Dec 21, 2010


On Sunday I was accidentally in a parade. Again. 
As in, THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. There are no words to explain the absurdity and pure happenstance. Too bad I left the confetti in my other jacket.


Dec 7, 2010

In Which I Hop a Last Minute Flight to Texas

Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the office, 
Not a federal employee was stirring, not even a mouse;

The doors were all shut, lights turned off with care,
In hopes that they would not have to be there;

I was all nestled in my cubicle working hard,
Visions of home dancing in my head, I had to get back, it shouldn't be that hard;

Flights were expensive, I was wrong,
and the drive was too long;

Suddenly my friend arose such a clatter,
and used frequent flyer miles to bring me home for some laughter;

I sprang free from my office and went straight for the airport,
Flew three hours home, which doesn't seem that short;

I arrived on the doorstep at ten-thirty on the dot,
Rang the bell and surprised my parents, they were quite shocked!;

Twas a good trip home,
One for the books;

Glad to see my family and friends,
Happy Holidays to all and to all a goodnight!

Nov 16, 2010

Official Response from The MNN

The following is an email received this weekend from a founding MNN member in response to my last post:

Loved your blog! You, however, are only seeing this from your side of the fence, which is natural.  For a moment, stand in my shoes.
I have been in preschool PTA, Westpark PTA, ALA PTA, Western Hills PTSA, and a fan of countless soccer games, cross country meets, religious ed. classes at church, car pools, church choir driver, raised LOTS of money for all kinds of projects, bought cookies, candy bars, popcorn, candles, greeting cards, all to support kids stuff; for 23 years. 
AHHH!  I need a break!  I think I will move out of state!  Nobody knows me there!  No one will ask me to chair a committee or organize a fund raiser!  I can go to church and sing in the pew and not make a banner or head a ministry!  I can putz around in my yard, walk my dog, play loud music whenever I want, and not cook for the family and their friends!

So, what happens?  
My good friend tells me her daughter can't wait for me to get to Maryland so she can come visit me!  I say, but I will be several hours away.  My good friend says that her daughter tells her that she can be in 5 states within an hour!  
What to do?
The lesson here is that the apron strings are very long and very strong!  We all need family and friends.  
Yes, Amanda, you can visit us.  I hear you are going to visit Tom and Julie?  Guess you need to be in the kitchen of one of the Mom Squad for a while.  It's OK to admit you still need mothering.  We all do, just not in large doses, and not ALL the time.
Mama K

Oh, to walk a mile in the shoes of a MNN member- EXHAUSTING! Even the MNN needs a break now and again. Thanks for raising the neighborhood!
“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” - Jack Handy

Nov 10, 2010

The MNN (Mom News Network)

Have you ever felt like you had more than one mom watching over you? Has the entire town you grew up in ever known all your business, maybe even before you did? Have you ever been pulled over by the police on the main road and before you can get home to tell your parents they already know? If you said yes to any of these then you may have been a target of the MNN.

The MNN is an elusive organization of mothers who have banned together to watch over everyone’s children. When you were a kid this meant someone kept a watchful eye over you and your friends playing in the street. It was the babysitting co-op where the moms babysat neighborhood kids in exchange for coupons they could use to get a babysitter in the future.  Did you get grounded at recess? Don’t worry about breaking the news to your parents- THEY ALREADY KNOW, but they will pretend they don’t to see if you say anything first. As we got older it was the same old thing, just bigger issues. Make-out with the cute guy behind the gym (and no one was around)? The MNN knows. Run that stop sign in Westpark? The MNN knows.  Fighting with the best friend? THE MNN KNOWS.*

I have been trying to escape the MNN for as long as I can remember. I now live 1,400 miles away and have successfully escaped.  Well, I thought I had escaped. One of the founding members of the MNN is moving to the very state where I currently reside and I GUARANTEE that my being twenty-six-years-old will make no difference to the MNN powers that be. Well it was a nice MNN-free six months.

*Disclaimer: The MNN isn’t ALL bad. It’s nice to have mom #2 to run to when you’re fighting with your own. Or to pick you up from soccer when you need a ride. Or to teach you how to use the fancy knives. Or to give you a job when you really need one. Or to help take care of you when you’re sick. Sometimes I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without such a fantastic MNN. But officially, I’m annoyed.

Nov 3, 2010


the lights race by
you smile shyly
read your paper
pretend not to notice
focus focus focus
i see that glance
corner of your eye
quick to the paper
pretend not to notice
i stay plugged in
read my book
pretend not to notice
watch the lights race by

Nov 1, 2010


Right over here, hiding (and busy!) in western Maryland, still not great at the whole blog routine thing. Moving on. 

September began with signing up to coach soccer at the YMCA. Not a new venture for me overall, but this time I was coaching a U6 team, meaning they were mostly 5-year-olds.


Kiddos stuck in the net, countless untied shoes, teaching them how to do headers (they loved it!), refusing to play “sharks-and-minnows” because it’s “too scary”, pretending to be airplanes during a game, the best high-fives ever and the cutest little tug on the corner of my shirt with a little one whispering “Coach Amanda, I scored a goal”.  Coaching this age is one of my favorites. We may only be learning the very basics and have no idea what defense is or even which goal we are supposed to score in, but these kids were awesome and it was a privilege to be their coach for the last eight weeks.
Other happenings from September/October:
  • Weekends in DC/NOVA
  • 90’s throwback concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion, featuring Third Eye Blind, Billy Idol, The Presidents, Lit and Fuel
  • Survived some major hectic work things
  • Pub crawl on H-Street
  • Jukebox the Ghost concert at the Black Cat
  • Explored new areas of the Canal
  • Baked yummy treats for work
  • My first visitor from Texas!
  • Bought my first couch (unfortunately it arrived AFTER Jenn visited)
  • Spent many hours studying for the GRE and working on grad school apps (WHY WONT YOU JUST TAKE MY LSAT SCORES?! Standardized tests are evil.)
  • Death cough+strep throat+ear infection=no fun for Halloween
It has been an exciting albeit tough two months and now the leaves have turned the best shades of warm autumn colors and are beginning their fall into the long days of winter. The air was chilly today, but the sun was shining, the air crisp and although I was stuck at home sick, it was a great first of November.

Fall Leaves on the Billy Goat Trail

Sep 6, 2010

Mondays with The Man- Labor Day Edition

In honor of Labor Day Weekend, I took Teeny Little Business Guy in to the District to be with his kindred spirits. While I was there for the art and culture, TLBG said “What’s Up” to Obama and saw the Washington Monument. He was not amused by the Ginsberg photographs (which I HIGHLY recommend you see in the next ten days) at the NGADC, while I was enthralled, inspired and just overwhelmed in the best way possible. I hoped my creative spirit would be renewed out here; it seems to be coming back a little more every day, and that my friend is encouraging. But today, on this beautiful Labor Day, we rest.

Back to work tomorrow folks- enjoy your break!

Aug 30, 2010

Mondays with The Man

Lately I’ve been working on a photograph series and it’s been decided that every Monday I’ll feature images and a little humor from the project.

It all began with a fantastic toy that my friend Emily got as a prize in a tin of bandages! Toast Bandages to be more accurate. That’s right folks, we found bandages, shaped like toast, with PRIZES! Way better than that whole Cracker Jack thing- do they even have prizes anymore? I don't think so and that is just unacceptable.

Meet: Teeny Little Business Guy 

(aka The Man)
His first time out in the wild he took a tour of the Denton House. I just know he was impressed. Although he seems a little judgy with that briefcase and suit.

Aug 22, 2010

It's Been One Week

One week, 1400 miles, 22+ hours of driving and 6 states since I arrived in Maryland. The majority of which was spent getting to know the area and searching like a maniac for a place to live. My hopes for snagging a cute “downtown” loft were shattered early on, but I ended up finding a nice place within biking distance to work and walking distance to the market (score!).  This week wasn’t all serious stuff though; in fact it ended up being more fun than anything! To break up the trip, my Dad (who so wonderfully helped me move) and I stayed the night in Nashville and met up with my brother for some fun, live music and beer on Broadway. After making it into Maryland (almost winning the license plate game: 45 states and 3 international!), meeting the great people at my new office and beginning the great apartment hunt we headed out to Leitersburg for the Annual Peach Festival. Later in the week we went to Gettysburg for some good ol’ Civil War fun. The history buff side of me is LOVING being in such close proximity to so much amazing American History. (Side note: I’m also not used to this whole: I can drive less than an hour and be in a different state thing. Exciting!). We ended the week going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where I learned: 1. There are over 400 different species of sharks and 94% of them are considered harmless 2. Jellyfish are seriously interesting to watch 3. I don’t like sharing viewing space with small children (I WANT TO SEE TOO!) and the best part 4. The aquarium has a volunteer diver program where you can help out IN THE TANKS! After viewing some crabs at the aquarium we decided it was time to eat some delicious crab at Obrycki’s before I dropped Dad off at the airport. 

Now I’m currently sitting in the middle of my living room floor staring at towers of boxes, mostly labeled ‘BOOKS’. I have a strong dislike for the unpacking part of the moving process. While it’s exciting to set up a new place and decide where everything can go and make it all cute and homey- you have to decide where to put things! OVERWHELMING. It has also become abundantly clear that, while I have too many things, I have no useful things. For example: my kitchen is practically empty. There are the couple Belikin Beer glasses I picked up in Belize, some divided plates (an issue for a different post) and far too many Nalgenes. Dad to the rescue again and voila! I am now the owner of a toaster oven. Now if I could only make myself walk to the market and buy groceries…

Tomorrow starts my first official first day at the new job! (Does anyone know where all my grown-up clothes are?)

Antique Tractors in Leitersburg
Sea Horse

Aug 10, 2010

And here we go!

I’m Amanda and my 2010 has gone something like this:

After graduating in December with my BAAS in Sociology, Anthropology and Art History, I got a job at the University working in housing. I worked grown up hours, got a 401K and benefits, but really played around at my desk, read TONS of NPR and tweeted A LOT. Occasionally I got a key for a locked out resident, but mostly I created my own fun. At the end of the semester I needed something a little more meaningful and productive so I found a job as Assistant Director at a camp in Colorado. Living in the woods playing with kids and acting silly for 2 months? Sign me up! So I packed all my things and drove off into the wilderness. The summer was filled with wacky hair Wednesdays, ziplines, hiking, peeing in the forest, near death golf cart experiences (notice the plural), managing a staff of 40, and meeting so many amazing young women. Now that summer has come to an end I’ve found myself with a new job, in a new state! I’m packing my things again and heading out to Maryland to work with the National Park Service. Follow me and my blog as I leap again!