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friday, 30 december

quoted: "make my hole bigger" -amanda
"just stick your finger in it" -allison D

so ok. i've written up a plan of attack for my thesis over the upcoming six months. my only new year's resolution is to get it done well. we'll see how that works out. oh. wait. i do have other resolutions: find a job and a six pack. and enlightenment, if possible. and all those socks i lost in 2005.

i went to lunch with my brother, parents and grandma yesterday, and in the evening my mom made her delicious lentil sausage soupe. we watched about half of white christmas, too. and thanks to the parents for buying me a supercool grey pinstripe suit yesterday. apparently all those shoulder presses have pushed me up a jacked size. i knew it would end up costing me one way or another.

many thanks to shannon for the wonderful CD she sent me. it's great! i miss you mac housers something awful. when is our reunion this summer? where? i vote for early july in boston... maybe we could spend the 4th there together? oh. wait. i should be putting this on the mac house blog.

i'm off to a golf shop. peace!

thursday, 29 december

quoted: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

yes yes yes. i've been totally horrible about updating. it's so easy to relax when i'm home. and since i spend most of my time downstairs while my computer remains up in my room, it doesn't stare at me all day making me feel guilty. i'm also using this spatial geography to explain the dismally small amount of work i've done here.

what news, you ask? we had the best christmas ever. dinner was great. we had two turkeys--one smoked, the other deep fried. we had tons of stuffing and the best mashed potatoes i've ever eaten. and most exciting of all: my cousin kevin and his wife announced that they're having a fourth child. how they're going to produce a baby cuter than little jon jon, though, is beyond me.

i went to see rumor has it with my parents and bo yesterday. i wouldn't say it's the best movie i've ever seen, but it was funny, and it was plenty of cringeworthy moments. the grandmother was brilliant. anyway, i must run. i've got some stuff to do today, and hopefully i'll even get some "work" done. eek.

sunday, 25 december

quoted: "do you want a piece of this?" -martha b.

last night i was trying to pull one of my shoes off with my other shoe, but slipped and kicked myself really hard in the shin with the heel of my shoe. it hurt so bad i thought i was going to vom. other than that, though, i had a very nice christmas eve. mass was good, the party at judy's offered me a chance to eat more of that delicious pumpkin cake that they had at my godparents' house on the 23rd. anyway, post party, we each got to open one gift...bobbo got me (by which i mean had made for me) the coolest gift EVER: cufflinks with the expo 74 logo on them. i KNOW. i'm so excited to wear them. hurrah!

in things less immediately related to me: remember the war on christmas? what about the closure of megachurches today? consider this your christmas 2005 "protestants have no sense of irony" alert.

also, i thought this column was as good a critique as i've ever read of the bush administration's failure to grasp what is truly at stake in the war on terror. i fully agree with ms applebaum that the rule of law is more fundamental than freedom or democracy, and that the current president has shown a shocking disregard for its importance, either in the US or in the growing list of countries he has invaded. for some reason, i feel like i've said that before...ah yes: 21 july 2005. and that was even before this data mining operation went public. i suppose they listen intently to my daily 9 am calls to jack. silly NSA.

saturday, 24 december

quoted: "i don't do mushrooms" -christine

i have tons of great things to say about yesterday. the 23rd should really be a national holiday. alas. but i had a great day. and now it's christmas eve and i have to get all sorts of places. sorry. more tomorrow. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

thursday, 22 december

quoted: "we always used to sit in maucione's class and say 'oh my god i'm pregnant', like everyone else at prep." -manda

not much to say since the last time i wrote. katie came over last night to watch the graduate. very strange movie. could benjamin have been any more awkward. perhaps. it's awfully rainy outside. we have a gaggle of family members coming over for dinner tonight. thus begins our family christmas celebrations. YAY!

wednesday, 21 december

quoted: "pretend this is cheese and squish it." -becky

my siblings and i took our grandmother to lunch today. then my brother and i took her up to the cemetary to visit our grandpa's grave. en route, we passed a jiffy lube that had a sign reading (no kidding) "enter in rear". ha. haha.

allison D and amanda and i went to the PI last night. it was my first visit to a bar since the washington state smoking ban. and it was GREAT.

this is a rather interesting story. today is the solstice, the beginning of this year's christmahunukwanzolstice season. and tomorrow will have more daylight than today. hurrah! meanwhile, today also marks the first civil partnerships in the UK. my attention span is waning, though, so i must run.

tuesday, 20 december

quoted: "i really don't like shopping anymore. except at the liquor store." -allison d.

zags won again last night. and i'm already coming up with songs for next year's mac house power hour CD. hurrah. miss you guys tons. i just got a text from jack. his family headed for zermatt today. it's a town without cars, but it sounds like the trip has been an adventure. so hopefully they'll arrive soon.

speaking of travel nightmares, allison finally made it home yesterday after spending sunday night in what sounds like a horrific hotel near the minneapolis airport. poor girl, but we had an instant party at their house last night after the basketball game, complete with allison d., james, patrick, and a handful of callie's friends. but no katie, sadly. she's not feeling well. but she and i are going ice skating with her sister tomorrow, so that's good.

i wish i had something more interesting to tell you. there's a scarf sale at the gap right now. most of them are $10. hurrah! becky and bo and i went shopping yesterday, but seeing as beckers is rather crippled, and crutches don't work good on ice (or in large crowds), it was a slow process. on the plus side, we ran into our cousin christy at north town and our cousins kevin and kira and their adorable children downtown, where they'd just been to see santa. which gave them extra adorableness points.

monday, 19 december

quoted: "do you want to get some noodles...or pie?" -santa clause 2

i'm just sitting around waiting for my jerky internet travel company to call me back and watching the president's news conference. this may not come as a surprise, but i don't trust him. i just don't. my favorite thing about this question period is the president's absolute incompetence. oh. and his stressing the fact that unwarranted wiretaps are only used on calls between someone in the US and someone in another country. over and over again. clearly no patriotic, red-blooded america would talk to someone in another country. another high point was his mixing up the names of osama and saddam. classic. slimy slimy administration. here's hoping for congressional hearings.

becky and bo got in safely. we continue to eat far too much.

sunday, 18 december

quoted: "did you know in the student section we have to stand for the whole game?" -christy

last night after the GU-UVa basketball game, i went to dinner with my aunt marguerite, uncle mike, cindy and uncle steve. mustard seed = yummy. there was a family sitting at a table nearby. husband and wife and foor daughters. between ordering their meal and its arrival, all six of them were on their cell phones continuously. just think: they get to spend time with each other without ever speaking to one another.

saturday, 17 december

quoted: "you don't know how many beer bongs i've done already." -es&h party

katie and i went to that new bluefish restaurant for dinner last night. very good. kinda expensive (for spokane, that is), but the service was impeccable, the decor was cool, the food was delicious, and all in all it felt rather unlike a spokane place. well done.

katie and rachelle (riff raff) went to a concert later in the evening. i declined to join them, since it was so very cold. but i still had a great evening. i hadn't seen rachelle in ages, but she seems good. she's getting married next august: congratulations!

this NSA spying thing is too too damning. and scott mcclellan is too too unconvincing. but despite the press secretary's waffling answers, the president just admitted he did approve the operational change. anyway, there's an interesting analysis of changes in executive prerogative powers in today's new york times. apparently there's some talk of the extra-legal suveillance procedures being justified by the current administration's expansive reading of the second article of the constitution. not to belabour a point, but vive la constitution brittanique.

friday, 16 december

quoted: "now how does this work?" -jack's dad, in the tube station

i'm still fighting with the travel agents. we're baking 48 loaves of bread today, and i'm getting a haircut. i miss jack. my parents are going to some ball tonight, so i have to entertain myself. who is in town? apparently the US government could be spying on me. how bored they must be. sounds like a political hot potato. as does the whole renewal of the patriot act thing. here's hoping the president's political capital is so diminished that the senate can actually protect the civil rights of people in america. and everyone, really.

thursday, 15 december

quoted: "strange people; lovely manners." -mrs henderson (alias dame judi dench) on americans

alright. late update today. apologies. i'm sure there are lots of interesting things i'm supposed to remember to tell you all, but they're escaping me right now, so you have to suffer through random things that pop into my head.

first off: cute or sad? secondly, only cute . 40 hours after arriving at home, i've made almost all of my requisite social visits. i've decided that the coolness of spokane is directly linked to the hipness of the ties on sale at the downtown nordstrom...this christmas they're VERY hip. you do the math. i'm getting a haircut at noon tomorrow.

also, nature has agreed to back me up on my claim that wikipedia isn't so bad. i've never said it should be treated as the unerring guide to truth, of course, but i do think it's a good starting point for getting a grip on general concepts. so there you have it.

wednesday, 14 december

quoted: "two of the most exquisite afghans just crossed the road." -bus from oxon to LHR

ok. that was still a very long trip. the bus journey from oxford to heathrow was 90 minutes. the flight from london to seattle was 10 hours, and the flight from seattle to spokane was 45 minutes. the drive from GEG home would have taken, you know, 10 minutes, except we decided to go to the elk for dinner. mmmmm. santa fe chicken sandwich and american beer. mmmm.

on the plane, i slept for 4 hours, read for 2 hours, and watched two movies: the polar express and the brilliant mrs henderson presents, featuring dame judi dench, bob hoskins and...wait for it...will young. the whole experience was great. i laughed out loud more than once, and generally enjoyed it. tomorrow's QotD will be from it, unless someone here says something better.

plus, no fewer than 7 other people from my london/seattle flight were also on my seattle/spokane flight: one american soldier, and six english people (a family of five and a young man coming to visit what i gathered to be his internet girlfriend), chavs all. yeah.

despite going to bed at midnight, i woke up at four, as usual. might start re-reading the goblet of fire today. definitely going to lunch with the grandmaternal unit and helping my mother buy real food. as the good lord sayeth, "man doth not live on jicama alone, or jicama at all, because it's gross, and your mom shouldn't make you eat it ever." i'm pretty sure i got the quote right. any scripture scholars in the audience.

yay home!

monday, 12 december

quoted: "i trust beards" -jack

sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend. after the AMAZING dinner friday evening, i spent the night in london. saturday included very very good duck at the four seasons chinese restaurant on queensway. mmmm. saturday night included a little get-together at kazbar and then coming back to my flat and staying up til 3 talking and drinking large volumes of wine. a can't think of a better way to have spent my 25th birthday. thanks to everyone who came to lunch and drinks. a big thanks to jack's parents for the fabulous meal friday and to pete for the fab tie...and to christine for the panda card. and to everyone who sent me cards/emails/texts. i appreciate it!

i was hung over yesterday. very hung over. jack and i had a good brunch at joe's (complete with awful service), followed by a very nice (if mildly muddy) walk in the park. but it was beautiful here. today, too. i have tons of errands though, so i should run. no update tomorrow, since i'm flying home, but don't forget the candle-hat and pancakes to celebrate the feast of st lucia.

friday, 9 december

quoted: "that's it. these pants are coming off" -jack, in green park

brandon says it can be scary to click on the links i put in my post. ok. not scary. adventurous. i'm at a loss for interesting things to say (or link to) today, though, so y'all are safe. for now.

anthstravaganza 2005 begins tonight with jack's parents taking me out for dinner somewhere in london. details to follow. i'm sure it will be good. meanwhile, i need to go do a bit more christmas shopping.

oh. wait. found a link. to the new york times's review of america's new favorite gay cowboy movie. america's old favorite gay cowboy movie, of course, was john wayne's red river. don't ask me why, but it's true.

thursday, 8 december
immaculate conception

quoted: "i have been in oxford for four years; of course i know what BDSM is." -sush

i'm heading to london here pretty quick. i'm also heading to london tomorrow and saturday. i really do wish jack would get his flat furnished so i could have a place to crash when i'm in town. it's exhausting to make the journey over and over again.

more news regarding the consumption of butterstick, and here's a link to the comments of a whole bunch of oversensitive, whiny dolts. i will never understand why people are so eager to be offended. anyway, on to the president: in the new New York Times/CBS News poll, his approval rating is up slightly, to 40% from last month's 35%. the article points out that his numbers are highly polarised. 79% of republicans approve of him, but only 12% of democrats do. nothing too surprising there, but independents? 34%. ouch.

oh, and as i type this, smoking is becoming illegal in the great state of washington (in all public buildings, places of employment, bars, restaurants, clubs, and within 25 feet of every door, window or air vent of any such place). hurrah!

wednesday, 7 december
pearl harbor day

quoted: "my thighs really aren't that fat" -fit guy in brasenose lane

i totally forgot that yesterday was st nicholas's feast day. actually, i forget every year. there are so many other things that happen in december (like st lucy's feast day, for example) crowding in my mind. in any case, no one put candy in my shoes. very disappointing. but ketan did bring me very alcoholic chocolate liqueurs when we met at the vaults (mmm) for lunch yesterday. thanks!

quick. before i forget: do this. thanks to MB for pointing that out to me. and by me i mean everyone who has his AIM screen name.

kudos to wonkette on pointing out how crazy the vice president is. we all knew, but it's worth saying again. but what do you want to bet that the note has a more positive (slash incomprehensible) take on that speech? yeah. me too.

in equally (slash more) important news: save butterstick! he can sleep in my bathtub, too. or he can stay with my parents. i'm sure he'd get along great with mrs buttons. ps - in that photo is mrs buttons is totally thinking, "what did i do wrong that they gave me over to this monster?" pps - mrs buttons is actually called guster.

tuesday, 6 december

quoted: "the english love american cock" -endangered species and hoes party

i really didn't make that quote up, but i'm glad to say that its speaker was someone i'd never seen before in my entire life, so that should comfort us all.

i had a dream about living in a tree last night; that's not very interesting, i admit. perhaps more interesting, the UK civil partnerships act took effect yesterday; here's what the new york times and the bbc have to say about that. far less inspirational is the article from yesterday's new york times about the rapid decline of a kentucky lottery winner. i must warn you, though: in addition to being truly sad, it's also the worst-written article in the history of that newspaper.

also, courtesy of leskis, more breaking news.

i had a very productive day yesterday, until i discovered that i could play the panda cam in full-screen mode. and wonkette has suddenly come up with a good argument for keeping the stick after his 2nd birthday. can you imagine: sixteen baby pandas! i mean, i'm sure none of them individually is cuter than butterstick, but certainly their combined cuteness must be mind-boggling.

monday, 5 december

quoted: "thanks for the butt massage" -iffley road

i'm late for a date with a nap, so just some quick shots off here: after a grueling year for the white house, there's speculation that president bush's chief of staff may resign in january. and there's an interesting article in today's LA Times about a potential turn in the tide of conservative dominanation of the national political landscape, though i must say i'm always skeptical of tea-leaf-reading articles, and this is definitely one of those.

i got to talk to my mom and dad and bobbo yesterday. amanda made it home safely, but she leaves for seattle today, and for california tomorrow. crazy girl. PLUS: jack came up for dinner last night. i made a very good (if i do say so myself) thai chicken curry. and rice! (i know this will sound lame, but i think cooking rice is really difficult). for breakfast i made a japanese-style omelette which jack said was super good. i love cooking breakfast, though, so there you have it.

sunday, 4 december

quoted: "when things go poorly, he starts kissing that guy's crotch" -the hazards of beer bong

yesterday was lovely but exhausting. when i left oxford rain was pouring down. it got brighter as the coach got closer to london, though, and jack and i then proceeded to canary wharf to see his wonderful new flat and eat WAAAAY too much dim sum. we then rolled ourselves toward south ken, for christine's ice-skating birthday party (facebook folks can see pics of that here). there were about 20 of us, all a bit rusty on our skates, but it was definitely a good time. i certainly can't think of any other respectable activity which involves touching so many strangers. but i managed not to run over anyone, or fall down myself, so i'll count the experience as a success. that, of course, was followed by a little tiny bit of christmas shopping at selfridges, which is offering a 20% "friends and family" discount this weekend. very useful.

i'm spending this morning cleaning my room. but now i'm hungry, so i think it's time for brunch.

ps - making fun of butterstick, while still adorable, is not cool.

saturday, 3 december

quoted: "speaking of my allergies... did you know that a shark penis is called a clasper? true story." -manda, of course

i honestly have one food out the door to london, so i can only say this...i always knew rob was gay. and satchel is eating an ice cream cone. he's almost as cute as the stick.

friday, 2 december
happy 25th birthday, maria!

quoted: "he's going to want me bad. especially when i puke all over him" -matt

congrats to maria on being older than i am. for 8 days at least. and congrats to jack, who is completing (aka closing) on his flat today (hurrah!).

i can hardly say how glad i am that it's friday of 8th week. this week has not been the highlight of my time at oxford, but i'm ready for the next week (and holiday, and term) to be GREAT.

we can all breathe a sigh of relief: the panda cam is working again. phew.

thursday, 1 december

quoted: "he looks like he's lost a whole person's worth of weight" -meg

ok, the fact that it's not thursday of 8th week makes me really uncomfortable. REALLY uncomfortable. but i'll get over it, i suppose. today is world AIDS day. wear a ribbon or not, as you like, but try to keep in mind that there are 40 million people around the wolrd living with HIV, that 4 million new infections occurred last year, that 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, and that there's still no cure and no vaccine.

i must get down to writing an email to the two new rhodies who asked me to comment on life at christ church. must do that. before of after my shower? when am i going to get work done? tomorrow, i guess, and next week. christmas holiday: YAY! saturday is shopping day. hurrah.

on a related note: jack jack jack. jack jack jack jack jack. how about them apples?

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