(Too Many Parentheticals)

This past weekend, My friend S. and I had a joint not-our-birthday party. As you may recall, we share a birthday. As you may also recall, it was in December! But we didn’t get to celebrate together then, so why not do it now? I am beginning to think I could have a birthday party every couple of months and people might not notice or remember. Shall we see if this holds? Just kidding. But I do appreciate any excuse for a party.

Any excuse to bake cupcakes (my first attempt at chocolate):

Chocolate Cupcakes

Any excuse to receive flowers (first time in over a decade receiving flowers; first time in over sixteen years receiving flowers from a male person):

Daisies

Daisies and [Lillies?]

(I don’t know, y’all; I think I tend to date hippies and cads who think the act of giving flowers is beneath them. This must change.)

Any excuse to have my house fill up with my funny and charming friends. There were so many of us we had to open the windows because of how hot it got!

The best thing about hosting parties, however, is that one always has a ton of food left over no matter how much one encourages the guests to take some home. The next day, among a dozen or so random beers in my fridge, I found a lone bottle of this Bell’s Cherry Stout and had it with dinner:

[39/365] Cherry Stout

(Can I get a what’s up for that action pour shot, please?) It was actually insanely delicious and I want more. I’ve never seen it before so I must track down the person who brought it and find out where it can be obtained.

In other news, this week I have been enjoying going to bed early and reading. Having just a little half glass of wine while I do makes me feel so decadent and luxurious and privileged and leisurely, even if I am essentially behaving like a mildly alcoholic grandma, drinking wine in bed at, like, 9:00 PM.

[40/365] Bedtime Reading

Honestly, it’s just a half glass; I swear!

Today I took my reading downtown to the coffee shop where I got a lot of work done. I promised myself I could go across the street to the Gap and shop for trousers if I worked successfully, which I did. My shopping was just as successful: got a perfect pair of black trousers on sale, and found a pair of jeans I’d been wanting also on super-low-clearance sale — but not in my size! Luckily, the sales girl called another store and had them send me the jeans. They should be delivered right to my house. While down there I snapped some pictures outside the bike shop:

[41/365] Cruisers

These beachy cruisers out front must mean that spring is really just around the corner, right? I hope so. Bike commuting, here I come. My lovely and productive afternoon was slightly dampened by finding a parking ticket on my car, but at only $5 I think I can live with it.

Unrelatedly: I think sometimes that I exist in a dating pool peopled exclusively by different versions of Mr. Wickham (who takes shape often as Daniel Cleaver, Barney Stinson, The Mayhem Guy, or similar) and Mr. Collins (who, in real life, is never so off-putting as he may seem on the page or screen but who, regardless, does not inspire in one That Special Feeling). (Yes, I was just watching the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, why do you ask?) But seriously, though: why so many Wickhams and Collinses and so few Darcies? Regardless of all this, I am occasionally taken with fits of romantic optimism. Don’t ask me why; I know not.

24 thoughts on “(Too Many Parentheticals)

  1. Katie February 10, 2011 / 8:53 pm

    I don’t think I want to know how many times you’ve read Infinite Jest. I am proud of getting through it just once! (Of course it’s amazing, but also LONG.)

    As for the dating thing, I’ve been doing Match again for more than a month, and can confirm the lack of Darcies. I actually haven’t seen the BBC version, by the way, even though I’ve owned it on DVD since sometime in high school!)

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:30 pm

      It seems like I am reading it all the time but I’m only on my second go-through. I have this one friend (a real Mr. Wickham if there ever was one) who has read it three times and ALWAYS says so, every time the topic comes up. Gah. Also, you should watch those DVDs! It’s great!

  2. Kerri Anne February 10, 2011 / 9:13 pm

    Happy! (super belated, but heartfelt nonetheless!) birthday, friend. And I LOVED What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:31 pm

      I am about halfway through – at first I was slow to get intrigued, but last night I blazed through a bunch of it and am loving it!

  3. Chrissy (The New Me) February 11, 2011 / 8:28 am

    That Murakami book is the only one I’ve read by him and I really enjoyed it! Also, there is nothing wrong with behaving like an alcoholic grandma. And if there is, then we should definitely form a support group!

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:32 pm

      I have read his _Wind-up Bird Chronicle_ before and loved it, but nothing else. I am going to need to read more of his fiction when I’m done with this. And yes, Alcoholic Pre-Geriatric Grannies Anonymous, here we come! APGGA!

  4. Holly February 11, 2011 / 9:57 am

    Two things: the beer and cupcakes look amazing! I think I need to go get myself some breakfast. πŸ˜‰

    (Beer and cupcakes for breakfast? Acceptable on a Friday morning? Why not. Hmm…)

    Anyway, the other thing is I don’t think I had ever received flowers until I was in my late 20s. Like ever. And they just totally make your day. This post reminded me that I need to give flowers to others more often because seriously? What a cheap and simple treat!

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:33 pm

      Breakfast of champs! But probably not paleo πŸ˜‰ And re the flowers, I was lucky to receive a bunch in high school, but none of my college or grad-school BFs gave me any. Lame-o.

  5. Kristen February 11, 2011 / 10:35 am

    First of all, I’m going to start taking reading suggestions from you because I like things that are enjoyable but also smart, and I think you’ll be able to help me with that, right?

    Second, if they were all Darcies, it wouldn’t feel quite so special to find one, right? Also, the Darcies are especially hard to dig out because, you know, they can be really off-putting and infuriating to start with, which could lead one to dismiss them before realizing their inner Darciness, you know?

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:34 pm

      This is very wise and true.

  6. Brandon February 11, 2011 / 2:12 pm

    Important question of the moment: is it coffeeshop or coffee shop? I’ve been going with coffeeshop lately.

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:35 pm

      Um, I’m gonna say coffee shop is correct, but (as a sometimes German speaker) I love a good compound noun, so why not? Coffeeshop? Go for it.

  7. John February 11, 2011 / 4:49 pm

    You may also try to look for Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (don’t take the name literally, it’s not actually chocolate flavoured). It’s wonderful beer.

    And, as a guy, I don’t understand the thing about the flowers. I’ve been handing out flowers to pretty ladies all my life! It’s such a simple and appreciated gesture.

    Phooey to lazy deadbeats who don’t give flowers to their damsels!

    • Kate February 11, 2011 / 6:35 pm

      You must be one of the good ones. Also, “Damsels.” Heh.

  8. Timothy February 11, 2011 / 10:29 pm

    I liked Murakami’s “Kafka On The Shore” a lot, listened to a really nice audiobook on our xmas 2009 road trip to VA. Amanda is a huge fan of his work.

    Flowers are nice, but every rose has its thorn (oh yes, I went there).

    • Kate February 13, 2011 / 7:13 pm

      Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song…

  9. susiemaye February 11, 2011 / 11:20 pm

    I think we should have birthday parties every few months. I don’t think anyone would notice. Hee hee. We’ll do the next one at my place.

    My life is absolutely peopled with Wickhams and Willoughbys (I do rather fancy myself an Elinor Dashwood, I’ll be honest). Where are the Darcies? I’ll take a Colonel Brandon at this point.

    • Kate February 13, 2011 / 7:17 pm

      As long as this additional birthdaying doesn’t cause us to age at an advanced rate! And oh man, Colonel Brandon. Well, Alan Rickman is not too bad!

  10. LizScott February 12, 2011 / 11:27 am

    Here’s my flower story: I like having flowers around the house, so I just buy them. I was checking out the grocery store one day, having just popped in for some fresh flowers, and a little girl – maybe 12- behind me in line said “Those are nice flowers.” I replied to her “Thanks! Sometimes, you just have to buy them yourself, you know?”

    At this point, the checker outer dude piped up “Hey! Now I, as a man, feel bad! Don’t tell her that.” and I was like “Well…when was the last time you brought a woman flowers?” and he was all “Ummm”

    THEN he shouted over to the next cashier over (a woman) and asked her “When was the last time you got flowers from a guy?” (god I love Trader Joes) (In honor of this post I will parenthetical as much as possible) (apparently) (and yes I just made parenthetical a verb) (omg stop typing!)

    Sorry. Anyway, the woman cashier replied “Oh man, it’s been forever. I just normally buy them myself if I want them.”

    HA! I hope that 12 year old enjoyed my triumph there and learned it’s ok to buy your own flowers, and I hope that cashier feels appropriately shamed and will now buy them more frequently because while it’s *FINE* to buy your own, there is truly nothing as nice as someone thinking of you and bring them FOR you.

    Um. Anyway. Happy birthday!

    • Kate February 13, 2011 / 7:18 pm

      I love this story! And I miss Trader Joe’s. I used to live right across the street from one when I was in Eugene, and I used to buy myself flowers there all the time. Tulips, usually. Oh, memories!

  11. Rose-Anne February 12, 2011 / 7:21 pm

    I like your “will work for shopping treat” strategy! How nice to have the Gap across the street from your coffee shop πŸ™‚ Also, I am envious of your ability to work in a coffee shop. Most of my work is lab-bound, so I am infinitely jealous of your humanities types who can work in places with, like, windows and stuff. And the delicious smell of coffee brewing! Heavenly.

    • Kate February 13, 2011 / 7:19 pm

      I am pretty lucky in that regard, for sure!

  12. Samantha February 15, 2011 / 11:00 pm

    Happy sort-of birthday, Kate!
    I just bought Infinite Jest, partly because Billy Bragg mentioned it at the show he played in Toronto, and partly because it’s mentioned or photographed here. Thanks for the suggestion… I plan on tackling it after I’m finished Walden.

    • Kate February 21, 2011 / 8:51 pm

      Ooh, you can’t go wrong with Walden *or* IJ. Have fun!

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