unrequited narcissism

Archives: photos
Archives: photos
August 30, 2006
August 30, 2006
flickr mappr photos

i kind of love the new flickr mapping option. but you know what would be even better? if yahoo maps didn't SUCK ASS.

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June 22, 2006
June 22, 2006
this american podcast photos  - tech

Controversy! So, This American Life, the astoundingly good public radio show, finally got around to ditching the irredeemable RealAudio format for its online offerings and put everything up as mp3s. Geeks, doing what they do, immediately created podcast feeds out of this newfound bounty. Then the trouble began.

TAL seems to be run by nice and generous folks, but they sell their episodes through iTunes and Audible.com. They also give royalties to their contributors and the folks they license music from (they have good taste in music). These entanglements mean that they can't endorse the free downloading of permanent copies of their shows — although they seem to be okay with old episodes being streamed off of their website (they wrapped the new mp3s in m3u playlist files; for the non-tech-savvy, this would conceal the downloadability of the underlying mp3s and appear to be a stream-based offering).

TAL has begun contacting the folks who put up the podcast feeds and politely asking them to take their feeds down. The feed maintainers have all complied, so far as I know. But folks aren't uniformly happy about this, or convinced that TAL is unambiguously in the right. BoingBoing has been operating a clearinghouse for the resulting discussion. See here, here, here and here. Folks seem to be backing off due to their fondness for the show, but the copyfighting contingent isn't particularly happy.

That sums up my position pretty well, too. I'm conflicted about this. I love This American Life and I want it to survive. And, after reading this glowing profile, I'm pretty much ready to pledge my undying allegiance to Ira Glass.

On the other hand, I don't really believe in the idea that content producers have a right to restrict how their work is consumed after it's been given away in one format. Consumers shouldn't be begrudged the right to time-shift programming and consume it as they see fit. That's the underlying idea behind DRM, and it'll produce an incredibly irritating system for interacting with our culture if it's allowed to take hold.

So what to do? Compromise — and be discreet. The dopes who submitted their homebrew TAL feed to the iTunes Music Store had precisely the wrong idea. If TAL doesn't want other folks to decide their distribution system on their behalf, I suppose that's fine. So long as they don't bother those of us who quietly make use of technology to more easily enjoy their show, everyone should be happy. I'll admit that it's not a very democratic solution, but it seems like the best one available at the moment.

And on that note, if you happen to have a web hosting account available to you that can run PHP scripts, you might be interested in the one I whipped up this afternoon (you'll probably want to secure it from prying eyes). Also: shhh!

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June 16, 2006
June 16, 2006
flickr pimpin photos

check out this photo from miss andnotu. i've been obsessed with it since she posted it. it might be my favorite photo...EVER. it simultaneously breaks my heart and makes me happy.

second fave, of course, is the crazy apple car.

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June 14, 2006
June 14, 2006
creepy photos

i hope my brother's sub base in san diego is a wee bit more welcoming than this freaky russian one. (this link and the one below via waxy)

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June 13, 2006
June 13, 2006
EVEN MORE PHOTOS chicago  - photos

can you believe it?

just a note to say that i see that cappseus has been uploading pictures from his fine, fine trip to chicago at the end of april. (what kind of flickr delay is that, anyways? i start getting the shakes if i don't upload stuff to flickr in under eight hours.) this shot? we're probably posting to effing zunta or something. regardless, it's what we look like 75% of the time.

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June 11, 2006
June 11, 2006
la festa D.C.  - personal  - photos

the party? was teh awesome. a smaller crowd than we were anticipating showed up, but that was actually good because a) more time to talk to wonderful people and b) lots of leftover beer that we'll need help killing the rest of the week. highlights of the evening included seeing all the great regular zuntaparty folks plus a few new faces, getting to know some of the lovely echoditto crowd that have made tommy so happy these past months and meeting the absolutely charming becks, one of my favorite bloggers. i mean, any night that ends around 4:30am with a bottle of whiskey being passed around and a rousing episode of karaoke revolution can't be a bad one, right?

emily was particularly gung ho with tommy's camera last night so you can expect some flickr action soon. thanks so much to everybody who came out!

UPDATE: drew comes through with the first photos.

UPDATE II: here's tommy's set.

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June 10, 2006
June 10, 2006
ryan and lisa's wedding D.C.  - personal  - photos

tommy and i had the pleasure of attending ryan and lisa's wedding last night at the arts club of washington, and it was looooovely. everything about the ceremony was wonderful, including the vows that each of them wrote, which i usually pshaw. but tommy pointed out that it helps vows if you happen to be excellent writers. anyway, they both looked gloriously happy, the arts club was a beautiful setting, lisa was beautiful, the dinner was incredibly delicious, the cake (which was actually artfully arranged cupcakes from cake love) was actually....really good. i guess when you do let them sit out long enough they are, in fact, yummy, contrary to my previous thinking. the open bar was very open, and the dancing was fun. and one of my favorite parts of the evening? ryan, on his wedding day, was kind enough to bring me a stack of dcist temporary tattoos. god bless the boy.

photos here. frankly, a lot of them are really terrible - some because i didn't want to blind everyone with flash, some because i went on to get kinda drunk. but peruse freely!

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June 05, 2006
June 05, 2006
men in bear suits northwestern  - photos

my days lately:

aforementioned bear suits...yup.

pretty sailboats.

sand on the beach.

rehearsals in the forum.

trying on found necklaces.

packing.

being incredibly, incredibly sad about leaving chicago.

sigh.

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June 03, 2006
June 03, 2006
also more photos personal  - photos

i also just uploaded a bunch of photos to my flickr stream - most of me looking like a drunk ass, as usual, and i can't imagine you really want to see those. but i was walking around downtown chicago this afternoon on my way to a dinner party, and took some shots of that. the location of the dinner party was, i also thought, photo-worthy, as it was the corner condo of a building next to the drake hotel on lake shore drive with the most amazing view. here's the set of the evening.

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beach media personal  - photos

I've finally got all of my photos from the beach uploaded — you can find them here, if you're so inclined.

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't link to DOG V. CRAB, the video sensation that's sweeping the internet. The two combatants both struggled for victory. The real winner? The viewing public.

The video portrays just a small part of the overall fight. Credit to Genevieve for capturing as much she did; Wreck had already cornered a ghost crab behind some fencing earlier in the day, but nobody expected him to find another one. He sniffed and jabbed for a while as the crab warily snapped at his nose — I thought it could go either way at that point. But one quick lunge from Wreck wrapped things up decisively.

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May 24, 2006
May 24, 2006
i love the flickr italy  - photos

because i don't have enough to do as it is, i suddenly got the urge to upload all of my photos that live on the blog to flickr. just for safety's sake. the first ones to go are some taken in italy over the past three or four years - you can see the beginnings of my uploading effort here. they're pretty disorganized, though.

sigh. what did we even do before flickr?

UPDATE: there are just a crapload of new pictures up there, so you may as well click through on all of them. this one is a favorite. I LOVE TED LEO.

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May 06, 2006
May 06, 2006
cinco de mayo chicago  - northwestern  - photos

what happens when some medill folks head to the sketchiest bar in evanston on cinco de mayo? well, actually, not that much. mostly they drink a ton of beer and play pool badly.

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May 01, 2006
May 01, 2006
yippee chicago  - photos

photographic evidence that the two lads were here and duly squired.

the weekend also provided the opportunity to meet up with several unfogged folks and dan from iconoduel, and everyone was wonderful. have i mentioned how much i love the internet?

the only crappy thing was the sucktastic experiences both tommy and kriston had getting out of the city. kriston's account is here; tommy took a cab this morning at 5am to ostensibly catch his 6:30am flight...which ended up being instead at something like 11:30am. fabulous.

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April 23, 2006
April 23, 2006
snakes on a mural chicago  - photos

so a lot of the el stops as you go along the purple line up to evanston have murals hung on the platform walls. i don't know who commissioned them, who painted them, or when they were put up, but they all have one grand unifying factor: they are so awful, both in painting and in subject matter, that they make your eyes bleed. but i think this one, at the dempster stop, is the worst offender:

what in the world is going on here? we've got a floating rhienoceros head, an enormous evil rattlesnake, weird silhouettes and faces, and some landscape that looks like a second-grader painted it. what exactly might have been going through the artist's mind during the creation of this shot? the answer is probably: lots and lots of bad acid.

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brewers, ho! misc  - photos

so some brave classmates and i attended a a milwaukee brewers game yesterday, where the following things happened: the brewers tied an MLB record for the most homeruns hit in one inning (five); we went on an epic hunt for wisconsin custard; and catherine drank 32 beers. the backhanded compliment of the day? from a 22-year-old: "you sure can hold your liquor for somebody who's been out of undergradute for so long!" yes, i'm cementing my reputation as the old lush, thanks very much. anyway, it was a rollicking good time. photos may be perused here.

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April 10, 2006
April 10, 2006
adventures in tourism photos

if you're into photos taken from a weird perspective from a boat, or stained glass windows, i think i might have just the thing!

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because first and foremost, the net is about time-wasting D.C.  - photos

You can watch the progress of today's immigration protest via DDOT's traffic cameras. Looks like the crowd has made its way down 16th to Scott Circle as of now (3:50 PM).

pro-immigration marchers

pro-immigration marchers

pro-immigration marchers

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April 07, 2006
April 07, 2006
graphic violence photos  - tech

We have to talk, fellow children of the internet. I think that, by and large, you're all doing a bang-up job of building out this new digital commons. It'll soon come to define our planet's culture for the foreseeable future, and we're off to what I would call a solid, monkey-punching start.

But we do have a big problem. The images, people. Many of you abuse them shamelessly, as if you somehow don't know or care about the difference between a GIF and JPEG. I have a hard time even conceiving of this possibility, to be honest. But since I run into this a lot, both with new DCist contributors and with submitted press releases, I thought I might as well write something up explaining how different graphical formats work, and what situations you should use them in.

MORE...
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April 06, 2006
April 06, 2006
clearing out the flickr crap photos

It turns out that the replacement Sidekick I got a few weeks ago has a much better camera than the old one. Not resolution-wise, mind you, just not-having-a-purple-tinge-on-one-side-wise. Of course, crappiness wouldn't have stopped me from foisting these shots on an unsuspecting world. But now, even if you find them boring, they're undeniably not that purple.

First, barbeque-sauce-shopping: harder than you'd think.

canadian club

Canadian Club? Are you sure that isn't a brand of terrible whiskey bought by high school kids? Perhaps this sauce is a horrifying byproduct of the distillation process. I just don't know. But Canada seems to be asking for us to put our BBQ trust in them. I'm sorry guys, but you haven't earned it. Nobody talks about Quebec-style ribs.

it's the same, but different

I can imagine the meeting behind this label perfectly:

Person A: We need to sell people on the great taste our new recipe.
Person B: Yeah, but I'm worried about losing people who like the taste the way it is.
Person A: Hmm. Yeah. Seems like we're kind of at odds here.

Six dry-erase-fume-filled hours later

Person B: ... So yeah, I totally think we can say that.
Person A: Yeah, when you think about it, flavor and taste are really two distinct things.
Person B: Right.
Person A: Right. Totally. Okay, great, let's get Person C to do some comps.

celebrity cleaning?

"Celebrity Cleaning"? "By Referral Only"? I'm mystified. What, do you think they show up in, like, costumes? I'm thinking it's like in L.A. Confidential, but with mops. Huh. I honestly don't know what celebrity I'd most like to have clean my windows. Seems like the kind of question one should have an answer for.

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March 14, 2006
March 14, 2006
i'm easy to please photos

spell with flickr. this makes me happy.

catherine.

CcAaTHERI 017NE
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March 07, 2006
March 07, 2006
shifty photos

i wrote about the weirdness/awesomeness of tilt-shift photography a little while back. now, the flickr blog points me towards a whole group dedicated to the effect, which makes real-life subjects look like tiny, creepy miniatures. it's super neat.

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February 27, 2006
February 27, 2006
for the photographers photos  - tech

My SMS project remains in limbo — the Gammu project maintainer and I have been emailing back and forth, but I'm not optimistic about getting the software working with my phone. Most likely I'll have to buy a cheap, old, maximally-compatible model off of Ebay. Oh well. I'll give him another week.

Other projects are also frustrating: my VGA to NTSC converter has mysteriously died, putting the planned Linux reinstall on hold until I collect a monitor. I owe everyone a final Python tutorial, but more for the sake of completeness than anything else — I think I underestimated the scope of the project. I'm not feeling up to it quite yet.

So, lacking anything immediate that I can work on (or, more accurately, that I want to work on), I'm thinking about learning ActionScript, Flash's built-in language. Mostly I just want to screw around with Flashr and write something that talks to Flickr — a little slideshow for the sidebar that automatically grabs new photos from Catherine & my photostreams, maybe? That'd be kind of neat.

Anyway, in the course of looking through other people's code I came across SimpleViewer. It's not what I want — it's a full-featured photo gallery, not a sidebar widget. Besides, what I'm after most is a learning exercise. But it is a pretty slick slideshow app. And it's free! Any photographers out there (I know there are at least a couple) could do worse than to use this on their portfolio sites. Those of us unconcerned with publication rights and hotlinking ought to eschew the razzle-dazzle and stick with permalink-able formats, of course.

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voila D.C.  - photos

a few of my photos from the trip to d.c. are up, if you're into that sort of thing.

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the case for isolationism photos

Weird, weird, weird.

Via Emily, Justin, Metafilter, Internet, France, etc.

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February 24, 2006
February 24, 2006
unbuckled evidence D.C.  - music  - photos

tommy's got a bunch of great photos up. unfortunately, my flight was delayed so i missed all of olivia mancini and the housemates' set. i would like to say i had an opinion of the hard tomorrows, but frankly, i was too busy being one of those annoying people who talks at concerts because i was so eager to catch up with everybody. so i didn't really pay attention. but everyone else thought they were excellent. hooray!

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February 16, 2006
February 16, 2006
i've been working on the donut, all the live long day photos

these photos are double good: they're adorable, and they really, really make me want a chocolate eclair.

(via waxy)

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January 25, 2006
January 25, 2006
soft rock hard abs personal  - photos

mix 107.3 logo projected onto a brick wallThis was projected on the outside of the YMCA tonight, as the radio station held an "open house" in the lobby. I really think I should get a discount on my membership dues for this. I go to the gym in an increasingly feeble attempt to feel like a badass. It's not going to help matters if my chosen location for manly endeavors starts trying to associate itself with John Mayer.

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January 22, 2006
January 22, 2006
photo links photos

normally, knowing about negative two cents' worth of art, i leave all the linkage and commentary to the capps (happy birthday, by the way, old man! join my ancient ranks!). but i recently came across two photographers whose stuff is, i think, pretty awesome, so i wanted to put them here:

the bizarre/beautiful child portraiture of loretta lux

creepily fake-looking aerial photographs of cities and other structures by olivo barbieri (via waxy)

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January 20, 2006
January 20, 2006
spin photos

it goes without saying that whatever shows up on the flickr blog is going to be a good shot, but this one is particularly beautiful.

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January 16, 2006
January 16, 2006
matera italy  - photos

my flickr contact mafaldablue posted a beautiful set of photos of matera, which is one of my favorite places in italy. it's the cave town. you can read some info i've wriitten about matera here, and see some photos i took here (captions include "you've got dead monk on your ass," so you know it's worth it).

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January 02, 2006
January 02, 2006
2005, we bid you farewell D.C.  - photos

my new year's eve photo set is up. there are captions, so click through on them!

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December 26, 2005
December 26, 2005
merry photos! photos

updated my flickr stream with some holiday photos, if you're into that sort of thing. yay christmas!

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December 24, 2005
December 24, 2005
bon anniversaire grandpere photos

last night was my grandfather's 81st birthday. he and my grandmother (who celebrated her 81st a month ago) are in town for the holidays. so my family and my uncle's family got together to celebrate the only proper way: with a crapload of food and a bouche de noel sent straight from the devil:

the bouche de noel elf of death
hello, i'm the bouche de noel elf of death, and i'm going to ride this candle like a rocket straight into your face.

the bouche was so tasty, as much as the elf scared me. you can see a set of photos of it here.

today involves some last-minute shopping (i thought so smugly i was set, but i should have known better), maybe some viewing of the redskins game, and then another big ass meal. merry christmas to you and yours!

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December 23, 2005
December 23, 2005
shopping! personal  - photos

Yesterday we went to Pentagon City Mall to do some Christmas shopping. I was a miserable failure. All I managed to buy was a bag of chocolates for Catherine, then a stack of DVD-R blanks and an SD card reader for myself. But I now have plans! Good plans — no, very good plans. In fact, I'd go so far as to characterize them as some of my best laid plans. Doubtless everything will go flawlessly.

But on the off chance that it doesn't, it will be because I don't deserve for it to. Christmas shopping is a karmic investment, and yesterday — since we were shopping in the middle of a weekday — simply wasn't bad enough to earn me a happy holiday. Normally my yuletide mall experience transitions smoothly and rapidly from laserlike focus; to fatigued despair; to agoraphobic dread; to bottomless hatred for my fat fellow consumers as they amble mindlessly into my way, their meanderings every bit as slow and pointless as the path of a child's bowling ball as it slides down a lane with closed-off gutters. It's not that my own materialistic existence is any less existentially depressing, it's just that it involves walking quickly and in straight lines.

But like I said: there wasn't as much mall-based misanthropy this year. I didn't get anything but pictures, though.

Bougie
Who else thinks L'Occitane changed the spelling just so they don't have to give Borf a cut?

Dawson fit
If someone told me that "Dawson Fit" means something unrelated to the television show, I would probably believe them. Still, surely there are other ways to express whatever it is that "Dawson Fit" expresses. But no — the sickness deeply rooted in the brainpans of the Banana Republic corporate office chose to go with "Dawson". Man, I hate that store. The clothes are fine, but the aesthetic is strange. J Crew: comfortably in the "look, my dad can fire your dad!" aesthetic, it can be safely ignored. Gap: expresses the "I wish I wished I was a rock star" ethos/hypocrisy that fits me so well. What is BR's driving theme? Clothes that won't make you look out of place in the hi-tech, totalitarian city-states of the not-too-distant future? That's the best I can come up with.

boy meets boy meets world
I desperately want someone to read this, head to Barnes & Noble, and make a terrible mistake.

Today: Best Buy, aka "throwing money at the problem". Wish me luck.

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December 13, 2005
December 13, 2005
cute overload photos

if you're sick of cute butterstick, you can go to this site, devoted exclusively to photos of adorable little animals. ben wolfson, are you in the habit of checking out kitten pics?

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la famiglia personal  - photos

after tommy posted that enormous, terrifying, veiny-handed, panda-psychosis-induced photo of me below (thanks boyfriend!) i feel compelled to link to my flickr stream, where just this afternoon i uploaded a backlog of photos of me and my eminently photogenic family and fat doggie from thanksgiving. i can't believe my brother's in the navy and my sister will head to uva soon. lord, i'm old!

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oh panda my panda D.C.  - photos

tommy, charles and i hit up the butterstick exhibit today, and boy howdy, it was great. not that i'd have expected anything else. we had to wait in line for about ten minutes, and there was palpable tension between the 12:20 group (us) and the 12:30 group when it seemed apparently that some from the later group might try to sneak ahead of us devotees who DESERVED TO BE FIRST. i thought a panda riot might break out.

anywhere, when we got in the viewing room, butterstick had apparently ensconced himself behind a rock, impossible to even get a glimpse of, and the guide told us to wait for a few minutes for he would surely come out. my heart sank when nothing happened, because i definitely thought the zoo would shrug and say, tough shit, panda lovers, you'll have to come back another time because we are sure not as hell going to disturb our goldmine of panda fur from his beauty rest. but they did! yay! a zoo worker came in, scooped up butterstick and brought him to the front of the glass for a walk-by viewing. the collective "OOOOHHHH" that escaped from everybody's mouths, from the 3-year-olds to the grandpas, was truly adorable. i told tommy that if only we'd send baby pandas to iraq, everything would be hunky dory there in a few days. then the zoo worker placed him on a rock where he rolled about and collapsed his head in his paws, like, "holy CHRIST, these people, with the camera flashing, do they EVER FUCKING STOP?" then he rolled himself off the rock into a pile of hay and went to hide behind a different corner. butterstick was sleepy. we all went to the panda video monitor station and watched him on the tv as he tried to find a comfy position to nap in. he was beyootiful. then i went and bought a butterstick magnet from the shop, though i could have had my choice of 32 billion iterations of the stuffed panda. not to mention butterstick xmas cards. too bad i already bought mine.

after the panda viewing tommy and i went a little crazy and visited the great apes, the small animals and the reptiles, along with the bonkers toddler elephant who spent the entire afternoon maniacally playing with a hollow metal ball chained to the wall. guess things get lonely when you're not the adored baby panda. aw.

UPDATE: unrelated, sort of, but the flickrblog pointed me towards these amazing monkey photos - go here, enter the site, and click on the monkey photo. go through them all - they're really profoundly strange and beautiful.

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November 20, 2005
November 20, 2005
backblog photos

Yet more content! Sort of. I've finally gotten around to dumping some pictures onto Flickr. Including:

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November 16, 2005
November 16, 2005
so fuzzy chicago  - photos

the one good thing about this?

mofosnow.jpg

getting to wear this (purchased over the summer in florence. in fact, i pretty much based my entire decision to move to chicago on the fact that i own this hat):

furry hat 002 furry hat 011

i am fully aware of the ridiculosity, but am also fully aware that it feels like i'm wearing an awesome, warm, baby panda on my head.

(when in reality is really just a baby rabbit and cow)

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November 12, 2005
November 12, 2005
mission accomplished blog  - personal  - photos

Alright — I think everything is working. Not only are we on MT 3.2, but I've upgraded from using the filesystem-based Berkeley DB to MySQL. What does this mean? Basically nothing. But backing stuff up will now be marginally easier. Also worth noting is that 3.2 is supposed to cost money, but I somehow downloaded it from Movable Type's website without them remembering to ask for a credit card. And the download shows up in my account "purchases" section and everything! So: shhh!

In other news, Charles bought a fish. We're not naming him until he proves he can make it through the weekend without dying.

fishy!
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November 03, 2005
November 03, 2005
and you thought it was a scam photos

butterstick tee

Cheney-style sneer/smile not included. Also, my arm is not actually exploding into an Akira-style monstrosity. But the shirt is as pictured!

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October 30, 2005
October 30, 2005
postween photos

i have to give d.c. the upper hand on costumes, based on tommy's photos, but just for fun, here are a few from my night.

also, an interesting aside: that black wig is apparently the magical key to getting hit on by the women. who knew? does it make me look like a lesbian? i guess i'll never know.

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we have a winner D.C.  - personal  - photos

Last night was interesting. We made it to a good party, a great party, and a bar. More on the parties in a sec. First, the costumes. Adams Morgan turned out to have the best ones. We met all of the folks pictured on the street, and all in quick succession.


I hope you'll all agree that this is the year's clear winner.

MORE...
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October 29, 2005
October 29, 2005
yes, we know it's halloween photos

Last night Charles, Matt, Kriston and I headed over to Julian's Halloween party. A good time was had, pictures were taken, schemes were hatched.


A zombie Pope? A zombie Mormon? Sweet zombie Jesus!

MORE...
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October 24, 2005
October 24, 2005
teh photo hotness photos

for anyone interested (which is, like, all of you, you know it), i've got some new photos up on flickr, mostly of my apartment. they've got captions, in lieu of me posting them on the blog and then writing about them, so go read them! and leave comments! on the photos! or here!

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October 20, 2005
October 20, 2005
from yesterday's mail photos

Solicitation from Catherine from the AARP

She did kind of ask for it.

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October 16, 2005
October 16, 2005
faux pom photos

outlive your spouse

So, um... is this really a selling point?

"Pomegranate is the only juice that promises a decline that's both lengthy and lonely. Bury your loved ones — with the power of Pom!"

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October 07, 2005
October 07, 2005
hairy arms, hairy arms, what are they feeding you photos

i was recently added as a contact by this person, a 23-year-old girl who finds hairy women (and their arms) to be sexy.

this confuses me. my arms are not particularly hairy. right? witness this photo. my baby fine blond hair on my arm is nowhere to be seen. it is practically invisible!

then why would i be added by somebody who finds photos like this attractive? (not that there's anything wrong with hairy arms. but the sexual aspect is...weird. right? it's weird, isn't it?)

now i am full of doubt.

comments [3] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
September 16, 2005
September 16, 2005
cupcake battles chicago  - food  - photos

everybody in d.c. knows about cakelove, and everybody in d.c. has an opinion on it. the bakery specializes in gourmet cakes and particularly cupcakes, both of which will run you a pretty penny. personally, i agree with many others that the cupcakes are entirely overrated (can't speak as to the cakes) - the cake is dry, the icing is a cold slab of butter, and you generally feel like you've been ripped off $3. but some people love 'em. those people are crazy.

well, when i was out running errands today i decided to try out another gourmet cupcake shop that's at the end of my street. it's called cupcakes, and it's run by some physicist-turned-baker chick. it's a postage-stamp-sized bit of a store, decorated with clouds and white tile and other cutesiness. the cupcakes are also $3, and you've got the same variety of traditional+wacky flavors that cakelove has. i chose the double chocolate and the red velvet; they were packed up in cute little boxes and i came home to eat them as my afternoon snack and part of my apparent general plan to get extraordinarily fat in chicago.

well, yum. these cupcakes take the cake. hahahaha. no, seriously, they were stupendous. they're not refrigerated, so the icing isn't rock-hard when you eat it. it's the same type of icing as the cakelove cupcakes - italian buttercream - but it's much more flavorful and smoother. the cake part of the concoction is also moist and delish. overall they're smaller than the cakelove cupcakes, but of much higher quality. so suck on that, warren brown.

comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 31, 2005
August 31, 2005
oohs and ahhs food  - photos

oohsandahhs
Originally uploaded by CatherineA.
susan did the right thing when she picked oohs and aahs as her last american meal before heading out to georgia. tommy and i picked up some takeout tonight, and, as usual, it was delicious. their mac and cheese cannot be recommended highly enough. check it out on 10th and U streets NW.
comments [5] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
August 30, 2005
August 30, 2005
streetastic photos

for those of you who were interested in the whole "art or not" aspect of the borf escapades, there's now streetsy, a blog covering street art and graffiti. (launched by gothamist guru jake dobkin)

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wow photos

check out these shots of the eye of hurricane katrina from a flickr user. it's such a shock that something so beautiful and peaceful from above could be causing such terror and devastation below. (cliche city, here i come.)

anyway, many more flickr shots of katrina and her aftermath can be found here.

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August 26, 2005
August 26, 2005
summer twilight photos

just thought the sky outside the apartment looked neat tonight:

happy weekend, everybody!

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roocentricity D.C.  - photos

The Australian embassy, located on Scott Circle, is one of my favorites. Not because it's a particularly attractive building, but because it's got this thing sitting outside of it.

sculpture outside the australian embassy

This is the sculpture of a country that's comfortable in its own skin. What do you think of when you hear "Australia"? Weird animals. Also, some vague British bullshit. Maybe.

And that's exactly what they put on the sign outside of the building chosen to represent their country to the world (presumably the sculpture will be replaced with Paul Hogan's bronzed corpse when it becomes available). I admire Australians' forthrightness about this, because it's a quality that we're obviously lacking. You can bet there aren't any US embassies boasting sculptures of Yosemite Sam firing his pistols atop a McDonald's logo.

comments [10] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
August 22, 2005
August 22, 2005
the visual arts in DC D.C.  - photos

beaded badge holders

I have a hunch that a lot of government contractors work near Crystal City. But of course it might just be my imagination.

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August 17, 2005
August 17, 2005
travel photos photos

the washington post travel section readers' photos contest results are up. i love this kind of stuff. i've never submitted an image, mostly because a) they're not up to snuff and b) they rarely feature people, and almost all of the post's winners always have people in them. anyway, if i were having my own personal best travel shots of catherine, i would select the following (and i picked a lot, not cause i think my photos are awesome, but because i got on a whole retarded hugely nostalgic photo browsing thing and had to pick every one:

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August 15, 2005
August 15, 2005
viva vermont photos

you can check out my vermont photos heah.

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August 09, 2005
August 09, 2005
flickr faves photos

if anybody is looking for pretty desktop wallpapers (i'm obsessed with switching up my desktop for some reason, i dunno why), you can check out my flickr favorites page. most of the pictures on there are large enough to use as wallpaper. they're also mostly of italy, because, well, it's me. but i think they're pretty. this is my current one.

favorites.jpg
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August 02, 2005
August 02, 2005
purty photos

i guarantee your day will be a little brighter if you set this to be your desktop wallpaper.

(via one of the awesome new flickr features, interestingness.)

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July 29, 2005
July 29, 2005
i have become all that i once hated photos

you used to be cool

comments [11] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
June 27, 2005
June 27, 2005
photos from scott photos
Scott emailed me a few pictures, and said it'd be okay to share 'em with the internet. So here you go. Click on the photos for full-sized versions.

scott w/ some pot plants
And I bet you thought Afghanistan was just full of poppies

airstrike
"myself and Cpl Owen as we watch close air support give some bad guys a bad day"

on patrol with the Afghan military
"me and some of the Afghan National Army soldiers after we did a joint patrol in a really hairy area"

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June 23, 2005
June 23, 2005
your everyday pluot photos

pluots - conventional


I guess I know what they're getting at...

comments [2] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
June 17, 2005
June 17, 2005
problematically good photos

Wal-mart and other digital photo printers are starting to refuse service to folks whose photos are deemed to look too professional; they're worried about infringing professionals' copyrights when folks download photos from the net and head to walmart for a cheap reprint. Better watch out, Matt.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
June 16, 2005
June 16, 2005
yucca food  - photos

yucca

This unpleasant looking root is a yucca. Well, not really -- it's a manioc, but everyone calls it yucca, despite yucca actually being something that's not only completely different, but also inedible.

At any rate, this weekend I think I'm going to try to fry up a few of these suckers ala Crisp & Juicy. But the internet is oddly silent on how to go about this. Everyone seems to agree that I should peel it, but I could pretty well figure that out on my own. There's a fibrous inner core that some sites say to remove and about which others say nothing; some folks say to boil it before frying, others seem to think you can plop it right in the oil.

In fact, the only clear information I can find is Google's persistent suggestion that I "oven fry" it. I won't dignify that with a response.

So the pictured vegetable is an experimental root. I'll let you know how it goes.

comments [10] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
June 15, 2005
June 15, 2005
gayest photo ever? photos

Rainbow over the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters

A rainbow over the Human Rights Campaign HQ. Taken on Monday.

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June 10, 2005
June 10, 2005
southside outside westside let's ride personal  - photos

That's right: the above lyric is from a mobile phone commercial. Which should tell you something about my knowledge of rap. My knowledge of Chicago is pretty similar -- I've been here once before, but I was what, twelve? I went to the top of a big building, I stayed in a nice hotel, and I ate a pizza that was thiiiiis big. Well, this time I plan to pretty much do the same thing. But I'll be drinking more.

After Catherine and I got in and rendezvoused with the rest of the crowd we grabbed Charles and split off, then wandered around the city a bit. We had some authentic Chicagoan Potbelly sandwiches (the deep-dish comes tonight); bought the requisite spirit-crushing graduation card (we're here to see Charles' little sister Jo get her BA); and went to the top of the Hancock Building and had high-priced drinks in a high-class, high-positioned bar among our decidedly low-class tourist peers. Tank tops and hairy shoulders abounded; for maybe the third time in my life I counted as relatively well-dressed without there being an affianced or dead person nearby.

But now our room is ready, so we've retreated into the AC. Also, there are beers and seats here. And after getting 4 hours of sleep the previous night, I'm ready to take it easy. There's drinking and eating to be done soon, after all. We need our rest.

the river

But we did see some sights, and here's one of them. It's a river of some sort, maybe? Let me know if I'm dishing out Chicago trivia too quickly. My cameraphone didn't seem to capture this, but it seemed pretty green already -- do you guys really need to dump thousands of gallons of dye into it every year just to make it marginally greener?

comments [4] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
June 01, 2005
June 01, 2005
even more photos! photos

i know i've been bombarding you, but brian's italy photos are finally online! and they're lovely. check 'em out.

UPDATE: and julie's!

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May 31, 2005
May 31, 2005
da beach! photos

obx2005 046
Originally uploaded by CatherineA.
a few (mostly uninteresting) pictures of the beach trip to the outer banks are up. sorry, folks. was too busy sunning, drinking, and eating 97 pounds of food (the amount nicole richie weighs) to take many more.
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uva rotc photos

peter's graduation 018
Originally uploaded by CatherineA.
finally, pictures of peter's commissioning and graduation are up! coming next: beach weekend 2005 shots.
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May 23, 2005
May 23, 2005
by viewing this you waive your right to sue photos

our railingless deck Yesterday, as part of our post-fire agreement with our landlord, we assisted in the partial demolition of our deck. So as you can see, we currently don't have much of a railing, and in fact have added a few rusty nails to the equation.

"But Tom," you're saying to yourself, "What does this have to do with me? Surely you don't think that I, a sophisticated, intelligent, lovely and/or virile young person, would be so foolish as to consume alcohol, go outside for a smoke, and tumble fifteen or so feet onto the bricks below?"

Well, yes. Certainly you wouldn't do it. We've talked about it, and everyone agrees that you're a promising young person with a bright future ahead of you, one filled with days of wine and not falling off of things. But I can't help remembering my friend Rob Zalkind, with whom I was sharing a chairlift when he leaned forward and, well, kept on leaning, falling thirty or forty feet*, to the considerable surprise and dismay of his mother (motivated only partially by one of her skis getting knocked off in the process).

Anyway, Rob was fine. When we got down to him he was lying on his back, laughing and repeating "I'm so dumb" over and over. But in fact he went on to get a perfect score on the SATs (for which I will never, ever forgive him). So there you have it. Rob Zalkind: objectively non-dumb, yet still entirely capable of falling off of things. Maybe we'll put up some rope or something.

* this is not an exaggeration

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May 21, 2005
May 21, 2005
words fail photos

jon being awesome

This is my friend Jon doing a handstand in the Grand Ole Opry. I'm not sure what else to say about that.

(except that he has more pictures of his trip west here)

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May 04, 2005
May 04, 2005
for le voyeurs italy  - photos  - travel

for those who missed the earlier post:

naomi's italy photos are here.
sara's are here.
and now, teresa's are here.

sorry for the lack of blogging. i really do want to write about the villa and creepy cortona and creepier etruscans. but a week sans catherine, and work is falling apart! well, minorly. well, not at all. but there is stuff to be done. see you at the DCist happy hour!

posted by catherine - link
May 02, 2005
May 02, 2005
the competition photos
the competition

Alright Italy: we're setting the bar for scenic beauty pretty low. This
should be an easy one...

Also, Dulles? Graceful architectural statement my ass. It's actually
just undersized and inconvenient. Any airport that prevents me from
purchasing preflight fast food clearly has some serious conceptual
flaws.

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well, that was easy photos
well, that was easy

As you might be able to see from this photo, even the goddamn airport
field was beautiful. A few stressful hours after this was shot we were
at the villa.

Pluses: it's beautiful, it's got two kitchens, and it comes with its own
chickens. Minuses: it's a little cold, and it's fairly inaccessible.
First gear is just barely able to lug a car full of bodies up the hills,
and to do so you have to decide whether you'd rather smell burning tires
or burning clutch. Thankfully Julie and Jamie have been doing a great
job zooming around the narrow hillside roads.

As for me, all of my manual transmission preparation paid off: I was
able to back the car out of its space in the rental lot with ease.
Moving forward, however, proved to be an overly ambitious goal. Julie
took over, and generously minimized the emasculation involved by assured
everyone that the clutch was unusually difficult. Thanks Julie!

We managed to stay mostly conscious, were allowed to check in early by
the villa's charming caretaker, and had a good meal and plenty of wine
in the evening. All in all, a promising start.

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le foto! italy  - photos  - travel

the first of the photos have started to trickle in - naomi's 184 are posted here. enjoy!

PS - it seems a couple of flickr posts have decided to republish themselves. i'm not sure why, but take a second to reread the english translation at the agip gas station in cortona. if it hadn't cost me 30 extra euro, i'd find it HYSTERICAL. select the wanted bomb!

PSII - deleted the repeated flickr posts.

PSIII - the lovely sara, one of the three ladies on our trip who drove stick for hours on end without complaining, has posted her photos here.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
April 11, 2005
April 11, 2005
pretty! photos

IMG_1906.jpg

IMG_1906.jpg

IMG_1906.jpg

IMG_1906.jpg

and naomi and me at the soft opening of avenue:

IMG_1916.jpg

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actually good photos photos

If you're craving photos without noise, focus problems or a persistent blue tint on the lefthand side, have a look at Jeff and Marie's photos of their trip to Japan. Lots of good stuff there, and plenty of posed peace signs -- which are actually V-for-victory signs adopted from conquering US soldiers. What, you thought giant radioactive lizard fantasies were the only outet for their a-bomb neuroses?

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
what's that? photos

Did somebody say "crappy cameraphone pictures"?

No?

Well, that's a pity.

catherine_giant_fish.jpg

Here's a shot of Catherine in front of the Arapaima. It doesn't quite capture the the fact that these fish are about six feet long, nor the associated pants-wetting terror of it all.

fish.jpg

More fish!

star_wars.jpg

Saturday night's long-talked-about Star Wars trivia throwdown between Kriston and Katie. Susan and Catherine both found excuses for temporarily leaving the party this time... how odd. Most of the rest of us sat around and made side-bets. I see no need to recount the exact details of what occurred, except to note that Kriston is a big disappointment and owes me a dollar.

borf.jpg

And finally, if Borf ever records a techno album, the cover will look like this.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by tom - link
March 23, 2005
March 23, 2005
flowers and poo... photos

...because they go together like pb&j, obviously!

tonight, for no reason, tommy bought me pretty tulips and took me out to heritage india for dinner (it was super yummy).

flowers 001.jpg

flowers 002.jpg

and how did i repay him? by sending him this link to a story about poop.

i am an awesome girlfriend.

no, seriously, go read it. you'll laugh your ass off. poo in a dixe cup - oh lord!

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
March 20, 2005
March 20, 2005
wedding! photos

my flickr stream of jason and corbin's wedding! despite all my bitching, it was lovely, and we had a great time. i didn't even get drunk and ruin everything. now the happy couple is on a cruise in the east caribbean, and i'm a gonna go for a bike ride.

you can also see naomi's photos here.

comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
February 26, 2005
February 26, 2005
roof photos

today kriston, charles, reid and i went on over to the national gallery of art to see andy goldsworthy's latest project, Roof.

British artist Andy Goldsworthy, along with his assistant and a team of workers including four dry-stone wallers from Britain, is installing a sculpture entitled Roof, which will comprise several hollow, low-profile domes of stacked slate, each with a centered oculus. While Goldsworthy has been using domes in his work in a variety of natural materials since the late 1970s, here he brings the domical form into a new context, scale, and visual perspective. By positioning Roof on the ground and by using Buckingham Virginia slate as his construction material, the artist creates a counterpoint to an architectural form in the capital's skyline, and a reference to a building stone found locally on the roofs of the Smithsonian Castle and Ford's Theater, among others. At the same time, he draws attention to the underlying geological origins of this and other urban centers.

Goldsworthy's long engagement with the dome, a form that itself follows a trajectory that includes Neolithic burial chambers and dwelling cairns, ancient Roman and Byzantine structures, and Enlightenment architecture and modern public buildings, parallels his interest in the markers of human passage through time.

kriston had called the NGA the day before and they said the work was still being built, which was good - we wanted to see it in progress. unfortunately, when we got there today, it was apparently finished and there was nary a person to be seen still constructing. it was actually a fairly disappointing experience, i thought. there wasn't a good way to interact with or view the domes (you could only see them through glass windows from a distance). it just didn't have a terribly strong impact, but i'm glad we saw it anyway. pictures follow. you can also visit listenmissy.com to see some pictures of the work as it was being built.

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neverneverland photos

taken near the 9:30 club the night before the wilco show.

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big night out at big hunt photos

10 days after his actually 25th birthday, tommy and co. finally made it out for some celebrations at the big hunt in dupont circle. the photos that follow are what happen when a) you're in the red, low-lit basement of the big hunt b) you forgot to put the flash on and c) you're really too drunk to work the camera properly.

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comments [1] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
February 16, 2005
February 16, 2005
true love is a big raw piece of meat food  - photos

i forgot to post this earlier, but for valentine's day, instead of joining the d.c. ratrace to obtain an exclusive table at a high-class restaurant, tommy and i cooked our own little slice of heaven right here on O street. on the menu? salad with red onion, feta, mandarin oranges, and almonds; rosemary and garlic roast lamb; polenta with gorgonzola; and strawberries with chocolate zabaglione. photos of our attempts at culinary greatness follow.

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February 07, 2005
February 07, 2005
not bad for a monday D.C.  - photos

turns out d.c. is a rather lovely city to live in, especially when you've more or less got the day off of work and the weather outside is spring-in-february. tommy and i took the opportunity to ride the metro up to the national zoo, mostly because i was just about dying to see the four new baby cheetahs. the tiny little furballs were out, but since they were just in their faraway cage, i couldn't really get any good photos of them. doesn't matter. just check out this set of thumbnails and prepare to die at their cuteness.

we went on to check out the elephant house (which strangely also houses giraffes, hippos, and the nasty, nasty capybara, which is apparently the largest rodent in the world; some weirdo has archived a whole set of photos of the capybaras' original arrival at the d.c. zoo).

tommy had to leave soon thereafter, but i spent a while more, just roaming around the zoo and taking bad photos (you can see my flickr set here), and marvelling at the pure weirdness of animals. i mean, i haven't been to the zoo in over a decade so i'm not used to checking out wildlife close up, but really, does anyone sometimes look at a giraffe or hippo or seal, and think, "holy fuck, that is one crazy-looking thing?" it's like when you say a word several times over and it loses all meaning; staring into the eyes of a hippo has the same effect. and it can TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN.

anyway, after my mind-trip at the zoo, i walked back home (yes, i walked from up on connecticut down to shaw; i couldn't help it. it was gorgeous outside, and it's only about 2.5 miles, and i really needed to do something to get rid of my gut from eating two pizzas and 376 wings the night before while watching the superbowl). i cleaned up around the house a little bit, tommy headed off to meet charles and matt to watch a wizards game, so i have the house to myself, am listening to "the tyranny of distance" and "i'm wide awake, it's morning," and drinking several glasses of chianti. a very nice monday, overall. and after spending almost the entire day at the zoo, where i hadn't been since middle school, i'm inspired to go check out other classic d.c. establishments where i never take the chance to go. so tomorrow, perhaps the air and space museum? the botanical gardens? um, shopping in georgetown? that's totally classic.

also noted: this advertisement in the metro.

UPDATE: if you go RIGHT NOW to the cheetah cam, you can see them sleeping, wrapped up into four little fuzzballs in a row, and IT IS SO AWESOME. i've been watching it for ten minutes now. i suppose i should also let you know that i'm the kind of person who watched 45 minutes of the puppy bowl last night.

comments [8] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 31, 2005
January 31, 2005
le fire d'arcade photos

alright. so things at work have slowed down a tiny bit, and i can present you with some of the selected photos from my sunday evening. but first, may i direct you over to shesbitter.com, where they have got some really great photos of the show in flickr format. check 'em out.

ps: in addition to the reviews trackbacked at my DCist.com arcade fire post, the ghost of gordon sumner has a good review that echoes my feelings about the two new songs played right in a row: they slowed down the night unnecessarily. but only for a little bit.

pps: look also at these great concert photos i found via the 9:30 club forum.

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phew misc  - music  - photos

i'm sure tommy's probably working on an epic review about the arcade fire show, but for now, all i can say is GODDAMN. my DCist review is up over here. i'm too tired to put up pics, but you can browse a directory of the show (and the pre-show bbq at kriston and matt's) here.

other news: that mediabistro d.c. gossip blog launched today. apparently, the guy who's now writing it found out about the job because of my totally random (and non-spiers-forced) posting on DCist. for now i won't comment about the content, but simply point you towards the always-fabulous DCeiver. what he said.

comments [0] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 30, 2005
January 30, 2005
nerding it up photos  - tech

Stare into the voided warranty long enough, and the voided warranty begins to stare back at you.

Last night Jon and I set out to install modchips on his and our buddy Paul's XBoxes. For those who're scratching their heads: mod chips let you override the XBox's BIOS, and with it the unit's factory-specified hardware limitations. This effectively turns the console into a general purpose computer that happens to have a great interface for games and video output. After you've chipped an XBox it can be used to watch movies, play old NES and SNES videogames or even run a webserver.

Paul couldn't join us for this fun-fest -- he lives in San Francisco -- but he bought some of the components while he was in town for the holidays, then shipped the rest here so that I could do the install.

Well, 7 seven hours later I'd managed to break both modchips by improperly upgrading their BIOSes. God dammit. This seemed much easier when I did it to my own XBox. The situation is fixable, but it'll be a pain. The only worthwhile product of our efforts yesterday? Some pictures of the apartment with electronic entrails spread throughout.

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More after the cut.

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freedom cookies food  - photos

in honor of the iraqi elections today, i made my patented Middle Eastern Freedom Chip Cookies. just kidding. i actually made them for a smoked meat bbq at kriston's tonight, pre-arcade fire show, but i figured they could commemorate the elections as well.

recipe behind the cut. slightly modified and adapted from the famous neiman-marcus chocolate chip cookies.

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January 29, 2005
January 29, 2005
honey ricotta lemon cheesecake food  - photos

so, last night i baked a cheesecake. this is the story of that cheesecake and its birth.

i got inspired last weekend by watching my usual hungover sunday morning foodtv lineup of everyday italian, barefoot contessa, and easy entertaining with michael chiarello. these people are all fancy bitches who are constantly rambling on about how their recipes and entertaining methods are going to make your life SO MUCH easier, when really it's only easy for them because they a) live on tv b) have two billion dollars c) have a staff of minions that actually do everything for them so they DO make it look easy. then you are inspired, and think you can host a dinner party for 12, and the next thing you know you're drunk off the cooking wine and have exploded a bowl of melted butter all over your face.

i speak from experience.

anyway, i risked doing an everyday italian recipe this time around, because it was for cheesecake, which i adore, and the skinny pinched bitch giada made it look so damn easy. so i took a chance on a cheesecake.

(by the way, i just have to bitch about this: i CANNOT STAND when these "italian" cooks on food tv like giada and michael chiarello, who probably grew up in long island or something and can barely sneeze out a proper-sounding "buongiorno", insist on pronouncing absolutely every italian ingredient in faux-authentic-italian. like, mozzarella. i fancy myself able to speak italian, and when i'm IN ITALY, i say mozzarella with the correct pronunciation. but i don't go prancing about saying MOE-ZAH-RRRRE-LLAH with extremely enunciated syllables EVERY OTHER SECOND. JESUS! you're not fooling anybody! and if you've pissed me off with your pretentiousness, you must be WAY GONE.)

anyway. this time around, i decided to modify the recipe. now, you have to know that modifying a recipe is A Big Deal for me and my obsessive type A control freak personality; normally i follow everything absolutely to the letter. that's why i like baking so much better than cooking; baking is pretty and neat and precise; cooking leads to melted butter exploding on face, etc.

anyway, giada's recipe called for a crushed biscotti crust and orange zest. hmm, i thought. that sounds gross. i made some lemon cream cheese bars with a ginger base a while ago that were pretty good. so this time around i decided to take trader joe's excellent triple ginger snaps, crush them, and use them for the cheesecake crust instead of the biscottit that giada uses, and i mixed in lemon flavoring in zest instead of the oranges. i have to say, i think it turned out yummy. pictures and recipe are behind the cut (my recipe is basically the food tv one, cut and pasted, but with my minor changes).

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comments [12] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
January 28, 2005
January 28, 2005
pitchers D.C.  - blog  - photos

Now that we've gotten actual snow, even those who didn't hate the site's background are probably pretty sick of it. So I set out to make an irritatingly clever replacement. Unfortunately I can't figure out how to make my idea work with the site, composition-wise, and the actual photos have some problems with shadows and the graffiti fading. I had to use the burn tool in photoshop to make it even this legible -- and you can't even see that I'm rocking out to the Dave Matthews Band! Oh well. Although it won't work with the design, our anonymous neighbor's suggestion would still be a great alternate blog title.

Yuppies Out Of Shaw!

And while I'm at it, how about some more graffiti? I shouldn't encourage these idiots, but at least they're more imaginative than simple taggers...

99 bottles of beer on a fuckin' wall

comments [3] trackBack [2] posted by tom - link
January 23, 2005
January 23, 2005
i wish you, like, the happiesht birthday ever photos

some photographic evidence of kriston's 25th birthday last night. i was totally surprised to find these photos on my camera this morning, which should say something about my mental state at the party.

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January 22, 2005
January 22, 2005
happy snow day! photos

my day thus far: woke up at 1pm, hung out with charles and tommy a little bit, then when they inevitably started playing video games, i retreated to the bedroom to watch, oh, five hours of my alias season 2 dvd. soon it's off to trudge through the snow to the nunnery for kriston's 25th birthday! hopefully i can take some incriminating photos there.

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colin meloy music  - photos

colin meloy of the decemberists on his solo tour at iota last night.

cute, innit he? the show was good - a mix of stuff from "castaways and cutouts," "her majesty the decemberists," a couple of new songs from the forthcoming album (out in march) and a couple of morrissey covers. he's also an excellent storyteller, turns out. i guess i could have gathered that much from his lyrics. i'll write a review for DCist next week.

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January 18, 2005
January 18, 2005
baby, it's cold outside food  - music  - photos  - weekend report

so. it's been cold outside, huh? the kind of cold that freezes the interior contents of your nose into a crystallized fountain pouring down your upper lip; the kind of cold that makes you tear up, except you don't know you've teared up, because the liquid your eyes are emanating in response to the extreme polar weather has actually glued your eyelids together; the kind of cold that causes somebody who has never in fact lived above the mason-dixon line to whine unendingly on her blog.

and it was during the first real cold weekend of the year that i had an altogether wonderful time, despite the fact that i had to wear, like, sneakers and sweaters and scarves instead of flipflops and the slutty tank tops that i like to characterize my days off work. ah well. we all make sacrifices.

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January 09, 2005
January 09, 2005
of tacos and mimosas personal  - photos

one new year's resolution that i made to myself was that i would try to be better in my 25th year about documenting my life in photos. i mean, i lead such a fascinating existence that i feel i owe it to my readers to present it in more visual terms so they can be that much more jealous of the fabulousness of it all. so, behold behind the fold: the weekend in breakfast tacos and the black cat. unphotographed, fortunately for all involved: hours of dance dance and karaoke revolution.

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comments [5] trackBack [4] posted by catherine - link
January 06, 2005
January 06, 2005
native american museum photos

my uncle, my grandparents and i went to the newish national museum of the american indian on the mall this past weeked. having lived in wyoming most of their lives, my grandparents never failed to educate us on western issues and history, so my siblings and i grew up with an above-average knowledge of western north american native americans, dinosaur digs and rodeos. we even went to their friends' buffalo ranch one time and drove around in a truck, happily leaning out over the bed and feeding the ginormous beasts some leafy things with no disregard to the possibility of death by buffalo hoof. i have some pretty distinct memories of watching dance circles, learning about reservations and dropping in on some teepees. also, i've seen "dances with wolves" multiple times, so i'm practially an indian expert.

anyway, overall we liked the museum. i think the architecture is pretty stunning. the inside of the building is comprised largely of a huge dance circle that rises four storeys in an open air space. there are three or so permanent exhibits that deal with indians from the mayans to the lakota, stretching from peru to ontario. we also saw a few current exhibits on former congressman ben nighthorse campbell's jewelry making (his stuff is absolutely gorgeous), and a space showing two native american indians' modern art (i've forgotten their names, but i took a few pictures of their stuff).

the washington post has a great section on the museum here.

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December 22, 2004
December 22, 2004
my party pix photos

well, i had the brilliant idea that taking pictures of our party without any sort of flash would be wonderful, and the photos came out accordingly. that is, shittily. but i'll still post them. because i'm an exhibitionist! behind the cut.

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December 20, 2004
December 20, 2004
monkey! photos

In her last post, Catherine mentioned a ceramic monkey that we won at my office Christmas party. Well, here are some photos. I couldn't be more pleased with this little monstrosity. The photos don't quite capture the sense of aggressive butt-pointing that forms the fundamental concept behind (cough) the piece. But I do think they'll give you an idea of why I have no regret about winning this, rather than the "12 Months of the Governator" calendar.

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There are two more after the jump.

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October 26, 2004
October 26, 2004
this is a drill photos

this weekend, after waking up at 4:15am to take tommy to dulles, so he could fly to beautiful san fran california to visit mr. jeff nye and check out grad schools, i went straight down to charlottesville with my dad to check out my brother's navy ROTC drill performance. there's a standard drill team and a trick drill team; he's in the trick one, where they do cool shit and flip their guns around in the air and stuff. pictures are here.

i have never been exactly sure what the point of learning to twirl your guns around in unison is, but it sure looked neat.

comments [6] trackBack [0] posted by catherine - link
October 19, 2004
October 19, 2004
back from bostonia photos  - travel

i'm back from boston! back from a lovely, perfect new england weekend! back from spending time with dear friends, some of whom i haven't seen in a year and a half! back from eating clam chowder and italian food in the north end! back from wandering around taking pictures of beautiful foliage! back to...rainy d.c. and work. oh well. anyway, excuse my absence. and excuse any future absences as i decide to move permanently to boston because i just loved it so goddamn much. of course, the pefect fall weather and excellent company had something to do with it, so i'm probably looking at the city through rose-colored glasses, but it was still wonderful. a few pics behind the cut, along with some more commentary...

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October 07, 2004
October 07, 2004
apple photos photos

are behind the cut. but first, i wanted to show everybody the much-fabled apple cider donut:

and point you towards this delicious-sounding recipe on how to make your very own apple cider donuts that i recently found in the post. i think i'll try it sometime soon.

selected photos behind the cut. i have to admit, i'm feeling very lazy, and there are about two billion photos, so i'm just going to post certain ones, and you can browse the directory at your leisure here. it's mostly apple-picking photos, but there are also some from a recent trip to charlottesville, and one of that crazy bigass security blimp that was floating around d.c. last week.

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September 28, 2004
September 28, 2004
pony island photos

ciao tutti. i know you are just salivating to hear about our weekend adventures on ass island, so i'll cut to the chase.

the weekend was fantastic. well, except for getting to the island and back. it took us six hours on friday evening to get up there, due to terrible bay bridge traffic. jon, tommy, and i arrived around 12:30am; julie, matt, jess and robin were already there, fending off pygmy deer and roasting marshmallows. let me tell you about these pygmy deer: they are terrifying. more terrifying than ponies. friday night as i was walking to the bathrooms to brush my teeth, i saw a small group of them on the side of the road, just munching grass and being cute and tiny. "oh, how adorable," i thought to myself. "tiny deer." then i caught the eye of the male deer (who is about three feet tall). he stared me down, and all of a sudden i noticed that he had ENORMOUS horns. he kept staring, and edged closer, and then i decided that was a good time to break into a run. thankfully he did not challenge me to a head-butting duel, as these deer are apparently wont to do, so all was good.

pictures are behind the cut. be prepared for excessive wildlife photos.

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July 02, 2004
July 02, 2004
ted leo pics photos

july 2, fort reno.

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photos of the rufus/guster/ben folds concert photos

june 28, 2004, wolftrap.

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June 13, 2004
June 13, 2004
weekend of june 11 photos

photos of a neighborhood yard sale in arlington and of susan's birthday. behind the cut tag.

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comments [3] posted by catherine - link
June 11, 2004
June 11, 2004
weekend pics photos

couple of photos from the race for the cure last weekend, and photos of wednesday and thursday nights, spent galavanting around clarendon.

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comments [1] posted by catherine - link
June 03, 2004
June 03, 2004
outer banks pictures photos

are here! enjoy.

still working on finishing all the italy ones. no one cares, i know.

comments [3] posted by catherine - link
May 19, 2004
May 19, 2004
weekend shenanigans photos

the craziness of tommy's last saturday barbeque. behind the cut tag.

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comments [4] posted by catherine - link
April 25, 2004
April 25, 2004
more random photos! of the photos

more random photos! of the weekend. included: such wonders as tommy's espresso maker, sandwiches, and pictures from naomi's birthday. woot.

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comments [4] posted by catherine - link
April 18, 2004
April 18, 2004
the photos are back! photos

witness the fantastic photos i took with my spiffy new camera. well, witness the fairly boring photos i've taken with glee since receiving the canon powershot s410 in the mail.

behind the cut tag, so as to not force anyone to wait like 34 hours for them all to download.

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comments [2] posted by catherine - link
December 01, 2003
December 01, 2003
apple picking fun photos

i have been shamed and humiliated into updating this thing. ahem. jeff. but, people, the genius of the blog is not as easy as it looks. first, i've got to have an interesting event to capture on film, and those are not so frequent at the moment, unless you want glamour shots of of my office or the metro. second, i have to have access to a computer that will download the stuff from my camera, and third, i've got to have the time to edit them and come up with the brilliantly witty yet subtle captions.

anyway, if you are aching for something more interesting, may i suggest the blog of one of my best friends, jessica, found at http://www.drawgroup.org/gallery/Jessica . she recently moved to hong kong to work at the asian wall street journal and is tearing up the scene. she could fulfill your foreign digital image content quota.

the following are shots from when tommy and i went apple picking in charlottesville about a month or two ago.

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this is the ingenius contraption one must use to get those hard to reach apples that are the cream of the crop. you also have to be coordinated to use them properly; given that i am not at all coordinated, i sent several apples tumbling on my head, and it hurt.

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here is a pretty grove of ravished apple trees. the hurricane had come through only a week or two before, so the trees weren't all that, and it was like a scavenger hunt to find the few remaining decent apples. but i did my job of pushing aside eager little kids to pick those golden delicious ones.

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several of the kids ran to hide their humiliation of losing the good apples. they retreated to the haystack and cried. nyah.

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here's the horizon over the orchard. this orchard, carter's mountain, is, quite simply, the bomb. lots of apples, pumpkins, cider, and, best of all, APPLE CIDER DONUTS. mmm, grease. i ate 6.

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and here is the requisite somewhat artsy-fartsy shot, of my rearview mirror on the drive home on rt. 29. best fall highway ever.

comments [2] posted by catherine - link
October 20, 2003
October 20, 2003
the triumphant return of the blog! photos

i'm back!
the blog is back!
everyone give a cheer.

it has been almost four long months since i've touched this thing, due the the hassles of changing jobs, houses and continents. since the last entry i've gone back to the states; found myself an arlington house with julie, becca, and naomi; sent out hundreds of resumes; and obtained a job in dupont circle.

i miss italy an awful lot, but just because i'm not there doesn't mean i'll stop posting pictures. arlington may not have as many duomos as florence, but there are still neat and interesting things to capture. like...squirrels. and scenes from the local harris teeter. etc.

i'm going to go ahead and post some pictures from my time spent in tuscany with tommy and the grays (tommy's friend charles' family). it was my last week in italy, and it was fantastic. there are actually a bunch more of earlier pictures from before tuscany, such as when i hiked up to a refugio in the dolomites with some friends, but i can't find those right now, so they'll have to wait. i'm going crazy and being non-chronological!

so after i finished teaching at the school, i trained it over to venice where i met up with everyone. unfortunately, the venetian pictures seem to have disappeared into a black hole...i'm sure they'll make a reappearance soon enough. after a few days in venice, we headed back to santa lucia di sopra, the house which the grays had rented for two weeks. it's outside of panzano, which is a tiny town about an hour away from florence. santa lucia is an italian saint. she's blind; something about digging out her own eyes. man. everyone's a martyr.

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this is the gorgeous house. once there, we spent a lot of time eating, swimming in the pool, reading and...

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getting pretty blasted on wine.

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a typical day for tommy and charles. we also spent a lot of time looking for satellites at night.

one day, mrs. gray, charles, tommy and myself opted to go to a cooking class at coltibuono, a converted abbey. it was quite fun. paolo was our cooking master guy, and he showed us around the gardens and grounds, stopping every once in a while to expertly pick some herbs and put them in a basket. unfortunately, he turned out to be kind of scary.

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paolo scowls at the rosemary.

the gardens around the old abbey were really beautiful.

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me, posing, before facing the terror of making gnocchi. oh, not really. paolo was an okay guy. he told me i spoke italian well. and the food turned out really deliciously.

during our tuscan villa stay, we made several day trips to surrounding towns, like san gimagnano and all the chianti towns -- greve in chianti, castellina in chianti, radda in chianti, etc.

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here's joanna, charles and tommy at the top of some tower, i believe in san gimagnano, town of many towers, like 14. there used to be dozens, but they all crumbled over time. in any case, san gimagnano, as touristy as it is, is a pretty amazing sight when you're driving up to it -- people call it the manhattan of tuscany because of its skyline.

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here's tommy and me..somewhere. clearly, i am a fan of the tube top.

we also went to several completely awesome dinners, which words cannot describe. mmm. italian food. mmm.

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here's tommy and me before we go out to our last meal in tuscany. sigh.

and just for good measure, here's a tricked out ape (those little three-wheeled blue trucks you see workers driving all over the place, not ape like a monkey but ah-pay):

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some sad, bored teenagers obviously got ahold of it.

to make sure i'm extra nostalgic, i'm including this hazy picture of beautiful tuscan scenery.

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after we left santa lucia, we drove up to milan to go see bruce springsteen in concert. even though it rained and was full of crazy italians, the concert was amazing, in a stadium-shaking sort of way (literally). those italians sure know how to be a good audience.

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broooooooooooooooose. as they say.

after that concert, i had about three days before i flew home, so i spent a lot of time packing, throwing away stuff that wouldn't fit in my 5 suitcases, and ingesting massive amounts of pizza. i also took stupid pictures of noversasco, the suburb where i lived.

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this is the more-than-slightly-sketchy winner bar man, trying to kiss all of us at once. the winner bar (italians pronounce it weener bar. heh) is a tabacchi a few apartment buildings down from ours. that's where we'd often go to riccaricare (recharge our cellphones; you have to pay in increments for your time, you don't really get a cellphone plan). they also had good cappucinos and panini.

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tommy and me in front of the eurospin. there are an awful lot of tommy&me pictures. anyways, you cannot understand the beauty of the eurospin (a-ooh-roe-spin) until you've shopped there. it's a discount grocery store, with the emphasis on discount. and on sketchy produce. actually, the food there's pretty good, ridiculously cheap, and sometimes they sell stuff such as bikes, underwear and tvs if you're lucky. they also produce the best brand of chocolate in the world (i'm not kidding, tommy bought 45 bars to take home), and i've never paid more than 3 euro for a bottle of wine there. despite the bitchy cashiers, the fact you could be killed if you don't pay in exact change, and the sketchy fruit, the eurospin will forever remain special to me. eurospin, baby, you're in my heart. lo shopping intelligente.

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and this is my apartment building from a wacky angle. i lived in noversaco 25/9 with natania, robin, cynthia and erin. what can i say about our apartment...the appliances were a mystery; in the winter the heat was only on for about 6 hours a day (italian law); the gas oven once exploded in my face and nearly killed me; mosquitos lived there for several months, and then after the mosquitos came the invasion of the stinkbugs; the fridge was about the size of my desktop computer; surfaces accumulated a thick layer of dust in 3.4 seconds. may i also mention that we lived near a prison, and the path i used to run on was frequented by a 16 year old boy on a silver vespa who liked to stop and masturbate in front of you.

but i can also say: we could watch the hardcore soccer players screaming and shouting and kicking every evening on the fields below us; each time you came up in the elevator and someone was cooking with garlic and onions it smelled like home; we had some kickass, wine-fueled parties; the kitchen, though you cooked there at your own risk, helped us make some pretty yummy meals; we had the best balcony in the world -- the perfect place for having a glass of wine and taking in the unparalleled view of the alps; and i lived with some amazing, wonderful girls. so all in all, it wasn't too shabby.

so...bye noverasco. bye asm. bye le mie compagne di stanza. bye milan. bye italy. mi sono divertita.

comments [2] posted by catherine - link
June 13, 2003
June 13, 2003
going to the chapel... photos

wow. sometimes, i hate blogging. most of the time i love it. but when the publishing system erases an entire well-crafted entry for NO APPARENT reason, then i start to flip out a little bit. anyway, that is what just happened with the entry i was writing about david okano and heather johnson's wedding. dude. it was funny. and moving. and all that stuff. now you are just going to get little crappy captions because i am MAD!

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here we are, julie, me, jess and lauren in front of northern exposure for the rehersal dinner, with the gleam of satan in our eye for some reason. i believe my camera has started a downwards descent.

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the groom and me. hmm. if only david hadn't hooked up with katie kim the night of homecoming when he was my DATE, then maybe things would have ended up differently...sigh.

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now what is so funny, besides the copious amounts of beer? dunno. but it was good to be back in cville.

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jessica will be leaving her job as a graphics reporter at the honolulu business journal in order to open an eyebrow maintenance salon.


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the groom with two of his groomsmen, aaron and greg, pre-wedding. go team tux!

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awwww...heather looked so pretty.

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and the deed is done. scary!

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yay dave and heather! dokie was the least nervous groom i have ever seen. on sunday, the day of the wedding, he came out to the tavern with us, had a huge greasy breakfast, hung out in the apartment, did some dishes, and, like shaved. that was all. it's so unfair that guys just need to shower and shave. it took me like 2.5 hours to get ready for the wedding and i wasn't even the one getting married.

the rest of the photos are from the reception afterwards...it was fun. lots of champagne.

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me and my hot date.

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me and my hot hawaiian friend.

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most of the people in this group i don't actually know, except for hillary, cat and gary and dellis, but don't they look nice?

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yay fab four!

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dellis, jess and tom. all people i hadn't seen in a year or more. aww. i was glad i made it back. also, dellis does not have the satan-esque aspect he usually does in pictures. gnip gnop anyone?

longfellow!.jpg
ahh. this is how it should be. dellis looks like satan, and the longfellow crowd is reunited. hurrah!

comments [1] posted by catherine - link
June 03, 2003
June 03, 2003
slovenia shlomenia photos  - travel

wow, i am not timely at all. please, if you haven't yet seen them, go back in the archives and check out my two big spring break entries.

these pictures were taken from a lovely four-day trip to slovenia, which, i am happy to say, is one of the most beautiful and interesting places i've seen. go there before it becomes all cool and touristy.

we first stopped over in the italian port city of trieste, which is right near the border of slovenia. it's an alright town. the coolest thing i saw there were some giant killer jellyfish in the sea.

trieste.jpg
not jellyfish, but trieste's main piazza, nicely lit up at night.

then we trained it over to ljubljana. loo blee ann ah. it's such a beautiful city, with a lot of students and interesting architecture.

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yay canals.

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yay rooftops.

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this is the style in ljubljana. no not really. we were wearing these three-d glasses to watch a very interesting and quite informative three-d presentation of the history of ljubljana. yawn. that dark-haired male would be mike. his is an interesting story. we were all taking the hours-long train from trieste to ljubljana (on which we got asked to a party by the hot customs guys), and we've literally got the entire car to ourselves. then this one guy walks on (we assume he's slovenian or something), and cynthia meanwhile is changing into a skirt by putting it on over her jeans (this is our favorite ghetto method of changing in public; we've done it on boats, trains and buses). then the random guy comes over and says something about cynthia's william's t-shirt. yeah. it turns out he's american. and went to williams. with cynthia and erin. of all the people to walk onto an empty slovenian train...turns out it's someone half of us know. it really is a small world.

from ljubljana, we moved onto bled, located in one of the most fantastic natural settings i have probably ever seen. just gorgeous -- lakes, fields, alpine backdrops, tons of forests. just a lot greener than italy.

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pretty field!

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more pretty fields!

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we also went on a long hike through a gorge. it was amazing. no, i will not say it was gorges.

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gorge again.

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some old church. on a hill. (sorry, my caption-writing abilities are drained today for some reason.)

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the big bled lake had this cute little island in the middle of it. we visited it on a rowboat.

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so on the way back to italy (after coming thisclose to missing two important trains and then crossing the italian-slovenian border in a taxi) we took a three-hour break in venice. here we are at some nice little cafe.

and here is another view off of my apartment balcony. not snowcapped mountains, because it's summertime, baby.

aptview.jpg

more comments! i love them.

comments [4] posted by catherine - link
May 20, 2003
May 20, 2003
spring break round II italy  - photos  - travel

alright. this is actually the second parter of my spring break, so please go back to the one entitled something silly like "spring break bonanza" and check out those pictures before looking at these. not that it really matters, but being chronological is nice, don't you think?

i believe we ended up last on the island of ischia. that night on the beach was great, but later that evening, trying to sleep in the hostel, an army of mosquitoes attacked us. it was miserable, and since my face was the only thing not wrapped up in my cocoon sheet, i ended up with 8 bites on my cheek. very schifo. so i was kind of glad to get out of ischia. next stop: sorrento.

sorrento is, like basically everything in southern italy, very beautiful. lots of dramatic cliffside, stunning sea views, endless groves of lemon trees, blah blah blah etc. we settled into our amazing hotel, il nido, which i highly recommend to anyone staying in sorrento, as it's cheap, has a huge breakfast, and FREE INTERNET!!! so, www.ilnido.it if you're interested. the hotel itself is actually about 10 minutes up in the hills beyond sorrento. great vista of the sea, the town, and vesuvius!

ilnidocath.jpg
only i would make vesuvius look small by comparison.

sorrento also had the best restaurant EVER. yes, ever. :) we wandered around the cobblestone streets for a while that night until we happened upon l'osteria del buonconvento, which, by the way, was never mentioned in any of our guidebooks, so shows what those retards know.

we settled into the cozy little place at our cozy little table in front of the pizza oven and proceeded to have our food orgy. first, the cutest old pizza man ever made us this great sort of crispy foccacia thing, free of charge. (i think he thought we were hot.) then we had lots of white wine. then i had insalata caprese (mozzarella, basil and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil), then i had pasta with fresh swordfishmmmmmmm. then the best chocolate tiramisu. by the time we finished the three hour meal, we were best friends with everyone in the restaurant and had already decided to come back there the next night. how loserish are we?

the next day we ferried on over to capri, island of the rich and famous. i was *so* hoping to see a celebrity there. well, it's a pretty island, but otherwise i would say it kind of sucks. it does have some natural amazing sights, though, like the natural arches and the blue grotto. the blue grotto is actually fantastic -- you take a boat out to this little hole in the side of one of the island's cliffs, and then a scary rowboat man will row you in (after you tip him like 12 euro). the hole is really kind of a small entrance -- i was convinced my head was going to get smashed if a wave came up so i cowered in the back of the rowboat as robin laughed at me. but once inside...well, look for yourself.

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the amazing natural light is created...somehow.

after the blue grotto, we took a two hour hike around the island.

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these arches were also created somehow.

the other girls went on to anacapri, a second town on the small island, and i decided to ferry it home. that night we did indeed go back to our wonderful restaurant and they forcefed us everything on the menu. also, during dinner, the girls told me they had seen suzanne sommers in anacapri and i got really jealous they'd seen someone famous. then they told me they were lying. evil whores. i guess i am not really that upset about not having seen fake suzanne sommers.

onwards! after the pleasures of the amalfi coast, natania and carly went on to pompeii and vesuvius, while robin, cynthia and i decided to get an early start on to southeastern italy (the heel part of the boot). we took several crazy forms of transportation to matera. at one point we ended up in a completely desolate train station, and i am pretty sure we are the only non-italians to have ever come there.

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the train station at ferrandina, where the only person happy to see us was a dog.

matera might be a town you've never heard of, but you should. it's completely amazing, visually and historically. until the late 1950s, people there lived in caves. yup, caves. six to a cave on average, most of the time with a horse and a few chickens thrown in there for fun. the caves are called sassi (stone), and are carved into two sides of a ravine that splits the town.

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here are some of the sassi, although they were of such scope that it is really hard to convey what they looked like and how stunning they were in my photos.

nowadays, a lot of the sassi are being renovated into new bars, stores and even homes. it is pretty cool.

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by far one of the coolest things we did in matera was to go on a tour of the rock churches -- several churches that had been built directly in natural caves. now, i've seen a hell of a lot of churches since being in italy, but nothing has impressed me as much as these. they have low, craggy ceilings, little light, are completely damp, covered with rotting byzantine frescoes...it felt really raw. unfortunately, photos weren't allowed, though i sneaked in this one:

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these are the dead monk chairs. there was one room in one church were there were a bunch of seats carved out of the walls. when a monk died, his body was placed in this chair. to be gross and rot. and then other monks would come in and see the gross rotting body and were supposed to meditate on death. i bet they mostly just threw up. anyway, i sat down on one of the seats in order to take this photo, and got some white stuff on the seat of my pants. therefore, through the rest of the trip, if you had anything on your butt, it was, "you have dead monk on your ass!"

alright...the length of this is becoming epic. next, we went on to alberobello, which is a town famous for its trulli structures. the trulli are buildings of indeterminate origin that have conical roofs and are built without mortar. they are very cool looking. i mostly liked them because i knew they would enable me to take many artsy fartsy photo shots, as i love doing.

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and that was alberobello. next, we went on to the beautiful, beautiful town of ostuni. it was all white, and up on a hill, and it was what i imagine deserted greek towns to look like. of course, my camera card was filled up at that point, so i took pictures with a manual, and they're not scanned yet. so you'll have to do without. but i had the best meal of my life there. l'osteria del tempo perso. you know, if you ever happen to be in puglia. which i highly recommend you do.

next entries: long-overdue pics from a trip to slovenia, and pictures of david okano's and heather johnson's wedding in charlottesville! i spent 24 hours traveling in order to be in the states for 72 hours. that's how much i love them.

please leave some comments. no one ever does and i feel so sad.

comments [13] posted by catherine - link
May 07, 2003
May 07, 2003
spring break bonanza italy  - photos  - travel

well, once again the bottoms of bottles of wine has lured me away from my lovely blog. but i'm making a triumphant return with a slew of new pictures from some very interesting places. for my spring break, i traveled with several apartmentmates to southern italy, hitting naples, ischia, capri, sorrento, matera, alberobello and ostuni (the first four are in western southern italy, and the latter three are on the eastern side, down by the heel of the boot). i really have to say, southern italy sure is pretty. the wine's good, the food's great, it's sunny, and you GET HARRASSED CONSTANTLY BY SKETCHY MEN.

our first stop was naples, which might be fairly called the smelliest city in the world. but i did really like it. it's chaotic, basically, and enormously dirty, and severely smelly, as i said, and the people there are just weird. also, the men are a little forward. i took the train down with natania and carly, and soon as we stepped out of the station, we received several offensive comments in about 15 minutes. for example: "very goooood, very goooood" was the first we got. then came a man barking at us, very realistically might i say, from a car. but the winner was (directed as natania as she took off her jacket): "yes baby. it is very hot. you need some children."
now, it remains a mystery as to if this were an insult, a direct statement, or an offer to be natania's child-bearing partner. i suppose we will never know.

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this was on one of the most ancient streets in naples, which was about three feet wide. i really did think that my last view of this life was going to be a vespa running over my stomach. naples is vespa mad.

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not only is it vespa mad, but it's got some really bizarre, yet strangely beautiful things going on. for example, on that same street, we heard firecrackers and music coming off from the distance. we waited, and several men dressed all in white and playing horn instruments came marching down the street, with this float behind them. the men carrying the rather large float were swaying back and forth and singing, their movements evoking the sea, as i think the float was something to do with mary star of the sea. we just watched for a while, and then they were gone.

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okay. so people like to dress identically in naples. i don't know what it is. we saw maybe three pairs of people dressed exactly alike, just meandering around. we saw these army girls once, and just stood with our mouths agape. but then i saw them down the street again a few hours later, and i stopped to point and shout, "THE ARMY GIRLS!!!" to carly and natania. then we proceeded to tail them for several blocks and secretly take pictures. i think we scared them, cos they kept looking back and eventually crossed the street.

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i do love the artsy, blurry, black and white shots. i took this shortly after we went on an underground ancient acquaduct adventure tour, where we were lead through narrow caverns with candles and we saw a goonies-like cave room filled with water. it was cool! except for the german superdork journalist on the tour with us.

so, naples being finished, we moved on to the island of ischia, which is where a lot of "the talented mr. ripley" was filmed. it was purty, though way too traffick-y. the first part of our trip there was spent at the most fantastic castle ever, and of course i had forgotten to bring my camera, so too bad for you. the evening after the castle, however, we spent on the beach. boy. that was an experience.

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here's myself, robin and cynthia on our little beach patch. let me explain something to you about the beach. no wait, about italians. italians are freaks when it comes to temperature. they feel no heat. starting in october, they swaddle themselves up in down jackets and scarves beyond belief, and these don't come off until the end of may. so there were tons of italians on the beach with us, and even though it was beautiful weather, they were ALL in jeans and sweaters. so we come tromping onto the beach in our bikinis, and basically, madness ensues.

first, boys behind us start chanting, "USA USA USA" and will not stop. i attempt unsuccessfully to pretend i am deaf-mute, and then i give up on that and just put on my frigid bitch face. sorry, i'm mean, but agressive italian boys are a pain in the ass to deal with.

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a few of the girls near sunset.

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it gets even worse when carly decides to actually go in the water. god forbid! it's seventy degrees out! she's going to die! when she takes off her shirt and enters the water, i swear, the entire beach went silent. one of the guys talking to us says, in fractured english, "she is much like a submarine!"

to deal with all of this, we begin imbibing wine. we run out. oops. so carly and i decide to take a trip to the little mini-market down the road to get a couple more bottles. we are way brutta figure (which, by the way, means "looking ugly" -- pretty much not fitting in or following societal rules or whatever). cos she's only got a towel and a t-shirt on (that has wine spilled on it, of course), and i'm wearing my button down plaid shirt and jeans rolled up to my knees. we also have THIRTY GUYS following us at this point. how this happened, i do not know. carly turned around and said something like, "when did we get a posse?" i was actually talking to one of the guys, who was decently nice, and i complained that our little road was really narrow. he says, "the narrow path is the one you should always take in life." i tell him that's very deep and that he has a lot of thoughtful quotes -- where does he get them from, i ask? he replies, and i swear this is true: "depeche mode."

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our last shot of ischia. bellissima. the madness of that beach will never be forgotten. i had a blast.

alright, my fingers are cramping up, and even though i have dozens more photos, they will have to wait till later and you will have to be satisfied for now with these nuggets. i also have to go home to deal with the trauma of the fact that a student's mother asked me today if i was HAVING A BABY. aiya. time to go on a diet.

comments [3] posted by catherine - link
April 08, 2003
April 08, 2003
the five lands photos  - travel

a couple of weekends ago, my friends becca and jamie came to visit me from the US! despite their getting basically screwed over in the flight and luggage department, they got here on a friday and we took off on a long train ride for the italian riviera. we were headed for cinque terre, five villages on the coast of the ligurian riviera that are rapidly becoming famous tourist destinations because they are just so damn beautiful. see for yourself.

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we stayed in the southernmost town of riomaggiore in an adorable apartment that had the worst shower i've ever experienced in my life. it was not really a shower; it was basically a trickle of water on your head. this is the little alleyway outside of our door.

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the five towns are linked by a long hiking path (about 12 km [i've started thinking in the metric system; this is an awful thing]) that goes through a national park. this is right near the beginning of the path. i think riomaggiore can be seen a little bit in the distance.

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from riomaggiore, we hiked to the next town of manarola. there we encountered this cat. i generally dislike cats, but i wouldn't mind being this one. i also think cinque terre, along with the ruins in rome, is one of the coolest places in the world to be a cat.

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convo over the balcony in manarola. those pace flags are everywhere. no, they are not gay pride flags. they mean "peace". the italian public is totally and completely against the war.

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i believe this is the view of manarola from a hill up above. what makes the villages so astounding is that they are basically built directly on cliffs that stop right at the sea. it's amazing to think that anyway could live such a steep life, but they manage to do it. they also cultivate tons of gardens and lemon trees and olive trees and vineyards on the cliffs. in fact, it's actually too steep to walk around and harvest the grapes, so the people invented these weird things...i wish i'd taken a picture of one, because it's hard to explain...but they are basically little motorized chairs on top of what look like little rollercoaster tracks. they strap themselves into the chair and follow the twisting tracks through the vineyards, stopping to collect the grapes. make sense?

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here's jamie and me, precariously perched on the path between manarola and corniglia (i think. the villages are starting to get mixed up in my head). the water really was that blue, and completely clear.

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i am a sucker for pretty flowers.

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i normally don't post pictures of myself, because i'm horribly unphotogenic, but i consider this one decently flattering, so i'm okay with it! it's on the path between corniglia and vernazza, which kicked our asses. this was at the beginning, and we're all like, ooh, look at the pretty flowers and olive trees. let's put flowers in our hair and dance around! at the end we were panting and sweating and cursing, etc.

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the same path. one of the few pictures of all three of us, because i refused to ask anyone to take our photos because i'm lame and hate annoying italians with my subpar language skills. jamie becca and me!

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this is a view from far above vernazza, the fourth town, and probably the most charming (therefore also the most touristy). there's a pirate ship! and that little outcropping contains the remains of a castle lookout tower. we wandered up there in the afternoon and took an hour nap. we stuck around in vernazza most of the afternoon and unfortunately never made it to the fifth town, monterosso, because we suck.

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boats! in the main waterfront piazza of vernazza. they just keep their boats in the tiny piazza and i guess take them out on the water when they want.

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my last shot of cinque terre...it's the sunset as viewed from the harbor in vernazza. is anyone else getting sail away stuck in their head? i would highly recommend a weekend in cinque terre. it doesn't get much better.

comments [0] posted by catherine - link
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