Posts from September, 2009

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

U2 @ FedEx Field

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


there are times when i love my wife, and then there are times when i love my wife. tonight, i love my wife.

the lady sparkler has wanted to see U2 since she was twelve, and when they announced the were coming to DC — er, suburban Maryland — earlier this spring, absolutely nothing was going to stop her from being there.

fast forward eight pregnant months later, i gave her every chance humanly possible to back out if she felt like she needed to. heck, *i* even tried to convince her that she needed to.

but she was undeterred.

based off our last horrific fedex field experience (real madrid v
dc united) we left a gazillion hours early, and were in the parking lot by 5 pm for a 7 o’clock curtain.

if there were seats farther away from the stage (and speakers) I’m not sure where they were, but that was definately by design. we also got tickets on the club level, so the lady sparkler was hanging out in cushy seats in the lobby for the two hours before the show.

… or should I say the three hours before U2 came on stage, because we made if it through about 10 minutes of the opening act (“Muse”) before retreating to the cushy seats. their music was hard to describe, but Bono later said “I’ve never heard three people make so much noise.”

the main event itself was incredible.

a lot of the reviews i’ve read about the tour has focused on the giii-normous spaceship stage thing, and argued that it overwhelmed the show … but from where we were sitting (opposite endzone, three sections up) it was the perfect extension of the ant-sized band, and brought the show into our living room.

the band spanned just about the whole breadth of their catalogue (25 years worth, shockingly) and the audience vibe was great (considering we were in DC). there was a decent amount of politics — Bono introduced his band as a “cabinet,” referred to himself as U2’s “well-turned-out” Speaker of House, and praised Bush for his work in Africa (?) not-once-but-twice.

a couple of interesting tweaks to the show through the stage’s media boards … they turned “Sunday Bloody Sunday” into a song supporting Iran’s so-called Green Revolution, and “Walk On” into a song for imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

my beloved was over the moon through out. she came in without hoping for a particular song for fear of being let down, but came out with all of her favorites checked off — “city of blinding lights”, “ultraviolet (light my way)”, and “with or without you” — none of which did i think she had a chance in hell of hearing.

(fwiw, one i heard them plow through “where the streets have no name” i decided that i could die happy…)

but the big takeaway? the Edge is every inch responsible for the band’s musical success. Adam Clayton plodded on his bass guitar, Larry Mullen Jr hit some things (including a bongo) and Bono pranced around the stage … but the Edge drove the show the whole evening long.

SET LIST: no line on the horizon · magnificent · get on your boots · mysterious ways · i still haven’t found what i’m looking for / stand by me · elevation · your blue room · beautiful day · blackbird / new year’s day · stuck in a moment · breathe · city of blinding lights · vertigo · you know i’ll go crazy … tonight · sunday bloody sunday · mlk / walk on · one · amazing grace / where the streets have no name · ultraviolet (light my way) · with or with out you · moment of surrender

the end is near

Sunday, 27 September 2009


[Kitchen, Washington, DC]
ECPA20090927_0128, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
i hesitate to say anything — because i don’t want to jinx things — but it looks like end is near as far as home construction goes.while the lady sparklet was preoccupied with baby-shower weekend, i (pretty much) finished off the kitchen … which needed to be repainted after the great fuse box / kitchen cabinet catastrophe of 2009.

so, if we run down the list of major baby to-dos: we’ve fixed our fuse box, prepped the nursery, redid the hall closet, and got a roof rack for the car. last up is hanging the replacement cabinet in the kitchen … which i already test fitted to make sure that i could actually write this post.

you know, it’s crazy … but it looks like we need to pick out a name, and run through that last list stuff we need to purchase post-baby shower.

speaking of the shower, it sounds like everyone had a blast. i’ll see if i can liberate some pictures/details from those who were there (i spent the afternoon slamming bloody marys with a friend who was similarly displaced).

(UPDATE: i just posted pictures of the shower…)


Explore the Photo Set:
repainted kitchen, washington, dc



in mt. pleasant, dc:

2y, 2m, 10d

crib in 30 seconds

Thursday, 24 September 2009

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Crib arrived. The box was bigger than the car, meaning yet again the new roof rack saved our bacon … though we looked a bit like the proverbial ant carrying off the proverbial watermelon. Watch a thirty second time-lapse of the assembly, and there’s a (static) photo on Flickr.

In unrelated news, i’m suddenly feeling like this all is really happening …



in mt. pleasant, dc:

2y, 2m, 7d

jojo / einstein

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


[Jojo / Einstein, Washington, DC]
ECPA20090922_0120, originally uploaded by [ecpark].



fun with letters

Monday, 21 September 2009

[Fun with Letters, Nursery, Washington, DC]
ECPA20090921_0114, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
in a vain attempt to move the baby name conversation forward, the lady sparkler and i are moving from the academic to the visual.

we’d already been planning on the stereotypical “put the baby’s name on the wall in big letters” thing, but without a name picked out … we bought enough letters to do all three.

… and have been playing with the letters ever since.

you’d be amazed the words that you can make out of the nine letters we bought: ikea, kale, kill, kilt, leak, l33t, like, tail, etc. and that doesn’t even include the actual names.

oh, and i didn’t get a picture of sparkler’s favorite so far: “eek.”



photos: national zoo

Saturday, 19 September 2009

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[National Zoo, Washington, DC]
ECPA20090919_0087, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
quick trip through the zoo. the last time we went, i got *really* great pictures, and then proceeded to have my camera stolen at the bar afterwards. no where near as good pictures this time, but at least we all came home in one piece.

the name game

Friday, 18 September 2009

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after months and months, the lady sparkler and i have finally narrowed down the potential names to just three, and we’ve started to “crowdsource” them — mostly to check for any negative pop-culture allusions that we might have missed, but also to make sure we aren’t ignoring one of our own rules for baby names.

it’s technically possible that we’ll come up with something thats not on the list, but that’s unlikely … it’s been 8 weeks since we added anything new, and we certainly won’t be adding anything once labor starts. if it’s not on the list before, we aren’t sure being sleep-deprived/overly-hormonal will help avoid naming mistakes that will haunt baby sparklet for decades.

we don’t have a leading candidate (which is actually a bit maddening) and both seem to have a new favorite each week. but, here they are, listed in the order that we thought of them (the oldest one’s first).

feel free to share your thoughts.

Kate Elizabeth Parker

this one is the very first name that went on the list, maybe a month into the process. we aren’t a huge fan of the longer name (katherine) so it’s really just kate. for a long time, it was the prototypical name (ie. “we need a strong name, like ‘kate'”) before we added it formally.

popularity — ranked 243rd (1978), 139th (2008). origins — Greek, meaning “pure” (Kate, Katherine); Hebrew, meaning “consecrated to God” (Elizabeth).

pros — Title character from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew; Evangeline Lilly’s character on “Lost”; actress Kate Beckinsdale (Underworld, Serendipity). added gravitas — Katherine the Great; designer Kate Spade; three of Henry VIII’s six wives. curiosity — Kate Winslet (of Titanic fame) is actually Kate Elizabeth Winslet by birth.

cons — “Jon and Kate plus Eight”; Kate Moss; Kate Hudson.

literary — Kate Chopin. music — Kate Nash; Kate Bush; Katy Perry; Kate Earl; Kate “Songbird of the South” Smith.

googling “Kate Parker” — 41,200 hits, including a wedding planner, a couple photographers, a florist, and lots of 18th century geneology references.

in short — fun-loving rock/movie diva.

Elizabeth Anne Parker (“Ellie”)

we came at this name sorta backwards. we loved the nickname “Ellie” but didn’t like any of the names it’s usually attached to (Eleanor, Elena) so we hemmed, hawed and came up with Elizabeth instead. which is also convenient, because we aren’t a real big fan of Elizabeth’s “actual” nicknames either, such as Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Betsy, etc.

popularity — ranked 14th (1978), 9th (2008). origins — Hebrew, meaning “consecrated to God” (Elizabeth); Hebrew, meaning “gift of God’s favour” (Anne).

pros — The wife in Pixar’s Up is named “Ellie”; Jodie Foster’s character from Contact; there’s a 2005 movie called Ellie Parker, with the title character played by Naomi Watts. added gravitas — Queen Elizabeth (I & II); Elizabeth Ann Seton (the first canonized American saint); Empress Elizabeth of Russia; the mother of John the Baptist. curiosity — “Elizabeth Anne” is the name of the girl that Tommy Lee Jones left behind in Men in Black; also, “Ellie” was the asteroid’s nickname in Deep Impact.

cons — The large, flakey wooly mammoth in Ice Age 2 (voiced by Queen Latifa) is called “Ellie”; “Elly” was the name of the dumb blonde from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

literary — Elizabeth is the protagonist of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice; Elizabeth Barret Browning (poet). music — “Goodnight, Elisabeth” by Counting Crows; Folk musician Elizabeth Cotten; Ellie Greenwich of the 60’s “girl groups” the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las.

googling “Elizabeth Parker” — 125,000 hits, including an artist, poet, composer, jeweler, and lots of facebook entries.

in short — holier-than-thou, daddy’s little angel.

Allison Grace Parker (“Allie”)

we aren’t really sure where Allison came from, but *everybody* seems to love the middle name Grace. seriously, no one really seams to bite when we say “Allison Parker” but say “Allison Grace” or just “Allie” and suddenly it’s the best name ever.

popularity — ranked 75th (1978), 32nd (2008). origins — Germanic, meaning “of noble birth” (Allison); Latin, meaning “a blessing” (Grace).

pros — Jane Curtin’s character from TV’s “Kate and Allie”; Rachel McAdams character from The Notebook; Jessica Biel’s character in I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Allison Janney (“West Wing”). added gravitas — Not much, though Allison Taylor was the fictional President of the USA in the television series “24.”

cons — A character on “Melrose Place,” played by Courtney Thorne-Smith, appears to have been an alcoholic; Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston in 2001, killing 41; our child will be the farthest thing from “grace”-ful; nickname (“Allie”) confusion with dirty city sidestreets (“Alley”).

literary — None. music — “Allison” is a song by the Pixies from their 1990 album Bossanova; Alison Krauss; Allison Crowe; Alison Goldfrapp (of rock duo Goldfrapp).

googling “Allison Parker” — 66,100 hits. mostly personal social media profiles, results from sports competitions, and a “famous” Australian endurance motorcycle rider.

in short — everywoman, or the smart/pretty girl next door.



archive: the year in tweets, 2008-2009

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I started tweeting a year ago, today — so i’m archiving them for posterity, on the off chance that Twitter goes belly up and takes their historical archive with them. Not bloody likely, but I’m neurotic like that.

2 Sep 09 … was just run off road by a car with “What Would Jesus Do?” sticker, but at least now I know the answer.
29 Aug 09 … is it too late to get a dog instead?
24 Aug 09 … office space moment. woman w/ walker moving faster on foot than I am driving. need gangsta rap.
13 Aug 09 … wondering how many goats I could get by agreeing to an arranged marriage for baby sparklet.
11 Aug 09 … covering up coral pink paint with a sunshine yellow makes ones room look like the Easter bunny vomited all over the walls.
9 Aug 09 … flopping: 2, cristiano ronaldo 0.
30 Jul 09 … i’m so very tired of being tired of being tired of being tired.
25 Jul 09 … “our kids should summer camp in Texas. they’d learn to ride horses and shoot guns — important knowledge for kids living in DC.”
24 Jul 09 … surrounded by 70,000 people in Chelsea / AC Milan soccer jerseys. is this the bizarro world the GOP warned me of if Obama was elected?
19 Jul 09 … freaking hell, I’m in the ‘burbs again. reproducing = worst idea ever.
15 Jul 09 … Obama singled out the Nats as sucky during an All-Star Game interview, but it’s not a faux pax if everyone in DC agrees (and we do).
11 Jul 09 … mini-golf, then dairy queen. maybe the ‘burbs are okay every once in a while.
6 Jul 09 … baby sparklet is now (apparently) the size of a large mango, which seems uncomfortably large to me.
5 Jul 09 … every trip to the ‘burbs (specifically Bailey’s Crossroads) reminds me why I live in the city.
2 Jul 09 … my iPhone knows to autocorrect “jager” to “jäger” which begs the question: who exactly programmed this thing?!?
28 Jun 09 … baby sparklet is kicking while watching the USA vs Brazil match, which is a good sign for future soccer-filled Saturday mornings.
28 Jun 09 … overheard from Tasha: “I agree that [in sports] all kids should get a ribbon, but I just think that should end at age 6.”
26 Jun 09 … if the FAA can’t keep planes on time during a recession (when no one is flying) what’s going to happen once the economy recovers?
22 Jun 09 … spent first father’s day helping my father rebuild my grandfather’s deck. seems strangely appropriate.
19 Jun 09 … we’re pregnant, and it’s a girl!
18 Jun 09 … spent all day tring to convince people that going to the ballet is manly (50 half-naked women jumping around) to no avail.
17 Jun 09 … just realized we have tickets to the ballet tmrw. how #@^%ing cool is that? like finding money in your pocket on laundry day.
12 Jun 09 … I’m pretty sure I just woke up from a dream in which I dreamt I got a bad night’s sleep.
26 May 09 … espn: spelling bee, followed by soccer. some where an Amer’can good ol’ boy is weeping.
24 Apr 09 … most beautiful words in English language: “British Airways flight 216 to London’s Heathrow Airport, now boarding.”
5 Apr 09 … made it thru my 34th birthday without experiencing any “unfortunate side-effects” of looking like Jesus.
1 Apr 09 … go Baylor Bears! grrrrrrrrrrrr.
31 Mar 09 … calling 311 actually works in DC. took maybe 30 seconds to report a disabled vehicle. I’m kinda proud of my disfunctional city.
28 Mar 09 … officially the first day in shorts of the new year, even tho it’s 48 degrees and rainy.
25 Mar 09 … never play video games with a recently unemployed sibling. *somebody* has been honing their guitar hero skills, me thinks.
22 Mar 09 … currently the only man at a lesbian bar in Rehobeth, and the band just broke into Melissa Ethridge.
21 Mar 09 … thirty-six hours in rehobeth. from here on out, I’m picking my friends based on their older sister’s beach house.
19 Mar 09 … fight, fight, fight for maryland! push up the score, keep on fighting for more, for maaaaryyyland — GO TERPS!
13 Mar 09 … really people, how many times do I have to say it? no white pantsuits before labor day. maybe ever.
10 Mar 09 … seeing docu-drama “ballerina” at landmark. pretty sure I’m the only boy who dragged his girl along and not the other way around.
7 Mar 09 … at the brand-spanking new Capitol visitors center. no wonder it was so expensive: it’s massive, and very shine-y.
6 Mar 09 … @ntenhross, is there an NTEN dc regional conference this year? a friend was asking, and i can’t find a thing.
2 Mar 09 … I have an embarassing love of snow that utterly conflicts with my curmudgeonly exterior.
1 Mar 09 … day o’ epic sports failure continues. just watched (in person) the Washington Capitols lose 6-2 at home.
1 Mar 09 … day o’ sports continues at my first capitals hockey game in nigh on 10 years.
1 Mar 09 … my beloved Tottenham is facing Manchester United in the League Cup final. nil-nil so far, tho not sure how long that’ll last.
1 Mar 09 … oi, nil-nil means extra time for tottenham. the 90 minute rolling heart attack continues.
1 Mar 09 … over 120 minutes, and not a goal to be found. penalties. come on you Spurs!
1 Mar 09 … sigh.
26 Feb 09 … at a mobile marketing conference, sitting next to Playboy’s mobile expert. I can’t even imagine what his day is like.
26 Feb 09 … New York is some of the most beautifully flowing chaos on the planet.
25 Feb 09 … #%^*+! I’m pretty sure I just saw the Jonas Brothers at the union square Virgin Megastore. my eyes, my eyes!
25 Feb 09 … on the bolt by to NYC. it’s filled with urban sophistocate bohemians, and I am the eldest by +/- a decade.
25 Feb 09 … the whole city of New York smells like pizza.
31 Jan 09 … crazy lines at the new American History museum. in January. can’t imagine July.
21 Jan 09 … $&@%! Tasha just flirted with john cusack (photos coming). I’m so screwed.
21 Jan 09 … google ball = prom for 30 somethings.
21 Jan 09 … on the way to dinner, and then the Google/LCCR ball.
21 Jan 09 … Tasha just met ben affleck. pictures to follow.
20 Jan 09 … in place for #inaug09, ready to count down the last three hours and twenty four minutes of the Bush administration.
19 Jan 09 … can’t wait for tuesday. if there were *this* many people at the concert, can’t wait to see how many people are at the main event.
19 Jan 09 … we got TICKETS!!!
19 Jan 09 … you wouldn’t believe the lines to pick up #inaug09 tickets on the Hill. probably a dozen lines, each with several hundred people.
18 Jan 09 … it’s nuts down here on the mall. two hours ’til showtime, and the place is packed.
18 Jan 09 … on the 42, heading to #inaug09 concert on mall and it’s standing room only after two stops.
17 Jan 09 … the vet is concerned that my cat freaked when her belly was shaved for an ultrasound. I’d be worried if she hadn’t.
13 Jan 09 … when did “dress jeans” become appropriate attire for the theatre?
12 Jan 09 … there is nothing sadder than a pile of dead Christmas trees on a city street corner.
5 Jan 09 … love the new 43 bus. just like the 42, but no Dupont Circle. publik tranzit rulez!
4 Jan 09 … isn’t it a tad early for valentine’s merchandise displays?!?
2 Jan 09 … learned how to knit, thereby annihilating my last remaining shred of masculinity.
31 Dec 08 … at the beach, and it’s snowing.
27 Dec 08 … at the brightest Christmas house in Virginia — photo:
25 Dec 08 … happy christmas, twitterbody —
24 Dec 08 … now obsessed with “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues, as potentially the best Christmas song ever.
22 Dec 08 … oi! NORAD is going to twitter santa’s progress @noradsanta (thx @davidconnell for the tip).
19 Dec 08 … karaoake at the office holiday party. dear lord deliver me.
18 Dec 08 … guy next to me on bus is rockin’ out to his third consecutive replay of “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon. disturbing.
17 Dec 08 … surprise (free) tickets to Aimee Mann Holiday Show @ the Birchmere —
16 Dec 08 … need a healthy dose of inspiration.
15 Dec 08 … resting after a *spectacular* Christmas cartoon extravaganza.
14 Dec 08 … my wife is bonding with someone re: their hatred of squash —
12 Dec 08 … is it the holidays that are making me blog/tweet/post less, or am i just spectacularly lazy?
10 Dec 08 … planning our 4th annual Christmas cartoon extravaganza this Sunday. who’s in?!?
9 Dec 08 … what is it about Illinois gov’t that makes “sleazy” okay?
9 Dec 08 … wondering how much of my life has been taken up by Proactiv acne solution commercials.
7 Dec 08 … ugh. first head cold of the season.
6 Dec 08 … if you are marching in a Scottish parade, Burberry plaid doesn’t count.
5 Dec 08 … it’s cold enough that even ear-flaps aren’t going to be enough.
2 Dec 08 … why DC is unlike any city in the world: the hostess at New Heights just corrected us on the status of the Minnesota senate race.
30 Nov 08 … getting through PDX without an ID is surprising non-traumatic. and maybe even a tiny bit pleasant.
30 Nov 08 … lost wallet. left in rental car. car rerented. at airport w/o ID. wish me luck proving I’m not a hippie/terrorist.
29 Nov 08 … food, friends, dirty girl scout martinis, wii. — photo:
29 Nov 08 … how is it possible that the best tex-mex from our Austin trip is in Seattle?!? —
28 Nov 08 … movies are the new football games, and bacon-wrapped scallops the new turkey. all that is new is old again, or something-or-other.
28 Nov 08 … perhaps I’ll miss you, Stumptown, most of all. —
27 Nov 08 … used to think hats w/ earflaps looked ridiculous. after hiking around mt. hood, I now deem them the very height of fashion.
23 Nov 08 … CTSG reunion! I love these guys. —
22 Nov 08 … ah, Portland. just as cold and rainy as I remember. —
22 Nov 08 … realizing my life is defined by what I eat. —
21 Nov 08 … final day in Austin begins with cheese stuffed queso omlet. now, I can never leave. @
20 Nov 08 … am I the only one bummed to see gas prices plummet? besides the Saudis and Al Gore, I mean.
20 Nov 08 … eating half a pound of heaven. @ Coopers Barbeque
19 Nov 08 … austin meal distribution: 60% tex-mex (with 1/3rd queso kicker), 30% bbq, and 10% other. need late surge in the queso metric.
18 Nov 08 … embracing my inner geek. i’ve missed him.
18 Nov 08 … just admitted to reading shakespeare for fun. expecting my friend count to drop precipitously.
16 Nov 08 … I [heart] queso for breakfast.
15 Nov 08 … goodbye, Washington DC. the next time I see you, it will be time to start watching those bad christmas cartoon specials I love so much.
15 Nov 08 … it’s 15 degrees *COLDER* in Austin than DC. dude, wtf?!?
14 Nov 08 … deciding if loopt is cool, or creepy. in Washington, DC
11 Nov 08 … street parking in the city is all well and good, until you realize you have misplaced your car.
8 Nov 08 … fall colors at the National Zoo, now with fifty percent less tourists!
7 Nov 08 … just paid 300% markup for a copy of the “Obama Makes History” WashPost. I’m a marketer’s dream.
6 Nov 08 … radio: “president-elect barack obama.” don’t think hearing that will ever get old.
5 Nov 08 … it’s a beautiful day.
5 Nov 08 … tired, sleep deprived, but live blogging the election returns anyway @
4 Nov 08 … line to vote two blocks long. last year at this time, I was one of twelve.
4 Nov 08 … tearing up (like a little girl) every time i see a 90-year old say “i never thought i would see this in my lifetime.”
4 Nov 08 … unbelievable. the candidade was fantastic. the crowd incredible. if they say 80,000 attended, I’d believe.
3 Nov 08 … driving my DC-plated, hybrid, car-sharing ZipCar to Manassas to see Obama!
3 Nov 08 … plotting furiously to go to the Obama rally in Manassas tonight.
1 Nov 08 … just pumped gas in my Jesus costume. hilarity ensued.
31 Oct 08 … realizing that some party is going to eat it’s young after this election. here’s hoping it won’t be mine.
29 Oct 08 … just thought about Shel Silverstein’s “Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back” for 1st time in 20 years. now i want a marshmallow palace.
29 Oct 08 … screw the World Series, the Boston Celtics just raised championship banner #17.
28 Oct 08 … say it ain’t so, ted:
28 Oct 08 … was just told that i would be “Gonzo” if my office was casted for a Muppet Movie. words can’t describe how happy that made me.
27 Oct 08 … first two coke day in, well, forever. not a good sign.
27 Oct 08 … open letter to idiot: don’t run on Wilson blvd, after dark, in the rain, wearing black, even if ur in the bike lane. just sayin’.
25 Oct 08 … fifty-nine percent of registered voters believe McCain will favor the wealthy. just 11% believe he will favor the middle class.
25 Oct 08 … settling in for the last 20 hours of the (TiVo-ed) Summer Olympics. who’s with me?
23 Oct 08 … at 3:30 am, 10 lbs of cat on your stomach feels more like fifty.
23 Oct 08 … feeling fat and happy.
22 Oct 08 … wishing anyone could differentiate between “normal race tightening,” “yet another comeback,” and “dead cat bounce.”
20 Oct 08 … back home after the *beautiful* Hutchins/Kazi wedding. (photos @
18 Oct 08 … my wife got her hands henna-ed, and I’m too tired to come up with a worthy punchline.
17 Oct 08 … in a rental car without power locks or windows. truley, this is the third world.
17 Oct 08 … Texas, it’s like a whole ‘nuther planet.
16 Oct 08 … going back to Texas for yet another wedding of the century. (see #1 @
16 Oct 08 … thanking the dear sweet Lord that I am live blogging the *last* presidential debate @
15 Oct 08 … &$@%# red sox.
14 Oct 08 … short work week, and no one is in the office. must. stay. focused.
10 Oct 08 … @holdie1: was that the volkswagon i almost bought? i loved that car. *snif.*
10 Oct 08 … loving my new furnace that doesn’t sound like i’m on the deck of an aircraft carrier @
10 Oct 08 … wondering how long it will take the neo-cons to argue that the meltdown happened because we didn’t deregulate *enough.*
9 Oct 08 … @pixelslave “Doooo naaaaht seeek the treaaaasurre.”
9 Oct 08 … love me some “oh brother, where art thou?” not much nutritional value, but you just can’t stop. like cinematic potato chips.
8 Oct 08 … awed that 86 percent of fox news viewers said mccain won the debate. when was the last time 86% of any group agreed on anything?
8 Oct 08 … not happy to be live blogging yet another debate @
7 Oct 08 … red sox, rays, dodgers and phillies. never would have picked that in a million years.
6 Oct 08 … if an anniversary falls over in the forest, but both participants are sick, does it make a sound?
3 Oct 08 … glad to be getting out of the center of the political universe this weekend, even if it is to Joe Biden’s Delaware.
3 Oct 08 … live blogging the pending veep apocalypse @
2 Oct 08 … still recovering from Sox game (late) last night. all teams in the pacific time zone should be booted to the Japanese majors.
1 Oct 08 … contemplating my one-night return to bachelorhood tonight. considering (*gasp*) leaving my dishes in the sink, unwashed, overnight.
29 Sep 08 … caught a little off guard that our first anniversary is nary a week away.
27 Sep 08 … live blogging the debate @
26 Sep 08 … more flipped out about the grotesque politics around the bailout than i am about the state of the financial system.
25 Sep 08 … wondering if anyone thinks that dubya actually understands the script he is reading.
25 Sep 08 … wondering if people on the street below just saw me perform "i feel pretty" from West Side Story, complete with choreography. also …
24 Sep 08 … Tasha just said our (hypothetical) child’s first words should be "Yankee’s suck." I LOVE her.
22 Sep 08 … facing down five whole work hours without a meeting. paralyzed with fear and indecision.
21 Sep 08 … someone needs to remind me that it’s not a vacation if you don’t go home afterwards.
20 Sep 08 … lazy Saturday afternoon in Vermont. There’s nothing more relaxing on God’s green Earth.
19 Sep 08 … how do people visit Vermont and *not* end up moving here?
18 Sep 08 … @&$£%#ng red sox.
18 Sep 08 … loves me some Zoë Keating. most innovative musician in a long, long time.
16 Sep 08 … i’d be at a demolition derby if my car hadn’t broken down. is that ironic, or vaguely creepy?
15 Sep 08 … pretty sure it’s bad when you have played four, won none, and are dead last.
15 Sep 08 … wondering why take-out food cashiers ask for your name when they are holding your credit card.
29 Aug 08 … *still* live blogging the Convention:
28 Aug 08 … Live blogging the Convention —


Sunday, 13 September 2009


[Baby Sparklet's Nursery, Washington, DC.]

Well, forgive the crazy distorted pictures (wide-angle lens), but the nursery is pretty much done. We need two major things: the crib (which will be delivered later this month) and a name (so that we can put that on the wall above the white cube-looking changing-table thing).

All in all, we are super excited. There is still one major construction project left (framing in the new monstrosity in the kitchen) but we are about as set as we can be in the no-longer-spare bedroom.



in mt. pleasant, dc:

2y, 1m, 24d

strange things

Friday, 11 September 2009

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strange things are afoot at the circle sparkler.

two nights ago, my cat, my wife and I conspired to pour half a bottle of wine into my laptop. fortunately, it fried the keyboard and not the whole computer. unfortunately, it was really good wine.

meanwhile, an electrician came this morning to replace our electrical circuit breaker box of death, which apparently has a bad habit of not tripping when small kids put their fingers in associated electric sockets. needless-to-say, the lady and I have decided that this is (in fact) a bug, and not a feature, and decided to replace.

back with the laptop … after I got the electrician settled, I started a long drive towards Suburban Maryland to drop off my computer with the people who we contract to service it when stupid people do stupid things. (did I mention it was my work computer?)

once I got to beautiful, non-historic Lanham, I went to where Google Maps said the repair service was. Found the road, found the street number, pulled into the parking lot. No computer repair people. I whip out my handly iPhone, double check where I am. then I double check where I am supposed to be. both are right, except they obviously aren’t.

fifteen minutes later, I realize that even though I am on Nicole Road, the building number i found (4421) is technically on Forbes Road, a street which (i should note) three blocks away. the 4421 I need is actually across the street from the 4421 that i found. there are two 4421s, on opposite sides of the same road that shares two names.

this, unfortunately, is the part of the day that will end up making the most sense.

back at home, we already know that we are getting a bigger (wider, taller) electrical panel box than what we had before, namely we had to rip out a kitchen cabinet to acommodate the new sized box. which we then had to special order a (smaller, daintier) replacement because our cabinets had been discontinued.

in the process of ripping out our old electrical box, our fearless electrician discovered that there is a pipe running along side the old box. a pipe that can’t be moved. on the other side is a door jam, that also can’t be moved. so our box won’t fit. and it’s the smallest box they make.

they suggest we put the box on the other side of the same wall, which, i should mention, would be in the living room. about four feet off the floor, right next to the couch. all I can hear in my head is future prospective owners having a conversation like, “do you like the first place we saw, or the one with the electrical box in the living room?”

I ask for other options.

at the same time, at the other end of the living room, another electrician is installing a light in our hall closet, which is both the most important room in our house (storage) but also the darkest. turns out that our closet is surrounded on all four sides (and ceiling) by concrete. turns out it is also hard to run wires in and through concrete.

back in the kitchen, our fearless electrician has decided we can put the box in the kitchen if it isn’t fully recessed. meaning it will stick out from the wall. meaning I am glad I’ve been too lazy to return my friends compound power mitre saw, because I will be putting a wood facing around our new electrical box this weekend.

they go about their business.

with the pressing computer and electrical stuff actively being resolved, I finally settle back to work. I use the term “back” because last night I had nightmares about elevator outages/accidents in the Capitol building, which got me out of bed at 5:00 am. for the record, I have no idea what that dream means either but, I was working at my desk by 5:30 am.

back to present day: I sat down in baby sparklet’s room, with my battery operated phone and my battery operated computer, and settled in for a long day’s work. it was only then that I realized I didn’t have a battery operated cable modem, or a battery operated router. so i wouldn’t be doing any battery operated work today.

so I headed off to find a café. I chose starbucks, entirely because they have ATT wifi, which I get for free because I have an ATT iPhone. turns out, free wifi is only if you access the Internet from your iPhone. so it turns out that i had to pay for access. at a place I hate. to a company I despise.

the rest of starbucks went better — I just had to fight for a table, fight for a plug, and then sit across from a random guy off the street who was rocking back and forth, talking to himself. this was fun and all, but I had to hop on a couple of conference calls for work, and didn’t want to givecrazy rocking guy a reason to think I was talking to him. I walked back home.

did I mentioned I hate ATT? that’s because I can’t really use my phone at home. I often have to go down to the courtyard in front of my building to use the phone, which is unfortunate because my coverage is especially bad when it’s raining and that’s not a fun time to be outside.

so, it was raining. and I couldn’t be in the courtyard. so I went to my car, and sat in the front seat for the next three hours. never once thinking of the ramifications of carbon monoxide in enclosed spaces. promise.

the good news is that my iphone sometimes drains quickly if I am doing network heavy things, like checking email or reviewing documents … otherwise known as working. well, to be fair, *that* wasn’t the good news, the good news is that in my car I could plug my iPhone in to a car charger, which should stave off my power problems.

but, I learned something new today — namely that my phone won’t charge (in the car) if you are talking on it. which is what I was doing. for three hours. in my car. because it was raining. and I had no power at home. or cell coverage.

I don’t remember much about the rest of my day. I wrote a large check to our fearless electrician, I finished up some work, I started prepping the electric box for my new weekend project, and finally took my morning shower around 6:00 pm.

the one thing i *haven’t* done today is try to install the new kitchen cabinet that we had to special order to replace the one we ripped out to make room for the new electric box. I think I might be stalling because, while the new cabinet is two inches smaller, and our new electrical box three inches farther out from the wall.

I think that might just about finish me off for the day.

in mt. pleasant, dc:

2y, 1m, 22d