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Archive for the ‘boyfriend’ Category

My boyfriend H is a very generous and giving person.  He is the ultimate volunteer, he likes to donate stuff (time, money, goods, services), he is overall a very civic-minded fellow.  Which is great!

Except when November rolls around.

You see, recently a black cloud has settled over my Novembers, and it’s not just Autumn rolling in with a vengeance.  Oh no.  This is a cloud of a different variety.  A hairier variety, if you will.

Movember is a charity event held every November to raise money for Men’s Cancer.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  WRONG.  Do you know what the MO stands for in Movember?  Do you?  I’ll give you 5 seconds to think.

Did you figure it out?  No?

MUSTACHES.

That’s right.  Some evil genius decided that to participate in Movember (which is a great charity for a great cause, don’t get me wrong) you must grow a mustache.  On your face.  For four. Entire. Weeks.

Let’s do the math, shall we?  Charity-friendly boyfriend + his uncanny ability to sprout facial hair + worldwide event in which you can showcase your manliness and throw the occasional party ‘for a good cause’ + excuse to embarrass and anger his girlfriend (always fun) = H’s participation in Movember.

That’s right.  H is, as we speak, the proud and gleeful owner of a disgusting and disturbing mustache.  Made of hair. On his face.  A real one.

This is not the first time that H has terrorized me with facial hair.  Over the years I have been forced to deal with various iterations of his scruff, including the full beard, the long, scraggly goatee, the full beard WITH the long scraggly goatee integrated into it, the isolated chin scruff, the long sideburns, and of course, my personal nightmare, the classic kiddie-toucher mustache. With the advent of Movember, however, he now has an excuse that I have no argument against.  Oh, you hate my facial hair, Mary?  GUESS YOU LOVE CANCER THEN.

I cannot impress upon you guys enough how enraged The Mustache makes me.  Whenever I see him my thought process goes something like this:

1. HAY!  BOYFRAND!

2. So tall! Such nice blue eyes!

3. BLEEEEEEARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH STACHE. WHY. WHY GOD.   IT IS SO SO SOOOOO UGLY.  IT IS STILL THERE.  IT IS RUINING EVERYTHING. PEOPLE ARE STARING.

I’m not exaggerating.  In the least.  I become positively apoplectic.  I glare at it.  Not him, it. The Mustache.

I don’t know why it makes me so mad.  It just does. The Mustache holds a mystical and dangerous power over me.

But now, backed by the power of a cancer charity, there is no hope.  I’m condemned to suffer the eye-searing sight of MUSTACHE.  All up in my grill, taunting me, scratching my face, making me seethe, all the time.

November is a bleak month.  Bleak and angry.

Well, actually, scratch that.  H loves his mustache.  He is apparently blind to the fact that it makes him look a little bit like the principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day off (who, not at all coincidentally, has recently been arrested for kiddie porn charges and pedophilia.  Not kidding).  He apparently enjoys the fact that, when out in public, people have to do a double take to ascertain whether or not his is an ironic mustache or a true, creep-star mustache.  I want to stick a button on him that states, in large font, I’M DOING THIS FOR CHARITY, NOT FOR REAL LIFE.  But to no one’s surprise, he refuses.

You can see it, don't lie.

I know there are people out there (my dad, H’s dad, and H, mostly) who will argue that mustaches look good.  And to them I say, no.  No they do not.  Not ironically, not seriously, not for charity, not even if you are a cop (DAD!).  They never.  Ever.  EVER.  Look good.

But they can be hilarious.  When they aren’t taking up space on my boyfriend’s face, that is.  And to that end, I would like to conclude this ragey post with some humorous pictures of crazy staches.  Let’s just hope this does not inspire H.  Because let’s be honest.  I will harm someone if this goes on.

The Competitive Stache

 

The Finger-Stache

The Your-Doing-It-Wrong Stache

 

the...well actually, I could be convinced with this one (stache)

 

 

The Hair Stache

 

 

The ironic stache

 

PS: Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble gobble.

PPS: Thanks to B and S for unconsciously donating their stache pictures, (the two babes above).  Love you gals.

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You guys.  GUESS WHAT.  H cooked something last night!  Actually, even more exciting: he baked something.

I don’t know if I’ve let you in on the fact that I suck at baking, but I do.  I am terrible at it.  Like really really terrible. I won’t even go into the great Cherry Pie Debacle of 2010. I think the problem is all the measuring, and the adding of ingredients in a certain order, and the no-room-for-improvisation.  None of that meshes very well with me.

So it is Kismet that I am dating this fellow who has great baking genes (Mr. & Mrs. H’s Parents whip up ridiculous baked goodies).  He’s kind of forgotten he can bake (and cook, too) since I’ve taken over the cubby-hole that is our kitchen.  He’s gotten spoiled.

UNTIL LAST NIGHT.

It wasn’t exactly unprompted (I bribed  him with eggplant parm).  But that’s not the point.  The important thing is that he chopped and whisked, threw stuff in the oven, and 45 minutes later I was eating delicious Peach-Apricot-Plum Crumble.

Because H is not quite as advanced in the kitchen as me, he followed a mish-mash of two recipes.  The first, for the filling, you can find here, from one of my favorite recipe/food sites, The Kitchn.  The second, for the topping (the ‘crumb’ in Crumble, if you will) is from another site that I have not trolled much but still looks intriguing: Orangette.  We added peaches and apricots, but it’s pretty similar to what is described here.  We also added smashed up walnuts to the topping.  Because walnuts are awesome.

PAP (Peach-Apricot-Plum) Crumble, via

Orangette & The Kitchn

You’ll Need:

– For the topping:

¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg, beaten well

1 small handful of walnuts, coarsely chopped

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

– For the Filling

1-1.5 tablespoons of flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 dash of nutmeg

5 large peaches, cut into wedges

6 small apricots, cut into wedges

6 small plums, cut into wedges

*H kept the skins on the fruit, “because the skins contain all the flavor” – direct quote from my fruit-genius BF.

To Do:

  • Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Toss fruit with Flour, Brown Sugar, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.  Pour into baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together DRY ingredients for topping.
  • Add the Egg
  • Using your hands, mix thoroughly until ‘crumbs’ form and all ingredients are combined.
  • Pour over fruit in baking dish, sprinkle walnuts on top
  • Drizzle with butter
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes

H even took photos of his delish creation!  Okay…I made him take photos.  But he totally liked it.  My little food-blogger in the making!

Next time, we'll work on composition

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I am a big fan of holidays (I mean, who isn’t?).  Give me a nice T-giving, a cozy snowed in Christmas…even the bush league holidays make me smile.  Valentine’s Day, Arbor Day, President’s Day, I love you all!

It’s not just because these days occasionally coincide with days off (but that certainly is a big big part of it).  I just like how happy everyone gets, how festive the atmosphere becomes, how suddenly special a random Tuesday is.

But there is a flip side.  The dreaded over-hyped holiday.  Example A: July 4th.

Listen, I love the ole U S of A  as much as the next person.  Apple pie and baseball and corn fields and Bruce Springsteen, hooray!  It’s not what this holiday is celebrating, necessarily (Freedom! Patriots!  AMERICA!).  It’s the way people treat it.

I don’t mean to sound like a 4th of July Grinch, but the stupid day hasn’t even gotten here yet and I’m already Independence-day’d OUT…beacuse people have been talking about it for the last MONTH.  What to do for the 4th?  What are the plans?  Where are you going?  Shore? Mountains? City?  How are you getting there? What are you doing?  Who are you hanging out with? Where are you seeing fireworks? Who’s BBQ’ing? What are you wearing?

AND ON. AND ON.  AND ON.  FOOOREVVVVVERRRRRR (instead Sandlot slo-mo voice here).

It’s the same with Halloween and New Years.  So much hype. So much planning and agonizing over what to do and what would make this the most EPIC TIME EVER.  Argh.  It makes me want to puke red, white, and blue.  Because you know what’s going to happen (or at least, I know).  You’ll do exactly what you did last year because that’s ‘tradition.’  You’ll hang out with the same friends you hang out with all the time…cause they’re your friends, duh.  You’ll get a retarded sunburn and drink lots of beer and eat lots of meat and set things on fire and watch them explode, cause what’s more American than all that?

Me personally, I’ll be going to Duxbury, Massachusetts, virtually the cradle of patriotism.  It rates off the charts on pure American-ness, according to my personal mathematically derived rating scale.

– Historical buildings and homes (+1)

– picturesque beach on the majestic Atlantic (+3.5)

– LOTS of trees and even a Cranberry bog or two (+4 for the bogs)

– Permission to drive your giant gas-guzzling SUV onto said beach for tailgating purposes (+6)

– Statue of Myles Standish benevolently overlooking the entire town (+50) (Miles Standish is like the patron saint of Duxbury.  Everyone loves him.  Not sure why.)

– Home of the Island Creek Oyster Company, purveyors of the finest bivalves on the East Coast (and quintessential American snack). (+65 because I LOVE oysters)

– Quite possibly the most intense concentration of Croakies, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Madras, and boat shoes I’ve ever seen. (+25)

– Annual 4th of July parade that involves vintage vehicles, girl scout troops, firemen, people dressed up in various past war regalia, candy throwing, and, once upon a magical time, my boyfriend’s band (he was the lead singer obviously.  Two words: stage. presence.)  (+100)

It is so classic New England Americana.  H brought a friend who’d grown up partly in the Ukraine and partly in NYC last year for the 4th, and he was flabbergasted.  He simply could not believe that people actually do live like this.  But that’s just how they roll in Duxbury, MA.

*Disclaimer for all my Duxbarian readers: I love Dux.  I love the parade.  Please don’t hate me.  I would very much like to return to your town in the future without being ostracized.

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You know something is up when the highlight of your meal is not dessert, but rather the vegetable. And you further know something is up when all you have to do is add some olive oil and sea salt to make said vegetable so memorable.

What’s my secret?

Well!  Lucky lucky me has a boyfriend who has a nice family who has a really nice garden.  And even more lucky, we get to take home all sorts of goodies from said garden when we go to visit them in Massachusetts. I don’t know if many of you get to experience fresh, just-plucked-from-the-dirt garden veggies…I have always been lucky (again! I’m very lucky apparently) to have extremely good gardeners around who generously share their harvests.  Even my Mom, with her notorious “black thumb”, comes up with the occasional home-grown tomatoes.  The difference between these gems and the sad produce sitting on grocery store shelves is astounding.  Seriously.  One bite of anything home-garden grown and you will be a CSA/garden/farmers-market/organic convert, fo’life.

H asked me to cook the asparagus his dad had given us to take home tonight, so after a quick jaunt to the grocery store for some salmon, I opened up the crisper to get out the asparagi…and nearly died.

Because unbeknownst to me, H’s dad had not given us simply regular asparagus, oh no.  He had given us the most incredible, MUTANT (in a good way), asparagus-on-steriods I’ve ever seen.  I am not kidding.

Purple Asparagi

I know what you’re thinking.  “Mary, you’re a whacko.  It’s nice and stuff but it’s not blowing my hair back.”

And to you I say, take a second gander.

Not an Optical Illusion

THAT ASPARAGUS.  IS THE SIZE.  OF A WINE BOTTLE.  I wasn’t planning on blogging tonight, but come on…you can’t pass something like this up.

Also, on a side note, what are your thoughts on this photograph?  I may or may not have (I did) purchase a fancy iPhone app that takes old-timey photos.  Yes? No?  Lame? Artsy?

Anyway.  The asparagus, you guys.  Please…just gaze in awe.

I didn’t want to do much to these, lest I tarnish the pure asparagusness of them.  So I tossed them in olive oil, salt and pep, with a dash of garlic powder, and grilled ’em in the grill pan.

The giant mother-of-all-asparagus (above) obviously took a little longer to cook than it’s smaller but still delish brothers and sisters, but oh my.  It was worth the wait.

Oh yeah, I also made some salmon.

Rosemary & Lemon Salmon (again ‘en papillote’ which is my new fave way of cooking fish)

– 1 lemon, sliced

– 1 medium sized salmon fillet

– 2-3 Springs of fresh Rosemary

– drizzle of Olive Oil

– Splash of white wine

This is so easy it’s hardly a recipe:

– cover salmon with slices of lemon and rosemary

– Drizzle with olive oil and splash with white wine

– Wrap it up in parchment paper, seal tight, bake for 15-30 minutes.

Din for 2 on 1 plate, cause I hate washing dishes

It was simple and, according to H, “one of my better meals,” which just goes to show you that it’s all about ingredients.  Fancy cooking doesn’t hold a candle to fresh ingredients.

And for my last trick, I actually attempted dessert.  I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (I have a ‘salt tooth’, actually), but today I found a recipe that I just couldn’t resist (um, because it has the word SALTED in the title).  I got it from the website “Sarah’s Cucina Bella” which is adorable and girlie and oh, also has some ridiculous recipes.

I can’t take one once of credit for these bars.  Just trust me.  They are TO DIE FOR.  If you like that sweet/salty thing.  Which, if you don’t, I don’t want to be your friend.

Let’s see if I can figure out how to link it…

Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares

Success!  It really is worth a visit.  Go.

H’s Dad also gave us a big bunch of rhubarb and a big bucket of freshly dug Duxbury Bay littleneck clams.  Yeah, I know.  Going up there is like going to the world’s best FREE farmer’s market.

Confession time: I don’t think I’ve ever eaten rhubarb.  Not in a pie, not in a chutney, not in anything.  Guess there’s a first time for everything.  Pie intimidates me, but I do have some other ideas in the works…

And as for the clams, I’d tell you what I’m doing with them, but H’s Dad told me I would be excommunicated if I broke his super-secret baked clams recipe to the world.  So, sorry.  None for you.

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My boyfriend turned 25 last week.  That’s a big birthday, so I wanted to do something special.  So I bought tickets to a Broadway musical.

*insert sound of record screeching to a halt here*

Literally every single person that I told this to has had the same reaction: “Uhh…WHAT?  You’re taking H to a musical?!

Well yes.  Yes I am.  Because here’s the thing, guys.  H LOVES MUSICALS.

This is shocking news, I know.  And he’s probably going to be pissed that I’m blowing up his spot right now.   Because H is the epitome of Manly, with a capital M.  He likes sports.  He likes to shoot things for fun.  He likes to drink beer.  He has approximately 3 feelings in his emotional spectrum: hungry, tired, and annoyed (at me, usually, for being slow/late/acting dumb). Oh, and happy.  When the Red Sox or the Patriots are winning.  Or when he’s playing corporate softball.  Or when I unexpectedly clean the apartment.  So, four emotions.  He’s a complex individual.

I kid.  He has more than 4.  He maybe has 5, when he tries.

Anyway…the musical.  Let me first say that I am a sucker for a good deal.  And you know what has good deals?  Broadway shows that haven’t opened yet.  Because no one really knows if they are going to be awful or not, tickets are usually fairly cheap.  And thanks to some broadway ticket discount website, they were even cheaper.

So I bought tickets to “La Cage Aux Folles.” Didn’t really know a lot about it, so I did some Googling.  Turns out, this play is what one of my fave movies is based on: The Birdcage.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the movie, the basic premise is that a gay couple’s son (had from a 1 night stand w/a woman) brings home the girl he wants to marry–whose parents happy to be big players in the super conservative family moral values political scene.  Hilarity ensues when the two sets of parents meet.  Now watch the below clip, and try not to die at Robin Williams’ Dance speech (at the end).

Yes.  It’s about gay people.  Actually, it’s about drag queens, which is even better.  And here’s a hint: the play? ALSO about drag queens.

So.  To recap.  Not only did I buy my manly boyfriend Broadway musical tickets for his birthday, I bought him tickets to a big gay men-dressed-as-showgirls jazz hands sparkly sequins sort of show.  Yup.

Exhibit B:

So I know what you are all inevitably asking: Did he like it?

WELL.  As the lights came up and the applause died down during intermission (or “halftime,” as he goonily called it) I turned to my dear boyfriend and asked him what he thought.

And I quote: “It’s great!  I love it.  Mary, you are the best most beautiful girlfriend and I am SO LUCKY to have you.”

OKAY…so the last part he didn’t say.  But he did say he loved the show.  Which is enough for me.

Happy 25th birthday H!  I’ll watch drag-queens with you any time.

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There are some things that my boyfriend does that I don’t even pretend to understand.  Fishing in Central Park, for example.  Refusing to take medicine when hurt or sick (very very manly, I know). Getting up really unreasonably early on the weekends.  And the tip-top of this list: going to Nascar races.

Yes, you read that right.  My boyfriend goes to Nascar races.

Now, as a disclaimer, he is not a Redneck by any means.  He grew up in a fancy sea-side town south of Boston.  He owns his fair share of Vineyard Vines clothing.  So it is even more mind-boggling that he likes going to these things.  But I guess it doesn’t really matter what your background is.  In most guys’ brains, Nascar = fun, lady-free, manly, beer-y pastime.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is because this weekend H is going to the Grand-pappy of Nascar Races: Talladega.  Yes, as in Talladega Nights.  As in Ricky Bobby.  If you’re like me, you’re shocked this event actually exists in Real Life (rather than only in Will Ferrell’s imagination).

This actually happens

But it really does happen, all the way down in the foreign land of Alabama (Roll Tide!  That’s for you, brother).  And it draws quite a crowd, apparently (according to H it is 80% dudes, 10% sales people trying to sell said dudes stuff, and 10% “buffalos” aka very unattractive Redneck Women).

Now from what he says, the main point of Nascar races are not watching the races themselves, but rather the RV’ing and the beer drinking and the male bonding.  The race itself is secondary and (apparently) kinda boring.  I mean…it’s 500 laps of the same thing.  The only reason people watch is for the potential crash factor.   And to me, that raises a basic question: how can you count Nascar as a sport?

With enough practice anyone can hop into a car and drive it really fast.  The competition aspect seems pretty dull, too.  In my opinion Nascar falls into the gray-area category of “sports” that aren’t really Sports.  Other examples?

1. Fishing.  I’m going to get shit from H for this (and probably his brother, his Dad, and his friends), but I’m sorry.  You do need some skill to fish, sure.  But this is mostly based on luck and patience.

2. Curling.  I don’t care if it’s in the Olympics.  A bunch of portly guys in overly loud pants (I’m talking to you, Norway) pushing things around an ice rink does not a Sports team make.

3. Hunting.  Another one of H’s favorite activities.  But again, this requires more patience and luck than skill.  I mean yes, you must have a decent shot…but if you really want it to be a sport, why not arm the poor defenseless animals too?  THAT would be a sport.

4. Professional Eating.  They show this on ESPN, so someone out there considers it a sport.  Do I even need to explain why I disagree?  That little asian man who eats the hot dogs does not equal a professional athlete.

5. Golf.  Great napping TV, yes (the commentators are always so darn soothing).  Great sport, not so much.  It’s a hobby, really. Just look at Tiger: you can be hopped up on Xanax and STD meds and still be a great golfer.  To me, that pretty much screams non-sport.

Other activities that toe the line, in my opinion?  Darts, Pool, Bowling, Cheerleading, Figure Skating, Rock-Climbing.

In the end I suppose it doesn’t really matter if Nascar is actually a “Sport” or not.  H is still going to go.  He’ll hopefully return home with wallet, cellphone, and dignity intact, but we can only hope.  He will probably spend the weekend like this:

God help him. More importantly, God help his liver.  And the people who inevitably have to look at his pasty bare torso.  H never passes up an opportunity to be shirtless.

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