Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

I am so sorry for my absence these last few days. I know. You missed me awfully terribly much. I'm sorry. I missed you too. But I was off busy being a person in the world, which just happens so rarely, I had to take advantage of it.

As penance, I have so many words and pictures for you. So many.

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving, of course! Food, family, wine...what is there to complain about? I picked up pies (pecan and rhubarb) from Marie Callender's on my way from LA, and got to Santa Barbara around noon or so. Traffic was surprisingly easy, I think the holiday gods were on my side. My sister greeted me with delicious orange-cranberry mimosas, as any good sister would, then I helped my mom in the kitchen most of the afternoon. If by "helped" you mean "provided moral support and jokes while occasionally fetching something or stirring", though I did contribute by making Emily Bites' goat cheese mashed sweet potatoes. Delicious, as was the rest of our meal! Mostly I stuffed myself with stuffing, as you do. Badumdumchhh...?

We dawdled over our dinners, then decided against a movie---as food comas were certainly imminent. I come from a family of gamers...if by gamers, you mean "people who love to play card and word games and not video ones". We played Pitch and Thirteen after dinner, got a little rowdy, laughed nonstop, and poked fun at my father's frustration over losing. And I quote:
Dad: "If you hadn't played that card, I would have won!"
Sis: "If no one else had been playing, you would have won!"
Maybe you had to be there? I promise you, hilarious.

The sister left on Friday morning to head back to San Francisco, and my day was spent helping my mom decorate the house for Christmas. She goes all out with her decorations, but not in the tacky, overly thematic tradition of most Xmas decorating. There are no inflatable Santas or nativity scenes, I promise you. She has so many gorgeous holiday or winter-y things, and it was fun to find places for them all over the house....though also, a lot more work than expected! We didn't even finish half the house. We had scrumptious leftovers for dinner then decorated our (faux) Christmas tree. One of my favorite parts of the holiday season, I love looking at all the ornaments we've collected over the years and reminiscing over the where and the when and the what.Then my mom and I played Banangrams, which is a thoroughly entertaining, Scrabble-like game. I dominate. Words and I, we are very good friends...clearly.

Saturday, there was more decorating, and Mama and I went to lunch at our very favorite Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara, Los Agaves. I love that place for two reasons: 1) Amazing food. 2) The owner is hot as hell and I like to objectify him. Then the parents and I went to see "Silver Linings Playbook" starring my girl crush/future BFF Jennifer Lawrence. It was a really wonderful movie, and I highly recommend it. Every element was stellar---writing, directing, acting. Yeah, who knew Bradley Cooper could act? I certainly didn't. It was bittersweet and sad but hilarious and heartwarming, and I want to see it again. After the movie my mom had an errand to run, and I got distracted by a shiny new store at Paseo Nuevo downtown. And everything was on sale. So I bought shit. We then went to dinner at The Brewhouse, another one of my favorite Santa Barbara spots. My mom and I did some late night decorating when we got home, then I went over to my BFF's (not Jennifer Lawrence, the real one) for a brief gossip sesh and puppy snuggle. She has a new man, so of course I wanted to hear all about that, and I had some vents to get out. Lucky me, she lives about a 3 minute drive from my parents' place! It would be extraordinarily convenient if I were to move back to SB. Food for thought.

Today began with Sunday pancakes, in the long-standing tradition of my family. Apple-pumpkin ones, made by my mama and absolutely nomtastic. (Yes, food was a big theme this weekend.) Then I had a daddy-daughter date to see "Skyfall", which was full of explosions and sexy Daniel Craig musclature and good times espionage. Enjoyable popcorn flick. And yes, I ate some popcorn, and it was GOOD. Then I just had to return to the store I discovered last night, to try on a dress I'd eyed in the window. Didn't end up buying that one, but did find a few more things...funny, just last week I was saying I wasn't going to buy myself anything until Christmas. Clearly I have problems.

Anyways, today is my parents' 34th anniversary, and I told them I wanted to make dinner for them. I tried my first recipe from Skinny Taste, chicken rollatini with prociutto and cheese, which was absolutely amazing and a big hit with all of us. I also modified one of her salad recipes, substituting baby greens for arugula and gorgonzola for bleu. Awesome! I was really happy with how dinner turned out, and I have the itch to do a little more experimental cooking. We'll see how long that lasts. I convinced the happy couple to watch "Liz & Dick" with me on Lifetime, sure it would be the most amazingly horrifying catastrophe in the history of cinema. It absolutely was, but my parents couldn't appreciate the tragic comedy, and gave up twenty minutes in. Sadness. It really was a wonderfully cheesetastic explosion of bad. You should watch it, as long as you can find the fun in it and not allow yourself to become enraged at the bastardization of Elizabeth Taylor's legacy.

I really should have driven back to LA tonight, but I would rather drink some more wine and lounge about, so that's what I shall do. I hope the sheer quantity of words I've offered you here makes up for my cruel, cruel abandonment of you. Or, you know, not?

G'night, world. 

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