Sunday, May 27, 2012

This Week: the Highlights

1. the Cake Fail

I tried to make Baker Royale's Banana Split Surprise Cake.

Emphasis on tried.

after 4 hours of prep/baking/cake cooling time,
including making 2 different batters,

and a meringue frosting,
the cheesecake didn't bake all the way through (it helps, in a recipe involving cheesecake, if you put the directions on how to actually bake a cheesecake) and disintegrated as soon as I put it on the bottom layer of cake. Whoops...
They can't all be winners.
So, instead of an awesome banana split surprise cake, we had banana cake with banana cream frosting. Not nearly as exciting.

2. the Week of Thunder Storms

Summer came in with a roar this week, as we had a thunderstorm almost every day. 

 3. the Polaroid App I Downloaded and Quickly Started Abusing

add this to things I can't afford and don't need by want nonetheless
4. the Awesome Homemade Mac n Cheese

Mary made this using the Pioneer Woman's recipe, except I convinced her to add two more pounds of cheese, because this is AMERICA.
good lord, it's good.

5. the Batch of Short Bread Tea Cookies
To make up for Cake Fail, I made short bread cookies with the animal cookie cutters I got from Ikea

I put ground up Constant Comment tea leaves in with the flour, and it gave the cookies an orange spice taste that rocks

short bread dough is really sticky, and as such, some of the animals came out disfigured

Happi Aminal Fambly
these polaroid pics are so hipster douche, but I love them.

6. the First Time Bleaching a Dry Clean Only Comforter and Not Ruining it

For a while now I've been on a never ending quest to find a white, waffle weave comforter or comforter cover, like this one:

puppy included

But so far, my searching has proved fruitless. But, on Tuesday, I found a beige one online that looked close enough to what I wanted. 

But when it came in, it wasn't beige. It was sage green. [*sad trumpet] My mom says I shouldn't have been surprised.

Mom: The color is celadon. Like celery. Celery is green.

Me: No, I'm thinking celadon, like dinosaur, like fossil, like beige.

Mom: What? No, it's green. Google it.

So I did:

Ohh... *sad trumpet

So I was going to send it back, thinking, there's no way I can successfully bleach and dye a full sized comforter without a commercial grade washing machine.


Last night, loopy on muscle relaxers, I decided, "what the hell." and threw the blanket in the washer with a butt ton of bleach. And to my amazement, it bleached really well! Most of it is now a solid beige color, and there are just a few green patches I have to work on. I think I'm going to just dunk it in the bathtub and pour bleach all over it in order to make it white, and then I'll have the blanket I've been imaging and lusting over for the past few years. I'm excited. 

7. the Saturday of Muscle Relaxers 

On Friday, I was out running errands with my mom and Mary when out of nowhere, I launched into a puking fit. And for the rest of the day, different areas of my body were taking turns to see who could make my life more miserable: my head in a vise grip, my stomach in perpetual puke knots, and my back, which felt like bricks were being ground into it.

It was the weirdest sick spell I've ever had. When I woke up on Saturday, I was so sore and achey, I could barely walk. So before they left for the lake house, my parents threw a bunch of pain killers and muscle relaxers at me.

And thus, I spent the rest of the day in a loopy, euphoric haze, napping with the dogs, reading, and watching Star Wars.

the nest

Sweet VHS copy, 1995!
It was the best I've felt all week, even if I did wake up feeling like shit, again. :/

8. the Benadryl Babies

It's hard to be a basset with seasonal allergies.

9.  the Shattered Screen

I have dropped my phone 8,967 times in the 10 months that I've owned it. I've dropped it from varying heights and onto varying hard surfaces, with nary a scratch to the screen.

However, the 8,968th time I dropped it, onto carpet, the screen obliterated. Thankfully my mom convinced me to get Droid-surance, because all I had to do was take it to Best Buy and they replaced the screen for free. Yay!

Needless to say, I let the Best Buy guy talk me into buying one of those Zzag screen protectors. They were originally designed to protect helicopter blades, so hopefully now my phone will be able to withstand the grace and care that comes with Hurricane Audrey.

10. the $10 Dress

I love random finds at Target. This dress isn't on clearance yet, and brand new it's $40.00. But, I found it on the clearance rack for $10, because someone bought it online and returned it in the store. whee, work clothes!

And with that, I'm off to squander my last 2 days of freedom. And by that, I mean, go soak my sore back in the pool.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I have a furniture problem

It's true. I collect furniture the way most normal women collect shoes and lingerie. It started in 2005 when I bought my book shelf from Ikea (which I think is now deconstructed in Kristin's basement), and has only gotten worse with time. I've gone through more desks than I count. I've had 4 different beds, countless bookcases, arm chairs, shelving units, etc. Most of the time, I have no problem getting rid of pieces because that means I can find better pieces. In fact, the only pieces I regret giving up were the Art Deco vanity and armoire that my mom scored for me from a really douchey antique store near Baltimore.

A little back story: my mom is an antiques nut. She's well versed and knowledgeable on vintage furniture styles, dish patterns, silver companies, fabric types, etc. As such, most of my childhood was spent being dragged from antique store to antique store, whining, bitching, moaning, endlessly repeating "MOM YOU DON'T NEED THAT."

There were very few "new" pieces of furniture in our house, and my room was no exception. So when mom brought this giant vanity and armoire home, for me, I wasn't really impressed. I thought they were pretty, but I didn't care. I was 12. I was more concerned with why Anthony Canamella didn't want to french kiss me. Important business.  

Holy Messy Room, Batman. But see how much of a dick I was to my awesome furniture? I wrote in eyeliner all over  the mirror and covered it with stickers, probably stickers from Pacific Sunwear. Ugh. /wrists

I can't remember why I got rid of them. I think it boiled down to beauty vs. functionality, and after a few moves, they were starting to fall apart. The armoire was donated, and I gave the vanity to my former sister-in-law. I thought she took it with her when she moved out, but the last I saw it, it was rotting away in my brother's driveway >:/

Now, though, that I'm older, I've really developed a love for old furniture. And I've missed my Deco stuff more and more over the last few years. I think that's because I've been surrounded by way too much modular Swedish design. So when I spotted this dresser last week, I didn't even stop to think. I didn't even stop to think that yes, I already have two dressers, and no need and no space for a third. But I didn't even think. I just ushered some nice old dudes to load it into mom's SUV.

So, I have a furniture problem. But it's a beautiful, antique furniture problem.

And now, without further ado, meet my new Art Deco dresser, found in the bowels of a Hoodbridge thirft shop:


I don't have a closet, so I have two closet racks. Ghetto closets for the win.

Mostly, though, I'm just excited to not have the wedding china in my room anymore. Oh, and now I have a classy place to store my movies:

Good times. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

shewwww, boy

My dad's dad, Pop, was a good ol' mid-western boy and would say things like "gahhh-lee!" and "shewww, boy!" whenever something was really awesome or just too good to believe. And man, today  was totally shewwww, boy-tastic.

I planned for today to be my last day off before starting my new full time commute. So I relished sitting on the couch, alternately watching Game of Thrones and reading, drinking coffee and petting the dogs.  I puttered around and ran a few errands, trying to put off the inevitable pre-first-day at work stress induced freak out for which I'm famous.

However. By 8:30 tonight, I was at the peak of my pre-first-day at work freak out, including what will I bring for lunch, forgetting to put gas in my car, and stressing over the laundry I haven't done in the past few weeks, and how I didn't have any clean professional clothes to wear tomorrow, when my new boss calls.

"Hi Audrey! I know we were supposed to start this week, but I'll be traveling, and then we have Friday and Monday off for memorial day. So how about we start next week, and I'll just pay you for this week regardless?"

Shewwww, boy!

There's nothing like getting an expected day--or 5 days--off. Oh, paid days off.

I'm excited. Maybe I'll bake something. 

Awkward Moments

I'm reading Love Me by Garrison Keillor, which is a spoof on writers and the publishing world, but is also largely auto-biographical. In one really beautiful, really sensual passage, the main character (fictional Keillor) uses "cock" to refer to his penis. I nearly dropped the book because reading the word cock in a sexual situation in a Garrison Keillor piece is like, well, hearing Garrison Keillor refer to his penis as his cock. I'm sure that's not appropriate mid-west Lutheran language.

It's disturbing. And then it's erotic. And then you remember, it's Garrison Keillor:

And it's all weird again. Super weird.

Oh, and then there was that weird dream I had. During my Sunday morning nap, I dreamed that Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones) and I were all sleeping in the same bed, and they were fighting over who actually got to sleep with me. It was the battle of the tall, dark and swarthy and the short, pale and gingery. Weird. And then, hot.

And then it's a White dude pretending to be an American Indian vs. an Imp whose brother and sister are banging each other. And then it's weird again.

In other news, I need to get out more.

Friday, May 18, 2012

back to the grind

I got a job! An actual salary paying, 401K contributing, health benefit assigning, big kid job.

Starting Tuesday, I'll be the in-house writer/executive assistant for a small company in Old Town Alexandria. Somehow I was able to convince them that I was beyond awesome despite my relative lack of experience, which is amazing considering I really suck at selling myself.

So, gone are the days of slacking off around the house until I feel like going into work, leaving the house un-showered and in my sweatpants. Gone are the days of staying up til 3 AM working on revisions (who am I kidding I'll never grow out of that). I'll be back to the commuting grind, back to the really working for 8 hours a day grind, back to the cherishing my weekends like they're an endangered species grind. And while I'm nervous as hell to start, I'm looking forward to the opportunities this job will bring about.

Also, that paycheck is going to be really sweet, and being able to pay off my credit card in 2 months will be so baller.

I would have killed for this opportunity in 2008 when I was looking for my first post-graduate job. But now that I'm older and have fully developed my itchy feet and wander lust, I feel like I'm in a precarious position. I'm fielding the inevitable questions like, where do I go from here? Will this be a career? Would I even want this as a career? Do I want to move to Alexandria? Do I want to put roots down in NoVa?

This is an absolute first world problem, and I noted it on facebook that feeling wishy washy about an excellent, well paying, creative job in this economy is like eating a steak in front of a starving child, but I can't help but whine. I need to stop being a douche about this. I need to get over my fear of potentially failing and accept the fact that I found a great opportunity, went for it thinking I wouldn't have a shot in hell, and got it. Now I just have to prove myself. And the money I earn and the experience I gain will help me do the things I want to do later in my life.

Right? Right.

We'll see how I feel in two weeks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Proud Moments

[me, getting to work 30 mins later than I said I would]

my boss: Hey there, I was wondering if you had overslept again.

me: yep!

my boss: haha, I figured. You stayed up late getting some writing done, didn't you?

me: um... no, I stayed up watching the back to back episodes of 16 & Pregnant.

my boss: oh...

[awkward pause]

me: there's nothing responsible going on with my life, Kim.

my boss: I'll say.

Then we spent most of the morning reading Married to the Sea comics.


I love my old boss. He's known me since I was 21 and he still has this unflappable optimism that I'll one day be a grown up.

I have my second interview tomorrow for a *real* job, as in, not one where I basically get paid to come in late, leave early, and do some light filing in between. /sigh

Monday, May 14, 2012

things not to try at home (unless you're me) pt.1

1. cut your own bangs

I've been growing out my bangs since mid-March, but after watching 500 Days of Summer for the 800th time last week, I decided I wanted them back. But I also only have $4 in the bank. So, I decided to risk my own DIY bangs.

Now, if I had a dollar for every time I heard "don't cut your own bangs," and another dollar for the hair horror story that invariably followed, I would have enough money to pay off my student loans. And, the two times I have cut my bangs on my own, I ended up wearing a hat for a month.


That didn't stop me from trying it again. (see: Audrey's unflappable optimism)

So after 20 tense minutes of staring cross-eyed into my bangs, holding a giant pair of sewing shears, I was finished. And congrats to me, because they they look good. Turns out the key to cutting good bangs is holding the scissors vertically as you cut, and just go slow. Another DIY Bangs pro-tip is to not be 12 years old when you try it.

And voila, you save $15 by not going to the salon.

huzzah for marginal hair talent.


Mary and I planned a High Tea for Mom's surprise Mother's Day present a few weeks ago, and I'm pretty pleased that we pulled it off.

Mary, with her fiance Lance's help on the grill, put together 7 different types of tiny delicious tea sandwiches:

-tomato caprese
-olive provolone 
-roast beef/horseradish/cucomber
-Bacon/Baby Spinach/Tomato
-california chicken with avocado
-roasted veggies with goat cheese or tomato pesto 
-steak au pauvre with avocado

and I made a batch of raspberry crunch bars (straight up from the box [it's been a long weekend] but still delicious thank you, Krusteaz), 3 types of tea, and peach/mango orange juice mimosas, and we brunched and ate until we had a lovely dose of food coma. Mom was really excited, which made the 3 hours of prep time (not kidding) worth it.

I basically gained 10 lbs in tea sandwiches today, and as predicted, our Homemade High Tea cost less than the crappy High Tea and we had, and it was about 450% more fun. Plus, like, left overs. I'm eating tea sandwiches right now. Super bonus.

Then we went to see Dark Shadows, which was absolutely, much much better than I expected it to be.

Happy Mother's day to all you baby mama's out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

good stuff

my first-draft-accepted essay is up on Thought Catalog!

Things My Mother Couldn't Teach Me

I'm pretty thrilled, not gonna lie.

Also, that Jenna Marbles piece is pretty great, too.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"You are only 27. If I find out all you're doing is sitting in your basement turning into Emily Dickinson, just writing about death and shit, I will kill you."

Well put, Natacha.

Sorry for the whacked out post yesterday. It's been a rough couple of months.

HOWEVER. I resolve to turn things around. I have a plan.

But first, some good news: 

a) last night, seriously on a whim, I submitted an essay to Literally, as I hit "submit," I realized I had sent in the wrong draft. After a stream of obscenities that chased Lucy out of the room, I decided to call it a night before I further raped my online presence. I made a note on my progress board to send it in again in 2 months, per the website's failed submission recommendation, and went to bed.


At 7 AM I got an email from one of the editor's saying she accepted the piece, and it'll be posted on or before Mother's Day. A submission to one of my favorite heavy volume contributor's website and a positive response within 7 hours? SHIT YEAH.

What a fantastic way to wake up. I was so happy, I even showered before I donned sweat pants and went to work and actually showed up on time and really worked.

2. I did a little job hunting today and got positive responses back to everything I applied for, including a writing gig. Neat!


Productive days of victory are basically uplifting.

After all, we all deserve victory. Right, Winston?


 also, llama:

Hopefully, this is a prelude of things to come.
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