Tuesday, October 21, 2014

have you come to sing pumpkin carols

i got lucky in life and ended up with two little sisters. we can drive each other crazy and i know middle sister has some sweaters i would like returned, and littlest sister has my nail polish and probably my tan striped shirt, but these are small things. mostly, we just love each other. sisters of a feather flock together.

i am the jo + meg march hybrid, middle sister is the beth, and littlest sister is the amy. each of us with our little personality quirks and way about tackling the world. littlest sister turned a whopping 19 this past weekend. nineteen. she is the baby, and somehow she is now 19 and i got started feeling old. 

so, we took her to a pumpkin patch. was it the most sincere? i don't know, but it was cute until it started raining on us and we peaced out to go home and eat dinner/fall asleep by the fire. we looked at pumpkins but got one at the grocery store instead and never had time to carve it, so i still have that left as something i'd like to do this fall. at this rate, i will be carving a turkey into a pumpkin somewhere around the middle of november. 

no big deal. life isn't a series of checklists. cool your jets, self. and, now that i think of it, a turkey pumpkin would actually be kind of cool. why do people stop carving pumpkins after halloween? could i be anti-establishment this year and carve a pumpkin pilgrim? big life thoughts over here these days.

where we failed in carving, there was face painting of the pumpkin variety.

and we stepped inside the farm store to grab cider and parked ourselves outside on a log because cider and the outdoors. midwesterners gonna midwestern. actually, i will be honest and say that a good 40% of my time is spent thinking: uggghhhh, the midwest. but, it has its charms. festivals and brutal winters and high school marching bands and such.

littlest sister has a photo of all of us together and, although she promised she would send it to me, she has not yet done so. so, this post will be selfie-less. there were also awkward prom poses in front of pumpkins, but those didn't make the cut. and goats! if there are goats or sheep or llamas, littlest sister will find them and be in your purse before you know it to squirrel out a quarter to feed them. it is her superpower: "feed the goats girl."

there is something really special about this time of year. everyone putting on their layers and venturing out on the weekends, searching for all the same things: apples, changing leaves, pumpkins. i've seen so many mentions of anne of green gables and her: "i'm so glad to live in a world where there are octobers." 

there is a gladness to it. october is beautiful, in all her quiet, crisp glory. and i'm also glad for my little october sister. happy birthday, boo.

p.s. sorry i was sick and fell asleep at 7:30.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

if i hadn't been fox books

you've got mail discussion ahead:

first and foremost, you've got mail is one of the greatest movies of all time. this is not up for debate, it just is what it is. there may be a few of you out there rolling eyes and thinking: not this shit again; do you talk about this movie every day? and my answer would be: if i'm given the opportunity, yeah, duh. but, really truly, it is one of the greats. kathleen kelly is my 90s spirit animal and joe fox is just the best and the two of them together? cinematic magic.

and, all in all, joe fox was a really wonderful guy. the daisies? the emails? the godfather references? the golden retriever named brinkley? the boats and books and mochaccinos? the part where he asks for oh, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie for as long as we both shall live and then he says don't cry, shopgirl and, seriously, every girl watching cries? (or, is that just me?)

point being: this movie needed to be celebrated here today, but also it took joe fox a little while to become the joe fox we all know and love. he struggled in the beginning and could be a slight jerk to our lovely heroine and sometimes, when i'm being bratty, i think to myself: i'm having a joe fox moment.

and, what i'm referencing is the bit of dialogue where joe fox writes to kathleen kelly thusly:
do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? that a pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts - your arrogance, your spite, your condescension - has sprung open? someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. "hello, it's mr. nasty." I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about. 

well, joe fox, i do know what you're talking about.
i've been having some joe fox moments lately. the worst version of myself.

and, really, this was all just a front to talk about you've got mail, but also this: when you're having a joe fox moment (or, a string of them, in my case), my advice would be to get out of your rut and/or get out of town and do something nice.

which brings me to: over the rhine. (hereinafter referred to as: "otr")

this past weekend, in an effort to battle my joe fox moments, i told boyfriend we were getting out of the burbs and heading to cinci to bop around otr for the night and have fun, gosh darnit. and, the mission was accomplished and this is what happened.

our objective was to go to the eagle otr, a place where hip people go and order fried chicken and comfort food. we put our names on the list at 6:45pm and were quoted a 2.5 hour wait, so we headed out among the people to bar hop. (ed. note: we later found out that our 6:45 check-in was the last one they took that night, so be prepared to go earlier and/or wait and/or be turned away).

we went to kaze bar first and sipped on cocktails until we left to get margaritas and stand at the outside patio at bakersfield. that one sentence was short, but in real time it was approximately 2 hours. so, we headed back to the eagle in anticipation of our wait time and parked ourselves at the bar until we were called. and we waited, and waited, and waited and i think it really ended up being closer to 4 hours by the time we sat down, but we are chill people and it didn't bother us too much, except that we were hungry and had been at bars all evening and well, you know.

but, the chicken, omgggggg. we got fried chicken with drizzed hot honey and we split spoonbread and mac and cheese and succotash and whoa, nelly. please to enjoy these next, grainy photos, taken with an unsteady hand.

and so ended our saga of being hip and cool, and we drove back to the suburbs, stuffed.

in closing: nurture your joe fox moments. go to the mattresses with them, and then feed them fried chicken and mac and cheese. if you are cinci-bound, feed them at the eagle otr, specifically. or, if you don't have fried chicken, look at these photos, whimper quietly, and whisper: i wanted it to be you. i wanted it to be you so badly.

whatever works for you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

country roads, take me home

this blog is quickly becoming a weekend-recap blog. dumb. i could start blogging more about weekly happenings, but it might get old real quick: espresso, work, more work, the mindy project, cycling classes, survivor + pizza night, work, work, espresso. i need some variety. look forward to that (i'm telling myself, and you). 

but, it's monday. uggghhh, monday. i am wearing all black today in mourning for our good friend, the weekend. this weekend was so nice, but it was over too quick and there was so much driving. namely: i drove to west virginia and back for a wedding, but mostly i went to hang out with my grandma.

my grandma is exceptional. i love her so much. she lives on top of this hill in point pleasant, home to america's only mothman museum, if you feel so inclined to visit. i actually think that point pleasant is really creepy. it was cursed in 1777 by chief cornstalk (true story) and then there was a bridge catastrophe in the 1960s, and it is also home to mothman, a huge, creepy, man-moth with glowy red eyes. the latter was memorialized in a truly tragic richard gere movie (congratulations, point pleasant, you made it!) if you want a quick course in mothman lore. 

anyhow, grandma. she lives on this hill. i make sure to get all my things unpacked from the car in daylight hours because i do not go outside after dark. i repeat: outside, after dark, do not go. 

it was so cold on the hill this past weekend! fall has really fallen, right? grandma had the heat on when i came in late and she wrapped me up in a quilt and fed me soup and we chatted until we got too tired. i went to church with her the next morning, and her church just kills me. it is one of those little, country churches where everyone knows each other and there's about 40 people in the pews. in the middle of the service, the pastor basically gives an intermission for everyone to greet one another. instead of shaking hands with the people in the nearby row, everyone pours out into the aisle and hugs everyone there. i clocked it at just under 10 minutes on sunday, which was longer than the actual sermon.

i bought grandma a pumpkin from a farmer on the windy road back to her house, and then we went home and napped before talking a stroll outside and watching some television show about how alaska is the final frontier. 

and there were apples that grandma picked from her apple trees, which look like nothing you see in the grocery stores. and so many beautiful, beautiful trees. the drive through kentucky and into west virginia was just beautiful this time of year and made me so glad that i live in a place where fall leaves exist.

and, then that was it! i hugged my grandma and grumpily drove home and watched the bengals lose and then turned on my electric blanket and fell asleep snuggling sally cat. so, now i should really go do some more work and if anybody has any good ideas about what i should cook for dinner, please let me know because i'm at a loss. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

i was born a house cat

it's the last day of september. how did we get here already? 

it really is fall already. the leaves are changing, and there's a stretch of trees i drive under to get to work that just showers my car in little golden leaves, like some sort of autumn snowglobe. and, while i'm constantly struggling with living in the present - since i'm typically planning at least three months in advance - this october thru december stretch is my favorite time of the year and i am going to make myself slow down and enjoy it.

this past weekend officially kicked off fall for me. my sisters came back into town for the weekend and our hometown applefest (there are so many festivals in small-town america), and mostly we relaxed and did fall things. FALL THINGS, my fave!

there was a pizza party on friday night with ghost cookies and hocus pocus. littlest sister's boyfriend had not seen it (say what?!?!), but he's also from canada and hadn't eaten a hamburger until last year (seriously), so it's an uphill battle.

and then i woke up early saturday to go bargain shopping with everyone. i scored a vintage coach purse for $7.50. i am so proud of this achievement that if it makes its way into my obit in like, 150 years, i will not even be mad. please someone put it right after "she graduated from law school."

and then, applefest! all of the apple-y goodness.
there were caramel apples with these hams, and maybe some fritters that i squirreled away for breakfast. 

and apples in pure form, pulled by tractors, natch.
and cider.

and i sat and watched the crowds thin and the sun start to go down and it was peaceful and nice and all the kinds of things you'd want your little midwest hometown to be.

also, if you don't know where i live by the end of this post, then you're a terrible stalker.
chipping away at anonymity here, yikes.

Monday, September 22, 2014

summer's beginning to give up her fight

it's fall time! also, the end of another successful weekend, and the start of a new week. yawn.

a little part of me is just bouncing from one weekend to the next. i have had so many weekend plans lately and i spend all this time in the car and out and about and then, come monday, i am somehow more tired than i was on friday afternoon and then a stressful week happens and aaaahhhh. lots of fun things happening, so i can't complain too much, but i would maybe just like a weekend of cat napping on the couch with the windows open.

but, this was not in the cards for this past weekend because: oktoberfest!!

i have never been to oktoberfest in cincinnati, but this was the weekend to fix that. boyfriend and i went down on saturday afternoon and bopped around the beer tents before meeting up with my entire extended family, basically, for the miami/uc football game.

we started out at one of the sam adams beer tents, which was right next to fountain square, and also: a beer stein-holding competition, because of course. i guess most of the competitors competed for a spot in this in the past couple of weeks, but because cincinnati is home to the lachey brothers, they just get to walk on in, which they did.

fun fact: the announcer was telling the crowd to calm the heck down because "nick and drew will be out in a little bit," and i was immediately like: the lacheys, boyfriend. they are close. and he said: who? are they from here? and his cincinnati card was revoked because EVERYONE in this area knows somebody who knows somebody who saw nick lachey at kings island one time / knows that they're from here.

anyhow, here is my creeper crowd shot of nick lachey. short people problems. in case you were really curious, drew was out before nick and cheered for nick, and nick looked like he was over it, but i think he also made it to the final three?

and then we walked away and navigated the crowds and tried beers and i found one i really liked, but i can't remember what it was called. i'll put this here as a reminder to me to ask boyfriend what it was.

and then sausages! schmidt's came down from columbus and boyfriend was super excited. i actually spent three years driving to columbus to see that guy and never ate at schmidt's, even though it was right down the road from his apartment and is a sausage institution, from what i can gather. so we ate sausages! and drank beer! and generally reveled in our heritage! and i wrote a whole paragraph about eating sausages without making an obscene joke! (bitte)

after, then we glided over to the stadium and i got to hug my dad and sisters and cousin and aunt + uncle, and grandma and it was awesome, and then i bumped into my college roommate and it was a good time all around. miami lost (obviously), but it was a good game and such a good, good time.

sunday was more football (bengals!) and chores and things and now i'm looking ahead to another busy week and jam-packed few weekends, but -- here we go, autumn, here we go!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

in the holes of my sweater

is it feeling like fall yet where you are?

we've had the most perfect, pre-fall weather around here lately. cool mornings and evenings, with a little chill hanging around during the day. i am probably like every other girl out there right now with her fall agenda: apples! pumpkin picking! it's the great pumpkin! football! hocus pocus! bonfires! nationwide, boyfriends are rolling their eyes and sucking it up (or, loving it?) for the next month, probably spiking their cider behind their girlfriend's back. 

whatever; fall is the best, haterz. 

this past weekend, boyfriend and i had big plans to go to the renaissance festival, which was tentatively on my fall checklist. we got halfway there, stopped for lunch at the cutest little cafe, and then nixed our afternoon plans in favor of perusing the little town and some "hiking." i don't know if we actually "hike" in the most literal sense of the word - i think we just walk around outside. i know that's basically what hiking is, but i don't think we're extreme enough to go around and tell people "yeah, you know, we went hiking this weekend." although, we started going over the summer and it's nice to walk the paths and chat. anyhow, we explored caesar's creek over the weekend, which was a new place for us.

was i super happy to do it in my mocs and jeans? probably not. and, we climbed at least 200 billion stairs that were built into the side of a gorge. even though i kind of had a mini-meltdown on what was definitely a level 5 path (because feelings, y'all, and also steps), i loved it and the day was beautiful and all that jazz. 

and after we hike-walked a bunch, we went and got tacos and watched a really terrible chick flick (my boss's daughter) which, i just found out, got an 8% rating on rotten tomatoes. hilariously horrible.

i've been doing other things too besides being faux healthy. i just haven't been blogging about them - sometimes they're too boring, or too personal, or i was too lazy, or i just didn't take any pictures and walls of text just aren't as much fun or something. but, here was a blog post about "hiking," so you all can think i'm terribly well-rounded, even though most of the time i'm sitting behind a desk or binging orange is the new black.

the end.


also, thank you all for being as excited about tacos as i am. (see: previous post). i suppose i can eat more tacos in the name of blogging/science/FREEDOM.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

and getting caught in the rain // taqueria mercado

today is a day for desk-dreaming of sunny places and spicy food. 

because i am freezing, in august.

woke up this morning to lightning and storms before jetting off to court. in and out of rainstorms. around noon, i decided i'd drive home right quick - hometown perks - and change into something less wet/grab lunch. and then, halfway there, my fan belt slipped off and there was no more driving for me. i pulled over and started walking in the direction of my neighbor's auto repair shop (in my court dress and heels and just pouring, pouring rain) and they said they'd go get my car and then got their son to drive me back to work. you guys. what a crummy thing, but what good people.

so, i spent the afternoon shivering under the ac vents at my desk.

and now i've been sitting here and drying out and contemplating what will surely be a serious endeavor. i am starting a blog series! like, today. this is it! it will be super highbrow and very educational and i will impress you all with my thoughts about world events and feminist ramblings about the anaconda video.

just kidding. it's really about tacos. 

i kind of think tacos might be the best food in existence. they are so delicious. you can put anything inside those little tortillas, and there is a good chance the results could be spectacular. when i was just starting college, i went on a mission trip to ensenada, mexico and one day the nice, old lady at the church took me to the fish market. we picked out the fish, and then we took it to the kitchen, and group of ladies pounded out tortillas and fried this fish and put some slaw on there and i was like, i'm going to stop trying to get to heaven, because this is it. (hey-o. that is super sacrilegious, sorry.)

and then, i came back to the united states and spent a few days trying to make quesadillas for breakfast before i gave up, because nothing was the same.

all of this to say...i have been on the lookout for the best fish tacos for a while now. and before, this was only something that really boyfriend and my family were in on, but congratulations all of my five readers, now you can follow along too. 

and, without further ado, here is the inaugural post on my very serious quest to find delicious tacos in the midwest.

who... boyfriend took me. a friend told him it was awesome, and boyfriend told me because he's nice/his parents raised him right. 

what... good things come in threes: my sisters, the wisemen, and the high school musical trilogy. similarly, i went with a holy trinity of tacos. shrimp, fish, and steak. 

when... august 17, 2014.

where... taqueria mercado. it's in a little strip just down the road from jungle jim's, ohio people. 

why... because, tacos. 

taco thoughts... oh. my. gosh. first thing first: these were crazy delicious. i will definitely be going back. second thing: the shrimp and fish tacos had a pico on them and they will clear your sinuses right up because - jalapeno seeds. proceed with caution. third: the fish taco was good, but i like the baja style the best. but, i ate it last and by the time i got there my tastebuds were basically shot. (see above: jalapeno seeds) fourth: the tortillas were fantastic. whoever made those knew what they were doing, because the tortilla is just as crucial as the taco components.

ambience... this was legit. i loved it. some people would probably be timid about this place, but i was all for it. bonus: our server! when i asked him if i should get toppings, he said that the tacos come the way people eat them in mexico. a little pico, onions, cilantro, healthy slice of lime. he said he'd never eaten a taco with sour cream and cheese until he came to america. go us! 

final score... 4 jalapeno slices for the heat those seafood tacos were serving, and i like spicy. 5 ¡olés! for that shrimp taco, because it was the best shrimp taco ever. like, 3 ¡olés! for the fish taco, probably? 5 ¡olés! for overall experience. The food was crazy good, prices were reasonable, and whoever was picking the jukebox songs was winning at playlist mixing. 

in summary... go there.


that's it. place one.

look for more? or, skim these posts in the future because they are totally ridiculous and self-serving, as most blog things are. i can't wait to get zero comments on this post. 

peace out.