Category Archives: dance

Tartan Spirit

By a generous move from friends, I was invited to the Annual Tartan Ball here in Washington, DC.

They correctly assumed that in my current craze for Scottishness, I would be so pleased at all the pageantry and traditions on display that I would fill up my personal Happiness Tank for several days following.

It was held at the Mayflower, that iconic Warshington landmark. Recent political hijinks aside, it is a beautiful space. I had never been inside, so experiencing the cavernous depths of its entryway was pretty impressive. Even the carpets were exciting! There were a lot of people, and they fit pretty well in the area with the silent auction, and of course everyone got a seat for dinner (pictured above).

It was a prefect time to try a new whiskey. With the Ardbeg under my belt (but not conquered by any means), I calmly and rationally analyzed the dram of Lagavulin gifted to the table, hosted by my friends. It was suuuper-fragrant, as in, I could smell it without trying to. But it was surprisingly … tolerable.

Here was my brilliant idea for a Scottish-themed yet fancy dress outfit: see arisaid for inspiration. I took a strapless black dress for the fancy part, then took a large shawl as a modern arisaid, letting it go from shoulder to belted waist to back of the calf-length dress. And I used a brooch that I have from back in my lilt days (Clan Logan) to secure it and give me some extra strapless confidence! Haha. That’s always a bit nerve-wracking.

A lovely party.

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We take a break from our regularly scheduled (Food, Travel, Nature) programming to present you with Unmitigated Youthful Joyful Goofiness.

Osmotic Pressure and Metaphorical Me

Osmosis is the movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, aiming to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.”

Often I speak in metaphors which may seem out of place in the current conversation. My brain likes to dig up particularly esoteric or far-fetched descriptions for me to use when I am trying to better convey a certain feeling or state of affairs. This happens frequently at work, and while I register the lack of comprehension, I’m somewhat at a loss to replace my outlandish metaphors with more down-to-earth descriptions. Heave forbid I come off prosaic.

So here is my metaphor from today. I could feel the osmotic pressure of my Within and my Without this morning- the tug and swirl of the happiness experienced through self-discovery and creative effort over the weekend (Inside), contending with the lack of challenge and inability to focus on a long-term goal of the mundane Monday (Outside).

I just sort of floated along with it, letting myself be happy with the former rather than obsess over the latter, and you know what? About 2/3 of the way through the day, my brain started engaging and firing on different pistons, enabling some more cogent contributions to be made to work conversations. Good. Keeping the mind nimble and adaptable. Although- I am thinking maybe the forever-going-around-from-hobby-to-hobby to keep my interest in and mood up is disguising something deeper… but let that go for the moment.

What has been captivating me for the past week or two? All the old hobbies, come back in glorious technicolor: runs on Sundays and yoga on Tuesdays and writing for the novel and baking for friends and cooking for myself. Plus, a new dance course! A style called sean nos, which seems less glamorous but more accessible maybe than step dancing. We’ll see. Two classes and I’m already enjoying the improv parts!

Now as far as the more usual theme for this blog (FOOD), I’ll leave you readers with some encouragement. “If you make it, they will come” turned out to be true for me this week:

red wine chocolate cake — afternoon tea on Saturday with Jess
grilled corn salsa (salad) — Sunday luncheon with Kim and Juan
and tomato-shallot Tarte Tatin
lemon rosemary zucchini bread — brown bag lunch with coworkers (I hope- that’ll be tomorrow!)

So now I’m off to grate my zucchini with my only pertinent instrument- a microplane!- to make it easier to bake tomorrow morning! :-)

And let me know: do you want more Scotland or more food? I’ve got both at the ready…