Archive for July, 2007

Yowch!

Monday, July 30th, 2007

My body is aching from all that gardening on Saturday. Yes, two days later.
Yes, I am a whiner and a wimp.

The amazing resurrecting lilies!

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I didn’t think I was in the mood to do it, but I did it. I got outside right after breakfast (which, by the way, was a waffle with diced mango and kiwi along with my absolute favorite coffee, Bongo Java Kaldi’s Dog — but I digress) and got my gardening stuff all set up.

The resurrection lilies have finally emerged! 7/28/07And then went squeeing back inside to tell Karsten that the resurrection lilies had finally emerged. They grow incredibly fast — they’re already over two feet high — but I didn’t even notice them emerging before this morning.

You may recall that these are a gift from my dad. A while before he died, they were in bloom in my parents back yard and my mom cut some and put them in a vase for him to admire from his bed. I complimented him on his beautiful flowers when I came to see him that day, and he told me that he wanted me to dig some up to remember him by.

So I did. The day he died, after the day had quieted down a bit, I went out back to where the bulbs were planted. It was early November in the Chicago area and the ground was pretty hard but the digging felt good and cathartic, and eventually I managed to dug up three good bulbs. I put them in a plastic bag in my parents’ refrigerator to bring home with me a few days later. It was cold when I got back to Nashville, so I worried about putting them right into the ground, which meant that they stayed in our refrigerator until the next spring, when one day I happened to notice a little bit of green emerging from the bulbs right inside the baggie in the fridge.

So I got outside and placed them in a line of three and planted a semicircle of daylilies around them to accent them. And they continued to sprout leaves, which died back as they’re supposed to, but no flowers ever emerged that summer.

I was a little worried they weren’t very healthy after their difficult transition, but this past spring the leaves came up again and I got hopeful that they’d actually flower this year.

And there they are, beautiful as can be.

Detail of resurrection lily, 7/28/07 Detail of resurrection lily, 7/28/07 Detail of resurrection lily, 7/28/07

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have these flowers. I really can’t tell you; there are no adequate words. But perhaps you can imagine.

Detail of resurrection lily, 7/28/07

I did get my other gardening done, too, by the way — planting, weeding, transplanting, mulching, watering, oh my! — and took a bunch of pictures, which produced some of the better results I’ve gotten with this newish camera. Here’s one of the new dianthus firewitch plants, all up close and personal:

Detail of firewitch dianthus, 7/28/07

And then I wanted to sit back and admire it all, but first Karsten thought I should show you all how dirty I got and how “cute” (I say “dorky”) I look in my shade hat.

After a long day of gardening, 7/28/07

And here’s a view of the garden through the new fence:

Front yard garden, 7/28/07

“Notable.” Ha!

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Liberadio included me in its roundup of “notable” bloggers endorsing Briley. Or, well, now that I read it again more closely, I guess they called the endorsement notable. Not so much me. Oh well, back to insignificance.

It’s Briley for me, too

Friday, July 27th, 2007

S-townMike has decided he wants Briley for the next mayor of Nashville.

I’m so glad to read that. Anyone who’s seen our front yard (or pictures of our front yard) in recent weeks knows we’re a Briley household. But I have a great deal of respect for S-townMike and the strength of his views on community and neighborhoods and what’s good for Nashville in general. So honestly, just to know that he’s thrown his support behind Briley as well pleases me, but I’m especially pleased that some of our reasons are the same:

Every opportunity I have to talk to Mr. Briley, he makes a concerted effort to listen, to chat with me authentically, and to be accountable for what he tells me. [...] I have never seen him evade a difficult question put to him.

Indeed I have seen David Briley seem to seek out difficult questions. I really sense that he’s a man of great character and integrity, and it comes through most in one-on-one interactions. Not to say the man’s never been wrong or won’t be wrong again — we’re electing a mayor, not an icon — but I get a good feeling when I talk with him that he sincerely means to do the right thing by people, and to do the right thing by Nashville.

Which reminds me of one more thing S-townMike says:

It is a testament to who David Briley is: a consummate leader who is not simply versed in the intricacies of governing, but a man readily attuned and energized by his responsibilities to the communities that he governs.

Exactly.

Chris Wage — whose opinions on the growth and development of Nashville I also have a great deal of respect for — has this to say about the race:

Everyone I’ve talked to in the past week — admittedly a small sample set — has been excited about Dean or Briley, whereas I’ve gotten nothing but baffled apathy regarding the rest of the field, particularly with regards to Clement.

I have had some overlap in sampling with Chris, but our sample set is not exactly the same and my experience is still identical to his. More specifically, the people I meet who are passionate about the race are passionate about Briley. I think it comes back to how much his character comes through when folks meet him.

Hey, look. I know I’m not an expert on local politics. I’m not a Nashville native, and I don’t have as much background on who’s who and what their backgrounds are as do a lot of folks I know. But I do pay attention, and I learn more every day, and I do genuinely care. When Karsten and I moved here four and a half years ago, we didn’t know we were going to fall in love with the place so much. I’m happy to call Nashville home and I hope to for a very long time. I believe David Briley is the mayor we need to help the city continue to grow responsibly, to address the valid concerns that come with growth, and to become an even better place to live than it already is.

I can has beef and broccoli?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

I made beef-style seitan on Sunday and stir-fried it with broccoli for dinner last night, and just ate leftovers of that for lunch. I am very pleased with the results. Yes. Very pleased.

That is all.

Unexpected efficiency: the government edition

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Karsten and I both just went through the rigamarole to get our passports processed, and although we have several months before we’re planning to take our European vacation, we’ve heard enough horror stories about delayed applications that we decided to pay the premium for express processing. It was definitely pricey (I think it added something like $100 between the two of us) but it was worth not taking the risk that we would have had to skip the trip.

Anyway, long story short: Karsten’s passport arrived two days ago, just a week and a half after he sent in the application. I’m seriously impressed.

(Of course, mine has yet to show up. Watch it take, like, 10 weeks.)

Oh, the frustration of computers

Friday, July 20th, 2007

In my day job life, I need Outlook. I live by Outlook. A few days ago, Outlook on my work laptop starting perpetually claiming to be “Disconnected” even when it had no good reason to claim that. As far as I could tell, though, none of my other apps were messed up.

So I took it to IT and asked for help, and it clearly had them stumped. For hours, the VP and director of IT worked on trying to get Outlook to behave normally. When I got my laptop back, Outlook worked, but a lot of other stuff was messed up. They’d performed some sort of broad-scale restore process that wiped out my system preferences, a good many installed applications (like Life Balance, which I use to manage my time and priorities), and all kinds of odds and ends like Firefox bookmarks and add-ons — that sort of thing.

Believe me, I’m grateful that Outlook works again, but man, trying to get things back to some semblance of normalcy has been a real productivity killer and extremely frustrating. I don’t even have a complete picture of what’s not working — I discover it as I go, like when I tried to sync my Treo just now and found out that all the Palm software was gone. Gah!

Again, I am grateful for what works — I just wish I’d known there would be such far-reaching consequences to taking my laptop to IT. I would have backed everything up. I guess I’ll know to do that next time.

Ah well. Back to the tedious process of restoring my programs.

All piled up

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Pyramid Achieved!!!
Pyramid Achieved!!!,
originally uploaded by GingerGE.

Ginger captured a great series of pictures of some friends forming a human pyramid at our porch-warming party, concluding with this successful pyramid.

(L-R, bottom row: Allen, Jim, Derek; middle: Karsten, Joni; top: Amy)

What’s even more hilarious to me than the pile of humans is the pile of junk visible behind them. Yes, our various renovation projects are causing us to amass quite a heap of trash on our back deck. When we finally do our major renovation, we’ll dispose of it, but until then, we just look, well, trashy I guess.

Good thing the people in the photo are so gorgeous, they distract the viewer from the trash pile. Maybe we could hire them to hold this pose until we clear the trash pile out.

More of the new fence

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

More of the new fence
More of the new fence,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

More of the fence got installed yesterday, so now the front (minus the gate) and the whole north side is done. The fence guy will be back next week with the piece that goes on the south side, and the gate goes in last.

Now if I can find what I was actually looking for, I’d be happy

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Normally my Google-fu is strong, but even when my search terms are imprecise there’s always the chance to discover something cool. I was looking for something else entirely but just stumbled across this Google Maps mashup called WalkJogRun that tracks running routes all over the place. Perfect for when you’re out of town on business or whatever and want to get out and explore but looking for suggestions on what the locals would advise. I don’t know about you, but it’s been my experience that the concierge doesn’t always have the best running route suggestions.

But enough about me…

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Tell me: what can you always count on to make you really laugh?

Over in Germantown: No, the straight kind, what else?

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Karsten: Oh! I guess I thought that was gay.
Neighbor-friend: Like, homosexual gay?

The fruit of the tree of knowledge?

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

This is cool: a visual history of Apple product design.

HT: Gizmodo

Flattery is the sincerest form of imitation

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

I had no idea I was the (partial) inspiration for a character in a play. But apparently I was:

I had imagined Tracy Keene, the other character, as being some kind of mixture of Newscoma and Kate O’. I named her after Newscoma, after all. I wanted that kind of brashness coupled with Kate O’s ability to just walk in a room and have everyone in there suddenly convinced she’s someone they need to talk to.

Wow. Am I ever flattered! But then Aunt B goes on to say:

The actor [...] was nothing like that [...].

Oh well. Fame is so fleeting.

A small part of a big moment

Friday, July 6th, 2007

I’m really excited to be part of a new blogging project. There’s a lot that it can become, but right now, the core group of people behind it are just trying to pull together everything we need to do right now. There’s been a flurry of email, a few of us met for lunch today, and there’s talk of a field trip for some research and networking, but more on that later.

The blog’s most basic purpose is to serve the community of middle Tennessee that was built through Nashville Is Talking, and which has been left wondering what comes next ever since Brittney left.

My take? This. This is what comes next. It’s grassroots, it’s cooperative, and it’s people from differing social and political views coming together with a common purpose. That just rocks my little world. After wondering what would happen to the community without a central voice to pull it all together, I feel really good about the way this has the potential to come together.

Happy Fourth!

Thursday, July 5th, 2007
Happy Fourth!
Happy Fourth!,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

Fireworks!

Me & Shawn at Cornerstone

Thursday, July 5th, 2007
Me & Shawn at Cornerstone
Me & Shawn at Cornerstone,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

Partying after the fireworks. Life is good. Though learning how to use my own camera would be even better.