Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I cook...but don't tell anyone.

Well friends, we are on the homestretch! Big white dress day is fast approaching.  The favors are finished, the seats are settled and the hair is highlighted!

I know most of you enjoy coming here to read stories about a girl who is basically a hot mess and has to write things down on napkins so as not to forget the happenings of an evening out on the town.  That's not going to change all together, but there's no hiding the fact that I've happily mellowed in the last year or so. I've deliberately spent more time devoted to my creative side and less time on hangover recovery and content is an understatement on how I feel about this.

On the topic of cooking, I do have some staples such as crock pot chicken, corned beef and cabbage, split pea and ham soup, southern comfort mashed sweet potatos, and a few others, but mostly since Nat and I don't usually get to eat dinner together, I call the local salad bar my dinner most night. 

Last week, I impulse purchased Rachel Ray's magazine in hopes of finding some quick healthy meals and pretending to be a cute and proper wife type in the near future. (Which by no stretch of the imagination should you take that be mean I'll be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen ever!)  I found this recipe and it looked so easy I couldn't resist trying it out straight away! Nat and I both loved it.  Go ahead! Click the link.  You won't be sorry.

Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs (Oh, and I'm not suggesting this is or is not actually healthy)

Ok, domestic housewife stuff is over.  I know why you all come here!  Just to satisfy the need, please enjoy this undated, uncredited, sephia'd (to make it appear older than it really is) photo of our night time shenanigans! You're welcome.

Now, go ahead and caption it yourself since I'm not offering an explanation.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a lull in the action, until...

In the last blog, I had gotten a little action from Nat.  I really liked him, but the ideal of "self-preservation" was like my bible.  I wasn't going to call him, but when he didn't call me, I wasn't going to mope about it either.  We had just shared a fun kiss so their was no reason for the girls and I not to frequent Harry Browne's every weekend as per usual. 

Sometime that summer Nat and I met up for drinks. There were other people there.  After, he walked me to my car, shut the door and walked away. W.T.F.?!?! What had just happened?  Were we officially in friend territory?  Was he playing game?  Oh, I can play a game! (Wait are we playing a game, or does he just not like me?)

I slipped into old habits, IE; seeing people I probably shouldn't have, but liked and had fun with, and I'm pretty sure Nat was doing the same/taking care of unfinished business himself.  It was summer.  Things in the summer should be light hearted right?

One night towards the end of August after the girls and I had been to HB's, Nat called me in the wee hours of the morning after he had left work.  He wanted me to come over.  In a risky move, I went downstairs to wait for him to pick me up.  I really liked him and didn't want him to get the wrong impression but my want to spend time with him overruled.  Much like "The Situation" puts his lady friends conquests in his pajamas, I was soon in Nat's and while there was significant kissing, the pajamas stayed on.  Thinking I had played my card right, I still almost wrote Nat off entirely when things did not progress yet again.

Was he just looking for sex? Did he think I was a tease?  What was his deal? Having decided to not worry about boys at all for a while I hung out with my girls. Maybe still seeing "Casual Boy," on the side was keeping me from moving on.  That's not to say we stopped going to HB's all together of course.  I wanted to stay on Nat's radar.

One night, Nat asked me to go to the movies with him later in the week.  I said, "No."  It was a scary movie and I really just didn't want to see it! (And besides, I couldn't have him thinking I would hang out with him only on his terms.)  As we left that night, he called after me, "I'll see you Tuesday." I looked at my friend Chrissi and said, "Mark my words. I'm not going."

Tuesday came and Nat called and told me he was coming to get me.  I truly had not planned on going out with him.  Fortunately, he didn't take "No" for an answer.  Standard dinner/movie date, but from that night on, we went out every night he had off, and I ended up back at his house every weekend.

A slow blooming romance it was, but it was perfectly "us."  While I do think love at first sight is a great story I love that ours is not one.  Our friends joke that we were both so into "the game" they don't know how we ever ended up together.   Fortunately, we did.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Continued Shenanigans - Julie and Kristen are Accosted!

We left with Nat kissing me.  Fireworks.  Good stuff. But you know, I am a lady. That and, Kristen was sleeping on the couch next to us, so before long Nat and I innocently drifted off to sleep as well. When we awoke a short while later, Kristen and I realized we had to get ready to go to an afternoon party. On our barely two hours of sleep, when Nat asked us if we needed a ride home we said we were fine and could get home just fine.

I'll never be sure why we said that because as we walked out in the early morning sunlight we both looked at each other and suddenly remembered we didn't have a car. I only had our personal cab driver Momado's cell phone number and he worked nights so  he wasn't answering.  My roommates were hungover or sleeping or both so they didn't answer. Luckily, it was May and warm outside, so we walked a few blocks to a coffee shop to devise a plan.  We sipped coffee and realized we needed to bake a cake, get ready and be 2 hours away in like 3 hours. Whoops. On the bright side, I'd finally kissed Nat! 

Sidetracked as we were, we didn't notice Scuba Shawn diving in for the kill. Scuba Shawn was a late forties fellow who also hung out at HB's and was known for diving into everyone's conversations uninvited and repeatedly asking me out despite our twenty plus year age difference.  We definitely had seen him the night before and it was very apparent by our day old eye make-up and same clothes we had not been home yet.  With perfect stalker skill, he quickly had our sleep deprived brains admitting we were downtown without a ride home. In an attempt to be our knight in shining armour he suggested HE take us home.

"NO!!!" we both replied a little too quickly. He was not deterred.

"My neice is in town and needs friends. Let's go to the ballet. Here, put your number in my phone and I'll call you."  -----Whaaaa?!?! I couldn't make that up if I tried.  I was beyond trapped as I stared at his phone in horror.  We ran into him frequently and not wanting to be rude or make things more awkward in the future I reluctantly typed in my number.

Fortunately, my cell finally rang and it was Momado telling us he was sending someone to get us! Rescued at last.

I did spend the next few months avoided calls from Scuba though. They would stop eventually when I started telling him I had plans with Nat...but again. It would be a few more months...

Monday, February 14, 2011

On the Topic of Valentine's Day

I may be lucky in love now, but from the series I posted this fall on my dating history as you'll recall, it wasn't always so.  Besides, I have been way too mushy the last few posts.  You guys want to hear the tale of my most ridiculous drunken and awkward Valentines Day ever right? That's what I thought. 

*Sidenote: Nat and I were discussing a topic of what could be a hilarious blog last night that we later deamed "too much info."  On that note, I once wrote a little more g-rated version of this on the old myspace blog and decided I could be more forth telling on what all really happened this time around.*

I had just moved to Annapolis in January of 2004 and was living with Ramsay and Eli.  The three of us had actually gone to High School together, but never knew each other well. Valentines Day fell on a Saturday that year and Ram was taking his girlfriend out.  My friends Brandon and Becca were also single so we joined up with Eli and proceeded to consume alcohol.  Lots of it.  Becca and I were coming out of a love affair with Malibu Rum and into one with a nice bottle of  Vodka. We downed shots like the effect would be the same.  This is the night when I learned Rum and Vodka are not the same. The boys were drinking just as much as we were and I have vague memories of us all wandering around the house from room to room and having a grand old time.  It was an interesting mix of new friendships and fun was in the air.  We weren't drinking away our single sorrows, we just happened single, in our 20's, and it was Saturday night!

The four of us left in a cab for McGarvey's downtown alarmingly intoxicated. While Becca and Eli caught up from High School, (we all actually went to high school together) three friendly bar-goers offered to share their booth with Brandon and me. Two guys and a girl.  It turned out, they grew up not too far from where we did so we instantly had something in common.  They were so nice and kept buying us beers even before we ran out or had the opportunity to return the favor. Although, it was a little odd that the girl had her hand on my leg...

In our pregaming vodka haze we failed to realize we were fratenizing with swingers until they invited us back to their house after the round of shots they had just treated us to and simultaniously suggested I make out with the chick.  Realizing they thought Brandon and I were together, I started inching his way in hopes he had a plan to escape.  Not quickly enough though.  Before I knew it, the girl started kissing me and I was suddenly in a slow motion time warp of how did my life get to this?  My eyes were open and the bar was sort of spinning around me (not just because of the alchohol) and I wasn't sure how remove myself from the situation.  I must have caught the confused look of Becca, or Eli, or maybe Brandon helped me out of the debacle in progress.  Regardless, I think I was greeted by a "Were you just kissing that girl?" from one of them. 

It was a hazy night.  I'm fairly confident we did not gracefully extract ourselves from the situation, but rather slinked away from the table, hailed a cab and passed out in preperation for vicious hangovers never to discuss the night again. Well, until I decided to share it on my blog of course.

Night Notes did not exist yet back then, but nights like this are exactly the reason they do now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Silent(ish) Sunday

April and me in the early days of the beginning of the Harry Browne's era.  We ventured to the home of some new friends just down the street from the bar and it ended up being one of the most interesting and  favorite night's of mine ever in history! Nat was not quite on my radar just yet...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nat and Julie, The Love Story, Pt 2.

I left off at walking into Harry Browne's with April for the third time in one night and seeing Nat.  He was behind the bar and friendly and cute, but I already knew HB's was going to be our new spot.  I didn't want a repeat of the shenanigans from our last watering hole, so I kept him and everyone else at a distance for a while.  (Ok, at least I was subtle about it and/or saw people who were not HB's regulars. Ahem.)   

A few months went by and we got to know Nat a little bit.  He was fun to joke around with and maybe even flirt with a little bit.  Somewhere along the line the girls and I started hanging out after the bar closed.  Nat and Patrick would drive us home and drop us off so we didn't have to pay for a cab.  Entirely innocent.

I was starting to get curious though.  He was fun.  (And could make a mean dirty martini!) Late night drives home turned into joking text messages, running into each other on the street and hanging out before he headed into work.  He was becoming more and more attractive as time passed. One night, Mel, April and I went to his house instead of home and a novel concept occurred to me.  Maybe he was datable?  Perhaps, I should go out with someone I was friends with.  How did that work?  Then again, why hadn't he made a move on me in 6 months?!?! I felt a little insulted! Or maybe I was in his friend category.  This needed to be remedied immediately.

The next weekend after an unusually low key night at HB's, Kristen and I ventured back to Nat's.  April was on her honeymoon, Mel was otherwise occupied and we were feeling a little lost without them.  Sometime after watching movies until the wee hours in the morning, the sun was starting to rise and I got the distinct feeling Nat might have intentions to kiss  me.  An unfamiliar feeling of panic set it and I suddenly realized I really liked him! I would have to make sure NOT to kiss him under any circumstances!

Where this rationale came from I have no clue. I randomly looked away whenever he had an opening and when we went for an early morning sunrise walk down by the water, I wouldn't come near him so as to thwart his obvious mission. What was wrong with me?!?!  I wanted to kiss him, but the fear of growing feelings was imminent.

Back in the house, I decided I was being silly.  On the next opportunity, I would kiss him! Except, before I knew it, HE was kissing me. I suppose he had grown tired of my antics and took charge of the situation.  And it was good. Very good. 

But we didn't fall in love yet.  In fact, it would be several months before we even kissed again...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Julie VS "Her Inner Monica"

When I arrived home last night, there were three big packages on my doorstop.  I brought them inside and stared at them.  They were clearly gifts off of our bridal registry and I wanted to open them immediately. It was 6:30 and Nat would not be home until 10:30...four hours. Could I really wait that long?

I thought of Monica on Friends when she opened ALL the gifts without Chandler. That wasn't nice.  Let's be honest. I had a pretty good idea what was in those boxes.  I had glimpsed at the registry the day prior, but only because I was taking something off and adding something different. Swears! I did not however have ANY idea who the packages were from and honestly, that was just as exciting!

Maybe I could just open one box?  After much consideration I sent the following text to Nat:

We got packages! Want me to open them to tell you what is inside so you don't have to wait in agony until you get home!?! (I also included a picture for emphasis to really spike his curiosity!)

When he did not respond immediately, I sent another:
I know I would not want anyone to be in suspenseful agony!

He did not respond. ON PURPOSE! When he got home hours later, with smug smile he said, "You didn't open them!" I tackled him and told him how hard it had been and how I had looked at those boxes a lot in the last four hours and we must open them straight way!!!

Place settings, wine glasses and decanters galore from his aunt and uncle! After I reveled in our new dishes and Nat happily inspected the wine stuff, we piled all the giant bubble wrap in the biggest box and jumped in it together!  Clearly, just as much fun as our new house stuff!

Getting married is fun!  I think everyone should do it!

Monica Opens The Gifts!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It wasn't a forgotten Night Note

What seems like a long time ago, (because I had the flu for many, many days) there was a Night Note. And I never posted it. But alas, I am almost fully recovered, so we may now cover last Tuesday night.

Nat and I had a romantic dinner and briefly discussed our still not yet planned honeymoon. (It's so hard to decide! It hurts my brain.) Then we met up with Katie and Neman for beverages late night at Treaty of Paris. From there it was standard procedure in that Newman and I made fun of each other all night, followed by Nat and Newman reminising about old times, while Katie and I made fun of people who ask you questions and then turn away and don't listen to the answer. NOT a story for another day because its stupid and boring. Anyway, here are the Notes of the Night.

01/25/2011  Treaty of Paris

Newman: You're a both eye winker...also known as a blinker.
Julie: Finding Newman
Newman:  myfaceisdrunk @ ***
Julie: That IS a hot mess

In other news, before I had fallen ill, I'd started the working on thesecond part of the tale of Nat and me.  I'm not sure that it's all interesting or funny, but I'm working on it.  It's coming.

*** I have no idea if that is a real website or not and refuse any to take any responsibility for anything that may happen if you go to it. Or email it or whatever.