Dec 30, 2008


I've been on vacation for a blissful 11 days now. Eleven. Chump change. This vacation lasts for another 20 days.
I got in a lot of family time. All the brothers and sisters and respective significant others and babies were in tow. We played games, ate a lot of junk, and mainly just sat around and made dumb jokes. My favorite thing in the world. Oh, and watched the babies be hilarious.
Tanner is still the funniest boy I know. We made lots of fart jokes and knock-knock jokes while we were riding around in the 15 passenger van (we sat in the back cause we're cool). Well, Lizzie caught on to the knock knock jokes and started in.
Lizzie: Knock knock.
Anyone: Who's there?
Lizzie: Knock knock.
Anyone: Knock knock who?
Lizzie: Knock knock. Hahahaha.

She is funny. Brooklyn is hilarious. She is so sweet and obsessed with being a princess. Anytime she sees a tutu, its on her in 2 seconds (sans pants and shirt - I've never seen anyone who loved being naked so much!) and she spins around so gracefully (esp for a 2 year old!).

Some pictures:
Mary's new fiance, Tim:Mary and Dad
Dad with baby Elijah (cutest baby ever, want to squeeze)
Brooklyn wearing my boots and Tanner being Tanner.
Mike, picture by Tanner
Me and Jen looking haaaawt
Laura and Tony (with baby Lijah)
Ok. So have I been vacationing unTIL monday. I started an internship that will last for the next few weeks. Here is me at my new job:
So I just got this internship at a renewable energy firm, doing research and record updates, and so far my boss is pretty decent. The first day he took me to breakfast AND lunch. It was really nice of him, and we even stayed late and had a good chat, just the two of us. I was kind of getting suspicious because he was being a little "too" nice if you know what I mean. The second day (today) we went to breakfast and lunch together again. I had to leave early to visit my family, so he walked me out as I was leaving. We got to the stairwell and he totally gave me a hug, then he went in for a KISS. I got really flustered and pushed him away, saying "Stop! Someone will see us!" Do you think thats creepy? I would, except this is my boss:
Ha. Yep, I got an internship with TH. I'm sure its violating some ethics code, but I got a B+ in ethics, so I live a B+ ethics life. It's pretty fun (read: mind numbing data entry) and I get a kick out of flirting with TH is front of his coworkers. Ok, I don't actually flirt. In fact, I'm afraid what people think of this arrangement, so I really don't say much at all. I just sit in the corner like a hunchback with a shawl and hack away at all the work, diet coke glued to my hand.

This internship will be awesome on my resume AND I will be able to buy a new pair of shoes. At the suggestion of TH. That boy sure knows me.

Dec 18, 2008


I am done! I go home now, ok?

See you soon, Virginia.

And then there was one.

In a last ditch effort to procrastinate for my final final exam tonight, I will now blog.

Am I going to talk about school? No. Shall I speak of activities I've engaged in the past week? No. There are none to speak of. So what then will I write about? Duh - TH.

TH came into town last night and he helped me finish my final paper. He is so handy. So handy in fact, that I QUOTED him in my paper. Hahaha. He is an analyst in the energy field and had a useful quote about my recommendations for Kenya's electricity profile, so I gall-dern put him in my paper. Merry Christmas, TH.

Oh wait, that was school. Crap.

I'm going home on saturday and nearly my entire family will be there. All 5 of my brothers and sisters and their respective husbands/wives/fiances will be together on Monday. What am I going to do? Will I play the sucker? Will I play the educated-world traveling sister? Will I not talk about it? Will TH be with me and we will get made fun of?

In all seriousness, I have been planning to be the "last one" to get married for a while. As soon as Jenny got married and it was just me, Mary, and Laura and then LAURA got married (my youngest sister) I knew it was for sure over because Mary is the most romantical person I know and she was always bound to get hitched before me. Anyway since I've been planning on this for years I am not the least bit upset. In fact, I feel kind of delinquint. I'm 26.5 and unmarried. Shouldn't I have at least 4 cats by now? I did just learn a new knitting pattern, so I can tuck that one away. I think my next steps from here will be:
1. acquire new cats
2. knit sweaters for nieces and nephews
3. invest in prune juice markets
4. get season 1 of golden girls

Anything I left out?

Dec 15, 2008

Uh huh, hunka hunka.

Guess what I did for the weekend before my finals week? STUDY? Psssshhhht. No. Who needs it.

Mei and Dave and TH came up to party at my ugly sweater party on saturday night! They drove up early saturday morning just to don ugly sweaters and hang out in NYC for a night.

TH and I went to school for a few hours because I had to work on a paper (ok, maybe I did study a little), but then later we met up with Mei and Dave at everyone's favorite burger place: The Shake Shack. They have one on the UWS now, so we hopped over there from Columbia. I had a relish dog (hot dog with no hot dog. Just relish and onions - sounds gross, but was actually pretty good. Then the boys got double doubles and I shared fries and cheese fries and some shake! So good. Oh and maybe I stole a bite of a hamburger while TH wasn't looking, but what are you gonna do. It was my first red meat in like 3 years and I almost stopped breathing it was so good.

After that we went to the ugly sweater party and it was such a blast! So many people came and I think everyone had a good time. If you are my facebook friend, then you have no doubt seen the photos of our ugly sweaters, but I'll post one on here JUST to be sure. Jess in her abominable snowman sweater and Evan's sweater matched mine! Tre ugly.
Dave won the nutcracker award for the tightest pants. Yowser.Me and Mei made these cheeseballs that look like pinecones. I'd never made cheeseballs before, but they were really yummy and so easy. Cheese, more cheese, butter, and more cheese. Ha. Gross. Except for they were soo good.We stayed up late (late!) and then got up so early I almost cried. I went back to DC just for Sunday to see Mei play her stringed instrument in church, watch Mark's Dad in the annual Christmas concert, and welcome Timmy home from navy training camp! Oh and we saw christmas lights at the temple. Pretty. It was A Christmas Celebration all day long and a celebration of friends, too. I saw so many good friends and it always is so hard to leave that city and come back. New York, you are lucky you're so cool or I would hate you for making me leave my DC friends. But I must admit I have some amazing friends in NY, too. And happy I know friends who will come up and visit me!!

Now onto studying for those finals...
I was taking up two seats on the train with all my books and laptop and papers, and the amtrak guy said "would you like to buy another train ticket for your seat?" Pssshtt. NO. I would just like to study in peace without having to sit next to some smelly person, is that too much to ask? Anyway, does anyone know anything about ANOVA tests and T-tests? Ugggg...

Dec 12, 2008


It's go time, ya'll. I've got one paper and 3 finals to write/take by Thursday.
Here is the schedule:
Today: paper
Saturday: paper and study for stats
Sunday: la la la la
Monday: study for stats and econ
Tuesday: stats final and study for econ
Wednesday: econ final and study for management
Thursday: management final and turn in paper
Friday: la la la la

So, as you can see, I have plenty of time for all the things I have to do.

In other news, my ceiling leaked again last night. Oh when it rains it pours.

Here's a look at the plaster pimple that I later popped with Sara's help. Mucky water everywhere.

Dec 11, 2008

Adopt a grad student.

I have an amazing offer to tell you about that you should NOT pass on.

Have you felt that oh-so-special pang in your heart lately? The need to reach out and help the needy and less fortunate around you? Well, look no further. For a limited time, you can adopt a grad student!

Grad students all over the world are in need of a help that you can provide. They are very easy to care for and rarely require maintenance as they are hardly around for you to assess their needs. They will send you mass amounts of youtube clips, and make attempts to establish a bond between the two of you using various tactics including, but not limited to: jokes about economists, invitations to panel discussions, and reverenced talks of recycling.

Now, from time to time, they may experience minor, or in rare cases major, breakdowns. When a grad student breaks down, it is not irreparable damage. A large cup of steaming tea, a large bag of doritos, some chocolate cake, and a movie with high school humor is all that is need to restore the grad student to full capacity.

Adopt your grad student today and we'll throw in a free 12-pack of diet coke.
Warning: adopting one grad student may result in the unavoidable adoption of 3-4 grad students.

Apply forthwith in comment section.

Dec 9, 2008

Taking it all in.

Grad school. Ugh. Whoever thought this was a good idea is deranged. (Me. I thought it was.) Only 9 days left of this insanity, then relaxation.
This crunch is tons better than the summer crunch, though. It's cold outside, so it's not like I have pressing matters to attend to outside, as I did in the summer. Tis the holiday season and I tend to not be able to stay in crabby moods during this month. I get to see my friends every day. It's not all bad.
My roommate painted a christmas tree on canvas to hang above our couch since we are not getting a christmas tree this year. I love it so much. It's my new boyfriend, I think I might go sit with it tonight and stare at it, adoringly.
In other news, I took a bath last night. First bath in forever. I covered the drain with saran wrap because we didn't have a plug and it worked like a charm. It was so nice to relax in pool of steaming water. I think we should find a hot tub locale in Virginia over the holidays and sit and stew. Any takers?

I've decided that navigating the sidewalks of New York is like playing Nintendo's, Paper Boy, in that I never walk in a straight path. It's more of a serpentine in order to avoid all the obstacles coming my way. Every other block I do "the dance" with someone else, where neither of us can decide which way to go to avoid the other. There are homeless people with bottles, stumbling around. There are homeless people with hands outstretched for money. There are children running around and tourists by St. John the Divine cathedral. I cannot avoid these people. They are everywhere. And I huff and puff it the 15 minute walk to and from school every day. I think I do a pretty good job walking the serpentine line.

This picture was on the board on the last day of my nuclear class. I took a picture of it because I am immature. The prof taught the entire class without batting an eye. Except Klaus did remark on it saying "what does that have to do with nuclear weapons?" Good question. Point, Germany.

Dec 7, 2008

Just another weekend in NyC.

Saturday, after a grueling 7 hours at school working on a power point, I met up with Ms. LMC for dinner. We met on the lower east side and walked to Curry Row. It is this street filled with nothing but cheap and decent-tasting indian food. We ate at a restaurant with a romantic candle-lit table and a sitar player in the corner. After the sitar and curry we went walking around the streets to look for something to do, and started snowing!!
It was so beautiful - I'd never seen snow in new york before. It made everything look cleaner and innocent.
We decided to see something in the snow that we could only see in new york, so we took the 1 train down to the staten island ferry and rode out by the statue of liberty! It was really fun and for the first time in awhile I felt like I was being spontaneous. Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open ferry!
After the ferry, we decided to keep up the fun and have a night of quintessential new york. We took the 4,5 train up to Roosevelt tram, and took the tram over the Roosevelt island, then back to manhattan. Then over to Serendipity for Frozen Hot Chocolate! They were like Washington Carvers at Tryst in DC but thicker and creamier. OMG I ate mine in like 2 minutes.

The whole night I kept thinking - man, this is crazy! What else can we do?! And I would think the thing I always think: Palm Readers. For some reason I think that is the craziest thing you can do in life. I live right on the edge, I know.

But weird things kept happening to me and Laura like we saw 3 cars get flat tires in a row. We saw a woman walking around with a large trench coat and high heels and nothing else underneath (we're pretty sure). Then there was this guy on the ferry that I swear was thinking about jumping off the edge. I had a plan to save him. Throw the life preserver over the edge and go scream inside for help. Well thought out, I know.

Anyway thanks to Ms. LMC for a fun weekend!

Oh, and friday night at my friends bday party I met the half the cast of brooklyn real-world and the mormon guy set me up and made me look really dumb. I can't wait to be on the real world.

Dec 3, 2008

Variations on a theme.

Theme? Posing in public transportation hubs.

Dec 1, 2008

I just can't get enough.

What is it lately? A lot of my friends who have been in successful and seemingly loving relationships have been splitting up and getting back together. It's an on-and-off love like my relationship with Monster Energy drink. I can't say I'm not also a dabbler in the on-again off-again relationship, but it is hard to see your friends go through it. You know they are both good people and you like them both a LOT individually, and together as a dynamic duo. But as my friend Bone put it - she's a hot chick, he's a good-lookin dude, why don't they hook it up?!

I know it feels satisfying to achieve some sort of equilibrium (especially given that it is nearly impossible to achieve this simultaneously) and I hope each couple can do this, or at least have the courage to give it up altogether. Which can be hard to do, I get that.

Also recently, lots of people close to me are getting engaged and pregnant. Some of these engagements are not surprising, but most of the pregnancies are. Having a baby is such a scary thing - I can't imagine bringing a baby into this recession, especially as a single mother. It always astounds me when people are grown-up enough to make these kinds of decisions. If I were faced with a decision like this, I'd most likely shut down, cry for weeks or months, or just pretend it wasn't happening. Healthy, right?

Anyway one of these people who are engaged (or close-to) is my sister. That makes 5 out of 6 of my family married/engaged. That makes me The Last Child Standing. Terrifying? Relieving? Empowering? More on this later.

Nov 29, 2008

Holiday warning

Last night we made a foray into hollywood by watching Four Christmases. We knew it was a mistake going in, but just wanted some escapist entertainment. We almost left in the middle and the only reason we didn't was because I needed to see with mine own eyes the dissolution of vince vaughn's career. He is so funny, but he does the worst movies. Unfortunate.
Anyway it was awful and my holiday warning to you is to save your ten bucks and see something else. Like Slumdog Millionaire. That movie was so beautiful and my heart was twice as big after leaving. See it.

My thanksgiving was great and I hope yours was, too! I learned how to do a cable stitch from TH's mom. I ate turkey. I sat around for hours and made jokes about silly things. I had a run around contest with Lizzy that ended with us falling on the ground and kicking our legs in the air. It's been a fabulous break so far, but its always too short and I don't get to spend time with everyone I want to. But Christmas break is ONE MONTH LONG. Cannot contain excitements.

Nov 26, 2008

What I've Been Listening To.

This couple is love. L-O-V-E, love. Just look at the way they look at each other. I love it. They start singing around minute 2. June is so beautiful and charming and Johnny is so handsome.

Nov 25, 2008


One thing that this time of year always brings is nostalgia. I think back on my life where I was last year, year before, etc.
The other night I got to thinking about the past boyfriends in my life. Thought back to my life in high school when I'd flirt with all the cute boys and flaunt my cheerleader skirt everywhere. How I thought I was well-loved because I went to three different proms and three different homecomings. I dated for fun and the boys I dated were as silly as I was.

Then on to college where I went through my exploration stage. I dated a puerto rican who is now a lawyer, then a hippie ex-marine who is now a printmaker, a marriage-and-family therapist who is now married and a therapist, a jerky drop-out boy who i nearly married, and another hippie boy with strong principles and he was also a rapper. True story. I changed a lot through college, as we all tend to do, but it makes me giggle to think back on the boys I dated and what my dad must've thought. I remember when he met the hippie - with the long hair and earrings, what his reaction was. "why did i send my daughter off to college to meet boys like this?!" That boyfriend helped me develop the person I wanted to be, and was actually pivotal in my change from little girl to somewhat older girl. Actually, all the boys I've dated have helped me develop into who I am today (shriveled sense of a person. ha.)

After college I went on to only date boys named Mark. I'm serious. I had short-lived relationships with other boys, but the only ones that ever stuck were Marks.

Here are some interesting facts about them.
Mark #1: for all intents and purposes, he was my "missionary". I wrote him during the mission and we went through several bouts of dating as we both changed and developed, during college and after. He liked trials bikes and dirt bikes. He even taught me how to ride his dirt bike up Green Canyon in Logan, UT.

Mark(c) #2: This boy was another missionary story. Only not my missionary, Jay's missionary buddy. While Jay and Heather were canoodling, I think they wanted to spread the love, so they hooked us up. For a period of like 3 years or something we dated and broke up and re-dated. Marc liked road biking and worked at a bike shop.

Mark #3: my current bf. TH. There is nothing mission related, unless we're talking about our tendency to do things related to Romania. And he teaches me Romanian. Che Fach. Or something. Mark likes mountain biking. Our first date was mountain biking in the foothills of Virginia.

Does anyone else notice a pattern here? Marks and bikes. Is this my fate? Or do I feel some weird gravitational pull towards Marks and bike-lovers? Does anyone else have experience in this?

Nov 24, 2008

Oh yeah, we also did this.

Special thanks to my informant on the photo booth. Who knew Bubby's had a photo booth?! (not I)

In a mood.

I am in this kind of mood tonight.

Cat Power makes me feel warm all over. She is beautiful. And her voice melts into your ears.

It's raining outside. It's cold outside. I am sitting inside: warm, laying in my bed, reading all I would ever want to know about social economics of population displacement. Ooo la la. Cat Power is all that's getting me through right now.

Nov 23, 2008


So there I was, preparing to fall asleep, late Friday night and I hear a faint knock on the door. I lift up the peephole door and it is none other than TH. Yes, yes, my own personal boyfriend standing on my doorstep, came all the way from land-far-away Virginia to spend one day with yours truly.
That boy.

Of course it was all I could do not to gobble him up completely, he is so cute, but I figured I should not lest I had nobody to hang out with on Saturday. We woke up late (late!) saturday and had another GATHDOF in the negative 2 degree Celsius weather. Bagels at our bagel place (me: sesame with blueberry cc, him: pumpernickel with regular cc), then back to my place to grab more protective scarves and hats cause it was COLD! We spent a couple of hours walking around SOHO, shopping for coats, shoes, and sweaters. TH got a new pair of shoes. When I say new, I mean they are new, but they are the same pair that he bought last time and wore them for FIVE YEARS. Yes, that's right. Five years for one pair of shoes and he still loves them so much he bought another pair. They are nice, I will give him that. I think it bodes well for me that he likes to keep stuff around that he likes. Hehe.

After shopping, we went to Brooklyn to get pizza. This time we did it right and went to Grimaldi's. Heavens, that place is amazing as they say. Best moment: I was staring at the guys behind the counter making all the pizzas and the owner was walking around the restaurant. He came over to me and asked "do you want to learn how to make pizza?" and I said "i already know how. i used to work at domino's." His eyes got very wide and he laughed, clicked his tongue and walked away. Shameful. Apparently domino's isn't recognized out here as "real pizza". Oh well - I still enjoyed the pizza. The owner was a cute old man, so I wasn't mad. Lucky for him.

After pizza, stop in Tribeca for yummy pie at Bubby's (sour cherry and banana cream), then back to my apartment to watch "Be Kind, Rewind". It's a Michel Gondry film and just as creative and beautiful as his other films (The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). It was really funny and totally enjoyable. Especially with pie. And especially with some quality cuddle time.

TH left at 6 in the morning to get back in time for church. He came up for 27 hours just to spend the day with me.

That boy.

Hooray for weekend surprises. TH's dad asked him "what, did you guys just eat your way through new york?" And we reply with a resounding "yes!!"

This week: 2 days of school, flight home with Ms. LMC (celebrity guru), and 5 1/2 days with family, friends and TH. And you wonder why November is my favorite month.

Nov 21, 2008

In which Gnomie talks to her friends.

Body: Stop staying awake all hours of the night.
Brain: Stop running ten million miles a minute, particularly at nighttime when I'm trying to focus on sleep.
Feet: Shrink so you can fit into your cute new silver shoes.
Pocketbook: Sorry for abusing you the past week. I promise I will withdraw less next week.
Cookies sitting on my desk: You've been staring at me all week but I promise I will eat at least some of you this weekend. My stomach has been in pain lately and it might have something to do with all the diet cokes.
Empty diet coke bottles in my recycling bin: Bastards.

Nov 20, 2008

Ok, maybe I lied about getting my hair cut.

I don't think I can part with it quite yet. Maybe after the holidays.

Speaking of the holidays, it is ALL I can do right now to go to class every day. Forget actually paying attention or doing any homework. I've spent the past 2 days watching this. I want a puppy so badly! If only I had a puppy, I'm sure life would be perfect. Haha. Remember the days when it was goldfish and bangs? Then I got bangs and wanted to grow them out. Then I got goldfish and they all died. Such is life.

This Thanksgiving I'm going to TH's house as I did last year (even though we were broken up at the time and it was like 9 kinds of awkward especially cause my mom showed up with me, too. what was i thinking? His mom made me do it! She insisted! who am i to turn down such an offer?). Well this year I got duties. Salad duties to be exact and I'm bringing the house down. I'm also going to bring a side of some sort and I'm trying to make it fit into the category of "food for the brave".
What is more brave - endives with pears and bleu cheese or quinoa with butternut squash and pumpkin seeds? Or something else you might suggest??

The best part is that TH has cranberry sauce duties, which is the "dumb guy" duty, right? Not so, not so my friends. We are going to show that group a thing or two about cranberry sauce by essentially creating a "3 degrees of cranberry sauce glory". Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. It's going to taste so sacrilicious!!

Nov 18, 2008

Iron and Wine

Even after all these years, all the things we've been through together - the ups, the downs - I still love him dearly.
Sam Beam.
Oh how you make my heart melt. I went to the Iron and Wine show at Terminal 5 last night with Josh, Jess, Jen, and (j)Evan. It was the 4th time I've seen him and he did not disappoint.
I have to be honest, I was a little nervous that my 3rd time was the charm and that I might be sick of hearing his music and hate the concert, especially because I don't listen to him that much anymore, but he charmed his way right back into my heart.

Scroll down for various pictures of the night and a lot of beard porn (as TH refers to it. don't worry TH I love your scruff. Let's talk about growing in that winter beard, eh?)

I think my favorite picture is the one where he has a little green glowing friend on his shoulder. It's his shoulder angel.

I think I'm getting my haircut tomorrow. Goodbye, hair.

Nov 15, 2008

Alphabet City

Last night I wandered around forEVER in search of dinner. Josh and I finally decided on this small Venezuelan restaurant, Caracas, and delighted in passion fruit juice, guacamole with plantain chips, fried cheese and plaintains with molasses, arepas (corn-cake tortillas stuffed with fillings) with cheese, avocado, plantains, and black beans. Oh. So. Good.
It was worth the walking around and getting cranky. (It WAS, th!)
But side-note - I'd never really been to the Lower East Side portion of Manhattan. It is a scenester's paradise. People spilling out of every restaurant, bar, and art gallery around. Shops filled with pretty things and shoes I am coveting still today. I want to go back, but - lucky for my pocketbook - that area of town is kind of hard to get to. Subway, transfer, subway, walk, walk, walk.

There are some reasons to return, however. Katz's deli, the Angelica, Pomme Frites...TH, you ready?

(Oh you'll never guess what is coming in the mail in only a few short days!)

Nov 12, 2008


It is my sisters birthday today. Jenny has to be one of the funniest people I know.
1. She can always get a good hearty laugh out of me.
2. We could sit around for hours and tell dumb jokes.
3. Sometimes we sit around and eat individual cereals and throw the boxes on the floor while we watch TV. We are good a being lazy together.
4. She is really good at dirty-word scrabble.
5. She is an amazing mommy and has the CUTEST baby.
6. She had the cutest baby.
7. She married her high school sweetheart.
8. She moved to IDAHO for him. Now that is love.
9. She is really good at making funny faces that make it seem like her eyes are going to fall out of her head.
10. She is game for spontaneous road trips.
11. She calls me sometimes just to let Lizzie talk to me cause she knows how much I love it.
12. She almost killed me one time in Wyoming. True story.
13. When we were younger we dressed up like each other for a day and I considered it my "big-sistering" for the decade.

We didn't get along very much when I was living at home, on account of me being a snobby-cheerleader type and her wearing nerdy glasses, but over the years she has become one of my favorite people! How lucky that we are sisters!

Nov 10, 2008


This just looks wonderful. And man, First Ladies know how to rock it! Michelle looks amazing!