Was i supposed to make an announcement?

Ok, here it is. The Little Red Haired Girl is preggers. It’s been 2 months since we’ve been public about it, and I still find myself having to announce it in various places. Someone congratulated me yesterday and I had no idea what he was talking about, and he had to explain to me that we haven’t seen each other since he found out.

A couple weeks ago someone else (who I see multiple times a week) asked me sort of embarrassedly whether or not The Little Red Haired Girl is pregnant, because he’d figured it out indirectly from somewhere. Oops. I find it hard to keep track of who’s been told what, and really I’m not interested in making announcements in the first place. Not because I’m a total bitch (which I might be), but it’s just such a rigamarole and I hate social rituals. I kind of just want to hand out a FAQ and be done with it:

1. Yes, we are excited.
2. No, it was not an accident. (That’s my favorite joke, and I make it every chance I get. Sorry.)
3. We’ve been trying since last spring, and we feel incredibly fortunate that she got pregnant so quickly.
4. Yes, that time I had to leave the softball game early was because we were inseminating. (and yes, I am a queer stereotype).
5. She’s due in mid July
6. The Little Red Haired Girl is feeling great now, the first trimester was not too bad for her, we’re hoping to be as lucky for the third.
7. The father is Chinese, we don’t know him, and mostly we picked him because his donor profile was one of the few that matched (willing to be known, Chinese, and something about cmv).
8. It’s a girl, but please don’t buy us weird gender normative pink shit. Baby Doc Martens and little cargo pants of all styles will be accepted.
9. No, we don’t have a name picked out yet, but if we did we probably wouldn’t be telling at this point anyway.
10. Yes, we’ll have a shower, and yes, you can be invited if you want. Unless you’re planning on showing up with weird gender normative pink shit.
11. Yes, we would love to use your hand-me-down _______________ since your kids are grown and you don’t need it anymore. Unless it’s weird gender normative pink shit.
12. Thank you for caring enough to ask, and sorry I’m too bitchy to walk you through it personally. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, come buy me a few beers at Yazoo sometime and then I won’t be able to stop talking about it. I’ll probably even show you her girl parts (the baby’s, not The Little Red Haired Girl’s).


This weekend we discovered Aleksey’s Russian & Eastern European Market near 100 Oaks. We’d noticed it before, and maybe for 4 years we’ve been saying that we should check it out. So, on Saturday, during errands, we finally went. And kids, if you see something, you should always say something. I can’t believe that for 4 years we were basically too lazy to walk into this place.

The irony is, I think that if we weren’t so miserable here, we might not bother doing these weird new things. We had just spent 4 glorious days back in the Boston area the week before, where we saw as many old friends as we could and ate, drank, and danced our hearts out. It was really hard to be back here, where good food is not as readily available, the folks we became adults with are far away, and the queer community just is not a good fit. Anyway, Aleksey’s was a nice reminder just at the right time that we’re going to make it, and enjoy ourselves in the meanwhile.

In the store we encountered all kinds of unrecognizable goodies, many of which we bought. An array of enticing canned fish and pates, pickles, smoked fish, baked goods, juices, jams, frozen items, candies. And if that weren’t enough, a whole case of sausages! We bought some cans, a bottle of black currant juice, some pickles called “grandma’s salad,” and a kinder surprise. Then, The Little Red Haired Girl asked the nice lady behind the counter which sausages she recommends, and she gave us samples. We walked away with half a pound each of something called “Karpatskaya” and something called “Tsar Salami.”

Nothing much

I felt like I should check in, but I don’t have much to contribute. I mean, things have happened lately, for sure. For example, I’m no longer on a road trip across country. In fact, I haven’t been for weeks now.

In the time since the last post I’ve caught up with an old friend in LA, gotten to SD, flown back, driven to Durham, then to Charleston, participated in a bachelorette party, come home, driven to Michigan for a wedding, then watched Mrs. Superhero become even more super as she defended her dissertation.

I’ve also cooked and eaten all kinds of things, including summer faves like beer can chicken and flat iron steak, and delicious luxurious things like pate sandwiches and beet tartare, and weird shit like the penis shaped banana dessert that was served to the bride-to-be during bachelorette weekend.

It’s been a busy month. But somehow I haven’t felt like posting anything. Just one of those phases, I guess.

Ichiban on the rocks, san diego

I wanted sushi so badly when we went to San Diego that I made The Little Red Haired Girl and Mrs. Superhero go twice. The first time was ok, but the second time, at Ichiban on the Rocks, was freaking delicious. We had escaped conventionland on the bus to explore the Hillcrest Neighborhood for the afternoon, and sort of randomly picked this place.

We were nervous because it was in a strip mall, but the urban spoon reviews were decent, so we went for it. Are we ever glad we did. The lady serving us was super cute and friendly, and we ordered 3 somewhat unconventional rolls and a tuna nigiri with quail egg on top. Everything we ordered was fantastic. I wish I could remember what anything was called.

Sevilla tapas restaurant in san diego

Trapped in conventionland in San Diego last week, The Little Red Haired Girl and I went to Sevilla (warning: obnoxious flash site), a tapas restaurant. When our server recommended to us every item on the menu that we found totally uninteresting like the empanadas and tuna tartare (nothing against those items, we were just more interested in items that we can’t normally find), we were nervous.

But we ordered what we wanted anyway, and loved every bite. We picked the ceviche, tortilla, pulpo a la gallega, and manila clams ajillo. After trying the clams we ordered a loaf of bread to soak up the clam juice, it was so delicious.

For dessert we had some sort of espresso creme brulee that turned out to be pretty good too. Even though it was wicked touristy feeling, we ended up really enjoying our meal there.

Indicators of a disturbance in the force

* the ncaa women’s tournament is actually interesting this year, with lots of major upsets in the 1st and 2nd rounds
* as a subindicator of the above, TN, Duke, and UNC are all out already.
* this morning i accidentally performed my shower routine out of order
* i saw a blip in the matrix
* i’m still motivated to work after an intense couple of weeks of overtime paper writing and whatnot
* we were ready to leave the house 10 minutes early this morning
* we had gulf oysters last night, and they were delicious
* we managed to save some money this month
* talked to mom on the phone last night, and she did not mention my retirement fund. the disturbance is not SO great, however; she did tell me that i should be working harder on my dissertation.

8 courses of wonderful

The night before the wedding The Little Red Haired Girl and I decided we wanted to have a rehearsal dinner, we wanted it to be a Chinese banquet, and we wanted invite everyone. Never people to disappoint ourselves, we did what we wanted. Back in June, The Little Red Haired Girl, Lady Ebony, and I went on a tour of Chinese banquet facilities in the Boston area, trying one menu item at each restaurant.

Even though we thought something in Chinatown would be fun, the obvious choice ended up being Royal East in Cambridge, right between Central and Kendall. The manager, Otto, was really nice, and the soft shell crab app that we tried was amazing.

So, after some deliberation about the menu, here’s what we ended up with:

1. Cold Platter

2. Seafood with yellow chive soup

3. Double lobsters (in the picture there’s also a tofu dish that was for non-seafood eating folks)

4. Crispy double squabs (note the look on our faces)

5. Steamed whole fish

6. Hong Kong steak

7. Sauteed pea tendrils w/ crabmeat sauce

8. Longevity noodles
Plus fresh fruit for dessert.

Somehow no one (that I know of) managed to get pictures of the last 3. Too full and lazy by then, I guess. All the food was fantastic, and exactly what I had imagined and been telling The Little Red Haired Girl about for years. Otto and his crew at Royal East also did a great job.

We didn’t have to ask for much, they handled vegetarians and fish allergies easily, and service was efficient and professional. We were so impressed and grateful, if we lived there we’d be regulars at that restaurant. So freaking good.

Engagement gift

The other day I got a package in the mail. The timing was such that it could have been a birthday gift or a wedding gift. The return address was from a friend of The Little Red Haired Girl’s mom, so we guessed that it was a wedding gift. Although it was confusingly addressed to me.

She opened the box, and discovered a card inside that said it was an engagement gift for me. So I opened the gift inside, and found a framed photograph of The Little Red Haired Girl at age 6 in the bath. Weird but hilarious. Not sure where we’ll hang it. In the bathroom? What’s appropriate?

Ouyang House

Yes, there is dim sum in Nashville! After I read about Ouyang House on the Scene’s Bites Blog last week, I immediately made plans to go. We got there at around 11:30 this morning, and saw right away the rows and rows of buffet. When they were ready to seat us I asked if there was dim sum, and the led us off to a room to the left where just two tables were occupied. Our server came over and immediately addressed me in Mandarin (the other two I was with are white), asking what kind of tea we wanted and saying that she’d bring a menu.

It was kind of hilarious, since I haven’t been mistaken for a Chinese-speaker for a long time. I can actually sort of hold my own in basic conversation, but my vocabulary recall gets worse and worse and my accent has become embarrassing. For the rest of the meal I sort of bumbled along, trying to stick to Chinese when I could and switching to English when I had to.

The menu was clearly the special Chinese-people-menu, and had some dishes listed only in Chinese on one side and the familiar dim sum items on the other. That side had English translations, but soon our server rolled a cart over with a bunch of different things on it and I just picked from there. I’m happy to report that they had just about everything that we generally expect from dim sum (although we didn’t see the head-on shrimp that The Little Red Haired Girl loves), and it was all quite delicious.

I wasn’t responsible enough to take pictures of any food, but imagine steamed pork buns, shaomai, short ribs, bean curd skin roll, eggplant stuffed with shrimp, fried sweet rice and pork dumpling, taro dumplings, and a couple other things I can’t remember. Probably because of the small number of occupied tables there wasn’t that much variety in the cart, but we could have ordered what we wanted from the menu.

The service was really nice; our server brought over the taro dumplings as soon as they came out of the fryer to see if we wanted them. She kept recommending things on the menu to me too, but I could only partially follow the things she was pointing out. We did order one bigger dish that was a wide rice noodle and shrimp thing, which was fantastic.

So, it’s not quite the cavernous banquet halls of restaurants in New York with a cart rolling by every few minutes with new piping hot items. But it’s a great start. We’ll go back, probably soon, just to support their endeavor. We think you should go too. I think you can always order the dim sum items, but it’s weekends when they have the cart(s).

Same eats all week

There’s a character in some Anne Tyler book (maybe it’s Back When We Were Grownups?) who makes himself a big batch of something (stew, meatloaf, pot roast, something like that) once a week and just eats that until it’s gone, every day. It struck me as the most depressing thing ever at the time. Actually, it still seems really depressing, but this past week since The Little Red Haired Girl has been out of town I’ve been doing something similar. Not nearly as depressing, and actually quite enjoyable for me, but still reminiscent of that character (whom it turns out I don’t really remember that much about at all).

In general, when left to my own devices at home I just won’t eat, I’ll drink my dinner, or I’ll eat some previously canned or frozen crap. It’s partly that I’m lazy, and partly that cooking only appeals to me when I need a stress release, and/or there is someone to appreciate my cooking, and/or there is someone there to do the dishes later. Given that The Little Red Haired Girl was to be gone a full 6 days, and my stomach has been behaving badly as it is, I figured I needed some sort of new strategy.

So at the beginning of the week I did two things. I cooked a package of bacon, and made some broth and chicken for Vietnamese chicken pho soup. The rest of the week I had two of my daily meals were cobb salad and chicken pho soup. It has worked out quite well, but I’m now out of bacon and broth, and am starting to feel lonely.