Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Just Won't Leave Me

Summer isn't as magical as it used to be.

Hot days aren't made for swimming when you're working all day. Even if you work only half the day, who wants to go through the hassle of shaved legs, an epic bus transfer adventure and a public pool full of kids? Plus there's Netflix and not-as-expensive air conditioning at home, so I have that going for me.

Mornings aren't made for sleeping in. But I've been on that train for quite some time now, so we're not too distraught.

Bills still need to be paid and laundry still needs to be done. I still grumble over how many dishes we can accumulate seeing as I eat out of bags and boxes when Mr. E works and when he's not home he's being paid to eat out. The dog may be a tad more lazy with this heat, but she's always been a snuggler.

I think this post said it best when she asks you to get your cuppa out of her face, Starbucks advertising, because realistically the last thing I want to consume is a piping cup of fall as I tether myself to a 5 foot radius of our AC. These are the times that call for Drumsticks in various flavors, and may I suggest the mint no nuts?

We started our summer with Zion and ended it, rather anticlimactically, with an HBO cast party downtown.
My favorite picture? My FAVORITE PICTURE.
Somewhere in my life I traded girlfriend sleepovers for margarita lunch breaks and free comedy shows. I gave up mindless cable re-runs for a never-ending queue of quirky, independent films chosen based on a faceless algorithm. For some reason I'm not as worried about the movies chosen for me as I'm worried about the world content selected based on my viewing patterns. You don't know me, Google. (Sidenote: We're really into TED Talks right now)

There was a delicious carefree-ness to summer, a time to look forward to and bemoan when it was over. But now? Summer isn't a break from anything, really. The world keeps trudging on, regardless of the temperatures that make me avoid walking the dog regularly for fear of heatstroke.

But growing up can mean expanding out and I'm not referring to our ice cream consumption (which is horrendous, stop asking). Here's a time to focus inward. I sewed a quilt. I downsized both closets AND the storage space. Mr. E finished writing/transcribing his first feature film script. We got a new car (though unplanned and really a very miniscule silver lining to a sucky situation).
So maybe sometimes summer isn't delicious pool days and backyard BBQs and movie nights. It's not determined by school years or months on the calendar anymore. I had to make my own summer, and I will continue to do so, dammit, until I'm shivering in my shorts and flip flops.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Falling in Love...with Football

It was almost fall the other night. I could taste it. Literally.

The hand-picked apples were simmering in their sugar and cinnamon syrup- turning just soft enough to be wrangled into a rose-shaped pie. JUST BECAUSE. The turkey breast was crackling in our stove and I smiled because I finally finally figured out how to best utilize this weird contraption called a bottom burner. Our potatoes were cooked to Eccles' home perfection- soft inside and crunchy outside, the closer to french fries the better.
These homegrown beauties soon became...
Don't be fooled, this isn't as difficult as it looks. Just time-consuming!
The pup was weaving her way through my legs, her small fuzzy body tickling my shins. She looks less scruffy after a shave and a bath, a mohawk trailing down her spine to match Mr. E. He's in the living room just behind me doing his best to multi-task: one eye on his boiling ears of corn, the other on the Colts and Broncos game. We've never splurged for cable, and this isn't even on for love of the game. 
It doesn't matter who's playing, what the score is or who just grabbed that touchdown- football is the sound of fall. Listening to Al Michaels and my mind instantly hits calm. When I was at my first quarter of college and away from home for the first time ever, anxiety hit me so bad I wanted to roll up in my bed and cry, trying not to hit my head on all my open textbooks. But my roommates were out and supposedly the TV was available to all so I tuned in to Monday night football and the calm that washed over me was instant. The soundtrack to my perfect days.

I barely even watch the games. It's on in the background, a soothing sound of whistles and 10 second sound bites, of cheering and announcements. "The best this season" and "Offsides, number ninety-four". Baking is easier, more focused when I can half-tune into NBC. Tidying is quicker when I'm sneaking glances at the latest commercials for game day feasts and tail-gating Americans.

We may have woken in the middle of the night to heavy humid temperatures this week and used the air conditioning more than we ever have before, but every few days when we wake up the sky is a grumpy gray and the mountains behind us are shrouded in fog. It's not cool yet, but it's coming. I felt gypped out of our sweater weather last year thanks to an 80 degree Christmas, but I have high hopes for the coming seasons.
The view from behind our building
In the meantime I'll be grabbing the last of the summer produce and freezer-jamming myself silly in an effort to preserve sunshine in a PB and J.
This is the most delicious apricot-cherry jam I've ever had. Or made.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ren Faire

My only regret is that we missed the "Wines and Wenches Weekend", as I can only imagine the kind of cleavaged debacuhery that would occur.
Not that we didn't already witness our fair share. (Get it?)
Yes, it's true, the renaissance faire in Irwindale is one of the biggest on the West Coast. And yes, it's true, it's also a fantastic excuse for women to dress in corsets and little-to-no shirt product. But it's also a rockin' good time.
You can't fully enjoy the faire if you are not properly attired, as their many costumed booths could attest to, but as I don't have the guts (or the boobs) for a corset, eclectic gypsy-esque it was going to be!
Mr. E and I went a little early to fully enjoy the $26/pp experience, and later met up with some friends of mine from work. Accents and feathered hats, oh my!
Forgive their expressions- they really are excited to be hanging out with me.
There were booths selling all sorts of things, from woodworking to incense, pewter goblets to glass ornaments, hair twirling, baton twirling, skirt twirling, gypsy skirts, palm-reading, jousting, and the food...Turkey legs were almost mandatory. And corn on the cob.
One of the things I love the most is how supportive everyone is. There are all kinds at the faire, and some of them take their roles or their characters so seriously I'm pretty sure that's just how they are, but they are all so sweet to one another. They laugh and call out across stalls, compliment you on your skirt or your bag or your mustache, offer their services or stop you in the middle of the thoroughfare, stomp their feet and bow "M'lady..." before whisking away, cape in hand.
Who doesn't want to get treated like a princess for a day? A princess with all her boobs in her shirt, no less...