Monday, May 9, 2011

Busy Weekend!

This weekend was packed for me, but I haven't gotten to spend this much quality time with people I care about in awhile. I almost don't mind that I don't have a single full page written yet! Here's what I was up to:

Friday: End-of year party with the other English grad students at Poitin Stil (poitin, pronounced poo-chine, is Gaelic for moonshine). I love bars like these-- they have a juke box, Baggo outside, shuffleboard, and pool table. It was a good choice, because people moseyed between activities and had a good time dancing once the second beers kicked in!

The best part of the evening was the dessert-- they ordered delectable confections from Chimney Cake Island in Rogers Park. These are traditional Hungarian cakes, made by wrapping dough around a wooden dowel and then baking them over a fire. The end result is a hollow, cylindrical "cake," sort of like the consistency of a pretzel, but so sweet! You don't know me yet, but I am a huge sweets girl, and you better believe I tried all four kinds! I'm always intrigued by baked goods that I don't think I could bake at home, and I definitely dragged the hubs to CCI the very next day!

                                                    Chimney Cakes!

The next day (immediately preceding chimney cakes, take 2) we went to go check out an apartment, and liked it so much we signed on it right then! It has beautiful windows, a study room, and get this-- a bedroom big enough to get out of bed on either side! My dream is coming true, you guys (except for the dishwasher part... sigh). I'm so happy to have this taken care of 2 months before we need to move.

Saturday night was our secret anniversary, and like I said, we went to Webster's Wine Bar. I love Webster's because the atmosphere is so great. It's small, the staff is extremely knowledgeable, the flights are excellent, and it's not the least bit pretentious. Oh, and their food is amazing, and honestly one of the best deals in the whole city. To start with, we asked for bacon-wrapped dates, a sparkling white wine flight for me, and the spring white wine flight for the hubs. I got perfectly cooked duck, buttered orzo, and carrots, he ordered steak, fingerling potatoes, and asparagus, and we indulged in coffee creme brulee for dessert with a pinot noir flight for me, and the classic white wine flight for him. Amazing.

Webster's Wine Bar

Sunday morning, I meet Out-Of-Town-Best-Friend (henceforth OOTBF, until I decide to use names!) in the suburbs. Our parents live within a mile of each other, and she was in town for Mother's Day. We met for coffee & bagels at Panera, and had a great time reminiscing. We've been friends since high school, and I'm so happy that even though she lives in Manhattan, she comes home frequently, and always makes time for her friends.

After that I went to church and had brunch with my mama at Egg Harbor Cafe in Barrington. I've always loved Egg Harbor; their little square potatoes (I have a weird dislike for the term "home fries"-- it makes no sense, so please don't ask why) are incredible, and you always get yummy mints! I almost always get breakfast, but it's a hard decision, as their grilled cheese is inimitable.

                                                              Egg Harbor

Lastly, I met my book club to discuss Just Kids, Patti Smith's memoir of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in New York. It was a great memoir, although I am completely unfamiliar with either of their work. One of my co-book-clubbers (is there a good term for this?) said she likes Patti Smith's music and the book was a good way to understand her more as an artist. I liked the book because one doesn't need to know their work to appreciate the story of two young adults trying to negotiate New York, find inspiration, figure out relationships, and create amazing art. I'm actually surprised that I'm not hearing about it all over the place, because Chicago Public Library -- ALL branches-- have not had any of their copies (except one in reference) available for months-- I had to have my mom get it for me at her library (thank goodness I asked her early, as she was put on a waiting list), and everyone else had to buy it. Did any of you read this? I'd be happy to hear what you thought!

Well, I've been putting off my marathon writing project for quite long enough.Tomorrow night I will arrive bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and hopped up on a case of Red Bull to my professor's apartment for our end-of-semester dinner (I love grad school-- there seems to be free food all over the place!), hand in this godforsaken paper, and try to get some sleep before an important interview on Wednesday! Wish me luck!

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