Rain, Rain

Even though I'd rather be curled up in a big chair reading a book, I'm still grateful that I get to be indoors today. I avoid overhead lights whenever I can, so I brought in lamps when I moved into this office. The dim lighting, combined with the rainy day, combined with my afternoon mug of tea... All in all, it's pretty cozy. I'd almost forget that I was at work...

Just In Case...

Yesterday, Matt and I upgraded our phones! I got the new iPhone, and I'm probably most excited about picking out a new case. There are so many good choices out there. Here are my current faves:

As seen in HGTV Mag - Neapolitan Stripe Custom iPhone 4 Case  with Name or Monogram - choose your own color
Neopolitan Stripe, by Pencil Shavings Studio ($39.99) *customizable

Chevron IPhone 4/4s case Choose your Color Pattern Geometric Arrows Modern Tribal pink orange blue gray
Chevron, by luulla ($36)

Scales iPhone Case
Scales, by Steven Womack ($35)
detail shot
Tortoise Snap Case, by InCase ($34.95)

ban.do iphone case
Heart, ban.do ($25)

It's too hard to choose! Help!

The Ender

I finished reading Ender's Game Friday after work, because what else would I be doing after a long week at work? To be fair, I was reading at a bar, and I do believe that I put on lipstick.

I absolutely adored the book, and looked into what the casting situation is for the movie set to come out a year from now. Ender will be played by Asa Butterfield, the kid from Hugo which I didn't see so I can't make an opinion. What I'm really excited about is the rest of the cast:
  • Harrison Ford as Col. Graff (!)*
  • Abigail Breslin as Ender's beloved sister, Valentine (!!!)
  • Hailee Steinfeld as Petra (!!!)
  • Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham (!!)
  • Viola Davis as Major Anderson (!)
This is such an all-star cast, and I can't wait to see what they do with the story!

*My level of excitement can be determined by how many exclamation points used. (!!!!)

One of Those Days...

Sometimes it happens and I just need to eat my lunch at 10:00am. Today, it happened.

And since I had lunch at 10am, I'll have my afternoon snack at 12:30. And my after work cocktail at 3:00. And dinner at 5:30. And my bag of popcorn at 7:00.

Yes, an after work cocktail and late-night bag of popcorn are staples in my diet.

Best Sunday Ever

Yesterday ended up being the Best Sunday Of My Life for the following reasons:

1. I saw The Hunger Games! I went with 5 friends - two married couples, and one "lonely heart" like me whose husband is too cool for young adult novels. Going to the movies with friends is the best shot of nostaligia I can have. Brings me back to my middle and high school glory days when, if you picked the right line at the concession stand, you could smile enough at the nerdy boy working that he'd upgrade your small popcorn with extra butter to a medium popcorn with extra, extra butter.

2. Mad Men returned! Chumba Wumba and I watched the previous four seasons on Netflix, so this will be the first time we'll have to exercise patience and wait 7 whole days for our Don Draper fix. At least there's this to help make the wait less tortuous:


Oops! I went to the mall a 10,000 things accidentally came home with me!

Here's a sampling of what I bought...

That's... pink suede Nine West pumps, kelly green (and tangerine!) skinny jeans, polka dot flats, black blazer with white trim (and a blue one, too!). Not pictured: printed cropped pants from Loft, blue short-sleeved sweater with adorable shoulder buttons, coral tank top, gray-and-white striped tee, and yellow and camel loafers.

Spring's always been the worst season for my wardrobe, so I'm trying to get up-to-speed.

Exercising My Mind

Okay, another gorgeous day, another gorgeous afternoon spent along The Charles. It's really one of my favorite places in Boston. Except today, rather than jog, I just sat on a sunny bench and read for an hour or so. I had a salad for dinner, so skipping exercise is okay, right? (Ranch dressing calories don't count if they're on lettuce. Duh.)

In case you're curious, I'm reading Swan Song by Robert McCammon right now, which was a recommended to me because I really like some of Steven King's novels. I'm struggling a little with McCammon's novel because it has so many parallels to King's The Stand. Like, a bizarre amount of similarities. The biggest overall difference is that McCammon is much, much darker in his view of humanity. And I sort of dig that, so I'm racing through to read as much every day as possible.

(Also, in case you're curious, I'm sitting on the couch under my Mizzou blanket savoring my glass of wine and watching American Idol. I'm so glamorous!)


Okay, so after my wonderful afternoon, I had a not-so-wonderful late afternoon. I like to switch bags, because a bag is an essential component of any outfit. (Actually, the reality is that I require a ha-yuge bag during the work week and like to downsize somewhat on the weekends. Quite simple.)

Anyways, I came home from my lovely jog, and realized I didn't have my apartment keys. And what does Chumba Wumba do on Mondays? Oh, he just works until really late at night.

So I called my landlord and he left work to help me out, but it turns out my landlord doesn't have a working key to our apartment. Normally, I'd like that - but today, not so much. I text Chumba Wumba at work and ask if he has any idea when he will return home to rescue me. The answer is not good, but then, he comes up with the most brilliant idea ever...

Why don't I try to break in through the window from our back porch, which goes into our bedroom, meaning it's probably open because we like to sleep with the fresh air?!?!

It worked, with minimal effort, and I am forever grateful. Even when I have an idea in my head of how he'll save the day (a.k.a. dropping whatever he's doing to come let me into our apartment), he's able to both surprise me, and still save the day. He's just the best.

A Wonderful Afternoon

Today, I went for a jog after work. Along the river.

Let me translate that, so you all can appreciate the significance of that statement:

Today, March 19, I, who has not exercised more then 6 times in the past year, went for a 3.5 mile jog along the Charles River, which is in Boston, MA.

This unseasonably warm weather makes me feel a little funky, like something is wrong in the universe, but I'm still taking advantage of it. When I exercise, I have so much more energy and optimism in my daily life. I'm going to try to keep this up, but I know that my biggest obstacle will be my own lazy brain. Hopefully this post will serve as a reminder that getting off my butt can be - and is - extremely rewarding. Wish me luck, y'all...

Shanghai: Day 2

It's been awhile since I've used this thing, but since Facebook is prohibited in China, I'm hoping this is a good way to share with everyone some of the things I'm experiencing. And today had a lot of experiences!

This will likely be one of my calmer days in Shanghai, so my co-manager, Stephanie, and I took advantage of the downtime and did some sight-seeing. We went to the Yuyuan Gardens, which were founded between 1559 and 1577 by the Pan family. They're classical Chinese gardens which were ransacked during both the Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion. They're an example of Ming dynasty garden design, and some of the highlights are the Three Ears of Corn Hall, the Exquisite Jade Rock, the Hall or Heralding Spring, and the gilded woodwork of the Ancient Stage.

For lunch, we went to a very nice Sichuan restaurant. Sichuan food is known for being spicy, but I kind of think they saw 3 Western women and toned it down a notch. I went with two other Program Managers, and we each picked out an entree to share. The other two picked familiar proteins - Sweet and Sour Ribs, and Crispy Duck. I went by the recommendation of a local, and got a Sichuanese specialty - Braised Pigeon! That big bowl on the right is my pigeon, and it was delicious - tender meat, spicy brother, flavorful vegetables. The amount of bones in each bite was a bit unappetizing, but once you got past that, it was pretty amazing. Next on my list of traditional Shanghainese food to try is frog legs!