Posts Tagged ‘mini-adventures’

There’s always something satisfying about crossing an item off a to-do list. But there’s something especially satisfying when that item is #1.

On Saturday, we went Bang Bang. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone at the shooting range was calling it. Or maybe it was just me, but that’s neither here nor there.

The short story is that I absolutely loved it.

The longer story starts with the observation that shooting ranges are surprisingly (to me) popular. We ended up waiting nearly two and a half hours for a lane to open up…then spent about an hour shooting once it was our turn. No wonder the line moves so slowly.

Between BNF and me, we shot 150 rounds using a 9mm. For a first-time user, I have to say the 9mm was pretty user friendly. I adjusted to the minor recoil fairly quickly and didn’t even mind when the casings bounced back and hit me in the head.

I realized, though, that this whole “aiming” thing is harder than it seems. For instance, take a look at this photo:

I felt like I was doing it right, but after I’d shot, we pulled the target back and BNF inspected it, then turned to me. “Wow! Almost all your shots landed right at the zombie’s head!

That’s great,” I told him. “But I was aiming for the girl!” (Not because I’m pro-zombie or anything, don’t be ridiculous. I just thought she was presenting a bigger target.)

Regardless, I did manage to get a few good shots off…

A combination of my shots and BNF's

…and I only knocked the target off once!

The blue guy on the ground was ours. Luckily, we had another blue guy to replace him with.

Next time – yes, there will be a next time – I’ll try something new. Maybe something a little bigger, with a little more boom. And maybe I’ll even aim for the zombie, though that doesn’t mean that his victim will come out unscathed.

Bottom line – I think the gun shop employee said it best, after seeing my reaction to initially being handed the weapon:

Congratulations. It looks like you’ve just started an expensive new hobby.”


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Let me just start by saying that I love my little Ford Focus. I do.

It has done me well these past six years, helping me move from apartment to apartment, and making countless trips up and down I-95. And I have always marveled at how deceptively big it is on the inside – which has been extremely handy in those moving trips.

But this past Saturday I think we finally found its max.

We went to IKEA. I was sure that the bookcase we had our eye on would fit in the trunk, considering we’d previously bought and transported a TV stand and desk without problems.

BNF was sure that the car was too small.

Turns out, he was right this time.

I suppose it didn’t help that the bookcase came in four different boxes. And it also didn’t help that we decided to purchase a GIANT rug in the same trip.

BNF worked some magic with the twine, and it was my brilliant idea to stick the rug through the back windows.

Here, it looks almost comical. On the way home from College Park, however, I spent nearly the entire ride facing backwards, just in case something decided to slide out – poised to grab it if it did.

I’m sure that would have helped.

Regardless, we made it back in one piece, with no lasting damage to the little Focus, and losing nothing along the way.

And while this trip was a success, I suppose, I’m still fairly certain that next time we’ll use an SUV.

Though, as Mama said when I emailed her the photo, “Nothing sticking out of the sunroof – you’ve got plenty of room!

I’m sure that would have worked if we’d gotten pulled over.

Update – the finished product!

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In the nine months that I’ve owned Andre (my bike), I’ve gone on just one long bike ride. And even that wasn’t very long – 12 miles or so, out to Gravelly Point (for a picnic) and back. I actually blame the marathon. Every free weekend I had was dedicated to racking up those running miles, and the last thing I wanted to do after running 20, was bike that same distance.

But this weekend we had the time.

I’d also never taken advantage of Beach Drive being closed on the weekend, so this past Saturday, even though it wasn’t particularly beautiful out, we planned to go for a nice 20-miler.

Now, I still don’t have bike-specific clothes, so I busted out my running spandex and old pair of sneakers, and vowed that I’d get a pair of those butt-padded shorts eventually. But that was really my main concern.

Turns out? It should have been the shoes.

The adventure started off fantastically, and it felt like the miles were flying by. I even practiced holding the curvy part of my handlebars (is there a technical term for that?) so I could feel like a real racer.

Photo courtesy of the boyfriend, who is clearly not afraid to ride and snap shots simultaneously

I didn’t. And I could have sworn I was much lower than it looks, but it still got my adrenaline pumping.

From Beach Drive we jumped onto Capital Crescent trail to make our way back toward Georgetown. It was smooth sailing, and Guillermo (and the boyfriend) kept me posted on just how fast we were going.

"Take the picture faster! Your tires are kicking dirt into my mouth!"

At one point, I noticed how the trail is just a little bit raised, so that there’s a bit of a dip to the dirt shoulder. And I thought, this is what scares me. I bet if I hit the side at this speed, I’d lose control.

Talk about foreshadowing.

I felt the tug first. It was the tug of my shoelace catching a little bit on my gears. Not a big deal, I thought, let me just slightly shift my foot…Well, *slightly* was all it took.

Before I knew what was happening my front tire had hit that little edge, my bike spun out from under me, and I was on my butt, all tangled up with Andre.

I was shaken, for sure. And the bruises that have shown up on the backs of my legs are slowly turning that lovely shade of purple.

They don't look so bad here, and they could have been MUCH worse, but they're still not fun.

But luckily, that’s all. I’m not broken, and neither is Andre. And the boyfriend was there to help me shake it off and encourage me to get back on the horse, so to speak.

I told him later, “This is exactly why I don’t want clip-in shoes! I would have been stuck!

Although, after this experience, I am strongly considering velcro.

*At least four different groups of cyclists stopped while we were on the side of the road to make sure everything was okay. Granted, cycling may be a little more dangerous, but I’ve never had any runners stop to make sure I was all right, including when I was going through my “run fast and vomit” phase.

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One of the perks of keeping a blog is that I don’t always have to remember everything. I can often just refer to a post to jog my memory. Which is what I was trying to do this morning regarding New Year’s Resolutions. It seems very much like something I would do – post a list of resolutions so I have things to check off – but I couldn’t find one.

I did, however, find my wish for fewer miscommunications in 2009; my acceptance that 2009 had its ups and downs (and own set of misunderstandings), but mostly ups; and my prediction that 2010 would be even better yet. And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was completely right.

2010 was (and is) the year of…

…not one, but two marathons

…beginning grad school

three weddings within a two month period

turning 25 and all that I hope to accomplish within that year

moving in with the boyfriend (and weeding out my closet in the process)

…my first Thanksgiving with a significant other’s (entire) family

…a beautiful Puerto Rico vacation

…and a New Year’s Eve that also coincides with our 1 year anniversary (schmoop!)

2010 seems hard to beat, but I think 2011 is up to the challenge.

Next year will see more marathons (or, at least one); the halfway point of my grad school career; five weddings within a three month period (plus another one over Labor Day); hopefully the completion of my birthday list; and a potential trip to Buenos Aires.

I can’t wait to see what else 2011 has up its sleeve.

Happy New Year!

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I was worried with the cooler weather that some of my 25 for 25 goals might have to be pushed to next spring – things like skydiving, hitting a home run, doing an underwear run, and hiking at Great Falls. Luckily, November weather has been more than cooperative, and I finally had a weekend (mostly) free from schoolwork, so we took advantage.

The boyfriend loves Great Falls and I’d never been, so it seemed like a perfect Saturday activity. We hiked just Section A of the Billy Goat Trail, but I’m already hooked. I can’t wait to go back and add B and C to the mix.

The views were breathtaking and postcard-esque, even from my little point-and-shoot:

The trails were challenging, and made for a great workout (especially when we ventured off the beaten path):

"I'm going up that?!"

The perfectly still water allowed me a shot at an artsy photo or two:

And the chances to mimic movie/TV scenes could not be passed up:

My own Dirty Dancing balancing act. Take that, Baby.

Listen – I know this isn’t a flattering photo of me, but I was not about to miss a chance to act out “Jack fighting John Locke/Man in Black from Lost on the cliffs” when I had the perfect setting for it. If you’re a fan, you understand.

All in all, it was a perfect Saturday adventure that I can’t wait to repeat.

Note: All the super cool edited photos came from the boyfriend’s iPhone. My point-and-shoot is starting to get a complex.

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Outside of my family, I’ve only ever lived with two people.

Jus was my freshman year roommate, and we ended up living together for the next four years.

When I moved down to the DC area, Cla and I spent our first year living in Ballston.

Since 2008, I’ve lived in my own lovely little studio in the District.

But that’s all about to change.

At the end of this month, not only will I be moving to a new apartment, but it will be the first time I’ve lived with someone in two years. And it will be the first time ever that I’ll be living with a boyfriend.

More than anything, I’m excited. Scratch that. Ridiculously excited – like I get that stupid grin on my face when I think about it.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. My studio has accumulated a fair amount of stuff and as I’ve (only briefly, so far) started to pack, I find myself wondering how everything will fit in our place. And if it won’t, what do I have to get rid of? I’m my mother’s daughter in that sense; I don’t like throwing things out.

There’s also the matter chore splitting. Neither of us are what you’d call “cleaners.” I despise dusting, and gag when I have to clean the bathroom. I don’t fold my laundry immediately, and end up pulling outfits out of the basket. (Wrinkles add character.) So far our compromised is that I’ll do the dishes if he cleans the bathroom. So that’s one thing we can check off.

But those issues, while still important, aren’t half as much on my mind as the fact that I’ll get to come home every day to him. We’ll be sharing all these aspects of our lives – the fun, the serious, and the quirks – even more than we already do. And I just can’t wait.

When I told my parents, I asked my mom if she had any advice on living with a boy. She, being of a similar mindset when it comes to chores, told me that she hired someone to come once a month or so, especially while both she and my dad were working. Wonderful idea, and duly noted.

And now I’m asking you: for anyone that’s ever lived with a significant other, what words of wisdom do you have for a first timer?

I know that compromise will be the name of the game, and that we’ll figure things out as we go along, but I’m just looking for a little heads up.

And while we’re at it, any cleaning service recommendations?

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I’d been talking about getting a new tattoo for a little while, so this weekend it was finally time to bite the bullet and go. I have two already – one on my wrist, and one just inside my hip bone – and neither of them hurt too badly. But I knew that this one would be different. Because this one I was getting on my ribs.

I went to Tattoo Paradise, a little nervous and a lot excited, and handed over the Little Prince line that I was about to get inked on my body.

l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux

As I laid down on the table, B, my tattoo artist, advised me, “I know it will be hard, but please try to stay as still as possible.” Easier said than done when you have a needle working along your body.

Now, I’d be lying if I said it was painless, but B did an excellent job at making the process as quick as possible. I’m proud to say that I barely moved at all, save for biting my lip at a few key moments. And B was actually appreciative.

You’re doing great. You wouldn’t believe the clients I had today. One woman came back and you would swear she’d been giving birth back here, the way she was screaming. And they don’t seem to understand that every time they scream, they move, which makes it harder for me to do my job.

Call me crazy, but even if I wanted to scream, I feel as though it’s in my best interest to NOT move, when someone is making a permanent mark on my body. But that’s just me.

Before I knew it, B was cleaning up and I was on my way to fro-yo – a little post-tattoo tradition.

Not only do I love my new artwork, but I also get to check something else off my list. It might be slow going, but I’m definitely making progress.

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