Not My Day

Today was not my day.

I like to get up at a reasonable time on weekends, but we somehow ended up sleeping in until 10:30, which is so late for us. (I think what helped was that I got up and fed the cats and then came back to bed, so they weren’t bugging me anymore.)

GG and I went to Ikea to get additional shelves for our Billy bookcase so we can store all our DVDs on it. We went straight to the self-serve furniture area and looked up the shelves on the computer, then went to the bin where they were supposed to be, but they weren’t there! But then GG found them a couple spots away. So I guess that part of the day worked out ok.

Then we went to Home Depot so I could return something I ordered online. To return an online order, you need to have printed the receipt you were e-mailed. I had to wait in line for like 15 minutes behind this guy who was returning a million little things in a box. When it was my turn, the lady at the returns desk told me I actually had to go to the regular service desk. So I went over there and the girl scanned my e-mail, then scanned the item, and somehow they didn’t match up on the computer. She couldn’t look up the item manually, so she had to call customer service and get a number to look up… and then I realized I’d printed the receipt for the wrong item, so no wonder it didn’t match. So she just looked up the order using my credit card and was able to credit me for the right item.

Then we wanted to buy a Dremmel tool, which the guy in the tool department recommended. But apparently every Home Depot except this one has it in stock. So we’ll have to get it elsewhere.

Then we went to the mall for lunch. On the way there, I tried to change lanes but there was a car in my blind spot that I almost hit. I ended up not being able to change lanes so I had to turn around somewhere so I could get into the mall. We parked near the food court because I wanted to eat at the Saladworks there, but Saladworks is gone. GG got mad at me because I don’t like Indian food. I went and got a sandwich at Subway, then turned around to look for GG. While I was walking and looking across the food court, a baby was toddling around and fell in front of me, and I stepped (lightly!!) on her hand.

When we got home, GG put on some DVRed episodes of “Louie,” but I fell asleep. Then he went out to meet his brother at a bar. I stayed home and did some laundry and cleaning. He called me when he was on his way home – someone had ripped the rear-view mirror off his car! (Ok, that was more GG’s bad day than mine, but it still affects me.)

Good thing I have next week off work – I can really use this vacation!

Teeth, GNO, Baby, Boppy, Coupons

Friday was a long but fun day. On Thursday night, the bonding came out of my front tooth where I chipped it like seven years ago. And of course the dentist’s office had just closed. So I stayed home from work on Friday morning and called the dentist as soon as they opened at 8. They were able to fit me in at 8:30! The best part was that the woman who usually does bonding does not work on Fridays, so they asked if I would mind if a different dentist did it. That was fine with me, because I really do not like her, and thought she did a bad job last time! It turned out that my regular dentist, who also doesn’t usually work on Fridays, was filling in that day, and he did the bonding. He did a great job! It was a pain, but because of the timing, everything worked out great.

I got to work before 9 AM, and I bet nobody even noticed I wasn’t there because there were zero other people from my department in the office. After work, it was time for our 3rd Quarter Girls’ Night Out! This time around, we went to Benihana for a hibachi dinner. Dinner was lots of fun, except we like getting together to talk and catch up, and sitting around the table with a cooking surface in the middle, it was a little hard for people on the other end to hear each other. So after dessert, we walked across the parking lot to the mall, where we hung out in the food court and chatted until it was closing time.

On Saturday, MB and A came out to visit with baby R! GG and I went with them to Elevation Burger for lunch (it was either there, or Qdoba, but since they’d never tried Elevation before we thought we’d go there). Then we split up, to give A an “estrogen-free” day. GG and A came back to our place to play guitars and drink scotch, while MB and I took baby R to her first trip to the zoo. It turned out when we got there that the zoo was closing in a little over an hour because they were setting up for an evening event. But it is not a huge place, so I figured we could see everything by then. And we did! I got lots of pictures of baby R meeting the animals, because at 5 months old, she is never going to remember this. When we were done, we still had a few hours to kill before meeting the guys for dinner, so we went to the mall to shop and walk around. (And breastfeed in public. So much public breastfeeding that day!)

At dinner time, we met up with the guys at Rock Bottom and had a nice meal. Then MB and A got on the Turnpike and headed home, and GG and I went back to our place… where we saw that baby R’s Boppy pillow had been left at our house! This was enough of a tragedy that MB and A got off the Turnpike at the next exit to turn around and come back here to get it back. But once that was taken care of, GG went out to a comedy thing and I ended up falling asleep on the sofa.

Today while I was food shopping I made a real Extreme Couponing move. Keebler is making a new type of mint chocolate cookies. Because they are a new product, my store had them on sale for $1.99. And because they’re new, there was a coupon in my weekly coupon circular for $.55 off a pack. This was doubled at the store, so I got the package for $.89. And they are delicious. Overall, I saved 20% off my grocery bill today, which I think is a totally reasonable amount and is usually my goal.

Linky Thursday – 9/15

Case Study: Rebranding Hell: Have you noticed Hell’s new logo and tagline?

Zombie Engagement Photos: What an awesome idea! This couple really made their photos fun and included their personality. (Found these via Regretsy, but the photographer’s site shows them “the way [she] had originally envisioned.”)

30 Rocks: Sesame Street is so smart. I found this 30 Rock parody by accident (was actually searching for a clip about Slaughterface – “If you are a woman in Connecticut, Slaughterface will kill you.”)

“This day will soon be at an end and now it’s even sooner”

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail about local restaurants known for their cheese plates. As you know, I am obsessed with cheese, so I forwarded the message to GG to think about maybe checking some of these places out. He wrote back that he was going to surprise me for my birthday by taking me to one of the places mentioned in the message. “Garces Trading Company?!” I asked. Why yes! So we were there this past Saturday.

I had a few weeks to research and think about what I wanted to eat there, so I think I got everything I wanted – though I would love to go back to try a flatbread pizza, or some other cheeses…

When we got there, they asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside. Usually I hate eating outdoors, but I’d heard that inside was crowded and noisy, and it was. Someone had compared it to eating in the middle of DiBruno Brothers (a fancy deli/cheese place). So since it was a beautiful evening, we sat outside. It was a relatively quiet street and there was some good people watching, the only drawback was that the subway was right below us and periodically it got noisy while it passed under the grate by our table. Also, the sun was setting when we first sat down and it was right in my eyes for a little bit. But otherwise, it was totally perfect to sit outside – great temperature, no bugs, and for once, no humidity!

First they brought us some sourdough bread, which was served with one of their California olive oils (a bottle of it sat on the table), and a little dish of really large-grained sea salt. It was amazing. I would come here again just for the bread and olive oil.

Next was my reason for being there, the cheese plate. We ordered the Chef’s Selection of Cheese and Chef’s Selection of Charcuterie. The cheese plate came with three different cheeses and three different accompaniments. We had a hard Italian cheese with roasted garlic dulce de leche, French Bucherondin (soft goat cheese) with some sort of berry jam, and an amazing rich blue cheese with truffle lavender honey. I am now obsessed with blue cheese + honey. And the garlic dulce de leche – who would even think to pair caramel with parmesan?! Well it was fantastic. The charcuterie came with three types of house-made salami, two types of homemade mustard, and a bacon-wrapped lamb terrine. Again, awesome. Luckily, GG stuck mostly to the meats and I got to enjoy more of the cheese. And they were served on these great slate boards.

I’d kind of messed up when ordering, thinking things were going to come in a different order than they did, so we also had a salad. GG and I split it and it worked out well. We had the Insalata Semplice, which included poached nectarine, pistachios, and an apricot vinaigrette. Then came the main course, which I’d seen online, and was the reason I’d asked if we could go on a Saturday: grilled hanger steak with duck fat fries, mushrooms, and bĂ©arnaise sauce. It was delicious! But so much food! Good thing I noticed the note on the menu that it was a meal for two, before we ordered two of them!

Finally, it was time for dessert. We were pretty stuffed, but I heard that they had fabulous macaroons. The caramel and sea salt macaroon, in particular, was known to be awesome. So I ordered just one of those, and GG ordered a coconut and lemon one, and then because we were celebrating my birthday, the waitress also brought this little chocolate cake and a candle. Look how long it took me to blow that trick candle out! They had just gotten these new candles at the restaurant and I guess didn’t realize they were the re-lighting kind, though the waitress did comment that she thought it was weird that it didn’t blow out when she walked out the door with it, like they usually do. Oh well, that was funny. We went inside to check out the GTC shop before heading home, and GG got a box of six salted caramel macaroons to take with us… yum.

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. I went to work on Monday, my actual birthday, and then GG and I used a gift card to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We absolutely hate when the restaurant staff gathers around a table to sing Happy Birthday, so we made sure not to mention it was my b-day there. Then we heard them singing at a table on the other side of the restaurant. Then they came and sang at a table right next to us! I think both GG and I had a little panic moment that they were coming our way at first, but he promised that he hadn’t told them! The rest of my week is so busy with work and appointments and stuff. But I get to see my chicklet (and Mr. chicklet, and baby chicklet) soon!

* I’m sure I’ve used another line from “Older” in a birthday post previously, but since it’s the 10 year anniversary of Mink Car I thought I’d use it again.

Lug Life

As a sort of early birthday present to myself, maybe, I bought a Lug Puddle Jumper Overnight bag, which I have been wanting for a long time. I was worried that it would look like a diaper bag, but it really doesn’t, especially in the dark gray color I got. And I was worried, based on the pictures on the site, that it would be overwhelmingly huge, but it isn’t at all. In fact, I sort of wish it were a little larger – especially if you’re using that shoe compartment for shoes. I’m happy with it overall, though. It’s really well made, the zippers seem super sturdy, and there’s tons of pockets everywhere. Can’t wait for my next trip so I can strap it onto the handle of my rolling luggage..!

Last night was our first night back to band practice. As usual, after almost two months off, I did not feel like going back. But I had a fun time. Usually there’s at least a couple pieces that I’m really excited about playing, but I didn’t feel like that about anything we practiced last night (and we played through all but two of our fall pieces). We do have a couple weird ones, though: “Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas” (Sousa’s favorite encore); a Lady Gaga medley (one old guy to another on the way out of practice: “Who is Lady Gaga anyway? Is she a movie star?”); some stuff from the World of Warcraft soundtrack (we didn’t play it, and I have no clue what it’s like, but video game music is often cool); and a Michael Buble medley that includes “Moondance,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” (never expected to play Van Morrison in band).

In other news, I will be leaving work early today so I can go home and check on our basement, because I’m so worried about all the flooding! Apparently, I shouldn’t have even come to work today, as officials have asked everyone in the county to stay off the roads! I had no problem getting to work, though, and a lot of other people are here today, too. Here’s a little of what they’re dealing with a bit further west. (The thing about the bison is so sad!) We’ve got rain on the forecast for like the next week, so… awesome.

“Felines and dames in flames will hardly serve your aims”

So quiet at work today! I guess everyone is out on vacation…

Since this is probably our last free weekend for a while, we’re finally doing some work around the house that we’ve been putting off. We were going to do this last weekend, but then, hurricane. We’ve moved all the furniture away from the walls, so I guess that means we’re definitely painting this weekend. I have to pick up paint and supplies on my way home from work today.

Anyway, I’d better get back to work… For the Friday before a holiday weekend, I have a surprising amount of work to do!

[Edit: 7:19 PM] This was weird, though I don’t know if it warrants its own post. By the time I left work this afternoon, there were only about ten cars in the whole parking lot. As I approached mine, this woman called me from across the lot. She was a young Indian woman and explained that her vanpool left without her and she didn’t have any way to get home, so could I either give her a ride to her place (wayyy out of my way), or at least to the mall where she could catch a bus? I actually had like 50 places I was going to stop after work, but I agreed to take her to the mall. As we got into the car, I was thinking, “I hope this isn’t some kind of scam, or she’s going to murder me, or…” But she was fine. We had a nice/awkward chat in the car. I took her because I hoped that if I were ever stuck somewhere like that, someone would give me a ride if I needed it. And I survived. [/Edit]