Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm at the airport in Denver. So far I've only counted one piece of Obama paraphernalia--I've seen more Mormons. (The girl behind me from DCA was going back to BYU, but she also had a flowery Chanel bag, lots of makeup, and big heels. Am confounded.) There was one guy who might have been a pro basketball player because he was like 7 feet tall. Also, I think the airport's white peaks look more circus-y than Rocky-y.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It has been "x" days since my last confession

I haven't blogged in almost a week, which I think means I have committed a cardinal blogging sin. Um, oh well. Anyway, I don't really have any good reason other than that I've been keeping busy and doing stuff like "eight limb staff pose" (successfully!), eating fries, and remember the formula for the area of a circle (woo, GRE). I haven't even really baked, besides making a Julia Child clafoutis.

My point? Tomorrow I'm going on vacation for two weeks, so I again forgo this site except maybe to post photos of the Pacific Ocean or Multnomah Falls. Vacaaationnn!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clothes make the wo-man

Yesterday I walked down Wisconsin Ave. on a mission to find and purchase the cardigan that a friend in PA has. It was not in stock, but lo, I found an interesting stand-in (in person it looks more denim-y and less gray). Anyway, in my mind, the top has this sort of prisoner/artist's smock aesthetic, and given my stature it looks considerably sack-ier on me than that model. But it still has this persona attached to it, in my mind, and I don't know that I'm quite living up to it:

me: i feel like i should be holding paintbrushes and a cigarette while wearing it
Sent at 11:28 AM on Wednesday
Sonia: you aren't?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mad (Wo)men

I am not really sure why this article about women and online advertising exists, considering it's nothing groundbreaking to expose that women go online and, you know, also buy stuff. My favorite part, though, is the fact that one adman interviewed is named Mr. Draper. His lines might as well be coming from Don himself:

"I love women. Women are more than half the population, and they do most of the shopping," said Tim Draper, the venture firm's co-founder and managing director. "We are constantly looking for more sites that cater to women."

On the street, in Lisner

While walking to work this morning, I saw a man playing a harmonica whilst bicycling. In terms of impressiveness, it beats this sort of multitasking (and the dude didn't even have a holder for it).

Second, a vigilant (and awesommee) friend picked up tickets for Magnetic Fields here in DC in October! Given that we were both excited about the chance to see Stephin Merritt live, the tickets inspired a conversation about people, living or dead, whom we'd want to have coffee or other beverages with. Those named included Virginia Woolf for tea and TE Lawrence for some "tea laced with qat." (Anyone have any they want to add?) It also made me think about the few times when I've seen something I have long, long wanted to, e.g. "The Garden of Earthly Delights" at the Prado.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Postcard from my momma: utube

An email from my mom about this video, subject line "Fw: utube - funny but not funny" :

Can you believe it Kim???!!!!!! I listened to my first utube video !! It is really funny. I had to share. I was "cracking up" watching it, althiough after a bit I felt a little nauseated, and I am a nurse! Tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Strawberries, downfall

Tuesday night, on a whim, I made a strawberry tart. That is just what I do. Forgoing making dinner (I had some grocery store veggie sushi), I whipped up some pastry cream, made a pastry shell, and cut up a lot of berries. I guess the occasion was that the strawberries were buy-one-get-one-free, and I had a new tart pan with a slick removable bottom. The results, below, don't betray the fact that the cream soon went from solid-ish to relentlessly soupy:

The day's other events included lunch at a new Belgian restaurant (bread with good crust!) and my bonking my head on my mat/the floor at yoga while attempting "eight-limb staff pose." I think this photo of the pose, demonstrated by someone who apparently used to teach at my studio, will explain my face-floor collision:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Name game

Today I've read two interesting articles about names and naming; the first in Slate (from last week) gives strange examples of people requesting legal changes and the latter in the NY Times visits the Ohio town of Knockemstiff (subject of an eponymous book). The former makes a Johnny Cash joke, and my favorite detail from the NYT story is that the online moniker for one of the interviewees is "Knockemstiffmom."

My favorite (English) professor was particularly into naming: here is his book. I got into it too, and continued writing papers about it, most appropriately for a Dickens class a few years later. Not that something like Hard Times is a very subtle book overall, but hello, school authorities named M'Choakumchild and Thomas Gradgrind. When applied to nonfiction, that is, actual people, good naming is a fine balance between creativity, snobbery, and absurdity. Forcing the name Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii on your kid is just unfair. Why not just Talula? Lulu? Cute! And then there are kids such as those in Robert Rodriguez's clan: Rocket, Racer, Rebel, and Rogue. I like your movies, RR, and love alliteration, but give me a break--like you did your daughter, Rhiannon. Or, for fairness's sake, why couldn't she be Rally or Roar or Relentless? To my 20-something, nonparent mind, it just reeks of forcing your own identity on your kid.

Place-naming doesn't seem to have to play by quite the same rules, because it's attached to something that doesn't have to go to school and get beat up after attendance is taken. At least, Americans have consistently given themselves more room to be literal. A quick Google search turned up Hot Coffee, Miss., Truth or Consequences, N.M, and Sugar Tit, S.C. The source of the first seems sort of obvious (some place with coffee), the New Mexico town renamed itself after a radio contest in 1950. As for Sugar Tit, apparently they want to give up the name (!). My hometown, Emmaus, Pa., has a straightforward Biblical origin, as do nearby Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Egypt. That does not, however, account for East Texas, Pa.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bikes appear at Dupont Circle!

For the past month or so, I've noticed what looked like a fancy bike rack next to the old Riggs bank at Dupont Circle. But there were never any bikes. Then today, for the first time, at about 8:45, there were four, each emblazoned with SmartBike DC. Not that I'm all that into biking (fear + discomfort), but somehow I hadn't heard anything about it.

They look like the old school bikes I sometimes see French people riding to work and less bulky than the VĂ©lib bikes in Paris (at left). Judging from their online map of pickup and drop off spots, of which only 1/3 of which had bikes available as of posting, they are going to need to see expansion like the French version.

Two other things: first, it's sort of weird that they are operated by Clear Channel. Then again, what don't they own? Second, and most importantly, does this mean DOT is going to do something to make me feel safer as a cyclist???