Good News

After two years at GW, I finally received my first A from Dr. Longstreth on my mid-term exam yesterday. I honestly couldn't believe it. When I asked him if that was my "real grade" he replied, "Well, I'm not being nice." I responded by patting his hand while saying, "Now I can die a happy woman. My life has been fulfilled." He just laughed and crinkled his nose in true Longstreth fashion. I'm so excited I almost can't wait to take the final. When I confided this to Camille, a first year HP student from Arkansas who is also dating a hottie architect from OK, she called me a nerd. I don't think anyone has ever referred to me as a nerd before but I kind of liked it.
In addition this morning I read this in the Washington Post Express-
Bee Keeper: A scientist has found a 100 million-year-old bee trapped in AMBER in the Hukawng Valley of northern Myanmar, making it possibly the oldest bee ever found. The ancient bee is about one-fifth the size of today's worker honeybee.
Am I the only one that sees a connection here? Amber is a preservative. It is only natural that I would embark on a career in historic preservation. Also, amber preserves bees. This explains my uncanny goal to be a future bee keeper. Man, I love it when the universe comes together and I finally "get it."

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Ode to Boo

Because if she could've tried this, she would've.

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Skyline Drive -- Belated Blog

I am blogging this WAY past the time we actually went to Skyline but I couldn't pass up posting the photos I got of us there. Kim, Rae, Hugh, Boo and I decided to try and catch some fall colors on my last weekend in town. It was the perfect day. Kim is the ULTIMATE RoadTripPlanner. We had a great time and these are the proof.

Kim, Rae, Me and Boo


Kim


Bond Girl waiting for James


You can find the rest here.

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Even the Losers...

Get Lucky Sometimes, was one of my favorite Tom Petty songs while I was in high school. Beverly Hogge and I would rock out to Petty every morning on our way to school in her Mazda 626. Those were the days.
I have always been a baseball fan. My brother collected baseball cards when he was a kid and we still have shoe boxes filled with old Upper Deck or Topps baseball cards. While my dad was working Hurricane Andrew he bought Joshie the entire Florida Marlins Upper Deck collector's edition cards. My mom hid the cards, for safe keeping, before my brother could even bat an eye. I think she is still the only person who knows where they are to this day.
Although the Braves will always be "MY" team I have to admit I enjoyed watching the World Series this year even though Atlanta did not make it. To be completely honest the St Louis Cardinals have never been a team of interest for me until recently. When my teams are not involved in a sporting event I love rooting for the underdog. This year the underdog was St Louis. With only 83 wins during the season the Cards came from the bottom to take the World Series title. The stories about the team have been "in-card-ible," as ESPN puts it.
Although Scott Rolen is a hottie, my heart belongs to the SS, Eckstein. David (I love the name David) Eckstein has been described as one who gives150%. Injured, he continued to play when most players would have quit. His diligence and positive attitude rallied the team throughout the season. His enthusiasm is evident in a quote given during an ESPN interview following Game V, Eckstein was quoted as saying, "This just goes to show you why this is the best game in the world. This just proves again that anything's possible." From one underdog to another, congratulations on getting lucky.
(http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2006/news/story?id=2641275 is just one of the many articles praising the SS)

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Sure

You Belong in London
A little old fashioned, and a little modern. A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.No wonder you and London will get along so well.
What City Do You Belong In?

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Duh!

You Are An Independent Girlfriend!
Whoa, Ms. Independent! Your guy digs your modern style...But he's sometimes left to wonder if you really like him.Keep that unique spirit, but show him your love a bit more often.No worries - you're light years away from smothering him!
What Kind of Girlfriend Are You?

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You Belong in Rome

You're a big city girl with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

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Walter Reed

Some of you know that I attended a BBQ on Saturday at Walter Reed for the injured troops. It was a low-key affair but provided everything I would have wanted to see. There were food, tunes, folks and fun. Awesome Kasey organized some kick-butt donations for the guys directly and they seemed well received. Today Erin got a call that said we were welcome back any time and that the guys had a great time. It was then that I got excited.

I got the impresson that the type of activity we were throwing was foriegn to for the participants. We were just there to grill and hang. Hear stories, get to know them and spend an afternoon saying, "Thank you."

There were times I wanted to say it while I was there but I couldn't because I was afraid of the violence of my emotions.

Some of you may know that I had a Grandfather who was wounded in Korea and another who was lucky in Argentina. I loved both my Grandpa's beyond what I can express here. Each of them died some time ago but I still miss them and in these men, I saw them. In the missing legs topped by smiles. The awesome attitude surrounding me in the midst of some of the greatest prices I've ever seen paid. I saw their wifes, some of their children and I couldn't help but hope that I was repaying kindness bestowed to my family.

Each time I glimpsed that, I wanted to just hug the person I was looking at and cry my thanks. To tell them that I do vote. That I try to remember every time I speak ill of an elected official openly--they are the force that makes me safe.

I was sitting at a patio table in Seattle with my boyfriend over Labor Day. Some protesters set up on the corner just behind us and, as usual, Bas engaged the protestors in conversation. When that happens, I just sit back and learn. he said to the protester, "Do you realize what an awesome country this is? That you can be here without fear?!"

Those are the things that I hear in my head when I look at the side of a face--smooth where an ear should have been. I couldn't say "Thanks" but I could show it. I shopped, cooked and helped. I hope they knew.

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A new obsession

A Brawny commercial came on last night. I mention this only because it advertised my new favorite show. The Brawny Academy. Where they teach men how to be "real men."

Need an example? Curious beyond your wildest imagniation?

Don't say I never gave you anything.

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All good things must come to an end.

Even Project Runway. This season was awesome! I loved Jeffery all along and he's not disappointed me!



Last night Boo and I sat down to the final hour of our season together. It's become habit to spend Wednesday night together and I'm going to miss those nights! Amber loves fashion like I love cooking so last night was our ultimate Bravo! night--Top Chef began for a second season! And wow. Howard. Smokin' hot!

But I digress. For those of you who didn't watch PR, Jeffery won my love in a episode where the Moms of the contestants were invited as models. He was made to look a villian for "making his model" cry (this was the mother of Angela--whom he appeared to dislike.) Shortly thereafter, Jeff's Mom sits down with Angela's Mom and his story came out. He's a recovering addict who nearly killed himself. And now he has a thriving business and he's turning his life around. It was love for me, right then!

Of course, he added to my love with the quacking.




And finally, Tim Gunn--Boo's favorite part of the show. I must admit we were flabbergasted that the words used herein were considered "$3 words" but! that's American public education for you!


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On this Friday the 13th...

I present this...



to remind us of the following:

1) TGTC (Thank God Things Change!!!!)
2) TGIF
3) How could we ever have thought that was cool?!
4) I am eternally glad the 80's are over but! I love seeing Boo in the get-up!

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Pandy Bear Cub


My former co-worker, Jacqueline, often remarks that her mother would like to move to Montana because there are more horses than people there. I am not sure if this is true, perhaps Steph could set the record straight, but it sounds like a good place to me. Actually, I have been to Montana several times, the last being with Stephanie, and it really is a wonderful state. I was proud to discover there is a Kidd, Montana but beware it doesn't have any services to offer, i.e. gas stations. One freezing November evening my roommate, myself and a hottie named Rob almost were stranded in Kidd, Montana. It was pretty scary.
Jacqueline's mother is not the only who prefers the company of animals to humans. My mother is the same way. She is almost a total recluse and only cries when she hears about animals being mistreated. She treats the family cats like they are her children. Its pretty insane. What's even more unusual is my brother is becoming the same way. He reacts almost violently to anyone who teases or upsets Chef.
What is it that endures humans to animals? Can this characteristic be traced to Adam? He obviously had a special relationship to the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, creeping things of every kind, etc. I wonder how he felt about pandas.
I saw a photo of Lun Lun's cub a few weeks ago in the Washington Post Express. Tonight while reading CNN.com I ran across this photo. Lun Lun and her cub are residents of Zoo Atlanta. As many of you know, Atlanta is my home and seeing this photo made me proud. What the National Zoo can do we can do just as well, if not better. The cub is female after all.
As you may have concluded the cub remains nameless. Nameless babies make me think of my brother also. Joshie has three birth certificates. Two that read "Baby" Kidd and the third with his full name, Joshua Ryan Kidd. I am not sure why it took my parents so long to decide on a name. Perhaps they assumed Joshie was going to be a girl. I just discovered my mother never had an ultrasound to determine the sex of her children before birth. (Another decision my parents made that I don't understand) I know they were going to name Joshie Autumn if he were a girl. Then we would have been Amber and Autumn. Another testament of God's mercy.
My parents also had an agreement that my mother would choose the first name and my father would choose the middle name. Heck. I think the mother should be able to choose both names because the father is already giving the kid HIS last name and that is permanent for the male babies and possibly the females too. Besides, the females can always hyphenate. In fact, I think I will insist on that should I decide to reproduce with some lucky man. Sorry, I know that's a scary thought.
In my house we refer to panda bears as pandy bears. This began while I was on my mission. My mother, desperately missing her favorite person, would take the missionaries serving in Atlanta site seeing. One Monday she took the Sisters to Zoo Atlanta to see the pandas. One of them being Lun Lun. Kelly Cole, one of the sisters serving during this time, still jokes about it with our family. I think I may have mentioned this before, but our family's ability to make up new words is a sign of genius. Yeah, you know it. So, here's to the suspense of waiting for the pandy bear christening and all the pandy madness that will follow.

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Warren (not Ian) Miller



One of the greatest shows in Missoula comes when Warren Miller's new films come to town. Years ago we just to get together and watch the awesome footage. The footage above is buy guys who were jumping for Warren but it's their personal footage.

I know I'm not ever going to ski like these people but I love to watch it! It's probably my favorite fall tradition. It's going to awesome to be back in MT where I can work on my skiing, see some blue sky and some real snow!!

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One More Reason...


to love my profession. This photo was taken on the ramparts of Fort Washington.
The first fort was completed in 1809 but was destroyed in 1814 by the resident garrison. (Bunch of dummies) Less than two weeks later Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant began reconstructing the fort. Colonel Armistead would replace L'Enfant as construction supervisor a few years later completing fort deux in 1824.
During the Civil War Union troops manned the fort which overlooks the Capital. The fort was never threatened by CSA forces and stands, relatively uncompromised, as it did in the 1860s.
Today Fort Washington is managed by The National Park Service. Although the fort is undergoing extensive restoration, the park is open to the public. Deer roam the grounds freely as couples walk their dogs in one of Washington's best known secrets. The photo above is a testament of its beauty.
Professor Overholt, my UMD professor, scheduled a field trip to the fort several weeks ago. (Thanks again Erin for the ride!) The purpose of our class was to examine the brickwork on the arch, ramparts and other buildings under reconstruction at the fort. Man's (meaning men and women) capabilites and achievements never cease to amaze me. Fort Washington, in my opinion, is an engineering miracle and worthy of a visit for those interested. Even if you're not interested in brickwork and bonding patterns who could miss a sunset like this?

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White and Nerdy

My new favorite song for laughs

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Anchors Away!


Last Saturday my American Studies 280.10 class met in Annapolis to study colonial brickwork. This was my first visit to Maryland's capital, so needless to say, I was excited.
Rising at 6am to meet Eric and Joey at 9 was not my idea of fun but it totally paid off. One hour later as we entered the Maryland State House we encountered a tour group of cadets from the Naval Academy. Immediately Joey and I grab our mirrors and apply lipstick. Lipstick makes everyone look better, right? I think my professor noticed because he desparately tried to steer clear of the cadets for the remainder of the morning.
As you can see, Orlando was not entirely successful. Ladies, meet Edwards, Class of 2009. Yep, you guessed it. He's 19 years young, if not younger. However, the way some of those cadets look at you, you would never know they were 19.
For instance. As we were waiting patiently for the cadet tour to leave the old Senate Chamber so we could review its architectural elements the cadets began to file in the room we were waiting. This forced us to line up and exit past the very men we were trying to avoid. Anyway, the oldest cadet, I am assuming he was the oldest because he was giving the tour which made him even hotter, gave me this look as I passed. Now, you see what I'm wearing. I looked horrible. However, this kid had the most intense look on his face. It was so sexy, I can't even describe it. Let's just say, I, a woman ten years his senior, blushed and grinned in a way I haven't in a long time. He wasn't the only one that made me blush. At the end of the group was the cutest cadet of them all. French blonde (meaning he had blonde hair and brown eyes), tall, slightly tan with the cutest smile ever. When he smiled at me I nearly fell over. I felt so pathetic. What is wrong with me? I think it must be the uniforms. There is no other explanation for it.
At the end of the day we retired to Orlando's porch which overlooks this amazing garden to the rear of the home. The porch, we learned has a reputation in Annapolis, because 43 cadets have proposed to their girlfriends on the very steps where we sat. (Future husband take note) Professor Ridout even has a painting, done by the previous owner of the home, a Naval officer, of a sailor proposing to his girlfriend on that porch. So romantic. Did I mention I love men in uniform? Oh yeah, and my dad was in the Navy?
Promising Beth, another student in the class, I would not take photos of the cadets I waited all day to get sneak a shot. Just before leaving Annapolis, Joey, Eric and I ran into Edwards, Class 2009. He wasn't the cutest cadet I encountered but he was nice enough. Eric thinks he has a nice smile and Joey thinks he has perfect teeth. He seemed annoyed that I requested a photo. No matter. I got what I wanted. The day was wonderful and I am totally in love with Annapolis. There are so many things I still want to do there that I can't wait to return.
Anchors Away, My Boys, Anchors Away!

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My Redneck Name Y'ALL

Your Hillbilly Name Is...
Penny Sue Hill

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