Food, Car, Band, More Food

GG and I went out food shopping last night. It’s weird, whenever I go by myself I follow my list and am in and out of the store pretty quickly. But when I bring him with me, we take forever and get all kinds of random stuff. Not that that is necessarily bad, because usually I feel like we don’t have enough food at home, so I don’t mind getting other stuff with him. But man, we were in the Acme for like an hour and a half last night! Up and down every aisle, etc. We ended up with a lot of juices, fruit, rice, and – oops – some Cadbury Cream Eggs. Hey, they only come out once a year!

He took his car to the dealer this morning to be inspected, and so far he’s found out that his windshield won’t pass inspection due to a small chip in the middle that he’s had for months. The scrape on the front of his car from the guy who pulled out in front of him on Saturday is pretty minor. Yesterday he skidded on some ice on his way to work and hit a curb with his back tire, and unbeknownst to him, bent his axle really badly. The service guys were surprised he was even able to drive safely down to the dealership, because the wheel was barely touching the ground! So that sounds like something major. And he can’t get ahold of his insurance agent to send an adjuster out, and he’s down to one bar of battery life on his cell phone, and the landline phones at the place he works are down for some reason. So he is slightly freaking out. At least his insurance will cover a rental car for the next couple days while his is getting fixed.

Band practice tonight! I’m really putting off designing our concert poster, but now it’s time to get started. I was going to do it last night, but by the time we unpacked our groceries and I got food ready for lunch today, I was just ready for bed. So maybe tomorrow, since our president keeps (jokingly) bugging me about it every time I see her. (Which is often, since I sit next to her at practice. And she e-mails a lot.)

So what food was I getting ready for lunch? I’m really into this chickpea snack I read about in the Martha Stewart magazine. (Don’t laugh, my mom got me a gift subscription!) I don’t know the actual recipe, but you really don’t need it. Basically, you drain, rinse, and dry a can of chickpeas, toss them with a little olive oil and whatever spices you like, spread on a baking sheet, and bake for about an hour at 300°, stirring occasionally. They get hard, and skins get crispy, it’s great. You can use any spices you like – Indian spices would be good, or the magazine recommended oregano, or you could even use Old Bay or something. I’ve been using season salt, which makes a nice little salty snack. Maybe I’ll add this to the Recipes section of my web site.

Heroes Episode 17: Company Man

Wow wow wow. I really thought last night’s episode was going to answer a lot of questions, but I think it asked more than it answered. Yesterday I read a post on the Heroes TWoP forums from someone in Canada, where the show had already aired (how?). I was going to use that to structure my review, but they seem to have gone back and edited it. Oh well.

So, I really liked that the entire episode focused on one story. They didn’t even have anything at the end like, “Meanwhile, in Las Vegas… [Hiro looking out bus window].” The flashbacks being in black and white were a nice touch.

So we see how Bennet got his job (sort of – I still wonder how he got involved in all that in the first place), and my prediction was correct – Claude was his original partner! Eric Roberts is one messed-up looking dude. They never gave his name, but I doubt he is Linderman. Maybe Linderman is his boss.

The scene with George Takei… WTF?! First of all, Claire’s mom’s house burned down in Texas – why were they clearly on the roof of the Devaux building in New York City? Why was Mr. Nakamura there, and why on earth would he have brought young Hiro? And Hiro seemed old enough in that scene that he would have remembered a trip with his dad to a NYC rooftop – don’t you think he might have mentioned something about it when he and Ando were recently back in town?

When Bennet told his boss that he thought his wife was starting to suspect something, and the boss said, “There’s a new sensation,” I was like, “Haitian Sensation!!” (GG thought I was being too much of a fan geek at that point, and said there were probably nerds blogging about it right then during the commercial. Is it bad that I considered blogging about it during the commercial, too?) Young Haitian is just as creepy as Grown-Up Haitian. I wonder when he decided to talk – when he was a kid they thought he was mute, too.

Ted totally sucks. I hope they kill him off. He’s too crazy. On a similar note, how could everyone be in a house with him basically going off like a nuclear bomb, and not be sick with radiation poisoning or anything? He must be very selectively radioactive. Matt, meanwhile, is clearly going to be groomed to be Bennet’s new partner. That could be good – his power would be useful, and he does need a new job to support his wife and unborn child. (Also, who is that new girl working there? And what is her super power? They’re going to run out soon. Though I was thinking, there isn’t anyone with x-ray vision yet.)

The final scene… I had read was going to be heart-wrenching… it was. I sat there with my mouth hanging open. I guess Claire and the Haitian are both on the run now. (Hopefully they’ll run to New York and meet up with everyone else. Or run to Vegas, I guess, though if they work for Linderman, I assume the Haitian will want them to avoid that town.) I had read that by the end of the episode we would know whether Bennet is a good guy or a bad guy, but I don’t think that was necessarily the case. I think he is a good guy when it comes to Claire and protecting her, but his loyalty to his company, whatever they do, still makes him a bad guy.

Next week: Simone is back. Yes, but not for long. (Um, how did she survive that gunshot to the heart, though? Is she a hero too?!)

El Fin de Semana

Friday night, GG got some dinner at the mall, and then went to see Pan’s Labyrinth. It was really good, but it wasn’t scary like a lot of people had been saying. If anything, it was very sad. And violent. But mostly sad. It’s in Spanish with English subtitles (it’s a Mexican film, and takes place in Spain), and it was weird because I understand just enough Spanish for it to be distracting when I’m reconciling what they’re saying out loud vs what I’m reading in the subtitles. Then we came home and fell asleep until like 4 AM when we went to bed.

Saturday morning, a guy came over to give us an estimate for having our doors replaced. I think we’re going to end up using his company. The price is a little high, but they’re really highly rated on Angie’s List, and GG and I are willing to pay a little more for really good service. Then GG had to go to New Jersey all afternoon for band practice, and I ran some errands. When he got home, Julie and Brad came over and GG drove us into Philadelphia to met Jess and Rob for dinner at Serrano. We got in a tiny accident on the way – some guy pulled right in front of GG without looking. He’s probably okay, though – just some scraped paint and a little dent. So dinner was really nice, and then we ended up sitting and talking at the table for a while, until everyone started getting sleepy and wanted to go home.




Rob and Jess at dinner



Julie and Brad at dinner



GG and I at dinner (I looked away at the last second to make sure he wasn’t doing anything silly)

Today we went out to do some errands. First I went to my office so I could run in and grab my laptop in case it snows and ices so much that I need to work from home tomorrow. We got a couple spray bottles at Target so we can squirt Sacha when he’s naughty. And we went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to compare replacement door prices to the estimate we were given yesterday. And we got lunch. And now we’re sitting at home, watching it snow.

Regular Readers, Weekend Plans

I’ve been looking at the stats for my blog, and as far as I can tell, my only regular visitors are D, Saucy, Christine, and Sharkey, JP, and/or Marty. [Edit – 2/26] Oh, and Julia. [/Edit] Other than that, it’s random people who find me by searching for things like “spots on skin,” Stephen Asprinio, or Heroes. Oh well.

Tonight GG and I will probably go to see Pan’s Labyrinth. And tomorrow we’re going out with Julie and Brad and Jess and Rob to Serrano. And at some point I think I need to clean the kitchen. And fix our side gate with the broken latch so it stops flapping around in the wind all day long.

Week of Teeth

On Monday I had an orthodontist appointment. No, not to get braces. In fact, I’ve had braces and just about any other piece of orthodontic equipment you can think of, and actually finished treatment when I was in high school. This was just a regular check-up to see if my retainers still fit – a couple years ago I went back to have them modified to be night guards so I don’t grind my teeth. Everything looked great, they were very impressed with me, and now I’m finished treatment again! So I don’t have to go back unless something breaks, needs adjusting, etc.

After work on Tuesday I had a dentist appointment. This was the most painful teeth cleaning of my life! The hygenist really scraped and jabbed at my poor gums! My teeth did feel very clean afterwards, though. Then you know the actual dentist comes in, looks at my teeth for two seconds, says they’re good, and I’m done.

When I got home from band practice last night, I was eating some tortilla chips, and guess what! The bonding in the chip in my front tooth came out again! I was so ticked off! It was only like seven months ago that this happened before. And at least that time it was really sticky candy that pulled the bonding out. This time I wasn’t even eating anything crazy.

So as soon as the dentist’s office opened this morning, I called and got an appointment for this afternoon. Yay. This little chip just drives me crazy. It’s so small, it’s more like a flake chipped off the front of my tooth. You can’t really see it if you’re looking down from above, but if you’re below, it looks like a big notch out of my tooth. I don’t even know how it happened in the first place! It was right after I graduated college and moved back home, I was sitting on my bed reading a book and just noticed that my tooth felt funny.

Hopefully next week will be a week of something more fun, like a week of fluffy kittens, or a week of cheese or something.

Heroes Episode 16: Unexpected

While not a terrible episode, last night’s show felt like filler to me. Or at least, a sort of bridge to get us to the more interesting stuff. There were only a few advances made in the story, though I’m sure they will lead to major things later.

Hana and Ted meet, and find Matt. I was excited to see Wireless in person, but somehow disappointed in her voice..? It just wasn’t like I’d imagined while reading her comics. I was wondering, were people who don’t read the online comics lost at all when she just showed up? They didn’t introduce her very well on the show. Anyway, this went pretty much nowhere last night, but next week looks verrrry interesting.

Claire confronts her father about The Haitian. Awesomeeeee. So dad knows she knows. Also curious to see how this pans out next week.

Peter harnesses his powers, but starts using them for evil. Isaac accidentally shoots Simone. Way to go Peter! Your story has gotten a lot less boring and you’ve gotten less annoying. And a big thumbs up to Isaac for getting rid of Simone!

Hiro learns another lesson. Why do all the Hiro/Ando stories seem to be life lessons? Don’t give up on your dreams. You don’t have to have super powers to be a hero. Don’t abandon your friends. Bla bla bla. Too bad neither of them saw that Hiro can still stop time, sans sword. Now they’re going to have to continue on this silly quest.

Sylar and Mohinder team up to murder and research the heroes, respectively. First of all, did they drive from Virgina Beach to Montana?! Second of all, how long is it going to take Mohinder to realize who Sylar is? My theory is that first he’ll think Sylar is somehow following them, and that’s why everyone they meet is getting murdered. Then he’ll start noticing that “Zane” is acting suspicious. Then Sylar will accidentally drop a hint – maybe he’ll mention some new thing he can do, or otherwise reveal something that he only could have learned/done via a different power. Or maybe Mohinder will catch a glimpse of his watch. By the way, even GG pointed out last night what a shame it was to kill off such an awesome new character so quickly. SuperEars had a really neat power that would have been interesting to watch her use, and she was kind of funny, too!

So I’m really excited for next week, and the Bennet origin story!

This will be a long one

Dinner at The Melting Pot on Friday was nice. I’d wanted to go there for a while now, and it was fun and I’m glad we’ve been now. But I don’t necessarily need to go back. It was really expensive, considering you’re just paying for vegetables and raw meat, and it took a long time, and also I had to wash everything we wore that night because the smell of the cooking broth just gets into everything. Pictures!




GG during the cheese course. Probably my favorite course.



GG’s mushroom salad. I’d been told it was all mushrooms, and even the waitress warned him, but he went ahead and ordered it anyway.



Right before our main course.



GG got the French Quarter platter, which included steak, chicken, shrimp, and sausage. That’s the Coq Au Vin broth.



This was my meal. I was still a little nervous about cooking raw meats, so I got the vegetarian meal. (If you are a vegetarian, this is pretty much your only choice for a meal. Especially if you don’t eat cheese or milk [and therefore milk chocolate]. You’re also limited to cooking only in canola oil.)



GG realizes he might not have been cooking his meat long enough. (He was okay.)



The chocolate course – we got the Irish Cream Dream.

There are many more photos from dinner in my flickr stream if you’re interested.

Amazingly, the cats let us sleep in on Saturday morning. Usually they freak out if I haven’t gotten up to feed them by about 8 AM, but we ended up sleeping in until around 11! It was crazy! We had a couple hours to get ready, and then I went with GG to his band’s show at the Wachovia center. They were playing before the Wings lacrosse game, and a little during halftime, and a little after the game. It was fun – some other band wives/girlfriends were there, and since they didn’t play during the game, we all just got to hang out together for most of the time. I took a kajillion pictures, but I haven’t gotten them off my camera yet. So when I have them on the computer, I’ll put a link here. [Edit – 7:55 PM] Pictures are here. [/Edit] The game really ended up being an all day thing, and we didn’t get home until after 11 PM. We attempted to watch Saturday Night Live but ended up falling asleep. Eventually we woke up and went to bed.

This morning, the cats again didn’t try to wake me up. This is nice and all, but a little weird. I’m used to them being my weekend alarm clock. GG and I went out to do some errands in Plymouth Meeting. He got some t-shirts at Old Navy (just nice plain ones, for once!), I got a couple pairs of shoes, we got some DVD/video storage boxes at Ikea, and some craft supplies at Michael’s. And we had a $3 lunch at Ikea: three hot dogs, a bag of chips, and a drink with free refills. Perfect.

I can’t even stay awake to watch my imaginary boyfriend on TV

Yesterday I took another half a vacation day, so I could come in to work a little late, after things had started to get melty. I had a ton of work to do, because it was an SOP day, so I just got everything done and left a little early. I probably was here a little longer than half a day, but whatever. It was nice to be able to sleep in a little. And I did get a whole lot accomplished.

I tried so hard to stay up last night to catch my imaginary boyfriend on Conan, but I pretty much slept through it. I had an alarm going off every 10 minutes, so I caught his very last joke (which was great anyway). Then, the show must’ve been running late, because he didn’t even get to say anything when he sat down with Conan afterwards. Conan was just like, “That was really really great. Okay, goodnight!” Oh well. Hopefully the whole set will make its way to YouTube or something.

Tonight GG and I are going out for our Valentine’s dinner. We have reservations at The Melting Pot, which I’ve been very excited to try, but I keep reading all these bad reviews of it, so now I don’t know what to do. We’ll have to plan our strategy. Maybe just get a cheese, salad, and chocolate, with no meat-cooked-in-oil course.

Snow Day

I got that snow day I wanted! GG and I were out this morning shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, and I cleaned off both our cars and sprinkled salt everywhere… and the snow/sleet/rain kept falling, and now you pretty much can’t tell that we did any work outside. GG still had to go to work today, but luckily he works in the evening on Wednesdays, not the morning. So he just got to his store a little while ago. He says the roads are terrible. In fact, his parents, who are teachers, already have a snow day tomorrow. They keep plowing outside, but the problem is that stuff is still falling, so it’s basically icy slush piles everywhere.

Luckily, I’m able to work from home, which I’ve been doing. I finally got my work laptop to connect to my wireless internet at home! It turns out I was entering the WEP key as ASCII characters, but it should have been set to hexidecimal numbers. So now my dream of sending an e-mail from the toilet could potentially become a reality! But I wouldn’t actually do that.

And finally, I e-mailed John Mulaney, and then I wrote him again the next morning because I thought maybe I sounded like a stalker, and he wrote back that I wasn’t a stalker and it’s cool that we find him funny, and he’s going to be on Conan O’Brien tomorrow night!

Some links and stuff

Anthony Bourdain guest-blogs at Ruhlman.com, where he dishes (pun intended) on all the Food Network regulars.

I didn’t want to find another show to like, but I caught “Ace of Cakes” last night and actually really liked it! Everyone on that show is just so young and cool and talented! (And if you read the article above, you’ll see that even Mr. Bourdain likes it.) Here’s the actual Charm City Cakes web site – they are awesome! (Um, someone wanted a broccoli cake?!)

I have enough hats on deck to stock my shop for quite a while. I just sold two last week, but if you’re thinking of getting a new hat (or scarf, or whatever), consider getting it from me so I can clear out my craft room.

My weekend was so boring. Besides some errands on Saturday morning, I didn’t leave the house at all. (Which was fine, because it’s freezing out. I kept thinking I’d like to maybe go to the mall or something, but then I considered how cold I would be, and decided to sit under a blanket instead.) My grandmother came to visit on Saturday afternoon, since she hadn’t been to our house in a while. She hadn’t seen the kitchen since we did the new floor and all that, and she hadn’t seen Sacha since he lived in her back yard. She brought some beautiful flowers, which I put in a vase on the sideboard in the dining room. Saturday night, I caught Ivan and Sacha up there, with leaves and petals all around and a bunch of flowers nibbled off. I moved the vase into the kitchen, and I guess they didn’t find them overnight. Sunday morning, I caught Sacha on the counter eating flowers, and Ivan on the floor below eating whatever pieces Sacha dropped to him! So the whole thing went into the trash. It was a shame, because they were beautiful – but at that point, most of the flowers were destroyed, anyway. Oh well, I kept them as long as I could. (And don’t worry, before we even put them in the vase, GG had looked them up online to make sure they wouldn’t kill cats, since we knew they would get eaten.)

They’re calling for snow Tuesday night into Wednesday, which is totally fine with me because we’re having sectionals at band practice on Wednesday, so I’m kind of hoping the whole thing gets cancelled. (If West Chester calls a snow day, we can’t rehearse, even if the weather clears up by the evening.) I have two vacation days carried over from 2006 that I have to use before the end of March. I can work from home if it snows, but I have to use half a vacation day. So that’s four potential snow days I can take. The crazy ladies who sit opposite us said there’s supposed to be 1-3 inches of snow, but Heather heard 6-12 inches! Heather isn’t exactly known for the accuracy of her weather reports either, though.

To do today: Call the mason to see about scheduling sometime (when the temperature is above freezing) to fix our chimney. Call the doors and windows guy to see about someone coming over to give us an estimate (yes, he sent catalogs, which was nice, but they would have been more useful if there was a guy with them to tell us prices).