Monday, June 29, 2009


sometimes i am a little embarrassed that i (still) live with uncle bob (again).

but then i get invited to things like the congressional families picnic and it doesn't seem so bad anymore.

the congressional families picnic happens every year on the south lawn of the white house. this year it was a luau theme.

one really great thing about the congressional families picnic is that there is delicious food.

another great thing about the south lawn of the white house is the spectacular view.

something else great about the congressional families picnic is that uncle bob can introduce you to joe biden. it's even better when uncle bob says, "this is my niece, frances. she's a real democrat." and joe biden says, "god bless you, sweetheart," and gives you a kiss on the cheek.

also at the congressional families picnic, you and your cousin heather can elbow your way through the crowd to say hello to michelle obama, who is 1,000 times more stunning in real life than in any photograph, and just as nice. (heather asked about her workout regimen and she said, "it's all about waking up early, you know?" but i don't really know, because i wake up early and my arms do not look like that.)

and then, in what might be the best moment of your life until now, you will get to shake hands with the president. this is how i felt when i first saw him.

but i managed to keep my cool when my big moment came, and neither drooled nor wet my pants. however, i might have dislocated my jaw with this smile.

because we are all friends on the internet, i will tell you that i teared up when i stood face-to-face with that obama. besides salt lake city mayor ralph becker (my first and true political love), i have never met someone i voted for, and it was a pretty emotional thing. i felt a real sense of solidarity. like we were in this together. (i am sure he felt it, too. right?)

some more great things about the congressional families picnic are uncle bob's hawaiin shirt and panama hat, and also the firedancers who provided a little post obama-mobbing entertainment. on any other night, firedancers probably would have been the highlight. (fire! light! joke!)

but on this particular night, they were totally outshone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the webs the wide world weaves

my dad just joined facebook.

and, contrary to my firmly held belief, the universe did not implode. at least not that i have noticed yet.

it has taken me a while, but i think i have finally embraced the inter-connectedness that is the inter-net. sure, it seems a little weird to be cyber-friends with my landlord, who is also my uncle, in addition to being my elected representative (the mind boggles). but, this is the new millenium!


and sure, i find it a little strange to have my old roommates and my parents and my co-workers and my cousins and my parents' cousins all in the same virtual pot, sort of like i am messing with the natural social order and will have to pay for it some day. but all the kids are doing it!


i do believe the internet has forever changed the way we relate to one another, and i have to wonder if it will eventually do more harm than good, (would you rather be with your computer than a real person sometimes? me too. not good.), but for now the universe seems in tact, and i am starting to really dig the complex web that is the world wide web.

plus, my dad already has 16 internet friends.

what a stud.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

national(s) passtime

it is only logical that the baseball team in this, the nation's capital, would be called the nationals.

it is not logical at all that nationals park does not have churros.

nor is it logical that the nation's capital team should be one of the worst in the league. (maybe they need some stimulus money?)
though they did beat the toronto blue jays in extra innings. (someone even stole home! the thrill!)

it is totally logical that the metro is basically the worst place to be ( before or after a baseball game.

but it is also logical that after an evening out with these favorites...

i was happy as a clam.

(clay was not happy as a clam when we took this photo, however, because we made him look away from the action. sorry, buddy.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009


it appears that i have lost my ability to sleep in on the weekends.

this is very distressing because i have always been a champion at sleeping in. i have a special talen for it, you see. it is one of my most favorite things.

but, this business of being a real adult and getting up early and going to work at the same time every day has really thrown a wrench in the system. i can't even force myself to sleep longer. it's pathetic.

though i suppose if i were really a real adult, i would use my new morning hours for things more productive than blog-stalking, shopping online and reading vanity fair. all while still in bed.

but i don't want to grow up too quickly now, do i?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

the babe with the power

dear neighborhood of rosslyn,

many thanks for hosting an "i love the 80s" outdoor film festival so amanda and i could enjoy this slice of movie wonder.

the girl who screamed when david bowie came on the screen

p.s. next time can you bring enough free chips for everyone? thanks so much!

dear david bowie,

you are awesome.
the end.

the girl who screamed when you came on the screen

p.s. also, thanks for this:

Friday, June 19, 2009

keeping up with the joneses

{with the mary, emily and abby, plus one fat baby}

i have loved the jones family from the day i met abby and emily at girls' camp when i was a young and spry 13.

i love them so much, i spent a summer with them in nauvoo.

i love them so much, i got abby together with my good friend jonathan, and now they are the happily married dunfords.

i love them so much i don't mind that emily never returns my phone calls. (though i sure would like to see her more since we live five minutes away from each other now. emily, are you reading this?)

i love them so much, i briefly considered attending my 10 year high school reunion, just to hang out with them. (i got over that one, though. sorry abby!)

but i was perfectly happy, you might even say thrilled, to go to emily's house just a few blocks away when i heard abby and mary were in town with baby isaac. it's probably clear from this picture why he is more often called the fatness. this kid is only nine months old.

i sort of hogged him all night. but i don't feel bad about it since he wouldn't exist if it weren't for me.

(you're welcome!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

there goes the fear

{the turkish evil eye, which protected us on our long journey east}

it is now one month and one day since sallee and i pulled into uncle bob's driveway and my new east coast life began.

mind you, we barely made it to the driveway as the gas light came on right at the beginning of a rush hour traffic jam on the beltway. but all's well that ends well and all that.

i don't think i have appropriately lauded sallee's contribution to the trip, which i will now rectify. she was a lifesaver over many hours and many days of driving. i couldn't have done it without her and still maintained my sanity. plus, she is an excellent map-reader/navigator.

the only downside was that she was on a health food kick, so i was forced to eat peanut butter m&ms and taffy and red vines all by myself.

due to a tight time table (that would be the whole country in three days), we didn't have any time to stop and do fun things (sorry 800 pound prairie dog, six-legged live steer and many a railroad museum. we'll have to catch you on the flip side). besides, of course, getting some free popcorn at the kansas state line. (correction: i got free popcorn. sallee ate a yogurt.)

the rest of the trip looked basically like this:

{hello, kingdom city! we also passed "brazil" and a kansas/colorado border city called "kandorado."}

{is there a town more awesome than effingham? answer: no.}

{i almost killed us taking this picture. really.}

{the first sign of home, sweet home!}

in addition to sallee's great company, the trip was also greatly aided by trashy magazines from every state we drove through, and fantastic road trip mixes from all my dear salt lake friends.

one month down. cheers to that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

dine in

if you ever come and visit me in d.c. (or should i say when?) i will take you here.

(if you live in d.c., we totally have to go here.)

it is a magical place where you can eat diner food, like say, a club sandwich with onion rings and a milkshake, and watch a movie at the same time, all while sitting in a charming enclosed patio.

emily and i enjoyed a little artery clogging and "sleepless in seattle" on friday night.

next time i think you should enjoy it with me, too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

prep school

one of the wishes of my heart has been granted, and i now have a regular spot over on the segullah blog. world (wide web) domination is within my reach!

you, too, can join in my conquering, by checking out my latest (small) epiphany.

won't you?

pretty please?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

norfolk, good folk

{with berto and mary, taken right before my camera started emitting smoke. for real. you might not be seeing any more pictures for a while.}

one unfortunate thing about norfolk is that to pronounce it correctly, you basically have to say a swear. i blush a little bit every time.

one forunate thing about norfolk is that berto and mary are there.

one fortunate thing about berto and mary is that they were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary over the weekend, and invited a bunch of friends to help them do it.

one fortunate thing about me is that i now live a mere three hour drive from norfolk, which means i got to join in on the celebration, which was the biggest fortune of all. it had been almost three years since i had last seen berto and mary, so it was about time. (one fortunate thing about last time i visited them is that they were living in argentina. but norfolk is cool, too.)

i skipped out on the celebratory trip to busch gardens (not one for amusement parks, though i am thinking that after this i might not be so scared of roller coasters anymore) and instead spent saturday with my cousin heather and her family in williamsburg, eating pizza and gossiping about our relatives. two of my favorite things!

other highlights of the weekend included a cook-out, with berto masterfully helming the grill, some shopping, one of the best fish tacos i've ever had, bocce ball on the beach and my first attempts at body surfing. i am really digging living near the ocean for the first time in my life, and i plan to be a masterful body surfer by the end of the summer. then i might even tackle a board. who knows?

i can tell you straight up, though, bocce ball looks like a lost cause.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


{does anyone else like pronouncing the "t" in that word, just for fun?}

the apostle paul visited ephesus (or so the bible tells us), and so did i! though i think it is probably safe to say our experiences were a little different.

mine looked like this.

and this is definitely a new addition since paul's time.

poor guy was really missing out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


it might interest you to know that i now have a pentagon access badge.

it might interest you further to know that i could probably use that badge to get you into the pentagon, too.

just don't do anything suspicious, because the pentagon is full of people carrying loaded weapons.


to be exact, at any given time, the pentagon is full of 23,000 people. or so said the very sharply dressed marine giving the tour that i passed on my way to the IT department.

if you want to call someone to tell them about your awesome pentagon adventure, you'll have to stand by a window or go into the courtyard.

if you go to the pentagon to pick up your access badge, and the card to access your department of defense computer system, you will wait for about two hours. and you will have to walk between corridors and rings and offices for approximately 1,000,000 miles. this increases if you get lost. which, if you are with me, you most certainly will.

not to worry, though. there are plenty of food carts along the way to keep you from perishing.

there are also emergency gas masks everywhere, so no need to fret about nuclear holocaust either.

doesn't life inside the pentagon sound happy?

join me next time, won't you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

walk this way

i have been walking to work for almost three weeks now.

walking to work is heavenly.

walking to work is, as my friend adam would say, the holy grail of urban living.

walking to work looks like this.

out the front door, usually with a piece of fruit or a rice cake in my hand. head phones in. comfortable shoes on. dressy shoes stowed in my bag.

walk up the street and down some stairs. small fantasy about being in a scene from a romantic comedy. (you know the one where the no-nonsense career girl walks out of her hip brownstone in trendy clothes and heads to her high-powered job at a fashion magazine or an ad agency? that one.)

say hello to the construction workers on nash street.

jaywalk across key boulevard.

jaywalk across the other part of nash street.

cut through the gas station.

jaywalk across meade street.

walk into the lobby of my building.

get in the elevator.

ride to the penthouse.

punch in the office code, open the door, walk to my desk.

total travel time: approximately four minutes.

like i said. heavenly. the holy grail.

especially when you need every last minute of sleep you can get because you got home late the night before after a dinner theater performance of "high school musical."

(yes, you read that right. and no, i am not going to say it again.)

just, you know, for example.

Monday, June 1, 2009

tea and sympathy

{enjoying some pomegranate juice and a toffee granola cookie at teaism, one of my weekend adventure stops.}

i woke up on saturday morning feeling pretty sorry for myself.

for one thing, it was 7 a.m., which is ludicrously early to be awake on a saturday. (if this whole, be-a-real-adult-and-get-to-work-on-time thing has killed my ability to sleep in on weekends i will be, as prince humperdink would say, most put out.)

for another thing, it was a saturday and i had nothing to do and no one to do it with.

and for the first time since i moved, the "if i were in salt lake..." thoughts started rolling.

if i were in salt lake maybe i would have been meeting some people for brunch at the blue plate diner. or maybe i would have been going to the farmers' market. or maybe i would have been riding my bike up city creek canyon. or maybe i would have been doing any number of other things with any number of dear, and dearly missed, friends.

but instead i was lying in bed. in arlington. at 7 a.m. with nothing to do and no one to call.

my first solution was to go back to sleep. because everything looks better after 9 o'clock. or 11 o'clock. or noon. whatever the case may be.
then once i woke up again i spent a few minutes toying with the idea of employing the sleep-it-away technique for the whole day.

but then i mustered my courage, girded my loins and decided to just make something happen. (something besides an all-day mope-fest, that is.) because when you are the new kid on the block, it's up to you.

so, i called dana and we filled the afternoon with a stroll through the american history museum, a quick tour of the department of justice and an early evening snack at teaism.

next was dinner with an old friend of my parents', who regaled me with tales of singing with my mom on the street for money.

then it was swimming and movies at a swanky hotel for michelle's birthday.

sunday was a new ward filled with all sorts of friendly people, and then emily invited me over for a homemade cafe rio dinner, which is way better than real cafe rio. especially when it is accompanied with a side of new friends.

i finished off sunday night with aunt joyce and "harry potter and the goblet of fire."

and so it came to pass that my potentially disastrous and demoralizing weekend turned out to be pretty great. and so it came to pass that i was pretty grateful.

i am sure it is not the last time i will feel a little sad and lonely for the familiar things and people i have left behind. i am sure it is not the last time that i will run down a mental list of ifs. and i am sure it is not the last time i will have to put aside fear and insecurities and reach out to new people and experiences.

but it feels pretty good to have conquered it this time around, at least.