Friday, July 29, 2011


Walking through Publix with Stephen we noticed this fine gem:

Why have I never seen this before?!  I love wine.  I love chocolate.  This seems perfect.  With dinner, a little rotisserie with mac n cheese, we each tried the ChocoVine.  Not too bad!  It's pretty close to a white Russian if you've ever had one of those.

When we were in line to purchase our food for the evening the girl in front of us and the guy behind us each had comments to make about our wine selection. He said it was awful, she said it burned going down.  I think they're crazy.  I won't drink a bottle of it like I could a nice red wine because it's pretty thick, but it's nice with a dessert!

The next day at the Farmer's Market we saw the bottle again - but with sisters and brothers in other flavors!  I'll let you know if we end up trying other options.  Regular wine is fine with me, chocolate might be our only special selection.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christina Perri at The Loft

Last night was such a treat.  I got to see one of my favorite new artists, Christina Perri.  I first heard her name while watching So You Think You Can Dance a year or two ago.  One of her songs, Jar of Hearts, was used by one of the couples.  It absolutely moved me.  It's one of the most honest songs I've ever heard.  And her voice is incredibly full of power and emotion.  If you're not moved by the song, you're heartless or you've never had a broken heart.  And if you've never had a broken heart... well, I'm not sure what to say.  You're either lucky or you need to get out more.  

Christina's new album, Lovestrong, was just released so she's touring to promote it.  I've listened to it multiple times and I'm happy with every song, start to finish.  There are love songs, songs about revenge and haunting songs about loneliness.   It's available on iTunes.  Click on the link above to hear 3 of the songs.  

Not only are her songs fantastic, her stage presence and band are great performers.   She's adorable, loves to interact with the crowd and put on a great show.  

Opening for Christina Perri was a band I'd never heard of until last night, Honeyhoney.  CHECK THEM OUT!  Stephen and I were shocked when we walked into the venue.  They are great.  We met with the band after their set and they were super cool.  It wasn't even a discussion, we purchased their album on the spot.  The two vocalists harmonize perfectly and their songs are super upbeat and well written.  The female lead singer plays the violin and banjo, both while singing.  They were amazing live.

All in all it was one of the best shows I've ever attended, especially one in such a small venue.  Sure, bands that have been around for years and sell out arenas can put on a great show, but to have such a good night in an intimate setting was fantastic.  Any readers in the NE, please check out the tour - it's worth every penny.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Earth

Go see this movie.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  Honestly, go see it.  I'll be seeing it for a second time this weekend after seeing it at the Atlanta Film Festival a few months ago.

Another Earth

New Roommate?

I'm not going to try to hide anything, I stay at Stephen's house most nights.  The other nights we're at my house.  That's just how it is.  I'm not shy or ashamed.  I think it makes our love stronger.  Because I'm there so much I'm now taking part of some of the house chores, cleaning dishes, making the bed, making dinner, letting the dog out, etc.  Last night was night with just the two of us and Mabel doing regular things around the house.  Stephen washed the dog, cleaned the bathroom, we did laundry, we went to Target and Petco and then came back to the house to grill and watch a movie.  Basically the exact night that I needed.  It was nice.

I'm not the only one who has started staying nights at Stephen's.  We have a little friend that joins us at sundown every night, here is a picture of one of his cousins:

This is a furrow spider.  They aren't venomous and are not threat to humans.  Our little guy makes a giant web on the outside of the kitchen window and we get to watch him every night.  His body is about the size of a dime, maybe a little smaller.  His web is a classic web, like Charlotte's.  The kitchen light is left on all night so our little furrow spider is a smart one.  He knows the bugs will be drawn to the window and there he is to catch them in his web.  It's fascinating to see him catch something.

I first noticed our roommate a few weeks ago and he frightened me because I thought I'd see him in the daylight... nope.  He goes somewhere by the time we leave for work in the morning.  The web isn't in the window either.  (Honestly, I don't want to know where he goes, I think it's better I only see him through the window.)  I did some research on our friend and they die every November because they can't make it through the winters.  Stephen wants to catch him and keep him inside so he can live longer.  Hell to the no.  He also wants to feed him by throwing moths at the web.  I like our friend, he's extremely interesting, but he's just the right size.  I'm not interested in making him any larger than he is.  But if he wants to eat the mosquitos around the house, he can stay as long as he wants to stay.

Welcome to the house, Mr Furrow Spider.  Name ideas?  He should have a name. I said Mia Farrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Apparently I'm really bad at watching really funny TV shows.  I get grief from so many people because I've never watched an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  I guess the past few years I've had better things to do besides watch TV?  I think so.  Besides, Always Sunny airs on FX at 10:30pm.  When am I really watching TV at that time?  If it's not a sporting event, by that time I'm probably in bed reading or watching a movie.

ANYWAY - I've started to watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia with Stephen.  I actually like it a lot. Several times an episode I find my self wondering 1. How are they getting away with that? and 2. Is it wrong that I'm actually laughing?  They love the awkward moments.  The cast is spectacular and the three main guys actually created the show and pitched it to networks.   The show focuses on 3 friends, Charlie, Dennis and Mac, who own a bar and Dennis' twin sister, Sweet Dee, who is the bartender.  They are pretty much the most selfish people on the planet and will do anything to get a person of the opposite sex into bed or to make an extra buck.  That's what I've learned so far.  Loving it.

I'm only through Seasons 1 & 2 and I'm hooked.  The addition of Danny DiVito in Season 2 changed the group dynamic, but opened up soooo many more storyline possibilities.  I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Last night I got home from work and was able to start reading the 2nd book in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series (Game of Thrones).  I'm still shocked that I'm reading a fantasy series, but it's not as far out there as Lord of the Rings or something like that, so I'm okay.  At least it isn't yet.

Later in the evening Stephen called with plans to head out to Bocado with a friend so the friend could test out the place as an option for a date night.  First off, I'm glad he's thinking far enough in advance to test out a place or two before taking a date out.   Bocado is a pretty trendy place.  The decor is very modern and open with low back chairs at the bar and a lot of white.  There is the main dining room with multiple tables, a long bar and a patio with a few more tables.

The drink menu is extensive and not a single drink on the cocktail menu was familiar to me.  Between the three of us we tried 5 different cocktails and each was very distinct and delicious.  Some of them even have egg whites...really?  The dinner menu leaves a lot to be desired.  If you're heading there for dinner, check out the dinner menu before you go so aren't looking for more options.  The cocktail menu is longer than the dinner menu.  There is a larger variety of small plates, but be prepared that Bocodo seems like a place for drinks, not eating.  The drink prices were pretty reasonable for a trendy place.  About $10 for a cocktail and $6 or $7 for a beer.

Not sure if I'll head back, but I will say it was quiet enough to be able to talk to your friends while drinking.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Oakland Cemetery

The weekend started out with the premier of the final Harry Potter movie.  I can't believe it's over.  I've been reading the books and watching the movies for so long I feel as if Harry is part of my life.  There is nothing Harry Potter related left for me to look forward to.  It's so sad.

The movie was fantastic.  Stephen's office got a sneak preview Thursday night - YES PLEASE!  It was a private showing just for employees of his office and their guests.  What a great idea.  We got to see it in 3D, too.  Friday night I went to see it with my Harry Potter "crew".  I've gone with them to see the last 3 movies and we all read the books at the same time (the day they came out).  It still amazes me that a book, just a book, brought so many people together.

Quick movie review: Get your tissues ready.  I cried about 50% of the movie.  Not only because I knew it was all ending, but because the acting and the movie was so well done.  I knew how it all ended, but I still got choked up at some very tense moments. This movie was by far the most intense and the best acted - on all parts.  The main three were spectacular and the professors were fabulous too.  The movie did pick up in the middle of the book, so if you missed part 1, watch it first.  Stephen had never read a book or seen a single movie and he enjoyed the film.  There were some parts I even heard him gasp or react to a scene out loud like I was.  No, he didn't cry.  I cried enough for both of us.  I'm glad I got to see it in 3D and 2D.

Now, about the cemetery.  Oakland Cemetery is smack dab in the middle of downtown (well, maybe a little east).  It was established in the mid-1800s and plots are still being sold, but there is a waiting list.  If a plot was purchased and hasn't been used in the 100 years since purchase, it goes to auction.  I know it sounds weird to go tour a cemetery for a Saturday night date, but it was perfect.  The grounds are beautiful and so historic, there is so much to learn just walking around the brick streets.  We took the Margaret Mitchell tour so we learned a lot about her life and her family, some of whom were inspirations for characters in Gone With the Wind.  She came from a wealthy family, so basically everyone she was related to is buried in the cemetery.  Margaret wasn't one to follow society's norms for women and she was very strong willed, which distanced her from several of the other women in her family.  She didn't get along great with her mother and never got along with her grandmother.  Margaret was married twice and is buried next to her husband, John Marsh.  He was actually the best man in her first wedding...

resting place of Margaret Mitchell and her husband, John Marsh

Margaret was a 5th generation Atlantan and loved the city.  Like a lot of southerners who have family who fought in the Civil War, her family loved to talk about it and that's where she got most of her knowledge about the war for the book.

beautiful headstones and landscaping

After the tour, Stephen and I stayed a while longer to walk around the check out the rest of the cemetery.  There is a section for Jewish people, black people and Confederate soldiers.  It was interesting to see how the Jewish section was in the very far corner of the giant space of land.  Additionally, the black section was once on the outside of the cemetery but as it grew and took over more land they needed the black space in the middle.  So the DUG UP, are you serious, the dead and moved them to another section of the cemetery so they wouldn't be in the prime area.

some of the headstones were very elaborate statues, most of them quite beautiful

I definitely want to go back and take the Civil War tour of the graveyard.  There were so many graves that we past of Generals from that war, the student in me wants to know more.  

rows and rows and rows of Confederate soldier headstones

One of the most iconic graves in the cemetery, the grave of the Unknown Confederate Dead.  It was donated by the brothers of some soldiers who died in the war

The cemetery is old, very old.  I didn't find it creepy, except for one set of graves on a hill where the hill was moving away.  There is a Halloween 5k through the cemetery that Stephen and I will definitely been running.  They also have a Halloween tour when they open all of the mausoleums for tours.  FUN STUFF!  I'm so glad I live in a city with rich history.  

The bench is so old it's fallen down and the grass has grown all around it.  Beautiful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Last night was the Rihanna concert at Chastain Amphitheater - you know I was there.  I've been listening to Rihanna (or dancing really) for years.

I'm not going to lie, when I first said yes to the tickets I was a little worried about the crowd that would show up.  I mean, come on, we have shootings at Piedmont Park when they're showing Sixteen Candles at Screen on the Green.  But there was nothing to worry about.  The crowd was actually a lot of women around my age.  Our group actually got upgraded tickets for the show.  BONUS!  Not such a bonus - it was close to 100 degrees with the humidity and number of people in the outdoor amphitheater.  But we got through it.

The show was one hit after another.  There was only one or two songs that she sang that I didn't recognize and she didn't play SOS.  The rest of the songs were fabulous.  By the end of the show she was sweating more than we were in the audience.  She also had 8 wardrobe changes.

When I'm gross and sweaty, say after a run, or wet from the pool in a bathing suit, there is nothing quick about getting clothes off and getting a new, dry outfit on.  I don't know how she changed so many times, and so fast.  Way to go Rihanna.

As I mentioned it was hot, very hot.  But, ladies at the concert, just because it's hot doesn't mean you can forget to act like a lady - or not dress like one.

Great picture of me and Kristen, until you look to the girl behind us.  Classy.

Side boob and basically no back to the "dress" either.  You know how I know I'm old - I was appalled by most of the young girl's outfits.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Car steps

So, work continues to consume my life right now which means posts are coming a little slower than usual.  It saddens me, but believe me, I'm still sticking to my new thing every day!

7/8 - Went out in Decatur to Raging Burrito and Twain's
7/9 - Learned how to fix a few things on my car.   Sang in front of people
7/10 - Watched Super 8
7/11 - Watched Inside Man

Quick notes on each of these:

Raging Burrito and Twain's
Decatur is so cute.  We drive through downtown Decatur to go to the farmers market every week and last week I wanted to see more of it.  We got a group together for dinner and drinking.  It was a great night.  Dinner was great and the drinks were strong at Raging Burrito - nothing I'll ever complain about! I had two tacos, the fish taco and the veggie.  Be warned - the veggie taco is SPICY!  I passed that on to Stephen and stuck to the chips and dip.  Their salsa is not your typical salsa either - trust me, try it.  Once the rain started it was off to Twain's for some drinks and bar games.  Jessica and I dominated on the shuffleboard table.  18-6.

I'm a car mechanic, sort of
My car needed new wind shield wipers and a new engine air filter and new cabin air filter.  All of those things sound like things I should know how to do.  And now I do.  The most difficult thing was the engine air filter, there were lots of screws and if they gave Stephen some trouble, they will give me some trouble in the future too - but at least I know what I'm doing now.  And the cabin air filter, easier than changing the wipers!  I can't wait to go to a body shop one day and ask how much they'll charge me to change it just so I know how much I saved.


Super 8 - it was almost like someone wanted to try to recreate ET and pull in some of the modern "alien/monster" movie trends.  I didn't really pay attention to the previews and I should have.  With the main characters in middle school, the acting was at that level and the jokes, too.  Nothing scary, nothing shocking or life changing.  It just made my Sunday night a late night.  The main female in the movie was played by Dakota Fanning's younger sister, Elle.  Acting must be genetic.  She was great.

Inside Man - I give the movie a solid 3 out of 5 stars.  Interesting concept but haven't we all seen "the perfect bank robbery"?  Sometimes it amazes me that more actual criminals don't try the tactics in movies.  Denzel Washington was good, but nothing will ever live up to his acting in Man on Fire.  (Now you're thinking about Dakota Fanning again aren't you... twice in one post!)  It was awesome to see Christopher Plummer still acting.  He was the father in The Sound of Music.  He's still a good looking man and I really wanted him to break out into song... interesting that the 2nd movie I've ever seen him in, in this one he was friends with Nazis.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fresh Ingredients are the Best

I'm a day late in posting this update, but hey, a day late is better than nothing at all, right!?

Tuesday night Stephen and I headed back to the Farmers Market to do our week's grocery shopping.  We picked up the usual lunch salad items and then enough food for 3 dinners this week.  On the menu this week - Salmon, feta stuffed burgers and chicken.  We got our three recipes for the dinners from a section Coastal Living magazine called Week at a Glance where they give you a list of ingredients and then that list will be enough for 5 meals during the week.  It's perfect for us.  More on that later.

While we were at the Market we decided to eat dinner at their little food court.  $4.95 a pound.  My meal was just that much.  Not bad for a fresh meal.  It was definitely something new for me, but I wouldn't mind doing it again.  It definitely makes the week-night shopping trip earlier in the night if we don't have to cook first.

Back to Week at a Glance.  Last night I made the salmon meal (no pictures, I'm slacking!) - but here is the recipe.

It was DELICIOUS!  We didn't use the olives because someone doesn't like them - but I'll be adding them to my dish next time.  It was my first time using fresh salmon, not the Publix kind.  Not to say that Publix isn't fresh, but I trust a farmers market a little bit more on the freshness when they have live fish swimming around in tanks.  AND, not only was it delicious, it was also soooo simple.  The part that took the longest was actually pan searing the salmon.  Everything else was just chopping the veggies which I could have done while the salmon cooked.  This meal will definitely be added to my mental menu.  We are making the feta stuffed burgers tonight - I'll be sure to take pictures as we go along.  

We also started watching Arrested Development.  It's another one of those shows that I heard is fantastic from just about everyone who watched it - but I just haven't had the desire to Netflix it.  Season 1 is streaming on Netflix now, so we've started watching.  I'll keep you updated.  Hopefully it lasts longer than I did with Mad Men - just one season.  Maybe I'll start back up again, but I didn't really connect with anyone so I don't really care how it goes...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 235th Birthday, America!

This weekend was one that I’ll remember for a very long time and I hope I can recreate the memories I made each 4th of July weekend.  That’s not to say that the past two 4th of July weekends haven’t been amazing – 2 years ago I was in Gainesville to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle and say I Do and last year I was in NYC with a great group of friends and my sister.  Both weekends gave me memories for a lifetime.

This year I stayed in Atlanta and my Dad came to visit.  The trip was supposed to be for my dad and Patti, but there was a situation back in Orlando and Patti had to stay home.  I was really looking forward to the weekend with both of them; I hope Patti can make it back up with my dad soon.  I had the weekend planned out with activities that both of them would enjoy and had to revise a few things to make them good for just my dad.  I still have the other outings saved in the back of my mind, though, no worries. 

Friday as soon as my dad got into town we headed to Turner Field for another big tailgate and then Braves game, complete with a win and fireworks!  It was great for my dad to meet a bunch of my friends and Stephen. 

Saturday we went for a walk to Piedmont Park so my dad could get the lay of the land for the race and then we met up with Stephen and his mom to head over to Sweetwater Brewing Co for their brewery tour and happy hour.  That evening was dinner at Rathbun Steak. 

Sunday, Dad and I headed off to Mass in the morning then to brunch.  In the afternoon we took my new gun to the range so I could try it out and make sure I liked it.  I’ve never been scared of guns.  My entire life my dad has had a gun around and he taught me to respect them.  For a while now I’ve wanted to have a gun in the house.  I’m a single woman living in a very large city with a diverse group of people all around me.  I haven’t felt scared in my apartment, but if I do, I want to know I have a gun with me. 

The gun is GREAT!  I am absolutely comfortable loading it and shooting it and I could actually control the gun and aim well with it.  Much different than the automatics I’ve shot before.  I’ll go to the range more often with Stephen so I get even better at shooting, but now I know that if someone comes into my house with bad intentions, I’ll have the upper hand. 

The invited and sponsored runners at the start of the race

That's what the start of 60k runners looks like.  All the people watching are also runners headed to line up at the start.

Monday morning was the Peachtree Road Race, the 10k that I’ve been training for the past few months.  I got up early, made my way to Buckhead and was there in time to watch the Invited and Sponsored runners at the start of the race.  They were so fast!  The entire experience was fantastic.  There were 60k runners participating this year.  Each runner is placed in a Wave based on his or her speed.  I was in wave W because I’ve never run a race before so there is no way to judge me against others.  That means I was in the back of the 60k people, there were only 2 waves behind me.  Every group of runners is lined up around the Lenox mall and it’s all pretty organized at how everyone makes it to the starting line.

Wave W as we turned onto Peachtree headed to the start... the giant American Flag in the distance

The run wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’d run 5 miles before with Stephen so I knew what to expect.  There was no way I was going to walk any part of the last mile of the race, no matter how tired I was.  The hills were rough, but what I expected based on my training and what I’d heard from other people.  The last mile I thought was all downhill.  I was wrong.  There were little, one block long hills.  They killed me.  But I didn’t stop. 

Almost to the end - running down 10th

I finished the race in 1:16:40.  I ranked 30,749th overall and 12,259th for women.  Basically, I’m right smack in the middle.  But now I know I can do it.  I know I can finish.  Now I’m searching for a 5k to run to keep bringing my times down so next year if I run the Peachtree again (and I hope I do) I won’t be back in wave W and starting as the sun starts to heat everyone up!  The best part of the race – running as hard as I could down 10th Street and seeing my dad and Stephen cheering me on.  My dad hasn’t missed a major sporting event in my entire life.  It was very special to have him there.  Next year, I hope Stephen will be running with me.

The rest of the day was spend with Stephen as my dad had to head home.  We went to Cypress St Pint and Plate for Brunch and a few drinks.  Then we headed back to my place with a few friends to hang out and grill.  The weather didn’t participate and we didn’t get to grill, but we still got our hotdogs!  Fireworks were on the TV this year.  I’m not complaining – I’m exhausted. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Weekend is here!

It's a half day at work, the Braves are at home tonight and Dad is on his way to Atlanta!!  I'm so very excited about this weekend, but it isn't exactly as planned.  Patti's mom, who we call Nonnie, is sick in the hospital recovering from surgery.  Patti is needed in Orlando and will not be making it trip with Dad.  I'm so sad that I won't be able to spend quality time with her this weekend, but I 100% understand the reason for her staying home.

I have some important things planned for me and Dad and sometimes Stephen and the rest of the weekend is up in the air.  The most important thing for me this weekend (besides our reservations at Rathbun Steak) is the Peachtree Road Race on MONDAY.  I'm in Corral W.  It's the last corral before the final two corrals for racers that didn't submit a time.  I guess they knew I could run?  My corral's slowest time for the race is 2:00 - I should beat that no problem.

Here are some fun facts about the race from the Atlanta Track Club:

  • The first Peachtree was in 1970, with 150 runners (though only 110 would finish). There were no T-shirts, no water stops, no food and no post-race entertainment. The entry fee was $2.
  • 26 percent of participants in the 2011 AJC Peachtree Road Race will be running it for the first time ever.
  • The coolest starting temperature on race day was 62 degrees in 1986 and 1989. The warmest was 80 degrees in 1970, ’73, ’77, ‘80, ’83 and ’91.
  • Participants in the 2011 event will represent 48 states and the District of Columbia.  The only two states not represented are South Dakota and Nevada. See a map of the breakdown here.
  • Three women participated in the first Peachtree in 1970. Today, close to half of the participants are women.
  • The PRR Expo has more than 100 different exhibits, including gear and apparel, gift items, races and food items.
  • A medical team of more than 150 people will be at the race.
  • This year’s 60,000 participants will burn 36 million calories running the course.
  • What does it take to produce a successful race? It takes:
–250 tables
–250 cases — that’s 600,000 — cups
–200 trash cans
–110 hoses
–50 rolls of duct tape
–40 rakes
–12 pairs of pliers
–17 pallets — that’s 42,500 — peaches.