the water got high and she never got dry

Friday, July 28, 2006


Caught the tail end of Who Wants To Be A Superhero last night. Geekiest. Reality show. Ever.

But I really found their first challenge interesting, since it's just a modern day version of this study, where seminary students were told they needed to get to another building and they were either late or they had enough time. On the way they passed someone slumped over in an alley. People who were hurrying to get to the building were less likely to stop and try to help the person. And these were seminary students, half of whom had the story of the Good Samaritan made salient to them by being told they needed to tell the story when they got to the next building.

In last night's challenge, people were told to get to their destination as quickly as possible and most of them ran right past a little girl crying for help. Really quite interesting. If you're a psychology nerd.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

turn on the boob tube, i'm in the mood to oeby

This morning was the first weekday in a very long time that I didn't have to be at school at a certain time, so I was watching TV while eating breakfast and got sucked into an episode of Project Runway, which I'd never seen before (although I could swear some guy we know recently recommended it. A real guy's guy you could never picture watching it.)

Dammit. It was really entertaining and I know I'm going to continue to watch it. I like the rampant bitchiness and watching the designs unfold. I went through a phase as a kid where I wanted to be a fashion designer. I drew pages and pages of headless bodies modeling my creations. I still wish I could design my own clothes. I'm still on a student budget so I'm not exactly buying designer clothes and typical mall offerings tend to be stupefyingly boring or ugly. Sigh.

Heidi Klum is gorgeous but something about her accent just cracks me up. She sounds like a little girl.

For any Alton Brown fans, this Saturday there's going to be a Good Eats Marathon followed by a behind the scenes show and then finally, the premiere of Feasting on Asphalt. So excited! I think we're going to have M and Miss A over to watch and eat yummy things all day.

Last night I commented on how good AB looked, he was wearing a surprisingly hip BDS (button down shirt - let's be annoying like Rachael Ray and spell out our abbreviations!), and got the evil eye from HTB. I guess I'm allowed to love AB for his brains and not his looks!

Monday, July 24, 2006

head for the city lights

Minneapolis was fun. It's always great to get out of town for a little bit and get a change of scenery. Had a nice time with HTB's friends, got good ribs, went to the sculpture garden, MIA, and saw Body Worlds. Body Worlds was pretty interesting, although I think it went on a bit too long and occasionally I took issue with their use of props and poses, but it was worth seeing. We had hoped to catch a show, maybe Tapes N'Tapes but after a full day of museum hopping, we were beat. Every time I go to Chicago I feel a little like the country mouse visiting the city mouse and I got the same feeling in Minneapolis. I really miss living in a big city. Beth Orton, Pete Yorn, and Golden Smog were among the other shows over the weekend that I would have loved to go to, and Calexico, M. Ward, Eels, and Snow Patrol will all be swinging by there soon. Sigh.

Now that we've narrowed down our wedding destination to St. Thomas, it's just a matter of finding the perfect location. Villa? Resort? On the beach, overlooking the beach? Nothing has jumped out at us as being just right. I hope we don't end up going back to the drawing board and choosing a different island.

Friday, July 21, 2006

if i found my way to minnesoter

HTB got me this shirt, mainly I suspect, for his own amusement. With the coupon that came with it, I might finally get around to getting this shirt.

And for a good geeky laugh, watch this (via Sarcasmo).

HTB, M, Miss A, and I are off to Minneapolis. Doo doo doo doo...on the road again.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

news of the weird

Two random bits sent to me by friends this morning.

Most ridiculous wedding dress ever.

John has a stalker.
And it's not me! (Friend B emailed the link to me along with the message "Stop it!")

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

food for thought

I always have to force myself to wait until noon to eat lunch, but I always start getting hungry before then. I'm craving pesto, so I'm gonna go get a bowl of bow tie pasta with a cream and pesto sauce. Yum! I just have to eat up some time by writing about food. I have to break my addiction to the Knot boards somehow.

I was a picky eater as a child, with most veggies on my do-not-touch list. In recent years my tastebuds have become a lot more open-minded, whether because I'm more mature or more likely, because my body is so in need of veggies that it's forcing me to change my tastes. Since coming to grad school, I've developed lots of new food loves.

I am now a huge fan of hummus. I only had it once in college, a bite from a boyfriend's sandwich. It was meh. Clearly I had never had the good stuff and now I crave it periodically. The store bought stuff is okay, but the best is at my favorite Middle Eastern joint, followed closely by the awesome batch HTB's Lebanese friend brought to our engagement party, the recipe for which HTB finagled in time to give me on my birthday.

I am always the slightly annoying customer who asks for extra rice, no refried beans with her chimichanga or enchiladas. But lately I've been sneaking bites off of HTB's plates and am less stridently anti-bean. Plus, when Miss A makes her divine chili, the beans just melt in my mouth.

I am sad to report that I had never eaten a Reuben until the past year. The mere idea of sauerkraut on a sandwich turned me off. But then I started being tempted, because if so many people love them, how bad could it be? I had a bite of one of HTB's (Boys are so useful for expanding culinary horizons!) and I can't believe what I've been missing out on.

Snowpeas? I don't know why I always picked those out from stir-frys. I was crazy.

I will always be a Dr. Pepper girl at heart, blame Texas for that, but I started drinking Cherry Coke here and love it no end.

I went through a Pop Tart and Sunny D for breakfast phase a few years back and a short lived nostalgia Capri Sun fix. But now I look for healthy cereals because I know I can't eat Corn Pops forever. Stupid health food. This week's Kashi offering is made more acceptable with the addition of blueberries, which turns out, I'm not all that crazy about by themselves. Good on cereal, love 'em in muffins, and they were great in the blueberry pancakes we made on Sunday.

Trying to eat more healthfully is a battle. I'm still feeling the effects of the foot long hot dog and Cracker Jacks from a baseball game last week. But it's a baseball game, what else can you do? At least my footlong didn't have chili and cheese and onions and peppers on it, like HTB's. Guilty pleasures inevitably result in remorse, so I felt a helluva lot better sitting down to a meal of pasta salad, pita and hummus, and some awesome fresh sweet corn from HTB's folks. Light, healthy, and delicious! I think if only I shopped at the whole foods store more often, I'd eat a lot better. Right now it's just easier and cheaper to go to the mega-marts instead of carefully
selecting organic produce. Someday, though.

I try to watch what I eat and I think it's worth the effort. But honestly, I'm just going to have always make exercise a priority because I love food way too much to deny myself.

Ok, who's hungry? Time to eat.

hot town, summer in the city

It's been beastly hot, forcing us to find new ways of keeping cool. On Saturday we took refuge at the lake, renting a boat and partying the afternoon away and then had a fun dinner at a little down home eatery boasting the biggest and best pork tenderloin in the state. I don't know about best, but those suckers were huge. And on Sunday we joined the crowds at the blissfully cool mall and saw Pirates.

Yesterday was the hottest day we've seen here in a long time. I was sweaty and disgruntled when I got home and wanted nothing more than to camp out on the couch with the shades drawn and fan on and drink ice tea and be able to read my long-awaited first issue of Modern Bride, courtesy of a gift subscription from J. And it was there in the mailbox, when I needed it most! Yay to pages and pages of girl porn and some of the ugliest dresses ever!

After almost two months of waiting, we got the e-ring back from the jeweler's. Yay! I love it and I love having all the diamonds from Husband to Be's grandmother's ring in it. I hope that someday we'll have a grandson or great-grandson who proposes to someone with it and be able to tell her about its family history and that it will continue to get passed down generation after generation. And I love that we were both involved in the design process and that it wasn't just picked out of a case by just him or just me. In the first iteration of the ring mold, the stones the jeweler had picked out for the the band just seemed huge on my hand, leading me to wonder if I'm the first woman to ever utter the words "Could I have smaller diamonds?"

More later.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

but now I’m old, yea I’m well past twenty-five

Last night I had a really nice birthday dinner with some of my favorite people. Good food and some damn good martinis – so smooth and sweet you don’t realize how strong they are. Dangerous. The mojito martini I had is now one of my favorite drinks ever. And when we got home, Husband to Be made me cupcakes! If there’s anything sexier than a good-looking man in a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled back making me cupcakes because he knows how much I love them, I don’t know what it is.

I turned 27 yesterday. When I was a kid, 27 was the randomly selected magical age at which I would be a successful, sophisticated woman, fresh out of grad school and in a great job, married to someone I’d met in school. Yes, even when I was a kid, grad school was part of my future, thanks to the path laid out by my dad years before I could even comprehend what a Ph.D was. I thought it was what everyone did.

They told me when I started that the program average was 5 years. I’ve known one student who got out of here in 5. So I’m one year behind “schedule.” I’m not married yet, but I’m pretty close, which I still find amazing.

Am I everything I ever wanted to be in a person yet? Not even close, but I’m getting there. The hellishness of school and the identity issues of being a twenty-something aside, I’m happy with where the tides have swept me so far.

Maybe I gush too much about the joy I’ve found with Husband to Be. But honestly, it’s not from a sense of smugness or complacency. I know how lucky I am to have found him. He’s brought something rare and special and holy into my life and I don’t ever, ever want to take that or him for granted. If I gush, it’s to remind myself that love like this doesn’t come around every day and to keep the fires of awe and gratitude burning brightly.

And because I haven’t forgotten what it took to get me here. Aside from some serious good luck, I think I’ve paid my dues in heartbreak, stupidity, mistakes, loneliness and unrequited love. And the pain of middle school dances, at which all the other things can be found.

I haven’t had a hard knock life by any means but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing through a turbulent and often painful home life as a child and teen, which makes me cherish all the more the bliss and contentment of the home I have now. It buffers me from hurts big and small, the stress of school, and the ups and downs of a still complicated relationship with my parents. The noise of past pain has faded and I am happy to be in the quiet.

in life I know there is lots of grief
but your love is my relief

Sunday, July 09, 2006

chantilly lace

Today was delightful, the perfect day before my birthday. Had a big yummy breakfast with HTB and then headed off with J and Miss A for my first ever Wedding Dress Extravaganza. We went to a little local boutique and then David's Bridal, and oh what a day. It was like being enveloped in a cloud of satin and lace and tulle and seed pearls and bugle beads.

Although there were meringue nightmares and poufy monstrosities galore, I am no longer allowed to look down my nose at all things strapless because I tried on several and some of them were quite lovely. When I tried on this one (Click on Collection and search for "Celeste"), I finally understood the appeal. It was all wrong for the kind of wedding we're going to have, but it did make me feel like a princess. Some of those suckers are heavy, though. I didn't think I'd want a train, but I saw some truly gorgeous ones, including one that made me feel like a screen siren. There needs to be more glamour in my everyday life. Who says trains and opera length gloves should only be worn at costume parties?

I didn't think there was a chance I'd find anything I 'd like at DB, because so many of their dresses are of the strapless persuasion, but they had some nice things. The strongest contender was the very first dress I tried on there. HTB, you are expressly forbidden from looking at it, in case I buy it. I had printed out a picture of it when browsing online, because it was the only thing they had that was even remotely close to what I had been picturing, things like this (Carmen) and this (go to "Collection", it's the last dress on the first page). And it just looked amazing, the picture online doesn't do it justice. J and Miss A are big fans.

Trying on dresses for the first time was a little surreal. It is indeed the ultimate game of dress-up. As I was pulling on the first dress, it really hit me that I'm getting married. That realization is almost more tangible in that moment than any other previous moment, as odd as that seems. Sure we've been looking at wedding and travel stuff online, but I'd browsed the Knot before we were engaged. My ring is still at the jeweler's, so the dresses were the only material reminders of what's happening.

And even then, I still didn't feel completely bride-like until Miss A plopped a veil on my head. That pushed me over the edge. I had assumed I wouldn't wear a veil, just a flower in my hair. But as the girls reminded me, this is my one and only chance to wear one. Funny how important that simple, overpriced piece of tulle is to feeling like a bride.

It was good clean girly fun. J and Miss A were the perfect companions for the expedition. They were like a well-oiled machine, with one of them fluffing my train while the other took pictures and notes and both remembering which ones I'd tried on, offering advice and opinions and sharing in my excitement. They are the creme de la creme of girlfriends.

Took a jaunt to Bed Bath and Beyond and then we all got celebratory margaritas with HTB. When we got home, I got to go on a scavenger hunt for the birthday loot that HTB is letting me open today since tomorrow night we'll be busy with festivities. We're having lunch with his parents and then dinner and drinks with friends.

If I were any happier, I'd burst.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

summer turns to high

Had a lovely long holiday weekend, starting with our engagement party last Friday. We were busy all day getting the apartment festive and it looked great when we were done. We had a great turnout, lots of food, good sangria and mojitos, and some profound late night debate about which is a better Styx song, "Mr. Roboto" or "Come Sail Away." HTB and I ended up receiving enough wine to last us a good 2 years.

The bulk of the weekend was spent at the downtown jazz festival, one of my favorite things about summer. Each day we'd stake out a good shady place in the grass and stretch out on our blanket and listen to music for hours, getting up only to get food (the festival standbys of meat on a stick and funnel cakes). Good times.

HTB took Monday off and we went and saw Superman Returns and had a yummy sushi dinner and then saw some pre-4th fireworks. The celebration continued the next day with good friends and the yummiest brisket in the history of briskets and then the furtive lighting of firecrackers in a dark field across the street. We had sparklers and ladybugs and Roman candles and something called "Mucho Grande" which lived up to its name. Smoke and color and shouts of "look out" and the primal delights of fire.

The summer is just packed and there are yet more fun times yet to come. In between school and stress and social doings, there just aren't enough hours in the day.