a gathering place for the words, images and momentos of the world of adventures i've adventured, the stories i've wandered through. curriculum bella vita...a resume, of sorts, of the good life.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Well-Matched Mismatcher

Not a bad little Friday. First, passed Arabic exam. Second, ran off to a courthouse with a lovely little lady. Third, realized I was wearing a pair of pants that did not match my jacket. Finally, celebrated the evening away with a remarkable gathering of friends and family. :-)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Great Bastille Day Birthday Canal Camp

Inspired by the great bike trip last month, we booked a lockkeeper's house along the C&O canal for the big birthday bonanza with Hyderabadi friends. Lockhouse 22, twenty-two miles upstream from the start of the canal, where a little ole lockkeeperman and his family used to operate one of the 200 or so locks on the entire project. The only catch? It was renovated to suit the period. No electricity, no plumbing.

Great evening of merriment and grilling, even though on-and-off rain made it a bit difficult, and rather muddy to boot. Upstairs bedrooms were pretty darn muggy and stuffy overnight...and the period-piece beds not all that comfortable. When we woke up, for some odd reason, all three ladies were covered with hundreds of bug bites. As for the five gentlemen? Not a single mark. We still haven't figured it out yet if it was mosquitos or bed bugs...we didn't see any of either during the day or night. Peculiar.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

First Sip of Wisconsin

Kirsten's first trip to Wisconsin, gotta give her the full treatment!

Polka dancing and boot steins at Essenhaus. "You guys sure have a lot of state pride." Sailing on Winnebago. Carol's surprise retirement party. "You start to wonder if any of our stories don't involve beer." Telugu family dinner and dessert. Barn quilts of Green County. New Glarus brewery and homesteads. Minhas brewery. Sugar River tubing -- $12 at S&B Tubing in Albany, 3 hours. "Anyone wanna trade a Huber Boch for...anything?!" Madison professional ultimate frisbee.

The final verdict? "You have more beer than internet in Wisconsin."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Family Sightseeing #2

(or How to Rent Bikes and Peddle from DC to Great Falls)

Last time, it was a bike ride out to Mt. Vernon. This time, the bike trip during mom and dad's father's day visit was northwest into Maryland to Great Falls. A great 30-mile loop, doable even for amateurs

Rentals at Big Wheels Bikes in Georgetown. Good deal of only $21 per bike, with helmet and lock.

Depart Georgetown 10:30 am
Arrive Great Falls 1:00 pm
Depart Great Falls 2:30 pm
Return Georgetown 4:30 pm

Steadily uphill on the way to Great Falls, but you don't really notice it until the return trip is consistently and comfortably downhill, alhamduallah. Such a scenic trip, I'm embarrassed that I hadn't ever been out there before the bike trip! Great place, especially widewater and the falls themselves.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Family Sightseeing #1

Great way to spend a memorial day weekend with Megan, Andrew and Kirsten. An 11-mile tourism marathon around just about all of DC!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

miss anne smedinghoff

i ignored kaitlin's call. i was enjoying a saturday morning brunch with lilly. it would have been silly to take the call. it would have been rude to take the call.

i ignored kaitlin's second call. weird, i thought.

jeremy, she texted. call me immediately, the second message read. the third explained the urgency. anne is dead.

anne and i joined the Foreign Service three years ago to live a dream. and while each of the 90 of in the 151st A-100 class knew full well that our dream involved sacrifice, it's hard to really imagine a dream ending in the final sacrifice. i was stupid enough to brag about the rather reckless approach we took to our adventurism and our invincibility: I join the foreign service not to die, but to live; it's just that sometimes in the pursuit of the former, the latter sadly happens too soon, i willed.

i haven't had to learn how to eulogize well in life. but i found that the typewriter helped when i finally turned to write to Anne's parents. in short, in retrospect, she was one of the greatest souls i knew. the youngest in our class. the most daring in our class. Anne was killed while delivering books to a school for Afghan girls. she was 25. i have a new hero always.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Back in the Swing

Feels great to enjoy the warm almost-spring sunshine in DC with a return to the M Street courts with Andrew. Strange to think, but this spring marks the start of the fourth year of our Rafa-esque rivalry!

Here's the statistical update since 2010:

2011 - or "Enjoying Hyderabad's one outdoor leisure activity to the max"

Hot damn, 194-290 in an amazing 62 sets. That's a whole lot of tennis, and a increasingly getting-better 40% win percentage.

2012 - or "Somewhat more distracted and/or reluctant to leave the house"

Well, way less tennis for whatever reason, but 71-89 is at least a wee improvement to 44%. It's even better when you take Steve, who way outmatches me, out of the mix. How does 49% sound?!