Thursday, April 29, 2010

:::Pick a Card, Any Card:::

It's like I'm performing a reverse card trick for the Lord.

I fan out the possibilities of life, carefully pull one from the deck, and with a mix of nerves and hope I ask,

'Is this my card?'

Answer -- 'No.'



'Is this my card?'




'How about this card, is this it?'


(shuffle, draw)

'Tada! Is this my card?'

'Mmm, close.'


But, then again, no, not really.'

And on and on we go.

Four of each kind, twenty-six of each color, thirteen of each suit.

How many times through the deck, Lord?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

:::'French' Market:::

On my suggestion, last Saturday Shorty and I went to the French Market in Georgetown. As it turns out, it was neither French nor a market. What we experienced instead was a sort of sidewalk jumble sale.

For some reason, this type of fake cultural branding really annoys me. A cute poster and some dude playing the accordion do not a French theme make.

I think I spotted two items in the entire event that were overtly related to France. One was this cute poster of Les Invertébrés, my favorite being 'les protozoaires'.

And these processional candles, handily labeled, 'From France.' I made Shorty hold one so I could take a picture. She's Catholic, so I thought it was only fitting. I really think she experienced a spiritual awakening as a result.

The same vendor with the processional candles also had a few other things that were fun to photograph...

But I didn't buy anything, since they were dealing in Georgetown dollars. It's a whole different system of economics over there, one that apparently requires a degree from a prestigious foreign university to gain entry into...


After our brief walk up and down the market, Shorty left to attend an annual alumni event at the University of Maryland, and I went to Paper Source, where I bought many stamps on sale for 75% off.

So that was Saturday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

:::If This Were Bizzaro World:::

I just took an online career test, and these were the results I received --

Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

So, I guess that test wasn't completely accurate...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

:::In the Reading Room, Part 2:::

Also, make sure that you photocopy every page of the chapter you were sent to copy. Otherwise, you may find yourself all the way back at your office, standing over the scanner bed in the copier room wondering where on earth page 91 is.


Thankfully, thankfully, my book was still on the trolley when I made it back over here, instead of lost somewhere in the no man's land between the reading room and the stacks. Thank goodness for small miracles.

And now I'm going to go photocopy page 91, then check and make sure that I have every. single. page. that I need. Then I'm going home. Ear-lay.

Library Assistant, out.

:::In the Reading Room:::

I don't have many 'insider' tips for living in DC, but today I'm going to give you some suggestions regarding our nation's finest research institute -- The Library of Congress.

First off, you have to get a library card. This is done in the Madison Building, which is the ugliest of all the three LOC buildings. I hear that they can sometimes do it at Jefferson, but it's best to just go to the Madison. You need government ID, and for some reason I have a memory of sitting at a computer and taking a test? That can't be right. I might be mixing up memories here.

Now, most people who have to do research at LOC probably want to go to the Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building. Admittedly, it is gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking and marvelous. It's everything that you'd want an old library to be.

But, can't take any bags, purses, or backpacks in with you. Yep. Everything has to be checked at the researcher's cloakroom, leaving you with anything you can carry in your arms and/or fit into the tiny, clear plastic bag that they'll provide for you. Sounds fun, right? Not so much, especially if you have one of those laptop things (which has to be taken out of it's case/sleeve) that all the kids carry around with them these days. Or a cell phone (turn that bad boy on silent), any books and papers you need, plus pens, notebooks, lotion, chapstick, etc., etc. I think that stinks.

Luckily, across the street at the Adam's Building you're allowed to bring in one bag, so no unloading and awkward carrying.

Buuuut, here's the rub -- If you're at the Adams and the resource you're looking for is housed in the Jefferson, they're going to send you back across the street, and vice versa. Asking for a book from a collection in another building adds at least 45 minutes onto the standard 45 minute wait time (you don't get your own books). They don't like it when you do that. You will be strongly, strongly encouraged to go where you belong.

Another tip -- bring a flash drive to download things. If you need to make copies, bring twenty dollars in one dollar bills, a debit card, a credit card, some euros, and a couple strands of wampum. Just make sure you have enough money because no one is going to spot you anything.

And, don't be a menace. Librarians have looooooooooooong memories. You will need extra assistance some day, like I did on Monday when I had the library at the business reference desk helping me find a page in the Congressional Record from 1968. Not here subject, but she helped me anyhow.

Did you know that there is free wireless here? That's how I'm writing this blog. I'm inside the Library of Congress! Fun place.

Aaannd they just brought me my book. Intracranial Aneurysms and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Bo-ring. I'm glad I'm only here to make copies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

:::SPT -- Here We Go Again:::

{I documented the first 'sweat' of the season last Saturday. Now that's blogging commitment.}

SPTs are back! And so is the hot and humid weather of spring/summer in DC. When I start complaining, don't remind me of how much I struggled through winter this year. I like to wallow.

:::Holidays on Holidays:::

I've had some thoughts recently about separating the secular from the non-secular on holidays. They are not thoughts in reaction to anything that I observed in your life, read on your blog, or heard about you behind your back (mmm-hmm), etc. Ok? We cool?

Last Christmas I felt somewhat 'blah'. At the end of the season, my good friend asked me why I thought that was, and without thinking about it I replied, "It was too non-secular."

I think many of us (je included) might have gone too far with the 'presents are bad,' 'Reason for the Season' movement. Why? Why are presents bad? What's wrong with, I don't know, actually celebrating Christmas on the actual day of Christmas? Can a few thoughtful gifts really turn your heart away from the Savior on Christmas Day? If so, I think the problem lies not with our observances, but with the nature of our testimonies. Isn't it a great idea to add religion to the gift-giving part of the holiday? Wouldn't adding some holy perspective only serve to temper the rampant materialism in our society? Huh?

If we give presents on Christmas Day will children truly grow into adults who think that the holidays are first and foremost about iPods and clothes? For reals? What kind of parent raises a child like that? What's going on the rest of the year in that family to reinforce that belief?

What's wrong with kids getting jazzed up about presents? They are kids, that's what they do. You grab their attention with flash, then you teach them what they need to know. You show me an 18 month old who will sit through a Bible tale where pictures, funny voices, and a liberal hand with fishy crackers aren't involved. You show me that child.

And now I learn that giving children Easter baskets on Easter is heathen. Pourquoi? I loved Easter baskets as a child. I thought they were boss. It was a Sunday and we got candy and some novelty knick-knacks. Suh-weet. That never happened any other Sunday of the year. Heck, that never happened any other time during the year. And then I realized it was so because of a religious event. Double cool. Toys because of something church related? Yes, ma'am. I'm there. And then we got to wear new dresses and eat even more candy once we got to church. And then we would get even more Easter candy from our grandmas and I thought, 'Hey, they must be cool since they're in on this Easter thing.' Who lost in that situation?

And then I grew up and I get it now and I'm fine. I don't need candy and toys, but, boy-howdy, they do make me happy. Super happy. The giving and receiving of bounty makes everyone happy. Can't we be happy on the holidays? I'm not talking about hootin' and hollerin' happy on Easter Sabbath, but surely we aren't saying that a decent amount of joyous happiness is a bad thing (scripture quote, I win). Surely.

This is my point -- Human beings have two natural forms of celebration. Ok, human beings have three natural forms of celebration, but on this family-oriented blog (and since I have yet to 'know' a man) we're only going to talk about two of them -- eating and giving. Seeing candy around the holiday sends a message to my brain that says, 'Hey-o! Something special is about to happen! Can-day!' And then people send me cards and I think, 'They remembered me!' And then I get gifts and treats and cards ready for other people because I want them to know that I love them and that I remembered them, and because being generous with what I have is a natural outcome of thinking about the awesome significance behind Christmas and Easter.

And on Easter I like candy and toys because they are two of the finest things in life and they make me immensely happy, which only adds to my feelings of joy that I've had the chance to participate in this wonderful plan and enjoy the bounty of mortality and the promises of eternity while being surrounded by people that I like/love. So many days aren't awesome. Christmas and Easter are like freebies. 'Advance to Go. Grab some candy on your way. Eat delicious food until you're sick. Watch your kids play intensely with their new toys all day. Retell the same family stories you tell every year. Laugh until you can't breathe.'

So, what's next? Can we not celebrate birthdays on birthdays? Should we do all the present stuff the day before, then mark the actual day with solemn remembrances and zero fun? Sorry, did I miss the part when we turned scary-Quaker? When smiles became bad? When the laughter and joy of children became a damning offense? When, when, oh, Israel? When did this happen?

Up next: My sister can only take store-bought pre-packaged goods to my niece's and nephew's schools (right, because that's a safe bet). Listen, people, I don't want to live in this kind of world.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

:::No Really, How About Orange?:::

See, mother? If the Lord thought this color was good enough for a tulip, then it's perfectly acceptable as a nail color.

Edit: Have a bright and happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


While I was running some errands at Union Station this afternoon I saw a poster advertising the grand opening of a store called Accessorize. Have you heard of this store? Oh, baby. Oh, baby!!! I have such a weakness for low-end accessory stores and discount jewelery, but finding something decent usually takes a good rummage through a lot of tacky and ugly pieces. But, oh baby, that's not the case at Accessorize.

I have no words for how amazingly wonderful this store is. Let's just feast our eyes on some of inventory.

{I went home with that gold knot necklace on the right.}

{And when I go back I will be doing some serious damage in this section.}


Bad news for you though, this is currently the only location in the entire US of A. But, apparently there are a million locations everywhere else in the world. It was really funny to see a never ending stream of elated foreigners telling the sales girls how happy they were that there was finally an Accessorize in the US.

I had to snap a covert picture of this beautiful girl who was part of a large group of effortlessly stylish and elegant French teenagers. What is she, 17? Double sigh. How do they do it?