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A Day of Joy and Celebration

My mom and I started the morning off at the salon. This beautiful bride was earthshaking. Literally! There was a little earthquake while we were getting out hair done.

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Then we were off to the ceremony!

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Baby Beez was a very enthusiastic flower girl!

MAZEL TOV!

And then it was time to celebrate!

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Baby Beez invited herself to their first dance.

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And what would a Jewish wedding be without a Hora and a chair dance?

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Ommmm nom nom nom

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The wedding was a wonderful event.  I’m so happy that they have found such joy together, and am so excited that our family has expanded by new brothers and sisters in law, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Baby Beez had such fun playing with her new cousins, and keeps singing the “jump up and down” song with their names.  We all can’t wait until our next big get-together!

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Ladies’ Night!

Mr. Beez, Baby Beez and I ventured to Los Angeles this past weekend for my mom’s wedding (or, according to Baby Beez, the wedding of Nay Nay and Poppy Sam).  Since every party is a good excuse for another party, I decided to throw a bachelorette party for my mom!  Don’t get crazy now, we had a fun but tame evening out, with country line dancing  and dinner at Buca di Beppo.

I never managed to get the line dancing genes. At one point, the teacher told me I am hopeless.  But my mom is pretty good at it, and she had a ton of fun, so that’s a win!

Mom was a good sport about the car getting decorated and getting all dressed up.

It was a really nice evening, and it was so much fun to get to spend time with friends and relatives I haven’t seen in a long time.  The line dancing was QUITE a workout, so even though I was terrible at it, I burned a couple calories.

What fun did you have this weekend?

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky (1999)

Between Chbosky being an Upper St Clair (read: Pittsburgh suburb) native, the Perks of Being a Wallflower film being filmed in Pittsburgh, and Emma Watson saying lovely things about our fair city, all of Pittsburgh has been blowing up over this book lately.  I feel like everyone is reading it, or has just read it, and is madly in love with it.

So, I read it.  I can’t complain.  Chbosky’s got writing chops. I just didn’t get into the story.  Every review I’ve read has emphasized how incredibly relatable the book is, but I didn’t much relate to it.  I liked the format of the story being told through letters.  Letters enable the author to get right to the important parts, without having to deal with that awkward space that comes between characters doing interesting things.  The plot device of Charlie’s intended recipient of the letters being anonymous, and only described very vaguely, ended up being distracting for me.  It was a total loose end, and while I can deal with a little unresolved mystery, a total loose end bothers me.

The twist in the epilogue also caught me very much by surprise, but not in a good way.  In this context, by “good way” I would mean an interesting twist that got me to think more about the book.  I did not think the twist was effective at that.  To me, it came out of left field, and I really didn’t recall anything in the earlier parts of the book that might have foreshadowed what occurred.


I suppose that for me, the best description of my reaction is that I did not mind this book. It wasn’t mentally taxing and it moved at a good pace.  I don’t regret reading it, but I won’t be in a massive rush to recommend it either. I do plan to see the movie (although probably won’t get around to it until it makes it to OnDemand).  My only hesitation about the movie is that I do not think it is at all possible for me to watch a film with Ezra Miller and think of anything other than We Need to Talk About Kevin.  (Sidenote, I did read that book as well, I just never got around to blogging about it. My thoughts about the book were fairly consistent with my thoughts about the movie.  The only exception was that there was a theme of forgiveness at the end of the book that I did not care for, and could not relate to, regardless of the monster being the narrator’s child).

It’s wonderful to see Pittsburgh get attention from books and movies, and I’d love to see this as a continuing trend.  While Perks wasn’t completely my thing, I wouldn’t rule out picking up other work by Chbosky.  He’s got the fundamentals down, now he just needs to find plot/themes that work for me (and isn’t that the task of every writer, to cater to me personally?)

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Industry Public House

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with A FEW COMPLETELY UNSCHEDULED HOURS.  I had a ton of work to do that weekend, but I got it all finished.  I had a haircut appointment, but the haircut was all finished.  Mr. Beez and Baby Beez were visiting with his parents.  I had nothing to do, and I decided to do the most uncharacteristic thing for me ever…I went to  a bar by myself!

It was an awkward time in the afternoon, about 4pm on a Sunday, and although I had a list of places I’ve been meaning to try, a lot of them weren’t open.  One, however, was– Industry Public House in Lawrenceville.

I kicked things off with a Rhuby Rhuby Rhuby (blackberries muddled with simple syrup, Rhuby liquer, bitters, lemon zest and basil).  You can’t go wrong with blackberries, ever.  The cocktail was sweet but not sickeningly sweet.  And it ha a nice punch from the liqueur.

Industry has a huge number of beers and hard ciders on tap, and I was thrilled to also enjoy a draught of hard cider from Arsenal Cider House.

For my meal, I enjoyed an amazing farmhouse burger with truffle fries.  This fresh, tasty burger was topped with cheddar, BBQ sauce and a fried egg.  This was my first truffle fry experience, and I don’t think any other kind of fry can make me happy again.

My big plan for my free time was to chow down, have a couple drinks and read some magazines. Despite my usual antisocial attitude, I ended up chatting the whole time with other people.  I didn’t get any magazine reading done, but had an equally nice time.

Even though Larryville was already the bastion of all things trendy and cool, Industry is a fantastic addition.  The service was great and quick, the food and drinks were delicious and obviously prepared with care.  I don’t get to Lawrenceville as often as I’d like, but Industry is worth a special trip.

Industry Public House on Urbanspoon

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40 Before 40: Call for Ideas

My 30 before 30 list will be drawing to a close in less than a month.  I have accomplished many of the things on the list.  There are a few I won’t get around to, but I’m not worried about it.  The point was to get myself to get around to actually DOING things I have been wanting to do.  Stressing myself over crossing everything off a to-do list isn’t the way to go.

Once I hit the big 3-0, I’m going to start on a 40 before 40.  I will probably carry over a couple unfinished things from my 30 list (see: go for hot air balloon ride).  But since I’ll have 10 years to work on my 40 before 40 list, I plan to have several more grand goals.  One goal I have in mind is to hike up to Macchu Pichu with Mountain Lodges of Peru (this will also involve me learning how to hike, and learning to LIKE hiking, which are no small feats for me).  There will probably be several travel goals on there, and goals to take certain kinds of classes (I’d love to take some cooking classes, particularly a knife skills class).  Maybe I’d even like to set a goal of learning something other than just the most rudimentary photography skills.  Of course I will also set some goals related to my career, whether it involves publishing articles or benchmarks on building my own client base.

What Would You Have on your 40 Before 40 list?

Completely Gratuitous Photo of my Kid Helping with the Shopping. Because She is Cute.