Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Just came back from a nice lunch with Annie. We feasted on salads in Shirlington, and then I followed her into her workplace and made off with several nice, solid boxes. Score! Like the Trobriands in the South Pacific (I think) traded in puka shells and yams, I trade in dependable boxes these days. I spent all morning trying to track some down. Visit to the sketchy doctor's office was successful as well--I seem to have finally tested positive for those elusive Heb B antibodies so that's one less thing to fret about. It's the little things, y'all. More later I'm sure...I've got to pack up some t-shirts.
Best Picture Ever
Check out this story about Juan the bear who tried to break out of the Berlin zoo...by trying to commandeer a bike. I don't even think I can stand how great that photo is. I also love that he was headed for the playground first. This bear has priorities!
This website which comments on the fugliness of various celebrity outfits is perfect and just what the doctor ordered.
This morning involves picking up my blood tests from the lamest doctor's office ever (pray for me that a.) they will actually be there, and b.) that I have Hep B antibodies in my blood, otherwise I will be effed), more packing, more throwing away, more cleaning. My room is at least a third empty since I've moved enough stuff to my parents and donated several bags of clothes and I should have done this a long time ago! There's so much more room to breathe and move around, it makes my room a much more pleasant place overall.

As I'm typing this, though, freshly showered, Spike is sitting beside me on my bed grooming himself. I need to get going here, though. I'll check in later, I'm sure.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Packing and cleaning in progress. No fun is being had. Must be done.

Off to Goodwill, Target, and perhaps to drop off more things at my parents' house.
Buckling down
I just ate some energizing breakfast, guzzled my coffee, and am about to get going here on what will be sure to be a loooong day. Wish me luck, all. First item on the agenda? Walk down to the City of Alexandria building to see about getting off the hook on paying my personal property tax since I'm moving out of the city.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Other photos
Here's one of Robin at his dumpling focus group.

Here's a picture of Carol, my boss at my old job, and me at my good-bye luncheon.
Party weekend
The weekend of celebration is coming to its end. It's Sunday afternoon and it's not completely over yet since I still am going to have my favorite Vietnamese dinner at home tonight. Many, many, many thanks to everyone who's reading this who has made me last few days here so very great and meaningful. Too meaningful almost, since it makes me not want to actually pack and clean out my room. I have three days to get this done, which I think is doable, but it's definitely not something to which I'm looking forward...at all. These late nights and the reality of the impending move make me want to crawl under my duvet and hide from the mess in my room. Nice and adjusted behavior.

Friday night was the appetizer of sorts with a Last Hurrah at the lovely Crystal City Sports Pub, the regular hang out for awhile. Many thanks to Matt who pulled that together: it was a nice send off. I only got a couple of shots from that night, but here is one of them of Des, Christina, and myself. While the night was a low-key one, it continued till about 4 in the morning when Sandy and Matt came back to my apartment to talk and eat doughnuts. Spike gave Sandy some of his special love in the form of biting.

Saturday night was the Grand Bash, the Big Good-bye Gala, co-hosted by Anne and Dave and Dee at Dave and Dee's stunning new townhouse with the perfect party patio. I can't thank the hosts enough for orchestrating this fantastic bbq/game night/laid back party. It was a nice little pull-together of DC friends and it was perfect. I threw my trump card out while playing Pictionary: whenever anything was being contested I found that I could shout "But, I'm leaving!" or "I'm the guest of honor!" and people would have to relent. I rarely know that kind of power, and I have no problem wielding it while I have the chance. Yeah, I know how to behave.

I made myself a nuisance at that party again with my camera which has the world's longest flash (seriously, it takes something like five minutes to warm up, leaving everyone still with rigor mortis grins waiting for the goddamn camera to take the pictures, and me urging through clenched teeth for people to "wait for it, wait for it..."). Here is the page of photos from the party.

Be sure to check out the sweet (literally and figuratively) cake that Dee created for the occasion.
There was a little Brown First Floor reunion, Melissa and Kevin came, and I got to take a fabulous picture pushing myself between Clarence and Jonathan. Bill came up for the party from Richmond, and took a break to pose with Anne and myself. Annie came and brought her Asian cole slaw, and I made Christina take a photo too. I really like this picture of roommate Matt and Grace and myself. James and Nathalie were there--I fear that I may have startled Nathalie with my Pictionary verve since the poor woman was playing on the opposite team, but sitting beside me.

Special attention should be paid to the hosts: Dee, Dave, and Ms. Anne (where she's posing prettily with Vroom Vroom)! My apologies to Dee that we never got that Boggle game going--there will be a next time, I hope.

The night went on, Dave and Dee fell away and the party continued to my neighborhood at around 2:15. This time, people played frisbee on the lawn of the Masonic Temple, which made for a rather dramatic background. Des and I sat on the ledge and chatted and watched while poor Bill fell asleep leaning against a lamplight. Check out this picture that I took of the frisbee players, it is too hilarious. The night continued to some point after three, when everyone shuffled home and I promptly fell asleep as soon as I hit the sheets.

A great weekend all around, adding to the bittersweet, swirly emotions that come with leaving. Lord help me and my maudlin tendencies these days.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I'm dying to watch that new VH1 show, "Totally Obsessed." It sounds awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I can't believe it myself. I came in early this morning and have enough to get done to keep me on my toes, but it kind of blows me away. No more commuting on the metro, no more walking by the homeless guy who likes to evangelize on 13th and G. I would lie and say that it brings a tear to my eye, but it doesn't.

Two things today:
1.) The local News 4 people earned a place in my heart forever when they bantered about traffic and they all went "Wha- happened?!" a la Fred Willard's character in "A Mighty Wind."

2.) My boss and I are going to be twins today. She suggested that we wear this shirt that we both have which I did put on this morning and now there's no turning back, yo. Oh well, it's my last day, who gives a crap?

A big thank you to Miss Anne who voted for Matt and myself at Krispy Kreme by purchasing two blue-sprinkled Kerry donuts for us. I'm glad that our apartment could represent!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Recap Part II
Stomachache from frozen yohgurt (sp?) cake now. Pain.
Party Recap
The party just ended and it involved lunch and frozen yoghurt cake and it was awesome. I got a backpack, and whole bunch of school supplies, and Hello kitty journal (how hilarious is that?), some fun notebooks and and cornucopia of multi-colored Post-It notes. I also received a $40 H&M gift card, a $25 Starbucks card from our Wisconsin partners, and a pretty, girly sweater from my boss. I cleaned up, y'all! I think I got more presents than last Christmas...

But now I'm full. And need to get back into work mode, which is tough.

Par-tay at work
Today is the HUUUGGGGE good-bye party at work. We're going to have lunch brought into the office and we get two hours off instead of 45 minutes! Clazy. I totally love good-bye parties and work gatherings like this. I love those cakes that people bring in. I love the hilarious chitchat that people are forced to make with one another in close quarters. I say, bring it. I'll take some pictures so you'll eventually all share in the fun. Actually, tomorrow is my last day of work and I have tons of crap to take care of. I'll try to write later and let you know if anything wild went down at the big party.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Citron-ed out
I met up with Sarah, my friend and old co-worker, last night at Cafe Citron where she treated me to mojitos (or as her husband, Jim, calls them "Mogadishus") and I think I may have developed diabetes from them. Seriously, last time I think I went to that place was a year ago with Sarah and I overindulged then as well, and hadn't felt the need to return till last night. Sarah was also my guide to the nightlife in Madison, which we visited one time for work: we did a bar hop and suffice it to say that the next morning at 6 a.m., when we had to get ready for the all day planning meeting was a bit brutal. Anyway, I'm glad that I got to spend some time with the newlyweds before I take off. Thanks for the mojitos, Sarah!

The metro ride home was a tough one, though! I had left the bar at 9:15 to try to get time in home for The Amazing Race, but I didn't walk through my apartment doors till 10:30. It was one of those deals where as soon as you walk into your station, you see your train pull away.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

So some of you might know that my work buddy, Don, left a work three (!) months ago to join the Peace Corps. He has been in Armenia for the past two and a half months learning Armenian and training to teach health classes on disability. He sent everyone his address and implored people to stay in touch through letters since he has spotty access to email.

In the two months he has been gone, I've received five or six regular email updates from him, some group and some personal. He's received two three-line emails from me, each promising that I would sit down and write a letter *that* weekend. [Note: I actually did write a letter last weekend, which went in the mail last week.]

Today, I received an email from him that started out this way:

Dude, even my Armenian dictionary has a picture of you
by the word lazy.

How very sad, but how very true.
First things first...

A big happy birthday to Bill!

Monday, August 23, 2004

The New Yorker's Thirteenth Hundred Days quiz. I love them.

Here's a sample:

14. How did George W. Bush pronounce the name of Abu Ghraib prison, the site of the abuses that he claimed to have been “disgusted of” and “disgraced about”?
(a) “Abugah-rayp.”
(b) “Abu-gareff.”
(c) “Abu-garon” and “Abu-garah.”
(d) All of the above.

Dumpling Report
They were good. Very good.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

More photos!
I finally downloaded some of the photos that I've been taking these past couple of weeks.
I've got a collection of images from one rocking night here. I particularly like this one of Robin and me.

Here are more Spike photos. Check out this one of Robin and Spike. Here is one of Matt and Spike, and finally, one of Sandy and Spike (check out the blur of Spike, no longer pleased about being held).

Finally, here is the Afghan feast, and here is a shot of, Petra, the aforementioned office dog.
Time Killer
I'm sitting here posting while waiting for my older brother to prepare dumpling ingredients so I can help him wrap about 2,000 of them. There will be a focus group to sample them tonight.

It was a whirlwind, crazy weekend. The second to last one before I leave DC (you will be privy the countdown until I leave, lucky you). Friday was spent sipping schooners at the Fish Market in good company. The night continued after that, but I fell aside right before the 5 a.m. soccer game in front of the Masonic Temple. I totally wish that I could have been there to photograph some of that, especially when I checked out the soccer ball that was used for the game which was seriously halfway flat. Awesome. Many more photos were taken of the Spike, who was finally very freaked out by the commotion, some of which will be posted for everyone's enjoyment.

Saturday involved Vietnamese food in the lighted outside patio of Little Viet Garden, s'mores at Cosi, and drinks on the patio of the Galaxy Hut. A true Clarendon/Courthouse experience, actually. It was the first time Clarence had tried s'mores, so that was kind of exciting. Grace and I had gone back to hang at my place after GH, and went through some old letters, which are nothing short of priceless. Stay tuned for some of them.

Today was a visit to the zoo, preceded by French food in Woodley Park. The coffee was so very yummy. And now I await the preparation for the dumpling focus group. I am hard pressed to describe how flawless the weather is today, after rain yesterday. 75 and sunny and tonight will be in the 50s. I will for sure miss this life here...excuse my sentiment (I'm falling prey to it lately in a big way).

You know, I was talking to someone about how hilarious it would be if after all of these good-byes, and parties, and celebrations, and get-togethers, etc, I announced that I wasn't leaving after all, and that I was still going to be around, nothing changed. I think that I would be lynched, if only for my sentimentality alone.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Don't put us in your ads, Bush
The Iraqi soccer team isn't too hot to the idea of being used to shill for the Bush campaign in their ads.

Check out this warm and fuzzy item:

Midfielder Ahmed Manajid even said if he wasn't playing soccer at the Olympics, he would be home in Fallujuah trying to kill American soldiers.


(via tmn)

The Countdown Continues...
Six more days of work, including today! I've officially moved out of my window-side workspace and now and sitting at the front desk in our office, very receptionist-like. It feels so temporary! I blinked a little at leaving the workspace that I occupied over over a year now, but after about half a second, I was over it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Hilarious, even if this is a little late
I stumbled over someone's blog entry about how NBC provided crap coverage of the opening Olympic ceremonies. I particularly liked this part:

I ask myself how much more can NBC suck and the answer is none more, NBC could not possibly suck none more.

(via kottke.org)
Last night we met to get Afghan food from the best restaurant in the DC Metro area. We went to town--I took a photo of the spread which will be posted at a later time. I also helped myself to the carafe of red wine that was in front of me. I had a great time at dinner but woke up this morning feeling as if I had cement poured on me at some point in the night. And now someone is chipping at it. Pure pain.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

For Des and James in particular:
Daily Reasons to Dispatch Bush, from McSweeneys
This is a site you could send a lot of time on. Lots and lots. Link here! (via hissyfit)
Look forward to these
Last night, Robin and Matt each posed for photos holding Spike like a baby. Matt should start charging for this, who wouldn't want a photo of them holding a giant cat, a precious angel of furry rotund grouchiness? Anyway, when I'm able to download those bad boys, you can definitely look forward to them.

This reminds me junior year in college: Christie had this friend who wore this leather jacket which at one point he had left in our room. Christie, Des, and I had a photo session after that, each posing with this jacket, too cool for school, collars flipped up. I have no clue what happened to that guy, but I love that his jacket will forever have its place in history.
Cross-country photo
Check out this cool site: some guy took a cross-country trip and took photos every 25 miles. You can check it out here.
You've got to check out these pimp and ho costumes for your kids. Wtf, dude?
(via tmn)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Oh my god
James recounts a science project that he did as "a 14-year old with a mullet." Priceless.

That reminds me of stories that I gleaned from Emily when we were living together. Emily was starting her first year as an eighth grade teacher in Richmond Public Schools, and she was generous with tales of her students. A few of my favorites:

1. On the first test she gave, Emily showed me some of the things that she got handed back. One of the questions she put together was an essay, something like: "Explain three unique things about the Paleolithic era."

One answer was:
Don't catch an attitude, but I forget.

Another was, nothing but a little drawing of a snail. Emily just put down a big question mark beside it.

2. Students had to make posters representing different African countries. One student wanted to communicate that their particular country had a lot of gold, so they wrote a large "Bling-Bling" on the corner of the poster. Awesome.

3. Once her teacher book was stolen, and she quickly figured out who had taken it, since their answer to the essay question was:

Answers may vary.

Scenes from the Mall
Last night I went to Screen on the Green with Bronwyn. It's one of those deals where they screen movies on the Mall and people come and camp out on blankets with drinks and dinners. We got there around 8 for a movie that started at 8:45, and the place was already packed. People come prepared! The people beside us spread out a blanket the size of Rhode Island and set up a cheese tray, a pitcher with some strong alchoholic product, and a various sitting implements. Bronwyn took care of us, by bringing a big blanket AND pineapple coconut sorbet made with Splenda. That was fricking awesome.

We watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," which I had never seen before, but enjoyed immensely. It was a beautiful cool night, and the Capitol dome was lit up right behind the screen, and it was goddamn something else. I'm glad that I finally did it before leaving DC.

Also, there was some weird Rocky-Horror type behavior that occurred. During the opening credits, when the HBO song played, a lot of people got up and danced wildly, flailing their arms. I would say about a fifth of the crowd did this--regulars, I'm sure. Anyone aware of what the meaning behind this dance is? The woman sitting beside us (behind the cheese tray people) was all cranky and yelled "Sit Down!," which cracked me up.

Anyway, if you're in DC, Go! Just bring some bug spray and a jacket since it got a bit nippy out.

Monday, August 16, 2004

First of all, let me note that I have only TEN more workdays left. TEN! Insane. Prepare for the countdown.

Second of all, it was a fabulously fun weekend as Anne recounted in her blog today. It was so good to have Robin back in town and he was a good sport when I dragged him out on Saturday night, deeming him the DD without consulting him first. I suspect that I was at my most charming loud self on Saturday, so I apologize to anyone reading this who was unlucky enough to sit beside me. I was klassing those joints up, but I had a blast while doing so.
I celebrate his entire catalogue
Interviews with the cast of Office Space five years later (can you believe that it's been five fricking years already? Jeez). (via tmn)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Robin has just arrived and is washing up, while Matt and I are watching the Karate Kid. It's sooooo awesome, it hurts.
New Spike Pictures!
Check out the one of me and my baby.
You can view more from the album here.
The Washington Post Magazine did an article this week on the woman behind the Washingtonienne blog--the one that went into detail on her escapades with the big enchiladas of DC (mmm--enchiladas). I suspect from her photos that she's half-Asian, btw. I still haven't read the infamous blog. Is it still up? If so, anyone know where I can find it?
Did everyone watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? I watched the whole thing with friends that include loyal readers of this blog, and I was quite impressed with the whole thing (minus Couric and Costas commentary). That Bjork number with the ocean spreading out was especially cool. I think they managed to make it interesting, artful, and classy. Quite a feat, but maybe that's why it cost so much money.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday's Oh My Gah Article
I stumbled onto this link from another site. Apparently there was a 480 pound woman in Florida who hadn't gotten off of her couch in SIX years. She passed and they had to come and take her away, but it was difficult because HER SKIN HAD BECOME GRAFTED ONTO THE COUCH. OH MY GOD.
What I'm doing today
Thanks to Anne, who informed me of, and sent the link to, this NPR series on a their correspondent's travelogues on the Silk Road route in China. What a gorgeous time killer.

Family Homecoming
My parents are finally returning from their Alaska trip tomorrow. I commented to Anne the other day that they must have no cell phone reception or phone connections where they are, because otherwise my mom would have called us about three times per night. I haven't heard a peep from them since last Sunday. Erik has been stuck at home for the past few days and I don't think has emerged from his room 95% of the time. I wonder if he's starting to atrophy.

Anyway, the nuclear family unit will be complete because Robin is also coming into town tomorrow and is staying for over a week. I'm really glad to be able to see him before I take off for newer pastures. We're going to arrange a focus group night where he tries out his dumpling recipe for us--I think that he's particularly interested in hearing what my mom has to say about it, but I will enjoy the activity nonetheless.
There were two accidents on Georgetown Pike this morning, but luckily for me, they were both in the opposite direction. The stretch of Gtown Pike where these occured is one lane each way, so traffic was completely blocked up going in the opposite direction. There also didn't seem to be any action on the parts of the policemen to let both directions of traffic have turns getting by, so my direction just kept on going.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Forget SBD...
...I should have gone with the My Pet Fat diet. You can buy your own pet fat in 1 ounce, 1 pounds, and five pound forms. Dude, that's some expensive fat! Overpriced, in my humble opinion. I am totally fascinated by the products, though, and can you imagine toting one of those things around with you?
My officemate is a queen
My cube neighbor, Lucinda, just gave me a going-away present. The best kind: a video game Boggle! I can play while commuting! Her mom works for Tiger Toys, so gets all of this neat stuff. So far she's given everyone Lord of the Ring pewter figurines and I got a Homer's head rubiks cube.

Ahhh, so that explains it
Have no idea why you find that person so dern appealing? It might be the name. Apparently, names do have an effect on how sexy we consider someone. It all has to do with where your vowels are in your name and how masculine or feminine that sounds or some such thing.

Perfors said front vowels are often perceived as "smaller" than back vowels, so the difference could be a sign that women are seeking men that are sensitive or gentle, traits usually perceived as feminine.

But men who might be thinking of taking more feminine names to become sexier should be careful not to go too far: men with women's names were rated least sexy of all.

(via tmn)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Thanks, Chaz
I wanted to leave a shout-out to Charles, who's now across the country in San Francisco. Ever since we became friends all of those years ago, Charles has faithfully clipped articles that may be of interest to me and sends them regularly. It's a very grandfather kinda thing to do. I think he must clean out his magazines and newspapers every few months. Yesterday I received a large manila envelope filled with interviews with Zach Braff about his movie, "Garden State," (which intrigues me, although I don't know about Zach's wings that he's rocking these days). When I was in China, I would get regular articles on various music groups, films that we had discussed, and best of all: fortunes from fortune cookies that had "Learn Chinese" phrases on the back...to assist me while over there. It's not just me, either: Bill informs me that he also gets shipments of articles, the last one concerning Julia Stiles.
How does he survive?
So yesterday, the plan was for my little brother to leave his friend's place in DC, take the metro to meet me in Alexandria after I get off from work, and then we could leave together to go to Great Falls. When I had dropped him off in DC a couple of days before, I had checked with him specifically to make sure that he had enough money on him for the metro. Yes, yes, yes, he did. Was his phone charged? Yes, yes, yes it was.

So yesterday, I'm waiting at home when I hear someone yell for me outside. It was Erik. Of course his phone had run out of batteries. But, could he call me from the metro station using a 35 cent payphone? No, because he had no money left. In fact, he had to borrow money from his friends for the metro ride over to my place, and that still wasn't enough so he had to BEG for money from passersby in the metro. That's right, he panhandled. I asked him how many people he asked, and apparently he had to ask a lot. It was only someone "old" who ended up giving him a couple of quarters for him to get out of the station. Actually, that wasn't enough either, so that same person saw him haplessly standing inside the station still and asked him if he was still short, and he had to sheepishly admit that he was and then accept a bit more money. For a $3.00 fare.

So how did he manage to spend the $10 that he had on him when he left our house? He and his friends went to Steak and Egg right before he got onto the metro. So, even if he couldn't get home, at least he was well-fed.
I'm so proud
As Suzi posted on her blog, an article that she wrote on the Taipei Zoo for the American Chamber of Commerce is now online. Ms. Y always has a way with words, as this article proves.

I, for one, am also hoping that the Taipei Zoo gets some giant pandas soon (because everyone should have giant pandas in their lives). I am also intrigued by the snacks sold in their refreshment stands:

Visitor Sue Tsai from Ohio bemoaned the absence of the polar bears found in most U.S. zoos. That may be the case, but also unlike zoos in the United States, the Taipei Zoo does not have incredibly inflated prices at its snack stands. Pearl milk tea costs NT$25, a hot dog NT$20, and a bowl of fishball soup only NT$25.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cuddle Parties in New York Cost Money
This is too much.

An introduction to cuddling ensues, first by hugging three people. People then get in a circle on their hands and knees, rub shoulders and moo like cows. After a bit of swaying, everyone falls to their side, which puts them into an easy cuddling position.

"Mooing like cows"? Awesome.

(via tmn)

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Lure of the Private Sector
I just came back from meeting Clarence, Grace, and Jonathan for lunch. Clarence took us to dine in his law office's cafeteria/fancy-subsidized-eating-joint. It was bright, sunlight-filled, sleek and modern with a quality selection of dining options. I chose the Southwestern burger which the guy behind the counter sculpted perfectly so that the grilled peppers and onions were just so. It was awesome. The entire floor is encased with glass and we sat right up against the window so we were pressed up against the scenery of DC. This was another world from the non-profit kitchenette that we have. We were joking about how I would steal Clarence's ID so I could get back in: I would just need to take a sharpie and color in some long hair on his head. Easy. Now I'm in slight food coma, though.
Koko's Teeth Hurt
Koko the monkey called for a dentist and had her own dental team right away:

Twelve specialists -- a Stanford cardiologist, three anesthesiologists, three dentists, an ear and throat specialist, two veterinarians, a gastroenterologist and a gynecologist -- volunteered to help.

Here is the absolute best part, though:

Her teacher, Francine Patterson, was at her side when the anesthesiologist prepared to put her under in the morning, and apparently Koko asked to meet her specialists.
They crowded around her, and Koko, who plays favorites, asked one woman wearing red to come closer. The woman handed her a business card, which Koko promptly ate. (via tmn)

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I spent this absolutely breathtaking weekend at my parents' place, since they are off on another Alaska jaunt and my 15-year old brother is my charge for the next seven days. It's actually been surprisingly peaceful and easy on my wallet as well, since my social opportunities are much inhibited. The nice thing, as well, is that I've been driving my mom's car for the past couple of days. I love my Honda Civic, but she has a Honda Civic Hybrid, which is zippy and fun to drive and handles the winding roads of Great Falls like a pro. I've spent hours in the car and have only used a quarter tank of gas. I love it! Plus, driving back and forth from my place in Alexandria is a treat since it's mostly on the GW Parkway, which has got to offer up some of the most stunning scenery in DC. It almost brings me to tears. Now, I'm annoyed, though. I seem to have misplaced the cord to my camera, and it's a thorn in my goddamn side. I have no idea where it could be, and it's going to bug me for the rest of the evening...and there goes the Zen feeling that I developed over the weekend.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Other Barney
Okay, so I want Bush out of the White House next year, but I can't help but love his terrier, Barney. Do you know that he has his own page on whitehouse.gov? It's got photos every day and information, and it's rather hilarious. I so want a dog. It hurts me.
Stories from the DNC
Several people from our office attended the DNC since they lobby on behalf of our non-profit organization. One of the women, J, was responsible for helping people with disabilities traverse the various areas of the Fleet Center, and spent much of her time pushing people in wheelchairs (she pushed Maya Angelou!) and standing guard at various elevators, requesting that able-bodied people take the stairs or the escalators and leave the elevators for the use of people with disabilities. Very glamorous stuff. She reported on who were the famous people who were gracious about this and who were pain-in-the-ass divas. Ask me later about who were the pain-in-the-ass divas, but suffice it to say that there was only ONE gracious person that she mentioned, and that was Jim Lehrer. The rest of them J mentioned (a politician, a news anchor, and a popular music group) got all huffy and refused to remove themselves from the elevator. J said that it seemed that these divas assumed that she was a Fleet Center staffperson, and therefore ignant and they pulled the: "You have NO idea who I am" thing on her, and she had to smile sweetly back and say, "Oh, but I do..."

Actually, J also mentioned that the most gracious people about this, the people who never complained over having to leave the elevator area to find the stairs or escalators, were the Fleet Center workers. All of us began talking about how nice that was, and let the warm fuzzies infuse us, when one guy in the room was like: "hey, but they were probably getting overtime! Why rush to punch their timecards?" So cynical, but probably true.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Charlie Daniels, Master of the silver tongue
Yahoo News did a piece on how Charlie Daniels angered the Arab community with his song, "It Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag."

You can see where this one's going.

Some of the song:

"This ain't no rag, it's a flag and we don't wear it on our heads. It's a symbol of the land where the good guys live. Are you listening to what I said?"

Charlie Daniels is all puzzled over the big hub-bub over it.

"It's not anti-Arab or anti-anything," he said Wednesday by phone from Tennessee, where he lives. "The only thing it's `anti' is the people who bombed us on 9/11. I have people who say you're putting down people who wear turbans. I'm not."

He's like that character in "A Mighty Wind": wha- happened??
The Guardian's Blog Section
So it appears that The Guardian online has a regular blog section featured. The cool thing as well is that it allowed people to offer up their blogs for perusal, so if you've got a kicking one, send it their way. It seems like a fun section to regularly check out, though.
Starting Early
This 14-year old who was writing Bush threatening emails from a public library got busted and as penance has to write a research paper. He's from Roanoke. Hmmm--reminds me of some other Roanoke people I know. Maybe there's something in the water. (via the ob)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I finally caught up with Melissa last night over dinner and we went and had Mediterranean food at Skewers in Dupont. We both ordered their salads, and I had a lamb in mine along with grapes and feta and it was painfully delicious, y'all. It's what I was thinking about when I woke up this morning as well. I know, it's pathetic how much I love the food, but what can I say? I love it. Anyway, it's been at least a couple of months since I was able to hang out with Ms. Melissa, so it was great to spend time with her over the good food and pleasing Skewers decor.

Already Missing Spike
I went home and took more pictures of Spike with my digital camera. It's turning into a problem--all I want to do is photograph him. I'm already fearing the future withdrawal from this obstinate feline. He's such a good companion in laziness and I like chatting with him in the morning after Matt's left and the apartment is empty.

We have a morning routine: he comes in my room and meows loudly and raucously, I say: "SPIKE! What are you doing?!" in mock anger and he looks back at me and open and closes his mouth (a la a cud-chewing cow) in that way he does when he's contented. I then go over to him and cover his head with kisses before we both get up and go to the bathroom--me to do my morning ablutions and he to haul himself on top of the bathroom sink to hang around the faucet. Sometimes I need to lift him up there since he has trouble moving his weight to that level. Out of the shower I come and then dribble him with droplets that he tries to catch like he's been parched for years and then we both head to the kitchen where I make coffee and breakfast and he squats outside to eat his food. It's very comforting to both of us.

I think back to two years ago when I moved in and Spike was wary of me to say the least. He was sit outside my room and stare in with wide, alarmed eyes, wondering what in the hell this person was doing and when was she going to get out of his house. At that time, he didn't like if anyone beside Matt even touched him, but now through my sheer will, I've made him become somewhat of a cuddle monster. I scoop him up like a twenty pound bag of flour and sit with him on the couch, him locked in my arms while I nuzzle and coo at him. He purrs! And doesn't bite for at least five minutes! This is real progress, people.

Anyway, this is all to say that I will be inconsolable when I realize that Spike is not a regular part of my life anymore.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

After fooling around McSweeney's, I stumbled across the link to 826NYC, the affiliated non-profit tutoring center. It's an offshoot of the 826 Valencia in SF, and is just starting up. The fabulous Joan (introduced to me by equally fabulous Suzi) mentioned that she was involved in it when we last saw her in NY, but she was so modest that she didn't explain quite how much. Girlfriend is the Director of Development and on the Board of Directors! Anyway, support Joan's work and also a great cause and visit the site.
Of particular interest to you China people
McSweeney's has a section called DISPATCHES FROM ROY KESEY, AN AMERICAN GUY MARRIED TO A PERUVIAN DIPLOMAT LIVING IN CHINA. Pick a dispatch here. I particulary like the one titled "If the Market Near My House were a Baseball Game and You Were a Fan."
I started Tom Perrotta's Little Children yesterday on the way home, and I haven't been able to put it down since. I find his writing accessible, funny, and his characters are likable. I had read Joe College by him before, but have yet to pick up Election, but I think that I will now.

Another thing, they ordered some candy for us to have on our floor (since on the main floor, they have a regular candy basket). I can usually stay away from the boring hard candy, but there is also a little tub of tootsie rolls, my undoing. I can't get enough of sweet chewy candy. Caramels? Forget it, I'm helpless in their wake. And there is something particularly appealing about the artificial, almost cheap, quality of the Tootsie Roll. Now that I regularly check the carbohydrates per serving (I'm not proud of this), I eyeballed the info on the tootsie roll container. 33 carbohydrates for only SIX tootsie rolls. That's just wrong, dude. I could eat six tootsie rolls in one mouthful. If I had my way, I wouldn't be sated until I had about thirty...at least.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Oh man. I took some pictures of Spike, while he was sitting on the couch. Erik and I have been looking at the pictures together and cracking up. There are two shots: one with a flash, and one without. My mom walked over and looked at the picture of him and shouted:
"Kristin! He's so fat! What did you do?!"
Dear Diary,
Today I went to Katie's Birthday Party. We got a treat after the party. I got finger stickers, a snoopy pencil, and a beautiful pin that looks like this.
(Inserted drawing of a pointy pin that looks like some kind of family crest)
It looks so lovely and I think it has real jewels. And I love it with all my heart. I just love it.
Love, Kristin

Dear Diary,
Today I stayed home from school because I had a swollen eye. And I went to Po-Po's and Co-Co's house.
Love, Kristin

Dear Diary,
Today I had Meredith over. And I had a hoagie from Good Guys. And I'm sleeping over at Po-Po's and Co-Co's.
Love, Kristin

Dear Diary,
Today in the morning I had doughnuts. And Katie asked me to roller skate with her and we saw Khalilah.
Love, Kristin