204. Nevada.

How does a girl from Nevada end up in Washington, D.C.?

A question I ask myself often, this time posed by someone I interviewed this afternoon.

203. Analogy.

I think that some years of your life are fantastic and some years of your life are crappy. To me, that’s just how it works out. Friend Amy disagreed with this premise, saying that both good and bad things happen in a year, so you can’t really say one way or another.

That led to me making the following analogy:

A year in one’s life is like a baseball season. Some years are terrific and some are godawful. But wherever a year falls on the spectrum, it’s always going to have both wins and losses. A bad year doesn’t mean you didn’t win at all, and a good year doesn’t mean nothing horrible happened.

Of course, Amy doesn’t care for baseball, so it was wasted on her. But I stand by what I said.

202. Street.

Got the chance to edit a few stories written by an intern at Street Sense, D.C.’s biweekly newspaper about homeless issues, at a session at the National Press Club. We went over a number of things, from digging into colorful details and organizing a story to writing ledes and placing yourself in the reader’s shoes. It was nice to talk with someone about the storytelling process.

I hope she found it helpful, but I think it was good for me, too. Sometimes, saying the things I know out loud helps me remember them myself, if that makes sense.

201. Method.

Anyone who has ever lived with me — family, friends or otherwise — would tell you that I am far from the neatest person. Under my direction, physical spaces often devolve into chaos. My desk at work is currently the best example of that; on Friday, I couldn’t find my copy of the AP Stylebook amid the piles of lawsuits and bills and other documents I’ve gathered. It’s that bad.

Still, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — it’s an organized chaos.

Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I actually do like order (insert parents’ disbelieving “HA” here). My devotion to my planner is the best example of that. And my movies and books are in alphabetical order (by title and author respectively). Further, the non-fiction books have all been organized by subject, ranging from the state of Nevada to presidential biographies.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours going through the piles that had grown on my desk. Earlier, I rearranged my closet so the clothes would hang in a color gradient. And just now, I just put all of my jewelry in the box I bought for it a couple months ago (because, logical) and rearranged the space so I could fit in that photo of me and Becky and the Grand Ole Opry.

However, if you were to actually look at my room, you’d think I hadn’t gotten anything done at all, that the entire weekend was wasted on watching My Boys and Harry Potter. My point is, it wasn’t the *entire* weekend.

There’s a method to the madness, I swear.

200. Boys.

Spent a good chunk of the 200th day of the year (!) watching the TV show My Boys, which I watched in college but never got around to finishing.

A few conclusions:

– I am a mixture of PJ and Stephanie.
– I need to hang out with more guys.
– Friend Adam is my Brendan equivalent.
– You should probably just go for it. It might work out in your favor.

199. Marine.

A story on captive marine mammals that has been two months — TWO MONTHS — in the making published today, and I’m actually really proud of it. A snippet:

Ghosts of the National Aquarium’s dolphin show live on two years after its shutdown. The amphitheater — now called the Dolphin Discovery exhibit — still has seats marked “splash zone,” posters of performing dolphins and large video screens that were used to rev up the crowd for the entrance of the performing animals.

Aquarium visitors often ask staffers when the next show will start. The answer: never.

The eight bottlenose dolphins that entertained several times a day now enjoy a life of leisure, interacting with their handlers in what used to be the center ring of a marine circus. The animals — Nani, Jade, Spirit, Maya, Bayley, Chesapeake, Beau and Foster — swim around their tank, eat fresh fish and participate in “enrichment programs.”

And a more dramatic change for the dolphins may be in the offing.

I’ve been thinking about dissecting the “anatomy” of this story, just to see how different pieces of reporting are woven together to create the whole. But that’s a lesson for another day.

198. Magic.

Saw an advance screening of Magic in the Moonlight, Woody Allen’s new film. It’s a very WA film, and I don’t think I’ll see it again, though I enjoyed Colin Firth playing a sarcastic, pessimistic jackass and Emma Stone’s twist on the manic pixie dream girl.

There was a line that I loved, but I can’t recall it word for word, so I’m just going to paraphrase it and not make it a block quote:

Whether there is reason in this world or not, it still has a little bit of magic.

197. Fajitas.

Since I have already blogged twice about margaritas this year, I will instead say that I had delicious, delicious fajitas at this restaurant not too far from my apartment, which was accompanied by margaritas and a free tequila shot. Fun times with friends Sarah, Matt and Alex.

Rest of the day was spent at a markup, trying to catch lawmakers at votes and meeting with the previous chairman of the Capitol Hill Chorale’s audience committee to talk logistics over a couple beers. Good day overall.

196. Snakes.

Today, wrote about the nuances of federal policy regarding the export of certain snake species.

In other words, snakes on a plane.

Cue Sammy L.


195. Bootleg.

Attended my first Bootleg Shakespeare performance by the Taffety Punk Theatre Company tonight.

It’s a wonderful concept: the actors get the scripts ahead of time to memorize their lines, but only have one rehearsal to nail it all down before they perform. That results in some forgotten lines, hilarious costuming and staging and one of the most entertaining theatre experiences I’ve ever had.

Here’s how they explain it on their website:

Too often, productions of Shakespeare in our culture are precious, overly conceptualized, stagey, and frankly, boring. By throwing ourselves into the fray on a bare stage with the minimum of rehearsal time and mise en scene, we in the Bootleg shows have to rely on a visceral connection to the play and the audience to carry us through and the results are always electrifying.

This year’s show was “Pericles,” which I’ve never seen. That the company could turn something that I know nothing about into such fun is quite a feat.

Well done, Taffety Punk, and can’t wait until next year.