Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day BBQ

I had a very busy Memorial Day weekend!

My sister and co. came over on Saturday and we BBQed, played some miniature golf and then went to Pink's. By the time we got to Pink's it was already close to 10:30 PM and when my sister inquired with people in line, they said they had been there for 30 minutes and they weren't up at the ordering point even, so we took off.

On Sunday, I had my first official "get together" at my new apartment. It was a lot of fun and it just went on and on and on! I got to try Werewolf, which I had heard about but never tried before. I was a werewolf and I was awful at it! Surprisingly, Krishnan (a non-gamer) was the seer and did a great job! I got him and his friend to also play Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Can't Stop. They both enjoyed all the games we tried, so that was fun. A bunch of people left to go to the MyPC X-Men movie event and a couple came back and then there was a small group of us playing assorted games and eating ice cream cones until 3:30 AM.

I was tired, but it was fun. I didn't even want to have the BBQ on Sunday, but a little prodding from Erin did the trick. It turned out great and it seemed like everyone had a good time. I'm feeling like I need to have another one just to get rid of more drinks!! I think I ended up with more beverages than I started with. Erin and I made three different burger patties: regular, turkey, and jalopeno-blue cheese burgers. I liked the jalopeno-blue cheese ones and I'd probably make them again. They were tasty! Different for sure.

OK, now, when to have the next get together... games, BBQ or both? Hmmmm...

Pools are cool

I was in a funk yesterday and needed to clear my mind. So, I went swimming in my pool! It was great! The weather was warm, but the pool was cool. There's something about water that is so refreshing for me. I love water. I felt instantly better and it was exactly what I needed. I have a feeling that I will be doing that a lot this summer! I'm so glad I have a pool again.

The last time I had access to a pool was in high school. My mom and her husband were members of the local country club and I could ride my bike over and swim at the pool whenever I wanted. That summer was glorious! I would go to the pool in the morning and then ride my bike to the beach in the afternoon. I was very tan that year.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The nerdiest bachelor party I've ever been to...

Oh, I love nerds! I love geeks!

I have a group that I game with on a regular basis and last night we had a bachelor party! One guy's cousin is getting married on Saturday and for his bachelor party, he wanted a night out playing games. And that's what we did. He left by 11:30 PM. Wow.

It was fabulous though! We normally have about 7-8 people there every week, but last night it seemed like a lot of the people who only show up occasionally managed to make it. Plus, one guy brought his wife because their kids were out at a school sleepover! So I think we ended up with 14 people. We ordered Indian food, oh, and Peter (he always brings the best stuff!) brought cupcakes from Sprinkles!! I had a red velvet cupcake and a yellow (or was it white) cake with chocolate frosting. They both were delicious!! I have been wanting to try these fresh-from-scratch cupcakes for ages. They might be worth a drive over to the Westside for more.

It was SO nerdily cute!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's my work anniversary

Today is my work anniversary! I've been here for 11 years. Sometimes that just seems impossible. When I got this job, I never would've imagined I would stay for this long. I don't even think I was that great of an employee. I was young when I started, so there were lots of late nights, almost falling asleep at the front desk, tons of tardies... yes, I was NOT an ideal employee. All the jobs I had had before this one were your typical high school/college type jobs. Lots of waitressing and that sort of stuff... In fact, I was waitressing at Marie Callender's when my previous boss (one of my regulars) told me there was an opening for the receptionist position and I applied just because I figured I'd try a "regular" job. From there, I learned how to do more and more stuff and now I'm one of the problem solvers!

I guess time flies when you're having fun.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Stand in Encino

The Stand

I went to The Stand in Encino for the first time a couple months ago. The guy working the counter was great! They are known for their hotdogs, but for some reason, I needed some red meat so when I asked the counterperson which would be better between the Blue Burger (blue cheese bacon burger) or the meatloaf, he just said, "OK, so you'll have the meatloaf and ...?" So, I took his advice and tried that and it was good! It's been a while since I had any meatloaf so it was good. And the prices are very reasonable. The meatloaf dinner was $7.95 and it came with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a green salad (all on one sturdy paper plate) and the plate was heavy when it was delivered. I'm going to try the Blue Burger on my next visit.

We went a second time on a Monday evening because Mondays are $1 hotdog nights. I had invited a friend who declined because he said that the hotdogs weren't that great. I tried them and he was absolutely right. I wasn't crazy about them. I'd be happier eating a Hebrew National at home. I gave them a shot though since they were so inexpensive.

One thing I noticed about my visits is that our potato chips that come with the burgers and dogs were better when it was less busy on our first visit. I think they probably pre-cook a bunch of chips so that when they're busy on those $1 Mondays, they don't have to think about it. I'd recommend not going on Monday night and trying the meatloaf. Also, they have lemonade with free refills there! That was yummy too. Oh, and both times we had the brownie sundae. It was delicious!

As far as the decor, etc., they have a really nice patio area outside. The inside is small, but cute.

Here's the info:
The Stand
17000 Ventura Blvd. (just west of Balboa)
Encino, CA 91316
(818) 788-2700

The first official post from my new apartment

Yea, I did it. I'm sure people do it every day, but I hooked up the DSL and now I can check email at home! And I can post on my blog from home. Yippee! I've been making an effort to try to post on a more regular basis. I think that works better than trying to write these giganto posts every week or two.

I had a fabulous weekend! Shane & I went to an outdoor movie party at my friend's house. It was really, really cool. They have a homemade movie screen that's probably 15 ft wide by 10 feet tall and they have a PVC frame that they tie it to and then put their computer outside with the DLP projector to put the movie up for us all to watch. It was a BBQ too, so there was lots of yummy food and the weather was perfect! The invitation was also a ballot and everyone voted for two movies. The winners were: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and What's Up Doc? which I had never seen. I haven't see Pee-Wee's in a long time either, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time.

I am still working on unpacking the apartment, so I didn't do much today. Not much at all...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The DSL modem has arrived

Dunh, dunh, dunh....

I have a friend coming over to check out the new pad tonight, but maybe before she gets there I can rearrange my desk and see if I can get my computer and DSL hooked up. It actually hasn't been too bad living without a computer at home since I haven't been home much and when I am, I haven't been alone. I think the thing I miss the most is not being able to look up phone numbers (like when we needed to order pizza last Sat). I hope it goes smoothly. I'm not a techie-type, but I can usually get things working at least.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Modern 21st century woman

I was discussing my blog, food and money with a fellow gamer via email and I had written to him that I was saving as much as possible in my 401(k) because once I found someone, got married and had kids, I wouldn't be working anymore and wouldn't have the ability to contribute to a 401(k). He made asked me, "Wow, is that how a modern 21st century woman thinks? Or just the ones that plan?"

Ha! How would I relate to the so-called modern woman? I consider myself somewhat a traditionalist, not in everything, but I do have traditional-leanings. I wrote back to him that if I was a "typical" modern 21st century woman, I'd have a savings rate of 0% and I'd love lots of credit card debt! :-) That maybe be a slight exaggeration, but I don't think it's much of one. Thank goodness that is not me! Planning can be not fun at times, but in the long run, I think it pays off.

I told him that the other planner-type women I know that want to have children are doing similarly to what I'm doing, specifically my friend Carolyn! She has been saving and saving and now she's pregnant! So, she and her husband are all ready! I think that's awesome and I really admire her and her hubby for that. I hope to follow in her footsteps!


I left the propane BBQ that we've had for many years, I decided to try something new and different. I bought a charcoal BBQ. More specifically, I purchased Weber One-Touch Gold BBQ 22 1/2 inches. Here is a picture off the Weber website of what it looks like. I will take an actual picture once I get the computer hooked up.

Weber One-Touch Gold BBQ

Lincoln put it together for me and we tried it out on Saturday while we were unpacking. We made a couple ribeye steaks and some BBQ chicken thighs. They were delicious!! I can't wait to try it again. I think a BBQ over Memorial Day weekend is in order to christen to new abode. I should be unpacked by then. I made lots of progress in the kitchen. I just need to put away the food. Other than that, the other big project is hooking up the computer, the DSL and the TiVo to the wireless router. That should be lots of fun! Not.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cable or antenna?

That is the question. I bought a Terk TV5 indoor amplified antenna to try to cut back on my monthly costs and it works, but not that well. Channel 7 has ghosting and channel 4 has little snowy things on it. It's workable, but not that pretty. I'm going to give it a try for about a week and see if I can adjust to it. Otherwise, I'm going to have to look into cable. I guess I should call and see how much the basic lineup is. I really don't need any fancy channels. Most of the stuff on my TiVo is off of the regular channels. FX would be nice though since Rescue Me is starting in a couple weeks. Man, I love that show!

Cost of the antenna: $54.11
Monthly cost of cable: ???? To be determined

All the big stuff is moved

I think my friend Lana said it best... Men are good. Men are awesome. Men are just downright dandy! Especially when you're moving a big clunky California king sized mattress and heavy wood furniture. Did I mention it was upstairs? :-) *hee hee*sorry*

The move went really well. I did a fairly good job getting everything ready - not to pat myself on the back or anything :-). We made one trip and we were done by around 4 PM. Lincoln assembled the BBQ and we picked up some steaks and chicken on the way back and then unpacked, played Katamari Damacy, talked and BBQed. It was a success. I couldn't have done it without all my friends and they will all enjoy the fruits of their labor in the upcoming year. Ryan thinks I should have a housewarming party, which seems just odd because it's not a house, and I've already done the whole "it's my house" party, so I think we decided that just a plain old party would be fine. So, I'm gonna check my calendar and see what works.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I have too much stuff...

There is nothing like moving to slap you in the face to say, "Hey, you have too much stuff!!" As I packed up my kitchen last night, I realized that maybe five small boxes and three big ones is too much. That's not including the glassware and dishes I already took over last weekend or the Corningware I need to pack tonight. I think the kitchen has generated the most boxes out of any room in the house. When I was sharing this with Shane last night, she said, "I'm not surprised!"

Once I get settled in, I'll see how much of it I actually use and then declutter some more. With everything else going on, decluttering has been far, far, far away from my daily thinking.

On a fun (for someone who likes cooking) note, my brand new refrigerator is being delivered today! Here's what it will look like:


I almost bought one that looks EXACTLY like the one I've had for the last 10 years, but decided to go with a different color and with contoured doors. I was planning on buying a used refrigerator, but I figured it was going to be more hassle than it was worth. After looking into a few refrigerators on Craigslist, emailing to find out more info because people just cannot post all the pertinent info on the front end, I decided it would be easier to just buy a new one. Plus, they can deliver it! Major plus to not have to ask friends to drag a refrigerator upstairs. I'll take a picture once it's installed today. Then I'll have to call a plumber to see if they can hook up a water line so that I can have ice and chilled water. It has an internal water dispener, a new development in top freezer fridges since I bought my last one.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Moving Sucks!

Moving sucks. That's all there is to it. Anyone who says that they like to move needs to have his head examined. I guess less stuff would help. I thought that I had decluttered my life and you know, I probably have, but man, I still have a lot of crap. I've been sorting as I go: keep and move, give away to a friend, Goodwill and trash. So it's helped. But what doesn't help is that before TiVo when I used to record everything on VHS tapes, I was lax about labeling them. Hence, I have one box full of video tapes that are unmarked and therefore, I have NO idea what's on them. So, once I move, I will have to go through them one by one and figure out what the heck's on them! Doesn't that sound like fun?

The good news is that I have made lots of progress on packing, moving and unpacking. Over the last weekend, I moved three carloads and one Xterra full of boxes. That should help on the big moving day! Once I get everything unpacked and stuff, I will undoubtedly have some kind of apt. warming party and maybe post some pictures. I'm off to a Dodger game tonight, but then Wed and Thurs nights have been reserved for more sorting and packing! Yea!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Apartment

I found an apartment and I am planning on moving in just a couple weeks! It has everything I wanted:
  • Central A/C
  • I can have the cats there
  • Pool (small, but it has water!)
  • Laundry on-site (down in the garage)
  • Decent sized rooms and a good kitchen (for an apt.)
  • Street parking for when my friends come to visit!
Here's a picture of the kitchen:


Not too bad for an apartment, huh? It has a dishwasher and a microwave-hood! I'll be able to cook up a storm in there! I do need to buy a fridge though. I'm thinking freezer on top standard model.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Baked potatos rule

Since posting about my joy of baked potatos, I have found another recipe that I just LOVE!!! I found it on Allrecipes, my favorite recipe site. Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub down your potatos and stab then several times with a fork. Rub down with olive oil and sprinkle Kosher salt (or some course salt that's similar in taste) on the potato. You can sprinkle to your taste. I do a light salting. Then bake the potatos for 90 minutes. The skins are delicious and you have to eat them up!

If the potatos are bigger (maybe close to 8 oz.), you might cook them for a bit longer. They'll cook in 90 minutes, but they might not be quite as fluffy on the inside.

I still haven't tried grilling the potatos, but I will be doing that within the next month or so and I will report on it. The next time I cook them with the Kosher salt on the outside, I will post a picture in this post. The salt gets this melted look to it.

Jeopardy update

Well, I went to see my friend Erika tape her Jeopardy! episode last week and unfortunately, she didn't win. I think I was more disappointed by it than she was. Her take on it was, "Hey, I just won $1,000 for a few hours of 'work'!" How true, how true, but it's hard for me not to imagine winning the big $$ or at least winning to be able to come back for another show. Watching her on there, I decided that after I move and play for a bit, I will have to start studying some to be gain more trivial knowledge so that I can try out for Jeopardy!

The subjects I know I need to study are: Presidents, state factoid info., geography and royal crap. I never know when any of the royal families ruled or which kings belonged to which dynasties and all that stuff. So, that maybe can be a resolution for 2007!