More than a week has flown by in the name of Thanksgiving and birthday, along with 1500 miles of scenic roadside and a bevy of family gatherings.
Birthday first: Jenelle surprised me with dinner at formidable The Farmhouse in Emmaus and the food exceeded expectations. Salads and bread to start, then I had a pork chop which was remarkable for the roasted parsnips on top and the rosemary polenta below the tender meat and Jenelle enjoyed a rich duck with butternut squash and pears. Dessert was quite exquisite, too, with cranberry financier a la mode (with cranberry ice cream that was best-ever delicious) for me and a definitive crème brulée for Jenelle. Also, celebratory phone calls and a smidge of packing for a trip!
Our TG holiday started after work (and lunch with Ryan at Wing Man's) on Wednesday with a 9 hour drive to the Great Lakes State. Thursday was mostly filled with Irish relatives prepping, basting, carving, and eating one of Jenelle's great turkeys. We walked along the Polly Ann trail and got caught up with relatives, too, but it was mostly about the bird. Friday was a day in Lansing with Bruno relatives enjoying soup, salad, and cake before venturing out into the cold for a walk along Grand River Avenue and through MSU's campus. Saturday was a day with Grays checking out Detroit's Eastern Market and then Justin's apartment. Sunday was a little slower, filled mostly with driving home to see some stir-crazy cats and sleep in our own bed.
Today was back to work, hitting the ground running on existing projects and beginning the pre-formative stage of another which may require a whiteboard. Tonight was back to the old grind, so to speak. We made an awesome saute of Eastern Market Brussels sprouts and Michigan leeks to side pork chops and mashed potatoes, watched Top Gear, and put up four vacuum-sealed servings of sprouts for the winter.
Football season came to a close with a frustrating interception-fest out west in Ann Arbor. See you in 2010, men.
Otherwise a weekend off. With not much work to do we've been listening to Prairie Home, reading library books, and putzing around the house. Jenelle made a delicious crock pot beef stew for dinner and the cats slept in the sun. That's what weekends are supposed to be about, no?
I had a work trip that ate up Friday and most of Saturday, so not a ton to report here except for a sunny Sunday out to hunt for brown shoes for Jenelle. Last week was another low key one; work continues to be busy but not crazy and that leaves a pleasant amount of evening for extra-curriculars like cooking and playing 'chase the laser pointer dot' with kitties.
posted at 9:35 PM - comments
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday night. Week's half over. We had old-fashioned hard shell tacos for dinner and it felt like high school caf all over again. Fall basketball ended last night with a thud - I was flat out of energy and played like it; I needed some headphones and some techno in a major way. I've been kinda lazy with evenings over the past couple of weeks. We found West Wing Season 2 (in one of those discount CD bins that usually contain 31 movies you've never heard of and 4 dozen copies of "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist") and I've been enjoying Aaron Sorkin again. We've also been reading about, and searching for, backsplash ideas.
posted at 8:55 PM - comments
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Pretty good weekend presented in full Fall weather regalia. Friday night I finally tried the inline skate thing. Everybody laughed at my indoor/outdoor beginner gear but did not laugh at my starts or crossovers...thank you Sunday night public skating in Ellenton. Much debate over the rest of the weekend whether or not to pony up for some 'real' skates and perhaps take a serious shot at speed skating. Stay tuned I guess. After skating, we filled my craving for food so spicy it would melt my face off by going to White Orchids for some Thai noodles that were delicious and just a single red pepper flake away from the unpleasant pain threshold.
Saturday morning we did some back-splash tile shopping and brainstorming, then saddled up for an AT hike. It is nothing short of madness that the Appalachian Trail lies within 15 miles of our house and we haven't hiked any of it yet, but now we've got about three miles of artificially high-alpine* trail along the top of Blue Mountain under our belts. The day was perfectly perfect and we could have, with proper optics, seen our house from up there. Instead we saw one lethargic snake and many raptors circling coal piles far below.
Finally, great news! We got this gizmo called a D-V-R which means that when Michigan loses a humiliating football game at home (again) in the middle of the day, I can watch it whenever I want and it shortens my life by two hours instead of three! Awesome!
*Artificially high alpine because trees would be able to survive there if not for the Superfund-mediation-required levels of zinc in the soil. Hooray mining! Our belief is that the mountain was basically strip mined and used as a tailings pile simultaneously, which today is manifest in a grassy plain atop an unnaturally rocky ridge.
We went to Lancaster on Sunday. This is the Lancaster in Pennsylvania which has the LANK-ister pronunciation and is closed on Sundays. There's not a gate or sign or anything about it being closed, but I assure you it is...almost. We hit the museum/visitor center and a cool modern antique shop plus an 'upscale thrift' store that was actually quite useful - everything that was available. I imagine we'll be back to hit the whole enchilada of galleries and Central Market and whatnot, ie on any day but Sunday. (FWIW This was a major blow to my capitalist world view, but I embrace all cultures and have made my peace with a town that doesn't conform to the views of my figurative wallet.)
A cool milestone passed a few days back: post 1500. I wasn't going to say anything about it but then this morning I read of the closure of GeoCities, which was #1 on the list of free hosting ISPs when Nate brought theNet magazine into sophomore business class. The obits today are full of lamentations over lost flashing 'under construction' GIFs and the erasure of a huge original chunk of the internet; I am happily clinging to a portion of history but don't mind the slick new graphics, hidden frames, and borderless tables which have replaced banner ads and clip art.