. I still cannot get over this.
  • People that go to Duke/root for Duke.
  • People that are vocally snobby about food and alcohol. I feel like if you have to talk about being a foodie, you’re not a foodie. Also, I like microbrews with the best of them, but sometimes a PBR just hits the spot.
  • I actually had this great encounter at my board meeting the other day. I was talking to one of the moms, and the conversation went something like this.

    Me: So do you work for UNC?
    Other Mom: No actually I work at Duke.
    Me: Oh.
    Other Mom: I actually went there for undergraduate.
    Me: Oh. Visibly judging
    Other Mom: Most people are surprised to hear that when I tell them.
    Me: Somewhat relieved I was thinking just that!
    Other Mom: Usually it means, “Oh I’m that’s funny, you don’t seem like a complete asshole.”
    Me: I think we’re going to be friends.

    Best Books: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    September 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

    Oh hey there. Since reading is good and all, I’m going to start a little series of my list of best books. For Me and L alike.

    First up, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    Image via Goodreads

    One time, when I was really pregnant, I was house sitting for my parents, sleeping awkwardly on my side in their bed (mine was at my apartment in carrboro), and it was late late at night (or early early in the morning), and I called the one person that I knew would be awake. The now-boyfriend but then-friend, Alex. And Alex, for all those who know him, is a great talker if you get him at a good time. And I had caught him when he was finishing up a piece of artwork, and I was feeling exceptionally alone and out of sorts, so Alex talking about anything was the most welcome thing in the world.

    He told me about the piece he was working on, a little bit about school, and then he began to tell me about his favorite book as a child, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day which is just about perfect with it’s heavy repetition of the title (good for little ones to fill in!), the perfect thing to hear after terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

    And I didn’t really give it a second thought until I received it as a gift for my baby shower, by good friends Charlie and Christel, and it came up again. And it’s perfect in it’s simplicity. The title character, Alexander, is having a really crappy day. (He doesn’t get the toy out of the cereal, the sneakers he wants are sold out, he gets punished for something his brother did, the elevator door closes on his foot, etc.) And he wants to move to Australia. And at the end, his mother calmly tells him that some days are just like that, even in Australia.

    This is such an important thing to learn, for little kids, when everything is the worst thing that happens. And for me to remember, when a bad day is the worst day and work sucks and I can’t even imagine going back, so I hope Lena learns this, and I can’t tell you how many times I shut the door of my car, walk to the back door to take Lena out, and I just say to myself, That was a terrible horrible no good very bad day, and another part of me responds, Some days are like that, even in Australia, and then there’s this swooping feeling as memory rushes in, of over 4 years ago, feeling so alone and scared holding on to my phone in the middle of the night, and Alex saying from so far away, it will be ok, and damn, if a kids book can make a person feel all that, it must be a good one.

    TV

    September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

    With new serieses starting on the television, I thought I would compile a funny list.

    Oh the alternate title for this post will be In Which I Embarrass My Boyfriend.

    Here is a list of shows that Alex refuses to watch with me:
    Dancing with the Stars
    American Idol
    Anything on MTV (Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, etc.)
    Glee
    House
    Say Yes to the Dress

    Here is a list of shows that Alex and I can reliably watch together:
    Sportscenter
    Pawn Stars
    Swamp People
    Mad Men
    Breaking Bad
    Project Runway

    And, a list of shows that I will tolerate but would never watch if he wasn’t there:
    English Premiere League Soccer
    Any NFL game (excluding Superbowl)
    Any MLB game (excluding the world series…maybe)

    And finally, a list of shows that I have inexplicably found on Alex’s Netflix queue
    Grey’s Anatomy

    Anatomy of a Cold

    September 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

    Monday Morning dropping Lena off at daycare
    Me: Oh Hello, Other Kid.
    Other kid: COUGHCOUGHCOUGH

    Wednesday Night very very late
    Lena: Mommy, I am coughing, I need to sleep in your bed.
    Me: *grumblegrumble*
    Lena: COUGHCOUGHCOUGH

    Monday Morning at work
    Me: COUGHCOUGHCOUGH

    R is for rawr

    September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

    I saw this on the lovely Abby’s blog. (We were at UNC at the same time, but I’ve only found her blog through a mutual friend Angela.) And it’s a rainy saturday and I thought it would be fun to do. So here it goes. My alphabet.

    Ambition: To be happy, to be a role model for my daughter.

    Bad habit: I’m not the most patient of people. And I spend too much time on the internet.

    City: Chapel Hill. I grew up here, I live here, and spent a long time feeling “stuck” here, and have now grown an intense pride and love for my hometown.

    Drink: Coffee.

    Education: B.A. in Biology and a minor in Chinese and creative writing from UNC-Chapel Hill. Currently deciding between a Master’s in Genetic Counseling, or PhD in Biology. (Molecular Genetics?)

    Food: “A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman who lacks an eye.” Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Cheese. And snack foods.

    Guilty pleasures: Netflix. And Ryan Gosling. And shoe shopping.

    Hometown: Chapel Hill. Born and bred.

    Ice cream: Chocolate chip cookie dough/Lena’s leftovers.

    Jonesing for: Shoes. Always shoes.

    Kryptonite: Lena.

    Lookalike: I don’t really have one. No one consistently says I look like anyone. I think Alex looks like Ryan Gosling though.

    Movie: I saw Midnight in Paris and walked away wanting to spend a year in Paris. It’s still in the back of my mind.

    Nicknames: RACHAELS–Like Ray Charles. Rach. Mama. Mommy. RGB.

    Obsession: Being ok. And Blogging. I have an obsession with blogs/blogging.

    Perfume: Does the scented soap I use count?

    Quirk: I need to be doing something with my hands when I watch television. So recently I’ve been making these tiny rosettes for bags and things. Does that count as a quirk.

    Regrets: As silly as it sounds, I don’t really have any. The only ones I would have would be things I didn’t too, but there’s still time. I don’t believe in regrets. I think when I did I was being too sad.

    Starbucks: Like I said, coffee.

    Talent: I think I’m actually a really good mom.

    Vacation: Anywhere with Alex and Lena. I want to go to DC with them soon. And, staycations are the new vacations. Naptime at this point is a vacation to me.

    Wine: Light reds. Pinots and Shiraz(es?). And bottles shared with friends.

    X: X to dwelling in the past.

    Years: 23, for another month.

    Zen: When Lena falls asleep. My early morning runs.

    Thanks for indulging me. :)

    Lost and found and found and found

    September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

    I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of thoughts and feelings and new things that are going through my head. This is of course, not at all true, because I’m about to try to do it right now. But I’m doing it in list form for purely organizational reasons.

    1. I’m on the board. I joined the board of directors for L’s daycare. I can’t say too much about it because we’re having our first meeting tonight (!!) but I’m already excited about it–a glimpse into how daycare works. Did you know that there are different philosophies for early childhood education?? WHO KNEW? (Except for everyone that works in early childhood education.) So there’s a little voice that’s going what the hell did i sign up for? because there are meetings to attend and budgets to approve, but I think that the amount that I’ll learn about the center, about how a board works, about people, about myself, will make it worth it. Also, they’re serving veggie lasagna for tonight’s meeting. So, score.

    2. I went to my first science conference…and also have a science blog. Because I am dorky. I presented a poster and went to talks and will probably write more in depth about it at lab-girl-writes because I don’t want to inundate you here with it.

    3. Transitioning to soccer mom. Some of L’s daycare friends are on the YMCA soccer team, so I inadvertently signed L up and she’s on the waitlist for the team. I secretly home she doesn’t get on, because if she does, I know what I will be doing every. saturday. morning. at 8:50. Until the end of time. (aka october). I’m only half kidding. I secretly am really excited and will soon be bugging all of you to come watch my 3 year old “play” soccer. I’ll be the one with the coffee and the bailey’s. Just sayin’.

    4. Reading. I’ve started reading again. I completely decimated the game of thrones series, but I’m reading good stuff too. I just started Cleopatra: A life, as well as Francine Prose’s Reading like a writer which I cannot WAIT to finish and recommend. She has this amazing booklist at the end and I’m really excited to start on that and revisit a lot of the classics that I was forced to read in high school/college and subsequently do not remember anything about them. (My mother was a fish, something about symbolism of some green lantern thing, and You your best thing, sethe, you are) <–literally a summation of what I read in high school.

    5. Science Ok, I said I would save this for my other blog, but some is here too–I LOVE science. I had an amazing time at this conference, so now/not now/eventually/or whatever I need to decide, grad school?? genetic counselling?? What do I do with my life?

    6. Alex/Lena/Aspen/Relationships. For whatever reason, I’ve hit a stride with relationships. Between the boyfriend/the best friend/having a daughter/being a daughter, I would just like to say I have been rocking out all of these things. Alex and I are doing great. Aspen’s on campus more (getting her Masters in Planning (amazzzinggg)) so we get to see each other more, Lena is just, Lena, and my parents and I have been getting along so well. It’s incredible. I hope I can keep it up, because jeez, this is how it should be.

    7. Speaking of relationships, I feel like I’m only just beginning to get to know my grandmother. I got to spend some time with her while I was in DC, and wow, she is a really amazing woman. I will without a doubt be writing more about that.

    8. With all of this it’s really hard to grasp the fact that I’m only 23. Sometimes I feel self-conscious about it. People that aren’t in my situation tend to look at their own experiences and say to me, ‘but you’ve never lived away from home, you haven’t traveled a lot, you haven’t had a lot of jobs’ and I used to think that that was the only range of experience people were supposed to have. Like in your twenties you’re supposed to move to a big city and be poor or go to China and teach english or be a bike messenger or work on a manuscript, and I thought that was how it was supposed to be. But I’m just kind of realizing, you know what? I think I’m going to be on the board of directors and be a soccer mom in my 20s, and see where the world takes me. For one of the first times in my life (now, right now) I’m learning to not be so apologetic for my actions and decisions. And only you can make yourself feel inferior. And the next time someone “feels sorry” for me, I’m gonna be like, don’t. Please don’t. I get to play Left for Dead before picking up my kid at daycare. I get to stand and watch my kid chase a soccer ball while drinking coffee and baileys at 9 am on a saturday. I have a best friend. I have a family. I said this to Alex last night, and he called me out on it, in such a good way. I am so blessed. There’s not really a better way to put it. Blessed. And I’m only 23. And I’ve got my whole life to live. My whole life! Gosh, can you just imagine it?