hello darlings =)
the pretty-much-month-long silence on both blogs has prompted demands to know where i am and what i have been doing, so...here i am, early saturday morning of first week, updating my blog for your reading pleasure. winter quarter 2005 has just started here at the U of C, and i'm having a hard time getting my enthusiasm for classes going. helps -or perhaps not- that am taking a relatively light load -just three classes, plus the BA Sem which meets once every two weeks. Mearsheimer's War and the Nation State, then Levitt's Economics of Crime, and Islamic Politics with Lisa Wedeen. should be all kinds of fun, if i could only just start reading...i'm waiting for my copy of Clausewitz to arrive so i can read for JJM, but it's looking like it'll have to wait til wednesday when the book actually arrives.
what have i been up to? you ask. well -winter break was three weeks of mad travelling, mostly. once school let out at the end of fall, alex and i went to boston/providence for a few days. my...third? time in boston, the third time in the winter (i gotta see that city at some other time, i'm sure it's gorgeous), though mostly the weather wasn't too bad. hung out with shum a little, went up to see Paul at MIT, and visit Fiona at Harvard. it was good to see them both again. =) and then bus-ing it to providence to go stay with cheryl, see Brown (another place i could have wound up. i'm glad i chose the U of C. not that i dislike Brown, or Providence, but it's a little too quiet for me. and besides, look at all the friends i would have missed!) and shop a little in Providence. there are pictures, but on someone else's camera mostly, so i shall have to wait to post any.
then we came back through chicago, just long enough to do laundry and repack bags, and it was off to Colorado to spend some time with Hanyann. which was awesome fun. i love spending time with H, esp in her home state. she took alex skiing on Christmas Day (mostly because we'd failed to wake up on time the days before) while i hung out doing nothing at the ski lodge; we spent christmas down in Denver with her family; and i finally got to meet Brian, which was nice. hanging out a little like last year, where we would retreat to her apartment after class and just veg out in front of the TV with food, soda, popcorn, and watch three movies straight before our eyes -and brains- gave out. i miss that.
after Colorado (where i left my pretty red scarf, dangnabbit!) we flew to New York to meet up with my parents and brother. despite some minor disasters on their part, and my not having enough cash for the cab from the airport, we all made it safely to the hotel in reasonably good shape (though by the time alex and i got settled it was so late we ordered room service for dinner). thankfully we missed out on the whole -travelling during christmas is a nightmare of delayed flights and lost bags- deal. whew! three or four days in new york in the winter is fun, esp with parents and a brother who's never been (well maybe he has, but as a baby, so he doesn't remember.). we went shopping a lot (my dad went NUTS; he loves Old Navy, oddly enough. my brother hates going in there.) and went to see the Lady Liberty, unfortunately still closed to visitors who want to climb up to her crown. we did get to go to the lower level and walk ard the pedestal she's on though, which wasn't bad. it was cold. =) i remember when we were there at the end of '99 -on the HMUN trip, with a bunch of A01Aians, and Evan and Zhining and other peeps- and got to climb up to the crown. a long climb, on a skinny spiral staircase at the top, helix-coiled so you come down on top of the heads of those going up. i don't like enclosed spaces with skinny spiral staircases (i'm a klutz who's afraid of heights), so cheetung had to go down backwards talking to me and keeping an eye on me so i wouldn't freak out and die. =) but it was worth the climb through human traffic, for sure. pity no one can do it now.
cheryl and derek also drove up from Providence (where derek is visiting cher) to meet us for a day or so (they went to Lady Liberty with us). the night before, we went to dinner in Chinatown -with my brother, sans my parents- had really good pho at a classic Chinatown/Vietnamese restaurant: the food was awesome, the service was terrible. it made me happy. =) i haven't laughed so hard in a long time.
then back to Chicago for a few days with my parents and my brother, just in time for the new year. my brother'd never been to chicago before this trip, so it was a first for him, which began with a three-hour delayed flight because O'Hare was having shitty weather and visibility was basically non-existent (alex and i flew in to midway, and landed on time, despite having to wait forever to get to a gate and get our bags), and then a two hour ride into town in the teeth of inbound holiday traffic. but he soon got over it. we had dinners at Fogo de Chao and Cafe BaBaReeba, as well as Chinatown and just plain at my apartment. and we went shopping on the MagMile (where we had Southern food for lunch!) and at the outlet mall in Aurora (where mom failed to buy a Coach bag. i kid you not.) my brother loved my apartment, Salonica, and went to class with me: a 'organisational meeting' for JJM's giant class, which was unfortunately for my brother run by Kevin, one of JJM's TAs, and not the man himself, so he couldn't actually meet him. but oh well.
my family left for home on tuesday, and are now safely ensconced back in their home routines -well, mom is, at least: she was up and at 'em for work the next morning- and i am struggling to get back into the swing of work. need to work on BA stuff a little this weekend; am meeting with my advisor, professor snidal, on tuesday to see how things are going. it'll be fun. =)
more from me later. =)