Thursday, May 28, 2009

3 things that made me happy today

First, it was pouring when I was leaving work today, and there was a group of people standing in the lobby waiting to go outside after it let up a little. I couldn't do that, because I had plans to meet Ashley for dinner in 10 minutes. So I started to walk out the door, carrying my purse, rainman book, and computer sans bag (I picked today to take the PC out of its waterproof bag and carry it by itself into work), and some guy I've never met jokes "Chicken, come on, it's just rain!" I hesitantly started walking, and he opens his umbrella and offers to share with me. I declined at first because I didn't want him to go out of his way just so I wouldn't get wet, but he insisted, and he walked me all the way to the door of my car. After I got in the car and got settled, I noticed that he was walking all the way to the other end of the parking lot to get to his car. How nice? I guess there are some nice people left in the world.

Second, I had dinner with my friend, Ashley, and I told her that I think of her like my sister, and even though we get annoyed and snap at each other often (usually when we've been together for 12 hours or more), the next day I usually forget why I was annoyed.

Third, these:

They're on hold at the only store in the Richmond area that has them in my size. They'll be mine tomorrow!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Semper Fred 5k

We all know that my idea of a fun Sunday is getting up at 6am, fighting traffic and thousands of people, walking a mile through parking lots to get to my destination, then walking 3 timed miles.

No, that doesn't sound like me? Well, you're right.

The Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon was this weekend, along with the Semper Fred 5k. My girls and I signed up for the 5k in honor of CPL AKW who is in Afghanistan right now. It seemed like a good idea 2 months ago (there was a t-shirt for sale at the race that said just that - how appropriate), but I have been dreading this for a couple of weeks.

I can't remember that last time I walked a mile, much less 3, unless you count Prim Outlets in Williamsburg or Target. So I was thinking the worst was going to happen:
* People geared up in their running clothes looking at me, thinking I didn't belong there, and making fun of me
* Me giving up halfway through because I couldn't breathe
* Me bailing before the race even started.

These were all going through my head as I was trying to convince myself to do this race. I struggled with it and tried to back out, but thankfully, Bonnie wouldn't let me.

Before the race and as I was walking, I thought about Billy, and thought how selfish it would be for me to quit or not participate in this because I'm weak or self-conscious. He is halfway across the world in Afghanistan fighting for his country securing our position as the most powerful entity in the world. I pictured his face, heard his voice, heard his laugh, and he got me through it.

I finished 505th out of 509 and as I crossed the finish line, with my best friend at my side, I didn't care about the pain or rain or people looking at me. I felt the most tremendous sense of accomplishment - I know I'm not saving the world, but I didn't let the negative side of me win. Cecily told me today that I am my own worst enemy, and it is so true. I could have quit and justified it so many ways, but I didn't, and no matter how long it took me to walk that 3.1 miles, I did it.

Fun weekend...

This weekend, Bonnie, Ashley, and I went to the Virginia Renaissance Faire. None of use had been before, and it was really cool.

We practiced archery and I threw a stone a little farther than the 10 year old who had gone before me. My prize was a shiny coin! Not until I held it did I realize it was a plastic party favor coin from Party City dated 1978. I thought we had stepped back in time? Pretty sure the Renaissance was over before 1978, and they didn't use American money, but what do I know? :)

We had a conversation with the head trumpeter - I asked him what year it was, and he told me that Anne and Henry's Elizabeth was currently queen. That led me to ask him if he has ever watched "The Tudors." He has, and we had a fun chat about the show's addictive yet inaccurate plotlines - he didn't break character once. He used olde English the whole time. Here I am with my new friend:

We had some lunch, and then we watched a jousting demonstration. Queen Elizabeth graced us with her presence and MADE all the children come sit at her feet during the demonstration. They flocked to her like she ruled their world. Oh wait...

It was a fun day, though very hot.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Caught red-handed!

For the past few weeks, Dave has been confused about the state of our hose when he comes home. Every day it's the same.

Dave (walking in the door): Did you move the hose?
Me: No, watering flowers is your job.
Dave: Hmm, that's weird. The nozzle is only half-way on the hose.

Next day:
Dave (walking in the door): Did you move the hose?
Me: No, I told you yesterday, watering flowers is your job.
Dave: Hmm, that's weird. The nozzle is locked in a position I've never used before.

After a few days of this, we figured out that Mrs. Kim must be using it during the day when we're not here. Neither of us have ever seen her use a hose and couldn't figure out where their hose was. But we were convinced it must be her, taking off our nozzle, putting it on her hose, and then putting it back.

Dave thought he'd mess with her and put our hose in the garage when we're not using it.

Tonight, as we were going out to dinner, we noticed their hose is neatly coiled around a hose keeper at the side of the house (the side we share), and there is no nozzle on it. Signs are pointing to Mrs. Kim as the nozzle thief.

When we got home from dinner, this is what we see:

That's right - there's Mrs. Kim watering her flowers using her index finger to plug the hose and make it spray like we used to do in the 80's! BITCH was using our nozzle! They're only like $1.99! GO BUY YOUR OWN!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Dave and I have been sitting out on the deck for a few hours now, like a couple of old people. I'm doing homework and he's launching rocks from the trebuchet.

In between slides on my PowerPoint presentation I've been watching the birdies fly to and from the feedres, fighting over the suets. Here's a pic of a woodpecker.

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't be with my mom today because she is too far away, but we had breakfast this morning with Dave's brother and parents. We went to The Grill at Waterford - great breakfast.

For all you Full House fans out there, as we were walking out we heard a girl sing "What day is is Mother's Day" a la Alex and Nicky.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Green thumb...

I'm trying to actually grow a plant at my house. I've had these seed packets for a while now, and had the pots and tray all ready to go, but it took a weekend with so much homework that I wanted to scream for me to actually put my herb garden together.

Garden may not be an accurate word, more like "herb square foot."

Here are pictures of it and my new retro Ikea plant stand:

I checked on my herbs this afternoon and 3 of the 6 are actually growing! YAY! I'll get an updated picture tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Last one for tonight:

Best garden flag EVER!

EDIT: Yes, the grass has been cut since I took this picture.


For the last several weeks, I've been accumulating Michael's coupons in an attempt to put the final organizational touches on the office. We had a basket full of cords and couldn't find anything when we needed it. We bought this bookshelf to match the desk and filing cabinet, but it was not serving any purpose other than to hold stacks of instruction manuals and guitar books.

So I put my magic touch on it. It's a little project, but it's a project. I've put those 40% off coupons to good use, 1 at a time, to buy 12x12 paper boxes to organize the cord mess. All that mess is in a box, and the collection of boxes looks much nicer.




What economy?

Dave has been looking for a new car for the LONGEST time, and today, we finally found one that he really likes and that we can really afford.

Here it is:

And, for those of us who get our cars washed for $3, this is simply a reminder of what color our hubcaps are supposed to be:

Have I mentioned I love movies?

I won't be able to remember all the movies I've watched, but a few stick out.

Rachel Getting Married - this movie is typical Oscar-bait, but I thought it was very good. Even though I love Anne Hathaway, casting her might not have been the right choice. She overshadowed the movie, and not just because she is essentially the main character. There were much better actors in smaller roles, specifically Rosemarie DeWitt, who played her "I'm sick of enabling you and I hate you for trying to make my wedding weekend about you" older sister. Anne Hathaway isn't believable as troubled and dark, but with the whole cast, the family dynamic and documentary-style filming made me feel like I was watching an episode of Intervention. The wedding scene was way too long, and went too far with the kitchy international theme. Sounds like I only have negative things to say about it, but it was really a good flick. I won't be buying it, though.

Vantage Point = Awesome. I really hope this kind of thing isn't actually going on in the world, but I have a really bad feeling that this movie is all too real. The same 23 minute time period is shown from multiple points of view, each giving small details that add up to an explosive (literally) ending. SPOILER ALERT: Who knew Charlie Salinger had it in him to play a bad guy? Great movie!

Frost/Nixon - I didn't know much about Nixon, except that he made some guys steal some stuff, they got caught, and instead of being honest, he resigned from the Presidency. What I didn't know is that in an attempt to earn some extra money, to the tune of ~$500k, he agreed to do a 4-part interview with an Australian talk show host. Nixon was a very confident man, and a great orator/bullshitter, so he assumed he would sit down with David Frost, give some BS answers to all the important questions, and leave Frost in his dust. And the 1st interview went exactly like that. Frost and his cronies smartened up, and by the last installment, which would focus on Watergate, he had done his research, asked the questions Nixon never thought anyone would have the balls to ask. By the end, Frost got his confession, or the closest thing the American people would ever get to a confession. Nixon sidled away, like the coward that he truly was. Michael Sheen did an excellent job as Tony Blair in The Queen, David Frost here, and he will play the vampire of all vampires in New Moon.

Finally, I have some words to the casting department of The Hottie and the Nottie. WHY DID YOU CAST PARIS HILTON? THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT MOVIE! I watched the first 20 minutes of this adaptation of "The Taming of the Shrew." It had all the signs of being a great movie, until Paris Hilton came running (although trotting might be a more appropriate word) down the beach. CHANGE THE CHANNEL, QUICK!!! Paris Hilton made one movie that people will pay to watch. We all know what it is. Don't make any more with her. People don't want to see her talking or with clothes on.

Bless me Father, for I have has been 56 days since my last blog.

Wow. I haven't written a blog since I had the flu. I'm sure a lot of fun stuff has happened since then, but I'm going to write about just a few.

Lots of movies, lots of miles on the car, and lots of tulips.

First, Bonnie and I took a road trip to American University, where she attended and wanted to go back and see what has changed. I had gone with her several years ago, but we had been to the zoo, and had gotten up at like 5am to ride the VRE/metro up to DC, so I think I was half-asleep last time. This time I paid more attention and asked lots of questions.

I love college campuses. The architecture, the layout of the campus, and the people-watching are all fascinating to me. Not sure why, but that's me. The section of AU surrounding the quad reminded me of the National Mall, surrounded on all sides by grand buildings made of limestone with columns and arches in the front. The quad is anchored on one end by the art building, and on the other end by the library. The campus is small, compared to some, but it full of charm, between the flower gardens and the Shakespearean stage and seating area where Bonnie was attacked by flying squirrels as she studied...

The only bad thing about AU is that, apparently, if you go there, you will want to kill yourself (and write about it on the sidewalk):

After we left AU, we decided to make it a true road trip and just drive around, seeing what we could see. We thought about going to DC, but based on the traffic in Georgetown, we figured every tourist within 100 miles would have had that same idea, since it was the first hot, sunny weekend this year. We tried to find the Obama girls at Sidwell Friends, but since it was Saturday, no luck. We picked a road that seemed to be going downhill, which meant we were going the right way, and drove past the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, who thought it would be a good idea to build a HUGE Adirondack chair, and plop it on the front lawn. Too bad I didn't get a picture. If you've seen the over-sized one at Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach, you get the idea, but this was at least 5 times that size. It was AWESOME.

Then we drove past Georgetown University which, even though I love college campuses, scared the CRAP out of me. I assume the building I'm referring to is that building that every college campus has, the signature architectural masterpiece that is the face of all the institution's literature. JMU has Wilson Hall, UVA has the Rotunda...the Hoyas have this:

Sorry Hoyas, I don't dig it. Architecturally, sure...but I felt like I was looking at a gothic cathedral and heard scary organ music. We sped away (after driving around the block several times trying to get a picture).

What an adventure so far, right? It's not over yet. When we passed the gothic-ness, I saw Prospect Street, and something told me that was familiar and as soon as we turned, I thought we might have found the Exorcist house. We drove down the street and I saw one that looked like it, so Bonnie called Nate to confirm the address. Ashley and Daniel found it a while back and Daniel laid at the bottom, channeling Father Karras. Unfortunately, once we found the bottom of the steps, I was a little disappointed to see that they essentially end in the parking lot of a gas station. Not so glamorous.

On our way home, we tried to go to Arlington Cemetery, but it was closed during its open hours. Hmph. So we decided to make our way back south. We stopped in Alexandria to find the house the Runyons made. We found it, and we found Big Laura's house. We found it funny that when we called Dianne to find out the address, she knew Laura's address, but couldn't remember her own. Now that's a best friend.

Last stop on our trip was Potomac Mills, where we had old man burgers and got some end tables at Ikea.

Great day - it reminded us of the old times when we were barely adults, still had limited stress and responsibilities, and used to take trips like this often. We should do it this way more often...

EDIT: Here are some additional pictures from our trip...thanks Bonnie :)

Duke Ellington School for the Arts:

HUGE Adirondack Chair:

Exorcist House: