Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A DC Studio

Our apartment is not perfected yet, but I've had people bugging me for photos, so here they are!

This is what you see when you walk in

Looking to the left after walking in the front door

Looking to the right

More to the right, almost looking back at the front door/entry area.
Bedroom/extra seating.


The entire living room and bedroom areas, looking back toward the front door from the middle of the apartment.

The kitchen. The table and chairs on the left are left-overs from our landlords. Once I nail down a full-time job we will be getting a new table and chairs that fits our decor.

Kitchen sink and the only plants in our house so far (thanks mom!)

Sophie's "room" and the backdoor out to the back yard (with large map of the Chesapeake Bay)

Speaking of Sophie, you can see she's taken over the house... and has adapted well.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Happenings

To avoid an extremely wordy post, I've bullet-pointed a few highlights from the last week or so.

- MOVING TRUCK: Our stuff arrived on Friday (only two weeks late)! Only a few things didn't show up, and they only dropped off one box that wasn't ours. So, we're still waiting on pieces of Tim's desk so he can set that up, and we're filing a claim for damages to a few pieces of furniture. But, we are VERY excited to sleep in our own bed and to have all our stuff back! Pictures of our new apartment are coming. I am just waiting until we get our missing items and can finish setting everything up.

- TEMPING: Friday I began temping at the Stevens Institute of Technology's DC office, in the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center- the second largest building in the DC area (next to the Pentagon). It has been a convenient commute, and a pretty good job temporarily. I'm also temping at Madison Marquette, a commercial real estate company with an awesome 10th and 11th floor office suite. Temping has kept me sane, helped us earn a bit more cash, and allowed me to be patient and picky in the search for a full-time perfect/dream job!

- ENTERTAINMENT: Last Friday night we went to Catholic University of America to see a new musical titled "This is Not My Life", written by a friend of a friend. It was enjoyable and provided lots of laughs. Look for it on Broadway! ;) After we got sort of settled, we had a couple of friends over on Sunday for a BBQ. It felt really nice to entertain!

- EXCITEMENT: Tuesday we attended a reception in one of the House office buildings for the University of Oregon's outgoing President, Dave Frohnmayer. It was his last visit to Washington before he leaves office, and we met him personally as well as lots of other U of O alumni. We also met a distant relative! Upon meeting this girl named Tahira, she and I really clicked. We were talking and hanging out, then Tim came over and I introduced them. She mentioned that she was from Tillamook, and he was going to ask her if she knew the Hayes' from Tillamook (extended family). But then he realized her last name was Hayes, so he asked if she knew the Hayes family of Bend (closer family), and she said "yeah", and Tim says, "Like, Joe Hayes?". At this point I'm nearly shrieking from shock and joy. And Tahira says "Oh my gosh, that's my cousin!" Anyway... it was all very exciting, and now we're BFFs. *winks*


Mark, Tahira, me and Tim at the University of Oregon reception for Dave Frohnmayer

- JOB PROSPECTS: I had almost given up hope, but last night I got an e-mail from the Center for Democracy in the Americas requesting a second interview next week! It sounds like I will be going in on Tuesday for the follow-up interview. I'm ready to seal the deal. ;) I also found out a couple days ago that I did not get into the White House Internship Program. Oh well...

- RUNNING: My friend Anna and I are training for the Capitol Hill Classic 10K. The race is May 17th and we've got a lot of training to do. Given that I hadn't worked out for over a month when we got to DC, it's been a big tough getting back into running shape. But we're doing it one run at a time. Getting up at 6:15 AM to run before work is half the battle!

- SMITHSONIAN TOUR: Yesterday we went to the Natural History Museum and the Smithsonian Castle and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Both were much less packed than the American History Museum, and more interactive and interesting. Even though I'm more into Political Science than I am into hard Science, I found the Natural History Museum much more enjoyable. I've included a few pictures from our Saturday adventure below:

My friend the Penguin and I (Natural History Museum)

At the beautiful Smithsonian Castle (dang I'm white!)

This is obviously the thing to do when you come across a circle thingy

I hope you are all enjoying the sun, assuming you have Spring Sun!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Good News!

Since we now live in a studio, I thought it prudent to buy a covered litter box to control odor. After a long walk in the rain and some misinformation, I finally found Chateau-Animaux, a french boutiqe pet store with everything I needed (and more). Fortunately, it is just five blocks away on Barracks Row. I trudged home in the rain with my kitty treasures, set up the litter box and threw out the temporary cardboard box and trash bag we were using. To Sophie's dismay, however, the new litter box is much more complicated and perhaps frightening. See for yourself:

video

In the end, I coaxed her into the litter box by holding the door open, but her fluffy tail didn't seem to make it all the way in:

A very fluffy tail!

I think I have too much time alone in our apartment with my kitty!

On another more productive and less entertaining topic, I recently interviewed and tested at Track Services. They are a placement agency that came highly recommended to me and we are working on placing me at temp jobs to fill the void while they search for my full-time dream job. I scored well on all the computer tests (97% across the board on the software assessments, and 94 wpm typing with 1 mistake per minute). These scores have landed me a temp job with the Stevens Institue of Technology at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. I start tomorrow and will be doing administrative support for their newly opened office 1-2 days a week for now. While this is not permanent, nor dream material, it will help fill my time and suppliment our income, which is certainly welcomed!

Lastly, and possibly most exciting, I got a call from the driver of our moving truck today! He said they will arrive tomorrow (Friday) between 12:00 and 2:00! Of course, the day I get a job they decide to show up. How ironic and poetic. Fortunately Tim will be able to meet them at the house when they arrive since he can walk from work.

As an added plus, the sun is shining again, so I am sitting outside at Starbucks writing this. AND we got our DirectTV box set up a couple days ago. Free DirectTV from our Landlords? Yes, please!

That's all for now!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter weekend

This weekend we began our Smithsonian tour, the goal of which is to see one Smithsonian museum each weekend for the next four months. We began our tour on Saturday with the National Museum of American History. It was a rainy day and we stood in line outside for about 45 minutes. Good thing we had our trusty umbrella (thanks for sending it, mom)!

Almost to the doors!

The museum itself was quite interesting, though packed with tourists. We were not patient or energetic enough to stand in the long lines for the American Presidency, First Ladies, and Thanks for the Memories exhibits but we plan to go back right at opening time one of these days to hit those three must-sees.

After the American History Museum we Metro-ed out to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a few home furnishings. It was quite an experience Metro-ing and walking home with big bags! I was very thankful for Tim (who taught me about Waltzing Matilda ... as seen below)!

Timmy going "Waltzing Matilda"

We spent Easter Sunday morning at the Union Station location of National Community Church. It was interesting, but too showy, hyped and shallow for our taste. We walked there and home, which was nice given the sunny weather.

Tulips and Fountains

Model Pose - SPRING!

Stoic Timmy with the Capitol Building

This afternoon our landlords hosted what they had described as a "little brunch". As it turns out, it was a FEAST! And at one point Tim turned to me and said, "I think I'm the only person here who doesn't speak Spanish!" This was due to the fact that the crowd invited was the "Latino friends," and Tim's statement certainly explains the vibe of the afternoon. There were people from all over Latin America, and all were well-educated, bi-lingual, and professionally successful - a fun group to meet and chat with!

As if that wasn't fun enough fun, there was enough food for three Christmas dinners! Marc and Dale cooked a turkey, a ham, shrimp (on the barbie), sausages, turkey dogs, and hamburgers - and that's just the meats! There were also mashed potatoes, pasta salad, crackers with cheese, multiple fruit and veggie salads, deviled eggs, pastries and numerous desserts! Needless to say, we won't be hungry for a day or so... and they want to give us left-overs as well ... can't say no to that!

What can I say? We've got a pretty SWEET set-up!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Our Neighborhood

My body is thanking me today for the 14 hours of sleep I offered it last night. Everything just feels better once you've caught up on sleep!

I thought I'd dedicate a post to a few photos of our neighborhood here in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of SE DC.

The view from our window


View of Garfield Park upon exiting our place

Looking back on our place. Ours is the blue door into the English Basement.

Our neighbor's yard. I LOVE the tulips!

Marion Park - a Kiddie and Doggie Park a block from our place

Public Library 5 blocks away from us

There is also a Results Gym less than a block from us, a Metro PD Substation 3 blocks from us, and a mini-mart 2 blocks away. Our neighborhood is full of parks and green spaces, which is also really nice! And last but not least, Barracks Row and Eastern Market are just 5 blocks from us!

Some of you have been asking how Sophie handled the move. She has done really well. It's been fun to watch her explore every aspect of our new home. She was especially enthralled by our front-load washing machine:

Sophie was glued to the washing machine throughout the whole first load.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Cherry Blossoms and Adjustments

This morning we walked to Constitution Avenue for the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade - an enjoyable couple of hours in the sun watching various groups perform song, dance, skating routine etc. Several schools brought their bands from Washington State, which was nice to see. :)

Tim and I at the Parade

After the parade we made our way through the throngs of people toward the Tidal Basin to get a look at the famous Cherry Blossoms. But before we got all the way there we gave up due to massive amounts of people impeding our movement. So, we snapped a photo of us with a Cherry Blossom tree and the Washington memorial against a beautiful, clear blue sky and headed out to get some shopping done (read: walked 15 blocks carrying groceries... gotta figure out a better way to do that).

Us with the Washington and famous Cherry Blossoms... this could be a "more bars in more places commercial," I think

We're discovering that the masses of people are quite frustrating when you realize it's what you'll be dealing with on a regular basis. We're also learning which Metro stops are to be avoided at all costs. For example, the "Smithsonian" stop is just not worth the trouble. Entering isn't too bad, but exiting at that stop takes an eternity. Such are the things you learn when transitioning from small town Oregon to East Coast big city. All in all, we're doing well, but it's going to take some time to truly feel at home.

I've also posted some photos below of our Farewell Dinner Party hosted by Tim's Aunt Lisa in Beaverton. We had a great time with friends and family the night before we left for DC!

Tim's family all came to say goodbye! What a great surprise!

My mom and brother also surprised us with their appearance at our party! Sneeky April Fools jokers!

I love my "sister" Caris!!

My adorable "with-child" cousin Kirsten and her husband Tom came to wish us well

Friday, 3 April 2009

Hello, I live here!

Tim, Sophie and I landed safely in DC last night around 10:00 PM. We flew first class from Seattle to DC thanks to an upgrade from one of Tim's frequent-flyer aunts! Sophie traveled well, and our landlords (upstairs neighbors) welcomed us with flowers, a made bed, and dinner at 11:00 PM!

I had an interview today (found out yesterday morning), and just got done meeting with them. It was with the Center for Democracy in the America's, an NGO that works to educate the public and policy-makers toward improvement of US-Latin American relations (specifically focused on Venezuela and Cuba). I think it went well. I'm currently sitting in the Washington Office on Latin America (using their internet thanks to a friend who works here). And I wanted to update you all!

This morning Tim and I walked around in our neighborhood and found the nearest grocery store which is called Harris Teter and it's A LOT like Market of Choice in Eugene! That made me really happy! We also found the gym (just a block away), and a lot of fun places to eat and hang out on Barracks Row. We paid a visit to the Capitol Hill Frager's hardware store to make copies of our house keys (a "we live here!" moment). Frager's was an experience. The isles were hardly wide enough to walk down and there were items stacked to the ceilings. Adding to the claustrophobia was the humidity and rain which made my already struggling lungs want to collapse on themselves and made my hair uber-frizzy! Tim looked at me after we had been walking for a while and said: "You're gonna have to find a new hairstyle"! Thanks for telling it like it is, hun!

Alright, that's all for now. Pictures forthcoming. No way to load them at the moment!