Happy New Year!
I'm engaged!!! This actually happened over a month and a half ago, but on November 16th, I asked the love of my life to marry me, and she said YES! Now granted, we had talked about it since before Kara ever went to NZ last February, so it wasn't too surprising she said yes, but I was still able to surprise her since I purposely got her to think I wouldn't ask till 2010, but instead did it the day after she got back from NZ.
This is the same girl I met in Rome over gelato back in February 2008, did 8000 miles of long distance for 3 months in Europe, did another 8000 miles long distance for 9 months in New Zealand, and yet still managed to make it work. Sometimes you really can beat the odds.
And it wouldn't be complete without a photo of the ring! She helped do the basic design of the ring with the baguettes, and then I had it custom made and picked out the diamond (after a LOT of research into cut angles and the like) and it came out beautifully! The wedding date isn't set quite yet, but will probably be Spring 2011 to give time to plan and more importantly, save. I always wanted a big fancy wedding reception, and those don't come cheap. But we did get registered as domestic partners already (surprisingly more straight couples take advantage of that than homosexual couples) and it basically feels like we're married already anyways.
This also means there won't ever be any more emo filled Valentine's Day updates, though I'll still continue with posting links on why nerds make better partners, something Kara completely agrees with.
As far as the rest of the holiday, we spent it up in Missouri visiting Kara's relatives and I got to meet all the extended family. It also snowed on Christmas Eve which was really fun, it's only the second time I've ever gotten to wake up to snow on the ground. And we went sledding in Kansas City, which was my first time with a real hill. And we ate one of the best steaks I've ever had in my life, though with a price tag to match.
Maybe I'll update more this year, since I managed to miss all of December. We'll see, maybe I should add it to my New Year's resolution.
The images coming from Haiti are shocking, and it's amazing how much can change in only a few seconds, with tens of thousands dead and possibly millions homeless. I had just finished reading an amazing book called Mountains Beyond Mountains, which is the account of an American doctor who essentially dedicated his life to improving the medical care of Haitians and the amazing things he did, and continues to do, over there.
You can also use technology to donate via text message. It's already raised $4 million dollars at the time I'm writing this. Just text "HAITI" to 90999 and $10 will be added to your cell phone bill, with the money going to the Red Cross to help with the relief efforts there. And to think back in the day you actually had to write and mail a check.
In other news, Google and China are getting into a spat about the hacking of human rights campaigners Gmail addresses, and it was finally proven that the Chinese government is the source of those attacks, and has targeted other international corporations as well. I still think it'll be very interesting to see how the next few decades pan out as China becomes an ever bigger force and if their people ever start standing up for their basic human rights. For all the yammering from teabaggers about how Obama is a socialist nazi communist dictator, it'd be nice if they got some perspective on what an actual oppressive government looks like and does.
My friend Shruti from college is visiting this weekend to interview for residency, so I get to do another round of Austin Tour Guide (tm). I've gotten quite adept at it over the last 3 years, but unfortunately the forecast is for rain and cold, so that'll put a damper on things. But one of the nights we're going to one of my favorite nightspots, The Highball, for 90's video dance night. It's run by the guys who own the Alamo Drafthouse, and they have ski-ball, bowling, karaoke (which after 26 years I finally remember how to spell because it's KARAoke) and awesome music (a-la the 90's video dance party). It's where me and Kara had our engagement party back in November.
I don't think I mentioned my favorite new food place in Austin either: Gourdoughs. They're doughnuts out of a trailer, and they're heavenly. The flying pig is delicious and the Funky Monkey is soooo good!
And interestingly a super fresh (as in the menu changes daily) health food trailer is located right next to it. Haven't tried it, but it's gotten good reviews
And as far as Leno vs O'Brien saga goes, Conan should get to keep his job. I can't believe how much NBC is screwing things up. No wait, actually I can.
I can't believe January is almost over. It didn't even feel like January for a lot of the month since it was so warm, until yesterday when it went from 18C to -1C in about 4 hours. But before long it'll get back to those 35C days that Texas is known for.
I really like the metric system.
I got the first season of Saved by the Bell from Netflix the other day, and that show is not nearly as good as I remember it being when I was 13. I used to watch 2 a day back to back on TBS after school, and I'm pretty sure I saw every single episode eventually. I never really had a favorite character though, but Lisa always annoyed me in how she teased Screech all the time.