NYC: 1, LA: 0

I was planning on writing a post about how I conquered the local bus system, and finally figured out how to navigate around this little town sans roommate's car or favors from my neighbors.

But then I waited half an hour for a bus that never came (when they only come every hour anyway), and decided that my trusty little legs are better than any air-conditioned seat on a bus.

At least for now.

I'm still determined to figure out at least a couple necessary bus routes to the grocery store and other important places, but we'll save that for another day.

When people ask me where I want to intern/work after I graduate, I usually say New York City or LA, and that I'm pretty torn between the two.

But since LA means traffic and traffic means white knuckles and stress, today I'm leaning toward the Big Apple. or maybe the Windy City.



Today is my parent's 30th wedding anniversary.

I am so grateful for the example of commitment and true love they show to me and my siblings. No marriage is easy, and my parents have had plenty of tough times, but I am so grateful for the character they possess in the face of difficulty.

The Coalwells are not quitters.

We don't give up when it gets hard.
We don't do things unless we're going to do them well.
We don't start something unless we're going to finish it.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for teaching me that and so much more.


Summer reminds us every year to keep our hearts young

Okay, so I couldn't find a decent quality live version of this song, but I'm completely smitten with it.

It's so childlike and innocent.

So just listen to it, and then go run through the nearest sprinklers you can find.


Not just another last name


Someday, when we take a road trip to your hometown (whether it's 3 days driving or 45 minutes away) so I can meet your folks,

I want to see your high school and eat at the restaurant you bussed tables at before college.
I want to go to your little sister's dance recital, and watch your nephews play little league.
I want to visit with your mom while we clean up the dinner dishes and see all of those embarrassing pictures of you when you were awkward and brace-faced and thirteen.
I want to go out to dinner with your grandparents and listen to them tell all the stories you've heard every year since you were little.

I even want your Dad to tease me because I say "pop" instead of "soda" or the way I jump ten feet if someone sneaks up behind me.

And I hope you don't find it strange that I'll want to send your mother a card on her birthday, or remember to leave the pecans out of the brownies because your little brother is allergic.

You see, my family means everything to me. So if I'm going to become part of your family, too,

well, I'm all in.


To the boy in the computer lab:

Funny how the two of us come here almost every day,
but I don't know your name
or anything about you

Except that you probably know Excel much better than I do,
you check your email almost as much as I do
and you're a PC

If this was a romantic comedy, there would be a mix up at the printer and somehow I'd end up with your calculus review sheet, and you'd go home with my art history slide list and that would give me an excuse to talk to you.

And naturally, I'd ask you why you are taking calculus, and maybe you're a business major, or maybe you are one of those blessed souls who wants to teach 17 year olds about integrals and derivatives.
And I'd tell you that in high school, I spent the majority of my calculus experience listening to Three Days Grace on a borrowed iPod.
And you'd confess that your guilty pleasure music is Hanson post-MMMBop.

And I'd laugh.
And you'd like that.

And the beginning would really be that easy.

*meet me at the printer in 5?*


A few good words

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do."
-Richard L. Evans

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
-Mother Theresa

I love that last one. happiness is a choice and some of the happiest people I know, have some of the toughest problems, but they've found a way to see the good through it all.



I just finished reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. She's the writer of Orangette. She has this magical way of writing like she's had you over for lunch, and after your belly is satisfied like it's never been before, you ask for the recipe, and she, graciously, obliges. And then she tells you about that one time when she made it for so-and-so and suddenly you're off on some tangent that will, inevitably, lead you back to the table.

Since Sunday afternoon, when I started it, this book has been my late night dessert each evening. Not only have I loved curling up in my bed just before I go to sleep, to drool over the recipes and stories Molly tells, I have loved making time in my schedule to read. It has been too long, but it is such a treat.

I loved it. And I may just gain 200 pounds from trying all of the recipes. Although, to Molly's credit, there are enough salads in that book to balance out the butter, chocolate, and whipped cream that fill the rest of the pages.

So thanks, Molly, for confirming that a life centered around the kitchen is perfectly balanced. And that real life fairy tales actually begin with chocolate cake instead of poison apples.


career addendum

Okay, I love writing.
And copywriting.
Really, I do.

The fact that my future career will include sitting in an office full of interesting people and coming up with ideas is so exciting to me. Who else gets to watch random Youtube Videos, surf Twitter, and scribble in a notebook all day and call it work?

I can't wait for the late nights coupled with cartons of orange chicken and fried rice, rushed deadlines, last minute changes, rejections and redos, brain frustration, pages and pages of words reduced to one line, and finally, the success of knowing we nailed it.

I am also realizing how much I love reading, eating and writing about food.

So I'm trying to figure out how I could combine those two passions of mine into something that can support that orange chicken addiction, or the fact that I really, really stink at scrimping on grocery bills.

And this would, naturally, be the part where I tell you that I discovered a fantastic career option and have decided to become a _____. However, the point of writing all this was that I have no idea what sort of combination of copywriting and cooking would actually suit me.



music to my soul

{This is the song that made me fall in love with Carbon Leaf}

My relationship with music can be pretty random.

There are some days where I'll listen to the same song 10 times in a row, and other days where my mix will be nothing short of Ella Fitzgerald, the Les Miserables soundtrack and Hanson.

I've never been someone who defines themselves by the music they listen to. I don't know everything about classic rock, or have 40 hours of orchestral music on my iPod, and I don't only listen to bands that no one has heard of.

But I love the Joshua Tree album, anything by Frank Sinatra, the Chopin nocturnes (thank you, parents), and a few bands that no one I know seems to be familiar with.

Carbon Leaf, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, and Jon McLaughlin are the musical men that I've had pretty long term relationships with, stereo speaking. I don't listen to them every day, but I've never played one of their songs and not fallen in love with them all over again.

I saw Carbon Leaf in concert last summer at one of my favorite little concert venues, literally an old garage turned hipster scene. It was incredible. I don't know what it is about their music, but it hits me right in the soul. It's like coming home.

SK and the Sixers has some kind of drawl, but they aren't really country, and their music doesn't make me want to dance, but it makes me love my life a little bit more.

In 2008, when I saw Sara Bareilles in concert, I found out later that she'd been touring with Jon, but not when I saw her. Jon McLaughlin's music is like a breath of much needed fresh air. It's like a weekend in the country, when you've been stuck at the office all week, smothered in city smog and subway steel. (Not that I've actually had that experience, but I'm pretty sure if I had, Jon's music is the sort of thing that would keep me sane.)

They are like old friends that, even when we haven't talked in a few months or years, when we bump into each other and decide to grab lunch, after five minutes, it's like we're back in high school and we never lost touch.