enough excitement for today.

Sometimes life gives you so many things that excite you.  Usually they all come together, like a surprise package from a long lost friend that you come home from work to find waiting patiently on your doorstep.  Here is a short list of what has gotten me excited today:

  • FALL.  Today I stepped out of my apartment building and was greeted by a rush of cool air.  For the most part, the change between seasons is a subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment; one that always passes you by and days later you’re turning around hoping to catch a glimpse of its back as it scampers away.  But maybe it’s the unconsciously depressing feeling of less and less daylight that always alerts me to the upcoming season change, and so I’m ready for it with wide open eyes.  In California, Fall looked like this:gray and obscenely boring.  California also has zero trees (except palm trees which are really quite ugly) to even break up the landscape.  And moving from Fall to Winter in California looks like this:Hmmmm.  When I got to UVa for my first year of college, I was literally floored the first time I stepped onto the Lawn as the leaves were changing.

    aerial view of the Rotunda

    view of the Rotunda from the Lawn

    I still fall in love (no pun intended) every time I look at these pictures.  And the best part of Fall on the Lawn was that every day was different.  It seemed to me that the further we got from Summer, the more beautiful everything became.  Stepping outside was like walking into an amazing world full of rich, warm colors juxtaposed next to crisp, clean air that gave me wonderfully rosy cheeks and made my nose come tingling to life.  I was– and still am– completely enthralled.  Every time I turn a corner here in Washington DC, I stumble upon a beautifully quaint tree-lined street that I mentally note and hope to return to once the leaves change.  Now that I have felt the first gust of a Fall breeze, it should only be a few weeks before the city erupts into color and the air starts rushing by with vigor, leaving a lingering scent of apple, home fires, leather, football, and nostalgia.

  • GLEE.  Am I a gleek?  I respond with a gleeful YES.  When Glee debuted last Fall, I was skeptical and even scoffed at the show and my friends who watched it– I like musicals as much as the next person, but an entire musical show?  I had more important things (drinking 40s of Hurricane and stalking ex-boyfriends on Facebook) to do.  But when I was stuck in Charlottesville over Christmas break (see  Snowpocalypse 2010), I was convinced by my good friend Katya to borrow her newly gifted Glee season 1.  So I reluctantly popped it into my computer and was hooked.  Like, instead of taking naps– which are a CRUCIAL part of my life– I watched Glee.  I even forced my roommate Leslie to watch it so that we could spout off Sue Sylvester one-liners together.  In any case, I am counting down the minutes until Glee comes on tonight, as it is a top-3 highlight of my week.  If you, dear reader, are as skeptical as I once was, watch the Glee version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” from last week’s Britney episode.  It rivals sheer brilliance.  (And it’s SEXY!)
  • A NEW RECIPE.  I really enjoy cooking, and one of the benefits of being a working woman is cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner all for yourself.  As a somewhat starving government employee, I have started bringing my own lunches to work with me instead of paying 10+ dollars for a wimpy sandwich at the Metro Center Cosi.  Thus, I have been waking up five minutes earlier to create my own wimpy sandwich (roast beef, muenster, horseradish mustard).  When I got home from work today, I was in the process of cleaning out my email’s inbox when I stumbled upon a gem given to me by the mother of a Devil Child I used to work with.  She had brought a bowl of Mediterranean-orzo-pasta-salad-deliciousness to a dinner one night, and I begged for the recipe.  She must have felt bad for me that I dealt with temper tantrums and vomit sessions from her child on a regular basis, because she sent me the recipe the next day.  As soon as I found it this afternoon, I walked (ran) to my neighborhood grocery store and purchased all the necessary ingredients (for a bargain $16.79) and whipped up a batch for my lunches for the rest of the week.

    yummmm

    Because I am not secretive (and her child was evil), I am gladly sharing the recipe if this looks like something you might enjoy.  I used penne pasta because my teensy grocery store didn’t carry orzo, but it was still delicious.  I also threw in some freshly pressed garlic and a few chopped carrots.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

Make a colorful dinner salad inspired by the Mediterranean in less than 30 minutes. Use part of the artichoke

marinade in the vinaigrette to boost flavor and save time.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups salad and about 1 tablespoon cheese)

1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)

2 cups bagged prewashed baby spinach, chopped

1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves [I used roasted red peppers]

3 tablespoons chopped red onion

3 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

3/4 cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled and divided

Cook the orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; rinse with cold water. Combine

orzo, spinach, and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Coarsely chop artichokes, and add artichokes, reserved marinade,

and 1/2 cup feta cheese to orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle each serving with remaining feta

cheese.

  • A NEW VEST.  I bought this piece of gorgeousness on Saturday, and have fallen in Love (yes, capital L.  I reserve Love for the truly deserving things in life).  This picture actually doesn’t do Vest justice, because I don’t think the model is wearing it quite right.  I wore Vest today with some navy dress slacks, a comfy Hanes v-neck tee, and some killer patent white pumps.  It was the perfect day for a faux-leather-shearling vest, and as I walked to the metro in the cool pre-Fall morning, I felt like the sophisticated, haute-couture woman I aspire to be.  The euphoria lasted all the way until I walked into the office, when the first (male) coworker to see me immediately asked why I was wearing a llama around my neck.  I haughtily looked him up and down (unfortunately he was dressed impeccably) and told him that my vest was “major” and that “I died” when I first saw it.  (Think Rachel Zoe).  Whatever.  I refuse to be deterred from chicness by one uneducated man’s silly comment.  I shall proudly wear Vest as I run extensive errands this weekend and I shall be the envy of all the other lost women wandering the frozen foods section in Giant.
  • CAITLIN.  I am beyond excited for my BFF Caitlin– I am THRILLED!  She has just made the move from Dublin, Ccalifornia alllllll the way to New York City.  I could not be any more proud of her.  Caitlin has been one of my truest friends through the ups and downs, peaks and valleys, of my crazy life.  She’s a huge influence on me, and I am ecstatic that we are on the same coast and will have countless new opportunities to make priceless memories.  But don’t just let me tell you about her– meet her yourself!!  She writes a TERRIFIC blog on her equally crazy life, but does it with a charm and wittiness that we should all aspire to.  A mini meet-and-greet of her:

    me & Caitlin, UVa 2010

    me & Caitlin, Bay Area 2010

    junior prom 2006! JT, Caitlin, me, Thomas

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One Response

  1. So excited you got a blog and also I Love you (that’s right I pulled out the big L). YAY!!!!!

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