Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 213: Perseverance

Not new: eating peanut butter out of the jar with a butter knife

New: celebrating one month of deliberately and painfully NOT BUYING A SINGLE* BOOK!! It has been a goal of mine for awhile, and I set out and decided to make July book-free. Which I did! While I normally consider self-control a highly over-rated and slightly ridiculous virtue, I can now see an upside or two.

Must go now, decide which book to buy tomorrow that I've been pining over for the past month!

*Technically, I did buy one book. But it was a guidebook, it was a gift, and since it was for a friend's birthday that was in May, I don't think it counts. And one book is still a new thing compared to my normal monthly purchase of...more than one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 212: Change, change, change

Maybe he saw me gawking at his plane from the metro. Maybe he reads the blog, thinks I may be a fan. (Though if he did read it he'd know I have no money.) Either way, today I got hit up for support/vote/money from Mr. Barack Obama. Because of my zeal for political and social issues and groups, I sign up for a lot of email listervs and mailing lists, and am hit up quite often. But this is the first letter received from Mr. Obama.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 211: Freelance

With a desire to both write more, and save a little more, I have been looking for freelance writing opportunities, and today I applied for my first one. They say the first year is mostly rejection, but at least it's a start. And maybe a year from now I'll finally have a new thing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 210: Change you can believe in!

My commute takes me by Reagan National Airport every day. I like it, as just past the train tracks is the airport, just past that are the runways, and just past them are the Potomac. It's not an extraordinary building or anything, but there is something peaceful about my metro train moving along as a plane takes off at the same time. Same forward motion, same goal, same human ingenuity that created both. But different enough to be unique and to make me take notice as one pulls away as the other one glides up.

Today, fighting exhaustion, I glimpsed the tail of a plane with a very distinctive "O." Knowing full well that I don't have good luck and never see anyone, I grinned, and as a gap in the buildings appeared I saw the rest of the white plane, just like on the news, and "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN" stenciled on the sides. I saw Barack Obama's plane! And the door was open, too! But, no, I didn't see him. But I saw his plane! And I think it's kind of cool.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 209: Missed Connection

I feel like I have lived on Craig's List the past year. First the original apartment hunt, then the job hunt, then the activities hunt, now another apartment hunt, followed shortly by another activities hunt. But I never posted before, until tonite, as part of my the 2008 goals I have with my friends. I made my first post in the Missed Connections section, completely fake, but fun.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 208: Sprechen sie Batman?

The last time I saw Christian Bale on the big screen, was at an American cinema on my last night in Berlin with Ashley. It was the first movie I had seen overseas and the most English I heard our entire stay in Germany. (Not a bad thing, the no English, just complicated.) And today Ashley and I, our feet firmly on Virginia soil, saw Mr. Bale as Batman, and his friends, on the big screen in America. No waiting in the lobby until just before the movie starts. No German conversation in the background. No daringly riding the U-bahn without a ticket afterward. I'm pretty sure, as much as I loved Europe, all I wanted that night was home. And today, I found myself really just wanting a little bit of Germany. But it was still fun, both times.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 207: Reading by Fountains, of course

While waiting to meet friends for a movie, I left work and went to the Navy Memorial to read and people watch. I always say I am going to go downtown and read or walk around after work instead of go home and crash, and today I finally did.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 206: More books, geez!

I think my next blog project is just going to be about books, I feel like that is what this one tends to be anyway. Tonite I had my monthly book club meeting, for the first time for a book I picked. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. Interesting, to say the least, as his tend to be, but good. And as usual I am in awe of his writing skills.

Beforehand I killed time at Barnes and Noble, naturally, and took pictures of all the books I want to read. This is blatantly ripped off from my friend, Karey. I usually just write them down, but inevitably lose the receipt or to do list sticky note, and forget about them. But now I have photographic record on my phone. Like I needed another way to spend more money on books.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 205: Next stop...your stop

Continuation of yesterday's drama meant I had to leave work an hour and a half early, the earliest I've ever left with no warning, to hopefully seal the deal...again. And consumed with worry on the way back, I missed my stop. Sitting on the metro, reading the sign, and only as the train pulled away did I think "hey, that's yours, doors aren't closed, get up, run." Or, just close your eyes and breathe and wait for the next one. That works, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 204: "Don't even worry, we're gonna make it." (David Noel and friends)

I've lost count of how many times I've used this quote, this mantra, as a subject line or topic in a post. But some days it's all I have. Not today, however, one of the worst days I've ever had, but at least I had people helping me along. A lot. Highly stressful situation on top of another highly stressful situation, but I didn't cry. I always, always cry. I panic attacked and shook and pulled my hair and couldn't breathe but I didn't cry. Drama with the apartment we thought we had, but it hopefully will work out. (no jinx no jinx no jinx) And if not, David said we're gonna make it, and Roy's Boys don't lie. That much.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 203: "I like Tofu. It's very...adaptable." (DI Carlisle, Blackpool)

Another work lunch today, hooray for free good food. This time at Asian Bistro, which is directly across from the office, but which I have never tried. I got...something, can't remember, and a salad, with tofu, which I purposefully ordered for the first time. The only other time I had it I liked it, but didn't realize what it was until afterward. (Probably would not have tried it had I known, I am very picky and prejudiced about food.) It was good, as was the peanut buttery sauce that came with it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 202: Unstoppable

Since getting my fancy, schmancy* new laptop in December, I have slowly been trying its various features and capabilities. Once I got over the thrill of it not taking an hour to open iTunes or a week to shut down, I realized Fransisco and I could broaden our horizons. Including, burning DVDs, which after many hours of fiddling around, I finally did. Which is far too exciting and makes me think I should step away from my desk a bit more often. Or...find more things to burn.

*Ok, it's not that fancy. But it is quite schmancy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 201: G Street, here we come!

How do two lucky ladies celebrate finding an apartment? Complimentary mimosas at Kramer's of course! My first mimosa in celebration of my first apartment in DC. I don't like orange juice, but love champagne, and I now quite love mimosas too. And my new apartment*!

*No jinx, bit of paperwork to get through but for all intents and purposes it's ours!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 200: 200!!!

Ok, so I completely forgot that today was my 200th new thing, so I did not do anything 200 times. Oh well. I did, however, go to a Tapas restaurant for lunch with some co-workers, my first Tapas experience. And there very well may have been 200 pieces of food on the table. How I have not tried a place like this before, is astonishing. A place where you are encouraged to order multiple dishes, AND there is Sangria! I think I have a new friend.

(I also reached a new level of craftiness, when none of my accessory belts would work with my dress today, and I dipped into my scrapbook ribbon stash. Voila, from scrapbooking embellishment to ribbon belt.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 199: We all live in a yellow submarine

As much as I love the Beatles, and I do, very very much, I really don't like "Yellow Submarine." I just don't. Give me "Something" or "Hey Jude" or "Let it Be" and I will be set for hours. But in need of a new thing, preferably one that could be done whilst ironing, I decided to iron standing on one foot while alternating humming "Yellow Submarine" and "Eye of the Tiger." I have no idea why, but once starting on Submarine, it inexplicably veered into the latter. And as it is quite hard to iron on one foot and maneuver a dress and hot iron, I didn't question my brain's decision. I hardly ever do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 198: Thank goodness for Craig's List

The apartment search continues, and tonite I attended my first ever open house. A free for all for everyone looking for that perfect cheap, safe, clean, close to the metro, apartment. Very much liked the place, but did not like the open house feel. Like a bunch of vultures circling a carcass, only the carcass had high ceilings and lots of space, and the vultures were armed with rental applications and checkbooks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 197: Picnic

I was able to see even more of Old Town today, as my company had a picnic in a park by the waterfront. My first company picnic, first trip to the park, and first taste of Red, Hot, and Blue barbecue. (Acceptable, but nothing compared to NC's, naturally.) It was unbearably hot, but still fun to get out of the office for a bit. And while I at least had on a sleeveless shirt so I don't have a farmer's tan, I do now have two very brown arms, and two pasty legs. Guess I should have stretched away from the picnic table for at least a little sun.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 196: Actually venturing off King Street

Even though I've had my job for six months, I tend to walk the same path to and from it everyday. Go to the same places for lunch. Go into the same chain stores or cute shops. Even during a year in which I am always searching for new things to do, I still do the same old thing most of the time. But in the smallest effort imaginable today, I turned down a street I've never turned down, past a church and cemetery I've never seen before, into a post office I've never been in before. Baby steps, I guess, to get me to see more of Old Town than just King Street

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 195: Moving on up, still

It has been nearly a year since I moved up to DC and my current apartment. Which, in keeping with what appears to be the tradition started in college, means I must move again. I am, generally speaking, a quite restless individual, but I really don't like moving, don't like packing, don't like change, and would love to stay in a place for longer than I do. Maybe the next one will be the charm? Either way, I am moving downtown with one of my best friends and former roommate, Brandie, and today I did my first bit of apartment hunting in the city. Not bad, but the search will continue. Hopefully not for forever.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 194: Trust the Gorton's fisherman?

When it comes to seafood, I like shrimp, breaded clams, and the cheese biscuits at Red Lobster. And that's it. But I really like shrimp, so I think it makes up for dismissing the rest of the ocean. I generally go for the shrimp in the blue box, but that wasn't on sale, so tonite I bought Gorton's Fisherman shrimp.
I am kind of surprised this is the first time I've had his shrimp as the "trust the Gorton's fisherman" is one of my favorite commercial jingles. (After "do a dollop of Daisy" and "french vanilla cool whip," despite liking neither sour cream nor cool whip.)

Unfortunately, I think Mr. Gorton forgot to put shrimp in his shrimp, as it just tasted like breaded air. Or it could have been my slightly over-cooking it, or the weird organic ketchup I had with it. Oh well, it was on sale so I have another box, will give Mr. Gorton and his fancy yellow raincoat another chance.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 193: TGIF!!!

Normally, I would not count getting off at a different metro stop a new thing. There are plenty of stops I have yet to travel through, and I just had it as an un-spoken rule. But since there are technically two stops within walking distance of my apartment, and after 10 months I had never ventured to the other, today's getting off and walking home from the Virginia Square station, is a new thing.

The main purpose was so I could visit the re-located, non-rubble Staples, and buy blank DVDs, also a new thing. It also meant I walked by a previous unknown of courtyard and fountain, which naturally will have to explored further at a later date.

Now, it has been a loooong week and I am thinking of going to bed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 192: "You're a PILTS - Person I'd Like to Stab." (Curtis' Mom, The Rocker)

I like movies, I like new places, and I like free things, so tonite's new thing was a trifecta.

I went to Silver Spring, Maryland to attend a free screening of the movie The Rocker. I started the evening leaving work in Virginia, changed lines and picked up my friend Elizabeth in D.C., and ended in Maryland. Gotta love the metro. (And yes, the movie wasn't really free after I paid for the metro, but in my head, it was still free.)
Other than the airport in Baltimore, I've never been to Maryland. Downtown Silver Spring was quite lovely, with a nice open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment area. Dinner and catching up with Elizabeth, a small margarita, and then a funny, funny movie, was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 191: Sitting, for just a minute.

This week has just been beating me up:
  • New project at work that is great but stressful.
  • Not enough sleep last week at home resulting in zombie-like existence this week.
  • Running errands today, including to Staples, only to find that my local one has been demolished. Nothing but crushed cinder blocks and dirt, that I stared at for a full minute in confusion.
After the disappearing Staples act, I gave up the errands and went to Cosi for a nice sit-down dinner, as I've only ever gone for lunch. Just me, my Mojito lemonade, baked chicken and cheese dish, and Pride and Prejudice. And just sitting still for a bit. Ahh...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 190: Hello, Lodz

Not letting my lack of funds or vacation time stop me from travelling this summer, I pulled out the old* atlas and opened to a random page, closed my eyes and pointed, and decided to look up plane tickets to said destination. (Just for fun, of course.)

The first two times I landed on pages on space. I don't know even where to begin to look up plane tickets for this. (But if only I could.)
The third time I got Lodz, Poland. Hardly the exotic, unheard of locale I was aiming for, but it will do. (Though I will have to do more research on it as all I can remember comes from my History of the Holocaust class.)
Leaving in November, clearly the only time worth going, I could get a return ticket to Warsaw through Swiss Air for just $1052. (Really not too bad, I think.) From there it would be just a nice bus or train ride to Lodz, Poland's second largest city.

This would be far more interesting if I blindly picked a random city and just went there. Maybe one day. But at least I have options, thanks Lodz.

*Atlas is literally old, from the 1960s, from Poppy's house. I just realized it still has West and East Germany on it. Off to check out how Africa looks. I love old maps.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 189: I need a vacation after my vacation

It's my first day back to work after a week's vacation and I'm lame. I'm tired and cranky and lazy and lame. And I have a sore collar bone thanks to a run-in with the trunk of my cab as the cab driver yesterday nailed me on the sunglasses and shoulder with the trunk lid. (Complete accident, he felt really bad, did not knock a few dollars off the fare.)

So today I had a sore collar from my near-death experience, and had to take a backpack to work. Those are the new lame things. I love my backpack, and lots of people use them, but it makes me look 10 years old and reverts me back to a college student who just wants to sit on the quad or sleep or work in the library or sleep.

Picture, not at all related, to un-lame this post. World War II Memorial:
(I need to figure out how to do that thing where you make something in the foreground really sharp and the stuff in the background kind of blurry. On purpose. I've only ever done it on accident.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 188: No, I am Batman

I'm kind of obsessed with the Domino's online pizza tracker. After selecting your pizza, sides, and coupons, all online, they show a status bar of where your pizza is. I know when it's being made, when it's in the bag, and when it's on its way to me. Even who is making it. (For the record, mine are almost always made by "Martini." Though I prefer a good margarita, Martini makes damn fine pies.)

I've always known I had voyeuristic tendencies (thanks Facebook) but to actually check on the status of my pizza, is kind of odd. And addicting.

But that's not the new thing, ordering and eating a Gotham City pizza is.
Oh movie tie-ins, how I love you. And Batman, too. How else would I get to eat a pizza "cloaked in pepperoni" that is also "deliciously mysterious." Absolutely brilliant. Just waiting for the Batman qualities to kick in and I'll be off to save the good citizens of Gotham from whatever villain ails them tonite. Or I'll just chill out with my pizza and let them fend for themselves.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 187: Crafty fun

I can only think of perhaps one or two birthday parties in my child/teen years that were not sleepovers. I just loved a good slumber party. But had there been scrapbooking and scrapbooking stores and apparently scrapbooking birthday parties then, like there are now, I would have been all over that. I went to my first scrapbooking b-day party today, for my future step-niece. And oh was it fun. I made a handy magnetic notepad and recovered a notebook to make a journal. A very productive Saturday, indeed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 186: "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive." (Thoams Jefferson)

I love the Fourth of July. Love it. The food. The fireworks. The history. The founding fathers. The Declaration of Independence. The fireworks. (It's the one day of the year I indulge my inner-pyro by gleefully watching other people blow things up.)

To honor all things red, white, and blue I made a patriotic desert trifle. (If you are thinking of Rachel and her trifle with "beef sauteed with peas and onions," I love you.)

For someone's who's cooking follies have been well-documented in this blog, it was quite good. And that's just not my cocky self saying so, the family thought so too. And I don't have one of those families who says nice things because they are family. (Do those even exist in real life? I feel life would be far less interesting.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 185: Blue Heaven

"It's the same 94 feet in the NBA. The same basketball, the same two hoops. But you can't replicate this. This is college basketball. It's pure. There are no nights off. There is nothing like it." (Sean May)

My love of UNC, of Chapel Hill, "of white old well" and "bell's deep booming tone" needs no introduction. And today was the rarest of days when I got to go to my favorite place on earth and do something new, see something new, the Carolina Basketball Museum.

This is what I mean when I say I'm blessed. (Well, after my family and friends and faith and good health. I'm not that obsessed.)

A small fraction of the pictures I took.

Michael Jordan's letter of intent.
Ticket from the '82 championship game, only $18!Eric Montross' shoes. Just wow.Montross' jersey and me. My favorite player ever. (Sorry David, you are a very, very close second.)
Felton's shoes and court shot location from '05 championship game.Joey and me and the world's greatest trophy.
Pretty, shiny things.Mom and her Roy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 184: Always with the 'ritas

Today I got margaritas at Chili's with mom, which we've never done before.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 183: I swear I'm a pacifist

Since I moved away from home, my room has become 10% Mom's sewing/craft room and 90% storage space. Which means last time I was home I had to move a coffee table to get to my bed. And as Joey was painting his room this time, our shared bathroom became storage as well. I had to dodge a mine field of trophies to get to my room or the toilet. (Death by 6-inch little gold tennis player is not how I want to go.)

This also meant brushing my teeth alongside five or six antique heirloom guns. So at 11:30, when I realized I had done nothing new, I grabbed a gun, set it by my bed, and went to sleep. I've never slept with a gun by my bed before. A heavy flashlight, yes. Mase, yes. My purse, yes. (The latter two during a hilarious (in retrospect) hostel experience in New York City.)

It was a large shotgun that doesn't work and I would never fire it even if it did, the kickback (is that the word) would kill me before my assailant felt the bullet. But as I've been watching loads of Doctor Who and am currently on the lookout for Daleks, it made me feel a little safer.