The funny thing is, I haven’t really done anything of note the past week. Christen has been a proper househusband while he’s looking for a job; I haven’t had to wash a dish or do the laundry in two weeks. I’m going to miss him when he finally gets out of the house, but I do hope he finds something he wants soon. I don’t want him to get discouraged. Other than spending time with Christen, I’ve been vaguely playing Oblivion – not to the same degree that I was playing before. Christen and I take turns playing eachother’s games on parts that we have trouble – I pick locks for him (I’m really good at it, even on his character who sucks at it by nature) and he fights the Minotaurs for me, because I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fight without getting my ass beat. I made a tempura batter last night to cook zucchini – just an experiment, but it turned out pretty good. I’ll have to experiment a little more with that – too much water in the batter, I think.
My tire decided to split (I think I ran over something) and started leaking. We couldn’t get the tire off because the lugs were stripped from when they were last changed – about 2 months ago, so we had to make a trip to Tire Kingdom to get the lug off. The guy there went ahead and changed out all the lugs on my rims … as someone who worked in the customer service industry for many years and arguably still does (isn’t every job where you speak to people a CS job?), I was impressed – I went so far as to fill out an online comment thingie this morning, which I rarely do. Christen was able to patch my tire last night so that I can drive! Woohoo!
So we put off our girls’ night until tonight, and we’re going to get the girls fitted for their dresses so when Autumn comes in on Saturday they can just be ordered. I’m so excited! I’ve stopped planning for the wedding for the past month, mostly because I don’t like planning in an unstable environment. But now I really need to start working – I need to book the dj, florist, hair person, cake, and photographer. Stat. I’m getting married in 7 ½ months!!! I finally sent out the save the dates on Sunday – Christen made me do it. I guess I should start working, eh?
Last night was an uneventful night. I found a copy cat recipe for Macaroni Grill's pasta Milano, so I made that for dinner -- it was fabulous; I brought the rest of it for lunch today with an orange. The rest of the night was time for Oblivion. I'm unhealthily obsessed. Christen and I have made a deal where I can play until bedtime and then he'll play when I go to bed, because he stays up a lot later than I and that way we both get our time in. Although we're playing probably far too much, it is cheap entertainment, because he likes watching me play, and I just get other things done while he's playing (or sleep ... hehe). I'm up to about 24 hours in 3 days ...
The job hunt is going slowly for Christen. He gets emails from people offering jobs he doesn't want anything to do with, but none from the people he'd really like to work for. Yesterday he was pretty depressed (also because he didn't eat all day, and he has a big problem with that -- I think he's hypoglycemic), but he applied to a few more while I was playing the game and he seemed happier once I got home. I keep emailing him from work with random job postings -- I think I've emailed him 15 companies in the area looking for people.
Anyhow, back to work! I've been doing good with getting a lot done when I first get here, and then taking a short break to visit my adoring public before shooting back to the many things I have left to do. It's a lovely balancing act, really ... no really, it is all an act ... :) Toodles!
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) and 1 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup strawberries, mashed
For the Crust: In a bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix in melted butter and turn 1/2 into a 9-inch springform pan. Use the remaining crumbs up the side of the pan by about 1 inch. Make sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).
For the Filling: Beat softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl on high for at least 20 minutes until cheese itself becomes fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar; beating until fluffy. Add grated lemon peel and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour into the shell and bake for 1 hour, or until the center is set. (center may be a little jiggly when done cooking, it will set while it cools. Do not over cook!) Cool then spread with the strawberry glaze. Chill for 3 hours.
For the Strawberry Glaze: Blend 1 cup sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in water and mashed strawberries. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Cool thoroughly before spreading over the cheesecake.
To remove from pan, run knife around outside of pan before unlocking spring form.
This past week was actually pretty nice, other than the mini crises early in the week. Tuesday we went to Shell’s house for couples’ night. It was a picnic dinner of pulled pork pitas (amazing), purple Peruvian potato salad (yummy), baked beans and cheese and fruit. It’s entirely possible that there was other food, but since it’s been a week, I don’t remember. I made a strawberry cheesecake for the occasion, and I dare say I think I outdid myself. The recipe to follow. I think the trick, though, to making the cheesecake so light and airy (quite possible to eat the whole pie) was that I whipped the cream cheese on its own for about ½ hour, and then started adding the sugar and continued to whip it.
Wednesday night all were supposed to come over to our house, but Shell and Richard bailed to have together time … the nerve! Haha. Imagine, married for 3 months and wanting personal time. You don’t get that anymore! But Shea and Kyle came over and we had stuffed green peppers and Bogle Zinfindel and meringue cookies for dessert. We went to The Zone, but between 2 weeks ago and this week it became a dance club. I guess whatever to pay the bills, but it was muy disappointing. Shell & Richard would have hated it, so it's a good thing they didn't end up coming. Kyle liked it because he could do his networking thing for his DJs ... the rest of us were just hoping that the boys had somewhere else to play that we could go listen. Thursday I went with my ex and Shell & Richard to see our friend Manny who lives in Japan. He was in Orlando for the week, so we met up with him at Islands of Adventure. The park was a bit of a bust, because it rained until after 4, so we rode a couple things right before we left and that was about it. But seeing Manny was awesome, and meeting his family and his boyfriend was very cool. The trip started out a little weird, and I kinda felt squeezed out by someone, but by the end it was a lot of fun and I’m very glad I went. We dined at Jungle Jim’s, which is my favorite Orlando burger joint. They have the peanut butter bet (they bet you’ll like it or they’ll get you a new burger), which I had to bring home one to Christen because he would have been very upset if I had dined there and not brought him back one. It’s what I ate as well. Yum!! Jim had the headhunter, which is a ridiculously monstrous burger. Which he, of course, ate the whole thing.
Friday was my off day, and Christen and I went for a stuffed pizza at Old Chicago. We didn’t really have anything in the house, and it’s pretty inexpensive – they have delicious spinach artichoke stuffed pizza there (well, I pick out the artichokes because I don’t like them).
At this time, I would like to bring your attention to the most engrossing game on the face of the earth.
Christen and I played this game for the entire weekend. Less about 7 hours on Saturday night when we went to Shelly’s house for an engagement party for her and Simon, we played this game all friggin’ weekend. It was awesome. Awesome. I’m still way far behind Christen, and I think I played a lot more than he (but he had an additional week of play before I started). It’s so fun! You probably shouldn’t get it – it’s far too engrossing. You’ll start losing weekends left and right.
Shelly and Simon’s party was very fun. The boys (previously from The Zone) were there and set up to jam (Simon joined in on bongo drum) and there was a lot of food and Belgium beer (very tasty) and I got to catch up with Shelly’s family and play with my godbaby Rachel (not really a baby anymore, she’s 7 and a total handful but lots of fun). Shelly was toasted by about 8:30, but I think she had a good time too. :)
And now I'm back at work and I've gotten a lot done, so I think I'm going to go downstairs and get breakfast before starting up again!
I don’t understand the prospect of coming to work on Monday more tired than when you left on Friday. I had a great weekend, but really I think I should have gotten some sleep sometime … right? Friday I had planned on a quiet night of laundry and hanging out with Lola, but Stacy ended up coming over for pesto pasta with asparagus and wine instead. We had a great time, just hanging out and drinking and talking. Saturday, Christen and I did some shopping and just basically hung out being silly and not doing much of anything. I bought a shirt and a dress on clearance at The Loft Ann Taylor, and a couple shirts on clearance at NY & Co, both of which are a couple of my very favorite stores. I was looking for a birthday gift for a friend of mine and made the trek down to Baywalk because I knew The Buzz would have what I wanted but alas, everything I liked had chips in it or was otherwise not acceptable. Still looking for that birthday gift … I made steaks in a red wine sauce that night (left over Bogle Petit Syrah, a fantastic wine) and fresh green beans. Sunday I woke up to Christen making banana pancakes (if only it were raining I’d start quoting Jack Johnson again). I wasn’t really in a breakfast mood – I can’t eat right when I wake up – and we went out again, this time for a larger trashcan and to get my pearls cleaned at Jared’s and to see if they could fix a ring of mine, but it turns out they can’t … and I got to try on some necklaces to see if there was anything I couldn’t live without. Hehe. Not that I could have gotten anything, but it’s nice to look. I think he’s pretty intent on getting me a necklace for the wedding, which I’m psyched about. I love jewelry. I never knew I was such a girl, and now I’m so into shoes and purses and jewelry … if I wasn’t so spastic about my books you wouldn’t know I’m the nerd that I am. Well, maybe you would know, but whatever. :)
Sunday night Shea and Kyle came over for shrimp and rice pilaf and more wine (sensing a trend? Thought so) and we all hung out and acted stupid. I made peaches flambé! for dessert (I thought the dessert needed an exclamation point) although I think it needed more brandy -- there was just a little blue flame -- I was hoping for something a little more sensational. All tasted good though, and that's important. Shea and I looked at invitations for the wedding and the boys went outside and smoked their cigars … it was a pretty typical Saturday night – except that it was Sunday. They didn’t stay real late, but I still didn’t get much sleep last night and I think I consumed more than 3 bottles of wine by myself over the weekend. I do know the wine refrigerator is mighty light right now. I might take a trip over to the wine store for replacement … :) There’s a wine store in
I’m still working through A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain. I only read 3 pages over the weekend, while I was watching War of the Worlds (I know, I know, I’m sorry). But I plan on getting back into the swing of things today, and I’ll probably finish at lunch (I only have 48 pages left). So next will be The Nasty Bits, also by Bourdain. Then I get to start in on my bag of books from Jordan.
Went out with the girls last night for sushi at Bonsai sushi -- it was fantabulous! The usual suspects, of course, and a couple specialty rolls like a Rising Sun roll and a Gator Roll (with tempura gator on top) ... yum yum! But no yum yum, because I'm not a fan. We also meandered through the stores and went shopping but we were all pretty good about our spending (for once ... hehe). I stayed later than I meant to at Shelley's, because Christen was going to be home late and I didn't want to be home too long by myself late at night. It turned out he got home about 45 minutes after me, and we stayed up talking until far too late. It was hard to get up for work this morning. To tell you the truth, this whole week has been tough. Hopefully I'll get caught up by tomorrow afternoon and next week will be easier. I don't like not enjoying work.
I’ve decided not to worry about the divorce rate in America anymore. I figure, in my family there’s not nearly as much divorce as I would think: My parents are divorced, and my uncle has been divorced twice, and my aunt has once (she’s been remarried for 10-15 years). But that’s it. So theoretically, my family has a very low divorce rate. And in Christen’s, the rate is even lower – I think two of his uncles have been divorced, and one of them has been remarried for awhile, and his aunt has been divorced and remarried for ages. Plus, I could have gotten married when all my friends from high school got married, but I’d probably be divorced now too. I was just too young; everything about me has changed. The guy I would have married and I are just two completely different people now. Nothing against him, I’m still rather fond of him (although it did take awhile for us to grow up enough to be friends again).
Last night I went over Jordan’s and cooked for him and Brad. I made that veggie pesto pasta with shrimp and a chocolate peanut butter pie, and I must say – all food was fabulous. Hehe. It was a lot of fun though, which I am very happy about. I was starting to worry about some of the friendships there, as it had been a long time since I had seen either of them and a very long time since I had even spoken to one of them. But there was great conversation, lots of laughter, good food, good wine (Jordan got a bottle of wine for us, and it was not bad at all – La Bastarda, or something like that). Very pleased, I was. It must not be that long before we do it again.
Tonight is girl’s night, and I have pledged to make the trek back out to Tampa because I am the only one with air conditioning and they’ve been driving out to see me for the past two or three weeks. I don’t know what we are to do – currently there’s not a lot of wedding issues to iron out, although I do need to get on with a photographer, dj, and florist. I’ve picked out the dj & florist, but I really need to contact them to make sure that they are available for that day. And I have a few prospects for photographers. Man, if you want to make good money, become a wedding photographer. They make money hand over fist, seriously. I wish I made $225-350 an hour. I should get Christen start doing weddings. He’s a really good photographer; he just needs a good digital camera, which he plans on getting for the honeymoon anyhow. So afterward I can start farming him out to different weddings, maybe at a discount price until he gets some experience so he has pictures for his Web site, and hike up the prices to two grand for a 6-hour session. Sound like a plan? I do need to start working out. I put on this dress that I love today and it was a bit tighter than usual – still fits, but not as comfortably as it should. Plus, I ordered my wedding dress, and though I didn’t order a size too small, I did order the tighter size, with the intention of dropping 5-10 lbs to make it more comfortable, which would mean that I wouldn’t need to get the bodice taken in at all (read: cheaper). I want to join a gym close to home, so that when I’m sitting on my butt at home I can just go around the corner to work out. I was working out at the work gym, but my workout partner stopped coming, and then I kept on for a little while longer and then I got waylaid as well. I might just buy some little weights and try to start walking, but I don’t know how much drive I’ll have that way either.
I know that I feel more for Christen than I've ever felt for anyone. That even after almost 4 years together, a look from him can still make my heart flutter. I've never needed someone so much and yet been capable of having my own life with him in it rather than making him my whole life. He's the straight man to my craziness -- calm and easygoing and quiet. But has the capacity to be the biggest goof I've ever met.
How do I know, though? Didn't they all feel the same way before too?
Can't you see that it's just raining, ain't no need to go outside ... But Baby, You hardly even notice when I try to show you this song is meant to keep ya from doing what you're supposed to waking up too early, Maybe we can sleep in I'll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it's the weekend now ...
I was late to work; I woke up to thunder -- so soothing to go back to sleep. So I did. Then when I finally got up and took a shower to go to work and was almost ready to go, Lola was acting strange and I got worried about her ... her stomach was making weird noises and she wasn't acting like herself. I'm a little worried about her; can't wait to get back home to check on her. Plus Christen was at home and I haven't seen him much so I had to update him on everything. I hate when he works so much like this. I don't sleep well when I'm home alone, so I get to bed very late (he still gets home after I fall asleep) and then I go to work before he gets up in the morning so I really don't get to see him. So being late today I actually got to talk to him for a few precious minutes before hopping off to work. I can't wait until Back To School is over. He told me this morning that they are getting another assistant on Monday, so hopefully that will take some of the strain off because he'll only work every third weekend and hopefully not so many nights. They've decided to build an OD in the old Winn Dixie a quarter mile from our house, so if he stays with them for awhile longer maybe he can transfer out here. It's really bad with all the driving. He spends so much in gas. I get gas once every week to week and a half and it costs about $30. He spends $45-$50 to fill up and has to do it every couple days.
Enough complaining about all that though. Today's Friday, and the next two days are free, so I'll actually be able to spend quality time with ... well, I guess with Lola. Christen is off on Sunday so we have to go to the Club to book it for our reception, and take his parents to see it and the chapel and everything. And it's Scott's birthday so I need to go get something for that (hello, Best Buy gift card). Hurrah! Being a grown-up is hard!
The storms are bad bad right now. I had to lock Lola inside because she wouldn't stop going outside and the lightning is very close. It's pretty bad -- it would be nicer if it were morning and I was able to sleep in. But alas, I'm just hanging out at home watching WS of Pop Culture (it's the finals, baby) and soothing the dog.
I played Sims tonight for awhile and got really far ... and then the computer froze. And I had just gotten Shell and Richard to fall in love ... damn it. I'll have to work on that again, I guess. I'm waiting for a non-storm night though.
I’ve written a couple blogs since my last and neglected to post them … lazy, you may say? Yeah, I’ve been lazy. It’s been nice, too. :) Sunday after my crappy day Christen came home and we went for Chinese food, which was a pleasant excursion. The day did get better before he got home though – I watched Shopgirl and The White Countess (liked the first, bored by the latter) and addressed all my Save the Date cards (I keep trying to shorten that, but STD cards doesn’t portray exactly what I wish to portray) with my new caligraphy pen (I bought a cheap-o but it works great). The culmination of the “bad day” part of Sunday was when I started crying because I couldn’t find the Sims cd (Christen put it in this little drawer thing in the computer). I found it, but I think it was just one of those days where you need to go to bed and wake up the next day and forget about the rest of the day. Or maybe if we just had a “reset” button like on Nintendo.
Irony: On the TBT, Sweetbay has an ad that says “Taste the Passion” right under the article about Mel Gibson’s DUI arrest. Hehe. So Monday, Christen had the day off and decided to take me to work and pick me up, and also to take me to lunch. It was a nice day, although I wished I was just home with him instead of at work for him to pick up. We were supposed to take the deposit for the reception hall over, but the lady wasn’t there so we’ve had to reschedule for Sunday. And so we ended up spending the hours after work at Borders looking at wedding magazines and bouquet books. I found a beautiful bouquet that I think might work if I replace some of the flowers with tulips (it had a lot less tulips than I would prefer). Monday we also started working on the Save the Date cards because Christen was home to get the printer working (I don’t understand; it works for him but never for me) and actually got them almost done. I finished them yesterday when I got home. The girls and I had planned on doing them tonight but this is better – we can have a nice night and talk shop but not actually have to do anything, which is the nicest thing. Last night I made a Chocolate Banana Pie for tonight (if it’s any good I’ll post the recipe for you), finished the cards, and played Sims 2 (hurrah! I finally graduated college in the damn thing!). Tonight I’m making dinner for the girls – Chicken Bryan (an altered recipe from one I found online and it’s fantastic) with garlic spinach, croissants or cheese biscuits (I haven’t decided yet) and chocolate banana pie. Woohoo! I think we might mosy on over to The Zone if the boys are playing again tonight. I’m sure it’ll all be fun! Toodles!