three stages of dinner

1. I decide to be a good person, prepare my own food, and not just eat chips and salsa.

2. I realize I have some salad in the fridge that needs eating… what goes with salad… pasta!

3. Once the pasta makings are out, I frown and decide I would rather have something else, like a quesadilla, which means I need to chop up some onion and tomato, and if I’m doing that, I may as well make guacamole with these two here avocados, because that goes with a quesadilla, and if I’m making guacamole I’d better have some of this new awesome salsa with the chips I just bought, and if I’m eating all that I won’t really have room for a salad.

Dinner: chips and salsa. (And a quesadilla with guacamole.)

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geography lesson

I’ve been calling myself “geographically confused” for the last month or so. It really fits, given my travels around the country in the last month, not to mention my upcoming wedding. I have finally landed back at what passes for home nowadays.

Often in my travels, curious bystanders would innocently ask about my wedding, and inevitably the question of location would arise. Here is my side of a typical conversation. Feel free to fill in your part however you see fit.

Yes, Mike and I are getting married in San Diego.
What? No, we’re not from California, we’re from Washington.
The state.
Well, Mike’s from Seattle, but I’m from a small town in eastern Washington. So together we claim the whole state.
We met in college in California, yes.
Oh, funny you should mention that, I did indeed move to New Mexico last year.
To start an astronomy PhD program.
What’s that? No, Mike is still in San Diego, but he’s hoping to move out here soon.
Yes, New Mexico.
No, not Albuquerque.
Southern New Mexico, Las Cruces. About an hour from El Paso, Texas, which is the closest airport.
Well, it’s very dry, and rural, and doesn’t have any ethnic food or culture to speak of, but it’s beautiful and I like living there.
No, I’m not just saying that – I really DO like it.
Well, if you were coming to my wedding, would you rather fly to eastern WA, southern NM, or San Diego?
There you go.
Plus there is a freaking awesome Episcopal cathedral in San Diego, and most of our guests will have to fly in from somewhere no matter where we get married. In fact, members of our wedding party reside in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, California, and New York.
No, see, we actually spent Christmas in Kansas City this year.
Normally we’d go to Washington, but my dad decided to spend Christmas in Mexico, and it worked out nicely to visit my aunt.
Yes, it will be fantastic to have everybody briefly in one place for our wedding.

Here now is a preview of our engagement photos, which were taken at Torrey Pines State Reserve (north of San Diego) on December 23, 2010. Our talented photographer is Nick Abadilla and we can’t wait to see the rest!

curry and dresses

…is the answer to what’s been happening in Kansas City.

Shahi paneer is heaven on a plate, and panang curry isn’t bad either, and that’s only the start of it. I am so very fond of eating out, for a myriad of reasons I’m not going to delve into right now. Let’s just say it’s delicious, and a very fun way to spend time in the company of friends.

I officially have a wedding dress! It is all fitted to me, and after a couple minor tweaks it will be completely set and ready to mail off to San Diego. Goal: don’t gain (any) or lose (much) weight between now and May. I also selected bridesmaid dresses and went with Aunt Pam to find a dress for her pseudo-mother-of-the-bride role.

Because I wasn’t traveling around quite enough, Mike and I decided to rent a car and drive over to Champaign, Illinois to visit our friends Karen and David for a long new year weekend. With Pam’s mad negotiating skills, we somehow got a cute little Nissan Versa that allowed me to drive at no extra cost (I’m not 25 yet!). It was about a 7 hour drive of boring each way, but Mike and I really enjoyed getting some “just us” time while traveling. And I officially want a Nissan Versa and/or Honda Fit type car that is either electric or plug-in hybrid.

So, Happy 2011! This year, I’m getting married. Wow. Life is pretty crazy awesome.