Monday, January 29, 2007

the cabrio that could

anna left today :( turns out "just 3 suitcases and my carry-ons" is actually a lot of luggage! but with the top down and the trunk not-quite-shut, the cabrio was able to pull through. we were in such a rush, i didn't even have time to cry. which is good since i'd already cried twice this weekend over anna's departure. so so sad :(

Thursday, January 25, 2007

anna's last night in town

did you ever listen to ben folds five? there's this one song... "cuz everyone knows now that every night out will be stephen's last night in town... ba ba ba ba" that i love to sing (especially if someone in the car is singing harmony with me). well, this week is a lot like that for anna, who leaves for australia on monday. saturday was her going away party, tuesday night we had our last girls' night (where suzanne taught us how to make homemade fried ravioli, YUM), last night we had pie with carolyn and mom (after anna had a going away dinner with people from work), we have plans for sunday and monday, and i'm sure we'll come come up with a few more events between now anna's departure. i like it. girl time is paramount in my book, and it's nice to have a boyfriend that understands that.

speaking of boyfriends, bob has been in chicago all month working with a patient on the *most technologically advanced prosthetic arm in the universe* and you can see a demonstration of his work by going to and checking out "chapter 5: building the bionic arm." the clip aired on pbs 2 weeks ago. it's awesome.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

intergalactic sorry

there is a game we all grew up playing... sorry. and then there is intergalactic sorry. realizing intergalactic sorry can only be played on burnett street in b'more, i feel compelled to share with the world just what you are missing out on. the following rules have been submitted by guest blogger, erin.
Rules for Intergalactic Sorry (to be played only at 124 Burnett Street):
1. 7 may be split by 2 players to go forward or backward. Both players must go the same direction. If you draw a 7 and the only possible move you can make is to go backwards 7, you must do so.
2. Sorry: If you have no men left in start, you may take any man on the board and kill another person, sending them back to start. If this occurs, you must take the place of the person killed.
3. 11 may still be used to switch BUT if you have a player in start, you may switch with another player who is on the board and put them in your start.

Notes on Rules:
1. If confused by these rules, always ask Erin.
2. If a dispute occurs during the game in regards to the rules, refer to the ruling made by Erin.

example question:
Dear Intergalactic Erin,

Ok, ok, so like, what if everyone has all of their pieces in start, and me (say, red) draws an 11...can i switch one of my pieces in my start with one of blue's pieces in start (blue is to my right), thus advancing me 3/4 of the way around the board?

-Confused in Catonsville

Yes, you may.

and now you know.

Monday, January 22, 2007

belated posts

i kept forgetting to bring my camera to work to upload pics (hence the recent lull in posts and dearth of graphics), but now i'll bring you up to speed. last weekend i visited bob in chicago, where he is working for the month. we spent some time with his uncle and fam and their bird and salamander (also named bob) up in libertyville... which happens to be the home of the helanders, so i saw willard too. i think the highlight of the weekend was chatting with bob atop the john hancock building, 95 floors up.

work this week was fairly uneventful considering o'malley was inaugurated wednesday as the new governor of maryland. haven't seen any pink slips yet. we did have a "slumber party" themed birthday celebration, which was really an excuse for me to wear slippers and bring lj (my teddy bear) to work... yes, the theme was my idea. note that crissy is wearing pj's over her work clothes. we're not that casual.

this weekend was packed with parties (christina's birthday on friday, anna's going away party on saturday, birthday party for adam, brian and nicole on saturday) but i only have this one pic to post. brian, me and adam looking oh so regal. but stay tuned for an upcoming **first ever** guest blogger on laurenlaughs. it's history in the making.

Friday, January 19, 2007

happy birthday r.e.l.

to some, writing about robert e. lee on the heals of a post on mlk could seem oxymoronic. i would encourage those people to read up on lee, he too was a remarkable man. today is lee's 200th birthday (i know it's you're bday too, baldwin) and my alma mater is celebrating to boot. lee was president of then washington college (now washington & lee university) from 1865 till his death in 1870. in that short time, he breathed new life into a floundering learning institution. from wlu's website...

In December of 1865, Lee petitioned the General Assembly for funds to support professorships in chemical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, modern languages, and history and literature.

In 1869, Lee instituted rudimentary business courses and outlined a curriculum proposal for a School of Commerce, a new concept in education. Funding for the School was not forthcoming, but Lee created the foundation for the University’ s nationally noted Williams School of Commerce, which was finally fully established in 1906.

Lee incorporated the Lexington School of Law into Washington College in 1869. Established by trustee Judge John White Brockenbrough in 1849, the School of Law became part of Lee’s plan for a practical education, assuring its continuance and setting the stage for it to grow into the nationally ranked law school it is today.

Also in 1869, Lee offered the nation’s first courses in journalism. It was an idea that was ahead of its time and received national criticism. E. L. Godkin of the New York Evening Post was not alone when he publicly branded the idea as “absurd.” While the journalism program suffered after Lee’s death, the roots remained and it was revived in 1925 as The School of Journalism--now the department of journalism and mass communications. The department also continues today as one of the top of its kind in the country.

Lee proposed a School of Agriculture, and courses were offered in 1869-70.
Lee added courses in Civil and Mining Engineering and drew up a detailed plan for a School of Medicine in 1869.

Lee expanded the science curriculum in 1869 and purchased significant scientific equipment. He also advocated for a Department of Astronomy with an accompanying observatory and pursued an endowment for its continuing support.

while these innovations strengthened the wlu community, i think lee's most notable contributions are his call to honor (which lead to wlu's well respected honor code) and his call to reconciliation between the north and south. lee not only encouraged these ideals, he exemplified them.

so tonight when i go to pazo for christina's birthday party, and i am surrounded by fellow generals, i can promise you a toast to lee's birthday.

Friday, January 12, 2007


the following is an excerpt from martin luther king jr.'s letter from the birmingham jail to fellow clergymen, dated april 16, 1963.

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus and extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like am ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvery's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime -- the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

may we too be extremists for love.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

HIV/AIDS in benin

all but two of the men, women and children in this picture have HIV or AIDS. the american woman in the center (marcia) visited benin this summer and sent me pictures of some of the people and ministries i will be working with... this is one of them. i have about 75 pictures from marcia's trip on my computer at work; they help remind me of where i am and where i am going and why i am going. to date i have raised over $7,000 of my $15,800 upfront costs (that's over 40%)... wow. i've only raised 15% of my monthly expenses, though, so i'm focusing my attention on talking to people about pledging monthly support. while raising support is a new skill for me and can be daunting at times, i also know this is a real opportunity for my friends, family and others to be part of some really meaningful work... and for me to feel connected to those back home even when i'm very far away. it's amazing when i think about it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

all that jazz

chicago the musical has been in baltimore this past week. mom and anna and i caught the show saturday night. this was actually the first time i'd seen the show... i feel like most people have at least seen the movie. it was fabulous. mom and anna knew all the music (as did erin, though she was sitting closer to the front with brian). it's probably a good thing i didn't know the songs, else those around me would surely be annoyed. i can't help but sing music i know. i think "mr. cellophane" and "he had it coming" were my favorite numbers.

mom and anna are both moving at the end of the month, so i'm about to lose two of my best girlfriends. not really lose... but they'll at least be less accessible. bleh.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

ringing in the new year

well... i've been slow to post in 2007 because i'm lacking pics. i only took two shots nye, both of bob with his college buddies rich and mike d. i know you don't come to my blog just to see bob, so i apologize. though this pic does crack me up--the sight of bob in mike's pea coat is funny to me. he and i both borrowed clothes (thanks leigh and kristen) from his friends after making a very last minute decision to celebrate nye in old town alexandria. we were driving back from lex, stopped for a quick break, and couldn't bring ourselves to get back on the road... especially when presented with a very cool alternative. it pays to be flexible... we had a perfect night. if i get more pics, i'll share them. happy new year, peeps.