Friday, November 28, 2008

I concede: NaBloPoMo has evaded me this year because Thanksgiving Day was too damn packed full of togetherness for blogginz. Pictures, mostly of Willa, are coming.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kids these days.

So last night we're all sitting around having semi-grownup chatting in the midst of Willa's birthday party, and our friend is telling us about how she's politicized her almost-2 year old niece. "What does a chicken say?" she'll ask, and get a "bawk bawk"; "What does a cow say?" gets a "moo." And then: "What does Barack Obama say?" and the little girl will say "Yes We Can!"

Then my mom jokingly says something about do you ask her what does John McCain say and we're all sort of snickering about that and Jude, without missing a beat, says "Drill baby drill!" and we all die laughing and he is very pleased with himself.

I can't say that I had any awareness of political candidates at age 4.

Later, we exchange more Jude stories. Here's a recent one:

Molly's in her bedroom. Jude says "Hey Mom!"

Molly's thinking, "Hey Mom can I have a juice box, Hey Mom I'm going to go outside." You know. "What?" she says.

He pokes his head in. "You have a really hairy vagina, right?"

"Uhhhh...I guess so."

And that was it. He was just checking.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A year ago today.

Hey, remember this?
17
That's Willa, about 30 minutes in to her life on the outside. Now she walks and says RAAAAARRRRRR at animals in a scary guttural voice. More pictures to come, hopefully of cake-destruction.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recession Christmas spirit.

This year we're finally instituting the name-draw method of gift exchange in my family--that is, all the grown-ups are picking a single name and just giving a gift to that person. And in the interest of keeping it really REALLY real, the gift is not supposed to be one extravagant item, but just something to watch or read or listen to. The kids, of course, get the toy treatment as usual. My mom proposed it, and then suggested that we might want to donate any extra money we would have spent on gifts to whatever worthy cause we favor. Everyone got right on board because what's not to like?

I seem to remember this kind of low-key Christmas exchange being proposed and not accepted when we were kids, or maybe there was grudging assent and then it never really happened. But we're all grown folks now and I am definitely ready to chill out on Christmas, though I love to give gifts and getting them is also pretty decent. Seeing as how I have a house full of various supplies, though, I can spend some time making some little doodads for my people and baking things and doing all of that cozy stuff I like to be doing anyway. I had better get busy, though, because damn. It's only a month from now. A week of distracted knitting in front of The Wire has only yielded a single pair of baby legwarmers, and then I stitched them up with the stripes not lining up, like a dumb asshole, and had to rip them apart, and then flang my darning needle somewhere into the couch crevasse, never to be retrieved. The cat, you'll be happy to know, has been doing very stereotypical cat things with the balls of yarn. For some reason I find this inordinately funny.

***

There's a terrific post over at Sweet Juniper about--well, a lot of things, really--but mostly about what the loss of the Detroit auto industry would mean for Detroit, and for the rest of America. I've got this blog on my google reader but don't always click through because the entries are truncated on the feed and I am stupidly annoyed by this. Every time I click through, however, I am glad that I did. The blog is more or less about the writers' family life, but Detroit is also a main character in the blog, and the writers manage to be both tender and realistic about the city, documenting it in words and pictures just as it is, without hand-wringing. Anyway, here's an excerpt from the post:
Some of the people saying let them fail about Detroit's automakers are very the same people who had no problem with the $700 billion bailout of the very "industries" responsible for the sudden evaporation of so many billions of dollars in equity and credit. I would like to show them the state of this city and ask them to think about how much worse it (and hundreds of other cities reliant on the auto industry) will get if any of these three employers were suddenly unable to pay their employees or suppliers. This isn't Manhattan. We're not talking about Goldman Sachs associates suddenly not being able to pay the mortgages on their $350,000 parking spaces in Tribeca for the Ferraris they bought with their 2006 bonuses. We are talking about the lifeblood of a region that has already suffered so deeply, and I can't believe how many people are speaking so flippantly about allowing this great American industry to die.

I'm no apologist for the Big Three or their ridiculous missteps and lapses of judgment. But I do care about the regular people who work for these companies and who played no role in those poor decisions. Where is the compassion?
This has started a commenting firestorm which I have not even begun to look at, and there is a follow-up post today, in case you're interested. Thought-provoking stuff.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Like you, I've been following all of Obama's cabinet appointments with great interest. Here's a good article on Slate about Eric Holder, Obama's pick for attorney general.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snow bunny.

Today was my first official bike ride in snow. It was pretty decent, actually: I only fell once. But y'all crazy mofos who bust through the snow all winter on your bikes? You're going to have to forge ahead without me. I suppose if it's cold and dry I might hop on, but I have this fear of lurking ice and this other fear of really hurting myself.

The unfortunate thing about the potential for getting really jacked up while winter biking is that it feels great to be outside moving around when it's 30 degrees and sunny. It's invigorating, it's tough--the whole reason that people who live in cold climates do winter sports is because it's about the only way to reconcile yourself to the fact that you have months of cold ahead of you. You can either sit inside and moan or you can put on some gear and go deal with it. I've known this for years and years, and it's still hard to get over my much stronger desire to be cozy.

Anyway, I busted my shit within the first two blocks of my ride, and then I rode to the PO and then to this local bakery that I feel certain I've blogged about before, but evidently I haven't because I can't find the post. This place looks a little bit like grandma's attic inside, except with rows and stacks of pastries and bread. And the prices--well, they are not high end Minneapolis bakery prices. They are kind of astonishing. It seems crazy that you can get a beautiful croissant for $1.59, bagged up for you by a monosyllabic teenage boy. I also bought this:

Crucial.

Which looks like this on the inside:
Teacake: the inside.

It's an "American Teacake" and is one of their specialties. Highly recommended. Worth the ride AND the fall.

Also, we are re-joining the gym tonight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's been days since I posted anything worth a damn, so I'm probably not going to start now. My time would be better spent working on these legwarmers for Willa, a project which is going to use up odd bits of yarn I've been carting around probably since college, when I learned how to knit. That's about 12 years of carting around yarn bits. I am inordinately excited to use them up.

On an unrelated topic, what the hell does it mean if the middle of your sternum is sore when you press on it? I'm inclined to think this is a chakra problem rather than a medical one, so maybe when I'm done with the legwarmers I'll go plant a crystal over my heart chakra or however that works.

And speaking of crystals and chakras, I uttered the phrase "lesbotronic new-age hootenanny" backstage at the recital this evening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mishmash.

Oh y'all. This week has already been so long. Tomorrow I have to work, get a massage, work, teach a lesson, work, do a recital, and then crash. (I know you feel really sorry for me about the massage.) I am so jazzed that next week is Thanksgiving + floating holiday from work + Willa's first birthday. There will evidently be walking demonstrations at her birthday party. She has also recently sung one of her Uncle Hobby's songs to me on the phone, which was so cute I almost died.

Anyway, there is lots of celebrating coming up. Which is really good because for the past few days I've been waking up at 4 and then dozing and sleeping fitfully until it's time to get up and having truly weird dreams. In this morning's I was in Milwaukee picking up a friend's baby at the airport (?) and I just, like, absconded with the baby. There was also a cat involved. I gave them both back eventually. It was basically like that episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon walks away with the makeup artist's baby.

Also, I need to buy a humidifier filter stat because my nose is all crusty. And I think I need to bring a humidifier to work. And speaking of work, they only gave me half a paycheck yesterday and I don't know why. Probably because we forgot to do something we were supposed to do HR-wise to continue my appointment, but what I like is how no one told us anything. It will get sorted out.

I also need a personal chef. Any volunteers? Okay bye.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Etsy love.

I dig these wee paintings. Real paintings for a mere $40-75.

Polish Prince


Nikandros

And this incredible thing from her website.


I really like her style. Check out the Maron Resur etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Late night niblet.

I'm doing okay with NaBloPoMo, but very poorly with remembering to post any time other than immediately before bed, when I've forgotten almost everything interesting that has happened to me or any deep thoughts that have occurred to me during the day. I did finally sort out a very grand entry on the informal economy ledger: I'm trading voice lessons for massages. I teach one lesson a week and get a 90 minute massage every two weeks, starting on Friday. Oh hell yes I am excited about this arrangement. I have this unplumbed interest in bodywork anyway, so it's high time I start getting into it on a regular basis. I also found an acupuncture clinic across the river to try, and my silly, unused flexible spending account at work will reimburse me for those treatments. Wack back, begone. (Actually, back, I love you, baby. You're doing just fine right now.) Next up: new mattress.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm singing some settings of Elizabeth Bishop poems on a friend's recital in a few days, and I get to sing this lyric, which I love:
I'm going to go and take the bus
and find someone monogamous.
I'm just saying. That's a great couplet. Actually, everything I'm singing on this program is full of terrific poetry. This is not always the case with art songs. Here's the last song text in the bunch, another Bishop poem, one she never published (she was raised in Nova Scotia but was living in Brazil when she wrote the poem, in case you like context):
Dear, my compass
Still points north
To wooden houses
And blue eyes,

Fairy-tales where
Flaxen-headed
Younger sons
Bring home the goose,

Love in hay-lofts,
Protestants, and
Heavy drinkers…
Springs are backward,

But crab-apples
Ripen to rubies,
Cranberries
To drops of blood,

And swans can paddle
Icy water,
So hot the blood
In those webbed feet.

—Cold as it is, we’d
go to bed, dear,
early, but never
to keep warm.

In praise of the facemask.

I woke up this morning before I needed to get out of bed and I lay there for awhile trying to muster some gratitude. It wasn't that hard, because I'm pretty fortunate, so I just had a mundane little list going through my head as the light streamed into our pine-paneled traincar of a bedroom and the Brit gently snored away. The boy, the house, the job, the annoying cat, the heat kicking on, the fridge packed full of food after a weekend of grocery shopping and prep.

But I forgot one thing that I am grateful for, something I couldn't have anticipated: MY FACEMASK, oh dudes, my FACE. MASK. It is so clear and sunny today that I decided to get on my bike even though the forecast said something about "feels like 15 degrees" and "gusting winds from the NNW up to 20 mph." I head north for 6 of the 7 miles I ride to get to work, PS.

So anyway, I ordered this very thin balaclava (remember the first time you heard that word and thought it was "baklava"? I do) awhile back when I got some exciting super-light wool long underwear and cold-weather tech tops with thumbholes. I am all about thumbholes now and basically think all shirts should have them. But until this morning I hadn't trotted out the balaclava yet, and man am I glad I did. Without it, the ride would have been unbearable. I probably would have turned back. As it was, I found myself half-seriously singing "fuck...fuck...fuck" every time I pedaled through a particularly bad gust of wind. This happened every few minutes.

The crazy thing is that it didn't take any longer to get to work; it was just 4 times as hard and a lot colder than usual. I do feel like a bad ass, though, so mission accomplished.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

You watched SNL, didn't you? Did you see Justin Timberlake doing "dance biscuits"? Yesssss.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Action alert!

From Planned Parenthood:
After promising not to issue any new regulations after November 1, the Bush administration is poised to issue a rule that could allow individual health care providers to redefine abortion to include the most common forms of birth control -- and then refuse to provide these basic services.

A woman's ability to manage her own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is fighting back, before the administration implements this rule. The exam room is no place to play political games.

I just signed a message to President Bush urging him to keep his word and withdraw this disastrous proposal. Can you add your voice to this cause?

I don't have high hopes, but I signed the petition. You can too, at the Planned Parenthood Action Center.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just barely.

It's been rather a social week, and so I haven't really been feeling my solitude in the house, which is too bad. I like to have that once in awhile, that rattling around, making messes, no-cooking feeling. But Monday I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in years and years until last week--he's in town for biz and we hung out one more time before he took off on Tuesday. I was a sort of mentor to him when we were in college. I guess that was due in part to my nascent den mother tendencies making themselves known. But he was actually assigned to me formally as a mentee in the writing lab where we both worked. I'm not sure I taught him anything, but he seems to think I did. Then on Tuesday I had a fundraising meeting with the opera folks that turned into a deep discussion about life, and that was great, but then all of a sudden it was after 11 (on a school night!). Then yesterday I was stupid and went to the mall. I have this feeling that I need to try different footwear, and basically reconcile myself to a life of flats, and I went on a recon mission. I should have stayed in and looked at shoes on the internet while putzing around the house. Then I wouldn't have stayed up so late. The mall is sort of social, in a forced way, especially when kiosk people get all up in your grill despite the purposefulness of your stride. My stride is nothing if not purposeful. And the mall, as I may have mentioned, alienates me now in ways that it never used to do. Girl, how you gonna play me like that?

Now here it is almost midnight, and while this evening was eaten up by mere choir practice as it is each Thursday, I did spend my lunch hour today catching up with someone I hadn't seen in 4 years who, in the interim, had a brain injury (attacked on the job! Medical professionals, ensure your workplace has adequate security before taking a position there), which was interesting to hear about, and also fucked up.

The Brit will be back at about 5:30 AM tomorrow, and I still have all the same Netflix I had when he left. But the floor is vacuumed, and there's a ton of fresh bread in the house, so that's something.

Ace and I are going to bed now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shop update.

Oh hai.
I can see my breath.
I have updated my shop. It's just a small-ish update, 7 new items; I still have a pile of treasures from my Wisco thrift adventures to sift through, clean up, measure, and photograph. I'll tell you what, photo-shooting outdoors in this weather is not such a picnic. That is my actual breath you see in the photo above. Soon enough, the outdoor photos won't be feasible and y'all will be subjected to my basement, which I have yet to light adequately. A project for the dark months, to be sure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am blogging at you from one of my favorite places, the bed pod. It is one of my favorite places despite the fact that I am certain this mattress is sub-optimal for my particular spinal setup, and despite the fact that the cat may decide to get all crazy up in here precisely 1 hour before the alarm goes off. But sometimes he is a perfect gentleman as a bedmate, and he crawls under the covers next to me and nestles in to spoon, all pliant and purring, and this enhances the attractions of bed. Bed is also where I do most of my reading when I'm on my regular workaday schedule, and I am still working my way through All the King's Men, and I'm in the chapter where Jack recounts falling in love with Anne, and it's one of the best pieces of writing I've read maybe ever. I really can't believe this was ever assigned to 14 year olds. What the hell did we understand about this book? It is amazing, though, how many phrases I do specifically remember from back then. Well, I've already blogged about this rereading once, so it would be cheating to do it again. My feline bedfellow has arrived and just took a very uncomfortable detour across my gut, as he is wont to do. He is due for a pedicure, he of the unruly claws. Tomorrow, portly friend. Tonight, it's snowing outside. The Brit jumped off a cliff into the ocean today, which I have to say sounds pretty decent, or maybe wildly superior to the cold gray walk I took across campus for my exercise. Time to burrow down; it's just going to get colder and darker.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Loose ends.

I never followed up here about what we did with our reverse offering from church awhile back, and a few people have asked, so here is the word:

We went with the music scholarship idea. We did a little digging and found out that the music school we were interested in supporting had a scholarship fund set up through a local foundation, that the fund stood at about $10K, and that it would be matched by the foundation once it hit $15K. Then it turned out that there were some little connections between the scholarship founder and various choir members and church members, and the scholarship founder came and told us about her amazing parents, in whose honor the fund was started, and everything kind of came together. In the end, we rustled up over $1500 for music scholarships.

I can tell you firsthand as both an educator and a student that music study can be transformative, at any stage of life. Music study has affected every little corner of my world and has affected the way I think, in exclusively positive ways. Now some more people will be able to get a piece of that bizness.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Oldie/goodie.

A pearl of Native American wisdom you have probably heard before but which I am repeating here because I heard it earlier today:

An old woman was teaching her grandchildren about life. "There are two wolves fighting inside me, a terrible fight," she told them. "One wolf is jealous, vengeful, greedy, and resentful. The other wolf is kind, compassionate, humble, and serene. The same struggle goes on inside every person."

"Grandmother, which wolf will win?" they asked her.

"The one I feed," she told them.

Maybe it's a little facile to post this, like in the last season of the Sopranos when Tony kept repeating "sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky." You can certainly find the above story, and probably Tony's favorite quote, on skillions of other blogs. But it won't kill us to think about which aspects of ourselves are getting the most time and attention.

I am still far from caught up on sleep and my house is full of leftovers. The Brit called me from the top of a volcano earlier. It's 20 degrees outside. I'm a little afraid to get on my bike tomorrow, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I just rolled back into town and I feel like it's about 2 AM (it is 9:30). Even though it was somewhat ridiculous to schedule this little out-of-town jaunt three days after returning from DC, I am so glad I did it. I reconnected with a friend and fellow teacher, who is also one of the funniest/least appropriate people I know, and I probably confused his reputation as Teh Gay by giggling and eating pizza in his hotel room for a few hours last night. I checked in with all of the colleagues with whom I'll be teaching in January, and I heard some of the students I'll be working with, and I got really excited. There was some incredible singing in the final round today (and a few standouts in the stuff I judged yesterday), and I'll just make this about me by saying that I am still so pleased every time I find myself simply enjoying and feeling excited by a singer's potential, or being moved by her or his performance. When I was younger, I was worried that teaching would be hard because I'd get all sour-grapey about people poised at the beginning of their singing lives, and thankfully that has turned out not to be the case. You worry that you're going to project too much onto kids, which, who knows, I may end up doing when I'm teaching them next term. I'll try not to.

I also handed my card to someone today, which is notable only in that someone asked for it and I actually had some with me, which never happens.

I hit one more thrift store on the way out, so I can now report on the Janesville Salvation Army. It was one of those irritating places where coats are, wait for it, THIRTY DOLLARS. I am sorry but you cannot call yourself a thrift store if you are charging $30 for an old coat. But then on the other hand I picked up a perfect vintage Lacoste dress for a few dollars and a Dale of Norway sweater for $5, so I just threw up my hands and ignored the coats. Why don't these places consult me when they're pricing stuff?

There's one very happy fat cat next to me. My boyfriend, damn his eyes, is in Honolulu waiting for his connecting flight to Maui. Yes he is going there for work. Yes it's a little maddening. Yes I could have bought into the trip for about eleventy billion dollars, so I opted to wait for another opportunity to go to Hawaii. Hopefully that day isn't far off, because there are cars outside that are lightly dusted with snow that does not seem to be melting.

I have got to go to bed. Another smart thing I did, schedule-wise, was "plan" (and I use that word loosely) a clothing swap for tomorrow, after I get up early and do two services. My pre-party to-do list includes a little shopping, a little prepping of snacks, a little cleaning of bathroom, and, um, purging my closet, all by 3:00. Tee hee.

In conclusion, someone please give me a college teaching job right now and also hire me for some concert work, plus transplant all the schools where I would enjoy teaching to a commutable location.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm in Wisconsin judging a competition this weekend and am hitting the thrifteries on my downtime. Here's a brief roundup of Wisconsin thrift stores so far:

Tomah Goodwill: Skip it. Tomah is a vortex anyway. People's cars seem to break down there; I felt like I was tempting fate just getting off the freeway, and then there was jack shit in the Goodwill.
Janesville Goodwill: Okay. Depends on what you're looking for. Not so good for vintage dresses and coats, my main objectives at the moment. In fact, there were hardly any coats at all--hard to believe for WI. Usually you can depend on a crapload of coats in northland thrift stores.
Whitewater Thrift Shoppe: Looks EXACTLY right, the way you want a thrift store to look. In an old Victorian house on Church Street, which is a street lined with, you guessed it, churches. The store itself looks like your grandma's attic multiplied and then blew up. That's a good thing. Plus, listening to the old ladies who work there hold forth and chit-chat was just the best kind of eavesdropping. Local color up the wazoo.
Reflections of the Past in Whitewater: Not a thrift store, but the vintage clothing selection is rather incredible, even though it made me sneeze uncontrollably the minute I started trying on dresses. The place benefits a no-kill cat shelter, so there are also cats in the way back. You can't see them, but their aura is unmistakable.
Fort Atkinson Goodwill: HOLLA. 4 coats, 4 dresses, 1 crazy plaid suit. Coming to an etsy shop near you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Hi. It occurred to me after I noticed that Madness was comment-bombing people who worked in some way on this election that I should really stop and thank you, thank you, thank god for you, the wind beneath my wings. Seriously: to my friends who dropped fliers to help pass the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment in MN, to Madness who worked to pass Prop 2 in California, to Marigoldie for volunteering for Obama, to Kayemess who knocked on doors and opened up her house as a staging zone for Obama volunteers despite being an introvert!! and a Canadian!!!, to my friends who knocked on doors in Minneapolis, and to everyone else who wore a t-shirt or a button or slapped a bumper sticker on your car or bike and all those who I am forgetting to mention, thank you. You are inspiring and important and yes you can.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

YES WE DONE DID IT.

My boss handed this out in a meeting today. It's an old Stephen Colbert quote, but a good one:
Tomorrow you're all going to wake up in a brave new world, a world where the Constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones, created in a stem-cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where tax-and-spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio, and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody's high!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A tip from me to you.

There's a Twin Cities Voter Cheat Sheet over here if you haven't been able to find any decent information about the Judge or Soil and Water Conservation candidates, for example. I hate leaving blanks on the ballot just because races aren't partisan and I can't locate information about the candidates.

Monday, November 03, 2008

America: Fuck Yeah.

I started rereading All the King's Men, a book I haven't read in 20 years, over the weekend. The first time I read it I was 14, at a Youth in Government convention at a downtown hotel. I'd forgotten I was supposed to have it read by Monday, and I walked over to the Central Library and checked it out and crammed it, in between "trying a case" in the Appeals Court and electing officials and a bunch of other activities I wasn't totally interested in, though I was ostensibly there to learn citizenship and the political process and it was massive and well-organized. I hardly remember a thing about the book, or the weekend, frankly. I do remember that I had to share a bed with my fellow Appeals Court lawyer and her feet smelled powerful. Every time either of us shifted in the bed, the foot waft almost killed me. The other girls in our room said that after ski practice you could smell her feet before she took off her boots.

This past weekend I read the book in a DC-adjacent hotel, on the Metro, on the airplane. I read slowly and went over paragraphs again. I lugged it down the Mall in the dark on the way to the airport, my rolling bag rattling over the pebbly sidewalks, Washington Monument ahead, Capitol behind, not a soul around. It's easy to use this book to travel back and forth in time: 20 years ago I was getting ready for a dance, the culminating social event of the weekend, that same book on my bedside table, torturing my bangs into the appropriate configuration before descending to the ballroom and not dancing with anyone; this weekend I put on a 5 dollar dress from the 60s and danced my ass off at a wedding reception, even when no one else was dancing and Dom was boycotting "Dancing Queen." Or let's say I danced whenever the DJ complied by not killing the mood with incongruous or plain wack selections. I'd kicked off my platform shoes under the table, trading them for ballet shoes.

Back 20 years to the very beginning of my deliberate education in the humanities and forward to my continuing self-education through books and wandering and keeping my eyes open; back 20 years to the State Capitol and forward to the nation's capital; back 20 years to the subtle thrill of being on my own in a downtown hotel even if it was only a few miles from home and forward to the relaxed and confident affirmation of adulthood that happens every time I work my way through an unfamiliar city, especially this one, 950 miles from home and chock-a-block with evidence of your tax dollars going to work. That's a phrase you hardly ever hear uttered without a trace of irony, but that's how I mean it here.

This weekend worked my tear ducts, y'all, from the moment we circled over the Potomac to land at DCA. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening we hit the memorials to Lincoln, WWII, Jefferson, and FDR (my favorite); the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art museum; the Hope Diamond and the infinitely more interesting collection of crazy rocks and minerals from around the world; a Shaw neighborhood vegetarian restaurant; the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. Our dear friend got married and the first time I'd seen her in five years turned out to be the moment she entered the church to walk down the aisle. On the way to the reception, we stumbled upon the Marine Corps Memorial, which was overrun with Japanese schoolgirls. I was in a floor-length gown and Dom in a suit, and they asked to pose for a picture with us. It was surreal. "Oh just a typical Saturday afternoon," we kept tra-la-ing, like for example when we were walking through Whole Foods to get a slice of pizza in the long interval between ceremony and reception. "Just out for a stroll in my gown; just going to get a slice." We got searched at Fort Myer, which was exciting, and then we walked through the "neighborhood" inside, noting the names on the steps of the houses: Major Work (seriously), Champoux. We invented a sitcom in which we'd be the ones to run the community theater group in the fort and have wacky adventures with our military officer roommate. A black cat ran out of the bushes to greet me and when she showed me her belly, it was as licked and denuded as Ace's, in just the same neurotic way. I snapped her picture.

I was expecting something out of this weekend, a kind of keyed-up political fizzing in the air, and what I got instead was a cure for cynicism, or at least a damn good analgesic, or a vitamin shot. Back 20 years to Bush Sr. on his way in; forward and W. is on his way out one way or another.

Obama takes Georgetown.

I walked so much on Sunday, back and forth across the Mall and all over the museum, that sitting on the plane that evening turned out to be an uncomplicated pleasure. I slid over into the window seat and pressed my face against the pane as we lifted off over the illuminated monuments and the glittering city. Then we ascended into a cloud and the city faded as though my breath had fogged the glass. A few minutes later the stars appeared around me and I opened my book.
The entire Republican Party is trippin: they have called me THREE TIMES in the last few days.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

In short.

I'm home, and I have so many things to impart, but I am so tired, and so need to lie down. Suffice it to say that the cultural stuff in DC is basically the USA's gift to itself, and you should go there immediately.

IMG_4039
Dude, Lincoln is the other direction.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaBloPoMo.

I'm just checking in to say happy NaBloPoMo. I'll be posting every day in November, even though tomorrow is going to be kind of a stretch. We're getting up in the morning to hit the Jefferson Memorial and then go cruise around art museums before it's time for me to get back on the plane. I need to come back to DC when I have some tiiiime, man.

There's a pretty funny sequence of pictures of me dancing in the church parking lot to Mary J. Blige's version of "Let No Man Put Asunder," which is the song I think of every. single. time I go to a traditional wedding. Dom bumped it from his car. I'll post it in the morning.