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Spring(ish)

April 20, 2014

Spring is… mostly here!  I would have been more confident saying that, except last week we were all lulled into a false sense of hope (I biked home from work in a T-shirt one day), only to get some snow/freezing rain the next morning.  The wind can still be chilly, but the sun feels nice and the grass is starting to look green again.  I would love to see some leaves on trees soon.

I finished off another Oregon beer from my stash, Double Mountain’s Vaporizer from Hood River.  I had forgotten how good this one is.CIMG2522

Of course I had it with gaucho burgers and roasted potatoes and broccoli.CIMG2525

 

Last weekend I went to the north shore with my parents and uncle to try to take advantage of some nice weather.  Of course it ended up being cloudy, windy, and cool on the ocean, but after clam chowder for lunch, we took this awesome trail through the dunes at Crane Beach where we were more sheltered.

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I felt like I was on another planet!  The landscape was just so different, with the trees growing right out of the sand and all the tall dunes.  It was especially neat because I had grown up being told not to walk on the dunes, so it was great that a real trail has been established for people to experience the area without destroying it.

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It was hard walking on the sand and hills, so we walked back along the beach, where it was much flatter but also windier.  I’ll definitely come back here to explore the rest of the dune trail!

Washington, DC

March 23, 2014

Two weeks ago I went to Washington, DC for a few days for work/play. I left from the Museum around noon on Tuesday, and by 4pm I was riding around DC on a bike from the amazing bikeshare program the city has established.CIMG2471

And in a t-shirt!!CIMG2469

I rode about 5 miles from my hotel in the SE up to the Mall, and around the Tidal Basin to see the monuments. The one problem with the bike was that I didn’t want to leave it unguarded, so I didn’t get to explore the monuments up close.  But that’s ok, because I was trying to keep the cost of the bike down by not having it for too long.

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Since I hadn’t been to DC in about 13 years, there were some new things too see.CIMG2470

I dropped the bike off near the White House and then walked up to a restaurant that had been recommended to me called Founding Farmers.CIMG2472

I sat at the bar and had a really nice dinner (brie, onion jam, and apple tartine with a nice salad), then took the Metro back to my hotel.

Wednesday and Thursday were work days.  The workshops went pretty well (the second day was especially great).  I was working with first grade teachers on a unit about hand pollinators/agricultural engineering.  The teachers really impressed me with their character voices when we read a play, and everyone sang along on the chorus about agricultural engineers.

I met up with Erin and Ben (Colby buddies) for dinner on Wednesday because they live literally across the street from my hotel.  Such a random coincidence!  We went to a local restaurant (Park Tavern) and had a nice meal of pizza and beer.

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After work on Thursday I spent the night at Erin and Ben’s.  We had a delicious home-cooked meal and then played Dominion and drank wine.  It was just like I was back in grad school!

Here is Zoe, Erin and Ben’s puppy:CIMG2476

On Friday everyone was working so I explored the Smithsonian museums by myself.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a museum by myself, but it was amazing because I could see what I wanted to see and then just move on whenever I felt like it!

I started at the Botanic Garden because I had never been.CIMG2478

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Then I visited the National Museum of the American Indian, where Erin works, and had lunch with her in the cafeteria.  Another new addition since the last time I was in town!

Then I went to the Hirshhorn to see some art, but much of it was under renovation and the exhibit that was there was weird, even for modern art standards (in my opinion).  But I always like the sculpture garden outside.CIMG2488

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I had much better luck at the Natural History museum.CIMG2490

I spent a lot of time in a newish exhibit about the evolution of humans.  I thought it was very well done.

I made a quick stop at the National Gallery and then met up with Camille (high school/elementary school friend), whom I hadn’t seen in ages!  We had a drink and caught up/reminisced, then met her husband and went to Ted’s Bulletin for dinner.  I was too busy eating my burger and drinking my adult milkshake (a grasshopper) to take photos, but it was delicious.  I spent the night at Camille and Andrew’s house in Alexandria.

The next morning we ate the homemade poptarts we took home from Ted’s with some tea.  So good!CIMG2494

Here is Chloe, Camille and Andrew’s pup:CIMG2492

I kept joking that Zoe and Chloe were opposites about pretty much everything, but we all thought they would still get along.

We all met up at Eastern Market and had a great time exploring the vendors and flea market.  Saturday was such a nice day!  I even got some color on my face.  I spent the afternoon putting a grill together with Camille and Andrew, and then we all went over to Erin and Ben’s to grill on their apartment’s rooftop.CIMG2508

We had a bit of a photoshoot in the setting sun.CIMG2496

Andrew and Camille.

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Erin and Zoe.

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The ladies.

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Whole group!

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Self-timer fail, but cute candid.

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As the sun set, it started getting cold, so we took our feast inside.CIMG2519

I believe there were mint juleps as well…

I spent the last night at Camille and Andrew’s because I had a morning flight home on Sunday.  Camille baked bread before I left, so I had an awesome send-off breakfast.CIMG2521

This was a ridiculously fun trip!  Everything went so smoothly and I got to see a ton of sights and spend some quality time with old (and new!) friends.  Thank you again for hosting me; I can’t wait to come back!

The year so far

February 22, 2014

Blogger fail. Or mostly picture-taking fail, I guess. Here’s a quick recap of the last two months.

I turned 28 and celebrated over multiple days with lots of friends and family. Kind of uneventful this year, but that’s ok. The first few weeks in January I worked from home because our office was being renovated, which I kind of loved and kind of hated for the expected reasons (no commute! pretty lonely). I think it would have been better if I had a little more to do, but the workload was light around that time.CIMG2436

Immediately after that was a completely different story… I was day-tripping to my first solo workshops every other day for about two weeks and at the same time took on responsibility for some new projects. It was busy, but I like it like that! I did a workshop on Cape Cod and spent a night with Ben in Sandwich. We went for a dark walk/tromp through the marsh and then ate at an Irish bar (complete with fiddlers!).

I’ve been getting into my cooking groove by slowly stocking my pantry and freezer. I even found a winter farmers’ market where I stocked up on local meat.

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There’s a wine shop down the street from my apartment, and I was pleasantly surprised by this chardonnay the employee recommended to me.CIMG2430

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I love this tablecloth from Target, even if it is twice as big as my table. I just folded it in half and it works fine.CIMG2435

(Curry tuna cakes and sweet potato fries.)

Other than that, it’s been snowing a lot. I love snow, but it makes commuting a pain. I wish it would just melt between storms so we’d have a fighting chance, but instead we’re deep into the ice season around here with the alternating melting/freezing cycles.

I’ve been able to do a lot of XC skiing though!CIMG2438

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I dog/cat/house-sat for a coworker over Presidents’ Day weekend. It was fun to explore Jamaica Plain, and she has a gorgeous apartment. Frida and I went on many walks in the Arboretum.CIMG2444

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And Dexter hung out back at the house.CIMG2461

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What else? I’ve enjoyed seeing friends around here on a semi-regular basis. Maria and I went to Passim to see Ryan Montbleau and he was amazing. That was a great night – perfect food, beer, music, and company. I’ve been swimming more (twice a week usually, up from once a week) and on Friday I swam a mile! I miss biking and am starting to get excited for spring, but I know we have a ways to go…

2013: No f-ing around

January 14, 2014

What a year.

We decided in Bandon that the slogan for 2013 would be “no f-ing around” because there was lots to do and it was time to get serious about, well, everything.  I think we did well, and between doing a million different things, there really wasn’t any time to f*** around.CIMG1935

January through April of last year was mostly focused on frantically wrapping up experiments in order to include them in the dissertation…CIMG1956

…followed by actually writing the thing.CIMG2005

During that time, I returned to Umatilla in February to teach 4th grade.  Highlights of those two weeks included getting sick (again), spending my time between classes writing my dissertation in the tiny chairs in the library, Valentine’s Day with the kids, Skiposium, and almost running out of gas in the middle of nowhere in eastern Oregon.CIMG1988

In April Sarah and I became doctors (and I had the best hair day of my life).2013_C_027

In May I went back to Umatilla for the last time (it’s crazy how much I miss that crazy place) to teach 2nd grade, Sarah and I met up in Hood River for some wine tasting, and I flew back to Boston for my grandmother’s funeral.CIMG2041

June was mostly about graduation and applying for jobs.  I went to Astoria with my parents.Sarah,DT,Chantal

In July I went to Boston again for my job interview at the Museum.

The rest of the summer was spent trying to soak it all in – hanging out and doing judo with the Daglens in Portland, camping, running a 10k, riding 100 km.1374217_10152029553562189_1558325094_n

I left at the end of August for a crazy road trip.CIMG2260

I started my new job in September and immediately went to Bryan and Kara’s wedding, the Red Sox won the World Series in October, Maria and Galo got married and I moved into my apartment in Arlington in November, and I celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s with family and friends.UO color

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Again, what a non-stop year.  Lots of ups and downs.  I’m curious to see what 2014 will bring…

Weekend in NH

January 3, 2014

Christine and her family were kind enough to invite me to their house in Franconia, NH for a few days at the very end of the year.CIMG2422

The renovations/additions to the house look great!

There wasn’t a ton of snow, so on the first day we went for a long walk around the area.CIMG2410

Good to see Taiga up and about again!

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Then we went on a trail run in the snow.

Overnight we got a few inches of fresh snow, so we headed over to Bartlett to do some XC skiing.CIMG2418

It was pretty, but the wind was frigid!CIMG2416

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The rest of the time we spent in the house eating delicious food, reading, and watching movies.  I had such a great time!

Apartment update: couch!

December 28, 2013

Big news over here; I got a couch!

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After a month of living here, I feel much less like a nomad now.  I was glad I waited, though, to give my finances a chance to catch their breath.

Now the living area looks like this:CIMG2400

I switched the Ikea shelf back to the smaller wall, where it makes a lot more sense, but first I had my dad make a few “feet” for it to rest on.  The heat coming from the floor is more under control now, but it still gets warm, so I wanted to avoid damaging the shelf (and the contents of the shelf) by lifting it up a bit.

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Now everyone can come visit me and have a place to sit!  (Or sleep; when the back cushions are removed it’s a pretty roomy couch.)

I also hung up some corkboards and have loved hanging cards from everyone on them!CIMG2404

And my Oregon license plate.  SAD.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas (and Thanksgiving?  I guess I didn’t blog about that, but both were very nice).  I went to the Mt. Auburn cemetery on Christmas Day to see Bucky Fuller:CIMG2399

Or, Trimtab, I guess?

Furnished apartment

November 30, 2013

I’ve been living in my apartment for about two weeks, and I’m really starting to love it.  I still have a long list of things I need to buy and do, but it’s livable for now and I needed a break from hunting for furniture.

The windows face east, which means I get really great morning light.CIMG2369

It also means there are glowing lights in some of these photos.  Sorry.CIMG2375

I got the kitchen cart from a sweet old Russian man on Craigslist, and the table and chairs are from Ikea.

The kitchen is about the same.  I need a stepstool.CIMG2377

I love this shower curtain.  It’s always interesting to find what’s included in the apartment (shower rod) and what’s not (hooks for curtain).CIMG2374

Bedroom area:CIMG2372

The bed and nightstand are from Ikea and the dresser is another Craigslist find.  It’s on the small side, but it fits perfectly between the two (non-connecting) closets.

Living area:CIMG2371

Clearly I still need to hang those paintings and get a couch.  There’s no overhead lighting in this (giant) room, so I’m glad I somehow managed to fit the lamp in my car.

I knew that it was going to be warm in a fourth floor apartment (even with my thermostat all the way down – my radiators haven’t ever been on), but after sweating through a few nights I was getting frustrated.  I originally had that white Ikea shelf on the opposite wall, but found that the floor in that corner of the room was getting really hot, so I moved it temporarily to get access to a panel that my dad and I lifted to reveal:CIMG2379

Completely uninsulated HOT water pipes.  With a loosely fitting panel on top that was leaking hot air between the cracks.  I know you’re going to say I should have gone to the landlord or superintendent, but I wanted something done quickly (don’t worry, everything we did was completely removable).

We just slid some fiberglass insulation in and as far over to the right as possible (it didn’t reach the whole way, so there’s still a warm spot, but it’s much better).CIMG2380

And then put in some removable caulk/putty to seal up the cracks.CIMG2381

We did the same thing on the other side of the wall in the bathroom.  We stuffed the insulation into the bottom of the radiator and covered it with a piece of wood.  Like I said, there’s still some heat seeping through, but it’s noticeably cooler (although I’m still cracking windows open in 25 degree weather).

The summer will also be very interesting, temperature-wise, but I’ll deal with that when we get to it.

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