Monday, July 20, 2009

Zip-line - Wheee!

I wish I had more time to post but I've been awfully busy lately.  For the past month or so I have been attempting to try and do one new thing every week.  Last week it was a trip to the H Street district, which we've been meaning to get to for a long time.  This week I was feeling both curious and adventurous and found a place in Maryland that does zip-lining.  I have heard more about ziplining in places far more exotic than right outside of DC (Costa Rica anyone??) but I've never done it before, so why not?? LA agreed to come with me so we experienced the zipline and the giant swing together.  I was somewhat surprised by the adrenaline rush, especially climbing the ladder, crossing the rope ladder, and jumping off!  We enjoyed a nice cool beverage with a new friend immediately after at the Rams Head Tavern and called it a day.  It was the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.  
Next time we'll definitely have to go back and try the ropes course - it goes around and up (and up..) four separate levels in all sorts of obstacle paths.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 4th Wedding Weekend

I had a few days to transition from old job to new, so I decided to spend a few days at home in western PA while my sister was in town for Jennie's wedding.  In addition to spending a few late nights together, my family also managed to get out for a family golf day.  I've got a lot of improvement to do on my game but this was really fun - even in the rain! 
Luckily the rain stopped in time for the fireworks show Friday night.  Ever since the Tara cancelled the annual fireworks show there's been NO fireworks for Independence weekend, until my mom stepped in and lead an effort for the past three years to organize a fireworks show from Hermitage Middle School.  This year there was a DJ instead of a band, which (despite initial hesitations and doubts) worked out fantastically.  He played all the traditional dance/wedding songs, but instead of a bunch of adults he brought all the kids out - it was so cute!  I even went out for the Cha Cha slide, albeit reluctantly :)  Check out a few pictures from the party.   
Saturday was a perfect day for Jennie and Andrew's wedding.  Sunshine, low humidity, beautiful setting... it was wonderful.  We danced, I got to see a lot of people I haven't spent much time with lately, and everyone had a great time.  Check out the pictures from golf, the fireworks, and the wedding.  

I think I've been out of town more than 50% of the weekends these past four months so I think it's time to slow it down.  I'm looking forward to spending this weekend here in the city, just cleaning and catching up and relaxing sounds wonderful at this point!  

New J.O.B.

Well, not exactly a new employer since I still technically work for DOE, but I started a six month detail with the White House Council on Environmental Quality yesterday.  I'll be working with Van Jones primarily on energy efficiency and what he calls 'green jobs'.  Van Jones is an amazing speaker and pretty visionary person so I should hopefully learn a lot from him.  Plus I'm pretty excited for a glimpse at a whole different area of the government.   And, since I'm used to talking about renewables, I'm also looking forward to learning more about energy efficiency, which usually provides huge immediate payoffs both for return on investment and climate change goals.  It feels a little strange to be pulled completely away from what I've been doing for the past nine months, but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.  I'll really miss working with all the people from the geothermal industry outside of DOE, that was one of my favorite parts of my job.  It's amazing to think about how much I've learned in such a short time there, and this makes me look forward to how much more I'll have learned from being somewhere totally new for that period of time.  
I moved offices over to the old townhouses at Jackson Place, and share an office with three nice people.   I just started sharing an office back at DOE last week too, but I'm finding that I really enjoy it.  I feel like I'm in grad school again: I can sit and read something and then immediately have someone to discuss it with.  Then this person can tell you if you've got it right or you're way off and have no idea what you're talking about, which will help since I don't know anything yet! 
So, that's where I'll be for the next 4, 6, or 12 months... who knows.  Apparently this means I can give tours of the West Wing so maybe this will encourage more people to come down and visit me?? ;) 

Monday, July 6, 2009

A little here and there

I haven't been keeping up with my blog lately and I wonder if anyone even still reads this?  I'm always pleasantly surprised when I talk to people who comment that they like reading my posts.  But then again, no matter what the topic I always enjoy little regular updates on my friends' blogs.  When I moved to DC I started writing here for two reasons: to capture my new experiences in the city and to keep my friends and family updated on what I was up to... without having to call/email/text/write/facebook/visit each of them as much as I would like to be able to.  I've never really considered myself a writer but for the most part I do enjoy the process and coming back and reading over my journals after months or years have gone by.  And now that I think about it, the two original reasons I had to blog still hold true today.  I may be approaching the year mark in this city but there is so much I want to do and see.  I have recently started a new approach where I commit to doing one thing each week that I've never done before.   In such a big city this certainly isn't going to be that hard, but at least it's a fun way to challenge myself to think of new ideas and get out and try new things.  For example, last week I went and finally swam laps at the free community pool.  It's clean and right in my neighborhood!   It reminded me that swimming is a great way for me to clear my head and get exercise in some way besides running and cycling.  I'm happy I finally went and definitely want to go back more often!

I'm sure I'll reflect on this more over the next few months, but speaking of the one year mark, this year has been a huge adjustment time for me.  Without the independence I enjoyed in grad school, it's been hard to fit everything into my day and regain a sense of balance and control in my life.  I'm working on it... but I'm not quite there yet.  I'm working on accepting the fact that I can't have the structure to my life that I used to enjoy.   My free time outside of work is drastically reduced, and travel, friends, fun, exercise, family, surprises... they all need to make up a part of the rest of that time in a ratio I'm comfortable with.

Hmm.. I'll stop with the seriousness for the day.  I meant for this to be an update post but I'll just save that for later.  I will leave you with a picture from this past weekend's wedding festivities of me and my siblings.