277: it’s the great turducken, charlie brown

Hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? We’ve got some catching up to do, haven’t we? Let’s begin.

1. everyday is like halloween (going to see Kevin in Minneapolis, Halloween weekend)

a. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasmine/418016421/ (please, no jokes about the Great White Whale, okay?) – before you hit the final slide, you have to pass through Paul Bunyan’s legs. Ew.

b. Though we made many jokes about being in the land of tuna hot dish, we had none. Kevin and Jen and Michael and I ate large slabs of meat at Nye’s Polonaise under the disapproving eye of Chopin’s portrait. There was also a night that we ordered in yummy pizza which was delivered by a just-as-yummy indie rock delivery boy.

c. You can’t visit Minneapolis without stopping at the Mall of America. Okay, maybe you can but why would you? Even if you don’t like to shop, there are pronto pups and rides at Camp Snoopy. There is a wedding chapel and a university and a bowling alley and an arcade. Best place to use the bathroom would be in the Barnes & Noble, because when are there any people in a bookstore at a mall except to look at magazines?

2. come on over (11/8/03)

You might have missed my housewarming party. A quick recap of the highlights:

a. cool presents – wind-up toy monkey, maribou trimmed reading lamp, neat-o glass mug

b. cool friends – as many people pointed out to me afterwards, if I opened a gay bar, I’d do very well

c. cool apartment – my friend Jeff (boss’ husband) drove me to Ikea the day of the party so we could pick up a cheap couch, for which I am truly grateful. And then Maria came over and cleaned my apartment. It was great, but the poor girl was so exhausted after cleaning that she missed the party to go home and crash

3. streets of woodfield (weekend of 11/15/03)

I think I saw my RA from third year working at the AT&T Cellular stall at Woodfield Mall. Though the U of C alumni directory has him listed as a trial attorney for the DOJ, I have my suspicions. The guy at the store seemed to be avoiding my gaze.

Jen was in town visiting Maria so we ran around the mall eating A&W burgers and trying on sweaters at Ann Taylor. Had a long conversation with Seema in the dressing room, and I found it hard to stay focused because I was continually distracted from my conversation with Seema by the sight of my back, covered in old bruises and scars and stretchmarks, in the harsh Ann Taylor mirror.

4. ya down with SLC? Yeah, you know me (11/17/03 through 11/21/03)

The first thing you see from the plane as it descends into Salt Lake City is the mountain range not, as I thought, a horde of Mormons running towards the plane to convert its heathen passengers. I traveled to Salt Lake City not only for the Max 2003 but to get out of the office for a week and be selfish and concentrate on what I am interested in:

  1. meeting cute geek boys
  2. acquiring Macromedia swag
  3. sampling Mormon cuisine
  4. joining one of Utah’s famous “drinking clubs” (bars per se do not exist – in SLC, you can buy a temporary membership for a few dollars. Not unlike paying a cover, though a temporary membership will last a few weeks)
  5. curling

And I got to do all, except for item 3.

My hotel, the Shilo Inn, was the painted lady of downtown SLC. The Shilo was respectable (if a bit rundown – the lobby always smelled faintly of chlorine) by day and paint by night. There were fresh cookies at the front desk everyday, and a young Asian couple that would bring in their babies to the gift shop they ran next to the elevator bank on the first floor.

The conference itself was overwhelming – so much to learn, so many people to hear on the topic of technologies which I learned to love. If the purpose of the conference was to preach the gospel of Macromedia products, consider me converted. I have been reborn as a fledgling ColdFusion developer. Woo ha.

It was like summer camp but without the sports. Not that we could have done without – far from it. I myself worked out at the hotel, walked around a lot, but there were more than a few guys competing for the role of The Simpsons comic book guy. Whether or not they were aware of it, who can say.

I enjoyed most of my workshops, learned a lot. I didn’t feel that I knew enough to get certified for anything. I left that for Jeff, who got his Flash developer cert. on the second to last day of the conference. So we really had something to celebrate as we were bused over to the Olympic Oval for the closing party of the conference. Macromedia had brought in DJs, Olympic curlers, and hockey players to entertain us. There was free beer and wine and ice skating. I had a beer and made some slapshots, hit the dancefloor and had a great good time.

5. cousins (weekend of 11/22/03)

Maria’s cousin Steve and his boyfriend Dan visited last weekend. We spent the weekend eating delicious food, imbibing lovely drinks (my new favorite cocktail is a Kir Royale), and buying fun stuff for my apartment. I now own an ashtray which says “I will quit tomorrow” on it. On the way back to Maria’s apartment on Sunday, walking because it was warm for a few hours before the cold rain began, we started singing songs from “The Sound of Music” because, well, we just could.

Oh, and did I mention that we went to Gentry and I actually got to see the pianist? All these years of going to a gay piano bar and never stopping for the music. And it was good. The sassy pianist, orchids in a vase and glitter on her cheek, ran through a few melancholy standards while drinking two bottles of chardonnay.

If I were playing a piano bar, I’d include the following in my routine:

  • If I Were A Bell (Loesser)
  • Desafinado (Jobim)
  • Wives & Lovers (Bacharach & David)
  • Vibrate (R. Wainwright)
  • Careless Whisper (Michael)

6. thankful (what am I thankful for)

  1. Sean and Michelle are in town for Thanksgiving
  2. stuffing
  3. the Beachwood
  4. going to the movies on Thanksgiving (I saw “Master and Commander”)
  5. my dad eating less salt
  6. digital cable
  7. “Degrassi: The Next Generation”
  8. “Mr. Oates’ Noteses”, the “The O.C.” newsletter from the Famous Artist Collective
  9. Margaret Cho at the U of C in January
  10. the abundance of monogrammed sweaters and purses being sold this Christmas
  11. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmastime is Here”
  12. old Michael Jackson records
  13. manicures
  14. radiators
  15. strong-ass moisturizers from Sole on Milwaukee Avenue
  16. Andrew & Rozi getting sworn into the Illinois bar
  17. De La Soul
  18. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps moisturizer
  19. “Kid Notorious”, the new hilarious animated series on Comedy Central
  20. the love you save
  21. good wine
  22. people being gracious about not having gotten thank you cards from me yet
  23. a new bed (what I’m buying myself for Christmas this year)
  24. Robert Smith’s unchanging hairdo
  25. strawberry-banana yogurt
  26. cute boys
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~ by Jasmine on November 29, 2003.

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