Tuesday, December 16, 2008


London, England
Provo, Utah
Los Angeles, California
Wolfeboro/Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Boston, Massachusetts
Kennebunkport, Maine
Carmel/Pebble Beach, California
Washington, DC
Arlington, VA
Potomac, MD
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Orlando, Florida
Outer Banks, North Carolina
New York, New York

It's been a busy year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


As I was walking home from the metro after work the other day, I heard a band playing and saw a large group gathered in front of the ABC building. Because I was curious,and because I didn't have much else on my agenda that evening, I crossed the street and headed into the crowd.

I quickly found the free hot apple cider. Apparently I'd missed the free chili, which was really a shame (I hate missing out on a free meal...or free anything for that matter), but I was content with my cider.

I asked the old man I was standing next to what was going on, and why there was an enormous light switch, and why there were carolers surrounding the lightswitch. He explained to me that it was the annual "Light Up Rosslyn" celebration and that a "celebrity" was coming to flip on the over-sized switch and all of the buildings in Rosslyn would light up their Christmas lights.

So I stuck around.

It turns out that the "celebrity" was the meteorologist from ABC news. What fun. He made a speech before he, and several other "important" people from the community ceremoniously flipped the huge lightswitch and the crowd ooeh and ahhhed over the lights while the community choir sang The First Noel.

My favorite part of the night was his speech. Mostly because of the 8 year old boy and his family standing near me during it:

"We want to welcome you all to the Light Up Rosslyn celebration...I just love Rosslyn. Every night when I drive across the 14th street bridge, I look back and see it: this little nugget of a city, but then when I'm in it, I feel what a metropolis it is..."

"Mom, MOM, he said nuggets! Where are the nuggets"

"Be quiet honey, the camera crew is right next to us and can probably hear you. Don't interrupt."

"...and the area of Rosslyn is growing, with new buildings being built all the time.."

"Nuggets. Where are the nuggets? I want nuggets,MOM!!!"

"SHHHHHH, I said be quiet."

"...and this year's lights are energy-saving...well done, Rosslyn..."

"Do they have free nuggets here? He was talking about nuggets. I really want some, Mom, I'm hungry."

"Shhhh, I'm not kidding"

"...and we'd like to thank the small businesses of Rosslyn for contributing to the environment around the area...."

"Nugg..." (Mom pulling the kid out of the crowd and away from the camera crew)

I love kids.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

One of my new favorite things to do is something that isn't possible to do very often.

I make my way up the platform to where the front of the train will end up. Then, I elbow my way to be first into the first car on the train. Then the tricky part: getting one of the two seats next to the window that looks into the driver's area. This is tricky, in part because there are a very limited number of seats, but also because sometimes the glass is tinted and you can't see through to the drivers area and through to the tunnel: therefore defeating the purpose.

If, and when I get settled in my preferred seat, I turn sideways and put my head against the window. I realize that this may seem a little creepy to the driver, but I'm willing to be a creep if it brings so much enjoyment on my daily commute.

Then comes the best part. If I've made it past all these hurdles, I'm rewarded with the best ride east of Disneyland. I never realized how fast the metro travels, but it's definitely faster than any Disney roller coaster (and probably faster than any other roller coaster I've ever allowed myself to be coaxed onto).

I discovered the "ride" only a couple weeks ago.

Now I just have to figure out how to get people to trade me seats when they're in the optimum ride seat. Maybe it will be easy, seeing as they all have no idea what they're missing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just another day at The Office

The other day I was sitting on the first floor of McDonough, eating my bagel at a small table reading "A Farewell to Arms," when I heard a faint pounding, and a very soft "help." I didn't take much notice of it, considering I was reading about a war, and thought that maybe I was only imagining.

A couple minutes later, the entire (or what I imagine to be the entire) force of campus security went running up to the elevators. These were roughly 20 feet from where I was sitting, and I watched. As I continued to munch on my bagel, I gathered that there was someone stuck in the elevator. A female law student:

"Help, I'm stuck." -Muffled voice

"M'am. M'am. Are you ok in there?" -one of five campus security guards

"Beep, beep, beep" - elevator

"M'AM?!? Are you alright?" -nervous guards in unison

"Beep, beep, beep, ding" - elevator

"I'm still stuck in here. Help" - increasingly distressed muffled voice

"Are you uncomfortable in there?" - confused guards

"What was that" - dls (distressed law student)

"ARE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE?" - guards pounding on door

"Beep, beep, beep" - elevator

"Huh?" - guards- "OH, the elevator is still going up and down with her in it!"

"Beep, beep, ding" - elevator

"We've called the elevator technician and he'll be here momentarily" - guard who had yet to say anything at this point

.....20 minutes......

"He's here!" - guards

"He's here!!" - my thought

"I'm here" - elevator technician

......5 minutes.....

"I am never getting in an elevator in this school again." - frazzled (but no longer distressed) law student

"Mmmm, this is a good bagel. I should pack my lunch and eat at this table more often." - my thoughts

......2 hours.....

"Elevators on the east side of the building will be closed until further notice." - Email notification

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everything's better in Fun Size

As far as holidays go, I think Halloween is pretty useless.

There are, however, a few perks:

Fun sized candy. I think Milky Ways and Reeses are even better when they're small. Maybe it's just because things also taste better when they're in the shape of a pumpkin, or maybe it's because I can justify having 3 or 4 at once. Maybe it's a question as old as how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. The world may never know.

Sales on candy starting the day after Halloween (can you see a trend developing here). $1.88 for a gigantic bag of mixed FUN-SIZED candy? I'll take 5.

Dinner parties and pumpkin carving with friends. Destiny had a dinner party at her house where she made dinner in a pumpkin. Literally, in a pumpkin. It was delicious. She and Tom also worked on their costumes. They made the most amazing Spartan cheerleader uniforms I've ever seen. I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time.

Nightmare on M Street. Even though Halloween isn't generally a holiday that I enjoy, DC does it right. I live in a prime location to be able to walk over to Georgetown on Halloween and not get stuck in traffic.

This year I made reservations a month in advance. A group of 10 of us had dinner at Clydes and then walked around through the mayhem. This year I think that (overwhelmingly) the most popular costumes were the Joker for men and Sarah Palin for women. Not going to lie, not all Sarah Palins are created equally...

Don't spread it around too much, but I think I may be warming up to Halloween. It still doesn't compare to Thanksgiving, Christmas or the 4th of July...but I'm slowly being convinced that it deserves to be called a holiday.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Guess who just had the best week ever....

Not Barack or Joe.

Not John or Sarah.

(Though this week could change that for a pair of them)

BLAKE and RACHEL had the best week ever.

Here's why:

I got a dream job offer. I start on Wednesday at Georgetown Law working in their Academic Services offices. My boss is amazing. The pay is above and beyond what I even dreamed of. And, the best thing about it is that I (after a year of working there) will get free tuition at Georgetown. I could potentially get a master's degree from Georgetown for the low low price of...FREE. AND, Blake could --if wants to take on more schooling-- get an MBA.

It's so great it's almost unreal. I can hardly believe my good luck.

It's been a really tough time being unemployed. I never realized before how much of my self worth is wrapped up in my ability to be productive in a work environment. Even though I hope I never have to go through that situation again, it makes me all the more excited and thankful for my job and for the way things turned out. (Everything's always better in hindsight, isn't' it?)

Secondly, but no less importantly:

Blake got a job offer at the Department of Justice! I know it's poor form to brag, but I'm just so excited/proud I could burst. There were an extraordinary number of applications this year at the DOJ, and they only hired two people. It doesn't surprise me that they hired Blake, but it's definitely an honor.

Maybe it's because I'm living my lawyer dreams out vicariously through Blake, but I get tingles every time I think about his graduating and starting work so soon. It's a very exciting time and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Sunday Sunday, Cars Cars Cars

Blake's neighborhood is neat.

I love the wildlife: foxes, deer, turtles, birds galore, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs etc.

And the domestic life: interesting neighbors and Chertoff running with his brigade of security.

Yesterday on our way home from church we saw signs for a car show in the neighborhood, so we decided to drive by to see what it was all about. We were so curious that we ended up parking, getting out of the car, and walking around. There were about 25 cars parked in a grassy field. These weren't just ordinary cars, there were porches, Maserati's, Aston Martins, Lamborghini's, Corvettes, Rolls Royce and every other ridiculously expensive car you could think of. I particularly liked the completely refurbished old-fashioned British racing car. I almost expected to see it pull away with Grace Kelly at the wheel...

Also provided were tables piled with wine, cheese, crackers...oh, and a cooler with Capri Suns. So, Blake and I walked around the cars of the rich and famous, sucking on our fruit punch pouches and enjoying the festivities. It was a great change of events for a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Each piece of my jewelry has a specific story. I like to buy jewelry on vacation because it makes for a very cheap souvenir, but also one that doesn't take up a lot of luggage space and isn't kitschy or useless.

There are the earrings (or I guess I should say 'earring'...one is forever lost on BYU campus due to the holes in my aging backpack) from Barcelona with the small flowers pressed between the glass. I bought these in an outdoor market while trying to make my French/English sound like Spanish. I was proud of myself for haggling with the lady to lower the price, but now that I think about it I'm not sure I really had any effect.

I keep telling myself that I'll make the remaining earring into a pendant on a necklace, but here it is, almost two years later, and still the earring rests alone amidst the other paired earrings in the silver leaf dish.

There's the silver bracelet that my dad bought for me while at a conference in New Mexico. It's hand-made by an Indian woman. It's the only bracelet I wear. I wear it almost every single day.

There's the pair of earrings I bought in Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, New York, Seattle, Salt Lake...

There's the pair my aunt and uncle sent me for graduation...

What a pretty way to remember.


I'm re-reading "A Moveable Feast" by Hemmingway --one of my all-time favorites. He talks about writers block and how to progress in your writing. He says that one needs only to write one true sentence, the truest sentence that one knows, and the rest will follow.

The best writing is truth, and if you can nail down even one sentence of truth then you can feel no shame in what you have written.

Here is my truth, the one thing that I know for sure: I love Blake, and we're getting married, and I'm incredibly happy. The rest will undoubtedly follow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Gas Prices

As gas prices continue to rise, taking a wrong turn can cost $5.00.

However, as Destiny reminded me, not all problems are solved by riding a bike, even if it is more ecologically friendly.

On the way to a movie on Saturday night, desperately trying to get there on time, and crossing our fingers that we wouldn't take a wrong turn or get stuck in traffic, Destiny told me about her sometimes daily rides into work.

DC roads are not always the easiest. There are lots of one-way streets, and it's just a mess down by the mall.

"I mean, if you take a wrong turn, it's 'who cares about gas prices, I'm peddlin' here!'"

This made me think: how much is a wrong turn worth to me? And, how far am I willing to go to save money on gas? Is it better to save five dollars or my legs?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Big Apple Bible Camp

On Wednesday I took the early Vamoose up to NYC to visit Allie for the day.

We enjoyed the fall weather by eating a slice of corner-pizzaria pizza, getting cupcakes from Magnolia and enjoying them in the park, shopping, riding the subway with various stinky individuals, playing peek-a-boo with Stella, and playing Smooth Moves and Rock Band all night long.

The perfect New York day.

Thursday I got to Penn Station a bit earlier than I'd expected. So, after grabbing a doughnut from Dunkin, I called Blake.

About 10 minutes into our conversation, I noticed that I was surrounded by a rather large group of adolescent Korean boys in grey suits.

Only moments later, they formed a semi-circle directly in front of me and began to sing.

I attempted to continue my conversation, but got more and more distracted as the boys started to sway and snap their fingers with the music. It was also about this time when I noticed that their leader had set up a booth next to them with informational pamphlets and complementary paper-back bibles, and that the songs they were singing (although poorly accented) were "come to Jesus" songs.

It's not that I don't want to come to Jesus, it's just that I don't want to be led to him by the Korean Von-Trap family. Plus, because I could no longer concentrate on my conversation, and because this kind scene only happens in the well scripted seasons of Gilmore Girls (Lane Kim, I feel your pain), I started walking quickly down the block in a less righteous-looking direction.

I thought I was safe. I was wrong. The further I walked, the more surrounded by young Koreans I became. They piled out of buses like kids at Disneyland, and ran to join their singing colleagues.

Then I saw a sign. A sign in the form of an advertisement on the "Fuse" board. Pastor Soo Something-or-Other is in town for the weekend directing a Bible camp.

I won't be attending.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Social Awareness.

After killing my third fish, my concern grew. What is wrong with me? Maybe I shouldn't buy anymore fish.

So, instead of going to Petco, I went downtown to the National Aquarium. The fish there are behind sturdy plexiglass and I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to kill them.

I wandered around the Smithsonians for a bit looking for the aquarium before I finally chacha'd it and was directed to the basement of the National Commerce building. Yes, the National Aquarium is in the basement of the National Commerce building. Go figure.

It's a fairly depressing display. It's about the size and shape of a college classroom. Dark, and rather dreary.

Despite the dismal appearance, I payed the $7.00 entrance fee and headed straight towards the tank with the pacific sea turtle. I like turtles.

There was a couple in front of the tank taking pictures of the turtle, who was happily swimming around the tank. They were oohing and ahhing and holding their 2-month-old baby up to the glass to see it. They took pictures with their cell phones and with two cameras --all while capturing it all on a camcorder.

I waited patiently.

I wanted to see the turtle.

I gave up waiting patiently after 20 minutes.

I started circling closer and closer to the tank.

I stood right next to them.

Right behind them.

Tried to stand in front of them.

It didn't work. They stayed there another 20 minutes.

When they finally left, I rushed over to the tank only to find the turtle fast asleep under a rock.

Just my luck.

I'm never going back there again.

Part of the Unemployment Statistic.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to report.

I'm continuing my job search and crossing my fingers that my most recent interview on the hill pans out.

I killed another fish. The new fish is Mr. Bumby the 2nd. This makes me feel better about flushing the old Mr. Bumby. This one has a prettier tail and is happier now that I found out to provide my fish with spring water. Apparently the water from my tap (even after I'd run it through the filter) had too many chemicals and that's what had kept killing my fish. I'm glad to know it wasn't me. But also sad to know that all that death could have been prevented. Now my fish lives in style in store-bought water.

My dad always complained that we spent too much money on my dog. We even had to get her medicine for her allergies because, apparently, she's allergic to "tall grasses" and would get sneezey and itchy every time she escaped the yard and wandered in the empty lots by our house. What a pampered animal.

And now I'm continuing the tradition by a weekly purchase of pure spring water for my Mr. Bumby (II).

That proves it. I'm not going to be a horrible mom someday. After fish #3 died, I'll admit I was a little worried about my future as a parent, but now I'm feeling better about the prospect. No dead children on my watch...though I'm assuming it's not as simple as bottled spring water.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life After Death

I got a new fish.

Just one this time. To replace the other two that I killed after only a week.

This one is a betta fish. He's dark blue and his name is Mr. Bumby.

So, there is life for Mr. Bumby after the untimely deaths of Clementine and Orangina.

Betta fish are virtually indestructible and I'm hoping mine follows suit. I don't think I could bear it if I killed another innocent pet.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day of Death

You were lost and gone forever, oh my darlin' Clementine...

Last week Blake and I bought goldfish. They're not just any goldfish either. They're extremely fat, unbalanced goldfish. I named mine Clementine because it was roughly the shape and color of a ripe clementine. Blake named his Orangina because (you guessed it) it was the color of orangina --although, not the shape of orangina.

I was excited to be a pet owner.

Yesterday, I sat down at my computer to write a blog post about my new fish. I had the picture and was about halfway through writing it, when I got on a tangent and decided that I was going to be a good pet owner and change the water in the fish bowl for the first time. So, I put my writing aside and scooped the fishbowl up and headed to the kitchen. I cleaned the bowl, put new water in and put the fish in and brought them back to my room.

I sat down at my desk to continue writing.

Ten minutes later I noticed that Orangina and Clementine were floating, belly-up in their bowl. Not just belly-up, but belly-up-and-out. Their stomachs were so huge that they were floating well-above the water...like little blimps that had tried to do a loop-the-loop and gotten stuck.

I saw that they were still breathing, so for a long while I tried to revive them. I thought the water might be too warm, so I put ice cubes in the water. I thought they might not have enough oxygen, so I took a straw and blew bubbles into the bowl.

Then I gave up.

Then I had to flush them down the toilet.

Then I was very sad.

Then I erased the blog post about how I was such a good pet owner.


A couple hours later, I went out to my balcony to sit on my new chairs and to admire the new lantern and candle that I'd set up. The candle, which was brand new on Monday, had melted in the hot sun. Now it's bent.

Now it looks like this:

I kill fish, and I kill candles too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No weapons beyond this security checkpoint

Airports are fascinating.

I wonder, sometimes, why the signs in airports say exactly the things they say.

For example: While standing in the security line in the Salt Lake City airport several weeks ago, I noticed a sign, which stated in bold letters "No weapons beyond this security checkpoint." This made me think "so you're saying that weapons are alright to have in the airport as long as they're discarded at the end of the line?"

Right next to this sign was a poster with large pictures illustrating what you're not allowed to bring in your carry-on luggage: handguns, grenades, dynamite, automatic weapons, hunting knives...

...Guess you'd better keep your grenades in your check-through luggage...

Another reason why airports are so fascinating:

Their decor.

I have to question the sanity of the interior designers of most airports.

This time, though, I am thinking of one airport in particular: Detroit.

A couple of weeks ago, on my way from SLC to Manchester, New Hampshire, I had my first experience walking through the drug-trip terminal of the Detroit international airport.

There is a large, underground tunnel from one terminal to the next. Instead of leaving the tunnel plain, and lighting it conventionally with florescent overhead lights, the design team went above-and-beyond (or maybe below-and-beyond, as it were) the call of duty. The picture below doesn't quite do it justice.

I entered the tunnel wondering why Detroit had ripped off the "Small World" ride at Disneyland. Two steps later and I felt like I had entered the boat tunnel in the 70's version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Five steps after that and all I wanted to do was get out of there.

I've never been on drugs, but I can only assume that it's the same feeling you'd get after doing mushrooms and listening to The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" album.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dog-gone it!

I wish the following were my story. However, it is not. I heard it from Mary, a friend, while up in New Hampshire last week.

Mary's friend (let's call her Jane) was dog-sitting at her friend's apartment in a five story walk-up in Chicago.

The dog, which weighed 100 pounds, died one night before she came over to take it on its morning walk. Not knowing what to do with the dead dog, Jane became distraught. She was too small to carry the 100-pound dog down the five flights of stairs to her car.

Jane searched the apartment and finally decided to pack the dog in an over-sized suitcase so that she could safely carry the deceased animal to her trunk.

After huffing and puffing down the stairs, Jane reached the street and took a break. Her car was just down the street, so there wasn't that far to walk, but she needed a breather after those 5 flights of stairs. So she set the suit-case down for a moment.

Just then, a friendly man came up and offered to help carry the suitcase down the street for her. ("You know how friendly people from Chicago are"). When he inquired as to the contents of the suitcase (he was surprised at its substantial weight), Jane was too embarrassed to tell him its true contents, so she told him that it was so heavy because it carried electronics.

The man then took off running with the suitcase he thought was filled with expensive electronics.

I'd like to have seen the look on his face when, expecting DVD players, he found the massive old hound.

Game Over

Ashton and Stephen have duck named Galya. They brought the duck (complete with blow-up pond) to their reception. It ran around in circles while little kids chased it. Also, it had an affinity for biting my Dad's leg.
Ashton and Stephen.

The happy couple coming out of the temple.

Allie and I threw Ashton a bachelorette party the night before. It was a blast.Allie and I were bridesmaids. This is not the best picture of me, so try not to judge me too harshly.Rachel and Todd brought their new baby, Henry.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Chemistry of Man's Best Friend

Yesterday I took Noosa on a jog/walk in order to keep with my new plan to get in shape.

The two things that I have decided to do in order to get into shape are the following:

a. Cut soda out.
b. Walk or jog every day (ok let's not be too optimistic and amend that to: sometimes, not all the time...)

I figure that in order to be healthy (or let's just settle for "healthier") I need to fix some things in my life. That doesn't mean I'll be giving up ice cream, or weekend lounge/movie nights, but I feel like I need to make some changes. Hence, changing two things that I can easily control. It's going to be a long and lonely road without my diet coke, but I think I'll manage.

As I was running with Noosa, we came across two smaller dogs that were unleashed. These dogs ran up to Noosa and inspected. Noosa sat there patiently and she was sniffed and licked in the most inappropriate places, without making a fuss. I started jogging again when I thought that the other dogs had satisfied their curiosity. This resulted in my jogging/walking three dogs rather than just the single one I'd started out with. All this time jogging with Dog A licking Noosa's face, and Dog B sniffing her behind as we ran. This dog train lasted about 15 minutes until Noosa just couldn't take it anymore. She stopped. Then she turned around, batted the smaller Dog B with her paw (she could have easily pinned Dog B to the ground right then and there) and then turned back around to challenge Dog A. Dog A got the picture and he and Dog B relinquished there positions and stuck to the perimeter.

From this point on, the dogs --like hyper electrons around an anxious nucleus-- ran circles around us as we continued.


The other night I had a dream about George Bush. Blake stuck his tongue out at him, while I made my way through the crowd to give him a hug.

And thusly rest our politics.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

I feel like I've been in a time warp.

Coming home it feels like I've never left.


My flight home from BWI to SLC was long. Namely for two reasons: I had to get up at 4:00 to catch my shuttle to the airport. I ended up getting there 3.5 hours early and spent those hours trying to eat an omelet in the slowest way possible, and then curled up on a bench trying to sleep (I looked more than a little homeless, I'm sure). So, I felt rather grumpy when I got on the plane.

The good thing was that there was an empty seat (one of the only empty seats on the flight) next to me. The bad thing was that there is a rubber stamping/scrap booking convention in SLC this week. This is more like 35-odd bad things. There were a good many 50-something-year-old women on the flight who spent the 3 hours and 40 minutes chattering, squealing, passing the fudge around and generally annoying me as I tried to sleep. Every time I'd drift off, I'd get a nice kick to the back of my chair as the ladies switched seats so that they could all chat with each other. At one point (I'm not kidding) I looked back and saw one sitting on another's lap.

I thought that sort of thing was reserved for an 8-year-old's sleepover. I was wrong.

I now feel very vindicated in not participating in the world of scrap booking.

On the way home my brother, mom and I stopped at Cafe Rio. This is generally the first place I stop to eat when I am back in Utah. While standing in line, (I am sad to admit) I scrutinized the people around me. I noticed that not one woman had a hair out of place. Everything was perfectly dyed, hair sprayed and arranged. Every face was made-up. Every article of clothing was trendy and fit like a glove.
It's no wonder that Utah is the state with the highest percentage of people taking anti-depressant pills. Everyone looks like they walked right out of the Truman show. It's hard to compete with that.
It made me feel like I was in high school again. I mean, I was always comfortable to be who I was, but it was hard to look around me and see that "perfection" day after day. I always wondered --and still do wonder -- where these people find the time to look like that. Sign me up for whatever job they have that gives them 2 hours to spend on themselves every morning.
Wow, sorry, that makes me sound angry. I'm not. I just had forgotten the barbie culture that is Utah.
Staying at home I feel like a kid again. Other than the occasional new stoplight or restaurant, nothing has changed. Did I ever leave?
More to come: Ashton got married on Thursday (who gets married on a Thursday?). She was beautiful. Her whole wedding was beautiful. I'll be adding pictures as soon as I have the drive to upload them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big news!

Blake and I saw Donald Rumsfeld yesterday.

Not sure how I feel about it, but I saw him. Dupont circle, it appears, is the happening place to be in the early morning hours.
I finished my job on Friday.
Blake bought a new car on Saturday.
I cut 8 inches off of my hair this morning.
I am going home tomorrow for two weeks (my shuttle comes at 4:55 am...wish me luck):
Ashton's getting married on Thursday! (Yes, I can hardly believe it's only two days away).
I get to see my brothers, whom I haven't seen since Christmas, and my parents and grandparents!
Lindsey, Rachel and Allie will be in town. It will have been over a year since the "pink house" has gotten together. I can't wait!
I get to meet Henry Freestone (the newest addition to Rachel and Todd's family).
I get to see the Baby Green Bulge (Lindsey's pregnant!)
I get to eat at Bajio and El Azteca.
It's alright, you're allowed to be jealous. I would be.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Other Merry Anectdotes

I've been a slacker lately.

I've been busy. Give me a break.

Here's a little of what I've been doing:

Last weekend my Dad came to visit. I --miraculously-- got off work early on Friday, so we spent the afternoon in the National Museum of the American Indian. I'd never been there before, and neither had my Dad, so we figured it was a great opportunity. My Dad knows a lot more about Native American history than I do, so that was also helpful.

While at the museum, we watched a movie about industrial hemp farmers. The hemp farmers didn't like the government too much, and the government didn't like them too much. By the end of this one-sided flick, I was thinking "down with police." Then I stepped outside the auditorium and had to re-evaluate.

That night we met Blake and headed down to Nationals Park for a ballgame. Not sure if it's just because the Nats play better in the heat (it was a scorcher...didn't know I could sweat that much) or it's because their most loyal fan (I even bought a baseball hat) was there, or if my Dad just brought really good luck, but we witnessed four home runs, and a Nats victory. I know what you're thinking: the Nats won? Yes, it's unbelievable, but it's true.

Saturday and Sunday were also unbelievably hot, but we slogged through the humidity and heat just fine. Luckily my Dad had rented a car, and had brought his GPS, so we were able to survive just fine.

This weekend Blake, Paul and I saw Dark Knight on Friday. We got there an hour early and still were about halfway down the line. I really don't think I could have stood to get there much earlier though, seeing as it was mid 90s and humid as an indoor pool.

The movie was great, although I felt it was a bit dark. A little hard to watch at some points, but I'll watch anything with Christian Bale. It's a 2 1/2 hour time investment I'm definitely willing to make.

Saturday night we did one of my DC summertime favorites: National Symphony Orchestra concert in Rock Creek Park. Everyone else opted out, so it ended up being just Blake and me. It was a beautiful night. Hot, but the trees coverage helped to cool down the amphitheater significantly. The set was "Music From the Americas" and the crazy young-ish conductor was very entertaining.

All-in-all it was a wonderful weekend. I could do without the high 90's weather we've been having, but I suppose that makes it good night-swimming weather, about which I really can't complain.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Hampshire, it's just what we do.

Please note:

1. Blake is much tanner than I am.
2. Blake's hair has much more natural body than mine does.
3. This makes me jealous.

Blake and I spent the 4th of July at Lake Winnipesaukee with his family. Other than the fact that Blake's family saw my daily eating habits (ice cream at all hours...and fudge sauce? yes please), I'd say it was a perfect vacation.

Here are some interesting tidbits I learned about myself that weekend:

1. Going above 20 mph on a jet ski scares me to death (much to Blake's amusement).
2. Going 40 mph in a boat while pulling a skier is enough of a thrill for me. I'll pass on being the one pulled behind the boat at that speed.
3. Ice cream is even more satisfying on a long weekend.
4. I subconsciously call diet coke "diet Pepsi." Got in trouble for this one. "Pepsi" is a swear word in Blake's household. I can't help that I like white trash drinks. (Oh wait, Pepsi is no longer the official drink of Nascar...it's coke!! Take that!)
5. Bugs will still bite me when I am wearing bug spray. I have sweet blood.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Living the high life.

I have spent the past year living the high life.

My apartment is on the 12th floor of a high-rise apartment building. I wake-up to panoramic views of Washington D.C., the River, and northern Virginia.

My office (or cave, however you see fit to call it) is on the 8th floor of a high-rise office building. I walk into a lobby every morning that has marble floors, hardwood paneling, fountains, and gardens.

While traveling back on the airplane from my holiday weekend in New Hampshire this past weekend, I realized:

I spend very little of my time on the ground.

It's amazing what a year will do. There was no-where to go but up. And up is where I have gone.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Self-Esteem Generation.

If you told someone they were one in a million, you'd be saying there were 1,800 of them in China.

It always confused me why grade school teachers, self-help books and camp counselors are so preoccupied with everyone being 100% equal at everything.

You're all special.

You're all intelligent.

You're all artistic.

You're all 100% wonderful.

You all look so fabulous in yellow.

Seems to me that if everyone is 100% fantastic, then everyone is also 100% mediocre. When great is the norm, then doesn't that make "great" the same as "average"?

If everyone looks equally fabulous in yellow, then couldn't that also mean that everyone looks equally abysmal?

This, I believe, is the paradox of our self-esteem-centered culture.

Can't I just be happy being me? Do I really have to be as interesting, and therefore as boring as the next guy?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Me going to love you long tim

It's green, go with it.
Destiny and I have been a year older for a month. That sentence doesn't make a lot of sense, but you know what I mean.
Our rooftop birthday party was a lot of fun. It included green cupcakes, granola bars, fruit and veggies, hummus...all the green food you can think of. Everyone's been having black and white parties, and we thought it would be funny to have a "green" party. Take it as you will. We sent out the invites without any specific instructions, hoping that people would either wear green or go green (hemp, organic etc.).
It was a success. The view was unbeatable, and the company was entertaining.
Only 11 months until the next birthday bash. Featuring: Bodymore, Murderland 2009?

Someday I'll appreciate in value...

Some Mondays are worse than others. Tomorrow is definitely not one of those "other" days.

There are some days when I feel quite useless at most things. Lately I've been having a lot of those days. I was really aiming to go out with a bang, but it seems I may be going out with a bust.


Last week I got three bruises at work. Physical bruises, I mean. I ran into two different cherry-wood desks (one of them twice). I am super coordinated. Well done.

This week I am aiming for less bruising and much less stress. I am not sure if that's possible. If there were 35 hours in a day, I probably still couldn't get everything done. Cloning's not an option either, so I guess I'm stuck.

At least there is Chez Hogan and its frozen yogurt with heath bar. I live for that stuff. As I've said before, I judge a day's quality by if/how many times I am able to eat ice cream.

Wish me luck...and strawberry frozen yogurt.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tell that Mick he just made my list of things to do today.

Allie made me the most lovely hand-bound book for my birthday. It's long and skinny. For lists.

I have, therefore, decided on several lists to start. This is a list of lists:

1. Subjects to wiki. I am obsessed with wikipedia. I spend a lot of time reading about things that may or may not be useful to my self-education process. Lately I've read all about: Harry Reid, Qui Tam Litigation, Bob Jones College, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Sylvia Plath, Stem Cell Research, University of Maryland and Analogical Modeling. I am now a wealth of useless knowledge.

2. Topics on which to blog. This list is perpetually in need of new additions. Luckily, fellow metro-ers provide me with many an entertaining story.

3. Books/Authors to read. This list, like a toddler, grows faster than I can keep up with. Right now I'm extremely interested in Tuman Capote and Sylvia Plath. Border-line obsession. I am systematically reading my way through their entire collections. Authors that I'm considering next: Dostoevsky and Balzac.

4. People to whom I'd like to give a piece of my mind. Self-explanatory. I've got opinions..ok?

5. Running tally of how many times I eat ice cream per day. You'd be surprised. I rate the success of a given day by how many times I was able to eat ice cream. Current favorite flavors of ice cream: World Class Chocolate (Baskin Robbins), Caramel Cone (Haagen Dazs), and Peanut Butter Galaxy (Maggie Moos).

6. Places to travel. Bottom line, I need to marry a sugar daddy. As long as he has a yacht I'm happy. To match my shoes, of course.

7. People for whom I still need to buy wedding/baby shower gifts. Having gone to BYU is very expensive in the springtime/summertime for me. I think everyone in the free world is getting married or pregnant right now. Just FYI all: you're getting a $5 spatula. and YOU WILL LIKE IT!

8. The Student Budget. List of things that I want to buy but can't now that school and debt are looming ahead. Paper-and-pen version of a slap on the wrist (thanks Ashton).

Hope this is what you had in mind for lists, Allie. You've inspired me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Burning Bridges is a Form of Suicide.

I try to be as diplomatic as possible, as much of the time as possible.

This is not always possible.

For Blake, Anthony and Clinton, this is much less than always possible.

We had front-row-on-the-third-baseline tickets to the Orioles/Red Sox game on Saturday (thanks, Anthony!). The game was great. I mean, the game was greatest for the Red Sox fans (I would say that the stands were 80% full of Red Sox fans), and not quite as great for O's fans. Poor O's...were booed in their own ballpark...and were out-chanted by "Let's go Red Sox!" the entire time.

Manny Ramirez (sp?) hit his 500th home run. The fans went wild. 80% of the stadium errupted and flash blubs went off in every direction. Even the umpire was clapping for him ("Nice Job Ref...now we know who you're really cheering for" - Blake).

Three rather drunk women ran up in front of us: screaming, cheering and generally going wild for the dreadlocked Ramirez. They turned around with gleeful looks on their faces and handed --actually tried to hand-- their camera to Anthony and Clinton:

"Take a Picture"

Shaking heads "nuh uh"

"You won't take our picture??!"

Still shaking heads and looking self-satisfied "No way."

Ladies look to Blake: "How about you"

Also satisfied with self "No thanks, not me"

Now angry with male O's fans. Look to me: "How about you?"

Unable to say no. Scared for life. Scared that burning this bridge would actually be a form of suicide...drunk, cat-fight suicide: shrugs... "Sure"

From then on out, any time the guys passed these three women on the way to get hot dogs (baseball hot dogs are the best!) the women would boo, hiss, and scream "Meany, meany, mean boys!!!".

Then I passed. "Oh, nice, nice girl. We like you!"

Bridge successfully in tact.

Photos: As Promised

Megan, Destiny and Me in our theater room, waiting for our next go at "Rock Band."

Michael, Me and Allison in front of our house.

Jiggleitalittleitllopen. Our favorite house in Duck Beach. Thanks for finding that one, Destiny.

Brandon, Destiny, Matt and Me in front of our house.

Destiny, Allison and Me: the Birthday girls!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Duck Beach. Or, as I like to call it: "Find a Mate '08"

I did it. No, I didn't get a mate. I just did Duck. In fact, you will notice in the pictures that I will shortly post, that none of the group I was with was able to find a mate (no, just because it's five guys and two girls doesn't mean we're polygamists. That whole multiple wives thing --despite what people think-- doesn't really fly in the Mormon church). I guess we're off to a bit of a late start. It's almost halfway through the year. Get crackin' fellows.

Friday night after work Valerie and I drove down with a random guy we met on the listserv. He was extremely nice, but there were two problems. Namely:

A. Airconditioning was a no-go. It was 75 degrees that day. So, I was faced with two options: sweaty Rachel or wind-blown Rachel. Apparently I wasn't satisfied with either of the two evils, so I opted for both: temporary breathable air making my hair a huge rats nest, followed by unbreathable air, slightly better hair, and a sweat-glistening forehead.

B. We listened to the same REM CD for about 5 hours stright. Gave a me a whole new view on "it's the end of the world as we know it." Don't worry though, I felt fine.

Our house didn't open until Saturday afternoon so we camped in Kitty Hawk. Yes, that's right, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Thank you Wright brothers for giving that little village a spot on the map.

Camping was, um...fun. I slept on my beach towel. And, I'm also pretty sure that I slept on a cactus.

Then it rained all morning.

I was a wet, bug-bitten, cactus-backed dribble of a person that morning. Tom couldn't stop laughing. Thank you Tom. Glad you got to sleep in that nice tent with Destiny and some camping pads and warm sleeping bags. Good thing I was able to buy your friendship back with chocolate (Note: Tom will do almost anything for nice chocolate...).

Saturday day-time highlight: driving down the main drag in Kitty Hawk. Squeezed in between Destiny and Tom in the front of Tom's U of U-inspired truck. All three wearing aviators. All three singing at the top of our lungs to Celine Dion. Air guitar and dashboard drumming included. I guess it was just pratice for Sunday night's rock band extravaganza.

Saturday night-time highlight: leaving our house party just as the police showed up. Well done Destiny and Michael for thinking of hot tubbing across town rather than hang out with 400 "sweet bra's".

Sunday day-time highlight: the "sunday school lesson" taught by Preston to the six of us in my king-sized bed, followed by the card that everyone "signed." Blake even signed it from New Hampshire and Paul from back in D.C...wonder how that worked out???

Sunday night-time highlight: Rock band and cake. More specifically, getting sick from eating too much cake and cookie dough and then listening to Tom's rendition of "In Bloom" by Nirvana and watching Michael drum like his life depended on it. My vocal tolerance and my sugar tolerance will never be the same.

It was definitely the best birthday I've had in a long time. 22, sheesh. So old. (KIDDING). I am always embarassed to tell people how old I am because I am such a baby. I guess I shouldn't try to grow up too fast though. Life's pretty good right now and I'll be darned if I don't enjoy every second of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I pick the wrong line at the supermarket 87.9% of the time. Today I spent twenty minutes in line behind a family that looked like they were from Texas, and looked like they could have eaten the entire contents of their over-flowing cart in one sitting. In fact, the lady working at the checkstand was confused/bewildered that she had to ring up several candy bar wrappers and empty pepsi cans due to the hunger that just couldn't wait during their meandering up and down the aisles.

100% of the time something completely random and interesting happens to me in transit between my apartment and my office. Today after work I decided to walk halfway home rather than take the metro. It finally stopped raining (first time in 48 hours) and I wanted to enjoy the sunshine. One block out of the office and I meet my first "experience." A sketchy-looking man, smoking a joint, came up to me: "excuse me, miss." He looked straight into my eyes and handed me a flower. Not a rose. Not a long-stem tulip. Some kind of flower that he had picked from one of the planters along the street. I don't exactly love pansies, but thanks, Chester.

Ice cream is a good idea 99.8% of the time. Meaning: I can and will eat it all day, and roughly 49.8% of the remaining day that constitutes the night.

Road trips to Baltimore are 110% successful when accompanied by a large group of friends. I think what added the extra 10% was, in fact, the fascist family who ran the drive-in movie. "You want to hear inconsiderate and rude? I'll give you inconsiderate and rude! (taking down the license plate number)". So, even though I didn't enjoy the Spiderwick Chronicles, I fully enjoyed myself and my ability to survive the freezing cold temperateres that accompanied the Baltimore extravaganza.

With me, blogging only consistently occurs 25.3% of the time. Well done, Rach, well done. I am hoping to get my numbers up to 67.33% here fairly soon. I'm going to need a 112% increase of Pasta Roni intake.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Coffee Break

Dear Mark:

I am being told no affiliations are to be read in the attached. I do notice nobody was pictured with Hillary. A sign of what will happen tonight?

Best regards,


To be fair to Rachel, I had asked her to stand there with me, as everybody else, including Sally, surprisingly, refused.



I hope you all were handing out business cards at the same time. And by the way, William, what were you doing to John's head? John McCain has lived through more than any of us can ever imagine, but I am not sure he can live with whatever you were doing to his head!

Best regards


Dear Mark:

It was the emotion, I lost control. Can you imagine, being so close to our next president?

Best regards,

I love my IBT (International Business Transactions) team. Cake break in the middle of the day? Yes please!
Who said lawyers have no sense of humor? And no, I'm not an Obama supporter. (Sorry, Blake). Don't judge me.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I underestimate things.

This fact was called to my attention the other night at Gadsby's Tavern. I had just sat down to dinner with my Mom, Grandmother, Aunt and Aunt's friend Judy. After looking over the menu, I reached for the bread. I correctly estimated the distance between my hand and the bread, and was able to get a piece without a hitch. However, apparently my depth perception abilities decrease when objects are moving towards me rather than away. When I brought back my hand to put the bread on my plate, I underestimated the distance. With a resounding clank, my elbow hit my pewter plate and made a gigantic crashing noise.

Yes, patrons, you have me to thank for ruining your quiet night.

Today I continued underestimating:
  • The space between the pantry and the kitchen door. I have one stubbed toe to prove it.
  • The height of the shelf in my bathroom. I have one bump on my head to prove it.
  • The slippery-ness (is that a word) of a washed vegetable. I have one bruised avacado to prove it.
  • How much nail polish remover can fit in the cap of the bottle without it's overflowing. I have one very potent-smelling room to prove it. (Or maybe that's overestimating?)
  • The amount of food I can consume in one weeks time. I have the muffin-tops to prove it.

I also underestimated the amount of time it would take me to write this post. I have one overly-cooked pot of pasta to prove it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Things I've seen.

Things that I've seen lately:
A. Gigantic cheese (please see above). I have never been so happy, nor surprised in my life to see an enormous brie cheese wheel in Safeway. Thank you Maryland, you're right, my Virginia Safeway doesn't have such a wide selection.
B. On the way home from church today with Destiny and Rachel we sat acoss the metro from a fifty-something year old man and his slightly younger (ok, significantly younger) girlfriend. He groped her the whole time. In front of us. For five stops. I was shocked and awed (Thank you George W.) Is there no peace in the public sphere these days?
C. The look on people's faces when I pulled out a handfull of string cheese from my purse during sunday school. What can I say, sometimes I just need snacks (Valerie, if you're reading this, you taught me everything I need to know about snacks).
D. A freaky waiter (I call him Jafar) at Casablanca. He had the most terrifying eyes I've ever seen, was way too excited to see us, and kept asking "it good? it still good? want another coke??"
E. The largest blister I've ever had. Two inches of flesh pulled away from my right heel. That's what I get for buying Coach shoes.
F. A flock of segways. Yes, a flock. I call them a flock because that sounds better than a fleet. Don't you think?
G. The inside of my office. Not that that's new or anything, and not that that's exciting, but it's what I've seen a lot of.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A date by any other name.

Blind dates are usually against my policy. I can get guys to ask me out on my own, thank you very much.

More importantly, I always end up making a fool of myself on blind dates. Actually, I make a fool of myself on dates in general. It's a wonder I ever make it to the second date.

This week I went out on a blind date with a friend of a friend. When my friend had asked me if she could give this guy my number, she never told me his name, so when he called, I was fully convinced that he had introduced himself as "Robby." I was fully convinced of this throughout dinner as well. I was fully convinced right up until the point where he corrected me, saying "you know that my name's actually 'Bobby', right?" Yep, that is definitely the point where I became much less convinced. Flat out the opposite of convinced ("un-convinced"? "unvinced"?...). Flat out mortified.

I spent the rest of the date feeling sheepish and apologizing profusely. There is nothing worse than being called the wrong name. I mean, I guess it could have been worse. I could have called him "Steve" the entire night or something. At least "Robby" is relatively similar to "Bobby," right? For all he know I'm just dislexic...

In all of my awkward glory, I began to reminise to myself about past dates. There have been some doozies. Don't steal this stuff. It's true, and give credit where credit is due. When it shows up in my memoirs someday, I don't want to be accused of plagarism because one of ya'll out there in cyberspace stole anecdotes from my deliciously awkward life.

Prom. I was 17. I had braces. I was sunburned from being in the sun all day attempting to play golf with guys who grew up on the country club (I'm more of a McDonald's girl myself...no country club for me). I went with a guy that I hadn't really spoken with since the 6th grade. In fact, in our Provo-style all-day-long date, I think that I talked to him more than I previously had in my whole life combined.

We went to Tepanyaki for dinner (picture Beni Hana, but "Happy-Valley" style). The chef was Asian (duh, Rach, what'd you expect?). And, as I've recently experienced again, didn't speak much English --wow, I really should learn Japanese. I told the man that I didn't want any shrimp. I don't think he understood. Correction, I KNOW he didn't understand, because he still launched the shrimp in my direction.

As I reached my hand out to catch the shrimp in mid-air (I really didn't want to eat it...I hate the texture of shrimp), the neck of my dress also came forward. I missed the shrimp, but it didn't miss me. It went straight down my dress.

The shrimp was hot. The shrimp smelled, well, shrimpy...and I didn't like it one bit. I quickly excused myself from the table--amid stares from the 11 teenagers surrounding me--and ran to the bathroom. It was practically a surgical procedure to remove said shrimp. My dress was quite tight, so I had to completely unzip to get it out.

I returned to the table, slightly burned, slightly embarassed, and slight hint of shrimp emanating from my dress.

I have grown older since high school, but that doesn't mean that my dates have gotten any less awkward. I live for this stuff.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Refuting my previous point.

Warning: I am not feeling at all creative this evening so this has the potential to be quite the boring post. My sincerest apologies.

I would first like to start by refuting a previous post of mine. Namely the one about Asian tourists. I take it back. I take it all back. American tourists are far worse. Here are several reasons why:

1. On saturday on my way into town I got onto the metro and sat down. I was listening to music and was oblivious to everyone around me until I sat down and pulled out my book. Ugh, what is that disgusting smell? I can't possibly read under these conditions. I looked up and realized that I was surrounded by boy scouts. All shapes and sizes of them. Every shape and every size, though, appeared to have the same non-existent hygiene practices. Take a shower once in a while, troupe 9 from Virgina Beach!

2. I had forgotten what it's like downtown DC during the summer months. I had forgotten what it was like to be in high school (and was happy about that). I had forgotten what it was like to have to decline dates to 16 year-olds. Today at lunch I had a cold slap of reality and was forced to remember. Carolyn and I went out to lunch at Au Bon Pain (hereafter "ABP"), which is one of our favorites...

Small digression: while I was ladeling (is that a word?) my soup, a rather pompous-looking woman attorney bumped my arm. The rather violent jerk that ensued caused me to spill scalding soup all over my hand, blackberry and wallet. It burned. Really. I have the red-tinged hand to prove it. She looked at me, then looked away. No "I'm sorry, did that broccoli cheddar soup singe your hand," no "can I help you remove the broccoli clumps from between the keys on your blackberry?" Nothing. Rudest attorney I've ever bumped into. Believe me I've bumped into my fair share, you can't walk 10 feet without bumping into an attorney in DC.

Alright, back to the loud, obnoxious American teenagers. Remind me to stay away from the food court at National Place. There are, invariably, hoards of teen tour groups (young ambassadors, trust fund kids etc. who think they're entitled) sprawling themselves out on the sidewalk. Besides providing entertainment (was I really that awkward as a teenager? --you're all thinking "um, YES") as I watch them when I eat, they're extremely inconvenient to my lunch schedule. Carolyn and I were trying to get back to the office after a quick window shopping outing, when we were suddenly surrounded. I looked around to see what could have been attracting them. Trinkets. AHHH, yes, the ever popular "I love DC" t-shirts and "FBI" hats. As every high schooler knows, you're automatically way more popular if you wear the DC or NYC t-shirt to school after spring break. Where was I going with this?

Oh, well, the surrounded us and we had to absolutely weave our way through the crowd (picture Steve Young trying to sprint through the defensive line-up of the opposing team, and you got it).

In the time it took us to get back to the office I had decided one thing: No, I was personally never ever that annoying as a teenager. Seriously people.

3. Not only is everything IN Texas bigger, but everything FROM Texas is also bigger. Texan tourists? Enough said.

4. No single nationality is louder than Americans. I want my city back!

5. This is, I believe, why Americans have a bad name.

Thanks to the cherry blossom festival. You can all see why the unmanageable gaggles of people that have descended on the city:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Happy Birthday, I got you a terrorist!"

I usually don't blog at work, but I have a little extra time on my hands right now, so I figured I'd give you all the play-by-play.

Why do I have so much extra time on my hands, you ask?

My office is currently under lockdown. In fact, the entire block surrounding my office is surrounded by police and taped off. The police have advised us to "stay away from outward walls and all windows" as a precautionary measure. It seems a little counterproductive to me, to keep everyone inside a building that may or may not blow up in the next hour. Shouldn't they want us all to evacuate?

When I got to metro center this morning, no, I didn't run into Mr. 400-pound-metro-launcher again. I was told that my exit was closed and to turn around. You've got to be kidding me. Then, the station manager was yelling at a conductor and told us all (there were probably 100 of us waiting to get back through the station at this point) to wait while he finished his heated conversation. Again, you've got to be kidding me. By the time I found my way to another exit and made it out to the street level, the police were taping off F-street. I made it into my office, took off my tennis shoes, put on my heels, and noticed that I was almost 45 minutes late for work.

I called Sally immediately to discuss. Not work, mind you, but rather the more important matter at hand: terrorists? We both agreed that apparently we get to take a hit for the team all because we were trying to get to work on time. If I had just been a little later, they wouldn't have let me into the building and I could have gone to the bookstore instead.

Metisse and I also discussed the potential consequences of the "suspicious package": death? A day off work? Free lunch at Chez? So many possiblities. Anyhow, it's Joanna's birthday today. Metisse generously told her, "Happy Birthday!!! I got you your very own terrorist!" Just what each of us always wanted.

More updates to follow (hopefully). I just hope it doesn't prevent me from getting to go out to dinner tonight.

And once again, my post ends revolving around food. Even under terrorist pressures, is that all I can think about?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April foolings

Several amusing things happened to me today. Actually, several amusing things happened from me today between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 pm. It was a very eventful hour.

I got onto the metro. I usually travel during rush hour, so I'm used to it. However, today was more crowded than usual (even for Metro Center). I got on the metro and found the perfect spot: leaning up against the glass divider. This is my preferred spot to stand because I can have both hands free (and not have on holding onto a pole) to read, change the song on my ipod, and other such important things. I have a very strict metro itinerary for myself: in the mornings I read the paper, and on the way home I read my book (currently "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking...it's a keeper, by the way).

Anyhow, just as I was about to pull out my book, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a rather large man approaching my door. He stepped into the train just as the doors were closing. DC metro doors wait for no man (believe me, I've seen people lose shoes and handbags to the doors). I hadn't realized that the "rather large" man was, in reality, enormous: I would guess close to 400 pounds. The doors started to close on him, so he made what appeared to be a split-second decision and launched himself through the closing doors onto the train...specifically, onto me.

I'm quite a small person. Consequently, when a 400 pound object launches itself/himself at me, the result isn't pretty. Picture me, absolutely smashed up against the glass divider with no room to move my arms or legs. Look of dismay/disgust/annoyance on my face (which happens to be plastered up against the glass). I think my hand was on the stiff looking business man's rear for the next three stops while I stood there unable to move from the uncomfortable predicament. It was not only uncomfortable due to the placement of my hand, nor my being smashed, but also because Mr. 400-pound-metro-launcher was hott and sweaty, and there was nothing I could do to get away from it.

I have never been so glad to get off the metro in my entire life. Lucky for me Rosslyn is only 4 stops from Metro Center. There may not have been much of me left if I had had to wait until Vienna to get off.

Come to think of it, there were lots of sweaty people on the metro today. I'm guessing it's because the temperature jumped about 20 degrees today so it was 70 degrees and rather humid outside. Alas, this is terrible public transportation weather. For recreation, thank goodness, it is perfect weather. I took a long jog ("yog" as Tom has told me) through Rosslyn, around the Iwo Jima Memorial a couple times, and then a long cool down through Arlington Cemetary. The view from the Iwo Jima Memorial is my absolute favorite view of the city. I have definitely fallen in love with DC.

Before I wax cheesey...

Back to my main point: Asians.

I live in a very touristy neighborhood since I live so close to Georgetown, the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington Cemetary. This provides me with an endless supply of gorgeous jogging options, but also provides an endless supply of gigantic tour busses filled with endless amounts of bustling tourists. I had to run through a gaggle of them this evening. I made the mistake of running down Wilson boulevard on the south side rather than the north. The south side (represent) is where the tour busses generally park.

There were three groups of tourist-mode Asians and a cross-walke between me and my apartment, but I was determined to get home as soon as possible because lunch was a long time ago and I was craving pasta roni (is there beginning to be a theme to my posts??). So, I dodged my way through the crowds, nearly hitting more than one tourist more than one time. AND, I don't think they even noticed anyone was trying to get by. Maybe I'd have had better luck if I spoke Japanese: "hello, runner here, on your right...hungry...MOVE." I made it home to my pasta roni though, so even though I was ready to pelt the tourists congregating in front of my apartment with spitballs when I got home, after I ate I felt more benevolent and decided to watch American Idol instead.

Almost too much excitement for one hour, don't you think? And on a Tuesday, too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let's fight crime with mangos and lime, and join the PGA

Alright, I've got my pasta roni (angel hair pasta with herbs and butter...my favorite..mmm) and I'm ready to write.

I had a great weekend. My grandparents were in town visiting, and I got to spend a lot of time with them. I saw Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon. Boy, did that man ever know how to pick a location for a home. Sign me up for 8000 acres on the Potomac.

Note: to dispel the old myth...there is absolutely no way that Washington could have thrown a silver dollar across the Potomac. It's not like our rivers out west. The potomac is enormous, and unless he were absolutely herculean, there is no way a silver dollar would make it anywhere near the opposite bank. Please also note that this does not make me like dear Washington any less. I'm pretty sure that the US is just fine with or without a coin-throwing president.

Most people who know me realize that I am not always the most tactful person when I'm tired. Also, it probably doesn't help that I haven't had much social interaction outside the office for the past month and have forgotten how to converse with my peers (unless it includes the word "heretofore" or "Project X" I am prettymuch at a loss). I am sorry, Tom Davenport, for your having to be the first victim of my fatigue since returning to the states. Now, just to explain, Tom is a pretty funny guy. He constantly has whoever he's around in absolute stitches with his jokes. He repeated a joke several times on Friday regarding the Spitzer affair ("wow, hold on, that's her? She's a bargain at twice the price.") I felt it necessary to comment on this joke because I found it fairly entertaining. So, what I meant to say was "that joke never gets old," but in actual fact it came out "wow Tom, that joke never gets funny." Good going Rach...very smooth.

Now, on to what is really important. I bought a pair of Sperry Top-siders on Saturday. They're red and blue with little anchors on them. I just couldn't resist. Next item of business is to just find a boyfriend with a yaught to go with my new shoes. That's ok, right? Buy the shoes before you find the man, not the other way around? Hmmm, maybe that's why I am single, but have a very large shoe collection...one of these times the shoe style is bound to turn up something...

On a more serious topic, I got to celebrate Easter with two different religious services this year. I went to the national cathedral on Saturday night for an Episcopalian Easter service. It was beautiful and candle-lit Although I know little about the Episcopalian faith, I had a really good feeling throughout the service. I love attending worship meetings of various religions. It's my opinion that you don't have to be a member of, or completely agree with a particular religion to feel of its sacred nature.

Easter Sunday, I went to my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) from 11:00 to 2:00. Learning about the ressurection always interests me. I know I'll never fully comprehend what Christ went through, and therefore will never be able to appreciate it enough, but I'm glad we have a special day each year to really concentrate on it.

After church I proceeded to have two consecutive Easter dinners. Never fear, I am a champion eater and have spent the past year or two being subjected to double holiday meals (don't ask), so I was thoroughly prepared. My Aunt cooked a wonderful, more traditional Easter feast, and then I topped it off with delicious pizza at Austin's. I haven't been so full in a long time...and for someone who's had three meals a day catered to them while sitting in an office chair, that's really saying something. Plus, who says you can't have pizza twice in a weekend and on Easter?

Speaking of...I'm full again. I'm done with my pasta roni. I'll be signing off now and tending to my next activity: Waking Ned Devine, in bed. "Waking Ned Devine," by the way, is a movie. Good grief.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Transatlantic High Five.

Enough said.
So, I'm back in the good old US of A. The place where, when people ask if you're alright, they really do mean "wow, you look terrible, like you haven't slept in three weeks." Gee thanks, make me feel beautiful why don't you. Oh well, at least I'm back to describing pants as pants, not trousers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You know you've been at work too long when...

Heretofore, Rachel S. ("R1") and Rachel R. ("R2"), (collectively, the "Parties") shall put for all reasonable best efforts to have rockin' dance parties each night in the office located at Juxon House, 100 St. Pauls Churchyard, London, United Kingdom.

WHEREAS, extremely long work hours are combined with copious amounts of diet coke; and
WHEREAS, the combination of the Parties with Susanna M. and Marta K. become collectively with the Parties, "Team Wilkinson";
BE IT RESOLVED, that no amount of hours spent in the office are at all extraneous or un-productive.

In accordance with the aforementioned, there shall be no limit to the number of virtual high-fives nor to the time spent in slow-motion running. Furthermore, the Parties must wear slippers each night after 8:30 pm and must spontaneously break into "It's been a Hard Day's Night" at every opportune time.

Team Wilkinson also agrees to put in a Good Faith Effort to be in conference room 12 whenever there is food, not withstanding any Force Majeure or Act of God. The receptionists (hereafter known as "support staff" will furthermore notify Team Wilkinson when the food has arrived due to the contract with Team Wilkinson regarding the necessity of eating food when it is still hot.

Duly administered and signed, this the 19th day of March 2008.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Phlegm is our friend, you know.

Gary is an attorney whose office is next to mine. Gary is great. Gary has been very sick for the past week. Does that stop Gary from coming into the office? No. Not one bit.

Whoever designed this office building obviously didn't have sickness in mind. The walls are not thick enough to cover up the sound of Gary's constant hacking, sneezing, coughing and gurgling. Every time Gary hacks up a nice...um...phlegm ball...Rach and I feel like vomiting. We also generally feel the need to call Gary on the speaker phone and give him hard time (yeah, we're really productive). The other day we called Gary and exclaimed "gross!!! Stop your gurgling!" to which he replied "HEY! Phlegm is our friend, you know." After which he broke into a rousing baritone chorus of "Nobody knows the troubles I've seen, nobody knows my sorrows." Normally Gary's voice is not very low, but he was able to achieve the deep notes that day, no doubt with the aid of his nasty cold.

Shortly thereafter, I continued my quest for productivity by updating my facebook profile and grabbing a new fortune. My fortune now reads "You won't dream unless you get to sleep." How appropriate. The unfortunate thing about dreaming is that these days my dreams are often a continuation of what I was doing at work. Editing documents and managing a virtual data aroom doesn't get any easier in my dreams either, especially when my dreams randomly happen to be in Arabic. Note: I only speak 2 years worth of Arabic, so my dreams progress really slowing because I spend a lot of time just trying to say things like "but I need to go to the bathroom before I can go to the post office (darn, what's the word for post office?!)." FATIGUE.

Maybe Gary could sing me to sleep over a conference call...

On a related note: I haven't been grocery shopping for ages. Most meals are provided at the firm, so I haven't needed to go much. However, I like to eat breakfast at home generally speaking. This combination of circumstance and preference resulted in this morning's breakfast of some fruit salad saved from yesterday's lunch, and a handful of sour cream and onion pringles (thank you, Nicole) and washed down with a glass of tap water and a dose of multi-vitamins. MMMM, good eatin'

That didn't end up being related at all. Forgive my digression.

I've been attempting to teach American ebonics to the brits here at the office. I know, I know, how is a small white girl going to effectively teach ghetto speak? I manage. Plus, I be ghetto now that I inhabit DC.

Susie's ebonics are coming along quite nicely. We got all of the partners and the client laughing at dinner the other night when, as we were given a new assignment, Susie slumped one shoulder, lowered her eyes and retorted"I ain't scurred." (sigh) I see my work here is done. Converting the British Isles, one attorney at a time. Feels so good...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Picadilly line to Cockfosters and easily entertained.

Hilary "Just get on the Picadilly line to Cockfosters"

Me "Excuse me, what?"

"To Cockfosters"

"Hilary, we were just at church...let's use clean lanaguage"

Ok, so I may have tweaked that just a little bit, but when I first saw the sign to Cockfosters, I thought "you've got to be kidding me." (Plus, what good is it to experience something if you can't embellish the story a little bit in the re-telling?) First of all, who names a place Cockfosters. Second of all, should I really want to be heading there on a Sunday afternoon?

These questions, along with the following have been nagging at me for several days now. If anyone can provide answers, I would love your input.

Note: these next two questions are accompanied by CNN articles. So, if you're lazy or not into reading the news (however entertaining the news may be) then just stop here. Don't go on. I won't make you. Consider yourself duly warned.


Questions to consider:

A. Who are these people?
B. Where do they come from?
C. Why are they allowed to procreate?
D. True or False, Kansas should not exist.


Questions to consider/ interesting anecdotes:

A. Two weeks ago there was an earthquake in the middle of the night. I was still at work. Don't worry though, because the floor had already been spinning for several hours and I didn't even feel the earthquake.
B. Gale force winds almost blew me over on the way to work. It's a five minute walk, and I had an umbrella, but I still ended up soaked by the time I got to the office.
C. This same day, a lady threw herself under an oncoming metro and killed herself, resulting in day-long delays. Some people will do anything to get out of their morning meetings, I guess.
D. What is the world coming to?
E. True or False: America was probably having better weather at the time.
F. Is death really better than morning meetings?
G. Or maybe she was just on the Picadilly line going to Cockfosters, and just couldn't take it anymore.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Remember when...

  • Remember when I worked 75 hours a week three weeks in a row? Don't worry, I'll be heading for weeks 4 and 5 soon.
  • Remember when Nicole Vernon came to visit me in London over the weekend and we saw a sumo wrestler running through Hyde Park? (Pictures to come, pending submission by N. Vernon).
  • Remember when I ate three cadbury creme eggs in one sitting?
  • Remember when Nicole spent 15 quid on various types of Diet Coke at the "food and wine"?
  • Remember the deep fried squid in Leicester Square?
  • Remember that it's always entertaining to hear British people quoting clueless anytime past midnight?
  • Remember when I spent all my spare time at work stalking people on facebook and pretending like I remember what it feels like to have a social life?
  • Remember when I got told that my stay in London was getting extended? Oh, and that the deal signs the day after Easter. Potential bye bye to holiday.
  • Remember when Nicole fell asleep in sacrament with her mouth open?
  • Remember when I came to London, but ate at Pizza Hut anyway?
  • Remember when I stopped showering on a daily basis because I just don't care anymore?
  • Remember how I'm drinking copious amounts of diet coke because I don't know what else to order when my colleagues and I go out for "bubbly"
  • Remember how I sometimes forget to use punctuation
  • Remember when I bought myself a pencil sharpener in the form of a red telephone box? Ok, first of all, who uses pencils that need a sharpener? Second of all, that's soooo touristy. Third of all: well, I just love it.
  • Remember when it was a Tuesday and I was already hating life...

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Ah yu al'ri' ?" (Are you alright?)

Problems in British American Translation:
You would think it would be easy, but actually it took me several days to get used to the accent over here. To tell you the truth, I still can't understand the really heavy cockney accents...
Anyhow, I have made several rather humorous mistakes since I got here.
1. Instead of saying "how's it going," the Brits say "are you alright?" When we (Americans) say "Are you alright?" doesn't it generally mean "are you ok? Is something wrong? Did something bad happen to you?" So, for the first couple of days when people asked me "are you alright," I would confusedly answer "um, yeah, I'm doing just fine thanks" and then continue onward...most likely with a blind look on my face trying to figure out what in the world had just happened.
Rachel, my office-mate (a third year associate here in the London office) always asks me to say "are you alright" in a British accent because she thinks I sound like the Queen. I just don't see it, but ok. Anything for kicks in the office...
2. I wore my black leather boots with a skirt on Friday to work. James (a colleague of mine) and I were chatting and commented "Those are some right foxy boots you have on today, Rach." I replied "Thanks, I actually wear them a lot, but usually I just wear them with pants." He got a rather amused/perplexed look on his face for a few seconds, and then exclaimed, "oh, you mean trousers!?" "Yes, I mean 'trousers'" He then explained to me that "pants" means underwear. I am not a stripper. I swear. Note to self, never say "I usually just wear my stiletto black leather boots with pants" in public. Could be taken the wrong way.
Oh, and above are more pictures from my little jaunt around town on Saturday. The daffodils are out, and it's quite pretty in Hyde Park. I just wish there were leaves on the trees. I would say I'd hope to be here to see that, but I'd be lying. I'm just wishing to get home soon...