Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The last day before the first day of the rest of my life

(T-minus 11 days)
Last Friday, January 20, was the end of my 6 year and 8 month career at TPR.
I complained about it a lot, and am still flabbergasted that I stayed as long as I did...although when you have a steady paycheck, benefits, and good friends there, time tends to get away from you.
My job there was always a "day job" to me while I pursued acting, and whenever I compared other actor-friends' day jobs to mine, my position always seemed pretty sweet. And, in retrospect, it was. However, if the education/publishing industry were my career, then this had tons to be improved upon.
Regardless, I left on Friday feeling good about myself, the legacy I left there, and--most importantly--the friendships that I am taking with me. I have learned so much about myself, other people, and the world in general from these people, and I would do it all again just for that.
I love you guys very much. I really hope you know that.
Ugh, now I'm getting weepy again.
Here are a few photos from the minutes before leaving my job at TPR and from the drink "do" afterwards.
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Damaris, Me, Clayton
at my former cubicle

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Me and Tracey
to whom I will forever be indebted for all her help with my upcoming kiwi adventure

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The Blaus:
Greta and Jim

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the ladies:
Kim C., Damaris, Donna, Me, Kim H.

(and my lovely going-away card and gift)

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Heather, Me, Tracey

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Mike & Me

Monday, January 23, 2006

my friend finn

One of the friends that I will miss from TPR is my little buddy Finn. He always greeted me when I arrived in the morning (ok, Donna really greeted me, but Finn did emote), and he always seemed to respond to me whenever I stopped by his "office" for a visit.

Bye Finn. Live long and prosper...

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A Fine Day for Spice Market

(T-minus 12 days)


So last Thursday I was treated to a delicious and decadent farewell lunch at Spice Market on 13th Street (one of many Jean-Georges establishments). Iam, Lisa, Kim, Damaris, Clayton and I spent about 4 hours enjoying the atmosphere, incredible food, and each other's company.

I'd been wanting to go to Spice Market for a long time, but never saw myself having the money or the opportunity to go on my own time, so to go for lunch with these great people, and not have to pay (!!!), was an awesome experience.

It definitely exceeds all the hype. The majority of the dishes (and I believe we ran the gamut on our menu selections) were incredible. The service was attentive but not overwhelming. And the wine was gooooooooood...as was the rum punch, which Iam had.

Below are photos of our gang, as well as some drunken photos in the bathroom and downstairs, nd a few of the delectable dishes.

By the way, here are some high recommendations:

  • Chicken samosas
  • Fresh shaved tuna with mango in coconut milk
  • Lobster steamed in fried garlic and dried chili
  • Vietnamese coffee
  • Short ribs
  • Vegetables in green curry
  • Sticky coconut rice
  • Ginger and/or Jasmine rice

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the view from our table
(no idea who the people in the foreground are)

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group photo
(l - r: damaris, clayton, iam, kim, lisa, me)

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yummy sticky rice

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clayton's monkfish

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my lobster

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kim & lisa
(after bottle #1? #2? #3?)

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lisa & me

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downstairs at spice market

damaris & me

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me in the bathroom
(after 3 bottles of wine...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

North and South

Had an awesome, AWESOME weekend down in Reston, Virginia visiting my dear friend Angela and her husband Doug. Mike and I arrived late on Friday night, about an hour or so after Robert and Craig. Saturday started our gorge-fest, which only proves how well Ang and Doug provided for us.

We drove to a little town called Middleburg, which is in the middle of horse country, just in time for a slight Nor'Easter. We took refuge in a lovely little Inn housed in a building erected in 1728 called the Red Fox Inn . Once we were seated, we took some time to read the handy brochure provided that gave some insight into the history of the inn, and we were impressed to see that not only had the dining room where we were now seated served as a headquarters and hospital for the Confederates during the Civil War, but...wait for it...it had been visited by a young George Washington at one time!

After a light lunch, we headed back to Ang and Doug's townhouse and played a riveting game of trivial pursuit. I won't gloat and tell you who won, but let's just say that *certain* people kept asking Mike and I for a rematch.

Off we then went to Mike's friend Mike's restaurant (yes, you read correctly. It was just as much fun to type) in Adam's Morgan in DC. We met up with my friend Toni, whom I met in London about 10 years ago and who will be leaving for graduate work in Sydney around the same time I leave for Wellington. If all goes well, we'll at least have each other down there!

The restaurant we went to is called Baci and it was incredible!!! Everyone in the DC area should visit it at least once...although once you try it, you'll definitely want to go back: Baci . I had a glorious gnocchi in pesto sauce with shrimp, and it was melt-in-your-mouth good. At one point, one of the chefs came out and gave us a free dish of the house special. I think it was ravioli with eggplant and other good stuff, but I also had quite a few glasses of wine by that point.

Dessert was rounded off with a tiramisu that was voted the best any of us had ever had...hands down.

Here's a photo taken at the restaurant:

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left to right: Doug, Angela, me, Mike, Toni, Robert, and Craig.

Sunday was a bit debaucherous: woke up to a glorious, massive, insane breakfast spread, a la Ang and Doug. We then went for a walk around their neighborhood. When we came back, we decided to play some more games and tried "Catch Phrase"...which then snowballed into a crazy, wine-induced, raiding-of-the-pantry, 3 or 4-round game. It was a blast...but by 4:00 I had to take a nap!

When we woke up, Robert and Craig were leaving, but Mike and I decided to stay. God knows why we needed dinner after the bacchanalia that ensued earlier in the afternoon, but we wound up going to a Mexican place Ang and Doug knew of.

Went home, feeling very uncomfortable, and decided we should watch a movie. we settled on "Anchorman" with Will Ferrell. I think I made it 30 minutes in before I couldn't take anymore and went to bed.

Left yesterday at around noon, after a good hour or so of girl-talk with Ang.

I really really needed this weekend, on so many levels. I am so grateful for the friends that I'm lucky to have in my life.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Swimming Rock

Testing my new account on Photobucket.

This is a photo I took on one of the many drives around NZ (surprise). This was a statue on a rock in the middle of nowhere...

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hey ya'll

It's been a while...even though no one's reading this. :)
12 days into the new year and the countdown has begun.
I have a little over a week (5 business days) left at work. It's a little anti-climactic, if only because I've known I'll be leaving for so long and have done everything within my power to make my leaving make as little a difference as possible. So much so that there shouldn't be any work "downtime" once I'm gone, since Damaris is fully in charge of everything now and doing it all admirably.
I know I'll be missed personally by all of my friends here, which is what matters most; but there's obviously a part of me that wants to feel like I'll be missed in a professional capacity. I know, I know...I'm sure I will. :)

Right now, everything's being colored with the feeling of saying goodbye. Even everyday activities take on a different meaning when I do them now, mostly because I have no idea where I'll be as of 3+ weeks from today. I'm actually really enjoying it because it's making me appreciate everything; even the stuff that used to get to me.

This weekend I'm off to Virginia to spend the weekend with sweet Angela and her husband, Doug. It's actually a group of us going: the original triple-threat of myself, Robert, and Angela, plus Mike, Craig and Doug. I'm very much looking forward to the trip and to spending time with Ang.