Friday, January 30, 2009

Florida in January Part 2

On the day that it rained, we went to Sarasota to visit the Ringling Estate, which was actually not what I was expecting.

You would think (or at least I would think this): Ringling and then think circus and then think circus people and clowns and then get scared. The Ringling Estate was pretty classy and sort of reminiscent of the Rockefeller Estate, but the Ringling Estate was more whimsical. Take this snail statue for instance.

Another statue, one of an angel, was buried between some banyan trees, but the tram we were on moved too quickly to take a photo. Here are some banyan trees though:

Yes, we had to take a tram around because it was initially way too cold to walk around the estate's grounds. However, after warming up and eating delicious hot dogs and chili, we summoned ourselves to walk to the art museum. (The brochure claims the museum to be one of the nation's best collections, and while it definitely wasn't a New York art museum, it was impressive. I enjoyed it a lot more than my tour of the "masters" at the Tate anyway.)

While walking (uncle and aunt are above), I found a beautiful statue that reminded me of poop.

The Ringling home was very much like the Rockefellar home--big, ornate, interesting, and ancient as far as American architecture. I was too cold to take photos (which is ridiculously funny now having been at the inauguration), but here's one of the house. On the other side of the house is a beautiful porch with steps that lead to a dock on the bay.

The most notable thing about Sarasota is that while the Ringling Estate might seem like the freakiest thing there, it isn't. This is the freakiest thing:

You know that famous image of the V-J Day kiss of the sailor and nurse? Someone thought it was a good idea to make a humongous statue of them in full color and put them in the middle of Sarasota. It was bizarre. Also, I believe I saw a statue-viewer look up her skirt. Pervert.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Goals: Week 5

The Internet is acting way wacky, but I thought I'd write this up quickly.

Email people back...
Edit some more pages of Jon's Grandpa's autobiography. It's kind of difficult to think with the construction going on around seems like they're building a whole new apartment across the way...sounds like it anyway.
3) Work on designing the graphics for the invitations. The thing that Jon was supposed to do didn't work out. I think I'm going to try a few versions of some other things so that we can decide on the best one.
Read more pages of Infinite Jest. Crap. I didn't even touch the book last week. It's a perfect day for reading. I could turn on the fake fire place and all, but with the construction, I'd much rather do something more mindless so I can forget about the banging and scraping.
5) Go to the library. I'm resolved to go this week...most likely towards the end of this week though because of the snow.
6) Write up blogs regarding the inauguration and other blogs with the photos I have.
7) Make $5 this week.
8) Finish three things on this list.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It's official. Barack Obama is the president!

I saw it. I was there and everything. More on that tomorrow or the day after--with videos and photos. I need to sleep.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Goals: Week 4

1) Put away all the laundry. I'm just a tiny bit closer with the cleaner closet.
2) Get to the Mall for the inauguration by 5AM. Volunteer. Do a good job.
3) Email people...and try to get a freelance project soon.
Edit some pages of Grandpa's book.
5) Work on designing the graphics for the reception card/directions. Need a phat line drawing of a city and a farm. And while I have a city, I'd be essentially plagiarizing it from some lady's website, which I'd rather not do.
Read more pages of Infinite Jest. Maybe just touch the book this week.
7) Go to the library. If I go to the books, the books might come to me.
8) Finish two things on this list. I'm giving myself a break this week because of the whole waking up and freezing thing. I think I may get sick, though I'm going to hold off putting up as a goal.


It's so weird that the day I've been expecting for awhile is now only a few hours away. That is the presidential inauguration. At around 4AM, I hope, a cab will pick me up to take me to the train station so that I may get a train to L'Enfant by the Mall where I will meet up with my volunteer group for the inauguration by 5AM. My assignment (to dispense information if information is needed) is by the second jumbotron on the mall by 6th Street. I hope I don't freeze to death.

Anyway, on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Day of Service, I cleaned up our closet and a bit of the rest of the bedroom. It felt quite productive. For over a year, we've had the last two boxes from our move sitting in our closet falling apart.

I went to Target to get some storage items. It snowed a little bit earlier today and just a little stuck, so when I left there was snow, but by the time I got out of Target, it was a sun/snow shower. Very pretty--and in the sun it was warm. Hopefully, that will be the case for tomorrow.

At Target, I got a 4 and 5 drawer plastic storage unit to put my purses/gloves/scarves, etc. in, and 7 plastic bins for T-shirts and sweaters for the shelves in our closets. I need to buy some more, but I'm happy that they fit (I have a tendency to buy and hope for the best). Hopefully, our closet will stay organized for a long time. Now I can seriously tackle the clothes around the rest of the room. (Our clean laundry has been piled in an odd semi-circle around our room.) The quest to put away the clothes continues.

Anyway: Fired Up! Ready to Go!

Friday, January 16, 2009


My dad requested chocolate pudding with whipped cream for his b-day, so I set out to find the best recipe. I'm going to get ready and venture out (first time since Tuesday) to get the whole milk (that's the only ingredient I'm missing). I should also get some cream for the whipped cream. Maybe for presentation I'll pipe some whipped cream down the center so it looks like a Hostess cupcake. Voila!

Jon suggested I try Bitman's recipe. The problem I have with this recipe is that it contains butter, and it's optional, but I have no idea what it is really for. That really annoys me.

Anyway, I'll try to post pictures if they're halfway delicious looking as the ones from the original blogger's post.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Florida in January Part I

Greetings from Florida!

I don't know why my face looks a bit odd. I swear I tried taking a bunch of nice pictures, but it kept coming out like this. Anyway, notice the beautiful puffy clouds and my cool visor. My more than cool aunt is to the right of me.

On the first day, we went to Barefoot Beach, and it was gorgeous! There weren't as many people on this beach as the beach we went to the next day. The sand was pretty clean and relatively shell free. The water was cold though, so I waded for a short time to cool off before returning to my chair to finish reading Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner. I totally preferred In Her Shoes and Little Earthquakes over this one. It's a bit unbelievable.

See that speck? That's me and my aunt parasailing! Or at least would have been if we figured out that landing wasn't as violent or crazy as we thought (since my uncle mentioned we might break our legs--and broken bones is one thing that I can't have right now).

Why did the gopher tortoise cross the road? I guess he was done sunning himself on the beach. Hard to believe, since he's a tortoise and all, but he can actually run pretty quickly. Maybe they're evolving because of all the traffic around their turf. Only the fastest survive.

I learned how to levitate myself from a beach magician. It was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, while I didn't burn, I didn't get much tanner than I hoped I would.

Booties are done!

The booties are complete!

I got the pattern from here. But I felt the pattern kind of sucked, or I sucked at using it, so I started improvising. I think it worked out well enough.

The project itself took about all the episodes of House and most of the episodes of Kitchen Confidential on Hulu as well as Someone Like You (with Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd) and Picture Perfect (with Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston). Why? Because it took me awhile to stop following the stupid instructions and just go with what looked right.

I hope Babo likes it! At least if he loses one bootie, I know how to make a back up one in a few hours.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Today I'm like a pirate. Making booty and lying to priests.

I'm probably going to go to hell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Post 200! and Kendo: Lesson 1

So it took about 4 years or so, but this is the 200th post for this blog apparently. Go blog!

Kendo: Lesson 1

On Sunday, Jon and I began our first Kendo lesson at the community center in the next town over. It's an 8 week 1 hour course on the techniques of Kendo for beginners. This is a video from our first class. (I'm the shorter one.)

Har har har...

When Jon and I entered the class, I did not see any women at first. I was completely terrified because if this was just a boys class, then why did they let me sign up?

The guys I saw included two older men, one of which definitely plays Second Life or some other life alternative reality. I'm basing this on his shitty attitude. It may be dumb, but after class he insisted that he was late for work. The way he said it (very whiny) insinuated that the class ran over--err, did he not see the times he signed up for? I bet you his avatar is jacked, and he tries to act suave by buying ladies at the bar apple-tinis with his Linden dollars.

The other older guy looked kind of creepy--plus he wore jeans. Who wears jeans to a martial arts class?

Then there was a larger kind of guy who is 25. I'd assume he plays a lot of Warcraft.

The last guy that I could recall was a high school kid. I think he plays video games as well.

No one seems incredibly obnoxious yet, so despite the dorkiness of the group (and it is not that they play video games that makes them dorky, which I love myself, but that they probably are those types of people that are typical of sci fi conventions and the like) it should be fine.

In any case, there were two old ladies. Then a couple came in--so Jon and I were not the only couple there. There were a bunch of other men too, but I can't comment on them because they were part of the more advance beginner group.

We got our swords. Jon's is a 39 and mine is a 37. I think it's length in inches.

We warmed up in a circle with everyone. There were a few high school kids in the Kendo garb and 5 sensei. The sensei were all really nice, though you get a sense that if they wanted to they could kill us all and take our wallet and keys. (Jon messed up the warm up I believe because he failed to mirror the person across from his correctly--so half the circle was warming up on one side while some of the guys near Jon were warming up with the other. He'll have to work on that.)

Then they showed us how to bow and stuff and broke us apart by experience. They told us that we had to line up by experience and then by age. The old lady totally did not line up where she was supposed to be, but no one said anything to her.

Oh, and as far as ethnic mix, it was mostly White, considering the area it makes sense, but there were a few Asians. The old ladies, the head sensei master guy, the high school kids in the Kendo garb, the other couple, Jon, and half of me.

We learned how to glide "like a water bug" and hold our swords. He mostly lectured us about the history of Kendo, his martial arts experience, the purpose of the sport, etc. He seemed knowledgeable and cool.

Then he had the high school kids demonstrate what Kendo really looked like. There was A LOT of yelling. I hate yelling. In kickboxing and marching band alike, whenever there was something we had to say outloud, I made the motions with my mouth, but I hardly ever let anything come out. This is going to be tough. But really, how tough can life be if the biggest worry is how dumb you sound when you yell?

When class was nearly over, we did the bowing thing we did in the beginning.

Jon was very nice to me after class--probably because he wanted to ensure that I'll be returning with him to the next class, which I will.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Goals: Week 3

So I totally slacked off on my blog and my goals for the end of the year. We spent from December 22 to January 1 in New Jersey, and I barely had a functioning computer to work on. The holidays were fun though. Jon and I spent a lot of it watching Pam's recommended Japanese show Nodame Cantabile (the live action one) and a Japanese show about a food detective called Kuitan. Jon and I heart Nodame and Chiaki so much! I will post a review in due time about how much I love Nodame Cantabile as well as all the other Japanese shows Jon and I are currently watching.

Anyway, this is the first week of the New Year (for this list)! I hope to accomplish or start working on the following:

1) Put away all the laundry. So it's still on the list. (I didn't even have to change that sentence from the c/p. I just added the italics.) I really have to just put it away already as my previous posts mentions that it's becoming a bit of a nightmare.
2) Make my dad a birthday cake. For his 50th I made the most beautiful chocolate cake with glossy ganache frosting. Last year I made Napoleons that weren't as pretty or delicious. This year maybe I'll try a Boston cream cake or another kind of chocolate cake. Maybe something to look like a Hostess cupcake, but with a better cream filling. He likes those.
3) Email people. I feel really out of touch. Promise ring or not, it's really shitty when people live their lives and things are happening and you find out from Facebook. I mean c'mon. Besides what would be even shittier is to not at least try to see what is up with people that according to ettiquette I should invite to the wedding. That and I totally owe people well-overdue emails.
Edit at least some pages of Grandpa's book. The thing is that it is on the "old computer," which I have to learn how to access.
5) Work on designing the reception card/directions. So I have the luxe cream paper from Papersource, and I'm pretty happy with the way the main invitation came out, but I'm confused about how to make it seem like a nice and neat package without a kind of folder (which would add another buck to the overall invitation and--if it were me--thrown out). Hopefully, I'll have the suite done so I can ask Stefanie to proof it soon.
Read more pages of Infinite Jest. Still reading it. Though I just finished Good In Bed, while in Florida. It was sort of a ridiclous book.
7) Use the awesome library card. I want to check out the crappy Meg Cabot book I was reading online and figure out if I can stomach calligraphing my own stationery.
8) Figure out how to get to the Mall by 5AM on Inauguration Day. Out of the 80K that supposedly signed up, I was chosen as one of the 13K that gets to freeze their ass off (minus those chosen for indoor activities like the balls). As the Huffington Post, or whatever article I found, reported, the volunteers all got red hats with some special inauguration day embroidery.
9) Find something awesome for Babo for the baby shower this Saturday.
10) Adjust schedule with P.Diddy.
11) Figure out readings for wedding.
12) Finish four things on this list because I have to.

OMG I Need to Clean

When I returned from Florida on Thursday, it was pretty apparent Jon was too busy to clean. So of course I threw a fit. Granted, I'm not the tidiest person in the world myself, but the garbage smelled pretty putrid. So we spent an angry hour or so cleaning up--I took out the garbage; Jon did the dishes. He started to cook; I cleared off the table and organized all my dirty laundry to clean from the trip as well as hunted for his dirty clothes around the apartment.

Anyway, it seems that though PoPo and I were able to keep the apartment fine on Friday, by the time we returned from New Jersey on Saturday night the apartment is now a freakin' mess again. All the laundry I did is now clean, but now on the floor and unfolded because Jon likes using the dryer as a towel warmer. The thing is the clothes that I said I must put away because it was from our trip to Japan is still collecting dust atop the dresser. I really need to clean out my drawers. The thing that I don't understand is that the last time I cleaned out my drawers and brought it home for the ladies to scavenge before giving it away ended up all over my old room. Nice.

So there are tons of clothes and sheets to sort and finally put away. Dishes to be done. And maybe I should finally throw out all those old magazines--like the ones we moved down here last year. Also, we need a filing cabinet.
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