So, for my birthday, [ profile] breadandroses and I went up to NYC over the weekend and a very nice busy time. A few notes:

- One of Craig Ferguson's bits in his Saturday show at Radio City included an extended riff on "what it would look like if chocolate actually WAS addictive" which culminated in the question "Have you ever said 'I'll just have one Mounds bar' and woken up three days later on the floor of a Piggly Wiggly with a sore arse and Snickers in your ears?" The name 'Piggly Wiggly' is inherently hilarious to Yankees like me; when a Scotsman says it it's even better. When a MANIC Scotsman says it, it's sublime. The Manic Scotsman principle applies to a lot of Craig Ferguson's comedy; it's not that jokes about Hitler's vegetarianism are original, it's that CF delivers them with such verve.

- It's peculiarly informative to attend back-to-back events at Radio City Music Hall and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The venue designed for nonparticipatory events is more intimate AND has better sightlines. Both, however, have extensive corps of well-trained ushers.

- 300-voice choir? FRICKIN' AWESOME.

- Clergy and servers have got to be in good trim to process around the LARGEST CATHEDRAL IN THE WORLD, particularly because they don't start from the narthex but from the south arm of the crossing to then go BACK to the narthex and down the center aisle.

- "I think Episcopalians are trained to stand in doorways," one assisting priest was complaining as the procession wound back down the south aisle towards the crossing at the end of the service.

- Some popular parenting blogger in NYC needs to get the word out that, while the procession of the animals makes the Feast of St Francis (observed) a particularly engaging service for the small fry, the fact that the procession happens in the last quarter of a service that included (in this instance) four readings, a sermon, several anthems, two dance performances, and communion for, conservatively speaking, a thousand, and lasted nearly two hours, it's a poor choice for a kid who has no prior experience of religious services.

- Given that St. J's was being un-Episcopalian enough to be asking the congregation to raise our hands and sway, kumbaya-style, I feel they might as well have gone whole-hog and put up some jumbotrons so those of us west of the crossing could see what was going on at the altar.


- Also in the procession of animals: a camel (regal and relaxed), a donkey (trying hard to bolt from its handlers), a number of rabbits of various subspecies snuggling up to their people, a yak (so hairy I could not guess at its mood), a spiky-shelled giant tortise on a small wheeled platform garlanded with flowers, a snake in a terrarium, two black swans, a turkey, a macaw wearing a service animal badge, a fennic fox, a potbellied pig, and several lamas (one very nervous and clearly not having a good time.) And, bringing up the rear, a clean-up crew with a wheelbarrow and a shovel.
So, I've got an unusually good answer to the question "how was your weekend?"

As a birthday present for me, [ profile] breadandroses got us tickets to see Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying on Broadway. The plan for the weekend was that we would leave straight from work on Friday, go up her parents in NJ for the night, go into the city on Saturday for lunch and the matinee, then meet her parents for dinner, then come home on Sunday.

The first hitch was that, when I was waiting for B&R a bit west of 30th Street Station, EIGHT police cars, a paddy wagon, and an ambulance passed me, and once she picked me up we found we couldn't go east past the station because all the police cars were blocking it off. (Subsequent research showed that some guy had snatched a purse at 22nd and Market, leapt into a car and led police on a very brief chase before crashing into a barrier at 30th St, and then stabbed himself in the abdomen. For those of you who don't know Philadelphia, let me explain that 22nd St and 30th St are even closer together than you might think because at that latitude 24th-29th Streets don't exist. Though there is a river.)

Once we got out of the city, though, we made good time and got to her folks' before her parents entirely expired of hunger.

The next morning, we awoke to snow. Heavy, messy, wet snow that instantly became slush on the ground. I had had grand plans of wearing a sixties-ish raspberry-colored dress but the weather made me shelve that plan in favor of gray tweed slacks, a black t-shirt, and a red cardigan. Which, as it happens, was just as well. [/foreshadowing.]

We caught a train into the city and had a lovely lunch of bi-bim-bap during which we dried off a bit before our next foray out into the slush and up to the theater.

HOW TO describe the performance )

In the lobby we battled our way upstream to the bar to get the Broadway Cares cd, then pressed back out into the slushy early evening. The sidewalks were a bit treacherous and the wind was keen but there was less precipitation so we were only seriously damp from the knees down after walking down to Penn Station. We picked apart the show over some tea in a Starbucks and then were on our way to the NJTransit boarding area when PapaRoses called to tell us ALL THE TRAINS ARE CANCELLED.

"What?" we said.


We ran down to the nearest NJTransit screen and saw, indeed, that all the trains to their town were, indeed, canceled.

"Well, could you pick us up from the Trenton line?" B&R asked.

"Mm, well, the problem is, there are a lot of branches down on the roads. And there's a power line down on the car."


"Power line. On the car. We don't think it's live, but..."

"NO DO NOT TOUCH THE POWER LINE. We'll call some folks in the city and find a place to crash."

B&R and I looked at each other for a moment, and then she whipped the phone out again and called [ profile] goat_girl. Who said she would be very happy to have us snowbound at her place in Brooklyn but she was just about to go into a theater for a show and would not be out until ten-ish; would we be okay for four hours? "Oh, yes, absolutely, and the trains might be back by then!" [ profile] breadandroses said.

Then I had a little bit of an AAAAH!! because I was in Penn Station with NO KNITTING and NO READING MATERIAL and AAAAHH. But only a little bit.

the next few hours )

At ten, [ profile] goat_girl called and suggested we come meet her outside the theater she was at and we could take a cab back to Brooklyn. So we ventured out again into the slush and the wind and trekked eight blocks uptown to her theater. I was by this time not merely glad but EXCEEDINGLY glad I was wearing tweed trousers and sneakers rather than a dress, tights, and mary janes. We found [ profile] goat_girl and she whisked us home to Brooklyn, where she supplied us with kitties to pet, an air mattress to sleep on, books to read, and PAJAMAS.

We slept like the weary wanderers we were, and in the morning [ profile] goat_girl made us eggs and biscuits and wise counsel before we showered and dressed and set off into the beautiful cold sunny morning... well, noontime... to take the PATH to New Jersey.

We had to switch from the subway to the PATH in Greenwich Village, which is not a direct connection, and I took the opportunity to go to a specialty peanut butter sandwich shop that I have been interested in for going on two years. I got "The Elvis" - grilled pb, honey and banana (with option for bacon, which I passed up.) We also stopped in at a tea emporium I had read about, but left empty-handed because I was not impressed with their selection. Between House of Tea and Upton Tea Imports my tea snobbery and standards are... well... high.

The PATH went smoothly though it was unusually crowded... not so much with folks in our situation as with people making their way to Harrison, NJ for a soccer match. But finally, we made it back to the Roses' family residence only about 22 hours later than planned.
[ profile] breadandroses and I took a Last Gasp Of Summer trip to Boston over the long weekend. It was, overall, lovely, but a bit odd as always to keep crashing against younger versions of myself.

We went out to Concord on Friday, where we visited the home of Louisa May Alcott and the Old North Bridge where there was the first formal engagement between British and American forces. At the house we had a tour from a friendly but disorganized guide, and at the bridge we listened to a stirring (a word that here means "over the top") account of the skirmish from a talking box and then a more nuanced conversation with a park ranger about the memorialization of the battle and particularly the small monument to the three British soldiers killed there. Being a park ranger would make me crazy, but I do covet the Smoky-the-Bear hats.

On Saturday we made a pilgrimage to the New England Mobile Book Fair - which, I observed as a child, would better be called the New England Immobile Book Fair because it is, literally, a warehouse. Everything is at least 20% off list price there, and the remainders rooms are wonderlands. The management keeps overhead down by simplifying the shelving: all the new books are organized by publisher and within that by title, so everything that comes in can go straight onto the shelf with no sorting. (The markdowns are sorted by genre and within that by author... sometimes.) When I was young there were multiple copies of BOOKS IN PRINT through which you would browse to find the publisher you needed. Now, of course, it's computer terminals, but there's still a luddite feeling to the operation, given that the terminals are running something like Windows 2000. The age of Amazon has definitely dealt the Book Fair a blow; I've never seen the parking lot so empty, even on a weekday, and this was a Saturday afternoon. I bought more than I would have anywhere else (viz. a nice paperback Pippi Longstocking, a new-to-me Emma Donoghue, and a freestanding copy of A Study In Scarlet) just to do a little something for a beloved institution.

On Sunday, after church, we went to another local institution tenaciously holding on into the internet age: the West Newton Cinema. Though it lives in infamy in my memory as the place I once spilled a large root beer across the lobby carpet and had to clean it up with teeny tiny napkins under the gleefully critical eye of an elderly patron who chirped "look what you did!" as I scuttled after ice cubes, it also lives in fond memory as the place I could get hot tea to go along with The Madness of King George. We saw Rob Brydon and Steve Cooper in The Trip, a fictionalized account of a road trip the two comedians took through the north of England. It's a bit humiliation-squicky in places but sidesplitting in others, as when Rob and Steve start doing dueling Michael Caine impressions, or when, in the course of long drives, they start riffing on random things like costume dramas. You'll be able to tell if someone's seen this film by their response to you barking "To bed!" at them.
Had two pleasant afternoons of NYC tourism with [ profile] breadandroses, [ profile] sahiya and [ profile] fuzzyboo03, including:

- eating massive quantities of classic deli food in Theodore Roosevelt park, where we were catcalled by a baby in a pram. "AHgagagaga!" the baby said. "That means 'hellooooo, ladies!'" the mom translated.

- strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, oogling bits of the Egyptian, American, European, and Oceanic collections. Some of my favorites included THREE THOUSAND YEAR OLD LOTUS FLOWERS in the Egyptian area, 19th-century European graffiti on the Temple of Dendur (also Egyptian), the Tiffany stained-glass windows, Daniel Chester French's Mourning Victory statue, and a Batak book of knowledge which, according to the placard, includes information on topics from "the use of firearms" to "the making of malevolent curries to serve to creditors."

- wandering the Union Square Greenmarket and collecting sungold tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a whole wheat baguette, and (in my case) some ginger-cayenne-maple syrup iced tea to snack on.

- visiting the New York Public Library, which is a beautiful building and currently has on an excellent hundredth anniversary exhibit of representatives items from their collections, including cuneiform tablets, a Gutenberg bible, an array of Civil Rights buttons, a journal kept by Malcolm X, a draft of George Washington's Farewell Address, a lock of Mary Shelley's hair, and Charles Dickens' letter opener which has, as a handle, the taxidermied paw of his beloved cat, Bob.

[ profile] breadandroses and I managed to hit torrential rain on both our drives (and on one train ride out of the city) but we mostly stayed dry ourselves, which was something of a miracle.

Sunday there was a bit of a family reunion Chez Roses; I got to meet some more of the extended clan and heard some fantastic stories of odd couples, lost children, and the decades-long wound of having been excluded from a Popcorn Party because you didn't nap. Also, there were grilled peaches and vanilla ice cream. Nom.
So, I went to a thing.

This thing, to be precise.

BreadandRoses and I totally misestimated the degree of OMG MOB that there would be. We thought that we could stroll in to the back of the designated Rally Area around the posted start time and meet up with folks and see and/or hear stuff.

This is where anyone who went will laugh hysterically.

It took us twenty minutes to cross Seventh Street at Madison Drive - not because of traffic (the two vehicles that went by sped things up, if anything) but because of the sheer press of humanity. We thought it would be more chill there, but as we walked from the Capitol back towards the Washington Monument, the crowds actually got worse, possibly because people more determined than we had hopes of getting into the official viewing areas, which by that point could only be entered from Seventh Street. We worked our way onto the grass on the Mall on the west side of Seventh. We could, by jumping, catch glimpses of a jumbotron, and we could, intermittently, hear, but if you were watching the webcast you probably have a much better idea of what was going on onstage.

In our area, there were sideshows. To wit:

- the woman whose birthday it was, who had brought a supermarket sheet cake and an array of eco-ware disposable plates and forks, and was handing out slices to everyone in range, and urging those in range to pass slices on if we weren't interested.

- the men climbing a tree, slightly over telephone-pole diameter, which grew at about an 80-degree angle and had no branches fewer than twenty feet from the ground. Five made it up; a sixth (who was the second to attempt it) slid down, despite passionate local chanting of YES YOU CAN! YES YOU CAN!

- the four successive groups of people who climbed on a tv van across the street and stood up, blocking the already limited view of the nearest jumbotron for everyone in our area. This occasioned chanting OFF THE VAN! OFF THE VAN! and, more briefly and sing-songily, AAAAASS-holes!

- local commentary (intentionally-humorous flavor) on the crowded conditions, like "My privates have never met so many people in one day!" and "This is the WORST speed-dating event I've EVER been to!"

- local commentary (unintentionally distressing flavor), like the woman drinking wine from a carton and complaining to a companion about how tedious it is that "like, there are so many situations where you have to be careful not to use 'gay' to describe something stupid. Like, in Dupont Circle? At the drag race?"

Overall, the people were very cheerful about the cramped conditions, and though we were jostled by a great many frat-boy types, the jostling was only what was absolutely unavoidable given the conditions. The jostling was annoying enough that I did consider tweaking a guy or two on the buttock, but I was not seriously tempted.

We started working our way out about 2:15, and made it back to my aunt and uncle's by 4, and were able to dispatch one of my cousins to collect our order from the local off-any-commercial-strip pizza joint, which unlike any restaurants on major arteries was NOT clogged.
kivrin: young Merlin smiling (small merlin big city (katekat1010))
( Jul. 10th, 2010 09:12 pm)
To NYC today for a post-marriage celebration honoring a friend of [personal profile] breadandroses. The event was scheduled to be in a biergarten; when it was planned I don't think anyone thought about the possibility of Germany playing a World Cup match at that precise moment. The biergarten was, of course, a MADHOUSE. Fortunately, just as we were staring at the mob thinking "oh, shit" B&R got a text from the bride saying "we've fled to the restaurant across the street."

We repaired across the street and proceeded to get genteely plastered with fancy Asian-fusion cocktails (all it took was one apiece) and genteely sobered up with spring rolls and massaman curry. Later we had a walk along the High Line park and then past the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church.

Yesterday I finished reading volume 2 of L.M. Montgomery's journals. Many of the events of Rilla of Ingleside and Anne's House of Dreams were prefigured, and as when I was reading volume 1, I have the itch to journal more consistently and coherently.
In honor, or rather, in the hopes of surviving, a day with a projected heat index of 101 F, [personal profile] breadandroses and I breakfasted on cold coffee with ice cream in it.

Also in the interests of surviving, I am displaying bare knees at work for possibly the first time ever. Ironing was not on this morning, and yesterday I wore the work-appropriate weather-appropriate long skirt that didn't need ironing, so knee-length skirt it is.

Accomplishments this week include getting the recycling out for the first time in several weeks, getting some ancient reshelving done at work, and making dinner reservations for my mother and her parents who are coming into town today.
- McD's has a billboard with a picture of an egg and an Egg McMuffin, and over the egg it says BREAKFAST and over the McThing it says OUT OF THE SHELL. When we saw this I said to [personal profile] breadandroses, "I never considered the distance between a McBreakfast item and the actual egg to be a selling point."

- I got a pedicure (In Wethersfield, CT, the town in which The Witch of Blackbird Pond is set - ponder THAT odd juxtaposition!) and OH NOES I NOW HAVE ANOTHER EXPENSIVE PLEASURE BY WHICH TO BE TEMPTED. My toenails are a delightful shimmery cab-sauv color and my cuticles probably haven't been in such good shape since I started wearing shoes in company.

- I actually drink coffee now. In non-emergency situations. I've chosen to get an iced coffee on two successive days now. I doctor it up seriously, but I drink coffee.

- I'm totally a city slicker. I mean, I knew that, but every time I'm somewhere on a Friday night and encounter a dinner-focused restaurant that closes at ten, I re-discover it.
kivrin: Peter Wimsey with a Sherlock Holmes quotation (Default)
( May. 13th, 2008 11:57 am)
On Saturday, in celebration of [ profile] breadandroses last final exam ever, we took the shiny new cheap bus up to NYC. We brunched in Brooklyn with [ profile] breadandroses's college friend A and her husband. The husband is as charming and conversationally engaging as the wife, though from his name I had expected someone large, blond, and dourly Scandinavian, who might sit in a corner carving a longboat and occasionally grunting.

After zucchini-watercress soup, porcini-and-cremini-mushroom-quiche, mimosas, strawberries with yogurt cheese, and tea, we hopped on the subway and headed back to Manhattan to see (sit down, please, the management is not responsible for injuries incurred in envy-induced collapses) Patrick F**ing Stewart in Macbeth.

Unfortunately we had to wait a while for a subway, and then our train had to hold at a few stations, so we got to 42nd Street with only minutes to spare. We ran the several blocks to the theater, thrust our tickets at an usher, then pounded up, up, up, up an oval stair and through into the back of the upper balcony just in time to hear, over the whine of a heart monitor and the rattle of machinegun fire, "When shall we three meet again?"

scattered thoughts about the show )
Two different unions of public transportation workers are on strike, so navigating the city is going to be a challenge for the next while. This weekend the Badgers are going to instruct me in the art of city biking, but until then I'll be hoofing it. I've often walked the three miles home, but today was my first time walking to work in the morning. Coming home, I was racing against sundown, and I think my hurry put more strain on my legs, as I'm a little sore, more so than usual after a day of heavy walking.

I'm going to need to get up at Good Morning Vietnam o'clock tomorrow (0600, with the O most definitely standing for OH GOD IT'S EARLY), which I am not anticipating with any eagerness, but I am feeling very grateful that I live a walkable distance from my work and that I'm fit enough to make the walk. And that the documents I work with don't care whether I'm coiffed or merely clothed. And that the weather forecast for this week is reasonably clear and mild.
kivrin: Peter Wimsey with a Sherlock Holmes quotation (stephanie r short hair (_elektra))
( Oct. 10th, 2005 01:35 pm)
Stuff from the weekend in DC:

- The Chinatown bus is still the best deal going, even though in the rain it's somewhat grimmer than other forms of transport.

- I have a paranoid fear that my DC friends will like each other better than they like me, as they have so much more in common, being married and living in elegantly appointed places in the same city. (Also, they're all so much smarter than I am.)

- The corn maze was good fun, despite significant amounts of mud, and despite the fact that I got cocky going down the mud-caked steps of the triumphal arch that led out of the maze, and slipped and fell hard on my left butt cheek. Luckily, I missed my tailbone, but unfortunately the point of impact was such that, while I can sit with reasonable comfort I can't lie on my back, which was unpleasant when I finally got to go to bed at nearly two o'clock this morning.

- While some parts of The Muppet Show have aged rather poorly - the laugh track is terribly intrusive - the Swedish Chef never gets old.
My brain is playing the showtunes station today - scraps of Phantom of the Opera while I got dressed, now Man of La Mancha. Maybe it's the memory of Slammerkin that's making "...a strumpet men use and forget" echo in my mind.

I'm wearing most of my Zoe costume now, so I can go straight along to after work to meet up with [ profile] greyhoundliz and [ profile] jimmi_obadger for the 7:10 show of Serenity. I have on a dark blue denim shirt very much like the one Zoe wears at the beginning of "Our Mrs Reynolds" and dark brown cordoroy pants of what seems to me an appropriately Zoe-ish shape, and practical brown ankle boots(not to be confused with the dressy brown ankle boots which last winter were giving me corns and may need to be entirely retired.) Later I'll tuck my shirt in, put on a wide belt, a ribbon necklace, and an I-could-kill-you-with-my-pinkie attitude. (Liz and/or Jimmi - I have the makings of a necklace thing for Liz, too.) My hair looks acceptable, which I will count as a win, since whenever Product comes into the picture, there's always at least a fifty percent chance of tangled, crunchy disaster. (I am perhaps the definition of 'low femme' - I am interested in Doing Things with my hair but don't care enough to practice enough that I have more than even odds of succeeding with any styling effort other than the brush-and-insert-barettes or the french-braid updo.)
kivrin: a guitar with a hand resting on top (dave carter guitar)
( Jul. 28th, 2005 04:04 pm)
Favorite Falcon Ridge Folk Festival moments:

- Vance Gilbert yelling for Pete Kennedy to shut up and sing during the "Our Roots Are Showing" workshop. PK made a good point about how one's musical roots are not only the ancestral music of one's people(s) but also the music one grew up with, or that was part of an important transitional time like adolescence. Making the point once would have been better, though. Even making it only once per pre-song blab would have been an improvement. The Kerouac reference was utterly gratuitous, also. At least Maura Kennedy's hair was non-frightening this year, though her tendency - their tendency - to pop up on any stage at any time and horn in on a side mike to sing harmony was pretty terrifying. Still, less terrifying than PK popping up to talk.

- I could cite Tracy Grammer's entire mainstage set, but within that, my favorite moments were Tracy's blistering "Disappearing Man," which I'd never heard done live, and Jim Henry's "Ruby," a tender and hilarious love note to his daughter. (And Liz leaning over to ask me "are they romantically intertwingled?" )

- An impromptu appearance by the Thompson sisters during the Gospel wake-up call.

- Rushad Eggleston challenging Aoife O'Donovan to jumping jacks during Crooked Still's mainstage set, and Aoife hissing "I can't, no, I... I can't wear a bra with this shirt!!"

- Crooked Still's rendition of "Wayfaring Stranger" on the mainstage.

- The couple who came over to compliment my contra dancing. (I hope they didn't see Liz and me dancing in the Square Of Disaster later on...)

- The dances Kathryn Wedderburn called. (I like the way Beth Molaro or Paul Rosenberg teach the figures, and how Beth does walk-throughs, but by golly, this year I most enjoyed dancing to Kathryn. Even the really complicated dance where you had to swing with your shadow. )

- Learning a little bit of swing dancing from Meg and Ry.

- Eliza Gilkyson's "Jedidiah 1777." But then I'm exactly the kind of geek to love a song that partly transcribes letters from the 1770s. If only I'd had time to go back to the CD tent I'd have bought Paradise Hotel right then.

- Dancing and washing in Friday's storm, including pulling one of our neighbors into a group hug, then drying off and putting long pants and a long sleeved shirt on over my blessedly un-sticky skin.

- lounging in the Perfect Shade by the lower camping gate with my fellow Camp Duckians.

- falafel and smoothies. YUM.

- Paul & Storm peeking out from behind the backstage curtain to join in the refrain "sits to pee!" during Eddie from Ohio's mainstage set on Saturday night. Eddie had a family emergency in North Carolina and couldn't be at the festival, leading to another of my favorite moments: Storm holding up a cell phone so Eddie could hear "Great Day" at the Wake-Up Call, and moving the phone up and down in rhythm when everyone started clapping.
kivrin: Buffy snuggling Willow with the word "Love" (b/w! (glim))
( Feb. 9th, 2005 10:48 am)
I had an almost totally unproductive weekend and it. was. terrific. I just heard that my best college friend's favorite uncle died, which, while sounding like a line from Spaceballs, is also only the latest in what seems like an endless flood of depressing news that's travelled along my personal grapevine since New Years. To counteract the temptation to sink into a pit of cliche-ridden existential angst, I'm summarizing things from the weekend, which was both busy and pleasant.

Polenta, Wine, Buffy, Badgers - Friday )

Books and Baked Goods - Saturday )

Cookies and an Afghan film - Sunday )

Work, Accents, More Cookies - Monday )
kivrin: Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I (elizabeth)
( Oct. 15th, 2004 05:27 pm)
Tonight I'm dining at Badger House, home of the intrepid homeowners and and their charming cohort of housemates, human and feline. I hear beets may play a large role in the menu; I'm glad I'm wearing beet-compatible colors today, so I don't have to worry much about permanent repercussions should I find myself wearing the borscht. After the ceremonial tasting of the first batch of Badger Brew beer, I've decided that it's only prudent to be prepared.

You see, the Badgers made beer. I wasn't there for the actual beer-making, but I was there for the bottling, which involved boiling lots of old beer bottles. This involved first getting the bottles to sink in the Massive Pot - something that is not as easy as it sounds, especially when the Massive Pot becomes full of bottles and offers less room to tilt the bottles around in order to get out all the air. Then, after all the water in the Massive Pot had boiled, the bottles had to be extracted, ideally without burning any badgers in the process. A spoon that had been maimed in a tragic blender accident proved useful in this endeavor. (The spoon lost a slice from the middle of the bowl, making it a giant wooden spork.) I worked out a fairly, well, workable system of grabbing the body of a bottle with canning tongs and sticking a prong of the spork into the mouth. This offered pretty good control.

Anyway. We bottled the beer. The beer aged for ten days. And then, at a ceremonial gathering on the multicolored porch of Badger House, the beer was opened.

Now, I've never actually opened a bottle of champagne, or seen one opened, but in the movies it always foams everywhere. Well, that's more or less what happened with the Badger Brew. Someone dubbed it 'Exploding Badger' because, well, it was. If you opened a bottle, you had to be ready to slurp. This led to everyone present wearing a fair bit of fresh beer, and to some minor trauma to the newly trash-picked carpet spread on the porch floor.

It's not that I expect the borscht to foam. It just would be funny if it did.
I'm still tacking towards MA exams, including whipping the attendant papers into shape. Today is designated for Getting The Damn Cadet Nurses Off My Desk, which means going through the paper with a fine-tooth comb to make all the technical alterations my advisor suggested and then adding a few paragraphs to punch things up a bit. Today should also include writing some more book summaries, since I didn't do any yesterday, but if I get the nurses whipped into shape, I'll be satisfied.

Yesterday was very nice, if completely and totally unproductive. I walked on the bike trail to the Sad Mall, where I executed a (for me) impressive act of planning. The supermarket is at the near end of the mall, Target at the far end, and Staples is across the street from Target. I strolled through the Giant upon arrival, pen and paper in hand to record the prices of everything I wanted, but I didn't buy anything. I walked through the mall (pausing too much to browse the dollar store and the big lots) to Target, where I found a few of the things I wanted for better prices than at the supermarket. Then I went over to Staples to get a printer cartridge, the ultimate goal of the expedition. The plan was to retrace my steps through the mall to the supermarket and then buy the stuff that could best be purchased there. However, while in Target I got a call from [ profile] breadandroses with an invitation to make belated hamentaschen, an invitation I found I could not resist. Therefore, I skipped the grocery shopping in favor of hotfooting it back along the bike path to my metro stop. I met her near Catholic U and we had a nice walk before heading back to her place for cookie-receipe-finding, cookie-making, and West Wing watching.

This has been (and so far this morning continues to be) the week of mood swings: I go from 'shoot, I can actually do this! I'm actually going to finish!' to 'fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck' The trick is to keep working no matter which end I'm on.

I'm not very good at the trick. But I'm getting lots of practice.
kivrin: Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I (elizabeth)
( Feb. 21st, 2004 11:42 pm)
Long, long day, in which very little went as planned.

The Broken Watch )

The Existential/Altruistic Crisis )

The Part in Which Fate Giggles Hysterically at Kivrin's Plans for the Evening )
RotK with E and her gf at 7:15!

I'm drinking my quintillionth cup of English Breakfast because we have a post-film engagement moving a fridge. Thus, I must maintain full alertness not only through the conclusion of the quest but after. Though, really, I don't expect the after part to be a problem. *g*
kivrin: Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I (elizabeth)
( Nov. 12th, 2003 03:16 pm)
A few weeks ago, I was standing under the zillion watts of bulbs that make up the AFI marquee in Silver Spring, waiting for Ben or Melissa to arrive to take me to the members-only preview of Veronica Guerin. It had been threatening to rain all afternoon, but the weather held until the first full dark. The water hissed on the pavement and I stood back against the posters to keep dry. Lights were coming on in the apartment buildings and going off in offices. The Chinese place across the street had begun to bustle. I looked down the hill towards the Metro station, watching the pairs of headlights glide towards me, and the brake lights glide away, and suddenly thought... yeah.

I remembered sitting in my apartment in Chicago, looking down Rush Street at the cars moving slow in the rain, and the trompe l'oeil painting on the building two blocks over, and the hike down State Street and across the river to the Public Library, and the two-dollar theater, and arguing with my mother about the El. ('It's up there!' she would say. 'It's so ugly!' And, 'It's up there!' I'd say, 'you can see out the windows!')

I remembered Patty Larkin singing i remember magritte in the cold hard rain/ as i walk underneath the metal of the elevated train/ain't it good to be alive... good good good good...

Today it was raining again when I went to Eastern Market to have one last lunch with R before he flew back up north, and as I walked the long way around back to the metro after a stop at the used book store, I thought again how much I like a city in the rain. I like the hiss of water on concrete, and the way the rain polishes the street until the surface mirrors headlights and stoplights and streetlamps, and even the oil in the puddles in taffeta patterns that run down the drain as Joni Mitchell says.

ain't it good to be alive... goodgoodgoodgood...
kivrin: Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I (elizabeth)
( Nov. 11th, 2003 10:12 am)
Thank you, God, for ibuprofen and caffeine. The world looks a lot better than it did forty-five minutes ago.

My friends R and L have been visiting. More precisely, they arrived on Friday night and L left yesterday. R is here through Wednesday. It's nice to have visitors, and R and L and I get on well enough that we've travelled extensively together, including to Ireland this past summer. But, and you saw this coming, I am Ready To Have My Room Back. Today, however, R has to go to his conference and I get to stay home because the Feds are closed. And tonight I've begged off having dinner with him and C (local mutual friend.)

On Saturday we took advantage of the brilliant autumn sunshine and clear skies to stroll Georgetown with C. We enjoyed some excellent Italian food and a cautious walk down the Exorcist steps. After a spur-of-the-moment trek across the Key Bridge to Rosslyn, C suggested we visit the nearby Freedom Park and Journalists' Memorial. Freedom Park should be underwhelming - it's a terraced strip of grass and white pavement holding seven or eight represenations of struggles for increased self-determination from the United States and Europe (and China). There's a small copy of the 'freedom' figure that stands atop the U.S. Capitol and reproductions of women's suffrage banners, but also an actual size cast of the door to Martin Luther King, Jr's cell in Birmingham jail on a concrete square the size of the cell. A bronze reproduction of a home-made boat used to travel from Cuba to Florida in the 1960s. A decapitated statue of Lenin. A copy of the 'Freedom' statue erected by students and artisans in Tienamin Square. Yet even before we got to the actual cobblestones from the Warsaw Ghetto and the seven sections of the Berlin Wall, I was having to work at not crying.

The cell is so small. The boat is so fragile. There's so much determination in these objects, even in replica. And so many questions - would i have? and i don't know if i'd be that brave and... well, different ways of saying those same things, I suppose.


kivrin: Peter Wimsey with a Sherlock Holmes quotation (Default)


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