Thursday, December 30, 2010

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...

David and I visited the Cleveland Zoo.  It's December, so it was cold out, but the zoo prepares for that.  The rain forest area is in one large (and well heated) building, and they have coat racks so you don't have to haul your coat around.  And when you're ready to head into the zoo, they have a shuttle (also heated) that takes you up to the aquarium and cats building (I know! Really weird pairing).  

David took a LOT of pictures.  When we got to the zoo, I discovered that my camera battery was almost dead. So I got some shots (like this one), but David got many more. 
Sometimes, we were not entirely clear about who was on display -
the animals or us:

River otters and children
Orangutans and children
Gharial and woman (tasty snack?)
Something cute and small (and us, not pictured)


And we saw bats, of which David managed to get several very nice photos, despite the room being completely dark.

And a dwarf crocodile. He was only about three feet long, and didn't move, blink, or twitch the entire time we looked at him.  (David wanted to know if he was fake.)

These guys were off display for the winter, as was the entire Australia section of the zoo.  However, when we left the rain forest and headed to the aquarium/ cat building, the shuttle was no where to be found.  It was rather nice outside, despite the cold, so rather than wait, we decided to walk.  On the way, we encountered the kangaroos' winter home. Two were outside when we came upon the building, and while we stood, a couple more went in and out. They looked very cold, though.

 Just as we were getting ready to continue on, along came the shuttle, whose driver very kindly stopped and let us board. 

This is a prehensile-tailed porcupine.  At first we just saw two sleeping, but then a third came up and started running all around the trees. They have an enormous nose.  It's a little hard to see in the picture, but it's that large pink spot at the end of his face.  (It looks really fake.)

And cute turtles.  There was a large section in the rain forest with turtles and frogs for a very long time.  They were all cute, but they just didn't differ that much from each other. 

The ant eater seemed bored.  Unlike the otters and the orangutans, he had no interest in us, and just wanted back through his door.  So he paced back and forth.  It was very sad. 

This is a spiffy pink bird that pretended like I didn't bother it.  We looked at each other, and then I casually strolled up to the railing and we chilled for awhile.  He kept looking at me and shuffling his feet like he wasn't sure if he should come closer or move away. 

And then there were the  I don't actually remember how 
the zoo had this guy labelled, but really, could he be anything other than 
a Rodent of Unusual Size?

And we couldn't quite figure out what kind of animal was in this cage, 
or why it had so little room.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or *insert holiday of choice*)! And I hope you have a fabulous New Years Eve! We'll be in Boston for New Year's and for an exchange the weekend after.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Settling In

We're getting well settled in.  David's apartment was decorated very nicely, in a neutral-tone, clean lines, somewhat (but not excessively) modern style.  He's very techie, and consequently he has plenty of  equipment.  This meant that there was room for me to move in with my style, and I feel like we've meshed them pretty well, with bits of color (me) here and there, filling in around the neutral base (David). 

For my sewing, crafting, and other workspace needs, I am allotted a closet for storage and sufficient room for my desk in the den.  The closet is awesome.  It's a little crowded, but in a comfortable sort of way, and I had the brilliant notion to separate my fabric by color in a couple of those hanging shoe racks, which not only fits much better than a giant tub; it also makes the fabric much more accessible.  Plus, the wall is covered in hooks (there are 5 - FIVE! - hooks in the closet), so I have lots of hanging space.  

As for the desk space, I've taken the doors off my desk, which makes it a little more accessible, but it looks not so chic.  To help with that, we purchased a large square basket (the size of the crate which is in the picture) to hold my fabric scraps.  It looks much nicer.  The teddy bear lamp (a relic from my childhood) is something I worried a little about David accepting, especially since it's right near his desk.  But it's situated in such a way that he gets a lot of the light from it, and although he objects (slightly) to the form, he loves the effect.  I've used my desk now a couple of times to work on my computer, and I'm pleased with the set-up thus far.  The real test will come in the next couple of days as I use the space to get some sewing done for Christmas.  

I also come with plants.  I like plants. I feel that they liven up a space considerably, and without a plant, a room looks rather dead.  David's reaction to the first plant was enthusiastic. He had a very large aloe already, and he seemed to think it was neat that I had a plant, too.  But when I brought up all my plants, his reaction went more along the lines of: "If we get any more plants, we'll be living in Fern Gully."  Which I understand to be a good thing, right? I mean, who wouldn't want to live in a tropical rain forest full of tree-hugging fairies?  We got another plant last night, anyway (an ornamental pepper for the kitchen!), so I guess we're done for.  (In addition to the window sill, which hosts four plants, there's one on in our bedroom, one on the bookshelf, and now one in our kitchen.)

I still have one non-book box to unpack, but that's today's project. The five boxes of books have to wait a little longer. Everything else is pretty much settled in. Of course, there may be a period of adjusting as we start living with the new arrangements, but so far it's working out pretty well.

We have Christmas coming up this weekend, so merry Christmas or happy holidays to everyone, and safe travels, if you're going anywhere.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I've moved to Cleveland!  Saturday was moving day. I packed up boxes and bags and containers for a week, and Jack, my incredibly awesome brother, helped me cart it all up to David's - now OUR - place.  

David already has quite a bit of furniture, so I only brought my desk (I have to have a place to sew!), my beat-up old red chair (and a place to read!), and a bookcase (and a place for the books!). 

Despite the lack of furniture, I have books, crafting supplies, sewing supplies, a cat, and all of my "normal" stuff (clothes, toiletries, computer, etc.), so there was still quite a bit of hauling to do.  I had taken a little up on previous trips, and I'll wait to take a few things at Christmas and the second week of January - when I come back to pick up Ginger, but the big move has happened.

Now the hard part - finding space for everything.

Monday, December 13, 2010

BamBLOOZled 2010, D.C.

The first weekend of December we trekked on down to D.C. (by way of Columbus AND Cleveland - which, by-the-way, is a really backwards way of getting to D.C.).  And we had a fabulous time!  Actually, I had the best exchange I've had in months.  The secret?  I got enough sleep. 

I had to miss the Friday night dance and leave Saturday night early, but I got enough sleep all three nights. And as a result I enjoyed myself more and I danced better than I have in ages, especially Saturday evening.  Of course, it also didn't hurt that some seriously awesome people attended the event, and I got to dance with many of them.  I was very impressed with the caliber of dancer at BamBLOOZled

Here's a clip of Jeff and Megan from the Jack and Jill competition:

Most of the event was held at the fabulous Glen Echo Park.  They have an incredible ballroom, named the Spanish Ballroom because of it's Spanish villa-themed decor, as well as a back room which was also used for lessons and the Sunday late night.  The other late nights were held at a dance studio a few minutes away in Bethesda - conveniently located right next to an all-night diner aptly named The Tastee Diner.

*At some point I will remember to take my own pictures.  In the meantime, check out this lovely photographer's blog to see who took the stunning photo of the Glen Echo sign