Friend Feature: Tina P.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been hard for me to meet people since finishing school. When you’re in school, you have a common set of circumstances that structures your interactions with others while also giving you a lot of flexibility in who you meet and how you meet them. People come and go every year and your classes and interests shift, so you’re presented with a constantly changing cast of characters.

When you get out into the “real world” of a 9-to-5, that all changes. You see the same people and do the same things day in and day out. In some jobs, it takes a really long time to stop being “the new guy”. Outside of work, you have many of the same options for meeting people as you did when you were in school, but somehow it’s harder to make those casual connections that might turn into real friendships, particularly if you’re an introvert, and even moreso if you’re an introvert in a relationship.

I mention all of these things because five years ago, I came to DC on a job interview, and when I met Tina on my candidate lunch, I decided that I wanted to be her friend. We bonded over cats and Project Runway and Queen Bee bags. Tina was at the reference desk on my first day of work, and reintroduced herself, even though I definitely hadn’t forgotten her or any of the other cool people from my interview (including Abigail!).

C'est chic!

I really don’t think it’s possible to will a friendship into being – I’ve certainly tried and failed since – but I’m glad that the powers that be agreed that Tina and I should be friends. She made the days at Gelman a great deal more bearable, and I’m thankful our friendship persisted after I left that job.

Here are a bunch of things Tina and I have done together:
– picnicked and happy hour’d at Fort Reno and the Sculpture Garden and the Galaxy Hut
– rode bikes from Old Town to Georgetown and back
– knit for the troops at Buzz
got naked at Spa World
– saw Neko Case at the 930 Club
– ate a lot of latkes and cupcakes
– made plans for an alpaca farm where the stud alpacas will be named Brian Eno and David Byrne
– wrote a craft blog and also haikus about CVS
– high fived under the Kennedy Center
– wandered through “snow” on a film set in June in Ypsi
– ran a bunch of races as Team Helpful Paws and Team Astronaut Mike Dexter:

Team Helpful Paws
2009 Race for the Cure 5K, Washington, DC
Team Astronaut Mike Dexter!
2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Washington, DC
Pre-Race Flexing
2011 Dexter-Ann Arbor half marathon, Ann Arbor, MI
Team Astronaut Mike Dexter!
2012 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Washington, DC

Here’s hoping for many more miles, and many more cupcakes, and many more stitches, and many more Talking Heads dance parties in the years to come!

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The Best of Yesterday’s Inauguration Coverage (by my friend Abigail)

Facebook | Abigail Constantino’s Notes

What I did on Inauguration – Bullet Points Yesterday at 7:53pm

* Woke up. Rode metro. Annoyed by irresponsible gum chewer.
* Met up with Liz and Steph on corner of North Capitol around 7 am.
* Interviewed by Emerson College students making a documentary. I am a Communications genius! I should be Press Secretary.
* Diverted to 3rd Street Tunnel.
* Arrived at Mall.
* Liz and Steph hoist me up to take a picture of the crowds. Turns out Greg Rec from Portland Press Herald snapped a picture of us. Check it out! http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/inauguration/ Scroll down to Images from DC, photo 7.
* Gave up parade route plan, set blanket down at Mall, next to Smithsonian exit, around 8:00 am.
* Amanda calls, “Come over there’s plenty of room on Penn and Conn!” Folded blanket, headed towards 7th and Conn checkpoint.
* Used the cleanest port-a-john in the city.
* Found Amanda! Boo!
* Played cards, ran in place, did lunges, had friends sit on feet. Soooo cold!
* Went for a quick jog around the area. Lo and behold, a street vent!!!
* Obama inaugurated.
* Nell arrives.
* Ate sandwich
* Antics: running in place, swinging side to side, taking pictures of the Sheriffs of Wilmington County, NC’s butts, America’s Next Top Model poses, breakdancing.
* Several trips to the vent in between all of the above.
* Parade…FINALLY!
* Walked with Nell to Dupont.
* Took Metro. Home in 20 minutes. Kudos to WMATA today!

A Year in a Life

Picture 1

I’m done with my Project 365 (or 366, as it was a leap year).  Just over a year ago – a year on Thursday – Shane accepted the job offer that resulted in our move out here.  On the same day, I applied for the job that I now have.  I can’t believe it’s been a year already.  Our lives have changed so much since then!

Picture 3

While this move was very, very hard on me, I think it’s been a really good thing for our relationship.  I feel like we’re much closer, much more stable, and much more aware of needing each other.  I’m so thankful for that, and for the awesome dude that is currently asleep in our bedroom with our cat.

Picture 2

There are still times when I’m horribly, achingly homesick for the life we had back in Champaign – our friends, our favorite places, our 7 minute commutes on our bikes, my wonderful job and coworkers, our big sunny apartment with the garden and clothesline – but for the most part, I think we’re both really happy out here.  And that’s a good thing.