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.

Tiger




UFO




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 http://ellaspizza.com/index.shtml 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!

Sunday!
- 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

Romance

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 sehttp://beta.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gife 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: http://upcoming.org/event/112608/

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

Unpicked!

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!"