I’ve been serial watching Friday Night Lights for the last few weeks and I’m a big fan. I even like the portions featuring football. It’s been a real learning experience. Now I can say “QB 1″ with confidence.
Mostly though, I watch it for Tami Taylor. She’s smart and classy. Watching her makes me wish I could say “ya’ll” and live in Texas — two things I’ve honestly never desired in my life.
I wrote this list in January. Incomplete but earnest, in no particular order:
1. Make friends
2. Be good to friends — old and new
3. Drink more water
4. Bring my lunch to work more frequently
5. Try something new that’s beneficial to my career
6. Ask more questions
7. Go on several really great hikes
8. Have an adventure
9. Challenge myself creatively
10. Take an art class
Patrick took me to a poetry reading Monday at the Folger. It was a birthday tribute to Emily Dickinson featuring Pulitzer Prize winning poet Kay Ryan. It was truly wonderful and made me want to visit Amherst again just to see Dickinson’s house. I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with Ryan’s work before the event, but now I’m a fan. She was funny and honest and to the point.
Between the two of us, Patrick and I bought four of her books that evening. But I was delighted to find 63 of her poems on The Poetry Foundation’s website! A few new favorites:
This post is about poetry, but it’s also about chairs.
The chairs at the Folger are made of hard wood with a thin cushion. Usually that wouldn’t be a problem, but my desk chair is so uncomfortable that I think it’s damaging my tailbone. (Is that too much to share?) The Folger chairs made me realize that it’s time to take this problem seriously.
On Tuesday I finally bought a cushion for my desk chair. I think it’s helping and I am hopeful that it will truly be “forever comfy.”
OK. It’s time to admit that I’m not a great baker. Sure I’ve had my shining moments, but they ‘ve been few and far between. My Christmas cookies last year were good:
There was the very first apple pie I baked using my beautiful pink pie plate (a gift from my sister):
Cupcakes for the last party of grad school:
And I baked a few good birthday cakes while living in Savannah (2006 – 2008) and one immediately after I moved here for my Mom’s birthday. My friend Cynthia is a great baker and somehow just living in the same town with her super-powered baking skills gave me some amount of baking skills.
But since May 2009 they’ve been a little shaky. When I’m off, I’m really off.
There was the time I made a cardboard-tasting birthday cake for Jason. The penguin decorations were cute, the icing was good, but the cake itself was bad, bad, bad.
That cake was followed shortly by another cake. This time I failed to bake it in the middle. That’s right. It was completely raw in the middle! And I gave it to him anyway. I’m sorry for so many things about those cakes. Sometimes I think about them in yoga class. I can’t explain it, but they come to mind. I get upset all over again. (This is the part where I breathe deeply and say “Let it go, Lori.”)
Then there was the apple pie I baked at a cabin that for some reason just tasted weird, the cherry pie I baked over the summer where I accidentally left TWO pits in (both of which my mother found) and the cookies I made last week that tasted like wheat-flavored cardboard. (These are just the highlights, mind you.) Then this week, these cupcakes:
I had a grand time baking them. Aren’t they pretty? But I forgot to add baking powder! They taste OK, but they are very heavy. What the heck, Grisham. Get yourself together.
Do other people have this kind of roller-coaster relationship with the oven? If so, please tell me.
I helped organize a pie competition a few months ago and my pie won an impromptu award for best crust. That was a real honor. It is even more of an honor if you consider that it was a pecan pie that never managed to solidify. It was runny right up to the point when they judged it. Whatever. I count my blessings.
The bottom line here is that today’s cupcakes really rattled me to my core. Thanksgiving is coming! It’s time to return to baking! It’s time to make those cakes rise! And that pie taste delicious!
***Quick! Go see this exhibit before it’s over. Show ends Nov. 30***
This lovely little collection of photographs makes for a perfect lunch hour adventure. It’s only one room and an easy walk from the office if you’re in Chinatown or Penn Quarter.
Carroll Square Gallery is located in an average-looking office building at 975 F Street NW. There is no gallery signage outside so be sure to remember the address. Check in with security and they’ll point you in the right direction.
My favorite image was of Washington’s Walking Club the “Wanderlusters.” It’s a small photograph of men out for a hike in what looks like their Sunday best. (You can sort of see it in the top left of this photo.) It’s a delight!
I read a number of reviews after seeing the exhibit and this one on artobserver.com pinpointed a flaw I noticed as well:
During almost the entire period from which the photographs are drawn, the city was segregated and by 1950 more than one-third of the population was black. Yet, the African American community is largely absent from this exhibition with a few exceptions in images that depict public events. With this important caveat, from Union Station, the Washington Monument and the White House to parks, beaches and Georgetown, the exhibit offers a window into the city’s storied history.
The exhibit is still worth a gander. But after you visit, be sure to check out by the Scurlock Studio archives for a more complete picture of life in Washington.
From The National Geographic Image Collection:
Photographs of Social Life in Washington DC, 1999-1960
Carroll Square Gallery
975 F Street NW, Washington DC, 20004
I managed to sneak away from my computer recently for a lunch-time break at the nearby Portrait Gallery for the Amelia Earhart exhibit.
As a lady, I found the whole thing to be terrifically inspiring. But my gentleman caller felt the same way, so I’m pretty sure anyone would enjoy it. Who wouldn’t like a gallery full of photos and items belonging to Amelia? She’s the coolest.
Most surprising artifact: The letter Amelia gave her future husband before their marriage. As her fiance George Putnam said, it was “A sad little letter, brutal in its frankness; brave and beautiful in its honesty.” You really must read the whole thing because it gives a window into her world, but here’s an excerpt –
Please let us not interfere with the others’ work or play, nor let the world see our private joys or disagreements. In this connection I may have to keep some place where I can go to be myself, now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinements of even an attractive cage.
One Life: Amelia Earhart
June 29, 2012 through May 27, 2013
8th and F Streets NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Baseball season is over in Washington. It was great while it lasted. The Cardinals may have snatched our win at the top of the ninth inning with two outs and two strikes, but that’s no matter. What’s really important is that I managed to find hot chocolate at the ballpark. Baseball in October is cold.
Werth, Storen, Lombardozi, Harper — Thank you for the fun. We’ll get ‘em next year.
P.S. — If you missed this awesome piece of sports journalism, read it now: “Drew Storen pained by Washington Nationals loss to St. Louis Cardinals,” Mike Wise, The Washington Post, Oct. 13, 2012
A beautiful win tonight for the Nationals! From The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore:
The ball tore a hole in the cold October air, headed out toward the Capitol dome, gleaming white in the starless sky. Jayson Werth tossed his bat and pointed to the home dugout at Nationals Park. Red fireworks exploded behind home plate. Werth’s teammates charged out of their dugout and the raucous fans exulted, all of them warmed by the knowledge the baseball season still lived in Washington.
Do yourself a favor and take a look at the photos of Jayson Werth’s walk-off. I love it. We all enjoyed some great baseball.
Patrick missed my actual birthday because of a little conference known as ONA. (Journo-friends, have you heard of it??)
No big deal.
He more than made up for it by planning a great weekend away. We stayed in a cabin, hiked, went wine tasting, played a SERIOUS game of Monopoly, and cooked awesome food. He happens to be the best company, so the conversation was also pleasant.
He’s better about blogging than I am, so you can read all of his thoughts here. But first I want you to take in my hiking stare. It’s fierce. Take it in:
Oh and check out our sweet little cabin:
AND LOOK AT MY COMPANY (what a dreamboat, right?):
I’m the luckiest. That’s all I have to say about that.