Tuesday, October 31, 2006

trick or treat

i'm giving up on fixing red eyes. just pretend i was a possessed cheerleader and anna was rainbow bright with lazer beam eyes for halloween. other notable costumes were christy's smurfette get up, complete with lots of blue paint, and blind-date-bob, who was blind.

trick: i went "mountain" biking this weekend at patapsco, which is surprisingly close to the city! if i had known you could drive just 15 minutes and be transported to trails with trees and streams, my first year in baltimore would have been much happier. it's not quite virginia, but it'll do. in any case, the real trick is that i have this painful bruise on my leg from falling off the bike sunday. it's getting increasingly purply blue, but it's totally worth it for a great afternoon outside and trying something new.

treat: i got a call from my boss-to-be in benin this morning! it came up as "unavailable number" and i couldn't understand him at first, so i thought it was a telemarketer and said, "please remove me from your calling list." i almost hung up, but then he said, "i'm calling from benin..." AH! we talked about what work i could be doing and i told him i'm practicing my french. he said they are all praying for me and so excited for me to join them. wow!

Friday, October 27, 2006


i sent an abbreviated version of the myers briggs test around to the other peeps on my team at work today. there are 5 of us. 3 are intj's, 1 (mike) is entj and i'm enfj. this means that i'm an extrovert (really?), intuitive, feeling and judging (which does not mean judgemental).

here's what the website said about me in relationships, and i realize i'm totally shooting myself in the foot by posting this... but might as well let peeps know what they're in for. interestingly, my personality type is referred to as "teacher." right on...

teachers bring all this infectious energy to their intimate relationships as well, and they make passionate and delightfully creative companions. however, at such close range the intensity of their wishes for their loved ones can create interpersonal conflict. teachers can overwhelm their loved ones with their exuberance, and with their pygmalion presumption that everyone wants to be helped along the path of self-discovery. then, when their loved ones either resist their pressure or fail to meet their idealistic expectations, teachers can feel frustrated, disillusioned, or even betrayed by the persons they care most about.

be afraid. be very afraid.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

baby feet

my friends caroline and jt had their first baby... a sweet little girl named julianne. i just flipped through the pics of julianne's first month of life. babies are amazing! the whole process--pregnancy, birth, baby, developing human being--astounds me. julianne's little pink feet are perfect.

it's hard for me to imagine having kids at this point, though my mom was almost ready for #3 at my age. i mean, i'm still just a kid! but seeing pics like this does tug at my heart strings a bit. so somewhere deep inside my kid-self there just could be a someday-mom. scary, i know.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

i'm sad

as i'm writing this post, a very special young girl is being laid to rest beside her father in pakistan. going to karachi this summer was neat because i got to be a part of farhan and roohi's wedding, but even more so because i was able to break through cultural and linguistic differences and really connect with people. samana was someone i especially clicked with. she was so eager to practice her english and taught me more urdu than anyone else. she had just lost her father and we talked a lot about him. i would wake up from a nap and she would be sitting on my bed holding my teddy bear, waiting quietly and patiently to ask whatever new question had popped into her head.

samana taught me to say "i miss you very much" in urdu. i'm sure i'm spelling it wrong, but it sounds like "may nay tombhay bahat yadkia." i was actually thinking about samana and this phrase this morning as i drove to work. it wasn't until after i arrived at the office that i heard from farhan that samana had died of dengue fever. five people have died of dengue in karachi this month.

it's just very bewildering when young people full of so much life suddenly die.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

first 5k

race for the cure was saturday and team chicksspeak had a blast. this was my first 5k and i hadn't run 3+ miles since high school, but it's surprisingly easy when everyone around you is so fired up. it was especially cool to run alongside men and women with signs "in celebration of" or "in memory of" a mom, sister or friend pinned to their backs. helps to give you a sense of purpose on a cold morning. pictured are anna, me, christina, jess and kim.

Monday, October 23, 2006

reviving ray

ray, the wonder fish, needed a change of water this morning. i always give ray the freshest of spring water, but opted for tap water today... thinking the resilient little guy could handle the change. apparently not. i looked up from my computer just minutes after the water change and found poor little ray resting on the rocks of his bowl, looking sad and distressed. ray never rests, so i knew this was an emergency. my coworkers flooded my office, very concerned for what has become the mea mascot. but i knew what ray needed. not tap water. so i grabbed some bottled water from the kitchen (meant for mea guests) and made the switch as quickly as possible. he made a speedy recovery and we're all pleased to see ray swimming along as happily as ever. (susan, i know this story will bring a little tear to your eye).

Thursday, October 19, 2006


i met a lady who was in benin this summer and she gave me a cd full of pictures. this is one of my favorites. this car is totally loaded with live goats. goats are tied up and piled into the back of the car and tied to the top of the car as well. my guess is this makes for a very loud and stinky drive to the market (or wherever). i will not tie live goats to my moped.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

turkey in hawaii

i'm going to hawaii for turkey day... because the answer to last minute travel (especially to exotic destinations) is always yes. as you know, there was an eathquake this weekend. the damage incurred to the estate where i'll be staying is pictured above. my sources tell me no lives were lost.

Monday, October 16, 2006

sunday sailing

bob and anna (pictured) and i went sailing sunday. it was the best day of sailing i've ever had.

a) the company was great. bob has a knack for teaching me things without me realizing that i'm learning. anna has a way of saying things that makes me just want to sit and listen.

b) the weather was perfect. the sun was shining, the skies were clear, the breeze was good. considering it's october, i was relieved we didn't have to wear gloves and ear muffs. though i DID jump in the water... and jump back out about as quickly. COLD!

c) this was the first time i really got to sail (other times have been marked by a lack of wind). it was fun, but also a little scary. at one point i was absolutely sure we were about to tip over. bob and anna both smiled at me calmly as i looked at them with my mouth gaping open, thinking 'holy ****!" it was awesome.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

peace out

roohi was playing sly photographer sunday and snagged this shot. it was a perfect afternoon for reading and thinking with my toes in the cool grass and sun all around. i love fed hill.

i wrote to yfc today and accepted the invitation to join their missionary staff. this past week as i've prayed and pondered... i've been waiting for some decisive moment to direct me one way or another. what i found instead was that the answer was already inside me and i just needed time to grow into it. so no lightning bolt revelations, just peaceful self awareness. it's a good thing.

Monday, October 09, 2006


though i'm giving myself just a few more days to think and pray about it, i've pretty much come to a peaceful decision to move to benin west africa this summer. i will be living (for 2 years?) in the coastal city of cotonou, pictured here. i have more pics i'll post later. if you have any thoughts on my decision, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Friday, October 06, 2006

more on work

while i'm on the topic of the gov, i thought i'd post this link to the commercial our office did two years back. lucky for me, it's no longer on the air waves... but we keep it on our website for your viewing pleasure. "really?" you need quicktime to view it. mike doesn't know it yet, but crissy (from my office) and i are going to crash the talk he's giving at university of maryland today. we turned down wearing jeans on a rainy friday for this. that's dedication. putting hyperlinks in posts is fun.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

change the world

yesterday was the kick off for energy star's "change a light, change the world" campaign. the idea is to encourage consumers to change at least one bulb in their home to a compact fluorescent lightbulb (call 'em cfl's if you want to sound like you're in the know) which use a lot less energy. so you save money ($30 over the lifetime of the bulb) and save energy which is good for our economy and our environment. i'd give you stats, but you can find them by clicking here and pledging to change a light in your home. we did a little event at home depot with the gov and epa. good times...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

holy harley

last week i went to denver for missionary candidate school. it was great to see those colorado blue skies and snow capped mountains. the weather was perfect and i took several naps on the grass (because naps in the grass are almost as soothing to my soul as naps in a hammock).

both the leaders with youth for christ (yfc) and the other candidates were truly amazing people. i wasn't really sure what to expect, but i can now say these are people i care a lot about. so... will i be a missionary? on my way to benin? good question. first yfc has to invite me, then i have to respond. there's a lot to think/pray about between now and then. but i at least know that i won't be leaving before june, so yes, that means i'll finish my degree at st. john's first. mark your calendars for may 19 for a hot graduation in annapolis.

one of the cool things about colorado is that you don't have to wear a helmet. maybe that's not cool if you crash, but i enjoyed riding around on royal's harley with the wind in my face and hair. ahhh... even more refreshing than my convertible. which brings me to the point of transportation in benin. one of the things i had to budget for was a moped. personally, i think that's way cool. if you come visit, i'll take you for a spin. on my moped.