giving back

A few weeks ago, I got a very random phone call just as I was leaving school – someone named Heather O’Brien from CouchSurfing was wondering if we’d be willing to host a reporter from St. Louis. After checking her out (legit!), we agreed. A few days later, Ann and Andy from KSDK arrived in the pouring rain.

Both of us were interviewed on camera, where we were asked about our experiences hosting and surfing. I talked up the trust-building aspects, while Shane talked about how it was “kind of like going to a bed and breakfast but you’re not staying with 80 year olds”, which just might be the best thing he’s ever said on camera. I said again and again that CouchSurfing has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, and that we’re hoping to be able to host and surf more when we’re in our new location (at that time totally unknown). We gave Ann and Andy a brief tour of downtown – Boltini wouldn’t let them film, but they treated Shane and I to drinks anyway (and we got to hang out with my friend Mary, which was cool). Basil very helpfully monitored the inflation of the air mattress, and Ann was filmed getting ready for bed. In the morning, I had to split early for a dental appointment, but they had breakfast with Shane and hit the road not long after.

Long story short, we’re famous! Well, kind of. The story aired last weekend, and is now online for your reading and viewing pleasure. I had problems with the video on my Mac, but it should be solid on a PC. Check us out!

Grab a Couch and See the World!



On Tuesday, SB accepted a job in the DC area. (I’m too Google-paranoid to actually say where.) He’ll be starting at the end of August, and I’ll follow once things are taken care of on this end. We’ve advertised our apartment, and I’ve given informal notice at work. I’ve started reading DCist and getting excited about living in/near a city – while at the same time getting choked up all the time when I realize that this really is my last summer in Champaign. As I’ve said to a few people, while I never planned on being here forever, I also never really thought about leaving.

One of my goals for the next year (along with ‘get a job’ and ‘find subletters’ and ‘not get grossly in debt due to high DC Metro Area rents’) is to take a picture each day so that I can share our adventures and our new life with my friends who are scattered all over the country – and also so that at some point in the future, I can look back on this really stressful, emotional, exciting time and laugh at how young we were.

Things I will miss, installment #1

I don’t think I’ve mentioned here how much I enjoy riding the 7:30 bus. At or around 7:30, just about every bus that passes through the Terminal arrives there, crowding in and allowing passengers to change between buses. The drivers get off and say good morning to each other. After a few minutes of shuffling, the buses make their way out in a long winding line, flagged on and out by someone from the MTD. The sight of all the buses lined up and that one guy waving them all off on their way is enough to cheer me up, even on the worst of mornings.

A short list of things that make me happy

Law & Order of all flavors
Vosges chocolate
skirts with pockets
reading the paper in bed with coffee and my Bee
working with instructors
the Farmers Market
rainy days (if I don’t have to go anywhere)
fast rides to work on yellowbike
real mail
movie theater popcorn
tiny Sid and Basil
sleeping in
good news for friends
my new Queen Bee bag
cute pajamas
ginger ale

More bars in more places

NuGo Coffee Break

looked like a granola bar, tasted like weirdness – raisins, dates, mysterious orangeness – strange consistency. Hmm.

Pure Protein Blueberry Crumb Cake

“cake” with blueberry topping and mysterious waxy white coating – maybe vanilla flavored? Quite possibly the holy grail of bars with 18g of protein for 200 calories, but much like in that Indy movie where the greedy adventurer grabs the ornate gold cup and then turns into ash, this is a false grail.

The stats: 200 calories/6 g fat/19 g carbs/2 g sugar/9 g sugar alcohol/18 g protein

Kashi GoLean Chocolate Almond Toffee High Protein & Fiber bar

Weird texture, no apparent almond OR toffee. I am tired of eating bars that I don’t like. The things I do for you people! 6 g fiber is not high fiber, dudes. Hate to break it to you. I mean, it’s more than some, but not “high” by any means. Please, please don’t tell me that I have additional Kashi bars to eat. I just can’t do it.

The stats: 290 calories/6 g fat/45 g carbs (!!!!!)/31 g sugar/13 g protein

SB is off at his second interview in 7 days. He gets home Thursday night, and then I leave on Tuesday for another interview. We both have been going constantly for months now with very little down time, and I’m so tired of it. I’m really ready to be done with this part of our life so that we can move on to the next chapter together. That’s what teams do, right?

I had written a longer post, but WP doesn’t autosave, and now it’s gone.

I’ll probably go to hipster hell for saying this, but Pitchfork has been a disappointment so far. Granted, I wasn’t there on Friday – but today was decidedly blah. I was a fan of the short water lines, the expanded food selection, and Flatstock. Finally getting to see Iron & Wine was pretty damned great as well, though there were too many tall people, and we couldn’t hear much from where we were sitting. Tomorrow should be better – Jamie Lidell, Of Montreal, De La Soul, and The Field, among others. The Field’s From Here We Go Sublime is one of my favorite discs so far this year, so I’ll definitely be staking out my spot early!

Kashi GoLean Crunchy Whatever

Kashi GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bar

I am so over Kashi. That’s unfortunate, however, because I still have a couple of their bars and/or rolls to sample. The Crunchy! Chocolate Peanut protein & fiber bar tasted like what you’d get if you crossed a Rice Krispie treat (the prepackaged kind) with cardboard, and then spread an impossibly thin layer of chocolate across the bottom.

The stats: 180 calories/5 g fat/30 g carbs/13 g sugar/9 g protein