Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Do Not Run a Vegetarian-Friendly Household

The last time I visited 42, we stopped by his favorite hoagie shop to pick up, well, hoagies (of course), but more importantly, pepper shooters! He had extolled their virtues on the phone to me many a time, so I finally had the chance to try one! And they were good! A pepper shooter consists of a hunk of extra sharp provolone, wrapped with prosciutto, that's been stuffed into a cherry pepper. Even better, they also had they're special creation, the salamincini, which is basically the same idea: a hunk of extra sharp provolone, wrapped with salami, stuffed inside a peperoncini! I preferred those, but probably because of the flavor of the pepper more than anything.

One of the reasons we made the 30 minute trek to this hoagie shop was because they had these pepper shooters. 42 wants me to learn how to make them and make them for him! Ah, do I love a challenge! So on Saturday, I decided to try making them. I made both types and the soaked them in olive oil overnight. They're good, but they don't taste exactly like the ones I had when I visited him. I'm going to call the sandwich shop to see if I can get any more information from them on how to make them. Here's how they're looking...

The point is, I have some friends coming over tomorrow night to play Die Macher. I was going to offer them as snacks tomorrow night, then I remembered, OH WAIT, one of them's a vegetarian. So I guess I'll just warn him about the meat content.

This is the second time in the last month or so that I'd have to warn a vegetarian off of a seemingly innocuous dish! Who would expect pickled peppers to have meat in them? The last time was during Bakefest 2007, when we made the bacon chocolate chip cookies. I had my friend Gary (also a vegetarian) come by and I had to warn him about the bacon content in the cookies! Not a normal warning, I'm sure! :-)

Oh, and I've been meaning to post a picture of this because it's too good to not get a mention in the blog... For my New Year's Eve party, Shannon made a retro meat-tacular appetizer! The meat tree!!!

O Meat-Cheese Tree...

Isn't that amazing? When she walked in we were all amazed I took the picture with my tree in the background for sizing. That was a pretty tall tree, at least 7 ft tall! It was covered with cocktail wieners, hunks of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, pigs in a blanket, gherkin pickles, olives and I think that's it. It was delicious!! And talk about presentation! It was quite festive and was a huge hit!!

Meat & Cheese tree close-up

Saturday, January 26, 2008


One downside to having a long-distance boyfriend is that it means MUCH less face time! We do talk to each other pretty often, but that's clearly not the same as spending time together. To try to make up for that, we decided to buy matching webcams! We bought Logitech Quickcam Ultra Vision cameras. I received mine a couple days ago and he should receive his on Monday. Then we can give it a real try. So far, we've talked online where he could see me via Windows Messenger Live.

I've been having one problem though. I keep getting the blue screen of death! I updated the software and it didn't happen for a couple days until I was trying to stream some video on the blog tonight. Something in the software is causing it to do that, but I'm not sure what. I'm going to ask my computer guy when I see him next week to see if he has any suggestions.

I'm not planning on actually streaming video to the blog really, but I wanted to see how exactly it would work. Pretty cool!! I'm curious to see what it's like talking with him when I can see him. Now I'll have to worry about what I look like even when I'm lounging around at home!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I'm not sure what exactly turns a "guy I'm dating" into an official "boyfriend," but I think I have one! At least I called him that and he seems to like it! :-) Things have been progressing with 42. I really like him. We have some major common interests (games, food and each other!) and goals, but we have differences too and that part we're working on to see if they can be ironed out.

The biggest problem? He lives across the country. Yes, a long distance relationship. I've been out there to visit him a couple times, we talk on the phone everyday and he's coming out to visit me in a couple weeks. He's never been to California, so I've been making a list of places to see, well, more accurately, things to eat while he's out here. So far, In-n-Out, juicy pork dumplings from Din Tai Fung, a sandwich from Tony's Deli in Burbank, Scoops and sushi are on the list... mmmm... Plus, I want to take him to the beach, have Shane meet him, cook him dinner and make pepper shooters! Somehow, I doubt we'll get all of that done, but it's good to have goals.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Point Break LIVE!

Yes, you read correctly... Point Break LIVE! If you loved the guilty pleasure that is the Patrick Swayze-Keanu Reeves summer hit of 1991, you will LOVE watching the LIVE "stage" adaptation of Point Break. We saw it on Saturday night and it was hilarious!

The best part? They choose an audience member from the audience to portray FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah who reads off of cue cards all night to capture the wooden magic of Keanu. Our Johnny Utah was awesome - Jim, an aspiring writer/comedian... The skydiving scene was SO frickin' funny. I thought we were going to die laughing.

Even if you've never seen Point Break, I'd recommend seeing this. It's completely absurd and wonderful. When I heard it was a play, I thought it'd be in a theater, but it's actually in a lounge - Charlie O's in the Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are only $20 and it's worth every penny. I'd recommend sitting directly in front of the stage for best viewing. Beforehand, you might want to eat at Weeneez across the street. We didn't try it, but it looked good!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Work Update

Work has finally kinda/sorta calmed down. We finished up all the accounting associated with the sale of the company and finalized the last two months' books. I'm still pretty busy because now I'm trying to catch-up on everything that's been neglected over the last month!

The hardest part now is dealing with my boss leaving. I've worked with him for almost 10 years and I have enjoyed working with him. Every time he starts talking about when he's gone, or I start talking to a friend about him leaving, I just want to start crying and sometimes can't help myself. I've learned so much from him, both personally and work-related that it's hard to imagine not having him here to bounce ideas off of every day. I hope that we will still keep in touch once he's gone.

He's somewhat anti-social and hates going to parties and such, but Marilyn & I are organizing a surprise dinner for him during his last week here. I spoke with his wife and best friend and they're going to help me get him there. I know if he knew about it in advance he would not want us to organize something like that, but I know that he will actually enjoy it once he's there. His best friend thought it was a great idea. He's worked here for so long and taken care of the company and its employees that everyone wants a chance to say good-bye and wish him well.

Man, I am going to miss him!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Savings Inspiration

As I've been endlessly pondering what should be my New Year's Resolutions for 2008, one of the topics (as always!) has been how much I should try to save! I ran across this blog post about the "America's Cheapest Family" and fell in love. I love it when people are committed and follow through on something like this. (In case you don't read the article, it's a family of seven that lives off of $35,000 net a year and paid off their house in 9 years!)

Is it for everyone? Probably not. Frankly, I think most people don't have the discipline it takes to pull off something like that. But man, it's inspiring, isn't it? And it's full of links and tips! I haven't had time to explore them all yet, but one of them is for how to pull off "once a month cooking" which I've been interested in for a while. The closest I came to trying that was doing the Saving Dinner Mega-Menu Mailer, which was actually pretty cool, but I just haven't worked up the time/energy to do a repeat of it. Perhaps something to work on this spring. The recipes needed work, but the idea was a good one!

Hey... maybe that's a good idea for a resolution? Hmmm... I'll add that to the list of potentials... Speaking of, I think I'll be finalizing the list sometime next week.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Worst Week Ever

I usually don't blog much about work. Mainly because I've had a pretty cushy job for many, many years. I know what I'm doing, it's a piece of cake, I felt like I got paid well. Since the company was purchased at the end of November however, it's been SO incredibly busy that I can't seem to even enjoy my job.

I almost started writing out a detailed bitch-fest about what's been going on this week, but the bottom line is this: I want to do a great job. I feel, at this point, like that will be impossible to accomplish. It's only going to get worse before it gets better and I feel like it's sucking my life energy out of me. I'm not the type of person that lives to work. I work to enjoy the very full life I have outside of work. And as previously mentioned, I don't think they're paying me enough money for the amount of work they're asking me to do. I can only hope that this is only transitional and it will all calm down over the next few months.

I don't need (or want) to be told by a peer that I should start "checking my emails on the weekend." It's not happening. I don't need someone to joke around saying, "Vacation? What's that?" When he said that, I just gave him the death glare and said, "Don't even joke about that. Because I will quit. Right. Now." And I would.

I laughed (I really am awful at hiding my feelings about anything) when he was trying to calm me down by explaining to me that my success at the company was totally dependent on me. "You control your own destiny," he said. I looked at him and said, "Yes, I do control my own destiny." Translation: I don't need this job or any shit from any of you!

And then finally, events today: My boss announced today that he has resigned as president of our company. I am completely sad to hear this. I've worked directly for him for almost 10 years. I am going to miss him SO much.

Wow, this week has totally sucked work-wise. And I know it's just going to get worse. Ugh.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Date #42.2 has been set

I've been talking to 42 quite a bit the past few days since our first big date. The second big date has been set for next weekend. I am really looking forward to it! I've been thinking about the first date a lot and realized that one thing I love about him is that he's perfectly willing to dissect a situation with me and talk about it a lot. Most guys probably wouldn't be so gung-ho about that.

It's a really cool quality. It makes me feel more inclined to talk to him about everything. Literally, it seems like we just talk endlessly about anything under the sun. Partly because we're still gathering data about each other and partly because neither one of us wants to hang up! I am not joking when I tell you he had a list of chain restaurants for me to rate so we could compare our "chain" tastes! It was so cute! During our first date, I asked him what he thought about Applebee's (ick!). Turns out, he doesn't like them either! I was so happy to hear that that I kissed him (a lot!)! It may seem like a stupid thing to agree on, but what if he loooooved Applebee's and wanted me to eat there all the time? Gross! I mean, seriously... is true love worth that much bad food? I think not! (On the other hand, there's always the salad bar and cocktails, which are the only things I would ever order there again.)

This is totally light stuff, but we also talk about the "deeper" stuff. We've already discussed all the stuff that I imagine most "normal" people probably wouldn't touch for at least a month or two. It's been great! Before our first big date, I think we had been talking more seriously (than just IMing) for about 10 days. I joked with him that we had crammed three months of casual, pointless dating into a week! Which I think mainly works because we both are totally down with talking about just about anything.

Now, I have to wait a whole week to see him. Man, that totally sucks! But at least he's just a phone call away!