Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Soaking Up the Sun

I had my last day at my job last Thursday. My co-workers threw me a little party with cake and ice cream. Then, I headed for home to finish packing. I had an old family friend, Casey Copen, stop by for dinner. She is in DC for a couple of months doing research for her dissertation. This delayed my packing, but I got done by midnight. Just in time for it to rain on my bed, which was tied down to the roof of my car. The bed was in plastic, so it faired well. By four o'clock in the morning I was on my way to Columbia, SC.

I could only go sixty with the bed on my car. I was tired and slept for an hour at a truck stop. Then to top of the trip, my pillows flew off my car. I was able to recover two of them, but my favorite was a goner. I am just glad that no accidents were caused by this.

After arriving in SC, I unpacked, bought a dresser from a fellow off Craigslist. My room is all set, except for a little more unpacking. I went to Delaney's that night. I chatted with some undergrads who were staying for the summer. Around eleven I headed for bed, since FL was in my head.

I woke at 4 am to go to FL, but decided to sleep some more. I got going about 6am. I ended up being about thirty minutes ahead of my friends, which was perfect. We have been soaking up the sun, drinking at night, dancing in the bars and clubs, swimming till our arms give out, and taking regular naps after almost every meal. I love vacation!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I am too excited to sit still

I was exhausted yesterday, since I haven't slept in my bed for 6 nights in a row, plus the fact that I stayed up late. So, when I got home from work yesterday I packed up my car, went running and then had dinner with my friend Annie, and proceeded to pass out on my bed. I awoke at 5 am and could not fall back asleep. I was too excited to get my day over with, so that I could get on the road.

I have been a joy at work all day, talking, laughing, and saying goodbye to everyone has been fun. I have my exit interview in an hour. After that I am pretty much free to go! I have to pack the last few items in my car and I will be ready to take a nap, so that I will be rested for the road.

My stay in SC will be short, since I am driving on Saturday to FL. I will be down there with three great friends for an entire week. After that I will stop by AL to see my parents, sister, nephew, and brother-in-law. I am hoping to get loaded up with odds and ends for my new place in Columbia.

Only a few hours to go!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Have More Stuff Than I Thought

I packed up my things last night. It only took about two hours, since I don't own very much. However, when I got everything stacked up in the living room, I began to realize that I might not be able to get everything into or onto my car. So, I took out several things that I could live without. Now I have two piles...musts and wants. It will be interesting to see how much stuff makes it in my car. If you are going South on I-95 this Friday, look for me. I will be the one with a queen bed on his roof, a bike on the trunk, and my head bobbing to the music with the windows rolled down.

This morning I took my mom to the airport. She always tears up when I am leaving or she leaves me. You would think that a week of being with me, that she would be ready to get back to her own bed and have a day off. Oh well, maybe I will understand one day. We did have a great time and I saw lots of things that I would not have, if she had not made it into town. Thanks mom!

A couple of hours ago, I had lunch with some co-workers and a good friend that I know from growing up in Memphis. Saying goodbye to my friend at lunch, was the first time I felt sad about leaving. I have said goodbye to several other friends before now, but today it got to me. I know that I will see all of these people again, but sometimes it feels like it won't be soon enough.

South Carolina......I will see you on Friday!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How the Time Flies

My mom and I have been having a great time. We have done a lot. Over the weekend we saw "Addiction to Oil" with Tom Friedman giving a talk afterwards. Saturday we went to the Natural History and Botanical Garden Smithsonians and the WWII Memorial. My friend Chad, from Pittsburgh, joined us for the day which made it that much more fun. He helped me take a picture of me "making good use" of the Washington Monument (the pic will come soon).

Sunday we went to the Spy Museum and had some great food in China Town. That night we met up with some cousins of mine in Georgetown at Bistro Med. The food was awesome. I got the Bistro Chicken, which was a chicken breast topped with sauteed spinach and then a layer of cheese on top of that. It was surrounded by a plate of rice, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, green and red peppers, and onions. I don't like a lot of spinach, but this dish was too good not eat it all.

Yesterday, I left work early and we toured the capital building. The building has underground tunnels, lots of statues, and incredible art. Sitting in the balcony of The House, I was reminded of all the times I had watched C-Span.

Tonight I am going to eat some great Burmese food and start packing. I haven't even gotten started and I leave in less than 3 days. That thought is so exciting! I wish I could pack it all up tonight and hit the road in the morning. However, I don't think my new house will be ready:)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mom is on her way

My mom is currently in the air headed towards DC. I will be picking her up in about an hour. I have been so busy over the past week, that my room is mess, the fridge is empty, and I have no clean towels for her to use.

Since I have to drop her off at my house and then head back to work, I am hoping that she will occupy her time at the grocery store and perhaps do a load of laundry. Aren't moms wonderful! I don't have anything special planned tonight, except for a haircut. I scheduled the haircut before I knew she was coming in town, otherwise I would have done that one differently. Oh well.

Yesterday, during lunch, I helped a friend move a couch. It was a sleeper couch, the kind with the bed inside. Needless to say, it wasn't light. It did not fit on the elevator in his building so we had to go up the stairs. This required us to lift the couch over our heads to get around the turn in the stairwell. It was a fiasco of grunting and then laughter as we spilled the hallway ash try full of sand. In the end, the couch arrived in the apartment without us scratching the walls of the hallways and stair wells.

Tomorrow I am having my last BBQ with my co-workers. Also, I will be getting the chance to hear Tom Friedman talk after seeing his most recent movie called, "Addiction to Oil." I think you can figure out what that is about.

I have one week left of work!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My mom is coming for a visit

Tomorrow afternoon my mom will arrive in DC for about a week long stay. We don't have any rock solid plans, but we will definitely check out some of the Smithsonians and Memorials in DC.

This past weekend was a blast! I had a big dinner on Sunday night to say good bye to my friends in DC. I cooked brisket, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, artichoke dip, corn on the grill, and a few other assorted items. It was eaten accept for the mash potatoes. There was over 7 pounds of them...I guess I went a little over board.

Since last Thursday I have not had a night or lunch off. Everyday I am meeting my friends for meals and events. I do not have a day off planned until I reach Florida for my vacation, which is only 10 days away.

Someone asked me at my dinner what were my favorite memories from being in DC. I didn't have a good answer. I have loved my time here and have had lots of great times. My immediate thoughts turned to all the memories of me leaving DC to do other things. I went to New Orleans with a group of people, took a friend from DC to Colorado, went camping in Shenandoah Nat'l Park, and went out of town to a winery and some caves. These things are the big events that happened while I was living in DC.

However, while I was in the area I mainly just met up with friends and had dinners, drinks, and good times. It is hard to say which moments stick out the most. I remember when my friend from Chicago dropped into town and few of us went drinking and walking through the pouring rain from bar to bar. Or when friends from Pittsburgh came in town and we rushed from one Smithsonian to the next until we just couldn't look or read another plaque on a wall. These were all the smaller things.

When leaving a town or friends I do not get very sad. People who know me, realize that I am always traveling (usually they are too). They know that I will be back to see them or that they may come visit me at anytime. It is one of the beautiful things about the modern age...travel.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I Am Glad That is Over

The deed is done! I turned in my letter of resignation. Everyone is happy that I am going to grad school. They said they will have to be nice to me for now on, since I will probably be their boss one day.

The Nationals won last night, which was exciting. The stadium is a bit old, I learned that the Redskins used to play their, until it became to small to house all their fans. The stands were about half full last night with 25,000 people in attendance. Our seats were awesome. We were only a few rows behind the Phillies dugout. Sorriano hit a home run to increase the Nationals lead to 5-2, which ended up being the final score. I will post a couple of photos from the game soon.

Tonight I will be heading out to a happy hour to say good bye to most of the people I have hung out with since I arrived in DC last fall. Then I will spend the late night dancing to a friend's records at a club he is spinning at.

This entire weekend should be jam packed. Saturday I am aiming for a nice 2-3 hour bike ride in the late morning. Then, I will be checking out the North Mississippi Allstars and MOE at Wolf Trap, which is a small amphitheater in the DC area. Sunday I am having a dinner for my closest friends in DC. About 12-15 people should be showing up to feast on whatever I have time to cook up this weekend. It should be a lot of fun.

Oh yea...
For those of you who don't know. Saturday is World Bike Naked Day! This is something I think we should all participate in, whether you are clothed or not. The purpose of the ride is "to draw attention to oil dependency and the negative social and environmental impacts of a car dominated culture."

I for one, am going to try to make it to the DC ride on Sunday morning. I know it is a day later than the rest of the World, but that is the only day the promoters could get a permit to demonstrate. If you always wondered what it would look like to bike naked, I can give you an idea. Just check this posting from last summer!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two Weeks Left at Work

I will be turning in my resignation today at work. I am not sure where the standard two weeks was created. I am sure if I Googled it, I could find out. However, at the end of today I will make the awful walk into my manager's office and give her the bad news. I am not looking forward to it.

The hardest part will be actually doing work over the next two weeks. I have plenty to do, but when you know you are leaving it is hard to keep up the momentum. You ask yourself..."What is the worst that could happen? I could get fired!" And then you smile and chuckle knowing that you will be leaving anyway.

Luckily I like my job. This is in contrast to so many other people I know. I moved to DC in September last year and this is the third job I found. It has turned out to be the best fit for me and my lifestyle. So, it is always sad to leave places and people that you enjoy being around.

Last Sunday I finished The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Then I started on The World is Flat this week. All I can say is thank you for some hope! The Clash was depressing. I was looking around my world and country and thinking that in the not too distant future all that I have come to know will cease to exist. We will all be fighting and fearing for our existence.

The World is Flat is much more exciting and uplifting. This is due to writing styles as well. The Clash is textbook writing and other book is written through stories, which makes for an easier read as well. Now that I am a couple of hundred pages into The World is Flat, I can't wait for the future. I already utilize or at least know about almost all the technology he is speaking about, but the direction that he states that the world is heading towards is awesome.

Tonight I will be checking out the Washington Nationals vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

16 Days!

I have 16 more days in DC, but who is counting...I AM!

I am at the point that I am having trouble staying focused at work. I sit at my desk and gaze out the window. This week I have just been getting up and chatting with everyone in the office for a couple of hours a day. I go to the bank, post office, movie store to fill up a little bit of my time. This doesn't mean that I don't get my work done, but I now find myself doing the minimum rather than above and beyond. I am sure this is a natural behavior that many employees take on during there last 1-4 weeks with a job.

Last weekend I went to see Al Gore's film, "An Indisputible Truth". It is a great film about Global Warming. I left the theater thinking that I wished the film would be shown to every classroom in the US. Kids need to be told this information while they are young, so that they grow up with the idea that their behavior will have to change as the world changes.

I am very passionate about the environment. One of the first things I noticed when I visited Columbia, SC and the campus, was that there was no recycling bins. I have been recycling for 7 years now. I go out of my way to make sure that a can, bottle, paper or anything makes it to the correct container. My solution will be to take my recyclables to a private business near town. I have found that USC has a recycling program that recylces, but I failed to see any cans or bins. Perhaps a group on campus is already formed to help expand the program.

I would like to pledge right now, that before I finish my time at USC their will be easily found recycling bins at the business school and the rest of campus.

I have a busy two weeks ahead of me as I say good-bye to my friends, my mom will be visiting for 6 days, and I have to pack. I am so ready for it!