Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Recap

One perk of having a personal blog is that scrolling through old posts is much like flipping through a yearbook documenting life's present worries or celebrations. This year I focused primarily on honing my skills at work, but my goal is to make some attempt at a decent work-life balance in 2014. 

Overall, despite life's typical ups and downs, 2013 was a good, memorable year and I hope 2014 will be even better.

Here are my favorite posts this year:
  1. What Duncan taught me: Remembering my most loved pet
  2. Spot me: Corporate Gym review: A self-deprecating review of the Corporate Gym
  3. Work anniversary: Celebrating 1 year with my first job out of college
  4. Leap of faith: On the importance of finding a company that is the right fit for you
  5. Saturday spin: My take on unexpected life moments (and the corollary)

My sister (Amy) and I during her October wedding

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

U.S. Dialect Quiz

Have you taken that New York Times U.S. dialect quiz that's gone viral? As someone whose spent my entire life in Virginia, it's interesting to see that that my top three city matches are clustered in California's Bay Area of all places:

The three most dissimilar cities? Toledo, Detroit and Buffalo:

What are your matches?

Wrong hyperlink

The most festive way to celebrate Christmas Eve is to peel myself out of bed much too early in the morning and get my biscuit into the office for a day of work, no? I was on my second cup of coffee by 10 a.m., and for some reason felt the need to justify it to the software engineer (one I'd never had a conversation with previously -- never to old to make new pals!) who was waiting for the electronic tea kettle beside me. Oddly, I am probably the most charming version of myself when making small talk with strangers at the coffee machine or microwave.

In any case, I am partial to The Washington Post most days and today clicked on what I thought was a link to an Opinion piece about Edward Snowden but instead was directed to a piece about prostitution. I thought I'd misclicked, but it turned out to be an error with the hyperlink:

Merry Christmas, readers :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Who ate my carrots?

Communal refrigerators are like anonymous Internet comments: some people do bad things when they think they can't be implicated. I keep a bag of baby carrots and a container of hummus in the company refrigerator when the need for a 10 a.m. snack arises (I wake up early and so get hungry early, but 10 a.m. feels too early for lunch), and a carton of almond milk to accompany my breakfast cereal.

First, a coworker alerted me when she saw an admin mooch off my almond milk for her morning oatmeal. I felt violated. So, I moved my carton of almond milk into a coworker’s mini fridge, which worked great for a few days. But then I got busy and didn’t have time for the 20-minute pleasantries that must necessarily precede each visit to said mini fridge, and so had to find alternative options for breakfast that didn’t require milk. Eventually, I gave up and moved my carton of almond milk, with some resignation, back to the communal refrigerator to be shared with all at Corporate.

But then I started noticing that my baby carrots were disappearing faster than I was eating them from the bag, which often was rewrapped untidily by the culprit (not very sneaky!). And one day I found that the moocher only left me with a sad tablespoon of hummus from a container that was at least one-third full the last time I opened it. I suppose emptying the container would be too mean?

iMessages with my brother regarding a family trait

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Downton Abbey Personality Quiz

My result:
Anna Smith/Bates!

You are Anna Smith, head housemaid of Downton. You are basically the best employee ever. Competent, practical and tough, you can handle anything life throws at you - whether it’s rude colleagues, secretive romantic partners or surprise dead bodies in the workplace. Your kindness and loyalty are to be admired, and that Bates fellow should really recognize what a catch you are.”

What a relief! I was afraid I'd get Branson :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I picked up my repaired car from the collision repair shop on Wednesday – just in time for Thanksgiving. Looking at the damage immediately following the car accident, I wasn’t entirely certain whether the damage could be repaired or worthwhile given the age of the car (which, though not ancient, is no young chicken). I wonder the same about personal relationships.

At what point is it enough to forgive and (try to) forget? And at what point can you say that your feelings have suffered enough to just walk away without any further attempts at reconciliation? Am I just being silly or stubborn? Should I not have swept everything under the rug for so long to avoid conflict or confrontation?

My mother asked me how the repairs turned out. The new car panels are shiny and unblemished, like nothing had ever happened to it. But the door sounds empty and less hefty when I close it. It feels – and is – different.
College roommates during our July 4 trip to Ocean City this summer