Saturday, May 30, 2009

have wine

Last Saturday Jonna and I met up to take the metro to catch a bus, to the 28th annual VA wine festival. Along the way we met up with a few of her co-workers and their friends. (Lindsay and Kristin) It was an amazingly sunny and hot day, all too perfect for tasting wine. I had never been to a wine festival as large as this one, and didn't expect it to be such a gigantic drinking mess! (which I guess I should have expected) Despite the massive amounts of people who were drunk (and one who I witnessed vomiting into a garbage can) I had a lot of fun!

I blame Evan for my taste in wine, and found that I can't stand sweet wine, which includes most whites. There were a few red wines I liked, but none of which I could convince myself to buy. I did make a list of the wines I enjoyed and hope I can find them at a less expensive price locally. Jonna and I concocted wine glass holders from beads we received from one winery, which was really helpful. There were a lot of people at the wine fest, and as a result we ran into a lot of friends. Most of the time Jonna and I spent running around drinking wine and finding people! We saw April, Kaela, Leo, Varun, Juan and made new friends - and saw them around the rest of the day. We ran into Stephen and Frankie a few times, Matt, Laura, Brian and Lacy, Leigh and her cousin Lizzy were running around buying tons of wine and snacks and circled back to join with Jonna's coworkers. The sun was sooo hot - so for a while we found a place to hide on top of the hill where there was a really nice breeze under a tent!

I don't think I was prepared for the event, so next year if I go I will know better to bring blankets and tarps and snacks! But we were successful in not getting sunburnt, which we were both pleased about. I couldn't wait to get home and shower. I was so sticky from sweat and sunshine, and since it has been raining a lot recently, the ground was sopping wet and muddy which made for very dirty feet and legs. I then napped as I was tired from sunshine and filled with delicious wines <3

Thursday, May 28, 2009

evan esquire

Evan has finally - graduated from law school!

Since he has completed this feat, and now begins the work towards passing the bar exam (patent exam he took Monday and passed - yay Evan!) Jonna decided she wanted to try to surprise him with a nice dinner and celebration with a group of friends.

Since Evan loves to be difficult, Jonna had to reschedule the dinner plans a few times. But once we finally had a date set - reservations were made at Ray's the Steaks! Evan believed that he and I were going to Jonna's for a delicious home cooked meal (Jonna is one of the best cooks I know). Leigh, Nick, Anthony and Jonna were waiting for us at the restaurant and I was doing my best to be slow so that everyone could get there before us. The weather was very stormy and it poured for a while, and there was some time where Evan said that we probably would have to drive over. And my response, which should have been a complete give away was - just wait, maybe it'll clear. I don't typically ever walk to Jonna's, so my pushing the desire to walk, he should have known better! but luckily, he didn't. Evan was anxious and ready to walk to Jonna's because he said we had to be there at exactly 7:30pm. And it takes about 20 mins or so to get to her (now old) apartment. I told Evan that we had to stop and pick up dessert on the way, and also I had to stop at the ATM (to waste more time). Luckily everyone was on time - and Evan was very surprised when I pushed him over towards the restaurant. He didn't expect anything! He did think that maybe there'd be more people invited to dinner at Jonna's but didn't expect to go out to eat to celebrate, delicious steaks yum!

We all ate tons of meat and enjoyed a large jug of wine. Jonna had made a delicious Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter pie - for dessert, which is just amazing. I don't typically like peanut butter with chocolate, but this pie, I can always nom! Afterwards we all joined in drinking more wine back at our apartment, and played with Balthazor, who is still just as demonic as ever. Evan had a really great time and Jonna and I are really glad that we were able to surprise him! We were like ninjas! We even had to steal his cell phone to get phone numbers of other friends from law school to invite - but unfortunately they were not able to join in. Evan was amazed at our ninja skills :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

overdue visit

After my last visit (December '05) I decided it was time to head back down to North Carolina to visit my friend Jason. (This is the friend that has his server send me reminder emails!)

I left early Saturday, missing traffic completely for the holiday weekend, and met up with Jason at his house around lunch time. We first decided that I was incredibly hungry and we needed to have lunch! He brought me, in his new 370 Z, to the Tobacco District. This used to be a working factory for Lucky Strike cigarettes back in the day, that they have transformed into a cozy area with businesses, shops and restaurants. It was really cool to see the old factory and even a huge furnace that was used so long ago in the process of making cigarettes. That day there was also a cornhole tournament on the grass, so there were a lot of people enjoying the sunshine.

Of course being it's a holiday weekend, it's also a weekend I'm on call for work. And of course, there are some people that don't understand what a holiday weekend means, and request help. So here I am trying to enjoy my holiday, when a user needs remote assistance. Instead of going back to Jason's house, I came up with the idea to find a library! Using his GPS we found there was a library within walking distance. 30 mins later, Jason has a new library card, and I was able to assist my client! And also enjoy a brief tour of the town on our journey to find the library. (Luckily it was the only time I had to work during the weekend).

After the rude interruption, Jason and I went to the Duke Gardens. It is a large variety of gardens on the Duke University campus, that we walked throughout admiring all the plants and animals. We saw some giant trees and typical vegetation, but enjoyed walking around outside in the sunshine. There were some very tiny turtles on a log in one of the ponds, and some little baby ducks that I found incredibly adorable! One of these ridiculously large trees had even more ridiculously large flowers, that I think were larger than my head. They were also incredibly potent, so I had to hold my breath when I went to investigate. After the gardens we went to Matt and Candra's for a BBQ. On our way to the BBQ - Jason let me drive his Nissan 370 Z. I had to show him the correct way to drive it :) It was fast, and it was smooth and a great ride. I manage to get the car over 100mph (with some goading) and it was amazing! He had a route planned out for me to drive, that had many twists and turns and I wish I could drive a nice car like that all the time! Once we made it to the BBQ (safely), ice cream sandwiches in hand, it was fun to see old friends and meet new friends of Jason's. We didn't stay too long because Jason, Shapess, and I had to go see the new Terminator movie! I very much enjoyed the movie and don't know what all those other silly people are talking about.

Sunday we woke up very early because we were going to the beach! First we got bagels, and then started the 2+ hour drive. Once we finally got to the beach, the sun decided to play games and hide, and maybe even rain a little. But after about an hour the clouds and rain cleared and we had gorgeous warm sunshine for the rest of the day. I had brought my sand toys from home and with them Jesse dug a very deep hole, which he turned into a comfy seat. (and later enjoyed eating his lunch in) We mostly laid around the beach, because honestly that's what you're supposed to do! and went for a long walk, finding sea shells and avoiding kids. I slept for most of the time on the drive back to Jason's house, or was reading. I had managed to successfully burn myself all over, and was very red and uncomfortable. I had thought I was being more careful, but apparently not. After a very long shower and a gallon of aloe later, Jason and I met up with Brendan, Jesse and Martin for dinner. After dinner we went to a coworkers house party - which was completely ridiculous. It was a giant, amazing house, that had a pool that changed colors of the water, and most importantly - they had exotic photo hunt, in the basement bar. Brendan and I played that for a while, and people helped on ocassion. Of course with me there, we got the high score.

Unfortunately I had to leave early Monday, but I had a really great weekend with Jason - thanks for putting up with me all weekend :P
For more pictures click here!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

have pottery class

Finally, finally, finally - I signed up for pottery class with Jonna! It only took what, a year? Before I had the time (thanks to my break from classes!) and money to learn how to wheel and mold clay.

We only signed up for 5 weeks instead of the typical 8 because the studio will be moving back to Eastern Market and will need a few weeks to get everything set back up. I think (and hope) we will sign back up after the move. The first class was primarily getting Jonna and I set up and ready to make various objects and use the studio. We were given tools and a giant bag of clay. The instructor showed us the basics of getting the clay centered on the wheel and various methods for morphing the clay into shapes, thicknesses, heights, that we desired. Once she finished, Jonna and I were put to work. Jonna had worked with clay on a wheel before, but I had never touched or even attempted to do it before. I made a HUGE mess.

It's going to take me a while to get the techniques down before I can make anything significant. It took me most of the class to get the clay centered on the wheel - but I finally manged to do it entirely by myself (as the instructor had been helping me on the first piece I made). I was really proud of myself. I'm pretty sure that next class, it will be a challenge again, but hopefully it will take much less time to center. I did manage to make 2, things. I honestly can't tell you what they are, or what they will be. They are cylinder, and a few inches wide and tall. They are, things. It's a step in the right direction though :) I hope to take some pictures next time we're at the studio so you can see us in action!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

i are smrt

I received my final grade for my Study of Writing and History class.

I'd like to explain this semester before I share my final grade. This semester was more difficult than the previous 3. For various reasons, but specifically because this class involved studying a few basic theories of history. It was really difficult for me to interpret these theories of specific great historians and theorists. I had to meet with my professor on 2 occasions to catch up and understand what she was talking about in class. I had barely expected and hoped to receive a B- maaaaybe B for the class. After my midterm I knew I had 4 more papers and my final research paper to complete, and that if I worked really hard, I hoped to get a B.

Well apparently I rock and am incredibly smart - and also did extremely well on my last 4 papers and final because I got an A- !!! Take that theories of history, I understand you.

I still need to celebrate not only my acceptance and official role as Grad Student! but also, this grade I worked so incredibly hard for. I'm finally feeling better, after 2 weeks of consistent sickness and pain - and am ready to celebrate! (I did have a delicious cupcake from hello, cupcake! but that hardly counts as a real celebration)

Monday, May 11, 2009

official

I are officially a History Grad student at George Mason University!

I got my acceptance letter Friday afternoon - and I have since hung it up on the fridge :D

I am very very excited that I was accepted. I have been working really hard for over year taking classes to prove that I can handle it. I also just finally handed in my final for my class so now I have free time again! And there are SO many things I can do, all this freedom. I'd like to celebrate some how, but I haven't decided yet. Nothing big, I might just treat myself to some delicious coldstone :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

hockey

Ever since the Hartford Whaler's left Hartford, CT many years ago, I gave up on hockey. My beloved team was taken away and I was very sad. My dad had taken my brother and me to many games when we were kids, so it was very disappointing not to have games to go to anymore. And then there was this whole strike thing? I don't really know, I had turned my back on hockey!

Apparently we are currently in playoff season for hockey. The only reason I know this is because now I live in a place that has a professional hockey team, and many fans. Specifically, the Gardner family. I have seen many hockey games the past few weeks - more than I've seen in years! Sunday afternoon Jill and Brett hosted a BBQ at their condo. It was a pot luck and everyone brought something yummy to share (I brought Edys Popsicle! It was very hot and NOT raining) This past Monday the entire Gardner family (all donned in Caps gear and mohawks sprayed red on Peter and Aaron) - invited a group, Sarah, Mike, Leigh, Nick, Andy, to Union Jacks (Caps bar) to watch the game and snack. We also ended up playing trivia for a few rounds - team name Hooray for everything! Then Wednesday night Jill and Brett hosted another hockey night at their condo, pot luck style! Andy, Matt, Alan, Alex, Alana, Leigh and I joined Jill, Brett and the kids to cheer on the Caps. I brought home made strawberry shortcake (forgot whipped cream) but it was still really delicious! Tonight I believe is game 4, and again!! Jill and Brett invited a group out to Union Jack's to cheer on the Caps! Unfortunately I can't join them tonight, I really should maybe get some work done on my final - running out of time!

But it would seem, despite my rejection of hockey many years ago, the Gardners are slowly bringing me back into hockey! And I have to say, while watching the games I remember why I did love hockey. Mostly the slamming and fighting aspects, of course. But it's pretty exciting when the Caps score :P So although I won't be making it out tonight - I will be with you all in spirit! Go Caps!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

from VA to MD to VA

Besides being in incredible pain this past weekend, I was very busy Saturday! Most of the day I did however, lay around and watch numerous episodes of Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles, season 1. - Why watch this show? Well yes, I did in fact always make fun of Nick for watching this show. The previews for this show seemed lame and incredibly stupid - until one day Evan tells me he's watching it, and that he actually really likes it. So now I'm thinking, well crap. Evan and I have very similar tastes in entertainment and if he likes it, then I have to give it a shot. So now I am addicted and finished season 1 by Monday and have started watching episodes of season 2, as reward for my hard work! Anyway - first April was having a pre-cinco de mayo BBQ celebration at her and Keala's apartment. Jonna and I stopped by there for a short while. There was tons of food and people and the ridiculousness was just beginning but unfortunately I had to leave early because I had to make my way to Gaithersberg MD for a secret plan. But I knew I'd be back.

I drove what seemed like FOREVER - into Maryland. May 7th (yesterday) was my old roommate Mark's 25th birthday. His girlfriend Emily arranged a surprised party at her parents house in MD and gathered a bunch of friends to come celebrate. I was very excited because, I had never met Emily before and she found me using stealth ninja skills on facebook and emailed me inviting me to Mark's party. Oddly enough, the night before (230am) Mark called me drunk, not a-typical of him to do and for some reason I always tend to answer, and we were chatting while he was walking home. He kept telling me we have to hang out, not knowing I would see him the next day! He was very surprised to see his friends (and me!) and celebrate his early birthday. I hung out with him and friends (and lance bear!) for a while before a group of us decided to head back down to VA (civilization).

I stopped back at April's on my way home to check in on the status of that party. And no surprise, everyone was rowdy and fully enjoying themselves. I played there for a while, ate a yummy cupcake (that I brought!), watched Drew fall over and Leo steal his chair, watched the end of the basketball game and decided to head home and get some rest (still hadn't been feeling the best). I'm really glad I was able to make it to both events!