Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So Fresh So Clean

This weekend/week has been truly eventful, but before we delve any further into the happenings, the 411, the what's what of 11238, I got a haircut!

As you can see, it's both cut and colored, because Craigslist is god's sign to humans that hesheitwhatever exists. I originally responded to a beauty school student's ad for a free cut and/or color, but when I hadn't heard back from her, I snapped up the opportunity for a free angled bob at Paul LaBrecque in the Upper East Side, which is this totally ritzy, over-the-top, Gossip Girl-esque salon whose haircuts set you back, at the very least, $80. It's $500 if Paul himself cuts your hair. So you can imagine I was feeling pretty swanky as I sat in my robe, surrounded by New York City socialites, debating whether or not I wanted a complimentary beverage from the ESPRESSO BAR:

Spectacular. Anyways, Tam, the hairstylist, was doing her final training on A-line bobs, and she did a fantastic job. When I got back to the apartment, I checked my email and had a response from Erica, the beauty school student, saying that she could cut or color my hair. So the next day I headed to Empire Beauty School as a brunette, and walked out a sassy almost-redhead. I love the color. Absolutely adore it. I wish I were going to be in New York longer/needed another haircut soon, because Erica not only did a phenomenal job, but was a blast to sit with for almost three hours. If you ever need a haircut and you're in the area, I highly recommend her. I normally hate talking to people when they're cutting my hair, but she was bubbly and hysterical and talked about things in extended metaphors, which are all great qualities. She was also five months pregnant, and I've really taken to pregnant people lately. Maybe it's because Jodi, my boss at Girl Scouts, is pregnant and I'm obsessed with how awesome Jodi is, but women who are pregnant (and chose to be pregnant) are so giddy and excited about their future baby, and I like when people get giddy and excited about things. Anyways, so now I have a fun new haircut, and what better place to say "Look out world, I have a bouncy, auburn bob and I'm not afraid to use it/strut it around town!" than the United Nations building?


Friday, June 25, 2010


If there's thing I've learned from my ten months at NPPR, Girl Scouts of the USA, and The Office Watchers' Guild, it's that everyone loves an intern:

And you know what? I love being an intern. I've started to dread the inevitable day when I am being paid more than $5.85/hour, and can no longer wear hot pink flats and five-inch heels to the office and have my shoes showered with compliments, suggest international women's empowerment and promotion of access to contraceptives as an environmental initiative for Girl Scouts when everyone else in the room wants to get people to replace their light bulbs, and get excited about trivialities like having my own cubicle or planning a potluck. The transition from interning to working full-time is going to be like selling my Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly, and I'm not looking forward to it.

One of my favorite moments at work thus far was on Wednesday, when I met with the art department to discuss and design the Girl Scouts Forever Green badge. After our introducing ourselves, I told the director, "I was a Girl Scout for 13 years, and the fact that I'm designing a badge right now is incredible. I'm truly geeking out." Again, everyone loves an intern. I always took the badge designs for granted as a kid, but so much work goes into each seemingly minute detail. Some decisions were easy ("that's hideous"), while others were a bit more problematic. Girl Scouts has made efforts in the past few decades to be more progressive and inclusive of non-Christian religions and religious beliefs, including this 1993 decision:

Girl Scouts Take The Lead

...Girl Scouts, which in a landslide 1,560-375 vote on October 23, 1993, adopted a measure to permit any of its 2.6 million members to substitute another word or phrase for "God" in the official pledge. Girl Scout President B. LaRae Orullian made an official statement that the change is "a very strong statement that Girl Scouts continue to be on the cutting edge, and this is a continuing effort to show that we have strength in diversity and that we are an inclusive organization."

As part of this new direction, I learned, Girl Scouts now steers away from depictions of humans, or any human body parts, on badges and patches, as not to alienate its Muslim members who follow the tenets of aniconism. Our original design was a very minimalist, idyllic representation of a tree, whose leaves and branches were formed from outstretched human arms in various shades of green and brown. Sensitivity sent us back to the drawing board, which I believe is a positive setback. The final design depends upon the details of our final project, but I'm chomping at the bit to see the finished product. I am absolutely ordering one and sewing it onto my old Girl Scout vest.

Another part of Girl Scouts' new branding and messaging is a giant leap away from the stigma that Girl Scouts is only "cookies, crafts, and camping," which is a little sad and disappointing, because those were the best parts about Girl Scouting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They Could Walk...If It's Not Too Deep

On a note that is completely unrelated to this post, I am laying on my bed in front of the fan that I bought for $5 on Craigslist (only took me a cumulative 350+ blocks on the subway to get to it!), and it is glorious. I found out my apartment doesn't have air conditioning, but Craiglist always supports me when times get tough. Craig would never leave me sweaty and uncaffeineted. Right now I'm in the middle of a search for a free haircut, ride to Richmond, and, uh, job. Let's see how long the Craigslist gravy train lasts, WHEE!

Anyways, this past weekend I headed back to the great commonwealth (sic semper "state") of Virginia to visit Thomas, which was a spectacular time. The Pearces are a fun bunch, and even Luke, Thomas' 9-month-old nephew (he spent a solid amount of time reminding the family to call him Uncle Thomas, not Uncle Thom), was delightful. Also, Bettie is SCHMADORABLE,

and the cave was glorious:

A TV, an XBOX, and two computers. Tiny Computer's keyboard controls the larger computer but has its own screen? I don't know, I gave up on trying to figure out the NASA HQ set up. You can see Arrested Development playing on the TV. which became the theme of the weekend. Porter House threw an AD-themed PARTAY, so how else would we get in character and prepare for the festivities besides watching the entireties of seasons one and two? It was really and truly the only viable solution. The party was awesome, and everyone was in fine form:


Rita and GOB. "He takes his queen, and covers her in diamonds! Clubs. Club sauce! He covers her in club sauce."

Another GOB (though less illusionist-y) and George Michael. Not pictured are the tube socks which were a great touch. Also, Labant looks like he's wearing a party hat which is just incredible.

Anne, GOB, and George Michael. GOD KNOWS THEY'RE SQUINTERS.

GOB, Rita, and Anne, discussing the Ocean Walker and illusions. "Across from where?"

Someone Whose Name I Didn't Catch as Tobias Funke after he blue himself. Brilliant. That is the kind of dedication we here at Peripatetic Peanut applaud and award.

I also got to see Zoe, Steph, and Janet, who were kind enough to let us crash at their apartment Friday and Saturday night. We baked too many "chocolate chip flavored cookies," hit up Eastern Market:

Friends! Zoe was all about that lemonade, and I've never seen someone locate a food more quickly and efficiently than Thomas seeking out blueberry and Nutella crepes. Moth to the light.

and wandered through Chinatown and the National Portrait Gallery. This is a portrait of...the United States? Whatever it is, I'm excited about it SURPRISE SURPRISE:

Janet was not as excited, although I'm sure on the inside she was brimming with joy and sunshine and gumdrop bubbles:

As you can see, I was not ready to leave by the time Sunday rolled around:

Hi, I'm caving in a leopard print Snuggie and yesterday's clothes, please come again.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

As mentioned a few posts ago, my trip to the MoMA was kind of SIKE absolutely a bust. That's because the MoMA does not have a Torpedo Tit Catsuit:

Last weekend, Laurie came into town and graced me with her presence, and we decided to hit up a place we had both been dying to visit, the Museum of Sex (we nicknamed it the Museum of Oh Wow, Who Knew?). This museum was a) fantastic and b) not for the faint of heart. The first exhibit, Action, featured the history of pornography, and was a small room that just played, well, porn. The screens were both on the walls and the floor, so the awkward option of walking around looking at your feet pretending you weren't interested did not present itself. Instead, it was a decision between gay sex or BDSM. Fortunately, Laurie and I are not shy when it comes to this sort of subject matter, and I can say that they only thing that made us raise an eyebrow was the people with balloon fetishes:

People who are turned on by balloons experience arousal both from the association with latex, which makes sense, but also the anticipation of the bursting of the balloon. There was video, shown above, of people just blowing up balloons, which seems harmlessly non-sexual, but to each their own. Also featured in the fetish section were feeders and gainers, in which the former becomes turned on by watching the latter eat, and will often keep the gainer around simply to watch them consume food and grow larger. I was thinking that if this whole "non-profit work" thing doesn't work out, I could make bank as a gainer. Are you kidding me? I can eat two Chipotle burritos in one sitting. Easiest. Job. Ever.

The best exhibit, though, was Rubbers: The Life, History, and Struggle of the Condom:

Yay, it's Laurie! Anyways, my first reaction was, "What condom struggle? The Thirty Years Condom War? The Condom Reformation? Condoms' Liberation?" Well, ask and ye shall receive:

Oh. Oh, wow. WOW. That looks...awful. How is that pleasant for either party? Swedish condoms look much more approachable, and dare I say, cute:

Korean condoms, we learned, in another Oh Wow, Who Knew Moment, are hopelessly lost in translation:

They sold them at the MOS store, which was awesome, by the way, but how can you expect something to prevent children when it can't even spell "melon" correctly, you know?

MOS has the right idea. Also, if you don't think Laurie and I went to Chipotle for a post-museum lunch, you have another think coming. Laurie, if I found out you recorded me eating a burrito to post on a feeders/gainers site, I'm going to be pissed. Anyways, here are some more Who Knew, Oh No, and Huh, Cool moments:

RealDolls kind of freak me out. There are pictures of Laurie and I getting...grabby, but they are available on a request-only basis/Facebook/not on this blog, sorry not sorry. We were gentle, though.

There was a lot of glass dildo (spellcheck does not recognize "dildo" as a word, bizarre) art at the MOS, but the title of this one kind of made me squirm. "Ham Blossom." Ham is really gross. Now I'm thinking of like, sandwich meat, and it's no good.

Wamp wamp, Catholic Church.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mr. Mamma

While I have a lot more to say about Sweden and how ridiculously excited I am to be heading there in two months from Sunday, and how amped I am on my apartment, and how frustrating the language is, I'm at work right now, so this article on Sweden's parental leave policies, which has created a status quo of both men and women taking signifacant time off from work to raise a child, and the acceptance and institutionalization of women's rights and feminist thought ("...some women complain that Swedish men are too politically correct even to flirt at a bar..."), was pretty great. This entire country seems great. I want to go to there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not In the Job Description

If [insert TBD career aspiration] doesn't pan out, I have a great future as an event planner. Jodi, my boss, wanted to have a department-wide social gathering FUN FEST, but who would be able to pull together such a frivolous event when there are deadlines to be met and responsibilities to which to attend and bills for which to pay and mouths to feed (the novelty of always being around people in their 30s and older never wears off. The other day I walked into work and Jodi announced she was expecting her second child, Samara announced she got engaged over the weekend, and Kristin discussed celebrating her 40th birthday the coming weekend. Sure, the AU Career Center tells you how to ace an interview or write a damn good cover letter, but what they don't tell you is how to react the first time someone tells you they're pregnant and it's a good thing and not a total downer)? Basically, when the question of potluck leadership was posed, everyone in the Membership and Volunteerism team meeting simultaneously snapped their necks in my general direction. Yay, interning.

The potluck, which was supposed to be a picnic at Bryant Park but Mother Nature had different plans for us woe alas (the invitation encouraged adherence to a dress code of seersucker), was a great success, and super cute, I might add. The theme was, you guessed it, and each person signed up to bring a different GS-related food item. Daisies brought fruits and vegetables (plants, get it?), Brownies brought desserts, Juniors brought bite-sized and finger foods, Cadettes brought beverages (Gregory brought Orangina, Diet Coke, and ginger ale, bless his heart), and Ambassadors brought international dishes. These pictures don't show the potluck at its peak, with curried butternut squash and Chipotle and coconut oatmeal cookies and so many other delicious things, many of which are still sitting in my cubicle, nom nom nom, but you get the idea:

At my midterm review next week, if they ask me what I've learned so far at GSUSA, I'm going to say that nothing wins the respect and friendship and others like providing them with free food and an excuse to blow off work for two hours.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Yesterday was my first weekend alone in quite a few weeks, and I wanted to make sure I at least tried to get out in the city and do something fun. Even though I'm technically living here, as stated on my lease, I am still kind of operating in tourist mode; there are so many things I haven't seen, and the city doesn't feel familiar yet. So, I decided to have a campy tourist day (CTD, abbreviations, my one true love). First stop: Rockefeller Center.

Despite avidly watching 30 Rock for the past four seasons, I still didn't really know what Rockefeller Center even was. A brief search online showed it to be a weird amalgamation of high-end chain retailers and bourgeoise fast food, but there had to be more to it; tourists wouldn't flock from all corners of the world just to go to the mall, right? If I was going to have a CTD, I had to adopt the tourist mentality: no holds barred (is that the correct idiom?) Tourists are obvious, over-the-top, and do everything with gusto, which are great qualities in my opinion. I had to do something equally enthusiastic.

Inspiration struck from my latest blogging obsession, pop culture immersion blogs, where people follow the advice that media outlets give them to a tee. My favorites so far have been 30 Days of GOOP and The Seventeen Magazine Project, both of which are hilarious, spot-on, and a delightful intersection of my favorite things: pop culture, blogs, and novelties. Anyways, I decided to give it a shot with my own adaptation of a character:

"Those shoes are definitely bi-curious."

Liz Lemon, played by Tina Fey. If someone told me I would grow up to Tina Fey, I would not be able to feign displeasure. According to many friends and family members, Liz Lemon is my doppleganger in both body, spirit, and awkwardness; I take this as a compliment, even though Lemon is infamous for her high intake of simple starches and ability to perform stripteases in flannel pajamas and a retainer (Tina Fey stated in an interview that Liz Lemon is based on herself in the earlier stages of her career; Fey was also known throughout college as being notoriously awful at detecting the sexual orientation of others, a quality I too share, and which has made me the butt of many a joke, thanks suitemates) . So, I donned my Lemoniest and hopped on the F Train!

Rockefeller was disappointing, because it really was just a giant mall, but with a lot more people. The NBC store was pretty cool. It simply does not get better than a MILF Island t-shirt:

I was honestly more entertained by the recycle-picker-uppers (I live on the same block as a can/bottle center, so there are always people milling about picking up discarded goods and making noise either a) at 7 AM or b) in my general direction) catcalling me. HAHA you have a Liz Lemon fetish.

Other than that, there wasn't much to see, unless you wanted to shell out quite a bit of money to go to the top of the observation deck. I kind of ambled around, hoping someone would mistake me for Tina Fey and let me in to NBC Studios, but no dice. Bored, I headed to MoMA for Free Fridays, hoping to be entertained by modern art and blah blah blah whatever.

As soon as I walked inside, I remembered that I am not good at art. It's not that I think it's stupid, or that I don't like it, but I just can't understand it. I stare it like it's an acid-base equation that needs to be solved, and when I can't figure it out I get frustrated and just kind of slink away. So, after a few minutes spent with Picassos and some photographer whose name escapes me and OH MY GOD so many little children, I headed back to Brooklyn. Lame, I know, but it was a hopeless cause. Instead, I hunkered down with David Foster Wallace's Oblivion, and had a very relaxing night with a good book and an even better cup of tea.

Today has been equally quiet. I spent some time in the Botanical Gardens, but I've found that when I'm left to my own devices, my attention span is even shorter than usual, so I left after only a little while. One can only look at plants by oneself for so long. Also, so many children. Now I'm just killing some time before heading to the library for the We Won't Be Shushed 24-Hour-Read-a-thon; to raise money and awareness in the face of budget cuts, the Brooklyn Public Library is staying open from 5 PM Saturday to 5 PM Sunday and holding continuous readings throughout the night. This evening, I'll be roving around collecting signatures on petitions, and hanging out at a postcarding table. It sounds (really, really) dorky, but I missed the service and community involvement that APO offered/mandated, and even though I've only been here for a month, it feels good to be able to be a part, at least a little bit, of this neighborhood. Volunteering at a Read-a-Thon in Brooklyn to save a library is one of the most stereotypical SHaack events around, so I decided to cap the night off with something more predictable: ice cream at Blue Marble, a local ice cream place that serves organic products from upstate New York, and, again, a hot date with David Foster Wallace BOW CHICKA WOW WOW

Friday, June 11, 2010

Littles Are For Hearting

Not surprisingly, Blogger's spellcheck does not recognize "littles" as a word, probably because it is not, and is a bizarre fabrication of family and insta-love created by the Greek Like system. Nevertheless, I have a little (littleface!), Hannah, who is family and who I do love dearly, probably because she is a) schmadorable, b) equally enamored with pop culture and Miley Cyrus (of course she performs for Good Morning America the weekend I'm in DC), c) makes me encouraging signs for the Chipotle Challenge (EAT! GO BIG GO!), and d) came down and hung out with me last night.

After grabbing a quick slice of pizza (one thing New York has over DC is readily available, ridiculously cheap, super delicious food), we headed to The Donut Pub in Chelsea.

I've been missing Georgetown Cupcakes quite a bit, and have been on a search for equally tasty pastries. Found them! This place was exactly what the name sounded like- a bar for sweets. We saddled up to the barstools, and were presented with what can only be described as So Many Donuts and Other Delicious Looking Things:

After Hannah and I nursed our jelly-filled and Boston Creme (respectively) donuts and coffees, we headed to Comix for the Kings of David Night of Comedy, which featured Jewish stand up comedians. Despite years of improv comedy, I had never actually been to a comedy show before, and I was not disappointed. Kelley and I said last year that we would take stand up lessons together, which never happened because neither of us had the motivation/time, but it's something I wouldn't find trying, even though I know my comedic talents work best when a) written or b) completely accidental and based in my awkward mannerisms and inability to function in certain social situations. Anyhoo, the show was hilarious, and I plan on checking out a lot more comedy while I'm here. The only catch is that it's mighty expensive; we got the tickets for $1 each thanks to Girl Scouts discounts (holler!), but were blindsided by the two-drink minimum. If we learned nothing last night, it's that age is just a number (this is the second time on this blog I've used that...idiom? adage? platitude? ugh whatever) when there are profits to be made. I had a bumpin' good time, though, and it was great to see HannahLittleFace.

Since I don't work Fridays, today begins the weekend for me. I have a few fun things planned (yes, Zoe, I made a plan for myself, don't judge me), and I can already tell it's going to be a good weekend. How? I found a prize in the bottom of my Cocoa Puffs today, and I wasn't woken up by the incessant squealing of 7-year-olds outside my bedroom window at 7 AM. Oh, happy day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cell Phone Pictorial: Working

View from my cubicle, except less sideways

Girl Scouts have the best motivational posters of any organization by far

Poster in a meeting room designed for focus groups of 9-14 year olds.

They threw a party for me my first day! How cute is that? SCHMADORABLE.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cell Phone Camera Pictorial: Living

My apartment!

Guess which shelf is mine? Hint it's the one with food in it. I swear to god, my French roommates only eat twice a week, and then it's almond milk with sauteed corn and organic kale and endives or something ridiculous. You're making me look bad, people.

Louis, my curdling buddy! Marie and Greg found him abandoned in a park in France, and he's one of the friendliest dogs I've ever met. So delightful, although slightly annoying. The overly ebullient demeanor is acceptable though because he can stand on two legs for a solid 45 seconds. Yesterday I tried to pick him up from under the bathroom sink and he hugged my leg for a minute. I almost didn't have the heart to let him go. Almost. Hey, teeth need to be brushed, Louis.

"Wait, you need quarters to use the washer and dryer?" MacGyvered that one.

View from the roof of the apartment: Manhattan skyline up top, White Castle below

Plate from the Party exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The entire piece, which is a large room with a triangular dinner table highlighting 70 feminists from throughout history with customized name mats and vulvae-inspired plates as a way to reclaim women's traditional role in the kitchen and domestic space, was really well done, but this place setting was my favorite. Emily Dickinson is a champ. I've always wanted a "hope is a thing with feathers" tattoo, right after the "I am, I am, I am" tattoo.

Diorama at the American Museum of National History. The exhibit on soil composition throughout the US was great, too, as was the Islamic art and literature section, but those weren't as fun to photograph.

Shirt at the craft fair in McCarren Gardens. Text:

A Cave is a natural underground void large enough for a human to enter. Some people suggest that the term "cave" should only apply to cavities that at some point...[text becomes illegible at that point in my other picture. Burden.]

Gift of the Craigslist Magi

The City is looking deceptively like the District right now:

1) I'm currently sitting at my desk at work, browsing news sites and Wiki articles in an attempt to kill time because I finished my tasks too quickly, which was what I did almost every day at NPPR, essentially twiddling my thumbs and filling my mind with interesting, though useless, trivia until the last two hours, when I would start and finish that month's newsletter. Not complaining though. New York Magazine's recap of Gossip Girl episodes have proven hysterical. There are worse things in life than getting paid to brush up on pop culture...

2) way of broken escalator, er, stairs, at the 34th street subway exit. Who does the F train think it is, the Red Line? New Yorkers seem much better at taking public transportation, but I've never seen such incompetence at handling a faulty escalator. "Wait, do I have to...walk up this? What's happening? I guess I'll just stand at the base and ponder my next move while half the city piles up behind me." So I spent the morning fighting Escalefters-by-default*...

3)...whilst tending to a 12-cup coffee pot, which I found for free on Craigslist (I am hopelessly in love with Craigslist and I can't see myself acquiring goods and services through any other means ever. My next hunt is for a fan, since apparently my apartment isn't air conditioned, and a free haircut so I can donate my hair to the oil spill) after yet another burdensome adventure to Williamsburg. Is Williamsburg's inaccessibility part of its allure? Do hipsters flock there because it's difficult to reach, or is it difficult to reach as part of a hipster-quarantine campaign? FEDORAS ARE CONTAGIOUS. DO YOUR PART. AVOID THE G TRAIN. But anyways, I now have this coffee pot that I decided to bring to work so I could have free coffee 24/7 (well, 7/4) and share it with coworkers and have the popular, caffeine-doling cubicle, but there are no outlets around me and National Properties won't respond to my email about obtaining a power strip and oh my god this desperate caffeine deprivation reeks of Fall 2009.

I came so prepared, too! Coffee and filters included. Ain't she a beauty?

FOR SARAH. DAMN STRAIGHT. So right now I'm just kind of staring at my unsuable coffee pot...

4)...while enjoying a Georgetown cupcake, courtesy of Madison, who visited this weekend. It's technically from Thursday but it's refrigerated and banana-chocolate-chippy and delicious and age is just a number.

It's been great having visitors so often, because it's forced me to get out and explore New York. There are so many opportunities and events going on, but they're only so fun when you're on your own. In only three short weeks, I've turn up SoHo nightlife and Central Park picniclife with Sarah, hung out in Carroll Gardens and Alphabet City + a visit to the American Museum of Natural History with Thomas, ventured through Williamsburg and Chelsea for some serious thrifiting with Madison, and even grabbed some midnight tea in Park Slope with Jonathan, who stopped by on his way to Providence, RI. Unfortunately, my cultural event of the night is an adventure to the Laundromat. Oh boy! I've been watching a lot of Mad Men lately because a) I've had a lot of down time after work, b) it's set about 5 blocks away from my office and c) it's a great show, but it's made me kind of want to be a housewife who wears A-line skirts and pastel-colored blouses and has perfect January Jones hair, but then I remember how bad I am at laundry/how awful I would be at motherhood:

"Mom, my white shirt is pink! And it shrunk!"

"Not now, Jimmy, Mommy is trying to watch Gossip Girl. Now run along and make me a Manhattan."

*MTA subway escalators are only wide enough for one person, so you can only move as past as the person in front you. New York has not yet received the memo that while escalators move, you can also walk up them too. It's not hard, people.