Saturday, December 31, 2011

DISASTER!

OK, maybe I'm being a little overly dramatic, but not everyone thinks so. Without going into a huge drawn-out story, just see for yourself.

My BABY!
Amazingly enough, it still works perfectly…but then it is an Apple product. I would expect nothing less. Folks I know who own an iPhone have been as horrified as I am, it's the folks who don't that just don't get it. They're like, "Gee, cracked your screen". Um YEAH!

So now I am at a crossroads. Do I repair the screen? Do I replace the phone? Do I upgrade the phone? I haven't decided yet. Since it still works, I am in no rush. I am off to work The Consumer Electronics Show next week and chances are there is a vendor there that handles just this sort of repair. So I may just go by their booth and say, "Hi, how bout a demo?"

If that doesn't work there is also an Apple Store in Las Vegas that I am fond of visiting. So I will just make an appointment at their Genius Bar and see what they tell me. I am due for an upgrade from AT&T, so the cost of replacing the screen works out to be the same as the cost of an upgrade to a new iPhone 4S. I was really hoping to wait to upgrade until the iPhone 5 came out…but all kinds of things could happen between now and then.

Heck, there could be a Zombie Apocalypse between now and then!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Eve

It's been a tradition for a few years now that Scott and Tod (my 2 BFF's) rotate hosting our Christmas Eve gathering at each of our houses. This year was my turn!

Just waiting for that tree to fall & crush the table
Here are a few shots from the evening. These are of the table-scape that I created for the evening. Nutcrackers, alcohol, and fire, what could possibly go wrong?

It really is all about the lighting. Never overpower the surroundings
Don't worry. I'll get to the food in a minute. I'm still looking at the table!

Bubbly glamour shot!
Ok, now food! After discussing it with Tod, I decided on Lasagna. Why? I've never made Lasagna in my entire life!!!!! I can't take credit for the recipe. I searched online for weeks till I finally decided on this one from one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Click over and check out her site once you are done here…it's amazing. My Lasagna may have been a half hour late, but it was really, really good! Look!

Bubbly, cheesy, meaty goodness!
Yum! Scott was in charge of providing the salad. Sorry Scotty, I didn't take any pictures of the salad. We were so ready to eat that it was gone before I thought to grab the camera. It was great tho, field greens, croutons, golden raisins, etc and 2 wonderful dressings to try. Tod was in charge of dessert. I asked him not to do anything too chocolatey cause I'm just not a fan of that. So instead…

Tart Heaven!
He found, or possibly made (I'll never tell which), these amazing fruit tarts. I would love to think he spent a day slicing fruit and assembling these. They were yummy and not too sweet or filling. He also brought some Baklava that was quite good, but I didn't sample that until the next day.

It was a lovely evening and such a delight to spend it with The Hubby and 2 such incredibly wonderful friends. It really is what the Holiday season is all about for me.

Deep Inside...

…I'm just a 6 year old kid on a bright sunny day with a large magnifying glass in my hand. Be it ants, Legos, or my Star Wars action figures…I loved blowing things up as a child. Once while filming an explosion for my student film, I used a little too much gasoline and upon striking the match next found myself flat on my back staring up at the sky watching plumes of smoke and flame rise above. Luckily the camera didn't fall over so there didn't need to be a retake. But, the resulting shockwave brought my mother running out of the house wondering why all her windows just rattled.

To my delight, there is now "an App for that". Action Movie FX, lets me blow up whatever I want without the need for gasoline and matches. It also means I don't have to wait for my eyebrows to grow back! So, I took aim at Christmas…

video

Take that you evil little trees! Muah Ha Ha Ha Ha <evil hand wringing>

It's pretty fun. The app come with 2 free effects, the missiles above and one that drops a rolling mini-van into the scene. I haven't played too much with that one yet, you need to be outside and it's too cold for that! You can also purchase other FX "in App" which will let you play with tornadoes, machine guns and mortar shells. Every 6 year olds dream!

I could do this all day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa's Little Helper

No, I don't mean the dog on The Simpsons. This is my dog! She was gracious enough to allow me to wrangle her into her Christmas collar and have a little photo session on Christmas Eve.

She loves the camera, such a Fashionista!
That's our little Molly. Isn't she adorable? Such a sweetie too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And It's Decorated

Three days after the "lighting" the tree is complete. The Hubby did a wonderful job and I helped by buying a lot more ornaments for him to hang. Ain't I a sweetie???

Yep, 15 feet of Christmas brick-a-brac
And here are some detail shots.

Ya gotta have heart!
Yes, there it is, "The Heart of the Tree". Call me sentimental, and not many people would, but I bought that ornament for The Hubby the first year we had Christmas together. I know, get out the hanky! <sniff sniff> If it ever were to break, I can't help but think that mine would too.

From below
It's a little daunting crawling under 15 feet of tree to get a shot like this. All I could imagine were the sheer number of glass shards I would be picking out of myself if something were to fall. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

And Now Ladies & Gentlemen...

…I present to you, Abigail Church!

You might remember a few months back when I was talking about having to fit into something very tight? Well here she is!

video

My friend Tod and I performed at an AIDS Benefit in Altoona, PA. It was Abigail's first time ever on stage. She was supposed to preform a couple of years ago at a benefit at The Lodge, but the "Blood Clot" Incident prevented that. So Abigail finally go her chance to shine in PA.

Tod, and his alter ego, Jillian Howard then joined Abigail to perform a duet.

video


And then it was Abigail onstage again to round out the night.

video

Hopefully she will get a chance to perform locally and you all can come out to see her…and tip her profusely.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Have Tree!

I thought for a moment it wasn't gonna happen this year, but it did. Christmas came to Sanctuary! It's not done yet, but it's lit.

and it's LARGE!
Yep, 15 feet of Christmas Tree, right here in our living room. I gotta hand it to The Hubby on this one. He found it, he cut it down and he lit it. I placed the star on top, but only because I'm the tall one.

Big thanks to Emily and her truck!!! Without her we never would have gotten this thing to the house.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lime…Sublime!

Here is my second favorite restaurant in San Francisco…Lime! It's very loungey in it's atmosphere and the menu is comprised of small plates. All the better to sample many things!


I know, it looks rather empty, but this was a Wednesday night. Not a big night out for San Fran folks. My coworkers and I traveled out to The Castro are to enjoy this place. It was festively decorated for the Holiday's.



I don't have pictures of the food…sorry. But I was so excited to eat it that I didn't take the time to photograph it. Firstly I ordered us a plate of their Deviled Eggs for the table. They are not to be missed and rival the ones that my mother makes. I then ordered the Gnocchi, which comes out a lot like tater tots on a bed of peas and onions…DELISH! I then ordered the tiny grilled cheese sandwiches which come with a Tomato Soup dipping sauce. It's comfort food on a tiny plate. Both of my coworkers ordered the mini cheeseburgers and one also sampled the Chicken Satay.

Honestly, I haven't encountered a bad dish on the menu here. Not something that can be said of many restaurants.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Stinking Rose


Here it is, my #1 Favorite Restaurant in San Francisco. The Stinking Rose.


Here,  it's all about Garlic! I can't even begin to imagine the sheer amount of garlic this restaurant uses on a daily basis. All I know if that for 3 days after eating a meal here, you reek of it! To help with that, they bring a sinful appetizer to the table. It is made of slow-roasted garlic, olive oil, spices and a tiny bit of anchovy.


This concoction spreads onto the bread like soft butter. It's so yummy, that you almost want to spoil your dinner just to eat a pan full of this. They also provide a delicious Pesto on the table.


Mix that with the roasted garlic and it is pure heaven! My favorite dish here is the ravioli.


It is stuffed with garlic and served with a cream sauce and cilantro. I love how colorful it is. So, if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to check this place out.  You won't be sorry…but the stray Vampire might be.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Attack of the Killer Mantis!

Ok, so it's not a movie on SyFy…it was on my back door!

KILLER!

See it staring me down? I swear the thing was easily 10 inches long.


Scarey! I'm surprised I escaped with my life!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Off-The-Cuff Cooking: Garlic!

I hope everyone survived the Holiday. Not just the eating, but the horrific shopping there after. I myself, did not partake of the shopping, only the eating.

Dinner at Mom's was wonderful this year. The stuffing was perfect, nice and moist the way I like it. I made sure to bring home lots of left-overs. They're all gone now. But on to the cooking! This year, it was my job to bring a light appetizer to Thanksgiving Dinner. Mom didn't want everyone to fill up on my treats and then not be hungry for dinner.

I agonized over this for quite some time. I wanted to do something with pumpkin, but I also didn't want it to be the sweet pumpkin that everyone was expecting for as a pie for dessert. So I decided on a savory pumpkin idea. One decision down! Now I had to figure out how to present it. Here I journeyed without the aid of a recipe, or any logical thought what so ever.

I mixed my pumpkin puree with Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic, and Lemon Zest. I don't have any actual measurements to provide you for this. I just "Dashed and Shook" till I thought it looked like the right amount. After all of this, it was still mixing up rather thin and watery. So I added about a cup of Sour Cream to the mixture to give it a tang and thicken it up.

My choice for the "Vessel of conveyance" were Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. They make a nice crust without over powering what you put on top of them. I refrigerated the pumpkin mixture to give it a chance to rest while I got the crescent rolls ready. I spread them out in a 13x9 rimmed pan. I squeezed together all of the seams and the spread my pumpkin mixture on top. Into a 350 degree over they went for about 20 minutes.

The day before, I had discovered a box of freshly harvested garlic in our kitchen at work with a sign which read, "Please find me a good home". Well, I couldn't think of any better home than mine for a few bulbs of fresh garlic, so I grabbed about 5 of them. Once home I grabbed 2 of bulbs, slit the tops of them off to expose the pungent cloves below, drizzled on some Olive Oil and then roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes. I can't tell you how wonderful my house smelled!

So, once my treats came out of the oven, were cooled, and then cut into bite-sized pieces…I added a thin slice of roasted garlic to the top of each one. Of course, being who I am, I tried to match the size of the garlic slice to the size of the pumpkin treat slice. Here they are once they got to my Moms house.

Yummy Roasted Garlic & Savory Pumpkin Bites
They were quite popular. A few folks were wary of the garlic. Once I told them it was roasted garlic, those fears went right out the window. I had cut the treats to the perfect size to simply pop them in your mouth. Therefore, all of the flavors combine perfectly in your mouth. You're not just getting a bite of garlic or pumpkin. I'm still warming up the leftovers! Yummy!!!

The Hubby got in on the fresh garlic too. He has a version of roasted green beans that made perfect use of the spoils from work.

Fresh out of the oven and smelling wonderful!
He combines the fresh green beans with whole cloves of the garlic, olive oil, fresh red onion, salt, and pepper. Then they are roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. He stirs them every now and then as well. We served them with some stuffed chicken breasts and they were delicious! They made spectacular left-overs too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Craftaculosity: Baskets for Charity

Ask almost anyone I know and they will tell you that I am not the most charitable person to walk the face of the Earth. They wouldn't be lying either. I don't give money to the homeless, I refuse to donate canned goods, and I will never "Adopt-A-Family".  There are however a few causes I feel passionately about. I am a sucker for HIV/AIDS charities and I will always support the local Humane Society. My other passion is that supporting these causes doesn't have to come in the form of a check. I have chosen to use my many talents to help the organizations I choose to assist and in doing so have raised more money for these charities than I would ever have written a personal check for.

I've taken all of my favorite things (alcohol, shopping, and artistic arrangement/graphic design) and combined them in such a way that they make money for charities. I encourage everyone reading this blog to do the same. It's easy to write a measly check to an organization. Why not take a little time and combine what you love into something that can help the charity you love.

I make Cocktail Configuration Collaborations(Yep, that's what I'm calling them and I'm stickin with it!). The 2 most recent were for a Humane Society Benefit at our local Gay Bar. I assembled 2 pet themed baskets around 2 pet themed cocktails. Each basket contained everything (including the glassware) needed to create each cocktail. And if you didn't want to make that cocktail the recipient could have kept the glassware and booze and mixed whatever they wanted.

The Black Cat. Aren't those little ears precious?

The Love Birds. Look close the basket is made of newspaper (think about it)
I'm not going to post the recipes for these cocktails here since I didn't come up with them. But for a small outpouring of cash on my part (each basket maybe cost me $30 and Tod provided me the feathers and some furry fabric "Thanks Tod!") they were raffled to raise $300 bucks for the local Humane Society. I never would have written that check! 

So, with the Holiday's coming up and every charitable organization imaginable coming out of the woodwork to beg for your money, maybe it's time to think outside the checkbook as to what talents of yours can provide an even bigger return to your favorite charity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hawaii in My House

The Hubby is a miracle-worker where plants are concerned. I've never had the patience for gardening or growing anything. Heck, I couldn't even grow mint and that's technically a weed! So, a few years ago, I don't know what possessed me to bring plant clippings back from one of my business trips to Hawaii…but I did! 

This summer one of the plants did very well outside, producing all kinds of blooms and growing to a respectable 4ft height. It's "Brother" wasn't doing so well. He only made it to about 18 inches tall and we were resigned to the fact that we may never see blooms from him. He proved us wrong!


The Hubby moved the plant into the bedroom in order to winter it over, hoping to give it a chance to show us it's stuff next summer. Well who knew that our bedroom mimics the tropics of Hawaii? Once in the bedroom it thrived and just the other day produced it's first blooms. Poor thing must have no idea it's sitting in Maryland. I imagine that's going to be a rude awakening for the plant.


So, thanks to The Hubby we have a little bit of Hawaii in our bedroom. It's a good thing too, I know I'll never be traveling back to the actual location. It's just not worth the travel time…if you ask me!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NY NY It's a Hell of a…Sink?

For the past 3 days I have been in The Big Apple for work. Nothing exciting to report in regards to the trip…it was a one day affair, "Set it up, tear it down" sort of thing. What was rather nice is the hotel I was staying in. The Hotel Gansevoort Park Avenue (yes, you have to specify, because there are 2 of them. I went to the wrong one first. It's in the Meatpacking District and also very nice and a lot closer to all of the stuff I wanted to do while I was there, but I'm not bitter…much) is an amazing boutique hotel.



"Boutique", that's a fashionable way of saying the rooms are spectacularly decorated, but pretty darn small and a tiny 2 ounce bottle of Rum is gonna cost you $10. (But I needz my rum!)

Of course it also means you are treated to a certain level of opulence. Here is what my (small) room looked like.

Don't be fooled, I could barely walk between the chair and the bed.
You also tend to get a nice selection of toiletries. No Bath & Bodyworks stuff here!

Not to mention how delightfully they are displayed.
On to the sink…(I didn't forget the title of the post)


TOTALLY OUT OF PROPORTION! I couldn't comfortably walk around my room, but I could fit both of my legs into the sink (go on, try wiping that visual image out of your head). What is up with that? I mean, that could be a baby coffin for all I know! Despite being that huge, it was still possible to splash water out of it while rinsing your face.

It's a true testament to the fact that the designer didn't "live" in the space before submitting it. No one needs a sink that large! Just wasted space…they could have put in a smaller sink and thereby given the bedroom more space. Why does no one consult me on such matters? The world (or at least this hotel) would be a better place if they did!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cafe Tu Tu Tango

I was recently in Orlando, FL for work and had the opportunity to eat at my favorite restaurant there…and drag my coworkers along with me. Cafe Tu Tu Tango is nestled in between all of the tourist traps on International Drive in Orlando. I was sure that it too was a chain of 100's of restaurants all over the country, but NO! It is a one of a kind gem, just the sort of restaurants I enjoy finding.

Yes, it's all bright colors!
The thing that makes Cafe Tu Tu Tango amazing isn't just the food. They bring in local artists who not only sell their completed wares, but create them right there. The night we were there 2 painters we at their easels and a jewelry designer was in the house. In addition, every piece of art in the restaurant is for sale. I saw some amazing pottery I would have loved to get if I'd had a way to get it home safely. Eating and shopping, 2 of my favorite past-times under one roof!

The food is  best described as Tapas. It's small plates, but is not your usual Spanish Tapas. In addition to the regular menu (which I highly suggest you peruse) the chef creates weekly specials that are out of this world delicious.

My dinner, I forgot to take a pic of my dessert.
I had the Southwest Chicken Flat Bread and the Pork Medallions. One of my coworkers got the short ribs and another got the Black Bean Soup, which I have had and can tell you is out of this world amazing. She liked it so much she ordered a second cup! For dessert I got the Cheesecake Pops. They take incredibly rich cheesecake, cut it into triangles and dip it in chocolate, then chill it and stick it on a lollipop stick. Every bite is a cold lesson in decadence.

So, if you find yourself in Orlando having a Disney or Universal lobotomy. Take the time to stray from the parks and seek out this little gem of a restaurant. They don't take reservations, but I requested "Preferred Seating" through OpenTable and the 5 of us were seated within 5 minutes of arriving at the restaurant.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Sir-Mix-A-Lush: The Poison Apple

The Halloween Party may have been a bust, but the Official Party Cocktail was not! I had to drink something while I agonized over canceling the party…didn't I?

I give you…The Poisoned Apple! I'd be lying if I told you the inspiration didn't come from my new favorite TV show Once Upon a Time.

On The Rocks. Creepy apple, huh?

I love how the apple "Bleeds" into the drink
It's really simple to make. The garnish is the hardest part and best if prepared a day early. I found some VERY firm Gala Apples at the grocery store. Using my mandolin I sliced them VERY thinly making sure to preserve the apple shape in the slices. I laid the slices evenly in a container I could seal and fit in my fridge and then covered them in pomegranate juice (VERY RED). Into the fridge they went for a day. The next day I drained off most of the juice, leaving just a little in the bottom for the apples to "drink up.

Now for the cocktail itself…

The Poisoned Apple (On The Rocks Version)
          2oz   Absolut Orient Apple Vodka
          2oz   Spiced Apple Cider
                   Ginger Ale

          Fill a Rocks Glass with ice and pour in the vodka and apple cider. 
          Top with ginger ale and stir.
          Garnish with one of "Poisoned" apples by sliding it down the edge 
          of the glass.

The Poisoned Apple (Up Version)
          Same ingredients

          Chill a martini glass. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka
          and the apple cider. Shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass
          Garnish by floating the "Poisoned" apple on top. Top off the 
          cocktail with ginger ale. This really makes the apple "bleed".

Now if you don't have any of the Oriental Apple Vodka, first I would ask, "Why the hell don't you?" and then I would suggest using unflavored vodka and increasing the spiced cider by and ounce or so. Also, if you can't find spiced apple cider, you can spice your own. I had to. I bought regular everyday apple cider (we have some wonderful orchards around here where I can get it fresh) and you can get mulling spices in tea bag form. I simply dunked the tea bags into the cider jug for a day and BAM! spiced apple cider! Who knew it could be so easy?

The cocktail itself (even without the "Poisoned" apple) is a delightful fall sipper. I plan to also try it as a warm drink by heating up the apple cider and then adding the vodka to it. YUM!!!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think of it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Halloween Party That Wasn't

Many of you may know that much of the East Coast was blanketed with snow over Halloween weekend. We didn't miss out on it here in Maryland, that's for sure! My Halloween Party (Dress the F*ck Up! was the theme) was scheduled for Saturday. 

Come Friday, once it seemed certain that we were going to get the snow they were calling for, I almost canceled it. Instead I opted for a "Wait and see" approach. Well, we woke up on Saturday to 5 inches of snow already on the ground and more on the way. So, I was forced to do something I have almost never done…send out a cancelation email. I think most people took it for granted that the party wasn't happening. I didn't want to risk anyone trying to get here in the snow. Also, the snow brought down one of the trees at the end of my street so it would have been more difficult to get here.

With the party canceled, The Hubby and I didn't want to waste our costumes. So Tod came over and picked us up in his Durango and we ventured out to The Lodge for their yearly Halloween event. No one does Halloween like the Gays! It's our High Holiday. It was fun, and I was surprised by the huge crowd of people who braved the weather and many fallen trees to get there.

Come Sunday, the snow was mostly gone and here I was, sitting at home with a house full of Party Food. So I called my folks and some other friends and had them over to eat. About 10 people showed up in costume…bless their hearts!

So here is the food spread from the evening. 

Ghoulish, No?

Aside from the usual chips and dips (yes, that is Salsa in the skull…BRAINS!), The Hubby made his Creepy Spider Cookies (Chow Mien Noodles covered in chocolate and butterscotch chips). There are Boogers on a Stick standing up in the glasses (Pretzel sticks dipped in colored Cheese Whiz). I also made my Frequently Requested Meatballs (Meatballs in an Alfredo/Sun-Dried Tomato sauce) and my Puke Dip (Ground Beef, Rotel Tomatoes, and Velveeta Cheese all melted up).

I had a few other ideas for the menu, but once the snow hit I scrapped them. They were a little more high maintenance and so now I'll just save them for next years party. Make sure you're on the guest list!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ok Married Couples

I am curious. How do you handle your finances. I don't need details. I certainly don't want actual figures. But I'm curious…as an unmarried gay male in a long term live-in relationship…how do you do it? Is everything split 50/50? Is there a joint account for bills? Is there a separate saving for home/vacation/fun?


For the longest time I've handled everything financial in regards to our relationship. That's changed now and we have different accounts. So I'm hoping you can give me some insight as to how you handle it.

Leave your experiences and tips/hints/tricks in the comments. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

Those words have been the prelude to so many wonderful stories(and a Broadway musical). It is my hope that they are not only the title of, but also the prelude to a wonderful story to be told on ABC television.
I think I may have found my next Halloween Costume
I have finally discovered my favorite show of the new television season.  Yes, there is an evil queen…every good story needs one. But there is also Snow White and Prince Charming, the Seven Dwarfs, Rumplestiltskin, and Jiminy Cricket!

All of these characters, thanks to an evil curse, have been trapped…stuck in time, in the town of Storybrooke, Maine to live here in our world where happy endings are a thing of fiction. The gaps are filled in for us via flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest where all of the characters we know and love existed. What I find most fascinating about even just the pilot episode is seeing where these characters fit into our "Real" world. Snow White is a teacher, Grumpy is the town bad boy and Jiminy Cricket?…a shrink, in human form of course.

Snow White and Prince Charming's child has been "saved" from the curse thanks to a magical tree stump that transported her to our world only seconds before the Evil Queen's wicked spell could come to fruition. She appears in our universe as an orphan named Emma Swan. Emma gave up her child Henry at birth to none other than The Evil Queen, now the mayor of Storybrooke.

If all of those tidbits aren't enough to get you interested in the story, I have one more to impart. Once Emma decides to stay in Storybrooke…time starts back up for the town. I gasped and cried, of course. I'm a sap when it comes to story telling and this show has nailed it!

I hope it can hold onto it's ratings long enough to at least be granted a second season. I think there is amazing potential here to tell a story we haven't seen before. Not one about the end of happy endings, but one that teaches us how to find them again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shibu-YEAH!

I've barely made it outside of my hotel this trip. Luckily, one night our account manager scheduled a client dinner over at The MGM Grand. We ate at Shibuya, a great asian-fusion place. I had to take my own arty shot...

See? Arty!
The menu here was mainly sushi, and if you've read by blog at all, you know how I feel about that. They also have a nice selection of warm dishes. I chose...

                     JIDORI CHICKEN 
                           Half Organic Chicken Breast & Thigh Skewers, Satsumaimo Croquettes, 
                           Shishito, Lemon Teriyaki


I don't know what was in those croquettes, but it was amazing! The Sauce was light and flovorful with just the right amount of twang. I did accidentally eat one of those skinny peppers, thinking it was a green bean, but my tummy survived it.

The most important part? Dessert!!! They have quite a wide selection on their dessert menu. Lot's of things you wouldn't expect in a Japanese reaturant. I decided on...

                     CALPICO PANNACOTTA
                           Vanilla Calpico Cream, Raspberry Yuzu Gelee, Raspberry Yuzu Jam Macaron

Not only does it sound delicious, I was completely unprepared for the presentation that was to be set in front of me. Out of all of the desserts my fellow diners and I sampled, mine was the most beautiful.

Awe & Wonder!!!
I'm not sure you can see it in the photo, but those berries are dusted with edible gold. How decadent is that? I felt like I was eating something right out of a Dr Seuss book.

I gotta say, one of the best perks of my job is getting to sample food like this all over the country. Be envious...be very, very envious :-)



Monday, October 10, 2011

Schweet! Suite

Ok, sometimes I complain about the amount of travel I have to do for my job. This time I could complain about a lot of things having to do with this trip, but one of them is not the room the client gave me at The Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. This, ladies and gentlemen...is my suite!

I call that The Porn Sofa. Imagine the possibilities!
This is the view as I came in the door. There is a great little nook in front of the smaller window where the desk I'm writing this post from is located.

What can I say? The Porn Sofa really dominates the room
This the view towards the bed and the HUGE picture window. I should also point out that if I could find a way to bring that curvy lamp behind The Porn Sofa home with me...I would!



The shower and vanity...nice, but wait for it!!!!!


BAM!!! The jacuzzi tub! I have been in it twice. It's delightful. I might just have to get one of these for my  house one day. The coolest thing is that I FIT IN IT! I can almost lay out flat and float!

Oh, I almost got too caught up in the interior. Here is my view!

The sign, and all of The Strip in the background!!!
It's not often that I get perks like this when I travel. Usually the client throws us in whatever hotel they happen to have comp rooms in. So when it does happen it's a special treat. A treat I am hoping to take full advantage of.

Gotta go...The Porn Sofa is giving me it's "Come hither" look!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yikes! I've Become Kim!!!

I haven't blogged in a while, and I'm sorry for that. I'm heading into the "Busy" season at work, and well...quite frankly, I haven't had much to say. I had prepared a post about the cool suite I have here at my hotel in Las Vegas, but that will have to wait.

Something has happened today that has made me very sad. Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple Computer, has died at age 56 from pancreatic cancer.


Now, I did know Mr. Jobs personally. But from 1983, I was a follower of his. When he started Apple Computer and the first Mac computers found their way into my classrooms, I was hooked. Imagine, a simple user interface that didn't require learning a programming language to operate!

Ever since, you could say I was an Apple Fan Boy. I would only purchase Apple products. I am forced to work with Microsoft PCs because of my job and it only serves to enforce my loyalty for what I consider to be the only true computing experience.

Many of my friends laugh at me. But, those same friends also enjoy their iPods and their iPhones. For me Mr. Jobs, and Apple, have created a "complete" experience. My phone interacts with my computer and my life in a seamless coalescence that I never dreamed possible all those years ago.

Steve Jobs had that vision. He had that spark and the drive to make it happen. When he stepped down as the CEO of Apple, I was worried. I knew something must be wrong in order for him to make such a decision. What I didn't realize is that he would be taken so quickly. I was looking forward to his next step, his next magic trick...his next, "Oh, and one more thing."

The world has lost a true visionary. No one can deny that his legacy will live on, a true homage to the man, who in more ways than one, changed the world.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Great Space Coaster!

Ok, I can't take credit for this one. My BFF Tod introduced this to me. I have been looking for the perfect coaster for quite a long time now. I have tried wood ones, stone ones, plastic ones, metal ones, and nothing worked. I always wound up with more condensation from the glass than the coaster could handle. That always led to a watery mess on my desk. So, I found this at Tod's house.

My coaster progression. Metal, stone, to felt and foam!
These are those pads you buy to slide heavy furniture on smooth floors. I found mine at Ace Hardware, but lots of places have them. It's really the perfect coaster.

They are firm, so they have no problem holding the glass. The felt soaks up all of the condensation on the glass. The foam base keeps my desk dry. Perfect!


My cocktails have never been happier, nor have I!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tis The Season

The new season of TV that is! All of my returning shows that I love are back. I watched Castle last night and loved it! Modern Family comes back this week and I'm still waiting for Happy Endings, Grey's, Private Practice and Fringe. Of course, Glee is back!

Oy! Dodge Ball…always turned into Smear The Queer for me!
I enjoyed the first episode of season 3. Sue Sylvester is back to her mean self and Blaine is now a student at McKinley High. Who could ask for anything more? I'm sure I could ask for a lot…but I'll wait for a few more episodes before I get Glitchy (Glee Bitchy, that is)

So, let's talk about the new shows that I am excited about this year. First up is Ringer starring the spectacular Sarah Michelle Geller. It's about time she returned to TV.

Twins, as only she can play them!
I'm really enjoying this show so far. It's only got 2 episodes under it's belt, but I'm hooked. This is truly turning out to be the first strictly suspense drama I have seen in a long time. I can't wait to see how they peel back the layers of this onion to reveal what is really going on at it's stinky, tear inducing core. SMG herself has matured into quite a fine young actress.

Because I fly so much and miss the days when flying was glamorous as opposed to what it's become today, I can't wait for the premiere of Pan Am.

I so would have wanted to be them back in the day.
Not only do I LOVE Christina Ricci, but the idea that getting on a plane was something people wanted to do at one point in time intrigues me. I've also watched some footage of real Pan Am stewardesses critiquing the show and if all they can find wrong is that the girls hair is too long (it had to be above the jaw line) then I think this is sure to be a hit.

This one has me a little concerned. I'm all for reboots…but these folks are screwing with my impressionable childhood here.

Farah, Jaclyn and Kate they are not!
I used to have to beg my mother to allow me to stay up past 9pm in order to watch the original Charlie's Angels. Thankfully, I will be downloading this version to watch, so I won't have to fight with my mother about it. After 2 horrible movies, I think this concept deserves a chance at a reboot. I'll be anxious to see what they do with it, but I won't be sticking around past 4 episodes if it sucks.

Lastly, and I'm sure I've forgotten some…not that I have a lot of room in my viewing schedule is Terra Nova.

I loves me some Sci-Fi TV
How could I not love this show. It's produced by Steven Spielberg, shot on location in Australia, and involves dinosaurs! Unfortunately, I think all of those points will figure largely in it's demise. Sci-Fi has never done well on network television. (Hello? V!!!) I mean that is why we have a cable network devoted to it…right? So out of all my picks for new viewing, I think this one has the least chance of making it to a second season…or maybe even completely through it's first!

Once the others premiere, I'll let you know what I think of them. Right now, I'm going to re-watch Glee. What are your plans for new viewing this fall? Let me know in the comments.