Sprig 2

 Sprig Taster Box #2


Yay Christmas in July!!! Pulled this out of the mail. Wow. Certainly is heavy.

Shagbark Seed and Mill tortilla chips (3oz) Hearty and tasty.

North Market Spices English Rub (2 oz) No idea what I'm going to do with this, but it certainly has some POW! ZOOM! Should be fun.

JC's Southern Style Sweet Tea (16oz) I'd love to sit and chat but I have to go run around the block a few hundred times.

Panache Pantry Gourmet zucchini rosemary bread crumbs (3-4 oz?) Might be good on some pan-fried fish? Maybe a crumbly topping for a vegetable? 

R.a.w. coconut macaroons (3 oz) I swear they sold their souls to the devil. This one is as good as the last.

A Bit of Bite medium salsa (16oz) What in the hell is zucchini doing in salsa??!! Apart from the WTF-ness of the zucchini, it was tasty enough. Smoky flavor, mild spice. 

Twin Cakes (vegan/gluten free) brownie bites (1.5 oz) Great cocoa flavor. Took me 45 minutes to choke the arid nugget down.

Sprig 1

Sprig had me at "you will be delivered a box of treats every month".

From their website http://sprigbox.com/

Nutritious Necessities Delivered Monthly

Sprig is a monthly subscription service that provides delicious and nutritional food curated by people passionate about a healthy lifestyle.
We source our foods from small to medium size businesses that share our passion for food made with integrity.
Join us in the good food revolution.

Sprig Taster Box #1 ($33.95/month) contained: 

R.A.W. granola (3.5 oz) Gone-in-a flash delicious.

Bearded Brothers energy bar (1) tasty and satisfying.

Matcha pure energy (2 packets) not sure if they were going for energy or flavor, but I got neither. And I also got that song stuck in my head.

Kopali organic Supergood Superfood (1 packet) Supermeh.

Thunderkiss coffee (4oz?) Tasty coffee, but more high notes than I prefer and no depth. Came already-ground.

Mockingbird Meadows Herbal Infused Honey (1.5 oz) From the pot: "Honey Love. Sweetly Aphrodesiac". Oooooooohhhhhhhh. I wasn't supposed to put it on my yogurt, but on my boyfriend. BRB.

Jury is still out, but I love the concept. I had initially priced out each sample, but the X Factor of careful selection of items made that seem unreasonable. 
Between Box 1 and 2 there was a snafu with automatic billing. Sprig staff was proactive and called me to explain what they had done and were doing to fix it.

Next up: Box #2



Well, hello there.
Been a while, eh? No, I haven't been in Canada.
Just been busy, thinking, yadayadablahblah...
Today I followed a random FB link about a missing teenager and it went to another friend's page. Where I saw R.I.P. Aaron. Well that looks like...sigh.
Aaron's sister and I were friends for a long time. Now we're basically acquaintances with blackmail material, but it still makes me ache.
Memories of Aaron:
kid bro who annoyed the shit out of us.
kid bro who grew up and got cute.
bro who was an excellent clown.
bro/clown who took me bowling.
clown who stalked me.
ran into stalker clown years later. he snarkily said "sorry you thought I STALKED you".
we made out. (don't judge)
today I found out he passed away.
haven't thought of him in a while.
the world will be much less interesting without him.


My poor subconscious

I've been having really weird dreams lately. Very fun to analyze. I can't for the life of me figure out what last night's meant:
Without being too disgusting, I had a blemish that required extracting and what came out was seaweed salad. I thought to myself "great, now I've got Morgellon's"
I have a feeling I'm going to have spider dreams soon. Those just mean I'm really stressed. But wakame acne?


Quote of the Day

Via http://www.ricksteves.com/blog/

"Call me naive, but I would rather support a country which spends more money on inefficiently curing its citizens rather than on inefficiently destroying its perceived enemies."


This statement scares the crap out of me

"Just talked with a wonderful gentleman from Focus on the Family. Some super awesome things will be unfolding soon. Stay tuned...exciting!!"


Huge Ackman

So I'm catching up on the RSS and one of the sites that often has some interesting stuff about Old Hollywood, Allen Ellenberger, had a story today about Hugh Jackman getting his star on the Walk of Fame.


I have a few things to say:

1. Jazzhands!!

2. This mismatched blue-on-blue ensemble is awful. Blah blah, burlap sack, yada yada.

3. Oh who am I kidding? All I can see is his package.

Another peaceful Saturday morning

Claudia woke up on the wrong side of the bed:


short attention span

So it seems like the only genius I'm sharing in the interwebs is twitter. Guess my ADHD has finally found a home @ctstockula.


Because I didn't really want to know, that's why.

This week I learned a couple things I already knew but since I didn't have confirmation, could ignore.

I love chicken wings. C-Bus has decent ones everywhere, including our hospital cafeteria. I had always thought that if I just had 2 or three, that was moderation so Hooray for me!! NCH has started posting nutritional values of most of their offerings. A serving of 4 has 1060 calories and 101 g of fat. Wait, did I read that right? Holy cow! If I am "being good" I am having 75 g of fat!!?? I could slam down a pint of haagen dasz for that! Even 1 has 25!! I could go on, but since this math is pretty basic, you can figure out 2. So, I now assume they cook theirs in lard and continue to eat the 911 wings at the Lizard and the Mango Habanero at Gallo's.

I was getting dressed at the gym and there were 2 jock women chit-chatting in the locker room right next to my locker, because they apparently wanted to boost my self-image. Anywho, they started talking about the best spot for cardio. So they could people-watch and make fun of them. "The spot behind the pole is the best because you can see everything, especially the ________ at the ________." Great. Thanks. I thought I was only imagining it,  but now that I know it was true I can be even more self-conscious.

Speaking of Doubt, I went to the library website to reserve Doubt the movie. The search engine is this discover thing where you can flow from one topic to the next. I thought the flow from this search was interesting:


doubt, faith, dooby, skepticism.

Go in the other direction and you get Douglas Adams.


No Wonder

Oh no!!!! One of the little things I like about Columbus is thanks to the Wonder Bread bakery, it always smells really great downtown. Just found out the bakery is closing, so no more "Doughnut Breezes".


happy birthday

I have had my Yahoo account since somewhere around '95. It has served me well, as folks always know where to find me, particularly helpful when I was more nomadic. I had to laugh on my past birthday getting reminders of the many mailing lists I've been on. This email address has been passed around like a one-hitter at a Phish show. I especially got a kick out of the last one. Click to biggify.



Last night I had a weed dream for the first time in about 10 years. No, not that kind of weed.
A weed dream is experienced by folks in the restaurant business and I have been on the outside for 11 years now, after bartending and waiting table for 16 in Ohio and Texas.
Wiki Def: In the weeds: a waitress/cook that can't keep up with the tables. Refers back to chefs' military roots, where being in the weeds would cause your army to be slaughtered.
The dreams usually involve it being your first day on the job and you get a table of 4, which keeps expanding into a table of 10, 20, 30. All the while you realize that the rest of the restaurant is filling up and there are no other servers. You break away to place the order and there are no chefs. Then you wake up in a sweat.
Mine usually followed steak night at
Blackbeard’s on SPI. Winter special for the snowbirds involving great steak dinners for next to nothing. Started at 5pm, there was a line around the restaurant at 4pm. Dollar a head all night long. Usually made $100, which was a lot after the off-season.
Looks like they still have it, but the prices have increased. Still a great value. This is the place that taught me how to make a real margarita. Hmm. I could really go for a margarita right now. And
Manuel’s huevos rancheros (totally should not have visited that site). And the beach.
HELLO? Earth to Heather. Back to February in Ohio.
Anywho, I wonder what having this dream now says about my current mental state. I am at a crossroads with my career and have been spending a lot of time agonizing about what I am going to do. Must give it some thought.



Please explain something to me

Every year @ valentine's day, I tell Mr S that I absolutely do not want flowers. While I appreciate the thought, I don't really like them (hate the smell) and I think V day is kinda dumb. So I woke up this morning to a dozen roses and an apology that there weren't enough of them. And a card with a caveman that he was veeeeerry proud of. How can I stop him from buying something I do not like if he won't listen to me? I know he thinks he is doing something good and I don't want to hurt his feelings, but what I really feel is insulted that he doesn't listen to me. The cats on the other hand, think they taste wonderful.



0545 this morning, Mitzi hops up on the bed and onto my chest. She paws at the covers to remove them from my face and sneezes at point blank range. Really? Thanks for sharing.



Watched the movie Bug this weekend. While it never would have occurred to me to watch this as someone who is terrified of bugs, it had Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. I have adored AJ since Ruby in Paradise and HCJ is hot in that tall big, beefy, but not-too-beefy sorta way and he always plays the good guy. I had a conversation with L and she said she didn't find him all that attractive, but had not seen the same movies I had featuring him. Hers were his darker roles. That got me thinking: I wonder if I would find him less attractive if I saw him in more unattractive roles? So let's tally:



Maybe that’s it. I honestly thought I had seen him in more flicks. Still, 2:1 hotness.

Oh and the movie was really enjoyable; great suspense. The male lead, Michael Shannon, made the movie with his low-key delivery.


1/11/09 Mitzi discovers tv

For some reason, our cat had never noticed tv, until 1/11/09. Then she stood in front of the tv for like 30 minutes, giving us the opportunity to make her our own LOLcat.

Will work for chicken

Once I was coming home to San Antonio from South Padre, where my mom always loaded me up with food.
There was a guy on the freeway exit ramp with a “will work for food” sign.
I gave him a chicken. A home-smoked whole chicken.
For some reason I had to go around the block again and he had stashed it under a bush and was back in position.
It didn’t seem odd then, but now the fact that I gave him a chicken makes me giggle.
I wonder what the people in the car behind me thought?



The Weathertainment is in full swing. For the love of Mike, it is January in Ohio, If it was raining frogs, that would be news. We have had some interesting precipitation lately. I hear that Eskimos have like 300 words for snow (67% of all statistics are made up on the spot!), but I wonder if they use "Slurpee".


For Xmas, I officially got everything I want. I am caught up on material things. Mr S got me the GPS I wanted and his folks, crazy generous as they are, gifted us enough scratch to buy new phones. Cue Mormon Tabernacle Choir, because hallelujah I got my iPhone. I have craved one for years. What kept me from my Precious is the fact that I was mistaken in that AT&T didn't provide a corporate discount like Verizon that AT&T had displeased me greatly as a customer in the past. But come on, 5 years is long enough. I tried very much to like the Storm, but it was clunky and ...not an iPhone. We're still in the transition period since we have 5 days left on our V contract, but I already use it for so much. Like video games. Nothing like picking up a new teenage habit at 39. I expect to start smoking weed any day now. I love Urbanspoon, Wikitap, Tap Tap, Topple, Boomshine and I haven't even made it through many of the free apps. Ahh. One Phone to rule them all.

Oh my sides hurt. Stop making me laugh!

A while ago, a viral video went around showing Cagney and Lacey on this British talk show, Graham Norton. The video was pretty funny, if juvenile, and I forgot about it. I was browsing through our 6000 channels and stopped at BBC America. Saw his show listed., Thought what the heck, I'll watch this. Hooked. Absolutely smitten. GN is this adorable and funny man and the show usually has one famous American and a Brit comediam or actor, always entertaining, and a lesser-known-in-the-US musical guest. The funny part is actors and musicians from the US go on the show and don't realize it is silly, raucous, irreverent and uncensored like in the US. My first whole show was Jackie Chan. JC was funny without really trying. Robin Williams was a scream. It seemed he was delighted to be able to "open it up" comedically again. Brendan Frasier was absolutely baked, but he apparently is a very good at being funny while trashed because the stories he told about monkey self-fulfillment had me in tears. The last show, all I can remember is Lego Baby Jesus Circumcision. Many videos on the website.


Went to the Olde Towne Easte Toure Ofe Homese with D. I like these home tours. See some interesting homes, meet some nice folks, get a little exercise. Other touristas can be kinda dickish though.
We decided to grab a bite to eat, but D wanted soup and I wanted sushi. Whole Foods to the rescue. While we were there, I asked D about Greek yogurt because I'd seen it around but didn't know what made it different, aside from some obvious jokes. She said it was "like real food", unlike the $0.59 dannon crep they sell. I bought a couple varieties and the next morning I not only had a new favorite breakfast food, but I also would never eat the other stuff again. My fave now is a bowl of fruit with a couple scoops of yogurt and some Splenda brown sugar. Absolutely delish. Plus buying it by the pint is a lot cheaper. One exception to the yum is Trader Joe's little Greek Style Nonfat, not very good. I like Fage, all varieties and TJ 2%. Occasionally I, oops, grab the not-lowfat version, which is nirvana in a tub.

Shitstorm revisited

Update on the sky falling:

Truck no biggie.

Housejacking went off without a problem. Had to go down 33 feet to find solid ground. Very exciting to come home to no front steps and a 5-foot moat across the entire front of the house.

Door replacement by Lowes was really good with a few minor kinks. Apparently people still really like brass hardware. I only had 2 storm doors to choose from because I wanted nickel. The installer comes, tears out the entire frame puts it all back together, very snugly. Looks tight with our newly-level entrance. He had to stop by to install a part that was not working as expected. A few days before he was due back, I looked up and noticed that they had installed brass hinges with the nickel door hardware. What? You've got to be kidding me. Kinda thought that would be understood and I was never consulted about hinges. To Lowes' credit, they said they'd send him with the correct ones and fix us right up. He showed up to compete and they were the wrong size, although the correct non-ugly color. We got a call from our salesperson that he would be stopping by to change the hinges. Guess they figured they guy who made the initial mistake would fix it. I was really impressed with the whole project and will definitely use them again. Plus there is the added bonus that I now have a "Project Card". And Mr S doesn't.

Thanks for the notice

Our holidays began with Father asking me if I would mind hosting Christmas. 2 days before. Of course I didn't have to go to any trouble. Fine. Burgers and chips it is!! Just kidding, turkey and the standard squishy food. MMM I could go for some stuffing right about now. Us, Dad and Grandma, with the added bonus that G-Ma always stays over so I get some good quality time with a fabulous Octogenarian. Everything turned out tasty and perfectly timed, so life was good. G-Ma also helps with dishes so that was covered too. They left to visit, Mr S went to work and I hit the couch with pjs and some Just Pies pumpkin pie, the best in all the land.

Urban Actively Pissing Me Off

Decided that the gym at work was too puny so I started looking at local fancy gyms. Urban Active is brand-new, the location is decent and they have a corporate discount so low $$.

Stopped in the preview center for one that hadn't opened yet and got the spiel. The girl wasn't making an immediate sale, so the guy came over like "I'm the musclebutt manager and she's just a girl". I wonder if they know how off-putting that is? I left with only a list of non-corporate prices and a tour of the ...picture of the gym. By the time I got home, the girl had called and said they did have a corporate membership. Could I come back in that night? Sorry, in general my home has a one-way door on weeknights. Once I'm home, I'm home.

Found out that the Gahanna location was already open and the corp membership was for all gyms so I could start up right away. Mr S and I went and told the saleguy that we just wanted a tour and we could skip the sales pitch. For once, they listened. A thing most gyms do is a "fitness assessment". Translation: sales pitch for personal trainers, of which they have an army. I meet this guy named Napoleon, um Terry. He sits me down, tells me how fat I am, asks me questions designed not to get info, but to humiliate me into paying for personal training sessions. He asked me what I hoped to gain from the session and I said I wanted him to show me how to use some of the machines safely. He said. And I quote: "You don't want to use the machines. You sit all day". I told him that I did indeed want to use the machines. He could show me 600 f&$king ball exercises and I wouldn't do one of them on my own. So then he proceeded to walk me through a workout made up entirely of ball exercises. A lovely bonus service was twice while he was "helping me up", he grunted as if under extreme stress from the sheer immensity of me. Totally out of proportion and after the 2nd time, I'm sure it was again intentional to shame me into a personal trainer. I then had to sit through him hard-selling me in to training, covering the spectrum of again ridiculing the magnitude of my girth to criticizing my income since I said I didn't want to pay. I did not purchase and the first thing I said to Mr S as we walked out the door was "I f%*king hate that guy!"

The following day, I called and asked to speak with the manager, with whom I had spoken at an NCH health fair. I told him about my experience. I was even nice. He said to come in the next morning and there was a person who could show me what I needed. That evening I got a call from Terry who said, while they do not train for free, he'd be happy to show me the machines. I said I'd prefer to work with someone else. he said he'd be happy to show me. I again said I'd prefer to work with somebody else. He asked why and I said I didn't feel particularly comfortable with him so I'd prefer to work with somebody else. He said we got along great. He'd be happy to work with me. 2 more times around this loop and he hung up saying "Fine. Come in at 6 tomorrow and you will work with somebody else!!!"  For the life of me I can't figure out why I was so nice to such an asshat. The next evening I got a call from the "manager" of the trainers. He said to call him because "His people don't train for free." So called the manager manager and explained that I was just going to let it drop because at this point I was really soured on the whole gym thing. He said "I don't know why it is such a big deal. It is such a simple request. I'll be here in the morning whenever you want and I'll train you myself". I showed up the next morning and he showed me exactly what I needed in 30 minutes, was very friendly and that was that. I think he missed training. He was really good at it. He saved a membership and I love the gym, as long as the only person I have to talk to is that nice Allen up front. And I'm getting some serious butt muscles and can find my waist again.



I have a huge amount of catching up to do but I wanted to throw this in before I forget.
I am rethinking the utility of Facebook and Twitter. My initial reaction was "Why do I care?"
But more and more I am beginning to realize that it is an even easier, more relaxed means of keeping up than email and I hate phones. It is passive. You just post what you want, read when you want and comment when you want. Another angle I hadn't considered is the "tracking down old (boy)friends" dimension. I am very content with my life and don't feel the need to add drama, but I am intrigued by this new networking.

Satisfy curiosity
Satisfy curiosity
Satisfy curiosity

Can't lurk on Facebook. Have to be accepted.
What if I am not accepted?
As I used to be psycho and was raised by wolves, do I really want to open any cans of worms?

Do I click the button?


13 Wasted...wha....?

Where the hell did college football season go?

For those about to rock

Mr S's birthday present was AC/Dc tickets, sold out at the Schott. When he received them, he was speechless, so I knew I picked the right show. We got to the show, grabbed a beer and took our seats, which were dead-center and perfect. The opening act, the Answer, from Belfast, Northern Ireland don't ya know, was good, although they had yet to adjust their show to such a large venue and used only about half the stage. The first thing that came to both our minds was: how did lead singers behave before Chris Robinson? Seriously. The music was good, loud and loud. A fundamental property was the vocals often blended indistinguishably form the guitar. I love when the vocals and lyrics are basically another instrument. The band was very personable and I really liked their nod to the OSU/Buckeye game. They went with simple: "We hear that you are big football fans. (cheer) By default, you like beer. (cheer) So I think we'll get along just fine (roar)". Contrast that with Bob Schneider's awkward salute a few years back, which went on for like 5 minutes and he didn't do a single thing that showed he knew what the hell he was talking about. While I understand you want to connect with your crowd, with Buckeyes you have 2 choices: polite nod to the crazy people or throw an "OH" and bust into Hang on Sloopy. Anything in the middle just annoys. Ferinstance, Barenaked Ladies came to town a while back and they always do something local, but well-researched. Theirs was an inspired tribute to Tim Horton's. Neck up or full monty, I say.

AC/DC started with a locomotive and fellatio-themed video thing. It was good for the effects, but as a woman, left a little to be desired. After that, the show was exactly as expected: Loud and full of standards. A generally good time. Unfortunately, I am too observant for my own good. Mr S was having the time of his life. He was dancing a lot. To his own drummer. Think Elaine from Seinfeld. It is one thing to dance like nobody is looking, but another to do it when with 20K of your closest friends. I was so happy to see he was having a great time. Until I looked  across the aisle and saw the teenagers laughing at him. 10 minutes later, I sat down for a moment and realized they were actually imitating him. He was their show. It went on for a song or two. I made eye contact with the little assholes and gave hem the best ojo I could muster. Knowing that my prime directive was to make sure Husband had a good time, I couldn't go over and dress them down appropriately. So I fumed in silence and did my best to ignore. I am really bad at ignoring. Next time looked, it appeared that someone made them aware they were being cruel, because they had stopped. I did not have an opportunity to slice their throats. The rest of the show passed according to plan (unless you take exception to Angus Young performing a striptease). The ears are still a'ringing.



Why is it all my favorite shows are TVMALSV? I am not attracted to gratuitous violence and tv sex just makes me sad. I'm watching Sons of Anarchy right now. Love this show. They had me during the first episode with the Black Keys. Love the Black Keys. I find it kind of annoying that the person who gets top billing is Drea DeMatteo. She's fine and famous, but there are a bunch of good actors on this show, plus Hellboy. and the smoking hot boy who they have to grunge up because he is so pretty. Holy shit! I knew I'd seen him before. He was on Queer as Folk. Where all the pretty boys lived. I miss that show so much. Emmett was my fave. but I didn't like him when I saw him out of character. In both the bonus footage and the History Of Comedy, he was so bland. Must be a hard character to live up to. I love Dexter, especially the sister and the stuff in Dexter's mind. Kinda hate Girlfriend. She is whiny and ...ok...I'd like to look like her. But not act like her. Speaking of looking good, I have been exercising and eating very well. I've had 3 beers in 3 weeks. I stopped at Whole Foods because I love their rainbow roll. There is a woman there who hooks me up.I get a roll that is 50% larger than usual with extra wasabi and the fish is fresh fresh fresh. So the sushi bar is all the way in the back corner. I hate running the gauntlet. Wanna see inside my brain? ...mmm beer, meringues, freshly roasted nuts, cookies, pastries, tiramisu, piiiiiizzzzaaaaa, bread, bread, bread, croissant, sushi, samosa, tiramisu, rugalach, rugalach, rugalach, piiiiieeeee. OMG fresh air.

Husband's birthday is tomorrow. Means I get to go to dinner at Hickory House and not eat the meal I love. hhhmmmm sigh. I lucked out and the perfect gift jumped in my lap. I anticipate major excitement. I even think I haven't  given up the surprise. I have a bad habit of ruining the surprise, a tell if you will. Hope he is as excited as I think, otherwise I have to break out the mullet and the tube top for nothing.


One with the Borg

My mom and aunt made me feel like a tech loser last night because they're on Facebook and I'm not. add that to Wii envy and I feel rather inadequate. Since Facebook is free and Wii is not, at least I can take care of 1 of those., so I have joined.


Tab Benoit & Richmond

Went to see Tab Benoit at the Thirsty Ear with R&J. OMG. I am only a fan of the blues in a "vegetables are good for you" kinda way. I know without the blues, all the flavors of rock would not exist. That said, in reality I tend to find a live show of a blues act to be a little monotonous. Until Tab Benoit. What a show. Love the Thirsty Ear; good folks, no teeny boppers, good beer. Everything flowed nicely. He is an amazing guitarist and an interesting, entertaining guy. One minor distraction was the fact that I couldn't stop thinking about how he would look naked. That is one fine looking man.

I visited my brother and his family in Richmond, VA for a few days in August. They are so wonderful. My sister-in-law is a stay-at-home mom who won a repeated battle with breast cancer. She spends her time making sure she teaches my 12 yo niece about life, love and responsibility. My niece is a rather amazing kid herself. She is kind, funny and caring, as well as charming and beautiful. She is a model an actress and it was a little annoying that while I was there she received checks that added up to about twice my monthly salary. We went to the Richmond museum of art (worth the time, Faberge exhibit) as well as Petersburg, a battlefield town just south of Richmond. Had a nice lunch and spent 2 hours in a vintage clothing store playing dress-up. It was nice getting to spend that kind of time. We then went to D.C. for the weekend. I was soooo excited, as I had never been. My bro wanted to go to the Newseum, which was amazing. They had one of the towers form Checkpoint Charlie, the Magna Carta and M&N were able to make their own newscast. N was funny as she wouldn't let M get a word in. Showboater:). We went to see both Roosevelts' memorials. That night, we went hungry, exhausted and stressed to find dinner in Alexandria. We found this amazing tapas restaurant where we had some lovely tasty items. And wine. Thank god for wine. My niece and I shared a hotel room and it may have been my favorite part of my visit. She is such a great young person and not spastic like some kids. And she doesn't snore. Next day, we went to the castle at the Smithsonian. What a great story about how it was started. Then we went to the National Gallery. I loved seeing the originals of so many things I've seen in movies and tv. Plus, I love museum gift shops and theirs was the BEST EVER. Next, we went to lunch at the native American museum. I took home a Tanka bar made of buffalo and cranberries. I just ate it yesterday and it was really good. If they weren't $4 a pop, I'd buy more. We also went to the Lincoln memorial and Korean War memorial. Basically, I learned that I need to go back to see all the stuff I didn't know I wanted to see. On the way back, I saw something that I thought was mythical. Those of you who are fans of Stephanie Plum will know what I'm talking about:


And then things got difficult. Our door became difficult to close. Then it was closed or open, but could not do both. Father brought over hit tools and chiseled the doorframe so it was again operational. I am so relieved nobody came and knocked on the door. How embarrassing. Then there was the crack in the drywall. Called the Basement Doctor. He diagnosed acute droopiness, sorta like foundational Bell's palsy. He quoted either $3800, $12800 or $15800. That is like saying you either have hiccups, diabetes or heart failure. He recommended a structural engineer. The structural engineer said our shrubbery was causing bowing, water draining to nowhere causing drooping and our neighbor's tree causing more bowing. Grrr. So, now we need to have our house jacked up and a new door installed. Custom size of course. Then Mr S's truck started bucking like a bronco on crack. At least we are healthy. Then I had 2 terrifying nosebleeds in 2 days. I do not get nosebleeds. Now, one of the disadvantages of having a medical background is you know all the scary things that can cause a symptom. Fortunately, it is now the weekend, we have the current batch-o-crap under control, so I think I should have my stress under wraps. Unless my Buckeyes lose to Penn State.

Warhol at Wexner

The Wexner Center on the OSU campus managed a biggie by landing the Warhol Exhibit. A and I met there for Thursday happy hour and culture. Normally, it is $8, but Thursdays are free. They also had a free guided tour, but I often find those are TMI. We puttered around the first room that had 3 movie screens set up showing his screen tests of various people cooler than I. Also, lots of Mick Jagger and Truman Capote. There were cubbies all along one wall that you could sit in and listen to interviews. The looong hallway up to the rest of the exhibit was lined with tv screens playing more interviews from during the Factory days. The next room had memorabilia and a couple pop icons like the Marilyn photo and soup cans. The most amazing feature of this room was they had about 15 movie screens set up with sound craftily projected into the immediate area with foam and speakers. No walls. It was amazing. Next was a room with 40+ tvs suspended back-to-back from the ceiling displaying loops of his series 15 minutes. I could spend days in there, I particularly liked the interview with John Waters. Finally, there was an installation called...uh...Silver Clouds or something. It was a room defined by hanging metallic rope. Within the room were a couple dozen metallic helium balloons and fans. You could walk in and move the balloons around. Not sure how to describe it, but it was like time was different. Movement was slow and smooth and exaggerated. I will probably go back before it closes. Also, Cameron Mitchell has a small cafe there where we had a glass of wine and a really good turkey panini.

Louisville v UConn

Mr S's pathologist in charge is fabulous. She gave us tickets to the Louisville/UConn football game in Louisville, complete with awesome parking! Perfect excuse to go to my favorite breakfast place in the world, Lynn's Paradise Cafe, and my favorite boutique, Regalo. I also have been on a quest to find the perfect throw pillows for my new sofa. I reallllllly like Marimekko, so was hoping to see some pillows in person. We stopped in Hyde Park in Cinci at a store that was listed as having them, but they only had one pillow. Rats! I did buy an awesome shirt, though. On to L-Ville. We stayed at the Galt House, Louisville's largest, oldest, oddest hotels. Since we Pricelined and got the room for $75, we were put in the weird room 2 doors down from the restaurant. It was clean and the ac like a rocket, so it was just fine, if quite dated. The tower portion of the hotel was a bizarre flashback to the 70's. Lotsa wood paneling. It was great for $75 though. Last time we were in town, we paid $65 for a crappy motel off the interstate. \So onto the game. 2 hours before the game and tailgating was just starting. Coming from OSU land, we start drinking the day before. On the subject of drinking, we were at the bar of the freakishly-popular Spaghetti Factory and there were a bunch of girls starting the night of a bachelorette party. They were having none of that namby-pamby Mich Ultra, appletini stuff. They ordered Beam and coke, Maker's Mark on the rocks and other hairy chest drinks. Noticed that everywhere we went. Serious drinking is alive and well. Lynn's was awesome. I had the wild mushroom scramble with cheese grits and biscuits with sorghum butter. Oh man, sounds so good.


Ok. Fine. Not a Canadian Hurricane! Our friend Ike had a strong showing here in Central Ohio. Trees down everywhere (we lost one of the previously-matching pair in front of our house) and huge percentage of Ohioans out of power. Got to see a lot of my neighbors. Tales of life without power were the topic of the day for many days. One of my co-workers had an electric-powered water pump from their well, so they also had no water. My biggest worry was I was on call. Kinda hard to be tech support when you are in the stone age. At least I still had a phone so I could call the vendor and had co-workers who still had power. So the power went off Sunday afternoon, food destroyed by Monday. I was doing coiffeur at work. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. I was in bed Thursday, reading by flashlight, when I heard what I thought was a generator. I though "great, now I won't even be able to sleep with the windows open". Then I heard shouting, which was really cheering. Then saw the bathroom light was on!!! I added to the cheering. I was truly impressed by how much help was offered by those with power. Nice to see folks helping out like that.


Canadian Hurricane

image (Ike)

So I'm watching Hurricane Ike coverage because I can't help it. There are a couple of things that keep going through my mind:

Windy Breezehair and Jock Winters from the Weather Channel, who have the camera on them for waaaay too much time(ok, because people like me keep watching), have this tick, like "um" or "like". They end every sentence with "as well", no matter what. Especially annoying is the combination with "also". The mantra: "just keep talking".

There were a bunch of people in areas in the direct path who chose to ride it out, in spite of evidence that the hurricane was going to be a doozy, with probable loss of life. First, people are too attached to their "stuff". Really, I do not have a single "thing" that I would give my life for. Plus, the stuff will be destroyed anyway, with the added bonus that they get to go with it. Second, it is another sign that the US continues on its path to an intellectual dark ages. People will completely disregard scientific evidence that there is a good chance that they could die because "the last hurricane wasn't as bad as they said it would be" or "God will protect me". You know what? I'm pretty sure your God would kick you in the  ass for ignoring the evidence presented. Finally, deciding to ride it our seems astoundingly selfish, because these same people who decided to ride it out are the same people more than willing to call 911 and put rescue personnel in danger. They will be the same ones criticizing emergency personnel for not responding quickly enough.

Finally, POTUS decided he'd better actually acknowledge this disaster sooner than Katrina. You know he had to bring up oil.

For the folks who did evacuate, it must be amazingly awful to watch the coverage, wondering if you will have a home ot return to. Good thoughts go out to them.


1st Lost Weekend

Hooray! My Buckeyes won! Crap!! Beanie Wells is out! I must say this, though: I feel terrible for the guy and the team, but I am getting quite sick of hearing the news coverage like it is the end of the season for the Bucks. It is a team sport. It takes the whole team to make him look that good. We'll be ok. We are knee-deep in the best of the best at OSU.

Great moment today during the Kentucky/Louisville game:  A 310# defensive tackle from Kentucky picked up a fumble and returned it 70-something yards for a touchdown. He was being chased by the 309# L'Ville center. I love those plays. Any end-zone celebration is one of amazement. Announcer: "You could time that race with a sundial."


13 Wasted Saturdays

Ahhhhhh. Football season again!!!!



Based on a recommendation by Columbus Foodie, I tried Sunday Brunch at Smackie Smokehouse. Was a no-go for Mr. S and he want with a pull pork sand while I hit the trough. The selection was small and let's just say low on fiber. I tried collard greens for the first time. I liked them, but it could be the flavor of something swine-related that made them tasty. I learned that the combination of fried chicken and waffles originated in Harlem, which was cool because I asked that very question just the other week. The fried chicken looked tasty, but unfortunately was veeerrrryyyy rubbery. Didn't finish it. Passed on the waffles. The mac n cheese was ala Velveeta. There were a couple of items I did really like: the brisket was very tasty and is better than any I've had in C-Bus. The "banana puddin" was scrumptious, as was the sausage gravy. I do not see us going back for dinner or brunch, but I could see us picking up some brisket on occasion. The man at the table next to us had a problem with mucus. A very loud problem. To be honest, it probably negatively impacted our impression of the restaurant. Not necessarily fair, but it was the equivalent of someone blowing their nose every 30 seconds throughout the entire meal. The service was very good, timely and friendly. Check another one off.


The perfect dinner

I had read about Pistacia Vera from several local food bloggers, but never made the trip. A local restaurant organization, Dine Originals, has a gift certificate sale a couple times a year and PV is a member. I put my dessert-lovin' foot down and purchased one. Talked with J&D and they agreed a dessert happy hour might be worth a try. Well D was all like "perhaps we should have some sort of dinner before dessert". Whatever. Ok fine. Then I guess we should have a beer too if you're going to get all normal. So we had a bev at Club 185, the club voted most likely to look like a crack den from the outside. I like it on the inside, although they could use a more rounded beer list. next, Katzinger's for a sandwich (Reuben, yum, half of which was wrapped up for lunch the next day). Finally, PV awaited. Also known as my new favorite place in the whole world. The store was adorable and the desserts were amazing. There were 12 flavors of macarons. We settled on white chocolate coconut, strawberry balsamic, chocolate bergamot and mint chocolate. They have these gumdrops they call pate de fruit that are just amazing. We has cherry kirsch and grapefruit campari. We had a sweet wine tea cookie, a cashew caramel, a pistachio nougat and a pistachio mascarpone dacquoise. For the love of Mike. I can still taste every bite. I think my faves were the cherry kirsch pate de fruit and the pistachio mascarpone dacquoise. The former was this intense burst of flavor and the latter this light creamy nutty cloudy misty spongy stack of amazingness. Lookie:

Catching Up

I'm going to play catch-up. Part of the reason I dawdled was the enormity of the task. So I'm going to start from the present and catch up as I feel like it. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Starting Back Up

Testing Windows Live Writer on my new laptop.

Today I was amazed to learn that someone I always felt was reaaallyy cool was even more awesome.

Today I learned that Julia Child was a spy. As if being a fabulous chef, entertaining personality and all-around interesting person wasn't enough.


Romancing the Grape

My other friend D always goes to Romancing the Grape with her husband, also a D with 2 n's. It is a benefit for Easter Seals of Ohio:
Join Easter Seals for an evening of fine wines and culinary delights. Taste a variety of the world's finest wines and enjoy hors d'oevres from top area restaurants. The evening also includes entertainment, silent auction, and the presentation of the Second Annual John Daniels Wine Awards. All proceeds benefit people with disabilities in central Ohio. For more information, please call (614) 228-5523 or visit www.EasterSealsCentralOhio.org
Since D was out of town this year, they were so generous and asked me to take D's ticket, since he still wanted to donate but could not attend. I only get red wine occasionally due to the extreme pain it causes in the noggular region, so I burned a red wine coupon and bellied up. Pulled out the cleavage dress so nobody would notice the size of my ass and hit the benefit set. Really interesting crowd, all the way from Columbus Society (I know, small pond) to kids in jeans and flip-flops. Found a couple of new wines (fave was "Sangre de Toro"and the rest of the Torres Spanish wines) and the food was amazing. Next year, I will park myself next to the Refectory table and only move to get more vino. They had these scallops, but they were more than scallops, because they were actually a mousse with scallops, egg and cream, molded, cooked by elves and served with creamy sunshine. Oh my god, I must have eaten 20. They also had a cucumber on bread filled with a blue cheese...frapee whipped yumminess. Also, a few tables had shrimp scampi and it wasn't the "crowd of cheap people going for the trough, so let's give em the crap", this was huge, wonderful, perfectly prepared scampi. La Chatelaine had to-go boxes for pastries. Next year, must remember to bring a bigger purse :) I believe I will be buying my own ticket next year. Even though it was for charity and I actually paid nothing, I really felt that had I paid I would have gotten my money's worth, especially with the group we went with. Also, Columbus is a really casual town and I married a really casual man, so it was nice to get dressed up a bit. Whew! Home to the fuzzy slippers.
Actually, we had an Open House scheduled for us Sunday, so no rest for the wicked (or mildly hungover). Up at 8 to start the cleaning checklist. Left from 1-4, got home, cracked a beer in Club Mo with the kitties and got a call that someone else wanted to come by to look, so we had 15 minutes to pack it back up and leave. Actually had a nice time with Mr S but the end result was a completely ruined Sunday. Think it might be time to take the house off the market. Need to relax a bit.

In the nick of time

Seemed like a really long winter. I am not usually one to get the doldrums, but this year kicked my butt. Seems like someone let spring in all of a sudden and everybody was ready to climb out of their shells, entertaining and socializing. Some friends had a cookout that was absolutely perfect. Great combination of folks, tasty brats, a buncha wine (tried a nice albarino-chardonnay blend). Firepit and a lot of laughs. Felt like a weight was lifted. They also had a shiatsu chair that perhaps aided in the relaxation. In case Mr S does happen to glance at this... nudge nudge.

Lab Week

Since the other 51 weeks a year are Nurse's Week, lab folk get one a year. Basically, we find a way to get a huge jolt of sugar in the afternoon every day. We did get nice shirts this year, which will be good for one wardrobe selection a week until they fall apart. We also raise a helluva lotta dough for Operation Feed every year. How else does one get rid of that 6 cans of organic baked beans one bought on sale? just kiiiiiiding. But I do have to decide how much I am willing to part with one of my boxes of Kraft mac n cheese every year. But seriously, not only do we get to feed a bunch of folks less fortunate (a number that is obviously rocketing), but we get to kick the rest of the hospital's collective ass once a year.

Switch of roles

Mr Stockula had foot surgery. My turn to step up to the plate. I can't say I behaved all that admirably for the first couple of weeks, but I think I am doing better, especially since he does the laundry now. I have mowed the lawn for the first time in my 39 years. Now that the mystique is gone, I kinda like it. Good thing Mr S thinks my blog is boring. I really want him to resume mowing when he is better.

shameful secret

So, I have a weakness for hollandaise. I am not a snob about it. Trader Joe's has taken my favorite sauce and packaged it in a jar. Although I know it is so so wrong, I can't help but be happy about Eggs Benedict in 5 minutes on a random Tuesday night.


Eating the elephant

They say a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single post, or something like that. So, back on the ole blogwagon I go.

We've been kinda hunkered down recently. Mr S had foot surgery and we've still got the house on the market, although I have no clue why. On the plus side, the house is always clean. In the minus column, where the f&#k is my tart pan?!?!?

Headed to Pontiac, MI to see Stars, a band I enjoyed at ACL 2 years ago. I love going to exotic locations like Pontiac and Cleveland. The trip up was nice and Mr S wanted to hit Ann Arbor since it was close, so I put on my OSU earrings as a talisman and mapped it out. Stopped for lunch at Arbor Brewing, cute place with tasty food and beer in a cute little district of shops and restaurants. Definitely want to go there again.

This was M seeing the new table of delightful young ones thundering screaming invading the table next to us. That is the only problem with brew pubs. They have a different name than "bar", so parents feel free to bring their kids, which tempers my pleasure, I must say. But the Alt Ale was very tasty and so was the portabella sandwich.

Off to U of M. Stopped at a store to buy M some michigan clothing in its natural habitat. They had much better stuff than OSU! He scored a nice Columbia jacket for $49 and the usual flotsam and jetsam like a lanyard and a hat.

Had a bev at the Red Hawk Tavern. M ws happy b/c they had Great Lakes on tap and I dug the New Holland Red Tulip Ale.
Have to stop for now. Finish catching up soon!


Feeling Surly

Since my last time at Surly Girl, I've wanted very much to return for another peeptini, both for a photo and because they are tasty. Tried a couple weeks ago and they were closed for an employee party. Next, March 15th, Saturday at 1pm. Packed to the rafters with enthusiastic, if precocious, St. Patty's revelers. I was beginning to think it was going to turn into a Whiskey River.
Digression: the term Whiskey River comes from a case of musical disfulfillment I've had with Mr Nelson for years. We were going to join Willie and 100K of our closest friends for his annual 4th of July picnic. I had never seen him, but had been told he always started his shows with Whiskey River. It was rolling around in my head for the 2 weeks leading up to the show. And he didn't start with it. And he didn't play it when he came onstage for the second time. We stayed in 95deg heat for 10 hours and he didn't play it. Enjoyed the other musicians, at least most of them, I can do without Pat Green, but left unsatisfied and sunburned. Next, he was the headliner for the ACL Festival. Spent the day watching other bands but counting on getting this itch scratched. We were so far back we couldn't hear the song. We did hear lots and lots of people in front of us having a great time. Someday.
Back to Surly Girl. Clouds parted, angels sang:
Now, the thing I like most about SG is the juxtaposition of diverse motifs that come together to make a very interesting, comfortable restaurant. The folks who work there are real, the food is excellent: if you want vegetarian, you've got the best vegetarian. If you want carnivore, you've got really good carnivore. You want skulls, Johnny Cash, peeptinis, a drink called Satan's Little Helper, roller derby, punk rock aerobics, beaded chandeliers, Wonder Woman, you're in luck! Just love the place. This is the opposite of a chain, formula restaurant. Just clicked on their MySpace, warning cool, loud music.
One interesting pattern I've begun to notice is there always is a person who will not stop talking. Blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah....
Last time was March 4th (primary day) and this guy was at the bar lecturing this other patron about his voting responsibilities, loudly, not interactively, ad nauseum. He was yelling at the guy to get his lazy ass off the barstool and go vote. As we had already done our civic duty, it was bothersome and it did not let the whole time we were there. Hey buddy, can I buy you a shot of Shut the Hell Up? I'm trying to have a birthday drink over here.
So yesterday's trip, there was this little girl with the same problem, but it wasn't even backed up with intelligence. It was this ditzy, teenager-on-the-phone monologue that did not end. It was possible to tune it out every so often, but then it would come back. Even Mr S commented "Does she ever shut up?" As well as the verbosity, she had the voice of Carol Kane. Man, I just spent 15 minutes of my life trying to find her last name. Finally googled "actress carol high-pitched voice" and was reminded of her most famous role as Latka's wife. Whew. I'd hate to have that bugging me too.

Fork at Trattoria Roma

As I was High Fork Hostess for the month of March, I selected Trattoria Roma, one of those restaurants that have been around forever, rated highly, but one that never made the schedule. If you click the link you get cheesy music and the picture of the restaurant has a ...watermark for lack of a better term, with a guy who looks pretty tough. Kind of an odd subliminal message. I think he is the owner. And he's not having much fun? So I wanted to keep the menu open to reference, but there is no sound off for the music that sounds like it a bad ring tone from my cell phone. Must be quick.
The food, service, atmosphere and price were all great.

For apps, I recommend the antipasti plate and the daily foccacia, which on that day was this pancetta-heaped creation that started things off right. No wait, that was the martini, one of many tasty selections from the martini menu.

For dinner, I chose the CONCHIGLIA AMATRICANA Fresh sea scallops pan seared, served with farro tossed in a crispy pancetta tomato marinara.
It was amazing, the scallops were chewy and flavorful on the outside, but tender, not overdone on the inside. This was my first experience with farro and it made a great accompaniment. J had POLLO CON GORGONZOLA Grilled chicken, mixed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and gorgonzola with linguine tossed in a light basil infused olive oil which was visually impressive as well as very tasty. Another notable was the BEEF BRACIOLE Thinly sliced sirloin wrapped around ground veal, sausage, beef and fontinella cheese, braised with tomatoes, peppers and onions, served with rigatoni: meat wrapped in meat wrapped in meat, kinda like a terducken but not disgusting.

Dessert may have been my favorite part. Per usual, we ordered the complete list. Their creme brulee wasn't anything I'd order again and the tiramisu wasn't what I was used to, a little dry. The lemon tart was fabulous and I think I now have a new favorite dessert in town: A chocolate Pots de creme. Even better now that I know how to pronounce it. Had the flavor of the perfect chocolate mousse, my favorite dessert of all if done right, and this was. I may have a new favorite meal: Trattoria tini, Foccacia and antipasti and Pots de creme. Well now I'm hungry.


Aye Carumba!

So, Mr. S's transmission died in his 2000 Mazda pickup. To repair, it would cost almost as much as it is worth. As we don't have new car money lying around, I've been checking out Craig's List for cars $200-$1000. The selection is surprisingly diverse.
The descriptions are tricky. "1995 Jeep Wrangler. Runs great! No rust! New tires! Doesn't go in reverse."
or "I really don't know what is wrong with it, but something is loose".
I would love some truth in advertising: "What do you want for $500? This thing has 4 tires, one seat and a prolapsed transmission".
I kinda like the fact that some folks are really poor writers, so they can be ruled out. I figure that if they have poor grammar and spelling, they don't take good care of their cars. False correlation?
There are also the TMI folks: "Cynliders 1 and 3 are at 30lbs and 2 and 4 are at 250lbs and the flux capacitor is shifted 14.3%. I last changed the oil Tuesday and have every 1500 miles".
I keep hoping that a 1995 civic with 100K miles will show up for $500.


You want snow? You got snow.

Guess the BBQ is canceled.
Mr Stockula always complains that we never get any snow. For some reason, he thought central Ohio was snowed in 300 days a year. Frankly, one foot of snow in 12 hours is enough and I think he agrees after digging us out today. Still can't go anywhere, as the snow is above the bottom of the Element of Surprise, but we're ready once the plows come through. Should be within 48 hours or so. Darn, have to stay in, watch tv, blog, nap and cook. The kitties aren't allowed outside very often, so today we opened the door and out they ran. WTF??? Phoebe and Mitzi only made it one step, Claudia two. Good times. Family, especially Texas family, called to make sure we were ok. The weather coverage was hilarious. I love when the news folks have been up for too long and get punchy. Also, the "We have Stormy Assfreezer in Delaware county, which is under a level 3 snow emergency" segments are a riot.

My very late 20s

As this year was my final 30s birthday, I decided a 4-day weekend was in order.

Got a cabin at Dillon State Park with R, J, A and K. The weather was perfect for hiking, eating drinking and burning things. I am more of a “camper” than a camper, so the cabin with full kitchen, gas fireplace and 2 patios was perfect. Seriously, how can I live without my electric pepper mill?

Watched the History of the Joke on the History channel Sunday, hosted by Lewis Black.

Really enjoyed it and I have a new favorite joke:

Q: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Yarn

On Tuesday, my actual birthday, I went to the Aveda Institute for a pedicure, facial and Eyebrow wax. Lesson learned: As this is an actual school, make sure they are at the end of a quarter, not the beginning. Eyebrows were waxed ala Syd Barrett, I could have done a better pedicure, but the facial was really good, if carefully scripted.

Mr Stockula and I had a snack and beverage at the Surly Girl. They have a peeptini! I will be going back for a photo. Also, they have Elliot Ness on tap, so Mr S was ecstatic. For dinner, we went to my fave sushi place, Haiku. They have a fabulous ambiance, great service and great food. Plus a Key West martini that hits the spot.

Dog not only rude, but disgusting

Decided to burn a coupon, so I picked Rude Dog on Sancus based on their description. The place was empty, but it was early, so we grabbed a seat at the bar. First, the description said “over 36 beers”. This might technically be true, if you count Bud, Bud light, Bud Select, Bud draft, Bud tall boy, Bud dry and the rest of nasty macro brews. The special menu had an item that sounded good, so I went with it: Spice-rubbed roasted chicken with a twice-baked potato and corn and bacon soufflĂ©. What arrived was airline chicken, 50% fat, with a tasteless bbq sauce, a weird mashed potato thing that only resembled a twice-baked potato in appearance, not taste, and this greasy glop that did have corn and bacon, but so many other unidentifiable ingredients as to be inedible, as was the whole plate. Honestly, I will eat almost anything, but this was not food. Mr S has BBQ chicken pizza, a safe standby. It too was glistening in a revolting way, also inedible. We paid and went to the Liz for $0.40 wing night.


Cleveland Part II

On to House of Blues. Loved the venue. It was really well-planned with many good places to stand with a great view of the stage. The service was also very friendly. The burger was Lilliputian, but tasty. Thumb included for scale.

Band one was the Zou from Youngstown, OH. They had a great sound, but I think they have a Barenaked Ladies issue: their appearance wasn't what the shallow folk have come to expect, so many of the people around us were cracking on that without listening. What they would have heard was a very energetic, very technically competent, enthusiastic band with a couple of great songs surrounded by many very good songs. One, A Boy Like Me, was an excellent commentary on society and relationships and another, Sleazy, was absolutely the best rock anthem I have heard since high school in the 80's. The lead singer from Red Wanting Blue joined them and the duet had a great beat, hook, lyrics, you name it. I bought the cd and popped it in on the way back, all atwitter for the amazingness to continue. Shit, the recording sucks. I will be keeping an eye out for them. Paying the cover to hear that one song would be worth it. Now, if I could only get that f*&king song out my my head.
The band we went to see, American Bang, was worth the trip. They were the opening opening band for the Donnas a few months ago. Loved their sound and energy and the lead singer was talented and friendly. Move to the Music was great and the whole show required mandatory dancing. They also have cool t-shirts.
Now, Red Wanting Blue I compare to OAR and Hot Hot Heat, college bands with a loyal teeny-bopper following. They were all "Look at me! I have a porkpie hat". Whatev.
Aaaannnndddd, my ex-guitar instructor lied! Unless he got fired or quit for a better band.
My impressions of Cleveland concert: Great venue, rude customers, bad shoes, incredibly friendly service staff everywhere. Can't wait to go back!
Made it back to the hotel safe and sound and crashed. Breakfast the next day was ok. Instant gratification bacon. Can't really complain. Until you are finished. Apparently the omelette cook was serving omelettes made to order, as long as you wanted snark. Sunday morning in the restaurant biz can be a little tricky, since restaurant folks tend to be enthusiastic partiers on Saturday (and the other 6) nights. I was amused because our server's tag said "Judy Aerosmith". What a cool name! Then we checked out and the registration person's name was "Jennifer Rascal Flatts" and it clicked. I wonder if they censor the names you can use: What if your favorite band was Ass Pony, Circle Jerks or Chainsaw Kittens?

My name is:
A Trunk Full of Dead Bodies
How may I help you?

One more comment about the hotel: the parking garage had this dramatic classical music playing. I kept wondering if I was going to get whacked.


Cleveland Pt I

So Cleveland was a blast! Since we had to leave in the afternoon instead of the morning, decided to skip the legit touristy stuff, check into the hotel and head to Great Lakes Brewery.
The Marriott at Key Center was the Best Hotel I've Ever Stayed In! I am a 3-star kinda girl: no frills, but convenient and squeaky clean.
$100 a night, free breakfast (had gravy) and free parking. Also, 1.5 blocks from House of Blues. So, we get a cab at the front of the hotel. $6.75+tip to Great Lakes. We are seated by the kitchen, on a card table, next to a party of 12 (10 children) because the bar was packed at 4pm. After we asked for a better table, we are squeezed into a table at the bar. I know I am so rude to have breasts, but this was the skinniest table ever, next to the rowdiest, loudest trio ever to walk into a bar and stumble out. They became our best friends, full of great recommendations and fun stories. I had the sampler. It had 12 beers, each 4 oz. Perfect. M's burger was just ok, but hey, love the one you're with, no? After the sampler, I decide some food was in order and got a $9 pretzel. This fresh rye pretzel duo was amazing and served with yellow and brown mustard, as well as this orange horseradishy sauce that was magically delicious. Do I hear $10? Our cabbie picked us at the requested time (On the dot. Not a minute late) and deposited us back at the hotel.
Ah. The hotel. Our room was 20th floor, corner room, lake view. Absolutely perfect. We were greeted with the sound machine tuned to "ocean" and the view tuned to "freaking amazing". The bath was cute, the tv ginormous and the bed cloud-like. The good kind. Also, the service was warm and friendly, which really seemed like the icing on the cake.