Another month of summer

I’m headed to San Diego in a couple of days. I don’t want to jinx anything, but the hurricane looks to be much smaller than anticipated. I know California doesn’t have tropical storms so they may not be prepared, but that storm is smallish to my East Coast eyes.

I’m happy to say our upstairs air conditioning is working this Sunday. The last two weeks, at almost the exact time, we’ve discovered it wasn’t working. The safety pan alarm turned off the system both times. There was a blockage somewhere in the unit as well as in the tube that draws the water away. $400 later and the problem seems to be fixed. Of course, we could just be kicking the can down the road. The shelf life of the system is coming up. I’d rather spend the money on something else. We live in Virginia so there’s no way we aren’t going to have air conditioning.

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Movies and sand

We have taken this week off. Yesterday we went to see Asteroid City. It was weird and very Wes Anderson and we really liked it. There’s something to be said about going to a matinee and munching on too much popcorn. There was only one other person in the theater with us. It felt slightly decadent.

Today we leave for the beach and will be back on Saturday. It’s a shorter trip than usual for us and in a different spot on the Outer Banks, but we have big plans for doing nothing. Sleep, sitting on the beach, sleep, diving into the ocean, sleep, taking walks and eating terrific seafood.

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We found a 3-4′ snake skin in our garage. It was dangling from the chain track for the garage door opener. It seemed like a clever way for a snake to pull itself out of its skin. Other than a snake that climbed up our basement stairs and then went out our back door, we haven’t seen a live snake on premises the entire time we’ve lived here. Our rat snake visitor from several years ago:

It’s nice to see evidence there are actually snakes around. I think our little corner here in the neighborhood is trying to bring back habitat. Our three yards are pretty hands off when it comes to clearing brush (there’s a wild area where all three yards meet) and I get the sense that no one is relying on heavy chemicals for much of anything.

A friend at work is leaving and that will likely mean a lot for me as I take on her responsibilities. It remains to be seen if my job just got bigger on a permanent basis or if it is an interim thing. I’m hoping for permanent and have shared a plan with my manager. Lots of change happening at work right now so we’ll see how everything goes over the next few weeks. I have mentioned this change in duties to two people and this is how both of those conversations have gone:

Me farting would have generated more conversation. So it goes.

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Songs, Movies, Garden, Oysters

On Thursday night we had dinner and then caught a show in Hopewell, VA. For people of a certain age, Hopewell will always be known for its chemical problem. I can’t say I’ve ever been to Hopewell, but dinner was lovely and the theater was a beautiful older building. The performance was Suzanne Vega and her guitarist. It was intimate and I’m so glad we went.

Friday, I took the day off and the better-half wrapped up early so we could go see Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret. I recently re-read the book for the first time since I was 12 or 13. The movie was pretty faithful to the book and it hit all the right nostalgia points. I smiled through most of it. Then, we went over to Lewis Ginter to see the members-only opening of Incanto. I’m looking forward to seeing the sculptures later this summer when it’s a bit darker and not so drizzly. It was nice walking through the garden with limited people and the plants in the middle season (not quite full on blooming and not dormant either).

The better-half cooked dinner last night and we started with fried oysters with a dipping sauce (we weren’t fans of the batter, but the dipping sauce was excellent). He is going to add some of the flavorings into his usual batter and we’ll see how it goes next time he fries oysters. The rest of the oysters went into oyster stew and, dang, I love that dish.

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Weekend trip

We took Friday off and caught a northbound train to DC. We have wanted to visit the African American history and culture museum for years and booked tickets for Friday afternoon.

What an amazing place. It was packed with visitors but we enjoyed the exhibits. Enjoyed is a weird word because that museum presents how awful the experience has been. So in this sense enjoyed means it’s good to be uncomfortable sometimes especially when seeing the world from a different perspective.

Afterwards we went for a drink or two at Allegory.

We had dinner at Corduroy and it was fantastic.

We laid around in bed reading on Saturday morning because we never get to do that and it was raining pretty hard. We went to Unconventional Diner for brunch and then we scoped out the Wharf area. In spite of the rain we were able to see some of the cherry blossoms across the water.

Then it was off to the Rubbel museum. As soon as we walked in, one of my favorites:

We took the metro out to Arlington and visited the the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington. It is a small venue but powerful art. We were feeling peaked and since it was a Saturday we took the train to Foggy Bottom, and sat at the bar at Circa. We watched people, the TVs, drank a couple beers and split a mushroom flatbread.

Dinner was at Tortino’s and they surprised us with a happy anniversary dessert. I had forgotten I put that information into my Open Table account. I guess the reservation got flagged. It was surprising and the gelato was delicious.

Breakfast on Sunday was at Baker’s Daughter which was pretty good. Then we got to Union Station via the metro and caught our train home.

The food got high marks this weekend. The low spot was a restaurant in Chinatown that was pretty mediocre. Good hot and sour, but otherwise meh.

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Waffle Hose

We had breakfast at Waffle House for the first time in over a decade. It’s still tasty and I love watching how efficient the team is as they hustle out breakfast. It was also nice to see the regulars in the seats and how they bantered with the staff.

I’m pretty sure the last time we ate at one of the restaurants we were served coffee whitener, but it was half and half today. I’m still unclear what coffee whitener is.

The title of this post is an ode to a former co-worker who talked about a Waffle House in his neck of the woods that always had it’s U unlit.

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Ask Not

Well, we were finally caught by the COVID. We have been on a regular booster regimen, but I guess that science tells us that those make recovery easier and doesn’t prevent forest fires. Because only you can prevent those.

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2022: the year of meh

The better-half and I were talking about this year and neither of us could come up with outstanding highs. Nor were there any very lows. This year just kind of happened. At least it did for us. I know your mileage will vary.

Of note:

  • We went to Easton, Key West, Baltimore and Ocracoke.
  • I went to the cities of DC, Phoenix, Denver and New York.
  • We went to 9 cultural events (musical or dance). We still haven’t been back to a movie theater.
  • We traded in one car and bought another.
  • The downstairs of our house got painted.
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    Holy Jolly, yeah!

    We’re having a few folks around this afternoon to celebrate the holiday season. Our idea for food is finger foods and there’s really no theme, just all the things we think sound good/taste good. We are breaking the rule of never make something for the first time when company is coming. I get it, but come on. If we don’t like it we can all pitch it into the trash can. I’m pretty sure our friends won’t walk right out the door.

    It’s the same thing when someone notices my terrible dusting job. They have two choices; pick up a dust rag or get over it.

    The better-half and I are taking the last week of the year off and, frankly, I should have re-evaluated my life choices and taken the last two weeks off. It’s been a lot this year.

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    Just a typical day

    It’s a rainy day and this is a usual photo opportunity on a day like this. She’s going to be sad tomorrow when we both go back to work. Cat sleeping

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