Thursday, November 30, 2006


i've got over 250 pics from hawaii... and it's a tough job to decide what to post. here's what i ate for thanksgiving... on the beach. yummy and pretty. here's hat island. smooth photography, bob. here's a crab that bob caught. he let it go. i caught a hermit crab on the north shore and named it hermes. sadly, hermes didn't make it a day outside his beach habitat. sorry little guy. here's me and bob at lizard rock. legend says that a big lizard used to guard the island till one man came and chopped him into 5 pieces, throwing the lizard parts out to sea. the rock formation behind us is one of the larger "lizard" pieces. the sunsets in oahu are really amazing. we spent 2 days on the big island hiking around volcanoes. soooooo cool. the volcano is still active. steam pours out of holes everywhere. lava has flowed over parts of the road. we laugh in the face of danger. this is the little cottage we stayed in at the kilauae military camp, complete with christmas decorations. it was cute and cozy. we did a little (7+ mile) sunrise hike to the lava flow. we were definitely the only people up, so it was like hiking alone on another planet. you can see the steam from the lava flow right behind bob. if you were actually there, you'd see the red hot magma shooting out of the ground and into the ocean. it's amazing! we also saw lots of rainbows, which remind me of God and of my friend lorraine too. lauren loooves rainbows. this is a lava lake we hiked into. you can barely see the trail going across the middle. surrounding the lava lake are rain forests. we did a LOT of walking. which called for a LOT of ice cream. we hit up a botanical garden on our way back to the airport. never a dull moment.

moments not caught on film include lauren getting a flu shot in the chicago air port, walking through lava tubes (caves), the clearest night skies and brightest stars i've ever seen, knitting hats on the airplane, oregon trail, and talking about how thankful we are for family, friends, and amazing life experiences.

big mahalo to michele and bob for letting us crash with their cat jinks and for arranging an absolutely awesome trip to the big island. i hope you come visit africa so i can return the favor! and big big mahalo to blind date bob for being a non-stop rockin' travel companion.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

back on the mainland

got back to baltimore this morning... went straight to work and feeling a little jet lagged. i'll post more pics this week, but for now here's a shout out to jinks the cat. thanks for letting us crash in oahu with you little buddy. we really had an awesome time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

rainin' on my parade

bob and i are leaving at el cracko of el dawno tomorrow for oahu. just checked the forecast... rain starts tomorrow and ends the day we return. looks like i'll have more time to work on my kafka paper than i thought! no worries. i like rain.

Monday, November 20, 2006

ladies' night

about a year ago a few girls at my church got together and started a book club/bible study thing on sunday nights. this fall we started meeting at the sunday school hour and more girls joined in. it's so cool to think nothing like this existed this time last year, and now we've created a real sense of community for young women in our church. we're about to finish a book called "sex and the soul of a woman" which is pretty funny to see printed in the church bulletin. especially when they print my name next to it. anyway, a bunch of us met up saturday night... and still made it to church the next morning. (note the tv screen in the background... it's only funny if you know bob).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

scary weather

i just spent the past 30 minutes curled up in a ball in chair in chris' office with two other work buddies. they all had their faces pressed against the window watching the storm. i was as far from the window as can be. i forgot how scary storms can be. it's been as dark as night for the past two hours... in the middle of the afternoon! but the sky is lighter now, so i'm going to go to school before it gets crazy again. i'm reminded of days in tx with tornado drills... makes me feel (and act) like a little kid.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

forest gump

i love taking the train to and from dc. i'll admit i was complaining as i got ready this morning that i had to spend so much time traveling for just one meeting, but i really do love trains. i can't imagine how much homework i would get done if i had a two hour train ride every day to sit and read. shoot, i'd have time to read for pleasure too.

on my way back from dc today i sat next to a guy that loved trains as much as bubba loved shrimp in forest gump. the kid, from macon, georgia, even talked like gump. we were parked at union station, not even moving yet, and the kid goes, "look at that train! it's come all the way from chicago!" i looked up from my book and smiled, "are you from chicago? how do you know?" he responded, "i'm not from chicago. i just love amtrak." (he actually specified amtrak as he pointed to the amtrak lanyard around his neck.) he then went on to tell me all the places he had been via train in the past few weeks and months. "do you never fly places?" i asked. "the only way you'd ever catch me on a plane is shackled, bound and gagged," he said with big dramatic eyes. it was hard not to laugh. especially considering he was probably in his early 20s.

Monday, November 13, 2006

girls vs boys

nothing can take me out of a funk like time with the chicas. last wednesday i was in a grrrr kinda mood, and dinner with my girlfriends fixed me up in a flash. girl time carried over to the weekend when anna and christina and i ran away to lex for a few days. lots of reading, sleeping, eating, knitting, romance movie watching, convertible joy riding... we were definitely a girlie force to be reckoned with.

meanwhile, the guys went golfing. perfect.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


i'm not really a political person. sure, i majored in politics and i work in politics, but i'm more pro-people than pro-party. as in government for the people and by the people: democracy. so i had a little party tuesday night to celebrate democracy, no party affiliations necessary. sadly, only about half my friends voted. not much to celebrate there (other than the yummy desserts). why is it that we take our right to vote for granted? and why do people who don't vote then turn around and complain about the government? vote, people. please.

so my boss, governor ehrlich, was not re-elected. i was/am pretty bummed. i really think ehrlich has done a good job as gov, and it seems that people were voting against bush rather than voting against ehrlich or for baltimore mayor o'malley. others are free to disagree with me. it is government by the people and the people have sent a message to the government... and that's important. i'm just sad my boss had to get caught up in it because he's a good guy. in my opinion, o'malley has some big shoes to fill.

Monday, November 06, 2006

camping in the cold

i must admit i felt a bit skeptical when we pulled up to the campsite at elk neck on saturday. this can't really be camping? pitching a tent next to rv's? so many people around? indoor bathrooms? but i didn't really mind because i knew that time with brian, minnie, anna and bob was time well spent. boy, was that an understatement.

it turns out that camping at camp sites is cool. granted, it's not at all packing in a few miles and escaping civilization. but campsites, i've discovered, serve their own unique purpose. one of the pro's is the food. you can't cook up burgers, brats, chicken, veggies and yams in the wilderness. YUM. another new favorite: smores with dark chocolate. mmm... and while it was a bit chilly, we crammed 5 people in a tent to form our own little igloo. combined with bob's unending supply of coffee, tea and hot chocolate, we survived with no frost bite casualties.

lesson learned: campsite camping is to "real" camping as blue box kraft mac & cheese is to "real" mac and cheese... or garden burgers are to red meat burgers. while not a substitute, they are wonderful in their own right.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

when the cat's away...

the mice will play. crissy and i got caught in big mike the hammer's office while he's in indiana. the ironic thing is, i actually get more work done when the boss is out. i have a theory about me and work. i think i'm more task oriented than time oriented. i'm willing to bet that if you said i needed to accomplish x, y and z before going home for the day, i would do so efficiently and thoroughly. but if you say i have to be at the office for 8 hours, what does that really mean? i'll still do the work because i have a work ethic and i think my work is important, but i respond to tasks. i need deadlines. knowing this will help me to structure my work day better, maybe. just thinking out loud.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

kid pets

i'm sure you've all received forwards of pets in halloween costumes. shoot, i've even sent such emails to my animal loving friends. i used to think only strange pet owners dressed up their cats or dogs, which is why i've found those emails odd and funny. but it's not just the weirdos anymore. normal people dress up their pets too! i think this is because very few of us have kids. however, many of my friends have kid pets. here we have tex and indiana (kid pets of kim and scott) as darth vader and princess lea, and carolyn with her kid pet molly the pumpkin hound.

the neighborhood kids were out in full force last night. i think our candy was finished off in less than half an hour, but there were some cute costumes. minnie mouse was my favorite. and the girl that kept stepping on her mermaid tail. i salute all the teachers working with kids on sugar highs today.