First I got to play vice-bride, in case Jessey couldn't complete her bridely duties on her wedding day. Now, I'm vice-mom to her two cuter-than-cute kids.
I spent yesterday in Simi Valley hanging with J-momma, Elizabeth (a rowdy and chatty 2-year-old) and Dylan (my little Mr. Potatohead, whose 7-months-old head roughly resembles a spud -- albeit the cutest spud you have EVER seen.)

We had a blast. Elizabeth and I swam in the pool. ("You a dolphin!" Yes, I am, kiddo! Even if I AM sitll afraid of snorkeling). J and I submitted to L'il E's every command: "You jump in now!"

I can't even do justice to their crazy kid antics. You'll have to read up on J's blog for more of that. Only a mother could paint the most hilarious picture of her own insane children.

My arms may be a bit sore from lugging Dylan around the grocery store, but it was totally worth it. He's got the greatest smile that makes everything around you melt away. I guess I do have some maternal instincts I didn't know about it. Otherwise, I wouldn't be proudly posting these pix. Auntie Eleeza will brag to anybody about her favorite Evans kids!

See! I can feed a baby!

She may look sleepy-eyed and innocent here, but she's a regular mermaid in the water.


i have a home!

Well, an apartment anyway.

Well, I don't really *have* it yet. They're still running a criminal background check. Hope those pesky armed robbery charges don't come up.

But still: I *should* have a home by the time I get out to DC. Hooray!

I'll be living in Arlington, just two miles away from the Pentagon. Hope the terroristas don't attack again. Then again, I *chose* Beirut as a vacation destination. Trouble doesn't find me so much as I tend to drop in on it.

Anyhow, this is all thanks to my Fabulous Roommate, who sweated her ass off (and just generally exhausted herself) looking for a place for us to share. I definitely owe her, but seeing as how I'm not much of a cook, I'm thinking I'll buy her a pizza and some beer. Who doesn't love that?

Doesn't it look NICE? It has a pool and a super-nice gym AND central air. Oh yeah. It's the lap of luxury. Best of all: it'll have a couch for all my friends to crash on. Yay!


jit fong and sam got married

Finally attended the last of 2006's all-Register weddings. (Following Theresa and Mike, Zaheera and Larry, Sarah and Lev.) Jit Fong and Sam were happily married to one another on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in Morgan Hill underneath a sprawling hundreds-of-years-old oak tree just outside the house where Sam grew up.

To top it off: I caught the bouquet. Now all I need is a husband.

But to back up, my fabulous weekend that started atop the Golden State, actually got going in Sacramento on Thursday, where I stopped to visit Cindy, who's moved to the Central Valley to pursue her dream of food writing. We had dinner in Davis at Sophia's (I'd had a craving all week!) and stopped in for coffee at Delta of Venus. I half-expected to see John Martins pop up with a pack of cigarettes or to see Jessey stumble out of G Street pub. Ahhh, good times.

Friday was spent in San Francisco, where I lunched with old roommates, indulged at H&M and joined Christie for beer and baseball at the fabulous AT&T Park. I gotta say, it was smaller than I expected, but still a nice venue for a ball game. Plus, sitting at field level made screaming: "BONDS YOU SUCK!" all the easier. Giants fans are a bunch of wusses. Nobody once told me to shut up. Pathetic.

Saturday was the wedding, followed by dinner and catching up with friends Erin and Jeff, who were staying at Erin's parents' house in San Jose for the weekend. I enjoyed learning the intricacies of speed pool and getting my butt kicked in poker by Erin's granddad.

Sunday came the leisurely drive to San Luis Obispo, where I was teaching police reporting to eager beaver high school journalist wannabes. It was the same two-week workshop I attended as a wee lass of 16 only 10 years ago. The kids are great and definitely ambitious, so it makes it a ton of fun.

Oh yeah, and drinking with the old dudes who first taught me the reporting ropes, was pretty damn awesome, too. I ended up staying an extra night for more debauchery in downtown SLO, before the haggard drive back to OC.

In the midst of all this, I confirmed that I do indeed have a roommate lined up for DC, making the apartment hunt that much easier. Woohoo! Karin is a colleague of Ali's, a California girl and very cool, to boot. Fingers crossed that by teaming up she and I will find a place soon enough.

Now if only I could find the will to start packing...


middle east update

Thanks to the many of you have written or called over the last several days to inquire about my family in Lebanon. My aunt and cousins in Beirut are doing just fine. My aunt's house is a distance from most of the major bombing targets. My cousin and her family have already moved to their summer house in the mountains and are very safe. Still, they've no doubt heard the buzz of warplanes and I'm sure are dreading the fact that they are reliving the civil war that they survived so many years ago.

We've had several close family friends who were in Beirut on vacation and suddenly found themselves trapped last week with the airport closed and roads destroyed. They all found a way out through Syria and are now also in safety.

It's been bizarre watching this unfold on telvision having just been there a month ago. Mostly, it's just very sad that it seems Lebanon will never be able to pull itself out of the vicious cycle of violence that's consumed this part of the world. Since my last trip to Beirut seven years ago, I've seen so many positive changes. Nearly all the reconstruction in downtown Beirut was complete, the new airport was polished and beautiful (compared to the bombed-out shell I arrived at on my very first trip to the Mideast in 1997.) Restaurants and resorts are booming and the Lebanese were once again enjoying their laid-back lifestyle. Now they're back to conserving electricitiy, hoarding food and water and dreading the sound of fighter jets.

And still, as a journalist, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed I missed my front-row seat to history. Many of you have scoffed when I said such things. I'm not saying it just to shock you, I really do wish I had the opportunity to see the destruction this world can wreak. It's what drives me to continue my pursuit of journalism because it's so important that these stories reach the rest of the world.

That said, I'm still anxious to return next summer to get a firsthand look at what's happened. My parents, on the other hand, may get an earlier peek. A few weeks ago they booked a trip to Beirut in October. They're haven't canceled their tickets yet. As my dad said: "October is a long time away."


tech nerd

OK, it's official. I'm a total dork about wifi.

I've spent the last few days in coffee shops editing a friend's book because there are way too many distractions at home -- namely the fact that I can surf the Web instead of paying close attention to Erin's fabulous essays on her time in Paris.

But still...the Internet beckoned. So at Starbucks I tried logging into their network, only to find that T Mobile's bullshit $6/hour fee was enough to convince me to focus only on the essays. Yesterday I tried Gypsy Den, but those dirty hippies can't keep the signal strong enough at The Lab, so once again I got a lot of work done.

Today, however, was a Golden Day. Fabulous Diedrich's Coffee has FREE WIFI!

I am officially a cyber dork.

As I finished the last of Erin's book -- see! I wasn't too distracted! -- I happily announced my newfound wifi paradise to anyone and everyone on G Talk (who probably cursed me as they worked the day away.)

I feel almost as dorky as my dad when we first got wifi at home and he sat outside on the patio giddy that he could play his weird online French card game with a cigar in one hand and the laptop in the other. (Sorry, Dady, but it's a really funny image and I had to use it.)

With my work behind me, I'm headed up to Northern California this weekend to see friends, catch a baseball game (yay Christie!), attend a wedding (what else do I do?), teach a journalism class (to high school kids -- it'll be fun!), and enjoy one last drive up and down this Golden State before I escape to the East Coast.

I'm looking forward to the long, peaceful drive. After nine weeks of constant companionship on what was supposed to be a solo tour (no complaints about my travel buddies, but still...) I'm looking forward to some alone time.

We'll catch up when I get back.


sarah and lev got married

You saw it here first. Those crazy kids finally got married. And I gotta say, despite being a total wedding grouch lately, it was a great wedding. They were happy, our friends were happy, it was a beautiful day and the ceremony overlooked downtown Long Beach from across the water and the Queen Mary was just off to the side. Despite the fact that it was roughly a gazillion degrees by the time Sarah walked down the aisle, it was still a great day to get married.

We boogied and toasted and then went home for an afternoon nap before heading out again with the newlyweds for a pitcher of beer in downtown Long Beach.

Another wedding down, two more go this summer.

While the nuptials were a highlight of my weekend there was another, more momentous occasion for the adolescent girl trapped inside my psyche: I finally got to see Pearl Jam in concert. Needless to say, all my teenage fantasies came true. (Well, not *all* of them. Eddie Vedder didn't ask me to marry him. *sigh*) It was probably one of my top 5 concerts of all time, second only to seeing the Pixies reunite at Coachella in 2004. They played "Jeremy," "Alive," "Black," all my favorites. I was giddy and couldn't stop jumping up and down, much to the amusement of Brad, who happily accompanied me to the show in the crappy, crappy Forum. I'm all for Pearl Jam's brand of playing the least commercialized venues, but the Forum is nothing more than a hole. I still don't get how the Lakers played there for years. In short: Don't go to a concert there unless you enjoy drowning in a sea of people while waiting in a 200-chick-deep line for the ladies' room. Yuck.

That's all for this week. Thursday I head up north to see some friends and another wedding (of course.) Looking forward to a nice long drive on my own.


it's not you, it's me

If you've been wondering where I am, it's not that I'm getting married. It's that *everybody* else is. On Saturday I'll be attending my third all-Register wedding of the year. (Number 4 is next Saturday in Morgan Hill for Sam and Jit Fong.)

I'm not comlaining. I adore Sarah and Michael and I'm very excited to see them get married, but this is getting to be insane. Remember my last post about loafing about at home? Now those free moments are spent shopping for wedding presents, wrapping wedding presents, writing wedding cards, shopping for a shirt that won't look ridiculous with the white skirt I'm wearing to the weddings. Yeah, I'm a bit over it.

It was nice a few years ago as I watched the first few of my friends get married. There was a certain novelty to it. We were Grown Up. Now, I scroll through the online wedding registries looking for a reasonably priced gift an unemployed friend can give to two friends who she REALLY DOES LIKE. (Seriously: I'm not complaining about my friends, just the onslaught of all things ivory and tulle.)

Thank goodness for small miracles. My kindly friends have not asked me to participate in any of their nuptials. I'll be reading a passage from the Old Testament at Sarah and Michael's ceremony and I'm more than happy to do it.

Ah well. I'll get them back someday when I look like this:

Well...maybe not EXACTLY like that. That was from Sarah's bachelorette party, where we were all required to wear bridesmaid uniforms...errrr...dresses from years past. This was toward the end of the night after a few drinks and an ill-advised kamikaze. Still, I think I look like a beeeeyouuuuutiful princess. No?


my life post-vacation

So I know it's been a while since my last post, but I've been trying to figure out what's next with this blogging thing. And, frankly, it's not like there's much in my life to report at this point. My days are spent:

1. Waking up late
2. Drinking coffee
3. Reading the LA Times (don't get the Register anymore -- woohoo!)
4. Going for a run in the sweltering heat (which is surprisingly satisfying)
5. Possibly laying out at the pool and reading (currently: "Prague" by Arthur Phillips)
6. Coming home to memorize the Craigslist housing ads (searching for DC housing from Cali SUCKS.)

That's about it. In the evenings I'm usually off grabbing a beer with the friends I'd been missing the last two months or watching Netflixed flicks (recently viewed: Must Love Dogs -- sucker for John Cusack, Everything is Illuminated -- Jonathan Safran Foer is a crazy dude, and March of the Penguins -- baby penguins are AWESOME.)

Oh! And I bought my ONE-WAY ticket to Washington yesterday. I land at Dulles on Aug. 18. Can't wait!

To be honest, this anticipation is what's really killing me. I'm bored and frustrated and eager to get started at Georgetown. As such, I wish I was already there, moved in and started with classes. Of course, I'm no idiot, and I know better to enjoy the last truly free weeks I have left. Still...it'd be nice to end this waiting game.

This is all my long-winded way of saying the blog will stay the same for better or for worse (read: so long as mom and dad will continue reading it -- Hello, parents!)

The title still works: Where is Eleeza?

Right now? Back home, in her childhood bedroom, eagerly anticipating the Next Step.