Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lions and tigers and ambiguous language: oh my!

I changed my blog tag line to:

Stories from a Californian who finds herself loving life in Virginia while attempting to mind her own business, a surprisingly difficult task.

The speech language pathologist in me is concerned about ambiguous language. Is it clear that the task that is difficult is minding my own business rather than loving life in Virginia? Loving life in VA comes easily. Minding my own business has become a bit more daunting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Beware of Pride or Silly things I say

Small talk 101: don’t point out issues of pride to people you don’t know.

So there I was, minding my own business, talking with a new friend at FHE when a young man comes up and starts chatting with us. Of course he asks the typical questions about how long we’ve been in the ward and where we moved from. Yada, yada, yada. The same conversation I’ve had a gazillion times.

Then, said young man, makes a disparaging comment about people in southern California. I’ve also heard this a gazillion times, too. He eludes to Californians’ tendency to be caught up in fashion and entertainment.

Instead of just rolling with the small talk, what do I do? (you ask in rabid anticipation.) I tactfully (insert rolled eyes here) explain, “Oh, well in DC people are self-satisfied with their intellectual thoughts and politics while in CA people focus on how they artfully present themselves and their taste in entertainment as a way of measuring their importance. It’s just a different kind of pride and haughtiness. I’m very good at identifying pride: it’s one of my skills.”

Who says that kind of thing? *shakes head as she identifies her own pride in her ability to spot pride*  Sheesh!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Minding my own business doesn’t cut it here in VA

So, now that I live in a world of politics and current events, minding my own business apparently isn’t enough anymore. I’m expected to have opinions about health care policies and economic reform. After the small talk about the weather, the conversation often turns to politics. Eek! Somehow, I’ve managed to evade learning about such matters and often feel overwhelmed when I try to step into the world of political and economic education.

So here’s my question: how do you digest news? Where do you turn for your savory bites of current events and politics?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your problems lie in your curls


♫ Take all your problems And rip 'em apart,
Carry them off in a shopping cart,
And another thing you should've known from the start,
The problems in hand are lighter than at heart,
Be like the squirrel girl, be like the squirrel,
Give it a whirl girl, be like the squirrel,
And another thing you have to know in this world,
Cut up your hair, straighten your curls,
Well, your problems hide in your curls. ♫

-White Stripes Little Acorns from the album Elephant

Through the last few years, I’ve tried to live this song to its fullest by breaking problems into bite size parts, oh, and of course straightening my curls thanks to my flat iron. However, the humidity here in VA has thwarted my attempts and I have to deal with a whole new set of problems that I’m sure hide in my curls.

DC 025

Friday, August 21, 2009

Someday I’ll figure out the metro or Take me out to the ball game

This afternoon I told my mom my Friday night plans of meeting up with some friends and heading to the Nationals game. She expressed some concerns about navigating and actually connecting with each other. I should have listened. (You’d think I’d learn to listen to my mom by now. She’s usually always right)

Arianne and I successfully met on the Braddock Metro platform, but our trip eventually turned into a comedy of errors as we got on one wrong train after another. 45 minutes after the game started, we successfully met up with the rest of our party. Rick was so surprised that a group of five girls would show up late. It really was out of character.

I think Rick and Steve were sad they invited us, as once we arrived, the Nationals didn’t perform as well (their 2-2 score diminished to a 3-7 loss by the end). Rick even blamed me for the weather.   ; )

Since no one expected a victory, all woes of tardiness and bad mojo were forgotten once the fireworks started. I’m always a succor for fireworks, especially when they’re augmented by lightning. Pretty spectacular, if you ask me.

After a cab ride to VA that involved an interesting $8 surcharge for the size of our group, the ladies stopped at 7/11 to finish the night with a classic Slurpee. Yum!

Pictured (left to right):

Rick, me, Arianne, Steve, Julie, Amy, & Jenny


Tweet, tweet:

Fullscreen capture 8222009 125858 AM.bmp

And since this is a Fieldtrip From Franconia post, here’s some historical information about the Nationals:

  • The Nationals play in the first major stadium to meet (and exceed) the requirements for an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Structure.
  • The architect for the stadium used the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art for inspiration in the look.
  • The field is 24 feet below street level and the main concourse is level with the sidewalk, which means you don’t have to climb a bunch of stairs to get to your seats.
  • The Nationals aren’t known for winning. They currently have 43 wins and 79 losses this season.

Fun facts brought to you by Nationals Park Facts

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It’s just a different pace

Another sign that I’m not in California anymore:

IMG_0365 IMG_0361   

You have to drive SLOWLY on the freeways here (so slowly, that you have time to take pictures while you drive? *raises eyebrow*)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is the house that Spite built


523 Queen Street

While poking around Old Town Alexandria on Saturday, Christina, Lindsey and I stopped at the Spite House on Queen Street. It was built in 1830 by John Hollensbury to prevent horse-drawn wagons from speeding through the alley. In fact, the internal walls of the 325 square foot home include grooves from the wagon-wheel hubs of offending speedsters.

The New York Times did an article and slide show about this home that includes pictures of the inside. It’s quite impressive how well they used the space.

IMG_0370 Lindsey at the Spite House






Monday, August 10, 2009

A picture says a thousand words

My brother says maybe 10, but he’s an amazing navigator. We made it to VA without any wrong turns.IMG_0273

Brent and I aren’t great conversationalists when it’s just the two of us. Fortunately we had Harry Potter on audio CD to keep us going for our drive from UT to DC.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"A good snapshot stops a moment from running away." - Eudora Weity

On my trip I was able to have happy reunions with friends from days that have passed. However, I forgot to take pictures of these dear people!

Gretel, my sophomore roommate, and I went to lunch at the Creamery on Ninth, and I forgot to take a picture.

I met up with Nicole, an apartment mate from my freshman year at BYU, for dinner at the Brick Oven Pizza, and I forgot to  take a picture.

Carrie and Jim, my amazing home/visiting teachers from Redlands, had me over for dinner, and I forgot to take a picture

Keith, a friend from my ward as a kid, and I went to lunch in Salt Lake City, and I forgot to take a picture.

I stayed with Christine, a friend from high school, and I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE.

And did I take pictures of my cousins and their families? Nope. I guess I was too busy enjoying the moment.

You may ask, what did I take pictures of, then. Well, what anyone would: the posters in the Primary Resource Room in Salt Lake about using visual supports and making accommodations for children with disabilities:

Here are the friends that I did photograph (See I’m not a lost cause, I just have LOTS of room for improvement):

Mikey and Melissa Me, Mikey, and Melissa at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT

Aaron in Logan

Aaron and me in Logan, Ut

Grandpa and Grandma

My grandparents in Provo, UT - I think I have Grandpa’s grin

The Smiths

Sarah, Danny, Dan, Kaelah, and me in Colorado

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm on a hunt...


So, my bathroom walls are this color..


behr-colorsmart-29 towels

and my towels are this color.


I need some artwork to put over the toilet that ties together my natural color palate of my room(browns, olive green, etc) and the blue of the bathroom walls. After that I’ll be hunting for some rugs and a shower curtain to coordinate. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Not in Cali anymore…An encounter with a shopping cart

While site seeing in Baltimore, we were chased by a lady and her shopping cart. Apparently this lady frequents the area and has a tendency to get a bit belligerent. I didn’t take a picture of her because I was a bit frightened, to tell you the truth. In fact, we crossed the street and hid in a shop to evade her.

Eek! I’ve never been chased by a woman with a shopping cart before.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Now I... I know we're not in Kansas California!

So there I was minding my own business at the grocery store, which includes saying hello to the grocer stocking the vegetables. (Perhaps, this isn't minding my own business, hmm.) The 60 year old grocer, who is looking forward to going to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock next week and just sunk too much money into an '84 car he was hoping to get rid of through the "junker" program carefully answered my cheerful "How are you doing?" He even found me later in the store to fill me in a bit more of the story.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas California any more

While Adrianna, Brent and I were checking out Fort McHenry, we stopped for a picnic lunch in the grassy park overlooking the bay. Unfortunately there was only one bench in the shade and it had someone on it already. We decided that he could share. Expecting to just share the bench and not much more than that, we asked if we could sit there. Turns out that in Baltimore, if you share a bench you also share a conversation. Our fellow bench sitter was surprisingly happy to talk away his lunch break with us.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Alternate Route

Are you lost if you can find yourself on the map? Brent and I had a little bit of difficulty getting home from the Huntington Metro station. What should have been a 5 mile trip turned into a 14 mile comedy of errors.

What we should have done (but that would have been boring!):

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What we actually did:

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