Archive for March, 2012

Every now and then, my grad school classes will remind me of something I haven’t thought of in years. Things I didn’t even know I remembered.

Case in point: in my class last night, the professor brought up Idi Amin’s rule in Uganda. She’s talking about this terrible dictator, and truth and reconciliation commissions, and what comes to my mind?

Idi Amin used to eat oranges to increase his sex drive.

I can’t source it. I  know I was in high school, possibly a sophomore, though I don’t remember what class I was studying Idi Amin for. But I can tell you that my high school self found it both absurd and entertaining. And might have giggled upon discovery.

I didn’t share that tidbit in class last night, but I encourage you to bust it out at your next dinner party.

As a conversation starter, how could it fail?

*I know, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

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Last year in the weeks preceding March Madness, I decided that I wanted to care more about my bracket. In order to do that, I decided that I should have a college basketball team to root for and care about and follow (before the bracket teams were determined).

But who?

Hopkins had a fantastic team…but it was Division III. Not eligible.

Because I’m in DC, there were suggestions that I pull for Georgetown. But…I go to GW (even if I don’t follow GW sports).

I eventually settled on a hometown team. I chose a school who I’d grown up hearing about. I also have several friends who have gone there, at least one of whom was closely affiliated with the basketball program.

So I told BNF. “I think I’m going to go with Villanova as my team.” I explained my reasoning; it wasn’t because they’d been good that year, I just wanted someone to care about.

You can’t.”

I can’t what?

You can’t just pick a team. That’s not how it works.

But I just did.

No. You either root for the team where you went to school —

But you didn’t go to UCLA! You’re not following your own rules!

OR you root for the team that you grew up cheering for.

Well, I grew up hearing about Villanova. Why doesn’t that count?

Because it doesn’t.

So you’re telling me that if I don’t pick a team as a child, and I don’t go to a Division I school, then I never get to have a college basketball team?

Yep. Pretty much.”

So I caved. I lost my desire to care about the tournament and chose my bracket at random.

And this year? Well, I did the same thing (mostly out of laziness).

But I’m curious – is BNF’s logic sound?

Are there some sort of college-basketball-cheering rules that I just never knew about before? And what about all those kids (like me) who didn’t grow up cheering, and didn’t go to a UNC or Georgetown or Maryland etc?

Personally, I think his logic is flawed. But what do I know?

Besides, it’s lacrosse season anyway.

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Food bloggers (the good ones, anyway) always seem to take photos of whatever amazing dish they’ve just made or had. Not only do they describe in such a way that you resolve to try it (or try to make it), but the photo then makes your mouth water.

I, on the other hand, when confronted with food of the amazing and mouth-watering variety, tend to scarf it down (while still savoring, naturally) and not remember photos until all you see are the dregs on the plate.

Example: our wedding menu tasting this past weekend.

          (What you don’t see are three extra utensils underneath that napkin.                 I felt like Leo in Titanic.)

Our venue coordinator suggested taking photos of each dish at the beginning, so we could remember each of the individual options, and we agreed that was a good idea. Then the first course was served.

We tried a grilled corn chowder with crab meat so rich and flavorful that I didn’t want to try anything else. I persevered, though, and tasted a butternut squash soup (meh) and a port-marinated pear salad (so light and refreshing!).

And I would love to show you the photos because the presentation rivaled the taste. But did I think to click before I devoured?

Not a chance.

In fact, the only photos I have are of the potential main courses, because our coordinator specifically reminded me.

As for the cake…please. Like I would have let a camera get in between me and my sweet tooth.

Everyone has told me that you don’t actually get to eat at your own wedding.

After this tasting, however, I am more than prepared to buck that trend.

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When I first saw the beginning of the following commercial, I thought for sure that it would be for a legitimate weight-loss program:

But I’ll see your popular girls, Geico, and raise you one El Jefe.

Earlier in the year I ran into El Jefe at the gym, while I was panting away on the stairmaster. He came over to say hi, and essentially asked why I was torturing myself.

Just getting wedding-ready!” I gasped out.

That was January.

Yesterday we had a baby shower for one of the women in my office. The theme was cupcakes, and the theme was plentiful. Naturally, I grabbed a delightful looking raspberry one. And as I was about to indulge, El Jefe walked by.

Remember you have to fit into your wedding dress!” he stage-whispered.

Unlike the Geico man, there was no way I was giving up that cupcake, so I just laughed it off and waited until I was out of El Jefe’s line of sight before stuffing my face.

I told myself that he didn’t actually mean anything by it (he didn’t); he just thought he was being funny (dad humor).

But apparently he thinks this is our little joke now, because he had a follow up this morning regarding some Krispy Kremes someone had brought into the office. (Joke’s on you, El Jefe, I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts kind of girl!)

I can only hope that his interest in my wedding prep wanes quickly.

Four more months of weight comments by El Jefe is enough to give any girl a complex.

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This past weekend BNF and I went up to Philly to meet with the pastor who will be marrying us in less than four months(!). We haven’t had any sessions with him yet, but all my married friends warned me about the “marriage test” they had to take for their pre-marital counseling.

There are just a bunch of questions to find out if you’re on the same page. You sit in separate rooms, but M and I texted each other to make sure we put the same answers. We don’t have time for extra sessions!

But apparently Presbyterians are a little more lax than Catholics.

Pastor B talked us through the ceremony structure and the possible elements that could go into it. We talked about reconciling my beliefs with the Jewish-atheist views of BNF. We discussed when, exactly, we’d rehearse the whole thing, since Pastor B has another wedding the night before ours. All very productive and positive things.

But no test.

As we were wrapping up, Pastor B gave us our homework assignment for the next meeting.

Think of five things you love about the other person, and three that drive you crazy.” And then he shared this anecdote.

I once had a couple in here to whom I’d given that assignment, and the guy said ‘I can’t think of three things.’ So I said to him, ‘Then I can’t marry you because you don’t know your fiancee well enough. I can give you five things that drive me crazy about her right now!‘”

Quite the sense of humor, Pastor B, but he has a point. If there isn’t one thing that drives you crazy about the other person – even if it’s something small – then you’re probably still on your best behavior around each other.

Think you can keep that up for a lifetime?

This whole assignment made me think of Up All Night. If you have time, watch the clip. I'm glad we don't have a whiteboard.

I can’t speak for BNF (and we’re not actually supposed to talk to each other about our lists before the meeting), but the things I love were much easier to come up with than the things that drive me crazy. And they also help put the “crazy” in perspective. If this list contains my biggest concerns, then we have very little to worry about.

Though, I suppose I’ll withhold judgment until I see what BNF has to say. I can already think of a few things I do that drive him nuts.

All part of my charm, I’m sure.

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