Saturday, March 26, 2011

March Madness 2011

Even though it's snowing, I like to pretend that warmer days are just around the corner. On my New York trip, I saw lots of blue and green jewelry — signs to welcome spring.

And I just happened to have this giant gummy bear in a pretty peridot (or "green apple") color. He was a Christmas gift from Yukie, and I brought him to the office to share. What's crazier than a huge chunk of gelatinous candy?

With spring-like enthusiasm, Kelsey and I had both dressed up to support our respective basketball teams.

Unfortunately, Keith threw his March Madness party the second week of the tournament, which meant that my UCLA t-shirt was already old news. At least Kelsey got to wear her Marquette gear an extra week.

On another unfortunate note, Pops had a fit of March Madness as well: she broke into the bathroom and shredded the garbage.

Oh Papa, oh Bruins, you break my heart. But such is the nature of March.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy 11th birthday, Papa!

Doesn't Pops still look like a pup?

I wish I could've spent the whole day with her like I did on her 10th birthday, but I don't think she minded.

She celebrated at my parents' house, sniffing out her treats on the kitchen counter but waiting to unwrap them. Good girl, Papa! Now that she's an older lady, her manners are better.

Naughty or nice, I hope she has many more birthdays to celebrate.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck of the non-Irish

Our tennis group has passed the milestone birthday season and there have been fewer parties (read: fewer photo ops and story-worthy goings-on), thus my failure to blog.

In yet more non-news, I spent St. Patrick's Day the way I spend most Thursdays: at Boulder Junction with Carol and Lisa over potato skins and chicken nachos.

But first I worked out at Highlander, where I ran into Jennie, who plays tennis on Thursday nights. I mentioned that I hadn't been playing because of my tennis elbow and that I was going to try acupuncture.

Here's the lucky twist of fate: She gave me a card for a free treatment.

Thanks, Jennie! It was my lucky day. I really did have something to celebrate today — you and the universe are helping me get back on the courts soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Papa's new friends

I've been traveling a lot in the past couple of months, so Papa has gotten to have some new experiences.

Here she is at Rancho Johanso at the end of January. Pops adores both Christa and Ian (and was mostly a respectful houseguest).

It’s funny how the same dog will look different from other people’s perspectives. I think of her as more of a city mouse, but I love how small she looks in the woods.

In another adventure, she recently met Jen's dog, Karli. They got along okay except when Karli wanted to play with the treat ball. Even when the ball is empty, Pops does not like to share.

In the last photo, check out her reflection in the TV. She's everywhere.

I'm looking forward to Pops mingling more as the weather gets nicer. Hope to see you on our walks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New foods with old friends

If you've ever shared a meal with me, you know I'm not an adventurous eater. I like my burgers and comfort foods.

But on this trip, I cast off my tendencies to over-research and just let my friends choose the restaurants. I didn't even need to specify "no unusual meats or whole animals."

Which wouldn't have been necessary anyway with Leigh, a Northwestern friend who's a vegetarian. She took me to Pure Food and Wine.

Raw and vegan? I wondered how cheese could be made from cashews or how a croquette could be a croquette at lower than 118 degrees.

But I embraced the adventure.

And it turned out just fine: chips and guacamole, sushi rolls made with marinated shiitake mushrooms and jicama rice, and falafel tossed with greens. I never did find out how they made the chili-lime chips, which were flaky — as if they had been baked. Next time, I'll save room for a lemon bar or almond coconut joy.

Leigh makes time for me every time I visit, and it's great to see how far we've come since our days waiting tables at The Keg, Evanston's skeeziest bar.

For dinner, it was back to the world of cooked meats. I met up with Bob, another Northwestern friend, at Pierre Loti. Almost everything on the Mediterranean menu looked amazing, but we managed to narrow it down to the scallops and the chicken brochette. I loved the scallops. No idea how they made the green pea veloute, but it was awesome and reminded me of warmer weather.

After dinner we had a drink at Playwright. Thus I can say I've been to all three Irish pubs on the block where I stayed. A new record set.

Even though I was super tired this morning, I rallied to meet Katie, a sorority sister whose 21st birthday is still seared in my memory. We had croissants and coffee — all good — at Eataly.

Katie and I lost touch for a while and just reconnected last year, but she is the kind of person that makes you grateful that Facebook exists.

We did talk about the pleasures and perils of reconnecting with old friends. She recommended that I turn my old t-shirts from Raleigh's and the Bay to Breakers into a blanket. I'm reluctant to let go of my memories, so maybe the quilt isn't a bad idea.

Anyway, I love hanging out with my Golden Bear and Wildcat friends (and the Bruins, too, but that's another trip). Now I have new traditions in New York.