figment: A treewoman, a dryad, her arms are branches (treewoman)
Azure and I are both fine; neither of us was on either of the Metro trains that collided yesterday. It's a terrible accident, though.

Productive

Mar. 25th, 2009 09:29 pm
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (new hair)
Even though I was really not motivated at work, and tired and wanted to go home, I got a lot done. I didn't go swimming, but I got a lot of work done. On my way home I stopped and took pictures of cherry blossoms and forsythia and crocus and daffodils. And then I came home and had a really productive evening. Azure bought us plane tickets and made hotel reservations for our honeymoon in Montreal! And I stuffed & stamped all the invitations, and we got them all sealed up and in the mailbox! Hooray for having several things crossed off the list!

I also made tacos, and we watched Lost, and I think there will be nothing else productive tonight but perhaps an early-to-bed night.

It's weird that I could have such a productive and positive day when I had such a bad attitude to start it out.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
That was awesome. Pictures soon, but mostly they are pictures of vast mobs of people, because there were vast mobs of people on the Mall. We weren't able to get on the parade route but thankfully they did not have checkpoints or closures to get to the National Mall. So we watched everything standing outside with, well, about 2 million people, and probably I couldn't see as well as you could on your living room TV, but being there, next to the Washington Monument, in view of the Capital building, and part of that massive crowd - it was worth the several hours of being cold and walking and standing. Well worth it.

People cheered a lot at various things - but they were also reverently quiet during the music, the swearing-in, and the speech. Really. A crowd of millions and they were all silent, attentively watching and listening. That says a lot.

[livejournal.com profile] azure_armand's entry is better than mine - for those of you who can see it anyway.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
We're taking advantage of being in DC. We went to the free concert on the Mall yesterday - us and 400,000 other people - and it was great. I was especially excited to see Stevie Wonder live, although it was also really neat to see Pete Seeger up there. We weren't anywhere even near the stage - we didn't even make it into the secured area; we were a little east of the WWII memorial. But the crowd was still packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, and very excited to be there; we all craned our necks to see the nearest jumbo-tron, and sang along to many of the songs. The speeches were, by and large, really good - and despite the amazing star power on the stage, Obama was the one who consistently drew the biggest cheers, every time that he spoke, stood up, was mentioned, or even just had the camera focus on him. It was emotional and moving and I'm so glad I was there!

It was also cold, and we walked most of the way there and most of the way back, and were outside for several hours standing almost rigidly. So that was not so comfortable. It was like a dry run for Tuesday, though, which I anticipate will be colder, and a longer walk and longer time spent standing, but hopefully we will get there early enough to make it through the security checkpoints. I'm anxious about that. Overall though - I'm just so glad to live in DC right now!
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Last night we did our best to survive DC. story and a few pictures follow... )
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (thoughtfulcat)
This is my neighborhood. I've lived here for, what, three and a half years now? And in that time, I have seen dramatic change. But that change has really accelerated in the last year or so. Just last night, coming home from work, I was walking down the sidewalk in front of the about-to-open Target, and was struck by how intensely different the neighborhood is than it was when we moved in. From where I was standing, I could see no less than five brand new (or extensively renovated) buildings. (On the little map that the article gives, I'm just off on the fuzzy right edge of things, at 13th and Monroe.)

I have mixed feelings about this gentrification. I am sometimes irritated at the number of BMWs I see on the street these days, and often think, "What the heck are they doing here?" I think it's terrible that people who have lived in this neighborhood for decades, maybe their whole lives, have been forced out by rising costs. I mourn the increasingly scarce parking, as condos go up and people with more cars (not all BMWs) move in. I worry that some of the smaller businesses that I like may not be able to compete with the new chains coming in, and rob the neighborhood of its character. I am concerned that the changes overall are making the neighborhood less diverse. And I am painfully aware that living on a border like this, where the rich are pushing the poor out, puts me at the "epicenter of crime" for DC.

But I also love the new grocery store just two blocks from my apartment. I am delighted by the fact that there are three really good independent coffee shops within a two-block radius of my place (and go one block further if you really, for some reason, want a Starbucks). I am hopeful that these changes will mean that the old crack dealer's place next to mine will soon be sold, and renovated. Maybe there will be a little less trash in my front yard. The article points out that this is far better than the desolation that the 60s riots left behind. And I predict that I will be shopping at Target within a week of its opening.

I think, on balance, that I like the changes. But I feel a bit confused, and sometimes like a bit of a hypocrite. And maybe it's just life, but it's weird to feel like you've moved to an entirely different neighborhood, when really, it's just that the neighborhood's completely changed, around you.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (now_what?)
I hate going back to work after vacation. Not only is the adjustment a shock, but the pile of work is frightening.

I will resurface eventually...
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (hulkhands)
No trip to Minneapolis for me and azure. Bad weather caused so many delays that our trip was canceled. So here we are in the airport in DC, waiting to get a refund. Hours in line so far: about 2.

Edit: Home now, at about 5:30. Gone from the apartment for a whopping 7.5 hours, and spent at least 3.5 of them in line. :-P
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Playing catch-up...

Work is going pretty well these days. Sometimes I am bored or stressed out at work. Recently it's been fairly engaging and I have not been overly stressed, so I'm happy about that. It's pretty darned busy, though.

I'm also making a project of trying to figure out what comes next. That is, I have made a commitment to my boss to stay in this job for two years. That is, until April 2008. That's a ways off, and of course I can stay longer if I want, but it seems like it's a good time to think about what I actually want my next job to be - perhaps even what I want my career to be. I've been reading books, cruising web sites, looking at job postings, and talking to people. This weekend my friend Cristina and I had a good conversation about job stuff. Tonight I'm going to a panel on international exchange programs. I'm trying to figure out both what I want to do, and where I want to do it, although an amazing job would make the "where" decision for me.

I've gotten a lot of sewing done lately, which has been really satisfying. I'm almost done with the project for [livejournal.com profile] pisces3857, and I'm pleased with it. It's at the hand-sewing stage, so I took it with me last night when we went over to watch the Oscars with C & J. We didn't watch the whole show but did enjoy the part we did watch. I'm pleased that Pan's Labyrinth got as many awards as it did; and that Jennifer Hudson won for Best Supporting Actress. Apparently I need to watch the other major winners.

I got to talk to [livejournal.com profile] tomscud yesterday, and my parents. [livejournal.com profile] tomscud is moving here, and I am really excited about that! While I talked to them I looked out the window and watched it snow big fat fluffy flakes; it was really pretty. Today it's all slush and is melting, so Tom, you don't have to worry about this snow being here to greet you in a couple of weeks, anyway! Also, I did my taxes yesterday (refund, all told, but not humongous), and I applied for passport renewal (actually I still have to mail them, but I'll do that later today). I feel pretty productive. Let's hope for an equally productive week!
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
So, you all know what I did Friday night, or how it ended anyway. The bit before I drunk-posted (which I think is funny and hopefully you do too) was an excellent succession of events in Adams Morgan with [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha B. and [livejournal.com profile] azure_armand: dinner at Saki (sushi and sake), dessert at Tryst, and drinks on the roof at the Reef. All fun.
Saturday we went to the big anti-war protest on the Mall. Azure and Minnehaha B have both posted about that. I'm glad we went. I'm still not sure what effect protests have on government decisions and other actions that are taken, but it seems worth a try. And it's fun, too, or at least this was. It was a beautiful day and I was with good people.
Today we went to the UU church. It's the last Sunday before Rev. Hardies goes on sabbatical for six months. Between that, and the people in town for the protest who came to our church, it was packed. This fall they'll be splitting the church into two services, because it's often so full. The service was good, and the music was lively as always. I really like that place.
While we were there I thought a bit about tithing. I think I would like to make more of a plan for that sort of thing in the year. If I were to give 10% (and where did that come from, anyway?) to charities of different kinds over the year, that's a not-insignificant amount. I should plan it.
We had brunch with D & MC at Franklin's, and sort of explored Hyattsville. Although it's right on the DC border we'd never been there before. It's a bit undeveloped, which is unique in the DC area. I'm sure that the developers will start moving in soon, buying vacant lots and old buildings and putting in shopping centers and condos and, if we're lucky, a park or two as well. But for now I think that Franklin's was possibly the only interesting thing in the area, before you hit College Park.
It's been a supremely lazy afternoon for me. I baked some more bread and played some Diablo II and finished my second sock monster. I'll take some photos and show you another time. We watched the Simpsons and haven't done a lot, and it's felt good. We have, however, had some nice quality time together.
Over all? Definitely a good weekend. Thanks, all.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
I haven't said much since the holidays either, have I? I really did enjoy the vacation. Going back to work in January is always tough, and this year's no exception. But things are going okay.

Weather & Social Life: On Saturday we had ridiculously gorgeous 60 degree weather here. Sunny, too. I'm a bit disappointed with myself, though: [livejournal.com profile] purple_cow_0206 and I had talked about doing something outside, but instead I was bit with the cleaning bug and did not take advantage of the weather... other than opening the windows, and going for a walk with [livejournal.com profile] azure_armand. That was nice. Sunday was much nastier weather-wise but we did get to see D & MC so that was good.

Work: This week is busy at work but mostly for the office I used to work in. Now, I'm only peripherally involved. It's a relief, although I kind of miss the hustle and bustle and satisfaction of putting on a really good event. I've mostly caught up with my work, although I still need to clean off my desk. Yesterday I had two grad fellows in to help out, which made a huge difference.

School: I went to see my prof the other day, the one grading my final paper. He said, "I haven't had a chance to read it thoroughly yet, but I read enough to know it's A work, so I'll be submitting your grade soon." I'm mostly happy - hooray! it's done, and I got an A, and that means I somehow managed to finish grad school with a 4.0 GPA. On the other hand, I'm a bit bemused - he didn't even read the whole thing before submitting a grade? I guess he knew he liked my writing. Or he just didn't want to bother. I told him I would like a copy of it back when he'd had a chance to read and comment, since I do think it might be publishable in some form and his feedback would help.

School, cont'd: I don't know if I want to take a course or not this semester. My options:
(a) take nothing. Enjoy a semester of no homework, and be social, sew, cook, be de-stressed, etc. Downside: not taking advantage of free tuition.
(b) take something that relates to my field. Grow professionally and take advantage of that free tuition. Downside: stress, homework.
(c) take something totally off the wall, like ceramics or something. Have fun, take advantage of free tuition. Downside: time-consuming. Also, I am likely to be the oldest student by 8+ years; I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Right now I'm leaning toward (a). I dunno, though. Opinions?

Random: 5 police officers required to arrest historian for jaywalking. A colleague was at the conference where this happened; she received a stern lecture for jaywalking but was not arrested. Apparently the Atlanta police were all hanging out right in that area, working hard to beat the surge in jaywalking crime.
figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
Yesterday was a good day. We slept in. We went to Sticky Fingers for brunch. Sticky Fingers is an awesome vegan bakery & cafe that has just relocated to right around the corner from us! They just opened on Wednesday and I was delighted to see that they have a great space, and that they were super busy - there was a line going to the door the entire time we were there! I'm happy because I really want them to do well. We had a delicious breakfast and [livejournal.com profile] azure_armand went to get us more treats for this morning. Mmmm.

I also made bread yesterday. I think I'm a pretty good cook but I don't think of myself as much of a baker, so I was dubious. And the recipe - I didn't think it could possibly be so easy, but it was! This recipe takes forever - I started it at 9 PM on Friday night and we ate the loaf at 7 PM Saturday night - but it's so easy and delicious. It literally doesn't require any kneading. recipe & pix behind the cut )

Anyway, we had friends over for dinner, consumed a delicious meal, and had a good time. Today, worky worky worky, and then go see The Fountain at 2. Hope you're all having a good weekend!

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figment: Photo of me, smiling, in a sari (Default)
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