Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Tree

Yesterday we put up our first real tree as a married couple (my first real tree ever). It's a happy little tree, a bit on the bush-looking side. Bush-like trees are a Lynn family tradition, though, so we're proud of it.

Here's a series of shots showing the evolution of our tree as it went up.

Pino didn't take too kindly to the tree when it first came in, slinking around as though it might attack her. She's come to accept it, though, and so far has been good about not swatting off the ornaments. Here's Pino sniffing around the new lights.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


A sunny if hot afternoon reading on the porch. Delightful.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

to love a library

i grew up in a small town with a fabulous library. with my mom raising twin boys and living just outside of town meant we didn't go much, but when we did i took out stacks and stacks of books (this is when i learned became occustomed to library fines. a path that will be my downfall in life). i knew every inch of that library. somewhere i still have my original library card, applied for on my 6th birthday, the age at which my library gave out cards. it has my 'signature' on it nice and big. (seriously, i would make librarians laugh in high school would i pulled out my card with 'annieb' written across it in a mixture of large lower case and capital letters.)

i went to college in a small town, with an incredible public library. i went there frequently with kids that i mentored, and soon knew that library well. i came to believe that all libraries, even those in small towns, are beautiful and fabulous.

at our old rented house we were walking distance from the library. it was glorious. (we were also walking distance to two metros, a large mall, and any ethnic restaurant you could possible want), but the library was the important thing.

so we moved to a house we own and instead of being a 5 minute walk from a library, we now have a 20 minute walk, or a 5 minute drive. ok, just one of those sad things you give up as a home owner. but this library had to be worth the 20 minute walk. from the outside it looked beautiful with huge windows. you can see the many computer stations from within, as well as the super-modern looking check-out stations. clearly the library had to be exceptional.

i went once this summer and was shocked. yes they had tons of computers, yes they had tons of shelves with dvds, modern movies no less, but someone forgot to tell them to order the books. peter told me that i must have missed a floor.

today i gave them a second chance and peter came along. no, i hadn't missed a floor. they forgot to order the books. i can't tell you how sad it is to wonder inside a beautiful library with so little books.

on the upside they spent lots of money on self-checkout systems so you don't have to deal with nosy librarians. no one gave me a lecture on my $7.59 fine ($8 means you can't check out any more books) left over from the other branch. you don't even have to scan the books individually. you just put them on an electric mat all at once.

pretty cool, but i'd rather have books.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fringe on Fox

J.J. Abrams told television critics the inspiration for Fringe came from a range of sources, including Michael Crichton, The X-Files, Altered States, and The Twilight Zone.

Michael Crichton and the X-Files? I feel like I must watch this show, particularly after it was referenced (albeit cryptically) on Marginal Revolution.

Last time I felt compelled to watch a new show - and it is usually one every season or two - was that show based in Georgia that went bad faster than milk in summer, so my track record isn't so good.

I do think I can get AB to watch it, though, because Pacey's in it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I'm sitting in the back of a car en route to the Minneapolis airport and I've just read some sad news - Hootie and the Blowfish have officially broken up. They just played their last show out in California and now my buddy Darius Rucker is going to make some country albums, the first of which is either out or coming out soon.

I'm not a big concert person but Hootie is one band I enjoyed seeing live. I've never actually paid for a show: twice I saw them play for free at Centinneal Park in Atlanta and, highlight of my life, Darius himself let me and some friends into a concert one evening when we happened to be loitering behind the Roxy in Buckhead.

Farewell good friends. And if you do get back together, I will wait.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, August 23, 2008

efo concert live at wolftrap!

in which ab learned that doing an irish jig in flipflops is difficult and not a good idea.
which is sad, because there really is no other way to dance to old dominion, but going barefoot on the sidewalk also seemed like a very bad idea.
mental note: next time wear cute mary janes made for dancing.

we were also introduced to the band great big sea, from canada. it was a glorious evening of folk music. i'm still kind of sad i didn't get a shirt that said, 'folkin' excellent'. peter was surprised by great big sea and how good they were. he gives them the gold medal over eddie from ohio, who did not seem to bring their a game. great big sea seemed to be playing their little hearts out, but efo seemed to be holding back. it was quite sad. i was ready to dance to all their fun songs, and their energy (that we know they have!) just wasn't there. maybe it was just a rough night.

in front of us was a huge family that obviously knew all the words to all the songs from both groups. they had two little boys who were just breaking it down to the music. then suddenly during a slow efo song i looked up and noticed that one man in the family was pressing a small jewlery box into a woman and he was whispering something to her while the family shot pics. yes, he just proposed. there is something about witnessing a proposal and the family happiness that is just magical. it was so sweet to watch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lesson Learned

If using red pepper, wash your hands before you scratch your eye.
In other news, always know where your eye drops are.

Sounds of the Olympics

Husband: “I’d really like to see a Chinese diver at the Olympics named Boing Yoeng Yoeng.”
Wife: “I do love you. Sometimes I wonder why, but I do.”

Watching the hurdlers:
Husband: “That is one beefy woman.”
Wife: “Wow. Their legs look like horses legs.”
Husband: “Yeah, faces too.”

Hiking Overall Run

TLC taught us in the mid-90s not to go chasin' waterfalls, but AB and I didn't heed that advice yesterday as we ambled into the Shenandoah mountains. The advice proved true, but the hike was still well worth it.

With an urge to hike largely inspired (at least on my end) by reading through Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, we headed west from the city toward a trail called Overall Run, about fifteen minutes outside of Front Royal, Virginia. We didn't want to pay to park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which partially determined our parking spot. To get to this trail head, we parked at the end of quiet Thompson Hollow Road (which, gratefully, was not a creepy road, like some we've parked along in West Virginia) where a couple other cars were parked, and we forged into the woods, down a gravel path and finally to a sign subtly demarcating the park boundary.
(i believe it was about at the start of this hike when i excitedly told peter he now had as much hiking knowledge as i did since he just read 'a walk in the woods'. he was not impressed seeing that i'd led him on all those other hikes, spouting my hiking knowledge like an expert. i wasn't, i was just quoting bryson. quickly i looked for something to distract him from this point.)

Other than the free parking, the trail promised a 93' waterfall, or at the very least a water trickle. Other than Little Devil's Staircase, where you actually amble up a waterfall, we had not seen very many waterfalls in our hikes around Virginia, so were to excited to see one, especially one this big.

The first part of the hike is relatively flat. We started at an altitude of 930 feet and over the next mile and a half went up about 400 feet, occasionally crossing a dry creekbed and seeking very few hikers.
*hiking note. if your husband is taller than you always let him walk in front. for the spider webs*

And then we hit the waterfall. We think. Over the next .6 miles, we went up 700 feet over switchbacks that seemed to cut back and forth across a nearly straight-down gully. Some piece of that gully, we think, was the waterfall.

Halfway up the first part of this big ascent we crossed two women who were hiking from the other direction. They asked if we had seen a waterfall. We told them we hadn't, and asked them the same question, fairly certain of the answer. No signs on either side of the trail of trickling water. They did, however, promise beautiful views ahead.

We continued up, spurred on by at least having a pleasant view. And up and up. AB promised we could have water when we got to the end of the hill, but the mountain showed an amazing tenacity to continue climbing into the sky. We crossed another group of hikers that had come from the Parkway and were similarly interested in finding the elusive waterfall. We shared reports, though this group did not know about the views. We pet their dog. We continued up.

Through the trees, you could see what promised to be a fairly astonishing view of the distant peaks - if you could find a clearing. Finally, a side trail appeared a seemed to cut to a clearing. It opened onto a rocky outcrop on the edge of a chasm and while you couldn't see the distant peaks there was still a nice view of the gap between our mountain and the next, and we could see people way up high. We wondered if they were on our trial or a different one.

Our GPS said we were at 1750'. We decided to push on to 2,000' and then head back to the car. The final 250' went pretty fast - no switchbacks, just straight uphill. But we ended up at the spot we had been looking up at from the rocky outcrop.

i love the blue ridge mountains. i love looking down over a valley and watching a hawk slowly glide far below. it always makes me start to sing my favorite song by eddie from ohio, where they refer to the rockies as blue ridge wanna-bes.

These were the views the women had mentioned. Here's a shot of the view, and you can see on the right the rocky outcrop where we rested for a bit.

It took us an well over an hour to get to 2,000', but the 2.4 miles back we managed in about an hour. Just before crossing back over the park boundary and onto our car, I spotted a deer in the woods. Close. When I pointed it out to AB, I had to tell her to adjust how far into the woods she was looking because she expected it to be about 10 yards away or so; it was about 8 feet. She pointed out that the sharp spines coming from the deer's head meant it was a buck, and perhaps we should move on. We did.

All told, we hiked 4.9 miles and ascended - and descended - 1,100' - and saw no waterfalls. But still, this was a great hike.