Friday, April 07, 2006

Your Gardening Blog Returns

I know, it's been awhile since I talked about the yard. Y'all must be dying to know what's going on. Right? Right.

Well anyway, the truth is I haven't done one bit of work for about two weeks, being distracted with the party and rain and other things. Also, sad to report, I brutally murdered my seedlings. Asphyxiation, I'm afraid.

But good news! The truck is rented, and tomorrow I'll be making the trip to Home Depot to pick up soil, stepping stones, and enough plants to feed a small nation. I even drew up schematics:
Garden Plan

The circles are plants that already exist in the plots, but I'm going to move them to the dashed circle areas, tentatively. I may decide to move them elsewhere once I start working my magic back there. Also, I'm just going to focus on the front two plots and the very back plot (that would be plots 1, 5, and 6, for those of you following along on the chart). I think if I bought enough vegetation for the entire 84 square feet, I would just be overwhelmed. I'll buy the soil and fertilizer for the entire garden, since that's what the truck is for, and then when I'm done with those three plots, I can pretty easily walk to our neighborhood garden store and buy starter plants for one small plot at a time. Also, I'll purchase the small stepping stones I want to use to divide each plot, so I can get to each one without getting in the dirt. Plus it'll look nicer, professional even!

Right, not professional, but one step above the expanse of trash-filled dirt that's there now, yeah?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I can be a tourist in my hometown almost everyday.

After living here for four spring-times, I finally managed to make it down to see the cherry trees at their peak blossom time. Crazy, crazy, crazy packed with tourists. Since I usually stick to the Northwest/Downtown, I rarely see that many tourists, except for the occasional straggling family in Disneyland shirts wandering around U Street in search of that famous chili they'd heard so much about.

It was probably better than it could have been, because we got there a little before sunset. 'Course that means the light was not quite optimum and consequently, some of the pictures came out a bit dull. Really though, it's quite beautiful. I didn't realize exactly where the trees were located, so it was a nice surprise to see them all lining the tidal basin like a big pink, fluttering ribbon.

If you live in DC or read DC blogs, you've probably seen a thousand of these pictures, but here are a few of mine to add to the digital pile. Enjoy.

Tidal Basin & Cherry Trees

Cherry Blossoms over the Tidal Basin

Jefferson Memorial through a Cherry Tree

Cherry blossoms

I've got a few more on Flickr if you feel like clicking through.

No one wants to believe in 'America, She's Got A Great Personality'

I have a decision to make. One of those decisions you put off making because you suddenly realize 1) you're really, truly an adult now - in fact, rapidly approaching old, 2) your life, for better or worse, is totally not where you thought it would be when you were making those grand plans and studying for AP tests at age 18, and 3) you're going to have to justify every decision you've made in the last five years to a crowd of virtual strangers.

My five-year college reunion is this May, and I have to decide if I want to go.

I've been mulling it over the past few months, when I first got the notice. The truth is, I really did enjoy college (though not in the "gosh, I wish I was still a senior" kind of way) and am still close with many of the friends I made there. Though, that's kind of the thing, I'm still close with them. We email, call, and why make a plane trip to Ohio?

Since the date is nearing, I've started to get emails from some groups that I was in. By far the funniest was the email I got last week from the sorority president from my class. Yes, I was in a sorority, and no, I'm not going to justify it to you people except to say this: I joined as a junior when my head was filled with rocks and I'd just completed a physics course that required I spend an average of 10 hours/day, 6 days/week in the lab, and I was so pale you could see through me. I wanted to meet some people and shed my well-built-up innocent science girl vibe, and that's what I did. When I finally saw where I was in the harsh, sober light of day after a full-year of my grades plummeting and my liver expanding, I wised-up, got tight with a group of girls who felt the same way about ridiculous cat-fighting as I did, wherein some of us took the bold step to deactivate, or, since the rest of us were paid-up second semester seniors, bowed-out mentally by refusing to attend any sisterly gathering that didn't involve getting hammered. Okay, so I totally justified it to you, but it was a thousand times more complicated than that, so that's all I'm getting into.

I think it also says something that the only way Miss Pres could find me was by sending me a note through the anonymous alumni system that the undergrads use to get career advice. (No, kid, it's not true that "you can do anything with a JD," save yourself now and just get a job at the pet store.) She then included me in a group email to our class, saying how we should get together at the reunion, and in the meantime, why don't we all share what we've been up to? A few girls have replied, and they've been nothing short of hysterical. One girl, who just got married, emailed her life update and then ended with "so how are the rest of you doing, especially those of you who've gotten married recently!" Oh please. One of my honest-to-goodness friends on the list (the one who just visited me from Boston last month), emailed me on the side to say, "She only wants to hear about the married people? Our lives aren't interesting enough to read about if we're not ready to pop out the babies? Gag me."

I do have a morbid curiosity about it all, I have to admit. A little "which cheerleader got fat" syndrome. I've talked about it with my Boston friend, and I think we've decided to go. Most of our friends were in different graduating classes, but still live in the area, so we might try to form our own reunion within a reunion. And if the whole thing ends up sucking, we can get a booth at the Backstretch and drink and shit talk to our heart's content.

On the other hand, I haven't bought my plane ticket yet, so any advice is appreciated.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Heaven arrives on the U Street Corridor?

Who cares about DeLay - this is the best news I've heard all week:

Trader Joe's on 14th and V?

Maybe Mom can stop sending me those care packages with TJ's dark chocolate covered preztels and lentil soup now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


What's my favorite part about going to art openings? Is it the food? The smoozing? The buzzing atmosphere in which one doesn't usually get to see art? The free booze?

Nope. It's three days later when the seventy-year old foreign man who got one of my cards after he'd seen me pass it out to others, calls to ask me out on a date.

But the free booze is a close second.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Party season gets a bit of a false start.

The roommate and I threw our first bash of the year on Saturday. I had a drunken good time, and it seems most of our attendees did as well. Unfortunately, C and I changed up our strategy a little bit this time around, and it definitely bit us in the ass.

Normally I enjoy the fact that my friends come from about 10 random groups, but it's hard to coordinate them all sometimes. Turns out we weren't competing against just one party on Saturday, but at least three or four others. AND there were some important games going on, AND one guy was moving apartments, AND some people were sick, AND on and on and on, which made for a much lower turn-out than normal. But that happens.

One big problem is that we decided not to buy a keg this time. Since it was the first time we've bought cans, we really had no concept of how much to get. And because we thought turn-out would be higher, we bought way, way, WAY too much. Oh my god too much. Like if I ever wanted to become an alcoholic, now would be a really good time to start.

Oh, but this is the best part. We decided not to be so elitist about the barbeque this time and just invite everyone. So we bought a ton of meat, burger toppings, paper plates, etc. What did we forget? THE FUCKING PROPANE. After the first batch of burgers and halfway through the wings: fizzle, pzzst. The fleeting panic on mine and my roommate's faces was only dissolved by a failed run to RiteAid and the realization that after the party we were going to have enough supplies for a Y2K disaster. In retrospect, we should have just wheeled over our neighbor's grill, but that seemed like too much work at the time, so I nixed it. Since no one was eating burgers, no one was really eating the side dishes either. In other words, I'm going to be consuming cheeseburgers, potato salad, cupcakes, and Amstel Light until the apocalypse arrives.

Regardless, there were some good times had. A group of six or seven of us held out until after 4am, drinking and shuffling through the music and lighting crème brûlée on fire with Splenda and blowtorches (oh sure, we had enough propane for that).

So, we've learned some important lessons. 1) Invite people earlier and get our dibs on their calendars. 2) A fridge and a half of beer...probably too much. 3) No more consolidating the BBQ/Party; just one or the other from now on. 4) Tell Sylvie we need her to make those cupcakes every single time she comes over. Door tax. 5) Stop ripping on the roommate for the location of our house, as our neighbors won't ever mind loud music. The crackwhores' opinion doesn't count.

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