Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Snow!

Posted by eemilla on December 26, 2010

I feel so blessed that we’ve got to enjoy so much snow this winter; I thought for sure after the abundance from last year, we’d be snow free for years to come.  It was pretty funny to watch the dogs go crazy because Sierra wasn’t really enjoying the snow earlier, and then they ended up knocking me over so I got to “ski” a bit.  The snow did keep us at home away from my family’s Christmas gathering, but my honey was super sweet and mulled some cider, built a fire, cooked lunch and dinner, gave me kisses throughout, and ended by baking some chocolate chip cookies; while I still cannot wait to eat the wretched excess of goodies my aunt and uncle make, it was a lovely day together.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!  I promise to complain a bunch about health savings accounts in 2011.

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Missed Anniversaries

Posted by eemilla on November 13, 2010

Well, I’ve almost been away for two entire months.  It’s not because I don’t enjoying complaining about public transit and transportation and talking up my favorites restaurants, but I’ve been really busy reading hardcopy books.

It appears that I neglected to celebrate our second year of being a one car household in an area that really doesn’t do much to encourage regular use of public transit. I’m more than irked that ATS has decided to undertake increased marketing efforts rather than spend money on expanding service.  People know that the bus service exists, but it is under-utilized because it isn’t convenient.  I want it to be easier to buy passes; currently, one can visit the transit center with cash.  Why aren’t there refillable cards and self-service kiosks that accept cash or credit, even if they are isolated to the transit center?  It is cheap, and it is safe; however, when many routes end service before 7:30 how can anyone use ATS to have a dinner out or catch a movie or go to church?  If you don’t work first shift (or if you work first shift on a Sunday), it is very likely that you won’t be able to use ATS to commute to and from work, even if you live well inside city limit.  On the other hand, I am thankful that we live about a twenty minute stroll off the bus route and that my husband can get to and from most of his work shifts.  We’ve made it work these past two years because we believe in the good of public transit and the benefits of walking (with or without sidewalks on busy five lane highways or quite neighborhood streets).

The next milestone is our four year wedding anniversary. We opted to celebrate on a Wednesday night rather than the actual Monday our anniversary fell on, and we decided to revisit The Market Place.    I don’t recall the exact year of our last visit, but we were completely unimpressed with every aspect of our meal, especially the steep prices on the wine list.  Due to the passage of time and new ownership (even though I thoroughly respect Mark Rosenstein for all he has done and continues to do to support local food and farms), we decided to give it another go.   We were seated in the back close to where we sat at our last visit, and our server, Denise, was attentive and knowledgeable of the menu.   I opted for the edamame, because I cannot seem to eat enough edamame, and it was the only vegetarian appetizer that held any appeal (sorry I’m a bit too cheap these days for a $14 cheese plate); the chili soy glaze was pretty sweet, and it really detracted for the sublime simplicity of soybeans.  My husband enjoyed a generous serving of duck confit spring rolls that really looked pretty tasty.   For my entree I chose the agnolottis because again it was the only realistic vegetarian option since a local vegetable plate just seemed a bit boring.   Then again, how cliched for the vegetarian entree to be a pasta dish; however, cliched or not, it was good and filling and just what I really wanted.  Apparently we were in need of comfort food as my husband went with the pork chop entree. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to enjoy all of the juices because the food runner poured a good portion of them down my arm; the part he did enjoy was very satisfying, even if he really wanted more carrots and brussel sprouts.  Getting to wear his dinner was really were our experience fell flat (and my shirt is now ruined).  When it happened I requested a bar towel not a treated napkin that really does nothing to absorb liquid, but of course I received seltzer water and a cloth napkin (I should’ve demanded the bar towel).   The staff was apologetic, but rather than comp his entree or mine for that matter, they offered to buy us a dessert and two glasses of champagne, which we weren’t interested in anyway.   We ended up taking a boxed up a cappuccino chocolate torte, which was a nice after work treat the next day. Personally, I prefer the ambience and food at Cucina24, but this visit didn’t rule out future visits (although they are not likely to happen in the near future).

We opted to postpone our anniversary dinner due to a doctor’s visit, which would leave us with either great news or less than great news.  We got the great news, so we were a bit on cloud nine, and I just wasn’t able to demand a free entree nor was I able to enjoy anything alcoholic because earlier that day we had seen our baby’s heartbeat.  We also confirmed that I was about five weeks pregnant, and I’m now almost twelve weeks along, which is why I’ve been reading, reading, and reading some more about pregnancy and childbirth.  I am not suffering from morning sickness per se, but I am suffering from an incessant desire to eat edamame, eggplant, and pretty much anything else with bread and cheese as long as artichoke hearts, raw garlic, and pesto aren’t included.  My nausea is triggered by not eating enough (i.e., about every couple of hours) or eating too much at once (hence, I was truly not able to eat dessert at dinner).  Additionally, my eating idiosyncrasies have multiplied, and although they aren’t as bad as they were before I met my honey, they are irritating and frustrating.  Last week, I couldn’t stand the thought of eating roasted root vegetables (butternut squash, celeriac, and beets) and goat cheese, which normally, I would devour.  Therefore, I will not be posting anymore restaurant reviews until I feel normal about food again.  I do think I will continue to complain about public transit and the dearth of sidewalks even in parts of Asheville that have been annexed for years and years (here’s looking at you, Hendersonville Rd); now that it is dark around six p.m., I won’t be walking home, which means I have to pick my husband up from work since the last bus to our end of town runs about five to six hours before he gets off work.  Then again, since we’re planning on caving in and buying a second car rather than deal with a wee one and one car, I guess I won’t have as much to complain about public transit.

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Smitten Kitchen Cakes

Posted by eemilla on November 8, 2009

My first SmittenKitchen baking attempt was a disaster; I thought Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes would be perfect for St Patrick’s Day, considering my love of Jameson, Bailey’s, and stout beer, but my attempt ended up severely stuck the silicone (i.e. notoriously non stick) cups.  However, I was determined to enjoy some of the delicious cakes I’ve seen since I started reading her site.  My second recipe was chosen by my husband for his birthday in August (although I ended up making the cake a few weeks later).  Thankfully he chose a single layer affair without any fancy decorations.  The results were delightful and sentimental (it tasted so much like a torte from the old, but now defunct, Old Europe that I used to eat on our early dates).  This cake was easy, but it tasted like a professional effort.  It is definitely one of my favorite cakes for both its appearance and taste.

Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake

For our third legal anniversary, we pondered and agonized over several delectable cakes, and we ended up with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.  The original recipe is for a three layer cake, but I only have two round pans so I made two layers and some cupcakes.  Although I tried to eyeball it, the batter distribution between the pans wasn’t equal which resulted in one layer being much thicker than the other.  I did not overfill the cupcake tins, but the silicone cups were not again not as non stick as I thought they should be when I purchased them.  I also tweaked the recipe a bit: unsweetened not too smooth peanut butter (in lieu of smooth commercial peanut butter) and an entire cup less of confectioner’s sugar for the frosting (next time I will probably knock it back an additional cup).  Deb at SmittenKitchen provides a page of layer cake tips as well as advice with each recipe that have really helped me make better looking cakes.

3rd Anniversary

cupcake

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The Wedding

Posted by eemilla on October 18, 2009

After our amble around Nob Hill, North Beach, and Chinatown, we returned and got ready to bake in our finery.  Fortunately, the dress code was casual with the bride and bridesmaids in embellished daisy flip flops and the groom and groomsmen in Chacos.  Even so, it was hot.  We have lost the record for having the hottest wedding ceremony ever (Key West in October at 10am, and everyone was pouring sweat).  Hot is hot is hot, and I hate sweating in dry heat just as much as I hate sweating in Georgia.  We had a ten minute stroll to the Powell St BART then a forty minute train ride (the fare is less than five dollars!) out to Pleasant Hill then a fifteen minute shuttle to the ceremony, which provided ample opportunity to get mussed up.

I know it sounds cliched, but the ceremony was just beautiful.  They were married under this fantastical oak tree on top of a hill with views of the surrounding valley.  Her parents’ home was full of light, and the ground were littered with little touches (like the sunflowers in the bowling balls and the flower fountain).

While I expected my favorite part of the ceremony to be the reading of “Invitation” by Shel Silverstein by a friend of the bride’s son accompanied by an interpretive dance by a friend of the groom’s daughter, I was really touched by the bride’s sister-in-law’s reading (“The Invitation” Oriah Mountain Dreamer).

As to my concerns about the wedding fare, they were washed away with the first hors d’oeuvre I popped into my mouth (Checkers Catering handled it).  I saw three trays circulating; one of shrimp on a wonton chip (I don’t do shrimp so I didn’t try this one), a stuffed mushroom, and a caprese slider.  The sliders surpassed the others, with cherry tomatoes so ripe and sweet and tangy coupled with creamy fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf; the serving trays had a balsamic vinaigrette in them so each slider came dressed.  The main buffet started with a fresh spring mix salad then a mashed potato bar followed meat and poultry stations with rolls (I didn’t find the portabello mushrooms and when I was directed to their location I had missed them); of course, there was plenty of beer (two from New Belgium Brewery and Miller Lite with a Sierra Nevada keg making a late night entrance) but with the heat the white wine was hit hard and early.  The cake was nice and moist, and its frosting was not overly sweet.

Between the heat, sweat, the morning wander with another full day planned, and an hour trip back to the city, we were ready to head back around nine.  I begged to wait to see them off, but the taxi had already been called.  If only we had known that we would pass the limo on the way down the driveway we probably could’ve held out to send them on their mini moon.  Like we did, they will be taking their real honeymoon after the wedding dust (and excitement and stress) has settled.

We used a taxi five times during our week long stay with two trips being to and from the ceremony.  The forty minute train ride cost $4.90 one way, and it runs every twenty minutes from around 4a to after midnight five days a week (Saturday it starts around six am, and Sunday it starts around eight).  Public transit done well rocks!

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San Francisco (part one)!

Posted by eemilla on October 10, 2009

Our awesome neighbors got married at the bride’s parent’s home outside of San Francisco two weeks ago, and we were fortunate enough to be able to witness it.  We took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the city by the bay.  Many of the guests stayed close to the wedding site, but we rented an apartment in Nob Hill which was furnished with the best, most fantabulous mattress I’ve ever had the privilege to sleep on.  We couldn’t see any famous buildings, but there is a view of Twin Peaks and a tiny view of the bay on clear days.  The entire apartment was filled with light from the windows, and a massive palm tree provided a bit of privacy in the front room.  The building is only four floors so I mostly climbed the stairs while my honey mostly took the old fashioned elevator (the door with its separate gate were manual).

I’ve decided to serialize my trip since I’ve been trying for over a week to finish one loooonnng post, so stay tuned for plenty of amateur photos and restaurant reviews along with my opinions on other things related to the trip!

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Do state legislators really deserve free healthcare?

Posted by eemilla on June 13, 2009

With the budget crisis looming for counties, cities, and states across the country, cuts are being proposed to mental health services and education among other things.  To their credit they did cut their own pay just like the state employees down the chain, but in the middle of this crisis our state legislators are wasting time with bills to amend our state’s constitution to deny rights.  

As healthcare isn’t that important for the weakest members of society, I bet the state legislator’s could save much more money by cutting their own health insurance.  Most of them are older and are probably prescribed a plethora of pharmies, which as well all know (especially those without health coverage or with only basic major medical coverage) cost a lot. Additionally, being a state legislator isn’t even a full time job, and how many of their constituents have health coverage working either a full or part time job?  I have never worked a part time (or even a full time job) in which my health care was provided free of charge.  Even if one does have health coverage, it certainly isn’t free, and I would wager one month’s premiums that it isn’t as good as what the legislators provide for themselves.

I’ll be sending this to my elected officials, and I hope you will join me.  I will also bring them to task for wasting time on a stupid Constitutional amendment to deny citizens’ rights and trying to break down the proud tradition of the separation of church and state.

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NC House Bill 88 (aka Senate 221, 2009 Healthy Youth Act )

Posted by eemilla on February 21, 2009

2009 Healthy Youth Act plans to change North Carolina’s sex-ed from abstinence only to an abstinence based comprehensive curriculum.  This is great news, and it needs vocal support against the usual suspects.  I fully support this change, but I wish there were some mention of masturbation as another option; what else kills the two birds of relieving sexual energy and providing 100% protection against pregnancy or disease?  Masturbation is the only middle road between partnered sex outside of a faithfully monogamous relationship and no sex.  I don’t necessarily envision instructors demonstrating techniques, but masturbation isn’t a dirty word or act.  Dr. Jocelyn Elders was ahead of her time fifteen years ago.  However, I suspect we will have to wait another fifteen or more years before masturbation can come out of the closet.  I didn’t catch this on my first reading, but this morning I had to laugh at: “a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS”; I guess not all mutually faithful monogamous relationships are safe.  Below is the email I sent to the House’s primary sponsors with my other state elected officials carbon copied.  Surprisingly I didn’t receive a reply.

Read the rest of this entry »

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So much to celebrate!

Posted by eemilla on October 12, 2008

We have accomplished six and a half weeks of being a one car household.  I am so proud of my honey for bearing most of the sacrifice, although I am jealous of his thinning waistline.  A few days ago we even left the car parked in the carport all day long as I rode my much improved bicycle, and he took the bus.  Thanks so much to Asheville Recyclery; however, please do not be fooled by their website: they are located behind the French Broad Food Coop at 90 Biltmore Avenue in southern downtown Asheville.  Although my dry-rotted nubby mountain bike tires have been replaced by slicks, my saddle is the most uncomfortable piece of plastic in existence, and my gear shift has a mind of its own.  I will ameliorate these issues and become a brave bike commuter along the quite dangerous Highway 25A (aka Sweeten Creek Road).  Additionally, I will continue to ride the bus on the weekends to get downtown to grocery shop even if I do have difficulty reading the schedule correctly.  Due to my idiocy, I was able to walk a few miles from the North Asheville library to Greenlife lugging a backpack full of cognac, brandy, capilene and socks from the Ski Country tent sale, an Andrew Jackson biography, my grocery shopping bags, and a purse with a hand on the fucking cooler (for the groceries that were not to be).  I walked all that way (and believe me for someone as sedentary as myself that is one long fucking walk) because I cannot read the bus schedule, so I guess I paid a physical stupid tax today.  

The other reason for our celebration (which we will postpone due to us both suffering from nasty early season colds) is our second wedding anniversary.  I agree that two years of married bliss doesn’t really deserve a grandiose celebration, but come January it will be ten years we have shared.  I met this wonderful man on my birthday, and we shared French toast at IHOP after seeing some punk band at a bar that doesn’t exist because it either went out of business or someone drove their car through it.

I didn’t really think of myself as the marrying type, but I love this man.  I really wanted to stand in public and say it; I wanted to profess my undying love in front of our family and friends.  It was so wonderful, and I love being married to him.  I don’t feel that anything really changed from our cohabitating or living in sin days, but damn, I love calling him my husband.  

The only thing that sucks about being married is the constant query of where are the kids?  I will leave that for another post.

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