Friday, June 29, 2007

Demolition Day

Well, it did take me more than a day to pack. But here's a pictorial essay of the move…

Everything in its place:

Packing up:

With a lot of help from some great friends, all loaded up:

Off into the sunset…well, there were someone else's things in this particular truck:

An (almost) empty house!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Two Points to Ponder…

Question #1: do two grown-up bachelor guys really need seven (count 'em up in there!) containers of milk and soymilk? It didn't keep me up at night, but it was worth a picture:

Question #2: is an 80-pound dog really supposed to be a lap dog, no matter how comfy she looks up there?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Behold, my brain….

Someone I know is working on a language-recognition study at Johns Hopkins University, and needed volunteers (a.k.a. human guinea pigs) to participate. This meant being strapped into an MRI machine for about an hour and a half while you listen to pairs of real and made-up words in Russian and English, trying to determine if they are the same or different words. The hardest part? Trying to stay awake near the end! But I have definitive pictorial proof that my brain is in there!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just Head Down the Dirt Road that Leads to Nowhere

It's not true, of course. The dirt road leads to Dave and Lori's house in Maryland, up near West Virginia. Louise and I headed up on June 8 to help Nathan and Alex celebrate their baptism on Sabbath. Boy, was it nice to get out of the city! But after hearing about Lori's skill at shooting a copperhead snake from the kitchen window, you can bet I watched where my feet were going!

On Sabbath afternoon, we took off over the hills and through the woods to a relative's house for cake and ice cream. That's where Louise and I met C.J., who was so adorable I wanted to pack him up and take him home! A typical 4 year-old, he was playing with a plastic lawn mower out in the front yard, when he decided to "mow" the dog's tail.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The best co-workers I've ever had....

A few of the people I'll miss at AWR: Marvin, Jean, Shelley, and Ginger.

Thanks for a great lunch yesterday and a lot of laughs!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sleeping Beauty...

On the last night of my trip last week, it became clear to me that I had stayed at one too many Hampton Inn hotels that trip. Now, I like the Hampton Inn. Simple, safe, reasonable, familiar, convenient...anyway, as I was checking in for my last night on the road, the nice clerk said "Oh, we've upgraded your room. You'll be staying in the Triad Room."

First of all, I didn't even know the Hampton Inn had upgraded rooms. And second, the upgrade was completely wasted on me - I checked in about 11:15pm and when the clerk perkily asked if I'd like a wakeup call I said "Yes, please; 4:30am."
Anyway, when I got to the illustrious Triad Room, here was the exciting upgrade: Look! It's a bedroom AND a meeting room! It has a murphy bed that we have conveniently prepared for you, complete with its own hydraulic system to fold it in up into the wall in case you want to sleep on the couch or rollerblade around your oversized room! You even have your very own dry erase board!
And all I wanted was a bed to sleep in. :)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Things I Never Knew I Missed...

Last week, as I was driving from Tampa to Orlando, I was reminded of something I experienced for many years in the Midwest: bugs on the windshield.

For the last five and a half years, I haven't had to scrub the glass with that convenient squeegee every time I fill the gas tank. Maybe it's because it's a different climate, maybe it's because the pollution in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. has killed off smaller life forms. But it brought back memories of long drives on open roads, with the occasional Flying J or TA Truck Stop along the way. Long live the buggy windshield!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

So in other news, I quit my job...

OK, so "quit my job" may be a little dramatic. Technically, I gave a month's notice. And, just in case you have questions, I will conduct an impromptu interview with myself:

KAE: So, Kristine, what's this all about? You quit your job?
Kristine: That's right! As of June 15, I will no longer be employed.

KAE: Wait a you have another job you're heading to?
Kristine: Nope.

KAE: ?!?
Kristine: It may sound crazy, but I DO have a plan!

KAE: And that plan would be?
Kristine: Well, I'll be taking a few months off to decompress and decide what I want to do next. And I'd love to take a couple trips to visit friends around the country (friends, be warned!). And maybe an international trip...we'll see what happens.

KAE: Where will you live? Are you staying in Maryland?
Kristine: No, I'll be moving my things to Texas. Can't think of a better place for my home base: storage is cheap, rent is REALLY reasonable at my parent's house (thanks, mom and dad!), there's all that blue sky and, of course, it's home and it's TEXAS! I'll be working through the 15th, then I'll have a couple weeks to pack and wrap things up around here before leaving Maryland at the end of June.

KAE: Wait a minute...I think I'm having deja vu - did you do this once before?
Kristine: Yes. Yes I did. But at that time, I'd already booked the international trip! My friend Heidi and I went to England and Scotland - a totally awesome experience!

KAE: Isn't it easier to find a job when you have a job?
Kristine: Maybe. But I'm very employable. Of course, I may be somewhat biased. :) Seriously, though, I was able to save some money to do this. And it's a great blessing to be able to take the time...

KAE: Well, Kristine, I wish you all the best.
Kristine: Thank you, KAE, I appreciate that!

So, there you have it. :)