the ramblest ramble yet

This weekend, S, Roommate, and I went bike shopping. Roommate got one, but I decided to re-commit to my bike– for now. I need to learn to be a better city cyclist, and also learn about what I want out of cycling before I commit to a new bike that comes with implications about the ways that I should use it. My bike is really heavy, and in the process of riding it more, I’d like to put new accessories on it so that I can make it more ride-able (a better saddle, a rack for carrying work clothes or groceries or books and picnic supplies…), which will only serve to make it heavier, but I am still excited about this recommitment. Last year my vanity plate from Hoover Dam was rudely ripped off  my parked bicycle and I’ve pined for it ever since, but recently when I went to Florida to see my family, I got a new one, and this one I think I prefer, because I do have roots there. And the Hoover Dam kind of frightened me. So I’m pleased.

I’ve been re-nesting too. Making places for things, getting rid of things that shouldn’t have places… It’s been really refreshing and renewing and I am inspired. I have so many things, and also such a lust for empty space and sparce, minimalist, but pretty decor.

I think this blog is so inspiring! In terms of home decor and charm and DIY inspiration, it is just the tops, for sure. I love almost everything, even if sometimes the Euro-minimalism is so extreme that I feel intimidated and skeptical. Mostly, I just lust for the simplicity and style of so much of their content.

Many transitions, none of which belong to me, but all of which are personal to me, are kind of uprooting a lot of the status quo around me, but in a way that is maybe very healthily encouraging me to refresh and renew my Self and my own status quo. Because I’d like my own status quo to be shiny and inspiring and pleasing to me, and I’d like to feel excited for no reason (with good reason) and I think that’s just a matter of my focus and attitude. In fact I think that’s usually the case for me anyway. But I just have this craving for new-ness and transition of my own, and I’m coping with being a compulsive shopper and pack-rat, so new things simply won’t fit the bill. New habits are suiting me just fine.

I’ve been really angry about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and very worried, but I don’t know what I could do. I feel such anger over it, as I know many people do, but I feel utterly helpless to participate. Roommate shared this link, and I wonder if it’s true, and if so, why it’s not been mentioned more prominently in discussions of real solutions as well as in the mainstream media. WHAT’S THE DEAL, HUH???? I just want them to fix it. I will be a lot more relaxed when I know that, even if it’s still a huge problem (and it will be…), at least the flow of the leak will have stopped. And who knows how much longer it will take them. What a terrible and infuriating thing on so many levels… What a travesty.

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Beach weekend

Last weekend S and I decided spontaneously to go to the beach. We made the plan in a bar on Friday night, and when my phone rang at 6:05am on Saturday, I felt a mix of satisfaction and pleasant surprise at myself and S and our following through with said plan. By 7:15 we had hit the road, with all the requisite beach-going supplies, including camping necessities in the event that we found ourselves with no place to go come night-fall. We got crepes for breakfast from a real Frenchman upon our arrival. (Yum!)

It was a perfect day, if a little (a lot) windy. S got more sun than I did, and one of our mini lacrosse sticks broke right in half mid-use, but I had a real-sized one in my trunk and so it didn’t ruin any fun. We saw dolphins, had subs for lunch, read books, wore hats (too windy for the umbrella), and had a really nice time. I got new earrings. We played roof-top minigolf on the boardwalk, took a spin through the haunted mansion, went on that pirate ship/sea dragon awful thing (and enjoyed it, if only for the relief of walking on solid ground afterwards — in my case), played skeeball and wack-a-mole (S won).  We had a drink at the Dogfish Head brewery and then took a recommendation for a really good Chinese place (a little overpriced, but very tasty nonetheless). We were seated in the restaurant’s display window, which was pretty awkward when a crowd was standing and waiting to be seated, right next to us (through the glass), but we didn’t let it get to us. I took it as a compliment, although I guess I prefer compliments that don’t involve strangers staring while I eat my peking duck.

Sunday was pretty gloomy looking and rather chilly, despite having had a really lovely forecast on Friday evening. We decided to split after breakfast, but didn’t get very far before we turned around and went back because it seemed like things were taking a turn for the better. It was still a little cold on the beach, but it was nice reading and sprawling in the sun for a bit, even in my denim jacket and not a bathing suit.

Stopped at Holly’s on the way back (tiny restaurant on the east side of the Bay Bridge with really tasty crab soup and milk shakes), and did a word search containing all 50 states.

It was a really nice weekend. It’s reassuring when something so spur-of-the-moment goes so smoothly. (It also didn’t hurt that it was just before Memorial Day weekend and things were still technically “off season”) I hope this happens many more times between now and autumn.

Side note: Apparently this upscale bus line is starting summer service between DC and Deleware beaches Memorial Day weekend!

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finally! a knitting post!


So for a long time, I’ve been working on a knitting project, but it was a gift, so I didn’t want to spoil it too too much by  posting about it prematurely. But it’s finished! And it’s been gifted! So I’m very pleased to present this finished product, and to finally tag a post on my blog in my knitting category. Long overdue!

The sweater is called Liesl, from Ysolda, and I started it through a class at Stitch DC. The class and instructor were both lovely, and I really enjoyed the experience. In terms of finishing the sweater however, I was still furiously knitting during her graduation ceremony… But I really love how it turned out. I used Karabella Windy (100% cotton) in blue, and it was great to work with, although everything I wore during the knitting process is now covered in blue fuzz.

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Friday Bind-off, so behind!

Dear Blog,

I’m really sorry for neglecting you! I’ve been so distracted! I’ve been traveling, and sleeping and working and knitting and I haven’t made time to blog about any of it! I don’t have good photos of that stuff yet, either, so I’m not totally sure how to convey all of that to you, but more to follow! I promise to do better. Things are calming down again.

For now I will just do my best to get back on track. I’m going to blog the things I’ve liked on the internet over the last couple of weeks. Then I’ll get back to the moreblogging blogging that I like so much about the things that I have been up to! I’ve cooked some tasty things, and eaten some tasty things, but I have neglected to photograph any of it.

THINKS I’VE THOUGHT:

I bought rhubarb and whole milk last weekend, while I was in Florida for my sister’s graduation from college, to make this delicious sounding sherbet. Unfortunately we just had too much fun and never made time to actually make the sherbet, but I hear they did it on Wednesday and it went over pretty well. I will have to try it some other time. How to make ice cream with no ice cream machine?

I finally got around to watching An Education and the design did not disappoint, but I found the story just too alarming and it was just… off-putting to me. I wouldn’t care to argue with a person who liked it, but I found it disconcerting, as I am sure I was intended to. Oh well. I still think that Carey Mulligan is charming.

I spent a lot of time in airports this week, and didn’t really get a lot of blog-worthy thought out of it because I was so busy reading or otherwise occupying my hands/brain. And I’m catching Roommate’s cold, which is a big bummer.

I just finished a book called A Summer of Hummingbirds, about the mixed and tangled lives of acclaimed writers and artists and influences in the mid-19th Century, and it was completely fascinating, and only served to deepen my interest in the life and body of work of Emily Dickinson, among others. It was a really satisfying read, but definitely not for everyone. It ended up being a kind of pop-culturized academic literary criticism that pulled from a broad spectrum of media and genres. I really enjoyed it.

Going home this weekend meant going shopping for the first time in a long long long long time. The beach too. Now I just want to live the life that my new clothes would seem to demand (romper + straw beach hat = beach life, right? and summer and leisure? yeah? vacation! please!)

One disaster struck: I left my office door open when I left work for Florida, but the cleaning people in the building closed it that night and it locked. My boss came back the following day from her Vegas vacation and completely forgot about her plants (and her ability to retrieve and water her plants from my office window was my reason for leaving the door open), so when I arrived back in the office, her peace lily had completely and totally withered. It was a truly depressing sight when I got back and I actually closed my door and pretended that I was still gone, hoping beyond hope that I could revive it before anyone realized that I was in, and watering it feverishly. To no avail. By about 2PM, my boss came by to see how things were going, and sat down to have a bit of small talk, and suddenly, in the middle of telling me all the juicy details of her ladies only jaunt to a male strip club, she sat bolt upright and cried, “Oh, my plants!!!” kind of desperately and I immediately dissolved into really sad apologies and told her how sad and embarrassed I was. It ended up being okay, because I had watered it and peace lilies perk right up, so after a few hours it was looking better than it ever had, but it was a really devastating sight there for most of Tuesday. How humiliating.

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The Jerk

I got The Jerk from netflix this weekend.

Made me want this:

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recently

"dinner" out with "ladies"

morning after - fresh fruit, coffee

flowers in my office window last week

Tulips on the Tidal Basin

sprawling to read/nap/knit on the Tidal Basin

These have replaced my single tulip in my office window. (Tulip died, I procured three african violets after receiving a tip on the care and keeping of them, and then my boss went on vacation and left her green things in my care. A risky move, for sure, but I'll do my best.

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First Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie of 2010

Apologies for being remiss in my blogging. Some technical difficulties and off-computer distractions have collaborated to keep me away from here for about a week. Anyway, I’m back. And I made a pie!! After a long winter full of disappointingly liquidy apple pies, I am pleased to present my first strawberry-rhubarb pie of the year. I am even more pleased to say that it is reportedly “just like grandma’s” — however I should note that I have still not graduated from pillsbury crust. I’m working on it, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got all summer to master fruit pies with homemade crust. It was still really really pretty!!

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Fun!

via Lindsey

This weekend, my friend Brooke and I organized a reunion for alumni in DC, meant to be a potluck picnic. It turned out so great, and our location was so idyllic that we were even featured in Prince of Petworth by a stranger.

It was pretty fabulous. We had approximately 1 million snacks and I didn’t ever do a headcount, but the group photo above was taken after a few people had already departed. We even had one member of the entering class of ’66 (the third class ever) and one from ’86. It is really impressive to look at the very recent graduating classes also. There is a really amazing concentration of us in the area, given the small size of our graduation classes. People are doing really great and interesting things! Among us there are law students, grad students, interns, employees of the government and private sector, commercial and non-profit, as well as doing impressive and inspiring things with their personal lives – really compelling hobbies and volunteer work.

Doug brought a grill and that was fantastic. People kept walking past and wondering aloud, either to us, or whomever they were with, if that was actually allowed in Malcom-X Park. We didn’t actually know, and at one point a park officer walked past looking menacing, and a hush fell over the crowd but he simply continued on his way and we all looked at each other gleefully and agreed that that was indeed a confirmation of just how allowed it must be. This was a tiny grill, but it was featured prominently within our little spread, and so we felt reassured by the unspoken approval of the “authorities.” Not that the approval of authorities has ever been a high priority among New College students or alumni.

Red heads - via Lindsey

via Diana

So the moral of the story is that it was really wonderful getting everyone together, and it was great to see everyone, and we should do this a lot more often! Also worth noting is that this casual concept, born of a happy hour among friends and classmates, became an event endorsed by our alumni association precisely because they hope to host an official event sponsored by the alumni association, highly publicized, in the fall of this year, so please stay tuned in to the NCAA for news or announcements about other New College Alumni events! It’s nice to remember that we like each other and want to see more of each other.

via Lindsey

via Lindsey

via Lindsey

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Good night

I love it when I can hear trains getting into DC’s Union Station at night. Even though I don’t think my neighborhood really quiets down, the fact that I can hear the trains at night reassures me that someone is sleeping and things really are quieter.

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Friday Bind-off, wk 6

This has been a wild week!

I have been really excited about all of the buzz about my friend Justin and the album he released as part of his project called Sarasota. Joseph Gordon-Levitt found it and has been tweeting about how great it is, and it’s getting a lot of attention on his website, hitrecord.org. Amazing! I am so happy for Justin, and if you haven’t listened yet, I seriously advise you to do so!

Ok… things I liked this week?

I’ve started knitting Liesl, a cardigan pattern from Ysolda, and so I’ve got homework for the class I started on Wednesday. I’ve got two weeks to finish the yoke, so here’s hoping I get two weekends off from work, and maybe an evening or two. This weekend, we’re having a New College reunion potluck picnic (Sunday!) and I can’t wait!

Homemade cherry blossom special - modified slightly with grenadine rather than cherry liqueur

Sliced cucumbers with salt and pepper

Strawberries, blackberries, toasted baguette, OJ, and coffee, in my new mug from Barcelona!

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