Thursday, November 30, 2006

All or Nothing?

After some more reflection today, I think the area of personal growth this whole dating thing is tackling might be my "All or Nothing" tendencies. While I've grown more grey in my years, everything used to be starkly black or white.

I have to remind myself that everything is NOT an "either/or" proposition. Take this whole 23 thing... There are varying degrees of actions I could take between running away to avoid the potential hurt and falling blindly into infatuation. But in my mind and more so, in my heart, those feel like the only two options.

Thus, my personal growth area... the area where I could grow and stretch those boundaries I have in my mind. Can I continue to date him with some caution and make somewhat rational decisions and not let my emotions (or hormones) take control? I can, right? I've always been somewhat manic about relationships, so it's not a new feeling. However, maybe changing part of the feeling and creating a new, less manic feeling is a good thing. I don't even know if it's possible, but how can it not be possible? If I set my mind to it, I know it is possible.

I want to see where this goes and be open to whatever permutations it might take from my end or his. Seriously, I was looking at the subtitle of my blog and I thought, "If I just run, then I'm letting this opportunity in life pass me by and I don't want to do that." And I'm not going to.

To add to that All or Nothing tendency is my other thing: I fluctuate from being wildly optimistic to worst case scenario chick. But that, is another post. And I'm not sure I want to 'fess up to all that online. :-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cut and Run or Crash and Burn?

I went out on a date with my 23 year old suitor and unfortunately, I had a good time. I say unfortunately because having a good time just makes me like him more and more!

I have one friend in the "You Crazy!" camp who predicts that 23 is going to do or say something that makes me realize how young he really is and then I won't find him so attractive anymore. I'm not going to discount that, because I could see that happening. In fact, he said something last night that made me think, "Yeah, this most likely is going to be temporary."

Which brings me to the question: Is it better to cut and run or crash and burn?

I've been thinking that doing the ol' cut and run might be the smart money in this situation. The problem is that I don't really want to! I'm pretty sure I'll end up getting hurt in this situation, even if I'm the one doing the breaking up.

I was talking with Roger yesterday about the fear of the crash and burn and he asked me if I would have married Jason if someone had told me it was going to end up the way it did. Without hesitation, I said, "Yes. I would've still married him." Even though we ended up divorced 10 years later. He has clearly been an extremely important person in my life and even though a life together did not ultimately work out, I know I'm light years ahead of where I would've been without him. The experience with him was worth the heartbreak at the end.

I talked to Roger this morning about my date last night and he thinks I should totally go for it. He said that the look on my face is totally different with this one than with any other guy I've gone out with so far. I know that's true because I can feel it's true.

All I know is that I'm doomed. But it still might not be too late to cut and run.

Awesome Thanksgiving

We had an awesome Thanksgiving! I broke one casserole dish as I was drying it, but other than that, no major disasters!! In fact, everything was beautiful!

Here's a picture of my awesome turkey:

Roasted Turkey

This turkey was from Shelton Farms and it was a free-range, antibiotic/hormone-free turkey. It was delicious! And it was 24 pounds!! I could barely lift it into and out of the oven!

Here's a picture of the first table of side dishes:

Side dishes

We were all hungry by the time dinner was served, so a lot of it has food missing. Let's see we had yams with pecans, green salad, orange jell-o salad, pumpkin pie, vegetable crudite, M&Ms (peanut and plain, dark chocolate ones), green bean casserole, broccoli-mushroom casserole, deviled eggs (made with blue cheese and bacon), mashed potatoes, and yellow squash casserole.

Second side dish table

On the buffet, we had the turkey (beautifully carved by Stephanie R.), cranberry salad, creamed cornbread stuffing and bread stuffing.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but for dessert, we had four different kinds of cheesecakes (Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Reese's PB cups, Midnight Milky Ways), pumpkin pie, apple pie and pecan pies. All desserts were homemade and delicious!!!!

After dessert, we played some Guitar Hero (what else?) and had a great time with that. Shane played some Skipbo with various people too.

Here are some Guitar Hero photos:

Erin and Travis playing Guitar Hero

Erin and Steph playing Guitar Hero - hard song!

Steph playing Guitar Hero - we failed and got booed off the stage!

Dave and Steph playing "Rock this Town" - most likely since it's "our song"

All in all, a super fun evening with great food and great friends. Last year was the first year I didn't do Thanksgiving strictly with family. I think these last two Thanksgivings have been the best ones yet! I expect they will only improve in the future.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Age Gap

I met a guy recently that is cute, fun and very sweet. He asked me out and I hesitated, but I ended up saying "yes." Why did I hesitate? Because he's 23. That's right, 23. For the record, I'm 31. I'll help you with the math. The Age Gap = 8 years.

Which means that he graduated from college just this year. He's at his first "real" job and living by himself in his first apartment. Meanwhile, I just finalized my divorce from my ex-husband that I was married to for 10 years. I've already owned my first home and I've had the same job (where I've moved up the ladder) for years. I feel like the difference in our life experience is huge.

I think it's probably too much of an age gap to really be able to successfully date, especially because at 23, he's not in any hurry (and rightly so!) to get married and have kids. Not that I'm in a "hurry," but I certainly don't want to date for five years in order to not rush a relationship.

If he were my age (or even just closer to my age), I wouldn't have hesitated for one second. Especially because, according to him, he definitely wants to get married and have kids. My worst case scenario side is guessing that this will end disastrously, but I must not totally believe that because if I did, I wouldn't have agreed to go out with him. When I started worrying, one of my friends pointed out that things could end disastrously with anyone, even someone my own age, which is absolutely true. And since no one else is really on the horizon at the moment, I'm free to do what I want. I might as well as go out with him and see how it goes. It's just dinner. And it's just a date. Plus, I think it'll be fun.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I haven't been blogging everyday

I have tried to blog everyday this month, but I haven't. My life has just been so jam packed with fun stuff that I haven't even been able to take five minutes to post an update!

Here's a summary of the Thanksgiving Day weekend:

Thursday - Dinner with 14 of my closest friends with scrumptious food and Guitar Hero!

Friday - All-day games day (including Guitar Hero) and then some Wii action!

Saturday - Moving all day, Karaoke Revolution and then some more Wii action!

Sunday - Started watching a Netflix movie I've had for a month, then mini-golf/arcarde/batting cages with friends, then more Wii!

The Wii is cool, but I don't feel the need to own one. I am content to just play it. I might buy a controller though so that when I go, I'll have one of my very own!

But between all that stuff, I hardly had time to sleep, let alone post something on my blog. But, even when this NaBloPoMo ends, I think I'll keep trying to blog everyday. It's good for something, even if it's kind of like an online diary!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


There will be a post about the awesome Thanksgiving dinner we had later, but we just got back from Will's house where we were playing with his new Wii!!!! It was so cool! We boxed, golfed, tennised, and bowled! I can't wait to try it again. You have to try it.

I had not heard anything about it really before last week. It's a new Nintendo game console (?) and you hold this remote in your hand and move your body like you would. You bowl with the controller in your hand and it records your movements. So if you flick your wrist, it will curve the bal appropriately. Will is really good at it, but he's had more practice than any of us.

I can't wait to try it again!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Clean sheets rock!

Side note: Since I started playing Guitar Hero, everything that's cool "rocks"!

I love climbing into a bed with clean sheets. I love the way they smell and feel. I washed my sheets last night and had a great night of sleep even though I didn't go to sleep until past 1 AM.

So, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for having clean sheets on my bed right now! I can't wait to climb into bed!

Pampered Chef Order?

Anyone interested in ordering something from Pampered Chef? My rep is running a 15% discount for this weekend only, so if you want/need anything, let me know ASAP!!

The website is

The products I would highly recommend are the vegetable peeler, kitchen timer, Twixit combo kit, scrapers (there are four sizes), and any of the stoneware.

My boss has insisted I order him a couple more of the vegetable peelers. His wife ordered one a year or so ago and he said that whenever he helps her in the kitchen, she always uses that one and gives him the crappy one. So he wants one for himself and an extra one for back-up! I am doing the same thing. An extra one is always good to have on hand. Especially when you're working on a big meal, like let's say... Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rock, Paper, Scissors Showdown

When I saw L's post about Hollywood Team Trivia, I thought it sounded fun! Plus, I'm always up for anything that has a gambling angle to it! The winning team was going to take home half of the door. Considering it was $9 per person to get in, half the door could be a sizeable amount depending on how many people showed up.

So, L assembled a team that consisted of L, Erin, Ron, Dr.P and myself and we headed on down to Safari Sam's. I let them all know in advance that I probably would be absolutely useless considering that I don't really know all that much trivia, especially not Hollywood trivia.

The quiz was split into three rounds, 20 questions each. Erin knew probably half the answers all by herself, while Dr.P, L and Ron answered some questions too. I think I knew only a couple questions that no one else really knew. So at least I was useful!

They gathered all our sheets and then tallied up the scores. They then announced a tie of 37 right out of 60 questions between our team (Power to the Meeple) and another team. So we did a 5 question tie breaker. Result? We both answered two questions correctly.

So they asked for a representative from each team to come up and challenge the bar owner to some thumb wrestling. Why not each other? I don't know. All I know is that I suck at thumb wrestling, but my team had faith and sent me up anyway. My heart was pounding when I got up on stage. I went first and I lost. The bar owner's hands were bigger and stronger than mine. Then the other guy thumb wrestled the bar owner and he lost too.

So it went to the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors tie-breaker. Winner was the first to win 2 out of 3. Once I heard that, I was feeling pretty confident I could take the guy. I consider myself fairly good at RPS. We decided on the 1-2-3-show method and went to work. See the throw-by-throw details below!

1: P=P
2: S>P
3: R=R
4: P=P
5: S>P

With that, I won!!! The grand prize was.... $103.50. So we each got $20 and they graciously donated the remaining $3.50 to the Thanksgiving fund. So, I may be only able to answer a couple questions, but I kick ass at Rock, Paper, Scissors!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cranberry Side Dishes

I have two cranberry dishes that I make every year for Thanksgiving. The thing I love about both of these recipes is that they can be made a day or two in advance, so I usually make them Tuesday or Wednesday night so they're ready to go on Thanksgiving. I found both of these recipes in a Martha Stewart Living magazine (the one with the chocolate turkey on the cover I believe).

I usually make Martha's Cranberry Orange Sauce which is basically just taking 3 cups of fresh cranberries (12 oz.) and cooking them in a pan with 1 cup of sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries begin to pop (about 7 minutes). Then add 1 cup of water and simmer until slightly thickened (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in whole segments of 2 satsuma mandarin oranges. Let it cool!

The other one is a recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish. I modified it to my tastes and ever since the first year I made it, it has become a staple at my Thanksgiving table. When I saw it, the first ingredient that really piqued my interest was the jalopeno! I love spicy food and I don't think I had ever eaten a real cranberry, so I just decided to go for it.

Here's the original recipe and I just put all the stuff I omit at the bottom of the ingredients list and marked them as (omit).

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish

Makes 2 cups
This is an easy addition to the Thanksgiving menu since it doesn't require any cooking.

2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 blood oranges or navel oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, juices reserved
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (omit)
1/2 cup sugar
2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (omit)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted, broken in pieces (omit)

1. Place cranberries in food processor, and pulse to chop coarsely, about five pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.

2. Add onion, jalapeño, lime juice, orange sections and juice, ginger, sugar, and celery; mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Just before serving, add mint and pecans, and toss to combine.

Here's a picture of the ingredients before mixing it up:

Cranberry Orange Relish - "Before" picture

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Guitar Hero Weekend

It has been a Guitar Hero FEST this weekend! First, GH2 at a birthday party on Friday night til, um, (3:30 AM), did I just write that? :-) Then same thing pretty much on Saturday night (but til 4 AM). Yes, I have a problem. But the good news is I'm getting better at playing! I pretty much have just graduated to doing the songs on hard because medium just isn't a challenge anymore.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Recovering from BGG.con

I am STILL recovering from BGG.con. It might actually help if I got to bed sometime before midnight any night this week. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to get up at 6 AM for work! Yuck!! I am DEFINITELY sleeping in tomorrow.

Tomorrow I was going to game, but I think that will have to just wait til Sunday. I need to do all my planning and shopping for Thanksgiving. It looks like the guest count is going to be either 13 or 14 people (not including myself). I ordered a 25 lb. free range turkey from Full of Life and I'm really looking forward to cooking. I also need to clean up my apartment tomorrow and wash the tablecloths. Fun! :-)

On Sunday, I'm doing a team trivia contest. The winning team gets half of the admission money. It's $9 per person to enter, but I have no idea how many people usually show up.

As usual, a busy weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Moving sucks. That's all there is to it! I helped my friend Erin move a couple carloads of stuff and I'm beat!! Time to go to bed!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


There's a con in L.A. this weekend. I'm not planning on attending, but I was tempted by the fact that they are having a Guitar Hero 2 tournament as well as Karaoke Revolution!! Two of my favorite PS2 games!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

BGG.CON 2006 Recap

Well, I'm back from the BoardGameGeek convention. The #1 thing to say about it is that it was a blast!!! I slept a total of 12 hours from Thursday morning until I boarded the plane Sunday evening around 6 PM.

I won't list all the games I played because frankly, most anyone reading this just wouldn't care. And all my geeky friends know where to find the list of games I played, so, there.

Here's what I do know: I will be signing up to attend next year's con as soon as it's available. It was fabulous. I really liked the hotel room, but frankly, I might be tempted to cram a bunch of people in a room because all I did was sleep and shower in there. I spent zero time in my room. Maybe I will change my mind by next year, we'll see!

Highlights included:

Puzzle hunt: OMG, my friend Dave did a puzzle hunt for the con and it was fabulous!! I can't say much about it since he may run it again in SoCal, but it was REALLY fun. A lot of people complained it was too long and I could see that, but I didn't feel that way. We were probably around 3rd place or so on this one. We were SO close to finishing!! This was won by team Desert Meeple.

Frozen custard: We went out for dinner on Friday night after the puzzle hunt and then had some frozen custard. It was delish. I'm ready to have some more!

Game show: We participated in a Family Feud style game show (our team name was Meeple are Meeple) and we sat across the row from a team of two gamers from the SCB group (a fellow SoCal Group - their team name was Die, Fuggers!). We were talking shit to them all throughout the game, especially when we were in first place at the end of the second round. Unfortunately, they made a strong comeback in the third round and ended up coming in second place by only ONE point!!! It was so close. Those damn Desert Meeples won this too! And the sad thing is that we were beat by team Mangina (Derk, Ron, Jon and someone else I think) who consumed TWO bottles of wine during the show. Ugh!!! :-P

Final Score

Playing Werewolf: I had only played WW once at my apt. I played one game on Saturday night which turned into two games to three and next thing we knew it was around 8 AM on Sunday. So, Aaron says, "Well, there's no point in going to bed now, right?" He was absolutely right, consider the con ended at 3 PM, so I just said, "All right! Who's hungry?" We all piled into my rented SUV (thank goodness for that car!) and we headed out to Cafe Brazil for breakfast.

While we were there, Aaron offered $20 to anyone who would drink some of the pretty spicy hot sauce on the table. He had one taker who drank more than the required amount and paid for it for the rest of the morning. He did, however, get his $20!

Oh, and a quick side note, Greg had a WW playlist on his iPod for us to listen to while it was nighttime during the game. It was pretty cool.

Being mooned after a game of Time's Up: Yes, I saw Derk's ass on Friday night. 'Nuff said.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Guitar Hero 2

My plan was this: Get off the airplane, head straight over to Best Buy and buy Guitar Hero 2. It's what I did, but what I didn't count on was the Best Buy closes at 8 PM on Sundays, so I was 15 mintues too late.

I did run out and buy it during lunch today. My friend and I played all night tonight and unlocked all the songs on medium. We're not experts and frankly, he's better than me at this point. I have some practicing to do!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

BGG.con update

I just sent this out to my gaming group, so if you're in that, it's pretty much the same thing.

We're all having a great time!! We've been playing lots of games: Imperial, Emira, Space Dealer, Time's Up, Werewolf, a couple prototypes (Homesteaders and something else), etc. Jeff won a prize in the drawing last night: Pitch Car with the expansion set. The library is huge and there are tons of games from Essen.

I think the one we've all played and enjoy pretty much is Space Dealer. It's a space themed simultaneous played game with timers to regulate the actions. It comes with a CD that plays background music and serves as the timer. I think Lincoln already has one on order and I think I might pick up a second copy so we can try the 8 player version. It's neat, very different.

Aaron entered the Texas Hold'em tournament and did pretty well. I think he said he ended up 13th out of over 100 people who entered.

L&N, Ron, Aaron and I were on a team and did Dave's puzzle hunt yesterday. It was stunningly fun!! We had a great time. I was SO impressed with all the puzzles and the whole overall continuity. I loved it. We all did. And we were all made famous in one of the clues when Dave used us all in a Puerto Rico session report puzzle. Fabulous!!

Hmmmm.... other than that, lots of late night gaming - favorites are Time's Up and Werewolf (which I will play tonight).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More BBQ

OK, I have eaten MORE BBQ today. My room at my hotel is beautiful too. I love it. They have this heavenly bed and it's gorgeous. Pictures to come.

And I've recruited a Guitar Hero II practice person for next week!!!

More updates re: BGG.con as they come!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Guitar Hero II

And as a side note, we stopped by Best Buy today to pick up the new Gnarls Barkley CD and while I was there I saw the new Guitar Hero game!!!!! It's out!!!! I'm buying it on Sunday when I get home from BGG.con. You can play cooperatively. I talked to a guy later at EB Games and he said he heard it's harder than the original. I can't wait!!! Who's coming over to practice??

Barbecue (BBQ) Galore!!

OK, first off, I've had zero internet access. I'm posting this from a Schlotzsky's Deli. They actually have computers here for their customers. Awesome!

We have been eating BBQ, BBQ and more BBQ. Now I know why my friend Dave hates L.A. BBQ. It sucks. It's so awesome.

Monday, we ate at Sonny Bryan's in downtown Dallas and had brisket sandwiches. Then we drove down to Austin, but on the way we stopped in Georgetown, TX at the Monument Cafe. I will have to post pictures of this place when I get home. The inside is gorgeous, just like an old diner. We ordered pie: pecan, fried blueberry and monument chocolate pie with a pecan crust. All of these were delicious!!!

Today, we stopped by Black's BBQ in Lockhart and then cruised over to Sonny's BBQ for more!!

We drove down to the Alamo and then went to the San Antonio Riverwalk, which is gorgeous!! More later!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My vacation is starting tomorrow!

I know that technically, since I didn't go into work on Friday, my vacation started then, but since I arrived in Phoenix, it's been go-go-go! There was the bachelorette slumber party on Friday night, the wedding and all the fixins on Saturday and then today, I slept in til 11:30 AM!!! I hardly ever sleep in that late! Lounged around in my PJs watching football til about 2 PM and then shaved my legs and took a shower. Went shopping (got some cute clothes!) and then went to Shane's mom's house to cook dinner for her parents, her uncle and his wife and kids and Shane's mom's friend Ann. The only thing I really "cooked" was roasted yellow squash and zucchini. It was delicious. I love yellow squash!

Now we're home and I have to transfer some of my stuff from my gigantic suitcase into a duffel bag because it's too heavy. They let me slide at Burbank, but I am positive it's over 50 lbs. so I'm moving all the heavy stuff to a duffel bag borrowed from Shane's sister Alix.

Speaking of, Alix and Ryan were at the airport to leave on their 2 1/2 week honeymoon to Europe and their flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis was delayed and ultimately cancelled. So, they are still here, hoping to catch a flight tomorrow.

I know I'm supposed to blog everyday, but I am wondering if how that will work since I won't have as much internet access as I have this weekend. We'll see!

I do feel like tomorrow is really the first day of vacation though. And, so far, foodwise, it's been a great vacation! Fried chicken on Friday and I've had steak every day!! Today I had some for breakfast AND dinner! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bad manicures

I had my nails done yesterday at a salon here in Phoenix. The first thing that I noticed was that all the ladies working there were white. Actually, more accurately, they weren't Vietnamese. I got the crappiest manicure of my life there. And I had to pay $15 for it. The Vietnamese ladies charge me $8 and do a much better job. I ended up just buying nail polish at Target today and repainting my nails myself.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The best fried chicken of my life!

I had the best fried chicken of my life today. It was at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe in downtown Phoenix. Here's a picture of Shane outside of Mrs. White's.

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

The chicken was some of the best I've ever eaten. It's a total hole in the wall and it's only open from 11 AM - 5 PM Monday through Friday. All meals are $8.80 plus tax and it includes the main portion of the meal and your choice of two sides. And, they also have sweet tea!! It was pure heaven for lunch. I now will have to make sure that whenever I'm going through Phoenix I am passing through on a weekday so I can check out Mrs. White's for lunch!!

Here's a picture of the fried chicken:
Fried chicken

Here's a picture of the fried pork chops:
Fried pork chops

Here's a picture of the list of sides you have to choose from (yes it's written on the wall):
Side dishes at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

One unusual thing about Mrs. White's is that you order from the waitress, but when it comes time to pay, you just go up to the cashier and tell them what you had. They ring you up in literally about 1 second. They don't even add it up on a calculator. I walked up and said, "We had two meals, two drinks and a piece of pineapple cake." He (Mrs. White's son) said, "That'll be $24.96." He didn't even hesitate.

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
808 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 262-9256

Open M-F 11 AM - 5 PM

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vacation looms (and Christmas)!

My vacation starts tomorrow! I'm heading out to Phoenix for a wedding, then heading to Texas for some sightseeing and a convention!

I already feel like November is slipping away. My goal is to get all my Christmas shopping done by 11/30/06 so I can enjoy December stress-free! And I can bake lots of cookies and decorate my tree and do all that fun stuff.

I did actually start my Christmas shopping, but more so, I've been making a list of what I want to buy. I'm hoping to do as much online shopping as possible to avoid the malls. They are going to be crazy!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


E is participating in NaBloPoMo. Basically, a pledge to post every day in the blog. I guess I should try that too although it might be impossible since I'll be out of town for 10 days. Oh well, let's see if I can do it! This is the first post of the month.