Tag Archives: apartment

living in the moment/the not quite yet

This street is full of people who had a passion and decided to do something about it.  It is full of small business started by people who love what they sell–shoes, their personally designed clothing, coffee, pizza, stylists, bulk tea, cooking classes, custom framing, art work, obscure books, wine, “designer” flowers, an Irish pint, and–best of all–high quality food.  With the exception a Starbucks, there are no chain-businesses–at least nothing that extends beyond an additional store or two.  This says to me that people are still out there opening up shops because they have great ideas and long to share their passion with like-minded individuals.  And towns like this one allow them to thrive.

On the weekends when I know I’m in for the long haul I like to put our dining room table up against the northernly window so I can look down to the street as I take mental breaks from studying.  I thrive upon the idea of doing something you love to do: open a business to help others, letting money be a secondary motivation.  With all the Walmarts and Starbucks and Olive Gardens in the country, it brings my heart such warmth to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Sometimes I think about my business being on this street.  I can picture myself, coffee in hand, scarf around my neck, opening up shop early in the morning.

No, wait, that is Kathleen Kelly.
But it might also be me.



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is this some sort of delicious trick?

When Andy asked me yesterday how I was I told him…like word vomit I couldn’t hold back that fact that I was miserable.  I hate that about bad days–what are you supposed to say when people ask you how you are (terrible, thank you) and you can’t muster the strength for a cheerful answer.  But he he listened intently and shared a bit in my misery–even if it was from the other side of the country.

This morning when I left the apartment a tin foil package was on the porch.  I looked around with shifty eyes.  Was this some sort of trick?  That has got to be baked goods under there, but, who “accidentally” leaves baked goods on my porch?  I put down my excessive bags and carefully crept closer to the deliverables.  I poked it.  And then noticed the sharpied lettering, “To Katharine, From Andy Bender.”

Aaawww snap.
Wait.  Don’t you live in D.C.?
I looked under the tin foil.  Cupcakes, alright.  Vanilla on vanilla with red and green sugar sprinkles.  You were in on this, Pham, we’re you?  I’d know your baking anywhere!

I brought the package inside, wiped the tears from the corners of my eyes, and set out for the day with full knowledge that there are tiny cakes awaiting my arrival home.

Thanks guys.


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Meet Bucky

If you’ve ever visited (or slept over, only to emphasize the point) my lovely abode you know quite well that I live above 2 bars.  Having had the windows open for the last few months I’ve become overly familiar with Thursday karaoke night and always know where there is a touchdown/home run.  I’m also starting to recognize habitual voices.  One in particular I’ve named Bucky.  His voice is rather distinct.  I’ve never seen him, but am pretty sure he’s had a tracheotomy or three and continues to be an avid smoker. He’s always yelling.  Actually, add possible alcoholic to that list, seeing how sometimes I hear him to the left of the apartment, sometimes to the right–always beginning in the early afternoon and continuing late into the night.

I cannot help but wonder what his job is.  Or was, really.  He’s obviously putting in some extensive hours.

I would be totally weirded out if I ever met him.  But I don’t intend to go drinking downstair anytime soon…seeing how I know the crowd in those joints all too well.


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Watch: “watch out”. Warning: “one has been spotted”.

A little known fact about this girl: when I was little I was deathly afraid of storms. I remember spending a lot of time hiding out with mom and dad and Chris in our unfinished basement and I’m still unsure if it was because it stormed a lot when we were young, or because it was the only thing that could keep me sane during rain.

Yesterday, during a Scrubsfest, the sirens began to sound to alert our little town that tornadoes were eminent. Now, I’m an adult and all, and I’m over that whole deathly-afraid -of-storms thing, but there is still this eeriness that looms. It makes my heart beat fast and my breathing become short. Normally I’d stand outside and watch as the clouds made their way toward us, but being in a new place and having heard that sightings had occurred in towns within 10 miles we decided to descend to the basement. Sandy could tell I was nervous.

Knowing that the rain was to hit us a few minutes after 8pm we shut the windows, and JUST as it started to downpour we made our way to the laundry room…a super creepy place in the underbelly of our building. Halfway down the stairs I worried about the possibility of the lights going out–which would leave us in the creepy basement in the dark. “Should we get a flashlight?” “No,” Sandy said. “Keep going!”

So, we spent the next half-hour chatting with friends from the washing machines. Luckily the power didn’t go out…because then we also would have been without a wireless signal. This was the result.

Hiding from the storms!
Luckily, we are still alive.


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still quaking

I made the executive decision to sleep with the window open last night and I distinctly remember waking up a number of times in a state of bliss at the feel of the breeze and the sound to the outdoors in my bedroom.

At one point, somewhere around 4:45 am I woke up to the feeling of my bed shaking. My immediate thought was that the wind had pushed the bed, which juts out into the center of the room. As I became more lucid I realized what a ridiculous idea this was. Perhaps someone had pushed the bed…wait…I’m the only one who sleeps in my bed. Was someone working on the house? Was there a need to use a jackhammer at 4am? That too was a dumb idea. Perhaps it was an earthquake? I eventually fell back asleep and didn’t think about it again until a few minutes ago, when one of my coworkers mentioned “This Morning’s Earthquake.”

An earthquake in Illinois, eh? I’m not crazy. I actually find it quite exciting.
I have to admit that I’m glad I hadn’t decided to sleep on the couch. The whole world might have imploded.


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I have had two blender mishaps this weekend. You’re thinking, blender mishaps, what the heck? I know, right?

I made a smoothie yesterday and noticed spots on the wall above the sink in the same color as the aforementioned smoothie. So, somehow the smoothie jumped from the blender to the top of the cabinet door and wall. This doesn’t make sense, as the table upon which the blender is used is about four feet away from the sink, and more obviously, on the floor–not the ceiling. And yes, I use the sink to clean the blender, but at this point the glass pitcher is far from the motor and any moving parts that would tempt smoothie to fly to the top of the room. I have a picture for your review, although I’ve yet to discover if my Mac has a way to better edit photos, so I cannot point more directly to the crime:

Spots are on the right hand side of the cabinet, just below the top hinge. More reside above the colander, on the wall, pretty much even with the hinge–a considerable distance for any food to fly. Sandy and I sat around after dinner tonight trying to think of scenarios in which this could have occurred. Did you fling the spatula into the sink? Did you blend without the top? No…and no…. We’re still perplexed. And I have yet to wipe it off.The second mishap occurred after I unpacked my new toy. Mom gave me an immersion blender for Christmas, which is great for mixing drinks pureeing soups. It also comes with a number of attachments for whipping and processing food. I was taking a look at the food processor–so intrigued by the fact that you can turn the bland upside down for a different kind of cut–and thinking to myself be careful! The instructions said that blade is sharp. Man. It does look sharp. Dang. Just cut myself. Its probably pretty deep. Yep….that’s blood. And pain. Ouch. (it was here I realized that my inner monologue was being quite vocal.) You’re an IDIOT.


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spreading Christmas cheer ALL over this place

I was at my brother and sister-in-law’s yesterday as they took down the autumn decorations and hauled the Christmas boxes out of the  crawl-space.  They first bought the house from what my mom calls “some dead guy”–but what she really means is that the previous owner pretty much left the house and all his belongings intact.  Now, nearly 2 years later, they are still finding his things, even after practically gutting the house to make it their own.

Apparently they had a Christmas tree in the crawl-space that had been left and asked if I wanted it.  Sandy and I had discussed the possibility of a tree, acknowledging that Lynn’s 3-foot tree from last year really did make a difference in our spirits come finals time.  This, of course, meant that we’d have to find and actually spend money on a tree.  So when a free one was offered I said yes!  But was then told it was over 7 feet tall.  Well, no then…

But then I thought about it more and realized that Christmas comes only once a year and even if it involved having to step around the tree for a month or so it should have a home in our apartment.


In case you were wondering, that was me putting up my first fake tree as I lastfm-ed a “holiday” station.  Not that it was difficult (thank goodness the deadguy left the instructions) but I wanted to complete it before Sandy could come home and tell me no.  Now she’s just going to have to live with it.  And with each step she takes to avoid it in our tiny flat she will give thanks for the Christmas cheer it brings!


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