Much more snow!

It snowed a lot today. We have maybe six inches on the ground, and I took the opportunity to take a bunch of pictures! So, here we go:

Compare this picture of my car to the one I took the last time I was in DC for snow:

Basilica of the National Shrine in the day

The Basilica had this guy riding around on a 4-wheeler with a snowplow attached clearing off the sidewalks:

Seems like a fun job!

They also had the world’s fastest snow-plow driver. She/he kept driving around the circle in front of the Basilica super-quickly. It was hard to get a shot of the truck that wasn’t blurry!

Fast plower.

It was really cold, so I bundled up. I wore two jackets, a hat, and the only scarf I had, which happened to be a fancy-pants decorative scarf my mom got me. But it got the job done!

Brrrrr! I was so bundled up that when I passed a woman that lives on my floor, she didn't recognize me and gave me a funny look when I said hi!

The snow is over my ankles.

The Basilica at night.

For some more pics, check out my Flickr stream.

When I got through taking pictures I was covered in snow! I had to shake out my jeans in the tub, because big hunks of snow had somehow lodged themselves along the bottoms. It took me probably half an hour to warm up completely. I predict church will be canceled!

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CoHi Panda

I went to the Columbia Heights Panda Express on MLK Day. Columbia Heights is a really busy area. There were a lot of people on the sidewalk selling things. One man was selling paintings – very European!

The food at Panda was disappointing at first. Like everyone who goes to Panda, I got the orange chicken. Unfortunately, I got the last orange chicken before a fresh batch was brought out. That meant that mine was chewy and not tasty, which was such a bummer for me, who had been thinking about that orange chicken for weeks! But my friend Michelle told me hers was good, which encouraged me to ask for a new order, which the nice woman working there gave me. This new order was the orange chicken I know and love, so I was happy!

Michelle showing off her drinking skillz. Notice the two plates of orange chicken in front of me.

After feasting on pseudo-Chinese fast-food, Michelle and I headed to Target. The CoHi Target is huge – it’s got two stories, and my favorite – shopping cart escalators! Check it out:

Nice, right?

DCUSA (the mall in which Target is located) was pretty nice. They have a Best Buy, a Bed Bath and Beyond, a Payless, and a couple other stores. Everything looks bright and new, which is probably because it just opened in 2008. The streets around DCUSA are still under construction, and so traffic is often a total mess, which is why this Target probably won’t replace my go-to PG Plaza Target anytime soon. But I’ll certainly brave some traffic for Panda – yum!

Rock Creek Park and Zombies

So, I’ve been watching a lot of zombie movies lately, and thinking about the best ways to prepare in order to stand a good chance of surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse. One of those ways is by practicing running, and while doing that in Rock Creek Park recently I noticed this:

Here’s a close-up, in case you don’t see what made me stop in my tracks:

That’s right, it’s a creepy cage. Now, most people would say that it’s put there to keep debris and/or teenagers from going into that pipe. But those people would be swallowing the lie – it’s probably really there to keep the zombies from getting out of the sewers and devouring us.

I also saw some not-scary things on my run. For instance, the world’s smallest iceberg:

And an illustration of the “bridges freeze first and unfreeze last” principle (I took this picture for you, Leslie!)

And a sight that was all-too familiar to me, as someone who thrice survived a Chicago winter:

How thoughtful of the plow to dump it all right on the path

That pile of snow will take weeks and weeks to melt, getting dirtier and more unsightly all the while. Hooray!

Typos

I had a lot of typos in that last post. I hope you’ll forgive them, as I am still kind of fuzzy with sadness. But I do know that took doesn’t have an “e,” that guinea is spelled g-u-i-n-e-a, and of course, the piggies loved to sleep on my bed, behind my laptop, not on my behind behind my laptop. Ugh. Sorry for the errors!

Lola

My little guinea pig died today. She’d been a little weak for a while, started eating less of her favorite foods, but today apparently she began shaking, and Leslie and my dad tooke her to the vet. She didn’t even last the thirty-minute drive there.

I’m heartbroken. I have cried buckets of tears today. I feel so sad, and I keep wondering if I could have saved her somehow. She wasn’t old for a guinea pig – if I had taken her to the vet while I was home for Christmas, when I knew something was wrong because she was eating less and sleeping more – maybe if I had gotten her checked out we could have saved her.

But it’s too late now, and my sweet little guinea pig is gone. So I’m going to post some of my favorite pictures and reminisce a little  bit.

We had Charlie for a little over a year before we decided to get a cagemate for her. Guiena pigs are happiest when they have a friend living with them, and we saw firsthand how having a friend (and a good-sized cage) could improve a piggy’s attitude. Charlie used to bite like crazy when we tried to get her out, but after bringing Lola home and making the correct-sized cage, she became very sociable.

I found Lola on petfinder.com. Her mom was rescued while pregnant, and Lola was on the site for adoption. She was pictured with her brothers and sisters, but I picked her out immediately. I said to myself, “There’s the one – the black and orange little girl piggy.” Leslie, Daniel and I drove to Kentucky to pick her up. She was so small! She could fit entirely in the palm of my hand. We brought her home and introduced her to Charlie, and there was no fighting – probably because Lola was such a baby that Charlie didn’t see her as a threat. Lola immediately began to follow Charlie everywhere she went, something she continued to do for the rest of her life! She was a nervous little piggy, and was happiest when Charlie was with her.

Because she had a nervous disposition, she loved hiding under things. If there was something she could burrow under, she’d do it in a second!

Can you see Lola? She's doing a pretty good job of hiding!

When she was little, she loved to lay in this tube:

But eventually she grew too big for it.Because she was often sickly (she had a wheeze that antibiotics could never clear up, although she loved to take them anyway – I guess they tasted good!), I bought her a snuggly from a seller on etsy.com. It was great – it was a little place that she could hide in and stay warm at the same time – and even better, it was too small for Charlie so Lola could have it all to herself!

But we didn’t think through the fact that keeping fabric in a cage meant that the snuggly would get really dirty really quickly. So eventually we upgraded to igloos, which the piggies loved.

Mom says that during Lola’s last week, she and Charlie shared the same igloo, even though they each have their own. I like to imagine that Charlie knew Lola was sick, and was snuggling with her to comfort her. There must have been some reason for Charlie to share with Lola, because those two piggies did not fit well in one igloo.

Tight squeeze!

The piggies loved to sleep on my bed, behind the screen of my laptop. I spent countless hours with them there – me surfing the web, them sleeping next to my warm computer.

My computer screen from my point of view

What was behind the screen after I closed it - sleepy piggies

It doesn’t feel like she’s really gone. I always thought she’d die before Charlie, but 2 1/2 years is still young for a guinea pig.

Lola, you were a precious piggie, with your own sweet personality. You were skittish and fragile, but sweet through and through – never biting us, even when we were so mean to you (like when we would clip your nails or bathe you! 🙂 ). I will really, really miss you, little pig.

Pig close-ups

I love you, sweet piggy.

Wendy’s/Goodwill Promotion

DC-area Wendy’s are partnering with Goodwill for a kind of fundraiser. If you buy a Frosty keychain for $1, you get unlimited free Jr Frosties for all of 2010 (with a purchase, and at participating Wendy’s).

This is an incredible deal, since the Jr Frosties are normally 79 cents, and they are my favorite size Frosty. So I hurried over to my neighborhood Wendy’s and got one of those keychains. They’re pretty cute – they’re shaped like a Frosty, but they’re nice and flat so I could put it on my keyring without adding extra bulk/annoyance when carrying my keys. Take a look:

Front of the Frosty tag

Back of the tag, showing the rules for the promotion

I took those pictures with the camera on my phone, which, it turns out, is way better for taking close-up pictures than my actual camera. I cannot get my camera to focus on the item in close up – it always focuses on the background. It’s very annoying.

But anyway, so far I’ve used the keychain to get a free Frosty twice, and it was awesome. I love this promotion!

More on Journalistic “Ethics”

I just keep thinking of more things that are wrong with this story.

The FP writer relates how the photographer who watched the little girl die later comitted suicide, supposedly haunted by the things he saw. He then writes:

That’s why I can’t blame Gupta for helping out when he did. On the one hand, he crossed a journalistic line and became part of the story. On the other hand, he probably saved a few Haitians’ lives. Imagine how he’d feel if he had to report on CNN that he’d stay there to watch them die that night?

Apart from that “journalistic line” thing again, the writer is literally saying that it was okay that Gupta intervened and crossed that line because it would have been so hard on him if he had watched them die instead. The focus is not on the people who were dying and needed help – it’s on the journalist/photographer and their feelings. You should save people’s lives if you can, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because later you might get all depressed about letting them die and capturing their suffering to further your career. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

Ugh.