29 January 2009

fancy pants

I was inspired by one of my favorite Web sites for this post. Posting on the regular about things you might seriously buy if you weren't saving money to buy something else. Quality clothes and shoes on sale are my kryptonite, so here goes:

If I were spending money, I'd totally buy these pants from J.Crew. They're fantastic! I'd wear them to work. Dress them up. Dress them down. I just checked and thought I was off the hook because they didn't have my size. Turns out they do. Is it too much of a risk to buy fancy pants on sale with a no-return policy? 

D'oh.  Need to get off the internets and stop looking at clothes on sale. This post may not have worked as a deterrent like I was thinking it would.

27 January 2009


Saw a great rock show last night in East Lansing. Kings of Leon know how to play the big rock. It had been a long time since I'd seen a proper rock show and these kids brought their skills. Lead singer Caleb Followill, his brothers Jared, Nathan and their cousin Matthew hail from somewhere in Tennessee. Their southern roots shine through a bit in the overall sound. Think crunchy guitars, a solid bass player /drummer synergy and there's no real way to describe Caleb Followill's voice with words. Raspy doesn't quite do it justice.

Photo via Gibson.com

Take a listen to Use Somebody and Closer. I'm hooked and want to see them play again. I don't know if they've ever played Grand Rapids. They should.

24 January 2009


I had two conversations today with two different friends each of them retold stories about people they work with who are chronic complainers. These people feel completely fine complaining about stuff they have no control over at jobs they have. Wow, let me type that again - they're complaining about inconsequential stuff at jobs they currently have, jobs that are helping them pay bills on the regular. There are plenty of people, 10% of Michigan's population right now, that do not even have jobs to complain about. It grates on my nerves to hear that. 

I'm extremely grateful for the job I have. If I had to listen to any whiners everyday, I'd probably be moved to say something like, "if it's so terrible here, why are you still here?" Sure we could all find things to complain about, but why? It's a waste of energy to focus on the negative or things that are beyond our control.

I choose to focus on the positive, while keeping a firm grasp of reality. Everyday isn't a parade of fabulous-ness where they're handing out stacks of money, designer handbags and lollipops. Of course bad stuff happens. Unfortunate circumstances visit everyone. I guess being able to see the silver lining in the unfortunate clouds of life is what gets me through my storms.

Color me grateful for my job, my family, my friends, my health and all the circumstances that have led me to this moment. 

22 January 2009

For every week that flies by, I'm still surprised at how fast it went! Random mini-sodes from today:

Met with my friend C, who I've known forever. Literally. He and my younger brother D have been friends since 1st grade - they're now both 30! One of his many talents - jewelry making. He's going to build me a necklace. We talked design. Something incorporating my favorite celestial shape, perhaps a little bling. For sure a statement. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

While we were talking he brought up some of the crazy stuff he and my brother used to do. They were pretty funny back then. They still are. Anyway, he said he learned how to do dishes properly at our house. His house had a dishwasher. Ours did not and it was house rule that everyone washed their own plate. Today, he and his girlfriend are sans dishwasher. My mom will appreciate hearing that he's still practicing his dish skills. 

Made cookies tonight after work. Ginger snaps with fresh grated ginger. Will bring them into work tomorrow to share. I don't know what I'd weigh if I didn't have those kids to share my baking with. 
Nice guy in the grocery story tonight. I needed molasses for the ginger snaps. I'm in line for the quick check out and Nice Guy had a few more items than I did. He said I could go ahead of him. When I thanked him, he said, "my pleasure" with a hint of joy in his voice. While I'm waiting for the gal in front me to complete her transaction,  he was chatting with another customer in the next line and I heard him say "my pleasure" again with that same joy. It's not something I hear very often, for sure not when there are lines at the grocery store and definitely not with joy. It was inspiring! 

Oscar nominations were announced this morning. I need to see a few movies before the awards on February 22, so I can make informed guesses on who will walk away with their own golden statue. My short list to see before then: Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt and Revolutionary Road. We shall see.

And a pop culture admission, I'm intrigued by Lady GaGa. If you haven't heard "Just Dance" you've somehow evaded a song that seems to be everywhere. I'm hooked on "Poker Face" this week. It will be interesting to see how her career evolves. She went to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, so she's got talent + a solid education, meaning she's not some manufactured "artist". Work it, girl!

20 January 2009

It's a New Day!

Just a quick note to commemmorate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I hope and pray that all people that worked to get out the vote during his campaign and all those who voted for him will continue to work for the good of this country. Even the people that didn't work to get out the vote and didn't vote for him, I hope and pray that they, too, can get to a place where they can see we're all working toward the same goals. We all want good things like peace, prosperity, education and health care. 

Image via New York Times

Today is a new day. It's about coming together with hope in our hearts and the courage to keep working on a better tomorrow. We're all in it together!

19 January 2009

night run, good. double take, bad.

I hadn't been planning this, but tonight I did my three mile run outside. It was about 23 degrees, which is cold, but I wasn't actually cold. Proper layering and my new wind stopper tights were keys to keeping warm. I've missed running outside. When I do 3 miles on the track at the gym, it seems like such a chore. Tonight's run outside was great, the time just flew by. Oh, streets around my house, how I've missed you! It may not become a regular thing until the weather warms up a little more, but it's definitely on the table when I don't feel like tangling with all the New Year's Resolution Gym-Joiners right after work.

Completely different subject. After my run, I cleaned up and threw on some leggings, a mini jean skirt, sweater, tall suede boots and one of my North Face jackets so I could run to the store for a few food items to get me through the week. I'm the first to admit that the skirt is short, but I totally got a second look from a woman who was definitely older than me, but not old-old. Who knows what she was really thinking, for all I know, it could have been "cute outfit," but the look on her face was more, "girl, what are you wearing?" It wasn't like I was wearing only my underwear, looked like a streetwalker or a hobo, so come on! I could have just wore the leggings and called it good, but the skirt actually covered my ass. I stand by my outfit choice, but could have done without the lady's "WTF?" double take. 


Local news anchor Suzanne Geha was also at the store tonight and she didn't do a double take, so it's unlikely I'll make the 11:00 p.m. local news! 

16 January 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive

There's such power in asking for what you want and need, even if you think there's no way you'll actually be able to get what you want. The mere act of asking is about honoring your own wants, needs and desires, listening to your own voice and being true to what it is that's going to bring you happiness, peace or contentment. 

Just asking is powerful.

It takes courage. You have to put yourself out there, risking that you will not hear what you want in return. I've been a student of a philosophy of "letting go of the outcome," with the understanding that I have absolutely no control over how someone else will react, how they will respond or whether or not they're in a space to even hear me. If it works how I want it to, I'm that much more ahead of the game. If not, there's something for me to learn or something else in the works for me. 

I've found it even works for the not so lofty stuff.

The GRAM just wrapped up a Richard Avedon exhibit. They had these fantastically-huge styrene promotional pieces hanging in the windows of the gift shop. His self portrait was one of my favorites in the whole show. I asked how I might procure one of the promo pieces. I had to wait until the end of the show for my answer, but it turned out in my favor. They sold me one of them and it's now hanging in my home office. If I had never asked, it never would have happened. I'm thinking of all the big, lofty-type things I could ask for, even if it's just putting my desire out into the universe. 

It works.  

14 January 2009

Wholesome Lunch

It really all comes back to food. If I'm not actually eating, it seems like I'm thinking about food, blogging about it or making/baking something to eat.

At work, my fellow foodies and I usually start talking about lunch shortly after we all get into cubeland in the morning. Someone is always STARVING and it seems like forever until it will be an acceptable enough time to take a lunch.

Today, I brought in something yummy that I've been snacking on at home - I guess you could call them lettuce wraps. It's a piece of boston lettuce with a smear of hummus (made on Sunday for easy snacking all week) and a slice of fake turkey. Roll it up and send it to your starving tummy. Packed with flavor (thanks, garlic!) and it's actually good for you!

A few wraps with some crackers, sliced cucumber and a banana for later and there's my wholesome lunch! Oh, and I can't forget the XXX Vitamin Water that I've been sipping on since this morning. Must also honestly report, I'm now craving a cookie of some sort, but we're severely lacking in cookie inventory around here.

What did you have for lunch today?

12 January 2009


It's been a while since I've done a favorites list... so here are some things that have been helping me get get through the winter:

My North Face Arctic parka. The walk from parking lot to actual office door is a long one, especially when it's 12!

The library. I finally picked up the book club book tonight. Nothing like putting it off until the last minute.

My cozy bed. It's deliciously warm with layers of blankets and the faux feather bed.

My Macbook with wi-fi, nothing like blogging from bed!

Sweating it out at the gym, while thinking about sweating it out on the road via bike or foot. I long for warmer weather and daylight that extends beyond 5:30 p.m.

My various pairs of knee-high black boots. My Hunters and my "shearlings" are getting the most use lately. Would love it if the weather would let me wear a few of the others!

Music. I've been falling asleep to the National's "Boxer", rocking out to Does it Offend You, Yeah? and Crystal Castles. And just dug out another favorite, Snow Patrol's "Eyes Open" that I couldn't stop listening to last fall.

New tires for the VW. Makes a world of difference on the sloppy roads and my heart attacks have dramatically decreased.

French toast. It's a good thing I'm running on the regular. It's dangerously close to taking over where my fried egg sandwich obsession left off.

08 January 2009

I'm a Runner.

I run. 

It's something that I never really thought I'd get into, but once I trained for a couple months for my first 1/2 marathon in October and saw what I was capable of, I wanted more. 

I like having a race to train for. 

I like seeing other runners out in bad weather and having something in common with them, instead of thinking they're crazy. The first time I willingly ran in the rain, stepping off the porch into the pouring rain went against every fiber of my being. Once I was out in it, I felt something change. I accepted the rain as reality and just ran. I saw drivers safe in their dry cars and SUVs doing a double take as they drove by and it made me run a little harder, knowing I was doing something that until very recently, I too, had thought was a little crazy. 

I like how well I sleep after a good run.

I like how good food tastes and how my cravings change as I get deeper into my training schedule.

I like how strong I feel.

I like that it's not about competition with others, it's about me and what I'm capable of. Much like life. There are insights to be gained.

I signed up tonight to run my first 25k. It's May 9th. I have exactly four months to train and I'm really psyched about the next four months and seeing how this race goes. How far can I push myself? What I will be able to accomplish? I trained for two months for my 1/2 marathon, so I'm guessing I'll be in a pretty good place to do the 25k. I'm going to enjoy every step along the way.

07 January 2009

dance dance

I've been listening to music on last.fm at work for the last few days. Tons of great music! Type in a band you're digging on and ta-da you can listen to a whole "radio station" with similar music. The Crystal Castles station makes me want to dance.

I went to a "dance club" this weekend to celebrate my friend A's birthday. Talk about a serious lack of appreciation for proper dance music. This place left me yearning for my raver days or Tuesday nights at the Reptile House where the beats were fast and the bass kicked your ass for hours and hours. I want to dance and sweat to some real music, mixed up by a real DJ, not some guy who's just adding beats to songs that are on the radio. Is that too much to ask? For now I'll have to be my own DJ and blast the neighbors out of their kitchen while I dance up my own storm.

04 January 2009

big fish in a small sea

A friend of mine took the opportunity last night (with the addition of a few drinks) to tell me that he thinks I'm too big for GR, that I should get the hell out while I can and go live my dreams. That was the gist of  a pretty long talk, one that has me thinking. 

Asked what my dream was, I couldn't name it exactly. I've spent a solid chunk of time thinking my life was going one way, only to finally realize it was not meant to be. Letting go of that dream has put me in a place of healing, a place of introspection and a place where I'm asking the universe, "what's next?" "where?" "who?" and "how is it supposed to happen?"

Thoughts of renewal in the new year are pretty typical, but I'm actually in a place where I could actually do whatever I dare to dream. It's a scary, yet really cool place to be. Today, I don't have the answers, but I'm open to the opportunities the universe will bring me. I will say yes. I will go. I will do. I want to live the hell out of this life I've been blessed with.

03 January 2009

Happy New Year!

As the sun rises on 2009, Happy New Year!

I'm looking forward to everything the year has in store for me. I don't necessarily believe in resolutions but am going to keep practicing a few things I've picked up along the way that make my life more rich:

  • being patient, knowing that whatever happens I'll be okay
  • being my best self everyday
  • breathing deeply
  • spending time with friends and family
  • laughing and smiling as often as possible
  • being thankful