Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year's Eve to all.
Tonight should be fun: hopefully details and images will be around to share tomorrow!
James details his family's Thickburger eating contest in his blog. It is definitely hilarious (I particularly like the "loser's oath"). It's complete with pictures!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Southern Comfort
Last night was a whirlwind trip to Richmond to visit both Emily and Bill. I got a chance to see Bill's new place in Church Hill, a flavorful up and coming area in Richmond. The church in question at the top of the hill is the Patrick Henry church of "Give me liberty..."
It's cool: in that neighborhood you have the must stunning view of the Richmond city skyline and it's accoutrements.

We all met for dinner close to my old neighborhood in the Fan, and may I just say, I will forever be charmed by the Fan. The houses are so sweet and interesting and the streets are tree-lined and wonderfully lit. The oozes zee charm. After having a couple of drinks at Emily's neighborhood sports bar, we went to a bar in Bill's neighborhood called A Cappella (lots of wood, cozy, awesome drinks, cutie bartender, friendly people). It was definitely a good time...and the place was pumping for a Wednesday night. This morning I took off at about 11 after having breakfast with Bill in Carytown and then spent the afternoon puttering around Clarendon with Miss Anne. A good day most definitely, but tonight my laundry beckons.

Bill loves A Capella better. Posted by Hello

Bill loves Mulligans. Posted by Hello

Emily and me at Mulligans in Richmond Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Blurry, but the only shot I have of Robin up front! Posted by Hello

Ben and Robin were sitting right up front, like sitting ducks. Posted by Hello

Picture without the random intruder! Posted by Hello

This guy on the right really wanted to get close to Anne and into this picture. Posted by Hello

Ben being examined at Drag Queen Bingo Posted by Hello

Dumplings. MMM. Posted by Hello

Madeline, Pauline, Robin, and me in Madeline's sweet townhouse. Posted by Hello
Last week
I leave for Chicago on Sunday, so I'm trying to squeeze every last drop out of this week as possible. So far, it's been harried, but successful.

Monday night, I went made my way into the city (and what a way that is when coming from Great Falls) to spend the evening with Grace, Clarence, and Jonathan, and then the night with Grace. Thanks to Grace for my birthday dinner (Thaiphoon--yum!), and I especially enjoyed hanging out with everyone afterward at the neighborhood bar, Larry's Lounge. It's definitely one of my favorite hangouts in Dupont Circle. We talked about everything from fetal twins, tumors, Japanese boy bands, and things I will plan for my wedding if and when I get married (number one being a Glamour Shots booth: after, I will flash shots of everyone's glamour shots on a screen while Clarence croons Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" to me...I can't wait). Grace and I sat down later that night and pored over some old letters that she had. Hilarious, evocative, and sometimes painful, but total proof that it's so worth it to keep that stuff.

Tuesday morning, I metroed out to lovely Vienna (end of the line--wooo!), was picked up by Robin, and I drove to Charlottesville for the day. What a pleasant drive it is on 29, past all of the farmland and small towns. Pretty much the antithesis of the 95 corridor drive to Richmond. We got into town and met Madeline and Pauline at Madeline's cozy new and lovely townhouse. I'm so impressed that Madeline is now both a doctor AND a homeowner. Awesome. But I don't envy the fact that yesterday was her one day off in a couple of weeks. Lunch was at this sweet dumpling place in Charlottesville's walking mall with Madeline, Pauline, and their parents. Dumplings...mmm. It was a short, excellent visit, and after lunch we took off again to come home rather than busting in on Madeline's family time.

I had time to take a short nap before going off with Robin to meet up with Annie, Anne, and Ben at Cafe Asia for dinner ($7 Curry Laksa soup is the best deal in town) before going into DC again for the Drag Queen Bingo at Chaos. It was fun as usual, and both Anne and I got some shots (look to Anne's blog for some really good ones when she gets a chance to post them). Robin and Ben were positioned up front and were drag queen favorites, to noone's surprise. Afterward, Robin and I went off to Utopia on U street to visit his friend, Katrin. We finally got home at around 2:30. Long day, y'all, but totally worth it.

This morning I woke up to take my sweet automobile to get her 10,000 mile maintenance. It went off without a hitch except that I found myself with about an hour and a half to kill while they did it. It turned into an awesome thing, though, since luckily the Honda place is directly next to Alexandria's central library. I wandered in, was astonished and pleased to find that they had Joe Sacco's most recent book, The Fixer (Alexandria Library Rawks!), and read the entire thing while sitting in a comfortable armchair in the sunny library. Now my car is "Car Needs Maintenance" light-free, and I can drive to Richmond this afternoon with a peaceful mind.

I'm off to spend time with both Emily and Bill tonight, and will bring pictures back with me, I hope. In the meantime, I've got a few to post from yesterday as well.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Birthday Girls

Happy Birthday to Jenny, one of the World's Greatest Roommates!

Happy Birthday to Lauren, who managed to take both Anatomy AND Neuroanatomy in the same quarter and not lose her mind!

They are two quality ladies, and I hope they're celebrating their birthdays in style.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Don't Need No Hateration, Holleration in this Dancery
So rumor has it that we're going to go and see "House of Flying Daggers" tonight. I better whip up a Takeshi t-shirt to wear to the theater.

Also, I got a chance to meet Suzi's friend, Chang, before they both left for vacation. He's got a blog as well: check it out!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Look at Erik. Posted by Hello

Blowing out birthday candles Posted by Hello

Christmas/Birthday dinner  Posted by Hello

dim sum Posted by Hello

Dim sum, Christmas 2004 Posted by Hello
This is hardly Christmas-y, but...
I read the entirety of Joe Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde last night. Anne had given me his book Palestine last year, and it was hands-down awesome. Joe Sacco is a journalist and a graphic novelist, so he travels to places like Gorazde and Palestine, conducts heaps of interviews, collects information and history, and then puts it together into powerful graphic novels. Seriously, it's amazing. I was woefully uninformed about the conflicts in Bosnia in the early 90s--I wasn't even aware that there was a place called Gorazde--and I felt like Safe Area Gorazde did a good job of summarizing and illustrating (literally) the sadness, scariness, and oftentimes horrors of the events. Reading it in one sitting in akin to being punched in the stomach, but it's extremely worthwhile. A lot of people relate Sacco's stuff to the Maus books by Art Speigelman, and I would agree. I remember that the Maus books were required reading in some of our classes in high school, and I hope that people use Sacco's books for the same teaching purposes.

Here's an interview that LA Weekly conducted with Sacco about the book.

One segment that illustrates why I like his stuff so much:

What compels you to spend time in war zones as a source for your work?

It’s not as if I want to be in places where there’s shooting going on. Those particular situations — Bosnia and Palestine — are of great interest to me, and I want to put in my two cents because the media hasn’t portrayed those situations very accurately. I don’t blame the media for perpetuating this conflict, but in failing to fully inform the electorate, they prevent people from bringing their influence to bear on these situations, because they don’t know what the hell is going on with them to begin with.

Needless to say, his books are highly, highly recommended.
Today marks first my day of officially being in my Late 20s. I could *almost* qualify as mid-20s while I was still 27, but that is not longer true. I feel more mature already.

So far it's been a nice birthday. Many thanks for all of the phone calls and messages today: I do love my friends. I'm looking forward to roast beef for dinner tonight and lemon cake for dessert.

Yay for birthdays!

Mom and the gift certificate from Robin for the Kuai, the dumpling place. Robin said that he was originally thinking of just writing it out with a sharpie on a paper napkin, which I think would have been awesome. Posted by Hello

Erik sporting some of his new togs. Posted by Hello

Dad and his Northwestern hat Posted by Hello

Robin and his Half and Egg shirt. Posted by Hello
Merry Christmas!
It's been a good morning so far, and gifts were very pleasing. I got Cutco knives (woooo! seriously, I love Cutco) from my parents and the first three seasons of Seinfeld from Robin and Erik, among other things. We're going to go and get dim sum later this morning with my uncle and then going to visit my grandparents.

Christmas rocks.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The night ended on a mellow note with some sweet guitar strums. Posted by Hello

Visiting Carol at Easter Seals during the day... Posted by Hello

Celebrating with two of my favorite old roommates. Posted by Hello

Jen and me, Christmas party 2004. Woo! Posted by Hello
Hostess Cakes
My parents held their annual holiday open house last night. It's always a good time, but it also involves a large amount of work for the children. Erik gets fire duties, coat duties, and opening the door duties. Robin is in charge of the turkey, and I am responsible for baked goods and the rolling of the spring rolls. And there were many spring rolls to be rolled. Yesterday morning, I woke up at 6 a.m. and started rolling, rolled for two hours before I had to leave, and didn't even finish it all.

I escaped during the day for a few hours to see my old boss at Easter Seals for coffee and then went to Arlington to have lunch with Lucinda from Easter Seals as well. Then I hustled back home (which was a challenge in the pouring rain and the stop-and-go traffic on the GW Parkway) where we launched into the last minute preparations. The party ended up going well, I think, and there are plenty of leftovers. We were so wiped out by the time it was over that we left all the mess as it was and went straight to bed. I plan to celebrate my freedom from responsibility today by doing nothing. Sweet.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Today's Email of the Day
An email from Charles that cracked me up today. I'm posting it in full:

hey kristin,
i'm not proud to admit it, but i forfeited an hour of my life last night watching 'big man on campus' on the wb. in case you haven't seen it, it's basically a repackaging of 'the bachelor,' with slightly younger participants. on this episode, there was a series of competitions, the winners of which would win time with the bmoc.

one of the competitions was a trivia contest. the university of central florida must be horrified, because here are some of the questions and answers:

how many states are there in the u.s.? 52

how many senators are there for each state? 1

who's buried in grant's tomb? hugh grant

in what year was the war of 1812 fought? 1816

what were the names of the seven dwarves?
i don't remember the answer given, but the girl got it wrong. i must confess that i don't think i know all seven.

the girl who won (and the only one shown correctly answering a question) happened to know that there are 180 seconds in three minutes.

at the end of the show, the guy had to cut five of the fifteen girls. he had obviously been instructed to give very brief reasons for keeping/cutting them. a few examples:

you're a very interesting person (ouch!), but i will not be giving you a pin (bmoc's version of the bachelor's rose).

your beauty speaks for itself, but i'm not sure there's anything beyond that (double ouch!).

it's terrible. and i'll probably watch next week.


p.s. yfkm = you're fucking kidding me!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Erik's Masterpiece
I found a play that Erik had written when he was in second or third grade. I nearly bust a gut last night rereading it. I'm putting it down on the blog (with Erik's permission, of course). I think that the characters names came from some video game that Erik was playing at the time.

Erik's Play

Act One
Ryu: Do you think the badguys will show up today?
Guy: If it's everyday they mess with us yes. If this comes to sometimes, maybe. But I don't think today.
Charligh: Now that's crazy talk.
Sagot: I agree. Anyway lets get to the ftight.

Act Two
Sagot: I will get revenge.
Ryu: No you won't. I am your worst nightmare.
Sagot: No I am.
Ryu: Just fight and lets see who's who.
(Ryu wins)
Ryu: Well well what do you know, I win.
Sagot: The fight's not over yet.
Ryu: Of course it is, I broke your bone.
Sagot: How'd you know?
Ryu: You aren't able to get up.

Act Three
Guy: Why does it always go good for him and not for me?
Charleigh: I don't know. But I do know this, we are going to fight.
(Guy kicks and hurts Charleigh)
Guy: Guess I'm really strong after all.
Carleigh: You lied.
Guy: No I didn't. I didn't even know I had this much power. But believe me, it's great.
(Badguys go away.)
Ryu and Guy: They never learn.

Max came over to our house to visit the snakes. He must be the World's Cutest Four Year Old. Posted by Hello
Track Santa this Christmas Season
NORAD, the binational military organization of both the US and Canada track Santa's progress every year.

The most amazing part is how the whole tradition started:

This is the 50th season that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs store's advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included a misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.

And then, weirdly, the site also has a "Celebrity Message" section, with the likes of Jo Jo, Eric Roberts, Goose Gossage (who?), and Ringo Starr.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Claro and me: Sounds like a movie title.  Posted by Hello