Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update on Weeds

Here's a shot of the same sprig of weeds that I sprayed with vinegar several days ago. I meant to get this picture posted earlier, but the best laid plans and all...

I must have missed a few stems on the side, but look at the result so far! Right after firing the shutter, I broke out the spray bottle for Round 2. It's probably a goner by now. And isn't it a bit ironic that this 'green' way of killing weeds actually turns green weeds brown? Just a thought.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just Go Already!

I just got home from watching Away We Go, and all I can say is just go and watch it. It was totally worth the hour-plus drive to Maiden Alley Cinema in Paducah (Kentucky). The cast is top-notch; I can't even begin to name all of the wonderfully talented actors, aside from the headliners. Maya Rudolph plays drama as well and as easily as the comedy we all know and love from SNL, and John Krasinski is definitely not just a re-heated version of Jim. These characters go on a journey that changes their lives forever, and my only complaint was that the movie had to end after about 90 minutes.

How rare is it that you can find a movie that will make you laugh out loud one minute and want to shed a few tears in earnest in the next, all over a flippin' awesome soundtrack?! These don't come along very often, and I recommend seeing it at all costs...although $4.50 with a student discount (shhhhh...) was worth every penny and then some. Even if it's not in your town, put it on your mental list for Netflix or the local video store or library for when it hits DVD. You won't be sorry. (Sidenote: It's pretty language-heavy, for those who may, for some reason, think of watching it with parents, ultra-conservative relatives, or Quakers.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not So Board At Lunch

Here's a shot of today's lunch. When I work in the office that's about 30 minutes from home, I usually eat in the boardroom, which is never used at all. I will take my food, water, and a book way back there and try to steal a few quiet moments, hopefully adding up to one hour. Sometimes I'm interrupted by co-workers who need me to deal with customers, but mostly it's not bad. Today was Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (whole grain brown) with chicken. Yum. 90 seconds in the microwave, a little stir, and voila.

I'm about to finish a book that my pal Ann Marie let me borrow. It's called Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig and is her memoir about having OCD and how it sort of bled over into her religious convictions as a confused child. I was expecting Sedaris-style humor and totally outlandish episodes from her life, but I have to say that it was a bit of a letdown. The cover is mega-cool, though. There were only two or three instances when I laughed out loud. Don't worry, though--the boardroom is waaay in the back.

I wanted to share a quick excerpt that is exactly what I've said before and will probably say again: If I had my way I would never have to drive at all. My plan was to make a lot of money doing something I was actually good at--the tetherball, maybe--and hire a chauffeur. Driving just didn't interest me at all.

Reading on my lunch break is one of my favorite things. It's very calming, and I've made my way through many a book. Plus, it's cheaper and healthier than going out all the time. Give it a try if you can spare the time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Listen, Honey..

I don't know why, but I fall in and out of love with cereal. It's like I'll go for a few weeks where that is about two-thirds of my food pyramid, and then I'll forget all about it for months. Does anyone else do this? I'm usually not flaky, despite the irony there.

Lately I've been trying to work more on my fitness, as it were, and that goal, coupled with the summer heat, makes Honey Nut Cheerios (sometimes with a banana) the most delicious dinner. Breakfast is usually a granola bar, and lunch has been Subway, chicken and rice, or a turkey sandwich these days. I'm trying to put a cap on excessive sugar and (sigh) my beloved SunChips. What else is healthy and palatable for non-vegetable-lovers?

Monday, July 20, 2009

One Small Post

As most of you probably know, today marks the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. I was going to blog about this awesome ad anyway, so I guess it's funny how life (and marketing) has a way of working out.

It continues to blow my mind that we, as a people, made it to the moon. While I'm not the biggest fan of NASA and space exploration when so many other, more (ahem) domestic problems abound, I appreciate this accomplishment. Plus, even though luxury handbags have little to do with spacecraft, except maybe the price, it's a neat concept. When I first saw this ad on the back cover of a magazine, I had to stare for several minutes and take it all in.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Fresh Start to the Week

Well, blog buddies, it's Sunday, and anyone who knows me fairly well will tell you that this is typically my cleaning day. Sometimes I'm done in an hour, and sometimes it takes 5 or 6. Usually it starts when I wake up (without an alarm clock, thank you very much) and strip the sheets off the bed. A bit of concentrated detergent and a method dryer sheet do the trick quite nicely.

At some point after waking up and eating a bite, I start the dusting process. It's really pretty simple with these handy microfiber cloths. I found these at Target a few years ago, and you may be able to make out the logo. Vroom. I did some searching online back then and found that--surprise, surprise--this company was a subsidiary of method. I'm not sure that's the case now. At any rate, they work like a charm! Usually I don't even use a liquid cleaner; I just run the cloth over my desk, nightstand, dresser, monitor, etc. The dust is trapped by tiny, tiny fibers until you shake them outside or toss them in the washing machine.

Then I break out my EnviroVac by Eureka! I guess that's not really an exclamatory sentence, but the word eureka just brings it out. This model is bagless and uses 33% less energy than regular vacuums. And it's a really cool blue color. I run it over my carpets and every few weeks use the attatchment to clean my pillows, mattress, baseboards, and windowsills. I like to vacuum after dusting in case any extra dust falls to the floor.

Today I decided to run the hose along the ceiling and in the corners. I even got brave and wheeled the operation into my brother's room. Yikes. It was necessary, though, because he was bringing down the property value.

Then I tried a new home-y trick that I learned from Ideal Bite, which is a great eco resource, by the way. They send eco-tips and tricks by e-mail on Monday-Friday. Sometimes they're a little far-fetched, but I always learn at least one new thing. Check them out! I filled up a cheap spray bottle with vinegar and attacked the little weeds that pop up in cracks in the concrete outside. I am anxious to check back in a day or so and see if it works. Vinegar is great for cleaning, too. It's super cheap and does not hurt the environment...except for those pesky weeds, fingers crossed.

Right before bed I put clean sheets back on, and I always sleep like a charm. It's probably a combination of mild exhaustion and feeling extra clean and cozy. Do you have any cleaning tips to share?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Sister

No, it's not about a relative or Whoopie in a habit, but I wanted to share a quick post about a book I recently read called (what else?) The Sister. Here's my review.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book from my local library. It has an intriguing cover and was in the new books section, so I snatched it.

Ginny is the narrator of the story, and although some of the action happens in her family's crumbling mansion in the present day, she has several flashbacks to her childhood, which revolved around her slightly younger sister Vivi. The girls had a seemingly idyllic childhood, complete with a scientist father and a quasi-socialite mother, but, of course, everything was a bit darker behind closed doors.

It's hard to say much about the book without giving away the plot, but imagine Grey Gardens with a dash of The Glass Castle set in jolly old England. This story is not the most compelling I've read lately, and parts of it crawl a bit, but it's a worthwhile read. The fact that Adams is also a documentary filmmaker comes across in her detail of the scientific research conducted by Ginny and her father. Plus, the perspective is definitely unique and worth the 200+ pages.

Weekend Miscellany

I know it's Tuesday, but I thought I would reflect upon the wonder that was my laid-back, somewhat random weekend. Let's just say that the doldrums of an already-slow week have brought on this trip down Yesterday Lane.

On Saturday I went to the closest town with a Target (about an hour away) with my pal Ann Marie, and here are some pictures from that excursion. As you can see here, they were well stocked with method, and I racked up. The hand wash and cleaning wipes (biodegradable!) are my favorites. If you're fuzzy on this brand, then see my previous post.

Then we decided to put on the most unnecessary accessories in (where else?) the Accessories Dept. I don't know if it's really called that, but let's just pretend.

Aren't we...umm....dashing?!

On Sunday I made some devil's food cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. No reason. It's just something I tend to do on the weekends. Then I take most stuff to work on Monday morning to spread the love and hopefully help get the week off to a sweet start.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hilarity Ensues...

For my second endorsement, I have chosen something that always cracks me up. It's 30 Rock! Many of you have probably watched this before, but for those who haven't, do yourself a favor and catch re-runs on Thursday nights (before the new season this fall), Netflix the DVDs, or get on If we're friends and live close enough, you can borrow the first two seasons from me.

This show is the brainchild of Tina Fey, who has crazy-mad specs appeal and really needs no introduction. It's loosely based on her experiences at Saturday Night Live and follows the cast and crew of a fictitious variety show. The star power of the regular cast is off the charts, but they bring on big-name guest stars (like flipping Oprah) all the time.

Plus, I want to be friends with Kenneth (The Page) Parcell. This character is the best part of the show. He's extremely naive but super energetic. Plus, he's from the South and is addicted to TV. We have a few things in common, at least. Check out this quick video of some of Kenneth's sound bites.

30 Rock is smart and witty and really has something to say about life. It's won Emmys and has my endorsement. What else do you need to know? Give it a whirl, won't you?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lunch and Laps

Well, it was back to the drive thru today, and my 45-minute lunch consisted of some of my favorite things. I made this sandwich with toasted wheat bread, turkey, cheese, and Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard. It is the best. Really. That's one secret. Another is to toast that bread right. Don't just Pop-Tart that mess. You need to toast it. Then immediately put a slice of cheese between the two slices of bread and allow it to melt a little. In the meantime, I run to the TV and pop in a disc of 30 Rock. Then return to the scene of the bite, add some turkey, honey mustard, et voila! Garnish with half a bag of SunChips (Garden Salsa), and lunch is served.

I find this sandwich to be the perfect combination of savory and sweet, crunchy and chewy, and healthy and quick. That's a lot of adjectives for a little meal. Plus, most sitcoms on DVD are around 21 minutes, which is ideal if you work for lunch Nazis. Note: special episodes often run 42 minutes, indicating a possible two-night arc or extended scheduling block during original airing.

After work and some downtime at home, I went to the track for a little cardio session. If you think that time is going too quickly these days, then throw some laps into your life. Time will slow. I promise. But now that I'm home, I feel revitalized, even though my hair looks not unlike this guy's:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Brief Return...

For a few days over the next three weeks, I will be back at my old branch and at my semi-old desk. It's where I was moved just before I became reacquainted with the teller line. It's a very nice break from having to deal with cash and shoddy microphones at the drive thru (eek). Here you can see part of my desk, including the eco-calendar, bank tickets, and folders. They're labeled In, Out, and Limbo. Guess which one is the fullest.

Also notice the color-changing cup. Most people think I drink purple Kool-Aid all day long, but it's really cold water. Mmmmmm.

Today was also the unofficial 1-year bank-iversary of my awesome friend and co-worker, Ann Marie. It's a long story how they determine official start dates and whatnot, so the details will be spared. I made these streusel cupcakes in her honor, and they seemed to be a big hit. I'm glad to know you, Ann Marie! Thanks for being sweet.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scrub a Dub

Well, I had an eventful Sunday--if your idea of eventful is banishing dust, dirt, and debris. Let's just say it involved microfiber cloth, extension cords, my versatile EnviroVac, a step stool, and tons of elbow grease. I'm worn out, but today resulted in a feeling of accomplishment.

As I cleaned my way through our more-cluttered-by-the-day house, I realized two things. If you don't stay on top of dusting and editing, things have a tendency to get away from you...and quick. Also, my mom is way too sentimental and holds on to too many tchotchkes. Empty space means nothing in this household. Here are a few of said trinkets:

These are some of her porcelain dolls. She's thinks they're precious and valuable. I think they're creepy. Plus, I don't care what anyone says; their eyes follow you. One is actually a Christmas tree topper. See if you can pick her out.

Another doll. This one is a clown. How funny. She's guarding a golden scroll glass shelf thingy last seen on the set of Dynasty. Notice that every inch of space is covered.

And speaking of things from the's one of the two now infamous geese that patrol the kitchen. I have been pleading with my mom since the first Bush Administration to take these down. No, she argues. They're from Home Interiors. They're expensive. I can't disagree with the first point, but I always have to highlight the fact that they were expensive. 20 years ago. And yeah. That's wood paneling. Be jealous.

In light of a charity yard sale that my sister is involved in, I finally convinced our clingy mother to part with the geese. Of course that does leave two empty spaces on the walls, and I just don't know how we're going to deal with it. But it's a start.

Friday, July 3, 2009

All Aboard

If you happen to have read GQ sometime in the last decade, then you know that close to the start of each issue is a segment called "GQ Endorses..." Just for fun, I have decided to endorse certain things on this here blog. It probably won't be Italian "sneakers" or male bronzing creams, though.

Anyone who knows me fairly well probably already knows that I sort of have an addictive personality. If I like something, then I really like it and want to learn all about it and then buy tons of it (where possible). That's why I proclaim to have sweet teeth instead of just the one and never jumped on the liquor/nicotine train. I would, however, like to conduct the method train and invite you all to join me.

method (intentionally lower case) is a brand of eco-friendly home products, and I simply love them all. The brand has a focus on gentleness to the planet while being impossibly stylish and fun. I have bought all kinds of their products, including soaps, mops, candles, and their book, and I fully support and endorse method. I even gave a new mom the method baby line for her little bundle of joy (and sensitive skin), and it was a big hit.

Isn't the packaging ridiculously cool? Their ads are also witty and sometimes risque. Oh my. You can find most of their products at your local Target, which is where I buy mine, and rest assured that they're reasonably priced. Check them out at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2009 is Halfway Over? Wha?!

It is crazy to me to think that this year is at its halfway point. As my pal Holly said a few days ago, it's only 6 more months until Christmas (!). I feel like we just put the tree away. Ok, so we don't put up a tree at my house--but at work.

At any rate, I thought it might be fun to make some lists for July. Here's part of my to-do list:

1. Celebrate America. Despite some of the junk that goes on, it's a wonderful place to live. No place is perfect--not even Nova Scotia. (I realize it's a province and not a country.)

2. Exercise more. Believe me, where I live, this is easier said than done right now. The temperature often breaks triple digits, with the humidity level not far behind. I just have to get a later start if hoofing it out-of-doors.

3. Try to boost my own mood. Without using narcotics, hired cheerleaders, or excessive sugar intakes, I need to remember to put on more smiles than frowns. This generally refers to my work face. I'm hoping that the summertime teller obligations will end with this month.

Oh. And here's what not-to-do this month...or any month.

1. Forget to wear SPF outside. I rarely head out in the daylight (very Twilight of me, no?), but sometimes I catch myself in the rays without proper protection. Tisk, tisk.

2. Let clutter accumulate. Whether it's e-mail, envelopes containing the credit card offer of my life, or books from Goodwill, heaps of most things are rarely good. (Noted exceptions: money and SunChips.)

3. Floss in public. Yes, a lady did that today at the drive thru window. I almost gagged a little in the microphone.

(That cool calendar was a gift from my friend Ashley. It's recycled paper and has a little wooden holder. Fun times.)