Friday, February 27, 2009

Shaping young minds

A couple of years ago, I was motivated to become a teacher for a day, have a positive impact on the youth of America, and honestly, take a break from the tax accounting gig to feel that I was actually doing something meaningful...even if only for a day. Take hold of these business concepts, kids! You CAN go to college! The world is your oyster!! Of course, I didn't just run off to an elementary school and take over a classroom; good ol' PwC set up a volunteer opportunity with Junior Achievement, rounded up a bunch of accountants, armed us with bags of supplies, and sent us off into the lion's den. I mean...into a local elementary school.

I thought it was a fantastic concept! Take some professionals (look where education can take you!), give them the opportunity to teach basic business/community/life concepts to the kids while having a little fun...bonding/learning occurs, and we all have warm fuzzies at the end of the day.

My memories of that first Junior Achievement teaching experience have faded somewhat. I do remember...I told myself I would never do it again. I was mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, and I don't know that the kids actually got anything relevant out of what we attempted to teach them. When we could actually get their attention. And keep their attention for more than thirty seconds. Honestly, it made tax look a lot more interesting and fulfilling (I'm upholding the economic stability of our country! Oh, wait, that's not working out so well right now....well, I'm sure there's some socially redeeming quality in my work). I was grateful to be spending my days among adults, even if some of them did act like children from time to time.

My resolve to avoid this experience didn't quite stick. Presented with the opportunity to participate in the program again here in DC, I hesitated only briefly before jumping right in again. Surely it's worth another shot! This will be fun! Little kids can be so adorable, and when they get something and that light bulb goes off it's just so great! Get ready, third graders - time to learn all about our city! We're tackling "economic development, local businesses, and career opportunities!" You get to measure blueprints, identify city zones, build buildings, open your own restaurant, learn how a bank works...I mean, this is some pretty awesome stuff. The third grade lesson was the one I taught before, so I was comfortable with the materials and the concepts. Ok. Let's give this another chance!

Frustration began setting in after about...oh, I don't know...fourteen minutes or so. The sustained noise level over the course of the day was just astounding. Then there are plenty of other things. Do you think that some kids have it while others just...don't? That dear sweet boy keeps trying, but I just don't know if he's going to get there, even if I hold his hand every step of the way. Can you teach someone how to learn? Or try to help them even want to learn? I don't know if I caught Miss-I'm-Only-8-Years-Old-But-I-Think-This (and by extension YOU)-Is/Are-Stupid-And-I-Choose-To-Roll-My-Eyes-And/Or-Ignore-You-For-The-Vast-Majority-Of-The-Day....until you offer me ice cream (I'm fairly certain the grammar in her head did NOT come out like that - it's all me, folks) on the wrong day, but seriously? How do you get through to some of these kids? It requires infinitely more patience than I possess, and at least I can rule out this particular career choice if I see the need for (another) big life change. I can't decide if it gets better or worse as they get older.

Were we this bonkers in elementary school? I mean, I know I encountered the occasional kid who just had to put on a show and talk talk talk, but were there entire classrooms of them? I'm wondering if I had a sheltered, nurturing elementary school experience. Probably so. Thank you, Mom & Dad, and thank you, fellow elementary school classmates. We had some good times.

The day did have its redeeming moments. We had some hugs thrown in there at the end from the sweet girls, a few of the kids really participated (and did such a great job with the projects!), and I'd like to think we made some kind of positive impression on them. I hope. They at least appreciated the ice cream. Oh, rats. Maybe all we really did was contribute to the obesity problem plaguing America's youth.

I have had some good teaching experiences! We taught/attempted to teach the local elementary school kids some Spanish when I was in high school - I have some pretty fond memories of that, actually. Perhaps it's just age giving a glossy sheen to days of years past.

Tip of the hat to all of you teachers out there. I couldn't do it every day. I can barely do it one day a year. Well, possibly two days a year. I'm potentially up for another round in the fall....maybe the kindergarten kids haven't learned "surly" and are still adorable little knowledge-sponges.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Could I get sauce with that?

So now the amazing blueberry sauce has prompted me to go on a sauce kick. Or perhaps it's the vanilla ice cream lingering in my freezer, calling out for some topping to make it even tastier. Whatever the impetus, when I was wasting a little time at work surfing the waves of the information superocean (can't call it a superhighway if we're surfing on it, now can we?), I came across a recipe for homemade hot fudge sauce on Smitten Kitchen, quite possibly one of my favorite food-related blogs. This stuff doesn't come out of a jar, kids. All prepared to make a quick list and stop by the grocery store on my way home, I pleasantly realized that I actually have all of this ingredients hanging out at home already, just waiting for me to turn them into hot fudge sauce! Yes, this is why I need the extra kitchen space. I like to bake AND I like to cook AND I have an unnatural obsession with glass beverage and/or food receptacles....and whisks. All of this leads to much stuff in the kitchen. Back to the chocolaty goodness.

First and foremost, should probably not attempt new recipes while on the phone. Sorry, Amanda, about that brief moment of panic when I thought I was ruining the chocolaty goodness and I blathered "I'll have to call you back!!" instead of actually speaking to you.

Back to the chocolaty goodness again. I recommend never, ever making this, by the way. Not because it's not good. It is. Frighteningly good, even. This hot fudge sauce has the capacity to ruin all other hot fudge sauces for you. Well, not really. Have you ever met a bad hot fudge sauce? I mean, it's hot fudge, for crying out loud!

Just a few notes for those of you who may want to attempt this in the future:

  1. Please remember that when melting together butter and baking chocolate, those delicious smells wafting up to your nose do not equate to something tasty at this point. Do not, under any circumstances, feel like you should taste the chocolate-butter combo until sugar has been added. My nose throws my taste buds for a spin on this one. Amanda made an excellent point about the sheer will and perseverance of the poor soul who tasted a bitter little cacao bean and decided to give it a second chance, adding sugar somewhere along the way. Without sugar...nasty. With...ridiculously yummy.
  2. When sugar actually has been added and everything's coming together nicely, also don't taste-test until it's had a chance to cool down a little bit. Immediate application of ice cube to tongue could possibly mitigate burn pain and subsequent destruction of taste buds.
  3. Use good judgment when determining how much hot fudge sauce to drizzle over the ice cream. I got a little sauce-happy and may have overdone it just a touch. What is that, overdo hot fudge sauce?? I know, it's not really possible, but I had to really slow down for the end of the bowl.

I'm fairly certain no one cares about my culinary photography endeavors, but I found a "culinary" setting on my camera and decided it needed to be used. Besides, it also allowed me to discover that my camera lens was pretty dirty.

Bubbling away!

Meeting the perfect companion

And leftover ribbons of hot fudge

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Berry tasty

I'm not sure why Harris Teeter had blueberries ridiculously on sale, but when I saw the "2 for this!!" sign, I knew they had me. First, allow me to giggle at the name of this grocery store. My sister happens to shop at one in North Carolina, and when she first told me the name, I busted out laughing. I'm not sure why. I just picture a little old man in a bow-tie, possibly playing on a teeter-totter. I digress. Now, what does one person need with all of these blueberries? It just so happens that in a quest to discover uses for this delectable little fruit, I happened to come across a kinda amazing recipe for blueberry sauce that has happily broadened my breakfast and dessert choices. I love this sauce so much I may start putting it on things you wouldn't ordinarily think of as accompanied by a blueberry Blueberry-glazed steak! Ok, maybe not.

Sunday morning. Time for real breakfast, not just the usual weekday bowl of cereal. In order to accomplish "real breakfast," a couple of changes to that particular recipe were in order....not because I thought I could really improve on it, but because my kitchen was a little lacking in ingredients. I didn't actually have cornstarch on hand (drat!), so I opted to use flour as a back-up thickening agent. I fell victim to one of my more frequent cooking mistakes - flour lumps in the sauce! Paula Deen fixes this by mashing together the flour with some butter (what else?) before adding to the sauce, but I was trying to keep the butter intake down. Lesson learned - just use the butter. Determined not to let it ruin my brunch (this was going to be breakfast, but you know how my sleep schedule goes....we have shifted into the brunch realm by this point), I fished out those flour lumps and soldiered on. As a side note, the flour lumps were actually kinda tasty. Yes, I popped one in my mouth; I was getting really hungry. Sorta like a little blueberry dumpling. Yummy culinary mistake! Anyway, solution to the flour lump incident? Let that mixture sit there on low and simmer away....reduce, reduce, reduce. Anything will thicken if you cook it long enough!

Also didn't have any almond extract hanging around, but did have amaretto liqueur....ha, that's even better! Added just a splash at the end. Mmmmm.

This happened to be incredibly delicious on top of the
ricotta pancakes I made, and it was still incredibly delicious later that night when, wanting more more more, I reheated and poured a generous amount over a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. I wish the ice cream had been Blue Bell, but alas, with my current geography, Breyer's had to do. Blue Bell will ship me four half-gallons for only $119, but I think I'll pass on that particular deal.

My ricotta pancakes weren't nearly as photo-worthy as the ones pictured with the recipe, and I was too involved with eating the blueberry sauce to take its you'll just have to imagine the beauty of this culinary adventure. I love cooking and trying new things. Bring it, grocery store! Tempt me with bargains, and I will attempt to turn them into tasty things! Actually, as my dear sister pointed out, perhaps I should just buy what I actually need when I can still get the reduced price for purchasing a smaller quantity. I admire her logic and restraint. Stop trying to trick me, Harris Teeter!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Picture this

I had a bit of an art-errific kind of weekend. Friday night, after partaking of a fine Restaurant Week meal at Rosa Mexicano with Dana and then sending her home to NYC for the weekend, I walked on over to Flashpoint, a local gallery/theater/artsy kind of place that was having an opening reception for a photography show that I read about on a local blog, dcist. I was sufficiently forewarned about the potential wait to get into this thing, primarily because the website told me about lines going down the block the last couple of years, and Dana and I also spotted the line winding its way down G Street on our way to dinner around 6:00. This par-tay was supposed to last from 5 - 9, so silly me, I thought things would have toned down by 8:15 or so - no dice! I spent about 25 minutes standing out in the freezing weather (literally - temp hanging right around 32 degrees at that time - at least the wind wasn't cutting through me!) waiting to get in. I wasn't getting very good night pictures with the camera, plus I was on the phone with Trinity and not totally focused on my picture-taking, but here's some line-waiting going on in the cold:

I didn't actually snap any pictures once inside for a couple of reasons: (1) it was so crowded I could barely shuffle one foot in front of the other, much less maneuver my arms and hands into a position that would capture a photo worth taking, and (2) I was intimidated by all of the people proudly standing next to their photography work with really awesome cameras in their hands. At least my camera is ridiculously portable. It was a pretty cool, albeit claustrophobic, experience - DJ blasting away, tons of amazing shots adorning the walls...and a bar. They were actually out of wine when I showed up, so I passed on that particular perk. Anyway, here's one of my favorite photos from the evening:

A lot more impressive than anything I accomplished on my morning walk to the archives and sculpture garden! You can check out more of andertho's photos on flickr - there are some great ones from the exhibit opening where you can see just how crowded it was. This adventure pretty much made me want to quit my job, blow a ton of money on an awesome camera, and just wander around taking a million pictures a day.

Art adventure for Saturday? Not quite as interesting as the events of Friday or Sunday, but it involved putting various artsy and framed things on my apartment walls. I have so much....stuff! But it makes it all homey and cozy, right? Up go the shelves, the pictures of friends, the Ansel Adams prints, the expensively framed expensive pieces of paper from good ol' Texas Tech, the giant star so emblematic of my home state....goodbye, apartment deposit, as I anchor things into the wall.

Sunday afternoon I walked over to the National Portrait Gallery, a mere three blocks from my apartment, to take in their fine framed artwork and kick off my museum tours. I spent two hours wandering through the galleries, jotting down some notes in my Moleskine city notebook (I bought it for myself for Christmas - seems like a cool receptacle for thoughts, ideas, places over the next couple of years, plus it has maps - Metro and street - that have already come in handy) and soaking up a little culture. There are some pretty cool things going on in that building - it was originally the U.S. Patent Office, Lincoln's inaugural ball was held there, it's one of only two buildings to hold portraits of the presidents (White House is the other one), and they have a good selection of exhibits. Old stuff - American origins! New stuff - portraiture now, which had some really great photographs taken in the last few years. Check out a slideshow of pictures below, and if you'd like to flip through at your leisure, I've included a link to the Picasa gallery where you can also take note of my (sometimes witty, often silly, occasionally enlightening) captions. I realize this is not fascinating to all of you, and I wish I possessed the capability to edit down my photo selections a little bit more, but I just think it was such a neat experience. Get ready for more of these!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where have you been all my life?

Welcome home, Erin! What are you in the mood for today? Some culinary adventures, perhaps the latest sports headlines? A dose of news mixed in with comedic writing, most notably of the Colbert or Stewart variety? Oh, if you had a long day at work, Anthony Bourdain's biting sarcastic wit might just push you over the edge, so maybe you'd rather wind down with some easy laughs from those adolescent-year sitcoms. Really, whatever you'd like, just let me know.

Is that your phone ringing? Don't worry, just pause me and I'll be right here waiting for you. Take as long as you need!

What was that? A fire truck screeching its way down 5th, temporarily robbing you of your ability to hear anything, most notably the comments at judges' table on Top Chef? Quick rewind coming right up! You won't miss a thing! Oh, and did Fabio's Italian lilt garble his words a bit? We can back right up and catch that again, too.

Remember last Sunday when you didn't realize a new season of Amazing Race was starting until you caught the last ten minutes of the premiere? I've got it all taken care of - Travel Channel is showing that episode again (what a great agreement, CBS and Travel Channel!) later this week, which you probably didn't realize, so I'll just save it for you and you can catch up whenever you have some free time.

An extra-long episode of Top Chef? That's ok, I promise I won't switch over to the Daily Show - I know Top Chef means more to you, so I'll make sure to get all of that one. You've gotta have your priorities!

Oh, DVR, where have you been all my life?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Physical feats

You know the potential feline/human crushing piece of furniture I mentioned? After a trip to the hardware aisle at Lowe's and some very determined screwdriver work by yours truly, it is now firmly anchored to the wall. Hopefully Harry and I are good to go with our daily activities that involve walking past the 134 pound behemoth. Actually, I suppose it weighs quite a bit more now that it's loaded down with glassware. Thank you, helpful Ikea boxes, for telling me exactly how much you weigh as I heave you into my vehicle and proceed to figure out the most practical way to get you up to the apartment without damage to self and/or surroundings. Oh, and if you're curious, 18-pound glass doors came up one at a time in their own boxes. Cardboard containing 88-pound shelving unit was ripped apart in vehicle, and pieces were carried up (thank you, elevator!) in varying weight loads. I think that took three trips. Possibly four. The sides are extraordinarily tall and awkward to handle.

Take that, little kitchen! I will assemble furniture and create my own shelving space!

Assembling that thing and shifting it into place did take a little muscle power. I wouldn't say that I've been working out in the sense of logging miles on the treadmill or busting out triceps curls, but I have been dealing with moving. My beast of a couch didn't end up quite where I wanted it, so I decided I could scoot it down about two feet or so. Ha. Scoot. Scoot mammoth couch on carpet. It doesn't appear that menacing, but this thing is hiding a sofa-bed. Are you aware that sofa-beds add a rather immense amount of weight to an otherwise innocent-looking couch? After some ineffective shoves and expletives, an infomercial from years past happened to pop into my head. Moving men furniture sliders!! Since better judgment had a good hold on me whenever I'd channel-flipped past this one, I didn't actually have any of these little doo-dads on hand. However, a couple of large pieces of cardboard will do in a pinch, provided you have the strength and foot dexterity to lift the couch while kicking the cardboard into place under said sofa's wooden feet. The couch is now where it belongs...phew.

There have been a few other physically demanding tasks over the last week or so. Due to my remarkable indeciciveness and inability to decide where to put things, I move the same heavy box/object over and over and over again. Just make up your mind, Erin. A laptop also gets a little heavy when carried to and from work on a 0.8 mile journey. That one's not terrible, mind you, but I'm afraid I might need to become a backpacker in order to prevent the right side of my body from developing a slight droop. Several Metro stops have deceptively long escalator/stair trips. You find yourself at the top of one...only to go up another. And possibly another. I'm trying to engage my heart in some healthy activity by taking the stairs or actually walking up the escalators (stand to the right, people!) instead of placidly standing, but in one instance I had to pull myself over and take a breather. Dang. Oh, I walked to the grocery store the other night! Didn't buy too much, really, and did put one of those cute Central Market bags to use, and it's only about a ten minute walk, but again...worried about the right side of my body. Must learn to put things on left shoulder. Did I mention the size of my cat? Actually, he may have slimmed down a little bit in the past couple of weeks, but he's still a bit of a chunk to pick up.

I'm aware that I could ask for help with some of these things. There's something prideful and somewhat foolish in doing it all myself, though. I can do this, I know I can! Obviously I can carry my laptop and groceries and make my legs take the stairs, but this furniture business...sometimes I wish Harrison was a slightly more helpful roommate. Hey, at least I'm engaging my body in something physical! Better than sitting like a blob in front of the TV! Which I'm also quite capable of, I should mention...there's this DVR business going on...yeah, more to come on that. Maybe I should get to know the treadmill a little bit better.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm saved!!

As excited as I am about trying all things new and having amazing new experiences and new this and new that during my time in DC....sometimes I just want what I know. Especially if that happens to be....Tex-Mex!! I no longer need to write to my Texas representatives because I have my very own ambassadors to all things Texas right here with me (for a few more months, anyway!), and they have shown me the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jon & Erin Drucker, for leading me to Rio Grande. No, not the actual Rio Grande, but a fantastic restaurant owned by the Uncle Julio's folks that is only a hop, skip, and a Metro ride away in Arlington. As I emerged from the Metro entrance and headed down the block, I was greeting with the faint smell of....could it be??....yes, smoking fajitas! As the familiar and delicious waves of smoky goodness wafted my way, I think I may have teared up a little bit. Fortunately, the sidewalks weren't too crowded and I could gather my emotions before actually entering the restaurant.

It was everything I hoped it would be. First and foremost, it was fantastic to see a familiar face - one person there has actually known me for more than a few weeks! So great to see Erin and catch up a little bit. And then....the food. Oh, the food. Chips and salsa in abundance, and of course we got a bowl of queso. I think I could have stopped right there. Actually, given the massive quantities of food I continued to consume, it probably would have been in the best interest of my health to stop there. Unable to choose between this and that, I opted for...well, pretty much all of it. Juanita's Platter.

I should have taken a picture of my actual plate, because it contained substantially more cheese and sauce than is reflected above. Chicken enchilada. Cheese enchilada. Pork tamale. Crispy beef taco. Rice. Charro beans. Truer words of love were never spoken....maybe I'm feeling a little mushy since it is Valentine's Day and all, so forgive me if the food-love statements are a little over the top.

I'm proud to say that I did exercise a very tiny amount of self-control and manage to leave some tasty morsels on the plate. Yes, kind waiter, please take this away immediately before I inflict serious pain on myself. It's unfortunate that we stuffed ourselves into oblivion and couldn't manage dessert, especially when Dana asked "what's a sopapilla?" Oh, kind friend from Queens, NY, I have so much to teach you. We will be back. Chile relleno, I'm coming for you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And so it continues

Let me just start with the fact that the vast majority of my possessions made the journey from Dallas to DC without suffering any major damage. The couch barely fit on the elevator and through the front door, but it's in and in one piece. I feel terrible having people hoist that sofa-bed beast around, but that's what they're paid to do, right? There was the incident involving the base to the LCD TV being left in a box, loaded back on the truck, and driven away to a warehouse. Fortunately, otherwise-extremely-conscientious moving man discovered said base after a somewhat frantic phone call from me, and it was promptly wrapped to within an inch of its inanimate "life" and shipped right back to me. This has delayed the installation of cable since I don't actually have a functional television (I'm getting DVR!! Finally, Erin!) and consequently internet service, but I've managed to survive thus far. In fact, when I go home at night and have nothing mindless to entertain me, I've tried to do actual productive things with my time. You know, organize the apartment stuff. Stuff that could crush Harry and/or me at a moment's notice until I manage to get it anchored to the wall. It all looks so innocent crammed into my car, though, doesn't it?

Oh, Ikea, how you suck me in with your bargains and vast, vast selection of merchandise. I could spend an obscene amount of time in there. And you've provided me with a storage solution that happily reconciles the combination of smallish kitchen and largish amounts of kitchen paraphernalia! Massive shelving unit with glass-front doors! And I only had to switch the hinges on one door due to my lack of engineering skills! If I can put together anything wooden while only taking out six screws I've already muscled in and switch them around, it's pretty much a success in my book. I know, it's shameful.

Hey, you know that crated TV I mentioned? Check it out:

That thing is SOLID! Oh, and allow me to demonstrate what "unpack" means in a corporate move sense - they bust that stuff out of boxes and place it on any available flat surface, then I get the pleasure of figuring out where the heck to put it all.

The bottom of the bathtub would qualify as a flat surface, I suppose. Disaster!! I do have a functional home right now, but there are still plenty of piles everywhere driving me bonkers.

Oh, and just so you know, the following items have the ability to freeze while in transit from Dallas to DC during winter months: olive oil (solid as a rock!), Swiffer Wet cleaning pads, and Dawn dish soap (not totally solid, just odd frozen bubbles drifting through looked really nasty). And everything coming off that truck was COLD. It felt like my apartment would never be warm again with waves of cold emanating from every object inside it. Not to worry, though - it's actually warmer in DC than it is in Dallas right now! Crazy weather! I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I spy

I spy all kinds of new things these days, but this time I mean it in a quite literal sense - Spy at Night at the International Spy Museum, one unique D.C. experience of many to come. I spent an hour as a member of a special ops team! I mean, how many people really get to do that in their lives? Ok, pretty much anyone who can handle low light levels, sound effects, motion simulators, elevators and other confining spaces, a set of stairs, and physical and mental challenges after ponying up their $22 (hey, it buys you a drink, too). In this particular instance, I became a covert op with my new buddy Dana (we started our work rotation at the same time - she's from New York and is pretty much awesome and up for all kinds of fun adventures) and a couple of her friends, along with ten other random people. What exactly did this adventure consist of? Well, I'm not going to give too much away in the event that anyone actually wants to do it in the future, but basically you have a team leader who helps you navigate through the depths of a suspicious, slightly-Middle-Eastern-slanted scandal involving a missing nuclear trigger. There's scanning of documents, deciphering of messages, tracking of agents, disabling of security cameras, and enduring of a seriously cramped, seriously dark elevator. Ooh, and a helipad! Complete with..."wind!" It was a touch cheesy, but really a pretty entertaining way to spend the evening.

You know what else I spy? My neighborhood! I spent some time on Sunday morning walking around, coffee in hand, taking in the sights within a pretty short walking distance from my apartment. I ate my Bruegger's bagel sandwich at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden across from the National Archives. How awesome is that? Check out the art...and the benches and the trees.

There's also an ice skating rink there in the winter - I'll go attempt it, but I need to do my ankle-strengthening exercises beforehand. Me + blades and/or wheels attached to my feet typically = disaster. Probably no photos from that particular excursion to come.

Oh, and I was hoping I would find these somewhere close! Anyone who heard my Paris stories probably remembers my fascination with the bikes for rent all over the city that I ended up riding vicariously. I'm going to ride these for reals, even if it does make me look all touristy!

Here, check out my street - my apartment's in there somewhere on the left!

You can see actual apartment pictures, too, just not now - it's still quite a disaster area, but I'm working on it! Anyway, time to go spy my way through D.C., putting those newly acquired clandestine skills to work. Maybe the CIA will take me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Write, right, rite

I haven't posted anything in a week, and I feel a little disconnected. I am getting a chance to write oodles and oodles of exciting tax words at the new work gig, which is maybe taking some of the writing out of me. I've also been composing email after email (albeit brief emails) to keep up with my scattered friends and Texas home base members. More writing. Writing with liberal use of hyphens and disjointed sentences. There's also this magical instant messenger known as 'sametime' that enables me to keep in touch with my work friends when I should really be applying my brain to things like the intricacies of Stewart Title v. State Tax Assessor of Maine (sorry, Bluebook, I probably didn't cite that correctly - apparently law school would be a big boost for the eight months I'll be spending in tax knowledge management). Hope I come to the right conclusion in my write-up of that case that will constitute at least a portion of my rite of passage through this senior associate tour business I've decided to embark on (there, I used the write/right/rite combo in one sentence!).

Needless to say, I'm a little drained after the moving-across-the-country-starting-a-new-job-living-in-a-hotel-for-ten-days adventure. Rather than writing anything remotely profound tonight, I spent a couple of hours on the phone with some quality friend time. It was much needed. I'll be more descriptive here soon, I promise. For the moment, a small collection of random thoughts/observations:

  1. My stuff AND my car get here tomorrow!! I CAN'T WAIT to be at least somewhat settled in my home here in D.C....and see my stuff again. I hope nothing exploded/shattered/crumbled on the way from Dallas.
  2. I miss my dear friends in Dallas tremendously. Making some new buddies in D.C., which does help quite a bit, but you know it's just not the same until you've known someone a little bit longer.
  3. There are so many things that PwC does that I never knew about. I want to share resources with my Dallas peeps to hopefully make their lives easier. As long as they inter-office me pens. The pen supply in D.C. is inferior to the pen supply in Dallas.
  4. I'm afraid that certain national landmarks will lose significance to me when I see them a million times. Last Sunday I probably drove by the U.S. Capitol five times. "Oh, hi Capitol, nice to see you again" vs. "WOW, THAT'S SO COOL!!"
  5. My brilliant "walk to work" plan may seem less brilliant when the wind cuts through me like a knife and demands that I surrender my soul when hopelessly stuck at an intersection that happens to simulate the wind power of an F-3 tornado. Ok, ok, it's really not that bad. My 180s help quite a bit. I might invest in the ones that come with built-in headphones - awesome! Geez, what do I do when the stifling summer temperatures hit??

More to come soon...adventures in organizing (probably only fascinating to me and possibly Kami), my Saturday night plans to be a spy, and loads more headed your way from our nation's capital. Oh, I had an awesome dinner tonight! Tapas at Jaleo, only a few blocks from my new digs. A tad overpriced for small plates of food, but delicous enough that I'll probably forgive them and go back many times in the future. Oh, food, I love you, and I can't wait to enjoy more of you in your many D.C. variations.