Saturday, September 30, 2006

Billy Goat

Ah, Friday. My lovely day off. I headed to Great Falls, Maryland for a little hiking and decided on the Billy Goat Trail, a name that proved to be perfect. I was climbing over boulders within minutes, and I was so happy for my new hiking shoes.

There is fairly good hiking on the Virginia side of the river, but nothing like this. I was rewarded with huge outcrops of rock and then sandy beaches. The views were just beautiful and the weather was perfect - just a little on the cool side - and I was glad for my layers. I was in a tank top before too long and feeling the burn.

Check out the rest of the great pictures here.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Another Year... GONE!

Happy Birthday, Amanda Nichole! Don't take any crap from anyone today (especially those asshats at your work)! Can't wait for tonight!

Amanda enjoys the hog. Er, ground. Groundhog.
Amanda enjoys the groundhog. Woodland creatures!

Monday, September 25, 2006

80s Party Update

The gentlemen over at the Geekpad have updated their website to include all of the new videos (Schoeny Sings the 80s, Public Service Announcements, etc.) and pictures - including ones taken by yours truly. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Sunset


It was a fun night in Baltimore and the shenanigans were running high. Pics here.

I think that when it's discovered that a bar boasts an 86-ounce bucket of booze, one must assume that it's going to be a good night. And while it isn't always a good idea to make assumptions, we pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one:


Booze! Lots of lovely, lovely booze.

My precioussssss...

I wish I knew where this hat came from...

There were about ten trillion bachelorette parties traipsing from bar to bar at the Inner Harbor. Ladies, just an idea: wearing a veil covered in plastic penises (peni?) is not really the definition of "classy." Either does carrying around a three foot inflatable penis. But to each his own. We were in Baltimore, after all...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I headed to RFK Stadium last night to witness the Nats take a pounding from the Braves. Yes, the tickets were free, why do you ask? As an added bonus, I got to see the hilarious sign once again:
And... the stands were pretty deserted. See the picture below from last season? See all of those people? Yeah, there were no people.

They could use an angel in the outfield. Maybe one who sounded like Christopher Lloyd. And a young orphan boy who lives in a foster home with the homeless lady from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York could become a sort of mascot after seeing angels. And he would have a sassy token friend and they would both get adopted by Frank Robinson after the Nats win the pennant.

Or something.

Anyway, I ate a ton of junk - hot dogs, fries, beer, and Dippin' Dots.

Going to RFK reminds me of going to old Tiger Stadium with my Grandpa. We'd buy peanuts in a paper bag from some guy on Michigan Ave and Grandpa would explain the game to us from what I now know to be really good seats. But just as RFK has gotten too old (according to some), so did Tiger Stadium. Now it's Comerica Park and while a gorgeous park, it lacks the nostalgia of my youth. It also lacks obstructed views, though, which were the Tiger Stadium seats we always seemed to end up in on school field trips. So I guess that's a plus.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


This post is going to be half-assed because my book is getting even more interesting.

Headed to
Murphy's on Saturday night after it was decided that it had been many moons since our last Pat Carroll night. He did not disappoint, and I got the claps correct during Finnegan's Wake, so there was very little embarassment on my end. It was a good time, as always, until Brian lost his nametag:


And then, the familiar chords of the Unicorn Song permeated the smoke-filled pub:

Humpty-backed camels

Long-necked geese

The Unicorn

Yeah, we all look like total morons.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006


In my quest to read everything Christopher Moore writes, I was aided by Amanda, who gave me A Dirty Job for my birthday. I devoured this book. She admittedly bought it for the cover, which obviously must be shared here:

Charlie Asher is a loving husband at the bedside of his wife, who has just given birth to their first child, daughter Sophie. On a return to her room, he notices an impossibly tall man standing next to her just as his beloved wife passes away. The security cameras have no record of him.

Almost immediately, things start... happening. He sees ordinary objects glowing red. He's convinced that he's caused several deaths. His sister and shop employees are helpful and concerned, but think that he's teetering on a fine line between grief and batshit insanity. Understandable, as he begins awakening to names written on the notepad next to his bed, and those people wind up dead within days.

He thinks he's Death.

Moore is such an amazingly capable writer, that he is able to take the mundane objects in a secondhand store and make them interesting. He gives them life - which in some cases, is more accurate than one might think. San Francisco comes to life in these pages, and Moore is able to help the many souls of the city find their ways home. His attention to secondary characters, especially goth high schooler Lily, is genius.

I've now read four of Moore's novels, and I have loved them all. If you want a darker book with witty doses of humor, try
A Dirty Job.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


We found a new housemate to replace CreePaul, and emailed our landlord to inform her of the change and to see when we can update the lease. Here is her response (emphases are mine):


Glad to see that you guys found a new roomie. Can we meet at your place to sign the new lease? Also, I seem to have misplaced mine but I remember Paul saying he has a copy. Can you ask him for that? Thursday or Friday would work best for me to meet Adam. The beginning of the week is kind of crazy for me. Thanks Maria"


Our landlord doesn't have our lease. So we have to use CreePaul's faxed copy. I'm sure that's completely legible. And does this mean that we could *technically* say, "Hey, screw it all!" and just leave? How does our landlord not have our lease? Gah!

Monday, September 11, 2006


It was the fall semester of my senior year of college. Tuesday. I was early to my 10:00 class that day, and I sat doing the crossword puzzle, waiting for the professor to arrive for my favorite class -- WWII: The European Home Front, ironically. I had woken up, gotten ready, and headed to campus without turning on the television or radio. The few early people sitting in the small classroom were equally clueless to what was going on. My professor rushed in calling to someone to turn on the television. We watched the second plane hit. Live.

We sat in silence, horrified, but still not completely believing that it was actually happening.

After we had watched the coverage for a while, my professor, bless her, turned off the television and tried to lecture, but the class began to shrink as cell phones rang and people left the classroom in tears. After all, The University of Michigan hosted a huge number of students from the East Coast.

It was surreal. People were walking around campus in a daze, clutching their phones. It took me a while to get a hold of my college boyfriend, who was working at the Renaissance Center that day - the tallest building in Detroit and the center of the automobile industry - and I was scared. Everywhere, people were crying. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day, but I didn't want to be alone, so I headed to the museum and sat with my friends and coworkers as we gathered around an old radio. I didn't go to the vigil on the Diag that evening, though I now wish I had. My roommate and I sat, transfixed, in front of the television instead, crying and just trying to understand what was happening and why.

And now, five years later, I didn't want to turn on the television this morning. I was determined to avoid all coverage if possible. But as I walked to the metro this morning, I paused to watch workers lower all of the flags around Union Station to half mast. I got a paper, and the front page was a picture of the wreath laying at Ground Zero last night. While at work, I closed my eyes and said a little prayer at 8:46 a.m. It's inescapable, and that's okay. I just wonder where we draw the line between remembrance and masochism. I know that if I watch anything tonight, I will end up crying and feeling miserable.

I was lucky enough to watch from afar. I was still in Ann Arbor, not DC. I didn't know a single soul who died in the attacks. I now know some near-misses, like my supervisor at one of my old internships who was working at the Pentagon at the time, but that's really not the same.

I know that September 11 will be something I will never forget, just as my parents will forever remember their whereabouts when JFK was shot, I will remember that I was sitting in class, doing a crossword, and completely oblivious.

I grew up a lot that day - though for four years I studied war and its effects on innocent civilians, it had never hit home. It wasn't the Blitz, but it was close. If I was able to recapture that naivety, I would.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

80s Party 2006

80s Party 2006 was a resounding success - Club 1139 and the GeekPad sure know how to put on a massive party! Here is a sampling of pictures (the rest can be found here):

Amanda and I with the results of her original crimper.
I forgot how much fun those were!

Amanda and Shane. Shane's shirt was about 20 sizes too large.
And those shorts...

Vic and Josh - two ends of the fashion spectrum.
The newlyweds look like they stepped out of a Polo ad.
Love that Mike is wearing one of Meghan's shirts.

"Derrick, how do you feel?"
"This side is tingling - I can feel it working!"

Merrick looks insanely tall - I was even wearing heels!

Fun night, fun night. But I paid for it this morning. And afternoon. And now. Totally worth it, though. Like, totally!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Just... Wrong

Merrick and I had our girls' shopping night, as per usual, got takeout from Red Mei, and started back toward DC. Problem: nothing to drink.

We stopped at Wendy's - against our better judgement, of course - where she got her beloved Diet Coke and I got Mr. Pibb (and whoever says that Pibb is a good substitute for Dr. Pepper is seriously deluded. I love the Pibb, don't get me wrong, but the Pepper is unparalleled).

We thought we were playing it safe, you see, by ordering medium drinks. You see, the last time we stopped at Wendy's, we ordered large drinks... and you needed two hands to hold those monster cups. But oh no. No, no, no.
Something stinks in suburbia.

Below is exhibit A. The red cup - the large - is from last time (I save the plastic ones, okay? They're good for those giant iced tea kind of days), and the yellow cup is from today:

That yellow cup USED to be the large, I swear it! So is a small Pibb now the size of the former medium? This is making my head hurt. It's very clear that NO ONE needs the yellow amount of pop (sorry, soda), but Wendy's went and did it one better. Now America is even fatter because apparently, thirty ounces of pop just isn't enough. Thanks, Wendy's.

For comparison, here is exhibit B: the "medium" next to my 20 ounce Nalgene bottle. I try to drink three to four nalgenes (nalgene: a new measurement) each day. The "medium" is probably thirty ounces, maybe more. It absolutely dwarfs my sweet little Nalgene. That is SO MUCH pop!

I've been trying to give up pop for good, but it is super hard. I'm trying to transition by drinking lots and lots of Vitamin Water. It's slightly sweet, so I get my fix, but I don't feel like a total slob afterward. It's a good first step, I think.

And after this, giving up the Wendy's is probably a good idea, too.

Monday, September 04, 2006

CreePaul: Out

It was a lovely long weekend. Four days off - brilliant! Watched some movies, read some books, drank some beer... it was fantastic. (Sidenote: HOW had I never seen Super Troopers before?) The nights were cooler, allowing for much snuggling.

It was definitely a Labor Day weekend to remember ;)

Then CreePaul hit us with the news that he's accepted a job in Jersey, and he starts in ---- two weeks. Jen and I are very happy for him - he really wanted this job. And we will now turn to our dear friend
Craig once again to find a new guy to inhabit the tiniest bedroom ever...