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1/30/10
Yay, my friend David is going to FL at the same time I am, so I'll have someone to ogle Francisco Cervelli with. Since we are both rec.arts.theatre.musicals alumni, we'll have lots of singing along to the Sirius radio to do, too.

I am going to try and time my drive down so I can eat at The Pirates' House in Savannah again. Their bread with honey butter was so good. Good enough to plan driving around.

Today's cooking project: roast chicken. I am a big fan of recipes that call for nothing more than putting the food into the oven and ignoring it for two hours.

1/29/10
It's almost Groundhog Day. I don't need a groundhog to tell me there'll be another six weeks of winter.

Tickets for Yankees Spring Training games aren't sold out. This is a sign. I am driving to Tampa. Just have to take off one more day from work to make it happen. It will be warm there.

1/28/10
I had a dream that I was driving in my car with two of my coworkers, and we were looking for a diner. So we were driving down rt 34, but then I remembered that the diner was closed, so we went on a wild goose chase to find the IHOP. We never made it, because I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. But I must have, eventually, because then I dreamed that I was on some kind of group trip around the world - something involving a five hour layover in Las Vegas before getting on the plane again for an 18 hour flight somewhere. And in the dream-Vegas, I was hanging out with this Asian kid I met on the plane, and we were comparing which casino rewards cards we had, so we knew where to hang out. I knew it was Vegas because of all the escalators and loads of walking, but we somehow ended up at the Trump Taj Mahal, which is in AC.

One more day of work, then a three-day weekend (when it is supposed to be cold and maybe snowy).

In honor of J.D. Salinger's passing, I watched Field of Dreams. And made cookies. Well, those were more in honor of my being hungry.

1//24/10
Football, schmootball - I don't care about either the Colts or the Saints, so I'll be watching the Superbowl for the commercials. Actually, I'll be at work for the Superbowl, so I probably won't get to see any of it.

Made a fantastic chicken salad - chopped up cooked chicken, sliced up apple and celery, handful of dried cranberries, some mayo and a splash of honey. Chilled. SO GOOD.

1/22/10
I could have sworn it was payday. I forgot that we get paid on the Friday before my weekend off, not before my weekend on. Oh well, just won't do any shopping today. Will veg out in front of the TV and watch the Food Network, which is back! Oh Rachel Ray, how I've missed your bubbly, alcoholic personality.

I was cleaning out my box of assorted paperwork, and I can't find my birth certificate or my vaccination record. I know I have them both somewhere (they're probably in the same mysterious "other box of assorted paperwork").

Huh, Arizona Fall League MVP Grant Desme of the Athletics (I was there when he got his award!) is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood. That just sounds like a weird statement, but if it scrawled across the bottom of my TV, it must be true.

Made a fantastic berry-creamcheese-pie today and fed it to perfect strangers (mom's coworkers) - no one has died yet from my cooking. Whoever came up with the idea of Phyllo Dough should be shot. That stuff is a pain in the ass to work with. Next time - fake crust. I love that Taste of Home magazine and cookbook. Everything is easy to make. And their website lists 87 recipes involving chicken breasts and bacon. Oh my.

I wonder how far it is to drive to Tampa. I have a five-day weekend coming up in March (six, if you count that I could come down with a cold the day before ;-) - and I *do* want to take a roadtrip in the Escape. Hrm. And it *is* Spring Training time, you know. And how nice would it be to leave here, where it'll be 20 degrees and probably snowing, and have it gradually get warmer and sunnier and not-snowing? I'll have to think about that.

1/21/10
After thinking it over, I withrew my application for the day shift/administration position. The boss called me in to say that they wanted to do a second interview with the corporate folks, and I told him that after reviewing the terms (day shift, no overtime), it didn't fit with my life at the moment. I do think it would be fascinating work, and work that I'm well suited for, but I don't want to work days or give up my three-day weekends or give up the overtime (the salary they offered was just a little more than I made last year including my OT). So I'm going to stay with where I'm at.

1/20/10
It's a car day. First the girl who's not buying the Sebring brought it back (because she can't afford it), then I got my new license plates (they start with a Z, I will never memorize them), and then my first invoice for the Escape came in the mail, so I'm going to set up the online payments. Whew.

Holy cow, the car's computer talks to the internet. The Ford website knows the mileage on my car. I am officially scared of technology.

According to The Joy of Cooking (1975 edition, which graces our kitchen), it is simple and delicious to prepare a roast suckling pig to serve to your guests. Start by removing the eyeballs. I will skip this one. I do not like to see my food in its natural, living form. Cut into slices and wrapped in plastic is fine by me.

1/17/10
Because I got up so early yesterday to go to the city, I fell asleep early last night. So I woke up at 5.30am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I did my laundry, took a shower, and went with Mom to the grocery store when it opened.

I've been cooking (easy stuff!) this week, and so far, no one has died or fallen ill. Today I am making brisket with cranberry topping, because it has my favorite directions: mix everything together, slather it on top of the meat, put in the oven. Can't beat that. I'm also making sesame noodles, because you can't have Jewish food without Chinese food, and they are my favorite appetizer (after garlic wontons, which I am not attempting to make).

later on 1/16/10
It was a longer trip than I'd expected, but my wallet is back. Minus the cash, but everything else was there (even my gift cards!). I went to the bank this morning and replaced my debit card, then took the train to the city. But when I got to the pizza place, they told me the guy who found it wasn't due in til 6pm, and they didn't know if he had the wallet with him or locked it up somewhere. They gave me his number, so I left a message for him to call back. Since it was only noon, I called Dad and asked if I could veg out on his couch, use his computer, watch his TV, and drink his soda. Oddly enough, he said yes, so I went downtown and did just that. And when I went back uptown at 6pm, my wallet saviour was there. I gave him $20 for watching it and thanked him over and over.

I don't care about the cash that was in it - it was $20 or so - I'm just glad I don't have to replace my license and health insurance cards and all that.

1/16/10
Someone found it! There was a message on the answering machine at home (which was apparently left last night, but I didn't check it when I got home) from AAA that someone found my wallet at a pizza place - right where I got out of the cab! Heading to the bank now to get my debit card replaced, and then I'll hop the train into the city and go get it - hopefully everything is still in it!!

later on 1/15/10
The pasta tasting menu at Babbo was delicious - Missy and I were in a food coma. So good. I would write more about it, but I'm still annoyed at what happened after dinner.

So afterwards, we took a cab to Missy's favorite bar for a drink, and then split a cab back to where I parked the car (and she was going to take the cab to her apartment). But I got to the parking garage, went to get my wallet to get my credit card, and it was gone. My wallet. And I had it in the cab because I took out money to give Missy for the cab ride. So I called her immediately, she searched the cab with no luck, I retraced my steps down 14th Street with no luck, she came back to rescue my car, I canceled my credit card, and now I have to go through the hassle of remembering what else I had in my wallet. I know I had my license, my Visa card, my bank card, my nursing license and CPR card, my gift cards to Macy's and Old Navy, my Metrocard with like $10 on it, my insurance and prescription cards, my discount cards for BJ's and the grocery store, and luckily only about $20 in cash.

Ugh.

The DMV is open tomorrow from 8am til noon, and the bank is open from 9am til 1pm. I guess I'm going to bed right now.

1/15/10
The interview went well - I should know more by next week where things stand. More details if I get it!

1/13/10
If you text "HAITI" to 90999, $10 will be donated to the Red Cross - it'll show up on your cellfone bill. Most of the CNA's I work with are from Haiti - none of them have been able to get in touch with anyone since the earthquake since the power and phones are out. It's going to be a rough little while at work.

The Yankees donated $500K to the rescue efforts, which makes my donation look tiny, but every little bit helps.

(It's Derek's sister getting married, not Derek. Whew.)

1/12/10
I am shocked - SHOCKED - that Mark MacGuire admitted to steroid use. Shocked because this means Jose Canseco was right, and I just can't accept that.

Interview on Thursday for the other position at work.

1/10/10
Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly are engaged? This could just be a rumor... breathe, breathe...

Ooh - thanks to Aunt Barbara, who taped the Iron Chef America Super Challenge thing (that we were unable to watch because CableVision isn't running the Food Network right now), I am in love with Mario Batali again. He just looks like he's having a great time. Can't stand Bobby Flay still, too arrogant.

And I am super excited - tix went on sale today (well, technically tomorrow, but since it's 3am here and 9am in Paris, I can say, "today") for Billy Budd at the Paris Opera. So my belated birthday gift to Mom is purchased - two tix to the first performance on April 24th. I wonder how dressed up the French get! And if that's an "opening night" like we'd have here. Hrm.

later on 1/8/10
Well, they turned out tasting more like biscuits than cookies, but they aren't bad. I think because the ingredients are pretty much bacon, flour, egg, heavy cream and pepper. That's it. I remember seeing a recipe somewhere for bacon-chocolate-maple cream cupcakes. I'll have to find that one.

Rest of the exciting day off? Got my nails done, went to see Up in the Air to ogle George Clooney again, and then watched Angels and Demons on DVD (to ogle Ewan MacGregor, of course), and all of the extras (which weren't all that great, for a two-DVD set, I thought there'd be more extras).

According to Sirius radio's Phoenix weather station, it will be in the lower 70's all weekend. I will be shivering in the mid 20's here all weekend. At least I'll be at work for most of it, so I won't actually have to be IN the cold.

There's a non-staff-nurse position opening up at work, which is something I'd actually be interested in doing. More computers, less - well, different - aggrivation. But it would mean working day shift Monday-Friday, and reporting to the Administrator instead of the Director of Nursing (who I love working for). I'm not sure I want to do that, and I'm not sure I'd want to do it for less than a year and then pack up and move west. That wouldn't really be fair to anyone. So I'm wondering if I should apply. I should probably talk to my boss on Monday about it.

1/8/10
Happy birthday Mom - and Elvis! I am making enchiladas today, in honor of Chili's not having any real Mexican food. And in honor of them being so easy to make. Also making bacon-butter cookies. The dough is refrigerating as we speak, so I'll know later how they turn out.

1/7/10
Had to be at work at the crack of 8.30am for a training class. I never thought I'd make it. But I managed to survive. When it was time to make a fake patient for the computer-based admissions, I wrote up Derek Jeter as my patient, complete with fake eyeball and rectal bleed. And an allergy to Red Sox fans. Forgive me, Derek.

I folded down the back seats in the Escape, and it's true - I could live in there. I love it.

I thought that Chili's restaurant might serve something resembling Mexican food, since I was craving chimichangas, but I was sorely disappointed. The closest they come to Mexican is quesadillas. But at least they had bacon in them.

The 2009 Yankees World Series DVD set has the option to listen to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman's radio broadcasts instead of the Fox announcers. Thank GOD! Joe Buck puts me to sleep.

1/6/10
We are in new car heaven - Mom bought the Ford Focus she was ogling. It's red and sparkly (and also comes with the six months free Sirius radio). Yay for supporting the economy!

And now I'm off to bring the Sebring down to my coworker in Englishtown so she can try it out and get it looked at by a mechanic. Whee.

1/5/10
Ooh. Underneath the layer of dark chocolate-covered caramels (the ones sprinkled in sea salt) is a layer of MILK chocolate-covered ones! I am in heaven.

A cold heaven. It's freezing.

1/4/10
Atlantic City was a lot of fun - despite the cold. We have this arctic wind that blew through, and shows no sign of leaving. I love driving the Escape - and I think I will definitely sign up to keep the Sirius radio. I found the Best of 2009 edition of Prairie Home Companion, and they were playing all of the "I hate snow" songs, so it was perfect for the ride down (And I found the music and lyrics here!). I kept my winter coat on for most of the time there - even going from the elevator to the casino was freezing.

While nothing in AC is actually free, my hotel room was comped, and both my late lunch and dinner were on the house, too - lunch at Showboat thanks to a coupon for 1/2 off the buffet (and I had enough comp dollars to cover the rest), and dinner at Bally's, thanks to a dinner certificate from the blackjack pit boss, which was appreciated. I managed to fill up on desserts at dinner - because I could. I spent enough time at the blackjack table to wind up paying for everything in the end, tho, but had a lot of fun doing it.

I walked around the Pier shops, too - on the top level they have a fake beach, with sand and Adirondack chairs - I sat there to watch the sunset. There were maybe five people on the Boardwalk - and two crazy people walking across the real beach to the ocean. Must be midwesterners.

The hotel room was a mixed bag. I mean, it was beautifully decorated, but had no tub (and I had brought my smelliest Lush bath bombe to use!), plus the TV wasn't working, so the maintainance guy had to come up to fix it (they had no other rooms to transfer to, they said). Other than that, the bed was perfectly comfortable with lots of squishy pillows.

So I have no idea why - after falling asleep at 10pm in the middle of the Jets game - I couldn't fall back asleep when I woke up at 3am. Rather than toss and turn all night, I checked out and drove home. No traffic at all in the middle of the night, and I was home in no time.

And I realized on the way home that I left the alarm clock set for 9am - oops.

OK, back to bed now - gotta work later.

1/2/10
I know this is shocking, but I bought a cookbook. And I made salmon and rice for dinner. And so far, no one has died as a result.

Busy planning the June trip to Arizona - I have it all planned on paper, just have to do the actual clicking and buying parts. Can't wait to be where it's warm.

And soon it'll be time to start thinking about what to do in Paris - tix for Billy Budd go on sale on Monday. And I have a sketched out list of places to go and things to see, but nothing firm. Have to check on what places are closed on what days etc.

I've been spending the start of the new year much like any other weekend - two trips to the bookstore, indulging my usual insomnia by staying up til 5am reading, and tomorrow - a trip to AC to hopefully win my fortune (and if not, soak in the gigantic tub in my comped room).

1/1/10
Wait! I'm still writing 2008 on my checks!

So Mom joined the new car club and went to put a deposit down on a new Ford Focus. Cousin Matt is going to buy the Saturn (they already picked it up!) and my coworker is going to buy the Sebring. New year - new cars. Can't beat that.

I got home from work with literally minutes to spare before the ball dropped. And now, the TV is off again.

Next year I hope to be celebrating somewhere much warmer. Without snow on the ground. They said that the weekend will have lousy weather as far south as Orlando. Somewhere in Arizona, a weatherman is smiling as he waves his hand over Phoenix, saying, "the cold weather will skip us completely." Sigh.

-catherine

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