Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Things for the house

So, we've been taking these last several weekends pretty easy, not doing too much around the house. We hosted our first party on Saturday, and were happy with the way the fajitas came out on the new grill (the chicken...well, let's just say it needed just a tad more time). But I'm off my entertaining game a bit. We couldn't find the Off and the mosquitoes were definitely out that day. Also, I had to go to the Dollar Store in the middle of the party because we didn't have any napkins (actually, neither did they, and I ended up handing out paper towels, which is just a tad embarrassing). But having a party really highlighted that we need to back into "home improvement" mode, which means switching back to "spending money on the house" mode. We need to fix the downstairs sink. Buy an oven (actually, I really wish we could get the whole kitchen remodeled, but that's going to have to wait). Also, what is going on with my can opener? Can a manual can opener just basically stop working? The colander broke last week. We need area rugs, and some new paint in the living room and bedrooms.

So lot's of stuff. Not sure when its all going to get done. Maybe in 5 weeks. Maybe in 5 years.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Settling in

Its been about a month since we've moved in. We're slowly arranging the house to our liking. We indulged ourselves and bought a somewhat unnecessary patio set and bbq pit (somewhat unnecessary only in the fact that the weather is turning cooler a little earlier this year and I don't foresee too many more days this year where we can really enjoy those items, but they were on end-of-season clearance). We're hanging pictures and still trying to figure out our furniture arrangement. Also, doing home improvement projects. For example, we learned how a toilet works, and how to fix it when it doesn't work. Big things for us.

And we're learning the neighborhood too, and finding that we have to re-learn where the best things are and how to get there. We found the best liquor store pretty easily, but I had to look up where the drycleaner is, as well as the post office. We're still arguing about the best way to get to the grocery stores. These are all things that you take for granted that you know when you live in a neighborhood long enough.

In some ways, moving across town definitely feels like a big of a move for us as moving across the country. We had lived in the same zip code for 11 years, counting our college years. In fact, the familiarity of that neighborhood was probably why we ended up moving there when we came back to DC in 2002. It was just one less thing to deal with. Not saying that we didn't learn more about the neighborhood; it was just easier that way, and we were lucky to live in such a great place.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New house

Hi, we've moved from our condo into a beautiful old (and I do mean old) house on Capitol Hill. Marcel approves, I think.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Google Maps

So usually when I'm looking for directions, I visit three websites: Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps, and Mapquest. I visit three different websites because I've found that each site will get different websites to get from Point A to Point B, and often the time estimates will be different. Lately, I've noticed a little camera icon on Google Maps. When you click on the icon, you get a street-level picture as if you were actually driving down the road. But what is actually very strange is if you type in an exact address for a house, you can actually see that house. It was kind of disconnecting to see my parents' vehicles parked outside of their house, and to see pictures of their neighbors getting into their car.

So check it out and be freaked out on your own.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm one in 16,000

I've long complained about my name being erroneously mis-matched to a possible terrorist on TSA's watch list. While I've never been denied boarding, I'm often not allowed to print my boarding pass at home, and I have to wait in the line at the airport in order to get it. When this happens, I usually have to add an extra hour to my travel time. Looks like the TSA is finally taking steps to prevent this from happening: Government to Take Over Airline Passenger Vetting. Sucks for privacy advocates: yay for me!

Again--not a terrorist.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smug Prius Owner

So its been a few months now since we bought our Prius, and what has been the most enjoyable--well, besides getting 50 miles to the gallon--is watching people freak out when the car starts moving. Why do people freak out? Because the car makes no noise when its running on electric. Twice now, both at grocery stores, as I've been pulling out of a parking space, the person in the car next to me has gaped as the car started moving, seemingly on its own. I watch them stare at the car, and I can see them wondering if the car has started moving on its own, and if they are going to witness a terrible collision as my out-of-control car careens into another vehicle. Very slowly, comprehension begins to dawn on their face. Today, a young guy stared at the car for a while, and I watched a goofy smile spread on his face as he realized that the future is here! The future is now! Behold, the hybrid vehicle.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Drama at the theatre

Three months ago, Matt gave me 5 gifts to celebrate our 5th anniversary. Last night, we finally used the last of the gifts, which were tickets to see Les Miserables at Wolf Trap. Wolf Trap is actually distinct for two reasons: 1) its actually a giant outdoor covered theatre, and 2) its also a National Park. You can buy tickets for the lawn, or in the covered section. Matt had gotten us seats in the covered section.

Les Mis has sentimental signifcance for us. It was one of our first dates, back in 1996, and I remember holding hands as we looked in wonder at the revolving stage, and being thrilled with the giant red flag that the students wave at the end of Act 1.

Last night, a group of four elderly people (two couples) came in and sat down next to us. I was kind of annoyed, but only because, really, nobody likes it when people sit next to them. About 20 minutes into the show, as Fontine is giving in to becoming a prostitute, I feel the man next to me start to rub my knee. As I turn toward him, I realize he's actually trying to get up, and he hurriedly rushes past us, up the aisle, to alert the usher that his wife is having a medical emergency.

I glance at his wife, and see that she is slumped over in her seat, with her eyes closed and her mouth slightly agape. Her friend is holding her hand, and rubbing her arm. The usher comes over and asks us, quite politely, to move. We comply, and we watch as EMS techs rush down the aisle, pull the woman out of her seat, and try to revive her. All the while, Fontine is dying on stage, pleading with Jean Valjean to help her child, Cossette.

After about 20 minutes, they brought her around, and she was alert as the stretcher carried her past us. The performers on the stage were none the wiser, but the audience around us still looked slightly stunned as the real life drama around us finished.

I can't imagine what the poor man went through. What was supposed to be a nice night out for them probably turned into a moment of terror. I really thought the woman was going to die. Luckily, it appeared that she was okay when they left.

I don't know what caused that woman to lose consciousness. But I do know that Matt and I squeezed each other's hands a little bit tighter that night.