BG/IB Music Selections #1

I heard this song tonight on IMF and I thought it rocked! There are tons more clips of them on YouTube.

Ladies and Gents, I present Paramore.

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The Blessings of Adversity

About a month ago I placed an order for a Pottery Barn bookcase I found on sale in their summer catalogue. Being the PB junkie I am, I checked my finances and mustering every justification I had to the cause, I dialed the 1800 number. The bookcase I originally ordered was the Tower bookcase and IS NOT pictured on the left. Why? Because the only Tower bookcase PB had left was damaged on its way to me. To apologize for the inconvenience PB offered me an upgrade. The Landon bookcase, pictured left, is what I will receive for the same low price as the one I ordered on sale. This is one adversity I can honestly say I'm grateful for. Now we'll see if it will not only arrive in one piece but hold my healthy book collection.

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Melinda and The Heavy

BG and I finally managed to get to Roy's! It's this fantastic sandwich shop with like 200 sandwich options on the menu. There's one called the BenderSchmender which boasts being the only 5-layer club featuring an oompa loompa in the world. Seriously. They had to put oompa loompa on the sandwich becuase everything else was in the other 4 layers. Even Donald Duck.

It's the perfect beer, pickled eggs and sandwich shop. And as we were walking back to the car, stuffed to the gills, we saw a perfect, whole rainbow.

By far the most excellent adventure in quite some time.

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Upon learning that I had laundered my iPod...

...Mama Harbour says, "Well, at least now you'll be listening to clean music."

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Congratulations are once again in order for Michelle Beth Lee of Buchannan, WVA for an interview she has scheduled with the Smithsonian Institution. The interview set for this Thursday morning is for a position as a Registrar for an international collection. I can not think of anyone more organized than Beth. If I were the FS I would offer her the position in a heartbeat.
As you may have guessed, the photo on the left is of Ms Beth Lee. This was taken by another friend from Museum Studies, Kate Diggle. Some of you may have met Kate at the FHE hockey game last Spring. Tall red head with gorgeous green eyes. That's Kate. It also happens to be my favorite Beth photo because she looks so child-like. She also happens to be wearing George's coat in the photo. I remember when he offered it to her I was green with envy, wishing I had politely refused Mark's so I could wear the latter's.
Doesn't the water look incredible? If I could re-live a few moments of my life, sailing with Beth, Kate, George, Mark, Mike and Rob, would be a moment I would choose. There is absolutely nothing like being on a sailboat feeling the wind in your face and hair, lounging in the sun while hot men do all the work.
I also want to congratulate Beth for her recent purchase of a size 4 dress from Ann Taylor. Through incredible self-control and determination Beth has gone down several clothes sizes to become a size 4!! I am constantly amazed at what this woman can accomplish and applaud her for it.
The last bit of Beth news is Bella returns next Monday. For those who are not familiar with Bella, she is Beth's naughty cat. Bella has been in rehab for the past four months. While away life just hasn't been the same around the office. Laurie, another co-worker, and I have convinced Beth to create a My Space page for Bella and keep a blog about Bella's adventures. I suggested she call it The Bella Diaries and Laurie thinks it should be written from Bella's perspective. We'll see what Beth comes up with.
Although I know change is necessary I will miss Kim and Beth terribly. Over the past year they have seen me through five semesters of hell and my relationship with Aditya. Through it all they have been supportive and trustworthy. Hell, Beth was the first to introduce me to Dr Dreamo's and their fabulous nachos.
So Good Luck Chica & Here's to four more weeks at Museum Studies!

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Philadelphia Fillies

Yesterday I took an early morning road trip to Philadelphia with Erin, Joy and Joy's friend, Adam. Adam snapped this photo in one of Philly's lovely parks lying directly south of Independence Hall.

I have to admit that aside from the city's historic structures I knew little about Philly. It was interesting to see the stark socio-economic dynamics of the urban areas. A few times it was likened to SE or NE, DC. Yet, as this photo reveals the "Old City" is well maintained with manicured parks and a pedestrian-friendly "mall."

We began the morning by dropping Erin off at her gun show. She can explain the logistics of a gun show better than I, so I will leave that to her. It was interesting to observe her in a professional arena, providing information about Beretta products to people twice her age. For the record, I was impressed. She possessed a confidence with and around firearms that I will never have. I think I jumped every time I heard a gun shot.

Instead of hanging out at the gun show Joy, Adam and I decided to kill time in the Old City. Our morning was invested in a NPS film, titled Independence, getting tickets for Independance Hall, visiting the Old Christ Church cemetery (Ben Franklin is buried there) and the Free Quaker Church.

Around noon we fetched Erin and grabbed some Philly cheesesteaks at Gino's. Although I had never heard of Gino, apparently he recently made national news. Gino has established a controversial policy that only english-speaking customers will be served by his establishment. To support Gino and his crusade, hundreds of people line up daily to consume Gino's less-than-impressive (that's what I was told) cheesesteaks and freedom fries. As I was standing in line I couldn't help but wonder with a name like Gino, how many of Gino's ancestors immigrated to America unable to speak english. I wonder how he feels about past discrimination against Italians. Are his actions any different than those of generations past who segregated themselves from Italians and refused to extend certain services to them based on race? I don't think so. While some individuals may applaude Gino and his creed, I think its an unsettling reminder that, given the opportunity, people will discriminate and segregate themselves from those perceived as less-American or less like themselves. One of the beautiful aspects about living in America is that Gino is free to serve who he pleases and when he pleases. God bless America.

After picking at half of my cheesesteak we strolled through the Italian market, which according to Joy's guidebook is the largest outdoor market in America. My favorite store was a candy store, I can't recall the name, whose cases were filled with chocolate covered pretzels, turtles, cookies, truffles, etc. Adam took a few pictures of the candy counter that are pretty impressive.

Our Italian market excursion was cut short by a pre-planned date with Independence Hall. A NPS ranger explained we needed to be in the security line, no later than 45 mins before our tour began, to make the tour. Deciding its better to be safe than sorry, we rushed down and managed to breeze through security in five minutes. This left us forty minutes to spare. As we joined fellow tourists in the courtyard it began to rain. One downfall of Independence Hall is, lack of shelter and toliets. Erin and I both had to use the restroom and no one was caving. Eventually I found a young man (about our age) who fell for my "I am a woman and need a restroom" act and led me into a small bathroom. In the necessity of having to pee and the excitement that victory brings, I forgot to lock the door. This bathroom, I should mention was located just to the right of the entrance. Everyone entering the building could see this door and when opened, the person using the facilities. A security guard, seeing a light on, flung open the door before the kind man who had just helped me and who knows how many tourists, to turn the light off before locking up for the evening. Imagine her surprise, when instead of seeing a vacant restroom she saw a stranger in a Hawaiian print dress (and who knows what else) hanging out on the john. Needless to say, I was mortified. My embarrassment was impacted by her prolonged gawking, allowing Mr Helpful a peek as well. In situations such as this, I always repeat, "you'll never see them again." I just hope I'm right.

My embarrassment was soon replaced by excitement as we entered Independence Hall. For over a year, Dr Longstreth has lambasted me and my fellow hp students with slides depicting Philadelphia's historic structures. It is not surprising Independence Hall was often among them. Known less for its architecture than its association with our founding fathers and Revolutionary events, Independence Hall is not only a National Historic Landmark but a UNESCO world heritage site.

The building is lovely inside and out and our docent was not only informative but entertaining as well. As I climbed the staircase to the second floor I couldn't help but marvel over the stairs. Looking down, it was obvious the wood planking was authentic. Knowing these stairs supported men like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Sam Adams, and General George Washington was awe inspiring. Running my hand along the banister, I couldn't help likening the building to a woman, perhaps Liberty herself. The banister became her spine, and running my hand along it I could sense her fatigue and strength. It was a connection I hope to remember years hence, especially as I work to save other historic buildings & sites.

Following the tour, Erin, Joy, Adam and I climbed into Erin's fabulous new car and did a drive-by of the Rocky stairs before heading home. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. I was not only reminded of my American heritage but developed a stronger "brotherhood" with my friends, Erin & Joy, than I previously had. I can see why Elton John was so enamored with her. There is an underlying romance to the city that seems to attract everyone who's walked its cobblestone streets. Crossing over the river (don't ask me which one) I vowed to return to Philly where freedom is king and history its companion.

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BG/IB Fourth and Misc.

ah ha! An Update! BG and I spent the fourth of July in a stylish, overgrown, bachelor backyard which was blessed with an incredible location. I've uploaded a picture which I think summarizes the experience. Also it does not, IMHO, violate the "No Photo" policy to which I've agreed when posting images that may or may not depict BG.

It was a fun fourth, if quiet. Mostly I was excited that we got to see so much of Gavin that week. The photo credit goes to that amazing South African! Next year we're going to have an insane party on July with the theme of "29 and stepping off the aging train!!!" I'm looking forward to it!

In other news, BG and I saw DWP with my Mom. The last movie Mom saw in the theatre was Pelican Breif back in 1923. It's been quite a while. So, fighting the teaching of her Mother (that theatres contained head lice and sticky floors that wouldn't release you) she ventured out with us. Mostly I feel bad for BG when this happens. Dealing with my Mom and I is something like watching a bad comedy duo. However, the night went well and I love DWP. BG is the fashionista but I'm the educated observer. I'll never get sick of watching beautiful people wear nice clothes! Or watching them wear something so crazy ugly that I feel justified.

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movies such as The Devil Wears Prada make me wonder if I missed my true calling in life. Beginning in middle school, I would skip lunch just to hang out in the library and peruse Elle, Cosmo, Vogue, Glamour, YM & Teen magazines. Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Brinkley embodied perfection. I prayed one day I would have long legs, pouty lips, long gorgeous hair and a tiny waist. Still in the genesis of puberty, I had hope I could attain all this and more. Clearly this did not happen. Today I stand a whopping 5'3", am twice the size I want to be, have thin school-marm lips and a waist that is more masculine than feminine. Even with all these physical limitations I still long to wear a size 2 black Chanel suit with matching stilletos, Tiffany pearls, fishnet thigh-high stockings with lacy black french cut underwear, garter and well, you can imagine the rest.
My love for fashion continued into high school. I still have boxes of old Cosmos, Elles, Glamours, GQ's and Vogues packed away in storage. I became so fashion conscious I could pick apart someone's outfit, identifying the designer, the year and season. Calvin Klein, Karl Laggerfield, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, etc. were people I aspired to know. Their couture I longed to parade.
In college my fashion interests changed somewhat to focus on, you guessed it, wedding designs. Reading Brides magazine I quickly determined Vera Wang was the world's greatest designer and nothing but a 1 carat, brilliant or princess cut, Tiffany diamond engagement ring would do for me. The black Chanel suite would be substituted for a light pink or blue appropriate for honeymoon travel. Matching gloves, shoes and hat were also a must.
This part of my persona seemed to die during my mission. For 18 months I was forced to hem my Laura Ashley skirts and dresses to the most unflattering lenth ever, mid-calf. In addition, during the last six months of service I was "asked" to wear nothing but solid white or pastel colored tops with solid dark skirts. I am honestly surprised Cosmo didn't feature us as a fashion "don't" in one of their issues. I would have.
It was during this time that I also gained a lot of weight. Despite rising every morning at 5:30am to do aerobics or run through the canyons, I still put on the pounds. No doubt this compacted my lack of interest in fashion. Why be interested in clothes I can't wear?
Serving a mission also tends to alter your perspective on things like clothes, make-up, hair products, hand bags, perfumes, shoes, etc. These worldy possesions loose importance, compared to say... serving God's children.
Although not fully resurrected, my fashion-crazed Jekyll occassionly takes control and I'll purchase a Cosmo, or a Betsy Johnson dress. I'm young, single and making money so why shouldn't I splurge every now and then, right? And one day I will win my weight war and fit into the size 2 Chanel suite. This means I have to educate myself about contemporary fashion because what if a Bebe suite is what "I" want and not a Chanel tomorrow? See how my actions are totally justified? See how easily I could become Andie Sachs, the movie's heroine? Scary no? I may wear ripped 80's jeans and baggy t-shirts but inside a part of me wants to be a sophisticated sex goddess.
The Devil Wears Prada, was therefore, a delightful trip down memory lane that allowed a long dormant part of me excitement only matched by BJ, & BR purchases (nowhere close to D&G or Chanel) or a consistent Cosmo, Vogue fix.
Thanks to Stephanie and Momma Harbour for a great ladies night out. This is one BG & IB adventure I will cherish for a lifetime.

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Working at the GW Museum Studies Program has its benefits. Among these is the opportunity to work with some pretty fantastic people like Ms Kimberly Robinson, pictured on the right.
Kim was one of the first people I met after I began working for Ildi. She has an incredible work ethic, an astounding amount of energy, fueled by her daily intake of chocolate chip muffins, and she is funny as hell.
One of my favorite things about Kim is her distaste for rap music. We constantly argue about Beyonce's diva status while sharing a love for Disney movies, French language and culture, museums, Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and scrapbooking.
Kim works on our NEH Distance Learning pilot project, an effort, a la Ildi, to bring the benefits of the Museum Studies Program to individuals working in smaller museums. Although the program has been a huge pain in the choo-choo train it has also been a huge success. Kim has been a key factor in that. Not only does this girl go to school part-time but she works two jobs and has interned at the US Capitol and the White House. This makes me green with envy and I constantly tell her so. Ms. Kim also speaks fluent French and just returned from a fabulous trip to Paris where she spent two weeks studing French art museums. Honestly, what more can a woman want?
To top it off Kim was just offered a job with the National Park Service (NPS)! Although she hasn't broken the news to Ildi, she is expected to begin on July 23rd or something like that. Anyway, when she leaves I will miss her terribly. She not only makes me laugh but she always is there to calm me down when things get a little crazy at work.
She also has a unique way of humbling me. The woman, in case it isn't evident in the photo, is tiny. I think she weighs less than 120 and she's at least 2" taller than I am. She is always complaining about her weight. She's either too skinny or too fat. My response to both complaints is, "I have no sympathy. If I had the figure you had, there is no telling what I'd do." It was during one of these conversations Kim mentioned she was a C, meaning her bra cup size was C. Astounded I replied, "There is no way. You're way too skinny to be a C. My cup size is a B and my breasts, frankly look bigger than yours." Needless to say this did not sit well with Ms Robinson who was quick with a heated defense. The nickname C-Cup was born, explaining the title of this post.
I also discovered, during this conversation, that Kim thought I had "junk in my trunk." For those of you who aren't familiar with this term it means I have a huge butt. Although I laugh it off, I have become a little sensitive about my back side. Kim is not the only person who has commented on the size of my butt. Ben, an ex, used to tell me I had a "ghetto booty," while Jeff Meade, a married man in the Museum Studies Program told me my "ass was like a canvas." I am not exactly sure what Jeff meant by that but I have interpreted it to mean my behind is so wide you could paint a mural across it. However, I would rather have a little too much than not enough because, let me tell you, there is nothing worse than dating someone with no butt. I have tried it and its no good.
In addition to these backside criticisms, when I was a little girl my guy friends called me "soccer butt or black and white butt." These nicknames were earned when I played soccer on an all male soccer team. For some reason my mother always signed me up to play on all male sports teams. I am positive it was her way of further impounding the idea that "men are pigs" into my brain. I was only in the first grade but I have not forgotten that fateful moment Jason Gay kicked a soccer ball that hit my fleshy target. My parents insisted, while whiping away my tears, that this was Jason's way of flirting with me, but I knew better. Since that day, my caboose has been something I moan and groan at while viewing it in the mirror. If it weren't for women like Beyonce and J Lo who both have healthy butts, I would be in the depths of despair.
Which is exaclty my arguement for Kim, an arguement I will miss having with a dear friend and colleague. Not only does the woman have large breats but she has a kind heart. Her mother crocheted a poncho for me shortly after graduation. I almost can't wait for fall so I can wear it. It is one of the coolest gifts anyone has ever given me, the coolest have come from Stephanie, which I will blog about later. :)
So congratulations to Kimberly Robinson. A woman who wishes her name was Brie. A woman who has achieved her dream and proven the fruits of hard work and dedication do come eventually. I wish her all the best as she embarks on this new chapter in her professional life. May she meet an educated, successful, funny, adorable man who will treat her like the diva she is.

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Commonwealth Kitties...

or should I say Commonwealth Cuties? It is official. After a short hiatus Mary & Zu Zu have returned to my dad's house, hopefully this time to stay, having reclaimed the garage and the attic as their domains. Why do I blog about this, you may ask? Well, I just finished talking to my dad, another daily ritual, about my pre-semester trip home. During the course of our conversation my Dad briefed me about the cats.
Since moving to Kentucky, Josh has kicked Mary and Zu out of his apartment, and banished them to live alone at my dad's house. My brother will be starting law school at the University of Kentucky next month and decided an early move would be wise. Lauren, his girlfriend of three or four years, got a job at UK and has rented a two bedroom apartment in Lexington. Josh and Lauren both have their own cats, Chef (the devil incarnate) and Jing (short for Jingles). Both argued having four cats in a 2 bedroom apartment was too much thus, the banishment. However, Josh has promised to stay with the two princesses every other day until my father returns from Baton Rouge in two weeks. Tonight, I am relieved to report, Josh is with the girls.
In a little over a month I will be too. Although I sneeze like crazy when they're around, unless I medicate myself with Zyrtec, I really do miss them. They are both such good company to have around. Don't get me wrong, they can annoy the hell out of me. Especially Zu with her claw in my nostril and Mary biting my chin. Talk about pain. My claws are nothing compared to theirs. After reading CNN's coverage of the woodchipper kitten I am just grateful we still have our ladies.
The photo above was taken at my Dupont studio last December just before I flew them home. Notice my unmade bed. Looks inviting, no?

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