Odds & Ends – August/September 2017

Analyst bonding on the Potomac River

In the words of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley (of Green Gables), “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Mother nature helped us usher in October this weekend with absolutely perfect flannel-and-boots weather. Helen and I took full advantage and road tripped to Charlottesville for some fall fun, which I’m excited to put together a guide for next week. But first… another two months have passed, and what a blur it has been! To start off, this video is a pretty accurate representation of my first two months of work:

(Barely hanging in there, but staying on the beam somehow…) The “drinking from a firehose” analogy is also a good one for whenever people ask me how work is going. The learning curve is incredibly steep. At the end of the day though, that just means I’m learning more in a shorter amount of time than I would in many other industries. Some new favorites that have gotten me through the challenges of adjusting to a new life:

  • frozen cauliflower rice – Cooking nutritious meals has been a struggle. “Networking” means a lot of meals out (on the company’s dime, which is nice), extra coffees, pastries, and alcohol that I wouldn’t normally be consuming. Sitting at a desk hunched over staring at my laptop screen for 9 hours is also a huge change, and my body hates me for it already. Trader Joe’s organic riced cauliflower has been a lifesaver when I’m starving after the gym and have very little time or patience to cook something elaborate. Sautee with any combination of vegetables. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Boom – dinner in 10 minutes!

  • Annapolis, Maryland – Over Labor Day weekend, Helen, Sarah and I took Peanut (her new car) on its inaugural roadtrip (followed by our Bluemont Vineyard trip a couple weekends later). I’m not sure how this cute little sailing town, only an hour from DC, flew under my radar growing up. I missed out! “Naptown” thoroughly charmed me with its maritime character and preppy vibe, not to mention Mason’s Famous Lobster rolls. Forgetting nutrition, I also thoroughly enjoyed my apple pie ice cream (with chunks of housemade apple pie!) from the award-winning Annapolis Ice Cream Company.  After treating ourselves big time, we popped in and out of the cute shops on Main Street and people watched by the water.
Connecticut roll – served warm with butter (low-quality photo, high quality lobster)

My friend from high school walked us around the beautiful Naval Academy, giving us the inside scoop on life as a midshipman. I’ve always been intrigued by the seemingly foreign culture, since I don’t have any military family members. Thanks Miles, for showing us your stomping grounds!

  • Disney x Girl Up’s #DreamBigPrincess Campaign – Disney, in collaboration with the UN Foundation Girl Up,  launched a photo project to capture the spirit of inspiring women and girls all over the world. The photos were taken by some of the most accomplished  female photographers from 15 different countries. I love that the campaign redefines what it means to be a princess.
<center> Photo by Kate Parker, courtesy of Disney </center>
Photo by Kate Parker, courtesy of Disney
  • zucchini ribbons – Move aside, zoodles. Peeling wide ribbons of zucchini with my vegetable peeler is so much more satisfying than the thin spiralized strands! This has been another one of my go-to weeknight meals, with some chicken or salmon. The vegetable peeler is much easier to wash than a spiralizer, and I like the texture of the wide ribbons better. Zucchini was never really big in my house as a kid, but lately I’ve been working it into everything from stir-fry to pasta to muffins, and I am loving it. Sadly the season is coming to a close… maybe I’ll be brave enough to grow my own some day!
  • Despacito piano cover – Okay I got so sick of this song this summer, but I’m such a sucker for fun piano covers! Every now and then (usually a couple hours into YouTube) I find myself inspired to turn back to the keys and wistful that I didn’t pursue music further. Then I snap back to reality when I remember how miserable I was practicing for four hours a day! I have been thinking about buying myself a keyboard for my apartment, though… Maybe a Christmas gift to myself?


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