Wednesday, March 23, 2011


washington d.c. is blooming!

there are luscious blossoms everywhere, including on these trees just outside my office.

(as if i needed another reason why leaving the office is my favorite part of every day.)

it is supposed to get cold again this weekend, so i am crossing all my fingers and toes that these blooms can survive.

dear spring, we're ready.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

to the point

it got up to 75 degrees on friday (the joy! the ecstasy!) so AWD and i hopped on our bikes after work and hit the trail out to gravelly point to have a picnic and watch the planes take off.

fun fact: did you know that AWD and i met on a bike ride? that is a true story, and it is one way that i know AWD likes me for real. i was wearing bike clothes when we first met and he still called me afterwards. win.

back to friday, we ate delicious salads and played a little game where for every plane that took off, we made up a story about a person who might be on that plane. you know, like a woman flying home to iowa for her best friend's bachelorette party but she's totally depressed about it because she is in love with the groom. or like harry reid.

we stayed until it turned to dusk.

it was divine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

good times at hard times

half-price burger monday at hard times cafe in old town went down like this.

frances: whiskey river barbecue cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings
AWD: black and bleu burger with my extra tomato
emma: bacon cheeseburger and a dc
eric: chili cheeseburger, medium

everyone: happy and full. and not eating again until lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

history not rifles

i was back on the road this weekend, this time to winchester to the childhood home of one AWD.

there were girl scouts selling cookies at a gas station along the way, so i knew it was going to be a good trip. never mind that i bought a few boxes of cookies as a present for AWD's parents and ended up opening them and eating some before we got there. i'm classy like that.

winchester is a delightful little town. the library has a rotunda and AWD's alma mater high school is big and grand and looks like something out of a movie.

we went to the winchester courthouse museum, which was basically an elaborate seventh grade history report on the civil war, and worth every penny. the top floor of the courthouse was actually used as a prison for soldiers from both sides during the civil war (winchester changed hands a number of times), and they have uncovered some carvings in the plaster on the walls, including a highly creative curse on confederate president jefferson davis. you might think of busting this out next someone cuts you off in traffic:

to jeff davis
may he be set afloat on a boat with no compass or rudder
then that any contents be swallowed by a shark
the shark by a whale
the whale in the devil's belly and the devil in hell
the gates locked and the key lost
and further may he be put in the northwest corner
with a southeast wind blowing ashes in his eyes for all eternity

pretty catchy, right?

the weather was perfect so there was lots of walking outside around old town. or old towne, if you prefer.

and of course, there were pictures to be seen and stories to be heard and family members to be won over, all of which i think went off rather well. even though i ate the most girl scout cookies of anyone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

we'll always have the alamo

pardon my absence as of late, my babies. i was in san antonio for work, which is remarkable for many reasons, namely that it was my first business trip (at least my first one where we actually left the airport), my first time in texas and, perhaps most importantly, the first boy i ever kissed was from san antonio.


we spent most of our time touring medical facilities and meeting wounded warriors and attending career fairs and getting briefings and trying to figure out what all the insignia on military uniforms means. followed by eating our body weights in mexican food and barbecue.


and, since the new principal director for the office used to work in homeland security, learning more (mostly terrifying) things about aviation security than i ever wanted to know.

(co-worker) patrick and i did manage to sneak away on the first night for a stroll around the riverwalk (he covers his eyes like he's embarrassed if i say it was a romantic stroll. so, of course, i call it that as much as i can) and a visit to the alamo.

we decided to skip ripley's believe it or not and the wax museum. (who the heck is louis tussaud?)

and then, almost as soon as it began, it was over.

i always thought that traveling for work was glamorous and exciting and i was jealous of people who got to do it. and there were some really fun and grown-up and glamorous things about it, to be sure. but mostly i am glad to he home.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

kicks for free

remember when i was the kind of famous that got quoted in the huffington post?

well, now i am the kind of famous that gets quoted in the washington post.

and let us not forget the town talk. (thanks, louisiana!)

with all of this notoriety i thought for sure i would get a call inviting me to the oscars, but i didn't.


i did get a call asking me to be on a radio program talking about this ever-fascinating topic, though, and i agreed. and then i got really nervous. and then during the (live!) panel discussion i held my telephone to my ear so tightly that it was throbbing for hours afterward. (my ear, not the phone. the phone appeared to be just fine.)

i haven't listened to the program yet because i am not convinced it went all that well, plus listening to my recorded voice always gives me sort of an existential crisis, but other people who heard it said they thought it went just fine so i am going to swallow my pride and give you the link to listen, if you'd like.

adoring praise is always welcome, but if you think it went poorly i would ask you to kindly keep that opinion to yourself.

a few thoughts in the aftermath.

ichi. i disagree with my fellow panelist, joanna, that the author of the new york times article that started all of this hit the nail right on the head in describing what it is like to be a single mormon. i have said before and i will say again now, i think the author of that article was way out in left-field with a totally skewed perspective. and, because i have already said plenty about that, i will leave it there.

ni. i got a little bit worried that i was coming off as cavalier or dismissive of the difficulties other people face in trying to keep the commandments as a mormon. i certainly didn't mean to do that. i find it hard, too. really hard sometimes. but the cliche holds true. if it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth it. and i do happen to think that keeping the commandments is worth it, and then some. as i was talking i realized that for as liberal as i think i am in a lot of things, i am actually really conservative when it comes to the way i obey the commandments of the gospel. and i feel OK about that. but i also get it that not everyone is interested in obeying that way, and that's OK, too.

san. i got cut off at the end (my clock said there were two minutes left, but what are you going to do?), which made me really sad because i feel like i ended on a sort of depressing note without saying the most important part of my whole final point. so, lucky you! you get to hear it now. what i wanted to say was this.

yes, i think every woman in the church in my position has to accept the reality that she might not get married. statistically speaking that is a possibility for all of us. and is that a hard pill to swallow? absolutely. because a life of taking out the garbage and setting mouse traps and figuring out finances and going to family reunions and bridal showers and baby showers all by myself forevermore sounds sad and lonely. but-- and this is the important part-- i trust my heavenly father. i trust that he guides me and takes care of me and is aware of me and i absolutely, 100 percent trust him to give me everything i need to make a happy life. that knowledge and assurance and perspective are what keep me in the church, and that knowledge and assurance and perspective are what i think people like our friend at the new york times are missing.

and now, i have a bonus for you!

which is also a bonus for me because i feel like it backs up my defense of chastity quite nicely.

intrigued? check out this article about why men have the advantage in sexual economics, even when they're total losers. give it a read and let me know what you think.

in some ways, the answer is a re-hashing of the "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" argument for chastity, but i think this presents a more nuanced case than that because it isn't a plug for chastity so much as it is a description of the potential consequences of sexual permissiveness. turns out sex is not the magic bullet solution to long-lasting, committed, equitable relationships between men and women. and in fact, sometimes sex can do just the opposite.

which is something i wonder whether our friend at the new york times, or others in her position, thought to consider.

and now i think i might be done beating this particular drum or dead horse or whatever the appropriate phrase is here. i think i have said my piece.

i'm still totally down for going to the oscars, though. maybe 2012?