Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hill Rag Wall Art

The June edition of the Hill Rag is already out! I picked it up on my way home from work. The art is always pleasing to the eye and hangs nicely on the wall. And the best part is that it changes every month. I wonder if I could ever get something put on the cover?

Wouldn't this look nice on the cover?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol

We did go to the concert last night, a little late, but we finally got there. It was a lot easier getting through security! It was a little humid, vey crowded, and a pleasant evening overall. Here's to all those who serve and have served- in particular to both my parents, and our son.

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Concert Dress Rehearsal

We walked over to the Capitol grounds last evening because it was simply a beautiful night, and the Memorial Day concert dress rehearsal was taking place. We did not go in to the event, because you have to pass through security and we may actually go to the real thing tonight. Along the way were interesting sights, and we heard the music and narrators- just didn't see much of it. The crowd was moderate, and every language was heard. We stopped along Independence Avenue on the way home, but the buses, motorcycles, and trains drowned out whatever sound there was. One of our neighbors passed by on her way home. and we chatted a bit. One block in from the main street and it turns in to a regular old suburb. That's what I like most about living here.
Headed in the right direction
Behind the stage and the back of the jumbotron

Looking for a hand out-
the American Indian Museum in the distance

In spite of the clouds, it stayed dry!

We sat on the bench in front of the Rayburn Building

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder was one of the reasons I was so happy to leave Milwaukee behind. The Harley Davidson headquarters is in Milwaukee, and every year, there was a Rolling Thunder type event. The 100 anniversary celebration took the cake. The noise and everything about it makes me want to stay as far away as possible. So, we move here, and who shows up every Memorial Day? They always seems to find our neighborhood too. I didn't miss them when we left and I wish they would stay there now.
Along Independence Avenue

Crossing Constitution

Next to the Library of Congress

Please take all the noise and go away!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Job Interview

It was five years ago today that I had my interview for the job I now have. We flew in from Milwaukee on Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend for a Friday afternoon interview. I had started looking for job opportunities the previous November. For a dream job, I wanted to find something near the tiny condo we had recently purchased, and started scanning options on USA Jobs and the Federal Building websites around us. It was a scary proposition to leave what I had been used to for 30 years in the health care profession. So, I had to think of the skills I had that could be translated in to a government job. I spent many hours searching and filling in very involved on-line applications. The first call came in February for a phone interview. The next call came to come for the formal interview. The final offer to hire call came in June. I had to give a month's notice. We moved in July and I started the new job in August. Ironically, I saw the interviewer yesterday and asked him if he remembered what happened five years ago. He thought it was the date I was hired. I reminded him it was the date we interviewed. When the interview was completed and I left the building, they called me back later that afternoon so I could meet the "real" boss. I went back, showed the Director my portfolio and exchanged a few words, and had a positive vibe about the adventure. My mother always said things are meant to be. This must have been one of those times.

Who would have thought? A Civil Servant after 30 years in health care...
And I can walk to work!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The New Yorker- A Fight For the IPad

I love my IPad. I always liked electronic devices and I really like this one. I had an IPod, then my IPhone, and now this. I knew it would be really neat... we also got one last October for my 88 year old mother, who lives in Florida. She never used a computer before, but I knew this would be the easiest thing for her. Now she gets her own books, plays word puzzles, listens to Polish music, and sends emails to people she likes to hear from. My Dad would have really enjoyed it too, but at 92, he likes the TV most. From the minute I get home it is in my hands... to check email, play games, surf the net, and most recently, draw/illustrate- all on the couch. And it always goes on trips with us. Well, now the New Yorker is available on the IPad for no extra cost if you have a subscription. My husband does have a subscription, and until this time has not really used the IPad unless we're playing games together or looking at photos. I showed him how the app works, and he obviously loves it. So much so that I can foresee the need for another one in short order. But for now, he can use it while I'm at work- and that's about all!
Once you read it on the IPad,
there's no going back to hard copy! (Cover by Peter DeSeve)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Freezing Cold

I'm not sure why the person who is always hot is in the hot office, and the person who is always cold is in the cold office. And, for someone who LOVES sunshine and looking out the window, my current office is in the inner core- no where near a window. It's almost claustrophobic. What's most annoying is to see people who actually DO have a window close the blinds and turn down the thermostat. And above me is the escalator that provides a continuous loud knocking sound until 5 PM. The wind was coming in with such a force that I could not stand it anymore. Finally, a huge pipe was diverted away from the vent, and I have some respite- still cold but no wind; however, the rest of the office staff are  complaining because the terrible cold wind has been redirected towards them. Growing up in Florida, I always had a sweater and an umbrella on hand. In Wisconsin, it was so cold all year round it hardly mattered what I did to stay warm because nothing worked. Here, it's like being in Florida and Wisconsin for all the wrong reasons. 
The only window faces the inner sanctum

The only light comes from the lamps and ceiling

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Catfish Hunter

Our grandson was here when I arrived home after work and had some of his baseball card collection with him. Because my brother was a pitcher and was drafted by the Orioles, I have some familiarity with the "famous" names of the 70's. Baseball games were always playing on the television in our household. So, our grandson would ask for a name (that I could remember) so he could pull out the matching card. For some reason, Catfish Hunter stuck out. And when my husband walked him back home, he insisted that my husband stay there until he could round up another 7 Catfish Hunter cards. He could only find one, and insisted that it be brought back home for me to see (again). The card is now prominently displayed in the living room, and makes me think how some things never change.

Still famous 40 years later

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Visitors

Yes, they did finally show up. And they even shared the space. But every time we tried to get a picture, they flew away. I've always enjoyed watching the birds in the backyard- whether it was in Connecticut, where we lived until I was 5... or in Florida, where I grew up (although pelicans is what I remember most)...or in Wisconsin, where we lived for 30 years....or here - in a somewhat urban environment. But it feels so suburban!

Share and share alike

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol

The preparation is underway for the annual Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol. It takes quite some time to get everything set up, particularly all the security measures. We usually try to attend the "dress rehearsal" the day before. It's a little less frenzied, and always a pleasant way to spend the evening. This is one of the best reasons to live on Capitol Hill. We just walk over, 2-3 blocks, and we're there!
This scenery somehow makes the place look tacky

Getting the stage and lighting set

The Symphony orchestra typically sits below the canopy

Always a majestic sight

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Garden

You would not think that there would be so many weeds and work in such a small patio garden. I filled a whole large garbage bag with junk. After clearing out the old bulb stems, the eggplant was moved from a container to the ground, joining the 2 pepper plants, one cucumber, and one tomato. The hydrangeas are a little later blooming this year. I'm never sure how they will look since I cut them back at the end of the season and then hope for the best. Of course, when you wait for the birds to show up they never do. Maybe tomorrow?
The birds enjoy this little fountain-
but not when you're waiting for them

There must be both acidic and alkaline soil-
creating a mixture of blue and pink & everything in between

Friday, May 20, 2011

Almost Done!

I know I've been commenting about this building across the street several times. It has been five years in the making, and the noise has been deafening- morning, noon, and night. Finally, it actually looks like it is almost complete. The workers are putting the final touches on the exterior, the last shrubs have been planted, the grass has been cut for the first time, and there were people in the building sitting around a conference room table. The only thing left is to remove the dumpster and the cones. I don't care what goes on inside as long as the outside is finally done. I used to like seeing dumpsters in the neighborhood, because it meant renovation projects were in the works. I'll be glad when this one is no longer in sight!
Almost a decent view from the "public" garden across the street

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Threat Of Rain

The weatherman's tactic this week was to threaten us every day with downpours and floods. But each day has been quite nice with breaks of sunshine and nice temps. When it has rained, it's been at night, so it doesn't matter to me. I have this thing about walking in rain- I just don't like it! I much prefer the beautiful flowers we see when we walk - in the sunshine.
By the Library

The flowers almost look fake

At Eastern Market

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DC Jury Summons

Just what I wanted to get in the mail....not much comes in the mail anymore these days, so to make it worse, a jury summons arrives. They have made it very convenient now to complete all the paperwork "on line" rather than deal with the weird perforated envelope. I received a summons shortly after we moved here, got as far as jury selection, and never made it. My husband was called when we moved here too. He's never selected either. Then he recently received a summons for a grand jury, but luckily got out of it. It's one time when being a "senior citizen" can work in your favor! Our daughter in law has been called a few times as well. Unfortunately, there's enough criminal activity around here, so the courts will always have something to do. I'm hoping it only lasts the one day, and I hope I can bring my IPad with me. I was called one time in Milwaukee for jury duty the whole 30 years we lived there. Now I've been called twice in 5 years here.
This is one time I wish I didn't qualify

Aren't you happy to get this type of mail?

DC Empanada Truck

Since we saw the Tasty Kabob truck last week in Arlington, another one showed up in the neighborhood today called DC Empanada. There certainly is a wide variety of trucks available. I read today that there is going to be a monthly Truckeroo DC Food Fest that takes place June-October. It's goal is to showcase all the food trucks in the city. There will be 20-25 food trucks, live music, and free admission. All you need to do is bring your appetite! If they plan the events around the home baseball games, it can't miss. The stadium is just down the block.

There's one customer
An extensive menu

Protection from the elements

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Accident Waiting to Happen

Since the construction on the place across the street is about finished, the vehicles traveling along the streets are moving at a quicker pace. And, a green light means you move forward without stopping. I saw three vehicles pass through a red light today, one after the other, including a fire truck. When I walked back to work after lunch, one car slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting broadside into a car that was moving the right of way with the green light. Only one block away is another mess like this. There are 5-6 streets that converge on this intersection, and it's very confusing. I was crossing at the crosswalk at this same intersection last week, and the lady in the car was very upset that another car passed in front of her. When I told her she had the red light, she thought I was nuts. There are two stoplights posted- one close to the cross walk where the car stops, and another one several feet away in the distance. The driver sees the green light in the distance, ignoring the red light right in front of their face. I guess that's why roundabouts are so common here.  I don't remember ever seeing anything as confusing as this! I just forwarded this blog and photo to the Police FYI. There are a lot of children in the neighborhood.

Response received from Police almost immediately after sending:

Your report will be forwarded to the Department of Transportation for action.

Tom WilkinsExecutive Director,

Intelligence Fusion DivisionMetropolitan Police DepartmentWashington, D.C.
The cab has the right of way- but the driver STOPPED at the red light
is looking at the green arrow in the distance
and moves right in to the vehicle passing right in front of him

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Literary Hill BookFest

As advertised in the Hill Rag, the Literary Hill BookFest was scheduled at Eastern Market from 11AM-3PM. We walked over to it, made our way past all the vendors that inhabit Eastern Market on the weekend, and strolled along the tables with the ~ 30 authors present. It was busy enough, and the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Library of Congress participated too. I'm hoping maybe next year to become a part of the Capitol Hill author circuit. Time will tell. Never had much interest in these types of events up north, but then I never had a personal interest until this year...but my interest is in digital applications rather than hard copy... something about those gadgets.
As advertised in the Hill Rag

It was reasonably busy

Maybe next year?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Bicycle Made For Three

While in Ashland Virginia over the weekend, we came upon an interesting mode of travel. Along the railroad tracks on main street, we saw a bicycle rider rolling towards us. But attached on the rear of the bike was a platform. On the platform was an adult casually lounging. In the adult's lap was an infant. What a great way to travel! They were so happy. They were enjoying the view as much as we were. Never saw anything quite like this before.
She was probably enjoying the ride BEFORE the baby was born

Exact Amount

We went to CVS for some items that amounted to 6 in total. When the items were price scanned, the end result was exactly $100.00- not a penny more or less. I asked the cashier if we would get a prize for obtaining this unusually perfect amount. She sort of scoffed at me. Whether we live here or anywhere else, we never ended up with a perfect dollar amount. What was different is the response to a question or comment. The typical reaction here is one of total disregard; typically in the Midwest, the reaction is a tad more friendly.
You have to see it to believe it

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tasty Kabob

There are a lot of outdoor vendors driving about town. Cupcakes and The Big Cheese Truck to name a couple. Our daughter-in-law loves the lobster truck. I've seen the Kabob truck fly by a few times, but have never seen it in a stationary position until we came upon it parked on a corner in Arlington near the Pentagon Shops. There are many Middle Eastern restaurants here - our favorite for take-out is Moby Dick! We used to drive all the way to Chicago for Reza's. Now all we need to do is either walk down the street, drive a few minutes, or maybe now, even stop at the Kabob truck on the corner. So many choices!
There it was on the corner

I'm certain that it IS tasty

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Disorderly Neighbors

The building across the street that has been taking five years to complete is almost done- on the outside anyway. The silence is deafening! The fence is still up around it to keep the neighbors out, but after hours the sidewalk can be used. For the first time in a long time, we can actually walk a straight path up to the next block without having to cross the street at least two times. Unfortunately, the dog owner that lives across from this new building has already seen fit to let his old dog use the property. That wouldn't be so bad, but he never picks up after him. Maybe it's his way of telling the property owners how upset he's been for making him walk the dog a few more yards every day. I bet he's the same neighbor who doesn't clean up the snow or ice, and leaves the tree branches hanging along the sidewalk.
Almost done, and already being used