Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Getting Nervous

June 17, 2010

I have a lot of baking to do in the next week and a half!

Monday is Iron Cupcake, so Sunday afternoon and evening will be spent baking and decorating 12 dozen mini cupcakes!

Tuesday evening I will be baking a few cupcakes to take to my friend when I go to visit her new baby on Wednesday.

Saturday I am baking 10 dozen (full size) cupcakes for the wedding of two friends. This will be started on Thursday evening. I’m nervous about this because, even though the flavors are going to be simple, I have no idea about the logistics of baking 10 dozen cupcakes! I feel like it won’t be that hard, but a couple of weeks ago I baked 5 dozen, and it took me well over 8 hours to do all the baking and decorating.

The decorating on those 5 dozen, however, was a little more complicated. But cute! Check these out:

Fortunately I just have to make these 10 dozen look pretty. Swirly frosting, maybe some sugar pearls, but nothing as intense as marzipan ladybugs!

Then, of course, after the cupcakes are done I have to find the energy to party at the wedding! I hope I can do that, because it is sure to be a fun tonight.

I’m nervous because this is a lot of baking! I was hoping to spend most of the week prepping. Cleaning my kitchen, getting all my supplies purchased and in order and ready to go. Now I’ll have to do that a little quicker than planned. I will post pictures when it’s all done. And maybe of the tornado that sweeps through my kitchen.

In other news, David and I are trying to plan our wedding. BUT we’re so confused by all the options! Right now we’re not even sure WHERE we want to get married- locally, or in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas sounds like FUN, and it would combine a honeymoon into one trip. We’d get married on a Friday night, and then spend the weekend in a nice suite. It wouldn’t be eloping, because we would still be inviting a lot of people to join us. But of course, some people won’t, because it is expensive.

That means the biggest pro of the in-town option is that all our family and friends could be there. We’d have a party back in town if we got married in Vegas, but it wouldn’t be the same. Sure, my parents and a few friends would join us in Vegas, but what about people like my grandparents? Vegas hold no particular appeal to them and the airfare would put a huge burden on them. So they wouldn’t be there. Can I handle that? I’m not sure. What about aunts and uncles that have watched me grow up? Will I just ditch them? What about friends who would LOVE to come, but really can’t afford it with their student loans and their rent payments? Is it fair to ask them to come, knowing that it will set them back, or they won’t be able to?

Just because Vegas is fun?

Baking 10 dozen cupcakes is going to be much easier than planning this wedding.

So I Say It’s My Birthday

December 11, 2008

Because it is.

I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly found time to get excited about it. Normally I’m bouncing off the walls because all I can think is, OMG BIRTHDAY!!!!

December came on so fast, and it made me realize that now November is over and I missed the birthdays of one of my BFFs and my cousin’s baby. Sigh, I suck.

I think I keep forgetting it’s my birthday. So I’m going to keep reminding myself. Because of all the days in the year, I should feel special and happy today. But dragging myself out of bed and into work at 7am is not ideal. Fortunately I get to leave at 11 and go to lunch at an as-of-yet undisclosed location with my dad. It’ll be somewhere downtown, so it’s got to be good. Then he’s taking me shopping at that East Towne Women’s Resale shop in the Third Ward. I love that place. They have such awesome stuff. Usually their best stuff is pretty small, but if I can’t find some beautiful clothes, I know I can find some kind of cool, vintage-y accessory. And if not, my dad says I just get the cash. 😉

I made cupcakes last night to take to rehearsal tonight. Vanilla brown butter. YUM. I was in a rush, and my eggs may have curdled a bit. I tried one, and it still tastes good, but I was pissed. I just wanted to bake one yummy thing, and I didn’t even have time. I’m going to whip up a chocolate buttercream at my mom’s house this afternoon. Hopefully after today I won’t have to rely on her mixer anymore!

I did get a pair of silicone presents from David this morning. Haha, I just wanted to say it like that. I got a Sil-Pin silicone rolling pin and a Sil-Pat baking mat! The rolling pin is pink! I’m super grateful for the Sil-Pat, because there are a couple recipes that I’m looking at that specifically call for it’s use. And while I could probably get away with some combination of parchment paper and tin foil, this will be so much easier. Do you have any idea how much parchment paper I’ve gone through in the past couple months? It’s a little obscene.

So, I’m 24. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to saying that, because it was just a couple months ago that I couldn’t remember if I was 22 or 23. I know 24 is still pretty young, but I am of course plagued with how far along I “should be” in life. I mean, I could be about 1/3 done with my life right now! Okay, that’s just scary and might make me puke or cry.

I’ve been PMS-y all week which has put me into an awful emotional state. I’ve cried a lot, over nothing at all. And yet I feel like I need to cry some more! I can’t wait to have those birth control hormones coursing through me once again. </end random rant>

So as much as today sucks for having to work, even 4 hours, I am full of anticipation for tonight and this weekend. My mom is making me dinner and cake (CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!) and tomorrow I get to dress up for my work Christmas party, and then meet friends for martinis. And on Saturday David and I will FINALLY get our Christmas tree and do some decorating. And I get to have dinner at Cubanitas and drink all the mojitos I want.

I’m glad I wrote this. Now I’m feeling all happy happy joy joy. YAY BIRTHDAYS!

PS. A happy birthday shout-out to my favorite people to share a birthday with me, Jeff and Greg. Is it a little strange that David, and his sister Sandy, are both with people who were born on December 11th? As if this time of year wasn’t crazy enough. Also, I’m sorry to all who have to come up with birthday and Christmas gifts in such rapid succession.

Cupcake Madness

November 5, 2008

So, now that politics is mostly done punching us all in the face like an attention-starved child, I will recap a cupcake baking spree I went on with some friends.

Cristina’s friend Jenny was getting married on October 31st. She must be a very laid back bride, because she just wanted some friends to make some cupcakes instead of having a wedding cake. Due to my baking obsession and access to an additional stand mixer, I got invited to help out. We were very disorganized, deciding on what cupcakes to bake on the night we were baking them, purchasing ingredients, not starting baking until after 7!! Sandy volunteered her kitchen for us all, and everything turned out great.

We decided on doing basic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, and making a variety of frostings. We used this cupcake recipe, minus the apple pie filling, and this chocolate cupcake recipe, minus the filling. We also made this chocolate orange vegan recipe.

We split into two “teams” of two and went to work on the vanilla and chocolate. I had made the vanilla before, so I wanted to try the chocolate. I made a couple mistakes by not reading the recipe thoroughly enough, but everything turned out just fine!

The batter was kind of runny, which worried me a little, but wasn’t a problem. Also, this batter was not that tasty before being cooked. But the cupcakes tasted delicious!

The other team made some mistakes in mixing up the vanilla batter too, but nothing unfixable. In fact, it turned out great! And the batter was yummy enough that we all had to try it.
    

After making a huge mess in Sandy’s kitchen, all the cupcakes were in the oven or cooling on the counter top. We sampled one of each, you know, for quality control. I call this piece Relaxed, happy bride, with mess:

Then it was on to frosting. We decided on five flavors:
-Basic Cream Cheese
-Nutella Cream Cheese
-Peanut Butter
-Butterscotch
-Vegan “Buttercream”

We started with the basic cream cheese, from a recipe that Sandy found. It made a HUGE amount, so we split it in half and started scooping in Nutella to the other half. Well, and into our mouths.

Though there’s not much that can make Nutella much better than eating it straight out of the jar, this made a frosting worth offering to the gods.

And licking off every square centimeter of beater and bowl.

Then we got to my favorite. I don’t actually know how a frosting surpassed the Nutella frosting, but my peanut butter frosting did it. I was planning on using this recipe for the frosting, but we didn’t have any cream cheese left. So here’s about what I did:

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
–1 stick of butter (8 TBSP)
–1/4 cup-1/2 cup of peanut butter (I used a well mixed natural creamy peanut butter. I probably used just over 1/3 cup. You don’t want the texture to be sticky or runny, but you want a lot of peanut butter flavor)
–2 cups of powdered sugar (can add more if the frosting is too runny)
–1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
–1/8 teaspoon fine salt
–I added about 1 TBSP of heavy whipping cream while beating.

Directions:
Beat butter in mixer until smooth. Add peanut butter. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth and fluffy, adjusting amounts if necessary.

SO easy, and so delicious!! I licked the bowl and beater, and kept going back to the pile of fluffy frosting for more. I gave myself such a stomach ache, but it was so tasty!

The colors are kind of off in my picture, but the finished chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. And Cristina’s sprinkles.

The fourth frosting was a fuchsia butterscotch buttercream. Why pink? Why not! I made this using a regular vanilla buttercream frosting, but swapped out the vanilla extract with a concentrated butterscotch flavoring.

The vegan frosting DID NOT turn out. It just was a weird lumpy mess. Who wants to eat a frosting made with margarine anyway? Jenny’s vegan guest couldn’t make it anyway, so we frosted the vegan cupcakes with the basic cream cheese frosting. The vanilla cupcakes were frosted with the butterscotch or Nutella, and the chocolate cupcakes got Nutella or peanut butter.

Cupcakes were still being decorated when I finally had to leave after 10:30. I was exhausted but had a total sugar high. The cupcakes were nothing fancy, but I bet they tasted delicious and I hear the guests liked them. And… it was FUN!!

Halloween and Baking

October 29, 2008

Okay, here we go. Some pictures. These are from the last two weeks or so. I still have things to talk about from even further back, but that will have to wait again!

I have been baking like a madwoman. Why? Because this baby has been in my kitchen for the last two weeks:

My mom’s Kitchen Aid mixer. Sure, I can bake things without a mixer, but this puppy makes the impossible possible. Including creaming butter and sugar, because I do not have Popeye muscles. This is probably to me what pictures of sexy sportcars are to men:

So I have been baking up a storm. Since I borrowed the mixer, here is a list of what I have made, along with pictures, if I remembered to take them, and some comments.

For Bosses Day, I made Apple Pie Cupcakes (again) for my work and Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies for David’s work. They were all a big hit.

Then I attempted to make Slime Filled Cupcakes for Sandy’s Halloween Party. I had never made a lime curd, or even a lemon curd before, so I was really wandering into uncharted territory. At first, things seemed fine.

But as it cooled, it turned into this lumpy green jello stuff. And it tasted TERRIBLE. It was like lime x1000. It was just sick. So at the last minute, I had to switch my game plan. I had already made the cupcakes and the green buttercream frosting from that recipe, but I wanted it to be a little more special. So I filled them with chocolate buttercream frosting from this recipe. They were still a big hit. The cupcake batter was pretty easy and tasty. They were pretty light and fluffy. I would definitely use that batter again.

I made these Margarita Cupcakes for a party I had during the week. I know someone took pictures of them, so I’ll have to share later. Yeah, it uses a box mix, but it also uses real tequila. They were not your typical cupcake, but they were tasty.

I had a whole bunch of leftover chocolate and vanilla frosting, so I thought I’d try out another cupcake recipe to use it up. Later that week I made Vanilla Brown Butter Cupcakes. OMFG SO GOOD!! This might be my favorite recipe yet! The cakes were very dense and rich. And… they don’t even use the mixer! So I can still make cupcakes when I finally have to give it back. Surprisingly, they were totally amazing with the chocolate frosting. I had never browned butter before, and must have had beginners luck, because it was almost perfect. SO GOOD!

I made these Apple Hand Pies(or as I like to say, pocket pies) over the weekend. We had some friends over to carve pumpkins and eat them. These things are AWESOME. The dough was a lot of work, and I know I can do better, but it was worth it. The final result was so tender and flaky and warm and just.. MMMM!! It’s not a great way to use up my apples though, as I only used three for the recipe.

Also on Sunday I made Oatmeal Jumbos. They did not turn out very jumbo. I needed to use up some chocolate chips and some mini peanut butter cups. The cookies were good, but I think the batter got too warm, I over mixed it, or my baking soda is bad. Or all three. They were very flat. But they were still tasty. It made a HUGE amount of cookies. David and I both took a bunch to work, and they didn’t last long.

Monday night I made good old Chocolate Chip cookies. I’m pretty sure my baking soda has given out on me, because these again weren’t as thick as I had expected. They were still plenty chewy and delicious. Are they the best chocolate chip cookies ever? Quite possibly. I just bought more baking soda, so I will be trying these out again soon.

Also on Monday night I made up the dough for Shortbread Cameo cookies from my Sweet Miniatures book. The dough is in my fridge, just waiting to be cooked up.

 

Sandy’s  Halloween Party was super fun. I left a little early to finish up the night at a friend’s bachelorette party after I didn’t win the costume contest!! That’s okay, I was close. Being an election year, there were a number of political costumes. I went as Sarah Palin and David went as Joe the Plumber.

The “redneck” was wearing a wifebeater that said “GOD IZ REPUBLICAN” and the “clown” had a sticker that said “Votin’ for McPainin’.” Ohh, funny people.

There was also a hockey mom.

And Peanut Butter Jelly Time. And a Ceiling Fan.

And even the USA.

His costume was interactive. He has a real tattoo of Wisconsin on his back. So he brought markers and we all got to finish the US across his body. Hilarious.

The rest of my party pictures can be found HERE. And Cristina, apparently I stopped caring about taking pictures after I started mixing rum with my punch. So I missed a lot of action and a lot of people and a lot of costumes. 😛

Finally, check this out. It’s hilarious!!

Money Thoughts

October 14, 2008

I just had two little cavities filled yesterday. And I’ll have to have TWO more appointments for cavities. It was my first time getting a filling, and I’m not looking forward to having it done two more times. I’m getting so sick and tired of having my mouth messed with. I know it has to be done so it doesn’t turn into something worse, but ENOUGH already!! I’ve always had problems with my teeth. I had braces for a long time and had teeth pulled to make room for adult teeth when I was little. Now it involves wisdom teeth and cavities. Fun stuff. Expensive stuff.

David’s birthday is “coming up.” I use quotation marks because my birthday is before his! But as much fun as I like to have for my birthday, I will be happy with a nice dinner and lots of cake. HIS birthday is the big thing. It’s his golden birthday! And we want to do something cool. He’ll be 27 on March 27th. If you’re big on numbers and numerology, that’s turning 27 on 03/27/09. Neato!

So we’ve been discussing what to do. First we were considering a week in Disney World, but are thinking it’s too expensive. So now we’re thinking about a long weekend in Chicago. Rent is coming to Chicago the first weekend of April, and that is when we want to go! We’d go on a Thursday and stay until Sunday. We’d go to a couple of museums and possibly go to a taping of this radio show David loves, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Between hotels and transport and sights and food (trying to keep it cheap but splurging on one nice meal) it could cost about $950, not including spending money. That is a lot of money. Wow. About half of what Disney could cost, sure, but it’s only for three nights!

Plus we want to do something in Milwaukee on his birthday night. We’re thinking Potawatomi Casino. We could do a reasonable dinner for just the two of us, and then meet up with a bunch of friends for some gambling fun. It would be awesome to go with more than the $50 we have brought in the past. Maybe $100 each? We also have enough time to learn how to play more than slots. I’d love to spend a long time at the gaming tables, maybe playing craps and blackjack.

I feel like I always get special stuff and good presents and that David just takes such great care of me. He deserves an awesome time like this. Like a lot of guys, he’s not big on the birthday stuff, but he is excited about this. And he should be! It’s an exciting birthday and an excuse for a birthday celebration like he has never dreamed of.

He should be getting a decent tax refund, and I am due to get a nice bonus in March (if this economy messes with that, there are not words for how pissed I will be). I have about $500 in a CD that matures in February. So none of this will really have to go on a credit card, which is nice. I just have a mental block about spending all that money in one go, especially when I know it should go towards my credit card debt.

Okay, so here are numbers… we’re optimistically guessing David’s refund to be around $1,000. My bonus should be around $1,200. So if we take his refund and my $500 CD, I could put my whole bonus as a credit card payment, and we could have a $1,500 birthday bonanza. I guess that’s not the end of the world. As long as I don’t daydream about ALL that money ($2,700[!!!!]) going towards my credit cards. But it wouldn’t anyway, because that refund is HIS refund. If he’s putting it all in for birthday fun, the least I can do is contribute the $500.

Okay, I think I just needed to type that all out. It’s still a little scary, but I think it’ll be worth it, right? It means my credit cards won’t be paid off immediately, and maybe that “dream” wedding will be pushed back (though lately, again, I’m considering the whole eloping/destination thing) but I have to find that balance between living in the moment and planning for the future. And I think we could do a lot worse than this.

Am I being stupid with my money? Feel free to tell me if you think so. It’s hard to take a step back from a personal situation like this.

Four Years Ago

October 1, 2008

I started dating this goofy guy. I didn’t want to be in a relationship, and I wasn’t sure where it would go. We hung out and were friends, but I wasn’t thinking about the future. How that all changed, I’ll never know, but I remember the week that I fell head-over-heels in love with him. I don’t know how it happened, but at the start of the week, I was scared, worried, cautious. At the end of the week, late on a Friday night, he asked me again.

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

My heart was bursting with “YES!!!” and my mind finally let me forget all the fears and questions I had and I actually said it.

The last four years have not been all puppies and rainbows, but it’s been pretty close. We talk about EVERYTHING and I think that will get us through the next 40 years. And then some.

It’s amazing to feel just as passionately in love now as I did then. I feel like I’m still in that “honeymoon” stage, especially when we’re cuddled up close to each other. I know, it’s terribly sappy, but it’s true. We have brought out the best in each other and pushed one another to grow and try new things. It’s great!

The most recent example of that: David suggested we go get sushi tomorrow to celebrate. Because HE WANTS IT!!! Finally! So tomorrow we’ll be exploring sushi at Japanica. Yummy!

And now, to make this a little less sappy, here are some pictures.

From the first year of our relationship. I think this was around Christmas. When my blonde hair still looked okay.

From cutesy and dorky (we coordinated his tie with my dress):

To the skanky and retarded. Sorry, this picture had to be posted.

From the scary faces…

To the silly faces…

And the silly moments

And all the laughter

And love…

I can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We’ll take on the future together. And it’ll be awesome.

Exciting Stuff

September 18, 2008

I am thisclose to getting to go to the Packer game on Sunday. They play the Cowboys. If anything, it should be an exciting game. My coworker’s brother has extra tickets, and I’m getting them, if she can get a hold of him and they’re still left. I’m completely on the edge of my seat about this. I’m trying not to have high hopes, because I got badly burned on some Packer tickets last year. But still, I’m really afraid that I’m going to be disappointed by the end of the day.

And if I’m not? I’ll probably be the happiest girl in the metro area. Even though I’ll pretty much have to eat Ramen Noodles for every meal until my next payday.

David and I are going to see the Brewers play on Wednesday, courtesy of my dad. We will be in the FIRST ROW on the 3rd base side. Hopefully the Brewers can come out of this slump they’ve been in!

I just placed a huge order on Barack Obama’s website. I ordered over 20 of these:

The Obama campaign offices are consistently out of the yard signs, and it was suggested we just order online. In order to make it a little more efficient, and save on costs and energy, I sent out notice to friends and family, asking if they’d like a sign. The response was overwhelming! I also ordered 8 bumper stickers and a couple other items.

There might  be something left over that I can give my youngest sister, as she, at the tender age of 13, likes Obama. It’s cute, and a little surprising since my family rarely talks politics and my parents have voted Republican for the last twenty years. Four years ago, during the Bush vs Kerry race, she decided she liked John Kerry. Where that came from, I have no idea, but that’s what happened. I guess they were doing a mock election to learn about politics in her elementary school, and she made the choice to vote for Kerry. I was shocked, since my parents’ large, prominent yard was host to an equally large, prominent sign for Bush. Her friends parents are mostly republican and so are her friends who, like myself in my teenage years, assume that they have the same views as their parents and choose to copy that. My little sister is so strange, in so many ways, but it’s things like this that give me faith that she’ll grow up to be a strong, healthy, smart person. NOT because she’s a 13-year-old democrat, but because she’s out there, thinking for herself.

And finally, David and I are going camping this weekend! We’re headed to the Kettle Moraine on Friday after work. We both come from major camping families, but this will be the first camping trip either of us have been on in years.  And our first one together. It will be a lot of fun, but it’s a little… interesting. Since we both have done a TON of camping with our families, we have very distinct ideas of what we need and how things should be done. Like his family never used bungee cords, whereas my family would get my dad bungee cords for his birthday! It’s silly little things like that; things that are so ingrained into us, that we can’t help but think that “my way” is the best way. It’s kind of funny when I step back and look at it. We’ve talked about this, and agreed not to kill each other and to just have fun this weekend. It’ll be an adventure, and we’ll be able to just hang out in nature and enjoy each other’s company. I’m so excited for that! Oh, and I’m extra excited to sit in front of a campfire with him while I make myself some s’mores. Only myself, since he doesn’t like s’mores. Who doesn’t like s’mores?!??!!! See what I mean…?

There Goes My Political Career

September 12, 2008

Not like I really wanted one.

As I’ve mentioned on here before, I’m part of The Warped Cast, which is kind of an offshoot of our local Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, Sensual Daydreams. If you’ve never seen Rocky Horror at the Oriental Theater at midnight, it’s kind of hard to explain. It’s called “shadow casting” and it involves a group of people “acting” out a movie while it’s playing on the big screen. Why? I don’t really know. Usually it’s done with ridiculous movies and it’s like a way to act out and mock all the dumb-ass-ery that the movie entails.

The cool thing is that it has introduced me to some crazy people that I now call my friends.


(Yes, I had been drinking.)

In our most recent production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I played the very boring, very lame Mrs. Bucket. While the Rocky Horror group is all about “screen accuracy,” we are more about making sure our audiences just have a great time. There aren’t “call back” lines for these movies like there are for Rocky Horror, so we have to make our own funnies.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the terrible, horrible, boring song “Cheer Up Charlie,” and if you’re not, it’s probably because you’re like 98% of the population who fast-forwarded that part of the movie when you watched it. Needless to say, we couldn’t have two minutes and thirty seconds of awfulness fill the theater during this part of the movie, so we all brainstormed ways to make it better.

It sure was better. Lets just say I did a sort of “special dance” while pretending to sing the song. Audiences went from chanting “fast forward” to cheering. It worked.

It’s on You Tube. I vaguely remember someone saying they recorded it, and I vaguely remember agreeing to allow it to be put on the internets. But today was the first time I thought to look for it, and the first time I saw myself acting a fool. I shook my head in shame, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh.

I’m not going to link it here, but if you’re truly curious, I have given you enough info to find it on your own. But then you can’t blame me for watching it. Okay, it’s really not that bad, and there’s no nudity or anything like that, so get your minds out of the gutter.

And on that note, come see our production of CLUE at midnight on September 26th or 27th.

Weekends

September 8, 2008

Best thing this weekend: My sister was in town! That’s always fun times. This is picture is from her 21st birthday, but appropriately expresses our glee.

Worst thing this weekend: Having to depart from drinking with my family early to pick David up from the east side after he locked his keys in the car at midnight. Oh, and have I mentioned he sprained his ankle last week and is/was on crutches? Yeah, ’cause he did.

Craziest thing this weekend: Helping my mom with my youngest sister’s 13th birthday party. Thankfully only about 12 of the 19 kids invited were able to make it. But it was still 4 hours of complete insanity.

Second best thing this weekend: Spending alone time with David on Sunday evening. We started watching Heroes on Netflix. We watched one episode and are already hooked! David also finished reading Ender’s Game to me. What an awesome and crazy book! I’m really liking curling up in bed and having a book read to me. It’s so much fun! It’s a good way to wind down at the end of the day. We’re going to read something a little lighter and fluffier next, but we might make our way back to the Ender series in a couple months. We also decided to read scary stories in October. Specifically, Edgar Allen Poe stories. I CAN’T WAIT!! I LOVE POE!! LOVE!!!

Exciting thing about next weekend: I will be driving up to Eau Claire with my youngest sister to hang with Samantha all weekend. We might go “floating” down the river if it’s warm. Otherwise we’ll drive to the Mall of America and spend Saturday shopping. We’ll leave kind of early on Sunday because…

Music thing next weekend: The Iraq Moratorium is presenting a benefit concert at The Coffee House(on 19th and Wisconsin) featuring my own David Kaye! He will be joined by his “band,” Chuck (aka The Electric Moustache), and local singer-songwriter Brett Kemnitz. It’s technically free, but donations will help keep this grassroots organization going. I’m really excited to hear some of David’s great songs.

Drunkest thing a couple weekends ago: David and I went to the Milwaukee Wine Festival. It was hot and drunk. We each got 10 tasting samples, but David only had like, 4 of his. So I had 16. Wait no, I had 15 and gave the last ticket to a cute couple. My order of 5 of my favorite wines will be coming in this week to my local Sendiks. YUMMY!!!

David, having TONS OF FUN playing the musical bench outside of Discovery World.

FUN, can’t you tell?

He was SO not amused

But I was!

Pretty!!

Afterwards we went out for sushi with Sandy, Jeff, and Jac.

It’s weird getting drunk in the middle of the afternoon. I think I started getting a hangover after dinner. Everything was blurry.

We all enjoyed this signage FAIL next to Japanica

Ahhh, good times.

Catch Up

September 5, 2008

This will be a long one. But there will be pictures! This is what happens when I have to catch up on some pictures and stories from a couple weeks ago…

The story behind my cousin Nikole is a long one. She’s a few months younger than me, and we’ve grown up together. When we were young, her family moved up north, but we were always close. After graduating high school, I helped her move to Milwaukee and we were BFFs all over again. But she’s one of those people that I need limited doses of. She’s… exciting. We’ll say that. She met a guy at Summerfest who lived in Phoenix. After a couple visits and months of talking, she decided to move there. It was a good fit, and she always wanted to live somewhere warm. Well, things didn’t work out and she moved home. They missed each other, and long story short, she lives back out there and they now have a 9 month old child.
 
We’ve seen each other a couple times since then, and it’s always been crazy. I love her, no doubts about that, but she’s exhausting sometimes!

Her younger sister is getting married next fall, and she wanted to get all the bridesmaids together to do a little planning and dress shopping. We picked a weekend and Nikole (to our delight) planned to fly in from Arizona. And by herself! Not that I don’t love her little boy, or her boyfriend, but after 9 months of baby, she needed some free time!!
 
She was supposed to get in on Thursday night, at 11:55. Fortunately my dad offered to pick her up and have her stay at his place that night, because her flight was delayed and she didn’t get in until 2 am! I met them at Hector’s for dinner after work, and had a fun night. I went out with some friends at Trocadero and then met up with David, Nikole, my dad, my dad’s brother, and some of their friends at Euro Bar. From there, we went to La Cage. It was a good time, though going out with my dad is always an interesting event. The nice thing is he pays for everything and knows how to have a good time, the bad thing is he’s my DAD!

When he FINALLY got out of the cage, Nikole and I went up and danced for a while. There were two hot, half-naked, sweaty dudes making out with each other right next to us. It was weird and awesome at the same time. Nikole almost got picked up by a pretty, though very butch woman, who smelled really nice.

I love La Cage because they play good music, and (almost) everyone is nice, friendly, and is just there to dance and have a good time! There was one downfall this time. A very creepy dude kept following our group around. There were these two girls in our group (somehow friends of a friend of my dad…) who were drop dead gorgeous. I’m talking, model beautiful. They probably were models. I think they were Russian. Oh, and to top it off, they were SO nice and friendly, even though I just met them that night!! Needless to say, eyes were on them wherever we went.

So anyway, this creepy dude kept trying to rub up on them. In a nasty way. As one girl put it, “That guy just rubbed his little boner on me.” But in a Russian accent. David, the perfect gentleman, got our dancing circle turned around so that the boys were between creepy dude and all the girls. (Also, when I confessed to Nikole that I was maybe feeling a little drunkenly whiny about David having spent all evening with these maybe-models, she told me that he barely looked at them and talked to her all night. Nice! 🙂 Hell, even I could barely stop looking at them!)

When creepy dude tried to dance with one of the model girls again, she said no thanks, and we moved to a different part of the dance floor. He eventually made his way over there! After a while of sitting on the sidelines, staring at the model girls, trying to dance, and getting rejected, he moved onto Nikole. He came up behind her and tried to dance with her. She turned around and yelled in his face, “NO!!!!! Can’t you take a hint?! NOOO!!!!”

He left us alone after that. It was fantastic.

I’ve never had an experience like that at La Cage. Why would a straight dude come there to try to pick up chicks?? Any chick who is there is either gay, or just looking to have fun with friends and DANCE (or both)!! Not find a dude to go home with. DUMB.

The next morning we got up to drive to Madison to do some dress shopping at David’s Bridal. This took pretty much ALL DAY. It was fun, and I was excited because Samantha (my sister)

was coming down from Eau Claire for it too. The bridesmaids are me, Nikole, Samantha, and two friends of Katie’s. Only one friend showed up, and Katie was half an hour late, despite the fact that she lives the closest!

She spent somewhere around two hours trying on dresses. We all enjoyed it, but we were just itching to try on our own dresses! There were two finalists, but this is the one that really made Katie happy. It will be in “Cornflower Blue.” I think it’ll be great.

The rest of us decided it was time to get in on the dress action. By this point, we pretty much had the store to ourselves. We all grabbed armfulls of dresses. Katie wanted floor length, and blue, but we were free to choose our own styles. Somehow, we all looked best in the same style, so we’re all going with the same dress anyway!

So, admittedly, part of why I was excited about trying on dresses was my weight loss. I went bridal gown shopping at DB several months ago, and was disappointed by how things fit me. I was excited to get into a smaller size and hopefully be happier with the way I looked. It happened! This dress is a 14! It didn’t zip up ALL the way in the back, but it fit in the waist! When we order in January, I’ll confidently order a 14, but by September, I’m hoping to have it altered down to at least a 12!

We tried on several other styles. This one made us feel like pageant girls. It didn’t quite jive with everyone, but Nikole liked the black and white version. The colors I’m wearing are Katie’s colors. Our dresses will be the color of the light blue inset.
 (PS- This was a 14 that DID zip up!)

The rest of the evening was spent driving around the little BFE towns up there and visiting family. We stopped by our grandparents’ house and her parents’ house. It was a treat to see everyone, since I usually see these people only a couple times a year. However, by the time we left to head back to Milwaukee, it was around 11:00! We were in Westfield, which is about 2.5-3 hours from Milwaukee if you drive the speed limit. Nikole wanted to get to MKE and still have time to party, so I floored it. We parked downtown at around 1 AM. Good lord. I dislike driving in the country, especially in the dark, especially while speeding.

So after HOURS in the car, I’m one big ball of stress, but we meet up with my dad at Euro Bar. But Nikole doesn’t like their music. But it’s already nearing 2AM! I wanted to just go home, but we finally leave in search of a “better” place. I certainly wasn’t going to pay cover to dance in a place for a matter of minutes, but we wandered Milwaukee St to see if anywhere “cooler” was still open. Everything was closing. She finally had to accept that we were just going to go home. After that crazy day, it was hard for me to believe that she wasn’t leaving until TUESDAY.

Sunday was nice. We had brunch with my dad, sister, uncle and other cousin. It was kind of funny that all this family happened to be in town on the same weekend. The best part is Leila and Sophia wanted to order a Bloody Mary like the grown ups. So they got a Virgin Mary. It was NOT what they thought it was (maybe they were picturing Mimosas?) and didn’t drink any of it. Growing up too fast FAIL!

Monday morning I dropped Nikole off at her grandparents’ house before I went to work. After work I picked her up and we went to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousins in Stallis. The plan was to stay there for an hour, max, after which we would pick up Kopps for us, and David, and head back to my place. Well, she wanted to hang out with a friend, but he lives in Oconomowoc. She asked if I could drive her out there. (?!?!) It was after 6 already, so NO, I was not doing that. It would be easier for him to pick her up from Stallis, but he was doing something and she could not get ahold of him. WTF?

After lots of back and forth and not knowing what was going on, she finally just told me to go and leave here there and she’d make him come get her. It was about 7:30 when I left. I was PISSED. The whole point of going to Kopps was for her, but I had promised David that I’d get dinner. And now I wanted Kopps anyway! So I drove out to pick it up. It was dark by the time I got home. SUCK.

After eating and watching the Olympics, we decided to get to bed early. As we were getting ready we hear the front door. Nikole comes up with this friend of hers!! If she had asked if he could come over, I would’ve said yes, but it was a big surprise to have a random dude show up with her. Whatever. He wasn’t going to stay for long and it gave me the perfect excuse to get to bed early.

Tuesday morning. The end was in sight! I dropped her off at my mom’s house before I went to work so my mom could take her to the airport in the mid afternoon.

I get a voice mail from her around 2:00, telling me to call her. I assumed she forgot something, so I gave her a call. Oh, she forgot something all right. Her return flight wasn’t on Tuesday. It was on WEDNESDAY.

Oh dear lord. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I did a little of both. Sure enough, after work, she called asking if I wanted to do something that night. I had my final Pole 2 class, and wasn’t about to skip it. I apologized, and told her she was on her own. After the class, I called her to find out how she was going to get to the airport. Being the nice, patient, understanding soul that I am, I took an hour of my precious, dwindling vacation time to have a two hour lunch to get her to the airport.

And with that, the whirlwind was over. I love her, but the crazy drama never fails to surface with her. And maybe that’s part of why I love her. Who else, with a job, a baby, and a boyfriend in another state, would not know the exact time and date of her return flight?! But she’s my family, she’s my friend, and I’ll miss her until we see each other again.