This is a story about patriotism…. sort of.
Somewhere along the way I may have mentioned that I have four roommates. One of our newest roommates moved in last December. We have a pretty stringent screening process to ensure we find housemates that are equally cool, clean, low key, and non serial killers. We like to find people that want to join the family, hang out with us and not hide in their room. So Nick (the roommate in which this story is about) moved in circa early December and because of holiday festivities there was no time to throw himself a housewarming party… which he had expressly said he was interested in doing during his interview with us.
After some delay he decided to throw one in February.
Nick determined that he wanted to commemorate this occasion and his legacy (ongoing that it is) by contributing something substantial to the homestead. He decided to buy the house an American flag.
Our house is over 100 years old and there are regulations for drilling into the ancient bricks and things like this. Thus, we needed to wait for our land lord and could not display the flag outside during the party. This wouldn’t have been possible anyway because Nick showed up fashionably late to his own party toting an outdoor sized American flag…. because obviously it was to be a surprise so we were unaware of his “gift” until party time.
As one does when one finds himself in possession of a large flag with no outdoor holding device, Nick propped it in our dining room and sort of wedged it behind the dining room couch and draped it over a wall hanging so as not to let it touch the ground. While waiting for people to arrive I told Nick he needed to take a photo with his new flag.
There he is looking quite proud and happy with himself if I do say so.
As people started to trickle in, for no real reason other than a need for an ice breaker at the beginning of the party (you know the awkwardness), I jokingly made a few other people take photos in front of the flag. (Because that’s not awkward…) Turns out my friends, that this, was a slippery slope. Do you see where this is going? On accident, the flag photos became a thing…. As flag photos are wont to do (but are they?).
Next thing we knew every person that arrived was asked to pose for a portrait in front of the flag. And it was a total group effort. People were yelling things like, “hey Katie, this guy needs to take his flag photo,” or, “grab a beer and then come pose for your America photo.”
In true testament to Nick and his hilarious friends everyone just sort of accepted this as normal. Why of course I will pose in front of this American flag at this random 3 month late housewarming thank you so much. Or maybe there are flag pictures taken at lots of parties and I’m just terribly out of the loop?! Who can know.
And kind of my favorite part of all of this is that out of all these photos I only know like ten people…. Of which three of those I live with, one I’m dating, and one was in town visiting (hi Michelle!). Which means that Nick has like a whole lotta weird / cool friends and they’re all appropriately patriotic (as in not too much and not too little).
Nicholas – so happy you moved in! I’ll unlock the door for you any day(!) (inexplicably he rings the doorbell like fifty percent of the time despite having a key and being a resident).
Sometime last spring a few friends and I took a Sunday afternoon trip down to the Wharf. AKA, the Fish Wharf aka the Maine Avenue Seafood Market. My Wikipedia research just told me that the “Maine Avenue Fish Market stands as a cultural relic popular with locals but unknown to many of the tourists who flock to the monuments and museums just five blocks north.” Seeing as how I had no idea such a place existed until several weeks before this adventure I second whoever wrote this.
It turns out the the Fish Wharf is one of the last remaining open air fish markets on the east coast. Ten plus stalls are arranged in a horseshoe and are technically floating barges. Upon entering, the scene feels satisfyingly “UN-DC.”
This place is so cool. The market has been continuously open since 1805 (whoa) and fresh seafood arrives daily. It’s charmingly dilapidated with vendors yelling, the sound of fish being wrapped in crisp paper and the undeniably “fishy” smell that accompanies any such place.
So as not to make any rash decisions we decided to take a lap and check out options and prices before purchasing anything. Some stalls were running sales but for the most part prices were similar from vendor to vendor.
It’s been awhile now but I think we bought something like four pounds of mussels, three pounds of clams, a jar of oyster shooters, two dozen scallops and a bag of shrimp. Ultimately the seafood plus a few side salads plus some french bread fed 12 people for about $14 per person. And when I say fed I mean stuffed to the gills (I couldn’t resist) with seafood and butter.
So we bought all the seafood and then came home and googled how to cook all the seafood. One of my roommates is from America’s hometown Plymouth, MA and he also had some pointers for those of us less familiar. Not a lot of seafood in Missouri… The most weird/exciting this I learned about was pulling out the beards of mussels prior to cooking. Mussels have beards!
We sautéed the scallops, made a butter linguine situation with the clams and steamed/boiled the mussels in two different ways; one in a tomato based sauce with sausage and one in a butter based sauce with like, a lot of delicious Irish butter.
We ate the oysters raw in shooters of course.
This was such a fun night. From the fish market to the meal with some de-bearding and youtubing in between it was all hilarious and great.
There was a rumor that the fish market was closing due to a revitalization condo project but this article reports that it will stay open (although perhaps in a different form?). It would be damn shame if such a historic place that is the livelihood of so many people closes. And hopefully it doesn’t lose it’s slightly dilapidated charm. :)
Friends, lets do this again soon, yes?
So over and out! Later summertime.
Last year on November 4th I woke up with slight stomach pain. It wasn’t terrible but it was enough to be concerning. I did some googling, some Web MDing (verb?), some consulting of friends without their appendixes and I determined that I was indeed experiencing symptoms of appendicitis. I cabbed myself to the ER and had my appendix removed 8 hours later. Seemingly smooth and seamless. Not.
To make a long and sort of gross story short… as a complication of the surgery I developed an infection two weeks later and had to spend some time in the hospital and have a second procedure.
All this to say that for the month of November and early December I was pretty much out of commission. What’s a girl to do but sit at home and binge on television and sew a quilt?!
So I sewed a triangle quilt. Technically my third quilt and technically my second triangle quilt. I sewed a baby quilt for Miss Erica Greco Millay last year that I almost forgot about until I stumbled upon a photo. It’s so tiny… Next time I need to focus on making it a standard size. You can’t quite tell but the quilt below is a little guy.
Back to the appendix quilt though…. The idea for it started back in the early fall. The gray triangles with pink and green floral pattern were originally pajama pants. I saw the pants at Target and decided that I wanted to make a quilt with that pattern as the focus. I bought an extra large pair of pants to provide the most fabric and then picked the others ones to compliment it.
I knew I wanted to do a triangle quilt (instead of a patchwork square) this time after seeing this one by Elise. I used a rotary cutter and self healing mat to cut the triangles. I laid everything out and sewed rows of triangles and then joined the rows.
I’m mildly obsessed with the final product. I finished the quilt with an organic cotton middle layer and gray binding. It’s satisfactory to assemble the quilt and of course finish it but I sort of like the step of cutting all the pieces the best. Something about cutting the fabric and putting it together in the pattern the first time is very nice.
Lost an appendix, gained a quilt! Excellent trade.
Might as well jump back into blogging with something exciting like a road trip yeah? Seriously, where did the past six months go? We’ll never know because it’s not documented on the internets! ACK.
So baby brother Brooks (the less attractive but smarter one of our sibling duo, you know the one?) got himself a job all the way across America in the sunny state of California. He claims he moved there because this tech startup offered him all the things + the coding language of clojure. But really he wanted to make our parents have to visit both coasts. Selfish I tell you!
I like road trips. I like Tim. I’ve only been to California once. I’m an excellent driver. No brainer, I decided to join in on this cross country adventure.
I flew into Kansas City and and spent 12 hours with two of my favorite people at their most beautiful house in Hyde Park (thanks Jake and Trey!). Then we were off!
We wanted to make our first stop in Denver even though in retrospect we probably should have gone a bit farther… I got to snuggle with my best friend Anne and Tim got to hang out with friends. Success! On our way into Denver we stopped to get our headlight replaced immediately before experiencing a serious snow storm. Double success!
I literally had to help push our car onto the road the next morning. Whoops. This is a situation where mother and father Regan/Brooks would be all texting us, “how’s the weather?” “Are you being safe?” “Where are you?” Ya know, parenty things. Unfortunately they were on a cruise somewhere on the ocean. So really, for them it’s better to just see this on the flip side I think.
Due to All The Snow we had to drive south through New Mexico and Arizona. This was a long day. We ate tacos in a tiny restaurant where the hostess, waitress, and chef were apparently all the same woman. Fantastic. We caved and finally bought a car phone charger in lieu of wasting precious time charging at a Starbucks. We also downloaded the Sporcle app (best $2.99 I’ve ever spent) and quized ourselves into oblivion. Also, it was windy.
In case you’re keeping track of days we’re now on day three. I think we slept somewhere in Arizona on the second night. With the promise of sunny California and 70 degrees we set off early for our destination.
The west coast is so efficient ya’ll! Let me tell you something sad/hilarious. We were driving a ’03 Honda Accord. So this car is awesome because it has a six disk CD changer. It is not awesome because it does not have a tape deck and it’s too old to have a AV cord or USB port. Which means unless you have CDs (we did not) you can not play any music/podcasts/radio shows that you save for long drives. I mean, let’s just say we’re talking about a loooooooooot of radio scanning.
Upon entering CA we promptly stopped at In-n-out and then a quaint local shop called Walmart for the essentials and what not.
After another few hours we were in San Mateo, new home city of Timmy B. We unloaded the car, met his roommate’s pet chinchilla, checked out his morning walk to the train/metro/subway (what is it even called?!) stations, ate Korean food with his roommates and other startup owners (like, everyone has started a startup over there) and then called it a night. We did get invited to a pre-party at Stanford…. I’m not sure what they were pre-partying but it felt very “Social Network-esque” if you know what I mean.
I flew back to snowy DC the following morning and we both lived happily ever after! :)
This is now old news because the road trip happened in like February (snow – you may have guessed). But all’s well and good and I’m sure by now Tim has a mean tan going on…..
Until Thursday….. over and out! (It feels good to be back!)
Videos! In no particular order! Except they’re kind of in particular order because I put them like this hoping you’ll watch the first few before you really get bored.
1. Chase was doing some photography work for my Madre’s non-profit (she works there… she doesn’t own it). He had the idea for this little public service announcement. Mama Regan wrote a script, Chase took the photos, Paul Carabello did the audio and sound engineering and I edited the thing together (which was the smallest and easiest part). High-five for making this come together in about a 72 hour window. Also, how cool that all us Parkview high school kids (and Parkview kid’s husbands) are collaborating. Who said Springfield, MO wasn’t the creative outlet of the midwest?! (I’m pretty sure no one has commented on this either way).
2. The person who lived in my room before me in my house in DC holds a biannual one minute film festival (Summerval and Winterval). I had the lovely opportunity of attending and participating in “Winterval 2013: Chilled to the Max.” Although my one minute film did not win…. here it is.
I mean… who doesn’t want a breakfast sandwich delivered to their door? Also — the winning videos and other entries are here. They’re only a minute and there are some truly hilarious ones (although one of my favorites, a parody of the DC dating scene produced by Alice, is not internet appropriate and therefore will remain a hidden gem).
3. I don’t have any words to do this justice. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ladies and gentleman. Heart=puddle on the floor.
4. Finally, if you have 7 minutes this is the most beautiful and cool short film I have seen in a while. The goal of my life is to make something this cool.
Seen any good short films lately?