Category Archives: Random

Inside a Type-A Fridge

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Today’s post is one I’ve been wanting to write for awhile now. I’m not sure why, other than my odd fascination with other bloggers’ inside-the-fridge pictures. I feel like I’m exposing the most intimate part of my home to you, but that’s probably because I’m so very… Type-A.

My refrigerator must be organized impeccably — not for presentation, not for guests, not for ease of use, but for the sake of organization. It’s okay if things get rearranged to make room for new items or to consolidate, but generally I abide by the “a place for everything and everything in its place” rule.

I took photos on several different days over the past two weeks to give myself, primarily, a look at how the composition of the fridge changes almost on a daily basis depending on what I need, what is in abundance, special items (i.e. desserts my mom insists I bring back from Richmond), leftovers, etc.

I think this post is best expressed without much narrative, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I tried to get creative with editing by adding arrows and captions in funky fonts, but I just ended up reminding myself why I’m in grad school for counseling and not graphic design 😉

Oh, and my apologies in advance for the poor lighting; I was relying on the overhead fluorescent in my kitchen and the measly bulbs inside the fridge.

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And there you have it! The pride of my home, my fridge, from all angles 🙂

Disclaimer: These photos were taken to accurately depict what my fridge looks like day-to-day. I didn’t go to any great lengths to buy special foods, organize differently, make “healthy” foods more prominent, etc. In fact, most of the pictures were snapped on a whim simply when I remembered to take them. After all, what would be the point of this post if the photos weren’t candid?

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel when others get a peek inside your fridge? How do you feel when you look inside someone else’s fridge? On-the-spot? Proud? Making mental memos? Embarrassed? Indifferent? Let’s chat!

Praying for Moore

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I don’t even know what to think as I scan Twitter updates, watch news blips, read newspaper interviews, and scour Instagram photos of the destruction Monday’s tornado left in its wake in Moore, Oklahoma. It literally makes me feel sick that children perished due to a force of nature. It seems that somewhere in our nation, people are constantly trying to rebuild and restart from the destruction a natural disaster has left behind, when another one comes along and throws another town, city, or state into panic and devastation.

I literally cannot imagine.

The closest I have ever come to experiencing a tornado was when this storm was filmed just weeks before I graduated from college. My sorority sisters captured this clip that was later featured on the local news:

This tornado tore across Virginia and parts of neighboring states, causing damage at random. I was home alone, and I was crouched in my living room two apartment buildings closer to the storm than where the video was taken. My apartment was on the first floor of the building, but elevated about six feet off the ground. I considered taking my roommate’s cat to wait out the storm in my bathtub after golf ball-sized hail pounded the cars and porches surrounding me, and a clap of thunder occurred so loudly and so suddenly I thought our glass porch doors were going to shatter. In the end, I waited out the storm in our living room, clutching the cat for dear life and praying that the storm wasn’t as severe as it sounded. Because the windows and the porch of our apartment faced the building across from it and away from where the tornado was forming, I couldn’t have known the storm was as intense as it was. I should have known that danger was imminent when I turned on the television to check the local weather report, but all that greeted me was static on every channel. The fear that I experienced that day and the uncertainty of what was happening were the closest I have ever come to a tornado.

As I think back now to the prayers I said for my family and friends, and as I discussed the event later with my friends and sorority sisters, I truly cannot imagine the fear and the sadness that the residents of Moore are experiencing now. I read in the newspaper this morning that the mother of six-year-old twins who survived the tornado was quoted as saying, “If you don’t believe in God before something like this happens, you sure do after.” Truer words were never spoken. My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to those individuals, families, students, teachers, rescue workers, paramedics, school staff, and relatives of those grappling with what has happened to Moore. While so many across the nation are asking themselves, How could God let something like this happen?, I am trying to focus on the bravery of the search-and-rescue teams who have worked tirelessly for two days; the families who may be living out of shelters but who have a positive outlook for their future; the teachers whose courage and quick thinking saved the lives of countless children; the strangers who have banded together to form impromptu communities of survivors; and those whose thoughts and actions spared the lives of others, even if their own were not saved.

Please, even if you are not a religious or spiritual person, take a moment today to think about Moore, Oklahoma, and all that we are blessed to have and that we take for granted each and every day.

Just Because I Can

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Guys… I have Internet. For the first time in 12 days. Twelve.

Somehow, our home computer contracted a Trojan which affected the entire shebang, modem and Wifi included. The computer was repaired almost a week ago, but we weren’t able to get someone out here to fix the wireless Internet until today. The poor guy was here for almost three hours, but he fixed everything!

I can blog, I can check my email (for real), I can at long last conduct wedding business, I can obsessively check my grades… Life is good 😉

So I’m blogging at 8:30 on a Wednesday night, just because I can.

Rather than try to tell you everything that’s been going on — because honestly, it hasn’t been much — I figured I’d show you.

Monday night, Mom and I made my version of “spaghetti” with meat sauce, consisting simply of minced fresh garlic, EVOO, sautéed onion, browned lean beef, diced tomatoes, and spaghetti squash.

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On Tuesday, I won’t say whom, but Dad someone was walking around the kitchen not-so-quietly, so I was hopelessly awake at 6:15 a.m. Since I hadn’t been feeling my best on Monday, I decided to be productive Tuesday morning. I snuck out of the house, trying not to wake anyone, but stopped short when I saw that it was sub-40 degrees outside. I actually had to use my ice scraper to clear my windshields and windows before I could drive!

I kicked my own ass at the gym by accomplishing a mind-boggling PDR: seven miles!

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I planned to break my run down like so: run 1 mile, walk 30 seconds, run 2 miles, walk 30 seconds, REPEAT until I reached 7 miles… completely forgetting that the treadmills at this Y automatically throw the user into cool-down mode at 45 minutes. I had to alter my run a bit, including completely stopping and restarting the machine. All in all, I ran 7.34 miles (warm-up, running portions, walking portions, a 3-minute stop, and cool-down) in ~91 minutes.

My legs felt like jelly when I finally stepped off the treadmill, but I felt incredible. Those 13.1 miles are looking less and less daunting with each new PDR! 😉

This morning, I awoke to a (literally) answered prayer:

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Y’all… THE BACKSTREET BOYS ARE DOING A REUNION TOUR!!!

Finally. Nick, A.J., Brian, Howie, and Kevin [#notweirdatallthatistillknowtheirnames] have heard my prayers, and they’re even cruising with fans. AND, it’s the Millennium album. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Except that the cruise is in October. And I’m not 11 anymore. And probably everyone who is 11 and would actually be interested and available to go on this cruise is like, The Whatstreet Boys? Who?!

*Sigh.*

I guess Nick Carter really isn’t ever going to serenade me… even though now, he could serenade me while I sip a marg!

In other more realistic news, Dad and I signed up for our second 5k-a-month-all-summer 5k: the Richmond Firefighters Beat the Heat 5k in Shockoe Bottom.

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In glancing over last year’s results, it looks as though only about 350 people participate in this event annually. I’m completely fine with that, because we are looking to improve our time and just get out there and move. I ain’t lookin’ to make friends, ya dig? 

I kid.

Lastly, I finally satisfied my week-long craving for my favorite Tropical Smoothie smoothie, Mango Magic. I’ve been running errands with Mom all week, and we haven’t been anywhere near a Trop-Smooth. Today, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, so I indulged. Mmm, mmm, mmmm!

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In all honesty, I thought I deserved a little treat for having eaten so cleanly this week, kicking ass on my run yesterday, and cross-training today by swimming 40 laps in 30 minutes. That half-marathon is not gonna know what hit it!

That’s about all that’s been happening around these parts. Thanks for hangin’ around Sarcasm while my little old blog was out of commission, and welcome to those of you who are new!

Question: What have you been up to this week?!

Society’s Lemmings

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For as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t get one.

I refused.

I want to be different, I said. I don’t want to have the same one as everybody else, I said.

Well, not everybody has one, but it sure seems that way.

Still, I held on. I stayed true to my self-promise. I clung to my “values.”

I didn’t give in.

Slowly, though, they wore me down.

They made me believe I couldn’t live without one. They made me believe that my prized “different” one was garbage.

Then, mine actually started malfunctioning. Maybe it knew it was being talked about and it backfired on me. My beloved choice to swim upstream, to be a salmon among so many of society’s lemmings.

For months, their snide remarks and their form of conversion therapy chipped away at my supposedly tough anti-conformist exterior.

And then the unthinkable happened: I actually started to believe them.

They got into my head, their voices bouncing around like so many marbles:

“You know you want one…”

“Sooner or later, you’ll have to…”

“Why don’t you just give in?”

“There’s a reason everybody loves theirs…”

They broke me, blends.

As of Saturday, I am the owner of an iPhone 5.

[Hence my mini blog hiatus and my ridiculously naive use of Emojis…]

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From Runner to Runner

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As a runner, as a future counselor, as a Christian, as an American, and most importantly, as a human being, what has happened in Boston is absolutely breaking my heart.

I know that I should turn off the news and stop Googling the latest updates, but it seems that every minute some vital new piece of the story is revealed.

I was just finishing my elliptical workout and cleaning my machine when Ian called. I wasn’t expecting to hear from him at 4:15 because he had an exam scheduled for 3:40. He said, “Have you seen what’s happening in Boston?” in this strange, something-isn’t-quite-right tone. I said, “No…” and he went on to tell me about the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Maybe my mind is totally in the wrong place right now, but I can’t help but think about the tragedy of where the bombings occurred: at the finish line. Just as these individuals were on the verge of crossing the finish line, after running 26.2 grueling miles, they were thwarted in the most horrible way.

In the hours and days ahead, as more and more victims are identified, news stations and the Obama administration will reveal the details of who is responsible for this horrific attack and why. Until that time, I have so many thoughts…

God, I know that you work in mysterious and often misunderstood ways, but why children?

Who in the hell could commit such an atrocity?

Mr. President, why dance around the word terrorist for political reasons? It was a bombing that has killed and injured many, many people. Let’s call it WTF it is.

No matter who did this and why, I am reminded again of how poverty-stricken this nation is with regard to access to mental health care services.

I am so tired of hearing the words “al Qaeda.”

My sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, friends, survivors, runners, bystanders, acquaintances, military personnel, safety officers, and every other individual even remotely affected by this tragedy.

From runner to runner, God be with you.

Soapbox Thursday

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Monday morning, I was on my way to Practicum, listening to the radio. Normally, I listen to CDs or my iPod because commercials bug the mess out of me. I think I wasn’t fully awake yet, because the morning talk show was on and I didn’t immediately switch stations.

The talk show hosts (DJs? Personalities? Guests?) were discussing the latest celebrity gossip, which included Carrie Underwood’s “shocking announcement” that no matter how successful she has been in her career, if her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher, were to ask her to give up her career to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, she would do it.

[That was a hell of a run-on.]

This was where my ears really perked up. The talk show hosts got an interesting discussion going, and even took callers’ responses to this news. A couple things about this announcement had me a little hot and bothered. I try to refrain from soapboxes on the blog, but this is something I just need to write about.

First of all, Carrie Underwood was Miss If-You-Cheat-I’ll-Slash-Your-Tires well before she became Mrs. Mike Fisher. What happened to her independent, strong-willed persona? I understand that getting married and sharing your life with someone change certain things about a person, but can values not stand true? Maybe it was all a façade; I sure as hell bought into it. Or maybe she’s burnt out on singing about her hatred for disloyal scumbags.

Who knows?

Second, the part about Carrie’s husband [hypothetically] telling her to give up her career gets me. Umm… what? I commended the DJs for reading the announcement correctly and saying “telling.” This was where my inner feminist raged. The show hosts went on to read, “‘If Mike ever told me he needed me to quit, I’d quit. When you make that promise to somebody, and you stand before God and your family and friends, you’ve got to do everything that you possibly can to make that work.’”

Maybe, just maybe, she’s considered the possibility of foregoing microphones for motherhood before her husband would ask such a thing of her. I’m not convinced.

This isn’t the Stone Age. I’m a firm believer in women being able to do it all – have children and raise them, and have successful careers. However, not being either a wife or mother myself, I don’t yet understand how difficult or precarious this balancing act can be. That’s why right now I can be like, Carrie, don’t let no man tell you what to do with your body or your career!

Third, I highly respected the discussion the show’s hosts were having about one partner in a couple giving up her (or his) career – or at least putting it on hold – in order to raise children in the home. Being that I don’t listen to morning talk shows unless some atrocity has happened to my stereo system and the radio is stuck on one station, I wasn’t aware that at least one of the talk show hosts is a gay man.

Prior to this announcement, he and his partner had already discussed their stance on career vs. parenting: they are in agreement that while they would like one parent to be raising the children in the home, neither partner should have to give up his career to be a stay-at-home parent. Both partners have successful careers, one as a well-known radio personality and the other as a physician. I arrived at my destination before the female talk show host was able to express her opinion about Carrie’s announcement, but I would have liked to have heard her take and her stance.

I tried to let it go and talk myself out of blogging about it, but it’s been stuck in my head all week.

This five-minute blip got me thinking about how to most calmly blog about the subject, hence why I’ve been MIA since Sunday. Ian and I are 18 months – to the day, actually 😉 – away from our wedding, and even further away from considering little Ians and A.K.s running around. I’m shuddering. Nevertheless, a discussion we’ve had many times about kids is how we will manage parenting and our careers. For neither of us will this be a mandated career or stay-at-home-parent decision.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “I haven’t spent four years in undergrad and three years earning my Master’s just to make babies!” but Ian can quote it verbatim. I also know for a fact that he won’t have spent four years slaving through Chemistry and Biology classes at HSC, plus four years of medical school, and then three years of residency, to stay home with our kids. By the sheer nature of his career field, he will be the primary breadwinner in our household. Though I intend to be a damn good counselor 😉

Please note: my personal convictions about my career and Ian’s and my future decisions with regard to parenting are not in any way meant to be disparaging toward those men and women who are fortunate enough to be stay-at-home parents. My mother, who is without a doubt one of the best people I know, was able to be a stay-at-home mom for my sister and me – something on which both of my parents agreed, not something which my father told her or expected her to do. As such, she was able to be a Room Parent, chaperone field trips, participate on Field Day, volunteer for Prom Committee, serve on parents’ boards, and even come eat lunch with me at school. But she put her career aside and became a stay-at-home parent because she wanted to do this.

Please also note: to all those parents out there who are working to support a family so that the other parent can raise the children in the home, props to you for being a dedicated and hard-working parent. I experienced firsthand the benefits and the pleasure of always having a parent at home. My dad is one such parent who has singlehandedly supported my family for twenty-five years so my mom could dedicate herself to raising my sister and me at home. This was a decision my parents reached together, and my mom chose to forego her career as a college-educated music teacher (on her way to earning a Master’s, I might add) in favor of parenting.

In complete honesty, I think this issue only has me so hot under the collar because Carrie Underwood and her husband are famous – Carrie, for singing about the very opposite of the subject of her announcement. I do love irony.

I could probably write about this subject for days, so I’ll stop myself before I get even more long-winded and soap-boxy… If you’re still reading, thanks for bearing with me. I’m certain that not everyone will agree with me, and in fact, I welcome your comments and opinions!

Happy Thursday, blendy-blends!

You Want Me to Make WHAT?!

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First of all, let me just say that the reason I haven’t been blogging as regularly doesn’t have much to do with my cruise; it’s writer’s block! I don’t have much to write about because so much of what I’m working on (Practicum, schoolwork, Internship placement, wedding biz) is confidential (or stuff I’ve written about far too often to even be considered “often.”)

Plus, if I’m being totally honest with myself — and with you guys — I’ve fallen off the healthy-living bandwagon a bit and I’m feeling a little disgruntled. I’m working my way back on, but there isn’t exactly a novel there. If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with me!

Now, for today’s topic…

Ian is holding me down and forcing asking me to create a bracket for the college basketball championships. In case I’ve never mentioned it before, I am no sports aficionado. I know this much about sports:

Yeah. That much.

It’s not that I’m one of those hair-twirled-around-the-finger, gum-snapping, dumb-on-purpose (or-just-dumb-no-one-is-really-sure) girls. It’s that for the most part, sports simply do not interest me.

I actually know a fair amount about basketball. I played (not well, I might add) for a number of years in elementary school and middle school. I’ve been attending University of Richmond games with my dad since I was a toddler. I went to a number of games to support my Longwood Lancers, plus Ian and I continue to support Hampden-Sydney basketball.

But honestly, if it ain’t live, I don’t care. That’s why this bracket business is annoying.

If there’s one thing I hate more than watching sports on TV, it’s being left out of something that everyone else is doing. Yes, I’m five. 

This begs the age-old question, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump off, too?”

Well, in the case of the college basketball bracket bridge-jumping, then yes.

So tonight, while I’m cozied up on my couch rewatching season 2 of Pretty Little Liars and smiling into my Healthy Choice Greek froyo, I’ll be completing this %&$#@ bracket.

You’re welcome, honey.

P.S. Have you ever created a sports bracket before?