Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great Falls, Maryland

After a challenging week at work, the weekend was all about play.  Sunday lived up to its name as it was gloriously sunny, making it a perfect day to be outside.  A friend suggested we go to Great Falls, a place I had heard much about but had never been, and so we set out.  We opted to park about a mile or so from the national park entrance, which offered us the opportunity to walk much more and enjoy the fresh air.  As you can see, the walk was beautiful.  I can only imagine how stunning this area looks during autumn! 

We walked approximately a mile up the C & O Canal, and gradually made our way over to the Potomac River.  Along the way, however, there were a few small bridges to cross.  Not a big deal for me since they had railings, but when I leaned against a railing and it gave about 2 inches, all I could think was that although I hadn't figured out the purpose of my life, I was about to plunge to an icy cold, rocky death (pictured at right).  I'm not sure if it was God or the devil who wanted to see how quickly my heart rate could rise, but I recovered and we moved on. 

We eventually made our way to the Potomac River and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water and the warmth of the sun, mused about the shapes of clouds, and discussed life.  We didn't come up with an answer, other than it was pretty damn good that day, and "we may never pass this way again." 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year, New Post

We're only 12 days into the new year--time to get started on those new year's resolutions!  I'm a fan of resolutions, but not the "new year" variety, simply because we're called to constant conversion and bettering ourselves.  At any rate, I've a few resolutions of my own this month--some new, some old--a few bad habits I'd like to kick, a few good habits I'd like to acquire, and so on.  Here are those I'll share:
  • Daily Scripture--I think I'm defeating the Catholic stereotype about knowing zip about Scripture by a slim margin, but not much.  Regardless, I want to make this a priority.
  • Daily Mass--At least 3 days a week other than Sunday.  Going to Mass 4 out of 7 days each week can only be a good thing. 
  • Grocery Shop and Cook--Post-September Eat-In Challenge (which was relatively successful, btw), I've failed miserably at this.  However, with a stock of awesome cookbooks received for Christmas (I'm in America's Test Kitchen utopia here), I plan to try my hand at more than a few new dishes.  Something simple to start: Guinness Beef Stew!
  • Call More Often--Living 500 miles away from your next of kin isn't easy.  Facebook makes keeping in touch simple, but a status update does not a relationship make.  No excuses on this one! 
  • More Sleep and More Exercise--More exercise will lead to improved sleep, and vice versa.  It's all a matter of getting up at a reasonable hour...I just hate mornings.
  • Plan and Save--*sigh*
In other news, I celebrated my fifth year at the government job a few days ago.  What's the significance of pushing paper and working diligently at those "other duties as assigned"?  Yours truly is now fully vested in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).  This means that around 2040, should the government have any money left and FERS still exist, I will receive some sort of monthly pension.  It doesn't seem very exciting now, but it might when I'm older...maybe.

Reflecting on the past five years and the various things I've done there, I slipped into the courtroom for some alone time.  I spent a few minutes trying to recall--perhaps revive--the feelings I had when I interviewed for and started the job.  Alas, I was unsuccessful.  A few weeks back, I went so far as to turn down meeting a well-known jazz musician, simply because I wanted to wear jeans to work.  To wrap up this post, I leave you with an exchange I had with a friend this evening, followed by an awesome song (but weird video) by Aerosmith.

Friend: Did you listen to Obama's speech?
Me: No.
Friend: Me either.  Go us for being Washington insiders.