Monday, August 15, 2011

Bulleted Thoughts About Our Wedding

Our wedding is barely a week and a half behind us, yet it seems to be receding rapidly from view. Life returns to normal so quickly, which is startling and relieving all at once.  On the drive home from our short, blissful honeymoon, we stopped at a rest stop for McDonald's and joked that the honeymoon had officially ended. That evening at home, we had our first spat since before the wedding, and it was confirmed.

However, it does seem to me that wedding and the honeymoon have injected a bit of spice into our relationship. Of course, I think that no longer spending all of our waking hours planning the wedding helps, too.

A few snippets before I dive into more comprehensive posts. These are things no one told me (or everyone told me, but I didn't believe) before the wedding:
  • We were buzzed for about 5 days straight. Beginning with the rehearsal dinner, through the wedding day prep and reception, and until the visit to the winery on the last day of our honeymoon, we drank. More than either of us is ever really inclined to. There seemed always to be a bottle of champagne, a nip of vodka, or a seaside beer to enjoy during and after our wedding. By the time we were home again, we thought we were done drinking forever. And then we went to the beer garden on Saturday, and all was well.
  • It was big. The wedding was huge. I didn't think I'd be overwhelmed by my wedding, but... everyone else was right. It was ginormous, and much bigger than just E and I.
  • People will surprise you. I had a lot of family drama and felt like many of my friends and family members were wedding'ed out before our wedding, and like they weren't invested in us. But they were. And when they answered our community vow with a resounding, "We do!" during the ceremony, I let any lingering doubts about their investment melt away, and had a blast at the explosion of joy that was our reception.
  • Things will go wrong; Or, they won't. We didn't really have anything go wrong at our wedding. I was steeling myself for some calamity, and tried to tell myself that everything would be fine despite any major or minor catastrophes. And then, all was well. I have a lot of thoughts about why we were so lucky, but I think a lot of it was just because we trusted our vendors and we had really great people helping us out in advance.
  • It will recede, and quickly. As we got into our cab back to the hotel after the wedding, I thought about all the people who said, "It goes by so quickly! Savor it!" and felt like they had been wrong, like I had been able to be present in every moment and it had stretched out just the right amount of time. I still feel that I did a good job being present, but I also feel like it is merely a bright flash in my memory, even thought only a week and a few days have passed. Now, it feels like it went by very quickly, like a blur in my memory. 
    Photo by my sister as we entered the reception.
    Blurry due to incorrect camera settings, but fitting for this post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh, hey.

I have a blog. Which I stopped writing in due to the upheaval of finishing school, writing my thesis, starting my very first grown up job, and planning (and having!) a wedding.  It's been a very busy 8 months, but with the wedding done and life finally settling back into normalcy, I feel like my thoughts are my own again, my life isn't on public display to be critiqued and picked apart by everyone I know, and therefore I might as well start blogging again.

I tried wedding blogging, but wedding planning was a very difficult process for E and I, and it was hard to contain that process in sweet little succinct blog posts.  Now that the planning is done, I can reflect on what we've learned and encapsulate it better for public consumption. So, for a little while, this will be like a wedding blog, with some regular life thrown in. But that will only be temporary, and then the flowers and organza will subside on this blog as they did in real life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not sure how I should feel about this.

When I start to get exhausted (like right now when I am juggling 2 internships, a job, classes, and job-hunting), I start to get foolish with my sleep.  As in, I tend not to get enough of it, and by the time I get into bed, I'm really dragging.  E is much more of a night person than I am, so he's normally getting into bed at a time I reserve for frantic ends-of-semesters.  One of his favorite things to do on such nights is to talk to me while I drift in and out of sleep.  He gets a window into my weird subconscious, and the next day, I get stories about whatever ridiculous things I said the night before.

The other night, for instance, as I struggled to stay awake, I told E to just "ask the cookie vendor" rather than talk to me.  In my head, we were in the holiday market at Grand Central Terminal, and there was a guy selling lovely frosted cookies.  In reality, we were in bed in our freezing cold bedroom in Queens. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

A few minutes later, I started singing a variation on this classic Fats Domino tune:

...except I basically just sang "We're talkin', yes indeed..." over and over.

I can't even get back at him, because once he falls asleep the only noises you'll get out of E are teeth-grinding and various emissions.  Oh well.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My first ravioli adventure!

Another busy weekend has flown by, and now I am staring down the dreaded Monday morning once again!  Ah, well, at least it was a good weekend.  Friday night, E and I got right down to business with some couscous and feta stuffed peppers.  The filling for these peppers was absolutely delicious even on its own!  I'm picky with stuffed vegetables; I want the filling to be moist, dense and full of flavor.  This recipe definitely fulfilled all of those requirements!  E, though, often suggests we make stuffed peppers for dinner and then once they're on his plate he remembers he doesn't even like the actual roasted peppers.  Right?  Anyway.  He ended up simply scooping all the filling out and leaving behind the peppers.  Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

We were supposed to have a quiet night in, but 2 of our friends were back in town after time spent away, so we wandered over to their apartment, drank wine and ate fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies while arguing about the necessity of the Oxford comma all night (it's not necessary, it's not! it's not!).  We had a much later night than expected and I woke up with a slight headache, but it was worth it.  The Oxford comma debate continues, with everyone we discuss the issue with fiercely divided.

Saturday night E and I parted ways, he bound for a party at his friend's house in Brooklyn, I heading to a neighborhood Cuban restaurant for dinner and drinks with our friends and their house guests.  It was a great night, and thanks to the time change I  was even able to get a full 8 hours of sleep without feeling guilty about sleeping late!  Huzzah!  Today E and I have each been wrapped up in work all day, but this afternoon I ventured into the kitchen to make some ravioli from scratch.  My dad's family is Italian, so we have ravioli and seafood pasta every year on Christmas Eve.  Growing up, we made dozens and dozens of homemade little pillows of pasta dough and ricotta cheese, though in recent years the scattering of cousins and everyone's hectic schedules has led to store bought ravioli.  I have lots of fond memories of helping to make ravioli late every fall in preparation for the holidays, but it's been a good 10 or so years since I had the chance.

I used this recipe, and they were surprisingly easy and expectedly delicious!  The whole process of making the dough, letting it rest, making the filling, rolling out the dough, assembling the ravioli, and cooking everything takes time, but it's not hard at all.  It's so satisfying to have a belly full of mushroom-y goodness when all is said and done.  There's something that feels really badass about putting together a handmade meal that you usually buy preassembled, if you will.  It's the same feeling I have when i watch a pot of jam come together on the stove: You just feel badass!  One note on the ravioli: we made the filling as described there and have waaaay too much of it!  We used probably less than half of what it calls for for 10 very stuffed 2-2.5 inch ravioli.  It's not a huge tragedy, since we'll use the leftover filling in eggplant rollatini, but you might decide it's not worth it to chop all those mushrooms up!

I'm excited to have entered new ground (for me) in the kitchen, and now I am lusting over pasta makers and other kitchen gadgetry!  Some day we'll have room for more kitchen stuff, but for now this is all the space we've got:

Yeah.  Someday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkins as people and dogs as cops.

This weekend, in pictures:

This weekend finally felt like Fall.  We carved a pumpkin Friday night, and Saturday we drove upstate for some foliage and trail wandering at Bear Mountain Inn.  Unfortunately, the leaves don't really change colors here in NYC -- they just kind of stay green forever and then suddenly one day they all fall off the trees.  As a native New Englander, I miss vibrant foliage so, so much!  We originally went to Bear Mountain to partake of their Oktoberfest, but by the time we wandered around Hessian Lake (how badass, right?), the crowd had gotten pretty thick at the beer/food stands and I didn't feel like waiting an hour for an experience we could get at our friendly neighborhood Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden.

Sunday I made pumpkin pancakes and we made pizzas to try to use up the food in our freezer since it decided to stop working. All in all, even with the malfunctioning freezer (and possibly refrigerator, now, as well), it was a delightful weekend.  This weekend will likely be crazy with all that goes along with Halloween (though we still don't actually have costumes and we're attending a costume ball Thursday night), but I'm looking forward to it all the same.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My thesis, in one 3:46 clip

I'm in my last semester of graduate school, and I am writing my thesis about American history as it is portrayed in Disney theme parks.  Basically, within the parks, narratives of progress are translated into meticulously controlled physical space for consumption by millions of middle and upper class paying "citizens" of the Disney nation. 

In Epcot, Disney's "permanent World's Fair in Orlando, there is an "American Adventure" pavilion which includes a 45-minute show MC'ed by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain audio-animatronics (robots), that takes visitors on a whirlwind tour of exactly what Disney wants its visitors to know about American history.  The finale, shown in the video below, is basically a montage of 5-10 second video clips of What It Means to Be American.

It's pretty incredible. Louis Armstrong! JFK! JFK Jr.! MLK! Elvis! Gloria Steinem! 9/11! Eagles! Clouds! Soaring music!  AMERICA!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unfortunately, "taking walks" wasn't really something we could do together in our apartment.

I want so badly to post a few recipes I've made in the last few weeks, but this is turning into a straight up food blog, so instead of my usual recap, I will do a link-and-one-sentence-review for each:

  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: I've been using this very recipe for a few years now, and they never fail to disappoint -- fool proof, and they always come out moist and dense -- just don't add more chocolate chips than it calls for (they just get too chocolatey, and I'm saying that as a chocolate fiend).
  • Split Pea Soup: Growing up, my mom always made split pea soup, so I was excited to see it is, as I assumed, very easy to make vegetarian. I added some peeled and diced potatoes, and a package of frozen petite peas, and I used vegetable stock instead of just water.
  • Ziti with Roasted Zucchini: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (used 2 shallots and 1 red onion instead of alllll those shallots... delicious. Never too much zucchini. Will add mushrooms next time. It will be amazing.).
In non-food news, the weather on Sunday was essentially perfect: around 70 degrees, light breeze. E and I grabbed lunch with a friend and her boyfriend after said friend photographed E and I engaged in every day activities for her summative project as a photography major. We had to do things around our apartment that we usually do together. After a lot of waffling about what we do together (in the apartment? Not much really -- usually E is working at the desk in the bedroom and I am cavorting in the kitchen/living room), we settled on two activities. First, we hung out at the table in our kitchen/living room, each of us on separate computers but chatting and sending each other cat macros and videos of Conan O'Brien washing his desk. Then, we prepped all the veggies for that ziti zucchini dish up there, since we cook together most days of the week and, if this blog's slow devolution into recipe folder is any indication, food is a major part of our lives. She took some great pictures, and made our apartment look much more... atmospheric... than it is in real life.

And then there was lunch and a long walk to the park. Astoria Park is pretty big, and is a really pretty park built around and between the foundations of the Triboro and Hell Gate Bridges. The city just built a new skate park beneath the Triboro, and so we watched people of all ages on wheels there for a few minutes. This summer we hung out there a bunch of times, having picnics or watching fireworks, but we never made it to the amazingly huge swimming pool! They held the 1936 Olympic trials there, and it is massive:

The pool is closed until next summer, but we checked out the preserved 1930's entrance to the pool:

Crappy iPhone photo, but you get the idea!

Maybe next summer we'll get our acts together and make it in time to actually take a swim!  If not, I'll be pretty okay with another fireworks show from the hill at the park.

Oh hey, another crappy photo!  Whatever, I'm too busy living to carry a camera around all the time, gosh.