All’s Well That Eats Well

I started out this week anticipating that Jason and I would be eating home most of the week. A last hurrah for using our kitchen appliances (namely our oven, stove, and rice maker) before we send them out into the world with friends or strangers (as will likely be the case with our stove, since no one claimed it) before we move back to the US.

But the week turned out differently. Instead of cooking at home (which would have required actually going full-on shopping) we ate out on Tuesday (pics to come later), I had an office dinner on Wednesday night, and we had a farewell dinner with a few co-workers and old friends last night.

So, our thought now: eat at all our favorite places before we go. Tuesday was “Pirate Bar” and tonight is samgyeopsal (yes, again… what? It’s GREAT!). This weekend will be Kimchi Jjigae and Tteok Galbi for sure. We are also going to be hitting up a Shabu-Shabu place, and probably our neighborhood Pho restaurant as well.

I just hope I can get the pictures up before we dismantle the computers (probably next Monday or Tuesday).

**Question: Where would you eat for your last meal in the city you live in now?**

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The Mysterious Affair…

…at Styles is a book by Agatha Christie that I just finished.

I have never considered reading anything by Christie until I moved to Korea. Here is why the sudden interest:

1. Every so often this show comes on and I am instantly drawn into the premise. Will Poirot solve the mystery (usually yes, if not always)? Who is the murderer? Why did they do it? We are, by our very nature, curious creatures… I indulge in my curious nature quite readily when I watch these shows.

2. This episode of Dr. Who was in my iTunes and that pretty well clinched it.

So this story is told from the perspective of a friend of Poirot, a man called Hastings. I find Hastings to be rather dense and full of himself. But as a story telling device, he’s rather useful to lead us through the murder mystery.

With plot twists and many surprises throughout, this is truly a masterful mystery story. I highly recommend this fun and quick read. I read it on my iPod Touch via the iBooks app. I wager the actual book is well under two hundred pages.

Going Through the Motions

And by that, I simply mean that an engaged couple, living abroad, planning their wedding from afar, can only pretend to know what may be delicious to serve for dinner at their wedding. When given an extensive (we’re talking pages and pages) list of possibilities from just ONE caterer, that couple can ONLY go through the motions. They can’t do much else but read the list, check what sounds good for their Southwest/locally-grown inspired menu. Well, they can salivate. We did that, too.

So here’s the place we’re thinking about booking to cater. They also make special shaped cakes, which is spectacular for what I want for the groom’s cake. Shall I divulge that yet? I suppose it’s only fair to let you in on the bonus theme. Ours will look a little something like this.

In other, wedding related news, Susan booked her flight for my August dress shopping weekend! I’m so excited! Now ALL my ladies will be there (minus the flower girl, but we’ll get to do some shopping around Christmas I think)! Plus my Momma (if she’s feeling up to it) and my Aunt Erin.

Rainy Day Monday

Bring on the monsoons… or rather, keep bringing them. Various expats are telling me different things… the 2011 monsoon season is nearly finished, it’s got a few more weeks… I need the rain to be finished pouring from the sky. I took this picture last Tuesday during a reprieve of the rain. I think there have been two other dry days since…. sigh.

Samgyeopsal Night

It’s that time again… WIAW time.

Tonight Jason and I went out to a samgyeopsal restaurant in the neighborhood. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s essentially Korean style barbecue.

We get a few strips of pork, a TON of sides like fresh cabbage salad with soy sauce & wasabi dressing (I had like 4 servings of this), seasoned scallions, and pickled radish. We also get romaine lettuce and peppers (the peppers are for Jason, I tend to avoid whole peppers).

Once the pork strip has cooked through, we cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Then, place one onto a piece of lettuce with a small dollop of gochujang, maybe a bit of grilled kimchi (the BEST way to have kimchi), some garlic, rice, and wrap it up in the lettuce. You MUST put that whole thing in your mouth and chew, chew, chew (seriously, or you’ll choke)… it’s AMAZING!

Different restaurants offer different sides. The one we went to tonight gave us two pieces of  tteok, other places include such things as seasonal veggies like slices of acorn squash, or different varieties of mushroom.

Katy said she found some decent Korean restaurants in Albuquerque, but we’re still going to be hitting up the local department store for a samgyeopsal grill top to bring home with us. Then we’ll get a camping stove from here, and buy our ingredients from here.

**Question: What is your FAVORITE “ethnic” dish?**

My Ladies of Bridal

The ladies in my bridal party include a rocket scientist, a newlywed, a newly (holy cow, how is she able to drive already?) licensed driver, a total ham, and a little cutie.

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The inclusion of my friends Susan (the rocket scientist AKA Maid of Honor) and Katy (the newlywed AKA Matron of Honor) were fairly easy decisions to make.

SUSAN:

The Rocket Climber

I’ve known this woman for nearly two decades. We’ve been through it all–band, boys, college, grad school, bar hoppin’, and job searchin’. But, at the end of the day, she’s truly one of the few people I can’t imagine experiencing this day without.

I’m so proud of her too. When I first met her, she was shy and hardly what you might call adventurous. But look at her! Scaling cliffs!

She’s become SUCH an independent and adventurous woman.

So, not only is she super smart (did I mention she’s a rocket scientist?), but funny, beautiful, adventurous, and talented.

I love her!

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To be fair, I love all my girls!

KATY:

HilARious

It’s funny how life works sometimes. With Katy, we were destined to be friends. Case in point: The first time I met her, we were out with mutual friends and although we had never met before, we thought it would be HILARIOUS if she were to prank call my little brother (he was about 15-16 at the time). She had him convinced that they had met previously and he and his buddy, John, were actually considering sneaking out to meet up with her. And that was that… we went our separate ways.

A few months later, we were going to be hiring a new girl in the classified ads office at the Daily Lobo. Who should walk in but that same hilarious girl?

In the course of our friendship we’ve been each other’s shoulders to cry on, support systems, driving companions (around ABQ and to LA), we’ve even been each other’s “boss” (I wrote for her at the paper when she was the News Editor, and she freelances for me at the publishing company).

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Who to ask to be my bridesmaids was a tough call.

RACHEL & JORDAN:

Not because I didn’t know who to ask, just that I wasn’t sure they would want to. Teenagers… IE: Rachel (the newly [holy crap she’s 16!] licensed driver) and Jordan (probably the funniest girl I know).

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Goofy AND Gorgeous

Both of these young ladies are my cousins. They are sisters. And I’ve LOVED being able to watch them grow from little babies to the brave, conscientious, smart, and funny young women they are today. Words can’t begin to express how happy I am to have both of them participating in my wedding. (I’m a sap)

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 This brings me to my ADORABLE flower girl.

KAITLYN:

She’s probably the cutest little girl I know. I’m so glad she will be joining us! Her mom (Jason’s sister) has been SO helpful with searching for dresses in the right color and style for our little flower girl.

Hello Cuteness

 

This is why we can’t have nice things…

I had started walking between 3.5-5 miles 3-4 days a week about three weeks ago. I had been doing well, getting up at the crack of dawn, leaving a note for Jason to let him know I was out, and maintaining a steady pace as I went. I had been adjusting nicely to waking up so early, even on days I wasn’t walking.

I had been doing all this, until the sky exploded and hasn’t stopped spewing swimming pools of rain every day this week (except for Tuesday and this morning, and I did walk those days). The prospect of any time outside without my umbrella is pretty unlikely. Maybe Saturday will just be cloudy. Here’s hoping.

Also note that the humidity level is horrendous. So even though it’s pouring out, it’s still freaking HOT. This is why we can’t have nice things…it’s raining, HOT, and humid (think high moisture levels, little insulation, and crap wallpaper).

In other news–and real the reason I mentioned the weather and my inability to continue with my exercise regimen–I recently joined an online group that is functionally a support group for people trying to lose weight. I’m really excited to read about their progress as well as keep track of my own. The aim is to be a little accountable. The group is fairly small, but most of them have blogs about their journeys, so it will keep me inspired. Even the welcome blurb from Angela was inspiring:

Using blogs in this way is by no means new. Tons of foodies and people seeking a voice as they work toward a healthy lifestyle blog everyday. WordPress FOOD tags alone number well over 5,000 posts at any given time. Add in RECIPES, and the WordPress blog site has over 8,000 contributions. WordPress isn’t the only blogging site. Blogger has a multitude of food, diet, and healthy lifestyle blogs as well.

For many people, the world beyond their computers is actually quite small. The wonders of the Internet never cease.

A veritable smorgasbord of information and opinion, the Internet really does have a life of its own. I find value in much of what the Internet provides. Being so far from home and away from most of the conveniences I had taken for granted, reading blogs about life and developing my ideas for the future has truly been a lifesaver.

Another blog I did want to mention before wrapping this up to devote my full attention to one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, is Krista’s blog. This girl has worked SO hard to lose a lot of weight and she’s opened herself up to the entire Internet community in the process. For the next two days, she’s celebrating her readers with an AWESOME giveaway.

**Question: What do YOU use the Internet for?**