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Monthly Archives: March 2012

I know I haven’t posted anything this week except for Monday.

As a member of the Digital Stormers team for IAVA’s Storm the Hill, I’ve been on my computer almost all day, all week.

I’ve been checking out the War Room on Facebook and keeping track (and retweeting) all the tweets that have to do with Storm the Hill and the ground stormers.

I’ve been following the awesome ground stormers meet with multiple Senators and Representatives, NOT meet with the Veterans Administration (who still refuses to meet with IAVA, even after 1,000 days since the last meeting), and even going to the White House!

I’m so proud of all the time and energy they have put into making Storm the Hill successful and we’re even closer to passing bills that benefit and protect our veterans from those who want to take advantage of them.

That being said, after being online from 10 to 4, I was ready for a break. Hence the lack of any posts or Thursday Things.

I’ll hopefully be back tomorrow with my new(-ish) workout plan for my half-marathon coming up and how that’s been going.

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I usually do a weekend wrap up on Monday’s, but it’s a special Monday today.

Today is the start of Storm the Hill, a yearly push by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Capitol Hill for veterans’s issues.

This year, I’m lucky enough to be part of their Digital Stormer team. While I may not be physically on the Hill, I’m working Twitter, Facebook and my other social media connections to bring attention to our Ground Stormers. All us Digital Stormers have been working hard for the past two weeks to prepare for this one.

Storm the Hill is important in so many ways to me.

First, there’s the obvious. IAVA’s concern this year is veteran unemployment, which currently stands at 17%, much higher than  official government reports. I’m one of the 17%. I have a college degree with two majors, past job experience, and leadership experience through the Army and a deployment. But I still am struggling to find a job. It feels as though employers look right past my military leadership experience, like all my time has been worth nothing. It’s a disheartening feeling. IAVA was the force behind the only jobs bill to be passed last year, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (VOW Act). And they’re looking to do more.

But this week is important to me for a less obvious reason. I absolutely, positively LOVE helping my fellow veterans (as corny as that sounds). Maybe it’s the sergeant in me, but I love helping troops (regardless of the branch). While in school, I worked at my campus’s Veterans Support Services center, helping veterans figure out the complicated mess of education benefits. I felt good every time I could answer a question and make the complicated process easier. Even now, I’m a member of Project Healing Waters, a fly fishing organization that helps veterans work through their injuries, apparent or not. I love the camaraderie that comes along with being with other veterans.  Being a part of Storm the Hill is just a continuation of that need I have to help my fellow vets.

If you’re a vet, then join the fight. Check out IAVA, through both their official website and their facebook page. Check out the Storm the Hill War Room, where all the action will be this week.

If you’re not a vet, you can still be a part of our fight. After being at war for 10+ years, you are more than likely to know a veteran. Thank them. Let them know they are appreciated. And help us fight for all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans through Storm the Hill.

You know what’s dangerous?

Online shopping. Much more so than wandering through the mall.

When I wander through stores, I’ll pick up things I like and walk around with them for a while. After some time, I’ll decide that I really don’t need that dress/pair of shoes/shirt and I’ll wind up putting it back.

You can’t do that online. Online, I’ll put it in my shopping cart and there’s a greater chance of hitting “Check Out” before I know what I’m doing. Most of the time, I’ll leave things in my shopping cart, walk away from my computer for a while, and come back. That usually works to calm my shopaholic side.

But every once in a while, you get caught up in the sale and I hit “Confirm” before I fully realize what’s happening.

I’m trying to avoid that at the moment. My no-shopping month has been going really well, and I don’t want to spoil it now!

So in stead of hitting “Check Out,” I’ll just post the adorable dresses that I’ve found on Dorothy Perkins, a British store’s website (they ship to the US too!).

I’m in love and trying to resist. (Click on the photos for the links)

Apparently I’m a fan of polka-dots.

Do you like to shop online?

I recently bought and finished a really interesting book, Moonwalking with Einstien: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.

In a true story, Joshua Foer is reporter assigned to cover the U.S. Memory Championships for a story. During the event, he becomes more and more intrigued by those who seem to have an abnormally large memory. Are they geniuses? Are they like every other person in the world? And his most important questions: can anyone do this?

Through his first person telling of his pursuit for a place in the U.S. Memory Championships, Foer looks into the science behind memories, those with actual amazing memories of all kinds, and how it is possible for an everyday person to become a memory champion.

If anyone wants to know how the memory works, I would highly recommend this book. It’s a fun read, with a mix of science and story-telling.

It was a pretty boring weekend.

I worked all day Saturday, which I stared off with a little window shopping until my store opened.

I made it home that night just in time to watch my Hoosiers sloppily win over VCU. It wasn’t one of the best games we’ve played, but win we did. On to the Sweet 16 😀

Sunday was for relaxing and cleaning. I cleaned out my closet. Not all of it, but some of what I don’t wear so I could make room for my summer clothes and some possible new spring additions. (Go figure I’d need my summer clothes in March).

What did you do this weekend?

My afternoon was spent on the Mall.

I haven’t seen the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial yet and it was a perfect day to check it out.

By late afternoon, it was actually pretty warm out, especially after walking across the Mall. I found a bench in the shade right outside the World War II Memorial, one of my favorites. The sound of the water is relaxing and it’s a beautiful memorial.

I was meeting a friend of mine near the White House after she got off work, so I made my way up to Pennsylvania Ave. I’ve only seen the back of the White House, so I walked the three extra blocks to check out the front. It’s still small, but it was a closer view. A lot of the area was blocked off for the dinner with the British Prime Minister later that night.

As I was taking the White House photos, a bunch of middle schoolers came up to check it out. The majority of them said the same thing, “This is the White House?” For those who haven’t seen it in person, it’s deceptively small. The photos used in the press have been taken from a good angle, because it’s small. I’ve been bigger houses in the Midwest (they were also mansions, but still). It isn’t that big and tends to be a disappointment. It was for me. But it’s still cool if you think about all the history and diplomatic issues discussed there.

Afterwards, I met my friend for a “Girls Night Out” event at the Daughters of the American Revolution building. It’s an event that brings together different vendors in a fun environment. There were a lot of clothing, jewelry and make-up vendors. The best part? Free drinks. But unfortunately, there was no actual food. And the lines for the more “fun” events, like manicures, massages or blowouts, had ridiculously long lines and not enough service people. It wasn’t bad overall, but after two drinks, we were starving.

We skipped out early and found a restaurant near the Farragut West Metro Stop called Le Pain Quotidien. It’s a very wholesome, natural and basic ingredients. There wasn’t anything fried or anything that seemed unhealthy. I had a delicious tartine (an open-faced sandwich) with prosciutto, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. It was pretty darn good. And we had some mimosas as well.

To end the night, we went right next door and grabbed some cupcakes at Crumbs.

I jumped the metro home and caught up on some emails. It was an amazing day and a great night with a good friend. I would like to have another one soon!

This past Wednesday, it was projected to be in the upper 70s. I didn’t work and I was going to meet a friend downtown after she got off work. So I decided it would be a perfect day to wander the Mall and check out a museum.

And I was right. It was amazing out. There were people out everywhere: runners on the Mall, people playing frisbee, lunch picnics, and school buses full of little kids.

It was getting warm, so I picked the first museum I saw: the giant Museum of Natural History. I love the Smithsonian Museums because they’re all free. Granted, I had to ignore the multiple school groups and Spring Breakers (with their parents – obviously Freshman). But all it took was a quarter to lock my bag up so that I could wander the museum.

And what was the first exhibit I had to go see? The Hope Diamond and other jewels. Obviously.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to capture the amazing shine and sparkle of the Hope Diamond or the other jewels in the exhibit. But I can sure try.

Overall, I checked out the whole museum. It wasn’t completely in depth and I didn’t read every sign, but it was a nice overview and was interesting to walk through. Instead of describing all the different exhibits, I’d rather just show some photos from the different exhibits.

After the museum, I walked over a couple blocks to grab some lunch (rather than get ripped off at the museum cafes). And then I wandered back to the Mall and over to the Washington Monument.

To be continued tomorrow… 🙂