Another wonderful weekend!

Saturday was Bree’s bachelorette party. All the girls went out to one of the best Mexican places in our hometown and basically parked there for the night, seeing how high a tab we can run. Bree swung by to my place on her way from Pittsburgh and her sister took us the rest of the way to the restaurant. Later after the festivities my wonderful fiance made the hour drive to pick me up so I could get properly intoxicated.

This place is really popular in town and have amazing food. The best part about this place? They make the best margaritas ever. What’s even better is that they serve them in glasses as big as your head.
Drinks this big also attract some attention, which is surprising that a drink would attract more attention than, say, a penis necklace, but you’ll have that. She got lots of compliments on the massive drink, and I was so proud. We also harassed the crap out of her for not sucking the whole thing down in five minutes, I’m not sure if we were aiming to give her brain freeze or alcohol poisoning…or maybe a little of both. Whoops! I ordered this beautiful peachy concoction for Bree at the beginning of the night, and she was still trucking along on it three hours later. Needless to say, I felt very accomplished 😉
I don’t think it helped that every time Bree said her fiance’s name her mom plopped a penis-shaped ice cube into her drink. The ice cubes are the questionable looking things floating around in the drink there, just in case you were wondering, haha 🙂 After we ran out of ice cubes every time she said his name she got a shot. Bree doesn’t drink too often, so we basically had a very cheap date on our hands 😉

I guess I should be a little concerned for my own party, Bree made it perfectly clear throughout the night that she was not letting me get away with getting her inebriated. I guess I’ll get what is coming to me….darn 😉

We keep things pretty simple around here, and birthdays are no exception!
Saturday Justin, Brian, Brittany, and I went out to celebrate Brian’s birthday at a local dive bar (which are always the best, hands down) and not only was everything cheap anyway, but we stumbled into an Augustiener (sp?) beer special, 5$ for a pitcher of beer. Needless to say we were in alcohol heaven. And aren’t they just adorable? haha. Justin and Brian were very very excited about their pitchers. their excitement was contagious and we all had a blast. Brittany tried her first ever fried pickle, and I think we’re going to have an artery-bashing day and try our hand at our own fried pickles (and mushrooms, YUM!) Justin and I don’t get enough use out of our fryer in the winter for obvious reasons. Anyway, we went out to see Brittany’s cousin sing in her band, but to be honest, I was already starting to sink under the table. I had my first shot of Three Wisemen (which is jose cuervo, johnny walker, and jim beam, OUCH!) I really don’t recommend it, it was pretty gross and very, very harsh. I like shots, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like shots that make me feel like I’m proving manhood or something. Give me Georgia Peaches or Southern blue any day, those are strong and taste good.
Here’s our DD for the night, the lovely Brittany. She DD’d because I refuse to drive her when she’s drunk. Biggest back seat driver EVER. Well, I’ll drive her again, as long as we’re not in the car longer than ten minutes 😉 haha. But seriously. BAD GIRL! 🙂
Judging from the angle I apparently cannot aim a camera to save my life. To be fair this was after Justin and Brian kept pouring more beer into my pitcher, and after a shot or two of manhood-proving liquor. that has to count for something, right? Yeah…I’m a lush.
I really do love a good night out. Lately with work it’s like we all really, really, really need it. It’s been awful lately. Busy as hell, and it’s hard to tell if we have more callers or if we’re just understaffed. I have to say it’s probably both. The company does really well, we install hundreds of new people every week, but we can’t hire fast enough to keep up with all the new callers. I guess I really cannot complain. The economy is almost in the toilet, and yet our job is so secure here that we are currently running mandatory overtime. As much as we complain about it, and complain about our jobs and yadda yadda, I do know deep down that we really are lucky, and should count our blessings rather than complain about them. I try to keep that in mind, although it’s definitely a trial.

Hello, my name is Ariel and I’m a work-a-holic.

I am now at the point where I keep changing my mind over wedding stuff. Things I liked a month ago I want to change and make it something I have discovered now. Take, for instance, my new little mini-obsession. I got the idea from for something a little different from the other thing I had set up too. To be honest, I really am a work-a-holic. I loved creating that. It took a few days, and I twisted every metal strand by hand, but I think it’s going to be worth it. It’s different. It’s not just another flower arrangement, and it’s something I created from nothing, save the vase, which I just love. it’s different! haha. I just hope I can stop here. I don’t want to come across something I love even more weeks away from the wedding.
Another thing I’m completely rethinking are the bouquets for bridesmaids. not completely rethinking them, because I love calla lilies, but maybe something different. Either that or I have a whole never direction for my bouquet 🙂
I plan on going to Pat Catan’s, a local craft store, very soon. Nothing says happiness like dropping $100.00 on pretty flowers and beads! I will be in wedding craftiness heaven!
Onto other exciting news…
Justin got a promotion! He is now a network operations annalist. how’s that for a super sexy title? Haha. So on Saturday, in true company spirit, everyone took him out to get completely wreaked. Let’s just say it is possible to do, you just have to have a spare $120 lying around. It was definitely money well spent, he deserved it plus so much more. I seriously feel like a proud wife, which is pretty much the truth. I’m just so happy for him 🙂 so here’s a picture of most of our more liver-sturdy co-workers, except for one rude lady flashing the tacky peace sign or bunny ears in the back there, we don’t know her. And that’s of course Justin on the far left, he got a funny tee-shirt from the bartender for getting the new job (or possibly all the tips we were throwing at him) and I do believe my boy looks very good in that shade of blue! Anyway, It’s 11:38, I’m ready to pass out, and I’m probably only typing 5 words per minute, I might even be in the negatives for how often I have to backspace. I’m freaking beat!

I love being legal.

I have to say, the excitement I felt back in January when I turned 21 has died down immensely. I don’t know why, but I felt that turning 21 would make me feel different (you know, just like how you think turning 16 and 18 would make you feel like a whole new person) Well obviously I didn’t feel any different at all. Granted, I have been going to bars since I was roughly 18, I really thought like I would feel like this incredibly older person.

Not so much.

However, it is much more convenient for both Justin and myself that I am now of legal age to purchase adult beverages. I think he was getting tired of running to the store for random things like wine or tequila when I’m trying a new recipe. Like the one time, I was making tequila lime chicken and needed just half a cup of Jose. Justin, being the savvy shopper he is, comes how with three gallons because it was “on sale”. haha, I do love him. Justin has a hard time controlling his excitement, even at 25, when venturing into the liquor store. He usually comes out with enough alcohol for many, many good nights. Maybe that’s the reason we never fight, we’re always drunk 😉 I kid. No really, we get along very well, with or without alcohol, which I hear makes for a good marriage. Speaking of marriage, I do wish I could move up our date sometimes, but right now I think we both have the house bug so bad that even I would rather spring for a house right now over a wedding. House before wedding. I think we’re doing it wrong. haha. Well, we were living in sin before we got engaged, and since we’re already living together might as well go for the gold. And I really want a cat. Our landlord is a cat hater, so that’s on hold right now. Anyway, on to the weekend fun.

So last night we enjoyed a Saturday night out in Hilliards, PA. It’s about a 20 minute drive from our place to check out a new bar called the Just Inn (haha, very punny) and to see a band called The Huckin’ Fillbilly’s. That’s them on the left, in case you were wondering. They were really great! There was a lot of energy and contrary to the name, they played all classic rock. If you’re in the eastern Ohio or Western PA area I would highly recommend catching a show. Justin and I ducked out a little early, but I do plan on seeing them again for a whole show. This was also the first time we ventured to this bar, and I have to say the Just Inn is pretty awesome. I don’t like super-huge bars, nor do I really care for hole in the walls. This place was a great size, great service, good food, and the people that went there seem like normal people. haha. It’s also in a great location- the middle of nowhere. It’s a nice calm drive back home on all back roads, which is something I severely miss since moving to Butler. We both want to live basically in the middle of nowhere, where you cannot see your neighbors. That’s pretty pricey, but you never know what you may come across. Who knows, maybe out dream house is nothing of what we were expecting. I would really like to go back soon, sometime next month I hope.

Today is Sunday, obviously. I work 10-4 on Sundays, and although I hate working on the weekend, I like the shift. I can’t wait to have that 9-5 or whatever day job once I’m done with school. I can’t wait to come home and be able to actually cook a dinner for Justin and myself (and future kids) and not have to pack it up in Tupperware because we are at work during dinnertime. That would be great. Until then, however, I will just have to deal.
And I have to say, I can pull off a dinner pretty well 😉 This was for Justin because he started having major cravings for ham. I have to say it was pretty amazing, and only lasted maybe…3 days. I discovered my future husband is a serious picker with ham. I’ll probably make another one for around the holidays. Maybe we’ll have our own private holiday dinner before we are running around like mad people as we try to hit all the family dinners. That’s the part I actually don’t care much for for the holidays. I wish both our families would just be in one place! Tonight is going to be pizza night, and in my new money-conscious mind set, Justin and I are going to make pizza from scratch together =) I discovered yet another blog that’s quickly becoming a daily read, and she has a great looking recipe for a pizza crust from scratch. I’m pretty excited to try it. I’ll take some pictures and share the struggle or triumph of my first attempt at pizza-from-scratch.

That’s all for now. Back to Monday again, unfortunately. Hopefully next week Justin and I will start squaring away some details for the upcoming Halloween festivities. I’d love to find a place to go out for Halloween, maybe we’ll hit that bar again. I do love Halloween. Maybe I’ll even share some pictures of Halloween past. wee!

Oh, there is something about getting away with your favorite person in the world that makes life just that much better.

Like this. That right there is my favorite person in the world, but I’m sure you already knew that. Oh, and my hair looks pretty damn cool too 😉
Baltimore was amazing with him there. On Friday we went on a crab feast cruise, where this picture was taken. Besides the food being amazing, we indulged in two bottles of Monkey Bay wine, which was awesome. We were so hungry when we started in on the wine I think we were half-way to happy land before we even ate. It was awesome =D We had never tried that kind, but I’m absolutely going to go find some, hopefully it is available around here.

Anyway, after all the eating, drinking, and occasional merry-making, the DJ started taking requests, my favorite song of the moment is You’re the Inspiration by Chicago, so Justin and I danced for the first time as an engaged couple to one of the most romantic songs ever conceived! The DJ asked if we were out on the cruise celebrating anything and I told him we had just gotten engaged, so he made a big deal about it the whole night calling us the engaged couple, it was so sweet =) Everyone kept congratulating us all night, although one girl said “good luck”, we weren’t so sure how to take that one. Maybe she wasn’t so lucky. We’re the lucky ones.

After the cruise we had an interesting time navigating back to our hotel. Justin and I have bad luck when it comes to finding our hotel after being out for the night. See, the weird thing is that the Sheraton Hotel, the one we stayed at the last couple trips, likes to have two of them in the same general location. Both times we ended up in the wrong hotel! Seriously, I don’t understand why you would have two of the same hotels in the same area, that’s just asking to make everyone all confused. Anyway. After we figured out what hotel we were supposed to be at, we parked ourselves at the bar and ran up a nice healthy tab. This picture was taken before Justin saw just how healthy the tab was, as he is still smiling and whatnot 😉 We got nice and drunk, and learned an interesting new shot: Dirty Bong Water. It’s delicious, and here’s what’s in it: 1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur, 1 oz Malibu coconut rum, 1 splash sweet and sour mix, 1 splash pineapple juice, 1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur. Smoothest shot I’ve ever taken. I’ve never known a concoction of all liqueur to be so delicious, but if you’re someone who shys away from real rough, throat burning shots, you would love it. Kinda fruity, kinda thick, in a good way.

This is a gorgeous picture of the inner harbor from our cruise. The crazy blue wavy thing there is the Baltimore Aquarium, which is a seriously awesome piece of architecture.

It’s kind of funny. When I was younger I couldn’t wait to move to the city from my one-stoplight town. Now that I’m older I realize that I would never be happy in the city. There’s always something going on, which is great if you’re a hardcore night lifer, but that’s not the kind of person I grew up to be. I’m still in awe of all the massive buildings and all the diversity and attractions, but at the end of the day I want to leave my window open and breathe fresh air and hear country silence. I don’t want to raise my kids around all that hustle and bustle, I want them to grow up riding dirt bikes and quads, I want to take them camping in our backyard when they’re little, then move on to bigger and better wilderness. I want to actually have a back yard for them to play in, and for me to grow a nice sized garden. The city has a lot of spectacular views, but it loses all the simplicity that I grew up appreciating, and I don’t want my kids missing out on that.

that’s not to say I would seriously hate views like this every day. If I had to live in a city it would have to be a port town. I do love the water and everything related to it. I would love to live on a big boat, if that’s random enough for you. Although I am terrified of very deep ocean. I’ll get in until the water is just over my head, then I’ll scedattle back to the shore. haha. That’s not just an ocean thing though, I don’t like being over my head in a lake. I’m a good swimmer, I’m just afraid of what I cannot see. Snakes, man eating sharks, you know, the usual. I will always love the ocean and the beach though. If I had my pick to move anywhere I would love to live in a little coastal town somewhere like Maine. I could get my water fix and my country fix too. I’m sure most people would love to live somewhere warm all the time, and I was right there with them until we went to South Carolina for vacation last October. The weather was gorgeous, but we saw spiders that were as big as my head, and I have some severe Arachnophobia and Entomophobia, which is the fear of spiders and insects respectfully. I’m terrified of just about any creepy crawly, whether or not it is completely harmless or not. Seriously, it’s kind of sad. haha.

I do love other animals though, as long as it’s not poisonous. I would rather come across a coyote or bear in the wild rather than a snake. Even a garden snake. This cute little turtle is safe though =) This picture was taken in the Baltimore aquarium, which is pretty freaking amazing. This was my second trip, but I still feel like a little kid looking at all the animals.

The zoo is setup so cool. It even has a rain forest at the very top. I even got pooped on by an exotic bird, no lie. It was gross, but I found the nearest leaf and wiped it off. No biggie.

Seriously though, a great day to me is just wandering around looking at all the different animals. I’m such a kid. When we were at the shark tank I would actually jump when the sharks came around. They get so close and you can literally see the mega-rows of pointy teeth in their mouths. I like a little adrenaline rush, though. One idea I’ve always entertained is doing that steel cage with the sharks in the ocean. I don’t know if an adrenaline rush like that would just be a heart pumper or a heart exploder though. My luck the steel cage would sink or something. I wouldn’t want to come face to face with a super huge shark, or a hammerhead because those are creepy. One of these little sharkies wouldn’t be so bad, I don’t think. At least if you’re in a steel cage one of those little buggers isn’t going to be able to rip the front off with its teeth…I think. eeep. They don’t look that ferocious, do they?

While we were at the aquarium they allow people to swim IN the tanks with stingrays, turtles, biiiig fish (not sharks, however) When I got home I had to look up how much it was, and ooooooo my. Probably have to save my pennies for $295! for some aquarium diving. YIKES! Although it did look super super cool. I would like to try my have at real scuba diving, money more well spent rather than in an aquarium, although I wouldn’t say no if they offered =)

In any case, there is still a lot of adventurous things I would love to do before my time comes. Scuba diving is one of the top ones. I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I die back when I was..17ish? I’d like to dig that up, it’s hiding in one of my journals. That might be my project for tonight, I’ll let you in on it =) I’d like to compare it to what I have done in that 5 year span. Maybe add some new ones. I’m still young, and have a lot of living to do, I’m sure I can put a dent in that list! I’m pretty sure the first thing on my to-do list was to fall in love, I’m pretty sure I can go ahead and cross that one off my list. Then, of course, start a family. I’m not sure if I really need to “start” a family. Justin is my family, as much as my mom, dad, and brother are. He really is my family now. he’s the one I come home to, do chores with, cook with, live with.

So now I think I’m done rambling on and on. Our vacation was wonderful, Justin is amazing, dirty bong water tastes much better than any other shot ever, and I would like to be a scuba diving pirate.

One more thing I’ll leave you with, because I’m a nerd who likes to collect quotes:

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong
1942-, American Author