Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 182: Working girl at home

One reason I love my job is because of its flexibility. Like today (and tomorrow) when I am allowed to work at home home, in order to extend my vacation by an extra weekend. Hooray! So I worked from home home* today. Aside from getting a certain chatty brother to understand why I couldn't watch a movie or listen to all the cities he's driven through as I was indeed working, it was quite lovely.

*I should clarify that I don't have some typing impediment where I repeat things. I took to calling my Goldsboro home "home home" in college in order to differentiate from whatever my "home" was at the time. Though I'm not sure I ever considered any of my dorm rooms or apartments home. Actually, I do this with other things, like Jeep Jeeps, more for emphasis than anything else.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 181: Insert Flipper theme song

What is the one thing a perpetually clumsy person should never do? Engage in any activity or wardrobe choices that will only increase their chances of disfigurement/facial bruises/general public mortification.

Meh, I prefer the rebel life and wore flippers in the pool and on the deck. And stupidly, on the pool ladder while trying to get out of the pool. Awkward doesn't begin to describe the contortions I attempted when trying walk up the steps with them, before remembering they are not permanently attached to my feet, after all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 180: Aloha (from NC!)

I write from the comforts of home home. In my sweet Carolina. With dogs in the next room and family too. Whilst wearing an authentic (made in China) Hawaiian lei, courtesy of my disgustingly-tan travelling brother. My first real lei from Hawaii, as well as some sand and mementos from Pearl Harbor.
It's as close to a tropical beach as I'm likely to get this summer, and that's ok. Home is home and that's all I need this time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 179: Now am I qualified to be an astronaut?

Pretend I wrote a long-winded post about my love of the space program. Or read one of my past entries on the subject. And then witness today's new thing, writing with my own space pen, in as many of the environments described on the package as I could. (Sorry, unable to test it at sub-zero and boiling temperatures.)

Normal conditions:
Upside down:Under water (Should have filled sink with water first, but I was lazy. But this worked too!):

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 178: Luck be a lady tonite

When it comes to luck, I don't consider myself to have it good or bad. Because I don't have any. At. All. I just have me and the random, sometimes great, sometimes unfortunate, but always have-to-laugh things that happen to me. (This is not to be confused with being blessed. I am very blessed. I just have no luck.)

Thus I've never felt particularly compelled to try my hand, and my hard-earned dollar, at the lottery. Until my friends and I made it our goal for June. So to the news agent in Ballston I went, and purchased this. Makes a far better bookmark than a lottery ticket, clearly, as I am still writing this blog and not travelling the world with my winnings.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 177: Celtic pride

Oh Wikihow, where would I be without you? While eating lunch today at work, I read an article on how to husk corn. (Unfortunately, I have done this many times, it would not be new.) Then tonite, in desperate need of something new and easy, I learned how to draw a Celtic plait.
I love that I can now draw stick figures, an A-frame house, and a Celtic plait. I expect these talents to come in handy any day now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 176: My kind of "emergency"

I feel like one of my new things needs to be going a week without talking about books or food. That will not be this week.

In line at Borders today (I had a coupon that was going to expire, don't judge) I eyed a chocolate bar out of the corner of my eye with EMERGENCY on it. Always a sucker for both chocolate, and cheesiness, I leaned in for a closer look. Upon seeing the disclaimer, I was hooked:
For immediate relief of: Chocolate Cravings, Lovesickness, Exam Pressure, and Extreme Hunger.
So I bought an Emergency Chocolate bar. It didn't take long, shockingly, for me to have an "emergency," as I ate a portion of it while waiting for the metro an hour later.

Not too bad. A little more chocolate flavor in the emergency CHOCOLATE bar would have been nice, but it kept me from murdering the couple in front of me who walked so slow I missed the train. (They should add that to the disclaimer, would sell well in cities, I think.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 175: "All grown-ups were once children - although few of them remember it." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Pat Conroy, in a lecture at UNC my freshman year, said, "A book can change your life, and change it forever."

I didn't actually attend the lecture, but I read the quote the following day in the DTH and it has stuck with me. I read a lot. And not just books, but also magazines, news and web articles, blogs, Wikipedia entries, and quotations. Put something with words in front of me and at the very least I will skim over it.

And though I still maintain that it is utterly impossible for me to choose a favorite book, there are several that I give as stock answers. Books that are honestly old friends, that are there in the happy times for celebration and hard times for support. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Bell Jar. O! Pioneers. The Diary of Anne Frank. The Notebook.

And, The Little Prince, which I already own. I bought another copy today at the used book store, a hardback, with a dedication in the front. My new thing. In all the used books I've bought over the years, I can't think of a single one with a hand-written note in it.

The book was first published in 1943. The note inside is 21 years old. And both still resonate. More and more each day. I hope that whomever Lynda gave it to got some use out of it. Maybe I shouldn't have bought it, maybe I should have left it for someone else. Or maybe I'll just keep it for a little while and pay it forward later.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 174: Hometown love

In college, there were three standard reactions I would get when telling people my hometown:
  1. Blank stare.
  2. "Oh, I drive through there on my way to the beach."
  3. "Wow, you have GREAT barbecue!"
It was the latter that brought me my new thing today, at a UNC Alumni picnic in Arlington, featuring none other than straight from Goldsboro, driven up this very morning, Wilber's Barbecue. Thus I had my first ever Wilber's outside of NC. Other than the rather bland hush puppies, it was the same as it always is, which is just how it's supposed to be.

My hometown might be small, but it's home and I love it. And not just because we have the best damn barbecue in the world. (And I'm not prejudiced at all.)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 173: The truth is out there

My best friends are my friends for a reason. Maybe because we come from similar backgrounds and went to the same school. Maybe because we would all give our right arm if Roy and his boys ever asked us to. But largely because we all share one thing in common: we are obsessive, passionate, nerds.

Whether it's a TV show or movie or song or event or founding father, we are obsessive and passionate about it/them and are not afraid to show it, to proclaim it from the rooftops! (If a situation ever were to arise where this was necessary.) And even if we don't all share it, we still discuss it and quote it and defend it, knowing full well the other person will listen to us do the same thing. Tonite, partly in honor of it almost being her birthday, and partly because she's my friend, I saw my first X-Files episode, a passionate obsession of my friend, Karey.

And it was good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 172: She left through the restaurant window

At a happy hour tonite to celebrate the birthday of a friend, I left the restaurant through a open window/sliding glass, instead of a door. Three people had done so right before me, and the waiter was at our table. It was perfectly legit and I had paid. And, I had had nothing to drink.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 171: Milli, really?

First, pictures added to three Jan-in-DC posts, thanks to Jan's pictures:

Day 151: "See? Drama!" (Harry, SATC)
Day 152: Heartbreak Hotel
Day 153: "Washington isn't a city, it's an abstraction." (Dylan Thomas)

And today's new thing:
A few weeks ago, much to my chagrin and astonishment, I learned that rap music makes me approximately 48.2% more productive at work. (Completely made up stat, by the way.) Beastie Boys, Nelly, a little Kanye, helps me focus and get things done. In an effort to expand my rap collection beyond the limited supply on my iPod, I've been searching for new, non-sexist and non-offensive music. (Hard, very hard to do.)

Someone who most definitely does NOT fit into these categories: Lil' Wayne. I heard my first song by this "musician," and "artist," and I do not feel the need to repeat it, ever. I simply do not understand how he managed to sell 1 million albums in a week. As I told my friend, Karey, he looks and sounds like a homeless man they just pulled in off the street. This is the reason why the only rap I've listened to for the past 10 years has been the Beasties. But the search will continues, if for no other reason than to prove Mr. Wayne wrong.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 170: "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain." (Anonymous)

Today was one of those days where I felt like I had been spinning around in a circle, and then came to a sudden, dizzying halt, while everything else kept whirling around me and I tried frantically to regain my balance and breath.

I am a big believer in rain as a purifier, as a rejuvenator. So when it started to lightly rain on my walk from work to the metro, I let it hit me. I left my umbrella in the bag and soaked it up. I enjoyed a walk in the rain.

By the time I got to just across from the metro, it was coming down so hard it appeared to be raining up from the road. I had fears that maybe my two white shirts would be the same as one white shirt and I'd be arrested for indecent exposure. (I wasn't, the two white shirts were equal to one dark shirt.)

Caught up in my act of spontaneity, I didn't consider having to wear wet clothes on the ACed metro, or what I would look like when my very non-waterproof mascara started to melt.

And I didn't care. I saw this just beyond the airport, over the river, and it's all I needed:
(Not my picture, taken from Flickr. I saw them from a different angle, thicker, closer up. Stunning.)

It reminds me of the last double rainbow I saw, almost exactly three years ago, in England:

And the really cool part is, that Mom saw the Washington rainbow on the national news, around the same time I saw it in real life.
"The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 169: Snicker doodle is a funny word

In preparation for my first work wedding shower tomorrow, I made snicker doodle cookies. And I didn't burn them. Well, I only burned 7, out of 4 dozen. If I did math I could tell you that I only burned a small percentage. But I don't do math. So I only burned 7, out of 4 dozen.

Mom, in one of the three phone calls I made to her, said she doesn't understand how people can burn cookies. I don't understand why Entertainment Weekly is hounding me to renew my subscription when it doesn't expire until October. I guess different people just think about different things.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 168: Just another manic Monday

Aim, coordination, poise. Not exactly synonyms for "Bonnie." At least, not this Bonnie. And yes, normally lack of these qualities prevents me from partaking in endeavors that require any or all of them. Any sport. Dancing. Walking in a straight line without tripping/falling. Darts. Especially darts.

Sharp, pointy projectile+girl with bad aim=trip to emergency room and a lawsuit

Unless they are office-darts, fashioned with a pushpin, pencil, and post-it notes. I winded down after a long day by repeatedly throwing my office dart at my bulletin board. Too lazy to print out a dartboard, I just had fun dodging the pictures on my board, avoiding darting a Beatle, Eli Manning, or Anderson. (I got George Harrison's foot once, but he still made it across Abbey Road.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 167: Happy Father's Day!

To my Daddy, whom I love and admire very much. My favorite non-childhood picture of the two of us, at my cousin's wedding when I was 17.

And as he was always the one who maintained the aquarium in our house, I think it's appropriate that today I got my first "aquarium," conveniently purchased at the check-out counter at Barnes and Noble, my desk aquarium with two fish, Luke and Leia.
Not exactly the same as we had growing up, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the commitment live fish require.

Anyway, happy father's day, Daddy! :-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 166: New new things

With every desire to stay in bed today and do nothing, I instead forced myself out of bed and into Ballston. Still planning on taking it easy and being lazy, but at least out of my pajamas and bed.

Wearing new earrings from Eastern Market, and my new Beatles Abbey Road t-shirt, I decided to do several, little new things.

First, lunch at Noodles and Company, a new-ish restaurant at Ballston Mall I've been wanting to try, which was very good. (Made with Jing, a screen capture program I came across. Pointing to my fave ingredients.)
Then, my first Adam Sandler movie in a theatre by myself. Awful. I should have taken a closer look at the movie poster, and seen the clues as to how awful it would be.
Trying to get the travesty of a "film" out of my mind, I went to Macy's and bought some sheets, the first nice, non-Target, non-twin size sheets I've bought for myself.

I then pondered further how I could go about getting those two hours of my life back, with a Mojito lemonade at Cosi. They've been advertising these for awhile but I decided today to finally try one.
Finally, I made it back to my apartment, where I did crash on the bed with the latest episode of "Doctor Who," seeing a new episode only hours after it aired in the UK, instead of days or years later.

And that was Saturday. Whew.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 165: TGIF...the 13th

Ah, the weekend. Finally. Mine started off by heading downtown for my monthly book club meeting. (Though I didn't quite finish the book.) I was excited because we were trying a restaurant I walk by all the time but never been to.

I arrived precisely at 7:15, as was one of the other girls. Fifteen minutes later...we were still the only ones. We were stood up. Ouch. But as we were hot and hungry, we didn't waste any time, and instead hightailed it across the street to a pizza place with no hour wait.

I got a lovely pepperoni pizza, and Sangria, which I've never tried at an Italian restaurant. Which means I have now had Sangria at Spanish, American, Asian, and Italian restaurants. I think the Asian place had the best.

It was the smallest club meeting yet, but it could have been worse. I could have been the only one to show up, and been forced to discuss the book with myself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 164: I only wish it could have been Doctor Who

After more than 10 years of poor vision, I finally went to an eye doctor by myself. In a mall.

I should be disturbed by the fact that I got my eyes checked a mere three floors above where I would later purchase Taco Bell. (And a drink that would later leak in my purse, onto my jeans, perilously close to "she peed her pants" territory.)

But I digress. Having been to plenty of eye appointments over the years, I wasn't that weary of it being in a mall. Besides, lots of things are in malls now. And, I knew if he were to say, squeeze my eye, or spit on a contact before giving it to me, that would be a sign to take the free pair and run.

I did however firmly mark "no," I am not interested in laser eye surgery, on the form. No eye doctor located beside "Perfumania" will be taking me into a back room to cut up my eyes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 163: Starting again

To be honest, today's new thing was going to be ending the year of new things. It has stopped being fun and is more of a chore that I remember at 11:30 and then I finally would remember to update this thing a week later. So that's the new thing, abandoning the project.

But then the next day I realized I am just not the quitting type, I never not finish anything, so I'd like to not start now. I still have a list of new things I want to try, and hopefully whatever I do won't be as lame as they have been lately. So even though I'm not quitting yet, deciding to quit is still a new thing. :-) (Even if Ms. Indecisive changed her mind a day later.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 162: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (and quills that actually write)

I don't think that there is a museum or gallery gift shop in the entirety of London and DC that has not seen me and my debit card. But I just don't know how anyone could resist the aforementioned space ice cream, or a quill, just like the Founding Fathers used. (Or not since it's a ball point pen jammed in a fake feather.)

And I bought one, so I can pretend that I'm my boy TJ, working on his Declaration, preparing to release the colonies from the tyrannous grip of King George, setting the Revolution in motion, without which there would be no need for, what's that thing, the Constitution? (That is for you, Karey, of course.)

No declaration for me tonite, sadly, as I am still hunting for something to overthrow or revolt or declare against. But I did "write" with my quill pen in my journal. I say "write" because no ink actually came out. I spent $5 on a pen crammed in a feather that doesn't work. I'm sure the gift shops during the FF's time were much better-stocked.

National Archives (where I bought the pen)
Me and the Declaration (blurry because of no flash rule)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Day 161: Maybe the majority of my life won't be in a city

For every thing I love about cities, there are usually three more things I hate. But I will try not to turn this into a bitching post. It took me two hours to get home tonite because of a derailed train. I also took a bus home I've never taken before. It really wasn't that bad. Stuff happens and at least I had a few phone calls with the brother to distract me.

Nothing to do with today, just a picture to make things less boring:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Day 160: Sally Ride would be so proud

My love of the space program has been well-documented. Or at least it should be because I LOVE the space shuttle and space walks and space movies and space food! Every time I'm at the Air and Space Museum, either in DC or at the Dulles extension like I was last weekend, I usually walk out with freeze dried space ice cream. It's nowhere near worth the $4 you spend, but it's space food, so really, it's a steal! Tonite I ate it like the astronauts might have to do, up in space, by eating it upside down. Thankfully this did not lead to an upside down Heimlich maneuver, though I bet astronauts could do it if necessary.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Day 159: Yo quiero Qdoba (I guess)

Senior year my friends and I had sort of a ritual when we would go out: same first bar (Top O), same second bar (Coffee Shop), maybe a random third, or just stay at the first, and then inevitably need something incredibly fattening at 2 a.m., which usually was Qdoba and their amazing queso. I've had Qdoba in daylight before, but never by myself and never in DC. Until today, obviously. The queso just wasn't the same. (And they tried to charge me for chips. 2 a.m. Qdoba in CH would never charge for chips, I don't think.)
Friends, senior year, 2 a.m. Qdoba, picture by the amazing Ashley, one of my most favorite pictures ever.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Day 158: Yes, I do happen to like gay people

This probably makes no sense...

I have these two random memories from high school, regarding rainbow magnets in my locker and rainbow painted toenails, prompting more than one person to ask if I "liked gay people." It still makes me clench my teeth at the ignorance and homophobia I used to (and still do) come in contact with. (It also makes me wish I was as vocal and bitchy then as I am now because I think I could have had a lot of fun putting people in their place.) I was reminded of this tonite, randomly, when I bought some super-cute rainbow pajama shorts (on sale) at VS. This is new because I don't have any rainbow pajama pants, and it's been awhile since I've been able to retroactively feel like I'm sticking it to people who used to piss me off. (And belittle me for my "liberal" views.)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Day 157: Somebody save me

A day after my four month workiversary, I finally did something I've been meaning to do: open a savings I cancelled my account when I was in London, and haven't really had a need for one as I have not exactly been saving. But I opened a new one today, online. It took all of five minutes and I transferred the money right from my checking account, easy peasy. I don't know what I did before online banking.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Day 156: Back to black

Having spent my entire life in the Southeast, I am quite familiar with hurricanes. Skilled with no power for a week, generators, and "stocking up" for a big storm - and even the not so big ones. But weathering a storm in a city, when you have to commute in the lightning and torrential downpour, is another story. Surviving the night in your apartment with no power, without your Daddy and his myriad of flashlights, lanterns, and every other thing you could possibly need to survive an outage, is another story too. (And that is a mega run-on sentence.) Nevertheless, the roommate and I persevered with our candles and my flashlights, including eating dinner by candlelight in my apartment. It has been a long since I've had to do that, and I hope I don't have to repeat it anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Day 155: City slicker

Having pretty much determined the majority of my life will need to be spent in a city, I think it's important to do research and keep my options open. (Not that I plan on moving anytime soon.) Today my "research" consisted of taking an online quiz to see which cities best suit me. (Clearly all of life's choices should be left to online quizzes.)

The results:
Good to see my current home is in the top 5.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Day 154: Shocking, more new food

What a whirlwind weekend. Even with an extra day - I took Friday off - it still went too quickly and Monday came too soon.

But when I got home tonite, I resisted the urge to fall face first onto my bed, and instead made myself a semi-real dinner, a chicken, bacon and cheese panini, my first panini that didn't involve pepperoni and mozzarella.
I saw a Jamie Oliver cooking show last week where he said everyone should have puff pastry in their freezer. I have ice cream cake from my birthday (in January), brussel sprouts, and some bread that is more brick-like than bread-like. But my panini was comprised of things I already had, just sitting in my refrigerator. The chicken expired today, the pita bread has been in my refrigerator a long time, and the cheese is on its way out, but it was still good. And I think it's far more likely more people identify with my type of cooking, than Jamie and his puffy pastries. I'm ready for my own cooking show, Food Network.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Day 153: "Washington isn't a city, it's an abstraction." (Dylan Thomas)

Shortly after playing Tourist at the Mayflower, we played Tourists again at the Washington Monument, making our way downtown after midnite to take in D.C. by the moonlight. My first time hanging out at a monument, after midnite, slightly tipsy, with my friends. Another happy day.


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