A good day in spite of itself

John has wanted to try a tandem bicycle experience with me for some time.  My response has generally been, "Don’t those things come with divorce papers as a standard accessory?"  However, I finally caved and booked us a tandem rental at "Bike the Sites " in DC for this weekend.

Or… I thought I had.

The dude (and I use the term specifically – it’s a highly descriptive term of art in this particular instance) I had booked the reservation with told me to simply e-mail him with my contact information, which I dutifully did.  And when we arrived… no bike.  He hadn’t taken my credit card information, so they didn’t reserve it.  He hadn’t entered my phone number into the system and they stated they couldn’t contact me (they had my e-mail, but… let’s just not go there).

So, we regrouped, rebooked for the weekend after next (for my non-US readers, the National Mall in DC is to be avoided next weekend at all costs ).  On our way home on the Metro, weary and hungry, we decided to stop in downtown Rockville for lunch.

This was a very good plan.

Rockville has done one of those downtown revitalization schemes which when done badly makes a downtown into a shopping mall and when done well makes a downtown into a magnet for community.  And they’ve done a really nice job of the second type.  In addition to making the new main branch of the county library a major feature (a move applauded by our household), they’ve managed to attract a nice selection of mostly non-chain restaurants and shops.  They also have created a fountain that is truly designed to be a kid-friendly community water park:

Kids playing in the fountain - looks like fun...

Kids playing in the fountain - looks like fun...

Kids playing in the fountain - looks like fun...

Kids playing in the fountain - looks like fun...

After our Lebanese luncheon, we went home for a nap and a ride on our own bikes.  So despite the false start of our morning, quite a good day in the end.

Sensory overload strikes again

Over on Ravelry, some of our local entrepreneurs organized a Maryland “yarn party” – a mini-festival to give local dyers an opportunity to sell to local crafters.  Super idea.  So super, in fact, that the room rented for the inaugural event was too small for the hordes of people who showed up.  Despite being early, Marietta and I got sensory overload/claustrophobia and I left the event with only two skeins of alpaca laceweight (I have a scarf design knocking around in the back of my skull, asking to be let out in an increasingly less polite and more insistent manner.  This should appease it):

Alpaca laceweight

It’s a lovely blend of what Marietta and I agreed were pure “Jill” colors (why bother fighting it?).  Appropriately (for me, at least), the colorway is called “Special,” and it’s from Spirit Trail Fiberworks.  I would love to get more of this colorway in different yarns, as I saw at least one skein of superwash merino sock yarn in the same colorway that was much darker (silk or silk blend would be particularly interesting.  Mmmm.)

Since Mar and I were going a bit loopy in a crowded room of fiberholics and I needed to get home, we spent some time outside with her son Max so I could use my camera to document his antics.  He’s walking now.  Walking.  Geez.

Max on the go

He’s also still amazingly gregarious and friendly. And now with four whole teeth!

Four whole teeth!

He’s also got his parents’ smart-ass genes in full measure:


Give ’em hell, kid.  Auntie Jill approves.

Cute – multiplied

Still not 100% in the old “healthy” column, but getting back a bit. I do, however, have some cute photos of my friends Miklos’ and Michelle’s first-born (second-born is due next month). Martin was terrifically intrigued by all our critters, though he was leery of Tosh at first.  He spread toddler cheer all around the place for a very pleasant evening (yes, he’s only almost three, though he looks about five).

He angled quite successfully for the orange creamsicle cat-fish:
Martin, fishing for the elusive Milo

Got a consultation from Dr. Melanie on the best way to snag the critter:
Mel, consulting on cat-fishing

But this one has to be my favorite – you could photoshop them onto the end of a pier and it would look like they’re fishing together:
Gone fishin'

Milo wasn’t the only beneficiary of having a kid around the place. Tosh did his nice, patient puppy routine while Martin learned how to give a dog a cookie:
Giggling ensued

And was rewarded by a big game of tug (Martin had clearly gotten over his worries that the dog would eat him by this point):
Martin and Miklos - playing with Mac

Lest you think the humans didn’t get to have some good kid-fun too, let me dispel that notion. One of the many examples of Martin playing with the grownups, here with Yvonne:
Playing with Yvonne

That’s all for now.  As much as I’d like to crawl back into bed, I must head off to work.  ::sigh::

Irreverent before she even knows what that means

My friend Marie’s six-and-a-half-year-old, facing a window display containing a set of china figurines which depicted the Last Supper:

“Is that the God family?”