Introducing...JACKSON THEO

In a moment of weakness, I was convinced by Dusty that adopting a dog was a great idea. Okay and maybe the Bassett Hound/Beagle puppy's floppy ears and pretty green eyes. Or it could have been the fact that while the other rug rats at the adoption fair were scrambling and whining for attention, begging to go home with us, Jackson just slept. Even when we picked him up, he curled up and snoozed. A dog after my own heart.

Or so I thought.

In the past four nights I have gotten approximately -- or at least what feels like -- 10 hours of sleep and at least half of those derived from naps. Since our crate has not arrived yet, which Jackson will be sleeping in the moment the UPS truck pulls up, the teeny puppy has been sleeping in our bed. How much space can a 15 pound animal take up, you ask? A LOT. And by that I mean, somehow the entire bed. And he twitches and snores and apparently has gas issues. And about half way through the night he starts pouncing around and licking our faces, because he seems to have an intuition that doing his business on the bed will put him back in foster care quite quickly. The walk outside seems to give him lightening bolt energy and he scuttles around until....

like magic when my alarm clocks finally relieves me of this Hell, Jackson's eyes get heavy and he snuggles into the pillows. Really, just like that?!

Then there was Monday when Brian, the couch guest extriodinaire (!) had to leave the house for mere hours and followed my instructions to shut Jackson in the bathroom with his pillow and other necessities. I guess that sparked something in the little guy, because we arrived home to a bathroom in shreds. Total Jeckle and Hyde syndrome.

And I want to be so angry, and I threaten to return him, but the he wags his little tail when I get home like he's waited all day to see me. Dammit. Looks like we have welcomed another pet to Casa de Cawley, soon to be renamed Cawley Petting Zoo.

New Digs

Today is the day! We get the keys to our soon to be home this evening....and my emotions are still mixed. It has yet to take a shape resembling reality and my mind has yet to acknowledge that we really won't be living with our extended "family" much longer. It makes my chest feel as it has been cored and filled with sand just to think about, so I'm trying not to. For band aid coverage of this sadness I bring you, the reasons I am excited to move:

1. The silver particle board cabinets.
2. The man down the hall that screams at his pregnant girlfriend/fiance/wife way too early in the morning.
3. The riff raff that seems to be infiltrating... i.e. the stripper that lives upstairs.
7. The dog club at the front desk.
8. The gate to the breezeway that is only getting more ridiculous by the day.
9. The paint on the walls that is so cheap a mark is left when touched.
10. The temptation to "just walk through" JCrew every day on my way home from work.

Here are some photos of the new condo before we move in with all of our mayhem. All sappiness is going to have to be put on hold, because we have a lot of work to pack into the next few days.

Another Metro Roast

People seem to have no idea the amount of space they occupy. Or perhaps it's a lack of concern. A public service announcement to all of these space hogs -- the Metro is not your home, and shocking as it may be, that space beside you is not your personal closet or desk, it's actually a seat. A seat for another humans to sit. It's the same concept as arguing with a sibling in the car as a child -- "Do not cross my line!" 

But for real folks, there is actually a visible divide in the two person benches that line either side of the train and should you be so lucky to get a seat, you get just that -- one seat. For some strange reason along with all other manners that are checked at the escalator leading to the platform, there seems to be a sense of entitlement plaguing the air.

For instance, today, I was able to awkwardly shimmy and squeeze my way into a seat, much to the demise of my humfing and hahing neighbor who had her lunch bag, laptop and purse sitting between her and the window. After a long clenching of her jaw and pursing of her lips she did move some of it to the floor in front of her, only to reopen her newspaper extending it nearly halfway onto "my side." Reaching into my bag to grab some literature of my own -- mind you it was my five inch wide Nook -- I bumped her hand and causing an angry shuffle of papers, shaking them out so as to make it known that I had disturbed her.

"Sorry," I managed to slither through my teeth; at this point I could feel my anger pounding in my temples. "Mmmmm hmmm," was her very sarcastic, haughty and drawn out version of what could have been a simple, "it's okay." I would have accepted, "that's fine," or, "no worries," or even, "not a problem," as the apology really belonged to her; she was the one who had crossed over into my territory in the first place.

Wadding her paper up and shoving it into her fake snake skin bag, with obnoxiously over-sized hardware and grabbing up the rest of her of her belongings, she attempted to stand, which karma got wind of and she jolted forward as the train halted and she juggled to keep hold of her arm loads of crap. "Excuse me," she barked. Stifling my laughter, knowing if it made it as far as my throat it would erupt in spasms, I calmly and slowly stood up out of her way, over exaggerating the ease with which I moved. Barreling past me with the might of an ox she barely kept her balance as she walked to the door and stood, tapping her foot, for the next two stops.

Me? I enjoyed the comfort of my seat with a smitten smile, considering the victory mine.

So it turns out, not only are there metro riders who lack all consciousness, but there are those who are actually offended when they are not given the same rights that they have lazing around their own sofa. For God's sakes people, this is public transportation, not a driver service!

We're Moving...In a WEEK.

After residing in the shadow of the Pentagon for nearly three years, we are caulking our wagon and floating to the other side of the Potomac River. This move has become increasingly terrifying as the days have passed. Luckily this month has been filled with wedding to do's for the now Mrs. Genandt, but now that she is a wife and we have all slept off our hangovers, I'm left with this moving hanging over me like an annoying Pooh Bear mobile. 

Why, you ask? All I do is complain about my apartment building that was constructed for aesthetics and not for living and the drop in caliber of human beings that are calling it their home and the metro commute that has me contemplating even getting out of bed most days. So why are my heart palpitations now more frequent than usual? Why with knowing that my commute will soon be diminished to a fifteen minute walk, we will be surrounded by fantastic restaurants and sites and a new building has all of its corners?

Have you ever watched an episode of FRIENDS? Have you had neighbors who are your compadres? Other than college, when you got to choose them. With whom you celebrate holidays and birthdays with, you swap pet sitting, you pick up from the airport and laugh and you plan vacations? Have you ever had a friend who hasn't lived further than three floors away in your entire adult life? 

This is the cause of my extreme anxiety in what should be a good situation. These people, these friends, that we see everyday and share meals, cups of sugar and many drinks. But I have known all along that it is people I fall in love with and not places. Certainly, I do love places, i.e. the city in which I live, but seemingly am enamored with certain places because of the people I experience them with. Which is why I am always homesick for somewhere and wish I could be in a thousand places at once.

So it is with a bittersweet -- and slightly lazy -- attitude that we begin packing our belongings for three and half mile trek to our new digs. Until, of course, I convince them all to move next door again.

"They are Mobilizing"

I could regale you -- whoever "you" are, hopefully wistfully eager readers -- with tales of my past weekend, and the fun  that was had, as my girlfriends gathered to for a final ladies' night in honor of the betrothed Dani Jo, as yet another of us taking the plunge into marriage. But who would guess we had a bad time? I mean really, nothing beats reunited with your dear old pals, does it? So, I will instead focus on the highlight, err...downfall of the weekend.

By now, you all surely know that less than a month ago I had a run in with a winged rodent, when he or she -- does it really matter? -- used my sandwich as its -- much better, the more dehumanize them, the better -- lavatory, loo, bathroom, restroom, washroom, whatever fecal noun you use. That was awful and beyond traumatizing to a girl trying to get through life with as little bird interaction as possible. Surely enough even scare bird watchers in the other direction.

If you ask the people around you, "Has a bird ever pooped on you?" How many do you think can attest that they have  indeed been the victim of such a hate crime? And I don't mean they have had their vehicle tagged by the graffiti of the dirty rats. Now, how many lifetimes do you think pass by in which this situation never occurs? Well those folks, including you if you have managed to escape thus far unscathed by the flying army of Hepatitis, should count their ever loving blessings.

Because, last Sunday I joined an elite group, joined not in friendship, but by the feces of birds and certainly the resentment of such. I have been shit on, not once but TWICE from above and both violations occurred in less than a month.

There I was, just standing in my parents' yard, holding a baby -- gasp, yes it's true -- and wearing what else, white pants, when I feel rain splatter from the clear blue sky. Only to look down and see the white of my legs tie died in a dirt color. I am still amazed that a. I didn't drop little Adalyn, b. throw up on little Adalyn or c. pass out right there. If that does not merit a standing ovation, I give up.

What have I done to these deamons to deserve this target on my back? Who is reporting my dislike of these creatures' existence back to them? However, I cannot and will not give in to these terrors; this my home and I have to defend it (Home Alone, anyone?!).

I will leave you with this, a message from our dear Gagan (who also created the movie poster -- thanks, G!):

"We have a deal with the squirrels, but we didn’t renew the contract with the birds. Also, I think one of them tweeted out a link to your blog post about them. And I quote: '…utterly repulsive creatures…disgusting flying rats…AIDS ridden flying monsters…' They’re mobilizing, Abbi, and you’re Pearl Harbor to their Japanese Air Force." 

This day in history

Not only were Evan Lysenchuk, Angelina Jolie and I welcomed into the world, but according to ....

In this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway--one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II--begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own, the Yorktown, to the previously invincible Japanese navy.
In six months of offensives prior to Midway, the Japanese had triumphed in lands throughout the Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and numerous island groups. The United States, however, was a growing threat, and Japanese Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto sought to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet before it was large enough to outmatch his own.
A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway became the focus of his scheme to smash U.S. resistance to Japan's imperial designs. Yamamoto's plan consisted of a feint toward Alaska followed by an invasion of Midway by a Japanese strike force. When the U.S. Pacific Fleet arrived at Midway to respond to the invasion, it would be destroyed by the superior Japanese fleet waiting unseen to the west. If successful, the plan would eliminate the U.S. Pacific Fleet and provide a forward outpost from which the Japanese could eliminate any future American threat in the Central Pacific. U.S. intelligence broke the Japanese naval code, however, and the Americans anticipated the surprise attack.
In the meantime, 200 miles to the northeast, two U.S. attack fleets caught the Japanese force entirely by surprise and destroyed three heavy Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. The only Japanese carrier that initially escaped destruction, the Hiryu, loosed all its aircraft against the American task force and managed to seriously damage the U.S. carrier Yorktown, forcing its abandonment. At about 5:00 p.m., dive-bombers from the U.S. carrier Enterprise returned the favor, mortally damaging the Hiryu. It was scuttled the next morning.
When the Battle of Midway ended, Japan had lost four carriers, a cruiser and 292 aircraft, and suffered an estimated 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and suffered approximately 300 casualties.
Japan's losses hobbled its naval might--bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity--and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. In August 1942, the great U.S. counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan's surrender three years later.

Quarter of a Century Down...

So I have arrived at the sharp corner turning at yet another cross roads. Twenty-five. Nothing momentous but weight of an uneven number signifying a milestone. I am so many places I thought and hoped I would be yet worlds away at the same time. My success as a 25 year old is dependent from the point in my life which the temperature was taken.

I suppose if you asked the six year old me, I am far from where I should in a castle with a prince and babies. And the middle school school in San Francisco. And the teenage me...a stay at home mother with cute babies dressed in gap and a yard with a picket fence.

Then there was the college edition of me. A very special person. And by special I do not mean darling. This was the me that took plans and threw them out into the rain to dissolve in a puddle. The me whose life spun round and round and where it was going to stop, I didn't have a clue. I was moving forward faster than I could keep up and backward at the same time. With a few bumps and bruises, some stories to share and a few life long friends made along the way, I landed on my feet with four years of life changes experiences to the wind.

Since then I haven't really made plans, and so far it is working out. Of course I still have goals and things I would like to accomplish, but bullet pointing life seems to be counter productive, because things never seem to go according to that plan. However, I'm finding out that isn't necessarily bad. So if you had asked the college me, I suppose I'm right on track, because I had no clue. But I can confidently say, if anyone had asked me at nearly any point in my life -- When you turn 25, do you think you will be married, living in an apartment in Washington D.C., working at a lobbying firm with a sweater tied around your shoulders? -- I probably would have laughed to tears.

But, none the less, here I am. And what the next birthday holds I can't tell you...and I think that's kind of grand. The important thing is, I am comfortable in my own skin, have friends and family that love and support me and am looking forward to tomorrow.

One pointedly strange aspect of this milestone birthday, however, is there is nothing tied with it but the realization that life can now be measured in the denomination of centuries. No ear piercing, no TV for my bedroom, no driver's license, no car, no facing adulthood and no celebratory legal drink. Just me. Which could be depressing, yes, but it is also sort of invigorating; I have to make each year worth celebrating and create my hype.

And a big thanks goes out to my mom and dad, not only for bringing me into the world (thanks again) but for surprising me with Georgetown Cupcakes at my office! These are the six I swiped to share with mi amici later :)