Happy Birthday, Harry

Today marks a significant and much-celebrated day of the modern calendar year. Today is the birthday of The Boy Who Lived.  Today is the birthday of Harry Potter*. And today Harry turns 34. Which makes me feel both old and young at the same time.  Old because I first read The Sorcerer’s Stone in 1999 for a freshman year of high school book report – which seems ages ago; and young because I was 14 when I first read The Sorcerer’s Stone so I always thought that Harry – who is age 11 when the series starts – was younger than me. I’m sure the movies didn’t help with this perception of age/time since they were made years after the books began with actors years younger than I.

When I started the series, only the first three books were published and I devoured them.  And I fell in love. Hardcore in love. Insanely, crazily-dedicated in love.  After the series garnered a bit of hype and book stores wanted to cash in, I would wait with friends at the Barnes & Noble in Bel Air, MD or go with my aunt/fairy godmother (and one of my best friends) to an independent book store and we would wait to get our pre-ordered copies. Excruciatingly exciting hours were spent in anticipation of grasping on to the latest in the series – touching the cover, feeling the book’s weight and opening to that first page…

We would wear our Harry Potter glasses and put lightning bolt tattoos on our foreheads and chatter away about what we think may happen; who our favorite characters were; who we thought should be together, etc.  And then we would take our books to our respective homes – or sometimes a diner – and I would read. And read and read and read.  There would be no savoring; savoring would be for later. For now I needed to KNOW.

I went to lengths to finish books as fast as I could. One summer my family gave my much younger cousin the newest book (Goblet of Fire, perhaps?) for his birthday and because we happened to be on vacation with his family at the time, I stole the freshly unwrapped gift and speed-read that sucker before he could start. I was older and a faster reader so it made sense in my brain and didn’t feel that rude at the time…  After I turned 16 and had a job, if there was a Harry Potter book release, I would schedule myself out of work for a day or two so I could do nothing but read and preserve a perfect plot, unspoiled.  As the books grew longer, the necessary vacation days grew as well.

I loved these books. I loved the nervousness and butterflies that came with every new book release. I loved immersing myself in the world created by J.K. Rowling. And I loved, loved, loved my wizarding fictional friends.

I am absolutely a Harry Potter fan and I bordered on fanatical for a time. But as much as I love the books, I have never done a complete re-read. I have tried and I have always failed. In thinking about it, I realized why: because – without trying to sound dramatic – with the end of the Harry Potter series came the end of my childhood.

The Deathly Hallows was released the summer of 2007 – this was my first summer of Real Life. I had graduated from college with a theatre degree in the spring and had no clue what to do (with a theatre degree I know that is shocking!). I was living away from home with most of my best college friends busy and scattered and my best high school friends an hour away.  I was working a “real” job I HATED (I would often refer to this job as a Dementor). My youngest brother had graduated from high school and the first of my two parents turned 50. My beloved childhood dog, Dodger – who was my best friend since 6th grade and my soul-puppy – died while I was not home so I never got to say goodbye. And the Harry Potter series ended.

With my family getting undeniably older, the end of my planned educational path, the death of my pup, and the completion of a series I’d grown up with – I very much felt my childhood was over, that growing up was for real, and it was happening to me whether I wanted it to or not. I also felt that being a responsible adult was terrible if it included things like sitting in a two hour commute on the jammed-up beltway to get home from a soul-crushing job where you were doing too much and paid far too little. It was a rough summer. I was lonely and sad a lot – which was not something I was used to being and that was an adjustment in and of itself.  With time and distance, you get a little perspective and I realize things were not nearly as bad as they could have been and that my issues that summer were just growing pains. But it was all very real and very hard at the time. So the thought of going back to that last book – remembering the black cloud I seemed to live in during the summer of 2007 – that’s never been inviting and put me off the idea of re-reading.

Fast-forward 7 years and life now is not without its challenges but it is very, very good and I am the happiest and most at-peace-with-myself that I have been in a long time. There are absolutely things I am looking to improve upon or change – and there always will be – but I am content at my core.

So on this 34th birthday of Harry Potter – 5 years my senior, I’ll shamelessly add – I’ve decided it is high time that I revisit Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and fall in love all over again.  Today, I raise a glass of butterbeer to Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling and say: let the great re-read of the epic tale of Harry Potter commence!

Good to see you again, old friend.

Good to see you again, old friend.


And I’m still waiting for my invitation to Hogwarts…


*July 31st is also the birthday of author J.K. Rowling

These Are My Confessions: Bugs and Bedding

These Are My Confessions may become a series wherein I admit things that I should probably not put on the internet. But you only live once so…

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. My apartment has bugs. More specifically, my kitchen has bugs. It has had bugs for a little bit of time now. I say “bugs” but they are roaches. Which makes my skin crawl so I’m going to keep saying “bugs” so maybe you’ll picture ladybugs or fireflies or butterflies… which is not what I have in my apartment. I have roaches bugs.

When it became more than just one or two here and there (which is to be expected in an urban setting), I reported the issue to my landlord. This was back in mid-winter and that call resulted in  The Apartments of Eternal Christmas being fumigated. It also resulted in an epic car breakdown with The KitBit* in tow and a Blanche DuBois style relying-on-the-kindness-of-strangers situation as I was on my way to the BFry’s to wait out the fumigation. It may have resulted in this Facebook post:

Sometimes/And Then Sometimes: A Personal Essay - posted to Facebook on February 17th, 2014 - because I was blogging before I had a blog...

Sometimes/And Then Sometimes: A Personal Essay – posted to Facebook on February 17th, 2014; because I was blogging before I had a blog…


Bugs had never been a problem in the whole year+ I had been living in my apartment and I am not a dirty kitchen-keeper (because aside from the occasional tartlet I rarely cook) plus there was construction happening on the apartment below me so I had hope that this was a one-time anomaly. And things died down.

Literally. Bugs died and I would find them down on the floor.

Now, I’m a pacifist and the kind of person that likes to catch-and-release but finding bugs dead-as-a-doornail was oddly satisfying. Gross. But satisfying. And all was quiet on the apartment front for a time.

Then a few weeks ago, they started again. The BFry and I returned from a lovely evening out and immediately had an epic battle vs. approximately 20 bugs. 20 OF THEM.  And because I can’t squish things, the BFry did all the swatting and smacking and smooshing while I stayed out of his way. My preferred method of bug destruction is to catch them in a disposable cup and then run to the bathroom to flush them down the toilet before they can crawl out, throwing the cup away afterwards.  I don’t know what that says about me…

Anyway, I reported the buggy-ambush to my landlord and he sent someone the next day to put down traps. And about a week later, Faybsuh-laybsuh-little-layduh* and I had to evacuate to once again head to the BFry’s for what I like to call a Fumigation Vacation; Fabs* enjoyed herself, as you can see:

What a lush!



I, again, had hopes that this would clear up the problem at least for a while.  No such luck.  There has been some calming of the issue, but not enough. Never enough.

And so on the evening of July 23rd, no longer relying on the landlord and armed with self-bought sticky-traps and cat-safe poison-traps, I waged war.

I am the 300. I am King Leonidas.  And the bugs are my Persians circa 480 B.C.


This is what I look like in my head as I am laying those bug traps down. (© 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

This is what I look like in my head as I am laying those bug traps down. (© 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)


After arriving home close to 9pm, I placed those traps around the kitchen.  And in the process, flushed at least 3 bugs down the toilet. But I’m out of solo cups so have been using an empty paper towel roll and I trap bugs inside the column to then transport them to their watery fates which is MUCH harder than the cup method.  It was rough. And I did it all in heels. Adorable Crown Vintage t-strap 4″ heels; who says women can’t do it all?!

After I was satisfied with the strategic placement of both kinds of traps and felt I had killed enough for one evening, I treated myself to a 2003- freshman-year-of-college-throwback whiskey-sour. Complete with star-shaped ice cubes, an orange glitter swizzle-stick – a #fauxdult move if there ever was one –  and apparently a bit too much whiskey.  I think this was somehow influenced by feeling like I could “do it all” and since “Do It All” was actually the motto of my conservative Catholic alma mater during my freshman year (I know, right?), I was feeling a touch nostalgic.

As I slowly became tipsy, I remembered that I wanted to get Faba-face* a set of bowls that sit off the ground so as not to attract buggy attention.  And I started browsing Amazon because I have Prime and you can’t hate on free shipping.  Then, just to check, I migrated to Overstock.  And then I started looking at sheets. Because I was sent that bedding coupon

And so it happened that in a full-on whiskey-sour fog of sweet-and-tart regret, I bought #ALLOFTHESHEETS.  Seriously.  I thought it was appropriate to purchase three sets of polka-dotted sheets in various pastel colors along with pillowcases and a food/water bowl set for my cat.

I mean – this is the kind of bounty a grandma would give her cat-loving tween granddaughter for Christmas:


3 pastel polka-dotted sheet sets, one cat food/water bowl system, and a set of white pillowcases for good measure.

3 pastel polka-dotted sheet sets, one cat food/water bowl system, and a set of white pillowcases for good measure.


So while some may get drunk and make booty-calls or call up exes, I imbibe in celebration of waging war on bugs and then purchase sheets that no self-respecting adult woman would want to sleep on and things for my cat.

These, my friends, are my confessions.

* The cat, Fabian Raven Ittameh Bittameh Kittameh The Duchess of Things, has many, many nicknames.

Update: since July 23rd, the occurrence of bugs has greatly decreased but I’m not getting cocky about it yet…

Happy Fauxdulthood Friday!

On this Friday, I’m treating you to a little something created by my dear friend CGriff.  C is a very talented, brilliant woman who has been making me giggle with her  awesomely silly paint creations for years. And I don’t know about you –  but this is a truth I live almost weekly.



Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to eat some pop-tarts and run to work…

Caitlin S. Griffin is a fellow Fauxdult who has been drawing in Paint for 20+ years. She didn’t tell me to say this but you should know that Caitlin has created award winning art that is available for purchase as the Everybody Dies Series through the National Theatre in London. CGriff also writes about smart-people things (like Shakespeare) on her blog Drown My Books.


Seriously!?! I’m on to you, Overstock.com…

After posting yesterday about my hopeful purchasing habits and hinting at my weakness for bedding (it’s out of control – I love, love, love bedding) – lookey what pops into my inbox today:


You are a crafty bastard, Overstock.

You are a crafty bastard, Overstock.

Inappropriate, Overstock.  Unless you subscribe to my blog, You have no right to take the information I so innocently share and use it to pierce my Achilles heel!  No right! Except if you have some really nice sheets on sale. I ended up donating some of my old sheets to the Washington Humane Society earlier this summer and they now need replacing. Because I am going to get in the habit of changing my sheets more frequently. So you may win this time, Overstock. But I’m watching you…


Purchases of Promise

Occasionally I get the idea that I’m going to be a different person than who I currently am and decide to invest in tangible objects that promise to help me become this new person who I am so sure I actually am deep down inside.  I think this impulse may stem from my belief that talents and truths can be buried and all you need to do is unearth the hidden treasure to become who you have always been destined to be. Or something.

And apparently I also think that means that I need to purchase tartlet pans with my 20% Off coupon to  Bed, Bath and Beyond to fulfill my previously undiscovered destiny of becoming a celebrated tartlet maker. Or at least someone who makes fancy and impressive tartlets to bring to parties or to serve to friends or the BFry on a lazy Sunday morning for breakfast like it ain’t no thang to make tartlet crust from scratch (when it is most definitely a thang). My actions in this regard may also correlate heavily with my enthusiastic-yet-short-lived bursts of extreme Pinterest-browsing. And I may or may not have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to tartlets called “All Tarted Up.” Because I am merely human and a sucker for a pun.

So on January 24, 2013, I used those 20% off tartlet pans and a Pinterest recipe and I made these:

Posted to Facebook with the caption: "If these taste half as good as they look...man...I may have found a new love."

Posted to Facebook with the caption: “If these taste half as good as they look…man…I may have found a new love.”

Despite that declaration of potential new-found love, this, my friends, was the one and only time I have made tartlets. Because you know what? They tasted fine delicious-ish but were a pain in the keister to make and only yielded four tiny tartlets for HOURS of work. They were also super expensive because I did not have all of the ingredients on hand in my teeny-tiny Smitten Kitchen style cooking/baking/microwaving/refrigerating center at  The Apartments of Eternal Christmas to make my own bastardized version of Flourishing Foodie’s mini heirloom tomato tartlets with a parmesan crust.  I had to buy #ALLOFTHETHINGS before getting down to business.

So now I have tiny tartlet pans that sit in solitude in a top cabinet with the round layer-cake pans and a box of granola that has gone untouched for far too long.

In any case, I refer to tartlet-pan type investments as Purchases of Promise.

Over the last decade, here are some of the other Purchases of Promise I’ve made:

  1. Guitar: Folk-Songstress Phase – I went hard with this one because I thought I was going to be the Stevie Nicks of my generation. Or at least I’d get decent enough to accompany myself singing here and there to make the singing less terrifying and have the guitar to focus on. I bought the guitar, a gig bag, a tuning pipe, tons of picks, how-to-play guitar DVDs and books. I tried to play it only a handful of times over the 3 years I owned it so it got pawned off to a friend during a move that required downsizing…and money. And I’ve seen the guitar used as a prop on stage in a theatrical performance, so it’s doing better than it was sitting in my room.  This dream is not entirely dead though and I have – on more than one occasion – considered purchasing a banjo. I have nothing more to say for myself on this front.
  2. Mop and bucket: Clean-and-Green Phase – I was going to (1) clean my floors frequently and (2) ONLY clean them with a mop and traditional sudsy water/environmentally approved cleaner so as not to be wasteful or harmful to the environment. I don’t think these items have been used in the way they were intended to be used even once. I store things in the bucket. Things like Swiffer pads. And wet Swiffer pads. And paper towels. And the mop has been used to reach cobwebs in high corners. But so has the Swiffer.  #allhailtheSwiffer.
  3. Clothing Steamer: Professional-Real-Adult-Lady-Phase –  I was going to save so much money by steaming my clothing at home vs. taking items to the dry cleaner. Or – let’s get serious – wearing them wrinkly. I asked my parents for the steamer for Christmas a few years ago; I did my research and got a mid-priced, portable, easy-to-care-for model. And I have used it zero times. I have loaned it out to a theatre company once for use on costumes during a production – so it has been used. But I have used it zero times.  I know not how the thing works yet it continues to sit out in the open in my room as though it will be used at any moment. I have no hope I will actually use the steamer some day.
  4. Capers: The Gourmet Chef – What do capers even go on? I’ve had a jar of capers for about a year now and don’t know what to put them on. They may not even be good anymore.
  5. Knitting kit, wine glasses/chalkboard paint, painting supplies: DIY Gifting Gal – Have a birthday coming up? Let me give you these 80’s style leg-warmers knitted together with sparkle-rainbow-yarn and love! Get your Masters? Here are some wine glasses with chalkboard paint bases so when you are entertaining, people can write their names in chalk on the bottoms for identification purposes! Have a baby? Here is an adorable painting of Tigger to go in your Winnie-the-Pooh themed nursery!  Yeah. I sometimes forget that I was the kid in girl scouts who was not only not very good at arts and crafts, but who would throw her arts and crafts violently across the room or on the table in frustration and then cry.
  6. Table and stools for kitchen: The Civilized Citizen – I will be taking all meals at the table from here on out because eating in front of the TV is for heathens. But I really just want to sit on my super comfy sofa. And – hey! – there’s a new episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race available On Demand.  And I can just pull over this stool and use it as a tray table…
  7. Ulysses by James Joyce: The High-brow Literate Lady – I don’t even know what I was thinking when I purchased a book that entire semesters of college experiences are dedicated to. If this book needs a professor and a syllabus to decipher, am I really going to get through it?  Plus my Harry Potter collection is on the same bookshelf. And I’d choose Harry Potter any day.

In thinking of all of these items (and many more), my newest idea is to try to be as minimalist as possible. To go through all of my stuff and jettison things I have not used in a year plus. Because maybe it is my destiny to be the no-fuss, no-frills, no-crazy-amounts-of-extra-bedding-in-the-closet type whose apartment is always ready for visiting and whose every item serves a function. Maybe. But I do have a magical unicorn 20% Off Your Entire Order coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond waiting for me at home…

The Apartments of Eternal Christmas: An Introduction

About 1 year and 9 months ago, I decided that after multiple post-collegiate years of numerous addresses and roommates, it was time to venture off to get my own place. And by that I mean *rent* my own place. And by that I mean rent my own place that I could actually afford and not be forced to subsist primarily on peanut-butter sandwiches due to the monthly price.

This means that I live in 500 square feet of glorious semi-solitude (walls are thin) a sporadically-scheduled bus-line-ride away from the metro within the brick box of a building I refer to as THE APARTMENTS OF ETERNAL CHRISTMAS.

I moved in during the fall of 2012 and shortly after, Christmas decorations appeared on apartment doors and the exterior of the building out the window of one of the ground-floor apartments.  Those decorations stayed up.  And stayed up. And stayed up. And well…

Christmas in July!

Christmas in July!

The above photo was taken YESTERDAY.

Apts 2

Candy canes and tinsel 4eva

As was this one.

I think it is hilarious. And confusing. And I’m just glad that the festive outdoor musical icicles finally lost their ability to sing.  That was kind of annoying.

The Apartments of Eternal Christmas and its inhabitants are sure to be featured in future posts – so with this, I say welcome to my home.  It is the most fauxdult of buildings and for that, it’s perfect!


What is “Fauxdulthood”?

Welcome to the beginning of Fauxdulthood: The Blog!

Dictionary.com defines “adult” as the following:



1. having attained full size and strength; grown up; maturean adult person, animal, or plant.
2. of, pertaining to, or befitting adults.
3. intended for adults; not suitable for children: adultentertainment.


4. a person who is fully grown or developed or of age.
5. a full-grown animal or plant.
6. a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified bylaw.


And Dictionary.com defines “faux” as:


artificial or imitation; fake
So I define “Fauxdulthood” as the following:



A stage in life wherein a person is a grown adult without any of the responsibilities of children, a mortgage or a clear direction but with plenty of milkshakes for lunch and battles with her feline roommate; excessive pizza and bourbon may also be consumed and post-quarter-life-crisis meltdowns often lead to post-midnight ponderings about what the heck she’s doing – sometimes accompanied by panicked phone-calls to friends.


Welcome, friends.  Welcome to the space where I will share stories and insights from my very own fauxdulthood.