Piggies are Fun

Mom bought the pigs an igloo, which they LOVE. It’s green, transparent, and has glitter. But best of all, it’s a place to hide! Lola especially likes it (see below), which is not surprising because she’s more nervous than Charlie in general.

CIMG5872So, Lola wants to be in the igloo basically all the time. She’ll take her lettuce and hay in the igloo if she can. But Charlie loves the igoo, too, and she wants to be in it a lot as well. This can cause problems (see below).

Lola: "I love my igloo - it's so relaxing!"

Lola: "I love my igloo - it's so relaxing!"

Charlie: "I want to relax too! Let me in!"

Charlie: "I want to relax too! Let me in!"

Charlie: "Finally, I have the igloo to myself! If I lay right in front of the entrance, maybe Lola won't try to get in."

Charlie: "Finally, I have the igloo to myself! If I lay right in front of the entrance, maybe Lola won't try to get in."

Charlie: "Booooooo!"

Charlie: "Booooooo!"

This afternoon Mom and I bought a second igloo. Now they each sit in their own igloo, and peace is restored.

Home!

Charlie enjoys some yummy hay

Charlie enjoys some yummy hay

I’m home in TN right now! Hooray! I drove back on Friday in my newly-fixed car (details on that to come in a later post), and I’ve been enjoying family and piggy time since. I’ll head back to DC on Wednesday, just in time to rest up for Econ Thursday night.

Last Thursday was my birthday, and Saturday was Daniel’s 18th birthday, so it was a good time to come home for a visit. We had a family party at Las Cebollas (our favorite Mexican restaurant) Saturday night, and Daniel had a party with his church friends Sunday afternoon.

I was very conflicted about having a party at Las Cebollas. On the one hand, I love the food. Their fajita quesadilla is killer! Literally, if you ate the whole thing it would kill you with volume and deliciousness! And it’s a relaxed place, where we know some of the staff and can feel okay about being loud and taking up a lot of space.

On the other hand, there’s the birthday ceremony. I don’t want to get too specific, but it involves public humiliation, sombreros and whipped cream being shoved up your nose and in your face. Unpleasant, to put it mildly.

Covert shot of Daniel's humiliation - note the whipped-cream-face.

Covert shot of Daniel's humiliation - note the whipped-cream-face.

But it wasn’t my decision, so I sucked it up for the sake of family fun. And soon, it will be someone else’s turn to be laughed and pointed at. And isn’t that what family’s all about?

Mosaic Face to Face Group

Saturday night I went to the first meeting of the “face to face” group at Pastor Rob’s house. It’s basically a small group/house church type thing. We got together and had dinner (spaghetti :(, BUT someone was vegetarian and brought pesto sauce, so I had some pasta with pesto! yay!). After dinner, we got down to churchin’.

We’re watching Nooma videos and then discussing them. The Nooma videos were created by Rob Bell, the teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church. They’re like mini-sermons, shot cinematically. Tonight we watched Rain. (Here’s a link to the full version of Rain on YouTube if you’d like to watch it, too)

In it, Rob tells a story of walking with his baby son in the woods. Halfway through their walk, it began to rain, and his son started crying. So Rob took him out of the backpack carrier and held him close, comforting him. He uses that situation as an allegory for how God comforts us when we go through storms in our lives.

I thought it was very enjoyable, and I was touched by the film. We had a good discussion afterward as well. I think Mosaic is a good fit for me spiritually, as the pastor is definitely not one of those “Everything that happens to you is God’s Will” kind of people, and for the same reasons that I am not. And the other people there were very friendly, and I felt pretty comfortable. So I’m liking Mosaic so far!

WalkingTown DC

This past weekend the Cultural Tourism office did something pretty sweet – they put on over 100 walking tours of a bunch of different neighborhoods in DC. You could tour the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Congressional Cemetery, Embassy Row – there was something for everyone! Here’s a few of the tours that caught my interest:

History of Brookland – Brookland is my neighborhood! This tour points out the homes of famous Brooklanders, and stops at a Civil War fort and the Franciscan Monastery ( I need to stop there sometime soon, too – they apparently have fantastic honey!).

Spies of Georgetown Walking Tour – tours spy-related sites in Georgetown and “tells stories truly ‘stranger than fiction'” It doesn’t mention whether these stories are actually true, or just really strange, but it probably doesn’t matter much in the end.

Before Harlem, There Was U Street – tour “Black Broadway,” where Duke Ellington grew up and where Cab Calloway and Dizzy Gillespie played.

Embassy Row – I better just quote this description verbatim: “Revel in the Beaux-Arts grandeur of Massachusetts Avenue, better known as Embassy Row, and learn about the mining, railroad, banking, and publishing families who showcased their fortunes in the nation’s capital, leaving impressive 1880s and 90s mansions. Imagine fabulous wealth, parties, and scandals of the past while glimpsing the life led by Washington’s diplomatic community today.” Sounds awesome!

Peirce Mill: Two Hundred Years in the Nation’s Capitol – this tour focuses on the Peirce/Shoemaker clan, who built the flour mill on Rock Creek, and their history in the DC area.

A Free Black Woman: Elizabeth Keckly – this tour tells about Elizabeth Keckly, who was a free black woman and a confidante to Mrs. Lincoln.

Chinatown – pretty self-explanatory – it’s the history of Chinatown!

The National Mall: What the Memorials Don’t Tell You – not really sure what this is about, but it sounds pretty intriguing.

H Street Alley Exploration – basically, learn about why alleys were built and what they were used for, and see what they’re used for today.

Scandals, Scoundrels, and Scallywags: The Seamier Side of Georgetown – boy, whoever wrote the names for Georgetown’s tours sure did a good job! This one sounds really interesting – it talks about crime in 1870s Georgetown.

So basically, I wanted to go on a lot of tours! I wish you had been here with me, Mom, because I think you would have loved a lot of these too! We’d have had fun walking around, history-learnin’. I love the idea of these tours, and it looks like Cultural Tourism DC puts them on twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. Pretty sweet, right?

Just when I thought the saga was over…

… my a/c is out again! I woke up Saturday morning to an unusually warm room. I checked the thermostat – 76 degrees?! What? I went over and felt the air blowing out of my a/c – nope, definitely not icy cool. What’s going on? I decided to see if it was my imagination, or alternately if the air would fix itself while I was out. I went to run (4.76 miles, thankyouverymuch!), eat, and go to my face to face group (not necessarily in that order), and left the a/c blowing lukewarm air.

When I got back, it was even hotter – 78 degrees! I asked another woman on my hall if her air conditioner was working. She said they turned the a/c off today, and she doesn’t know why. So, I think there are two possible reasons:

1. The sisters hate me.

2. It’s now “fall” and “no air conditioning time,” and the a/c will not be back on until late spring.

I really hope that number 2 is not the reason, because it is not cool enough outside to be cool enough in my room without having the window all the way open 24/7. So, I’m back to having people able to see into my room all the time (since the blinds must be up), and dealing with the light coming in from the streetlights at night and the sun in the morning. I can’t tell you how great it was to sleep with the blinds closed and the a/c on!

I do not think it is a great idea to have one main switch in the building that turns the climate from a/c to heat. We had that in high school, and it always meant several weeks in the fall and spring where it was way too hot, but the a/c wasn’t turned on yet. For some reason, it never seems to be the case that there is a time when it’s too cold, but the heat’s not on yet. (Boo! I’d be happy with that – I’m basically a polar bear or something! Maybe a sabre-toothed tiger – those are more interesting). And really, I’ve only had a/c for about a week – I’m not ready to give it up! So let’s hope that this is just for the weekend.

Rar! I like to be cold!

Rar! I like to be cold!

UPDATE: It looks like there may be a third reason. Today, two rooms were opent that are usually closed, and I could see that the ceiling is still missing in them where the pipes burst. So it’s possible that they turned the a/c off while they work on that some more. I hope this is the reason, and that they turn the a/c back on soon, because it’s going to be in the 80s this week!

Explosion Update

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Not an explosion in DC set off by Canada

Look what I just read! Canada has decided not to set off any fake explosions on my birthday! I like to think that the embassy stumled upon my blog post and thought “She has a good point. Maybe we should reconsider.” But more likely, they got some letters and phone calls or ran out of money or something. According to DCist we’ll find out the exact reason on Monday. But still, I’m pretty pleased they changed their minds, for whatever reason.

AU Negotiation Project

I’m part of a club! I’m a joiner!

Wednesday I went to a general information meeting about the American University Negotiation Project. It’s a project that started from a negotiation class. Some of the students wanted to take what they learned to the campus as a whole, and to provide a forum for practicing negotiation skills. Most of the founders were/are members of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program at SIS.

The AUNP holds several events each semester. Some of them are informational, round-table style events, and others are simulations, where the attendees actually role-play negotiations.

At our meeting, they asked if anyone would like to join the club and help with the planning of the events, and I volunteered. I’m going to be a Budget officer! I told them that I’d need plenty of guidance, since I’m not a financial whiz by any means! The president of the club handled the finances last year, so she’s going to let me know what I need to do. I’ll be helping track the finances of the club and wrangle the food for the events. I think it’s going to be fun!

Plus, it’ll look good on my resume. Having event planning/food procurement experience will be a definite plus. And getting involved with something on campus will be good for my social life, too!