Sunday, December 24, 2006

Decorating a log cabin and a 12-foot tree

Spent Saturday afternoon at the Yukon Palace helping Mom and her cousins decorate. Fred got to put the star on the 12-foot tree. It’s the first electric star that Uncle Brandon bought in 1941, when electricity finally arrived at their farms. The rest of the tree is hung with gingerbread, candy canes, apple slices and popcorn garlands. It looks really nice.

Dad and Fred and I crossed the frozen creek and went for a hike through the woods to the beaver dam. Saw tons of animal tracks out there – vole, rabbit, fisher and even some otters’ belly slides. The sun was setting, and the birch trees were glowing against a blue sky.

We had dinner with my mom’s sister and her family at the newly-opened Oriental Wok on Main St. We chuckled at the wine menu (the Burgundy was described as “a full-bodied whine”) and lamented the lack of anything remotely spicy on the menu, but it’s great to be in small-town Minnesota nonetheless.

This morning we went to church. Between my mom and her siblings and cousins and all of their family members, we filled an entire side of the church and got a shout-out from the pastor during the announcements. We’re such a clan. In a good way. We took twice as long as everyone else during the sharing of the peace. I went for a run when I got home, on the nice long straight roads around my grandma’s house. They’re all spaced exactly one mile apart, so my run was a perfect four-mile square. Ah farm country!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Quilting, MPR, Driving North

We packed up Dad’s Saab and are headed north. Fred and Margo are both napping; Margaret is tired from last night’s lefse making, and Fred’s tired from lots of pickup hockey. Mom and the dog drove up yesterday to help get things organized at my grandma’s house. Baking, decorating, making up beds, etc. I spent yesterday morning running errands with my sister – books, a new hummingbird feeder and 9 yards of fabric for a quilt. I spent the afternoon working on the quilt I’m going to give Scott for Christmas. I’ve been thinking about making one for a long time, so it was nice to finally have the time to put it together. The siblings and I met the father at the Hacienda del Sol for dinner, and then I spent the rest of the evening quilting. Thank goodness for Minnesota Public Radio – Talk of the Nation Science Friday, All Things Considered, and lots of great Christmas music made the hours pass quickly. Here's a picture of the finished product:

This morning was a quick wrapping of presents, a fruitless of scouring of the yard for decorative pinecones, a little packing, water-dish filling for Shackleton and Puff who have to stay behind, a little thermos filling for the coffee-drinkers, and we were off! Next stop, Lake of the Woods County.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's snowing in Minnesota! They're de-i cing the wings and plowing the runways!
Today’s the solstice, the day when the north pole stops distancing itself from the sun. It’s reached its outer limit and swings back in. Even the date, 12-21, is a palindrome and looks like it’s reached its apex and is turning itself around. I can’t wait for more sunlight.

Right now I’m at the very end of Terminal A in the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, in a gate with only 35 seats and 6 passengers. My legs were sore, so I walked all the way here from F, spurning the moving walkways and, worse yet, the tram. I walked past flights headed to San Francisco and Dallas, and I kept walking until I got to gates for people going to Bemidji and Aberdeen and Duluth. Oh Minnesota! Land of dipthonged “yep”s, non-ironic mullets and corny fishing jokes (“Does this shirt make my bass look fat?”). Currently it’s a land of heavy, freezing rain, but I’m sure that will clear up soon.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nice bike rides

It's 70°F. December 18th, 5:30 pm, and 70°F. It's terrific. I left the office at 2:30 today, ran some errands, and spent the rest of the afternoon working from my front porch. It got dark around 5 pm, so I turned on the Christmas lights... but they feel much more like garden party lights.

It was a weekend punctuated by lovely bike rides. (I'm really getting the hang of my new bike and am feeling much more confident on it. Even though it's yellow, I love riding it.)

Friday night was Liz's going away party. It was a great party, despite the occasion. Tons of people, tons of cupcakes, tons of stuff that Liz didn't want to pack and was encouraging her guests to take. I snagged an electric kettle, a Wellesley wine glass, a can or organic pumpkin puree, and a blue dolphin-shaped massager! Score! Scott and I stayed until 1 am. (I felt so grown-up, staying up late like that. A true testament to Liz's party.) We got to take Military Rd. home. It's a great route that cuts across the city, but it is not bike-safe during the day - too many fast cars and no bike lane. At night, however, when you're riding home towards Delafield, it's fantastic - empty lanes, wide curves, all downhills. I broke out the highest gears on the Yellow Giant and flew home. Definitely fun. Surprisingly peaceful.

Saturday was the day we barely left the house. We did make it out for a run in the afternoon (it's been warm out for such a long time!), but mostly we got stuff organized at home. I packed up a big duffel bag full of Margo's stuff that she left here last spring to take back to Minnesota. We used the canned organic pumpkin puree to make pumpkin bread. But we didn't know where the loaf pans were, so we made bundt bread. And then we made a big pot of chili. Around 6:30, our housemates started trickling in, along with a potential new housemate. We interviewed him (gently) over dinner and then celebrated Abby's birthday with the birthday-bundt-bread and then played telephone-pictionary. Good times.

Abby's birthday celebration continued on Sunday morning with a brunch at Mayorga. I had my first cup of coffee in a few weeks, and it made me tremble. It made Scott shaky too, though, so I think it was particularly strong. Tasty though. Home for a bit - Scott played Settlers with Seth and Peter, I practiced violin. Then off to Aaron and Jess's for a holiday party. We walked in on the end of a rousing game of telephone-pictionary (it's all the rage these days!), decorated some cookies, thoroughly enjoyed Paul's hot buttered rum, and said good-bye to Liz for good (sadly).

Then, it was time to go to the Kennedy Center to sing along with Handel's Messiah!! We managed to get terrific seats - the front rows of the highest balcony. Great views of the whole shebang. My choral memory was a little rusty, but I sang along with the alto line pretty well on the famous parts. And when I didn't know what to sing, I got to listen to an amazing performance. Good music, obviously, but good energy in the audience as well. The bike ride home was another fast one - I really like taking 16th home when it's late and traffic-free. And I had the Messiah in my head the entire time. Such a wonderful aftertaste.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fog, Crow, Fancy Dress

This morning was nice and foggy. A silky white ride to work. The intersection at Florida and 15th just got repaved, which is always nice. You get used to it being bad, and then it’s suddenly beautiful.

I went to a yoga class at the gym today. I have pathetic static strength in my legs (the warrior poses were killing me!), but suddenly I can do a crow. Cool! And my tree series wasn’t looking all that bad either.

Tonight Scott and I get to get dressed up and go to his office party, where I’m looking forward to the dancing.
Tomorrow is Liz’s going away party. Sniff.

In exactly a week (to the hour) I’ll be in Duluth. Fred’s there already, after some car troubles in Minnesota. Turns out the good old Saab needs a new engine. And it turns out there was a spare Saab engine in Mankato (where it died), so a transplant is currently underway.

Fred reports there’s no snow in Duluth. That’s good for walking on the Lakewalk, and good for Ultimate on the Reservoir, but bad for cross country skiing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

America's Most Literate Cities

Out of the country's 70 largest cities, Minneapolis came in 2nd, and St. Paul tied for 10th. Washington DC came in 3rd. Hooray for Minnesota and DC! (First place goes to Seattle, a city I also like.)
Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the 69 largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States. Previous editions of this study focused on five key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, and educational attainment. The 2005 study introduces a new factor—the Internet—to gauge the expansion of literacy to online media.
A cool, drizzly morning. The kind of morning where, if we were at the cabin, we'd bundle up to walk the dog and then come home, light a fire, make coffee and spend the morning with a good book.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This is way more fun than lighting a candle online. You get to create your own snowflake and benefit the Salvation Army in the process! When you hold your mouse over the falling snowflakes, you can see other people's creations. Way cool!

Not too much to report this week. Saturday was quite festive - Messiah tickets, a holiday party with Scott's coworkers, and then Christmas tree decorating. Erin and Paul get all the credit on that last one - they brought home the tree, made popcorn-cranberry garlands, strung the lights and cut out paper ornaments. It's really wonderful to have such a nice tree in our living room.

On Sunday I did chores. I learned that once you start looking for woodwork to clean in Delafield, you find an abundance of it. Our baseboards were despicable, but so were doorframes, walls and banisters. Definitely an ongoing project... I also cleaned some bike chains, cooked a rutabaga and then joined our guests in the living room for a rousing game of Telephone/Pictionary (Television?). Scott and I had enough energy to watch Tim Burton's Frankenweenie before going to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow we'll actually get around to watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, not just the DVD extras!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Waiting in line, playing Fluxx

At the kennedy center!
We spent a few hours there this morning, waiting in line to get tickets to the annual Handel's Messiah Sing-Along. Some people had been camped out since 5 pm last night! Based on this enthusiasm, I think it's going to be a pretty fun event. Thanks to LT for bring the cards!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Nutcracker!

Scott took me to the Nutcracker last night! Yaay! We saw the Washington Ballet down at the Warner Theater – a cool, ornate, not-too-big theater filled with little girls and Walter Reed patients and their families. We had terrific seats – right at the front of the balcony. The fun part of the production was the amount of local flavor they put in. The first act was set in 1882 Georgetown, and Frederick Douglass was one of the guests. One of the dolls was an Anacostia Indian, and the other two were decked out in red, white and blue. The boys all got cowboys-and-indians toys from Uncle Drosselmeyer. All of this was, of course, reflected in the second act. Frontiersmen and girls instead of Russians, and Anacostia Indians instead of Arabians. Mother Ginger was Mary Barnum (of circus fame) who came out on top of a carousel full of clowns. Waltz of the Flowers became Waltz of the Cherry Blossoms, and in fact most of the stage was seen under arching boughs of cherry blossoms. Nice dancing, so-so music, a thoroughly enjoyable performance overall!

We emerged to discover a few snow flurries and a gusty, biting wind – one that threatened our balance as we were biking – so we treated ourselves to a nice warm bus ride home.

Today is still cold – my eyes were watering and my fingers were burning almost as soon as I left the house this morning. No. Fun. But at least it’s not raining!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm not sure if it was the lingering effects of my cold or my decision to end my coffee-addiction cold-turkey, but jeez I needed a lot of sleep last night. I took a 2+ hour nap when I got home from work yesterday, and then I got something like 9 hours of sleep when I went to bed for real.

As I type, Scott is at the dentist getting caps put on his two front teeth. He had the classic bike accident on his way to work yesterday - ran into a car door that opened suddenly in front of him. His helmet his the ground first, and then his mouth. He's ok - a fat lip, some chipped teeth, a few bruises on his knees and shoulders - and his bike will be ridable after a few minor repairs. Thank goodness. Still scary, though.

Tonight we get to go to the Nutcracker!

A few photos from my dad to help get you in the Christmas spirit: our house, and a detail of the festive bike in the front yard.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Bristol-Myers is donating $1 to the National AIDS Fund every time someone goes to their website and moves the match to the candle and lights it. It takes a second to raise a dollar.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Frisbee in SL!

My favorite part of the product description: "To catch a frisbee run into it, when you are within a meter or so distance you will grab it automatically." If only catching were so easy in real life! I like how the avatar is wearing a Sibley-esque hat.

Speaking of virtual sports,

(Click to enlarge.)

Dental Floss, Falafel Kittens

Armand's got a great new video on called "Dentally Disturbed." A three-and-a-half minute must-see!

On Sunday night, Scott and I watched Shaun of the Dead, by the same guy who did Bubba Ho-Tep. I was a little skeptical as we watched the previews - one for a super violent movie, and one for Jackass. Sometimes you can tell if you're going to like a movie by whether or not you like the previews. Turns out Shaun is both violent and ridiculous... but I really liked it. NOT as much as Bubba, but I'm glad I saw it. I didn't need to see the guy getting eaten alive, but that's ok. At least he was the annoying one. And does anyone else think he looks like Harry Potter? (He's in the blue sweater below.)

We now return to our regularly-scheduled weekend recap:
Saturday was fun - I got my new bike all ready to go (switched out the clipless pedals, adjusted the handlebars, inflated the tires) and had a fine time riding it around the sunny, traffic-free streets of DC. Scott and I spent a significant amount of time at Mocha Hut reading and working, and I got a little Christmas shopping done as well. We went home, made a big batch of waldorf salad and five pounds of chipotle sweet potatoes, and headed up to Nate and Anna's house for "Second Thanksgiving," where you get to eat things that you wished had been at Thanksgiving. Nate, for example, didn't get any mashed potatoes this year, so this dinner resolved that. It was a great meal, and fun to spend time with Anna and Nate and their cats. Sadly, my immune system sent me home to bed early.

Sunday, the storm that had been brewing in my immune system all week long finally hit, so I took full advantage of the couch while Scott did chores and brought me tea. We went for a nice walk/hike through Rock Creek Park in the afternoon, had cream of mushroom soup for dinner, installed my wavy mirror in our room (one of those things that's been on our to-do list for months) and watched Shaun of the Dead.

Recently entertaining dreams:
- Something about a cat who gave birth to falafel instead of kittens...
- I was part of the team responsible for making the sequel to V for Vendetta, but I'd never seen the movie (which is true), so I had no idea what to do.
- We were having a Sheep retreat at my house in Duluth, and Morton was teaching me Japanese.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A warm day, and humid enough that you can feel the air in your mouth when you breathe it in. My ride to work was soft, misty, lackadaisical. The asphalt was dark from last night's rain.

Yesterday's notable events:
Liz and Ann and I attended a hip hop class at the gym after work. It was kind of fun but mostly confusing. My performance was all hop... not too hip. From there, we met up with Scott at Amsterdam Falafelshop, which was very tasty. We dined al fresco, possibly for the last time this year. Upon returning home, we encountered a mysterious bad odor in the foyer. Then I screamed because I saw a mouse in the kitchen and it startled me. I took out the compost, but I don't think it was the cause of the odor. Scott shined his shoes. Later than night, I dreamt that a dentist was cleaning a 10-year-old girl's teeth on the street outside our house. Not on the sidewalk, but in the middle of the street!

Hoping for a low-key weekend. I feel like I've been about to get sick since Monday. Lots of zinc, tea and sleep should give my immune system the fuel it needs, right? This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, so I'll be going to church for the first time in months! Last spring, Pastor Cox left, which is too bad; I thought she was terrific. I haven't met the new pastor yet. Hope he's good.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Giant OCR3

I have a new bike! Yay! I've had my sweet little Schwinn Continental Traveler III for exactly a year and 2 days. (I bought it November 28, 2005. Proof.) It's served me well, but I'm pretty darn excited to have something lighter and nicer... even if the paint job isn't as pretty. I couldn't ride it today, since I didn't get around to changing the pedals or attaching a headlight last night. I'm particularly excited about the integrated shifters - right where the brake levers are, not on the stem.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As Promised: Collages

The Tiger is mine, the Soccer Player is Scott's, and the UFO is a collaboration.



Soccer Player

And if you have 2 minutes to spare, here's a funny (and interesting) video on the most famous scream in Hollywood.

I got to go swing dancing last night with Jess, Aaron, Ann, Liz, Rob and Scott, and it was wonderful. I'm not very good, but the music is great and it's always fun to watch the experts at work.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving Way Up High

By the way, this is how Fred spent his Thanksgiving Vacation!

What I did over Thanksgiving Vacation

Played a lot of Scrabble, that’s for sure. Scott and I packed our travel set, and we started playing as soon as we got to the Petworth metro station. We continued the game on the bus to Baltimore and once we got to the airport. We played with his parents, we played at Rao’s coffeeshop, we played before we went to bed, and we played when we got home again. I’m still SLOW at putting words down on the board, but at least I’m getting better at finding good words!

Dinner was at Scott’s aunt and uncle’s house outside of Albany and included lots of his relatives. It was great to be welcomed by all of them for a second time. (I met them for the first time last July at the family reunion.) This is probably the biggest Thanksgiving I’ve been to since my first year of college when I met Kate’s family en masse, and it was terrific.

We spent the rest of the weekend up in Amherst with Scott’s parents. Besides playing Scrabble, we went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. I loved it. His work (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) is gorgeous to see “live.” AND the museum includes an art studio, so Scott and I could act on the artistic urges inspired by the museum. Super fun. I’ll post the collages we made shortly…

The four of us went on a great hike through the woods along a little river. We had absolutely beautiful weather – sunny, mid-50s. So nice to be out-of-doors.

I met some of Scott’s high school classmates on Friday night. We started at The Amherst Brewing Company and eventually made our way to the Moan and Dove. I knew a few people, like Abby and Sasha (who play Ultimate in DC), and met a few more and had a pretty good time, especially considering we didn’t get home until 1 - waaay past my bedtime.

We got back to DC around noon on Sunday and got lunch from the Sweet Mango Café, which I’ve been smelling for over a year now. It used to be on my route home from Walter Reed, and whenever I turned from Georgia Ave. onto New Hampshire, I’d encounter a mouthwatering smoky barbeque smell. We got a large (huge) jerk chicken sandwich… which was really chunks of spicy chicken and strips of homemade bread. Not sure why it’s called a sandwich, but I’ll happily return for another!

A great vacation. Thanks, as always, to Scott’s parents for putting us up and driving us around and for the pleasure of their company! Oh, and an exciting thing. His sister Julie was not in attendance because she was asked to fly to ROME to be in a movie! Her mom gets to go visit, so I got to give sightseeing recommendations… and Scott had to put up with me reminiscing. I’m so impatient for Margo to go to Turkey so that I can go visit her there!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Random photo

I just learned how to send images from my phone to my blog! This is Sky Mirror, which Jesse and I saw at the Rockefeller Center in October.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Zombie Bet

Some time back, I had a great dream about a girl turning into a zombie and me being really excited for her. Scott thinks I dreamt it sometime over the summer, but I maintain it was a month or two ago. Anyone remember? Sadly, I didn't blog about it and have no record.
1 day until Thanksgiving!
15 days until the Nutcracker!
29 days until I go home to Minnesota!

It's also 29 days until the solstice. The days will start getting longer after that.

I worked from home yesterday. It's so much more pleasant than the office, even if it gets a little lonely by the end of the day. There was lots of sunshine coming in through the living room and dining room windows. Today, the band of sky outside my little window is as dead white as my office walls. And it's raining. Blech. A good day for spicy lentil soup, which I conveniently happen to have with me for lunch today!

I had a bunch of weird dreams last night. In one of them, Scott had to remind me that I wasn't in high school any longer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The weekend - described!

- Dinner at Ella’s with Scott and Jack - fantastic! Good enough that I didn’t miss Rome as much as I usually do after eating pizza.
- For Your Consideration – sold out. It’s Christopher Guest’s new movie. Maybe this coming weekend we can go see it at the newly renovated Amherst Theater.
- A Prairie Home Companion (the movie) – lovely. Scorned by the box office, Scott and Jack and I retired to Delafield and watched this. We’ve all been meaning to see it for some time now. Meryl Streep definitely got on my nerves, but I loved the rest of it. Fun to see the musicians whose names are so familiar. Tom Keith is great.

On to Saturday...
- Clique A tournament, game 1 – savage! We won.
- Clique A tournament, game 2 – dramatic! At half, we were down 8-1. But then we scored 8 points in the second half and lost 15-9. I was worn out.
- Food after the games - caloric. That's all that mattered.
- Nap - necessary. On the couch, next to Scott.
- Dinner chez Shamik and Anne - inspiring! I got the chicken recipe from Anne so I can make it for my friends. And the chocolate cake was so soft and moist and fluffy!

- City Bikes - educational. I test rode a bunch of different sizes and discovered that a men's 50 cm frame fits me best, better than women's frames in fact. With this key piece of information, I am a much savvier troller of craigslist bike postings.
- Madrid Restaurant - paellarific.
- Phillips Collection, Societe Anonyme exhibit - modern. I already know that I like post-WWI European and American art. I certainly enjoyed this exhibit. But I think it's getting time to expand my horizons. These didn't feel as exciting as they sometimes do.
- Mole - underwhelming. Scott and I made an Americanized recipe which was chocolatly and kind of spicy, but not great. Still, who can complain about a candle-lit dinner with the man you love?
- Scrabble - challenging. Because I was so tired. But we finished, and I didn't lose by too much!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Blue Sky Friday

It is so nice out today!!

Yesterday was stormy, with a flood watch that got upgraded to a warning as well as a tornado watch. It was dark at 2 pm, with 45º rain and lightning. But then at 4:00 the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and the wind died down. This made Scott's and my walk to the Woman's National Democratic Club much more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.

We arrived at 6:30, just as the Belgian beer tasting began. We were very lucky, because the night before, TasteDC (the hosts) had put on a cheese tasting event, and there was 100 pounds of incredible leftover cheese. It was one of the unhealthiest dinners I've had in a long time, but I certainly enjoyed it!

From there, we stopped by Buffalo Billiards to wish Taren a happy birthday (a quarter of a century!), drank some water, and indulgently taxied home.

It's been a good week overall! On Wednesday, Michelle organized a hockey evening, so I got to hang out with lots of BRDM-ers and sigh sadly when the Caps lost in a shootout. On Tuesday night, I went to a new exercise class (CrossFit DC) and loved it. The people were super friendly, I got a great workout, and I learned a bunch about my form and technique. Teammates of mine: I highly recommend it! It's even better than Steve's pilates class!

Not sure what tonight holds. Ultimate tomorrow, and a dinner party. So excited for this nice sunny weather!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Yesterday Scott bought Nutcracker tickets for us. Even though last year's balletic attempts were foiled (twice!), I still have high hopes for this year. And it was so sweet of Scott to get tickets. This, my friends, is the way to my heart.

NOT this way:

A conversation I had in VLB today:
HOTRaven: wanna make out?
Libby: no thanks
HR: please make out with me its alot of fun
L: I don't want to cheat on my boyfriend
HR: well we dont have to tell him
L: I'd feel bad about it nonetheless
HR: well you arent that hot anyway

Ah, teenage hormones!

Spies, Bibles, Polka Dancers, Busboys

Couldn't have asked for a nicer Veteran's Day weekend. Not only did we have gorgeous weather, we also had guests - Scott's parents came down to visit!

Friday was sunny and warm, and I left work at 2:30 to meet Scott and his parents at the International Spy Museum - a place I've been meaning to see for two years now. It's great. Dense with information and sensory experiences. I need to go back to see the last third, as two hours there was not enough to see the whole museum! I learned a lot and came away thoroughly convinced that I would make the worst undercover agent ever, mostly because I have very little to offer in the art of deception. (Anyone who's played Mafia with me will readily agree.)

Saturday was sunny and warm as well, and I spent five hours playing frisbee in a local tournament. We lost our first game by a hair, our second game by a slightly wider margin, and our third game by a bunch. I had lots of stupid drops. And we only had two subs for the entire team, so we were a tired lot. Besides all of that, it was great to be outside running around. Not sure when we'll se this kind of weather again.

I got cleaned up and met Scott and his parents at the Sackler for an exhibit on Bibles before the year 1000. Very cool. Different languages, different bindings, different illuminations. Neat to see how this big mess of Christian writings slowly got amalgamated into today's standard version.

After a tea-and-toast break at Delafield, we all headed north to Blob's Park for LT's birthday party. Live polka band, good cheap beer, good genuine German food, and lots of good friends. There's nothing like line dancing to the accordion version of Sinatra's "New York, New York" right alongside a 70-year-old man.

Sunday was neither warm nor sunny. Sandy and Becky took Scott and I out for brunch () before they started the long drive back to Massachusetts. It was so nice to have the in town - not just because it gave us an excuse to play tourist, but also because it was a chance to repay their hospitality. I always have a great time visiting them. (And we'll see them again two weeks from now for Thanksgiving!)

Scott and I didn't leave the house for the rest of Sunday - it was just too icky outside. We played Scrabble, and I read while he worked on his applications. We practiced our swing dancing with the aid of a pedantic DVD. We cooked a great orzo and acorn squash dish with Peter and Bethany when they got home and enjoyed a nice dinner with them. And we watched Battlestar Gallactica. A completely satisfying weekend.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hang with the Sheep on Wednesday night!

And now for some shameless self-promotion!

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 8th), the DC Future Salon is holding an event in conjunction with the Electric Sheep Company! Sibley and Jonah and a few other Sheep will be discussing Second Life and the Metaverse Roadmap Project. There's going to be a multimedia presentation with live in-world action. It's free and open to the public, so join us and feel free to invite others you think might be interested!

This website has more details:

Wednesday, November 8th
7 - 9:30 pm

1133 19th St., NW
9th floor, large conference room

- Libby Bo Peep
The Electric Sheep Company

Monday, November 06, 2006


I arrived at the courthouse at 2 pm and got called up to the jury box around 3:30 today. "Juror number 661, please take seat number 14." Ack! My heart started pounding and my face flushed and I'm pretty sure I looked like a deer in headlights as I sat down and tried to find my place in the Sacha Cohen profile I had been reading. No use. The judge turned the "hush" on, the white static noise that lets the attorneys discuss things privately. I sat there for somewhere between 1 and 10 minutes, reminding myself that it really would be okay to serve as a juror, before the hush shut off with a click. Everyone pricked up their ears, waiting for the clerk to issue the next sentence. "Number 661, please take a seat in the rows behind you." I tried not to smile, but jeez I was glad to step down. On my way home, I felt lucky but also privileged. And free.

It was a beautiful ride home - mellow 5 pm sun, changing trees, wood smoke.

There's a good chance I'll forget all about this in a few days: the dread of potential jury duty, the sense of privilege and freedom, the wood smoke... I mean, that's one of the main reasons I blog - to help me remember. But here's hoping some of this experience sticks in my subconcious anyways and I learn from it. I hope it sticks around like the spicy Indian food you had for lunch that comes back with a burp when you're least expecting it. But less gross.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Libby: Frog Prince Extraordinaire!

Last night I dreamt that I got to dance the part of the Frog in the Minnesota Ballet's production of The Frog Prince. We were dancing to the overture music from The Nutcracker, and I was proud of my very very realistic frog hops.

I got a call from the judge at 8:30 last night saying that I don't have to go to the courthouse today! I have to go back on Monday afternoon though. After two days, they're still not finished selecting the jury. It's a relief to get to come into work today.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some Sort of Surreal Nutcracker?

I had a crazy dream last night. Another one with a very cinematic feel - dark, intense colors, like an oil painting. In a house with lots of dark wood, there was an infestation of evil insects. They most closely resembled praying mantises, and they were strong enough to push aside the manhole cover in the floor and climb out. We, as audience members, know this, so when we see the manhole cover start to lift up, we are expecting the little beast that crawls out.

The exterminator is there, ready to spray poison down the hole. But before he can do that, the bug grows taller and taller until its head hits the ceiling. The exterminator immediately abandons his poisoning strategy and transforms himself into a terrier. He charges the 10-foot praying mantis and sinks his little teeth into its calf. The insect, suddenly aware that it has an audience, transforms itself into Santa Claus - a shameless attempt to appear to be the victim rather than an evil invader. The exterminator-terrier is still clamped on for dear life.

I stumble awake, not fooled by the bug's shenanigans but vaguely concerned that other people who walk in on this dream won't understand what's really going on.

And then I had a dream that J.J. was wearing my warm red socks on his arms.

More jury duty!

Day two at the courthouse has been nothing more than more waiting. They're still calling in jurors one by one. I got interviewed right after lunch; as soon as it was over, the stress set in - what if I'm selected to sit on a six-week long trial? The thought of this replacing my routine... An extra eight hours of unpaid work every day... How much will this hurt my bank account? I could work outside trial hours, but that's not fair! I have enough savings to carry me through a lengthy trial, but it's not fair! Then I feel guilty for thinking these things. I'm incredibly privileged to have a job, flexible hours, the ability to work from home, money in the bank, etc., etc. I guess serving as a juror is the least I can do as a service to my city, to other jurors for whom serving would be a greater hardship, and of course to the defendant. That said, I hope I'm not selected, for very selfish reasons.

Then there's the whole thing about deciding innocence or guilt. Weighing the evidence, deciding whether to believe witnesses... I don't feel qualified to do that. I feel too gullible. I feel nervous.

Potential upsides of being a juror - the life experience, the opportunity to learn about our judicial system, and the proximity to the National Gallery. (Today I spent 40 minutes of my lunch hour there.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jury Duty!

I got to be a petit juror today! Biked straight down Georgia Avenue, through Chinatown to the DC Courthouse. Checked in at eight o'clock sharp, failed to find internet access in the "modern business center" (they only had modem access!), so settled into the jurors' lounge with a good book - one absorbing enough to keep the TVs from being too distracting. We watched the beautifully cheesy orientation video, and around 10 am the clerks started coming in to call panels of jurists. I got called on the second shot, one of 85 jurors called. We filed out of the lounge into the atrium. The clerk lined us up in the right order. (I don't know how the order is determined, but it's very important. We always have to stay in this particular, random order.) We filed into the courtroom. We met the judge and the attorneys and the defendant and started learning about the case. Our judge speaks very slowly and not quite loud enough, which makes me sleepy.

The judge asked us 20 questions and we made notes on index cards if we felt we had a bias or an issue serving in this trial. By 12:30 the judge and attorneys were ready to start speaking to individual jurors, so those of us on the bottom half of the list got to go to lunch early. Noodle soup from Chinatown Express, consumed on the lawn of the Building Museum; a fruitless search for free wi-fi; a wander down to the National Sculpture Garden, where I finished my absorbing book; back in the courtroom by 2:10, where I sat until 4:30 reading The New Yorker. By the time we were dismissed, less than 25% of the jurors had been interrogated, so I have to go back tomorrow to witness the end of the selection process. Sigh.

I rode Georgia home again. I'd forgotten what a social road that is; I received two "ola"s and one "hey girl, you're gonna get run over" (which was NOT true). Biking on Georgia is yet another thing I never miss about working at Walter Reed.

Got home, powered on my MacBook, dove into 65 unread messages, coming up for air whenever one of my housemates came home. Scott just got home, so now I can go to bed.

I think it's funny that "petit" in "petit juror" is pronounced "pet' it" rather than "puh teet'." As in, "Go ahead, it won't bite. Pet it!"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pumpkin Carving 2006

We got to carve pumpkins tonight!

Here's Jonathan's nervous-looking Bert.

Here's John's drooling cyclops.

Here's my snarling blind-in-one-eye beast.

And here's my electric sheep shooting laser beams from its eyes.

The Sheep Report

I get to go home tomorrow! It dawned on me this evening that it’s been a long time that I’ve been gone. Maybe it’s just the amount of stuff that I’ve crammed into 10 days that makes it feel like such a long time. In any case, I’m excited to be heading south to DC tomorrow.

This last leg of my trip has been great though. The Sheep gathered in upstate New York for a long weekend. We’ve done some good, collaborative brainstorming, discussing and working, but more importantly, we got to meet each other (we’ve hired at least five new people since our August meeting in California), hang out, sing karaoke, bond, and generally get to know each other. No trust falls or “Truth or Dare” though. Not even in Second Life. I had a little bit of the “little sister trying to hang out with the cool, older kids” feeling early on, but that happily evaporated by Saturday. It’s nice to feel necessary… or at least participatory.

One of the nicest things about being in this part of NY was the perfect fall weather we got on Friday. Bright blue sky, bright fall leaves, crisp breezes. It was rainy on Saturday and wet and windy today, but we seem to be amazingly free of cabin fever.

Another one of the nicest things about being here is the hospitality. We’re staying at the home of two of our employees’ parents house, and all weekend long we’ve been fed amazing made-from-scratch food: bread, muffins, soups, salads, birthday cakes. We’re being completely spoiled. Not to mention the abundance of sheets, blankets, mattresses, and towels (laundered daily). Amazingly generous. We are one lucky herd!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Brooklyn report

Another en route entry. This time I’m on the train from The City to Albany, in the good company of eight other Sheep.

I got to JFK right on schedule on Tuesday and subwayed my way to Brooklyn. I tried to get some work done, but it was mostly an exercise in how wireless cafés can fail you. The first-choice café, the one Jaime recommended to me, was closed. Number two was full of mothers and infants and didn’t have a working outlet. They did have excellent food, though, so I ate there and worked until my battery ran out. Number three, Barnes and Noble, had neither outlets nor a free network, so I wandered back to #2 and drank coffee and read. Happily, Jaime finished work at 2:30, so I really didn’t have too much time to kill. She and her brother and sister and I went back to the apartment where I got to meet Scarlet!

I spent most of today at Tea Lounge in Brooklyn where the wi-fi was free, and the cappuccino was frothy. I got some work done, and I got to juggle some last-minute travel plans. Crossing my fingers that everyone makes it to Lake George this weekend without incident. There will be 19 of us there by Saturday!

Yesterday I worked from K & J’s apartment in the morning, and then I headed up to Union Square and met Jesse for lunch at a great vegetarian-asian place (Zen Palace, I think?). We spent the afternoon wandering north through the city, catching up. Good times. I met Kate when she was done with work, we went to her gym, we went home and ordered in Thai food, we watched lots of TV. (My apologies to K & J for keeping them up late!)

Today I worked from the apartment until my caffeine addiction sent me out in search of coffee. Tea Lounge, which had failed me on Tuesday, was open and had plenty of outlets to support its free wi-fi. Good coffee, good atmosphere, good thing I was on-call, as there were a few last-minute Sheep travel arrangements to be juggled. I took off at two, met up with Sheep at Penn Station and successfully boarded the Lakeshore Limited with service to Albany. The route is right along the Hudson, which was glowing with reflected fall leaves and late-afternoon sunshine. Beautiful!

DC Future Salon presents...

Second Life Metaverse Roadmap with the Electric Sheep Company
If you're free and in DC on November 8th, stop by the Sheep offices!
The Electric Sheep Company is one of the most interesting and innovative companies in DC right now. Come see how this 3D web developer for Metaverse Worlds is leading the entry into the 3D web.

Details here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


By the way, I just posted a bunch of Baudette photos here. They're mostly for the benefit of my family, but they may be of general interest!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Northwoods Departure

I'm on the plane headed from Minneapolis to New York. I got to witness the most amazing sunrise during the ascent. The sky above the horizon was intensely red, and the clouds that we flew into were pink and violet. Once we arrived on top of the cloud bank, the scene was silver and blue; heavenly enough that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see choirs of angels hanging out.

It’s a bittersweet departure for sure. Sad to be leaving my family and Duluth, excited to be visiting Kate and Jaime for a few days. Wishing I could go home and see Scott after that, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Sheep meeting once I’m there and get something out of it.

Scott’s corner – He got to go to El Salvador over the weekend and hang out on the beach and drink coconut milk. He’s back in Sanarate now for a few more days of research, and then he’s coming home on Wednesday. Sounds like it’s been a successful trip; things are on schedule and they got some good interviews.

Grandma’s corner – Her 80th birthday party was a success! She doesn’t like to draw attention to herself, doesn’t want people to fuss over her, but we all wanted to do this for her, and she ended up enjoying herself. Her six children, their six spouses, and 13 of her 18 grandchildren plus one grandson-in-law took her out to dinner on Saturday night. We dined at the Borderview Resort, where one can, in fact, view the US-Canada border: the Rainy River. There are fishermen out there all the time, as long as the river is open enough for boats to navigate or icy enough for snowmobiles and ice-fishing houses. Even this weekend, in the cold, windy weather, the river was filled with boats. Not my cup of tea, but I’m glad so many others are enjoying it, I guess. I had walleye for dinner… so at least I’m enjoying it in that sense.

After dinner, we retired to my Uncle Neal and Aunt Diane’s house for birthday cake. We were joined by the extended family. My mom has 12 cousins. I’m not sure how many of them were there, but the house was certainly lively. The party broke up around 11, only to reconvene 10 hours later for brunch. (Huge props to my aunt and uncle for hosting all of it.) And then the Twin Cities families started the five-hour drive home, and the Duluth contingent started our little four-hour trip.

I’m excited about the prospect of spending Christmas in Baudette this year. We haven’t done that in a long time, but this weekend reminded me how great it is to be up there with everyone. It’s raucous, good-natured, woodsy, wholesome.

A funny work related note from the weekend: some of my cousins were watching the Laguna Beach marathon on Saturday morning, and they saw commercials for VLB! I had been talking about it earlier, so they were excited to tell me they had seen ads for “that virtual thing you do.” Neat!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Mole Day!

I know I’m such a Minnesota nut, but I just can’t help it. Duluth is beautiful. Today Mom and I went down to the Lakewalk for a walk, and the lake was absolutely gorgeous. Deep blue under an ominous cloudscape, the city and hillside lit up by honey-colored afternoon sun.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Northwoods Arrival

The drive up to Baudette this morning was great. Nothing like four hours in a car to catch up with the parents. The tamaracks are golden and absolutely beautiful. Under a grey sky, they were practically glowing amid the black and white birch and spruce trees. Should have taken a photo. Even Grandma remarked that they look more brilliant this year than usual. And we saw six bald eagles. They hang out along the highway waiting for roadkill, which we unintentionally provided for them in the form of a rabbit.

We arrived just before noon, unloaded the Volvo, and ate lunch around the big pine table. We drank some coffee, and caught up on the local news:

The big news is that a hunter and his buddy’s golden retriever went missing on Monday, and the extensive search efforts haven’t turned up any trace of him. They’ve done ground sweeps and infrared fly-overs. Even the canine units haven’t come across anything. There’s not much chance that he’s still alive, since the nights this week have been cold any rainy and he wasn’t wearing adequate clothing. Sad.

The other story is of a school principal over in Indus. He lived next to the school where he worked, set a trap for a skunk, but caught his cat in it instead. Faced with the problem of having two motherless kittens at home, he decided NOT to keep them himself, NOT to ask if any of the students wanted to adopt them, NOT to bring them to the humane society. He decided to shoot them. With a 12 gauge shotgun. During school hours. Understandably, students were upset. Gunshots on school grounds, plus their principal blasting away kittens?? The nutcase has since resigned.

We headed out to the family hunting cabin that my grandfather and his two brothers built. It’s a big old log cabin with a generator and an outhouse. Genuinely rustic. Everyone in my family calls it the Yukon Palace, but no one knows why. I haven’t been out there for years, but it’s one of those places that doesn’t change. We rolled in around 4, brought our potluck donations to the kitchen table, and were immediately instructed to take a plastic cup out to the fire outside. That’s where the wine was. Several hours of good old-fashioned socializing ensued. Dinner was squash, calico beans, macaroni hotdish, potatoes and gravy, with apple crisp for dessert. No Jell-O salad, just good food for cold weather. After a brisk after dinner walk with Mom, some aunts and some cousins, we headed back to Grandma’s house, counting a dozen or so deer along the way.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm off!

Good-bye DC!
Hello Minnesota!
See ya soon New York!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rhapsody on Telecommuting

I like having an office to work from. It’s nice to arrive at a place, do work, and then leave that place and not do work. I missed that when I lived at work (St. Stephen’s School, 2003-2004) and when I worked from home (earlier this year). It’s nice to have coworkers, water-cooler-chat, a supply room with envelopes and a printer, etc. But all week long, I’ve been giddily anticipating today’s sunny 75°F weather. And I knew that I’d hate the office today, that it would be nothing but a big computer in an undecorated white-walled, one-windowed cell adjacent to the mechanical room and its incessant, grating-on-your-subconscious rumbling noise.

Today I worked from the living room couch all morning, with the front door wide open and fresh breezes and neighborhood noises coming in. This afternoon, I’m working from Open City, a Woodley Park café. It was bustling when I arrived, but I managed to grab a small table next to a wide-open window. My computer connected to the internet seamlessly, and I logged into Virtual Laguna Beach – a place much less idyllic than my current surroundings.

Also, life at the Electric Sheep Company has been exciting lately. Skim through our company's blog, We the Sheeple, for much more articulate and in-depth accounts of what's been going on with ESC and with Second Life. In short, we just launched Reuter's island, and it's been getting tons of press (not surprising), which in turn is driving tons of people to Second Life. Giff says that "Google news tracks 164 stories related to all of this." Uf da! The Sony/BMG island is open, and Ben Folds is coming to the party on Thursday night! There are celebrities in VLB too. Last night, a Laguna Beach cast member met fans in-world, and two more are coming in next week. This is huge and fantastic!

And... my new pink phone arrived. It's fully funcitonal, even in the the deepest darkest parts of Delafield's basement.

And I volunteered for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (or DCCC, pronounced "D-trip" if you're in the know) last night. Aaron's responsible for convincing me to do it. Liz gets the credit for organizing those of us who went. And I got to see Ali, Megan and Sam down there - quite the Ulimate crew! We called Floridians and tried to encourage them to vote for Christine Jennings. I can't say I enjoyed it, but I'm glad I got out of my comfort zone and did a good pre-election thing.

And Scott arrived in Guatemala safe and sound! I got to talk to him today as he was on his way from Guatemala City to Sanarate. He says to say hi.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's grey and drizzly here today, and Scott left for Guatemala this morning. I wish I were joining him.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pet Shop Boys, Deepest Darkest Maryland

We got to the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall just before eight, picked up our free tickets and complimentary CD, and found our seats - front row of the first tier of the balcony. Fantastic location. In the Hawaii section even! Made note of the male to female ratio, somewhere around 2:1 or 3:1. Idly wondered if they were a gay band. The show began: two guys in white jumpsuits tore away the brain image to reveal a pair of silhouettes, from which emerged the men matching those silhouettes! Applause. Then two MORE men matching the silhouettes emerged. Um, more applause. Huh? And then a third pair of men matching the silhouettes emerged, and there was tons of applause. Aha! These must be the real Pet Shop Boys! (Turns out the first two were backup singers, and the second two were backup dancers. Sneaky...)

Our next clue that this might be a gay-friendly group came during intermission, when Scott and I tore open our CD. It's pink! Neon pink. And there's a track entitled "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show." The second act brought us a pronouncement from Neil Tennant: "DC, you are so flamboyant!", a song of the same nature, and a number of dancing cowboys wearing gold lamé, head-to-toe. Gay. Yep. Got it. Fabulous!

A fun show overall. It didn't overwhelm me, but I had a good time and am certainly glad that I got to see them. And now that I've listened to their album Fundamental a few times, they're really growing on me!

So that was the very end of the weekend, Sunday night. I was tired on Friday night, so skipped out on a happy hour and a going-away party in favor of lying on the floor reading New Yorker articles for an hour. When Scott got home, we watched Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, a documentary that
interweaves the stories of four obsessive men, each driven to create eccentric worlds of their dreams, all involving animals: Dave Hoover, a lion tamer who idolizes the late Clyde Beatty, and who shares his odd theories on the mental processes of wild animals; George Mendonça, a topiary gardener who has devoted a lifetime to painstakingly shaping bears and giraffes out of hedges and trees; Ray Mendez, who is fascinated with hairless mole-rats, tiny buck-toothed mammals who behave like insects; and Rodney Brooks, an M.I.T. scientist who has designed complex, autonomous robots that can crawl like bugs without specific instructions from a human controller. As the film proceeds, thematic connections between the four protagonists begin to emerge: the lion tamer and the topiary gardener look back at ways of life which are fading from the scene; the mole-rat specialist and the robot scientist eye the future, envisioning creatures that may someday replace the human race.
This one gets the Scott and Libby seal of approval. Not as good as Bubba Ho-Tep, I think, but worth watching.

I was up early on Saturday morning and got to read and drink coffee for a few peaceful hours. Then I made ratatouille (to use up the 2 eggplants and 6 zucchini that were threatening to go bad) and played Scrabble with Scott (where I got lucky with letters so beat him soundly). We headed out to Maryland in the afternoon and met up with my aunt and uncle. We stopped at a farm store for apples (honey crisp! Yum!) and pumpkins, went for a walk with their Newfoundland Winston in the nature preserve across the street from their house (which my uncle refers to as deepest, darkest Maryland), sipped wine and looked at pictures from my uncle's and dad's recent kayak trip before heading out for dinner at an excellent Italian place nearby. Nice dinner, nice chatting at home, sound sleeping, tasty fresh-out-of-the-oven coffee cake in the morning. They dropped us off on their way to church, and we went home and played Scrabble. Scott won this time, but I was close!

Friday, October 13, 2006

MJ, Pet Shop Boys, Ben Folds

I made great strides in my cultural literacy last night. A bunch of us went to Heaven & Hell for their weekly 80's Dance Party. Super fun companions and super fun music, but highly educational as well. I saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video for the first time. So many cultural references (like the weird little zombie dance) finally have roots! And wow, MJ is something else, isn't he? We also got to watch a video of him in a rhinestone sweatsuit.

Also at Heaven & Hell, Scott entered me in a drawing for tickets to a Pet Shop Boys concert, and I won! Not terribly surprising, since the place was pretty dead. I'd never heard of this band before, but a brief googling brought positive results. From Wikipedia:
The longevity of their career is generally attributed to their ability to create melodic pop/dance music with intelligent lyrics and striking style. They are one of the most consistently successful duos in pop music, particularly in Europe.
Finally, check out my coworker's blog post about exciting Electric Sheep Company launches coming up on Thursday the 19th. Ben Folds is going to be in world for both of them!! Way cool!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Taking care of business

The mundane things of my life this week:

I got my first-ever jury summons! This means I'm an adult and a District resident. Yay! Except that it's jury duty... Stay tuned for Legal Adventures in early November.

I signed up for a Verizon account, and I'm getting a pink RAZR phone (free) to go with it. No more Cingular for me.

I practiced violin last night. Cannot wait to get my shoulder rest back. Less than two weeks now until I'm in NYC visiting Kate and Jaime (who have my shoulder rest). Cannot wait to see them, apart from the shoulder rest business!

Here's a picture from my office window. I like how I can see the sky reflected in the building across from me. I wish I could open my window - it's gorgeous out today.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Wedding Weekend!

We had a wedding at Delafield last weekend! It was easily one of the best weddings I've ever been to. I think that's because it was as much about us, the family and friends, as it was about Peter and Bethany. Yes, we were celebrating their commitment to each other, but we were also celebrating the strength of our community and our commitment to supporting each other. The couple was sharing their union with us and asking for our support rather than standing in the spotlight and asking us to be happy for them.

Things started on Friday night with a dinner for family, housemates and close friends. We had a sort of Quaker meeting, where we all sat around the living room and offered thoughts, blessings, advice, etc to Peter and Bethany. Hard to describe how good and meaningful it felt. Certainly a case of the whole being more than a sum of its parts.

Saturday morning was low-key, with people stopping by for brunch around 10:30. The Delafield kitchen was at its finest - too many people given the limited counter space, but everyone finding a way to do their part - dicing fruit, beating eggs, washing dishes, etc.

Around 1 we mobilized and brought all the wedding stuff (food, plants and flowers for decorating, people) down to the conference room of our office building. They had hoped to have the ceremony outside, but chilly, drizzly weather forced us to fall back on plan B. Plan A would have been lovely, but plan B turned out just fine. Peter and Bethany read their vows to their community, to their families, and to each other. Beautifully written, beautifully spoken. We stayed downtown and ate picnic food until 6 or so, and then took a break before the evening festivities.

Those took place back at Delafield - hors d'ouevres, cocktails, then dancing, then cake, and then more dancing. Super fun dancing - Peter put together a great playlist, and there were easily enough people enthusiastic about dancing to keep the floor going all night long. Things wound down around 3 am, with the last guests helping to clean up the place - always appreciated.

Another low-key morning on Sunday. I didn't wake up until 9! A rare occurance. Brunch for a few more family and friends, floor mopping, furniture arranging, tranforming the place back into everyday Delafield. (We left the white lights up though. Yay!)

A very successful wedding. I'm so happy to have been a part of it, even though I've only known the couple a year or so. Best wishes to them!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rain rain rain rain rain.

It started during our bike home last night from a yummy Ethiopian dinner. By the time we got home, we were cold and wet but upon entering Delafield, were instantly welcomed into a warm, bustling house. Peter and Bethany’s wedding preparations were in full swing – good smells coming from the kitchen, parents in town, white lights and white tulle everywhere. We spent a few hours decorating, while others set up the sound system for the weekend’s dance party (!!!) and baked chocolate cheesecake.

We fell asleep to the sound of rain and listened to it all night long. I decided not to get on my bike at 6:30 and ride down through the cold, dark wet city for pilates. I decided I could work from home until the rain let up.

But… then I broke the internet. Well, I reset our modem instead of just powering it off and on again. So after fruitless putzing, I hopped on my bike and rode through the cold, wet, no-longer-dark but now-traffic-congested city to work. Blick. Just like Wednesday was the perfect day to work outside at Mocha Hut, today would have been the perfect day to work from under an afghan on the couch.

I have a feeling there will be more rainy DC days to come, so I’ll get my telecommute on another day.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Old Crow Opportunity Missed

The band was great. The venue was not. I felt claustrophobic and hot, and my body hurt. When I could concentrate on the band, when I caught a glimpse of the fiddler, it was really wonderful. But I couldn't focus on them enough of the time, so I left after their first set, only to have Scott tell me that the second half was absolutely incredible and that I probably could have found more space upstairs. So I sent to sleep disappointed in myself for not sticking it out, I tossed and turned, and I woke up feeling sad and vaguely angry.

Which is silly. I made a mistake. Today's a new, beautiful day. Come on, Emotions, get with the program! Shape up!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Soaking Up U Street

We've been enjoying knockout weather these past two days. Right now it's sunny and 80°F, so I've been working on the patio of Mocha Hut all afternoon long. I started out in Dupont Circle, but the free wifi kept disconnecting, so I pushed north to U Street. Mocha Hut (13th & U) was the obvious choice because it's not Starbucks, and it has outdoor seating. Not quite the same as enjoying a late afternoon coffee and crossword puzzle on the patio at home in Duluth... but the fact that it reminds me of being there is good enough. Pretty good people watching. Darn good toy dog watching.

In an hour, I'm meeting a crew one block over at Ben's Chili Bowl (12th & U), and from there we're headed to the 9:30 Club (8th & v) to see Old Crow Medicine Show.

By the way, Old Crow Medicine Show says:
We will be returning to A Prairie Home Companion this Saturday as part of the 33rd annual Season Premiere Broadcast, Meatloaf Supper, and Street Dance. Bring your appetites and dancing shoes, or tune your radio to your local NPR station.

other stuff...
1. Cingular is sending me a new phone due to a desperate desire that their device works at Delafield and I won't leave them for a different service!

2. I registered a new VLB avatar today. A guy named Lion.

He came with black eyebrows, but I bought him a nice pair of camel-colored ones. Can you believe that eyebrows cost more than sneakers? I paid 97 MTV$ for those suckers, versus only 85 MTV$ for his new shoes (also in camel).

3. Here's a picture of a lion attacking a camel.

Why is the girl lion just lying there?
Is she a pacifist?
Is she playing dead, waiting to launch a surprise attack?
Did the camel driver put a spell on her?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Good to be alive.

Two Ultimate players were killed in a car crash on their way home from Regionals last weekend. And we held a moment of silence before our first game last Saturday to remember another player killed in a crash over the summer. And yesterday there was yet another school shooting.

What a gift to be alive on such a beautiful, ordinary day. I will not take it for granted. My health, my family and friends, our love for one another, our safety.

Monday, October 02, 2006


We were seeded 11th and finished 9th. Rock on! Our most exciting game was against Germ Circus - they took half 8-3, we traded points to bring it up to 12-7, and then we pulled away and won 16-14. Incredible! I feel okay with how I played, but I felt out of shape. So I'm determined that next year will be a different story. I'll do my track workouts religiously, I swear. I'll figure out how to jump and catch higher discs. Maybe I'll even convince myself to layout.

First, I should learn to keep my eyes open when I catch.

Really, the most important part about the weekend was being part of such a wonderful team. They make me smile.