Tuesday, October 31, 2006

LONG weekend update

I had another fantastic weekend . .

Friday night, BSG and I went bowling at Lucky Strike which is everything a bowling alley in the Midwest is not – classy. It’s a bar, it’s a restaurant, and it’s got a dress code. This is my kind of place. My only complaint is that their lanes must’ve needed waxing or something, because my ball went into the gutter way more than usual J

We also went to see “Flags of our Fathers” which was an excellent movie. BSG says that it’s almost as good as the book.

Saturday morning, we headed to a consignment store in Bethesda so BSG could attempt to sell a few items she never wears anymore. I was incredibly impressed with the prices. We spotted a like-new JCrew jacket for only $25! And the designer jeans were priced fabulously too! Looks like this girl has found yet another place to shop . . only a lot cheaper than the stores I usually frequent. I don’t have anything against wearing someone’s hand-me-downs as long as they don’t look like hand-me-downs.

Across the street was a cute little flea market with a few great vendors. I will definitely be going back when I have some extra cash . . and when that time comes, I hope they still have the flea market, because it will probably be a few years from now.

Baby Walker had his 1st birthday party on Saturday, and it was the cutest birthday party I’ve ever been to. It was a costume party for babies! All of his play group friends and his parents’ friends’ kids were there – all 3 years of age and younger – in their adorable little costumes. Walker was a frog. The 3-year olds randomly started playing their recorders as we sang him happy birthday. K had the most delicious appetizers set out for the grown-ups and a few different bottles of wine. The kids had a table of their own with baby finger foods and crayons. All adorable kids, but Walker is still the cutest baby I know!

I attended my own costume party that night, to which I went as a Cornhusker . . not a Cornhusker fan, but an actual Cornhusker . . overalls, a flannel shirt, boots, and corn husks in my pockets. I thought it was a creative (albeit lazy) idea, especially since it was basically FREE (because I am definitely returning that flannel shirt). The best costume by far was a shower! I also enjoyed Johnny from the Karate Kid; the guy looked like he jumped right out of the movie. And Mike Ditka had won a costume party the night before. I met Enrique Iglesias, too . . not really, but he totally looked like him.

Sunday morning, I went outside to watch the Marine Corps Marathon runners go by my apartment building. When I discovered I had missed all 34,000 of them, I introduced myself to a family who let me tag along and watch the runners at different points in the race. We walked 5 miles to the National Mall and 5 miles back to Iwo Jima which is near my apartment. It was so fun to cheer on the runners, yelling out the names written on their shirts. The family was great! They were cheering on their wife/mom/best friend. They let me borrow their fleece jacket and called me their adopted L, since the daughter’s name was L, too. It’s kinda funny that I’m going to be on their home video documentary!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


New Girl, on riding with me:

"Your driving kinda fits your personality. Not dangerous but slightly spontaneous."

Me, on mismatched foundation:

New Girl, at the bathroom sink, talking to a maintenance woman: “Is my foundation streaky?”

Me, from the stall: “Yes”.

New Girl, as she sees that it’s me exiting the stall: “Is doesn’t look that bad, does it?”

Me: “Only in the daylight”.

I’m a firm believer that no loyalty to a cosmetic brand should override the need for a better foundation. In fact, I have a couple of friends who need to either fork out more money at the tanning salon or invest in a lighter foundation and some bronzer. My comments to New Girl may seem harsh, but that wasn't the first time we'd talked about it.

On discovering, via my mother, that I can no longer vote in Nebraska:

Me: Well you call them back and tell them that I am NOT a Virginian. They need to send me my absentee ballot.

Mom: In your heart, you’re a Nebraskan. . but in reality, you’re a Virginian. Sorry, but you’re going to have register to vote in Virginia.

It was bad enough having to face the fact that I no longer have a voice in Nebraska . . on top of that, I also realized that I am too late to register to vote here! I cannot vote in the elections! This is a crime . . a crime punishable by a Democratic majority in the House and Senate! This means that if indeed the Dems do regain control in the House (Senate not likely), I will be partially to blame! I can’t carry around guilt like that!

Make sure you do your part and VOTE on election day! If you’re red like me, then cast aside your discouragement with the Republican party and give them a vote of confidence! The thought of higher taxes, weakened national security, and having to fight for good judges in the Supreme Court makes me cringe. I’ve been having nightmares about Nancy Pelosi already.

(I could go on and on, but I don’t want my Democratic readers getting uncomfortable.)

Gold Cup Pics

They're comfy in the front seat.

I really hate to post such an unflattering picture of myself, but this will give you a good idea of what the ride was like in the back seat. Only I would take a picture of this.

One of the races. I picked #6, Dance with Mia . . for the name, of course.

Isn't the foliage beautiful??

Definitely did not inhale.


Don’t ask how horse racing beat out football, but it did . . and it won’t happen again. The party train met up at the Daily Grill downtown for some mimosas (and water for me, even though I love me a bellini every once in a while). I was able to watch the kickoff for the Nebraska/Texas game and let me tell you, it was painful being dragged away after 5 minutes of play. It’s all I could think about all day. The Gold Cup was fun, don’t get me wrong. Fun, like “doing new things is always fun”. Fun, like “getting to see what everyone is wearing fun”. . especially girls going for the “I don’t ride horses, but I like to pretend I do” look. However, I did have a *slightly* equestrian look going on myself with my brown corduroy cuffed capris, brown boots, and wool blazer. One thing that was NOT fun was the 2 hour car ride in traffic on the way there. It was cool with me that I got moved from the Land Rover to the BMW convertible . . until the driver decided we’d drive the entire way with the top down . . in under 65 degree weather. The wool blazer was fine the entire day, except for those two hours . . it just wasn’t enough. Meanwhile, the two front seat riders were taking off their jackets because “Gawd, it’s hot up here.” They didn’t seem to notice the tangled mess that was my hair in the back seat.

Our tickets not only got us into the event, but also allowed us to partake of the food and social hour in one of the members only tents, co-sponsored by my company. I’d attend a similar event again . . but I would NOT choose it over football. On the upside, Anonymous reminded me that we *will* play Texas again this year, which is something that dawned on me at the event, but didn’t make me feel any better at the moment.

. . Pictures coming soon . . as always.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Reason #1: Why I Need a Boyfriend

I'm sitting here on my laptop eating a brown rice cake . . an organic brown rice cake . . and dreaming of the delicious chocolate candy that Big Sky Girl just informed me she has the secret family recipe for. I haven't tried said candy yet, but if it's good enough for people to make high dollar offers for the recipe, it must be pretty amazing. So I'm dreaming of the candy . . along with all other consumable substances, because again . . I'm eating a brown rice cake and anything would taste better than this. Dieting sucks.

But, although it sucks, when combined with consistent workouts, I'm hoping it helps me drop a few pounds before I head home in a few weeks. I just can't let my family see me like this! The muffin-topping and the painted-on pants are just too much for my loved ones to have to witness. I'm supposed to come back happy, healthy, and glowing, because life in the District is good . . and the food in the District is really good. If somebody's paying for the filet, you better believe I'm eating the whole thing. And if my roommate wants to make cookies, how could I rudely turn one down . . or two, or three, or more? So now, here I am, embarassed to say that I am totally out of shape, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the phrase. The shape of my body? Not.the.same. Oh, but it will be again. Even if I have to remove desserts from my diet forever . . . except of course when Best Friend and I reunite a few times a year and go for Cold Stone . . because you don't mess with tradition.

Tonight I decided I need a boyfriend. And I'm not gonna lie . . I decide that pretty frequently. It's not a matter of wanting one you see. I'm talking about need. There is logic that has gone into this. And my reasoning tonight would be strictly for safety purposes. I'm 5'2", blonde, and well . . who cares how short or what color my hair is . . I'm a woman! And being a woman in D.C. occasionally presents you with serious transportation issues. All I want to be able to do is visit my friend, chat for as long and 'til as late as my heart desires, and go home. But it's not that easy. How will I get home? Metro? Sorry, don't want to walk or metro in the dark, especially on the weekend. Cab? Sorry, don't often carry cash or want to pay $15-20 to get home (plus New Girl told me she was sexually assaulted by a cab driver once). Drive my car? That would be the best option if parking were available, but it's not.

So I was stuck at Big Sky Girl's tonight. And I needed a boyfriend to come pick me up. To drop whatever he's doing and come get me. That is what they're for, isn't it?

Well . . . as we all know, I don't have one of those, because apparently "the time isn't right for me" . . but let me just say that the time felt very right tonight . . and feels very right every time I face a transportation dilemma. As much as I'd like to think I could whoop a mugger's a$$ if confronted or at least properly handle my pepper spray, I'd rather not take my chances.

I was left with only one option tonight . . to call the only boy who would be willing to pick me up. Don't gasp. Don't judge me. I wasn't trying to take advantage of his affection for me . . I just wanted to make it home o.k., and I figured maybe he did, too. Believe me, it was hard to even call and ask. BSG can vouch for the amount of stuttering and silent pauses I went through before I could even ask the favor. And he sighed. And he came. And I wonder if the words "I've never been mad at you a day in my life" would still be an honest description of how he feels about me. But, I'm very thankful. So I'm going to make him some pretty phenomenal cookies that will make him wish he could pick me up all the time if the rewards would always be so sweet. Yes, I'll make him cookies . . . unless BSG wants me to help her make some of that candy she was bragging about . . (BSG, I promise to leave the room for the 'secret step'.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Decisions, decisions

What do I do?

The Nebraska v. Texas game is Saturday, and I’m stoked to watch it with the Nebraska gang at someone’s apartment.

BUT, my cube neighbor just gave me a free ticket to the International Gold Cup for the Steeplechase races the same day! Free!

Hmm, popped collars and brown suede coats or Husker tattoos and bright red t-shirts? I’m leaning towards the latter, but when I get an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, it’s hard to pass it up.

I know the Huskers will play other games, but they won’t play Texas again in 2006.

I think if Vanderbilt will give me a ride, I’ll go to Gold Cup (I think), but if the Rover is full, I’ll gladly don red on Saturday.

*Note: my cube neighbor says there may be televisions to watch the game at Gold Cup . . ohhh, but it’s not the same!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back in the picture . . for a day

I am officially a terrible person.

I haven’t written about Rochester for a long time, because I was doing the right thing by staying away from him . . for two whole months! Since we can’t be together, why hang out? But I told New Girl I missed him the other day and sure enough, I ran into him at work two minutes later. We talked and smiled and, geez I hope no one was watching, because it would’ve been pretty obvious that we haven’t always been “just friends”.

So that night I fought the urge to call him. But I wasn’t so successful the next day. Long story short, we hung out . . twice in one day . . and he said some pretty sweet and just plain romantic things to me, which made me want to cry, not because it was sweet - well, maybe a little because it was sweet – but mainly because I am a bad person and I am making him hurt. He told me how hard it’s been not hanging out with me and how much he’s missed me . . But, has it been hard for me? Not really. I’ve been filling my life with other things, making friends, staying busy, and knowing that staying away was the right thing to do. Then, out of the blue I start missing him, practice zero self-control by calling, lie to myself by thinking we can maybe kinda be friends again, and convince myself that he couldn’t possibly care anymore. I like to think I’m right about most things, but in this case I was 100% wrong.

So once again, I reiterated the fact that my relationship with the Lord is not a part of my life. It is my life. And I love it! Which means that no, it isn’t good enough to be with someone who is ‘cool’ with that. Not good enough at all! It isn’t good enough to be with someone that ‘lets’ me take the kids to church . . yeah, that’s right, he talked about kids! I can see why he would be confused, because if I’m living this life that is Jesus then I wouldn’t be calling him! I'd be practicing the self-control that God would give me if.I.asked! Gah!

So now I have to stay away again . . for good. And part of me is ok, because I’m used to not hanging out with him. But the other part of me is really sad that it’s over. Our friendship can really only be a “friendship”. Like friendly acquaintances. Like “smile when you walk by but don’t always stop to talk” friends. Like “what are you doing this weekend, but even if you’re free, we’re not hanging out” friends. I know it’s for the best, but it sucks.

He needs to move on and meet someone else and so do I.

*This weekend, I did, for the first time since moving to D.C., meet a cute Christian guy. Short, but cute. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It’s really sad that I’ve visited 5 churches and lived here for 5 months and this is the first time. It’s also really sad that I just made note of the fact that he is short, because I am short – 5’2” short. Now the only reason I know he’s a Christian is because his roommate is and mostly because of Myspace. (I heart MySpace.) I didn’t actually have a conversation with him . . I mean, the Nebraska game was on! I simply shook his hand, made a mental note of his cuteness, and turned back to the game. Maybe I’ll see him again. And maybe I’ll meet someone else who is cute and tall(er). Or maybe I’ll be single for 5 more years, because I apparently like to postpone my chances of meeting the right guy by getting involved with the wrong one.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Considering the amount of money I’m willing to spend on an article of clothing, you’d be surprised to know that I have a hard time putting down a mere $1.50 for a bottled water or spending more than $5 on lunch every day. However, my reluctance to spend the money has led me to forget to drink any water at all . . to the point of not needing to use the facilities at work all day. It’s a wonder I don’t get dehydrated!

Big Sky Girl got on my case about it the other day, and I realized she’s right . . . am I trying to prematurely age myself? It’s no wonder I’ve gained weight, since water helps you digest.your.food!! And my skin? I haven’t broken out or anything, but it certainly hasn’t been glowing for quite some time.

So I decided to make it another new habit of mine, right up there with a consistent workout schedule and limited caloric intake. So far, I’ve gone three days with at least 2 liters of water, which equals 4 bottled waters. One in the morning, one for lunch, one in the afternoon, and one for dinner. Not too tough.

It may be all in my head, but I think I’m noticing a difference already. For one thing, I head to the ladies’ room about 4 times a work day, as opposed to 0-1 – information I’m sure you could’ve done without. (This reminds me of you, LindsayBlake, and I think you know why. ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wisconsin AGAIN?!

Ok, as much as I enjoyed my business trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week, I wasn't itching to go back anytime soon. Yet, of all 50 states that I could've been deployed to for the RNC, I'm getting sent to Wisconsin! - Green Bay this time. I was hoping for Connecticut, but would've been happy with just about any state BUT Wisconsin. I would've even gone back to South Dakota. And just after I swore to New Girl that they probably weren't sending anyone to that state because it wasn't targeted. Doh! She's so jealous of me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Church Search

I ended the trip to Milwaukee with a short 5K run over the Milwaukee river downtown and alongside Lake Michigan as the sun came up Saturday morning. It was great.

I flew back to D.C. with a big box of Wisconsin cheeses (a gift) and a cheese cookbook for New Girl who is a vegetarian and from Milwaukee herself. She loved it.

There were many highlights of the trip, but one in particular was a special surprise. Just before heading to the airport, I had breakfast with the lady I've been shadowing for months. I suspected she knew the Lord, but hadn't ever discussed it with her. I was delighted to learn that she knows Him very well and went through Youth With a Mission (YWAM) several years ago, which is an awesome missions organization and planned to attend Brownsville School of Ministry (a school that my friend attended). Realizing that we each had a relationship with Jesus, we totally bonded and finished the conversation with a big hug. Once again, I was amazed at how the Lord has blessed me through this transition in my life. I couldn't ask for more. (Well . . maybe to have my home church move here - ha, but I know I'll find the right church.)

So far, I've visited four churches and all of them are really great. No matter where you visit, there will usually always be something you don't prefer or some way you wish it was like your home church I suppose. I always listen to messages online from my home church. I've been here for 5 months, though, and I haven't decided on consistently attending just one. Often, I'll visit two a day. I'll like worship a lot at one church, the potential to make friends easily at another, the size of another, the location of yet another. One great thing is that every church I've visited really has solid Biblical teaching, so even though I've been skipping around, I've been hearing some great messages!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Milwaukee Part II

Spending a full 3 days surrounded by policy experts has been . . well, cool. There have been moments on this trip where I have felt pretty useless as to my purpose for being here, since I was stuck overseeing a room every day. However, I've been able to socialize with two clients one-on-one, which is something that I don't believe anyone else in my position at work has been able to do. I also saw someone I knew from Nebraska who we (my company) may be able to work with in the future. (Yay for contributing to our list of contacts!)

I am constantly put in situations that are a greater boost to my self-esteem and make me feel confident of what I am capable of. This is good, because I know that success can only happen when you have a high level of self-esteem (along with several other characteristics, of course). All that to say, I've got a long way to go, but I've learned so much in the past 5 months, it's crazy. I may not be rolling in the big bucks, but I feel like I'm being paid to learn. And for being paid to learn, I'm doing pretty dang good.

Oh, and another cool thing - the former Majority Leader of the ______ State Senate approached me and we had a nice conversation. Preeetty cool. heheh

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Milwaukee, Part I

I forgot how great it is to be alone. I share a room, and I couldn't ask for a better roommate, but there is never complete privacy. When she goes to bed, you're going to bed . . or you're movin' it to the living room. Having my own hotel room, I can put my stuff wherever I want, watch whatever I want, be as loud as I want, set the temp to what I want. If I wanted to, I could dance and sing around the 65 degree room, with the music on, and the television on, while flinging the contents of my suitcase in any direction I choose. And I could do all of this without any clothes on. Not that I want to! But if I wanted to, I could. It's all about freedom really.

Previously, I mentioned the possibility of "Grey's Anatomy" deprivation this week. But, thanks to a last-minute installation by IT, I now have a DVD player on my work laptop, so you know I watched two episodes of "Grey's" on the plane. And not just any plane . . I flew Midwest! . . which means no layovers, large seats, and warm chocolate chip cookies!

My first day and a half has gone smoothly, despite the fact that I dropped my chocolate-covered fork on my new silk shirt, have had problems accessing the internet from my hotel room (although I'm paying for it), and accidentally admitted to a client that I use a competitor's service - doh!

The food is good, and I've successfully located the fitness room . . the latter being crucial, since the former is true. My new strategy is to only finish half my plate when eating regular-to-large sized meals. But I forgot last night. The dessert happened to be particularly good, as well, and it took every fiber of self-control in my slighly overweight (by my standards) body to put.down.the.fork.

I've been able to see a little more than the hotel so far, since we were shuttled over to a donor's large home last night for drinks and appetizers. I saw the art museum (which has 'wings'), Lake Michigan (which the home overlooked), and more of downtown Milwaukee. I would post pictures, but . . . I forgot my camera! Don't ask how, but I did. I'm still alive, but very disappointed.

My co-worker and I decided to be social last night, and went to a nearby bar. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of introducing my new coat to the disgusting smell of smoke, but I went anyway. The entertainer at the Irish pub was so hilarious that the entire bar was laughing, singing along, and dancing as he played his guitar and sang songs (some of which crossed the line into the realm of inappropriate). However, the 80s and 90s sing-a-longs were a b-last!

I'm off to a 2-hour lunch break, which may or may not include a little shopping. Maybe this business trip thing isn't so bad.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Random Work Tales

It's Just Lunch
Nearly every morning without fail, my cube neighbor steps into my cube, takes a seat in my extra chair, and fills me in on his life . . well, not just his life . . his love life. Actually, I’m not sure it can be called a ‘love’ life, since love really doesn’t have a thing to do with it. He’s a chronic lunch-dater, who somehow, despite having lunch and/or drinks with several different girls a week, manages to be a regular-dater of a particular girl. He says their “6 month” is coming up. I wonder, how do you have a 6-month anniversary with someone while she knows (because you openly tell her) that you see other girls? Odd. He’s asked me to help him brainstorm about romantic ways to celebrate this occasion. He already plans to pay one of the street musicians to show up at Dupont Circle at a certain time of night to serenade her. And they always have dinner by candlelight. If I didn’t know any better, I’d be jealous . . but I prefer to date someone who is exclusively dating me and not every girl in D.C. with nice teeth and a Louis Vuitton.

Today, as he and I were quietly discussing “the anniversary”, Leigh and New Girl came over and made jokes about our daily talks. The jokes are a little annoying, since they happen nearly every time we talk . . but today Leigh went a little beyond annoying. “I can always hear you from my cube, because of the way you say your ‘S’’s. You kinda have a lisp, so when you’re trying to talk softly, all I hear are your ‘S’s, and I’m like, ‘Ohmygawd, are you serious?’” . . . and on and on about how I talk. I’m a very good sport and can take a lot of crap, but it was the way she said it. And maybe it bothers me, because I’ve heard people hold their “S”s before and it’s kind of annoying, so does this mean that I am annoying people? Who needs to be self-conscious about how they talk? Not this girl. Because I talk a lot. So, I’m not mad, but it’s quite often that Leigh says things and they come off in a very offensive way. I never snap at people, but I’ve been a little short with her on numerous occasions. And the thing is, I know it’s not intentional. She is a more serious, intense person, but she has a great heart. It’s just that having to remind myself of this at least once a week gets a little old.

No Grey’s?!
At the moment, I have nothing to do at work, which is a great feeling compared to the usual feeling of leg-shaking, nail-biting stress! In four hours, I’ll be boarding a plane to Milwaukee. I wish I was excited, but I got a look at my itinerary and 10 hours a day of managing a room at a conference, plus dinners and after-dinner mixers, just doesn’t sound exciting. The thought of watching “Grey’s Anatomy” (thanks to BSG for lending me Season 2) on the plane and in my hotel room had me very stoked, but I just realized that my work laptop doesn’t play DVDs. “Seriously!”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Day Trip

Big Sky Girl and I decided to make good use of our Saturday by taking a short trip to Maryland's capital, Annapolis. I had heard how cute it was there, right on the water . . sailboats and old buildings . . amazing crab sandwiches, crab soup, you name it. Oh! and let's not forget all the Navy boys walking around, because the Naval Academy is right there.

Before getting to the harbor, we made a stop at the Pennsylvania Dutch farmer's market. You know it took everything in me to not whip out my camera and snap a few photos of the Amish folk. The first thing BSG and I spotted was the case of cakes. We immediately purchased one slice each: coconut for BSG and banana cake for me. The market was like a grocery store. They had everything, including candies, flour, spices, meats, pretzels, everything. On my way out, I snatched a bag of chocolate covered pretzels for my roommate, KC, and BSG and I vowed to return in a couple of weeks . . with a cooler!

Historic Annapolis was so cute . . one of those places you want to immediately move to, because how could life get better than this? . . living right on the harbor in the sailing capital of America. We walked blocks and blocks around the area in our blazers and pointed toe shoes, clearly sticking out amongst other tourists. We ate at a restaurant on the water . . hamburgers topped with crab meat . . mixing our love of beef with a taste of the coast. (To be honest, though, I should've stuck with a crab cake sandwich.)

We plan to return soon - next time to actually walk around the Naval Academy and maybe talk to a real estate agent about moving there.