Archive for April, 2010

What a cute Neanderthal couple!

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

John and I went to the Natural History Museum yesterday to see their new permanent exhibit on human origins – they have a cool interactive exhibit where you sit in a photo booth and have your picture taken, then it’s converted to how you would look as a Neanderthal – if you look closely, you can see it’s our eyes and mouth. Scary, hmmm?

We had two of the Mexican staff in from Juarez this week, so we went to a dinner with the Juarez gang on Wednesday night at Asia Cafe. It was great to talk to Erik and Evelyn, although it is still difficult, since the conversation still always touches on the murder of our friend there. It is still hard for everyone. But, it is so fun to see them relax and enjoy being in such a beautiful city.

On Thursday, I drove to Maryland after class (about an hour’s drive) to get my hair cut at a Ouidad-certified salon (Ouidad has a salon in NY, where Julie and I went years ago for haircuts – she specializes in curly hair). I got a great cut and had an interesting conversation with my Druze stylist – I’ve only recently heard about the Druze, a religious group in the Middle East, so it was fascinating to talk to her.

Friday night, we went to a small fun party in the District at a friend’s house. It was good to relax after a week of study!

Yesterday, we had lunch at Harry’s with our friend Sarah, who was in town this week in between her Bulgaria and London assignments. From lunch, we metro’d to the museum, then got back to the Oakwood in time for a birthday party for the one-year-old child of our friends Whitney and Ale. Whitney’s mom and step-dad were in town, and I always enjoy visiting with his mom – she’s a hoot.

With the Juarez gang at Cafe Asia

DC in the Springtime

Sunday, April 18th, 2010









With Adrian

It’s absolutely gorgeous here right now. I walked through the cemetery next door yesterday on my way to the grocery store and it was beautiful – azaleas and dogwood everywhere.

We got up early yesterday and picked up our friend Jimmi for a tour of the Treasury Department, along with her mom and her mom’s best friend. It was an interesting tour – it’s a beautiful old building that has been restored for the most part. The interesting thing is that the docents are all employees who volunteer their time on the weekend, and they obviously love the building. John was especially excited to see the original portraits of Washington and Lincoln that are used on our one and five dollar bills.

We had dinner last Sunday night at Harry’s with Adrian, one of our favorite folks from Juarez – he was in town this week for a class at FSI. It was great to see him, plus, he’s a big movie buff, so it’s always fun to hear his movie critiques!

The week was pretty low-key. We managed to sneak in several movies: “Grey Gardens,” “Precious,” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

My friend Cathy and I attended a workshop Wednesday night about travelling with pets – I’ve got to get in gear to research the import requirements for Flavia to Israel.

Other than that, the week was taken up with Hebrew study, oy vey!

Rocking along

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

This week we were rocking out in addition to rocking along. John took me to see Karla Bonoff, one of my very favorite singers, at the Birchmere Music Hall. I used to play her albums (vinyl) at KHDX, our college radio station – she is a beautiful singer and it was a great concert. She was the opening act for Christopher Cross, (yes, “Sailing”) who was surprisingly good. He has a great band with an excellent sax player, David Mann.

The Birchmere has open seating, and we were lucky enough to find a table right in the center with a perfect view. There was a very nice woman holding the table for friends and she let us take two of the seats – she had gotten there four hours early to get in line. It was definitely my lucky day!

DC is just gorgeous right now – everything is blooming: tulips, iris, etc. We went down to the Eastern Market this morning with our friends Cathy and Justin – we poked around for a couple of hours, then had a nice brunch. I bought some organic, free range eggs – yum.

Tuesday night we went out to dinner with two of the newbies going to Juarez – it was fun to yak with them and answer their questions.

The rest of the week was pretty low key with a lot of studying. Hebrew is going fine.

I haven’t talked much about FSI, but it is a fascinating place. It’s fun for us right now because we have so many friends there – people we were in A-100 with or folks we knew in Juarez or have met along the way. There’s always someone to eat lunch with, or say hi to in the hall. It’s very interesting because the teachers there are native speakers from their home countries – I think there are about 70 languages taught there in all. Just walking down the hallways, you hear snippets of conversations in all kinds of languages and see all manner of dress, from a bald man in an orange monk’s robe and sandals to colorful embroidered tunics and trousers from Pakistan. I never know what I’ll see coming around the corner. It’s fun.

We watched a couple of movies this week: “Flame and Citron,” “The Informant,” and “An Education” – all very good. I especially liked a supporting actress in “An Education” – Rosamund Pike.


Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Yesterday we got up really early and, along with our good friend Cathy, drove down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms. We got there while it was still dark and got to watch the light change over the Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. Very pretty, and we were happy to beat the crowds. We have an old friend of John’s from Mountain Home to thank for inviting us down, and John got to visit with her, too. Click here for more photos.

There wasn’t a lot going on this week, other than studying. It was rainy and colder earlier in the week, but now the weather is perfect.

Last Sunday afternoon at a “meet and greet”, we met several officers who just got their assignments to Ciudad Juarez. It was a treat to see our Consular Chief from CJ, Laura, and our friend Dean, who will be going to CJ as Principal Officer this summer.

Friday night, we went to Woolly Mammoth Theatre to see a magician, Rich Bloch. It was a lot of fun – he’s an older fellow and his act is old-school and funnny. I was happy to see the theatre itself – it’s modern and fun, and it made me want to go to more theatre.