10 on Tuesday: Weekending

Yes, yes… I am cheating by combining two weekend-centric blog themes (Amanda’s “weekending” and Carole’s “10 on Tuesday” topic for the day), but given how exhausting the weekend was, I don’t have the energy to  write two posts — though certainly more than enough happened.

Why so hectic? My friend Shannon came to town for the weekend with her 12-year-old daughter Maggie, who was making her first-ever trip to DC. The government shutdown/furlough closed most of the usual DC tourist attractions, so we (along with our other local friend Joanne and her kids, much of the time) had to get a little creative to make sure she had a good visit.

1. We clowned around at Madame Tussauds, the (vaguely creepy) wax museum.

Shannon and Maggie, hanging out at the theater with President Lincoln.
Shannon and Maggie, hanging out at the theater with President Lincoln.
The closest Maggie got to meeting the Obamas this weekend.
The closest Maggie got to meeting the Obamas this weekend.
I couldn't pass up the chance to pose with WaxOvi.
I couldn’t pass up the chance to pose with WaxOvi.

2. And though I took no photos there, we also had a good time at the International Spy Museum.

(Worth noting that, while we had fun, neither of these museums came close to being as entertaining as the Smithsonian’s American History or Natural History museums. Stupid shutdown.)

3. We semi-accidentally drank margaritas as big as our heads.

When the waitress asks if you want the big margaritas, it's worthwhile to ask "How big?' before saying yes.
When the waitress asks if you want the big margaritas, it’s worthwhile to ask “How big?’ before saying yes.

4. I took Shannon and Maggie to their first-ever NHL game, and they were lucky to see a high-energy team with stellar goaltending. Unfortunately, that team was the Colorado Avalanche and not the home team. (The Caps lost 5-1.)

5. Sunday morning, I shared two of my favorite traditions with my friends — brunch on 8th Street (Ted’s Bulletin, natch) and a stroll through Eastern Market.

6. We spent the rest of Sunday doing something I didn’t even know was possible: Joanne toured us around the Pentagon, which is kind of a huge museum to the armed forces on the inside. Each service has different exhibits, and we saw lots of model planes, ships, and submarines, along with historic uniforms, weapons, and the like. No pictures, though — cameras are (understandably) verboten.

7. After we toured inside, we stopped by the 9/11 Memorial, which was beautiful, but wrenching.

The 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.
The 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.

8. I took advantage of my evening alone at home to catch up on some tv I’ve been hoarding on my DVR, and am now almost caught up on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which I liked very much.

9. By Monday, it had stopped raining (Oh, I didn’t mention the rain? We got something like five or six inches of rain over the last week. It was a mess.) so we decided to hit the Mall — where the pathways were open, though the monuments were not, so Maggie could at least get some of the traditional tourist experience.

I spent much of this part of the weekend running around with Joanne’s five-year-old, who is far too action-oriented for strolling around. And when I say running, I mean literally running… and I can hardly walk today as a result. Ow, ow, ow.

Joanne's kids, saying hello to the Obamas through the fence.
Joanne’s kids, saying hello to the Obamas through the fence.
The government shutdown makes kids sad.
The government shutdown makes kids sad.
Our final tourist stop on a weekend full of them.
Our final tourist stop on a weekend full of them.

10. Last but not least, as Joanne deposited Shannon and Maggie at the airport, I met up with my sister-in-law for dinner and another hockey game. The Caps played better this time and came out with the win.

Caps game #2 for the weekend was a win... But Jason Chimera wanted to get the hell off the ice anyway.
Caps game #2 for the weekend was a win… But Jason Chimera wanted to get the hell off the ice anyway.

Lawd, I am exhausted all over again just writing it all down. So tell me, people who had relaxing weekends, how much rest did you get? Was it lovely?

I’m Back!

Y’know, I really didn’t think it would take me so long to get back to blogging after I signed off from my 2012 Post-a-Day project. But here it is, almost six weeks later, and I’m just getting back to it. To get things rolling again — and to recap my absence — I decided to steal an idea from venerable hockey writer Elliotte Friedman, who posts a weekly column called “30 Thoughts.” *

So, without further ado, here are 30 thoughts from the past month or so.

1. My nephew D turned nine. I don’t know where the time has gone!

2. I moved offices at work to sit closer to the team I am now on, after some staff reshuffling. For the first time in 14 years, I have an office that is just mine, and has both a door and a window.

3. With the NHL being locked out to start the year, I watched a lot of the NFL playoffs — and actually enjoyed them. There was some really exciting football going on.

4. There’s a new tiki bar in town, which was inexplicably, but awesomely, playing 90s hip-hop the night Alison, Lori, and I went. And ordered the volcano.

the volcano from Hogo

5. DC hosted another inauguration, which, like the rest of America, I watched from my couch, having decided I did all the freezing I need to do in the name of democracy back in 2009. (Yes, I know the photos are missing from that post — I somehow ended up with two Flickr accounts and those pix were in the one I didn’t keep. I still have the image files and will re-load them… sometime.)

6. I’ve gotten sucked into the new Kevin Bacon tv show, The Following, even though it makes me feel like I need to have my brain bleached after every episode — it’s very manipulative and extraordinarily violent.

7. Speaking of manipulative, my book group’s January pick was “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, which I highly recommend. It may not be literature, but it’s definitely a can’t-put-it-down read.

8. Eight… eight… I forget what eight was for.

9. The NHL lockout finally ended!

10. Nobody seems to have told the Caps, however  — they’re off to a 3-8-1 start. Only last night’s 5-0 drubbing of the Carolina Panthers has provided any hope that the season won’t be a complete washout.

11. Bad hockey, however, is still better than no hockey.

12. I am wondering, though, if my friend Mary (who went to the game with me last night) is a good luck, because she’s been present for two of the three Caps wins this season.

13. One of the local breweries, DC Brau, made Caps-themed shirts, which provided just the impetus I needed to finally drag my friend Rudi there for growler hours.

DC Brau/Caps shirt

14. Rudi also helped me do a “clean install” of the newest operating system on my computer, and recommended a memory upgrade which will make my four-year-old laptop as zippy as new.

15. One morning a week or so ago, I bumped into the soapdish in the shower and it fell right off the wall. It didn’t break, fortunately, though most likely because my foot cushioned its fall. Ow.

16. This past Friday, my friend Alison and I went to get donuts at a  new place (Zeke’s DC Donutz) owned by a friend of hers. We happend to arrive just as the staff was about to do a tasting of a new donut recipe, and we were invited to join in. This is about the best way ever to take a break from work, in case you were wondering.

17. Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchiker in Fresno is my current favorite thing on the Internet. And though the auto-tune version of his interview that I liked best is now gone from YouTube, there are plenty of others to choose from. (There’s also a GIF. I love the Internet.)

18. I’ve been slightly obsessed by the discovery of Richard III’s remains under a parking lot in England. Finding him was such an amazing collaboration between the history and science nerds!

19. I wrote a guest blog post for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota about the Twitter chat I manage. If you’ve ever been wondering what the hell that is, here’s your chance to find out.

20. “Downton Abbey” is back! Yippee! (Though, OMG, so much sadness so far this season.)

21. The kittens are still insanely cute, and Carly is well on her way to being enormous.

Carly & Harper

22. I’ve seen four of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture (“Argo,” “Les Mis,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Lincoln“). I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to see the other five, but my money is on Argo nevertheless.

23. I got a letter in the mail from my cousin a couple of weeks ago. I’d forgotten how nice it is to just get mail for no reason. (Consider this foreshadowing of a post to come.)

24. I’m a little bit addicted to the debut albums from Fun. and the Lumineers and couldn’t be happier about the return of pop music that sounds vaguely like showtunes, and that folk-inspired music is having a resurgence.

25. It actually got cold enough for a couple of days that I got to drag out the giant, puffy coat I bought to wear to the Winter Classic a couple of years back. First time I’ve needed it since then.

26. Less than a week after I needed my warmest coat, I didn’t need a coat at all outside — and it’s yo-yo’d up and down since then.

27. Of course, complaining about the variable weather here seems unkind when so much of the northeast got buried in almost three feet of snow this weekend.

28. One of the Ravens players made a snow angel in the confetti after they won the Super Bowl, which was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

confetti snow angel

29. I wish tomorrow was Presidents’ Day and therefore a holiday, but alas, it’s not until next week. On the bright side, I ordered king cake for the office tomorrow, so there’s that to look forward to.

30. The blog got a bit of a refresh, with a new, responsive theme. This means it should look equally good no matter whether you’re reading it on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Phew. I’m done. Never trying that again. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.


* If I’m being honest, I’m also stealing it from Japer’s Rink, one of our local Caps blogs, who started their own riff 30 Thoughts this past week. Though I read Friedman’s column regularly, it never ocurred to me to steal it until Japer’s Rink did it first.