Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grammar problem for the day.

Here's something that bugs me: the use of Yay, Yeah and Yea. People just don't get it. So here's the primer for you:

yay- exclamation of approval, cheer

Yay! My team won.

yea- affirmative response usually only used when voting, sounds like “yay”

How do you vote? I vote “yea”. (so like yea or nay)

yeah- yes

Yeah, I got my homework done.

This gets confusing because “yay” and “yea” sound the same but have different meanings.

So that's my lesson for the day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Running Day

For some reason, for the last few months, I've been waking up around 5 a.m. or 5:30 or 6:00. Now, I have some theories, or at least one, which is that I'm hearing a neighbor's alarm. Normally I'm able to go back to sleep. This morning though I woke up early and was wide awake. So instead of laying in bed until I fell back asleep, I popped out of bed and started the day.

Tell you what, you get up an hour or two earlier than normal and it can really mess with your day! I was hungry for lunch earlier than normal, hungry for dinner early and ready for bed (now!) earlier than normal. Though maybe it was my 3 mile run this afternoon that got me tired.

The early rising did not dissuade us from trying to make the peanut shrimp stir fry dish from class last week. Though the dish actually doesn't have much stir fry going on (just the shrimp, which were actually pre-cooked anyway), it was a huge success!! Soooooo tasty. And the sauce and veggies can be mixed with chicken or beef very, very easily. The sauce is easy to make too, so it's going to be in the repertoire for some time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Fighter

The other night we watched The Fighter. After watching The Oscars, I couldn't imagine that Christian Bale deserved the Oscar for best supporting actor. I mean really, was it that tough of a performance? Then I saw the movie. Holy shit!! I'm sorry, he acted THE HELL out of that role. And he lost so much weight for it. Wow, the voters got that one right.

Interestingly, I was really following boxing at the time and remember Mickey Ward fighting. He was a guy I couldn't stand to watch fight because he mostly just covered up and let the other guy tire himself out. Unfortunately I didn't appreciate the art of boxing at the time, just the brutality.

Today I went into the office and hung out with Ricardo. We both got a bunch of work done and it was nice to catch up and hang out at lunch. Ricardo's been busy the last few months with his primary client, so I don't get to see him as much as usual. That's unfortunate. We have a good time when we get together. Damn work.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Last week I decided to step it up a notch and take the advice of B-to-B (aka Paul) and lift heavier weights with fewer reps to build muscle. Maybe it's because I'm not dropping any weight that I figure if I just get bigger, it'll at least be an excuse for being heavier (don't look at the ribs and cupcakes behind the curtain).

And actually LL has noticed already that my chest is bigger. It's interesting because so have I. So instead of doing 10 reps with 3 different weights (when bench pressing for instance), I'm starting with a heavier weight and doing 5 reps, then stepping it up ten pounds a set from there and only doing 5-6. Though I guess that's not true because the third set is the heaviest weight I'm going to do that day and I do it until I can't do anymore, which was 8 times today. Then I drop down to my starting weight again and do as many as I can at that weight, which was also 8. So I think I can go even heavier the next time.

But doing curls seems different. Instead of doing two sets of ten, I started at the same weight and did a set of 5, stepped up the weight, did 5 reps, stepped up the weight and struggled to finish the set of 5. I'm thinking I should cut out the middle set for curls and go from warm-up set to heaviest weight and then go back to the middle weight. We'll see how that works out.

Tomorrow, or Wednesday will be a running day. Looking forward to it.

Tonight we had steak and broccoli for dinner. Tomorrow, dungeness crab and some stir fry. We're going to try the peanut shrimp and pasta dish. Should be awesome!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Catholic Church is pushing me

This weekend was even churchier than I first figured. Saturday's schedule was 8:30-4 and was very exhausting even though we were just sitting there. It was on the chillier side, so maybe that's what both kept us awake and tired us out. Saturday night we watched the Blackhawk's game and ordered ribs from a local place called The Piggery.

Why order ribs? No time to cook them and the place is called The Piggery! I HAD to try it. Tell you what, the ribs weren't bad at all. We agreed that mine are still better, but at least these fell off the bone. The sauce was decent, but not great and not Sweet Baby Ray's. The place was packed though, it's a bar as well, and I'm confident that they will make it.

So after ribs and during the hockey intermission, we did church homework. Yep, homework. We had to finish it after the game, because it was more than 12 minutes worth. Then to bed and we were back in church at 11:45 until 6, which included mass. LL was a trouper the whole weekend!! What a great gal I'm marrying. Today was all about saving yourself for marriage (sexually) and a myriad of other topics with which neither of us agree. The people presenting made it somewhat interesting at least and it was kind of intriguing to see people that actually believed some of this crap. And by crap I mean the topics of the church's beliefs on premarital sex and contraception.

We have one more day of it to go through....but I'm struggling. Apparently it's one of the more intense programs in the country (lucky us) and they take a particularly negative shine to cohabitation prior to marriage (which includes just having sex before marriage). That means extra work....and it's work I didn't want to do in college (to be in the frat house you had to take a test on the Greek alphabet) and I'm not nuts about doing it now. "It" of course is things that I don't choose to do, learn or study, but have to do. I'm not a big fan.

Sorry, just venting a little bit. We learned some things and good discussions, but that all could have taken place on Saturday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A churchy weekend

Tonight we hooked up with Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim for fish and beer and Emmit's Pub, where they shot the opening scene to Ocean's 11 (Brad Pitt and George Clooney). They may have used to have an all you can eat deal, but now it's just pretty good fish with good beer. It was last minute, but Greg and Kim were free so we made the most of it. Good times!

Tomorrow we have to spend about 7 hours at my church for pre-canna work. Then we go back on Sunday for another 4 hours. It'll be a long weekend, but at least the weather sucks so it's not like we'd be doing anything all that exciting anyway.

The exciting news is that our wedding travel email went out today with all the details about hotels, airlines, combo packages and travel agent info. It was a lot of work to put together and many people were asking for it, so it's good to get it out. Next up: invitations......I think.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stir Fry goodness

Ok, here are the stir fry recipes, tips and such. Hopefully you can blow them up or copy and paste them. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Man am I full

Sooo full....can barely type. Tonight, unrelated to my birthday (did I mention that yesterday was my birthday?), LL and I went to a cooking class on stir frying. We both like veggies with dinner in pretty good amounts, but we like meat too so stir frying seemed like a natural, but neither of us have really ever done. This class, at The Wooden Spoon (not far from Sun Wah or Hopleaf), was byob and pretty fun.

The dish we worked on involved cut up flank steak, fresh ginger, garlic and broccoli. When we make it at home, we'll probably leave out the ginger as we're not huge fans, but the dish was pretty damn tasty and we learned a lot. Blanching the broccoli for instance. It's not a necessary step in any way, but it adds slightly to the overall quality of the finished product.

To start the class the teacher asked who had a wok and if so what kind. Of course we didn't have the best kind (I bought one that was on sale somewhere). Then she asked if anyone had an electric stove. We were the only people of the dozen or so that raised their hands. Doh. The GOOD news is that if you don't have a gas oven, then you don't really need a wok! The wok is good because it can get warm up the sides if you turn it on high and the flames crawl up the side of the pan. So we probably won't really use the less than perfect wok anyway. If you have an electric stove then you just need a big pan, preferably with slightly rounded edges but a wide base to heat up as much surface area as possible. We have several pots that fit the bill.

The dishes we ate, there were at least four, were all delicious and maybe I'll just scan the handout for everyone. Yeah, I'll do that tomorrow. Definitely worth trying the recipes!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

This one snuck up on me. Normally I have plans set and all sorts of fun ready to go for my birthday, but not this year. Too much going on: the wedding, a trip to Europe, a trip to Puerto Rico, a softball tournament, work, just too much going on. It's a big one too: 4-5. Interesting how a birthday can just sneak up on you like that.

Other things are occupying my mind as well. This time of year leads to a lot of cash expenditures and moving money around....large sums of money. Being self employed, I make my Individual 401k contribution and SEP IRA contributions, pay estimated taxes for this year and my final tax payment for last year! Toss in a $7,000 bill from the Bears for season tickets and it's an expensive spring. Oh AND I'm buying into a company, so that's another cash use. None of it is necessarily bad or unexpected, but it's just a cash crunch that forces me to think about my asset deployment, which is probably also a good thing.

Dinner tonight is Indian food up on Devon with LL! It's a BYOB called Hema's Kitchen. Looking forward to it!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Doing my taxes.... all you get today are some pictures.

A picture of the leftover ribs from late last week. I sent the picture to Ricardo and wife Jodi so they could see why I left them in the bar on St. Paddy's Day. Two kinds of ribs, both were delicious. It took a lot of willpower to keep from eating both racks!!

While in Cincy for the weekend, I decided to seek out their finest ribs. After searching around the web and asking at the softball field, I came up with Montgomery Inn Ribs. Since there was an hour wait for a table at 8:00 on Saturday night and since they have four or five locations in two states, it seemed like a good choice. As I was by myself, I didn't have to wait for a table and just strolled into the bar where I could order and watch the basketball games.

Here's the very welcoming sign. They've been around for a while, 60 years! Apparently you can get their sauce in jars at various stores in the south (one guy said Costco).

And here was my partial rack order for $20. The ribs themselves were good. They came off the bone fairly well, but mine are juicier, meatier and fall off the bone better.

Their sauce is just way too thick and tomatoey. I don't have my own sauce, I use Sweet Baby Ray's, but have found that many sauces are either too thick or too watery. SBR's got it right!

Guess I couldn't help myself and had to write something.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cincy trip

It was an eventful weekend with a 5+hour drive down to Cincinnati for a softball tournament. While the weather can be very iffy in mid-March even 5 hours south, the early reports were for upper 50's and only a slight chance of rain. Well, that wasn't quite the way it turned out, but more on the weather later.

The good thing about going down for this tournament is going to a city with which I have little experience. Maybe 6 years ago I visited the area, actually on the Kentucky side of the border mostly, for the first time with T-Rex Tim for a golf outing. It was a lot of fun, so I was looking forward to visiting with my softball team.

The tournament was laid out in 4-team pools where the top two teams in each pool move onto the winners bracket on Sunday for a single elimination tournament and the losing two teams play in the losers bracket at different fields. The short of it is that we went 2-1 and qualified for the winners bracket where we lost our first and only game.

Now the details. Our schedule for Saturday was 9, 12:30 and 4, which isn't good when your hotel is 30 minutes away. Sure we got a good deal ($50 a night), but the hotel was on the far east side of Cincy and the fields were on the far west side. Normally with two hours off between games, you like to go back to the room and hangout. I still did that, but I only had about an hour in the room. Still, can't complain about the deal.

Our first game was a tight one, 9-8 us going into the last inning. I was up third and had only hit two weak grounders my first two at bats, though one snuck through for a hit. With one out and a guy on first though, I hit a deep ball to right center that split the outfielders for a triple, scoring an insurance run!

But the excitement didn't end there. The next guy up hit a little tapper back to the pitcher and I took a few steps off of third trying to goad him into throwing to third instead of first....and it worked!! I was surprised because it never works and apparently so was the third baseman who missed the bad throw. I jumped up and scored, putting us up 11-8. In the bottom half of the inning, they quickly put up one run and then had a guy thrown out at home plate buy one of our outfielders. Benny Baseball was the catcher who applied the tag I believe. They scored another run to make it 11-10 and then had ANOTHER guy thrown out at the plate, this time on a relay throw from our second baseman. So instead of having to play extra innings, because of the bad throw by the pitcher, we got the win!

There were no other highlights involving me from Saturday as I went 3-9 and struggled with the strike zone and arc of the pitches. Sunday though, despite our loss, I had two walks and ripped a ball to the wall in right center. Unfortunately the fields were muddy from a bunch of rain on Friday night and again on Sunday morning so footing was at a premium and doubles were hard to come by. The 3-3 on Sunday made me 6-12, .500 so not awful for a bad weather tournament, but not acceptable either.

More on the weekend tomorrow.

Lastly, on the way down US-65 through Indiana, I passed by a huge wind farm! Here are the pics from the car.

I hope you can click on them and blow them up. Pretty cool to see hundreds of these things. They are gi-normous!!

On the not so cool side of things, I offer this picture:

This is a house that we pass on the way to the field. I should have taken a wider shot too. They are not wealthy people let's just say and they have this 5' stone cat on the front porch. Hysterical!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rib competition

Today was sort of a hectic day as I did some work and then had a chiropractor appointment and deep tissue, painful massage. See, if I just said I had a massage, you'd be thinking it was a relaxing event. But it wasn't. More often than not, the muscles the masseuse was working, which were tight from over exertion the night before at softball practice, hurt like a bastard. I was really thankful when the massage was over. However, it did make my lower back feel more loose, which is important for this weekend in Cincinnati.

My original plan, as I mentioned yesterday, was to go to a bar and drink all afternoon and watch basketball. Unfortunately, that didn't happen so I ended up going to the gym in the afternoon. Before I left though I put two racks of ribs in the oven. After a decent workout, I came home, flipped the ribs, walked the dog and then headed out to meet Ricardo and wife for a drink at a local pub. One turned into two, but then I took off and came home to finish the ribs.

And boy were they delicious again. This time I cooked two racks, one St. Louis spare ribs and one back ribs. Both were awesome, but we decided we like the St. Louis ribs better. Since there isn't a price difference (usually), I'll stick with the St. Louis ribs in the future. Yum!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness

A seemingly innocent Wednesday turned into a rather long day. The first meeting of the day wasn't until 2, but I was busy with non-meeting stuff before lunch which ended just in time for me to leave for my meeting. From there I drove to Lisle, a little more than an hour away for softball practice at 5. For most of Tuesday I didn't have softball practice on Wednesday and had a completely different Wednesday planned out, but then the guy running the team called for some batting practice and I entered scramble mode.

Instead of working out on Wednesday, I decided I'd work out on Thursday and hit softball practice on Wednesday. But I was also going to go to the bars and watch the NCAA games on Thursday, which I obviously can't do if I'm working out. Plus I wanted to cook ribs but I can't on Friday because it's Lent and I'll be driving to Cincinnati, which I don't do every Friday during Lent but which I happen to be doing on this particular Friday. So Thursday is rib day, which is another reason I can't go to the bar and watch games. Actually I could go for a drink or two, but that's pushing it. I'll just stay home and watch here and have a beer or two (it is St. Paddy's Day after all). Little known fact by the way, Patrick is my confirmation name, as was my dad's and his dad's.

Practice today went from 5-7 and then it was a 45 minute ride home (much less traffic), so I got home around 8. Cooked some crab and LL made salads and dinner was done in 15 minutes. Since I had to shower from practice though, we didn't finish eating until almost 9.

Anyway, my midweek was thrown all asunder by softball and it's only March!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crab People!!

Everyone has read about the tragedy over in Japan: bodies washing up on shore, total devastation, nuclear reactors near melt down. It's about this last topic that I wanted to write a bit. The Japanese government has told residence within a 12 mile radius (I think that's the right distance) of one of the reactors to "stay inside" due to high radioactive levels. Now, if the U.S. government or the State of Illinois tells me to stay inside due to radioactivity for whatever reason, the first thing I'm doing is getting in my car and getting the hell out of here. Doesn't matter where I go, just outside the radiation zone. Is that crazy of me??

This weekend I'm heading to Cincinnati for a softball tournament which I've vowed in the past I would never play. My reasoning has been that the weather is just awful for softball in March and the fields are a mess. This year though, we're going to hit a little warm streak and the rain should be absent which makes the tournament pretty viable. It's 6 hours south east, so that helps from a weather standpoint: south is good. The drive can be therapeutic too....just driving along, listening to sports radio and relaxing. That's my plan at least.

The other week I learned that I did indeed possess the skills and tools necessary to "cook" crab at home. Having never done it before, it was a surprisingly good outcome. So naturally I cooked it again. When I say "cook" all I really mean is steaming them or putting them in a little bit of boiling water for about 4-5 minutes. Not terribly difficult, but awesome tasting. The first three batches were opilio crabs. Yesterday, we branched out into a small king crab type of crab. So these looked like king crabs, but smaller. They were pretty good, but not worth twice the price of opilios. King crabs are even more expensive ($20 a pound when not on sale) so I haven't given them a shot yet. Tomorrow I'm going to cook some dungeness crab and see how that tastes. We love some crab!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fabulous Friday

Friday was a very fun dinner night with Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim. It was a surprise to both Greg and LL as it was Greg's birthday and a dating anniversary for LL and me. It was a little easier to get LL to the restaurant for the surprise that it was for Kim to get Greg there.

I told LL that we were going out to a bar for a fish fry and meeting a friend of ours, T-Rex Tim, and the restaurant where we were going, Sapori, is right on the way. All I had to do was pull over and park. She knew half of the surprise as I pulled over, but she didn't know we were meeting Greg and Kim until we went in and sat down and looked at the menu. Check it out, they printed special menus for us!!

Kim wasn't driving, so getting Greg to go to a surprise restaurant wasn't easy. Eventually, after somewhat of a "hissy" I'm told, she let him in on the surprise and it was all good. Sapori Trattoria was awesome about the whole thing from the menu to giving us two free desserts. The food was outstanding as always. It was great to see Greg and Kim twice in a week!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Worst day of the year, that turned out not so bad

Time change. Love the fall, hate the spring. In my mind, the spring-forward day is the worst of the year. You get up in the morning and you think it's 8,9 or 10, but it's really an hour later. It sucks. Messes up the entire day....except this year. It was 10:30 before I even got out of bed this morning after being up late watching Due Date, drinking some wine with LL and taking some Benadryl before bed; that shit will knock you out! Anyway, shower, shave and coffee before starting on breakfast of the high protein variety. But by now it's what, almost 1 or something and the Blackhawks started at 11:30 (we dvr'ed the game to avoid commercials). So we watched the game, they lost in overtime to the Capitals, but we got a much needed point on the road as we tied it with about 30 seconds left.

Then I finished watching Dave, an Eddie Murphy movie, stupid, but it had me watching for some reason....mostly because I haven't seen it all the way through. Then off to the gym for a mediocre workout. Of course I didn't think it would be mediocre going in, but it turned out as such, though I did about 15 different exercises, my strength wasn't what I hoped. I'll try again on Wednesday I think. By the time I got home, it was almost 5:30. Shit, where did the day go???

We made a quick decision to go to Pequod's Pizza for dinner (best pizza on the planet, I'm not even kidding you) and see another fun movie, Hall Pass. It was almost 10 by the time we got home so it's write the blog and off to bed.

All-in-all, a pretty good worst day of the year.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A walk through the hood

It was a beautiful day in Chicago today with bright sunshine and upper 40's. Yes, my bar for what a beautiful day is drops dramatically during these colder months. The mission for the day: find someone to fix my leather glove which had the thread come undone along a seam. It seemed to me that this is something a dry cleaner thrives on right? Alterations, repairs and the like are advertised all over their steamy windows. No such luck at the first two I tried though. Huh? The second one, and a customer at Starbucks, said I should try a shoe repair place. Really? Ok. So I continued walking down the street to the shoe repair guy.

He took a look and said I should try this other dry cleaner further down the street.

Fine, but I just went to two dry cleaners and they said to come here!

"We can't help you, so try the cleaners."

Dandy. So I walked there and they will indeed fix it. The trip left me much further away from home than I was planning though. Fortunately it was such a nice day that it was a pleasure to be out and about. Boy I miss summer!

On my journey I snapped this picture. Yep, there's a Five Guys hamburger joint opening up just a few blocks away. Ugh. Not sure if I can deal with the temptation.

And here are the pictures of the Patschki's we ate on Fat Tuesday. Delicious. They truly were delightful.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stronger, but not smaller

Today I opted to incorporate my new eating strategy supported by absolutely no science whatsoever. The plan is basically to eat a high protein breakfast on days when I'm working out (actually lifting weights). On the non-workout days, I tried to reduce my caloric intake, but still keep the protein reasonably high, so like protein bars or something for breakfast and lunch and then my normal dinner. So I guess technically this plan started yesterday, Ash Wednesday, when I went the protein bar route for breakfast and lunch. Interestingly though, I also ran yesterday, so it was a triple win (reduced calories, exercise and experience some religion). We'll see how this plan works out.

Though I like the high protein breakfast plan, it wasn't helping me drop pounds at all. It was helping me to not snack in the morning and really got me through lunch in good shape plus I have been getting stronger. Unfortunately, it just wasn't helping me shed pounds, so we'll see how this new plan works. Am I hoping for too much to both drop weight and get stronger? I don't feel like I am.

Some busy times coming up. Next month is a trip to Berlin and Amsterdam and the following month is a reconnaissance (that is a HARD word to spell) trip to Puerto Rico. Throw in some softball tournaments and lots of wedding planning and it's going to be a busy summer. I might be getting stressed.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today was a pretty busy day. As the first day of Lent, I went to a noon mass at a church downtown called Old St. Pat's which caters to working folks and some high rise residencies in the area. Mass was packed and good, as usual. It's a nice church.

So in the morning I was working and got done the big task I needed to get done. So after church I was able to do a little more work and then hit the gym to accomplish my "fasting" for Lent. Instead of giving something up, I usually try to DO something to better myself. This year, in addition to going to mass more often, I'm giving up some free time and hitting the gym specifically to run. Today I hopped right in with three miles in thirty minutes, well just under three miles actually and then walked for three minutes or so to finish up the three miles. It was a good workout!

A big congratulations to my buddy JC and his wife Carol who is pregnant!! While I'm very happy for them both, it means Carol won't be able to fly down to Puerto Rico for the wedding. Boo. That's ok, we'll hang out leading up to it I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Christmas Cards (a little late)

Today I found some mail that my cleaning lady "hid". She's got this habit of stacking...well, anything that can be stacked and some stuff that can't be shoes. Anyway, she stacked my mail UNDERNEATH a magazine, so there was a letter and a bill that I haven't open in over a week. Argh.

One of those letters was from my parents with my acknowledgement (alright, OUR acknowledgement even though we all know who picked out the card!) for winning the card picking contest with the best Christmas card of 2010. It reminded me that I haven't posted my favorite cards of the year, so here they are:

This card has some three dimensional-ness to it that you probably can't see in the scanned version. It's from Bill the Bear and Nadine...his...long time companion? They've been together for like 10 years or something and live together but aren't married and aren't planning on it.

You just gotta love a snuggly dog right? That's just cute. This card was from my buddy Joisey Ken's mother-in-law Vicki, whom I've met several times, including at Ken's wedding and she's just a great person.

This one is MUCH cooler in person due to the sparkely snow on the path and the fence posts. Very cool. It was sent to me by Wisconsin friends of mine, Gherud and Tracy. Nicely done.

And the winner this year, from Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim, this deer card! The ornaments dangling from the antlers are really little stones on the card itself and are very cool. There's a back story too because Greg, a hunter, shot a buck in December and was pretty jacked about it. Lots of good meat, or so I've heard, was taken from the kill. Ahem. AHEM! Maybe some will find it's way to me.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Pleasant interruption

Today was a typical Monday, though I had an earlier start than I normally do on a Monday (especially following a Bears game!). It was sort of rolling around and included getting my haircut, but there was still much to do including cooking ribs and going to the gym (annnnnddd there was some work I needed to do as well).

Butttt, I got a call from Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim telling me they were in the hood! KK was getting her taxes done, so NG came over and we hung out. Actually, the ribs couldn't wait so I had to apply the rub and get them started, especially since there's a 4 hour cook time! So anyway, NG and I caught up and when KK was done, we picked her up and got some coffee. It was a great break and fun to catch up. What great folks. Annnnnd I was still able to make the ribs and hit the gym. Work? Well, that's going to have to come tomorrow.

LL wanted a public correction on my comment about Lent being a catholic thing. Lent is for all Christians, but they celebrate it or experience differently. Noted.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Some wedding progress

Oh how I needed another day this weekend. I'm beat!

Some wedding progress was made this weekend with the signing of our contract with the hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico and we emailed out our "save the date" postcards. Yep, we emailed them. Soooo much easier. It contained a nice picture of us and the relevant info that we know at this point. We also set up an email account just for the wedding responses and such. We'll send out regular invitations I imagine, but I'm not licking the envelopes (for you Seinfeld fans).

Not much in the way of revelations to write about today. Next week starts Lent for Catholics and it's a time of year that I actually look forward to, except for the fasting from meat on Fridays. During the week I'll go to church at least once and try my best to follow the fasting rules. I flip the giving something up for Lent theme around and try to do more positive stuff instead. If there's a particular bad habit that I think I could do without, I'll ponder giving it up, but usually it's doing something positive. Other than going to church during the week, I'm not sure what the action might be this year. There are still a few days to figure it out, but even if I think of something well into Lent, just the act of making a positive change for any period of time is good.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gastronomic events

Last night was a gastronomical event, what's become synonymous with ESDNM. We went to Sapori Trattoria for a fixed price....the only word I can use is smorgasbord. More on that later.

Tuesday we went to Sun Wah, a Chinese barbecue place with great food in large quantities for not a lot of money. Possibly the most amazing thing is that they have Goose Island Matilda beer, 22 oz, for $6.50. It goes for $8 a bottle at the store!!!

Anyway, here's a picture of the food from that meal. Bbq pork, roasted duck, shrimp stuffed eggplant and duck and pork with shrimp stuffed dumplings. Yum!!! It was all great, but the eggplant was pretty phenomenal.

On to our experience last night. It started at 7 and there was room for 38 people. We were fortunate enough to get 3 of the last 6 spots available and had to reserve ahead of time. The food was outstanding and the wine was constantly flowing. With every move from section to section of the menu, we had a new wine from the same vineyard that I believe the owner said had 1,000 year old vines which his family has harvested for the last 160 years. Wow.

Here's the menu. The pumpkin pasta was unbelievable and the tri-meat ragu was cooked for 18 hours!! The meat dishes were fantastic too....fall of the bone tender and just delicious.

Even the table was set up nicely, complete with rose petals. The good thing about having three people (ESDNM, LL and me) was that they brought servings for four!! Boy did we eat though.....probably a bit too much.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

He's not completely useless.

ESDNM cooked dinner tonight as we had great food last night and have a big night planned for tomorrow night as well. Can't have good food three nights in a row. Ha!! Seriously, we stopped by Whole Foods and bought some veggies and then went to Jewel for some meat. He did a great job cooking some really delicious butternut squash, asparagus, salad and pan fried strip steak. Good eating.

Though we just had one client meeting today, it was a good one! Very excited to help this client out.

Here are a couple of pictures from this weekend.

Here's a single I hit. It looks sunnier than it really was. That infield was like playing in a parking lot....super hard.

Scoring from second! If you look closely, you can see the ball coming into second base at the top of the picture. We used optic yellow balls and the throw is coming in just above the "s" in Pepsi.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Prognosticator

It's been a few years since I first wrote about Adesso, but not too long since my follow up entry calling for it's demise before this past winter. The other day, while I was in Phoenix, LL went by and saw that it's closed! You can't put one past ol'Joe.

However, the place across the street, Nabo's, has been closed due to multiple health violations. And yes, I've eaten there probably a hundred times. Guess it's not REALLY that hard to put one past ol'Joe.

Tonight ESNDM is in town and we went back to what is becoming a favorite on the list of great restaurants in Chicago: Sun Wah. It's great Chinese food, especially the duck dishes, but they had some outstanding food in general from the shrimp stuffed eggplant (yes it's possible) to BBQ duck (though we had roasted duck) to duck and shrimp dumpling soup. Yum!!