Friday, January 29, 2010

Because I'm Too Old For Puppet Shows

When Martin and I moved into our apartment in August, 6 months ago, the landlord had already graciously purchased a shower curtain for us. A very ugly shower curtain. Because I am extremely cheap, i figured, ok so we'll just have a really ugly bathroom void of all decorating for a year or so. No biggie. When you move 4 times in 12 months you start to develop that sort of apathy towards decorating.

But then.
My sister-in-law came to visit. And because she is amazing, didn't hesitate to point out how ugly my shower curtain was. I think she really coined the curtain by saying, it looks like a puppet show backdrop. Great.

She didn't really criticize it or take it too far, but it got me thinking, why am I living like a college student when I'm not in college.

And then.
Aldi had bathroom supplies on special purchase. Included in these was an amazing shower curtain that I really loved.  Since then... my bathroom has improved ten-fold.

See...puppet show.
The green shelves were pretty ok. They were there when we moved in. But aside from those, the bathroom was without decoration.


Now...

Isn't this shower curtain freaking awesome! I also got the super cool rug at Aldi.
I got some pretty cute fake flowers on sale from Pier 1 to set on the back of the toilet. And also on sale, a red plate for a bar of soap.
And matching bowls for my makeup and jewelry!
So much better!


PS. Thank you Ingrid for the kick in the butt on this one!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cuddle Up

I absolutely love looking at bookshelves. I find something very soothing about looking through different pictures with books all over them. It's just so calming. I found this awesome site called Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone and that is where I found this adorable photo. You should check it out, because it's just so absolutely incredible to look through pictures of books on shelves!

Feel free to call me a nerd at any point in time. I'm completely over it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Someone Grab My Smelling Salts!

I have finished the emotional rollar coaster that was Gone with the Wind. I know, it's incredible that I have made it to this point in my life knowing basically nothing about this classic story. It's incredible and it's ridiculous at the same time. You would think that I would have at least watched the movie. I mean, I know 2 girls who were named after Katie Scarlett O'Hara. That is quite a precedent. But, the book always seemed too daunting to me. For some reason I had it mixed up in my mind that it would read like a Charles Dickens book. Was I ever wrong!


She looked - and was - as simple as earth, as good as bread, as transparent as spring water. But for all her plainness of feature and smallness of stature, there was a sedate dignity about her movements that was oddly touching and far older than her seventeen years. Gone With The Wind (Maraget Mitchell)

I absolutely loved every minute I spent reading Gone with the Wind. At 1400 pages, it's no quick read, but Margaret Mitchell's writing is extraordinary. The story is amazing and the writing, oh, it's just so good. I did not want to put it down. EVER. I basically stayed up most of last night finishing this novel.

Her love was still a young girl's adoration for a man she could not understand, a man who possessed al the qualities she did not own but which she admired. He was still a young girl's dream of the Perfect Knight and her dream asked no more than acknowledgement of his love, went no further than hopes of a kiss.

Scarlett is an interesting character. When I think of the fact that I know 2 people named after Scarlett O'Hara I wonder why. I basically spent the last 25% of the book hating almost everything about her. But then again, she is a very real and very raw character. Mitchell lets us know Scarlett's deepest thoughts. Thoughts that you wouldn't admit to anyone. She is also a very strong character and definitely has a lot of redeeming qualities too. Her drive and determination to achieve her goals being the largest of those.

Talk always turned to war now, all conversations on any topic led from war or back to war - sometimes sad, often gay, but always war. War romances, war weddings, deaths in hospitals and on the field, incidents of camp and battle and march, gallantry, cowardice, humor, sadness, deprivation, and hope. Always, always hope. Hope firn, unshaken, despite the defeats of the summer before.

Throughout the novel, my thoughts on Scarlett wavered between pride for her accomplishments and loyalties and complete disgust and contempt with her thoughts and actions. Mingled in there were comparisons with her to myself. I always do that, compare myself to the main character. I always think, that is something I would do! It's slightly ridiculous I know.

In the dull twilight of the winter afternoon she came to the end of the long road which had begun the night Atlanta fell. She had set her feet upon that road a spoiled, selfish and untried girl, full of youth, warm of emotion, easily bewildered by life. Now, at the end of the road, there was nothing left of that girl.

When I think of the sharp contrast of feelings I felt in regard to Scarlett's character, I really give Mitchell a dose of credit for that. Throughout the story, she does such a great job showing two sides to every person, every issue, every situation. Everything about the book is just so real and so human. Yes Scarlett has good qualities, but she also has a lot of bad ones. Yes, Rhett seems like a bad man, but he has an infinite amount of good qualities also. Yes, Ashley is a very honorable man, but even he makes mistakes. It is just so real.

She was darkness and he was darkness and there had never been anything before this time, only darkness and his lips upon her.

I also like that Mitchell gives us a different perspective on the war than what we learn in history class. By no means am I saying that I support slavery or any such notions like that, but it is also important to remember that history is often written by the victors and there are two sides to every issue.

...She realized that Melanie had always been there beside her with a sword in her hand, unobtrusive as her own shadow, loving her, fighting for her with blind passionate loyalty, fighitng Yankees, fire, hunger, poverty, public opinion and even her beloved blood kin.

Mitchell was born in Atlanta in 1900 and grew up hearing stories about the war, except no one told her the Confederates lost. She didn't learn that until she was ten. Mitchell's mother also died when she was 19 and she returned home to care for her father and brother. She was married three times (Her first husband's name was Henry and he was killed in World War I). Mitchell was also the first woman to cover hard news for The Atlanta Journal. It makes me wonder if Scarlett was modeled after herself. The similarities do seem to be somewhat astounding. Gone With The Wind was published in 1936. In 1939 when the movie first aired in Atlanta the rights to the book had been purchased for $50,000 which at that time was the highest Hollywood had ever paid for the rights to a first novel!

There was such a note of wild despair in his low voice that she dropped her hand from his arm and stepped back. And in the heavy silence that fell between them, she felt that she really understood him for the first time in her life.

I can't wait to watch the movie this weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Overcoming Obstacles



Martin and I have been married for a year and a half.
I have yet to touch his feet.

I am not one of those people that is really grossed out by feet.
I can look at them
And I'll touch them if neccesary

I don't freak out if Martin's feet touch mine.
Or if his feet touch my legs or something.
I just never really wanted my hand to touch Martin's feet. It seemed gross to me for some reason.
I think it is safe to say that Martin probably doesn't even know that I have ever had an opposition to his feet and therefore the monumentalness (is that a word?) of this moment will be lost on him.

But like I said. Martin and I have been married for a year and a half
I have yet to touch his feet
that is
until Sunday night


Martin was sitting on one end of the couch with his legs outstretched and I was on the opposite. Therefore, my feet were up by him and his feet were up by me. For some reason, I don't know what came over me, I grabbed Martin's foot and started carelessly stroking it. Yes. I actually wrapped my hand around that thick foot with hobbit-like hair on top.

It was quite monumental.

Anyways, I feel like with this final move to being about to touch Martin's feet with my hand our relationship has really progressed to a new level. Now I never have to worry about where my hands are and this sudden touching of the feet has spurred multiple tickle competitions. Where you tickle the other person's feet, or armpits, and see how long they can stand and take it. Its a feat of strength....or something. As you can probably imagine I lose terribly at these contests and often feel my feet flinch before Martin even touches them. The only way I can hold any dignity and keep my foot still for a few seconds is by clenching my head in my hand, writhing the rest of my body back and forth, and laughing until tears stream down my face.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Laundry Day


This weekend was a laundy weekend so there's now suits hanging from every window in my apartment. I love clean clothes.

Also, it's amazing how much I get done when Martin is not home. Martin went back out to WNY for the weekend to catch up with old friends and get his truck fixed. I had to work, but when I wasn't working I spent every waking minute reading Gone with the Wind, and I didn't bother to sleep much. I am now 75% of the way through it! Can't wait to post about this marvelous book!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Little Moments.

Early Sunday afternoon while I was trying to recover from the previous night's christmas party and resting my eyes on the couch, Martin crawling into the nook behind me in the couch and whispered, I'm wearing your favorite outfit.

O yeah, what is that? I didn't even bother to open my eyes.

Boxers and black socks. You like the boxers because they're so casual and the black socks because they bring the sense of comfort that you also really like.

Does anyone not see why I love this man?? Who else would say that?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christmas Party!

So this might seem a little late for a post about a Christmas Party, but that is where you are mistaken. This Christmas Party just took place on January 16, last Saturday. That's what happens when you work in retail; you get to enjoy Christmas after its over. It's bittersweet, really.

Saturday was an amazing day for a number of reasons:

1. Circa 11:00 AM, just after I've showered and eaten a bowl of freshly made guacamole with a fork and no chips for breakfast, Martin received a call from his college friend, Joe Zug, saying that he's in the area on a wine tour and will be at our apartment in 5 to 10 minutes so we can come with them. I instantly start running around like a crazy frantic person, trying to pack for the Aldi Christmas Party later that evening while also cleaning the house so it looks presentable when people walk it. As I'm dusting the coffee table and crawling on my hands and knees picking up corn that my lovely husband drags in the doorway with his barn clothes, Martin is standing back and watching me - telling me I'm cute. Not what I need at the moment.

2. 5 wineries. I think there's enough said right there, but of course, I'll elaborate. Americana, my favorite, Lucas, Lameroux, Wagner and Hazlitt (home of redcat). At the last winery, Hazlitt, I was really feeling the effects of the previous four wineries and found myself explaining to the pourer in very loud tones how our friend was named Michael Phelps, and that's his real name!! It's true too. He was with us on Saturday.

3. Arriving at the hotel at 5:00 to shower, blowdry my hair, get dressed and put on makeup before 6. Typically, this would be no big deal for me (I come from a family of 6 and we all always  had to get through the shower between morning milking and 9:30 mass EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.) But, I forgot my black stockings in the car which was somewhere in the parking lot. of Turning Stone Casino. which is huge. and had been valet parked. because they do that for you there. I implored Martin to go get them for me, who didn't realize the direness of the situation and told me I should just not wear stockings. Typically, I would be all about that. But, it's January. And I'm a pretty pastey person to begin with. Have you seen how white my legs are I begged. He just wanted to see what my dress looked like on me. Well, too bad. I don't have time to show you my dress because I still need to shower and blowdry and then go all the way to the car to get my stockings because someone with absolutely nothing to do for the next hour doesn't want to get them for me. Yeah. I can be neurotic sometimes. Martin graciously got me the stockings.

4. No one forgot my pretty awesome dance moves from last year and I was mentioned  in my boss's speech this year. It's been a great year....blah, blah, blah.....and we'll let Jenna lead us off on the dance floor again this year.

5. My same boss telling me that even if I quit working for Aldi sometime in the future, he still wants Martin to come to the Christmas Party.

6. Dancing from 8:30 to 12:30, with basically no break. Everytime I would sit down, Jon would say are you done for the night? In an act of defiance, I would jump up and run back out to the dance floor. This was a decision that I would later rethink: sometime around Sunday night when I honestly thought my legs would not carry my up the stairs to my apartment

7. Talking on the phone with my coworker Renee on Monday I think you were the life of the party and Everybody loved Martin.

I think we made a good impression. Can't wait till next year!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sweet and Salty


This is my new favorite meal. I love things that are a little bit sweet and a little bit salty. Just like me. I have eaten this 3 times in the past week because it is sooo delicious!

It's also so easy to make. The chicken is the hardest part and that's only because it requires you to turn a burner on.
Cut up chicken pieces and put them in a frying pan with a little oil.
Sprinkle, no Douse seasoning all over the chicken. I use lots of Italian Seasonings, Basil, Oregano, etc. You really can never have too much.
Grill the chicken pieces with the seasoning

Grab a plate
Toss some lettuce on there
Add some dried cranberries and almond slivers

this next part is very important...

Cover the salad with bleu cheese crumbles.
I don't care if you think these are too pugnent for you. They are crucial to this salad. Without them, you would have a sweet salad, not sweet and salty.

Top with the chicken and raspberry vinigarette dressing.

Serve with a delicious, local, handcrafted beer. That's a very important part too.

If you're like us and you don't have room for a table in your tiny apartment. Eat on a tv tray. It will still taste just as good. In fact, it will taste so good that you will temporarily forget that you have lived in this tiny apartment for 6 months and have yet to do anything about the ugly old lady curtains hanging from the windows. And if you're Martin, forgo the delicious handcrafted beer for a Genesse, because you don't know what good taste really is.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Olive Kitteridge

He loved her guilelessness, he loved the purity in her dreams, but this did not mean of course that he was in love with her. The natural reticence of her in fact caused him to desire Olive with a new wave of power. Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading my first novel on The Kindle! I am obsessed with quotes from books. I love remembering those little snatchels of beautiful written work, or great phrases, or just great philosophies to read later and reflect on and bring all the memories and the feelings that I felt while reading the book rushing back to me. I have been keeping journals full of my favorite quotes and passages from novels since high school. Now, the Kindle will do it for me. Honestly, I really like the idea of them being in my own journal, so I will probably transpose them into my journals, but it is just so convenient that the Kindle will clip the passages for me with just the click of a button and store them in a little folder titled My Clippings and annotate them with the book title and author and page number and date added. It is just so incredible.

But enough with that, I really wanted to devote this post to actually talking about the book, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. On the first night that I got my Kindle, I was searching for a book to read. I had actually planned on purchasing Perks of Being a Wallflower but since that is not available in an electronic version, I was perusing through best sellers. I had heard absolutely nothing about this book, but for some reason it struck me as something that someone, somewhere, sometime had told me I must read. So, without evening reading the back of the book, I made my first purchase.

This was a very interesting read. The main character, Olive, is an older woman and every chapter in the book somehow links to her life. Some parts she plays only a very small almost negligent character, but in other sections she is the central character and the entire chapter is told from her perspective. It is interesting because the chapters are all fairly unrelated; when one ends you could put the book down and not really need to go on to the next one. It is almost like reading a series of short stories with one common character running through them all. The book is also kind of dark. I don't really know if dark is neccesarily the right word, but Olive is definitely a cynic and it has a strange quality about it.

From the preceding paragraph, you might think that I would not recommend this book and that I regretted reading it myself. However, that is not the case at all. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. Even though the chapters didn't run together with much of a common thread, I found myself wanting needing to know what was going on in Olive's head and in what ways she would enter others lives and thoughts. I actually really enjoyed it. Additionally, the book is very well-written and I found myself struggling to choose just one passage to put on the top of this post.

I haven't really looked in to any other works by this author, but I probably should. Right now I am reading Gone With the Wind and I am 28% of the way through or just starting Part 3(another awesome thing about the Kindle, it tells you the percentage of the book that you have read!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

8 Mile

One night while Ingrid was in town, we watched 8 Mile. I realized this movie came out a long time ago, but we just watched it for the first time.

It was sooo good.

That Eminem really knows how to whip together lyrics.

It was also ironic that we just watched it in light of the fact that Brittney Murphy is a costar in the movie, and plays a hot mess.

It also ended at the perfect time. It didn't drag on and on and ended just when I thought the movie should end.

Compared to Funny People which we also watched while Ingrid was in town. NOT VERY GOOD. This is not funny and it lasts forever. I think 2 hours and 55 minutes is a little long for a comedy. What happened to the time when comedies lasted for an hour and a half. Those were the good days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sangria!!

I've made Sangria once before for Katie Mason's 22nd birthday and it never fails to be a big hit. With all the fruit, it's almost like a meal in itself and its just so tastey and delicious! After a day of skiing, Sangria was a perfect drink choice for the night. Ingrid and I stopped at in to pick up the goods to make a delicious drink! We added so much fruit, after four to five glasses of this, I literally was way to full to eat dinner.



You can use pretty much whatever fruits you want for this drinks. We used:
honeydew.
tangerine
orange
apple
pineapple

Cut up your fruits of choice into bite size pieces.
In a pitcher pour in a bottle of red wine (any kind will work)
Add 4 cups of Fresca or some other light soda like lemon-lime
Estimate two shots of gin
Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of sugar
Toss in your fruits

Refrigerate and let the flavors marinade.

Or, if you're like me and can't wait, just stir and drink immediately. Both work fine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sandwich Heaven.

On our way home from skiing, Ingrid and I stopped in to Collegetown Bagels for a very late lunch. If you don't know what CTB is, it's basically the most amazing thing to hit Ithaca since.....ever.


There are 5 locations in Ithaca each offering delicious sandwiches for your enjoyment.  Also, I just found out that the original location has been open for 100 years! How cool is that???!

Here are a few of my favorite CTB delights:

The San Diego (this means a whales vagina in Spanish). This is a absolutely scrumptious bagel topped with cream cheese and then jalepeno raspberry jam.

CTBLT. An interesting take on the BLT with avocado and a special mayo. This is what I enjoyed that day with Ingrid.

Vegetarian Bagel. It took my a while to get myself to try this one; growing up on a dairy farm I tend to think that eating anything labeled as vegetarian is going against my roots. It is probably my all-time favorite though. A bagel topped with cream cheese, a tomatoe slice, and muenster cheese. Toasted to perfection.

CTB location that is actually in collegetown also offers beer and sangria, which is always fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ingrid: Day 3, Skiing!

On Tuesday when Ingrid and I went to the Ithaca Brewery and the awesome bartender asked what our plans for the week were, we told him we were planning on going skiing. I instantly felt like a complete loser because I've lived in NEW YORK STATE, home of six month long winters, my entire life and I do not know how to ski.

Friday, Ingrid and I went from being amateur skiers to pros; all in a day! Ok, pros might be pushing it, but we definitely excelled at the bunny hill!

We set off for the morning all geared up to go skiing at Greek Peak. After about a 45 minute drive we finally come to a huge resort with a gigantic sign welcoming us to Greek Peak. We quickly parked and headed into the building. As we trudge into the building wearing all our snow gear, we are greeted by the doormen and then proceed to the front desk. "We need to get ski passes and rentals," I tell the woman at the desk. This is about the time I notice a girl standing to the side of me wearing a bikini.

The woman looks at us like we are complete idiots and tells us we need to go across the street to go skiing.

Minor detour. We're back on track again.

We get the Greek Peak skiiing and find a counter where the very helpful girl tell us that for $35 we can get an hour lesson, rentals, and a day ski pass. Perfect!

We head over to the rental station where we suit up while listening to the rental boys scheme over how to get fake ids. Then, its time for our lesson!


Because Ingrid and I are both overachievers, it is imperative that we go to the top of the class in this lesson. Instructor Mike really liked having Ingrid be the first person to try everything, she was like his little demonstration girl! She was well on her way to being the head of the class. Unfortunately for me, Instructor Tony had latched on to me and felt the need to ski next to me and coach me through every move. This was definitely giving the class the wrong impression, I was supposed to be the top of the class!

Then, the class went to the hill! At this point Ingrid and I switched places and Instructor Mike skied down the hill first with me, while Tony skied by Ingrid and coached her all the way down the hill. Ingrid and I were definitely the top of the class!


After the lesson, we spent the rest of the afternoon skiing down the bunny slope and really became pros at that. Ingrid decided that skiing was a qualification that was imperative that she add to her list of demands that must be met by anyone that she seriously dates. Definitely an important demand to add after one successful ski trip on the bunny slope!

Skiing = Great!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turkey Burgers

While drinking copious amounts of wine, Ingrid and I made delicious turkey burgers.

They are so easy and so amazing...

Get some ground turkey meat.
Throw it in a bowl with an egg and some bread crumbs.
Mix together.
Make into patties.
Grill Patties.



That's the basic recipe.

To make it extra delicious, it all about the toppings.


Cut up onions and mushrooms.
Saute in a pan with a little olive oil.
Cut up avocados. Don't saute those.


To add the final touch, toast the buns.
Get a cookie sheet and rub a tiny bit of oil over the entire thing.
Coat the sheet in a little garlic powder
Place in oven on low heat to toast rolls.


Top the buns with burger and toppings and Enjoy!

The best part about Turkey Burgers is you don't really have to worry about overcooking the burger like you do with a beef burger so if the buns aren't quite toasted or the onion is not quite done, just wait. It's all good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 2: Theme, Wine

At 6:00 AM on her vacation week Ingrid got up to go to work with Martin. Because she is that good of a sister and she loves her twin brother. I stayed in bed. I do not get up a 6:00 AM on my vacation days. Also, there are only two seats in Martin's tractor trailer. Not enough room for me too.



At 11:30 I went to meet Martin and Ingrid at the EZShop in Waterloo for subs and to pick Ingrid up so I could play with her the rest of the day and so Martin could get 3 more hole punches in his sub card. (He's on a long trek to ten hole punches for a free sub! Which reminds me, have you ever seen that Seinfeld episode where Elaine has a sub card and has eaten 9 bad subs so she can get a free one and then loses it, and then goes on a hunt to find the guy she gave it to when giving him a fake phone number. Love Seinfeld!)

Ingrid and I went shopping at the outlets and I got a super cute bright yellow cardigan which I am completely in love with!

Then...we went on a wine tour


I love wine tours and since the theme of our previous day had been beer, this day had to be wine.

Have you ever been on a wine tour? If you haven't, go now.

You get to choose lots of wines to sample from a sheet. Finger Lakes Wines are amazing, so almost anything is a sure bet. But once you've gone on one tour, you'll know what kinds you like.

We purchased copious amount of wine.

And then we went home to drink it. I love whites. Ingrid loves reds. But we made it work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Omelets


Whenever Ingrid is around, we seem to make omelets. I love omelets. So this works out very well for me.

On Friday morning, Ingrid and I made absolutely scrumptious omelets. Yum.


 For starters, cut up any desired veggies and meats for your omelet. We used mushroom, onion, tomatoe, spinach and cheese.

Then, add a little oil to the pan and saute the stuff that takes a while to cook (ie. the mushrooms and onions) if you don't do this is will ruin your omelet. (When I say it will "ruin your omelet" what I mean is it will not taste as good because the mushrooms won't have delightful cooked characteristic and the onions will be too crunchy and raw tasting.)

When that is ready, throw in the rest of your veggies.

Beat the desired number of eggs in a seperate bowl and add a splash of milk

Toss is all into the pan with the veggies.


Stir around until eggs are done and then sprinkle the top with cheese. (ignore the picture of me with morning eyes and greasy hair)

This is less of an omelet and more of scrambled eggs with veggies and cheese. There is no omelet folding action to be found here

But....it tastes just as good.

Ingrid and I make one mean omelet if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ingrid: Day 1, Glass, Birthdays, Beer and Pizza


On Wednesday morning, Ingrid and I woke up had a delightful breakfast of english muffins with strawberry jam and orange juice. We took showers and headed down to Corning, NY to tour the Corning Museum of Glass. I had heard great things about the glass museum and I was really excited to take Ingrid.

We got down there and parked in the parking lot. We then walked over to the giant building in the middle of the parking lot. Upon approaching the building, we realized it was an information center. The sign in the window read, "The information center is closed, please proceed to the museum."

Proceed to the museum. Sounds easy enough.

Ingrid: So where's the museum

Jenna: I think it's over there

No, that's a school

Oh, well I guess it's that big glass building.

Yeah that would make sense.

We walk over to the large glass building, as we approach I notice the sign says Corning Corporate Offices.

Hmm, that doesn't seem right

Well, we can at least ask where the museum is.

To the receptionist, Umm, we're looking for the Corning Museum of Glass - where would we find that?

The receptionist, looking at us like we're completely out of our minds, The museum is right around the corner, right there.

Oh, ok. Thanks

So, we finally made it to the museum. The woman at the ticket counter explained to us that there were only 6 other people in the museum at the current moment so if we would like to attend any of the glass shows we should arrive a few minute before the scheduled time, just so they know there is going to be an audience.

Unfortunately, The museum was huge and we didn't make it to any of the show areas around the time when they were having a show because we weren't really paying close enough attention to the time. Then, we had to leave to meet my friend Renee for lunch on her birthday. It was still really amazing, but I would love to come back sometime and actually see the glass blowing in action.

Then, we drove down to Sayre, PA for lunch with Renee to celebrate her 25th birthday. I'm a big fan of birthday lunches. That is fun.

Then, we went on a beer tasting. amazing. We went up to the Ithaca Brewery. It is a really, really really  awesome brewery and if you are even slightly into beer and in the new york area, you should go check it out. And, you should call me so I can come with you! The guy doing the tasting was super awesome and personable and he really made us feel like he wanted us to have a completely amazing time during Ingrid's stay. We tried 7 or 8 amazing beers and then bought 2 to 3 bottles of each. Plus we bought this super special takes three years to make just got released last week people were camping out in the parking lot to get a case of it blueberry champagne-like beer. And, he gave Ingrid a Ithaca Brewery Beer Cup. Amazing experience!

Then we went to Pier One. And, we ended up getting champagne glasses for a super special beer, which we then never ended up drinking and is still sitting in my refrigerator.

Then we went to Aldi to get supplies and made absolutely delicious homemade pizza!

We cut up a lot of vegetables for the pizza

And drank a lot, ok basically all of the beer that we had purchased that day

And I diced tomatoes so fast you couldn't even see my hands. Or that could be because of the cider I spilled on my camera during halloween causing it to no longer take very good pictures. But I'm going with super fast movement.

Mushrooms, Onions, Olives, Tomatoes, and Avocado, Spinach

And we made the dough from scratch. Here's the recipe:
1 cup of  lukewarm water. Not too cold not too hot. (that is extremely important).
3 cups of flour.
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 packet of yeast.

Do not overkneed. Or the dough will get tough.

Pile whatever you want on there. I used spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce and add a lot of garlic powder and italian seasonings. And then parmesan cheese and then mozzeralla cheese and then lots and lots of vegetables.

Like Ingrid says, "The pizza is just a medium for whatever else you want to top it with"

So go crazy and top away, we did!

All in all. Day 1 was a great success.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ingrid: Day T-1, The Pickup

On Tuesday evening last week, I drove back out to western New York to pick Ingrid up and hold her hostage in central New York to be my friend and have fun with me for the next 5 days. The weather wasn't the greatest, but it was so great to see Ingrid and the anticipation of the entire event is something I've pretty much been building up for the last three months. I may or may not have made a word document list of things that would be fun to do with Ingrid and then color-coded them by things that would go well together by days. I might be insanely obsessed with lists and also a Class A dork.

As Ingrid and I made our way back to T-burg we began to get very very hungry. We called Martin to make us some dinner.

I bet he'll make us english muffins and orange juice. This being Ingrid's best guess on the meal to await us.

Well, I can make you guys english muffins I guess.The ironic response that erupted from Martin's lips moments later on the phone.

But then...

When we got home Martin had made us salmon (which I absolutely love!) and steamed vegetables. I was completely blown away. To say I was impressed would be a gross understatement. It is just another reason why I am completely and hopelessly in love with this burly, bearded, halarious man. I couldn't stop talking about how impressed I was, not even the next day.

I think the fact that you are so impressed that Martin heated up frozen salmon in a pan with olive oil and vegetables just proves how much you love him.  This was Ingrid's take on the situation.

I am still really impressed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frazzled Sunday

After an amazing 5 days with Ingrid, all fun must come to an end. I am now back to stressing about work and normal everyday life. It looks like it is back to reality for me and due the the three days I took off last week and the impending pile of work waiting for me tomorrow - it looks like I'm going to be working very long days next week and it's got me slightly stressed out.

Oh, well. It was completely worth it.

Halarious Ingrid encounters to follow throughout the week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

On New Year's Eve. After my outburst of behavior at the restaurant, we went back to Evan and Randi's new house to ring in the new year. It was a nice night. We played the Wii, which I have only played once before - so that was pretty thrilling for me. We did boxing and bowling and also baseball, but I didn't get a chance to try baseball. We also played a Never Have I Ever board game. As anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I absolutely love Never Have I Ever, I was excited about this game. It was fun, but I still think I prefer the original put your finger down and drink version of this game.
Some highlights from the night included:

In usual character, Martin passed out by 11.

Jared thinking that the Wii could actually see his finger pointing and that is why there was a finger pointing on the screen

video

This video gives a pretty good depiction of the evening. Watch sleep Martin in the corner, it's the best part

Friday, January 8, 2010

Uncharacteristic

So, I originally wasn't going to write this story, mostly because it's not really the me that I particularly want  to be. But...then I was thinking, what about when I'm old and senile and I can't even rememberthis story. I'm going to want it written down at that point. So here goes:

Let me first enlighten you on my mood for the day. I had inventory the previous night in one of my stores. I had gone in at 6:00 that morning to finish up inventory, and I was very angry with one of my cashiers regarding the inventory. So angry that I didn't eat anything all day. Then just before going to the restaurant, I had three sandwich pickle slices and a teeny tiny bowl of macaroni. So. yeah. angry.

On New Year's Eve, Martin and I went out to dinner at a restaurant in Rochester with 13 of Martin's friends from high school and their wives/girlfriends to celebrate Martin's friend Jared serving 4 years in the Marines and now moving on to other things. It was a very nice idea and a very nice dinner. We all sit down at a table upstairs and the waiter takes our drink orders. 30 minutes later, he finally shows up with our drinks. Then he takes our dinner orders. When he finally returns with the meals, he has succeeded in not filling multiple orders effectively. You know, giving people the wrong dressing for their salad, bringing a burger with no fries on the side, stupid stuff. Then, it comes time to pay the bill. When Jared's fiance, Melissa, had made the reservations she had asked that it be seperate checks for each couple. No. big. deal. Restaurants do it all the time. So when this guy was taking our orders, he was juggling approximately 36 different pieces of papers trying to keep 6 seperate orders. But... alas, that wasn't enough. The waiter returns with one huge check and explains to us that he was confused as to who ordered what and if we could please write a number down next to our meals and drinks he would compile seperate receipts for us. We dutifully go around the table and do this for our struggling waiter who takes the massive bill and recedes downstairs to split it up. He returns with our bills and we pass them around to the appropriate couple. Martin and I have each ordered a meal - Martin a burger and me a chicken speedie and we got two pictures of beer (neither of us were driving that night!). Our bill came to a total of $53 and there is an additional $10 tip already built into the bill. When I saw the ten dollar tip, I was just furious. Let me clarify. I have absolutely no problem tipping. I understand that waitresses make crap for money and they rely on tips for the majority of their income. But, I was also under the impression that a tip is a reward for good service, not a guarantee after shitty service. I merely decide that I am not going to pay that tip, so I stand up, take my bill, and start to move downstairs to find a hostess to remove the tip on my bill so I can decide the appropriate tip. As I start moving downstairs though, I am stopped by our waiter who asks me if he can help me with anything. I quickly explain that I am just going downstairs to pay. In some sort of last ditch effort to actually do his job the waiter lets me know that he can take it for me. Shoot. What do I do now?

Well I actually wanted to go talk to someone about getting this tip removed because the service really wasn't very good, I hear the words escape my mouth and immediately feel a little badly about saying this to the waiter, but he had to know.

I'll see what I can do, replies the waiter without a moment's hesitation. It was like it didn't even sink in that  he was our waiter and directly responsible for the service that wasn't very good.

Anyway, he removed my built-in tip and we went on our merry way.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Side

On Monday night, Martin wasn't feeling very well. At all. So while I went to enjoy wings with Ranatta and Judy, Martin took a shot of NiQuil and went to bed at 8:00

This is how Martin was sleeping when I came home. Albeit the fact that he doesn't have a pillow or we haven't done any decorating around our bed in the five months we've lived in this apartment or that he is fractions of an inch away from falling perilously off the bed, his feet are dangerously close to my side of the bed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whoops

Martin and I had a thrilling night planned for last Saturday night. Laundry and a movie. We really are old. We are also very efficient, so....

We drove to the laundromat and started our wash. Then while our clothes were washing we headed two miles down the road to the ShurSave to get some snacks and a Redbox (I know, not Aldi. I do feel badly about it, BUT in my defense - Aldi was closed and we got Sea Salt and Peppercorn Kettle Chips which are not available for sale at Aldi). After some debate, we rented District 9 which was not very good. We then rushed home to drop of our snacks and put our milk in the refrigerator before the wash cycle was done. I ran into the apartment to drop off the goodies, while Martin headed downstairs to pay our rent check ( I know, our night gets more enthralling by the moment). As I was running out of the apartment I instinctively locked the door. As I was running down the stairs to the car, I reached into my pocket to grab my car keys....

Whoops.

Not there.

Martin...?  I yelled. Do you have your truck keys with you?

They're in the apartment, why? He inquired.

Ummm. Well. I locked our keys in the apartment

Did I mention the landlord wasn't home?

I then decide that it's really not that big of a deal, I have a spare car key so we can still finish laundry and Bill and Bonnie will definitely  be home when that is done. Martin lets me know that he is trying very hard not to be angry with me and it would be easier for him to do so if didn't act like it wasn't a big deal. He didn't think it would be very fun to sleep in the car or to call up a friend for an impromptu sleepover that night. (I thought it might make a good story to look back on, but that's just me).

We finished our laundry and pulled back into the homestead approximately an hour later. No Bill. No Bonnie. Lights out in the downstairs (aka, landlord's portion) of our home.

Martin. Well I'm just going to go to sleep so I don't get angry. (Then proceeds to pull his hat over his face, put the seat back and rest his eyes.)

I passed the time by talking to Ingrid on the phone.

It was one half an hour. tops. no big deal.

Bill even gave us a spare key to hide in the event that I do something like this again. How thoughtful.