March 30, 2006
lunch outdoors, a running engine, and the scent of sun-soaked hyacinths
posted by soe 4:48 pm
Three beautiful things from the last week:
1. I eat lunch outdoors whenever I can, but I worked from home today, so my scenery and lunch options were different. I opted for my closest outdoor eatery, Teaism, where I feasted on a mango lassi and a sandwich of portobello mushrooms, pecans, and goat cheese. Sparrows cheeped at me as I read Linda Ellerbee’s latest travel and food memoir and swayed to the tunes on the iPod from my sunny wooden bench.
2. I did something truly dumb Sunday night when we got home. After parking the car where we wouldn’t have to move it for a few days, I decided to clean up some of the junk in the back seat. This took about ten minutes and then I locked the car up and headed home. Didn’t look back. Didn’t see I’d left the dome light on. No one saw. Until two nights later when Rudi passed it en route to the grocery store. Oops. Since we had to move the car by this morning at 7 a.m., I dropped our friend Phillip, who owns a car, an email yesterday morning, asking if he’d mind giving me a jump (using the jumper cables my parents gave me as a Christmas gift one year). No problem, he said, and he arrived yesterday afternoon, with good grace, a sense of humor, and a running engine. Rudi, I, and our re-running car are grateful.
3. As I walked home from Teaism this afternoon, the smell of hyacinths washed over me. I love the smell of hyacinths. Their heady scent always makes me happy. And I am now that spring truly has arrived.
the good news is
posted by soe 12:39 pm
The good news of my weekend plans falling through is that I do not need to finish cleaning my apartment right now.
And we don’t need to finesse tonight’s concert plans.
And Jeremiah will not feel terrorized by having his turf invaded. (I originally wrote that as “turk.” I was unaware my cat was collecting immigrants. I wonder if INS knows…)
The bad news is, of course, that I will not have the delightful company of my intended guest. Sadness.
But we will see her in a few weeks when we’re home at Easter. And I’ve extended her an invitation to come see an obscure Shakespeare play performed in the woods. She is, of course, welcome to come down for the Fourth of July, the fourth of September, or tomorrow — nuestra casa es su casa.
So any suggestions for how I should spend my weekend now?
March 29, 2006
posted by soe 11:51 am
While I was away in Boston amassing the latest additions to my book collection (about which you’ll read more later this week), the Washington Post was apparently peeking into my windows and offered up an article about the difficulty bibliophiles have in storing all their tomes.
When we lived in Connecticut (in a three-bedroom apartment), I had plenty of space for all my beloved books — 8 bookshelves around the house. But now that I live in the tiny Burrow, I’m reduced to four bookshelves (most of them small). And piles. And piles. I’ve taken over little spaces around the house — precious shelf space in the kitchen, a half-shelf in the bedroom — but I admit that far too many reside in piles. And that trend is likely to continue unless I come up with a brainstorm.
And we won’t even talk about the boxes and boxes that live in my parents’ attic in Connecticut. (Thanks Mum and Dad!) One of these days I’m going to have to inventory the collection to reduce the frustration I feel when the bookclub pulls up a selection I own (and have read) and I can’t figure out which state the book lives in.
I admit to being a Peeping Tom when it comes to bookshelves. I live in a ritzy part of town, and in several homes I pass on my walk between the Metro and the Burrow, they have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lining their whole living room. I covetously drool from the sidewalk, knowing that I cannot afford a half million dollar townhouse just because of their bookshelves. But if they throw in a claw foot tub, a wood-burning fireplace, and a tiny space for a garden, I’ll find the money…
(Via Mental multivitamin.)
March 28, 2006
posted by soe 9:50 pm
If you live somewhere where women’s basketball is not dominant, you may be under the impression that there is only one tournament going on — the men’s. You’d be wrong.
Tonight, my UConn women are playing in Bridgeport, trying to make their way into the Final Four. Most of the other usual suspects have already been eliminated — Tennessee was eliminated earlier tonight — leaving UConn as the last bastion of an era of women’s basketball that seems to be coming to an end.
While I am saddened that the days where you could predict with some certainty that UConn or Tennessee (or both) would be in the finals have come to a close, I am not remotely upset to see some parity come to the game. It was great when my home team was automatically considered by every great high school player, but it’s even greater when they have slews of schools to choose from.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m still rooting for UConn to pull it off and win it all. I want great things for Annie, Barbara, Willnett, Ketia, Mel, and Charde (in Connecticut, you can refer to women players by their first names and everyone knows who you’re talking about). I want them to win the Big Dance. But how great is it that only two of the teams left (UConn and North Carolina) have ever won a national championship before?*
So, if you’re hankering for some great play, tune in ESPN-2 (if you have cable); if you want to tune in UConn’s game and you lack cable, hit WTIC or WHUS on the radio.
Update: (11:33) Duke eked it out in overtime. What a bummer.
* Duke has lost a NCAA final; LSU and Maryland both lost finals in the former iteration of the tournament run by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
March 27, 2006
posted by soe 7:23 pm
We have returned from our trip to the Northeast, laden with new books and good memories. Or maybe good books and new memories. Both.
I haven’t yet counted how many books came home with us. I know two went north, neither of which were touched. Two were started during the conference.
The March book report will be a lengthy one.
The cats were delighted to see us upon our return. Rudi’s student, John, is a great catsitter and always goes above and beyond the call of duty. Nonetheless, Della and Jeremiah have been clingy since our return — and they’ll be disappointed to learn that we’ll be heading home again at Easter. Posey is a less demonstrative cat and she takes our absences in stride. She is doglike in many ways, but getting emotional about our deserting her for lengths of time is not one of them.
I ought to clean tonight because two friends have suggested they might stop by during the next two weeks, but I find myself tired today. I want to adjourn to the couch with some cats, a hot cup of tea, and some podcasts or one of the aforementioned books, so I think I’ll sign off to do just that.
March 24, 2006
posted by soe 4:48 pm
The show wrapped up less than an hour ago and the response was fantastic. My colleague Heather and I agreed that during this show everything went right — the booth had a great location, the librarians showed up, and interest and energy were high.
We’ll probably head to Connecticut sometime tonight; Sam was feeling under the weather this morning and unless he’s feeling better, I’d like to let him recuperate in peace. Even old friends who can generally entertain themselves can be wearing when you feel like crap.
On to Gramma’s 85th birthday celebration!
March 23, 2006
spare beds, tunes, and old friends
posted by soe 1:35 pm
Three beautiful things from the last week:
1. We left D.C. a bit late on Thursday and as such decided to spend the night at Gramma’s instead of Mum and Dad’s. Gramma had called me up earlier in the day to say that the room with the double bed (which had had a mold outbreak earlier this winter) seemed to smell okay, but in case we didn’t agree with her, she was going to make up the single bed as well. When we arrived, there was a note on the spare bed saying that if we decided to sleep there to take the quilt and the pillows from the other room. She went to all that trouble (as well as making a batch of blueberry muffins for breakfast) just on the off-chance that we’d stop.
2. The new iPod is fun, fun, fun! I’ve downloaded a bunch of new music (okay, much of it was Rudi’s) and podcasts and Rudi ripped two episodes of The Muppet Show. While I was taking the T in from Cambridge this morning, I watched the first half of an episode featuring Rita Moreno.
3. Last night, Alexis asked me if I wanted to do dinner. And then my comic strip/convention pals stopped by to see if I wanted to catch a bite too. Alexis passed on her hope for sushi so we could accompany a whole group of strangers (as well as my pals) out for drinks and then dinner. And “Gene” and Bill wheedled until Alexis and I agreed to stay. And at the end of the night, these people who didn’t really know us paid for our dinner! So thanks to Alexis for her flexibility and to Bill and “Gene” for knowing generous souls and encouraging us to tag along.
March 22, 2006
hanging in boston
posted by soe 6:58 pm
Just in case anyone is looking for me, my visibility will be spotty through this weekend. I’m up in Boston for work and this weekend will be celebrating Gramma’s 85th birthday (she’s just like MLK in that she’s got a birthday and a birthday observed) in Connecticut.
Sam and Alexis are kindly putting up with Rudi and me for a few days. They’re very cool.
March 20, 2006
posted by soe 2:02 pm
I admit that a lot of my understanding of what’s going on in Iraq comes less from the Capitol Hill talking heads and more from the Iraqi bloggers, particularly Riverbend at Baghdad Burning.
For her take on the “rift” between Shia and Sunni Iraqis, read her post from Saturday, marking the third anniversary of the Americans’ involvement in her country.
who said today’s kids aren’t energized?
posted by soe 11:23 am
What a great idea! Kids in the St. Louis area are doing a Read, Right, Run Marathon, wherein over six months they will have read 26 books, completed 26 good deeds, and run 26 miles.
What a creative way to get kids doing mitzvahs, reading, and getting exercise!