Apr 25 2007
I haven't been posting much lately because I've been too busy to sit and write anything coherent, save for a quick blurb a few mornings ago. Things are, to be honest, going mad at work, which has been taking up a good twelve to fourteen hours every day. On top of all of this, my offline life is also going crazy for various reasons, and rather than spend nights online I'm taking care of business, so to speak. As one would expect, this combination of things takes a lot out of you. When I do manage to get some sleep, I tend to sleep until Lyssa wakes me up in the morning, whenever that happens to be. We have a new addition to the family: A couple of days ago one of Lyssa's cow-orkers gave us a pet, a baby Syrian hamster from a litter birthed by her daughter's hamster. The day before we brought her home we drove out to the local pet store and bought a basic setup for a fuzzball, which consists of a purple wire cage with a built in treadwheel, a little plastic igloo for nesting, some bedding, a glass water bottle, and a little ceramic dish for food. We also bought her an acrylic hamster ball, for when we break the cage down to clean it out. The night before we set everything up on the table in the library after I got home from class to give it a chance to air out.
After not a bit of discussion, Lyssa and I decided to call her Lucy. She's about palm-sized, mostly black and grey with a couple of faint white stripes on her face and belly. She's a little on the timid side but friendly. We're working on hand-taming her but it's been slow going lately due to how crazy life has been, we haven't been able to work with her as much as we'd like to. Lyssa's got a couple of good photographs of her that I'll link to later. For some reason, Lucy goes to the bathroom a lot on the treadwheel, so we'll have to clean her cage out sooner than expected. She also doesn't nest inside the igloo for some reason, preferring to sleep underneath the treadwheel near the back of the cage. We're not sure if she doesn't yet feel safe enough to nest inside the igloo or if she hasn't figured out that she's able to yet.
Last night, Lyssa and I met up in Dupont Circle for dinner before going to the Loreena McKinnett concert at the Daughters of the Ameican Revolution hall a couple of blocks away from the White House. She'd left work early and I've been working from home for the past couple of days so we got on the Metro and headed for DC proper just before rush hour. I arrived a couple of minutes before she did, even though I missed a stop or two on the Metro line and had to double back once or twice. We had dinner at the restaurant behind (and a part of) Kramerbooks before wandering around the Circle for a while, and then caught the Metro a couple of stops back for the six block-plus hike to the hall.
As it turned out, we got there about an hour early, and killed time for a while. Security at the concert was a lot more tight than usual - our bags were searched, and no cameras or other recording equipment were permitted. Lyssa and I had cameras with us just the same (though not intentionally; she keeps hers in her purse, and my cellphone has a camera built into it), though out of courtesy we didn't take any pictures last night. As it turned out, we weren't the only ones, but that's parenthetical. We ran into Elwing and her SO after a few minutes and hung out until people started arriving in earnest, and then went about finding our seats. Lyssa and I had floor seats near the back of the auditorium, which afforded us a decent view of the stage, which was fully decked out for the concert. After finding our seats we ran into Laurelinde and Bronwyn, who had the next pair of seats over from ours (well, not technically.. the couple that actually was next to us was nice enough to switch with them so that we could sit together).
I'll be honest with all of you, I'm not much of a Loreena McKinnett fan. I appreciate her music, especially how she juxtaposes instruments from many different cultures into a complex, cohesive whole. You have to have respect for someone who can write music that requires a real hurdy-gurdy, and can make it sound good... but all things being equal, I won't ordinarily seek out her music among other choices. Nothing against her, you understand, just my personal tastes.
She played a two hour show before a packed house last night, with a fifteen minute intermission about halfway through. About half of her band switched instruments multiple times last night, and they played everything from different kinds of drums (including a modern drum kit, replete with drummer throwing up the metal horns occasionally), accoustic and electric guitars, a harp, a fiddle, the aforementioned hurdy-gurdy, and a lyra (denizens of Washington, DC, will no doubt think of the older Chinese gentleman who can sometimes be seen playing a home-made lyra on various street corners or at Metro stations around the city).
I have to admit, I was very impressed by the complexity of her music. I had a good time sorting through the layers of her music to listen to just the cello, or just the bass guitar because sometimes they got lost beneath everything else. They played a pair of encores last night after a pair of standing ovations.
After the show we met up with Rialian and Helen and then all of us hiked to the nearest Metro station for the ride back home. I slept part of the way home and wound up passing out around 0030 EST5EDT this morning.