Saturday, July 31, 2010

free at last free at last!

It's over! The exterminator came yesterday to do a final inspection and declared us all clear! All of our bedroom furniture has been disposed of, and we brought my (bigger) bed to the house. Oh, goodness, you can't understand true bliss until you sleep in your own bed after being relegated to air mattresses and couches and chairs for 2 weeks. Oh, the joy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

stick to-it-iveness


Oh, goodness, I love this idea:



If I were down with flowers, this would be high on the list of flower-centerpiece-ideas. We're both such dorks. One of the pictures (not shown here) includes a microscope! I love it!

under pressure dun dun dun dun dun dun

When we got engaged, I had kind of anticipated lots of people butting in and making comments about our very modest wedding budget all the time. And I was ready to defend myself like Meg does here. I've planned LOTS of parties on very small budgets and in short amounts of time. I know what I'm doing.

But. That hasn't really happened. I mean aside from my mother's doubt (and, really, she's the last person who should doubt my ability to throw a thrifty chic soiree).

I guess she thinks that approximately $10,000 gets you something like this



Source

Complete with a Coors Light tower and a dance floor made out of exhausted liquor boxes.

Or [cue shudder] this beauty



Source

Are those flutes REAL GLASS?! Whoa.

I'm not super caught up in having the "right" anything, and to be fair I'm not huge on pink or flowers. So maybe someone loves the second picture. In 1997. And the first one would be totally fine, and maybe even overkill, for a very casual summer barbecue.

Here are the things we're skipping:

1. Not seeing each other before the wedding

The Foliage hasn't agreed to this yet...I'm working on it. I just really want to do our pictures before the ceremony so we can go straight to the hanging out with people part of the day afterwards. I also think that seeing each other before the ceremony will help each of us to calm down. A lot.

2. Bridal/Groom's parties

Between the 2 families, we have 6 sisters. 6. If I start choosing friends, too, that's a LOT of chicks walking up the aisle. And it's a pretty short aisle. And a pretty small guest list. Our immediate families will essentially be our bridal parties, and we're not telling them what they have to wear, but if they want to pick something and match, they're welcome to do so. I have a feeling my sisters want to match. Desperately.

3. Me being given away

In keeping with the second point, we're going to process, at the same time, up opposite sides of the ceremony space, with our immediate families. Have you ever thought about the symbolism of a bride being given away? It means that the bride is her father's property, until he gives her to the groom and she becomes his property. Now it's just something that people DO but...I just can't. We haven't hammered out the exact arrangement of bodies yet. But I'll keep you posted.

4. Flowers

I kind of think flowers are the dumbest thing ever. Or at least paying for them is. They just DIE. Also I hate the smell of lilies. Hate. Loathe. Luckily they won't be in season for our wedding, so it's a non-issue. My granna is a master gardener and VERY excited about planting flowers for us to use, so I'm fine if she wants to go to town on that. But that's the extent of the energy I'll be putting into that facet of the day.

5. Cake

In the same vein as #4 my granna offered to make our cake. We'd already decided to forego cake for pie, but she makes a wicked good cake, and we figured why not just have a small cake to have something to cut? We're going to focus primarily on pies. Goodness, I love pie...

6. The kiss

Just kidding we're totes going to kiss. But if there were any way we could not be seen while kissing, I'd be a fan of that option. I do not kiss in front of people. I don't. Except on my wedding day. So I might need to get very loosened up via libations. Or maybe therapy. Potato potawto.

7. Being introduced/first dance

This is...awkward. And I'm not a fan of this at other people's weddings. The waiting. And then the watching the supposedly romantic first dance. How am I supposed to feel romantical with everyone staring at me?! We can slow dance later once things are more mellow.

8. A full bar

We're not big drinkers. And none of our friends/family are, either. Not that they DON'T drink. We're all just more of take-it-easy type people. So we're going to find a couple of local wines and a beer (jaykay, Yuengling wins no question) and we'll stock up on those. We keep coming up with ideas for signature cocktails, but the jury's still out on whether we want to DEAL with preparing, storing and transporting large amounts of potentially sticky beverages.

There are probably other things on the "nuh uh" list. But those are the big ones. And I can't help but be reminded that we have friends who don't get to make these decisions because they can't legally get married. And how glad I am that I just get to marry this Twig Guy at all.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

wherein it becomes obvious that 95% of my thoughts somehow come back to my mother


Today I went to see "A Piece of Work" in Philadelphia with my friend A-Train. It's a year in the life of 75 year-old Joan Rivers, and MAN is it depressing. It's not as much of a downer as, say, "The Ice Storm" but it comes pretty close. It could be because I'm terrified of getting old. And that part of the reason I'm terrified to get old is the thought of retirement. And she has, like, no retirement savings. None.

Cue. Panic. Attack.

At the end of the film, though, besides feeling the weight of a thousand nonexistent grandkids sitting on my chest and asking for hand-outs, I felt kind of jealous of Miss Rivers. This woman knows what she wants, and it's what she always has wanted. She has known FOREVER the thing she wanted to do. And that is to be an actress. It's turned into mostly comedy, but at the root of everything, she considers herself to be as much an actress as a tree is a tree. She can't be anything else. It consumes her.

I can't even nail down a direction for my blog, let alone my career, or a focus for my entire being. That's so...intense.

A little over 2 months ago, I gave notice at my job. The reasons and how it went down are kind of a long story, and I don't think very appropriate to post online. Last Friday was my final day working there. For the 2 months that I knew my last day of work was approaching, I was absolutely terrified to tell my parents.

Working and supporting myself and having a job in a stable, lucrative field have defined me for as long as I can remember. In high school I didn't even like to ask for face wash because I hated NEEDING things. It's not like my family was poor. They're not rich, but they're very much not struggling, either. Still, I felt ashamed and embarrassed for needing their money for anything.

I'll skip over a lot of details to save you from reading the step-by-step of my self-discovery. Ultimately, I ended up going to Goldey-Beacom College for my accounting degree, and along the way started working full-time. In fact, every single job I have had to date I was offered even though I didn't have a Bachelors Degree. The most recent one was as a public accountant. The job I'd been working towards having for the past 5 or 6 years.

Turns out I hate public accounting. Like, a lot. Almost as much as I hated the soul-sucking telemarketing job I had for a year. And, again, the way it ended is a long not-blog-worthy story. And I'm glad that I'm not in public accounting anymore. But I still felt so ashamed for leaving a job. For leaving a job that paid well. And that had a clear, safe career trajectory.

So I didn't tell my mother until 2 weeks ago that the following week I'd be unemployed. It took a few hours of sitting at the dining room table while my youngest sister watched trashy television to work up the nerve. I explained what had led to leaving, and what I thought would come next. And then I tried to shut down the part of my brain that feels feelings so I wouldn't shatter to pieces when she told me I was an idiot. And I waited. And then after a couple moments of silence my sister said, "whoa," and my mother said, "I'm sorry."

Because there are 2 things you should know about my mother*:

1. She feels guilty for everything, ever. Especially when it comes to her children. Literally...everything.
2. She's what you might call a serial careerist. Or life pathist. Or some other term that would indicate to you that she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life, but sometimes she decides on a particular goal and then runs at it faster than a crash test dummy.

I inherited both of these traits, and she feels really badly about it (see #1, above). So after sitting there in silence for a few seconds while it felt like the world was imploding, and I waited for her judgment, she offered her condolences, and I was all, "well DUH why did I think she would hate me for this?!" Because I'm paranoid sometimes is why. And by "sometimes" I mean "UNCEASINGLY." Duh.

In my lifetime I've watched her (and once I was old enough, helped her) start/revamp/dream up businesses. More than I can count. A lot involved food, and they all involved art in some capacity. But none of them made her happy. And she's always beaten herself up for not being satisfied or for a venture being unsuccessful.

But I've decided that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have a REALLY well-rounded resume. I have a natural, strong sense of curiosity that is never satisfied. Honestly, I'll probably get bored after a few weeks and will apply to every accounting/finance job I can find. I really do like finance (it's PUBLIC accounting that's off the table...I still really enjoy financial management).

As it is, 4 days in, I've already lost all sense of time. But today I went to Philadelphia. During working hours. And I didn't care who saw me. And it was awesome.

*I mean for the purposes of this post. The woman is COMPLICATED and there are lots of things that a lot of people should know about her, because she's incredible. But that's more of a novel than a blog post, and there's no way I'm going to sit here and write it all down at the moment. Sorry. Maybe tomorrow. Or not.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

yet another project to be abandoned

So I'm going to be redesigning "my" room to be a closet/crafty space. Because the closets in this house are TINY and I have a lot of pretty clothes. Many of which need to be donated, but even after a giant clothing purge...I'll still have a lot of clothes.



Source

I would LOVE to do something like this, but...that's a lot of construction. And I only have about 90 square feet of space.


That's basically what I'm going for. I'm going to get garment racks to arrange around the perimeter of the room, to hang clothes and "hanging shelves" for crafty storage. In the center of the room will be a large white table, which will be my workspace. And I have about 30 gajillion vintage suitcases to stack underneath for additional storage space.

In front of the garment racks, I want to hang sheer curtains. The room has a dropped ceiling (the only one in the entire house), so I think if I got fabric that was lightweight enough I could hang dressed-up dowel rods from ribbons looped through the ceiling's gridwork, and then hang curtains from them.

And of course I need a dramatic chandelier and some bird cages. DUH.

Right now there are carpet tiles on the floor, and underneath is hardwood in pretty bad condition. I'm planning to pull up the tiles, putty in between the boards (really, it's beyond salvageable at this point), then painting the floor. Maybe a yellow/grey damask pattern. I'm trying to control myself on patterns, but I think having an oversized motif on the floor could be nice.

Also nice: winning this giveaway. How adorable are those prints? Seriously? They would be such gorgeous splashes of color!

Ikea used to sell awesome wooden garment racks, but they're not on the website anymore. I bought one years ago, and it's by far the sturdiest and most attractive clothes rack I've ever seen. Does anyone have a clue as to where I could get my hands on some now?

Monday, July 26, 2010

under appreciated


At 7:30 this morning, construction workers showed up at our next-door neighbor's house. It seems that something is wrong with his roof. But, being in century-old townhouses, it basically sounds like they're HAMMERING ON MY MIND. Ahem.

Seriously, I keep thinking, "HOW did those guys get into MY HOUSE?" And then I run to check the basement or attic to yell at them, and then when they [obviously] aren't there I'm all, "Ceej, you are DUMB."

The work is pretty intense. Our neighbor's house isn't even visible under the blue tarps, and there are city-issued notices on the window that overlooks our porch.

Seeing as we have several pieces of bedroom furniture to dispose of, I figured maybe I'd go outside and maybe mooch a little to get the roofer guys to just take the stuff with them. Maybe via some hair twirling or lemonade-and-eyelash-batting combination.

However, when I brought up this idea to The Foliage, he said, "...no flirting with contractors. Not for that." And I couldn't get him to budge.

I'm just going to extrapolate this to mean that he doesn't appreciate my very unique and wonderful talents. Jerk.

if i were a braver, smaller-chested woman

I would totally rock this dress



Or this dress



Or GOODNESS this dress



But boo-hoo poor me I am very much not lacking in the upper extremities department. I really need support, and would prefer not to wear some corset/girdle/deathtrap all. day. And even though I bought a dress (which totes accommodates my day-to-day brassiere), I've got a year to go. A girl can swoon.



And swoon I will. I LOVE Nicole Miller gowns. Love. And this is definitely a top 3 pick. I love the way a lot of her long gowns have the slight bustle and sweep train, and are really fitted but don't make me instinctively picture sausage casing. Well done, Nicole...well done.

However, my all-time of life most favoritest dress is the White Dalia



Also jaw-dropping? It costs $7,000. As in more than we're planning to pay for catering. As in most of our entire budget. As in tearz. Followed by acceptance. And wistful sighing. Sigh* See?

To make up for the fact that I can't ever have this dress, we're going to rent a helicopter to hover over the ceremony site, and then I can climb down to all the waiting guests. Hello, grand entrance! Aisles are for the birds. Obv.

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ATTENTION: THE FOLIAGE

my 100th post!


Happy 100 posts to me!

And how anticlimactic!

I found this site and was all, "ZOMG the heavens created a clothing website just for me! I must alert the masses! I mean my 8 readers!"

That was literally the only thing I wanted to say in this post.

But now I feel like such a slacker.

Yes, that time stamp is correct. It's 4am. And I'm wide awake.

Because caffeine laughs in my face.

If I NEED to stay awake, caffeine rolls its eyes as I plow through 2 liters of coffee.

But tonight/this morning, after having 2 movie-theatre-large cups* of Coke Zero, I'm prepared to walk every street in Philadelphia, starting in the center and following a concentric circle pattern to the perimeter. Or circumference. Or what have you.

As we are still essentially captives in the living room, though, while BedBugGate progresses (the exterminator came and exterminated...but we have to wait a bit to use the second floor), I am totally keeping TheFoliage from a good night's sleep. With my clicking and tapping and screen-illuminating. 2 feet from his head. It seemed better than tossing and turning less than 1 foot from him ON AN AIR MATTRESS, though. No?

Yeah, I guess not. Stand by for [actual morning] crankytimes. Whooo!!

*My Ship's mom posted a coupon from AMC for $1 any size soda and fountain drink on facebook**. Only effective July 25th. And we'd really been wanting to see "Inception." So we had to go. And I got a large soda because that's the only way to really make it count. And then I got a free refill because hello that would make it super duper count. It has been over 6 HOURS since I finished the second soda, though. Ughhhhh...

**Yes I'm facebook friends with my best friend's mom. No, I haven't seen her more than 1 time. I never said I'm not a creeper. And that omission was not an accident.

inception


Sunday night Ye Olde Fiance and I saw "Inception," and it was amazing with a capital ZING! I had worried that it would be too hyped up, which happens SO often and totally ruins movies for me. Like that time "Pirates of the Caribbean" came out. My family went to see it and loved it but then would NOT shut UP about the thing. And when I went to see it I was very much not impressed.

But that might also have been because (Mom, turn away now) I was totes making out with my at-the-time-boyfriend. Potato potawto.

Seriously, that guy was ridiculous. It was the summer after senior year, and the first time we made out, my entire neck was COVERED in hickies. It look like someone had taken a bat to me. Um. Yeah.

Luckily, I'm really good with cover-up makeup, and my hair was longish, so my mom never knew. Until now. Hi, Mom! Ironically, several months later I had a teeny tiny, itsy bitsy hickie on my neck, which she noticed and she gave me a hard time about it.

And when I say "she gave me a hard time" I mean she gave me her version of a hard time. Which is a slow, painful death of suffocating silence. Your mind races, looking for a way out, but all exits are blocked by the pillow of doom, which she has tightly pressed to all your emotional orifices. To be totally un-dramatic.

Anyway.

All that is to say, I don't want to hype up this movie too much.

However.

Here are the movies that have previously blown my mind:

-The Matrix
-Memento
-Fight Club

And it was like watching one of those movies for the first times...multiplied by approximately 7 bajillion.

I think it's worth mentioning that Carrie Ann Moss is in 2 of those movies. WEIRD.

Anyway, when we got back from seeing "Inception" we were still so...amazed and we couldn't stop talking about it. And because talking about it is possibly the most confusing thing ever, we decided to watch the second "Matrix" movie*. I wanted to try to remember what it felt like to watch one of the movies listed above for the first time, but it was SO not the same. There were so many holes in the logic. And how long was that stupid highway fight scene? Seriously. I hate excessive fight scenes.

Just...go see "Inception." And remember what it was like to be 100% amazed.

But do not make out with your boyfriend or drink anything before or while seeing it. You've been warned.

*We've both seen the first "Matrix" and "Fight Club" more times than any human being probably should...and we don't have "Memento."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

twatter


I can't use Twitter because I am incapable of being succinct. I try to compose tweets and they end up being approximately the same length as War and Peace.

That said, I'm trying again. Because, hey, I like saying random stuff that has nothing to do with anything else. And a lot of people whose opinions I appreciate use Twitter consistently. So FINE.

Mostly I just nauseatingly express my appreciation for The Foliage. Fair warning.

Friday, July 23, 2010

hold everything. or like 3 things.

Going through my Google Reader this morning, as usual, I came upon these beauties

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Via Peacock Feathers, items created by Kate Spade.

How.frigging.genius. Clutch purses made to look like literary classics. I think these would make fantastic accessories for bridesmaids in a literary-inspired wedding (which I feel like I keep seeing all over the intertubes lately).

It gave me an idea to create basically the same thing, but instead of making it a hard box, to silkscreen the cover design onto heavyweight fabric and make a sort of envelope clutch. I think it'd be relatively easy to do, and REALLY easy to personalize after figuring it out the first time.

Ohhh how my ambition gets ahead of me...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ho.ly.crap.

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Ummm...that's a fan video, d00ds. Like, as in not at all affiliated with or being paid by the band. As in "I just liked this song a lot and created a video to accompany it." I can't even imagine how long this must've taken Mr. Askew to create. I wonder if he has a job. Wow.


wherein i come to believe that i AM june cleaver

I've had an itch lately. A sewing itch. Which I usually don't get unless I've been watching Project Runway. But we don't even have TV now, and still...there's the itch.

So I'm going to sew an outfit. For the first time in a few years. Because the last time I did so I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Or maybe I did and I just didn't know that's what it was. And my sewing machine ended up broken. So, yeah, there's been a bit of a hiatus. But the machine's long since been fixed, and I'm ready.

And I'm thinking of making something like this:



Source

Or this:



Source

My Grandma JJ gave me a huge bag of off-white curtains she'd replaced a few years ago...it's this great brocade stuff, and they were really long curtains, so they'd be perfect to use to make a wintery dress and coat.

Wintery? Ceej, it's supposed to be 100 degrees the day after tomorrow.

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. But it's not FOR now. Either of these outfits, made out of the ex-curtains would be SUPER cute for engagement pictures. Which I'm thinking will be taken over the winter.

Surprise, Leaf!

Our wedding is going to be Labor Day weekend of next year. So it will be hot. And it will be in a forest, essentially. So we'll have plenty of "hey, look, we're totes down with nature!" shots of ourselves. I'm thinking winter in NYC (our photographer lives very close to the big apple, in Connecticut) would be gorgeous. And very stylistic. I would SO be rocking mad of them false lashes.

And then I can wear the outfit to leave the wedding! At least the dress, if not the whole ensemble. I really miss the days of, you know, yore. When the couple would change into their "traveling clothes" to head straight out to the honeymoon. I'm on a constant crusade to make bygone trends mandatory in the present. It's just how I roll.

Here's what I want Leaf to wear for the pictures...and the wedding...and every day ever:



Source

Maybe not necessarily in a shiny fabric. But I need him to wear skinny suits. All the time. I'm always trying to trick him into shopping in the boys' section of department stores. Dude's got an awesome body, and I just want to confirm that constantly, OK? Geez. Why do you think I'm marrying him? I haven't even had a conversation with the guy in the past year. But that's probably because I'm putting super tight clothes on him and getting distracted.

But back to my unfounded sewing ambition.

Obviously a dress with sleeves and a collar AND a coat with sleeves is pretty intense after not sewing anything for a couple of years. So I think my first project will be a simple dress. Maybe a maxi since zomg I love them so much!



Source

And I think I even have fabric that would be perfect for this, too! Have you noticed I'm kind of in love with vintage patterns? Yeah. It's a little bit of a problem. But they're cheaper than the brand new ones, and I just end up finding vintage patterns that match what I want MUCH more closely than their new counterparts.

After I make that one, I'll attempt maxi dress nirvana:



Source

See that beauty on the far right? I don't know that I've ever seen a more perfect summer dress for myself. Shirtdress style without buttons to pop off?! And maxi length? Holy Janome sewing machine, Batman!

Remember this day. The day that I'm excited about sewing and haven't started a project yet. One week from now I'm going to be complaining about the aches in my neck and facing that isn't fusible and running out of bobbins. Get ready, people.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

all i want for [my birthday] is my [camera to be fixed]

I [very outspokenly] don't celebrate my birthday. However. If I DID, then this Friday would be the perfect time to give me a replacement battery charger for my Canon (the PowerShot SD870 IS). And maybe also to have the flash on said camera fixed.

Just saying.

giving you the best that i got

Um...there is an Offbeat Bride Store now?! How did I not know about this? It's like all of my favorite wedding-related items all in one place! Between this and Etsy I don't think I'll have to actually search for a single thing. Minimal effort. Just the way I like it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

won't you be my neighbor?

I attempted to run 3 miles tonight after work, but it started to rain JUST as I got to the track. Which normally isn't a problem - running in the rain is my favorite - except that it wasn't just rain. It was typhoon rain. It was soaked through shoes and socks and clothes rain. It was "I can't open my eyes all the way and I think I saw an infant get carried away in the runoff" rain.

So I ran 1 mile. Just 1. How lame. I totally wanted to keep going. But my mother had gotten me all kinds of paranoid about lightning. And I drove home 100% soaked and dripping while my car windows fogged around me. As soon as I walked in the door I went upstairs to change. I put on pajamas because...well, I don't know why. The nightgown in my closet was just calling my name, OK? Land sakes alive.

And I'm sitting on my couch, in a nightgown and flip flops when I catch someone bounding up the front steps out of the corner of my eye. And there's a knock. And I'm all, "man, I hope my car didn't roll into someone else's car and cause thousands and thousands of dollars of damage," and, "no one can see me in this.*"

So as I run to the door, I throw on one of Leaf's button-up shirts which he thankfully left on the back of a living room chair, and clutch it around myself. And then I open the door. And it's our neighbor who fed Carlos while we were in Hilton Head. And I'm looking...highly suspect. Dude's just trying to return our house key. And I'm there, hair in a wet, frizzy ponytail, makeup running, holding a plain shirt closed like there's something to see, with a flowery nightgown skirt sticking out below it.

I am just really too classy for Wilmington. Really.

*It's not like it's lingerie or anything, it's just a regular nightgown. But I don't wear SHORTS because they show too much leg is how I roll. I don't attend church with BARE SHOULDERS. My neighbors must never ever ever see my nightgowns. Ever.

just how your karma came

After OffenseFest 2010 Leaf and I went to evening mass in Philadelphia. I'd looked up the mass times and locations of several churches that morning, so we'd have options no matter how early or late we returned from the Family Day visit. We ended up getting back just in time to make the 6:30 mass at Old St. Joseph's - the one I'd been the most interested in visiting.

As soon as we narrowly won a fight with a parking meter on 4th Street, we hightailed it to the church.



Which was in an alley.



A partially cobblestoned alley.



Apparently it's the oldest Catholic church in Philadelphia.



Through this gated, arched entrance there's a decent-sized courtyard, and on the opposite side is the entrance to the church itself.

I didn't get any pictures of the courtyard because when we walked back to the entrance it looked like they were locking the gate for the night.



Source

I found this photo on the intertubes, though. It was pretty. And the woman behind us had a really lovely voice, so I told her as much as we were leaving. I thought our voices sounded pretty good together. Leaf said he would totally go to that concert. I told him it would be the most boring concert ever. Albeit harmonious. But honestly who wants to pay to listen to that? No one. Well, except Leaf. Who would try to start a 1-man mosh pit. And before you get all, "that poor woman had to stand there and listen to you geniuses during all of this?" No. She didn't. I told her she had a beautiful voice, and that was it. She was spared. You're welcome, lady.

Still feeling victorious after our triumph over ye olde parking meter (not to mention a REALLY awesome parking spot) we decided to walk around a little.



Source

And ended up at Eulogy, which I had tried and failed to lead my family to back in January when I/we took my youngest sister to get her industrial piercing. I needed vindication. And tasty, tasty Belgian beer. Both of which I got.

At the end of the meal, though, we asked about desserts and it turns out they only have one per night. One. A[h] dessert. So the waiter told us to go to Franklin Fountain.



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Which we did.
Because we're obedient.
And you also should. 'Cause it's adorbs.



And because they carry Manhattan Special, which I've never seen outside of New York, except when I've ordered it and paid crazy amounts of shipping charges. Mmmmmmmsogooooooddd. Even people who don't like coffee (who are just RIDICULOUS and probably should have their tastebud privileges revoked) love Manhattan Special.

Do you know what this entire blog post amounts to? I bet you don't.

My dad's perfect evening!

I mean, if it were exactly as described above, plus there were sailing. But aside from that, totally perfect.
-Historical, JESUIT Catholic church and mass
-Belgian beer and food
-Manhattan special
-Fabulous parking

It just doesn't seem fair.

Sorry, Dad. Hopefully you were watching Project Runway while sitting on a gorgeous gold couch, and eating sushi followed by pecan pie, and organizing your upcoming social engagements on your MacBook. No? Hm. There's always next Sunday.

a glimpse

Yesterday I attended Family Day at Camp Galil with The Foliage and his family. It's a Socialist Kibbutz sleep-away camp that his siblings have attended most of their summers. I would have LOVED to do something like this growing up, but our summers were occupied by visits to relatives' since we never saw them during the school year. A fair trade, I'd say. But that's beside the point.

My future sister-in-law, Robyn, showed us to her bunk, and then all the families of the kids in that bunk area gathered in a big circle to do some group activities. First we went around the circle to introduce ourselves, and my father-in-law to-be was made to go first. The instructions were to provide the following information:

1. Your name
2. Who you knew at camp
3. Name your favorite kid at camp
4. If you'd ever been before

He successfully got through the first and second, pointing out Robyn...and then started pointing out and naming his other kids in the circle. And said he loved them equally. As well as his other 3 kids who weren't there. And Jesus.

Because that's what you do at Jew camp. Talk about how you love Jesus.

About 5 minutes after that, during the next activity, which called for us to embody inanimate objects (during this particular round, moustaches) my totally appropriate and politically correct fiance Heiled Hitler. Seriously.

I want to post a picture for a visual reference, just to hammer that point home, but as I am NOT Jewish I'm probably not allowed. If you know The Foliage, please try to imagine this. The horror. The turning and feeling as though life is in slow motion as you realize what's happening. The straight arm and the glowingly self-satisfied bearded face, illuminated by sunlight through the trees on a hot summer's day. Noticing in your peripheral vision everyone around you dropping their jaws simultaneously.

Welcome to my future.

Friday, July 16, 2010

self-discovery

I did a Google-search for "ceejus" and got a few cuh-razy results:

I am the last of the Great Grand Masters of the Knights Templar Inner Circle, apparently. I went to the main site for this "religion" and it is INSANE. Insanely hilarious, I mean. That means I'm somewhat similar to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You should probably bow to me.

I am a lackluster artist.

I am a vlogger with a penchant for George Carlin and techno.

I am a future owner.

I am a total f*cking commie.

you're the one that i want

Here's what is currently occupying my daydreams:





Via Miss Rachel's Pantry

This adorbs vintage dish. Filled with homemade summer vegetable pot pie. Which I can totally have! For free!

If I win the giveaway.

However, no one's entered yet and the first entry NEVER wins. And so I'm waiting. To be at least the second entry. So one of you (in the Phildelphia area) should enter. Like, now.

What? She's in Philadelphia? You're going to drive to Philadelphia (if you win) for a vegan pot pie? HELLZ YEAH I AM! Rachel made some amazing hors d'oeuvres for a black tie party I threw a couple years ago, so I KNOW this chick can cook. Even my anti-soy friends were raving about her Tofu Pan-Seared Garlic Lemon Scallops with Tempeh Bacon. And don't forget - it's a dish IN a dish. Total score.

So please. If you love me, go enter. Now. Five minutes ago. Plz.

Edit: my main blogsqueeze totes entered. Nice! If she wins I'll for defs pick it up for her and then invite myself over for dinner. Shyeahhhh!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

problem: solved

Well, that was quick.

I searched my GoogleReader feeds for "plum" and found this:



Plum Raspberry Sorbet

Ohhhhh, goodness. I wants. And aside from raspberries, we already have everything for it!

After sending the link to The Foliage, he suggested we make the vegan version of the Oreo Truffles we'd made this past Winter to accompany the sorbet.

My initial reaction was something along the lines of, "What do you mean 'accompany'? I am NOT standing over the hot stove, fighting with candy coating. And then transporting it on a day when it's supposed to rain, so it gets wet AND melts. That is 100% ridiculous." It might have been a tad harsh. Maybe even hasty. Possibly.

Then I did another search and came across a Dulce de Leche cake. Which made go, "oooh, yeah" in a way that will make my mother uncomfortable when she reads it. Probably due in large part to the fact that the cake was shown prepared in ramekins, and I can't ever resist individual packaging. Buuuut that cake had a lot of dairy action happening - more than I thought I could probably substitute for - so I kept looking, by then having decided there must be some sort of baked good on the dessert plate.

Which led me to this. Which I can't get a picture of into this blog entry. So you're just going to have to click and drool. Click. And. Drool. Chai Cake with Honey Ginger Cream. Oh, goodness.

It looks like it'll be pretty easy to adapt to be dairy-free. I normally just get soy milk to sub in for cow's, but I think in this recipe I'll go with almond milk. Maybe if I'm feeling saucy I'll even make some myself. But, yeah, probably not. I'll probably just buy it. What with the fact that I'll be making 2 desserts in a pretty short amount of time in my itsy bitsy kitchen. Maybe I'll even do my first step-by-step cooking post! I get way too excited about this blog. Really.

plug a lug

Here's what I picked up yesterday in the Farm Share delivery:



Note: I took all the pictures in this post with my iPhone.

Clockwise from the top:
-Plums (our first fruit share delivery!), 1 pint? Ish? Bag weighs about 1.5-2 pounds.
-Detroit Red Beets
-Cherry Tomatoes
-Yellow Onions
-Cucumbers, 1 pint
-Zucchini
-Red Potatoes, 2 pounds

More Different Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post for information about joining the Lancaster CSA mid-season!

My Ship (the 50% of my best friends who doesn't care about books unless they detail Victoria Beckham's thoughts on blue jeans as they pertain to life) came over to catch up and have dinner last night.

In addition to the stuff we got in our share this week, I still had a lot of vegetables left from prior week's shares, but I really didn't want to bother with potentially spoiled produce. (Haven't had a chance to do a full fridge-eval since getting back Sunday night.) However! Some of the leftover produce in my kitchen was potatoes! Like, 4 pounds of potatoes. And they were totally fine. Sweet! I also went out to the garden and picked some ripe green beans. We used to have more, but the nasturtium is going NUTS and choking everything but the tomatoes.

So I made Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and MadeUp Salad.

From Food 7/13/10


For the potatoes:
-2 pounds potatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
-1/2 cup olive oil
-5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

Boil the potatoes in salted water until just fork-tender. Drain well, then toss with remaining ingredients. Spread in even layer on baking sheet and cook at 375F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

From Food 7/13/10


For the salad:
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
-Handful green beans, roughly chopped
-1/2 yellow onion, minced
-1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Toss together. It's best to let it sit for a few minutes to let the vinegar soak in. Before I packed up the leftovers, I tore up a few (7? Maybe?) basil leaves from a potted plant in the dining room and threw those in, too.

From Food 7/13/10


It was pretty derish. And it worked out perfectly! Ship loved it, and The Foliage totes hates cucumbers and tomatoes! Word.

My next challenge: the plums.

From Food 7/13/10


I've never used plums before. I've hardly even eaten them. And these are so small I thought maybe the CSA people had misplaced their meds and had actually given me cherries. But then I ate one and realized I shouldn't doubt people who devote their lives to farm cooperatives. They're about the size of cherry tomatoes and are mildly tart at the center, surrounding the pit.

This Friday we're going to Philadelphia for Shabbat dinner at The Foliage's aunt and uncle's house. I'm thinking I'll make a dessert with these to take with us. But I really have NO experience with them whatsoever. And whatever I make will have to be 100% dairy-free since it'll be a fleishik meal. I'm going to look up some options, but suggestions are appreciated!

If you want to join the Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA for the remainder of the 2010 season:

-Go here to see whether there is a location you can get to easily each week.
-Click "CSA" and then "sign in" to create a new account
-Send your payment
-Start picking up deliciousness and stop worrying about questionable grocery store produce!

August Start: (17 weeks of produce)
Vegetable Full Share $471 (7 to 12 items per week) = $27.71/week
Vegetable Half Share $288 (4 to 9 items per week) = $16.94/week (this is what we have!)
Fruit Share $102 (one to two varieties of seasonal fruit per week) = $6.00/week

The person who sent me the information above also said:

"To begin receiving a share in August, they should fill out an application before July 23rd. After that date, we will begin accepting applications for September. We will not be able to process orders until we receive payment (postmarked by July 23rd)."

"Although the invoice will read the full amount for each type of share, they should only pay the prorated amount. We can help out with this as needed. Checks should be make out to Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative and mailed to Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, Attention: CSA. 48 Eagle Drive, Leola, PA 17540. I hope this helps and please feel free to email back or call us at (717) 656-3533 with any questions."

And remember that if you're not in this area, there is probably a CSA near you, and they might have a mid-season start option as well.

sweet virginia brown

Have you seen the movie "Away We Go"? Someone turned it on during our trip last week and we ended up watching the second half of it or so. Maybe more than that. I want to watch it again from the beginning at home, because I really liked what I saw.

There's a scene in a nightclub where one of the characters dances to The Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin" and it is...just absolutely heartbreaking. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone, and to be clear the movie overall is not a downer. But that one scene...it was SO well acted. You really feel the despair and love between the couple.

Anyway. That song has been in my head since last night, but I can't hear it without seeing the woman's devastated and numb face. I really hope today picks up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

listen up

Ye Olde Fiance and I have gotten into listening to audio books on long drives recently. Or recently-ish. I'm now wrapping up our most recent foray. Chronologically:



1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

We listened to this, like, I don't know...it was a while ago. Late 2009. We REALLY liked the first third of the book. It made us want to go to Chicago (which is where the book takes place...I've been there a few times but my brain refuses to remember any geographic layouts ever, so I recognized approximately 2 references). The middle of the book slowed down and by the end I was just praying for one or both of the main characters to die, I was so over them. I'm pretty sure The Foliage shared the sentiment. If he didn't, I don't really care, I'm still going to say he did because this is my blog and maybe one day when he's a big kid he can have his own blog, and subsequently his own opinions.



2. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

This one was purchased while we waited for Senor Nearly Blindo's prescription sunglasses to be hewn from a magical rock they call "polarized" before we began our drive to Hilton Head. I'd been intrigued by the trailers for this movie, but I'm also what kids these days are calling a "pansy" and was pretty sure seeing it would make me cry. The book, though? The book I could totally handle! Score!

It was reeeeeeally slow to start, but overall we liked it. We figured out the twist about halfway through, though. I think if we had physically read it we would've gotten it even sooner. For reasons which I will not discuss in case you haven't read it or seen the movie. Anyway, my confidence is now bolstered and I'm looking forward to watching it. Especially because Mark Ruffalo plays the sidekick and I love him. More than I probably should.

I'd like to mention that we were looking for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but they didn't have it. 50% of my best friends told me I had to read it in preparation for visiting Savannah. I totes let her down and instead got...



3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Reg Keeland

This is another favorite of 50% of my best friends, so I got this kind of as a consolation. To her. Which, yeah, I know, doesn't actually make sense. But she loves it and she and I usually agree on which books do or do not pwn. However, when I told her about this development, she was VERY displeased. Because books are meant to be held. Is how she feels. Adamantly.

Yeah, well, I'm a total narcoleptic in vehicles (...and all the time, but especially in vehicles) and audio books are the only thing I've found that keep me awake consistently.

Except this one. It stayed in the CD player for maybe an hour, if that. Maybe because the reader was British? Maybe because it was taking WAY TOO EFFING LONG TO CONNECT ANY PLOT POINTS? I don't know. It's a mystery.

Ha! It actually is a mystery! Ohhhh I love puns!

So, yeah, that was EJECTED and we had to make an emergency stop at Cracker Barrel to get a replacement, which was...



4. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

I'm about two-thirds of the way through this now. My co-listener pretty much lost interest, and honestly I don't care that much what happens either, but sometimes I get pointlessly invested in things emotionally, and I "have" to see them through, otherwise I feel like a failure. At life. So I'm finishing it in order to not suffer LifeFail via audio book.

It's about a present-day (well, 1990s) American History doctoral student, and a family affected by the Salem Witch Trials. It reads like a Lifetime movie. Which is pretty much what you'd expect from a Cracker Barrel, so it's not like we were led astray under false pretences or anything. It was by FAR the most interesting-looking thing on the rack.

The cool thing about the book, though, is that it was written by an actual doctoral student who specializes in the history of that period, so a lot of the details are factual. AND she's a descendant of two of the women involved in the trials.



Any suggestions for the future? I'm thinking about getting the audio version of a classic I've loved like Grapes of Wrath or For Whom the Bell Tolls but I'm wary of trying to focus on that and the road at the same time. Or missing nuances because I'm not seeing the page. I'm a big fan of "reading" this way, though. I feel like it's so easy to not expose yourself to new books once you're out of school. Thanks, adulthood. You.are.the.best.

Monday, July 12, 2010

look at all the lonely people

On the bright side, I'm glad that if we were going to deal with an infestation at some point in our life together, it's happened when we only own 1,000 square feet of space, a lot of which could not possibly have been affected. And going forward I will be cripplingly terrified of another incident and will bleach everything that ever crosses our threshhold, Amen.

the girl from ipanema goes walking

For those of you who expressed interest in joining the Lancaster CSA, I just received an email expressing the following:

"...there’s no limit to how many shares we can sell ... We will pro-rate them through the end of the season. The more shares we sell, the better it is for the program, the shareholders and the farmers!"

I totally thought you had to sign up before the harvest season started! Email csa@lancasterfarmfresh.com for information.

This week we started getting fruit, too. I can't WAIT to get my fresh produce back to my infested house!

too negative too much

My hair looks really good today. Like, REALLY good. It's like it's thanking me for the relief from the South Carolina humidity ridiculousness.

Well, hair, you are welcome. Let's go somewhere sterile and make out.

where is my mind?

Have you ever been robbed? Come home to a jimmied lock or a broken window and known that someone had invaded your space? It makes you feel so vulnerable and weak and stupid and insecure.

No, no one broke into our house. None of our stuff has been stolen.

So how would I know what it feels like? GOOD QUESTION.

Jump to several months ago.

I don't know exactly how long ago, which plays into how absolutely stupid I am, but it was probably still pretty cold outside.

So several months ago The Foliage* and I noticed that there were some light brown spots on our sheets. They were scattered pretty randomly, and not really concentrated anywhere, so we figured something must have gotten into the washing machine. And since linens usually get washed all by their lonesome, we didn't have any other items to check against this theory.

Over the past few months, more and more spots have appeared. We continued to rely on the laundry explanation.

About a month ago my right arm started itching. Some days it was just the back of my hand or my fingers. Other days my wrist would be almost unbearable. Usually the area I scratched would just turn red, and I thought maybe I was having a reaction to our laundry detergent*. I had had a reaction to some magical as-yet-unknown-something during my senior year of high school - also on the back of my right hand - that itched and spread and swelled and hurt. So I thought it could've maybe been something similar to that. I just have a history of dermatitis issues, OK? My skin freaking out is not generally cause for concern! Sheesh.

Anyway, no bumps appeared where I scratched...my skin would just be read and splotchy for a while, so it seemed like maybe it was plant-related since I couldn't find any bites. But THEN my left arm/hand/fingers started itching, too. We guessed maybe the humidity was doing weird things to my skin. Or something.

You totally see where this is going, don't you? Right? Well, I am JEALOUS because I honestly did not.

Then. Last night. Oh my gawd.

We drove home from Hilton Head - making a few stops along the way to stretch our legs at the Carolina Premium Outlets and then to have dinner at Cafe Green with some of my future siblings-in-law - over the course of the day yesterday. It was a loooooooong long drive. When we got home, we noticed that my future dad-in-law had left us a voicemail, while he was in Philadelphia, asking if he could stay at our house, rather than driving all the way back to DC, which of course was fine.

So by the time we went to bed, we were exhausted. I went to bed first (around 1:45 or so), and I saw a small bug on my pillowcase, but I didn't worry about it. Which is weird because I loathe bugs, as I think I've mentioned before. I had opened the windows to air out the house, though, and just thought something small must've flown in. The menfolk stayed up a little bit later than I did, and The Foliage came upstairs around 2:30.

He noticed the tiny being next to my head and said something about it, so I sleep-mumbled about having seen it and the windows and blaaahhhhdrooooool. He removed it, and then went to bed, freaked out.

A few minutes later, he poked me in the back, and I opened my eyes. He had turned the light on, and as the room came into focus, I looked down and the bed was TEEMING with bugs. Bed. F*cking. Bugs. Everywhere. I jumped out of bed and started slapping them off of my arms and legs, and the two of us just stood there, wide-eyed and not sure what to do. Our houseguest was downstairs on the couch and we didn't want to wake him up, but WHERE THE EFF DO YOU GO?!

How did they get there? Who brought them in? Had we unknowingly contaminated anything else? We checked as best as we could to make sure we'd gotten them off of ourselves, and then set up our air mattress in my room. It took another hour and a half to calm down enough to actually sleep. For, oh, 3 or 4 luxurious hours.

What do we do now? We don't know what has or hasn't been affected.

And here's why I feel SO OVERLY AMAZINGLY stupid: I totally KNEW all of the symptoms of bed bug infestation because I've SEEN it. When we went to Virginia Beach last year for Labor Day, one of the girls in the room was bitten all over by them, and we looked up all of this stuff. I feel like I totally failed myself and my fiance for not noticing this earlier. Or preventing it somehow. I don't know.

So now I feel totally violated. Like I can't relax in my own house. Where could I relax? Maybe every surface has bugs hidden below. And how do you even DEAL with this? We are definitely burning the mattress and box spring and all the linens. But what about the rug? Or the carpet just outside of the bedroom? Or EVERY OTHER SQUARE INCH OF OUR HOUSE?

I'm completely embarrassed that this has even happened, and the only reasons I'm posting about it are
1. It's all I can think about today anyway, so that's the only way you're getting a post out of me, and
2. Maybe someone else has had the same experience and has also been really ashamed by it. I feel like I did in grade school when the nurse came around to all the classes to check for lice. Which I'll blog about another time because this post is officially too long. The point is: I can not be the only person who has had this experience. I just can't be.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


*Yeah, OK, so I don't care about name references in general, but I just like calling him by his blogname. I think it reads better.
**Seriously, could I rely on the laundry more? But I ferreal had a really bad skin reaction a few years ago, when the two of us first started dating, due to the purchase of lavender-scented detergent by my sister. I wouldn't let him get to second base 'cause I had a rash across my stomach. Good story, I know. I KNOW. You are so welcome.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

where the eff did we land?

Leaf and I are currently getting ready for the second leg of our trip, starting our day in Wilson, NC. We made remarkably good time yesterday. I'm sure we'll make really good time again today. He'll turn a 5 hour trip into 3 while I sniffle next to him.

Sniffle? Oh, did I not mention? I'm sick. Annoyingly, positively sick. Another reason to sniffle: I'm blogging from a computer that is mine but is not mine.

First, the illness.

I have a history of being sick on vacation. I feel a tickle in my throat a few days before I'm supposed to leave, but I'm always too stingy with my personal time to call out of work, thus exacerbating whatever horrible tricks my body has up its proverbial sleeves, and then the long drive to meet my family for vacation does me in. 3 years ago I had an awful case of bronchitis for my entire trip to Connecticut. Really. The whole time. Thanks, body! At least you KNEW New England was my most favorite place on the planet, and you're so funny that you knew it'd be a riot to make me bed-ridden. You're.the.best.

This year, I haven't really been that enthused about taking this vacation. We're on our way to Hilton Head. As in that place that's connected to that state whose name starts with SOUTH. I don't GO to places that even slightly allude to the South. But my family doesn't ask for my opinion when they make their vacation plans, and if I want the family-funded package, I have to go where they go. Ruth-style. I always used to like Ruth. Now I'm second-guessing myself.

Anyway, I've been attempting (maybe half-heartedly, but you'll never prove it) to make the best of this and to try and enjoy it and...you know whatever. Whatever it is you do to get psyched up for a vacation you don't want to take. And when I felt the tickle in my throat this time, I decided that rather than be whiny about the location AND my health, I'd just take the time off of work to rest. So I took TWO FULL DAYS to rest, and I kinda figured maybe it was just allergies, since it was so much worse in the morning, after sleeping with the windows open.

But I here I am. And I'm sick. I know because my mouth tastes sick. I made Leaf kiss me to verify, because I'm the best dern life partner EVER. And I tricked him into it, 'cause you KNOW you get the most honest responses when the other person is blindsided. Also my stomach hurts in a whiny can't-decide-if-I-actually-hurt kind of way and I can't breathe out of my left nostril.

Now the computer.

My computer died Monday or Tuesday night this past week. I deleted a bunch of applications I never used to free up space on my hard drive, and when I clicked to empty the virtual trash can, it took about an hour. Just to delete some freakin' applications. And then I decided to restart my computer, because that's the solution to approximately 96.3% of all computer problems...but then it wouldn't restart. It made the restart sound and then gave me the Mac version of the finger - the grey screen with the spinny circle thingie. For hours. And hours.

Which meant that when Leaf went upstairs to his computer and would yell to me about new stuff he'd found online, I just made lewd gestures in his general direction. And that when I was home sick for two days I had no computer-based distractions from napping. Which led to napping. And sleeping right through a doctor's appointment I'd made a month before because their office is so effing busy. But I digress.

Friday we went to the mall to drop off my MacBook at the Apple store. They said they would call if anything came up. I was assured that if it came down to losing all of my information or, you know, NOT they would call me. I got a voicemail later that night saying my computer was ready to be picked up.

Yesterday we returned (after the longest LensCrafters visit of LIFE to get my nearly-blind-love prescription sunglasses 'cause you KNOW I don't drive no 12 hour trip and I don't want my chauffeur cranky with sun-related headaches) and picked up my computer. With its brand new hard drive. And none of the information that had been on my original hard drive. And no call to warn me of this.

To their credit, they took care of my computer really fast, and they didn't charge me a dime (!!!), and I fully believe them when they say there's nothing they could have done.

But.

My pictures are all gone. So many pictures of our trip to Mexico that didn't make it to the blog post....all the pictures of goofing off while house-hunting...the picture of me from that day we walked around Georgetown, each of us trying to decide whether the other liked us...all of it.

Heavy.freaking.sigh. I'm about to make us pay for a second night at the hotel we found at midnight last night (make reservations for July 4th weekend IN ADVANCE if you're going to Rocky Mt., NC...just FYI) so I gotta shower. And mope. And sniffle. See you on the other side.

Friday, July 2, 2010

you're a WINNER

Guess who won! You can't. You totally can't.

3 green zucchini – certified organic – Autumn Blend Organics
2 lemon cucumbers – certified organic – Elm Tree Organics
1 head green cabbage – certified organic – Green Valley Organics
1 bag red slicing tomatoes – certified organic – Green Valley Organics
1 bag pickling cucumbers – certified organic – Meadow Brook and Deer Hollow Organics – 2 lbs
1 bag mini-white cucumbers – certified organic – Liberty Branch Farm – 1 lb


That's what the fab Mrs. Techy will be picking up* this coming week at the Harvest Market in Hockessin! Whooooo!! Congrats, dudette!

*Just got the updated list today. Holla.

call off the wedding

Leaf doesn't think I should dip my Oreos in milk. In fact, he is repulsed by the fact that I do so. The fact that I eat Oreos correctly, that is. I don't know if I can spend the rest of my life like this.