December 29, 2007


Cabo, cabo, cabo. We're back after an unbelievable adventure to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and I must say, this is the forum where I plan to tell all! Really, we had a perfect time. When I say here I plan to tell all, that means more or less that the new website we created today (see links on the right) is entirely pictoral whereas here is my narrative version (as usual.) Basically, a better pictoral version of our Mexican vacation is available if you click the link to the right titled craig and kristin in the city and's our new endeavor to share photos with friends and family, much as our friends Corey and Brooke have created (they gave us a good idea and we thank them!) So here is the view from our room. This was shot on the 2nd day, because day 1 was rather overcast, but why post that picture when this one is so lovely? What happened is this: December 22nd, we loaded up a cab trunk with the old monster bag I bought prior to going to London in January, plus carry-ons, and we cruised to Laguardia. Our flight was a normal Laguardia circumstance (bad) but the thing was, we had only found out the night before that we had to fly through Nashville (not to get off the plane but to stop and adjust passengers and what not.) Unfortunately, none of that dream came true because we wound up disembarking, re-embarking, disembarking and re-embarking the plane not just the twice I've listed, but three times. I don't know - mechanical problems? American Airlines problems? Any way it happened they swore to us that all American Airlines flights were experiencing delays, therefore we wouldn't possibly miss our flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth to San Jose, Mexico. And what do you know but those deskfolk were right! We got to Dallas with time to spare. The one thing I noted miserably is that the flight times for us to get to Cabo would be long and drawn out. The flight to Nashville from Laguardia was between 1 and 2 hours, the flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth was like 2+, and the flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth to San Jose was like a million hours (or, by that time it felt that way.)
But, we made it of course. Landing in the near-midnight range was exhausting, but we managed to drain a Corona or two and even meet some Canadians that night at the Sport Bar at the resort, wound up staying up with them until indescribable hours of the next morning, and then here I sit on the beach outside of Riu Santa Fe, my "Corona commercial," as Craig termed it. The resort really was quite stunning, even under some clouds. The beach sand was soft enough, although in places we found some tougher spots, and the whole day was really just what we needed: relaxation. That night we traveled downtown to Cabo and hit a couple of bars.

I engaged in a comical conversation with a waiter at this particular place. Craig had gone to the restroom and the waiter strolled by and stopped to welcome me to Cabo. The exchange:

Waiter: "Como estas?"

KB: "What?"

Waiter, politely: "Como estas?"

KB, shouting over the loud music: "WHAT?"

Waiter, exasperated: "HOW ARE YOU?"

KB: "Ah! Muy bien!"

I don't get called light headed for just anything, evidently!

The thing in Cabo, and maybe in more of Mexico, is that the locals are looking for opportunities to finely tune their English. That puts them well ahead of those of us who stumble through our own language much less have ever tried a second. But, in all fairness to the tourists, they will let us act like total morons and try to speak limited 1-liners in Spanish before becoming annoyed and just launching into English. Moving along...
While we did enjoy a beach cantina or two or three or four or more, what we noticed is how Spring Break 07 they became as we progressed down the beach. For instance, the image above is right out of MTV, isn't it? At least, old school MTV from when I was sneaking glimpses of MTV as a teenager: weird cartoon on the wall carrying drinks plus remains of a very pink drink on a bright green table cloth? Residual effects of Spring Break gone wrong?? Really, we weren't as into the cantinas (I wasn't) as we traveled down the beach. This was at Mango, which I believe was just your average lunch place serving wild pink drinks to tourists.*
I must admit, it was entertaining to watch the macho guys volunteer to have shots of indistinguishable liquor poured down their throats for prizes such as, "You just won another shot and a round for the rest of the restaurant!" How very rewarding for them.*I'm going to call it quits as the time approaches 12.30. We did sleep very well last night - we got home around 7, ordered a pizza and salad from Delizzia, watched a How I Met Your Mother marathon and went to bed early, but again, I worked diligently on our "pictoral" blog all day (blogspot has changed drastically since I was a young lad creating a blog page in 05 and I'm too confused to catch up) and it doesn't even look like I'd like it to after all the headache! but hey, it's created finally and contains all the vacation photos that my Chief would like. :) And now I'm going to join him to fall asleep to his Lost dvd's...more bad - but not to be missed - photos to follow!

December 19, 2007


Mexico! Happy Holidays...

December 13, 2007


Cooking is by all means the reason I am not writing as feverishly as I did last semester (while my life no longer shifts forward in semesters, I still somewhat subscribe to that chronology.) Working with Sharon has been an extremely interesting event in my life, and one of which I'm proud, but we're down to 2 meetings left, and the Holidays have us both so occupied and preoccupied that we can't seem to settle a good Wednesday to meet. Additionally, I've lost faith and interest in the two characters who are hanging around in an episodic piece of fiction waiting for me to revise and edit their existences. Oh, well. The Holidays are overall a distracting time, I suppose.*We've been quite busy, at work and at home and at play. The past weeks have gone by so quickly that I can barely account for them. Let's see...a few occurrences I recall: my friends Emily and Eric are moving to Singapore in the spring, a giant, giant life-altering event!; Craig and I have fallen head over heels in love with Thai food - we've always loved eating Thai out at Thai restaurants, but I've actually discovered a handful of Thai recipes that I can make which add the sweet scent of coconut milk and the spicy aroma of curry paste to our apartment as I prepare the dishes; I've been working tediously to get recipes copied onto my blank recipe cards to insert in my beautiful recipe book, and it feels very much like my organization of foods we love is finally coming together; Cabo San Lucas is less than two weeks away! Hurray!; last weekend, Saturday, I shopped with Alison and later in the evening Alison, Scott, Craig and I ate Korean food at Mandangsui in K-town - yum; most Christmas shopping is done, with slight exceptions; we received our photo Christmas cards today and will be filling out envelopes like mad over the next several days; Saturday marks our first day to go tanning (I know) before the trip (I think we're going twice each prior to leaving New York next week) among many other tasks required to be performed prior to leaving December 22nd (fun!); and basically, many, many other things. I've been a terrible poster recently but it's honestly the cooking thing. I love to cook so much that perhaps I'm guilty of the pleasure-delaying referenced in Vanilla Sky (one of my favorite movies ever, ever, ever) in which Tom Cruise's character is termed "pleasure delayer" by Penelope Cruz's character which altogether is interesting as a concept because if you like to delay the pleasure you are about to experience, what happens if something terrible intercepts the pleasure and in the delay it doesn't get delivered? Anyway, my point is that I delay my cooking pleasure at night, milling around in the kitchen envisioning precise cuts of red pepper or chicken in my mind but putting off doing, pulling out bottles of dark sesame oil, rice vinegar and a jar of crushed red pepper and lining them neatly on the counter, pouring dry jasmine rice into a measuring cup, poking around in the fridge for ginger and garlic, and whatever else it is that I do to procrastinate the making of the meal because it's genuinely my favorite single hour of the day (the preparation of the food) and once it has come and gone, I am subjected to wait a minimum of another 18-20 hours before I begin again. That's a long time! There's this whole thing about people and work and living to work or working to live...I work to live, and there's no changing that. I could never become a culinary artist and make it my lucrative living. I know firmly because of all the things I love, love, love to do, ie. writing, sketching, watercolor, daydreaming, cooking, believing, wanting, loving - if any of these became tasks due by a deadline, or if any of them were owed to anyone, I likely wouldn't love them as much. There are certainly people who do love what they get paid to do, and that's great for them. But for me, I get a day out of the way so that I can have my night: my kitchen, my food, my apartment, my Craig. My hobbies are important to me. Sometime I won't live so far from the place where I generate income that I have so little free time to do stuff like write poems, write stories, write blogs, cook meals that drag out over hours, hit the computer for some time, go to bed before 10! and so forth.*Tonight I'm staring at this unbelievable gorgeous Dell monitor, 22" and silver rimmed and high-def and terrific! This is our gift from Craig's parents to us for Christmas. My parents contributed to our trip, his to this radical computer monitor upgrade! Alas, I approach 10 and plan to turn in soon. I feel so elated as we arrive at the weekend before our trip to Mexico. Craig is my best friend in the whole world and going to a place with him where we're subjected to nothing but sun, swim, sky, sunsets, holding hands and each other is going to be like a dream come true. A girl could want for nothing more.*

December 02, 2007


Sunday was sailing on smoothly until about 2.30, when we lost partial power. Strange - only in places, including the television, the overhead lights for all rooms, excluding the kitchen where my slow cooker is plugged in containing Thai Pork Stew (explanation to follow) and excluding everything plugged into the surge protector in the second bedroom, which is why I am able to type now. Our superintendent is aware of the evident circuitry issue and is on it. I will refrain from mentioning Con Edison and the obvious ("Con Ed: We're On It." Right.) Anyway, snow fell today in New York City, but only for brief stint this morning. We've had a really great weekend, the kind you don't want to end, ever. Friday night we went to a concert with Lauren and Jeff. Unfortunately, Thursday night we went to an undesirable concert with a couple of people we've met along the way. I'm just going to say one thing: I knew who they were (the band) when I was a teenager. They are called My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Anything more and I risk sounding like a lunatic - they are weird. But we went. So by Friday, we were just beat down. Two nights in a row of staying out late on our schedules is not accommodating. But Friday's concert, despite how tired we were, was unbelievable, completely, entirely indescribable. It was our Andrew Bird show. I know I've mentioned him here and there, but after seeing him live, I can say nothing to do it justice.*First, we met Lauren, Jeff and their abrupt "mystery guest" (they were taunting me along the way: "Kristin, you just wait, you're going to be so happy...we're bringing this person at the last minute, can you run to the box office and get another ticket," etc.) and it turned out to be Eric!!! He is another person I admire around the same quantity as I admire Lauren and Jeff. We were in art history classes together, and a couple of drawing courses in college, too - he's a brain and a talent you don't just meet every day. So, first we all met at Ruby Foo's on the West Side (delicious Asian fare - I ate a rocking sushi plate with a variety of flavors happening, including in the dipping sauces) and then rushed over to the Beacon Theater. Craig and I spent (this is what the holidays do to New York) half an hour in a cab to cross the Park which normally takes us less than 8 minutes, thus we were late to dinner and had to scramble to eat and drink. Nevertheless, we made it in time for Andrew Bird's opening number. I'm never going to see a show anything like that again. How disheartening, but true. He is a violinist, a guitarist, he whistles, he sings like a beautiful bird (sorry), and he loops sounds. He loops sounds meaning he can be standalone - he can play the violin for 35 seconds, loop it, play overtop it, loop that, and play a third part, singing all the while, sometimes whistling, always a master of lyrics, always a master of his own mind. It was a sick, sickly beautiful display of skill and artistry. In fact, I was so blown away that by the end, I felt absolutely empty. During the show I whispered to Lauren, "What do you do with something like this?" and she said matter-of-factly, "The last time I saw him I didn't know if I should be inspired or should give up music altogether..." and I squeezed her hand. He is all too right up there doing that. And he did have support: a drummer and a bass player, but he could have done without them. He is a monster of all his own making. He played "Lull" (I gasped and Lauren let out a tiny laugh - I already had told Jeff and Lauren how much I need that song) and he played an abbreviated version of "Fake Palindromes". He played a ton of stuff I didn't know but want to know. He was dressed in a brown suit complete with necktie and just really turned the stage into a different universe - there were times when he would be plucking at the violin and singing in the exact same note, and once he did that very thing with a xylophone. This guy grew up on a farm in Illinois and created this world all on his own - does this turn me off even more to commercially advertised arts? Need I answer this? He is not famous, but the theater was packed. He has fans who know why he is up there doing that. He has fans picking up the pieces of their empty lives as they leave the theater with his shrill compilation of sounds ringing through them. What more success could one want?*Well, I did want to also talk about how much time I spent with my awesome recipes, logging them into my new recipe organizer, et cetera, and how I have immediate Thai envy and therefore am making Thai dishes 3 nights in a row this week (one which is curiously slow cooking as we speak, to be served over Jasmine rice after we seek out the Bears' game at a bar since our power is still out) (oddly except for the one outlet in the kitchen - fate) and how we're going to celebrate Mexico by counting Weight Watchers points again beginning tomorrow. Thanksgiving left us with a few undesirable added pounds.*Lots more to talk about, but Craig is beside himself to go see the Bears. I will work again on my writing at the bar, like last week. It works out rather well.