That's Why I Can Smile and Say, Ain't It Funny?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

L and I had a big night out in the city last weekend.  One of my favorite comedians is Jim Gaffigan and he was here last weekend filming his newest comedy special.  We bought tickets as soon as they went on sale and decided to go somewhere awesome for dinner.  The show was at the Warner Theater, so we decided we should go somewhere close by that we hadn't ever been to before.  We ended up deciding to hit up J&G Steakhouse.

I have to say, this was another one of those meals that ranks up there with some of the best we've ever shared together.  Not only was the food amazing, but the dining room is so beautiful (totally up my alley in terms of aesthetic, which won't surprise you if you follow my Pinterest boards) and the service is spectacular.  If you ever go, ask to be seated in Omar's section.  You won't be sorry. 

That's the dining room.  As you can see, L rented the entire place out.  Clearly we've had a bit of a financial windfall lately.  Just kidding, we were eating at an absurdly early hour so that we could be on time for the show and we were just the first people seated for dinner.

Another shot of the dining room:

The cocktails were A. MAZE. ING.  My first was a New York Sour.  Kind of like a Manhattan, but with an even yummier twist.  I could drink like ten of these in a row and be extremely intoxicated but still want more. 

And my next cocktail was one of my favorite classics, a sidecar:

So tasty.  And probably one of the better ones I've ever had.  But truth be told, between the two beverages I consumed at J&G, I'd take the New York Sour any day over the sidecar.  I can't wait to go back sometime for drinks and dessert so I can have another one!

Our meal was amazingly tasty (I started with parsnip soup, L started with a wedge salad, and we split a rib eye, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes au gratin) but no pictures exist of it.  We devoured it too quickly. 

After we finished our meal, we walked over to The Warner Theater for the show.  The theater was beautiful inside in a way that most buildings built today just can't replicate.  Lots of architectural details, mouldings, etc.  Here's a shot of the stage:

I didn't take any while Jim (or his opening act, the very funny Todd Glass) was performing, so you'll just have to imagine a pale, blond man on stage in all black.  If Jim is coming to your city on this tour, I say go see him.  He won't disappoint.  I've heard the Hot Pocket bit so many times and it's still hilarious to hear him run through it live. 

All in all, an all-star night for me and L. 

Oh, and a mileage check:

Miles walked today: 3
Total miles walked this year: 48 (yes, I'm falling behind.  Oops.)

Everything I Own

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I had big plans to make a king cake this year for Mardi Gras.  I grew up eating them every year as a kid and always loved them!  I'd sometimes find them at HEB when I lived in Austin, so I'd buy one when I could, but they were never, ever as good as the ones my uncle and my dad's best friend would send us from Louisiana.  You can't find king cake in stores here, so I got it in my head that I'd make one from scratch. 

I went out and bought the gold, purple, and green sprinkles.  I made sure I had all the ingredients on hand.  And I set to work in the kitchen over the weekend.

Three times I tried, and three times I failed.  A baker, I am not.  So I have no amazing pictures to post, unless you want to see horrible dough in our trash can.  You don't want to see that.

I officially hate yeast.  I'm pretty sure that, at least for the foreseeable future, the only bread I'll be making at home will come from a box. 

And no, this title has nothing to do with Mardi Gras, cake, eating, or bread, except that it's my favorite song by the band Bread.

The end.

Brown paper packages tied up in strings, these are a few of my favorite things

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remember the package my dad sent me last week?  I thought it was for Valentine's Day because of all the stickers, so I waited til Tuesday night to open them up (a second package came 3 days later because it turns out my dad forgot to put one of the items inside the sticker-laden package).  Turns out, Dad was just being sweet and wanted to cheer me up.  Work has been incredibly stressful and pretty rough lately and it ended with me in tears several times a couple of weeks ago.  I cried on the phone to my Dad the entire commute home from work one day, which apparently greatly concerned him.  So of course my sweet dad responded by writing me a long card (which he always does at hard times in my life and I still have all of them) and by sending me a couple of items to cheer me up.  What does a dad send his stressed out, 31-year-old daughter?

Obviously a panda bear calendar.  There's a different card for each month and the panda is holds a different thematic object.  (If you want one, hit up Urban Outfitters.  Dad was very proud to tell me that was where he got it.) 

(Yes, my dad likes to shop at Urban Outfitters.)

(But only in the non-clothing areas.)

(My dad is very hip and cool.)

Also, a fun, sparkly ring, which I wore all Tuesday night.  Apparently Mom also got a red one and my sister got a white one. 

Is it something I'll wear very often?  Probably not.  But it is fun and kitschy.  And it definitely reminded me that my dad loves me and that to him, I will always be his little girl no matter how old I get (which sounds so cheesy, but clearly it's true - he sends me heart rings in a package covered in stickers.  You know I'm right.). 

I'm so lucky that I get to have my parents be my parents, and not just because my dad sends random packages.  I wish everyone felt that way about their parents.  If you're reading this and you don't feel that way, I wish some day for you to have kids who feel that way about you.  I wish I could hug my parents tonight, and since I can't, I'll ask those of you who live in the same city as your parents to go hug them.  And then hang out with them this weekend.

Jive Talkin'

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

L and I went and saw a band last weekend with some friends, the Bostonians.  What band, you ask?  Just the one and only YACHT ROCK REVUE!

They were as awesome as they look in that picture.  If you aren't familiar with what the term "yacht rock" refers to, check out the source:

L LOVES all the Yacht Rock videos.  Laughs his butt off at every single one.  That's also the same genre as 75% of his favorite music.  So last month, when we saw their poster as a coming attraction at the State Theater when we drove by one night, we decided we needed to check it out.  And as luck would have it, the Bostonians not only wanted to go, too, but one of them had actually seen them perform about a year ago in Atlanta and was super excited about them playing here!  So the four of us headed to dinner and then to hear some awesome, light rock tunes. 

About 80% of the crowd-goers were decked out in their best 70s attire.  Like this guy:

And then there was the band.  The two lead singers:

L decided that if I were single, I would've had a hard time deciding which of those two guys I didn't want to make out with.  He might be right.  Except for the part where all parties involved (me and everyone in this band whose hands I could see) are married.  They both had a certain swagger about themselves.  The guy in white looked a good bit like Cappie from Greek (yeah, I'm admitting I watched that show) and the guy in black had a little bit of a Bob Schneider thing going.  Then there was the the rest of the band.  Ever seen an electric clarinet?

Neither had we.  (Sorry for the extra bad picture quality.)  There was also a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboard player (who I don't have a good pic of).

And who doesn't love a few songs that involve banging the bongos?

All in all, a rockin' good time.  And seriously, they were so good.  They sounded great, they danced along with every song (which was so hilarious - everyone on stage doing the same gentle head and hip shake in unison), and the songs were super fun.  Plus, they had costumes on stage and in the crowd.  What's not to love?  If they happen to be playing on a stage near you, it's well worth the money.  L declared multiple times that that was the best $30 we'd spent in our marriage this year.  A word of advice: if you go see them (or go to any other concert, for that matter), don't wear a sweater, no matter how cold and snowy it's supposed to get outside.  That's what coats are for.  Sweaters in a general admission setting will only make you sweat like crazy.  Not awesome.

Also awesome but mostly unrelated except that it's also about music: I just watched this week's episode of Gossip Girl, and I just love that Annie Clark (aka, St. Vincent) was featured in it.  I went to school with her middle sister for years and it's so cool to see how successful she's become.  If you don't know her music, check it out on iTunes. 

Mileage update
Miles walked today: 1.25
Miles walked to date: 31.5

Love and Memories

Friday, February 10, 2012

I love my dad.  There are things about him that, for the longest time, I completely took for granted because I didn't realize that not all dads do.*  I got home on Wednesday and found a package waiting for me.  This is what it looked like:

Yeps, he puts stickers all over the outside of anything he sends me (which is usually at least one envelope a week with newspaper articles he thinks L and I might like or find interesting).  And as is the case with this package, they are usually holiday-themed if possible.  My dad is definitely cute. 

*If you're wondering what made me realize not all dads are like my dad, it's that when my sister and I were little, he would dress up on Halloween and take us trick-or-treating.  It was the same costume every year - a wizard, complete with pointy wizard cap and wand - but if we wanted him to wear a costume, he'd pull it out and wear it.  At my last job, one Halloween I was chatting with a client about his plans that night with his son.   My client was going to take his son trick-or-treating.  I asked him if he was going to dress up and he looked at me as though I had two heads.  And that's the moment I knew my dad was special.  Or at least fun and willing to do silly things to make his kids smile.

Dog Days Are Over

Monday, February 6, 2012

This little joker of a pup has been causing a LOT of trouble lately. What’s started out as general mischief has become death-defying. Not once, but twice. Plus another instance of helplessness-caused-by-mischief thrown in.

In his senior years, Boomer has developed a penchant for trash diving. We have no idea why or where it came from but it drives my parents crazy. His favorite trash cans are the kitchen (obvi – hooray for potential snacks!) and the bathroom, which I assume is due to the fact that he can just reach his little head over the edge of the bathroom trashcans, whereas with the kitchen, he not only has to wrestle his way into the cabinet where the trash can is kept, but he also then has to find a way to knock it over once he’s in the cabinet. He’s too little to be able to get into it otherwise. When you’re only about 9” tall on all fours, these are the trials and tribulations you have to deal with. Anyway, Boomer LOOOOOVES tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels – basically anything that can easily be shredded with paws and a snout, so that adds to the fascination of the bathroom trash cans. It’s gross. We don’t understand it.

Anyway, my mom brought home take-out from La Madeleine one day a couple of weeks ago and after she ate her lunch, she decided to use the plastic sack to collect the recyclables from my parents’ office. She filled up the sack later that night and then placed it by the back door so Dad could take it to the recycling bin. Boomer eyed that bag all afternoon, just waiting for the moment when he was left unattended to strike. The moment came around 10 p.m. that night after my dad went to bed and my mom went upstairs to check her email. Mom was happily typing away when she heard Boomer’s very distinct “Excuse me, I need to use the restroom; please open the back door!” bark (just imagine a low, sharp, short bark). He does have an urgent bathroom bark, and that’s not what he did, so Mom figured he’d be okay until she finished whatever it was she was doing on the computer. A few minutes went by and Boomie barked again, so Mom finished up what she was doing and was shutting down the computer. And then she heard panicked whining, so she quickly ran down the stairs to find out what was going on. She found him sitting amidst a floor full of discarded papers with his head stuck through the built-in handles to the La Madeleine bag and the bag twisted around his neck. There were still a few pieces of paper in the bag, so once the bag got twisted, he couldn’t get it untwisted and get out because of how tall the bag was; his little legs don’t give him enough clearance off the ground. Mom came to the rescue and managed to get the bag untangled from his neck, so no puppy strangulation occurred.

But then, a day or two later, Mom headed out to volunteer, leaving the boys (Boomer and my dad) at home alone. Boomer typically has free run of the kitchen, den, breakfast room (which are actually all connected in an open floor plan), and my parents’ bedroom. Usually Boomer prefers to be around my parents, but occasionally he likes to retire under their bed, particularly when he’s feeling naughty and/or mischievous, but sometimes just when he wants to take an afternoon nap. Usually my parents are good about keeping the doors to their bathroom closed, but sometimes Boomer decides to bust through them (they’re small double doors that you can push open, rather than turning handles). On this particular day, one of my parents forgot to close the bathroom doors, so when my dad wasn’t looking, Boomer casually sauntered into the bathroom and started nosing around. To Boomer’s delight, the trash hadn’t been emptied in a couple of days, so a certain pup had a hay day digging through the contents. Until he found a Q-Tip. We don’t know how it happened – if he was holding it in his paws while chewing on the stem or if it was much more accidental or what – but somehow he got the Q-Tip lodged in his teeth and started panicking and whimpering. I don’t know if Dad went back to the bathroom when he heard the whimpering or if Boomer walked out into the den and sheepishly whined for help, but Dad had to remove the Q-Tip for Boomer.

And finally, our little love bug got into trouble again Friday night. Dad went to bed and Mom went upstairs to use her computer, leaving Mr. Man unattended in the den. The laundry room is located off of the den and normally the door to it is closed. On Friday night, Boomer got into the laundry room and started sniffing around. Mom had a basket filled with candy left over from Christmas inside a big Sur La Table bag, which was on top of a box. Somehow, Boomer managed to eat his way through the Sur La Table bag (we assume he ate through it because Mom couldn’t find remnants of the missing portion) and then knocked the basket over. And then the fun began. In my mind, Boomer’s internal monologue was something like this: “Hmm, what’s in that bag? I can’t see. I can’t get it off the box so easily. Hmm. I’ll just nibble my way through it because something in that bag smells good, and I could stand to up my daily fiber intake. [Chewing…] SUCCESS! Hmm… that basket is tricky and still too high. I’ll pull it down and see what’s inside it. Ooooo what’s all this? My people never let me eat this stuff and it smells so good. OOOO!! Especially that big one that also smells like orange and almonds! MMMMmmmmm! This is delicious. Mom and Dad are totes missing out. I would like more of this. I will eat one of these smaller, peanut buttery-smelling ones right now and bury the rest of them in couch for later!”

Yeah. Boomer ate an entire chocolate bar and then hid five fun-size Butterfingers behind couch cushions and pillows in the den. (These are his favorite places to hide things when he can’t access my parents’ bed.) Mom came downstairs a short time after the chocolate destruction occurred and found the demolished Sur La Table bag, the once-filled candy basket in disarray, and empty chocolate bar wrapper. She woke up my dad to make sure he hadn’t eaten any of the candy (which made me laugh, because since when does Dad tear up bags and leave trash on the floor after he eats candy?). Then she realized Boomer was probably in some trouble based on the size of the big chocolate bar he ate. She called the emergency number at Boomer’s vet and talked to the nurse at the animal ER, who advised her to bring him in once Mom was able to discern how many ounces of chocolate she thought Boomer had eaten (at least 3.5 ounces). PSA: if you’re wondering how much chocolate is okay versus not okay, Boomer’s ER physician told Mom that a dog can handle about 1 ounce for every 10 pounds the dog weighs. Other toxic food: grapes, raisins, and onions, just to name a few. Therefore, 3.5+ ounces for a 14-pound dog put Boomer squarely in the danger zone. The doctors made Boomer throw up a lot to prevent the toxins in the chocolate from entering his bloodstream (the at-home way to get your dog to barf: forcing your dog to drink capfuls of hydrogen peroxide until they unswallow whatever they ate. As someone who’s had to gargle hydrogen peroxide, I can tell you your dog is safe. It just tastes like very fizzy liquid air/club soda). Apparently he not only ate the Butterfinger, but he also ate the wrapper. Sick. I mean you’d think he’d at least use restraint and NOT EAT WRAPPERS!! His heart rate was insanely high – about 250 bmp – so the next battle was getting that to come down so he wouldn’t have a heart attack. He was given meds to help lower his heart rate, put on an IV drip to help keep him hydrated, and then he also had to have a catheter inserted. Poor little guy – he wasn’t going anywhere.

The doctors decided they needed to keep him overnight so they could get his heart rate under control. Mom was told she could go home and that the hospital would contact her if they had any problems and that she could call the hospital for updates. She got home and decided to call and check on him at 1:30 a.m. before going to bed. At that point, his heart rate had come down quite a bit and he was doing well. The next day, the docs pronounced him sweet and loving and ready to go home, so Mom and Dad picked him up around 2:00. He took it easy for the rest of the weekend (except for the 5 minutes directly following the bath Mom gave him. He gets bathed in the bathtub upstairs in my old bathroom and he LOVES getting bathed, rubbed down with a towel, and then running as fast as possible out of my room, down the hall, down the stairs, and then running as many laps as possible around the dining room table. The current record number of laps stands at 18).

So yes, Boomer is a little toot. So. much. trouble. lately!! Hopefully he’s had enough for the time being and won’t try any more suicide attempts for at least a week or two.
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