Monday, June 27, 2011

The 1920's and Collegiate Rivalry

Apparently something ginormous and hugely cultural to my hometown had been missing in my sad and bleak life. That something included donning Gatsby-era clothing whilst laying on nicely manicured lawn. That something included bringing a picnic basket full of delicious treat to consume while "watching" a "sport." That something included filling that mentioned picnic basket with only alcohol and drinking at noon [it's okay, everyone else was doing it]. That something included an intense collegiate rivalry held between the two prestigious colleges in my hometown.

If you are not from Annapolis, if you have no idea what St. Johns is and if you have only heard of the Naval Academy because that of that movie "Annapolis" [with the hottie James Franco no less], then your brain is in for a delightful treat as I uncover the secret of intramural croquet.

Once a year the midshipmen [read: the young men and women who attend the Naval Academy. they are called "mids" for short] and the St. John's students in our town gather on the prestigious lawn of St. Johns [read: incredibly well manicured because the school is so stinkin' expensive] to battle using their athletic prowess and accuracy in the gentleman's game of croquet. Generally the mids are dressed in a pristine white outfit that includes a sweater with both the Naval Academy logo and the St. Johns logo. For my first time attending this legendary event they did not let me down.

I thought to myself, "excellent, I will be able to distinguish the two teams without a problem!" False. Generally the "Johnnies" dress in ridiculous outfits. One year they wore togas, another they donned the outfits of painters in bleak, paint spattered coveralls. This year they decided to dress exactly like the mids. It made for a super confusing game.

Perhaps you can catch what their differences are, however. To the common man [ie: not from Annapolis] they look exactly the same. However, you will note that the physique of the gentleman on the right is quite leaner than the gentleman on the left. That is because midshipmen are required to work out all the time. I was able to tell the two groups apart by the ones who had beer bellies, and the ones who looked like they were shoulder pads [actually just impressive muscles under those sweaters].

The Johnnies seem to have an innate keenness for croquet. It is rumored that the week before the big event they traverse over to the retirement home in Annapolis and practice with the retirees. It's true. Who knows croquet better than grandparents? Because of this fair and earned advantage, the Johnnies apparently almost always end up winning.

Not to be left gasping for what the assumed was theirs, the Johnnies outdid themselves again and won. Several thousand picnickers and Gatsby-era folk came out for the event. The lawn was absolutely mobbed. Tailgating tents decked out with delectable goodies took over the far side of the lawn while picnic blankets, oversized hats and swing dancers took up other various parts. Everyone relished in the unusually warm April day and basked in the sun while downing alcoholic beverages left and right.

Some brave soles who preferred to keep their seersucker suits on the non-green-grass stained side dragged large couches out onto the lawn. This entire event was simply a site to behold. I was disappointed that I carried no picnic basket or cluster of grapes with which to join in on the fun. Next year I plan to have my parasol, large hat and chilled bottle of wine all ready to go.

This was just a trial run preparing me for the full immersion in 2012. So if you are in the Annapolis area, perhaps you had better don your seersucker suit and join the throngs as they drink and pay no attention to what is actually happening. Because honestly, do any of us know the rules to croquet?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Model Girl Gets Married

You could take the title of this post two different ways [as far as I can see... comprehend]. First, this could be pictures of the person that I look up too and respect's wedding. Perhaps this person is a hero in my life and should be copied in every way possible. Perhaps it is a Stepford wife, perfect in every way. 

Or you could take this as someone super hot getting married.

We can go with both definitions here.

Cute couple, and Marieke has killer legs. Am I allowed to say that kind of thing?

Cute flower girl. Marieke gave her Smackers for a flower girl gift, and I am pretty sure that Vera had consumed all three tubes by the next day. 

I went up to Marieke when she was getting her hair done and commented that "she should keep it in the rollers! It looks hot that way." Then she and the hair dresser told me that I was only the like the 29th person to tell her that. Waaawaaaaa. My jokes are so not original as it turns out. 

So Marieke and Ryan got married in April [and you are blogging about it now...!] in Connecticut in this cute little church. Their ceremony was really special and filled with their personality. For example, their program was a comic book. Yes. A comic book. I almost cried with delight. The bridesmaids dresses were the perfect shade of yellow. Meaning bright bright bright. They were stinking adorable. The entire wedding party wore navy Toms, which were also stinking adorable. It was a lot of cute personality shoved into one chapel.

I felt incredibly honored to be a part of their ceremony as I read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. I stood up at the front and yelled in the sanctuary because there was no microphone for me to speak into. Unfortunately I have a lot of practice yelling [at small children to move so they don't get run over. obviously all positive yelling], so there was some definite wincing going on as I sounded like Darth Vader only twenty times louder.

I loved that the entire reception was one huge party. Everyone danced. I thought the floor was going to break. 

Marieke and Ryan are very dear to me. They are a model couple. They love each other very much, and they support each other in every decision made. I am so grateful that I am friends with them. And I plan on staying friends with them for a very long time. I am going to spoil their kids. Legit.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Real Housewives of Annapolis

Jennie and Mere legitimatelly look like "real housewives" of Annapolis. I have never seen a "real housewives" show, but I imagine this is what they would look like.

These pictures are from when my friend Jennie visited and we went downtown for icecream after Bible Study. We then broke out into song in the icecream shop. I believe we were belting out renditions of Beatles songs. I can't help that we are awesome like that.

That was the night before the nightmare that was getting Jennie on the right bus back to Boston. Dang Megabuses never really say where they are picking up their riders.

The picture above was the only good picture I got of me and Jennie those few days. In all the other ones we are making ridiculous faces. Now I just need photoshop to crop my sister out of the middle. I could just replace her with a dinosaur or something. Sounds reasonable.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Interacting with dogs seems to make things always a bit brighter. Aside from when the dogs in my house are spastic nutcases, they can be very therapeutic. Which is good right now. A lot has been going on recently in my life. A lot of change. A lot of surprises. Some of it wonderful. Some of it very hard. Money has been weighing on my mind a lot. Unfortunately. There are a lot of unexpected expenses coming my way. 

So, because I am feeling slightly overwhelmed, here are some pictures of my puppies.

Can you tell which one is my favorite?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Claiming My Italian Heritage

Here is an important question which is normally answered in a negative fashion.

  Have you ever consumed fresh pasta? 

I say a negative fashion because when I generally ask individuals they answer with a resounding "no". This makes me quite sad. Being an Italian myself [mostly. i'm actually more irish, but let's not dwell on that small fact], I am aghast when I discover that the majority of my friends have never consumed homemade pasta. Aghast I tell you.

Once you eat fresh pasta, you will never ever want to go back. I am assuming this. Maybe you will want to go back, right away, to that comforting starchy mess of a meal. But just maybe you will want to run into the future flying the banner of homemade deliciousness to which your belly will gratefully thank you.

My brother and I worked together to turn out around 4 pounds of pasta. It was enough to serve eleven individuals and still have leftovers. 

 Bryan made the dough for me. I tried to make the first batch and kind of failed. He is the dough master. This picture depicts him trying to crush an egg in his large hands just by squeezing it. A rather difficult task. Harder than you might think.

I ran the pasta through our handy dandy little machine. First you flatten out a piece of dough and run it through the first part of the machine where it is made even flatter and thinner. Then you crank it through the second part of the contraption which cuts it into linguine. 

Bryan and Lauren eventually cracked the egg while giggling the entire time. It was kind of a mess. They splattered egg on the cabinet and floor. The dogs enjoyed the mess thoroughly.

After letting the pasta dry for a time, we floored the pieces so that they wouldn't stick together and threw them on a pan. Since it was around 11pm at this point, we stuck it in the freezer for lunch the next day.

My grandma made her wonderful marinara sauce for lunch. We took the pasta out of the freezer and boiled in for literally three minutes and it was done! Best meal ever. Fresh pasta really is the best.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flashback Friday - The Kimmy Edition

Sometimes I just can't handle small children. I feel like I've said this before. I suppose this is because they aren't mine. It has to be different if they are your kids. 

Also, I love when people adopt. I think it is incredibly special and meaningful. All of the adoptive parents that I know really really love their kids. When I was in high school I had the privilege of nannying for the cutest kid ever. I was lucky enough to be at the airport when they got back from China. 

How cute was she? This must have been right after they got her since my album is labeled December 2006. Every time I see these pictures I just want to squeeze her adorable cheeks.

It's crazy how fast kids grow up. It seems like just yesterday I playing with her one year old self. Now she's five going on thirteen. It's too crazy.

My Obsession

I can't help it. I love baking cakes.

Aaaannnndddd... I am so proud of this one. 

My first time making marshmallow fondant [or any fondant for that matter]. My co-workers boyfriend is from England, so she wanted a union jack for his birthday. The best looking cake I saw on the internet with a union jack was a fondant cake. So I made it. I used my go to chocolate cake recipe and layered it with toasted marshmallow icing and chocolate buttercream. For kicks and giggles I added a layer of ganache on the very top and then covered it in the chocolate icing. Apparently people thought it tasted like a giant hoho. I couldn't be more happy. Those were my favorite hostess cake growing up.

Perhaps a Flashback Friday later? We will see.