Thursday, September 29, 2005

More on popping collars
Here's a link from DCist, courtesy of VroomVroom, mentioning Saint Ex's request to turn down collars. There's a picture, which is great.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Butterstick indeed. (via Washington Post) Posted by Picasa
Baby Panda
Apparently "Butterstick" is still in the running, a "rogue sixth choice" according to the Washington Post. I would die of happiness if that won.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Awww, I like this.
Up and Running
Ahh, it's that time during the quarter when it's meetings, meetings, meetings. My clients don't start till next week, but in the meantime there are lots of (evening) meetings and three hour diagnostics to watch along with classes,! In all actuality, it's not that bad, and I'm in the midst of just giving myself over to it. I forgot what it was like to deal with four and five hour breaks in the middle of the day while on campus, but hopefully I can use that time to actually get stuff done. Also, in view of how bad things can get, my complaints about having to actually do school work and be present on campus are pretty low on the totem pole of Bad.

Thursday is my first official Quiz/Test of the quarter. It's my first one in a long time as well since we didn't really have them in my laidback summer quarter.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rain, Rain, Rainy
It's kind of dismal outside. A good day to stay in and try to get some studying done. I've been holed up in my room for most of the day working away like a good little worker ant. There's a neuroanatomy quiz this week and I'm intent on getting ahead so I don't have to freak out when we get our clinic assignments tomorrow.

How did this weekend go so quick? Friday was good: it was spent in Evanston, first at a department gathering at an art gallery that our clinic supervisor owns. Tres swank. Then we headed over to an Oktoberfest party at Laura and Megan's gorgeous and enormo place.

Saturday, after sleeping a good ten hours, Todd and I lunched at the fancy Golden Nugget restaurant on Western Ave. I'd never been there before but he had spoken of its greatness, and it lived up to its stories. Afterward we went to Wicker Park where there was an craft fair kinda thing for artists. It was crawling with hipsters and boasted lots of neat, overpriced stuff. The highlight of the visit was the Bird Machine stall. The Bird Machine is this super awesome poster company in Chicago. I love, love, love their stuff, particularly the work by one guy, Jay Ryan (who apparently is also in the band Dianogah, which explains the large collection of Dianogah stuff on the site). The Bird Machine mostly does concert posters, it seems, and they're screen printed and I seriously cannot talk enough about how cool they are.

Cool enough that I purchased one. It was $20, but it was worth it, and I can't wait to get it framed (I was going to link to it, but was too lazy to wade through all of the posters). Suffice it to say that I love it so much that I keep on unscrolling it to get another gander at it. It's art, I tell you!

After that we decided to spend our late rainy Saturday afternoon going to see "The Aristocrats." Heard of this movie? It's a documentary in which comics expand on the filthiest joke in the world, one that's told by comics to comics. It was cool to see the comic culture where such a joke and its telling is revered and celebrated, but the joke itself is grody, dude. Plus, you hear it in all of its putrid variations about fifty times. I needed a shower after going to see it. So, theater worthy? Maybe not. Netflix worthy? Perhaps.

Saturday night we spent inside cooking a big old steak dinner that was pretty awesome.

And somehow all of that spit me out to where I am right now, at my desk in my room with my books opened in front of me. They're waiting for me so I can go and do my study questions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Not To Do List
It's like it's straight from my heart.

(via tmn)
First day of class and visitors
Des and Bryan are in town! They arrived last night, we feasted dinner at Las Mananitas and then we all hit the hay in preparation for today. They are currently enjoying the U2 concert right now and have been hanging out at the United Center all day, lying in wait. I admire their moxie. I checked in with them today twice and they were in good spirits. At least they had gorgeous weather since it was sunny, blue skied and 81 today. A gorgeous September day. I think when they return they will be some exhausted kids.

My first day of class went pretty well with two of my three classes back to back. The bear of the quarter is going to be Functional Neuroanatomy. Yes, I know that you're jealous. The pro is that it's interesting material and that it will be very good to know. The con is that it's going to be a bear. I didn't feel very heartened with this when our professor mentioned about thirty times that it was going to be "difficult," "hard," "a challenge," and "a lot of work." Yay! When I shared with people who had taken it last year they figured that he was trying to harden us so people wouldn't be gobsmacked and also trying to head off the complaints that he received last quarter. He also talked for a good five minutes about how he wouldn't "have any sympathy" for people who try to argue their grades up from Bs to As, since a B is still good and it doesn't matter in the long run. I agree with this, but it cracks me up to think about how many people must have gone to his office hours last year sniffing for As. The Type A student (no pun intended).

Consider me Scared Straight, though. I came home and reviewed my notes for a good two hours. Night One of Mission Stay On Top of Things: A Success.

I'm pleasantly wiped out, though. I managed to drag my sorry ass to the gym after weeks away.

Monday, September 19, 2005

On the precipice
Classes begin tomorrow! I spent my morning preparing binders and printing out study guides, etc. I feel so productive. It was an excellent laid back weekend. Highlights included going to see Kevin perform at the Tangerine Family Circus. MAJOR thanks to KB for contributing comp tickets. Kevin was awesome in the circus: his performance included climbing up a rope upside down and jump roping while balancing on a giant rubber ball. Before dinner I convinced Todd that we should try to dine at Holy Frijoles, this much ballyhooed Mexican place nestled in the far suburbs (but relatively close to Evanston). I had gone there months ago for an early lunch with Lauren and Hillary and it was awesome. We got there right when it opened, and got a table, but there was a line out the door by the time we left. I thought that we would have a good chance of getting seated since we were showing up at this place before 6pm for dinner. Not to be. There were loads of people hanging around outside by the time we pulled up and when we asked about the wait, we wouldn't get seated till 8:10pm. Again, this was at 5:50 at night. Damn! It's worth it, though. Now I know that we need to call ahead because if I remember correctly, that shite is worth it! It's definitely not the ambience, since the place sits within a strip mall next to a Dunkin Donuts and a takeout Chinese place.

We also went to see Mono, Bellini, and the Headlights play at Subterranean. Charles suggested seeing Mono since they are a lot like Explosions in the Sky, and I liked them very much. Plus, they were Japanese so that added to their coolness levels. I didn't have my earplugs with me for the show, though, which I regretted since Bellini was way loud, yo. Fun show, though.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Bus
I walked the two miles to Trader Joe's today and then decided to take the bus back since I had heavy packages. After waiting at the stop for a good ten minutes I was about to throw in the towel when the Addison bus came crawling up. I made my way back through the condensed front to an empty three seat by the back door. And then the odor hit me. Distinct and acidic. I did a quicktake and saw the few people sitting in the back holding their shirts over their general nose areas. And then I looked down at the floor to see a puddle of fresh vomit slowly oozing its way up front.
Daily Quandary
So I called to make an appointment with my favorite hair dude, Eli, today and found out that he's on vacation till the end of the month. Gah! As usual, I wait to call until the situation is nearing dire circumstances (overgrown and sad) and two weeks is a tall order. The question is, should I wait till Eli comes back or should I go to someone else in the meantime? I'm all gunshy now since I got the Worst Haircut in the History of Time when I (foolishly) decided to walk into a Hair Cuttery in my neighborhood. I'm guessing that I'm going to wait because I'm lazy. I may cave though.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What I want for Christmas
They're selling "The Complete New Yorker": 8 DVDs. 4,109 issues. $100.

I went and caught "Grizzly Man" tonight. It was a pretty powerful film and very haunting and well done. I didn't know anything about Timothy Treadwell before this, and after watching the movie (shots of him on all of his own footage) you can't come away without thinking that this was one deeply messed up man. Insane. He caught gorgeous scenes and his commitment to the grizzlies was admirable, but there's also plenty of footage of him allowing the bears to approach him and he would teasingly tap them on the snout, while cooing about how much he loves them and thanks them for being his friends. These are enormous, enormous grizzlies. Treadwell had some sort of savior complex, calling himself the "kind warrior" for the bears in front of his cameras. He seemed to have good intentions, but then you would also have footage of him losing his shit while he was railing against the national park officials on camera, naming names (which the movie blocked out) and telling them to fuck themselves somewhere in the area of 1,079 times. Again, insane. Good movie, though: definitely worth Netflixing.
It's been good and relaxing to be back in town. It's even better today because the weather has officially turned from hot and humid to cool (mid-90s to 70s). My apartment is approximately 213 times more pleasant because of this. Thank God.

Classes start next week, and I've been occupying myself with trying to get stuff that needs to get done accomplished and also relaxing like a mofo. This means lots of daytime tv and long lazy jogs by the lake. I've also managed to catch up with some of my school compatriots and Pam so I haven't completely hermetically sealed myself off.

Two things:

1. I have grandiose plans about what a good student I am going to be this coming quarter. I'm going to have rock star study habits, kids. This means going over my notes every night and staying on top of everything. You know it.

2. I've been watching Season 3 of "Oz" on dvd. I watch this show since I support it because it comes from the creators of "Homicide," despite the fact that it scares the living jeebus out of me. Objectively, I'm continually shocked by the fact that it aired for five or six seasons when its levels of violence are mindblowing. For instance, the credits end with someone being electrocuted. But, I still like the show even if it's uncomfortable to watch, and I appreciate the characters and admire the acting. And I love BD Wong and think he makes the most adorable Catholic priest ever.

Anyway, many of the characters are scary as hell, but the hands down most frightening is the role of Adebisi with his tiny hat and his striped stockings and his clazy eyes. I remember reading once an article about the guy who played Jame Gumb in "Silence of the Lambs" and how it was almost a curse because everyone associated him with that role. I fear that the same thing will happen to the dude who plays Adebisi. He's awesome, but he'll always be associated with clazy malevolence.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Afghan Feast! Posted by Picasa

Totally my favorite picture in the day of patriotism.  Posted by Picasa

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Posted by Picasa

At the WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

More saluting of the Monument. Glorious indeed. Posted by Picasa

Sightseeing in DC. On the mall.  Posted by Picasa

Annie and me, living it up at RFK Posted by Picasa

Annie and Anne, Nat'n it up. You can't see Annie's awesome shirt which is Nationals gear. The girl's got spirit. Posted by Picasa
DC Extravaganza
I'm back in Chicago now, got back yesterday afternoon. But, my last days in DC were spent happily and busily.

On Thursday night, Annie scored us free tickets to the Nationals vs. Marlins game at RFK. Sweeeet deal. It was my first Nationals game, and it was a perfect night for it (cool, breezy, clear). Thanks again to Annie, and may I just say that holding a cold beer at a night baseball game with good friends is the definition of perfection. Instead of parking at RFK's stadium, we parked at a nearby Catholic church which accepted whatever you wanted to donate, which is a pretty awesome idea on the part of the church's. I have to say that I couldn't help but crack up at the sight of Screech, the Nationals' mascot. He's this giant round bald eagle with an ass that shakes like a bowl of jelly. He exudes sass just by waddling along. Anne noticed that he would nudge his stomach in to make his ass pop out, which is plain awesome.

Friday night, The Todd arrived for his first weekend in DC. After dining on some superb homemade chili that my dad made that day (sweetened with mango!), we headed into the city to meet up with Gracie for a night out. Kudos to Grace for coming out with us because at that point it was like 11pm, which in my normal world is turning-into-pumpkin time. I felt like a good weekend in DC would need to represent at least a night out in the city. We had a very laid back evening, having a drink each at Saint Ex and at Utopia. Best thing of the night was the chalkboard outside of Saint Ex that read: Please turn down collar before entering.

On Saturday Todd and I took off from Grace's sweeeet pad to go check out the sights. We did a walk through of the Mall and several of the Monuments. We also passed through the Black Family Reunion 2005 which was set up on the Mall and also the set up for the America Supports Freedom Walk (or whatever it was called). We got back to Great Falls in time to help my mom roll some Vietnamese spring rolls, drink a beer, and then have an awesome Vietnamese feast. Mmmmmm.

Saturday night we went bowling at Ft Myer with Anne and Annie. People, this was the best deal in town, I had no idea. The glow bowling was still going on, games are $3 each, and the drinks are cheap. It was totally not crowded as well. Talk about a well-kept secret. I mean, you do have to get your car searched before you enter and all, but it's damn worth it. Afterward we met up with Des, Bry, Dave and Dee at this new place on Wilson called Kitty O'Shea's and closed the place out. A full Saturday indeed.

Sunday before taking off back to Chicago, we met up with Anne, Annie, Des, Bryan, Suzi, Tom, Chang, Clarence, and Jonathan for a huge Afghan meal. I heart Afghan. Oh my god. If I could bring one restaurant from the DC area with me to Chicago, it would be that one. It was a perfect send off from DC. Food coma inducing, maybe, but totally perfect still. We had an uneventful flight back to Chicago, got back around 6pm (I love gaining an hour). Also, grilled hot dogs and beans for dinner, courtesy of The Todd.

It's good to be back. Chicago is still warm, but at least it's not in the 90s and my apartment is not sweltering as it was this past summer.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Check out Erik's expression: he looks so happy.

Later: My father informed me that they were directed to look unhappy (it being a funeral and all), so Erik's acting skills were on point apparently. Posted by Picasa

Dad and Erik were extras in a movie called "Godfather Death." That's them in front carrying a casket.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We encountered this guy on our walk yesterday. Posted by Picasa

My favorite room on the third floor of the Hirschorn. Posted by Picasa

From the Hirschorn. Posted by Picasa

My favorite sculpture in the Sculpture Garden. Posted by Picasa
Day in DC
Tuesday was spent in the city, which involves quite a trek from Great Falls. I lunched with my old co-workers and then met up with Grace and Anne for dinner and a walk around Dupont while we enjoyed the hands-down spectacular weather. In between lunch and dinner, I visited the Hirschorn Museum since I had a couple of hours of time to kill. Seriously, the FREE museums in DC are a beautiful thing. The best thing too was that the Hirschorn was basically deserted since it was the day after Labor Day weekend. Man, I love DC museums!
Just got an email from the NU president. They're also accepting students from Tulane free of charge (as long as they paid Tulane) next year. There's also an article in the Post today about how Howard is accepting Xavier University students.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A couple of days late, but...
Slate's article called "The Rebellion of the Talking Heads" is heartening.
Buy the t-shirt
They're selling a t-shirt inspired by Kanye West's words. Which is a quick turnaround. And funny.
Lunch today was with the FOG DC faction. Well, like 80% of the DC faction since Grace couldn't make it. James, Des and Bry, Clarence and Jonathan and I met up at Pho 75 for some Number 12's and some coffees with condensed milk. Lots of fun. Des was telling us about how Kanye West off the cuff derided Bush for ignoring the poor people in New Orleans, which I wish that I could have seen. We wondered why Toby Keith wasn't involved in the concert in some way, but figured that he was probably working on a song cussing Katrina out as we spoke. It would be called something like "Blow Me, Katrina."

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Anne posing in front of some race car that was parked in front of the Kroger in Richmond. By the time we came out, they had rolled it away and were shipping it off.  Posted by Picasa

Lunch at Paul's = Perfection. Posted by Picasa

Here are the dorms that they're building on Barksdale Field. Posted by Picasa

The Sunken Gardens: quintessential campus scene. Posted by Picasa

The Wren Building for you W&M kidz Posted by Picasa
Labor Day!
It's been a fun weekend so far. It kicked off with a Friday night with Des and Bryan meeting their sweet pup. Perfectly chill and perfect company.

Saturday morning Anne and I took off on our road trip, which is actually commemorates our road trip exactly one year ago when she helped me move to Chicago (for which I am forever grateful). It certainly seems like this year has passed with a quickness. Traffic was astoundingly light on 95, which is kind of amazing for Labor Day weekend. I don't know if people canceled their plans because of the price of gas, but the roads were definitely clearer than I expected.

Anyway, we first hit Williamsburg where we went for a walk around campus and then had lunch at Paul's where the sandwiches are more expensive (my Hot Holly was like $7.50!) but the drinks are still cheap. After a little walk around Merchant's Square, we hopped back into the car and headed to Richmond.

Ahhh, Richmond. Although we were unable to connect with Emily, we were treated to the gracious host skills of Bill who drove and who took us to various establishments along Main Street. My favorite was the first place that we went called Avalon which was a classy restaurant with a bar that served a variety of good beers for non-outrageous prices. The bartender also played R&B oldies which always makes everything better. We also visited an Easy Street, a Bamboo, and some other place with a island theme going (what was the name of that one, Bill?). It was a quite fun evening, especially since I had never spent time along the Main Street strip before.

It was a beautiful night as well, and as always I was bowled over and charmed by the Fan area. I love, love, love the neighborhoods and the houses and the streets in the Fan, and if I had endless amounts of money I would buy a weekend house in the Fan area. It would have a porch on which one can soak in a balmy evening. Plus, cost of living in Richmond? Dirt cheap, comparatively. Come on.

This morning Anne and I shook off the excesses of the past night, got some breakfast and then took off back to the DC area. Anne suggested that we go north on Route 1 instead of 95 for the first part of the journey since they run parallel to one another and it would most likely offer a more scenic enjoyable trip. This sounds like a good plan, except finding Route 1 northbound in Richmond proved to be an Herculean, if not impossible, task. Let's just say that we spent 45 minutes going back and forth over the same five mile stretch trying to find where the eff one would pick up Route 1 North. The best is when we backtracked for the second time on 95 to take the exit that would lead to route 1. So you get off, and there's a large sign pointing out the direction of Route 1. In this situation, one would assume that there would be a well marked signs and exits for the highway in both directions. No. What you find is an intersection where one can go right or left and that's it. No signs. And you're not going right or left on route 1. This story bores me typing it so I can't even imagine what it's like to read it, but godDAMN...why must it be so impossible? Eventually we gave up and just took 95 back home. But it only took us a little over an hour and a half so that certainly ain't bad.

It's nice to be back home and to shower and get cleaned up. I got back in town to have dinner with Clarence and Jonathan at Little Viet Garden in Arlington (when did it become a crab house too, btw?). Afterward we enjoyed the lovely September night by strolling around the revamped Clarendon (aka, Bethesda #2).

My favorite moment of the evening happened when we were leaving Little Viet Garden. As I walked out I noticed a young couple sitting at a table with a single plate between then. They glared at eachother silently, and from the split second of dynamics that I caught I noticed the woman put her fork into the plate of rice, just to throw down her fork onto her place, cross her arms and lean back continuing to glare at her date. The baseball hatted young man sat there unmoving staring at her stoically. As soon as we were out the door I leaned over to Clarence and whispered: "Dude, that couple is so having a fight right now!" Clarence looked back quickly, and was like: "oh yeah, they were the couple that ordered the fried rice." He noticed them too in that second that we passed them, but instead of noticing any body language or relationship stuff, he noted their food and that isn't it kind of weird to order only one plate of fried rice for two people on a date? Yes, it's totally weird. We concluded that maybe the woman was pissed for precisely that reason.

Later on in the night we were sitting on the benches outside Lazy Sundae watching the people walk by. We sat out there for about 20 minutes and the entire time there was a woman standing next to us screaming shrilly in what might have been a Filipino dialect into a cell phone. She was clearly pissed, and it was a constant screaming diatribe with no pause to listen to the person on the other end. There was lots of anger in Clarendon tonight!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I've been doing lately
Not much, but I've been getting tons of practice in with my Tetris, and really...nothing makes me happier. I live for Tetris. LIVE for it, I tell you. I also live for sleeping in, reading the paper in leisure over coffee, and free laundry at home.

Besides constantly watching the news gobsmacked over how shit is going down in New Orleans and the rest of the battered gulf states, I've also watched a couple of movies including "Shattered Glass." I found it absorbing actually, and it's kind of a thriller even though it's not action packed. I wonder what Stephen Glass thought of it. I bet that there's an essay somewhere that he wrote in response, actually. Anyway, that one is Netflix recommended.

I went with Anne today to catch the matinee of "The 40 Year old Virgin." It was pretty good, although it was more horndog than I usually go for in my movies (which I expected since the entire movie's premise rests on being a horndog). Anne marveled afterward about the fact that it's been number one in the theaters for so long, which *is* kind of odd. We do celebrate the Apatow effect, though.
Plugging for rock
Todd's awesome band, All Limbs Intact, has their website up and running. Refresh the link a few times and watch the picture in the upper left hand corner. Check it out and note that it will be added to the links session soon!