Monday, January 13, 2014

Bad Motha Crabba

There aren't too many things to get excited about in the bleak early months of the year, especially in terms of food.  In fact there are only two: tangerines, and crab.  I don't think a tangerine feed would be particularly interesting, but I can tell you that a crab feed certainly is!

Saturday we headed back to Hollister for the annual crab feed at the Portuguese hall, where my godfather and cousin, along with several other brave souls, served crab to the obnoxious, easily-excitable masses.  We all gathered in the basement of the hall, clad in our couture CRAB bibs, each talking louder than the next in an effort to be heard over the din of animated Portagees.  

It was the first year for Brittany, Nathan, and Nathan's friend Scott, and they were perhaps the most enthralled, their anticipation embodying a mixture of terrible excitement and maniacal commitment.  

We dug in like fiends that had eaten nothing but socks for weeks, competitions were had for who could pull the biggest hunk of meat, and Nathan even cracked the occasional claw with his teeth.  It was a veritable feast, and a damn good time.

Upstairs, back in the somewhat real world where one's fingers only faintly smell like shellfish, there was still more entertainment to enjoy.  The evening had started with an adorable doo-wop band, led by a man who grew up next to my mom's family in Gilroy.  If I have half the amount of pizazz and life-affirming energy as he when I'm in my seventies, I will consider mine a life well-lived.

Later in the evening, the DJ came on and played fun favorites like YMCA and Gangnam Style, as well as a few country tunes, which got some serious Electric Slide going.  When the pop music came on, I somehow managed to get the whole gang on the dancefloor (including my mom-what?!), and we spawned a dance circle that the whole hall seemed to join into (was that my dad getting low in the middle of the circle?  Did Mrs. Henry just request Pitbull?).  It was hilarious, unadulterated fun. 

 Thanks again to the Gomes for having us!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

'Twas the Month of December 2013

'Twas the month of December, all were dreaming of home.
And to keep up with tradition, 'tis time for a new poem.
"She did this last year!" you may think in your head,
"Hello, it's tradition," I already said.

The lights were hung in Glen Park with care,
While bumping *NSYNC-a never-ending teenage love affair.
Our humble abode we have come to adore,
And even more so with our Christmas decor.

The De Young Museum Box overtook for the night
Black, white, and Box blue, plus an open bar-what a sight!
The Bulgari exhibit!  They were careful to lock it.
So many sparkles I wanted to put in my pocket.

When out on the web, Bey's surprise album made a clatter,
Proving once and for all, other musicians don't matter.
So the Kellys pulled down the screen and didn't ask permission
To pop bottles and corn, and show her saucy "Partition".

The parties continued!  Our spirits, how merry!
Just don't check your credit card.  Now, that shit is scary.

Blasts from the past, friends come from near and far,
So nice to catch up, but too quick to say au revoir.

I wanted to take Emma and wrap her up in a bow
Because her usual cuteness had stolen the show.

In Vacaville, this house's display kept going strong,
Just tune your radio, and the lights of the house will dance along.

Christmas day finally came, the family all together,
Everyone dressed up and Daniel in his old man sweater.

Kelly, Santa did not swindle,
But she gave up her morals and now reads on a Kindle.

We drank cranberry martinis and ate bacalhau,
Then no more food would our stomachs allow.

Soon it was my birthday, but I had no need to fear,
For twenty-seven should prove to be an excellent year.

I even got flowers from two dear amici,
If only they lived closer, my life would be peachy.

We drank Calabrian liquor and had dinners on dinners,
And the people with whom I celebrated in my heart are all winners.

Not everything in December was as rosy as it sounds,
But through the difficult times, love abounds.
We acknowledge that our life is precious yet brief,
Happy memories and friends help support us through grief.

Twenty-thirteen brought many changes, it's true,
But now it is time that we bid you adieu.
I thank you for the new job, new friends, and new home,
And now into 2014 I shall bravely roam!

Again I sprang to the internet, to my blog gave a whistle,
And away my thoughts flew like the down of a thistle.
Now you'll hear me exclaim, through these words that I write,
"Happy New Year to all, and to all a good-night!"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Giving Thanks 2013

Thanksgiving is just the best holiday.  Family.  Friends.  Food.  Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation to kick off the holiday season.  Christmas is still ahead of you!  All you have to do is eat gravy and drink wine!  Sure, you can do all of that in your sweatpants!  Definitely the best holiday.  This is as close as it gets to empirical evidence.

It was a very relaxed Thanksgiving, in fact we even stole my mom away from the kitchen for about an hour to just sit on the patio and drink wine.  

Dad was in fine form with the turkey business, sporting his Giants chef hat and Cannoli apron.  It may not have been the height of fashion, but between my mom and him, it was the height of my culinary year, that's for sure.  Why can't we eat turkey every day?  I can tell you I sure tried that week.  I set a Guinness World Record by eating turkey nine different times.  Look it up.

Emma was as cute as ever that week.  Sorry, Daniel, it's all about her.

Of course, she wanted in on the turkey deal.  She even tried to steal my seat at the table when I got up for seconds.

Later that evening, we had a special treat when the Henrys stopped over for dessert and a movie on their way home from their family dinner.  It was really special to have everyone together, laughing at Cousin Eddy and eating rice pudding.  I'll never forget it.  In fact, I think it was the thing I was most thankful for that day.

In a small variation from the rest of our weekend spent recovering on the couch, my parents, Emma, and I went to Sonoma for lunch.  Emma, once she realized she wasn't going to the kennel, was so excited to be out in the world.  I got to try The Girl and the Fig, where we shared an amazing cheese plate and wine flights.  

The rest of the afternoon was mostly spent swooning over how cute Emma looked in her sweater (this was borderline animal cruelty as it was 75 degrees out, but cuteness prevailed over sensibility, as usual).

Amanda & Andrew Visit

Oh man, I haven't blogged since November.  How does that happen?  I'm going to play a quick game of catch up, and do my best to be more on top of it in 2014.  So she says.

Back in November, my dear friend Amanda (from the days of silliness, self-discovery, and friendship that can only happen in a freshman dorm) came from Chicago to the bay for a visit, and brought her new-to-me-and-Brittany boyfriend, Andrew.  It was hard to believe that I hadn't seen her in several years, and we had such a blast reminiscing, catching up, and making new memories.

I'd say we spent most of our time either walking or eating, often walking towards eating.  The weather was lovely, so we spent Saturday hiking in John Muir woods, enjoying an escape from the city.  That night, our mutual friend Angelica (re: how I started working at Box) came to join us for dinner and drinks (or rather, drinks and dinner) in the Mission, at Gracias Madre.  

The next day we did some exploring and went to AT&T Park to see Brittany's boss perform in her cover band, AC/DShe.  It was pretty open around the park, so we even got to chill in the dugout.  Finally, that evening, Andrew cooked up some delicious Iranian food for us at home, and we just hung out chatting for hours.  It was such a treat to see them, and so nice to catch up with Amanda, if only for a short time.  Miss you, girl.