29 January 2017

Recommendation: TV Shows I'm Watching

I love TV. I love movies and books too, but in this golden age of television, I'm watching what feels like everything. I could (and probably will) write a hundred posts about the shows I'm watching or would recommend, but I have to start somewhere. Here a few of my current recommendations:

Man Seeking Woman

Okay, Man Seeking Woman is probably my favorite hidden gem currently. In fact, I have had a couple friends take me up on the recommendation and they also loved it. In a nut shell, it's a show about a man trying to navigate the perils of modern dating. But it's complete absurdist humor. Every episode begins with a somewhat relatable dating issue and then whimsically shifts into another world while all the characters maintain 'oh well' sorts of attitudes about it. 

In the first episode, Josh our protagonist, goes to his recent ex-girlfriend's house for a party only to realize she is dating Hitler. His friends shrug off his "sketchy reputation" and when John begins to protest they hit him back with, "you're just mad he's dating Maggie!" It's so funny and quirky and each episode is great. There's nothing quite like this on TV right now. 

Rick and Morty

I am a lifelong non-cartoon watcher. Not "The Simpsons", not "Futurama". Not "South Park". Every friend I have ever had has tried to get me to watch any number of animated shows and I have simply been uninterested. Ben convinced me to watch "Rick and Morty" and I'm so glad I did. It's done by the amazing Dan Harmon and has the same surprising depth and truth as his "Community" and his podcast. It's dark and witty and adventurous and is written to perfection. 

The Night Of

Oh, this show. It hurts to even see these actors in other roles, I was so affected by their performances in this one.

This 8 episode-miniseries came out a little while ago and I watched it when it was live and am still feeling it. It's a whodunit, it's a crime, it's a very human story. Probably one of the darkest shows I've ever seen, but incredibly powerful storytelling.

It's about a college student named Nas who has one night out after a lifetime of good, Muslim-boy behavior, and wakes up to find an actual horror. It's not so much of a whodunit (though it in a small way is), but more of a character piece about the lawyers and prosecutors and family that are involved. It's different than other crime shows I've seen because it's artistic and deeply real to what being arrested and accused in America looks like.

Honorable mentions:
Bob's Burgers- Ben tells me I'm like "all the female characters combined". OK???
The Bachelor- because I am a garbage person
The OA- Not sure how I feel about this. Watch it and tell me how you feel. 

What are you watching? Let me know!

16 January 2017

Cream Stuffed Donuts on a Sunday

Vanilla, chocolate and blueberry cream. Also a sassy, emotionally witholding kitten

Our breakfast nook featuring art by my brother Bob

Penny is a talented chef and always eager to help in the kitchen.

mask by glossier

endless coffee and watering my air plant

while we worked on our donuts I had a real breakfast: cooked eggs, toast with strawberry jam and a fish oil vitamin

ben's breakfast had a little bit more oomf

we followed this donut recipe. We've never made donuts before and minus the smoky apartment, they turned out pretty well!

we used this recipe to make the cream. We didn't realize we needed to refrigerate so long so we made some whipped cream (literally whipped cream in our mixer) and folded it into the cream to make it a little fluffier. 

Overall, I'd give this Sunday an 8.5. We tried to watch The Killing, but after seven episodes gave up. The story went on for eternity and we didn't realize there were so many episodes. 

I've been dipping my toes into A Series of Unfortunate Events (one of my favorite book series from childhood), but will probably try and savor it for as long as possible. 

So far though the show reminds me one of my all-time favorites Pushing Daisies. If you've never seen it, it is gentle and sweet and whimsical. It's one of those shows that make large problems seem small and easy to solve and you lose yourself in the cheeriness of it all. It only last two season and I don't know where you can find it, but it's worth the $30 to just buy on iTunes I PROMISE. 

13 January 2017


I think that every time I come to this space to write, my apartment is quiet and the air outside is dusty and cold. This past season has been a difficult one and I have questioned so much about myself. I sometimes feel that I am correct in my direction, that I am where I should be, but then I remember that so many things in my life are uncertain and I am back to feeling the way I did at 16, 22, 25. Days melt into other days and I feel angry at my job for keeping me late or filled with longing for the simpler times of other country life. 

Ben and I have begun talking about moving in the fall, finding a small town to live in before he begins the climb of applying for law school. Chicago has always been my home and like most people who have lived in one city for very long, I am itching to leave. 

I woke up this morning and logged onto an old email to search for a distant tracking code only to realize that three months ago a documentary crew associated with The Atlantic had sent me an email believing me to still be in Russia and wanting to interview me and my experience. I was suddenly overwhelmed with desperation to return to my nomad life and seize those strange opportunities that were so abundant at the time. There are still so many blogs that I read where women have chosen to stay abroad and continue to live such deeply colorful lives around the world. Maybe it's not as hard for them to know where to put themselves. 

I think about the Netherlands, about New Mexico, about the Pacific Northwest. About Hong Kong. About Tokyo. I think about money, how much money everything is and how no matter how much money I pay every month, the debt I owe from my years as a student does not seem to crack. I worry about my "stuff". Our pots and pans and coffee mugs and my beautiful blue couch that belonged to my beloved YiaYia and how I could never go anywhere without it. These things keep me tied down. I remember experienced expats warning me about this very issue: if you go home, you will get stuff and your stuff will keep you from traveling. 

Nothing feels over, but things also feel like they haven't happened yet. 

19 April 2016

Our Wedding pt.2: The Ceremony

"Everything I know, I know because of love."
 Leo Tolstoy
Lisa Horan

When the guests began to come into the venue, the bridal party and I watched from the balcony, half-hiding, half waving excitedly as I saw my friends and family come in dressed to the nines. People were getting drinks, laughing, greeting one another and Ben and I began to feel the nerves. My older cousins, whose daughters were our flower girls, tried to counsel me, but the butterflies were very real. As the guests began to disappear into the doors of the ceremony space, I really began to feel it. This was happening. I was about to be vulnerable and exposed in my love in front of everyone I knew. A quiet fell over the bridal party as we all began to realize the gravity and symbolism of what we were about to do. Hugs were had and then they walked down the stairs and took their places at the altar. 

And then my dad came up the stairs and I burst into happy tears, feeling suddenly comforted that my first love was there for me. He tried to tell me some gross dad jokes, but I was in the zone. April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel began to play and down my flower girls went... and a glacial pace. It was a little charming watching them each place their flower petals on the floor and at some point I whispered to my dad, "we need to just go, the song will be over soon!" and down we went. 

It was all surreal. Everyone was smiling and I wanted to reach out and grab everyone. Some people I hadn't seen in years and now they were here nodding me forward. It was nerve racking and magical all at once. I've never felt anything like it.... like gleeful stage fright. When we reached the end of the aisle, my dad gave me a huge hug, whispered "You'll always be my daughter" and then hugged Ben. We stood across from each other with our dearest friend in between who greeted the crowd and began his sermon. 

He spoke about a saying they have in India (his motherland) about the beauty of the moon being in it's spotty imperfections. The craters that make it unique and mystical. That our love was like the moon- flawed and imperfect, but beautiful and magical. My brother followed and read the lyrics of my favorite song, "This Must Be the Place" by The Talking Heads and it was magic. It was a little unconventional but those lyrics have always spoken to my heart and I was so happy to hear them read out loud. 

Ben's vows were written the morning of and were slightly off the cuff, but broke the room's heart all the same. He promised to love, to like, to support, to encourage me. I stood shaking and crying and with more love in my heart than I have ever felt. 

I went next and quoted my favorite line, "Everything I know, I know because of love." I then explained that everything I knew was because of my love for Ben. He had challenged my world views, pushed me to try new things and explore new places. He asked me deep, hard questions. He showed me brave, new worlds. I told him I was blessed that I had found him and that I was honored that he had chose me. That there were years of my life when I felt broken and lost and wondered if I would ever make sense of things and that when we found each other I knew I was home. 

We then performed a wine and love letter box ceremony, rings were exchanged, traditional "I do's" were said and then the power invested in Aman from the Universal Life Church dot com, we were married. The room erupted into applause, Ben and I kissed and then we walked hand-in-hand down the aisle as husband and wife. 

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