Wednesday, September 30, 2009

pour some sugar on me

here are some things that are very distinctly "washington d.c."

the white house
cherry blossoms
the smithsonian museums
massive tour groups
harried hill staffers
espionage and intrigue (if you believe the jason bourne movies. which i do)
clothes from ann taylor and brooks brothers
think tanks
retired military officers

and, that classic 80s cover band, the legwarmers.

the legwarmers are a phenomenon perhaps unlike anything i have ever seen.

their shows sell out within minutes. their fans are deeply devoted. and those fans show their devotion in several ways.

like by dressing like this:

{yes, those are pleated denim shorts i am wearing. pleated.denim.shorts.}

and also by staying up into the wee hours of the morning, singing, dancing, jumping (in the case of the guy standing next to me i am pretty sure going to the bathroom to partake in some kind of illegal substance) and definitely sacrificing the potential for long-term healthy hearing.

it was all i could do to drag myself home, and that was after patti and i fortified ourselves with lemon-berry-meringue shortcake after the show.

and once i dragged myself home i still had to take a shower to get rid of all that hairspray and blue eye shadow.

my ears were ringing until sunday.

and i would do it all again this friday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

eight days a week

i pretty much celebrated my birthday all week last week, which is pretty much how i think a birthday should be celebrated. to be perfectly honest, i wasn't sure how far my nascent social capital would get me, but i think i did all right.

first up was a lovely dinner at dana's (she roasted a chicken!).

the event included my first ever molten lava cake...

... and a visit from dave, who happened to be in town for work. a birthday miracle, if you ask me.

the actual natal day brought me whiteboard messages, a completely scrumptious lemon cupcake from katie and plenty of cubicle revelry.

thursday, emily hosted a little cupcake party (never mind she had just gotten back from france the day before) and i have to say that every single person there was someone i was just thrilled to see. which is the way every cupcake party should be.

i also accepted the challenge to eat as much of amanda's delicious mini-coconut cake as i could in one bite. i think i pretty much killed it.

and the festivities wrapped up with lunch on saturday with aunt joyce, my birthday twin.

and with that, my birthday week came to a most satisfactory end. not to worry, though, if you haven't gotten around yet to bestowing me with lavish gifts and/or praise. i'll be accepting anything of that nature until around this time next year, at which point you'll owe me double.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

they say it's your birthday

this is me today.

today i am 28 years old.

i would say the past year or so has been pretty good. i launched myself out of a plane, experienced life as a roadie, saw a wonder of the world, ran a board, voted for a winner, baked a lot of cakes, hiked mountains and national parks and, of course, made a big and scary and rewarding move to a big and scary and rewarding new city, where i have taken on a big and scary and rewarding new job, and made close personal friends with the president.

my birthday goal last year was to live a little more boldly and push a little closer and a little harder to the edge of my comfort and understanding. of course, that is something we should always be doing, but at the risk of committing a george w.-style faux pas i am going to say: mission accomplished!

and in the spirit of that goal, i decided to kick it up a notch for my birthday goal this year, so instead of one goal i made 28 goals. for 28 years. you guys are in charge of making sure i do them. so here they are. (in no particular order, other than the order in which they came into my head.)

1. pay off my student loan

2. read the book of mormon every day

3. do another 100-mile bike ride

4. learn to surf

5. take a japanese class

6. take an art class

7. send a letter once a week

8. visit every smithsonian museum (including the zoo)

9. grow something (like an herb garden. not like "a pair.")

10. start a new hobby/develop a new skill (i am leaning towards sewing, but am taking suggestions)

11. fall in love

12. attend the temple once a month

13. make a home cooked meal once a week

14. celebrate new year's eve in times square

15. make a micro-loan

16. find a family history name for temple work

17. finish my mission scrapbook

18. buy a nice pair of jeans that fits perfectly

19. take a trip outside the country

20. visit somewhere in the country i have never been

21. learn to cook something from a julia child cookbook

22. learn how to drive to at least one place in d.c. without using my gps

23. make an unexpected friend

24. revive frances cake

25. revive documentary movie night

26. when an idea pops into my head, like to call someone just to see how they are doing, do it right then that second instead of feeling sorry later that i didn't follow through

27. sing more often

28. find somewhere to volunteer
i would also like to learn to love the early morning and complete an olympic length triathlon, but i am not willing to be held accountable for either of those, so they're in reserve.
welcome to the party, 28. i think we'll get along just fine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

everybody (everybody)

almost as soon as i announced i was moving to (the greater) washington d.c. (area), evan announced that i had to go to a show at the 9:30 club. so, since i am the kind of person who likes to do what i am told, i did.

on friday, to be exact.

with these folks, to be exact.

to see ingrid michaelson, to be exact.

who i love, to be exact.

the 9:30 club is right there in the revitalized u street corridor, and is very hip and happening. it has just the right mix of space and intimacy, though i think i would enjoy ms. ingrid even if she was playing inside a dumpster. i mean, of course i would choose the 9:30 club over a dumpster but i'm just saying. she does not disappoint.

i have yet to download the new album because i am sort of lame like that, but i highly recommend it. here are a couple of my favorites to convince you.

i also highly recommend that everyone experience a show at the 9:30 club, so you just come on over whenever you'd like. okey-dokey?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

a fine, webbed friend

on my 14th birthday (which was almost exactly 14 years ago, as my 28th birthday is a week from yesterday. but i am sure you already knew that. you wouldn't forget my birthday now, would you?) a friend who i think was named amanda gave me a stuffed duckbill platypus.

i named him webber.

and unlike the friend who may or may not be named amanda, webber and i have stayed pretty close.

webber made the trip from michigan to denver after high school, and then from denver to boston when i started college.

webber came with me to summer camps, and back and forth from school to home to wherever else i was going in the summers.

webber even did a semester abroad with me in london.

he didn't make it to japan, but he did meet me at the airport after 18 months of separation.

he came with me to salt lake, and then we made the epic trip east. now webber is living the high life (literally, you know, since i live on the tippy-tippy-top) in washington, d.c.

in short, i love webber and i hate to be without him.

but all that loving and togetherness has sort of worn him out, and i have often dreaded the day when webber might have to be retired from nightly snuggling (for his own good and survival, you see), especially because stuffed duckbill platypuses (platypi?) are difficult to come by.

is this tale of love and sacrifice making you a little teary? never fear! there is good news! for my dad, a chief webber proponent, has found him a partner-in-crime. a mini-webber. a baby brother. or perhaps a protege. i don't quite know what their relationship will be.

(i do know not to say anything about the fact that, next to a brand-new version of himself, webber 1.0 looks a little worse for wear. he's sensitive about it.)

and, i do know that i am excessively glad to have them both.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the devil wears prada

all last week i was seeing pictures of celebrities going to screenings of "the september issue," a documentary about the planning and publication of, well, the september issue of vogue magazine. an issue that is only, like, the biggest and most important issue of any fashion magazine in, like, the whole world.

and i thought to myself, "it would be really cool to be able to see that." and then i read that "the september issue" was having its d.c. premiere this week. and then dana e-mailed to see if i wanted to go. and then i said yes.

and so, i am off. right now. to watch it. (well, ok, first to eat some pizza and then to watch it.)

i think the take-home lesson is that dreams really do come true.

and also, i suspect, that you should probably never mess with this lady.

like, ever.

Monday, September 14, 2009

frontal lobe

i definitely went to work today with this earring in one ear...

... and this earring in the other.

so that was pretty awesome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

now you see it

i am asking the deep questions over at segullah today.

won't you join me?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

going the distance

i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but swine flu could kill 90,000 people by the end of the upcoming flu season. i know this is true because the newspaper said so. and it is threat the department of defense is taking very seriously.

so seriously, in fact, that today my office participated in a social distancing exercise, wherein we all had to stay a minimum of three feet away from eachother and the office security officer walked around to make sure we were complying.

of course, an appropriate reprimand required her to get closer than three feet to the offender, but that is beside the point.

i took the opportunity to keep certain cubicle lurkers at bay, and the receptionist pointed out that social distancing is also a good excuse to avoid people with bad breath.

otherwise, the answer to your question is yes. a social distancing exercise is just as ridiculous as it sounds.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

wait, wait, don't tell me

amy came east to celebrate the day of no labor with me, and a full recounting of our various and sundry adventures and death-defying feats will be posted as soon as the adequate photographic evidence has been compiled. to hold you over, here is a taste of our three-day weekend intrigue.

i know, i know. you can hardly wait to hear more.

and now, on a completely unrelated topic, one bummer about living with uncle bob (and there are very few) is that he gets A LOT of mail. and i do not. nor did i get a particularly large amount of mail before i lived with uncle bob (again), but something about his piles of fancy letters and invitations throws my own lack of (non-netflix-related) correspondence into sharp relief. (sometimes, i take his "newsweek" to make myself feel better. don't tell, ok?) so i was pretty excited when i opened the mailbox today and found an iron & wine mix cd from the cliff, just for me.

and that's the end of that story.

p.s. if that story made you feel guilty because you haven't been sending me mail, i am sorry. because i didn't mean to make you feel guilty. but if you are already feeling guilty and feeling guilty will motivate you to send me more mail, then i am not sorry at all.

and that's the end for real.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

stress test

the mosquito problem here in the easterly united states is, shall we say, rampant and i absolutely hate it with all my might. probably because i am one of those people who always gets bit (bitten?). like, always. like, i get bug bites on my five minute walk home from work.

and they turn red and they swell up and they itch like the dickens and they take ages to fade. at which point they have already been replaced by dozens more.

and if you think i am being a complainer, you are right.

and then of course everyone always says, "it's because you're so sweet," in a sing-song voice.

if i am in a good mood when people say that, i will smile. if i am in a bad mood when people say that, which i probably am because i am covered with mosquito bites, i will gag. once that person has walked away, natch.

my first step in combatting this problem has been to add "bug spray" to the list of things i carry with me all times.

my second step might be to get more stressed out because, according to this wall street journal article (that's right, i am going high class this time), mosquitoes are repelled by the smell created in the oxidation of something-or-other, which occurs as a result of stress.

i would really rather those researchers come up with some compound that i can bathe myself in than be all riled up all the time, but i am the kind of girl who does what needs to be done, so i think i might give it a try.

watching half an hour or so of fox news should be a pretty good place to start, right?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

running man

i am compiling a list of 28 goals for my 28th birthday (i will reveal the full list on the anniversary of my birth, which i will now unsubtley remind you is september 23rd) and i was thinking that maybe i would add "learn to love running" to the list because it seems to me that running is something that people actually do fall in love with and every time i read or hear about someone accomplishing an impressive running feat i think to myself that it must feel pretty darn good to have done that and i might like to feel good like that, too.

but then last night dana and i had to run from jess' house to the bus stop to catch the bus before it left and it was only five or six blocks or something like that but by the time i got there i was totally winded and thinking how much i hate running.

so now i am thinking that might not be such a good goal after all.

maybe i should replace it with "always be on time so i don't have to run for the bus."