Cleaning out social media

I just went through Instagram and unfollowed every person who has polluted my feed over the past year with shitty vacation selfies, screencaps of their jogging routes, and syrupy-sweet lovey-dovey cringe-inducing couples bullshit.

If you’ve ever posted your ugly-ass husband with the hashtag #MCM (Mancrush Monday), ya gone. If your fiance runs a website that is literally dedicated to the belief that all Democrats want to do in life is to take away your guns, ya gone. If every third post from you is a countdown to your wedding (which is 7.5 months away! JFC!), ya gone. If your pictures are shit and you have no business being on a social media platform that is literally 100% pictures, ya gone.

I should have done this years ago.


Working weird hours this week and everything is terrible

As of the writing of this (2:21am) I am on day 2 of 3 days working on central European time, due to a very large conference in Stockholm that most of my coworkers are attending. Officially my hours are 2am-11am, but unofficially it’s been more like 12am-12pm.

I am dizzy. My biological clock is mush.

And I have discovered that the actual worst thing about working odd hours is that you are COMPLETELY ISOLATED AND FATIGUED. It’s dark out, everyone is sleeping, and it feels like I am back in school pulling an all-nighter. I am drinking coffee and pigging out on McDonald’s because I’ve been too tired to cook. As the sun starts to come up, I put on NPR in the background just to hear the sound of a human voice even though hearing live and constant updates about this massacre in Las Vegas is making me sick and sad.

I hate this.


On turning 26

jardin du luxembourg
People-watching at Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris this summer.

I recently turned 26. Thanks to Obamacare, we now have a modern definition of exactly what constitutes adulthood in America, and that is the day you are officially kicked off your parents’ health plan for good. This is why turning 26 feels a little special–I am, according to society, Someone Who Now Has Her Shit Together.

And I do, for the most part, thank God. I have a full-time job, a mid-level career at a nonprofit, working with civil society organizations across the world to further a meaningful cause. I graduated with a master’s degree earlier this year. I recently moved out of a group house and into my own studio apartment, which I keep clean and tidy on a daily basis. I brew my own lattes and mochas with a stovetop faux-espresso maker. I own two plants that I have managed to keep alive thus far.

But there’s a lot of uncertainty, too, things that keep me up at night. I have a massive amount of student loan debt–more than I make in a year, payments that leave me essentially breaking even after rent and groceries each month. I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. Trying for the foreign service again? Living in a different country? Or feeling stuck? I am alone, and sometimes lonely. And then of course there’s the disastrous political insurgency that has crippled this country. The DC region has the highest concentration of anxiety and neurosis per capita I’ve ever seen–and that shit is contagious, yo.

One more thing I’ll mention about getting older: I am hungry all the time. Like all. The. Time. I am watching my calorie intake with an app, and I am exercising more, but still. How am I not 200 lbs yet?!


My new studio apartment


In August, I moved from a three-bedroom house to a studio apartment. My rent went up by $300 a month, but I have to say — so worth it. I’m now a 15-minute bus ride from work and a block from the metro. The building has a concierge that holds mail for you, so I no longer have to worry about packages being stolen off my porch. I can go in the kitchen and cook whenever I want, without having to share the counters or entertain small talk. There are cons, too, of course: just this Saturday, the entire building was evacuated twice, at 6pm and 1am, due to faulty fire alarms going off. I can sometimes hear my neighbor singing loudly at midnight. And when I cook, the smell permeates through the entire apartment. But overall I would say, again, WORTH IT.

I’ve finally finished decorating the apartment, so here are some pictures. Mad respect to people who take photos for house tours on Apartment Therapy. They make it look so easy, but it’s actually hard af trying to get everything to fit within the frame. Here goes. Continue reading

Chinese sweet and sour glazed ribs

sweet & sour ribs

I made ribs for the first time today and they turned out delicious, despite being totally misshapen and weird-looking!

Even though I don’t usually eat pork, this is one dish that I always ask my mom to make when I’m visiting the family back in Georgia. I decided to recreate it myself today, using this Chinese recipe. I did really well except for the appearance of the ribs–when my mom makes them they’re all straight and normal-looking, and mine were weirdly curved and lumpy. Not sure if it’s just the way they were butchered.

Anyway, here’s the recipe in English.  Continue reading