Office Birthdays



Office birthdays are a delicate dance. We usually have one party a month, for all the birthdays of that month. Group parties seeeeeeem like a good idea, but without designating one special person, no one knows how to proceed.

First, everyone pretends not to notice the cake, because they’re so busy chatting and catching up. I, however, have a laser-guided focus because my great weakness is that if there is food, and a group of people, I will always, ALWAYS panic about not having enough to eat.

THEN, you have to try and get a piece for yourself. Etiquette dictates that the birthday person gets the first slice, but with no one person, it becomes an awkward shuffle of “who is going to go first, and look like a jerk/pig?” The trick is to try and sneak your way in, snag a slice and retreat back into the crowd before anyone sees.

AND THEN, if you work in MY office and have yourself an ice cream cake (a far superior choice), you’ll have to fight off the lactose-intolerant production assistants who “just want a bite – just for the taste of it!!”

This is a monthly occurrence in my life.

Boo Boo


I don’t know who in my house is getting J Crew catalogs, but I’m loving them. This woman was probably modeling this lovely shirt, which you can probably buy at a location near you. But I was happy to see that when I’d finished attempting to draw her, she came out exactly how I would imagine Beatrice “Boo Boo” Glass, from my favorite J.D. Salinger story, “Down at the Dinghy.”

So there, you see – this isn’t JUST  a doodle. Now that it’s vaguely literary and personal, it’s ART.

Peeps I Peeped


I can’t explain why I thought this family was so weird. I don’t think this captures how huge and hairy this dude was, or how cargo his pants were, or that his wife was wearing sweats and a fisherman’s cap, which is a good look. They also had a dog off leash – in WeHo! Sheer madness.

I’m also jealous because they were going for a lovely family stroll along a beautiful street while I was chugging my way to work. I saw them this morning AGAIN, but because it was 80 degrees, the wife was wearing capris, a tank top and a fisherman’s cap.



Nickelodeon offers a free lunch session of costumed figure-drawing every Wednesday. It’s started back up recently after a FEW MONTH hiatus, which is why these are…rough. Rough times. Also, the gym where we have the session is really cold. Rough, rough times.

Cheddar Bay


I love cities. I’ve lived in cities most of my life. I love being able to walk around the corner for a coffee or a gallon of milk. I love the interesting architecture. I love the variety of people, restaurants, bars and cultural venues. Cities are great. But I’m still a child of the suburbs. This becomes painfully apparent when the subject of food comes up between me and my friends. The combination of living abroad and yearning for the American food that I loved, and living in the Northern Virginia in a time when it was doggedly focused on turning every tree and creek into a strip mall, has engendered in me an affection for chain restaurants. I dragged my family out to Olive Garden for every birthday party; I chugged Starbucks like it was my job (and actually, I enthusiastically put on that green apron and mixed those drinks for two years); and the ultimate night out was to Red Lobster, to partake in the never-ending baskets of their amazing Cheddar Bay Biscuits, warm from the oven.

Unfortunately, I went to school in Boston, and all of my friends are from Massachusetts now. No one understands when I argue that Red Lobster’s seafood, though it’s found even in land-locked cities, is still delicious (and who even has room for the crab legs after all the biscuits, youknowwhati’msaying?) They are lobster snobs. Not that they’ve ever tried the place, because god forbid they step foot in a chain seafood joint when they can just skip off to shore next to their house and dig clams fresh from the sand.

The good news is, I’ve found myself a nice a girl who happens to hail from Arlington, a suburb in Virginia not far from my own. Even though her town is just across the river from DC, and has its fair share of independently owned restaurants, she, like me, feels the pull of Red Lobster. This means that when I start babbling excitedly about a Red Lobster prix fixe deal I saw on TV, she is prepared, nay, eager, to give up a Saturday night, drive to Inglewood, and wait 40 minutes for a table. She, like that last biscuit that you can’t quite stomach but you wrap up in a napkin and throw in your bag for later, is a keeper.

ANYWAY. All that fanfare is for this crudely rendered, notebook sketch of our date. Ta-da.