A full week

Dinner with Stephanie (+ Baby Fishwick) at Monsoon.

Girl time = so good. Stephanie and I grabbed dinner on Wednesday night at Monsoon and talked about many things over our virgin strawberry daiquiris, including but not limited to street harassment, babies, and conflicts of etiquette. She is so lovely and bright.

Downtown at dusk.

It’s not exactly a gorgeous skyline, but I always like walking over the bridge toward downtown. The view always makes me remember, “Oh, I live here now, in this town where we once arrived as strangers.”

The photo is from Friday night, taken on our way to meet Guion’s beloved professor and mentor Alan Shapiro at South Street to watch the UNC vs. Ohio game. He is delightful company–so brilliant and kind and warm–and we talked of many things. I bonded with him particularly on our mutual love of Marilynne Robinson* and Wei Tchou. (*Somewhat out of the blue, Shapiro announced, “Housekeeping is probably one of the greatest novels in the English language.” And then I felt really justified in my unmitigated praise of that book. It is the greatest. Shapiro says so.)

"Mad Men" party at Colin and Rita's. (Mary Boyce + G)

Last night, Colin and Rita hosted a “Mad Men” season premiere party, in which we were supposed to wear our best “Mad Men”-esque outfits. For men, this just meant wearing a tie (or parting your hair with lots of pomade, as Colin displayed); for women, pearls + dress + pumps seemed to be the easy formula.

Rita, industrious housewife.
In our "Mad Men" best.

Very fun gathering (with great cocktails), but did anyone else think the premiere was kind of… boring? It was funnier and lighter than the closing episodes of last season (Stan always helps with that. And we were all humming zou bizou bizou afterward), but I felt like it was lacking some spark, some solid Draper broody moments. Or maybe the episodes will necessarily be duller in the absence of the incarnation of maternal evil.

Monday Snax

Small group dinner at our house!

A wonderful weekend of gatherings and dinners! On Friday, my small group + husbands came to our house for a potluck dinner after we returned from the Compline service at the monastery in Crozet. On Saturday, I went for a run with Liz K. and Bo, and then we had lunch and went to Mallory‘s for a holiday-themed domestic afternoon of baking and nail polishing with the set of super-beautiful and funny Trinity ladies. Then that night, Dave and Kirby had a bunch of us over for an incredible lasagna dinner. Sunday, we finished almost all of our Christmas shopping, which was an incredible feeling. When we got home, I started wrapping them all like a fool. I realized that I really love wrapping presents, even though I am objectively terrible at it. I am way too impatient with ribbons and paper. But I love it just the same. Even if my presents turn out looking like a four-year-old boy wrapped them.

I don’t really feel like snaxing today. Ho-hum. Back to work. But here are a few things:

Americans Are 20 Pounds Heavier Than They Were Just 20 Years Ago. Way to go, America. I think you’re winning this one! While we were at the mall yesterday, Guion commented that they would soon have to widen the lanes to accommodate shoppers. It’s only a matter of time, apparently. (The Atlantic)

Pretty Books Redesigned: Virginia Woolf. I approve! I think Woolf and her sister and creative director, Vanessa Bell, would have approved, too. (Black Eiffel)

Uptown. Just looking at this arrangement makes me feel calmer, happier. (An Apple a Day)

Um, yep. That’s all. It’s been a busy week! More important things to do!