early friday chex mix

It’s a rainy evening here in Georgia.

Not that I’m complaining of the rain – never. We have grass seed in the back that needs to germinate and I desperately do not want a drought this summer. Yes, I’d take rain any day over a dusty summer. I do realize that we’re still in spring and not quite gotten to summer just yet. I am not rushing it, either. I enjoy these lush, spring days (now that I’ve gotten over the high pollen count with two sinus infections). Charlie is feeling a little under the weather today – something she ate last night, perhaps. It was date night tonight and we went to have pho and then straight home. She has fallen asleep in front of the TV watching some documentary about Africa.

Vacation, f*cking vacation.

I want to be on vacation, honestly. I want to see beaches and smell the salt in the air. We leave for Florida the end of next week and it cannot get here soon enough.

Happy hour.

It’s impossible to get everyone together anyhow for this. I feel like I constantly be the communicator, the planner, the organizer. Maybe one HH a month is enough. We got quite a few 3 people over last week for it but this week we have a bunch of maybes and rain. Maybe’s and rain = Meh, forget it.  Sometimes it would be nice to sit in a cozy Irish pub by a fire (Hey, Marley House) so if it’s raining tomorrow we go there – that is, if Charlie’s feeling better.

We have this friend.

Who I will name DD for Dreary Debbie? Debbie Downer is too common. Desperate Debbie? Yeah, more like that. The girl puts a whole new meaning into that word desperate. Deeeeesperado…….why don’t you come to your senses…….

-it’s like that, y’all. She’s been chasing a dream with two legs for seven-sevenfucking-YEARS to no avail who treats her like a laundry basket or one that holds magazines. Every once in a while you kick it when you’ve had a frustrating day – that kind of basket. So, when she’s Desperate Debbie basket she gets on Tinder.

No good can come from a DESPERATE women in her mid-40’s being on Tinder.

NO GOOD, PEOPLE. No good…..So, you can just imagine the types of people she’s talking to. The ones who ask for money after the 50th text, no snapchat-asses. These are probably men in their mid-50’s using their 20-something year old nieces pictures to elicit money and sex on the internet. We have lunch with Debbie sometimes on the weekends and she shows us dozens of pictures of ho’s women she’s talking to on the internet. Then she gets all depressed that she’s not meeting someone and in the same breath says she’s going to see the woman who treats her like a basket for dinner. We say, Why, why, why, Debbie? You’re going to be on Tinder when you’re FIDDY (50). You don’t want that to happen. You won’t able to swipe left or right because you’ll have arthritis by then from swiping so much. Stop being desperate, Debbie. Stop.

Even Benji had problems with Tinder. Her Tinder woman went cra-cra, said she didn’t want to see anyone and then dropped off the face of the earth (but, probably not off Tinder). They had planz, too. Like going out of town and to a (teeny-bopper 20ish) concert which didn’t happen. Benji was so depressed that she didn’t go – even after trying to talk her into going and giving the xtra ticket to some hot 20-something and having fun. She stayed at home and moped. I would have gone if I were her.

Work. PMP. What am I doing?

I don’t know. We had a “team” meeting on Tuesday and we were told that they found enough old geezers people to take an early retirement that they wouldn’t have to lay anyone off. This is a relief because I’m still trying to find a way to get a promotion to a different department and it’s proving to be equal to landing a federal job interview. That difficult. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks since I got certified but I hope this PMP thing holds more weight than it is holding so far. Part of me doesn’t know what to do with all this spare time I have now from not having to study. The other part is like, what’s next? The company has all these online training classes on Agile Scrum and if I take 22 of these things and take their test I get their company bronze certification in Agile Scrum (notice I said company – by no means is this the nationwide scrum master cert) so I’m doing it so I can add it to my company resume. I’m going to take six months and keep applying and if I don’t get any interviews then I’m going on to another certification – scrum master, Agile, or even Leed. Something.

So, that’s all I got. I hope you enjoyed the snippets of topics – we’ll call it an early Friday chex mix. Y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

wing central

I know y’all have been wondering where the hell I’ve been lately. I’ve been studying my @ss off for that PMP exam which I retook last Friday and –

I PASSED!

‘Cause I’m P.M.P., I’m dynamite
(P.M.P.) and I’ll win the fight
(P.M.P.) I’m a power load
(P.M.P.) watch me explode’

That’s why I’ve been AWOL the past month. I devoted all my spare time and energy to studying for that thing so I could pass it the second time. Now I’m looking around for my second certification and I really think it’s going to be LEED AP. But, I at least want to take a breather before hitting the books again. Friday after passing the test our friend, Benita came up from Florida to help celebrate. Since she had just passed her Real Estate test we had a lot to celebrate. We started out at The Imperial for happy hour drinks with Benji and a friend. We were all sitting there drinking when Benita wanted to get something for us to nosh on. Other than pizza rolls (which, seemed a bit strange to me – can’t we just get some humus? But no – it wasn’t on the menu) the only thing that looked appetizing THEN was the chicken wings. You know – wings that are small, buffalo flavored that you can pick up with your hands and gnaw on? Like these:

Not these:

Picture half the done-ness. Like, these things were barely done. We all sat there looking at the plate. The wings stuck up looking like some meat crown from Game of Thrones. And, we should have been a wee bit suspicious when we asked the server why there were only three to an order and she put her whole arm up and said, It’s the whoooooole wing, y’all. Pointing to her arm. (The five of us almost lost it laughing but we held it in)

We each reluctantly took one and instead of picking it up with our hands we picked at it with a fork and knife. I mean, if you have to use a knife and fork on a wing then you shouldn’t be eating it. We left three on the plate (thankfully, we talked Benita out of ordering like 20 of these things – Benji is a vegetarian and friend, Liz was only staying for one drink). The server came over and took one look at it and asked what was wrong. We said, Nothing. They’re fine.

No, I know something’s wrong, what’s up?

Well, they’re just not done enough for us…. (what was not said -plus, you left that wingie thing on there that Benita said is where the orgasm on a chicken comes from sticking up like a crown and it just grossed our shit out).

Well, I’ll take it off your bill. No worries.

We breathed a Thanks. Until she came back a bit later with more drinks and said, I just put in another order for you – extra crispy.

No, really we’re fine – give them to someone else.

No, I insist. Oh, here they are. And, she said down yet another crown plate.

OMIGOD WILL THESE THINGS EVER GO AWAY? We reluctantly ate another – I pulled off the slimy skin and pulled off some meat with a fork. Enough so that it looked like I consumed something. Benji, who had been watching this whole fiasco thinking, Why I’m a vegetarian suggested we go to the fabulous taco bar and we closed out so fast that our heads spun and the server put the remaining wings in a TOGO box for us and we reluctantly carried them out to the car which later we dumped on the side of the street hoping someone else would appreciate them. The rest of the weekend we kept saying, THE WHOOOOOLE WING, Y’ALL and laughing. Which, is the reason for this picture:

Saturday we took in Ponce City Market and a fabulous Latin-inspired place called El Super Pan (probably the best Cuban sandwich I have ever had and the Yucca fries are to die for).

Benita spent a bit of time at this really cool premium bitters shop called 18.21 Bitters and ended up buying this jalapeno, cilantro bitters that is really good in margaritas for her daughter who is a Mixologist.

Around the corner was the King of Pops frozen alcohol bar which made my mouth water. If it would have been later in the day I would have certainly pulled up a stool and had a drink. Upstairs we played around taking pictures in this store called Citizen Supply.

Later that evening we had tickets to see Sister Hazel at the Variety Playhouse. It was a really great show and we ended up parked right in front of the stage. After the show we stood around hoping to get to the back to get a little memento from the band. Just then this guy who sat in on a few numbers playing a mean guitar came out and we said, Hey, you were great up there – who are you? He (Travis) played with Wild Adriatic and happened to be in town for the 420 festival downtown and Sister Hazel had asked him to play a few numbers with them. Just then Benita happened to score the song list that was taped to the stage and Travis grabbed it and said he’d run it back and have the members with Sister Hazel sign it for us. Amazing! Plus, we got three guitar picks.

The next day, sadly, Benita had to take off for home. I admit I was a little hung over from so much excitement of the weekend. I went in to work on Monday and told my boss first thing that I passed my PMP exam and he had the reaction of like, Oh. That was it – OH. I’m like whatever. I know it’s a big deal even if he doesn’t. Then, we got notified this week that they are going to start layoffs. We’ve had two meetings so far on the subject and no one knows sh*t about it. Of course. What’s it’s all going to come down to is making the managers do the dirty work and identify people to cut from their teams. I only hope that I’m not one of them but I know I’m a female and a minority on his team of male drinking buddies -and, his two favorites Larry and Sherrie. But, you know – there’s really nothing I can do about it so I’m just going to continue putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time. If I get laid off then perhaps this place wasn’t meant to be for me and that I’ll find something better. Because I have a brand new certification that I can put next to my name now – Lanie Belluz, muthafucken PMP!

I just got to be upbeat and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That’s all I can do. Tomorrow, we’re having happy hour and a dinner party at the house and inviting friends who we haven’t seen in a while so I’m looking forward to it. The weather should be nice and we can open up the bar shed and play some music, darts and hang.

(And, Sadie says this is her shed and she cards everyone)

 

 

 

 

 

D-day

Saturday I take my PMP exam.

I want to pass this thing [desperately] the first time and not have to retake it for another $250 but I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get that certification number before my time runs out mid-May.

This week has been very cold, rainy and windy. This was probably a good thing as I’ve needed to stay in and take it easy. Although, tonight Charlie and I are going out for date night since tomorrow night I have to be back to taking it easy as my exam is bright and the next morning. That’s unfortunate as Friday is St. Paddy’s day, too, and Rooster is having a shing-ding at her house. I told Charlie she could go celebrate her Irish roots without me but she refused.

So, what’s new?

I finally got my new construction area to manage at work. The manager I got the area from really screwed it up, too. Monday, I’m meeting with angry developers who have been requesting service for a very long time (well, to them a long time is a week). I know how to manage construction projects – I do. This is my lifeblood so I’ll do fine despite the setbacks. It’s all on me if I screw it up and there’s been quite a few at work who want to be the first in line to tell me that – including the former bitch manager of the area I’ve been assigned. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised people can be so pissy when it comes to doing work. Everyone has work to do so why be pissed off all the time – it just sucks up more time and energy. But, like opinions everyone has assholes – or is that the other way around?

Why can’t there be more 4-leaf clovers and nice people? That’s what I want to know. In the meantime, have a Guinness (I believe if more people had one they would be LESS angry) and happy St. Paddy’s Day!

-believe me, I know!

 

 

 

Athens, Drive-by Truckers, Random men and vomiting adolescents

It’s a lot to cram into one post, I know.

The more I go to Athens, Georgia the older I feel.  I think the next time – if there ever is one – I’m going to feel like I should practically be in a nursing home. Maybe that’s a good reason to not have anymore next times in Athens. But, hey, we had a good time – I’m glad we went- but like eating pizza (like today) it was good but I don’t want to eat it again for a very long time. That’s Athens for you.

Saturday, Benjii came over to dog sit and we left for Athens. The rain had let up and it turned out to be a nice drive out stopping at Charlie’s favorite store – Northern Tool and Equipment – on the way. Yes, she found about 10k worth of stuff she wants from there. (Who said anything about a way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach – with Charlie it’s a new compressor for her power washer or a Sthl tree saw). Once we pulled in to Athens we found our hotel right away. Her bro had booked us into the Georgia Gameday Center – which, turned out to be a one bedroom condo. It was PHAT! That was the nicest part of the trip was the condo we stayed. Once we checked in and took pictures of the room we left to go have a drink. I had texted my friends Stacy and Nikki when we pulled in to ask where a good place for a drink and a bite to eat and one of the places they suggested was Trappeze Pub.  We pulled up some stools and ordered a couple of Unknown Pregame beers (yes, everything in this town has something to do with some game somewhere – it just so happened there were a bunch of folk from Kentucky in town because of the UGA/Kentucky basketball game – all that way to watch basketball…….must not be much going on in Kentucky……ok,  shut up, Lanie)

After drinking our PRE-UGA/Kentucky gameday beer (to go with our hotel named Gameday, of course) we decided to go get PRE-game tacos. We started walking up Clayton street and finally found Bulldog tacos – kidding – Taqueria Tsunami where we had some great tacos and I had some great margaritas. One thing about Athens is that the drinks are good and cheap. Well margaritas were $6 each with fresh lime juice and not that sickly sweet limeaid mixer they typically use in margaritas. After a satisfying dinner we headed for the hotel to freshen up before going to the 40 Watt Club. For some reason we decided after the hotel to go ahead and get in line at the venue an hour before the show. I don’t know why we thought that was a good idea because when they let us in an hour before the show (8) there was hardly anyone in there anyway. While we were in line outside waiting to get in we started talking to the guys in line in front of us. One guy was in a wheelchair and had driven down from (scary coincidence) Indiana (where I’m from) and had been to the Truckers show Thursday and Friday, too. We said that he must really like them and he said he’d seen them like (I heard 17, Charlie heard 70- not sure which one I believe but you get the gist) times.

You really don’t want to know what I’m thinking at this point.

Another guy in front of us said he was from our neighborhood – we couldn’t believe that – right up the street from where we live. I was starting to think it was all a strange coincidence and was really hoping we could go inside soon because I was starting to tire of the conversation outside. I was thinking, I really am tired of talking to random men. I hope to get away from talking to random men – 

WRONG. Such was the story of our LIFE that night.

Once we went inside both those random men melted away into the crowd. We stood at the bar and ordered drinks. The bartender was very nice and we struck up a conversation with him and I was starting to realize that Charlie and I were probably only 2 of 5 women in the whole club. I started looking around and it was like we just got dropped off into Portland Oregon with long bearded men wearing grungy trucker hats, nerdy glasses and flannel shirts that were almost too short to tuck in. It was the hippy log splitting crowd – although I bet most of those men’s hands were as soft as my own. So, the warm up band, Hernies (and after listening to them I’m sure it was short for Screaming Hernias) wasn’t coming on until 9. We had several drinks in the meantime and Hernia -er – Hernies didn’t actually come on until 9:30. More grungy men filed in and a really drunk guy stationed himself next to us at the bar. This guy was probably the only non-grunge guy in there. Any minute he looked like he was either going to fall over or puke. Charlie and I moved away but at some point still couldn’t escape this guys hands. At one point he ran his arm down Charlie’s back and she just turned and looked at him and moved off. I said, “Let’s move down more.” Then, some other random man came over to talk to us – named Steve. Steve spied my tshirt with a motorcycle on it and asked if we rode.

I have learned most times when people as if you ride it’s just a segue into them telling you their whole life history of riding and showing you 1,000 pictures of their motorcycle on their iPhone before you even have a chance to say what you ride. Which happened. I was hoping to put Steve in between myself and the drunk, hand-sy guy next to me as I switched places with Charlie and now I was getting fondled. No such luck because after showing us the 945th pic of his Harley he hugged us and took off. Next, we started a conversation this some really big guy who looked like  Grizzly Adams in a Green Bay hat. I was thinking, If this doesn’t scare this drunk guy off then I don’t know what will. He did disappear momentarily but was back by the time Grizzly was gone. Next, we started hearing this sound from the stage. It was a loud, wambah, wambah, wambah that went on FOREVER. I was like, Is anyone finally going to sing around here, or are we going to be trapped here all night with the drunk pervert  and looking at 1,000 more Harley pictures? 

I shouted to Charlie over the WAMBAH, WAMBAH, WAMBAH  that we were probably going to have to move as I didn’t know how much longer I was going to take this guy touching me without putting my boot in his @ss. We slid down the bar further and another random guy came up and started shouting to us. His name was Jeff. We probably shouted at him the longest. The opening band finally started singing over the WAMBAH and they sounded like the Beatles on an acid trip. I had necessarily switched to the hard stuff and ordered another Jack and Coke wishing I’d worn earplugs – especially after talking to another random guy who said he came up from Valdosta, Georgia and followed the Truckers, loves them and that they are really Eff-ing loud. But, from the screaming coming from the stage I wondered if he meant the warm up band instead. By the time the Truckers did come on stage we were drunk immersed in a conversation with Jeff who had managed to scare off the drunk guy for us and was hugging us both and I had decided he was the lessor of the several random guy evils. Or maybe I was just deaf and drunk by then and didn’t care. By the time we left the club our ears were ringing and I was ready to be away from random men and go meet our friends, Stacy and Nikki.

WRONG.

We no more walked out  of the club and texted our friends to meet up with them when another random Steve came up and started walking with us. I was like, Really? WTF! I felt like that poor cat that always ran from Pepe Le Pew. We told him we were headed out to meet some friends and he said he was walking that way anyway. Honestly, if he hadn’t been so young I would have been worried. By this time there were several people out walking around – in fact, it was getting Marti Gras-ish and we witnessed our first public puking of the night before ducking behind a car and ditching that guy. When we walked into the club to meet our friends I’d never seen so many young drunk kids in my life. Stacy came up and shouted that the friend of theirs that had rented out the place for her birthday had been rushed to the hospital an hour earlier from alcohol poisoning. She pointed to the girls gf who was continuing to party on in her place. Once Charlie and I stole a tshirt off the wall for a memento we excused ourselves and said we had to get back.

Walking back to the hotel there were even more people out  – skimpy dressed, young women and men and yet more of them vomiting in the gutters. It was a total drunk fest. I hadn’t seen anything like this since – well, the last UGA game I went to in 1995. And, yet again we bumped into Steve and before he could say anything we just started running to the hotel because we’d had enough. I kept thinking we were running away from young, drunk zombies who were going to eat our faces off. We made it to our nice room, split our subway sandwich and passed out.

The next day we were going to go out to eat breakfast somewhere but we were both ready to get the hell out of dodge. We came back and ate pizza with the dogs  – which, was fine with me. It was a fun weekend but I don’t think we’ll be going to Athens again anytime soon.

 

saved by zero

“Maybe someday, saved by zero,
I’ll be more together.
Stretched by fewer thoughts that leave me.
Chasing after my dreams; disown me, loaded with danger.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Holding onto words that teach me.
I will conquer space around me.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero”

This is how I feel lately with studying for my exam, work, my career in general. I admit, ever since my review I’ve been a bit pissed disenchanted. You know? I thought my last job had the most un-helping-ist people I’ve ever come across but I’ve changed my mind. It seems like no one wants to do any teamwork or work with anyone else but themselves -and there’s only a few who will help or answer questions (but, they sit in different locations which is another topic of frustration).

I’m studying Project Management Methodology that employs the basis of working as cohesive team or I should say “a team based approach” to management of a project and am not experiencing this at all in my current role. I really thought when I accepted this role that I would be managing projects and an area. In fact, that was what I was hired to do. I’m supposedly getting an area of responsibility and am in fact, meeting with the existing manager of this area to go over things on Monday. I’m ecstatic about this although, I had to push my boss to get the ball rolling on this or else I’d still be sitting here doing training classes online until the cows came home. The sooner I can do this the better.

So, that’s what I’ve been frustrated about. Also, there’s a couple of other things I’ve been upset about. One, my Friday telework day was taken away because my boss thinks that I need to be in the office with support staff to ask questions of and help. That’s totally fine with me except – it’s Friday and I’m the only one in the office. The wonder twins have gone off to their “field” work – in fact, I haven’t even seen them. My boss and Patricia are working from home. It’s just little-ol’ me here in the office. Next, I’m frustrated that I asked to go out in the field with Larry of the twins and we set it up and everything and he blew me off – probably because he only wanted to be with Sherry out in the field and he doesn’t want me tagging along. And, last I’m frustrated because I think Carmine said something to my boss about my being on the phone one day with Charlie. He told me in my review that someone said they overheard something about my being on the phone with a landscape client. I told him that I must have been on the phone with my partner who runs the business full time asking me a question was all and that I promise that I don’t talk to clients during normal work hours.

That Eff-ing pissed me off to no end!

First, Patricia is on the phone ALL DAY talking to her husband, her mamma, her cousin – anyone who will listen to her talk. She even had her husband stop by the office the other day and hang out with her all afternoon. But, did I say anything? NO. I see Carmine in the parking lot talking on her phone – probably arguing with her ex husband about who’s going to pick up the kids but did I say anything? NO. I mind my own business. But, you know? IT’S SO UNFAIR. I get penalized and all these other people just go off and do whatever the hell they want all the time and no one ever says anything to them about it.

[Breathe Lanie]

So, those are my FRUSTRATIONS. And, I thank you all for listening and reading this and being my audience because I just had to get this out. Now back to our regularly scheduled program. What do y’all have planned this weekend? We’re going to Athens like I said in the V-DAY post and, thank you, Goddess because it will be nice to get out of town and breathe different air. It’s been a week or two!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

 

kickin’ it

Last week went by in a whirl. Thursday, I had a really bad day at work. Well, bad in such a way that I was hit with some stuff that I didn’t expect. The upside was that I’m going to take on more responsibility and downside was I was told that I could progress a little faster. Part of me was like, I’ve been in this job less than a year, feel isolated in my current work environment and really have no one around to ask questions – so this feedback seems very unfair. The other part was ok, I’ll work harder, ask more questions but only after studying up on the stuff I’m doing.

It was almost the mentality of my old job – we want you to do this but we don’t want to answer any questions or train anyone. It just all kind of get thrown on you and you have to roll with the punches. So, after an evening of crying to Charlie and getting drunk with her and Benji I went into my boss’s office the next day and asked if we could follow up on a few things. We had a good conversation. I wanted him to know that there had been a breakdown in communication and the strides I was going to take to ensure that didn’t happen again. That I was going to work hard for a higher rating this year. In short, I’m going to make sure I have more facetime with him and him hear stuff from me directly and not just from our middle manager that sits out in the satellite office who I only see once a week. [Yeah, basically -phuck you middle manager who sabotaged my review with your opinions]

Friday, Charlie was really hung over feeling under the weather and I ended up going out and meeting Benji and her new squeeze, Kate, to see our friend Hannah Thomas play at Eddie’s.  Charlie and I were coming back from eating some wonderful Pho (which, I think revived her a little) and I had her drop me off at the box office so I could go ahead and get a ticket to the show. I was planning to get my ticket and hit a coffee shop and study a little before the show but as I was standing in line for my ticket this woman bought the remaining 21 tickets left for the early show who was Madison Parks.

They were like, Thanks for waiting.

Oh, that’s ok, I’m just getting a ticket for the late show so I have time to kill.

The woman who bought the tickets asked me if I wanted a ticket to the early show and I said, Sure. So I got in for free. (Which, was a good thing because I doubt I’d ever pay $$ to see that woman again) I went in and took a seat in the bleachers they have in the back. Since I was coming in late all the seats were already full. It’s a tiny place so if you’re seeing a show there you want to get there very early so you can get a good seat. Then, a family of 4 came up and I ended up sitting next to a 7 year old in a tu-tu, who squirmed the whole time and at one point I could have sworn she had her elbow in my ear.

Would you like a child with your Guinness?

Madison rocked it out for the first three songs with her band who looked like all high school kids. But, when she pulled up a stool and started talking about hanging with her girlfriends in Nashville talking about boyz and this was a song she wrote about it blah, blah, blah I decided to hit the back patio to watch the rest of the hockey game until Benji and Kate got there. On the way out I hugged Hannah’s neck and wished her a Happy Birthday and said Charlie was sorry she missed her that night. Once Benji and Kate got there I scored us some great seats at the bar inside and we rocked out to Hannah and her new girl band. So much of a contrast from the early show (– maybe that’s why she was the early show).

Saturday, we ran around getting stuff for the party Super Bowl party and Bernice came into town. Minutes after she pulled in we were all in our car going to dinner in Little 5 and hitting Shutter & Roosters gig at the Star Bar. We had a blast that night!

Sunday morning, Bernice was hung over feeling under the weather and Charlie and I went out and grabbed a bagel and ran some errands before the party. By the time we got back she was up making empanadas for the party. We talked and ate and prepped food. We ended up having a great turnout and aside from our team losing we had a great time!  Link was our only Patriots fan in the crowd and she and Charlie were at it all night goofing off as you can see in this pic:

img_0602

The next morning I was hung over not feeling well until I ate a piece of sourdough toast with some butter and honey on it. I had been on this Paleo diet for a few weeks and the weekend was the first real carbs I’d eaten in a while and I think it just hit me really hard. Or I drank too much beer. Charlie and I went to have noodles for lunch and hit our favorite joint on the way back to the house. I had gone ahead and took the day off as I knew I wouldn’t want to work along with 6 million Americans that call in sick the day after Super Bowl. When we got back we hung out and played darts in the bar shed so all in all it was a very full weekend and glad it was a good end to a shaky start.

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good & bad, broth & blow

“Are you going to crack the egg in there or just hard boil it?”

“What? I don’t know.”

“Well, if you crack yours in I’ll do mine.”

“You go first.”

CRACK – “Ok, done.”

Follows suit.

Charlie and I were at this mini hot pot restaurant. This was the first time we had tried anything like this and since our GROUPON was running out in two days we needed to use it. We followed directions to the place off Buford Hwy which is a melting pot [so to speak] of ethnic restaurants. (In fact, one could go to a new restaurant on this road weekly and still not experience all the dining  available.)

We found the place tucked in the corner of an Asian themed shopping center. My mouth was already watering for some sort of noodle bowl. Once inside we were shown to a table by who I will refer to as the owner “J”. Another server came out and asked us if we wanted something to drink and we pointed to iced tea on the menu and she left. Then, the questions began.

“What do we do? Do we choose a broth and does the combo mean for two people or two meats?”

“I don’t know, honey let’s ask the server when she gets back.”

“Ok, I want chicken broth definitely and maybe chicken and shrimp. Do they mix the chicken and shrimp in together or are they separate? What-are-you-going-to-get?”

“I don’t know. I’m waiting on confirmation of the combo thing.”

She came back and several questions were asked. She field them perfectly [which contributed to her large tip at the end.]

So, basically you choose your broth & protein(s) and they bring these out with a bowl filled with a ton of veggies, noodles and some seafood stuff. First, we got the broth in cast-iron pots and the bowl of veggies. They sat eggs in these cute little holders down [which, I suspected blew Charlie’s mind a little bit]. Then, they brought out our proteins on a plate. We each had a dial and a cooking element to control the heat of our pots. So, we got our broth boiling and put in the veggies. I kind of messed up and put everything in at once so my noodles were practically invisible when J came over and fished them out for me. I know she probably thought I was a newbie at all this.

db(What do I do with this cabbage thing sticking out of the bowl?, I was thinking.)

Charlie’s shrimp came out on skewers -head and all and I de-headed them for her (then, stuck the heads on the ends of my fingers and had them sing to each other.) I ordered ribeye and sirloin for mine. It was all very good but next time I’ve already decided that I will get mussels and shrimp (and, pay the $2 for them to peel them) in a spicy tom-yum broth.

It was nice getting out and eating somewhere new and adventurous. As we passed many pho and Vietnamese places we vowed to come back and try to experience more in the future. So, unlike our glass blows experience this Groupon experience was superb. I really hope they continue to have this offer on there because I will definitely buy more. Oh, and an update on our balls – I know I promised to follow up on a photo once I picked them up so here they are:

img_0407

As you can see, Charlie’s on the left is MUCH larger than my pert little one on the right. I blew too hard when we were forming it [getting yelled at by Corey “STOP BLOWING SO HARD”] and she blew just riiiiight when we were doing mine. So, it is what it is – I left negative feedback on my groupon review and plan on leaving the same on Yelp.

Sometimes when you think you’re getting a deal – it comes with good food and broth and other times – well, it’s blown.

 

 

 

the week

What a week –in a good way! It started out Monday with the [ball] class, Tuesday hanging out with friends for Charlie’s bday and then Friday seeing Charlie Mars with our friend Benji.

Christmas will be upon us before we know it. I don’t even care if we’re ready or not we’ve just been having a lot of fun through the Thanksgiving holiday and Charlie’s birthday.

So, Tuesday night I invited some ho’s friends over to the bar to celebrate Charlie’s birthday. Charlie didn’t know anyone was coming until I mentioned we may have a stray or two. I had actually invited the whole group. Link & Stiletto, Rooster & Shutter, Martha & Dino & Benji. I think Charlie was surprised when everyone showed and I was happy they did. Stiletto had even canceled plans to be there that night and I was really touched by that.

We noshed on appetizers and drank [really strong craft] beer then Link had to go and order Tequila shots. She asked Jamie the bartender to serve the shots with orange slices and next thing you know we’re chasing it with glasses of orange juice. Everyone was getting a little tipsy I saw and just then Dino went over to ask Benji to dance. I laughed so hard to myself thinking, Glad it’s not me. Although, I doubt if Dino would have chosen me to dance – we’re cut from the same chain wallet cloth. Benji very reluctantly danced with her. Poor Benji – we hadn’t warned her about Dino when she’s buzzed. Dino just kind of takes over and later her and Link were talking politics so loudly that Charlie had to hush them a few times. I’m sure Jamie the bartender was happy when we all left although he did a superb job of handling all of our drink and appetizer demands.

All this on a school night but we had a fabulous time!

Last night, we met up with Benji to go see the long awaited Charlie Mars. Benji hadn’t seen him before but has been subjected to us singing lyrics to some of his songs for the last six months. We first went to the burrito place to have a drink and wait until it was time for Benji and I to run up to Edie’s to get a seating number. We sat down and our new favorite bartender, Katelin served us. Benji and I ran up to Edies for a seating number while Charlie waited.

“Let’s tell Charlie when we get back we couldn’t get a number. No, let’s say we got #13”, I said to Benji walking back.

So, we did and Charlie was like, “I CANT BELIEVE THIS. THIRTEEN?!!”  Benji was looking away smiling trying not to give it away and I dug the paper out of my pocket and opened it up to show her #1. Once we got back we left to hopefully go eat dinner at Twains. Once we got there it was packed – we couldn’t get a table so we went back to the burrito place. We had given Katelyn some apple pie moonshine that Charlie had made and she was sharing it with another bartender and a server. The server approached us and said, “This stuff is the bomb! You made this?”

I pointed to Charlie and said, “She did.”

He took us in the back and gave us all these hoodies advertising the restaurant. He was so nice. We’re going to have to bring him a jar the next time we go back – in fact, we may just bring the restaurant a six pack of the stuff as a gift.

So, we had a prime spot at the show plus when we got there Charlie Mars was warming up and we got to see him play a bit before the show. Then, afterwards we went out to wait for him to sign autographs and Benji got pics of us with him. It was great!

Today, we’re heading up to Dahlonega to meet our friends Todd & Kristie for drinks and a late lunch at Shenanigans. We met them a while back when Charlie and I decided to take a drive up there for the day then afterwards we shared a rainy Melissa Etheridge concert together.

Tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain and Charlie mentioned wanting to made a warm chili in the crock pot and possibly do some tree decorating – guess we should pick one up after we get back from the mountains today as I can’t see us putting a tree on top of Sia-Kia.

 

glass blows

Today is Charlie’s birthday and as you know we went out last night for a surprise I’d had for her to go to a glass blowing studio and make a ball learn how to blow glass. I’d had this Groupon for a class for two at this local place since last August. She shared this place on my Facebook page twice I knew that she would love going so I booked us a two person class. The week before last I looked at the details of the class and it said [tersely in all caps] that all classes will be booked either via email or on their Facebook page. I emailed them saying I’d had a Groupon for two and would like to book a class and was the 28th either at 6:30 or 7:30 available and if not what other dates did they have and to please let me know? Two days later I get this [terse] email back that read:

I NEED YOUR VOUCHER NUMBER

COREY

Sent from Outlook

So, I looked at the Groupon I had printed out for the class. There was a Groupon number and a bar code number. I emailed Corey back with both the numbers and even attached a pdf of the voucher. Three days went by – nothing. This time I sent a Facebook message on their page stating the same as the earlier email message. Nothing. (I was about ready to choke this guy to be honest). Finally three days later I get an email back of:

you are signed up, thank you, please read your voucher info for all the terms and conditions: note the fine print also you must return to pick up the item you made, the schedule will be posted on our facebook page so anytime you see we are there either through classes or we have posted that we are there please come in within 3 months to pick up

Monday Nov 28th class @ 6:30

Sent from Outlook

I still wanted to choke this guy because he never discussed any other dates and times with me and I thought, I guess 6:30 on Monday is going to have to work.

So, there’s this one glass blowing studio right at the end of the road from us near Decatur that I was sure was it. We got there and no one seemed to be around. There was a sign that said “Check in at the Gallery” but once we tried to open the gallery door it was locked. I finally looked at my Groupon app and pulled up a map of the place and it was another place up the road. We got in the car and drove there just in time to walk into the class.

Or so we thought.

We were the only people there – again. This gallery door had a doorbell so Charlie rang it. I half expected Corey to step out and tell us to go away we were three minutes early. Finally, some woman named Sally opened the door and pointed us to a table to fill out a waiver form and that they were waiting for two more people. I was surprised there were only 4 of us in the class. Sally showed us the gallery and said we could wait there until the other two showed. We heard the doorbell and I was the closest to the door and let in this guy/gal couple that appeared to be in their 30’s. Sally then led us to the studio where there were large ovens firing. We hung up our coats and she directed those without glasses to put some on. I was happy that we were going to have her and not that Corey dude. She showed us the oven – one she even called the “glory hole” which I couldn’t help not having pornographic thoughts and then these long rods that the ends of were currently in the fire. She demonstrated making a ball herself pulling the rod out of the oven and rubbing it in this color stuff all around before sticking it back in the G-hole and doing it over again. I must had still been thinking about porn when she asked for a volunteer of someone who could blow that I accidentally volunteered for. Apparently, someone has to blow in the end of the rod to make the glass ball enlarge and there’s two speeds of harder and softer.

I swear this isn’t about sex.

So, at first I didn’t blow hard enough because no one told me how to give a blowjob to actually put my mouth on the end of the rod and torque down on it and BLOW. Next we had to sign this board on who wanted what color of ball and the order in which we would go. It was actually a good thing you went as a couple because you gave each other blow jobs while they spun their rods of glass. So I gave Charlie one and she I – made sense. I had to turn away to keep from laughing at the straight woman with her guy who actually looked like she was giving a blow job when it was her turn to blow in his rod.

Of course she’s WAY more experienced at that than you, Lanie.

The guy went first and just as Sally grabbed the rod out of the hole this other guy in an old t-shirt and gym shorts walked in pushing a stroller. He looked like he hadn’t shaved or showered in two days. Sally looked at him and he motioned her over. I wondered if this guy was her husband who couldn’t handle the baby for the hour it took to get through the class. She said, Excuse me, and went over to him. They had some kind of exchange and then she came back and grabbed the rod out of the hole again and gave it to the guy in the class to dip in the color. Then, the guy with the stroller came over and grabbed the rod from the guy in the class and stuck it back in the oven kind of dismissing Sally. I had already deduced that this was Corey because I saw him pull something out of one of the lockers behind us and it had a tag on it with his name.

What a slob, I thought.

Corey basically took over the rest of the time it took us to make our balls hurrying us along like he had a schedule to keep. I was sorry that Sally didn’t just continue the class because she was a lot nicer than him. Plus, we would have liked to have had a choice of what to make instead of Here’s your four colors to choose from and you’re making a ball. Aside from blowing and crimping the end we really didn’t actually do anything. I thought it was a big waste. But, Charlie and I would have a funny story to tell and as soon as I go pick up our BALLS I’m going to have an even funnier one to tell on my Groupon and Yelp review of “COREY- Sent from Outlook”

glory (this is what the actual Glory Hole looked like – not our glory hole because Corey was rushing us along so fast that we didn’t have time to take pictures. This is just an image from a class that was actually a class that lasted more than 30 minutes despite the advertised HOUR)

blowjob(See this guy is blowing into the rod. I wonder why he was allowed to wear a cool weird science jacket and stand up – we all had to kneel when we blew.)

glass-blowing(and, Hell no we didn’t have time to make anything like this – this was again, another class that even though you only made a ball you made a detailed and interesting ball – more than 30 minutes long, I imagine)

ornsmix(again, our balls did not look this good – probably wasn’t blowing hard enough anyway to do these)

 

 

thanksgiving chex mix

We made it through Thanksgiving without the house catching on fire, someone ending up in the E.R. or something blowing up, clogging or just busting in some way.

Last week I took off to help Charlie get ready for the holiday. Her older son with his wife were coming as well as the younger with his girlfriend. Monday and Tuesday I strapped on a backpack blower and helped with her landscape clients. Along with that we prepped several dishes for Thursday and ran around running errands and booze grocery shopping.

Wednesday evening they all arrived and we had pizza heating in the oven and beer in the cooler. The first night is always the blowout night and we blew it out pretty good. Thursday we took it easy in the a.m. and really the food prep went off without a hitch. I was surprised nothing caught on fire or the oven going out because I come from a family of holiday catastrophe so I was a bit pessimistic this whole time.

They all went zip lining on Friday and I happily stayed home and dog sat (and their dog, Cooper is really good one on one) and hung out. I was thankful everyone made it back in one piece and that we could begin the shrimp boil. The boil consisted of 5 pounds of crab legs, 1 of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, Old Bay and PBR. It all came out really well and everyone enjoyed a lighter dinner.

Saturday morning the kids all left after breakfast. Charlie and I spent the rest of the weekend chilling out and taking it easy. I felt like I’d been gone from work so long and was all discombobulated this morning getting ready for work. My routine was shot.

Tonight, I’m taking Charlie out for her b-day (I’m not going to say what we’re doing just yet because it’s a surprise) and tomorrow we’re meeting up with some friends for drinks. Friday, we have Charlie Mars again and probably this weekend we’ll get a tree and decorate it.

I’ll leave you with a video of this guy we saw at Edie’s last week with our friend, Sharon. His name is Angie Aparo and if you ever get a chance to see him jump on it!