Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Blake's sister Randall just sent this to us, so we thought we'd take advantage of the work already done and use it as our Christmas card.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Enjoy:

UPDATE:  I just found out that it was actually my niece, Sydney, that created this gem.  Makes it all the more hilarious.  Well done, Syd!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Miss Edna's Edibles

Miss Edna used to be our main switchboard operator here at the Law Center.  She also runs a catering company out of her home called Edna's Edibles.  And let me tell you, the Law Center goes crazy when Miss Edna does the catering.

Miss Edna retired over the summer, so now she runs her catering business full-time. 

Last year she did half of the sweets at the Christmas party. I got to the party 15 minutes late (it's a 2-hour party, so that seemed reasonable to me) and there wasn't even a crumb left. 

This year she did ALL of the sweets for the Christmas party.  I didn't know ahead of time, so I got to the party late again.  I decided to take a gamble and eat the savory foods first (I ended up with a whole plate of carbs: mac n'cheese, butternut squash raviolis, rice...oh well).  By the time I got in line for sweets the line was long and there was a murmur in the air that the last of Edna's 12 prized cheesecakes was being brought out.

I didn't want cheesecake.  I was in line for the cookies and red velvet cake.

But the lady behind me in the line didn't know that.  And she got very antsy as I was picking out my cookies and slowing down the line.  She stood so close she was touching me.  Elbow usage ensued.  Finally I turned around and politely said "You are welcome to go ahead of me in line...I'm not here for the cheesecake." 

She looked a little ashamed, but didn't butt in line (like I said, the Law Center takes Miss Edna's cheesecake VERY seriously), and instead continued to crowd me until I got bothered and left with what little I'd been able to scrounge.

If I hadn't been in such a Christmas-y mood I would have stayed in line and taken the last piece of cheesecake from right in front her.  Lucky for her the Christmas spirit won over my vindictive tendencies, and she got the prized last piece of cheesecake.  Merry Christmas, lady.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NYC Christmas

Blake and I have decided that we live a pretty lucky/posh life.  And we're pretty pleased with it.

This past weekend we went up to NYC with Blake's parents on a pre-Christmas excursion.  Blake and I took the bus up on Friday afternoon (Bolt bus = so convenient) and other than the long wait to get through the Holland tunnel, it was a very easy trip.

When we got into the city we headed straight for Rockafeller Center so that I could see the famed tree.  It's been on my list of things to do for several years now, and I was so excited to finally see it.  It did not disappoint.

For posterity's sake, here we are in front of the tree:

From there we walked up fifth avenue to see the store windows and then we headed over to Le Parker Meridien for the best burgers in the world.  I was especially pleased to see the line was much shorter than usual.  It only took us a few minutes to get through the line and snag a table where we could scope out Tina Fey's latest wall-signage (Birthday + Burger = Heaven).

We then met up with Blake's parents and made a couple more pit stops at more Fifth Avenue stores to see their window displays and then headed out to New Jersey where we were staying.

I woke up Saturday feeling crummy (thank you, Temp), but thanks to my in-laws hiring a driver for the day, I was able to see everything I wanted to see, but not get overwhelmingly tired.

With the convenience of a driver we were able to see in two days what would normally have taken a week to see:

The Met
The Polo Mansion, where we played "guess the price of that handbag"...Blake: "$600," Me: "At least a couple thousand," Actual price = $24,000. Whoops.
Lunch at Dos Caminos
The Chagall's at Lincoln Center
Bryant Park
The market at Columbus Circle
The Cloisters Museum
Lunch at Gramercy Tavern
Shopping in Soho

We were too busy have fun (and I was too busy having a bad hair day) to take many photos, but here is one of us drinking our deliciously thick hot chocolate in Central Park:
You can't see it in this picture as we're all bundled up, but Blake and I accidentally packed matching sweaters.  Nothing says "hey, we just got off the bus from DC" like matching argyle sweaters.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good morning to you too, Friday.

I've got four sick colleagues.

A sick temp.

And a student threatening to jump out a window due to a failed exam.

I am so happy that it's Friday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weekend Rewind

The first weekend of December is always magical.  And busy.

Blake and I met up for a quick Potbelly dinner on Friday after work, then I headed over to the Nutcracker at the Warner with Destiny and the gals.  I've always wanted to go to a show at the Warner.  And although I worked next to it for over a year, it's taken me over three years to finally go to a show there.  It was worth the wait, though.

The Nutcracker was amazing.  I hadn't been to see the Nutcracker since the BYU production 8 years ago when my Dad referred to the Sugar Plum Fairies as the Sugar Plump Fairies.  He had a point.  Tee hee.

This one was different, too.  Everything was Washington DC-centered.  The Nutcracker was George Washington.  The Rat King was King George.  The rats were red coats, and the toy soldiers were patriots.  The Sugar Plum Fairies were instead Cherry Blossom Fairies.  I loved it.  I'm thinking of turning it into a yearly tradition.

Because the show got out fairly early, Blake and I rounded out the evening by watching Murder by Numbers.  Not exactly a Christmas movie (about as far from it as you can get, I guess), but definitely exciting.

Saturday we rewarded ourselves after getting the car emissions test done (whoops, we'd kinda forgotten about the notice we received until we received a final notice saying they were going to de-register our car unless we got it done that weekend...being an adult is hard!) by going to our local crotchety Christmas tree salesman and picking out the world's most perfect Christmas tree.  I'm telling you, it was like we turned a corner and there was a beacon of light shining down on this one.  It must have been genetically engineered to be the perfect shape and size for a Christmas tree. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the tree and putting up other Christmas decorations around the house.  Pictures forthcoming.  We also made good use of our Josh Groban and James Taylor Christmas CD's and the other compilations we've collected over the years.  And when the Charlie Brown song came on, I entertained Blake by doing the Peanuts run around the house.  You know, when they barely move their arms and their feet move so fast with so many tiny steps?  Yep, that one.  Merry Christmas, Blake, there's more where that came from.

Oh!  One of Saturday's most exciting moments came when we found out that our neighborhood Bear Dogs are actually called Chow Chows.  And that these particular Bear Dogs are actually famous.  These two dogs are our favorite in the neighborhood and we run to the front window shouting "bear dogs, bear dogs!" whenever they walk by.  So, I stopped their owner on the street and asked him about the breed etc.  What I got was a half-hour long conversation about the merits of these two particular Chow Chows and how they were famous and had a following on Youtube.  This, of course, prompted us to take a break from decorating and spend half an hour on Youtube watching pointless videos of really cute animals.

If you'd like to take a mental vacation and whittle your time away watching really cute animals on Youtube, I suggest you start by familiarizing yourself with our neighborhood bear dog- Dao, the Chow Chow:

Oh! Oh!  And lastly, to round out the weekend, we bought the most fantastic dining room chairs.  Does it make me old that dining room chairs excite me so much?  Yes, yes it does.  But you'd be excited too. 

It's hard to top a weekend like that.  But this upcoming one in NYC may give it a run for its money.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fat Ap

I guess eating 5,000 calories a day over Thanksgiving is catching up with me.

Gobble gobble, as they say.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's that Time of Year

Yep. It's that time of year again.

When Blake and I start arguing every time James Taylor's Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas comes on the radio.  He's convinced that James Taylor has the best Christmas song voice, while I'm convinced that --while I agree that he has a fabulous voice -- his Christmas songs are made for the depressing part of a chick flick.  For the scene when the protagonista is wandering down a drizzly, Christmas-light-adorned street alone, cuing flash-backs of a past romance.  You know, those ones.

Who's with me?

It's also the time of year when Blake loves Tree more than he loves Me.  But that's ok.  At least he's now enamored of an inanimate object other than football. (Join me in a collective sigh of relief that Fantasy Football season is almost over).

Anyhow.  We had a great Thanksgiving with Blake's family.  Lots of food.  Lots of movies.  Lots of kiddos.

In fact, here's a picture from the weekend to prove we were having fun...even in the freezing cold anticipation of family photos.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sometimes it's nice just to retreat into suburbia for the night and forego dinner in the city.

Friday night was one of those sometimes.

So we drove to the nearest strip mall, shared a large pepperoni pizza and a diet coke, and then went next door to get ice cream.  We also considered walking one more door down and perusing the dollar store to round out the night, but decided against it on principles of hygiene.  The perfect strip mall date.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Melancholy Hill

Having talented friends is really fun.  Also, it makes me feel like I need to get going with my life. 

Alpha, can I be you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jour du Souvenir

On November 11 each year I think back to High School when my French instructor had us each memorize a poem for oral exams.  The poem I memorized, "Au champ d'honneur," became one of my favorite poems and often echoes in my head whenever I pass near Arlington Cemetery or visit any of the monuments.

The poem isn't written by an American soldier.  And it wasn't written on or about American soil.  But I think that its message transcends political borders and nationalities.  It's a poem that makes me grateful for the sacrifices that our military has made to keep us free.  

Happy Veterans Day!

Au champ d'honneur, les coquelicots
Sont parsemés de lot en lot
Auprès des croix; et dans l'espace
Les alouettes devenues lasses
Mêlent leurs chants au sifflement
Des obusiers.

Nous sommes morts,
Nous qui songions la veille encor'
À nos parents, à nos amis,
C'est nous qui reposons ici,
Au champ d'honneur.

À vous jeunes désabusés,
À vous de porter l'oriflamme
Et de garder au fond de l'âme
Le goût de vivre en liberté.
Acceptez le défi, sinon
Les coquelicots se faneront
Au champ d'honneur.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

25 & 30 & 70

Blake and I will be turning 30 and 25 this coming May.

And Blake's parents will be turning 70 this year.

To celebrate all these big events, we're taking a little jaunt through Europe.  And by little I actually mean BIG:

France, Croatia, Italy, Monaco, Spain.

I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today would get better if I just went home now.

I need to take a mental health day. 

But since I know I won't do that (who wants to use a sick day that could otherwise be a vacation day?!), I'll just make myself feel better by watching Laughing Baby over and over again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I wanted my next post to be all about last weekend and our Halloween party and filled with fun photos.

But I'm sitting here with a ladder straddling my desk, looking up at a man in blue Dickie's, knee pads, and a blue Georgetown Law work shirt, getting lightly sprinkled with ceiling dust and wondering what workers comp really means and if I'll need it after he falls on me and maims both of us.

And I decided that I'd write now, skip the fun photos, fill it instead with run-on sentences and try to learn construction lingo like the following:

...We've got primary air coming through's just not attached to the control box...

Yep, I can parrot with the best of them.

...So, there's no heating coils up here, I'm telling you.  You're gettin' whatever the duct's putting out. Does she have a thermostat in her room?  Well, then, there you go.  It's the AC.  It's out of control...

...Pinch that line.  Let's see if the damper moves...

...I'll look at this later.  I can't think about this right now...

That's how I feel.  You're straddling my desk with a ladder.  Isn't that bad luck for me, or at least for one of us?  Am I qualified to be one of you now?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The real truth.

The other day I was just pulling my leftovers out of the microwave for the third time (1st time: chilly, 2nd time: lukewarm, 3rd time: just right) when Blake said to me --in all seriousness-- "Rach, there's something you need to know.  And I'm sorry I have to be the one to break it to you.  But you're horrible at picking microwave times."

And while that may be true, I like to think of it as a flaw that gives me character.  Kind of like my irrational fear of spiders, my insatiable hunger for ice cream, and the chipped paint in my bathroom that shows the forest green peeking through the white.

Friday, October 29, 2010


I'm really happy it's Friday.  And I can soon get away from this computer screen and the internet. 

I often question how anyone got anything done at work without the Internet.  Then again, I sometimes question how anyone gets anything done at work with the Internet.

Like when your colleague alerts you to the fact that for one day only (ONE DAY ONLY!) Lord & Taylor is having a 60% off all coats sale.  And before you know it you've got four coats in your checkout cart (and two pairs of boots, for good measure) and you're not really sure how they got was all a Friday-afternoon-induced haze!

Yes.  I need to get myself away from the Internet as soon as possible.

Just for your peace of mind, Blake (and anyone else who is currently interested in my personal finances), I am not actually going to buy anything.  The cart is as far as this madness will go.

As cute as the Kenneth Cole trench is, Christmas is fast approaching and I'm saving my pennies to spend on gifts for others.  Not gifts for myself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Everyday Geometry

I've been a compulsive straightener since the fourth grade.  It was round about this time that I stopped collecting knick-knacks, asked for a closet organizer for my birthday, and never looked back.

My Mom could always tell when I'd come home from college to visit for the day because she'd walk into the living room and all of the pillows on the couch would be lined up just-so and the magazines on the coffee table would be overlapping at the exact right angle.

I can't help it.  I go through a room and I feel the need to straighten.  To line up.  To re-arrange.  Unfortunately it's not relegated just to my own home.  I get itchy fingers when I'm at someone's home and the angles don't match up.  My apologies in advance to any friends whose couch pillows end up in a different order than you'd prefer.  I have a problem.

Sometimes the angles test my patience and my will-power.  Like they're there on purpose.  Take, for example, the second guest chair in my office.  Every morning I come in and it's askew.  Angled haphazardly to the wall and the side table.  Every morning I straighten it so that it's parallel with the wall and perpendicular to the side table.  Every morning. 

I'm seriously considering staying late one of these days to see who on the cleaning crew is messing with me.  What kind of joke is this?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Encore les Manifs!

I was there the last time the students rioted in Paris.  In 2006 it was the same result from a different cause.  Then it was the ability of employers to fire their employees.  Now it's the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62. 

I wonder if they've taken over Le Louvre yet?  That, for me, was one of the highlights: free entry to the Louvre, and the ability to take my backpack along with me.

Oh the memories.  French socialism at its best.
Comme les lycéens sont si expressifs.   

Keepin' in classy.  via

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This morning on the metro I sat next to an older man who was snoring like his life depended upon it.  You have to be truly tired to snore louder than the clackity-clack of the train.  Another likely requisite is a comb-over.

The snoring didn't bother me too much, though.  I actually found it rather entertaining.  Most importantly, it helped keep my mind off my swollen eye.  Well, swollen lower eyelid.  It's been increasing in redness, itchiness and size since yesterday morning...though I think it's finally reached it's maximum capacity.

Oh well, it's not the first time I've looked like Quasimodo at work.  It probably won't be the last, either.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn in NH

Is there anything more beautiful than Autumn in New England?  Here is the view from our bedroom at the lake.

We took a day trip to Robert Frost's house and I decided that when we get a dog I'd like to name it Dogbert Frost, in his honor.

And here we are at one of the many covered bridges along the New Hampshire highways.  Isn't it picturesque?

Aren't we picturesque, too?  (Kidding, of course.  It seems that whenever I'm in New Hampshire I conveniently forget to wear any sort of make-up or attempt to dry my hair...which is perfect because the only time we seem to take pictures is when we're in New Hampshire.  Oh well, c'est la vie.)

On my Conscience.

Meet Jiminy.  King of the crickets.  He currently resides in the back corner of our basement, terrorizing me with every hop.

Oh and before you judge me for being afraid of a harmless cricket, just to give you a feel for size: the moulding and baseboard on which he's currently lurking is about 4 inches tall.  And he can jump to eye-level.  I am justified, I tell you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Hampshire Neighbor

Our leaf-peeping weekend in New Hampshire was fabulous.  However, until I'm motivated enough to download our photos from the weekend and, more importantly, motivated enough to come up with somewhat interesting commentary, I'll leave you with this interesting New Hampshire-related tidbit:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Long Weekend

I slogged to work today carrying a duffle bag, a purse, a knitting bag, a jacket and a large plastic bag filled with a dozen Dunkin' doughnuts.

Alright alright, I'm a bag lady, but I come bearing gifts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hot Fresh Fries

If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that sooner or later people will always find a way to solve a problem.

Sooner or later people will also find a way to solve a non-problem.

Like where to get the fastest french fries.  Because sometimes McDonald's or Wendy's drive through just isn't fast enough.  When that's the case, you'd better run (not walk) to your nearest french fry vending machine.

Two questions:

1.  Where do people come up with these things?

2.  Do you think I should petition Georgetown to install one?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No Quiero Taco Bell

On my walk up to Union Station on Friday I had a narrow escape.

Right after crossing at Mass. and North Capitol I saw a woman reach into the garbage can out of the corner of my eye.  I also heard her say "Hey, you see this?!  You got that?!"

Then she threw a large plastic Taco Bell cup right past my head, narrowly missing my right ear. 

It exploded with a loud thud on the Postal Museum's front steps.  Ice was everywhere.

"Yeah, now you got that!" she screamed (at me, I think?), but I just kept walking.  The safest option, no?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Weekend: The Good, The Bad, and The Sweaty

The Good:  Friday night we went to a Nats' game with these lovely folks.
The Bad:  It was the hottest day we'd had in three weeks.  95 degrees at the end of September...what a doozy.  Which brings me to..
The Sweaty:  See me in the photo below.  That ain't sunshine glistenin' on my face.

The Good: We stayed for the fireworks and they were fabulous.
The Bad:  We then had to commute home at 11:30 p.m.
The Good:  Having Blake with me while we walked to the metro.
The Bad:  Having a schizophrenic man follow us to the metro, asking why we (meaning me) were so scared of him.  "There are people like me in every city from here to New York to Chicago...why are you so scared?"

The Good: Making it home in one piece on the metro.
The Bad:  Staying up to make a cake for the next morning's bridal shower.

The Good:  Having the cake (pumpkin spice with pecans and cream cheese frosting) turn out well even when baked in a fatigue-induced stupor.

The Good:  Getting to practice my ghetto driving skills through NorthEast on the way to Destiny's bridal shower. (Remember: no honking, keep the doors locked, don't make eye contact with the fella in the flashy El Camino who pulls up next to you at a red light.)
The Bad:  Having to practice my ghetto driving skills (see above).

The Good:  Getting to spend time with Destiny at her shower...and consuming large quantities of delicious food (thanks, Katie and Brianna!)
The Bad:  Consuming too much delicious food and feeling uncomfortable on the drive home...

The Sweaty:  Trying to get too much housework done in one afternoon in the heat.

The Good: Going to Mon Ami Gabi with Blake's mom.  We've been there four times in the last three weeks (including twice with my grandparents when they were in town!) and we still aren't sick of it.
The Good:   Seeing a movie in the theater (haven't done that in a while).
The Bad:  It was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  I was hoping this would fall into "the good" category, but alas, with a script like that it definitely deserves a place in "the bad" category.

The Good: Anticipating Monday morning when our construction crew would start work on our windows and kitchen.  Check out my other blog for updates.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bragging Rights

A couple months ago, Blake was asked to give a speech on behalf his office to area law students who are interested in potentially working in the Antitrust sector.

And because he'll never brag about himself, I've taken it upon myself to brag on his behalf.  He was the only young attorney to be asked to speak.  And he spoke with several high-ups from his office.  Yep, that's my Blake.

I wasn't able to attend the open house to hear the speech, but I did get to read it beforehand.  It was a great speech (says the wife modestly) and a great success.

So, without futher ado, I present to you pictures of my Blake at the open house.  Doesn't he look handsome...and attorney-ish?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Yesterday we refinanced


with 0 points.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

PIG 05049

Christien Meindertsma spent three years following the life and death of a single pig.  You'd be amazed what she found.  Some people think of the most bizarrely interesting things to research.

This article will make you think twice before putting on make-up, chewing gum or conditioning your hair:

It's shocking, really.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I've been thinking a lot these past several weeks (and, let's face it, these past several years) about the similarities and differences between Islam and Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). 

I've been thinking that if more Americans took the time to read the Qu'ran and the Book of Mormon, there would be a lot more tolerance, and a lot less desire to burn the Qu'ran (idiot southern preacher!) or terrorize the missionaries.

I'm a Mormon, and yet one of my most prized books is my leather-bound copy of the Qu'ran --  I wrote to the Saudi embassy in college requesting a copy, and a couple months later received it in the of charge! 

Read it.  And re-read the Book of Mormon.  Then ask yourself why can't we all just get along?

In the same vein, I found this article to be very interesting:

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Waking Ned Devine

We were the best of friends.  We grew old together.  But when we laughed we grew young.

So true.  Especially when said in a heavy Irish accent.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Line to Shady Grove

This morning the metro stopped completely and turned off.  No air conditioning.  No rumble of the tracks.  Nothing. 

A couple minutes later the conductor got on to explain that someone had tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of the train as we pulled up to Rhode Island Avenue.  Yikes.  I looked over at the four-year-old sitting across from us and thought about how sad it was that he'd have to hear something like that so young.  Then I looked at his mother and thought about how sad it is that she now has to explain something like that so young.  And I thought about how selfish it is to involve innocents in a suicide.  That's not fair.

And I heard numerous cell phone calls being made to various bosses and secretaries: we're going to be a bit late today.

All of this brings me back to my nagging question from March of '08.

Also, it makes me wonder how bad this person's friends and family are.  What is so bad about them that he can't stand the thought of spending the weekend with them?

Suicide on a Monday: Understandable.  No less terrible.  But more understandable.
Suicide on a Friday: Wait.  I'm confused?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bloody Wednesday/Thursday

Fall allergy season is in full swing.  My nose knows.  I know.

All this blowing has helped me discover what I believe to be a universal and indisputable truth:  There is nothing worse that getting a massive nose bleed at work.  Especially while wearing a new shirt. 

Oh wait.  There is.  Getting a second massive nose bleed at work the next day .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Nickelodeon Super Toy Run

Blake and I were driving home the other night and we passed a Toys R Us. 

I hadn't seen one for ages, so of course it prompted me to tell Blake fun stories from my childhood.  Like how my dearest wish was (and maybe still is?) to win one of those Nickelodeon/Toys R Us shopping sprees.  You know, the ones where you entered to win a five-minute, frenzied run through Toys R Us, followed by a film crew.  Where you'd get to put anything you wanted in your shopping cart, and you got to keep anything in the cart at the end of the five minutes?

Oh, how I wanted to win.

My brothers and I would spend countless afternoons mapping out our plans and watching re-runs of the most current winner running gleefully through the store.  Those guys were amateurs, though. 

Don't go for the GI Joe aisle, you idiot!  Head for the N64's and the bikes.  They're worth more money.  You can sell them later and then buy yourself some GI Joes.  Duh.  Who were these kids anyhow?

And why didn't I win?

Every time I got to make a wish --whether it was upon blowing out my birthday candles, seeing a shooting star, or making it through a long tunnel while holding my breath -- I would wish for that shopping spree. I still do it out of habit, in fact.  Nevermind that I'm 24 and that the contest went the way of the world in the late 90's. 

Just in case the option ever does come back or my timeless wish finally comes true (and they let in the over-21 crowd), Blake and I have a plan.  We spent the rest of the drive formulating it, and although the Nintendo technology has changed and I've gained more than a few pounds, the strategy is the same: run for the bike aisle, take as many tags as you can...head for the Wii's and's simple really. 

Here's a little something to bring on the nostalgia:
(sigh)  Those were the days.  Simpler days.  Wonderful days.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Trusts and Estates

It's been a really long week.

Wednesday evening I came down with a really bad stomach flu.  It was so violent, that I thought for sure it was food poisoning.  Until I got the accompanying 103 degree fever.  Then I was pretty sure it was stomach flu.  I hadn't had a fever that high since 8 years ago when I had appendicitis. 

I had to miss two days of work while my stomach was busy staging a major coup against the rest of my body.  I also enjoyed a slight fever-induced delirium (I couldn't keep any fever reducing medicine down...double whammy!).

By Thursday afternoon I was contemplating writing my will:

Dear Blake, you are hereby entitled to my used iPod, my IKEA dresser, my secret stash of yarn, and my well-organized filing cabinets filled with receipts.  Love, Rachel.

Also, by Thursday afternoon I'd been without food for 24 hours and was fantasising about what I'd eat when the gremlins in my stomach finally died off.  Usually when I have the flu I can't bear to think of food and I'm not hungry at all.  This time was different.  And it was worse.  I spent 72 hours dreaming of milkshakes, cheese fries, kit-kats and Indian curry. 

It's no small wonder that yesterday --when my fever was a respectable 100, I'd been able to keep saltines and soup down, and the gremlins were on vacation -- that I sort of overdid it.  I had pizza and grapes for dinner.  And some ice cream for dessert.  And today I'm being meted out my just reward.


Oh well, at least my fever is down and I am returning back to the right side of the bed:  I've been sleeping on the couch the past couple nights to try to keep the germs contained (this was my decision, not at Blake's recommendation, mind you).  Blake heartily welcomed me back from what he called a "vacation," but I told him sleeping on the couch wasn't a vacation, it was more of a business trip.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What do you do when there's a hostage in your 'hood?

I know this would be more appropriate to say when the hostages are safe-and-sound, but what do you think his "concerns" are?  Is he just angry that Shark Week is over?

Washington Post:
"Cops: At least one hostage taken at Discovery Channel building

[Updated at 2:46 p.m.] Capt. Paul Starks said that police were in communication with the gunman, and that he was making some demands. The suspect had "concerns" with the Discovery Corporation, he said.

[Updated at 2:37 p.m.] CNN affiliate WJLA is reporting there was an ambulance on scene and a stretcher was seen being taken into the lobby.

WJLA: Discovery headquarters evacuated

[Updated at 2:34 p.m.] Lorie Rorae, an evacuated employee who worked on second floor, said security told him to leave the building.

Rorae said the security officer told her that two colleagues were being held hostage.

Rorae said there was an announcement telling employees what to do and where to go.

"It was orderly," Rorae said.

[Updated at 2:31 p.m.] Montgomery County Police said they are speaking with a man who has taken a hostage. Police described the man's grudge the following way: "His beef is with Discovery."

"We are speaking with him now," police said.

[Updated at 2:31 p.m.] A witness, Lisa Lucas, told CNN affiliate WJLA that she and others outside of the building heard at least one gunshot from One Discovery Place. Friz said that to the best of his knowledge no shots had been fired by police.

[Updated at 2:19 p.m.] The Discovery Channel day care has been evacuated to a nearby area, according to CNN affiliate WJLA. The day care had about 100 kids, WJLA reported.

[Updated at 2:18 p.m.] The FBI's bomb techicians and ATF agents have been sent to the scene of the hostage situation in a Washington suburb, spokesmen from both agencies said.

[Updated at 2:17 p.m.] Renard Jenkins, who works across from the Discovery Channel headquarters where the hostage drama is unfolding, said he sees the mobilization of a bomb squad and a large armored vehicle pulling a trailer.

"Police are on high alert, positioning themselves behind columns, cars, anything that gives cover. All have their weapons drawn," Jenkins said. "From what we're seeing, everyone seems to be calm."

He said he cannot see into the lobby where the hostage-taking is apparently under way, but can see the activity immediately outside.

[Updated at 2:07 p.m.] CNN affiliate WJLA is reporting that police told them a man entered the lobby and may have fired a weapon and declared, "Nobody is going anywhere."

[Updated at 1:52 p.m.] A SWAT team and additional resources are responding, said Montgomery County police Cpl. Dan Friz. Authorities were trying to get in touch with the man believed to have taken a hostage.

It appears the man has some kind of explosive device on his person, Friz said. Fire marshals with explosives experience were assisting.

[Updated at 1:44 p.m.] The Discovery Channel sent an e-mail to all employees in the building at 1:21 p.m. telling them they "have reason to believe there is an armed gunman at One Discovery Place."

[Updated at 1:39 p.m.] At least one hostage is confirmed at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland, police said.

[Posted at 1:34 p.m.] A police emergency response team was responding to reports of a man with a gun and possible explosives at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland, a police spokeswoman said.

Montgomery County police received the call at about 1 p.m., said Angela Cruz. The call came from One Discovery Place, the channel's headquarters.

The area has been evacuated, Cruz said. No further information was immediately available."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Positive Outliers

Dear Friends,

If you have a moment, please check out the Positive Outlier blog linked here (  Melanie Kau is my Mom's best friend and we have known the Kau family since before I can remember.

Melanie is an extraordinary friend, wife, mother, leader and all-around wonderful person.  She has four children (the youngest is only 10).

A couple of months ago, after a prolonged sickness (the doctor originally said it was acid reflux), Melanie was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of lung cancer.  Not only was the cancer in her lungs, but also in her brain and all over her body.  Although her lungs were inoperable, she attempted radiation therapy for the brain tumors.

She got sicker, thinner, and lost her gorgeous long red hair.

This week she found out that the radiation therapy did not reduce the brain tumors.  In fact, they're bigger, and there are several new ones.  She's trying an experimental medication, but even with insurance the medicine (as well as all other medical expenses) is extremely expensive. 

My Mom and some other friends have organized a fun-run to raise money for her medical bills.  It will take place in Provo on Saturday, September 25.  Please see the information and registration here ( For those of you in Provo, if you have the time and energy, please go.  I'm not one to beg for money, but this is for a good cause. 

If you're looking for a worthy recipient for your charitable donations this year, I'd vote for this.

At the very least, I'd recommend reading her blog.  She truly is a positive outlier in the face of immeasurable pain and tragedy.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Call me Roald Dahl

And let me introduce to you: Rachel and the Doughnut Peach.

Sometimes the free food I scavenge at the Law Center is a bit suspect.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What Not to Wear

A middle-aged woman sits down kitty-corner to me (so our knees were almost touching) on the metro this morning.

Midway through a page of When You are Engulfed in Flames (my Sedaris favorite) I hear a loud, nasally "excuse me!  excuse me!" 

It's the knee-toucher. So I look up.

"Excuse me!"  "yes"  "Where did you get your shirt?"   "Uh, Banana Republic, I think."  "Is it a cowl neck" "Yes (reaching down to pull out neckline as a visual aid)"  "No, I mean, is it a COWL neck (looking at me like I'm the biggest idiot in commuting history)"  "yes, I think it is."  "Yes, well, shirts like that used to be in style once."

"Union Station, doors opening on the left"

Thank goodness.  Thank you, metro gods.  I escaped.  But not without many sympathetic looks from all females within a five foot radius.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blake'n me Laugh.

My Blake likes to keep me entertained throughout the work day.  This one made me chuckle out loud at my desk...and maybe choke a little on the water I was drinking.  Just one of the many reasons why I love him.

Blake to me:

I'm sure glad we didn't lick the sidewalk by 1804 August this morning.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 7:27 AM
Subject: Dying racoon found on sidewalk near 1804 August Dr (7:20 am)

Families with dogs, animal control advises to stay away from the sidewalk on the south side near 1804 August until 8:30 am or so today since the animal that was removed may have had rabies. Dogs licking the sidewalk there could be exposed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainforest blues.

Now that I'm old and wise (ha!), there are a number of things that no longer surprise me.

Such as yesterday's giant easter bunny at Union Station holding a sign advocating world peace.

Or ridiculous movies about Mark Zuckerberg.

Or, the fact that my pre-ordered copy of Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) is still en route from whence it came...along with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and Rebecca.  Darn you, corporate America.  (Shaking fist at heavens/ in futility).

I hurriedly finished Peace Breaks Out yesterday at lunch in hopes that I'd arrive home to my Amazon delivery, but alas.  Now I'm stuck reading the paper on my commute and working on the crossword puzzle for lunch. 

What kind of life is that?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Signing in.

I don't say it enough, but my parents are really really great.

This is a picture I just came across of them at Ashton's wedding.  I know you can't see their faces, but you can still see that they're young and fun...and that I'm glad we're related.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Is it ok to recommend to someone only the second half of a book?

I just finished reading The Girl Who Played with Fire (by Steig case you've spent the past year living under a rock). 

It was a gift to myself after finally making it through Moll Flanders (by Daniel Defoe, in case you've been hiding under a rock since the 1600's).  That makes it sound like I was working on Moll Flanders for a long time.  Well, I wasn't.  It was probably only a week.  But it felt like eternity.  Eternity, I tell you.  In fact, if I had to think of a personalized version of hell, it would be that I'd be forced to read Defoe unceasingly.

It'd remained on my list for a while, and I took it as a sign when I found it in a stack of Blake's high school English books at his parents' house.  A sign that I needed to cross it off my list once and for all (for cultural and intellectual value, you see).  I asked Blake what he thought of it, but he said he couldn't remember it much (I realize now that it was due to terrible repressed memories).  So I started in.

About three Sentences in I realized I'd made a horrible Mistake.  That's right.  Other than teaching me that I have the right to Randomly capitalize Words, it was an Absolute Mess.  But since I've never let myself stop in the middle of a book, I kept going.  This was much to Blake's chagrin, seeing as this meant that I complained every time we commuted to work because I know that metro time is usually my reading time, and I dreaded reading about Moll and her Amoral, Uninteresting, Eye-Roll Inducing life. Such literary punishment I have never known.

Well, as Blake would say, let me tell you how I really feel.

I hated it. 

So I bought myself The Girl Who Played with Fire as a sort of reward (I also let myself have a large bowl of ice cream on the night I finished Moll Flanders...but that's a differerent story). 

And, well, I liked it.  The Girl Who Played with Fire, I mean.  Not Moll Flanders (in case you've spent the last couple minutes hiding under a rock). I'm not sure if I'd really feel comfortable recommending it to other people due to the language and explicit content, but I liked it.  Well, I really enjoyed the second half where the story picked up (and the fact that I've actually been to a lot of the places mentioned in the book helped, too). Not so much the first half where the characters were developed (um, let's say, explicitly).

I'll admit it, I got so hooked that I read it straight through SALT last night.  But it all worked out for me because the plot lines ended up being quite similar, so I don't feel like I missed out on either by dividing my cognitive time between them.

It was a good reward.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm thinking of building an ark.


From: Alert Montgomery

Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:42 AM
To: Alert Montgomery Users

The National Weather Service has issued a FLOOD WARNING for Montgomery County until 10:15pm. At 7:39am Doppler radar indicated a line of storms over Southern Montgomery County that will be capable of producing flooding rains.

Residents should expect extremely heavy rain that may flood low lying areas, and streets with slow drainage. Do not try to cross flooded roads. Flooded areas may be harder to identify at night. Use caution while driving.

SKYWARN spotters are requested to relay all flood reports to the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and the NWS office in Sterling.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'll bring you a figgy pudding.

Actually, I'll bring you a figgy anything.  Just find me a recipe. 

Our fig tree is producing at a stupendous rate.  We've got figs ripening faster than we can pick them. And squirrels strewing half-eaten figs around faster than we can pick them up.

So, if you're in the D.C. area and you're in to figs.  Let me know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The one in which Friday the 13th becomes Thursday the 12th.

Downed trees.
Downed (live) power wires.
Crushed cars.
Police tape.
Fire engines.
Power outages.
No metro.
Basement flood.
Stairwell waterfall.
Crickets heading for higher ground.
Silty floors.
Quarter-sized hail.
60 mph winds.
Possible tornado.

Shop vac.
Entire contents of towel closet.
Duct tape.
Garbage bags.
Kitchen sieve.
Plastic pitcher (for bailing).
Chain saw.
Dripping clothes.
Wet hair.

Let's hope tomorrow gets a little better.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A word to the wise

Yesterday a crazy man clapped loudly for me as I crossed North Capitol and Mass Ave.  Then he yelled (complete with arm waving) at me to clean at my desk and go home.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just some photos from the lake

Just a couple of photos and a video (courtesy of Blake) from our vacation to Winnipesaukee.  I like to think that one of the reasons that Blake has such an attachment to the lake is because lake is part of his name.  Just a thought...

Here is his in his element: Captain Blake at the Lake.

And here we are, posing for our yearly "front of the boat at sunset" picture.  You can tell we've been eating a lot of sweets since 2008.  Also, please don't judge.  The first trip in 2008 I still wore make-up at the lake because I was still trying to impress Blake.  Now that he's manacled to me through marriage, I have completely forgone all make-up at the lake.

And here's a little public service announcement from Captain Blake.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm no Joker, but...

I have a cut at the side of my mouth that just won't go away.

The location is such that every time I open my mouth to eat, it re-opens the wound (you can stop reading here if you like).

And today at lunch with Destiny in our usual spot at Union Station, it started bleeding.  I guess I didn't cut the watermelon small enough.

It was gross.  Sorry, Destiny.

It's getting to the point where I look in the mirror and think to myself, "Why so serious?"

Solidarity, brother.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Staff Picnic

We know how to party here at Georgetown Law.

Here's what I had for lunch:

1 slider
3 mini crab cakes
1 chicken satay skewer
1 small salad
1 fried chicken tender with BBQ sauce
2 egg rolls
1 small plate of southern style mac n' cheese
1 handful of french fries
2 scoops of gelato
3 diet cokes

No wonder I'm gaining some padunk-a-dunk....'s from eating all this, well, junk-a-junk.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leave it to Beaver

Because we were feeling surprisingly social, and also because there is nothing on TV in the summer, Blake and I went to our neighborhood ice cream social in the park last night.

And so Blake enjoyed the last bowl of cookies n'cream and I enjoyed the first plate of cookies n'cream while we discussed the welcome wagon, the necessity of speed bumps (especially after what happened to Noah on Monday) and various items of Neighborhood Theater with Tim, the resident neighborhood guru and keeper of the listserv.

And we looked at all the pretty horses (that's a really good book, by the way) that the cops were riding and watched their tails swat away at the flies and curious little kids.

That's right. We live in 1954.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The one in which Blake and I feel really guilty

I'll start from the beginning.

Two weeks ago tilapia was on a great sale at Giant.  So I bought some.  A lot, actually.  And I put it in the freezer with my other discount meats.

Around this same time we also worked out a deal with our 12-year-old neighbor boy, Noah (grandson of this guy...remember him?), to water our plants while we were at the Lake.

Then, last Thursday night, we went to the lake.

It turns out that it was a great week to be gone.  Not only was the heat index a nice roasty 115 - 119, but there was also a rather large and destructive storm on Sunday night.

....(This is where I start to hear things second hand from our neighbor, Dianne, whose chief employment seems to consist of watching Neighborhood Theater)....

Sunday is when a massive tree in my neighbor's yard blew over.  And it took the power lines with it..and it blocked the street (this was a big tree).  And so the power went out on my street.

Can I just mention that this didn't stop Dianne?  A street over from us- the street whose backyards back to our backyards- didn't lose power, so Dianne bought a lengthy orange extension cord, and strung it over the back fence and into the other neighbor's house.  So her fans worked.

Back to the downed power lines.  They were laying on our grass, so that when the power finally came back on on Thursday night (again, so glad we weren't there to experience that sort of indoor heat and humidity), they started a fire.  There are snaking burn marks all over the grass.

So the fire trucks came.  And they put cautionary yellow tape all over our yard.  In fact, there's still some stuck in our bushes).  And Dianne's dog (Ava) had to miss her beauty appointment because the street was blocked off.

And Dianne told me all of this when she came over to warn me not to eat anything from our fridge or freezer.  Don't worry, we'd found out as soon as we entered our house that we had a problem.  Remember all that tilapia I bought?  Well, it didn't fare so well in the power outage. 

Let me tell you, it was not fun to clean out the re-frozen tilapia juice from all corners of the freezer.  And it smelled (smells?) awful.

I thanked Dianne for letting us know what went on, and mentioned how glad I was that at least our flowers and garden were still doing great thanks to Noah.  "Wait, you didn't know?"

"Know what?"

"Noah got hit by a car this morning!"


I should mention here that he's ok.  Just banged up and tired.  But wait, there's more.

Noah had forgotten that we'd be back on Sunday night.  So, he was on his way across the street (we're talking literally 60 yards from his front door to ours) to check on our plants on Monday morning.  And another neighbor hit him.  And kept going because she was on a cell phone and didn't notice.

What type of person doesn't notice when they've hit a 12-year-old?  A 12-year-old who happens to be sprawled out in the middle of the street after you feel a bump on your car.

And then (this is a first-hand account from Noah and his mom) she blamed Noah for running into her car.  Yeah, lady, like a 12-year-old is going to viciously run into you at a high enough speed to leave a dent and rip off your side-view mirror.

The police came.  And the ambulance came.  And Noah's brand new iPod, which he had dropped on the road when he was hit (but up to this point was unharmed), was crunched under the ambulance's tire.

It was not a good day for Noah.

And all because we asked him to water our plants.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


So, my stomach may be staging a major coup against me right now (too much sun and too many treats), but I certainly can't complain.

The heat index in DC today was something like 115 degrees...

...but here in Wolfeboro, it was a balmy 85 degrees with the water temperature at about 80.


We picked the perfect week to be out of town.

And yes, this time I am bragging.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Georgetown Crabcakes

Monday was a great day.

Destiny and Bryson got engaged!  And I got crab cakes for lunch.  Oh, and French pastries.  I got those too. All at one delicious restaurant, courtesy of Georgetown Law. (Merci mille fois!)

My colleagues are great.  And one of the things I love about working with all women is that for our annual staff retreat, we forgo the lame, tiring team-building exercises, and go straight to a nice restaurant for lunch.  Now that's the life.

But there's a point to this post.  I promise.  So --without further ceremonious ado --I submit for your approval a list of my favorite places to eat crab cakes.  Take note; this list is important and may or may not change your future dining life:

1.  Acadiana.  Best crab cake, bar none.  Also, try the chocolate cake for dessert.  It does not disappoint.
2.  Cafe du Parc.  A very close second.  I would never have thought to put capers in a crab cake, but it adds a fabulous flavor. 
3.  Phillips.  Best no-nonsense, fatty crab cake. And, they have one at BWI, which adds to my traveling enjoyment.
4.  Matchbox.  Best crab cake sandwich.  Wear pearls and an argyle sweater tied around your shoulders and you'll fit right in.
5.  Sequoia.  Second-best crab cake sandwich...but the view makes up for it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Happy Bastille Day!

I'm celebrating the occasion by finishing up The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Wait, what's that?  The Scarlet Pimpernel is anti-French and anti-revolution?  Oh yeah, that's true.  I guess I should be reading Les Mis.  Oh well, vive la Patrie nonetheless.

I also started out this day --which marks the downfall of les aristos and their Bastille fortress -- by learning of the downfall of my own battlement.  Or basement.

Freshly showered, in our work clothes and ready to start brown-bagging our lunches, Blake made a horrible discovery. 

Somewhere during the course of the storm last night (in which we had lost power and gained several additional degrees of heat, making sleep nearly impossible) our basement had flooded.

I thought he was playing some sort of cruel joke.  That sort of thing shouldn't happen twice in one year.

But alas it was no joke.  Again, I wanted to just have a breakdown and start crying, but I knew that more water still wouldn't help the situation.  The drain outside had filled with leaves and clay/soil due to the massive amount of water cascading down the stairs from the yard.  Perfect.  Dirty water.

And so we put our pajamas back on, rolled up our pant legs, tied back (in my case) our still-wet and straggly hair, and got out every towel we owned to start the drying process.  It made us late for work.  It also made us sweaty and grumpy.

It was raining on the way to work, so we added bedraggled and drippy to our sweaty and grumpy.  Again, perfect.

When I got to work I learned that we'd not have access to computers for two hours due to some technical problems.  It was just about this time that Blake e-mailed me to say that they were having a fire drill and he'd have to stand out in the rain for an hour.

Remind me why we even came into work today?

And, for some reason my computer won't give me access to our main database, which means I'm practically useless today.  Oh, and right before the internet was so unlovingly snatched from my office, Blake sent me an e-mail saying that somewhere in the course of the morning he'd gotten distracted (gee, wonder why?) and forgotten to brush his teeth.

Thank goodness for Altoids.

The fates are conspiring against us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A More Perfect Union

Thank goodness for spellcheck.  The fire alarms are all set to strobe light right now in the building and I'm having trouble typing words correctly.  I know it's just a test, but can we evacuate anyway...for our sanity?

The only thing I can concentrate on is the menu at We, The Pizza  (it's right next to Good Stuff I said, a Perfect Union).  It's opening next week and I can already taste the gelato. 

Oh no, now there's thunder and the fire alarm's loud screech.  Get me out of here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When Two Worlds Collide

At Union Station this morning I walked past a homeless man who was busily pouring a cup of McDonald's coffee into a half-full bottle of coke.  In a deep baritone-- like the voice of god-- he proclaimed "when two worlds collide..."

Then he stepped back from the concoction and threw his hands in the air with bravado, looking proud of his work. 

And I kept walking because it was just way too hot and humid, and I was almost late for work.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Fourth/Fifth of July!

When the fireworks were going off last night we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic downtown looking for a parking spot.  Great way to celebrate our nation, right?

So, we got home frustrated, fatigued, and shaking our fists at the traffic gods in futility.

And I had to remind myself that life in general is pretty great.  I mean, look at that hydrangea.  We've got three huge bushes of those.  Life can't be all that bad...even if we missed my favorite firework show.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Literally Literary

Since the semester's been over, I've been reading like crazy.  Crazy.

I love having my twice-a-day commute and lunch hour to read for pleasure rather than for school.

Here's what I've read since mid-May*:

[Please note: just realized this sounds braggy.  I don't mean it to.  I just like to keep track of what I've read so that I can become a well-rounded, well-educated reader.]

Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
The Help - Kathryn Stockett 
The Elegance of the Hedgehog  - Muriel Barbery
Emma - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

And now I'm having a stupor of thought.  Or a stupor of read.

I'm liking my exploration of classic women authors, and classics in general.  However (as my rather schizophrenic list exhibits), I'm always up for something new and less verbose. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knight and Day

You know you're a working stiff when you see a movie like this with multiple car chase scenes and you spend half the time thinking to yourself "man, that's going to cause so much traffic."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

You know, the people to people people

It was over 90 degrees the weekend that my parents were here.  My Dad was in town to swear in JRCLS attorneys to the Supreme Court Bar and my Mom came with him.  Here we are after our tour of the Capitol....sitting on the grass by the Museum of Art and eating our frozen lemonades (believe me, we needed them).

This is my favorite picture of the weekend.  Why?  Well, about thirty seconds before this was taken, we were absolutely the only people for about two blocks.  We sat down in the only shade that we could find, and fifteen seconds later we heard kids chattering.  Coming around the corner were hundreds of kids in matching, color-coordinating shirts.  And they all wanted the shade, too.  So, within less than a minute, we were surrounded by all of these kids who were sweaty, complaining, and running amok (their leaders were too hot to care).  They weren't too shy about sitting right up close to us to take advantage of the 8 square feet of shade.

Well, you probably know how much Blake and my Dad love I just had to take a picture to capture the beauty of the moment.

P.S.  Don't you love how the kid next to Blake has created a "shade tent" for his gameboy by putting it under his hat with him?  Ingenious.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I have Pop Pop in the attic.

Maybe it's just the geeky linguist in me, but isn't langauge variation interesting?


Do you ever wish you could just Ctrl+Alt+Delete your day?

Gosh, my hair looks awful today.  Ctrl+Alt+Delete.  Fade to black.  Wow, yeah, that's better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That's right, Donovan.  Go ahead and make all the scary faces you want.
Thank you for restoring my faith in my team...even if you waited until stoppage time to do so (thought I was going to have a heart attack).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer in the City

I've been here for over three years and there are two things about summer in DC that I still haven't gotten used to:

1.  The humidity.  It's awful.  And it wilts me.
2.  The fireflies.  They're beautiful (unless I look at them up close, then they're scary like any other bug...).  For a girl who grew up in the West, they'll never cease to be magical.  On Saturday there were so many in the trees, that it looked like fireworks, or very small, insistent strobe lights.

I no dust Buster anymore

I usually wear slippers or flip flops in the house at all times.

But for some reason I forgot this past weekend.

The crunch crunch crunch against the wood floors was much less pleasant than I'd have liked.  I guess vacuuming the whole house with a battery-operated dust buster just isn't cutting in anymore.  That's a sorry mental picture isn't it: me crouching down around the house vacuuming all three floors with a hand-held.  Believe me, when I catch my neighbors looking through the window (which the often do...we live in a neighborhood of well-intentioned busy-bodies), I've also caught their confused and disapproving looks.

I'm guilting my self all the way over to Sears tonight to buy a proper vacuum.

I'll be $200.00 poorer, but at least my floors will be clean.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Adieu les Bleus?

I have sports-induced depression. 

It happens only once every four years. 

What are you doing to me, Les Bleus?  Last time you went out with a bang (or, headbutt, as it were --Materazzi, you deserved it.) but where is that style now? 

Stars and Stripes, where's your gumption?

These live web updates are killing me.  And so is a life of Bleus without Zidane.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Love You, Dad

If I were to give a dollar to every person who asked me while I walked up to the metro from work, I'd probably be out about $35.00 a day.  That would be an expensive 7-minute walk.

I'm used to the lady that says every day in the same cadence: "spare sum change help me gemmme sumthin to eat."  I'm used to the man who says "hello, can you spare me a quarter cos I'm hungry?" on repeat even if no one is around.

I'm used to just looking down at my toes so that guilt doesn't show on my face.  Guilt for wanting to help all, but being able to help few.

But yesterday I looked up when a lady asked, "gimme some change so I can get me sum minutes on my cell phone..."

Excuse me, minutes on your cell phone?

Lady, I didn't even have a cell phone until I was 19 and could pay for it myself...but let's not get into that right now.

That was one of the most surprising things I've ever heard.  Almost as surprising as the time when my Dad and I were riding the metro and he (in all seriousness) told me that he had always liked a well-kept head of dreadlocks. 

Yep, this city holds surprises every day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ladies' Paradise

Everyone knows that cinnamon Altoids are the best. It's a little-contested fact.

It's also a little-contested fact that I am often tempted, tantalized, and convinced into a purchase because of a flashy and well-placed "new!" or "new and improved!"

And that's how I ended up buying a box of "NEW" Cool Honey Altoids at CVS last week.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


This dog just fell off its surf board. This dog surfs?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

God Answers Kneemail

About once a week the baptist church on the corner changes its marquee sign. Always good for a smile...


Oh, and I'd like to interrupt our regularly scheduled program to note that the World Cup starts in 2 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes.

I'll be firmly situated on my couch. Where will you be?

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Hamptons

Back in my single days, I would (along with our friends) ascribe Yachting to be Blake's favorite sport. You know, because that's what people do in "New Hamptons." (It was funny at the time, I promise).

Well, we may not have done much (ok, any) yachting over Memorial Day, but we did lose spectacularly in Bocci Ball to Blake's parents (um, three times...we lost to them three times in a row). The picture below, however, commemorates my best shot (I'm the green ball...don't worry, the other green ball is about three inches from falling in the lake, which was where my shots tended to land...the one pictured was all luck.)

Well done, Me.

We also spent a lot of time in town at the Yum Yum Shop (the town bakery) and Bailey's Bubble (the best ice cream joint in town). Honestly, where else would you expect to find me?

Here we are at the town docks. You'll notice that the sky is very grey and smokey. That's because of several large forest fires in, combined with the massive amounts of pollen in the air, it was a really great weekend for allergies.

You can't see it now, but about three hours later I ended up with a really groovy farmers burn from this shirt (which, by the way, has an awkward sleeve length for farmers burns because none of my other short sleeve shirts will cover it...). I was reading Emma for the first time and I got really into it, ok? I didn't notice that my flesh was starting to sizzle until Blake kindly informed me that I was turning as bright red/orange as my belt. Lovely.

Maybe the sun helped burn off all that ice cream?