Friday, July 30, 2010

wan sweet inspiration.

as if that's news.  heh.

yesterday at work, while finishing up the prep work for the day's supply of goodies (we typically have about fifteen different [rotating] flavors available on a daily basis), the boss asked me what it was that i brought every morning in my starbucks cup.

of course, it's my grande iced nonfat upside-down caramel macchiato.

she laughed at my enormous sweet tooth - she always chuckles when i leave for the day with at least one cupcake in hand.  you'd think i'd be sick of 'em by now, having worked there for over a month now.  but nope - i just can't get enough of that delicious, moist (that word is okay ONLY when used to describe luscious dessert) chocolate cake.

anyway, with one batch of chocolate cupcakes still to frost, she decided to experiment and create a new flavor based on my drink of choice.  she poked holes in the tops of the cupcakes and filled them with sweetened whipped cream, frosted the top with coffee-flavored whipped cream, gave it a swirl of caramel and sprinkled chocolate bits on top.  voila!


i was the lucky taste-tester (the fact that i'm not yet sick of cupcakes probably had something to do with it), and although the coffee flavor was really subtle, the whole combo was really, really good.

and i sold the shit outta those things.  with no sign on the board that described it, customer after customer inquired about the scrumptious-looking mystery flavor.  i rattled off a full description of the tasty treat, and they ate that shit up.  literally.

i sure hope she makes them again.  mmmm.

oh, before i forget - so, i've come across all sorts of great baby stuff that's either brand new or maybe used once or twice.  there's a set of babylegs, a beco butterfly carrier,  a cute little plastic battery-operated chandelier.  i'm kind of debating doing a "blog sale," kind of like the ones done by a fellow blogger who a bunch of us all know and love.  heh.

anyway, is that a super duper lame idea?  i could put it all out at a yard sale, but i just think some of you might appreciate these items more than some randoms shopping for shit that costs them $.25 or something.

gimme a "yay" or a "nay" in a comment, wouldja?  and do you love how i base my decisions on responses from my internet friends?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

the end of operation downsize, phase I

phew, we the hub and his folks finally got the thimble completely empty and cleaned out.  they did the majority of the work while i hung out with the bean at the new pad.  heh. 

so yesterday, i scheduled the final walk-through with the apartment manager, who's a super sweet lady, and decided to bring her a little treat. 


not to mention, we were missing a key, and i was hoping that cupcakes would help us avoid a replacement key fee.  heh.


i decided to take a quick look at the empty apartment before i called her up to do business, and as i walked through the sad, lonely rooms, i found myself getting a little sad over our departure.  silly, right?  but despite the close quarters and the noisy neighbors and everything else that comes with apartment living, we had a lot of really good times in here.  last time the place looked like this, operation downsize had just begun.


when she came up, i told her about my weird mixed feelings and she said that just about every tenant she'd ever done a final walk-thru with felt the same way.  i guess i'm not as sappy as i thought.  or i am, but everyone else is too.  haha!  and i was even more surprised to find that the hub had similar feelings - and he hated the thimble even more than i (thought i) did! 

oh!  and i finally got my haircut.  yay!  i'd had to reschedule it from last week, since it was really bad timing with all of the moving and stuff, and i was excited to chop some of my mane off.  when it's long enough to put into a ponytail, it's too long.

before:


and after:


wow, i look tired and old in the supposedly new-and-improved-me shot.  dang.  but my hair looks fabulous, thanks to my dear pal rochelle.  if you're in the san gabriel valley-ish area and need a good cut at a super reasonable price, i HIGHLY recommend her. 

heh.  i haven't plugged rochelle in ages.  but she really is wonderful, and i love her.  she's become a friend in the three years i've been going to her, and she's such a sweetheart as well as a fantastic stylist.  tell her i sent ya.

best part of my day (aside from my sweet new 'do)?  coming home and finding this:

the bean starfishes like no other (thanks to thatgirl for introducing me to that term).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

phototasting, take two!

remember a few months ago, when i participated in a food blogging workshop that some friends were putting on?

they're doing another one this saturday!  woo-hoo!  and this time, it's at a new venue - cube in l.a.  i know that my pal weezermonkey (click on that link for a fun camera strap giveaway!) loves this place.  and i'm excited to attend again - sort of in her place, since she's out of town this weekend - and act as assistant to the three instructors.  i got to know two of them since the last go-round, and they're so cool that i'm honored that they'll let me participate in some fashion.

if you're interested in going to learn some cool food photography tips (and get to nibble on some yummy tidbits), clear your calendar for saturday from 2:00 to 5:00, and reserve your spot here.  they sold out last time, so make sure you snag your spot ASAP!

you, too, could take your skillz from this:

to this:


come on.  you know you wanna.  

see you there!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

i could have DIED!

okay, so there are other important things i need to blog about, but this one is serious, dang it.

you already know how much i love my new job.  like, tons and tons.  and one of the fun perks is that the boss often buys us breakfast or lunch, which is fabulous, right?  food is definitely the fast track to my heart.  

this morning, one of the guys handed me a warm, foil-wrapped package.  i said "ooh, what's this?" thinking it was a breakfast burrito, and he said "it's a surprise!" grinned, and took off on some errands.  i usually set it aside till later, because the last thing i want is to have a mouth full of grub and then a customer walks in.  awkward.  but my co-worker, rock-ell2, said "it's a breakfast sandwich from corner bakery.  try to eat it while the eggs are still warm."  

so i did.  i took a few bites, munched happily, and on about the fourth bite, i chomped down on something really hard.  i thought maybe it was a bone of some sort (which was really stupid, considering there wasn't any meat in there), but i spit everything out into my hand and when i riffled through to figure out what it was, this is what i found:

 

surprise, indeed.  i flipped out.  "OHMYGODIFOUNDAFREAKINGRAZORINMYSANDWICH!" i shrieked to rock-ell2.  i washed it off, we looked at it for a few seconds, and then i showed it to the boss.  she immediately picked up the phone to call corner bakery.  

and apparently, they were less than sympathetic.  when she explained the situation to the manager on duty, he calmly said "oh, it must be from our tomato dicer."  and he said it with no hesitation - as if it had happened before.  mothereffer.  she asked him what he planned to do about it, and all she got was "oh, well, we'll just have to throw those eggs out."

all i could think of was, what if it'd been a little kid who might not have known to spit it out and swallowed it instead?  that shit could've torn up their insides and killed somebody!  as we were talking about it, one of our regular customers walked in with her little girl.  the boss filled her in on what had happened, and she flipped the fuck out (almost more than i did):  "we go there for breakfast every sunday!  we're never going there again.  they need to be shut down!"  

boss still had a sack full of about 3 or 4 more sandwiches, and she packed 'em up and hopped in the car to take them back and demand a full refund.  after she left, the customer called back and suggested that we report the incident to the health department.  i decided to call as soon as my shift ended, but no more than an hour later, i answered a phone call from our health inspector.  turns out she'd taken matters into her own hands and called them herself.  heh.  he asked me a few questions and then informed me that he was sending a representative over to talk to us.

about 15 minutes later, he showed up.  and as we started talking, boss walked in.  she'd spoken to the manager (or, more accurately, bitched his ass out in front of a restaurant full of customers), who had replaced the blade for the defective tomato dicer.  she asked him if it was just the one blade missing, and he pulled the thing out of the trash, showed it to her, and said "oh, no, there's a whole row missing."  

um, there were about twelve freaking blades per row on there.  what. the. fuck.

supposedly, he'd checked the dicer first thing that morning, and it was fine.  so there are eleven other people out there who might have swallowed a freaking razor blade.  awesome.

and he still didn't understand why she was so pissed off at him.  "ma'am, we threw the eggs out and sent the person who handled it home for the day.  those are already extreme measures.  what else do you want me to do?"

unbelievable.  so, for my local peeps out there, a warning:  DO NOT EAT AT CORNER BAKERY ON LAKE AVENUE IN PASADENA.  

i'm thankful that i didn't get hurt, but man, i'm really effing pissed off.  not that it happened - yeah, it was bad and super negligent on their part, but the worst of it is that manager's cavalier attitude towards it all.  even the health inspector said that it was a big deal - although he couldn't shut 'em down.  all he could do was go over there and give them a warning or some lame shit like that.

with their corporate office in texas, it's too late to call and tell them how much that store manager sucks.  but you better believe i'm on the phone first thing tomorrow.  hmph.

Monday, July 26, 2010

exhausted

going to work was a "break."

we've been living on take-out for three days and counting.

target runs are now a chore.

even after hours of packing and moving, the thimble still isn't completely empty.

mollydog has been kicking it alone there because we're not quite ready to bring her over yet.

my back (and the hub's) is KILLING me.

i got stuck with the task of packing up the rest of the teen's room. whew, what a disaster.

the time warner guy was an idiot. hence, my blogging via iPhone. grrrrr.

did I mention the ticket i got as we left the beach last week? yeah.

and now I'm sitting at kaiser waiting to be seen because I don't feel 100%, as evidenced by the slight temperature I apparently have.

but on the flip side, we've been living in the partially furnished new house now since friday! it still hasn't sunk in that we're homeowners. still pretty surreal.

and man, it's pretty freaking awesome.

Friday, July 23, 2010

we interrupt the road trip recaps to bring you this breaking news:

our quest for a new casa may finally come to a triumphant end today!

the loan funded yesterday, and if all goes well, we'll close in a few hours. good vibes/prayers/thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

oh, and i'm getting a haircut today too. i'm willing to bet money that i'll walk out with my posh 'do (you know - the "pob", circa oh, about 2007), but i suppose that's not a bad thing. i always felt cute with that cut anyway.

and, the teen and i finally took the bean to see "toy story 3" this week. i'm proud to report that she sat quietly in my lap through the whole movie, kept the 3D glasses on until the last few minutes, and happily munched on her popcorn. mind you, i cried like a baby at the end of the film, but that's neither here nor there.

happy friday indeed!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

best independence day ever

we kicked off 4th of july with a visit to the place where president lincoln was assassinated.


a little morbid?  maybe.  but the teen, who'd learned about ford's theater in school, really wanted to see it.  none of us were aware that it was still a working theater, though.


the bean, kicking it in her cheapy $20 stroller that the hub scooped up at CVS, couldn't care less.  heh.


the tour began with a stop in the slightly cheesetastic museum downstairs.


and then it was time to line up and troop upstairs to the theater.


the hallways were lined with a timeline of that fateful day - a play-by-play of the seemingly ordinary day in two lives.


the presidential box, marked with patriotic decor and a framed portrait of george washington (apparently, back then, when you thought of the POTUS, ol' george was who came to mind first for most folks).  obviously, it's not open to the public for viewing or for performances.


the tour and museum are actually run by the state parks department.  as we sat in the small theater, a parks employee stood onstage and delivered in a bored monotone a very thorough speech detailing the events of that day.  it was actually very interesting, although i guess after rattling through that monologue a few hundred times, i'd be totally over it, too.

the private home where president lincoln was taken after being shot (and where he died not long after) was just across the street.  it, too, is open to the public for viewing, but there was a crazy line to get in once we got out of the theater.  our tour ticket gave us access anytime that day until it closed at 5:15, but sadly, we never made it back.  oh, well, next time.

with just one day to soak in as much of D.C. as we could, we scanned this sign and tried to decide where to go next.


actually, it wasn't a tough choice.


ever wonder what the presidential christmas tree looks like during the rest of the year?  yeah, me either.  but here it is anyway.


 the bean remained indifferent to our surroundings.


despite the blazing heat, we soldiered on and made our way down the long, long path towards the lincoln memorial.  i learned the hard way that my super cute sandals were not great for walking.  blech.  but it was our only chance to see this stuff, so i just followed along at a rather glacial pace.  we passed other memorials and lots of signs about the upcoming fireworks show along the way.


the girls were pretty excited to realize that they could dangle their feet in the pools.


after they'd cooled down somewhat, we strapped the bean back into the stroller and continued on.  and finally we were there.


more "forrest gump" flashbacks as i stood here:


i always wonder why folks can't follow simple instructions.


after we were done, we found ourselves walking through george washington university as we trudged the fourteen blocks back to the hotel.  oh mah gah, i wanted to kill myself.


not wanting to waste any time, we continued our tour from the air-conditioned comfort of our full-size rental car, heading into nearby georgetown.  somehow, we always manage to find our way to the fun shopping areas.  there was something for everyone here, although we didn't stop to shop:


another quick drive-through of a cool, historic university:


being a big holiday, access to a handful of places was either limited or not available.  here, the pentagon memorial:


by then, it was time to find our hotel for the night and check in.


we picked up our picnic dinner and found a fantastic spot on the lawn between the washington memorial and the white house.


the teen wasn't thrilled after a long, long day of walking in the sun.


the bean was pretty cheerful, though.


but once we got some good grub in our bellies, the teen cheered up considerably.  of course, the live concert at the white house by the killers helped brighten her mood, too.  heh.  we could hear it perfectly from where we were sitting.


she even let us take some pictures.


our timing was damn near perfect.  it got dark pretty quickly as the lawn filled up with more and more people, and right at 9:00 the fireworks show started.


i'm pretty sure that was the best fireworks show i've ever seen.  not just for the 4th of july, but like, EVER.  it was fantastic, and even the bean loved it.  "it's not scary, mom," she said.  ha!

and then it was absolute madness as the gazillion people who'd come out to watch the pyrotechnic spectacular all tried to get out at the very same time.  mad. ness.


miraculously, we were able to maneuver our way through the crowds, get to the parking garage, have our car brought up, and wind our way through the insanely packed roads and return to our hotel without too much delay.  i swear, the gods were with us that night.  

and boy, were those beds super comfy.  it was heavenly to crawl between the cool sheets and pass the eff out.
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