More Than Ships Passing In the Night

Month: August, 2014

Sasquatch vs. the green beans: Wildcat edition

Sasquatch has a very methodical approach to seeking attention.

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“Look at me! I’m so cute! I’m upside down! How can you resist me when I’m upside down?!”

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“What’s in that bowl? Clearly it’s more interesting to her than I am. I must hunt it down and kill it.”

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“Almost got it. You cannot hide from me!”

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My purse vs. Hermione’s bag: Lady MacGyver edition

I have a weird confession to make.

In fact, it’s so weird that I’ve been debating about whether or not to actually publish this post. At first I thought it would be entertaining. Then I thought it would be stupid. Then I was recently called “Lady MacGyver” for a completely unrelated reason. But it reminded me of this post I had written. So I decided to publish my weird confession.

So, here we are.

Those of you who have spent time with me in person already know that I am prone to carrying around a ridiculously heavy purse.

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I keep many things in my purse. My goal, like a good Eagle Scout, is to always be prepared. I want to have anything that anyone could possibly (or never) need at any given moment at my fingertips.

I used to keep a can opener in my purse.

Not joking.

I also kept crayons in my purse.

When a classmate in high school discovered this, he told me I would be a good mom.

It was a weird moment.

Over the years, I’ve refined what I keep in the purse based on experience. Nevertheless, there is always inevitably much more in there than I actually need, and I periodically have to dump it all out and sort through everything. That is because I also tend to use my purse as a trash receptacle. Because I’m very, very classy. And I don’t believe in littering.

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When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, it fanned the flame of my peculiar obsession. If you’ve read the book, then you already know where I’m going with this. Hermione Granger enchants a small handbag to hold a variety of objects from books to clothes to a tent.

She is basically my patronus.

I don’t know that my purse is quite ready for an open-ended adventure to fight the forces of evil darkness, but… it’s getting there. And because I like to air my weirdness for the world to see, I’m going to take you all on a little tour.

“You can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse.”-Bob Parr

Prepare yourselves.

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Look out, Mary Poppins!

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Skin care: hand lotion and sunscreen. For all of your moisturizing and sun exposure protection needs.

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Beautification: travel-sized deodorant (I know, I’m sorry you had to see that. But in case you’ve ever wondered about whether or not I wear deodorant – and I sincerely hope that question has never crossed your mind – at least now you have closure!), lip balm, and four different types of lip gloss. Four. “Does anyone have any lip gloss?” Why, yes. Yes, I do. In fact, I have options. Because sharing lip gloss is a normal, frequent occurrence.

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My out-of-date iPodito. For my lunchtime workouts.

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is, in fact, a miniature roll of blue and purple leopard-print duct tape.

Why, you ask?

When I go to went to parties this one party, I found the duct tape useful for identifying which, ahem, libations I had brought.

Also, this one time, I used the duct tape to fix a broken staple remover at work.

So there.

The other item, if you can’t tell, is a measuring tape.

Keepin’ it fresh! Keepin’ it real!

(I don’t recommend the Mint Bliss flavor, incidentally. It just happens to be what I have on hand right now.)

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No explanation needed.

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A tea canister that I converted into a box for hair pins and clips.


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Snacks. Absolutely essential.

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A coin purse that looks like a sock that I converted into a first-aid kit.

Yes, I keep both Charlie Brown and Muppet-themed band-aids on hand.

Yes, I think they’re awesome.

Yes, I am an adult.

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Yesterday, I used one when I was mailing my car registration fee.

I felt like such a grown-up.

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A plethora of pens.

Usually I keep pencils in there as well, especially when I was an assistant section leader in Chorale (if only I had a nickel for every time a soprano asked me for a pencil…). So, the absence of pencils in this photograph indicates a serious flaw.

I feel so under-prepared!

I am ashamed.

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Memorabilia of adventures.

This is the sort of unnecessary thing that gets removed when I clean out my purse, but usually hangs out in the purse until said cleaning happens.

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Wallet and checkbook.

I hardly ever write checks anymore, but there’s always that random time when I need it.

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Hand sanitizer!

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Ear plugs. And a lot of them, for some reason.

This was from my recent vacation. I wanted to be prepared for less-than-ideal sleeping conditions.

I used them maybe one night, and that was it.

But at least I was prepared.

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Receipts. Purse = repository of loose papers.

A sachet of Yankee Candle wrappers. So that my purse will always smell like autumnal holidays.

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A moleskine notebook and a planner.

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A bag within a bag?

In this little coin purse thing, I keep dental floss, Listerine strips, more lip color, Alleve, and “moist towelettes” (for the occasional picnic or BBQ ribs binge-fest, of course. Hand sanitizer doesn’t always cut it. Last Saturday I was at the beach eating a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and I totally forgot I had these. What a joke.)

It’s a very strange assortment.

Fun fact: out of the eight lip balms/sticks/glosses/etc. that we’ve found in my purse, there is only one that I use on a regular basis.

I have no explanation.

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One of the professors who I support leads a program in Australia every summer. Last summer, she brought back this cute little pouch for me.

(I had to call it a pouch, because it has a kangaroo on it. See what I did there?)

Over the past few years, I have accumulated a collection of various gift cards.

I love the idea of gift cards but am terrible about actually using them, because I forget where they are.

Now I keep them all in one handy place where I can easily access them.

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My glasses. I wear daily disposable contacts.

So, if at any given time, I decide that my contacts need to get chucked for the day, I darn well better have my glasses on hand.


A microfiber cloth with a picture of the university library on it.

University IT was distributing these last year.

Super handy, especially now that I finally joined the rest of the modern world this year and got a smart phone.

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GRE flashcards. I wasn’t making them up.

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Whatever book I happen to be reading at the moment.

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Travel-size “Pass the Pigs.” It’s a game.

And a way of life.

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And, last but not least – possibly one of my favorite and most random items that I keep in my purse: a tuning fork.

Let me tell you – it’s a great conversation piece when your purse is being searched at courthouse security.

Whew, this post was long! But now we have plumbed the depths of my weirdness (at least as it relates to my purse) and I can walk away from this feeling like a better person for having shared this little bit of my soul with all of you.

Lady MacGyver: over and out.


So, the other day, I bought a blonde roast from Starbucks called “Aria” (formerly “Willow”). I’d never tried a blonde roast before, and I kind of had to buy it on principle because it was called “Aria.”

I don’t know if blonde roasts are an acquired taste, or only for the highly sophisticated, discerning palate, or what. But this coffee is terrible. The first time I made it, it just seemed really weak and watery. So, today, I tried to compensate by using a ton of grounds and letting it brew extra long.

All that did was accentuate the nastiness.

Even with three creamers and a packet of sugar added, it still tastes like it’s trying to kill me.

I’ve been had. I’m just another victim of cute packaging and strategical marketing.

In other news, remember how I wrote that post about all the things I wasn’t doing right now? Well, the tables have turned, and now I’m going to talk about how I started doing all of those things again. I’m pretty sure that qualifies as some sort of bragging. Whatever, dudes. It’s been a rough past handful of months, and I happen to be on the upswing right now. So, I’m going to celebrate the little victories (i.e. brag). My blog. My bragging rights.

So, let’s review. A month ago, here are the things I was NOT doing:

  • Studying for the GRE

Let’s just not talk about it. It’s kind of a sore subject. Oh!- but I did buy these AWESOME GRE flash cards to step up my game! They’re the best. Seriously. Each card has a math fact or formula on it (like, “how do you calculate the slope of a line on an x,y graph?” with the explanation on the back of the card), or a GRE math strategy, or a sample GRE question. Exactly what I need! There have even been a few select occasions where I take the flash cards with me on my lunchtime walks and study while I’m walking. I’m so cool, haha.

  • Going to the gym on my lunch breaks

Oh, it’s on again. Although I’ve adjusted my routine slightly. See, I like to alternate between cardio days and weight training/core fitness days. But the treadmill gets really old after awhile. So, on my cardio days, I’ve been taking a walk around the perimeter of campus. I love the days when I get to walk: I get fresh air and vitamin D, a variety of scenery, and I actually get more exercise in because instead of walking to the gym and changing there, I just slap on my walking shoes and go. Whereas I might be able to spend 20-30 minutes on the treadmill, I’m able to put in almost an hour’s worth of walking time now. What’s more, since writing that post about how I stopped working out on my lunch breaks, I have worked out on almost every single lunch break.

Now, that being said, I also went on vacation for a week and a half and the hotel we stayed in had amazing waffles. What was I supposed to do?

Draw your own conclusions.

But, I have this ambitious goal/dream about upping my game. Here’s a piece of trivia about my morning routine: my first alarm goes off at 6 am. I turn it off and go back to sleep. My second alarm goes off at 6:30 am. I turn it off again. At around 6:45, I actually get up. Now, at night, before I go to bed, when I’ve already been up all day and the idea of waking up and getting up seems easy, I like to tell myself that when my first alarm goes off the next morning, I’ll get out of bed and do some yoga stretches. Then I’ll go for a 20-min run. When I get back, I’ll do some more yoga stretches and some core exercises, and then it will be about 6:45. I mean, think about how much I could accomplish if I actually got out of bed when that first alarm goes off!

So far, this ambitions goal/dream of mine has never actually come to fruition.

  • Cleaning my room

One Saturday back in July, it just happened. I was in the zone. I reorganized my book shelf. I dusted everything. I tried to organize the surfaces of my furniture. I rediscovered my floor. I killed two spiders in the process. I even wound my clock for the first time in……. a long time.

As you can see from the pictures below, I may or may not have a weakness for decorating with knick-knacks and dead flowers. What can I say? I get very sentimentally attached to things like the bouquets from when I was a bridesmaid.

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In case your reaction to the above pictures is, “Wow, she thinks she cleaned? Someone should tell her it still looks really cluttered…” – all I can say is, you should have seen the way it looked before. Also, in case you couldn’t tell, that first picture is comprehensive: the books on the floor represent “before,” the books on the shelf represent “after.” Just so we’re clear.

  • Flossing my teeth

I just started doing it again. I don’t really have an explanation. Read about my dentist success story here!

  • Ordering more contacts

The weekend after that blog post, I ordered more. Necessity is the mother of productivity. Wal-Mart is my new hero. That is all.


So. I’m officially making a come-back. Except for the blonde roast. I’m on my third day of using it and it’s just bad. I’m torn between just throwing it out (wasteful?) to spare myself the torture or making it by the bucketful so I can use it up as quickly as possible. Which would mean drinking it in mass consumption. Blech.

But hey, if my biggest complaint right now is the blonde roast fiasco, then I’d say things are looking pretty good for the moment.

Over and out.

“It’s just what we need? And you decided this.”

I had to take a break from blogging.

Several factors were involved:

1) I’ve been on vacation for the past week and a half, and just got back on Sunday.

2) I had writer’s block.

3) I had an identity crisis of sorts.

I didn’t want to stop blogging. But I hit a point where I was using my blog as a tool in working through my break-up: either to candidly express where I was at, to offer thinly-veiled rebuttals to my ex, to doggedly try and focus on happier things, or to prove that I was an awesome person on the road to recovery and breaking up with me was his loss.

The problem is, in my efforts to use my blog as part of my healing process, it then became tainted by association. In other words, blogging became associated with the break-up. As the desire increased to distance myself from the break-up and everything connected with it, my interest in blogging declined. My ex’s fingerprints were everywhere in my life. There was no space, physical or psychological, that was completely unconnected to him. Healing became a game of hide-and-seek. I was building up barriers between myself and anything that reminded me of him. I couldn’t listen to music – any type of music – anymore. I deactivated my facebook account. I stopped blogging.

I realized that I didn’t know who I was apart from him. So much of my identity was wrapped up in him and the things that I associated with him, that when he removed himself from the equation, I felt like I lost most of myself along with him.

So, in a way, I feel like I’m starting from scratch. I thought about starting a new blog entirely as a symbolic representation of moving forward. Maybe I will at some point. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll be able to start blogging again with the same frequency that I was in the months immediately following the break-up. I don’t know if there will be more posts that allude either directly or indirectly to my ex and the break-up. It’s situations like this that make me wish I had a terrible memory. If I could just forget the past with the same absent-minded ease that I see in other people, I sometimes think it would make it a lot easier to move forward. Instead of seeing precious memories distorted into painful reminders and tormenting echoes… I would just be contentedly oblivious. Most of the time, it seems like having a sharp memory is a curse rather than a blessing. I wish I didn’t know that.

Anyway, this is my somewhat ragged attempt at admitting and acknowledging where I’m at right now, and committing (again and again) to making a fresh start. I want to keep blogging. I want to “reclaim my territory” on this blog, so to speak.  I want to remember and rediscover who I am, as cliche as that might sound. I’m not really sure what I mean by that. But I’m ready to find out.