Life List: Eat at a 5-star restaurant

I love the show Top Chef. I love food. I love eating. That’s probably why I’ve gained a good 50lbs in the past few years. I like eating more than I hate my ass. Anyway, Top Chef, love it. Last season, from the very first episode, I fell in love with Kevin Gillespie. Every week, he’d cook and I’d want to eat it. It was a bonus that his restaurant, Woodfire Grill, was located in Atlanta. Every week, I tuned in to see what he cooked up next and waited to see how he would finish.

At the end of the season it was down to him, and the Voltaggio brothers. I really felt as though Kevin was the solid cook through out the competition, but of course, I wasn’t a judge. Kevin came in 3rd, which is nothing to sneeze at by any means. He went on to win Fan Favorite.

I waited, for just the right occasion, to make reservations to eat his food. Feb 26th was the day. My 13th wedding anniversary. I had to make the reservations the last week of Jan since they were so busy. Every week, I’d study the menu (that changes due to what is available since one of Kevin’s goals is to cook local, sustainable, foods) trying to see just what I wanted to order.

Finally the evening came. I was like a little kid meeting…whatever the hottest cartoon character of the day is. We walked in and as we were waiting to be seated (a mere seconds, they really make sure you are taken care of here) KEVIN! WALK! PAST! ME! I grabbed my husband’s arm and said under my breathe “Oh my god! Oh my god! It’s him!!”

By this time, we were walking to our seats and I was giddy with excitement. We consulted our waiter about our wine, then looked over the menu. We decided to go for the adventure and picked the 5 course chef’s tasting. We’d have no idea what we were eating, until it showed up on our table.

While we were waiting for our first course, my husband asked the waiter if Kevin would let us take a picture with him. I was practically kicking him under the table. I can’t stand being “that” person. The waiter said absolutely, just to stop by the grill before we left. A few minutes later he came back to say that it might get busy before we were finished at if we wanted to come up now and meet Kevin, it would be a great time.

I gushed. I shook his hand and told him I loved him and was a huge fan. He was so super nice…I was a huge goober.

Now, for the food

Everything was amazing. The presentation, the taste, everything. There were flavors that exploded in your mouth. I wish I had taken notes on everything I was eating. A few things that stood out was the lamb dish, and there was another dish that had a cauliflower puree on the bottom. Wonderful!

At the end of the meal, they brought us out little boxes with truffles as an anniversary gift.

I guess I can’t honestly say that this was a “5-star” restaurant, but I think it fulfilled my wish. I loved everything about the place, unfortunately, at $240for the 2 of us, it’s not something I can afford to do…ever 😦

I’ll always have the picture though

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Two thousand zero zero, party over, oops out of time…so tonight we’re gonna party like it’s

1993!

Last weekend was my 17th high school reunion. Why 17yrs? Because it took that long before anyone got anything together. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it) the vast majority of our class didn’t show up. I think we had roughly 20 classmates plus spouses. There were lots more people I would have liked to have seen, but I made the most of it (and racked up quite a bar tab in the process)

It all started Friday. We left Atlanta and drove 6hrs to central NC, checked into the hotel, then headed to Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, to meet two of my friends, Steph and Ariaana. In hindsight, meeting for the first time in almost 20yrs in a crowded bar, on the busiest night, on the busiest street in Chapel Hill, might not have been the best idea, but at the same time this street was very much a part of our childhood. We practically grew up roaming this street. It was very much fitting. So, loud, crowded, crazy, be damned…we had a great night. I loved meeting back up with these two, even if I was dying of nerves leading up to it.

Saturday, we headed to my MIL’s house. I could write a book on that event, but that’s not what this post is about.  So, we left there with plenty of time to  get ready for the reunion that was being held at our hotel (conveniently planned that way). Again, I was nervous. Looking at the guest list, I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down. I wasn’t exactly Miss Popularity in high school, and an overwhelming majority of the confirmed guests were people who would probably have no idea who I even was. I started drinking.

Now for a disclaimer. I drank WAY TOO MUCH. I rarely drink like this. I think I can count the number of times I have..hold on..yep, I can…4 times. Those 4 times just happen to have been in the past 2 years. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a drink, or two, or three or four…but not to the extent that I drank Saturday night. And it came back to bite me in the ass, HARD, Sunday.

Now for the reunion. Everything was supposed to start around 6:30. We got there closer to 7, and nothing was really going on. We wandered around for a while, opened a tab at the bar, and waited. Slowly people started to trickle in. Arianna showed up, so I knew I’d at least have one person I liked there.

We went ahead and started on the dinner buffet. The DJ had the music so loud that it was impossible to talk to people. My poor husband with his hearing loss was in an auditory fog all night.

Right after dinner, they gave out “awards”.  No one really seemed into these things at all. In fact, I got an award and I have no idea what it was about because I wasn’t paying attention, all I know was they called my name and I “won” a $5 Target gift card for being “Most Eager”?? Most eager for what, exactly? Guess I should have been paying attention.

Right after that, they turned the music up and the lights down, making it even harder to socialize with people. I did manage to talk to a few people though. One guy I really only know through Facebook, in fact, he might not have actually known me since he approached me saying “Hey Facebook friend”. Well, hi yourself.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but most of my socializing was with the men. There was really only one woman that said anything to me. I mean, I’ve always been a guy’s girl, which is probably why I didn’t notice it, but I did find it odd that at least 2 women are (were) on my Facebook “friends” list, yet didn’t say a word to me at the reunion. I removed them. I’m over it, as they say.

I think the one of the high points of the night (besides having someone INSIST my name was Katie), was not being recognized by the guy I always had a crush on. After I told him who I was, he made several comments about how different I looked, how that was a good thing, and that he wasn’t the only one who thought so. Hmmm…I guess 35 looks good on me.

Shortly after that, it was time to call it a night. I passed out and woke up feeling like hell and didn’t shake the feeling for a good part of the day.

I’m really glad I went. I’ll probably never go to another. I wish other people had come, but I totally understand not wanting to revisit that time in our lives.

I hope I can see Steph and Arianna again, they really were the best part of the weekend.

Life List (the first 50)

Not New Year’s resolutions…..100 things I want to do before I die. Some silly, some simple, some far fetched, but all mine

  1. Successfully house train a puppy
  2. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane
  3. Spend my birthday in Vegas
  4. Plant a garden
  5. Be the mother I always wished I had
  6. Ride a motorcycle
  7. Throw a surprise party
  8. Organize a block party
  9. Visit Tuscany
  10. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  11. Complete a Century bike ride
  12. Run a 5K
  13. Volunteer to build homes in another country
  14. Give $1,000 to charity
  15. Own an awesome set of cookware that I can pass on to my kids
  16. Live in NYC for a month
  17. Spoil my grandchildren
  18. Repaint the house
  19. Work as a photographer
  20. Watch 100 vampire movies
  21. Be comfortable in my own skin
  22. Sing Karaoke sober
  23. SCUBA Dive
  24. Take  my husband to Hawaii
  25. Pay off my mortgage
  26. Spend a week electronics free
  27. Participate in a flash mob
  28. Visit all 50 states
  29. Learn ballroom dancing
  30. Have a healthy relationship with my brother
  31. See Mt Rushmore
  32. See the Grand Canyon
  33. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  34. Run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  35. Make an entrance
  36. Invent something
  37. Meditate
  38. Teach my kids to drive a stick shift
  39. Knit a baby blanket
  40. Create Holiday traditions
  41. Write Thank Yous to everyone who means something to me
  42. Eat at a 5 Star restaurant
  43. Be on stage again
  44. Dance in the rain
  45. Take a cooking class
  46. Build a bookcase
  47. Go to Japan
  48. Earn my blackbelt
  49. Find the perfect pair of jeans
  50. Have perfect teeth

It’s Begining to Look A Lot Like Christmas

The Holiday Season has crashed in on us. The tree is decorated, presents are bought, and the countdown has begun.

It’s actually odd being ready this early. We’ve always been last-minute shoppers. My husband gets a bonus at Christmas, but it doesn’t usually come until the 20th or so, so we typically put off shopping until them. This year we decided to try something different. We decided that the kids really didn’t need all the crap they ask for. So we picked one special item on their list and bought that. They will also get the standard clothes, socks and underwear, but other than that…sorry Dear, you’ve been ice skating once, 3yrs ago, and we live in Georgia…you’re not getting ice skates, no matter how many times you put it on your list.

In other news, we pick up our puppy on the 18th. I can’t wait. I thought we’d settled on the name Max, but it seems my husband had other ideas (his number one choice for a name being Uranus Liquor…umm, no). So, now we’re deciding between Echo, Eos, Havoc, Lennon, and Saber. I like Echo, but I feel like every time i call him, I’d have to yell out “ECHO ECHO Echo Echo echo echo”. Eos is cool, but a bit off the unconventional cliff. I think Havoc is perfect, but the kids are trying to veto that one. I like Lennon simply for the John Lennon factor, but it’s a bit of a mouthful. Saber, I like, but I don’t love.

My MIL is coming down for Christmas (well, as of now she is, but she’s been known to change her mind on the fly). If she does come down we will have 5 dogs in the house. Our 2, her 2, and my oldest is dog sitting the neighbors pup.  I’m gonna need more hambones.

As far as my mother goes, well, I havent heard from her since the Thanksgiving incident. I knew opening my mouth and saying something to her would cause her to ice me out, but I couldn’t just take it. But maybe I should have. I dunno. I sent her the Christmas gift I had bought her before she told me she wasn’t coming. I got an impersonal card in the mail, simply signed with her name. Not even a confirmation that she received the gift. I guess I need to let it go. I don’t think we’ll ever have the relationship I want us to have.

I’m working on my Goals for 2010. Not resolutions, but goals I want to accomplish before this time next year.

Until then…Happy Holidays

New Puppy Smell

We’ve tossed around the idea of gettinga second dog for about a year. Recently I decided to “inactively look” for a dog. My theaory being that the right dog woudl fall into my lap.

I had a very vivid dream about a dog. A wheaten terrier named Walter. I started looking and came across a wheaten at the humane society. I filled out the appropriate paperwork and set up to meet him. He wasn’t our dog. He’s hyper and nippy and food aggressive.

In the process of meeting Not Walter, we also met an American Bulldog puppy. My husband fell in love with him. He was a bruiser! At 16 weeks, he already weighed 40lbs. Our adult dog weighs 50. Our concern was that he’d get bigger and stronger and evnetually be too much for our girl.

We also met Phoenix, a sweet faced girl that I fell in love with. When we brought the kids to meet her, she just never warmed up to them.

Itw as about that time that my friend said “You know I have boxer puppies, you shoudl take one of them”. Well, no, I didn’t know she had boxer pups. I happen to love boxers, and our Daisy is a boxer mix. We talked about it for a couple weeks and decided that would be the route we’d go in.

Yesterday I drove to her house and met her 4week old pups and picked out my new guy. I’m still not sold on a name. I was thinking Max, but, while he looks like a Max…Max is such a boring blah blah dog name, so I’m not sure.

For now…meet Puppy

Getting Better

Yesterday was rough. I hadn’t slept and the smallest thing sent me on an emotional head on collision. I was crying at everything.
When I went to bed I was exhausted. The result of that was that I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. A good nights sleep does wonders for mental stability.
I’m still hurt and still pissed off, although probably more pissed off now, but I’m getting better. My heart is mending.

The Deepest Cut

It’s a funny thing, family. They are the ones who know you best. The ones who share a history with you. The ones who knew you before you knew yourself. They are also the ones that can hurt you the deepest.

My mom.

Last week I called and asked her if she wanted to come down and spend Thanksgiving with us. I told her that she didnt have to worry about anything, my husband woudl drive teh 6hrs up there and pick her up and drive the 6hrs back here. Then he’d take her home whenever she was ready. I honestly didn’t expect her to say yes. She hemmed and hawed and made up excuses and I said whatever she wanted to do was fine, just to let me know something.

A couple of days later she called and said she wanted to come. Told me how she mentioned to her boyrfriend that she’d been invited and he threw a tantrum and whined and complained about what HE was going to do while she was gone. She told him the invite was extended to him as well, and he whined, again, about how he doesn’t like Georgia and she should KNOW that.

She said she wasn’t going to let him tell ehr where she could and could not go and she’d never been here and, damnit, she was coming. I told her I’d get back to her with my husband’s schedule and let her know when he was coming up.

I called her and told her to expect him next Weds. Everything was set. Even in that conversation she said her boyfriend was still whining and complaining and that she had told him to grow up and if he left her over this then oh well, it was his loss.

Last night around 10pm she called. As soon as I answered she said “Is me coming down tehre set in stone?” I told her she was a grown woman and could do whatever she wanted, nothing was ever set in stone. She goes on to tell me that ALL OF A SUDDEN, her boyfriend has a blocked artery and is on death’s door and has to have emergency surgery and she just can’t leave him now. Perfect timing, doncha think. Yeah, I know I should like a cold heartless bitch. I don’t care.

She starts telling ne how lonely HE is. How HE doesn’t have anyone. How she has to be there for HIM. How even his WIFE doesn’t care about him. Poor him.  She turned the whole conversation to focus on him and his needs. She didn’t even consider how hurt I was. I could barely speak because I was holding back tears.

Background. She was supposed to come here for Christmas last year. I postponed Christmas dinner to accomodate her coming just after Christmas. Planned a big meal and everything. Kept trying to firm up the details and could never pin her down on anything. Finally she calls the day she is supposed to be here and says “Well, we decided that since we have nothing else going on and no where to be, we’d go to the beach for the weekend just the two of us to get away”. The first cut.

I finally couldn’t hold it back and I said to her “Well, you were supposed to be here last Christmas and never showed up. He didn’t want you coming down now and you’re not, so I’d say he won” She started saying that last Christmas she had stuff going on with her truck and that’s why she didn’t come down. I said “Well, maybe so but that didn’t stop you from calling me when you were supposed to be here and saying that since you had nothing else going one the two of you were heading to the beach”. She started to speak but I hung up. I couldn’t take anymore excuses or justifications for her actions.

She made her choice. She chose him.

I spent an hour on the phone with my husband crying. I cried some more when talking to a friend of mine. I’ve cried today. I’ll probably cry tomorrow.

My heart is broken. I’ll get past it. My heart will mend. I have a husband and children who will mend it. I’m done though. I’m done reaching out to her. It’s killing me because she has cancer and I don’t know how much longer she will be here,  but I can’t keep reaching out only to be hurt again and again. I’m not “nothing”.  Just because I hide them away doesn’t mean I dont have feelings, and I can’t continue to feel like I’m being cast aside for something better.