Monthly Archives: October 2008

Did someone say tailgate?

So this weekend there’s a football game. My fabulous Big 10 school — which usually sucks in football but is now having a semi-decent season — is playing another Big 10 school. We’re coming off a big win last weekend against our rival. It’ll be a good game. Or a complete blowout. Nothing in between.

Months and months ago, DD bought tickets to the game for himself and his friend, George*, who’s an alumni of the other school. I really could’ve cared less — 9 times out of 10, I’m not a big football fan. Sure, I’ll watch the game if I can, sure I’ll take a ticket if you offer, but I’m by no means a die hard. Especially when November hits and it just gets downright cold in Michigan.

But then, all of DD’s friends and fellow alums planned a semi-last-minute tailgate. None of them are going to the game, but they’re all waking up at the ass crack of dawn to drive to campus and tailgate. People are coming in from out of town for this show. And it’s actually supposed to be a semi-nice day. (Read: Not below zero temps.)

When these plans started to take shape a few weeks ago, DD offered to try to get me an extra ticket to the game — maybe see if George wanted to invite his gal and make it a date. But I guess George doesn’t want to do that; he wants it to be a guy thing.

Which I totally get. That was its original purpose, after all.

Except, well, except now this thing has turned into so much more than a guy thing that a couple people were planning to go to. It’s turned into an all-day tailgate extravaganza to which I’m now invited. But if I go, I’ll be left with DD’s friends while he goes to the game. And I’m just not sure how I feel about that.

See, I’m not *just* a tailgater. I know, I know, that’s not very Big 10 of me. Big 10ers are known for their tailgating prowess. We get up before dawn, party all day at the game, and then go out to the bars after the game’s over. We drive from miles around to tailgate and could give a shit if we go to the game. “Tired” and “Bored” are not words in a Big 10 tailgater’s vocabulary.

But they are words in mine. And if I’m going to get up at the ass crack of dawn and drive 2 hours somewhere after being out all night the night before, I’d better be getting more than a cheap hot dog and some spinach dip out of the deal. I’d better be going to the game.

While I get George’s original hope for boy time, I’m just kind of frustrated that now that plans have changed, we weren’t able to fit me into the plan for the game. I guess I’m just feeling left out. Sure I’m being included in the overall plans, but in the plans that specifically include DD — the person who I’m closest to in this whole group? I’m being left in the dust. There’s even a part of me that thinks DD doesn’t want me to go because he doesn’t want to have to actually leave me behind when he runs off for the aforementioned boy time.

So, I could just not go. Which would be good for my mental (and probably physical — no over-drinking and over-eating) health. But I hate feeling like a party pooper. And I do like DD’s friends and it would be fun to see them. And I obviously want to spend as much time as I can with DD, even if that is just a couple hours before he (unintentionally) ditches me. I know he feels bad about the situation, and the way it all worked out, and it’s not his fault. But still. Frus.Trated.

Right now, I’m leaning toward staying home. But in 5 minutes, my mind could be changed. This sounds like an excellent moment to break out the new poll widget that WordPress provides.

Ed. Note: This seemed like a perfect time to try out the new poll widget, but it’s being a little bitch and not working. And I don’t have the patience for that. So, leave it in the comments — I like comments better, anyway!

To tailgate or not to tailgate?

 

*Names have been changed to protect the people who don’t know I write about them and therefore aren’t consenting adults. Let’s also pray they don’t read this and figure out it’s about them, because I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my Internet rants.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), rants, S is for sports

Thoughts on Staycation

The past two days have been lovely. So lovely that I wish there were more of them. Alas, I will just have to wait until the 2 weeks I took off for Christmas. It really can’t come soon enough…

I’ve been surprisingly productive, accomplishing pretty much everything I wanted. And for your bullet loving pleasure, here’s just a smattering of thoughts that went through my head as I was being so accomplished.

  • Ah, 9 a.m. You’re a nice time, but I think I’ll just roll over and luxuriate a bit longer in my 600 thread count cotton sateen sheets.
  • Breakfast! What an amazing meal. I should really eat it more often.
  • Why, oh, why is my DVD player showing a big black rectangle in the middle of the TV screen? I just want to watch the Netflix’s that have been sitting here for a month! Geez. Here, let me just keep playing with the remote until it goes away. [side note: I will continue to do this the next two days. Seriously, I don’t know wtf is up? It goes away, then comes back. Hateful technology.]
  • Wow, working out feels good. Whew, the rut is over!!!
  • Hmmm, the new NKOTB CD is quite an excellent workout soundtrack.
  • It’s also a little graphic. Who knew such an innocent ’80s boy band could talk about sex so much? Makes me just a wee bit frisky.
  • Too bad DD’s in Florida all week. Stupid promotion and its mandatory training in warm weather.
  • New pants are badly needed for work. Perhaps the mall will have a good sale.
  • [At Victoria’s Secret] $98?! How did my very unpractical purchases rack up to that amount? I have a coupon! Gah, I should have stuck to the 5/$25 underwear table. I blame NKOTB.
  • Oooo, pants are buy one get one 1/2 off — The Limited must have been reading my mind!
  • Oh yoga, I’ve missed you. But you’re going to make me sore tomorrow.
  • [At yoga] You want me to put my what where? And then lift myself up. Yeah. Right.
  • [Still at yoga, somewhere in a Crescent Moon vinyasa] I should really ask my instructor if she teaches anywhere else. Because I like her, but if I quit the gym, I won’t be able to see her anymore.
  • [10 minutes later] No, I better not. She might think I’m a crazy stalker. [side note: Yes, I need to be less shy.]
  • Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow? Oh well, at least it’s only three days until the weekend.

 

    2 Comments

    Filed under DD (aka My Man), glass half full, list mania, rambling nature

    Coming full circle OR here’s an embarrassing moment for ya

    It was 1990.

    There wasn’t this thing called the Internet.

    There were barely computers.

    Cell phones were something only Zack Morris had.

    There was a war brewing.

    And I was in 4th (or was it 5th?) grade.

    Growing up, I was a big fan of New Kids on the Block. I had the posters, the sleeping bag, the blanket, the Jordan doll, the trading cards, and ALLLL the tapes. Life was good.

    But then, as boy bands tend to do, they quickly went out of style at the turn of the decade. However, being the non-trendsetter that I am, I liked them a bit longer than was considered appropriate.

    But so did my friend, so it was cool. We continued our adoration of Jordan Knight in our own way. Our elementary school talent show was coming up so we decided to band together and show our undying love for NKOTB by doing a coreographed dance to The Right Stuff. (and yes, we did do the kicks.)

    I still remember what I wore for the show — a preppy white short sleeved sweater with New Kids on the Block written in pastel block letters. I remember the kids all sitting in the gym/cafeteria/whatever-the-hell-it-was. I remember beginning the dance…

    And then the booing started.

    Yes, the booing. By elementary schoolers. Just because we had chosen a (gasp!) New Kids song. Didn’t we know they were so last week?

    Undeterred, we finished the song to the sounds of incessant boos by the entire school. Thinking back, I have no idea how we finished it. And to be honest, I can’t even remember if I ran off and cried when it was over. I had to have, but I’ve blocked the whole thing out. What I do remember is that the school administration decided to use it as a lesson because the entire school had to write my friend and I apology notes. I saved them for years; for all I know my mom still has them in some forgotten box in the basement.

    Fast forward 18 years. Just like bangle bracelets and leggings, the New Kids are back. Sure they’ve aged a bit, but they’re still there, playing the same roles they did when I was a kid. Jon quietly to the side, Donnie playing the bad boy, Joey the baby, and Jordan the heart throb.

    When I saw their concert was coming, I was relatively unenthused. Sure I’d loved them back in the day, but I’m older now. Shit, I’d even been a super-fan, liking them well past their prime, but now? Now I couldn’t even tell you all their songs.

    Then my friend e-mailed me and told me she had an extra ticket. I only agreed to go since I rarely get to see her. I had to You Tube all their old songs so I’d be slightly literate for the concert.

    When we got there, the concert was 99% women, and about half of them dug out the old t-shirts and hairstyles for the occasion. And they were singing Every.Single.Song at the top of their lungs. And there I was, barely able to remember if some of the songs were new or old. The concert was great fun, but I have to admit, it felt very odd, watching the reactions women were having to this comeback and remembering how I experienced their demise.

    As much as I fought it, I found myself getting into their new stuff as the concert continued. One of the girls that went with us gave us each a copy of their new CD, and I’ve spent most of the day driving around listening to it. And now I’m putting it on my iPod, which means I’m officially hooked.

    But you better believe I won’t be busting a move to it in public this time around.

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    Filed under Excuse me while I trip on myself

    On holiday

    In the midst of a high-stress situation at work a couple weeks ago, I logged on to our holiday calendar and booked two days off next week. Not gonna lie, I never do get sick of having 6 weeks of vacay to play around with. It’s the kind of bennie that makes you stick around at a thankless job and continue to be belittled by a (mostly) thankless boss.

    But I digress.

    So, tomorrow is my last day until Wednesday. There was a time that I would only take time off if I had a valid reason aside from wanting to sleep and laze about on my couch. But then I tried to go to Europe and it was a big fat FAIL (and a blog post for another time), and I was left with a week off work and nothing to do. I must admit, I was rather nervous at the prospect of all that time to be idle.

    It took me all of 24 hours to realize it was what heaven must feel like. 

    Now when work gets me down, like really down, like to the point of banging my fists on my desk more than once a day down, I take a day or two reprieve.

    Here’s what I plan to do with my four day weekend (it’s possible only one — or none!– of these things will get done, but it’s good to have goals, right?):

    • Red Wings game
    • New Kids on the Block concert (Is it weird that as big a fan I was, now I seriously don’t remember all of their hits?)
    • Play in my rec softball league’s championships. We finished 4th in the regular season. Woo!!!
    • Sit in a big chair at Starbucks and read
    • Escape the sorry state of American politics with my West Wing DVDs
    • Shop. I’m kinda bored with my current work clothing. So maybe I’ll be persuaded to buy some new stuff.
    • Get out of my work out rut. Gosh dangnabit I WILL go to the gym on Monday and Tuesday.

    Things I plan not to do:

    • Think about work or the fact that it’s entirely possible my boss is crazy.
    • Check my voice mails at work.
    • Check my e-mails at work.

    OK, well that last one may not happen as I’m kind of obsessed with my Inbox. And overwhelmed at the same time. Which means I probably shouldn’t check it.

    But I will.

    In between West Wing episodes.

    4 Comments

    Filed under career, Detroit, glass half full, list mania, S is for sports

    A massive amount of Detroit love

    The past couple weeks have been non-stop. And I’m ready to stop. It’s also been a couple weeks of good Detroit-ness, so I feel the need to share and do my part to further reiterate that Detroit is a cool place to be. I could have devoted blog posts to each place, but instead I’ve decided to make it into a monster post of Detroit love. So without further pontificating, here’s where I’ve been these last two weeks:

    — Motor Bar in the newly renovated Westin Book Caddy. For those non-Detroiters, this hotel is the crown jewel of our current rebirth. It took more years than I know and more money than is currently housed on Wall Street to make it happen, but it’s worth it. I found myself there its first day open, at first by chance and then later by purpose. I love the new hotel, all gleamy and white.

    I love the atmosphere of the bar, though it really is just a nice hotel bar. But the plush couches and round booths create something chic and cool. My only complaint? The cocktail menu. Not that I’m a huge cocktail fan (I much prefer wine or a cheap well drink), but the bar lends itself to an urge to enjoy a fabulous cocktail. I eagerly opened the menu expecting a bevy of options and was confronted with the same old stuff. Not much imagination. A Manhattan here, a Cosmo there. Disappointed, I selected an Appletini, and was pleasantly surprised how good it was. And I suppose that’s what really matters. While there, we saw Michael Symon of iron chef fame, who is opening the hotel’s main restaurant, Roast, this month. Of course we were all too much like nervous schoolgirls to go say “hi”, but it was still a celebrity sighting!

    Cuisine. We were here for a going away party, Detroit-style. The restaurant serves French-American fare in an old house in Detroit’s New Center area, and most of its traffic comes from the Fisher Theatre crowd. I’d honestly never heard of it before I started dating DD, and he took me there for V-Day. That night, I sadly can’t remember what I had except for some fabulous mushroom risotto. I’m still talking about that mushroom risotto, it was so creamy and delish.

    At this occasion, I had the difficult choice between going with a progression menu with lamb or opting for a la carte and trying out the sturgeon. Since red meat and I don’t agree anymore, I opted for the sturgeon and lobster/crab bisque. The bisque was rich and the pieces of meat were tender and juicy. The first bite of the sturgeon was amazing, but as I got into it, I realized it was ever-so-slightly over cooked. Not quite the flakiness I adore, but it was a thick piece of fish, so it was semi-understandable. It came with some corn risotto cakes which were also good — crispy on the outside with fresh corn and al dente risotto inside. In fact, I find more and more when I go to fancy places that the sides are often just as good or better than the main dish. As you may recall, I practically wanted to bathe in the grits I had at Iridescence.

    I will say I did taste the lamb since DD ordered the progression menu I’d contemplated, and OHMYEFFINGGOD was that lamb tender. One of these days, I’m really going to have to chock my body’s rejection of red meat to the wind and order lamb for myself.

    For dessert, my arm was twisted into trying the chocolate souffle, something I don’t think I’ve ever had before, so it’s difficult for me to really review. I can say it was chocorific, just how I like my deserts. The waiter poured hot fudge into the souffle before serving, making it a combination of airiness mixed with fudgey richness.

    And that concludes my review of Cuisine. There were a couple bottles of champagne and an excellent bottle of Syracco, but I’m still working on my wine conoisseur license so I won’t dwell on those. The service was impeccable, and I appreciated the fact that our waiter knew the wine list and was easily able to make suggestions as to what would go with our meals. Last time I was there, the waiter did the same thing and DD and I actually had a personally selected wine flight, which was a lot of fun to do with dinner.

    Bakers Keyboard Lounge. Part Two of the going away party. I do love Bakers, and I’m not even an ardent jazz fan. According to their site, it’s the world’s oldest jazz club and is known to be one of THE places to play if you’re a jazz musician. The club is small and intimate, and last time I was there, we had to wait in the cramped bar before getting in because it was so packed.

    What I love about Bakers is the atmosphere. Because it’s small and dare I say, cramped, you feel the music that much more. And it’s easy to strike up a conversation with your neighbors…as you might be sharing a table! Or, if you’re not feeling sociable, you can curl up in a cozy booth with someone special and just be. The bar has booths all around the perimeter, ideal of parties of 2, or large groups, as ours was a whopping party of nine.

    The last time I was there I had a wonderfully rich turtle cheesecake, and even some decent catfish bites (odd combo, I know). It’s possible that cheesecake came directly from heaven.

    The Woodhouse Day Spa. This was DD’s Sweetest Day gift to me. We’d been talking for awhile about getting a couple’s massage, as neither of us had had a massage before and were a little skiddish to try it alone. So he booked a nice package, with massages, facials and pedicures (watching him get a pedicure is a post all by itself…).

    This was the first time I’d done a spa package. And overall, I enjoyed it. However, if I were to review the spa, I’d say I wasn’t totally impressed. First, the facialist must have used something on my skin that really dried out my chin, because 2 weeks later, it’s still recovering. And that was after she clucked on about how dry my skin was to begin with and chose to give me the “extreme moisture” facial. Obviously, it wasn’t as extreme as it could be, because I woke up the next day with a dried out chin. After that, we had our pedicures, and then our massages. I’m no spa expert, but this was not the order it should have gone. My toes were still tacky when we got under the sheets for the massages — so the polish got a bit junked up. Not enough to be really noticeable, but still…I felt like they should have done the pedicure last. And finally, their prices were a tad steep. Don’t get me wrong, the package was well priced given all we had done. But when I looked at the services on an individual basis (which is what I’d most likely be going back for), I felt some were pricier than the competition. And you know me, I’m all about the bargain.  

    Coach InsigniaThe restaurant on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center. Overlooking Windsor, Ontario, and downtown Detroit, the restaurant is the second highest in the U.S. I took DD here for his birthday this past Friday. It was in the middle of a ca-RAZY weekend of work for me, and I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy it because of that. But I was wrong.

    We were seated by the window, overlooking the Detroit River and Windsor. The restaurant is quiet and romantically lit, perfect to share a bottle of wine, have a long conversation, and belly up to the table.

    And boy did we belly up.

    I started with the Ceasar Salad and DD had the lobster bisque. I never thought an ordinary salad could be so good. The dressing was perfectly seasoned, the lettuce fresh, and there was a crusted piece of parmesan smack in the middle of it. And I do love me some cheese. For dinner, I got the spinach fettucine. I almost went for the chilean sea bass, but was really drawn to the pasta. It had trumpet mushrooms, oven dried tomatoes, chicken, and goat cheese. As you can probably guess, it was the goat cheese that sold me. The pasta was very good, but there was a part of me that wished I would have gotten one of their signature dishes. One thing I’ve noticed is that when I select pasta at fine restaurants, it’s never as special. It’s always good, but never as special as their meat and seafood dishes. Perhaps pasta is just too ordinary for high class places to spend a lot of time on.

    Coach did set itself apart from its high class dining counterparts in portion size. Usually fine dining means small portions. It is all about presentation, after all, not gorging yourself. But at Coach, it’s about both. DD ordered a side of mashed potatoes that could have been shared by four people. We had endless bread (warm tomato basil bread at that!), and tons of garnish with our main courses.

    By dessert, we were both full, but I felt it was critical we make room for something chocolate, so we shared the pudding cake. True to its name, it was as ooey-gooey as it sounds. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more had I not taken such a liking to that tomato basil bread earlier, but regardless, it was worth the more-than-full feeling he and I left with.

    And that concludes my month of the Detroit high life. To pack all of these things into one month is insane. For both the schedule and the budget. Well, more precisely, I should say DD’s budget because he footed the majority of this little trip into luxury. But it was fun and I’d urge you to check out any of the options when you do have a little extra cash floating around or you’re looking for a special occasion destination.

    And as an added Detroit-themed bonus, I have to share what I got DD for his birthday. I’ve been eager to share my Etsy find, but was afraid that somehow, someway, DD would find this little blog and see the photo, and then the surprise would be ruined. But, finally, here it is: Custom made Detroit-themed cufflinks made by Anne Holman. I know, they’re awesome:

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    Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, foodie, glass half full, Uncategorized

    A work out rut

    I haven’t been to the gym in probably a month. And it’s killing me. But not enough to get me to actually get up and go to the gym.

    I think this is what they call an exercise rut.

    To be fair, for the majority of the past month, I just haven’t had the time. I’ve been working until 6 or 7, so by the time I leave work, I’m too hungry to just go straight to the gym, or too tired to go home and then head back out to the gym later. And in some cases it’s been a matter of working at the office until 7 and then heading home to work until midnight.

    There just hasn’t been room for self-maintenance activities like the gym, or, you know, brushing my hair, really.

    But the past two weeks, there has been time. I’ve packed my gym bag with the best intentions of going and have decided against it at the last minute. I’ve thought about heading back out to get in a yoga class, and changed my mind in favor of snuggling on the couch with junk food and TV.

    I’ve gotten out of my routine and I can’t get back into it.

    I think it has a lot to do with my general gym unhappiness of late. I’ve mentioned before that I want to switch gyms. But I just haven’t gotten around to it. I finally resorted to putting it on my calendar for a lunch hour (it’s near my office) so I’d remember to go and check the new gym out. I did that a week ago, and still haven’t made it over. I just keep postponing it and my gym hiatus just keeps going. Because while I haven’t joined the new gym, I’ve grown out of my current gym and its inconvenient location and class times.

    I really need to get off my ass and take care of this. Make a decision and stick to it. I think my fear is that while I think the new gym will better suit my needs, I’m still afraid of making the change. The reasons it fits my needs have to do with its convenience to my office and where I spend a lot of my weekend time due to my relationship with DD. But what if I get a new job? Or my relationship ends? What then?

    Yes, I realize the “what then” answer is that I find a new gym again. No biggie. But for the girl who hates change, it’s hard to comprehend gym-hopping (and the exorbitant initiation fees that come with it).

    The reality is that this hiatus has illustrated my need for a workout routine change. And I better get off my ass and make it before I completely lose any sort of in-shapeness that I possess.

    6 Comments

    Filed under decisions, Detroit

    What’s in my…

    Yes, this will be one of those posts (funny how I was going to open with the same line in a previously planned post about politics.)

    This won’t be a political post, but it will be a post you’ve seen a thousand times before. Maybe even 10,000. It’s a “what’s in my” post. But, instead of looking into my purse (which I finally downsized last week), or looking in my glove compartment (which even I haven’t looked in in many, many moons), it’s going to be a look inside my refrigerator. Because I just went grocery shopping, and so it’s overflowing with blog fodder. Or cheese. You be the judge.

    Behold, the fridge of glorious sustenance. Mixed with a healthy dose of dairy.

    Behold, the fridge of glorious sustenance. Mixed with a healthy dose of dairy.

    Let’s see…where to start? From the bottom up, left to right, shelf by shelf.
    Bottom shelf:
    1. Tortillas for my quesadillas.
    2. Onions of some sort. They’re the small ones and were highly important to a recipe I never made. They were also brought to me at the grocery store by a gentleman that I may have flirted with had I not be so head-over-heels for DD.
    3. Grape tomatoes. Which will most assuredly go bad before I even eat a third of them.

    Shelf two:

    1. Ah, sweet dairy. What would I do without you? We have sour cream and cheese of various sorts (chedder, gruyere, monterey jack…) piled up in there.
    2. There’s a pizza crust for a yummy asparagus and prosciutto pizza I will be making.
    3. Ricotta. AKA more cheese.
    4. Hummus for lunch. Which will also go bad before I eat it all.
    5. Lettuce
    6. Avocado for me to take a stab at homemade guacamole. This is also known as an impulse buy as I have no clue how to make guacamole. But damn did it sound good at the store.
    7. Yellow pepper, roma tomatoes, asparagus. More things that will go bad.

    Shelf three:

    1. Feta, feta, feta.
    2. A mozarella log. Because a mozarella ball is just not enough.
    3. Olives. For the aforementioned quesadillas. Really, it’s amazing. Try it.
    4. Cantaloupe from the farmer’s market. Should probably see if it’s gone bad yet, too.
    5. Leftover stuffed shells from mom. Mmmm.
    6. Yogurt. For breakfast or lunch, whatever works.

    Top shelf:

    1. Milk
    2. OJ to avoid DD’s germs from this weekend. Is only used when I feel a cold coming on. I don’t believe in drinking it preventatively, but only after germs have infected my immune system and I’m making a last desperate attempt to let them not wreak complete havoc on my body. Also? No Pulp, thanks. 
    3. Milk that will quickly be old. Hence, #1.
    4. Water.
    5. Bruschetta mix and Ragu.
    6. Very, very old wine. I can tell because it’s red and I would not normally put red in the fridge, but it was summer. And hot. And it was the worst wine ever otherwise. But it comes in a handy little bottle, so that’s a plus, right?

    In the drawers there is most assuredly more cheese, perhaps some prosciutto (for the aforementioned pizza), and some other things that may or may not have gone bad. Have you noticed a theme yet? It’s hard cooking for one. Or cooking at all, really.

    It’s funny that I thought to do this tonight, as tomorrow begins the Michigan Food Stamp Challenge. So, it may seem a bit improper that I’m waxing on about the fabulousness that is my full fridge when others are actually choosing to live off of a food stamp budget for a week in an attempt to feel the affects of poverty and increase awareness about the importance of food banks and soup kitchens. And even more people are actually forced to live off of food stamps and may not have the means that I do to fill my fridge with dairy goodness.

    However, this photo is the result of the first time in probably a month that I’ve seriously gone grocery shopping. Before tonight, I’d spent at least 2 weeks living off of Kraft Mac & Cheese and cheap pasta. Still not food stamps, I know. But looking at my full fridge and comparing it to the $5.87 per day that someone on food stamps is allotted, I am thankful for the means I do have.

    Not to mention that mozarella log.

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    Filed under foodie, glass half full, Uncategorized