Tonight I took a mini-vacation to Sweden with S.Ball and Mr. Ball-to-be. The Swedish embassy has great public programs - tonight it was a free concert by a Swedish big band. They played on the embassy's rooftop deck, people stood around and chatted, the Potomac was brown and flowing fast, the bar was well stocked (*two* kinds of aquavit!), a good time was had. All embassies should have this kind of programming.
The other day my aunt and uncle were greatly shocked when I told them how much I pay for my apartment. They live out in the middle of the country, and pointed out that I could be getting a three-bedroom house there. But...yeah, I think I'd rather be here.