and then rides all around it on her bike.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"I never thought being young and poor could look so fabulous!"

... just one of the comments made about our Emmaus House Community Covenant video...

which you can all see (finally) here:

(if it doesn't work, try this link)

The assignment was for each of the LVC houses to make a "Community Covenant" - basically, something that represents us and our house and the fun and good times we have together, etc. At our last retreat (where I may or may not have also spent a significant amount of time canoeing...) each house presented their covenant. And every house did something different, of course, because every house is very different... one house told stories to illustrate things that were important to them, another read a list of some funny, some serious things that made their house a home, etc.... really, our only instructions were to be creative.

Our house, the Emmaus House, spent a lot of time sitting around thinking about what we wanted to do for our covenant. Obviously, it had to be something pretty spectacular, but it also had to fit in a pretty specific budget... so, like, souvenirs from a week of family bonding in the Caribbean was unfortunately not in the cards... Some of the other (very real) possibilities were: a collage, a poem, a family crest, an interpretive dance, and a special Emmaus House rendition of the hit song "Glamorous."

In the end, none of these made the cut. What did make the cut was this, a video of us sitting around talking about... ourselves. And each other. And maybe a little bit about LVC.

So there you go, here you go, the Emmaus House Community Covenant.

... just another thing on the list of things I am thankful for this November... :)
Oh my God I am SO corny.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When you're good, you're good.

... let's just say I'm practicing for next week...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Assorted Pictures with Limited Commentary

To be completely fair, fall is happening to a decent extent in other parts of the city. Just not on the tree in front of my house.

Another thing that's happening is this:
Thank you, Union Station... I think it's... Christmas decorations?

This is a statue:

And this is a funny looking building:

This is what DC does for Veteran's Day:

(they also had a parade)

And this is my new office:

In ten days, I'm going home for Thanksgiving!
Ok, that's all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh my goodness, here they are:

Pictures from the retreat!

Ok. Now I'm going to go hang out outside, since it's sunny and nice and not a work day. Fall is finally starting to come to DC, holy cow, don't quite know what took it so long...

Yep, November 11 and that's all we've got. Fall better hurry along too, because I have been listening to Christmas music pretty much all day and I'll be ready for snow soon...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shana Loves Canoeing

or: Shana Is Totally Crazy

This weekend we had an LVC retreat, and LVC retreats always mean good food in large quantities, good people everywhere you turn, and lots and lots of the great outdoors.

This particular retreat was at a retreat center near Perryville, Maryland, right up at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, right, actually, on the Chesapeake Bay.

See the view from the kitchen windows? I'm not exaggerating.

Because I intend to use an obscene number of maps in this particular post (or actually just the one, but an obscenely unnecessary number of times...), I thought it would be nice to start by orienting you with a more general, more familiar map:

This is the US. Hopefully you could identify that on your own.
In the green box is Maryland. And a little bit of Virginia, maybe Delaware, but that's actually not important.
(Don't tell them I said that.)

So zooming in on Maryland now... (have I mentioned that I love google maps?)

Again, green box, that's where we were.
Right at the top of the Chesapeake Bay.

Here is our exact location, indicated by the (small) red "X".

Alright then, now that you're all oriented.

We had some free time during our retreat, and I took advantage of this free time to undertake one of my all-time-favorite-ever activities: canoeing

It falls under the more general all-time-favorite- ever activities category of "anything that has to do with water."

Now let me just back up and say (because, Midwestern as I am, if there's one thing I genuinely like more than looking at maps, it's talking about the weather) that we had a brisk and lovely fall weekend, finally chilly enough out that you really did need a jacket, or at least a scarf, warm enough in the sunshine but cool in the shade, with a light breeze... though it was sometimes very still... and sometimes... sometimes maybe even windy...

The morning of free time I spent canoeing just happened to be one of those "maybe even windy" times...

Anyway, weather disclaimer disclaimed, back to my story.

Setting out from our spot at the top of the Chesapeake Bay on the aforementioned red X, this is an example of what would have been a nice little canoeing route for me to take on a windy fall day:

Another example - and slightly more adventurous! - would be this:

So it's not like I didn't have options.

Of course, I went with neither of those options. Instead, giddy with the sheer joy of holding a canoe paddle in my hand, I set off happily and, singing little songs to myself as I rowed along smoothly, with the wind... at my back...
and this is (pretty much) the route I took:

And it was when I arrived at this point that I started to think, uhoooooooh.... :

To help illustrate why, in the following picture I've included a few blue arrows to illustrate the direction and strength of the wind and waves. I've also included an inset to illustrate me thinking "uhoooooooh...."

I spent a good couple of minutes trying to turn the boat around before I gave up and just rotated in my seat instead, which I probably just should've done in the first place. I also spent a couple minutes thinking maybe I might not make it back to the little LVC retreat house after all...

It took me about a half hour to row out to that point, and maybe about two hours to row back. I mean, it took me a half hour of tapping at the water while I sang songs to the geese to row out to that point, and maybe about two hours of hard-core, full body, am-I-actually-moving-forward-at-all tearing at the water with every fiber in every muscle of my body to row back.

My eventual and hard-fought success was due largely to the careful route I followed, which probably looked a little something like this:

I suppose one day they will write inspiring canoeing books about me.

At any rate, I think I learned an important lesson that day:
canoeing is awesome.

Yep, it's a lesson I already knew.
But it's always good to get to know it again.

Stay tuned for many many more pictures....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yep, it's a T-Rex eating a multi-scoop ice cream cone.

(go ahead, click on it and make it big - you've got to read what it says!) :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

... that it's time we're aware...

Right now I'm at a conference in Baltimore, Maryland. It's actually not very far from DC - about an hour by (a very fun) commuter train.

(though what commuter train isn't fun?)

And at this conference, there are people from all all over the country, I mean, New York, Chicago, San Antonio, Laramie, Seattle, and even Alaska! ... and among them, one sweet lady from... Dubuque, Iowa.

So of course, I went over and introduced myself, and we got to chatting... she lives up by the John Deere plant but works only about a mile and a half from where I used to live... and we had a good little laugh about what a small world it is, how she didn't think anyone at this big Baltimore conference would've ever even heard of Dubuque, haha.

And then she asked where I was from originally, and I said "outside of Milwaukee"... and then she asked what suburb, and I said "Brookfield," and then she asked, "East or Central?"

She graduated from Central three years before I graduated from East. Her parents live about four miles from where my parents live and she got married at my home church.

So... yeah, that was pretty much the end of my story. Also though, she was wearing leopard-print shoes... apparently they're selling those in Iowa these days... seriously, you're gone for five months and it's like you never even knew the place...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

but then also there was the time...

(a couple nights ago)

... when I spotted a giant cockroach on our kitchen floor, I mean, giant. I mean, I have a bit of a reputation in my house for being the one who can handle bugs, but this was out of even my league. Seriously. Giant. Just sitting there on our kitchen floor.

And Luke, seeing the chance to step it up a bit (and maybe redeem himself from all the other times he's chickened out and cried like a little baby girl?), helped me out by plopping a cup on top of the giant cockroach, sliding a piece of thin cardboard under the cup, taking it out to the back deck, (doing a victory dance/talking some smack), and tossing it over the railing, far far away from our kitchen floor.

And when it was all over, and we were resting from our celebrating, Luke looked down at the cup and said with dismay - "Oh no, I think I broke off a little piece of his antler!"

So as you see, between Luke with his cockroach antlers and David with his singing in the shower, it's quite hard to pick a "most lovable" moment.

I'm currently also loving how last night, late at night, we all played an intense, high-speed game of cards while singing along with Elton John's Greatest Hits, each in our own special way, of course (not all of us were in the St. Olaf Chapel Choir).

God, my roommates are the best.
(This is me and Jill)
(She's lovable too)

(Jill says sometimes she kills bugs too, she just doesn't always feel the need to announce it to us... I don't know why not... )

Meanwhile, my job is SO INSANE, too insane to blog about it right now, because I'm just too swamped. Someday, when I've got my head above water a little more, out of the swamp, I guess, I'll let you know more about it.

... please do not interpret that to mean that I don't still love my job. Because I do. Still.

Also, here are the promised pictures of last week's bicycle adventure.

And just so you can be appropriately impressed, I'm including here a map of the trail. All tolled, I think I clocked about 43 miles that day...

We're still rockin' temps in the 80's here in DC... so maybe I'll get one more bike adventure in before the snow falls... (and don't you even tell me there might not be snowfall...)

We do have a lot of falling leaves though - dying leaves falling from trees that will come back in the spring even, not just dying leaves falling from dying trees, which is most of what we've had since I got here in August. So maybe there's hope for fall yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I mean, I always love my roommates...

... but this afternoon I was washing dishes, and I could hear David, of St. Olaf Choir fame, in the bathroom singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah while he showered. And right then in that moment it was one of the most lovable things I could think of... except for, you know, like, puppies and kitties and stuff.

(PS, per David's correction, he was not in the St. Olaf Choir, but rather in the St. Olaf Chapel Choir. Please forgive the confusion.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DC Wildlife, and other things

(for those of you who are from the suburbs, this is a cockroach)

(a big one)

(though we've seen bigger...)

If you didn't totally love that photo, I've got this for you:

Pictures from the heavenly weekend we spent in West Virginia, October 5-7.

Well, it was almost heaven. You know. West Virginia... Blue Ridge Mountains... Shenandoah River...

Seriously, I'm just telling you where we were. For real.

And it looked like this:

See? It's pretty much what heaven looks like. And I would know. I majored in theology.

Also, if you like pictures of "the sun on the water," then you're going to LOVE this album.

That's all for now... coming soon, pictures from my most recent adventure out of the city... and by "soon" I mean, you know, some other time...

OH but we have internet at our house now! So "soon" might actually be sooner than it would have been! (notice how I still failed to commit to any time table... ) ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

... and then there's the list of reasons why my job is TOTALLY RIDICULOUS

#89,153: I got a voicemail from an "Officer Simpson" about scheduling a program for the youth group at her church, Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Baby Jesus Baptist Church of God in Christ, etc etc, but when I returned her call, she said she couldn't talk because she had someone on lockdown, but she'd be sure to call me back later.

#89,154: My supervisor and I were supposed to meet this morning at 9, but she was late because *someone really important* had some sort of meeting at the Washington Post, and there were (heavily heavily armed) guards on the sidewalks and rooftops, and also, the road was closed.
(Our building is back-to-back with the Washington Post.)
She said heard maybe it was the president of Iran?

Excuses, excuses. Like I haven't heard the old "president of Iran at the Washington Post" line before! Does she think I was born yesterday?!?

Seriously though. Between presidential caravans (with the White House just down the road), controversial foreign leaders visiting the Washington Post, and "suspicious packages" left outside the Planned Parenthood across the street, our block gets closed down a lot. Good thing I walk to work, right?

(Speaking of ridiculous)

P.S. It's been two days and I'm still waiting for Officer Simpson to call back. Must've been one hell of a lockdown!

A message from the other side

And by "other side" I mean, "place where they don't have internet at their house."

I'm at Caribou. Obviously.
But it kind of feels more like the secret place where I secretly go to secretly reach out to the rest of the world. And drink mochas.

We haven't had internet at our house for a couple of weeks. This is why I haven't been posting. Sigh.

Hopefully the situation will be amended soon.
(by that I mean, we've ordered internet and the guy who was supposed to come install it never showed up, and now I'm planning a nasty letter-writing campaign against Verizon demanding they do something about it!)

In the meantime, I offer you this:

Reason #4,509 why I love my job:
Tuesday night staff yoga.


Also, I did manage to upload and caption some photos (from my last trip to Caribou), and you can find/look at/enjoy them

Alright, some of us have to go to work. Myself included.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Use it three times, make it your own

Once a month, the WEAVE "Teen Team" (I try pretend it has a different name, I think the rest of the "Team" does too) meets to talk about what's going on in our various departments in regards to DC youth. Heather can talk about counseling, Cristina has the in at the courthouse and follows developments in policy for under 18's, Emily knows what's up at the intake centers, and I'm all over the outreach/education side of things.

We start each meeting by talking about what new teen word we learned the last month.

The word for this month was:


Use it in a sentence: I was kinda tired, but they was all really bitin' to get to the party, so we headed out.
Definition: (v.) to be really eager (usually, eager to do something. Like, you wouldn't say, "he was really bitin'," you'd say, "he was really bitin' to...")
Old person from the Midwest definition: chompin' at the bit
(but if you say "chompin' at the bit" to a 14 year old in DC, they look at you like... well, like I'd look at them if I heard them say "bitin'")

See, don't say you never learned anything reading my blog.

In other news, here's where I sit and eat lunch when I eat lunch outside:

It's Lafayette Park.
Yep, I took this picture. And yeah, that's the White House. And the Washington Monument. It just kind of happens to be the closest park to where I work, so if I want to sit on a bench while I eat, this is where I've got to go!
Not bad, hey?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Here!!!

My camera cord
(Thank you, United States Postal Service)
(and Cass)
which means I have pictures to share
... lots and lots of pictures to share

We crossed the 200 mark during the birthday party... of course, they won't all be posted.... but probably lots of them will. Eventually.

Here's a starter for you:

Me in my party dress at the end of the night, after everyone else had gone to bed.
Also featured in this picture is the back of our tv, our bookshelf, and our game of Catchphrase.

But here's the whole party outfits montage:

me in my party dress *** David striking a pose (naturally) *** Jill... exiting the bathroom

Here we go.
All my photo albums can be found here, but I'll break it down for you too:

This first one is a doosy, it's kind of huge and has lots of pictures from the day I spend roaming around the general National Mall metro area. It features a lot of things you'd probably take pictures of if you came to visit accompanied by witty commentary, and then also a lot of things it would probably never occur to you to take pictures of... like I said, it's kind of big, and it won't hurt my feelings if you don't look at them all with great care and attention, etc.

On Labor Day, a whole bunch of us went to a Washington National's game, and those pictures can be found here. Can I just say, all of the red caps with white W's on them that did not refer in any way to the state of Wisconsin or to Badgers of any kind were very hard for me.

The September 9 birthday party pictures can be found here, in an album appropriately titled "Birthday Party Woohoo."

And I made this little album, Transplant!!!!!, which has a couple pictures from the hospital, but mostly features the Milwaukee Airport, which I love. (Raise your hand if you're surprised that I took pictures at an airport... I love taking pictures at airports.) I love airports in general. I also love Midwest Airlines. I also also love chocolate chip cookies.

(Midwest serves freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on board their flights... good chocolate chip cookies, and you don't just get one, you get two, and you don't just eat them alone, you wash them down with a nice, freshly brewed cup of Alterra coffee. Why do they do all this? Because they're awesome, that's why.)

So. Pictures. There you go. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

just so you know,

pictures of me in my new party dress are forthcoming. As are pictures of the chocolate glitter cake.

It was a lovely birthday.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

name that coffee shop:

It's 25 thousand degrees out (roughly... maybe more like 95, but I don't do well with heat so it's hard to tell) but I'm inside, cozying up by a roaring ("roaring") fire, drinking my iced mocha across from a giant stuffed bear head...

Yeah, I'm at Caribou, a little slice of Alaska here in our nation's capital. I live two blocks from one. And three blocks from another. And five blocks from another. I'm in that kind of neighborhood where you don't have to worry, because you're never more than a couple blocks from a Caribou Coffee. (And then there's the Starbucks! They're really everywhere!)


I had a real reason for this post but I forgot it.

Oh! I know. I was going to say that I'm starting to remember how very much I love living in a city with lots of fun different international food options. Yesterday my office took me out to a nice Indian place for lunch, and it was wonderful, really, just wonderful. Also, there's an Indian food chain, I guess it's a chain, in DC (and maybe other places, who knows, not me) called "Naan and Beyond" and I totally want to eat there too, because what a name!


In other news, my little sister Caitie, who is awesome, just wrote me a birthday post. Tomorrow is my birthday and this morning I bought myself a party dress, and then I went and bought myself party earings from H&M, which I am totally in love with. So I have a whole party outfit. I might even wear it!

(This is a picture of Caitie in her party outfit, which includes a beret, if you hadn't noticed. She got it in France when we went there this summer. Isn't she cute? She'd been on the beach all day... with topless old ladies... ah, the memories... she will maybe hate me for posting this picture on the internet, but I just can't help myself.)

So get out your party dress (and/or your H&M earings, your beret, etc.) and wear it around the house a little today - it's that time of year, after all, Shana's birthday. Party dresses all around. Feels good, doesn't it?

Ok. That's all.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

this is HARDLY going to be worth it.

I do have reasons for why I haven't been posting. I could list them, even. I guess I will:

1. I'm busy.
Full time work and even fuller time roommates! AND and I kind of have a bit of a social life these days! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this thought, since it never came up in my other blogs, it's when I spend a lot of time with people, often even people my age, and we "do stuff." I know. I kind of like it.

2. I don't have a reliable internet connection.
We're currently smurfing off an open wireless network named "allison," the only one of about twenty networks I pick up from our house that doesn't require a password. Allison's nice and all, but sometimes she's in the mood to connect with me, and sometimes she isn't. Often she isn't. And I just can't ever predict her mood, and I don't know what to say to make it better when she's not talking to me...

ok, enough of that.
We're going to be getting real internet of our own soon. You know. "Soon."

3. I left my camera cord at home!
(This is maybe the most important reason.)
It's so frustrating, to know that I have a million great pictures (or maybe more like 100, and that's actually not an exaggeration) that I'd like to share, but can't share... so I've been dragging my feet with posting, because what good is a post when the potential for great pictures is so close but so far away? Just kind of makes me sad...


That said, I've been doing well. My foot is almost totally not broken anymore, and I've been trekking all over town, seeing all sorts of things, taking pictures of anything that looks even minorly important and several things that clearly aren't of any importance at all. And I found the river, that was good. I'm missing the Mississippi. Or the South China Sea. Or Lake Michigan (I know, so exotic).

My dad is doing well. He went home from the hospital two days ago, working on learning what life post-transplant looks like. It's all still pretty unbelievable.

And my job pretty much great. We're having a gala tonight to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Fancy fancy!

And actually, I have to go to work now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What you are looking at, folks, is a picture of

the most victorious man who ever lived


the most victorious woman

who ever lived.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I cannot even tell you what it's like to have waited every second of every day for a year and a half for something to happen, and then it happens...

I cannot even tell you.

He is doing really well. Really really well. Everything is going as smoothly as can be expected. It's so incredible. I cannot even tell you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why I Didn't Go To Work Today:

This morning we all took our “First Day of Work” picture.
Here it is:

You might notice (though probably actually you won’t) that I’m not exactly wearing a “first day of work” outfit. You might also notice (much more likely) that there’s an extra person in this picture than the earlier picture I posted of the five people living in my house. In this picture, there’s a nice tall red headed Minnesotan. If you’re extra-super observant, you might notice that the extra person is in fact Martha, my favorite person in the world, whom we met a few posts back.

After we took our picture this morning, Carl took off for work and shortly thereafter so did Jill. David and Luke, I’m guessing, showered and followed suit.

Martha and I caught a cab and went to the airport.

I didn’t go to work today because I’m going home
my dad’s getting his transplant

Got the call at 5:44am
Was showered and packed by 6:00am
Reserved a flight at 8:30am
Left home at 8:31am
Plane left DC at 11:00am

and now I'm at the hospital.
Dad's in surgery.

Every Heller and most of the Newlins in the country are flocking to Froedtert Memorial Hospital.
... to wait.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And now, for his next trick...

So we're among the more fortunate of the LVC houses to have a TV in our living room. Granted, we only get three channels and the picture is fuzzy, but it makes us feel special anyway. Every now and then we'll turn it on and stare at it for a couple minutes before we realize that we don't really like TV, and then we turn it off.

But tonight we discovered something incredibly spiffy about our TV that inspired us to watch the whole opening sequence of "America's Got Talent".

Here it is.
Are you ready?

David can make the black and white picture go color by raising his arms up in the air. Up... color! Down... black/white. Up! Color! Down! Black/white! Up! Down! Color! Black/White! Color! WOW!!!

I tried it for a little while and couldn't get it to work. :-\

Then we sat around and played cards for a few hours, like a bunch of old ladies. Tomorrow is our first day of work. Let's see if I sleep tonight.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So oriented.

This last week was orientation week.


Another way of putting it is that this last week was meet-your-roommates-move-into-your-house-learn-a-million-things-about-how-you-might-think-about-living-your-life-next-year-during-long-sessions-all-the-live-long-day week.

Really, it was not so bad. Actually, it was pretty good. Definitely it was very intense, which is why I have been so bad about posting.

But ok, moving abruptly on to what you really want to hear about.

The house:

It's awesome.
High ceilings, huge windows, comfy couches, and a funky glass deco thing in the dining room.
One off-the-kitchen back deck, one third story balcony overlooking Vermont Ave.
Four bedrooms for five people. The shared bedroom has the balcony. I'm in the shared bedroom.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps
has placements in ten cities around the country, but orientation happens in DC, so everyone from every city had to come here. All last week we were hosting, in our new house with our new roomies, another houseful of people who are going to be in Baltimore next year. It was fun and nice to get to know them, all very nice girls, etc., but we were really looking forward to them leaving and us being able to start getting settled, which finally happened yesterday.

Then last night we had a massive thunderstorm. I watched the sky turn yellow and closed the door to our balcony when the wind started driving rain across it into our room. When you're up on the third floor, you can really feel the thunder shaking the house.

It was kind of a fun way to inaugurate our new house.

Ok, and now, the roommates:
(Also awesome.)

David, Luke, Carl and Jill are the people I'll be living with for the next year.

Yeah, we're that good-looking. Say hello to the Christmas card, marketing photo, inspirational image, etc. etc. We're going to charge LVC for the use of this image in recruiting, etc. It'll definitely be a worthwhile investment for them, yep, definitely.

This is what makes our house special and unique in LVC (and in the world) (aside from how good looking we all are):
We have more guys than girls - we are the only LVC house, out of like 19 or so total, to have more guys than girls. In fact, several houses have zero guys at all! Yikes!
We are one of the only, if not the only, house with more people who graduated college a year or more ago than people who graduated in May.
We have more Mac users than PC users... or at least more people with a solid Mac background.

And here's the best part: I'm the oldest in the house.

How's that for wild?

I told my roomies that if they have any questions about life, etc., that they could just come to me.

... because I would totally have the answer.

So. I'm oriented, I'm settling, and I'm really liking my housemates. I'm also well-fed, well-rested, and totally excited to start my job. Wednesday, that'll be Wednesday. Let's go.

Oh, also, one night we went out for drinks at the Hotel Washington, which has a restaurant up on the roof and happens to be right next door to the White House, and this was the view. Not bad, hey? I think I saw Georgie putting his jammies on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Here I am!

Just a quicky to let you know I've got pictures of my action-packed train ride to DC posted online in my photo album.

And now I'm here, in my new city, just kind of hanging out.

When I signed up for Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) way back when, there were nine possible cities I could've been placed in. I actually was shooting for a placement in the Midwest, but I've never done a very good job of staying close to home, so of course it didn't quite work out that way. I fell in love with this placement here in DC and I guess they liked me too, because they hired me and here I am...

All that to say, the coolest part about ending up in this particular city out of the potential nine, aside from all the cool free stuff to do and see and all the very important things that happen here, and the fact that the LVC offices are located here and LVC started here, is that one of my very favorite people in the whole wide world already lives here: Martha.

That's a picture of a picture of us from freshman year of college. She was my roomie.

Ah yes, I remember it well: move-in day, just about almost six years ago. I walked in the door at Lank 226, our room, and there she sat, a red-headed Minnesotan, on the floor, and she looked up at me, held out the pan of bars she was holding, and said, "Hi, I'm Martha. Want a Special K bar?" And it knew it would be a good year. And it was.

Anyway, so she picked me up at the train station yesterday - we hadn't seen each other in two years! - and now I'm sitting in her house on Capitol Hill. Yeah, she's actually kind of a grown up. But not really.

Ok, so go look at my pictures if you want. The train ride wasn't really action-packed, it was actually quite nice and peaceful and fun, if you like trains, which I do. You go do that, and I am going to go continue hanging out with Martha in her lovely grown-up house in my new city, Washington DC.

Friday, August 10, 2007

(who signed me up for this?)

All this week, as I've been very calmly and collectedly getting ready to go, packing up my things, deciding what comes and what stays, saying my goodbyes to family and friends, doing all the fun things "one last time," etc., I've been thinking to myself, gee, I've had a lot of "last week at home before I move far away"s in my life, and this one just feels weird. But I couldn't put my finger on why...

Until I woke up this morning, this morning, the morning of the day I'm leaving, and thought to myself, oh my lord, what the hell am I doing!

That's when it finally started to feel normal.

The train leaves in five hours!
And yes, I am all packed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Here we go! ... sort of

Today is Tuesday. I leave on Friday at 3pm, Central Standard Time, from my lovely and comfortable (parent’s) home in Brookfield, complete with a pool and a very cute dog,

to a new adventure, new job, new house, new roomies, new everything
in our nation's capitol,
Washington, DC.

(cue the stately music)

Three days.

And I haven’t started packing, not even a little bit.
If you know me at all at all, this is not surprising.

What is perhaps surprising is that I have started making lists of things I need to do before Friday, things like “call Amtrak” (yep, I'm taking the train), and “hang out with Cathy” and “buy more toothpaste.” I made the list about two days ago, and I was pretty proud of myself for it. Unfortunately, thus far, the only things I’ve crossed off are “rent funny movie from blockbuster” and “return movie to blockbuster.” Neither one of those things was particularly essential to my packing process, but at least I got to cross things off the list.

(Though to be fair, my sister Caitie actually returned the movie for me...)

“Start a new blog” is somewhere on the list as well – less important than “open a new checking account at a bank with national locations,” but definitely way more fun, so that’s what I’m getting to first.

Some of you may fondly remember the long-but-rewarding (right?) accounts of my adventures in Hong Kong from the appropriately titled blog, “Shana’s Adventures in Hong Kong.” Of course, when I moved back to the States, this blog ceased to be necessary. Others of you may recall the fun times we had and laughs we shared with the dear departed blog, “Shana Goes to Seminary.” Sadly, when I subsequently quit seminary and went to work at a convent in rural southwestern Wisconsin, that blog did not last either.

For the record, I did very much
enjoy the convent,
even if I didn’t get
around to blogging about it.

(me and a nun)

And now I’m starting something new (again) and totally different (again), which means I’ll be meeting (more, new) crazy people, and I’ll be taking (more, new) awesome pictures, and I’ll be full of (more, new) stories about it all.

So if you’d like to hear/see/read about any of that, then welcome to my new blog:

Or if not, you could just not check this page again
and I wouldn’t really know
so I won’t really be insulted.
It’s that simple.
Aren’t blogs great?

It all begins Friday at 3. And today is Tuesday. And I haven’t started packing…