Thursday, September 21, 2006

Our Nation's Capital

My work has brought me to DC this week. This is very fortunate, because DC is probably my all-time favorite city. It is good to be here.

The highlights thus far included:

1- Dinner at the famous Charlie Chang’s in honor of Ann. We ordered the Crispy Beef, but I’m sorry to report, it was not up to its usual crispy beef-ness. The rest of the meal was delectable, followed by a lame fortune, which is not even worth repeating.

2- Church at Colonial 1 on Sunday. It was fun to see many familiar faces, but surprising that almost half I knew from other places—not from living in this ward three years ago. Mormondom is a small world. I also learned a lot at church, one memorable lesson was the parable of the ribbon as told in Sacrament Meeting by the RS president. The moral of the story was people are worth more than ribbons.

3- I enjoyed a lovely evening in Old Town with my old roommate Sara. We did some shopping and ate an adventurous dinner of tappas. I enjoy tappas a lot, but some of these were not what we had anticipated. The dessert, however, was more than anticipated. It was divine.

4- G Street Fabric. Until yesterday, this was one of my two unfulfilled DC experiences. (Stay tuned, for the fulfilling of two of two unfulfilled DC experiences on Saturday.) A big thanks to Shari for helping to make my life complete. My G Street purchases were modest, but fabulous.

This lovely jade and brown wool doesn’t show up very well in the picture, but it’s great and was only $8/yd. I’m going to make a skirt and use the blue floral print for the waistband lining. There should also be plenty of fabric left to make a matching headband and clutch.

I couldn’t resist this gorgeous silk. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. I didn’t want to spend the money to get enough to make a dress, so I settled on a scarf. It is perfect scarf fabric!

5- After the G street trip, we stopped at Panera’s. We have Panera’s in Las Vegas too, but a little Panera’s is always good for you. As we were pulling up to the restaurant, I saw two beautiful girls in light pink dresses and headscarves. They were about ten years old and both of them were twirling and watching their dresses swirl around them. It was a beautiful moment and I tried to quickly sneak a picture, but I forgot a flash would be necessary after dark. This is what I got. You can see a pale pink haze on the right of one of the girls getting into the family minivan. Oh well. Those moments are hard to capture.

Tonight I finally went to the Mall. I will never fail to struck by the sights that greet you as you emerge from the Smithsonian metro station.

The funny thing about the Mall is that I take the same pictures every time I come. I do like to people-watch, but my candid people shots never really turn out, because I don’t have a camera so expensive that it allows me to avoid looking like a stalker and still get good pictures of total strangers. So here are some of the usual shots:

Flags at the Washington Monument. This time I got some shots at dusk and more after dark. Now I just need one at sunrise and I’ll have every possible lighting scheme.

Speaking of people on the Mall, the Mall is full of runners. I always feel embarrassed when I visit in my regular street clothes. I want to tell every passing runner that I’m a runner too, but I had to bring my camera, and then there’s the whole sweaty metro ride thing and, you know how it is. But I don’t. As I was walking between memorials, four guys about my age ran past me. One turned back and yelled, “Hey, are you under cover?” They had probably just visited the Spy Museum and learned that there are more spies per capita in DC than any other city, but I shouted back “Yes” anyway, because I am an undercover runner. I think he could tell.

My actual purpose for this trip to the Mall was to see the WWII Memorial, which was under construction when I lived here in 2003. These are the pictures of this memorial that I expect I will take on each return visit.

Ha ha.

This shot is pretty cool.

The Lincoln Memorial will always be my favorite spot on the Mall. My Dad has a picture of the Lincoln Memorial hanging in his office at work. He took it while he was working at the National Archives, during which time my Mom was expecting me. Even though my Dad already captured it perfectly, I always take that picture when I come to visit Abraham Lincoln. (Dad's is a bit different and the lighting isn't as good, but I always try.)

As I left to walk back to the Metro, it occurred to me that DC is like Christmas. During those weeks between Thanksgiving and December 25th, my heart is more tender than usual. I am often struck by the joy of the season and I feel my own convictions with a greater, deeper poignancy. For me, DC is a beautiful and poignant city.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Red Shoe, Blue Shoe

I know I really shouldn't be one to speak about teenage fashion trends (since I have been guilty of layering two pairs of color coordinated socks, back in the day). But I saw an amusing sight this morning on my way home from my run. A high school student was walking to the bus stop with one black shoe and one red and white shoe. They were two completely different types of shoes, one with a much thicker sole, so he had an interesting saunter going on.

Call me old, but I don't get it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Higher Law

I just started a New Testament class on Thursday evenings. Yesterday we learned about the higher law and that we are to live with a pure heart, not just pure actions. The teacher emphasized that ill feelings towards anyone, for any reason, separate us from the spirit.

At the beginning of the hour he had asked everyone to write down the name of someone who had offended them or who they might consider an enemy. At the end of the class, he challenged everyone to contact that individual and make amends. He even said those who are noble among us would act on this challenge. Luckily I had arrived to class late, so I don’t have to forgive anyone. My friend Wendi however, had written down Osama Bin Laden. Anybody know where he can be reached?

On a more serious note, the evening reminded me of a quote that I couldn’t quite remember. I went home and found it in my old notes.

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” - Google mostly attributes this to GK Chesterton

I will try harder.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Purse II

Here's Nicole's purse (fashioned after the one made for Nancy). It took me a while to get around to finishing the hand stitching, but it turned out cute.

While I'm thinking about it, in the afore-linked post, I promised to post a picture of the great gift I received from Nancy for my birthday. Here it is.

Nancy made this out of entirely recycled materials including a piano and some great salvaged paper. She's pretty much awesome. Nancy and her sister just moved back to Utah for school. Both of the Miss Steeles will be missed terribly.

Friday, September 01, 2006

POOL Report

So, we got to go to the POOL tradeshow. It was definitely worth the work to put together the little proposal (and that was fun in and of itself). We handed out some magazines, restocked the magazine shelves in the magazine lounge area and saw a lot of pretty cool stuff while browsing around. I didn’t bring my camera with me, but wish I did. (The above picture was brought to you by the letter ‘C’. C is for Christy Cropper.)

Here are some of the things I wish I brought a camera for:

db clay: These three guys make wallets out of gaffer tape. They started out using duct tape and have made, literally, thousands of duct tape wallets. They are very cool. I encourage you to purchase one. I believe I am going to purchase the "This Sky" wallet to someday give to a lucky guy with good taste. (If you know/are a lucky guy with good taste, let me know and I will consider his/your credentials.) The wholesale price is just $25 with a min. order of 12. If you want to order 12+ wallets I will email you the form. (Can you tell I think these guys are cool?)

U.S. Artisans: I really liked the suede ballet shoes. They are classic mary-jane style and look absolutely comfortable. The shoes are not cheap, but their major selling point is that they are entirely hand-made in the U.S. Cool. (And the designer was really nice and has an appreciation for pearl buttons. How can you not like someone who appreciates little pearl buttons?)

Report Shoes: Several nice shoes at nice prices, although the owner wasn’t as nice as pearl-button girl. Some of my favorites of the nice shoes I saw aren’t on the website yet, but check out tab 6. I think I might need some red "Avants".

Preloved: Although I can claim Canada as my home and native land, I am quite upset that these folks only have stores up north. Their emmo* is to deconstruct vintage clothing and create one-of-a-kind pieces available for purchase in their Canadian stores. If you are planning a trip to Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal, you should definitely look them up. If you are not, you should check out their website anyway.

JW Los Angeles: Some of their designs were nice, but I was particularly enamored with a particular lace fabric they used. I think I will email them and ask if I can purchase a few yards for a particular white dress I’d like to make. (An FYI to lucky guys with good taste: This particular white dress is not that white dress; I’m not the kind of girl who plans or sews anything prematurely, although I occasionally purchase gifts prematurely -- such as wallets and sweet retro ties.)

Thank you ReadyMade.

* I know that ‘emmo’ is not actually a word and that M. O. stands for mode of operation, but I think ‘emmo’ would be a terrific word. This marks the official beginning of my crusade to encourage general use of this word.