Sunday, March 17, 2013

Faraday's Fourth

Happy 4th Birthday, Faraday cat! 

 Muffin had a pretty exciting birthday party last night...or that was my St. Patrick's Day party. Either way, he enjoyed hanging out in the circle of people, watching and listening to our silliness. He even got to see the great outdoors for a heart-stopping sixty seconds, as he slipped past a departing guest and down the porch. The big world is cold and scary, though, so he allowed himself to be caught and taken back to the warmth of his indoor domain.

He sniffed, but did not eat, a multitude of green foods:

 He also patiently wore a tiny green hat for a minute or two, to the delight of our guests.

(He wore this hat for his third birthday. For his second, he got to wear a bow.)

Today, both of us recovered from having so many people over so late. He chose to dedicate his daylight hours to sleeping. I chose to walk seven miles, and revel in New Mexico's beautiful weather. Happy Spring, Friends, and I love you, silly cat!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Wedding of Geeks

On the weekend of February 24, 2013, I flew to Philadelphia to celebrate the marriage of Erica and Dan. I met Erica in 2008, at the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and graduate students in physics in Lindau, Germany. We were thrilled to discover that we lived a mere hour or two from each other, and have spent the last four and a half years knitting together when we could, and talking online almost every day about physics, Doctor Who, Star Trek, travel, being women in science...and knitting, of course. So when I moved to New Mexico, we just kept on with the friendship as nothing much changed. She's about to move to Canada, meaning I have another fun place to visit!

Dan is perfect for her. He is smart, loves the Doctor, and makes a mean cocktail. I assumed this wedding would have delicious drinks. I was not wrong.

So, I flew in Friday and took a train to Center City, where I met the girls at our swanky hotel for the Bachelorette Party. The details will remain hidden, but we danced until 2am and then had hashbrowns and eggs until 4am. Erica had a blast (as did we all). 

After a few hours' sleep, another accidental nap, and a frantic ten-minute shower-and-pack-up session, I met Kelsey for a day of eating our way around town. She found an amazing brunch place, The Dandelion Pub, with the best scones I've ever had. We bought delicious-smelling things at Lush, had cappuccinos at La Colombe, and a cocktail at The Farmer's Cabinet. After dinner in Newtown, PA, with Lee, we attended a party at 12PL in Princeton, NJ, home of a bunch of Princeton plasma grads. It was almost like old times.

The next morning, after saying goodbye to Kelsey's kitties,  I had brunch at Craig, Melissa, and Erik's! Erik is going to be TWO YEARS OLD in July. He is walking so well and talking up a storm. He gave me the best tour of an apartment I've ever gotten. We saw the table, the chairs, the toys, the dog, and countless other items. He's a complete joy to be around. (Says the person who doesn't live with his almost two-year-old self.) Melissa made scrumptious stuffed French toast, and then Craig drove me to the train station, and then I said goodbye to Princeton. It was a beautiful fifteen hours in a place that still feels an awful lot like home.

I merrily read my way all the way into Philly, made my connection, and happily read almost all the way to Media. I could have sworn I was supposed to get off in Media, but at an earlier stop, the conductors yelled, "IS THERE A JESSICA HERE????" 

"Ummm, yes?" I said.


"I really don't think I am..."


I skeptically dragged my things to the door. Sure enough, Marianne was waving at me with a big smile. 


Okay then! We drove to her beautiful house where a gorgeous bride was enjoying strawberries and champagne while waiting for the gals and photographer to arrive. We giggled, we reminisced, we primped, we ironed, we posed. We packed...and we drove to the ceremony!

Dan and Erica had a sweet, quirky, intimate wedding with only about forty people. I felt so privileged to be there. I met family members, physics classmates, psychology classmates, restaurant business friends. Their vows were touching and included scifi jokes. They looked fabulous together, as always. We all signed their marriage certificate as witnesses. People toasted, with more scifi references. The dinner was amazing (I had the pasta), and I had a terrific time chatting up several of their friends. They know very interesting and diverse people. After the main event, we retired to Diego's, the tequila bar Dan manages. The staff decorated it like a speakeasy with Doctor Who influences. The place was packed with more friends of the happy couple. It was terrific. Marianne, her husband, Jeff, and I were exhausted by 11pm, however, and we retired to their house, where we caught about fifteen minutes of the Oscars before succumbing to the very long weekend. 

Jeff was kind enough to give me La Colombe French press in the morning before he drove me to the airport. Bless him. The trip home was not the best I've had, but I'll leave you with the high point: knitting in a sunny spot in the Philadelphia airport for two hours while drinking my first latte of the day.  It was the perfect way to unwind from an exciting weekend, jam-packed with amazing people and food. Thank you, Erica and Dan, for getting married, and for inviting me to the party! Love you!