so much sweetness

I don’t talk about my roommate a great deal in this blog. But want to note that she is a perfect human being. For example, she turned our deck into a day spa.

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And just sat there, playing her autoharp, singing La Vie En Rose like a perfect human being.

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Astonishingly, along with being perfect, she is also actually really nice and puts up with my tendency to trash our kitchen and fling school materials all over the living room. I have a sweet deal.

Speaking of perfection, I launched off this particular week of school both enjoying my perfect roommate’s company and hanging with my boyfriend at the wonderful Gugelhupf for a pre-birthday brunch (yes, time jumps all over the place in this blog. Just go with it) (Also, you’ll note that I failed to take any pictures this week of anything related to grad school. It clearly reflects that this was one of the last weeks before fall break and I was feeling under the gun during the school week and desperate to relish flowers, food, and sunshine over the weekend. C’est la vie).

So here we were in the lovely courtyard at Gugelhupf. They give you the mug for their perfect coffee with a cute little perfect cookie next to it.

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It’s always a great scene for people watching. Which is good, since the food is so delicious it’d otherwise be very hard to wait for it!

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Steve got a sandwich that included turkey, cheese, and apple chutney. He found the temperature frustrating (the turkey was kind of cold, everything else was kind of hot) but still liked it. And LOVED the german potato salad on the side (and so did I!)

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I, meanwhile, ordered what I’d like to eat for every meal if cost and nutrition weren’t a consideration: bread and cheese. With fruit on the side! The cheese was Saint Andre, a tripe cream brie. I gave the croissant to Steve (I just am not wild about them for some reason, unless of course they’re packed with bittersweet chocolate) but thoroughly enjoyed the cheese with (especially) a rye and some of the nut and fruit flecked breads.

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Since we’d done such a me pleasing activity (brunch) then we embarked to do a Steve pleasing activity: we met up with some friends in Raleigh for the bluegrass festival! I have to say the name was a bit of a misnomer, since it seemed to just as much be an everyone hangs out outside and eats fried food occasions.

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I randomly ran into a gazillion people I knew, which was fun. I’m hoping a random Bulgarian with whom I worked on a science education project is going to end up rock climbing with my boyfriend, as they discussed the possibility, ha!

Also, there were deep fried Girl Scout cookies. Our friends assured us that they’d had them and they were amazing. We did not partake, and in fact left fairly early because we had another friend date!

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Because I can’t go to a friend’s house without bringing something, I used the geographic opportunity of being in the Raleigh/Carey area to stop by my favorite Indian grocery store to pick up a host and hostess gift. Around the World Market recently expanded into the shop next door and now feature a bakery full of Indian treats!

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Going entirely with my eyes and their perceived deliciousness level, I selected this one pound box to share with our friends Dan and Bethany.

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The (more than a few) tastes I had were delicious. There were flavors of cashew, coconut, rosewater, and more delicious mystery spices. It didn’t totally match, since our friends had actually invited us over for tacos and margaritas, but it was still lots of fun. It was also just a very fun get together because our friends have an eight month old daughter who is the BEST! She laughs like Beevis and Butthead (I’m allowed to say this because her father said it first): “Heh heh. Heh heh.”

She’s also doing this cute thing where she’s close to crawling, but she’s very right legged. She basically gets on her belly, pulls her upper body up with her hands, and then uses her right leg as a tripod to shove her body across the floor. It looked exhausting, but she was very determined and was amazingly mobile using this technique. Babies, man. The coolest.

Lest I cope with the tragedy of not having enough sugar and treats for the day (sarcasm), we then joined our friends for chocolate fondue (!) and scary Halloween movies (!!!)

Myra was in charge of the chocolate fondue and when it looked a little thin just dumped in like an extra pound of chocolate, hahahaha. A girl after my own heart. For dippers there were rice krispie treats, apples, bananas, graham crackers, marshmallows, and potato chips (!). This was of course nutritionally justified because she’d bought everything at Whole Foods, so they were brown rice rice krispie treats and vegan marshmallows, so obviously the calories don’t count. God, so delicious.

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We watched Insidious and I contributed Indian snack mix, also purchased at Around the World Market.

Since it continued to be beautiful outside the next day, we went to Duke Gardens.

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And to finalize all the beauty in my life, then Steve got me some of my very own, in the form of these amazing orchids.

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In an astonishing and very uncharacteristic accomplishment, I have managed to keep these guys alive for at least three weeks now- and in fact they still look beautiful! (See the dying parsley hidden in the background to understand that this is rare for me).

So, though grad school continues to be tiring, I have my home arboretum and day spa, so I can’t really complain.

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