SpaceWhales Wedding Recap

June 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I’m surviving Pilates and have lived to tell another tale!

The tale I tell today is that of one of my oldest and dearest friends and her recent wedding. Sarah and I met in the dorms in college and lived together in a pretty sweet house for a couple of years in that time between dorm-living and just-graduated-from-college-living. She moved to Chicago a little before I did and we’ve been able to reconnect up here, which has just made this city all the better. Sarah and I have been there for each other through tests, finals, toga parties, dance parties, relationships making up and breaking up, the birth and death of beloved pets, various family drama and the general navigation of college and emerging adulthood. She was an English major like I was and we bonded over great literature (especially Stephen King and Valley of the Dolls) as well as great television (Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal, I’m looking at you). We’ve been friends through Elizabeth Taylor tattoos, extreme Photoshopping and drunken nights of falling over air conditioning units and I am so, so thankful that she’s still a part of my life. I’ve watched her go from someone who only ingested candy, whiskey and cigarettes and once puked after a bike ride to class to someone who works out regularly and makes delicious vegan meals while painting something for an upcoming art show. In short, Sarah is someone I’ve always looked up to (figuratively and literally) and she’s just plain awesome.

And so is her wife, Betsy! These two women have so much in common and seem to compliment each other perfectly. They’re funny, creative, intelligent and supremely inspiring human beings who are an absolute riot to be around. They told me about their upcoming nuptials on Record Store Day, after we had all made some amazing purchases and were enjoying some fantastic vegetarian food. Even their casual announcement to keep an eye out for an email about the wedding they were having in two weeks was just about perfect! And Scott and I were delighted to attend.

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Sarah to the right, Betsy to the left. Khaleesi in the middle.

The theme was SpaceWhales, since Betsy loves Space and Sarah loves Whales. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah for brunch before showtime and she even wore the blue scarf I brought along (it was something of mine she used to dress up with in college and covered the whole something old/something borrowed/something blue thing). The ceremony began with one of their friends leading the entire Thai restaurant full of people in a sing-along of the theme song to Golden Girls, of which roughly 97% of those in attendance knew word for word (yours truly included, obviously). This was the long version too, FYI. The ceremony went on to continue a reading from a passage of Moby Dick and a tribute to everyone from Liza Minnelli to Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Then Sarah spoke her vows, which she completely and appropriately made up on the spot. Same for Betsy, and both sets of vows brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Then there was cake! Delicious, delicious cake. And Thai food, pictures in front of Wrigley Field and tons of toasting. Also a huge hat with many planets flowing around. And more delicious cake!

It was by far the most unique wedding I’ve ever been lucky to be a part of. Scott’s a little jealous that ours won’t be as laid-back but their wedding did get both of us excited to stand in front of our loved ones and exchange vows of our own. Of course, our wedding probably won’t have anything Moby Dick related but it will still be awesome. Especially if I can get everyone to sing along to the Golden Girls theme song with me.

Anyway. Congrats to two of my favorite women and may you both have a lifetime of love, happiness and SpaceWhales!

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Let Them Eat Cake

June 19, 2012 at 11:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I have a doctor’s appointment later this evening for a general physical and potential yellow fever vaccination for the trip to Ecuador and I’ve been instructed to not eat or drink anything other than water for the 8 hours leading up to my appointment.  Since I’m meeting the doctor at 6:30pm, I inhaled a ton of food and coffee for breakfast and now I have heartburn.  I’m in no way hungry (yet) but I imagine I will be.  The pizza that was just delivered for our office and set up in the cubicle next to mine isn’t exactly helping.

Neither is the cake that we have for someone’s birthday.  Of all the days…

I mean, I’m used to eating a light breakfast and waiting until 2:30 or so to eat lunch so this should be easy.  Only when someone tells me not to do something it suddenly becomes the one thing I can’t stop thinking about doing.  Tell me I can’t eat?  I begin fantasizing about gnawing on every single thing within eyesight.  Seriously, my stapler has never looked better.  A friend also mentioned that the fasting probably means they’re going to do some blood work and I vaguely remember that from my last physical, which I’m pretty sure took place during the previous century.  I hate needles so I’m a little more nervous about all this now.

A piece of cake would help make me feel better.  Damnit.

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Let Me Eat Cake!

January 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Dinner!

The countdown has begun – my birthday is in exactly one week.  Yes, there will be posts documenting the event.  However, my birthday is not the reason that one of my lovely friends came over and baked me this cake earlier this week.  She did that because I was in a crappy mood and craving chocolate (read: PMS) and she’s a very nice person.  Who likes to bake cakes.

I have awesome friends.

I know this thing looks ridiculously indulgent and unhealthy but it’s actually not that bad for you (at least, that’s what we told ourselves while digging into it with forks).  And yes, those are two gooey chocolate-y layers there.  It’s some Chinese spongecake recipe (as my friend is originally from China, it only seemed appropriate) and doesn’t contain any sugar at all, which is good because it has been my late night snack every night this week.  It was just what the doctor ordered and I plan on finishing it off tonight, which will be a great way to start my weekend.

Just what does my weekend hold in store for me?  Oh, the usual.  Vet visits and research time at the Field Museum.  I’m going to try to knock out all of my errands this weekend so I can enjoy birthday shenanigans all next week.  Truthfully, I celebrate my birthday the entire month of February because it’s such a sucky month otherwise.  Next Friday will involve happy hour drinks atop the Hancock Tower and a gender-bending burlesque show at a gay bar – obviously it will be a grand time.  My sister is also coming up with some friends and she’s even renting us a swanky hotel downtown for the occasion – WHICH I just realized has an indoor pool.  This birthday thing really does have its perks!

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Let Them Eat Cake

September 27, 2010 at 9:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

So Friday night I went to a coffee-house that I’d never been to before.  As I really just started drinking coffee in the last couple of years, I am by no means a connoisseur.  When I do go out for a warm beverage, I prefer places with a little more personality than say…Starbucks.  Enter Julius Meinl.

I'm ashamed that I passed by this place so often without ever going in

Julius Meinl is a coffee-house that originated in Vienna, Austria and has only three branches in all of the US – and they’re all in Chicago.  I’ve seen them around before and for some reason thought it was a much bigger chain, but apparently they’re pretty rare.  I’ve walked by this branch in particular many times and it’s usually pretty crowded, especially during brunch time.

Told you so

As I said, I finally ventured inside on Friday night.  I was with a friend who mentioned they had some live music and since I’m always a fan of that, I figured we’d get some dessert and check it out.  I was blown away.  First of all, the pastries and cakes served in this place are completely European and completely decadent.  As for drinks, there were more coffees, lattes and teas than I could’ve ever hoped to choose from.  My friend and I split a piece of chocolate pie that had some sort of pistachio crust and it was amazing.

The music turned out to be pretty great as well.  The place wasn’t too packed, which allowed us to sit as close as we wanted to the two older gentleman who were performing.  One had a violin and he made some of the most beautiful music I’d ever heard.  Seriously, I was in awe of this guy all night long.  His musical partner played on something that I can only describe as harpsichord-esque…I honestly don’t know what the instrument was.  It was a little like a piano but much smaller and made of wood.  And he didn’t hit keys; he used a tool similar to what one would use on a xylophone to hit the strings.  I was going to try to find a photo but since I don’t know what it was, my image search was cut short.

These two are apparently well-known in the world of classical music, though I never did catch their names.  Since my friend and I were among the only patrons who were simply listening and watching, they asked us for requests a few times.  And by requests, I mean they asked us to name a country and then they played something from that particular place.  How cool is that?  I gave a nice tip as I walked out and if I had had more cash on me I would’ve bought their CD.  We watched for about an hour and a half before heading out, and the entire experience made me oh so happy.  Since Julius Meinl has live music at all of their shops every Friday and Saturday evening, you can bet I’ll be heading back sooner rather than later.  And if you’re in the Chicago or Vienna area, you should check it out for yourself!

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Palm Reading and Chocolate

August 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I went to the Southport Street Fest on Saturday night and had a good time enjoying music, beer, booths and food.  I love the street fests in Chicago during the summer – they can tend to blend together but hanging out in the road while drinking and listening to random bands is always a fun time. The fest on Southport wasn’t the only one going on this weekend but as I knew it was less crowded and closer than some of the others, it seemed like my best bet.

The food is pricey and the beers aren’t cheap but you’re paying more for the experience than anything else.  The band

Appropriate coming from a church

that was playing Friday was pretty decent and while I didn’t get their name I did appreciate their rendition of Waterfalls by TLC.  They played some other music from the 90’s and since my tastes haven’t much evolved since then I was all for it.  I’m all for the free swag (stuff we all get) given out at street fests too and this one was no different.  My friend and I managed to score roughly 10 bottles of Ocean Spray juice and a bunch of sparkling water (too bad sparkling water tastes like fly urine…not that I’m all too familiar with the taste of fly urine, but you get the idea).  We also got handed this bottle opener, which I found slightly ironic.

As I mentioned, there are lots of booths at street fests too.  They display everything from jewelry to henna tattoos to clothing.  The jewelry always draws me in, even though I already have more than I’ll ever be able to wear.  No matter.  I found some super cool rings at one spot in particular and I decided I had to add a new one to my collection.  Most of the stuff in this booth was from Thailand or India and the guy working had an accent I couldn’t quite place (not that I’m great at placing accents to begin with).  As I was trying on rings, he started chatting with me about the various pieces he had for sale.  Then he took my hand, flipped it over and gave me a very impromptu palm reading.  Whatever, I’m game.  He started looking at lines and telling me that I’m stubborn and independent (well duh).  Then he got an intense look on his face, stared deeply into my hand and declared that I’m an ambitious mother******.  Had to laugh at that.

He also gave a reading to my friend and said that we complement each other because I bring out the more daring side in her.  We both got a kick out of it and even if it was all a bunch of bologna, it was a free and interesting ten minutes.  Gotta love free and interesting, if nothing else.

Yesterday, I made my way downtown for pizza eating and TrueBlood watching with another friend.  The lady in question lives in a super nice place and as I was making my way from the train to her pad, I detected a delicious scent in the air.  Chocolate.  I was thinking how nice it must be to live in an area that pumps in pleasant smells when I thought to glance around.  That’s when I saw this:

If I lived near a Chocolate Factory, bad things would happen

I was walking directly next to a Chocolate Factory.  I didn’t see any Oompa Loompas or Gene Wilder running about but it was a factory of chocolate nonetheless.  How is this just casually sitting in downtown Chicago?  How are there not people trying to break in at every given moment?  I seriously doubt that I have the self control to live in such an area.  It was hard enough to walk by, especially when I saw the sign saying it’s been operating 24/7 for the last 67 years.  I thought of ambushing the place and raiding it for all it was worth but I’m sure it was heavily guarded by lasers and retina-scanning technology.  At least, that’s how I would protect a chocolate factory if I were lucky enough to own one.

Mmm chocolate…sweets…cake…a student at work just brought us in an extremely decadent cake to thank us for all of our hard work with him over the year.  It’s waiting on my desk so I should probably pay it proper attention.  The lines in my palm and the fork in my hand are telling me to, so I must oblige.

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