Tag Archives: Life

The Games of Hunger

Mom and I went to the midnight showing of Hunger Games last night. Is anyone surprised? We see every major, awesome movie on their opening nights- Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, Harry Potter…

We both read the Hunger Games trilogy last year and have been hooked ever since. And I am happy to report that the movie did not disappoint! The book was better, of course. But I was super happy with how the movie turned out. They stayed pretty true to the book and added lots of little details that would only really make sense if you knew the books.

I wish there was a little more relationship development. In the books, I love Katniss’ relationships with Prim and Gale and her will to do anything for her family. I also love Katniss and Rue’s friendship, and that was a bit rushed. But it was a 2 hour and 20 minute movie. They only had so much time. Going into the movie, I was Team Peeta all the way…I still am after the movie! Josh Hutcherson is such a cutie!

I also thought Jennifer Lawrence did awesome as Katniss. Katniss is kind of a hard character to like because of her social awkwardness and inability to connect with most people. Lawrence did a good job at being protective and strong but also a little hard to love. I can’t wait for Catching Fire!

In other news, this is how DC looks in the spring. Such an impressive city!

Mom took these pictures of the cherry blossoms. Aren’t they amazing?

My best friend’s wedding shower is tomorrow. I can’t wait to see everyone! Have a fab weekend! 🙂

Ethiopian American

Things are still busy in real life, so pardon my absence from blog land. I’ll figure out my routine soon. On a good note, I made it back to the gym for a morning workout after a week of figuring out my train schedule and walk to the office.

I also found out how ridiculously bad I am at knowing where I am going in the city. Let’s just say, I spent the better part of an hour walking in the wrong direction after bravely deciding to de-train at Union Station (which was different then my usual stop). For now, I am sticking to familiar territory, especially when I need to be at work on time.

Other than the new job and getting prepared for my 7th (!!) half marathon this weekend, we have also made more moves on the wedding front. Since Marcus is half Ethiopian, we want to incorporate some of the traditional customs into our wedding .

We are going to serve Ethiopian food along side American food, and play some traditional songs so that everyone gets a taste of the culture. Over the weekend, we visited a few shops to try to get an idea of what Marcus and his groomsmen will wear.

The coolest part of combining the cultures is the fact that Marcus’ groomsmen are going to participate too. I think it will look really unique to have four men of all different races, plus Marcus, wearing a traditional Ethiopian outfit that we created just for the wedding.

We talked a lot about it, and I think the guys will look awesome standing next to my girls in their chocolate brown bridesmaids’ dresses. The guys will be wearing white tunics with matching pants. The outfit is made of lightweight material and should be very comfortable and easy to wear. We are also going to have vests made in our colors so that they match my girls. Marcus will have a slightly different vest so that he stands out as the groom. We are having everything made in Ethiopia and sent here before the wedding.

I am sooo excited to see how everything turns out. I think it will come together really well. And when it’s all said and done, we will have represented and celebrated our families and upbringing.

I promise to blog more soon. It is race week, after all. And I have one BIG piece of info to share. But that’ll come later. For now, it’s bed time!

So Far, So Good

Holy cow with the busy week. New job, new commute, new coworkers. It’s been a whole week of learning and meeting people. I go to bed exhausted every night but anxious to start a new day.

It’s only been three days, but I like the new gig. The fact that I don’t have to drive to and from work is probably the best part. I LOVE taking the VRE and not having to worry about traffic or other drivers. I just get on the train and relax for 40 minutes. Then I have a mile walk from the station to my job. I could take the metro or bus instead of walking, but I really love my walk.

I mean with views like this how could I not?

I hope I never take this beautiful city for granted – so much to see and do. I am SO psyched to be working in DC.

My coworkers are all super nice. I like the location of my office and I think once I get in the groove, I will really enjoy my job. I know there will be stressful times. Working on a constant deadline can be a headache, but at least every day will be interesting and busy. I like to stay busy.

So far, so good. I am excited to see what the future holds! 🙂

WTF Virginia

Ok, it’s time for me to break things down here. I don’t get riled up too easily when it comes to politics. I think most of it is BS and most politicians are liars who tell you want you want to hear to get elected. I have remained pretty ambivalent as the election draws closer, and issues arise.

That being said, I do respect my president as I think all people should because he is our leader and I think he has a tough job. I feel this way no matter if he is Republican or Democrat. I try to stay out of a lot of the political debate because I think most people could argue me under the table and I can also understand both sides of most situations. I do have some non-negotiables when it comes to elected officials and my beliefs.

Ok, enough back story. Let me get to it. I am originally a registered Republican who has since shifted to a more liberal/moderate mindset. I declare myself more of a moderate now a days because I have views that kind of dabble on both sides of the spectrum. I am not an extremist by any means, but if one thing grindes my gears it’s messing with women’s rights.

I have said it before, but I do not know how ANY man (no matter their position) can make a law or pass legislation that mandate what a woman can and can not do to HER body. It just blows my mind. Well, it appears as though Governor, Robert McDonnell is considering signing a bill that will require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.

McDonnell is strongly pro-life and feels as though this legislation will help deter abortions in Virginia. The ultrasound legislation would require women to undergo a test to determine the gestation age of the fetus, hear the heartbeat and be given an opportunity to see the images. A woman who refuses to look at the ultrasound would have to sign a statement, which along with a print of the image would become part of her medical file.

Ok, I’m sorry but WTF?! The main point here is that during the first trimester, an abdominal ultrasound would usually not work that early in a pregnancy, meaning  women would be subjected to a transvaginal ultrasound to have an abortion. I have to get transvaginal ultrasounds as a result of being BRCA1 positive. They are invasive. They are uncomfortable. It’s a wand in your vagina for goodness sake…

Oh and guess what….many of the bill’s supporters were unaware of how invasive the procedure could be! These supporters had no idea what women would have to endure if the bill was passed. Because MEN should not be making laws about WOMEN and their bodies. How would you feel, men if a bill was passed that required you to have an object inserted into your private parts as a result of a sexual encounter and unwanted pregnancy?

McDonnell has since changed his full support of the bill to now saying he would consider it. I don’t care what his stance is. The fact that this legislation even exists makes me furious. There are other abortion-related bills pending including bills ending state subsidies for low-income women to abort fetuses that have serious birth defects and giving rights to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception.  

Being pro-life is fine. Having your views and beliefs is fine. Regulating abortion is fine. But ultimately women have rights to their own bodies and these rights are theirs alone. The decision a woman makes about her body should between her and her doctor, not a politician with an agenda.

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There are plenty of other issues in Virginia, such as taxes (which are going up in 2013 in our county), unemployment, and education. Instead of focusing on the issues at home, McDonnell is pushing his extreme right wing agenda in hopes of shutting down Obama. Well, Mr. McDonnell just because your name is floating around as a Vice President nominee does not mean you are facing Obama yet. You are still representing Virginia and you need to focus on our real problems, not your ridiculous social issues.

My friend Maeghen’s dad (Republican) made a good point on Facebook yesterday. He said, ” They seem to think that the Conservative Movement that gave them control of the House, Senate and Govenorship last year was focused solely on Conservative Social Agenda items. They are wrong and grossly over reaching on these agenda items…. They were elected to promote job growth in Virginia, keep Government power limited and to keep the State Budget balanced without raising taxes. This very conservative social agenda slate they are pursuing will hurt solid Constitutional Conservatives in the fall and may hand the state over to Obama in the November Elections.They are certainly losing the Womens vote.”

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Don’t get me started on the craziness that is going around in the Senate regarding birth control and giving employers the right to deny health coverage to employees based on their personal beliefs.

I am outraged. News flash, all you law makers…people have sex. Marriages don’t always last. Sometimes pregnancies are unwanted. It happens. Bringing religion into the equation and forcing your beliefs on people will not make America abstinent. And pushing these bills will not win you the election. You are alienating a lot of people. Meanwhile, gas prices are threatening to rise to over $5.00 a gallon…priorities, I tell you.

The one thing that makes me just as mad as messing with women’s rights is this bill – Private adoption agencies could deny placing children with prospective parents who are gay. So pretty much, adoption agencies have the right to discriminate against a couple and deny them if they are gay and use their religious beliefs as an excuse for the denial.

Because I guess being gay impacts if the couple is financially able and willing to give love and care for a child. I mean, come on people! So you are telling me that a child living in a group home or an orphanage is better off there then with a loving couple who just also happens to be gay? I am just baffled by this. How does sexual orientation make anyone less capable of raising and caring for a child?

In fact, The Child Welfare League of America sent a letter to senators earlier in the session urging them to reject the bill, saying it would make it more difficult to place the approximately 1,300 Virginia children waiting for a home.

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposed the bill and say, “This is truly troubling legislation that in essence codifies state-supported discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which is not only unconstitutional but also unconscionable as it will deny many parentless children the family placements they so desperately need.”

I know this whole post has turned into a rant. But if people don’t stand up for their beliefs then nothing will change. I have no problems with the fact that McDonnell is Republican or pro-life or anti gay or whatever else. I do have a problem with the fact that there are many many issues that need attention in Virginia and instead the focus is being directed to women and gay rights. Isn’t one of the main ideas of Republicans is that there is less government involvement? Sounds to me as if there is more government involvement with all of these bills.

You don’t have to agree with me. But the point is to stand for something. These politicians are elected to represent and protect us, not take away our rights.

Contact Governor McDonnell
Contact your Senator
Planned Parenthood
American Civil Liberties Union

Thanks for reading!

Edited to add –

A nice Twitter friend informed me that Delegate Kathy Byron was the one who sponsored the bill. So I will tame my man hate for now and just shake my head at the fact that politicians in general (regardless of gender) should not have the right to mandate what goes on with your body. Here’s  a link to John Stewart discussing the bill. And for those who want Del. Byron’s view point, here you go. I think she makes good points, but still stand by the fact that the use of an ultrasound before an abortion should be a decision made between patient and doctor and should require no involvement from the government.

Bluegrass and Back Roads

Happy Fat Tuesday! Once upon a time, I celebrated Mardi Gras like this –

Oh how times change!

But that’s not to say that we still don’t dance and drink the night away. It happened this weekend, in fact. Which explains my blog absence. It took me two days to recover from the weekend, so I guess the times have changed a little.

Over the weekend, we went down to Southern Virginia for my best friend’s engagement party. It was the first time her whole bridal party got together as a group and  the first time I’ve seen her family since this summer. So it was a really exciting weekend.

We started off Saturday with a little brunch then a lot of celebration in form of an event called “Squirrel Stew.” Squirrel Stew was a big outdoor party complete with a bluegrass band, moonshine, and apparently stew made out of squirrel. I tried some and honestly thought it tasted like chicken, so I’m going to go with that and try not to think about the poor little squirrels.

We spent the afternoon dancing in the sunshine to the sounds of the bluegrass band. It was one of those time where everything felt perfect – nice breeze, warm weather, good music, and my best friends.

After many dances and a few sips of moonshine, it was time to head home and get ready for the engagement party. At the engagement party, there was more dancing, more drinks, and more celebration. It was an awesome night for an awesome couple.

I really love Lindsey and William’s families and going down to Southern Virginia. It’s good to get out of DC and not worry about cell phones, or traffic, or work. It’s one of my favorite places to be and I am so lucky to have a whole other family and group of friends to visit frequently.

The weekend ended too quickly. We left early Sunday morning to beat the snow storm coming in. I woke up and worked out yesterday morning and then decided to take the day off. I figured one more day at home relaxing with Marcus and Bill would do me good. Plus, I only have a few more days of work here and lots of vacation time, so I took advantage of it.

I love that Lu’s wedding plans are in full swing and that we have lot more parties and fun to look forward to. It is definitely going to be an exciting few months!

Happy Mardi Gras and have a fab one! 🙂

Fantastic February

February has turned out to be quite a month for me. From getting “Freshly Pressed,” and as a result gaining lots of new readers, to running a 14k, to getting a new job…it’s been an amazing few weeks, that’s for sure.

Thanks for all the love for the new job. The whole recruitment process went really quickly. I had a phone interview, got called back that same day for an in person interview, commuted into DC the next week and interviewed with four different people, then got the offer two days later. I think it’s the fastest I ever landed a job which is awesome but also very stressful. I’ve been a bundle of nerves all week long waiting for phone calls and emails.

For some reason, I was REALLY nervous to give my two weeks notice. I did it when I resigned from my last job, so I don’t know what my problem was. I just get worked up easily, so I made it a bigger deal in my mind. But it went smoothly and I am certain that the transition will go without any issues.

Most things have been great this week – all but my workouts. They have definitely suffered. Usually, I use morning workouts to jump start my day and clear my mind, but this week I just didn’t have the motivation. I missed more days than I would like to admit, and now am feeling the guilt. I think that I was just so overwhelmed by all of the other stuff going on, that waking up at 4:15 and going to the gym  was just the most unappealing thing ever.

But, what’s done is done. I am back on track for next week and ready to ramp it up again. I kind of need to get back on my game because I signed up for two more races this morning – The GW Parkway Classic in April the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in May.

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I ran the GW Parkway Classic last year and the Historic Half the past two years. I like running the same races year after year because knowing the course and knowing what to expect makes for a better race morning.

So no more tired Taylor. I need to step it up these next two weeks, then once I start the new job, figure out a new training plan since my hours and commute will be different.

I am just ready for the weekend to get started. My best friend and her fiance are having their engagement party this Saturday, so we will all be reunited – the bridal party and their significant others, families, and lots of friends. I am BEYOND excited to see everyone and dance all night long. More than anything, I am excited to celebrate the love of Lu and William. They are two of my favorite people in the world, so I know it’s going to be an unforgettable weekend.

Have a great Friday! 🙂

Holy Crap

As I’ve mentioned before this week has been out of control ridiculous…in a mostly good way. I have gotten some really super news that can be explained no other way than by, “holy crap.”

But before I get to that, I will get to the literal crap. You see, every few days either Marcus or I will clean off Bill’s bum for dingleberries and litter. He has a TON of butt and back leg hair and a huge bushy tail, so his rump gets stinky every now and then.

So last night he comes prancing from his litter box, quite pleased with himself and a little nugget drops off him as his walks by. It was just a small piece of little cat poop, so I collected it in a paper towel and threw it away. But as he continued past us, we could not help but notice a piece of poop dangling off of his tail like a Christmas ornament. I quickly grabbed him and attempted to remove the offensive nug from his tail with a paper towel before he could fling is across the kitchen.

Well this piece was not so solid and it ended up getting all smeared in his tail as I tried to remove it. I told Marcus to handle it because I was cooking dinner. After about 20 minutes and lots of noises from the bathroom, Bill sprinted out looking like this:

He ended up getting poop all over his tail and bum and as a result Marcus had to give his whole back side a bath. I knew babies could have blow outs, but never knew cats could. Needless to say, he was pretty pissed off for the rest of the night.

In other news, my Harry Potter golden snitch bracelet came in the mail. Laugh away, haters…Harry Potter rocks my world and I don’t care who knows it.

And last but not least…I got a new job! A pretty amazing opportunity has presented itself and it is exactly what I am looking for in a job. I am beyond excited about this new step in my life and can’t wait to get started in two weeks!

These past few weeks have been pretty awesome. I am super grateful and well aware of how lucky I am. Now…bring on Friday! 🙂