Monday, June 23, 2008

Hello again, ye olde city of wind

I recently visited my old stompin' grounds for a quick weekend visit. Considering it lasted less than 48 hours, I was able to pack in some fun.

I got into the city around 7 p.m. Friday, June 6, just enough time to slam a couple of cold ones with my lady friends and eat some french fries with curry dippin' sauce at Tuman's before heading off to see "Sex & the City." Awfully cliche, I know, but when I first moved to the city, we would gather at Lizzie and April's apartment to watch it -- I think I moved in time to see maybe one regular episode and the series finale.

After the movie, we eventually found ourselves meeting up with their man friends on Lizzie's back porch -- the site of many debaucherous nights.

The next day after some running around (including a quick consult with boob-master and good friend Lauren at Isabella Fine Lingerie) and a quick nap to get rid of my Miller Lite, humidity and lack-of-sleep headache, I was ready for the big event. The very first birthday of one of my boyfriends, Echo Alexander.

Yep. He's really that cute.

As you can see from his shirt, he was killin some watermelon that day. Little did we know, that was nothing.

Echo's ability to turn a lovely cake, decorated by his mom, Sally, into totally chaos in under 2.4 seconds was astounding. Somehow, we all lived to tell the tale.

Step 1. Sit down with baby.

Step 2. Sit back in awe.

Step 3. Rinse baby off in rain and hold on tight as he slips into a sugar coma.

After the birthday fun and dragging Sal's tired ass out the door, she, Jenn and I headed to the Metro to see one of my favorite bands of all time, The Smoking Popes. It was their CD release show -- the first CD they've released in many years. I saw them a few times before I moved, but I absolutely had to go to their CD release show since it was happening and I was there.

We were able to meet up with our good friend and former bar manager, Chris, who happened to go to high school with the Caterer brothers. While I was in the bathroom, Sal scored me a VIP pass, so I was able to watch the show from a vantage point where I could actually -- gasp -- see (the Metro is not good for seeing in general).

It was Chris' birthday weekend. He was very drunk and made us laugh.

All in all, I'd say the weekend was a success, other than the fact that as I was leaving Sally's house early the next morning I fell, ripping open my left knee, causing blood to gush down my leg, and leaving a long piece of skin hanging off my right knee. Instead of risking waking the baby and the dog going into a barking fit when I rang the doorbell, I choose to take my gimpy self to Starbucks for some coffee and napkins, as logic told me was really the only option I had.

At least this was one of the last things I saw before my knees (still recovering) met their demise...

...and I got to listen to my new CD all the way home.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

You all know I'm back to my former life as a reporter. It's been a relatively smooth transition. Working for a weekly has eased me back into the life-changing that is being a reporter.

But, working at a weekly also means fewer actual deadlines, fewer adrenaline rushes, etc. This week I fortunately happened to get a couple of fluff stories done before the proverbial poop hit the fan.

One of them is about a couple of high school kids who made their prom outfits out of duct tape and are in the top 10 of a national contest for doing so. If they place in the top three (they're fighting for third right now) then Haley and Keith each get some dough for college and Haley's high school gets some cash too.

You can check out the story HERE.

They're nice kids, so I've been voting for them daily. For every e-mail you register, you can do the same, so if you feel like it...

So, that was the first part of the week, when people call you back and you've got all the time in the world and have time to eat lunch and go to the bathroom.

Then the day before your deadline hits, the tides turn and the madness begins.

Thursday morning started easy enough. I had a few different stories I was waiting for a call back on but every confidence I would get everything finished by 3 p.m. Friday. Then the police chief calls to tell you they've solved a murder from 1979 and there will be a super-secret-announced-at-the-last-minute press conference announcing the arrest of two super cool guys who finally are getting what they deserve (in some people's opinions. I'm unbiased and objective of course...).

And then the same day, McCain announces he's opening a regional office in the city you cover. And then the U.S. Attorney announces 28 people have been arrested and are being charged with federal mortgage fraud charges and one of them is from your coverage area. And then a major automotive component company announces they're going to build a $27 million expansion in your coverage area instead of Tennessee because of a $2.5 million tax cut Granholm passed. And then you end your day going to a planning commission public hearing at 7 p.m. because the residents are up in arms about a proposed master plan, and about 4 dozen residents take their 5-minute turns, until they finally decide to adjourn the meeting to another date just after midnight.

So, that's when your week gets interesting. And your heart gets to pound for a change and your forearms grow weak.

HERE's the story on the murder if you care to read that one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My new boyfriend.

It was about 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2006 when I got the call I had made my mom promise she would make the second she got the chance -- my sister and brother-in-law had welcomed Lucas Ambrose into the world. I was an aunt.

That has been more fun than I could have imagined, but still tough, considering I was 300 miles away for most of his first 2 years. I saw him for a couple of hours, maybe once every two months. When I first moved here, he would still call me "April" -- who is his babysitter.

But round two was a different story. I set off to cover a city council meeting Monday night, knowing Lucas' baby brother or sister could come any minute. When I emerged just before 10 p.m. I learned Anthony Richard had joined the brood at 8:27. Lucky for me, this time I wasn't 300 miles away, but closer to three.

On my way home, I stopped by the hospital and got to meet Anthony, who was only an hour and a half old. Although he seems so teeny, he's a big guy (especially if you ask my sister), with giant feet and long legs. It was so amazing to be there less than two hours after he was born.

While we have had a few laughs already interpreting his facial expressions, with Dan, in his best Brando, saying "It's not personal, it's business...just give me the nipple..." while viewing Anthony's first (of many) Aunt Kirsten photo shoots, we've been instructed his name is "Anthony" and not "Tony" (like my mom and grandpa) just like Lucas is just that (and not "Luke"). We're going to have fun with it anyway...

So, here are some shots of my new nephew. It's true what they say. You can love the second one just as much. I can only imagine what it will be like when I have my own.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Life is busy. Life is good.

I've not been doing the greatest keeping up with this blogging thing. What with all the babies to knit for and the school board meetings and the grocery store and dinner-cooking and the daily life things that seem to get in the way of things like blogging, reading and watching an entire movie at once.

We have done so many fun things lately that I can and should blog about.

Like go to the DIA with Grace and Alec, then hit up Northern Lights for some shuffleboard.

Or how about going to the Carolinas for Brooke and Jordan's wedding. We spent dozens of hours in the car (literally) over the course of 3 days and still went to sleep laughing at the end of it all. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. Another good thing is the Nicaraguan coffee we got as wedding favors.

Or what about Claire's birthday party, where water balloons were the hit of the bash and lots of fun was had by all.

And let's not forget last weekend's carnival, where we met up with Colleen and Jon and their brood of four in downtown Birmingham. Rowan led the pack, while Jon and Iris fought for Claire's affections. Meanwhile Everil, the typical fourth child, chilled out in his stroller in an uber-laid-back fashion and occasionally hoisted on one of his parents' shoulders.

I can't post pictures yet of the super secret Father's Day project Claire and I made on Sunday...

So, there's the quickest recap ever of several weeks of fun. Dan's got more photos (and funnier captions) over on Wingstroke -- and always does so you should probably just go there first if you ever really want to know what we're up to.