Spring Break.

It’s Spring Break here at the UW, and, though the weather is currently obliging, I somehow doubt the nomenclature-appropriateness will continue. There are hints of snow in the forecast, despite the fact that I have had my coffee on the porch two mornings in a row now. So I have the week off. Which in grad-student terms means that I will be spending the greater part of the week at the library, at the archives, up in special collections, or in front of my computer.
But not the whole week.
Yesterday morning, Paul and I had a quick breakfast before walking up to Newport’s Wooden Furnishings at the Johnson/Gorham split. It’s the furniture maker’s we always walk by longingly, peering in through large, darkened windows at the well-equipped workshop, the few items on display. We checked out their showroom, examining the pieces, trying to figure out how certain details were put together, and got a chance to have a conversation with the owner, Tim, who’s been there since the ’70s, and who seems like a really nice guy. For made-to-order stuff, his prices are actually pretty reasonable, given what quality hardwood costs to begin with. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to swing by again. (“Do you take apprentices?” Paul had asked, only half-joking. My thoughts exactly.)
Since we were in the neighborhood, we walked over to Brent and Dan’s, where we hung out and chatted for a while and made plans with them for dinner. We soon headed back home for a leisurely afternoon, followed by a drive around Lake Mendota and grocery store trip to obtain supplies for dinner. Paul made his delicious, each-time-better-than-the-last squash curry, which the five of us enjoyed with a bit of Tres Generaciones, followed by espresso and a walk. I hung out with Abby (just back from a geography conference in Chicago) and Joe for a while, had some tea, read my novel on the porch, and went for a short late-night run with Paul before collapsing into contented slumber. Abby’s now on her way to Florida for the week, and I’m feeling pretty good after the morning’s windows-down drive to drop her off at the bus — not to mention pleasantly full of coffee and Sophia’s croissants.
There is apparently some sort of St. Patrick’s Day parade in progress up on the Capitol Square, but since the response was equivocating when I asked Lisa if it involved unabashed drinking on the streets, I have decided to leave it to another year. After several years’ attendance in Southie, I suspect Madison’s incarnation might be a tad disappointing. If I’m going to any St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, they’re either going to involve proximity to the green-dyed Chicago River or New England Boiled Dinner at my house, Guinness and whisky, and Red Flannel Hash in the morning. This later selection is part of the tentative weekend plan.
The week should hold a fair amount of library time, tempered by a walk in Parfrey’s Glen, a jaunt out to Picnic Point, browsing bicycle shops to see about a road bike, a trip to the Mustard Museum and the Grumpy Troll in Mount Horeb with Brent and company, and various and sundry dinners with friends. Oh. And doing my taxes. Oh joy oh joy.
Fortunately, Madison will be quiet and undergrad-free, so I should be able to get a lot done.


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