Friday, December 30, 2005

In the Hizzouse
Todd arrived a couple of days ago! Yesterday we spent at the mall. No, not the national mall...the actual mall. We went to acclaimed spots such as The Gap, Banana Republic, and all of that good stuff. Yeah, it was awesome.

Last night we went to Arlington and saw Des, Bryan, Annie, and Anne which was fun. Afterward I took Todd to the Galaxy Hut, which is still my favorite tiny bar in Clarendon. We got there at the right time, before 9 when the crowds descended (we all even got a booth!). I swear, I hadn't been there in so long when it *wasn't* crowded, that it was like Christmas. Anne and Annie left after one beer since they had the dreaded work the next day, but Todd and I stayed to watch the karaoke (!) which ended up being a lot of fun. There was one lady who kept on going up to sing and she picked both "Voices Carry" and "Luka." The two only songs about domestic violence that exist as far as I am aware.

The good news is that the sun is out today, though. And it should be in the 50s, I believe. Yahoo!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Birthday to Lauren one of my school mates.
Girl, see you soon.

Happy Birthday to Jenny
who was lucky to see on the East Coast yesterday.

Birthdays everywhere!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Apparently the link that I added for "Eat This" is from a separate week so you'll have to do some scrounging around to find the actual episode. Whoops.
Food Network Debut
So Laura and I are *finally* on that Food Network show "Eat This" (an 'online exclusive'! ooh la la!). We had been faithfully checking every Monday and our segment in the episode on specialty meats is finally posted.

You can find it here, it's week four, episode thirteen. Laura and I can be found about 3 minutes and 39 seconds in when Dave Lieberman visits Hot Doug's. We had originally filmed like fifteen minutes of chit chat about the various sausages but that was woefully cut out.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Birthday to me!
It's the best day of the year, the day when I turn 29, which is kind of unreal to me, but what the hell. Also, it's been a pretty sweet Christmas where I received my awesome new iPod nano, which I love, inscribed and everything from my parents. It's teeny tiny and super cute. Among other things, I also received the first season of "Lost" from Robin on dvd. I never watched an episode before, but I just sat down and watched four in a row, it was that addictive. The day is going to be a lazy one since it's 4:20 and I haven't even changed out of my pajamas yet. Again, best day of the year. My mom is cooking a big old turkey for dinner tonight and we're contemplating over whether or not to have a cake (*I'm* contemplating whether or not I want to bake one or not).

Thanks to all of those dear ones who have called and emailed with birthday greetings today.

In other news, yesterday Clarence took me out to lunch and then to go and see "Munich" which I thought was pretty good. I had already watched "One Day in September" before which I thought was great but sad as hell so I was expecting more of the same. "Munich" follows the aftermath more, and it was definitely absorbing. Uncanny moment: Clarence and I had talked about the dude in "Amelie" at lunch and how he looks like Jonathan and discussed what other movies he's been in ("The Hate" is the only one we could come up with). That dude ended up being in "Munich"! Weeeeiiird.

I also was going on and on to Clarence about how awesome my new contacts are. He's been wearing contacts forever so he said that hearing me go on about that was like if I was talking about how cool it is to use credit cards or something, which I can kinda see. It's like: where have contacts been all of my life?

Erik got a new/old car today too. It's keeping in the Honda tradition in our family and it's from the early 90s with lotsa miles on it, but dependable as all getout. I kept on saying that I should have held onto my awesome Hyundai which was tri-toned and had a gold bumper to pass on to him. Who wouldn't want to roll up to high school in that thing?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A baby is born!
Todd's niece, a healthy baby girl, was born this morning! A Christmas eve baby, after my own heart.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sitting proudly between my two favorite boys. Posted by Picasa

The tree! I liked this one because it small and sweet.  Posted by Picasa

Suzi, Anne, and myself Posted by Picasa

From last night. Clarence had gotten chastised for not smiling in the picture before so he obliged with fervor this time around. Posted by Picasa

Last Tuesday, I met up with Suzi, Madeline, and Anne for brunch. Madeline showed off the car that she was borrowing from a friend. A picture was in order.  Posted by Picasa
To Do Lists
I love my "to do" lists during the holidays. During school quarters my lists would be like 18 items long. Yesterday, my list was comprised of two items.

1. Decorate tree.
2. Go to Suzi's.

My kinda list.

Anyway, Suzi's was a lot of fun. Anne and I went over there and met up with her and also go to see Jonathan and Clarence as well who were fresh from their Key West trip. They regaled us with stories that they heard from their ghost tour which were like the most awesome ever: necrophilia and little dolls named Robert! Really, can a ghost tour offer anything better?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The best picture from in my humble opinion. I think that I might need to make this my wallpaper. Posted by Picasa
As Des pointed out:
this website, Stuff on my Cat, is worth some minor celebration. Lord help me when I look at the cat in overalls. I think I need to add it to the blog, actually.
Shopping Online... where it's at. I did 99% of my Christmas shopping online on Friday, and everything arrived today! I'm seriously impressed. And I managed to garner some major savings as well through strategic use of promotions, sales, and this and that. I am pleased, and feel that I got my money's worth. Thank you, Internet.
Oh my god
There's a webpage for Jean Teasdale, my favorite editorial writer in The Onion.
Last night Annie and I went for our bi-annual visit to Rock It Grill on Tuesday nights to watch the regulars go at the karaoke. It's amazing, because after visiting there three or four times over the period of a year and a half, we're starting to recognize them and know some of these guys by name (Mandingo, for instance...although it should be noted that Mandingo had a sore throat last night so after struggling through one song, he got off the stage, promptly folded up his pool cue and was outta there).

Our favorite guys from the halfway house who regularly hit the stage with aplomb were there. That one older, hunched over white guy got up there and sand "End of the Road" again just like last time, but this time he was better! (he must have been practicing every week).

There were also a couple of serious, talented karaoke people like a couple of women who sang the hell out of some Alicia Keyes songs and ROCKED "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (best karaoke song ever).

But the best...the BEST...was this rowdy table of college-age type people that contained one parrticular character who we nicknamed "choking hazard." Why that name? Well, my friends, because he advertised as one in that he had the klassiest t-shirt of all time that was emblazoned with a huge arrow pointing down to his groin area with the words "choking hazard" plastered across it. Niiiice. Who wants one for Christmas?

The girls at the table were having a grand time, and the best was when they drug themselves to the dance floors and slow danced to Eminem's "Forgot About Dre." Ben joined Annie and me later on in the night and we all noted that this would make an excellent song to dance to at one's wedding.

So, as always, an excellent night at the Rock It on a Tuesday night. And major thanks to Annie who treated. :) She knows the way to my heart.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A whole new world
I got contacts today! I finally broke down and did it since I was realizing that those times when I was taking off my glasses were getting fewer and fewer as grad school has addded a strain to my vision for sure. It was getting to the point that I hoped that I wouldn't pass anyone I knew on the streets since I never recognize people from a distance and didn't notice a person who might be waving for my attention until they were like five feet away.

So: freedom! And I got my contacts in within two tries: the woman who helped me and the doctor were impressed.

I got my eyes checked and my contacts at the lovelu Dulles Town Center mall. I haven't been to a mall in a long time, so kind of enjoyed the experience of wandering the corridors there, amidst the crowds and the music. There were a lot of people at the mall on a Monday afternoon (even with the impending holiday).

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oh my god.
So as some of you might know, Tai Shan, the new baby panda to the National Zoo who is unerringly, breathtakingly adorable is called Butterstick by some followers (as when he was born, he was described the size of a stick of butter). The National Zoo cast off that name when people were voting in. Bastards. Anyway, someone has made products celebrating The Stick (as Wonkette calls him) and I need a t-shirt stat.
I have officially found my world's most favorite website ever: Cute Overload, where they scour the Internet for cute and they deliver.
A really good, absorbing article in remembrance of Richard Pryor here.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Back from Des and Bryan's which was a lot of fun. I got to see James, Cindy, Dave and Dee along with Des, Bryan and Anne, so that was a good time. I need to report that Des and Bryan's pets are *extremely* lovable. Last time I saw their golden retriever pup he was all leggy and growing into his huge paws and now he is officially a Big Boy. And a total lovebug. Their kitty is a major snuggler as well. I need a pet to snuggle with soon as I have some time and money. Sometime before I die, I hope.
DC is for eating well.
It's been great being back. Last night I hung out with Ms. Anne, cooking up some chicken and whole wheat pasta and enjoying the gorgeous flowers that she brought as well as the sinfully delectable dessert and champagne. Oh my gah. Lots of fun.

This morning, major thanks to Suzi who hosted the most amazing brunch at her lovely new place. Suzi packs a culinary punch every single time, and I always look forward to meals that she whips up. Today was no disappointment: she made french toast out of some sort of european bread, chicken and apple sausage patties and frittata alongside coffee and mulled wine as libations. So Suzi's place was lovely as was the company when I got to catch up with Matt and Grace, and Anne again as well. So thank you, Suz, you always outdo yourself!

Tonight is a party celebrating "Kicking and Screaming" (not the Will Ferrell one) at Des and Bry's. Saturday's like the most fun day ever.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Home means lots of diet coke (with lime!) in the pantry...
...which means trouble since I drink it into the night and then can't fall asleep with ease. But who cares, because I don't gotta do anything tomorrow morning! It's good to be back in DC: we had an awesome feast of roast beef from the rotisserie (juicy), fresh salad with green onions and avocado, and brocolli. Mmmm. And I got to watch lots of bad tv this afternoon when I got home. DC is rainy and wet and my parents' street is probably 99% black ice right now, but tomorrow should be sunny and 44 degrees, which is practically summer.

So, I've been a crap blogger for the past few days. I'm trying to sit and remember what I've been up to. On Tuesday I had my VERY LAST client of the quarter. It was only 50 minutes so it was quick, but since clinic officially closed two weeks before and exams ended last week, it felt like a ghost town. I was in and out, though, and then freeeeedoooom. That night I had an awesome dinner with Pam and went home and crashed like I've never crashed before. Wednesday I had brunch with Ting at the much ballyhooed Orange, a brunch place closeby that is packed on the weekends but nice and empty on Wednesdays at 11:30. Orange is yummy definitely, and I love their water garnished with thin slivers of cucumber, but I have to say that Nookie's Tree gives it a real run for its money in terms of brunch fare, AND it's never a long wait for a table there.

After brunch, I burned off my eggs by trekking to Roscoe Village in the cold wet sleet and gross dirty snow to get my hair chopped at Big Hair. Todd had recommended this funky little no-appointment kinda place and I knew that their prices rivaled Hair Cuttery but their quality was like three bazillion times better. I was totally pleased: Big Hair was super fun and cheap as all hell. I got my hair cut for $15 and was out of there within half an hour. I think I will switch from my other, more expensive dude. And no line since Wednesday afternoon!

So I managed to get my bidness all done in Chicago before leaving and now I'm back in DC where I very much need to do some major Christmas shopping because I have nothing right now. Nothing. Tomorrow I'm going to be burning up the Internet.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Happy Birthday to Madeline!
Hope that you have the night off from work to celebrate as you should.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Gray slush
It snowed a lot on Thursday night, I neglected to mention before. See, if you might remember, I was all psyched because I was set to go with Todd to his company's holiday fancy dinner, but the snow put a kibosh on our plans since we would have been sitting in a standstill on the highway for no less than five hours to get there. Bastard snow.

Probably three to five (correction: 8-10) inches fell, and while that might stop DC in its tracks for a few days, Chicago didn't blink an eye. Everything carried on as usual. The snow when it first fell was quite pretty, but now it's a few days later and with the slight warming of the weather and the many cars that go through the streets, there is a lot of gray slush. Last night I stepped in an entire cold puddle of it because it looked like it was all solid and pavement and crap. Someone pointed out that you can tell the good landlords from the bad landlords by whether or not the steps are shoveled. I'm happy to report that everything is shoveled at my apartment building and all of the pathways are clear.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I agree.
Slate has an essay about how that stupid Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps" is "a song so awful it hurts the mind." I heard it a few times when I was scanning radio stations while working out, and was like "wtf."

"My Humps" is a moment that reminds us that categories such as "good" and "bad" still matter. Relativism be damned! There are bad songs that offend our sensibilities but can still be enjoyed, and then there are the songs that are just really bad—transcendentally bad, objectively bad.


Speaking of horrifically bad songs, I heard a song on the country station yesterday with the chorus surrounding a "Honky tonk Budunkadonk." Yep, I wish that i were lying about that one.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Project Runway back! Yahoo! I watched the two hour premiere tonight with Hillary and it was the best two hours of my week by far. I think that I'll be looking forward to every Wednesday night as it comes up. Oh man.

In other news, the cold here is getting kind of ridiculous. I'm wearing my long underwear now for sure, and still my legs get all cold after walking the 12 minutes to the Belmont el stop. And because these past few days have been full of other little trips and errands, much more walking has been involved, and it's been brutally hilarious with the cold. Apparently it hasn't been this low in temperature for this time of year for a few decades here. So we've got that going for us...

In terms of work: two hours of observation complete today as well as one client session (who brought us cookies from Kim's bakery, which was very thoughtful). Tomorrow: last two hours of observation and then whipping up a report. Let's hope that it's a relatively quick dealie. Tomorrow night is Todd's company's holiday party: I see steak in my future. Am I correct in that estimation, Todd?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The second years of the program celebrating the end of this gosh-darned quarter.  Posted by Picasa

The birthday girl, Hillary, and me. Posted by Picasa

Bonnie and the shirt that she snagged: "I heart the DSS" Posted by Picasa
Finished the last exam today! I'm not quite out of the woods yet, since there's one more assignment left and a couple more therapy sessions, but I'm so almost there. The diagnostics exam today was all right: as we expected we needed to basically write a diagnostics report based on the tests that we scored over the weekend which meant that the entire two hours of exam time was spent scribbling on paper all of our ideas. We all agreed afterward that it would have been much better if we were using computers since that's basically the way that we write now, but whatever. The end of my exam was a bit questionable, but I think that I got all of my ideas out there. I was totally wiped out toward the end.

But tonight was totally fun. Hillary had her annual birthday party, Hilladay. It was at a Mexican place on Belmont so a short hop, skip and a jump away. Over 20 of us showed and there was an awesome gift exchange. I snagged a complete kit of Burt's Bees stuff which I had been eyeing especially the good lip balm. I got it now, kids, I got it now. I brought another t-shirt that I got made at Strange Cargo, especially for the people who had taken Diagnostics in our group. There's one particular test of sentence structure analysis that drubbed some serious asses on the last exam. I got a 2/10 in scoring it correctly. Yes, 2 out of 10. I was even happy to have gotten two points, frankly. So the shirt theme that I chose celebrated said test called The DSS. I'm happy to report that the shirt got stolen three times in the gift exchange (stealing being one of the rules) and ended up with Bonnie who I know *really* loves the DSS. I took pictures, which you can admire above.

But I so love the end of the quarter. I love coming home and not having to slave over work. Hell, I love *being able* to come home rather than having to have stayed at home to do work. I love having time to work out during the day and having time to make good, healthy meals. I love time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dude, it's like 11 degrees outside right now
I don't think that I can fully express the level of the cold that has come down upon Chicago. I've developed a strategy that works to nestle my melon head from the freeze by wearing the hood of my sweatshirt and then adding the wind proof hood of my winter jacket. I totally love my winter jacket: it does the JOB. Sexy it's not, but it's functional as hell.

Not much else to report here except that exam week is here! I turned in my fluency final this morning that was a takehome that was approximately 20 pages long with the references. I felt utter despair when our professor handed it to us on Wednesday, but I was intent on plowing through that bad boy this past weekend and it got done. I can't believe it. Tomorrow we have our diagnostics midterm which I feel questionable about if only because there's no real way to prepare. I scored my tests, I'm going to bring them in, I have a general idea what to say about them, but that's all I can really do.

This week isn't really going to end till Friday (things kept on popping up), but then this weekend will be like the funnest one ever (before I head back to DC that is, which is in 9 days now!).

And that's all, folks. Until tomorrow or a few days later.

Friday, December 02, 2005

happy birthday to Robin!
(who's in St Kitts right now, so party it up, Robin)