Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 244: For love of country

DC is so full of monuments and memorials it is hard to keep track. I know I haven't seen them all, but today I added a new one when I finally saw the World War I memorial for the DC residents who fought. I've been meaning to check it out and after visiting the Air and Space Museum, Jefferson and World War II Memorials, Joey and I checked this one out before heading home.
A very specific, very neglected monument, but beautiful nonetheless. And it's no surprise that I feel a particular pull toward this, as its Grecian design is quite like a certain other beloved structure.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 243: Quack quack

Busy, busy day full of walking and eating and melting and DC sights! The day started out with the official new thing of the day, my surprise for Joey, a Duck tour of DC. I've seen these around the city and thought they would be tourist-rific. I have been waiting for a willing victim to visit so I could subject them to cheesy tour guides and gawking DCists on the sidewalk.
It took us around downtown, and then directly into the Potomac for a little river cruise. And it ended with complimentary quackers, which we wasted no time putting to use.
But the fun didn't stop there. We saw the Japanese WWII Memorial, had lunch, saw the Navy Memorial, and then set off for the National Archives, Joey's first visit. I was very excited this time to see the Treaty of Paris, which officially goes on view in October.
We made a quick stop by the White House to call on George and Laura, and then headed for the Nats v. Braves game, my first Nats game at night.
I should be happy they won, but you can't undo 15 years of vicariously cheering for them through the brother. It was still a good game though, even though we narrowly missed death by a scary fast line drive.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 242: Churchwell Kids Take DC (Or Alexandria, to start)

And the long weekend is here! And with it, so is the little brother, who came into town for the Nats game and some sight seeing. I picked him up from the train station, first time meeting someone instead of someone meeting me. Then I showed him Old Town Alexandria, where I worked, which he seemed to enjoy. Start of what I think will be a busy, but good weekend.

Carolina kids with the Wright Brothers plane at the Air and Space Museum on Sunday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 241: Getting some culture

Long week, but luckily, it will end in a long weekend. Sadly, however, Labor Day means summer is officially on the way out, which means friends are arriving, friends are leaving, things are changing. Yuck. But today I made one last grasp before the change starts, and went to a free performance at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Elizabeth and I saw Bilja Krstic and Bistrik Orchestra, from the Balkans.
It was my first visit to the Kennedy Center, which was beautiful, and the orchestra was great. Good mix of instruments and some a cappella. And since Elizabeth took Serbian at UNC, I even got to understand some of what they were saying.

Lots of flags:Ooh, shiny.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 240: Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

It's that time of the month again, book club time! Tonite we met at the lovely Rosemary's Thyme Bistro, which I have been wanting to try. We had a great waiter and good happy hour specials. Not a special, but very good, was the pide, which I tried, despite never having heard of it and only thinking about it for a minute. (I'm very picky and indecisive, this is big.) It was basically a flat bread boat full of feta and sausage and tomato goodness. So so good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 239: Flagged for removal

Since we now have our much-desired and seriously fought for apartment, the roomie and I should be done with the apartments wanted section on Craig's List. Haha. Somehow we got sucked in to helping our landlord find a tenant for the downstairs apartment, and spent far too long posting an ad. Why so long? Because our posts kept getting rejected because they were flagged for being discriminatory. I've never been accused of discrimination before. Yeah, I don't know, apparently requesting a professional with a job and a credit report is discriminatory. Who knew?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 238: Free brie!

I am one of those people that grocery stores had in mind when they designed the "2 for 1" or "buy 4 get .25 free" deals. I rarely ever stop to consider if I really do need four bottles of olive oil or if that pizza brand might just be on sale for a reason. All I see is "SALE" and suddenly I'm dragging home bags of pop-tarts and laundry detergent. But, I saved $19 at Harris Teeter today! Officially, that is, as I have to add in an additional $4.77 because they didn't ring up my brie, so I got free brie! I was going over my receipt when I got home because there was a problem with my VIC card and I wanted to make sure I got all my deals, when I didn't see the brie, currently chilling in my fridge, on there. Thus, my first brie splurge in a year, and it was free!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 237: "Trust me just this once - you are the opposite of ordinary." (Edward, Twilight)

The more popular and bandwagon-y something becomes, the less likely I am to try it. I didn't start reading HP until the fourth book was already out. It took me years to admit Brad Pitt was hot. I still haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite. And I just now read and finished a book in the "Twilight" series. It was an impulse buy at the register when I went to get my Michael Phelps Sports Illustrated. I'm not a big fantasy person, and the only vampires I've ever been interested in live in Sunnydale, but I gave it a shot. The story is interesting and has me frantically reading to find out what happens, even though I strongly dislike her writing style. But I'm almost done with the second, so I guess it can't be too bad.

ETA: I HATE THEM. I still haven't even found the right words as to how much I dislike the message, the story, the characters, the writing, etc.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 236: Law of the land

So far the prime perk of my new place has been the location. I knew I was not very happy with life in the suburb-like Arlington, but I had forgotten how much I missed the city until I got here. And today I walked from my apartment to Capitol Hill, past the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court, which I had somehow never passed before. I've seen pretty much all of the important buildings here after this one, even though its beauty was slightly marred by the scaffolding, not that I should have been surprised.

Sadly, no sign of my favorite justice, Ruth Bader G. I also later read in front of the Capitol, which has far lusher grass than I've been able to find elsewhere, and obviously, a stunning view.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 235: Bonnie Vila

Despite my perpetual state of clumsiness, I am actually quite handy when it comes to building things. I became the master of Ikea furniture after my job in London, and all those 14 moves over the years required a good deal of varying furniture too. So with my tools from Daddy and my good friend Elizabeth, we built a bookcase and entertainment center, my first entertainment center, I believe, which now holds the first drawers I've ever built. So far, so good.
Please no comment on the differing shades of wood, I was very upset when I realized this. And yes, the roommate and I have a lot of movies, including every romantic comedy and horror movie ever made. Guess which set belongs to who(m).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 234: My own "puffy" shirt

Remember the post about how my closet is too small and I really should be less materialistic i.e. buy fewer clothes? Yeah, never mind, I'll just suspend them from the ceiling if I have to.

I went in search of some much-needed new jeans, and naturally couldn't leave the mall without browsing for a few tops, which led to me purchasing my first ruffly/puffy shirt. (More ruffly than puffy, I hope.) Now to just make sure it doesn't look like I have a growth when I wear it. Or look like this:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 233: Future's so bright I gotta wear shades

Aside from the fact that he's greasy, sleazy, and has a creepy grin, I further dislike Jack Nicholson because he always has sunglasses on. ALWAYS. (And always when at the Oscars, too!) I find wearing sunglasses inside completely unnecessary. Except for when on a metro train that goes underground, above ground, underground, above ground, tunnel, above ground, like mine does.

It is bright in the mornings and I wear my glasses for all the outside portions, and push them to the top of my head for the inside parts. However, today it was early and I was sleepy and I just didn't have the energy to push them up and down, so I wore my sunglasses on the metro whilst underground. But at least I was clean and not creepily-grinning and not dating someone one-third of my age.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 232: Time travelling

With the exception of maybe my senior year and kindergarten photos, I could do without the rest of my yearbook pictures. But thanks to the funnest web site ever, Yearbook Yourself, I got the chance to try again, in five different decades, by seeing what my yearbook picture would look like in different years.

Some of them were awful, some gave me an unnecessary double chin, and some were just kind of creepy. The highlights:

1950 and 1956

1960 and 1968

1974 and 1990

I like 1974 because it's only two years after my Mom graduated and looks a lot like her hair in her picture. (Sorry, Mom, the 1972 person had a bob.) I like the 1950s and 1960s ones the best. I would totally have been ok in those decades as long as I could be an angry feminist turned hippie. And maybe see the Beatles live, too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 231: I really should become less materialistic

Though still settling in to the new place, I do quite like it. Lots of space, nice wood floors, amazing location, ample closet space. Hahaha, not even close. To be exact, the closet is less than 3 feet wide, my extender bar that has been used in every closet since freshman year, does not fit, thus making it my smallest closet ever. How big of a problem is this? Well, it took three people two trips to carry all my clothes on a big sheet. So, it's a problem. Thus I had to buy, and put together, a garment rack today.
I'm not going to lie, it could be cool to need something and have to wheel out the old rack. Or it could be a real hassle, as it has already meant sacrificing the nook in my room to storage. I really should cut back on my wardrobe. Probably. Or not.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 230: It's official

In the six years since starting college I have moved 14 times. Four dorm rooms, five apartments, one flat, and countless stops in-between to home home. Two states, five cities, two countries, and now one district, as I moved into Washington, DC today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 229: Golden boy

As much as I claim to hate sports, I readily admit to always loving the history of them. Though it's insane, the feats athletes do now could be remembered 100 years from now; it goes in the history books too.

Something that will definitely be remembered for 100 years and beyond, Michael Phelps winning eight golds at one Olympics. And I saw every one of them, including his final one tonite. I also got to watch some of this year's Olympics with Mom for the first time.

Maybe not the most traditional of new things, but I watched all of his races in 2004, and again this year, with the same kind of heart-pounding anticipation I only experience during Carolina basketball. And I just was never quite sure I'd get to see history made like this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 228: The second best kind of ring ever

In all my moves over the years, and there are plenty, I've done a lot of packing. A LOT. But today is the first day I've done some packing whilst wearing a ring pop. I may be 24 and on my own, but I like rings and I like candy. And I like a good sugar high when packing up my life for the bajillionth time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 227: Happiness

Finally, a good metro story after yesterday's near-death experience. When leaving the King Street metro this morning, I received a bagel and cream cheese from a lovely lady from Bruegger's Bagels.
I frequent the King Street Bruegger's so to have them finally give something back to me was quite nice. Even if I was weary at first of taking food from a stranger, at the Metro. But her uniform and bageled out car convinced me. That, and the fact that I'm not dead. And, I mean, free food!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 226: Oh my knee

"I once tripped on an escalator. I fell down the stairs...for an hour and a half."
- Demetri Martin

Oh, Demetri, your witty observations always ring so true in my life. Only I fell up a metro escalator…for about 15 seconds. Which feels like an hour and a half when juggling a laptop bag and purse, and trying to keep my Rainbows on while struggling to stand upright. Which will be difficult for the next few days as my left knee is twice the size of my right. (Well, two and a half times the size as my right side is bigger than the left anyway.) Can I please win the lottery now before I kill myself on public transportation?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 225: Enough is enough

Today I lost my internet connection at my apartment, for the first time ever. While working at home, in the process of moving my document, due in 10 minutes, to our fileserver. I then had to race to Ballston in search of free wireless. An hour later, I got the file sent, and bought my first-ever salad at Cosi. That's enough new for one day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 224: Yes, I went there, again

Ok, fine, I have an addiction/fascination with political scandals. Who doesn't? So what if I wanted to recruit a friend to go the Watergate on the anniversary of Nixon's resignation. So what if I have hung around outside the Mayflower, and now, hung around inside Spitzer's den of iniquity. (Not really, just the lobby. ) Yes, Karey and I went and chilled in the lobby of The Mayflower tonite, just to say I'd been there.

I tried to pick out likely call girls, but they were disguised well. And sadly I was not able to hit the gift shop for my "I went to the Mayflower and all I got was a political scandal, 9 million hits on my MySpace, and this t-shirt*," t-shirt. Next time.

The Mayflower: Me, presenting the lobby?
Karey, silently judging the politicians and call girls, or me? Probably a little bit of both. :-)

*Copyright BEC 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 223: Working on (not for) the weekend

I'm glad I love my job so that I don't mind that much needing to work this weekend. (I didn't have to, I just think it might make my coming week slightly less hectic.) This morning I dragged myself out of bed and to Cosi to do work work. I also had my first non-Starbucks caramel apple cider. As Starbucks only has this delightful drink seasonally, I only get it a few months of the year. Until now, since it appears Cosi has it year round. This could be bad. Very bad. Especially as they also have the option of caramel hot chocolate, which was my weakness in London. Oh yes, this will be very bad.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day 222: Fun in the Sun

After a thoroughly exhausting week, it was nice to just be able to sit for a bit, and read by the Washington Monument. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and would have been a crime to stay inside.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Day 221: After a long, arduous, boring four-year wait...

...they are here! The Olympics are here! (As is a certain Aunt's birthday. Happy b-day Shannon!)

Of all the obsessions I write about in this blog, this is one of my oldest and fiercest loves. So proud am I of my Olympic devotion, I don't even call it a nerdy obsession. It's not nerdy or dorky, it's AWESOME. To kick off this year's Olympic season, my fellow Olympic fiend friend, Elizabeth, came over. I provided "international" appetizers for a mini-Olympic party as we watched the Opening Ceremonies. I tired to represent every continent, even if my interpretation of their food was often quite loose. It was still fun and a great way to kick off the next two week!

USA cookies, which prompted one of my favorite quotes of the night, from E: "I don't want to eat the 'Bronze' one, I feel like it won't be as good." My cookies, complete with USA, medals (G, S, B) and favorite events. And yes, that is an interlocking NC for UNC in the corner. Lots of alums in the games, after all!

The spread, as follows:
United Kingdom: English toffee
Brazil: Chips and salsa
China: Chinese noodles and mixed vegetables
Switzerland: Swiss cheese spread
Greece: Olives
Iraq: Hummus and pita bread
USA: Cookies
South Africa: Wine
Australia: Shrimp (on the barbie) (Not pictured because I didn't make it for fear of making too much. But considering all the food and the fact that it was just the two of us, we still devoured quite a lot, and probably could have handled the shrimp too.)

Elizabeth posing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Day 220: Wino

In London, on more than one occasion, and strictly as part of my job, I had to buy multiple bottles of champagne before 10 in the morning. I also had to purchase mass quantities of wine once for a party. But, I've never bought a bottle of wine for myself, but now I have, when I bought two bottles, one red and one white, of South African wine at Harris Teeter. The reason for which will be clear for tomorrow's new post.

And how did I decide which ones to buy? Two important factors. One: the cheapest. Two: the prettiest labels. (Who wouldn't buy wine with a purple giraffe on it?!)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Day 219: A Streetcar Named...?

It is shaping up to be a lovely week here, not too hot for once, making being outside a relatively pleasant experience. Tonite my friend Elizabeth met me in Alexandria, where we had dinner and then sat by the waterfront, discussing among other things, Feminism, Communism, and our mutual LOVE and obsession for the Olympics. We then took the free trolley from the waterfront to the metro. Nice night all around.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Day 218: Hardly a ladder for success

Some days merely trying a new thing, even if I don't succeed, is still a new thing. Like today, for instance, when I spent a half an hour trying to make a Jacob's ladder out of string. I kept getting my pinkies tied up and my thumbs nearly out of joint trying to go over and under the index finger. Ahhh! Thank goodness Jacob wasn't relying on me for a ladder, because mine was more like One-eyed Bob's Path to Nowhere.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Day 217: "Des mots, des mots, des mots." (William Shakespeare)

On one of the many blogs I read, they mentioned a new creative tool for word-lovers, Wordle. Being a word lover myself - cliched, yes, but true - I immediately checked it out. You can enter any text you like and it will generate "word clouds," and change the size of words according to their frequency. Then you can either randomize or customize yourself. Tonite, taking other people's texts, I created and shared my own Wordles. And found a new addiction in the process.

First, the lyrics to "Learning to Fly," by Tom Petty, and where the title of this blog comes from.
The lyrics to one of my favorite U2 songs, "Stuck in a Moment."And finally, I have a document on my computer full of UNC quotes that I've collected over the years, and that I still add to. Here it all is in a word cloud. (Select to make bigger.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Day 216: Happy half birthday (and a bit more) to me!

My favorite holiday, and my favorite day of the year, is my birthday. I know, so humble of me. Sadly, as this takes place on the first day of the year, everything is downhill from there. But thanks to the miracle of a Coldstone ice cream cake, I got to relive the joy of my b-day all over again, when I ate some of my birthday cake seven months later. (It was supposed to be on July 1, my official half-birthday, but I was home then.)
Sadly, it tasted more like freezer burn, and less like chocolatey caramel goodness. That's what I get for living in the past.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Day 215: Wax on, wax off

Ok, as lame as this subject is, is how AWESOME the D.C. Wax Museum is, which Karey and I ventured too for the first time today. If you are a history nerd or celebrity nerd or just a nerd, which Karey and I totally are, this place is for you. A sampling of the fun we had, all courtesy of K since my camera's batteries died.

Giving some tips to Robert E. Lee.
Attempting to take a bullet for President Lincoln. Only I kept giggling. I'm just not cut out for Secret Service, sorry Abe.Don't let the grin fool you, it was a tough interrogation. For Hoover.
Me and George. Sigh.Preview of things to come?
Yeah, it had to be done.
I also played press secretary and gave the evil eye to Yoko, while Karey mocked Tom Cruise and hung out with Churchill. And of course we both got FIERCE with Tyra. Just another Saturday in the city.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Day 214: Mamma mia, here I go again.

To say au revoir to this hellish week, I went and saw "Mamma Mia!" It was the perfect light and funny and drama-free antidote. The music made me want to dance in the aisles, if I danced in public, which I don't. But I did dance when I got home, with my iPod in like in the iPod commercials, to "Dancing Queen" and "Gimme Gimme." I've never danced to Abba and I've never danced with my iPod in. And I've never danced for about six minutes straight, quite the workout.


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