Sunday, March 25, 2018

History has its eyes on you, part 2

Who runs the world?

These guys.


The youth have been awoken, and with them is coming a wave.  I have no doubt it will take time - a lot of time. I have no doubt it's going to be painful.  I have no doubt there will be setbacks, some major.  I fear there will be losses.

I have no doubt they will not stop.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

History has its eyes on you

Lin-Manuel Miranda and his team have created magic. It was worth every penny to go to London to see "Hamilton."





My next step... reading Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, the book that started the movement. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

If I could choose a dinner-party guest list for today...

In no particular order...

Michelle Obama, I guess Pres Obama could come too ;)
Lin-Manual Miranda and his wife, Vanessa - she must be amazing. I'd also have his parents over.
Jon Stewart and Tracey, as long as they bring a rescue goat, amirite?
Maisie Williams - does she have an SO?  I don't even know. Who cares! She's awesome.
Wes Johnson and his wife, Kim, who must also be amazing. Rock the Red!
Phillip Morrison, with a painting please! I know which one...
Ben Whishaw, the more I see him in, the more I love him.
Ed Sheeran. can you see Ed and Lin-Manual togetherr? I can.

I can dream.

Thames Embankment at Low Tide

For ever, Londoners, and those before, tossed their unwanted items into the Thames.  Well, I'm sure some of the items were lost into the Thames, or even, um, disposed of into the Thames. For years I've read about "mudlarking" - the search for history among the rocks and dirt. This visit, as we made our long way to the Bridge Theater on foot, I saw that the tide was out, and we were right by a set of steps leading down to the mud. It was time to check for treasures.






We didn't find any pipes or shoes or coins or....

Well.

I hope our HomeAway hosts weren't too freaked out.  We left a note with the bag that said where we'd found them and suggested they perhaps see what mammal (we hope it's an animal mammal) they originated from.

That's not creepy.  Right?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

London with the family

I recognize that our times of gathering as a family of 6 are going to be harder to come by. For now, there's an assumption that summers and winter holidays are ours, but how long will this last? For this trip we flew in from Germany, Becca from Savannah, and Katherine from DC.

In January of 2017 Ian was online purchasing "Hamilton" tickets through the lottery.  March 2018 finally arrived and we gathered in London. Suffice to say that if you have the opportunity to see "Hamilton," please do.

There is not a single thing I can critique in Lin-Manuel Miranda's show.  It is remarkable from first note to last.  I can critique the production we saw - I felt like there was intensity lacking in some performances (especially in the first act), Aaron Burr  and Angelica Schuyler were awesome, the actor who played Lafayette played a better Jefferson, Eliza was never happy. But of course YMMV depending on which production you see... I'd like to get tickets someday to the one in NY and compare.

The next night we saw Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" at the Bridge Theater. For me, it was a completely unique experience as far as shows go. Where "Hamilton" was awesome for its simple existence, "Julius Caesar" was awesome for its retelling and the actors - Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark, GoT), Ben Whishaw (Q, Bond), and David Morrissey (the Governor, Walking Dead). I'd never read the play and the language is still a earful, but it was enthralling.

Between our shows we took in London. The Faraday & Daley exhibit at the Royal Institution. Walked along the Thames embankment during low tide looking for treasures. A drawing evening at the National Portrait Gallery. Three escape rooms!  Found one of the Four Winters ice cream shops. Ate fish & chips and steak & ale pie at pubs. Wandered through Covent Garden. Revisited platform 9 3/4. London cooperated with great weather for walking and oyster cards made using the underground super easy.

Our flat was in Chelsea.  A basement apartment, it needs some serious updating, but it was comfortable and fit all of us, which is a feat.

I love that we can do this kind of thing.  I know not everyone can and we're lucky. I hope these are memories my kids will recall for years to come.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

23andMe

It's fascinating to see what 23andMe comes back with.  Yes, we know - don't use it as a medical guide.  Yes, we know, it's not hard and fast as daily more information comes out - new markers are found, new genes are untangled.

It's no surprise that we're both over 99% European descent. Ian is 85% northwestern European and 46% of that comes from Britain/Ireland, which makes sense - his Ancestry.com research has pegged his first American ancestor as a boy on a boat from England in the 1600s. I am 47% from northwestern Europe  (minus the boy on the boat, that side came over with the French to Canada, my paternal grandfather crossed the river into Madawaska, Maine and stayed there), but no surprise that I'm also 32% Eastern European. My maternal grandmother came over from Poland and my maternal grandfather was from the former Czechoslovakia.

Ian and I shared our data and we have no identical DNA segments. Woohoo!