It’s been awhile! I’m not exactly sure what caused this long break, but I think at some point I realized I hadn’t blogged in three days, then a week, then two weeks, and it became more and more difficult to figure out how to get myself back into the rhythm. I have some trepidation about returning, because I could fall right back off the map, but I’m going to try not to.
For now, a few quick highlights of what’s been going on for the past six and a half weeks:
Back in 2009, I really probably should have gone to Inauguration. I mean, I was here in DC, I was hosting out-of-towners who were going, and I probably could have even gotten tickets from a friend who worked on staff during the campaign. But it was SO DAMN COLD that morning (remember? Yeah, you remember), and as a result, I wound up at The Tombs, feasting on a delicious brunch spread, watching the whole event from several large-screen TVs, and laughing with my friends about how freakin’ warm and well-fed we were compared to all of those suckers out there on the National Mall.
So this time around, I decided to go. Except we didn’t exactly start walking toward the National Mall until a half-hour before Inauguration started, so we decided to skip that nonsense and head straight to the Inauguration Parade line, and wait patiently for a three-second glimpse at the Obamas smiling and waving in the street.
Except it’s still January, and even though it wasn’t 2009 arctic-cold, it was still cold, and after about two hours of that, our fingers frosty cold and our toes pretty much immobile, we decided to bounce before the whole thing started and head out… to brunch.
Which was delicious. And, after two Inaugurations in DC, I can definitively state that both times, the brunch was the best part of the day. So, word to the wise: standing in a crowd on a frosty winter morning for hours on end is cool, but home-made pancakes and five types of quiche is way better.
Adventures in local distilling and home brewing
Fresh off of a night dancing in Columbia Heights sometime in February, we decided to check out the New Columbia Distillery, maker of Green Hat Gin and the first distillery to open in DC since before Prohibition. There’s nothing like sipping on a shot of gin out of a tiny plastic cup to help stave off your hangover for a few more hours. In fact, Green Hat Gin is really delicious, and seeing how the distilling process worked- and how local the owners have kept every step of the process- was a fun Saturday afternoon learning experience.
Beyond that, I’ve ventured into my first batch of home brewing, with an Irish red ale fermenting away in my kitchen. The reveal will be this weekend, when, fingers/toes/elbows crossed, the batch of 52-bottles-worth of beer won’t absolutely, completely suck.
It’s entirely possible that it will! But if it does, I wholeheartedly plan on trying again until I do it right. Home brewing has been a hobby-goal of mine for some time now, and this winter I finally decided to give it a shot. When I master a honey ale and a tart saison, I’ll start looking into permits for opening my own brewery. Who needs to go to graduate school or work in an office anyways?
A weekend in the city of Brotherly Love
After realizing that neither of us had ever visited our fair neighbor to the north, Xavier and I took a quick weekend trip to Philadelphia so that we could finally consume heaping piles of steak and Cheez Wiz in the city that brought this beauty into the world. I found it more than amusing that the foods Philadelphia are known for, according to a Four Square check-in at the Reading Terminal Market (and thus a completely reliable source) are “cheese steaks, soft pretzels, Italian ice, and scrapple.” You stay classy, Philadelphia.
It was a great weekend though, and in less than 48 hours I’m pretty confident that I can say, without a doubt, that I know how to use the Broad Street Line and that South Street is pretty cool. So, I’d call it a success, and having not been to the city since I was on an 8th grade field trip, I can also assert that being a grown-up in Philadelphia is definitely more fun. And involves far fewer shouting chaperones and holding hands as we cross the street, so that was a big bonus too.
Honestly? Things have been pretty quiet around here so far in 2013. Not in a bad way – after the six or seven weekends of travel at the end of 2012, and the obligatory crush of friends-and-family events that happen around Christmas and New Years, it’s been nice to just slow down, spending my weekends here in DC bouncing around bars with friends, snagging free tickets to Georgetown basketball games (HOYA SAXA!), and counting down the days until it’s warm enough to run outside again. For now, life is constant, steady, and predictable – and it may not stay that way for too long, so I’m relishing it while I’ve got it. This weekend will be a ski trip to Wintergreen Resort, and soon, thanks to my awesome boyfriend, I’ll be taking some dance classes again for the first time in more than a few years. These are all simple, good things, which might be what’s led me away from this blog for a while.
But I still can’t grocery shop worth a damn (spent a cool $105 on groceries yesterday and realized I’d only bought two nights’ worth of dinner in all of that), I’m struggling with staying on my half-marathon training schedule (should have hit the 8-mile run mark two weeks ago… haven’t run 8 miles yet. Oops), and I’m constantly bouncing between feeling as though it’s perfectly fine to spend an evening after work catching up on TV/ and that I’m wasting my brain, my life, and my time, and should be producing something creative or taking the time to finally make all of those phone calls to friends and family far away who I haven’t caught up with in a few weeks’ or months’ time. I haven’t been going to church like I’ve wanted to, I still want ice cream way more than I want kale, and if I could somehow manage to go to happy hour every day without getting fat, I probably would. So there’s still plenty to work on and plenty to do!
For now, though, I’m just focused on today, occasionally tomorrow, and definitely the weekend. I’m working to live, not living to work, and I’m perfectly okay with that right now. A phrase I heard at Inauguration (perhaps para-phrased, but this is what I recall) is one that’s been sticking in my brain, and in my heart, recently: Find the good, and praise it.