Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I especially love my house at Christmas. My mom is even more of a Christmasophile than I am, it's genetic. Everywhere you look there's a "touch of Christmas." Every shelf, lamp, window, railing, and dresser has something Christmas on it, and I just think that's fabulous. Even though Christmas day has come and gone, Christmas won't really be over for me until I leave this house on Sunday.
What makes this Christmas even more bittersweet is that this is most likely our last Christmas to celebrate in this house. My parents are putting it on the market in a few months, and I am, in short, devastated. I know that it's the right move-- the house is far too large for 2 people and it doesn't make any sense for my parents to continue to live out in the 'burbs, but I'll just continue to view it as a necessary evil.
I love walking around barefoot on the extra-plush carpeting. I love my Backstreet Boys posters, remnants of my teenybopper days, still hanging in my closet. I love the sound of my dog's nails clicking on the hardwood floors. I love falling asleep to the sound of Allison Krauss, James Taylor, Patsy Cline, or Motown playing over the house speakers. I love seeing our childhood playhouse through the trees in the backyard. I love the copper bartop on the basement bar and the way it smells. I even love the "weird room" where no one ever goes. I love the dogwood tree outside my bedroom window. I love eating dinner on the back deck. I love the ridiculous amount of counter space in my bathroom. I love just about everything about this house, and I'm going to freak out when it's not home any more.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I hope you have a fantastic holiday full of family, fun, and all those other good things.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Anyway, I guess I can recap my fantabulous trip to NYC this past weekend. I decided to take the train up on Friday afternoon to meet the madre and padre in the city. They were there for a business thang and staying at my dad's BFF's crib in Midtown. Schmancy. This was my first time taking a train outside of Europe or the shuttle to BWI, so I was pretty excited. I just LOVE train stations. Union Station is one of my most favorite places in the city, I could spend hours there. Maybe it's because I went to my first black tie "big girl" party there when my sister graduated from college. It was incredible, they had the ENTIRE thing rented out with circus performers and the like. But I digress. I grabbed an aisle seat next to some chick, said a quick hello, fished a crossword and my iPod out, and settled in. Over the course of the trip, and I'll note this was AFTER I bought her a beer, I realized this chick could not have been older than 15. Oops. I should have known when she pulled out her obviously library-version of The Joy Luck Club, but hey, I re-read Catcher in the Rye last year, so I justified it. Towards the end of the trip, after I had apparently made the wee one a bit tipsy, she busted out a black and white splatter-covered notebook (y'all know the kind I'm talking about) and frantically started writing in it. Disclaimer: I am a snoop. A big one. I can't help it. Anyway, after a bit, I couldn't help myself and I peered over to see what she was writing about. Well folks, she was writing about ME. It was so bizarre. I couldn't read the whole thing without being super obvious, but I did read "older cool girl," "my first beer ever," and "I'm so excited to tell Stef!" So yay, go me. I corrupted a little girl before I even got to NYC. This trip was going to be a good one.
I arrived at Penn Station and immediately received an appropriate NYC welcome: about 9 of NYPD's Finest manhandling some guy who was screaming at them for being racist. I'll note here that all parties involved were white. It was a great night, brisk but not terribly cold, so I decided to walk to the apartment rather than hop in a cab. There's no better way to see the city and I immediately felt the rush of being there. I made it to the apartment around 10:30 and met up with my cousin to head down to the Village. We proceeded to get some tapas and caipirinhas and then went to the Pyramid, and fantasmical gay club that plays 80's music. After the price shock wore off, I had a great time. Also met up with one of my boys from college and partied, quite literally, all night long.
Saturday's hangover made shopping a bit more difficult, but I still had a great time walking along 5th Avenue and SoHo. Bergdorf's really is divine, especially that $800,000 necklace and bracelet set that I saw. No, I'm not kidding, that's not a typo. $800,000 for a blue calcydon bauble. Insanity. I wasn't able to find a single thing worth purchasing and was a bit upset to see so many chains around, but I guess that's just what's happening everywhere. I'm so sick of Banana Republic. Ugh.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I went to bed early but couldn't sleep. It's the most frustrating feeling in the world: being exhausted and miserable and not able to completely shut down. I finally drifted off in to a restless sleep around 2am and still woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed.
As I examined my closet, trying to figure out what the hell to wear, I saw them. My boots. My incredible Donald J. Pliner 4-inch heel calf-skin zebra print boots that I hadn't worn since last spring. I always feel amazing in these boots: I take longer strides, hold my head up high, feel incredibly sexy, and they make my legs feel long and lean (no small feat for these chubby stumps). I knew at that moment that today needed these boots.
As I left my house on this gorgeous late fall day, I really did feel better. I flipped my iPod to a much more upbeat version of Keane (Bend and Break), slipped on my sunglasses, and, quite literally, strutted to the bus stop.
So to you, whether it's with that little black dress, red lipstick, or sparkly earrings that make you feel special, my boots and I say "happy weekend!"
Thursday, November 29, 2007
2. Katie Holmes' Armani Prive shoes. They are just the most fantastic things ever.3. This isn't so much an item as a service, but if I was a gazillionaire I bet I could get it anyway. Why on earth is H&M not online? It really drives me absolutely crazy. It's 2007 and most of us prefer to shop online! Grrr. Also, Zara, Club Monaco, could y'all pick up the pace as well? Thanks.
4. The Audi S5. Oh my, it's beautiful. What can I say? I am my father's daughter.
5. A little love muffin. Watch out, this post is about to get too cute for words!!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
1. Put your iTunes/ music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT
After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and then let them know they’ve been tagged to do the meme themselves!
IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Susudio- Phil Collins
He's right, I mean "susudio" is an incredible word. So much fun!
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
I Go to the Barn- Band of Horses
Hmmm... I don't go to barns all that often. Although I do like horses, and miss riding them very much. I do love this song though, it's so pretty.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Most People are DJ's: The Hold Steady
Hmm... I've never dated a DJ, and I feel like most of them are pretty lame, but I do have an obsession with the Hold Steady's lead singer's voice. It's like the Boss'. Yum.
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Kill The Power: Snowden
Oh lordy, sooooooo true.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
The Impossible Dream: Robert Goulet.
Hahahahahhahaa. A little *too* classic.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Stronger: Kanye West.
Ooooo, I likey.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Ndyahimbisa: The African Children's Choir.
Well, considering this song is all in some African language and I don't understand a word of it, I'll just assume that my friends think I'm fun to dance to??
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Bright Smile: Josh Ritter.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Hey Jude: The Beatles.
But I don't know anyone named Jude!!! Dammit.
WHAT IS 2+2?
Green Gloves: The National.
Hmmm..... maybe because it's an alliteration?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Spot In My Heart: Josh Ritter.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Try Again: Keane.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Silver Bells: Bing Crosby.
I do love Christmas!
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Mr. Brightside: The Killers.
Hmm... how about Mrs. Brightside??
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Hate It Here: Wilco.
Honestly, iTunes knows I'm single. Jeez.
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Step it Up: The Bamboos feat. Alice Russell.
Oh man, this is perfection.
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
This Is Why I'm Hot: MIMS
That would actually be pretty perfect.
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Open Your Heart: Madonna.
I fully condone any Madonna music at my funeral.
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Crazy About You: Whiskeytown.
I guess my crushing could be considered a hobby.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
I'm Moving On: Rascal Flatts.
Hm. I think everyone knows I'm ready to move on.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Lost to the Lonesome: Pela.
Well now, that's kind of sad. Although this song is my jam... it talks about crashing parties, which is something I'd totally do with my friends.
WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
Monday, November 26, 2007
No, you haven't come across a new blog, it's the same old Kiki, just in holiday fashion! I love love LOVE Christmas (*some* may say it's leaning toward obsession) and I just felt like my blog should share the love.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I spent my 12 hour drive back with a whole lot of Christmas music and even a little Delilah (quite possibly my biggest guilty pleasure) and it definitely got me in the mood. I can't focus at work today because all I want to do is get home and DECORATE. Instead I'm stuck here with my constantly growing Christmas iTunes playlist, waiting for 5:30 to come!
Here's a sample of my all time top 10 Christmas songs (in no particular order):
1. Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth: David Bowie and Bing Crosby
2. All I Want for Christmas is You: Mariah Carey
3. The First Noel: Josh Groban (the one time of the year my love for Josh Groban can be out in the open)
4. What Child is This: Harry Connick Jr.
5. Last Christmas: Wham!
6. So This is Christmas: John Lennon
7. The Lord's Prayer: Barbara Streisand (it's nostalgic, I suppose. Her "amen" at the end is a classic in my house. It's right up there with her version of Jingle Bells. Whoever told this woman to make a Christmas album was insane... or an absolute genius. I'm not quite sure which.)
8. Christmas Canon: TransSiberian Orchestra
9. Winter Wonderland: Perry Como
10. Where Are You Christmas?: Faith Hill
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Anyhoo, on to the meme!
I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments...what is it?
Produce - Vidalia onions. Yes, I eat them like apples, but that doesn't mean you can.
Bakery – Un baguette! Hon hon hon! Foux da fa fa.... (see video below)
Meat - Boeuf! (I can keep going with this...)
Frozen - CPK Pizzas. Yummmm.
Dry goods - 'Nilla wafers.
Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 outfits with you. So, what's in your bag?
Let's say that this is my worst nightmare. 3 outfits for one weekend?! Not likely.
If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. So, last night... (insert insane drunk story here.)
2. I should yelp this.
4. I hate my job.
5. How long till happy hour?
So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you'd probably be in a pretty irritable/bad mood?
1. Going out with friends.
What are 3 things that you have in your bedroom that have been with you for the longest amount of time?
1. My mattress. I stole it from my old bedroom in the ATL.
2. My mom's signet ring that she gave me when I turned 13.
3. My sheets were my mom's when she was a kid. Soooo soft. :)
If you were only allowed to listen to 5 of your CDs for the rest of your life, never adding anything else, which 5 could you listen to & be content with?
Hmmm, I don't really listen to CD's any more, but I'm relatively music-spastic and I don't think I could choose regardless.
You are driving down the road, and suddenly you're hit with this sense of road rage. What 3 factors probably contributed to it?
1. Poorly timed lights are the bane of my existence in DC.
2. When the street that has no traffic and is actually moving relatively quickly becomes a one way in the wrong direction.
3. When I'm running late and I hit traffic or a moron who drives too slow or anything that impedes me from going far beyond the speed limit.
Sweet, you just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?
2. Watching bad TV (Oprah!)
5. Drooling at the gem room at the Smithsonian.
We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
Welllll, since the zoo in DC is FREE (thanks, tax dollars!) I can go as often as I wish so I wouldn't be too upset. Still, I miss the giraffe so if I was at a different zoo I'd definitely check them out. I also love elephants and of course, the pandas.
You just scored tickets to the taping of any show of your choice. You can pick between 5, so what are you deciding between?
I'm assuming this means a TV show...
2. Price is Right (back in the Bob Barker days, and as long as I don't have to sleep on the street the night before).
Eh, I'm really over TV. 3 concert-shows that I'd love to see:
3. Josh Ritter (yes, AGAIN).
4. The Kooks.
5. Ryan Adams, if I could make the set list.
You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Mint Chocolate Chip.
2. German Chocolate.
Somebody stole your purse/wallet...in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?
Well, my purse's nickname is "Mary" as in a Mary Poppins bag so all I can tell you is that if you wish for something, it's in there. I promise. So to keep it a little less "open" I'll do my wallet.
1. Two pictures of my little brother. Awwww.
2. Absolutely zero dollars in cash. Maybe 1 or 2, on a good day.
3. Waaay too many club cards, some to groceries in cities that I don't even live in anymore.
4. A hot Irish waiter from Fogo de Chao's phone number.
5. Some "You've Been Yelped" cards.
You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in pursuing a career in. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 5 careers would be fun for you?
1. Fashion designer.
2. Boutique owner.
3. Dog foster mom. (yeah, if only I could make money doing this)
4. Own a ranch for injured/orphaned/homeless wildlife.
5. Greenpeace crazy-ass protester. Right now I'd be in the boat trying to fight the whalers from Japan. Bastards.
If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school and inform yourself of 5 things that were going to happen, what would it be?
1. Study harder. It doesn't necessarily matter, but you know you're smarter than this.
2. You won't know what real friends are until you're out on your own, but Camille is just about the best thing that's ever happened to you. Although you know that already.
3. This, this is a straightening iron. It will change your life.
4. Not everyone in the world was lucky enough to be raised like you were. Be openminded to those you disagree with and be understanding towards those who just don't know what the hell you're talking about.
5. You're going to live in Ohio for 4 years. No, I'm not joking.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
2. Rami. I think everyone in the free world can agree that this dress is gorgeous. And screw Michael Kors for his comment on the rosette-- I think it adds a wee bit of architecture, which is necessary with all this draping. Rami seems pretty laidback and drama free, which is always good.
3. Jack. In my opinion, this dress is pretty boring. Especially for the first episode when you have so many options. Still, I just love Jack's personality and I think this dress is a sign of what he *could* do.
Obviously I agree with most people in that Elisa-the-crazy should have been sent home, but it doesn't surprise me that they sent home who they did. The crazy always stays around longer than the boring. Also, did you notice at the end while the credits were rolling they said something to the effect of that the producers of the show have a say in who gets voted off? That's definitely new this year, but again it doesn't surprise me.
Also, why are the models so freaking fugly this year? Most of their faces look busted and they can't walk to save their lives. Looks like we need to do a little fashion reality show combo and get Tyra up in there!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
My #2: Leonardo diCaprio.
I've even surprised myself that I've put Leo here-- I was never into him during the whole Titanic thing. He was just too pretty for me, like Patrick Dempsey is for me now. Everyone loves a hot environmentalist.
People's #3: Ryan Reynolds.
My #3: Daniel Craig.
Ryan Reynolds?!?! WTF? His PR people shoud get a SERIOUS raise for that one. I love Daniel Craig for his piercing blue eyes, snappy clothes, ears that stick out a little, and that oh-so-wonderful badunkadunk. (I can't believe I just said that either.)
People's #4: Brad Pitt.My #4: Brad Pitt works for me!
People's #5: James McAvoy.
Ok, so Javier Bardem looks rather sexy here and I understand he's got these two huge movies out right now that are going to completely change his career. I get it. But for those of us who have just recently seen No Country for Old Men this is terrifying. He is by far the most creepy, scary, genius-pyscho villain that I've seen in a movie in a loooong time. I had nightmares. So I'd rather not see him staring up at me from the glossy pages of my overpriced People magazine. Thanks.
I just love my Atlanta Braves, and no one can tell me otherwise.
Here are some excerpts from a great article I found. You can read in its entirety here.
Cabrera's Lightning Stroke Anoints Braves
By Thomas Boswell
ATLANTA - When a former president of the United States jumps the box seat railing, dodges police horses and breaks the law so he can run onto the field to hug and kiss the players, you know it was a pretty good country ballgame.
Actually, when the hometown Atlanta Braves score three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the playoffs for a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the National League pennant, it's not really a ballgame. It's a piece of mythology dropped into our communal life like some ultimate innocent confection. No, it hasn't been done like this -- three runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out the pennant -- since Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World in 1951. So we can talk about it forever and feel warm and silly every time. We can spend the rest of our lives saying, "Don't leave until the last out. Remember Francisco Cabrera."
Yes, the name is Francisco Cabrera. You never heard of him. Now, everybody who loves the Atlanta Braves, everybody who loves baseball, loves Francisco Cabrera. Whoever he is. From now on, whenever the bases are loaded with two outs and your team is a run down, you'll pay attention, because if Francisco Cabrera can rifle one into left field to win it all, then anybody can.
"It's ironic," said Pirates Manager Jim Leyland, "that the guy they added on the 31st of August is the guy who beat us."
At 11:52 p.m. on Wednesday night, Jimmy Carter -- of the peanut-farming Georgia Carters -- wanted to kiss this Senor Cabrera. However, it's unseemly for an ex-president to crawl to the bottom of a pile of 20 big league players, heaped up along the first-base line, just to say, "Hello, Francisco. Wanted to tell ya that's one helluva way to win the pennant for us, son. They'll probably be talking about you 'round here after they've forgotten me."
Almost nobody had ever heard of Cabrera until last night, unless you follow the Richmond Braves. He came to bat just 10 times for the Braves this season. With the National League season down to its final out, he was all the Braves had left. The bench was empty. It was either Cabrera or activate the batboy. With the Pirates still ahead 2-1 and pulling fresh miracles out of their pockets each inning, Cabrera -- pinch-hitting for tiny Rafael Belliard -- was the last chance.
He was all the Braves needed.
Now, he'll be remembered as long as they play softball in Plains.
Where David Justice, Terry Pendleton, Jeff Blauser and Ron Gant had failed -- sometimes agonizingly, sometimes by a hair's breadth -- Cabrera succeeded. On a 2-1 pitch from Stan Belinda -- poor sidearming Stan Belinda who never hurt nobody but will now live forever next to Ralph Branca and Donnie Moore -- Cabrera hit a clean bullet of a single in the hole to left field.
David Justice trotted home to tie the game. But what about Sid Bream, the slowest Brave, the human moving van, the guy with the knee braces, what about him? You going to send him home from second or hold him at third?
Send him, for the Lord's sake. It's only Barry Bonds in left field. The best left fielder in the league -- the fastest at charging the ball and the man with the strongest arm. But, go on, send Sid Bream. Lend him a dolly.
And here Sid came, running faster than he ever had in his life and slower than you could imagine your Uncle Ralph on Sunday afternoon. Where was Barry? Playing on the warning track? Well, almost. Bonds played a conspicuously deep left field the entire inning. But he came charging, scooping and, finally, unleashing as strong a heave as you'll see to the plate.
If it had been on line, Sid Bream would have been back out at first base with a glove in the 10th inning and they'd be measuring third base coach Jimy Williams for a coffin in a shallow grave in the morning. If the throw had only been a little off line -- a pretty good throw -- you can bet umpire Randy Marsh would have called him out on general principles. If you're Sid Bream, you've got to score clean to get any calls.
But Bonds's throw was at least two paces up the first base line. Spanky LaValliere did all a catcher can do. Which means Bream was safe by six inches.
Nobody ever gets to make any wisecracks about Carter and softball again. The man he sought out in the postgame melee -- and it was a world-class mess -- was third base coach Williams. Carter gave him a long The-Buck-Stops-Here hug.
In baseball, you wait and wait, crushing peanuts, ordering another beer, filling out your scorecard, all in anticipation of the split-second that will decide everything. You wait for the moment of lightning.
Perhaps redemption really is at hand, alive in every moment as the Plains preachers say. His name is Francisco Cabrera of the Dominican Republic. Bats right-handed. Career average, .257. Position, catcher. Last man activated for the playoffs, on Aug. 31.
He is baseball's perverse idea of fate. And he may be remembered down here in Georgia longer than quite a few presidents.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
skeezed, skeeved, skeeted, skeeped, skeebed, skeeked (ok, that sounds dirty), skeered...
2. I have a little calendar that has a quote for every month. This month's is:
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."- Leo da Vinci (yeah, I can call him Leo).
The perplexing thing about this quote is that usually the quotes have something to do with the month for which they are displayed: flowers in May, summer in July, etc. It's rather interesting that they have this random-ass quote about flight for November, the month of Thanksgiving, when we all sit around and eat a mostly-flightless bird.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
2. Tonight is the Yelp Elite shindig, which means tomorrow is the monthly day of Hangover. Big hangover. Scorching hangover. Oh, and trivia that night. Woot!
3. Had my first Annandale experience on Sunday night. It was... special. Annandale isn't too far away but it's like a whole other world full of Koreans and strip shopping malls. And Korean shopping malls. It's bigger and more "accurate" (for lack of a better word at the moment) than DC's Chinablock and also has a lot better food. Seriously, this place should be called yelpland because I think I recognized the name of nearly every place as a yelp favorite. The soondubu at Lighthouse Tofu was no exception, at least until we got kicked out for being too loud. Ooops. Apparently Annandale can't handle the loudness of we yelpers.
4. I was sitting at a work luncheon today, and just happened to notice that every single man had a wedding band and only one woman did, and the room was a pretty even 50/50 gender split. I'm too tired to really comment/analyze, but I just found it interesting.
word of the day: jorts (jôrts) n. jean shorts. icky.
office-mate banter of the day:
o-m: you know, i don't think that proper working women wear those, um, you know, fishnets to work.
me: well at least my legwear came from the adult section of the department store, unlike those obvious kids-department socks you've got on there.
o-m: yes, you OBVIOUSLY shop in the ADULT section, if you know what i mean.
Oooo, innuendos at work. They don't translate so well into blogdom but it was all pretty hysterical. At least to those of us who are strung out at the end of the day at work.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Fulfillment Elusive for Young Altruists In the Crowded Field of Public Interest
By Ian Shapira Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 2, 2007; Page A01
Armed with a Georgetown University diploma, Beth Hanley embarked in her 20s on a path hoping to become a professional world-saver. First she worked at nonprofit Bread for the World. Then she taught middle school English in central Africa with the Peace Corps. Finally, to certify her idealism, she graduated last spring with a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.
But now the 29-year-old faces a predicament shared by many young strivers in Washington's public interest field. After years of amassing so many achievements, they struggle to find full-time employment with decent pay and realize they might not get exactly what they set out for. Hanley, a think tank temp who dreams of aiding the impoverished and reducing gender discrimination in developing countries, is stuck.
"I knew this would be difficult," said Hanley, an Illinois native who lives in Adams Morgan. "A lot of people say, 'At some point, you're going to have to decide to explore other options,' and I guess I would start applying for jobs in other fields I don't care so much about. But I haven't gotten at all to that point."
Numerous young Washingtonians bemoan the improvisational and protracted career track of the area's public interest profession. They say the high competition for comparatively low-paying jobs saps their sense of adulthood, forcing them to spend their 20s or early 30s moving from college to work to graduate school and back to work that might or might not be temporary.
These wannabe world-changers, ubiquitous in Washington, New York, and San Francisco appear to be part of a larger demographic trend in which this age group is pushing off marriage and kids. The do-gooders' wanderings often clash with the expectations of parents who want them to stay longer in jobs and settle down.
"The public interest sector is a poorly funded one, and its organizations cannot afford to pay highly educated young people anything like what they would command on the open market. That makes it difficult for these young adults in their 20s to contemplate long careers," said William Galston of the Brookings Institution, author of "The Changing 20s," a study published last month. "But that doesn't mean they're willing to forgo the opportunity to work there."
Many globally minded people choose to work for nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, that advocate certain causes. Others opt for higher pay at the State Department, the World Bank, financial firms or consulting companies that specialize in emerging markets and international development. But getting any of these jobs, especially those based overseas, is tough.
Those who select the NGO route say they have it the hardest.
Valerie Schaeublin, 28, a program officer specializing in international affairs for a Washington nonprofit, was fortunate to begin her career at one organization and stay for five years. Now, she is restless and fears that her NGO has limited upward mobility. But she also worries whether her ambition has atrophied.
"It's a stagnant time. It's confused by the fact that I am happy, but I know I need to move on to something else," said Schaeublin, who coordinates State Department-sponsored trips by foreign leaders to the United States. "Maybe you forgo the next step because you're comfortable. But responsibilities are weighing in on you. You're not 22 anymore."
Even though premium NGO jobs have always been relatively scarce, more people seem to be angling for that world. The number of international affairs grad school applicants to Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities rose 63 percent in the five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, compared with the total from the previous five years, data from the schools show. Enrollment in the programs increased more than 30 percent in the five years after the attacks, and the percentage of applicants admitted declined.
Those who graduate from the prestigious schools often start with a salary comparable to the annual tuition. At GWU's Elliott School of International Affairs, where tuition exceeds $40,000 a year, graduates who pursued nonprofit work found a market in which the average salary ranged from $38,000 to $48,000, according to the program's 2005-06 employment report.
Dina Khanat, 26, in her second and final year at the Elliott School, said she is grateful for her job but at the same time feels stalled.
"I feel like I am doing so bad. I think about this all the time. I graduated at 21 a year early with a double major. . . . Now I am going to graduate with a master's when I am 27," said Khanat, who just got a job as a program assistant at an NGO that promotes democracy. "But I really feel like by 27, I expect to be two or three years into work. You're supposed to have a career; you know what you're doing. . . . I don't feel settled."
Of thousands of NGOs in the region, many focus on such issues as children's health or farmer education in developing countries. But the supply of jobs is limited because the organizations have lean budgets built from government funding and private donations, said Barbara Wallace, vice president for membership and standards at InterAction, an NGO umbrella group.
Chief executives for NGOs, Wallace said, have told her: "Well, yeah, if we had the money, we'd be doing more. We can never hire as many as we want to hire." Wallace said her organization drew more than 100 applicants for a policy associate position. "The industry really needs to look at how to provide more avenues for young, educated people," she said.
Grad school officials say that the issue surfaces constantly.
"We spend a lot of time here on goals clarification," said Martin Tillman, associate director of career services at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. "Students come into my office and think, 'I am a smart kid; I got into a great graduate school. I had wonderful grades in college. It should be a piece of cake to identify a position for myself.' One has to clarify that -- and one has to be clear about the range of salary."
Young people maneuvering within the NGO landscape say an odd feeling settles in by the time they are ready to start a job: They feel "old," but they don't truly feel like adults because they earn modest salaries and have limited responsibilities. Galston's study reported that about 30 percent of those in their late 20s and early 30s had mixed views on whether they had reached adulthood.
One night last month, Hanley had beers at the Topaz Hotel in Dupont Circle with a friend who had also just earned an international affairs degree and was job hunting.
"I have friends who did investment banking," Hanley said. "They were making more when they were 22. I don't think I'll ever make that. They seem more grown-up. But they seem miserable. Wait -- they seem fine. I would be miserable if I were them."
She continued: "A couple of them made comments to me suggesting I haven't grown up, like, 'I've been working for five years -- isn't that incredible?' "
At least for now, Hanley said, disillusionment has not set in. Indeed, she just turned down an offer from a for-profit consulting firm to manage a government contract. It paid well, but she was not ready to jump off the international aid track.
She's still holding out for the ideal: a job that takes her to Africa for health projects and gender relations issues. As she continues temping, Hanley scours e-mail forums for job possibilities and sets up interviews -- some with real stakes, some informational.
One evening, she stumbled onto an intriguing posting. The Open Society Institute was advertising a "mid-level" position to develop strategies and identify priorities for its mission in Africa. "They want someone with a law degree, but they will consider advanced degrees in a related field," she said, head nodding, hopefully. "I could apply to this."
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Honestly, this is the best they can give me? I checked my SPAM folder and unless the heavens are trying to tell me that I need an enlarged penis, this is complete bullshit.
I promise a "real" post will come soon but I'm still a bit frenzied with post-dinner stuff. I made it through, though, with no real problems. Phew!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
toot toot..... toot.
Okay, I'm done now.
For those of you just joining us, stick around a stay a while. I'd love to be able to write something fabulous for you all, but it's 4:00 on the Friday before my gargantuan work event and I'm tapped out. Plus the Chimay and Delirium (on TAAAAAP!) at Matchbox are calling my name.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This morning, as I'm waiting for the bus (ps. I HATE you this week, Metro. Come back to me soon.) I see a relatively cute guy who's dressed all outdoorsy: North Face coat, cords, backpack, etc. But his shoes. Oh dear Lord his shoes. Baby blue Crocs with woolen socks underneath. Now I ask you, dear readers, to please explain to me why on EARTH someone would look outside, see that it's raining, and decide that this was the perfect opportunity to don his shoes that have HOLES in them. Aren't his socks going to get all gross and wet? I'm aware he's wearing wool socks that wick moisture, but why would he even put himself in this position? It hurts my head to think about.
After staring (not inconspicuously) at his shoes for a good 10 minutes, I came to the realization that I just don't think I could be friends with someone who wears Crocs. It's not a "I can't be friends with non-fashionable people" thing at all. It's a difference in thinking, in brain function. I can't look at Croc-wearer and respect them as an intelligent human being. I just can't do it. I know we've all made our own fashion mistakes due to trends, but this is one that I'll just never understand. Rubber shoes with holes in them. At least the jellies that I lived in as a young girl were sparkly! The justification of them being comfortable or whatever is just shit. I don't believe it. I don't care if it feels like you're walking on clouds, mister: your shoes still have gaping holes in them.
Stupid quote of the day (courtesy of Bex):
"Many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals" -- WH press sec. Dana Perino, staying positive ( Examiner).
*she's probably a Croc-wearer. Because creating ugly ass shoes out of fossil fuels is even MORE genius!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I mean, Johnathan Rhys Meyers is a hottie, Keri Russell is my BFF, Terrence Howard is gorgeous, and it actually looks like Robin Williams will be cute and funny again! Yay! Plus that little kid was Peter in Finding Neverland!!! How precious is he?!
Monday, October 22, 2007
The weekend was awesome, except for the whole driving through massive traffic/torrential downpour part. Margo's place is oh-so-awesome, as were her pumpkin muffins. We had to go to a leadership summit for all day on Saturday but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I had great fun catching up with Baderg and Jimbo (former bosses) as well as all of the other Funders. Denison looked as beautiful as always and Granville is just the cutest thing ever. Sitting outside of Whit's after a stroll down Broadway made me seriously consider quitting, packing up, and moving to Granville. It's hard not to love, especially when the leaves are changing. Besides the pumpkin crop being so terrifyingly low, Ohio was in it's full fall force.
After the summit on campus and the Whit's downtown, we met up with Andy and Co. for a quick beer at Brews (CHIMAAAAY!). Quick dinner with all the ladies at The Happy Greek and then more Chimay along with some Catchphrase and re-connecting with The Loff (yes roommate, that's my new nickname for you. Rhymes with The Hoff. Pretty awesome, I know). We imbibed a bit in the Arena District, hit up an awesome gyro cart, set off some security lighting, and finally made our way back to the Loff's house. I've got to say it was nice to be in a "real" house. I know I live in a house, but it's never the same when you're renting.
The Loff's parents provided us with a pretty awesome breakfast, complete with cupcakes, and then we set off on our journey to find the best Halloween costumes of all time. I'm not going to give away what we're going to be, but let's just say: mission accomplished.
So now it's back to the grind. Today was going okay until I got a skeezy phone call about an hour ago. It was a guy that I had met at the Yelp Elite party 2 weeks ago. He's not a Yelper-- I just ended up talking to him at the restaurant for a bit, he was with friends, I was drunk and telling them about Yelp. Well, I apparently mentioned where I worked because HE TRACKED ME DOWN. I did not give him a card, a number, my last name, anything. He called the main number and somehow got transferred to me. I gave him zero signs that I was interested, except maybe in my drunken antics he was mistaken. Well, he wants to take me out to dinner and apparently won't take no for an answer. I think I've bought myself some time (like 2 or 3 days) until he calls back but I don't know his number so I can't screen. Ugh. Why do normal cute guys not track me down? I suppose because tracking a girl down after she mentions where she works makes you so not cute and normal.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
So, in honor of the first real day of Fall (as in, the temperature will not surpass 90 degrees), I've made a lovely fall outfit for all of you to enjoy. This is something that I hope to do more often (especially when I don't have, you know, a JOB to focus on) and I promise the outfit will always cost less than $200. I know it'd be a lot more fun to put together couture, but I know that my readers (myself included) appreciate a good buy. My closet consists of Forever 21, H&M, and Target and I still love it. See Mom, I'm a bargain shopper, just like you! :)
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
2. Up until lunch about an hour ago, I hadn't eaten in about 24 hours apart from 3 or 4 little hors d'oeuvres I had at Mio last night. This might explain the way I was feeling this morning. At around 12:30, on the edge of passing out, I decided to make my way down to the Corner Bakery for their Turkey Frisco sandwich. This is not a meal I usually partake in-- it's carby, fatty, oily, but oh-my-god-so-freaking-good. I was pretty excited about the artichoke hearts, sauteed onions, and yummy bread. I walked in and looked at the menu and couldn't find it! It's been replaced by some crap-tastic Turkey Harvest sandwich. Ew. So disappointing.
3. I was just invited to a fashion show at Neiman Marcus that's hosted by Paul Hastings. I'm going.... with my boss. It was really sweet of her to invite me as she knows I love fashion, but I still can't see how this isn't going to be awkward. Just a little too worlds-colliding or something like that. I mean, it's not like she and I ever hang out outside of the office. Ever. She's nutty. And more importantly, what the hell am I going to wear!??!?
4. The girlies begin to arrive on Thursday! Woo! I can't believe its already here and October is nearly half over. It's been so busy that the time is seriously flying. It also doesn't feel like October outside (cough 90 DEGREES cough) but I'm hoping that changes over the weekend. I'm so excited to have all of the girls in town (we'll miss you, Jenni!) but to be honest I have no idea what we're going to do, besides play Kings and make goals, of course.
Quote of the day: My grandmother, while I'm driving down a cobblestone street in Georgetown: "Oh, wouldn't this just be an AWFUL street to ride on if you had hemorrhoids?!"
My family is one of a kind. One. of. a. kind.
Monday, October 8, 2007
1. Slept through the alarm. Hair is now a curly frizzy mess.
2. Super-glued my fingers shut. Oops.
3. My pumpkin muffin was frozen in the middle. I ate it anyway.
4. My bus was not running this morning because it was a "holiday." Bastards.
5. Because of bus problems, I arrived to work late and completely forgot about a meeting. Luckily made it just in time.
6. There was lots and lots of fighting at the meeting among my bosses. Eeek.
7. Left my headphones at home and will therefore have no music today. It's gonna be hard to get through!
I'll give an update on the weekend post-lunch (or maybe tomorrow) when I'm in a better mood. I hope I hope I hope I hope!
Friday, October 5, 2007
2. I have been working all day. Yes, actually working. And talking to Camille. But still, majority working. What have I been doing that's oh-so important? Addressing envelopes. Yes folks, I have my college degree and I have spent the last 6 hours addressing envelopes. I have to change my handwriting to keep myself entertained. It's painful. I've just completed one set for one luncheon, now on to another! Sick.
3. I am so unbelievably happy that it is Friday. This weekend's going to be a little crazy as the famdamily is in town and let's just say we put the fun in dysfunctional. Eeeesh. It's going to be insane. I'm also working on Sunday-- not sure why I thought that would be a good idea. I could *really* use a day off, especially after this hellish week.
4. The boutique had its grand opening party last night and it was fab.u.lous. Lots of pretty people, pretty clothes, and pretty drinks. Good good times. I do love all the girls that work there, so we have a good time together. While being surrounded by pretty things. Not too rough. :)
5. Do you get Columbus day off? Yes? I hate you. I hate living in DC where people actually get those ridiculous holidays off. No break till Thanksgiving! Wooooooooo.
Yaaay SatC movie! I'm a little weirded out that I like Miranda's "look" the best though. Her hair is outstanding.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
1. I still have one of Erin's pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes in the fridge. I've already eaten 3. I love Erin.
2. Trivia tonight. Richard is coming all the way from Baltimore-- glorious!
3. I am so loving my latest manicure: OPI's Siberian Nights. My hands look oh-so-goth with my big black rose ring.
4. Barley the Labrador Retriever.
5. It's pumpkin season. My most favorite season of all. Pumpkins galore!
Quote of the day (actually from yesterday)
Christmas trees were not meant to be on display from Jesus' birthday to his resurrection. That's just not right. *I promise I'll have it down early this year, roomie!!*
Monday, October 1, 2007
Perhaps my goal should be to work on my photography skills? Ooops.
But, in better news, I did manage to capture this one from the Safeway parking lot:
Oooooooooohh. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh. The Safeway parking lot is oh-so scenic.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
2) Rock the cuffed jeans with saddle shoes. Make it my "signature."
3) Find a new job to LOVE.
4) Take more pictures. Lots more.
5) Survive October. It's going to be the craziest month of all time.
6) Bake something directly from a pumpkin (I've done it before, but I want to try something other than a pie).
7) Hit the 200 mark for yelp reviews.
I'm sure I'll add more (at least mentally) as time goes on, but this is it for now. It's out there, in the open, and expect all of you to hold me to it.
Friday, September 21, 2007
1) The high stress levels at work may be due to the fact that my headphones broke. About 2 weeks ago I came into the office to find that one of the earbuds had been decapitated! I couldn't even find the little bud anywhere. Poor guy. Now there's just some copper wiring hanging out from one of the extensions, but the other earbud picked up the pace and I was still able to jam out. Then this morning rolled along and the little man just gave up... he couldn't do it anymore without his companion. I know he died of a broken heart, but it was piss poor timing. I really could have used some tunes today. I guess I'll just have to wait until I fly again and can steal another cheap-ass set from the plane. Luckily I still have my earphones for my iPod. Otherwise we'd be in REAL trouble.
2) Last night I baked a cake for Read's bday and I decided on a super scrumptious cookies and cream cake. This necessitated me buying Oreos, which I don't think I've done in about 8 years or so. Well, kids, they've changed!! No, no, not the precious cookies inside... the packaging! It's incredible. The plastic on the top peels back, revealing all 3 rows of cookie goodness at one time. It's genius, really. Changed the way I look at Oreos.
3) Dance party Saturday night at Chief Ike's. You need to be there. I'm not kidding.
Quote of the day: "dude, whatever. you know lebowski may be the greatest movie of all time. that would be like making fun of someone for being a fan of the sistine chapel."