Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mount Vernon!

Mount Vernon is awesome. George Washington was a stud. Pretty sure he's my new favorite.

Much has changed since the family visited George W.'s home.... back in 2001 for the other George W.'s inauguration! It's FREE admission on President's Day, so I (and several other people) took full advantage. Here are some of my favorite photos and quotes from the day.

This is such a beautiful home.

"I should enjoy more real happiness in one month with you at home, than I have the most distant prospect of finding abroad if my stay were to be seven times seven years." ~George to Martha.

"I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, and yet escaped unhurt." ~G.W., 1755

"Great Britain hath no more right to put their hands into my pocket... than I have to put my hand in yours, for money...." ~G.W., 1774

George was there!!

Several other people standing with me in the snow.

"Civility and decent behavior in company and conversation..." ~G.W.

Sprightly handservant chatting it up with the people waiting in line.

Babies everywhere!!! (in the voice of the crazed woman on the Nutrigrain commerical)

"Good character is the first essential in a man." ~G.W.

They have all kinds of livestock there year round... I only braved it to the sheep's pen.

Ye olde burial ground. My fascination with old cemeteries continues.

The new burial ground.

Arch over the walway to the slave memorial


Quite nice.

"That the government, though not absolutely perfect, is one of the best in the world I have no doubt." ~G.W.

Das Fotos

Almost forgot! Here are some photos I took February 13-14 after braving it and heading into the District:

So much snow! Al Gore, come and lend your hot air to quell this global freezing epidemic!!

Insane runners clad in Valentine's Day jammies on some sort of fun run. You've got to be kidding me.


Wandering around the Gallery Place Chinatown area after church. I love the color of this.. brain or whatever it's supposed to be. I don't know what it is or where it is.

This is Grace DC meets.

That is all.

When to not ride your bike

As the photos upload from my impressive trek to Mount Vernon on President's Day (and no, not the bike trail... that was still completely covered in ice and snow), allow me to entertain you with a great story.

There are a number of appropriate titles for the post, including:
  • Don't hurry, be happy.
  • There's ice on the trail and you're not riding a mountain bike. Turn around and go home.
  • Bike pants padding doubles as a sponge when you wipe out in slushy snow.
  • Adventures in Idiot Cycling.
So yeah. Here's the deal. It was a beautiful day, and though a tad windy (30mph gusts, whatever), the sun was out. I haven't gone cycling at ALL this year (save the lame machines at the gym that hold my attention for approximately 15 minutes), and it was just too pretty outside to waste being inside. Thus, I grabbed my gear (I have an impressive, Tour de Fancy Pants-worthy collection of stellar cycling gear), vowing to not take as long as usual to gather all of said gear. Thus, I didn't do things like:
  • tighten the loose water bottle holder (1 of 2);
  • bother noticing that the weather is in fact COLD and therefore the new (yet spiffy) leg and arm warmers might not suffice when compared with the trusted old (and awesome) windproof/weatherproof(?) pants;
  • check the odometer thingy;
  • loosen the tension on the shoes like I've been saying I need to do...
you get the idea. I was just so excited to be out and moving, that I neglected to...think. THUS with legs starting to go numb from the crazy frigid winds, I boldly embark on a snowy patchy area of the trail. Sliding back and forth on the trail, it sort of reminded me of riding a mechanical bull... just going side to side instead of up and down. Just stay centered over the bike and stay calm. Cleared the patch and felt emboldened. Another 1/2 mile or so, and patch two cleared similarly. Oh, and though I felt like I was pedaling pretty darned fast, the speedometer said I was going 13mph.... then 0 mph. Hmm... so much for documenting this little trip on the lifetime miles gauge.

For the record, I'd walk my bike over the super icy areas (30 yds?) where people hadn't been over it. I'm not a complete moron.

On the return route, disaster struck...twice. Fall one: on one of the wooden bridges I'd previously cleared. I started the side to side spinning thing (I confess it was a little exhilarating and may or may not have squealed, "EEEEE!" as I swerved), but then the swerving was slowing, and the tires were spinning and I couldn't kick my shoes out of the clips (hmmm... didn't loosen the tension beforehand), so I smashed on the ground and now have a lovely black and blue knot on the side of my knee. Jumped up and brushed off the ice, continuing on... and seriously fell about 20 yards later (on the cement) because the loose water bottle holder (empty)'s screw fell out on the last fall, and it slipped to the side and jammed into my pedal. Wham. Pride really hurt that time. I had to break the holder to get it unjammed.

I angrily pumped back to the car, irritated that the 2010 fall count now stands: Snow = 4; Emily = 0... and convinced my bike needs a realignment.

What got me through the whole mishap? Knowing I could later blog about it and laugh. And the things in my head are way funnier to me than what they'd be in writing.

Later tonight on the phone with Mom, she asked, "And what if you'd broken your arm?"

Wow Um, honestly the thought hadn't even OCCURRED to me. What am I, 5 and invincible? Thankfully I've never broken a bone (one of the benefits of being a sturdy gal)... but yeah. Good thing, huh? I hear broken bones are a pain.

Waiting for things to defrost before venturing out with ze bike again anytime soon....

Friday, February 12, 2010

some great graphic tees

NBC lied, and the Olympics did NOT start at 7:30pm. It's almost 9:00pm and still nothing.

Fantastic t-shirts from various t-shirt websites:







Thursday, February 11, 2010

The end of the storm - I think

Day Seven is over. Started off the day with snow plow operators and snow shovelers arguing about the placement of piles of snow at 3:00am.... escaped to Kingstowne with Tara where I ate Chipotle and sipped Starbucks... FREEDOM!!! It got into the low 40's today, so the snow is slowly but surely MELTING. Whew.

I'm going to work bright and early in the morning, and must skeedaddle to bed, but here are a couple photos from the past 2 days...

The howling blizzard that was yesterday:

The contents of the Giant on King Street - the produce was fully stocked, but the alcohol was a bit sparse.... clearly you can see where my neighbors' priorities lie...

Killer icicles hanging from the back doorstep - oh my goodness if only there could be a sport of ice spear throwing!! What fun!! Note: mounds of snow in backyard are: 1) a grill and 2) a chaise lounge.

This was on the way to work Tuesday when I went in for a couple of hours. That icy patch in the middle was dangerous!

Funny place holder. These folks are dead serious about saving parking spots.

The snow is over. Come on, springtime!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

overheard while playing monopoly...

"no flirting for foreigners."

"we have much to do. let's talk."

T: "how many carbs are in those chili mangoes?"
G: "does it really matter after your 3/4 bottle of wine?"
T: "oh no, there are choices we make in life."

"woah, woah! I own baltic, lady!"

"the eyes are the groin of the head." ~ dwight schrute (The Office marathon is on)

"i want the pot" ~Tara, in reference to her deep-seated desire to win the Free Parking stash of cash.

"If that's what you sound like giving birth, I don't want to be any part of that."

"That's supposed to be the cool new place. That's where I learned how to play roulette." (in reference to Mont Bleu in Tahoe)

"You gotta have someone good to look at."

(Tara clapping 12 times to herself)

T: "Why don't you just ask him out? Give me your computer!"
E: "No! No! No!"
T: "Ask him out for a drink!"
G: "No, she's too traditional."



"I want another truffle."

"Emily, stop eating all the chili mangoes."

That's all for now. Goodnight.

Day Five

Oh, the joys of today. In bullet form. Hopefully you'll find this half as entertaining as I do.
  • Woke up, talked to a colleague in Guatemala on the phone, felt uber-awesome and worldly (worldly in the good way, that is).
  • Morning routine of coffee and reading in bed (Grace Walk). Top 30 minutes of every day, I tell you.
  • Dug my way out of the snowpile with the help of my trusty roommates. Took 45 minutes. Took the "safe" way onto I-395 North and headed to work. The road was a disaster (see photo tomorrow).
  • Smugly pulled into the garage at work, expecting to be the only brave soul there. To the contrary, I faced an almost full garage. I forgot for a split second that I live in this crazy city with so many other Type A workaholics. Worked for a little over 5 hours, then made myself leave.
  • Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Former parking spot was an icy disaster, so I parked temporarily in the forbidden lot, met up with the roommates, and headed out in RFW for the movies. Dear John, starring Amanda Seyfried (my facebook doppelganger) and Channing Tatum (oh baby oh baby).
  • Fantastically heart-wrenching movie. Military, Channing Tatum, passion, the South, Channing Tatum, violence (okay, just a smidgen), Channing Tatum, Nicolas Sparks' cheesy romanticism. I've been waiting MONTHS to see this movie, and have been snowed in since Friday (premiere night). Come hell or high water (or a blizzard, whatev), I was going to see this. Thankfully talked the roommates into coming along. Matinee. Allows plenty of time to get home before the 8:00pm snowfall.
  • Well, well, well. Looky, looky. Snow attacked much earlier, and we emerged from the theater to a lovely 2" blanket of white neatly covering everything in sight. RFW miraculously made it home, despite his severe disability: real-wheel drive. I don't know much about cars, but I know that people who know always cringe when they hear that RFW is a rear-wheeler. Useless in snow, despite my magic "Auto LSD" button that I have no clue what it means, but turn it on when the road conditions are iffy. Took 45 minutes to park. Much shoveling and pushing and cursing and funny quotes (below), before determining that I'll just park in the illegal lot tonight.
"Channing Tatum, where are you?!"

"Where is a man!?"

"Welp, chalk up yet another thing this single, cynical, independent woman can do..."

"Are we part of the problem?" (say three able bodied women, busy scratching through the snowbank with two brooms (yes, brooms) and a shovel)

"I don't ask for a lot! All it would take is for a guy to walk up with a shovel! I want to fall in love."

And then, after entering the house....

"Who's ready for some Monopoly?"
"I want to write a letter to a military man."

"Don't be snatchin' now. That'll get you shanked in the 'hood."

"Don't shoot! I teach black people!"

"We're drinking because we know we'll be snowed in the rest of this week. Are we freaking kidding me?"

To be continued.....p.s. I play Monopoly to lose friends. The next few hours should prove interesting.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Day Four of the Snowpocalypse

Today is Monday, or Day Four of the Snowpocalypse.

Today, as of 6:20pm, has thus consisted of the following top ten items:

1) Waking up, making coffee. One of my favorite parts of the day.
2) Answering emails, emptying my inbox (admittedly, putting many emails in the "Emily - Action" folder.
3) Cleaning bedroom, going through massive bag of receipts no longer needed.
4) Reading Grace Walk by Steve McVey - good book. I did a Bible study on this book when back in FBG, and am loving the refresher.
5) Working on my cool glow-in-the-dark DC puzzle
6) Listening to Sara Groves' CD, Conversations (SO poignant.) and Tyrone Wells (my new favorite guy)
7) Aching from the intense "AMPED!" Billy Blanks/Tae Bo video I did yesterday - wow.
8) Going to see The Young Victoria - awesome movie. I love Queen Victoria, and Emily Blunt does an outstanding job of playing her.
9) Sipping on my delicious Bloody Mary and blogging.
10) Learning that 10" - 20" more snow is expected to fall beginning at 3:00pm tomorrow. Sheesh.

Here are a couple of shots from the world outside our warm house:

Gretchen's car... she's been a champ and has shoveled a lot of our cars out....

Yes, that's RFW. Poor kid.

Doesn't it kind of look like a cotton plant?

Artsy picture taken in the middle of King Street on Sunday:

Lots of signs like this offering no hope of ever opening again:

Poor little Frosty's van is stuck.

The making of the most massive icicle ever growing on the stoop in the backyard

Ah, home sweet home. Not a particularly attractive photo, but I wanted to show my spiffy new rug. Yes, I purchased a rug. Domesticity at its finest.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

emails with Daddo

In a brief email conversation with Dad this evening:

Me: "Why I love working in DC #5736:"

Dad: "This is good news!" They finally realized that they're not working! I didn't read when they thought they might start working."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

ask Obama to fight the good fight

Hey boys and girls! Do you know what time it is? It's time to write your President and urge him to fight against human trafficking. Slavery. Yes, it's still around.

Please go here. 'Tis simple.

Ask Obama to fight the good fight: William Wilberforce-style.

Thank you. Now go play in the snow.

the trees came down and the snow came up..

Time is 10:00am Saturday... and the snow is still falling, increasing the height of all on which it lands.

Yes, the tree on the other side of the backyard fence is so weighed down with snow that it is bowing down in our patio area. What a shame - I had hoped to lay out and catch some rays today.

Gretchen just informed me that a man was walking his dog and was using cross-country skis, but I haven't had any coffee yet and didn't find this noteworthy in the slightest.

Yesterday I already got stir-crazy, having worked from home all day and not having not stepped outside once. Mistake. Ah, well, Kate and Leopold is a lovely movie, and the DC glow-in-the-dark puzzle I bought is coming together quite nicely.


Friday, February 5, 2010

wow this is heap big snow.

Yikes. Where's the shovel. Here's the backyard view at 5:00pm. Granted, it's melting when it hits the ground, so it is probably forming a clever sheet of ice... but it isn't as impressive as I thought it would be after almost 7 hours of snowfall...

it starts.

Here's the first set of photos, taken at 10:37am. The snowstorm was supposed to start at 10:00am, but arrives fashionably late.

Note: snow already on ground is from snow earlier this week.