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."