4.17.2015

Fashion Don't

I was humming along just fine all week until Thursday hit and I spent the day fighting the urge to hide out in my car and take a nap.  Or go home.  Today is better, but as always Friday could not come soon enough and I'm glad it's here.  I'm looking forward to cleaning my house (not really), getting some errands done (not really), relaxing and spending the weekend with MJ.

How 'bout some Friday confessions.

I confess that I think this might be the longest time I've ever gone without a glass of wine.  It's been two weeks.  Send help.

I confess that I let all of my magazine subscriptions lapse and it's like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  At one time I was up to three and even when it dwindled down to one I just couldn't keep up anymore and was always a few months behind.  If I have a magazine I must read it cover to cover.  I'm allowed to skip articles if I want to but I can't just skim the pictures and be done.  I enjoyed them but getting through each one became a chore so I ignored all of the LAST ISSUE notices from Glamour and let it go.  They have not yet tried to coerce me with a free gift.  Yet.

From the Fashion Don't Files
I confess that I wore a fuchsia shirt, a black and white skirt and black boots to work with Navy Blue leggings and I did not realize that my leggings were not black until I was getting out of the car at the end of the day.   Looking back, it did cross my mind at some point that the black seemed "off" with my boots but I chalked it up to lighting and kept on stepping.  And there I was all excited that my outfit matched my lunch bag which also matches my cell phone case.  Little did I know.  I guess that's what happens when you get dressed in the dark and spend all day under ugly fluorescent lighting.  Hopefully there were no other fashion don't moments this week but there is no way to know for sure.

I really hate getting tagged on Facebook in pictures from high school.  It doesn't happen a lot but when it does I'm mortified.  Appearance wise I was a hot mess.   I mean, HOT MESS.  It's just too embarrassing to have to publicly revisit those images.  I always untag myself immediately and recently just switched my sittings so that I have to approve all tags.

I confess that I didn't know Kate Middleton was pregnant.  The first time around I couldn't NOT know.  It was everywhere.  Either baby number two isn't nearly exciting as baby number one or my head is buried in the sand.   

I confess that I hurt myself getting dressed.  I think that's also a fashion don't.  The only thing worse is probably hurting yourself sleeping and I think I've done that too.  I pulled my shirt over my head and somehow managed to tweak my left shoulder to the point where it hurt for a few days to raise my arm and do push ups.  Getting old is hell.


4.10.2015

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden

We usually end up in The Gaslamp, Hillcrest or North Park when we go out to eat.  I love those areas but I also like finding places a little closer to home where we don't have to deal with the whole parking situation or lack thereof.  La Mesa has some really cute restaurants and I'm so glad it's the home of  BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden.  It's usually pretty packed and we couldn't even get a reservation for last Saturday eve but they said we could call ahead to check on the wait so we decided to give it a shot.  There was no wait at the time we were ready to go so we got seated right away in the outdoor patio.  It's a really pretty area under a canopy of trees surrounded by lots of greenery.  It's one of those places where you walk in and feel right at home.  The ambiance is just right.  The tables are dark and rustic and I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement over those blue mason jars.  
Their Brussel Sprouts with bacon are some of the best I've ever had.  This is our second time and I will have to get it whenever I go there because they are just so good.  Vegetables can be really bland but these brussel sprouts were full of flavor.  I ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon which is basically like a beef stew with potatoes, baby carrots and onions.  It came with a side of hot bread in a cute little brown baguette bag.  I wanted to eat the whole thing in one bite.  I almost did, but I'm off bread for the time being so I restrained myself.  The meat was so tender it fell apart as soon as I stuck my fork in it and the sauce was delicious.  It didn't look like that much food but it was.  I ate as much as I could, but had to take some of it home and it was even better the next day.  MJ ordered the Burger Royale and added a fried egg on top.  Not my cup of tea but he really liked it.  It was huge.  He was only able to eat half of it.  

I ate out a lot that week.  Let's see,  Bertrand at Mr. A's on Saturday, Rei do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse on Wednesday, The Yard House on Thursday and Bo-Beau Kitchen on Saturday.  All of which are in the Gaslamp except for Bo Beau Kitchen and it also was one of my favorites.  Two were Birthday related, but also I had to get it in while the getting was good before I started Whole30 which basically cuts out everything.  Well, not everything, but practically.  I did a modified version of Whole30 (so not really-I'd say closer to Paleo) during that week by cutting out all grains, dairy, added sugar and processed foods.  I called it my "transition week" because I made all Whole30 compliant food choices but allowed wine and didn't worry about the exact way my foods were prepared.  When you are eating Whole30 supposedly you don't have to give up dining out.  You can eat out, but you have to be willing to be "that person" that wants every minute detail regarding the preparation of food and every substitution in the book.  I really don't want to be that person so I won't be eating out for a while.  Bo + Beau's did not disappoint for my 'last meal' or my last sip of wine. Sniffle.

4.06.2015

A Tale of Two Monday's

The weird thing about last week is that I was off on Wednesday for my Birthday, back to work on Thursday and then our office was closed on Friday.  It was like having two Monday's and two Friday's.  It was a three day week that felt like forever and I didn't feel rested at all but that's what I get for being that weird person who insists on hoarding vacation days. 

The older I get the less significant my birthday feels and I was totally prepared to hate it this year. I even started a diet two days before that cuts out sugar among other things and hid my birth date on Facebook.  I don't know.  Maybe it's because it's the first year my parents are gone or because it was on a Wednesday.  Maybe it's just because I've had so darn many.  After a while it's just like, oh this again? This year when I thought about my Birthday instead of cake or festivities the only significance that crossed my mind is that I'm another year closer to my imminent demise. Totally morbid I know, but that's all I thought of and not in a bad way if such a thing could not be thought of in a bad way.  It was more of a calculated assessment of time.  I wasn't necessarily sad about my Birthday, just blah about it.  Maybe I was bummed by the general lack of interest in my day of birth more than anything else. 

The only thing on my Birthday agenda was to take that day off and get a facial.  I knew that even if I didn't have the birthday blues being at work would surely push me over the edge and I just couldn't bring myself to go there.  I'm pretty sure I would have spent the day laying in bed alternating between staring at the ceiling pondering the meaning of life and reading but my husband intervened.  I said he didn't have to, but he took the day off anyway and made plans.  After my facial I came home, ate breakfast and relaxed with a book for a while before we headed downtown for a movie and dinner.  I was amazed at how different downtown looks during the middle of the day.  It was fun trying to identify the tourists; and I think that's all there was because it was a random Wednesday afternoon and everyone else was at work.  What wasn't fun is watching MJ eat an ice cream cone and not having have one for myself myself.  The streets were deserted and so was the movie theater.  There was one other person besides us at the 2:10pm showing of Insurgent and I didn't see a single customer on our way in or out.  The movie was really good and after that we walked over to Rei do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse.  I'm on a meat kick and we've already been to Fogo De Chao so I wanted to give it a try.  It looks like an overly ornate hotel restaurant from the 90's but the food was really good.  I ate so much meat I was still full the next morning.  
The lone Birthday Pic
I even tried to skip out on the annual friends Birthday dinner.  I didn't not want to do a birthday dinner nor did I want to but I threw it together at the last minute anyway after one of my girl friends asked me about it.  When I said, not this year she said YES-we should.  We met up at Yard House on Thursday after work.  One of my friends just had a baby and it was her first time drinking wine in a year so if nothing else, I'm really glad to have been a part of breaking her wine fast and the six of us had a really fun time.  It's the 3rd year in a row and I'm so glad I allowed myself to be convinced that we should do it again.

If it's your Birthday and there is no official picture to commemorate it, did your Birthday still happen?  The answer is yes, because social media be damned if we could stop aging by forgoing photo ops none of us would be any older than thirty.  It's also still your Birthday even if you didn't eat cake.  Both are new revelations for me.  My husband is not a picture taker.  He didn't offer that day and I didn't ask because of the whole blah about my birthday thing and there were none at the girls dinner although they did sing Happy Birthday which was awkward and awesome all at the same time.  The only picture I got to commemorate my Birthday was a picture of the free restaurant dessert that I didn't even eat.  I don't think I've gone a single Birthday without an official "It's my Birthday!!" pic so it bummed me out for about five minutes.  I only drooled over the cake for five seconds before I slid it down the table for someone else to eat.  I got over it and fun was had by all.
  
MJ started asking what I wanted and what I wanted to do over a month ago.  My answer was always nothing or I don't know.  Usually, I can come up with something but I wouldn't give him anything.  I had no ideas for my mom or sister either.  I didn't want anything to do with with my Birthday this year and I really can't pinpoint why, but instead of giving me the nothing that I asked for he gave me everything.  He made it special even if I didn't want it to be.   He gave me himself that day (along with an Amazon gift card) and that matters much more than having a picture of any it.  

4.02.2015

Fine Dining is Fun and Funny

Over the weekend MJ took me on a surprise date.  That morning he said we're going somewhere nice and we're leaving at 4:45pm.  I waited promptly until 4:25pm to rush around and get ready.  I'm really low maintenance like that.  We'd spent most of the day doing fun things like cleaning the windows (him) and vacuuming floors (me).  The weather was gorgeous though and demanding to be enjoyed so I was glad to get out of the house.

I knew something was up when he washed a load of dress shirts and reached for his dress shoes instead of flip flops or chucks.  He is not a dressing up guy and rarely does it even if I beg so I was really wondering where we were going that would cause him to go to such lengths.  When we showed up at Bertrand at Mr. A's it all made sense.  They have a dress code.  Button ups required and no open toed shoes are ever permitted so he really had no choice in the matter.  It's kind of an interesting set up because it's on the top floor of an office building.  You don't feel like you are going to a restaurant until the elevator doors open at the top. 
They don't call it fine dining for nothing.  From the minute you walk in they treat you like kind of a big deal.  We were greeted politely and led to our table by a man in a suite and tie who held the door open for us, pulled out my chair and laid the cloth napkin in my lap.  Being the country bumpkin that I am I didn't realize what he was doing until he said, "For your lap."   Once seated our waitress rattled off a long list of specials half of which I could not remember once she walked away.  I was impressed that she can even say half the words most of which I had no idea what they were let alone recite it all from memory.  She brought us our wine selection and poured just a little bit in MJ's glass before patiently stepping back and waiting for him to taste it and give his approval.  I'm curious to know if you are really allowed to say no.  Can you say you don't like it and would like to try a different bottle.  Then, what if you don't like that one?  Is it just a formality to pretend you have a choice when in reality all bottles will end up on your tab anyway? I am happy with $2 wine from Walmart so there is no chance I'll ever reject a $30 something bottle of wine.  I don't know how these things work.    
At a nice restaurant you are the star and servers stalk you, but in a good way.  They are most definitely watching you even if you can't see them doing it.  You don't even get a chance to pour your second glass of wine before they are doing it for you and there is no begging for more bread.  It just shows up.  One person seated us, another took our order, another brought us our entree's and yet another refilled our water glasses never letting it go below half.  They are an army ready to leap into service so that the minute you look like you might need something they are right there.  The only way to make them stop is to stop eating or drinking but you won't do that since that's what you came for.  They were so attentive that I don't even feel bad when our waitress offered to take our picture.  Twice, because the sun was causing too much back light the first time.  You don't have to give up your first born to get a dessert menu or the check either.  They don't rush you, and yet when you are ready to wrap it up it's right there and the service is definitely reflected in the cost of your steak. 

The food was good too.  It better be right?  I got filet Mignon and MJ went for half filet and half short rib.  Our dessert was like a giant Twix bar but better.  Sitting outside was AMAZING.  The weather was perfect for it and I actually felt kind of bad for the people sitting inside because they were really missing out on the weather and the view because they don't put pull up the sunshades on the giant wall of windows inside until after the sun sets.

Fine dining is funny.  There is always that awkward moment where the amount of times your water glass has been refilled borders on embarrassing and someone is picking up the garnish that fell off your entree plate and scraping your crumbs off the table with their fingers where you kind of feel weird that someone is serving you so astutely.  It's also fun though because it's nice to be catered to and get the star treatment every now and then.  I'm just a little bit of a restaurant snob.  My Applebee's days are done.  I need some ambiance when I dine out.  The VIP five star treatment is not a necessity but it sure is nice every now and then.  Thanks to the husband for such a sweet date. Neither one of us had ever been there before and now I want to go back sometime to experience it at night. 

3.25.2015

They Hate Us

Is it still a thing to be annoyed by couples that sit on the same side of the booth?  I stumbled across this on some person's random Facebook page.


Dear weird couple that sits on the same side of the booth.  Do you not realize that it's not a bar it's a table and thus there are two sides of the table to sit on?  Are you that joined at the hip and co dependent that you cannot bear to sit a few feet apart for an entire meal?  Do you realize how annoying it is?  When you sit across from each other you can talk and look each other in the eye.  You can actually see your partner and that is much more romantic then craning your neck to talk to each other side by side.  This same sider seating is very annoying and creepy.  Just the sight of it drives people insane.  It's as if you are desperate to proclaim to the world that you are that in love that you must sit next to each other. 
-Source, unknown/anonymous. 

Sitting on the same side since 2008
"They hate us you know,"  I said to MJ one time when we were sitting next to each other at a restaurant.  He had no idea it was even a thing to be hated for until I told him that a lot of people seem to have a problem with couples who choose to sit next to each other instead of across from each other.

We are that weird couple who sits on the same side of the booth.  I am the instigator and he allows it.  He slides into one side and I side into the same side right beside him.  There is no insidious purpose behind it.  We are not desperate to proclaim that we are so in love.  It's just a preference and one of many choices that one might encounter when dining out.  Table or booth?  Bar or Dining room?  Straw or no straw? Dessert or no Dessert?  You get the idea.  You go in you sit, someone takes your order and you eat.  It all plays out the same regardless of where anybody sits.

We are not sucking face.  We are not feeling each other up.  There might be some hand holding while we wait for our food and a few cheek kisses here and there but it's not excessive in any way so I don't really see how that is anyone's business but ours anyways.

When the food comes I have easy access for snagging a bite off of his plate and I enjoy the intimacy of having our own little private dinner.  Yes, in a public restaurant.  And I do not find it at all difficult to hold a conversation when we are next to each other.  I glance over to my left or my right and bam, there he is.  No neck craning involved.  We talk and laugh just as well as we would across from one another. 

Call me weird, but I just like being next to him.   Even at home I want to be right next to him if we are watching TV or when we go to bed.  Lest you think I am totally smothering him; I do give him his space.  We are not co dependent.  My husband travels for work every year and I do not fall apart without him.  We do our own thing.  I go out with my friends.  He participates in extra curricular activities and hangs out with his friends.  At home we are free to retreat to two separate living spaces and do our own thing.  We are not joined at the hip. I just like sitting next to him.

It's not my problem if this bothers people.  The only time I can recall being annoyed by this behavior is when I was in a miserable relationship or when I was single and sad about it.  My negative reaction to same siders had less to do with the couple and more to do with my own personal issues.  It just doesn't really seem like a big deal to me.  Certainly not something to be that annoyed by and I didn't even know "same sider" was a thing until I read that post.

How do you feel about same siders?  Do it, hate it or don't care?

3.16.2015

That Daily Grind

About four weeks ago things at work started to get really, really busy as they do every year at this time.  I know it's coming but when it hits it REALLY hits hard and I end up stressed out and wiped out every time.  I work frantically and furiously from the moment my butt hits my ergonomic chair at 8am to the minute I leave at 5pm. I barely have time to get up to go to the bathroom.  I sit there waiting for that elusive stopping point even though I know it's really bad for me because there is so much work to do.  There is no way I can do it all at once but I heap a ton of pressure on myself to get it done fast and not make any mistakes.  By the end of the day my brain is fried and I'm so annoyed by all the crap I've had to muck through.  On the drive home I am just outdone.  I don't even want to listen to the radio.  My neck and back are tight.  I have been sucked dry and now that I'm free I have nothing left to give what's left of my day.  By the time I get home I am emotionally drained and physically exhausted.  When my tired head hits the pillow at night I am so tired and so ready to go to sleep and then the nagging thoughts about what I didn't finish and what I need to remember to do the next day start creeping in creating a ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach because I am so overwhelmed.  When I get to work in the morning it feels like I never left and the days start blending into each other.  Am I really here again doing the same thing?  Get up, work, eat, sleep, repeat and live for the weekends to  break the never ending cycle of that daily grind.

This time of year always makes me reflect on my days as a claims adjuster.  Worst job ever.  I seriously don't know how I survived for so long doing a job that made me so miserable.  Two weeks later, things have started to slow down a bit at work.  Still crazy busy but not enough that I have work dreams anymore. Two weeks of that kind of stress is doable.  Especially considering a lot of it is self induced stress that I put on myself but as a claims adjuster I felt that pressure and that stress every single day and it was more than self induced.  There were people on my ass every day on the phones pressuring me to do the impossible yesterday and it never ended.  I dreaded work so much that it wasn't uncommon for me to cry on the drive there or cry on the way home.  It went on for years and years like that until I finally couldn't take it anymore and quit.  I didn't even have a job lined up.  I just knew that I could not go on like that and I didn't care what the consequences were.  I couldn't do it anymore.

I remember when I first started working where I do now I was so afraid of finding myself in the same position.  Every time things got busy I had flash backs to the horror of being a claims adjuster and how it felt to have a ridiculous amount of time sensitive work,  deal with angry people all day long and feel like the world was crashing down on my chest every day.  I was so afraid that this job would turn out to be like that job and I freaked out a little bit but every time I felt overwhelmed.  I'd start to panic but it always blew over.  It always became manageable.  Now I can tell myself to calm down, it will pass and that I won't wake up tomorrow living the nightmare of hating my job.  It took me a few years to get over the post traumatic stress or whatever you want to call it of being trapped and miserable at work for so many years.  Yes, my job seriously stresses me out for about a month every year and a handful of times in between but I am so grateful that it's only temporary and not the day to day norm.  Most of the time I go to work, put in my time and leave it there.  It doesn't keep me up at night and it doesn't make me feel like I want to end it all.  Nobody should ever feel like that about their job.  Life is just too short to be that unhappy at a place that you depend on for your livelihood where you have to spend a huge chunk of your life.  I really feel for people who hate their jobs.  Having lived it for longer than I should have, I know how debilitating that can be.  You can almost feel the years being taken off your life.  Not good.

As a claims adjuster my best day was five time worse then even my worst day now.  That's pretty bad.  I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that anymore so even though I still haven't figured out how to quit my job and spend my days sitting coffee shop, traveling the world, and staging Instagram pics I'll take it and consider myself lucky.
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