St. Petersburg Garden

St. Petersburg Garden

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Little Piglet

A few years ago I told Mike that I wanted a mini pig for Christmas. I was serious. I don't think he believed me. Which is why I didn't get my little pig. Well, technically one might say it wasn't on my list. This is partially my fault. I've never been a fan of the Christmas list. I have a hard time deciding what to put on there. It's not really my style to make one. Until I met Mike, I don't think I'd ever made a Christmas list. I didn't see a point. You put things on there that you hope to get and then you rush to look under the tree only to find that your list remained intact. Yup, better to just not have a list. Now you see why. It's a set up. I believe in the spoken word. I say what I want. Quite often. People should take notes. I do. I listen, which is why when it comes time to giving gifts I generally know what a person wants. Back to my pig. I mentioned the little tyke a few times. But alas, little Hamlet wasn't meant to be....

But wait! What's that noise? That snorting? Did Mike get me my little piggy after all? Did he sneak in a little buddy for Charlie? I followed the sounds of piggy all the way to the bedroom. It was coming from under the covers. Snort, snort, snort. A small, little mound was wiggling between the pillows. I peeled back the comforter and found.....what the.....Charlie? There's something not quite right here. How did my little brown ball of fur morph into my little piglet? And what a little piglet he is. It's amazing what this little guy has turned into. Apparently, when he heard my Christmas wish, he decided he would give it to me. Day by day, our little Charlie has been turning into a little pig. We used to be so concerned about our little munchkin, he barely touched his food. Now he thinks everything is being prepared for him.

Ironically, the little ham has even taught himself some tricks. I'm not a believer in making my kid perform for his food. I think it's mean but Porky is so excited when food is coming out that he can't contain himself. He jumps, he twirls, he does double Axels. Ok maybe that last part was a slight exaggeration but he's pretty excited to eat. I just don't understand where it all came from. While he's snorting his food in, he's watching to see what we're making next. This is really one content little guy. He has no clue that I'm still getting that mini pig someday. He may be my little piglet for now, but he'll have to share the limelight one day. You hear that Mike? Maybe I didn't mean it about the baby elephant or the little wombat but this time I'm serious.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ballpark Life

Like many college graduates, I find myself looking back to those years spent at my Alma mater with almost a sadness. Not because it was a awful time but actually quite the opposite - because it was such an amazing time and I miss it. At no other point in your life do you have such a sense of freedom, a time when you can enjoy yourself so much and you have the whole world ahead of you.

Life is generally enjoyable. It's the calm before the storm. It's that last bit of serenity before you are thrust into the harshness of the real world with no turning back. Ever. Oh, and it's pretty much paid for by someone else. That's my favorite part. You have to take advantage of that when you can because you won't get that too often. It's generally a once in a lifetime opportunity. You take it and run.

*Sigh* Alas, the college experience is over. We must now live with our memories and be content with what that experience has given us. A great education. Check. Fabulous memories and friendships. Check and check. An amazing career. Well, no. Ok, so not everything works out the way you think it will. But I'm not bitter. Much.

This is why when Boston University began offering alumni events, I was all on board. I had a great time when I was an undergrad so why not re-live that experience and see where it leads me. New friends? Perhaps. Definitely new memories. New career? Hhmm.

Honorary Alumni Mike and I have been to a few events to date and we've had a great time at them all but the front runner now has to be PETCO in the Park. Sure, it wasn't Yankee Stadium, but it was still an amazing experience and even if it were Fenway Park it would still have been a great tour. Well, almost. Thanks to a recent BU graduate, who organized the event, we were given a tour of the Padres ball park - top to bottom. After a brief hike, we stopped at the most important area - the Press Box.

Yes, the press is well taken care of - dining area, flat screen tv- I could get used to this. Sports Journalism was one of my better classes.....thank you Professor Jack Falla. We moved downward. To the belly of the beast. We moved through the Sony Home Plate Club and made our way towards the dugout. I would've ran around the bases but apparently they knew I was coming and placed signs all around. Keep off the Grass. Bummer. Guess my days of being a ball player were limited to posing in the dugout.

It was a pretty cool experience. I grew up a few miles away from Shea Stadium in Queens and have been going to games at Yankee Stadium since I was 8 years old. I've never taken a tour of either stadium. Thanks to Boston University Alumni we were able to see baseball from the inside.

Sign me up for all future events. Me and my honorary alumni are in. Afterwards we headed over to Wine Steals/Proper Pub for lunch. We had never heard of this place but it's definitely worthy of a return trip - I need a set of those wine glasses.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Well, I did it. I didn't mean to, it just happened. Sort of like an accident. Yes, an accident. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I knew it was time. I was ready. Kind of. Maybe not as prepared for exactly what went down. I thought I was. I decided I had had enough of the long. The chop. I think I can go for the chop. I told Mike it was time. I grabbed some magazines and began searching for a style that looked good.

There were so many nice ones but there wasn't one that just reached out to me. Until I turned the page. This one spoke to me. Sure, I think I can go for this one. I showed it to Mike. He loved. I was kind of joking. Kind of. I actually DID like the cut. A lot. But it was short. Very short. I'd never actually gone that short before. I didn't know if I could do it. I marked my page and kept looking. It was a contender for sure. But I continued my search......

Everyone knows that once you decide to cut your hair, this is when the hair Gods shine down on you. Once I made that call, that fateful appointment, my hair had never looked better. Really? I'd been living on ponytails for weeks. Now all of a sudden those golden auburn tresses were flowing down my shoulders. Damn. Now what do I do? Cut it off? Trim it? I was torn. The day was getting closer. I didn't tell anyone was going on. Since I didn't know what I was doing I figured there was no sense in creating a panic. Besides, someone might try to talk me out of what I was about to do. What was I about to do? I didn't know myself so I kept quiet.

The day arrived and I walked into the salon. My Hair Guru was waiting. He asked me what I wanted. I still didn't have a clue. I launched into my explanation. I was ready to cut - not all, but some. I could go above the shoulders but nothing above the chin. I was feeling good, not DARINGLY BRAVE. Hair Guru said I could stay long or go short, either would be great. Damn. This is not helping the situation. What to do, what to do.

Mike's instructions were this - short or just a trim. I relayed this information. Go figure, Hair Guru agreed with Mike. Hhhhmm, if I didn't know better I would've thought Mike had called H.G. ahead of time to discuss this strategy. I felt like they were in on this together. How could this be? I had to make a decision. Okay, I'll go with the short. But remember, above the shoulder, below the chin. Have I mentioned that I was not daringly brave? I just wanted to point that out again.

"I like you better with short hair", says Hair Guru. Whoa. That's short. Here's the weird thing. How did he get in my head? My hair cut is that picture in the magazine. I never said a word. Never showed one photo. To anyone except Mike. It's almost the same concept. How did he do that? I walked out a bit in shock. Don't get me wrong - Hair Guru did a great job, he always does but I'm still adjusting to my new look.

Mike is all aboard the short train. He loves the new 'do. He can't stop looking. I know some people are finding it hard to adjust - like my parents. My mom would like to know what I did with "her" red hair. Understandable. It's a big change. But I personally would like compliments like this to keep coming in: "hot redheaded chick". Also, to the woman who stopped me outside of my car to say "I love your hair" - your timing was perfect, thank you. Long is boring. Short is exciting. Change is good. I'm all for change. Although my mom still needs time. She asked if I saved my hair, you know, just in case I wanted to get extensions put back in. She was kidding. I think.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Drop the Cupcake & No One Will Get Hurt

I have always loved to bake. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins. The operative word here being bake. Not cook. Not main meal. I'm not talking breakfast, lunch, dinner territory. Nope, I will have none of that. I'm talking the important stuff here - dessert. Sure, I've chartered into main dish waters and it's turned out fine but it's not fun.

Why go into an area that's not fun? Do people really go enthusiastically running into dinner oohing and aahing over brussels sprouts? Can you put mocha flavored frosting on a brussels sprout? I don't think so. I'm sure you can try but I don't think it would go over so well. For years I would bake with friends and family. They all knew my passion. Then slowly, as the years went by, my baking stopped. I don't know why. It just happened. Probably because I liked to eat my goods too much.

Fast forward to now. Mike has gotten lucky. The baking has resumed. Again, I don't know why. But hey, we don't question these things. For years Mike used to hear all about my baking. Yes, hear. He would ask why he doesn't get baked goods. My answer would always be the same. Oh, because I did that before I met you. Standard answer. Poor Mike. Everything was always "before I met you".

Hey, it's not my fault he came along after I did all these things. But apparently there is a cycle to my madness and it's coming full circle. Yes, I repeat - the baking cycle has resumed and when I say bake I'm talking from scratch not from a box. This is for all you haters who swear I'm buying things from the store and putting my name on it. You know who you are. This time around I'm also leaning towards the healthier side. Cupcakes are vegan and the most delicious I've ever made. But they do lead to danger. There are certain evils that you can't prepare for. Things that you wouldn't think are out there. Let this be a warning.

Unfortunately with the return of baking comes evils. We've all heard of the cookie monster. You know what to look for with that blue furry guy. He's pretty harmless. There's something even scarier than that. Yes, even scarier because they appear so adorably innocent and cute. It lurks behind every baked good - every cookie, every brownie, every cupcake. I'm talking everything. I almost didn't make it last night. It started out perfectly normal.

I guess it would have be okay if there were more than two cupcakes left. It seemed like two would be a good number for two people - one for me, one for you. What was I thinking? Now normally, I make one dozen cupcakes. For dessert we each get one cupcake but since there are so many others to choose from, an extra cupcake can be taken. No problem. Until last night. When we were down to two.

We sat down to enjoy our cupcakes and before I knew it, we were one cake down. I had just sat down. Literally. Not even 5 minutes had passed by. Someone was getting really friendly with me all of a sudden. From one end of the couch to the other in five seconds. Someone was trying to work it. Someone had already eaten his cake. Someone wanted mine. I won't name names but I will say this - it wasn't Charlie.

Using those big brown eyes. Trying to work his magic. I held my ground. I would not give up my piece of chocolate mocha heaven. It was close though. This Dessert Monster is tough. I've battled him before and I have lost. I should let you know that the Dessert Monster has a theory - if a baked good is better for you then you can eat twice as much. I don't buy into this theory but it should have prepared me. Always have one extra cake. Always. And don't look straight into his eyes. That's how he gets you.