Friday, August 2, 2013

July in Review

Prepare yourself for many awesome discoveries! July delivered in that department.

Music: The one thing I didn't discover much of was music. I only found 2 (two!!!) songs worth saving - even to my personal library - but I like them both enough to share, too.

Movies: Jonas and I both immensely enjoyed the movie "Side Effects", which I can say hardly anything about without giving away too much, but it is worth seeing. In a sentence, it's about a drug trial gone wrong. It's kind of a thriller without guns and blood. And with Catherine Zeta Jones looking stunning (as always). The other current thing we watched (raptly) was Netflix's show "Orange is the New Black". I think it is so well done, but it has some serious sex and language (women in prison, if you get my drift), so you may be hitting fast forward frequently, should you choose to partake. I started watching it because it's based on a memoir written by a woman who was talking on one of my favorite podcasts. She got wrapped up in some craziness post-college, and ends up in jail for 15 months after being implicated as having been in a drug ring. It doesn't come down on her head until 10 years after the fact, when she's pretty much a run-of-the-mill middle class white hipster. Fascinating, hilarious, and moving. Less current, we've been enjoying Sherlock, particularly the "A Scandal in Belgravia" episode, so far. And not quite at the caliber of the rest, but still interesting for an evening when your significant other works a night shift, Ripper Street is about a detective trying to prove that not all victims in 19th century London who appear to have been killed by the Jack the Ripper really are (historically, Jack the Ripper is believed to have been more than one person). 

Best Bites: I got bored with my usual stash of Pinterest and Foodgawker recipes (a lot of home made mac n' cheese or Vietnamese spring rolls), so I pulled some real cook books off my shelf for the first time since being married, I believe. I had a bunch of old issues of Bon Appetit, so I got out the summer ones and voila, re-inspired! It's actually perfect for me - lots of pretty pictures, trusted source (more likely to be good), and seasonal (handy!). We've made amazing yogurt marinated chicken multiple times, as well as carrot cilantro jalapeno slawmango panna cotta (Martha Stewart, '03, and a big pain in the butt, but Jonas loved it), stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms (easy, delicious and mega impressive), and a from-scratch pickle relish for grilling season. Also from BA, an amazing trick I learned: keep your opened avocado from browning by submerging it in cold water or running cold water over it. It totally works! Next, I put a fancy twist on my sister's amazing bruschetta, and feel head over heals for an old family recipe for gazpacho, which is something I never would have dreamed of liking (hoping to post that recipe another time). Jonas and I tried Eureka! Burger in SLO and though neither of us thought the other person's food was amazing, we were both very impressed with our own order. I got the Tortilla Burger (yum!!) and Jonas got some crab sliders as well as a beer sampler. Lastly, I failed hipster class by trying kale several times and hating it (I've had it in soup that I like, but forget chips or steamed!). I also used straight arugula for the first time and didn't enjoy it, and I'm struggling to find an eggplant recipe I like. If there's one you love, do tell... P.S. I am coo-coo bananas about this incredibly styled photo, not least because of how it screams "summer". I found some dragon fruit (the pink speckled fruit from the picture above) greek yogurt, and again failed hipster class by not liking greek yogurt in general.

Best of the Web: (and it was GOOD!)

  • Missing some headless princesses in your life? I have just the thing... 
  • I guess I'm loving gore right now, but you can't blame me because this automaton organ of a tiger mauling a soldier is incredible. 
  • Equally fascinating, but less bloody, Humans of New York will light up your day. 
  • I love a great story, especially about improbable romance in old age (the best podcast I heard in July). 
  • An ode to San Francisco's fog, like a gentle apocalypse. I'm amazed by those who can capture movements of the sky. Movements and moments that, when I see them in my own life, feel like once-in-a-lifetime things. 
  • Oh English language, you are delicious and transcendent. I wish to always know you better. A new term I heard this month and had to look up was "listicle."
July Events:
  • On the 4th of July, we had lunch with our extended Welch family, and then my parents and sisters and my sister Annelise's boyfriend (Andrew) came over for Pho, home made strawberry mango lemonade (one of Jonas's specialties), and the fireworks show. Not the official show, mind you, but we live in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood and our neighbors know how to put on a fireworks show that rivals the fairgrounds. I can't imagine how many hundreds of dollars they spent on their stash. We just lit sparklers and a Thai lantern that Jonas bought me for our anniversary and hoped we didn't burn down the hills and/or get hauled away in chains. 
  • My 3 resolutions for 2013 are gathering cobwebs, but I have made some progress on some of them. Really minor progress. I'll probably not finish a painting, but start hounding me in the fall if I haven't at least started a class. BBQing by myself could happen any day. I'd almost forgotten my over-arching one ("be generous"), so at least I have that back on the brain. 
  • I got to attend 2 O'Brien parties hosted by the queen of parties herself, Miss Party Mom (Kenna). The first was Birdie's 2nd birthday, a "puppy party" theme, and the second was Kenna's "favorite things" party for her 33rd birthday. Both were incredibly decked out with party amazingness, as always, and I can't say I wasn't really thrilled to have an occasion to dress up for Kenna's party, too. I didn't get a great picture of my outfit, but just think, "more is more." Here's a picture (above), probably the most "party-y" that you'll ever get out of me. 
Ishmael's 8th Month: I have been fascinated and heart-melted to be able to see Ishmael learning things. He watches everything so carefully and you see the wheels turning, and just like that, he'll exhibit a newly learned trick. When we say "no" (which he definitely understands and does pretty well at obeying) and beckon for him to come to us instead of ripping the window blinds, he pauses, and beckons for us instead. Either that, or he's still trying to catch dust motes with his hand ballet. In the eating department, he's discovered that he can just spit out something he doesn't like (ugh), stand up in his high chair despite the belt (ugh), and frequently waves his sippy cup around by one finger, resembling a drunken tavern goer. He is CRAZY about music, be it banging on pianos, strumming guitars, "singing" along in church or to the radio, and dancing. That boy can not resist a beat, particularly if it's Donna Summer. Sometimes he'll dance until you make him stop, and if he has to crawl somewhere while the music is on, he periodically stops mid-crawl to get some wiggles in. He's also discovered clapping and clasping his hands (the cutest!) and that he can look and crawl underneath objects (though once he's underneath he sort of freaks out that he's "trapped"). He tries to take the cap off of many things, like chapstick or pens, even if they don't have caps, and he occasionally tries to help when we take his shirt off. He got his first haircut, and he's also getting a sense of humor. He still laughs by inhaling (which can sound like a dolphin) most of the time, or exhaled chuckles, but his timing is better; if you think something he does is funny, he'll keep doing it, and he laughs when other people laugh. Sometimes he laughs at just the right moments when other people get to a punch line, and that is the best, because it makes everyone crack up and he seems like a genius. Other times, he laughs spontaneously to himself which is pretty cute too. In the past few days, he's been sick for the first time (minus 2 colds), complete with fever and a rash (?). It's hard to see your baby sick, but he's a trooper (and he's a good snuggler when he's sick). Here he is looking like a monk (we put him in a t-shirt because he felt so hot, but didn't want people on our walk to yell at us for not putting any clothes on him). 

July love list: watching kids eat ice cream, cruise control!! (recently used it for the first time in my life, due to complete terror that the car would blow up before), clean sheets, being done with nursing bras!!, manicures, sisters-in-law, good conversations with strangers, coming home to a clean house, dinner guests, new lipsticks.

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