Thursday, July 18, 2013

1186

In a Vans store earlier this year.

Tomorrow I fly off to the Vans Warped Tour for four days. I've only ever gone to Warped on day visits to Jesse, so this should be interesting. My brain is telling me to keep a little 'tour diary' via my Tumblr, so keep checking on that if you'd like -- but I make no promises given the lack of internet and cell signal Jesse seems to have every day. I think I'll be doing a lot of people watching, reading, and tetris. So, it might be an incredibly boring 'tour diary.' At least I know I'm going to be seeing Motion City's rad live show every day.

I'm hitting up Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis in that time. I'm quite excited to get to spend time with Jesse, and luckily Warped has a day off on Monday so we'll be able to relax outside of 'camp' for a day! PLUS I get to see fellow MCS Wife / (Warped Wife?) Lindsay! I haven't seen that sweet lady since her wedding last year.

Now it's time to pack my backpack, dry shampoo, and shorts (in every color).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1185


Here are the makings of a great weekend. Told three days after the fact, given recovery time necessary.

First, get your adrenaline going and then get your brain going while moving fast on a train. I left work on Friday 15 minutes before my Connecticut-bound train would be departing Grand Central; luckily there was no ticket line and I rushed onto the train with a nice healthy sheen of sweat. Once settled, I was able to look over five scripts a friend had sent me for critique (and ultimately editing). I love giving my input on this sort of project. I wrote notes all over each version and then compiled an e-mail to the writer/director via iPhone that I was proud to press 'send' on because no matter what direction he chooses I think the final product will be enthralling. I've enjoyed an amateur capacity as an editor and feedback-giver (that is a term I just made up right now, remember I said amateur) for a few friends lately.

Second, continue your journey with good conversation, an impromptu stop and meeting, and surround yourself with great family for dinner. My dad was awaiting me in Connecticut and we began our journey to Massachusetts by recounting each of our experiences with Cloud Atlas, movie and book now that we've both taken in each of them. We stopped along the way at a grocery store to pick up something I needed to make for the next day (still cooking, guys!). While I was perusing, my dad ran into my mom in another section! My mom was just about to leave to meet us at the designated restaurant, with her visiting BFF in tow. We all headed to the restaurant to meet up with my brother and his newly appointed fiance! It was a fun meal, as always with the family. We spent the time catching up, especially on all the impending wedding details!


Third, arrive home only to be surprised by more exciting news. When we got back to the house, my brother's fiance, Katie, disappeared. After putting down my purse, she reappeared with a card and a wine bottle and said "I have something I want to ask you, I'm so excited!" Then I realized that the bottle of red she was waving around had my name on it! And asked me to be a bridesmaid! Next year! AHHHH! It was such a fun moment, we started dancing around in the kitchen after I said yes and I kind of felt like I had just been proposed to again. Obviously, I spent the rest of the evening introducing her to Pinterest. I felt it was my duty.


Fourth, prepare for your mother's preparation and let the party ensue! My mom is a master party planner, and I've been her faithful servant for years. Sometimes I had attitude growing up, but it's a testament that she can direct a few people into creating spectacular parties. On Saturday afternoon their house hosted Travis and Katie's engagement party, so on Saturday morning, we got to work. People started arriving an hour early! It was incredible, having hosted my own parties in New York in which people don't show up until at least two hours after the alloted 'start time' on the invite. We continued rushing around while conversing and catching up with the guests - no more so than my mother who was doing a million things at once. It all came together soon enough, though, and the sangria was flowing and the steaks were cooking on the BBQ. Everybody was congratulating the newly-engaged couple and their friends were arriving in droves. There were lawn games, cake-cutting ceremonies starring my father's sword, delicious meats, and hilarity.


Fifth, end the party traditionally. Parties at my parent's house tend to devolve into the 'young people' playing party games in the basement. And this was no different; perhaps it was the most epic of them all. I joined my brother and his friends for a couple hours of flip cup. You know, the best college drinking game ever. I played my Bachelorette Playlist from weeks ago since it had a party vibe, and you wouldn't believe the amount of men who sang every word of Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman." My mother even joined our flip cup game at one point (it's happened before) and around two a.m. we had slowed down immensely. Some couples retreated to their tents in the backyard, and I talked to Jesse on the phone - when I noticed someone puking next to me. They shall remain nameless but Jesse heard my whole, "Wait--what is he doing? What? Oh man...I gotta get out of here." Priceless. And it wasn't the first time one of these parties ended in that way.


Sixth, rest up for a farewell and drop-off at summer camp Warped Tour. My brother was a little worse for wear in the morning, but we all agreed it was a great party. I had to bid adieu to my bro and my future sister-in-law after a creepy conversation about lethal spiders, and I can't wait for the next time we get to hang out. My dad, mom, mom's BFF, and I headed down to Hartford to drop me off at the Warped Tour so I could hang out with Jesse for the day. It was a bummer to say bye to the spectacular family, but I was glad to be sitting next to Jesse. Even if it was in a tiny front lounge of a tour bus.

Jesse 'working.'

Seventh, let the fact that you are hanging out with your husband and good friends overshadow the searing heat and gravel dust in your atmosphere. My best friend Rick, who lives in Las Vegas, happened to be in Connecticut this weekend and he was able to join the Warped experience with friends Jared and Karyn. We rocked out to Motion City Soundtrack's set and then (due to their car) were able to grab dinner with our friends Tyler and Pete from A Great Big Pile of Leaves. Being on tour doesn't necessarily mean party party party when those dudes aren't on stage. In fact, most of the time was spent playing Tetris in the front lounge or sitting in plastic chairs in front of the bus. I had to say goodbye to Jesse after dinner, grabbing a ride home with Tyler back to Brooklyn. It was a fantastic few hours with my husband, we really enjoyed our time together and with friends and I had a smile on my face the whole time. I left not too sad, either, because I'm flying out to see him on Friday for a whole weekend on the Warped Tour.

Just fangirling my husband, don't worry about it.

RICK: BFFs since we lived across the hall from each other freshman year! We've taken this photo many times.

Eighth, make sure to get one last photo of Tyler as he drops you off at 1:30 in the morning:


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jessica Thinks She Can Cook 002


As you may remember from the first installment, reading and interpreting recipes FOR ME is similar to other people reading a foreign-language book with a dictionary. My dictionary is Google. And sometimes Amazon.

Last week I wanted to make a cauliflower-crusted pizza. In order to do so, I needed to stick some cauliflower in the food processor and then microwave it into a softness that would eventually be doughy. The next step of the recipe was apparently critical; here it is verbatim: Place the cooked cauliflower on a tea towel and roll it up then squeeze out as much of the water as possible…and I mean really, really squeeze as you want it as dry as possible.

I'm sure you're reading that direction and know exactly what to do.

I read it and I said out loud to myself, "I don't have no fancy tea towel!" and proceeded to spend close to 40 minutes and a whole roll of paper towels drying out the cauliflower.

THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT A TEA TOWEL LOOKED LIKE.

After de-watering the cauliflower rather painfully (it was also HOT!), I added the rest of the ingredients, spread the 'dough' on the pizza stone, and proudly stuck that sucker in the oven. I then set the timer, washed the used dishes, and turned to my phone to purchase a damn tea towel on Amazon.

And that's when I realized what a tea towel was, after an Amazon search.

It's just a kitchen towel, guys.

You guys.

I'm an idiot. You're welcome.

I made the pizza again last night! With brand new tea towels! Both times it was delicious, but the second time I was just so much more satisfied. Plus, it didn't take as long.

Until my next pathetic kitchen blunder, au revoir!


This was the second installment of Jessica Thinks She Can Cook. (001)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stars may collide.

There are about five unfinished blog posts written over the last two weeks in my drafts folder. I looked over them as pieces of a puzzle for the time that passed; they don't really make sense together, but I'll put them together anyway. Consider it a digest of what I would have posted over the weeks. Maybe the end synthesis will bring some sort of connected message through the chaos. Maybe it will just be a jumble of brain thoughts from my noggin' that don't mean a gosh darn!

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My friends in A Great Big Pile of Leaves released their second album today last week, and much like their first, it's brilliant. You're Always On My Mind is a summer fun album and I hope you listen and enjoy because only awesome people will, and I trust that anybody reading here is awesome.

I'm glad such a great group of guys actually makes good music; it would be sad to tell you about crappy music. Instead, I feel very altruistic in my promotion of them to you. You're welcome!

Also, Pitchfork posted about them. As Ty Ty, friend and AGBPOL drummer would say, "BOOM!"

iTunes / Amazon / Sweet Topshelf Vinyl Package!!!!

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When Jesse first told me his band would be on the entire Warped Tour, I probably just said something like "ohhhhh really? That's...interesting..." and looked down at a thread on my jeans intently or stared at a fly buzzing around like I've seen Pee Wee do or laughed and skipped out of the room. Sometimes it's hard for me to hide my emotions. Honestly, it's a great festival, and I went to a few of them a decade or so ago (OLD), but here's what sucks about having a husband on the Warped Tour, since I'm asked a lot:

1. It's two whole months of him gone!
2. You've been to a music festival, right? Does your phone ever work/get a good signal?
3. It's in the summer, in what some might consider unbearable heat. (Las Vegas date of Warped this year had an asphalt temperature that was reportedly 154 degrees, just saying.) Please pair this condition with lack of regular showers.

Take all that together and then you've got Jesse and I trying to talk every day like we do, but sometimes he's frustrated because the tour bus' AC just broke and sometimes I'm frustrated because I just got eight texts from him five hours after he'd sent them. Our phone calls don't work. The e-mails get to each other late. We're shouting "What!?" into our phones from hundreds of miles away.

And it just makes me sigh. You have now seen the window into my frustrations!

However, just as much as it can be infuriating, it's on-another-level-awesome when we DO get a clear signal and/or when he has a day off and we can videochat. [Sidenote: sometimes we'll be videochatting and I'll be talking about things people talk about and then he'll say something to someone across the room when you thought you were only talking to him and he was the only one that could hear you. Then he turns the computer around and the whole band is lounging in the hotel room, maybe they had been listening. Mortification sets in.]

Jesse also enjoys the fun of being on stage, always. I know he's had a great Warped experience as far as the music and the fans and the signings go! And the evening poker games...

And also, sometimes, he takes a plane from Warped Tour to show up for our best friends' rehearsal dinner and wedding! At the rehearsal dinner:



I may...or may not be...excited...?

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SPEAKING OF: Erica and David were married last Friday and it was FUN TIMES! I'm still mildly exhausted from the festivities. Much like Erica used to DJ into the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday nights, her wedding was basically a huge party. 

But first! There was the ceremony, and then dinner. Throughout I was intensely nervous about the speech I would be giving as the co-maid of honor. I'd barely had time to practice in the past couple of days with everything going on, and I had no idea when the emcee would be calling my name. Luckily, I had this chap next to me keeping me calm:


That's my "I'm nervous but hiding it with slight open mouth smile because I actually want to kind of scream" face. Luckily, the speech went well, people clapped, we toasted, I melted into a puddle of relief in the middle of the floor, per usual. And then I could let loose. Like so:


My sense of balance in the photo looks great and also a misleading depiction of my abilities. I probably fell over in the next frame. My legs still hurt, my voice was slightly hoarse. I may be dehydrated. I don't know. The symptoms of having too much fun vary.

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Remember when I wrote about the chocolate mousse exercise? I'll have you know that my cooking is still going strong, and I especially liked having a feast ready for Jesse when he came home last week. My cooking has been so consistent, in fact, that I invested in the above apron. The weekend at home may have kickstarted my cooking streak, but probably also Hannibal. Anyway, I wrote up the recipe for my friend Kelly's lifestyle blog! CHECK IT OUT HERE! And...always check her blog out, it's so cute. [There's even a photo of the finished product.]

I also have the second part of Jessica Thinks She Can Cook ready to go in my head. Thumbs up for my un-suaveness in the kitchen, am I right?!

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You know what? I cry a lot. Mainly at movies, music, tv, etc. I cry when a huge group of people come together for one reason. I may or may not have been known to cry walking down the aisle for my two best friends. I cried walking down my own aisle. So, here's my cry story from a couple of weeks ago.

I was watching this movie that was somewhat relatable culturally, so I was thinking of my family and loved ones a lot while watching it.  There were a lot of heartstrings being pulled. Strings that made me bawl alone on my couch, clutching to my cat. It's based on one of my favorite books, so I knew what was going to happen, and everything that made me cry in the book made me cry in the movie. I don't want to give the name of the movie currently because I might be spoiling it by my next description...

In the film, a husband and wife have moved to the U.S. from another country. Many years pass and they have two kids who have moved out and graduated college. The husband has to go to another state for a business trip that will take a few months. While there, he goes to the hospital for a stomach ache, and calls his wife to let her know. She expects a call later when he gets back to his apartment, but she receives no call. She calls the hospital and is trying to spell out her foreign last name to various hospital workers in order to get some information. Someone figures out who she's looking for and without ceremony tells her that her husband died a few hours ago. She cannot comprehend the news. She has nobody to talk to, she doesn't know what to do. She's alone in the house and she walks from room to room and finally just goes outside to the front lawn in the middle of the freezing night and lays down and screams.

I did the puddle trick again on my couch. This time it was a puddle of grief. But I like crying. I enjoy catharsis. I went to bed smiling after talking to Jesse, my parents, and holding on to Pee Wee. Sad crying usually lets me know that there are things I should be happy and grateful about; it's a reminder. Happy crying just makes me believe in humanity and love and all those good things. I think I happy cry a lot more than sad cry.

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And now for something completely different. Oddly enough I've been listening to Kanye West's new album Yeezus the past few weeks. Yes, surprising. I don't much listen to rap and I've never been fond of West's personality. However, this album... it grabbed me from the start. I liked the sounds. The groom from earlier, David Galea, liked the sounds too but he was more eloquent about it for this piece in a New York street culture blog called Fourth and Sixth. You should check it out. 

Any opinions on Yeezus? I often find myself bopping my head going "I just talked to Jesus / He said 'What up Yeezus?'" and laugh. Just laaaaauuuuugh.

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I have this friend from middle school, Jon Davis...I don't think I've seen him since 8th grade, both of us being military kids and all and moving every couple of years. However, social media had the ability to keep us in touch and now he's a filmmaker, so we have common interests. He posted this short he directed and wrote called Vows. It's embedded above. It's part of an interesting web series about the end of the world. There's not really any need to watch the first five episodes of the series, this being the sixth of Withered World, since they are all capsule episodes. I liked it a lot.

To be honest, I wondered at the end if I was feeling like a happy cry or a sad cry reaction. Maybe both.