Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Word of the Day

Guess what! One of my all-time favorite words is today's Word of the Day. Check it out!

Learn it. Use it. Love it. Or just have fun saying it over and over again. All together now..."ses-kwuh-puh-DAYL-yuhn."

P.S. Yes, this post is just a decoy for something more substantial. Coming soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Need to laugh?

Read this post, and then watch the video of Joe Cocker performing "With a Little Help From My Friends" (The Wonder Years theme) at Woodstock. Best use of captions and clip art I've seen in a long time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flint Cops Crack Down on Sagging Pants

My mom drives a school bus and often vents to me about the way the teenage boys on her route wear their pants...sagging below their butt, barely held up by a belt around their thighs, crotch hanging down by their knees. Though I'm more inclined than my mother to just shake (and sometimes turn away) my head and accept this as the way things are, I agree that it looks ridiculous, not to mention uncomfortable and cumbersome.

Well, turns out the police force of Flint, MI is out to do something about saggy pants and exposed boxers. If you want the full report, read this article from the Detriot Free Press. In short, saggy pants have been declared disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, both misdemeanors punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.

Here's how it breaks down:
  • Saggy pants, not completely below the buttocks, with underwear showing = a warning
  • Saggy pants, completely below the buttocks, with underwear showing = disorderly conduct
  • Saggy pants with underwear and skin of the buttocks showing (i.e. butt crack) = indecent exposure
And in case you're a visual learner, here's a helpful chart:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Marches On

It's hard to believe that summer is almost half over! Events that have floated in the realm of expectation for so long are now happening quickly, one after the other, as summer marches on.

On Friday the 4th Travis & I spent a leisurely evening with his sister and brother-in-law, our friends Rachel & Eric, and their respective dogs, Pepper & Yoshi. Always happy to find an occasion to use my trifle bowl, I assembled a patriotic dessert for the affair.

Saturday was wedding number 2 of the summer, the joining of Julie & Alex in holy matrimony. Julie has been in my small group for the past couple years, and Alex is recent a transplant from North Carolina (they dated long distance for quite a while after meeting at a wedding in California) who has fit into our little small group community quite nicely. We love his accent and Southern charms. We like him a lot, too. Their wedding was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun (Travis & I even came away with the garter and bouquet, respectively). Congrats, Julie & Alex! I love you guys and wish you the best.

This coming Friday I'll get on a plane that will take me to Colorado for the annual 3G02 reunion. For those of you not up on your Suz lingo, 3G (or Third Gerig) is where I lived at Taylor; 02 is when I graduated. Therefore, 3G02 refers to the group of girls who came in together as freshmen to live on the third floor of Gerig Hall (plus Allison, whom we love and grafted in from another dorm) and formed a deep and lasting bond of friendship. We've held a reunion every spring since we graduated, and this year moved the reunion to July when (for the very first time since graduation) all 11 of us will be together again. Michelle is home from China, Suzanne has returned from Zambia, and the rest of us will come in from New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa to spend a weekend catching up on one another's lives, celebrating milestones, sharing our hearts and hopes and hurts, worshipping together and praying for one another, laughing and having fun, and just generally basking in the glow of our remarkable friendship. My heart is so full with gratitude to God for these women and this opportunity.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes indeed, as of last Thursday I am 28 years old, which puts me undeniably in my "upper twenties." While perhaps in two years I will "freak out" about 30 as it seems so many women do, I am actually feeling really good about 28. It's a good thing, too, because this year my birthday turned into a rather big deal, with celebrations spanning several days and involving various collections of people.
The festivities began with my boss taking me out to lunch on the 26th, my actual birthday. Dave gave me choice of restaurant, and I gravitated toward tapas (as I often do) at Mesón Sabika, a delightful restaurant set in a beautiful old mansion in Naperville. Dave invited Travis to join us, and we shared my favorite dishes (queso de cabra and datiles con tocino) and tried a few new ones as well (medallones de solomillo and polla al ajillo), along with the trusty stand-by, patatas con alioli. Yum! I topped it all off with a birthday profiterole.

As if that wasn't enough delicious food for one day, that evening was our family dinner at Buca di Beppo to celebrate my birthday and Tim's, which is the day before mine. The salad, pastas, and entree were delicious, and we wrapped things up with chocolate and vanilla gelato, which Buca serves by the pint along with an ice cream scoop and a painter's palette-type tray filled with cute petite ice cream cones. Forget pasta or pizza...gelato is Italy's greatest gift to the world.

Friday evening was spent with my new roommate, Melissa, and her family who were in town for a few days. Late Saturday morning I met up with Suzy to spectate at the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta in Glen Ellyn. We were there to cheer on our friend Jim, who along with 4 of his buddies has competed in the event for the last several years, winning various awards and distinctions. This year their cardboard creation was fashioned after an electric guitar. Measuring 35 feet in length and weighing over 300 lbs, it was a sight to behold on land. Sadly, it did not fare so well in the water. The guys exploded from the starting line and sped along the straightaway, but had difficulty turning at the first bouy. The wind and the water and the sheer weight of the boat did them in, and the crew got a rude introduction to the murky waters of Lake Ellyn. They went down, but they went down in style and greatly entertained the crowd, which was sad to see such an impressive boat unable to finish the course. You'll get 'em next year, Jim!

I went into Saturday evening anticipating surprise number One. Travis had been planning something for weeks, and although I am admittedly hard to surprise, he did a very good job of keeping me in the dark and throwing me off the scent. My only instructions were to show up at his house at 5:00 on Saturday, looking cute. I left my house early in order to beat the storm that was rolling in, and pulled into his parking lot at 4:30, almost ruining the whole surprise (though unbeknownst to me at the time). I was told to pull around the block and wait until I was summoned, which I did, brimming with curiosity. He came to collect me at 5:00 and led me up the back steps and into the which point I was confronted with 10 of my friends yelling "Surprise!" And indeed it was. I think it was probably a good 2-3 minutes before I could form an intelligible sentence and fully grasp the situation. Once I'd had a few minutes to reconcile my expectations with reality I recovered my ability to speak and started giving hugs all around. The party continued my the running "delicious international food" theme - Travis had ordered carry out tapas from Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, where we'd first met, and other friends had contributed sangria and sides and dessert. It was such a gift to spend time enjoying good food, talking, and playing games with friends I hadn't expected to see.

When it came time to open cards and gifts I learned the identity of birthday surprise #2, which Allison & Alex had planned months in advance. It was a ticket to see the Cirque du Soleil show Kooza the following night! I'd never been to a Cirque show, but had heard Allison & Alex and other friends rave about them, so I was super excited. The show was incredible. According to the production notes, Kooza "is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor." As such, it incorporates a lot more of the "traditional" acts you might associate with a circus--clowns, trapeze, high wire, juggling, acrobatics, contortionists, etc. However, being Cirque, these are all accomplished with great artistry, set to riveting live music, and follow a story thread that's woven through the whole show, beginning to end. I am now one of those people who would say that if you have the opportunity to see a Cirque du Soleil show, do it!

After the show, the birthday celebration continued and delicious international food made another appearance with dinner at Quartino, a restaurant that serves Italian food in the tradition of tapas--small plates for everyone to share. The food was excellent, and the gnocci especially stood out as probably the best I've ever had. Yum yum yum.

And so now it is the Wednesday after my birthday, and you'd think I'd be done celebrating, right? Nope! Yesterday I redeemed my coupon for free ice cream at Cold Stone and called it lunch, and tomorrow I'm meeting Bethany for a birthday dinner at Houlihans.
So, when all is said and done, my birthday has been VERY happy (and drawn out) and I'm reminded anew that I have truly WONDERFUL friends. And, I've probably gained a few pounds. :) (But it was worth it.) Thanks to all of my friends and family, both near and far, who celebrated with me!