Since last month, my Honda has received a new windshield, a new set of tires, new front brakes and (drumroll please) a new transmission! And by the end of next month, she will be mine all mine. (Wait, is anything all mine anymore? Maybe it's ours? I'm still fuzzy on the details of this marriage thing.) Anywho, I figured since she's gonna be around a while, maybe I should give her a name ... maybe then she'll feel appreciated and quit acting up so much. What do you think? Cupcake? Goldilocks? GoldenEye? GabelMobile? The USS Gabel? Michael Phelps? Treasure of the Sierra Madre (wait - was that book about gold or silver)? Leave your suggestions in the comments ... the winner will receive the satisfaction of knowing they picked the name for my car ;) (And, you should know up front that even though my car is gold I will not refer to it as a 49er, so don't even bother suggesting that.)
As I am writing, I'm at the Baltimore airport waiting for a plane for a long trip home, after a long trip here in D.C./Maryland. It's been quite the trip, fun, exciting, exhausting. It was great, especially, to share this week with my sister. Even though I wouldn't trade this experience for anything, I hope next time we vacation together we can be more relaxed and sit around watching movies and baking cookies or something.
On Monday, the day before the inauguration, we went to Mena's office to drop off some stuff for Tuesday (like my laptop and clothes for the ball.) She didn't warn me about the winding staircase in the office, of which she knows I am terrified.
She did tip me off, however, to the unauthorized street art Shepard Fairey had put up around the neighborhood. You might not know his name, but may recognize his iconic Obama "Hope" posters, or from The Colbert Report last week.
Last night, Mena, Miguel and I decided to have hamburgers for my last night in town. Miguel might be the only person I know who loves a hamburger more than I do. They were delicious. Incidentally, today I am furloughed from work. We were told last week (the day before I left town) that we are required to take five days unpaid off work by the end of the quarter. This is an effort to not have to lay anyone off this quarter, which is appreciated, but still difficult to take a hit in the paycheck. While we are furloughed, we are banned from doing any sort of work, including checking our work e-mail. This may not seem like a hard thing, but I was originally supposed to be furloughed one day last week and just could not resist the temptation of checking e-mails and voice mails leading up to the inauguration. So today, my work phone will remain off all day.
So, I guess that is all for now. I will miss Mena and Miguel for sure, but I am really looking forward to getting home to my husband, and my own bed, with a nice, warm down comforter.
Many more words over on my RGJ.com blog. Also, I know it looks like I'm wearing the same thing in all these pictures, so you should know that other than the hat, jacket and scarf, I did wear different clothes every day ;)
In front of the Capitol Building before the inauguration
Walking past the Washington Monument on the long trek after the inauguration
Me and Mena at the Western Ball. Hopefully the next time I go to a ball, I'll have time to do my hair and makeup!
Today we hit up the Obama welcome ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial. There's a better blog over at RGJ.com. We were separated (could only get myself in the press area) so I only have pictures of myself. And Ellen. Sort of ...
With the Washington Monument and incredible crowd behind me
You can't tell, but Mary J. Blige is singing behind me
This guy kept crouching down and popping up with this Ellen cutout - no idea why
So, before today, here's what I knew about Baltimore: -Orioles -Ravens -Preakness -Crab -Charm City Cakes
After today, here's what else I know: Best breakfast ever. Mena, Miguel and I took a surprisingly smooth trip by bus and light rail to the harbor for breakfast at Blue Moon Cafe, which they had been to before and I had seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a couple days ago. Delicious. I ordered oatmeal brown sugar pancakes, Mena eggs benedict and Miguel crab eggs benedict. Then we ordered some Cap'n Crunch French Toast for the table, to which the waitress said "well done," in full appreciation, so we definitely love this place.
We walked around for a very short time because it was freezing - a high somewhere between 18 and 20 today. Then cabbed it back to the light rail, which we took to the hotel, then grabbed a shuttle to the airport where we took a bus to the metro, which we took Mena and Miguel's. We had planned to go into D.C. later, but then it was kind of late so instead Me and Mena went to the mall for some long johns (trust me, you would have, too) and tomorrow we'll go to D.C. early and hit up some museums.
Oh, and I'll also be blogging for work starting this weekend, so you can check me out there by clicking here.
Things haven't been super exciting around here the last week or so, but here's a brief overview anyway: Make videos, write stories, surprised by yummy salmon dinner cooked by husband, make videos, write stories, eat PB & banana sandwich in honor of The King's birthday, have a sore throat and cough, receive press pass for inauguration swearing-in, eat delicious Mom-cooked Christmas-in-January dinner with Mom, John and Chris, go bowling, get sicker, see doctor, take antibiotics, feel better, receive press pass for inaugural ball, take wire-wrapping class at bead store and learn to make clasps and hooks and bead cages, make videos, get oil changed, write stories, do laundry, more videos, more stories, watch Chris' basketball game, start packing for trip, worry about how much work is left to do before trip, take a break from packing and thinking about work to write silly blog, take picture to prove that, if nothing else, at least my head will be warm in D.C. The end.
2008 is obviously gone, but there will be one story from this past year that I will always remember: the Kevin Hart recruiting saga.
Not because of the bizarreness of the story or that it got me on ESPN (sorry, can't link to it, they took it off the site), but because of what it was like to track the different paths that story took from one day to the next -- even if it only was five days.
I remember going to bed thinking about it and waking up thinking about it. The afternoon he admitted it was all a hoax, I got him on the phone. He didn't want to talk but apologized for dragging me through what was essentially nothing. I told him, unlike some TV media members, I wasn't bitter. What I didn't say was how much fun working and covering the story was.
How could I be mad about that?
But it appears even in a new year the story will not go away. ESPN'sOutside the Lines caught up with Hart this fall at his junior college (that's right, it's in Quincy) and ran the piece this past Sunday.
While technology allowed me to DVR the show, it is also keeping me from transferring it to my computer and posting it here. So, YouTube will have to do (pay special attention to Bob Ley's wording of "television exclusive").
The reason Ley had to use that wording is because I caught up with Hart back in September, when he wasn't nearly as forthcoming. And Sports Illustrated did a back-page column about it in October, but notice some of the similarities between theirs and mine.
Anyway, getting back to Jeffrey's question, no, I did not end up on the cutting-room floor. OTL did not interview me for this latest story; Laura, maybe you could have helped me out. I guess I've become old news, even if Kevin Hart hasn't.
And I'm spent, but still more posts written in the past 23 days (and counting) than Ernesto.
Questions borrowed from Michelle. (Okay, some of the answers are the same, too.)
Where did you begin 2008? In Reno with Yuma friends
Were you in school (anytime this year)? I have been in schools, but only for work.
Did you have to go to the hospital? When my cousin Tanya gave birth to her son Zach, who turns 1 on Sunday. And many other times for work, including watching surgeries for a "mini-internship."
Did you have any encounters with the police? Many job-related encounters. Pulled over twice. Once for failure to maintain my lane (while on the phone with Michelle) and having a headlight out, and the other time for not having a front license plate. No tickets though! (Knock on wood.)
Where did you go on vacation? Carmel, San Francisco, Arizona, Los Angeles, Elko
What did you purchase that was more than $500? A wedding dress. A wedding. A honeymoon. Many auto parts.
Did you know anybody who got married? Me and Chris, Jeremy and Andrea, Julia and Bob, Marc and Kristin, Kat and Matt (Oh, and Rich & Heather and Joe & Katy. I didn't forget you, I promise!)
Did you know anybody who had a baby? Tanya and Jason (Zach); Neco and Bea (Neco Jr.); Melynda and Edward (Kiera); Holly and Daniel (Makayla); Jennifer and Jim (Juliette); Jamie and Ryan (Claire) ... did I forget anyone?
Did you move anywhere? Nope ... wow - this might be the longest I've lived at one address since high school
What sporting events did you attend? Suns at Warriors in February; Indians at Dodgers in June; Diamondbacks at Giants in July (twice); Lots of Shenanigans and Grampy's games (Chris' basketball and softball teams); a couple Wolf Pack basketball games.
Where do you live now? Reno
Describe your birthday. Chris and I celebrated the Sunday before. We went shopping and he bought me a blue dress, and later took me out to dinner. My actual birthday was four days before our wedding and my last day of work before the wedding. Longest. Day. Ever.
Did you get any tattoos or piercing? nope
What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008? Stuck to a 1,500-calorie/day diet (until July at least!) and lost 20 pounds.
What has/have been your favorite moment(s)? I'm not gonna lie, our wedding was pretty awesome.
What's something you learned about yourself? I can watch childbirth and surgery and not pass out.
Any new additions to your family? See the list of babies above.
What was your best month? July
What music will you remember 2008 by? Big and Rich, "Lost In This Moment"
Who has been your best drinking buddy? My husband