Showing posts from December, 2005

things that go through your head when you can't open your eyes

So it is nearly midnight here in Brussels and I haven't exactly ended this trip with a bang. We got to bed "tres late" last night and slept in till after noon. As soon as I woke up I made a very unfortunate discovery- I couldn't open my eyes. And then I recognized the very familiar signs of an eye infection... So Tara and Deborah went out and enjoyed their last day in town, and I stayed in with my eyes closed most of the day. Not asleep mind you, just with my eyes closed. Not that they will really fully close- they are too swollen for that. And they won't fully open either. So I've been hanging out listening to DVDs on my laptop with a warm rag over my slitted eyes all day. On the bright side, I've written an entire book in my head, and even managed to get several pages of it written out on paper (which is complicated seeing as I can't fully see the pages).

But let's talk about more fun things than my swollen nasty eyes. (But feel free to contempla…

J'adore Paris. C'est freaking cold!

So today was Paris. J'adore Paris, which is saying a lot considering the day I just had.
In a nutshell-
Took the Thayls train from Brussels Midi (which in spite of being called "Mid-i" is not the same as Central. Took me 4 days to figure that one out.) to Paris Gare Nord. About 30 minutes into the trip the conductor informs us that our tickets are not tickets at all, and are merely reservations. So he just charges us 20 euros, and we're all good. And he tells us to buy a new ticket in Paris.
Once in Paris I split up from Deb and Tara. It was time for me to do a little adventuring and exploring for myself. As many of you know, I have a big State Dept exam coming up next week. My biggest fear is not in the taking of the exam, but in, what if I pass the exam? Do I really want to live abroad? Can I handle life alone in a foreign country? I've traveled plenty in Europe now, and experienced multiple walks of life here. But I've never been truly alone in …

Amsterdam- Day #3 of the European Adventure

I can't begin to describe how exhausted I am, and how slow this computer is. Therefore, this will be a short entry. We took the train to Amsterdam today. It took 3 hours to get there. We saw the Rijks-something museum, which is basically all Dutch art. Much to my surprise, I loved it. If I had a little more energy, I'd tell you who and what paintings we saw. But not right now. But I will say that I got to see some of my favorite kind of art- Delft plates. (More on that later.) After that we saw the Van Gogh museum, which really didn't do much for me. He just wasn't my kind of painter. I'm just not into dark landscapes.
From there we had lunch, walked about, visited the town for fun, and hit the Anne Frank museum. We discovered that Amsterdam is truly a beautiful and enjoyable city. The canals are everywhere, very clean, and just quaint. Bicycles rule this town- and Deb can attest that they stop for no one. We had some snow today, which just added to …

European Whirlwind Day 2

Today we hit Brugges, (or Bruge or Brughes, depending on your language), a quaint little town in the Flemish countryside. It was about an hour from Brussels. When I finally can upload my pictures, you will be able to see the incredible bell tower we climbed, and all the little things that make this town a "must see" Belgian adventure. We visited an art museum, did massive amounts of shopping, visited nearly every chocolate shop known to man, and just enjoyed the culture of the city.

One of the crazier highlights of the day- walking down a little shop lined street in Brugges and spotting something "not right" in the window. Deb and I both stopped and stared for a second before it hit us. In the window of this little Asian convenience store (and you thought they only had those in the States), there was a very familiar picture of Jesus Christ. Or at least a picture very familiar to Mormons. And then next to it was another very familiar picture of Christ. And an…

J'arrive a Bruxelles

I have arrived in Brussels. My luggage has not though. In spite of that, Tara, Deb and I have managed to see the Mannequin Pis, Maison du Roi, and tear up the town with our chocolate shopping and other shopping.
Hopefully my luggage will be kindly delivered to my door in time for our trip to Bruges tomorrow. Otherwise, I'm gonna have some seriously stinky socks.
So far it has been a good trip. I just really can't wait to see my suitcase again.

What I Got for Christmas

One of the little thing out there people don't know about me is my love for old movies. When I moved into this apartment I really wanted to finally have an apartment that represented me and my personality, rather than the eclectic mix of roommates' preferences. So I painted and decorated this place myself. (With a lot of assistance and input from my mom.) Last year I got lots of apartment decorations, and wasn't really expecting anything for this year. So you can only imagine my surprise when I got a few new men to hang on my walls. (ps- there were other gifts, such as a wonderful homemade blanket by Mom, and a digital camera, and more. But this post is about my new men.)

Cagney and Bogart (in a vintage Italian movie cover)

Fred and Ginger came to join me last year (as did James Stewart in "Vertigo," and several album covers). Cagney and Bogart and Colman were new additions this Christmas. This is my favorite wall- I painted it all by myself. Please note my handiwork along the ceiling.
What girl's apartment of vintage movies wouldn't be complete without Clark Gable on her wall?
The One and Only "Rebel Without a Cause"
and one black eye (while hanging the pictures)- should look great in all those pictures in Europe this week

Happy Birthday to Sherpa

And a Happy Christmas to the rest of you!

Shoe Dilemma

When packing for a vacation, at what point do you determine if you are taking too many shoes?
Tonight is my only chance to pack for the big BeNeLux trip, and I am rushing around making sure I have every little thing I will need while there. Having flown to Europe a few times in the past, I have discovered how much I truly hate being stuck in an airplane for hours on end. First, US to Europe flights are overnight flights- sort of. If you consider getting in a plane at 5 pm Eastern time, and landing at midnight Eastern time (7 am local), overnight. In other words, just about the time I should be getting tired for the night, its time to get up and get going. So I've tried the sleeping pill route- which is why I don't remember much from my trip to London. (I fell asleep in some museum place and my travel companions left me there and continued sight seeing. And never saw St Paul's Cathedral because I was so sleepy I couldn't climb the five berzillion stairs.) I tried…

How can this be considered newsworthy???

The Perils of Hunting on High

This article made it to the front page of the Washington Post today. And for the life of me I don't see how it is newsworthy! "Men fall from tree stands." Big freaking deal! If this is newsworthy, are we about to also be inundated with articles about the "perils" of bowling? Tennis? "Two percent of drunk men who bowl will drop their ten pounder balls on their own foot and shatter their big toe." "An old man playing tennis pulled his hamstring."
Seriously! What is the point of this article?!?! It wasn't condemning hunting- shockingly enough. Is it just trying to find another way to taint hunting? Make guns look bad from a distantly related angle? I really don't get it. Its a boring article that tells you nothing more than "When people climb high into trees some will fall and land hard and suffer injuries as a result." Maybe the newsworthy part of this article is that some city kid just discovered …

I Owe Someone a HUGE THANK YOU

I left work early yesterday to attend Jack's viewing. (Which was very nice, I might add.) When I arrived in the office this morning I had a large plain brown wrapped box waiting on my desk. All I can see is that it shipped from a Mailboxes Etc in Arlington (not too far from where I live). There is no return name, card, or anything. Confused and thinking it was a business related package, I ripped it open. Had I expected it to be a Christmas gift I would have waited till Sunday morning. Much to my surprise, the first thing I saw was my own blog, printed up and staring at me. And then I noticed the beautiful set of dishes. I have no idea what to say! I have my own special Santa! They are wonderful dishes! I just don't know what to say!!
So to this wonderful person, who clearly must read the blog, I say thank you! How kind and generous of you! You've just made my whole Christmas!!!!!!

most pathetic single girl story ever

The pizza and sub place I always order from called yesterday. "Pretty lady, where you been? We not see you long time!"
I explain I've been really busy lately.
"Okay pretty lady, we just make sure you okay. We miss the pretty lady. You want dinner tonight? For you pretty lady, half off tonight."
I say I'll call them as soon as I get home.
Two hours later I was happily fed (for half off), and asleep on the couch by 8:30.

My home teachers haven't noticed I've been gone. But the pizza place- they miss me.

What You Can Get Me For Christmas

With Christmas approaching I thought it only fair to enlighten you with my Christmas wish list. As a single "career" woman on a seriously limited income I am constantly torn between asking for the completely practical things that I need, and just can't afford, and the things that I want, but cannot justify into purchasing when there are so many things on my "needs" list.

The Practical List

1. Shoe rack. I live in an ancient tiny Arlington apartment with absolutely primitive closet space. My shoes are taking over the place and are in desperate need of their own housing now. A good example of what go get me can be found here .

2. Oil Change Gift Card. Seriously, how much more practical can a girl get? I have a car. It needs oil.

3. To put tires on my car is close to $400. That would put me in the poorhouse! Tires .

4. Pink Coat You don't want me to freeze do you?

5. Dishes. My roommate's cat has an amazing knack for breaking dishes. I used to have a full set of…

More Positive Article on Jack's Life obit on Jack Anderson

This is the obit that ran on CNN today. I like this one better than the one in the Post. You would think the Post would have run a more favorable one considering that was his home for so many years. But that article is actually fairly negative. This one shares some of the more interesting aspects of his life.

Howard Kurtz also ran his own personal story on Jack today in the Post. You can read it here .

I've been thinking today about what interesting and influential personalities I have had the good fortune to be around. Obviously Jack in his distant relative way has had a profound impact on me. But I've also had the opportunity to intern for Congressman John Doolittle, that I highly respect. He's a man that it is hard to find fault with. If you have ever spent much time in his presence you know that this is a man who will never get caught up in a scandal or muckracked in the papers. (or be called out in a Jack Anderson column) I've also worke…

saying goodbye to someone i hardly knew

Investigative Journalist Jack Anderson, 83, Dies

Someone I hardly knew, but looked up to a great deal, passed away today. Jack Anderson is a cousin of mine, but I've always known him just as a "great uncle." I've only met Jack a few times, but I have been very aware of him my whole life. When I was a little girl he had a political column that ran in the funnies section of the Washington Post. Every day I attempted to read his column, which was way over my head. But it always stuck with me that I was related to someone that was "smart" or "cool" enough to have his own column. As I've gotten older and discovered my own love and hopeful talent for writing, its never been lost on me that I am related to the famous and important Jack Anderson. Granted, he never got the fame Woodward and Bernstein got, but his work was always as important. He was my first lesson that not all people get the respect and attention they deserve.

My only true memory of Jac…

Vote for Jason's Stepdad!

Body-for-LIFE Challenge America Votes

Jason's stepdad entered the Body-for-Life Championships a few months ago. He made it into the top 15, and now he's made it to the top 6! If he wins he gets $1,000,000 which he will use for a liver transplant for his son (Jason's stepbrother).

Click on the link above and go vote (each day) for Russel Pendergrass!

MyPartyPost- Video Clip- Best Christmas Lights Display Ever

MyPartyPost- Video Clip- Best Christmas Lights Display Ever

This little webpage has just made my entire Christmas. Nods to Hardy for the enlightenment.
Seriously, this is a link worth checking out. Otherwise, you are missing out!!

Which is more fun?

The co-worker who thinks I work from home in the nude?
Or the little asian man who couldn't remember the word for "tango" at the bookstore tonight, so instead he demonstrated it for me?

You know you must be doing something right when...

You know you must be doing something right when you get hit on while pumping gas, AND you get three snaps and a whistle from a co-worker.

(Man, I really gotta figure out what it is I did different today.)

You know its a good day when...

You know its a good day when you get "3 snaps AND a whistle" from a male counterpart.

Last Sunday

I've been debating about telling a funny story about something that happened to me last week. The problem is that while I know most of the people that read this blog, I don't quite know all of them. And while its incredibly self-centered to say this, I am worried that this little vignette from the life of a single girl may be read by some of the people involved. (I just don't have Smash's courage!) So this version of the experience will be slightly un-detailed so as to protect some of the characters who may or may not have been innocent.
As I think most of my dear blog readers know I am in a family congregation at church. I used to be in a congregation (ward) just for singles for nearly 10 years. In the singles ward I was just any other person, and meeting new guys depended entirely on physical appearance and my own friendliness that day. But now in the family ward I pretty much haven't met a decent LDS guy in 8 months.
But then last Sunday a new guy was baptized an… Alone in the Pews -- Dec. 12, 2005 -- Page 1 Alone in the Pews -- Dec. 12, 2005 -- Page 1

Once upon a time any news article about Mormons was so negative and biased that I found most to be incorrect and offensive. The LDS (Mormon) Church has come a long way in the last 5 years becoming more and more recognized as mainstream by society, particularly by the news media. This is thanks in large part to the president and prophet of our church, Gordon B. Hinckley, making it a goal to "rise the church up out of obscurity," and to Larry King marrying a mormon girl as his 20th wife.

Just showing how far up out of obscurity the church has come, Time magazine this week did an article just on the singles in the LDS church. I pretty much agree with everything stated in the article. But mostly I am just amazed that Time would find my lot in life newsworthy.

On the bright side...

So first the car breaks down again... on the way to my second job. Never made it to the job that would have paid for the emergency repairs. And then it snowed 7 inches in my neck of the woods last night. I guess our landlord just neverthought to rake up the berzillion leaves that fell on our walkway before the first snow hit this week. So we have a mountain of leaves on the walk, covered by ice and snow from the first storm. But no worries, at 4 am this morning I woke up to the lovely sound of some machine scraping the sidewalks. So that is the bright side... they cleared our sidewalks finally. (The last 2 days have been life threatening just to get to the door to our building.) However, for some unknown reason they choose not to clear the parking lot. I guess they decided since they did that earlier this week they shouldn't have to do it twice. So the 7 inches fell on top of the massive ice patches that formed behind the cars when the first plows went by burying the c…

I am Lady Grace

Tonight was the big ice skating activity. All I have to say is - I'm gonna hurt tomorrow. I have a new found respect for those little skating twigs, apparently flying around like a wood nymph on crack actually takes talent. I only move about the ice as if on crack. I remembered why it is I only love to watch ice hockey, and not actually play it.
Tara- great job. And thanks for the fun conversation. I promise to get better before cracking the ice in the canals.
Sherpa- we must do it again soon. Always a pleasure.
Jules- You're the only one getting the very first joke in here. Unless one of my cousins has fallen victim to it to.
(And I'm not being snarky at all!)
Everyone else- sorry for the inside jokes.

Everybody dance now!

This is a GREAT laugh!!

Just a City Country Girl

I've been thinking lately about whether or not I am a country girl living in the city, or a city girl who wants to be in the country. And I've come to the conclusion I'm just a City Country Girl. I grew up in the suburbs, which means I'm neither city or country. It means I'm just Fairfax to the core. Of course, unless you are from one of the surrounding counties, you just don't get that. It means I came from a county in the heart of a metropolitan area, so I had all of the amenities of a big city at my doorstep, or at least within a 20 minute drive. But "my people" are all from the country. I'm the second oldest of 40-something first cousins on my dad's side, and 3rd oldest of 20-ish cousins on my mom's side. And I'm probably only 1 of maybe 8 total that don't have a southern accent (regardless of which state they were born in). My mom's people all hail from backwoods Mississippi (pronounced properly "miss-sippi&q…


If I ever get time, I need to start my own Blog, and stop stealing this one.

But, stolen sweets taste the best.

I wanted to post a bunch of random thoughts...but they escape me. So here are a few that have been retained.

Is there ever a shortage of people that pont out what needs to be done better?

Is there ever anyone that cares WHY it is not getting done?

Aint it way cool to be wearing shorts in December!

A man who I respect, and consider a true leader, once explained his thoughts about life, and working. Have fun, make money, and change the world and always keep family first. You can not understand how important these things are.

I love watching the news, all the hate, violence, killings and stupid stuff makes me feel better about me.

I am reaching deep here, this might scare some.........Throwing away all things, hold to these only which are few; and besides bear in mind that every man lives only this present time, which is an indivisible point. All the rest of his life is either …

LOST Reunion

Speaking of things I am addicted to... LOST. (and then this really stupid show called "Reunion" that should be canceled for its horrible acting and predictable story lines.) LOST is too addicting. I'm thinking way too much about it. Today I watched a couple of back episodes, and I have a few questions. And since I know half of you are addicted to it as well, I appeal to you. I was watching the episode of the "other side" of the island's first 40 days. When they opened the trunk in the bunker, they pulled out a glass eye. Does anyone have any theories or clues to this one?!?!?! The blanket- big deal. The filmstrip- we have an answer (and Locke is an idiot... "what were the chances..."). But a glass eye?!?
Did anyone else catch whats-his-face on the TV in the background of Kate's dad's office? Or catch what was being said about him?
Open solicitation- does anyone have last year's LOST episodes, or Sex in the City (second or third seasons)?…

What a Saturday should be

Today I finally had what a Saturday should be. I slept in. I played Su Doku puzzles (more on this addiction later). I knitted (almost done with someone's Christmas present). I watched my TiVo (more on this later). I went to the mall. I ran errands. I bought groceries. I went to the bank. I took a nap. I cleaned out my car. I did laundry. I caught up on 10 chapters in my Book of Mormon reading (actually I listened to it while knitting). And while it may sound like that was a lot, it really wasn't. Most of it was all done within an hour. It was great. I had a normal person's Saturday, which I have been seriously in need of for a long time now. Ooh, and I stuck to my diet all day. Haven't cheated once!!

Now for the important stuff in life. Like Su Doku puzzles. First, if you aren't yet addicted to Su Doku, its clearly because you haven't tried yet. For your online entertainment, I give you this- . (Some day I'll be smart …

I made it to purgatory!

Like so many of my cyber-friends this week, I have taken the Dante's Inferno Test. And apparently I am going to Purgatory, where I will be joining Panini, Ruby G/Sherpa, and Tara. At least I'll be keeping good company there.

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScorePurgatory (Repenting Believers)ExtremeLevel 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)HighLevel 2 (Lustful)LowLevel 3 (Gluttonous)LowLevel 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very LowLevel 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very LowLevel 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very LowLevel 7 (Violent)Very LowLevel 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)LowLevel 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

The Mormon Girl, Coffee, and Purple Hair

At my "other job" at the bookstore that I am not suppose to name on personal website, I was hired 5 weeks ago to do receiving two nights a week. On average I work 3 nights a week as a cashier. But last night I did something different. I worked in the cafe. Yes, some genius put the Mormon Girl in the cafe serving Starbucks for 5 hours. If it weren't for the punk snot nose condescending 17 yr old girl with purple hair bossing me around all night, I probably wouldn't have minded or cared too much. But because of the punk snot nose condescening 17 yr old girl with purple hair who actually said to me after 5 minutes of working together (in a quite loud and forceful voice), "I am your BOSS and you WILL do what I tell you to! And do not EVER speak back to me!", I am seriously considering refusing to ever work in the cafe again for "religious reasons."
Seriously though, I've never even had a cup of coffee. Who the hell puts a Mormon Girl in …


How can you not love a man walking around with his matching SWAT baby? (From last month)


(It didn't usually look quite THIS bad.)



The Dynamic Duo!

Just hanging out with Jules in Orlando (last month)! Not the most flattering picture ever, but don't we look exhilirated from the hours of shopping and chocolate consuming?