30 May, 2007
Our date started with a brand new Japanese restaurant in a strip mall a few miles down 27. We got a menu in the mail about a week ago and after looking at the pictures I declared that we MUST GO at our earliest convenience. Which was yesterday. We got there very close to noon and were the only ones in the restaurant until 5 minutes before we left. The food was amazing. I got a vegetable tempura bento box (comes with sticky rice, won tons, and california rolls, plus miso soup and salad with ginger dressing) and Scott got the scallops tempura. Yum! I haven't had Japanese food that good and fresh since the place that Mom and I used to go to in New Jersey. And our total bill was $25 after tax and tip. Anyway, we are hoping that more people discover this place because we really would like to go back. It's called KUMO and is in the plaza with the new(er) Publix and Applebees on 27 in Davenport. If you're in the neighborhood, go!
And would anyone like to guess what our next stop was? That's right, AMC theater for a 2:30 DLP showing of Pirates 3. Finally I know how it ends (except for that major door they left for a potential fourth movie). When Pirates 2 came out, I was really disappointed. But then I saw it a few times on DVD and caught the things I missed the first time around and really liked it. This one I pretty much enjoyed the whole way through. I objected to the Captain Jack hallucinations (which is all I'll say about that for fear of giving anything away). I didn't feel like they added anything to the story. But other than that, I enjoyed the action, I enjoyed the story line, and I enjoyed all of the new pirates.
I have some free movie tickets (the kind you can't use in the first two weeks a movie is out) from work and we'll probably go see Shrek 3 next week. As for Spiderman 3, I never saw the second and have little desire to see the third. The next movie I plan on paying for is Ratatouille (although I'm still lobbying my bosses/Chefs to take us all and call it "team building"), and possibly Harry Potter 5.
After the movie, we spent way more money than we should stocking up on Pirates booty. I got a great shirt with Captain Jack's pirate flag, Scott got the new video game (which we've been playing ever since), we both got antenna toppers, and I got a travel mug and a new Captain Jack for my collection. Possibly a little sad, but we do love the booty!
Today was laundry day. And tomorrow I'm back at work. Woo hoo.
It looks huge in this picture, doesn't it? Not so. It's actually sitting on the top of a roll of paper towels that's about half-gone. Anyway, those of you who have been following the growth of the tomato plant probably understand how excited Scott was about this. He immediately cut it and ate it.
It tasted much better than you would think from looking at this picture! I actually only had one piece, which I covered with a basil leaf from the balcony herb garden. That was tasty! Now let's hope that the plant survives long enough to provide me with that Caprese salad I've been waiting for!
27 May, 2007
M-I-C ... see you in court. K-E-Y ... Why? Because you punched a cop.
Of course, the second line stretches a bit when the reporter refers to the suspects as a "goofy group."
Apparently I should pay more attention to the New York Daily News. The only exposure I have had before now is when Regis holds up the NY papers and shows the sports headlines. But really, if they always have this much fun with the news, it might be a fun way to catch up on my gossip. (notice I didn't say "news." that's what I have cnn.com and wftv.com for)
26 May, 2007
- I learned this morning that there are microwave directions on a box of Mrs. T's. This is excellent news! Cover with water, a layer of plastic wrap*, 5 minutes in the nukery, and voila! This cooks the pasta quite nicely. The potato on the inside - still icy. But that's ok because I was taking them for lunch at work anyway. That's nothing another minute on high won't cure.
- The 5 second rule gets extended to 10 seconds when there are only 10 pierogies in the box and one goes plop! right in front of your feet. Sure, it shouldn't have taken more than 5 seconds to pick it up, but I just woke up (after falling asleep somewhere around 3:45. note to self: no more reading blog archives until 3 am) and my reflexes are a little slow. I did rinse the little escapee under running water before reuniting it with its 9 friends.
- I love pierogies. The ones I have for dinner are the sour cream & chives type, which give me mad onion breath. I still sometimes miss the Sunday brunch buffet at Eat n Park. Gotta love those Western Pennsylvania Polish. In college, a bunch of us would all go and I would have pierogies, mashed potatoes, and occasionally some bacon or other fried meat product. Mostly, I was there for the carbs.
* It seems we are out of plastic wrap. Or Scott has hidden it. Or I'm just unobservant. We do, however, have two large sheets of wrap covering the 2" x 4" remainder of a pineapple upside down cake. (yes, Scott made it) So I took one of those sheets of plastic to cover my microwave-safe bowl. I used it upside down, so that the cake crumbs wouldn't fall into the vat of boiling water.
25 May, 2007
Yes, it is May, the first - and lesser - of two months of love bugs here in Florida. These things fascinate me like almost nothing else on Earth. They appear like clockwork on the first of May and disappear on June 1 (yes, there are stragglers, hush!) and then reappear for an encore in September.
This morning I had occasion to laugh out loud at the poor schmuck in front of me on my way to work. We were stopped at a portion of the road restricted to one-lane traffic (darn road construction) and he had his windows down. All of a sudden, I saw him swatting in a dozen directions at once, trying to shoo the love bugs back out the windows on both sides of the car. I didn't feel too bad for him, since the hard hat and illegal U-turn made it obvious he was working at the construction site and therefore wouldn't be in the car for too long.
During this stop, I had a pair of "loving" bugs land on my windshield. And it took a good 2 or 3 miles at 55 mph before they finally departed. It was so impressive to me I was having trouble splitting my focus between the bugs and the road. Really! The female was anchored on the glass, but the poor male was flapping in the wind like a kite with a tiny penis for a string.
And then I had a similar experience on my way home tonight. As I was getting into my car, I noticed some Jurassic-looking roach ancestor on my windshield almost exactly where the love bugs had been. I wanted to just turn on my windshield wipers, but didn't want to smear guts all over the place, so I decided to just let it ride (ha! let it ride!). This mega bug lasted much longer than I had hoped, and was actually able to walk a few steps to stop its antennae (you know, the ones the same length as its body) from flapping around. THAT creeped me out! Finally, it disengaged from the glass, and I heard a distinctive crunch as it made contact with some other part of my car. Yes. I heard it crunch. While driving. With the CD player on. I told you it was a mega bug!
Anyway, back to love bugs. According to that Wikipedia article I linked to up top, they are not the result of a UF science experiment gone wrong. Huh. You learn something new every day!
24 May, 2007
Anyway, here's a Pirates fix for anyone else out there who might be in desperate need of one:
23 May, 2007
How's this for a weird image? Apparently the folks who make colored contacts really don't want you to have even one pair without paying for it. The solution? Write the word TEST in bold white letters across the lens. Man, if I could get a pair that say JAMIE, I wouldn't have to even wear a name tag anymore!
The sample lenses also have no correction in them, so I could potentially wear both new lenses out of the house, but would still have to wear my glasses. Why bother?
So here's both different lenses, each compared with my real eye color. These pictures were taken in the bathroom, which has much brighter lighting than any place people would actually see me. And you know what? They are supposed to be green! The Acuvue lenses (the top "TEST" picture) make my eyes look like more of an aqua/teal color, and the FreshLook one just isn't the shade I was looking for. The contact lens lady gave me two samples designed to "enhance light eyes." Apparently that's not what I wanted.
I don't think I'll be ordering either of these lenses. I'll probably go back with Scott when he picks up his new glasses and see if they'll give me some other ones to play with. Maybe I'd be happier with a sapphire blue instead. Or perhaps this is just a passing phase and I'll just be happy with my real eye color.
NOTE: yes, I realize my eyebrows/bangs are a complete mess. I tried to crop them out of the pictures as much as possible.
* I watched about 1/2 of the Idol final competition show last night. What can I say? There was nothing else on and Scott was outside cooking dinner. Anyway, I'm a little confused about how this Blake guy made it into the finals. He just wasn't that good. Jordin swept the floor with him. Of course, it's Idol, so I know that talent doesn't really dictate the winner. Anyway, she's good, but she's good like Diana DiGarmo - good voice, young girl, will probably be forgotten before her first album is released. Bonus: my boyfriend's band, Daughtry, closed out the show last night. Sadly, there was no number at the bottom of the screen to vote for him.
* Since I was out of contacts, Scott and I took our annual pilgrimage to the eye doctor yesterday. I still have trouble understanding why we drive allll the way to Winter Haven to be mis-treated by office staff (yesterday it was "you were here in November. are you having trouble with your eyes?" "oh you just need to order contacts then?" they didn't get the whole concept of insurance will only pay for the contacts if I actually see the doctor too), and then Scott has to wait a few weeks for his glasses to come in and then he's going to drive allllllll the way to Lakeland because no one in the Winter Haven office is capable of fitting glasses.
* There's some extra money in my FSA card, and I am contemplating spending a little of that money on some green contacts. I have two free samples of different lenses, so look for a photo post maybe later today.
* We stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home and laughed from the moment we were seated until we left. Must be something about near-starvation and dilated pupils that makes the things on the walls there funnier. I was really angry at myself for not having my camera, since there was a rather "Brokeback" print above our table. Seriously. There was a man laying on his stomach, and another man straddling man #1's butt with his hands on the guy's kidneys. Yes, they were fully clothed. Yes, it still looked a little more like sodomy than you'd expect in a 1950's advertising print. I don't remember what product it was advertising, but the caption said something along the lines of "knowing how to resuscitate someone can save their life." I don't think people ever thought CPR was done on the kidneys.
* Mmm...grilled catfish with mashed potatoes, fried okra, and fried apples...
* Mmm...strawberry shortcake...
* Oh, Mylanta!
* Also at Cracker Barrel: the next time you are there checking out, look up. This particular store has farm instruments hanging from the ceiling - even axes and picks - by near-invisible wire. I asked the lady checking us out if she ever got scared standing under those things, and she looked up, then looked at me and said, "not until now." Oops! Well really, why would you hang a "decorative" axe from the ceiling? That's just irresponsible!
* I'm not in the habit of doing product reviews, but I thought this was worth a mention. A few weeks ago, Cat gave me a bunch of free samples of the Schick Intuition razor. I don't know why she had them all, but I never turn down anything free! They sat under the sink in the bathroom until I completely ran out of my "good" razors. I tried it out this morning and was really impressed. In fact, if the pricing on the refills is the same for these as they are for the Venus razor I have now, I'll probably switch. These things are completely surrounded by some kind of skin care stuff, so they lather, shave, and moisturize at the same time. And they shave well - I didn't have to go over the same spot more than once.
* We have to go grocery shopping today. I hate shopping. But if I don't go, I lose the right to complain about what I have for lunch for the week.
22 May, 2007
20 May, 2007
Here he is, saying "Who knew somebody who looks like this would end up as the Godfather?" Well, I guess it would be unrealistic to think that someone who looked this good in a movie that came out the year my mother was born would still be attractive in my lifetime.
Oh well Sky, we'll always have Havana.
19 May, 2007
Boss: We need to borrow 80 champagne glasses.
CM: Fine. Do you want me to send them up?
Boss: No, I'll have a receiver come down.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Boss (to me): Call receiving and have them bring 100 champagne glasses up to The Bar.
Me: OK. (calls receiving, is told by the guy in charge that he would pass my request on to stewarding) He said he would pass that along to stewarding.
Boss: You called Receiving? Stewarding does that.
Me: You SAID to call Receiving!
Boss: I meant Stewarding. Call them.
Me: The Receiving guy said he would pass along the request.
Boss: He won't.
That's pretty much indicative of how most of my day went yesterday. I believe that the wedding and the dinner went well, although that's only what I could muster from bits of conversation with people who were actually in the room for any of it. Of course our servers, who each made somewhere around $250 on that one seating (and most also stayed for the regular restaurant seating and probably made more than that again), were mad that they didn't make enough money (cry me a river).
I pretty much walked out last night exhausted (so tired that I had Scott drive me home) and crestfallen. I spent a whole lot of man hours on that wedding in the past three months. Probably more than both the bosses combined. And at the end of the day, everyone got a little bit of the glory except for me. I guess that's just what happens when you are in a support role. I'm trying to just accept that and move on, not take it all personally, and tell myself that I am appreciated, even though they don't tell me that as often as I would like.
17 May, 2007
Umm... the FIRST rehearsal is on a Thursday! I can't miss the first one! So now I'm thinking maybe I'll beg the part-timer to trade Tuesdays for Thursdays or something like that. Of course, that means I'll be driving out that way 7 days a week. That kinda sucks too. Or I can burn a vacation day for that first rehearsal and judge for myself whether the rest of the Thursdays are missable.
Oh well - just one more thing to think about again after tomorrow when this big wedding at work is done.
14 May, 2007
Here's another bonsai tree captured during the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. Of course, I already showed off my favorite bonsai picture, but I like that you can see my former workplace in the background of this one.
And my second picture is also from Flower & Garden. The last time I showed one of my butterfly photos off, my Mom made a comment about how amazing it was that I actually got a picture of one. I have a confession though: there's a whole butterfly house full of flowers they love, and there are tons of them in there. It makes it easy for you to snap a bunch of pictures.
While this wasn't my favorite butterfly picture (poor thing has a broken wing), I just love the colors of the blossoms and blooms.
There's lots more beautiful blossoms, bonsai, and butterflies on my slide show.
I did a little research and found this article, which sounds a lot like what my car is doing. Maybe I caught it in time and the car will hold out for another few months. We have $1,000 in a 6-month certificate at the bank, and I'd like to wait until that one matures before spending big money. This car has a little over 72,000 miles on it, and I'm starting to think it is going to take a miracle for me to make it to 75k.
That being said, I've started contemplating a new car. I still have some faith in the Accent. The car has been really good to me with the exception of the transmission, which would have been covered by the power train warranty had I stayed up-to-date on all of my preventative maintenance. The gas mileage is excellent - still around 30 mpg. And the car is so small I can parallel park almost anywhere. Of course, I could also handle an Ion. I like Scott's car, and it really is nicer than my car. And the pricing is pretty comparable.
The Hyundai warranty is pretty spectacular, although apparently Saturn now has a 5 year/100,000 mile power train warranty (same distance, half the time). It will probably come down to who will give me a better value on my crappy trade-in with my crappy credit. And while I'm pretty low-maintenance as far as power door locks/windows/etc. go, I do like the fact that the Saturn comes standard with power locks PLUS a year of on-star. Oh - and the new CD player (standard) has an auxiliary jack for an external MP3 player. Sign me up!
For now, my car is ready to go. Of course, I can't pick it up until tomorrow, but at least it's ready. Hopefully this was $400 well-spent and I won't be back spending the same amount for something else next month. For $400/month, I could be driving an Aura hybrid!
13 May, 2007
Yeah baby - you have to come and hear me (and 100+ of my closest friends) sing songs from the movies.
...assuming I can get those nights off from work. Who am I kidding? Of course I'll get those nights off! Anyway, that's all I really know for now. Rehearsals start a month from tomorrow (tomorrow, by the way, is my seven year company anniversary. I remember when I swore I wouldn't be here for five years!). Maybe by then I'll know more about tickets and everything.
This almost makes up for the fact that my check engine light came back on tonight when I pulled out of the parking lot at work.
Yes. I had to kill him.
At first, I thought maybe we had put it back without washing it and it had grown mold. So I sniffed it. No smell. It's almost like Palmolive, but our dish soap is orange. Maybe there's an alien living in my pantry eating cat food and depositing its waste in my juicer.
At any rate, the juicer is back in the sink. I had to squeeze the grapefruit by hand, which was messy and inefficient. Hopefully the slime will come off and I'll be able to try again tomorrow.
12 May, 2007
Anyway, immediately after the big announcement, the Chefs told me to find a day where we didn't have any reservations on the books yet so that we could party. Of course, that turned out to be impossible, so the task turned to finding a day where we would be inconveniencing the fewest number of people. And then I got to be the lucky gal to call them all back and tell them that we had to reschedule them. It was only 3 parties, but two were celebrating special occasions that night. They were pretty understanding (no, I didn't tell them why we were closing, and I was prepared to lie through my teeth and say that I had no idea why), and I'm sure they will be well taken care of when they do come in.
I also spent an hour and a half of overtime on Thursday night changing out our wine lists. Of course, all told I think Scott will probably end up with something between 15 and 20 hours of OT this week. He's been late every day this week! Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Tuesday. I hear we have a day off together and no previous engagements.
10 May, 2007
Goodbye, weekend. Today I shall return to work and try not to whine about my sore feet to my coworkers!
09 May, 2007
Good night, and the next time anyone comes to visit, be forewarned that we won't be going to Epcot!
08 May, 2007
Cat and I went out yesterday and had lunch, got pedicures, and bought some wine. OK, I bought some wine. Red, even. And it's tasty! But anyway, I like having a color on my toes that surprises me when I look down. And I think I've accomplished that with the dark purple. I've been calling these my "goth toes." Scott asked if I was planning on dying my hair black too, and I said yes and I wanted to find some lipstick to match the polish. My toe nails and underwear are really the only ways for me to "rage" against the "conservative classic look" I have to have for work. (and yes, Milo approves)
Can you see the three tomatoes on this plant? We haven't yet been able to achieve a red tomato. So far, they get to a certain size and then start turning black on the bottom. I'm assuming that it's because the plant is young and can't really afford to support its offspring. Well, I'm hoping. I was really looking forward to that Caprese salad!
And the cilantro bush has almost completely overtaken its pot. The chives are clinging to their little corner bravely attempting to ward off the approach, but I fear they will soon need to be replanted. Who knew cilantro would make such a fabulous hanging basket?
And who could forget the little dill that could? I haven't spotlighted it recently because it's not in a very photo-friendly spot. I bet it will be moving to a top shelf space soon, because it seems to be out-growing its cube in every direction.
07 May, 2007
Ok, so it's not a ponytail that should see the light of day, but it's a ponytail!
...and I'm on my way out the door, so I guess it is going to see the light of day.
ps - I almost got stabbed in the nose by one of my Captain Jack figurines getting on place for this picture. I'm sure he didn't mean it though.
06 May, 2007
It looks pretty unremarkable, doesn't it? Looks like a clear blue sky in the picture. Actually, it's amazingly hazy out there today. And the sky isn't even clear blue. Due to a bunch of brush fires in the area, it's a blue-gray, and today I can smell the smoke from here. The smog actually makes it harder for my eyes to adjust to the sunlight, and judging by the darkness on the buildings in the photo, my camera had the same problem!
This time of year, there really isn't much weather to speak of here in central Florida. It's hot, and we probably won't have rain for another month. And then it will be hurricane season. After hurricane season we'll have "winter," 3 months where the temperatures range between 40 and 80 - usually within 24 hours of each other. And then we'll find ourselves once again in brush fire season.
Murphy's Law Update: I swear, I checked the forecast for today whilst I was writing this post, and there was only a 40% chance of showers. Three hours later the entire area was a live-action version of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Where was I? In my office, with no camera and no windows. Go figure!
05 May, 2007
They brought the guys from the kitchen, some of the pastry chefs and me in for the servers' pre-meal meeting (well, I was already there - there was cake for someone's last day, and I do like cake!), and all the Chefs and managers were there to bask in the glow of a job well done. In addition to the "big one," we've also gotten a bunch of local accolades (none of which I can find online) that I didn't even know about. And sure, I don't make the food or serve the food or even hang up the coats, but I'm there and I think it's great to be a part of something so great.
...coming soon: a celebration!
04 May, 2007
I spent my weekend watching The Devil Wears Prada - which I enjoyed so much I watched all of the special features and then watched the movie again another day - and John Tucker Must Die - which had the hot gardener from Desperate Housewives in it (yep - that's the best thing I can say about it). The Queen is at the top of my Netflix queue right now, which is cool, considering the real queen is in the US right now. Fashion note: I love her purple suit, although it does remind me a little of the red hat ladies.
Other than that, the biggest thing in my life right now is this big pimple on my chin. I've got a blob of toothpaste on it right now - a proven method which sucks all of the moisture from the area. Honestly, I'm worried that I'm going to go outside to my car and an airplane is going to mistake my chin for a runway signal and try to land on top of me. The toothpaste? It's a public service!
01 May, 2007
When in doubt, default to a picture of a Disney Star in a parade. This, of course, is Ariel. She's presented here all fish-like for the Stars & Motor Cars parade at MGM, but she's got feet in the Magic Kingdom parade. All that magical transformation must get exhausting!
And another Disney favorite: the wave-at-the-person-who-waited-in-line-with-you-but-ended-up-not-riding photo. This is my dear friend Jackie, taking Juliette out for her first spin on Dumbo. Julie isn't the baby anymore, by the way. She's now *gasp* the middle child.
So I went out and tried something new and scary.
The main choir has about 120 people in it, and then there's a bunch of solos and smaller ensembles as well. I don't know how many auditioned total, but I was #50 on the sign-up sheet last night. In my favor: there's not a whole lot of Sop-1's out there. I know that from Candlelight - 90% of the women in my section defaulted to the lower parts.
Besides, I feel pretty good about my audition. I got some positive feedback from the three guys on the panel (the two in pink shirts and one in a blue shirt - that's literal, not code for anything else), and got through my entire song selection, which was almost twice as long as the 16 bars the flyer said I would get to sing. Of course, I did mine a cappella because I didn't know the arrangement on the sheet music and was afraid it would mess me up. So then I had to sing When You Wish Upon a Star - I'm assuming to show that I can follow a piano on timing, etc. The snag: I forgot to bring my water into the building with me, and was there about 45 minutes before my audition, so my voice was a little bit airy. But I nailed the music, and was so strong on the high notes that it sounded like I could go much higher without a problem (in fact, my high range only has another 2 strong notes in it - after that it's a crap-shoot).
All along I had been planning on singing Think of Me from Phantom, mostly because I was supposed to pick a song that showed my range. But then the night before I came across my Carousel music from high school and decided on If I Loved You (Windows Media audio file) because the range was wider - middle C# up to high G - and I figured it was less likely that they were going to hear a half dozen people doing that song.
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me. We don't hear anything for two weeks - they said they'd be e-mailing everyone by May 16. Of course, if I do make it, and you are related to me or live in the area, you will be expected to fork out the money for a ticket (which gets donated to a charity anyway - it's probably a tax deduction!) to come and see the show at the end of July.
Oh yeah - I also learned yesterday that Kilo does not like it when I sing high. He stood at the balcony door and cried to be let out every time I ran through the song. Ha!