Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Invariably, in mixed company, specifically, in the mixed company of other singles, conversations often turn to this.
  1. Who we are dating (although that's generally common knowledge).
  2. Why we are not dating (awkwardly dominated by Type A female).
  3. What constitutes dating (3 P's, musings, and other random stories).
And in those random stories, someone (male) will usually start a dialog that goes something like this:

M: So, I asked out this girl
a couple weeks ago and she said NO. Flat out refused me.
F (Not me): Ohh, really? That's terrible.

(In these situations I can't figure out if the male is: 1. Playing his why-it-is-so-hard-to-be-a-guy card, 2. Trying to elicit sympathy?, or 3. LYING.)

WHO are these women?

My rule is, give the guy a chance. At least one chance. It's just a date. A first date, at that. Maybe you feel different or maybe you're one of those "no" gals, but I figure, why not give it a whirl. He had the courage to ask you out and you should have the courtesy/courage to say yes. Besides, it's. just. a. first. date.

*Note To Single Men: Clearly, you are asking out the wrong women.

Help Wanted...

It's official (as of today), I now have the benefit of a PT student employee working with/for me.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Turns out my plan to: 1. Celebrate the grand reopening of EM by devouring bluebucks slathered in syrup and coated in pecans, paired with a side of thick bacon slabs, and 2. Make it to work on time (yeah, Saturday morning, tell me about it) didn't quite pan-out. *Sigh! However I did make it to the newly restored building and wow!, what a restoration.

Eastern Market and I go back. It was the first place I visited when I moved to MD, back in '05. I took the Orange line into the city that sweltering August morning, dawned my FM bag, and relished in what would become a semi-regular Saturday morning tradition. (Nothing like rows of produce, vendors of florists, and a hearty you'll-only-need-to-eat-once-today breakfast to get this gal excited.) EM became my weekend escape. Side note: It's also a gathering spot for others of my faith. Seriously, next time you're there just look for the Mormon smiles, guaranteed you'll see a gathering of saints.

EM often appears in the
off the beaten path section of any good tour book. I'd like to think this is one of many reasons I cherish it so much. Just so happens, I was also there the Saturday before the fated fire of '07. The news was devastating. How could my beloved building be gone? I even made a pilgrimage to inspect the charred interior. A sad day indeed.

Happily, we're back in business. I know many, many posts have already been written about this, but I just needed to add my own small voice. A piece of my heart resides in that city block, and this morning, I sent it fluttering back— to a place as dear to me as summer.

VA is for Muggers

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apparently, I should have registered my vehicle sooner (within 30 days of moving to Virginia, oops!), but now I'm finally ready to cross it off the to-do list. Part of me wanted to wait until my UT tags expired (is that bad?), another part of me wanted to wait for the vehicle to be mine, really mine— a day that is rapidly approaching. Hear that Zion's?, I'm taking Elsie back.

Slogging through the oodles of requirements (new DL {even though my MD license is good for another two years}, a safety inspection, title, proof of address, completed VSA 17A and insurance), I'm left to wonder: wouldn't it just be easier to go sans-vehicle? I mean, really.
I did it in college. In fact, I did it in g-school. In total, I've only actually owned a car 5 years of my adult life. So why am I so oddly wedded to this metal monetary sap?

Weekend Roundup

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Astounding how a slight two hour time difference can alter ones sleep so radically. (Suppose that's what I get for a four day visit.)

Going home, I had a few pre-planned anticipations. Fortunately (for me) elements of the unexpected enhanced the entire experience.

Grandpa's car restoration stories (told as if I'd never heard them before).

Basket O'Goodies, courtesy of Mom.
(Note:five shades of lipstick and two flavors of lip gloss).

Oodles of time with my adorable soon-to-be one-year-old niece.

Catching a moment with the newlywed couple (happy they got a bite to eat).

Rounding it out with a walk (date three) of the weekend.

There were people I didn't get to see, but those I did made for a memorable weekend.

Morning Commute

It astounds me how one act, one decision, one moment can have such a rippling effect. I first heard of the Metro collision from FB status updates yesterday afternoon. Sobering. And although I don't generally ride past the Brookland stop on the red line, I would have been on the red line, headed in the opposite direction of the crash, had I not been returning from vacation. My colleagues could have been on either car and while we wait to find out the victims' names, I'm oddly emotional about the entire incidence. I was riding yesterday. Not on the red line, but on the green and yellow. Hearing the news, I immediately felt bonded to my fellow commuters.

The heartbeat of our Capitol City transports millions each day, it is the life blood of our transportation infrastructure. It used-to-be my only means of transportation. I've grown accustomed to its face; and while it has its moments, I genuinely appreciate metro. The authoritative employees. The rules. The ride across the Potomac. All of it. So, I'm sobered by the fact that these people, those we've lost, were on their way home from work, maybe meeting up with friends for a drink, or off to their daughter's birthday party, or regretful of an argument with a loved one. Like those that were simply going to work at the World Trade Towers or the Oklahoma Federal Building, they had no way of knowing the outcome of their day. I guess none of us do, really.

I ache for families that didn't get to say goodbye. For families that will now have to share such a private pain so publicly. They are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Heading West

Thursday, June 18, 2009

for a quick weekend visit with the fam. It's been a whole six months (as Grandma reminded me). Looking forward to:

Tour of the new Church History Library,

Friday night date,

and Saturday morning with my sister.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tell me a story...

Remember when this request seemed as natural as breathing? It's innate. We humans like stories. We like telling them, creating them, and hearing them. In recent years, I've become obsessed with the stories of others and in a way, my own. Perhaps this accounts for the volumes of journals I kept during adolescence and throughout college. Slowly, I am returning to writing; both with this blog and prosaic pen to paper. More on that later.

Back in March, I had the privledge of listening to one of my public radio heros, Ira Glass, discuss the process of creating a meaningful story. He spoke of attention grabbers from the get-go and like any artist, he made it appear so seamless. Of course asking the right questions (namely
open-ended questions that allow the teller a sort of self-discovery during the process) certainly helps. He mixed on stage, weaving layers of audio that created the emotional pulse of the story. But the real take-away, the one I keep returning to, was to listen better. Just listen. Maybe listening is meant to increase recall, to stimulate memory, or perhaps it's just common courtesy. I tend to believe it's more than that.

To begin:
1. Find a quiet place
2. Select a story (Here, Here, or Here)
3. Listen

Ps. I'd love to know what you think.

Weekend Roundup

Monday, June 15, 2009

From here on out my weekend officially starts earlier than yours. Neener. So, with my half-day Friday I trotted on over to the Aveda salon in Old Town for a much needed summer style (If you go mention my name, as I just heard they have a referral rewards program). My hairdresser did wonders with my fine locks and my (please make my face look less round) requests. She's a keeper.

That evening, with my new 'do, I became part of the urban-chic artsy crowd, scouting out a new (to me) venue. A friend of a friend was belly dancing, so a group gathered for an evening of culture. To be honest, my one previous experience with belly dancing happened while I was visiting my grandparents and aunt in WA, where I remember oodles of cleavage and dollar-bill stuffing left a queasy impression on my young teenage mind; I was therefore eager to experience something a bit more tasteful and suitable to my adult self.

I was not disappointed.

Middle Eastern vibes, paired with elaborate scarfs (which turned into Oriental fans and created a stream of black and red waves!), added to cranium sword balancing left me speechless.

Other highlights included:
  • A trip to Great Falls for an east coast version of hiking
  • One of my favorite old movies
  • Volunteering with the Duke Ellington Jazz Fest
  • Frozen fruit popsicles
  • Wishing my Grandma a "Happy 85th Birthday!"


Friday, June 12, 2009

If dreams are indicators of desire, then my pillow-nestled head pined for salty froth and pebbled beaches last night; I awoke this morning completely ensconced {OED definition: To establish in a place or position for the purpose of a. of concealment; b. of security, comfort, ‘snugness’} by the idea that I was still there. Still lounging on my official start-to-summer vacation. A place that now, in memory, lives vibrant; carrying me through the mundane; reminding me just how lucky. I. Am.

When did it begin? Well, I could say it started when our trip executor, who sadly is currently packing to move out west, thought a weekend in the Outer Banks, North Carolina would be the proper send-off for him and his sweet
wife. Eleven of us could not agree more. Some of these folks I'd been to Rehoboth, DE with back in 2006, so I was somewhat prepared for the group dynamic. In all my preparation, I only had one smidge of anxiety (namely that my ex's roommate would be there). Thankfully, this faded quickly, once I stopped worrying (really?!) over such a petty issue. That's about all I knew going in, well, that and my dinner assignment for the last night. Which, btw turned out perfect. (Marinated salmon, fresh parmesan sauteed farmer's market vegetables, a summer three-bean salad, and a delectable peach/raspberry Ina inspired crisp.)

The trip was organized but chill. No drama (except for the fact that I managed to leave behind my darling hour-glass white dress cover-up). No meat market. No worrying about how I looked in a swimsuit. No sharing a house with 25 strangers. None of that. It was exactly the way Duck Beach should be; sharing it, albeit in somewhat close quarters, with people I care about. I never imagined my costal excursion would also include: a visit to the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk, an energizing 28 mi bike ride to Cutterick lighthouse followed by a 220 step climb to the top, an ankle-tingling sand storm, the solitude of a hot-pink sunrise, out-load reading of Sedaris and Kipling, bocce ball in my new straw hat, a foot massage, MST3K (for old times), letter writing, DQ, and one frothy last night lapping up every ounce of the beach beneath a full moon.

In essence, the trip recalibrated my soul.

Hi {I like you already}, Nice to Meet You

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is it possible to like someone you've never meet?, and does electronic correspondence (email and text messaging) really constitute as meeting someone?

Well, what if the answer was yes? (That isn't so far-fetched now, is it?) I mean we're liking things all the time. Food. Places. Ideas. Outfits. Music. Why not people? In fact, it might just change the way we meet people or interact with them on a day-to-day basis. What if, each time we meet someone new, regardless of our personal agenda, we went into it with a Hey, I like you already frame of mind? Would it change our relationships? Would it make us richer individuals?

(My mother is good at this. She sees goodness in others. It's one of her talents. My baby blessing, yes, I have a transcription of my baby blessing copied by my aunt Colleen, admonishes me to acquire such attributes. An ongoing quest I assure you.)

In all honestly, what isn't there to like? The slate is clean. 

No haunting memories. 
No baggage. 
No annoying habits. 
No disagreements. 
No political, religious, cultural, moral or ethical differences.

Another human being.
Another soul.
Another person.
With whom the universe might-have-been trying to connect you all along.

I'd like to embrace this kind of liking.

Wordless Wednesday

Beach Montage

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Capturing the essence is tough, I know. My attempt resulted in this little montage. You can almost taste the salty spray wisping off the Atlantic.

Made with one of my new favorite toys.

Office Attire

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's summer. Not quite sticky, humid, or sweltering (yet). However, I DO NOT LIKE seeing
or this
at the office.

Watching Over

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This morning a young father read Oh the Places You'll Go and Corduroy to his toddler on the metro ride into the city. I sat adjacent.

His soothing cadence.
Her rapt attention.
A tender public moment.

At their stop he swooped her up in one arm, slung his suit jacket over the other arm, adjusted his computer satchel and whispered
"You're a sleepy bear, aren't you."

Habit Forming

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This past Sunday, the fifth Sunday of May, culminated in a combined PS/RS lesson in my church. Although I didn't make it to that meeting (reasons perhaps best left for another post), I did manage to get the jist at a dinner gathering later that evening.

CHALLENGE (issued by the bishopric):

1. Read 15 minutes a day (including vacations, weekends, and those mornings when the snooze button taunts 'just once more') from the scriptures.
15 minutes. Every. Day. Until the ward retreat.

"Which is, July, right?" Wrong. End of September.

So the challenge has been issued, and its a good thing, because really I do love a challenge. It's just the spiritual kick I need to get the summer going. Admittedly, I've been lax. My last read through the
BOM took me over a year. Over a year. That's pathetic. Remember when you were challenged to completed it in a mere five months? I mean, PP read it in one night. Fifteen minutes is the least I can do, and know what? I'm not starting at the beginning. Nope. A little something whispered, "Start with Jacob." And so I did.

Berry Picking

Monday, June 1, 2009

A perfect Saturday afternoon, at Homestead Farm, with two of my favorite people.

Beach Packing

1 bottle of sunscreen
2 swimsuits
3 pairs of flip-flops
1 straw hat
2 sets of sunglasses
1 beach towel
1 camera
4 capris
1 pedicure
2 sun dresses
1 camelback
1 bike
5 t-shirts
1 beach blanket
1 compact pillow
3 books

1 happy camper!

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