Monthly Archives: July 2010

masterpiece

Twenty days in and I finally took the plunge into the museum offerings of D.C. I stopped in the Smithsonian portrait gallery on my way to meet up with my friend Charles in Chinatown after work.

I have to say, I consider myself a pretty open person when it coms to art but I really just dont get portraits. They just creep me out. I challenged myself to locate the creepiest ones in the place. Let’s just say there were alot to choose from.

I tried, I honestly did to appreciate the FINE brush strokes, shadowing, and the immense skill it must have taken to create the paintings but i couldn’t get over the eery feeling of being watched by dozens of still, oil painted eyes every time I walked into a new room.

AHHHH!

I clearly lack the fine taste and breeding to be able to appreciate the significance and beauty in those. I can however, fully acknowledge an art form of a much more delectable sort:

The art of the sandwich.

Another perk of the mother visit was going to a Safeway that didn’t look like it belonged in a third world country. I took full advantage, loaded my little basket up to the brim with whatever struck my fancy.

TA DA! full fridge..that’s what I’m talking about. Got some english muffins, strawberries, blueberries, turkey, carrots, avocado, tomato, half a dean and deluca sandwich, nectarines, bananas, oatmeal and safeway peanut spread (actually not pb, but it tastes better!)

Now I am presented with the issue to trying to eat it all this week before it goes bad. Enter sandwich number one, I made it last night for lunch today but I forgot to eat it :( guess it will be tomorrow’s lunch.

A good sandwich has several components.

  • A good base–in this case english muffin
  • A protein–i prefer turkey, but chicken is alright too
  • Loooadddssss of veggies–i only had tomatoe and avocado but generally more is more
  • Preferably mustard but I do not have any so the avocado would have to do.

Pre-sandwichification.

The reason I forgot to eat my sandwich actually has something to do with food as well in a rather contradictory way, not to mention my filling breakfast..

Banana, copious amounts of pb right out of the jar, and green tea–MMMM

Precisely at lunch time I noticed a joint committee hearing in CQ daily that caught my eye. Ironically enough it was regarding world hunger and the new Feed the Future program.

Let me back up a bit

Now, it has undoubtedly been a valuable experience but I have to say that this internship has left me slightly disillusioned with politics as a whole. I have always been aware of the amount of negotiating and schmoozing involved in the political world, but with the recent additional exposure the more I have felt that there is more facade than actual governmental progress.

I nearly forgot that as with most things in life, the bad is usually accompanied by some good. Representatives have the unique ability to use their influential position to provide assistance to those in need. It is so easy to get lost in the seemingly superficial and unnecessary debates about economic policies and tax cuts, or the turmoil of foreign affairs gone wrong. There is so much water to tread; the larger issues generally leave their mark on the agendas of most politicians.

I seem to bring up often my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with in this world for no apparent reason rather often and I have often felt and expressed fear that my good fortune has ensued thus far because something horrible is waiting right around the corner. Recently, a new thought process has begun to form.

I’m starting to think that possibly I have been blessed with such extravagant good fortune though so that I would have the opportunity to spread it around a bit.

The way I figure it, people with their own set of issues have less time and less energy to devote to bettering the lives of those around them, or are preoccupied with bettering the lives of a specific few.

It is the government’s responsibility to take care of its citizens. The purpose of electing people to represent us is to better the quality of the public’s life and unite society as a well functioning tool. It’s not just a job for these officials—they have people’s livelihoods in their hands. We are fortunate enough to live in a place with a government that no doubt has its share of flaws, but fundamentally it is not corrupt. People are complaining about our current state of living, of paying more taxes, of being in a recession, of having to live on unemployment benefits and I’m not trying to say that there isn’t substantial worries in your every day lives but there are some considerations that you should think about.

At least you have water, you have a governmental system that pays for your necessities in your dark times or at least makes an effort to. There are horrifically corrupt governments our there that are so intent on keeping their citizens down, they will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.

25,000 people die each day due to hunger and related causes. In Africa alone, 265 million people, nearly one-third of the continent’s entire population, suffer from hunger.

This hearing discussed providing financial aid to a list of less fortunate countries to innovate farming and agricultural techniques, educate the population about growing food, and help them get on their feet.

While you are on your computer reading this, I’m assuming you are clothed. Think about the last time you took a shower, think about the last time you slept in a bed, drove in a car, ate a meal. Probably all the above you have done today, while a large portion of the world have not done even one of those things in their LIFE.

It seriously blows my mind. I have a information session on the Peace Corps on Thursday and I am way more excited for it now than I was initially. Even if that specific program is not in my future, I anticipate donating a chunk of my time on earth to helping those in need.

Okay, okay I realize all this sounds cheesy but it’s really the least I could do. I am not religious, nor am I spiritual in the least, but I do try to abide by a set of morals. I try to be the best person I can be, 70 percent of the time haha because I can be a total brat the other thirty.

This concludes the Dr. Phil SLASH infomercial portion of my rambling. Have a wonderful evening, send good thoughts to those who need them!

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catch-up time

WHY HELLO

Sorry I have been MIA for quite a while, after leaving off with such a dismal (and apparently worrying) post. Luckily for me, I have the best mom in the world (no offense to any other mothers out there, but it’s my opinion) who flew her cute little patootie out here and to spend some quality mother-daughter time! and okay, a side of business as well

Thursday night she met me at the office, I got to show her around our little Congressional box before taking her poor, dizzy daughter to the sole urgent care facility in DC that takes our insurance.

Verdict:

This may not come as a surprise but apparently I am officially a resident of Crazytown. It appears that nothing is physically wrong with me, so this little bit of vertigo must originate from within my noggin.

That said we chowed down at Hank’s Oyster Bar before metro-ing out to her lavish hotel where I enjoyed a KING SIZE BED and wonderful sheets. AH. I also indulged in coffee for the first time the next morning and it actually helped my condition a bit.

FRI-DIZZLE

My caffeine needs met, I set out to enjoy my Friday decked out in a yellow shirt (bright colors=happiness) and successfully gave my second tour of the Capitol in addition to a slew of other various tasks throughout the day because we were down to 2 interns.

Kept busy, the day flew by and Mom and I ate out at Founding Farmers before going to sleep like the little early birds we are. There was a justifiable reason for heading to bed so early this time, however:

I had to wake up for my 7:30 tour of THIS baby..

SATURDAY

YEP, it was actually not all that interesting but I tried to take my time and remember all the details because it is not every day that you get to step foot in a place where so many great men and women who have shaped America’s history have resided. You can imagine that security was quite abundant, if you even bring a bag with you to the grounds they shut down the tours for the rest of the day.

All the secret service men were quite good looking, but they were pretty staunch about following the rules dang it hahah. I asked one how the rooms could ever be used by the president if people were always walking through them on tours but he informed me that tours happen in the mornings and then they shut it down for afternoon business.

And no, the Obamas were not there. They were in Maine for the weekend, as were the rest of my family all together without me :(

REST OF SATURDAY:

I was back to my dorm by 8:30 so mom and I grabbed coffee at a cafe downstairs and planned our day. We first went to Georgetown for a bit of shopping and then lunch at THE DISNEYLAND OF FOOD


DEAN AND DELUCA people..The granddaddy of Whole Foods. I will never look at WF the same again now that I know what is out there. ONly I would take pictures of this store but I was in HEAVEN.

Their samples of baked goods were too good to be true. I seriously have never tasted anything so wonderful in my life– I am not exaggerating–I am returning before I leave.

Then we headed out to Great Falls–My mom’s childhood home. We drove around, and I got the full run down. Saw all of her houses, schools, friends houses, hang outs, horse stables, etc. With some time to spare we made a stop at the Great Falls nature park.

Over on the other side of the Potomac you could see people in Maryland looking out at the falls from their side.

We then went to her childhood friend’s home to clean up and relax before dinner at a fabulous French restaurant with a crowd of very well educated and diverse individuals. I had the best halibut I have ever encountered this night.

I realize I look really thrilled in this picture but I didn’t think I was in  it haha and the other one half the people aren’t paying attention SO we are stuck with this one. I promise I wasn’t an angry bunny  this night..just this picture. I generally don’t genuinely smile in pictures anyways though because I feel uncomfortable and fake. It drives everyone crazy but I cant really bring myself to do otherwise.

SUNDAY

was filled with the Tour de France, visits to mom’s old friends, a proper grocery store run, and then I was returned to my dorm and said goodbye to the momster

this brings us up to speed..

MONDAY

I began this morning filled with fresh resolve to face my situation positively. I woke up extra early for a light jog–after breakfast and a shower I was feeling worse than ever and was worried I couldnt even make it to work but I pulled it together and somewhere along my day I started feeling LOADS better.

Possibly it was because of

–A member of the staff’s birthday Chipotle and baked goods

–getting to leave office for a bit to retrieve aforementioned Chipotle

–being occupied with tasks

–having coffee

–leaving an hour early to attend a reception with glorious fruit platters everywhere

–a heart pounding sprinting run followed by 20 minutes of relaxing hatha yoga

–taking out my contacts

–a generally positive attitude

As of now I am feeling a less horrible, not perfect but alright, I am reluctant to say that in case I jinx myself but I am going to keep taking it easy and see how it goes.

Time for laundry now!!

the term ‘desperately need to do it’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.

queasy

It appears as though I have a penchant for jinxing myself. Merely hours after proclaiming my love for all in the world and excitement for the future I was struck down by a mysterious illness.

The truely peculiar thing about this sickness was that it was not quantifyably a sickness at all! I couldn’t, and still can’t really, explain or precisely put my finger on what is wrong with me other than that something is not right. It’s a mystery–all you detectives out there..Here you go.

Symptoms:

  • My mind is disconnected from my body at times–seems as though the world is moving beneath me and I am floating
  • Slight headache
  • Tired
  • Nauseous occasionally
  • Eating, drinking, closing my eyes–nothing helps!

As of now I think that I have stress and tension induced vertigo BUT other suspected causes ranged from sodium deficiency, lack of iron, exhaustion, inner ear trouble, low blood sugar, heat exposure, the list really goes on and on.

I suspect it might be a combination of everything–stress of a new job, new climate, and possibly being a bit sick. All i know is that I am four days into whatever this is and worried that there is something dreadfully wrong with me.

Needless to say my meals have been less than exciting. Breakfast has been instant oatmeal every morning, lunch has been a kashi bar and fruit or a quarter of a subway footlong and yogurt or fruit and dinner has been sporadic.

Egg + spinach + salsa

Baked salmon & Trader Joe’s veggie mix.

fanta

It’s truly amazing what a good dose of sleep can do for a gal

WONDERS evidently.

I woke up this morning precisely eight hours after I tumbled into bed last night (not counting the three hour post-work, pre-going out nap earlier) feeling entirely human and decided to trek over to Georgetown for some caffeine sustenance, magazine reading, and people watching at Barnes and Noble.

Upon stepping outside I was surprised by my first experience with a tolerable temperature (70’s!!) and an abundance of raindrops splashing down. I was the sole umbrella-less patron that I encountered on my thirty minute stroll and I loved it. It was the most meditative, refreshing experience that I have had since the first night of my arrival.

As the rain splattered down my face, drenching me through and through I felt as though I was being showered with optimism. Having not brushed my hair, much less put on makeup, and being sans electronics I felt unconstrained in my appreciation of the impromptu shower.

I truly feel renewed and excited for my future once again, which is new considering my draining existence this week.

Hot coffee and words were the perfect accompaniment while I allowed my soaked body to dry a bit. I lost myself in magazines for two and a half hours without even realizing it, and felt perfectly content with just being where I was: observing the present. After reading I walked around Georgetown a little bit–strayed north of M street –before heading back to my dorm.

:)

moisture

You know those days that fly by with activity and at the end you are too tired to eat, much less upload pictures and/or attempt to cyber re-create your life for your family and friends to read about?

Welcome to my week.

It has been exhausting, it has been humid, and it is already Thursday evening! I rang in my one week anniversary with D.C. yesterday with a hectic morning following a disastrously stressful Tuesday. All’s well that ends well I suppose, but I’m slightly balder from frantically pulling my hair out.

Basically, my identity got stolen and my credit card cancelled on the eve that my visa application was due. SO I had to wake up Wednesday morning bright and early and trek to the State Department, beg to be let in and get money transferred to me until my lovely mother can bring me my new card.

After that I had to walk to Georgetown to the Swedish Embassy to turn in my visa application and then book it down to work to make it just in time two hours late to my Capitol Tour Guide training.

Not to mention that all of this was happening while D.C. was plunged in the midst of a 118 heat index sweltering summer day. At least it was causal week because it is Congressional Recess. Needless to say yesterday afternoon upon arriving back at my dorm I immediately scarfed soup and bread and settled in for some serious Weeds watch-age.

THURSDAY:

Today was pleasant–though tiring. Minus getting lost a bit on the walk back to work. I have decided to walk the three miles back to my dorm each evening that it is tolerable instead of taking the Metro to save money, get some exercise, and see the city! Today though I picked an unforchanate path and ended up walking straight to WAY OUT OF THE WAY of my dorm.

I stumbled upon some “must see monuments” along the way that I have somehow managed to not see yet despite all my walking adventures and was sufficiently unimpressed.

Call me un-american if you wish but the reflective pools look a hell of a lot better on tv than in person. Check out that water–GROSS!

Looks good in pictures though, I’ll give it that.


IN OTHER NEWS

  • Georgetown is still beyond adorable ^^
  • I finally had the chance to pick up my GWU gym pass and the gym seemed pretty nifty to me so I will defintely hit it up this weekend.

sardines

Okay, grossest-title-award goes to me on this post BUT that is all I can say to describe the scene at the memorial around 9pm on July 4th. It was madness I tell you, utter madness!

We arrived late after our dinner of frozen yogurt–which I have to say, I am not a fan of. It absolutely does not taste like ice cream. Whoeever said that is a dirty liar–so it packed by the time we got there! I got some amusement from the quad pod of douches that were walking in front of us that apparently color coordinated their outfits.

SARDINES IN A CAN PEOPLE, that is what it was.

Anyways fireworks were cool I guess, I’m not particularly into them but they were loud and huge so if that is what qualifies a fireworks show as quality then I suppose it was. America sure is obnoxious hahah we got today off though so I spent all day public pooling it UP. It was in the 100’s so it was well worth the 4 dollar non resident price tag.

I’m throughly exhausted for no particular reason SO I’m going to go rest up for work tomorrow. :)

patriotic

Happy Birthday America!

The sun is shining, the tourists are flocking, and the interns are partying. I practically feel the patriotic spirit flowing through my veins ;) I began the day trekking off to the Dupont Circle farmer’s market

There was so much variety for a rather small farmer’s market and though I sampled my ass off I didn’t really find anything that I wanted to purchase because we did a trader joe’s run yesterday morning. I was tempted by certain things most definately though:

^CASE IN POINT^

I did drop by the DC staple of Kramerworks&Afterwords, the beyond adorable bookstore slash cafe slash delicious restaurant, and browsed some books (they offer books galore, so of course I am in love) about Swedish culture to begin prep for my departure in about 50 days. They were bumping with 4h of July business so I refrained from actually purchasing anything BUT I did stop by starbucks for an iced coffee moments later.

I took my time strolling back to the dorm and was touched and intrigued by this rooftop garden

Yesterday was the first day of downtime I had so after our Trader Joe’s excursion, Top Chef & Bethenny Getting Married watching, a quick nap, and phone sesh with the parents I spent the remainder of the afternoon working and then browsing the Washitonian website and finding some tasty food spots to check out!

It’s actually rather sad that I had enough time to create such an intricate list. I made a word document with the name of each place, explanations of directions, the genre of food, a link to them menu (if they had one), and whether it would be best to check out on my way home from work or from my dorm.

I also scratched out a small list of things for me to see in my downtime including (but definitely not limited to):

  • Dupont FreshFarm
  • Phillips Collection
  • National Geographic Museum
  • Kramerworks and Afterwords Cafe
  • Eastern Market
  • Newseum
  • Smithsonian

The underlined ones are the ones that I have now been to so I suppose I’m off to a good start. :) heading out now to be American and all that–bbq and fireworks anyone?