clevermynnie: (see us waving)
This weekend was the first weekend I had been at home in a month, and as a result it was NUTS with things going on.

It started off amazing, getting together with friends for drinks after work on Friday and then going with my improv troupe to do karaoke. Not everyone was completely comfortable with the idea of karaoke, but everyone got so into it; we started with all group songs, then duets, then solos, and I got to go out with Oh Darling which is one of my absolute favorites songs to belt out melodramatically. And then after singing for three hours, we went to a loud pub and shouted over background noise for three hours, so it was extremely fun even though my voice was a bit messed up on Saturday.

And actually, Ben had tons of plans for us on Saturday: brewing, having friends over, going to a barbecue with his coworkers and then a screening of Macbeth. I was initially kind of zonked, but managed to pull through the day, and had fun seeing everyone. The Macbeth screening was cool; it was a simulcast of a production at this festival in Manchester, starring Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston, and it was just so well done.

On Sunday I managed to squeeze in a short run before heading to brunch, tea, and then an improv jam for Dublin area improvisers. These were all pretty good though in general on Sunday I just felt low-energy, so actually the best part was probably after the improv jam, heading to my friend Nancy's house to help her re-dye her hair purple, watch Father Ted, and mess around on an accordion.

staycation

Dec. 22nd, 2012 09:19 pm
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
For the first time in basically ever, we are not going anywhere for Christmas! Meaning that this last week was largely a week of holiday parties with no travel planning or last minute errands, and now quite a bit of time stretches out in front of me with no particular priorities. It feels luxurious!

I think the prospect of not seeing friends and family abroad for Christmas is partly helped by the fact that we have a fair bit of travel lined up for early next year. And I'm really excited by the prospect of a Christmas Day sea swim, assuming we can get somewhere festive and fun which is a bit complicated but probably doable. We're meeting some people for Christmas dinner as well which should be great, and I am insisting that Ben and I do stockings for our first Christmas morning chez nous. As for the rest of the vacation, I'm thinking sports, piano, reading, and maybe even some writing... and probably a fair bit of gaming and movies. This time last year, I was excited to be in Ireland, but still settling in, unemployed, piano-less, and getting back into running. Whereas now... now I can bask.
clevermynnie: (smile)
I ended up having a very nautical-themed (pashmina afghan!) past weekend. The sailing class that Ben and I were supposed to do for our anniversary got rescheduled to last Saturday, so we showed up and it was not cancelled for high wind! Hooray! We went out on a racing yacht with three other students and an instructor, and spent about three hours sailing around Dublin harbor. The instructor was great at having us rotate jobs, so that we could each try out controlling the rudder, the main sail, and the jib. There were many other boats out for the day, because the Tall Ships festival was on and had several associated races, plus many people were clearly trying to catch a glimpse of the tall ships themselves, which were mostly docked along the Liffey for the festival. But we stayed clear of the more crowded areas and sailed around, which was really fun as long as there was wind. It was rainy off and on, but it was sunny as well, and we were all in waterproof outer layers so the rain wasn't a huge deal. Overall it was a lot of fun! I did start having some bad seasickness at the end, when the wind slacked off and I was getting hungry, but I made it back to shore without incident and next time I'll know to take Dramamine. The school running the class does a whole series for both yachts and dinghies, and the prices are actually pretty reasonable, so perhaps we will go back in the future!

And then, on Sunday we went to the Tall Ships festival for a bit. Every year they apparently do races around Europe, and this year Dublin was the final port. We had been seeing the ships as we went around town earlier in the week, and popped down to see them get underway. There were smaller and larger ships, all pretty cool looking, but one of the best parts was seeing this enormous ship, with crew all up in the rigging to set sail once they left the harbor, being towed out of the mouth of the Liffey, everyone on the shore waving and the crew waving back!

I've also been seeing ads around for the newly restored Asgard, which is apparently on display at one of the national museums here. It was designed by Colin Archer who designed the Fram, and is most famous for being the ship that ran guns to Howth in 1914, which sparked or supported several important bits in Irish independence. I will have to go see it!
clevermynnie: (Default)
The whole time that we lived in Philadelphia, Ben and I did not have a tv at home. We had computers, and Netflix, and a futon/sofa in one room, and eventually an Xbox plus a small computer monitor in our bedroom. But we watched a lot of shows and movies in our computer chairs.

We still weren't that enticed by the idea of a tv and tv channels once we had our place set up here, but we started to wish we had something better. Ben's computer monitor broke shortly after we got here, so we were down to one screen for watching shows, or playing Xbox games, or playing any kind of computer game that wouldn't run on Ben's laptop. So once we were both working, we did something we've been wanting to do for awhile, and got a projector and projection screen! The price wasn't that different from the price of a nice tv (actually substantially lower given the size of the screen), and it makes use of the comfy but enormous couch that came with our apartment, and it puts our console games on another screen than my PC games. And watching movies or shows is really nice; it makes Merlin or Game of Thrones or DS9 feel considerably more epic. Ben's work subsidizes the purchase of gaming consoles, so we also picked up a PS3 and some new games... I have been playing Child of Eden, which is just gorgeous and has very enjoyable music and art. On the screen it's immersive and fantastic.

Plus, I enjoy the fact that when we are not watching it, the screen goes away, and then we just have a nice bay window and my piano. It's great! We really need to formally inaugurate the system by watching Star Wars.

And man, it is really nice.

hectic

Apr. 16th, 2012 07:09 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
Whenever I am about to go on a trip, it suddenly feels like I have three times as many things to do. I assume this is because instead of putting things off for a few days, I know I am putting them off for the duration of the trip, which in this case is pretty long. This means that the time right before a trip is always very packed and productive, but a bit stressful.

So of course I have been doing a ton at work, and the weekend was nonstop things (fun things!). We made a strong oatmeal stout this weekend, and had remote D&D with our Philadelphia group, and I played WoW and TOR with friends. And I ran 23 miles, which was beautiful and relaxing, and also had a fast short run where I ran each of 6 miles faster than the last. And our washing machine broke so we had to send our laundry out, and we had to clean and get things ready for being gone.

And I meant to blog but forgot, and meant to finish up a science blog piece but only got a little way in before another thing was scheduled. I need to be better about scheduling time for writing if I hope to keep doing it!
clevermynnie: (smile)
I had a bunch of grump-inducing things happen yesterday, and was kind of in a funk yesterday evening and this morning before work. I came in to work, and nothing very unusual happened: I took some electrical measurements which sort of worked, I scheduled some equipment time, I emailed with people in my group about science, my boss dropped in and we talked a bit, I had lunch with Ben, and I got my contract renewal paperwork so that I can update my immigration status. None of these things by themselves was incredible but here it is at the end of the day and I am in a good mood! I am excited about how work is going, and I have some nice things going on outside work.

It is so awesome to have a job that is a source of positive energy in my life. My undergrad research position was that way, but it was so long ago that I had forgotten how it felt. Man this is nice.

around

Mar. 5th, 2012 12:20 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
This weekend was pretty great. The weather was gorgeous, very clear, so on Saturday Ben and I headed down to see Christchurch Cathedral, which is a very old church that has been restored and thus has an interesting mish-mash of styles and themes. It was lovely, though I forgot my camera so I have no pictures. Next time! What's shocking is that apparently just before our visit, someone stole a relic, the heart of an Irish saint who was one of the founders of this cathedral. It's now all over the news and people are quite upset, but nothing seemed amiss when we were there so perhaps the news hadn't broken yet.

Afterward we went to this food market in Temple Bar, where I had samosas and a smoothie for lunch and Ben had roast pork, and we picked up a very inexpensive selection of raw cheeses, plus a baguette and some salad. That was our dinner later on, along with this delicious Belgian beer we have, and in the afternoon we just relaxed together which was great. Sunday morning, Ben left for San Francisco to give a talk at GDC, so I spent the day running up in Howth (beautiful!) and calling friends and family.

And, we now have our tickets for our US trip at the end of April. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing: we are going to a wedding in Escondido, visiting friends in Pasadena, going on a cruise to Ensenada with Ben's family, and then I'm going to New Mexico to see my parents and run the Greenland 50k in Colorado. Then I can bring back so much green chile!
clevermynnie: (smile)
I just got back from spending Christmas plus a few days in Dundee with [livejournal.com profile] erindubitably and [livejournal.com profile] marrog. It was the first time I had ever spent Christmas not with family (mine or Ben's), and without seeing my parents at all around the holiday. But Ben and I had a really nice time, ate tasty food, played fun games, and generally enjoyed ourselves a lot! I got sick a couple days before the trip but I was over the worst of it by the time we got there, thankfully. I am really grateful that, while we moved further away from many of our friends, we moved closer to a few very quality friends.

And now, back in Dublin, where the days are 7.5 hours long and getting longer, and we have finally found a great Indian restaurant nearby. I hope everyone's had a good holiday.

weekends

Dec. 12th, 2011 04:12 pm
clevermynnie: (i carry your heart)
There are so many things I love about weekends here.

I love eating the food that Ben cooks for me, pot roast and pan-fried fish and stuffing and roasted potatoes and the like, and figuring out good beer pairings like oysters with Kelpie.

I love walking around or heading out to a market or hike if it's clear, and when it's rainy I love relaxing with some tea on our extremely comfortable couch, reading and sharing fun tidbits.

I love going to the greengrocer or the off-license with the great beer or the butcher or the health food store, because there are so many great little shops in our neighborhood. We can buy fresh scones around the corner every morning!

I love playing D&D remotely with our Philadelphia group. We started a new campaign where I play a bard, which means I can cut people with my words!

I love going for a low-key run and finding that I can go faster and faster without trying very hard, and coming home to hot soup and a shower.

And I love having our cats here!

photo

interlude

Sep. 9th, 2011 11:18 am
clevermynnie: (and then?)
There was a delay in getting Ben's green card for Ireland, so for the past week we've been staying in Lancaster with his dad and stepmom. We originally thought we'd be leaving for Dublin the day after my defense, which would have been last Saturday, but instead we are leaving tomorrow and will be in Dublin this coming Sunday.

The week has been really nice. When we got here I felt so exhausted, not only from the several nights of really poor sleep leading up to my defense and right after, but also mentally from the stress of moving and preparing my talk. But we have gotten to sleep a lot here, I've been going with my stepmother-in-law to spin classes at the gym, they have a guitar and a piano that I can play, and they have a ton of books so I've been reading Franny and Zooey, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Einstein's Dreams, which are all excellent. It has rained a huge amount since we've gotten here, creeks swelling and flooding the roads, but we just sit in their house at the top of a hill and play Mariokart or watch DS9. We also cooked for the first time in ages, making gnocchi to use up some of the many potatoes they had.

In the end, this was the perfect thing to do after my thesis defense.
clevermynnie: (Default)
Conan O'Brien gave the commencement address at Dartmouth this year, audio and text of which are here. I liked his speech a lot, it's funny, but the end of it, in which he talks about failure, rang especially true for me:

Now, by definition, Commencement speakers at an Ivy League college are considered successful. But a little over a year ago, I experienced a profound and very public disappointment. I did not get what I wanted, and I left a system that had nurtured and helped define me for the better part of 17 years. I went from being in the center of the grid to not only off the grid, but underneath the coffee table that the grid sits on, lost in the shag carpeting that is underneath the coffee table supporting the grid. It was the making of a career disaster, and a terrible analogy.

But then something spectacular happened. Fogbound, with no compass, and adrift, I started trying things. I grew a strange, cinnamon beard. I dove into the world of social media. I started tweeting my comedy. I threw together a national tour. I played the guitar. I did stand-up, wore a skin-tight blue leather suit, recorded an album, made a documentary, and frightened my friends and family. Ultimately, I abandoned all preconceived perceptions of my career path and stature and took a job on basic cable with a network most famous for showing reruns, along with sitcoms created by a tall, black man who dresses like an old, black woman. I did a lot of silly, unconventional, spontaneous and seemingly irrational things and guess what: with the exception of the blue leather suit, it was the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life. To this day I still don't understand exactly what happened, but I have never had more fun, been more challenged—and this is important—had more conviction about what I was doing.

How could this be true? Well, it's simple: There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. I went to college with many people who prided themselves on knowing exactly who they were and exactly where they were going. At Harvard, five different guys in my class told me that they would one day be President of the United States. Four of them were later killed in motel shoot-outs. The other one briefly hosted Blues Clues, before dying senselessly in yet another motel shoot-out. Your path at 22 will not necessarily be your path at 32 or 42. One's dream is constantly evolving, rising and falling, changing course.


Along the same lines, this is a great talk about being wrong.
clevermynnie: (smile)
The rest of the weekend after the marathon was pretty nice. I spent Saturday evening not really wanting to walk around much, so I replayed Portal, and then on Sunday I was feeling less stiff (still a bit sore) so I was able to help clean up and prepare for a brewing party we had. Some people from Ben's lab and our D&D group came over, and we made a witbier (think Hoegaarden) and ordered delicious delivery tacos and had mochi. It was a great day to stand around in our backyard, because it was sunny but not too warm, and our garden is getting pretty green. We have a lot of strawberries blooming, buds on our blackberry bush, sage, rosemary, parsley, chives, and some violets that I planted recently.

We also had D&D last night, which was fun although I'm realizing that my elven wizard has a lot of interesting abilities but is just not that good at damaging enemies. Our D&D group is splintering as people start to take internships away from Philadelphia, and both of our party tanks may be gone for the summer, so I am considering repurposing my character as a swordmage.

In stressful times I find it's a huge help to have weekends like this.
clevermynnie: (smile)
At the end of last week I was not happy, and I tried to have a weekend that would give me the steam to get through this week and to my vacation. So on Friday night I had D&D, where we finished the campaign that we had been doing for awhile in a pretty spectacular way while eating excellent Indian food from Ekta.

I met up with Melanie for trail running Saturday, at Washington's Crossing State Park, which was so enjoyable and relaxing. Beautiful, cold winter day, about 11 miles, felt very good. I am on track for my more restrictive marathon recovery, having run 0 miles the week after, 10 miles the following week, and 21 miles last week. And afterward, we ate at this restaurant very close to the park, called It's Nutts, where some fried chicken really hit the spot after running. But when I got home, the sore throat I'd been having all day was starting to get worse and I spent the evening being of very little use to anyone.

On Sunday I still had a sore throat, so I spent most of the day at home playing either WoW or Mass Effect 2. I only went out to go with Ben and some friends to Jong Ka Jib, this very excellent Korean soft tofu place. I had never had this style of tofu before, but it was great: very spicy and warming, perfect for a sore throat. And in the evening, Ben and I made a great stew from part of my Christmas gift to him, which was a lamb shoulder. The stew was awesome, and he liked the other part of my Christmas gift to him which was a Cannuli's sweatshirt (he has been saying he wanted one for a long time, so I obliged).

It was overall a really good weekend, though utterly unproductive in either work terms or preparing for vacation terms. So now I will probably be very busy until Thursday when we go to New Mexico.
clevermynnie: (Default)
I think things started to get crazy on Wednesday of last week, when I went for an 8-mile run and felt surprisingly sluggish and bad. Later in the day I developed a sore throat, which turned into a cold on Thursday. I stayed home, wanting to get better as fast as possible because on Friday I had to catch a 6:30 AM bus to NYC for Gotham-Metro, a condensed matter physics conference which is organized by grad students and which I was going to present a poster at along with several other people from my group. Luckily, staying home did help to get me unsick, so Gotham-Metro was enjoyable. There were two invited professor talks that were both great, some good students talks and some bad ones, and an interesting faculty panel on unanswered questions. I like going to smaller conferences sometimes, local ones, because it is such a low-pressure way to get to present your work. And sometimes cool things pan out from smaller conferences, like when I met someone at an APS-California section meeting who invited me to give a talk as part of a seminar series.

I had assumed the weekend would be relaxed, but Ben had just come back from his own longer conference trip, and we spent most of Saturday doing beer-related stuff; we bottled a cider we had been fermenting with an English ale yeast, and then brewed a Scottish ale that is now fermenting. That was basically all of Saturday, and then on Sunday I went for a 21-mile run, then took a very fast shower and inhaled a tuna sandwich so that we could go to gaming, where the rest of my day was passed as a wizard.

I both feel behind and want a break. I think I am not good at distinguishing breaks from responsibilities sometimes.
clevermynnie: (Default)
I have been in San Diego for four days now and haven't seen the sun at all. It's been cloudy and misty each day, cool and a bit gloomy. But what I have seen is the many darker colors of the ocean, the silvery gray and the gray-green and the slate blue... I ran again along the beach, and went surfing, and have been seeing more of Ben's family as well as [livejournal.com profile] juhi and [livejournal.com profile] chih. And I met a hedgehog!

It is nice to be here and see people that I like, but I wish I lived closer to everyone. It makes me feel motivated to graduate, but then we may just end up moving farther away... difficult to predict or plan. Just have to keep working, I suppose, but first a few more days of relaxing.
clevermynnie: (mask)
I spent much of Wednesday, my 26th birthday, flying from Philadelphia to San Diego. (Thanks for all the well wishes, here and on facebook and elsewhere!) This is because we aren't going to California for Christmas this year, but Ben was presenting at a conference at Stanford so his trip here was paid for, so I figured it made sense to make a small vacation of it. This was before I knew I would be teaching this semester, but that's all taken care of now. Work-wise, I was feeling guilty about coming here, but I have been collaborating with another student who is going to start fabrication devices for both of us while I'm gone, so it worked out kind of well. Plus I brought a bit of work to do when I have time.

Having a break from Philadelphia and the grind is nice, though. Part of it is that Ben's family is just so great; I got in Wednesday evening and had a birthday cake from his mom and stepdad, before I crashed from the time zone difference. Then yesterday, we went to the Scripps Aquarium with Ben's mom, and then in the evening hung out with several of my sisters-in-law where there was another birthday cake. :)

I just finished reading this phenomenal book, Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer, who was one of the first women to run Boston and one of the most influential female athletes who pushed and planned and strategized to get the women's marathon into the Olympics. The book was very well written (the author spent a fair amount of time as a PR person and a sports journalist), very inspiring running-wise (she talks about the training she did to do a marathon at all, then to push her time below 3 hours), and also compelling life-wise. I couldn't put it down!

One of my favorite things about visiting San Diego is running on the beach, so today I ran south to Torrey Pines, 5+ miles each way, and at the end took my shoes off and waded into the ocean. Bliss.
clevermynnie: (Default)
I still need to write about going to the Omega Women&Power conference this year, which is a big task because there were so many speakers whose talks I enjoyed. But one of the differences between the conference this year and last year was my response, both in how prepared I was for what the weekend would be like, and in how I used the weekend as a lens to reflect on my life and what's in it. Last year I got a lot of ideas that made me examine my feminism, and this year I ended up with the broader undertaking of examining my life. A problem I often have is that there are so many things I enjoy doing, and so many things I would love to accomplish, that figuring out a to do list or a list of near-term goals often ends up as a flood of ideas, too many to conceivably act on, difficult to make useful sense of. I'm thinking that breaking things down into categories will help, and what I'm realizing lately is that I need to get better at distinguishing between things I am doing because I like doing them and things I am doing because of momentum or because I want to finish a project (even one that I have come to dislike). I guess I've gotten to the point in my life where I'm not feeling the need to prove to myself that I can be stubborn about something very difficult or monotonous; I've managed to accomplish plenty of difficult things. I'd rather focus on a way to balance things so that I am happiest.

With that in mind, here are the categories and subparts I came up with when looking at things I care about.

1. Science and engineering: experiments, building things, publishing, finishing grad school
2. Music: guitar, piano, attending concerts, listening to music at home
3. Language: reading books, reading news and magazines, blogging, writing fiction
4. Physical activity: running, tennis, weights, swimming, yoga, hiking
5. Environment: travel, exploring new places, being outside
6. Crafting: cooking, gardening, sewing and fabric dyeing, homebrewing
7. Escapism: reading novels, watching movies and tv shows, playing video games
8. Social interaction: talking to my parents and distance friends, local social outings, time with Ben

I might have missing something here, but I don't think so. There is clearly overlap between categories; for example, social overlaps with everything, since I socialize at work, if I go for runs with people, in my tabletop gaming group, homebrewing with Ben, if I read a good article and forward it on, sparking a discussion... a lot of the most rewarding social interactions I have include other categories. Crafting also pops up everywhere, because a lot of the categories I listed have passive and active elements (reading/writing, performing/improvising, movies/games, reading papers/doing experiments) and the active element is almost always a sort of crafting. I have known for awhile that if I start to focus too much on one category, either by an accident of planning or by short-term necessity, I feel wildly off-balance. At the same time, if I skip one of these categories for too long, I start to feel unhappy but it's harder to peg why... I am also starting to realize that I would like to do all of these things occasionally without feeling pressure to do them every day. (The conference brought this out because I attended a writing workshop, where I wrote some novelistic memoir, and it reminded me how much I miss writing fiction even if I stay in the practice of writing essays by blogging and occasionally writing massive emails.)

It was helpful for me just to write out these categories, but what do I do with this information now? I am thinking of trying a new form of log (right now I have a workout log and a guitar log, in both cases to aid training) where I try to do each of these things at least once per week, and something from each category every day. That might be too rigid, for example we don't homebrew every week since the quantity of beer would be too large for a two-person household... but what I want to do is get better at the balance between having everything strictly regimented and having nothing ever happen, and feeling that all of my needs are well met. I am definitely getting better at this with time, but I think if I am honest with myself, I have a way to go.

back

Sep. 20th, 2010 10:15 pm
clevermynnie: (mask)
I'm back from Chicago.

The workshop was interesting, with more information that will be useful to my next project than I expected to find. My advisor talked about work that another student and I did, and her talk went well; we also presented a poster which went fine. There were a few people at the workshop who were being jerks, picking on other presenters and asking questions in a mean way, unwilling to let anything drop, and that was discouraging to see. But there was a pretty funny theorist who kept clarifying that he had invented things "in the eighties", which was bizarre but entertaining. Before I went, I was feeling a bit like "can't I just get to work", but I did get a lot out of hearing the talks. It was also really nice going with two other students from my lab and having a lot of productive work discussion (in addition to a lot of non-work discussion, of course).

And I got to be in Chicago! There wasn't time for everything that I wanted to do there, but since we were staying so close to downtown I did get to see a lot. I went running twice, stumbling across things like the theater district, the Sun-Times and Tribune buildings, the Art Institute and a lot of fountains and flowers in Millenium Park. I saw the outside of the Robie House, the Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house on the University of Chicago campus, and on Saturday my friends came up from Indiana and we went to the Field Museum. It was fun! I hadn't been to Chicago in over ten years, and wasn't sure how much I would enjoy visiting, but it is a pretty nice city. In the fall, at least.

I came back Saturday night, got up early Sunday to go for a 20-mile run that turned into 22 miles because of the Philadelphia ING Half-Marathon going along my normal route in the opposite direction from the way that I wanted to go, then cleaned up and went to play D&D with some of Ben's friends and eat a lot of tacos from my favorite taco place here. And now things are back to normal, kind of, although there is a lot going on with me for the next month or so. Women+Power conference this weekend, Freedom's Run marathon next weekend, and a week and a half after that is when I go to California for a bit. Things are picking up!

mentality

Aug. 11th, 2010 01:29 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I was recently reminded of this great post about endurance sports and one of the reasons why they are appealing.

But in truth, it's a defining part of the marathon experience. When you push yourself through this barrier, moving forward despite everything your body is signaling, you learn to trust your will. You find, on the other side of that wall, that you are far more courageous than you thought. You engage, and build, your character. You finish a stronger person.

In a nutshell, that's really it. What lies beyond the challenge is what defines you. By overcoming your own perceived limits, you face the undeniable truth that you are stronger than you thought, and thus must redefine your self image as a more confident and capable person.
 
 
 

I think this describes what I like about challenges in general, not just those of a physical nature.

looking up

Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:05 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
Yesterday turned around late in the day with several enjoyable things happening, and overall it started to feel like I was coming out of a slump. To keep the momentum up, I wanted to write about a few cool Philadelphia things that have happened recently.

The first was several weeks ago, in the final intramural softball game of the year. Our softball games used to be on a small field close to the physics building, but that field has been demolished and is being rebuilt as part of this new park the university has planned. So this year, our games have been either in the track and field stadium or out at this random field that takes about 30 minutes to walk to from my building. It has not been ideal but the games are fun. But for some reason, for our playoff game they actually put us on in the baseball stadium! For one thing, you can't hear the freeway, but also the field was really nice, with an actual announcer and clear areas for the bases and the pitcher. The best part about it was the ambiance given by this huge power station behind the outfield, which looked glowering and industrial, and the train tracks running overhead nearby. Hearing the roar of the train, looking out at the field and the towers, and playing a good game of softball with friends was pretty amazing.

Then, a couple of weekends ago, Ben and I went on a short kayaking tour of the Schuylkill River, from Walnut street up to the waterworks and boathouses. We were in really small and tricky-to-maneuver kayaks, and the route is basically the same route that I run on but viewed from the water instead of next to the water. The waterworks are especially impressive from the river. I didn't have my camera for fear of getting it wet, but here is a nice picture of the view. It was blisteringly hot, so we were going from bridge to bridge and trying to stay in the shade. But it was a lot of fun--different from the boating I've done in a more natural setting, like the other fun trip with [livejournal.com profile] milkiestway and his friends for the 4th of July. I liked it a lot.

Most recently, in my stint as a juror I ate lunch twice at Reading Terminal Market, which has an amazing amount of cheap, good food. On the second day, while serving on my trial, I took my lunch to LOVE Park and ate there. You can see down the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Museum of Art from LOVE Park, and on a nice day it's a great place to be eating delicious food. And afterward, I went back to work, which is to say back to jury duty which just happened to be in City Hall. :)

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