Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

To kick off our Halloween weekend Neill and I carved pumpkins with a friend last night. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that mine is the one in the middle. It was supposed to be a cockeyed vampire pumpkin, but it kind of just looks like a fifth grader did it. Oh well.  Neill did his band logo and James just made a goofy face. I love how he did the eyes! I would have never thought of that. I'm going to have to brush up on my skills before next year.

I must admit though, my favorite part about pumpkin carving is the seeds. I love scooping them out with my hands and getting all gooey, I love roasting them in the oven, and I really love eating them when they are done! nom nom nom. If you are carving pumpkins this year YOU MUST make the pumpkin seeds. Just clean off the seeds in water to remove any residual pumpkin mush, coat in olive oil and salt, spread on baking sheet, and roast in oven at 325 for about 25 minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scary Movie

Don't you just love scary movies? There is something so fun about gripping the edge of your seat and feeling your heart pounding (without any real danger!).

This Saturday I'll be celebrating my love of scary movies (and Halloween) at the Hyde Park Arts Center for Scary Movie Party, a showcase of DIY no budget scary movies. I'm hoping to be successfully spooked!

Here is the trailor for the movie my hubby is in

Sunset Bloody Sunset by Sebastian Lama SMP 2010 Trailer from SCARY MOVIE PARTY on Vimeo.

It should be a scream!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life Gets Better

I decided to take a trip down memory lane today and think about where I was at this time last year. I think my blog post from October 25th, 2009 says it all:


i woke up at 6 am to grade papers".

And that was a Sunday!

It is easy for me to get caught up in complaining about how hard x,y, and z is (mainly because I'm a wimp), so it is nice to have this very real reminder that things are actually pretty good for me right now. Life gets better. Sure, it probably gets worse too - at least sometimes. But, I believe that eventually everything will even out. Last year on this date I had to wake up ungodly early on the weekend to get some grading done, but this year I got to sleep in and spend all day working from home. And by working, I mean avoiding my real statistics work to blog and think about dinner.   

twice baked potato for dinner. yes please! image source.

What were you doing this time last year?

The Violet Hour

A few weeks ago Neill and I finally decided to try out The Violet Hour - a speakeasy style cocktail lounge with a refined atmosphere. Considering that it is only a few blocks from us,  I'm embarrassed it took us this long to visit. But, I've always been turned off by the constant line of people waiting to get in and the "we're too cool to put a sign up" vibe I thought I was picking up. It didn't seem like a place for me. But, as it turns out, having no sign is part of the speakeasy theme. And while there is a line to get in, its because they only let people in when they have seats for them. So, there is no crowding around the bar waiting to get a drink while scanning the room hoping for a table to open up. Instead, you are shown to a seat and helped by a waiter. It is all very dignified.

So yes, I broke my own rule and waited in line for a chance to see for myself what the buzz is all about. And you know what? It wasn't that bad (the waiting that is, The Violet Hour was much better than "not that bad"). Our group of four kept the conversation lively and the hour nearly flew by. (To avoid the line go early! We got there around 9:30). Once in side, I was struck by the design. Reminiscent of a French Salon, the walls are a beautiful blue and there is white crown molding. We were seated in a private enclave made up of two love-seat style, high wing-backed seats. The music was pleasant, but quiet enough as not to intrude. Everything seemed to be done to create intimacy and leave plenty of space for quiet conversation.

Oh and I haven't even mentioned the cocktails yet! Each special and delicious sounding, our group had a great time discussing the menu. I had two wonderful gin cocktails, each deliciously foamy because of the addition of egg whites. The second wasn't on the menu, but I told our waitress how much I had enjoyed my first drink and she offered to bring back a "surprise". How fun! At the end of the night, our waitress offered us each a free shot of whiskey or chartreuse, a french liquor. While I ended up sipping my chartreuse, I loved the herbal flavor. Plus, we all had a good laugh at the contrast between the elegant atmosphere and free shots. 

Overall, we had a wonderful experience at The Violet Hour and I hope to make it back one day. At 12 dollars per cocktail, this isn't somewhere I would plan to spend all night, but I see it as a perfect spot to go for a few special drinks.

[Photo Credit:Clayton Hauck for Metromix]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Look!

My little corner of the internet is sporting a new look! My goal was to make the blog more visually interesting and more user friendly. I'm so excited to have the page links, right under the blog title! They aren't filled in yet, but eventually a centralized list of all of my wedding posts will be featured under "Our Wedding" and I am going to post links to all of the places I have reviewed under "Around Town". I plan to post new reviews and tag them to that page as well. Once everything is transferred over, I will likely delete my yelp account and just post them on This Is How It Goes. I've also added search capabilities and updated my reading list. Ooo and now, if you like a post you can easily share it on google buzz, facebook, or twitter using the little buttons at the end of each post. 

Hope you like the new design! Happy reading!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miller Time: Saying I Do

As Your Hand In Mine (Explosions in the Sky) started to play, my heart jumped into my throat and all of I sudden I wanted everything to slow down. How could this all be happening so fast?

Out walked Neill.

I love how big our parents are smiling in these two pictures.

Neill was followed by his two best men, James and Tom.

The men were followed by my very best friends in the whole wide world, Cathy and Grace. I didn't want to let them go.

And suddenly it was time for me to walk out, on my own.  I didn't expect to want someone there by my side. After all, I had chosen to walk out alone. But, in the end I wanted someone to squeeze my hand. Lucky for me, that someone was waiting for me just a few steps away.

So I went to get my man.

When I got under the chuppah, I couldn't help myself - I gave him a kiss. 

And then, it was just the two of us. getting married. 

We stood under the huppah lovingly crafted by my mother from a tablecloth passed down from my father's mother. We drank the wine from a kiddush cup passed down from my grandfather. We soaked in how privileged we were to take part in the rich tradition of marriage.

Our mothers gave the most beautiful bring-tears-to-my-eyes reading (Union by Robert Fulghum)

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
 The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word."

 Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
 And then, we said our vows and exchanged rings. 

 I pledge to be your partner, your loving friend, your supportive companion.  I look forward to sharing life's experiences with you.  I will comfort you in times of sorrow and rejoice with you in times of happiness.  I will work to build a home with you filled with laughter,empathy, faith, imagination, trust, friendship companionship and love.  I will live each day with you to its fullest.  This is my solemn vow.

After exchanging our rings, we did the signing of the ketubah. While traditionally this is done before the ceremony, we wanted to incorporate it into the wedding so that all of our guests could serve as witnesses. We asked my aunt, Lanie, and Neill's Grandmother, Pearl, to serve as our official witnesses and sign the ketubah with us. 

And then our Rabbi gave the priestly benediction, recited the seven wedding blessings, and did a reading we had chosen.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

i was feeling pretty happy at this point!

At the very end, we did the most well known of all the jewish wedding customs - the breaking of the glass.

Before I knew it, the whole ceremony was done and we were in yichud as husband and wife.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Miller Time: T-Minus 30 Minutes

A month or so before the wedding we made a mix to play through an ipod and the house speakers for the thirty minutes prior to the ceremony. I am SO GLAD we did this! Not only did we get a ton of compliments on the music, but it was wonderful to hear all of the lovey dovey songs we picked out. Plus, now Neill and I can listen to this mix whenever we want. We played:
We’re going to be friends – The White Stripes
Way Tight – Ani Difranco
Forever – Ben Harper
First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
Keep It loose, Keep It Tight – Amos Lee
Say Yes – Elliot Smith
1234 - Plain White Ts
Red Right Ankle – The Decembrists
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
Lucky -- Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat 
You Remind Me of Home – Ben Gibbard

This is the real pre-ceremony. The last thirty minutes. My heart was pounding and my adrenaline was up. The passage of time was marked by the change in music. Each time a song ended, I asked Neill how many more there were to go. Listening to these songs still gets my heart racing.

Guests did this:

And we did this this:

And after what seemed like a long while, You Remind Me of Home finished and We're Going to Be Friends started up again (which was okay since only a few people were there a full thirty minuets early to hear that song and really, I had bigger things on my mind besides worrying about a song playing twice) and it was time to get hitched!