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17 March 2008 @ 12:41 pm
in a nut (caramel and nougat) shell  

our 5th year anniversary this weekend (it's a hard matter to call exactly, this technical matter of our anniversary falling on the 15th or the 16th. since this was the year when the dates all lined up as they were in 2003, we made it the weekend.)

nica, those are the hairsticks you gave me there on my head. not that you can really see them.

- friday afternoon ben's mother and i went out to blue moon, in fell's point, for a late breakfast. blue moon is a progressive (i.e., vegetarian friendly) tex-mex early day restaurant with brightly painted walls and little homages to mexican vigil altars all about. for various reasons, we nixed coffee for tea/tisane (ben's mother has to avoid caffeine for sake of her migraine problems and while i'm fine with tea, even my insanely caffeinated twenty minute masala brew, coffee does horrible things to my belly) but the waitress very attentively kept trying to top off our mugs until she glanced down at her target to say, "oh. that's right. you're them." our preferred topic of mutual interest, of course: ben himself. among other things, i learned that he has always been very quiet natured and that, in fact, as a newborn his mom and dad had to wake him up at the hospital to play. which isn't unfamiliar in more recent ben translations, i suppose.

- friday night's marathon of "whose line is it anyway" did not go unappreciated, gods of comedy. we are "whose line" fan children if ever fan children there were. at some point i turned to ben, giggling like a schoolgirl and said words to the effect of "who would have thought these two utterly disparate aspects of my life would synergize in such a fantastic way!" we made a pot of lapsang souchong for "night of the lepus," which came on at 2:30 on TCM, and the film was as fantastically bad as i'd always dreamed it would be, but without the robots (why did this film never get the MST3K treatment?) as is the case with films about huge mutated animals massacring the midwest viewed in the ungodly hours, there was this lengthy, repetitive passage where

a) it was daytime and they couldn't find the rabbits, and then
b) it was night and the rabbits killed people,

during which ben fell asleep and i got distracted, so neither of us knows how it ended. then i had to wake ben up so i could play with him. *ahem.* moving on.

- ben snuck out saturday morning under false pretenses so he could surprise me with a box of chocolate from rheb's, which was a trip. no one has ever bought me a box of chocolates before, particularly an individually selected one. because when you are picking chocolate, the person putting together your box attacks with "now what? okay now what? now what? now what?" until you just start pointing and hope for the best, ben can't quite remember his picks or what they looked like. he knows he got two of each so we'd both be able to try everything, at least. he drew a map on the inside lid, complete with illustrations, so we can keeping track of what each flavor looks like. i'm pouring over the brochure trying to determine if what i just had was almond paste or almond cream.

- two obsessive compulsives and a box of chocolates, man.

- we went hiking at loch raven. we saw a bald eagle and her nest a little ways off from where she perched, white and not quite yet white bones in a pile on the trail, had a brief blair witch moment when we dropped our trail and picked up another that didn't seem to be heading anywhere intentional for a mile or so. there was a stream surrounded with rocks and moss. ben told me "i like the way the stream makes those particular kinds of curves" just as i was thinking it myself. we crossed the stream and found a log to sit on for a bit while burning tibetan incense in wet soil. along the trail, there were a number of trees, only a little taller than us. in the autumn, they'd never dropped their leaves, so they were still hanging from the branches, dried and bleached to ecru, thick like parchment. they vibrated with the wind to make a ghostly rattle.

- later that night, ben's father told us that once upon a time he heard a statistic that only 10% of the population would ever see a bald eagle in the wild, which made me feel kind of sad.

- then we went to trader joe's and bought Insane Quantities of Food. including dark chocolate covered mini pretzels which, despite ben's gentle reminder that they are not breakfast, were the first thing i ate today.

- again.

- since i haven't talked enough about eating, i'll mention that we had our anniversary dinner at the helmand saturday night. the helmand serves afghan cuisine and one of their rockstar menu entries is the kaddo borawni, a sugared pumpkin appetizer drizzled with yoghurt garlic sauce. between that and the cardamon tea at the end, it's almost like you don't need the vegetarian dolma, but who am i kidding? *drool*

- we slept in on sunday, took long showers, and walked to the BMA. on the street outside ben's house, i looked down into a rainwater puddle and spotted what i at first assumed to be monopoly money. "ben, there's a.... twenty... dollar bill floating in that puddle." such a boon! so the puddle treated us to a leisurely lunch at donna's: donna's has vanilla candles burning in the bathrooms, which impressed me probably beyond good reason.

- at the BMA, one of the guards noticed ben taking pictures of the 18th century mirrors and pointed out a few other ones she liked. because antique mirror-making techniques were quite different than the modern ones, you tend to get splotches and curious shadows in the glass. passing by an old mirror, it'll frequently look like something is moving or... shifting in the ambient light of the room. the guard's grandmother told her, once upon a time, that these spots represented the spirits of people who'd looked in the mirror and since passed--something that always stayed with her when she walked this section in the off hours. she told us a few of the residential ghost stories: one which involved her politely asking an unseen entity to stop setting off the alarm because she needed to finish her rounds (he apparently listened.) i've been needing some ghosts, lately, so this really made my day.

- ben took our reflected picture in that stairwell at the BMA with the big phallic gold... thing that i always trip the alarm on. because of its placement, i'm always stumbling around in there and accidentally kicking the little guard rail at the base with my unreasonably immense black oxfords. sunday i only set off the alarm once, which was fantastic, because there was that one visit where i set off the alarm in the BMA stairwell three times. we don't like to talk about that time. what the hell is it about me and the big phallic gold thing? i hate tripping alarms.

- sunday night we stayed in and watched probably the most depressing episode of angel ever (please, gentle readers, avoid inhaling mummy dust) and then made oven baked kale chips, a supposedly healthful alternative to potato chips. the verdict: not bad, though we should have used less salt. they melt in your mouth and taste pleasingly green. ben observed an unfortunate aspect is one's tendency to feel a bit like you've salted dead leaves and are now eating them, which was, again, verbalizing what i was thinking. i suggested we invite over some of our big meat-and-potato type friends for a movie and serve up a big bowl of oven fried kale instead of popcorn and ben all but started chortling and malevolently twirling his mustache (except he doesn't have a mustache.) (thankfully.) it should be noted that a pound of kale does not seem to make a lot of oven fried kale in the end, so in order to get a "big bowl" of it, we'd probably have to make three batches, thus officially putting the joke on us.

- our humor, it's like that.

- i received a chapbook from a new livejournal friend on friday (it's being offered in a friend's only entry, so i will omit details for now) but i've been reading pieces from it all weekend and it is wonderful, lovely writing. yet another livejournal person i suspect i'd get along with very well in person. yet another livejournal person who lives on the opposite coast.

- ben and i could probably travel the country with a successful burlesque routine if we wanted, but we're too shy to ever perform it in front of people. i suppose we'll stick with verbal burlesque in front of close friends and save the real naughty stuff for when we are alone.

- i'll leave the rest of sunday night, then, to your imagination.

- though you might rather leave it to ours.
ch.grassfire on March 17th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
i like the bit about the mirrors. and the obsessive compulsive chocolates. oh yeah, and about you + ben + five years + the best. :)

love to you both.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 17th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
thank you so much, ch.

we're thinking about making a youtube vid about the chocolate thing. it was funnier than the first time we picked out pumpkins, even.

really introspective artistic people can get a little scary. ;-)
(no subject) - grassfire on March 17th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grassfire on March 18th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
deliciously implausible: pink circlesdestinydai on March 17th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 17th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
:-) indeed!
Nevarra: laughter & sillinessnevarra on March 17th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
What an awesome, awesome weekend! Congrats to you both on 5 years! ::happyforjudyandbendance::

Re: Edit....I actually said :happyforjudyandbeddance: which now that I think about it might have been just as fitting? Mwahaha.

Edited at 2008-03-17 11:17 pm (UTC)
selva oscura: [rs] stairsanonymousblack on March 17th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
haha! ben tells me he'd like to see both, actually. thank you so much, beth. for this and for so much else.
asymptote: [bsg] how it would feeltree on March 17th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)

well, sorta.

i suppose now is not a good time to mention that the food i had at Helmand made me sick? helen can attest.

have you tried beetroot chips? oh my stars, yum.

that is all. i love you both. come visit.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 17th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
well, what wasn't because of you was because of helen, since i found ben on her friendslist. but you were the one who helped us get over ourselves in the early days, so yes. i bet that's why i wore the hairsticks you gave me!

and yes, i knew about your bad helmand experience. i am very sorry for that, no one should get sick from the helmand. it was also too bad because it's one of the few big restaurants in my baltimore vocabulary that serves an array of food you are supposed to be able to eat.

*adds beetroot chips to the list of new things to try*

we will come visit! i just need lots of money! let me go look in a few more puddles!
(no subject) - tree on March 20th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ricepaper on March 20th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tree on March 20th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anonymousblack on March 17th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ricepaper on March 18th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tree on March 20th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ricepaper on March 20th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tree on March 20th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
[ spirit in the wires ]: hushurbandelirium on March 17th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
What a lovely weekend... happy five years, with more to come.

(and I must try making kale chips)
selva oscura: magdaleneanonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
thank you. we'd really like just that, with some progressive elevation of residential circumstances. ;-)

have you ever had proper indian masala tea? with lots of milk and lots of sugar? creamy and spicy at the same time?

(no subject) - urbandelirium on March 18th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - urbandelirium on March 18th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(ricepaper)ricepaper on March 18th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
i cannot even begin to tell you how much i like that picture of you & ben. it just seems so perfect to me.

& also, yay! for five years. & also, what a wonderful-sounding anniversary weekend. i think you've done more out-and-about stuff in just that weekend than i've done all year. :) though ofcourse i suppose i'm not a fair comparison, am i?

& also, i was thinking, maybe if you are feeling brave (in an adventurous, driving-out-of-the-city way) and feeling like you have some time, maybe you could drive up to see me one of these days. i mean, ben can come too, ofcourse, but i thought it might also be nice to spend some time with just you, like while he is at work or something. girl party!

& also, yay! five years!
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
he did a few of them but i messed them up because i kept walking around. he is sneaky, i do not always realize when i am in the picture. which is probably what he wants.

perhaps you are not in a space for fair comparison right now, no. (crosses fingers for "sooner, rather than later.")

also, *nod* i've been thinking of that, too. you should keep me updated as to when a good time for you would be--i will try to figure out mine. i'm not real sure what my workflow for this week is going to be because coyote hasn't gotten in touch (i think she's traveling) but i'm finding that later in the week tends to be better for me than early. girl party! whooo!

also, five years. how did that happen, really? :-)
(ricepaper)ricepaper on March 18th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
p.s. even just looking at a picture of the gold phallic thing, i have an urge to rub it. which i probably shouldn't admit but, there, i did.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
it does kind of have that affect, doesn't it? but if i have an urge to rub or not, i don't touch it. my feet just always veer towards the security boundary. i bet my experience isn't even uncommon, come to think of it. the day i set the alarm off three times i was just trying to get down the stairs and out into the front wing so i could go home because the museum was closing. something was up with the doors and i kept backing into the alarm zone (which starts a little bit before you touch anything.) my suspicion is museum staff just loves the gold phallic thing. i wonder how many times a day that have to check on it. if i can set the alarm off three times, imagine what a hyped 6 year old could do.

someday, my dear, i will tell you the story about judy's "asian art history" teacher's assistant and the shiva lingam.
Shameless: surely you jestliminalia on March 18th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
It is a very very strange coincidence that 2 of my LJ friends post about the dangers of inhaling bone dust right in a row. What exactly is the universe trying to tell me here? It's not as if I had plans to chop lines of Thutmose the Second this weekend or something...

Happy Anniversary!
selva oscuraanonymousblack on March 18th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
mine was a reference to the fifth season of "angel," though, in which a major character dies because of a parasitic demon possession that poofs out of a sarcophagus. according to your other friend (yes, i went and looked) bone dust poses an actual danger, which i didn't know. huh. i guess throwing a PSA at the end of the episode about not inhaling bone dust would have seemed weird.

thank you so much for the congrats, c.