Monday, August 25, 2008

the city by the bay

ohmygodohmygodohmygod we're having so much fun. it's awesome here.

the drive was something. we wanted to leave at 7pm, we left at 1130. that put the 14+ hour drive with too many hours with fee awake in the a.m.... but it was alright. reese took the first shift while I attempted to nap. she rocked the house and drove for 300 consecutive miles, handing off to me around 4am, deep into oregon territory. i took over and drove for the next 500 miles with stops for coffee, food, and bathroom. reese can hold it like a camel so she busted my chops every. single. time. that i had to pee. hey, i drank like 5 cups of coffee! a man's gotta pee, that's all i'm saying. all in all, we averaged 65 MPH with 32.1 MPG for the 800 mile trip.

we got hustled by bums at a rest stop, that was pretty awesome. everybody had to pee that time, so we did it and got out. his majesty needed some new clothes, too, but we just went down the road to the gas station and fee and the dogs did their business and we were on the way.

only a couple times where i had the falling-asleep-we're-all-gonna-die moments. the pre-dawn dusky non-light is murder on my eyes. when i said that to reese she was like yeah try driving through the dark with one good eye. uh, no thanks! i have to concentrate so hard to see anything that i get exhausted. on the way back we're going to pull over for that half hour and take a goddamn rest.

anyway, blah blah, drive drive, and we're here. gas is cheaper than i expected, it's about the same as in seattle.

we went out last night to zeitgeist, then for kulfi, then home to take care of the dogs and cater to his majesty's every need. the city was awesome. it felt like parts of hoboken and seattle and queens and chicago and a bunch of other places. and everybody - everybody! - was dressed like super fucking sharp, it was awesome. super chill city, too.

anyhoo, so we're here. we're going to go do some stuff. we'll post pics soon as we can.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

shame on us and vacation musings

yeah yeah i know what you're thinking... we haven't posted in ages. it's a travesty. But we've had good reason. First Fenix was sick and let me tell you that the trajectory on puke from the belly of an 8 month old is surprisingly far reaching. Blech. So no surprise that Jason and I both got sick too. It was a bad scene all around. But we are finally on the other side of that nonsense. As a matter of fact we are headed out for a much needed vacation. Me, J, Fee, Luna and Noodle are driving down to SFO:

We will be on vacation all next week. I can't wait to see friends and for Fenix to see his new friend that he doesn't even know yet, Declan. It's going to be a blast.
We'll be trendy types and make our way to Burma Superstar for lunch. We'll be tourists and visit Alcatraz (we've both been to SFO but have never been there). We'll shop. We'll drink. We'll drive over to sonoma wine country and restock our home wine supply. All this in one week.
I really can't wait!
See you when we get back.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my family makes happy babies

Look at these two:

Isn't it great to watch their little personalities emerge? My heart gets full when I think of them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jay McG, I.T. Project Manager

so... remember this?

It took some time - good things always do, right? - but in the few months since that post I found a position in my company that I would kick ass at... and since I'd already worked for the hiring director for a year and a half, I felt pretty comfortable inquiring about the position.

my background, going back to good old rockefeller center in nyc, is in facilities management. facilities management is essentially project management about facilities-related projects. however, a generic project manager in any industry will have more earning potential than a generic facilities manager. so, I was looking for my "facilities project manager job" to bridge the gap for me between facility management and project management... and huzzah! I just got there this week.

the job I just left was an interesting one. it was a lot of fun in a number of ways but there was way more work than could be done well in a week, and - much worse than that - no room for growth. so, after the last reorg, I updated my resume - shit, I updated my resume between when I got the news and when I blogged about it - and started looking.

so... I got the PM job but they made me wait until my backfill/replacement/successor was hired before I could transition into the new role. that person started in mid-July so we had a few weeks to cross-train and I moved on to the new gig just yesterday. the new job is in a different building than I used to work in, so I had to give up my gigantic 64 square foot cube – with a window! – and move to a different building into a 48 square foot cube - without a window. ah, well, the sacrifices we make. maybe I should "get migraines" so that I "require access to natural light". just kidding. apparently there are more moves coming and my new department allocates space based on company seniority... with 27 months in already I might actually get a window spot soon. lets just hope I'm not sharing a cube wall with my boss, right?

this new floor is OK. the real estate group recently swapped out all the furniture on the floor, so at least my desk isn't like a hundred years old and smells like old coffee and farts. but... there's an interesting vibe on the floor. actually, it is the floor. the floor in the kitchens and mail rooms... check out how awful it is:

ugh. vertigo-city. doesn't that make you want to puke? apparently they're going to swap it out for something less hideous... with next year's budget.

so anyway, here I am, all dressed up for the ball but still waiting for my ride... they're starting me out fairly slowly to get me acclimated. which is to say that I've got time to make a blog post on a weekday morning. crazy.

want to give a quick shout out to our new favorite blog, cakewrecks

... and this, this just just cool as all hell... slow-motion lightning:

so that's it! happy eight-eight-eight, happy olympics, happy friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

simplicity 3692

So I finally got around to making that dress that I mentioned ages ago. It's a Built By Wendy pattern... Simplicity #3692.

Now that I've made my first dress, I can't believe how easy it was and I feel stupid for being intimidated by the idea of making clothes.

For this dress I used bamboo jersey in a heathered dark purple color. The pattern has 3 options -- A, B and C. A is an a-line dress with short sleeves, B is a 3/4 sleeve tunic style shirt and C is a sleeveless top with a gathered elastic bottom. I made a combo of A and B -- a dress with 3/4 length sleeves.

The most taxing part of this project was the sewing of the sleeves but even that wasn't really too troublesome.

Here is a photo of me in the finished product:

Friday, August 1, 2008

awesome little moments

Earlier this week Fenix and I were in the store looking to buy new clothes for him. This particular store usually plays some pretty awful 'lite fm' style music that is hardly tolerable. But while we were browsing this one really great old song came on.... "You've Got a Friend" (James Taylor and Carole King).

At some point I ended up getting really into it and I was singing out loud to Fenix who was sitting in his carseat on the shopping cart. I think he was digging it too because he was smiling and laughing so much as I sang.

That's when someone came by and totally caught me and started cracking up laughing at this spectacle.

What an awesome little moment that was. I haven't stopped hearing that song in my head ever since.

So I hope you have a happy Friday and to get your weekend going I'll leave you with this:

New Orleans BBQ shrimp

This shrimp recipe is oddly named since it includes nothing resembling bbq sauce. As a matter of fact I have only actually cooked it on a bbq grill once. So I don't know where the name comes from but it sure doesn't matter because it's freakin delicious.

We first had it at place called Oddfellows in Hoboken, NJ. Perfect for a quick happy hour meal on a weeknight after a crappy day at work. We always chased it with a bottle of Abita Purple Haze (try it - you must). Strangely we did not eat this shrimp dish when we were actually in New Orleans so I cannot confirm it's authenticity. Rachel??

So this recipe also calls for Abita beer but that can be hard to find (Whole Foods carries it but I think it's a regional thing) so just use whatever good beer you have on hand and a PBR would certainly do in a pinch. Though I definitely would not use any of those fruity beers for this because I doubt it would work well here.

Here's what you'll need:
1 lb. raw shrimp with tails on (we buy the bag of frozen shrimp from Trader Joe's)
3 tbls unsalted butter
1 tbls olive oil
½ onion or 1 shallot chopped finely
2 Cloves Garlic minced
2 tbls Worcestershire Sauce1 half Bottle Abita Beer - Amber or TurboDog (or whatever else you have)Juice of one lemon
dash of cayenne
1 tbls old bay seasoning (or other ground dry crab boil seasoning)salt

Thaw the shrimp if they are frozen. Leave the tails on.

Preheat your broiler or grill on the high setting (~500°)

Place a large and deep (also broiler or grill safe) skillet over medium/high heat. Add the olive oil.
Add the chopped onion or shallot to the hot oil and sautee until transulucent
Add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant.

Add the butter to the mixture and cook until it is melted. Stir in the worcestershire, crab seasoning, cayenne. Stir to incorporate.

Add the entire bottle or can of beer. Cook until the foam disappears. Add the lemon juice, stir to incooperate and remove the mixture from the heat.

Pat the shrimp dry to remove any excess moisture. Add the raw shrimp to the sauce (you may need to transfer the mixture into a broiler or grill safe pan at this point). Stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and arrange them in a single layer in the pan.

Place the pan of shrimp into the oven or into a covered bbq grill. Cook for 5 minutes (watch these closely so that they do not get over cooked). Flip the shrimp to cook on the other side. Remove from heat when the shrimp are just cooked (they will be opaque and pink).

Serve with crusty pieces of baguette and grilled veggies (we like asparagus or zucchini).