College Reunion!

August 30, 2013 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

This is the day I’ve been waiting for!  I’ll be leaving work early and riding with Scott down to Bloomington, Indiana, my old college town.  I have some truly great friends who still live there and it’s been way too long since I’ve seen them (read: over a year).  They’ve never even met Scott and after years of hearing me talk up how great my friends and the town are in general, it’s beyond time for an introduction.  And what an introduction it will be!

I plan on giving Scott the grand tour: campus, my old dorms/houses/apartments, lakes, hiking trails and of course too many restaurants to count.  I think we’re even going to get in a visit to a farm!  All of my lovely friends have fancy gardens too and I’m pretty sure we’ll be coming home with lots of fresh produce.  Score!

To old and new memories!

Seriously, Bloomington is such a great community and the whole town played a hugely important role in who I am today.  My friends there are some of the smartest, most inspiring women I know and I am so excited to surround myself with them for a few days.  We’re staying until Sunday and then making the less-than-an-hour drive to my aunt’s house, where we’ll spending Sunday night visiting a bunch of family and enjoying a swim party.  This weekend could only really get better if ALL of my old college friends were going to be in town too, but then it would probably be too awesome for me to handle.

Hope your long weekend is a good one too!

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Non Book Club Book Review

August 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I read, a lot.  I don’t review every book on this here blog because it would take a while and sometimes the books I read don’t merit a recommendation.  Not so with my latest, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.  I don’t want to get too detailed because there are some major plot points I could spoil and I’d hate to do that to anyone who’s interested but I will say that I LOVED this book.  As in, it might be a new favorite of mine.

Two opposable thumbs way up!

The story is told by Rosemary Cooke and we follow her as she navigates her college years and makes frequent introspective trips back to her childhood.  She had an unconventional upbringing and the way she and her siblings interacted helped her become the narrator we meet.  We learn all about her family and the trials they’ve faced while also meeting her collegiate friends.  We even get to see how her friends and family interact with each other and how they can influence one another without even knowing it.  There were parts of the book that were really humorous and parts that made me want to cry, so obviously I became attached.  While the big plot twist didn’t surprise me (I’d actually read it in a review before I read the book – whoops!) and it’s not essential for it to be kept a secret to still enjoy the book, I was glad they went about it like they did.  Something else I really enjoyed was that the main character was from Bloomington, Indiana and her father taught at Indiana University.  Seeing familiar names to grocery stores (like Sahara Mart, a place I lived near and shopped at for three years) and street locations made me pause and smile because I knew exactly where she was talking about.  I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I’m going to be visiting that wonderful town over Labor Day or just the pleasant surprise of coming across my old haunts in print, but it made me feel even more enveloped in the story.

I read the book in just under a week because I couldn’t really put it down.  Maybe I can convince my book club to read it but even if they’re not interested, I’ll talk it up.  Much like I’m doing to you.  And while it’s possible that the subject matter and location setting (not to mention the cover, which happens to be my favorite color) had something to do with my strong feelings towards the book, I really think the work itself is worth the time of day.  In fact, this may be a book thatI actually buy as opposed to simply rent from the library.  So if you’re looking for an entertaining and interesting read, ch-ch-check it out!

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Don’t Cry Over Squashed Squash

July 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Okay.  Today is better.

But my weekend was the best.  Besides the adorable calf from my previous post, the Saturday evening I spent at my friend’s old (as in over 100 years) farmhouse was full of pizza, more cows, kittens, barns and vegetable gardens.  My weekend also consisted of a tour through my old campus (complete with a drive-by of one of my favorite apartments); beer at one of my favorite sports bars; bagels from a well-known, local establishment; meeting and greeting other new feline companions; a walk through the state’s largest farmer’s market (where I was reminded just how much I love the hippies in that town); lunch and brews at the brewery of my dreams; a cook-out; tours of the new homes from two of my nearest and dearest and plenty of good, old-fashioned catching-up.  I got to see every person I hoped to and narrowly avoided some of those I didn’t.  I was given some news from one dear friend that wasn’t exactly happy but as she seems good with it, I’m good with it too.  I’m incredibly lucky that I know such strong, intelligent and resourceful women and I’m proud to have them all a part of my life.  I’m also very, very grateful that they took the time to hang out with me as much as they did in the short amount of time that I had.  I made a promise to myself to get back down there (with Scott in tow) sometime this fall so by putting it here in the blogosphere, I’ll be held a little more accountable.  Hear that, ladies?  Hold me to it!

I thought this was somewhat appropriate.

The only downside to the entire weekend happened, appropriately, at the very end of my trip.  Before I go any further, let me just say that every person in Bloomington seems to have their own garden.  Seriously.  Everyone.  Of the four female friends I spent time with, all four have their own personal patches of vegetables growing in their backyard (or at least trying to…Indiana really needs some rain).  At the cook out I attended, gardens were a hot topic of discussion and it seemed everywhere I went, that’s what I heard.  I’m not complaining because I honestly think it’s awesome but I am more than just a little bit jealous.  If I had a garden here, it would consist of a pitiful few seeds in a plastic cup on my balcony and not the rows of awesomeness that I saw all weekend long.  So with lots of gardening comes lots of extra vegetables and I’m never one to turn down free food, although I did try to beg off in this case since I was traveling by bus.  One friend insisted I take a large zucchini though and after loading it up in my purse and making a few penis-related jokes, I forgot all about it before boarding my bus and going on my way.  Toward the end of the ride I put my hand in my bag to search for my wallet and realized there was an unfortunate stench wafting from folds of my favorite purse.  Then I realized I had zucchini mash under my nails and all over my hand.  This was not something I wanted to deal with on a hot, crowded bus while facing another hour train ride home.  Upon inspection, I saw that the zucchini had snapped in half and mush spread over my wallet, journal, book, keys and every other damn thing I had in there.  And it reeked.  I managed to find some unharmed tissues and after getting off the bus I cleaned up as well as I could.  There’s probably still a rotting, smashed zucchini sitting on the steps of the building near the bus stop but that’s not something I think they can link back to me.  Unless the security for that building reads my blog.  Anyway, it was gross and I’m not entirely sure that my favorite purse and wallet are washing machine friendly but I guess I’m going to find out.  I was also bummed at the loss of a giant, delicious zucchini but there was just no saving that bad boy.

If that’s the worst thing that happened, though, I still think I’m super lucky.  And next time I make a visit, I’ll be sure to bring a plastic bag for any produce that comes home with me!

 

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Case of the Mondays

July 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I had a great weekend but today sure does suck so here’s a picture of a calf that I took on my friend’s farm Saturday:

What are you looking at?

Perhaps I’ll get to update on my trip and more later this week.  If I’m lucky.

Can I retire yet?

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College Reunion!

July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

So this weekend I’m taking a solo trip on the Megabus down to Bloomingtion, Indiana, where I’ll be reuniting with some of my old Indiana University friends.  The last time I made the trip to Bloomington was almost two years ago (geez) for a wedding and even though I’ve been talking a lot of talk about going back, now is the first time I’ve been able to make it happen.  I’m lucky to have numerous wonderful women in my life (and ironically, 90% of them have names that begin with the letter ‘L’) and I might just get to see them all while I’m there!

Oh the memories!

Besides the wonderful company, I’m also looking forward to the wonderful food and drinks.  Specifically, a brewery/restaurant that I used to frequent back in the day.  Their wheat beer is to die for and I’ve been having visions of sitting on their patio, cold brew in hand, since I booked the bus ticket months ago.  Add to that the fact that I purposefully planned this trip when I knew the city would be devoid of students and you’ve got what I would call a perfect weekend.  It’ll be fun to reminisce and I hope I can find time for a nice walk through campus because the campus at IU is gorgeous and one of the main reasons I chose to go there in the first place.  I’m sure a lot has changed since my last trip and I’m excited to check it all out.  I’m even more excited to get out of the office and begin my weekend!  Here’s hoping you have a little something to look forward to – and if you’re in Bloomington, you can look forward to seeing ME!

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