Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shabu Shabu (or Hot Pot!)

Do y'all notice how when I download pictures there are lots of posts all at once?? That's cause I love pictures! And I love sharing the pictures!

So thanks to Christine and Michael, who found this wonderful little place randomly in an out of the way shopping center, I am now fully in love with Shabu Shabu! It's mas yummy!

So we had a bit of a night out on the town a couple Fridays ago (notice the timeliness of the posting?) and started out with some Hot Pot for dinner. We arrived at the restaurant and then proceeded to eat huge amounts of food (can't get enough - yummy Hot Pot), drink large quantities of Sake and Beer (2 for 1 specials! On booze!) and generally annoy the staff by being loud and taking photos.

I love my friends!

Here's a couple pictures of Christine and Michael - aren't they so cute?

Christine and Michael being schmoopy.

Me and TheBoy - Gotta love that Boy! But me? Could I look any fatter? My arms?!? What are those? Be careful - wouldn't want to run into me in a dark alley! Gi-normous, fat octopus arms! Seriously y'all.

Mmm... Fried Banana! I love fried banana!
(Yes - we are a little bit crazy - why do you ask?)

And of course, we conned some unsuspecting wait-person in to taking our photo together. Good times y'all.

Ach! The arms! Geez... This should forever quiet the discussion about posting unflattering pictures.

More Picnic Photos...

Sorry, I was in a bit of a hurry yesterday as TheBoy threw me off by actually getting off work ON TIME. Here's some more pics...

Liz, Liz and Will. Look at all that HAIR! They grow up so fast...

John and Jack. The other half of the Park twins. Aren't they sweet? Unfortunately they are old enough now to look suspiciously at you. Ah the good old days when they were just happy that you held them...

Angie and Erik being schmoopy... It's okay we'll let them be schmoopy while they're still in the honeymoon phase. But be warned y'all we expect all the schmoopiness to be firmly cut off somewhere between months 6 and 8.

Yeah. Good times y'all. Nothing like a little food, a little velcro catch, a little conversation, a little sun and a little booze to round out the weekend. Oh, well at least until the ranger came over and told us that we couldn't drink any more. We might have been able to play it off... "What drinking? There's no drinking here." If someone* hadn't been pouring a beer as the ranger walked up.

Also, a word to the wise, apparently if you set up a table in an area where there are no tables allowed, secret people will be watching you from a distance and it will spawn a whole mass set up of picnic tables. And that would just ruin the park y'all. Heaven forbid. Luckily our "table" (2 saw horses and some marine ply TheBoy had laying around) was easily moved to the ground so as not to cause said ruination.

A big thank you to Christine for allowing us all to crash over at her place and swim in her pool. Even if the pool was slightly warmer than outside! And thanks for letting us raid your fridge! Yummy BBQ!

Also thank you to Michael for teaching us all how to do flips. In a pool thisbig (holding fingers up to show you the tiny size of the pool). And for flipping us again and again and again (and again). Even if it took someone (ahem) getting "slightly" inebriated before she could gather the courage to attempt it.

The biggest thank you of all goes to Ms. Lizzie (whose brain child this picnic idea was) for organizing it all and providing 2/3 of the food. It was fun to be reminded how much fun something as simple as an afternoon playing in the sun with friends could be. Good for the soul y'all.

*It was totally Christine.

PS - Speaking of Christine... Her photos are way more fun than mine!

I liked this one of Michele and Ryan... At least Ry isn't making a weird face. And notice how Michele still manages to look cool and composed? Like it wasn't 182 degrees outside? Not fair! Also, that is sweet tea in that cup y'all. Not beer. Because we would. Never.

And Angie, me and Linda in Christine's kitchen during one of our short breaks from swimming. No my cheeks don't flush when I'm drinking... Why do you ask? I purse my lips at you! Also, note the proof of my wonderful sense of humor? I apparently crack Angie up. However, there was pomegrante vodka punch involved. Also, maybe ciders.

TheBoy doing what he does best. Erik says "no photos". Michael says hello. You gotta love our guys!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Summer Picnic

Hey y'all. Remember how I told y'all I was going to post the pictures from the picnic on Monday? I bet you thought I meant the Monday following the picnic didn't you? The Monday that was 9 days ago? Yeah. Well you were wrong. And apparently I didn't mean Monday at all but Wednesday. Because Wednesday is such a better day for the posting of photos don't you agree?


So. Yes. The picnic. It was LOADS of fun! If a teensy bit warm.

Here's the gang.

We might have gotten a tad carried away with the food. But when do we not?

Angie and Erik - Erik is new... But he held his own. Even if people got really drunk and belligerent. We like him.

Nicole and Cody - say it with me - Awwww... Although they did have to leave early to go shopping... I guess I will never understand the shopping thing!!

Christine and Michael - Mwah!

Liz and Ryan - the best friend and the boyfriend, isn't it nice when they get along? Not sure what face TheBoy is making though...

Me and Michele - Could I possibly look any sweatier and hot? Damn it Michele could you at least TRY to look hot and rumpled too?!!?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another MeMe (I love these things!)

And it's a BOOK one! Y'all know how I am with the BOOKS!

Here's the questions:

How many books do you own?

Um... Is that a rhetorical question? I have no idea! I'll hazard a guess of 500.

What is the last book you bought?

Harry Potter! But actually that's not true because I pre-ordered in months ago... SO, I'd have to say it was Wuthering Heights, Emma and Jane Eyre. I kind of have been on a classics binge lately. I decided to order the female authors on that list. Sometimes there is rhyme to my reason.

What is the last book you read?

Y'all know I am never just reading one book at a time! I just finished - We Thought You'd be Prettier by Laurie Notaro (lake reading) and Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara (Civil War stuff - y'all know).

What's the one book that you can't wait to read?

I'm reading the new Harry Potter right now! But I guess that doesn't count. I have a stack of books at home right now. I'm not sure I could pick which one I want to start with... Oh but there is a new Diana Gabaldon book coming out in the Outlander series that I can not WAIT to read in Septemberer.

What 5 books are most important to you?

Important as in life altering? Or just like important as in loved to read? Would read again? (and again? and again?) Hmmm...

1) Gone With the Wind. Favorite book of all time. I used to borrow it from the library at least twice a year and then for my 16th birthday my Mother got me a hard bound version. Love you Mom! I know I'm crazy but I have always kind of based my actions on that book. I'd like to be the best possible combination of Scarlett's spunk, energy and ability to land on her feet no matter what and Melanie's calmness, sincerity and just plain old niceness. There. Now I've shared something embarrassing.

2) The Outlander Series. I count all 5 books (soon to be 6) as one because they are a series... I just love these books. They have it all. History, romance and good old-fashioned blarney.

3) Reading Lolita in Tehran. This book opened my eyes again to the wonderful world of Literature that I had left behind when I left college. It also spawned the list of classics that I MUST READ which prompted the purchases of the Bronte sisters' books and more Austen, above.

4) The Chronicles of Narnia. Again with the series. These books kind of awakened my passion for reading when I was younger. The whole Judy Blume book series and such didn't really do it for me. But I loved Narnia. Also, Sweet Valley Twins. But I would never mention it out loud. *ahem*

(Gosh this is harder than I thought it would be!)

5) The Joy of Cooking. Come on you knew there was bound to be at least one cookbook on the list. This was my very first ever cookbook. Many of you that know me are still eating recipes out of it today. You could say that learning to cook out of this cookbook spurred me on to be the chef I am today! How touching... (wiping away an imaginary tear) Well. At least there certainly wouldn't have been a Delectable Mae's Catering. And I certainly wouldn't have collected the 30 cookbooks I have laying around at home now.

(Oh I forgot to add the cookbooks into the total of books owned in question 1. Make that 530. Give or take a few.)

Now the fun part! I tag Liz, Michele and Mary. Because I need more stuff to read!


(And no, I'm not talking about that Al Pacino / Robin Williams / Hilary Swank movie from a few years ago... Though I did think that was a good story.)

So I didn't sleep last night. Again. It's starting to feel like I haven't sleep in ages. But if I concentrate my remaining 3 brain cells long enough I think it's actually been about 5 weeks. 5 friggin' weeks y'all!

I was looking online for tips - because I don't believe in self-diagnosis but I'm pretty damn sure this is insomnia. says insomnia is when you have one or more of the following problems:

*difficulty falling asleep

*waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep

*waking up too early in the morning

*unrefreshing sleep

Let's examine these 4 things shall we? (Humor me y'all it's the sleep deprivation!)

Difficulty falling asleep. Well this starts off positive because any of you who know me know I have no problem at all falling asleep. I have fallen asleep at your houses, in the car waiting for you, during movies, at bars, and once (notably) during a particularly LOUD rock concert. Definitely not a problem for me. Unless there was mass consumption of RedBull during the day... Or I have a date with Harry...*

Waking up often during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep. Ding ding ding we have ourselves a winner! Because while, as discussed above, I have no problem getting to sleep I do have some huge problems with staying asleep. Right now I'm averaging about 3 or 4 hours before I am bolt upright in bed. What the hell is wrong with this picture?!? And seriously y'all, there isn't that much to do at 3 am. I pet the cat. I draft blog posts. I blog stalk people. I read (not my favorite option because I don't usually retain what I've read at 3 am). Sometimes I have fully insightful conversations with TheBoy while he's sleeping. But that's a whole other sleep disorder isn't it?

Waking up too early in the morning. Hmm... I'm torn as to whether this applies to me. See because I like getting up early in the morning. I'm what you might call "a morning person". So it doesn't bother me if I wake up early in the morning. Usually. But when I have just managed to get back to sleep at 5:30 or so... And the alarm goes off at 6:00. I'm not a happy girl y'all. Not at all happy. So we'll leave this one as a maybe.

Last but not least, Unrefreshing sleep. I'm going to have to give this one a resounding yes. Y'all know.

And the effects of insomnia? According to my good friends at women's health they are: sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Oh let's not even get into the sleepiness and fatigue. It's a given. I'm pretty sure my boss thinks I'm hung over. All the time.

The difficulty concentrating? Oh yeah. I have that. I can't even speak clearly. My generally expansive vocabulary has shrunken to about 5 dozen phrases. And I can't even get those out correctly all the time! *sigh*

In my own defense I will not discuss the irritability. But I will take the chance to apologize here to anyone I may have offended in the last 5 weeks. I probably didn't mean it. In fact chances are good that I didn't. Aren't I normally a nice person? But things have been getting to me y'all. Stupid things. And I realize I am being irrational. Also, sleep deprived. So, I apologize.

And I apologize for future irritability too. Because, so far, there is no end in sight.

*Harry Potter y'all. Sheesh. Dirty minds...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

12 days and counting...

Marathon Day is July 31st. It feels like I have been training FOREVER! Oh wait... Needless to say I am very excited. Also, anxious, nervous and in pain. But I digress. In 12 days I'll be running through the great city of San Francisco.

So, many of you might be wondering about the knee situation. Well I've finally found a Dr. who doesn't think I am insane for attempting to run ever. In fact he's a tri-athlete himself. He does the Hawaiian Iron Man. Which is THE Iron Man to end all Iron Men for those of you who don't follow triathalons. It's the Boston Marathon equivalent. Yeah, he rocks.

He also is very, very (saintly even) patient. Especially when I do totally reasonable and grown up things like start crying in his office, going on and on about the fact that I am injured NOW so close to the race instead of EARLIER when I could have had time for a full recovery, and how everyone is going to be so disappointed in me, blah, blah, blah. Not one of my finest moments y'all. *sigh*

But we've discussed it and we have a PLAN for race day. The PLAN is even supplemented with a PLAN B just in case the knee decides to be difficult. So wish me luck y'all. I'm going to need it. Seriously.

However, as we get closer to race day the group that I have been training with gets more and more sentimental. We've been through so much together! We've shared our life stories! And the life stories of several of our closest friends and family members! I love you Z-Girls!

Here's some photos that Jane was kind enough to send out of our 20 mile run which was May 21st. Yeah I know... Better late than never. I get it!

Here we are at the un-Godly hour of 7:45 am holding on to our time sign. Pre-Run.

Here we are at the top of the Lyon Street stairs.

If you've had a conversation with me about any of the training runs, you've heard about the dreaded Lyon Street stairs. They are my arch nemesis! I hate them! Stupid, steep, stomach turning, thigh burning stairs!

The half way point.

Back at camp... The End.

And just for fun...

Here's a picture of us from the 23 mile run on June 11th on the Golden Gate Bridge. That is the only time I've ever been across the Golden Gate all the way like that! It only took me 13 years y'all! And it was beautiful. Despite the fact that my knee was hurting like crazy and was secretly plotting to stop working all together in another 3 miles or so.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sweet Obsession...

Why yes. I am a huge geek. Yes, yes I am. ThankYouVeryMuch.


Excuse me while I turn into a hermit for the next few days. Ah the times insomnia is a beautiful thing!

Friday, July 15, 2005

4th of July Trip (FINALLY!)

Yes, I realize that this post is almost 2 weeks late. But, better late than never? Or, good things come to those who wait? Whatever. We've had a house guest for the past couple weeks who is sleeping, shockingly enough, in the guest room/office/home gym so I haven't been able to download photos at home. But yesterday I brought my handy dandy cable in and downloaded them here at work. So I could complete this post. Because I am slightly AR and it's been bugging me. Yes it has.

As is to be expected, TheBoy and I headed up to Lake Shasta for the 4th of July holiday. We also dragged along DJSean who promptly made us feel about this big (holding up fingers mere millimeters apart) by saying "Wow, this boat looks great - I haven't seen it since you restored it." Because we've had that boat for over 2 years y'all. This is it's second summer in post-restoration glory. *ahem*

We actually managed to leave the Bay Area at a reasonably early afternoon hour and, surprisingly there was hardly any traffic so we pulled in to Bella Vista right about 10 pm. Plenty of time for several rounds of "beer pong" which is remarkably difficult given the quantities of beer you have to drink. Of course I was a little rusty on the ping pong skills so I kind of started at a disadvantage.

But I digress.

So we finally get out to the lake Saturday morning (a tad later than planned due to beer pong related hangovers) for three whole days of fun and sun and wake boarding. It was just what the Dr. ordered y'all. Hot summer weather and warm Shasta water combined with a little (lot) of beer and wine... Perfect!

Here's some pics:

Me wake boarding... Don't I look graceful? And poised? And slightly knock-kneed?

DJSean wake boarding... Yeah, he took to wake boarding like a fish to water y'all. Like he'd been doing it his whole life. In this picture he is accidentally doing a 180. Accidentally y'all.

On a side note, DJSean, also know known as Lawyer-to-be, attempted to bring legal briefs on to the house boat. Which looked a little too much like work. But never fear. I'm pretty sure he took them home mostly unread and splashed with beer and bean dip. Ha.

We managed to drag Dawn out to ski...

And I was going to try to post a small video of TheBoy attempting a back flip here. But it doesn't work. And of course I didn't download any other photos of him off of the camera. Because I am a bad girlfriend. *ahem* I promise to post more later. And y'all know. The back flip quest of summer 2005? It's firmly within reach. He's close to landing them man. It's pretty awesome.

But other than the wake boarding we did a lot of hanging out in the water. The girls even conned Jerry into making a booze run out to them in the dinghy so they didn't have to swim back to house boat and get, y'all know, exercise or anything.

Of course then TheBoy and DJSean had to test out the dinghy.

And did I mention it was Doug's birthday? It was. June 28th. Happy Birthday Doug! So, of course there was some birthday party embarrassment going on.

Who knew a man could look so attractive in a purple feather boa, embroidered turquoise bowler hat and rainbow colored starburst sunglasses?!?!?! Of course all the "gifts" were appropriately gag-y and over-the-hill themed.

And just so you guys don't think TheBoy's dad is overly-fond of drag, here's a picture of him doing what he does best at the lake. Chillin'.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Happy Hour in Downtown PA

Last Friday night was the first Friday night in about 5 months when I wasn't either:

a) getting up at 6am the next morning to run obscene distances, or
b) out of town

I couldn't join my group for the "celebration" run of 26 miles on Saturday because I can hardly manage a hobble for 3 miles these days with the knee. (However, the supplements are helping I think!) And we didn't make plans to go to the lake because I *might* have been able to run and I didn't want to rule the possibility out all together.

So what does a girl do when she can't run and isn't going wakeboarding and has a whole Friday night to herself? Why, she goes out for Happy Hour with some girlfriends! What else? We started with a couple (3) martinis on the outdoor patio of F&A's, because the weather was fantastic y'all! Summer has finally decided to grace us with her presence.

Then because we had drank large quantities of vodka on an empty stomach we decided perhaps we should have dinner. And wine. So we headed over to Lavanda where we promptly won over our bartenders/servers.

And we drank wine. A bottle of red wine. Then we shared a flight of white Burgundy tasters - because doesn't that sound so summer-y and delicious? It was. The we had port.* But in the midst of all this we had dinner. And it was fantastic. Really, really good. I recommend it. Especially the gnocchi.

And when it was all said and done? That was the best 5 hours of drinking and eating and girlfriends that I've had in ages. Because my girlfriends? They rock! And don't even blink when I randomly start to cry in the bar. (Because I mentioned there was vodka involved right? Also, that I don't sleep anymore?) We just had the best time y'all. Seriously, let's do it again. Soon.

*I might have been the only one who had port - mmmm, yummy port.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

SBD Hell Phase - The END!

Okay so remember how I said that the first time I tried the SBD Phase 1 I made it about 8 or 9 days in and then passed out carrying laundry up the stairs? And how I might be mildly hypo-glycemic? But that I was going to give the evil phase 1 a second try?

Well... I lied. I made it all of about 2.5 days this time. And then there I was, sitting at my desk, feeling light headed, when my boss comes over to explain something to me. I turn my head quickly to look at him, which is of course the polite thing to do, and all of a sudden realize I am about to lose the string cheese and hummus I had for lunch!


So, after I make it back from the ladies room, and endure a few good-natured jokes about morning sickness (at 3 in the afternoon but I digress) I decided that I had had just about enough of the SBD.

Stupid diet.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

People watching at the car wash...

I love to people watch at the car wash! I used to go every week. But now I feel guilty spending the $10 to have my car washed because TheBoy reminds me again and again that it's free if I do it... But I HATE washing the car! Give me a stack of dirty dishes or a toilet that needs scrubbing and I'm all over it. But washing the car? Hate it. Also, ironing. But that's neither here nor there.

So yesterday I took my little $10 bill and my coupon and drove down to the car wash. Because it was time y'all. Between the birds that shit fluorescent colors, the pollen, and the trips through the bugs back and forth to Chico and Lake Shasta my car was in desperate need of a bath. It got to the point that people were being very careful not brush up against it as they got in or out. I'm embarrassed y'all. It wasn't pretty.

But I'm so happy I went. Because I've forgotten how much fun it is! I got to practice my Spanish. Which apparently I can understand but not speak back. I think my brain doesn't work quick enough to translate. But I did get appreciative glances from the guys doing the vacuuming because I could understand what they said to me. Even if my responses were in English. Also, I think they did an extra thorough job with the vacuuming. Something to keep in mind for next time.

Then I got to people watch. Which was distracting me from the yummy smells of free popcorn... (Can you have popcorn on the SBD? You can have corn... Though I don't know about for evil stage 1)

There was the totally harassed looking mother of two who were having a popcorn fight. They totally belonged to the minivan. And let me tell you that minivan had seen better days.

And the completely high maintenance woman who was all glam-ed up at 4 in the afternoon. Seriously her look was borderline "walk of shame". She got into a black convertible BMW. Of course. But even though the weather was perfect, she didn't put the top down. Because that would mess up her hair.

But me? Y'all know me. The novelty of the convertible has not worn off in 5 years. So what do I do? I turn in my slip, hop in the car, put the top down, crank the tunes and drive away. In my newly clean car. Life is good. It's the little things y'all. The little things.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

South Beach Diet Hell Phase - Take 2

Remember a few years ago when the crazy low-carb / no-carb craze began? Well I'm a big girl, I'll admit it... I tried it. I went out, bought the South Beach Diet book, read it cover to freaking cover, promptly threw out all the "evil" carbs in my kitchen and started fresh.

And I lost weight. I did. Like 8 pounds in a week. But then I started feeling weird and one day I just up and passed out on the stairs. Thankfully I was at home and carrying a whole load of towels and sheets down to the washer which broke my fall. Turns out yours truly is borderline hypo-glycemic. Who knew? So, thankfully I might add, I progressed out of horrible, hateful stage one into marginally better stage two. Where I stayed for several months... Until the beer started screaming my name so loudly I couldn't think and I began training for a marathon (running requires carbs don't you know).

So, you might ask why I would EVER willingly go back to EVIL phase one? Because I am stuck. I have hit the proverbial weight loss wall. Of course you know it might be because me? I like beer. Also, vodka, red wine and more beer. Did I mention I like beer? And beer is like the antiChrist of the South Beach Diet. Something about malt sugar... Blah, blah, blah... I even gave up beer for Lent this year. Longest 40 days of my damn life. But I got on the scale after getting back from 4th of July at Lake Shasta (photos and trip stories coming soon) where there may have been (was) a small amount (copious quantities) of beer consumed. *Ahem*

Y'all I have GAINED. Damn it! Not only am I NOT losing, but I GAINED a few pounds. Something has to be done! Something drastic. Something like South Beach Diet Phase One. So last night I went through the kitchen and got rid of anything tempting and went to the store and stocked up on String Cheese, Eggs and Hummus. Here goes nothing.

So for today? First day without booze, caffeine or carbs? I feel pretty good y'all. Like, I'm making progress, look at me, good. Like, I have enormous quantities of will power, good. Of course I could be still riding the carb high from my pasta lunch and Thai food dinner from yesterday... And it has only been about 17 hours since my last cocktail. And 6 of those hours I was sleeping. And 9 of those I've been at work. But never the less... Right now? I am doing great!