April 2006 Archives
Second night Karen made the best crab cakes I've ever had. No breadcrumbs and 100 times better than restaurant attempts (I got the recipe, of course).
My cousin Sherry joined. I haven't seen her for ages either and really enjoyed catching up. I didn't get the chance to meet her and get to know her until after I was living in the States (meaning, not until my mid-20s). Growing up in Japan, I missed hanging out with my dad's side of the family, and totally appreciate being able to reconnect now. I am very grateful that everyone is so warm and loving...AND fun and cool ;)
Dav has met my uncle David and aunt Ollie in TN, but not my dad's other brother Peter and his wife Karen who live in Virginia close to DC. Finally, we had the chance. I've been looking forward to introducing them to each other as Peter and Karen are a hoot, and I knew they'd dig Dav.
I was really happy to also show Peter and Karen's house to Dav as they are quite the art collector. Their house is full of amazing, colorful, quirky and beautiful art. I took some pics, but Dav's are better (check out the pictures of the wooden hanging clothes).
First night there, uncle Peter cooked a ton of scallops with baked sweet potato and a yummy salad. Thanks!!
We visited Michael, Dav's friend with whom he lived in New Orleans. Michael also first taught Dav to surf! I had heard of their adventures, and was glad to finally meet him. Michael and his wife, Heather, just had a baby 5 months ago named Evelyn. She is adorable...but we couldn't help noticing, "my gosh, that'll be us in 7 months!"
After inundating Dav with my high school friends and all the baby talk we did, I was relieved that Michael gladly also talked baby stuff. It's not just us girls ; )
Will got us club level tickets so we got pretty good seats although high up. Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffulo Sabres. The home team...well, they sucked. I guess they normally are good but last night we left early as Will couldn't stand to watch. Lots of other fans left when we did. Still, it was fun...inspite my aching back.
Click to see video.
We drove thru some neighborhoods that were heavily damaged by Katrina. Still completely vacated, and there were gutted houses everywhere. Very eerie and sad...
Another high school classmate, Karen, happens to live in New Orleans. She and I used to play field hockey together. She was forward, and I was mid-field behind her. Gosh, I miss playing together!
Anyway, she *just* had baby Jack 3 weeks ago! So we all piled in a car and headed to visit her. I forgot that I hadn't set my clock to local time, so thinking I was arriving at 3pm well before dinner time, we actualy bombarded her at 5pm. Sorry abou that, Karen : )
It was so nice seeing her. This visit to New Orleans has been a mini walk down memory lane. Poor Dav (and Joie's new hubby, and Karen's hubby Joe)...we again, talked non-stop but baby stuff, and our own shared memories. Heh.
Joe just got a job as a professor in Austin, TX, so they'll be moving on soon. They've been remodelling a cute old house that had high ceilings and gorgeous wood work. I'm glad I got to see their home before they moved. They desccribed Katrina, and how they stayed in Austin for 9 weeks before being able to come back. And they consider themselves extremely lucky as they had to property damage.
I feel so lucky to have reunited with good 'ol friends.
Click to see video.
As we waited for a table for brunch Sunday morning, an Easter Parade rolled by on Bourbon street. I don't celebrate Easter other than appreciate the decor stores bring out, so it was great to see the parade, complete with necklaces thrown at us Mardi Gras style. I can tell folks here love good fun done in style!
The wedding was fantastic. Beautifully set, but simple and fun. Dr. Seuss was the theme, and the vows were all in Seuss-like rhyme. Lots of laughter and love. Us girls were way in the back, snapping pictures, giggling, and cheering. Friends of Billy (the groom) were the band and played a Whiskey Town song that made Dav stop and say, "hey, that's so cool they're playing this song..." instantly winning approval points for Billy and Joie.
By far, the best was just hanging out as a group together during the reception, eating, and yes, lots of drinking. I was sober, of course. We all just loved catching up, and pretty much huddled in our own little group. We didn't mean to be anti-social, but it was so special to be all together again! None of us have really changed...except for conversations now evolve heavily around pregnancy and babies. My golly! It was non-stop. We sounded like a group of older women that I never thought we'd become. Oh well. I actually immensely enjoyed sharing my pregnant belly, and hearing advice, stories, and encouragement from them.
I'd love to share the intimate details of our bantering, but a lot involves silly things we laughed over that is just too embarassing here. It was so nice to be that way again, like breathing in familiar air. I'm very happy Dav got to join me - even though I'm sure he's sick of baby talk!
See more pics from Dav.
We basically walked around all day in the French Quarter. Dav used to live here - it was his first "city" experience out of NC as a young lad. Many good memories, so we poked around his old haunts.
Had a fantastic brunch buffet - shrimp, crawfish, fruit, sausages, jambalaya, and the best bread pudding I've ever had. Cost us $70 (!!) but it was in a gorgeous courtyard. Found a cool antique shop, and purchased awesome matching Russian hats (3rd pic), and Dav got another hat of who knows what origin (anyone??) along with the best Burning Man goggles ever.
Had freshly made lemonade, and enjoyed the perfect weather. Hot enough to relax and leave extra layers at home, with a touch of humidity, which I like. Problem is, I can't walk so much, so after a few hours, my back was killing me. I kept having to stretch, and have Dav go for a beer somewhere so I could sit (and pee).
Wedding is tonight in a few hours...
Click to see video.
We arrived late Friday night, and by the time we checked in, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed out to meet everyone, my friends were trashed. It was hilarious to see them. 3 of them are moms, and having left their kids back home, were out to party it up for sure. So funny.
We arrived at a bar just as they were lining up to get on a machine bull thing that simulates a bull ride. It looked dangerous for men with pretty intense thrashing around, but I was flabbergasted at what they did for women: gently giggle the thing like a vibrator, or sway them so they slide back and forth. Men watched this with glee, as it basically looked like each woman was holding on to a giant vibrator. And the women paid $5 for giving that show to the men! At least my friends had fun, but they were too drunk to notice the entertainment they were providing.
Then we walked around the French Quarter a bit. Jodi (who flew all the way from Switzerland for this occasion!) wanted a burger. So we hauled over to a joint, but by the time her burger came, she was passed out. I love this picture Dav took of her head and the lonely burger.
It was fun catching up, and getting to mix English/Japanese, like old times. We all really haven't changed a bit.
Every once in a while I go into a "no blogging" state. I've been taking pictures, but then the moblogging function wasn't working for a while, and once pics get old, I don't like posting (feels more like an obligation vs. posting to share the moment).
But I've also been quiet inside myself...feeling the aches of Gargle growing. I like the increasing kicking, but my back and ribs hurt. And I get tired. So instead of coming home from work eager to catch up on blogging, I just want to lie flat on my back.
Plus, we've been busy preparing for a vacation! My friend Joie from high school (American School in Japan) is getting married in New Orleans, and 4 other old girlfriends will be there. A nice reunion indeed. I'm looking forward to having Dav meet us all as a group so Dav can get a peek into my past. When all together, our interaction slips right back to our good 'ol high school days.
We're also heading to North Carolina to celebrate Ele's engagement, as we'll have to miss the wedding since I'll be ready to bust around then. Then we head up to D.C. where my uncle Peter and aunt Karen live. They haven't met Dav yet so it's about time we visited.
So lots been going on, and that's why it's been quiet on Kokochi.
We went ice skating at Zeum for Flambe Lounge's fundraiser. Our friend Cheu joined us and we all went to dinner first, she dressed as a giraffe, Dav as a dalmatian bunny, me in some white stuff that I could still fit into. It was good fun to run around town dressed in costume, as we haven't done that in a while. I'm not an ice-skater, and was careful not to fall, but still had fun skating around. Then we played one round of bowling in the Zeum's blacklighted bowling alley. http://upcoming.org/event/66420/
Before "puttering" off to bed, I finally got to catch up on the blogs I love. And found this. Even if I'm frustrated or bored at home, deep down, I'm extremely and profoundly happy. I don't know how, but I've somehow managed to surround myself with amazing people and dear friends. They give me wonderful memories, treat me like a queen, and warm the depths of my heart so that I'm actually fine even on my tired & down days. So let me just shout out a big thank you to all in my life.
[I don't mean to be gushy and corny, but the above sentiment is true, and I feel it frequently. It's good to let it be known every once in a while. So thanks to my Kokochi too!]
Today would have been the *perfect* day to go for an after-work drink with a colleague. We would have bonded over that drink. Alas, I'm not that into sitting in a bar sipping juice. And without that gentle buzz from a nice cocktail, the feeling of completing a day of work is just different. So I went home.
And tonight Dav is heading to SupperClub to see a local artist's performance. I'm very tempted to join, but going out late on a Wednesday night (which means I still need to muster up energy for 2 more full days of work) is not realistic.
But I want to go! And of course Dav should go. It's just frustrating that I'm sorta locked in this wholesome pregnant situation where I need to eat lots, drink healthy, and sleep a lot. It's boring, you know.
In exchange, I'll putter to bed and put my hand on my belly to feel the acrobats of Gargle.
Nicest compliment: "do you feed your cats something different now?"
Nick is our housemate's friend who used to hang out a lot but then went traveling. He is back visiting now, and asked that question.
His question first worried me, but Nick explained that he noticed the cats were much friendlier to him than before. He wondered whether I had switched cats, or was feeding them special food that made them more social! My cats are super shy, but once they know you are cool, they are attention addicts and will act like furry babies. They must now recognize Nick, and are comfortable enough to demand some petting. I had noticed when "the boys" of our house were eating dinner the other night that Waka was perched on the sofa meowing every minute. As I observed, I noticed all of them would absentmindedly pet her. She loved it.
All to say, I am glad others are noticing how adoring my kitties really are. I used to be the only one who saw this, and love to hear that others recognize it too. : )
Rachel came all the way into the city to take me out to lunch on Friday. She's moblogging too, and we both share a love with food and pictures of food. Later, after lunch, we came back to the office and shared 2 amazing chocolate cupcakes that she brought for us. Ain't she the cutest?
Thank you, Rachel. I really enjoyed, and appreciated it all!
hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood)
Big in Japan
Ed the Cat
Anil, the Nigritude Ultramarine
A Full Belly
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