Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And so it begins

Ok, so it's not technically "beginning"...this thing has been in the works for the better part of nine months or so, but when a small army of men show up at your home to do things like crate your TV, pack everything you own into 140-some-odd containers, and drive away with your car tacked onto a flatbed truck, all within the space of about six hours, you really feel like events have been set into motion. I'm exhausted, even though my physical labor for the day was pretty minimal compared to the feats displayed by these magical men known as "movers." To get things off to a rousing start, I got up at 5:45 this morning!! Please see past post relating to my deep love of sleep and general disdain for AM hours to know how this pains me.

A few observations on the corporate move that I'll manage to piece together before giving in to sleep:

Something I did not know/truly understand until today - men will come to your home and build a custom-sized crate to hold highly breakable objects. If you pay them enough, that is. And I don't even know how much that set P-dub back, but my LCD TV is definitely riding in style to D.C. I wish I had thought to snap some pictures of
this process. When they said "crate my TV"....that's exactly what it meant. I don't know what I thought it meant, but it's pretty straightforward. CAVEAT: if TV shows up with a large crack gracing its screen, I will forever be a disbeliever in the power of crates.

I often feel that I should do things myself....no help needed, I've got it under control, thanks for checking but I'm fine...you know, those kinds of thoughts. This happens to apply to things like packing stemware - it's mine, let me do it, if I control what happens to it then it definitely won't break. I let go of my anal tendencies today and, fascinated and slightly in awe, witnessed the magic of three packing/loading men with a combined fifty years of experience (yes, we got to know each other a little bit today). They have boxes for everything. Different kinds of boxes for everything. Like...lamps. And mattresses. My massive pillow-top mattress is in a ginormous box with protective plastic snugly holding everything together. Paper wrapped everything remotely breakable...and everything already in a smaller box...and pretty much everything not even remotely breakable...and lined the top and bottom of every box. I think I single-handedly decimated a small forest today (sorry, environment - good thing I got those reusable grocery bags!). My kitchen guy was just as conscientious as I would have been - and about eight times faster. It can be great to just let people do things for you sometimes! CAVEAT: if everything shows up shattered, the above paragraph is retracted in its entirety. I'm a bit of a pessimist.

It takes a village to raise a child? No, no....it takes a village with citizens who specialize in precisely one area to coordinate a corporate move. Seriously. I have (1) relocation coordinator at PwC, (2) expense specialist at third-party reimbursement company + (3) her assistant + (4) additional specialist when above specialist is out of office, (5) HR contact at PwC D.C., (6) move coordinator with van line, (7) separate company contact for shipping car + (8) actual human who came to get the car, (9) pet carrier contact, through yet another company, + (10) person who physically deals with pet in Dallas + (11) person who physically deals with pet in D.C., (12) pre-move survey guy who determines poundage of my stuff, (13) contact for yet ANOTHER separate company that crates the TV + (14) & (15) two actual humans who crate TV, (16) driver of stuff across the country (who also happens to be a packer/loader - now HE has skill sets!), (17) magical packer/loader #2, and last in this list but certainly not least, (18) magical packer/loader #3. Please bear in mind that moving also entails interaction with apartment people on both ends. And plenty of others. Oh, and two of the above numbered people both happen to be named Lisa and have quite similar phone voices.

Never underestimate the power of lists and excessive organization. I have an inventory sheet that lists every single box (with a general description of contents), padded item, crated item, and speck of Dallas dirt (ok, stretching on that last one) that went onto that truck. Every box is numbered. Everything remotely cardboard has my last name prominently scribbled on it in fat permanent marker, along with the room it belongs in and at least an inkling of what's inside. CAVEAT (last one, I promise): if anything that went out the Dallas door doesn't come in the D.C. door, I might have to seriously reconsider my life views on the virtues of being organized.

I forgot how an empty apartment echoes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Planet Earth is a pretty rockin' place

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Discovery Channel junkie. It's in my usual suspects for channel flipping, and more often than not I find myself drawn into the workings of a crab fishing boat in the Bering Sea and whether or not a car can be blasted fifteen feet in the air with the water pressure from ten fire hoses. Lately I've been catching reruns of Planet Earth, and I realize how very little of our planet I've actually seen and how much there is to know about it. I'm not saying I'll ever base jump into a cave (well...maybe....but probably not) or encounter a colugo gliding through the Malaysian rain forest, but there's some pretty cool stuff going on out there that's outside of my knowledge realm. Did you know that there are pretty much a bajillion kinds of penguins and that some really neat glowworms live in massive caves and that time-lapse video is just ridiculously amazing AND that Coke pretty much got it right with the cuteness of polar bear cubs? I've grossly oversimplified what you actually get out of watching, so just take my word for it...better yet, try to catch it in reruns or add it to your Netflix queue. Check out the way cool shark video, and I highly recommend wasting a little time in front of the TV to take in some of the amazing scenes from this project.

And yes, they're also showing episodes on Animal Planet, and I'm watching it right now. I'm avoiding the adult things I need to do, such as changing my address in eight million places and sorting goods into come with me/go in peace to Goodwill/what can I get for you at Half Price Books piles. It's for the sake of knowledge, though! And never-before-seen footage of adorable baby animals!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

May present choking hazard

This weekend I methodically worked my way through kitchen cabinets, disposing of items that no longer serve a purpose to me (that includes you, dried oregano that expired in 2005 - why do I have these things??) so they're not packed and sent to D.C., just to be disposed of down the trash chute from ten stories up. Starting with the kitchen, folks - the closet looms in my near future. As I get over my small sentimental attachment to plastic cups from assorted restaurants and sporting events, I move on to the space under the sink. Cleaning supplies, check - those guys can certainly come with me. Who wants to restock that arsenal from scratch? And by cleaning supplies, I mean the whole shebang - you could tackle pretty much any mess imaginable with the supplies I have in store, some of which I didn't even realize I had. Oops.

However, wedged in amongst the cleaning supplies in pretty much every available nook and cranny....plastic bags. From everywhere. Grocery store, Target, assorted merchandisers scattered throughout the DFW area, even some that have journeyed back with me from West Texas. I mean, Double T Bookstore has the really durable kind of plastic bags, but what compelled me to keep that? I am absolutely shocked by the sheer number of plastic bags that were residing underneath my sink. I knew I shoved them down there from time to time, but little did I realize I would pull out a veritable mountain of plastic that could contain virtually every item in my apartment. What compels me to keep them? They rarely serve a second purpose in my home, even the handy Target ones that provide a list of ten possible re-uses.

Appalled by own hoarding of plastic, and in an effort to be a little more green, I did invest in some cool reusable Central Market bags the last time I was there. I have to admit that the "oh my gosh, those are so cute!" factor may have motivated me a little more than my wish to save the environment by not sending plastic bags into the ocean. They are really cute - brown and blue stripes, totally adorable. I figure they'll come in handy when I'm walking my groceries home through the D.C. streets and need a somewhat-reliable receptacle that can handle a decent amount of food.

Needless to say, I'm now even more frightened of my closet. God only knows what might be lurking in there.

See how cute they are? A little piece of Texas that can come to D.C. with me!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ode on Tex-Mex

Ok, so this isn't truly an "ode" because I'm not actually going to put in the effort to write a lyrical poem on the beauty of my favorite kind of food (excluding desserts...and is there a "type" that includes anything containing cheese? Obviously I have a hard time calling anything my one and only favorite). However, in anticipation of my upcoming move to a part of the country where I may not be able to find the comfort of a decent chile relleno, I've gone on a bit of a "let's eat Tex-Mex for every meal!!" food binge. Please, just give me a few moments to extol the many virtues of this cuisine, and if you happen to be one of my friends currently subjected to this calorie-intensive culinary adventure, thank you for allowing me to stuff my face.

Queso. Not cheese dip as it is referred to in other parts of the country (thanks to my sister currently residing in North Carolina and discovering odd facts such as these, I have begun to develop an even deeper appreciation for these foods), but queso. What better way to start a meal than by taking a crisp, lightly salted chip and dunking it into a melted pool of cheesy deliciousness? While I am not opposed to add-ins (please see Bob Armstrong dip as perfect example), I believe queso is often best enjoyed in its purest form. I readily admit to eating this as a meal, not just an appetizer. Oh, the art of tortillas - also delicious when dipped in queso. While these circular carbs often play a supporting role in Tex-Mex (cut and fried into chips, structural support for enchiladas, etc.), a homemade tortilla just can't be beat. Flour vs. corn, you might ask? Both delicious in their own right. Mesquite-grilled anything stuffed inside anything else is usually pretty tasty - allow me to present the chicken fajita taco as evidence. Oh yum. I think I could go on forever, so I'm going to try to rein this in.

Sour cream chicken enchiladas! Brisket tacos! Chilaquiles! Mesquite-grilled fajitas! I'm overwhelmed with deliciousness. Fellow Texans, I will soon find myself on a quest for these flavors outside of my native land, and I assure you I will give it my all. No crispy taco left uncrunched, no queso left undipped, no enchilada left behind. I'm going to make use of my current representation in Washington and write to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn and Representative Johnson to get their take on the food situation. Seriously, I am - I'm curious to see what comes back.

Chips and salsa can also serve as a good judge of character.

Chuy's deluxe tomatillo sauce. Put it on anything.

Some might benchmark restaurant performance in terms of dollars, but I use cheese enchiladas.

It may not be pretty, but you know it's good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The joy of sleep

How many hours of sleep are we supposed to get each night? I believe the requisite eight has been drilled into our heads, but I beg to differ. A delightful soul by the name of Julie Rottenberg happens to agree with me, and she has a fantastic article in the February issue of Real Simple that drives home my point. I would post a link to her article, but unfortunately they haven't deemed it worthy of website content (yet, anyway), and Google reveals zilch when I attempt to search for anything specifically related to it. If you're really interested, go out and buy the magazine. I love it. Or...you can just take in my ranting on sleep for the next couple of paragraphs and get a general feel for it. My wonderful friend Kami, who thrives on the AM hours, commented to me today that she understands me and my passion/need/longing for sleep even better after reading this article, so here comes a little insight into me and my need for zzzzz's.

I think that each person's body contains a gene that determines how much sleep they need (science may disagree with me on that one, but I know that a lot of really important stuff is stored on genes, and sleep is really important, ipso facto...sleep requirements = gene info), and my body happens to be one of those that requires...well...a little bit more than what most other people would refer to as "normal." Not only does it require a little bit more, but my body prefers that this sleep happen during a less socially acceptable timeframe...namely, falling asleep in the AM and staying that way until the PM. If I had my druthers, I'd regularly climb into bed at 3 AM and peacefully snooze away until 1, 2 PM-ish. Unfortunately, there are many who disagree with me, namely the traditional school system, corporate America, and basic human instincts ("hunt & gather when light, sleep when dark" - I mean, it's logical). I don't know if there's ever really been a time in my life when I could truly operate on my preferred schedule, considering said schedule makes it difficult to perform such tasks as attending daycare/school (enforced from such an early age!), watching anything on television other than paid programming or terrible movies, or interacting with co-workers who conform to this whole "daylight is awesome!" business.

I have found ways to adapt. Fortunately, I've discovered a career that embraces working excessive hours during certain portions of the year, often into the early AM, which then coincides nicely with the second wave of energy I get around 11 PM or so. I'm so productive! We're also pretty flexible with hours at work (at least right now...I think I might need to be a little more "traditional" during this D.C. gig) - co-workers know not to worry about me unless I don't show up for lunch (which is precisely at 11:30, by the way, and I simply adore food). College was fantastic when I could manage to schedule all those afternoon classes, and weekend mornings have always been a bit of a saving grace. I think my parents were genuinely concerned about my ability to consistently sleep until the afternoon hours, but a few additional years of research have proven to me that this is perfectly natural. When all is said and done, I think all signs may point toward me embarking on a career that embraces this schedule....as much as I love the concept of my bakery, many have pointed out to me that this would require some early AM hours to bust out those breakfast pastries, and I just don't know if I'm up for it. I think I'll stick with the D.C. gig for now.

Molly is also aware of my tendency to sleep late, and she thought I might appreciate three smart things about sleeping late. I'm telling you, it makes sense! I mean, if there were no lightbulbs in the world and we all had access to really fantastic black-out curtains, how many hours do you think you would sleep?

Speaking of sleep, it's running a little "late" for "normal" people who have to work tomorrow...12:10 AM CST. Time to go to bed. Well, I have to get ready for bed, and then I'll probably read for a little while...but I have a haircut appointment at 8:30 with Drew, and while my body doesn't prefer this time, he is aware and will provide me with multiple cups of coffee to ensure that I am coherent, especially by the time I get to work.

Friday night/Saturday morning, please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three weeks out...

...seems like as good a time as any to start the good-byes and rapidly disappearing evenings with my dear friends here in Dallas, so the wonderful Vaughns (you know, Diana and Trinity...and Duncan and Hazel, too) threw me a going-away bash last weekend, Texas-themed and all. I talked to Trinity earlier in the day, and he mentioned he was picking up my margarita machine - after the "seriously, really, a margarita machine?" comments from my end, I was pleasantly surprised that he wasn't joking. Double-barreled! Pomegranate AND traditional lime! I was quite impressed, and the fact that Diana fought traffic after a long day at work (yes, on a Saturday - such is the life of us crazy accountants) to deliver enormous quantities of Rosa's queso only makes me appreciate and love her that much more. Oh, and hats off to Mr. Vaughn for his adventures in baking, and to one LouAnne Kahlich for providing the pans that enabled him to make a Texas-shaped cake. Let me just say that the chunk of East Texas that I ate, along with a small circle of Amarillo (thanks to Mike for digging it out), were quite tasty.

It was fantastic to have so many of my friends in the same place at the same time - it just never happens! I'm starting to get hit with small waves of nostalgia, I'm afraid. I'm going to make the most of the next two-and-a-half-ish/three weeks, though, before I embark on my East Coast adventure! A big thank you to everyone who journeyed to Lewisville last weekend, and I'm going to miss all of you tremendously.

Some of my best work gals, plus one former work gal and her wonderful husband, who has the worst time keeping his eyes open in pictures

The Tech crowd, guns up and all! Stop tickling me, Trinity.

You know how I feel about baked goods, and now especially baked goods in the shape of my home state - thanks, Trin!

Diana, you're the best!! Trinity, you're the better half of the best, so you're also the best (and really the best on your own merit, not just because you happened to marry my friend)...but you missed your photo op here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Life admin

Life admin...a phrase my dear friend Molly and I frequently use to refer to those items that you have to take care of in order to function but that you would infinitely prefer get taken care of by your own personal EA or a team of magical elves. Picking up dry cleaning, getting your driver's license renewed, waiting on hold with any customer service center, filing away semi-important papers that you know you'll need in the future, etc. Necessary but not necessarily fun.

Anyway, I'd just like to state for the record, even though I'm certain most of us know, that moving creates an inordinate amount of life admin. Finding new place to live with appropriate dimensions, minimal neighborhood crime, and less-than-astronomical-when-considering-cost-of-living-adjustment rent - check (thank goodness). Attempting to coordinate move dates with packing folks, shipping folks (different shipping folks for stuff and vehicle, of course), leasing office personnel, place of employment, hotel for temporary housing while stuff journeys across the country, all while dealing with airline travel of self and feline - only kinda checked. Harrison has some pretty serious thoughts to share with me about getting on a plane. To be checked: changing addresses absolutely everywhere, getting quotes for car insurance, transferring/cancelling/initiating utility service, getting new driver's license, finding person who can cut my hair the way Drew does...we haven't even started talking about the unpacking and reshuffling of the stuff. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty excited about the new place and exploring the city and changing directions at work, but there's a lot of busy work that goes into all of that. Phew. Hey, at least I'm moving within the country!

That said, I'm accepting applications for the position of life admin assistant for the next six weeks or so. Hours are reasonable and pretty flexible (as long as you don't have other employment, a family, friends, or social obligations or any kind), and your pay, while not necessarily considered commonly accepted U.S. tender, will be delicious...baked goods! Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. accustoming cat to air travel receptacle and common travel noises;
  2. coordinating weather from Dallas to Washington D.C. to ensure that moving truck's 1,331 mile journey is not impeded by acts of nature;
  3. taking my place while on hold with any number of service providers while ensuring that they do not hang up on me;
  4. convincing the PwC powers-that-be that a firm-provided happy hour is not an unnecessary expense during these cost-cutting, tough economic times (maybe scratch that one...most of my friends can afford to buy themselves a beverage or two if needed, and should try not to offend bosses);
  5. pretty much everything, actually...that would be great!

Please include references and soonest date of availability...preferably yesterday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Undecorating...less fun than decorating

I realize we're well into January at this point, but it was only yesterday that I worked up the will to undo the small amount of decorating that went into my apartment for the holiday season. Oh, except for that wreath-on-the-door business...anyone walking by could take note of that, so the wreath came down over a week ago so as to avoid shameful looks from any neighbors who strictly adhere to socially acceptable decorating removal policies. I briefly contemplated leaving everything out for the movers to deal with (they're going to pack up all my stuff! I don't have to wrap a single dish! I hope it goes well!), but my sense of responsibility and need for order got the best of me.

Just a little background - I loved decorating for the holidays not all that long ago. Sis and I would pull out the lovingly crafted ornaments from school years past with quips about our decorative skills or possible lack thereof (although anything you throw glitter on as a small child is adorable and must be kept until it quite literally falls apart). Dance around to some Christmas music, drink some hot chocolate, general holiday cheer for all. My enthusiasm for the sport has faded somewhat since I've become a decorating team of one (it's more work when you have to do it all yourself! Who knew?!?), so the decorations are minimal and a little more streamlined. With limited holiday cheer on display, I figured undoing it would be a relatively painless and quick process. Jingle bell snowflakes, berry wreaths, one stuffed snowman, twelve ornaments, and ribbon went quietly back into the boxes out of which they came. Then...on to the small trio of rustic artificial trees. The smallest tree, all two feet of it, cooperated nicely - smooth down those branches and right back into the box. The three-footer and four-footer put up a little bit more of fight, though; said trees consist of a base with a "trunk" and half a tree, and remaining half of tree exists on metal rod closely resembling rebar that is shoved into "trunk" to construct full tree. A small series of gentle tugs worked on the three-footer, but gentle tugs resulted in very little progress on the largest and most stubborn tree. My brilliant solution? Set tree on floor, place feet on top of base to secure, grab top portion of tree with both hands, and give more forceful tug.

You know how I mentioned a rod resembling rebar makes up the top part of the tree? It can prove to be a little painful when a forceful tug propels this rod into your general jugular area. After some minor bleeding and a brief concern about my ability to breathe, the sustained injury is a relatively small mark of scarring and bruising. Working off the knowledge that the injury on my neck bears a marked resemblance to a hickey, Trinity raised the question of "what happened to your neck?" with a bit of a raised eyebrow...so I just wanted to put the story out there for all interested parties. Careful with the undecorating, people - it can prove to be injurious.

On a slightly happier side note, I did not sustain any paper cuts or have any scissors incidents while wrapping gifts this year! I LOVE wrapping gifts!! Happy post-holidays to you all from my officially undecorated home.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It cures what ails you

Scene: Sunday morning, mere moments before 8:30 AM, home
Alarm sounds, eliciting typical morning response ("ugh..."). However, typical "ugh" also accompanied by feelings of achy body (hit by bus, perhaps?), fiery throat, and sniffly nose. Alarm is promptly silenced and three more hours of sleep commence.

Scene: Rapidly approaching noon, apartment of the cold/flu-like symptoms sufferer
Rouse self from bed and force activity on beleaguered body - drink copious amounts of water and juice. Sane person would crack open can of Campbell's chicken noodle kept on hand for this very occasion...diseased mind sees this (well, this and the impending chilly weather) as the perfect opportunity to try out recipe from wonderful new cookbook received as Christmas gift from wonderful sister.

Scene: Mid-afternoon, Central Market
Opted for Central Market so as to be assured of "good" quality of ingredients - must not let down Barefoot Contessa ("good" olive oil...is there really such a thing as bad olive oil?). Adore this store. Helpful butcher suggests garlic variation of chicken sausage - happily and sniffily agree. Resist as many impulse buys as possible, giving in only to coffee and hummus, and leaving behind many fine cheeses. Spirits are lifted after quick trip through happy food atmosphere.

Scene: Late afternoon, kitchen, Jason Mraz music in background
Make effort to use every available inch of counter space - kitchen in D.C. will be a bit of a downsize, therefore currently enjoying counter space as much as possible. Use excessive utensils, vessels, and assorted culinary devices in preparing Barefoot Contessa's Italian Wedding Soup. Once again admire prowess of Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus as it chops parsley, minces onion, creates fresh breadcrumbs, and reaffirms status as one of my favorite kitchen tools. I hate chopping onions - thank you for saving me, Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus.

Scene: Early evening, seated at coffee table, steaming bowl of soup and slice of crusty Italian bread take center stage
Enjoy tasty fruits of kitchen labor and determine that grocery store journey and time spent in kitchen worth effort. Note to self that due to its overwhelming tastiness, freshly grated Pecorino Romano could improve the taste of even most despised foods. Diseased mind contemplated chopping recipe in half so as not to produce excessive amounts of soup for single person to eat, but diseased mind ended up not wanting to be bothered with math - project that hopefully well mind will tire of soup by Wednesday.

Scene: Earlier than usual bedtime
NyQuil. Finish book. Out.

Post-production note to accompany initial posting of above production: Apparently soup can't entirely cure what ails you. Same symptoms on Monday morning. Sleep excessive hours on Monday, enjoy more soup, and hope for improved results on Tuesday morning.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let's go Cotton Bowl-ing

Oh, college football, how do I love thee...let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height of...well, I've lost a little love there due to the outcome of the 73rd and final Cotton Bowl Classic, but I do enjoy those fall Saturdays that are filled with Mike Leach's ridiculous aerial displays and crushing tackles (ok, so the crushing tackles aren't typically courtesy of the Red Raiders, however...we still need to work on that defense). In the spirit of sending out another season in style, Diana (for those of you unfamiliar - best friend from college, love her to death in spite of liberal political leanings - check her out at http://accountantsarecool.blogspot.com/) and I bit the bullet for Cotton Bowl tickets so we could cheer on our Red Raiders live and in person. Even though our team didn't exactly live up to expectations, we did enjoy our first bowl game attendance. A few comments/observations for your edification/amusement:

1) Public transportation in Dallas does work. I don't know if it works on a regular, day-to-day basis, but when we took a chance and opted for the DART shuttle bus service between the Pearl Street station and a Fair Park parking lot, we were incredibly impressed with DART's efficiency. Minimal wait time, quick trip through the ghetto to and from downtown...I was pleasantly surprised. No sitting in traffic for indeterminate amounts of time!

2) Appropriate gameday attire varies by school. When I tried to semi-discreetly capture the wardrobe of assorted Ole Miss fans, my camera angles unfortunately didn't quite cooperate. Let me just say that in my book, flats and a t-shirt knock heels and a tight dress out of the park any day. The males may disagree...but I was comfortable.

3) Texas weather is, was, and always will be unpredictable and often unseasonable. Seats on the sunny side of the stadium on January 2nd led to several comments of "umm...it's hot!" and "where's that breeze?" Please see demonstrated shots of shade-seeking:

Diana seeks shade from her own hand...

...and from those around us. Thanks, tall-ish frat boys!

4) Beverage sales can be unpredictable. In the spirit of all that is festive and college-oriented, Diana and I figured that we would need to throw back a beer before entering the stadium, so we grabbed the overpriced generic lights in plastic bottles and made a circle around the stadium to soak up some gameday atmosphere before heading to our seats. Little did we know that during our struggle to enter the stadium (please see #5), we could have been enjoying same said overpriced generic light beers FROM THE COMFORT OF OUR OWN METAL BENCH SEATS! I was amazed...but as a side note, due to the draining effects of sunlight mentioned in #3, we stuck to water for the duration of the game.

5) Logistics fascinate me. Especially when the logistics concern the entry of 88,175 fans into a behemoth concrete structure that typically facilitates entry through ten, count 'em, TEN, gates. Why they decided to drive these fans through a total of TWO gates for the largest Cotton Bowl crowd in history remains a mystery to me. See large crowd below:

We made kickoff, but only because it happened a little bit later than we thought it would. Get with the program, Cotton Bowl organizers!

All in all, would have enjoyed a Red Raider victory a little bit more, but I'm glad we had the chance to take in the game. Wreck 'em, Tech...next season! Umm...maybe.

Pre-game...and yes, that's coffee in my hand to get me going, courtesy of my wonderful friend. I don't do mornings particularly well.

Get your guns up!

New year, new start...

...new blog. Well, not "new" by implying that there was ever an old one, but brand-spanking new. That's right, my friends, I have officially entered the world of blogging! No specific agenda or theme here, just the goings-on of me and everything from the mundane to the insane. I'm moving to Washington, D.C. in about a month, so hopefully this will serve as a good mechanism for chronicling my adventures on the East Coast and sharing them with family and friends (and anyone else who cares to read them, actually - the power of the internet! Thanks, Al Gore). I'll do my best to explore more than just the Smithsonian museums, I promise.

A note on the title of said blog - I'm self-confessed sticky-note obsessed. My desk at work tends to be covered with them, I frequently stick them on the front door as reminders, and friends bring them back to me when they go on vacation. Nothing kitschy for me, thanks, just some highly practical sticky notes. They show up in my Christmas stocking every year, and if you open up any desk drawer of mine, your jaw might drop at the sheer number and variety. Anyway, I find them to be a practical and often amusing mechanism for everything from lists to reminders to bookmarks to smiley faces for friends. This blog will serve as my sort of (enlarged) sticky note to you, recording these random thoughts and moments in slightly more permanent format.

Happy new year to everyone!