(How did we greet each other before Adele changed everything?)
I don't usually drink coffee, but today I'm sitting in an impossibly hip coffeeshop in St. Paul and I just finished something called a "Cuban Mistletoe" that tasted like peppermint and hopes and dreams and it occurred to me, one year after my last post, that maybe I never mentioned on my blogger blog that I up and moved...twice.. and am now jotting down unimportant thoughts and pictures at dacijaye.com
Dear Sir or Madam, Y and I had a troubling conversation a few months ago. We were on a walk around our neighborhood with Ike. Somehow, the conversation turned to Y's parents' expectation that he got As in high school "or else." (note: they deny this allegation.) "I hope you don't plan to do that with our kid," I said. "Oh I definitely will," he said. He was kidding. OR SO I THOUGHT. A few weeks later we flew to New York for a wedding. We took a cab from JFK to Grand Central Station to catch a train to the suburbs. Our short stop at Grand Central was our 15 minutes in New York City, and I needed something to commemorate the experience: PIZZA. Grand Central has the best pizza in New York, right? (that was a joke.) I ordered my slice from a counter in the food court--I can't remember what type, only that it was dripping with grease--folded it in half and raised it to my mouth. But before I could take a bite, I made a terrible mistake I noticed the pizza place's health score. And I pointed it out to Y. B. Not even a B+. Just a B. "You can't eat that!" said Y. "What if something happens to the baby?" I mean, it was sweet. But COME ON. I settled for an "A" cookie instead. Both of us ignored the fact that if we were truly concerned about your health, we could have opted for like, a salad, maybe? I worry for you, Sir or Madam. If "B" pizza isn't good enough for Y to feel confident about your future, well, all I can say is I sure as hell hope you do well in school. Mama loves you, D
I ate ALL the food at the wedding. Hope it got an A+.
Y (from behind me): Hey!! Me: What? Y (excitedly): you're starting to look pregnant from behind! Me:
Look how adorably naive I was at 20 weeks. I AM HUGE, I was probably thinking, HOW CAN I GET ANY BIGGER THAN THIS? Bless your heart, less-pregnant D. Oh and, by the way, ENJOY ROLLING OVER. It gets trickier.
Here's what they don't tell you on Prairie Home Companion or in any of the Coen Brothers films: Minneapolis sometimes feels like a diluted Portland. Take Portland's famous hipster scene, biking community, and progressive culture, and water it down with some good old fashioned corn-fed Midwestern-ism, and you have Minneapolis: where every hipster has a fixed gear bike, a growler of homebrew in their basement...and a signature hot-dish recipe. Every once in awhile, I get a vibe that is all Portland -- like I could be in a Portlandia sketch. The Sunday Oatmeal Service at Five Watt Coffee was one of those times. (another? Butter-churning aerobics.) Five Watt Coffee is my favorite coffee shop for people-watching, eavesdropping, writing, and maybe hating myself a little bit. (One day while I was doing some work there, I looked up and realized that a line of about 10 of us had identical Macbooks. But I was the only one without an ironic mustache, so I felt a little better.) For someone like me who loves coffee shops and hates coffee (I know, I'm the worst), Five Watt happens to be perfect -- all of the specialty drinks are made with so many extras, you can barely tell you're drinking coffee. Even still, my favorite drink is the London Calling: black tea, fennel bitters infused milk, and vanilla.
Yes, coffee purists might tell you Five Watt is trying too hard with its cocktail inspired drinks. But what puts Five Watt over the edge into Portlandia territory is the oatmeal bar. You can mix and match toppings to create your own oatmeal. Or you can turn to the Oatmeal Curator, so capitalized because that is his title. Swear. It's on his business card.
Every Sunday, the Oatmeal Curator --what else--curates an oatmeal special. When I visited, it involved walnut bitters and bacon and was pretty delicious. If you're not into the special, you can order omakase: "entrust the topping selection to our esteemed oatmeal curator." You'll be asked a few very important questions: your last oatmeal experience, your best oatmeal experience and the thickness your prefer your oatmeal. Then, it's up to the Curator.
Laugh/sneer/roll your eyes all you want, but my oatmeal was delicious and for five dollars, not the worst brunch deal out there. Plus I'll probably get rich when I pitch this scenario to the producers of Portlandia... so there's that.
When you find out you're going to have a baby, a few things happen:
1. You wash your hands, because they're probably covered in pee, or at least they were pee-adjacent.
2. You celebrate, etc. Maybe you take a picture of the thing you peed on, because this is 2014 and what don't you take a picture of these days? (For the record, I did not take a picture of my pregnancy test. I needed to save space on my phone for pictures of Ike pooping, which I sometimes like to send to Y while he's at work because... well, I'm not sure.)
3. You realize OH SHIT I'M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING FUN ANYMORE.
4. You realize OH WAIT I NEVER DID ANYTHING FUN IN THE FIRST PLACE.
What we do for fun: selfies on the couch.
And then if you're me, you start documenting your weekends because, incredibly exciting or comfortably mundane, you know you're going to miss them. Just a little.
A typical child-free weekend, part 1.
Friday night: We're invited to a friend's house for pizza. Some of us drink whiskey, some of us eat 6 pieces of pizza, and then Y starts telling a story from his childhood that sounds too interesting to be true. So, when he's not looking, I text his mom. The answer comes while Y is in the bathroom --"he's actually just remembering a story we told him, he wasn't actually there." When Y returns, we press him for more details, which he starts to tell us before we dissolve into laughter. Caught.
Saturday: Y works until noon or so, and when he gets home I remind him that we've been invited to a concert. Y sighs heavily (I've borrowed a line from New Girl and like to tell him "You sigh constantly! You sigh like you are the President of the United States and you are deciding if you want to declare war!") and asks, "is it a sit down concert or a stand up concert?" clearly hoping for the former. I can't confirm, but we decide to go anyway.
Saturday night: We head to the concert which is in, as the band's lead singer says, a "crusty" area of town. We throw open the doors to the venue with bated breath and -- sigh of relief -- it's a sit down concert! Y promptly falls asleep sitting up and misses most of the concert. The band, the Barr Brothers, are great, but they're very chill and the room is dark and I honestly might have fallen asleep, too but the baby is doing some serious dancing.
Sunday: Y has the day off, so I convince him we should go to something called Northern Grade, a marketplace of "artisan" menswear brands because I think it's right up his alley. Sure enough, once we get inside, I can't find him because literally every guy in there has the same beard. These are his people.
But here's what happened: in the parking lot, before we walked in, the trunk of Y's hatchback didn't open all the way, and when he leaned in to put something in the back of his car, he hit his head, hard. There was blood.
Once we get inside, it isn't the identical beards that make Y hard to find, it's the fact that he is wandering aimlessly, in a head injury induced haze. We both decide he is going to die, so we leave BEFORE WE EVEN GET TO LOOK AT THE HAND CRAFTED CANOE PADDLES.
As we're driving home, Y snaps back to reality and says, "I feel better! Let's get Indian food!" and I make a last second turn to get to an Indian restaurant nearby that has eight different flavors of chai. All is well.
Sunday night: We visit a friend's new baby. Y swears he knows where their house is, but we end up lost. Y ask Siris to text our friend, "What's your address?" Instead, Siri inexplicably texts me "I'll make macaroni and cheese for dinner" and we end up late. The baby is cute.
1. If you're familiar with the character Mrs. Incredible, you know this either meant that my hips looked HUGE or my waist looked tiny. Considering I no longer actually have a waist, I'm going to assume he meant the former. 2. The general theme of fashion this fall seems to be Olsen Twins Bag Lady Chic, which is awesome because it means I will never have to buy a maternity top. Case in point: this H&M shirt. 3. Two minutes after these photos were taken, I fell. I'm so graceful. 4. These pictures were taken at a random lake my work friends and I found 5 minutes from our office. When we're having a particularly stressful day, we spend our lunch break taking walks that often turn into what we like to call a senior portrait session. Posing ridiculously is good for the soul.
in twin cities adventures + Most of October was beautiful, so we tried to spend as much time outside as possible in the form of walking, hiking, biking, and eating. + There's a corner in South Minneapolis that's home to three businesses owned by the same family, including an adorable little wine bar, Terzo, that serves half pours and amazing cheese plates. On the outside of that wine bar, facing the tiny parking lot, is their Porchetteria -- a window that serves just four sandwiches, three of them pork. They were amazing - we took ours to Lake Calhoun for a picnic. + The West River Parkway along the Mississippi is my favorite place to explore in the fall. The biking trail is pretty enough, but when you venture off the bike path onto the hiking trails, fall gets cranked up to 11. + Because I'm too much of a wimp for scary movies, I got my Halloween fix at the James J. Hill House (a creepily beautiful old mansion that, in the late 1800s, belonged to a railroad magnate named, shockingly, James J. Hill), where actors performed Victorian scary stories like A Telltale Heart. I'll take any excuse to visit this gorgeous part of St. Paul that's lined with mansions and history.
in clothing/beauty + I'm adding this phrase to my list of things that needs to be retired immediately: capsule wardrobe. I mean, I like the concept... but the phrase has just started sounding smug to me. That being said, being pregnant is like having a mandatory..grimace... capsule wardrobe and mine consists of three pairs of leggings and this poncho in camel. (other phrases on my to-ban list: burning a candle, lovely, tucked away, this season of my life)
+ Since the age of 16, I've been addicted to straightening my hair. With all of the free time that's about to be yanked out from under me, I decided I needed someone to teach me how to wear my hair curly. After extensive research ("Okay Google, what salons in Minneapolis specialize in curly hair?") I found the Hive Salon, which sent me home with products and cheat sheets. I still prefer my hair straight, but it's never looked this good curly before, and I've been wearing it this way for a record two weeks in a row. in music + I am not ashamed to admit that I bought 1989 with a Target gift card I received for... Boss's Day. I have so many feelings about this. 1) How am I a boss? 2) Boss's day is a thing? 3) Does buying a Taylor Swift CD immediately make me no longer eligible to be someone's boss?
in eating + I made these cookies three times in October, which is pretty significant since I'm not sure if I made cookies three times last year. + Now that pumpkin spice appears to be jumping the shark, can we move on to apple caramel as the annoying fall trend? We can start with the Pepperidge Farms caramel apple swirl bread. I'm obsessed. + If you're still into pumpkin (you are, I can tell), my favorite pumpkin things this October: siggi's pumpkin spice yogurt, and the pumpkin chai from local cafe People's Organic.
around the house + Thanks to this marble shower curtain, our bathroom is finally sufficiently fancy. + We're doing some closet shuffling, and Y decided he wanted to wallpaper his new closet in toile. I love it. The idea of fancy wallpaper hidden inside a closet feels like an inside joke. Or a wink. Or something. + We also got a new Turkish rug. By that I mean we got a new Ikea rug and the tag tells me it was made in Turkey. IT COUNTS.