Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Thanks to my awesome roommate and her generous employer, I got to go to the Redskins v. Cardinals football game on Sunday - for free!

My last and only NFL game was a Panthers game ages ago, before I even cared about football, or knew about that whole offense/defense two teams in one thing. So I was quite excited to be at one and actually care what was happening. Sort of.

The downside was not really caring who won or lost. :-( But I got to see players like Kurt Warner and Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss. I got to see a blocked kick*, but no sacks unfortunately. Saw a player knock out a ref - kind of awesome, not going to lie.

*This is still so rare to me that I think they are quite cool.
Of course I got to listen to the multiple belligerent drunks scream obscenities at players, and fans. Interesting fact: if you leave a game early, you have no soul. (While I have spent many Carolina sporting events bemoaning the quitters who prefer to beat traffic than support their team to the end, I have NEVER bellowed it for thousands to hear.) Also, apparently being named Neil makes you less of a human being.

Drunk Redskins fan to Cardinals kicker Neil Ruckers:
Hey, Neil! You suck! Your name is Neil! That's almost as bad as being named Carl. Or Dwayne. Neil, Neil, Neil, Neil...

And on and on. I have to say, it made my previous attempts at trash talking - i.e. dissing Duke's Gothic architecture - sound not so lame after all.

All in all it was a fun day. Even with the oppressive heat, hellacious traffic, and Brady/Patriots trash-talking on the shuttle to parking. And I do actually have a picture of me at the game, but it's on the roommate's camera. Will post later.

Movie Review: Michael Clayton

Saturday night I went with the roomie to see "Michael Clayton."

I give it 3 stars. The plot was original and engaging. It could have been a John Grisham thriller. The book version, as the movie versions never reflect Grisham's talent, at least in my opinion. The camerawork was different, with unique angles and a less polished picture. It made it seem very real and up-close.

The acting was excellent. The reason I wanted to see it was George Clooney, and he did not disappoint. The supporting cast was good as well. Tom Wilkinson was the most impressive

The main problem was that the middle dragged and only redeemed itself because the ending was so good. It may have been because I was quite tired, but had I rented it I may have been tempted to turn it off. But I'm glad I paid X amount of dollars to see it and stuck with it.

It's not a must see, but it would be worth renting.

And there's about two minutes where it's just George in a cab. Just George. (It's not as boring as it sounds.) I probably would have paid just to see that.

Monday, October 22, 2007


A push for everyone to watch CNN's amazing documentary "Planet in Peril." Airing Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 p.m. And if you can't watch that, at least watch the panel of experts on Thursday night, discussing how all of this really does affect everyone.

CNN takes viewers around the world in a two-part, four-hour documentary that examines our changing planet. This worldwide investigation, shot in high definition, looks at four key issues: climate change, vanishing habitats, disappearing species and human population growth.

To tell this story, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin traveled to some of the most remote and remarkable places on Earth. From exposing illegal wildlife trading undercover in Southeast Asia to seeing first–hand the devastating effects of deforestation in Brazil, they have gathered evidence on the unsettling changes taking place all around us.

Planet in Peril premieres October 23 and 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

Off soapbox now. Real entry coming tomorrow or Wednesday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"It's not strange, unusual maybe, eccentric in a quaint way, like dessert spoons." -Ned, Pushing Daisies

I'm sure I've written about it before in here, but I love rain. I like the way it sounds hitting the window. (Even better when it hits a skylight.) I like the way it smells. I like how everything looks after a good shower. I like how it cleanses everything it touches. I like to put on a hoodie and PJ pants and curl up with a cup of tea and a movie or book.

Or, you know, I like to get up at 6:30 in the morning, trudge to work, freeze half-to-death for 8 hours, have my commute time doubled because the metro is stuck for 30 minutes on the track one station before I get off due to another train having mechanical problems. Then walk a mile home with increasingly wet jeans, missing taking a shower in street water by inches, and still get whistled at by idiots in a pickup truck.

But really, I have had way worse experiences. Last summer's fall in mud/soapy shoe/missed bus/refusing to cry on side of street debacle comes to mind. And even more incidents, sadly. (All of which would be obsolete were either of my 2005 rainy day inventions to come to fruition: shower curtain/umbrella hybrid, and giant "hamster" ball. And these aren't some harebrained schemes, I have drawings.)

However, I am now at home in front of a heater, sprawled on the living room floor with tea and my blanket, watching "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" and listening to the traffic outside my window rush through the rain. A satisfying sound.

Now a brief rundown of the past week:

Old friends: Saturday, at two separate meetings, I got to spend time with my best friends from high school, Brett and Genie. They are my oldest friends (known since 5ish and 14ish, respectively.) and I love that as much as some things change, this never really does. I had lunch with Brett and his wife and her parents downtown. It was really great to just chill and catch up, and get to know each other.

I then met up with Genie and two of her friends. We went to Union Station, and then to King Street in Alexandria for some shopping. I had never been here before but I will definitely be going back. It had cute and unique boutiquey type shops, but also some chain stores. We had dinner at a casual Italian restaurant, and ended the night gossiping and laughing.

All in all it was just really great to catch up with two of my most favorite people.

Sunday: *Warning Shannon: Mention of sports. Skip ahead to next section.*
Yes, I planned my Sunday around the Patriots/Cowboys game, as they were indeed showing it here. I have no idea how I became that person who schedules things around sports. I really really don't. But it was a good game and a great end to the weekend.

Work: I am still at the same temp job and it is getting better. I'm getting to write more. Granted it's just writing letters, but every letter has to be different, so there's room for creativity. And I'm certainly learning a lot. I never thought I'd know so much about patent reform that is for sure. And no, I don't really want to know about patent reform, but oh well. Though, with all this newly acquired patent knowledge, I should begin to explore patenting my rainy day inventions before someone steals my idea. Of course, this would be pointless if a certain bill is passed which would weaken my patent's validity and stifle innovation. (And that's a preview of what the 42 letters I wrote on the subject were about.)

Ok, this is far too long. No pictures because I forgot my camera last weekend. And all attempts to take pictures of the rain outside my window tonite failed. Potentially picture-worthy weekend coming up, so we shall see. Lovely weekend wishes to all.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just keep swimming...

Very quick update as I am exhausted with a hundred things left to do before bed and "CSI" is on.

I got a temp job this week - emphasis on the temp - which I am supposed to be able to keep 2-4 weeks. We'll see. It's a job, it's a paycheck, it has some good points but some bad points too. But I'm just trying to look at it as just another little detour or trial period before the real thing. Which will begin...eventually.

Sidenote: They just showed a commercial for the New England/Dallas football game - does that mean they will actually be showing it? So far the number one downside of living here is that when Washington or Baltimore play, they don't show any other NFL games. Grrr...

I have done little this week except work. I did have a good dinner with friends one night, and hang out with the roomie others, but other than that it's been work and not enough sleep.

But this past weekend was nice. I went into DC with the roommate and her visiting friend. Explored the wares at Eastern Market and walked a lot on the Mall. It was insanely hot for October though, which is really not cool. But luckily... it was finally Fall! Except as I am apt to do when the weather changes, I under-estimated what a high of 70ish meant. I.e. - I didn't wear a coat and no hat, so my ears throbbed for an hour. Tomorrow I will be the only person wearing a hat, but at least my inner ear won't be bleeding. (I don't think my inner ear actually bleeds, but it definitely feels like it.)

I haven't figured out how to respond to comments on here, so if you've left one, thank you. They make me smile.

Here are a few pictures from this past weekend. I will probably start to upload them to my Webshots account at some point, which I still haven't updated with London pics in...a year, wow.

Anyway, lovely weekend wishes to all as usual!

Eastern Market - an area with a various stalls, produce, flowers, etc. on the weekends. Not as Portobello Road as I was hoping, but still nice and worth repeat trips.
Phone conversation with Joey:
Me: I have to find North Carolina Avenue.
Joey: Why, so you can steal the sign?
(While I do really want a street sign with "Carolina" in it, I don't think I'll be making my "purchase" in D.C.) CapitolView of the Washington Monument from the Capitol.The White House and my abnormally large head. As Joey pointed out, had I moved slightly to the left, I would have blocked it. Haha. Until the engraved invitation comes, this is as close as my big head and I can get.
(Sea glass earrings bought at Eastern Market.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"All these assumptions society makes. Get a job, eat food, live in a house. It's facism. Absolute [sic] facism." -Mason, Dead Like Me

Small update before the weekend.

On Wednesday I got a very un-expected call from a recruitment/temp agency that had seen my resume posted on Automatically they scored a few points for not being an insurance company attempting to recruit me for sales, which thus far have been the only people to contact me out of the blue.

Anyway, they had a lead on a temp writing job and wanted to speak with me further. So I walked into Ballston, took the metro a few stops, then took a bus, to their office in Tyson's Corner. (Oh the glories of not driving.) After many little tests and chatting, they submitted my info to the job. As of now I haven't heard anything. But it would be good to have some income for a few weeks while I look for something permanent.

In the meantime, today they had a job working for a few hours as a receptionist at a law firm in the Courthouse area. So I did that. I guess it's a good day when only one person screams at you over the phone, and at least it was in English. And to hear a lawyer get a room of lawyers to quiet down by screaming, "All rise!", well, it made me laugh to myself entirely too much.

As for the interview last Friday, I think it went ok. I'm not crazy about the job, and the commute really is not ideal, but I'm holding out on a final judgment until I hear anything. Normally I can get a feel for what they were thinking, or how they perceived me, but not this time. They did email earlier this week for a writing sample, which I sent, but as of now I haven't heard anything. Which goes for pretty much everything these days.

I don't have any city pics, but as I finish my room I may post some of it. Here is the more finished part and usually my favorite part of any room: my desk.
Complete with my first Caramel Apple Cider of the season. :-) I should just give up now and buy stock in Starbucks.
And the piece de resistance - the first and only covered bulletin board I (and Mom) will ever make. If there is a trick to a staple gun, Mom and I did not find it.
And because I just have too much stuff, shelves. And the bad part is I still have a rolling plastic cart full of more stuff. If anyone ever sees me attempt to buy post-it notes, note cards, or note pads, you have my permission to tackle me.

Maybe I'll have something more exciting next time. Lovely weekend wishes to all! :-)

Monday, October 1, 2007

First week down

Fall is in the air. Sure, it was about 80 degrees today, but it's so close I can smell it. I am actually not a huge fan of summer, so I am more than ready for a new season. I live on a tree-lined street now, and I am very much ready for the leaves to start to change, and then fall. I'm ready for them to crunch under my feet. Ready for cozy sweaters, socks and boots, and basketball!

This weekend was the perfect opening to Fall. It was absolutely beautiful. A great reason to abandon the decorating and organizing duties, and get out of the apartment.

Saturday I went with Karey and Ashley to climb the bell tower near the Iwo Jima memorial. It provided a great view of D.C. across the river, with the background music of the bells ringing (loudly) in the background. (And by background, I mean two feet behind and above us.)
After that Ashley led us to a street fair in Clarendon. Lots of great jewelery, arty, and historial-esque fares in the stalls. Sadly, no free food samples, but the day was too nice to make too much of a difference.

Sunday I got up far too early to go to a non-denominational church about two minutes from my apartment. It was a very small congregation, with a significantly older crowd. It was good, but I will be trying a few more before making a decision.

After that, I decided to head into the city for the first time since moving. I had seen a crafts fair advertised called "Crafty Bastards." Automatically, it's going to have to be awesome since it has one of my top five inappropriate words in the title. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. After failing to write the address down, I ended up wandering around Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan areas for more than an hour - in vain. It was a nice walk, pretty outside, and it's always good to see new areas. But after my feet started crying and my throat started begging for relief, I back-tracked to a Starbucks, and then decided to give up and follow a sign toward the White House.

Which I found, so at least I'm not so directionally challenged and lost-prone I can't find that. I sat on a bench in a little park across from it and read for a while, resisting the urge to call Mom and say, "I'm reading a book! In front of the White House!" Instead I settled for reading, and tourist-watching, and stealing a glance at it occasionally and grinning.

And I'm ok with being a bit of a dork. I still get a feeling of comfort and joy when Goldsboro's Center Street is lit up at Christmas. The Old Well still takes my breath away and Big Ben makes me instantly smile. I think as long as the familiar sites of a place excite you, as long as the ordinary things never become mundane, then you're doing something right.

And now it is Monday/Tuesday and it's back to organizing and job hunting. It is a very frustrating search, but I know something will have to change eventually. I hope.