Saturday, April 29, 2006

Huh? It's What?

Alarm buzzes. Roll over, check the clock - 7:30.

K, time to get up. Wait, what day is it? Well, it's 7:30, must be time for work. Gotta get up. I have a lot to get done. Wait. Last night I went out. It was Friday night. That means today is Saturday. So why am I up so early? What's going on?

Yeah, I was really confused this morning, til I remembered that I was going to Hands On DC and it was going to start at 9am in SE DC. I did actually get myself out of bed to go, too. Yay. I even managed to pick the same metro car as LB and ES, both coming from very different directions than me.

We had a pretty good time, since we picked a smaller classroom. Did some moving, cleaning, painting, and headed out about an hour earlier than scheduled. The pizza didn't show up on time for lunch, since some Domino's employees got themselves locked out of the building. Something like that.

The SS ladies and I stopped at Gordon Biersch in Chinatown on the way home for some garlic fries. Mmmmm......get some if you've never had them! And bring some mints.

B and I caught Tsotsi tonight. Pretty intense film, very good, with an excellent soundtrack.

I'm currently in love with the new Above and Beyond album, Tri-State. It's on AOL at the moment, probably til Monday or Tuesday. Take a listen. Good mood music for....ya know....cleaning?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

It's been party time for the last two weekends, pretty much celebrating Niki's birthday for a whole week. Can I say I'm birthday'd-out? Nah, not really, but throwing a party kinda tires me out, even though I didn't do much this time around. I definitely don't need any more sugar and junk food!

We started the festivities with a Hungarian dinner last Friday night, followed by French Kicks and Ladytron at the 930. The show was definitely....um, interesting. Well, not the show so much as the crowd. I was really looking forward to the FK, as I saw them about a year ago and loved them. They have a new album coming out this summer, and all the new stuff they played was fantastic. Tim remarked right away that he knew why I liked them, after taking one look at the lead singer. "He's so your type," he said. "Not the good for you type, the bad for you type...." Hah! Maybe so, but the music still rocked. Too bad they apparently didn't soundcheck; lots of feedback and unbalanced instruments. Shame.

I was doing okay up to this point. Crowd was a little weird, but okay. Then Ladytron came out. I didn't know a lot of their stuff, but I'd liked what I'd heard before. I guess the crowd freaked me out a bit. When there are boys there prettier than me, wearing really small tank tops....yeah..... I was up towards the front, but got pushed around by some fanactical people. Too much claustraphobia - I had to get outta there. Maybe I'll get a wig now though?

Saturday was a beautiful day. I dropped into Target and managed to stay on budget. Got a new blow dryer to replace the one that was about to blow up. Smoke smells when I turned it on - not a good thing. That would've been cool to watch, but I'm slightly scared of fire. Anyone else want to play with it? Jorge and I caught Thank You for Smoking, which is pretty entertaining. Check it out if you haven't already. Then I hit Gtown campus and caught up with Rob. The flowers are absolutely beautiful on campus. There's these dark purple tulips everywhere. I must get back there with my camera (or a shovel to dig some up and bring them back to my house).

Fast forward through the week to this weekend. Friday night I went to a "slumber party" held by some girls from church. A lot of us don't know each, and some people have attempted to remedy that by hosting small social gatherings. Our congregation is super transient, lots of students, interns, nannies, and it's really hard to get to know anyone. My roommates and I always complain about it, especially since most people live in Rockville, and we never want to travel that far to hang out. I, however, decided that I'd be dutiful and attempt to meet some people. I'm glad I went, though I'd didn't stay for the slumber part. Something about the need to sleep in my own bed.

Rain, rain, go away, though you kept me in my bed all Saturday. When I finally left my room around noon, I had a full day of cleaning and party prep ahead for this:
We kept the food more low-key this time (since last time we went crazy and no one ended up eating it. We had leftovers for about 3 weeks. Ewh.). The rain kept a lot of people away, so it was a smallish gathering, but Niki and Albie had a proper birthday celebration with some super-rich chocolate cake. I crashed around 1am and got more sleep than the rest of the house, but I still left church early today to nap. Oops.....

If you're still reading, I've updated the current music selections. Yum on the Coldplay remix. I played DJ for the party, carefully selecting the mix in perfect flowing order. That song should've been in there multiple times, but I restrained myself.

Big Apple, Baby

A little late in reporting, but whatever :)

Caro wanted to go to NYC for a smashing birthday weekend, so the ladies of 314 + Robin + a couple other kids made the trek up north on St. Patty's Day.

First obstacle - surviving the bus trip. The bus left at 2:30, and I had hoped to be there by at least 2. Not the case. Neither Robin nor Caroline got there early, and we skitted in right before the bus left. Not many seats left either, and since people were moving around, we couldn't figure out where to sit. The bus driver was a little cranky (as they usually are), and he yelled at us to sit down somewhere. A couple people got on after us, even though there didn't seem to be anymore room. Some Russian chick had gone off to get food, and by the time she came back the driver had given away her seat. He told her she'd have to take the next bus, and she started throwing a fit, of course. I'd be pissed too, but when you get a seat in these situations, you'd better stay parked to keep it. He took off to the next pick up point in DC, all the while yelling through traffic that she was going to have to get off when he stopped again. It started to get nasty (I had a front row seat to the drama), so finally the driver announced that if someone would give up their seat for this girl, he'd get them a free round trip on the next bus that left in an hour. Some girl was gracious enough to volunteer, and I thought that'd be the end of yelling Russian girl's tantrum. Not exactly.

I can hear her towards the back on her cell phone, calling the bus company to complain. Hello - you got a seat - can you be quiet now? Somewhere between DC and Baltimore she came up to the front to ask the driver his name. Now, Famous Tony had already announced his name and that he'd been a driver for 12 years. Every knows the Famous Tony. Not good enough for Russian girl. She wanted his family name. "In my country, Famous Tony is not a name. What is your family name?" She seriously yelled at him for about 10 minutes. Tony's rage finally erupted after asking her to sit down several times, and he swerved through 3 lanes of traffic, pulled off the road and called 911 to have her taken off the bus. Whoa!

Some guy from the back came up to calm Tony down, and made Russian chick sit down and shut up. He was a pretty good negotiator, and before the police got there we were on our way to NYC. I noticed Russian chick stayed in her seat during the pit stop in NJ. Hah.

Caro had booked a hostel for us in NYC. I've slept in plenty of them across Europe, I'm not too picky, just need a place to crash for a few hours. Well, um, hostels in Europe do not = hostels in America. I had checked it out online after she booked it, and it didn't seem bad at all. When we arrived, the lobby area was pretty cool, with a coffee shop/cafe, wireless internet and lots of foreign men. So far, so good. Until we got to the room.

It was a box. Four people in a box. We all had to enter the room completely to be able to shut the door. We couldn't do anything but laugh. There was so much static in my sheets that I kept getting shocked on the metal bed. It was drafty and freezing. The bathroom smelled like my elementary school gym - gross. I guess when you usually stay at the Westin Times Square, this was a wake-up call. Sigh. I've learned my lesson.

Despite the extreme cold, we had a good weekend. Friday night we ate at John's pizzeria, which has become my NYC staple. I must go there every trip. Saturday was shop til you drop. How many Banana Republics can you hit in one day? :)

We also dropped in to Tiffany and Co. on 5th Ave. I'm not a jewelry girl at all, but I followed everyone else for the obligatory homage. We wandered through silver, and pearls and housewares. Whatever, nice and all, but so unnecessary. But then....then....the engagement ring floor. And man, do those diamonds sparkle. Gorgeous. I could maybe deal with one of those, just maybe. I don't think I'd mind at all.....

Saturday night I met up with Josh (who had just been at my house a couple days earlier) and Scott, another friend from high school (who I had a little crush on when I was 15, just FYI. Wow, that was 11 years ago). It was random that all these Poteau people were in NYC together, but I love it. We had some dinner at a cool place on 8th and spent the evening gossiping away, of course.

After dinner I met back up with the gang at some house party in midtown, some friend of a friend of a friend. It was a Mormon party, nonetheless, and a very awesome one at that. Even though I didn't know a soul, people talked to me right away. Super friendly group, unlike most of the parties here. Seems like a tight-knit group as well, and many of us went to a club in lower Manhattan that night. Sucked that the line was too long and we were freezing our lil' buns off. We called it a night before we got in.

Sunday morning we walked through Central Park on the way to the Met, found some yummy brunch, checked out of the box hostel, and went to church. We showed up late at the church building in our grunge clothes, and we ran into some classroom to quickly change. Would've been real scary if someone had walked in on us, but I think we were beyond the point of caring. Church was really good there - great group of people. Made me tempted to move there....even if just for the congregation.......
Thank goodness the bus trip home was uneventful. No sceaming Russians, no Famous Tony, just peace and quiet.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wow, I'm Old....

Okay, so I'm not really that old. But I sure miss college. I'm currently sitting in Lauinger, a place I should've spent more time in from Sept '99 to May '03. Oh well.....

I had an appointment on campus today, so I figured I'd stay around and work from here, instead of spending an hour getting back home before starting work. I walked into the library and right away ran into RC and AB. We chatted, then I mentioned I had to get some work done and wanted to ensure there was wireless in the library. Rob looked at me like I was nuts - "Of course there's wireless," he yelled, "Didn't they have that when you were here? Oh wait, you're old....so I bet they didn't...."

Right. But thank goodness it's here now. Ain't technology grand?

And on that note, back to working remotely....

Friday, April 14, 2006

How Good Did that Feel?

I love this lil' story from AdAge:

Ex-Coker Heyer gives pouring rights to Pepsi
Revenge is not only a dish best served cold, but apparently with a glass of Pepsi as well. Steve Heyer, who took the CEO position at Starwood Hotels and Resorts after being passed over for the same job at Coca-Cola, has awarded soft-drink pouring rights at more than 300 Starwood properties in the US to Pepsi. Coke had pouring rights in the US for such Starwood brands as Sheraton and Westin since 1998. Those now shift to Pepsi.


Coke gets to keep the overseas properties, and a few here in the US, but I think that's absolutely hysterical.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

For those of you who like your hands....

Don't visit Leflore County.... Really, who maims these days?

Yet another entertaining and gross story from the hometown newspaper.

Missing digit following altercation
For the second time in four months a Panama man has allegedly bitten off the body part of another person. Daniel L. Taylor, 21, was arrested Sunday following an altercation which left another man without a finger.

Taylor was booked into the LeFlore County Detention Center on charges of maiming, based on an affidavit filed by a LeFlore County Deputy. According to documents obtained from the LeFlore County Sheriff's Department, on Sunday Deputy Jerimy Emmert was called to an altercation in the Williams community.

Emmert said that he was told that the altercation had occurred between Taylor and Phillip Potter at the Frank Hamm residence. He said that he learned that Taylor along with his younger brother, who is a juvenile, were involved in a fight. He said that Potter allegedly attempted to break-up the two young men and stop the altercation.

"While Potter was pulling the two apart Daniel Taylor bit (his) right index finger off," Emmert said. Reportedly the finger was severed near the mid-point and doctor's have now had to remove it.

Emmert said that after Taylor allegedly bit Potter, the two men began to fight and Taylor was kicked in the face. Taylor is currently facing a similar charge following an incident earlier this year.

In January Taylor was charged with one felony count of maiming, after he allegedly bit off a portion of a man's ear when the man allegedly tried to prevent Taylor from assaulting his girlfriend. Taylor has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of assault and battery following the altercation with the young woman.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Did I Really Need That?

We all know Gap is tanking. Fashion is a fickle business; they tried to get too trendy, are trying to go back to classics, and things just aren't working.

However, Gap, Inc. - don't fear. Even though your Gap stores may go down, I can single-handledly keep a positive cash flow for the overall corporation by my undying support and loyalty to Banana Republic. I've been a casual BR'er for a few years now, but now that you've upgraded me to Luxe status - wow, I've been shopping like a mad woman. Free online shipping has translated into 3 orders in just as many weeks, including one this morning. I fill out your special top-secret "BR Insider" surveys and this market research can help you stay on top. I know exactly what cut of pants I need, and that your buttondown shirts actually fit me in the chestal area (yes, I just said "chestal"). Don't ever change, BR. Don't ever change.

Did I really need to buy that Smokey Bear brown tailored shirt today? Of course! I'm finally embracing brown in my wardrobe, moving away from the black/white thing, and it compliments my hair. Right? And I know it'll fit perfectly. A classic for years.

There, I'm justified.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday Mania

Tonight for dinner I had:
  • Lasagna
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Cherry Kool-aid (I didn't get enough as a child. Still trying to compensate).
  • Brownies
  • Crab wontons with soy sauce
Mmmm.....random

I was dreading today. But it was much, much better than I expected. I'm going to give credit to a good Sunday. Church was really fulfilling. It's usually good, but for some reason this week was especially good. Gave me some direction and a chance to think about refocusing a few things in life. It's all good....

Yesterday afternoon was really great too. B and I went for a run on the trail along GW Parkway and the Potomac. Trying to cross GW Parkway to get to the other side was quite fun, dodging cars and all. Well worth it, to get to a huge circle of the reddest tulips around the Navy/Marine Memorial. The sky was clear, the flowers blooming, and the skyline perfect. I really love this city. We took a break from the trail and sat directly in line with the runway at DCA. Planes took off directly over my head every couple minutes. Makes me wish I was going somewhere. I just wanted to jump up and grab on.

I came home and played Suzy Homemaker, complete with lasagna and walnut brownies. Mmm.....good thing I hit the gym extra hard today :)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What's up, Doc(umentary)?

Movie recommendation of the week: check out War Photographer. It profiles James Nachtwey and his work during wars in Kosovo and Palestine, famine in Africa, and poverty in Indonesia. Amazing and humbling, it made me extremely grateful for the conditions in which I live.
"Every minute I was there, I wanted to flee.
I did not want to see this.
Would I cut and run, or would I deal with
the responsibility of being there with a camera"
As far as music goes this week, I'm digging the Guillemots mucho at the moment. Get the EP on iTunes or catch a few of their tunes on MySpace. More UK delishishness.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It's freezing again outside. C'mon, it's April!! I suppose the April showers bring May flowers. I'm looking forward to that, I think. I hope. Maybe that'll make all these grey days worthwhile.

JR came down from Philly last night, just for a day. That's getting weirder and weirder, yet more comfortable at the same time. It makes no sense to me, but whatever. I'm just going with the flow at this point, taking things as they come. I'm in no position to discuss anything; too apathetic, I suppose. I had many moments of frustation with him and because of many other things, and at various points I wanted to kick everyone out of the house and scream. Somehow I managed to contain myself. When will this end? I'm seemingly so frustrated at everything. I'm ready to turn a 180 and try another direction for awhile.

We went and looked at some condos they're building in my 'hood this afternoon. Man, do I want one. I can taste real estate. I'm so excited at the possibility of becoming a home owner. It's a stretch. A big one. And the building won't even be finished until late 2007. But I'm so tired of paying rent. I love my neighborhood, and it's only gonna get better with all the development that's underway. I just ran some numbers - looks like I've paid almost $60,000 in rent since I've lived here, and some of the summers I got free rent because I worked at Georgetown. That much money, down the drain....wow. And so what if I'd only own 1/5 of something after seven years? It's more equity than I've got now, and prices are only going up. I'm not going anywhere for awhile.

JR kept asking me - what if you get married, what if you get a great job somewhere else, what about grad school, and you only have a tiny condo? All good questions, yes, but why do I have to wait around for those things to decide whether or not to make such an investment? I don't. There are plenty of great jobs here in DC. I'm not in any rush to get to grad school, and there are great schools here, if London or NYC or wherever don't pan out. As for the marriage thing, yeah.... not planning my life around anyone. I don't really see myself ever planning my life around anyone. I think the independent streak is about to be taken to a whole new level.

However I did get a marriage proposal last night though, and AS wants to move to South American this fall.... Hmm....so many options......

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Back to the Blog World....

It's been quite the hiatus, and every time I hit a dry spell in the journal-keeping, I always feel like I have to catch up. Then I get overwhelmed, stop writing, and the blank spaces continue. And every time I vow to just keep going, yet here I am again. Wanting to catch up on things, not wanting to spend the time, keep the frustration to a minimum.

I think we'll go with the shortened version of the past couple weeks :-)

Josh, one of my best friends from high school (we were drum majors together - wouldn't have survivied band without him), was in town for a couple days. He's been here a few times before, and we're usually so pressed for time that if we do get to see each other, we attempt to live it up on the town. Between ringing cell phones and loud bars and rushing to airports, there's not much time to catch up. This trip however, we just chilled. And it was perfect. I cooked dinner, we spent the night playing on MySpace, Facebook, looking up all the PHS kids that are still working at Mazzio's. We watched our ridiculous Senior Class video that was quite possibly made by the worst production company ever. We joked that when we're famous and VH1 is looking for old footage, they're really gonna have to do something with that film. If you pay me a little money, I'll let ya watch it....baby pics and all!

It was a perfect evening, and I'm glad that we're still such good friends after all this time. Definitely one of those nights were you're thankful for how good life is. Some things never change, which is good in a world where not much else stays constant.

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