Archive for the ‘Nostalgic’ Category

Hello Winter

November 11, 2008

Even though temperatures were in the 70s less than a week ago, I think I am ready for winter. Winter was always my favorite season. Now that I’m an adult (Ha, kind of…) it has lost a bit of its luster. But only a tiny bit! Snow is not as magical because I have to shovel it and drive in it, but it’s still pretty fantastic. Lets just say that I’m not dreading the first white ground covering.

Good bye Halloween, perhaps my second most favorite holiday.
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I don’t remember if I bragged about these yet, but these are Vampire Cupcakes. Perfect for Halloween. Or, sigh, your crazy “Twilight” movie watching parties.
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I’m not going to talk about my favorite holiday yet, because I don’t do that stuff until the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, I’m actually kind of starting early because I am going to bake tons of cookies for gifts. And eating. And that stuff has to be done in advance, especially since I will be in a show this December!

My other favorite holiday is, of course, my birthday. Which is EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!!!!! Wow. Kind of scary. The number is… well, young, I know. But I will officially be in my mid-twenties. And that freaks the crap out of me! Not because I’m “old” but because I feel like I should be more grown up by this age, and be more accomplished, and blah blah blah.

I’m less concerned now with presents than I was a month ago, because now my number one wish is to go on a ski trip with some friends to Indianhead Mountainin mid January. AND I am planning on getting my season rental this week! It is really more than I should spend, but I’m giving up an awesome and expensive birthday dinner for it. Maybe we’ll go out for apps and drinks at Cubanitas instead…

I just thought I’d post this on here. My wishlist is almost exclusively baking stuff, which is kind of funny. But I neeeeeeeed it!
My Amazon.com Wish List

So YES, bring it on winter!!

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.

Dreams

September 25, 2008

First off, I’m not going to forget to do this. I was given my second blog award (I am totally lame and forgot to blog about the first one) by Ginesa.

I have to thank her, because if anyone’s blog is encouraging, it’s hers! We found each other, thanks to the internets, and have enjoyed cheering each other on in our weight loss journeys. She is doing GREAT! Not only is she losing weight, but she’s training for a race and doing a kickass job on her runs. Plus she has an adorable daughter who just turned one, and posts pictures often. Yay babies!!

Okay, now that I have remembered to write about that…

I had a dream a couple months ago about a bakery. I’m unclear as to whether I owned it, or was just a customer. It could best be described as a dessert bar. It was decked out in black and pink and had a modern, yet whimsical and a not-too-girly feeling to it. Kind Alice-in-Wonderland-ish. It was in a part of town that was part nightlife/part college area. Although it happened to look just like this street of gay bars that I visited in Thailand.

There were big comfy couches and booths where groups of young adults picked off large trays of gourmet goodies. Fancy versions of youthful desserts like Oreos, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Twinkies, and other treats like cookies and cupcakes. It was like a cafe, where people could come in, hang out, study, work, chat, and eat delicious desserts. Or they could place orders to go. It was cool. And it was open late.

I awoke with the insane urge to open this place.

A couple days after this dream, a coworker talked to me about a thought she had about opening a “Wonka Bar.” She had just seem us perform in “Willy Wonka” and had this idea of opening a bar that served candy-themed drinks. It fit in perfectly with my dessert bar idea. It could be called the “Candy Bar” and could serve all kinds of delicious desserts along with yummy drinks.

Just a couple weeks ago, after dinner with my dad and sister for her 13th birthday, we wanted to go get dessert. I racked my brain for places to get dessert, near downtown. We had just come from a restaurant. We didn’t want to go into another one just to order dessert. Kopp’s custard was far away. We didn’t want to go to a grocery store to get cupcakes and eat them in the car. We settled for gelato from Whole Foods. But eating gelato in a car on the way home was not the perfect way to end the night (though close, because Whole Foods’ gelato is yummy).

I started thinking, does Milwaukee really not have a cool place to go get dessert? Shouldn’t we have one? We have plenty of awesome bakeries, but those require planning and forethought. What if I want to GO OUT for dessert, at 9:00 at night? The closest thing I can think of is at the InterContinental, where you can order up some chocolate truffles or petit fours at $2 a pop. Good, but not quite what I’m looking for.

So now I’ve had this thought, this dream, of opening up a “dessert bar” in Milwaukee. I’m not the best baker, but I would learn. I’m pretty good, and if I had the time, I think I could develop quite a nice talent. But running a bakery? I don’t know… It sounds like a good idea sometimes, but then I think about all the potential problems.

How would I get started? Where would I find money/space? Would I be able to sell stuff? What about equipment? What about health insurance? What about health codes and regulations? What about the potential of financial ruin? What if no one thinks it’s as cool as I do? And so on…

I keep thinking about working towards it, though. Maybe devote my weekends to baking. Learning about it and trying out new recipes. I have a couple friends who own theatres. Maybe they would let me sell some treats on show nights. Maybe I could develop a small following. Maybe I could start a by-order-only business, and then hope for it to grow. Maybe… what if… what about…

I don’t feel like I’m cut out for the 8-5 job that I’m in right now. My creativity is stifeled. I need more. I want more. I deserve more. I wish I could jump into this RIGHT NOW. But I have to step back and think. Maybe I can go to MATC and get my associates business degree. I hear that gives you some good entrepreneurial information, and it wouldn’t take half a lifetime to finish. Maybe in five years, I can really start something. Or maybe in five years I’ll think it’s even more foolish than I do now.

And it’s time for my favorite Disney quote. Belle, from Beauty and the Beast sings,

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere; I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”

Road Trip!

September 12, 2008

Today, after work, I’m picking up my little sister and we’re road tripping to Eau Claire to visit my sister Samantha. While I’m not looking forward to the four hour drive, I am looking forward to hanging out with my sisters all weekend!

I’m not sure yet what we’ll do on Saturday. We’ll either go “floating” on the Chippewa River, which apparently is simply floating down the river in an inner tube. If it’s not too cold, that would be really fun. If it is too chilly, we’ll probably go to the Mall of America, as Minneapolis is only a short drive away. That would be so much fun! I’m trying to pass the interminable hours at work by browsing the mall directory. I don’t have that much money to spend, but shopping with my sisters is something I haven’t done in ages. Plus, they have Bloomingdales, which I love.

I’ll never forget my first experience with Bloomingdale’s. My dad took me to New York after my junior year of high school, I think in August of 2002. He was going on a business trip, and I got to go with. I was SO thrilled. He gave me his cell phone, and a map, and set me loose on the city. What an adventure! He had meetings the whole first day, and I was on my own. I saw Jane Curtin in a matinee of Noises Off and bought us tickets to see Phantom of the Opera that night. I stepped foot in my first Sephora, and marvelled in the gloriousness of Times Square.

The next day, we went to Bloomingdales, where I spent 5 hours on ONE of the 9 floors. I tried on so many beautiful clothes, with labels that I had only read about in magazines. My dad was floored by the prices, but I somehow convinced him to buy me a beautiful Anna Sui blouse that ran well over $100. It was incredible. It threw me into a full blown love affair with the Big Apple. Maybe it’s silly to have those kinds of memories tied up in a department store, but I can’t help it. Everytime I think of Bloomingdales, those memories with my dad are not far behind.

I’ll have to find pictures of that trip and talk about all the fun I’ve had in NYC over the years. The shoes, the shopping, the shows… Oh, and can I mention that on that trip I saw Molly Ringwald and John Stamos perform in Cabaret, one of my most favorite musicals? ‘Cause I did. And I saw John Stamos’ butt (he was the Emcee). Yes, it was fantastic (the show and the butt).

Is it 5:00 yet?!

What Is Important

September 11, 2008

On this, the SEVEN year anniversary of the attack that brought down the twin towers, I can’t help but feel a little different. I can’t help but think about what I’m doing and what is truly important to me.

Also, I still can’t think about that day without losing my breath and tears forming in my eyes. I didn’t know anyone who was injured, or worse, that day, but my heart just breaks for those who were, and the families that are still reeling from the events.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget where I was when I found out, or how that day felt. I remember watching the coverage in the evening, sitting alone at the kitchen table, trying to do my math homework. I remember my mom keeping my (then 6-year old) little sister in the den, with the TV on PBS, because they were running the normal after-school cartoons. I remember feeling lucky and grateful that my dad’s flight to New York City was scheduled to leave at around noon that day, rather than the early morning flights he was usually on. I remember crying, a lot.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. If anything can be gained from this, let it be that the empathy and spirit of Americans can continue, and we can save and use the best parts of ourselves from those days. Patriotism is not liberal or conservative and neither is compassion. It’s human.

Confronted with our mortality, what is important to us? If we were to die tomorrow, would we be happy with what we’ve done and what we have?

I know that I am not ready to leave this earth. I still have a lot of life to live and a lot to figure out, but I do know that I feel confident in what I’m trying to do and where my priorities are.

  1. Love
    It wasn’t hard for me to realize that love is the single most important thing to me. And because of this, I am SO happy and SO grateful that I have the most amazing person to love, and to love me back. As long as I have that, life can never be too terrible.
  2. Family
    My family is extremely important to me. I’m so happy that we’re all so close. As I grow, I feel their love and support behind me even more. I’m not totally and completely 100% sold on having a family of my own. But I think I will, and the idea really excites me.
  3. Career
    Here’s where I’m stuck. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! I was foolish for not finishing college when the opportunity was practically handed to me on a silver platter. As a result, I sometimes feel hopeless. I have a good, steady job that pays the bills, but it’s not where I see myself forever. But I don’t know where I see myself forever. I love theater, but am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’m just not good enough to make a living of it out there. That hurts, but I have to be honest and realistic. I love photography and I love baking, but I don’t think I know enough about either to run with the idea at this point in time. Going back to school for a degree in business would be the easiest option, but all I can do with that degree would be to hope to end up somewhere, and doing something, that I love. At 23, I know I have plenty of time to figure things out, but I’m frustrated in not having any great ideas at the moment.
  4. Money
    Let’s face it, money is important to most people. I can’t live without money. I would like to have more money. I would like to be able to pay off my debt and go to college and travel and have a wedding and a house and kids… but I would not trade money for any of the first three items on my list, and especially not the first two. As long as I have those, I know I’ll be okay.
  5. Cake
    While not a traditional basic need, as long as there is cake in this world, there is good in this world. I speak the truth.

If anything else is gained from the memory of this date, I hope it is that everyone can be reminded of what really matters.

Sunday Love

August 25, 2008

I have been needing a Sunday like this for a long time. It was a little bit of heaven that will keep me going through the week. David and I have been pretty busy lately, and haven’t been able to spend much quality time with each other. I can never get enough, but this weekend was pretty awesome for our couple time.

Sunday was almost magical. Simple, but wonderful.

David and I had been out late the night before, and so we slept in. It was noon before we were heading out the door. We (David) had made up a game relating to Obama’s Vice Presidential pick. Who he picked would determine what we would do. For example, if he had picked Sebelius, we would have rented a paddleboat down by the lake. If he somehow picked Clinton, we would have had to go to Great America! He picked Biden, and so we were supposed to build a fort in our living room, have an indoor picnic in there, and watch a scary movie.

Well, upon walking out to the car, I decided it was way too nice out to spend the day inside. I said we should have our picnic outside, by the lake. David didn’t seem over the moon about the idea, but he agreed. We decided to build our fort next weekend and watch a scary movie. We figured we’d drive to Whole Foods and buy our entire picnic lunch from there. Pricey? Yes, but delicious.

We wandered the aisles, tasting samples, and trying to pick which goodies to fill our cart with. When we tried some barbecued beef brisket, we knew we had to get those sandwiches. We steered our cart through the rest of the store, picking up grapes, Terra Crinkles Garlic Mashed potato chips, a tiny $3 piece of 10 year Wisconsin aged cheddar, a couple iced teas, and the best “healthy” cookies I’ve ever tasted, Grace’s Best Sunflower Seed Cookies.

From there, we drove down to the lakefront to look for the perfect picnic spot. We wanted to be a little secluded, and we needed some shade. The lakefront was pretty crowded, and where it wasn’t, it was smelly. We took a turn up towards Lake Park Bistro, thinking we’d find a spot at the top of the hill, overlooking the lake. Instead we made a right, towards the baseball diamond and big picnic areas. It was practically deserted.

We popped the trunk, hoping we had some sort of blanket back there (when we left the house, we weren’t really sure what we were doing, and so we didn’t prep at all). We had a sleeping bag and a big beach towel/blanket. We walked to a big tree in the middle of the grass and spread out our blankets. The sleeping bag gave us a little cushion against the ground.

This is when the magic really started. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was peeking through the branches of the tree, warming us, and a cool breeze kept us from getting hot. Our food was so delicious. We ate our sandwiches, and snacked on the rest while David read to me. He started reading the book Ender’s Game out loud to me a couple weeks ago. I had always meant to read that book, but never got around to it. So far, it’s pretty great! We stretched out on our blankets and I relaxed as his words poured over me. It was fantastic.

Except for ONE thing.

The spiders. There were several of them throughout our stay in the park. I was laying on my back, my head propped up on an extra blanket, and I saw movement. I looked down, and there was a SPIDER. ON MY BOOB. Sweet baby Jesus. I screamed about it and David was kind enough to remove it. Ick!! I hate spiders, and am terrified of them. I know I was out in THEIR territory, but any spider that came onto our safe haven of civilization, was quickly removed. Fortunately, after boob spider, none were quite as shocking.

Other than THAT, it was just awesome. Time seemed to stand still for us. David read a couple chapters to me, and we lay around, talking and holding hands and smiling. It was sick, really. There was hardly anyone near us. It was like we were in our own little world. We even moved the blanket so that my side was in a patch of sun, and his side was in the shade. I cuddled in his “nook,” in the sun, as he finished one last chapter for me.

When we finally decided we should get going, it was only just after 3:00. What?! We had only been there for a couple hours. It felt like so much longer, in the best possible way. It felt like time had slowed down, so we could enjoy hours and hours with each other, without the whole day being gone.

In the last 20 minutes or so of us laying there, a family had come to the picnic tables nearby. A mom, dad, a boy of about 10, and an (I’m assuming) adopted girl of about 4. I watched them as Dad ran around with the kids, playing frisbee. He and his son were teaching the daughter how to throw it and catch it. I saw her make a catch and she ran around cheering about it. David and I watched them play as we walked back to our car, arm in arm. It was one of the most adorable moments I’ve seen. I may have gotten a little teary eyed, thinking about taking our future family to a park for a late summer picnic. Of course we don’t know what our plans are for kids yet, but I can imagine us having a family that looks very similar to that one.

To anyone else, it was just a picnic. To us, it was the best day we’ve had in a long time.

The rest of the day was nice, but the memories of those couple hours will be with me for a long time. While curled up in bed, David asked me a question. We have been having some religious discussions for a while. He is very much NOT religious, but has been feeling that he wants to believe in something. I’ve been telling him about the things that I believe. Especially about heaven. He asked if that was what heaven was like. I thought about the love and warmth and peace that I felt out there. Yes, minus the spiders, yes, that is what heaven is like.

Persian Girls

July 2, 2008

I just finished this book on my lunch break today.

It was heart-breaking and eye-opening.

One of the critic quotes reads, “Nahid Rachlin’s memoir reads like a novel- suspenseful, vivid, heartbreaking.” I definitely agree with those three adjectives. I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to find out the whole story and to understand what her current perspectives are.

I did find, however, that it seemed autobiographical almost to a fault. There are some details that are glazed over and some time periods that are ignored. I was left wanting to learn even more. Of course, that would have made the book three times as long, I’m sure. The way it is written, and the story she tells, makes me trust her facts and opinions. It doesn’t seem like she made up any details to replace things that she didn’t know or remember. I can respect that very much.

To that effect, the reader is left only with what the author knows. And it’s unfinished in some ways. The final line of the book almost sent tears down my face. Somehow, after everything she went through, she was strong enough to write truthfully about her life.

What was personally interesting to me, was comparing the timeline of events to what I know of my father’s life. Nahid (I feel like she’s my friend after reading this, so we’re on a first-name basis now.) is older than my dad, but as she recalls events, I can try imagine where he was in his life at that time.

I don’t know how my grandparents did it, but it seems like they sent my dad and is brother to the US in the nick of time. The Iranian revolution happened in 1979 and it was right around that time that he came to the US. As the revolution continued, travel and communication between the US and Iran was nearly impossible. My dad was in high school during the hostage crisis in 1979-1981. In his first year there (in Adam’s Friendship, WI) he says he was a novelty. He was elected as homecoming king! But then things got very tense. The hostages were held for over a year and between hearing my dad’s stories and reading this book, things were not very good or easy for Iranians in the US at this time.

Another critic quote that I found to be accurate was this, “Hers is one of the voices that must be heard if Iranians and Americans are ever to understand each other.”Oh, this one gets me. Iranians are not bad people. Just as Americans are not bad people. But does each culture have some evil wackjobs? YES!

Her story starts in the 1950s. She talks about Iran oil and how people from other countries worked in refineries and other jobs. Most of them were American or British. The Shah at the time wanted to be modern and Westernized, but this caused a backlash among Iranian citizens. And I can’t really blame them. Americans and British were taking over jobs and money that an Iranian could work and earn. Earlier, Americans and British helped create a government police force that put the Shah into power and helped keep him there. They would execute those who dared speak out against him, and that kept getting worse as they gained more and more power.

In 1979 Khomeini took power and pulled Iran back into it’s religious roots. It seems to me that he got rid of all the good things the Shah did (like women’s rights, more religious freedom) and expanded on the bad (state controlled media, increased police power). No one Nahid talked to in the book was happy. They talked in hushed tones about how the current situation wasn’t what they fought and hoped for.

The government still presses down on people in Iran. They have the so-called “Moral Police.” If a man and woman are walking hand-in-hand, it is well within their rights to stop them and demand to see documents proving they are married, for that is the only way that behavior is allowed. It is my belief and understanding that very few people in Iran want to live like that. Times are changing. In my dad’s pictures from his trip to Iran, there are very few women who dare to wear anything but dark colors outside, and they always observe hejab, or the head scarf to cover their hair. But in the privacy of their own home, it’s another story. The scarf comes off and the bright, modern clothes shine.

I felt intensely connected to this book. The stories she shares are beautiful, although sometimes a little shocking (especially related to women’s rights and marriage). I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone just looking for a summer read, but I think her perspectives and opinions as an Iranian American are interesting, informative, and invaluable. Maybe now, more than ever.

Home Safe

June 9, 2008

After a wild and rainy weekend, my family is safe and sound. My sister’s 21st birthday was awesome and I’ll write about that once I get the pictures. We had a great time.

Yesterday my sisters and I went to Chicago to pick up my dad from O’Hare. He is back from Iran! We all went to Reza’s for dinner and listened to some of his stories. He showed us a video he made from the first part of his trip. It makes me want to go SO BADLY!! It might be a possibility. He and his brothers and his dad are looking into if it would be possible to bring the kids. That would be truly incredible. They also talked about getting that whole side of the family together at a resort in Turkey. I’d like that too, especially since David could come, but the idea of being able to go to Iran is front and center in my mind right now.

The video is long, and probably not THAT interesting if you’re not me, but here it is. It documents the travel to Ardabil (my dad’s birthplace in Northern Iran) to visit his grandmother (that would be my GREAT grandmother who is 90 and is still in reasonable health!). Take a look. If only for my cute and funny family.

 

Happy

June 2, 2008

I had a great weekend. Completely superfantastic. I couldn’t stop smiling last night while laying in bed. Normally I stress about waking up early, going to work, all the housework to be done, wondering if I forgot to do anything important, etc. But last night, I couldn’t even think about that stuff. I was just consumed by happiness and love. There was no room in my brain for negativity and it was such a fantastic feeling.

Friday night David and I went out to Osteria del Mondo with our double-date couple Chuck and Lisa. We had a great dinner from the Downtown Dining Menu. Between the four of us, we tried everything on the menu and trust us, you can’t go wrong! David and I both tried a new wine and I felt sophisticated while drinking my Soave and eating my veal chop.

We didn’t want our night to be too fancy-schmancy, so afterwards we went to Silk to spend the rest of my economic stimulus check on strippers and booze. David and I couldn’t stay out late, but we had a great time watching three bachelors get used and abused on stage. The pole work wasn’t mind blowing this time, but there were a few awesome moves. I don’t really know why we go here, but after a couple drinks it always sounds like a fun idea.

David and I had to call it an early-ish night so we could get some sleep for our early morning rehearsal (at 8:00!!) for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for The Warped Cast. Despite being so early and suffering a slight hangover, I managed to have fun. The people involved are so crazy, how could I not?

Nevertheless, I was glad to get out of there and get home to take a warm, hangover reducing shower. Originally we had planned to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum but I worried that my headachey self wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I should. Plus it was so nice out, we just had to get outside. We went down to the Third Ward and shopped at Broadway Paper (love it!!) while waiting for our table at Swig, another restaurant participating in Downtown Dining.

I actually ordered off the regular menu, in an attempt to stick to my diet, at least until dinner. I did try something new from them, however. I got the black bean cakes and the peppercorn crusted tuna. Both were great! David and I both were amazed at how delicious the black bean cakes were. We will probably order that one again!

After we were done with our leisurely outdoor lunch, we wandered the Third Ward. I finally got to go into Anthropology. I was in a little heaven. Everything was so pretty!! I didn’t bother to try anything on. I’m trying not to spend much money on clothing until I lose more weight. I don’t plan on being this size forever!

We also browsed Downtown Books and picked up a couple of copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to use for our show. I would have loved to wander all afternoon, but I had to get to my friend Lauren’s graduation party and still have time to get ready for dinner. We could only stay for an hour, but it was nice to see her and her family and her daughter who is getting so big!

After that we went back home and got ready to go out to Polaris (the rotating restaurant) with Sandy and Jeff, David’s sister and her husband. They are just back from a vacation in Paris and Berlin and we had to hear some of the stories. We had a wonderful meal, certainly the best one I’ve ever had there. And we had great conversation. We talked about travel and their trip and we talked about all four of us going to Disney World next year for David’s birthday. No, none of us are five years old.

I ordered the Strawberry Brioche dessert. It was SO GOOD. OMG! Flaky pastry with some sort of strawberry preserves and whipped cream. I knew it would send me into a sugar coma, but I risked it and ate the whole thing.

I was feeling tipsy on sugar and cosmopolitans by the time we left, but it was the perfect way to walk into a theater to see Sex and the City. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. In fact, I really enjoyed myself. Part of the fun of movies, especially one like this, is to imagine yourself in the characters’ shoes (and oh, the shoes!), so it’s no surprise to me that I spent half the movie crying and the other half laughing. If you liked the show, I think you’ll like the movie.

Despite what I thought was a lame ending, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And apparently it had a similar effect on David, because we got all shmoopy and hugged and kissed and talked about how we want to share our lives together and he’d never be nervous or scared or think twice about marrying me. It was sweet. 🙂

Sunday we slept in. I love being able to sleep yourself out. We got up and started getting ready to play Scatterball with some friends. This game is kind of like dodgeball and I’ve also heard it called Survivor. You get a group of people and a bunch of (SOFT, nerf-like) balls and a big open area. In our case, an area of Lake Park. Then you try to throw the balls at each other and hit people. If you get hit, you have to sit down, but you have to pay attention to who hit you, because when THEY get hit, you can get back up. If you catch their ball, they have to sit down and can’t get up until you get hit. In order to win, you have to hit everybody. It’s really a lot of fun and it was the perfect day for it.

Everyone brought some food or drink and between games we’d sit under the shade of a tree and eat, drink, and chat. Leila and Samantha, my sisters, and Leila’s friend joined us a little later. They were good! Leila actually participated! She is always sitting inside on the computer. It was good to see that her legs still worked.

After the game broke up and people started heading home they wanted to hang out at the beach for a while. David went home and I walked down to Bradford Beach with the girls. We all sat on the sand and enjoyed the sound of the water. Samantha and I played Tic-Tac-Toe in the sand and talked about all sorts of things. It was so nice to spend a relaxing afternoon with my sisters.

They dropped me off at home and David and I started making dinner. We planned to go over to my dad’s house to watch Iron Chef America because our cable was acting up. Paul Bartolotta was the challenger and he was taking on Mario Batalli. Paul Bartolotta is from Milwaukee and his Bartolotta restaurants are wonderful, including our favorite Milwaukee restaurant, Bacchus. To make things even more awesome, one of his sous chefs on the show was Adam Siegel, the head chef of Lake Park Bistro and Bacchus!

Bacchus was having a viewing party event that I wish we could have gone to. Chef Adam was recreating the whole five courses and there were TVs to watch the episode! Whenever we watch Iron Chef we always wish we could try the food. And we could have!! For $85 a person including wine. A great deal in my mind, but a little more than we could afford right now. The secret ingredient was rice and all the dishes on both sides looked fantastic. Batalli won, but only by one point in each category. Good job Bartolotta!

We came home and got ready for bed and cuddled and held hands until we fell asleep. This may not seem like a spectacular weekend to everyone, but between the beautiful and sunny weather and all the quality “us” time David and I got to have, it was near perfect.

We Named The Dog Indiana

May 23, 2008

I saw it last night! The new Indiana Jones movie. I had been hearing rumbles of discontent about the movie, so I went in with lowered expectations. And you know? I enjoyed myself. I thought it was a fun movie. There really were some great moments. I was excited and entertained and it made me laugh. But then it also made me laugh AT it. I never want to laugh AT a movie series that I love so very much. Fortunately, it was not as much of a joke as Star Wars Episode One felt like.

I feel like there were some “jokes” and scenes that were inserted because the writer/director/George Lucas thought it would be FUNNY, but didn’t think how it fit with the feel of the movie or how it would be received by audiences. (Ahem, Jar Jar Binks, cough.) The monkeys really did it for me. And the refrigerator.

Oh, and don’t ask me what the plot was, because I lost that halfway through the movie. But I didn’t really care that much, because it was still fun. Mostly. I am more than a little in love with Harrison Ford, and I think he is still super sexy. I am really liking Shia Labeouf more and more. I thought it was great that they brought back Karen Allen and she looks like a REAL woman! Cate Blanchett is always good, but I can’t really hear a Russian-ish accent without thinking of Boris and Natasha from “Rocky and Bulwinkle.”

Would I see it again? Yeah, probably. But it wasn’t quite the thrill I was hoping for. I may have to watch some of the originals this weekend to remind me of how good it used to be.

In other news, my scale said 188.5 this morning!! Incredible! I am so happy, but I’m also nervous. I plan to start myself on Phase Two this weekend. I think this will be harder than Phase One, because it’s going to involve more planning. On Phase Two, I will begin SLOWLY reintroducing healthy carbs into my diet. Slowly, meaning one serving a day. So if I have oatmeal for breakfast, I can’t have a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Also, I’m nervous because my weight loss will slow. The book says you can expect to lose one or two pounds a week on Phase Two. On Phase one, I’m losing around 3 or 4 pounds a week. But as long as I keep seeing another half pound drop every couple of days, I’m hoping I’ll be okay. I decided it’s time to switch phases because I got a great initial loss, and I’m now starting to feel a little bored with the foods I’m allowed to eat. I’m looking forward to adding some foods back, especially fruit.

My dad wrote something nice, though slightly creepy seeming, on my Facebook wall about my weight loss. He talked about watching me walk up some stairs and thinking I looked great, etc. It made me laugh. He’s foreign, what can you do? I also think he was feeling a little shmoopy because he’s leaving the country for two weeks, and that was the last time I’d see him before he left.

He’s leaving for Iran today. I feel butterflies in my stomach. I’m sure everything will be fine. He has his visas in order. But there are so many risks. What if something happens while he’s there? What if he can’t come back? I’m sure he’ll encounter some hassle while he’s travelling, so I hope he packed his bags to be easily searchable! It’s also a little bittersweet, because I wish I was going with him. I want to go to Iran so badly. But all I get to see are pictures. It’s extremely difficult for an American to get a visa for Iran, I guess. Even though I’m the daughter of an Iranian citizen? Apparently. Maybe someday I’ll get to go, but it doesn’t look good any time soon. I wish I could go now, while my grandparents are still alive and healthy. I want to experience their life and culture. Not to mention it’s been a couple years since I’ve seen my grandpa, and much longer for my grandma. But for now, I’ll just wait for pictures of my dad and his brothers having a great time.