Saturday, May 19, 2007

Plumbing adventures, and other stuff this week.

A good week overall.
On Monday, Scott got home safe and sound and smoky-smelling from his Colorado adventure.

On Tuesday, I ran home from work, only to discover that the plumber had turned off the water and I couldn't shower.

On Wednesday, Scott and I joined Nick and Johanna at a Dan Bern and Todd Snider concert at the Birchmere. Fun people to spend time with, and really fun musicians to hear. Dan Bern sang "Tiger Woods", which is the only song of his that I knew before the concert. Definitely fun to hear that one, and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the concert as well.

On Thursday, we had Aaron and Jess and Ann over for dinner. We barbecued for the first time this year! Jess made tasty burgers, Ann brought gazpacho, Joe provided fancy beer, and Scott assembled fancy little vegetable kebabs. And there was more plumbing excitement on Thursday! Neither shower was working, and the washing machine was filling so slowly that each load took at least two hours. Thank goodness the toilets and the kitchen sink are in good repair.

On Friday, Aunt Flury called to let me know that Da (her father-in-law) died that morning. He was born in Lincoln, England and never lost his accent, even after living with my aunt and uncle for years in the US. He was charming to the end, known as the ladies' man at the assisted living home he had been moved to. He had been declining for several years and finally succumbed to pneumonia. A wonderful man. Sad to see him gone. I trust he's in a much better place now.

Today, I spent three hours on the polo fields at round two of tryouts for a women's team. Terrific weather... just a tad windy. I was flattered and surprised to have been asked back, and tried to just have fun and run hard (and not get nervous). Met Scott for a snack afterwards, and then we both got our hair cut. My first haircut in... a year? I honestly can't remember the last time, but it feels good. And I got a scalp massage! If anyone's looking for a good, cheap place, Eurospa gets two thumbs up from me. I laid on the grass in Dupont and read for a little while before heading home.
I'm home now, and happy to report that our showers, both of them, are fully functioning.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Aging Pipes

My house is having a stroke. I just checked out the basement construction. The walls are sealed and the drainage tile installed, so no more rainwater will leak in. But the pipes are the next challenge. The plumber replaced one, in the closet ceiling, which had been dripping for a year or so. But doing so meant replacing a pipe that had been narrowed by rust with a nice clear new one. And that meant more water pressure for the pipes down the line. So now the whole chain of pipes in the bedroom ceiling are leaking and will need to be replaced. Salvador showed me the pipe that had been taken out - it looked like a diseased artery, filled with plaque. Its capacity must have been less than half that of the new pipe. The plumber thinks that just about every horizontal pipe in the house is in a similar situation. This might mean that just about every horizontal pipe in the house will need to get replaced. We shall see.

In the meantime, the house is having a stroke. The water pressure on the first floor is fine, but it's slowed to a trickle in the second floor bathroom. The plumber thinks that a chunk rusty gunk got forced loose and is causing a clog somewhere. Our poor house! It's like a frail old lady these days!

Aging Alumnae

I had a fantastic time in Boston over the weekend. I got to play in a small, Wellesley-hosted tournament on Saturday, with a handful of other alums - some of whom I played with when I was in school, some who came after me. We may have been older and more out of shape than the whipper snappers around us, especially when they had an abundance of subs and we were playing nearly savage, but experience and good throws go a long ways. We beat one of the Wellesley teams and one of the club teams (15-14) and lost in the finals (11-8 or so...). We were mostly happy to be done playing, to move on to pizza and beer and to rest up for Sunday's game.

Sunday was the annual alum versus student game. The students graciously played all 20 of their players equally, giving the first-years just as much playing time as the seniors. The alums won, but they made us work for it! (Which is as it should be.)

All in all, it was wonderful to hang out with my old teammates and remember how great it was to be a Whiptail, and it was wonderful to meet the new team and see the same Whiptail character and spirit carrying through. (For those of you who know the esteemed George Cooke, he has a similar write-up on his blog. Click here.)

I've been out of college for a full four years now, so even though I was never classmates with any of the current students, it's nice to still feel connected through the frisbee team. It's nice that a few people know who I am when I go on campus.

Friday, May 11, 2007

We found a home in Davis!

I’m heading back east after a successful apartment-hunting trip to Davis. Scott and I met in Sacramento on Tuesday night, and we spent all day Wednesday and Thursday checking out locations. By 4pm on Thursday, we had it narrowed down to two options. (1) A really great duplex in North Davis, a 20-minute bike ride away from campus, with a kitchen that opened onto a spacious living room with a fireplace, and lots of huge windows looking out onto a fantastic garden and hot tub in the back yard. (2) An apartment in a complex in South Davis, a 5-minute bike ride from campus.

The apartment won out, but I had a hard time giving up the house. I was really excited about the prospect of working in that living room, listening to the stream trickling, smelling a wood fire in the winter, watching the birds and butterflies outside. But one piece advice we’ve heard from over and over and over from just about every student we talked to is the tremendous value of living close to campus. And when I think of how much value we’ll get from that southern location, I’m really excited to be moving there. For example:
- I’ll be able to zip up to coffee shops to work.
- Scott will be able to come home throughout the day.
- We’re 3 blocks from a cute, friendly climbing gym, as well as a running trail through the UC Davis arboretum, both of which I intend to frequent.
- The apartment complex has a pretty decent gym and a pool and a hot tub and parking spaces and a pool table.
- Also, we have plenty of room for visitors and will happily host anyone who cares to come out and see us!

The only thing missing is the vista. The two bedrooms (one of which will be a study) look out onto a parking lot, and the living room opens onto a little concrete patio. We’ll have to get creative on the study window. My first thought is to copy Damon’s office window and line it with a neat collection of class bottles. It creates privacy without hanging curtains. I’m really excited about transforming the patio into an oasis. Lots of potted plants and flowers and herbs, maybe a little fountain. We can park our bikes elsewhere.

We'll have the floor plan on the right:

It was a successful trip, but it made me think about the ways that I’m going to miss DC. Davis is small. We’ll be able to visit every restaurant within a year. There are no Smithsonians. No club Ultimate. No one I know, except Scott and the handful of students I met last night. I was hoping I’d fall in love with the city when I saw it, and I didn’t. I don’t dislike it. It just doesn’t compare to DC… which it’s not trying to. It’s clean, sunny, and tree- and bicycle-filled, and the people I met were friendly. I think it will grow on me.

I’m getting into Boston late tonight, and I get to play at Wellesley’s tournament this weekend. Sounds like the alum team will be savage, so I’ll get a good workout! It will be good to get home on Sunday.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday morning.

Not too much to report, but I'll report it anyways. I made pretty good progress yesterday on nailing down apartments to visit when Scott and I are in Davis next week. I've got a color-coded map, a spreadsheet with time, locations and contact info... Now we just need to actually find an apartment to live in.

I'm learning how to be a producer for the Electric Sheep now. It involves working much longer hours, but despite that I'm liking it a lot. Getting to do more interesting and challenging work is definitely rewarding.

Today, I'm off to a full day of ultimate. From 11-2 I'm going to tryouts for the top women's team in the area. I don't expect to make the cut, but it should be 3 hours of high-quality ultimate. After that, I've got two back-to-back league games scheduled.

Scott's doing well in Guatemala. Lots of work, as always, but it sounds like things are coming along and that they're learning a lot. One of his friends down there is in culinary school, so today he gets to go to a demonstration of cooking styles from all over the country!

That's it. Aside from missing my traditional Saturday morning Scrabble game, I'm happy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

NBA Launch Day!

We opened the NBA Headquarters in Second Life this morning, and there's been a good response. I've been working on this project a little bit recently, so it's more fun than usual to see a Sheep project being written up in the media. Here's a good blog post, by Mitch Wagner, to start with.

May Day

Scott left for Guatemala early this morning. He'll only be gone a week, but it's still sad to see him go. I ate a solitary breakfast, brushed my teeth alone and headed out the door without a good-bye kiss. It was a gorgeous early morning ride to work though - no traffic, rising sunlight, and a freshly paved New Hampshire Avenue.