Posts from October, 2007

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

Halloween in Mt. Pleasant

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

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CRW_7140.CRW, originally uploaded by [collin].

Unbelievable the number of kids out in Mt. Pleasant tonight.

After dropping a friend off in Northeast, I drove through Capitol Hill, Shaw, Petworth and Columbia Heights on the way home … and saw probably 20 kids in 20 minutes (that’s one kid per minute for those playing at home).

As soon as I crossed 16th street, however, I saw packs (PACKS!) of kids toddling from house to house (princesses and angels were big this year, with a strong second for little boys in vampire caps). I would hate pull a National Park Service here, but the count was easily in the hundreds.

I’m guessing not all of them were local, too. I saw every kind of car stuffed with kids heading into the fray — trick or treaters whose parents who had obviously driven across the city. One of the streets west of Mt. Pleasant Ave (not sure which, I drove for a very unusual 30 minutes looking for parking) was closed to handle the throngs.

Anyway, the secret is out: if you are under 5 and in D.C. looking to score some halloween candy then Mt. Pleasant is the place to be.

Home: Emergency Bathroom Remodel

Monday, 29 October 2007

IMG_0852, originally uploaded by [ecpark].

So, a last week the bathroom vanity collapsed around 1 a.m. in the morning. On Sunday, we made an “emergency” trip to Home Depot, which of course led to an “emergency” bathroom remodel.

The most interesting part of the whole conversation is when we got to Home Depot and saw the exact same medicine cabinet that had collapsed the previous week ($99, fwiw). You would think we wouldn’t have even considered going down that road again, but … fortunately, thoughts of picking glass out of our cat’s hair won out.

in mt. pleasant, dc:

0y, 3m, 11d

home: halloween

Sunday, 28 October 2007


IMG_0849, uploaded by [ecpark].

We had a couple of halloween parties to go to tonight (even though we only made it to one of them).

After many long evenings frantically digging through our closets, the lady sparkler decided she would go as David Beckham, and I decided I would go as the Pool Boy that my beloved brought back from Belize. You’ll notice the “Why Not Us?” Red Sox t-shirt which was a late addition … because the parties were poorly timed to coincide with Game 3 of the World Series (the nerve, really).

It’s incrediable how much you have to think when you are wearing a sarong. Getting in and out of the cab was almost comical, as was me sitting demurly on the couch (with my legs crossed at the knees) at the party. I don’t know how girls do it … well, except for Britney Spears who doesn’t seem to try very hard.

Wedding: The Abridged Belize

Saturday, 27 October 2007

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IMG_0356, Snorkeling off the Caye, Laughing Bird Caye, Placencia, Belize
IMG_0356, originally uploaded by [ecpark].

Now, there are always people who *say* they want to see pictures from the honeymoon, but aren’t prepared for the full 526 photo onslaught. For those, we have prepared something special: the 72 picture abridged Belize.

If you are looking for the full annotated story (the hard core wedding enthusiasts, I presume) check out our more expansive “honeymoon” posts for a walk through our 10 amazing days in Belize.

Explore the Photo Set:
Honeymoon: The Abridged Belize

married for:

0y, 0m, 21d

Home: 14 Years of Bad Luck

Thursday, 25 October 2007

IMG_0831, uploaded by [ecpark].

We woke up this morning at 1 a.m. to the sounds of glass shattering.

Never a fun thing to wake up to, we stumbled out of bed and found that the door to our medicine cabinet had collapsed into the middle of the bathroom floor. The cabinet had glass on both sides of the door, so we got a two-for-one discount on the 7-years of bad luck offer.

About a year ago, in our previous place, we woke up to a horrifically loud crash … I woke up with such a fright that I landed (literally) on top of the lady sparkler. Our bedroom closet shelving had collapsed. To this day, we don’t know if I was trying to protect her or if I was running away and just got stuck on top of her.

Anyway, all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put that vanity back together again, and to make matters worse the collapsing medicine cabinet ruined the sink on its short trip south.

i guess it’s time for a trip to home depot.

in mt. pleasant, dc:

0y, 3m, 7d

Website: (launch, v10)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007



Now that the wedding is over, we have to figure out what to do with … do we hold it in perpetuity as a last memento of the glory days of our engagement?

Sitting on the domain just seems unfair to the legions of Evanses and Tashas sure to follow (especially as appears to taken as well).

Instead, we have decided to take merge my web site ( with the engagement site, to form a brand-spanking new site called I had bought that domain for my parents for a Christmas almost five years ago (hi mom!) but sadly, nothing came of it (sorry mom!) and my mom ended up with a computer instead.

Anyway, if you want to keep track of the Sparklers from this point forward, you have come to the right place. You might want to grab our RSS Feed (if you are into that sort of thing) or sign-up to be notified by email when we post something new.

p.s. If you are wondering about the picture, for the last decade — dating back to when my vanity web site was — my site has featured the same picture of my face on Karl Marx’ body that you see here. The new addition is the lady sparkler’s face gracing the body of Catherine the Great, who was arguably the most powerful female ruler of the last half millenium (it seemed fitting).

UPDATE: Karl Marx and Catherine the Great are growing to be a little too obscure, even for us. I just swapped them out for The Great Gonzo (needs no explanation) and Abby Cadabby, the newish girly-girl-fairy-princess Muppet on Sesame Street (which seems to resonate the lady sparkler all over the place). I was also thinking about Shaggy and Velma — which would be funny beyond all possible understanding — so maybe that will come next.

married for:

0y, 0m, 18d

Travel: Actun Tunichil Muknak, Belize

Thursday, 18 October 2007

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IMG_0695, Entrance to the Cave, Actun Tunichil Muknak, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Belize
IMG_0695, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Our last excursion in Belize was to a cave system about an two-hours outside of Chaa Creek. Called Actun Tunichil Muknak (or A.T.M. for short), the caves were used by the Mayans as a place of worship.

After driving out towards the A.T.M., we parked the van and hiked 45 minutes to the mouth of the caves. Once there, we hopped into the river flowing out of the cave, and swam inside. After about 100 yards, the water was shallow enough to stand up. After hiking through the water for about half a kilometer, we climbed out of the river and spent an hour walking through the formations which 2,000 years earlier were a Mayan burial ground.

The whole day was spectacular, not just the journey, but the formations and especially the Mayan artifacts left untouched for over two millennia.

Explore the Photo Set:
Actun Tunichil Muknak, Belize

Travel: Last Free Day, Chaa Creek, Belize

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

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IMG_7791, Butterfly Farm, Chaa Creek Natural Reserve, San Ignacio, Belize
IMG_7791, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Tomorrow we are going on our last excursion, so today we did … well, pretty much everything left on our list in Chaa Creek.

We got up early and spent the morning birding with a local naturalist. After breakfast, we went mountain biking through the nature reserve next door. After lunch, we got a tour of the reserve’s butterfly farm. Finally, after dinner, we hiked the resort’s River Trail (which, up to this point, had been closed due to high water levels caused by the wet season).

Explore the Photo Set:
Last Free Day, Chaa Creek, Belize

Travel: Caracol Archaeological Reserve, Belize

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

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IMG_7693, "Caana" or Sky Palace (Group B), Caracol Archaeological Reserve, Caracol, Belize
IMG_7693, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Our first major excursion in the Cayo District of Belize was to Caracol, which is the largest known Mayan site in Belize. The reserve contains the largest building in Belize (the 2,000 year old “Sky Palace”) and dozens upon dozens of excavated ruins from the Mayan Classic period.

One monument here records a military victory over the army of Tikal — a larger Mayan city across the border in Guatemala — in 562CE, where Caracol’s Lord Water is shown to have captured and sacrificed Tikal’s Double Bird.

Part of the excitement was having AK-47 toting members of the Belize Defence Forces escort us from the Mountain Pine Ridge ranger station to the ruins. Apparently, about two years ago, a group of Guatemalan bandits (angry about the aforementioned defeat of Tikal, I’m sure…) crossed the border and held up a couple of tour buses. While the bandits were caught long ago (and presumably taken out back and shot) the Belizean authorities aren’t taking any chances with their tourist revenue.

The ruins themselves were just amazing, and we were two of 30 people in the park that day, so had the place largely to ourselves. Simply amazing.