Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009


Here are the reasons why I won't be posting for the next week and a half:

Monday: Inventory day. With Internal Auditors. Two of them. Woo! Then bell practice. I anticipate I'll be crabby.

Tuesday: Day One. I fully expect that I'll get nothing done on Monday which will result in my staying at work on Tuesday night until a most unreasonable hour. I anticipate I'll be crabby again.

Wednesday: Day Two. Really, I might as well bring a sleeping bag on Tuesday since I'll have to be back at work at a most unreasonable hour on Wednesday morning. This is also the day of our employee Christmas luncheon. I might hurt Santa, so I'll try to steer clear of his jollity. I plan to bake the majority of the cookies for our party Wednesday night. I anticipate I'll be crabby and will probably burn myself. More than once.

Thursday: Day Three. Things should be calming down at work by now. We'll be going to the comedy club to see Mitch Fatel. This should improve my crabby mood by quite a bit. I hope. (So does Adam, I'm sure.)

Friday: Day Four. If things aren't better at work by now, it's going to be a rough month. We're supposed to be having a UWO Accounting get-together for dinner, but I still haven't heard where we plan to go. Hopefully they figure it out.

Saturday: Party Day. Will spend the morning prepping and putting up the tree, the afternoon cooking and setting up the tables. Will spend the evening either cursing humanity or feeling fulfilled. Possibly both. Will then crash.

Party Preview

Keep in mind that this year is the last effort for a successful Christmas party. Response thus far has been more encouraging than last year's, but still pretty slow. We'll see how things end up.

With how ridiculously busy this coming week will be (more on that in a bit), I can say I'm not putting as much effort into this party as I did the previous two. But that's not to say I'm totally slacking and just putting out trays of crap we bought at Sam's Club. (That did cross my mind as a possibility though.) Nope, still plan on baking and cooking. Here's what's on the menu:

Hot Food:
Apple, Cheddar, and Turkey Meatballs
Seafood Dip
Chili (my preferred kind - with meat and beans, no noodles)
Chicken Wonton Stars
Spicy Sausage Wonton Stars
Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Baked Potato Bites

Cold Food:
BLT Stuffed Tomatoes
Cheese & Sausage Tray
Fruit Tray
Veggie Tray
Chex Mix

Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch
Chocolate Mint Bars
M&M Cookies
Various Pre-Fab cookies (I think there are some macadamia nut, snickerdoodles. Don't remember. I suppose I could go downstairs and look but I'm too lazy to do that right now.)

We also have the hot pot for making hot chocolate, tea. We went out and got a variety pack of K-Cups for our new Keurig coffee maker as well. Fun stuff.

So yeah, please come to our party next Saturday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Updated NYC Plans

We went ahead and re-booked our trip to NYC next May. We had my dad on the phone while we looked for flights and hotels. We both booked the same thing so we’ll carpool to and from Milwaukee and will be staying at the same hotel. This will ensure we’re not stuck somewhere completely different from everyone else. We’re flying out on Monday and back on Wednesday, but hopefully there will be time to take in some of the sights and see that play. I’m not budging on that. Adam doesn’t want to go, but Catherine expressed interest and I told Dad and Cheryl about it too. Maybe even will be able to convince my mom, depending on her schedule.

SNL = sadly not laughing

Remember my Youtube post? (and really, how could you not, it was there at the top for like two weeks…) Oh, SNL, you sank to a new low this past week. January Jones was the host (yeah, me too. Who? Is it wrong that I thought she was black until I saw the promo spots?) She was just terrible. It was painfully obvious that she wasn’t used to giving live performances and the skits were so dumb. Grace Kelly farting? Lesbian reporter hitting on a DQ employee after a heist? Ugh. Once again, too much Kristin Wiig. Seriously. Give the lady a week off. Sadly, the best thing during the whole show was when the Black Eyed Peas beat up Kathie Lee in the opening sketch and that was in the first 15 minutes. This had better be the low point because if it gets much worse no one is going to watch anymore. I have hope – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is up this week and I like him.

Screening Room

Watched a few movies lately. With all my Oscar movies out of the queue, we’re getting older movies from Blockbuster. Recent titles include:

Meet Bill (eh)

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (Yes, it’s a Veggie Tales movie. I realize I’m about 20 years over the suggested age. I still think it was hilarious. Best line ever: The pirates are on an island and they have to get across a pretty vast part of ocean to get between two rocks (that conceal the secret cove) before they close. The tomato dude says, “I don’t think it’s possible, and this is coming from a guy who just swam (lots of) miles with no hands or legs.” Bwahahaha. Ok, so I guess you had to be there…)

The Ugly Truth (too many easy jokes, but not horrible)

The Anniversary Party (Wonderful - talk about jam-packed star power!)

We've got Hamlet 2 currently sitting on the end table to be watched.

There's a Ringing in my Ears

Interesting developments in the bell choir these past few weeks. Nancy had been getting increasingly moody. As in two weeks ago, we waited downstairs as we usually do until after 6:30 and she didn’t show up. We finally decided to go on up and see if she was already upstairs. Lo and behold, she was there going through music. She proceeded to give a speech about how we’d have to stay late because we were starting late. We were all speechless. Last week we went upstairs as soon as we got there to avoid another awkward start. This past Monday she announced she had good news and bad news. The bad news – we lost one of the new ladies – Ms. Giggly. I thought about asking if that was the good news too, but refrained. Heh. The good news was Joan would be ringing with us for Christmas. This puts us one ringer down, but Nancy seemed in a MUCH better mood so hopefully we can get back to normal. It’s been a rough season so far. We’ll be ringing for the first time this coming Sunday.

In a particularly weird moment on Monday, Nancy stopped us when she thought something sounded off. When I pointed out that one of the ladies was ringing D instead of D flat she said, "thank you, handbell police." I was a little taken aback at first. I know I can come across as being a snobby know-it-all, but I was honestly just trying to save everyone time. I usually keep most of my comments to myself. She apologized, said it wasn't meant to come out that way, but still. Ouch. Oh well. Thick skin is needed I guess.

Turning Japanese

(I have like twenty other entries I'm behind on and I'll get to them this weekend. I hope. I blame my blogging hiatus on the fact that Adam upgraded my computer to Windows 7 last weekend and I'm still recovering.

We now return you to the original blog entry...

Adam’s been on a major sushi kick lately. With me not being a fan of fish, be they raw or cooked, he’s been on his own for the most part. Last night as his dinner out for the month he choose Katsu Ya, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Appleton. I agreed to it because I looked at their menu beforehand and saw they had these Yakiniku dinners where you grilled your own meat at your table. Sounded fun (and wasn’t raw fish) so I figured I could deal with it.

He made reservations and after the cats were fed we headed up. (On a side note, traffic at 5pm on the highway is nuts. I’m so glad I rarely have occasion to try and navigate it.) We found a parking spot right in front of the restaurant. We headed inside, confused the hostess as to where we wanted to sit, figured it all out, and made our way back to the sushi area. The décor of the place is neat. The tables all have these huge red fans as their back. Adam said they were mighty comfortable as he had one of the ribs of the fan on his back giving him a massage of sorts.

I was immediately aware of the fact that there was no flatware on the table. Napkins, yes. Cute little faux-wood bowls, yes. Chopsticks, yes. That’s all folks. I had completely forgotten that I’d probably have to eat without the help of a fork. Now, chopsticks and me, we don’t have a good relationship. I’ve tried to nail down the technique before, but apparently since I hold pens “wrong” when I write I’ll forever be behind on the learning curve for chopsticks.

Adam ordered an appetizer made of cucumber, salmon, crab, cream cheese, and fish eggs. I laughed when he asked if I wanted to try it. He said it was delicious and I’m sure it was. I just prefer…different things than he does. He looked through their extensive sushi menu, decided on his order, and we got it all to our server. My “grill your own” came with soup – I choose their house soup rather than Miso (hello fish base!) The waitress said it was beef-based, but it had a strange overtone of something else I couldn’t quite identify. It wasn’t bad though. Had plenty of green onions floating in it.

The middle of the table was removed, exposing the gas grill mechanism. The grate was inserted, flames ignited, grill oiled, and I was off. I got the chicken (I know, shocking), which was marinated in some soy/sesame concoction. The grill cooked kind of unevenly so I had to move things around to get everything cooked through. It was good. It came with rice and some sort of dipping sauce as well. Not sure what was in the sauce, but it had some kick.

Now, back to the chopstick dilemma. At first I tried to hold them correctly and pinch the food or whatever. It just wasn’t working and resulted in Adam laughing at me a lot. But I pressed on, being mostly successful in not getting food all down the front of my shirt. The rice was another challenge. Luckily it’s sticky rice so it’s not like I had to eat it one grain at a time. I used my soup spoon for a bite or two which I realize was totally classless. In the end, I made it through the meal with just a slight case of carpal tunnel from clasping those two wooden sticks so hard in my fingers. Adam tells me I should use some skewers and home and practice. I say the next time we go to a Japanese restaurant I’ll hide a fork in my purse.

When we were done eating and emerged from the darkness of the bar into the damp darkness of the street we discovered we still had 55 minutes left on the parking meter. Since Katsu Ya is two doors down from Déjà Vu, and it wasn’t yet 8 so the Monkey Bar wasn’t open, we figured it wouldn’t be too naughty to go sit and have a martini before heading back home. Gotta live a little, right? We were one of four couples in the bar and, as fate would have it, one of the other couples included one of my co-workers. We chatted for a little bit as they were on their way out. We had also chosen seats that resulted in me having to look at a painting of (tastefully) naked people every time I looked at Adam. Very distracting.

Adam was quite taken by their bar snack mix so he looked it up online and found that it was sold at Aldi. So guess where we stopped on the way home. It’s been years since I’ve been to Aldi. We found the snack mix pretty quickly and then browsed through the rest of the store. Adam found quite the deal on the La Brea bread we like. He proceeded to buy 6 packages, which I think might have been overkill, but they’re frozen and will last awhile. We finally made it back home, unloaded, and watched some DVR shows. We’re falling behind again this week – we’ve been busy doing other stuff.

So, in summary: I suck at eating with chopsticks, the sushi place wasn’t that bad (and didn’t smell), there’s nothing wrong with boozing it up on a weeknight, and I should maybe think about shopping for some stuff at Aldi.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Burning Questions, YouTube Edition

1) Why does this season of SNL suck so much? Seriously. Not one of the hosts so far has hit it out of the park (or even been much good, actually. Worst - Megan Fox. Best - Ryan Reynolds.) Also, too much Kristen Wiig, not enough Andy Samburg. Remember my idea about having Justin Timberlake appear in every episode? Maybe not such a bad idea...

2) How did David Archuleta not win American Idol Season 7? I admit, I didn't really watch it and I've only voted once - for Clay in Season 2 - but really? Have you heard him sing?

(PS - his Christmas album just came out. The tracks I've listened to so far are wonderful. *swoon*)

3) This stupid song, "Replay" has been, excuse the pun, replaying in my head continuously over the past few days. So annoying...

Make it stop! (Ok, so that really wasn't a question, but I needed to get it out there...)

I feel better now. It's been a long week.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Just Pictures

Carly explores the floor:

Hey, she might actually be a cat - she shows interest in a cat toy!

Ted, hard at work in Adam's new office chair:

JC prefers browsing the bookshelves

Or catching a "catnap":

Carly gets in on that from time to time as well:

And finally, Happy Halloween from Carly a day late, but just as cute: