Friday, November 23, 2012


I'm just as cynical as the next over-educated liberal arts major-type about small-pox infested blankets and Manifest Destiny, but can I just say, there's something really touching to me that the holiday that sort of kicks off our national mythology is based in giving thanks. I like sitting and eating with family and friends. I like making food based on recipes from my grandma (failed stuffing) and from new sisters-in-law (not failed sweet potato pie).
I'm grateful for the circumstances I find myself in. Grateful for my husband, for my wiggly fetus (36.5 weeks!), for my cute, tiny flat. For my family. For this time to take a break and think about all of these things.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jeremy asked about the radio silence, and I have some answers: the first is that I'm working like I've never worked before. Evenings, weekends, traveling 7 weeks out of 8, doing the Evans streak of workaholism proud, kicking my butt to get everything done, learned, organized the needs way it needs to be. I want to talk about this more a little later. I've been balancing these full-to-bursting weeks with time to chat with, stare at, and watch TV with my handsome husband, and only just.

The second reason is something that I've come to view as characteristic of myself: when things are uncertain, I tend to do more watching quietly and much less talking/writing. There's a Dr. Suess line--"It's grey day, everything is grey. I watch, but nothing moves today."--that is sort of my mantra in these times. The issue, though, is less that nothing is moving, but that everything is. Moving, as I'm starting to see, and believe, in the right direction, but still unsteady, a little incomprehensible.

Finally, though, I feel like I've had a couple of good months of treasuring things in my heart. Where sometime silence is a sort of/sign of disempowerment, I feel like I've been generally quiet lately because so much of my effort is going toward understanding. I'm learning to know, love, trust, and appreciate James in new ways every day (even now, I'm getting teary thinking about it. Blame it on hormones if you must). I'm learning more about my body and the little body inside of me. I feel individual parts, now, his head keeping me from comfortably crossing my arms over my belly, his tiny slimy elbows sliding against my insides, his signature round-house that races like a weird comet under my skin. I'm getting more and more excited to meet this boy, excited to see the world through his eyes, to spend time staring at his perfect face.

And I'm learning some things about life. The kind of things you get to relearn a million times, and are just as painful/enlightening the first time as the next.
Work is a part of life. There will never be a time (not in the foreseeable future at least) when I will get as much sleep as I want. There will never be a time when I'm not worrying about money, about James, about what the best thing for my family is. This last 6 months have weighed heavy--too much to do, too many expectations (filled and unfillable)--and I've prayed or hoped to find an escape somehow and there is no escape. Not because I'm doing something wrong, but because this burden is the point. This work and worry is why I'm here, and hear me out on this one, the real lesson that I'm learning is that, as I come to accept that, the joy of the struggle becomes more evident. I focus less on how much I'd rather be doing anything else and more on the things I'm learning, the ways I'm supported and loved, I'm starting to make conscientious choices about how I react instead of stabbing blindly. And I'm starting to get my priorities sorted. This is all very new, and I don't think these small changes are evident to anyone else, but I'm starting to find peace in the place I am and I'm very grateful for that.

 This weekend is beautiful. The temperature dove Thursday so I came home from a muggy Detroit to jacket weather. I'm sitting in our front room (sick tissues because my immune system decided that enough was enough, Conference snacks, and a Pack-n-Play full of tiny clothes and waaaay too many blankets (we may have overshot, Miss Anne, and I forgot about the 5 blankets already waiting for me), and diapers even) while James is at Priesthood enjoying the quiet and enjoying being home. I'll post something chattier tomorrow (with pictures if I get to them): Borscht, Books, and Breakfast.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

The ususal.

So James is in Utah getting his analysis on. I'm glad he's got good momentum and so happy that he can spend some time with friends and family and really I've been gone the last 4 days out of 10 (which will look more like 15 out of 28 by the time the month is over), so I'm for the most part content. But of course I miss my husband. I know that people do this long term, and I guess we *could*, but I think this month is instilling the importance of not spending a month ever again if we can avoid it. He's so nice, is the thing. And fun to hang around. And do things with.

But despite the downer, this weekend has been pretty nice:

Friday I heard both Lando's heartbeat and his foot, I think, kicking at the dopler wand (it sounded like dropping/bumping a microphone. And like this little man has excellent aim). I got to eat Noodles with Amanda and commiserate about some things and lounge in companionable co-busy-ness.

Saturday I bought books at a yard sale and weeded our little garden (and got bitten by mosquitoes and did *not* get poison ivy after all). I spent some time on Pinterest (not so much that I wanted to puke) and used up some kale and oven roasted some corn.

The highlight of today was movie day w/my primary kids. I brought popcorn and mini bottles of root beer (which apparently is the very most direct way into a kids' heart) and got hugs and cheers. Sweet potato, thank you notes, laundry.

Tomorrow I leave for Phoenix where I will meet my long-lost husband (woot) and do some work things.

And that is the end. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August hardly exists at all

I flew in from Utah last night. I spent almost a week there and it was enough hard to come back that I just tried not to think about it. You should know that a) when I looked out the window in Wyoming somewhere and started to notice the ground crinkling into foothills, I got misty-eyed, b) my family is incredible: supportive and stylish and funny and kind and lovely, c) James and I ate at Beto's twice, Cafe Rio, my mom's house, JDawg, Station 22, and Slab and though we missed a couple of places, this mostly hit the spot, d) friends are the right answer. Always.
I like it there. I like knowing where to go to find the right gift and the best coke and the cheapest gas. I know it's only a matter of time before any place gets familiar like that, but I miss that here. I like the mountains (James and I spent our anniversary evening in a hammock hanging in aspens in a meadow under the moon) and I miss being so close, always, to wilderness and silence and solitude.

Babies. I felt Lando kicking tonight. I've felt him rustle around before this, but tonight it was like he was trying to get my attention: Hey there. Hey. Hey. I'm awake! Are you awake!? I learned today that work is going to be less flexible about post-Lando life than I'd hoped. And I'm so disappointed. I shouldn't be. It's not personal (it's business...). It just feels so silly. And sort of demeaning (it's really less expensive to recruit, hire, and train, and take a chance on a newbie than letting me switch my responsibilities around?). We'll make it work, and it will be ok (this isn't placating--James is in a good spot, we'll be just fine, I feel hopeful and blessed), but I was suddenly 13 again and my mom was travelling all the time and that, I realized in a really visceral way, was the choice: have an income and good insurance to take care of your kids in exchange for not spending very much time with your kids. A much more emotional discussion at work than I'd anticipated.
And it brought me back to: do people think that work is more important than family for real? I know the arguments about finding fulfillment outside the home, nurturing your strengths, being true to yourself, etc, and I'll back down a little, because this is a personal thing and I don't mean to be dismissive or prescriptive, but for me, even when I was doing something I was good at and loved, I would much much rather be hanging out with my family and friends than working. I find 100% more fulfillment, in the deepest parts of me, nurturing my relationships than in anything I've done for a job. For me, all things being equal (in a way that hardly ever happens in real life), home and family is the right answer. And right at this moment it seems silly to pretend like it's not. And I almost feel silly about spending so much time and energy on something that gives so little back (you know, food and shelter and the value of a hard day's work notwithstanding).


Sunday, July 8, 2012

This last couple of weeks were sort of a rollercoaster. In the best way. On the 20th, James left Madison to go down to Nassau to help his dad with some things while his step-mom was home. I puttered and kept busy (I weeded our garden! I swam in our lake!) till I left for Detroit the next week, spent my time there, then flew down to join James.

It was wonderful. I spent days and days sitting by the pool/floating in the ocean/working on my tan (which right now, due to poor planning,  is peeling off my body)/reading novels. James was able to help his dad get some good work done and it was lovely to spend time with him down there.

On the 3rd we were invited to the US Embassy's ship-board Independence Day celebration which we got to right after the Governor General (which involved a lot of standing to the side). We were terribly underdressed (what is casual elegant supposed to mean anyway), but had a lovely time snacking on hors d'oeuvres and dancing a little and watching the mucky mucks get their politico on. We were all sort of wasted, so we left before the fireworks, but it was one of those things you don't get to do very often and we were glad to have gone.

We spent the fourth traveling back to Chicago. I was working there on Thursday and Friday so we flew back together and spent the evening hanging out: mostly napping (air conditioning!), though we got to Jason's Deli and I drank ice water till my eyes watered. And the salad bar! I'm not hard to please, but oh it was lovely.

The next morning James left for the airport and I got my stuff done. I won't pretend the 105* weather didn't bother me at all (I did, after all, spend my time in an air-conditioned clinic), but I survived. Then, finally, on Friday night, James and I were both home at our house together for the first time in almost 3 weeks. Hiding in our bedroom because it's the only room with air conditioning.

Yesterday was all getting settled: James spent hours and hours putting some final touches onto his prospectus. I went and watered and weeded our tomatoes, braved Costco at lunchtime (which in Madison, rivals Orem's Costco any time), started and mostly finished The Tipping Point, generally relaxed and tried to reset for this week.

I made a statement today by wearing a maxi dress to church. I'm still not quite showing, but people are starting to look a little more carefully at my belly (which I guess is a thing you get used to?). Anyway. Feeling healthy and happy and (mostly) glad to be back home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here's the thing

I'm a short-haired girl. It was getting long and it was thick and lovely, but I started getting "I don't think I've ever seen you with your hair down" and "You're almost *30*!?" and also early mornings at work when it was obviously still wet for the first meetings of the day and also just the feeling of not being comfortable in my own skin, of feeling uncertain even when I wore my best jeans and I was done.

This is what it looks like now:

Super win.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

So Father's Day

Is sort of a big deal this year.

(I'm due mid-December and feeling good.)

(And keeping this mostly off of Facebook--my job doesn't know yet. But no stress.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I don't have pictures, so you're going to have to take my word for this one: try it, it's as beautiful as it is delicious.

1/2 C Water
1/2 C Sugar
rind from one lemon (this is optional, but delicious of course)
Add to a small sauce pan and boil till the sugar dissolves, set aside.

To your blender, in this order, add:
Half a lime
half a blender of ice
half a blender of frozen strawberries
a handful of basil leaves (right?)

Pour the still-warm syrup into the blender, trying your best not to let the syrup run straight from the pan to the glass, so as not to shatter/melt your blender.

Grind, puree, liquify, until your lime is in tiny bits and the rest of your daiquiri is smooth and shiny.

Invest in some tiny umbrellas.

Enjoy the end your spring!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Did you know that Omaha is beautiful and very cool? It is. The hidden gem of I-80.
I was so sad when Sister Beck was released. She stirred the pot and got flack for it, from me sometimes too, but I think she was demanding and honest and smart and articulate, and that she took women/womanhood/Relief Society really seriously. And I respect her for all of those things.

In a stake conference she told us that we're doing better than we think and that we could be doing better. This is something that James and I have tried to take to heart: stress less, do more. It's something I hope I always remember.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Can I tell you about something that delights me? It's a little braggy. I love love love the challenge of Friday night dinner. When you come home and all there is in the fridge are the things you forgot to eat for dinner this week and you have to make something...(this scenario can also be infuriating and lead to pizza-eating. Remember how you can call someone and they'll bring a hot pizza to your *house*? America is the best.)

Tonight I came home to a nearly empty fridge. Empty that is for onions, a thawing chicken breast, and brussel sprouts. Carmelize those onions, add some of the bacon we keep in the freezer*, butter, and  sherry to deglaze, serve over brown rice/quinoa (James made a bunch last week and froze it! He is so smart!) and you have a delicious+easy dinner. And you feel like a total winner.

Even though your phone takes mediocre food pictures.

*Kitchen tip of the week. Something I've started doing since marrying a man (named James) made bacon a bigger part of my life: we keep bacon in the freezer. When we need some for, like, baked potatoes or bbq-Hawaiian pizza or stuffed mushrooms or whatever, we cut a slice off cross-wise, microwave it in paper towels for a minute or toss it into the pan. Delicious bacon-y goodness, no grease burns or sticky hands or wasted bacon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So I was listening to a back-episode of the Poetry Magazine podcast. The issue they were featuring was on religious poetry and though I've harbored resentful/ambivalent/uncharitable feelings for Poetry and poetry for going on years now, something about this episode struck me. More precisely, something about the poetry they were featuring struck me--in the epiphanaic way that falls teenagers in love with poetry in the first place.
There is something magical about religious poetry. Let me broaden: the thing that can be most magical about poetry seems almost inherent in religious poetry. Because, I think, poetry is most powerful when it's trying to put into words something ineffable--to tap into experience you hardly knew you had because you didn't have words for it. And this, of course, is also when religion is most powerful--when it gives a physical (verbal, shareable) manifestation to something inexplicable. Religious poetry can speak so deeply to us because religion, in many real ways, is poetry. When high school students wonder why poetry just can't come out and *say* something, I think a legitimate answer could be (if you weren't teaching in a public school) a reference to the parables: Jesus didn't come out and say the messages he was trying to teach because parables leave space for the hearer to learn the lesson they need to learn, to fill in the gaps with their own experience and with new insights. A deeper example of this, even, is mortality: we could've read a list of lessons we were to learn, had to learn, before we got here, but we can't learn them without the hard work of living. Poetry, in a small way--I don't want to get ahead of myself here--functions on the same mechanism. It doesn't tell, it shows, it guides you down a foggy path and asks that you fill in gaps; and, as you fill them in, you are changed, your ideas are added to. When it's done right.
And so, to celebrate Easter and National Poetry Month (I'd never thought how serendipitous the overlap is/can be) a couple of favorite religious poems (some more secular, some less, some I've posted, some I haven't. I think.)

God's Grandeur
Gerard Manley Hopkins

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
  It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;       
  And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
  And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
  There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;       
And though the last lights off the black West went
  Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
  World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

John 15

 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Louise Gluck

My great happiness
is the sound your voice makes
calling to me even in despair; my sorrow
that I cannot answer you
in speech you accept as mine.
You have no faith in your own language.
So you invest
authority in signs
you cannot read with any accuracy.
And yet your voice reaches me always.
And I answer constantly,
my anger passing
as winter passes. My tenderness
should be apparent to you
in the breeze of summer evening
and in the words that become
your own response.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Feeling

A couple of years ago (spurred by a friends' delicious recipe and a fondness of cardamom) I started making pulla (braided Finnish cardamom bread) for friends for Christmas. It's fancy and delicious and not too sweet. And if Santa Claus lives anywhere I'm pretty sure it's in Finland (not to disregard my mom's insistence that Santa is German--doesn't Finland seem both colder and also a little more magical?). The practice-verging-on-tradition is comforting and it smells nice and is impressive.

This year, I'm adding to my bread-making repertoire with Armenian choereg. This recipe popped up in a search for traditional Easter bread and it called for anise and mahleb--a spice I'd never heard of before but found in a Middle Eastern grocery in Dearborn (thanks, again Katherine) and it's Armenian. There's something about the holiday that reminds me of Armenia--something about the ancient, visceral, ritualis that surround it. Something about dark churches and robed priests and lit candles. It just feels right.

So I made some for brunch tomorrow and for our neighbor downstairs. And for the primary kids who will get one tiny loaf and an egg hard-boiled with red onion skins and a lesson about Jesus and the way everything testifies of Him.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On Friday I went with James to our ward's Elders Quorum v. YM pinewood derby. James was busy with his thesis (progress! He's sent a draft in and we're feeling great about it) so didn't have tons of time to put a car together, but also he intentionally went low effort--if it wins, we only spent 15 minutes on it, and if it loses we only spent 15 minutes on it. This is solid logic, but I was a little stressed--offering to paint it or wrap it in a page of his thesis or something. For some reason I imagined this conversation taking place between 15 year old James and 15 year old Kjerstin, which helped put it in perspective (I have some glitter!). We had a great ROI--we usually took about 3rd place, but we couldn't win against the fellows with CO2 cartridges strapped to their blocks.

Wood block, 2 lb dive weight, rubber bands, and last-minute graphite lube.

On Saturday we made soft eggs with buttery herb-gruyere toast and raspberry macaroons, because Smitten Kitchen is taking over my life right now (more approachable than 101 Cookbooks, always witty and delicious) and it was conference weekend=an excuse for an event. Then we spent a lot of hours watching conference (so much about family this time around!), took a walk, washed some dishes.

This week we also saw Jonah Lehrer speak in downtown Madison. I wanted to be blown away but wasn't. I know Lehrer from RadioLab--he's the sort of intellectual who mixes nueroscience with, like, Bob Dylan and comes away with some lovely meditations on the human brain and sometimes humanity. I love this stuff. I listen to RadioLab a lot a lot and fit it into most extended conversations--what I mean is, I think it's cool to mix and match art and science. We did come away with some good pointers: 1. Give kids a lot of latitude in choosing where they want to excel. He said "Choose easy, Work hard" which is, figure out what kids (you) are excited about--decide to do the thing that sounds like the most fun, and then work work work. I've heard this before, and I like it. 2. Aha moments come when you're not expecting them to come, but we're pretty good at knowing when there's something on it's way.
Yes. It was a fun night out. That ended at Trader Joe's. Win and win.

One other thing: I married a really lovely man. James and I have had an awesome week, I think mostly because I've had a chance to take care of him and serve him a little. I'm wary of the "love is an action verb" cliche, but it's a real thing: love is born out of helping--doing laundry and dishes and reading over rough drafts even though a part of you is still *very* conflicted about reading over rough drafts. Conference and a blessing and some good snuggly conversation later and I'm feeling hopeful and excited about our future. And, more than that even, confident that I'm only going to get more excited about our future as time goes on.
All of that paragraph was true, but what I really wanted to write about it how lucky I feel that James has found and is pursuing his passion. I'm surrounded by a lot of people who are smart and motivated but who aren't here for the passion, but every night I get to go home and talk with James about theories and big names in his field and his big ideas for making the field (and families) better. For someone who's spent her whole life flip-flopping dissatisfied-ly from aspiration to aspiration, James' focus and enthusiasm is so satisfying. I'm looking forward to our future, in part, because though I don't know what's coming I know that we're looking in the right direction. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

This week started great and ended great. There were some rough patches in the middle (like, for instance, the entire middle, which I spent in Detroit), but that's how it goes I think.

The run-down:
Last Sunday we had a really good conversation about what our goals are and what we're doing and can do to accomplish those goals (thus the cryptic email). James is a really good man. I'm really glad I'm married (at all and to him). We have a lot of things to learn, but I think that's sort of the point.

Detroit wasn't actually bad at all. I did some presentations. I ate some delicious food. My customer team is awesome and the weather was *amazing*.

James got some good work done on his thesis. Go James go! It's been rough/is still rough, but I think we're getting some good momentum.

We had the missionaries over for dinner Friday. J made Massaman (his specialty. Very delicious.) And the elders are very nice and awesome. I'm a big fan.

Yesterday we went on a lovely run (separately because I learned to run by myself and because J eats marathons for breakfast which stresses me out). We run by corn fields and forest and cow pasture and lake. Wisconsin is crazy beautiful.

Not all the way ready for Monday, but getting there. The end.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ideal blogging conditions:
Evening. Solitude. Headphones+tunes. An unpleasant and not entirely overwhelming task at hand. And here we are. :)

A story I'd like to tell: a friend of mine is a wonderful poet. She started writing seriously about the same time I did, but unlike me, she kept writing seriously through an MA and an MFA and a lot of applying to a lot of programs. And now she's on her way to law school.
And I think it's safe to say, even if she's reading this (hey there eg), that she isn't or wasn't, like, the kind of off-hand stereotype of a poet at all. Like, she's all business. Like she came to poetry via editing. Law school is an incredible fit and she'll be wonderful at it and if you would've asked me, when I first knew her, where she'd be right now I'd choose law school over poetry any day.
And both parts of her are important, and the one enlightens and brightens and adds interest to the other I think, in a really satisfying way.

The reason I'm telling you this story (which kind of isn't mine to tell) is because I've been feeling the tug of the inexorable lately and this story really brought that tug to light. I feel like on my way to getting where I want to go right now, in feeling out the way, my (our, now) path is swerving back to my beginnings.
And where a year or two or five ago I would've resisted this, I would've, maybe, applied for graduate school instead of sticking with teaching, for instance, or even moved to Salt Lake for a year instead of going on a BYU study abroad, I'm seeing something really sustaining and beautiful and firm and true about circling back, about shedding some of the layers--no, that's not it--because I don't regret the roundabout way I took--but, having the experience I do and having developed the perspective I have, I feel really ready to take on the roots of me. To start to embrace the life I was presented with 10 years ago and start living that life.

The end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


So, to start: I hear it's snowing in Utah. Here in the midwest, we've been enjoying freakishly unseasonable weather. We're supposed to get up near 80 this week. It's been wonderful: windows open, summer-dress wearing, barbeque-smelling wonderful. It will snow again, but for now, I'm basking.

Yesterday we celebrated the season by vacuuming, dusting, and washing the winter out of our little apartment.

We're also getting a foot-up on gardening for the summer (I get a little garden plot through work, and I'm anxious to get my peas in) and are pretty stoked for our (very small) basil starts:

Last weekend was a little more festive, we went out to Racine (about 2 hours east) with our friends Amanda and Frank. We were looking for good rye bread for Frank who's here for a couple of semesters from Denmark (Racine is supposed to have a huge Danish community). The closest we came was some sort of suspect (also some sort of delicious) pastry.

We also stopped off at a lighthouse on Lake Michigan. It was windy and a little chilly and a lot of beautiful.

Finally: Did you guys know that acorn squash came in *miniature*?
They do. And are adorable. And delicious with lentils.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bullet Blog

(Annie, I'm stealing it.)

  • Here are some pictures of our house:
The kitchen

 Our hallway!
 And the living room

 James is apologizing that it's messy. But it's a little messy.

We love our little place. It's two bedrooms above a mom, her boy, and their cat. It's little and cute and has some personality, and was redone by a bachelor with ok taste, so the carpet's nice and the kitchen's tiled and the walls are neutral. Sort of the perfect scenario. Oh, and the rent is good.

We live in the downtown-ish part of Mt. Horeb, just a block behind Main St. Our front door looks onto a little lane/alley that our neighbors backyards open onto, so in the summer we have great views of gardens and backyards (also parking lots).

  • We made this cool thing: 

What happened was that I fell in love with this upside-down planter and bought it on sort of a whim. When it came in the mail, it was much smaller than I anticipated, so looked a little funny just hanging by itself (a group of them would be very cool). Also James was worried about the integrity of our ceilings which, to be fair, are plastery and occasionally questionable). So we put our heads (and James' Christmas drill) together and came up with this. I like looking at it so much And what you maybe can't see is the way the bark nestles right up against the pine block. So polished-looking.

  • So there are recipes, and there are recipes. The first are good for, you know, a little out-of-the boxing and they're fine and whatever. On the other hand are those recipes that, like, change the way you look at food: like the time I made this Colombian chicken soup that had me mixing beef and chicken stock and cumin and thyme for the next year. Or this recipe. Dill and horseradish? Horseradish and sour cream? Why had this never happened before? In my mouth? We made them for Christmas dinner (paired with ham because I couldn't resist) and ever since every potato I eat has horseradish and sour cream and dill
  • Our house has a ladybug infestation. I didn't know this was possible, but these guys are all over the place.
The end.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


So I have been staffed, which means I've been assigned to a customer (hospital/hospital group) which means that I know a lot more about what the next several months/up to two years of my life is going to look like. And it's going to look a lot like Detroit.

Which is wonderful and fascinating. And, yes, a little dangerful and sketchy. We were walking back to the hotel (in a large-ish group) after dinner the other night, almost lost and sort of worried about it, but mostly there was nothing: only a very few cars and a very few other people. And this in the heart of this beautiful city--traffic circles with statues and boulevards that used to be lined with huge picture windows, now bricked in, windows replaced with brick and glass blocks and bars, or boarded up and over.

The hospital downtown is an exception--a sort of epicenter of activity and productivity. I'm glad to be helping support such a productive spot.

Because 1: I've been thinking about production and revitalization. Like, I watched Provo trying to rebirth itself, hopefully at first (galleries! and restaurants!), then less and less so. Because, and whatever, this is a little draconian, people don't *need* art. Or they do, but only when they have jobs first. Recreation is only meaningful/useful/important when actual creation (of the things you need and food and jobs) is taken care of I think. It's the principle of the sabbath--work work work so when you rest the rest is legit. I guess I think that real productive business--business that produces things (read that however) that people *need* trumps pretend business (galleries/restaurants/the MGM Grand, which by the way didn't bring tourists into downtown Detroit but did bring a casino, which is obviously an awesome decision) any day of the week.
I guess this is a place where Ayn Rand stuck with me: produce things! Real things!
And I read/heard an article about Detroit, about a woman who started a luxury lifestyle magazine that went under a year after she started it but how she's been hired by a consulting firm to talk about how to draw people to Detroit. Like starting coffeeshops and things.
And I'm ranting/simplifying. The moral: I trust reallife production over faking the fruits of reallife production any day of the week.

And 2: Detroit is very real and compelling. I'm super exited to be there.

Oh, and 3: it's a 40 minute flight from Madison.

In other news: I skipped out on work sick early Friday, reached a temp of 104 yesterday, spent some time in the ER (mostly because everything else was closed of a Saturday night) getting anti-bodied up. A kidney thing. The good news: I'm mostly better. We have *awesome* health insurance. And there's no bad news really. James is the very nicest and most supportive, up to and including going on a 6:30 OJ and tylenol run in the snow.

And James has found some good leads on places to get some hours. That man has hustle. The thesis is still looming (for both of us) but. We'll finish.

So. Life is happening and good and new all the time. Dig it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birthday Week!

This week was my birthday! I turned 29 which is both weird and fine.

James brought me breakfast in bed, we got Mongolian BBQ (which felt *awesome* in my congested drippy head. I couldn't even taste anything, just the burning.)

On Saturday we went to breakfast with some friends and saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which was perfectly made and made me nostalgic for a childhood I never had but which I think my dad wanted me to have? It was very pretty and got me writing about Dennis. And also was just a perfectly made period spy film.

In other news: my job started for real this week. I was sort of in training for the last 4 months because I wasn't assigned to a customer. This week I met some of my customer counterparts and met with the coworkers I'll be working with. It's really nice to be doing real things, and things that I feel pretty comfortable doing.

Aaaand...James and I joined a gym and have been running again which feels great.
And we took out the Christmas tree.
And James is making good progress on the thesis.

So a good week. And we're happy and like you all.