and back to heavier again... well, food-wise, at least.

It's been kinda heavy eating-wise this week. Not food obsessed like me? Might want to skip this entry :) Last Friday mr. l took us out for a belated birthday dinner (well, my birthday, not d's). I picked our favorite local Korean place, New Jang Su.

The really awesome thing about this place is that the name is not actually on it in English. (Now that I think about it, since I don't speak Korean I'm really just taking their word that that's really the name.) It does however, say "KOREAN RESTAURANT" and "BBQ" on the sign, which I guess is the most crucial part.
new jang su mosaic
Yummy! That's (left to right, from top): side dishes, tuk bok ki, jab chae, kim chi/tofu jigae, sur lung tang, pottery bibimbab. Yes, spelling for Korean food is different in every restaurant. Click through for more info/details/links to descriptions.

Then, Sunday was the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival here in Boston. It's always on Lansdowne St. over by Fenway. We went last year, remember? Last year we saw the amazing Kobayashi out-eat four people! Poor Kobayashi-san. BTW, he's on myspace (though he hasn't logged in since Dec. 2006, I am particularly fascinated to find that his income as a prof. eater is upowards of $250K) and has a blog (translated version). Anyway.

W & J came back down from Maine again, and it was good. Some new foods, but oy! it got CROWDED earlier than it did last year. I think it cleared out earlier too, probably 'cause it was Sunday and there was a Pats game on.
phantom mosaic
Again, click through for more details + links to individual pics. And there's a whole set of pictures here. As has become the tradition now, we headed to Beerworks after we couldn't eat or walk anymore. Because obviously, drinking beers helps with being stuffed. Right?

W + J brought down some lovely wine + two of the most obscene (but very funny) cards I have ever read as belated birthday gifts. And speaking of birthdays, d + I went out for my belated birthday dinner on Tuesday. Just two weeks after the actual date! I'd been wanting to go to The Melting Pot, and we did just that...

It was really cute, they have this "Lover's Lane" there (which is a corny way of saying that the tables are pretty secluded and quiet) and they had this little vase with flowers on the table, plus balloons + a card when we got to the table. The pics are dark cause there was only candlelight, due to afore-mentioned romantic atmosphere.
melting pot mosaic
We had the "Big Night Out" meal, which is for two, and includes: choice of cheese fondue, salads, a sampler of entrees, and your choice of chocolate. The two of us had (brace yourselves):
  • Cheddar Cheese fondue (aged medium-sharp cheddar + Emmenthaler swiss cheeses, lager beer, garlic + spices)
  • a Spinach Mushroom salad
  • an Athenian salad
  • the "Fondue Feast" -- filet mignon, balsamic-marinated sirloin, garlic + herb chicken, citrus pork tenderloin, white shrimp, wild mushroom ravioli, roasted red pepper rigatoni + fresh veggies -- Coq au Vin style (fresh herbs, mushrooms, garlic, spices + burgundy wine). This also came with about a gazillion dipping sauces ranging from cocktail sauce, blue cheese dip, yogurt curry sauce, teriyaki, and more...
  • "Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Dream" chocolate fondue -- dark chocolate with flambeed (not kidding) marshmallow creme, with crushed oreos mixed in. Dippers: strawberries, bananas, pound cake, brownies, rice krispie treats (!), graham cracker and oreo-coated marshmallows (!!), and an entire slice of cheesecake. Not sure if the cheesecake was just 'cause of my birthday (it had a candle in it), but we dipped it too.
  • Strawberry Basil Lemonade -- strawberry twist Smirnoff + basil + fresh strawberries + lemonade
  • other assorted beverages + coffee
It wasn't so bad until about ten minutes after we finished the chocolate, at which point both of us felt the need to lie down. All in all, a pretty decent meal. Not amazing-- my salad was watery, like it hadn't been spun, but everything was pretty tasty. Pretty pricey, so not your average night out, but fun! We were there for about 2 hours and fifteen minutes, so it's sort of like an activity plus dinner. Oh yeah, full set of pics here.

I'll work on posting some not so food-obsessed entries soon, 'kay?


on the lighter side...

Well, the last post was a little heavy. So, for a change of pace:
I nabbed this from One Good Bumblebee, who got it from Creature Comforts’ blog.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) -
Daisy Jetta

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) -
Strawberry Chocolate Chip
(Somehow, this does not fit any definition that I have for the term "gangsta".)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) -
E-Cha or E-Des

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) -
Green Rhino

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) -
Kan Winchester

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -
Cha-el or Des-el

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) -
The Orange Bubble Tea

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) -
Can't do this, don't know my grandfathers' names in English. And I don't think Romanization would help in this case.

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy) -
Lemon Sugar Crunky

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) -
Also non-existent. Asian people are not much for middle names, I don't think. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks.

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) -
Carlton Chicago

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) -
Autumn Hydrangea

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) -
Wax Apple Dressie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) -
English Muffin Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) -
The Spinning Thunder Tour

Your turn, kids.

chicago 3, eling 0

Warning: this very long post contains no fun photos. Just a lot of venting, and a one measly picture I took when I was thinking about trying to do something about these things that happened.

And now for the insanity that was Chicago. I couldn't make this stuff up. Though, it really all involves the car. I will preface this by saying that I hemmed + hawed about renting a car. Then ms. h mentioned that there were parking passes for her neighborhood, and when I weighed that against all the shuttling to + from the airport, plus the sheer amount of stuff I had to bring for the show (hard to pack into a cab with three people too), I thought it would be worth it.

It really started Sunday night, when d left the show for the airport. We decided he'd take a cab with his bags rather than struggling with two big bags on the train. ms. p took up his post, and he set off. About twenty minutes later he called to say that he was about to arrive
at the airport, and that he had the rental car keys with him. Um. After much swearing and sighing, I sent ms. p off with cash to catch a cab to the airport to get arrive there before he had to go through security and the keys would be lost to us. Of course traffic kicked in and it took her forever to get there but she got there + got the keys. Then decided to maneuver public transportation to get back to the show. She ended up getting back just in time to help me break down for the night. Meanwhile, d's flight was delayed and delayed and delayed, so there would have been plenty of time for him to come back with the keys himself (he ended up not leaving Chicago until after midnight!)

During breakdown, I MAY have nicked the side of the car while backing up because I'm a nice person and wanted to move out of the way several times when cars came through (there were two lanes, but someone else was blocking the other lane completely so everyone kept coming through our way). This hypothetical scratch was very small, but noticeable if you knew where to look... finally got back LATE and trudged up stairs with several heavy bags (our lovely host lives in a 4th floor walk up).

Monday we spend walking all over the city (see previous post). That evening, after dinner, we return to find: a $120 dollar ticket on the car because there was "no/improper parking
permit". Oh, HELL NO.That is the proper parking permit, in the proper location. It is, admittedly, upside down, but it was 1 am when we placed it there and we were TIRED. (I forgot to mention in the last post that we spent an hour trying to find food after we finally finished breaking down-- with the very charming Elijah of eli & ra and figs & ginger fame-- see here for some cool shopping to benefit Elijah's kidneys. We missed you, Rhonda!)

I get that that is not 100% proper placement. But $120?! Really? Would it really have been so difficult for Officer Galicia of the Chicago PD to turn his/her head sideways to read the permit? $120?!?!?!?!

I mutter about this ticket for a long while, take photos for proof, then let it go. After all, what can I do? I think it was an easy score for Officer Galicia, because rental car users have little way to protest. Responses to ticket protests are mailed to the address of the OWNER of the vehicle. If I protest, I have no way of knowing what their response to me will be. And if I end up having to pay the ticket but don't know it, the rental car company will charge me a fee + interest + fines + the ticket. Sigh.

Fast-forward to Tuesday, when I am exhausted and take more time than expected to pack. I have boxes to ship before I leave, and about 3 hours before my flight leaves, ms. p helps me stumble downstairs with two HUGE suitcases, plus a large carry-on and FOUR large boxes to take to UPS. On the first trip, I roll down the street, tired but feeling ready to go, down to my lovely rental car that I am now paying an additional $120 for. Or rather, where it was parked the night before. It is no longer there, and for a moment I think that I am going insane.

I roll back to the building, where ms. p comes out the door. And I say, "The car is NOT there. I think it's been towed." Then I begin to freak out. This is followed by frantic calls to d to call the airline, calls to the city hotline to figure out where the car has been towed to, and several discussions with both the city impound lot employees and Dollar's "customer service"/roadside assistance to determine what the hell I should do.

Turns out, Dollar will pick up the car but it may take several DAYS and they will charge me the impound fees, a TOW CHARGE from the impound to the airport because they do not have the staff to pick up a vehicle in person, and OF COURSE the rental fees for additional days. I'm sure they will also charge me $25/gallon because of course, the gas tank is not full. Oh, and they also tried to tell me over the phone that the impound would not release the car to me anyway, so I don't really have a choice about this.

In the meantime, I am sitting on the sidewalk with a tremendous amount of stuff. Luckily the person working at the impound lot is very nice and tells me that the rental car company's claim is ridiculous. If I have a copy of the rental car agreement, I can get the car. And the airline will not charge me any money to take the next flight home if I miss the one I'm on.

So, into a cab we go with all my luggage and the four big boxes. First stop, UPS. Boxes mailed, the nice cab driver takes us to the City of Chicago impound lot where my troublesome Dodge Caliber has been taken. We unload my luggage and ms. p stands outside while I go into the office/double-wide trailer to get my car back. By the way, there are MANY MANY people inside also trying to get their vehicles back, the City of Chicago is clearly making a killing. $160 later, I am allowed to go out to the lot and get my car. Where I promptly find the other ticket for another $50 on the windshield. Street cleaning violation.

City of Chicago $330, Eling 0. (Or should it be -$330?)

Poor ms. p was supposed to be visiting the aquarium this whole time. She calls me at one point while I am inside the trailer not being assisted to make sure I am ok. Apparently she has received several offers from tow truck drivers and others passing by for a ride somewhere. Sorry, ms. p. We load my luggage into the car and then head BACK to the apartment because I have forgotten a poster I bought there. Then I drive her downtown so she can at least do one fun thing she was planning (city river + lake tour) on this day.

Finally, I am off to the airport. I stop to get gas too, and arrive 15 minutes after my original flight has left. I get on the next flight, which is not for 3 more hours. Thankfully, when I drop off the car they do not seem to notice the hypothetical scratch. I get one last meal in Chicago, my first of the day, at Potbelly's. Strange guy stalks me around the terminal briefly but eventually leaves me alone when I ignore him even as he peers directly over my shoulder at my DS (birthday gift). Arrive at airport (still 45 minutes from home, 'cause it was a cheaper flight) around midnight.

Sleep for what seems like forever, then wake up and write checks to the City of Chicago. Sigh. At least I got my deep dish, Wow Bao, and hot dog.

PS. After all this, ms. p called me the next day to tell me that she had decided to pay $50 to change HER inter-island flight home (to get there earlier). However, an overhead compartment in the First Class section would not close, and her flight from LA was delayed. Not by much, but just enough for her to miss the flight. She ended up on the flight she was originally scheduled on, the following day. It's awesome that she paid $50 extra to be on the same flight. Sorry, ms. p.

food, friends + insanity. aka chicago.

It's now been just over a week since I got back from Chicago, and I am just starting to feel like I've mostly recovered from the insanity. Don't get me wrong. So much awesomeness occurred.

Renegade was amazing. Super-busy with lots of cool people, though the hours were a bit long (noon-10pm! both days). Some new displays + booth set-up were tested, and I was pretty pleased with the results:I got to see my yarns at Renegade Handmade, which was really neat! but I was too shy (and rushed) to take a pic of the shop. The store is adorable, if you're in the area you should definitely stop in.

Mostly, though, I was psyched to get to hang out with some of my favorite people! We stayed with ms. h, who d & I have crashed with our last few trips to Chicago. Poor ms. h is in law
school and very nicely puts up with us and the ridiculous quantities of traveling rhinos stuff I have in tow every time we blow in for a show. Thanks, ms. h!!

Adding to the excitement was the arrival of ms. p all the way from the islands. I recruited her
when I figured out that the show hours were way past what d would be able to stay and help me for. Mostly it was an excuse to hang out, though, since it seems like visits with friends only occur in conjunction with weddings nowadays. Me & ms. p arrived several days before Renegade in order to get some extra visiting days in. In other words, commence with the eating!That's green papaya salad at now-forgotten-named Thai restaurant, deep dish from Gino's East, and Italian + green tea cola at Potbelly's. I was not as diligent as I usually am with food photos, other food highlights without pics include: Big Bowl, Wow Bao (hot asian buns, tee hee!), Chicago hot dog and Ra, as well as a visit to the Vosges boutique. By the way-- deep dish pizza is one of the most unattractive foods I've ever photographed. YUMMY though.

ms. p and I even managed to get some sightseeing in:
The ubiquitous bean, Komodo dragons at the Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier from Lake Michigan boat, and dinosaur (Brachiosaurus?) friend at the Field Museum.

Good times. I'll save the not-as-fun-insanity part of the trip for the next post.


countdown to chicago...

I always seem pressed for time when it comes to big shows, so I'm pinning this ticker to the top of this blog to keep me on my toes until the big day arrives...


rewind, part 3

Since I've already blabbed about Renegade elsewhere, I will keep my talk here to our friends + the food. I'm never good about eating while at a show, so dinner is always a big deal. Especially when we're in New York. Since we live in a place that has less access to really authentic ethnic food, I always feel like I have to eat GREAT food whenever I can.

Last year when we stayed with mr. + mrs. sv we were all so beat after day 1 that we went back to their place and had takeout Chinese food. We were all so hungry that the food was delicious, but I was so exhausted that I fell asleep AT THE TABLE as soon as I stopped moving (chewing). Has never in my life happened before, and never again.

This year the show was at the McCarren Park Pool (don't the pool parties look fun?) so after
we packed up we headed over to My Moon, just a few blocks away. The food is described on free williamsburg as Mediterranean/Turkish and you could tell that it gets lounge/club-y after dark, but the food was INCREDIBLE. Definitely in the top 10 meals this year, no matter what else I eat from now 'til December.
my moon
Click through for more about each dish. I'm starting to drool just thinking about it.

They have really nice outdoor seating and we got to RELAX which was nice, since we rarely get to see mr. + mrs. sv and she had just spent all day (and would spend the whole next day) helping us! We didn't do anything else non-work-related, except shop at Renegade :)

Hopefully we'll get back soon. Thanks again, mr. + mrs. sv for all your help and for housing us + all my stuff!!

By the way, I recently sent our nice hosts this, which I MUST share here.

Yes, that is a luxury chocolate bar from Vosges made with BACON. Mo's Bacon Bar. I want to try this ourselves, but since they carry most of the Vosges bars at Whole Foods now, I keep hoping they'll show up at our local store so I won't have to pay hot-weather chocolate-shipping costs for one chocolate bar! If you haven't had these yet, run to your local Whole Foods and grab one!! My favorites are the Goji Bar and the Macha but honestly, they're all good.


rewind, part 2

Continuing on...

In early June we went to ms. s & mr. l's wedding. mr. l is d's college roommate. We went out friday afternoon with another of d's roomies from school, mr. o. ms. s & mr. l's rehearsal dinner on Friday night was at the Norman Rockwell Museum, and you know I wasn't missing that. The museum & surroundings were gorgeous, and the food was yum.Strawberry mousse-type thing with some kind of cake inside, and biscotti too! Ms. m sampling mr. l's dessert. Really, it's hers too, right? This is mr. o, mr. l (rockin' the seersucker) and d. Still looking good at this point. After the rehearsal dinner (which was open bar) people rode the (chartered yellow school) bus to a local bar. It was a late night. So we slept in (here's a pic of the tub in the master bedroom at the Oak & Spruce Resort) and then went hunting for foodImagine my surprise when we found the BEST VIETNAMESE FOOD I'VE EVER HAD in Lee, Massachusetts. It was at Pho Saigon, on a little side street. Definitely a family-run place. I had this incredible "make your own" fresh rolls meal (sorry, I can't remember what it was called on the menu). Thin rice-wrappers on the left. They're hard, so you dip them in the hot water (yellow bowl) to soften. Then you fill with your choice of meat (I had chicken-very tasty, nicely marinated + grilled), rice vermicelli (underneath the chicken), lettuce, carrot shreds, daikon, basil and cilantro. Then dip in sauce (tangy + and bit spicy)! I guess we could make this at home, but every aspect was so perfect! The only thing I might add in an extremely perfect world was some bean sprouts. d's food was awesome too-- amazing spicy pho. Seriously, I am still thinking about this food almost a month later. Will definitely have to make the 2+ hour drive back out sometime this summer. Back to the wedding. Due to a bit of afternoon rain, the ceremony was on the back porch at the beautiful Cranwell Resort, which may well be the epitome of picturesque non-coastal New England.

And check out what every wedding needs:
Yup, it's a candy bar! Lots of attention to detail. Note the little glassine bags at front left corner of table so you can bring the candy to your table with you :) We noticed one of the photographers chowing down on candy and going back to the table over and over again!...

Pretty wedding cakes in several flavors :
Anyone who actually knows people in this wedding and want to see more pics can view them here. And finally, us, at the end of the night, looking pretty beat. Early morning next day so d could get back for graduation too.



I've been feeling a little sad recently about my lack of proper blogging because the days go by so fast! and when I look back and wonder "what was I doing in March & April?" I can't remember because, well, I didn't blog about it. And believe me when I say my memory is just not as good as it used to be.

I guess the only way to prevent this nostalgia over lost days/months is to blog about stuff more regularly. I can go back and look through my flickr pics to jog my memory some, but who brings their camera everywhere? Pas moi.

Most of early March + late April seems unrecorded. Lost to time. At the end of March I went to Taipei for 10 days to visit my grandmother. She's still mostly the same. FYI, it rained for 7 of the 10 days I was there. Uncharacteristic for Taipei at this time of year, icky all-day-downpour rain. Sigh.

The one really hot, sunny day was the one we were outside all day for tombsweeping. One week ahead of the actual Qingming festival, supposedly to avoid the really bad traffic. I kept asking all my relatives if it was ok to take pictures, and they all said, "Not if you're not superstitious about it." Which I guess I'm not, and none of them seemed to be either...

LOTS more pictures from Taiwan, many--okay, most--are of food: here.

In May, we went North to our first wedding of the season. On the way there, we stopped in Portland to visit our friends W & J. Old friends but new roommates, they moved into a condo upstairs from one of our favorite jewelry + glass artists -- Stephanie! Quel coincidence!

This is Gus, J's dog. We like him. He is jumpy but small, and cannot knock you over.Ask me about what happened to W when he was alone one night watching Gus and his own dog, Lola. Warning: this story is not for the faint-hearted.

The wedding was lovely! Very quirky but perfectly suited to the bride & groom, who are a unique pair. The dinner was very over the top: salmon AND filet mignon. We cut our filets with BUTTER knives. I kid you not. It was DELICIOUS but we didn't actually get to eat it until after 9:30 pm.
There was lots of pink (bride's favorite color) and ocean-themed decor (it is coastal Maine). The cake was gorgeous but there was a lot of fighting over all the different flavors inside. The servers couldn't even get the plates out to the dessert table, guests were mobbing them as soon as they exited the kitchen. Scary! Since we'd arrived in Boothbay Harbor a bit behind schedule (typical, I know) so only had a few moments to look around our room at the Topside Inn. It was very cute.
Look at the size of the shower!! D is 5'9". He is not slouching. To be fair, they warn you about this in the room description. (Scroll down, it's room #5.) And when we got a better look at everything in the morning, we were definitely kicking ourselves for not staying in town longer!That's the view from the front porch, and that's supposed to be the ship from Pirates & some other movie too. And check out breakfast:Fresh fruit, homemade granola, and lemon blueberry pancakes with sausage made to order. We're going back! Next post: more wedding, more food, and BK.


My Quarterly Post

So... if I post here every three to four months, it probably doesn't really count as a blog, huh? Sigh. It's kind of like writing emails-- the longer it takes you to reply to someone, the greater the pressure to write something worthwhile, so the long wait seems somehow more worth it. Perhaps I should have lots of pictures to make this long post more tolerable?
dachshund-lobster hybrid from the divas unleashed parade in october

Mostly I've been quiet because I've been feeling a lot like Daisy looks in that picture over to the right. A little beaten and bedraggled. The fall wasn't so bad-- I was getting all ready for winter, the holiday shopping season, Christmas gifts, etc., ahead of the game even-- and then things just started to happen. Without going into too much detail, mr. d's dad got really, really sick; risky operation sick, and it was a rough Thanksgiving in the family. Christmas was very emotional too. Um, and New Year's. Needless to say, a lot of things fell to the wayside and we spent a lot of time driving north and back. Thankfully, though, things turned out amazingly well, and though mr.d-in-law had to endure quite a bit of bedrest (not easy for him!), it was practically a miracle how things turned out in the end.
mr. d @ man's world in north adams, mass. thanks again for the trip, mr. & mrs. s-v!

On top of mr. d's family stuff, in November my grandmother took a turn for the worse healthwise. Again, without too much detail, a visit that I expected would be me sitting around helping with pills and other 24 hour care stuff actually turned into a week of sleeping in the hospital overnight (my mom and I stayed 10pm to 10am and my aunt & uncle had the opposite). She finally got moved out of the ICU on the last day I was in California and plans were to move her from there directly to an assisted living center. The highlights of this trip were that I got a lot of knitting done at ridiculous hours of the night, and the fact that this was my rental car:
If you love the PT Cruiser, you may want to skip this paragraph. Basically, this car sucked. It didn't accelerate quickly enough and felt clunky. LA traffic sucks as it is!! This car didn't help. Plus mr. d & I (well, mr. d especially) have in the past spent a lot of time mocking this particular vehicle and the frustrating people that often drive it. Sorry if you are normal & decent driver but we seem to have run across a lot of morons who can't drive and choose to own this vehicle. I will say that it is nice and shiny & they made the dashboard very retro-like and cute. However, I never found an interior light in the car, and that is VERY inconvenient when you are looking for things in the dark in a car. PS, I reserved an ECONOMY car and this is what they gave me. sweet people-dressed-up-as-abraham-lincoln piece at MassMOCA!

Ok, where was I? Right. Late November, Thanksgiving in Maine. December we did Renegade Holiday Show in Chicago so we got to visit with ms. h again! Hi ms. h, hope you're not studying too hard! I don't think I took a single picture on that trip. Wait, let me check. Nope, I only took them on my cell phone and I can't deal with that right now.

ms. daisy on one of our many (crowded car) drives.

Christmas in The County, Maine, and here at home. New Year's in Maine, and then a week in & out of the hospital visiting mr. d-in-law. Right after he got released from the hospital, we headed back out to LA to visit the care center my grandma is in. I was bracing myself for the worst but I wanted to make sure I felt ok with where she was staying, and miracle of all miracles, she looked WAY better than she had in November. Her memory is not so good but I felt a little better knowing she was in a clean facility and that she seems fairly content. I still want to get back out there to spend more time with her. Here we are in her room:

If I look like hell in this photo, it's because I did. Exhausted and flying late at night and being worried about my grandmother did not improve my normal not-particularly-photogenic-ness. Basically, I have been feeling behind and like a not-efficient businessperson since November, so that is always in the back of my mind, and seeing pictures of myself made me realize that I LOOK like it most of the time. Awesome.
Here is another shot of me looking equally crappy with the still-considered-a-newlywed mrs. c. No mr. s though, he had to stay home in Hawaii and work on their new house (!)
Visting with mrs. c was really the only social thing we did while in LA this trip. Mostly we went to the care center and then to pick stuff up for my grandma's room. They advise you not to leave really nice things there, so (sadly) we couldn't give her anything really expensive or nice. Instead I'm going to make her a blanket (yes, I'm going to sew!) that has photos of us and other family members on it because no one would "misplace" a blanket that has pictures of another person's family on it, right?

Oh, I DID get to finally take mr. d to in-n-out, and it was a FANCY one! It was packed with scary teenagers so we went through the drive through. Speaking of driving, here is some solid proof on karma for you. When I went in November, I flew into Ontario instead of LAX. That's where I got the PT Cruiser. This time, we flew into Ontario again, and lo and behold, after all the mocking that mr. d did of the car when I got home and gave him the details about the rental in November, guess which car we got this time?
This photo is from the November trip, but I honestly think that it was the EXACT same vehicle. Our punishment for making fun of it the first time around. Instant Karma's gonna get you...

Ok, was that enough of an update for now? Are we sort of caught up? I'll work on being back more often. #1 has been & will be visiting again, so I'll actually have something non-work/website related to talk about!