Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Reads

Small Green Roofs, by Edmund Snodgrass
A gift from my uncle and aunt (the ones with chickens, a horse, a dog and cats, plus the best garden ever) -- some really cool case studies of different ways houses and businesses incorporate plants into architectural decisions. 

Songs for the Missing, by Stewart O'Nan
I started this one but did not finish it.  I find that sad books about missing children depress me terribly; and I just didn't want to finish it.  So I didn't.

Pegasus, by Robin McKinley
Now, I was really angry at the end of this was a terribly abrupt and frustrating way to see all the characters I'd grown to really love just leave.  And of course, it was around 11pm at night, my computer was already off, and I couldn't check if there was a sequel.  The next morning, it was the first thing I did, and thank goodness, there's a sequel coming out, in 2014.  And as luck would have it, I realized that there are several other older books of hers that I haven't read, so I have some options to check out from the youth fiction section at the Boston Public Library.  (and yes, I do love youth fiction, even now.  I really do like adult fiction as well, but there's something so escapist about the books I would have read as a young girl.  And truth be told, there's less sex.  I think adult writers lean on that angle too often.  You have to work harder if that part of the story simply isn't there.)

 The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, by MT Anderson
The point of view is interesting, I'll give you that.  It's set in Revolutionary War Boston, and it tells a completely different story than I expected.  Yet, it's not the happiest of books.  Beware.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Garden Party!

The raw materials, before all the girls descended upon them!  Thread, ribbons, orphaned clip on earrings bought from this shop on Etsy, felt, glue guns, rhinestones, hair combs, and feathers (though these are on another table, they kind of make a huge mess and get everywhere.  Whoops).

The house team, all wearing their fascinators!  Love it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've been watching a great deal of White Collar in the mornings when I work out, and boy have vests become quite the attractive thing.  Not the Rick Santorum sweater vest...a Neal Caffery vest.

Although, I may just be a sucker for his smile.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Boston Pops does Gershwin

 A beautiful day to walk across the river.


Our second balcony seats---and let's just say that the outside isn't the only part of Symphony Hall that is totally blinged out during a Pops Concert!

The program was all Gershwin set, which started with a photo montage to "Love is Sweeping the Country" ---and there was a nifty attachment to the conductor's stand that played the montage with an added metronome flash to ensure that the orchestra matched the visual changes.  Next was the classic favorite "Rhapsody in Blue."  Then, they truly blew me away with the "American in Paris" ballet---played to the actual movie ballet onscreen.  Amazing. 

The last set of music was accompanied by the Boston Conservatory Theater Division---eight young artists took the stage to sing and dance to Gershwin's Tin Pan Alley melodies.  They did a great job, that's for sure.  All in all, a wonderful $5 evening. 

On the way home.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, mom!  You're amazing.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Planting in the garden

After two weeks of rain, rain, oh, there's more was phenomenally gorgeous.  I can't even really describe how gorgeous. 

And it being so lovely, my gardening partner-in-crime and I planted away up in the Penthouse. 

And then, of course, I've spent the rest of the afternoon longingly looking out the window as my eyes turned redder and redder from pollen irritation.  I hate that one of my favorite times of year has become a season where I enjoy the view from afar, or suffer the consequences. 

(and yes, those are the new glasses!  I'm still getting used to them; the color of the ones I tried on was a little bit lighter tortoiseshell that I preferred to this darker version, but I do like them!  They're definitely a change.  They're the Sibley glasses from Warby Parker, if anyone is interested)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Professional photos from the wedding - just a taste!

Check them out here --- she just looks so radiant, so lovely!  And so many smiles, what a happy day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

uplink with the ISS

My lab normally rocks out to any given genre of music, but this Monday, we listened to the uplink with the International Space Station from Minnesota's Farnsworth Aerospace PreK-8.  Despite a bit of static, the fact that I could hear over an internet connection a radio uplink being made with Ham Radio between St. Paul and something orbiting the Earth, well, that's pretty surreal, to say the least.   And when you put a speed and distance to it, it's even crazier:  the ISS is 250 miles above the Earth and moving at  17,500 mph. 

The Ham Radio Club out of Polk County, Wisconsin (close to the Twin Cities) just posted an update, with some pictures!

(mom's on the in front of the stage, on the left side in black)

The whole crew!

(if you're interested, there more on our local news station, Kare11)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Food of St. Louie Louie!

After a long Thursday and rehearsal dinner, the bridal party went to Cunetto's House of Pasta, and I ate a positively scandalous amount of garlic pasta and chicken parmesan.  After a month of no pasta, wow, did that ever taste great. 

The next day, we headed off for tacos at Fuzzy's (award for the most awkward food business name, but their tacos were good!), and stopped by some St. Louis classics for dessert.  Next, we headed down the street to try Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, made famous when invented in the 1930s when a baker added too much sugar to his cake.  Rarely seen outside St. Louis, the best place to find it when you're in town is the Gooey Louie company (earning the best of St. Louis award three years in a row). 

So unassuming...but so delicious!  If you're interested in making it at home, Smitten Kitchen has a somewhat less-sweet version is here.  It tastes like a lemon-less lemon bar, or in other words, delicious.  Use good butter, since this is the main flavor of the cake.  I did bring back an original flavor and the peanut butter for the labmates that took care of my parasites.  For someone who talks about parasites all the time, I sometimes forget that the subject is actually not appropriate when talking about food.  Oops.

The next dessert stop of the day was Ted Drewes for frozen custard.  Boston doesn't do custard, so this was a rare treat.  And I smothered mine in hot fudge.  What a good idea.

You can't really tell, but it's freezing and rainy out.  But people are still lined up for their custard!

Hodak's was my final eating stop of the trip, right before I went to the airport.  Fried ravioli, another St. Louis staple, was enjoyed by all, and I ate what felt like eight pounds of fried chicken and french fries.  If you're going to go out with a bang, that's the way to do it.  I didn't need to eat again until the next day at lunch.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

time for pictures!

The day dawned muggy and bright, the hair was sprayed into place, and off we went to the Arch for pictures!  One of the girls spritzing our bouquets had my camera and took all of these fabulous shots.

We're supposed to be looking casual here. 

Preparation for the shoe picture---hiking up a dress while holding a bouquet is tricky.  (in retrospect, we should have handed them over to the gents..)

But they were busy entertaining the baby!

I love this photo.

Pretty pictures of the skirt!


The Arch!

30 seconds after this picture was taken, it started to pour.  And the pouring turned into small hail, and a groomsman recieved a text from his kids with baseball-sized hail on the lawn...scary.

So, the decision was made to have the wedding indoors on site (there was a chapel above the reception hall).  And wouldn't you know, the tornado sirens went off just as we were walking down the aisle!  I was the first one to go, can you say nervous?  But one of the relatives found me later and said, "You just had such a big smile, I could tell that in spite of everything and such a busy day that you were so happy to be there!" 

Then, we partied.  No pictures, but rest assured there was lots of music for the Jersey girls in the audience, and lots of party tunes to keep us dancing!

After the evening was over, a return to the hotel yielded a parking lot full of smashed windshields and giant divots that were a testament to the baseball-sized hail that had descended a few hours earlier.  I helped a girlfriend get her car into the parking garage, taking pictures to send off to her insurance company in the morning (can you believe those dents?  You can also see that the case to her passenger-side mirror is totally knocked off).

About 95% of cars in the parking lot had severe hail divots, 75% had one glass bit of their car ruining, and about half had both front/back windshields broken in.  And the groom's car?  Totaled.   While no one expected to making insurance claims on the night of the wedding, no one could argue that it wasn't memorable. 

Eshakti dress number two!  And a bride that is so sick of smiling, but gamely agreed to a late-night photo.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the big reveal

Taking photos in the bride's grandmother's home.


That grin on her face slays me.  The groom hasn't seen her all day, nor does he know what her dress looks like.  She is just so excited for this moment.

Tapping him on the shoulder...