Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And it came to pass in those days:

I figure I had better blog about Christmas while we're still in the same decade.

We had Christmas at Blake's parents' house this year.  It was great fun with all 8 nieces and nephews there.  They all participated in the nativity at the house (which I thought was a miracle, seeing as my brothers and I never would have cooperated with that in a million years).

Ella and Coco were angles.

James was a wise man...bringing gifts of gold-wrapped chocolate to the newborn king (although most of it ended up melted on wise man's hands and then smeared onto the toilet later...--wait, I hope that was chocolate...)

Andrew was a shepherd.

Morgan was Mary and baby Harry (one week old) was baby Jesus.  Good job, Harry.  No crying he made.

Here come the wise men and shepherds to visit Mary and Jesus (no Joseph this year.  Jack was going to be Joseph but then decided at the last second he wanted to be part of the shepherd crowd, so Mary was a single mom this year.)


Mary did an excellent job holding Jesus...even when the angles got curious and tried to steal him away.


But all was well, and Jesus was safe, and the angles were still happy.

I'd call it a success.

Also a part of the evening was the fabulous salmon dinner and ice cream sundae dessert (yay, ice cream on Christmas!) that Blake's mom cooked.  Here she is in all her Christmas-tabled glory:


Here I am, looking a little stunned (I've been hard pressed to take a good picture lately...my new Maryland drivers license can second that statement), and wishing I could take credit for the decorations.



Here are the munchkins at the kitchen table, furiously coloring in the 12 days of Christmas so they could hold up their sign at the correct part of the song.  I was also surprised how well this went.  There was only minimal pinching and poking, and little to no crying.

Here is Sydney shooting at us with the air gun (my favorite present that we gave the kids...and judging from the use it got on Christmas Eve, it was their favorite too --well done me (pats self on back)).


And so it was a Merry Christmas for all, and for all a good night.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow Day

I had originally planned to post this last week, but, as always, my life got away from me and here I am attempting to post it a week later.

Here are some photos of our huge storm last week.  Huge meaning church was cancelled on Sunday and work was cancelled on Monday.  I think it was actually the largest snow fall in one day in DC in recorded history.  Neat.

We were snowed in all weekend.  As an added bonus and a pre-Christmas (excuse me, ahem, pre-Holiday) gift, the government and Georgetown Law gave us yesterday off.

Not that we could have made it to work anyhow:

Our branch of the red line was closed.

The one snow plow in Montgomery county still has not made it to our street. 

We do not have an SUV.

Even if we had walked to where it's cleared, taxi cab drivers like to capitalize on such times and have temporarily raised their rates through the roof.

Thank goodness GULC follows the federal government inclement weather policy.  It wouldn't have been a true snow day without my Blake.



For those of you that are wondering, we did in fact have a Christmas tree.  I love it.  I think I'd want to keep it up year round if this darned humid climate hadn't already made it smell like mildew.
For those of you who want to see more Christmas pictures of our house, you can go to my other blog (private).


We thought this was ironic.  As if anyone could park here anytime.

Here is my Blake, all bundled up, braving the front walks for the THIRD TIME.

Our car.  Hello little side mirror.

Red Christmas House.


Our side yard.

More of the side yard at the beginning of the day.  By the end of the day the bench was completely covered and the snow reached halfway up that fence.

This is what it looked like when we opened our front door.  It took some finagling to get us out.


Looking down our street at all of the snow-swaddled (look at me, using my Christmas words!) cars.

This is what I look like when I haven't showered or changed out of my pajamas for two days.  Gimme a break...we were snowed in...


We had to spend quite a bit of time breaking icicles off of our bushes and plants so that they wouldn't snap in half.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peace on Earth





It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It's also beginning to look like no church tomorrow, and maybe no work on Monday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Pre-Christmas Thursday

Yesterday was a good Thursday.

Blake got sworn into the Maryland bar.  For those of you out there that would like to watch a line of santa-looking judges (the chief judge's words --not mine) talk about their law careers and then ask a group of uncomfortable looking young attorneys to raise their arms to the square and repeat some official mumbo-jumbo, you can check it out here:  http://www.mdcourts.gov/.

Actually, it was a great morning (santa's helpers aside).  Everything went smootly.  We made it to Annapolis in plenty of time, got to hang out for a while, and then I got to watch as Blake became an attorney.  He's got an official certificate and a load of less-than-halfway-decent photos (taken by me) to prove it.  Well done, my Blake.

After a quick lunch at Panera Bread, we headed back to our respective offices: me to an H1N1 shot and class scheduling, and Blake to an office party, meetings, and a white elephant.

I survived my vaccination this time (I asked for the nasal spray instead of the shot) and am feeling dandy.  The cafeteria sent out a notice that all ice cream products were $.99, so I ran down and purchased Haagen Das bars for my office.  You know I can't resist a $.99 ice cream special.  You wouldn't either...believe me.

We also made the quick 10-minute trek to Tom's house, where we made graham cracker cookie house.  Actually, ours was more like a flat-roofed, utah-shaped, crack house, but Tom and Jenny's looked like a decent christmas-y place.  Paul and Katie...well...I'm not exactly sure how theirs turned out, but at various points it was a great-looking apartment building/bungalo/teepee.

I guess we can't fault Tom, though.  He is an architect, after all.

Some picture updates:

Blake taking the oath.

My Blake in front of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Us in the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pay Czar

I don't agree with government regulation of salaries, but I must say that he's a pretty nice guy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

iMac

They say a picture says a thousand words.

This picture only says nine (but with the same punch as a thousand):


We now own a Mac.  We are finally cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Question for the Universe

One of my colleagues brought in breakfast pastries this morning.

So, when left with a piece of coffee cake that is too big for one bite, but too small for two bites, do you:

a.  Go for it, and risk looking like a foolish (but satisfied) blowfish.
OR
b.  Exercise restraint and good table manners.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Probably Need That

Yesterday when I came home from work I hid something under Blake's side of the covers when I was making the bed (I made the bed at 6:00 p.m. yesterday, so sue me).

I couldn't resist. It was gift from the mail man. Left right there in our red post box. A mail-order magazine featuring my new favorite fashion faux pas: a Snuggie. Multiple Snuggies. In multiple colors and patterns.

When we both wanted to fall into bed exhausted, Blake pulled back the covers and....had no idea what it was...until he looked closer (he didn't have contact in at this point)...and then we both started laughing -- he when he realized what he was looking at, and me at his look of recognition.

Did you know that you can also buy Snuggies for your dogs? The come in x-small (think Chihuahua) or small (think cocker spaniel).

For pure enjoyment's sake (and because I wasn't quite ready to fall asleep) I flipped through the pages of the catalogue. Occasionally thinking to myself "hmm, that set of Christmas candles is actually pretty cool" and (much to Blake's amusement) accidentally thinking out loud about a toe separator/bunion pain reliever "I probably need that."

That's the last time I ever think aloud while reading a mail-order-catalogue in bed next to Blake.

Friday, November 20, 2009

La plus ca change...

I'm heading to my parents' home in Utah tomorrow for a week of fun, family, food, friends, and probably a myriad of other (decent) F words I can't think of right now.

Unfortunately, Blake is stuck at work until Wednesday morning, so he won't be joining me until then.  I'm pretty bummed about it, but I guess I can console myself by thinking that I'd be alone at home anyway since Blake will be working most of the weekend.  Don't worry, we've already planned the first thing we'll do when he arrives: eat Bajio, of course (or Cafe Rio if we can't wait until Provo). 

It'll be really different going back this time.  My old bedroom has recently been converted into the new TV room.  The guest bedrooms are now downstairs.  There's a new deck.  I've heard my Mom recovered the basement couches.  Yep, home will be different.  But, in a way, I can still count on it being the same. 

So, happy weekend, all.  I'll be passing my time on the airplane scheming of a way to convince Blake to come with me to this next summer.  Seeing as it's in the south (have I ever told you of Blake's distate for all things southern?) and it involves shopping, there may not be a chance in Hell that he'll agree to it...but, four states of yard-sale?  That's my kind of activity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spectre

There is a woman at work whom I find 100% terrifying.

I don't know her name or even what department she works in.  But, I do know that she walks without moving her arms even the slightest bit and that she doesn't wash her hands after using the bathroom.

She is the spectre, clad all in black and grey, walking the third floor of McDonough.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week in Review

Last Friday we closed on our house. We also found out the Blake passed the bar! Next to our wedding day, I'd say that that was probably the second most important day of our lives. Not that I had any question that my Blake would pass, it's just nice to see it in writing.

Saturday we moved into our house. Thanks to the help from Pace, Valerie, Matt, Courtney, Austin, Bryan and Blake's parents we got everything packed into our Uhaul and moved in one day. We also got a new fridge and a new couch. The new fridge is hanging out in the middle of the kitchen until we re-do the cabinets (the measurements were off by 3/4 of an inch). Who doesn't like an angled fridge?

Sunday we cleaned our old apartment one last time and handed off the keys to the new tenant. We also spent the day unpacking, listening to music, and generally enjoying our new freedom of space.

Monday we went back to work, sore, and tired. My calves took three days to recover. I guess that means two things: 1. I am out of shape and should exercise more. 2. Carrying boxes up and down stairs really does hurt.

Tuesday we went to work (still sore, I might add) and then got to go to lovely Maeve's birthday celebration with all of these folks.

Wednesday As previoiusly mentioned, I got a free massage at work (it's worth mentioning twice, right?). Blake got the day off work for Veterans' day. He put our lovely new stools together before I got home as a surprise.

Thursday/yesterday I got notice of acceptance into my teaching program. I'll start in January! Hooray! To celebrate, I searched through boxes to unpack some plates (we've been using paper and plastic this week) and we ate dinner at the kitchen bar on our new stools. Then, Blake took me to World Market to use my 15% off coupon to buy some candles for the silver candle sticks we found at a garage sale for $10.00. I also splurged and bought some asian and indian spices ... can't wait to use them.

As you can see, it's been a very eventful week for us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lost Shanna

On Monday night we had to park our car two blocks away where no permit is required. So we wouldn't get towed, you know? On our walk back to the house we passed a flyer on a telephone pole that said "Lost Shanna" with a picture of a fluffy white dog. I was reading the flyer as I walked by and saw the picture of the dog, so I was expecting it to say "Lost Dog," so when I read it out loud, it came out like "Lost ... Shanna?"

I got a kick out of it because it sounded like someone had lost a person...that or an infomercial about how to get your Lost Shanna back in action...

Anyhow.

Today is a good day.

Blake has the day off (federal holiday on a Wednesday..hmmm), so he spent an hour on the phone with Verizon and they are going to come install the Internet at our place on Saturday. Sure, the block of time they gave us is 8:00 - 5:00 --essentially confining us for all of the usable errand-running time -- but it's better than the alternatives.

The alternatives being:

a. Not coming at all (see last post).
b. Coming on December 7 (the quote earliest date they could come).
c. Monday between 8:00 and 5:00 (after much wrangling, the next earliest date they could come).

I've missed the Internet and the ability to post pictures of our house and house projects on my new blog. I've missed updating this blog. I've missed not living in the stone age. I'm suffering from pre-missing the Office and 30 Rock on Thursday. Alas. What was life like before FIOS?

Today is also a good day because:

1. It was the wellness fair today at work. I got a free 10-minute massage. I am now feeling loosey-goosey and quite pleasant. I am also wondering how I can work that into my work schedule more often. Oh wait, I'm not rich. Nevermind.

2. The bar stools I ordered arrived at Blake's parents' house. Blake is chivalrously going to pick them up for me. I can't wait to see them. They are Pottery Barn look-alikes for a quarter of the price. Thank you allbarstools.com.

3. When I get off work I get to go home to Blake.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Home at Last

We are officially homeowners!

Although Verizon was supposed to come yesterday between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 to set up our Internet and TV, they never showed up, so we're currently living in the stone age and relying solely on Blake's blackberry to interact with the outside world.

Other than that, and the fact that our fridge currently resides in the middle of the kitchen floor, we are absolutely loving our house. We feel like we're on vacation in someone else's mansion. (Please note, our house is not a mansion, but it feels enormous after having been confined to a 600 square foot box).

(sigh) Worth every penny.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Friday

Waiting for closing is even more excruciating than waiting for Christmas.

Halloween 2009

We had a pretty laid-back weekend. Well, actually...

Blake wasn't feeling well, so we tried to do a lot of relaxing. Tried, being the operative word (and the misspelled TIRED being the operative's result). We're moving on Friday and Saturday, so we're frantically trying to get everything in order by closing on Friday. AND, it also happens to be the week where Blake has his interview for the Maryland bar...busy week.

On Halloween we:

a. Bought the perfect refrigerator for 60% off.
b. Bought a new dishwasher for 24% off.
c. Had to do a and b that day because we need them delivered on the day/ day after we move in and don't have any other time to go to the store. Fun thing to do when you're sick, eh Blake? Sears is nearly as comfortable as being at home in bed, right?
d. Had a free 3-course meal at Chili's.
d. Had to skip a fun party because we were so exhausted and dizzy from our friendly neighborhood Sears.
e. Rented and watched Wait Until Dark (a new experience for Blake and a favorite of mine).
f. Were the creepers that drove around looking at trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood (they were just so cute!)
g. Scavenged the last two bags of 50% off fun-sized candy at Safeway.
h. Switched our clocks and enjoyed an extra hour of sleep (making our 9:00 church the next day not quite so painful).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Light Pockets


I really like crystal chandeliers. The current chandelier (if you can call it that) in our dining room is really funky, and not quite as dressy as I'd like. This one is pretty funky too, I'll admit, but I really like the iron with the crystal.

I'm starting to get really antsy about moving. We close on the house two weeks from today. This weekend we're going shopping for kitchen cabinets and appliances. I CAN'T WAIT. And, I can't believe we're going to be home owners so soon.

I wonder if I can convince Blake that we need to order this for our dining room. Actually, I wonder if I can convince myself that we need to order this for our dining room. I can't really justify throwing around the word need when we've got such light pockets.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

I really want to see Where the Wild Things Are. Maybe this weekend.

I loved that book as a kid. I still love that book.

I loved that and Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Goodnight Moon, The Chronicles of Narnia, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

My parents would read to us every night before bed. Which gave me an internal reading-time clock. In junior high (and thereabouts) I would get into bed every night at 8:00 and read for and hour or and hour-and-a-half, then turn out the lights and go to sleep. Every night. Without fail.

I would also eat crackers in bed while I read. Probably not the most hygienic, but I do love Saltines.

When my Mom got to the end seventh book in the Chronicles of Narnia, she would cry when she read it to us. I didn't understand why until I re-read the books during the summer after my sophomore year at college. Then I cried too.

My Dad read to us from Lord of the Rings. He's a Tolkein expert, if I haven't mentioned that before. He's loved the books since childhood (my favorite story of him as a kid is that he got in trouble for sneaking his LOTR book into Sunday School by putting it in his scripture case and reading it all during class). He'd read at a hurried pace during the chases, in a somber voice at the sad, and in a thoughtful voice at the final scenes. We'd always beg for just one more chapter, or, if that failed, just one more page.

I think that's why I can't wait for lunch time every day...when I can return to my current adventure/biography/history/dramedy/personal essay and spend a blissful hour eating the equivalent of grown-up crackers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This is the Place

It's impossible to look at this photo and not get at least a little bit homesick.
 
Photo from Nie

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Blake it Down

Blake makes my lunch every morning. Neat. That makes me so happy.

I had a Korean friend in high school that would pronounce my name "Lacher," because L's and R's are hard in Korean. So, sometimes I call Blake, Brake.

Then, when he's talking about something really complex, I can just ask him to Blake it down for me. Or, if he feels like Blake dancing, that's cool too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Morning Acoustics

Blake and I were walking to work together (yes, we walk to work together in the morning...it improves my morning substantially and also makes me sure to be on time to work) and my favorite trumpet player was in our metro station.

There are always musicians in our metro station because it has wonderful acoustics. Wonderful acoustics in a metro station? Yep, somehow the three tunnels coming together at one point makes for the perfect place to perform. Usually there is rather rotund man chillin' out and playing his guitar in combination "praise Jesus"/"Jack Johnson" style. I like him, but sometimes get tired of hearing prayers being sung surfer-style.

This morning the trumpeter was playing Praise to the Lord, which is a song I love, and also was probably the most beautiful rendition of it I've ever heard. I wish we could have stopped to listen, but we were in a hurry, the air was stale, and we were collectively feeling very claustrophobic.

Anyhow, the song got me thinking about how my life is exactly what I always dreamed of. But better.

I love the city. I love my husband. I love public transportation. I love street performers. I love my job. I love our new house. I love the fall (and the weather). I love living near family (but hate living so far from my parents, brothers and grandparents). I love the Indian food we ate last night.

So, even with the claustrophobic stale air, and the enormous woman coughing at my side and trying to elbow her way past me, I'd say it was a pretty glorious morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Favorite Time of Day

I love this time of day.

Namely, 3:25, when it has been exactly 4 hours from my last dose and I can now take another two capsules of Sudafed Severe Cold.

In 15 minutes I'll be able to breath through my nose again. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Did I leave a trace? (or a c-command?)

I googled my (maiden) name today and it came up with this:

http://linguistics.byu.edu/classes/ling430/SC8Fa06report.html

So glad to be helping out the current and future generations of Linguistics 430 students. That was one of the most difficult (or, THE most difficult) class I took in college. Even after getting a decent grade in the class, it still doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

Looking back on those assignments does still get me excited that I'll be starting school again next semester. Free G-town tuition? Yes, please!

Knock Three Times on the Window if you Love Me

I stayed home sick yesterday. My head was pounding. And, as luck would have it, the ceiling was also pounding. Our upstairs neighbors picked a lovely day to re-do their hardwood floors...

Things like that make me even more excited to be moving into our house next month.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ace & Base

I am thinking back on my yogurt breakfast that I curdled in my stomach by washing it down with a glass of orange juice.

I am thinking that it was maybe not such a great idea.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Old Friends

I got out my violin for the first time since we got married (I know, shameful).

I had to re-string it almost completely, and after an hour of tuning, finally played the first note and popped the bridge out from under the strings. That's never happened to me before, and it was scary and I screamed. Blake came in to make sure I was ok. I was. Just a little red from the embarrassment and from the ashamedness of not having played her for such a long time.

Our reunion was both joyful and painful...my fingers are out of shape and I just don't sound like I used to. High hopes that I'll get back in the swing of things soon though (especially now that she's re-strung and ready to go).

********** ************** **************** **************** **************

Also, Alpha Mae came to visit for a day. Yes, only a day. I was sad. But, I was also happy because she provided us with a wonderful opportunity to go to kebabs and gelato. Boccato gelato. (Geeze, I'm just rhyming all over the place).

We learned some new things from Alpha: like meeting Danielle, who is cool, and who now lives in DC. Also, that pineapple basil gelato is yummy (but we still like the chocolate-y flavors best), and that we were late getting on the boat of enjoyment for Arrested Development (she'd already seen every episode, but was happy to watch the last 3 with us as we lounged in our post-food-and-gelato coma).

It's hard to believe that it had been over 2.5 years since Allie had last been here to hang out with me. She came down from NYC the first week I moved here and helped me set up my IKEA furniture and get accustomed to the city. I miss her. It's too bad that there aren't really any photography opportunities here...darn it. Is it selfish that I wish all of my close Provo friends would just move out here already...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Le Singe est sur la Branche

No, really. You try saying that 10 times fast.

I was just thinking about one of my favorite books that I've read recently: David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed in Flames," and remembering the particularly delicious French tongue twisters he talks about. Makes me wonder if my French is holding up.

I think it's doing alright because I still occasionally dream in French.

Then again, I also occasionally dream in Arabic...which makes my speech in the dreams very slow and belabored and a little something like this:

(somewhere long ago, at a hospital far far away in the middle east)

"Ahlahn, yah ...(thinking, thinking, not getting anything restful out of my sleep)...doctor(?)... ana, ana andee al (hmmm?) very hurt stomach! M'aidez maintenant!"
.....

"Shukraan yah ustazz...shukraan"

No wonder I sometimes wake up more tired than I went to sleep.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This just in:


We won the bid.

As of November 6, we will officially be home owners.

Yay!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Come on Arlene!

We made an offer on a house today. It's in Silver Spring and...it's bright red (the color's growing on me and it would grow on you too, believe me).

I'm attached to the house and really hope we get it. It went on the market on Thursday and there are already several offers. We put in a very strong offer and our real estate agent (Arlene) thinks we're definitely in the ball game. All you out there in cyber-space cross your fingers for us. We won't find out until Tuesday if we get it, so we'll leave you (along with the two of us) in suspense.

We've been singing a lot of the Dexy's Midnight Runners this weekend. So, all together now: "Come on Arlene, Oh I swear (well she means), at the moment, you mean everything to me..."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where Prices are Low and Morale Even Lower

Behold, capitalism and the American dream at their best:

Stranger allegedly slaps crying child in store
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/02/georgia.tot.slapped/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

What, at Wal-Mart? No, it couldn't be...(sarcastic grin)


It's stories like that that make me wish I would have come up with this first:

Viral Web site mocks Wal-Mart customers
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/09/03/walmart.people/index.html

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Live Free or Die

We just got back from our summer vacation to New Hampshire.

It was glorious.

Glorious weather, glorious food, glorious 80 degree water, glorious kids, glorious ice cream....just glorious.

The great thing about having 7 nieces and nephews (almost 8!) under the age of 8, is that there's always something going on and, maybe more importantly, always something funny being said. I give you excerpts from our week:

- Ella, Randall and H.L's 3-year-old, was playing on the beach when she looked up and saw a man with a beard paddling his kayak. "Look Mommy, it's Jesus!" she exclaimed. We're pretty sure he heard....but not quite as sure if he was surprised at the comment.

- James, Tyler and Rebecca's 4-year-old, currently has an obsession with all things Star Wars. He brought 4 of the six movies to the lake with him and could (and did) recite the entire plot at a moment's notice. One day we got in the boat to take the kids (and me, who am I kidding...) to ice cream in town. We got just about out of the cove, when the happy look on James' face turned sour and he started sobbing: "I miss Star Wars!!".

I couldn't help but laugh. So, we turned around and went back to he could continue watching Star Wars. Turns out that he didn't need to watch Star Wars, he just needed to get all four of his movies so he could carry them with him while he ate ice cream. Ah, now I ask you what is important in life?

- Coco, Tyler and Rebecca's 6-year-old, was upset with Blake and Me in the hot tub because we were withholding hose-squirting privileges from her. She was so upset that she told her Daddy that he owed her a dollar. "Why?" he asked. "(Pointing and glaring at Blake) Because of him." I hated it when adults laughed when I was angry as a kid...and how here I am doing it. But again, I couldn't help myself. I had to laugh. We all laughed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moribund

I woke up on Tuesday with a word absolutely stuck in my head. So much so that every sentence I thought to myself included that word: Moribund.

"I can't believe that man just cut in front of me. That is so moribund."

"That poptart I had for breakfast is making me feel moribund."

"I wonder if Tuesday will be a moribund sort-of-day..."

"Moribund! Someone stepped on my flip flop!"

The only problem is that I couldn't remember, for the life of me, what it meant.


Well, after a day full of moribund thoughts, I looked it up on dictionary dot com. Here is what I found:

mor⋅i⋅bund  /ˈmɔrəˌbʌnd, ˈmɒr-/ Pronunciation [mawr-uh-buhnd, mor-]
1. in a dying state; near death.
2. on the verge of extinction or termination.
3. not progressing or advancing; stagnant: a moribund political party.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin:
1715–25; moribundus dying, equiv. to mori- (s. of morī to die) + -bundus adj. suffix

Related forms:
mor⋅i⋅bun⋅di⋅ty, noun
mor⋅i⋅bund⋅ly, adverb

So, it appears I was being a little more dramatic in my thoughts that I ought to have been. I still love that word though...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stupidly

So, this media frenzy between the "President's close friend," and the Cambridge cop is getting out of control.

I'm sick of hearing about it.

But, for this particular police man, it was bound to happen sooner or later, right?

With a name like Jim Crowley? Come on, he's just asking for a civil rights slam. If I were him, I'd have gone by James or Jimmy or even Jamie rather than Jim.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All Deliberate Speed

It took me almost an hour and a half to get home today (a commute that usually takes me only 40 minutes in rush hour).

We got stuck between Metro Center and Farragut West for 40 minutes. Underground. For 40 minutes. It's ok, though, because even though it was long and my iPod was out of batteries and I didn't have a book with me (I hate commutes when I am ill-prepared like that), the car was sufficiently air-conditioned.

Also, and more importantly, the thug next to me (full grown thug, not thuglet) was listening to "Don't Go Chasin' Waterfalls" on repeat on his ipod. Probably as loud as it would go. Round about the 5th time in a row, I got restless and started texting my Blake and my friends to tell them about my TLC-loving metro neighbor.

Me: "There is a big thug sitting next to me on the metro listening to 'Don't go Chasin' Waterfalls' over and over again. Classic"

Meg: "We all need some TLC every now and again"

Me: "Yeah, no matter how thug you look..."

Meg: "Tap his shoulder and give him a thumbs up"

Me: (Now listening to "just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to..." for the sixth or seventh time) "He might rip that finger right off and eat it for a snack. We are stuck on the metro and he is starting to look hungry and restless."

Meg: "You don't have enough meat on you to make it worth it."

Me: "I dunno, I am getting pudgy from all the snacks that I eat at work....good thing he has waterfalls to chase."

Blake: "Just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to"

Ashton: "I hope he was singing too. That's something Stephen would call 'blog-worthy.'"

Yes, yes it was.

Oh, and I'd lost count of the number of times he played the song by the time I got off at my stop and he continued on, probably spreading the TLC love all the way to the end of the orange line.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why I want a Yard

I was just talking with Blake about how, when we have a yard, I want to build a tree house. For me. For us. No, we don't have to have kids yet.

My friend Megan had a tree house in her back yard in Seattle. Her dad had built it for her. It was basically just a wood platform in a mid-sized tree, but it was awesome. It had a rope ladder. I had a lot of trouble getting up that rope ladder. I must not have been too coordinated back then, because it usually took me two or three tries to climb up into the fort, and when I finally pulled myself on up there, it took some real convincing for me to get down as I knew I wouldn't be able to climb back up again.

Megan had no trouble with the rope ladder and could go up and down at her leisure.

So, I left her to get the otter pops and various other snacks and sneak them from the kitchen for the both of us, while I laid on my back on the platform, wondering how long I could postpone having to struggle down the ladder again. How embarrassing.

We loved it up there. It was our secret club. It was where we'd watch over the alley-way and spy on the neighbors. It was also where we came up with our money-making schemes and other adventures.

One Saturday we got the idea (probably sparking from something we'd watched in TGIF the night before) that we could make ourselves rich if we sold home-made perfume. We went around the neighborhood searching for rose pedals and honey suckle (or anything else we thought smelled good) and put all our findings in a jar full of water. Then we let it sit.

A couple of hours later (we were going to let it sit all day, but who were we kidding, we were impatient to become rich) we took the box of Dixie cups from under the bathroom sink and doled out individual portions of our "perfume." I can't remember if it smelled alright or not, but I do remember trying to make it look better by including some fresh rose petals in each cup.

Then we peddled our wares door-to-door. We sold the "fancy rose perfume" for 50 cents per cup to our (I realize now) very generous and understanding neighbors.

My Mom wasn't too happy with us when we told her that we'd been selling water with fermented rose petals in it for 50 cents a Dixie cup to her acquaintances. I couldn't understand at the time why she'd be at all embarrassed.

I think we only ended up with about three dollars by the end of the day, but we were happy anyway because it still made us feel wealthy enough to chase down the ice cream truck.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ponderin'

"Hello, Georgetown Clinical Programs"

"Hi. How are ya'?"

"Um, good, how are you sir?"

"Well, I'm just a poor man, sittin' here ponderin' how I can help get my son out from where he is currently incarcerated..."

pause pause "let me transfer you..."

I love answering the clinical line.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Spicy

My feet smell like Santa Fe Chicken salad.

Thank you, Corner Bakery, for bestowing on me this unlikely perfume.

(I brought my leftover salad with me to work for lunch today, and it exploded all over my bag. I had to wash my dress shoes off in the bathroom, but the soap and water were no match for the potent dressing.)

Why do these things happen to me? And on a Tuesday too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Of weekend past

My Dad came into town at the last minute this weekend for his friend and former colleague's swearing in ceremony as Secretary of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.

It was a short trip, but it was fun to see him and have him stay with us for the night on Friday.

Friday was an all-around good day. Work was laid-back. Sarah (my boss) bought everyone in the office ice cream --automatically making it an amazing day. And, I got off early and got to spend time with my Dad in the National Gallery.

It was unbearably hot on Friday. I think the high was 94, which in this humid climate is nigh unto Hell.

We met up with Blake, dragged him away from his bar studies, and went up to the Kabob House. We took my Mom there last time she came, but my Dad hadn't arrived yet, so we figured we'd better initiate him. This time, however, we ate inside in the blissfully air conditioned dining room.

Right as we finished eating, the sky, to follow up the heat of the day, decided to take its revenge. It poured and thundered, and lightninged and blustered so much that the patron of the restaurant told us we should have brought blankets because we'd need to be sleeping there that night.

When it started to let up a bit, we walked home and then rented Taken since we love that movie and my Dad hadn't seen it yet. Of course, when we got back home the power was out. Yes, it was still 94 degrees outside, and quickly becoming that inside. No, we no longer had means to watch the movie.

Dominion's automatic update said we'd be without power until 11:30 pm. It was 9:00. Boo.

So, we tried to watch it on my Dad's computer (his being the only one with enough battery power to last the entire movie), but because the disc was a special rental version, it was protected against loading it onto a computer (I guess they think we'd steal it...they obviously don't know who they're dealing with here. This lawyer father of mine would never infringe on copyright...)

Just as we were beginning to cede to the elements that had conspired against us, the power came back on --literally seconds after Blake had exclaimed "Nothing is going our way tonight!" the lights came back on. I think Blake should voice his complaints more often..it seems to get things accomplished.

We got to see the movie. And, my ice cream in the freezer didn't completely melt. The night wasn't a total bust after all.

Dad and I spent Saturday at the American History Museum (after looking for parking for over an hour!), met up with Blake for a late lunch at Five Guys, and drove to the airport.

It was a great weekend, but definitely too short of a trip. I'm hoping that my Dad will have frequent work engagements out here and I'll get to see my parents a bit more often. (Here's hoping).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Capitol News

I've always wondered why there are two spellings of capital/capitol. It doesn't seem time effective or streamlined to have a second spelling that is only used for one meaning.

ANYHOW.

Bad things have been happening in DC lately:

Today:
Red line train crash resulting in 9 deaths and multiple injuries.
Yes, I ride the red line. Yes, I was on the red line when it happened. Yes, my commute was, and continues to be effected.
Don't worry. I ride the red line in the opposite direction of the crash. It happened in Maryland. I live (and love) in Virginia.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/22/washington.subway.crash/index.html

Two weeks ago:
Ancient Neo-Nazi attacks innocents at the holocaust museum.
Again, my commute was grossly effected.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/19/holocaust.shooting.guards/index.html?iref=newssearch

Six months ago:
Water main breaks on River Road by Blake's parents' house. One of the scariest and most confusing plumbing issues I've ever heard of. Blake's commute was effected, but not mine so much.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,471466,00.html

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't leave me high

Two men got on my metro car the other day. They both seemed like the homeless crazy type, but that wasn't very surprising. That's nothing new.

I glanced down and noticed that one of them held in his hand what looked to be a joint.

For a split second, I thought "no, that can't be...there's no smoking on the metro." Then I remembered who I was dealing with and looked more closely. It was joint. A live joint, which he proceded to smoke.

Did I mention he was standing right next to me. And, that there was no air conditioning in that metro car?

Luckily I only had one more stop to go. Not a long enough time to get overly hot-boxed. However, it did make me worry that I'd smell like weed at work. Not exactly something you impress your boss with.

Anyhow, it reminded me of a specific bank of phone booths, in a specific neighborhood in Paris...

Brooke and I had to use the public phones down the street from our apartment because our host lady had to have the line free to use her dial-up Internet connection (no, it was not 1995, it was 2006). We'd get out our calling cards and talk to our families, standing up, in these small, enclosed glass phone booths out in front of the opera house. The booths were in "pods" of three, so you could look in at the persons next-to and across from you as you made your call.

There were always interesting characters hanging around at night. It was a great neighborhood for bars, clubs, restaurants and other night life.

Anyhow. While I was on the phone with my mom I looked looked up and noticed that Brooke was both talking on the phone, and talking through the glass to a man that seemed quite interested in her.

I saw his mouth move and saw him motion to the joint in his hand.

I saw Brooke mouth "Non, Merci" and turn away.

He then knocked on her door rather forcefully, again motioning to the joint in his hand.

"No Merci"

Brooke then stood there, bewildered, as the man shrugged his shoulders, took a big puff and then put his lips up against the crack between the glass door and the wall and exhaled. Long, and smoke-filled into the small booth. He smiled and repeated. Several times.

She didn't want the high, but he sure gave it to her.

I wonder how the conversation with her mother turned out...



*(Brooke, I've taken liberties with the story...forgive my imperfect retelling)

Friends in high places

On Sunday we gave a woman a ride to church. We had never met her before, so Blake tried to make small talk.

"So, where are you from?"

"Akron, Ohio, originally."

"Oh, that's cool. I have friends from Akron, actually, and they say it's really great."

(Me thinking: "hmm, I wonder what friends he's talking about." At which point, I almost piped up and asked "who?", but thought better of it: "Oh well, they're obviously not too close of friends if I haven't heard about them before." )

.....

That evening as we were getting ready for bed, Blake brought it up: "You know what, when I said I had friends in Akron, I was thinking of Lebron James. I actually don't have friends in Akron. I was just trying hard to come up with who I knew from Akron and the only person I thought of was Lebron James. I wanted to make her feel comfortable. I was so glad that you didn't ask who I was talking about....but did you see how much her face lit up when I said I knew someone from Akron?!"

I'm glad I hadn't brought it up.

I didn't know Blake and Lebron were so close.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Straight up thug town called:

Arlington.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo

My home town for the last two years.

So true. Don't knock my boat shoes.

P.S. Yes, that is the fateful Pottery Barn where this happened.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is my Blake



At a family and friends dinner last fall my grandparents had us all introduce ourselves. Everyone would say "this is my husband, he's the son of so and so, and is the grandson of so and so."

My cousin, Todd, who is sixteen and didn't have a significant other at the dinner, stood up and said "I'm Todd, and this is my Blake (pointing at a surprised Blake)."

Well, I'm sorry Todd, but he is MY Blake.

He is MY Blake and he is a Law School graduate!

(I made him take the picture above because it shows the size of his head. He has a big head, of which I am very jealous. I was always disappointed in the smallness of my own head.)



You'll have to forgive the way I look in all of these pictures. This was during week one of my month-long illness (see previous post). I was in the sinus infection phase, and it definitely shows. In fact, I wore a dress with pockets so I could keep tissues with me, and I'm pretty sure you can see that my pockets are full.
These are Blake's law school buddies and their wives and kids. We're sad that they're all moving/have moved back to Utah.


My parents came out for the weekend to attend Blake's graduation. It was so much fun to have everyone together. Notice how Blake's mom is a little further away from me than everyone else? Well, that's how sick I was.


My parents are great! I'm so glad they were able to come out. I feel bad that I was sick all weekend, but I think/hope they still had a decent time. It was fun to show them our apartment and my office for the first time.



Blake's lovely parents. Man, do I look sick in this photo or what?

This is Blake's graduating class. He's about six rows back on the right side (though you probably can't even tell one person from the next in this photo). We had fantastic seats for the ceremony, and dutifully listed as all 700+ names were read (yes, 700! That's 540 J.D. students, plus LL.M.s and Ph.Ds...good grief).
Four hours, and about 150 tissues later, the ceremony finished and, well, Blake went from being a "student of law" to "attorney at law."
Now I just can't wait until the Bar is over. July 29th can't come soon enough for me (though I'm sure Blake would rather it not come quite so quickly).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pottery Barn

I just got a call from Pottery Barn notifying us that our chair will be delivered next week (my parents bought us a super cool upholstered chair for our wedding gift) and it brought back one recent and vivid memory of Pottery Barn. It also may be the memory of the most humiliating experience of my life.

I was sick for more than half of the month of may. About halfway through May (just in time for Blake's graduation and my parents' visit) I got a bad cold/flu, that turned into a sinus infection; then I added a stomach flu into the mix, followed by headaches, more sinus problems, more stomach flu, dehydration, doctors visits, IVs and shots. It was a bad three weeks.

This story takes place during the first round of stomach flu....

I took the day off of work on a Tuesday because of the sinus infection, but decided on Wednesday morning that I was going to brave work (I thought I'd rather be at work than be bored in bed). I started to feel dizzy and claustrophobic on the metro, but thought I was probably just tired from being in bed all day the day before. At work I felt really nauseous and claustrophobic. So, I started working from the conference room where there's a private air-conditioning unit (the fresh air helped it be bearable). Then, I thought it might be because I hadn't eaten yet. So, I ate my lunch early.

That didn't help. In fact, it made it worse. The wind tunnel I was working in no longer helped.

I called Blake at 2:30, and he offered to rescue me (by car!). I put my head down on the conference room desk. It helped a little. Then I went outside and waited on a bench where I could get real fresh air.

Blake picked me up around 3:00. Poor guy braved traffic across town to come put me out of my misery. I really don't think I could have made it home without him.

ANYWAY.

I made it across town, over the bridge, and into Arlington. We had to get gas, and I figured it would be faster to just get gas on the way instead of having Blake drop me off at home and then have him go back and get gas. That may have been the worst decision of my life.

I made it to the gas station, and halfway back home. Right as we passed the Cheesecake Factory I started to feel exceptionally ill. I told Blake that if he could it would be best if he pulled over onto one of the side streets as soon as he could. Well, that's when things got bad.

We couldn't pull over onto a side street, so Blake pulled to the left side of the street (it's a one-way, don't worry!) and I opened my door just in time. I completely lost it on the street. In front of Pottery Barn. In front of Whole Foods. In front of the shoppers and oncoming traffic. I lost it again and again in front of several waves of on-lookers. I was mortified.

I would have started crying, but since I had a sinus infection, I knew that tears would only make matters worse. So I just groaned. I groaned and complained about the state of my now "ruined" business casual, and apologized to Blake who was having trouble not tossing a few cookies of his own after seeing/hearing me.

Blake dropped me off at the side of our building while he went to park. I immediately headed for the hose, where I doused myself, my closes, my shoes, everything to get rid of it. Of course, right then our neighbor decided to walk right by me with her little dog and give me a confused/appauled look.

I must have looked ridiculous. Wet pants, dripping face, hair half out of a pony-tail, pale skin, standing there with a hose turned on full blast, aiming it at myself.

Not one of my finer moments.

Well, I'm better now (finally) and am looking forward to a more sophisticated (and cleaner) interaction with Pottery Barn next week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Newly wed and, possibly, almost dead

Our neighbors smoke. A lot.

It doesn't seep into our apartment, but it makes our entrance hallway smell like a foul ashtray.

We had to do a lot of investigating to find out who the culprits were, but finally found out when I saw Chancie huffing and puffing her way to the metro station with a dog leash in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and when Blake happened to smell the laundry (and the man himself) that Charles was doing in the communal laundry room.

We think they're newly-weds because Chancie's name appeared, scribbled in red pen, under Charles' on their mailbox several weeks after we moved in. And, we think they're just about the oddest couple you could find...brought together, most likely, by their mutual love of tar, nicotine and lung cancer.

She is large (LARGE!), pushy, loud and walks her little dog like she's imitating Elle Woods. He is small, quiet, sullen, and barely walks at all with his crutches.

I've tried (admittedly) to peek into their apartment as I pass by their living room windows. The room is piled high with boxes and debris. Hardly enough room for two grown people and one stunted dog. I often wonder why I never see either one of them sitting there in the living room. Maybe they're out walking the dog, or maybe making the laborious be-crutched trek to the metro...or maybe they're in the hallway again, smoking more years off their lives and ours.

Friday, May 29, 2009

You, too, can beat slavery

We got Blake his final graduation present this week. Why two weeks late, you ask?:

a. Because I'd been sick for over 2 weeks and couldn't will myself to get to Target.
b. Because it didn't come out in it's full glory until May 18th.
c. Because Blake had to watch some youtube videos of it before committing to the purchase.

Yes. We got Mike Tyson's Punch Out for Wii. Actually, due to the fact that Mike Tyson is a convicted psycho, it's just called Punch Out. It's awesome, interactive, and gives us sore arms (that should tell you how in shape --or out of shape--we really are).

It's better than the original: 3-D opponents, wii-fit board compatibility, and nun-chuck wielding power. After-dinner evenings at our place may never be the same.

We haven't gotten there yet, but I'm pretty excited to fight Mason "the Line" Dixon (seeing as he's the only one I remember from the original). I couldn't K him O back in the day, and I probably won't be able to now, but who am I kidding, I'm just excited to see Blake's face when he beats him.

Oh, and here's my equation for the day: Graduate from Law School, Get a Nintendo game. Attorneys know how to have fun...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May

Sorry I've been away so long, folks. May's a busy (and expensive) month for us:

May 1: Blake's Birthday (28). We had dinner at Acadiana and saw State of Play in Chinatown.
Anyone visiting D.C. with a full wallet and an empty stomach should treat her/his self to Acadiana. It's upscale Louisiana-style cuisine, and it's amazing. We all had the crab cakes, and I must say they were the best crab cakes I've ever had (and that's saying a lot...I've personally taken it upon myself to sample crab cakes at every restaurant I've been to since moving to DC. Verdict: Best crab cake - Acadiana. Best crab cake sandwich - MatchBox. )
State of Play was awesome. I particularly enjoyed it because I'd seen them filming it in my neighborhood last fall and hoped to be accidentally in the background in the metro scene. No dice on being an extra, but still an entertaining show.

May 2: Blake's Birthday, the sequel. Dinner at Ledo Pizza (our favorite DC pizza joint) with the whole gang. Equal celebration of Blake's birthday and graduation from law school.
Good pizza. Great friends. Cake that broke into three pieces while I was away, but still tasted scrumptious. MarioKart Wii competitions. Fitting all 16 of us into our living room. What a great night.

May 9: Dinner with Zach and Alicia Derr and Brian and Kelly Stewart (Blake's law school buddies) to celebrate the end of the law school era. Pizza Paradiso. They're all moving to Utah after graduation, which is a bummer for us.

May 10: Mother's Day. Big family dinner with all the kiddos at Blake's parents' house. Good food. Great fun. Neat nieces and nephews (yes, they're mine now too!).

May 12: Dinner to celebrate Tom Davenport's graduation from Dental school. Asia Nine. Also, we celebrated Tom's moving in with the Georgetown crew. It'll be nice to have him closer than Baltimore.

May 13: Tyler turns 30. Celebrate porch-sitting-style in Georgetown.

May 15: My parents come to town for the weekend in honor of Blake's Law School graduation.

May 17: Blake graduates from Law School (hooooooraaaay!).

May 22-25: Go on vacation to heretofore undisclosed location.

May 25: My Birthday. Memorial Day. No work. Just play.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu makes me smile...

..because of jokes like this:

They said a black man would be elected president when pigs fly. Well, swine flu.

and websites like this:

http://doihavepigflu.com/

and pictures like this:


I'd be wearing a surgical mask, but J. Crew sold out of the sear-sucker variety and any others just wouldn't match my new aviators.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swearing is caring

As far as language goes, I like to keep it clean. However, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good swearing story every now and again. Here are two of my all-time favorites (both of which happened within the last week):

1. President Eyring spoke at the DC BYU Management Society Dinner last weekend. The former US Ambassador to Belgium --a good friend of Eyring's from college -- introduced President Eyring (keep in mind that this former ambassador is not a member of the LDS faith):

"To all of you Mormons in the audience: welcome brothers and sisters.
To all you Jews in the audience: shalom.
To all you Muslims in the audience: praise be to Allah.
To all the atheists in the audience: how the hell are ya?"

After a pause, the whole banquet hall erupted in laughter. I could hardly contain myself, here was a former ambassador, swearing loudly in front of the first counselor in the first presidency. You can't tell me that's not a good swear.

2. On my way home from work every night I walk through a courtyard in our neighborhood called "Kings Court." Every day there are two kids out playing in the grass and shaking the branches of the cherry trees to make the blossoms fall like snow around them.

On Friday, one of the kids --the girl, who I would suspect is about 7 or 8 years old --was riding her razor scooter up and down the sidewalk at a break-neck pace. I had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit (got my shoes all muddy, darn it!), and an older lady about 20 feet down had to jump out of the way as well.

I kept watching as this little girl hurled herself down the sidewalk as fast as she could go, until she jumped off the scooter, turned around looking proud of herself and exclaimed in her loud squeeky voice: "Damn!" (sounded like "day-um").

I laughed the rest of the way home and all through my re-telling to Blake.

Kids these days --I know they shouldn't swear, but is it horrible if I'm glad they sometimes do?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

They're really sayin I love you:

Should you get bored at work and need to look at photos, here is a link to our wedding photographer's blog. I think she did an ok job, but to tell you the truth, we weren't that happy with them. Alas, the only thing in the wedding that I planned didn't turn out well. (My Mom planned everything else, and it all turned out perfectly...I should have had her input on this too...)

Just don't judge me too harshly. I may or may not have dumbface (it's a rare, though not highly contagious condition) in some, and six chins in others. Oh, and you're right, Allie, I do need to learn how to control my facial expressions.

Enjoy:

http://hardiephotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/rachel-blake-wedding.html

Temporal

Monday morning we heard loud clanging coming from the bathroom near our office. So, we went out to investigate and found a sign:

"This bathroom is temporally out of order"

I immediately thought (must be because I'm Mormon), "is it spiritually out of order too? Because that's worse..."

My colleague, Mariko, was so embarassed on behalf of the cleaning staff that she created a new sign that was spelled correctly. You see, a couple of misplaced letters in the workplace can illustrate the differences between having and not having a college degree.

Introducing...

My Dad:

http://byunews.byu.edu/archive09-Apr-lawdean.aspx

He's back (to the law school) and better than ever!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wedding gifts

Some days are rainy and cold and filled with Bed Bath and Beyond.

Other days you get a $99.99 chair at Office Depot that rings up as $49.92. Those are the good days.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shapely

Why is it that really really obese people and I have a mutual hatred of each other?

Example:

I got the optimum spot on the platform on the way home the other night: in the right spot so I could get to the stairs quickly when I exited the train at my stop, not too crowded on the platform, and no one in front of me to block my way to an open door.

There I was, waiting for my transfer, minding my own business, when I see an immense man with an equally large suitcase lumbering down the platform in my direction.

We locked eyes.

He started staring me down. Not just a glance, but really staring me down with an intense and rather alarming look on his face.

Naturally, I glared right back at him.

We glared at each other right up until the time (and, let's be honest, it continued afterward) he stopped right in front of me on the platform and remained immovable. Not only did he himself ruin my place, but also, due to the fact that he had created a road block, a crowd of 10 people came to be plugged behind him (and therefore, in front of me) on the platform.

Don't worry, I didn't let it end there.

He continued to stare daggers at me, so I stuck it to him by getting on the metro and getting a seat first, to which he raised his hands in exasperation and guffawed at me.

I was proud of myself.

I was also proud of the man who, at the next stop, got on and took another vacant seat right before Monsieur le Hippo got to it (followed by another hand-raised guffaw). I wanted to give the other business man a high-five, or at least let him know how he had helped me triumph, but I figured he just wouldn't understand.

Let me tell you how I really feel:

When you're young, you should be in shape (or close to it). When you're old, you can be any shape you want: round, spherical, square, pear...

le Hippo was not old. And, he is probably the only person I've ever seen who's waist size is most certainly larger than the length of his legs. Unacceptable.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Under my umbrella...

It's been rainy here in DC (until this afternoon) and I've been in my own little world under my umbrella.

Also, I've been working "late," so by the time I'm walking to the metro, I'm a little tired and more than a little out of it.

On Thursday I tried to sneak around a car that had pulled out of a parking garage (you know, just far enough to block the entire sidewalk) and was hurrying behind it when I felt a big smack on my umbrella. Luckily the smack made me jump to the side just in time to see the security/parking gate come crashing down on my right.

I had been listening to my ipod and hadn't noticed the screeching siren that yelps when a car is pulling through to warn of the gate.

Again, because I had my ipod on, I think I misjudged the volume of my exclamation, because I'm pretty sure the surprised looks from all the commuters were a result of my loud "what?! WHAT?!" as I jumped out of the way.

Who said commuting has to be dull?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gothic

Work has been really busy lately...but it's still great.

I remember the time when I went to pick up an ID card for an adjunct professor about a month after I'd started working. I walked up to the window and I had a conversation with Mary in the GoCard office that went a little something like this:

Mary: Do you worship the devil?

Me: Pardon me?

Mary: Do you do witchcraft and such things, chile' ?

Me: (Thinking: Oh no, here goes another long explanation of how "Big Love" is not Mormon reality...) No, why?

Mary: Well, you must be one of those Gothic kids.

Me: No, I can't say that I've ever been Gothic.

Mary: Then why are your fingernails painted black, chile'?

Me: (Looking at my fingernails, which I then realized were still painted my favorite dark purple color). OH. No, these are actually purple. I guess they are a little dark for work.

Mary: Well chile' they look awful black and awful Gothic. Are you sure you don't do any of that devil-worship business?

Me: Yes, Mary, I'm sure. (Walking off. Noting: remove nail polish as soon as I get home).

I love my job.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What brings us together today...

This is me two days before Blake and I got married:


This is Blake and me after we got married. Yes, I do look even happier:


Exciting, isn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Every Katastrophe begins with Kay

"Every kiss begins with Kay..."

The commercial now haunts me.

Two and half months ago I ordered a wedding band for Blake. I looked all over to find the ring he wanted: plain titanium band, brushed finish, with no embellishments. You'd think it would be fairly easy to track down a ring like that...but no. The gods were against me. After several weeks, and multiple stores, I finally found the ring in a catalogue (they didn't even offer it in the store) at Kay Jewelers.

That was --obviously-- my first mistake.

I paid a down payment and signed a contract saying that it would arrive by January 30th. A couple days before January 30th they called me to say that the ring was finished and I could come pick it up in the store. After work, I rushed (as fast as the metro could carry me) to the store to pick up the ring.

When the salesman showed me the ring I thought (and/or maybe said out loud to him): "Well, this ring is great...it's just not the ring I ordered." Because it wasn't the ring I ordered. This one was ultra-glossy. Not brushed. Not acceptable.

Let's try again.

They re-ordered the ring and promised to have it ready in a week and to call me when it was finished.

A little more than a week later (I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, even those people), I called the store to see what the status was. "Oh, we ordered another ring, but it is still not the right one, so we're ordering another."

This time I was fairly understanding.

Until last week. I called the store again, wondering where the ring was.

"Well m'am, we've ordered 4 rings now and they've all come back incorrect. We didn't call you because we didn't want to tell you that your ring isn't in yet."

"Well, I'm getting married in two weeks, so this is a big problem."

"I just don't think we can help you anymore. You'll have to order your ring elsewhere. Or, you can use this ring as a loner and then bring it back after the wedding."

I went in the next day to pick up the loner ring and to give a piece of my mind to the salesmen/women. With only two weeks to go, there was no way I'd be able to find and order another ring. It's just not possible.

The saleswoman who had originally ordered my ring was there. Her name is Lucy. She is a b**** (sorry, but that's the only word to describe her). I have never been treated so poorly in my life.

Now, I'm not proud of the way I acted, but I felt justified in speaking my mind when she was being so horrible to me. She never apologized to me. She refused to look me in the eye. She would not give me any sort of discount or compensation for my time and trouble. Right about the time she said "I'm not going to risk losing my job for your wedding," is when I got really mad.

I spoke to her in a way I've never before spoken to a sales associate. Then again, she spoke to me in ways I would never dream of speaking to anyone. I won't repeat the rest of the conversation, but it wasn't pretty and ended with me red in the face, nearly in tears, and wanting to punch Lucy square in the nose (or at least stand in front of the store shouting "don't begin anything with Kay!").

My project this week -in between writing thank you notes to the generous people that have given us wedding and shower gifts- is to write a strongly worded letter to Kay's corporate offices telling them the ridiculous ordeal that their Pentagon City store put me through.

I will also be writing a letter to the Better Business Bureau.

I'm not kidding around.

Also, I secretly hope that now when people google "Kay Jewelers," they'll come across my blog and think twice about ever making a purchase there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rich is fun, but poor is safe.

I always knew there was a reason why I'm completely content being middle class:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/11/murders.antigua/index.html

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The things France and Oklahoma have in common.

I love following the news. I spend a considerable amount of time reading it in the paper on the way to work and a little time online at lunchtime at work every day.

However, I'm getting a little sick of Obama madness. Living in DC, it's all I've heard about since November, all I see on TV, and all I read in the paper. I really had to spend some quality time looking for these news gems amidst the Obamania:

1. Flaming squirrel sets school on fire:

http://www.koco.com/cnn-news/18530377/detail.html

Questions and items to consider:

a. Where exactly is Jones, Oklahoma?

b. Is it ok that I feel good about the trailers burning to the ground? Maybe now those kids can have a real school built for them.

c. Animals in the news are my favorite. They're always doing heroic/anti-heroic things. Take, for further example, the following story:


2. Depressed poodle attacks former French President:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481426,00.html

Questions and other items to consider:

a. "The couple's white Maltese poodle, called Sumo, has a history of frenzied fits and became increasingly prone to making "vicious, unprovoked attacks" despite receiving treatment with anti-depressants." I am not sure I even need to comment on that.

b. Is it worth spending the money to buy anti-depressants for your dog when there are people starving for food in Africa and people starving for emotional stability in America?

c. Is it just me, or do Madame Chirac's legs look awfully manly in the undated photo?

d. I think the world would get along just fine with one less French poodle.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh, You're an Angry Elf

I had just finished my normal mid-morning snack of Keebler Peanut Butter Crackers today at work, when i went to CNN.com and read this:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/14/salmonella.kellogg/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Paul suggested that I run to the bathroom and throw up, just in case. Thanks, but no thanks, Paul.

Destiny suggested that I hurry and eat yogurt so that the good bacteria would win-out. No Yogurt in sight.

So, if I don't post for a while it will most likely be:

a) Because I have contracted salmonella and am on my deathbed;
b) Because I am nervous that I'm going to come down with the symptoms of Salmonella at any second and am staying in bed for preventative measures; or
c) It's just like usual, and I'm too busy/lazy to post.

Alas, until a later date, I shall leave you in suspense.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's happening

October:
Engagement.

Trip to New Hampshire. Highlights: seeing the covered bridges. Being amazed at the fall colors. Having our engagement pictures done at Blake's house (see below...just a little taste).




November:
New job at Georgetown Law.

Thanksgiving in Pebble Beach with my family. Highlights: dinner at Fresh Cream. Celebrating my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. Low light: Blake staying home due to the horrible timing of GW Law finals.

Studying "by proxy" for finals.

December:

Quick weekend trip down to Disney world with Blake's family. Highlights included watching Blake's nephew, James, cry on every ride except for It's a Small World, taking advantage of fast passes, wondering why one out of every one point five people at Disney was obese, and eating an ice cream bar shaped like Mickey's face.

One week in Utah with my family. Highlights included snowmobiling on Christmas day at my uncle's cabin, multiple wedding dress fittings, playing Wii with my brothers, eating way too much candy, seeing old friends and hanging out with family.

January:

New Years at Blake's house. Highlights included: Wii, Clearplay, iPod touch and new TV = whole new world of entertainment.

Back to work. Saving the world, one adjunct at a time. Highlights include: dealing with the world's craziest/scariest head of payroll, conquering, and living to tell the tale (more on that to follow).

Searching for housing. Highlights: Finding it hard to believe that we're in a recession. Going through the lending process and filling out loan paperwork. Learning new words like "earnest money" and trying to jump in while interest rates are so low.

Final touches for the wedding. Highlights: 10 trips to the photo store trying to get them to print the right pictures. Picking out ties and tuxes. Still trying to find a photographer...