As of yesterday, I’d visited my new studio twice and never noticed something…until I looked at a picture…

See this photo of the kitchen? What is missing?

There’s no oven or stove! Can you believe it?! I was so occupied with making sure the closet and bathroom were big enough, I didn’t even notice the kitchen!

That shows you how into cooking I am!

Darnit, though, I have new pots and pans… I guess I won’t become a better cook while I live here. It’s going to be salads, canned soup, sandwiches, cereal, microwave dinners, and takeout.

Wouldn’t it have been funny if I had lived there for like, two weeks and got up to make spaghetti and got out my new pot and filled it with water and salt and was like, “Hey, wait a minute….”

My mom got me a “Pasta boat.” It’s this plastic thing where you microwave pasta in it, and it’s vaguely in the shape of a cruise ship. I’ll have to try it out—because I’m Italian and I gotta have my pasta! But I can also always go over to my parents’ house and make lasagna and freeze it.

Anyway, I’m mostly moved in, but I need to buy specially-shrunken-sized furniture to fit the place.

The studio is really cute—it’s two rooms, plus a bathroom that’s large enough for me to blow-dry my hair and all that.

So! Also! Tokyo—! I’ll be going on Tuesday. Press trip…I get back on Sunday. I’ll fill you in when I return!

Movie: The Help

My friend Erin P. has joined some random, local cinema society (average age: 74…not kidding, we heard a giant thump during the movie—an old guy fell asleep and keeled over in the aisle). She had two tickets to an early screening of The Help, with Emma Stone. So I went after work.

I hadn’t been too interested in the movie—I thought it looked cheesy, but afterwards…well, I’m a believer. It was really moving. And funny. Actress Jessica Chastain was soo amazing, as was Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer. They were my favorites.

A lot of the lines were hard to understand because of everyone’s strong Mississippi accents and talking too fast. At one point, I asked Erin what one of the characters had said, and she shouted out something really racist, including the “N” word, when the movie and theater had gone quiet. (Granted, she was repeating the line, but like, a minute later.)

There were a lot of women in this movie, which you don’t see very often. Even Steel Magnolias had more men than this one. So that’s great. And I learned a lot about race relations in the 60s. After having read biographies, novels, and oral histories (mostly for school, I’ll admit), I thought I knew all there was to know about how people were treated and what fed the Civil Rights movement. But honestly, this movie was an education. And it was interesting.

It was also funny. But I mentioned that earlier. Two thumbs up!

@shebrihart, well, well, well! Look at you! SO proud! And I can’t believe you’re still in touch! SO impressed!
Well, ladies, come on, now. A triathlon? What are we so afraid of?

Okay, I’ve had a few drinks, but…what freaks us out, and what should we be planning for 2012? I just met a girl who was freaked to turn 30. We’re all freaked about something.


Jen, Charlene, y yo

Ah, I love days when I go to the beach twice in one day. That was today. Day. How many more times can I type “day”?

My sister Jen and my sorority sister Charlene and her husband Kevin ran the Tri in Solana Beach (about 10 minutes north of where I live). It started at Fletcher Cove, or “Pillbox,” because it’s so small.

I took 30 photos and one video. My mom took about the same number with her camera. My dad took 101 photos! But he has an SLR, so if you just hold down the button, it takes like 5 instantly.

It was really fun to watch! I was hoping I would be more inspired to sign up, but, alas…no. I mean, the swim looks terrifying. As much as I love the ocean…

Jen and Charlene's group: Women 30-39. Far fewer ladies than in the group of girls in their 20s. What's up with that, 30-somethings?!

Oh, yeah! In case you ask, yes, this is the same beach where a triathlete was practicing and died from a Great White shark attack 3 years ago. But that’s not what worries me. It’s the agoraphobia and the residual trauma from my little rip current incident, ca. 1999. Actually, it was a big incident. I’ve had plenty of little rip current incidents.

High 5! (I caught that special moment, thank you very much.)

If you want to see about 70 photos of this, go on my Facebook. Here’s one more…

I really need to work out.

Okay. Honestly? I am going to do this next year. You can hold me to it. I just need to buy a bike and a winter wetsuit and some goggles and…oh, yeah, I need to get in SHAPE. Fer reals.

Who’s with me?

Funny women rock

I just want to give a quick, late-night shout-out to the blogger Pink Gingham Girl, who tweeted me the other day.

I went to her blog (GREAT name, btw!), and she wrote this funny post about buying used self-help books on Amazon, and one of the books arrived in the mail with a therapist’s business card taped to the cover. Hilarious! I’m not sure if I would take that as an insult or a harmless but kind gesture, or just low-budg marketing.

Anyhoo, hello, PGG! I always love to see funny, witty, smart girls (writers) out there, and having just read Tina Fey’s Bossypants (what a high), I’m hopeful about the future!

About 6 or 7 years ago, my editor at ELLEgirl was saying that women’s magazines are rarely funny because women think (or thought) that if they were funny they wouldn’t sound smart. We tried to make ELLEgirl funny, and I think it was.

My boss’s previous job was as a senior ed at GQ. If you’ve never read one, you’ll be surprised how hysterical and clever good men’s magazines are. (I love Esquire!)

Anyway, you can be funny and still sound smart.

…The night before I published my first article (in grad school at the Dartmouth newspaper), my friend Lindsay told me to “Make it funny.” That was her only advice. And to this day…I always remember it. (‘Cause really, who cares about anything other than funny? Sometimes I’ll enjoy something that’s “moving,” but usually I just want funny.)

low calorie cocktail

FYI, this is one ounce (not a full shot).

I just had a “Skype date” with my friend Lindsay who lives in Delaware.

She gave me a tour of her new cottage…via Skype.

Lindsay was wearing a floral-printed apron while she showed me around. She pointed her laptop camera at the yard, lake, and some deer that happened in the forest outside her driveway!

In her kitchen was the jam she’d been jarring, the granola she’d made that morning…and the new low-calorie cocktail she’d invented with her friend Jen. It’s called an “MGD Royale.” It’s a Miller Genuine Draft 64 light beer (64 calories), plus a splash of Chambord® Black Raspberry Liqueur. HA! Like a Kir Royale, but with light beer. Lindsay served herself the drink in a red wine glass/goblety thing.

Snag: It seems as though Chambord is 103 calories per 1 oz. serving.

The MGD Royale is about the same amount of calories as a glass of wine. But it’s creative and tasty, so I’m told! Just go light on the Chambord.

Anyway, I won’t rain on her parade…seeing as how she’s got the whole homemaking thing down, and was so happy in her lakeside cottage, making jam and MGD Royales. (She poured three over the course of our conversation.)

Btw, she’s also working on reupholstering a chair and she just finished “busting” some carpenter bees because they had been boring a hole into her rented house. HA!!! (She said that with a straight face, too. “That’s not a nail behind my head, it’s a stick I drove into the wall…into a carpenter bee hole, man. I busted them.”)

Bottom line: It looks like I’ll have to come up with more hobbies while living alone in my new place. But I’ll probably be quite productive!

As for the drinking? I don’t want to have too much sauce at home, but, as Lindsay says, “Just wait ’til it gets to be about 7 or 8 p.m….” (Well…that’s about when I usually get home.)

I guess you can only jar  jam for so long.

Huge news. HUGE!


I got an apartment!

Yes, I am moving out of my parents’ house. (I know, “But living with your parents is so trendy…”)

During one hangover last weekend, my parents driving me to get my car in Encinitas after a $45 taxi ride the night before, and I just decided that this was all so ridiculous. Living in the ‘burbs with my ‘rents, I was mentally/physically/emotionally handicapping m’self, and it’s not like I’m 22.

So I found this cute, breezy little studio in La Jolla. New, redone bathroom, little garden, and all. Entrance in an alley!

I can ride my bike to the grocery store, dance studio, bar, beach, etc.! I can walk up the street to my friend Erin’s. Let’s be honest, I can walk to the liquor store. Could life get any better?

I move in in a few weeks.

P.S. My parents aren’t driving me nuts in the least, and I will definitely miss the free everything, and the space and the major quiet, but…I am an adult. Alas! Time to move out!

P.P.S. We told my grandma where the studio was. She said, “Is that safe?” Okay, my grandma lived two blocks from there when my dad was a baby. That just goes to show…old people question everything!