Friday, December 29, 2006

My fridge is full, yo.

I didn't feel the post-Christmas letdown like most everyone else. Why? Because the day after is my birthday, fool! God! How on earth could you forget???

Well, those who didn't forget made it one of the nicest birthdays I've had (even though I didn't get any knitting needles or yarn). Dave drove me to work and dropped me off with a kiss, and throughout the day my siblings called to wish me a good 24th birthday. Sweet!

At lunch, Dave made his way upstairs to my office with a bunch of pink Gerbera daisies! They're so sweet! (They're what keeps me cheery in this bleak oak-paneled hell.) We then went out to lunch at Landry's Seafood restaurant, which was nice, too. What I really enjoyed was the walk to and from lunch. We strolled, partly with my camera out, down to the West End (the really super touristy part of downtown that has since become decrepit but still houses the Sixth Floor Museum from which you can gaze the line of sight that Lee Harvey Oswald used to shoot JFK). We talked and laughed -- I hadn't felt so happy in a long time. It was incredible.

When we got to the restaurant I felt so relaxed, it was nice to have an intimate lunch all to ourselves, with me not worrying about getting back to the office on time. We used to do this a lot when Dave was working in a retail outlet and had Wednesday off, but now he works straight 8-to-4 at the corporate headquarters and our lunches are but a memory.

I hated to leave him at the parking area, but I trudged upstairs and returned to the grind.

That evening we went to dinner with his parents, after which a big fat Italian guy sang some Italian version of "Happy Birthday" and embarassed me so terribly that I buried my face in Dave's jacket. For dessert I had chocolate mousse with a vanilla ribbon. It was terrific.

Rewind to Christmas Eve, well, that was an experience. It was my first away from the "Jemison Clan." My first Christmas as an England. We had a very non-traditional dinner at my in-laws on Christmas Eve and opened each others gifts. I had knitted my mother-in-law a scarf and framed a photo of Dave and I at Lombard St. in San Francisco. We also gave her a box of sweet-smelling potpurri and the most awesome scented candle you could imagine. It was "Mexican Pumpkin" and good enough to eat.

On Christmas Day, well, it was my turn to pay it all back. I cooked a stuffed loin of pork with a spinach gratin, wild mushroom risotto and fingerling potatoes. This being not just any dinner, I made it all full-flavor, full-fat. That's right, I used real butter, fresh ingredients and prime pork loin, lightly trimmed. Everything was delicious, and it was incredible having my mother-in-law in the kitchen helping with the meal. By the time we were done, she had been washing the dishes as I dirtied them, leaving nary a one in the sink while we served dinner. That was such an incredible help. She can help in my kitchen any day!

Ahh... just thinking about all those wonderful leftovers has gotten me hungry!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Party pooped

I busted my hump to take Friday off. I dropped Dave off at work, came home and woke myself with coffee and the newspaper. I often heard of people that enjoyed this custom, never really experiencing it myself. I think retirees are the ones that sit down at the breakfast nook with ink-stained fingers, warm coffee and contentment.

I decided to go to lunch with Dave, but he was able to take the rest of the day off. We strolled over to a German deli next to the bookstore and took in some ham, potato soup and sauerkraut. With the day in front of us like a veritable buffett of holiday shopping and potential bankruptcy, we hopped in good ol' Gertie (Dave's Jeep Wrangler) and set out for the DVD store, World Market and later, the gym.

Flagged only by our waning bank cards, which were begging to be left at peace in our wallets, we headed home to put up our booty. We picked up a couple of bottles of vino, one bottle of Brut, and settled in for the night. (I think that's what happened. It's Thursday already and I can't remember exact details that far back.)

Saturday, we knew was going to be a little trying. We had two appearances to make, one of them being the over-priced and underwhelming annual dinner with a few of our friends (Dave's friends mostly. I'm the youngest member of this group, which is mostly comprised of old college friends, their glistening and gilded wives and a few hold-outs with no immediate plans for wedded "bliss," ie. the symptomatically single friends.)

I decided to go do a little yarn shopping while Dave took Fitzgerald out on a run. I had to get a few skeins for last-minute Christmas crafts. When I got back, we showered and agonized on what we would wear to dinner and the cocktail party later. I settled a slim-fitting, black, 3/4 sleeved wrap dress with fishnets and stilettos garnished with a long tied string of faux pearls and a gauntlet of pear bracelets wrapping my wrist.

We arrived at dinner, fashionably late, and hobbled down a spiral staircase to a private dinner in the wine cellar of a North Dallas bistro. The wine was dated and over-priced, as were the dishes. The bruschetta was remarkably fresh and well done, as was the courgettes and calamari, the small zucchini was sliced thin and fried in an airy tempura along with the calamari, which was the most perfect texture. Everything else, including the shrimp cocktail and the bottle of bubbly, was less than optimal. I'd venture to call it staid.

We drove to the next party, a heavy languor from the previous one still riffing, and we hastily grabbed glasses of a fresh, fruity Pinot Grigio as I headed to the back to shoot pool with complete strangers. I had to kick off the stillettos as the room that kept the poot table was carpeted with a thick pile, and if I had sashayed around the table as I normally do in ice-pick, 4-inch heels, the scene would be embarassing to say the least. We left the party, our night salvaged along with some espresso and chocolate truffles.

I was totally unprepared for Sunday's party. It was a lunch-time office get-together and I was completely wrecked from the night before. After an entire pot of coffee and the Sunday paper, I knew I would make it after a shower and a brief nap.

The party was office-y. The gifts were deeeee-lightful. Homemade pate and cranberry orange conserve. Hosts after my own heart!

Monday and Tuesday are still a haze. I changed my name legally and went car shopping. Still looking to get a VW Jetta, but I'm not sure if we can afford it. We'll try, though.

Anyway. There's the update. I hope to blog again soon with pictures of Christmas glee!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Newest member of an exclusive club

On Sunday, as we unloaded our belongings from the trunk of Cody's car in the misty morning drizzle, I noticed that we had a new member of our family hugging the curb.

We are now members of a very exclusive club in Dallas: Owners of a Big Blue Recycling Recepticals, courtesy of the city of Dallas!

Dallas is new to the idea of recycling. When we moved to the Lakewood area, we were astounded by the lack of recycling recepticals in the community. We used to drop our glass, paper, aluminum and plastic off at a nearby church, but for some reason, they discontinued their recycling program.

After that, Dave had to haul our recycling to work, because at Half-Priced Books they had enormous recycling bins where we could unload two weeks worth of junk. Now, we will journey no further than the end of our driveway with our recycleables! Dallas now has single-stream recycling. Just toss all your recycleables into one can and they sort it all themselves!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Open Bar Matrimony

Friday night we slipped out to go get a wedding gift for Mark and Nichole, two crazy kids that were to get hitched the next day. Thank goodness they had a few things left on their registry.

We usually go out on Friday nights, and I was craving sushi. Too bad, though, because every restaurant we considered going to was packed. After we stopped at Whole Earth Provision Co., we considered going to Rockfish, but we bet the wait was going to be heinous. Then we hatched a plan: We'd drop the packages off at the house, and then we'd get a table at our neighborhood Mexican seafood restaurant, La Calle Doce.

I figured, what the hell, seafood is seafood.

When we got there, the tiny lobby was packed. There was a 30 min. wait. That was the third strike -- we had to get dinner, and we had to get it fast. Lo and behold, there was a beacon of hope -- a seedy looking cafe with a neon sign professing "Bangkok Inn - Authentic Thai."

Me, I'm a culinary wuss when it comes to adding a little heat to anything, and all of the Thai food I've had in the past was over seasoned. "If it's too hot, I can't eat it," I told Dave. He said we could ask them if we can get any chili or peppers on the side. So, in the cold and wet evening, we trotted across the street.

When the door openend just a crack, we heard jangling bells that announced our presence to a short, thin Asian woman with stylish glasses and Texas-style hair. Dave asked her quietly if the food here was very spicy, and from her tiny frame she guffawed, "Thai food is not spicy when good! Come sit and try!"

She ushered us into a table for two bathed in a faint red neon glow. We ordered jasmine tea and tofu satay. Dave ordered the shrimp and chicken pad thai and I ordered the peanut chicken. I'm sure their satay is great, but ours didn't arrive, but our orders came out very quick.

The rice was perfectly steamed. The peanut sauce was sweet and tangy, had plenty of savory spices, and went well with the chicken and crisp vegetables. The pad thai though, it just wasn't as flavorful as I expected. It tasted kind of off, a little too fishy for only having shrimp in it. The rice noodles were done well, but it was like everything else took on this crazy fish taste. I stuck with the peanut chicken.

Alcohol wasn't served, it was strictly BYOB. It was obviously a family operation. The father was in the kitchen, the son and daughter took orders and bussed tables while the mother managed the cash register and picked up drinks. Stray Asian art clung to the greasy wood-paneled walls, just above the threadbare carpet. It was definately one of those "authentic" experiences.

We went home and collapsed. We woke up late on Saturday, had breakfast, went on a run with Fitzgerald, showered, packed and then Cody showed up at about 3:30. The wedding was at 4:30 at the Perkins Chapel on campus at SMU. I had never been on campus there. It was neat.


The chapel, with it's classy, faintly gilded mouldings, grand pillars with great curves and golden recessed cross just above the altar, was probably one of the most sedated yet elegant churches I've been in. There was no stained glass, no icons; it was very small and utilitarian.

We got there just in time to watch the procession. The bride and groom are really sweet people, but a few of the bridesmaids looked like they were wearing teal-colored sausage casings. Ushers and groomsmen were clad in black, the flowers, the outfits, everything was modest in an attempt at elegance. It worked.

We then hit it on the head to the reception. That's where things got impressive. There was a DJ, two buffetts, two bars and a champagne cocktail bar. Big gripe: Way too much Sinatra. The people seemed nice and accomadating, the drinks were generous and the salad and vegetables were very fresh, but the chicken looked like it had been sitting in the oven all day -- dry and shriveled, caked in breadcrumbs. It was all wrong.

All was forgiven after a few trips to the champagne bar. What an awesome idea!

We had to cut out early to Denton for a concert. We got to Caffery's, changed and went to Rubber Glove's to watch The Drams and Centro-matic. I caught up with Caffery during most of the show.

If you followed this narrow staircase up the the second level, you were in the midst of such a awkward, secret-seeming room. The walls were bordered with a few old arcade games and odd-and-end chairs. The back was cornered with a broken-in black leather sofa. That was our domain. It was the only bar I'd ever been in with a book by Jimmy Carter sitting out on one of the tables. Oddly enough, most bars I go to don't have books anywhere. Ever.

We went downstairs a couple of times for a drink and I noticed a chick wearing this fuzzy, knee-length coat. I brushed my hand along it and asked if it was real fur, "Of course it is," she haughtily shot back. All I could say, while keeping my hand from accidentally smacking her across the face was, "I'm so sorry." She wanted to say something to me, but I merged with the crowd hovering about the bar and placed my order.

It was like the summer I first moved to Dallas, me and Caffery at the bar, she with a Coors Light, me with a Lone Star, everyone else so self-absorbed that nothing else, not my Lone Star and not Caffery and not my existence, none of that mattered.

We all crashed at Caffery's that night, we woke on Sunday and made it back to Dallas in the drizzle that covered the near-noon sky. It was impossible to imagine that there were people running a marathon in downtown Dallas right at that moment.

We stopped by the house and dropped off our belongings and headed over to the Garden Cafe for omlettes and coffee. Then, it was off to the gym... Then it was all over. My weekend, as Dave would say, was murdered.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Even after a good show, there's nothing that stings quite like seeing your favorite band and not hearing your favorite song. No matter how hard they rocked, or how much you lived the music, it still kinda hurts to be a loyal fan and not have the one memory of that one song belted out live and loud so you can sing with them, at the top of your lungs.

If anyone out there was at the Friday Mates of State show, I was the moron screaming "PROOFS!" after every song, hoping that they'd play it. Silly me. I did get a bitchin' shirt.

We were out kinda late at the Sons, so I didn't go to yoga class Saturday morning, but we did go shopping LIKE CRAZY! We got a new stainless steel step trash can for the kitchen, that came with a little baby one just like it that I've put in the bedroom! (Yes, I am clearly excited about the new waste receptacle). And, I got a new hard drive for Agnes, my computer, 250 GB IDE drive. We'll see if I can actually get it to work as a slave. *FINGERS CROSSED*!!!

I got a new necklace, it's a gold pendant with a cutout of a lotus flower. If Dave really loves me, he'll get me one of these for Christmas or my birthday.

You know, I had a ton of things I wanted to blog this weekend. Lots of intriguingly philosophical tidbits. Just like me, though, to forget them and go on with this completely vapid, humorless post.