Restoring Sanity... or Not

31 October 2010

We did end up in DC for the day but it was the most hectic visit to the capital I've ever had.  Ever.  Noah and I met up with his brother & his girlfriend for half of the ride.  We were stuck in 66 for a decent amount of time (45 minutes on a two or so mile stretch maybe...) and then had to get off and find parking. Luckily they have massive parking decks so we were ok.  Then we waited in line to get metro tickets. I went off ahead to scope out the line and realized that there was a cash only line (which we had) and it was much shorter. Of course I called them and we switched lines.  Actually, one of Noah's professors was right behind them when I called so even his professor and his family came along. Below is a picture of the line ahead of us (way less than behind) while waiting for our tickets.

That was certainly an ordeal and we ended up somehow back in the credit card line in the very end - DC was not ready to handle this many people.  We bonded with some people behind us in line, Noah had a record time getting four tickets (less than 30 seconds people!). We got onto the platform and waited to PUSH onto a train.  I took a picture of the line above still waiting to get metro tickets.

We got on luckily (I'm not sure if everyone did eventually....) and we were together. That made us happy despite dire lack of personal space.

After a half an hour metro ride we ended up at the Smithsonian stop in DC.  It was only about a two block walk to the National Mall which was perfect. You didn't need directions instead everyone just followed the flow of thousands of people.

There were signs EVERYWHERE. There were signs about politics, sanity, fear, and even signs about signs. What does that mean? "Don't tread on my right to make signs", "yes, this IS a sign", and "I stayed up last night to make this sign". It was pretty hilarious.

In fact, the signs may have been the most entertaining part of the rally for us.

Some people were a little liberal with the quotes they used....

There were so many people and we couldn't hear or see anything related to the actual rally so we ended up leaving after 30 minutes to go explore some museums.  They did have tv screens for the rally but they were probably two football fields away from where we were. The stage was even further (we never saw the stage yesterday until an hour after the rally had ended).

Going to a museum probably ended up as the right decision for us but it was cool to say we were there. Unfortunately, the massive number of people detracted from the experience.  Of course, the purpose was to bring people and restore sanity. Unfortunately, with the large number of people pretty much everything was overflowing with insanity. The metro & little shops in particular. I wouldn't have minded waiting out the crowd for the metro if we could have holed away in a little shop but they were PACKED.

Even when we came out of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History we saw more signs... in odd places occasionally.

The trip back out of DC was nearly as crazy as getting in. Well, the driving was considerably easier but the metro was even worse! Our stop (Smithsonian) had been shut down - what?!

We ended up walking to L'Efante plaza or some such which is a central hub for all the lines. There were practically three levels to this station.  Our platform for the Orange Line was on the very bottom level. It was incredibly hot and crowded there and we had to wait for two trains before we could force our way onto one.

We even got kicked off of that one (every person on the train did) because it was no longer in service... What? While we were riding it it went out of service? Then they let everyone back on including people at that stop and it was MUCH more crowded. Any space we had was now GONE.

Once we got out and started driving home we faced a beautiful sunset at least. I was a bit disappointed with the rally because we just couldn't see anything (we did hear the theme music - which was the same time as this clip - at one point though when we were walking to the Smithsonian).

I'm glad to say I was there but I think I'd really like to take a trip back soon and spend a day with Noah exploring the city again. Hope you have a marvelous Halloween!

Rally to Restore Sanity

29 October 2010


I'm doubting I'll have another chance to post between now and Sunday but hopefully when I do I'll have a lot more photos to share with you all!

Tonight I'm babysitting and which is good (I'm so poor!) but I've been stressed all week and perhaps I should have opted to take a night off.  Then, I get up bright and early tomorrow morning to head to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear! 

Perhaps you watch the Daily Show or Colbert Report? Often I'm not up late enough any more to see the shows but I did watch on Wednesday when President Obama was on with Jon Stewart!  So, Noah and I will be in DC for the day (fortunately only a 2 1/2 hour drive or so for us) and take lots of photos for you all! 

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend!

pH & Smores

27 October 2010

Today I did a "mini-lesson" on pH. That means I was stressing about it all week long and was mildly panicing last night when I realized I don't remember that much about pH.  Yeah, as an Earth Science major, I haven't done that in a while.....

My mini-lessons for practicum are supposed to be 20 minutes long and I didn't think it would be. I would have been right too except that I ended up doing the whole rest of the lesson! It was rather easy actually but I lead them in a lab about pH. It ended up taking all 50 minutes between my section & the lab.  It gives me much more confidence about doing full lessons before the end of this semester.

When I got back to my apartment I realized that I had Smorz Cereal {I'm addicted}. It brightened my day. Don't you love when that happens?

Have you had any happy surprises today?

I'll leave you with a musical piece which transforms Darth Vader's Theme into a classical piece. Listen to at least the first 30 seconds if you can because it's fun to hear the song in such a different genre of music!

Sun Behind the Clouds

26 October 2010


Some days we need to sit back and really appreciate what we have in our lives.  I feel like my stress levels have reached boiling point recently (by recently I mean the last two months) and that they haven't had a chance to cool down.

The crazy thing is that I enjoy almost every single thing that I'm doing, but like Dawn said, maybe we all like to wear a too few many hats some days..... We want to do more things and be more people than is really good for us.

What kicked me in the pants today was getting to the grocery store to buy some munchies (because we all know I drown out my sorrows/stress in food) and seeing an elderly couple.  The woman was pushing a cart and had a cane in with the food and the man had respiratory tubes through his nose. I immediately felt so selfish about my day.  Sure, I'm stressed. It will pass one day, sooner than later.  I'm so lucky to be healthy and to have these opportunities to volunteer, study, and work with professors.  I really had to tell my problems to take a back seat.

As a reminder today, these are my reasons to smile:

  • Going to the rally in DC this weekend
  • I did well on three of my midterms last week
  • I have some great friends
  • Volunteering has been awesome
  • I'll have pizza for 2xs Tuesday tonight
  • One of my girlfriends is coming over and I haven't seen her in ages

Do you ever have moments when you need to just take a step back and reevaluate your life? What are your reasons to smile today? I'd love to hear them!

Cake Off

24 October 2010

The trombones and melophones had a cake off on Friday night. Hilarity ensued as each section tried to eat 15 sheet cakes faster than the other section.  This year Noah was pouring milk for the contestants as they stuffed their faces with chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet. 

Trombones won for the fourth year running which is really sweet! 


22 October 2010

{Milanos in my box}

I won a contest on facebook this summer for Peppridge Farm Milano Cookies.  I was one of many winners but hey, I was still a winner! The prize? 24 packages of Strawberry Milano cookies. They just came in the mail yesterday!

Yes, it's crazy & unbelievable. Although my personal favorite is the Mint Milano you can't go wrong getting 24 packages of any type of Milano in the mail for free.  

I'm  a little sad because I definitely took pictures of the box yesterday when I still had all 24 and somehow those photos (along with about 10 others) are no longer on my memory card.... 

Well, it's pretty sweet to come home to a box outside your apartment with delicious treats inside from a contest.  On receiving treats, I think I may host a giveaway when I reach 30 followers.  A bag or two of Strawberry Milano cookies will be included in the giveaway and also one of the charm bracelets I mentioned earlier this week! There will likely be a few other things but we'll have to wait and see what they'll be. 

Have a very happy Friday! 

Cute Manifestos

20 October 2010

I actually have posted a link to this before about a year ago, but they're so cute I thought I'd post them again. Take some time out of your day to figure out what's important to you or give yourself a few areas to focus on that you normally wouldn't.

{The road we traveled out for a geology field trip today - beautiful.}

Click here to see some manifestos: Bruce Mau Design

These are the ones I've picked out to be my focus this week:

Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

Everyone is a leader.
Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

Slow down.
Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

Repeat yourself.
If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.
Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces – what Dr. Seuss calls "the waiting place." Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference – the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals – but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

Rally to Restore Sanity

I mentioned in my last post that Noah & I would likely be attending a rally in DC in two weeks.  Linda (from Occasional Scotland) mentioned to me that she hadn't heard of a rally and googled it. I must admit that this was a big oversight for me!

For those of you who do not live in America (or those of you who don't keep up with politics all the time) Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are hosting a rally in DC on the 30th of October.  If you're attending Stewart's it's called a Rally to Restore Sanity. If you're going to Colbert's it's a March to Keep Fear Alive.  

It's actually all one rally but as they have different political humor shows (with different feels) they called them different things but it's actually all one big rally.

Below is a clip of Colbert's commentary on recent religious decisions. Usually the shows are political based but when big news comes in (or humorous, such as the Catholic Church pushing the Blues Brothers as a Catholic movie) they comment on it.  Last nights was really funny too picking on Christine O'Donnell and also American jobs being taken away from American citizens (by goats!).

Colbert and Stewart help to educate the public about current politics in a humorous way and we're really looking forward to seeing them in DC.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yahweh or No Way - The Blues Brothers & Glenn Beck
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

What I'm Loving

19 October 2010

You may have seen in my previous post (just a few hours ago) that I have two littles now with Circle K. All of the bigs in our club decided to buy gifts for our littles.

I picked out little photobooks to fill up with photos as we go throughout the year {what, I like to take photos?!} and charm bracelets.

I found these at Michaels Craft Store when I was browsing and thought instantly that is the perfect gift for my littles. There were bracelets for sale that you can easily unclasp and then multitudes of beads and charm sets to go with them. I picked out three bracelets {one for me and one for each of my littles} and then four packs of beads. As we do events and socials I'll give them more beads to add to their bracelets.

They're called Trinkettes and are way too cute!  Check out this site for a quick little overview of possible beads and such. The one warning I want to give is check to make sure the bracelet clasps before you buy it. I noticed in the store that a lot of them come apart easily. Even though I checked while I was there, one of my littles' bracelets still isn't clasping. They have another type of bracelet where it's a solid crescent and you slip your wrist through the opening. I'm sure it's much sturdier but I wanted all of ours to match.

They're seriously cute and would be neat little Christmas gifts {each bead set with five beads costs $3.99 and the bracelet is the same price - not bad!}.

Have you found any neat little gifts like this?

Portraits & Weekdays

I'll give you a quick warning that this is Noah & Alli photo heavy. I mentioned that my friend let me borrow her 35mm lens and these are from the portrait side of that experience.  

Well, it's a Tuesday and it's been slow. Oddly enough, Monday flew by! Don't you love when that happens? We had another CKI (Circle K) meeting last night and then I went to our first intramural soccer game to cheer the team on. Can you guys play soccer? I'm terrified that I'd trip over the ball much less while running much less kicking in a strategic direction.  Also, I met my littles last night! 

Bigs & Littles is a new concept for CKI. We're not a fraternity but we've been having issues with member retention. Our university {easily} has the largest membership in our district but we have a problem holding onto them. The board decided to set up bigs and littles in the hopes that more people would get to know one another and that we'd help the freshman and sophomores make more friends in the club. I'm pretty excited and I honestly didn't think I would be. My girls are great!

This week has a lot going for it: scrapbook committee {two meetings}, three midterms, a unit plan, heading a service event on Saturday {organizing rides, emailing 20+ people}, meeting with both my littles, and the trombone cake off is on Friday. Oh, also Friday is October 22 which is the half year point for Noah and me. We tend to celebrate on the full year and half year anniversaries just to add a little specialness to our weeks. This one will be five and a half. I love a reason to go on a date. Don't you? 

Hope your weeks are going wonderful and check out Kim on Fill Your Well because she has some of the cutest wedding ideas/photos ever! Also, read about her honeymoon in Thailand; she's pretty darn inspiring! 

Reasons to Smile:
  • 2xs Tuesday from Dominos {YUM!}
  • My littles are awesome
  • I think I've got all the rides figured out for Saturday's service event
  • Met Ms. Meredith {aka Mother Bird or Ms. Pres} for coffee
  • Learned about Hinduism in class today {personal favorite}
  • I have photos to edit {soccer game}
  • Less than 2 weeks until Jon Stewarts Rally to Restore Sanity in DC {be jealous, we have plans to attend}
  • I'm doing well about staying on top of my work 
  • The blogs I read keep me very happy! Thanks to all of you!
What are your reasons to smile today & this week?

Experience: 35mm lens

18 October 2010

My friend Meredith let me borrow a 35mm lens from her this weekend after our CKI (Circle K International) Rally.  She takes photos for our school paper (The Breeze) and the lens I had with me worked better for her needed shots that day so we swapped and both benefited. I haven't gotten to experiment with a 35mm before but I have wanted to since stumbling across Chronicles of a Country Girl more than a year ago.

My shots didn't turn out near as well as Kate's always do but it was still a lot of fun to experiment with!

Noah went out with me into the Arboretum to take these shots and we had some fun experimenting with portraits too.  I'll put a few of those up tomorrow but my favorites have always been nature. You can see a little guy that we stumbled across on our walk yesterday. Cute! Also, the second to last picture is of a basket. Inside are little notes on the Poet Tree.  Noah pointed out the pun to me (Poet Tree = Poetry, get it?? I didn't....).  Have a happy Monday and I hope you can do something that you've always wanted to try!

CKI Rally

17 October 2010

Our Fall Membership Rally was in Front Royal this year. My club went up Friday overnight to Saturday and we learned a bit more about Circle K as a club, our district events, and how to be effective officers. We met people from other clubs in our district and had some competitions that were Survivor Themed.

This week I'm meeting my Littles, heading up a Harvest Festival on Saturday, and am organizing our scrapbooking committee (I'm historian).

My reason to smile this week is that I have a very productive club and that we are proactive in helping our community. I love finding other college students who enjoy donating their time and energy!

Apple Butter

15 October 2010

Please dear readers, tell me you've had apple butter before! The church I grew up in makes it every fall and it's sort of tradition for my dad and I to go and stay the night stirring and heating the fires. For the last couple of years Noah has been there to help us too. I always look forward to it.

This year we didn't end up staying the night because we planned to head to the pumpkin patch the next day{have I not put up those photos yet?}and then meet Noah's family for a mini-reunion.  Still, we stayed around and worked until 2am. It's always a good time {plus we make the best apple butter}!

Magic Trick #1

I learned this in my Middle School Science methods class. We had to bring "Hooks" to class as examples and a chemistry major brought this in. A Hook means an interesting, engaging opening to a lesson.

You pour a liquid onto a saucer and you have to get it back into a wineglass without touching the saucer. It's pretty neat! I did it for my housemates and my sister and they thought it was pretty cool too. You just need a wineglass, a saucer, water, a piece of fruit (to hold the match), and the match itself.

Autumn Inspiration

14 October 2010

Here are some fall-inspired photos.  They're all from different photographers and you can see more here. Just take one or two minutes out of your day to relax and appreciate the new season! {For those of you entering spring, it's just as beautiful in it's own uplifting and warming way!}

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