Thursday, May 29, 2008

Duck, duck, duck BEACH

I did it. I broke down and went to Duck Beach. And you know what? I loved it! I'll probably even go next year.

Highlights of the weekend:

Cops showing up at the steel drum party just after I left it.
Running into old BYU friends at church.
The collection plate for the broken table at the NYC house.
Late night hot tubbers outside my window. (Yes, that was sarcasm)
The awkwardness that was the beach fireside.
Watching the very bizarre music video to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at 1:30 am (thank you Dan!)
Joni's amazing cooking.
Early morning run with Sam and Louise (ok, let's be honest, I hate running. But it was good company)
Trying to swim out to the pod of dolphins playing by our beach.
Watching the lifeguard rush out to save Tanner, who was also swimming with the dolphins (and definitely not drowning).
Belting out classic Beach Boys songs on the ride home.
Cursing I-95 N while racing Ryan & Meghan home.

Friday, May 23, 2008


One of my friends from work is constantly telling me that my friends have cool jobs. Attorneys, lobbyists, linguists, journalists, congressional staffers, etc. But this week's "Coolest Job Award" goes to ... Kellee Koenig! A couple weeks ago, Kellee mentioned that through her connections at work (she's a cartographer), she was in contact with a biologist from UDel who was conducting a census of horseshoe crabs on some beaches in the Delaware Bay. The first time I heard about it, she was planning on including the census in a mid-week campout, which I knew I wasn't going to be able to pull off, so I kind of forgot about it. Plans changed though, as they often do, and Monday night I found myself squished in the back seat of the car between Eric & Ryan on the way to Delaware.
Now, to be perfectly honest, before we got in the car I don't think I could have identified a horseshoe crab from a lineup of 20 of the usual suspects. I did know that the species had been around for millions of years, but that's pretty much all I knew. That didn't last long.

(And see, now YOU know what horseshoe crabs look like too!)

We made it to the beach about 4 hours early, so we decided to hunt down some dinner. The local that we met on the beach kept telling us that "There ain't nothin' in South Bawrs" (and in case you were wondering, his "Bawrs" is actually spelled "Bowers"), so we headed north to Dover.

Liberty Bell replica in front of the state capitol. Just before we rang it and ran.

Our next stop was a fabulous seafood dinner at some local place we passed on the highway. Can't quite remember the name. Favorite part of the meal itself: baked carrot souffle. Anyone have a recipe?

Kellee, me, Eric, Ryan, Randy in front of a giant propeller.

We finally met up with Dr. Hall, who explained to us more about horseshoe crabs and why on earth there were a 100+ people scattered over beaches in Jersey, Delaware and Maryland in the middle of the night to count the things. Do the research or call me if you really want to know. Here's evidence of our adventure:

Me and the horseshoe crab. Upside down.

Kellee, me, Ryan and the horseshoe crab that leaked on him. Ugh.

Spawning crabs. What else can I say?

Monday, May 12, 2008

ISO Black Jetta

If you've been in or around DC for the past week, you've probably noticed the weather. Rainy. Soggy. Humid. Having grown up in the desert of southwestern Idaho, I like rain. It wasn't that it never rained, because it did, but it was something that we looked forward to because we were always in a constant drought. Even here, the rain was much needed this spring. However, by the 4th day of near-constant rain, I decided that I should probably not move to Seattle anytime soon.

By Friday of last week, the basement cafeteria of the Duke Ellington had flooded. (Luckily they patched up the roof last fall, so I don't have to dodge drips as I walk down the hall by my classroom). By Saturday, there were reports of overflowing creeks and canals all over Virginia, and on Sunday, the basement in my old house was starting to leak.

The thing I dislike worst of all, though, is driving in the rain. Half the people on the road are driving much too fast for the conditions and the other half are driving much too slow. I switch back and forth between the two groups, depending on the day. On Sunday night, I was driving north on I-395 (near the Lincolnia-Little River Turnpike exit, since I know you all were wondering) when a little black/dark blue Jetta came up very suddenly behind me. As I was looking in my rear-view mirror, I noted that it was driving rather quickly considering the conditions, and soon found that it wasn't slowing down. At all. Its tail lights disappeared from my mirror and I waited for the impact. It came, but with much less force than expected. My cursory understanding of physics reminded me that the blow was lessened because I was traveling almost as fast in the same direction, but it still threw me off. After the bumpers met, the Jetta went swerving between a couple lanes as the driver tried to maintain control of the car. I worked my way over to the side of the freeway, but watched as the offending vehicle drove on past - didn't even slow down or make his way over to the shoulder. Problem # 2: I was still in a dress and flip flops and it was still pouring rain. And on top of that, my phone had died. And it was midnight. So after ascertaining that my car was still drive-able (there actually wasn't even a dent!), I went home to call the police and make my report. And to compound the problem just a bit more, when I tried to call my insurance agent the next day, I discovered that his website had been removed and his phone disconnected. Fabulous.

On the plus side, I'm fine and my car's fine, both of which I am very grateful for.