Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On feature writing

If I could write like anyone in the world, I might pick Tom Junod. Everything he produces blows me away. In the last week or so, I've read two of his Esquire pieces in particular that I thought were amazing (and were linked by a common food theme). If you have time, check them out, "Mom's Cooking" in particular. The last sentence made me catch my breath.

This article really made me think about my own personal "tribe." To me, Americans often seem to be the most culturally confused people in the world. Nearly everyone who lives here comes from somewhere else originally, and are often the product of a number of cultures getting together and making babies (that is, mutts). "Old country" traditions are abandoned as the reproducing generations cause further and further distance from their homeland. Fourth of July and apple pie replace Dia de los Muertos and lutefisk. It isn't a bad thing, embracing the American culture, but so many seem to look back and search for the sense of community that once existed; their own tribe.

For my own family, made up of mutts from many European cultures who have lived in the United States for numerous generations, we are fully assimilated. We retain no British or German or Swedish traditions. We have substituted Methodist potlucks. If I died tomorrow, I would fully expect green bean casserole and creamed corn and jello salad and any number of pies to show up at my funeral reception. My family prefers to eat their feelings, so the dishes would touch a place in their hearts that let them know everything would be okay.

My own mother is quite unlike the author's mother. Mine hails from a long line of good female cooks. My mashed potatoes will never taste as good as the childhood memory of hers. My grandmother's angel food cake literally melted in your mouth. Their family banana bread recipe is perfection, and I cannot be convinced otherwise. My grandma no longer makes big meals for the whole family, but the group still gathers around the table when they want to reconnect (full mouths lead to fewer arguments). Still, this article is incredible.

Matthew and Dedra's Wedding

On Sunday I had the privilege of participating as a bridesmaid in my friend Dedracula's wedding. Our relationship came full circle, from starting out as just a "friend of a friend" to becoming completely enamored with her awesomeness. She is so funny and kind and intelligent. And she has met her male equal, so together their awesomeness may be able to break the sound barrier.

Aside from an icy wind that snaked up the back of my lovely sangria-colored dress and violated my most special parts, the day was beautiful and the event went off without a hitch. The only downside of participating in a wedding is that I can't take pictures of the ceremony itself. Don't worry though. I made a thorough nuisance of myself before and after with my extra-bright flash!
Their guest book was Dr Seuss' Oh! The Places You'll Go! Adorable.
Instead of a ring pillow, the little bearer carried a ring dinosaur. Of course.
BlindIrishPirate officiated the ceremony. Her words were so thoughtful, entertaining, and poignant. I hope the couple had a video camera running! No one else could have spoken so eloquently.
Dedracula's sister was the maid of honor. Her speech at the reception was funny and heartwarming. She is a lovely lady!
My mommy and daddy were able to attend the reception. They even made it onto the dance floor!
I adore the way he is looking at his new bride. That is love.
A picture of the bling is required. And he is still giving her that look! He's twitterpated, I tells ya! P.S. Doesn't her skin look creamy? Yum. And I love that she wore her glasses. She is one special bride.
This is my favorite picture of all of the images from the day.
The couple had umpteen varieties of cheesecake for dessert. And these two quackers adorned the table.
The bridal party left a few surprises on and in the car. Just a little something for later! Emphasis on little.
Congratulations, Matthew and Dedra. Your Thug loves you with all her wittle heart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dirty Harriet

My friend is getting married this Sunday, and I have the honor of being a bridesmaid. I am so excited for her. She deserves so much happiness. She is a good, good, good person, down to her very core. I've mentioned this story before, but it bears repeating. When my dad was very ill in the hospital, she visited him. Out of the blue. Without even mentioning anything to me. Just because she wanted to. And she brought him treats. Some of my closest family members who live in the same town as the hospital didn't visit him. Ever. But she did. Because she is so very good and kind and loving. And I can barely remember this act without crying, because it meant so much to me. More than she knows.

And the fella she's getting hitched to is pretty darn cool, too. I hope he knows how lucky he is.

BUT! Before marriage and the baby carriage comes the bachelorette party, which we celebrated Saturday. And the bride-to-be wanted to go to a gun range. So we did!

Eight girls. Zero experience. One dangerous firearm. Priceless.

I don't know what I expected, but I certainly didn't know to bring someone with previous handgun shooting experience. Which I did not do. Luckily, we charmed the Gruff Range Overlord. We got a gun, a quick and dirty explanation of how it pretty much works, and were sent into the range with a weapon.

Remember readers: Guns don't kill people. Inexperienced bachelorette partygoers kill people.

Luckily, there was a kind gentleman in another range lane who helped to explain the process further. On principle, I despise relying upon men to show women how things are done, but in this case the advice was greatly appreciated. So the first three girls learned how to shoot, and taught the rest of us as we donned protective glasses and earmuff thingers and cycled in and out of the range.

The bride seemed to have an awesome time.
They should really clean those windows more often. Don't they know my photo-op was foggy? Sheesh.
The bride, like an old pro, showed me how it was done, and I only broke the gun twice.
Future Clint Eastwood. Or perhaps Charles Bronson. Or gang member. Congrats!
The Gruff Range Overlord was suitably terrified impressed by the bride's shooting handiwork.
Dirty Harriets, every one of 'em.

After working up an appetite, we went for dinner at Dave and Buster's. Where else?

I think the party was a success. I know the wedding will be. Congratulations, Dedracula, from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

I stumbled upon Conroy & Wilcox yesterday, and hoo-boy, do they ever have some lovely pieces. They offer lots of beautiful and unique jewelry (including some one-of-a-kind pieces, the prices of which might make you wince), but I was particularly taken with their "Fern Collection." These instantly made me think of BlindIrishPirate's wedding; they just looked like something she would have donned while walking down the aisle as a lovely, ethereal bride.
Fern Head Pin, $250

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

This Golden Moment Ring is on sale at Anthropologie ($19.95), and it is unimaginably gorgeous! I wish I possessed the cojones to wear something this large and beautiful and striking!

An added plus: the gold metal band is also elastic and stretchy, so one size fits all!

New York State of Mind

This summer our big vacation of the year will consist of a trip to New York for my cousin's wedding, followed by a journey to New York City for a few days of touristing (no, that's not a word, but it should be).
I heart my soon-to-be-cousin-in-law (the lovely lady in the center)!

While I've floated by Ellis Island and checked out the Statue of Liberty (many moons ago), I have never been to New York City, and Husband has never been to the state. This will also be Husband and my first plane trip together, which is almost unbelievable!

We're not so interested in the typical tourist spots (though I would really like to see a Broadway show and visit MoMA!). Husband's main interests center upon Katz's Deli and the Hayden Planetarium. And we would both love to catch a taping of "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report." Otherwise, we'd love to hear special spots and tips and tricks. We need all the help we can get, country bumpkins that we are. Have you been to the city? Known someone who has visited? Share in the comments. We need guidance, people!

Daily Eye Candy

I am loving these Spektral ($18) and Sto-Lang ($28) Paper Mobiles from A+R Store! I would love to hang these in a child's room (okay, I would totally hang them in my own bedroom...). So colorful and inventive in spite of their simplicity!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Life has been crazy busy recently. I feel like I leave work, come home, have dinner, and then sit down at the computer again and work until bedtime! But I'm almost on top of everything (...for the moment...), for the first time since Christmas break ended.

This Friday, however, I plan to take a little time for myself with Husband and a friend and see Paul. It's playing at two separate theaters in our town, so it's surely playing in yours! After a loooong wait, the next Pegg/Frost installment is finally upon us! So excited!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

My new favorite thing: Melissa shoes! They are simply but extremely interesting looking shoes that are ethically made in Brazil without waste.
I adore the dark blue color, and did you notice the adorable peep toe? $79.
Again, what a great color! I've come to really like point-toed shoes that gently slope (not those put-an-eye-out witch points). $112.
These might be my ridiculous favorites. They remind me of the jelly shoes I wore as a little girl. I would totally rock this look, like jellyfish tentacles got stuck to my feet. $79.