Thursday, February 17, 2011

Centre College Admissions Office, I Owe You One

An excerpt from Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett (recommended to me several months ago by Caroline Dale Kraft)...

"One night, when we were in our early twenties and still living in Iowa, we went to the campus theater to see a showing of Cocteau's Orpheus. We sat with a group of poets, friends of Lucy's, and together we cheered the scenes in the Poet's Cafe where fistfights broke out over the scribbled drafts of a few new poems. I remember it as being a wonderful night. The movie thrilled us, and we walked home in the bitter cold talking about how brilliant Cocteau had been to make a movie in which the poets were the most important and revered people in society. Lucy said she was in love with Heurtebise, who played the part of Death's driver. She thought it showed a great sensibility on her part to fall for the sidekick, the number-two man, instead of wanting Orpheus for herself. I agreed with her completely about the appeal of Heurtebise, although the sight of Orpheus asleep in the sand, his cheek pressed against a mirror, was one that would stay with me for years.

'You should take Orpheus, then,' she said.

'But I loved Heurtebise, too,' I said, and it was true. I did. And I also didn't want Lucy to feel like she was settling. 'He had a greater soul than Orpheus.'

We were two young women talking about which of the dead French movie stars we would have rather gone on a date with. In short, we were very much alive."
Caroline, this reminds me of us. You, being Lucy-esque, taking me to the types of places where people are familiar with Cocteau. Us, being the friends who walk home analyzing a movie (even if it is Stomp the Yard) in the Chicago cold, all the while debating which stars we would want to date or with whom we would be best friends.

Thank you for always being honest with me even in those moments when conciliatory "I agree with you"s would be easier; for improving your story-telling skills since college; for not sugarcoating the effects of an illness; for not wallowing in illness-related pity either; for inspiring me to pursue creative and interesting activities; for sharing too much wine with me and subsequently posting a Wikipedia entry on "pants" on various Facebook pages; for being the best dancer I know; for having the coolest parents imaginable (other than my own:)); for really "getting me."

Your letters are the most eloquent. Your email and Facebook quips, the funniest. Your presence, the most welcomed. Your friendship, the most cherished.

Happy Birthday, CDK.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So gangsta, I'm so Thug...

Well, since it was going to cost me nearly $42 to get a case of Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry shipped to the house (apparently, this is only seasonal; for the past month or so, Andy has anxiously walked into gas stations, only to come out minutes later cussing the entire beverage industry), I decided to get Mr. Wiggins the next best thing for Valentine's Day...a video compilation of random, somewhat nontraditional love songs that remind me of him or of us.

But first...

Happy Valentine's Day to the man who...
*will play 20 questions in the car with me even though my categories are typically far too vague and my answers, rather than being "yes" or "no," often include "kind of", "depends", or "sometimes."
*looks really, really cute in his grandfather's horn-rimmed glasses.
*might read a comic book, Nietzsche, and an ESPN magazine within a two-hour time block
*doesn't settle for uninspired.
*can drive a tractor and a Prius.
*I never worry will be awkward around, intimidated by, or uncomfortable with any group of people I choose to be around.
*makes me want to read more and think more.
*is one of few people who has weirder dreams than me. And the only one with whom I like to laugh about them in the morning.
*willingly, and quite enthusiastically, participates in Turner family stupid pictures.
*was my co-star in The Hunt, our AWARD WINNING horror short film.
*can have an in-depth discussion with me about what makes a pizza a good pizza.
*disregards his instincts and keeps the house clean because it makes me happy.
*accepts people for who they are, whether or not he would choose their decisions/lifestyle for himself...And reminds me to try to do the same.
*likes American Idol far more than he would ever admit.
*makes the best fried sweet potatoes I've ever eaten.
*has cycling jerseys and my dad's flannel shirts side-by-side in the closet.
*is, no joke, one of the most creative, quick-witted, and foolish people I have ever met. Just ask Evil Rat Bitch.
*would do anything to help my mom.
*encourages me to both believe in and stand up for myself.
*makes me laugh everyday.
*is more liberal than me. And who can articulate his political/economic/social positions so much more intelligently than me.
*as Garth Brooks says, "is so New York and then L.A.; And every town along the way; He's every place that I've never been."

That's right, when they say you're not my baby like Maury
You can tell 'em that they're telling a story.

This is how Andy finally got me, too.

The actual video is so much cooler, but I couldn't embed it. Oh well, I think he knows I still love him so.

Cause it's simple.

Some additional random picks for Valentine's Day...
Swept Away by The Avett Brothers - Who cares about tomorrow; what more is tomorrow; but another day; when you swept me away

Magnolia Tree by Drew Halcomb & the Neighbors

The Luckiest by Ben Folds I don't get many things right the first time; In fact, I am told that a lot; Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls;
Brought me here

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay The sky could be blue, I don’t mind;
Without you it’s a waste of time

She's Every Woman by Garth Brooks He's anything but typical;
He's so unpredictable; Oh but even at his worst he ain't that bad

I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

I'd Rather Be With You by Joshua Radin

Into Your Arms by The Lemonheads

1234 by Plain White Ts

Outloud by Dispatch

Come Away With Me by Norah Jones

Jerry Don in a Priest Costume...Really, how could it go wrong?

Scenes from the Marrowbone Murder Mystery Party...
Never trust a French winemaker.
Do trust your sister when she says "I can do excessive makeup and a big, gross mole."
Trust your Recipes from an Italian Summer cookbook as well.
A couple of ideas...
Add a little character to your Valentine's Day meal: consider heart-shaped polenta, french toast, ice cream sandwiches, jello, vegetables, or ravioli.
Rather than buying an expensive wine rack, cut PVC pipe to size. I love this look. ________________________________________________________
Avocado Salad (Obviously this would be better with seasonal ingredients, but I enjoyed nonetheless)
2 avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
2 mandarins or tangerines
1 romaine lettuce, separated into leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 scallion, sliced
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used basil instead)
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Generous 1/4 c. olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel, halve, and pit the avocados; cut into slices and sprinkle with lemon juice. Peel the mandarins and slice into rings.

Arrange the lettuce on serving platter. Make a layer of tomato slices and scallions. Cover with avocado slices and then top with mandarin slices. Sprinkle the herbs.

Whisk together the oil, mustard, salt and pepper (I did this the night before and whisked again just before serving). Pour over salad and serve.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pasta, Passion, & Pistols

Another resolution gets checked off...the Murder Mystery Dinner Party hits Marrowbone Saturday night.
Two of my homemade wines will also be available. Yeah, I know, I wouldn't pick them either.

Menu for the evening:
Bruschetta with tomato and mozzarella
Sundried Tomato and Cheese Focaccia Bread (I'm making from a mix)
Roast Garlic and White Bean Dip (Menu in the Party Planner guide)
Avocado Salad (From the Italian cookbook Andy bought for me; he's a fantastic shopper)

Homemade Pizza - Spinach, Mushroom, Pepperoni
Lasagna (Mom is helping me out here)
Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Cream Puffs and/or Cannolis
Raspberry Semifreddo (From the Andy cookbook)
Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Sticks

*I'm Clair. I'm sending Andy to Goodwill tomorrow. Pictures forthcoming.