fighting the introversion

Sometimes it’s easy for me to feel like a creepy loner. Especially when I’m single. Especially in the summer. It’s funny- summer is my favorite season but also the time of year I tend to get most depressed because it’s like “WAHHHH why are all those beautiful people out in the sunshine having fun and I’m sitting in here being sad?!”

So this post is useful to remind myself that I have, in fact, been doing fun things. And also push myself to do more. Just yesterday I made two new friends at my favorite coffee shop. Then I attended one of those strangers’ (public, I’m not an idiot!) birthday party.

In other fun events, I went with some chums to see Magic Mike XXL. Fabulous film. They didn’t bother with a plot at all!

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Public health students (two of whom are in the Nutrition Department) of course had to get heart healthy snacks. Mine was mint chocolate chip!

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Went to a Greek festival with my some other friends. Lots of music and dancing and sunshine and FOOD.

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It was crazy because there was this group of little girls who danced and it was like OH OKAY COOL JUST LOOKING AT MY CHILDHOOD THEN. (My sister and I were in the Greek dancing troupe at our church growing up. I was kind of neurotic and methodical about learning all the right steps and my sister, three years younger, just skipped around giggling and of course SHE GOT ALL THE APPLAUSE BECAUSE YOUNGEST CHILDREN).

Anyway, this picture is a big ol’ nostalgia trip.

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Was there with my friends who have a baby, and baby was ENTHRALLED by the dancers. Kept clapping and clapping!

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Naturally we ate a lot. I looked after the baby while they got food (note that they did not tell me to do so- rather, I decided to do so whether they wanted me to or not) and they came back with a sizeable spread.

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Pita and tzaziki x2, fries, dolmathes, greek salad, spanikopita x2, and…

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Loukomades! Greek donuts soaked in a honey syrup. I knew these would be good because they were lumpy- essential to good loukomades.

At the festival, we also enjoyed a baklava sundae and a Greek wine tasting. And, on the part of the baby, had a thrilling time with hula hoops, traffic cones, and the always fascinating blades of grass.

Another fun friend activity- this was a few weeks ago, when I was cripplingly depressed after the shootings in Charleston (slash depressed about the whole world in general) and put out a request to the world of Facebook for someone to come hang out with me and make me feel like part of a community. Several friends came through, the first of whom was Andrea, who met me at my favorite coffee shop. We ended up getting stranded in there after closing time due to an epic and beautiful rain storm. The power was knocked out, so we played blocks by (LED) candlelight. Quite romantic.

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(Andrea does not as a rule talk to other people on the phone while hanging out with me. But, at the time of this picture, she was getting ready to move- away from me, *sob*- and frantically selling all her stuff).

Myra and Alex had me over for one of their usual feasts.

The salad contained fresh greens/cooked black lentils/cherries/cherry vinaigrette/marinated red onions/pumpkin seeds, plus was topped with goat cheese. There are several similar recipes online but I can’t find the exact one, though I can tell you that Myra finds most of her recipes on Food Gawker.

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The feast continued! Myra had been having a stressful few weeks at work and, luckily for me, when she’s stressed she likes to cook fancy meals to decompress. Awesome! There were also amazing homemade crackers, and fancy rum cheese. I brought some unexciting but good panzanella.

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The real masterpiece, though, was the dessert!

It was a KEY LIME PIE SUNDAE! Homemade lime curd (!) homemade shortbread (!) vanilla ice cream, and meringue topping (!) that, lacking a kitchen blowtorch, we beautifully toasted with a lighter (!!!) It was super duper incredible, and crazy filling. That recipe you can find here (though Myra simplified a lot- thawing ice cream just to mix in strands of lime curd and then refreeze it is silly!).

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Another fun meal-

I was working in another county’s health department for the day and met my classmate who’s working in that county for a post-work walk/chat/eat. It was SO GOOD to talk to her. This classmate has lived a lot of life and brings a lot of wisdom to every conversation. We both did a little venting (she has a lunatic preceptor, I have a nasty co-intern) and enjoyed a stroll by the river.

And thennnn it was time for amazing Mexican food! These pictures are actually of Melissa’s dinner- she likes taking pictures of food too! (I haven’t told any of my classmates about my blog. I’m debating whether to do it because it can be awfully helpful to kvetch about people in secret and I’m not sure I’d want to give that up).

Anyway, Melissa got, as I did, a delicious sope topped with beans, cabbage, and fresh cheese. Melissa can’t do the gluten thing so she was delighted to learn that it was easy to get corn tortillas (even the tortilla chips you get with your guacamole!) rather than flour.

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And she got these super pretty fish tacos! (I got shrimp tacos)

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Enjoyed another fun meal al fresco with the baby. You would never know what a little demon dog she is when you watch her sleep so adorably.

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