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Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

No, not New York City. I’m talking Washington, DC.

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I spent the summer of 2006, the summer before my senior year of college, interning at ABC News in Washington DC. Let me take a little trip down memory lane.

I lived in a George Washington University dorm room, more a suite, with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

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With a friend from college and a random girl who we were assigned to live with.

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Random girl, me, and my college friend.

Our suite was in a great location right next to the Foggy Bottom metro, it overlooked Washington Circle Park, and was a short walk to Georgetown.

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The internship was great. I was interning with really great people and I got to experience really interesting things (2 tours of the Pentagon (which I consider one of the coolest places on earth), going out on a shoot in Maryland, sitting in on lots of interviews with really interesting people).

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The great group of people I interned with.

So is the point of doing this self-indulgent nostalgia post to talk about how happy I was and what a great experience it was? No, the point is to talk about how miserable I was.

Sometime around the beginning of my junior year in college I decided I wanted to work in TV news. I’d always loved the news and politics and I thought it would be the perfect high-powered job for me. I applied for several internships and got interviews with CBS and with Nightline in DC. After the phone interview I was convinced I didn’t get it and then, a few days later, I got an email telling me I was accepted.

I was so happy. My good friend Jo was interning in DC as well and we agreed to room together in the GWU dorms. My good friend Maria would also be down there interning and living with her boyfriend.

I moved down to DC really full of hope and excitement. But it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. My friends, Jo and Maria included, weren’t 21 (I was) so our options of going out were limited. Jo had a lot of friends in DC and while she was nothing but welcoming and always willing to include me they were never people I felt comfortable around so I rarely hung out with them. I actually ended up pushing most people away because of how miserable I was.

The people I was interning with were also great but none of them were 21 and none of us ever ended up hanging out with each other outside of work. I also wasn’t making any money so I often felt like I couldn’t go out and do things without getting into heavy debt.

So what did I spend most of my time doing? I worked Monday-Friday and I mostly spent my nights and weekends alone. I didn’t have enough money to go to the gym so I never exercised, I ended up eating cheap fast food because our kitchen didn’t really have pots and pans and I didn’t really know how to cook any way, and I often ended up in front of the TV eating boxes of Milk Duds (seriously, boxes).

I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I say that, in retrospect, I really regret this. Yes, I had no money, yes, none of my friends were 21, but I could have made more of an effort to hang out with people and meet new people. But I didn’t.

And, to be honest, I still often let fear or curmudgeonness hold me back from new experiences (see my post on Wednesday about how I can’t make blog friends and you’ll realize this is true). And that’s not good.

So I wrote about this not to write about how happy I was, OR about how sad I was, but to remind myself to not let fear hold me back.

But, in the spirit of ending on a happy note, I did some really fun stuff in DC that summer, too.

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My friend Maria and I went to Anderson Cooper’s book signing and I talked to him about some of the people I worked with at ABC who he also knew.

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We took a really cool behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol building.

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Maria and I paid a ridiculously inappropriate visit to the Museum of the American Indian.

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(Look how tan I am, and how red my hair was. I’m thinking I might actually like my hair like that.)

I also went to a ton of museums and saw a ton of movies because those are good things to do on your own. My friend Becca and I watched the World Cup final together in Georgetown, which was great. And, as I said earlier, I made two amazing visits to the Pentagon (did you know there’s a KFC and a DMV in there?).

So in the end this is a little reminder to myself to not let fear hold me back and to take chances because I don’t want to life my life with regret.

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An Ode to Borders

As you may or may not have heard Borders Books is closing its doors. They haven’t been doing well for a while and despite what seems like their team’s best efforts they just can’t make their business model work.

As you also may or may not know I work in book publishing. Up until my recent promotion I did the support work for the sales reps who sold to Borders. I even got to take a trip out to Ann Arbor to the Borders headquarters last year.

Because of this I know quite a few people who are losing their jobs. And quite a few who have already lost their jobs in the previous months. The papers say 11,000 people will lose their jobs in all, which is pretty terrible.

While I obviously have a professional connection to Borders I also have a personal one. Growing up as the daughter of two librarians I always loved books. But I actually can’t really remember going to a bookstore until a Borders store opened about half an hour from my parents’ house.

At first they were only books, then they condensed the book section and also started selling music, and over the years they added movies and paper products and all sorts of gift-y items.

But I’ll never forget how excited I was to take my spending money to Borders as a child. I remember buying Saddle Club books and Sweet Valley Twins books and all sorts of other books, and CDs, back in the day.

My grandparents (the same ones I went to visit in Portland) used to take us to Borders all the time. They always spoiled my brother and me with $10 or $20 when we saw them and rather than taking us to get toys or candy they used to take us to Borders, and we loved it. I would usually get a book and Nick would usually get a CD, but we would spend hours looking around.

I still remember how the books had barcode stickers on back that were kind of texturized and I loved peeling them off slowly as I read the book.

Eventually a Borders opened close to my parents’ house and that was great, but by that time I think I was in college. When I was growing up there were no Barnes and Noble stores by my parents (and there still really aren’t, the closest one is about 45 minutes away) and I can’t think of where an independent bookstore would have been (although there are two now). There was a Walmart and Kmart by my parents’ but we never went there and although I know they sell books now, I’m not sure they did when I was younger, and their book selection isn’t so great. Target is the only big box store with a good book selection and one of those didn’t open by my parents’ until I was in college.

So, until we started ordering books from Amazing (probably when I was 14 or 15?) Borders was where we went to get all our books. I actually remembered while writing this that I based my college admissions essay on something that happened to me at a Borders store. My friend and I were there shopping one night and a woman had this terror child and she looked at us and said, “whatever you do don’t have kids.” And I wrote my college admissions essay about how I wanted kids.

Anyway, I will always be thankful for Borders. Books are amazing things and who knows where I would have ended up if I didn’t have those Borders stores to aimlessly browse in? Maybe I wouldn’t have become a reader and who knows what ramifications that would have had. Or maybe I wouldn’t have been inspired to write my college essay and I wouldn’t have gotten in to college.

RIP.

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Betting Kind

One year, when I was in elementary school, my dad decided to have me and my brother try to pick the winning NFL teams each week. I don’t know why, I don’t know how we did, but he had this notebook he would keep track of our picks in.

My dad also used to take me to the horse racing track frequently where I could bet all day. And on a few sick days I remember him taking me to the special store that sold the racing forum and I would lie on the couch watching the ghetto horse racing channel.

Which brings me to my love of tennis. Which I’m sure will be elaborated on much, much more, but for now revolves around picking winners.

This year I’ve been participating in a fantasy tennis league (yep, they exist). I have to say that I think I’m doing pretty well. As of yesterday (they haven’t updated for today) I’m in 101st place out of almost 1000 people.

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For the Grand Slams I also participate in the Racket Bracket challenge on the Tennis Channel’s website.

I’m probably jinxing myself, but I think I’m rocking it so far. For the men I’m in the top 4%.

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And for the women I’m in the top 3%.

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I am a really competitive person by nature and a total tennis geek so I couldn’t be more excited.

And, if you’re wondering, I have Nadal winning the men’s and Sharapova (I almost had a heart attack during her match today) winning the women’s.

Fingers crossed.

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Laurel Parade

I graduated college four years ago. I don’t really believe it, but the numbers don’t lie.

I don’t want to talk about it.

But I do want to talk about the Laurel Parade. Today, Mount Holyoke, my alma mater, held the Laurel Parade. What is that you ask? Wikipedia so eloquently describes it as the following:

The Laurel Parade takes place the day before commencement. Graduating seniors wear white and carry laurel garlands, in a parade to Mary Lyon’s grave. They are escorted by approximately 3,000 alumnae, also in white, who thereby welcome them into the Alumnae Association. Once at Mary Lyon’s grave, the garland is wound around the cast-iron fence, and the Mimi Farina song “Bread and Roses” is sung by all in attendance. White is a tribute to those who fought for women’s suffrage.

Picture time! There aren’t really any pictures from my Laurel Parade that I like. First, I was fat. Second, I apparently had a crap camera. So here’s one:

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And here’s me and Becca two years later at our two year reunion:

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Much better.

Me and Natalie:

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Don’t my eyes look really blue in these pictures? I had an eye infection, maybe it was a good thing?

Seniors walking to Mary Lyon’s grave:

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One of the (many great) signs help by alumnae.

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I love the older alumnae, especially the yellow classes since that’s my class color.

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Really, really old alumnae.

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Next year is my five-year reunion. Unbelievable.

I’ll leave you with Bread and Roses.

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A year ago I ran my first race at a distance longer than a 5K.

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I ran 10 miles. In 1:38:25. Not too bad.

I stopped running over the summer when it started bothering my knees. I started up again in the fall, but eventually my knees became a problem again. Recently I’ve been trying to run short distances on the treadmill and while my knees have been stiff, they haven’t been like they were.

It’s weird to think that I went out and ran 10 miles pretty easily only a year ago. The longest distance I had run up until that point was 8 miles, but I busted out 10 in a time that I am extremely proud of.

Even though I am not running regularly right now and even though I’ve gained about 8lbs since last year, I overall feel much more fit. When I was training to run the 10-mile race (and a half-marathon) I pretty much only ran and did cross training (elliptical) once or twice a week. For the last few months I’ve incorporated different types of cross training into my workout routine and I’ve added in strength training.

My hope is that the cross training and strength training will eventually help me to run again. But if that doesn’t happen I’m happy to have found other workouts that I enjoy.

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