Outside it's pouring rain, thick veils of wetness beating the leaves and the soil into slow subsidence. I wonder if I'll ever get used to the vagaries of Durham weather.
I finally went back to Piper Glen ballroom last week. That drive is going to be the death of me. Despite my common sense, I continue to believe it's worth it. This belief, coupled with a newfound discipline to not go more than once a week, will hopefully provide a workable solution for my dancing. Dima had a new waltz routine ready for me when I got there; invigorated, I've begun to carve out practice time again. This morning didn't work out well - parents weekend meant the gym was closed until 4:30, and I still haven't found a place where I can pay to practice that early in the day.
Andrew (new friend!) and I experienced the extreme sport of the demolition derby at the NC State Fair last night, as well as the wonder that is funnel cake. It's so satisfying to watch ballsy guys ramming cars into each other until the hoods smoke, bumpers drag on the ground, and wheels fall off. It brought back all the best memories of visiting Steph in Rochester and going to the fair with her - seems like it was only yesterday...
I'm a little overwhelmed by the richness of the latest brain food I've been fed over the past few days. All day Friday I attended a symposium on Ecosystem services - which is the term which describes any ecosystem functions from which one can obtain economic value. Among the speakers were Joel Holtrop (deputy chief of the National Forest Service), Laurie Wayburn (president of the Pacific Forest Trust) and several other panelists from the EPA, USDA, Dept of Ag, WRI and the dept of the interior. I was totally enlightened by their discussions on how ecosystem services might work, the interface of federal incentives for private businesses within public markets, and the other nuances of selling ecosystem services like carbon and clean water. I've also been working on an application all day for Fuqua's weekend for women, a three-day workshop and networking opportunity centered around how women can be successful and balanced in business.
Sorry for the uninspired writing today. Life is good right now, I only miss home a tiny bit, and I feel encouraged by these daily discoveries.