Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring cleaning...

Yes, it's that time of year... when a young Hausfrau's thoughts turn to the birds and the bees...

No wait, that's not right.

Oh yeah.

Yes, it's that time of year, when a young Hausfrau's thoughts turn to what a mess her household in and her inherent laziness can no longer overcome the sense of shame at not keeping a properly cleaned house......

That's the one!

This weekend it was time to focus on the house. Re-stocking with shopping on Saturday, and cleaning today.

Yesterday I braved the masses at Sam's club, the produce mart, the regular grocery store, and then another produce mart. Then it was some general straightening up, making some cheese steak sandwiches for dinner.

Today was the major cleaning... so far the downstairs bath, vacuuming the carpet and couch, scrubbing floors, and I still need to do general "straightening up" in the kitchen. Oh, and laundry load number 3 just went in. While I was grumbly going about my tasks earlier the hubby mumbled something about how he'd clean the upstairs bath... which has yet to start as of 4pm and I suspect will not be happening until I finish the kitchen and then head up there and start it myself. Grumble. Yeah, this evening I'm gonna look up some maid services online. This is just bullshit. I don't care if the hubby "doesn't see why" I think I need maid service... since we moved into the townhome he's helped me do a big cleaning session all of... three? times. Of course he doesn't see why I need it, because his ass is happily seated upstairs in front of his computer while he does NOTHING and I have to spend my whole weekend cleaning up after his messy self.

And I'm not even going to get started about the basement.

The plan for dinner right now is a steak for the hubby and some salmon for me, but if I'm still cleaning come 6pm that is not going to happen. If it doesn't, I finally made it to the little taqueria up the street yesterday and ohmygawd, they are pretty good. Nice, basic, street-style Mexican food that is done well. I'd happily eat that for dinner.

Ha..... the hubby just made his very public display that he's finally starting to clean the bathroom with asking me a zillion questions about various cleaning supplies and so on. But that ain't gonna stop my search for a bi-weekly or monthly made service this evening.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's this? Actual free time???

I think Addendum Hell at Old Company is finally nearing and end. Ahhhhhh..... Only four more docs to churn out, and they're all pretty much the same. Should be about an hour of easy work tomorrow night, and then this weekend is sorting out all my files and getting everything properly transferred over to Old Company's servers. Yay!

Not exciting cooking around here. Last night was.... um... what was last night? Oh yeah, Shrimp Scampi. I started to ask the hubby what he wanted for dinner and he stopped me right away and said "No eggs". Well, that counts out Egg Salad BLTs or the Baked Scotch Eggs out of my version of the Joy of Cooking. So, that meant time to hit the freezer, and one of my freezer staples is always Shrimp Scampi. I always have some shrimp in the freezer, I also have a supply or shrimp stock in there now, and butter, dried pasta and garlic are always on hand. Easy enough.

Tonight was fish for me, and frozen chicken cordon bleus for the hubby. He was actually so excited for the chicken he asked me to make him two. Two? Of something chicken? Alright....

Now, I did my second try of using microwave steamer bags to cook fish, and color me less than impressed. I bought some monkfish last week, and it did not do well in the bag. Not at all like a nicely steamed piece of fish. I guess those things are good for veggies and not much else. At least I have learned my lesson.

Tomorrow should be the egg salad BLTs. Wooo.

And, I am super dooper excited because I placed an order with Bruce Foods yesterday for a case of my most favorite ever hot sauce, Louisiana Gold, and it's already shipped. Oh yeah! Bring it on! I'm actually hopefully it will be here in time for me to take a bottle along when the hubby and I go out for crawfish boil next week for our anniversary. I will be a very happy Hausfrau.

Monday, March 24, 2008

No longer Master of the Crepe

I have to say, on Saturday, I was the master of the crepe.

The cake actually did turn out wonderfully and was much enjoyed by all (including a young cousin, who ate what was about 2-3 slices worth). I happily left the remainder of the cake with the parent in law's since they enjoyed it and I knew they'd eat it before we did.

The original plan was to do extra crepes on Saturday so I could use them later in the week. But, I did also take time to run out on Saturday morning to try and find a gasket for my blender (which I couldn't) so I was a little crunched for time. Decided to skip the extra crepes.

Tonight, the plan was some crepes filled with a ham and cheese sauce. I felt confident, knowing how fan-flippin-tastic I was with the crepes on Saturday.

Today? Not so much.

First of all, when one is measuring out the stuff for a recipe, one should pay extra attention to make sure when it calls for cream, you grab the cream, and NOT the buttermilk. And then measure and add to everything else before you realize what you just did.

The original recipe for the crepes made about 24, so I figured if I did 1/3 of the recipe, I'd get about 8 crepes. Apparently the space/time continuum was a little off in my kitchen this evening, as a 1/3 of the recipe gave me 4 crepes. Four very fragile, kept tearing crepes. And by this point I was out of cream.

So, whipped up another batch using all milk, and at least got two usable crepes (out of four more attempts) outta that batch. I figured they were at least lower fat, they'd be mine.

Filled them with the already-made ham & cheese sauce (at least the culinary gods were smiling on me with that one, I didn't measure a thing but made a pretty decent bechamel) and topped them with the remaining sauce, and popped them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Hubby said they were fantastic, and I thought they were good.

I chalk up this kitchen half-disaster to really really bad heartburn. The hubby brought home some gin, limes and tonic last Friday so we had several gin & tonics over the weekend. While we were in Vegas, at Guy Savoy, we had what we declared the bestest gin & tonics ever (and at $10 a pop in the land of free booze, a bit steep, but in the end well worth it) so we were both scratching a craving. However, the tonic water has given me the worst heartburn I've had in years, so I'm a little uncomfortable and distracted.

Years ago I went thru a deal with heartburn and spent a year on Prilosec while my doctor tested for every cause under the sun and found nothing. The Prilosec messed up my system for the year I was on it and a year afterwards, which is about the time I swore off all prescription meds that we're safe, harmless, reliable things like Valium. No doctor caught it, but talking to another person with a similar problem brought it to light that my diet of healthy iceburg and romaine lettuce salads were the problem. I guess I can now add tonic water to the list of "will give you terrible heartburn to the point you think you're having a heart attack" foods. Sigh. Just have to watch and not have it in too large of amounts for too long of a stretch.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mommy, who is that lady all covered in flour?

Why, that's no lady... that's the Hausfrau!

For Easter this year, I got the urge to bake. Not typical for me, but I went with it.

And sorry for the lack of pictures... ran out of memory and I had too much to do to sit for a half hour and sort thru pictures.

First round of the day was the Grand Marnier Crepe Cake. The funniest thing about this was being about halfway thru making the crepes, and taking out a separate plate to use for the prettiest crepe I'd made so far. But then the next one was prettier. And the next one was even more beautimus, and so it went until I was out of batter. I did flub the recipe... forgot to put the sugar in the crepe batter so I just used the whole amount in the whipped cream. We'll see how it is tomorrow, but from licking my fingers clean from the whipped cream, it ought to be good.

Next up was Carrot Cake muffins. Made this recipe before, and it's always good. I usually just leave the maple syrup out of the frosting but was actually going to try it this time... until I discovered I was out of syrup. And I ain't putting the hubby's fake shelf-stable syrup in my cooking. I was also rushing a bit and should have let my butter sit out longer, I ended up with lumpy frosting. I think after a good 5 minute spin in the Kitchen Aid I got most of them out. I'm not stressing over it. Lumps of butter are always a good thing, right??

Last baking was the Tiramisu Brownies. Hubby looked over my shoulder as I was looking thru a magazine one day and said he wanted them. I've had the good on hand to make them for awhile, so I finally decided to. They don't look like the recipe, as some reviewers said, it was hard to get the top-brownie part to work right. But, I'm sure they'll taste good. I did also cut the amount of coffee. That sure seemed like a lot.

And now it is time to dust off the flour and do the browned butter and almonds that I'll pour over some green beans tomorrow. Then cleaning up the kitchen, and I am DONE for the weekend.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Damn you, Snow Meiser!!! (and random thoughts)

Ok. Mid/Late March snow 'round these parts is not unheard of.

Warnings of up to eight inches of snow (and we always get the max amount where I am) is not fun. At all.

The steamed buns I made earlier this week gave me some problems, but mostly because I was trying to steam them in a different way and they ended up in the water. Ooops. Still turned out tasty though, after an addition 10 minutes of correct steaming. Love that recipe.

Oh, and this? Is the greatest garlic press EVER. I got it after a night of being particularly frustrated by my old Pampered Chef garlic press that had peeling non-stick coating. The next day, on America's Test Kitchen, I saw them review garlic presses and this Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press came in first. Hefty price tag, but oh my lordy, so worth it. Even with my crappy carpal tunnel hands, it is a breeze to use, and it is so easy to clean. I love it.

Easter cooking planning is heavy on the mind.... boiled my eggs tonight so they'd be dry for dying tomorrow. Saturday is making the crepes for the crepe cake and the assembly of the actual cake, carrot cake muffins (if I can find the recipe... which I can't right now... sigh) and the browned butter & almonds for the green beans. I may also bring over some cheese and crackers.

But better sign off and focus on getting ready for bed...... stupid snow. Grumble.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008



I new that Old Company was going thru some management changes, and the guy I was reporting to for awhile was on his way out and out as of recent. Not in a bad way (which is a first for the time I've had any association with the company) at least.

But, was poking around on LinkedIn and saw a new profile for the company CEO. New dude. Um, ok???

Hopefully it will be a good change. But it's very weird to now know it happened and I didn't get the skinny on it. It's an odd relationship with the people still there... they do have moments where they seem to have forgotten I'm not around for 40 hours a week and I don't get all the hallway gossip/news. Not that it makes a lick of difference in what I have to do for them... but it's nice to know.

I think "addendum hell" is finally nearing an end for Old Company. I'll be happy when we reach that point and I can spend my evenings surfing the web rather than doing actual work.

Dinner tonight was an easy one... chili dogs. Heat up hot dogs, defrost chili from the fridge, and dinner is more or less ready. Hubby is always happy for a chili dog night, as am I, because it is easy and cleanup (which I still gotta do) is easy.

Things at New Company are still going along... got some training on a new product tomorrow, and have ample work to keep me busy. Doing a lot of clean-up and trying to not let the inconsistencies that are there (aka - "legacy weirdness") get to me. I know the one writer who was there was working under extreme pressure and deadlines, and hopefully we'll get it all to a good point soon.

The week ahead does not look all too exciting... probably going to dye Easter eggs (swirly dye!!!) on Thursday, maybe make some brownies on Friday since I have everything on hand, and last minute shopping and making the crepe cake and cupcakes on Saturday. I'm also doing green beans in browned butter, but that is so easy I hardly consider it a chore. Might also bring over some cheese and crackers. Not too much.

I do want to make a stir-fry and some steamed buns this week, and since my sausage and kim chee is dated for this week, that might happen tomorrow. Thursday might be pepper and egg sandwiches. Exciting stuff.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nuttin much happening....

It's been quiet since we got back from Vegas.

Travel plus the time change over the weekend plus being stuck (yet again!) in Addendum Help for my old company has kicked my ass this week. And general just "not feeling well".

Cooking has been laughable... old, easy standards, nothing exciting. Tonight was delivery pizza... I was going to do the usual steaks/potato/veg for dinner, but the steaks at the markets today looked horrible and were not on sale. No fun.

I am going to be making some soda bread and a wheat soda-type bread tomorrow for the usual St. Pat's dinner at the parnet-in-laws' house tomorrow.

And Easter is also looming on the horizon... plan to make a fancy crepe cake-thing from the newest issue of Gourmet, some tiramisu brownies, and maybe some kind of appetizer. Possibly a crab/horseradish dip. I had forgotten I bought some sage cheese and brie also, so I might just bring those over. At this point, it will depend on if I feel any better next week.

But, corned beef and cabbage for dinner tomorrow, likely I'll use leftovers to make some hash on Monday with some poached eggs. I've also got a hankering for some steamed chinese buns, so I think I'll be doing a stir-fry at some point. Hot dogs were also on sale this week, and the hubby is always happy with some chili dogs for dinner. Might also do some pepper & egg sandwiches, which I haven't done in awhile. All fairly easy stuff.

But, for now, it's an evening for finishing "Bone in the Throat" and relaxing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Sum-Up

Pardon any bad spelling or grammer in this, I am utterly distracted by Battle Rabbit on Iron Chef and thinking about the wonderful rabbit at Guy Savoy.....

Anyway..... Saturday in Vegas.

I woke up early again - another drunken fratboy 6 am alarm clock - and watched the sunlight hit Caesar's and slowly make its way down the building. Tried to not disturb the hubby for a little while, then tried to disturb him as I wanted to make a coffee run and get his behind outta bed. I finally woke him up to get some cash, and headed down for coffee. It was a day for a large mocha and a shot of espresso for me.

It was slow moving, as hubby found the CW/WB network and was all about sitting around and catching his usual Saturday cartoons. We finally did get moving, and headed over to the Bellagio to check out the conservatory. We decided not to lug the camera along, since we were probably going to hit the Mag Mile shops since hubby was in the market for some new Converse (and even in a shoe that he knows his size well, he's a "Try them on" kinda guy).

Good thing we didn't bring the camera.... it was the same display we saw this time last year for Chinese New Year.

Walked over to the Jean Paul Patterserrie but the place was mobbed, so we headed over to Fatburger. Fatburger was good, as always. Crowded, but good.

Then we did head over to the Mag Mile shops... I went to the Department 56 store and got some Christmas ornaments (I do that most trips) and then we went to a store where the hubby had seen the shoes he wanted on Thursday. Turns out, the store only carried up to size 8 mens. Seriously???

So, we decided to trek it over to the Fashion Show mall. Hit a couple shoe stores and the hubby ended up with some Iron Maiden Vans, I hit the bookstore and got a neat "Las Vegas - Then and Now" book with photos of all the old spots and what is there now, and a little history on each spot. Pretty neat.

Back at the casino, there was an open seat on one of the new "Press Your Luck" groups of machines that had a bonus round. Well, hubby and I both have an unnatural fondness for the old game show and the Whammy, so I sat down and we plunked in $40. One bonus round, but no good Whammy fun out of it.

Back to the room, back for some rest, and then down to the casino for evening fun. My poker machine stopped showing me love, and the hubby had a bad run at a bad vibe table for the tune of a couple hundred before he went to find a new table. He was doing alright until a dealer change where a nametag-less kid came behind the felt, and hubby joked "Uh oh... the 'cooler' here to clean me out!" Yeah. He said that to someone else before, another young kid without a name tag, and ended up getting cleaned out. No different this time. But he had a good run and he was a happy man by the time he'd given back all his chips. I cashed out on my machine and tried to find the cocktail waitress who'd been taking care of me for the night to give her an additional tip, but she was no where to be found. I figured the $3 for each beer would have to do.

We cashed out my tickets and actually ended up with about $300. And there was even a hundred bucks I hadn't even broken. At least I did good on this trip.....

We hadn't eaten dinner, so we hit the little take-away pizza counter. We've had slices from it before and while not great, they weren't too bad. We decided to get a whole pepperoni and "sausage" pizza. What we got was a pepperoni pizza sprinkled with ground beef. Seriously, people?? It was ground beef. It wasn't even pork. That stuff had no business being called "Sausage". It didn't even have any flavoring too it.

We followed the disappointing pizza with some beers from the hotel gift shop, did as much packing as we could, and went to sleep.

This morning (Sunday) was of course the one day I wanted to stay curled under the covers until 9am, but we had to get to the airport. And of course, when we got to the airport we found out the flight was delayed by an hour. Great.

Flight was OK. In-flight movie was "Becoming Jane" which was soooooo boring. And I love Jane Austen.

Oh... and word to the dude sitting next to me that decided to steal my in-flight snack pretzels.... it's a plane. They have us packed in like sardines, and if my hubby took my pretzels he'd admit it since I was saving them for him. It's not like someone from even a row back snagged them. And I am a fat girl. I will notice when someone swipes my damned pretzels. Especially because I was SAVING THEM FOR MY HUSBAND. Jackass. Hope karma is a bitch to him.

Now, we're back home, ordered a pizza for dinner to wipe out the bad memory of the bad, bad pizza from last night. I still have to unpack a little and have a little more work to get done tonight. Home clocks have all been reset for the time change, and looking forward to my own comfy bed tonight. Not looking forward to going in to work tomorrow as much.....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vegas - Day 2

There is something about the sunrise (even though I can't see it, I can just see the sunlight spreading) in Vegas that I just love. I love being up early in the morning in Vegas. Probably because my internal clock still says it's 8am when I wake at 6am....

Or, it might just be that I always get woken by the loud drunk fratboys who are in the hall at 6am. Donno.

Yesterday was lots of fun. Picked up the Shelby and we rode down to the Strat (forever now known in my head as "Stretchy Pants Land") to go up to the viewing area. Now, I have a fear of heights. Vegas gets me, because I'm not big on being super high up (really, anything higher than the over the street walkways and I'm a mess) but I'm usually pretty good in enclosed spaces. I don't have problems with tall buildings.

But, as I ventured out of the elevator at the Strat and over to the window to take a peak out, I recalled the very well known shape of the building. And at some point, somewhere between me and the ground, there was a lot of air and not a lot of structure. After that, I preferred to stay a little closer to the interior of the viewing area.

Yep, the hubby laughed at me and called me a big chicken. I'm fine with that.

After the Strat, the hubby said he was getting hungry, and suggested In N Out. Far be it from me to argue. And far be it from me to tell him that we were only about a mile from one, I knew he wanted to head to the one down on Trop. So we took a nice ride down the Strip with the top down. Traffic actually wasn't too terrible. Got to In N Out, I waited outside at a table and the hubby got the food, and the fries did not suck this time. The hubby is still a Fatburger person, and I think I slowly am becoming one also... but it was a good burger.

We toyed with the idea of heading over to Red Rock or the Shelby plant to see the museum, but the hubby suspected I wouldn't be OK with the way he drives that car in more open spaces. We actually ended up heading down to the Attic, which we've wanted to check out for awhile. Cool place, and some cool stuff... but um, owner dudes, WAY overpriced. You might consider being more realistic and bringing down some prices to move some of that dusty old crap. I love a vintage store as much as the next person and used to frequent them often, but this one was a little sad, like walking thru the home of a hoarder who had put price tags on everything.

I did end up getting some leopard sunglasses, and they did have some neat stuff, and now that I've done it I'll never feel the need to do it again.

It was mid afternoon by then, and hubby was getting frustrated by the traffic, so we headed back to the Flamingo. Putzed around the room for a bit, and finally headed out at about 5:30 over to Guy Savoy to try the Bites & Bubbles menu.

Oh my word. Oh. My. Word. There is a reason this guy is famous (isn't there usually??)

Hubby had been worried, all he brought were jeans and Converse, that he'd be a little like a bull in a china shop there. But we were very graciously welcomed and headed in to the "bar" area, which is more just a few small tables that likely function as a waiting room during busy times. Not a traditional bar... we had drinks, but they did not come from within that room. And I think the hubby best described the decor as "stark". No fooling!

Hubby didn't have to worry about the Frenchies looking down on him long, as a (very, very drunk) guy and his wife busted in to the place shortly after us and the guy insisted that he wanted some great food for his wife and he wanted to have her fed truffles and hey didn't that look like a great table over there (I'm sorry sir, that table is reserved... that one too...). They finally managed to wrangle him in to the bar, but he continued to be entertainment for us through the tasting.

We each had a gin & tonic, and ordered 3 items off the "small bites" menu. He had the Foie Gras en Terrine and I had the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup. Oh my lordy lord. Was my soup good. About a shotglass full of this soup, with artichoke and the wonderful, earthy truffle. Hubby said the foie was great. There was no sharing of plates this time around.

Next up, hubby did the Scallop with Parsley All Around and I did the Ravioli of Beef cheeks w/ Foie GrasVelouté”. Wonderful. My dish was so perfectly matched, and the beef was like butter. Hubby declared it was the best scallop he's ever eaten in his life.

Next up, we both had the rabbit, which this time was stuffed with foie and truffles. Yeowza. We both love rabbit, I can buy rabbit at a couple of the local markets, and I think I need to and I won't be happy until I can cook rabbit this well. It was just perfect. The little kidney, a shank (and by the size of the shank... these ain't no couple year old rabbits they're using, I think what we were eating was bunny) and the loin rolled and stuffed with foie and truffles. Every bite was wonderful. Hubby was a little sad he didn't go for the big boy portion of that one, which he said he'd happily have any time.

Three cocktails (he had a refill) and three "bites" each came to a hundred bucks. Very well worth it, IMHO. I'd likely do this again, and explore more dishes, before I'd do a formal meal there. I would have liked it to be a little faster, but that's just me. I wish every place had this.... a great way to get a bit of the experience without the huge time or money investment.

After that, back to the Flamingo and a costume change for me (I'd worn a dress) and down to the casino. There was some tweaker dude at my machine and I lost about $60 before he finally moved. I went over, started playing, having fun, and tweaker dude comes back to the area and throws out the "This is gonna sound really odd but I'm totally serious.... " - Note to everyone. If that is the opening line of your pitch, you suck at trying to grift people - "... but I'm like stranded here and I ain't go no friends...." I tried to politely tell him to move on. He eventually did. But then the dumbass came BACK. After I'd seen him having a fairly close coversation with some other dude who he was obviously there with. This time, the guy was really being a jerk (and he had NO clue he'd already tried me) and I eventually thew up the "talk to the hand" and challenged him. "No friends, huh? Who was that guy I saw you talking to ten minutes ago in this very spot? Leave me alone, now, or I'm getting security."

Tweaker boy was gone after that. I suspect security did finally get him.

I didn't do so well at the casino, but the hubby did. A couple of great hands and he is on top of the world.

Back up to the room and sleep. And now it's the last day here... Fatburger for dinner. And who knows what the rest of the day will bring??

Friday, March 7, 2008

Live from Las Vegas!


Arrived yesterday without a lot of fuss. No problems getting to the airport, uneventful flight and luggage pick up. But, you know you've arrived in Vegas when you hear the airport announcer dude, trying really hard to not laugh, go "If he can even hear me... will the man who left his hearing aid and false teeth in the men's room please come to the lost and found?"

When the cab dropped us at the Flamingo, it was a first when we weren't swarmed by bellhops like the chapel peddlers outside the county courthouse. Odd. We had to get in a very, very slowly moving line for luggage check along with the all the folks who'd checked out and were checking their luggage. Seemed to take forever until it seemed like a new shift came on duty and they started pulling out the people checking in (like us) to get us out of line quickly.

Went to the Hertz counter to pick up the Shelby GT-H. Dude at the counter "Um.... yeah.... I tried to call you....." Apparently something "happened" when they were transporting the car here and I guess there was some kind of accident, and they didn't have the car. Hubby said he actually had a feeling something was going to go wrong with the car rental, so he wasn't that surprised. Dude offered a deal on a Vette, but the hubby is pretty specific about his GT-H love. Dude made some calls, and said they'd get the GT-H from Caesar's for us for Friday, if we wanted. Oh, we want!!

The check-in line was long, so we decided it was time to eat or gamble. And when the hubby realized his player's club card was in the luggage (and unwilling to stand in line for a new one) it seemed like lunchtime.

But, a kink in the plans, since I still had my backpack with my laptop and we (ok, I) didn't really feel like doing a long Strip walk while lugging that thing, and the hubby had expressed and interest in going to Emeril's Fish House at some point for lunch. So, we headed over to Planet Hollywood to see if Pinks was open (it wasn't) and then decided to have lunch outside at Mon Ami Gabi, just so we could go home and brag about eating outside while it's a balmy 26 degrees back home. They had daily specials of a mussel/saffron soup and a Monte Cristo. We both got the Monte Cristo, I also had the soup. Both were delicious.

Walked back to the Flamingo, and the check in lines were non-existent, so we got in line to get the room. Apparently the "Go" upgrades are taking over the whole hotel, check in clerk said everything Strip side above the 17th floor was a Go room, which were an extra $50 a night, compared to the usual $20 for Strip side. We asked the clerk to just check if there were any $20 rooms, and she happily went along. Ended up with a room on the 11th floor that I *swear* we had briefly once, before we discovered the TV and internet didn't work and they gave us a new room.

Checked in, we chilled, hubby fell asleep, and I eventually took a little nap. In dire need of a caffeine jolt, we then headed down to the gift shop to get some sodas (machine on our floor is broken.... great....) and sat in front of a couple of video poker machines to test our luck. Dumped $20 in to a multi machine and started some double (or was it double double?) bonus poker and it didn't last long. Hubby was playing JoB and fared a little better. Walked around the bird area of the hotel for a little while, then headed back up to the room to cleanup.

I was very happy to find out that the awesome Betty Page shirt I got in a Secret Santa with these fine folks last (specificly, Beach Crazy) last Christmas fit me very nicely and not nearly as much like a two pound sausage in a one pound casing as I thought I would look. Yay!!

Headed out to get some dinner, even though we were both still fairly full from lunch. We walked down to Planet Hollywood again to check out Earl of Sandwich, but nothing there looked too tempting. And we just didn't feel like walking over to Monte Carlo or Luxor or somewhere that had a food court. We ended up at Trader Vics at the Mag Mile shops. Sat at the bar, each had a couple of Mai Thais and split some appetizers. Some of the best calamari we've ever had, and some awesome duck tacos. Both very very good. And those Mai Thais are killer!

There must be a loophole in the new smoking laws that it's still allowed at outdoor places, since they happily told us we could lite up. Same thing happened at Stripburger last trip.

Hee. WGN noon news is on right now. And they're talking about how much snow the Chicago area is getting over the next two days. Tee hee. I was just cursing myself this morning for not bringing and sandals this trip.....

We were worried the black cloud that followed us last trip might still be following us when it came to gaming. So far, not so. Hubby went out to proove he was not the bitch of a three card table that repeatedly kicked his ass quickly last trip, and I headed over to the video poker machines. Tried some JoB, nothing, then started some Aces something or other and dear god, I was actually winning. I cashed out TWO winning tickets. That doesn't happen to me at the Flamingo! I started actually talking to the machine like it was my bitch, and by golly it seemed to be working. I managed to make back all my losses and ended up even for the day.

At some point, when I was ready to change machines anyway, this really LOUD noise started. Everyone looked around, thinking someone had won a big jackpot or something. Um, no. The fire alarms were going off. For those who noticed, security guards said not to worry. Ok? Guess it was a false alarm....

Hubby finally cashed out from the table, not a winner, but he had his fun and beers were not $100 a piece this time.

Headed to the gift shop, made some impulse purchases (a beanier for me, something flamingo shaped and this awful LED lighter that the hubby had to have) and got some beers, and then chilled in the room looking at the soft glow of electric sex that is Vegas at night.

I was up early today, just enjoying the day. Went and got some coffee and pastries, fought with the crappy shower (perfect height for 5' 3" me, not so much for 6' hubby), and we're off to pick up the GT-H. Wooo hoooooooo!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yay! It's almost Vegas!!

Bags are packed, we leave in the morning. And if it ain't packed right now (except for the laptop) it is not getting packed.

When I was doing my timesheet for Old Company last night I realized why I feel like I've been thru the ringer... in addition to Current Company (about 45 hours a week) I did about 15 hours for Old Company in the past week. No wonder it felt like a 60 hour week... it was!! (Jealous, That Word Guy ??? Addendum Hell is just as much "fun" as it always was.....)

Really looking forward to Vegas. I think the hubby is feeling some kind of guilt over my constant recent making fun of his desire to eat only Fatburger and hot dogs in Vegas and has suggested we might hit some actual real places to eat in Vegas. If we do, we do. If we don't, we don't. I've already learned there is no way to EVER plan every dining experience I'd like to slam in to each trip.

Hopefully, the gamblind Gods will be kinder to us this trip and it won't just be blowing the daily gambling budget in record times.

Time to check off the packing list on the Palm to hope I didn't forget anything.... like I usually do (hell, once I managed to pack for a five day trip and did not pack a single bra - and didn't wear one while we were traveling).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is it Thursday yet?? Is it Thursday yet???

Yep... I'm at that point before a vacation where about 50% of your brain is just focused on getting to that point.

Been busy. Made it thru the first official software release at the new job and it wasn't too bad. Still fighting software, but I should be used to that by now. Spent two hours last Friday uninstalling one program so I can "swap" with another person at work and go back to an earlier version, which should reduce the problems. Hopefully.

Was a quiet weekend... yesterday was errands (drop off dry cleaning, get a travel mouse for the laptop, other non-fun things) and a pedicure for me. My lordy... did the gal at the salon work my feet HARD for that pedicure. I know different people have different touches... hers was just brutal. But effective. My feet are all smooth and purty, even if they are achy from it all more than the usual "relaxed".

Today was some quick trips to the grocery stores to get stuff to feed the hubby and I thru Thursday. It was nice since the temps hit a balmy 50 degrees. I had the car windows down and the newest Horrorpops CD blasting (it fell in to my hands as I was at Best Buy yesterday.... I swear....) and got to enjoy the breeze and some phsyco-billy rock.

I also did a little more organization of my luggage... all I really have to do on Wednesday is throw in the last few things and I'll be good to go. That makes me happy, since work from Old Job has picked up as we try to correct some regulatory stuff AND our tranlsation company is (of course... sigh...) delivering some stuff to me a couple days later than origianlly promised and I have to deal with it on Wednesday night. Even if I get that finished, I'm guessing I will have a couple things do get done while we're on vacation, which ain't too bad since we do usually have some "chill" time in the room, but it means I might not get as much reading done as I usually like to do on vacation (this vacation's reading is Bone in the Throat, figured I'd give my future second husband Anthony Bourdain's fiction a try, and Made From Scratch, the bio by Sandra Lee, for fiction purposes only. Dude... I mean, there is a section where she talks about being offered fifty grand a year for a job managing a Denny's in the late 80s/early 90s. There is NO way that is true. And lordy... it's SO badly written from the little I have read. Think second grade "what I did on my summer vacation" book report).

Also went thru the fridge to remove anything that may grow fur before we come back Sunday, and finally did the general cleanup of the house so we don't come home Sunday and look around and go "what a dump!" And, the hubby promises when we get back from vacation, we're starting on re-doing the upstairs bath. I'm guessing it will be mostly paint/hardware, and figuring out how to re-caulk the tub so it's not just a mold magnet area.

No exciting cooking has happened, and none is on the horizon. Between tomorrow and Tuesday, I'm going to make the SpagBacParm for dinner one night, and some of those frozen stuffed chicken breasts... about the only form of chicken beyond the McNugget or fused chicken patty that the hubby actually enjoys. And it's easy cooking and cleanup.

Wednesday will be some take out, and the next day will be Vegas. Oh yeah, baby!

No super-big meals planned in Vegas... we might hit the new Louis' Fish Camp, we might hit Emeril's Fish House, and I *am* at least going to get to the Bubble Bar at Guy Savoy on Thursday or Friday night to try the artichoke & black truffle soup and some of the stuff off the "bites & bubbles" menu. I am really looking forward to it.