Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Goin' to the Chapel

On Sunday I got to celebrate the wedding of my college friend Lauren.  Her and Jared had an outside wedding Sunday evening; the rain held out and it was absolutely beautiful.

I first met Lauren when she came to tour the campus residence halls as a transfer student.  I took her and her family around to see different dorms and tried to provide advice on things to bring to school (one of my favorite parts of that job).  Lauren immediately struck me as someone I'd like to be friend with, and we often ran into each other in the art building.  She became an RA in 2009, after I'd left, and was awesome at her job.

Watching the little bit of the romance between her and Jared that I've been privileged to has been a blessing.  They are truly meant to be together and its clear that her quiet and demure personality compliments his outgoing tendencies perfectly.  Congratulations to Lauren and Jared, maybe you enjoy many years of life, love, and laughter shared together.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Rare Free Weekend

I had this entire weekend off!  The reason:  I had a wedding Sunday (update soon) that I originally thought was Saturday, so I had taken Saturday off to attend and Sunday to recover.  Although the dates got mixed up, I thoroughly enjoyed finding things to do with Em, who also had a rare Saturday off.

At the suggestion of my friend Bekah, we headed to the civic center for the "Monster Flea Market" in search of bar stools.  We have a small bar in the living room that we want stools for to help provide extra seating.  Em and I both slept in till 11am (glorious!) and hit the road about noon.  While no bar stools were in sight, the event didn't disappoint.

As soon as we walked in, this is what we saw...

Reliving her childhood

Super thirsty players for this still exist?
People watching is my favorite and never disappoints
The day's spoils

In our adventure, Em and I came across a vendor with at least 1000 records for sale.  We spent a good bit of time sifting though boxes pulling out ones that struck our fancy, deciding to use them as wall art.  We were careful to pick out ones we'd want to listen to also, and made a pit stop by my house to see if my old record player worked.  (It doesn't and even if it did, it only plays 45s).  So, we're on the lookout for a used, working record player for the apartment.  Anyone have any leads?

The flea market was a great Saturday adventure and the evening ended with Chris, a high school friend of Em's coming over.  We ordered pizza and were treated to a night of good friends and music.

I should take more Saturdays off...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

TGIFriday the 13th

I'm not superstitious.  I'll take care not to walk under a ladder for safety reasons and I'll do my best to avoid black cats because I'm allergic, but not because I'm superstitious.  All told, this Friday the 13th was pretty normal.  I awoke at 6am and went about regular routines up until the time I exited the kitchen to watch the morning weather.  Much to my surprise and revultion, I watch something scurry quickly from under the kitchen table in the direction of the coat closet.

I got enough of a view of it to know it wasn't a mouse; at first I actually thought it was a cockroach.  Few things are more undesireable than a four (or more) legged creature scurring quickly out of view.  Despite my disgust, I really wanted to watch the weather so I decided to deal with it later.  I took my normal seat (feet up mind you) for a few minutes of precieved normalcy. 

Probably the brother to our visitor
Em was still sleeping, and I wasn't sure if I should wake her before I left to alert her of our new temporary tenant.  In an effort to control the situation, I began, armed with a tupperware container, to search various closets.  I'd put shoes on in hopes of bringing the creature to a swift end, but I'd seen how fast it was and had prepared myself to jump out of the way if the situation called for such action.
Without luck in locating our new friend, I continued about my daily routine, waiting for Em to wake so I could brief her.  It wasn't two minutes after she emerged that I spotted the illusive critter hanging out by the baseboard outside kitchen.  I utilized some sneaky ninja moves to walk past him and grab the tupperware (I'd have prefered to let the poor thing go outside rather than outright squishing him - at this point we were practically old friends). 

The result:

Not long after this photo was taken a phonebook was added on top for good measure.  I was running behind for work and we thought Bruce, the apartment maintanence man, would be by that morning and be willing to ablidge two female tenants.  Bruce, however, got tied up and had to reschedule and poor Em did the deed herself (my hero!)

The rest of the day consisted of work (something about Friday the 13th must have given people an unspoken right to be extra mean), and an impromptu concert with my good friend Bekah.

Amos Lee was headlining at the Down by the River Festival Friday night and Bekah was given two tickets to go.  We arrived a few hours before he was scheduled to begin, and much to my surprise I discovered Chris Thile from Nickel Creek breaking it down on stage.  Awesome.

Not a super great picture but I promise he's up there.
The rain, which had been pretty torential just a few hours before, held off for the entirity of the event.  Bekah and I chatted up some new friends we invited to sit with us since they were alone.  The evening ended at a local bar for drinks with said new friends and was a great success.

Despite the connotations, I don't believe Friday the 13th has to be a bad thing.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What a weekend

This weekend has been an adventure in cooking, and by weekend I really mean Friday evening/Saturday morning, since that's pretty much all the weekend I get these days.  I arrived at the apartment Friday night a little disappointed, as I had originally planned to hit the gym after work but had forgotten to charge my iPod (any excuse, right?)  Em was working late and that was all I'd plan to get into, but once I was home I really didn't see the point in leaving again and going back the way I came (gas prices - another excuse).

I had made chocolate chip muffins the other night after work and found the exercise surprisingly relaxing.  I've always wanted to be able to cook from scratch and I felt a little like Julie and Julia (you know, cube job, cooking...we're the same).  I pulled out my cookbook and flipped to "Appetizers/Snacks," which I figured was a good place to start since it was nearly 6pm and I hadn't even thought about dinner.  I found an easy recipe for hummus, which I've had a few times but am still trying to reach that I-love-it level.

Looking at the ingredients I discovered I owned a grand total of 2 (out of 10), so as it turns out a trip to Kroger was in order.  A few of the things on the list alluded my grasp, one of which was lemon juice which ended up being in the juice aisle of all places.  The other was something called tahini (pronounced tah-HE-knee).  It's a sesame paste, and the cookbook said it was
"...widely available in supermarkets.  Your best bet is to search the condiment aisle or the ethnic food section of the store - but if you don't have any luck, don't be afraid to ask for help." 
So, three associates and five aisles later, we finally found the elusive tahini in the Mediterranean section.  (This is after I took a fair amount of time reading all the S's and T's of every brand of condiment in the condiment aisle). 

I finally made it home with my $30 worth of spoils.

Buying the ingredients was by far the worst part, and the making of the hummus just included putting it in a blender, moving the knob to the 1, and waiting until smooth.  Golden.

Friday night I also had my first experience boiling eggs (lame, I know).  I was a little worried because I like to be sure things are cooked completely and you can't do that with boiled eggs.  Things did turn out well, and when I cut though them things were solid so I was pleased.  I preceded to use two of them to decorate my salad (which I ate from a mixing bowl) when I finally had dinner at 9pm.  And I got a pretty sweet picture of my eggs before they met their hot water end.

Saturday Em and I tried our hand at smoothie making.  I had gotten most of the ingredients already, and I'll admit my motives were selfish, as I hate to waste money but was afraid my yogurt would expire before I wanted to eat it.  Smoothies are perhaps the easiest things to make...ever.  Again, it was really a question of putting things in the blender and pushing go until it's smooth.  (Kyle gives the best presents).

Not my smoothie
Although this isn't a real life photo, our drinks were pretty tasty and Em and I got to spend the morning together.  We're cute.  Then we both went to jobs we tolerate and didn't see each other until she was running out the door Sunday morning without her keys.  All in all, a very good weekend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

'Tis the season

Wedding season, that is.

This past weekend I was privileged to watch my college friend Jenna get married.  Kat, who was a bridesmaid in the wedding, and I drove up to the DC area Friday afternoon for the Saturday event. 

Jenna made a beautiful bride, and I was thrilled to be able to share her special day with her.  Unfortunately, all the pictures I took were on her sister's camera, so I'm waiting for her to send me some of the better ones.  (These are stolen goods from Facebook).  Because Kat and I only took one car, I was her shadow for a lot of the pre-wedding doings, which I didn't mind one bit.  Having been a bridesmaid before, I was more than happy to fetch things and take pictures to document the day - if only I didn't have to be in heels for most of it...

The trip was short as both Kat and I had to be at work on Sunday.  The ceremony was in the morning, which was convenient, so we were on the road about 3pm.  We had crammed a lot into a short period of time:  wedding rehearsal, ceremony and reception, a quick visit with my friend Christian, and shopping (we'd stopped at the Leesburg Outlets on Friday and Saturday went to Kohl's and the Harrisonburg mall), so needless to say we were pretty exhausted upon our arrival back home.

I'm so happy I was able to share this special day with Jenna and Dan, and while I don't know Dan very well, I know that if he was lucky enough to be picked by her he must be pretty special.  Congratulations to both of you!