Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 297/365 - I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"
William Wordsworth

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 296/365 - Nibble and Nosh

This was my late afternoon snack today. The General Counsel invited us over to her Capitol Hill rowhouse tonight for a BBQ send-off for our summer interns. I didn't know how good the food would be, or if it would be lame and I'd want to bail early, so I made sure to eat a snack.

It actually turned out to be a quite nice. The GC's hubby cooked us up some burgers and hot wings on his fancy "Green Egg" grill (it looked more like a cross between an avocado and a golf ball than an egg) and we stood around drinking beer, stuffing our faces, and shooting the breeze. Their rowhouse was nice, and away from the office the GC was very laid back and low key.

There were two guys there and I thought one was her dad and one was her hubby, but it turned out the old guy was her husband and the other dude was our new Deputy General Counsel who starts next week. Oops. Glad I didn't say anything. That would've been embarrassing.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 295/365 - Post-It Note Impression No. 8

Change of pace this time -- instead of a person I'm a thing. Quick, what am I?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 294/365 - The Color Purple

I never thought I would like this musical. I haven't ever seen the movie (it looked too girly), so when the Kennedy Center announced they were bringing a touring company production of the show to town I was less than impressed. But then earlier this week they sent me an email advertising the fact that tickets to many of remaining performances of "The Color Purple" were being discounted to $49, so I figured 'what the heck, I'll give it a try.' Glad I did.

I went to see it tonight with my friend Pia and her musical-mad niece and we all enjoyed it. It's certainly not the happiest and most lighthearted of musicals. There's a lot of sorrow and suffering, hardship and hate in it, but despite that it manages to be very uplifting with numerous laugh-out-loud moments. The story focuses on the struggles of a woman who loses everyone she loves and is victimized by everyone she doesn't. The play follows her from the age of 14 to her grey-haired old womanhood and recounts the many memorable characters that pass through her life and the trials she endures.

The set design and staging is very stylized and evocative and the music and songs are memorable and rousing. The performances are simply outstanding. American Idol winner Fantasia burns brightly in the lead role of Ceelie. I was surprised at how good an actress she is. She doesn't play the part so much as she inhabits it. And man, can she sing! Her voice is an unstoppable force unto itself. As good as Fantasia's performance is however, the play is absolutely stolen by the actress portraying the feisty and unyielding Sophia. Her "Hell, no" song was the highlight of the evening for me.

Now after enjoying the play I'm going to have to rent the movie and give it a chance. Sometimes being proven wrong can be a good thing.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 293/365 - World's Coolest Lunchbag

That's my badass, pirate-themed, insulated vinyl lunchbag ($10 at Target) framed inside a gussied up old police call box. I set up this shot today on my way over to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory for lunch.

It was pretty cool sitting at tree-top level in the rainforest while I ate my lunch and read my book. A bit on the humid side, however. I really should've gone over there for lunch when I was reading all about the 'green hell' of the Amazonian rainforest in The Lost City of Z. That would have lent it the perfect atmosphere.

Although, come to think of it, there is a desert room at the Conservatory that would go well with the book set in Egypt that I'm reading now. Dang, I should've thought to sit down there today instead of trekking up to the gantry overlooking the jungle section.

I love themed activities.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 292/365 - If I Win the Lottery...

I don't buy individual lottery tickets, but I do have a lottery subscription. It's good for six months at a stretch and I'm automatically entered in every drawing during that period. At the end of the six months they send me a check for my winnings (if any), and then I renew my subscription. Usually I don't win anything, but I have won four or five bucks a few times and once I won fourteen. I know, I know -- lotteries are essentially a tax on people who are bad at math (guilty as charged), but I don't care. If nothing else, being able to dream about winning is worth the cost of the subscription.

I've spent a good deal of time daydreaming about what I'd do if I won. First, I'd pay off all of mine and my family's debts. Then I'd endow two trusts -- one to cover all my family's medical and educational expenses for hopefully several generations and one to make charitable contributions (kids and animals mostly, I'm sappy like that) and fund a couple scholarships at my law school alma mater.

I'd quit work and take everyone at the office out for a big fancy lunch somewhere, complete with a fleet of hired limos to chauffeur us there and back. Then I'd hire a firm of naval architects to design me a yacht that looked like a millionaire's pleasure craft from the 1930s, but was state of the art with the latest in technology and comfort. I think I'd call it the Vagabond Prince. This next part is where my detail-obsessive lawyer side comes out -- I'd set up a corporation or LLC to contract for the yacht and be responsible for employing on the crew to shield my assets and protect me from liability and I'd set off on an around the world cruise that took however long it took. I'd take loads of photos and make notes with the goal of getting a coffee table book of my trip published at the end of the journey. I'd have a website too that would include a map with real-time positioning data and webcams so you could see where I was. I'd post a few photos and notes too just to whet people's appetites for the eventual book.

Hopefully doing it this way would mean I'd be able to consider it a business venture rather than a pleasure cruise and maybe write off a portion of the trip as a business expense. Tax law not being my forte however, I'm not sure about that part. I'd have a personal assistant/operations manager that would take care of port clearances and logistics and all other administrative details so that I would only have to worry about deciding where to go next and how long to stay there.

The first leg of the voyage would be from DC down to Miami and I'd invite my friends along and it would be one big floating party. Then I'd charter a plane to fly them back home from Miami and I'd set off on my circumnavigation of the Earth. And that's what I'll do if I win the lottery.

What would you do?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Fortress in the Clouds

This week's added shot from my archives is a photo I took last weekend of the I.M. Pei-designed East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I liked the way the roof of the building looked like castle battlements and framed the sky.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Day 291/365 - Quick, Take a Shot of Something

I've done nothing all day but read a magazine and watch tv. Then I remembered I needed to take a shot for the 365 project, so I decided to photograph me doing what I did best today -- sitting on my butt. Hope your Sunday was as restful (although hopefully more productive).

(Taken with my Nikon D90)