Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Stair Fun

I've been making a concerted effort to take the stairs whenever possible lately.  It's my little way of adding a bit more exercise into my daily routine.  And it feels good.  Then I saw this video on one of the fitness blogs I follow and it made me wish my stairs, which I usually have all to myself, were like these ones!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Dog's Leg Steals His Bone...?

Don't you just hate it when your leg tries to steal your food from you?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Fall Reflections

"Reflection Tree"

All you Summer-lovers out there who are still trying to eek out the last bit of use of your tanks, shorts and flip-flops... you might want to cover your ears (or eyes, as it were).  'Cause here's the thing... I LOVE Fall!  I mean, I very much enjoy summer sun-dresses, water sports and barbecues, but I love everything about this season between Summer and Winter. 

I love the fact that we don't sweat when we're outside.  And all the cute sweaters and jackets.  I love the crisp air that hints at all the changes yet to come.  And the colors - ohhhh the colors.  The changing of the leaves in Oregon was beautiful, and I can only imagine what it will be like out here, where the Fall Colors are 'famous'. 

Every Fall causes me to reflect on the changes in my own life as well.  And inevitably there are many.  This Fall is no different...

The biggest change is a new personal passion that has recently come to my attention.  As I've already discussed, I recently realized the extent of my photography obsession which has been growing for years now.  With a little encouragement from my mother-in-law and husband, along with a dose of self-realization, I decided I might be able to do something with this obsession.  I'm far from "doing something" truly meaningful with it, but at this point I am enjoying the digital photography and Photoshop learning process.  There's just so much to explore!  And you know what they say - Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life!  That's a pretty good goal to aim for.  You can follow my journey over at Just a Bud.

As I continue to reflect on the changes in my own life this season, I'd love to hear what the crisp air of the changing season has brought into your life!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Is that really necessary?

It's noon, and I'm still mentally disturbed by what I saw this morning. 

Tim and I had a nice little stroll to the Metro where he "dropped me off" with a kiss goodbye and the usual well-wishes for a good day at work.  I snagged my daily Express newspaper (news. brief.) from my favorite Express distribution dude at Capitol South and headed for the escalator as usual.  That's where the pleasantries stopped and the creepies crept in. 

At the top of the escalator there was a man (I assume it was a man) dressed as the grim reaper.  I couldn't see his face (does the grim reaper have a face?), but I could hear his evil laugh and I could definitely see the very large poster he carried. On it was a blown up image of a bloody fetus' head.

Are you disturbed yet?

As if that wasn't enough, Grim had some form of voice amplifying device that made it impossible to block him out.  He was laughing the most evil laugh I have ever heard in my life.  (Worse than Heath Ledger as The Joker or the laugh from MJ's Thriller.  And, no, I am not exaggerating.)  Once his sinister laugh dissipated he proclaimed, "Keep fighting for the right to kill your babies and I will reward you for eternity...." punctuated by more evil chuckles.

Can you see why I am still disturbed hours later?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Shutter Bug

In this season of swine flu scares I feel it would be good of me to warn you... I've caught a serious case of the shutter bug and can't seem to shake it.

Saturday I took the plunge and invested in a quality digital SLR camera.  After hours and hours of research, and years of yearning for a camera that made that dreamy shutter sound, I went with the Nikon D90 and am extremely pleased so far.  Of course, anything of higher quality than my little point and shoot Canon PowerShot SD 750 would have me in awe I'm sure.

I spent most of Saturday snapping photos at every turn and playing with all the dials I've never had before.  Fortunately there is always something to capture in DC, and if the cityscapes and public protests aren't enough, my husband, friends and kitty have been very patient "models" (so far).  A word to the wise, however, if you'd rather not have a camera in your face I'd stay away from me for the foreseeable future, or the next, oh, 2 years at least.  I figure that's how long it'll take me to learn most of what I want to learn about portrait photography.

And if you're interested in following my journey as I learn about photography and Photoshop ... among other things, I'm sure ... you can check out my new blog over at Just A Bud.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I'd never been to New York and I guess I didn't know what to expect, but it was nothing like whatever I didn't know to expect.  I suppose I had glamorized the city...  Unbeknown to me, my imagination had created a vision of a clean, beautiful city where everyone was fashion forward and the air smelled of roses and cinnamon rolls and the streets were paved in gold.  Ha!

A few eye-opening observations from my first trip to NYC:

- This city overwhelms the senses (and not in the cinnamon rolls and roses kind of way). It is a loud, dirty, smelly, huge city. Most of the time, except for Central Park and the MoMA, I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath of air. My lungs apparently knew not to take in that much fowl "air" at once. The streets are covered in litter and everything seems to be in disarray.  Nothing is kind or gentle about this city. Everything is in your face (or up your nose, as the case may be). Times Square is the best example, of course. And that was our first stop after we dropped our stuff off at the hotel (which is another story entirely).

 Times Square
- The Statue of Liberty is not nearly as big as the movies make her look.  I thought she would tower over the city, but the skyline actually dwarfs her.  Which just seemed so wrong!

- A dump of a motel is more expensive than the Hilton in Oregon. 
I'm not so clueless as to think that for $200/night on Labor Day weekend that we were going to get a stellar hotel. (or am I?)  But what we did get was still a shock to the system.  There were two double beds in our room each butted up against the wall, and there was almost enough space to walk between them.  Nothing matched (see photo below).  The bathroom had mold growing on the ceiling and along the tub, toilet and sink.  All at once Laura managed to pull the curtain rod above her bed down on herself while trying to shut the curtains for privacy, Tim nearly fell through the rock hard bed (did they screw up and put the box spring on top?) in an attempt to fix the curtain rod, and I realized there was no TP in the bathroom (mid stream of course).  That pretty much sums it up.  I slept with my hands between my face and the pillow in an attempt to keep from breathing whatever was surely inside. 

On the plus side...

- Central Park is as beautiful as one would imagine an 80-block green space in the middle of a huge city.

- The food is amazing! We planned our trip around Laura's favorite restaurants and other places recommended to us.  The food might have been my favorite thing about the City.

- One can easily catch a cab at any hour of the day or night.
This is in stark contrast to DC where you practically have to order your cab online in advance unless you're on Pennsylvania Ave. or at the airport.

By Labor Day even Tim was saying, "I can't wait to get home to DC!"  Which is saying something for a guy who has no great love for DC (or any city with a population larger than 50,000).  And upon arrival back in the District we were both shocked by how clean (sterile, even) our city felt.  It was kind of refreshing.

I have to admit that I do not *heart* NY (does this make me un-American??).  But I DO *heart* the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Call me Uncaring

I have a confession to make: I'm pretty sure DC has turned me into a B.I.T.C.H.

- Here's the proof -

I used to be an idealist. One of those annoyingly optimistic people who think they can fix all that is wrong in the world. After just five months living in DC, when I walk down the street between the Metro and my office I don't want to be stopped by people out to save the world. I don't want to be annoyed daily by people from CARE, Greenpeace, PETA, or those people who make Obama out to be Hitler. I most certainly don't want to be approached (and made to feel guilty for not stopping) by three people from the same organization while walking from my office to the post office two blocks away. I'm just trying to go about my life. I don't want you asking if I have a moment to save the planet, or a moment to help abused animals, or a moment to solve world poverty. Your incessant attempts to stop me on the street drive me crazy. I'd like to think that I'm just annoyed by their patronizing ways - treating me as if I'm not already doing my part to help make the world a better place. As if every person walking by is not already helping, but maybe I'm just completely uncaring and heartless.

Not only that, but I have become the most annoyable person I know. People who don't follow the "rules" of the Metro system make my blood boil. I have too many stories to share on this topic for the short time I've been using the Metro Rail system. And if I recount them my blood pressure will likely shoot through the roof, so I'd better not. But suffice it to say, people are crazy. And when you put them into small spaces like mass transit trains and tunnels they seem to lose all common sense and politeness that their mama's (should have) taught them. About once a week I leave work in a pretty good mood only to arrive home fuming. I've got to find a way to control this pent-up frustration. I can't control them, I can only control me. *deep breath* I can't control them, all I can control is me.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Birthday No. 24

This weekend I celebrated my 24th birthday. I will soon have to start acting like a real adult, not just the pretend one I am currently. I assume that age (when I am expected to transition from pretend to real adult) might very well be 25, when I am trusted to rent a car without extra charges. So I've only got one year left of pretend adulthood. On the up-side, my birthday fell on a Saturday this year. So I took advantage of that timing along with the fact that neither Tim nor I were starting school on or around my birthday (which is usually the case), and we used the entire weekend to celebrate!

Friday Tim and I went out to dinner with two of my girl friends at a comedy club called DC Improv and thoroughly enjoyed the show! It was a low-key and enjoyable way to kick the weekend off right.

At DC Improv

Saturday started with a 90 minute massage. *sigh* Then it was off to the grocery store with Tim in preparation for the BBQ with friends at our place. Tim was, as always, the grill master working up yummy yummy hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ baked beans, and grilled corn on the cob. He even put together and served appetizers as the guests arrived: cheese ball with crackers, chips and salsa etc. All very healthy and low in fat and sodium. And so delicious!

My dear friend Laura made birthday cupcakes which just made my day. She toted them all the way from her place near Georgetown on the Metro - a birthday fairy coming through the front door with shoe boxes lined with plastic wrap and filled with delicious individual desserts that spelled "Happy Birthday Kendra! YAY". You can see why I love her.

The BBQ stretched into the wee hours of the morning as we watched funny You Tube videos, danced to innumerable peppy songs (over and over), and just enjoyed hanging out. We started the evening intent on migrating to Cafe Citron for Latin dancing and mingling with strangers (that's what you do at Clubs, right?), but we lost track of time at "Club Seymour" and never moved on. I didn't mind.

The girls gather for a group picture at the BBQ

Sunday was more low-key. We girls went out for brunch at Founding Farmers (one of my favorite brunch places in DC) then saw Julie and Julia in Georgetown. A pretty perfect Sunday afternoon.

Founding Farmers Brunch

As it turns out, 24 is not so bad.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A Pacific Northwest Retreat

We spent three days over the weekend camping at Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho with Tim's family and mine. Our time, though short, was blissful. I didn't realize how much I miss the Pacific Northwest.

Tim's little cousin Kirsten instructing him on how to arrange our tent.

The weather was less than ideal, but nothing dampened our spirits. We spent two days enjoying a reprieve from the DC humidity and heat, bundled up in sweatshirts, jeans and tennies. And standing by a campfire felt oh. so. good. I think the majority of my time at the lake was spent just enjoying the fire.

Tim's sister and cousin jumping off the dock.

Our final day on the lake the weather decided to cooperate and gifted us a beautifully sunny and calm end to our Northwest retreat. The lake was almost glassy, coaxing us into a 6:00 AM wakeboarding run. All the boarding, tubing, skiing and boating that day took a toll on our poor muscles and Tim got pretty badly burnt. The physical effects of our day of boating fun are constant reminders of the fun we had. And it was worth it to play in the water and be out in the sun on the gorgeous glassy lake surrounded by green trees and a blue sky.

Wakeboarding. *sigh*

Like I said. Bliss.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Chandelier Obsession

If you are a friend of mine on facebook you will have already seen my latest status: I have a thing for chandeliers.

I'm beginning to think I might have an obsession with beautiful light fixtures. And given that we live in a rented basement apartment with low ceilings, this obsession needs an outlet somewhere other than our home. That's where you come in: I'd like to share with you a few of the lovely pieces of chandelier artwork I've been drooling over for the last few weeks.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Last week Amber came to visit DC as the final stop on her 3 week East Coast adventure. She, Laura and I had a great time doing girly things and seeing the sights together. Here are a few pictures from the wonderful 4 days we spent with Amber:

View from the top of the Washington Monument -
you can see the Capitol if you look closely

View from the bottom of the Washington -
best view ever

Dance party at our place with Tim as DJ.
This was obviously a little Thriller.

Rocking out to our own private dance party.
I LOVE Laura's face in this one.

National Cathedral - absolutely gorgeous
(and it had great chandeliers!)

Paddleboats on the Tidal Basin.
You can see part of the Jefferson Memorial in the background.

Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art.
This fountain was amazing.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Anniversary #2

Yesterday Tim and I celebrated our second anniversary. My, how the time flies! We celebrated with a fancy, yummy dinner at The Source (by Wolfgang Puck). Tim also got me lilies and roses (my favorites).

There is a funny story there, though. I've taken to buying myself flowers so I always have something bright and happy in a vase waiting for me when I come home. Last weekend we were at Eastern Market and I wanted to buy a new bunch of flowers, but Tim adamantly said "no". I walked off pouting as we headed home only to realize maybe he had a reason for not wanting me to buy myself flowers so close to our anniversary. Low and behold, he was just planning ahead so there would be a vacant vase for the bouquet he would buy me. Good hubby.

Being the shutter bug I am, I couldn't go without taking multiple pictures on our anniversary date. So, here is your inside look:

Lovely smelling flowers!

"Here Tim, smell how lovely they are!"
His face made me laugh.


Free dessert. The sauce read: "Happy Anniversary"

Sunday, 5 July 2009

National Holiday

Our first Fourth of July in DC was much less touristy that it should have been. We should have gone to the Mall and listened to all the concerts, been blown away by the loud booms of the fireworks and overwhelmed by all the tourists swarming the green space between the Capitol and the Lincoln.

We, however, spent our afternoon at a barbeque with friends in Virginia then moved on to another friend's apartment where we watched the fireworks with a view of the entire Mall.

Though it was nice to not be so overwhelmed by the large amounts of people, it would have been fun to do the touristy thing for our first year. Especially since we could have walked to and from the Mall and not had to worry about the crowded Metro. Ahh well, live and learn I suppose.

Beach Boys - Spirit of America, BBQ and
Apple Pie (being made in the background)

Laura and I had the patriotic thing going on.
We clearly love our country.

Tim, on the other hand, thought it best to wear a GREEN
Ireland, Ireland, Ireland, Ireland t-shirt.
Silly Timmy.

Our view of the fireworks. You can see the fuzzy outlines
of the Capitol on the left, the Washington in the middle
and the Lincoln on the right.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Not funny

Around 5:00 this evening two Metro trains collided killing at least 6 and wounding dozens on the border of DC and Maryland. I was not on either of the trains involved, but I did feel the effects on my commute home in the form of delays. It wasn't until I arrived home that I found out what had happened.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


Lately, the theme around here seems to be humor. And I can't say that I mind! Allow me give you just a few examples:

- East Coast Flooding: A couple weeks back I was getting ready to go out to dinner for a friend's birthday and it was storming outside. I mean, REALLY storming. The rain was pouring, the wind was blowing, and the thunder and lighting was incredibly loud and bright. Tim hadn't gotten home yet and I was about ready to leave, so I called him to see where he was. As it turns out, he was standing on our upstairs neighbors' porch waiting out the storm rather than taking the time to unlock our door while getting drenched. Upon realizing I was home he jetted down the stairs while I held the door open to quicken his escape from the driving rain. After a rushed goodbye I decided to brave the storm in an attempt to get to the restaurant on time. I donned my trusty patent leather heels, grabbed my umbrella and threw open the door with authority only to realize that we had failed to notice something during Tim's rushed entrance (and my own an hour earlier). Our lower-than-ground-level stoop was rapidly filling with water!! The drain had become blocked by leaves and debris, and the pouring rain had nearly filled the entrance to overflowing - right into our house! Fortunately it hadn't overflowed yet, so I yelled hysterically at Tim to "get me something to bail us out"! Through fits of laughter, Tim (who had just stripped off his soaking wet clothes and was running around in his skivvies) rushed toward the bathroom. Thinking he was going to get towels (which would clearly do us no good), I shouted at him to get me a Tupperware from the kitchen (for use in my bailing plan, of course). At my request, he threw me a Tupperware container with which I attempted to bail us out. Meanwhile, Timmy had returned to the bathroom, grabbed the plunger, and met me at the front door laughing at my frantic attempts to keep our apartment from being flooded. Once I had realized that my plan was never going to work he stepped up and in just two thrusts sucessfully plunged the drain. The water was gone in seconds. Why hadn't I thought of that?! I am not so proud that I cannot admit his plan was much much better than my own. And, yes, we laughed about the situation for days.

- Politics and Baseball: A week or so ago Tim and I attended the 48th Annual Congressional Baseball Game. It's hosted at Nationals Park, and yes the Congress members play. It's Democrats v. Republicans and the Dems hadn't won for years. Tim got tickets through one of the offices he serves, so we got to sit with them and enjoy the hilarity. Though it seems like Politics and Baseball should not be mixed, the levity of it all seemed healthy, in a way. It serves as a physical and public display of the battle between the parties, and it gives everyone something to laugh about. I mean, the teams train and prepare for this game very seriously, but the spectators are in it for the fun. Unfortunately, many of the folks in the crowd were not so pleasant to sit with. We were chatted up by an annoying lobbyist, and the ex-Hill-staffers behind us could not have had more annoying and entitled conversations. Randomly enough, thought, Nancy Pelosi was sitting not far from us and she had something of a following - people attempting to get her autograph and snap pictures with her. Quite a sight to see - politicians as rock stars.

At the Congressional Baseball Game

-Live from DC, it's Saturday Night!: This weekend we had a little get-together at our place that turned into a bigger party than planned. We spent most of the night playing the game "21", a game where you make up the rules as you go along and have to keep track of them all. Anyway, as the night got later and later the game got funnier and funnier and we all ended up in fits of laughter:

Laughed so hard I cried

The boys and their chuckles

- Laughs on the Big Screen: Though we don't often go to movies in theaters ($10.75 per ticket is a bit steep!), I went to two comedy films this weekend with friends. The first was The Hangover which, though a bit crass, sent me into fits of laughter on multiple occasions. If you know me well, you know these kinds of movies (where humor stems from how messed up the situation is) drive me crazy. I usually spend the entire movie trying to figure out how to fix the problems rather than finding the humor in SNAFU. This film, however, was so ridiculous while remaining relatively grounded in reality that I couldn't help but laugh. The second film was The Proposal, which I attended with my new friend Laura (a friend of Amber and Aaron's who is now in DC and is now forced to be friends with me *winks*). While this romantic comedy portrayed a rather unlikely relationship, it was still a feel-good film with lots of laughs along the way. I was entertained, even if my mind was not in any way stimulated.

In other news:
- A still untitled film staring Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson has been shooting in DC lately. The cast and crew spent two days on the street corner right next to where I work preparing for and then shooting a scene for the movie. I didn't get any photos of the movie stars, but was told on my way to Starbucks that I was in the shot and to "please keep moving". Who do they think they are, taking over our block then telling me what to do?!

- My little brother came to DC with his high school band last week and I got to see them perform (which was weird, given that I had never been on the audience side) and met up with them during their evening Monuments and Memorials tour. Daniel even got to stay with us one night! Man, has he grown up!

After the band's performance at the Old Post Office Pavilion
Two Thumbs Up for a job well done!

- My new friend Laura and I went to Georgetown Cupcake yesterday and stood in a long line to get my Key Lime and her Chocolate2. YUM! Expensive though they are, the flavor and presentation is worth every penny.

For more photos of the latest escapades in DC, click here.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Summer Song

I've found myself listening to this song a lot lately. Among other things, it has served as a pick-me-up when I'm feeling a bit down (read: when I get soaked by the torrential downpour on my way to work), and a great end to the work-day on my Metro commute home. After watching the music video, I also feel it's a super fantastic summer theme song, and I wanted to share the joy with you all. So, have a little listen if you have a moment for a feel-good tune.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

National Zoo

This afternoon I spent nearly five hours at the National Zoo with two young ladies who had never been to a zoo in their lives! One of them is a friend of mine from high school who is here doing an internship with an Oregon Representative. The other is her roommate here in DC.

Aside from the fact that there were no penguins, polar bears or giraffes (my favorites), we had a good time!

The National Zoo - we had to pose out front, of course.

Our National Zoo would not be complete without our nation's "mascot"

A very playful "kitty"

Cute monkey

Giant Panda

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

It's officially the end of our long Memorial Day weekend, and boy did Tim and I enjoy ourselves. Here are the highlights:

Friday we went to the Nationals-Orioles game at Nationals Stadium. It's a pleasant 15 minute walk from our house, and on Friday nights they have fireworks! The weather was perfect, and even though we lost in the 12th inning we still had a lot of fun:

Nationals Stadium - Home Run Nats!

The four of us enjoying our Friday evening in the sun.

Senators Sausages, where we got our over-priced park food.
I have to laugh at the names places get around here...

Yummy Bratwurst! One for me, and one for Timmy, I swear!

Saturday we got up early and headed out to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Dolphin Show!! My favorite part. :)


So cute!!

This little narcissistic guy cracked me up!
He loved the camera so I took multiple photos
and I still laugh when I look at them.

Beautiful jelly fish.
There was a new Jellies exhibit that opened the day we went.
We were the first ones in.

Kinda scary croc! Look at those beady eyes.

Lunch at an Irish place on the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Saturday night BBQ at our place.
Tim grilled yummy burgers and Kielbasa.

Anna and I did the guac, veggies, and fabulous chips with mango peach salsa.

Sunday we went to IKEA to get Tim a new desk (since the moving company never found the major pieces of our desk they "misplaced"). It was pretty comical (after the fact, but not during) to see the difference between how men and women shop. Timmy went straight for the desks and within 10 minutes had decided which one to purchase. Then, in his opinion, we were done. Meanwhile I inspected everything, trying to decide what to get since I had all sorts of plans for the apartment. We compromised in the end and got him a desk and me a bookshelf, a bathroom organizer and two cool lamps. A big thanks to Anna's boyfriend Grady for taking us to IKEA in his truck and helping us transport our purchases.

We also caught the National Symphony Orchestra's National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol Sunday evening with a couple friends. It was an enjoyable combination of vocal, band, and symphony tunes as well as speeches by famous people like Colin Powell and Gary Sinise. Even a pacifist like me enjoyed the military-focused, patriotic-chill-inducing ditties.

After the concert

Today our landlords took us on a road trip to Annapolis, MD, home of the US Naval Academy and situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River. We took a driving tour of old-town Annapolis and enjoyed the boardwalk for a little while before returning to DC.

Tim and our landlord Marc on the boardwalk in Annapolis -
enjoying the sun, the view, cool drinks and the live music.

Our landlady Dale and I enjoying another bench along the boardwalk.

This evening we saw the Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in the Air and Space Museum IMAX. It was fun to see the film in one of the buildings where it was filmed, but the film itself was nowhere near as good as its prequel.

I think Tim was done having his picture taken at this point.
But here we are waiting for the movie to start.

And to finish the weekend off, we have been putting together our IKEA purchases. Sophie has tried to help, but has mostly just been cute while getting in the way.

Putting Timmy's desk together

Bathroom storage!! Or kitty storage??

I don't think I've had such an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend since 2005 when Tim professed his undying love for me and we began dating! (but that's another story entirely)