A chronicle of my attempts to live a classy life as a single girl in the Nation's Capital

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quarterlife Crisis

These past few weeks, I've been feeling a little like everything is falling down around me. This past week alone, here are a few of the things I've done/thought:

1. Cried about my job for the first time ever
2. Drastically cut my hair on a whim (I needed a change! And I like it now.)
The pic I showed my stylist and new hairstyle. Though not so messy.  Unless students make me start pulling my hair out.  Again.
 3. Yelled at, then walked out on, my journalism class.
4. Researched how much it would cost me to go back to school and get a masters in Art History ( a long dream of mine, but bad job market.)  about $13,000 at George Mason
5. Did a little job search on the Smithsonian Museum website
6. Got angrier and angrier about the person who stole my debit card and spent over $300 at a Korean grocery store
7. Then got more and more frustrated about my financial situation.  How badly I want to invest and plan for my future but have absolutely NO extra money to do so.
8. Realized, yet again, that things are not actually working out for me romantically
9. Felt pressure because I keep thinking I'm running out of time to deal with all this finance, job, love stuff.  I'm supposed to have that figured out now right?!?
10. Felt bad/guilty for whining about all this in the first place.  After all, these aren't real problems right?

And as I was driving home today with my new haircut, considering shopping and getting new clothes (I didn't, wrong time of year for that!) I realized I felt like I was dealing with a midlife crisis, but minus the whole "midlife" thing.  So I did the math and decided this would be a quarterlife crisis.  Curious, I googled it and it turns out that it is a REAL THING!

There are books , a wikipedia entry and even a movie on the topic.  And of course there's www.quarterlifecrisis.com

I also found a candle. But I'm not linking to that because it's just too stupid and we shouldn't dignify it with any more views. 

So, great, there is a "reason" for the way I'm feeling.  But now what?   If you need me, I will be found in the Self Help section of Borders, surrounded by books about how to make it through the "horrible" mid-20s.

Or in the salon, getting my head shaved because I need a "change."  Suddenly Britney Spears doesn't seem so crazy.
She was about 26 when she did this... just think about it.

Brilliant Disguise

I was listening to "70s on 7" on XM radio today (I lied, I'm actually 35 not 25) and heard this song.  Somehow, I've never heard it before and it really caught my ear. 

I just think it's beautiful and I identify with the girl (that may be a little weird but whatever) he's singing about.

The video is also beautiful in its simplicity: just him in his kitchen, camera slowly moving in until it focuses on just his eyes.  And it was done in one take.

In case you also haven't heard it before, here it is--let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop

I just finished this movie, Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by Banksy and I am in love.
If you don't know who Banksy is... he's a really well known British street artist--though no one knows his real identity--and you are probably familiar with some of his work and just didn't know who was behind it.

"Stop, Search"

Notice the CCTV camera (British security) right there, circled in red.  Quite a daring stunt.  But not as daring as went he painted the wall in the West Bank...

I have liked Banksy's work for awhile--it is actual artistry in my opinion (while some might call it graffiti) and he at once makes you chuckle and stop to think about our society.

Anyway... the film Exit Through the Gift Shop is a film about a man named Theirry Guetta who films a lot of well-known street artists.  One day, he happens to meet Banksy who urges him to just get on with it and complete the documentary already.  So he does.  And it's awful.  Nightmare-ish even.  So Banksy tells him to "go make some art" to get Theirry out of his hair and produces the video himself.

Meanwhile, Theirry has come up with an alter-ego, Mr. Brainwash, and creates a HUGE art show.  Thing is... he doesn't actually create anything.  He comes up with ideas, then hires a staff of graphic designers to do some "photoshop and scanning."

And the giullible L.A. public eat it up and even start buying his art for tens of thousands of dollars.

Banksy and the other street artists are annoyed.

The film really makes you question what constitutes art and what makes someone an "artist."  In addition, you begin to wonder if Mr. Brainwash (and the whole film!) is actually real or if it's just another elaborate hoax by Banksy to comment on the commercialization of the art world. And the gullible public.  Just Google "Mr. Brainwash hoax," I'm not alone in thinking this. 

The film is also quite funny, at times funny enough to make me laugh out loud.

If you like art, street art, Banksy or just good documentaries, I highly recommend watching this movie.

Even the trailer is hilarious, making fun of all the pretentious reviews stuck into a lot of trailers. (though this film did get excellent reviews and was featured at Sundance.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

News Flash

Olive Garden is now selling this:

I will be eating a lot more salad now.

That is all.

Christmas Cheer

I love decorative paper.  I have tons of it stored away in a closet and no planned use for it.  But Christmas gives me an excuse to buy new paper-- and I am obsessed with my choices this year:

This was horizontal--Blogger wants to twist it for some reason.  This is my more "manly" paper.  That's the best you'll get out of me.

This one is just so adorable, I want to wrap myself in it and make a tacky dress out of it.  50s-esque poodles playing with Christmas things.  I love it so much I'm fearful of running out--but what would I do with it besides wrap presents?  I'm considering possibilities...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Easy Sunday Pasta

Dinner time on Sunday I am usually wanting comfort food--but am also exhausted from a busy weekend and don't feel like spending hours in the kitchen.

Here are 2 of my favorite pasta dishes that take 20 minutes or less to make and very few ingredients. And, boy, are they delicious.

Remember, I don't usually follow measurements but I will do my best to figure it out for you.  Both of these recipes make about 2 servings.

Recipe One: Mushroom and Lemon Pasta
 I adapted this recipe from on of my favorite TV chefs--Nigella Lawson.  Her version used all raw ingredients (except, obviously, the pasta) mine doesn't.  I didn't exactly relish the idea of eating raw garlic. 

1/2 package (I think it's a pint...) of baby bella mushrooms, sliced 
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons 
Zest of 1 lemon 
Glug of olive oil (A glug is a measurement I think I made up.  It's probably about 1.5-2 tablespoons) 
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced 
Thyme (about 1/2 teaspoon) 
Thin Spaghetti, a little less than 1/2 package 

Cook pasta according to box directions.  Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set pasta aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan with the garlic. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until soft.  Add lemon juice, thyme, and a little salt and pepper.  if I have a little white wine, I'll reduce the amount of lemon juice and throw in a bit of wine.   
Mushroom mixture--doesn't look the best.  But trust me.

 Put the pasta in a large bowl and stir in mushroom mixture and pasta water.  Top with lemon zest and parsley (if you have it.) 

Final result--yum!

 Recipe Two: Zucchini with Creamy Goat Cheese Linguine 
 This is an amazing recipe adapted from Real Simple magazine.  I cut most of the proportions in half (except the garlic) to make it 2 servings.

Little less than 1/2 box linguine
2 zucchini, thinly sliced into half moon shapes
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of about 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2.5 ounces goat cheese (a little over half the usual sized package)

Cook pasta and transfer to large bowl.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil.  Add zucchini (with a little S &P) and cook, stirring often, until tender.  About 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for a minute more.  Remove from heat

Returning to the pasta, crumble most of the goat cheese in (leave a little to top the pasta with later), add pasta water and a little S&P.  Stir to a state of creamy goodness.
Before stiring.

After.  The smell is amazing!
 Top with the zucchini and lemon zest.  Enjoy!

Excellent with chardonnay!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cutest Perfume Bottle EVER

I have no idea what this perfume smells like and I don't care.  Have you ever seen a cuter bottle?  I just want it to display on my vanity.

The description says it smells like "rose gardens, high teas, and happy accidents" which sounds pretty good to me.

Love, love, love this bottle!

You can purchase this perfume here