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Saturday, October 15, 2005


When I got back from the farmer's market this morning, I noticed that there were an awful lot of people running by down at the corner. Turns out it's the Baltimore Marathon! It was good to watch the runners go by for a while, and reminded me of our pleasant morning spent watching the Twin Cities Marathon last fall. As you can sort of see from this picture (taken w/ my cell phone, so a little fuzzy), we're at the top of a bit of a hill, so everyone was extra-exerted.

My housemate Sarah reported a few minutes later that she saw a guy in front of our house in an SUV waiting to cross the marathon route who was honking his horn repeatedly at the police officer and shouting "Let us through!" When he got out of his car to yell and shake his fist, she noted that he was wearing a G.W. Bush for President t-shirt.

Along with my usual assortment of stuff from the farmer's market (I've been blowing almost $20/week), I got myself a pumpkin today. It's a tall and slender model, still rather large, probably around 15 pounds. This makes me happy because it's the first time in a while that I've had a porch to perch a pumpkin on, and I'm definitely going to carve it come Halloween. We should get trick-or-treaters, too.

Classes are still going well. I've been happy with my grades on the work we've gotten back so far, with the exception of the 68 (!) I got on the first Econ homework assignment. I did better on subsequent ones, but anything C+ or below is a failing grade in our program...so you can see how I might have been a bit concerned about the Econ midterm we had this past week. I was more stressed out for that test than I've been for any in a long time, but fortunately I came away feeling relieved -- I think I understood everything, and I came about as close to finishing as anyone I talked to (it was impossible to finish in the hour we were given). Unfortunately we have another "midterm" in three weeks.

There's a lot of group work in our classes, which can be quite a time hole. There's the neighborhood home values project from Policy Analysis that I mentioned earlier. There's another project from Policy Analysis on long-term health care. And I'm in a group for Policy Process that is analyzing how the 2005 Energy Bill got to be as screwed up as it was. With all of us in three different groups, plus sub-groups and intergroup coordination meetings, scheduling is a bit hairy. But I guess it's supposed to simulate the real world...

Oh yes, and I saw Cat Power on Thursday night (on short notice) at a bar that's not far from here. Just Chan Marshall, no backing band. It was pretty cool -- the way she uses her voice is haunting. She also leans back from the microphone and wails plaintively to great effect. I think the highlight was "I Don't Blame You," though the covers (incl. "Satisfaction" and "House of the Rising Sun) were also great. Though she appeared to be in a good mood, her infamous volatility was apparent a few times, like when she would start a song, get frustrated, slam the keys on the piano and start a different one.

Speaking of concerts, I've now made plans to visit Matt and Risa in Carrboro the weekend of Nov 11, when Super Furry Animals are playing there. Should be awesome!

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