Saturday, May 31, 2008

Heard... Jules and Michael's farewell dinner tonight as I attempt to convince Ed to get a groom's cake* from the Ace of Cakes bakery so I can pick it up and meet Geof
Ed: I want Kermit the Frog!
Me: But it can be more than just Kermit! They can combine all your favorite things, Kermit and the Washington Post and--
Val: --and Dan Rather!

*No, they're not engaged yet. We were talking hypothetically.

Book nerdiness, part II

I have to post something to get that heinous picture of me off the top of the page, so...

If anyone wants to take me on a trip, they can take me here or here. The good thing is, you can pack lighter because reading material is provided.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Awkward. A-W-K-W-A-R-D. Awkward.

Oh, the adolescent angst! I've been watching tv tonight and occasionally flipping to the National Spelling Bee. Words! Fun! It's quite the character study. The braces and unfortunate hairstyles and nervous twitches and skin that rarely sees the light of day...I CAN'T TAKE IT. I didn't have a nervous twitch, but I sure had the other stuff.

Exhibit A:
Contestant in Scripps National Spelling Bee? Nope, just me, summer of '96.

Anyway, I got so nervous I had to change the channel.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

LYLAS, Your BFF Ruthie

I was slightly bummed to be working today after my super-fun jaunt to New York, but then I checked my box and discovered... a personal thank you note from Justice Ginsburg! Who wrote, on her personal "From the chambers of" stationary:

Dear Hannah,
For your grand aid in preparing the program for the
Court's May 14 Musicale, my applause and appreciation.
With thanks, and every good wish.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Grand aid! And it was signed! By her very own delicately be-gloved hand! So exciting.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Start spreading the news...

..I'm leaving... well, tomorrow morning, actually, for New York (woo!). I'll be gone for just over 48 hours, so, naturally, I am armed with three books, an umbrella, far too many clothes, and exactly seven pairs of shoes. I am not exaggerating.

Unlike my last whirlwind trip, this is merely a vacation. I'm going to hang out with Dad (who's on choir tour with 40 6th- through 12th-graders...big fun!), finally see Wicked, see a friend or two, and maybe have a little me time. I'm pumped.

Anyway, this is likely the last post for a few days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

(Did she really just write a whole post on book shopping?)

I left for work this morning with zero books. I returned home with FIVE. I am extremely excited about this.

Number of books departed home with: 0
Number of books arrived home with: 5
Number of bookstores visited: 2
Number of books purchased at full price: 2
Number of books purchased at less than $6: 3
Number of books purchased at less than $6 that came out of the bargain bin: 2
Amount on the pricetags of those two books: $3.99 each (a bargain! and they were actually 50% off the marked price, so...)
Number of books purchased for $1.98 each: 2

Um, yes, I did purchase five books today, and two of them were $1.98. And not crappy books at $1.98, but actual, potential-to-be-good books. (And, hello, if they're not? I only paid $1.98. Win-win situation!) Word. (HA! I made a pun. Books...words....okay.)

Despite my serendipitous bargain finds, I do think it's a little bit of a sickness, my book obsession. I left home this morning planning to stop at Kramerbooks on the way home from work, because I have a gift card and I needed to get the next book for book club. But then there was nobody at work today (okay, actually, me and my boss and the IT guy were there; the office was technically closed, but I'm going to be out for two days next week, plus Memorial Day, so I came in anyway)....where was I? Right, it was dull as tombs at work, and my boss was out for lunch. So I went for a walk and to get lunch, and my walk happened to take me by Borders. Where I went in, just for kicks. And discovered the bargain bin, where I thought, hm, you never know (because I have gotten great stuff in bargain bins before, like overstocks of random classics). So I looked, and I found three things! Including a (hardback!) copy of an Anne Lamott that I haven't read (though Gretchen and Mom have, and they love it). I don't know why they're marking Anne Lamott down to $5.99, but I'll take it.

And then after work I went to Kramerbooks anyway and got my book club book and another book of essays called I Was Told There'd Be Cake. I can totally get behind that sentiment. With me, it's usually cookies, but whatever.

Anyway. This is dangerously close to a "what I did today" post, which I've generally tried to avoid. (I got up. I didn't eat breakfast, because I was out of blueberries. I briefly considered having ice cream, but didn't. I took a shower, got dressed...and then went to work and got five! new! books! And now I'm telling you about it. The End.) I'm going to spend the next two days attempting to spend zero dollars in preparation for my trip to New York next week. (Woot! I am pumped.) But I have five new books and two NetFlix (NetFlixes? Netflixx?) and half a tub of neapolitan ice cream. Also, blueberries. And apricots. So I'm set.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The hills! They are alive, with music and whatnot

So, as many of you know, I am a huuuge fan of The Sound of Music. It is my #1 favorite movie of all time (#2 is Mary Poppins, and if you think it's a coincidence that these both star the magnificent Julie Andrews, well, you'd be wrong), a fact that has brought me no end of grief. I have still not lived down the fact that, on Easter evening last year, we all sat around the boys' living room and watched nearly all of it on TV. Yes, I was the one who turned it on, but I was not the one holding the control. Somebody could've changed the channel, is all I'm saying.

Anyway, I was clicking around in cyberspace today and stumbled upon another (clearly very intelligent) person who was waxing poetic about it:

"Oh sweet blissful cracker sandwich, I've gotten to watch The Sound of Music, which I not so secretly when Mother Superior sings "Climb Every Mountain," I get all goosebumpy and want to go climb an Alp and spin around with cute gamine hair and make out with the hot Captain like a banshee." ~ Jemima

ME TOO! Although I get goosebumpy when "Climb Every Mountain" plays as they scale the Alps at the end of the movie to escape the Nazis, not when Mother Superior sings it. But I get her point.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'Tis a mystery

Four of us at book club tonight. Five (used) wineglasses discovered when cleaning up. I am far more confused by this than I probably should be.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


...while out with Jay (yay!) and the gang tonight
Me: ...I think my neighbor moved, because she used to watch the news every night from 11 to 11:30--I could hear it from my room--but it has stopped.
Jay: MY neighbor listens to techno at all hours of the day...and not just at two in the morning, but also seven in the morning..... "SIR, I am TRYING to listen to NPR!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Heard.... ("For real, yo" edition) our musicale at the Supreme Court today, as Justice Ginsburg introduced the very dishy baritone Nathan Gunn
Justice Ginsburg: I think--and I believe Justice O'Connor would agree with me--that I even prefer him to Montgomery Clift.
Former Justice O'Conner [piping up from the audience]: I agree!

Now accepting applications for new friends

Not that there's anything wrong with my current ones. They're great! I love 'em a lot. But seriously, if they keep MOVING, I'm not going to have any left, especially after this summer's mass exodus of four of my nearest and dearest from the DC area.

Anyway. I'm loyal, I floss, I have a fond appreciation for chocolate chip cookies, and I'm an excellent editor, should you ever require my services. If interested, please email me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Inner monologue during the last 90 min of my drive from TN on Sunday

The following is entirely true.
The scene: Interior of Lola the Corolla, I-66 East.
The time: Sunday, May 11, 2008. 8:10-10:30p.m.

[Feeling self-righteous.]
HA. And Mom thought I would hit storms in Roanoke. Shows how much she knows.
[Keeps driving...driving...driving....]
[Drizzle begins.] Guess I'll turn off the cruise control, don't want to hydroplane.

[Drizzle turns into steady shower.]
[Steady shower turns into downpour.]
[Downpour turns into monsoon.]


[Slows to 50mph, attempts to avoid using brakes.]

Okay, seriously, God. I get it. Don't doubt your mother on Mother's Day.... Well, this will let up soon.


[Hunched over, gripping steering wheel at 9 and 3, and squinting out the window like Miss Hazel out for a Sunday drive. Truck passes, kicking up mist and obscuring view of the center line]


Oops. Didn't mean to say that...or, rather, think it.... Though Bispo and I were just talking about the therapeutic properties of a well-chosen curse word. But I should try to avoid that one.


[SUV passes, splashing water over the center line]

[out loud]

[Thinking, again]
Oh, I give up.

[Keeps driving. Traffic has slowed to 45mph, though, luckily, isn't particularly heavy.]
What is that in the ro--DEER!

[Swerves, slowly, since I'm a good 200 yards away from the deer. Praises self for cat-like reflexes.]
Good recovery, good recovery.

[Anxiously focuses on staying in lane. Loudly curses anything or anyone that impedes ability to see the dotted center line, including but not limited to large trucks, SUVs (WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, GOING 75mph IN A RAINSTORM?!), the headlights of cars on the other side of the highway, portions of the highway without the reflector thingys ON the dotted line, etc.]

How far to Manassas? I need gas. And possibly a massage.
Eleven miles. Hallelujah. You can totally make it 11 more miles. ... Don't get cocky, Hannah. Eyes on the prize.
I'm really tired of this [some Elgar concerto is playing on my iPod] but I'm afraid to take my hand off the wheel to change it.
Dude, there is no WAY I'm going to make it in time for Brothers & Sisters.

[Keeps driving. Manassas exit approaches. Exits. Pulls into BP and parks. Reflects on how quiet car is without wipers on high.]

Time for rain boots!

[Puts on boots. Fills up with gas. Takes deep breath and creeps back onto interstate.]

Ah, feels better with the rain boots on. Better traction, less chance of hydroplaning. Actually, that makes no sense. The CAR isn't wearing boots. But I do feel more at ease now! ...Heh, imagine if Lola had rain boots. That would be with rain boots.

...Wonder what color rainboots Lola would wear? Maybe red? Or a nice icy blue, to match her silver paint job.

...Wow, get a GRIP.

[Keeps driving.]

So now the question is, do I attempt the Beltway, or go in through town? 495 will probably be hell. But Rock Creek could be flooded, so going through town might be worse.

[Exit to 495 approaches.]

Eh, what the hell.
[Takes exit. Immediately regrets it because NONE of the dotted lines have reflectors. Forges onward anyway.]
Five miles to River Road.
Two and a half miles.
One mile.
YES! Totally made it.

[Exits and merges onto River Road. Approaches intersection and realizes that the only thing 66 had been missing to make the lanes harder to read was....traffic lights! Which reflect wildly on the wet pavement.]

Chill out, Hannah. Not home yet. Oh man, you are never going to find a parking space. Probably going to end up three blocks away on Porter.
Seriously, Hannah. First things first. You are not there yet. And they say 50% of all accidents happen within 5 miles of home. Is it 50%? Or is it 25 miles? Whatever. I should call BMac again, he always used to say that.

[Continues on River Road. Reaches old neighborhood.]

If I still lived at 4321, I'd be home by now. Heh. Remember in college, Dad would say that about every school we passed on the drive to DC? "If you went to Emory and Henry, you'd be there by now." "If you went to Virginia Tech, you'd be there by now." "If you went to Hollins, you'd be there by now."

[Gets to apartment. Braces self for a hour of circling the block for a parking spot. Discovers two spots (!!!) on the back street. ]

Okay, this is too good to be true. There's gotta be a catch. Why is nobody parking here? ...That is a pretty big tree. It would sure suck if it fell on the car. ...Okay, now you're being paranoid. Or maybe not. ... Is it dead?... Doesn't LOOK dead. Maybe everybody else knows something I don't.
[Split second decision.] I'm going to risk it.
So I did. And I hauled my luggage up the street and into my apartment, where I promptly dumped my soaking wet suitcase, duffel, and purse on the bathroom floor.

The end.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ew ew ew ew ew

I have GOT to stop watching Bones while I'm eating. The gruesome stuff sneaks up on me every time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not unagi, really, but still weird

On the way out of work today, I passed a girl whose blog I read on a regular basis. (I know what she looks like because she posts photos and vlogs.) It's not entirely unexpected--she does live here, after all, and I think her office is also in the Farragut North region--but still rather a coincidence.

I thought about saying hi, but decided that might be creepy.

But really, though, what are the odds? Of the half-a-million or so people who live in DC, plus who knows how many who commute in, I run into one random girl who I only know from her blog. Yet this kind of thing seems to happen frequently: Ed and Val seeing B in Greenwich Village not a week after meeting him for the first time; my grandparents bumping into my junior high church confirmation sponsor at St. Paul's in London; me being chased down by Jessica from high school on the streets of Florence, Italy. Or running into a former fellow band member (Go Toppers!) while working an opera at the KC one evening. The world really is quite small. But I digress...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya...


Gretchen and five of her friends are leaving today on a cruise to the Bahamas. I am just a little bitter.

UPDATE: I was wrong. They're actually going to Mexico, but that doesn't work with the title of the post, so I'm leaving it.