mr ben makes me proud

on saturday evening we went out to dinner to celebrate ben and his recent promotion at work. he's a hard worker and makes me proud. really. thanks for being my hero, ben.

our dinner conversation revolved around the prospect of opening up our own pizza/gelato and maybe a little bit of pasta shop... someday.

does everyone who opens up a restaurant like this start it because they think they can do it best? because we are going to do it best. at least best in our opinion :)

we will of course name the place after our favorite pizza joint in italy. and we'll stray from the annoyed and snooty attitude we feel like we get from our favorite pizza places we've been to in the u.s. namely: 2 amys, seventh hill and grimaldi's.

what makes me laugh most about the attitude is that--- pizza in italy is seen as the poor man's food or simply juvenile. gets me every time.


emily in that big white house

my friend and coworker let me join him at the white house press conference last week with president obama and the president of russia, medvedev.

i got to be on c-span (above left picture) and enjoy the fascinating white house press culture. i loved seeing all the different news reporters and photographers frantically trying to get the best notes and best photos of the press conference. i also loved seeing so many people with two cell phones: 1 blackberry, 1 iphone.

but what was really neat was being the same room as the president of the united states. i think regardless of how one feels about the president, it is still a fun thing to be in the room with them.

and i just love dc and how it is so full of important events, meetings and conferences. it really is a unique place and a very important capital city---

and i'm also glad i finally got to go inside the white house since i walk by it almost everyday. it's about time...


we are happy campers

we camped and hiked in catoctin mountain park in maryland over the weekend. catoctin is the home of camp david- the u.s. president's getaway.
we can understand why--- catoctin is super pretty and the weather was about 30 degrees cooler there than in dc. it was so fun to wear a sweatshirt again!

i just really love camping and hiking. being a little secluded and enjoying the fresh air.

we can't wait for our next outdoor outing.


curing my euro woes :: our honeymoon

con te partiro (ben&emily's honeymoon) from emily blythe.

this is an oooh pooor meeee post (sort of).

lately i've been really sad we are not going to europe this summer. we went the last two summers. and before that i visited in 2007 and i lived there in 2005. so i've been spoiled, i know. and we've been on a lot of great trips so far this year. so i should stop complaining.
i know, i'm spoiled.

so in order to help get over my woes... i put together our honeymoon posts because i never did properly blog them. a link to the "honeymoon" label is here. there are about 11 posts.

i also put together the above video (i'm a complete novis at video making). ben and i are now kicking ourselves for not taking more videos on our honeymoon!! silly us.

the video is set to "con te partiro" by: andrea bocelli. two reasons:
1/ our dear friend jeanne sang this song to us the night of our wedding, just before we left on our honeymoon. the song title literally means "with you i part"--- it's a love song. the english version deceives many because it's translated to "time to say goodbye."
2/ the first part of our honeymoon we were on a meditteranean cruise. each time we left a port, the cruise ship played this song. it makes my heart smile.


hot dogs & diana in black 'n' white

lately whenever i walk by a hot dog stand--- i really want to get one (a hot dog).

i haven't given in yet---
even though the man at the stand on the corner by my office called me "pretty lady."

i think i'll give in when the time is right.


diana mini :: you are my friend

i am feeling really in love with our diana mini.

and developing the film myself makes me appreciate the whole process more.

this expired film turned out some fun results, but this is the last of it... so it was fun while it lasted.

i should video chat more.

yesterday i got to video chat with lindsay, randy (not pictured) and new baby boy donovan. he is six days old today. and linny and randy are some of our dearest friends.

linny and randy and donovan live in utah so i have felt really sad about missing out on all the fun, lately. but video chatting yesterday made me feel really happy. we chatted for over an hour! linny said, it was like we were on a date. hehe, you're a great date, linny!!

i loved it. and i realized i need to video chat more. it's awesome. and it makes me feel close to those who are far away... for just a little while.

baby boy donovan is mad at auntie em (me) in the picture because i made his mom hold him up for the picture. hehe. sorry baby.


our saturday: annapolis + chesapeake bay

our saturday started with...fancy breakfast (fancy meaning it took more than 3 minutes to make).
visiting annapolis, maryland (the capitol).
annapolis is so quaint and cute.
we visited the u.s. naval academy. very nice.
we loved the cute little harbor
and loved all the nautical goodness.
and of course,
we drove across the chesapeake bay (SO GORGEOUS!!) and ate some maryland crabs.

because they are the best.

thanks ben for being fun and adventurous. you're nice.


things i've learned from film

i developed some more film yesterday.

i love how some of the same roll turned out really old and vintagey and some turned out all high in constrast. i guess that's what comes of expired slide film.

i do admit i was really nervous to develop color again. since it was only my second time. but i just need to relax and have confidence.
relax and have confidence.

such it is with most things in life.

so. happy weekend. relax and have confidence!!


green is dc's favorite color.

every time we fly home to dc (especially from being out west)... i am reminded of how green dc is. i love it.


my life in france, by julia child

do read it if you can.

ever since elizabeth posted this on her blog, i knew i had to read it.

and i really enjoyed it not just because it was fun and julia child is hilarious but she taught me a lot of important things. i started reading the book about a month ago (i'm a slow reader when i don't have a deadline) and at that time (and always it seems) i was trying to figure out my calling in life.
and my life in france is essentially about how julia found her true calling in life. BUT she also realized that even though she found this calling, and she was really great at what she did... it still takes a lot of work.

sometimes i get frustrated when i have to put a lot of work into something. i am just sort of all over the place and so when things really require nurturing and patience and time... i'm just sort of like, are you for real? i don't have time for this...
but then i also realize that i can't always be doing a halfway job on something that i want to produce good results.
like school for example. school has been my biggest "project" the last year and will continue to be in the fall until may 2011. both semesters i've done so far, i've really done my best--- but of the three classes each semester, one class has suffered a little more than the other two because sometimes there just isn't the time.

anyway i know this is a lot more than i usually have to say, because let's face it, even though i'm somewhat part of "academia" now--- i'm not into writing long drawn out explanations of things.

i like to use photos to express what i see and feel.

this is the other reason why i really loved my life in france because it is filled not only with julia's words but with her husband, paul's photographs of their life together. i really need to use black and white film everywhere i go.

some favorite quotes:

when julia and paul first arrive in france
"paul strode ahead, full of anticipation, but i hung back, concerned that i didn't look chic enough, that i wouldn't be able to communicate, and that the waiters would look down their long gallic noses at us yankee tourists (16)."

"paul, the mad photographer, always carried his trusty camera slung over his shoulder... i discovered that when one follows the artist's eye one sees unexpected treasures in so many seemingly ordinary scenes (42)."

"i had come to the conclusion that i must really be french, only no one had ever informed me of this fact (54)."

never apologize (i need to work on this one...)
"i don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make (71)."

"...my work gave my life form, forced me to be productive, and helped me to keep a good balance (296)."

"it was the people i shared it with, more than the physical property, that i would miss (300)."


yet another draw (italy v paraguay)

ben and i met up yesterday to watch the second half of the italy/paraguay game.

italy is my favorite team. (surprise, surprise)

and italy and paraguay tied. which is fine... but the usa & england also tied on saturday so i am kind of over the draws (ties).

still, it was really fun to meet up with ben like a little secret date to espn zone. hehe.

*photos taken with hipstamatic app for the iphone.


the thinking weekend

although the weekend was filled with some of my favorite things:
world cup
family time
really good food

i was kind of off in la la land this weekend too. i was talking to my sister, kristen about really wanting to be traveling more this summer and then i'm like--- are you serious? because we've already had some really great trips this year and i just need to calm down.

i also thought a lot about relationships and how tricky they are. and how my best relationship is with ben (as it should be) --- but it's funny how one's approach to relationships... especially new friendships changes drastically once you are married.
well, at least for me.

i'm really happy for all the lovely people we've met in dc. whether it's been through school, work or church... we've really been lucky and we have fun times.
and we still cherish our friends we made in utah and love them deeply.

it's interesting how relationships evolve.

again, i feel lucky for the friendships i do have. they are important to me.

so that's what i was thinking about, mostly.

what did you think about over the weekend?


instax minis of southern cal.

this last one makes me wonder why i'm not living at the beach??

especially in the summertime... if not all year round. oh well. maybe someday.

and happy friday. i'm excited for the world cup to start. yes, i am. it's the only sport i can watch on tv. and i hate to say it, but my favorite team is not the usa. can anyone guess who my favorite team is?

hehe :)


our non-alcoholic happy hour

ever since our anniversary dinner this year, we can't stop thinking about the special lemonade at zatinya.

really it's called sparkling lemonade and it's this non-alcoholic concoction of lemonadey sparkly goodness.
and i don't usually like lemonade. but this special stuff has just the right amount of zing for me.

so this is our non-alcoholic happy hour or mezze ora as they call it.

the sparkling lemonade must be paired with some fried squid (calamari). i pretty much order calamari every time i see on a menu these days.

ever since we were spain last year (here and here). sigh. what i've give to be there now...