Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You wear more vests than the cast of blossom.

Dear 27,
Last night I hosted the Dinner Party (I determined that a "dinner party" is truly defined by the number of "chairs" you have and can potentially fit around your dinner table), but not just any party, a Casserole Party.
Thanks to Jen and Elyse for the Tater Tot Casserole recipe and Paula Deen for the Corn (and butter) Casserole. There were drinks and macaroons and a whole bunch of pumpkin bars. In addition to friendship bracelets, jokes and lively conversation. We were really on a casse-roll (it's probably the 14th time I've made that joke and it really never stops being funny.)
The plan was to hit up StageWest's Scriptease and hear the free read through of the original script of the Casserole Brigade, but as 7pm neared and the hotly anticipated Britney episode of Glee began, we settled on sticking around to gawk at John Stamos. (It was determined that the pop princess looks a little aged. Or less done up than she was circa 2002.) 
 Thanks Karen, Sara, Jenni and Brianne for attending the first LP dinner party of the Fall (or maybe ever).
In other news, my friend and blogger Calee highlighted my little love letter on her blog today! Thanks Calee and be sure to check out all of what she crafts-- you'll be dazzled.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our way to Fall.

Dear 27,
Fall has officially arrived. The sweaters are out of hibernation, the old October issues of Martha have resurfaced and logically, I went apple picking. Looks like we're finding our way to Fall.
 The Happy Apple Orchard is home to rows of red delicious, jonathan and braeburn apples, as well as many animal heads (there were at least 18) and an archery target room.
Visited Norwalk for the first time. The little city is littered with horses. And grass so green it looked digitally enhanced. Jo, Ashley, Mary and I came away with many LBs of apples and soggy shoes.


***Bonus. Made crisp from my apples.***

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Got Rocked'toberfest.

Dear 27,
Weekend of too-awesome began with a tour of some of the coolest spots in Des Moines' East Village. Then there was a visit to Market Day! (Where I got to catch up with the super-cool-blog-celeb Jen and talk to Danelle about some custom goods from the old couch-- can't wait!)
Got this ring. Love it. Old buttons are the coolest. Wish I could remember this gal's name. I'm pretty bummed I don't. Then the Oktoberfest began.
Jenni and I took our poem very seriously. The final sweetness was pressed into the German beer. A whole lot of final sweetness.
There were lots of hats involved. And great company. And stories about cops in Ottumwa.
Thanks to my loyal readers and completely photogenic Oktoberfest partners.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Snaps. Snaps. Snaps.

Dear 27, 
I read this poem, written purely as an invitation and not for true public consumption, on stage, at open mic night, at the Des Moines Social Club. Thank you Craig Crile (Yes you Muscatine readers, the Craig Crile) for the ridiculous yelling that got the emcee's attention and me a free beer. There might be video. I'll be sure to post and publicly embarrass myself a second time if I can find it. It was awkward, even for me.
“Oktoberfest Saturday”

RE-Written by LP based on
“Autumn Day” by Rainer Maria Rilke (German Poet),
Des Moines: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap your shirt with lederhosen,
and on Court Avenue let your sauerkraut go free.

Command the locals to attend Oktoberfest
grant them a Saturday evening of rainless fun,
urge them to meet at 6pm, and press
the final sweetness into the German beer.

Whoever has no plans now, will have one.
Whoever is alone will be comforted by a free mug,
will sit, drink, and make long toasts through the
and wander the avenue, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.
People clapped. And snapped. 
A guy performed a spoken rap about microwaving, there was a drum circle, a young man rapping about "republican ninjas" and the stage smelled like hippies. There were guys playing metal-head guitar riffs, a man who read stories in leprechaun voices, monster limericks, a story about pess-ee-meests and me. It was a night unlike any other. An awesome one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm a total Gleek.

Dear 27,
What I'm about to write will confirm my status as a big time nerd. I think, however, that many Fox watching musical loving Americans feel the same way. They just may not have taken it to this level...
Last night we celebrated the first Glee Potluck complete with Schuester's Pie, Artie-choke pizza, Slushies and Rachel Barry Cobbler. 
The only thing missing, oddly, was Glee. But there were party favors, good company and a few "step cross step cross snap snap jazz hands" moves.
(Don't worry, we were able to catch it on Hulu today. You can too.)
Jenni gave Glee's premiere a pretty average rating but confirms we had "this" much fun.

ps- Kerry. I thought Funny Girl was pretty great. A little long. Like 2.5 hours long. But I enjoyed it. Barbara is a star. And yes, Hello Gorgeous.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sam Cookin' up a delicious pizza.

Dear 27,
Before I share my newest additions to the MacGuyver Style cookbook I know all you readers are compiling, a little list of music to go all culinary on. Every kitchen needs a good playlist, an apron, a cast iron skillet and a wooden spoon.
(Visit Joanne at Kitchen Collage. She'll assist you with the proper tools and an appropriately frilly apron.)

Check out the finished product.
A very detailed egg recipe.
One more recipe will be up this week-- a macguyvered up pizza, where I actually had to adhere to a recipe for the most part. I'll get the details for Sara's favorite crust and get back to you.
Here's a few action shots from the Sunday pizza fest.
Photo credit: Sara Springer + Liberty School
Now get cooke-in.

The view from the 86th floor.

Dear 27,
After 5 days in Los Angeles and a quick stop in Minneapolis, I flew off to NYC to meet my mother and explore the city that never sleeps. (And by the time I got there, I felt like I too had never slept. That's a lot of miles in a week. Also, LaGuardia Airport is one of the least wonderful places I've ever been. And that's being polite.)

NYC was pretty spectacular. I must admit, embarrassingly, most of what I know about the city (and it's uptowns, midtowns, downtowns, and upper east sides) is from Gossip Girl, repeat watchings of Sex and the City and weekly visits to NYMag. The city is all hustle and bustle. Just like Carrie Bradshaw would say I'm sure. (yes. that is embarrassing.)

We camped out at the MAve where the "lobby" was red and the room was about 225 sq feet. There was a photo in the room that looked oddly like Lindsay Lohan (post-Parent Trap, but pre-prison) and our view was a breathtaking look at the building next door-- but it was perfect.

A visit to the Union Square Market and my Manhattan in Manhattan with the Allsteel crew at the beautiful Flatiron Lounge (in addition to a blackberry mint julep type bourbon drink that was delicious) and I was nearly ready to call it a night. Three time zones, one week, wow, I was sleepy.

Day 2 in the big apple held a visit to MoMA and a picture of me with Frida Kahlo. Of course. (Bummed I missed the upcoming Abstract Expressionism exhibit, but it was so cool to see pieces I studied in college LIVE. This trip to MoMA also confirmed the fact that I am not a big Matisse fan. I feel a little like less of an Art lover, but I'm just not that into him. Craig Adcock, Modern Art Professor at the University of Iowa, I agree with you. Art inspired by the master Matisse is much better than the man himself. Although you never said this explicitly, I know you meant it.) Then there was lunch with Raisa, the bartenderess/musical theater actress from Shakopee, MN at The House.

Finally, the main event (this is about the time of night tornadoes were hitting Brooklyn) with Designer Pages NY + Allsteel + Rich, Brilliant, Willing + Ms. Dubbeldam.

I had so much fun with Erin and Nicole and meeting the kind Midwesterners from Designer Pages. Thanks (Mary Palmer) for a terrific NYC evening!

Day 3 in NYC was full. Mom and I had a whole day ahead of us that included:
- A Matt Lauer sighting.
- Breakfast at Rockefeller Center.
- A Sandy Cohen sighting as he filmed something in Central Park. (His eyebrows were sweating.)
- Many photos taken of myself in Central Park. (Many people staring at me with troubled looks as I took pictures of myself in Central Park.)
- Making friends with Igor at the Russian Tea Room where everything is red and beers cost $14.
- Touring the Garment District just to see Mood fabrics and doing Tim Gunn impressions at Stitch.
- We wandered over to the Empire State Building, had a classic cocktail at the Empire Room where Sedrick from Alabama served us some complimentary popcorn. I think it was the combination of truffle laced popcorn and moscow mules that fueled our need to see NYC from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building-- it truly took my breath away.
- And finally, we ended up at 230 Fifth, a rooftop bar in Manhattan that was a happenin place. We met the Kirby family-- our English soulmates. Hi Mary, Cate and Tracey!
Thanks so much Mom. 
The NYC adventure (which is now crossed off the list) was waaay more fun with you.
(yes. Super long post. Expect 3 MacGuyver recipes this week. Proof I wore an apron and made dough, plus news of raising some dough too.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The big apple.

Dear 27,
Full recap to come but here's a few of my favorite pics from the 3 day trip to NYC.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm a terrible pretend waitress.

Dear 27,
Minnesota was great fun, as expected. Found a photo booth at the Lyndale Tap House and headed back to Cooper for a night cap.
Tried scotch (sorry Mom, guess I'm that girl who sips scotch. who knew) and thought it delicious.
And waited on a table. Poorly. While wearing what was dubbed a "matronly" outfit. Good thing I had my "mr. rogers" neon yellow sweater to draw attention away from my lack of menu knowledge. I'm not really sure why or how that came about. But I served drinks, brought (and then promptly took away) menus and described a mustard "so hot it might burn a hole in your nose." I should probably stick to what I know.
Farewell Minnesota. And farewell future career in the service industry.
Back home for about 18 hours. NYC in the morning. Terribly excited.

Monday, September 13, 2010

You're full of masculine charm.

Dear 27,
A mini-stop in Minnesota. A lovely evening in Wayzata.
Then a stop at Cooper. (Thanks for the super service Reba. You're a delight.)
And the return of the 1 and -1. Still bizarre.

I stumbled on 8tracks and hope to be able to post music successfully and without coding error (I really don't know what blogger jargon I just used, but it sounded cool.)

In other news, I just can't get enough Rob Sheffield. His new book is high on my to-read list and you have to read Love is a Mixtape (it's heartbreakingly brilliant. the way he speaks of music, and love, and bourbon is perfect. I'll even loan you my copy with all the highlighted parts. because nothing connects to the moment like music, right friend?)
I better get to reading. And to work. And to packing. NYC trip begins on Wednesday.

And Des Moines. I miss you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Can you tell me how to get. How to get to.

Dear 27,
My Tuesday to Sunday CA trek ended with a 4:30am drive to LAX. Now I'm in Minneapolis, testing the limits of my seemingly boundless energy. I'm running on hope and bourbon...or something like that Ashley.
A little California recap of the highlights. Complete with photos. Of course.
- The Armenian Apostolic Church had their dignitaries at my hotel. A small fleet of Maybachs sat outside the Hilton and the pope-like figure of the Armenian Church was in town, kickin' it with LP.
- Not only was the church in town, but the World Cyber Game Championships (described to me by a gaggle of 20 year old awkward boys from Arizona, New York and New Jersey as the "video game Olympics, man") was also being hosted by the ever-accommodating Hilton.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
- Went to Santa Monica on Saturday to meet up with Becca + Laura at Barney's Beanery, the local haunt for Hawkeyes.  We met fellow fans, caught up on life and celebrated a big time Iowa win!
- Then the MAIN EVENT at the Hollywood Bowl. I met up with about 20 DU alumni and we dined and wined and headed over to listen to Pink Martini. What a weird night of musical guests. Ari Shapiro (yes. Of NPR news. He was a dream boat in a impeccably fitted suit), 82-year-old Jane Powell, the vocally incomparable Rufus Wainwright, the human cast of Sesame Street (yes. that's true. They sang "C is for Cookie" and "Rubber Ducky" and it was very odd) and Kim Hastreiter of Paper magazine on the triangle. And then. There were fireworks.
Now I'm in Minneapolis. An evening on a lake. (I'm not sure what lake it was. We are in the land of 10,000)
More of that tomorrow.
Sweet dreams.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Travel Bender.

Dear 27,
Part one of the 12 days of travel takes me to not-so-sunny California. Many a tune has been penned in her honor. I think I sing at least 5 of them on plane rides out here or while stuck in the traffic. I'd try to post them for you but STILL can't seem to get a playlist to cooperate.

(At least my 1am hotel arrival and dreary day one didn't offer much sun, especially after a few unforeseen and nonawesome plan changes. California, however, redeemed itself today.) Finally finished another book. Thanks Jen for sending me what has proved to be a new favorite. Have written postcards, thank you notes, and too many emails to count with my second unexpected free afternoon. Might have even managed a sunburn. 
A few more sun drenched days ahead.
Until then,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The end of summer.

Dear 27,
Labor day was anything but laborious. I ate too much, drank Makers and spent lots of time doing anything but preparing for my big two week travel adventure. Here's the recap.
- I documented 2 days of egg breakfasts. That's right. EGGS. Forget the recall, my health and the fact that mice, decay and other disgusting things were found among the incredible, edible. I made Eggs + everything in Laura's kitchen. And ate heartily. Without getting poisoned.
 - I spent hours with the crafty ladies of Ephemera and attended the opening of the Vanimal's show, "People of the Snakes." You should go down and check it out, in fact-- get a limited run print for only $10 and support my friend and talented artist. (While you're there by a $10 Desired Awning bag to help Arin and Karen put up that darling red awning.)
-BONUS: they've sold 61 of my postcards since March. I think I'm well on my way to the 100 total goal on the list.
- Made manhattans. I'm not sure I can say I made a good tasting one, but it was surely a start. Thanks MD, CK and CP for bearing with me and drinking my less than perfect round one. (Side note: Sweet vermouth tastes like a strange savory saucy thing. Not delicious on it's own.)
 - Started yet another roll of film.
- Saw the famed Marilyn scene in The Seven Year Itch.
- Discovered my goodwill-purchased-polaroid-camera has film in it!
- Went to a big-time family BBQ (thank you Sara) with slow-smoked brisket, fish that was caught-cleaned-battered-fried by a couple I chatted with, sighted a Bieber look-a-like and had arguably the greatest carrot cake of all time.
 - Watched Hot Tub Time Machine. I laughed. There. I said it.
- TIE DYED. Both my hands and some scarves.
Whew. That was exhausting to type. LA now.
(For those of you playing along at home. "Where in the World is Laura Palmer" I'm Universal City bound.)