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saturday, 31 march

quoted: "i suppose if you have a hundred million dollars, you get a sexy boyfriend." -nick

yesterday involved lots of good seafood. for lunch, my parents and i went to a new restaurant here in spokane whose name i've already forgotten. i think it was on riverside, though, to the east of luigi's. across from the rocket bakery. anyway, i had some really good calamari, a delicious weissbier, and a salad with grilled swordfish and goat's cheese. the fish was a little overcooked, but not distractingly so.

after a trip to the home & garden show (don't even get me started on the hot tubs), we visited the local cheese shop, where we got a delicious blue cheese form some oregon dairy. mmmm.

dinner was at moxie, one of my favorite restaurants in spokane. we had their last bottle of chianti. i started with a pear/gorgonzola/wallnut salad and then seared rare tuna with a sesame seed crust. it was...delicious. and served with coconut jasmine rice with a mild curry sauce that tasted like it had a touch of mustard in it. delicious.

oh. yes. a post all about food. what a way to end the month of march.

friday, 30 march

quoted: "how do you get in the back door?" -anne

uh oh. i can hear the nordic track going. we all know what that means.

i forgot to mention this yesterday: i think we need an eleventh commandment: thou shalt not crowd the baggage carrousel. why do people do that? it really doesn't serve anyone's interests.

yesterday after a trip to the gym, i went to the dentist. yes, that's my dad. then to lunch with my mom and grandma. caffe marron. it was good. could have done without the pickles on the sandwich. but it was good to see my cousin jeff. that was followed by costco. in the evening, allison D came over for steak and my parents regaled us with stories of the series of crazy women who looked after us when we were little. sigh.

thursday, 29 march

quoted: "i'd love to be intersexed" -james

ok, so i failed to update yesterday. but in my defense i was flying from LHR to GEG. my flight left at 3 from heathrow. at 11.30, still tapping away at my computer in my flat, responding to work emails, i realized i should probably pack. and get to the gym. gym took precedence. still not sure i packed enough clothing. or all the types of clothing i wear on a day-to-day basis. oh well.

my expo 74 decorative platter arrived, though. and my long-delayed gtown mesh shorts. thanks sister bear. it's like christmas all over again.

was trapped in a middle seat on the flight from london to seattle, but slept for about 6 or 7 of the 9.5 hours, so it really didn't bug me too much. then i was trapped next to a crazy conservative catholic on my SEA-GEG flight. he was nice enough, but you could see the crazy in his eyes.

ok. should get to...doing nothing. heh. hurrah. 3 more sleeps. hurrah!

tuesday, 27 march

quoted: "mind the duck" -four seasons

5 sleeps & home tomorrow!

four more songs on
slag patrol today. no duff this time around. sigh? i like the fall out boy song from yesterday a lot. and the timbaland one from today. and probably all of them, to be honest.

"australian used to be characterized as 'cockney through the nose'". bits of wisdome from this talk of the nation on accentuating people's accents. i've said many a time how interesting i find accents, so once again i'll plug the british library's accent project. go spend some time not being able to understand english regional accents from folks born in the 19th century.

yes, i am trying to look busy. don't question it.

went for two pints with mikes and his ex (chris) last night at the old red lion. then at last call we decided to go for a cocktail at brown's hotel. the most expensive cocktails ever. i mean, yeah, they were good, but for £13 i expect them to be amazing.

tonight? village drinks with the two jameses and sundry others.

monday, 26 march

quoted: "i'm happy to sleep with her again. but not in stratford" -jo

6 sleeps

so now that georgetown is in the final 4, i'm told i have to pretend to care about basketball: "it's been so long since last we met (lie down, forever, lie down)". and i just realized that my alma mater's fight song encourages betting. hurrah for catholic schools.

also hurrah for a
slag patrol update yesterday. and the threat of another one today. and here's the most arcane tidbit about my personal life you'll ever hear...wait for it...i've come up with a new way to save slag patrol songs on my computer so that i can find the new ones without too much difficulty. please try to control your excitement.

this morning was one of those mornings where my first 30 seconds of being awake were blissful. i think i actually woke up with a smile on my face. but then i stopped short, realizing it was monday. then i thought, no no. you're in such a good mood. it must be sunday. but no. it's monday. sigh.

oh. and finally, thanks to brennan for introducing me to altarcations, my favorite new sport. much higher on the list than college basketball.

sunday, 25 march

quoted: "i burt arrived at tom's. where arm you?" -drunk text from keats

7 sleeps

ok. i know i almost never update on sundays any more. in fact, the last time i updated on a sunday was 10 september. so that's quite a while. but i have my computer at home this weekend (before you ask, yes i was up doing work at 1.30 friday night. sigh). so i thought i could update before eating some form of breakfast.

i'm excited to say that i will be heading home on wednesday. i just learned this at about 2.00 this morning. which suddenly and unexpectedly became 3.00. stoopid summer time starting and destroying the bliss that was only being 4 hours ahead of EDT and 7 hours ahead of PDT. surprising what a difference an hour makes. really.

friday night in addition to working until an absurd hour i went to a party at tom and sophie's. that was good, as tony, dottie, emma and boris were there. i left pretty early, but saw the usual suspects again yesterday afternoon at a pub near borough market, where we spent the afternoon (in the non-smoking section, thankfully) drinking and talking. very pleasant saturday afternoon.

james and i went to nobu for dinner last night, taking the booking that should have been for prom (sigh). but it was my best nobu experience yet...from a food standpoint, at least. we started with two sashimi courses: grey mullet in the first, followed by tuna and yellowtail. then two cooked courses: amazing prawns followed by seared rare steak. then there was a sushi course, followed by miso soup and a comparitively unimpressive pudding. we had a bottle of gewürztraminer with dinner, which really made the most of the flavors in the food, if i do say so myself. food: 9.5/10. service: 7/10. ambiance: 6/10. value: 7/10.

yes, my ratings are totally arbitrary.

today is the feast of the annunciation of bvm. in case you were curious.

friday, 23 march

quoted: "isn't there anything else going on in the world? anything more important than the wife of some ex-senator guy who ran for president in 2004 having breast cancer again?" -knob lane

after two weekends of going-going-going, i'm ready for some pretty advanced napping this time around. and let it be said that i'm a pretty good napper. especially after some gymming and a decent-sized breakfast. if i learned one thing at oxford, it was how to nap.

yesterday i bought a mirror at habitat. people are starting to tell me that i have a mild addiction to tottenham court road. i keep saying i can quit whenever i want.

after katie's interview yesterday she and i went to meet mikes for a quick coffee (big mistake--i was still up at 1.30 am because of it) and then dinner before i went to see duck hunting. which was good but depressing.

james posted photos of last friday's trash palace run on facebook, which reminded me: when we went head into the bar the doorman stopped us (fresh out of arbutus and all looking mildly respectable), asking "where are you looking for?". who knew so few people in button down shirts go to trash palace?!

thursday, 22 march

quoted: "i'm trying to take you seriously but your face is framed by a monkey's legs" -tope

there's a feeling that i normally associate with liberal guilt (and boy do i have that in buckets): the feeling of looking in the face of suffering or sadness and being unable to help. only two things can make the feeling more acute: one is the realisation that both the acute suffering and the systemic issue that underlies it are out of reach. the other is the feeling that trying to help in any way might actually make the situation worse.

then, of course, i start to feel guilty for thinking about myself when i shouldn't be. hurrah for being born catholic, right?

last night keats and james s and christine and i made a trip to the four seasons for roast duck. the amazing thing about that place is that i always worry the duck won't be as amazing as my memory of the duck. thankfully, though, it never disappoints. this time: two ducks among four of us. much healthier than at chinese new year. clearly.

AB just sent me a link to this guardian article about my mobile phone, the
worst. phone. ever. i know i always say i'm committed to hating my current phone, whatever it is, more than i hated my previous phone. but this one takes the cake.

wednesday, 21 march

quoted: "she was rairing for the pole all night." -miranda about cat

yesterday may have been the first day of spring, but today seems much prettier, and there's roast duck on the horizon, so i'm sticking with today as a better day. the brightest part of my morning thus far has been listening to this american life's episode all about TV in america. brilliant. brilliant. the average american watches 29 hours of television each week. don't worry, i gasped too when i hear that figure.

if you love the second amendment, you'll love
this gun ad on youtube.

the phone just isn't the same, but that's all i'm going to say about that.

techie friends take note: magic tabs on the new google personalized homepage are pretty much the neatest thing ever. give them a try.

i'm actually super stacked at work today, so i must run.

tuesday, 20 march

quoted: "i want to slip it in during the crew announcement" -robin

there's no way to get around it: last week was dominated by two things: julie's visit and brennan's deportation. the lawyer, apparently, insists that it be called a removal rather than a deportation, but no one knows what removal means, and so i persist.

it's awfully quiet at 214 with just me. i'm trying to find ways to entertain myself that don't involve sleep or the gym.

so i suppose i should do a quick recap of the end of last week. on wednesday night 10 of us descended on hi sushi for an AYCE-stravaganza. AYCE, you'll remember, is my new acronym for all you can eat. anyway, that was good times. thursday julie and i walked 8.5 miles from hampstead to piccadilly. it was great. and mostly downhill. hampstead heath is beatiful. so is primrose hill, we had lunch at the golden hinde in marylebone lane. then we had tea at the wolseley. always nice, but i'm afraid we looked like scrubs and got a mediocre table. sigh. that night we had a dangerously late dinner at busaba.

friday, on account of a lawyer meeting, there was an impromptu lie-in only once interupted by an ACK moment...which quickly dissolved itself into more lie-in.

julie and i got a bit of a late start on friday. we picked up breakfast sammiches at pret before walking to westminster pier and catching a boat to greenwich. at greenwish we had a beer (of course) before climbing to the top of the hill to enjoy the profound wonder of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

we got the DLR back to town, where we had lunch at a mediocre thai place on charlotte street before heading to the british museum. rosetta stone and mummies checked off the list, julie joined me in admiring our first ever real-life glimpse of cuneiform. super cool.

dinner friday was me, brennan, julie, miranda and james at arbutus. i'm not going to say i wan unimpressed, but i had rather high hopes. my terrine was good, my rabbit was delicious, but i wasn't blown away by the pudding options. the service was attentive if somewhat clumsy, but the wine was good and the company more than made up for the hiccups along the way. after dinner the two Js and the two As headed to trash palace for a boogie. all was well with the world, the there was lots of falling down, and i'm awfully tired of my clothes smelling of smoke. julie left at 5.30 but when i went to get a glass of water at 8, she was back asleep on the sofa, so i got her for another 30 hours.

saturday involved breakfast at richoux (always nice), a nap, a late appearance at women's head, a couple pints, wicked, sake bombs at satsuma with carl and anne, and the village, followed by packing and a very exclusive party.

sunday was, of course, very sad face-making. but it's only sad because things are going so well (recall coworker's comment tuesday: sometimes i wish they'd deport my girlfriend), so in the end i'm trying to be thankful. i am thankful. i mean that i'm trying to focus on that part of what i'm feeling.

there's a line in the first josh ritter song i ever heard (kathleen, which begins with "all the other girls here are stars; you are the northern lights") that i've been singing to myself over and over again lately: " every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied". i'm not entirely sure i agree with it, but it's stuck with me. at one point in the past several not-quite-drunk-but-never-totally-sober days (thanks, julie!) i remember thinking about the relatioships of young adults. still grappling with our own sense of self and our own emotions, we bump into one another to see how these dynamic little balls of potential might fit together with those of another human being.

it's all so random and fraught with danger. (cue the refrain that it's not an adventure if no one gets a scar, but emotional scars count, and those can take years to develop). but how do we know when we've got it right? do things just click sometimes? it's scary sometimes for me to think that my mom was my age when she and my dad got married. how did they know? maybe they'll tell me sometime.

i'm going to stop this monster update now before i start sounding even more like carrie bradshaw. eek.

monday, 19 march

quoted: "it's been nice having you here...i think" -BA agent to AB on his being removed from the country

i had such grand plans for a long and eloquent update today. like so many days, though, the chaos of work stepped in early to interfere. so instead you get a rather brief go based on my current, frazzled state. i was just telling my fellow workers that i'm not firing on all pistons today. very very true.

i'll try to put together a full recap of the past several days when i'm at home tonight, and post it tomorrow. there's a lot to be said. sorry for being crap about doing it now.

wednesday, 14 march

quoted: "sexy face. now. now!" -fulham broadway

so remember that thing i said about deportment yesterday. ditto today. double today. biggest sad face ever. not really sure i want to write much more than that today. trying not to be mope-y, but that song "ain't no sunshine when she's gone..." just won't get out of my head. quadruple sigh.

only two bright spots in this dark day. the first, of course, is julie's visit. she came to [second] lunch at work today, and that was great. secondly: CONGRATULATIONS to my dear friend joe for adopting a beautiful baby boy: isaac. i'm pushing for antonio as a middle name. imagine that.

not working tomorrow or friday, so don't look for updates. and don't expect much sun on monday.

tuesday, 13 march

quoted: "go like this. no. like how you'd hold a chainsaw" -14 bus

there's some sort of state visit going on today. st james's park was chock full of police officers trying to look casual. they failed, in case you were wondering. but it was still a most beautiful morning. great to walk to work and not be wet OR cold.

i had the most delicious corn bread in the world last night.

i'm against deportment in all its evil forms. but i'm for all you can eat sushi, and all its wonders. anyone else?

people can't keep to schedules, but i'm trying not to let it get me down. sigh.

monday, 12 march

quoted: "i don't mind you giving me blow jobs being quiet. they're just as good." -kings arms

oh what a weekend. julie marie arrived on friday night (finding my flat despite my best efforts to hide it from her). we were running a bit late, so we missed the ice bar over dinner, but we made up for it by taking champagne in the flat while brennan went to dinner with paul and miranda.

saturday julie and i waited for my (damaged) furniture to be delivered before having brunch at inn the park and heading to oxford for what ended up being a very drunken afternoon and evening. those pubs, i tell you. they're so brutal. but it was great to see katie and tamson and alex and marcus and everyone.

sunday was a world of pain, but i'm off home now.

friday, 9 march

happy 26th, ian!
quoted: "i don't think i'd eat specifically beef anus" -keats

ongoing failure of lenten undertaking. sigh. sorry.

i was on the bus to work today when i saw a white stretch limo going down grosvenor place, along the western edge of the private gardens at buckingham palace. in america, a white stretch limo is a relatively acceptable form of transportation for someone with too much money. in london, thankfully, it's horribly naff. same goes for burberry plaid. i do like this city.

especially on days like today, when it's sunny and in the 50s. hurrah!

gym last night at the same time as (note: not with) brennan. perpetually embarrassed by my lack of physical fitness. situation not helped by post-gym AYCE sushi with james, keats, dottie, brennan and james's friend tara. very pleasant. very full, though.

and what thursday night could be complete without an episode of the hills? indeed! don't judge. i know you're jealous.

wednesday, 7 march

happy 22nd birthday, beckers! hope no-dak is great.
quoted: "i'm just recycling. you can't stand in the way of recycling." -ollie

sorry about the lack of update yesterday. rachel is really quite strict about closing down computers during meetings. which means i have a HUGE backlog of emails and i failed to update yesterday. sigh. but when i get back to london tonight, the last thing i intend to do is check emails. hurrah for going home!

and hurrah for julie coming in two days. and i'm really looking forward to meeting paul.

i think we can all agree that my short-lived flirtation with a jotspot blog was a step backwards. so now, with the help of dreamweaver, i'm trying to outwit this whole xml/xsl thing. when did i get so stoopid about technology? oh. yeah. oxford.

last night we had a team dinner at the unicorn restaurant here in dublin. italian food. very good. and good portion sizes. service was above standard, though i'd say it wasn't the best value upmarket italian i've ever had. i started with parma ham and mozarella, followed by a fillet (medium rare, of course) with a port & gorgonzola sauce. i also ate too much bread and anything left on my coworkers' plates. i'm totally uncivilised, apparently.

i was unreasonably hungry, though, after a trip to the "gym" at the burlington hotel. rather unimpressed. still, it was better than nothing.

monday, 5 march

quoted: "i mixed up freedom and liberty" -brennan

tech-no-lo-gi-cal ro-mance

so much to say about this weekend. but first some forward looking statements: i'm going to dublin in a couple hours. should be a good time. will get to see all those continental colleagues, who are a kick in the pants. but i'm out of town until wednesday, which is a bit sad face. but maybe there will be all-you-can-eat sushi when i get back to london.

speaking of all-you-can-eat, brennan, dottie, keats, jon and i went to ping pong yesterday for AYCE dim sum. we did the math--the AYCE deal was £18 per head. at £3 per plate, the five of us needed order 30 plates to make the deal worth our time. i think we ended up ordering 60 plates and 4 bowls of ice cream. a disgusting quantity of food, by anyone's standards. our guiding mantra? if you stop eating, the terrorists have already won.

CONGRATS to my sister's basketball team for winning their conference tourney. well done! but mom says your bathroom sink is filthy.

just a little public service notice:
sleep naked.

also: if you were worried that it was too difficult for people to track your behavior online, check out twitter and tumblr. (compliments of AB).

what did i actually do this weekend, you ask? friday night i went to the gym post-TGIF (and post-showing up with a VC to cali with a beer in hand), after which i had a quick dinner at italian graffiti on wardour street. good deal, but not strictly speaking the best pizza (or pasta) i've ever had in london. then on to the trash palace for nick's going away party. quotes forthcoming. made it home a little after 11, and in bed at a relatively reasonable hour.

on saturday i cleaned my flat more thoroughly than i've done since i moved in six months ago. moved all the furniture. scrubbed all the floors. quite an achievement, if i do say so myself. then went to soba on soho street, where the waitress was sceptical of our ability to finish four main courses between us. we showed her. bought some furniture in the afternoon (two chests of drawers from the pier and one bookshelf from habitat). say what you will about the pier, but they're delivering my furniture next saturday while habitat thinks the bookshelf i bought from them might arrive in store by mid april. yeah.

saturday night i went to shell's "if i weren't at my nine to five i'd be..." party. as a convict. best costume goes to the three chaps who showed up strapped to a sofa. it was great to see all those chch'ers for the first time in ages.

last night after the ridiculous amount of dim sum i had a surprise(!) nap. then i started reading the story of art, the AMAZING book roisin got me for christmas. i'm only one chapter in (plus the prefaces and the intro), but so far i'm very impressed. particularly by the author's insistence that--while there is no wrong reason for liking a work of art--there are wrong reasons to dismiss a work of art. as he says it's a shame when prejudice or previous experience prevents us from appreciating a work of art. i'd argue the same for personal relationships. but hey, that's just me.

friday, 2 march

quoted: "who the hell are you? i'm looking for some vodka." -tony, to me

no update today. yes, i'm bad. but i just spent the past hour putting google analytics tags in most of my pages. sure it doesn't make for a much improved user experience...yet. but it does allow me to stalk you all on a more granular basis. or something. happy weekending!

thursday, 1 march

quoted: "i'm going to stick it in your f*ing mouth. no. brennan would be jealous." -boris

in like a lion, they say? bah!

today, i hear, is st david's day. he's the patron of wales. i've never been to wales, and i only know two welsh people, so i'm going to dismiss this as a relatively minor holiday.

last night i crashed hard at about 11 pm. my late(ish) night tuesday definitely caught up with me. but only after i went to the old red lion with my friend nick. i hadn't seen him in AGES--like since last may right before rhodes ball. always good to catch up with housemen. and he says he may be going to shell's party in fulham on saturday. so i'll get to catch up with him again. hurrah.

other news? no. not really. i get to see fiona this evening and then keats for dinner and possibly a movie. congrats to beckers on her team's doing well at something. none of my family keep me enough in the loop to be more specific.

i admit that this update is a bit scattered. so is my brain. and i'm so excited that tomorrow is friday.

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