While the kitchen is missing, everything from it is jammed elsewhere and the whole house feels more chaotic than usual. From what I have heard this is to be expected. B came by for the week of my break, which added another level of distraction. We went to see Blithe Spirit at the National (he's an Angela Lansbury fan) and he left his favorite scarf behind. I was in the area a couple of days later and was able to retrieve it from their lost-and-found. Here it is celebrating the most cherry blossom-like thing we could find on Sunday. It was B's last day of the visit and the first day of the official cherry blossom festival season; finding anything pink on a branch was not easy.
I also ran that half-marathon last Saturday, but it was kind of cold and wet and windy. And my timing chip was busted! Fortunately my watch worked, so I know it took me 3:11, which is slow but I was just trying to beat 4mph and I did. So there. Also we knew it was going to rain so I googled for rainy run tips and learned that we should wear hats. That was superb advice.
V's chip worked, thank goodness, because she finished in 2:12. We were all pretty impressed.
The next day was sunny and warm. Really warm! It was the perfect day for an alleycat. I know you know what an alleycat is but I will explain for those other people: it's a bike race/scavenger hunt through a city. This one was organized to celebrate International Women's Day so most of the checkpoints had something to do with this theme, which was an additional element of fun. We were dilettante competitors but we hit a few checkpoints and enjoyed the day. V wasn't happy when she learned we'd be riding on streets; however, she did really well and I think it was a good intro for her.
Everything else has just been school stuff. It's been fun, but I'm ready to be done.
New day, same guy. He asks if I've heard of a brewing company that is super super close to my house. I had not, but Google had. I had time to kill (it's still Winter Break for another week) so I strolled on up and danged if they weren't serving samples. The very nice bartender grew up in Pickerington (read: Columbus, OH) so we had something to talk about and then she started talking about the Rock and Roll Half in DC because her dad comes in to watch her run it. The story was more interesting than that, really, but this is about me sooo... I came home and Googled again. The R&R.5 takes place the first day of Spring Break. I mean, if the universe (that is, a dude and a bartender) keeps mentioning half-marathons it must mean I'm supposed to try one. Plus V and J agreed to come along.
More Googling and I found a nice nine-week training schedule and today I needed to run two miles, which I guessed at but I wasn't far off—I checked the route just now with right-click-Measure distance.
I've had a terrible time updating and I'm sure it's because I can't distill the thousand fabulous things that happen to me into coherent posts so I just let them trail behind me, an undocumented wake of quips and tumbles and trips and exhilarations. Also snacks. I'm not even going to try. I'll just do one thing, and it probably won't be the most interesting or best or worst thing of the day or week or month. Just whatever falls onto the screen. At least I'll have something to review later, I like that about lj.
I wanted to read that book. It was never officially banned, but most of the copies were destroyed. WorldCat shows only two: one in the Netherlands, one in the Library of Congress. It wouldn't be too difficult to wander over to the LoC, but I sent an interlibrary loan request and what do you know? They delivered—during Banned Book Week, no less. It'll take me a while to get through it; it's short, but I'm up to my ears in work and school and, er, social commitments through Sunday.
Then B was in town this weekend so we brought him along. And fearless J was available, so she joined us there. They all had a great time. I was delighted to finish without breaking anything beyond a few capillaries. While I was on the courses (you can do as many as you like in a three-hour window—we could only fit three in that time) I was indeed terrified, except for the last few zip lines. I did learn to love the zip lines. I'm pretty sure I will never learn to love the little tray that slides along two cables twenty feet above the surface of the earth, slides along and deposits you ingloriously a yard short of the platform. In my dreams I have destroyed you a hundred hideous ways, little tray. I have successfully transferred my hatred to the little tray, where it is better centered than on the trio of tweens chirping encouraging suggestions from the platform behind me as I dragged my supine bulk that final mile using only the inside bendy parts of my knees and elbows.
I would definitely do it again. Also, I think we should have more zip lines everywhere.
On Monday our class was looking at a bunch of old prints to try to see the difference between etchings and engravings. This one (Italian engraving c.1650) got my attention because the foremost guy with a shovel is wearing my shoes.
I do have two fancy pairs of shoes, a brown pair and a black pair. They are not comfortable at all and I've not worn them in public. Ever. When I need fancy shoes, though, I won't have to worry because I know they're in my closet.
The funny thing is the print. In class we were paying attention to the quality of the lines so we could determine how the picture was printed. I got distracted by some footwear and took a photo to share with you. I didn't think too much about the subject of the print, but I had a vague impression that some supervisors were instructing some gardeners—until I looked at the scene behind them. That is some rough yardwork.
We loaded all our stuff into the van and then sat in the lot for a few long minutes while B looked fruitlessly for reverse. C took over and he remained our driver for about 90% of the trip. He was great! Not to say I wasn't nail-bitingly anxious every minute on the road... We also borrowed a Garmin with the van, which was an enormous help. We drove west on Garmin's directions until we got close to the house, then I had the owner's emailed instructions to find the cottage her great-grandfather had built himself. I thought this would be a cool contrast to our previous place.
It had the best donkeys and pony, that's for sure. When we got inside I realized that I hadn't asked about internet access, though, and V sort of freaked out. There was none. We chatted a little with a guy who was just finishing up a painting job around the back of the house. The flies were killing him. They were some brutal flies. We dropped our bags there and headed back the way we had come.
An hour and a half later we were in Tullamore. A bartender had told B and me about an epic hurling match the week prior—so epic, it seems, that they had decided to repeat it. As we approached O'Connor Park we noticed cars parked along the side of the road, so we did likewise and hoofed it for what seemed like at least a mile. At the stadium we learned that the game was sold out. Oh well, at least we tried, toodle-oo... anyone who knows me knows I am never too sad about missing a sporting event. But no.
From the helpful crowd milling about the closed stadium we learned that it was customary to open the doors at halftime to let everyone waiting in for free. Maybe because the crowd waiting was so big, or maybe because they just felt like it, the powers that were actually let us in well before halftime, about 20 minutes into the game. We watched Kilkenny beat Galway (I took a picture of the scoreboard too soon. Kilkenny got one more point before the game ended.), or the better part of the crowd did while I watched the crowd.
We trekked back to our car and went into Tullamore to look for a grocery store. The grocery store was closed but we did find a video store (!) so V shopped for a movie to watch to compensate for her lack of wifi. She found The Devil Wears Prada and, more importantly, a Five Seconds of Summer CD that is not yet available in the US. With an exponentially happier V we crossed the road to The Captain's House restaurant.
This place was so nice! I liked it right away because I got to sit next to a big aquarium, and then I liked it even more when everyone's food was excellent. We had come in late but no one seemed to be rushing us out the door (We would discover as we traveled that no one would bring a check to your table before you asked for it. Is that an Ireland thing?) and we had a fun dinner before the long drive back to the cottage.
PS - I am still committed to listing a hundred nifty things; however, the one-a-day part got away from me. I'll try to post doubles or better until I'm caught up.