Friday, January 26, 2007

The Mouth Revolution

Another fun video for a Friday. This one's from Free Range Studios - they do all kinds of cool, progressive movies. Without further ado, The Mouth Revolution!

No Direction...

Thanks, Aaron, for this Bob Dylan mocumentary.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

News from Fred

News from my bro:
I might have a broken bone in my left foot, or just a really nasty sprain. Either way I have some crutches and painkillers. On the upside of having to hobble around I can strap the crutches to my ski pack and make pretty good time on my bike, pedaling more with my right foot than left. It definitely beats crutching it around campus. Hope y'all are in slightly better states of health.

Also, I told him about a couple of crazy bike dreams I had this week. He told me that "In Norse mythology the women are the ones who predominantly have the interpretive dreams." So I'm just living up to my Norse heritage with these things. Wish I could decrypt them though...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MLK Photos!

Get 'em while they're hot!
Jay's Flickr photos.

I'm going to Paga this year!!!

From Melle, after I told her I'd be in Italy the week after Paganello (the greatest beach ultimate tournament ever).
Libby, you're coming to Italy one week AFTER Paga?! Are you nuts?

I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday Night Notes, Lest I Forget

A lovely evening that I wanted to write about before I get busy at work and forget all about it.

First off, I returned to CrossFit DC for the first time since before Christmas, and it was terrific. The class has grown a ton. Last time I went, there were four of us. Today there were 15. I was the only woman in the entire gym. The main gymnasium was filled with gay volleyball players, and all of my classmates are men. A number of are semi-pro or college rugby players, which I think is kind of neat. I like being the only woman, because I feel like I don't have to compete with anyone but myself. That, said, I held my own against my classmates, which feels good. It also feels good to have one's grunts overpowered by other, louder grunts. The last good feeling was how shaky and rubbery my arms were when we were finished. That might now feel so good tomorrow.

From there, I headed north on Connecticut Ave. to Ann's house. I joined Aaron and Jess and a few others for the State of the Union address, which was made much more bearable by the bingo game that Aaron brought along and by Ann's yummy crostini. When it was over, we got to see an interview with Sen. Clinton - hooray for smart Wellesley alums!

A speedy and peaceful trip through Adams Morgan and up 16th St, and I'm home. Another New Yorker in my mailbox (I'm SO far behind) and a package from my mom containing an article from the Baudette Region reporting on our family's enormous Christmas celebration. Very cool.

Windy Dream

Question: What do you get when you cross a raccoon-skin rug with the motion of a wind-swept plastic bag (think American Beauty)?

Answer: A magic flying raccoon carpet! Incidentally, this was in my dream last night, along with leftover pancake batter and new bike fenders.

A creepy play, snowy flowers, and cupcakes!

Sunday was this winter's first really snowy day. We didn't get those nice big lacy flakes, but at least the flurries were persistent enough to leave the ground covered with a couple of inches.

I didn't leave the house until dark, when I hopped on the #70 bus and rode (slowly) down to Chinatown for the Shakespeare Theater's production of Richard III. One of my teammates works for the company, so we get complimentary tickets regularly. Paul and Erin and Bucci joined me for what turned out to be a really creepy show. The set was the first clue - a prison-like composition of dark metal bars, all completely askew. I read the synopsis and was fairly confused by the characters and their politics, so I focused less on the plot of the play than on Richard's extreme creepiness. Not the most enjoyable thing I've seen there, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to see it.

Bucci gave me a lemon chiffon cupcake to eat while I waited for the bus. The ride home was quick and cozy.

By Monday morning, the roads were clean and dry enough to provide a decent bike route to work. It's nice that it finally looks like winter around here. The saddest part was the pansies in the planters down the street from my office. Until now, they've been blooming heartily - bright yellow and violet. Now they look dead - all wilted under the icy snow.

Nine more (long) days until Scott comes home from Guatemala! He's been sick with a pretty bad cold while he's been down there, so every time I talk to him, I just want to make him come home, get in bed and eat chicken noodle soup or lemon chiffon cupcakes or something.

My last random note - I'm planning a trip to Italy this spring! Paul, Jay and Bucci are signed on as well, and I'm crossing my fingers that Scott can come too. I'm very excited.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

MLK! Sheep Retreat! Now they're over!

My apologies for not posting all week long! I was busy, and then I was lazy.

Last weekend's party was a huge success. I think the best part for me was sharing it with Kate and Jaime, who came down for the weekend.

It kind of took me by surprise. I got home on Friday, pretty tired from a busy day with Sibley, and was immediately confronted by a house buzzing with guests, conversation, anticipatory energy. NOT the quiet, mild-mannered Delafield I'm used to. Erin and Abby assured me that it's always a little bit of a rude awakening, and advised me to think of it like Christmas. Framing it that way helped a ton, and I launched into MLK 2007. Lots of hanging out in the kitchen, munching on Costco muffins. Lots of sitting around dining room tables, chopping vegetables. Conversational neighborhood walks. A trip to Payless to buy heels for Scott's fashion show outfit.

The main event on Saturday was dinner at Rosemont, followed by Nina's human bingo game. We had to find people to perform for us (20 pushups, or an impression of a gorilla), perform with us (sing a song, do a headstand) or impress us with their talents (has piloted a plane, knows Happy Birthday in 3 languages). A terrific mixer.

I woke up Sunday thinking, Today's the day!
Seth made us all pancakes for breakfast, and we started transforming the house into a venue worthy of a notorious dance party. Speakers and lights went up. Furniture was rearranged or removed altogether. The kitchen was going full-steam-ahead, Erin at the helm. Dinner started at 6, and we served close to 100 people. A bunch of Electric Sheep arrived, which was exciting - there were several I hadn't met in person yet, and I hadn't seen the others since October.

The fashion show started at 8. Sibley was an outrageous M.C., and Sasha was the invaluable backstage manager. We paraded down the stairs, posed on the landing for the fans and paparazzi below, and continued along the catwalk through the living room into the dining room. A great show for participants and audience alike! (I got to wear my favorite pants ever - the pink, furry, tiger-striped pants my friends gave me for my birthday in college.) Scott was gorgeous in his French maid costume.

We danced from 9 to 4, taking a break at midnight when the dancefloor was just too crowded to move (or breathe) comfortably. We had fantastic weather, around 65 degrees, so the backyard was packed all night long. We kicked the 3 kegs by midnight. Close to 400 people came through our house over the course of the night. The only damage was a muddy floor and a shattered thermostat - both easily rectified.

Kate and Jaime took off on Monday morning. We cleaned up a LOT and gossiped about great moments from the past 2 days. My MLK effectively ended at 2 when I left Delafield for Gold Star (Sibley's house) and the start of the Sheep retreat. It ended a little too soon, I think, but I'm not sure I could have sustained energy for much more!

The Sheep retreat went well. It's always so exciting to meet people that you've only ever e-mailed, and I feel so inspired and motivated by seeing and hearing what everyone else is working on. I didn't get home until 10pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, which felt very late... even though others stayed much later. Partly, I was impatient to get home and spend fleeting time with Scott. He left for Guatemala on Wednesday. Too soon!

The Sheep left on Thursday, and suddenly my life is quiet and routine-oriented again. Hallelujah. I cleaned my room and did all kinds of laundry and called up my parents. I would have stayed in my pajamas all day yesterday if I hadn't made a date with a Duluth friend who was in town. We went to a very cool book arts exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and then had dinner at La Tasca.

Today I'm cuddled up with my computer. I picked at the HTML and made some surface changes to my blog template. (I wanted something more exciting than the grey-blue, but I'm not sure how I feel about the orange yet.) Not sure what's next on the agenda for this afternoon, but tonight I get to go see Richard III with Bucci! A good excuse to change out of my sweats. Until then, I'm happy to stay inside and enjoy the snow flurries outside.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Food shopping!

I spent Friday afternoon shopping with Sibley. We got one shopping cart ($208) from Super H Mart, and 3 HUGE shopping carts ($956) from Costco.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday morning..

I spent the morning helping Sibley move from Rosemont to Goldstar.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Delafield in transition

Totally exciting - Delafield is having its first-floor windows replaced today. The old ones couldn't be opened, making the place a greenhouse in the summertime (and a sauna during the annual MLK dance party). This event has been long-promised and eagerly anticipated. So even though I'm working from home in a 45°F living room today while the contractors are doing the installations, I'm thrilled to see it going on.

Three of our housemates moved out on Saturday - Peter, Bethany and Seth. They got their own apartments in a building just down the road in Adams Morgan, so we'll still see them regularly. But I'm sad to see them go. They did a lot to make me feel at home here when I moved in, and I love cooking dinner with them. We had lunch at P&B's new apartment on Sunday; it's gorgeous (bay windows every time you turn around!) and in a great neighborhood, so I'm happy for them in that sense. I'll just miss 'em.

We're still trying to new housemates. I recruited a friend of mine who's coming over for a dinner/interview tonight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everyone likes him, and vice versa!

Next weekend is the annual, incredible MLK party. If you're in DC and haven't heard about it, let me know! It's the time when this mild-mannered commune of ours turns into a seething mass of crazily-attired dancers and revelers. This will be my third MLK. I baked baklava last night for the Sunday night dinner. Not sure yet what I'll wear for the fashion show...

Two Links...

A couple of blog posts I wanted to pass on.

First, a BoingBoing post on the fact that Second Life has gone open source and why this is so exciting. Read it here.

Next, the Tower of London just hired their first female Beefeater! Story here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The 12 Days of Christmas

A recap of post-Christmas activity in Minnesota!

My family left Baudette on the morning of the 26th and had a little Christmas reprise when we got home to Duluth - a few more presents to open. I got fenders for my bike from Margaret, a calendar of Lakewalk photos that my parents made, and a Gaia gear bag. Sweet! Margaret and I ran errands in the afternoon and visited some friends before she had to go back to the Cities. I miss shopping with her! A bunch of my old ballet friends were in town, so I met up with them at the Reef bar and caught up before heading up to the Duluth International Airport to pick up Scott, newly arrived from Florida.

The rest of the week was a haze of lazy, Scrabble-filled mornings, chilly runs through the neighborhood, coffee and Christmas cookies, and reading the books that everyone else got for Christmas. My parents both had the week off, and Fred was around quite a bit, so it was great to spend quality R&R time with them (as well as with Scott, of course!)

Some highlights: We got dressed up on Wednesday night for the annual Red Flannel Petticoats dinner and dance. This year's band wasn't quite as good as last year's (no swing!), but we had a good time.

Dad, Fred, Scott and I saw Casino Royale. Fun!

We had one perfectly snowy day - big flakes covering every branch. Scott and I took a hike through the Congdon Creek trail. Absolutely gorgeous. So glad I got to be home for that!

A visit with Alissa! She drove up from Minneapolis for a (cold) walk on the Lakewalk, lunch at Amazing Grace, and some good, old-fashioned catching-up over tea.

A bonus day in Duluth! Our flight out of Duluth was canceled, so Scott and I got to stay an extra day. We didn't do anything productive with it, which was just perfect. We rang in the New Year at home with my parents: a salmon dinner followed by Word Wars (a terrific Scrabble documentary) and finally Garrison Keillor's live TV broadcast from Nashville. We were happy to go to sleep at 12:15.

In case you haven't seen enough of my photos already, you can see all them on Flickr.

Christmas Eve at the Yukon Palace

Christmas Eve at the cabin turned out to be a huge success. We arrived around 2 and were greeted by lots of people gathered around the fire ring enjoying wine and each other’s company. The women went for a walk in the woods and took lots of pictures along the way.
Here, Mom and her cousin Kay are re-enacting a ladder scene from “Chicago” using my cousin Grant’s deer stand ladder.

We got home, took a nice big family photo (48 people, and that’s missing several families!), went sledding, and then sang carols around the Christmas tree until dinner was ready – turkey, stewed venison and venison sausage, vegetables, scalloped potatoes and a beautiful red, white and green Jell-O salad. My dad made wassail (yum!) and there was, of course, an abundance of Christmas cookies.

By the time dinner was over, it was dark enough to light the bonfire, which the youngest boy cousins accomplished by shooting it with roman candles. It took a little while to ignite, but once it got going, we had 30-foot flames and enough heat to require onlookers to rotate themselves regularly to keep faces from getting too hot.

The snow softened up and the youngest boy cousins quickly discovered it was ripe for snowball making. Male bonding ensued (among male cousins of all ages). We cleaned up the cabin, said our long Minnesota good-byes, turned off the generator and drove over the river and through the woods back to Grandmother’s house, where we re-hashed the evening. We discussed which of the new Significant Others we had talked to and how we liked them. I uploaded my photos from the day and played a little slideshow for everyone. We agreed that a good time was had by all. After a quick good-night call to Scott, I was off to bed.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yukon Palace Photos!

Click the link above for my mom's photos from Christmas. Bon appetit!

James Brown

We just had a spontaneous James Brown Tribute dance party in my office! Awesome!