Saturday, October 03, 2009

Harvest Fest 2009

Today my friend Jess and I went to the Harvest Fest in at the Arts at the Armory in Somerville. (Her roommate came too.) It was advertised as all you can eat/drink samples of beer and food from local eateries. As soon as we walked in, I knew it wasn't nearly as great as it sounded. It was very crowded (to be expected on a rainy Saturday) and the food table was empty. None of us had eaten much because we thought we'd walk around picking at different foods while drinking various types of beer. Instead, we walked around tasting all of the beer without any food in our stomachs. Oh, wait-we did get 1 piece of fried buffalo tofu and 1 piece of fried buffalo chicken. And by piece, think, popcorn...(They did have pizza FOR SALE. Considering I paid $12 to have food and drinks, I thought that was a little tacky.)

After about a half hour, we realized that we really needed food so we left and had Thai down the street, then returned with full bellies ready for more beer.

There were all types there-pale ales, IPA's, dark beers, raspberry ales, autumn blends and even coffee beer-which was actually really good. By around 5pm the place was packed and it was so muggy and crowded in there I had enough. But I was with 2 other people, so I shut up and kept having beer until they were ready.

There was supposed to be a fashion show-we left around 5:30 so we may have missed it but besides the beer, it was pretty lame. Maybe next year they'll have more food (scattered around the room, not just in one corner) and they'll set the vendors up in a better way (so it's not so crowded). I don't regret going though, it was fun...I just wish it was a little better.


Jumbo the elephant-I'm not sure why he's the mascot for the food place, but he was...


People gathering around a beer vendor debating about which beer to taste.

Tiny cups for LOTS of samples...

The loft-where we people watched for a while...



And saw a hot guy...
And this guy...I decided to stay in Boston tonight because after going out last night and then drinking lots of beer today, I'm zonked. I'll get up super early tomorrow to drive down to CT so I can go to the Big E with my family.

I can't wait to snuggle up in my bed...

What's Happening

Last night was my "big night out" on the town. If you remember, I went with my new friend who I met at the singles event (when we picked up trash). She's a really cool girl who's fun to hang out with-and easy to hang out with, which is even better. You know how some people are really great but it takes a lot of work to be with them? She's not one of those people. Which is nice.

We were both running about a half hour late so by the time she got here it was about 7:45. We opted to get something to eat in my neighborhood instead of eating in the south end, which is where we were going. After listing a bunch of places around me, we opted for the sushi restaurant up the street. I, unfortunately, did not eat sushi. I don't know why, but I ordered a hot dish and I was very disappointed with it. Luckily though, I ordered a Saporo and got the biggest beer I've ever had in my entire life. It was actually like 3 or 4 beers, literally...we swapped stories and finally got on our way.

I'd like to interject here and say that I'm really not used to people looking at me. At least not in an obvious way. So dressing up is sometimes a little weird for me. I felt good and I know that I looked good. And I got a few approving glances from men-most of which I did not like, mainly because they were on the T or underground. It felt a little creepy.

Anyway...

We finally arrived at our destination and waited in a short line to get in. We're both pretty much dorks when it comes to going to bars specifically to meet single people. We walked in and were greeted by someone who works there-he was just saying hi, but he saw we had no idea what to do, so he directed us to the upstairs bar. Which was disgustingly crowded. Luckily, another person who worked there came over to the bar and told everyone who didn't have a seat to go downstairs...which turned out to be the coolest place ever. Brick everywhere, old chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, little nooks scattered around the room-it was everything I'd want a city bar to be. Oh so cool. We found 2 stools at the bar and got our $12 drinks (yeah-we were shocked!) and watched the scene. Everyone seemed to be with a group. It made us wonder how people actually meet other people like this. I'm sure that if we had been in different seats, we could have chatted with people near us, but even then-no one was talking to strangers. So we listened to the band, chatted about our lives and people watched-which was great fun.

And can I just tell you that there were like, 6 bald men there? One of them was REALLY creepy. He had these thick glasses on and just had a weird vibe to him. Thankfully he moved along. Things could have gotten a little scary there if he hadn't!

About 2 hours of sitting at the bar, we decided to make our way back to my neighborhood where we planned on going to another bar for one last drink. However, it took us 1 1/2 hours to get home!! I have no idea why it took that long-but let me just say I'm glad we had seats because while those boots are cute and I get approving looks from boys, THEY HURT!! When we finally stepped off of the train, we decided that it wasn't worth it to walk a couple of blocks for 1/2 hr worth of bar time. Instead, we went to the pizza shop on the corner and each had a slice. I'd say, it was a perfect ending to the night.

On today's schedule is a food festival. For $12 you get all you can eat food & beer along with admission to a fashion show and booths with local vendors. I'm not sure it's going to be as cool as it sounds, but it's in an area I'm thinking of moving to and it's with my friend Jess, so I'm excited to go. I leave in about 1/2 hr.

Later tonight I'm heading down to CT. It's the first time I'll be talking to my Mom and Dad since they pulled the plug on investing in me, and I'm a little nervous. I don't really have the desire to see them, which I know is bad, but it's the truth. My Dad is taking us to Big E on Sunday and it'll be my 2nd time this year. I'll write more about it on Monday, but basically it's a huge state fair that you really only want to do every other year...so, we'll see.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Baking, Pampering & Bar Hopping (Oh My!)

The sun is pouring through my windows this morning and the air is cool and crisp...reason #574929 why October is my favorite month...

This morning is all about filling orders-I have 6 to fill, thanks to my 20% off sale. If you haven't heard about it, click the button to the right to be directed to my online bakery. I have pumpkin spice bread baking now, next will be my "famous" lemon friendship bread and then 4 orders of chocolate peanut butter balls. Yum! These will all be shipped out later today when I'm on my way to...

The spa! Long ago I signed up for something called groupon. I get a daily email with a possible deal-it's usually a huge discount off something cool-and if enough people buy it, the deal is on. If not, your card is not charged and you go on your day. It's a really neat idea and a cool way to try different things that I wouldn't normally be able to afford. Today I'm going to the spa for $30. Considering that the salon up the street charges the same amount for a mani/pedi, I thought that this was an incredible deal. I think it's important to treat myself well these days, and this was just the thing I needed.

Later tonight my new friend (the one I met picking up trash) and I are going out on the town. We're heading to a bar/restaurant that I've wanted to go to since I moved here. I'm not sure what the night will entail, but there is live music and lots of locals (here that's not a bad thing!) so hopefully we'll have a good time. Thanks to everyone on facebook for helping me choose what I'll be wearing. Yes, I'm that much of a dork that I had no idea what would be right for a single girl my age to wear to a bar! You've seen this picture before-but this is what outfit won...


Last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep I thought about the guy who broke my heart. Many, many things went through my mind, mostly reasons why I miss him. But then I thought about today and how I'm going to a place I've wanted to go since moving here with a new friend I would not have met if this did not happen. It puts things into perspective a little bit for me. Though I will never say that I am happy it happened this way and I do truly hope that we can continue to be friends at a later date, I'm glad that something positive came about because of it.

Which brings me to my job interview. Why does it bring me there? Because it's for a major university and the guy is Mr. College. He pretty much knows everything there is to know about working at one (because he does) and would most definitely have stellar advice and encouragement for my THIRD interview which is scheduled for next week. That's right...even though they told me they'd call me in about 2 weeks, I had an email from them BY THE TIME I GOT HOME asking me to come in next week to meet with 3 deans. (Deans of schools, not men named Dean. I have to clarify because one of my friends married a man named Dean and she asked that question!) I'm a little nervous because apparently one of them is kind of famous in his community and is also intimidating. He's also the one I'd be supporting.

I just have to remember that I'm good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me! :)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tusks (ft)

I had an interview today. I kept it quiet but after the meeting (which turned into 2) I felt like I had a good chance...I also took these as signs:



I didn't realize that this animal was their mascot...hopefully it's a sign that I belong here. It's a great university and I love the campus...the people so far have been nice too. Cross your fingers and say some prayers that this is it. I won't know for a few weeks though.

(If you didn't know, I love elephants and collect them.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Randomivity

Lambs have the biggest balls I've seen in a long time.

That's actually a very sad statement.

The big slide at the Big E is great fun & though I have a fond memory of climbing that slide with someone else, I now have a new memory of sliding down with new friends.

I love my new phone.

It seems like every time I treat myself to a manicure, it seems to chip the next day. What's up with that?

Finding 2 new girl friends who are single really is great fun. I am looking forward to finally having someone to go out to bars with. Not that I'm going to become a bar bitch, but it'll be good to get out there...I'm not gonna meet the love of my life sitting at home!

"People give up on X because X gives up on people." Amen sister. Amen.

I tried to watch a love story this weekend and failed miserably. At first I was angry and then I got sad. I'll stick with comedies, dramas and books for now.

Having a friend acknowledge that I received heavily mixed messages all the way up to the end really makes me feel less foolish. And less loserish.

Talking about it is painful. Because I still wish it didn't happen this way. I think I realized though that the reason I'm so stuck is that I thought we'd always be friends, if nothing else.

When I get sad, I need to remember June 25th. That was the date I wrote a very honest secret blog post about how I was feeling about love. I recounted a specific extended visit in which I felt "very, very sad" when we were together. I recalled sitting near him while he was sleeping, hurt by things he'd said & feeling like I was a burden...wondering why I was invited along at all. When I read this passage I feel lost & confused about why I kept going with the flow-but it also helps me remember the bad things...I need those reminders.

Because the good is what is and always has kept me hanging on.

After bringing 5 a friends house and more to The Family's house, I had a few left that were stuck to the pan...I lost the battle last night and had to have one. So much for the perfect diet day and waking up at a milestone weight!


They were really good though. (The rest are safely in the garbage now!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toosdae ?'s

I'm not exactly sure why these all have to do with breakfast this week, but after writing them, I'm actually curious how some of you will answer...

1. If you like eggs, how do you like them? If not, what do you prefer?

2. What is your breakfast meat of choice?

3. Do you eat breakfast everyday or just on special occasions or weekends?


1. My favorite eggs are sunny side up with buttered rye toast. My 2nd favorite are eggs scrambled just until set with fried deli ham & white American cheese mixed in.

2. Crispy bacon for sure. Good breakfast sausage is always welcome too.

3. I do eat breakfast everyday. Lately it's been cheesy eggs but usually it's a bagel or cereal. When I go out to breakfast (not much anymore) I tend to get omelets with bacon and cheese in them. Always rye toast.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toy Story

It is official: I have lost my part time job at the toy store. Why? Because the management team is extremely unorganized and too young to realize it. I was hired just about 3 weeks ago and was told I'd work Mon-Wed, 10am-3pm. I specifically asked if this was my set schedule and told them I needed to know because I cooked and stuff. They said that yes, it was my schedule and that unless someone was on vacation and asked me to switch, it would remain the same. Great! I was psyched. It was an easy job with great hours and the perfect amount of $$ for me to keep my unemployment.

And then week 2 came. And Lindsay-the stupid manager who doesn't really know what she's doing-tried to change my schedule. Truth be told, I could work the hours she scheduled me. But I've been around long enough to know that if you let people walk all over you early on, they'll never stop. So I told her to switch me back to the schedule we talked about THE WEEK BEFORE when they hired me and I SPECIFICALLY ASKED THEM about my schedule. So she did. (Side note-I was not being difficult just to be difficult-there was no reason to be switched-no one was on vacation, no one needed a different shift that week-she is just dumb.)

And then there was last week. I worked all 3 days as planned and thought that everything would be fine. Until Lindsay called me over to the computer on Wednesday afternoon and said that she had to change the schedule and that while the store (which is new, by the way) was not in any trouble, their payroll was a little too high for the sales. So she was going to be cutting hours across the board and that meant I only would have 2 days a week instead of 3.

I told her right up front I'd have to find a different job. I also said I would keep working until she knew for sure that this would be permanent. I thought this was OK until the girl I was working with asked me why I was only working 1 day next week. What!?!? One day?! No...I was supposed to have 2 days. Cassie turned the computer screen and showed me that now I was only working on Wednesday instead of Wed/Fri (why Friday, I don't know...). I told her that it was nice to meet her, but I'd probably be quitting by the end of the day.

I couldn't quit though, because as soon as the manager took another day away from me, she left the store without saying goodbye. Coward. So I had to call her. When I spoke with her, I told her that I was amazed at how unorganized they were and that I could not believe that they would hire someone 2 weeks before telling them they'd have a set schedule and amount of hours and then try to switch it completely. I told her that I had a hard time believing that in 2 weeks the sales plummeted so drastically that they had to make these changes. In other words-they had to know this was going to happen.

This girl is a part owner-so I know it wasn't just that she was in the dark and got word from "corporate". She is corporate and in fact does most of the work. Needless to say, she didn't like the fact that I told her what I thought of all this. She got defensive and told me that she had to cut everyones hours and that she's going to be working more in the stores and blah, blah, blah. I again told her that I couldn't believe they'd hire someone and then try to bully them into working different shifts. Then I said good luck, please send my check and goodbye.

I'm kind of angry, if you couldn't tell. From the start I knew that this girl was a little flaky and too young to be running these stores. But when I trained with her one day I noticed how good she was with the products and thought that maybe I was wrong...until I started hearing about how inconsistent things were and how she'd say one thing and do another...it's ridiculous and I'm angry because I need that money. And the hours were great and the girls I worked with were really sweet. And I was just getting to know all of the toys and it was getting fun.

Now I'm back to sitting at home waiting for a job to surface. It's been almost 10 months. I'm not holding my breath. So...I've now got lots of free time again.

Breakup Brownies

People tend to forget about dessert at supper club these
days-mainly because I'm not the one planning the menu and cooking the meal, I think. Now that we do things potluck style, we mostly end up with a mixture of savory foods and nothing sweet. Which, you know, is usually OK with me. But I know that everyone else loves the sweet stuff. So I usually make a dessert.

This month as you know has been a hard one for me, and honestly, I haven't felt much like baking things from scratch. Which is how this recipe evolved. I had it in my head that I wanted to bring brownies-specifically my "To Die For" brownies that I used to make for the cafe I baked for when I first moved here. But they're labor intensive and expensive to make, so I nixed that idea quickly. This is where the mix comes in. I searched for some recipes that added things to mixes and found one that uses cake mix instead of brownie mix. I've used cake mixes for cookies before, but never brownies, so I was intrigued. I thought that a chunky, gooey brownie would be best and that's how the rest got added in. The result was fantastic (though very, very sweet and also very gooey). I had a platter of about 24 brownies and all but 3 were eaten. There were only 6 girls at dinner.

I call them "Breakup Brownies" because well, you know...

Ingredients:

50 Caramel Square Candies
2/3 C. Evaporated Milk, divided
1 Pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix
3/4 C. Butter, Melted
2 C. Milk Chocolate Chips

Method:

1. Don't make these while you are alone, unless you are ready to eat the whole pan...especially after a breakup! :)

2. Melt caramels and 1/3 C. of the evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter and the remaining 1/3 C. evaporated milk.

4. Press 1/2 of the dough into a brownie pan. Bake for 9 minutes at 350.

5. Spread chips over brownie crust. Pour caramel over that and drop remaining brownie dough over the entire mixture. Bake 20 minutes.

6. Cool 15 minutes and then move the pan into the fridge for another 30 minutes. Cut and remove from the pan. These are very gooey brownies so storing them in the fridge is a good idea. You can let them come to room temp before serving if you wish.

(I didn't get a picture of them before they were scarfed up and taken home...sorry!)