Monday, August 28, 2006

Oh, right. I was supposed to be writing a blog, or something. (Now with lots more pictures!)

I don't know if it's that I've been busy the past three weeks, or that I've spent the past three weeks around a nephew who is addicted to Runescape and likes to have the computer whenever he's awake.

The day after my last post, Justin and I headed to DC to pick up my sister and nephew, who flew in from Seattle. Ronel was visiting us for a couple of weeks, and Kate escorted him. She only spent a night in DC, but we made the most of her time, going shopping in Georgetown and Pentagon City, and hanging outside the White House by night with a very small smattering of protesters (I think the others were in Crawford with the Prez).

After she left, we headed back to Charlottesville for a couple of days, and then drove down to Chapel Hill. Now, you remember Justin's dad's acoustic neuroma? He got a slot in surgery for the following week. This was also when we were all supposed to be at th lake house. So we spent an abbreviated time there, just for the weekend, but that was enough for Ronel to waterski, innertube, dive off a cliff, and play with his "uncles" and a couple of Justin's cousins.

The surgery, by the way, went as well as we hoped. No side effects, and partial or entire loss of hearing was not unlikely. His dad went back into the hospital a few days ago with spinal fluid draining from his nostrils and ears, which sounds gross and bad but apparently won't have any long-term effects.

Back in Charlottesville, Ronel and I went hiking a couple of times in the south end of Shenandoah National Park. Once we saw a rattlesnake, and since it had already rattled and I didn't want to annoy it any further, we turned back. But we did make it to the top of a mountain, smallish by northwestern standards, of course, but taller than everything else around it nonetheless.

Then Ronel and I flew back to Seattle, where I spent time with my family and visited several friends. The weather was generally mild and beautiful, as Seattle summers are.

I took a redeye back and slept for 16 of the next 24 hours.

Now I'm supposed to be doing something, I think. But I'll add pictures as I get around to it. There are always more at my SmugMug site.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Not quite asleep

I have a camera. Phoebe is suspicious.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gray Pride

Here's an article on Slate by a woman who refuses to dye her gray hair. She's 49 and considers herself "prematurely gray." Based on my family history--my dad looks like Santa Claus, and has for a while, and my grandmother is visibly gray in pictures from her mid 30s--and the fact that I'm already getting some white hairs--maybe you haven't seen them, but Justin has--I am likely to be prematurely gray too.

Apparently most women dye their hair for a while when they start going gray, but secretly admire women who don't. And I won't, either because I like to be genuine, or because I am gray and proud, or because the only time I dyed all my hair (not just highlights) my ears itched like hell for two weeks. Or because my husband doesn't care. Take your pick. I still get carded after ten years of legal drinking and am often taken for a lot younger than I am, so I'm kind of looking forward to having a youthful complexion and silver hair, as long as my skin doesn't try to keep up.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Turk Mountain

Justin and I went to Shenandoah National Park today and hiked up Turk Mountain, which is 2,981 feet high and therefore not really a mountain. Close enough. It was only 2.2 miles round trip, but it was plenty hard for us, because we're out of shape, and because it was 95 degrees down in Charlottesville today and not that much cooler in the mountains.

Do I look sweaty and exhausted here? Because I am.

The view was expansive, although hazy because of the humidity and general air pollution.

We need to do this more often. But preferably when it's cooler.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Miscellany: Heat wave. When bugs attack. Early onset senility.

For my friends in Seattle who were experiencing 90 degree temperatures last week, I don't mean to boast, but last I checked this afternoon, it said: 95 degrees. Feels like 101 degrees. The forecast high for tomorrow is 99. I am surviving. I am durable!

On the other hand, we have AC, and we rarely go outside when it's this hot. Of course the AC has to be on ALL the time to keep the indoor temperature around 70 (higher upstairs), and if we want to hear the TV we have to turn it off.

Every time I go check the mail, it seems I come back with some sort of weird beetle creature attached to me, except I don't notice it until several minutes later when it emerges from my hair or wherever it's been hiding and viciously attacks me with its, um, weirdness. They're harmless, actually, aside from sneakily adhering to my person and looking oddly green and shiny.

For some reason ever since the condo management put these bug bags up around the courtyard to catch all the swarming bugs, there have been more bugs. The bags seem to be meat markets for frantically mating bugs as much as they are traps. I never noticed all these bugs until the management started trying to control them. Hmm. I feel a metaphor for some societal problem coming on, but I'm not sure what it is.

And, completely unrelated, this is what happens to me now that I'm all of 31 years old:

Sunday: Chris tells us we have a choir rehearsal Wednesday night at seven. Somehow I suspect I will forget this, although I don't have anything else to do this week.
Today, 4:45: "I just remembered I have a choir rehearsal at 7," I tell Justin. "Good thing I didn't forget!"
8:45, in the shower: "Oh, crap, I forgot the choir rehearsal!"

I never really needed to write down engagements before, but I think maybe I should start doing it. I suspect that perhaps I forgot because I never saw tonight's rehearsal in writing and I don't remember things I only learn aurally. Except music. Well, maybe that's proof I can read music better than I think I can.