Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Celebrate The Small Stuff (in Big Snowstorms).

Utah saw it's first big snow over the weekend, and Chris and I took the hint to hibernate.

Well, at least on Saturday.

We made a Jones Original Recipe in our new wedding-gift CrockPot (thank you Darwin & Nikki!)...sweet & spicy chili! Get the recipe HERE. :)

Then, we enjoyed it while cozying up on the couch with Chris' favorite movie, the 1970s-era film about the TV biz..."Network." There's just something about watching someone's FAVORITE movie that lets you get to know that person just that much more. I loved the message in it, that the world as we know it does not support the cultures and individuals of nations, but rather, is one global culture of MONEY. That sentiment was echoed in a great documentary we watched last night called "Surviving Progress." Watch it instantly on Netflix!

During our day in, we also whipped out Chris' old photo album. I didn't know him as a teen or young adult, so imagine my intrigue at his shoulder-length hair in his Pixie-loving, Doc Marten-wearing Grunge days...his suit-and-tie snazziness when he moved to Utah in his professional years...and all the years in between. And this guy loves babies - every other photo was of him bouncing a smiling baby on his knee or patting it over his shoulder. He's going to be such a great dad. :)

We woke up to more snow on Sunday, and we were pretty excited about that. We decided to celebrate by trying a new place for brunch. Em's on Capitol Hill called to us, with its fresh, gourmet menu and chic digs. We loved sipping delicious coffee while watching the snow fall from a floor-to-ceiling window pane. So quaint, we wanted to stay there all day! And we ran into some news colleagues from another station who were secretly dating, like Chris and I did in the beginning! It's a touchy thing, dating your coworker! :)

Coffee with a view at Em's Cafe.

We made a smart decision to get off the hill before the storm took over the town. It took us nearly an hour to inch our way back to our house through snow that put icing all over the roads. When we got home, we decided we were going to stay there...or at least, not drive anywhere! But we got hungry eventually, and walked toward a well-reviewed but off-the-beaten-path eatery just four blocks away. This was closer to State Street, so the neighborhood gets really interresting.

I stepped in Chris' snowboot tracks as I followed him down the sidewalk towards lunch. When we got there, however, HUGE disappointment: CLOSED SUNDAYS! Argh. This seems to always happen when I pick the place. So we kept walking, with the idea that there had to be something somewhere nearby. We walked for several blocks down an industrial road, until we saw....the bowling alley.

The vintage sign didn't promise much. But once inside, we had everything we needed. Food. Drink. Laughs during our first time bowling with each other. Sweet! It was a nice little haven away from the cold, uninviting industrial tundra outside. Definitely some cheap thrills to be had as we got some accidental strikes while striking up conversation with the couple next to us. They were much better bowlers; the one guy did this ridiculous spinny move. Must come here a lot. I also ran into a musician I had on the 2News Morning Show one time. Today started to bare the theme that when you talk to people instead of just ducking your head and walking on by, you'll usually get a nice feeling out of it, and maybe grow your faith in humanity just a little bit.

Three games and six "meh" scores later, Chris and I said - time to move on. We kept walking down the street, stopping in a Pagan gift shop (Crone's Hollow), where Chris was open for a tarot card reading. We weren't compelled to stay long, though, so we continued our journey. Just a few minutes later, we hit the busy intersection of 2100 S. State St., and chose a spot to duck into, out of the snow. The Busy Bee looked alright, so in we went. It was pretty dive-y, but Chris ate some decent french fries. I hear their garlic burger is to die for, but we're not big fans of red meat.

Sitting on squeaky bar stools, we got into what we call "Confession Time." It turned out to be a pretty big conversation about our pasts. This relationship has been built on a foundation of honesty, so when some things started surfacing inside me today, I felt I needed to share them with him - and just as importantly, with myself. It's crazy the things you can bury inside, hoping they eventually go away. But they never do. They just turn into bad feelings, habits, even sicknesses. So, though it was hard to bring some of this stuff up, we were both grateful to start moving on past them with a clean, honest slate. I am so impressed with his maturity. I certainly didn't react as gracefully as he did, but I took it as an example of how to handle future emotions. And it made me realize that when I hear life counselors say to "let go of the past," I hadn't mastered it as much as I thought I did. Not only did I have to let go of a few things I had forgotten about, but I also had to let go of Chris' past.

Alright, time to ditch this popsicle stand. But walking all the way home in the snow did not sound appealing anymore. "Hitchhike?" I ask. "Cab," he says. So, waitress calls us a cab, and we enjoy a short, sober, $7 ride (including tip!) back to our Casa. Pretty green idea - walk there, cab back!

Back at the house, we wanted to settle in for the night. But our oven/range wasn't working, so what to do for dinner? We came up with a plan: I walk to the nearby restaurant for takeout, Chris walks the other way to 711 for other trappings.

I enter the Korean restaurant by our house, and am greeted by a cheerful waiter excited to take my order. There's only a couple other people in the restaurant. This is my first time here, and all I see on the menu is beef and seafood. I choose a couple seafood dishes, but they're out of stock. So I say, "Surprise me." The dude recommends a few dishes and whisks off to get 'em ready. "Sit," he suggests, before rushing away.

I sit down at a table, in front of a TV playing Korean programming. Lots of swooshy animations and "pow! pow!" sounds and graphics. At the other end of the table, an older woman is tearing a hunk of beef into shreds as she's glued to the telly. I try to make conversation, but the older woman just smiles at me, then summons a young woman over. "Can I help you?" she asks. She's hiply dressed, and quite welcoming with her demeanor.

"No, just making conversation, is this your mom?"

"Yes, she owns the restaurant," she says. I introduce myself, and she says her name is Hannah. We find we have a mutual friend (she knows my only S. Korean friend), talk about her love for the cosmopolitan Seoul, and other things. A commercial with a boy singing a "Gangnam Style" parody comes and, and the mother laughs and playfully whacks Hannah on the shoulder. She says something to her, and Hannah turns to me and says, "She wants to know if you know Gangnam Style."

"Of course," I laugh. "Why?"

"It's from South Korea," she explains, as I look at her in disbelief that we're having this conversation. "A company made it, and got a lot of people to watch it. Then, when it showed up on the 'popular' section on YouTube, it got even more hits and blew up."

"Interesting," I muse. I wouldn't have learned any of this if I had stayed glued to my phone while I waited. The waiter returns with my styrofoam containers, and I thank them all and leave. I have been gone quite a while, and am glad to reach home.

Chris and I try to enjoy some minced meat adorned with questionable condiments (is that pickled zucchini? and a runny fried egg?), but just aren't into it. "Frozen yogurt?" Chris asks, reading my mind.

It's nearly 10 p.m. at this point, and luckily, our favorite sweet spot is still open. We savor one last taste of the weekend, then head back home for a snowed-in sleep. I fall asleep smiling about all the little, lovely moments we shared - all the random fun - and deepening our connection. Sometimes a good snowstorm is just what you need to forget the frills, and celebrate the human bond.

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