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 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.


Bad things have been happening in DC lately:

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.

Two weeks ago:
Ancient Neo-Nazi attacks innocents at the holocaust museum.
Again, my commute was grossly effected.

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.,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:


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.


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.