the day steve nash came to my work
Or, things that make Erica freak out unnecessarily, part one.

There I was, chatting away with a coworker, when a slice of the Western Conference Finals walked right past her window. Mr. greesey-haired NBA MVP himself, just five feet and a pane of glass away from me. And boy am I glad that one-way, (relatively) sound-proof pane of glass was there. Otherwise I could have really embarassed myself with my octave-above-speaking-level screeches of, "Hey! That's Steve Nash! Steve Nash is walking by our window!" as I pressed my face up against the glass to try to get a better view. Our attempt (disguised as a bathroom run) to intercept him in the corridor was necessary, but alas, we missed him. Sigh. I recently moved my computer across the room so I could have a window seat and a view of the mountains, and now I wonder how many times I missed the visit of Phoenix's favorite Canadian. My eyes will be glued to that window from now on. Well...maybe not tomorrow, as the Suns will be in San Antonio, hopefully pulling out a win on the road.

things that make erica freak out unnecessarily, part two
The highlight of last night's screening of The Longest Yard came when Adam Sandler and Chris Rock were holding tryouts for the prison football team.
SANDLER: Has anyone here ever played football?
SANDLER: Where did you play?
MAN W/ GINORMOUS BELLY: Kansas State. [See Erica look wildly from side to side to see if anyone else noticed the reference to her original home team.]
SANDLER: Really? With Coach Snyder? [See Erica nearly jump out of her chair and cover her mouth with her hands to keep from exclaiming, "I know Bill Snyder! He used to sit across the aisle from me in church!"]
MAN W/ GINORMOUS BELLY: No. Kansas State Prison. [See Erica think of funny comeback: "There's no such thing as the Kansas State Prison! Just kU."]

more granola, please!
Tomorrow we're off to the Grand Canyon. I'm totally psyched for some hiking of the Big Ditch.


becoming granola
This morning I hiked Camelback* before coming in to work, and breakfast was the classic granola and yogurt. This, my friends is why I love Arizona, despite the heat.

more freebies
On tap for tonight: a free advanced screening of The Longest Yard.

*OK, so I didn't hike all the way to the peak this time. I have to learn to better motivate myself in the morning.


is your boss a brentalike?
It's been a while since I saw an episode of The Office (the original, British version), but when I stumbled upon this page, all the awkward Brent moments came flooding back.

i wasn't kidding when i said it was hot
I've started sleeping downstairs. My bedroom is roasting; the rest of the house is fine, but I got stuck with the sauna for a room. With days that have reached 109, the nighttime breeze that once cooled the room down is now still. I will be spending my weekends in the pool from now on. (Maybe sleeping on a raft in the pool would be cooler than my bedroom.)

promotion commotion
I am now Senior Designer. Woo-hoo!


blast from the past is back
It has been a year since I was a senior. Weird...

Senior appreciation day at the end of Recruitment 2003. Posted by Hello


summertime and the livin' is hot
It was 102º here yesterday, folks.


funny sentences in my inbox
This should erase any doubt about my geekiness, if there was (were? were.) any left after the Pat bobblehead.

Body. Sore. In. Many. Places. Owww.

Monsignor Chet, the pastor at my church, says that Christians "need a Bible in one hand, and a newspaper in the other." I let out a little giggle every time he says that.

My dress took up almost the entire living room. I felt like a poofball, but every said I looked pretty.

but i still really like my job so long as jobs are things we need to have.

And when your coworkers laugh at you, tell them to go eff themselves and that you mean it in the most Christian way possible.

I had five Red Bulls and one mocha. One Red Bull, of course, is the the caffeine equivalent of three 12-oz sodas. My heart was jumping like Bush cabinet members.

Kind of funny: I was ashed on Wednesday, obviously, and got plenty of looks but no remarks. Then Thursday and today, all kinds of people have come up to me in the newsroom, talking about how they went to Catholic church as a kid and blah blah blah, etc. It's like they were afraid to talk to me when I actually had the ashes.

I'm not just saying this so as to have more funny sentences in your inbox.

So...does Clark know how awesome his voice is?

so I LOVED New York. Not as much as I love London though...Let's just get that out there. The subway is harder to figure out than the tube. They have those express trains and you have to look up and the bottom of the map to see what trains are express and which ones are local (you know what I'm talking about). Learned that one the hard way...

I ate ramen noodles today and felt a little bit like an american!

I think it would be fun to be a blowhard who has nothing to do except look for errors in the newspapers. Unless that means you're paid to be a blowhard who reads the paper for errors, in which case you're a copy editor.

When the US Postal Service uses [Comic Sans], that's when it's inexcusable.

At the beginning of the night she was telling us she thought it was admirable to wait for marriage to kiss someone. Two Coronas later she's making out with a little Asian guy and flashing him.

I noticed that Desperate Housewives was pre-empted last night. I hope you're coping OK.

And of course, the design is amazing. "Your" so creative. You should, like, design for a magazine or something.

sorry that I still use you as my advisor. Jill sucks.

Hope production's over soon, and that you don't kill anyone.

And is it such a bad thing to read the stylebook for fun? Just asking, not that I'd know from personal experience. Errrr.

I know how tough it is to come to London on the dollar, and I want you to save your money for important things, like H & M.

I'm doing slot on the day the pope will most likely die. Less than cute, but I'm morbidly excited about it.

i got to the airport almost 3 hours before my flight so i sat upright in uncomfortable plastic chairs staring at a tv screen from Dior show anorexic models in bad outfits prancing up and down a runway while I fought waves of nausea from saturday night's excesses.

While I love you, and I love that you were born, so I must love your birthday, April 15 is kinda sorta Satanic.

Puis-tu m'envoyer une carte de poste de France, s'il te plaît? Je serai ton meilleur ami.

First, the dancing cowboy. Now, the Shakespeare's parking lot guy. Is no perennially profiled Columbian safe from death's icy grip? Somebody may want to check up on Henry Lane.

today will be a fun day for me - i'm training to host sex toy parties for my friend who owns a sex toy company (called the traveling tickle trunk - ha ha ha).


i've never claimed to be punctual (except for work)
Finally. The London post.

It took nearly an hour for me to realize I was in London again. I guess jet lag will do that to you. I arrived at Heathrow after a very turbulent flight and very little sleep, only to find that the Picadilly line would not be servicing Terminal 4 for the next year and a half while under reconstruction. I was not in the mood to deal with buses, so I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington. It was as I was following the Green lines marking the way to the District line platform, lugging my suitcase throught the tunnels of the Paddington Underground station that it hit me: I was in my London again. The spaces between the Impressionist-style brush strokes of my memories of riding the District line every day to work smoothed into reality. It was just as surreal to me as it would be to see the dock workers in Monet's The Thames at Westminster suddenly leap to life. And yet it was also very natural to be back, the city just felt right.

After meeting Raegan at her flat, I convinced her to walk with me to Imperial, just to see if I could remember the short cut. I made it half way until we got to a spot that had to be dug out from the depths of my memory before it looked familiar, and then we wandered the rest of way to the union, chatting and catching up, in just the same manner that Ellen or Sarah and I used to chat as we'd walk to class. The week was full of moments like that: walking into a memory full of the people with whom I experienced London, this time accompanied by others. Lindy had her friends in flats one and two let me poke around a bit. Flat two was inhabited by girls, but I could still see our flat two guys there, drinks in hand. Walking back into flat one, was weird. The walls were full of quotes by girls I never knew, not OUR quotes. There wasn't a collage of pictures on the wall or a stack of Wedding and Homes, Tatlers or various newspapers and guidebooks piled in the corner and on the coffee table. Ellen's mound of clothes weren't in the hallway and Mary Pat's avocados weren't on the kitchen counter. I don't even remember the way the furniture was rearranged because the living room is burned into my memory in the way I lived in it.

The city had changed everso slightly. Construction on Earl's Court tube station had finished and the District line platform was actually full of light thanks to the absence of scaffolding. Scaffolding had also been removed from such famous landmarks as the Kensington Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Picadilly Circus billboards and St. Paul's Cathedral. I had returned to a city that had gotten its braces removed.

It was great to be back, but it was even better to get to be with Megan again. I was worried that staying with her and Jon for almost two weeks, I would become a nuisance and a bore, but Megan and I never ran out of things to talk about. Even the times we were quiet were full of thoughts that had been shared. I was very grateful for the chance to sleep on their couch and just as thankful for the chance to get to know Jon better.

While I was there, their friend Jocelyn came to visit. Jocelyn had studied with Megan and Jon in Singapore and now lives in Edmonton, Canada. Since she had never been to London, I got to play all-knowing tour guide and show her around the city. We hit all the hot spots and even had time for a musical: the new musical adaptation of Billy Elliott (which included a song that will soon become the theme song for every cross-dresser: "What the Hell is Wrong with Wearing a Dress?"). Jocelyn and I got our tickets at the last minute and - small world! - they ended up being right next to Lindy! And when I say "right next to," I mean we were A21 and 22, and Lindy was A20. Who'da thunk?!

I also got to see the new theatrical production of Mary Poppins, a slightly darker version of the movie. It included a scene that I call Toy Story on Crack, where Jane and Michael's toys grow to be life-size and hold court against the kids, singing a rather frightening song, "Children that don't learn do not return."

Because I can't go to Europe and not put my raggedy French to good use, I took a day trip to Lille in northern France. Thanks to the Eurostar, I left early in the morning and returned that evening, getting my fill of croissants and crêpes. I took the opportunity to wander in silence for most of the day, relishing the chance to practice my French on willing shopkeepers. Maybe it's naïve of me, but I truly believe that traveling abroad is my opportunity to be an ambassador from America and I try hard to shatter the stereotypes of American travelers by being a pleasant and engaging customer. My favorite exchanges were with the wine salesman who helped me pick out a bottle of wine to bring back to Megan and Jon, and with the guards at the Eurostar passport clearance. I said one tiny phrase to the guy who stamped my passport ("Yes! Another stamp!" was what I thought. "Merci beaucoup, monsieur" was what I said) and the guards around us burst out with, "Ah! Elle parle français!" "Oui, messieurs. Ma français n'est pas le meillure, mais j'aime la langue et j'aime visiter la France." (A phrase I had practiced in my mind hoping I'd get the chance to use it on some lucky Frenchman/woman.) They said some things I could figure out, and then seeing my confused look, repeated in English, "Come visit us again!" "Mais bien sûr!" I responded. I left the country feeling like I had accomplished something.

The whole trip was wonderful. I came back with a few new H&M outfits and new frameable memories that I'm sure will fade into Impressionist-style paintings, waiting to leap to life the next time I visit. People often ask if I'd ever see myself living in London and I'm not too sure. I think I could return for a year or so, but this visit has made me realize how much I love London as a vacation spot. I think that to live there would be to dampen the appeal and my love for the city. Not to say that I wouldn't consider it if the right opportunity ever presented itself...

Return to London
Lille, France
Party at Steve's

in other news
I think Jack's monitor is on the fritz. I blame the movers and the injury they caused nine and a half months ago. Time to start investigating flat screen monitors.


When I picked up my Boston Magazine from the kitchen counter yesterday, I thought, "Man, haven't I read this issue already?" But I was still recovering from jet lag and headed straight to bed without a second glance. Thanks to Dan for clearing up my déjà* vu with this piece of info.

*Accents to come tomorrow when I have access to my Mac at work. Jack is asleep and I don't know how to do accents on a PC.

February 2005 Posted by Hello

May 2005 Posted by Hello
random observation
Today is 05/05/05.


beef, it's what's for dinner
I really want some steak right now. My Michelina's Budget Gourmet Italian Style Vegetables and White Chicken in Sauce with Rice frozen dinner will have to suffice. But I could really use a grilled steak. And grilled potatoes, green beans and buttered bread.

Off to the microwave I go with my frozen dinner.


a post about London to come
in the meantime...

the answers
Before we get to the announcement of who will receive homemade cookies, here are the answers to the How Well Do You Know Erica? Quiz. (Answers are in bold, of course).

1. Who is the source of inspiration for the subhead ("off to see the world") on this blog?
A. Frank Sinatra
B. The Beatles
C. Guster
D. Bob Dylan
Although Pat informs me that Bob Dylan once did a cover of Moon River.

2. What is the name of Erica's home computer?
Jack the Mac

3. What car is Erica saving up for?
A. another Honda Accord
B. Toyota RAV-4
C. Honda Civic Hybrid
D. Ford Focus
Yes, Kate, we are saving up for the same car! I see no reason why I should buy anything other than a hybrid as my next set of wheels.

4. What was the name of the cat that terrorized Erica both awake and in her dreams?
A. Gus
B. Cassie
C. Sophie
D. Ally
Just take a look at the picture of that cat on her blog and tell me she wouldn't terrorize you as well.

5. Erica had 15 different roommates in college (including the summer she lived in CoMo). Name at least seven of them. (A point will be awarded for each correct roommate.)
Gracy O., Emily S., Sarah H., Ellen M., Sarah M., Mary Pat S., Megan C., Careth C., Meh-gen R., May-gun C. (now G.), Ashley B., Ashley S., Erin P., Abby P., Kristen W.
Three people included Natalie N. (now W.) and one person listed Christina W. Although those two were ladies of the Chat, I did not reside there concurrent with them. However, Natalie and I did share a room/bed during Denver Christmas Conference sophomore year. But that doesn't count.

6. Where did Erica receive the worst sunburn of her life?
A. The back porch of Alpha Chi
B. Barcelona, Spain
C. Winter Park, Colo.
D. Nice, France
"Nice sunburn. I'm punny," Tim adds.

7. Who turned Erica on to Harry Potter?
A. her mother
B. her sister
C. K. Jeffries
D. E. Tuttle

8. Which one of the following is Erica's favorite consumer mag?
A. Esquire
B. Real Simple
C. Entertainment Weekly
D. Budget Travel
Tim's answer of "E, PC Shopper" was very much incorrect.

9. Which of the following is Erica's favorite city/regional mag?
A. Texas Monthly
B. Chicago Magazine
C. Los Angeles Magazine
D. Boston Magazine
A couple of people named Texas Monthly, which is a very close second.

10. Where was Erica headed when she got separated from her friends on the European Rail System?
A. Venice
B. London
C. Paris
D. Rome
An experience which caused me to reevaluate the merits of the dratted cellphone once I returned to the States.

11. Match the music group with the year of Erica's college life that heavily featured said group.
A. Coldplay c. Junior What I listened to while trying to sleep on uncomfortable hostel beds in Italy and Dublin. Was torn between attending the Coldplay concert two blocks from my flat in London or attending the Paul McCartney concert the next day (end-of-semester funds limited me to one concert). I decided to see Paul, because I figured he'd die first.
B. U2 b. Sophomore Attended their St. Louis concert a month or so after 9/11 and burst into tears when they projected the names of everyone killed in the terrorist attacks - my first time to cry in reaction to 9/11
C. Guster d. Senior Introduced to their music by Sarah at her lake house the weekend of the 4th of July. I swear that "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" was written specifically for my senior year thoughts. Attended Guster concert with Sarah at Truman State the weekend of my birthday
D. REM a. Freshman I equate Automatic For the People with studying on my blue blanket on the Quad, feeling everso collegiate for the first time.

12. Where did Erica work her senior year of college? (choose more than one)
A. the Artisan
B. the MU Licensing office
C. the MU News Bureau
D. the MU Marketing office
This is a trick question, as I intended it. But I kinda tricked myself as well. Several people included the News Bureau, which I included as a trick answer because I never worked FOR the News Bureau, just IN their office. But then I realized that the question was WHERE did I work, and it's true that the location of where I reported to work for the Marketing office was in the News Bureau office. So I awarded a half point to those who put C as an answer. I also gave Kate a point for her answer: "A. the Artisan - is where you worked on your homework."

13. What was Erica's regular drink at the Artisan?
A. Latté w/ Bailey's
B. Mocha Chai
C. Mocha
D. Earl Gray Tea
I trained Luke to know what to make when I ordered "my usual, please." Sorry Dan, it wasn't an accented drink.

14. What was Erica's minor?
A. Graphic Design
B. Religious Studies
C. French
D. Just kidding - she didn't have one

15. What song is Erica's number-one guilty pleasure song?
A. "Bye Bye Bye" by *nSync
B. "Oops, I Did it Again" by Mama Britney Spears
C. "Yeah" by Usher
D. "Vogue" by Madonna
Peace Up. This song is GUARANTEED to put me in an awesome mood...as long as I don't think about the story behind the lyrics.

16. What is Erica's favorite color?
A. Yellow
B. Light blue
C. Light green
D. Purple

17. Which of the following has Erica not read since starting her "Currently reading" sidebar nugget-thing?
A. The Grapes of Wrath
B. The DaVinci Code
C. My Misspent Youth
D. The Cider House Rules

18. Which of the following was not a reason Erica gave as a sign that Phoenix life would be good?
A. The 20-minute drive to the airport
B. See's Candy Shops
C. The backyard pool
D. The lack of snow

19. Who is Erica's favorite sports columnist? (Fill in the blank)
Rick Reilly
"Like Fort Riley, near Erica's hometown," Dan says.

20. Which of the following was not a favorite instructor of Erica's? (class descriptions for the benefit of any non-MU quiz-takers)
A. J. Moe||er (Magazine Editing)
B. J. Co|bert (Magazine Design)
C. B. Co||ins (History of the 60s)
D. S. Fr¡esen (Old & New Testament)
Tim remarks that "the name scramble makes me wodner if the answer should be 'all of the above,'" but I just seek to cover my tracks.

and the cookies go to....
Pat! With 30.5 points! Although Dan answered 15 questions correct to Pat's 14 correct questions (for the record, Sarah also had correct answers to 14 questions). Pat's inflated score comes from his ability to name every one of my roommates except for Sarah H. Dan had 28.5 points, Sarah had 22.5, Kate had 13, Tim had 7.5, and Justin's tried and true scantron test practice of marking C for every answer got him 2.5 points.

Dan played the role of class brown-noser by submitting his own extra credit. While it did not earn him extra points, his questions merit inclusion. All answers are correct.

21. Where did Erica work as a counselor after freshman year?
Heartland Presbyterian Center in Parkville, Mo.

22. Dan, Jason and Sara were proud of Erica in Jan. 2002 for:
C. Turning her back during the K-State fight song
I turned my back because if I didn't I knew I would burst into song. Ed's note to Dan: wasn't it Jan. 2001 when you guys came to Manhappenin'? I assume you're referring to the MU/KSU basketball game at K-State.

23. Dan and Erica were total dorks together in what course senior year?
D. All of the above

24. Qu'est-ce que c'est le lieu idéal d'Erica?
Une petite ville française sans les gens qui parlent anglais. Et avec un bon livre et une tasse café, bien sûr.

25. Dan also could have answered Erica-related questions on:
A. Sam, Don Quixote, "Look at me, Dr. Geiss" and other FIG fun
B. Alpha Chi stuff
C. Having met all the immediate Brookses more than once
D. Anything from London not on the blog
E. Wrestling