Saturday, September 30, 2006

I have a new favorite.
Seriously, my new favorite restaurant of the week in Chicago is called Darwin's. Todd and I had walked by the place dozens of times, but I finally read about it in Chicagoist, and found the photos and the descriptions of the food irresistable. Last night we finally went, and thank goodness for that.

I had the bacon and brie burger.

I know.

It had bacon enmeshed in the burger with slabs of melted brie on top. And parmesan and herb encrusted fries.

I am in love.

Next time we're going to get the starter of fried macaroni and cheese bites.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A list of things that are good.

1. My book club
A few of my classmates (some graduated now) from school came together for a book club, and I like it very much. It's once a month, and it's a good excuse to see people who I normally wouldn't, and there is always plenty of food and wine.

This past month we read "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" which is on everyone's book club list, and which I didn't like. Noone else in the club liked it either, so while it didn't spark a whole lot of discussion, there was a lot of self-affirment. Then we sat down and watched "project runway." My kind of party.

2. The weather in Chicago right now
It's cool and crisp and sunny. Walking around campus was so lervly this morning, and I started to feel stabs of nostalgia already (!). I couldn't believe it.

3. My Thursday schedule
2-4 in class. That's all. Enough said.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Everyone warned me that once I walked into the schools I would contract a cold of some kind. They were totally not lying, because yours truly is coughing up all kinds of stuff. Not bad enough to interfere with my life, but still kind of annoying.

I know it's been a while since I've blogged. Not much to report except that things are still going well. I'm starting to accrue things that need to get done this quarter, but it still feels like a tropical vacation compared to last quarter. I've been able to see friends in the evenings! I've been able to not spend 12 hours a day at a placement! It's been great. I am starting to feel the pressure of all of the final things that need to get checked off the check list and am worried that I'll forget something, but nothing is life-threatening, so that's okay.

Last weekend was a relaxing one. Todd and I joined Steve and Kiley for dinner and a movie on Friday night. We went to see "The Last Kiss" which annoyed the hell out of me. I think Zach Braff is overrated anyway, and this movie he played someone disbelievably irresistable. Plus his character was stupid and selfish. Let me know if any of you came away from that movie with a different opinion. Anyway, on Saturday we went to see The Life and Times play at Subterranean, which was fun, but beer and a late night made me seriously fall asleep standing up. I am so, so lame.

And that's all that I've got. I've got stuff to do tonight, but tomorrow I don't have class till 2 (lovely!) so can stay up late tonight getting stuff done.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Huggy Bear
Thanks to Todd who sent me this awesome news story today about a dude in China who after downing four beers, decided to climb into a panda pen at a zoo "to 'hug' the bear."

The panda promptly bit the guy who then bit the panda back.

No one ever said they would bite people. I just wanted to touch it

Zhang Xinyan

So awesome.

Monday, September 18, 2006

First day of school
I had my first day at my school placement today, and let me just say: it is pretty awesome. I'm at two schools: one is school age (K-8) and the other is Pre-K and Kindergarten. The latter school holds mixed classrooms of special ed and mainstream kids. I really, really liked what I saw. My supervisor seems extremely nice and I was done by 3:30 and home by 4.

I have a good feeling about this quarter.
I'm using this picture to tell our Columbus story. Basically we got into Columbus in the early evening, but spent a good 40 minutes driving through its suburbs which had character in an industrial kinda way. Cheap real estate too.

We got turned around and traveled the same patch of the highway a few times, which I found hilarious, but I wasn't driving and didn't have to deal.

When we finally found a hotel, we promptly found out that there was an OSU game the next day, so every place in the surrounding area was all booked up. Columbus plans busted. But we had to drive through the city on the way out, so we got to see OSU's campus and many seemingly cool neighborhoods. Columbus, I hardly knew ye.

We ended up driving further on and landing in Marion, OH for the night. Marion, OH: a bastion of hotels and restaurants and a good place to stop for the night.
Morgantown, WV.
We decided to stop in Morgantown for lunch. I thought that it might be fun to see the University of West Virginia (above you can see one of the cable cars that run across town for the students). At first, I was charmed by the town since I was feeling all things good will toward the state at that point. But let it be said that for some reason, the traffic in Morgantown is ALL messed up. Wtf? It's *Morgantown*. We ended up driving into campus looking for a restuarant that we never found, and then ended up stuck in traffic. We were in Morgantown for an hour before we found a place to eat.

My good will toward Morgantown basically disappeared after that. I think that the chain link in the picture is apropos.
Todd had to borrow my sunglasses for the road.
He looks sweeeeet.
This doesn't do justice to the fog that lay over Ohio on Saturday morning. Spooky stuff.
Trust me on this one

In the bottom left hand corner it reads:

Be Proud.
Show your HOOTERS
From Virginia we hit West Virginia of the rolling hills and verdant loveliness. Seriously, West Virginia is beautiful, and it's sad that it's so nationally derided.
Road Tripping
Back in Chicago now (where fall has officially crept in, and it's unbelievably crisp, cool, and awesome outside). Todd got into DC last Thursday, and then we took off on Friday morning. The plan was to drive to Columbus, spend the night there, and then make the rest of the trip on Saturday.

Our route consisted of Virginia, and then Maryland.

Todd got a kick out of these signs in Maryland that dotted the highway every few miles.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Take me there now.
Bastard Mouse

So my check engine light came on in my barely driven car. After doing the requisite gas cap checkage, I finally caved and brought my little black civic to the dealership. Since I'm driving back to Chicago on Friday, I need to make sure that everything is in tippy-toppy condition.

So after waiting in the rather chichi waiting room at Tysons Corner Honda (they have a deli shop and Internet access for the patrons!), the mechanic came and found me and showed me what was up. Mice had chewed open one of the emissions tubes, and according to the mechanic, "probably crawled in there and died somewhere."


So I need to get all of those mouse-chewed tubes replaced and pray that my car doesn't smell like mouse remains for eternity. My car has been smelling kind of musty, but I attributed it to not having been driven that much. The lucky/sad thing is that I'm totally used to the smell now. Ah, how quickly one acclimates to the odor of rodent death.
This is my blog after all

And I have to talk about the food this weekend. I borrowed my dad's camera to capture an image of our family dinner on Saturday night. It was truly grand.

Shall we have a little run down of the menu?
1. King crab's legs
2. grilled shrimp
3. grilled scallops
4. Spinach salad with feta, sauteed red onions, cranberries, and sweet pecans.

And for dessert? Napoleans, of course. My friends, it was fantastic. Also behold my awesome table setting job. It was a patchwork paradise.
I want to be "Mr. Pink."

The service for my grandfather was on Sunday, and this family portrait was taken afterward, hence the dark (very dark) garb. My cousins, uncle, and brother took off on Sunday and Monday. It was great to see everyone, but it sucks that it was for such a sad occasion.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Back in the Hood
It's been exactly a week now since I've been DONE. The Lake of the Ozarks was great. The weather was gorgeous, the lake was beautiful, and I read and read and read for pleasure. Todd's parents rolled out the red carpet and we went for many awesome boat rides and ate a lot of great food. Todd also took me for my first jet ski ride. A truly successful vacation all around.

Now I'm back in DC. My timing is good in a terrible way since my grandfather passed away a couple of days ago. I'm really glad to be back for everything and the rest of the family comes in late tonight. So it'll be good to see everyone again, but it sucks that it's for a sad reason.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Free Woman!
I am officially a liberated girl. All the paperwork got wrapped up, the last patient seen, and I was out of there by 1:30. I cannot describe how light my feet felt when I walked down the sidewalk. Now, two and a half weeks off! Tomorrow morning Todd and I leave to go to the Lake of the Ozarks for a few day, so I'll be off the radar till the middle of next week.