Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dress to Mingle: Meet More People with a Whatzit

There's a good chance there's one thing you're missing that's keeping you from meeting several new people a day. Oh, really? You doubt that? Well then put your hands up and show me you're Whatzit--you're under Whatzit arrest.

Whatzit's a word I picked up from the book, How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. The technique is foolproof and one I've used for a long time without realizing it was a "technique" at all. So, what exactly is a Whatzit?

"A Whatzit is any object that draws people's attention and inspires them to approach you and ask, 'Uh, What's that?'"

Everyone's been there. You see someone you want to talk to on the bus, standing in line at the coffee shop or grocery store, or with you in the elevator, but you have no excuse to approach them! Some people rely on commenting on the weather--after all, it's one thing you for sure will have in common with a person standing next to you at any given time--but you run the risk of making a vanilla first impression are guaranteed to make a vanilla first impression. Last time I checked, remarking how cold/hot/[insert weather condition here] it is outside didn't inspire any captivating conversation. Or get you a date.

This is where the Whatzit comes in.

It doesn't especially matter what you choose to be your Whatzit, though keep in mind you want it to attract the right people as well as fit in appropriately with the situation (e.g. I would probably never use something with skulls on it. Just sayin'.)

Remember the key purpose is to give people an easy excuse to approach you.

After they initiate conversation (and they will, lots and lots of them), you get to choose how personal you make the conversation or if a simple "thank you" will suffice. It's up to you!

What? What's that you say? You're wondering what exactly is hanging around my neck in the photo? I'm not surprised! This Whatzit wasn't intended to be a conversation catalyst, but I'd be hard pressed to name a day that someone hasn't commented on it*. Whether strangers on the bus, cashiers, people at bars, coworkers, or friends, both male and female, they've all made a comment about it. I can't tell you why it works (maybe the irony of a preppy girl like me adorning herself with a firearm), but just believe me when I say it does.

So, what is your Whatzit?

*The necklace is the Revolver Single Charm Necklace from Charmed and Dangerous. Charmed and dangerous, indeed!

Monday, February 25, 2008

snap happy

I did not one, but two photo walks this weekend!

-Morning stroll through the Olympic Sculpture Garden downtown (end of my Seattle set)

-Late afternoon walk through the Georgetown 'hood

-Some pics of me. I haven't had my picture taken since November, so it was about time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


listening: The Gourds. T and I saw them live on Valentine's Day, and just as I expected, their performance was engaging and made me forget that the day was intended to be spent with a man (T is better company, anyway!). I've been listening to them pretty much nonstop since, and their album, Live at Bluebird Theater,even got me dancing in the shower this morning(probably not attractive, but festive!).

learning: C#. My C# class finally started up this week, and I couldn't be more enthralled. In fact, I stayed up until almost 1am last night talking about it!

hiring: an illustrator! I'm commissioning some illustrations for a new blog project I have been working on the last couple of weeks. I'm still not sure if I'm going to pursue it, but it's fun to take a blog design more seriously and talk to an artist about it!

subscribing: The New York Times, finally! I don't know why I've waited so long to order a weekend subscription--it's so cheap! My plan is to take it to this coffee shop up the street from my house on most Saturday and Sunday mornings.

...and otherwise, somehow staying really busy!

February List Update:

1. See Atonement. Did it! I met up with T, Angela, and Angela's friend Sarah for some dinner and drinks downtown before going to the movie. I don't think any of us liked it as much as we'd hoped we would, but it was still fun to hang out with everyone!

2. Cook a nice meal for myself. Done! Bonus for drinking extra wine. ;)

3. Visit an art gallery. This weekend?

4. Comedy club. Still a to do. I meant to see Lisa Lampanelli, but I had the days mixed up.

5. Walk in snow. I'm not sure this is going to happen! Things keep coming up on the weekends.

6. Buy something for the apartment. Check! I bought new bed pillows and a pretty turquoise cast iron enamel pot. Can't wait to cook something in that thing!

7. Experience a new coffee shop. Saturday! With my New York Times!

8. Photo walk. No excuse, really. Also this weekend...?

9. Get Holga film developed. Man, I suddenly feel like I have plans for this weekend. ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cure for a day of shopping for shoes and clothes:

Buy a book instead. You'll save money and be much happier. :)

If you didn't guess, I ended a long morning of unsuccessful apparel and shoe shopping with a quick stop at a used bookstore I've been meaning to visit for as long as I can remember. The selection was lackluster at best, but about the same time as one of the owner's cats began snuggling against my leg, I spotted the book, The Design Collection: Selected Objects.
Memories of snobby salespeople, shoes I can't afford, and blah clothing vanished as I oohed and aahhd over the pages upon pages of design classics, just begging to be framed.

More images on flickr.
Thinking you also need some pictures of some chairs? Good deals on Amazon marketplace.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love at 24

First, some heart pouring:

I used to think that meeting The One would knock me over the head, leaving me dizzy with happiness forever and ever... Instead, I had homework to do, which conveniently enough he would be able to do for me. I sported a baby blue Dell t-shirt with a large image of a PC on the back of it (I knew he liked computers and I wasn't messing around!), a denim skirt that showed my legs so at least he would get something out of it, and probably flip flops since I don't remember wearing any other shoes during college. Fast forward from that fateful day in 2002, and we went through graduations, breakups, job changes, new cities, vacations, an engagement, and ultimately the breakup. Love. Schlove.

Despite everything, I am not spending today feeling bitter, regretful, or resentful, because more and more this last year I have learned to love myself. I realize that I cannot depend on The One or The Next One to make me happy, because it's entirely in my control (and he can leave!). I am challenging myself in new ways, accepting failures, applauding successes, taking chances, and being grateful for the little things that stay the same. I have nursed relationships with family, separated myself from negative people and replaced them with positive and inspiring friends. I have learned to push personal boundaries and care less about what other people think. I am learning that a lot of being happy comes from making others happy. I am learning what love really is, and what it can be.

So with renewed optimism, a positive spirit, and lots of love, today I'm celebrating a healed and open heart.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Embroidery WIP

My progress on projects is only getting slower, so this would-be Valentine's gift for my sister is now a spoiled surprise, but hey, I'm working on it!

That wrinkled mess is a flour sack towel from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy's. It seems like it will make a nice lint-free towel, except the slightly loose weave makes the embroidery a little tricky. I'm stitching using the split stitch with four strands of floss. I've switched from using an embroidery needle to what's called a chenille needle, and I couldn't be more pleased. The chenille needle is shorter and the eye is long and slender, making it much easier to thread.

This is the first time I've attempted creating my own transfer as in the past I've used the iron-ons, evidenced by the images of a hand mixer forever printed on my ironing board from my first embroidery project. Oops!

This time I bought one of the mystery pencils at the craft store labeled "Heat Transfer." The transfer process is easy. Print out or free-hand your design (taking care to mirror text), trace your design onto tracing paper, then iron on to fabric. In order to get my image to show on the fabric, I had to draw pretty thick lines, and from what I've read this stuff doesn't wash out. It worked fine for this project since I'm using pink floss anyway, but in the future I think I'm going to have to find a better transfer pencil or method.

My transfer, after lots of line-thickening and lots and lots of ironing:

By the way, the quote pays homage to the comedian Chelsea Handler, but I also don't drink to make myself more interesting. I can say that it probably makes me more fun, though! ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nine things I want to do in February

1. Go see Atonement, even if I have to go solo.

2. Cook a nice, complete meal for myself, just because! Wine optional, but necessary.

3. Visit at least one art gallery.

4. Go to a comedy club.

5. Walk in snow (with snowshoes on, preferably!).

6. Do/buy one thing for the apartment, however small.

7. Try a new coffee or tea shop and for once, actually sit and read instead of bolting out the door.

8. Go on a photo walk.

9. Take one more roll of film with my Holga and finally get some developed!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Guess I'll take the one in the center doing the spread eagle

My sister and I have this thing where whenever two guys walk by, one of us will try to call the better looking one first, usually in the form of "I've got the one on the left!" Even more fun when the guys are particularly unattractive or bizarre looking, the game leaves us in a fit of giggles.

Keeping that in mind, this postcard she sent me last week seriously left me tickled. She wrote on the back, "I already have dibs on the one holding the cell phone, so you can have your pick of the others!" Dang it. She always wins! Thus, spread eagle dude will have to suffice. :)

Oh, and if you're wondering what the heck the postcard is a picture of, it's the filming of a Bollywood movie. Umm yeah...I had no idea either! Anyone else enjoy the occasional Bollywood flick? I've been addicted since I first saw one in 8th grade geography class. Not for the every day, but they are entertaining!

Monday, February 4, 2008

happenings: belated edition

Don't let this belated happenings post fool you into thinking it is Friday...

working: too much! Just about every day last week, I worked early, stayed late, and on top of that had to come in for another hour and a half Saturday--cripes. All that, and the person who this project is for refuses to throw me a bone or heck, even say thank you.

drinking: cup after cup of Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate. I've never got past the grassy flavor that characterizes most green teas, but this one is extremely drinkable. K Swiss took notice of my frequent visits to the restroom and bluntly inquired about how much liquid I drink!

crocheting: I've graduated from the single crochet stitch we learned in class and am practicing the double crochet, thanks to Crocheting for Dummies. I have several Dummies books, and although the "for dummies" schtick seemingly decreases their credibility and makes the books seem more elementary, I have loved every one I've read and used. I can't tell you how many times I've referenced Sewing for Dummies.

embroidering: Valentines. I worked on this quite a bit over the weekend, but of course pictures will have to wait!

exercising: I'm feel I'm quickly approaching the point to where this pilates routine is becoming a habit!

watching: 30Rock. How had I not heard of this show? I caught up on Season 1 via dvd and am watching Season 2 over at Hilarious!

planning: for a good month! I've been thinking more and more of the idea of "living consciously," which leaves me feeling more thoughtful and anxious at the same time. I'll pull some thoughts on this together this week to see what you guys think.