Thursday, June 28, 2007

Off to DC

First... it was back to the treadmill tonight, but not for quite as much distance as before due to stupid asthma. So Rob's running away with the lead right now, literally.

Kat's Stats
6/28: 2.38 miles
TOTAL: 14.21 miles

Rob's Stats
6/28: 2.37 miles
TOTAL: 19.29 miles

In other news, we're off to DC this weekend. So if you're gonna be in DC too, let us know! (Hopefully we've already successfully stalked all of those of you who live in DC, but maybe some of you other folks just happen to be jetting through the District as well this weekend.) We're looking forward to checking out our old town and hoping not to get stuck for an extra 22 hours this trip.

Eyes be Good

I had my latest eye apppointment this morning and all is well. In fact, all is really well. My eyes are now fully corrected to 20/15 and nary a complication persists. So now I can officially join the growing legion of people whose life has been changed forever. Let the glasses free experience commence in earnest. Woo Hoo.

And a HUGE Thank You to the best wife on the planet! She was a savior and took very good care of me during my "healing" process. Although I'm pretty laid back, I was less than pleasant during the "contact lens" stage of my recovery. So thank you honey, you're the best!

My newest cousin

Meet Marcus, born yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. My 21st cousin (if my math is right) from my Dad's side of the family, not including my six cousins-in-law. He's the sixth child (3rd son) of my Uncle Matt and Aunt Margie. All eight members of their family have the initials MMM.

My Uncle Matt is now tied with my Uncle Dan and Aunt Barb with six offspring, but one behind my Uncle Tom and Aunt Margaret, who have seven. Although I suppose my Uncle Dan and Aunt Barb get some kind of bonus for also having 11 grandkids already, all of whom are older than my youngest three cousins!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OP update

Rob has surged into the lead.

Kat's Stats (unchanged)
TOTAL: 11.83 miles

Rob's Stats
6/25: 2.37 miles
6/26: 2.7 miles (whoa!)
TOTAL: 14.55 miles

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Party pics

Much more fun... Resa also sent me some photos from the party on Saturday. Here's Resa and Nick opening presents.

And here's the beautiful gift Resa and Nick received from their friends Brooke and Matt. Brooke is a graphic artist who specializes in vector art, so she turned a photo she'd taken of Resa playing Nick's hair into this gorgeous vector painting.

(Not that there's a huge commercial market for pictures of Resa and Nick, but please don't reproduce without permission.)


Self-pitying post here. Some of you might not know that I have asthma. It's never been too terrible and, although I am pretty sure in hindsight I've always had it, I wasn't even diagnosed until I got to college. I think the pollution in Philly was a little worse than in Indy, so that's when I had my first big asthma episode. I spent a few years on daily meds (lots of steroids, which kindof freak me out) and by the end of college, I hadn't had one of my bad episodes (which compared to lots of people with asthma are really, truly not that bad... no intubation, no hospital stays, just short visits) in about a year. Eventually, with doctor approval, I stopped taking daily meds and just use my rescue inhaler before I exercise.

This was all working fine until a couple months ago when I got this cough I couldn't kick. Probably allergy related, as my allergies have morphed from just cats 15 years ago to cats and dust and pollen these days. Fun. My chest has felt a bit tighter lately. I started using my inhaler about once a week in non-exercise settings. I had a couple mini episodes that I calmed my lungs out of with my inhaler. I also discovered I'm allergic to some cherries a couple weeks ago and that set me off too. How annoying is that -- allergic to an awesome fresh fruit? Oh well.

Well, last night I was up late working and around 12:30am my chest felt extra tight. The inhaler wasn't working. I finally got in bed around 1:30 to try to relax, but my chest just felt worse. I'm a worrier by nature anyway, which isn't a good characteristic for an asthmatic as relaxing is half the battle. So I sat there a little while trying to figure out if I was in bad shape or just freaking myself out. I walked downstairs and tried to cough through it (sometimes works), drank some water (sometimes helps). But nothing. At 2:30am I woke up Rob and asked him to drive me to the ER.

Rob dropped me off at the ER door to find some middle of the night parking nearby and then joined me inside. The nurses and doctors helped me right away. The bonus of walking in and saying you can't breathe, I suppose. The ER wasn't very busy, though, and the staff was very friendly. I think the hospital is called the Illinois Masonic Hospital, which is just a few blocks away from us. Thumbs up from me. They hooked me up to a hard-core nebulizer and pumped me up with steroids. They took a chest x-ray, which was all clear. I took some more steroids in pill form. And by 4:30am, my chest was still a little tight, but clearly not getting worse. Breathing was not difficult, although still not ideal. My peak flow was about 350, but headed up. Someone my age, gender and height should probably be closer to 500, but I think my normal isn't much more than 450 anyway. So all things considered, I was fine. I was also armed with new prescriptions for daily asthma meds. Boooo.

Rob was great through our ER visit. He kept me laughing, which was certainly relaxing. And while I got to call in sick today, poor Rob still had to get up a couple hours later and work all day. Of course, me being me, I had my co-clerk Mike email me an opinion I was working on so I could finish the draft and turn it in today. Although I'm quite sure it's the worst one I've ever done. My judge told me I could just give her what I had and she'd work on it from there, so I just added the changes I was making last night and did that. But I generally make most of my improvements at the end of the writing process. I hate showing other people my flawed or incomplete work product. Makes me crazy.

Anyway, that's our unwanted adventure of the week, and hopefully of the month.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Party Success!

We've been running around like crazy for two weeks to get our place ready for Resa and Nick's engagement party this past Saturday night, which was a huge success! My mom made a million tons of food (including 6 pies and 6 dozen cupcakes) for the 50+ people who came in and out through the evening. Rob and I learned how to make sangria -- let's hear it for googling "sangria recipe" -- and it actually turned out pretty well. Resa and Nick got some amazing presents. All the parents successfully hung out for the first time. Our great-uncle Joe even made an appearance. Awww! Lots of folks took pictures, so we'll post them once they get passed our way.

I don't think I realized how little we'd slept until the party shut down around 10:30pm on Saturday and Resa's crew prepared to hit a nearby bar. I was too exhausted to even contemplate going out, although Rob did rally for an hour. After the clean-up was done, I crawled into bed and was asleep within seconds. Even after a full night's sleep, I slept all afternoon on Sunday too.

So that's why we've been a little absent lately. Hopefully we'll catch up with everyone we've been missing soon. We did manage to sneak in a nice brunch with Mark, who was in town for the AMA conference, on Saturday morning. We even got to treat Mark to a post-brunch Scooters run, which he seemed to enjoy. I wish like crazy that Mark & Chris lived closer to us so we could see them more, but with Chris heading to med school in NYC, and Mark's continued insistence that no other cities will do besides NYC, that seems an unlikely wish.

In other news, Rob's eyes seem great. He can see better than I can... grrr. :) And yesterday we got back to Operation Portugal, which we desperately needed after eating pie and cupcakes all weekend long. Slow and steady progress...

Kat's Stats
6/24: 2.43 miles
TOTAL: 11.83 miles

Rob's Stats
6/24: 2.37 miles
TOTAL: 9.48 miles

Back to work now...

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Rob's eyes are doing better and we're hopeful that he'll have perfect vision as promised by the end of the next few days. Fingers crossed!

Rob's been able to start treadmilling again. (I'm just going to keep using treadmill as a verb until it catches on, Alan. ;) And I did a little treadmilling myself tonight after a couple days off due to work and other distractions.So...

Kat's Stats
6/21: 2.50 miles
TOTAL: 9.40 miles

Rob's Stats:
6/21: 2.37 miles
TOTAL: 7.11 miles

I did another slow two-mile run today, which is encouraging. I mean, let's face it, we're not making miracles, but this is the most we've exercised since we started dating way back in 2002! Definitely a small victory. Rob's lost more than 10 pounds and I've made some progress in that area too, but I'm going to leave the numbers out.

In other news, my co-clerks, my judge and I had lunch today with Judge Posner (also of the Seventh Circuit) and his three clerks. One of his clerks and I had been trying to set it up for ages, so it was a bit of a miracle when we found a date that worked for both of our uber-busy bosses! It was a lot of fun, and especially nice to have some casual conversation with one of the most impressive judges on our court. Although he can be rather fierce on the bench, Judge Posner is incredibly nice and funny in a non-adversarial setting. Judge Posner and Judge Wood are also both brilliant, so just getting to listen in on their conversations is a treat. I have less than two months left at my clerkship. This year has gone so fast and I'm going to miss my job so much when I'm done. And now, back to an opinion I have to finish drafting...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Updates on Rob's eyes

Rob went back to the doctor again today and got the protective contacts taken out, which were making him insane with discomfort. While the doctor seems confident that everything will be fine, the abrasions on Rob's eyes still haven't totally healed, which means another trip to the doctor next week to check in again. I hate that there's nothing I can do to make Rob more comfortable in the mean time. I am really frustrated and hate not really understanding the science behind this. But I'm sure my frustration pales in comparison to Rob's.

We're getting good at waking up at 4am for scheduled eye drops though, so maybe this is good training for parenthood some day. If parenthood involves just one scheduled wake-up during the middle of the night after which you can go right back to sleep, then we are so ready. Ha. ;)

Anyway, please think healing thoughts about Rob's eyes!

Ask and ye shall receive...

I know, I know. You are all dying to see a picture of me in my giant purple bridesmaid dress. I found one that isn't horrible and another that, well, everyone else looks so nice in it that I'll publicly embarrass myself and post it.

Libby finally sent out some more pictures from her wedding, so here are some cute ones. I can only download small images because of pesky copyright things.

This is at Libby and Colin's apartment getting ready the day of the wedding. I think Libby was annoyed I was getting all sentimental and hovering around her. :)

Here I'm helping Libby get her dress on. I like the abstract twin-ness of this picture.

All the bridesmaids in a pretty row. I have the worst posture. I'm always rolling my shoulders forward and slouching.

Awww. Me and my husband, Libby and her brand new husband, and Resa with her almost fiance (they got engaged the next day).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If you remember The Dairi Burger...

Then you need to read this blog. My friend Robin is re-reading her collection of Sweet Valley High books and reviewing them in all their ridiculous glory online at her new blog. Flippin' hysterical if you read the books as a wee lass, as I did.

I remember in sixth grade, whichever girl in our group of friends got the latest SVH book first would be the most popular girl as the rest of us lined up to borrow it. After all, none of us could get to the bookstore without parental intervention and the books arrived in the library months behind their publication. You only got the book it for 24 hours, so you had to read fast... lucky girl who got the weekend slot though! Some of our crew would bump their best best friends up the borrowing list. Much drama ensued. The best part of it all was the cruel hand of fate... since the Wakefield twins are Elizabeth & Jessica and my identical twin sister's name is Elizabeth, I can't even tell you the jokes I got about being the dumb/mean/bratty/spoiled twin. Never got called the stylish or popular twin. Probably because Libby had that cornered in real life already. ;) Oh middle school days!

Anyway, Robin's reviews are great and they'll give you flashbacks to your insecure adolescent days of SVH-reading. What garbage we ingested!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kids Learn Gender Roles Very Early

I don't think this is a new insight generally, but this study does add a new dimension to it. Apparently two-year-olds shown videos of, for example, both a man and a woman applying lipstick or both a man and a woman putting on a tie pay more attention to the atypical video (that is, man applying lipstick or woman putting on tie). The researchers theorize that this is because the typical scenarios are already very familiar to the two-year-olds, while the atypical ones are not, and kids that age tend to pay more attention to the unfamiliar.

So I wonder if this study also shows, to some degree, that if we expose our kids to all kinds of different people (nothing dangerous, obviously), they'll grow up being more accepting of differences because those differences won't feel unfamiliar to them as they start to understand the world in more complex ways. Maybe that's reading to much into the study, but maybe not. After all, it seems like at some point in childhood kids learn that some differences are bad or at least inferior. Maybe this kind of insight points to a means of heading that off at the pass.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More Eyes News

Rob had his follow-up appointment this morning for his eyes. While it looks like everything is fine, the doctor had to put a contact lens in each eye so Rob's epitheliums (epithelia?) could heal better. Rob's spent a lot more of today with his eyes closed. Apparently even blinking can slow the healing. Rob has to head back to the doctor again tomorrow to see if the contacts can come out. It'll be our third trip to the suburbs in three days. Hopefully they won't try to keep us there. Seriously though, this is not an abnormal complication. Rob still says that "with regard to the procedure, it's less painful and quicker than getting your teeth cleaned." In fact, Rob says "the procedure is virtually pain-free." He doesn't want anyone dissuaded by his healing process! He's already very excited by his new vision when his eyes are open. We are also becoming eye drop experts. Lots of eye drops involved in the five days post-surgery.

On a side note, Rob is unable to work out for several days, so his Operation Portugal is on standstill. I tried to do an even better workout today for both our sakes. (Rob's beating me in both mileage and weight loss, so I need to start bringing up my side of our team average. Ha ha.) I thought I'd see if I could run a full two miles at a slow pace. I did it, running just over 13-minute miles, and it felt pretty comfortable. Hopefully this'll make me feel comfortable trying interval training soon.

Kat's Stats
6/17: 2.55 miles
TOTAL: 6.90 miles

Not much new to report. We've had a weekend of chilling for the sake of Rob's eyes. We've done a lot more planning of our London leg of our summer trip, though. Now we're thinking of a day trip to Bath. Even though I lived in London for a year, I never made it to Bath, which is just over an hour away by train. It'll be nice for me to see something new since I've seen a lot of the London sites before. Although I can't imagine I'll be anything but thrilled to be in my old stomping grounds again.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Eyes Have It

I thought a pun in the title was appropriate since I'm blogging about Rob. This morning Rob had Lasik eye surgery. I have been freaking out about it, as is my nature, but I'm very excited for Rob to be glasses-free. Everything seemed to go well. We arrived at the doctor's office out in the suburbs around 10am for a 10:30am appointment. Around 11am they took him in for the surgery and they'd previously told us he'd be done about 12:15pm, so I drove over to a nearby bookstore to pick up some London guidebooks (we hit London for three days before we go to Portugal). (Valerie, I also picked up The History of Love on your recommendation.) I didn't want to sit in the waiting room because I knew I'd, well, continue freaking out.

I arrived back at the doctor's office at 11:45am and immediately felt like the worst wife on the planet because Rob was sitting, all finished, in the waiting room with dark sunglasses on. My husband had surgery (okay, eight-minute surgery) and I wasn't there when he was done!!! Pathetic! And totally true to character because I am constantly late... so of course when I arrive a half hour early that turns out to be late as well. Rob was in good spirits, though, and actually felt badly that I'd felt badly as he didn't know it'd be so quick and he'd told me to go to the store for a little while. Aw.

I led Rob out to the car, as you're not allowed to open your eyes for four hours after the procedure. We had to put one kind of eye drops in right away before we hit the road. I don't really understand why they don't do that in the doctor's office, but since you do these eye drops every 30-60 minutes for the first few hours, maybe they're trying to make sure you don't have to pull over for more drops whiledriving.

Anyway, Rob said the procedure was very efficient and he didn't feel a thing, which is both creepy and amazing. The doctor gave him Tylenol PM so he could sleep for a few hours once we got home, but right now I think Rob's tossing and turning a bit upstairs. He's not really a sleep-during-the-day person. He has to wear an eye shield for sleeping and showering for the next several days, which is pretty crazy looking. So of course I took pictures. I'll download them soon.

In the mean time I'm just relieved the procedure is over and that everything seems okay (knock on wood). It's also a little funny that Rob's going to be glasses-free for the first time in two decades while I'm about to the point of needing glasses regularly for the first time in my life. Just adds to my nerdy disposition, I suppose.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Operation Portugal: Kat's Updates

Well, I didn't treadmill last night because my stomach hurt. (I sound like a little kid, I know.) So I decided I'd get up early to do some treadmilling this morning. When I told Rob this plan last night, he laughed and told me he'd pay me $50 if I actually woke up early to exercise, as I'm not really big on the whole concept of being awake in the morning at all. I already owe Rob $20 because I thought Healdsburg was Sonoma. (Although in my defense, Healdsburg is in Sonoma County, so I wasn't incorrect when I said "We were in Sonoma" when referring to when we were in Healdsburg, but that's the lawyer in me.) Rob's promise last night, then, meant I'd be back on the plus side, ignoring that whole "marital property" concept... and that fact that we both can transfer money in between our bank accounts whenever we want.

Somehow I managed to wake up this morning only about 15 minutes later than planned, which is HUGE for me. I exercised. And I discovered that exercising in the morning feels horrible. Ugh. My feet felt like lead. I wanted to collapse on the treadmill and take a nap. I didn't even make my full 2.25 miles, keeping me behind Rob's mileage. Grrr.

My stat update:
6/15: 2.1 miles
TOTAL: 4.35 miles

I definitely appreciate Valerie's interval training suggestion because, let's face it, I'm a fitness moron. I think I'll try that tomorrow when I work out... some time after noon. Maybe that'll improve my distance per workout so I can gain on Rob. And, Claire, good luck on your 5K. If you walk any of it, just know that if I were there, I'd be walking that part and then some. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Operation Portugal: Rob's Stats

6/13: 2.37 miles
6/14: 2.37 miles
TOTAL: 4.74 miles

Looks like I'll have to walk a little longer tonight to keep up! :)

Operation Portugal: Logging the Miles

Rob and I were saying the other night that we should start posting the miles we log on our treadmill to keep track of our progress. So I'll start with last night as day one, even though I had some good miles before yesterday. I want to be 100% accurate.

6/13: 2.25 miles
TOTAL: 2.25 miles

Right now I walk and run on the treadmill. My standard is to walk a little over a mile, then run a little less than a mile, and then walk slowly to cool down for about a quarter mile. This takes my short, little legs about 35 minutes. I try to run the last quarter mile at a fast pace for me, which is probably laughably slow to be considered a sprint... a ten-minute-mile pace... but it feels like one to me. I love the little "track" graphic on the treadmill that you loop every time you hit another quarter-mile. I divide it up into six points so if I want to go a mile, I know I just have to count to 24 reeeaaaalllly slowly. Seems more bearable that way, as none of the points are too far apart. Is it obvious that exercise is not my thing?

The only time in my life I worked out regularly was at the end of my days in NYC. I'm convinced something about NYC makes you skinnier because the further I get from it, the more I weigh, while my friends who still live their keep getting thinner. Hmm. I'm sure it's all about the city and has nothing to do with my more sedentary lifestyle and increased consumption of food and alcohol. Anyway, for about two months in 2001 I worked out with some regularity. Of course, I only once ran over two miles straight. The combination of wimpiness and asthma does not lend itself well to cardio, but I tried. And when I ran those two miles, I was running at a ten-minute-mile pace without struggle. Given how that pace feels now, I'm more impressed now with my 2001 short stint of exercising regularly than I was at the time. So I hope that the current stint takes me back to that golden era (for me).

This time, I have a pre-Portugal (mid-August) goal as well, which I know I keep mentioning. I want to run the entire Teb's Troops 5K at the end of July. (We are soooo close to our fundraising goal for the 5K. Yea!) When we ran our last 5K, I had to walk a couple minutes. And when we ran our 8K, I had to walk a bit more than that. I hope that with (hopefully close to) daily treadmilling the next few weeks, I'll be able to increase my running a wee bit at a time, so by the time the 5K comes it'll be a piece of cake to run (slowly) start to finish. For those of you in Chi-town, definitely sign up to run with Rob and me. We'd love the company and it's for an excellent cause.

So the count is 2.25 miles... we'll see if posting the miles publicly shames me into success!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More fun with photos

Adam and Rob show a hot dog who's boss!

This is total theft from Adam and Valerie's blog, but this picture cracked me up. I'm so bummed I wasn't there to see this feat of strength in person!

Engagement rings

Whoo hoo! Freedom! I just got an assignment turned in that's been dragging on forever so I feel great relief. And now I have time for some brief cultural commentary.

Some of you probably know that way back in the day Rob and I opted out of the traditional engagement ring thing and instead both wore wedding bands on our right hands as engagement rings until we got married. I've never been that comfortable with the diamond industry and I've never been that comfortable with the idea of women wearing symbols that they are off the market when men do not. It was a bit of a bizarre experience during my engagement, after any mention of "my fiance," to watch the listener immediately glance at my left hand and see a look of confusion cloud their face a moment later. What's the appropriate response? I don't know. Especially when it was someone I didn't know that well. Any kind of proactive explanation seems defensive, even though I loved our wedding band on right hand thing and wanted to tell everyone how awesome it was to share a tradition with my fiance on our march to becoming family.

But despite all that, I get uncomfortable sharing my opinions on the topic because most people I know (and love) who are engaged or married have either given or received a diamond engagement ring. Mine is a hard opinion to say in a non-judgmental way, no matter how much I really don't mean it that way. If the tradition means something different to others, so be it. Everyone should come to terms with traditions on their own, although hopefully with all the facts in their back pocket. After all, I still wore a white dress to my wedding, although sans veil. I still walked down the aisle last, although on my own. I still had an enormous wedding party, but we both had men and women standing up for us. So everyone has to figure out how traditions do or don't work for them.

Nevertheless, yesterday, I was very pleased to see this article on about some of the problems with diamond engagement rings. It was nice to see some of my vague thoughts on the subject backed up by some actual research. It was even nicer to see something in the public domain that made it okay to not have a diamond engagement ring. I wish the author had given some more examples of what other trends might be emerging these days to take the place of the traditional diamond engagement ring for women. I'm curious to know what other folks like me are doing.

So for anyone interested in the gender politics involved in the engagement ring industry in the last 100 years, the Slate article is a good primer. It's also got a link to information about conflict diamonds and the damage they can do.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy picture time

It's late, I'm tired, and there's more opinion-writing to be done. So it's time for a quick break for a happy picture. Here's Libby and Colin dancing at their wedding a couple months ago. Yes, it would have better if, oh, the flash didn't hit the back of someone else putting Libby and Colin in a bit of a shadow. But even though I am a lousy photographer, I still love how the happy couple is smiling at each other in this shot. Awww. Now back to work!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A long weekend of ups and downs

On Thursday night I flew to DC to attend my Uncle Jon's burial on Friday afternoon. Because my wonderful friends Adam and Valerie from law school were arriving in Chicago on Friday night to visit, I'd booked a flight back to Chi-town for Friday night. I flew out on Southwest but the Friday night flight was American. My Thursday night flight was a little over an hour delayed. I was staying with my fabulous friend Carly, who I hadn't seen in way too long, so I was sad I didn't arrive at her place until well after midnight. We still stayed up several hours catching up.

Friday morning I headed out to Virginia to have breakfast with my cousin Anne. She's my Uncle Jon's daughter, so I thought it might be nice to just sit and chat about random things for the morning before facing the afternoon. It certainly was for me, and I hope for Anne as well. Anne is exactly one month younger than me and Libby. She and her brother Mike (along with my sisters and I) are also the small handful of M-narik cousins whose parents are divorced. In a very Catholic family, this secures quite a bond, so despite the haphazard communications we've had through the years, I like to think we've remained particularly close.

The burial service was at Arlington National Cemetery. I have to admit I find military funerals extremely moving. So much work goes into each one that you can't help but feel grateful that strangers would take such care of your family member. But it is also quite depressing to walk into the Administration Building at the cemetery, where you gather before the funeral, and see the electronic screen full of names of everyone being buried that day. The ceremony included the part where they give the flag to the next of kin, and they gave the flag to my uncle's long-time companion. I was kindof surprised by this because I thought you had to be married to get the flag (although I'm glad if that policy is changed), but I couldn't help but hope that my cousin knew in advance that she wasn't going to be handed the flag. The service was clearly hard on her.

After the service, a lot of family and friends gathered at my Uncle Jim's home in northern Virginia. I was grateful for the relaxing time to just hang out with the family. My dad and his girlfriend took me to the airport a little after 6pm, where Carly was meeting me for a quick dinner before my flight. I checked in at one of those self-service kiosks and saw that the boarding time for my 8:20pm flight was 9:16pm. I checked the monitors and indeed my flight was delayed an hour and a half. I wasn't too bummed as I got to have a longer dinner with Carly, but Adam and Valerie were scheduled to arrive by 9pm in Chicago, so I felt bad not being there shortly after.

The very long story (sortof) short, which bears remarkable similarities to Valerie's ordeal with AA on Friday night, is that my flight was cancelled. I was lied to repeatedly about what flights I could be rebooked on. I was never offered an apology from any of the ten or so AA agents I spoke with. The first agent I spoke to insisted he couldn't rebook me out of DC National until SUNDAY. Seriously. He also said that once I rebooked to that flight, I could not change again. What?!?! Eventually I was rebooked for 5:20pm on Saturday. My sister helped with internet and phone searches while I stood in line Friday night. One AA agent told her that the weather in Chicago was really bad. She told them she was there. The agent backtracked and said it was DC weather that caused the delay... except then she offered to put me on a flight to Chicago out of Dulles. The weather in DC was just fine all night, except for a very brief rain that evening.

The kicker was being told there were no flights I could even standby on for earlier on Saturday, as the two morning flights were so overbooked I couldn't be put on the standby list. I was assured there were no other flights until mine at 5:20pm. I showed up at the airport on Saturday a little before noon (Carly graciously took me in again Friday night), hoping for a miracle, and saw there was actually an AA flight at 3:20pm. I got on the standby list after two phone calls to AA, bided my time in a terminal half under construction, where I couldn't find anyone selling non-decaf tea. Silly thing, but it added to my annoyance. I kept trying to repeat rationalizing things to myself like "This could be so much worse. This is not a big problem compared to the suffering in the world. The world doesn't revolve around you." But then my eyes would well up as I thought about abandoning my friends who'd come so far to visit me, not being able to go to sleep next to my husband after a very depressing day on Friday, and on and on, until I shook my head and went back to repeating "Stop whining. This could be so much worse...."

As I sat at the gate for the 3:20pm flight (no one would tell me how long the standby list was), the gate agent began offering ticketed passengers $300 vouchers to switch to my 5:20pm flight. My eyes welled up again and I just put my head in my hands. $300 for a two-hour delay while I got nothing for my 21-hour "weather delay." When my flight finally began boarding, those bumped passengers got to cut in line. Oh and did I mention the news story playing on repeat in the airport about how a computer glitch on Friday cancelled many AA Friday night flights up and down the East Coast? But my flight, just my flight (but apparently Valerie's too) was weather related. Even though nothing else was cancelled out of DCA. And even though everything else was able to land at O'Hare. Including Adam's flight.

I got back in time for a later dinner with Adam, Valerie and Rob on Saturday night at Le Colonial. Excellent, excellent food. This morning we had brunch at a local place called Su Van's. I highly recommend the place for those in our 'hood. There are always tables and the food is great with lots of healthy options.

When Adam and Valerie left this afternoon, I was exhausted. Lots of emotions and frustrations for one weekend. But I'm so glad I got to spend a little time with them and I'm so glad to be home. During my long wait on Saturday, I bought a souvenir DC notepad and pen at the lone gift shop in my terminal and wrote a five-page letter to AA letting them know all the reasons why they've lost me as a customer. Despite my whining, though, I really do know that a one-day delay in a city where I have free lodging with a good friend is hardly the end-all, be-all of problems. Far from it. I just wish one person had said they were sorry. Just one. Or maybe told me the truth, about anything, if not everything. But a single apology would have gone a long, long way with me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Adventures in painting

I haven't taken pictures of our whole place yet, but here's one from our painting adventure a few weeks back. You can see the not-so-ideal yellow we're trying to cover up. We got most of the two walls done that you can see in this picture and then we gave up. So the room is half-yellow and half-primed in white.

Very cool graduation speech

My friend Chris posted a link to this graduation speech. So I'll direct you through his site to get there. Click here and follow the link. I've been walking around the last few days thinking "This is water" to myself because of it. Very thought-provoking.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 10 - Save the Date!

My twin sister Libby's new show is premiering on HBO on JUNE 10TH! Write it in your calendars, make a reservation on your couch, stock up on your popcorn. Be there! The show is called "John From Cincinnati" and it's about, well, John, who might be from Cincinnati... except it's more exciting than it sounds. There's lots of surfing. It's from the team that brought you Deadwood. And John is played by Austin Nichols, who I love from the awesome and sweet movie Wimbledon, in which he plays the potential foil to the leading man and utters the classic line "which I, like, won" about the characters' previous tennis match.

You can get some more production details about the show here. If you scroll down, you'll see that Colin Doty (aka Libby's husband) plays Cop #2 (whoo hoo!) and Lib's credit is among the other assistant directors. And here's an article about the show more generally.

Nothing like having a twin sister whose job is about a million times cooler than yours. ;)

Fun web site distraction

If you guiltily traffic in celebrity gossip like I do, you will love this web site I recently discovered, thanks to some of my future colleagues at the law firm I'll be joining in September. It's more snarky than gossipy, but it's a lot of fun.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shout out to my husband

I am always writing down quotes when friends and family members say ridiculous things. I end up losing most of the scraps of paper I scribble on, but the ones I don't lose remain constant sources of entertainment to me when I run across them. Rob's quotes are far and away the best. Not surprising at all if you know him. Rob is one of the least egotistical people I've ever known, but he produces pure comedic genius when talking himself up.

One of my favorite Rob-isms is on our fridge at home. It's from last fall. I was having a self-critical moment (shocking) and Rob said, "Honey, you can tell how awesome you are by the fact that I love you." Brilliant.

Anyway, I was thinking about this quote today and I felt compelled to post about Rob's awesomeness. I have a couple big work assignments sucking up every ounce of my free time lately. Over the weekend I spent most of my time working, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until the wee hours of the morning. We went out with friends Saturday night and I returned home an hour into the evening to do more work. I have been tired and grumpy. I haven't used our beloved new treadmill in four days, so I'm falling behind on Operation Portugal. Meanwhile, my husband has done loads of laundry, given me multiple back rubs, restocked our fridge with Diet A&W and our freezer with Lean Cuisines, run out to the store to buy cream for me to put in my tea, and not complained at all that I've been totally skipping out on our life at every turn lately. Sure it's all little stuff, but it's little stuff in the face of zero little stuff coming from his wife, and the little stuff adds up to a huge reminder that Rob rocks.

So if Rob's awesomeness is some measure of me, then I must not be so bad myself, even though Rob's definitely got me beat on the awesomeness scale by tons. Sometimes I am amazed when I think back on how skeptical I used to be about marriage generally... in the days before I met Rob I was rather convinced marriage would never be for me. Now I can't even imagine Rob not being my family. Why he puts up with me, I have no idea. But I could not be luckier.

And now back to work...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Finally some pictures!

Thanks to my little sister, I have downloaded a bunch of pictures. So here are some highlights.

Rob's friend Peter (r) and Peter's friend Matt (l) join Rob on our balcony.

Rob gets a henna tattoo as part of Libby's bachelorette party... and pretends it's a real tattoo causing him pain. That's little sister Resa and fiance Nick in the background. Resa got a tattoo that said "Nicholas," and Libby got one that said, "Colin."

And here's the tattoo... a flaming heart with "Katherine" written on it. Awwww. True devotion.

On a much more important note, my friend Kate talks to Justice Stevens at the Seventh Circuit Bar Association conference. She'll be clerking for him next year, or rather, in just a couple months. (Wow!!)

Rob and I party it up at the Bozo Ball a few weeks ago. You can kindof see that I straightened my hair for the occasion. How chic.


For anyone who read about the recent SCOTUS decision in Ledbetter, check out this political cartoon from the Post.

PS This is courtesy of my friend Kevin, er, Kenny.

A great baseball tale

Maybe some of you had heard this one before, but it's new to me, and I love it! My friend Charlie passed it along to me today. The whole story can be found here. But it begins:

Granted, there were no dramatic home runs, the double-A Williamsport Bills were not fighting for the Easter League Championship, and there was no national media spotlight.

Most of all, there wasn't even a baseball.

But the night Dave Bresnahan fooled everyone on the field and in the stands by throwing a potato instead of a ball has forever put the former catcher and the city of Williamsport in the annals of baseball history.