February 15, 2010

Linking Family Trees

There are two or three people in my family that are very interested in recreating their family trees, reaching out to the far ends of the world to discover new branches and information about relatives.

My father is South African, and my mother is French. Upon hearing that my dad's family may have a French branch to it, I wrote the following:

From: 007 in Africa
Sent: 12 February 2010
To: A variety of people
Subject: RE: DNA Testing easy in USA

Please tell me there won't be a chance my parents are related....

007 in Africa

She quickly replied:

From: My aunt
Sent: 12 February 2010
To: 007 in Africa; a variety of people
Subject: RE: DNA Testing easy in USA

Be sensible – it’s impossible. You’ve studied genetics and should have realized ages ago your father is not from this planet. I suspect he’s actually an orphan my parents found in Roswell, USA, sometime in the fifties and adopted. He’s odd, but we still love him very, very much. (Only aliens listen to Mahler for relaxation)

Peter says now, at last, he understands why I always spend so much time in the kitchen.

Love you all lots!
Your Aunt

February 12, 2010

The Shovel Brigade

Yesterday afternoon, a lady with a small car tried to drive down our unplowed street. Very bad idea. Five big guys (including a policeman) came to her rescue, shoveling the road so she could drive 1 meter, and get stuck again. They repeated this pattern 4 or 5 times.

It was obviously frustrating work and the guys worked really hard and diligently to get the car moving, shoveling and pushing the car along the way. It must have taken at least an hour to get the car moved 10 meters.

Until a big white van drove down the street and stopped right behind the car. It beeped a couple of times, seemingly irritated by the situation, having only waited one minute for her to budge. The policeman irritatingly shook his fist in the van's direction, shooting at the driver.

Then all of a sudden, the van's door opened, and 5 guys with shovels come out. They added their manpower to the team, and got the car freed in less than 5 minutes.

The men then dispersed swiftly, in every direction. It was such a weird scene, I felt like I was witnessing a swift, efficient mobster operation of The Shovel Brigade.

February 09, 2010

We're Running Out of Food

I use to scoff at people who panicked at the thought of snow, running to the store for food, toilet paper and water. Well, I'm not so proud now. I still have a good amount of food, but would kill for cereal and lettuce. Except my friend sent me these pictures of the Whole Food in 14th and P street:

My roommate and I have invited him for a walk and dinner to chase away the cabin blues. She still has lentils and flour, so she's planning to make curried beans (chick peas, and kidney beans) and roti. We're scraping the end of our fridge for this meal.

Apparently, we're due for snow again, and then we'll really start to go for the canned food.

Pictures taken by Peter Mamacos.

February 07, 2010

D.C. Snowpocalypse 2010

But only dad was around for the second heavy snow, otherwise dubbed the D.C. Snowpocalypse.

I enthusiastically (some would even say a little too giddy - like my roommate who was not going to be convinced to put her nose outside) started off my day, hoping to walk from Columbia Heights to Georgetown and back (I succeeded the 8 miles)...

These are the treacherous stairs from my apartment to the street. What you can't see is how steep and how many steps there are to the bottom. Looks waaay easy to climb down than it was.

View of my street, Girard Street to 14th street. Great plowing guys.

Statue of some proud, crotchety old man in Dupont Circle.

David and Goliath, seriously. This little bitty jeep pulled out a huge-ass truck with a cord. It was an impressive feat.

View of Reservoir Road from Wisconsin Avenue.

The Georgetown Cafe

A snow bicycle.

"I'm going sledding. Get out of my way."

Rock Creek Parkway.

"13 seconds, 13 seconds! Cross the road buddy!"

I think this is what L. Frank Baum had in mind when he wrote about the "cowardly lion."

First Heavy Snow

Man! We've had some pretty heavy snow here in D.C. The first heavy fall was during Christmas. Here's how my family coped with it:

My dad was glad for the exercise...

My mom was proud to show off her share of the work.

My sister was stoic, having recently come back from 4 years in Montreal.

And my brother was surely and unamused.