Monday, February 28, 2011

#13- put myself out there

so today i had a 5-hour interview for a new job. the reason i'm not keeping this hush-hush is because i've been very honest with my boss about this prospect, and i'm quite excited about it. i haven't interviewed for a job in a while, and after having sat on the other side of the table in a number of recent interviews, i've got to say- interviewing is exhausting! don't get me wrong, i had a great time and walked away feeling good about everything i did and said, and feeling good about everything i heard and learned. overall, a success regardless of what may happen down the road. but, as i said, i'm exhausted! being an introvert, it was a long day to be "on" the whole time and i made the mistake of refusing coffee this morning, which i sincerely regret. at the end of the day, it was great to put myself out there and go for something i really want. change is hard, and who knows what will come of this, but it was nice. nice to go after something, nice to try.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

#14- be horrified

yesterday i went to get a haircut. when i got there i was waiting for a few minutes, and then i overheard the following: "have you told rachel that her lady is here?"

i am the "lady." ew. i was disgusted, i don't want to be a LADY! i want to be a GIRL! or something else that's maybe more age appropriate, but i don't think i'm a lady yet. ladies are old. and of course this all happens within a week-ish of my 30th birthday. ugh. horrified.

#15- conform

last week i did it. i finally got an iphone thanks to verizon. i've hated my blackberry for the past year and a half, and it has been so nice to finally be able to have a phone that's easy to use, and nice, and just lovely in general. i am now a part of the apple masses.

Monday, February 21, 2011

#16- have FUN at a museum & #15- spend more time with mom

this is a combo pack. as a museum studies grad student, over the past two years whenever i was in a museum it was usually for school. granted, it's still fun and interesting and all that, but i'm there to think about the museum in a different way than a normal visitor. this was also the case on saturday, when i decided to go to the maryland science center in baltimore to do an exhibition review. i thought it would be fun to see if my mom wanted to go, so i invited her along. we first went through the exhibition i had decided to review, and then just had fun! there was a lot of cool stuff to see and do there and i would highly suggest it for anyone with kids. i felt a little weird at times because some of the exhibitions were definitely geared towards kids, so when my mom and i were playing we were the only adults without children. eh, maybe it seemed weird, but it was a lot of fun and reminded my why i love museums so much.

after spending a couple hours at the science center, my mom and i decided to do a little shopping and then grab a leisurely lunch. it was good to just relax and not have to be on a schedule of any sort and just hang out however we wanted. it was a nice treat for the both of us and should definitely happen more often :)

#17- let him pick the movie

mark and i are pretty good about sharing the television and watching the same (ish) things together. however, i do tend to wiggle my way into watching "pretty little liars" some nights while mark is doing homework or something and just wants something in the background. he hates "my trash" tv, but usually just rolls his eyes and tolerates it. when it comes to movies, sometimes we're on the same page and other times we're not even reading the same book. so friday we decided to go to a movie and i let him pick. i said what i absolutely didn't want to see, he narrowed it down to two, and i said i was fine with either. we ended up seeing "unknown" with liam neeson. the first 3/4 were good but the last 1/4 was eh. THEN on saturday night we stayed in (the boring lives of grad students) and mark asked if i wanted to watch a movie on demand...he had a great one picked out. it was about the civil war, called something like "riding with the devil" and toby mcguire was the lead. i generally don't like period pieces, but agreed since he seemed excited. it was good, but SO LONG. it probably wasn't even that long, but it felt like forever. my good deed is definitely done :)

#18- exercise

my exercise regimen comes in fits and starts. sometimes i exercise almost everyday and then other times it may be months before i put on my pair of sneakers. friday (a lovely day off) mark and i decided to go for a 4 mile run, our first since the marathon. in all honesty it became a 4 mile walk because it was a bit warmer than we expected and it was just nice to be outside! i won't mention the fact that i am so out of shape for not having run in so long, we'll keep that under wraps. then on saturday and sunday (and later today!) i FINALLY started the p90x tapes that i borrowed from my friend, rachel, a billion years ago. i know rach is reading this and i want to hide in shame, but if it helps, i'm sore all over and couldn't do all of plyometrics...rather, i couldn't do MOST of plyometrics...hopefully that will change over time! either way, i'm excited to be exercising again and am loving the soreness a little bit. it's been too long!

#19- take some time off

now this hasn't really been a problem for me- i'm a big advocate of using any time off i may have, whether it's comp, vacation, personal, or sick. in the federal government leave system i get far too many sick hours to use them all, but i refuse to let my comp hours disappear in their "use or lose" fashion, and the same goes for vacation. this is a 3 day weekend and when i found out last thursday that my boss would be working from home on friday i decided to swoop into her office at some point and make a case for how i would like the day off on friday. in the end, i got my day off and it was amazing. i plan to take a few more just like it over the next two weeks :)

#20- read for school

in my last post i discussed my distaste for reading related to school, but this week i had to suck it up. last week in class i felt like i couldn't contribute as much as i wanted to because i hadn't done the readings, but this week i was determined to do them all, and i did. granted, they were fairly short, but it felt like an accomplishment. i'm not sure how often this will keep happening, but it was nice to get it done at this once this semester ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

#21- read for fun

again, no photo, which many people think is a complete jip on a blog, so i'll keep this short :)

grad students don't get to read for fun, it's against the natural order of things. this is one thing i hate about grad school because i love to read, but mainly i love to read what i WANT to read, not the things i have been assigned. saturday i had some time on my hands (ahem, because i wasn't reading for school) and took a trip to the local library and picked up a book from a new mystery-writing author that i have come to enjoy. it's monday and i'll be finishing the book this evening, which is exciting but a little scary. now that i know i can read a 400 page book in 2.5 days, my schoolwork is in serious trouble...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

#22- get outside

unfortunately, i didn't snap any photos this evening. it was a bit dark went mark and i went for our 40 minute stroll, but it was nice to get outside. today was a beautiful day and even in the middle of february we were lucky enough to enjoy our lovely neighborhood view of glebe bay and it's glory!

#23- try a new restaurant

one of my best friends, meghan, called me on friday morning to let me know she was in dc for the weekend. it was a great surprise, and so a few adjustments to my weekend plans needed to be made to accommodate the great news. on friday meghan was kind enough to come the museum to eat lunch with me and just take some time to catch up, the two of us. saturday night we made plans to get together in the city for dinner with a few other people (mark, jessie, missy, jon, and one of meghan's old friends from work).

luckily, two of the three restaurants that meghan wanted to go to while she was in town were new to me! we decided on the grill from ipanema, in adams morgan. anyone who is a geography buff can guess that it's a brazilian restaurant- and we were not disappointed. the food was really good and the drinks were delicious. the only complaint we had was the service, it was horribly slow, but when in good company, it didn't matter that much.

here's a quick shot of meghan and i after dinner:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

#24- gain a new perspective

i also like to call this one "no more pity parties." everyone has problems and that's just how it is. but, it's true that happiness is a choice and i am supremely guilty of making the wrong choice at times. within the past year i've tried to change my outlook on life but it hasn't always worked...actually it's pretty cyclical. sometimes i'm just in a "woe is me" mood that may last for a couple of weeks. and sometimes i'm in a "life is lovely" mood that could also last for a couple of weeks. the truth is, i have it pretty nice. instead of thinking "argh, i have to go to work" i really want to start thinking "oh, i GET to go to work!" and i GET to go to school, and i GET to put food on the table and i GET to pay a mortgage and i GET to have a new car payment and i GET to do a ton of other things that may seem like a pain sometimes, but i am really lucky to get to do them. so many people are in dire straights these days with work, money, food, and life in general. my job, although sometimes frustrating, has enabled us to buy a house, buy a car, put food on the table, and allowed me to get into grad school. i should be more thankful for that. granted, i'm not expecting to be susy sunshine everyday (i'm not trying to set myself up for failure!), but i hope that tweaking my perspective just a little bit will allow me to be happier in general, and then to pay that happiness forward.

this is me not having a pity party:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

#25- have fresh flowers in the house

i LOVE the sight of fresh flowers in the house, but usually i pass them by at the market because 1. i have the amazing ability to kill any form of vegetation, and even though flowers in a vase have already been picked, they're lasting time is greatly diminished in my presence, and 2. sometimes they can be expensive and/or feel a bit like a luxury. but alas, i love the sight of them nonetheless and sometimes you just need to give in to the things you love. so, tonight on my way home from work i stopped by trader joe's for eggs, marinara sauce, and three bunches of beautiful, fresh flowers. here are a few snapshots...

there are two vases in the living room, one on the coffee table and one on the mantle:

then there is one vase on the dining room table, of white hydrangeas, which was also the majority of my wedding bouquet, and i love them:

it makes me happy to see all these beautiful, living (not really), non-wilted flowers around our house- at least for the time being :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#26- blog

um, i don't consider #26 a cheat. i may have blogged more in the past two weeks than i have in the previous two years. the real kicker is that i plan on holding fast to my blogging over the next month during my 30 for 30, and then hopefully beyond! there are no photos to accompany this accomplishment, because's past 10pm and i've had another full day of work and class and i don't want to hit you with a "tired jenn" photo two posts in a row!!! :)

#27- eat dinner by candlelight

i've never done this. ever. mark couldn't believe that i'd never eaten by candlelight- and as the logical partner in this relationship, he felt like at some point during a power outage i must have eaten by candlelight. maybe, but i don't think so. at least it didn't leave a lasting impression.

mark and i received beautiful candlesticks for our wedding from mark's aunt lynn. the candlesticks were given to aunt lynn and the late (and infamous) uncle iggy on their wedding day. the gift means a great deal to both mark and i, but until now we hadn't put these lovely sticks to good use!

granted, i look exhausted...mainly because i was. this photo was taken at 10pm after a full day of work and then class. also, we may or may not have eaten chick-fil-a by candlelight. good thing i didn't specify "eat a FANCY dinner by candlelight" then i'd be out of luck!

it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that as soon as i took the photo, mark asked if we could turn the lights on. it shouldn't come as a surprise that i refused his request.

#28- paint my nails

it's not really a big deal, not to most people. then again, maybe i'm not like most people. i used to have acrylic nails in college and for a couple of years afterwards, but they were expensive and quite the time commitment every two weeks. since  then, i've enjoyed keeping my nails fairly short. they aren't very strong, so when they get longer, they get flimsy and break easily. anyway, this is all fairly boring, but to cut the chase, i hardly ever paint my nails. again, even paintings nails is a long process, because if i'm going to do it, i'm going to do it right: cuticle trimming, filing, buffing, base coat, two coats of paint, and a top coat. plus drying time, which lasts forever. or something close to it.

with that being said, i really like the way my nails look when they're painted, even with a clear coat...which is sometimes all i can handle. BUT, i recently saw a color on a friend at work that i really liked and decided to try. gray-ish polish is all the rage these days, and this is an OPI color called "you don't know jacques"

it's a little hard to see, but i've had it on since sunday (quite possibly a new record) and it hasn't chipped and is pretty much staying put- success! maybe this will become a new trend for me? maybe.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

30 before 30

yesterday officially marked 30 days before my 30th birthday. to celebrate the occasion, i have decided to do 30 things before i'm 30- things that i've either never done before, or that i want to do more of, or something in between. it's my 30 before 30, so luckily i get to make the rules :)

#30- buy a new car

in 2001 i was fortunate enough to be given the "red robin" from gaga (my great grandmother). the red robin is a 1996 oldsmobile cutlass supreme. to my amazement it has lasted me through 2011. granted, there were many repairs and thousands of dollars that i sunk into the red robin, but it was all worth it. the red robin saw me through the last 2 years of college, my first (few) job(s), my first apartment, our engagement and wedding, most of grad school, and the purchase of our first house. but, over the past few months the repairs just came to be too much and we've had to just park the red robin for a few months and live with one car, which has been tough. over the past couple of weeks mark and i have been talking about a new car. i've been hesitant given the upcoming, anticipated changes in our lives, but i couldn't deny that having one car while we both commuted has been hard. both mark and i were in agreement about getting a hybrid, and of course, the prius is the best hybrid out there. we also decided that we'd prefer not to buy brand new due to the immediate drop in value and the certified, pre-owned was probably the best choice. after some research with carmax and local toyota dealerships, we decided to make the trek to a dealership about 45 minutes away due to their inventory. fortunately, they also offered us a great trade-in value for the red robin, and we just had to jump at the offer. unfortunately, we didn't drive the red robin to the dealership and just had to cross our fingers that it would make the 45 minute drive today. the dealership was kind enough to let us take the 2009 prius (now officially christened the "silver bullet") home yesterday and drop the red robin this morning. although the coolant leak in the red robin nearly choked mark to death, we made it! before we drove off, i snapped a "goodbye" photo with the red robin:

it was sad, but has been a long time coming. to make me feel a bit better, i also decided to snap a photo with the silver bullet:

the silver bullet is fantastic and i officially love it already. since this is my first purchase of a new-ish car, we'll categorize this under "things i've never done before"

#29- have more people over

although #29 happened on the same day as #30, i am not going to consider that cheating. since mark and i moved into our new house at the end of last august, we only really started hosting and having people over around christmas when we felt the house was finally in a decent working order. since then we've tried to host a bit more and have more people over whenever we can, and we want to continue the trend. last night we were fortunate enough to be able to host dinner for our friends hannah  and rob. hannah is a friend of mine from school, and our bond of friendship was fortified last summer as we both had to endure two painful classes- our digitization class and our cultural consumption of early america class. both were horrible and although i try to block them out from my mind, i'm glad that i was able to meet hannah through them. rob is hannah's lovely hubby, who is also an amazingly impressive runner. when rob talks about his marathon times, i just smile and nod, since it blows my mind that he can run that fast and i'm ashamed to tell him my times- ha!

anyway, hannah and rob live on capitol hill in dc but were kind enough to make the trek out to edgewater last night for a taco feast. although i didn't snap any photos, all of us had a great time catching up, building a fire, chatting, and eating until we couldn't eat anymore (well, at least i ate myself into a food coma). so, although this is only the first in a greater series of instances of hosting, we're off to a great start!