Catching Up

My friend from Germany was here with her kids. We haven’t seen each other since 1997, before she had kids. We spent a day and a half with them in Washington, DC. It was a good trip because we visited monuments that the better-half and I haven’t visited since we were in high school. Oh yeah, and seeing them too.

Always impresses:

Unless you happen to be three teenage boys:

Honestly, I think they were worn out and just wanted some downtime.

To give you an idea of how long it had been since I went to the Lincoln Memorial, I didn’t even know the WWII monument had been built. My German friend asked me if she had just forgotten all about it as we walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. I told her if that was true then so had I.

(It was dedicated in 2004–so there’s a reason why we didn’t remember it. Also, I hadn’t been past the Mall in ages).

We met up at the White House on Saturday morning and there was the usual milling around of supporters and detractors. Then as we walked to the Washington Monument, we came across the speech part of the March for Truth:

I was a bit proud that all of this was going on since it is a great example of what democracy looks like.

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Be a long time since the rock and roll

We went to a concert the other night and while there was only good musicianship, the show didn’t do much for either of us. I guess that happens on occasion. By the way, we’ve been to 14 shows already this year. We have a spree of them in the coming weeks and then we slow down a bit.

Yesterday we ate breakfast out since I had off from work. Can you make out the name on the wall?
CurlesNeck

This morning, we made a batch of quick pickles. Behold the curry cauliflower pickles:

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Iceland, part three

This is late going up and it almost seems like we never went, but then I remember things.

We visited Blue Lagoon on the Friday of our trip and went all in…silica mud masks, algae masks, drinks in the water, and dinner at Lava. It was super relaxing and completely full of tourists and we didn’t care.

Icelanders have a wicked sense of humor and as much as they love murals, they also love graffiti:


This was off in the distance and we had to find out what was sitting on top of a cupcake shop:

I seriously admired the official signs. Whichever branch of government issues these signs should get a pat on the back. The signs were on point from a design standpoint…do you need to read Icelandic to know what will happen if you stand here? Nope, you don’t.

The weather was miserable. It rained or snowed for the entire week. We may have seen the sun for 2 hours in the week we were there. Don’t get me started on the wind. Would I go back? In a heartbeat.

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Flying Home

When we originally planned our trip, friends were meant to go with us. Our friends had a death in the family and we scrambled to cancel their plans the night before we left. It’s pretty remarkable how much you can cancel at the last minute.

We sorely missed them on our trip and kept them entertained with photos and videos–lots of we are on a road trip and it is pouring rain. It was spectacular to fly home yesterday in the sun.

Our original plan was to upgrade our seats to a business preferred status. What that actually meant on the way over was no one was assigned the middle seat and we got food and booze for free. On the way home, it basically meant first class without the fancy cutlery. I didn’t mind, at all, that we weren’t behind the first class curtain because we had the big seats:

We flew over much of Greenland this time.
Ice:

Mountains:

We got home late last night and Lucy was thrilled. She has been like glue. I woke up today around 4:30 and have been laying on the couch. She was with me all night and is now cached out with me:

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Iceland, part two

There is a companion piece here in Akureyri to the one in Reykjavik. This one is on the Eyjafjordur (it’s a fjord):

We took a drive to Myvatn today and decided walking outside in a bathing suit was ridiculous, so we did not go into the hot springs. Instead we went to hike Hverfjall. It turns out this road was a good road:

Don’t worry that is not blue sky-it’s the polarizing on the windshield.

We didn’t actually go to the top, although there were some brave souls who did. Today is the coldest I have been. We admired the lava field and the shape of the crater.

We parked near a horse field and I presume English speakers have disrespected the rancher before because this was one sign not translated from the original Icelandic:

We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the heck out of the traditional meat soup and then headed back to Akureyri:

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Iceland, part one

We walked around to the other side of the Reykjavik harbor and were greeted by this:

The Harpa concert hall was beautiful and immense. Coincidentally, someone from my hometown was headlining a show there that night.

A short walk led us to this fierce ship:

Last night, we had a couple of drinks in the hotel bar. When I went into the bathroom, this guy was recycling:

After driving to Akureyri, the better-half asked the front desk guy about going to see Godafoss. The weather is going to be bad tomorrow and so we hopped back in the car and saw this huge and beautiful waterfall. My photo does zero justice:

The idea of the weather being worse is a bit funny since we’ve basically had rain and harder rain…I guess snow will be different.

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Disappointment

The person I really wanted to hire declined our offer. Our benefits package would have cost her money. Dang. The runner-up will likely say yes. I’m not as excited about that person, but you work with what you can get. I should be OK by the end of the month that it will take us to move forward. Serious background checks are serious.

I went to an information gathering session today led by the new, highly-paid HR person. He is a horrible facilitator. Like he’s never done it before. Like he didn’t tell us his name. He isn’t a green bean. He’s just a bad facilitator. What a waste of an hour.

A friend at work gave me one of these. Another woman, whom I trust and like and work very closely with, did not know what it was. Step away from Fox News, sister.

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Middle March

I wish I could make a George Eliot joke here (re: title of post), but I got nothing. And, yes, I know how the book title is actually written.

We’ve been trying to hire someone for my team at work and there’s one promising candidate and many others that aren’t. We have one more to interview and then I hope we can make our decision. The leadership team is taking care of the interviews which is a bit different than the way we’ve done it before. It makes more sense this way. Just focus on what’s needed and not overwhelm candidates.

There are two of us at work who are transitioning into lead roles and it is a bit of a struggle. Other members of the team who think they are the smartest people in the room annoy those of us who actually are. And, when I give you feedback on something that needs to be fixed and you ignore that advice only to receive the same feedback the NEXT day from our boss, I’m extra annoyed. You could have avoided a duplicated mistake had you just paid attention to me. But, no. You are the smartest person in the room–keep up the shoddy work.

We went to a show last night with a friend and ran into an old work colleague. He ended up moving to sit with us and it was nice catching up. I think I last saw him in the late 1990s. He recognized us. I wouldn’t have paid attention had he not approached us. Sometimes Richmond is a small town and you feel like you run into the same people all the time. In his case, the exact opposite is true.

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Two Great Date Nights

Do they count as date night if you don’t go out to dinner?

First we saw this group perform Mementos Mori.

Tonight we saw Dianne Reeves perform. I’m so happy she performed this one:

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V. Day

We celebrated Valentine’s in pretty typical fashion at least for around here.

This year we didn’t buy cards. I made one that was basically a fancy PowerPoint slide and the better-half’s card to me was a dozen oysters and some champagne.

Then we made a clam and fennel dish:

And we watched Lucy in a box (she fired her lasers):

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