Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Life

Quick post today, friends, and I thought I'd share my theme song for this summer, for this point in my life. It's "Good Life" by One Republic. Before you start saying how overplayed and cheesy it is, let me explain.

Sometimes, when things seem overwhelming, frustrating and negative, it can be hard to stay optimistic. And let's be honest: it's not the most optimistic of times. The thing I love about this song is that, if you listen to the lyrics, it's essentially saying there's so much to be grateful and excited about in life, why dwell on the negative? Why complain?

"When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over... When everything is out, you gotta take it in..."

Words to live by.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm dreaming...

... of some cold... weather.

This happens every year. I'm going to warn all you warm weather fiends that you're not going to like the next sentence: I hate summer.

Before you start calling me a fool or egging my car, let me explain. I have about four days a summer when I love it. The sun, the breeze, the activities, the food... everything comes together in a synergetic way.

The other 90 days, I'm wishing it was autumn. Or the holidays. One of the two. Either way, the problem with living in southern California is that by the time the actual summer ends, the really hot weather picks up. Do you know how many Halloweens I've spent sweating like a pig inside my costume and hating life? Too many to count!

I wholeheartedly believe I was meant to live in areas where it's cold about 350 days out of the year, like London or San Francisco. If I could convince Handsome to move to one of those cities, I'd be ecstatic (and silver tongued... he is unimpressed with chilly weather and has let me know this).

Most people try to argue that living in cold cities is different than visiting (no kiddin'! I'm saying this in a yokel voice, btw), but they're missing the point. The allure of a chill, a rainstorm, a bank of fog, is based on being cozy inside, curling up with a good book under a blanket and outfits.

Yes, I love my cold weather ensembles, almost more than I love shopping for them.

The sweaters! The jackets! The boots! Put me head to toe in cashmere and I am a happy girl. Here are a few I've been dreaming about (and might possibly purchase at Aris in Laguna):

Cozying up with a book and a latte during a rainstorm (as previously mentioned):

Helmut Lang Cowl, MiH Jeans, Repetto Flats, Helmut Lang Clutch, Anita Ko Elephant Earrings
Meeting a client for drinks (cabernet sauvignon for autumn and winter, please!):

Helmut Lang Blazer, Helmut Lang Leather Leggings, Sonar Ankle Booties, ChloƩ Shoulder Bag, Jennifer Meyer Turquoise Dome Ring, Jennifer Meyer Diamond Earrings, Armand Diradourian Scarf

An unexpected date night at a delicious, hard to find bistro:

Helmut Lang Crepe Dress, DVF Suede Platforms, Marni Clutch, Cartier Love Bracelet, Asha Earrings
I'm over the sun. Bring on the rain!

And the Helmut Lang...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bruschetta, Alice and Summer Tomatoes

How was your weekend? Before I give you a delicious recipe, I wanted to mention I've changed the ability to leave comments. A few people had mentioned how darn right difficult it was, and I concurred. It should be much easier now (and thanks for your patience)!

Last Thursday was the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse. If you've never heard of it, allow me to enlighten your life for the better.

{I could seriously decorate my life in this font...}

Alice Waters and company opened its doors in 1971 with the goal of presenting food that was seasonal, organic and locally grown, as well as creating a warm and cozy environment with precise attention to detail.

Girlfriend was doing this before it was cool and has since done much for the sustainable food revolution, as well as promoting food education for children through "The Edible Schoolyard" project. I try to live by the philosophies that she does to the best of my ability (and wallet, in all honesty). My favorite, go-to cookbook is The Art of Simple Food and through reading Miss Alice's words, I feel I'm a more confident cook.

I suppose you could call me a food revolutionary... Viva la revolucion!

Anywhoodle, it's with that confidence I came up with his bruschetta recipe.

For the record, I vacillate between calling it "broo-shet-ta" and "broo-scet-ta," and still haven't decided which is my fave; I try to use authentic pronunciations for things like this, but feel a bit pretentious with "broo-scet-ta." It's a struggle.

This easy recipe has a few of my favorite things, including toasted bread, goat cheese and tomatoes. August is truly the best month to enjoy a tomato and I indulge like no other when it rolls around (I may hate summer due to my lack of clothing options, but relish in the produce this hot season provides). In this recipe, I prefer heirloom cherry tomatoes because I find them to be sweeter and more flavorful. My measurements are a tad absent, but I've come to love cooking by the seat of my pants, meaning I see what I have, whip it up with eyed-approximate measurements and taste as I go.

Cooking (unlike baking) should never be precise, but according to taste and balance (one of Alice's lessons I picked up and love)! Trust your gut and season slowly, tasting along the way.

You'll be surprised at how well you know your own tastebuds... ;)

Goat Cheese Bruschetta
1 carton of heirloom cherry tomatoes
Handful of basil
Two large garlic cloves
Two Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese (I leave mine out of the fridge for a little while to soften it a bit before using)*
Good quality artisanal baguette (I like sourdough or french for this)

Roughly cut cherry tomatoes into fourths or sixths (not too big) and place in bowl. Finely chop basil and add to bowl. Mince garlic and add to bowl. Add a good dose of olive oil, the lemon juice and the dijon mustard. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust to your liking.

Split baguette in half lengthwise, then into smaller handheld pieces. You can also create crostini by slicing the baguette thinly, arranging it on a baking sheet, drizzling it with olive oil and toasting in the oven... The choice is yours! Smear goat cheese on toasted bread and top with bruschetta mixture.

Bon appetit!

* The goat cheese is optional; this tomato concoction tastes great on the bread by itself.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy National Dog Day!

I had much planned for yesterday (mainly, the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse (I love you Alice Waters!) and a delicious bruschetta recipe), but I'll have to hold off until next week, for you see, it's...

National Dog Day!  Woot, woot!

I am a true lover of dogs, but clearly prefer mine the most (as most owners tend to do). I've said it before and I'll say it again, Moe is one of the true, great loves of my life. I know we were meant to find each other and I knew it the second I saw his face for the first time; I'm so happy I trusted my gut.

Picture it, Christmas Day, 2008. My then fiance, Handsome K, woke me up and led me to my mom's kitchen. He handed me an envelope with a piece of scratch paper that had "You get a dog!" scribbled on it in BIC pen. His delivery is a little lacking at times.

Up until this point, I had been BEGGING for a dog. K and I had been living with one another for six months and had been together for six years, so for me, it seemed like the logical next step. I grew up with dogs in the house, two cocker spaniels, one named Sally, the other named Bailey. K, however, didn't. He had a string of sickly, poor cats that all managed to die some horrible death or another until Pumpkin, the coolest cat ever, came into the picture. He's still alive if you're wondering, and still patrols the neighborhood like the little prince he is. Either way, K didn't understand why I wanted a pup so badly.

Back to Christmas. I'm pretty sure Handsome thought he was getting a bargain gift in that he knew I wanted to adopt a dog, well, adopt a pitbull more specifically. I think he assumed "adopt" meant free.

He was wrong.

Anywho, I had been trolling for a while, morosely looking at all the dogs that needed homes, that needed some love, that needed a rescue from death. After my Christmas gift, I hit the ground running and quickly searched out all the pitbulls available at that time on the site.

Sometimes I wonder why I was so gung-ho about getting a pit, and I've come to the conclusion that I love rooting for the underdog, for the animal or person who's been dealt a rough hand in life and needs a second chance. For me, I like it when good things happen to good people, but I love it when good things happen to good people (or animals) who really need it.

I was looking for one that was friendly with people, kids and other dogs, adorable and youngish. With those criteria, I quickly found 17 and emailed them to myself to review. As I started clicking through, I kept going back to him.

I couldn't resist his little nubby ears, and his description made him sound like an all-star, so I emailed the rescue group that was in charge of finding him a forever home. "This dog sounds pretty amazing and almost too good to be true," I typed. "Will you please give me a little more information about him?" The response I received was the following:

Thanks for your email about sweet Elmo! You are 110% right, he is the best! I was there when the fosters, adopters of two other Forte dogs, found him as a stray. I fell in love with him then. He reminds me so much of my own pup, he is extremely dog friendly, submissive (it's a good thing), and affectionate. I adore him and I don't adore all of our dogs, I promise!

We saw him in person for the first time two days later, straining on a leash while his foster parents (the amazing people who found him and took care of him for three months) scanned the FORTE dog adoption fair for the people (us) who had arranged to meet him. 

It was love at first sight. When Moe wags his tail, his whole body wags with him. He lights up with excitement and it warms my heart every time.

Luckily, his fosters thought we were the ones for him, and two weeks later, he made our twosome a trio. 

For the record, we dropped the El in Elmo, but do sometimes reference his Spanish name as "El Mo."

I'm not a parent yet, and one day hope to be, but this is what I think about when I look at my dog, my Moe: My heart literally explodes with happiness when I look at him, so I can only imagine what it is like to be a parent and to love your child. It must be pretty friggin' awesome. 

I love you, buddy. You make my life better.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spelling, Grammar and the Joy of Facebook

I feel a tad lazy posting this one day after my regurgitation of some good old fashioned creepy/sad Craigslist requests, but I couldn't help myself.

I was privy to some amazing English teachers in high school and once I graduated, I realized how lucky I had been for their guidance. They not only set the tone for college, but for my interest in writing as well.

Thanks, ladies.

Anywho, on Happy Place, I have once again found a way to kill 15 minutes on a single web page and not get bored. Before I even mention what it is, I should say I realize I am tempting the spelling gods by posting about this. Once someone complains about their hatred of grammatical errors, they are doomed to not only commit one, two, five, but also have a group of people seeking them out with a fine-toothed comb, looking to catch any possible mistake.

I'm ok with this fact.

Spelling errors drive me crazy. Please note, I'm not talking about typos or the short sighted errors that incidentally happen in writing quickly. Mistakes happen, c'est vrai?

I am talking about misspelling words that were drilled into us as children, then as preteens, then as teenagers, and maybe even for some of you, as adults. I'm talking about the following:

  • Its and It's
  • Your and You're
  • There, Their and They're
  • Our and Are
  • To, Too and Two
  • Weird (does it look weird because the e is coming before the i? That's because it's the correct spelling of the damn word!)
  • Awe (I'm referring to this not as in "I'm in awe of you!", but more specifically, "Awe! What a cute baby!"). I suppose the same could go for ewe (which is an adult female sheep, by the way, not total disgust).

These are the words that drive me the craziest, although there are a few more, and some are even mentioned in a brief tutorial here. If you don't find the picture of the man riding the manatee helpful, I don't know what will.

[Quick side-note: I hope you don't think I'm a total asshole because of this post. I am merely venting (but really, if you have trouble with the above words, you should commit the differences and proper usage to memory)]

Back to Happy Place. Today I spotted "The Best Obnoxious Responses to Misspellings on Facebook" and voraciously read it from top to bottom. I couldn't help myself. Yes, Facebook is a social media website, and should be a relaxed environment where people should not be afraid to post based on their spelling inabilities; I know this is true. 

However, I am constantly shocked at the creative liberties people take with their writing, as well as what people are willing to put out into the nether regions of the World Wide Web, especially to their loved ones (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). If I'm being honest, there are a few people I'm still friends with on Facebook simply because of their ludicrous (and/or ludicrously spelled) posts.

It can get a little cray-cray, y'all.

Whenever I see Facebook misspellings, I think of one English teacher in particular (if you graduated from LBHS in the last 25 years, I'm pretty sure you know who I'm talking about). One, I doubt she has a Facebook profile; it just doesn't seem like something she'd want to take part in. Two, if she did, I'm positive she would never be online; the grammatical mistakes alone might be too overwhelming for her (we're talking about a woman who wrote out a draft for her 'thank you' notes before committing them to stationery). Three, she was sharp as a tack with words; she had a way of censuring some people in refined language, thus putting them down without them knowing it.

I kinda loved that about her. But much to my dismay, an even amount of students disliked her compared to those appreciated who she was. 

I feel like she'd have a response similar to this if a time ever arose to use it:

Poor Larry didn't see that one coming. He should probably take a page out of Tashanda's book and learn to self edit:

Like they mention on Happy Place, this correction is less obnoxious, more utterly brilliant. I seriously have no clue what she's saying, but the fact that she reviews her posts gives me hope. Keep up the good work, Tashanda! You go girl!

I try to be relaxed about most things, but words, spelling, grammar; they're my tic. They're the thing that won't leave me alone.

And thank goodness for that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Craigslist Lovin'

I'm sure some of you have seen this post making the rounds on the Internet (Happy Place may be my new favorite go-to website, btdub).

It is HYSTERICAL. And creepy. And really sad. But mostly hysterical.

I wanted to post the ad about the mattress, but to be honest, I just couldn't go there. Anyone who thinks they can re-sell ANYTHING with afterbirth on it needs to be punched in the face. I don't care if it's in the shape of a heart.

Just sayin'.

So here are some additional faves that luckily don't have spilled bodily fluids on them.

I love that there's a question mark after the misspelled 'only.' Only showering in front of you for $200?
Sign me up!

I wear an 8.5, so I'll ignore his big foot comments, but don't these descriptions make you yearn for a photo of Mr. Chunky McGrey, Sasquatch Mole Eye and Disgruntled Unemployed Rayban Seller? My favorite quote? "He declined both politely and drove off in his Grey and rusted 1991 Cadillac DeVille. Grey like his personality, complexion, and most of his hair." 
The man has a way with words, you can't deny that...

 I love that this guy was actually surprised at the amount of feathers and crap that "approximately" 1,243 chickens can produce. Aside from clearly not knowing the definition of approximately, the poor simpleton thinks someone would be willing to purchase a 1999 Dodge minivan covered in chicken poo and feathers. 
I see a tough road ahead for him in this world.

Hey chick, I may have figured out why you only have one bridesmaid...

Nothing says "great picture frames" quite like those filled with broken dreams. I think it was necessary to warn that the frames could cause the taker's world to come crashing down too. Maybe I should introduce her to Disgruntled Unemployed Rayban Seller? They could make for one hell of an optimistic duo.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Summer in Very Few Pictures

I feel like I've been up to quite a bit this summer, but realized I didn't do much documenting compared to years past. In 2010, K and I attended six weddings, were in the bridal parties of two of them, and all celebrations took place between the months of May and October.

Weddings always bring out our innate paparazzi, don't you think?

In going through my albums, I'm inspired to ramp up the picture taking, especially since K and I need to figure out our new camera before Africa. Nothing says 'major fail' quite like thousands of blurry wild animal photos.

Either way, here are a few highlights that I did manage to document...

A visit to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company, a favorite stop of mine in the valley.
Getting some use out of my DVF striped hobo and go-to hat.
Trespassing on my grandparents' old property with great food and even better friends...
...and getting caught.
Celebrating our anniversary where it all began... The CIA.
Spending some quality time with the coolest 12 year old on the planet.
I've decided every wedding needs mustaches and sombreros.
Experiencing bone aching exhaustion as only moving can induce... 
Spending quality time with my best pup, Moe.
What trouble have you managed to get up to? Better question, do you have photographic proof?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Family That Stays Together: Part 3

After Chapter 2, I felt a bit, I don’t know, guilty? Guilt ridden? It’s much tougher putting this family story into words than I expected, especially since it’s my take on the whole bit and not any of theirs’. One thing I started to worry about was that I had given people the impression that I had a horrible childhood; this is not the case at all. Honestly, I had a happy life growing up and I mentioned the fighting, the tension, the screaming, because many people experience it, but feel it’s a bad thing to discuss with one another.

I’m here to tell you it’s not.

I will say I feel I probably experienced more of my parents’ anger towards one another than my sister growing up because I had a horrible time sleeping. It used to take me about two to three additional hours to fall asleep after I’d been put to bed. I’d be lying in the dark, staring at the ceiling and, much of the time, I’d bear witness to their arguments without their knowing it. They tried to spare us by hashing things out after we’d gone to bed; how were they to know I was still awake?

I wanted to take a short break from the progression of my tale and honor my family with a few favorite memories. Also, I feel it necessary to mention that since becoming an adult, I’ve seen what happens to kids when their parents wrongly prioritize: accomplishments over pride, money over time spent, things and stuff and objects over comfort, love, presence. Let me say this: it’s not good.

However, my parents always made me feel like my sister and I were their number one priority, that they were always proud of us, that we could mess up and everything would turn out ok.

And it has.

So here it is; a short and sweet ode to the people who helped me become the person I am today. It doesn’t come close to all the good times, though.

Family Memories
Saturdays and Sundays were free breakfast days in my house. I chose cookie dough ice cream nearly every time, and you can bet your marbles I went back for thirds.

When my sister and I were little-little, my parents used to take us to SavOn to pick out presents when it was the other’s birthday. The best gifts we ever gave were quite possibly the kaleidoscope, a Cops and Robbers handcuff set and Rainbow Brite stickers that we selected for my dad on his 40th birthday.

My parents used to hate it when G and I would jump on their bed, a California king covered in a white duvet, but one night (and I’m still not sure what magic was in the air), they joined us, jumping on the bed and laughing out loud. It was the only time they ever gave into the urge.

My parents surprised us with a trip to Lake Tahoe one summer. The car we were driving in had low bucket seats, so G and I didn’t even notice we were in the mountains until Donner Pass. We spent our days frolicking in the freezing lake and our nights in the dark, fun filled arcades of Tahoe’s casinos. Wicked fun.

We spent Thanksgiving afternoon at the beach every year, stuffed with turkey and mashed potatoes, running up and down the sand dunes with our cocker spaniel along for the fun.

In the summer of 1993, my parents took us to see Jurassic Park. I was nine and G was seven, and to say it terrified the crap out of us is an understatement. My sister slept on my floor for six months in a sleeping bag because of her fear of T-Rex, and there was a two-week period where her bedroom returned the favor for me due to my anxiety over the spitting raptor. I’m pretty sure they knew it was too much for us, but they really wanted to see it, so they made a family outing out of the whole thing. Not funny then; funny now.

I was ten and my mom came home from work a little late one night. It was close to Christmas, so dusk had fallen before her return and my dad was traveling. My sister and I were waiting anxiously for her arrival. When we heard her car pull into the garage, we raced up, only to be greeted with a piping hot pizza, a Barbie doll each and a game called “Go For Broke.” The three of us sat around the dinner table, stuffing ourselves and playing that game (even though it was a school night!!!) and I felt so happy.

On a winter break years ago, my mom took us to see Hook on a rainy, rainy day. By the time we’d made it through the traffic, gotten our popcorn and drinks and made it into the theater, it was packed. She finally found two seats next to each other, but that was still one less than the three we needed to watch the movie. She sat in the aisle on the muddy, wet floor, next to us the entire time, because we were afraid of her leaving us by ourselves.

My mom always made cupcakes for our classmates on our birthdays. ALWAYS.

I faked sick at school, as kids do from time to time, and my mom came and picked me up, no questions asked. She was the kind of mom who only let you stay home from school if you had a fever or were puking, so that was unique in and of itself. As we were driving home in the car, she asked me what I thought would make me feel better and I told her, “peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.” She didn’t say a word, but two hours later, as I was laying in bed watching DuckTales, she came in with a coffee mug filled with homemade cookie dough. Saintlike.

When I was little, my parents would read the newspaper every weekend morning while G and I watched cartoons (and ate cookie dough ice cream). Occasionally, I’d get bored of the TV and venture upstairs to bug them. My dad always pretended I wasn’t creeping up on him and he always pretended to be surprised when I’d smack the paper with a loud “WHACK!” I thought I was so clever.

Whenever I was sick, my dad would call me from work and ask me what I “needed” to make me feel better. He’d stop for smoothies, banana splits from Ruby’s, popsicles at the grocery store… you name it. He’d even risk a parking ticket to bring me what I wanted (and for a man who parks in the far, nomadic recesses of any parking lot to avoid having his car “dinged” by strangers, that’s saying a lot).

My dad was our consummate cheerleader for sports. When we played softball in high school (and also when G was in little league as a kid), we’d be getting ready for games when suddenly we’d see him in the distance, cruisin’ along in his flip flops, his folding chair over one shoulder and a bag of sunflower seeds in one hand. Often times, he’d try to sit in right field and occasionally, the umpire wouldn’t make him move.

My sister used to take gymnastics on Wednesday nights, and while she was practicing, my dad and I would go to dinner at a restaurant we hadn’t yet tried. We called it “Cultural Diversity Night.”

G is younger than me by a little less than two years. To be honest, for a large majority of my childhood, teenage years, early twenties, she drove me beyond nuts, but now we’re best friends. It’s one of those strange sister things, I think.

We lived on a dead end hill growing up. It did not make bike riding easy, thus we had to come up with our own adventure methods. It started with our Radio Flyer. We’d drag it to the top of our hill, get inside with our legs hanging out and let ‘er rip, barreling down the hill into the ice plant stationed at the bottom. Eventually, we blew out the tires on two wagons, so we had to start experimenting with roller blades. We would start in the middle and work our way up, seeing who could get the highest before chickening out or breaking an arm. It was ridiculous fun.

When I was four and G was two, our grandparents took us to a park near their house. A bully standing at the top of the slide started making fun of me when I fell off at the bottom. Unfortunately, his laughter kept him from realizing my sister was standing behind him. She pushed him down and screamed, “YOU LEAVE MY SISTER ALONE!” It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, when it comes to family? “She’s my sister, so I can make fun of her and beat her up, but so help you God, if you try, I am going to rip your head off.”

No family is perfect, but perfect can get boring real fast, dontcha think? 

<slightly out of focus prints courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.>

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Something to Look Forward to in Africa

I didn't mention this in my first post about our upcoming trip to Africa, but in our group of nine, 1/3 of us are from the UK.

Which means I have two straight weeks of delicious British accents to look forward to.

I can't speak for all American girls, but this little filly loves herself an accent cultivated across the pond. What is it about them that sends my heart aflutter? Last year, when Dear T and Fantastic J got married (this is a timely post as well, as their anniversary is coming up on the 21st... Happy Anniversary, lovelies!), there was a high number of English accents to soak myself in and I managed to work on my own in the process. In doing such, I also created a British alter ego named Beatrice, who is a lover of all things dark beer, tea and unseasoned food.

Heads up, everyone, Bea plans on making a few appearances in Africa.

Either way, Fantastic J shared a little piece from The Oatmeal with all us travelers, and I, in turn, am sharing it with you. It's meant to help with any confusion for both Americans and Brits in learning the others' vernacular.

Warning to my younger readers: there is a plethora of bad language.

I've been searching for the perfect American flag bikini to pair with my bald eagle, Chauncy, but am having a difficult time figuring out how to sneak him on the plane.

However, at least I won't be sweating to death in a wool sweater set like my UK chums...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you can't laugh at yourself...

Hi friends!

Apologies for not posting yesterday. It's been a week filled with lots of (paid) work which, if you remember this post, is a great thing!

Either way, a friend of mine forwarded a couple photos from her wedding today and I felt it necessary to reflect on this special day. I figure the easiest way to do this is to bullet a few memorable moments:

  • My friend, Heat, was seriously one of the most gorgeous brides I have ever seen. And I realize that most people say this (unless you look like this), but when I spotted her for the first time, peering from behind a few palm trees trying to sneak a peek at her husband-to-be, I was breathless. Nay, dazzled. Nay, breathless and dazzled.
  • Her curmudgeon of a grandmother saying loudly as she was escorted down the aisle, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" to essentially no one and everyone simultaneously. I'm still not sure if she was referring to the fact that the wedding was a few minutes late or the fact that her sweet granddaughter was getting married, but either way, it made an impression. In addition, it proved that the woman's vocal chords are in working order. She's still got it, folks!
  • This wedding marked the first time Handsome K and I got a "married couple" place card. EXCITEMENT!
  • Table 14. What can I say? We were the misfit table strategically positioned in the corner to keep us from the "high-falutin' folk." Ok, so we complained loudly about not getting bread when everyone else did. And yes, we may have pretended to eat the hydrangeas straight out of the center piece (much to the horror of Table 11, 12 and 13). But gosh darnit, we were a fun loving bunch and I'd like to say we improved the corner of that room considerably. 
  • The headmaster of our table, O-Town, gets a shout out as well. His chair dance rendition of Madonna's "Open Your Heart" made everyone feel the love, as only one with Blonde Ambition and an imaginary cone bra can (and since I love throwing O-Town under the bus, he was definitely the one that encouraged us to eat the hydrangeas).
  • I feel it only fair to mention the Rat Pack-style singer who not only serenaded us through dinner, but also managed to push his way into the spotlight during the father/daughter dance. Way to go, buddy. Frank would be proud.
  • And finally, the mother-of-the-bride commenting on my dancing. Listen, I've never claimed to be the best dancer, although I'm sure some have speculated on my classical training. However, the woman in question approached me in the middle of LMFAO's "Party Rock" in order to proclaim loudly, "You dance like a total freak!"  Ladies and gentlemen, it was the highlight of my night, and I could only assume she was incorrectly referencing Rick James, so I took it as a compliment. Which leads us to the photos I was forwarded by my friend, Heat:

Good god, the girl's got moves, man! Look at the arm placement and the horrifying facial expressions! Does it get any freakishly better than this?

Truthfully, I don't think the bride thought I'd have the nerve to post these, but as the title of this post mentions, if you can't laugh at yourself... who can you eat hydrangeas with?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Date Night a la San Diego

Friday and Saturday night marked the first of our dates in San Diego, and we most definitely went the nonconventional route (Saturday, anyhow). To kick off the weekend, we headed to the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoyed some tapas and wine at Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is very fun to say, for the record. And downtown San Diego on a summer's eve is like a slightly drunk Disneyland... on a summer's eve.

We had a good time, but I forgot I had accidentally packed all my high heels into our storage unit, which made for a lackluster date night ensemble, and parking was a real pain.  Honestly, it didn't hold a candle to Saturday's date...

Right around dusk, we packed some artisanal cheeses from Venissimo and a loaf of fresh sourdough from Bread & Cie into a bag, headed down to Mission Bay (with our trusty pup along for the ride naturally), loaded ourselves in Kyle's parents' outrigger canoe and hit the water.

Moe was a natural in the boat and reminiscent of Cleopatra; in fact, I'm beginning to think he sees us as his servants. Hmmm...

We paddled for about 25 minutes before we landed on a small island in the shape of a horse shoe.

I have come to call this "Moe's Island" because we were the only people there and thus, let Moe off the leash to run amok. He disturbed a huge family of birds (whose caws are still ringing in my ears) and managed to pee on almost every square inch. To say I was proud is an overstatement.

Anywho, we laid out our blankets, snacked on our goodies and eventually, watched the Sea World nightly fireworks show. It was kind of amazing.

To say Moe loved the fireworks is also an overstatement.

But I'm beginning to think San Diego could be a good place for our little trio.
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