Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI

( This photo was taken by the IMF Photographer)

I am not Catholic, but it was pretty cool seeing the Pope. He is visiting the US and for a few days he's creating quite a stir in DC: he just visited the White House, on Sunday he will perform a Mass Service at the new Nationals stadium opened recently in DC and for those who want to find out more, there is plenty of info here

I work on Pennsylvania Ave, three blocks away from the White House, so it was convenient for me to go up on the roof and see the street wide open and the entourage driving slowly up from the WH. The Popemobile was covered so from the top I could only see the arm resting on the rail. It was cool to hear the crowds singing 'Hallelujahs', playing guitars and all sorts of instruments, and dancing. The Catholics sure know how to show adoration to their Pope. I wonder if they were yelling and clapping as much knowing that the Pope didn't come to DC empty-handed. It turns out that recently the Vatican has officially came up with seven brand new sins:

1. 'Bioethical' violations such as birth control
2. 'Morally dubious' experiments such as stem cell research
3. Drug abuse
4. Polluting the environment
5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor
6. Excessive wealth
7. Creating poverty
(My 'strong' source was this article on

While he was passing by, all I could do was pray for him. I had a genuine prayer going up to heaven for him and his ministry on Earth.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Philadelphia, here I come!

It’s almost Friday noon and I can hardly contain my excitement. It’s been a looong week- I was super busy at work (I will be like this until the end of the fiscal year), I was home alone this week (Michael was off to a sunny California while he left me behind to deal with clouds, rain and not so nice spring weather… until today!!).

The reason I want to get up and do some jumps around is that in about four hours I will catch the train to Philadelphia! I am going there for a baby shower for one of the girls I went to school with, but usually a bridal or baby shower is the best excuse for a bunch of us to get together and catch up with life. They are all dear friends from University and seeing them will be a highlight in my Washingtonian existence.

I absolutely love DC but once in a while I need an excuse (any excuse) to go up to Philly and chill there. Tomorrow will be MY day in the city and I already have some things on the agenda: I will start with a massage at Philadelphia School of Massage (they know me there as the girl who comes from DC for a massage), then will stop at TBar for a nice cup of tea, moving on to CapoGiro (the best gelato I’ve had in US so far). Not far from the gelateria is this new chocolateria in town (was not there when I lived downtown, but I did stopped by a few times and drooled at their creations), I mean, how can I pass by a place like Naked Chocolate without going in?! After indulging in so many great calories, I will go and try to fit my expanded derrière by now into some trendy clothes at DAFFY’S… Ohhh… this will be a very therapeutic week-end!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

About a month ago...

My birthday was almost a month ago, on March 6th exactly and contrary to my usual nonchalant attitude towards this kind of milestone, this year I decided to make a BIG deal about it. It's not because I turned 30 or something (I am only 29 in case you are curious), but I just felt the impulse to go a bit out of my way and celebrate it with style. And I did exactly that for an entire week long!

I had a 'project' going on where I took pictures of myself during the week- I documented what I wore each day, gifts and cards I received in the mail, people I met up with at lunch time, places I've been for dinner etc. The result was this photo album . Then week-end came and I threw myself a wonderful party, then the party continued as four dear friends of mine visited me all the way from Ohio and Indiana. Three of them were high school classmates from Romania so we considered this week-end a semi-reunion as well.

Michael asked me what to get me for my birthday but thinking of what I needed (I like practical gifts), I realized I was fine, I didn't need/want anything. I told him to let's just throw a party and enjoy the week and weekend and that will be enough for me. He gave me something better than anything I could have come up with and ask him for: he made this video clip of my birthday and the memories that come back watching this, are the BEST souvenir that I could have! Thanks love, you did well.