04 March 2008

Things (I Did In February) That I Love

Right, so I'm finally getting around to my February-in-review, only 4 days late. February's a great month: it's short (even when it's been extended, as it was this year), there's still pretty good weather in Texas, and it's Black History Month, which means that I'm more likely to find a James Baldwin display at Barnes and Noble. My February was pretty jam-packed with both change and fun: I moved offices, bought a car, and had some great nights out with my Houston friends.

I started off the month participating in Meredith and Matt's TV Marathon Extravaganza. Along with Mandy and Bill, we each picked three hours of one tv show to watch, and came up with food and drink which tied into what we were watching. It was a lazy, drunken, gluttonous good time! Matt and I hosted our shows on Friday night. Matt decided to show Smallville (which basically everyone I know watches, but I don't, because the only character I like is Lex, and he's not naked enough) and made awesome Red Kryptonite drinks (raspberry lemonade with a healthy splash of vodka) and the best chicken and dumplings I've ever tasted. Those chicken and dumplings were such tasty business, I swear. After watching four episodes and following the rules of the drinking game (I won't go into them in detail, but suffice it to say that one rule is drink anytime someone says "Clark." Have you ever watched Smallville? Watch one ep and get back to me on the relative state of your liver.), we were pretty trashed, but we still had enough in us for more.

I showed The X-Files, obviously, because I will take any opportunity to push that show on an unwilling public. In this case, though, everyone was perfectly willing because Matt, Mere and Mandy are all watching the show from the beginning. It's so cute! They still think everything's going to make sense! Anyway, for my part, I served individual sweet potato pies (because we watched "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'") and make-your-own dessert monsters, in honor of "Post-Modern Prometheus." I had marshmallows and chocolate chips and coconut and all sorts of black-and-white edible fun. All our monsters were totally cute, too. And very tasty.

And in honor of The X-Files, Rupert, Mandy's dog, wore his bumblebee outfit. Thing I like? Dressing up dogs.

Isn't he totally cute?

On Saturday it was Mere and Mandy's turn. Meredith decided to show the first four hours of Twin Peaks, which was an excellent idea not only because we all love Twin Peaks, but because she had the most amazing food to go with it. She ordered strawberry rhubarb pie from House of Pies (probably the best place to eat in Houston. Its name says it all. IT IS A HOUSE OF PIES.) and make little sugar cookies in the shape of Douglas firs. There was a cheese log in honor of the Log Lady (someday my Log is going to have something to say about this cheese log!), and swedish fish (not in the percolator.) But best of all was Jerry's Perfect Sandwich. Remember when he first makes his entrance and he's going on and on about this perfect sandwich made with brie and butter on a baguette? Well, Mere decided to try it out, and let me tell you, Jerry may be sort of a crazy playboy who makes tragic sartorial choices, but the man knows his sandwiches. That was the best sandwich I've ever had, and I'm a girl who's eaten a lot of sandwiches.

Mandy wrapped things up with a marathon of Arrested Development, which included my favorite ep of the series, "Pier Pressure." And that's why you don't teach your kids lessons! She made Carl Weathers' Stew (I love stew) and we had Unlimited Juice and Mandy made little chocolate conversation hearts that spelled out "MAYBE TONIGHT." All in all, it was the best way to spend a weekend - vegging out, eating great food, getting drunk and watching some of my favorite television shows. And Smallville.

Then that next day, we all met for brunch at Hobbit Cafe. I love Hobbit Cafe - it's quaint and charming, and they give you enough food to feed an orc. We all looked super swank and uptown, see?

There's Matt, doing his best suave hipster impression. He's really good at it!

There's Mere, looking dreamy and hip.

And of course Mandy and m'elle got on like hotcakes, being as they both posess approximately the same level of maturity.

Speaking of the offspring, she's started showing an interest in cooking. So I tricked her out with an apron and hat. Doesn't she look professional?

So far she can cook grilled cheese and green beans with shallots and mushrooms. And she can make coffee, which I actually can't (I don't drink it so I never bothered to learn how to make it. I barely function as an adult, let me assure you), so I think soon the student shall become the master.

But I'm not ready to be stripped of my title of domestic diva just yet. People who work with me have a lot of hardships, the main one being that I'm a cranky bastard 98% of the time, so I try to make it up to them on any holiday occassion. This year for Valentine's Day I made little gift tins - red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and candied flowers, chocolate-dipped pink ribbon shortcake cookies, and of course the traditional gift of seasonal Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Nothing says "I love you" like peanut butter and chocolate wrapped in pink foil.

Don't they look cheerful and fun?

They were delicious, too, if I must say. Man, I wish I worked with me.

The rest of February sped right on by, filled with a lot of overtime work and too much shopping at Target. And then, last week, tons of great things happened! I got a raise! I bought a car! I went to Warrens!

That last bit, at least, has photographic evidence as well. See?

Sarah came to town! There she is with Mere, probably showing her a photo of Ray. Because as I once pointed out, and Sarah confirmed, the ratio of photos in which Ray appears to the ones in which he is absent is about 15 to 1. Sometimes he isn't even in the vicinity of the camera - perhaps he is several hundred miles away - but he still manages to sneak into frame. See?

It's just weird.

Matt learned a little something from Ray, because he managed to slide into this blurry shot without even noticing.

Jesus. What's so funny, me?

Sarah took over my camera at one point and Annie Liebowitzed Mere and I into being awesome photog subjects.

I mean, you can just SEE the emotion pouring off of us. We're so EDITORIAL. Sarah is like Mr Jay, only less orange, and she totally gets us to be the fiercest we can be. Tyra will love us!

The only thing to put a slight damper on the evening was that some dude in cargo shorts totally tried to hit on my by way of lecturing me about politics. A tip for all you fellas out there: I know women are hard to talk to, or whatever, especially if they're in a group of friends, but the way NOT to make them all fluttery and weak-in-the-knees is to tell them they don't understand the welfare system because they're too young. I'm just sayin'.

And although, technically, it happened in the month of March, I must give special shout-outs to last night, when I randomly caught Emma on tv. Gah, Jeremy Northam, why are you so hot? PLEASE SCOLD ME, MR KNIGHTLEY. (In case you don't know, 90% of all heterosexual females lust after either Mr Darcy as played by Colin Firth or Mr Knightley as played by Jeremy Northam, or both. In my case, it's both. In an attempt to woo literary-minded females, many men will try to adopt either a Darcy or Knightley demeanor. This is a mistake, and will cause romantic failure nearly every time, because the simple truth of the matter is that we won't stand for anyone snubbing us at a dance, trying to ruin our sister's happiness or being kind of creepily older than us and scolding us all the time unless they look like, and have the charm of, Firth or Northam. Unfair, perhaps, but this is just the way of life, men. Don't go around telling us "badly done" unless you're prepared to back that up with aristocratic good looks, a charming accent and the tendency to fiddle a bit with your waistcoat while you struggle in vain to hide your undying love and affection for us.)

March brings us ever closer to my encroaching old age, but before that happy time, we'll be bringing this blog coverage of Austin's annual South by Southwest Music Festival. Courtney and I will be posting lots of music-related entries over the next few weeks, so if that isn't your cup of tea, try to hang in there. But we are going to do our level best to find a member of Hanson and ask what the deal is with hanson secrets, so watch out for that.

xx erin

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