one year ago.

How strange it is to realize that today is my one-year anniversary of leaving my last job. It's strange and surreal, and today was rainy and strange anyway, so I suppose it added to it. I can't believe another year -- this time, my 24th -- has passed by, and how much it has been a time in the wilderness and purification by fire.

I started blogging.
I went to Twelfth Night.
I learned how to sew.
I learned how to live on my own.
I learned to be alone.
I learned to love Battlestar Galactica.
I was home for the holidays.
I got a new temporary job.
I went hiking.
I conquered hikes that had conquered me.
I went to the Family Reunion.
I saw old friends.
I ate lots of BBQ.
I line danced, and swung danced.
I travelled.
I biked.
I went to a beach.
I drove a convertible.
I lived alone for 2 weeks.
I went to Class.
I applied to grad school.
I got into grad school.
I read gothic fiction.
I fell in love with DC.
I met new friends.
I moved.
I read.
I cried.
I prayed.
I hoped.
I dreamt.
I learned.

Maybe this doesn't seem like much, but this year has been literally life-changing. It has meant the world to me, and has changed me so much that I'm not sure I recognize myself from a year ago. I've grown so much, in my way of looking at the world, and particularly my faith -- that "ever present help in trouble." It's hard to describe. I thought, in fact, that I would post an eloquent discussion of my changes, but I don't know if it's the place for that. I rather like how it's turned out.

Well, early in the morning, 'bout the break of day
I ask the Lord, "Help me find the way!"
Help me find the way to the promised land--
This lonely body needs a helping hand
I ask the Lord to help me please find the way.


bask in my stick figure skills!


Please note: the amount to read may in fact be to scale (although only one article for tomorrow!)


the house on top of the hill

Today was my first day of orientation -- I am volunteering for school -- at Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee.  It is, as you would expect, in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery -- at the top of the hill, in fact.   I'd never been to Arlington before (house or cemetery) so it was an experience.  I hiked all the way to the top (well, stairs) and it was a sobering experience -- of course the path winds through the different sections of graves, and you can't help but read them as you go along.  Titles... names... wars... they all begin to blend together, and in a sobering way.  

The view from the top is utterly indescribable -- a view across the Potomac, and able to see most of the monuments as well as most of downtown.  As today was a clear day, you could see everything.  That being said, this view through faux marble/sandstone pillars also includes the Kennedy eternal flame, and a flag that is almost perennially at half mast -- or at least whenever burials are happening, which, as you can imagine, is quite a bit.  It checks you.   I'm not sure why.  I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that it has taken me 2 1/2 years to make it to Arlington.   The fact that, even though I was there, I still could not bring myself to find graves of astronauts that I admired.   

I loved the house.  Everyone there is wonderful, and they gave me a behind-the-scenes tour, but I walk out and there is the cemetery.  I suppose it just makes you think, but the real point is I left thinking.  Quiet.  Thinking... and that's I think the most coherent I'll ever be about this, so with that: Fin.


if you give a museum studies major a case...

...she'll make a fake art exhibit.  Which is exactly what I did at lunch. 

I took army men, put glitter on parts of them, found a glass case at my desk, and wrote up copy about the exhibit.  Enjoy! 

Close up on one of the soldiers:

close up, soldier 3

The entire installation - note the army man on top, with no glitter, clearly the "outsider" looking in.

assault on masculinity (glitter)

...and finally, the copy.  I made it up, tongue firmly in cheek of course.  Make sure you click on it to read it fully!  Fantastic.  

the copy


hanna blocks our road

So today, as some readers may know, is when Tropical Storm Hanna makes her way through the DC area.   Because of this (and the pouring rain) Josh and I decided to adventure.  It was then that we noticed that our street had been closed off.  

We sat and watched cars driving down the road and then suddenly realizing there was a) a torrential flood and b) a cone in the middle of the road and c) caution tape.  It was fantastic, but, curiosity piqued, we ventured further.  Later, we wandered up to where a bridge crosses the creek -- we cross there to get to the Metro -- and the creek was incredibly wide and fast.  Unreal. 

This is looking down the hill (thankfully) from our house.  The creek on one side of the road has overflowed over the road leading into the creek on the other side.

this is why we can't cross our street

Here is the waterfall from the road into the creek.  You can't really tell how high or how fast the water is here, but take our word for it:


Here is the physical proof that we were there - we are standing in some of the "shallower" waters -- which, being said, it was ankle-to-knee deep in the middle of the road, but don't worry Mom, not where it was fast nor very close to any edges.

josh in the street

my feet in the depths

I also hasten to add while it is not evident in these photos, it was pouring the whole time.  We got pretty soaked.  That being said, it was absolutely worth it.