Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Top Twelve Reasons I Am Glad That I Moved

Here are a few reasons why moving here has been really, really good for me:

1. I walk everywhere.
2. I don't have a car, so I can't go shopping and go out to eat in the evenings while Levi is at work. I actually have to find something to do with myself at home, which is usually constructive.
3. No more smoking.
4. I still talk to my family a lot, but now I have much more to tell them about.
5. I get to see and learn more about history and politics than I ever would have anywhere else.
6. I am never bored.
7. I found out that I can make friends like a pro.
8. I don't drink much. I am pretty much healthier all the way around. No smoking, not as much drinking, not eating out as much. Plus, we have Trader Joes, so yummy + healthy is easy to find.
9. Great local music scene.
10. About a million new book stores, music stores, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
11. Joe got me a bunch of Mac software, so I am closer to my laptop than ever.
12. I live in a place that is cool enough for everyone to want to come visit.

I know there are a lot more, but these were on my mind today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some of My Favorite Websites

I love shopping online. There is so much to choose from! Plus you get a package in the mail a few days later, and not much can top that. I especially like shopping online for cute new indie-ish stuff. There are a few websites in particular that I browse on an almost-daily basis. is God's gift to the internet. It is a website where anyone can sell anything handmade. Even cookies, which is awesome. You will find whatever you want on this site. Of course, since people are posting handmade items, some of the stuff is a little crappy. But you can find some real gems. Look at this cute Owl Messenger Bag I just bought! And it is so fun to see the range of ideas that people have about what a scarf looks like. And if you would rather make your stuff than buy it, go to Etsy to get ideas!

Another one of my favorites is ModCloth. And lucky for me, the company I just started working for does their website, so I get a discount! Yeah! I particularly love the birdie wall decals on the left and the coasters on the right. Susan and Eric do a perfect job of traveling around and picking out new items to sell. Great clothes too. Definitely check this one out.

Last for today is ShanaLogic. This website comprised a good percentage of my Christmas list this year. They have less clothes, but lots and lots of great art (below) and accessories. Some of their stuff can be a little pricey, like this $70 pillow. But a lot of it is pretty reasonable and totally worth the cost.

Next time you are bored at work or looking for something cute and different, check out these sites. I'm always looking for new stuff, so tell me your favorites too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Going Darker?

After more than a couple of days of giving up on my hair and pulling it up in a ponytail, I have decided that it is time for a change. I like having it long, but it has gotten too long and too straight and way too boring.

I'm thinking of chopping it off right below the shoulders, then dying it dark. Kind of like this -->

Just ignore the long, blonde hair underneath. I am not trying out some crazy layer thing. Take a look at that totally professional Photoshop job and let me know what you think. I'm a big wuss, so I probably won't go that dark. But we'll see. I live in a new place now, so why not have a little fun?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Afternoon to Remember

Nothing is a whole lot cooler than living in DC. Being able to spend a Saturday afternoon walking around the National Mall or browsing the Smithsonian makes life significantly more interesting. There are a lot of things that are completely different to me. For one thing, I can get anywhere I want by walking or taking the Metro. It is not as depressing to be without a car as I thought it would be. I think it actually makes my life a little more interesting.

On Saturday Levi and I took the Metro to Dupont Circle to meet someone who is interviewing Iraq war veterans for a research project. Before we met her, we stopped for flatbread sandwiches at Cosi. Mine was chicken, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Levi's was roast beef and wasabi. They were delicious.

Then we wandered into a little bakery / coffee shop and picked up some Valentine's Day sprinkle cookies that I ended up trying to feed to a sad-looking statue later on.

After the interview we walked around Dupont Circle and admired the buildings. Then it was off to Embassy Row. Not on purpose... we just stumbled upon it.

There were statues everywhere... some of them were people and some were elephants. This is in front of the Indian Embassy. We also saw Ghandi and Buffalos and lots of political leaders from around the world.

This is one of the most tolerant churches I have ever seen. On the other end of the church was a banner. Nice to know someone is aware of how Jesus would have really wanted things. (Psst... he would have been a liberal.)

Across the street from the church was a gas station where I had a very random experience. After walking around for a couple of hours, we both realized the need to find a restroom. We spent the next fifteen minutes spell-checking an essay for the clerk's English class. Odd, but kind of fun.

There are so many restaurants in DC, we could eat out every day for the next ten years and never hit all of them. This realization inspired us to make a promise not to eat at chain restaurants anymore. We are pretty good about that anyway, but this experience made it necessary to pinkie-swear. (We might cheat with the occasional Chipotle burrito.)

The next stop was a little independently owned bookstore. It made us promise not to shop at Barnes & Noble anymore either.

While we were strolling, we came upon a street that was all blocked off to traffic. There were a few people walking and biking around, so we thought we would check it out. Turns out it was Pennsylvania Avenue, so we got some nice White House photos.

Right in front of the White House there was a guy with an arsenal of picket signs. Everything from anti-war to pro-life posters. He was sorting through them when we walked by, and I got this picture as he was picking out two of them to hold up. It seems to me that protesting kind of loses its impact if you have a sign for everything.

After several hours of exploring, we jumped on the Metro to head home. We had to change lines in Chinatown, and we decided to get dinner at a place that we had walked by a couple of weeks ago called Wok and Roll. Awesome name for a restaurant. They had great sushi and sesame chicken. Yum.

We have been checking on Joe and Charlotte's dog this weekend, so we stopped for some Corona and went to their house. We played with Georgia-dog and watched Charlie Wilson's War, then one of us had the brilliant idea to take advantage of the Rock Band. Needless to say, we didn't get home until very late. Overall, it was a perfect day.

Tonight we are checking out the Grammy's. There have been a few highlights, but generally not too impressive. Right now I am watching Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and their dueling pianos. That is definitely entertaining.

Before the Grammy's was Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton on 60 minutes. After the interview she spoke about John McCain not being able to show up for an interview. Here is something that Katie did that needs to stop:

"We look forward to having him on... the near future."

There was a very pregnant pause between "on" and "in." Right in the middle of the sentence. Go ahead, say it out loud. You hear news anchors do it all of the time. It sounds so unnatural, Ms. Couric should probably knock it off. Of course, she is the professional, not me.

I will end this post with a picture of the darling coffee shop birds eating our sprinkle cookies. I don't think I will ever stop getting excited over all of the birds and squirrels that are running around this city. We even saw a mouse trying to get into a Slim Jim wrapper under the Metro tracks. Aw, cute.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Something to Write Home About...

I've had a blog for a while, but it was mostly full of little diddies that I wrote and not much about me. Considering that I don't want anyone to read my little diddies, I figured that was not the best use for a public blog on the internet machine. So, I replaced it with something that I don't mind sharing.

For me, blogging is kind of like the grown-up version of leaving my diary around the house so my mom would read it. I love writing about myself and knowing that someone else is reading it. So, read away. Of course, since i have never been very good at writing in a diary, I probably won't be very good at keeping up a blog. But I'll do my best.

I, like millions of others, am hooked on Lost. And I am ecstatic that it is not one of those shows that is taking a break. Au contraire, while my other favorite shows are on hiatus, Lost came back from the not-quite-dead. Thank you J.J. Abrams, for getting me all excited and giving me something fictional to hypothesize about from Thursday to Thursday.

I am also enamored with finding new music and downloading as much of it as possible. Legally, of course. Since Levi is hunting down bad guys in the evenings these days, I have been spending a good deal of time finding new stuff to please my ears. The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack is fun and different and makes me want to see the movie again. The Elected is a good time... it is Blake Sennett from Rilo Kiley doing something on the side. I knew I liked a few Grandaddy songs, but I love their "Just Like the Fambly Cat." I didn't know if I was going to like "In Rainbows," the new Radiohead. But, I do. Thank you Joe for that little masterpiece.

Here's something to write home about... I quit smoking when we made our big move from Texas to DC. I figured it would either be a big mistake or the perfect time to quit. Turns out, it was perfect. I quit the weekend before Christmas and I have been 95% successful. That 5% comes from two nights when I was out drinking heavily with smokers. Oh well, what are ya gonna do? Anyway, the only time that I really, really want to smoke is when I drink. I also want to smoke when I talk on the phone, when I'm alone, when I am in a car and when I am walking. And right after I eat dinner. But those times are not as bad as when I drink. If anyone can tell me how to get over that alcohol+cigarette craving, I would be eternally grateful. As would all of the other smokers/ex-smokers in the world. Kids, don't start smoking. You know, I think the idea of quitting was worse than the actual quitting. Because the one thing that makes me not start again is the thought of having to quit. Again. Man, it is a good thing I never did heroin.

Enough about bad habits. I would like to welcome all of you to my not-quite-first blog post. My first post on this blog. That turned out to be kind of a downer. Keep coming back and get to know me a little better. Or a lot better, depending on how excited I get about this whole blogging thing.

Until next time...