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How to Stay Warm Without Your Husband


I was not made for winter. Though I love being from Chicago, I don’t miss the blizzards, subzero temperatures and icy windstorms at all. Northern Virginia is a nice balance for me and my Californian husband. He gets the change of seasons, and I get a winter that is half as long as those of my youth and practically balmy since it only takes two minutes to layer up for a trip outside instead of twenty. I’ve really enjoyed the temperate weather here.

Until now.

20131025-154953.jpgIt’s been a very brisk autumn, and the freeze warnings seem to be arriving extremely early. Apparently Mother Nature has confused October with December and Northern Virginia with Illinois.

Ok, maybe not. It actually snowed already back by my parents, though it was just a dusting of flurries and not quite enough to send the kids home from school early. The Capital Weather Gang has a very beautiful explanation of why we’re facing this widespread cold snap, but intellectual knowledge does not warm my feet.

And tonight, neither does Roberto. He’s far away at a conference which means that fighting the cold is an entirely cuddle-free adventure this weekend. I pretty much count on frequent snuggles to shake me out of my shivers. Let’s hope these strategies help:

  • Turning on a heating pad to warm up the bed
  • Wearing his socks
  • Programming our brand new coffeemaker to make that first cup before I even get out of bed.
  • Wearing his robe
  • Setting the thermostat to 75

Any other ideas??

Sunday Stovetop


I’m planning a nice Sunday dinner of roasted chicken, asparagus and onions with garlic. I’ll make enough for leftovers. But first there’s the weekly “cook ahead” — a couple of basic items like rice and beans that it helps to have cooked and on hand for easy meals later in the week.

What do you cook ahead?

Street Scenes

These wonderful photos remind me of my summer at Columbia College, where I took a photography class and spent hours wandering these streets.

Rainy Days Aren't Always Bad

Sometimes the best way to capture a city isn’t by taking close-ups of the architecture or taking the stereotypical touristy photographs; it’s by taking photographs on the street. You take a picture looking down a street and you get a sense of what a city is like. The architecture. The people. The atmosphere. It’s all collected in an image.

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Top 10 Romantic Movies for Geeks

Freshly Pressed pointed me towards this fabulous list of Romantic Movies for Geeks. I’ve seen them all except the Michael Cera ones. No, wait. I did see Juno. The other two have been floating in the tank of yearning but are nowhere near the top. What’s at the top? A little thing called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Funk's House of Geekery

Update: Hey everyone, we’re very happy to have been Freshly Pressed for the 2nd time! Thanks to regular readers who have been supporting our writing team since day one and a heartful welcome to our new readers! Enjoy your time at the House of Geekery, and make sure you check the homepage to see our other great features!

We’re bringing the Weekly Top 10 forward a few days this week for obvious reasons. Today is a day when couples are going to want to spend some quality time with each other partaking in traditional date-like rituals. One such ritual is the time-honored watching of a movie. If you head over to the romantic section of the video library you will quickly find that everything there is garbage. Valentines Day, Love Actually, Twilight…none of these are going are do anything to create a romantic mood for any self-respecting…

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A World Where I Can Scratch My Butt

There is no such thing as over-sharing. And I’m not gonna lie either; it’s not just an itch but a fierce tickling sensation mixed with slight burning.

J. Ploober

A Better World

I dream of a world where people feel more connected.

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Wild Virginia

As I write this, every branch of the pine tree outside our apartment shimmies, rests, then dances again. The long grass trembles, cluttered with leaves and small branches, while small birds hop along the wind, hungry and tired after the departure of Hurricane Irene. The sky has finally shifted from a stormy gray white to a brilliant blue. Though we were fortunate to be 100 miles inland, this storm pounded us just four days after the 5.8 quake that rattled our state and half the East Coast.

I’m beginning to understand why it took three tries to found a lasting colony here. In A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, Thomas Harriot sang the praises of the fertile land where the Roanoke Colony was attempted, but there’s no erasing the challenges of this beautiful, demanding environment. With modern NASA technology and internet communication, news about the earthquake, its epicenter and its strength were available within two minutes. Warnings of the hurricane started nearly a week in advance and preparedness undoubtedly saved lives. How could a few hundred colonists ill prepared for even daily life survive any disasters four hundred years ago?

We know it was a struggle — our history books and movies tell the tales of starvation and war. The Jamestown Rediscovery Archeological Project studies at the original fort and continues to learn about how the settlers lived, persevered and eventually prospered.

I’m quite glad they did. Where else would I meet a camel cricket and a stinkfinger in the same month that an earthquake and a hurricane struck?



A great headline… and cute picture

Me with a shot of La Opinion the day after Donovan's victory kick

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