29 April, 2007


There is nothing about the movie The Breakfast Club that makes it worth staying up watching it until 3 am.

Especially when the alarm goes off at 9.

But I'm not going to complain about being tired because Scott rolled in some time around dawn. Oh well, at least that should be the last of the late nights for him until this time next year.

28 April, 2007


Well, I am glad to see that you, my three faithful readers (not you Sponge), are under the impression that I can keep a secret. But now please allow me to share one of my own:

I can not keep a secret.

I can, however, selectively choose who I tell the secret to. Scott hears most of them. But I think that most people understand that when one of us knows, the other will find out within 24 hours. Reyna's pregnancy went like that. She told Scott, Scott told me. And although we were sworn to secrecy, we each heard from someone else within 48 hours. She can't keep a secret either!

Sometimes my out-of-state friends (again, not you Sponge) hear the can't-tell-anyone-must-tell-someone secrets. Mom gets a few of those too.

I also don't keep secrets of my own. Secrets are a short hop from lies, which I avoid whenever possible. They eat away at my insides and ultimately bring me around the dark depressed section of my brain. It's best to avoid that altogether. That being said, I have found that having just one person to confide in pretty much lifts that burden. And again, there are a bunch of people out there - separated by many many miles - who hold little pieces of my self for me when I become too much to hold.

So please - tell me your secrets. I can be trusted to not reveal them to people you know. But you should know that some anonymous person out there will probably also know your secret before too long.

27 April, 2007

Appreciated Person

So, in case you missed it, Wednesday was the day formerly known as Secretary's Day (or is it secretaries' day? well I guess it doesn't matter because now it's "Administrative Professionals" Day instead). It's the day where umm... I don't really know what happens. It's not like bosses give their "administrative" people the day off. Flowers? Lunch? Maybe that's it.

Anyway, apparently I rate as an A.P. in this job. I came in yesterday to flowers and a card from our Chefs. Actually, the flowers are fake and they live in a really neat looking vase, which is good because it means Scott won't eventually have to scrape a layer of slime out of the vase when the flowers die and the water turns stagnant.

Speaking of work, I had two nearly identical conversations with two different management-level people yesterday, both of which started, "don't tell anyone but..." Amazingly enough, both proceeded to tell me the same thing that I was stressing over on Monday. So yeah - apparently in this job I am officially IN the loop. That's a strange departure for me. Apparently, I am also perceived as someone who can keep her mouth shut (silence from the peanut gallery!!!) and who can keep a secret (really - stop - I can hear you laughing from here). That's an even stranger departure.

Such is the life of an administrative professional. I guess.

25 April, 2007

...Oh So Pretty

Scott and I spent the afternoon over at Epcot, taking my camera out for some practice during the Flower & Garden Festival. Wow - I can't believe quality of some of the pictures. Here's some of my favorites:

There's tons more bonsai and butterfly photos over at my Photobucket slide show. There's also a few toparies, but I don't think I was as impressed as I have been in years past - same stuff, different year. The ones I bothered to snap photos of were new within the past 2 or 3 years.

24 April, 2007


I believe I may have already mentioned that I've been on an "expanding my work wardrobe by wearing clothes I never wear" kick, mainly by actually wearing the skirts in my closet. A lot of this recent fashion swing is the fact that I have finally found a type of pantyhose that a) don't cause massive friction between my thighs (who hate each other and are at constant war), b) aren't expensive, and c) don't cause elephant ankles or droopy crotch. Besides, I got 2 skirts on clearance at wal mart (stop judging me!) for under $20 for the last cruise, and thought it might be nice to actually wear them again.

So anyway, now that I have determined that I will, in fact, wear a skirt to work, I have decided that I need to buy even more of them! It seemed that I had seen lots of pretty skirts in fun colors and patterns while searching for work pants, and that I'd probably be able to find them everywhere we went.

Not so much.

I actually found two dresses at Dress Barn, tried them on, and ended up with neither. Both were sleeveless and would have required a white cardigan or shrug to make them work-appropriate. And they weren't on clearance. In fact, the 10% of the store that used to be clearance had been re-purposed. The Horror! One dress was absolutely adorable - red print on white fabric with a faux wrap front, v back, full skirt, and cummerbund-like pleats on the waist. I tried it on in two sizes, one too big and one too small. The smaller one fit perfectly in the waist, but the neckline showed a little more decolletage than would ever be appropriate for work. The other was more of a straight silhouette, and was a big lime green and white print. I just couldn't justify spending $50 on a dress that I couldn't wear without buying something else.

We actually went to Target, another Dress Barn, and Marshall's and came up empty. The only thing I ended up buying was at stop #2: Old Navy. This skirt draws way more attention to my @$$ than is entirely necessary, but it was only $10. If I get two wears out of it (which I probably will) I feel that I can consider it a wise purchase. Sadly, the brown t-shirt isn't work-appropriate. I do have an ivory short-sleeve sweater that I think will work, which will go well with my existing ivory flats (my only brown dress shoes are loafers - totally not good with a skirt!).

I might try again next week. I want to find a new purse (also struck out today with that), and still would like to add some pastel into my wardrobe.

So, any thoughts on this skirt? I'm torn between "fun and flirty" and "tacky print - what was I thinking?" Need help? Here's a close-up:

Off the Edge

Wow! I didn't realize I had gone so long without posting. I meant to post yesterday before my dentist appointment, but I guess I was having too much fun playing stupid Internet games.

All that being said, I really don't have too much to update. I went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday. I think my gums are finally starting to recover from the water torture. I also went into work for what I assumed would be a 4-hour stint to finish making the confirmation calls for the big wedding happening in May. It ended up only taking me about an hour - plus 1/2 hour for other stupid things that needed to be done.

I had a wee meltdown at/after work yesterday, which lead me to go over to Scott's office and take him out for ice cream sundaes. I needed the ice cream. The meltdown is over something I can't really publicly talk about, and something that didn't really deserve the freak-out it got, but you know me - always good for that sort of thing! I might be able to talk about it in a week or so, but by then I might not want to. We'll see.

So Scott and I actually have two days off together this week, free from any sort of dental appointments, and plan on actually enjoying them together. What a concept!

21 April, 2007

Acting Like a Girl

I am a Grad Nite widow. It's ok - it's only 4 nights a year, and I do enjoy my solitude in small bites. Scott rolled in at 5:30 this morning, and will probably be out until about 'til the same time tonight.

Last night I took advantage of some quiet time at home to act like a girl - I curled up on the recliner with the last two scoops of ice cream (still in the carton), and watched a chick flick. I don't really care for Jack Black - one of the biggest over-actors of our time - but I love Kate Winslet, and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law aren't so bad either. The movie was actually better than I expected it to be.

Tonight I'm going to go to bed by midnight. I had a pretty productive day at work today, and feel that I deserve a full nine hours of sleep.

By the way, if anyone ever offers you a chocolate bar that looks like this, tell them you gave up chocolate for Lent (or some made-up holiday). Who makes chocolate with dates and shitake mushrooms, anyway? Here's the description from some random website:
A dream of a thousand and one compositions. A puree of Jordanian sun-drenched dates mixed with Arabica coffee revelling in a white chocolate cream. On a further layer, spices and the Asiatic traditional health mushroom Shiitake are immersed in a dark canache. Colorfully created and wrapped in a dark chocolate coating.

Riiight! It tastes a little like soap, and I got a piece stuck in my tooth that I had to let dissolve because the tip of my tongue was repelled by it! I'm not sure who gave these to our Chef, but he's been giving them out like... umm... candy. Just yesterday, he gave me a bar of fennel-orange hot chocolate mix. It requires warming the milk, and the directions are in metric, so I'm waiting to see my husband again so that we can share that experience! The company is based in Austria, and judging by these flavors, Austrians are a pretty wacky bunch!

20 April, 2007

What a Pair!

Tom and I got together for out almost-annual lunch yesterday. Of course, due to my crappy work schedule, lunch ended up being breakfast. And our almost-annual photo is tropical instead of in front of Cinderella's Castle.

He's down with the Lenape senior trip. He's the junior advisor this year, and will be back next year as well with his seniors.

We had a good time catching up at breakfast at Kona Cafe. (I had pineapple macadamia nut pancakes, which were tasty, but the nuts were actually in the pancakes. It turns out I prefer mine without little pebbles in every bite.) I say "catching up" because that's what you do after you haven't seen each other in a year. But nothing has really changed for either of us. He's getting set for his sister's wedding - that's about the biggest news there is. Still, it's nice to have people in my life who, when I see them, pick up right where we left off.

Scott and I are tentatively planning our next "since we're not pregnant, let's go blow some money" vacation to NYC. If we drive up, Tom says we can crash with him, and we can just hop the train to New York. We want to see Wicked (yes, again) and Mary Poppins. Of course, that's at least a year away, but I'm already day dreaming about it.

For now, I'll content myself with knowing that Tom will be back this time next year, and we'll be able to get together for lunch yet again.

18 April, 2007

Money Money

This month so far has sucked for us financially.

Actually, the past week has sucked. Three out of the past five account activities in our joint checking account have been major withdrawals - $400+ for my car repairs, $700+ for rent, and $300+ for our tax payment. Not to mention the hunk of cash Scott paid for his wisdom teeth. (can someone please explain to me why the insurance company won't pay for IV sedation? sheesh!) That expense, however, came out of his FSA card, and doesn't impact our day-to-day spending. Plus, we have about $300 in bills coming out of the account on Thursday. Eek!

We also had money in a 9-month certificate that ended about a week ago. I forgot to move the money back to savings in time, and now it's in a 6-month certificate. Oh well, it's available if we absolutely need it, and it's out of reach of my sticky fingers. That's probably for the best.

So yeah, taxes this year turned out to be quite the project. Scott sold some of his ESPP stock last year, and the free file version of Turbo Tax isn't equipped for that form. They wanted me to pay $50 to upgrade to some deluxe investor version. Umm... no. So I started all over on Monday with H&R Block. I paid the $29.99 for their premium service, but ended up finding a deduction I had missed that was worth $100. I also went ahead and started withholding money on my W-4 so that next year we won't owe anything. That is so annoying! And neither of us will be selling our stock unless absolutely necessary. I would prefer to go back to free filing next year!

Oh well, with my overtime shift yesterday (50 hour week - what was I thinking???) and Scott working Grad Nites this week and next week, our financial cushion should be re inflated pretty soon. Thank goodness!

Blow High, Blow Low

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Snap a picture of wind. Naturally, it's difficult to get a picture of the wind itself, being that air is generally transparent. however, it's easier to get a picture of how the wind is affecting other things: hair, flags, kites, so on and so forth. You can see where I'm going with this.

OK, I was truly planning on checking out the topic of the MPS this week and going out and actually taking a picture for it. And had I checked on this earlier yesterday, I would have gotten a killer picture of the trees across the street blowing like mad. Sadly, I didn't. And so once again I am delving back into my archives from... the cruise.
The picture above is Scott, he of the plastic LEGO snap-on hair, demonstrating just how windy it was up on deck 10 on one of our at sea days. You can actually see his clothes blowing as well.

The other two pictures were taken just about a year apart, on two separate ships, but both during the "Sailabration" sail away deck party, and I'm drinking the same beverage in each - a daiquiri/colada swirl in a souvenir cup. (in the second picture I'm also holding Scott's Mojito) These pictures were also taken up on Deck 10 - one with the wind in my face, one with the wind at my back.

P.S. - bonus points to the first person who can tell me from what show the title of this post is borrowed.

16 April, 2007

Tomato - Day Twelve

Wow! Two little green tomatoes already! This plant is growing like crazy, sporting 2 more blossoms and another bud or two above the little 'maters. I got home from work last night and Scott jumped up from the couch and dragged me out to the balcony to see them before I even put my stuff down. He's pretty excited about it.
By the way, you can see a little of the cilantro in the background of this picture. Scott rescued the little dill that could and potted it in its own container, and since then the cilantro has expanded with weed-like speed.


Just a quick update to let anyone who might care know that Scott has survived having his 4 wisdom teeth yanked. Everything went really well - they didn't have to cut or drill or anything - and now he's taking uber-motrin to head off the serious ouchie to come. (that codeine allergy is apparently quite a bummer right about now!)

And by the way, there's a special ice pack they make for dental patients - like a long sock with velcro on the ends and two tiny ice pouches. It amuses me.

Of course, the other man in my life, my boss, is having his back surgery this afternoon. He's going to be out probably until the end of May. I think Scott may have the sweeter side of this day.

15 April, 2007


Last night I had a dream that I had my hair in a ponytail.

if only!

I'm finally growing out that ridiculous cut I got - the one after the Locks of Love cut. But I can't even put up a half ponytail because the top lengths of hair, especially the ones around my face, are still to short to join the party.

14 April, 2007


This is just a quickie. Mostly for myself so that the next time I get totally overwhelmed at work I can look back and read this.

Yesterday G and I buckled down and got a lot done. I got almost halfway through my little project (making calls re-confirming RSVPs for an upcoming wedding) and we also managed to get two days worth of phone calls made.

Plus, M is on vacation this week and I'm working an extra shift on Tuesday, so I'll be able to make calls that day. And since D took this week off for her kids' spring break, I think she wants to pick up an extra shift next week.

And just like that, I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to finish our darn taxes!

Oh yeah, and for some strange reason my raise (which I thought would kick in at the end of the fiscal year or the end of the actual year) kicked in on my last pay check - a whopping 45 cents per hour. Doesn't sound like much, but that's and extra $900/year based on straight time alone.

13 April, 2007

Friday the 13th

It seems we have settled into yet another Friday the 13th. This date isn't really scaring me - I'm having trouble envisioning a work day worse than the one I had yesterday - but I thought I'd mention it. Besides, I don't know about you, but I've already had a black cat cross my path.

Today is G's last day. And aside from the fact that we'll be understaffed again, and that I had a huge "do this now" multi-day project dumped on me yesterday (I knew it was coming, but thought I'd have another two weeks), and we're already behind on our phone calls, I'm really just going to miss her. It has been really nice coming into the office two days a week and having someone there already. She's been fun. And God, she was competent.
But enough about that. I had another of those random "firsts" last night - had to witness The Boss's will and living will. You can't have the latter signed by blood relatives, so Under-Boss and I got that great honor. I signed it, but told him I was going to be mad if he dies. And apparently he didn't leave me anything. Pah!
Oh yes, and one more thing I can't write a whole post about because I'm afraid of offending anyone, but I am so pissed off about this I can hardly believe it. I can say with total certainty that I have never heard Imus's radio show, and that my life will not change without him on the air every day. I can also say that in my life, especially in my school years, I was completely surrounded by a culture that made fun of every group equally - black, blonde, Polish, Irish, Indian, smart, dumb, fat, thin... We weren't offended - we fired a barb right back. How anyone can get on television and, with a straight face, say that the comments he made were "like a slap in the face" MUST have grown up in some kind of bubble. Why haven't they fired every radio or TV host who said Nicole Ritchie and Lindsay Lohan need to eat a sandwich? Oh yeah - because Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aren't running to their aid. I really don't see the difference.
Well, I'm off to Publix to buy a goodbye cake, a get well card, and some pantyhose (random shopping trip of the month). Happy Friday the 13th.

12 April, 2007

...and Zoom Out

Here's the reveal for the Monday Photo Shoot extreme close up:

That tacky gold rose was actually one in a series that runs around Belle's fancy ball gown. This was one of my favorite "Jamie" moments on the cruise - standing up on the stage and getting up close and personal with these fabulous costumes.

Random Fact: The Cruise Line costumes are all created by the people at Creative Costuming at the Disney MGM Studios, and you can see into their workshop from the Backlot Tour tram ride.

10 April, 2007

The Red Car

I've got a red car!
Nah, it's not really my car. But I have the keys and am legally allowed to drive it. And I'm not even paying for it.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, I have the red car because my check engine light came back on Friday morning. Yes, it was just last Monday that I took my car in for the very same problem! This is even more ironic when you consider that I didn't even drive the car Tuesday or Thursday. So the nice man at the dealership told me to bring it back today and gave me a loaner until mine is fixed. I didn't have to yell and scream or anything!

Did you know there is a Hertz rental place inside my car dealership? I wonder how their business does. I bet pretty well...

Anyway, the red car (it's a Nissan Sentra) is ok. The brakes are WAY tighter than mine (causing a little whiplash for poor Scott), but once I learned to use only my big toe on the brake I was ok. And the seat has some lower back support that's quite lovely. Oh, and this car likes to go 70. Frances's ideal speed is about 55. That's fun!
(btw, that's not the actual red car - just a look-alike)
As for Frances, Hyundai Man called this evening and told me the check engine code was for a leak in my something I can't remember, which has to do with emissions. So now they're going to put some kind of mist/fog thing in my emissions and plug it up and leave it overnight. In the morning, they'll check the pressure and see if there's a leaky seal somewhere. It sounds very interesting and high-tech. And since he didn't mention money on the phone, I'm guessing this part of the process isn't too expensive.
And I'm hoping to get my baby back tomorrow.
Since the dealership is right down the road from the Florida Mall, Scott and I decided to go to Buca di Beppo for lunch and then wander around for a while. Great plan, except for possibly the worst menstrual cramps of my life, which caused me to stop and moan (quietly (I hope)) in pain every few minutes in every store we stopped in. It's ok, I'm better now. And my related cold and hot flashes caused me to buy a really cute cable-knit sweater at Old Navy (on clearance for $7). I also got a get well card for the Boss, and a goodbye card for my favorite ship-jumper. And lunch, as always, was tasty, especially the pistachio canoli we got to go and ate right before we left the mall.

09 April, 2007


Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of something in extreme close-up -- so close it's hard to tell what you're looking at. Ask people to guess. On Thursday, reveal what you've photographed.

Oh boy, these are my favorite photo shoots! I think this one is pretty tricky. Scott has a chance, but I'm not sure anyone else does. So here goes...

I must admit, I'm a little bummed I just used those Easter egg pictures from work - that would've been great! Oh well, I think this picture looks pretty grand, don't you?

As John asks, I will be back Thursday to reveal the big picture.

Update: Here's the zoomed-out picture.

Cooking Tip of the Day

20 minutes is not 1/5 of an hour. Mental math done while stumbling towards bed for a nap is probably not good. Follow my logic here for timing a piping hot ham for dinner:

* 1 pound cooks in 20-25 minutes, therefore a 5 pound ham will cook in 1 hour, so my 11 pound ham will cook in a little over 2 hours. I won't have to start it until 4, which works because I was only planning on napping until 3.

start to drift off to sleep and then...

* 25 minutes is almost 1/2 hour. At 1/2 hour per pound, my 12 pound ham will take 6 hours. Crap! It's already 2:00! But we'll assume that my ham will cook in the 20-minute range instead of the 25 minute range.

sleep for exactly 2o minutes, wake up realizing your horrible math error, and head for the kitchen to bake a ham.

So after I got the ham in the oven (which had pre-heated itself while I was wrangling the ham - which is not actually a ham but a pork shoulder wrapped in a fishnet stocking because 10 pm on Easter night at Wal Mart is not an ideal ham-buying situation), I used an actual calculator to determine when my ham might be done. At 11.67 pounds, my ham will be done between 6:25 and 7:40. At the time, that seemed perfect because Scott worked 10-6 today.

oops - I forgot to factor in the lunch break. Scott works 10-6:30, and has to stop at the store on the way home. He's really not going to be here much before 7:30, and even that assumes that he'll leave work on time, which he rarely does.

But it's ok - the ham will probably still be cold when he gets home. Last time we made a ham (which was actual ass-ham and not shoulder-ham) it took WAY longer than the directions said it would. Besides, I didn't put the thermometer in it, so I won't know when it's done anyway! It'll be ready when Scott gets home to hoist it out of the oven. 12+ pounds of cured meat, pan, and 1" of water is heavy, and I have crappy upper-body strength.

This, boys and girls, is a pretty good object lesson on just why I don't cook. It's heavy, slimy, requires forethought and planning, and leaves pools of pink hammy goo all over the stove.

08 April, 2007

Happy Easter

mmm...chocolate bunny ears...

I have a snippet of dialogue from work last night that I'd like to share. This conversation took place between me and under-boss:

Me: if you come in the office later and I'm on the floor twitching and unconscious,
Him: kick you?
Me: no! don't kick me! tell the paramedics that I've eaten my weight in jellybeans in the past 48 hours.
Him: ...and they should pump your stomach and prepare for the rainbow gelatinous mess?
Me: yes. and don't kick me!

In retrospect, possibly not funny enough to have typed (twice, since I e-mailed the conversation to Scott last night at work). But it really points to my state of mind. Sugared out! That being said, I'll probably hit the jellybeans hard again today. After all, they're not chocolate, and they are fruit flavored. They must be healthy!

Is anyone out there having ham today? I like ham. We're having Chinese take-out that Scott got last night on his way home from work. Oh well, at least I got pork lo mein!

07 April, 2007

Easter at the Restaurant

Just thought I'd share some of the random chocolates adorning The Restaurant this week. I was pretty impressed!

First, the front and back of the giant chocolate egg. Yes, chocolate. The thing is about 2 feet tall and was hand painted. With chocolate. Amazing!

Well, if you're not impressed by that, you may as well just skip the rest of the pictures. The next one is the detail of the front egg. Having absolutely zero artistic talent really makes me appreciate this stuff even more!

And, despite our kid-unfriendly reputation, we have two little chocolate bunnies. Aren't they precious?

Let's not forget the Easter flowers! Every now and then the florist really gets it right. I'm only sorry I didn't get a shot of the entire arrangement. It's gorgeous!

Of course, that's within the hallowed walls of The Restaurant. Back in our cinder block office with fluorescent lighting, Easter looks a little different:

I have to say, I'm proud of how my little Charlie Brown Easter Basket turned out. I forgot the grass I bought at Publix, and had to make due with the little bit that was already in this basket (which was already in my office from who-knows-when). And in case you were wondering, nobody is eating the Peeps. Oh well, I like the yellow ones. I ate three of them today (not the ones pictured above - I have the leftovers in a bag in my desk).

So... any Easter decorations where you are?

05 April, 2007

Tomato - Day Two

Before I go any further, I wanted to point out that my Blogger main screen informed me today that my 444th post was on 4-4. I thought that was so cool I needed to remember it always. <--Loser!

Does anyone know what this tiny little blossom belongs to? Granted, the title of the post might have given it away. Yep, it's a tomato plant - Scott's newest project. More specifically, it's a Roma tomato.
Just think, before long we'll be able to make all sorts of tasty salsa and pasta sauces (or perhaps just a lovely caprese salad) from our own little balcony garden!
Anyway, Scott bought and potted his new "baby" yesterday while I was at work. So today really is day two. I figure the tomato project will go on longer than the CHIA project (only two months for two thriving herbs - I'm a believer!). And Scott is really proud of his green thumb. So this is a win-win for both his ego and my occasional (ha!) writer's block.

Also today on Tales from the Balcony, I would like to present Anatomy of a Roll Over, as demonstrated by Milo:
I'd also like to share this fairly decent photo of Kilo. After all, they are so rare. Looking at his markings, I realize he really is genetically inferior. Female tigers in the wild mate with the male they find who has the most symmetrical stripes and whiskers on his face. Obviously, Kilo doesn't fit that bill! (never mind the undescended testicle... that was subsequently whacked off!) Anyway, this picture makes him look like he's wearing a little backwards Phantom of the Opera mask. Does anyone else see the similarity?

04 April, 2007


I dropped a knife on my big toe this morning. Lucky for me, it was a butter knife. I'm pretty sure it landed blade-down, since there was butter on my toe. It hurt like a M.F., even without any self-amputation. It was one of the heavy Pottery Barn knives. They're like solid {insert heavy element here}.

I guess that's pretty much par for the course for the past 24 hours. Scott and I realized at 11:45 yesterday morning that both of us needed to shower and be out the door for his dentist appointment by 12:20. I wanted to finish watching the show I was engrossed in, so I sent him first. And at 12:10, he finally got out of the bathroom.

So much for the shower.

So we went to the dentist, and I sat in the waiting room and read my Readers Digest (yeah, I think I'm the only person who brings RD with them into a doctor's waiting room). We decided to swing by the Publix that's right there to pick up massive amounts of Easter candy for our co-workers, and were doing our second loop through the deli looking for something quick to eat when who should we run into but my father and his wife.

Here's what I know about the situation: she waved at us, I waved back, and we kept walking in our opposite directions. After they walked past, I actually stopped the cart and looked back, figuring I had Scott there to support me through the awkward family reunion, and my father didn't even stop or turn around. I'm going to go ahead and assume the worst that he saw us first and was pretending he didn't. That's him M.O.

At this point, I would like to stop and thank my mother for officially being the only member of my family who still wants anything to do with me. I really don't know what heinous crime I have committed to be so outcast from everyone I ever held dear, but it hurts.

Anyway, after we left Publix (and I had a brief moment considering running over to their house and claiming the rest of my things) we went and tried out a new eating spot: the Chef's Table, which turned out to be the highlight of the afternoon. It's a deli with some eat-in tables. It's an established business, but they just moved from old Clermont proper down to 27. We each got a sandwich and split some pasta salad. My sandwich was turkey and cheese with mayo and orange marmalade. Sounded too gross to pass up (I am my mother's daughter!). And it was quite tasty! The chef of my restaurant actually recommended the place to me - he knows the chef there - and said they make the best meatloaf sandwich on earth. I guess I'll have to try that next time.

I'm actually working today, and taking tomorrow off. This is probably for the best, because otherwise I'd just be sitting here brooding over my dysfunctional family. And really, I don't think I could handle that.

03 April, 2007

CHIA Herb Garden - Day 55

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Take a snap of some of the latest blossoms and blooms near you. If for some reason it's still too chilly where you are, one, you my sympathy, and two, go ahead and use a picture from your archives. But everyone else should go out and take a fresh picture if they can. Let's see what spring looks like here in 2007.

One of the bummers about our balcony herb garden is that it doesn't yield pretty flowers. True, I could have gone 15 minutes from home and captured some truly beautiful professional floral displays (after all, the Flower & Garden Festival is just around the corner - I'm sure there's already a ton at Epcot I could have captured). But I'd rather showcase what's at our own home.

These flowers are on our granddaddy basil plant. This plant has yielded us countless spaghetti dinners, fried eggplant sandwiches, etc. and Scott has even cultivated lots of other basil plants from it, which have been potted and distributed to random people. This particular plant is really past its prime, and has been replaced on the sunny shelf by one of its babies.

While we're out on the balcony, let's check out how our CHIA experiments are doing! I think this might be my last CHIA update, since it seems the crops have stabilized. Obviously, the cilantro is thriving, as are the chives. What shocked me this morning is how well the one single sprout of "don't count me out" dill is doing. I might actually go so far as to say it's a success. Still, it's one sprout. Not a whole lot of culinary possibility there!

Back on Schedule

Ok, so let's go back to what should have been yesterday's blog.

We had to drop the car off at the dealership at 10:30 am, which particularly sucked for Scott, since he worked until 3:30 that morning. It also sucked for both of us because we hit the dreaded morning traffic on 192. It took 1/2 hour to get to the first possible alternate route. So we were late, but not by much.

After dropping off the car, Scott drove me back to work. "Work?" you ask, "Isn't Monday your day off?" Well yes, thank you for paying attention. But today we four reservationists were going to get together and go to the hotel's "spring training," which is basically 2 hours where you flit from station to station and learn about the stuff in the hotel that you didn't know. Our restaurant had a station, and was serving "chicken and mushrooms" which was actually chicken confit and a mushroom custard. The hotel's seafood restaurant actually had two live lobsters on display. Gah! And I won a towel bunny from the housekeeping/front desk station for guessing the answer to a question.

Well, our session was from noon to two, and on our way out my boss came and asked if I could stay and help our "girl chef" run the last session. The big bosses were on their way to a party celebrating yet another Silver Spoon award. So I stayed on. And then I spent 2 hours plating up tiny servings of chicken confit and passing trays.

At 5:00, I finally had a chance to check my voicemail from the Hyundai dealership. The Check Engine light was on because the computer "registered a misfire" so they did something to my spark plugs. They didn't charge me the $45 for the diagnostic because it was so easy to fix. And all I paid for was my oil change (since I was there...) and labor. $42. That's a bit much for an oil change, but cheaper than a new car!

So we went and picked up my car and then drove home. So my two hour work obligation ended up netting me 5.5 hours of OT. That's especially impressive because I hadn't planned on even paying myself for Spring Training because I was just going for the free food and door prizes!

02 April, 2007

Long Day

I promised my mom I'd put something up here before bed. I must say, though, that I am darn tired and was almost asleep on the couch an hour ago.

So umm... I'm just going to put up a picture. I had a fun day today, so I'll be sure to write about it tomorrow.Haven't you always wanted a monkey?