Day 134: Vapo-Rub...On My Feet ***UPDATE***

Remember on Day 133, I told you that I was icky sicky? Still so today.

I called my mom, who works in the medical field, to give me some advice for not dying of consumption at 23, and she told me to put Vicks Vapo-Rub on the bottom of my feet.

Wait, what?? Isn't the whole point that you inhale the vapors? And doesn't that require that it's anywhere accessible to nostrils?

I know. It sounds strange. However, I have heard of this before on a segment on The Bert Show, so I'm giving it a shot tonight.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow!!!


Well lo and behold, I didn't cough last night after putting on the Vick's, however, I did wake up with nasal congestion--something I didn't have before. Is all of this a lesson in correlation vs. causation? Who knows.

Mark suggested I do some research on this whole "Vick's on the feet" thing, and we found out that it's an urban legend/old wives tale kind of thing, but hey, I didn't wake up with a Nyquil hangover, so even if it's a placebo effect, I'll keep up with it.

Day 133: Sick Sad World

On Day 133, I was icky sicky. I woke up feeling icky with a headache, went to Starbucks for the biggest green tea they had, and by 4:00 was feeling that all-over fatigue of impending illness. For whatever reason, however, I was really hell-bent on going to yoga. I figured to myself, "Hey, I don't have a fever, I can breathe okay, I'll go to hot yoga--it's good to sweat out a few toxins when you're sick! Don't be a wimp."

Well, I went to hot yoga, almost puked a couple of times, experienced what felt like desiccating dehydration and came home with a raging fever, chills, cough, and the works.

It was no time for New Things.

I stumbled into our apartment, clutching a Gatorade with my full life force and plopped down on the couch to take part in Mark and my most recent favorite pastime--watching Daria reruns on DVD.

That's right, I said Daria--the '90's hit MTV show starring Daria Morgendorffer, her popular sister Quinn, her straight-laced but flawed parents and her closest comrade Jane Lane. It documents the life of a well-to-do wickedly sardonic girl making her way through high school with all of the teenage moodiness she can muster, based on observations of the Sick Sad World we live in. 

If you're my age, you couldn't have possibly appreciated the show when it was on TV. It is so brilliantly witty, thoughtful and quick, with such an off-beat tone that nothing can compare to. That signature tone that made it so famous and unforgettable. It makes me laugh out loud every time--and even moreso now that I *get it* with 20/20 hindsight to high school.

All of the characters seem completely exaggerated, making Daria seem so normal, making her off-beat-ness seem like the only plausible state of mind. Whenever it gets a little too complaining, pretentious and, um, Daria-ish (?), however, Jane puts Daria in her place and shows her why she's all messed up.

As I said, there's no way in the world you could appreciate the show then as you can now.



On this particular day, I finished the second season of Daria, making that my completely passive New Thing for the day.

I'm lucky I had a New Thing at all!

Day 132: I'm Officially Official!!

Kay, so it's time to fess up to my entrepreneurial venture. I started a website/blog called Atlanta Yoga Scene and it is awesome! It's a listing of all the yoga studios and teachers in Atlanta, all the events going on (of which there are tons), a blog, and an upcoming master schedule of classes.

Can you believe this didn't already exist?

I started a Twitter account and created a Facebook page a month ago (that already has 117 "likes"!) and within a month I've gotten a lot of really good response. When I first launched the page on Facebook a week ago, I got a swarm of emails saying "put my yoga studio up," "add my name as a teacher," and my favorite "come to my class!"

Well today, I got my very first FREE YOGA CLASS as a result of starting AYS!! I went to Ember Hot Yoga, which is a stunning new studio up in Woodstock. And I'm in love with it almost exclusively because it's my first free class (although, admittedly, I have a couple more coming up soon).

My little business is legit, and people want to work with me! And give me free stuff!!

I feel awesome.

Day 131: What Does the "P" in "P-Touch" Mean?

On Day 131, I used a P-Touch labeller. It was fun. But I want to write this quickly so I can get on to my next post which I'm really excited about!!

Day 131: September in January

This particular day, I went up to Athens to brunch with my lady friend Laura and ambush my other lady friend Courtney.

(Sidenote: Courtney and I have been friends since second grade and we talk about seeing each other all the time, but every time we plan something, it falls through. I thought if I didn't say I was coming, we could meet, and it worked!)

It was a super-duper event filled day, driving to Athens, brunching, chatting, chatting, dinner-ing, etc., but nothing struck me as particularly "New" except for that it was the first time I've driven my new Corolla down 316. Whoop de doo.

Then, when I got home, I was about to fall asleep early again (recall my brie sleep attack at 7:00 yesterday?), and Mark suggested that we take advantage of Netflix and watch The September Issue, a movie I've been wanting to see for ages now.

It's a documentary film about the making of Vogue's famously-thick September issue magazine--the "New Year's" of fashion. It follows Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, as well as Grace Coddington, Creative Director, through their uber fabulous lives of selecting and displaying what American fashion is. They have this beautiful dynamic, Anna being decidedly business-like and cold, where Grace is just the warmest and most romantic artist-type. They fight, talk about each other, want their way, get their way on various projects, passionately put forth their opinions and ultimately create something extraordinary.

It's a very grown-up and business-like "The Devil Wears Prada" meets "The City."

And although I could go on and on about any documentary (real life speaks to me so much more than fiction!), I just wanted to put out there, to anyone who cares, that I feel like Anna Wintour has a some sort of cruel inside joke with an imaginary friend that she's keeping from Vogue and the rest of the fashion world, that could somehow rock the industry if she just showed her cards. She gives these little smiles that just seem to tantalize with hidden opinions and information, if only she would open her mouth to say something about it.

It's so very strange, and such a piece of that whole world that I'll just never understand or be a part of.

Have any of my dear readers seen it? Any thoughts?

Day 130: Well I'll Brie Damned

After getting a variety of baking-related Christmas gifts, I feel obligated to make something every weekend. You may not think that's very often, but it's a big step up in the world for me. Dinners usually consist of easy things I already know how to make or are really really simple (a pasta, a couple veggies and a protein, in any combination, always makes a meal). So on the weekend I branch out.

This weekend, on Day 130, I made baked brie and it was the MOST delicious thing in the entire world.

Cheese lava upon opening the first slice...YUM
Between the two of us, we ate almost the entire thing and it was somewhere between embarrassing and the best decision to make at the time. That thing would cool down in an hour and be inedible. You have to get it while it's hot, literally, or we're being wasteful!

So I gorged, more than Mark. This tasty dish paired with a glass of red wine and I was passed out cold at 7:00 PM.

I woke up about an hour later and Mark and I went shoe shopping (I live the best life!).

Although this was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten, Mark said it best on our way up to DSW, "We have to do that year."

Day 129: Grand Opening

On Day 129, I attended a grand opening party, which just so happened to be Lululemon, a store I have now talked about three times in this blog--once about goal setting and another time about performing a yoga demo for their actual store opening on Black Friday. I should really be getting paid for this.

Anyhoo--my friend Kaylee works at the store and asked me to come, so I obliged. The party was called the Sneakers and Stillettos Soiree and was the "yoga it kid" scene for the night, and I'd like to think I'm making my way to that title. The opening was packed with about 250 people when I walked in an hour and a half late. Major. Turnoug. For the rest of the time I was there, I witnesses cool yoga demos, walked a fancy red carpet, jammed with a DJ, posed in a photobooth, hung out with really fit people and enjoyed free booze.

I felt so super grown up going to a store opening party, feeling cool enough to even know about it. And although it made Mark want to jump off of a bridge, a majority-ladies shindig with yoga demos doesn't exactly beg for men, I had a damn good time.

Day 128: 7 Things Leah looks like...

Today, I Googled "Leah looks like..."

Hilarity ensued:

Are their aliens with souls?
How much cheaper than JLo? I could be satisfied with half of her millions...

A tranny hooker on 'roids! Never have I been so flattered :)


I don't trust a person who relies on the advice of anyone named "Googie" NEXT
YOU BETTER NOT, read my next L-L-L!!
I'm kicking AbercrombieJu12345's ass!

Day 127: Road Runner

On Day 127, I began training for the Chattahoochee Road Runner's 10K, which I am using to get a qualifying spot for the Peachtree Road Race 10K, from which I will springboard into the Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon 2011. If nothing goes horribly wrong.

If you read my goals post, you would see that I had planned to run a half-marathon before my birthday this year, but I'm a girlfriend, blogger extraordinaire, entrepreneur-in-the-making, yogi, and 9-5 office drone. Cut me a couple months slack.

Why am I doing this? I'm not sure exactly. I just feel like I need to be celebrating what my young body can do. If I ever run a marathon, I will do it only once, and only to say I did it. And, my gorgeous, ambitious, novice runner friend Katie Bahran is just killing it up in New York with her running goals and I'm jealous.

My workout was pretty easy, but I hadn't run since attempting the Peachtree last year. Mark some how smuggled me into Gym of Buckhead (uh...she forgot her keys...uh..she's under my name...uh...she's a guest looking to join the gym! (last excuse worked). I got on the treadmill and walked a half mile, ran a whole mile, walked another half, ran another whole mile, and walked another half mile. I could have run for another mile, except for the fact that Mark had been ripping up the treadmill on full speed during this time and was ready to peace out (rightfully so).

So yes, Day 1 of training was nothing to write home about, but I've started yet another "thing" (heaven help me!) and I'm sticking to it.

You can sleep when you die, right?

Day 126: "One Groovy Coconut," My Ass

Today, I broke open a coconut with my bare hands, but it still turned out to be a bust.

I found this little gem in Kroger and thought to myself, "Well, I've never opened a coconut before!" And, to boot, it had this little tag: "One Groovy Coconut." My heart fluttered with possibility.

 I brought my prize home and photographed him looking ever-so exotic. I brought him outside to a the curb and just went for it, banging on the concrete corner as if I were a monkey cracking forest seeds and nuts with a rock. After only a minute or so, and with little effort and no fanfare, it broke open into this...

...a no-milk, moldy, rotten, untouchable, inedible coconut.

Thanks Kroger. 

Day 125: Kumquats: Nature's War Heads

People of my generation are not soon to forget War Heads--that hard candy that is super super sour on the outside and sweet in the middle. It makes you pucker your face like a crazy person before it relaxes you into a state of sweet bliss.

Well, now that our youthful metabolisms are slowing down, I have a fun alternative--the Kumquat fruit, which I tried today. You just pop this little mini-orange looking fruit in your mouth, rind and all. It's sweet at first and then oozes a sour juice, which, by the end of eating, is again pleasantly sweet with a delicious citrusy aftertaste.

And as an added bonus, it randomly makes the tip of my tongue go numb.

<--- equals kid's version of --->

Day 124: I Went on a First Date with a Girl and I liked It

If you remember back to around Thanksgiving last year, I was talking about making grown-up friends and maintining grown-up relationships with. Even for those people who I've known from high school and college, keeping up with people is hard, and there aren't all that many people who can maintain relationships as close as we did in the dorms.

There's no flaw in this at all, it's just a natural progression of life, but it's a progression I'm not used to yet.

At that PRSA meeting that I went to a while back, I was seated next to a girl who was doing very similar work to mine, and we struck up a really good conversation and had a lot in common...and I decided that we should be friends...and I asked her out for coffee...and she agreed!!

I'm making girlfriends!

That meeting was a long time ago, but after living through the holidays, life changes (she just got a new job), and an ice storm, we finally got together over Starbucks.

It was really all of the same feelings that I've had going on a first date. I was nervous that I wouldn't recognize her immediately, that we'd have nothing to talk about, that she'd find some horrible personality flaw in me that would instantly render this a bust, etc. I worried about what to wear (do these flats make me look like the type of girl you'd want to be friends with?) and how much make-up was appropriate. I reminded myself to be myself and ran through a couple questions to break the ice.

With one last piece of encouragement from Mark ("Go make girlfriends!"), and a determined smile in the mirror, I headed out.

Conversation wasn't even the tiniest bit awkward, we found lots of things in common and ended up chatting for almost two hours. At the end, we even set up another date over our undying love for unpasteurized and stinky French cheeses.

I am awesome at making friends. When did I ever question it?

Day 123: "REAL" Yoga

Confession: I am a big ol' scardy cat when it comes to trying some New Things--even when I'm pretty sure I'm going to like doing them.

One such example is a type of yoga I've been scared of.

For those who have never done any kind of yoga before, there are so many varieties and styles that they can't even all be named in this post. There's hatha yoga, power yoga, hot yoga, Bikram yoga, Anusara yoga, Astanga yoga, restorative yoga, and even weirder styles like laughter yoga.

Not all yoga is created equal, and although many styles are based on similar poses, there can be music, more focus on breath, a longer hold in each pose, a sequence flowing through many poses like a dance, chanting, various levels of heat, etc. etc. (And for this reason, I honestly think there is a type of yoga for every body, regardless of your fitness level and experience!)

For most of my experience in yoga, I've done power yoga (hot, sweaty, fast-moving, emphasis on breath), Anusara (slower moving, heart-opening, emphasis on alignment) and Hatha yoga (music, some flow, emphasis on feeling good over working out).

I've liked all of these, but I've always had the feeling that I haven't been doing REAL yoga--like the kind the masters in India do; the kind the crazy hippies did in the sixties.

For this, I needed to try Astanga (Ash-tonga) yoga. This type of yoga is a sequences of poses and flow that build upon itself, so that you are always progressing at your own pace. You learn the one primary sequence, and practice solo until your teacher offers you new poses to master. It's very traditional, and the descendents of it's founder run an institute in India where serious yogis take pilgrimage. It's REAL yoga.

So with an open mind and heart, I went to one of the few studios in Atlanta with these classes and hoped for the best. Now see, I've been doing yoga a preeeetty long time now, but I still get nervous every time I try a new studio or style (Can I possibly be good at every style of yoga in the world? Hardly!)

I selected an All Levels class, hoping I wouldn't be the only one who didn't know the sequence. I was doing pretty well, sweating nicely, building up some heat and managing myself pretty well for the first part of the class. Then we came upon this series of "jump throughs," which look like this:

I cannot do those. That is not at all an "All Levels" move! And oh, we did about, I dunno, what felt like a couple hundred in between twisting ourselves into various pretzel-shapes, one that looked like this...

Now, I'm flexible, I can do a lot of yogic things, but only managed to finagle myself into this pose after the teacher popped my shoulder into submission. Although the popping didn't hurt, I'm pretty sure it was not natural.

I liked to always tell people that no yoga pose actually "twists you into a pretzel," but I was wrong until I tried Astanga.

Class went on, jump throughs, pretzel twisting, headstands, back bends, and all, the rest of which I was able to keep pace with, albeit with increasingly shaky muscles.

In all, however, I really enjoyed the class because it presented new challenges to master. I hope to go back soon and get more comfortable, so that I can get myself into other crazy poses that come, like this:

Day 122: Job Review, Life Review

"Holy crap, I've been at this job for a year now?" My mind has been repeating this mantra for the past week now, after the boss man told me we needed to schedule my one year review. This means that I, Leah Fulford, have stuck with something for a year.


As many of you who know me pretty well know, will understand (and the others should rest peacefully knowing that I've never annoyed them with such conversations) I follow every whim and whimsy and devise a new life plan practically every other week or so. People who know me devilishly well can predict when it's about to happen.

So, the fact that I've stuck with this job--that I approach with complete passion some days and frigid apathy the next, whose pay makes me feel like crap but which pays in opportunities, that I feel pigeon-holes me into a career that I don't want but day-to-day tasks that I like--the fact that I've stuck with it is a miracle. I try to make it a habit to not be miserable, but I have been, and I've stuck through it.

Is this a sign of character or a sign that I'm settling? I'll never know. No one is 100% happy at their job all the time.

Anyhoo, I had my very first one-year review today at my very first big girl job, and it went as well as can possibly be anticipated.

Despite my wavering work ethic, my boss didn't have a single negative thing to say about my work over the year. I asked for areas in which I could improve, and he said my self-confidence is low. Nothing new there. (I've been hearing this pretty consistently from teachers and mentors since elementary school.) Otherwise, according to him, I'm perfect at this job.

Now what?

He doesn't know this, but he should really be impressed with my ability to stick it out through a year of working at the same place!

Day 121: Clapping Pushup

I was sitting around, not able to get out to a yoga class yesterday due to icy Franklin road (thanks to my faithful readers for plowing through my Ig-Pay Atin-Lay post to find out!). On the TV was the show I Used to be Fat on MTV. Sudden guilt. "I need to move."

Now for a side note longer than my post: I'm not ruling out that I have an unhealthy obsession with working out and eating vegetables. Like, I can't think straight if I don't eat at least one healthy meal a day, and I've been dancing, working out, or doing yoga for about 19 straight years now. I'm pretty sure I've never taken more than three months break from physical activity.

Some people think, "Yeah, that's a good thing! You live a healthy life!" But if I flub up, even for a day, I feel paralyzing guilt and the need to punish myself with healthier meals and more workouts. It's not an eating disorder because I maintain a healthy weight and never puke; and it's not a body image issue, because I've always thought I was thin. I don't know what it is, but it compels me to just do something to move.

I say all that serious stuff, for, oh, I don't know why...because somehow writing things down brings clarity to why I am the way I am. I just had the itch to do a physical New Thing to prove that my muscles hadn't reached total atrophy from not getting out of the house for three days

 So here she goes. It wouldn't make me famous, but it counts :)

Day 120: Ig-Pay Atin-Lay

Oday-tay e-way ere-hay in-ay Atlanta-ay ere-way uck-stay inside-ay uffering-say om-fray owmageddon-snay 2011-ay or-fay a-ay ird-thay onsecutive-cay ay-day. Ig-Bay ummer-bay.

As-ay I-ay ave-hay aid-say efore-bay, one-ay ow-snay ay-day is-ay ecial-spay. A-ay econd-say ow-snay ay-day is-ay un-fay in-ay at-thay ou-ya et-gay o-tay eep-slay in-ay a-ay ittle-lay, ut-bay en-thay oredom-bay ickly-quay ets-say in-ay. A-ay ird-thay ay-day? I-ay ill-way ry-tay riving-day on-ay ice-ay ith-way my-ay o-tway-eel-whay rive-day orolla-Cay o-tay et-gay my-ay utt-bay out-ay of-ay is-thay eaking-fray apartment-ay.

o-Say I-ay id-day. At-ay en-tay AM-ay, I-ay ent-way out-ay in-ay an-ay attempt-ay o-tay o-gay o-tay ork-way, ere-whay I-ay as-way anded-stray, o-nay ore-may an-thay enty-tway eet-fay om-fray the-ay entrance-ay o-tay my-ay apartment-ay. ee-Say, my-ay apartment-ay omplex-cay is-ay at-ay the-ay ottom-bay of-ay a-ay ill-hay on-ay anklin-Fray, and-ay etting-gay out-ay eans-may oing-gay up-ay in-ay either-ay irection-day. And-ay I-ay an't-cay o-gay anywhere-ay.

Ow-nay, I-ay am-ay otally-tay uck-stay. And-ay I-ay ad-had o-tay ite-wray is-thay in-ay ig-Pay atin-Lay o-tay ave-hay a ew-Nay ing-Thay!!

For anyone who reads this in its entirety and gets the story, give me the name of my street I was stuck on and I'll send you a big package of chocolate...once I can get out of my apartment complex.

Day 119: The Opposite of Playing Hooky

Here in Atlanta, we're all cooped up and confined to Snow Day 2, Revenge of the Ice Monsters. What prevented us from going anywhere on Snow Day 1 was the general sentiment that, "OH GOD, SNOW IN ATLANTA, CLOSE DOWN THE HATCHES!!" Snow Day 2, however, ushered in a legitimate panic and inability to go anywhere because our beloved four inches of snow had melted into solid sheets of ice everywhere. There were more highway closings and accidents on Snow Day 2, Revenge of the Ice Monsters, than there were on Snow Day 1.

Now, being the good Atlantan that I am, I took Snow Day 1 pretty easy. I got on my computer to check my work e-mail and do some very general and easy tasks, not straining myself to perform great feats of work-at-home machismo.

Come Snow Day 2, Revenge of the Ice Monsters, I didn't have the option to not do work from home. So on Day 119, I legitimately worked from home. I mean, I was checking email at 8:30 AM, booking appointments for press, writing an article due next week, getting on two conference calls--the works.

Remember my Birth Chart and how it told me that I would be best if I worked on my own schedule--outside of a 9-5, etc.? Yes, indeed, that thing again was right. I loved it. It provided me with an awesome sense of freedom. I stopped banging my head against the article when it wasn't working out anymore and picked it up again after dinner to much success. I didn't stress over finding stuff to do when there was no work to be done. I stopped for a couple minutes to snuggle with my boyfriend. And I was productive!

Now, downfalls are that I kind of miss human interaction, but I blame that on the fact that we're cooped up inside and can't go out for any reason anyway. I'm pretty sure if I had been able to do my work from a Borders, take a yoga class in the middle of the day, and correspond one-on-one with some people from work I wouldn't have felt that way, or not that strongly. Hell, I only see an average of two people at work on any given day anyway.

So in short, I loved it. I could make it a way of life. Now how to convince the boss that's a viable option for me?

Day 118: Popsicle Bust

Being snowbound for day 118, I had to get creative with New Things.

I have a small list of things that I've been compiling since before the project began, and one of those things happened to be: freeze a popsicle outside.

I scrambled for something to freeze. Our fridge had a bottle of unopened champagne from New Years, a carton of milk and some beef and chicken stock. Not wanting to open the bottle of champagne, freeze our perfectly good milk or eat a stock popsicle, Mark came up with an even better idea--a Dole cup of mandarin oranges.

I found a tool used for carving pumpkins and made that it's "stick," and set the little bugger out on a snow-covered ledge in the freezing cold.

I sat and did other snowbound things, like read Anthony Bourdain's book, Kitchen Confidential, did as much work work as I could from home, watched daytime TV like "What Not to Wear," snuggled for warmth, cleaned off the ice from my car, etc. etc.

Hours later--not single glaze of ice on my fruit cup.


So, because I was blissfully determined, I decided to leave it overnight. With temps down in the teeny-tiny twenties, I thought surely my little cup would get some sort of chill.

Au contraire.

This morning, I'm pretty sure that thing is even warmer than the snow around it.

My lesson: the preservatives in your food serve as anti-freeze in your food, and can't be safe. Thank goodness I couldn't eat it anyway.

Day 117: SNO-M-G!

Today I saw more snow than I've ever seen in my entire life. Due to global warming and it's effect on polarizing our weather systems--hotter summers, colder winters--we get the pleasure of being snowed in tomorrow for work (and maybe even the next day).

Snow is a huge deal in Atlanta because we are so humorously ill-equipped for it. Our tires don't work in snow, our roads aren't made for snow, our snow plows are brought in from neighboring states, and children are taught from early on that a single 1/4 inch layer of snow on the ground means that the city shuts down. Our brains shut down in the snow.

But today trumped it all...2-3 inches of snow inside Metro Atlanta, 4-5 in the 'burbs and freezing rain in the morning? Snowmaggedon. Seriously.

So what were Mark and I to do, but take a late-night stroll through snowpocalypse. Luckily, we're stocked up on homemade beef stew, Snyder's Nibblers, plenty of peanut butter and a bottle of champagne, so all is well.

My car!!

Mark's hand--all consumed by the snow!

Roads that are already beginning to ice over...

Pool chairs, blanketed in powdery white beauty

Irony--little green sprouts coming up out of the snow :)

Day 116: Welcome to the Nineties

Today I dressed in grunge. The picture tells you everything you need to know...except that I dare not leave the house in such attire--I would need a faded black leather jacket to have done that.

Day 115: Sea Urchin Sushi

Today, I'm going to sound like a tool.

I've been wanting to try sea urchin sushi since I saw how much Anthony Bourdain liked it on his show No Reservations. He has claimed a couple of times that two of his favorite dishes of all time are beef marrow and sea urchin roe, and, because I think he's cool, I want my favorite food to be sea urchin sushi too (although I know my penchant for baked macaroni and cheese will always trump the exotic).

So, when I went out to Genki last night for sushi, and saw it on the menu, I was sold.

See, at least when I make New Things out of eating food, it's been brains, gold, and now sea urchin. That's a step above right?

I didn't take a picture because I'm growing out of that "take a picture of every wonderful looking dish" phase. John Mayer in "3x5" explains my position well when he says, "Didn't have a camera by my side this time/Hoping I could see the world with both my eyes..." You get it.

Anyhoo--the dish was a treat. When you say you're eating sea urchin, you're really just eating it's eggs (or roe), so it's like a ton of microscopic caviar in there, that doesn't taste an iota like the salty, grainy caviar you've had before. Served as sushi, it honestly looks like orange tongue, with a flat, long oval shape, and what could easily be mistaken for tastebuds if you followed this imagery. It was a creamy but firm texture that was, surprisingly, not in the least exotic or off-putting. As in, it was kind of the texture of pudding that, when bitten, holds its own shape. The taste was sweet with a hint of ocean air, and really much lighter than I would have expected for it being a favored dish of a celebrity chef.

Didn't change my life like I had hoped, but I'd have it again...although I may not trust the favored food dishes of Mr. Bourdain to be my own again. Bring on the mac & cheese.

Day 114: Chiromancy

On Day 114, I learned how to read palms.

Using the wonderful resource that is WikiHow as well as our ever-wonderful time suck YouTube, I garnered all of the appropriate information to tell Mark about himself.

Now, it is important to note that according to WikiHow, palm reading is not a prediction of the future, but it does reveal the past. Why you would ever do something to "reveal" what happened in your past is beyond me, unless you had an unbelievable brain accident in which you lost all of your history.

Line 1 is your heart line, line 2, your head line, line 3, your life line, and line 4, your fate line. If you want to know what they mean, you have to pay me, see below.
Mark's hand...complete with emotional trauma, a romantic's touch, and a long, strong, impulsive life.
To practice, I had to use a real palm, and not my own, so I, of course, made Mark the subject of my palm reads. We've gotten our palms read before, when we were in New Orleans for New Years, 2010, and I thought it would be fun to test their conclusions. 

What I learned wasn't all too surprising, and nothing to write a book about. I did learn that he is supposed to live a long and strong life, however, the Chinese man telling me about this admitted pretty clearly in his presentation to me that if your life line is particularly bad that you can do things like jogging to improve your life. Bah. I know this thing is a crock of ninny-wagons anyway, but I feel especially bad when my teacher admits it to me.

Also, Mark's left and right hand "lining" (yes I made up a word for this) are so different from each other. They say to read the left palm, but the discrepancies could mean the difference between marriages, deaths and personality flaws. But his palm was pretty accurate for personality traits.

Now that I know all of these tricks of the trade, I am willing to read your palm too. Don't expect it to make the blog, but do expect to pay me $50 for the time...or $15...or a margarita. That would make for a really good reading. 

Day 113: My Lifetime ain't pretty

Allow me to rant. Actually, I can do what I want here because it's my blog. Hah.

Okay, so for the few of you who actually read this, Katie & Rian, my dad, Katie S, Neil...(is my boyfriend even reading these anymore? unlikely), I feel comfortable enough with you guys to let some nervous energy go...

I'm starting my moody teenager phase that, to the blessing of my parents and chagrin of my boyfriend, is occurring during my early twenties. I started this project to bring some jazz into my life, spice it up, make it fun, but due to the fact that I have a 9-5, a yoga practice I'm trying to maintain and a relationship that needs a healthy amount of attention (NOT doing New Things), I'm just failing. Miserably.

A story. Not long after I started this, someone told me that I could make money off the blog with advertising. I had never thought of that before, but the idea was infectious, and I thought about it a LOT. I don't think this blog is the best place for making money, so I started a new website that would be useful for such a venture (which I haven't launched yet). THEN, I read Tim Ferris's book "The 4-Hour Workweek," about the fact that I should have a REAL product, not just a website, and that in doing so, I could quit my job, work less and make more. The life! (The lies!)

And now I have a bajillion project and ideas floating around in my brain and in the cyberworld, in an attempt to enjoy my life and get out of this 9-5 nonsense.

And I'm not enjoying my life.

Le sigh.

So somewhere along the way today, I saw something about how my "Birth Chart" will tell me what my natural strengths and inclinations are, like a sort of "lifetime horoscope" and I thought, why the hell not?? I can't figure it out on my own, so rely on the stars, right?

Well, what I found was troubling.

Quotes from my Birth Chart: 

"Not all Virgos are workaholics. However, when Virgos are not involved in some kind of project, there is generally a vague feeling of discontent. Even when their lives are filled up with work, they are restless and somewhat nervous creatures. The fear of under-performing is often strong."

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be stuck in this rut of project idea to project idea forever...and I'll never be content.

"The work that you do, and the services that you offer, are very important to your sense of identity."

Expressed this way, it makes sense of all that I feel about a career. It is my identity. I can't just do something for eight hours a day and let it mean nothing about me. Personality flaw? Yep. Ingrained in my birth chart.

"Your identity rides on your sense of personal freedom. It can be quite a challenge to get you to do what you don't want to do, simply because you see any attempts by others to push you in a certain direction as threatening to your sense of freedom."

Yes, don't tell me what I could be good at for a career. I'll rule it out immediately because I didn't think of it on my own.

The kicker:

"It can be difficult to hold a 9 to 5 job or to develop steady routines. You work best when you can manage your own schedule, and you work in spurts. When you are hit with creative inspiration, you are capable of tremendous effort. However, you can be quite temperamental, and it is very hard for you to pour your heart and soul into something that you don't "feel" for at the moment."

Hence, my lack of enthusiasm for doing New Things right now. But today, I looked at my birth chart.



I'm scared I'll never change...but I hope I "feel" it tomorrow.

Day 112: Playin' Hooky from Work

I have reeeeallly loved these three day weeks and weekend that I've been having due to the holiday season.

For most of the month of December, there's been a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my body and mind, but now the working world keeps knocking at my door giving me the wake-up call I asked for and knew was coming, and I'm digging myself back into the sheets. No need for me to say, "I can't help it," because I know I can, but it's hard.

So, on Day 112, I was facing a full and solid month of work--no vacations from here til summer. This is not acceptable to my still-a-little-out-of-touch body and mind. I decided to remedy this feeling by using a long-overdue gift from my birthday (112 days ago) and playing hooky to get a facial at Facelogic. Now, I don't get enough paid-time-off days to really play hooky for a full day, but I did leave around 3:45, telling my co-workers I was getting my car serviced (which does in fact need to be done), which makes me a workplace liar and hooky-player.

Go me!

I've been really good so far in the working world, staying as long as I need to to get the job done, being honest about my whereabouts and not rocking the boat very much, so I deserved this. Ethics be damned--I'm a twenty something not having enough fun with her youth--let me play hooky for an hour.

I only wish that I had enough PTO to make a couple weeks out of every month a three-day weekend. In fact, I have a theory where I think I would be more productive if I worked five days a week and had a three day weekend EVERY weekend. It's a little clever scheduling, but I think it could work. Roll that idea around in your mind a little bit, and I think you'll start to like the idea that you'd have other days of the week off other than Saturday and Sunday and that playing hooky isn't necessary (but it is still awesome).

Day 111: My New Most Favorite TV Show of All Time

Day 111 was shaping up to be an "oh goodness, think of something you did during the day and turn it into a New Thing" until about 11:30 at night where I ran across "The Vice Guide to Everything" with the editors of the surely-now-famous Vice Magazine.

It blew my brains out with awesomeness. If God divined a show that would make me happier than anything in the world, he couldn't have come up with this show.

The Vice Guide to Everything travels the world examining elements of life that have secret stories or just a really freaking cool call to be illuminated. Episodes included Jamaican Dancehall night life, Pakistani gun markets, Indian call centers legal narco border control terrorists, house arrest in Libya, Colonel Butt Naked, stream of consciousness ("based") music, and hydraulic cars among other things.

Armed with a sense of cool unrivaled by any TV hosts ever (except maybe Anthony Bourdain), shown through a "True Life" lens, capturing incredible occurrences unable to ever be reproduced, it oozes awesome like you can't touch. I was literally on the edge of the couch, with my fingers up by my mouth, salivating at the incredible world we live in, yearning desperately to drive to the airport at midnight and catch the next flight anywhere.

Day 110: Peter Piper's (Stuffed) Peppers

On Day 110, I slow cooked stuffed peppers. As I may have mentioned before, I finally got some cookbooks for Christmas, so I'm putting them to use. Frankly, I don't know how to cook much of anything except boxed mac & cheese, so I'm truly seizing the opportunity to learn a couple things or two about cooking before I become a real adult. And yes, I'm still pretending I'm not a real adult yet.

And, because it begs to be asked, Mark fried up those plantains on the dish too. So. Delicious.

P.S. We love dinner guests :)

Day 109: Korean Karaoke

I didn't have very concrete New Year's Eve plans on day 108, until I got a text from an old friend and IANTM enthusiast, Katie.

Katie was the first person at UGA to take me under her wing. This was an especially big deal for me. I had enrolled at Tulane University for college, had moved in to the dorm, and on the same day was evacuated due to Hurricane Katrina. Due to the severity of the storm, classes were canceled for the semester and they suggested students enroll in a college to get started and return the next semester. I came to UGA (a month after the school year had started) and was stressed, depressed and friendless.

My only friends at UGA had decided they were on to new and different people in college, so I was alone.

I don't remember how Katie and I met, but immediately she invited me to a football game with her, introduced me to her friends and gave me confidence that I wasn't alone after all. She holds a very special place in my heart.

Katie has since moved to Florida for work, and although our relationship was rather relaxed in college, whenever we meet up, its seamless conversation. When she called with plans for NYE, I was thrilled that she was in town and hanging out with other friends and blog readers, Eric and Neil, and sure that the night would be easy and fun.

Our night took us to Do Re Mi karaoke. This karaoke place was distinctively Asian, in that you basically rent a room with a three-wall booth and another wall full of TV screens showing lyrics and semi-serious montages of Korean people. It's a "traditional"-ish way to do karaoke with friends and not embarrass yourself in front of anyone you don't want to.

Now when I say this place was Korean, I'm meaning really, really Korean. As in, every shop in the two-story story, U-shaped, 50-store strip mall had signs in Korean. Two of three of the remote controls had Korean text on them, the other one was in English. Of the three inch thick binder, only about a quarter of an inch of paper was dedicated to American songs, and we had to learn how to convert the subtitles into English.

Snacks? Puffed rice concoctions with various flavorings.

The whole strip mall even smelled like I was in a foreign country...and I loved it.

About the karaoke, it was a lot of fun, highlighed by a rendition of "A Whole New World" sung by Neil and Eric, a putting-Queen-to-shame version of Bohemian Rhapsody sung by Neil and Katie, and an uber-fail "Forgot about Dre" sung by Mark and I.

It's way easier to let go of your inhibitions when you are just in the company of friends. It takes far less beer to do the trick when you're sure that the people who are judging you won't stop liking you due to any infractions.

It was a fun, unique and new way to ring in 2011, complete with karoke of Auld Land Syne (it's tradition, after all).

Video to come later, as YouTube is being a pain in the rump.

 HAPPY 2011!!!!