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the science gets done!

me: shhh claire it is a lie
claire: craaaaap
claire: it looks delicious and moist
claire: I am worried.

Nerd Siblings FTW.


good day!

Well, good day, Internet!

I write today in order to pick the brains of those of you who may or may not cast an eye to these pages. I'm looking for a location for an 18th c. shin-dig in -- let's say -- the greater Washington DC area down South to the greater Richmond Area. Also accepted are Plantations on the James, and Historic Homes in general.

Needed: a big space for dancing

Wanted: Ability to eat and drink inside though I know this is not necessarily possible.

Any thoughts?  

Edit:  OH GOD YES MONEY IS AN ISSUE.  Free = great.  $ = Ok.  +++$$$ = Ehhh....


summer-time outings!

sunset at the stadium
So as a welcome to Summer-time, a few of us headed off to a Washington Nationals game. I can't remember the last time I've been to a baseball game, but let's get serious, we weren't there for the game. Weather was great, seats were cheap with a great view, and the food (outsourced from local DC places) was delicious. We very quickly resolved to make it a monthly (if not bi-weekly) outing.

Here Josh attempts to find something -- I think the velocity of a pop fly -- through geometry and / or physics:

baseball calculations

Tom is very excited about baseball. (Not really!) The light was so pretty, though...

so very excited

The next day, I searched out where my Mom's cousins live, as I had a niggling feeling that it was close to where I'm currently temping. As it turns out, it is not only close, but officially .4 miles away. So I walked. Meandered actually, as I am a fast walker and was afraid I would arrive too soon for supper.

Supper was delicious, and while I have no photos of the boys this time (see: Easter) I managed to play football, soccer, and read Marco 3 bedtime stories, while promising 2 more the next time I came 'round. Susan said that she should have expected as much, as she sent a self-proclaimed lover of books to read stories... what she didn't count on is that I recognized the books from my childhood, and so was far too excited to read them again! The official count was: "The Little Island," "My Friend is Sad" (neither of which I had read before, but Island is beautifully illustrated) and "Put Me in the Zoo" (which I had), and I spotted "Each Peach Pear Plum," which I had no memory of until I spotted the cover.

What follows are some pictures of my walk to their house. So pretty.

leafy walk

grass stairs

sidewalk roses


The weather has been beautiful recently, which means I am now entering my phase of missing working outdoors 40 hours a week. Yes, it can be miserable (see: Virginia Summer) but Springtime and Fall are bliss.

Today was a beautiful day in DC, and as I walked to nearby family's house (right near work!) I realized how perfect for walking the weather was. A lovely 60°, crisp enough to offset the heat from walking, and sunny. So as a result, I started of thinking back to working at Williamsburg. Even though the lovely weather is what you look forward to, it's the dreadful weather that you remember.

I talked to Amy today about the day we worked during Tropical Storm Ernesto, and of course she remembers the whole day. We spent most of it together, huddled underneath cloaks, trying to avoid puddles (and failing), making our way down the Duke of Gloucester street towards the shops where we were assigned that day. Meanwhile, tree branches were falling around us.

We made it to the Wig Shop, where I was assigned, and I realized quite quickly I was soaked through, and so took of layer upon layer until I was barefoot, wearing my chemise, stays, and bed gown.

To those not intimately familiar with Early American Textiles, I was wearing a knee length cotton nightgown, a fully-boned corset ("stays"), and a woolen knee-length wrapper that vaguely resembles a bathrobe. Colonially naked.

All of my clothing at this point was strewn across the shop, along various ropes, as I lamented being chosen for the one shop that had a fireplace that didn't draw.

Needless to say, it was a rather uneventful day for guests (total: 13) but we interpreters had fun. The electricity went off, and we didn't realize it until a few hours later, and I trekked across the river that Duke of Gloucester had become to peek in the Millinery shop, and managed to find not only a fireplace, but soup and hot chocolate that they had heated up in the fireplace. I watched my shoes steam slightly as they became slowly less damp, and wiggled my toes in my wet stocking feet while I sipped my soup.

It sounds miserable, but I don't remember that. It's filed under other outdoors days, full of fresh rainstorms, cool breezes, and blissful sunny days.

snakes & characters

Incidentally, I've been terrible about posting on both places, so do check my blog at http://localbavarde.blogspot.com for the past couple weeks' entries. :)

what cheer, netop?

Well. Today is the first day that I've actually been coherent enough to blog. But what a day! We met up and headed to the Nature Lab at RISD, where I'd been (briefly) before, but this time, we met up with Kate & Andrew, who work there, and were able to give us a full tour.

We met Netop (above), an amelanistic (sherbet colored!) corn snake, who, for the first time in my life, made me want to own a snake. We bonded.

But first: the show last night. This was Claire's final show for Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design [ risd ] and I was absolutely thrilled I got to pop up to Rhode Island to see!

It consisted of 7 total artists, and while I knew a few and was familiar with their work, I was still blown away at their newest projects, or even looking at the art I'd seen a second time. It was just so perfect. The works all had these unintentional parallels, which were neat to follow, and it was great to be in that environment where everyone was so excited about the art.

(I haven't posted lots of pictures of the art, because their websites do a much better job! See bottom of the post!)


It makes me contemplative, and thinking back to my own senior year, when I had things pretty much nailed down in March. I knew what I was going to do, and in retrospect, I worry I picked that too quickly. But it's done nothing but benefit me, so I should be grateful for that path.

Dad and I were talking to Claire's professor, Shanth -- who, incidentally, is amazing & we've sat in on classes that I still think about -- and he was talking about what he tells graduating seniors about where they should go. The idea coincided with Dad's idea of "go where it's scary," with this thought of "go where you can grow." I really liked that. I like that idea of going to a place that you're still terrified of, but knowing that you'll find your feet, and the only way is up. It's a good thing to keep in mind, especially with that on my horizon again.

But back to RISD!

The Nature Lab was great. Kate fed chameleons, I hung out with a snake, we met turtles, saw doves, and ogled an albino Madagascar hissing cockroach. Also, there is metric tons of taxidermy there, and it's just a great space. Very Victorian Natural History Museum-y.

nature lab, front desk
How beautiful is that?

nature lab, shelves

beetle lovin'
Beetle Love Tank. My favorite part.

bonding with netop
More of me and Netop.

And finally, we went to one of Claire's classes on Character Design. We love the professor -- see above: Shanth -- and just sat and watched. It made me miss college (and relish that I'm going back!) and my mind is boggled by the fact of just so much creativity there.

Claire made this orca for her protagonist, and her sketches later of it are quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.

detachment (the easy kind)

For more pictures of the show, see my flickr album or Mom's post about it.

Also links to assorted artwork:


a love affair with kitsch

Two major things in my life have made me stop and take pictures of them, and so I think that warrants a blog post.

The first is that I found an Abraham Lincoln keychain in the parking lot. It's pretty fantastic. Lincoln (in the middle) spins around. Possibly the best part is that I am currently in the middle of a book called Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America that is all about the mythology of Lincoln. It's a sign!

In other news, I'm doing some temp work, at a place called KaBOOM! (they promote community-built playgrounds - awesome!) which is proving to be more involved than temp work, but that's ok - it's keeping me very, very busy. Also: money! This office is super colorful, and there are pots of plastic grass everywhere.

I love my plastic grass. I swear it looks real. It is right next to my monitor, and it's not as if there are not 5 other pots within easy reach, but this pot does not have a pinwheel in it, and I love it.

I could put some "new growth" spin on it, but I won't. I like it because it's springtime-y and green and fun. At this point, I'm enjoying simplicity (and, apparently, kitsch!) and it makes things fun.

Tomorrow is the Washington D.C. area Christian Science Summit. I'm excited, and I have one of my my friends that I met at the Chicago Summit in town, so I will have a buddy. Here's hoping for good lectures and regular sodas!

cute grass


polling time!

Poll #1170272 Callsigns!

If I were to have a callsign (a la fighter/viper pilots) what should it be?

other - see below

If "other" - what? why?

Comment & let me know WHY you chose whichever one. I'm curious.


adventures in surreality

Today, Amy and I headed into Old Town Alexandria to go shopping, and as we are walking by the town square Amy looked confused, and said "Hey! Is that the Pillsbury Dough Boy?"

Yes. Yes it was.

Wow. Apparently it was the National Trademark Expo at the US Patent Office, and there was a guy dressed as a giant registered trademark sign, which was odd, but so was the juxtaposition of the two corporations represented by characters: Pillsbury & Microsoft.


All I know is I got a picture with the Master Chief from Halo. Eat your heart out, nerd-buddies.


let's roll some dice.

Originally uploaded by hummeline
So today was spent driving out to a game store for the intent to buy dice. Not regular dice, but polyhedral dice. As you can see, I am now the proud owner of a lovely little collection of dice, including 2 twenty-sided dice ("d20s") - and the middle one is purple, green, and blue: gorgeous!

At any rate, they're the first dice I've ever bought, as I no longer have access to Eric's bag of dice, which contains the sparkly-pink ones I have previously used (and loved).

It's strange, because I don't think of myself as a gamer, yet I've been involved with it for 8 years, and I bought these specifically for a game (and by that, I mean role-playing game) of Tyler's, called the Circle.

This game in particular becomes an excuse to delve deep into character development & world-building, which provides an excuse to write and makes one think about fictional characters (for that is what they are) in new ways. They take on minds of their own, which is a familiar feeling for those who write, but it is always strange to have a character react to things in ways that you don't expect -- or to hang on to feelings that you thought they would have long-abandoned.

I like that. Even if it never explicitly comes out in the game, there are bottled up emotions that I associate with my character that determine her every move, and in that way, it makes the game more real. Not real in the sense that Infernal Gaslamp was, when my character was a thinly-veiled version of myself (crushes and all!), but real in the sense that those latent feelings makes the game a more life-like experience.

Of course, I will probably never be in disguise and a member of a ragtag band of mercenaries trying to convince a foreign government to give us an army to beat back mutated beasts, but if I were, I have a feeling it would be similar, because, in game, there are all the personalities, biases, hatreds, friendships, and reactions of real people.

In the meantime, I'm editing the wiki we've created so all the players can keep all the facts about the world straight. It's currently 573 pages. That's a lot of information, most of which will go un-mentioned, but the delicious detail is so fun to learn, especially for the historian in me.

A month left until the next session -- and I cannot wait. I will be connected through my computer, but at least I'll have fantastic dice.


give me that cylon religion

So I was reading the lesson for this week, that has a passage from Genesis (32:30, specifically) as its major point of study for the week.

...I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Maybe I've been watching too much Battlestar Galactica (impossible!), but I just got to giggling, because it sounds exactly like how the Cylons (that would be the robot bad guys, for those of you not as fluent in BSG) speak about their religion - in particular, it sounds exactly like Number 3's quest to find the Final Five Cylon models.

Fantastic. Hee hee.