Thursday, March 30, 2006
"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday. "They are formidable weapons."
The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Wow, I can't believe that I'm back and am already through with my second day of school. Here's the latest:
1. My clients look pretty interesting so far. One aphasia client, one fluency client, and then my continuing adult language client. Plus, I totally lucked out and got a great diagnostic team. It's all adults, with the best supervisor, and Laura's on it. Seriously, getting assigned diagnostic teams can be kind of dicey in terms of personalities, schedules, etc, but ours is as ideal as it can get. I think I have been a lucky duckie since last quarter my children's diagnostic placement was perfection as well. I am extremely grateful.
2. My classes are a mix. One should be pretty basic and the other stands out as the most challenging course of the program. It's taught by the leading expert in the field (who basically spearheaded the field) and it's going to be tough. It's also from 4-6 two days a week, which is rough in terms of energy, but I must deal. She kept on mentioning the class from last year and how they let her down, but I think we started off on a good foot by answering lots of her cranial nerve and anatomy questions. Today we reviewed many things, but especially the pyriform sinuses. And I ask you, what is a day without reviewing pyriform sinuses?
3. The weather is warming up the slightest bit. The other morning it was sunny, which is a good sign.
4. Last night we went to Dave's self-organized roast for his 27th birthday at his workplace, Lucky Strike. He reserved the very chichi wine room there and had a slideshow of pictures of himself going on the two giant screens in the room. The drink menu was personalized (one being "the Willi-Yum and Mary") and there were signed head shots of himself scattered throughout the room. Dress was formal attire. I love that it was his 27th birthday. This is the same guy who organized a scavenger hunt throughout Chicago for W&M people over W&M's homecoming weekend. He should be an event planner. Kevin has some of the shots that he helped put together in honor of the event over at his blog.
5. ...But Dave had *another* birthday dinner for some of his friends on Friday night. It was at Tango Sur and it was great. Todd and I went, and then afterward went straight to the Double Door to catch the end of the National playing (Todd got on the list to get in for free, which was awesome since it ended up being a sold out show). We found the best place to hang out at the Double Door which is on the second level where you can nestle in some comfy couches with a view of the stage.
6. I met up with Christie's Stefan on Saturday night, who was in town for a photo conference. It was so nice to see him since it had been since New year's 2004 (too long). He's as sweet and great as ever, but it would have only been sweeter if Christie were able to come as well. We had cheap Thai food and then went over to the California Clipper to see Todd's friend play blues guitar. I like the California Clipper as a bar since it's pretty laid back, and so does apparently everyone else in town since approximately five hundred people streamed in after us (okay, not that many, but almost).
7. Sunday I went along with Todd to Wilmington for his grandma's 80th birthday party. Grandma Rita rocking the house!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Our friend, Your Logo Here, has hit it big time in the blog world (over 20,000 hits with this!) with his following of the 24 year old conservative blogger for the Washington Post. This blogger also apparently went to our alma mater.
For the record, I love YLH's rabid research on politics, but I support the continued occasional posting of international fat cats as well.
My time in DC is coming to an end today and I don't want to leave. I'm looking forward to seeing Todd and Chicago again, but my time here was free of responsibility and full of fun. This is compared with a lot of my time in Chicago, which is filled with stress, pressure, and not a little teeth gnashing. I was thinking about it, though: three quarters of school are left and when each quarter is a little more than two months long, we're talking like seven months (tops!) of school left.
Part of me thinks: So short!
The other part of me thinks: ...but it's seven months long.
The highlights of my trip include:
1.) Hanging out at home, laying around in my flannel pajamas, wrapped in a blanket. Heavenly.
2.) Hanging out with Anne, Suzi, and Annie late night with good conversation over wine and snacks.
3.) Seeing Des, Bry, Anne, Dee and Dave over a spectacular brunch that Des made, the menu of which deserves a blog entry all of its own.
4.) Hanging out with Grace and Jonathan in DC in Grace's sweet apartment.
5.) Andean food at happy hour prices with Suzi and Anne in Courthouse.
6.) Rock It Grill with Annie on Tuesday: the one halfway house dude who we see every time we go (which is every three months or so) still got up there and sang "End of the Road" and the guy has gotten good! It's the weekly practice.
7.) Dim sum in Wheaton, MD with mom and my grandfather. This place is so good that it's worth the trip to Wheaton, MD.
8.) Sunshine (although it needs to be noted that before I arrived, it was apparently in the 80s in the DC area and yesterday? In the 40s. Gah!)
9.) Staying at home for my mom's Vietnamese food feast. My favorite meal ever.
So, while it'll be nice to hang out in Chicago before the school pressure sets in on Monday, it's sad to leave family and friends in this area.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
So my mom was walking through the room when a commercial for the "Pride and Prejudice" miniseries dvd was on. The excellent series that made Colin Firth the star that he is, you know the one. Then the following conversation took place:
Mom: What was that man's name?
Me: Mr. Darcy.
Mom: Oh, Mr. Darcy reminds me of Erik.
Me: (puzzled silence)...why?
Mom: Because he's so sullen!
Monday, March 20, 2006
Oh man, I just watched two episodes of "Campus Ladies" on Oxygen and that shite is hilarious. I did a little reading up on it, and it makes sense since the women starring in it are Groundlings, and it's executive produced by Cheryl Hines. Apparently it's been renewed for a second season. Hooray!
I totally sat and watched the entirety of "Pretty in Pink" since it was on HBO today. I loved and still love that movie. A few observations now, though:
1.) James Spader, Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald all look and dress like they're in their early 30s. And we're supposed to believe that they are high school seniors (which I totally did when I first saw it).
2.) John Cryer as Duckie is ahead of his time. One of the best characters of all time in a John Hughes movie.
3.) I love Andrew McCarthy a la the 80s era, but he needed a serious intervention when it came to his hair. And also his clothes.
4.) I remember at the first viewing, I thought that Molly Ringwald's prom dress creation was like the most stunning and gorgeous things of all time. I must have been high.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
For any of those who haven't heard, I figured that I would use the blog for publicity for the reading of Clarence's play, "BRAIDS."
It's at the:
Round House Theater in Silver Spring
Saturday, March 25th
You can find info about it here.
I wish that I could be there for it, but I'll be gone by then.
Spring break is here and it's the best. I sleep in, I see friends, I enjoy the warmer, sunnier (but still brisk) DC weather, I play tetris to my heart's content. There's a week left now, which is still ample as far as I'm concerned.
I managed to get through the end of the quarter just barely. I ended up having to go to school both Tuesday and Wednesday for meetings and then left for DC on Thursday. That's all I've got right now, but I'm enjoying myself and that's the most important news. More later, I'm sure.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Man, I feel mentally drained. I did find some time to relax this weekend, but for the most part it was all about studying and report writing. I am over it. Officially. I know, I know...almost done, but this past week has been crazy with the non-stop of it all that it has felt like the loooonngesst seevveeen dayyyys ever. Now I know the secret to stopping time: have lots and lots of assignments due.
Last night we went to a good-bye dinner for some of the people in my year who are graduating this quarter. They started with me, but they're OUT. It's the light at the end of the tunnel to hear them talk about getting j-o-b-s. I know I complain about my program a lot, but I do know that I enjoy the field. I can't wait to get out there and get my hands dirty. I think what makes things miserable is the addition of classwork. Next quarter isn't going to let up, but come summer, when I'm actually off-campus at a placement, it'll be a whole different ballgame. I actually also came to the conclusion this quarter that while I enjoy my adults, I prefer the preschool population. They're just more hilarious overall.
The good news is that I did get to watch the finale of "Flavor of Love" and New York was ousted to noone's surprise. I did see the ad for the reunion show and New York is going to get down with Pumkin. Dudes, I'm looking forward to it. And now it's time to go to bed and deal with aphasia and all its glorious syntactic theory tomorrow. Ask me about verb argument structures and the complexity approach to treatment and I will tell you a tale.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
That's the temperature today. The weather forecast predicted that it would be overcast all day, but it's actually been mostly sunny. I cannot describe to you how blissful it is to sit here with the windows flung open, feeling the fresh air and the breeze and *wearing short sleeves*. It's heavenly.
Actually, it would probably be an efficient use of my time to categorize items into "heavenly" and "not heavenly" right now. The list is as follows:
1. The (aforementioned) weather.
2. Lunch today at The Bongo Room. Really, this restaurant deserves its own category, it's so awesome. Attention: all forthcoming visitors to Chicago, you must remind me that we need to go here, because it is not to be missed. Whenever we've passed it before, the lines have been snaked around the building and now I see why. The wait on the weekends can be long and the food can take a while, but the prices are reasonable, the coffee is amazing and their menu is gorgeous.
I got a fresh breakfast burrito with guacamole on a spinach tortilla and cilantro. Yum. I decided not to go the route of the sweet desserts which this place is better known for, but Todd got the carrot pumpkin cheesecake pancakes, swimming in sweet cream cheese and cinnamon sugar. Lord. I tasted it and it tasked like *carrot cake*. They also have french toast that is like completely chocolate. And their eggs benedict? One is made with roasted duck and scallions. Food porn, for real.
1. Exams. Specifically my cumulative aphasia exam which is on Monday.
2. A diagnostic report that is due Monday. It's going to be a teeth-gnashing process to write this very long report and I haven't started. My goal was to get started today, but it's been easy to put off because I've just been turning to aphasia. So let me publish my deadline for myself: after I finish looking at my aphasia notes I'm going to at least type *something* for this g.d. paper. Gah!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Ah, yes, everything has officially started in terms of end-of-quarter craziness. So explains my long periods of absence.
Today we did our last school screening at this Montessori school in the city. It was a lovely school that used to be a Catholic girls school, so the building is old and it still had its old lockers and just oozed history. Has anyone ever spent time in Montessori schools? I never had before. The classrooms were great: huge and light filled with lots of tables and rugs and places for kids to spread out with their stuff of interest. Everything was sun lit or lamp lit and I wanted to walk in, go lie down on one of the rugs, and go to sleep--it looked that inviting. The kids were definitely different than other kids we screened. Compared to students of the same age that I had seen at other schools, these kids were not all about pleasing you. They were smart and thoughtful and serious like little adults. It was definitely a different experience.
At one point, this one five year old kid who seriously did not crack a smile the entire time, and had his body turned away from me during the 20 minutes we spent together, was telling me about how his favorite place to go was Rainforest Cafe (go figure).
Me: Cool. Did you know that my brother used to work at Rainforest Cafe?
Kid: [very seriously] I did not know that.
It was awesome too, because the kids are given various chores to complete. I kept on passing these two five year old girls were were standing in the hall scrubbing lockers. They wore pristine white smocks and had actual tiny buckets of soapy water and colorful sponges. I didn't see them complete too much actual cleaning within the time that I kept on passing them, but they were a sight to behold. Like characters out of some "The Little Princess" play or something.
I think perhaps you had to be there, but it was a kick in the pants. I'm intrigued by the idea of Montessori, but think that its success would depend on the kind of kid who goes in there. How do kids who do better in structured situations fare? Probably not too well. I know that there are a ton of studies out there that look at Montessori vs. traditional classrooms, and I should go out there and read them. After I write this aphasia paper, that is.