Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 152: Heartbreak Hotel

I will admit that I have had this weird fascination with the whole Eliot Spitzer call girl scandal.

First, it's Spitzer, and I had such high hopes for him.

Second, I just can't get over this $4300 an hour thing. I really can't.

And finally, the hotel that the dalliance allegedly happened in, is right here in my own city!

I love the monuments and memorials and museums, but I also love the tacky and tawdry. So tonite, on our way to what would become Sunday's new thing, my dear friend Karey took us by the Mayflower Hotel, so I could see it, and take pictures outside of it.
Emboldened by desert and drinks at Kramer's, another new thing, I posed with Karey, fiercely a la America's Next Top Model, outside the latest in a line of D.C. hotels to bring down a top political player.
I played serious Tourist for the night, only way geekier and without a fanny pack, and LOVED it. I have no shame. (But Spitzer sure does.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 151: "See? Drama!" (Harry, SATC: The Movie)

After what feels like an interminable wait, tonite we finally saw Sex and the City on the big screen. And as I didn't start watching the series until it was over, it meant I got to see Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, new - no reruns.
To me this show is senior year, late nights drinking, talking, and laughing with my friends. It's referencing ridiculous situations of theirs and ours in emails and conversations. It's saying "oh I had a Miranda moment" and knowing exactly what the other is talking about. It's fitting our respective characters eerily well a lot of the time. It's someone making me laugh when I need to, listening to me cry when I need to, making me not feel so crazy, and not so alone. It's not just a show. Or it was, but at some point, it got bigger, and meant so much more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 150: Jan in DC!

When it comes to my friends, I am pretty much the luckiest person in the world. Really. And today one of my best friends, who sadly lives way on the other coast, came to D.C. for the weekend. Thus I had dinner with Jan in D.C., and got to see the city with her (or at least the H&M, sight-seeing starts tomorrow) for the first time.

I am happy, that's pretty much all to be said.

Me, Jan, and Karey, at the Washington Monument the next day. (I didn't take pictures on Thursday. Oops.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 149: Always shopping or food

In a desperate search tonite for a necklace to wear with my dress for Friday night's SATC outing, I went into nearly every accessory story in the Pentagon City mall. (And King Street shops and Target and Ballston and a few others too this past week.) I finally found what I didn't know I wanted at Aldo Accessories, a store I had never previously heard of and obviously not shopped at. I came away the first time with five rings (not golden) and then went back again for the much needed necklace. Ready for Friday now!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 148: Money, money,!

The bitterness I still feel about my taxes this year, was slightly alleviated today when I got my first ever economic stimulus check. It still doesn't cancel out the amount I had to pay to the government, but it's money, so I'm not complaining. And as perhaps my last defiant act to the current administration, I am not using it to stimulate the economy, but instead letting it revitalize my savings account.

It may be petty, but it's hard to be a rebel, and a law-abiding citizen.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 147: Where Valor Proudly Sleeps

Though I worked today, I felt I needed to do something to honor the holiday. It was the perfect day, warm, breezy, and perfect to finally make a trek to Arlington National Cemetery. I pass by the Metro stop twice a day on my commute, and finally righted the wrong of never having actually stopped.

It was beautiful, humbling, and befitting of its inhabitants.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 146: "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage." (Indiana Jones)

Absolutely NO spoilers ahead.
When I was in the sixth grade, as part of a creative writing assignment, I wrote my own Indiana Jones sequel, where, exhausted after his journey to recover the Holy Grail, he went on vacation in Hawaii. Riveting, I know. (To be fair, I think I was probably influenced by the "Full House" in Hawaii episodes. Uncle Jesse and the Beach Boys have a lot of sway with me.)

Thankfully, Jr.'s latest adventure was far more exciting, and allowed me to see Indiana Jones on the big screen, for the first time. Exciting and funny, it was good, not great, yet.

Though the first one was released before I was born, and the last when I was just five, I have seen them all enough to last several people's lifetimes. Thanks in large part to my Dad, but Mom too, I don't think the channel has ever been changed in our house when Indy is on.

And I still cringe when they open the Ark of the Covenant, and still hold my breath as he decides which Grail to drink from. And despite a perpetually weak stomach, the scene where the heart is ripped from the guy's chest, is still one of my all time favorites, of any movie. I'm thinking another dozen or so viewings of this one will have me cringing and gasping too, in the good way. Nineteen years, and definitely worth the wait.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 145: Vacation all I ever wanted

Growing up two minutes from a pool, and two hours from the beach, I am no stranger to beach balls. In fact, they are the only athletic spherical object I tolerate, as they are very unlikely to cause a black eye, broken nose, or other painful ailment. But today, I bought a beach ball, for the first time with the knowledge it will likely never see water. Its sole purpose being to make it feel a little bit more like summer, in the midst of the concrete jungle, I don't get summers off world I inhabit.
I settled in to read a typically trashy beach book on my sand-like bed, using it as a pillow, only to have it shoot out from under me. (Good thing I had the bed to bounce off.) Thus I settled for it as a chin pillow, much easier to control.

I can almost feel the beach breeze in my hair or the sound of the pool filter in the background. Or maybe that's just the whirr of my air conditioner and the nightly news from the TV. Just let a girl pretend for a bit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 144: Seriously, Tar Heel through and through

My family likes to keep a running list of the myriad ways people are able to murder our last name. Churchill, the most common, is only the beginning. It ranges from Upchurch to Churchbell to Caldwell to my personal favorite, until today, Churchhell. How did my lovely last name get mutilated today? ChurchHEEL. That's right, as in Tar Heel. As in nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina as a TAR HEEL. I've never been Churchheeled before, but I like it.

Forget changing my last name if I get married. I'm going to make my husband change it to Churchheel. (Not really, I quite like my last name. And I am on a mission, for the sake of future Churchwells, to make sure everyone I meet can spell it.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 143: Cheap shot

I have been very exhausted this week, and for the first time since I started this project, I did not remember to do a new thing until the next morning. But, I have not failed. I have not betrayed the new thing a day endeavor. After searching my brain, I thought of something new. I hang my head in shame only because it's so lame, not because I have to abandon the project and move on with my life. We have a shared fileserver at work, and while working on a project, I went to open up a file, only to discover that it, and what turned out to be many others, suddenly disappeared. Thus, clearly, I was the victim of magic, and cruel Slytherin type magic, to have files disappear into the ether. Luckily, to be recovered by our resident Hermione, one of our tech people, later. (They still are not sure what happened. Only I know it was magic.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 142: "The plural of chad, is, chad?" (Ron Klain)

Since deciding that I would, at some point in the future, like a career in journalism, I've tried to tone down my political musings. (Or rants.) This is hard as I tend to wear them on my sleeve, in capital letters and neon lights, but I have been trying.

Tonite I attended a free, advance screening of "Recount," an HBO movie on the 2000 presidential "election." As an "Entertainment Weekly" subscriber, I get e-mails for advance screenings and a chance to win tickets to see them. I finally won one - of course for something I could see for free on HBO - making it my first advanced screening.

Without giving away my beliefs, the movie was very good. Funny, smartly written, and superbly acted. And teeth-grinding infuriating and I maybe teared up a teensy bit at the end. But you don't know why.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 141: Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto

I am one of the pickiest eaters I know. Not to the level of Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally," but I can see it on the horizon. But something that I am not picky about, and that I LOVE, are tomatoes. Fruit, vegetable, tomato, tomahto, I don't care. I like them raw, cooked, or marinated in Italian dressing. And tonite I liked it like an apple, and bit into a tomato the same way I do a Red Delicious. And it was delicious.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 140: "Life, London, this moment in June." (Virginia Woolf)

My walk to work through Old Town Alexandria is full of material temptations. Food, drink, clothes, jewelery, books, etc. All of which I am a fan of, but none more so than books. Though fan isn't really the correct word, more like addict. I have an addiction to books. Which is only increased when it comes to cheap books, or used books, of which there is a lovely store right in Alexandria, on the same side of the street that my twice-daily commute takes me down. Today I was lured in by a large "SALE" sign in the window, and left 30 minutes later, $22 poorer, but four books richer, including my first ever book by Virginia Woolf.
I have, sadly, not read as many of the classics as I should, but in my quest both for knowledge and better writing skills, I am trying to change that. Starting with this slim volume by Ms. Woolf on one of my favorite subjects: London.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 139: I swear my parents taught me not to play with fire

Despite the fact that I don't handle pain well, I have a surprisingly high tolerance for heat. I think it's because I'm always cold. All. The. Time. I like my showers scalding hot and sometimes when I touch a hot iron or pan, it will take a few seconds before I actually feel it. (But when I feel it, I feel it.) Thus it's not entirely far fetched that I put a candle out with my fingers. See video for proof. As I am becoming obsessed with making videos and adding audio. (The song snippet in this is my favorite line in "Rent," or at least in my top five.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 138: If I only I could get stamps in my passport, too

On a beautiful Spring day, I travelled the world.

Serbia, Madagascar, South Korea, India, Australia, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. All without leaving DC. Today various embassies opened their doors to the public to partake in their culture - food, pictures, videos, dancing, and did I mention food? I not only entered an embassy, or seven, for the first time, I also ate all sorts of food I've never tried, and to be honest, don't really know what half of it was. Which I never do.

Serbian candy and a Munchmallow. Australian lamb and cheese. (Never had lamb before.) Indian sticky sweet rice ball and something stuffed with something green. Trinidad and Tobago chicken. A Peruvian olive. And Malagasy spiced stuffed something too. And more.

It was a great day spent being transported to other places, one of my most favorite things to do, even when it doesn't require me to change time zones.

Dancer at Indian Embassy:
Peru:Madagascar:Travelling the world is tiring. Resting my battered feet in the fountain at the Sculpture Gallery:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 137: Just like Neil Armstrong

I attempted - attempted being the key word - to moonwalk tonite. See below.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 136: Vocabulary lesson

When I opened my iGoogle page tonite, I saw this word of the day:
I am always on the lookout for new words, and while I've read this one before, I've never known its exact definition. But I like it. A lot. And with a combination of a strange longing for water this week, and being on a slight chocolate and strawberries high, I wrote my own paean. Sugary sweet but it's a paean. Or maybe just a preamble to a paean. Oh well, to me it's a paean. (And now I've hit a record for repeating the same word in a post.)

One day I shall live by the shore and write a paean to the sea. To sand between the toes and saltwater in the hair. To sticky sunblock on the pages of a taffy-colored book only read in the sun. To waves crashing behind the eyes of sleeping sun bathers on plush pink towels. A paean to the sea, I shall write.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 135: Mind of Bonnie: Hermes=Uncle Jesse

I like clothes, I like fashion. But I like books and chocolate and CNN more. Thus I used to pronounce Givenchy, give-inchy. And Versace, verse-a-kay. And I would assume I probably used to slaughter Hermes as well. But nevertheless, I got a Hermes bag today.
Sure, it's a wee bit small. And if my lunch were to leak in this one like it did in my bag yesterday, there would be trouble. It reminds me of "99 Luft (Red) Balloons." (Because of course haute French fashion would make me think of a song about nuclear war.)

You can make your own paper Hermes bag too, at the Hermes web site. They have pre-designed templates, like mine, or you can color your own. The possibilities are endless.

Day 134: Watch out, Lou Dobbs, Europeans in the produce

They are expensive and not "green," but I am a sucker for the bagged salads at the grocery store. They come in so many varieties and if I don't forget about them in the crisper, are good for 2-3 meals. I've had the spinach, the fresh garden, the Italian, and today, I had the European salad-in-a-bag.

I had never seen the European kind before and snatched it up, always on the hunt for something new. Other than some big purple leaves that were actually quite bitter tasting, I'm not sure how it's different from the other salads. Or what makes it European. I think it was maybe 10 cents more though. Have to factor in the Euro to Dollar conversion, after all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 133: Is this how Picasso got his start?

I am nothing if not a creature of habit. I get set in my ways, no matter how trivial, and if I deviate I get cranky and disoriented. But today I made a tiny change and applied my make-up with a brush instead of a sponge. Ooh wild woman.

I realized a few weeks ago that I have been wearing the same make-up, done the exact same way, since high school. Which, as of next week, has been over for six years. Time for a change. I like to paint, and it turns out, I'm pretty good at painting my face. Which luckily, did not look like this:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 132: Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, who is the greatest! :-) My new thing of the day? Being wished a happy mother's day as well. I was leaving "Baby Mama," - an appropriate movie choice for the day I thought - when an older man wished me as such, then, upon seeing my polite but confused expression added, "if you are a mother." I'm choosing to take it as a compliment, knowing how awesome my own mother is, and knowing that I do not generally give off a nurturing, maternal vibe.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 131: That Pillsbury doughboy really knows his stuff

I guess I have been really going for the past few weeks, because by Thursday the only thing getting me through the last two days of the work week was knowing that come Friday I could crash and not wake up for 48 hours, if I so chose.

I did end up sleeping off and on all of Saturday, giving into the exhaustion and my love of "How I Met Your Mother" DVDs. I did rise to eat breakfast and lunch, which consisted of eating an entire can of Pillsbury crescent rounds. I'm not proud of it, but it is in keeping with my all carb diet. At least I'm committed? Starting tomorrow I eat more healthy, really.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 130: Isn't it ironic?

This is probably only going to make sense to me, thus I pull out the "it's my blog and I can write what I want to."

(Most of the following originally written in an email to my friends. This doesn't matter. Just journalism school training kicking in, gotta cite my sources.)

After weeks of pondering, I wore something ironically. To be specific, a dress shirt, sweater vest, and Converse shoes, and I did so, ironically.

Come again?

A few weeks ago I read a slightly ridiculous article on polygamist wives' "fashion." It mentioned that something like the French braid wasn't likely to make a comeback, unless "a Brooklyn
hipster wore one ironically." Today, when I realized I had not brought a spare change of shoes, and looked like a cross between Juno and Annie Hall*, I decided I was dressed ironically. Finally.

I think to dress ironically is to wear something you know doesn't perfectly match or isn't in style, but to do so with confidence, panache, a tongue in cheek way of saying "fuck you society, I'll wear a French braid, I'll wear sneakers and a sweater vest!"

I think too much, about stupid things, but also, new things.

*I've never actually seen this movie, I could be way off.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 129: Bad bad bad

If only all new things could be light and fluffy and inconsequential to my life. As pretty much all of them have been. But today I realized I was part of a credit card scam, a very not good, but still new, thing.

When I bought flowers from, I got a pop-up at the end asking if I wanted a $20 coupon for my next purchase on FTD. I, of course, clicked yes, and that was it, they said I'd get an email. Which I did, from Reservation Rewards, which I just assumed was the name of FTD's reward program, which every web site seems to have now. Neither the pop-up, nor the email, mentioned that it cost money to enroll in this program.

But when I checked my bank account online, there was a $1 charge from this Reservation Rewards. I did some research and found this blog entry, with dozens of comments from people who fell into the same trap, from varying web sites, only they were charged $10-$12 a month, some of them for a year before they realized it.

I called the company, who knew my address, email, and credit card information, and told them to cancel it and refund me the $1, and to not charge me anything else. There is a class action lawsuit against them in Connecticut, so I cancelled my debit card too, just in case.

I shop online a lot, and am very careful. At first I felt stupid for falling for this, but it just looked like a part of FTD's site, and having never used the site, I thought it was normal. Just a warning to all who shop online to stay away from Reservation Rewards.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Day 128: Hola, Bonjour, Jambo...

In English alone, there are a myriad of ways to say "hello." Hi. Hey. What's up? Yo. G'day. How you doin'? And so on, with more ways in every other language too, obviously. And today I added three new ways to say "hello," in three languages I know no other words in.

Icelandic: Godan dag, to Bjork, who is Icelandic.

Gaelic: Dia duit, to Ewan McGregor, who is Scottish, so therefore Gaelic, I think?

Luxembourgish: Moien, to George Clooney, who is not from Luxembourg, but it's his birthday, and he's pretty, and I would love to say "moien" to him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day 127: May flowers

Mother's Day is pretty much the same date, or at least very close, every year. But somehow me, Ms. Anal Retentive, thought it was in two weeks, not a mere six days away. So I took to the Internet to do some shopping, which is almost as fun as shopping in real life. I bought flowers for my Mom, a first for me to her, and a first for me, as I've never ordered flowers for anyone before.

Kind of hard to do when I know nothing about flowers, but I know what's pretty and I had an idea of what would make Mom happy, so I went with it. We'll see what happens come Thursday. (As I clearly did not publish this until Sunday, she loved them.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 126: Ole!

I already celebrated Cinco De Mayo on Friday in the adult manner, with margaritas! Thus today I went to the opposite end of the spectrum, and celebrated by coloring a picture to honor the Mexican victory over the French. What does a coloring page have to do with a military victory? About as much as a frozen lime drink. But both sure are fun!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day 125: Being a lady

As my most favorite food, chicken fingers, has the word "fingers" in it, I thought there would be a chance I would enjoy lady fingers as well. (Loosest reasoning ever? Yes.) And as I am always looking for ways to up the class factor, I snacked on lady fingers tonite. With my pinkie in the air, naturally.
They were only alright. I prefer them surrounded by ice cream and coffee and chocolate in the most delectable desert around, tiramisu.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Day 124: I wanna be like Mike

How do three Carolina girls start out a beautiful Spring Saturday? Basketball, of course!
I shot some hoops (or a bunch of air balls) with Brandie and Karey, in a basketball jersey (David's), with a tiny little basketball. (Named Eric.)
A combination of not playing in a really long time, the aforementioned small ball (which I still think is cute, just not practical), and poor form, means I kind of sucked. And that maybe I shouldn't be so hard on the boys when they miss lay ups, because I'm not as good at them as I used to be.Weak weak wrists, but at least I got a little air(ish).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Day 123: Dos de Mayo

I had dinner and margaritas with Karey and Brandie at Lauriol Plaza, where there are margaritas I've been hearing about for more than a year. And they, and the night, were worth the wait.

Friends+phone+glasses+magic mirror/margaritas=Friday happiness

Me and Brandie:Me and Karey:
Tourist shot, Brandie and Karey on the metro escalator:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 122: Rock the vote

I voted in the NC presidential primary today. I've voted in a presidential election, and a regular primary, but never a presidential primary. Hopefully my vote will actually be counted this time.

I also went shopping at Whole Foods. If only it weren't so expensive to be an ethical eater.