Sunday, January 27, 2008

this explains a lot

as you could probably tell by the mood of my recent posts, last week sucked. sucked royally. sucked in a major way. there was no one particular reason for the suckage... I think it was more of a perfect storm of different elements, such as the horrible weather (gray, cold, rainy, gross), horrible meetings (it's so much fun to walk out of client meetings feeling completely demoralized! except not at all), and long, tiring days.

I realized something, though. try Googling the phrase "most depressing day of the year" and take a look at your results:

nearly all of the days are in last week!

this explains so much. it wasn't my fault! the stars were aligned against me! screw the long days, the painful meetings, the cold weather, the sadness that I am no longer in Paris... it's a universal sickness and one that has hopefully passed.

I spent the wknd psyching myself back up for another week. martinis w/friends on Fri night, a long run on each day (six miles today!), some quality time spent getting re-acquainted with my friend Harry Potter (okay, I am an unabashed HP fan but even I must admit that sounded a little bit geeky), and lots of happy flip-flop time (today was 70 degrees), and I'm feeling better.

bring on the week, bitches. now that the most depressing days of the years are over, it can only get better, right?


well, if not, there's always this:,,20174022,00.html

(will either cure your depression or make you even more depressed. take your pick.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

how to salvage a bad day

this morning was, on many counts (or is it by many counts?), pretty crappy. the weather was cold and rainy. I couldn't drag my ass out of bed and managed to snooze for over an hour (it's a special talent of mine) instead of getting up early and going to the gym as I had planned. there was drama @ work on one of my projects, drama which made me really angry that I worked until 8 pm last night to get something really perfect. I also made the decision to pull an old pair of almost-never-worn pants out of the closet and show them some love... but then realized once I sat down at my desk why I almost never wear them: they are super-old and not very comfortable (read: high-rise waist and slightly too-small size).

sigh. I am brilliant!

now, here's where the story gets better. my awesome friend Sabia and I had made lunch plans weeks ago in which we would head over to the lovely Whole Foods culinary center and do a lunch express workshop. basically it's a live cooking class where the teacher shows you how to cook a three-course meal and you get to eat it! so simple yet so wonderful.

here was the menu:
  • french onion soup (one of my favorite soups in the world)
  • steak frites (grilled flank steak + twice-cooked fries served with roquefort butter)
  • chocolate cake fondant (with chocolate glace and frangelico meringue)

I'm telling you, my day has turned right around. the teacher was fantastic - friendly and full of tips and not at all pretentious. the food was deLICious - piping hot and tasty and served by friendly WF staff. they print out the recipes for you so you can take them home and try them, and I am confident that I could pull off pretty much everything she made.

not bad, huh? now if I could only do something about these stupid pants...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

dude, I'm so over it

the whole "make shit happen" plan? the one where I decide to stop living life so passively and start going after things that I want to achieve?

yeah, it's kinda lame.

I decided to FINALLY bite the bullet and sign up for a GMAT prep class. I'm making shit happen! I'm paying a shit ton of $ to take a stupid test and get me some fancy edumacation! I'm shockingly okay with this! it's a free (well, super expensive) ticket out of Austin (which I like, so why am I leaving?) and into Paris (provided I actually get into school, that is)!

being the lazy 21st-century shopper that I am, I signed up for everything online and figured I'd just show up to class this Thursday. no fuss, no muss -- right? yayyy me! way to Make Shit Happen!

...except that I got a phone call from the center today telling me that there wasn't enough interest in this specific class (I had tried to be all bad-ass and signed up for an advanced class), so they were going to have to either refund my $ or switch me into a regular class (which doesn't start for another month).

ugh. must keep my resolve to keep Making Shit Happen, but do they have to make it so inconvenient?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

am I boring?

(continuing in the vein of new year pensive-ness)

I met a new person this wknd, a friend of a friend who is considering a move to ye olde Austin Tejas and is taking a few weeks to consider his decision before moving his life halfway across the country. (by the way, I think that if I took the time to consider big decisions like this properly I would never get ANYthing done because I would come up with a zillion ways to talk myself out of something.)

it was a brilliantly sunny day, and we wandered around downtown Austin and eventually stumbled upon a cozy coffee shop complete with a beat-up upright piano that had a sign advising people that they are welcome to play the piano but if they are not particularly talented they should think about that fact before they subject other coffee-drinkers to their piano playing. I found this really amusing.

anyway, so we're doing the usual get-to-know-you chatting... where did you grow up... what did you study in college... what kind of work do you do... what do you like to do outside of work... etc. I filled him on some of the random things about me -- I used to be a classical pianist and even used to teach piano back in DC, I love traveling and just spent a few weeks in Paris/French Alps, I used to do a lot of singing in college, I love reading, I like jogging on the lake, I work a lot, I like to pretend that I am a good cook, blah blah blah. he seemed to be intrigued by my hobbies and even made the comment at one point that I was "impressive" (whatever that means).

and that's when it hit me. most of these things are things I USED to do. I USED to teach piano in DC. I USED to volunteer in DC. I USED to do more singing in DC. I USED to go to more museums in DC (it helped that DC actually had a lot of good museums). I USED to speak pretty decent French.

now? um. now I work. I travel for work. I squeeze in the occasional vacation. I go out with my friends. I go to bars, eat out at restaurants, go jogging in Austin. I still read a lot, and I watch TV sometimes. sometimes I go karaoke-ing with friends.

and... that's about it.

the more I think about it, the more I feel that I've become really one-dimensional since moving to Austin. work is really my main story; beyond that, I don't do much beyond the typical hang-with-friends, sleep in late on the wknds, work out, hang out, bum around routine of typical 20-somethings.

and... I don't know. I don't think that's okay with me. I should do more! join a book club! take French classes again! train for a marathon! volunteer! learn a new hobby, like photography or painting or something! right? I mean, yes, this is the stage of my life where I can really be selfish and focus on my career, but surely I can make time for other activities? hobbies? passions? interests?

then the lazy side of me kicks in. but... but... I have a demanding job. where would I find the energy for other activities? but... but... I couldn't even keep a fish alive! what volunteer program would trust me? but... but... I looked into some cover bands and couldn't meet the time commitment. but... but... I LIKE sleeping in on the wknds.

it may be time to do something about this, y'all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

is there anyone still out there?

i'm not sure if anyone is still reading this blog, given that i haven't written any proper posts in, oh, a month or two. but what the hell, why not. this is where i would usually write a paragraph or two on how i'm so sorry that i haven't updated and here's why, i went on vacation for a few weeks and then i went on a biz trip to the world's biggest freak show (aka las vegas) and i've been pretty much swamped at work for what feels like the past three years and blah blah blah.

but given my hypothesis that no one is reading this blog anymore, i find all that backstory pretty much irrelevant.

instead? instead i will talk about my theme for 2008; even if no one reads it but me, i am hoping that it will help to get outside of my own head for a minute and write things down instead. yes, january is half over. no, i have not made a list of tired resolutions a la bridget jones such as "will obviously lose ten pounds and stop getting emotionally involved with any of the followings: perverts, peeping toms, emotional fuckwits, workaholics, megalomaniacs, etc etc etc." there are certain things that i'd like to accomplish this year, some big (leave austin, stop coasting through life) and some small (organize my digital photos, learn how to cook real korean food). there are certain things that i don't want to repeat from last year (feeling like nothing happened, feeling like i've lost my ambition).

so, then, the theme for 2008 is Make Shit Happen.

profound, no?

once i figure out how exactly that will happen i'll get back to you guys.

(i'm taking suggestions.)

in all seriousness, though, i think the reason i haven't made a list of resolutions is that i'm not sure what value it adds. a list of things that i'm not going to do and eventually feel bad about? a realization that you're bad at a lot of things (organizing digital photos, korean cooking) and that you generally suck as a person? i'd rather focus less on the specific action items and more on the overall attitude adjustment, because i feel like a) that's the harder part and b) that will naturally lead to the desired actions items (or at least i hope it will anyway).

so, then, 2008, the year when I Make Shit Happen. i'll let you guys know how it goes.

happy new year!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

bonne annee

wow, has it really been a month since I last posted on this thing? I knew I'd been slacking, but I didn't realize it had gotten quite that bad...

...anyway, I am alive and back from Paris and sitting at my desk at work. there is a strange feeling of comfort and disappointment at the fact that all I hear is English being spoken around me (and very American English at that). I won't lie, though, it's nice to take a hot shower with a full shower curtain instead of the stupid half-screen found in most French hotels. it's also nice to have an unlimited supply of clean underwear/socks and more than three sweaters and two pairs of jeans (both slightly dirty) to choose from.

but what am I doing here? why am I in Austin when I could be indulging my inner Europhile by roaming the streets of Paris, stopping here and there for an espresso and a pastry while I practice my (surprisingly well-preserved!) French and envy Parisians' sense of style?

oh the mind, how it races...