Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 274: Yunagi?

Another month, another book, another book club, another meeting with me and just one other girl. Oh well, I happen to quite like her and we have a good time with our club of two. Tonite we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant, where I tried my first sushi. No raw fish for me, just lots of veggies and shrimp and goodness. I am definitely a fan. And I kind of want more already.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 273: Just say no!

The mornings are cooler, pumpkins are for sale, the leaves are falling on the sidewalk in Old Town, making every morning commute a potentially deadly experience, and the allergies appear to be on the way back in. Nowhere near as bad as they were in the Spring, but I still have a perpetually stuffed nose and yucky cough.

In the middle of a coughing fit on the metro this afternoon, the woman in front of me turned around and gave me a cough drop, my first cough drop from a stranger. On the metro. I was getting up to leave when she said "don't worry, no medicine, just Vitamin C," OR "don't worry, no meth, just Vitamin C." Hmm... Either way, as sweet as the gesture, I don't take food items from strangers, with or without meth. So the coughing will continue for now.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 272: I love the word bastard

My first week here, a year ago this past week, I went in search, in vain, for a craft fair. I of course got lost and didn't make it. So today I atoned for that, and with clear directions firmly in hand, went to the Crafty Bastards craft fair in Adams Morgan.

Jewelery, clothing, stamps, cards, and more! I got several cute things, a great plate of Pad Thai, and enough hipster fashion tips to last a lifetime. I spent two hours, half the time dodging rain drops, the other time cursing wearing a black shirt - love you DC weather - happily ensconced amongst crafty bastards. Happy day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 271: Everybody reads

It's been a dreary few days here in Washington. Luckily, I love the rain and dreariness. Except for when I have to be out in it. Except for when there is a National Book Festival going on, mere minutes from my home, which I attended today.
I got a late start and missed a few people I wanted to hear, but saw the big three I had hoped to see, and had a nice few hours surrounded by soggy, fellow book lovers.

Tiki Barber, who is quite short in person. Sadly, I did not get to heckle him, as had been my original intention. (The heckle? "Hey, Tiki, remember when you called Eli Manning a joke? Haha, how funny was it when they won the Super Bowl without you?" Hey, at least it's better than my stand-by Duke heckle, "Your architecture sucks!")

Bob Schieffer, who was awesome. Intelligent, funny, and a brilliant journalist. And, totally friends with Helen Thomas. Cokie Roberts, also quite short. She spoke about the founding mothers, with some really great stories. Sadly I had to leave before it was over as I'd been standing for three hours and thought my legs were going to fall off.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 270: Nothing but net

This net is important:

But nowhere near as important as this net:

So today I donated to the Nothing but Nets campaign, which will donate a mosquito net on my behalf to a family in need in Africa. So far they've donated over 2 million nets, preventing the spread of malaria to scores of people.

Thanks to Rick Reilly's SI article, where I first learned about this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 269: Thanks, Jose

As previously mentioned, the current apartment has a very conveniently placed Mexican restaurant/margarita machine right across the street. However, as the food is quite crappy and the drinks over-priced, the roommate and I were proactive and made our own B&B margaritas: cheaper, stronger, and tastier! Now just to get the liquor license and signage and we'll be stealing customers from across the street in no time.

Making the 'ritas:
Testing the 'ritas:
The good thing about drinking is that you can do silly things and blame it on the influence, when in reality, you've had about two sips and are just being your normal silly self. Thus, we present, B&B try on the tea cozy, and blame it on the drink, though we'd do it perfectly sober, too:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 268: Danger danger

Despite the fact that I have to fit into a maid of honor dress in approximately two weeks, my dear mother still sent me a recipe for the "Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake Recipe EVER!*" Basically, it's a chocolate cake you make in a coffee mug. AKA the best kind of Bonnie cake ever! So I made a chocolate cake in a coffee mug.
Sadly, while it was relatively easy to make, it didn't taste very chocolatey, even though it had cocoa AND chocolate chips. Maybe the "splash of vanilla" wasn't splashy enough. (Seriously, what kind of recipe uses "splash" as a measurement?) But it wasn't bad for cake you make in a coffee cup in the microwave. Next time I'll try a little more liquid, as the roomie suggested was the problem.

*Emphasis added. I may or may not be a bit of a drama queen. Particularly when it comes to chocolate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dy 267: I fought the law...

I remember this great show on NBC called Something So Right, with Mel Harris and Jere Burns. They get married, try to blend their lives, kids, exes, etc., and hilarity ensues, of course. One episode the daughter comes home and says, "Guess who's pregnant?," and the Dad flips out. Then the son comes home and says, "Guess who's pregnant?," and the Mom freaks out. So they all agree next time to say, "I'm not pregnant, but guess who is?"*

That's a roundabout way of saying I didn't commit a felony or witness a crime, but I got stopped by a cop today.

Leaving the metro, iPod in, distracted by a hectic work day, I realize a cop is making eye contact with me. Important to note that:
  • I am not wearing my jeans with potential exposure issues.
  • I am not carrying a to-go cup of margarita.
  • I did not jaywalk, most shockingly of all.

So I stop and he introduces himself as my neighborhood cop, with a "footbeat" encompassing several blocks around my apartment. I got scared when he knew which apartment was mine, but that's his job, and he said he's seen me in the mornings. And he talked to the roommate on move-in day.

I'm sure he got suspicious, however, when the color drained from my face and my voice shook at first, because I was afraid something had happened at the apartment, but he seems like a nice guy. And, I mean, it can't hurt to have a cop on your side. (Ignoring the movies and songs that try to persuade us otherwise.)

*Later on, the joke continues with the daughter saying, "I didn't throw up at school today, but guess who did?" Oh well, I thought it was funny.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 266: See a penny, pick it up

I think it only fitting on the day they announce the new designs for the penny, I should order a book from Amazon for only a penny. (Total cost was $4.00, with S&H, but the book was only a penny.) I ordered "The Writer's Craft," edited by John Hersey. At some point I'm sure I'll stop buying all these books on how to write, and actually write, but for now I'm amassing quite the inspirational collection until it hits.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 265: Tea for two

Despite having no rhythm or dancing ability to speak of, when a stage beckons, I'm certainly not going to turn it down. And when that "stage" happens to be the window seat in my apartment, with conveniently placed spotlight-type lights, I have no choice but to tap dance in my pajamas and Nine West loafers during a commercial break in the Emmys. (Sidenote: Hell yes 30 Rock!)

Just a little more practice and I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 264: George's town

After a week of fighting off sleep at my desk and on the metro, I finally got to sleep in today. However, since it was such a beautiful day outside, I could not allow myself to sleep in all day, as had been the original plan. Instead I set off for some errands and some shopping in Georgetown, shopping on M street for the first time since I moved and the first time by myself.

I don't know how I let it go so long, probably something to do with the fact that I always go with someone else because I don't want to get lost. (Which of course I did but only for a little while.) I didn't get anything at the stores I went there for, but got a few good things elsewhere. And it was worth the walk and debit card stress just to hear a white white girl, dressed like a fool in short shorts, boots, and a scarf, loudly rap Kanye West's "you can be my black Kate Moss tonite." Thankfully, no one took her up on the offer, at least while I was around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 263: "But why is all the rum gone?" (Captain Jac, POTC)

Ahoy landlubbers and scalawags. Is me fourteenth favorite day of the year, talk like a pirate day, arrgh. Shiver me timbers, it was a busy day. Me hoisted the colors and was off. Me'n'th' crew seen a great grand sea beastie, th' mother of all whales, aye. Had to send some scurvy bilge rats to Davy Jones' locker, but aye, just a pirate's life for me. Time for some grog, savvy?

Thanks to Wikihow for assisting me in today's featured embarrassment, talk like a pirate day! I am celebrating by watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2 while wearing a pirate hat and talking/writing like a pirate.

I decided last summer that being a pirate* would not be such a bad thing, for several reasons:
  • Travel
  • People fear you
  • You don't technically have to bathe
  • Firearms
  • The search for treasure
  • You expect treachery and deception
  • Possibility of hot boys with long hair and sexy earrings
  • You rely on yourself
  • You get to carry a sword
And, obviously, cavorting with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom is a nice incentive, too.

*The romanticized Disney version, of course. Not the ones off the coast of Africa and Indonesia kidnapping tourists.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 262: Who says delinquency is a bad thing?

Living (virtually) on my own in a city requires the development of certain survival techniques. Super human speed to catch the metro before the doors close. Not breathing out of your nose for a sustained length of time when walking in certain areas or sitting near certain people. Needing to break into your own apartment when you've misplaced your key. Or not, as that really has never happened to me. But in case it ever does, I tried to open a door with a library card. Tried being the key word, as it didn't exactly work.However, the roommate tried - I should mention this is not a new thing for her - and of course it worked. So I guess if I ever do lose my key and get locked out, I'll need to have her with me.

Day 261: "I can see Russia from my house!" (Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, SNL)

I am a fan of the creative, different baby name. Not an Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor, but a name unique enough so they won't have the burden of attaching a last initial to differentiate them from the dozen other kids named Sally or Johnny.

However, I just can not get behind a kid named after a painful and utterly useless branch of mathematics. Or another named after a random British city. However, I also can't resist when the joys of internet name generators beckon me to discover my own Sarah Palin-esque name. So tonite I discovered what my name would have been were I born to an Alaskan with questionable ethics and a love of firearms: Taupe Armageddon. Ugh.

I have to say, though, that it's a name that demands a certain amount of respect. No one would ever take the lunch money of a Taupe Armageddon or threaten to flush her down the toilet every other day at pre-school. (Don't think I've forgotten you, Sam, from the Westmeyer Presbyterian Pre-School in Wilmington.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 260: One day...

At the end of the day – actually, throughout the day thanks to a causal work environment – I am basically a jeans and t-shirt girl. Even though my "t-shirt" is usually a collared shirt or blouse, the jeans are a mainstay. And when I find a pair I like, I wear them out. My current favorite pair, bought at a random store on Regent Street in London, has a hole in one knee, and is wearing dangerously thin in the butt and crotch. (I really should stop wearing them or my next new thing is going to be exposing myself.)

However, even these aren't perfect, as they are too big in the waist to compensate for the length of my legs. A few years ago I decided that it was time to invest in a pair of "premium" jeans, like Sevens, Paper, Denim and Cloth, True Religion, etc. A few years later, I'm still working up the courage and mindset to drop close to $200 for a pair of jeans. Last night, frustrated with my fruitless search, I went to Filene's determined to find a pair I like and at least comfort myself in getting them for the low price of $99.

Alas, I still couldn't do it. But I did try on a pair of Joe's Jeans, and a pair of Sevens that actually fit, unlike past attempts. The Joe's Jeans, clearly living up to the high standard the name Joe carries, were really nice and far softer than the Sevens. But for now the search will be continuing indefinitely.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 259: Rock the vote

For the past several weeks, in addition to the Greenpeace volunteers, I have been assaulted on the streets of Alexandria by the inquisitive "Excuse me, miss, are you registered to vote?" crew.

First of all, it's Ms., and second of all, yes, I am. (Even though it's in NC, it counts. And for the record, Greenpeacers and war protesters, I am interested in the environment, and I do care about ending the war. But not on my lunch break, sorry, I have a schedule.)

But now I don't have to technically "lie" anymore, as today I registered to vote in DC.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 258: Here comes the bride

I truly do love traditions. Christmas family ones, UNC ones, even traditions I never get a chance to take part in, like wedding ones. As preparation for a tradition for my sister’s wedding, today I made a bouquet out of tissue paper and ribbon from her shower, for her wedding rehearsal. No picture, but trust me, it's awesome. And it gives me a chance to practice catching one before the big day. Because I will be catching that one, even if I have to take out a neighbor or relative or waiter, or three.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 257: I still say it's Milos

If only I had not have gone to the wedding shower for a co-worker a few months ago, this would have been new new. But it's still new, as I went to a wedding shower for someone I'm related to - i.e. my sister - and played wedding shower games, which is new new.

We ate and played silly games and I of course did not win anything in the Chinese auction, but I did get to put my degree to use by taking notes on the gifts and givers. And I got to see all the awesome support my sister has. Which goes nicely with all her new china and towels.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 256: Homeward bound

My favorite lunch place keeps taking away my favorite sandwiches. And despite my insistence on ordering them anyway, they still refuse to serve me. So today I had to get a new sandwich at Cosi, some sort of melt. Not good. I also took the train home today, leaving from Union Station instead of Alexandria. Which resulted in me eating dinner at Corner Bakery, where I've only had breakfast.

And yes, in my haste to be homeward bound, I was lame today. Forgive me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 255: Viva la vida

When I first came to check out the place that would become our new apartment, one of the first things I noticed was the Mexican restaurant, 10 feet away from our front door, with a large margarita on the sign. Surely a sign that this place would become home.

Tonite I walked from my apartment to a Mexican restaurant, and had tacos and margaritas within site of my front door.
Ahh, the American dream.

Next time, I will try what I’ve been dying to try for awhile now: asking for a margarita to go. (The way I see it, it’s legal at the restaurant, it’s legal in the apartment, it’s just the pavement in between I’m not sure of.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 254: A different view from the world

The only thing I love more than American culture, is British culture. I like our music, I like their music, I like our TV, I like their TV. I am fascinated by the way we view the world, and the way they view the world. And now, thanks to a BBC news team touring the states in the weeks up to the election, I get to see in-depth their view of our world, through their blog and news reports on Talking America, which I read for the first time.

(To be fair, I visited the site yesterday, but they didn’t update it until today.)

It’s enlightening to read an outsider’s take on our electoral process, on our beliefs and practices. With some Kinks and Clapton providing the background music.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 253: Just say no?

Reasons I'm a goody-goody:
a. I didn't have a curfew growing up because I never went out.
b. I didn't drink until I was 21.5 years old.
c. I can not give the middle finger.
d. It took me until I was 24.7 years to try my first cigarette.

And it wasn't even a whole cigarette. Well, it was intact, but I only took a puff before I got smoke inhalation and stinky hair and decided that was enough new to count. My accomplice was worried I'd get addicted. I think the fact that I'm afraid of lighters, and had to have him/her light it for me, coupled with the burning feeling still in my lungs, will prevent that from happening.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 252: Perfect 10?

The apartment has a long hallway that is just asking for rolley chair races or my as yet fleshed out sport involving my mini baseball bat and mini basketball. However, so far the roommate has not been very open-minded about either of these ventures. Ugh. So tonite I made my own fun and attempted cartwheels in the hallway. They ended up as roundoffs, and not very good ones. My legs are just too long and I'm too afraid of death on the hardwood floor to commit myself to the execution and landing. And, of course, the possiblity of a broken limb that I have to explain to a doctor as a 24 year old doing cartwheels in her pajamas. And now my hip hurts.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day 251: Lions, tigers, and panda bears, oh my!

There is either something very right, or very wrong, about being able to take the metro to a zoo. In the middle of a city. Or just very weird.

To atone for yesterday's sloth, I ventured to the National Zoo for the first time, specifically to see the panda bears, another new thing.
It was no NC Zoo, but it was alright. I have never been to a zoo by myself before. I've more than proven I rarely have a problem doing things by myself, but going to the zoo isn't quite ok.

I had forgotten how jumpy I am at them. How I examine every enclosure, looking for possible escape routes for the animals. (And oh, there are plenty.) Every time something rustles in the trees, or I brush against a leaf, I'm convinced it's a stray bobcat ready to pounce. At least when I'm with other people I have someone beside me, ready to call 911. (Or someone to hide behind when the tiger leaps.)

Anyway...I did get to see the pandas, which was the whole point of the trip. They were cool. Not sure which is which, but they were pretty. And big.
And apparently they can spend up to 15 hours a day eating bamboo. I totally need a job like that.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 250: Water, water, everywhere

All I really want in life is to live in a world where my legs are not discriminated against. Where me and my 3.5 foot long appendages can find long jeans that fit in the waist, seats on public transportation that don't try and amputate me, and of course, a bath tub that fits my entire person.

I came very close tonite in the tub in our apartment, equipped with whirlpool jets, my first bath that wasn't just stagnant water with half of my body not fitting.

The jets were very nice, and would be really nice on sore muscles, which I obviously did not have today as it tropical stormed all day, leaving me stuck in my apartment. (Not exactly upset about that.) I'll take whirlpool jets over cold rain any day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 249: Just another exciting Friday night

In order to find some solace after my phone problems, I trekked to Maryland for some retail therapy in the form of A.C. Moore. Ah, crafts. What was supposed to be a quick trip to grab some beads, of course turned into dreamily wandering the aisles grabbing this and that, and then circling the artificial flowers in search of some decoration for the new place.

Prior to this trip the only fake flowers I purchased and "arranged" were my two dozen calla lilies. (Arranging consists of tossing them in the vase and convincing myself they look good.) So tonite I decided to branch out and attempt actual arranging, with styrofoam and a plan and everything.
Meh, it's far less stressful with the calla lilies, but it will do for now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Day 248: Can you hear me now? (No.)

For years the cell phone curse has been squarely on the little brother. Prior to buying my own, I had just three, keeping them all for the time required of the contract. As soon as I buy my own, I have one that turns itself off, and now another, that has been dropped in water. Yes, I dropped my cell phone in a waiting-to-be-cleaned salad bowl full of water.

I went to grab it off the counter, but the gentle tap slid it toward the sink and into the bowl. For the benefits of all reading, I have depicted the harrowing scene in a comic drawing. Though there really is nothing comic about being phone-less for many days as I hope and pray the battery will resuscitate itself. (Still waiting.)

Key to understanding my drawing.Re-enactment of the crime scene. (The black box represents my despair. I'm way deep.) I had to do it like a photo strip because I don't know how to change the margins of my blog. Oh well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 247: Arrgh, matey

When our basement tenant moved out, he took the internet with him. Thus it has been a sad week at Chez B&B. Which led us to seek out unsecured internet connections in our area. Which resulted in the roommate and I sitting in our window seat, desperately pirating/connecting to the lovely "Clarke" network. Our connection may be poor, but our pride and desperation is even poorer*.
*Proper English? I'm going with yes. "For richer or poorer," after all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Day 246: If she wants to rock, she rocks/if she wants to roll, she rolls

Creature of habit, that's me. Over and over and over. I listened to the same song today on my iPod, over and over, on both my morning and evening commutes. And in between whilst at work, too. Specifically, Rock and Roll by Eric Hutchinson. I was tired and stressed and it just sounded good.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 245: Google domination

I've mentioned before how I hate when something becomes bandwagony. Thus, for years I was a Yahoo! holdout, refusing to embrace the whole Google fad. I even insisted on using the phrase "why don't you yahoo it," as opposed to "why don't you google it," to further my resistance. Alas, while I still frequent Yahoo! for the news directly on their homepage, when it comes to searching, I am a Google gal.

At work I spend a lot of time on the image search, which is how I came across the Google Image Labeler, which I "played" tonite. They make it seem like a game, where you race an unseen partner to label photographs. Of course, in reality, you are doing free work for the billion-dollar Google empire. And it's not that fun; my partner didn't feel the need to label the picture of a mosque with "architecture" or "Islam." He or she is almost as big of a loser as the person who spent her last night for awhile with internet at home, labeling images. (Only two, though, I gave up quickly.)