Posts from June, 2007

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Wedding: Church Declares Bride and Groom Incompatible, Couple Unrepentant

Saturday, 30 June 2007


So, maaaaaybe that statement is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is safe to say we are now formally banking on the axiom: “opposites attract.”

We just got back from the second of our three church counseling sessions with the man who would marry us, Rev. Dean J. Snyder. At the end of the first session, he administered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to us. Now, at the second session, he promised to review the results with us.

And, oh, what results they were.

Turns out that of the four bands (Extraversion vs Introversion, Sensing vs Intuition, Thinking vs Feeling, Judging vs Perceiving) we were at the opposite ends of all but one. The Lady Sparkler is a ESTJ, and I am an ENFP.

Below are some highlights of our personalities:

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?

People with a preference for Extraversion (both she and I) draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their level of energy and motivation tends to decline.

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?

Individuals with a preference for Sensing (The Lady Sparkler) prefer to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: information can be comprehended by the five senses. They prefer to look for detail and facts.

Those with a preference for Intuition (Evan) will trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information. They are more interested in future possibilities.

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?

Those with a preference for Feeling (Evan) will prefer to come to decisions by associating or empathising with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’ to achieve the greatest harmony, consensus and fit with their personal set of values.

Those with a preference for Thinking (The Lady Sparkler) will prefer to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what is reasonable, logical, causal, consistent and matching a given set of rules.

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?

People with a preference for Judging (The Lady Sparkler) prefer matters to be decided, to start tasks well ahead of a deadline, and they can sometimes seem inflexible in this regard.

Those whose preference is Perceiving (Evan) are happier to leave finishing a task until close to the deadline, are energised late rushes of information and ideas, and are readier to change plans if new information comes along.

In retrospect, it’s funny/encouraging/touching that our number one response to the question “why do you like each other” over the last three years has been that the other “balances me.”

Maybe there is hope for us yet.

wedding in:


Hike: Calvert Cliffs

Friday, 29 June 2007


Water Lillies, Grey's Creek, Calvert Cliffs State Park, Lusby, Maryland
Water Lillies, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
One of the side-benefits of working at The Nature Conservancy is that we get every other friday off during the summer (assuming that we are able to compress the 40-hour work-week into 4 days).

I usually use the day to go hiking around the region but this year, with the wedding, I haven’t gotten out as much as I otherwise would have. Today, a friend of mine from TNC and I hiked around Calvert Cliffs State Park for the afternoon, and snapped some pics.

House, 2.1

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

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Yay! We got it 🙂

We got the call today shortly before lunch, that the nice people who live in the place we want to buy accepted our offer. Actually, they countered with another offer that was 9k more than what WE offerered, but which was still 16k less than the list price and 1k less then we *thought* they were going to counter with.

Needless to say, we are besides our self with happiness. The settlement is July 19th, and we don’t have to vacate our current appartment until the end of August. This give us almost 6 weeks to move. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! I have no idea what to do with the extra time … except for plan a wedding of course.

The home inspection is on Monday, July 2nd @ 4:00 pm, so no real news (and no better pictures) until then. However, before the MLS listing disappears, I downloaded it for posterity’s sake, and it is below.

101 days until the wedding …

Property Details

MLS#: DC6435304 · Bedrooms: 2 · Bathrooms: 1 full · City: WASHINGTON · Status: CNTG/NO KO · Type of Home: Garden 1-4 Floors · Style: Beaux Arts · Year Built: 1925 · Lot Acreage: 0 · Subdivision: MOUNT PLEASANT · County: WASHINGTON, DC · Address: 1661 PARK RD NW #206 · City, State, Zip: WASHINGTON, DC, 20010 ·


Comments: Gorgeous & Sunny 2 BR/1 Bath Condo in a GREAT Pet Friendly BLDG w/Bike Room**This unit SPARKLES w/UPDATES GALORE to incl:Kitchen w/SS Appls, Cabinetry, Silestone Counters, Remodeled Bath, NEW AC & Fresh Paint**Lovely HWD Flrs & Doors, Crown Molding**Large Rm sizes**W/D in unit**METRO, Rock Creek Park, Shops, Restaurants & Nightlife are here!!City Living at it’s Best**Sellers have taken PRIDE!

Home Features

Amenities: Crown Molding, Elevator, Shades/Blinds, Wood Floors · Appliances: Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, Exhaust Fan, Intercom, Microwave, Oven/Range-Electric, Refrigerator, Washer · Kitchen / Dining Info: Kit-Breakfast Bar, Liv-Din Combo · Heating System: Forced Air · Heating Fuel: Natural Gas · Cooling System: Central A/C · Cooling Fuel: Electric · Hot Water: Electric · Parking Info: Street · Water System: Public · Construction: Brick · Community Amenities: Common Grounds, Elevator

moving in:


House, 2.0

Sunday, 24 June 2007

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[Map]In completely unrelated news, The Lady Sparkler and I made an offer on a new place to live today. Yup, that’s right. We sat around last week, brainstorming about what we could do to make the last three months before our wedding a bit more chaotic, and this is the best we could do.

Actually, truth be told, this has been in the back of our minds for quite some time. The housing market bottomed out (in DC, at least) in November of 2006, and is on the way back up. Interest rates are low, but climbing. Personally, our current lease expires in August, we are expecting another lease hike, and our building punishes you if you don’t renew for a full year ($300/month to go month-to-month).

So, basically, the economic gods seem to be telling us something. Not wanting to anger said gods (Alan Greenspan?), ten days ago we found a real estate agent (Brandon Green) and a mortgage broker (Rob Riggins), both of whom came VERY strongly recommended and both very kindly gave us a crash course in home buying. After a weekend of getting oriented, and half a week of getting pre-approved, we hit about 20-25 different places this weekend.

The primary goals were a 2 bedroom condo in DC (in the Circles area — Logan, Scott, Dupont, Thomas) or in Virginia (either near where we live now in Court House, or near were The Lady Sparkler used to live in Del Ray/Alexandria). Given our budget, Brandon chuckled warmly at his naive little charges, and politely showed us some places we could actually afford.

The winning neighborhood by far was Mt. Pleasant, which is due north of downtown (16th street runs along the western edge of the neighborhood) and is nestled up against the back door to the National Zoo. The neighborhood has a fantastic diverse, family-friendly, funky vibe — those who know me know I don’t use the words “funky” or “vibe” lightly … darn hippie words! — and it seems to be one of the last true communities in the District.

The place we are bidding on is 1661 Park Road, #206 and is located at the corners of 17th street and Mt. Pleasant Avenue. It’s about 2 blocks from the Columbia Heights metro (where a Target, Best Buy, Marshall’s, Starbucks/Caribu Coffee and Carvel are all opening), 3 blocks from Rock Creek Park, and 6 blocks from the zoo.

(If you look on the Google Map above, the place we are looking at isn’t marked correctly … 1661 is actually well to the left of the green arrow, on the other side of the 5 townhouses you see on Park. It’s the building with 2 big trees between it and the street.)

The apartment has a ton of windows, and gorgeous, dark hardwood floors. Two bedrooms, brand new kitchen. The pictures attached to the listing were so bad, that we almost didn’t look at the place.

Anyway, we will obviously keep you posted as we keep moving towards the exciting conclusion of this very special episode of Extreme Makeover: Life Edition.

moving in:


Wedding: “We went to Jared!”

Saturday, 16 June 2007


18k Gold 6mm Comfort-Fit Wedding Band*SIGH*

I can’t even explain the horror of writing this post. They say confession is good for the soul … all I ask is you read through to the end before laughing hysterically. Basically, a funny thing happened on the way home from the cake place …

After having our initial meeting at Lille a month ago, we forgot to actually place the order for the cake, and then they forgot what wanted when we called back 3 weeks after we were supposed to. So, today we had to shlep all the way back to Herndon, see “the guy”, redraw the cake and fork over a deposit.

On the way back from “Cake, part 2: The Revenge of Fondant”, we realized that we had no idea what our ring-finger sizes were, and that the ignorance of such things was going to make wedding ring shopping online … well … suboptimal. Thusly, we decided to “swing by” one of the malls in Tyson’s Corner, pretend to be interested in buying our rings, get our fingers sized, and rush home to buy the rings online.

Unfortunately for the mall theory, there was a bit of a traffic jam on Route 7 (the main road in to Tysons) and it just grinded to a halt after a while … directly in front of a Jared: the Galleria of Jewelry.

With our souls already crushed by the traffic, we figured going into the store responsible for the most soul-sucking television commercials in nigh-on-a-decade (“He went to Jared!”) couldn’t kill what was already dead. Besides, if we want to bring down the evil empire, what better way to do so then by bring false hope to their sales associates and making them waste time sizing the fingers of future Blue Nile customers.

Sadly, a very nice sales associate named Danielle helped us try on various rings. Even more sadly, they actually fit and looked rather nice. Even MORE sadly, they were reasonably priced, and The Lady Sparkler found the ring of her dreams.

Wanting to save the last shred of my dignity, we took down the ring information and *promised* to come back to consummate the deal. I may not be able to stop the flood, but at least I can delay it a bit.

UPDATE: When we went back the following weekend to actually place the order for the rings, our little helper Danielle was abjectly shocked to see us. I asked why she was so surprised, and she said that it was very rare for people to come back after being sized, and even more rare for a couple to ask for the person that helped them the first time. I handed her a credit card, completed the transaction and guiltily skulked away. I have become that which I had feared most…

p.s. The first person who sees me walk by and says “He went to Jared!” will get slugged. Pow. Right in the kisser. (“To the moon, Alice. To the moon!”)

wedding in:


Wedding: Ceremony Now @ 10:30am!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The Bride, the Groom and the Maid of Honor sat down tonight (and besides celebrating the Maid of Honor’s new job!) we ran through the ENTIRE wedding day schedule, mapping out what happens when. Unfortunately, the very first thing we noticed was that we are going to have to push the ceremony up to 10:30 am to fit all the partying in.

We’ll post more info about the schedule a little later, but in a desperate, pandering attempt to win your affection: (a) we are going to try and do the bulk of the pictures before the ceremony (yay!) and (b) while we are going to do a receiving line leaving the church, if you sneak out the back door and run over to the reception, the food and libations will be flowing long before we show up.


wedding in:


Wedding: Washington Photo Safari

Saturday, 9 June 2007


Glass Harmonica, Washington Photo Safari, Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia
Glass Harmonica, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
The “boys” needed something to do while the “girls” were having a bridal shower, so a group of us grabbed our cameras and went on a Washington Photo Safari. This particular trip was around Alexandria (which, coincidentally, was where the shower was being held) and it kept us out of the way long enough for the cucumber sandwiches to be cleared.

wedding in:


photos: capitol hill

Saturday, 9 June 2007


[U.S. Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC ]
See Slideshow of the Photos on Flickr:
capitol hill, washington, dc

Wedding: Sailing on the Bay

Friday, 8 June 2007


The Lady Sparkler, Sailing, Schooner Woodwind, Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, Maryland
The Lady Sparkler, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
The Lady Sparkler’s bridesmaids threw her a little shower this weekend, and both sets of parents came into town for the event. For part of the weekend, we went to Annapolis for a sailing trip around the Chesapeake Bay on the Schooner Woodwind. The whole family and all of the bridesmaids joined us for the sail.

wedding in: