Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado Yesterday

I used to buy paint and canvases here. (Photo taken by Jill Guin)
I'm not gonna lie, for the last 20 or so hours I have barely been able to pry myself away from the computer. There is always another video to watch, another set of pictures to go through, another account of the destruction and devastation which has taken over Tuscaloosa - the city I called home from 2006-2008.

This is a video of 15th Street & McFarland - possibly the biggest intersection in Tuscaloosa. Across the street from that Subway is where Tim used to live. Those piles of bricks used to be apartments. 

I have been so relieved to hear that so far everyone I know is OK. A lot of students' homes have been destroyed or they can't get passed the rubble to get to their belongings. 

I feel so helpless so far away, but I am volunteering in spirit. 

I remember when they issued tornado warnings while I was living there and people practically laughed. They were more "cool storms" than anything. We never felt like we were really in danger. 

Sorry this whole thing is kind of fragmented. It's reflective of my thought process at the moment. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Panda Day!

She had just spent a good portion of the drive home throwing up. Cute, huh?
I've pretty much been posting this everywhere, so there's a good chance you already know; today is Panda Day! - the one year anniversary of our drive to pick up our (then) very carsick puppy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pretty House Things

A while back I saw these lovely glasses on my way out of Anthropologie. I said to myself, "Ooooh, what pretty glasses." and proceeded to walk out the door and to my car. Then I had an apostrophe (Think Hook).  I could ask for them as wedding presents! - at 14 bucks a pop, I was not about to restock my glasses with these lovelies out of my own pocket.

And then... DUN DUN DUNNNNN ... they went on sale. 

I immediately planned to run to Anthro straight from work and buy some...but all week I just didn't have time. Actually, I take that back. I moved one of my evening workouts to the morning so that I could hang out with my mom and big sis in the evening, but that got pushed back about an hour, so I had time then, but I chose to sit on my butt and watch the "check-up" episode of Teen Mom 2. Fail. 
I checked back online and *gasp* the pink ones and blue ones were OUT OF STOCK! I was crushed. So, right then I ordered 3 of each of the yellow and orange ones. 
And the over the weekend, I forced Tim to go into Anthro with me...and they had tons of all of the colors. Womp womp. 
So, I picked up one pink and one blue just so I'd have all the colors, but now I feel silly because I have so many yellow and orange ones. 

I also got some really cute butterfly knobs to use for my curtain tie-backs. 

Yes, this blog post was a tad frivolous and silly, but look at the pretty glasses. 

5 Months!

I meant to post this on Sunday...

Tim and I are getting married in 5 months! Whooo!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ha! Now Thing 1 and Thing 2 Have a Friend

It is such a beautiful day today. I wish every day was 70 degrees with a slight breeze. I especially hope that next week is like this because next week I plan to start lunches at the beach and my plan will just not work if it is gloomy and cold.

I don't have anything particular to blog about today, but I have a few little things I can throw out there, so why not, right?

Thing 1
Last weekend, Tim and I decided to try a new place for dinner. After driving around for ages and me getting cranky because I was starving and every place I suggested got a "meh, I guess we can go there if you want" response, we finally settled on Versailles for Cuban. I did not lighten up until they put butter soaked bread in front of me and then, seriously, I was all smiles.
I am kind of disappointed - not in the restaurant - but in myself for living in and around the Valley for most of my life and never knowing this place existed.
It's relaxed, unpretentious, loud, fast, and delicious. They have strong drinks and heavy food. I didn't really know what I was getting into with Cuban food, so I ordered the beef stew and immediately wished I had not eaten so much bread. Luckily I had enough leftover to save for lunch the next day because my stomach flat refused to eat even one more fried plantain.
I would very much like to go back to this place, but more than that, I want to put more effort into finding new places to eat that are local. I need to expand beyond my sale ol' same ol'.

Thing 2
In case you are unaware. This is my dog. Her name is Panda and she is made of love. She gives real standing-on-her-hind-legs-rests-her-head-on-your-shoulder hugs and she gets angry as sh*t when someone she doesn't know knocks on the front door.  As of April 21st, it will be 1 year since we brought her home. Look at how much she's grown...
65 lbs of power to punch you in the face with
17 lbs of "who the heck are these people?"
She has made my life a whole lot less Alyssa-centric and taken up a good chunk of my time, but we're teaching each other how to be grown-ups, and I would not be in such a rush to drive home every day if I didn't know there was a Dive Bomb of Love waiting for me. 

Thing 3
I'm making cake toppers. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I was going to try and make cute cartoony versions of us and have a little Alyssa and Tim on top of our cake, but since my preferred medium is ceramic and I am only moderately good at building things out of clay, after much trial and error, I decided to opt for something that did not have to be as much in our likenesses (is that even the right way to say that?)
Anyway, I decided to make little ELEPHANTS!
Sunday afternoon I went over to my parents' house and spent a couple of hours in the studio playing with clay. How lucky are we that we can just go into the studio and make things out of clay?
My original idea was to build up from globs of clay and then hollow them out once almost leather hard, but my mom suggested I build around this stuff called vermiculite (which I had never heard of). It's basically a lightweight sand-like material thats completely flammable and can either be removed prior to firing or burned out in the kiln. 
So, I ended up rolling out some mini slabs of clay and building ears, a tail, trunk, etc on top of them. They are coming out pretty cool. I think I'll be able to fire them soon and then I can decide what to do about color. I will not be posting pictures though. Womp womp. 
Those interested in seeing them will just have to wait and see them on the actual cake, or until I post some wedding pictures. :)

That's all for now. Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"A" vs. "An"; a mini rant

There are two things that seem to annoy me more and more lately. The first is when celebrity chefs - or really anyone on TV - have a completely American accent, but choose to pronounce certain words in their original accents. Some of the very best examples of this are "ricotta" and "prosciutto".
Dear Bobby Flay,
You are not Italian. You do not have a remotely Italian accent. You do not need to pronounce every Italian word like you are Vinny Guanagnino's uncle. Please stop. Thanks.

The second is the (apparently) grammatically correct use of "an historic". Every time I hear it, its like nails on a chalkboard. Why? Because I think it's wrong. *GASP*
The letter H is a consonant. If I wanted to say "an 'istoric" and pretend I have a cockney English accent, then by all means, I would use "an", but as long as the H is present, I maintain that we English-speaking-folk should just say "a".  The rule is to use "an" where there is no consonant present, so why add an extra one? The H is there and that should be enough.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy April! The Sun is Shining and I'm as White as Can Be!

Holy Beejezus! I am loving this weather!

So far 3 out of 4 days in April have been sunny and beautiful. Too bad this weather reminds me how desperately I am in need of a tan.
When I was in Alabama I got into a the pretty bad habit of regularly visiting the tanning booth. My first apartment complex offered complimentary tanning, so when summer weather rolled around and I was white as a sheet, I figured I'd give it a shot. I told myself I would only do it for one month to get ready for beach days in sunny SoCal.
The next year, I found a place that for $25/month, you could have unlimited tanning. So, my plan was to repeat the previous year and tan for one month prior to going home to CA for the summer. No problem.

Right around that time, I asked now fiancĂ© to please not smoke right before he came to see me because I didn't like the way it smelled on him. Plus it's believed to cause cancer and I rather liked him alive.
I told him I wouldn't ask him to quit. He quit anyway.

Long story short, he quit his cancer causing habit for me and asked that I quit my cancer causing habit for him.
So, since approximately May 2008, I have not been near a cancer causing tanning bed.

But I am white white white and looking for an alternative. Truthfully, I don't know that much about it.
I know you can spray tan and I even know someone who has her own private tanning business. So, I'm considering asking her for guidance.
I'm also uncomfortable laying out by the pool in my community because most of our neighbors are over the age of 70 and it's not a common practice for the 20-somethings to lounge about by the pool.
I'd lay out on our patio, but it is conveniently completely tree canopied, which is lovely if you're looking for a nice shady spot outside to read and enjoy the breeze, but not ideal for getting sun.

I guess I'll figure it out as I go along.
For now, I'm signing off as pale and tan-less as I was when I started.