Happy (almost) Labor Day! It’s the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of fall.
Bloggers across the country seem stoked about this — the Pumpkin Spice Latte makes a triumphant return at Starbucks, the weather starts getting nippier, hoodies are pulled out from hibernation and everyone’s all in a tizz about seeing the colors change.
Everyone except for me. ‘Cause you know what? I hate fall.
Fine, Fine. I don’t hate fall. I mean, apple cider is delicious, I am all about the start of fall television and Thanksgiving? My favorite holiday ever (Let’s get together every year and eat tons of carbs? Give me the address and do you like cornbread?) but fall means cold weather and as a girl raised in South Florida, I’m a firm believer than anything below 65 is essentially inhospitable for human life (Esteban – I’m right there with you, brother).
Cold weather is awful. Your skin gets dry and ashy, your hair gets staticky, your lips get chapped, you have to wear multiple layers of clothing and you can no longer sit outside with a good book, close your eyes towards the sun and think that all is good in your life. And the produce sucks. You know how hard is it to find cheap mangos, raspberries and avocado in winter? Oh and you can’t wear flip-flops everywhere. What the hell’s that all about?
Yes, summer can be unbearably hot and you spend your time battling mosquitos, sweat and frizzy hair but I feel like I accomplish more in the summer. That being said, here’s a recap of Summer 2010:
– I’m still an Office Gal Friday, squirreling away those ducats to get to L.A. We moved offices and now, my life is filled with free Wawa coffee. In comparison to the non-potable dreck at my last office, it’s like drinking 90 proof Ambrosia.
– Wedding plans are still on indefinite hiatus. If we spend the cash we have now, we could probably afford to throw a small affair but you know what? There are smarter ways to spend that money than on an open bar and flowers – like a down payment for a house, moving cross country or buying a really expensive but really comfortable couch.
– I learned a valuable lesson in couch shopping. If you see it and fall in love with it, buy it immediately. Otherwise, you’ll go back to Macy’s, learn that the couch has not only been sold but the model has been discontinued and pout for the remainder of the evening. And by evening, I mean your entire life.
– I also (finally) learned how to apply liquid eyeliner. Granted, it’s the idiot-proof kind that resembles a Sharpie but hey – baby steps.
– I belly-flopped onto asphalt while walking Ryely, resulting in a bloody nose, a scraped-up arm and a seriously wicked bruised knee.
– Movies: Like everyone else in the Northern hemisphere, my two favorite movies of the summer were Inception and Toy Story 3. I also loved Never Sleep Again, a six hour documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street series that Augs and I watch in one sitting.
I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona way too many times this summer and decided that I need to reconfigure my life so that I’m an upper class New Yorker who gets to run away to Spain. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how that turns out.
– Books: I’m in the process of reading A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn and have come the conclusion that I was gypped in AP US History. I bought Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield and loved it. It’s not nearly as devastating as Love is a Mixtape, but great writing nonetheless. Also highly recommended — The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Especially if you dig comic books in any capacity. I also read Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I wasn’t a huge fan, but it was a decent read. Do love the music from the Broadway show, though — Defying Gravity is a great song.
– Music: It’s been all about The Gaslight Anthem, Big Star, Girl Talk, Chet Baker, the music from Once Again With Feeling and Tangerine by Led Zeppelin.
– Television: I rediscovered Veronica Mars and you know what? If you consider yourself to have good taste in television and haven’t seen this show — you really need to do so.
I’ve also been on a pretty serious Joss Whedon kick lately. I finally saw Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog (loved it), read the script to Cabin In The Woods (what the what, Hollywood? Get your shit together and release this already!), have been watching Angel on TNT while getting ready for work in the mornings (so much better than watching those chuckleheads on Fox and Friends or Morning Joe on MSNBC — watching Mika and Joe is like going out to dinner with a couple on the verge of a really messy divorce) and I’ve been watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer in reverse order (season seven down to season one). I’m currently on Season Four and I love it more now than I did back when it was on television. Whedon really is a master of his craft and if I ever become a gazillionaire, one of my top priorities will be to fund everything he wants to do.
I watched one episode of The Wire and I wasn’t blown away. I get the feeling the show is a rolling boil and I need to stick with it before making any judgment calls.
Watched the first four episodes of Breaking Bad. So far, I love it and can’t wait to see how the rest of the show turns out. Also, Pinkman’s answering phone message? High comedy.
I’ve been touch-and-go about True Blood this season. Alcide is a welcome addition to the cast, but I wish they’d get back to storylines revolving around vampires interacting with the real world. The storyline involving the Fellowship of the Sun was awesome and I’d love to see more vampire politics butting up against human politics. Sam Trammell is one of the major reasons I’m still watching. That man makes a girl weak at the knees.
See? Long cool drink of water, that guy.
– Augs and I went to New York City for the Lost Weekend. I sat mere feet from Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Michael Emerson and Jorge Garcia, saw a clip of the finale before anyone else, was interviewed for a Lost podcast, engaged in some eye flirting with Damon (dudes, he was totally looking at me), wandered around the Village and decided I wanted to move there, ate the best burgers (New York Burger Company needs to overthrow McDonalds in a bloodless coup and reign supreme for the next millennium), haggled for a purse, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, hung out with good friends and fell even more in love with the city so nice, they named it twice.
– I spent a week in West Palm Beach for quality time with the family. I ate entirely too much, watched the World Cup every day, took pictures, enjoyed being home and realized that I should totally live with my sister because she is awesome.
– Finally, Augs and I spent our anniversary in the namesake of my favorite Springsteen song – Atlantic City. Great song, less-than-stellar experience. My advice? Save your ducats and head to Vegas instead.
A delivery guy once told me, I am a, “fat girl in a little girl’s body.” He wasn’t wrong.
– Gastronomic Discoveries:
+ Cold-brewed French Press iced coffee. I drank enough to induce cardiac arrest…in a mastodon.
+ Huevos Rancheros at Jones. The hell with cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. THIS is why the hungry masses should come to Philly. I want Stephen Starr and Jose Garces to form a domestic partnership and invite me over to their love nest every week for Sunday Dinner. That would be fabulous.
+ Vinho verde — a light, fresh Portuguese wine that’s perfect for dining al fresco on a balmy summer evening.
+ Maoz. I could easily eat myself into a coma here. Every corner needs a fast food falafel joint like this.
+ Mack and Manco’s. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and have ever gone ‘Down Da Shore’, you’ll understand the cult appeal of this pizza. Especially if you spent the summer eating crappy pizza and ranting about it. I ate half the slice in one bite. I assume this is because it was delicious and I am awesome.
+I’ve also been eating lots of Caprese-inspired dishes (I take tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese and basil and combined it with a carb. Usually pasta or bread. Once or twice, I used croutons. Don’t judge) and a ridiculous amount of homemade popcorn. Here’s the best way to make it:
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels (I prefer white over yellow)
Crank your burner way the eff up to heat the oil.
After a few minutes, add cumin seeds. They should sizzle and sputter upon impact.
Wait about two minutes and add the popcorn kernels.
Make sure all the kernels are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and brown sugar, cover with lid and shake.
Turn heat down to medium low and wait for the popping to stop. You’ve got to watch it like a hawk because otherwise, it will burn and then, your apartment will smell like dying.
Dump out into a serving bowl and sprinkle with cayenne.
Eat by the fistful while watching TV on DVD.
It’s been a pretty good and productive summer. Got a little traveling in, got a lot of eating in and spent plenty of time outside, breathing in the daylight. It was pretty perfect and while I’m reluctant to let go, I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2010 has in store (but if it’s bitterly cold weather and SnOMG: The Redux? You can keep it. Seriously. Living on Hoth? Not cute and I’m well over it).