Friday, March 28, 2008

Derby Countdown

In just five weeks time, for the first time since my virgin appearance in 2005, I'll be heading to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. Amazingly, but certainly not without a hefty price tag, my friends and I have secured box seats (row 117, finish line) for the Kentucky Oaks (a grade 1 stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies held the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.) I'll be heading to Louisville this time with a slightly bigger entourage, but still the same great friends from my days in Ann Arbor as a graduate student at UM.

On Saturday, we'll join the masses for the more economical infield seats, which are sure to offer plenty viewing opportunities for alcohol-induced craziness. And yes, of course, horse racing. Particularly, the Kentucky Derby, which is known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports." It's a Grade 1 stakes race for 3-year-old throughbred horses.

And that, my friends, brings me to the most important part of the Derby. Hat selection. Above, you will see my hat selection for the Kentucky Oaks. The somewhat less important derby hat is yet to be selected.

In addition to hat selection, I am also brushing up on my betting terminology. There's the trifecta, exacta, quinella, and more costly/complicated superfecta, etc. So many types and forms to keep straight! Hat selection is so much more my thing. Ahh...I can't wait for derby day. Let the festivities and racing begin!

Jeopardy! College Championship Comes to UW

Tickets scored. On the evening of Friday, April 11, I'll be in the audience for the taping of the "Jeopardy!" 2008 College Championship at UW-Madison's Kohl Center (

Vacation Highlights

-Running from Nevada to Arizona with my dad (Boulder Junction to the Hoover Dam).

-Watching my mom, who recently taught herself how to swim, skillfully swim laps at the pool with confidence and ease.

-Finding a beautiful hat for my upcoming trip to the Kentucky Derby.

-Enjoying many meals out—including delicious pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizza, a small chain based out of Brooklyn, and a mouth-watering burger and freshly-cut fries from In-N-Out Burger.

-Completing a 19-mile Boston training run and having my dad by my side for most of the way.

-Enjoying Henderson, Nevada (where my parents live), which, although only 10-miles from the strip, seems worlds away.

-Chatting over daily coffee at the District with my mom.

-Enjoying the sun, laying by the pool, and feeling consistently warm outside.

-Bouldering at Calico Basin, Red Rock Canyon, and proudly realizing that my mom is in the best shape of her life!

-Hitting 4 deuces on video poker and leaving Vegas $60 richer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hot Off The Press: Foodie Updates

Madison's Ian's Pizza Expands to Chicago
The Isthmus-Campus late-night mainstay Ian's Pizza is expanding to a third location, this one on Clark Street in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood. The new outlet is slated to open June 1.

Peet's Coffee Comes to UW-Madison Campus Union
Wisconsin State Journal-Construction on Peet's Coffee & Tea, a national chain based in California, will begin in August on the first floor of the Memorial Union, in the space formerly occupied by STA Travel. The shop will be open by mid-October, said Paul Brodhead, assistant director of facilities.

$5 Footlong Subs at Subway
Word on the Street-For a limited time, Subway is offering their regular footlong subs for just $5. You know where I'm going to lunch/dinner today!

Save the Candy Raisins!
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-Stark Candy Company, which produces the beloved golden "Candy Raisin" nuggets, recently announced that it will close on May 30. Candy Raisin devotees in the Milwaukee area and beyond have united to join West Allis native, Gary Radke, who is leading a petition to save the little nuggets. Learn more at his site: As of Tuesday, over 3,450 people have signed the petition. Long live Candy Raisins.

Mint Crisp Indiana Jones M&M's at Stores Now!
As reported by my best friend and Walgreens stock girl, Karen, limited edition Mint Crisp M&M's, which are a promotional item for the new Indiana Jones movie, are now in stores. Tried them last night for the first time. Tasty.

More Vacation Pics

Cheers: Mom and Kristin celebrate with margaritas at El Jefe's Mexican Restaurant

Dad and Kristin

You call this vacation?
Completing a 19-mile Boston training run on Saturday morning
(my dad hung with me for ~15 miles!)

My Reward: Dessert from Layers, a delicious Vegas-area bakery

Java Addicts: Mom and Kristin enjoy a daily coffee run

Kristin and Pretty Flowers

My pool paradise for 5 glorious days of uninterrupted sun!

Red Rock Canyon Calico Basin

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Grand Arrival

When I arrived at Las Vegas airport last Wednesday morning, I quickly hurried through the airport and made my way down the last escalator, where I knew my parents would be waiting near the baggage claim area. I saw my mom immediately, who was grinning widely and quickly snapping several pictures of me as I glided down the escalator. I was a little surprised. So many pictures, so soon? And at the airport?

And that's when I saw my dad standing proudly, with a "Welcome to Las Vegas KOREVEC" sign, among several other drivers who were holding signs welcoming their guests. It was hilarious! He was standing next to some limo driver in a full suit. What a great and unexpected welcome!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

From My Parents

My parents sent this to me yesterday in preparation for my upcoming visit! Aren't they cute? My flight leaves very early tomorrow morning, and I'll arrive in Veags at ~11am! I suppose it's time to stop blogging, and get home and pack!

Viva Las Vegas

Party Review

Although I'm obviously somewhat biased, I believe our St. Patty's Day Party was a HUGE success. Everyone had so much fun, and all of our friends got along extremely well.

The food was awesome and the games were super fun. Kim and her fiance, Matt, won the much-hyped limerick contest. It was certainly the sexual innuendos that clinched it for them. Our guests drank much more than we had anticipated, forcing Karen to make two beer runs during the party!

The funniest part of the evening was when Kate's realtor, Jolenta, whom she had just met that morning, showed up with her 8-year old son, Josh. Classic.

And I also enjoyed running the Shamrock 1ok on Sunday morning, despite being moderately hungover. I think that's good Boston Marathon training, right? I think they call it fatigue training. Very important.

And so now I'm off to Vegas for the rest of the week! I'll try to soak up plenty of sun for everyone :) Many stories and pictures when I return.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patty's Day Party

Kim, Suz, and Karen

Kristin's Cupcakes

Kristin's Cookies

"GREEN" Salad and Soda Bread

Karen's Corned Beef and Cabbage



Limerick Contest: Abby and Emily

Limerick Contest: Mark and Abby

Limerick Contest: Bill, Bobbie Jean, and Jane

Limerick Contest Winners: Matt and Kim

Irish Sing-Along: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Dance Party

Kim and Karen Duet: I've Got You Babe

Friday, March 14, 2008

All-Time Favorite Burgers

All this talk of burgers has gotten me very hungry (especially when someone threw away my lunch before I had the opportunity to take a bite at an admitted student event I was hosting this afternoon. Grrr...). Anyhow, here's my take on all-time favorite burgers. I've traveled far and wide and sampled many, many cheeseburgers.

1. Bob's Bad Breath Burger, Weary Traveler
2. Cheeseburger, Kopp's Frozen Custard
3. Cheeseburger, In-N-Out Burger
4. Cheeseburger, Beef-a-Roo
5. Best Cheeseburger, Blue Moon

What do you think? What are your favorites?

Jodi Picolut Book Reading

Yesterday evening after work, I went to a Jodi Picoult book reading/signing at Border's on University Avenue with my friends, Karen and Kim. I saw Jodi speak a few years ago at Barnes and Nobles in Madison, and I very much appreciate her energy, passion, articulateness, and writing style. She's currently touring the country promoting her latest book release, Change of Heart, which "looks at the nature of organized religion and belief, and takes the reader behind the closely drawn curtains of America's death penalty." Border's was packed last night with hundreds of fans.

I'm currently reading one of Jodi's most popular books, My Sister's Keeper (2004), which is a novel about a 13-year old girl named Anna who was born by in vitro fertilization to be a genetic match for her older sister Kate, who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 2-years old. Anna sues her parents for the right to make her own decisions about her body, after undergoing several procedures to save her sisters life.

My Sister's Keeper is definitely a page turner, and Jodi spoke a bit last night about how the book is currently being turned into a film, which should be released sometime this year. Jodi is extremely upset that the producer has changed her ending (she said it "breaks her heart"), and has been campaigning endlessly to have the producer film two endings and release both to a test market. Wow, seems like if you write a book and sell the film rights to a producer, it's sort of not in your hands anymore. Gotta let go and realize that your book will always be on the shelf. While I don't know the book's ending quite yet myself, Karen was snickering in back saying "good" because she said that she hated the book's ending anways...I know many of you have probably read this book. What do you think?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Patty's Day Party

Karen and I are hosting a St. Patrick's Day party this Saturday night at our house for 25 friends and colleagues. We're pretty pumped and in full party planning mode. Last night, we picked up all of our party supplies, groceries, and cleaned the entire house. The party starts at 6pm on Saturday, and we'll be serving traditional Irish stew, soda bread, corn beef and cabbage, whisky cake, other desserts, Irish coffee, and plenty of Guinness and green beer. We're also planning limerick and trivia contests, and our friend Kim's fiance, Matt, is making us music compilations of traditional and contemporary Irish music. Should be a good time!

These Boots Were Made For Walking

These are the new rain boots I bought in Chicago at Nordstrom's over the weekend. I've been searching for the perfect pair of rain boots for quite a while now, and when I saw these on the sale rack, I quickly made a bee line for them, taking out several north shore suburbanites who unluckily found themselves in my way.

They're cute and simple, and I love the brown buckle on the top. With the snow melting and April showers on the horizon, I should get plenty of use out of my new kicks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I had a great rendezvous in Chicago with Karen and Kelly last Thursday night/Friday morning. We arrived in the city at ~7:30pm, at which time Kelly was understandably starving. We took a cab from the Sheraton to Pizzzano's on State for dinner. It was such a cute, authentic Italian pizza restaurant with loads of charm and character. The pizza was delicious, too. I would definitely recommend. Apparently, it's also Oprah's favorite thin crust pizza. It was also wonderful to catch up with Kelly and find out more about her new life in Austin, including her new job and boy!

Friday morning, Karen and I started with a 6-mile run on the lake shore path, which because of the strong winds, quickly morphed into a downtown route. Afterwards, we enjoyed breakfast at Tiffany's...err, Fox and Obel, where I ordered a yogurt parfait (pictured, right), a blueberry muffin, and coffee. Very good, as always. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Kelly, Karen, and I from our time together in Chicago, but at least I remembered a picture of my parfait.

From there, Karen and I headed out for some power shopping on Michigan Avenue. I had some luck scoring nice deals, and came home with a new pair of rain boots and a new bikini! Woo hoo. Now I'm ready for Vegas, baby.

Little Dancing Queen

Friday Night Dinner at Chin's

Making Pancakes on Saturday Morning

Mmm...Peanut Butter M&M's

Breakfast is Served!

Megan at the UW Space Place

Megan and Karen Walking On Water (Red Gym in back is where I work!)

PJ Dance Party on Saturday Afternoon

Zoo Time on Sunday Morning