I think the super-busy period at work is finally over, at least for the moment. I've finished the reviews for the other office, and am now on a new regional team (for Asia and Latin America). I'm definitely going to Bangladesh at the end of the month. And the cherry blossoms are out.
Last Saturday MoBob and I attended the re-enlistment ceremony of a dear friend. The text was familiar - from my Peace Corps swearing-in and MB's citizenship ceremony. I teared up.
Then I took off for a cool activity organized by Sewall-Belmont House: a beginner's golf lesson followed by lunch and a discussion of Title IX and the history of women in sports in general. We went to Langston Golf Course, the first integrated golf course in the city. The dining room was full of old-timers noisily watching the Golf Channel under a giant portrait of Tiger Woods.
I've still looking for a venue for a panel discussion on the Philippines as part of Peace Corps' 50th Anniversary. I'm reminded why we eloped. And did you know you can rent a meeting room at the Mathematical Association of America?
It's the second week with the sleep apea machine. I feel more alert but not any more energetic. Weird.
I got a French tutor, based in Baltimore, who will work with me via webcam on Skype. Although I managed to ace the Test d'Evaluation du Français by using the French words for "guinea pig" and "ice-skating rink", as well as numerous references to Johnny Depp to show my understanding of French culture, I still need help.
I finally took a stand-up comedy class last week. It made me decide against doing stand-up. Too hard! Too much work! The instructor (a tech writer by day) talked about the structure of a joke, how to plan a routine, what kind of shows exist, etc. etc. People were very serious as they took notes. I was one of the youngest people there. And I didn't think anyone else in the class was especially funny. But we did have a celebrity participant - Bill Maher - who was quiet and didn't try to override the presenter at all, and even asked a serious question about how to keep a successful joke fresh. It was fun also to finally see Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.
Speaking of comedy, or, more accurately, musical parody, I took MB to see The Capitol Steps show. It was pretty funny and relevant, although it was strange that MB and I were one of the few people in the audience who weren't retired or in high school. It was interesting also that MB was carbon-neutral for the song parodies - part of the humor was recognizing old chestnuts like "Hotel California" - for him the content itself was amusing.
We went to see Kevin Eubanks at Blues Alley. Quite frankly, the only reason I watched the Jay Leno show was because Kevin Eubanks was so cool, and definitely underutilized. I'd never been to Blues Alley either. I thought the food service was a big distraction, and the food unremarkable, but it was the most intimate venue I'd been in. Our table was right up next to the stage so we got a full view of the whole ensemble.
MB and I went to see one of the films featured in Francophonie DC Festival on Monday night: Where Are You Going, Moshe?/Ou vas-tu Moshe? at La Maison Française. It was, quite frankly, the best Moroccan film I've seen. One of the main points of the film was to show how integrated Moroccan Jews were. For example, an elderly gentleman was shown kissing and crying over a portrait of the Moroccan king before leaving for Israel, and one scene with the Moroccan Jews dancing with abandon before their stern Israeli minders. And the ending was a very pleasant twist.