Archive for July, 2010

Goodbye July

I’ve been enjoying a lot of blogs with photos recently (you can’t inspire and teach design techniques without images).  They are just better blogs.  And, I just figured out how to download all the photos from my phone easily and quickly.  Seems there’s an obvious coincidence here.

I’m not the greatest at technology, but geez, I should have figured that out a long time ago.  I think I was scared of pushing the button that said “mount.”  Mount what?  Scary.  If nothing else, it gives me a great excuse now to post some photos from this month.  Most of them come from when Emily was visiting at the beginning of the month.  My camera is still broken, mostly because I have not tried to fix it since it has been misplaced in the last two weeks while “cleaning” (dumping crap in closets for company) and my phone works well enough.

Closing shop at Nats Stadium

Closing shop at Nats Stadium

Hot, hot, hot canoeing

Hot, hot, hot canoeing

Our entertainment for the evening

Our entertainment for the evening

Antler ears Emily

Antler ears Emily

Our home for the night

Our home for the night

Convenient s'mores shopping!!

Convenient s'mores shopping!!

Emily and Me

Emily and Me

Vincent and his friend at the 4th of July party

Vincent and his friend at the 4th of July party

Day Lillies the front yard

Day Lillies the front yard

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Which Project?

I have recently been inspired by some old fashioned DIY blogs that make carpentry seem pretty accessible to me.  And with this new house just waiting to be adorned, I can’t help but get excited about the next project!  Granted, I don’t quite have all the tools, but I have a jigsaw that’s just waiting to cut its teeth on some wood.  I have some experience working in wood shop in middle and high school plus my time in the carpentry shop when I was in architecture school for a bit.  I love to build.

I have the ideas fresh in my brain, but I’m just not sure which one to begin.  So, loyal readers, please vote in this quick poll.  I promise to take photos and blog about my experience and show before/during/after photos.  The project you choose may not be completed this weekend, but I will get a good start on it and report back on Sunday evening.  All three will eventually be completed, so no worries there.  So please vote…poll closes (if I figure out how to do that) by Friday’s Home Depot trip.

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Soft Opening

Saturday night, Corey and I hosted a housewarming party at the new place…a “soft opening” of an inner circle of friends and media.  Well, I was the media.  The travel industry dictionary defines soft opening: “soft opening. A period of time when a new hotel, which may not be fully complete, is open for business but has not formally announced its opening. Also used for rides and attractions at theme parks.”  While we sort of consider ourselves a hotel for visiting friends, we’re more like an attraction at this point.

It was hot, both literally and slangingly.  By 1:00 a.m. or so, it was cooler outside with a sweat-removing breeze, so we found ourselves wrapped up in some classic stoop beering.  Our stoop can hold quite a few folks, as long as the 330 lb door salesman isn’t jumping on it and wiggling it to try to sell me a new one.  But for now, it’s feeling like home.  Thanks to everyone who came to visit and celebrate!

Stoop beers in the early morning

Stoop beers in the early morning

Salsa's artistic point of view

Salsa's artistic point of view

Look Mom!  The bench is getting used!

Look Mom! The bench is getting used!

Grand Opening announcements will be posted here, and everyone will be welcome!  Once the staff figures out how to host in this venue and the finishing touches are placed on the decorating, we’ll be ready to go!  Probably sometime in September, if not before.

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Great Performance!

If you didn’t make it out last night, you missed a great show!  The sellout crowd was full of people we did not know and still, they laughed!  The important part was that we had fun on stage and that eases the crowd because they feel more comfortable giving us 25 minutes of attention.

For our third time together on stage as Subsidized Corn, we’re getting much better!  I know I wasn’t feeling nervous or jittery like I was for the first few…it’s all about trusting your team and knowing that they won’t leave you on stage without support.  What I liked about this show was that no scene went on too long and there was a nice flow to it.  I watched it again this morning and laughed out loud, so if it’s still funny this morning, it must have been okay!

Have a look for yourself!  The video is about 25 minutes long.  Oh, and don’t forget to find us on Facebook so you can be up-to-date on all the Corn happenings!

And the fun part?  We got paid to do this.  Not sure it that makes us professionals yet, but we’re clearly on our way.  We haven’t decided what to spend the money on, though tee-shirts and beer are on the list.  I would like to add a marketing budget.  TBD.

See? We're professionals now.

See? We're professionals now.

P.S. We missed Lizzie last night as she’s in Buffalo with her family for a bit.  But, she will be back soon and performing with Steve, Darnell and me at Improvapoloosa in early August.  Details coming soon.

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July 2009

I was reading through memory lane on my blog a minute ago.  I’ve had the blog since June 9, 2009, so it sort of catalogs my life history…makes me appreciate where I am now…helps me remember feelings and activities because I have a terrible memory, etc. 

Most of the time I’m not too specific with my timelines, however, exactly one year ago I was very specific.  What a pleasant surprise!  Turns out, this very evening last year I was doing improv!  Last year I was in a Level 1B class, this year it’s performing on stage with my troupe, Subsidized Corn at the DC Improv.  If you doubt how far one person can come in a year, let this be proof.  Well, I have better examples of proof – new office, new house, same friends, no boyfriend, better outlook on life.  Another example is my sister, Melissa (aka Melly Sue).  Last year at this time she was planning a wedding.  Now, she’s planning for their baby to arrive in December (Mel – are we telling people what the gender is? No spoilers here.)

I’m off to the gym, thanks to my Groupon for the Y.  Then meet up with the SubCo folks then to the DC Improv for our 3rd ever performance…just in case I need documentation for 2011.

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Spy Tricks

Recently, my job has had me doing some spy work.  Not real spy work (obviously), but work that in my creative and over-active brain could pass for spy work.  (A real spy would never say she’s a spy…or would she?  It’s something to think about.)  In DC, one in four people are estimated to be spies…or is that one in four people hold a JD?  Anyway, in my two spy dealings in the last two weeks, I’ve learned a few things that I thought I’d share in case you find yourself needing some spy advice.  My other qualifications include a fun visit to the Spy Museum with Cosette Z over two years ago, working on the same block as the Uniformed Secret Service (which cracks me up everytime) and being a snoopy big sister.  Clearly I know what I’m talking about here…I’m practically a professional.

Lesson 1: Observing without being noticed.  I spent 1.5 hours watching how security screens cars before entering a secure building (it all comes down to parking, right?).  I sat for 90 minutes out in the open within 20 feet of this operation and not one of them even noticed me.  Here were my tricks:

  • Have a watertight story created in case someone asks, and add extra imagination for added fun.
  • Arrive on foot.  I could have been on my bike, but that would have been too conspicuous.  Drop-offs are even more mysterious.
  • Dress average and plain and do not call attention to yourself.  At 8:00 on a Monday morning, this was pretty easy to do.
  • No earphones and no eating.  You need all your senses in peak condition.
  • Look distracted, but watch out of the corner of your eye.  Don’t be distracted, just look distracted.
  • Write stuff for the hell of it in your notes.  Like drafting your next blog post.  Pretend to be a pensive writer because no one ever messes with them.
  • Suspect everyone as a counterspy.  Sidewalk sweepers, pipe smokers, smokers in ties.  Say hello to people that say hello to you.  Just because you are a spy doesn’t mean you can’t be polite.
  • Find a cool shady spot to sit.  Granite in this town can be found everywhere.
  • As Salsa would say, “Stay alert!”  If the observations are slow, find something similar to observe to keep your mind awake.  And get a good nights sleep the night before because it isn’t always fast paced like it is in the movies.
  • Carry a phone with a timer application, not a stop watch, for ultimate undercover work.  Look texty.  Make sure the phone battery is fully charged.

Lesson 2: Gaining access.  I went to have a look around in a building under construction without permission.  The shell of a building had security people.  I showed my ID and walked in the hard hat area, no questions asked, almost like my ID was psychic paper.  A construction worker walked me around and gave me directions.  Seriously, what kind of operation is this?  Basic tricks:

  • Act like you know where you are going.  Don’t look lost or confused…it’s a dead giveaway if you do.  I typically use this trick to get by most security in lobbies in DC.
  • Do a minor bit of background work, like knowing the future tenant of the building.  Just say you are with them.
  • Dress appropriately and plain.  Again.
  • If you take photos, don’t have the camera sound on.  Duh.  I learned this the hard way.

That’s all I have tonight.  If you have your own tricks, feel free to share them!  DC can be a fun place to live, even with these extra pains.  But, it makes for more of a challenge to try to get your spy work done.  Oh, and one additional note, don’t mess with the Department of Homeland Security because they don’t mess around.  Play it cool.

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Odd thoughts

I have been really busy at work recently, so I’ve not had much time to think about the fun extra stuff.  I am certainly in the mood to write something tonight, however, I do not really have a topic or photos.  (I know, these are the worst posts….groan.)  I’ll be quick, I promise.

Things I’m excited about right at this moment…Karen’s coming to visit this weekend, Maria will be in town on Tuesday, my trip to Yosemite and San Francisco in September, staying in adult cabins at “camp”, the black-eyed susans in my front yard, starting Dr. Who from 2005 “season 1” episode 1, finishing my parking project at work, the house is almost in order and feels like home, new ideas for decorating my bedroom and living room, Caitlin moving in downstairs, the new season of Jersey Shore, cooking in my kitchen, performing on Friday at the DC Improv with Subsidized Corn!

Things I’m not excited about…the gross reaction on my forehead from the eyebrow waxing this weekend, the meeting we have tomorrow with our clients, all the little projects that are left to do to get unpacked, the temperature and humidity outside, the weird dreams I have when I sleep with my closet door is open, the extra five pounds I’ve gained…that’s all I can think of, so I’m not doing so bad!

Goodnight!

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