Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm almost on vacation...

Wow, for someone almost on vacation, I'm feeling stressed!! I have a big project at work that I've been working on for two days straight and I really need to get it done today before I leave for vacation! Plus, I need to get my office straightened up so that my boss doesn't come in here while I'm gone looking for something and then can't find it. It seems like that happens every time I go out of town.

Tonight, I need to wrap gifts, pack, clean up my apt. and get to sleep early because I'm getting picked up around 5:30 AM tomorrow to be whisked away to the airport. I'm really looking forward to seeing my sister and her family and catching up on sleep!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cable is expensive!

I finally did it. I called Time Warner and set-up an appointment to have cable installed at my apartment. As of Saturday, September 16th, I will officially be with cable.

It was a struggle to decide when I moved in and at the time I opted for the antenna but since I found out about Monday Night Football being on ESPN only, I have decided to get cable for at least the football season. The almost good news is that Time Warner is running a special so it's "only" $35 plus tax a month for the first six months. I guess the actual good news is that I'll be able to watch all the new fall shows without snowy lines everywhere. After the special, the regular price is about $60 per month! That is ridiculous!!! I'll definitely be cancelling before my six months is up.

The cool thing is that since I've been keeping so busy, I haven't even missed not having cable. I think that will change a bit once football and TV are back. With nothing much but reruns on, I haven't really been missing much TV-wise. Plus, it's gonna start getting dark before I know it and that will probably keep me home a bit more.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Our trip to Disneyland was a raving success. Luckily, Ron went with us and we used his Achilles tendon injury for all its worth!! We got to the front of the line and ended up riding more rides than I ever have in such a short time at DL. I think we got in the park just after 9 AM and left around 6 PM.

Here's a list of the rides (in approx. order):
  • Space Mountain
  • Matterhorn
  • Buzz Lightyear - I got the highest score out of everyone!! See below!
  • Star Tours
  • Pirates of the Carribbean - saw the new Johnny Depp add-ons and the Davy Jones - I liked them!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Indiana Jones
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Pinocchio's Adventure
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Snow White's Scary Adventure
  • Peter Pan
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • It's a Small World
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • Enchanted Tiki Room

We stopped a couple times to eat and I finally ate at the Bengal Barbecue! Just in time before they change it to a different eatery. I ordered the bacon wrapped asparagus and the banyan skewer.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Here's a couple pictures:
Leaving Space Mountain

Steph (kicking galactic ass) and Ron on Buzz Lightyear

Friday, August 25, 2006

Buca di Beppo

I went to Buca di Beppo last night with some friends and it was fun! The food is good and the service was good too. It's loud, so definitely not a place to go for a quiet evening.

I think this picture of Lincoln being goofy sums it up!

Lincoln with Caprese Salad and Nikki

Happy Birthday Nikki!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Catching up

Things have been really hectic with me lately, so I haven't been posting anything! Besides playing lots of games, I've been doing lots of socializing.

This weekend I'm coming face to face with a very rare specimen indeed - a free Saturday! I'm saying it's free, but really, I do have something I could and probably should be doing. My fantasy football league is doing the draft in Culver City, but I can be available online vs. being there which sounds like that's the right way to go because apparently, the organizer's place is pretty cramped.

On Sunday, I'm planning a trek down to Disneyland with friends to make use of my annual pass! I haven't been since June and so I'm looking forward to taking a look at the new Pirates ride and riding the Matterhorn before they shut it down for a bit of maintenance.

Next week, I'll be super busy just getting ready to be out of town for 10 days. Maybe Saturday can be a laundry & Netflix catch-up day. I only have 75+ Jeopardy!s on my TiVo to watch, so I'm sure I could stand to watch a few of those too!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Games Update

The last couple weeks have been pretty heavy on the games. For people who read this and don't play (or only play from time-to-time), the fact that I have a weekly group probably seems like a lot. However, due to stars aligning, a certain wife out of town and SCGD, there has been (and will be) lots of gaming happening lately!

In the last two weeks, I've been to 6 game nights and I have an ALL day one tomorrow, plus one on Monday night. I just had an "all party games" night which was a ton of fun. I think I will have to make that a semi-regular thing. It's fun to play party games with people who know and love to play them and it's even better when everyone's pretty good at them to boot!

My new game count so far for the year is 81! I will have no problem getting to 100. I'm well ahead of "schedule". I'm sure I can up that by one or two tomorrow. Anyway, that's the latest on my game universe...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Celebrity Sighting

After a party on Saturday night, a group of us went out to Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake. We saw two recognizable celebrities:

Bill Nye the Science Guy - He looked like he was with his wife(?) and another couple for dinner.

Steve Valentine - Nigel from Crossing Jordan - He looked like he was on a second or third date with an attractive young lady. Erin guessed 2nd or 3rd date based on the cleavage factor.

I haven't watched Bill Nye's show since high school, so I surely wasn't going to go talk to him. However, Crossing Jordan is one of my TiVoed shows and I considered going up to say, "Hey, I like your show!" but then decided against it.

OH, and last but certainly not least, I met, shook hands with and exchanged a few words with Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame. I never thought I'd ever meet him, but he was part of the mob. He was shorter than I thought he would be.

Last 1 vs. 100 update for a while

I don't really know how much I'm allowed to say. I'll write up a post with all the details of my experience and save it until I can post the full story later.

I'll say this. I am not even sure it will ever air.

Unrelated to the game show, I met several really cool people. This taping was just FILLED with people who are trying to make it in show business in one form or another. I never realized how many people in L.A. are pursuing that. It was eye-opening.

Friday, August 11, 2006


OK, I finally got a hold of the casting guy and got all the info. I'm in and I'm going in EARLY tomorrow morning.

Please think happy, positive, smart, wealthy thoughts and vibes and send them my way tomorrow!!

No matter what happens, I will be unable to disclose the outcome, just as an advance warning!

1 vs. 100 Game Show Update #3

OK, I'm starting to become a bit worried. When I spoke with the casting person from 1 vs. 100 last week, he said that I should receive an email with forms and instructions of where to go for the taping etc. He gave me his phone number and told me to give him a call if I had any questions. So, I asked, "So, if I don't get the email by Monday, should I give you a call?" He said, "Yes."

It's Friday, I still haven't received an email. I called him on Wednesday morning, Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon and now again this morning. If I don't get that info, I guess I'm going to be free to be on the decorating crew for the MyPC blender drinks night tomorrow!

I really, hope he calls. I'm going to try calling again between 9:30 - 10 AM and see if I can catch him at his desk.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jasper Fforde Book Signing

On Monday night, I went to a book signing at Vroman's in Pasadena to see Jasper Fforde, author of the Thursday Next series. If you haven't read them, I would highly recommend hitting up your local library to take a gander. They are my favorite books of the last five years.

The problem is describing them. Thursday Next is a literary detective who monitors and ensures the integrity of books. It's fictional and creative. Crime and sci-fi. Just read it. You'll love it. My favorite of the four book series is the third one, The Well of Lost Plots. I wish I could add more, but geez, it really is hard to describe.

Me and Jasper Fforde

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Trips Galore

I just spent my lunch hour buying two more plane tickets. So now I am OFFICIALLY ticketed for the following trips:
  • Trip to Colorado for Labor Day weekend to visit my sister and her family
  • Trip to Hawaii/Maui right after my trip to Colorado for fun and a wedding
  • Trip to the BoardGameGeek convention in November
The only tickets that I need to buy now are tickets to Phoenix for a bridal shower and wedding and possibly a ticket out to the DC area to visit Cindy! Oh, and possibly a Christmastime trip to Mississippi too.

My feet have been itchy this year...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Playing favorites

I was talking to my sister on the phone earlier this week.

As we were winding down our conversation, she said, "Do you want to talk to Evan?" (Evan is my 6 year old nephew and I adore him!)

I said, "Sure!"

She calls over to Evan and says, "Evan - do you want to talk to your favorite person?"

He said hopefully, "Aunt Stephanie?"

At this point, I started laughing because it was just so darn cute! Damn, it's nice being someone's favorite person!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

1 vs. 100 Game Show Update #2

I just got a call from the casting at 1 vs. 100 and I'm in!!! Woo-hoo!!

We're filming on Saturday, August 12th and potentially Sunday, August 13th if I make it to the second day. I'll be in the mob!!

I can't stop smiling. In a week and a half, I could potentially be a three millionaire! :-)


OK, one more...


To follow the trail from the beginning... Here's the original post about it and the follow-up after the try-out!

Monday Night Football

As the summer starts to wind down, I've found myself gearing up for Monday Night Football! Or rather, the NFL football season in general. I just bought a new Jacksonville Jaguars t-shirt and freezer mug, yeah!

Here's the problem. I don't have cable. Which brings me to why I'm pissed off! MNF, starting this year, is going to be on ESPN which is a cable station. Millions of people across America who have been enjoying this tradition for decades will now have to pony up for cable! This is B.S.!!

I will most likely get cable for the football season so that I can watch MNF. But I don't think it's right for ABC/Disney to do this to Americans who may not have cable. Most of my childhood was spent watching non-cable TV. Does everyone have cable or satellite TV now? Is that ABC's assumption?

L'Atelier by Joel Robuchon

While in Vegas, we went out for a nice dinner at a L'Atelier by Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand.

L'Atelier Entrance

I decided that since it might be a while until I return to this particular restaurant, I would have the "Discovery Menu". It consisted of the following dishes:

Chilled Gazpacho with croutons
This was delicious!!! Everyone tried a sip of it and loved it!

Fresh scallop marinated with a lemon dressing

Asparagus with King crab salad and sea urchin dressing
I have never had King crab and wow! It was so good!!

Langostine fritter with pesto sauce and arugula salad
This was my second favorite item of the entire menu. The langostine was incredible!

Egg cocotte topped with a light mushroom cream
I don't like eggs that much (especially soft boiled) and I don't care for mushrooms, but I kept an open mind and tried this dish. I ate the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. In fact, the mushrooms were actually REALLY good.

Slightly smoked salmon served warm with sweet and sour cucumber strips
Also very good.

Free-range quail stuffed with foie gras and served with truffled-mashed potatoes
This is one of Joel Robuchon's signature dishes and it's obvious why. This was my favorite item on my menu. The truffle-mashed potatoes were so interesting! They use potatoes imported from France. Lana asked me how it tasted and it took me a few seconds to answer because the flavor really came towards the end of the bite. I would highly recommend this dish.

Assortment of red fruits (raspberries and rhubarb) with tequila sorbet
This was just OK to me. I don't think I care for rhubarb much and the tequila sorbet was so-so.

Strawberries, flavored with basil, Tahitian vanilla ice cream
The Tahitian vanilla ice cream was sooooo good. We all shared a bite of this. I could've eating a couple more scoops.

The thing I was happy about was that Gary told our server how he wanted his spaghetti (vegetarian, tomato sauce, kind of spicy) and afterwards when I inquired as to how he liked it, Gary said that it might have been the best spaghetti he had ever had. I know he wasn't gung ho on trying out this restaurant, so I was glad that he at least enjoyed his dish.