Yesterday was Ann Marie and Scott’s Engagement Party. They reserved the entire space at the Brooklyn Winery’s Williamsburg outpost, and invited their closest friends and family — including Ann Marie’s parents from Taiwan and a few of our mutual classmates from Parsons.
Archives for November 2015
I spent Thanksgiving with my roommate Morgan, my roommate Brian, and Brian’s parents who were visiting from Chicago. Coincidentally, it was also Brian’s birthday, and instead of a cake we put candles on top of the cornbread stuffing. Here’s a list of what we had:
- Turkey, seasoned with a homemade Chinese spice rub.
- Skillet cornbread stuffing
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Baked salmon
- Quinoa salad
- White cheddar and black truffle macaroni
- Pumpkin pie
- Pecan-bourbon chocolate pie with a brûlée top (I used a candle lighter to burn the sugar)
- Vegetarian chicken pot pie (which no one ate, and we eventually threw out — pictured above)
Needless to say, Nico was happy with whatever leftovers — namely the pieces that were left from the turkey’s roasting pan.
The next day, Brian took his parents out to the city. They were so impressed with the pies, they got me a culinary torch from Chelsea Market. I guess stay tuned for more technically-advanced desserts in the future!
I drove with my friend Erick and his partner to attend our mutual friend Dawn’s wedding in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Dawn, Erick, and myself all met in 2006 at college — Dawn was a veterinary student, Erick was a molecular cellular biology major, and I was an English literature major. We remained friends after graduation, even after Dawn moved to upstate Illinois to practice veterinary medicine, and I moved to NYC for graduate school.
Today, she got married.
The wedding ceremony was quick and sweet, and it took place in a boat clubhouse adjacent to Lake Geneva — Chicago’s own answer to New York City’s Hamptons. Dawn walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Wedding Song,” and her dogs — one of whom, Harper, was a great playmate to my Nico — respectively served as a ringbearer and a flower girl.
I saw some old faces from college and post-college, and we celebrated the night with good music and an open bar.
Since I was a little late in my hotel registration, the only room left in the wedding block was the two-bedroom Governor’s Suite. It came with its own kitchenette, a fireplace, a balcony, and even an indoor hot tub in one of the bedrooms. Since I was by myself, and attending the wedding, the hotel was nice enough to give me a discounted rate. Needless to say, it was great to have my own hot tub to relax in.
Congrats, Dawn and Dave!
My parents moved from the Chicago suburbs on Halloween. They drove over 3 days across the country (which I volunteered to come, but they wanted me to focus on work), transporting whatever possessions they have left, and arrived at their new home in Corona, California where they had intended to retire.
It’s late November now, and it’s weird to come back to Chicago knowing that I no longer have concrete ties anchoring me to Illinois, a state I’ve called home for the past 32 years. I drove back with my friend Brett, and I found it both unsettling and relieving that I’m coming back to Illinois without that feeling of being obligated to see my parents. On one hand, I have total freedom now that my parents are no longer expecting me to come home at a certain time; I can drink, I can smoke cigarettes, I can stay out late without the hesitation of my mom and dad worrying about me (yes, even as an adult). On the other hand, I’ll no longer visit the house I grew up in. I’ll no longer take my dog to the open fields of DuPage county’s forest preserves. I’ll no longer come home and wait for my Illinois friends to call, nor expect my parents to come welcome me with loving arms and a deep dish pizza, in the house that my mom lit potpourri and candles in. It’s sad, in a way, that those same attachments and comforts I’ve grown accustomed to are now reduced to memories.
I came back to Illinois to see my friend Dawn get married (she helped me adopt Nico at the Humane Society while we were both attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). I stayed at my friend’s condo in Chicago, where I was able to reconnect with old friends (Erick) and newer friends who’ve lived in NYC but had since moved back (Mike). It was great to see so many familiar faces and hangouts, but all I can feel is the change: a transition from childhood and everything that had shaped my character, to a new life of independence and deepening nostalgia.