Friday, May 27, 2011

Living on the (L)edge

Before I continue, I must say that my cheesy side was definitely kicking in when thinking of a title of this post. I thought of the line from the song "Jumper" from Third Eye Blind that goes, "I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend," to Linkin Park's debut hit, "One Step Closer" which belts out: "Everything you say to me, Takes me one step closer to the edge (and I'm about to break)." But alas, I settled on Aerosmith's "Living on the Edge." Anyway, you get the point that post is about edges/ledges so let me get to the point of the story...


While Justin and I were at work we asked one of our friends to come by the house while our blinds were being installed. He asked to borrow Justin's car and this is what happened (I knew it would happen sooner or later).






We have a ledge in our backyard/parking pad. During our home inspection the inspector suggested that we get a fence to indicate the drop off. As you can see we have not done that yet and the pictures you see now are what happens when you aren't aware of the step...the car falls off.  Here's a closer view of said incident:





At this angle, cosmetically it doesn't look "too bad" (e.g.: the wheel and/or bumper didn't fly off), I guess it what's going on under the chassis that you have to be worried about.  However, it should be noted that the lights on dashboard are lit up. How dropping off a step caused that happen, I have no clue...Anyway, they're taking ol' Onyx to the shop tomorrow so we'll have to see what the diagnosis is. Oh, yeah, Onyx is what I named Justin's car. Yes, Slam (Let the Boys be Boys). hehehe...sorry for my goofiness, but it's a Friday before a long weekend, can you blame me?



**Update**
Justin took the car to the shop and luckily, as predicted there was no "major" damage, some broken electrical wires which ended up costing a few hundred bucks, but on the bright side it could have been a lot worse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Merry Month of May: Filipino Edition

It appears that through the month of May I had a bit of a blog draught. I guess I was just that busy? Excuses are usual from me. Anyway, one of the highlights of May was the Cultural Showcase that I participated in at my work as a part of Asian Pacific Heritgage Month. I have done a LOT of Filipino dances in the past, but me and a group of Filipinas at my work did one that I have never done before. It's called "Kuratsa" which is a Filipino courtship dance originating from Visayas (a province in the Philippines). You can find out more about it here. You might be wondering, "How in the world does a group of women do a courtship dance?" Beats me, but we did it. Here are some pictures before our performance:

Deb and I waiting for our group to be called


Gotta love the filipinana sleeves!



 And no without further ado, here is our performance. Enjoy!













Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guess who's officially a DC resident...

And officially Mrs. Briones? Me! Lol, I know what you may be thinking. "Joanne, you got married almost a year ago, why are you changing your name just now?" First off, in order to kill two birds with one stone I needed to wait until we moved into DC so I wouldn't have change my license twice. Good thinking, right? And is it possible to be so busy yet so lazy at the same time? Well, that would describe me to a T. With my new job, a new move and everything else in between I wasn't looking forward to taking time off of work to spend it at the Social Security Office or the DC DMV. However, in hindsight it wasn't as bad as I thought.

First, I went to to the Social Security office in DC on M St right in the Golden Triangle. There was no wait so I just scooted on in and showed them my marriage license and identification. They then gave me a piece of paper stating that my new social security card would be mailed to me.

Next, I headed to the DMV office in Georgetown. From what I hear it isn't as bad as other DMV locations in the city but shortly after I arrived it got packed. When my number was called I showed the person behind the desk my proof of residence,  the sheet that the Social Security office had given me and my old license.

Here is a picture of my old driver's license with my waiting number. I can't believe I've had this license since 2007! I really liked my picture on this license too!


With my new DC license it looks like I have a big head, but Justin's license looks just like it. I think they just take the pictures real up close.
 

Now I can say I'm officially a DC resident, not like those posers that live in the 'burbs that say they're from DC...hehehe...I kid, I kid. I used to do that too. Anyway, the whole thing only took half a day and I made it fun by treating myself to a falafel for lunch. I don't think I could offer any new advice to anyone changing their name in the city. The old advice rings true: make sure you have all your paperwork, go earlier in the day, and go to the least busy office if at all possible.

PS...On my old MD license it says I'm 125 lbs. and on my new DC license four years later I weigh, what else? 125 lbs. Coincidence...maybe. Blatant lying/optimism that my weight will be that low again someday? Highly likely.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Finishing Touches

Hello everybody. Just going through my backlog of half finished posts trying to finish blog posts that I have started. But you wouldn't expect anything less than late from me, would you? My hope that is when we look back at this year, each and every story (with the help of post-dating) will fall in to place. Meaning, if Mr. Futureman were to read my blog, he would see a cohesive story, not my sporadic, backdated mess...Hehehe...anyway, at this point you know that we are already moved in. But there is still a ton that needs to be done around the house before the contractors can fully be out of our hair.

Like the mini-radiator in our kitchen. Since the renovation increased the size of the kitchen footprint (over a foot) we needed an additional heat source to accommodate the bigger space.



Also we replaced those ugly, old white ceiling fans our bedroom and living room with nicer looking dark wood fans. (Thanks Javi for installation help!)

 

With our cabinets fully installed, I had to pick out the hardware for the cabinets and drawers. I wanted to keep it simple so I went with brushed stainless steel handles and knobs. They're from the Home Depot.





But with all of these little touches inching us closer to completion, of course there had to be a huge problem brewing, or in this case...boiling...

Exhibit A...grodie (is that how you spell it?) pipe from our boiler.


That is our copper pipe coming out of our boiler.  Apparently the previous owners did not properly seal the pipes, which lead to this "rust/corrosion".  Our contractor discovered it when his workers were installing the small radiator in the kitchen (they needed to drain the boiler when installing the new radiator).  This is the reason why our basement always seems to have some wet look and smell to it, especially near the boiler.  Our contractor is looking at the price of materials to fix the pipe, but because of the stage of the corrosion, the only remedy is to replace that section of the pipe. Yup, this is yet another thing that will have to get fixed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We've Won the Running Lottery...Again!

courtesy of the Nike Marathon Website

I seriously think it's time for me to play the lottery because the past two times I've entered a lottery for something (the National Christmas Tree Lighting and the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler) I've actually won. Well, guess what?  We've won the (running) lottery again!

Coming off the high of completing the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, my sister Jill and I were looking up potential races when we came across the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Based on what I read from the website and Yelp reviews (Can you believe this race has yelp reviews? A ton of them too!) it looked like an awesome race. Just like the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, they use a lottery system as the means of entry.  They receive over 30,000 entries so the lottery system is probably the fairest way to give everyone a even shot of getting in.  With that said, I entered my sisters and I as a group to commence the waiting.  A few weeks later, I found this email in my inbox (my reaction is in the blue parentheses).
Dear Joanne,

By throwing your name into the random drawing for the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon, you let us know you were serious.

You are up to the challenge of running (26.2 or 13.1) miles. (13.1 miles please)


You can’t wait to hit the streets of San Francisco. (I haven't been there since I don't know when...)


You are fiercely motivated by the thought of 20,000 women doing this together. (An all-women's marathon? That should be fun!)

You want that Tiffany’s finisher’s necklace so bad you can taste it. (Umm...you obviously know who I am! You had me at the little blue box :)


Well it’s time to put your legs where your clicking finger was, because the Goddess of Victory has spoken.


You’re IN, baby! (woohoo!)
If this email doesn't pump you up, then I don't know what will! I'm looking at this as an opportunity to speed up my half marathon time and to run a hilly course.  With the race in October, that'll give me plenty of time to get my hill training in. One of my sisters is looking at it as another race to add to her belt and perhaps her first half marathon (unless we run another one before then).  The other is looking to redeem herself since she couldn't run the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler with the rest of us due to injury.  Despite all our different intentions, we are all super excited to be IN!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Derby Festival Mini-Marathon: My Race Review

Hello Everybody! Justin and I went to Louisville over the weekend and ran the Kentucky Derby Festival “Mini” Marathon. I put it in quotations because there is nothing mini about it! It is an honest, to goodness, half-marathon. Calling things mini, make it cute and enticing doesn’t it?

Overall, I would have to say it was a good race for my first half marathon. Here are some of the pluses:
  • Relatively flat course (some small hills but that’s about it)
  • You got a tech shirt and medal for finishing (As a running newbie, you gotta get give me a good incentive, other than the standard cotton tee, to run my butt off, lol…).
  • Good support from the crowds all along the course
  • The free snacks afterwards. It was a literally smorgasbord with bananas, waters, bagels, South Beach Diet bars, Fig Newtons, and wait for it—chocolate milk! I was wandering around the post-race area looking for my sis-in-law and Justin with my arms full of snacks.
And of course there are the minuses: 
  • PowerAde wasn’t being distributed until the later part of the race. It was a pretty hot day and I wish it had been provided earlier on.
  • Port-o-potties were few and far between (I saw runners going into gas stations and fast food joints in order to use the facilities)
  • Some parts of the race were not so scenic…let’s just say that I got to see the nice and the not-so-nice neighborhoods of Louisville.
Included in these minuses would be my race time. After the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler we had run earlier in April, my training schedule had become quite lax to say the least. Plus, I think my running shoes were so worn out from the last race they gave in during the mini causing my feet to hurt really bad! I came in at a little over three hours and Justin came in at about 2 ½ hours (but I definitely know I can do better!).

Anyway, next up on my race schedule (whoa, never thought I’d be saying that!) is a 5K with my good friend, N. Funny how, I’m running a 5K as my third race as when most people do it as their first. I’ve always been a little backward. Stay tuned, because I have more racing news on the horizon!

**Sorry I don’t have any pics with this post. We tried to get some guy to take a picture of us, but he quite technologically challenged. I’ll wait until I can “borrow” the proofs from the race day photographers and add them on later.**