Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Radishes are my new favorite vegetable.

Not too much to report from today. I'm in the process of shopping for a new gym, so today after my workout at Washington Sports Club (where I've been using a free trial membership), I visited Mint Fitness, which just opened at Florida and 18th, and then Results, at U and 16th. They're all very nice, and close to home... but they're just so expensive. And I really wouldn't use a lot of what I'd be paying for. Mostly I want a studio, a stability ball, a bunch of dumb bells, and maybe a cable machine and a pull up machine. So I'm sure I'll end up at Fitness First, which is cheap and perfectly adequate... but downtown so I'd have to bike through more traffic to get there. Then again, I won't be working from home forever, so downtown won't always be such a trek.

Like I said, not much to report today!

I made a nice cream of broccoli soup last night. And I picked up some chinese cabbage and kale at the store that I want to do something with.

Oh, so I was thinking more about climbing. One of the things that I really liked about it was how in-the-moment I was. It's probably the kind of mental state you're supposed to be in during a yoga class, but the last time I remember feeling it this strongly was during high school, during ballet and especially violin performances. I remember reaching the end of a piece and having absolutely no sense of how much time had passed since I began and very little memory of the performance itself. A little surreal. Climbing was the same way. I have a few mental snapshots of myself at the gym on various walls, but mostly I remember landing on the ground, proud of myself for reaching the top but with very little idea of how I got there and a sense that I must have been totally focused on my body and on the present moment during the climb. Maybe it has something to do with adrenaline. I wonder if it will feel the same next time I go, or if the shock will have worn off. I can't wait to find out!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Day 2 (Saturday) in New York was a success. I slept in until 10 (shocking - I must have really needed it), and then Kate and Jaime and I headed out for the day. A fabulous diner breakfast at Daisy's, and then up to the American Museum of Natural History where we covered substantial ground. I made a point of visiting the Mayan sections in preparation for my upcoming trip (!!) but the highlight was the special exhibit on Darwin - I learned a bunch, got all of my questions answered and had fun! We had a Whole Foods dinner before hopping on the subway to head home. Uneventful Peter Pan ride home - got lots of Guatemala guide book reading done, which was nice. And Scott picked me up at the bus station in DC, which was very nice.

A lovely Sunday as well - I got to go rock climbing (at an indoor gym) with Scott and Erin. It was my first time, except maybe once at summer camp, and I loved it. It was hard, both mentally and physically, but it was great to figure things out by watching and doing, and it was great to challenge my body in a new way. My hand and forearm muscles were exhausted afterwards (it's funny when you "feel the burn" while tying your shoes), but I can't wait to go back! There were a bunch of kids at the gym - elementary school-aged, both boys and girls - and it was really cool to see them scrambling around and cheering each other on.

For dinner, Scott and Erin and Paul and I headed down to the Straits of Malay for an excellent meal (albeit a lonely one! We were the only table there for quite a while.) which included my first taste of fried jackfruit. Yum. Back to Delafield for tea and drooling over the Guatemala book with Scott. I want to see and do most of what's described there. I leave in a week and a half! Yay!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Carrot cheesecake from Junior's at Grand Central Station

A quick post from the end of a lovely day in New York. I took the bus up this morning, met Kate and Alissa and Alissa's parents at Macy's (where they had just finished looking at wedding dresses for A), had lunch, and then went to another wedding store where Kate's fiancee Jaime joined us. I got to see A try on bridal gowns, and then she and I tried on some bridesmaid dresses for Kate and Jaime's wedding. It was pretty fun. It definitely hit home how much of a production a wedding is, but all 3 brides are handling it well. Extremely well. It doesn't make ME want to get married anytime soon, although I wouldn't mind just having a nice big party. (Anyone want to go out dancing with me next weekend?)

So we tried on a bunch of bridesmaid dresses (and found a neat one that fits both Alissa and I nicely!) and then went and sat in a coffee shop for a few hours and then wandered down to Grand Central for dinner and more chatting before sending Alissa home at 9:07. Now I'm at Kate and Jaime's apartment in Brooklyn, seriously excited about bed!

Plan for tomorrow... the Darwin exhibit at the Museum of Natural History?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A photo from my day at work

So this is me, Libby Spicoli, sporting a fancy new red hairdo and a radiant necklace. I'm on Sheep Island, sitting on a famous Electric Sheep. I guess you can't see my face very well, but I have eyebrows now! I realized I was missing them which is why I didn't look quite right...

Like oatmeal? Try Scottish Oats, available at Whole Foods. Excellent.

So... I've been quite the slacking blogger these days. Which is good, really, because it means my new job is keeping me occupied and interested. It's still sort of hard to believe that less than a month ago, I was still plugging away at Walter Reed. I still feel so lucky to have fallen into this new position.

Some updates...
Margo's Canadian boyfriend spent the past week with us, and now the two of them are in New York, one stop on a little Northeast tour. It was good to see him, and it was really good to see the two of them together. It's easy to forget how lucky I am to live less than 2 miles from my boyfriend!

The Happening was a success. It was pretty chilly out, so all of the events had to happen in a sort of cramped space upstairs instead of in a heated tent out back, but everything worked. Nina put together a poetry slam, which was really exciting; and I got to catch up with Chad which was wonderful; and I got to dance towards the end of the evening, which was fun even though I was exhausted. The mixed reality portion of the night was so cool. Experiencing the parallels between this world and Second Life was powerful and exciting. It made SL come alive for me.

I'm itching for warmer weather. Yesterday was cold and rainy, making it just a little more difficult than usual to go out and do errands. I had one great errand though - I got my hepatitis A and tetanus-diptheria vaccines in preparation for next month's trip to Guatemala! I got plane tickets over the weekend, so the trip is becoming more and more concrete. I still need to do a bunch of research in terms of what I want to see when I go down there. Up until now, all of my overseas travels have been in Europe, so I'm definitely excited for some totaly new experiences.

We have a new foster cat! She's named Elsa and is a 1-year-old Katrina victim. We've had her since Saturday evening, and she's finally getting brave enough to spend most of her time out in the apartment as opposed to hiding in the stairwell. Very affectionate, very vocal. Let me know if you (or anyone else) would like to adopt her! Margo and I are more than happy to have her living with us, but we can't adopt her for good, and she certainly deserves a good permanent home!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Last night I dreamt I turned my Schwinn Continental Traveler III into a unicycle.

This warm spring weather is so exciting. I mean, last weekend's snow was beautiful, but I love being able to sit here and do work with my apartment window and door open. I'm itching for a functional laptop so that I can do work outside.

This weekend sort of snuck up on me. I think that's one of the side effects of working from home - my days are much less structured than they used to me, so they all feel a little more weekend-ish. Also, I'm enjoying my work so much more than I used to, so maybe I don't need to anticipate the weekends as much as I did before.

In any case, it's going to be a fun weekend. The Happening is tomorrow - lots of cool art, music, fashion, etc. Plus it's the launch party for The Electric Sheep Company, so Chad is flying in to be here for it! I'm excited to catch up with him.

Today's confession. I was watching the Olympics last night (for the first time this year!), and one of the male figure skaters used music from Pirates of the Caribbean and wore a pirate costume. It was great... and it prompted me to download the entire soundtrack. Does anyone know when the sequel is coming out?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Another Minnesota Party, come and gone...

Last weekend's Minnesota Party was a success! All of the Tater Tot Hotdish ("The Cadillac of Hotdishes") got eaten, there were plenty of good costumes (including St. Paul, Minneapolis and Babe the Blue Ox), and it SNOWED! A lot!! It was our first real storm of the year, and it was absolutely beautiful.

Here's the Minnesota Shrine:

Here's my molded Jell-O salad! My first one ever, and it worked!!

Scott (as me), Ali, Liz (as Tammy Faye)


Many thanks to everyone who braved the storm and came out for our party. To those of you who couldn't make it, no worries. Every day is a Minnesota Day at Chez Limon!

Other news... my sister and I are getting a foster cat this week! Elsa!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Boston and Second Life

A quick recap of this week's events:
I drove down to Boston with Morgan and Katie on Sunday morning, and I met up with my friend Robin in Harvard Square. We walked the dog along the Charles, we went back to her house for lunch, we shopped at the New England Mobile Book Fair*, we had a delicious tomato soup dinner while watching Super Bowl commercials and talking through the game.

I spent the night at her house and joined her for yoga in the morning. She showed me the photo albums she's been working on over lunch, and then we went to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. There were two shows that I really liked: Degas to Picasso: Modern Masters and Facets of Cubism. I got to see some Bauhaus pieces, which is always a treat. Bauhaus and Arabic art are hands down my two favorite kinds of art. And the more Picasso I see, the better I like him. (There was one set of prints he did of a bull, where he just kept taking away non-essential elements until the final image was a handful of lines. Incredible.) A thoroughly satisfying afternoon!

Robin drove me to the airport after dinner. I took off at 10 and was home by 12:30 - an easy, efficient trip.

* ...where she bought me a copy of Creatures by Henry Horstein and Another Language of Flowers by Dorothea Tanning, and I bought a copy of Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

Tuesday morning I started working for Sibley! I now have a lovely iMac and wireless internet in my apartment - this is revolutionary for Chez Limon. For the past 16 months, we've been connected via my sister's clumsy old laptop and a slow dial-up connection. Very frustrating to use.

Two days into my new job, it's wonderful. So far I'm learning a lot about Second Life and about corporations and how to investment in them. I love having tasks that I can complete.

I'm going to be late for yoga if I don't sign off now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I'm sitting in the Howard Johnson in South Burlington, sipping pretty bad coffee and trying to ignore the "Little Giant" ladder infomercial. I might go check out the pool in a minute here, but I thought I'd post a quick update.

I'm not sure what happened to Friday's post... Mostly, it was me being excited about it being my last day of work. My boss let me leave at 3, so I went to the gym one last time and was home by 4:30. It was such a wonderful feeling biking off into the sunset. Met a bunch of people down at Cafe Asia for a celebratory happy hour (thanks to everyone who came!), biked home, packed and chatted with my sister.

I was up early on Saturday. I went for a run (in shorts!), which felt really good. Hard and fast. I need to start going for morning runs more often now that the days are getting warmer and longer and I won't have to leave for work so early. My flight was uneventful; I met up with the Wellesley Women at the Howard Johnson, had lunch at Denny's and went to the church.

The funeral was... exactly the way a good funeral is supposed to be. It was terribly sad, and I was on the verge of tears for most of the service. But the reflections given by his daughters and especially his wife were incredible, and I feel really grateful for their courage and ability to speak so articulately and beautifully. It was sad, it was hard, but I'm so glad that I went.

We spent a little while at the reception in the church basement, and then headed out to downtown Burlington. A little aimless wandering (it felt good to be outside, to walk around, to decompress) and then dinner at a neat pub that had lots of good, locally brewed beer. From there, we went to a great little tea house and eventually made it to Ben and Jerry's before heading back to the hotel. Lots of lingering over the table, lots of good conversations - serious and otherwise. A perfect ending to the day.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Please take my platelets!

I've been trying to donate platelets for a month now. I really like doing it because I get to leave the office for 3 hours, sit in a comfy chair under an electric blanket and watch a movie. Sure I've got big needles sticking out of both elbows that prevent me from bending my arms, but it's worth it.

I've gone up to the blood donor center three times in the past month. The first two times they turned me away because I was sick or had recently been sick. Today I felt fine, and I've felt fine for a couple of days now. My hemoglobin level was nice and high (another reason I've been turned away in the past), I filled out all the paperwork, passed the interview with all the not-applicable but still-embarrasing sex questions, picked out my movie (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and settled into my comfy chair.

But then my veins decided not to cooperate. They stuck my left elbow, couldn't find anything, and had to pull it out. They stuck me in the wrist and got it to work. They couldn't draw blood out for testing purposes (even though the vials are vacuums so that they suck your blood out), but they were able to get the saline solution pumping in. Check. On to my right arm. Stick #1 in my elbow didn't work - the blood started pooling underneath my skin. Stick #2, also in my elbow, got into the vein alright ("I saw the flash!" said the nurse), but nothing came out. Grr. I had just gotten to the part of "O Brother" where they follow everyone to the river and get baptized. It's my favorite song from the soundtrack, so I'm glad I got to hear that!

They wrapped me up like an Easter egg (pink, blue and purple tape on my 3 stick sites), thanked me and apologized and said they hoped to see me back there again soon.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Counting down the hours!

Today feels like the last day of school. It feels like the last day of third grade, where there are no papers or exams to worry about, just a desk to clean out and some pictures to take down from the bulletin board. Right now I've got 5.25 hours to go.

A slight change of plans for this weekend, for anyone who's keeping track. I'm still flying to Vermont on Saturday and driving to Boston on Sunday, but now I'm flying back to DC on Monday night. (Scott's getting back later than I expected.) So I won't get to meet his parents just yet, which is a little disappointing.

I will get to spend lots of time with my friends from Wellesley, and I'll get to hang out with my friend Robin in Boston. I haven't seen her in a long time, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing all the art she's been working on over the past 1-2 years.

A few fun links, in case your Friday is going as slowly as mine...
How to make iPod speaders using Altoid tins.
How to fold a shirt in 3 seconds! I tried it last night, and it's really cool!
A Duluth News Tribune article about Immoral, a mystery set in Duluth that's been nominated for an Edgar.

Michael Lee Carter Henderson

The Rev. Michael Lee Carter Henderson, 64, of Burlington, died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack at home on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006. A retired Congregationalist minister of the United Church of Christ, he was born June 6, 1941, in Long Branch, N.J. He graduated from Milton Academy in 1959; from Yale College in 1963; and from Harvard Law School in 1966. He was admitted to the bar in the State of New York in 1967. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship to begin Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1974, receiving his S.T.B. While a student there, he served for one year as interim Dean of Students. He was ordained by the Metopolitan Boston Association of the UCC in 1974. Between 1972 and 1978, he served as Assistant Minister in Harvard University's Memorial Church. Since 1978, he and his wife, the Rev. Jane Geffken Henderson, also a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, have served together as co-pastors. They were cochaplains at Williams College from 1978 to 1981 and copastors of the Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC in Plymouth, N. H., from 1981 to 1990. Until their retirement in 2003, they served at the Exeter Congregational Church, UCC in Exeter, N.H. for 13 years. Aside from his responsibilities as a pastor, he held many leadership roles in the New Hampshire conference of the UCC. Since Jane and Michael's retirement, they have been living together in Burlington and spending summers along the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Michael enjoyed sailing, cooking, running, and kayaking. He was an avid reader and a consummate wordsmith. In addition to his beloved wife and partner in ministry, he is survived by three cherished daughters: Rachel Melchior Falls of Washington, D.C., and Mary Hannah Henderson of Amherst, Mass., both from a previous marriage; and Abigail Geffken Henderson of Sommerville, Mass. He is also survived by a grandson, Hezekiah Fleck Sims; and by brothers Terry Hunt of Missouri and Robert Hunt of Florida and their children. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at 2 p.m. in the College Street Congregational Church, 265 College Street, Burlington. Instead of flowers, those who wish to may send a donation in Michael's memory to the Brain Tumor Society; to the College Street Congregational Church; or to the Heifer Project International.

Published in the Burlington Free Press on January 31, 2006.