kicks i've been on lately
- Podcasts, especially Coverville, The Secrets of Harry Potter (hosted by a Catholic priest in the Netherlands), Music75, Carte Postale de... and New Christian Manifesto.
- Anything with avocados
- Playing the "Find Futura (the font) in Everyday Items" Game
- Reading while going nowhere on the stationary bike at the gym
- India (as in longing to travel there)
- Swimming in the morning before work
- Lime green
- Circles
- Lime green circles
- Raspberry lemonade (I've been on a raspberry-anything kick for the past year and a half and recently discovered this wonderful twist on the classic summer drink)
- Get Fuzzy
- Mascara
- Kaluha drizzled over vanilla ice cream


vroom vroom
The Great Car Hunt begins today, two months earlier than planned. Thursday evening found me pulling off the 101 into a Shell station, smoke billowing out from under my hood and a foreboding green liquid practically flooding from beneath the front of the MomMobile. After fixing the A/C this spring, I had vowed to not dump any more money into the van. If I'm going to be paying $400 for it to go for another two months, I might as well be making car payments on new (-to-me/used) car. So now I'm off. Go go gadget car finder!


the post you would have seen thursday, had our internet connection been functioning:

and now that that's done
The following albums have been uploaded or updated:
Damon's Wedding
Boating in Portland
Portland Chinese Garden
Portland Wine Country
Viviane Swims
Random (friends)
Random (other)


and now, the rest of the story™Paul Harvey
The weekend was wonderful -- completely free of 95+ temperatures, and full of reunions with good friends and family. It was weird to see my younger cousin, Damon, up there, taking his vows. He and I used to be really close, giggling in the back of the van on the way to family reunions, making jokes about how the Denver airport looked like an upside-down sow. And there he was, in front of the church, crying as he exchanged his purity ring for a wedding band while the minister led him and his new wife, Michele, in their vows. Some people may giggle at the sight of a young man tearing up at the thought of pure love, but I think our culture has forced men to put on a "tough guise" because we expect them all to Rambo-like "tough guys." That's so sad that we expect guys to close up against emotions like those Damon was experiencing.

At the reception, they held the "Money Dance," where you pay to have a spin around the dance floor to send the merry couple away with a financial boon; I danced with Damon and for a moment it felt like we were as close as we had once been as kids. Then he asked if I was close to doing this. "Doing what? Dancing?" I asked. "No, silly. Getting married. Are you ready for the man God has chosen for you?" And I felt a million years younger than him right then. "Oh no!" I said before catching myself.

I need to work on my cynicism. I'm very excited for my friends and family who have gotten married and engaged lately (God knows there are a ton of them this year), but when it come to myself and love, I have a hard time envisioning that it's anywhere near yet. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. All in good time. But it gets hard when people keep asking whether there's a man in my life and I keep on giving the same answer, "My dad is all the man I need right now." Not hard as in I'm discouraged, because I really don't feel like I'm anywhere near ready to have a serious relationship. But hard as in frustrating that it seems that other people think I need to be ready.

Whew. That got personal. Anyways...

ready for HP7
Finished Half-Blood Prince last night. I'm ready for Book 7 and looking forward to the discussion with the FHNGBCBC.


obligatory dateline post
PORTLAND, OR - It is my last day in Portland. Having come here for my cousin Damon's wedding, it was a great chance to kill three birds with one stone, you might say: we stayed with my mom's best friend Sarah and her son, Adam, whom I hadn't seen since our sophomore year of high school; and I got to spend an entire Saturday with Scott. This afternoon, Sarah is taking us on a tour of the wine country, and of course we'll be stopping by the vineyards to do some tasting. Mom's plan is for Sarah to "pour us onto the plane, and we'll be sober when we land!"

the book
Thanks to Dan's suggestion, I stood in a line that wrapped the circumference of an entire city block for an hour and a half at Powell's City of Books (the largest independently owned bookstore in the country) to purchase Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I promptly came home and fell asleep on page 16. Horrors! I'm half-way through it now, no spoiling it for me in the comments, folks!


The other day on a local radio station, the DJ did an update on the situation in London and followed it with "Panic (on the streets of London)" by the Smiths. Ooooh, that made me so mad; I've never wanted to "hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ" so much. How insensitive can you get? I'm sure he thought he was being cute: "Hey, we like, just talked about how there's panic on the streets of London, and now we're playing a song with those lyrics! Like, whoah, what a tie-in!" I was thisclose to calling in and giving him a piece of my mind. I half expected him to follow the Smiths with ELO's "Last Train to London," which definitely would have had Angry Erica on the phone. Dude, if you're going to play a tribute song to London, play The Clash's "London Calling," or "Made in England" by Elton John.

How heartless.


to london, with love
9/11 may have had more deaths and casualties and may have been only half the country away, but yesterday's attack on London hit closer to home, because it hit closer to my heart. In September of 2001 I had never been to NYC or DC, and I knew no one in either city, (save for Gracy having grown up in a DC suburb, and she of course, was safe in Columbia). I had seen New Yorkers running from an attack on their city before - I had watched Independence Day. So even though my brain knew that the news cameras were not using special effects to alter the scenes of destruction, I didn't react emotionally to the attacks for months.

But yesterday had me in tears the moment I heard of the bombings on London's transport system. I felt very much under attack even half-way across the globe. London is my city. I can picture Russell Square, hear the computerized voice saying, "This is a District Line train to Edgware Road," remember rushing up the stairs to the top of a red double-decker bus for the best seats in the house and have pictures of me with the trolly beneath the sign in the King's Cross station marking Platform 9 3/4. The city holds a piece of me in its history, and it holds Megan and Jon now. When I got into work and turned on my computer, the image of a Tube map that I had set as my desktop wallpaper back in January flickered into view, bright, colorful and looking as safe as it had the day before. The tube map, so central to London and my experiences there, the map is London itself to me. And despite its smells and crowds, or maybe a bit because of it, the Tube is one of my favorite parts of London.

Glued to NPR, I clung to the report that the Jubilee Line was unharmed, knowing that was the line Megan took to work every day, and burst into tears as soon as her mom said she and Jon were safe. But even knowing they were safe didn't keep my emotions in check for the rest of the day. A woman was interviewed on NPR outside Earl's Court Tube station, a block from where I once lived, and I could imagine her - I could imagine ME - standing there, next to the news agent with an Evening Standard poster proclaiming the day's biggest headline: "Terrorism on London Transport." An attack like yesterday's wasn't unexpected. There were warnings when I was there. But knowing it could happen doesn't dull the shock when it does.

One of my favorite depictions of the Tube map was the '80s "Tate by Tube" poster that shows tubes of paint creating the Tube map (Get it? Paint tubes? The Tube?) and promoting the Tate Museum - I don't remember if it was for the Tate Modern or the Tate Britain, but my hunch is the Tate Modern. I had a horrible vision yesterday of some ignorant 2-year-old mussing up that image by finger painting.

Maybe it sounds a bit callous, but while 9/11 left a hole in the skyline of New York, 7/7 left a hole in my heart.

and now for a little comic* relief
I've been house- and dog-sitting this week. For me, this has meant eating sugary cereals for breakfast (Golden Grahams - yay!), drinking fun drinks for dinner (chocolate milk - woohoo!) and having special drinks for dessert (Bailey's - oooooh!). For the dogs, it meant peeing on the clothes I set out for church. I've never lived with dogs before. Apparently they don't like it when something new is on the floor. Or maybe they had warmed up to me and were marking my clothes as part of their territory, in which case I feel I should sense some kind of flattery, but it's evading me. I quickly made a new rule for myself: all clothes go in the closet, behind a shut door, and nothing is left on the floor. I must have disobeyed my own rule, because today I came back from work to find a pair of my knickers torn and in a knot - A KNOT! These cute black poodles literally have my panties in a bind. I didn't know dogs knew how to tie knots.

*Sans the sans, of course.


i cried the whole way to work, but word from her mother and her blog is that megan is safe

Yesterday after the 2012 announcement, contrasted with today at the Aldgate Tube Station.


jaded with american politics?
The vote here for the hottest Canadian MP. Why? Because he says so. (Does this trend mean that Megan will be setting up a HottestBritishMP site sometime soon?)


Can I just say that in the picture of Charlie (below) makes him look like Jason Bateman's twin? Myndi, you should be glad I didn't notice this before the wedding or I might have had to object to your wonderful union. Maybe if the teaching gig doesn't work out, Charlie could be Bateman's stunt-double.