Pre-Spring Break mashup - D.C., Scandinavia, Walter Kirn, and sucker fishing

I'm heading to Washington D.C. tomorrow. Mostly for fun with family, but with enough compelling work mixed in to (hopefully) make it time well spent. Included will be a tour of the U.S. Capitol on Tax Day - the luck of our draw thanks to our U.S. Representative's office. Doubly serendipitous will be our touring while the cherry blossoms are (supposedly) at their peak. I embrace looking like a tourist, especially when traveling with an eager 9-year-old. Check back for some pics from the tourist-y side of that trip, if you're so inclined.

In the interest of filling in the margins on my prior trip, the following few details caught my eye in Finland and Sweden. That trip was such a success that I've already booked a return to that general global neighborhood this fall (Denmark along with parts of southeastern Sweden constitutes that itinerary). To my profound surprise, I located precious parts of ancestry's backstory in Sweden. And so much more. It will take me much more time to unpack all of what I saw there. Until then, here's an unannotated peek at Helsinki, rural Sweden and Amsterdam (click through to see the full dozen pics).


Much closer to home, I want to give a proper shout out to Walter Kirn and my neighborhood bookstore (Ravenna Third Place Books) for an excellent author event a few days ago. Kirn's latest book, Blood Will Out, unfolds as a hybrid of many genres. True Crime, Memoir, Narrative Nonfiction. I will admit to a prior blind spot for his work - Up In The Air stands as the most recognizable, thanks to the film adaptation. Not anymore, though. I'm hooked like a river carp by the tale he tells here.

River carp...hmmm...we called them "suckers" back in Sconnie. Come to think of it, this is the time of year when the rallying cry of "the suckers are running" meant the next few weeks could be spent breaking curfews while doing all sorts of carousing out in the muck. We'd gather some spears, an armload of gunney sacks, a case or a few of cheap-as-sin beer, some fearless friends, and head to the creek (or "crick" as it should be pronounced).

The partly submerged lead being...I recommend Kirn's book. It's already in my bag for D.C. Here's hoping that even if you don't get a Spring Break, you also find time for some high quality escape via a well-packaged story. Rock on.