Sunday, March 2, 2014

February - Around Here

As I write this, we are riding out the tail end of what giddily panicked local reporters have dubbed Rainpocalypse and the Liquid Vortex. In other words, we have had a couple of rainy days.
Despite requiring a cap to keep the sun out of her eyes, Joy Benedict assured us that this is a storm not to be trifled with.
This intrepid journalist reported, "The raindrops started falling a little over an hour ago, and they haven't let up." Not even kidding - watch Kimmel's bit on LA's weather coverage.
As ridiculously overblown as the coverage of this "weather event" has been, I am quite enjoying the storminess and the associated coziness. Prior to holing up with a Tom, a bottle of wine, and Netflix on Friday night, I took my rain boots and bright red umbrella for their yearly outing to document the destruction.

As for the rest of February, here's a quick recap... 

We saw Fitz and the Tantrums at the Ace Hotel. These guys are always amazing live, and they did not disappoint. The Artists Den is an organization that hosts intimate free concerts in historic venues that are recorded and then aired on Live from the Artists Den on PBS. We actually got to see Mayer Hawthorne in his Artists Den show at the Park Plaza Hotel last year - also awesome. I am, however, rather partial to Fitz and his Tantrums, particularly the amazing Noelle Scaggs who can work a tambourine like nobody's business and who is basically my best friend since she made my day by liking my Instagram picture of their show. Seriously though, she is a badass.


I made a light box, bought some ranuculous, and took pictures of them.
I went to Coronado where I enjoyed: an empty beach, family time, a fabulous brunch courtesy of Jaime, and finally getting to meet Gomez, Meghan's special friend. Apparently, I also saw a hummingbird.
I had just told Gomez a most hilarious anecdote.

One Saturday morning, Tom and I took advantage of pre-rainpocalypse weather to get in an outdoor workout at the Baldwin Park Stairs. Amazing views, but I think a weekday morning might be a better time to visit since I barely tolerate traffic when comfortably ensconced in my car, so dealing with it on foot while my quads are screaming is not ideal.

 I was treated to a Valentine's feast.

I went on a lot of walks.
 Apparently, Mother Nature is on board with the ombre thing...
 My parents came to visit. We ate well, went to see the National Geographic exhibition at the Annenberg, and I finally forced them to watch About Time, a very sweet movie for which I have a surprising amount of affection. Sadly, the only part of the weekend that I documented was the ten minutes we spent at LACMA's Urban Lights display.

And last but not least - I collected on my birthday gift. We giggled and cringed (in a good way) through The Book of Mormon, and I was reminded how very much I enjoy watching someone just belt out a song - even when the lyrics to said song are...probably banned in Mississippi.

And now - March.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Yeah, yeah, Hallmark holiday, consumerism, blah, blah... I do. Not. Care. Any opportunity to get my holiday on is alright by me. I feel a little silly decorating for non-Christmas holidays since it's just us, but what the hell? 
{Valentine's decorating from years past}

Side note: As soon as we add some mini Cusis to the family, I may have to be restrained. There will be holiday crafts galore! St. Patrick's Day, Flag Day, Dr. Seuss's Birthday... Apparently June 6th is National Yo-Yo Day... I mean, come on! The possibilities are endless! I may even let Tom tell them about Star Wars Day (That would be May 4th for you non-nerds, as in May the Fourth be with you... Groan. On second thought, maybe we'll skip that one.) Bottom line - as soon as we add a baby to the mix - it's gonna get real festive up in here. Babies like appreciate holidays, right?

Anyway - point is, a couple of weeks ago, I got out my clay, my heart cookie cutter, and my alphabet stamps and got to work... First I used the non-terrible conversation heart sayings. [There are a lot of terrible ones. "URA10?" Gross. "Tweet Me?"] Then I went on to more personal ones - our wedding date, inside jokes, etc. Then I had the brilliant (according to me) idea to look for inspiration in a list of Prince song titles at which point this became a slightly more risque craft... 

The whole project took me a couple of weeks because as much as I love a good craft, I don't tend to think them all the way through, sooo many missteps. In the batch pictured above, I forgot to poke holes for the string to hang the things on. In another batch, the holes were too small and I broke a bunch of them trying to force the string through. Then there was the whole challenge of figuring out how best to paint them... So after several crafting sessions/Call the Midwife marathons (Watch it!), I ended up with forty-something pink and red hearts, which I strung on some red and white bakers twine.

Despite starting this project at the end of January, I only actually hung these babies up two days ago. I'm definitely going to have to work on my efficiency. We'll see how long Tom feels like celebrating...

In other news, the end of January brought some changes to Casa Cusimano... Tom is no longer at the Corporation That Shall Remain Nameless. While this has some obvious downsides, it also means that we get to enjoy a brief period of extra QT while he prepares for the next great thing. This is particularly lovely on Valentine's Day when I got to take advantage of having my man around for a cozy, indulgent breakfast. 

As I may have mentioned, I love a holiday...hence, heart(ish)-shaped pancakes.

In a rarely achieved moment of perfect timing, I am wrapping this post up as my multi-talented, super sweet husband is putting the finishing touches on lobster tail and baked oysters. I am a lucky girl...

{Had to share this angle so that everyone can have a glimpse of Herman, Tom's childhood bear, who wears Hawaiian-print short-alls and lives on his bedside table. Unrelated - is that crooked lampshade making anyone else's eye twitch?}

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cover 26.2 Miles on My Own Two Feet...Check!

{my favorite part of marathon weekend}
Well, I didn't make my goal of breaking five hours and the last five miles were miserable at best, but I completed the damn thing. We all did. And that is pretty awesome.

Here's how it went down.The alarm went off at a decidedly uncivilized hour, and we were trudging toward the starting corrals with 25,000 other crazy people by 4:30am.

Since we forgot to send in times from previous races, we were all assigned to the last corral, P.  Schmoozimano put his charm to work and managed to get himself and my parents moved up to a higher corral, but the rest of us were stuck trying not to think too much about the reality of what lay in front of us while fireworks exploded overhead as the runners in corrals A through O started their races.

Finally, we got close enough to see the starting line, and by then, I was just ready to get the show on the road. I'm very sad that I didn't get a picture of the giant Mickey Mouse who was firing the starting gun because he had the creepiest blinking eyelids...

And then we were off. Despite two pre-start bathroom breaks, I had to pee by mile three, but the port-o-potty lines along the course were out of control. I decided to wait a while, but others went with a different option.

{so unfair}
The course included a lot of Disney parking lots, some Disney-adjacent highways, and the Disney waste water treatment plant. The parts of the course that wound through the different parks were welcome breaks from the long dull stretches.
{the Magic Kingdom}
{running through Cinderella's castle}
{Animal Kingdom}
{also Animal Kingdom... I think}
{costuming exhibit}
{Hollywood Studios}

Then there was a long stretch of misery that I would prefer not to talk about... 

Then there was the finish line, which was a glorious thing! With the end, literally, in sight and a vague goal of "finishing strong" swirling in my marathon-addled brain, I managed to pick it up to a jog for the final stretch. It also helped that I realized that the sooner I crossed the finish line, the sooner I could sit down, a prospect that was highly appealing at the time.

Tom totally killed it in his first marathon outing, running with my dad the whole way and finishing in four hours and 16 minutes. My mom was not far behind, so they all had plenty of time to meet up with the Cusimanos and Erin in the stands to cheer the rest of us on as we reached the finish.
{looking more confident than I felt}

Crossing the finish line was pretty great. Plus, there was the Mickey medal. And the foil blanket thingy that makes you feel like an official runner. Also the sitting. The sitting was excellent.
{Screw you, Marathon Foto, with your $30 digital download and your intentionally misspelled name.}
I still kind of can't believe I finished the thing, and I know I wouldn't have even started if not for these guys. I'm so proud of them and so proud to one of them.
{four first timers and four old pros}
{I'm especially proud of and grateful for this guy who jumped into marathon training wholeheartedly just because I asked.}
{Huge thanks to Tom's parents, Mary and Charlie, for making the trip to Orlando and getting up at an ungodly hour to wait for hours to cheer us on for a few seconds.}
It's been over a week now, and I can once again sit down and stand up without gritting my teeth and the memory of those last few miles is starting to fade, so while I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to do another one, I'm not ruling it out either.