- We took a trip to Washington D.C. at the end of September. Highlights included the Kennedy Center, a tour of the Capitol, lots of walking, lots of subway-riding, the Magna Carta, tasty pho on a rainy night and pandas. Good people of D.C., you have free pandas to visit whenever it strikes your fancy - take advantage of this more than you currently do! There are some of us who do not have ready access to free pandas and are worse off for it.
- The night before Halloween, in Madison, WI, Mr. Awesome and I had the most incredible squash curry at a Laotian restaurant called Lao Laan-Xang, located off a side-street in a tiny house. Good people of Madison, you have incredible curry available to you - go eat it soon and often! There are some of us who do not have ready access to incredible squash curry and are therefore sad pandas.
- The skywalks in Minneapolis are so great when it's cold - and it's cold there much of the time.
- Australian singer Kate Miller-Heidke is a spectacular live performer and will no doubt be a huge star one day. If you ever have the chance to hear her sing, take hold of that chance with both hands and don't let go.
- Beatles Rock Band is fun, but is more fun with four people.
- I'm trying to cook at least one new recipe per week or so. We've had some hits and some not-quite-hits. I'll try to write more about both in the future.
- John Hodgman was at a Rainy Day Books event at Unity on the Plaza. The picture I have of me and him together would probably be my Christmas card if a.) Mr. Awesome would approve and b.) if I sent such things as Christmas cards.
- I'm trying not to hate Time Warner cable, but they make it so difficult. If they "don't currently offer contracts" then how am I in one until June? Keyword: "currently." I've now got a calendar appointment set to remind me the day my contract is up. That day cannot come soon enough.
On Saturday, we were doing some Christmas-looking at Oak Park Mall (we aren't really shopping yet, although I know we should be) and came across a store set up by Animal Haven Animal Shelter to help adopt some animals. Mr. Awesome and I are suckers for animals, so we had to go in and look around. There, among the puppies and kittens and dogs was this sweet-looking cat sitting at the back of his cage. He reminded us both so much of Rags that we walked around the mall and went back to look at him three times. This cat was beautiful, declawed, neutered and about 4 years old. He was perfect. It's been a over a year since Rags died, and we're ready for another cat. So we paid the adoption fee and took home Griz (Grizwald, Grizzly Bear) Saturday afternoon.
The ride home was great. Griz was calm and quiet and seemed to love getting petted. We got home and shut him in a bathroom with his litter box and food and water. After about 30 minutes we returned to check on him and he was a bit angrier than he was on the ride home. He was emitting this low, guttural growl and seemed to not want anything to do with us. So we got a toy and played with him, and what do you know, he turned back into the sweet cat from the ride home. This pattern continued throughout the night and much of the day on Sunday (during which time he graduated to having full-run of the house): Sweet, lovable Griz one minute, evil, growling Griz the next. Last night, he slept on our bed and both Mr. Awesome and I were a tiny bit frightened that Evil Griz would emerge in the middle of the night and try to eat us. That didn't happen - in fact, Griz was really great and sweet and snuggly all night long - but neither of us got much sleep anyway.
Today, Griz is home alone all day. I have visions of returning home to find it partially destroyed, although I have nothing to base that on at all. We're hoping Evil Griz goes away permanently, but I remind Griz every once in a while that we have 30 days to return his furry tail to the shelter if he doesn't straighten up. I don't think it will come to that - I think he's going to work out really well. He's even sort of getting along with Finnie.