I love living in Alexandria.  Things I love:

  • Taking the train to work and being above ground for part of the ride.
  • Walking to Buzz for coffee and a treat, a quiet night of reading, or a board game with friends.
  • The green!  It’s green everywhere in our neighborhood!
  • Having a neighborhood instead of living in high-rise land.
  • Living a short bike-ride north of Old Town, where there are lots of options for food, window-shopping, and wigs (seriously: two wig shops in the same block!).
  • Taking the train to U Street on Sunday seriously took me 24 minutes.
  • Easy access to DC and Rosslyn via the GW parkway.
  • Running by the river!  I get very distracted by planes taking off and landing, and by sailboats, and by omg hey it’s the river! Right there!

In short: we’re really happy with this move.  Really. Happy.


Grumpy pants

I thought I was going to get out the door on time, but was waylaid by prepping the marinade for dinner that took omg longer than I expected.  Thank goodness for SB giving me a ride, and I guess at least we’ll have dinner almost ready when we get home.

We changed our IM staffing model this morning, and the person who was supposed to relieve me at 1pm wasn’t seen or heard from until after 2.  The person who attempted to relieve me at 1:30 didn’t have the correct software installation set up.  Therefore, I was chained to my desk from 11-2, roughly, except for the times when I was running around trying to figure out other people’s technology problems and/or helping out at the desk.  This all takes the place of my plans to go to the gym at 1.

I decided to give the coffee man another try.  My coffee tastes burnt.

I still haven’t gotten my reimbursement check from my trip to Denver almost TWO MONTHS ago.

I am a grump.  Grump grump grump.

26 September 2008

We’re in the middle of a fucking terrible financial crisis, and in the middle of the Political Season That Will Not Ever End Ever, and they evacuated the building across the street from my library this afternoon because of a suspicious package, and I read on the train that our CO2 emissions were up this year, with the end result being a prediction than in 100 years it won’t just be bad – it’ll be cataclysmic, and I’m just so tired of sad and scary news.  I’m tired.

25 September 2008

The weather turned cool and rainy today, and SB and I had difficulty getting out of bed as a result.  The last few mornings have been deliciously cool – not so cold that you need a jacket, but cool enough that staying under the thin blankets curled up together seems like a good idea.  We had warm homemade cereal with chopped up bites of apple for breakfast.

I spent pretty close to all day in my office, making progress on assorted things.  This week I’ve had a lot of self-directed time which is a nice change from endless meetings – but also means that I struggle at times to keep motivated or focused or – something.  What’s the word I’m going for?  Yesterday I purged my desk of clutter and made piles organized by project = focus!  In case you’re curious, a few things that I’m working on currently:

  1. An evaluation of statistics tools and processes with the hopeful end result of implementing a consistent (and systematic) workflow in all the public service points.
  2. Transitioning to a different staffing model for our IM service, for which I have basically sole responsibility, having disbanded my committee last week.
  3. Working with other campus units to create library content for the modular University portal site (well, trying to do so).

I battled a throbbing headache all day, then came home a little early and sat with a cup of French press coffee for a bit.  Dinner was perfect for the weather – a sort of cassoulet with from-scratch tomato sauce and tarragon pork sausage.  Rich, flavorful, and filling, though we were snackish later on.  Next time we’ll have some crusty bread and it will be exactly right.

Our weekend

Another lovely visit from friends:

Another trip out to Mount Vernon on a perfect day:
A Perfect Day
though this time things were still in bloom:

Sarah and Greg came up for the weekend – we hadn’t seen them since the beginning of May – and we spent two days trekking about the city and our neighborhood. We revisited the Jim Henson exhibit – only in town until the beginning of October! – and the Botanic Gardens, which were even nicer since it wasn’t 1,000,000 degrees out. Andy and Claire joined us for amazing burgers at Good Stuff on Capitol Hill, and for dinner and games out in our ‘hood.

On Sunday we got up and had a fabulous bluegrass brunch at Fireflies, recommended to us by David and Mary Claire a while ago. I liked it enough to write a glowing yelp review – my Italian benedict was great, and everything else that I sampled made me definitely want to go back for more. We walked our brunch off at Mount Vernon on a perfect afternoon – the lines were short, the weather was lovely, and by the end of it I was quite ready for a nap. A very nice weekend indeed.

Coffee Advice

So, guys, I need some advice.

We have our Chemex, and we loooove our Chemex, but first thing in the morning when I’m half awake and it’s a little chilly – I really just want coffee to wake me up.  But having had our Chemex for a while, I want it to be good coffee – not burnt from sitting on the heating element coffee.  Also, SB wants a Burr grinder.

So, does anyone have a fabulous grinding and brewing coffee device that they love?  Or that they hate?  I think this is really the next step in our coffee evolution.

21 September 2008

A long weekend with lovely friends, about which more will be posted soon.

Fall is upon us tomorrow, and with it has come and/or is coming cooler weather.  The last few days have topped off in the 70s (though today was a bit higher), and it’s been delicious.  Claire said she doesn’t know how to feel about all of this, but I know how I feel: delighted.  I love fall and sweaters and knee socks and apple cider.  I love colorful leaves that go crunch under foot and how the days are sometimes warmer, but the nights are solidly cool.  I love the first time that we put the really soft wintery (but not flannel) sheets on the bed.  I’m not looking forward to the end of the growing season – but that’s a bit off from now.  Right now I can be excited about apples and squash and warm kitties seeking warm cuddles in the cooler nights.

19 September 2008

I’m coming up on my first anniversary at the library, but there are still many, many days when I feel like I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.  Between 12-1 I was swamped at the desk – the phone was ringing and I was juggling multiple patrons in person and on IM.  Each question felt impossible, or was about something that I either had never worked with or never heard of.  I know it really wasn’t THAT bad – well, I hope it wasn’t  – but I was by myself, and I just felt overwhelmed and flustered.

I left early and walked home from the train, meeting Shane at Buzz for coffee and more work.  The weather was perfect – high in the 70s, breezy enough that I wanted my hoodie.  A woman had her baby in a Bjorn and seated him cross-legged in the big lounge-y chairs outside while she got settled.  Shane saw one of our neighbors.  We walked home together, had a disappointing dinner (despite good smells and prepping everything this morning, the recipe – questionable to begin with – just didn’t work), then spent a nice evening puttering, hanging photos, making zucchini muffins, and generally nesting.  After a year of feeling really out of place – this feels like home.