Congratulations v.4

7.29.2008 Comments: (1)

Congratulations on your engagement Christy and Brian!!!

SF Pride Parade '08

7.28.2008 Comments: (0)
I thought we would do this award show style...

Best use of flags:

Biggest crowd pleaser:

In the car there on the left side is the SF mayor Gavin Newsom. Seriously, when his car came by I thought maybe the Beatles were in the parade. People LOVE him. (Sidenote - I work with the man in the center of the photo holding up the sign. He's awesome.)

Worst job of the parade:

The poor guy who has to stand behind them and move the "bull" up and down.

Best signage (tie):

HA. Indeed. My favorite part is the kid holding the mini sign.

The other side of their sign said "Engaged 23 years, marrying 7.17.08"

Best outfits:

Why yes, they are wearing seahorses made entirely of balloons why do you ask? This company starts off the parade every year, each year with a different theme. This year was "Everybody adds color under the sea"

Love it. I like an outfit that takes multiple people to pull off.

One of the best dresses of the day.

Hey, you want to dress up like a pony and pull your master in a carraige in the parade? Sure. Just do it safely, you know?

Impressive. Added points for the shoes - it is a LONG parade.

No seriously...

Comments: (2)
...I am cursed and so are those around me. Dan's flight home from NYC last night (he was there for work - the NYC marathon!) was cancelled and he flew home early this morning instead. They said it was because of "weather" but really it's because "Kristin is cursed." I'm sorry in advance LB if you have trouble getting home from London. **We did go whale watching a couple of weeks ago in Monterrey, which was lovely and COLD. We saw anywhere from 3-5 whales (no way of telling if they're the same or different ones) and while we didn't get too up close and personal, we definitely could see them breach the surface, and heard them, and got some great shots of them diving deep and their flukes coming out of the water (yeah, flukes. I know the lingo). However, on the way back in we came across probably 40-50 dolphins who were jumping and frolicking about right up next to the boat. There were 3 different species and they played around for probably about 10 minutes - it was awesome! The people on the boat said it was some of the best dolphin sighting they hadd had all season. Of course, they probably say that to all the people who don't get to see a lot of whales, but I'm going to choose to believe them. It is pretty crazy to me that we can drive less than two hours south of here and go whale watching. Anyway, we plan to try again - maybe next summer. Maybe we'll get actual usable pictures then! **As I said, Dan was on travel for work and he went to the play ("Boeing, Boeing") that Bradley Whitford is in and got to meet him and take a picture with him. No really, it's fine that both Missy and Dan have met him and I haven't. Seriously, I'm fine with it. **Work - ack! I started training for this coming school year last week, and we kicked it off by going on overnight retreat. All of a sudden my to do list is insanely, crazy long. I'm trying not to get stressed out before I really need to but it feels like a lot already! August is such a crazy month. Two weeks of training my staff for about 10 hours a day, followed by two days of move in (1400 students in two days!), followed by two weeks full of activities put on by my staff, followed by the CC coming into town! You all will very much be my relaxation after a very stressful time. **Usually, I'm reporting on a ton of books I've read, but recently I've seen a whole bunch of movies. Dan and I went to see Wall-E, which was pretty adorable. I think I do prefer Pixar adventure movies to Pixar love stories though. We also went to see Iron Man in a really cute second-run movie theather/bar which Dan really enjoyed (it's the geek in him). I was really impressed with Robert Downey Jr. Who would have thought he could have been sober enough to pull that off?? And I finally saw Batman Begins so I could go see The Dark Knight this weekend on IMAX. Has anyone else seen it? People here who have said it was really, really good and that Heath Ledger is really, really disturbing. Considering the last action movie I saw was "Wanted" I feel pretty confident that this will be an improvement. **My aunt Janis was just in town! Her boyfriend is out in SF for about a month, working on...many different things, so she came out for the weekend to visit. We all got to go out to dinner, which was lovely. I was surprised at how nice it was to see some family, in between what seems like will be the regular twice-yearly visit home. **In other family news, my mom and I are going to Vegas in October to see Bette Midler!!! You can make fun all you want, I'm excited.

More late night thoughts

7.17.2008 Comments: (1)
*So believe it or not, Dan and I have lived here for a year. Our moving anniversary passed last week on July 8th. Crazy I tell you. I think I missed it because I've blocked the memory of our incredibly stressful moving process.

*Public transportation pet peeves: Missing a bus by mere inches. People who talk REALLY LOUDLY on their cell phones continuing a conversation on a crowded bus.

*I have passed my airline curse onto my loved ones. My mom got stuck in Texas for 10 hours while trying to get to California (for work) and then they lost her luggage for three days.

*My new favorite song is "After Tonight" by Justin Nozuka, who I thought was some unknown guy who was playing on my Pandora station. Then I found out he's all over VH1, but whatever, you can give me the credit when you fall in love with the song too. Go download it! But be warned the chorus gets stuck in your head like a beeyotch. Also, Ro, he's half Japanese.

*Blog posts with photos to look forward to: 12 on the 12th - A Day in the life of Dan, the SF Pride Parade and a city walk.

*The AFSCME (no, I do not know what it stands for) union is on strike here all week long because they quite simply don't get paid enough. This union encompasses our custodians, maintenance staff, groundskeepers, and food service workers. Good thing it's not during the school year because this place would be a hot mess. So, many of the RDs and I aren't eating in the dining halls this week to support the strikers, many of whom we know and work with and interact with every day. So, we're alternating people making dinner for everyone. Tonight Dan and I made breakfast for dinner for about 10 people. Good times. Dan makes killer raspberry chocolate chip pancakes.

*I have read 30 books this year so far. Currently reading: "The Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston and am about to start "Ship of Fools" by Katharine Anne Porter, and "The Color Purple."

*This blogpost is also the latest edition of the "I am SO EXCITED to see everyone" newsletter. Clearly, there are good times to be had. See exhibit A below.

I fully believe that I am cursed.

7.12.2008 Comments: (1)
Yes, I am back safely in California after a wonderful visit to the East Coast. Why yes, my flight home was awful and got me to San Francisco almost 3 hours late, why do you ask? It just makes me tired to think about. And thankful that the next time I will be on a plane probably won't be until October. My dad and I sat through about 45 minutes of traffic to get me to BWI in the first place, but he got me there on time, even a little early, as he always does. I had time to check in, and grab some dinner and as I was eating, I could see down to my gate. As I start looking closer, I see this man who clearly is upset, harassing and yelling at the gate attendants. (Yeah, the one place you don't yell at people is at airports or on airplanes. Wow, what a quick way to get arrested.) Eventually, some security shows up and they take the guy down the jetway toward the plane, and close the door behind them. Shortly, two lovely police officers show up and join the party. The gate attendant then comes out and tells everyone that the flight is going to be delayed until "the situation is handled." (Translation: Until this crazy man is off the plane.) so after about 10 minutes, the door opens, crazy man is escorted out by police officers, and we finally board. I find out from the flight attendant that the flight started in NY and on the way he created a ruckus, they kicked him off in Baltimore. And he wan't pleased. His brother dd go ahead and stay on the pkane though, which made me laugh. SO, we're already delayed for about 20 minutes, but all seems well - the flight is really smooth, I did the entire "difficult" crossword puzzle, etc. We have to make a stop in Phoenix. Phoenix has thunderstorms and 50 mph winds. We circle. For 45 minues. We eventually land (right before we got diverted to Tucson which would have made me hurt myself) and then we sit. For another hour. Thankfully, there were only about 30 people on the plane, so everyone had their own ow to lay down. Ugh I was tired when I got in, as it felt like about 5 in the morning to me on East Coast time. Seriously, even though both of my flights were awful and the stuff of nightmares, it was really nice to be back in DC and to see everyone. My mom and I went up to Johnstown for Fourth of July weekend to hang out with my grandparents, who my mom and my aunts think are "slowing down." But, seriously, my grandfather is 83 and he still works out at a gym a few times a week, and is active in the Knights of Columbus and carves and...I don't know what to say about that. I mean, he's obviously slower now than when he (and they!) were younger, but seems like he's doing pretty darn well to me. The last time I saw my grandparents was at Christmas when my entire family was at the Sheep Farm, so it was nice to be there when only my mom and I were there. It's much quieter. We all spent some time on the Fourth hanging out and eating (really, what else do you do for the 4th of July?), celebrating my aunt Debi's birthday, and then the next day we also all remembered my uncle Bill, who passed away two years ago July 6th. It was...sad, obviously. (I bet you all would have inferred that if I hasn't said anything) Also, fun fact: We stayed at a hotel where the desk clerk mentioned that Barack Obama and his entire staff had stayed a couple of months ago during a stop. Who knew that candidates came to Johnstown? (It didn't do any good with my grandparents. Staunch Democrats, but they're voting for McCain. *sigh*) I do start to miss Reston everytime I go back. But, as I was discussing with Brian, I think it would be different if everytime I went back no one was there. Do I really miss the place or the people? This time, Jess was there, being all engaged and such, Brian was home visiting (for his birthday!), Missy and Franklin were obviously there, my mom, my dad, my aunt/uncle/cousins, etc. So I don't know. I had a great time enteraining myself during the day (which mostly entailed going to coffeeshops I really like that had free WiFi) and then meeting people at night to do fun things. Franklin, Brian and I saw "Wanted" one night. WOW was it bad. Funny thing is, Dan actually refused to see it with me. This is odd for a few reasons. 1) Angelina Jolie. 2) He LOVES bad movies. Movies that you think are going to be horrible, Dan gets psyched up for. He can't help it. 3) Angelina Jolie. I wanted to go because the premise seemed fun - get messages from the future about who is bad bad bad and assassins kill them in the present to prevent the future badness. I think as a concept, that has potential. However, they kind of sort of completely squashed it and just made it horrible. I haven't seen a bad movie in the theater in a while (I try to avoid them, as it's friggin expensive to see movies these days) but this one wins the prize. I think the last one I saw that falls into this category was "Crank" with Jason Statham (the guy in the Transporter movies) who I swear can NOT make a good movie. Anyway, Crank was also horrible. Annnnnd I'm rambling. OH but there was a preview for the Batman movie, which creeped me out (the whole Heath Ledger thing). So yes, it was lovely to visit, but I'm home again with Dan and the kitties. While today is the 12th, I will be postponing 12 on the 12th for another edition of 13 on the 13th because we're going whale watching tomorrow! Woot.

Travel horror stores, v.2

7.03.2008 Comments: (1)
Well I'm finally here on the East Coast. It seems this is turning into a "Why air travel blows" blog but really, I do still love to travel and I do still love Southwest airlines, it's just that my last few trips have been awful. I was supposed to leave Oakland around, have a stopover in Kansas City (without changing planes) and then get in to BWI at 11 PM EST. Right, so that didn't happen. Left Oakland just fine, thought I was on track to have some good karma - gave my change to a homeless man at the BART station, changed seats on the plane so a family could all sit together, generally being a good person. So we're getting to Kansas City, and the captain comes on and says there is a thunderstorm, and we're going to circle for awhile. After some circling, we ended up getting diverted to Omaha, which was about 30 minutes away. At this point, I was just happy to be on my connecting flight, rather than having to change planes, because we all know I totally would have been stuck in the Midwest a lot longer than I would have wanted. So we end up sitting on the plane on the tarmac in Omaha. Nothing, I think, is worse than being stuck ON the plane. No food besides the snacks, no room to walk around, making awkward "oh isn't this awful" conversation with the people next to you. Children start crying, parents start getting frazzled, everyone is on their cell phone trying frantically to rearrange their pick-up at the airport. I was trying to do the same, as Missy and Franklin were coming to BWI to pick me up. After TWO HOURS of sitting, we took off again to go back to Kansas City, which needless to say, was quite the bumpy ride and an exciting landing. After all this, we still have to get to Baltimore. After another turbulence-filled flight, we finally touched down in Baltimore at about 2:50 AM. My mom was there to get me, and we got home a little after 4. Today, it took us 4 hours to make the 3 hour drive to Johnstown. *sigh* The good news is that I get to take a bath. Hahaha not that I don't regularly bathe, but our apartment only has a shower. So, I will be enjoying the tub here at the hotel. Happy Fourth of July!