Thursday, May 31, 2007

i'm in june first!

everyone at home is still in may, but i'm living it up in june. here are a series of stories and updates.

margaret river wine region:
anna, jason, simon and i went to yallingup in western australia's wine region on sunday and stayed through tuesday. we had a lovely little apartment on the coast, in walking distance to the indian ocean, salmon fishing and wineries. during our time there, the boys enjoyed some surfing while anna and i caught up on 4 months of talking. we visited lots of wineries all the way from cape naturaliste (the most northern point) to cape leeuwin (the most southern point) where the indian and southern oceans converge. awesome. we also did a lot of singing in the car as well as at our apartment. we're pretty much a traveling band. here are some pics.
me, anna and jason with the steve irwin (crocodile hunter) memorial fountain at laurance vineyard.
anna and me at cape leeuwin. one more ocean to check off the list.
i am now officially a tree hugger.
brekkie on our porch, watching the waves.

anna learns to drive:
anna and jason have rented a car while simon and i are visiting, so anna is taking advantage of the opportunity to bone up on her driving on the left side of the road (and the right side of the car). yesterday we decided to go to subiaco (a cute suberb close by with great shops and cafes). we walked up to the car, got in, and died laughing as we realized anna was sitting in the passenger seat and i was behind the wheel. oops. watch out perth peeps...
so much love!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

first days in perth

after 43 hours of travel, i arrived safely (and sleepy) in perth. it was sooo nice to see anna's smiling face at the airport. actually, it was a bit of a fiasco. jason (anna's australian boyfriend) and i met up in san francisco, where he was working and i had a 10 hour layover. while at lunch he informed me that he was returning to perth with me (he was supposed to leave the following day) to surprise anna. we flew separately to sydney, met up again in the airport there, flew together to perth, and then he stayed back while i exited to find anna. we had a grand scheme of how to surprise her (we both figured she'd have some idea after not talking to him for 14 hours) but schemes are often foiled. anyway, she was *kinda* surprised. we had fun.

i took a nap and a shower once we got home, then we went out for a long walk. we passed this blue house (this is actually one of anna's pictures) which is apparently photographed all the time. it sits out there all by itself... there is nothing else near it. so it's kinda funny to see this random blue house just floating there. we also walked through the botanical gardens which anna has blogged about before. it was fun to actually see what i had already pictured in my head.

today we had a busy morning, starting with a delicious breakfast. reminds me of english food (serving tomatoes with breakfast, or baked beans) but much better. anna ordered these banana pancakes that looked sooo good. sitting atop the stack was what we thought to be a huge piece of banana and a strawberry. yum. but as anna cut into the "banana" and ate it, she quickly found it was actually a large slice of honey butter. bleh! honey butter is good, but not by itself... yick! very funny though.

we drove around all morning to different beaches and lookouts, walked a bit more, came home for lunch and a "nap" that turned into an all-out sleep for me. i'm actually a bit under the weather. think it might have been the guy blowing his nose every 2 minutes that sat next to me on the way to san fran. anyway, i plan to be 100% by tomorrow when we leave for the beach. we'll be gone a few days. i'll report back later.

for those back in the states, enjoy the long weekend. i've already got a day's start on you... goodnight!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

a series of firsts

this weekend graham came up from atlanta for a quick farewell visit. we camped the backcountry at assategue island on maryland's eastern shore. we hiked in about 4 miles (barefoot in the sand!) before setting up camp behind some dunes. very cool. i haven't developed my pictures yet, so here's a picture of one of the feral ponies on the island... contemplating a swim.

two other firsts today... i got stitches! my doctor said i did a great job, which i thought was funny since she did all the work. i have an excellent doctor. also, i'm about to write my first letter of resignation since today is my last day at work. i've been putting it off. i really do love my job, and life in general here in maryland... but africa calls (and by africa, i really mean God)... and THAT is exciting.

don't know how much i'll be blogging the next few days/weeks. i'm headed to perth, australia tomorrow to visit anna... YAY!

Friday, May 18, 2007

hello soap box

rarely do i write anything of consequence on this blog. some may even wonder what the point is half the time (and yet you're still reading!) but the time has come for me to get a little preachy. or thoughtful. or angry. whatever.

i have a problem. it's called men cheating (girls can cheat too, but i'm going to stick it to the man this go round). i mean, really. WHY? what in the world are you thinking?!?! what's the point?!?! what's so hard about breaking up with one girl before hooking up with another? do you think you're doing the girl a favor? you're NOT! ridiculous. really. and while i've been cheated on several times (am i a cheater magnet?) that's actually not why i'm mad. when i get cheated on, i get hurt. but when one of my friends gets cheated on, i get angry! (and right now i'm mad at you, mr. visor-wearing-blockhead.)

do you know what a girl feels like after a guy cheats on her? betrayed. rejected. not good enough. when, HELLO, clearly she's worth quite a bit. definitely worth a man that can be loyal. where does that leave you, mr. cheater? i think it leaves you with a lot of questions. you need to sit in time-out and seriously consider who you are and why you act the way you do. cheating is indicative of some issues you need to confront, and i hope to God that you are man enough to do so.

i believe in forgiveness as well as change, and i believe in you, mr. cheater. i believe that you too are created in the image of God. i believe that God can heal whatever it is in you that's broken. shoot. i even love you. but until you're in a place where you can sustain a healthy relationship and make healthy decisions, please stay away from all the nice girls out there. it's just plain mean not to.

and to the ladies, you are good enough. i promise. i am too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

pomp and circumstance

so i graduated sunday. the whole experience was pretty surreal. on the one hand, it felt more like a celebration than my undergraduate graduation because my family actually had to travel up here and i had to make dinner reservations and plans... like most students. back in lex, i just walked across the stage and then walked home. semi-anti-climactic. on the other hand, the degree is the least important aspect of the st. john's experience. no graduate student goes to st. john's for the degree (or if they do, they won't say so). it's all about learning. i mean, i don't even know what my grades are. so i have this piece of paper conferring on me the degree of "master of arts of liberal arts," but i'm not really sure what it all means. i did, however, get very excited about the hood.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the famliest weekend ever

though i see my family pretty regularly, very rarely are all 5 of us in one place at one time. i mean, it's been way over a year. so while this weekend marked several celebrations, being with my parents and brothers was chief among them. saturday night we had a nice dinner at pazo... the food was spectacular. the waiter even threw in his favorite dessert dish and said, "happy graduation!" on the way over, we all piled into my little cabrio convertible (which is for sale still). seeing all three boys crammed in the back was quite comical. they got a few shout outs from peeps on the street. mom took this pic of them, which i love.

Monday, May 14, 2007

benin or bust

so much to post from this weekend, but i'll just start with the going away/support raising party susanne and laurel hosted at metro friday night. chef tony donated all the food. and i don't mean the restaurant donated the food, but chef tony himself. so generous. very cool. i'm going to miss being a regular there. i never did a head count, but 50-ish people came out... including peeps from new york, annapolis, dc and virginia. hopefully they felt it was worth the drive. i think they did. these are my favorite pics from the event, though you can see more on kevin's site.
so we have carolyn, roohi, farhan, raph and me. i've only seen raph once since graduation (right?) so it was awesome that he came down for the event. then there's my family... the first time we've all been together since thanksgiving of 2005! talk about a celebration. awesome. and then here's this pic of me sitting on a bar. i'm actually talking about what God has called me to do and how excited i am to have my friends partner with me. farhan, erin and michael also said a few words (very cool) and lorraine said a prayer. how often do you see 50 people with their heads bowed in prayer in a bar? note, this is a coffee bar too. still, fits well with the idea of Jesus in the marketplace. anyway, this was one of the most special moments of my life. thanks everyone.

Friday, May 11, 2007


my office is having a surprise party for me today... they're in the next room whispering about it... shhhhh....

i'm so excited!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

what i'm leaving out

a few updates that slipped my mind...

after 5 wonderful years together, lily (my computer) suffered some serious brain damage (translation: her logic board is malfunctioning). she collapsed literally 5 minutes after i finished (and backed up) my thesis. it's sad to put the girl down, but lily dos arrived last week. we're still getting to know each other, but already i've been able to use ichat to talk to anna in australia for free! it's weird to talk to your computer, but also very cool. let me know if you have AIM and we can talk for free while i'm in africa! i'll probably get skype too.

also, my car is for sale. i put the cabrio on autotrader last week. anybody want to buy a convertible? hard to believe i'll soon be unemployed and car-less.

lastly, i enjoyed a wonderful evening of sailing yesterday. forgot to take my camera (next time), but it was sooo relaxing... even though we were racing. maybe that's because we got a late start, putting us dead last with no competition. we passed several boats before the finish though. j's a good coach.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

celebrity friends

i was in lex this weekend for w&l alumni weekend. it was fabulous. i ran in to lots of friends and spent some quality time with my family, mary carol, and prof. velasquez. oh, and the knit shop. one of my favorite places on earth. carol and guy (owners) found a bunch of chickadees without a mom, so they were peeping away in a little box. i was trying to hold one so my mom could take a picture, but the baby bird pooped in my hand and then jumped to the floor. humph! still, cute. i also got to spend some time with alvin, who just published his first book, legacy of honor: the values and influence of america's eagle scouts. i haven't read it yet, but i do have a signed copy, which i will read promptly. alvin's book signing saturday was a huge success... only tom wolfe has sold more books at a w&l signing. way to go, a-train.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

early cinco de mayo

the young adults of christ lutheran church (and other friends we found along the way) celebrated cinco de mayo a little early. the upstairs bar at metro was packed, tony made delicious food and susanne made some kickin' brownies. kickin' because she added cinnamon and chipotle powder. mmmm... chocolate with a mexican twist. pastor fries brought a pinata that some of us tried to break open with a broom, unsuccessfully. i whiffed it twice before hitting it on my third try. sad to say, my eyes weren't even closed. looks like my softball career in benin is doomed. diane had much better luck (pictured... note pastor dubsky flinching in the background), but still no breakage. chris finally broke it over his leg, spilling chocolates all over the floor. yum. i'm going to miss these peeps and these parties.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

aww, snap

last night i attended my first ever poetry reading. i mean, i've been around people reading poetry before, but this was actually a legit purposefully poetic event. i'll be honest... i wasn't too excited. i pretty much only went because i'd do anything for my friend susanne, the hostess. but i liked it! really, i did. and not just because susanne makes the most amazing food ever (fried risotto balls with fresh mozzarella inside... delicious...) but because i felt like i tapped into something pretty intimate, even though i was surrounded by strangers. i read pablo neruda, in english then in spanish. some read their own work. it was really pretty special. nobody snapped, though. i thought that's what you do at poetry readings... i guess not.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

t minus twelve days

less than 2 weeks of class to go! yes, graduation is fast approaching. i keep getting reminders to pick up my announcements, cap and gown... and yesterday those graduating gathered for a class picture (though half the class is missing). it's going to be quite a shock when i go from full-time career and full-time student to graduated and unemployed (for a month)... hello butterflies in my tummy. the guy with the odd face would be alex, who was kind enough to snap shots with my camera so we wouldn't have to pay the school $20 for pictures. he snapped a lot of other shots too (feet, ears, backsides) which were promptly deleted. thanks alex.