Yep! It's been a year since we got married! We celebrated all weekend - went to see "Hairspray" on Saturday, and then went out to dinner at Yamashiro, a Cal-Asian Fusion place that has fantastic views of Los Angeles - from downtown to the ocean (on a clear day!). It was a fun evening, but the food wasn't worth the price.
Sunday we were supposed to go to Solvang for the day to play and take pictures and have fun. Didn't happen, though. Sunday we woke up and were just wiped out and needed a day to relax. So we went to lunch with some friends and went to the movies.
Yesterday we threw a BBQ for some friends and family - very relaxed gathering, and we threw some chicken and salmon on the grill with some asparagus, served some appetizers and had people bring food, too, so we didn't have to do too much or get stressed about things. It was a fun, lovely afternoon.
We finally got our wedding album a couple of weeks ago, too - just in time for our anniversary! It's beautiful - we're very happy with it!
Gordon loves to watch the Food Network, and I'm learning to appreciate it. We often watch Alton Brown's "Good Eats" - it's funny, educational, and he makes interesting food. A recent episode was about avocados, and rather than make the usual avocado suspects, he made avocado compound butter (good for grilled chicken, among other things). He also made avocado ice cream and avocado buttercream frosting.
I know that avocado is not good for me, but I absolutely HAD to make the avocado ice cream. It just sounded so weird and so good that I had to try it. So for Mother's Day today my sister-in-law put together a brunch for her mom/my MIL and last night I made dairy-free avocado ice cream. I let everyone taste it at the brunch, and my sister-in-law loved it, but no one else was very into it. I found it to be VERY creamy and very rich - I could only eat a few bites of it before I was DONE.
I think Alton Brown summed it up best on his show - he said something to the effect of "It tastes like avocado, but it's GOOOOOOOD."
I also made wheat-free cinnamon buns, and they were a big hit. And other than the avocado, everything I ate at the brunch was neutral or beneficial for Os.
I got a Canon Digital Rebel XT camera for my birthday from Gordon and I've been playing with it for the last few days.
Wednesday I walked up to the Post Office and also wanted to go to the new aquarium store that just opened. We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and came home with a beta fish we've named Max. (Get it? Beta? Max? Betamax? Oh, nebbermind.) He's a beauty, and I haven't had a fish in over 20 years and I don't think Gordon has ever had one, so the onus is on me to take care of him (no big surprise). So I stopped in the aquarium shop to ask about taking care of a beta beyond keeping him in fresh water and feeding him regularly.
Turns out they are only a salt water fish aquarium shop, which is fine, but one of the gentleman in there gave me lots of information about how to care for Max. Very cool. Meanwhile, I'm wandering around looking at these gorgeous aquariums and fish and eels and crabs and sharks and stuff. Then I remembered that I had my new camera with me, so I asked if they minded if I took some photos. Not at all, go right ahead! I even offered to email them the photos if they wanted, but they didn't care, so I started snapping away.
About 10 minutes later, this other guy comes out and starts telling me that the images from the cameras in the store are relayed to the offices of the big bosses from the head office, and that they'd seen me taking pictures. He then proceeds to tell me that according to the videos, I've already taken over 25 photos, and that the bosses say that I can either continue to take photos and pay then $100 per photo, or I can give them my film and leave.
I remained calm. In fact, I was slightly amused by this since I had asked for and received permission. Said that it isn't possible to give them my film since it is a digital camera, and also said that I would be more than happy to delete every photo I'd taken and simply leave the store, but that I would not be paying $100 to take a photo. The man said that deleting them wouldn't be enough - they are still in the memory! I said that may be so, but I am not good enough with my camera yet or with computers to know how to find the files once I've deleted them, so once I delete them, they are gone or might as well be.
He's also standing just a shade closer to me than I prefer strangers to stand. So when I said that I would be more than happy to leave the store, the guy said he was just pulling my leg, and to feel free to continue to take as many pictures as I wanted. Not funny.
I did take a few more shots, but by then my adrenaline was pumping enough that I had some pretty severe camera shake, and every shot was blurry. So I left.
I got home and told Gordon about this, and he thought it was a hilarious trick to pull on someone. That may be so, but I didn't think it was too funny at the time!
This past weekend was my birthday - 38.
I spent the entire weekend in class, and had the extraordinary experience of having nearly 300 people sing happy birthday to me. Quite the experience! The class has acknowledged other birthdays, but has not sung to anyone else! Wow!
This class weekend was remarkable. Just a lovely, lovely learning experience.
Sunday evening 14 of us went out to dinner at PF Chang's for my birthday celebration. I had the wok-seared lamb over spinach (yum!) and we had a great time! It was wonderful to celebrate it with family and friends.
I am so blessed - good health, fabulous husband, great friends and family.
Gordon and I went to New York City for a week of vacation, and now we're so tired we need a vacation from our vacation! We got back on Friday, but I'm only now getting caught up enough to post!
Our trip was terrific. We arrived very late on Friday night, and Saturday morning my friend Suzanne and I went to the salon so she could get her hair done and I got a manicure. Then we went shopping and I found some really cute clothes, plus a dress for the wedding we're going to next weekend. We met up with an online friend of mine who came up from Washington DC to meet me and play in NYC for the weekend, and then we met up with Gordon's former partner and her daughter and another law school classmate of his (Riff). Had a fun afternoon with them just hanging out on the steps of the NYC Public Library talking, snacking, and listening to some street performers.
Saturday night, Suzanne sent us to see "Sweeney Todd" - great show, and very well performed. Not a happy or uplifting show, but we knew that before seeing it since I saw a production of it on Broadway 20+ years ago. We enjoyed this production quite a bit, and then I told Gordon that I was very glad we'd seen it, that I really liked this production, and that I never wanted to see it again. (If you don't know the story, it's about a barber who kills people and about the meat shop donstairs from the barbershop that makes the best meat pies in town. There's more to it than that, but that's the gist of it.)
Sunday we went to brunch with my friend, who then headed back to DC. Suzanne was waiting for a delivery for groceries for Easter dinner and couldn't join us. After brunch we went back to Suzanne's and laid low for a bit, then she made us (and her new beau) one of the best meals of our lives. Roasted chicken, lamb chops, scallops with asparagus, shrimp with cocktail sauce, roasted new potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, cannollis, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, and several bottles of wine. We had a ball telling stories, eating too much, and just spending time together.
Monday we went to Ellis Island. To our knowledge, neither of our families passed through there, but it was fascinating and a very moving exhibit. We didn't complete the entire tour, though, because we got out there late and they closed before we finished. (We never did adjust to Eastern time, so we got late starts every day.) We met up with Suzanne and Riff for dinner at a Cuban place that was supposed to be wonderful. Gordon really loved his food - mine was just okay. But the mojitos were great! Again we sat around for a few hours telling stories and having way too much fun.
Tuesday we went to the Metropolitain Museum of Art. Again, we got a late start and also had to run a couple errands before the Met, but we enjoyed the couple hours we spent there and had had enough by the time the museum was closing. We'd walked enough over the previous few days that standing and walking around a museum was just not fun. Lovely artwork, though, and we spent the bulk of our time in my favorite area of the museum, the Impressionist area. Also saw a photopgraphy exhibit and some of the Egyptian collection.
Tuesday night we kicked Gordon out of the apartment and Suzanne and I hung out eating Sunday's leftovers and talking all night. We have been friends since we were sixteen, and have pretty much always been close, but this visit really deepened our friendship.
Wednesday we went to the Brooklyn Bridge. Neither of us had been there, and we both wanted to see it. So we head down there by subway, and as we're getting off the subway, I happen to see the name of the street that my cousin lives on - I didn't have her phone number, so I hadn't called, but I had her address! I had decided that since we didn't have a map of the city that I'd skip trying to find her this visit and would set something up for our next visit, but then when we got off the subway and her street was RIGHT THERE, and she lived at 172 XX Street and we were at 150 XX Street, we had to at least see if she was home. The doorman called up to her apartment, and she was confused for a moment about who we were (who wouldn't be, it was so out of context!) and then we were sent upstairs. Had a fabulous visit with her and her darling daughter (2 years and 4 months old) and then we headed for the Bridge. We walked across the whole thing, and then caught the subway back to Suzanne's.
I spoke with a friend of mine who lives on Long Island sometime on Wednesday, too, and it was great to connect by phone, even though we weren't able to see each other this time. I had really wanted to introduce him and his wife to Gordon (and vice versa), but it was just too short and too busy of a trip!
We finally saw "Wicked" Wednesday night, after a nearly two year wait! We loved it, of course. We already knew most of the details, so it was great to know the music as well as we do and really be able to pay attention to the acting and singing. Eden Espinosa played the Wicked Witch of the West, and Megan Hilty played Glinda. Before the show, we were the tiniest bit disappointed that we hadn't seen it with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith, but once it started, we were not the least bit disappointed - Eden Espinosa can really belt and was fabulous as Elphaba (the Witch). When Megan Hilty first started singing neither of us was terribly impressed until she sang "Popular". She had the audience wrapped around her little finger, and she was working it the entire time. There was some adlibbing going on between the two of them, too, and it was hysterical to watch these two professionals cracking up on stage and trying not to. It was clear that they were having fun with it, which I love to see. The rest of the show was great - I loved that I was so on-target with my paper for school even though I hadn't seen the show yet. I think the only area that I was at all remiss about was that Glinda's character was more complicated than I'd made her out to be. All in all, great fun, and I was soaking up every second of the experience.
After the show, we ended up going for a drink with the couple that sat next to us - they live in Southern California, and we'd talked before the show and during the intermission, and it seemed so natural to spend more time with them. They are lovely, and we went to a restaurant called Azalea that is right next to the Gershwin Theater. We sat down and I promptly asked Gordon if he thought I should order an "Oz"mopolitan to drink. He laughed. I did have a cosmopolitan, and we ordered dessert, too. I had EGGPLANT for dessert! It was wonderful! Finely sliced eggplant cooked with chocolate sauce. So rich and chocolately that I couldn't finish it! I found it hard to believe that eggplant could be in dessert, but it was really amazing and yummy.
We got back to Suzanne's and I was so wired that I didn't get to sleep until 3am, and we were supposed to meet another online friend of mine who lives in NYC for breakfast at Grand Central Station by 9am. That ended up not happening because she had car trouble, though, much to our dismay. So Thursday we jumped on the train to CT so I could go see Dr. D'Adamo - I saw him two years ago and just wanted to see what's going on with my body and make sure I'm healthy. We got some amazing information about my body and I learned quite a bit from him. And I am pretty healthy, which was good news - I have so many 'reactions' to foods that I was concerned. I now have an individually tailored BTD just for ME, which is pretty cool! Some food values that are typical for Os according to the books are different for me, which is great information to know! I found out that most any form of protein that I usually eat is beneficial for me (except the usual culprit, pork products, and I'm pretty good about not eating anything but bacon). And food values for veggies, fruits, and other things are different for me, too - lots of soy products are beneficial for me, as are things like almonds and pecans that, according to the books, were considered 'neutral' in the past. So this was really valuable information for me.
And what Dr. D is doing now is just amazing stuff - really impressive and fascinating! (If you can manage to get to CT to see him, I highly encourage it! It's well worth the trip!)
After my appointment we got lucky and got back to the train station JUST in time to catch the 6pm train back to NYC, which was great - we hadn't expected to make that train, and to get back to the city much later, so it was great to get back by 8pm and be able to have dinner with Suzanne and her beau again for our last evening in town. We went to a great Chinese food place near NYU and again had a ball eating and talking.
Then we went back to Suzanne's and started to get organized to pack for our trip home. We got packed and to sleep by 1am. Then I woke up at 4:30 Eastern time, and the alarm went off at 5am. We dragged ourselves to the airport and poured ourselves on the plane. I was so tired that I fell asleep before we took off.
Landed about 11:15 am Pacific time and my friend picked us up and brought us home. I puttered for a few minutes, sorted the mail, cleaned out a few things in the fridge (shudder!) and went up stairs to find Gordon tucked in bed for a nap. I wasn't going to nap since I often have trouble sleeping at night if I nap, but I could barely keep my eyes open. Slept about 3 hours and Gordon had trouble waking me up. And I've slept 10 hours a night since then.
And now I have school in two weeks and haven't done my assignments yet. Though thanks to two long flights, I've gotten most of the reading done. And we have a wedding this weekend out of town, so nothing will get done then, but I will get it done, hopefully this week.