Sunday, August 21, 2005
We were on the 16th floor (prior to the upgrade, when we were upgraded to the 25th floor) so we had this terrific view of the Mississippi River and the daily thunderstorms that sweep through the area.
My roommate Linda and I went to Cafe Du Monde after the storms cleared, for some beignets and iced cafe lattes. Delicioux!
Our delight was only slightly muffled by the street musician who continually played a high, sour note on his saxaphone right outside the cafe to encourage people to give him money. It sounds backwards, but people did give him money--so he would stop. Jeez, no one ever gave me money to stop playing oboe; I stopped out of a general respect for humanity. The reeded instruments are awfully cruel.
Jenna, are you paying attention? Because on the way back to the hotel, we passed this:
And you know that petit=MINIATURE!
You're correct, that is a topless female pirate. (Welcome, those of you who just googled "topless female pirate" and landed here!)
I liked how the window arranged WWII soldiers next to colonial soldiers next to confederate soldiers next to a Dixieland jazz band.
The next day was the day I wrote about in the previous entry, in which the magical upgrade occurred. That night we went out to the Crescent City Brewhouse for some beer, followed by a trip to Pat O'Brien's for Hurricanes. I'm not a big rum person, but the Hurricane has its charm, as does Pat O'Brien's fountain of fire. I mean, "Flaming Fountain." I love the to-go cups. So practical!
The next day Linda, Jill and I tried to take the streetcar in the morning, but it rained and rained and rained. We took the free ferry across the river to kill some time.
Later that day, it did clear up, so we finally took our streetcar ride. It was very very very hot and I think a brain cloud passed over me for some time. The streetcar was cool stylistically, with wooden seats and breezy open windows, but hot physically, because it wasn't air-conditioned. After some water at the end of the line I felt better, and even noticed on the way back that there were beads hanging in all the trees. I mean, ALL the trees. See?
Okay, you totally can't see but trust me, they were there.
That night was a reception at the aquarium, with spooky jellyfish and a big beautiful tortoise. Then in a big blur, the conference was over. I went back through Houston and onto Raleigh, and soon was back home again.
But I didn't forget to take a picture of this:
I still can't believe we got upgraded! Talk to you later!
Thursday, August 18, 2005
So, New Orleans. It's really hot here, and humid. Or at least it was yesterday. Today I haven't left the hotel. Wheee! Yesterday I got into New Orleans after a stopover in Houston and some unintentional physical comedy of me trying to purchase a bag of Chex Mix, pull out my wallet, hold onto the poster tube and juggle my backpack. I'm sure they've all stopped laughing now. THAT'S ENOUGH, HOUSTON. I took a very crowded shuttle ride to the hotel and checked in. Yay! The room was fine, but the bathroom was a bit curious in regards to its proclivity towards very hot water out of all taps at all time. No cold water. They tried to fix it last night, tried to fix it this morning, and I guess gave up because I had a message after this morning's sessions that we were to report to the 29th floor EXCLUSIVE CHECK-IN for our NEW room.
Aw yeah. We've been UPGRADED!
Well, sort of. The room is the same size, but we have a fax machine! Robes! Strange tube shaped pillows on the beds! And best of all (and I really should wait for the photos to tell you about this) but there's a phone next to the toilet! Obviously, this room is usually used by very very busy people.
Me? I'm heading upstairs to the EXCLUSIVE executive lounge for cocktails. UPGRADED!!!
[Apologies for all the hysterical capitalization. Louisiana just does something to me. You know? DO YOU?]
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Turtles and popsicles
- My sister Laura (aka Margreta) is coming to visit in October with her bff (best boyfriend) Anil. Hooray! We shall show them the sites and sing them the songs. Hazy humidity should be significantly reduced by that time, too.
- A bird got injured at Weaver Street during our knitting group night, and there was an amazing attempt at a bird rescue by Alicia and Jesse, and I can only say that I thought of the soup cup in which to place the injured bird. Alicia and I went to the very empathetic and friendly Triangle Pet Emergency Treatment Center, where they evaluated the bird and decided that it wasn't going to make it, and so humanely euthanized it. Although it was sad not to be able to save it, I'm really glad to learn about this very nice emergency vet clinic and know that they can help out if anyone finds an injured animal. Alicia has the link to their info here.
- Alex found a turtle in the road and saved it. He is such an incredibly nice person, and seriously has the best instincts on how to help people and animals. The pictures of the turtle are also incredibly beautiful. We released the turtle (Shelley, natch) at Lake Crabtree today. Hooray!
- Rebecca and I went to the wonderful LocoPops, a sparsely furnished and inconspicuous new popsicle shop in Durham. They don't seem to have a webpage but here is a review of the store. These are far more than just popsicles, though. We tried fig almond cream, chocolate chile, ginger white peach, and mixed berry. They are the perfect way to cap off a hazy and humid afternoon.
- Roger Ebert has used his Pulitzer Prize in the most suitable way possible.
And visit Brad's blog, please!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Utah. But I'm taller.
Today I was in Harris Teeter (that's a grocery store, for you Northerners), and there was a dad there with his two little kids. The kids were trying little ham samples, and one of them said, in a deeply loving and blissful way, "I love ham." Aw, kid. I love that you love ham that much.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
A nice cold La Croix, a glass of wine, and sloppily edited celebrity gossip. Hooray! The best tidbit is that Uma Thurman was spotted knitting while getting highlights. That is awesome. Ethan Hawke remains a fool.
Last night around 10pm I suddenly felt the urge to bake a cake, so with the assistance of the food processor, whipped up a pretty quick carrot cake.
At only 12 hours old it's already half gone. I made it with a recipe from my mom that is truly the most foolproof cake recipe ever. You can tinker with all the amounts, leave things out, add new stuff--and it still comes out nicely. The original recipe called for a lot of oil, and we often substitute applesauce for much of the oil. I didn't have any applesauce, or any apples, so I pureed a nectarine. It is pretty tasty.
In knitting news, the ribby tank is going splendidly. Here it enjoys the morning sun.
And a close-up:
The part on the right that looks like stockinette stitch is actually k3, p1. I love working with the mercerized cotton--its very neat and glossy-looking.
This morning Stef and I went to the Farmer's Market. I bought tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, and two big red bell peppers. For lunch today, I had some tomato slices on the baguette I bought yesterday, along with some goat cheese, basil, salt and pepper, and a little bit of olive oil.
It tastes so summery. I've been reading Under the Tuscan Sun and I love reading about Frances Mayes's visits to her local markets and all the fruits and vegetables and nuts she gathers from her garden. Perhaps someday I, too, will be under the Tuscan sun. For now, I'm under the North Cackalacky sun, which can be pretty nice in its own way.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Dude, it is hard to take a picture of the top of your head. The combination of head angle and hand angle: very tricky. Here's a picture of me wearing it.
It's a pretty close-fitting hat, probably because I made it on size 5 needles. But I like it. Can't wait until fall to wear it . . . except everything will be due and I will listen to a shuffle of Everything But the Girl CD's in the stereo over and over and over and my lap will have permanent laptop marks in it. Cue weeping. But having fabulous knitwear should ease some of the pain.
Although I have two (2!) tank tops that need remedial work, I immediately cast on for a third.
It's still in its infancy, but this is the ChicKnits Ribby Tank pattern. I love the color of this yarn. It's made in Greece so I imagine it's the color of the Aegean Sea or something delightfully Rick Steves like that. I'll wear it when we go visit Hanka in the Czech Republic, which I really hope we'll get to do in the next year. Look out, Bavaria!
To keep with the knitting theme, we'll end with Buckles getting personal with a project.
That big old noggin of his really does need a pillow.