Friday, August 21, 2009

I Heart Restaurant Week.

Every August I get so excited about one thing. Not the hot weather! Restaurant week. It's so delish! I get to try out restaurants that I wouldn't normally go to eat. Who can afford these places??

My first restaurant this year was Pappa Bros. Steakhouse. I always try to hit up a steak place every year because I do love the filet mignon. In the past, I've tried Nick & Sam's, McCormick & Schmidt's, Del Frisco, and III Forks. I had heard of Pappa Bros., but, it was never on the top of my list. I mean, it's the same people who own Pappasito's and Pappadeaux. They are great casual places, but, I am interested in some serious steak. However, I have recently noticed in some magazines that Pappa Bros. has replaced Bob's in the list of "Top Steakhouses in the U.S." That got my attention. I haven't had the opportunity to try Bob's yet, but, always heard it was the top steakhouse in Dallas. After dining at Pappa Bros., I don't know how Bob's could even compete.

Tomas and I arrived for our 7:30pm reservation at 7:10pm and were seated right away (traffic was non-existent which never happens). It was a happening spot for a Thursday evening, but, it is restaurant week. We chatted with our waiter for a few minutes and ordered a glass of wine. After placing our order, we sat back to wait for our first course. I also perused the wine list because the waiter left it on the table. Of course, I have to look for the most expensive bottle of wine. $52,000. That's right..for one bottle. We just laughed and put the menu aside. Our salads arrived and tasted scrumptious. Tomas ordered the house salad with vinaigrette and I had the caesar. Heads down - we scarfed the salads. Didn't even speak. The dressings were perfect on both salads and not oversaturated.

Then, the steaks arrived. Tomas had the New York Strip and I had the filet. I have no words. Every bite was heaven. I have never had a steak so tasty in my life. I cut the bites smaller than normal so I would be able to enjoy every morsel. Tomas thought his steak was pretty good until he tried mine. I believe he said, "Wow, that's even better than mine." The mashed potatoes were perfectly done, too. They had just enough lumpiness to make them perfect. The asparagus that we ordered additional looked like it had been injected with steroids - they were that plump.

Saved the greatness for last: dessert. I ordered the Chocolate peanut butter cake and he got the key lime pie. I was afraid that the cake may be too much chocolate and too dark/bitter for me, but, I was wrong. It was fluffy with layers of peanut butter mousse. Doesn't that sound delicious? Oh yeah, they drizzled chocolate sauce on top and threw in some peanut brittle chunks. The key lime pie was fresh, tart, and heavenly. I wanted to lick the plate to get all the cream sauce, but, had to settle for using the fruit on the sides to get it all up.

After all that - we left by 8:15pm. Seriously, how did that happen? We were not rushed at all and were in/out of a steak place in one hour. Even better!

I actually get to try TWO steak places this year. Monday is Steve Field's Steak and Lobster. I wonder if it will be up to par. I'll let you know!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Diet Alert!

I have a great new diet for everyone. You get to eat food like mashed potatoes and ice cream! What kind of diet lets you eat carbs and dairy, you ask? It's the removal of wisdom teeth diet!!!

I had three wisdom teeth removed on Friday morning. Before you ask, I only had three so I didn't just leave one in there for kicks. I had a lovely IV so I have no recollection of the removal and woke up about five minutes after they were finished. Luckily, I was coherent enough so I didn't say or do anything embarrassing (that I'm aware of). Tom was probably annoyed at my chattiness on the drive home, but, too bad. I was feeling no pain!

My weekend consisted of eating mashed potatoes, ice cream, and a little scrambled eggs. I even had a piece of bacon on Saturday morning...chewed very slowly. The pain was minimal and I even ventured out on Sunday to see a movie with Megan. We saw "Paper Heart" at the Magnolia....cute, but odd. Other than that, it was a low key weekend for me. Just taking meds throughout the day and night. Who knew that you took steroids and antibiotics when you have teeth pulled? Not me. Apparently, it's to beef up that immune system. But, a side effect - makes you lose your voice. I sound all "Stevie Nicks" right now.

Right after I got home from the oral surgeon's office.

Later that afternoon...nice swollen cheek.

I cracked up at myself in this get-up. It's an ice pack that you are supposed to wear for the first 24 hours.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cool, Cool Air!

First off, thank you to everyone who have sent emails, posted comments, or called about Boo's passing. I enjoyed reading your comments and remembering her silliness. She was a loved member of my family and still missed daily.

Back to my previous blog about homeownership.

I have a brand spanking new air conditioner!! It's so pretty!!! I think there is something wrong with me. Getting excited about cold air. But, try going without it for five days and see how you feel. I had to abandon my house after the first night of no a/c. But, I'm back and it is fabulous.

I can now tell you all about air conditioners and the many parts. Tonage
, SEER, variable vs non-variable speed, or straight a/c versus heat pump. I have this information all in my head now. I better not have to ever use it again.

The new compressor unit outside. Funny thing about it, the unit inside is really only have two feet tall, but, the case is about four feet tall. It's monstrous.

The air-handler. Don't have much to say about this, except that it is now cold!! Yay!

My fancy new thermostat. I can now set it on 76 and it is still cold in the house. I initially set it to 73-74 degrees, thinking it was the same as my old unit. No No! It's cold enough at 76. Wow, I had no idea.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sweet and Cranky

Sweet and Cranky Old Lady. That's my girl. After 14 1/2 years, Sweet Boo had to be put down this past weekend. It's been hard to imagine my life when I didn't have her. She has moved nine times with me, had seven human roommates and five cat roommates (plus a short time with those pesky annoying other animals...dogs).

Whew, no wonder she was cranky all the time.

My sister was the initial owner of Boo. She went to a pet store with a friend and Boo reached through her cage and grabbed a hold of her hair. The pet store owner told Kris that Boo was the runt of the liter and nobody wanted her. Sucker. She brought her home and the rest is history. I inherited her after Kris moved to Dallas and then went to the dark side and brought home dogs. She does NOT like dogs and makes it very clear they are not allowed in her domain.

Some other fun memories and things that I'll miss:

Teresa told us that one time when she went to check on her, when Kris and I were out of town, she walked into our apartment and there was Boo, swinging from the curtains.

She used to run sideways when she was a kitten. Not sure why and when she grew out of it, but, used to crack me up.

How much she hated riding in the car. She'd last about 10 minutes and then vomit. She also whined and meowed the entire ride. The move from San Marcos to Dallas was a very long trip with her.

Greeting me at the door when I came home. Instead of being excited to see me (like some other "animals" would be) she would yell at me. You could almost hear the "Where have you been? Why are you just now getting home?"

Leaving "surprises" for me on my bed when I went out of town. She did not like it when I was gone for too long and made sure that I knew it.

Not being able to close my bedroom door for 14 years. She would have none of that. She would bang on the door and scream until you let her in or out. Her highness must be able to go from room to room as she chose.

Only petting her head. She did not allow people to pet her anywhere else. You could almost lose a digit for Tom discovered.

Yummy chicken. She would go nuts if you even opened a package of chicken.

She has had many names: Boo, Miss Boo, Boo Boo, Pooper (don't know where that came from), and Sweet Girl.

Here's a picture from the early days of Nac. I think it was taken around 2am after I worked at Mazzio's all night...I look terrible, but, she is mad at being held. She was not a cuddler.

I will miss you, Sweet Girl!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Homeownership is crap.

Beware: it's bitchin' time.

For all you that don't own a home and your friends/family keep telling you how great it is? DON'T BELIEVE THEM. What's so great about spending every freaking penny you earn on upkeep?

Let's start with the outside:

Lawn. You can spend 3 hours on a Saturday or Sunday EVERY freaking week during the 100 degree summer days trying to edge, weed, and mow your lawn. Or, you can spend $25/week for five guys to come in and make it look better than you ever could. It takes them 15 minutes. Damn it.

Pool. Yes, it's so awesome that I have a pool in my backyard. Again, you can spend every weekend cleaning this pool and trying to figure out what chemicals you need to add and what the heck a pH level even is...or, you can spend $150/month for someone to come out to clean and put in the proper chemicals for you. Of course, if it rains, the pool is now dirty with leaves and dirt. Vinnie, the vacuum, doesn't seem to work during those times, either.

Trees. Who the hell puts a Crape Myrtle near a pool? And, what is the point of an Oleander tree? To provide breeding grounds for wasp nests? $250 to a tree company to get those cut down. Oh, but wait! They can't grind the stumps because they are too close to the fence and the roots may break the fence if they try to pull them up. So, what happens? The trees keep coming back and the lawn guys have to keep cutting them down, along with trimming the other trees and bushes in the backyard....for a price, of course.

Wasps. I hate them and don't even know why they are on this earth. To get on my nerves? Yes.

Let's go inside:

Bugs. How disgusting are cockroaches? I freak if I see one. Boo, on the other hand, wants to chase and play with them. Let me tell you non-homeowners something. You have to get a dang service to come out and spray your house for bugs on a consistent basis. Again, something nobody told me.

Plumbing. Remember in apartments when something clogged or quit working? You could just call you handy apartment landlord and they'd send someone up to fix it. Now? You have to call around and see who can get out the quickest and do bids for big items. Who wants to do all that? And, how do you know if the guy is legit?

Finally, Air-conditioning. Ever have to sleep in a house when the a/c is out or frozen? That was me, last night. M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. (You can see where this blog is coming from now, right?) Three a/c quotes and I'm at $6,000 for a new one. Are you kidding me? Who has $6,000 just sitting around ready to give away? I could scream right now.

Also, home warranties SUCK. They are useless and I wouldn't recommend them. They don't cover anything!! Mine says that the "noise" from my compressor unit outside is just noise and not something broken. Hello - it sounds like a plane is taking off outside my window when it's on. That can't be normal.

Now, don't talk to me about "tax benefits". I haven't seen any. Yes, I got about $3,000 back last year...know where it went? The damn house. "Equity" is another argument...whatever. Am I getting anything out of that right now? NO! I don't see it and I'm mad right now so I don't want to hear it!

If you read all the way to the bottom of this post, thanks. I am extremely frustrated right now and could kick some ass (really just the home warranty people).