The Hallmark Nightmare

I'm beginning to hate Hallmark stores. Not because I waste an hour every time I walk in or because the overly happy woman working behind the counter never understands that I just want to buy a card and not chit chat for ten minutes.

I hate them because of the depressing feeling that sinks in every time I ring that annoying little bell on the door. Last time I was in a Hallmark store, I bought three wedding cards, an engagement card, a congrats on med school card and an it's a girl card.

Most of my friends from college are either: 1. Married, 2. Married and expecting a baby, 3. Engaged, 4. In a long-term relationship (in which an eventual marriage has been agreed upon), or 5. In a relationship.

I know I'm still young and have a lot of time to find someone and figure everything out, but they're young too! Sometimes it just makes me sad.

Ok, time to mail the "Congrats on the Engagement" card... and then watch some cheesy romantic comedy to cheer me up.


Let It Snow, Let It Snow

It was snowing on my way home today. I hope it snows all night. I hope I wake up to three feet of snow tomorrow!


The Presidential Pledge Video

Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge Video. This video is very well done. I like it a lot.

I'm working on making some pledges of my own... I will not use plastic bags at grocery stores, I will try to smile more and stay positive, I will donate more to charities... I'm working on more...

I'm A Sixty Year Old Woman At Heart

I honestly think I am. I spent the night reading Studs Terkel and perusing old ladies magazines while listening to Madeleine Peyroux's album Careless Love. I LOVE her voice. She sounds like Billie Holiday (who I also love) and plays an amazing style of jazz. I've always loved jazz and blues music but for some reason, I've been listening to it a lot more lately.

I wish I could shimmy like my sister Kate.


My Love Waits There in San Francisco

My friend and I have been talking about planning a trip to California for a while now. I'm not sure if we'll really end up going or not, but if we do, we'll probably end up in Los Angeles or San Diego. Me, I'd rather go to San Francisco. I don't know if it was Sinatra or Full House, but I've always wanted to go to the city by the bay. It seems like such a charming, delightful city.

San Francisco, your golden sun will shine for me.


Men seldom make passes, At Girls Who Wear Glasses

So I hurt my eyes and am now forced to wear my glasses rather than my contacts for a while... very unusual for me. I'm just not sure I can pull glasses off like other people. I am so jealous of girls actually make them look attractive. (Men look even better with a pair of specs on.)


My Personality

My friend stumbled across a "Personality Patterns" test and it looked like fun so I tried it too. My biggest traits? Aesthetic, Original and Friendly. I'd say the test is right on.


You appreciate art, beauty, and design; you know that they are not superficial but absolutely crucial to living the good life. You have good taste, and you're proud of it.You don't think it's pretentious to be moved by art and beauty. You're not one of those who believe it doesn't matter what something looks like as long as it does its job.Those with a high score on the "aesthetic" trait are often employed in literary or artistic professions, enjoy domestic activities — doing things around the house — and are enthusiastic about the arts, reading, and travel.


You are constantly coming up with new ideas. For you, the world as it exists is just a jumping-off place; what's going on inside your mind is often more interesting than what's going on outside.You don't feel that the road to success is to be a realist and stick to the program; you never stop yourself from coming up with new ideas or telling the world what you're thinking about.


You would rather hang out with others than spend time alone, and you'd far rather be doing something with your friends than just sitting around. You're happy in a crowded room, club, stadium, or auditorium.You're not a private person who is ill at ease in a group; you don't view excessive socializing as a waste of time.
Other traits of mine are: Passionate, Sympathetic, Accessible, Warm, Cooperative, Understanding and Scrupulous.


Happy Inauguration Day!

What an amazing day!


Sad Movies, Sad Books

Last night I watched Life as a House. It is about the relationship between a father and son, an excellent but very, very sad movie. It's one of my favorites.

After I stopped crying, I realized that I have a tendency to watch sad movies and read depressing books. My mother has actually told me several times that I need to start reading happier books. She was very excited when I read the Harry Potter series; unfortunately, there are only seven stories and I eventually had to go back to my style of books.

A few upsetting books that I have read within the last year:

Life Laid Bare by Jean Hatzfeld
Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

This is only a small portion of the list...

Afternoon at a Coffee Shop

I spent this afternoon at my favorite coffee shop on the harbor at home. I absolutely adore coffee shops but sometimes I find myself people watching and eavesdropping more than concentrating on the book I'm supposedly reading.

Today I sat next to a group of college foreign exchange students from Germany, Columbia and somewhere I can't remember. I couldn't help but listen to their conversations. They all had such different stories and experiences than I have heard before- and lovely accents.

It was definitely a great day at Common Grounds.


White People Like Learning Italian, So Do I

One of my New Year's resolutions is to learn Italian. I knew this was going to be a hard promise to keep, but apparantly I had no idea how difficult (or cliched) it would be. Number 115 on the blog Stuff White People Like is "Promising to Learn a New Language."

Healthy Drinking

The fact that I titled my blog "Coffee and Conversation" should be enough to show my love for/addiction to coffee. But because my busy schedule doesn't allow me time to cook healthy meals, I thought I might as well try to drink a little healthier. While I know I will not be able to skip my morning cup of coffee, I am going to try to trade my afternoon cup for a mug of green tea instead.


I Love You More Than...

I was playing around online and found this blog called "i love you more than ____." I think it's a really cute idea and apparantly over 1,000 other people do too, check it out. Read the story. What do you love??
Mine would probably be coffee. Or Saturday morning....


The Best Way to Spend a Saturday Morning...

I know that as a weekend approaches I should be most excited about a few days break from work, but mostly, I get excited for Saturday morning bruch or an afternoon reading at the coffeeshop. I have been sick for a few days but am finally feeling a little better so I am excited to wake up before noon and enjoy my favorite time of the week... Saturday morning.

The White House is Not My House

I was recently surfing the Web and found an article on the Domino Magazine Web site about decorating in the White House and inspiration for the Obama family. I found some pictures of interesting rooms that Kennedy and Reagan decorated but still, they didn't have that home-y feel to them.

I don't think I could ever live in the White House even if I could redecorate each room. (Good thing I'll never have to worry about it.) I just really don't like old furniture and decorations, they don't seem warm and inviting. For an office, I probably wouldn't mind some of the decor, but a home should be more cozy. I don't want to come home after a long day of work (or school) and feel like I can't relax. So, that's it, I could never live in the White House.


Everyone Should Be In Love With Harry Connick Jr.

He is amazing. I dare you to argue otherwise.

I recently bought two more of his CDs, Only You and To See You, and have been listening to them non-stop (except for minor distractions by She & Him). I think this puts me at five of his CDs. He has an amazingly smooth voice and great style of jazz. Perfect music to listen to while cooking, maybe. (Sorry Sinatra.)

One of my favorite songs of his:

He is starring in the new movie New In Town with Renée Zellweger that is scheduled for a January 30th release. Minnesota accents? Harry Connick Jr.? Sounds like a great movie to me.

Oh yeah, he's dreamy isn't he?


Great Song

I loved this song before and I think they did a great job covering it. She & Him Volume One has been playing non-stop on my iPod for a bit now.

At Least I Had Coffee

A wicked blizzard was supposed to hit Chicago last night and force Northwestern to cancel classes today. Nothing but snow flurries, classes were still on. UGH.

After an hour on the "L", I got off and headed to class. I was already in a better mood. (Probably because I spent the entire ride reading about that fascinating creature Edward Cullen.) However, that didn't last long. About half a block from my building, my computer bag broke, forcing me to carry everything under my right arm.

I had coffee in my other hand.

Now this was not a cheap, flimsy bag by any means. I destroyed it by cramming too much stuff it in, which I suppose will happen from time to time as journalists become "one-man-bands" and I continue carrying everything I own around the city of Chicago.

So I decided take out whatever was not absolutely necessary before transferring it to another bag. I removed two CDs. They were obviously the cause of my broken bag.

What did I leave? My laptop, a digital camera, a voice recorder, my cell phone, an iPod nano, a flash drive, two small notebooks, a reading packet for class, a handful of pens, two highlighters, a nalgene bottle, my wallet with assorted cards, four different flavored lip gloss, a granola bar, medicine, a packet of gum, assorted jewelry, a pair of gloves and a pin that reads “What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about?"

Sadly, this is less than I usually carry.


Dream Wedding

So my best friend has been talking about her wedding for a little bit now. It's pretty much all planned out as far as location, timing, colors and all of those other small details that don't really mean a whole lot until her boyfriend actually proposes. But after talking with her and other friends about their plans for weddings, I started thinking about my ideal wedding. (Trust me, this is the first time I started thinking about it. I definitely was not that 5-year-old girl who played dress up holding a bouquet of toilet paper flowers and arranged a stuffed animal audience.)

I decided that my perfect wedding would have a little 1940s style. I love, love, LOVE old black and white movies. I remember watching Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart when I was a kid and just falling in love with them and their style. (Why can't men be like that anymore?) I think it would be perfect to dress like they did in the 40s, and have wedding pictures taken in black and white. But I suppose we'll see what happens...

I found an example of a wedding that included a little 1940s style without going overboard. I love the veil.

{Photo by Ben Chrisman}

Girl Crush

I have a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel. She is an amazing actress and singer; her voice is amazing. I also really like that she isn't like every other actress in Hollywood... even though she grew up in Los Angeles. She has an amazing style and old time Hollywood charm.


No Need to Hide Your Diary

I randomly stumbled upon this Web site where people can post their secrets anonymously and others can reply. While at first I thought it was really odd that someone would write a secret on a discussion board that they probably haven't told their best friend, I decided that the concept behind this site is actually a great idea. I have always been super shy and therefore never kept a journal because I worried too much someone might read it.

This is a good way to get some things off your chest without risking the chance at someone finding out- as long as it is completely anonymous, which I don't know, I'm too scared to post anything...

I Heart Edward Cullen

If Disney movies didn’t already do it, Edward Cullen did.

Stephenie Meyer wrote Edward Cullen, a vampire, as a romantic, charismatic, magnetic character that you can’t help but love- but can’t find in real-life.

The film industry- and others for that matter- has created generations of women with unrealistic expectations for ideal relationships, romantic gestures and perfect men. Dinner and a movie is no longer enough, women want eternity - and if that could happen after a week or two together with no complications and a guarantee of a happily ever after: perfect.

No real-life, human boy will ever reach women’s ideal expectations and they are then forced to settle for a commoner rather than their dashing Prince Charming.

Even so, it is because of these “happily-ever-after” tales that we still hope to find our prince because- after all- dreams do come true.

(There’s so much more to say about this, I could go on about it forever.)

New Year's Resolutions

I make lists for everything; it’s what I do.

Unfortunately, I generally don’t do what is on the lists and instead waste my time making another.
I decided this year is going to be different. When I wrote my “New Year’s Resolutions List,” I chose more realistic goals. (Marrying Joe Mauer did not make the list, sadly.)

My resolutions?
Learn Italian. (I should really say re-learn Italian.) Stay in touch with friends more. (This will be especially important after I finish grad school and possibly move away.) Read good books in bed. (A week into the new year and I have one accomplished already.) Write more. (Especially short stories.) Make plans and commit. (The theme of this list I suppose.)

I was going to add “Try not to stress out about everything,” but that’s not a realistic goal at all.

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