Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quote of the Day: It's a tie!

I just cannot decide which of these is my favorite. I'm leaning towards the first one:

"Yeah, my mom is like really concerned about me finding a man and getting married" -student
"But you're only 18!" -me
"I know, but I want to have kids by, like, the time I'm 23. I don't want to be, like, old and decrepit." -student

Sigh. This is a good one, though, too, overheard from my desk:

"Do you think he's cuter than the guy I was seeing last semester?" -one teenage girl
"Ugh, you're so shallow!" -other teenage girl

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The people we love to hate

Yep, you guessed it:  Speidi.  I'm not exactly sure how this happened.  But, each week as I watch The Hills (on my computer, no less, due to our lack of cable), I despise Spencer and Heidi more and more.  This whole wedding business pushed it over the edge.  I loathe them.  And, on the other hand, how smart are they????  They are the couple we love to hate, and they are making millions off of us.  Spencer and Heidi EACH make $65,000 per episode, clocking in at around $1.25 million EACH annually.  Seriously????  

My girl LC is at the top of the salary scale, making $75,000 per episode ($1.4 million annually).  Spencer's formerly coked-out sister Stephanie gets the short end of the stick, at only $8,000 per episode - which still gives her $152,000 annually.  And, for someone who seems to do nothing besides go to fashion school half-heartedly, I think that a six-figure salary is pretty decent.  

I've made no secret of the fact that I love LC.  She's awesome!  Seriously - wouldn't you want her as a bff?  Without all the drama, of course, and perhaps she should consider waterproof mascara.  All that crying gets a bit embarrassing.  Hills girls I wouldn't want as friends:  Heidi, obviously, Stephanie and Lo.  I was totally on Team Audrina through the whole Audrina-Lo feud, despite the fact that Audrina is a little crazy looking and can't ever make eye contact.  But Lo is just...a bitch, right?  Who's with me?  

Anyway, as the 4th season finale is coming up, I'm about to go into a Hills withdrawal.  Thank goodness The City starts soon - anyone planning on watching?  I must say that I also wouldn't mind have Whitney as a bff, as she seems to be the only really sensible girl of the group.  Plus, hello!  She would totally get me a good discount at DvF, and I kind of LOVE those dresses.

Who's with me??

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy Dyson!

Hello, lover.  I'm proud to announce that Matt and I will soon be the proud parents of a Dyson DC25 Animal Ball Vacuum.  Sniff.  Isn't she gorgeous?

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Shaina, you've completely gone off the deep end!  Excited about a VACUUM?  Talk about domesticity!  

But seriously - this thing's amazing.  As it should be, for $549!  Don't worry - thanks to my trusty Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon and several hundred dollars worth of store credit and gift cards, it only cost us a mere $70.  Clearly, it will be the best $70 we have ever spent.

For some annoying and frustrating reason, BB&B does not have this vacuum in stores.  Of course, they have it at Target.  And Sears.  And Best Buy.  Very frustrating!  Matt and I went tonight for the gazillionth time to see if it had arrived in the store.  It had not, but a lovely sales associate ordered one for us on the spot, coupon and all!  It should arrive to Matt's parents' house sometime around Christmas.  We are thrilled!  Well, okay, I can't lie.  I'M thrilled.  Matt doesn't have all that much to say about a vacuum, but I'm pretty sure he'll fall in love all over again when he flips that switch.

And the next time you come visit - there will be NO OSCAR HAIR carpeting the apartment!  Joy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Book Review: Lonesome Dove

Well folks, on Friday I finally finished Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry.  All I can say!  What an incredible story.  The book started out pretty rough.  It was extremely slow and I had to work hard to keep my interest.  However, I feel as though those first boring 100 pages were completely necessary, to set the scene for the next 845.  

The book is begins in the dusty little "town" of Lonesome Dove, Texas, right on the Mexican border.  This is a true cowboy book, and the story is centered around two former Texas rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.  Now that their rangering days are over, Gus and Call deal in horses and cattle.  The adventure begins when the duo decide to take three thousand cattle up to Montana to settle. 

I'm not usually one for cowboy stories, but this one blew me away.  The journey is difficult and claims several lives.  I have not cried this much while reading a book in a long time.  The book is full of powerful characters and emotion, and I was blown away by the storytelling and its affect on me.  

I don't think I'm doing a very good job of selling this book - or even properly explaining what it is about, because to be honest, the storyline is far too complex to summarize decently.  As previously mentioned, Lonesome Dove is lengthy - my copy was 945 pages - but I whipped through it.  On Friday, I sat down and read the last 400 pages in no time - I literally could not put it down.  

Please, read this book.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No, I'm sorry, THIS is the Quote of the Day

"Ugh, I eat all the time and I don't even know what it feels like to gain weight. Sometimes I wish I did, just to know."
-one high school girl to another, sitting outside my office.

Quote of the Day

"He thinks he's like, like God. And I was like, God would never be, like, brothers with you."
-one high school girl to another this morning, sitting outside of my office.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Restaurant Review: Japanee

This afternoon, Matt and I went to see the matinee performance of the Nutrcracker at IU.  We had an absolute blast - the tickets were a Christmas gift from my parents...from last Christmas.  The original gift was for us to go see a concert at the Kennedy Center.  Sadly, with Matt being in the Army and having a totally unpredictable schedule, it never happened.  And then, we moved to Bloomington.  We had been wanting to catch the Nutcracker the past couple years, but it just never happened.  

We decided on the matinee so that we could go out for a relaxing dinner afterwards.  Of course, it's been so long since I've been to a matinee that I had forgotten who mainly goes to these performances:  children.  We were absolutely surrounded by the little buggers (the people in front of us had EIGHT CHILDREN all under the age of 5 - this one is still a mystery to me), who definitely did not understand how to sit quietly and watch the pretty ballet.  Oh well - we had a great time nonetheless, and afterwards, decided to give a new sushi restaurant a shot.

Now, I'm sure you know how crazy Matt and I are about sushi.  We have a fierce relationship with Yamazato which, sadly, is in Alexandria, Virginia.  Far, far away.  We have never found a sushi restaurant even CLOSE to Yamazato - everywhere is always a disappointment.  However, since we can no longer go to Yamazato, we're trying to be adventurous here in Bloomington to find a new main squeeze.

My boss (also named Matt) told me about Japanee, and we decided to give it a try.  All I can say is - FINALLY!  It's definitely not Yamazato, but it's likely the only place that will come close around here.  I started things off with a seaweed salad, which tasted delightful and had a little surprise of sliced cucumber at the bottom.  I can't even remember all the sushi we ordered, but some highlights were:

A tempura California roll that came ON FIRE - literally!  Flames at the table!

A roll with salmon (I think?), cream cheese and avocado, topped with tuna and mango!  

Fried sweet potato!

Well, that's all the fun stuff - the other rolls were pretty normal.  Eel, Philadelphia, Spider, and some truly delish salmon and tuna nigiri.

All in all, Matt and I were very pleased.  Not quite as pleased with the price was pretty expensive.  Thankfully, we had a $40 Visa gift card which helped immensely!  

So, that's that.  We still plan on trying the other popular sushi place, Domo, but...we are probably not going to eat out again until my birthday thanks to our current budget.  Stay tuned...I should have another restaurant review in 2-3 months!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post Script

Okay, in an exciting turn of events, I just found out that a movie was made of Bonfire of the Vanities in 1990!  Starring Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis!!!  I'm so excited.  I just added it to our Blockbuster Queue, along with the Kite Runner (which Matt is currently reading).  Excellent!

Book Review: The Bonfire of the Vanities

Now that the wedding is over and I have a life again, I've started getting into normal-people know, laundry, reading, etc.  Those of you who knew me as a young lass probably know that I was quite the reader in my day.  Then came college, and grad school, and I didn't really have time for reading for pleasure for about 6 years.  Boo.  
Since I moved to DC, I have been reading pretty voraciously, although Matt makes fun of me and claims I start reading several books and never finish any.  This is not true!  Case in point, I recently finished three books (okay, two of them I read at the same time).  I thought that, now that I am also free to BLOG about anything I want, that it would be a great time for a book review of my latest conquer:  The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.

I highly recommend this book.  This was my first Tom Wolfe novel, and if you've never read anything by him before, please note that he has a singular style.  It was a little difficult for me at first to get into the book, as his style threw me off a little bit.  Soon, I realized that I had read 100, then 200 pages, and at that point there was no putting it down.  The book is just over 600 pages and I read it in about 3 days.  It is a fabulous social commentary, and although it was written (and set) in the 1980s, there are a lot of sentiments that still hold true today.  

The book follows a millionaire investment banker who lives in an amazing 14-room apartment on Park Avenue, an assistant DA in the Bronx, and several other characters who all seem to focus on, well, their vanities.  In the end, the material things they all hold so dear contribute to their demise.  

I don't want to give too much away, because I hope you'll read this one!

The next book review, if I can ever finish the book, will be Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  I started this book three days ago and I'm only on page 53.  Both my husband and my father-in-law have informed me that the first 100 pages are incredibly boring...and after you get through that chunk, it will fly!  Which is probably good, because the book is 945 pages.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wedding Recap

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we did it! We finally got married. I thought that it was time for a brief wedding recap - not sure why, since the two people who read this blog were a part of my wedding party and probably remember what happened. But, it's mostly for my own edification, I suppose, and an excuse to post some super cute photos.

The wedding went swimmingly, with nothing (that I know of) going wrong - with the exception of my dress kind of "bursting" when I got the reception and bent down for my first hug. The hook and the top button broke, but luckily for me, it stayed zipped and upright anyway. Extra thanks for MOH Jennifer, who happened to bring her little nail scissors (?) and cut off the offending pieces of dangling fasteners.

The wedding day began with a fabulously fun trip to the salon, where myself and my lovely ladies primped. Remember my gorgeous half-up, half-down wedding hairdo? Well, I scratched it. The weather forecast was rain, rain, rain for the wedding day, and my hair gets kind of crazy if there is any sort of weather going on. I went to my awesome hair lady at Flip in Ferndale, Irene, and we tried a new up-do that was still very loose, natural and romantic, and I absolutely LOVED it. Here is my finished product on the morning of the wedding. What do you think?

Afterwards, we headed to the Royal Park and primped some dressed, stared in the mirror, nervously applied and re-applied lipgloss...wait, that might have been just me. I was feeling a bit nervous at around that time! We decided to settle down and celebrate with a bottle of champagne, clearly a fabulous idea.  I wanted to show the photo below plus a great shot of the whole group, but for some reason, blogger won't upload the champagne toast photo.  Please use your imagination.

Then, it was go time. When all of my amazing bridesmaids left the hotel room to go downstairs, it was just my dad and I. And my wedding planner's assistant, whom I had never met before. This was about the time I realized that I was getting married, and started freaking out a little bit. In a good way, of course. But the tears kept creeping up and I was trying desperately to make sure they didn't ruin my pesky false eyelashes (don't ask). Before the girls left, Lisa got a photo of me touching up my lipgloss that I absolutely LOVE...but for some reason, blogger won't let me post that one, either.  

Dad and I eventually got the signal that it was time to head downstairs to walk down the aisle. As we were about to round the corner, the wedding planner made us stop and hide where we were. Dad kept peeking around the corner, and I suddenly realized that we were stopped a few feet away from 4 tables of ladies with hats having tea at the hotel. They were all staring at me, mid-sip. One of them asked me if I had just gotten married, or if I was on my way to GET married. I replied that I was about to get married. I later wondered if they thought my dad was my new husband...?

Anyway, we finally got the green light and walked down the hall and, eventually, down the aisle. The Conservatory where Matt and I got married was down this little corridor, and I was fighting some pretty serious tears as we headed down the way. At one point I looked up and realized that my future brother-in-law, Kelley, was directly in front of me, video-taping the whole thing! He was totally into it. It was pretty funny, and I'm looking forward to watching that video!

Matt and I had the most fabulous wedding ceremony; we were married by my former professor, Dr. John Rubadeau. He did a really incredible, amazing ceremony that made me laugh so hard that I cried again! It was hysterical, and totally impossible to recap here. You just had to be there.

And then, ta da! We were married!

What followed is a bit of a haze - I remember thinking at the time that I had to savor every moment, you know - remember everything. I'm really struggling now. On Monday, when Matt and I were on our way to Costa Rica for the honeymoon, we looked at each other and said....did that even happen??? It seems so distant, even now, and I realize that it was only three and a half weeks ago! But anyway, judging from the photos, I had a fantastic time. Here are a few of the amazing pro portraits. I'm absolutely in love with all of the photos, thanks to Patrick Abel at Special Moments Photography. Please contact me if you're interested in hiring him - I cannot say enough amazing things about him!

So, that's about it! Matt and I retired to our room at the Royal Park for the first serious night of sleep I have had in probably the eight months since we got engaged. It felt fabulous! We woke up the next morning, stared at our wedding rings, and realized - HEY! We're married!