Thursday, January 3, 2013

mediocre holiday-gria

2013, you're looking good already!

Though I may not have been told by airplane angels that this was 'my year'... 2013 does feel magical. Three days in and I'm feeling magic already? Oh yes. I'm good. 

It could have something to do with Aaron being in town. Aaron is one of my dearest friends from Camp Bravo-- and also a recent graduate from the University of Arizona! Now he's on the hunt for a photography job in Los Angeles (that isn't being a paparazzi) and has been crashing with us in the meantime. 

We've been keeping him busy. 

Aaron and I finally reconstructed my bed:

Thank the bed-making gods!
Nikolai was the one who took it apart in the first place for our big move last month. Darn that kid though-- he's busy-- and hasn't been able to help me put it back together again. After weeks and weeks of being sad about it and sleeping on the ground, Aaron and I finally tried it out. It took us about ten minutes. Too easy. I regret not doing it myself weeks ago. But look! 

I feel like a lady again.

We've also had three games nights with friends-- mostly playing Cards Against Humanity-- Bob's gift to mankind. It's certainly not for the timid; the game is very inappropriate and accordingly hilarious. I highly recommend it. 

Ashley and Frazier and cookie.

Yes, I have a cat and a friend named Frasier/Frazier. It's never been all that confusing... until they are in the same place at the same time. It helped to refer to them as Frasier the Cat or Frazier the Human. You'd be surprised how much I talk to my cat and how much of that clarification was necessary.

I named Frasier the Cat before I met Frazier the Human. True story. 

Aaron has been bonding with Frasier the Cat when I'm at work... and sending me pictures like this:

Frasier looks so tough. He got a new red gingham collar from Santa this year.

Aaron, Ashley, and I have also been wandering the streets of Burbank this past holiday weekend. I love this little town. While on a chilly sprinkly walk the other day, we wandered into a bar called Tony's Darts Away (Yes, weirdest name ever). The Raiders were playing, the beers were A+, and the sausages... oh the sausages... we never wanted to leave. 

Before the rush. Everyone wants to watch the Raiders, right?
Or maybe it was the cold beer and maple glazed sweet potato fries with toasted almonds on top...

This place is definitely a local's paradise. Don't tell anybody, I don't want it to be too cool.

Mr. Aaron and I.

I've died and gone to sausage heaven. (That's what she said). 

We also went to see Django, which was fan-freaking-tastic, took some last Christmas tree pictures, and found fancy fire hydrants.

Aaron, Ashley, and Frazier.

Yes, I realize what dogs do with these... after I took the photo.

But the main highlight of the week was that darned New Year's Eve party we threw.

I had made a little invite on Facebook and left it open to whoever might want to come. Seventeen people RSVP'd. Over forty showed up.

If only I was that cool in college, guys. 

It was a swinging party-- the perfect combination of friends and new faces. Every person brought some kind of fancy beer or champagne to share (a very distinct difference from college parties...) and was open and friendly. It is the most bizarre thing to see friends from different areas of my life talking to each other. People from U of A, Bang Comedy Theatre, Bravo, jobs consolidating payday loan debt and radio talk shows that I guest DJed... all together and having genuine conversations and laughing and celebrating the new year. It was such a blast.

But what better way to illustrate the evening... than with pictures!

The hostesses with the mostest-ess. Yes I am wearing an apron to the party.
Also, please note the little bar area I made on the right.
This is what happens when you read lifestyle blogs like its your job.

Lauren and Aaron and twinkle lights!

Ringing in the New Year with Johnny and lazy eyes. 
Two of my favorite guys-- Frazier and Daniel!
Colton, his sweet girlfriend Lindsey, and Mikey Dean are hanging in the background.

We kept people full of good treats, too. I made a very interesting Grey Goose La Poire (Pear) drink, as promised. I called it my Mediocre Holiday-gria. 

Here's the recipe:

Mediocre Holiday-gria 
Serves 1 at a time. Until everyone gets to the party at once and you run out of twenty wine glasses and pear vodka.  
1½ shots of Grey Goose La Poire (eyeball it, obviously)
4-5 frozen mixed berries
2 chunks of apple
Trader Joe's Sparkling Berry or Lime water 
Serve and kind of enjoy! If your guest remarks, "Well... it's not bad" and shrugs -- You've done it right! 

...We had beer, too. 

Holiday-grias aside-- our food spread was bomb

From left to right: Lexi's famous artichoke dip, my spinach dip (yes, it's in a sourdough bread bowl), muddy buddies up top next to someone's Mediocre Holiday-gria, Robin's confetti chocolate chip cookies, party poppers, and chips with Ashley's six-layer bean dip. (It was seven layers... but we don't like olives). 

How good does that look?!

Now for more company:

Annie, Lexi, Carolyn and myself.

Me and Frazier the human. 

Sarah and Danielle! Real-life friends from our days at SOS Debt Solutions. YUP. 

Bennett's a party animal.

Ryan! This guy is pure joy. 

The kitties at their awesome "We're locked in the bedroom" party.

Lauren, Mikey, Andrew, Ian, and Tim! These are all new friends! Isn't that fun?

Emily, Annie, Ashley, and Nikolai.
Please note the amount of glasses on the table. Uff.

I have no idea how our neighbors didn't complain. Apparently we could be heard from down the block! It might have to do with the fact that I made and delivered warm cookies to our neighbors the morning before... complete with New Year's happy wishes and our phone numbers. 

This ain't my first rodeo, cowboy!

(...okay yeah, it kind of was). 

Midnight was so much fun. Ashley and Nikolai and I rushed around as the clock counted down-- filling wine glasses, mugs, and any clean receptacle that could hold a beverage with champagne. (No, it never occurred to me to have plastic cups. I was planning on fifteen people being there. I felt silly enough putting out twenty wine glasses!) Then the countdown began. And then --my favorite part of the evening-- the awkward moment when everyone stares at each other and shrugs and strategically tries to/tries not to kiss those next to them. It was so funny. At least I thought it was funny.

The party continued to rage (Can I say that? That's weird). I finally had to start shushing people at 2:30am. And then slowly the party trickled down... to just ten of us. The usual Bravo crowd lingered for the evening. 

Then the morning came.

I wasn't drinking much at the start of the party, as I was too busy smiling and running around with my apron on. After the ball dropped though... I had three glasses of champagne.

Ouch! But it was so good! And pink and bubbly! And French!

I woke up at 7am --my usual "let's-get-stuff-done" self-- and went straight to the kitchen to clean. I started unloading the dishwasher. (Yes, I loaded the dishwasher at 3:30 in the morning so I could load it again at 7am... Frazier tried to stop me.)

The noise of clanking dishes and silverware was insufferable.

I retreated to my bed for the next two hours.

Luckily I have a great roommate who fed our guests with chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls. You know, to get the healthy habits off to a good start. Ain't she the best?

Chowing down and cleaning up!

After our guests left with Advil and sugar in their bellies, the cleaning began...

Put that kid to work!

...and continued for five hours. Our apartment has never looked better! I mopped and oiled the wood floors, Aaron vacuumed and picked up icky cigarette butts outside (for shame, friends-- a whopping forty butts!), Ashley washed the MILLIONS of glasses and mugs, and then we ate leftover spinach dip and discussed the magnitude of coolness which was that New Year's Eve Party. So great.


I hope you all did something fun on your New Years! 

One thing my New Year's angels told me last year was how you ring in the new year is very important. For a prosperous year surround yourself with positivity and people who you care about and inspire you.

Check check and check.

Tune back in tomorrow for a special Fickle Friend Friday... featuring some of my thoughts and intentions for the New Year!

Awkward kisses,



  1. Whoa, you're right, I totally did end up on your blog! I'm honored to have my visage grace this lovely url.

  2. Yay! Thanks for reading Ian! :)