December Book Club

December 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

As I think I mentioned, our book club skipped last month due to the holiday and the fact that the book we were reading was a little longer than others.  Nine of us were supposed to meet up last week but four actually called in sick and one bowed out of book club completely (which is no shocker…she wasn’t much of a reader to begin with) so there were four of us who made it out.  Ironically, these three other than myself were among the core of the group back when I started three or so years ago and one of them recently returned after a stint of living in Indiana.  It was great to see some old (but young looking!) familiar faces to catch up over good food, good drinks and of course, a good book.

So good, and not good for you...but worth it!

So good, and not good for you…but worth it!

Okay who am I kidding – I enjoy almost every book I read.  I’m easy like that.  This month we read The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and one of my all-time favorites, Middlesex.  This book follows a young woman who recently graduated from college and a male friend of hers who both begin to navigate the real world in their own different ways.  She ends up married to a man with mental illness even after her well-to-do family begs her to reconsider and a lot of her story tells of what she endured as she tried to have the perfect marriage.  Her friend goes on a spiritual journey of his own and winds up backpacking through India while trying to determine if he’s as good a person as everyone else seems to think he is.  Obviously there was a lot more to it than that and while some of the storytelling could have perhaps been shortened, I enjoyed it myself.  Half of the book club in attendance (a whopping 2 women) didn’t get through much of the book and didn’t really care while myself and one other seemed to enjoy it.  Some of the characters were a little annoying and one in particular reminded me of someone I knew a long time ago, but that didn’t really make me like the book any less.  Though I think Middlesex was better.

As for the restaurant, we went to The Southern, which is in a neighborhood a bus ride south from my own.  This is the restaurant I went to with a group of friends for my birthday last year and the dish I had – mac and cheese – is the one I had then.  This is because 1) they are known for their mac and cheese, 2) it’s extremely delicious and 3) there isn’t too much there other than a veggie burger for a vegetarian to enjoy.  I wasn’t disappointed though and ate every bite while downing two beers, to the horror of that teeny tiny part of me that enjoys going to the gym.  Speaking of beer, one member of our party had me try hers, which was something aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, and it was amazing.  I need to get the name of it from her again because it was tasty, strong, just plain awesome and the second of the beers I imbibed.

As usual, it was a good time on our night out and for next month we’re changing it up a little bit and meeting for Sunday brunch.  I have the next book in my bag and will start it today, so we’ll see if it’s another winner!

 

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Birthdays, Buddies, Booze and Boobs

February 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Does it get any better than that?

It seems that there’s been a theme to my birthdays over the last few years.  First it was Dirty Bingo, followed by a gender-bending burlesque show (complete with clowns) last year and then this year was the Indiana Jones: Temple of the Boob burlesque show.  For some reason it appears that I like celebrating my birthday by watching others talk about or get into their birthday suits so I guess I’ll just go with it.  Who knows what next year will bring!

We started out the night at The Southern, which turned out to be a great venue for a large dinner with a group of my nearest and dearest.  I’m always a little nervous when hosting a gathering of my friends because most of them don’t really know each other and the only thing they really have in common is well…me…which can kind of put me on the spot.  But the restaurant sat us at these large leather couches that were arranged in a sort of circle, which made it easier to converse with everyone and created a friendlier atmosphere.  It also prevented people from being forced to talk to their direct seatmate (not that that’s always bad).  It did make it a bit more awkward when it came time to eat, as there was only one low table, but as most of us ordered their signature macaroni and cheese anyway so it wasn’t too tough.  The food was great, the atmosphere appealing and the company was the best.  I have some really awesome friends and I was so glad everyone was able to make it.

Good, not so clean fun

The entire group didn’t go to the next stop, the burlesque show, but there were a handful that made it out.  The show wasn’t cheap ($20) and didn’t last too long (about an hour) but it was hilariously entertaining and well worth the cash.  Basically, scantily clad women enacted a story about Indiana Jones that was a summary of all of the movies combined into one new tale.  They did a good job and anyone familiar with the movies could pick out recurring gags and jokes along the way.  It was also refreshing because these were women who looked like normal females – extra skin and stretch marks did nothing to deter them from putting on a great show and it was good to see ladies who looked more like myself than Heidi Klum up there on stage (though I wouldn’t have minded Heidi…).  I won’t get too detailed but I will say that I saw one girl use her boobs in a way that had simply never occurred to me before.  And based on the laughter and other various reactions she got, I don’t think I was alone.

All in all, it was a great birthday treat.  On my actual birthday my sweetheart boyfriend woke me up with a beautiful necklace and then treated me to brunch at one of my favorite spots.  After the adoption of that cat (which will be expanded upon soon), we went out for a nice dinner at Basil Leaf, a delicious Italian restaurant that made strong drinks.  I can’t think of a better way to ring in a birthday and thanks to all who came out and made it a blast!

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