Red flannel

Last night Shane and I took advantage of our Smithsonian Resident Associates membership in order to go see Garrison Keillor.  We’ve been listening to A Prairie Home Companion on the weekends, so when I saw that he was going to be here, we jumped at the chance.  He wore a suit with a red tie, red kicks, and red socks that were pulled up to his knees (at least from what we could see in the balcony) – and was in general just like you’d imagine – a funny, affable, self-deprecating middle-aged guy with a “flannelly” voice telling rambling stories about his youth, his friends, and his outlook on the world.  My favorite part of his rambling monologue had to do with travel restrictions, and how we all take off our shoes at the airport in tribute to Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber”, even though there are few known correlations between terrorism and women named ‘Gladys’.  He waxed hyperbolic, theorizing about the day when someone goes on a plane with an underpants bomb, suggesting that this would be the day that travel by train comes back into vogue.

I love Garrison Keillor.   If A Prairie Home Companion isn’t syndicated in your area, I highly recommend the podcasts for either The News from Lake Woebegon, Keillor’s signature monologue, or The Writers’ Almanac, a five minute short broadcast about the day’s events in literary history.


My weather widget tells me to expect rain in Champaign this week. I have been here in Virginia for very nearly exactly one month, and it has sprinkled twice (that I have seen). I need rain.

mmm, cake

SB and I just got back from seeing The Darjeeling Limited, which was fine, but is ultimately not as important as what we did just prior to the movie.We had cupcakes.

A new cakelove location just opened in Shirlington a few weeks ago,  and I would say that I’m embarassed that we’ve been there three times already, but really, I’m not.  I like cake.  Who doesn’t like cake?  Wrong people, that’s who.

The whole cupcake deal seems to be that for $3, you get either chocolate or vanilla cake with one of a variety of fancy frostings.  So far I’ve had chocolate with German chocolate, chocolate with peanut butter, and chocolate with lime.  Shane has had chocolate with chocolate ganache, chocolate with straight-up chocolate frosting, and then tonight he branched out, going for chocolate CAKE with toffee something-or-other frosting.  We also had samples during last weekend’s Oktoberfest, but I can’t say that I really remember what they were.

The most torturous thing about cakelove is that when you buy your cupcake, it comes out of a refrigerated case BUT won’t actually be at its best until it’s warms up to room temperature.  Shane takes this whole cupcake-warming business very seriously, which lead to a great deal of teasing when I just couldn’t wait for German chocolate cake.  We let the second batch get all melty on our long beer-sodden walk home last weekend, resulting in a very sticky and very quick cupcake treat.  Tonight, just like Goldilocks, they were just right.

I’m really not at all interested in furthering this cupcake trend – I think it’s really pretty ridiculous – but at the same time you definitely won’t hear me complaining about fancy cake treats in my neighborhood.

Fall, finally.

In the last few days, the temperature here has dropped from highs in the low 90’s to highs in the mid 60’s.

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year, so the sudden drop in temperature has me very, very happy.  Falling temperatures mean that it’s time for tights, big pots of soup, and the pumpkin latte that I just bought from my friend the Coffee Man.  Lower temperatures also mean that I’m harboring less resentment towards our apartment building for closing the pool over Labor Day weekend.

While fall won’t be quite the same without a trip to Edwards Apple Orchards, cider donuts, or Big Ten football (Herky, how I miss you!), it’s shaping up to be pretty gorgeous nonetheless.

Couch to 5K

This week I started a Couch to 5K training program that Keem sent my way. It’s a running program for people who don’t run, and over the course of six weeks, you build up to running three miles in 20 minutes. This doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but a predetermined program with measurable results really appeals to me. It’s a little early to think about new years resolutions, but I think running a 5K will be one of mine for next year.

Edit: duh, look at me! I can’t read. The training program takes NINE weeks, and will eventually be running 3 miles in ~30 minutes. Way to build up expectations, e!

Shane has nuts in his pocket

Shane has nuts in his pocket

Happy hour is apparently a big thing here, as we discovered Wednesday night. We met up with CouchSurfer Mike and his friend Mark for some drinks and half-priced pizza at Birreria Paradiso in Georgetown. Shane, Mike, and Mark like nerding it up about beer, and something particularly magical was on draft that night. Don’t ask me what it was – if there’s one thing I know nothing about (OK, there are many things I know nothing about), it’s beer. I know what I don’t like (IPAs, which puts me in the minority in this group), but I’ll try just about anything.


The pizza was awesome, and I had a couple of excellent beers. We got there a bit late, so we were stuck kind of in the middle of everything, in close proximity to a table of Very Loud People (and also, strangely enough, a very large pile of firewood that had its own beer). At some point I think the Very Loud Laughing coming from the Very Loud People directly triggered the events that led to Shane having nuts dumped in his pocket by Mark, but I’m a little fuzzy on the details.

I’ve sort of run out of things to say about the whole nuts thing, but I will say that while SB is my best friend and I love doing things with him, it was awfully nice to be Out With People as well. Oh, and we’ll definitely be going back for happy hour.