Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spelling Bee buzz

Yesterday, while I was getting ready for my supper club (making whole wheat pizza dough, and then rolling it out and decorating it with homemade pesto, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes, and another one with crushed tomatoes and artichoke hearts and more mozz...) I was listening to the middle rounds of the National Spelling Bee on ESPN. It was sort of funny to see how ESPN made it more "exciting" ... they even did short interviews with the kids and their parents. It was cute.

Starting with Round 4 (semifinals), they had to spell words like skeuomorph, hircocervus, echinocystis, and omphaloskepsis. Yikes! These are mostly 12 and 13 year old kids! I was amazed. I thought I was a good speller - I won the spelling bee in my elementary school in 5th grade and made it to regionals... where I was tripped up by the word "platelet" (I hadn't had biology yet, I didn't know that it didn't have the "-ette" on the end! oh well..) So yesterday, I tried to spell the words along with the kids, without looking at the spelling on the tv... I think I would have been out in round 5. ;)

The winning speller, Kavya Shivashankar (she's 13!), had to spell the following in the last six rounds:
11. Caerphilly
12. wisent
13. bouquiniste
14. isagoge
15. phoresy
16. Laodicean (winner!)

Wow. I'd better go back to studying. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

100 miles in one day

oy vey.

This has been some day. I think I spent more time in my car than I did at the office. Or anywhere, except maybe the doctor's office.

I started the day at the medical building for my annual physical, and to get a referral so I can get my knee checked out. He thinks I have patella-femoral syndrome, which is exactly what Bryan had when he grew too fast and had no cartilage in his knees. I can live with that -- I'd rather have to do PT than have any kind of surgery, but we'll see what the ortho says. I was all ready to head back to work after 45 mins in the docs office, but no! That would be too easy. I had to go to the lab first. EKG, blood test, and a tetanus shot for good measure. (ow. did I mention that they had to stick me twice to take my blood, because he screwed up the first time? ugh.)

An hour later, I was finally on my way. I made a beeline for Starbucks first, since I had been fasting since midnight, and had only slept for about 5 hrs. And "beeline" was the right word -- after three sips of iced coffee, I was buzzing like a beehive. I zipped back to the office (really, I might have been able to run faster than the car went!), I edited a document, and left again to drive down to a luncheon on campus. (Yes, ok, I should have gone straight from the doc's office to campus, but I thought I had enough time... learned my lesson!)

Went to the lunch meeting, which was really uneventful, and then went back to the office. (Again, should have stayed on campus...) I was in the office for a whole 45 minutes, and then I raced down to the airport to pick up Amy & Mary. I took them back to the office, gave them a tour, and did a little bit of work, until about 5:15. By then, the office had emptied out and we were hungry, so we went over to Roaring Fork for dinner. We sat outside -- and had to fight off some really aggressive flies -- and watched people swimming in the lake. The food was good, the weather was warm but pleasant, and the check blew away. (we had to pay anyway, the nice waiter reprinted it. damn.)

Then I brought the girls up to see my house, since this was about the closest we'll be all weekend. They liked it. We all nearly fell asleep in the living room, so I drove them downtown to their hotel, dropped them off, and came back.

Phew. Want to see what the map looks like?
(B) is the doctor's office
(D) is campus
(F) is the airport
(G) is my office
(H) is the hotel
(I) is my house

Tomorrow: I'm sleeping late!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Play it again, please

Having a whole bunch of movie channels (and a DVR) is great, though sometimes it keeps me from watching my Netflix movies for months at a time. I can watch some of my favorite movies whenever they're on, over and over again, and quote most (if not all) of the lines. The list is long: Star Wars/Empire/Jedi, Princess Bride, Pretty Woman, Hunt for Red October, French Kiss, Footloose, Crimson Tide, Bridget Jones, Unforgiven... occassionally Dani and I try to build a complete list, but we can never think of all of them. I think it's a comfort thing. I know I can do just about anything around the house - work, laundry, build bookcases, hang pictures, knit, and even nap - and know exactly what's going on in the movie. It's actually harder for me to do these things when I'm watching a new episode of something, like Countdown on MSNBC, or CSI, because I want to concentrate on what's being said. But these movies are my comfort food.

Speaking of which, tonight, Field of Dreams was on, followed by Bull Durham. *sigh* It's no secret that I had a HUGE crush on Kevin Costner when these two movies came out. My dad even got me the cardboard stand-up of KC and Susan Sarandon* from the video store, (that one -->) which hung over the curtain rod in my bedroom until I went to college. (It was conveniently also good for keeping out early morning sunlight!) I can pretty much recite the lines from start to finish on both of these. And they have two of the best speeches out of all the films I love. In FoD, it's James Earl Jones explaining that "people will come:"
... People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

And of course, Crash's speech in the beginning of Bull Durham, explaining what he believes in:
Well, I believe in the soul, the c*ck, the p*ssy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
Yes, it's probably a waste of time to watch these things over and over, but it's comfortable. They're like my old friends, and I wouldn't want to ignore my friends!

* Random quirk of mine - Susan Sarandon was married, for a time, to Chris Sarandon (aka Prince Humperdinck, from Princess Bride). Strangely, I pronounce her name Sa-RAN-don, and I pronounce his name SAH-ran-don. Don't ask me why, I don't know.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A lovely baby shower

This afternoon, Rebeka and I went to a baby shower for our friends Juan and Letty. Letty has another six weeks to go, but she looks like she's about to pop! It was a nice, small shower, with couples and kids. Of course, I was happy to go to the shower, and I made the world's quickest duckie - started last night at 9:30am, finished in the car on the way to the party! But the biggest draw for me was that it was being hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie Klein (and her husband Phil).

I've been reading Stephanie's blog for at least a couple of years, since she published her first book, Straight Up and Dirty, moved to Austin (shortly before I did, I think), had her twins in December '06... It was great to actually meet her! The "beans" are a little over 2 now and talking. They're SO cute. And Phil is just the nicest guy in the world.

Our illustrious hosts made finger sandwiches, complete with the crusts cut off -- cucumber, salmon, egg salad -- as well as awesome little roast beef sandwiches with cheese and horseradish, and teriyaki meatballs... we definitely ate well. There was a big pitcher of lemonade, with a bottle of Absolut Vanilla next to it. We didn't realize that the lemonade was *already* spiked... it was tasty, but I had to stop after one cup. :) And then to top it all off, Letty made a lemon tart. Wow. Juan said they made him stop bringing her baked goods to work, and I can totally see why!

Needless to say, the duckie was a big hit. :) I didn't take out my own camera, but there will be pictures soon, I'm sure.

So a big ol' thank you to Stephanie and Phil, and mazel tov to Juan and Letty! (I even offered to babysit!)