I was uploading photos to flickr, and today's greeting is in Mandarin. But then I went back to the home page, and it was in Swedish. Hej, blog.
This past weekend was fun-filled and action-packed, like a summer blockbuster movie. I got to spend time with a wealth of Houston friends, which was great, because it's already getting to that point in the Texas summer where it's fight or flight - I either go out and Do Things and Be With People, or I spend all my time hiding in a cool, dark room, praying for it to be October already. I don't particularly like the latter way of getting through the summer, so it's glad I am that I have amazing friends nearby so that I can do the former.
On Friday, I met some of my friends at our local institution, Warren's. I love Warren's - it's walking distance of the Rice, which means free parking for me, they pour whiskey with a liberal hand, the bartenders actually know how to make a whiskey press correctly (this is v. rare, trust) and we go so often that they totally know our group, what we like to drink, even our names. Plus, we're a bit like a gang, and no one messes with our territory - the balcony seats are ours, Houston. In fact, except for the rare but deadly occurrances of BeCargoShorted Douchebags trying to court me ("good luck at your gig!"), Warren's is pretty much perfect.
It helps to have great people to hang out with, though.
Jerry, Patrick, Matt and Ray
Tabletops looks really confused. Except, I'm not supposed to call him Tabletops in public anymore cause he says it makes him look bad. FINE. Patrick looks really confused.
Mere and I, on the other hand, are totally going to be cast in some sort of Identity Switch movie, no? Maybe we're secretly sisters! But we're going after the same man! And he can't tell us apart! Oh, the comedy of it all!
Ray told me later in the evening that he tried really hard not to look at the camera once, because he was working on not being a camera hog. Ray, hello, that is why I love you! That, and your slick dance moves. And the fact that a lot of times you have a flask on you. So, okay, there are three reasons I love you, but the camera thing is totally number one.
Alexandra and Jill
Alex came! I hadn't seen her since . . . oh gosh, new year's? Can that be right?? It was funny, we were wearing the EXACT SAME SHOES. Only hers were black and mine were yellow.
Also, Sunday was Jill's birthday. Happy birthday, Jill!
Here is Ray studiously not looking at the camera. Even Juliet thinks he's being silly.
I can't remember why people decided to show me their muscles, but I remember telling them that I could take them all single-handed. And then Patrick showed me his actual muscles. They are bigger than my head.
After we had scared off the rest of the patrons of Warren's with talk of circumcision (don't ask) and rotting vegetable smells (REALLY don't ask), we decided to go back to the Rice to see Jerry and Jill's new apartment. It's super cute, and they have TONS of windows to look out on the streets below. We also drank Matt's AMAZING homebrew that he made for the St. Arnold's brewing competition (more on that later). It seriously was some super tasty beer.
Then we just hung around and talked till the wee hours, spied on people and had a dance party to MJ and also Kanye. It was a perfect way to close out a pretty stressful week.
On Saturday night, I went to have dinner with my BFF Aly, her husband Josh and their little girl, Sophia. (Oh, and Josh's brother Jeremy, as well.) I've known Aly for almost 24 years, which is so insane that I can't even wrap my head around the idea. She truly is my sister in pretty much every way but sharing DNA (does swapping it count?); her parents are my second parents, Josh is totally my brother-in-law, and I know that no matter what, I can always go to Aly with anything. It's funny, with her job and mine, and our family obligations, we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like to, but it's never weird or awkward when we do get together. It's like no time has passed - we spend three minutes filling each other in on any major surgeries (her) or boys whose hearts we've broken (usually me. sometimes her, though) and then we go about our business like we were never apart. I can't imagine what life would be like if it weren't for Aly; luckily, I don't have to.
Also, she just found out that she's preggers again. Yay, Aly! She and Josh have been wanting another baby for a while now, and since she just made the decision to leave work and go back to school for her Masters, it sort of couldn't have come at a better time. Also, if Sophia is anything to go by, this second kid is going to be a brilliant knockout.
Hi, Phia! ILU!!!
Sophia's so smart, guys; she can practically read already and can spell her name and do all sorts of crazy babygenius stuff. She's only two!! Plus, Josh always teaches her really funny phrases to say to people - this weekend she was running around telling everyone "Du hast mich!!"
After dinner, Josh started talking about Two Girls One Cup, which I had FORTUNATELY never heard of before. I say fortunately because my inquisitive nature would not allow me to rest until I saw it, even though everyone, even Josh (who once showed me a video where a man sticks HIS ENTIRE HEAD up a girl's vajayjay), told me NOT TO DO IT. Let me please reiterate their advice. DO NOT WATCH TWO GIRLS ONE CUP. DO NOT DO IT. BAD. BAD IDEA OKAY?
After leaving Josh and Aly's, I went to Meridian to see The Virgins/Be Your Own Pet/She Wants Revenge. I love Meridian; it's probably my favorite place to watch shows, because there are multiple bars and the antechamber has tons of places to sit and people-watch between acts. The Virgins and Be Your Own Pet were both really good - The Virgins were fun and peppy and everyone was dancing along. Here is video, not from me, and not from their show at Meridian, of them performing "Rich Girls" for your enjoyment:
I like how one of the comments on the video is "Film the bassist for god's sake!" It's like I spoke through this stranger on youtube, like I guided his/her hand while typing that comment. Actually, I should like to point out that at no point on Saturday night did I hit on a bassist, so I think I'm actually growing and maturing as a person.
Be Your Own Pet were, of course, exhausting, in the best possible way. Watching Jemina is like watching a wind-up toy which someone has put down on a stage; she just goes and goes and goes. AND GOES. Ah, to be young. This video sums up the movement, if not the noise:
I left in the middle of She Wants Revenge. As it turns out, while it's great to be a Joy Division fan, and while it's great to know Joy Division fans, being in the same room with three hundred Joy Division fans is just annoying. Especially when they're all there to watch a band who couldn't come close to the brilliance of Joy Division in their most fervent fantasies.
On Sunday, I met Mere, Matt, Jill, Daniel, Sarah and Henri (phew!) at St. Arnold's brewery. We were all there to support Matt in the homebrew competition. Look how supportive we look!
Actually, we look tired and annoyed. This is because there were two guys (The Beer Choads, for lack of knowing their actual names. No, that's not true; I did know one of their names. But Beer Choads is certainly more accurate) were having a competition to see who could be the most obnoxious and overly loud. I'm not sure who won, but I know who lost: all of us who had to sit there and listen to them. Only my deep and abiding affection for Matt would cause me to sit through that.
While Matt didn't win (although I still suspect a kickbacks situation), he had a super high score, and all the judges were really effusive in their praise of his excellent beer. I'm so proud of him! He worked really hard on that beer and the results were mighty tasty!
Here we all are celebrating his good score outside:
Jill, me, Mere, Daniel, Matt, Sarah and Henri
Okay, everyone else is celebrating. I'm busy thinking, "oh shit, I've put my 600 dollar camera into the hands of a total stranger outside of a brewery! What have I done??"
I feel like this photo accurately sums up my and mere's friendship:
Everyone else is busy focused on the reason we're there, and we're busy laughing over something privately.
After leaving the brewery, we decided to drive to some mysterious bar that only Daniel had heard of. We walked by this mysterious bar (still not convinced it exists!) about 5 times before realizing that it was closed. THAT IS HOW MYSTERIOUS IT IS. (That, or we were sidetracked by the American Apparrel shop windows. Hipster habits are hard to break.) So, instead, we went to Agora, where we had caffeine and booze and a few minutes more with Sarah and Henri before they had to leave to go back to Austin. Bye, Sarah and Henri! See you next month!
Daniel practices his life of leisure at Agora.
I'm glad I got to see everyone - with everyone's summer plans, it's going to be a long time till we're all back under one roof. Don't fly away too far, friends! Unless you're stowing me in your carry-on!