eee1313: (Cheeky monkey!)
First off, a happy belated birthday to my birthday twin, [livejournal.com profile] angelchicken. I hope you're well, and I miss you, and sometime we need to get together.

Second, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. I had a great birthday weekend. I took Friday off from work, the Scientist pulled a half day, and then we took off for Michigan with VEE. We stopped at Lemon Creek Winery, where after a tasting the three of us had an impromptu picnic in their gazebo. Then off to Round Barn as they have their walnut creme in stock finally -- I've only been waiting three years for them to make this. Delicious! Then we headed up into central Michigan where we stopped at St. Julian, which now charges for tastings. Blasphemy! This might mean that the wine fest this year won't be free. Boooo. Oh well. Then on to my parents' house, where Mom and Dad were totally amazed to see the changes in VEE. The last time they saw her was in March when she wasn't walking on her own or talking much, so to see her pointing out different animals and making their sounds and running up and down the hall and doing ABCs was like seeing a whole new kid.

On Saturday we went to the Binder Park Zoo, which was expensive but fun. They have a beautiful outdoor savannah area for the giraffes, zebras, ostrich, antelope, and a few other species. We got to feed the giraffes (yes, there are pictures of Veronica feeding a giraffe) and I got licked by one. Happy birthday to ME! The zoo was a nice time and Mom and Dad enjoyed spending the time with their granddaughter, so it was very well worth it. That night we watched part of the Blackhawks/Kings game -- GO HAWKS! -- and there was wonderful German chocolate cake. Then we stayed up WAAAAAAAAY too late watching Skyfall, which my parents have been asking to see for months now. And then the next day we came home and my in-laws had pie and tiny red velvet cupcakes for my birthday, which VEE enjoyed very much (as did I). So it was just a really nice weekend all around.

And now this week at work is going to be crazy because I'm filling in for a coworker who's having surgery and will be out for at least two days. Plus there's the first-ever-for-this-company sexual harassment and diversity education program tomorrow. Welcome to the 21st century! Heh.
eee1313: (Angel - drinking time)
In case anyone cares, the baby went to sleep easy as pie last night. Hooray! (Because I'm sure you all want to read about my daughter's sleep habits. Heh.)

Yesterday was good. Did the wine festival, which was fun. It was an all-you-can-drink wine fest with about sixty tables, all of which had at least six bottles at them. I didn't drink nearly as much as I normally do at these events, which was fine by me. I didn't want to feel icky for the rest of the day/all day today. We ordered a few bottles, as did my sister-in-law. Then we came home and the Scientist took a nap. Unfortunately during this time I realized that we have no food in our house. I was going to make mac & cheese for VEE because she loves it and will always eat it, but then I realized we have about one tablespoon of butter. Not enough for that. But that IS enough for a grilled cheese sandwich... except we have no bread. We didn't even have enough milk for her. UGH. And I couldn't go out because my car was boxed in (long story, don't ask). So in the end, my sister-in-law ran to McDonald's and got VEE a Happy Meal with milk and apple slices and a cheeseburger. She ate all of the former and only a quarter of the latter. Parental FAIL. Oh well. So needless to say, we're going grocery shopping today.

In movie news, the Scientist went to see Now You See Me with his siblings last night while VEE and I crashed out. He liked it. Earlier this week he and I went to see The Fast and the Furious 6, which was totally redonkulous and a rollicking good time. If you even remotely enjoy action movies, this is worth the money. Not as good as Fast 5, but still a super-fun time.

Oh, and if anyone's interested in seeing photos from our zoo trips (including animatronic dinosaurs), you can find my Flickr set here.
eee1313: (Wine)
Candy Corn Oreos have been procured. I got the last bag in the store. They're ... okay. Not quite as candy corn-y as I was hoping. Plus, my bag is all goofy. About 1/3 of the cookies were sandwiched backwards, with one cookie's logo facing out and the other facing in. I got a box of misfits. But that's okay. I've tried them, my curiosity is satisfied, I can move on with life. ;)

This weekend has been nice. Yesterday we went out to Starved Rock State Park for the Vintage Illinois wine festival. We didn't go last year due to me being pregnant and all. This year was fun. SOOOOO much more crowded than it used to be. But there were more wineries there than before, and new ones we've never tried, so it was worth it. At some point we'll have to get our wine blog back up and running. That all went downhill once I got knocked up, and we just haven't updated it since the baby was born. We should get on that again.

Work improved greatly as the week went on. Tuesday and Wednesday I wanted to punch people in the throat, but by Friday all was well. So that's something.

I just finished Skyping with my sister and her kids (guest appearance by my brother-in-law). It was really nice to see them. I think we're going to make it a weekly thing if we can.

Okay, that's all I've got. Hope you're all doing well!
eee1313: (Warehouse 13)
As sad as I an to have now seen the last episode ever of EUREKA, I am very happy with the series finale. What a good, fun show. Also, it deserves more credit for showing that smart people can be fun, smart people can be sexy, and smart people can be of any gender or race. That was probably the most diverse show on TV.

On the bright side, WAREHOUSE 13 starts next week, yay!

I think this weekend the Scientist still start making his own wine. I hope he enjoys doing it.

I think this is the first year that no one on my flist went to SDCC. Just an observation.

Almost done reading CHAMBER OF SECRETS.

That's all I've got.
eee1313: (NBX - Jack & Zero)
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



From our wine rack to you, everyone have a wonderful, fun, spooky, and safe Halloween today!

Tonight we'll be dropping by the Haunted Hearse House down the street from us. In news of people building haunted houses in their own yards, I'd like to point you to this awesome one in Ann Arbor, Michigan (warning: sound). Man, I wish I lived near this. The guy who does it used to be an Imagineer at Disney Land, and his sculptures and props are unbelievable. (Check out the awesome vortex tunnel here.) I especially like that this guy focuses on the creepy, not the gory, so that kids can enjoy the haunted house. AND he hires the local high school drama club to help out and collects donations for charity. Too awesome.
eee1313: (Wine)
...the wine blog has been updated. Reviews of lots of different types of wine, as well as our unexpected tour of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trial.
eee1313: (Addams Family - Wednesday's spats)
Everyone should go look at these amazing photos. (Link via Gapers Block.) They're a collection of photos from the Great Depression through WW2, but what's phenomenal about these are that they're in color. When have you seen color photos from the Great Depression? Probably never. So not only are these pretty rare, they're also touching and beautiful and amazingly shot. Seriously, some of these photo compositions are gorgeous. [livejournal.com profile] spicedrum, you should love these, #58 specifically. There are some great real-life Rosie the Riveter-esque photos near the end, too (#54 & #66).

The other thing I love about these photos is checking out all the colors in the clothing. My mom is always bitching that in period dramas, the costume designers always seem to dress the people in drab fabric. Mom's always like "These people didn't have anything; if they had money for fabric, do you think they'd buy brown and gray? No. They'd pick something colorful and cheery, because that's one of the only times they'd have something bright in their lives." And these pictures prove my mom's right. Just look at the patterns and colors of the cotton farmers' clothing in #9, or all the calico going on in #20. I love it.

***


What else is up? Oh, I've been updating/redesigning the wine blog, if any of you are interested. It's been a while since we've updated in any way, shape, or form. We need to get back in the swing of things with that one. September has two wine festivals coming up, so that will keep us busy.

***


My wrist is hurting again. It comes and goes lately. It was bad last week, fine most of this week, and it started hurting again last night. I really need to go to a doctor about this. I'm 99% sure it's Carpal Tunnel. Booooooooo. But [livejournal.com profile] angelchicken showed me her scars over the weekend, so at least I know that if surgery will be an option someday, it's less invasive than before. In the meantime, I have a super-sexxxay powder blue wrist brace.

***


I have no idea what I'm up to this weekend. None of the movies coming out hold any interest to me. The Scientist works all day tomorrow, so I'll probably stay in and do chores. Maybe I can tackle the great closet cleanout. I dunno... Man, I'm boring! Heh.
eee1313: (Wine)
It was a pretty good weekend for me. Saturday was the debacle that was Sex and the City 2. That one's going down as the worst film of the year. FOR REAL. That night after the Scientist got home, [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean stuck around and hung out with us for a while. Her family was off watching the Blackhawks game, which she wasn't interested in. So it was nice to chill with her for a while.

Sunday the Scientist and I met up with his parents, and the four of us went to the Rock & Gem show out at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. His dad goes every year, and this is my second year attending. I really enjoy looking at all of the sparkly gems, and dinosaur fossils (mastodons!), and carved rocks, and beads, and... To sum up, it's the ultimate experience for someone who has "racoon syndrome," or in other words get distracted by shiny things. I ended up purchasing two loose gems, London blue topaz, and having them set as earrings. They're HUGE for studs (3½ carats each), but I don't care because they're pretty. Then the Scientist bought me a ring with red, yellow, and green amber in it, which matches the earrings he bought me on our cruise back in October. And then he also bought me a silver pendant with an amethyst in it, as well as a giant honkin' pendant with either purple topaz or purple quartz in it. And then he surprised me with a tanzanite, which will match the tanzanite earrings he bought when we were in the Bahamas. He's the best, I tell ya. I was sneaky in my own right and bought him an owl statuette, carved out of fossilized ivory. (It's not illegal to sell fossilized ivory, just "fresh" ivory.)

We spent Sunday night at his parents' house for dinner, and we watched a few episodes of Dollhouse, which his father had received for his birthday. I have to say, the idea behind that show still creeps me out. For all the talk about the "dolls" freely choosing to get their minds wiped and becoming "operatives," I'm not seeing that. From what the first aired episode shows, Caroline/Echo is rather forced into becoming a doll. And the idea that she gets her mind wiped so that she can do "missions" or whatever is one thing... until sex and/or murder comes into play. That just doesn't sit right with me. Maybe it gets better, but honestly, I just don't like the concept. Blech.

Sunday we had the Scientist's sister J and [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean come over. We planned a trip to Utica to hit up the wineries one last time before [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean moves to NYC. Of course, as soon as the girls arrived it started to DOWNPOUR. The weather forecast had called for a 40% chance of "showers" with a chance of a thunderstorm. Bull. It was a solid, torrential downpour for at least three hours. We eventually gave up on waiting for the storm to let up and made a run for the car (with beach towels over our heads for protection). Then we drove for who knows how long through the storm and out to Utica. However, once we were there things started to clear up. We visited Illinois River Winery and August Hill Winery, as well as a little shop outside of town that had tastings. It was a good time. The drive home was blissfully free of rain. Hooray! Then fava went home, and J stuck around and we watched Daybreakers, which continues to be awesome.

And that was my weekend.
eee1313: (Pancake orgy)
So let's see, what to tell you? This weekend was busy busy busy. Friday night was Iron Man 2 with the Scientist, and then crashing out after geeking with [livejournal.com profile] aj about the movie via text message. On Saturday my sister-in-law J came over for more Felicity watching. J has taken a new job where she works the swing shift, and for the past month or more she's worked on Saturdays for overtime. So this was the first time in quite a while that we've watched, and we're almost done with season two. We're three episodes from finishing, and I can't wait until J sees spoiler, if you care. )

Then Saturday night when the Scientist got home from work, he and I headed into the city. We were off to celebrate [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean's birthday. YAY!!! We took 290 in, and despite all the construction we made it in enough time to pick up [livejournal.com profile] aj on the way. The three of us headed up to Wicker Park/Bucktown to Thai Lagoon, which had great food and even better service. [livejournal.com profile] fishdoctorpost and [livejournal.com profile] gingrale showed up next, and then fava herself. We opened two bottles of wine and then [livejournal.com profile] mei_x arrived. It was quite the dinner feast, and for pretty cheap, too! Then people at another table got up to leave, and they offered us what was left in their two bottles of wine, as they couldn't finish it. So we essentially got a free bottle. Whoo! From there, we all hiked over to North/Milwaukee/Damen, which is RIDICULOUSLY CROWDED. Totally hipster/fratboy central. Bleh. But we got a table at Bin and all had wine and cheese or desserts, and there was more talking and laughing and generally a great time. It really was a great birthday celebration.

Yesterday morning we woke up totally exhausted, but got up, dressed, and headed back to the city with the Scientist's parents and J. We took my mother-in-law to brunch at Zed 451, which is one of her favorite restaurants. (It's also the restaurant where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner, although that one has since closed and the only one left is downtown.) The brunch was phenomenal, with food like pears poached in wine, crabcakes eggs benedict, cajun maple bacon, cinnamon rolls, cold brussel spout salad with a buttermilk sauce, and chicken and waffles. I'd never had chicken and waffles before, and OMG is it good. Though I think Zed does theirs differently than most, as they have buffalo chicken breasts on the waffles instead of just fried chicken. But either way, delicious. The drive back home was, unfortunately, horrific. It took well over an hour with the stupid construction. Man, I hate IDOT.

The Scientist and I ended up crashing out and napping once we got home. I called my mom, but she wasn't home so I left a rambling message for her. Then last night we went back to the Scientist's parents' house for our annual Sunday night dinner. So that's about it. This morning I woke up exhausted, but my cat was lying on top of me and was kneading my cheek with her paw. Awwww. She's never sweet like that with me, only the Scientist. So that was a good start to a Monday morning.
eee1313: (Strictly Ballroom)
The rest of my weekend went pretty well. Saturday we did the wine thing in Oswego, which was nice. There was a chef on hand making pears poached in wine with chocolate ganache, and it was KILLER. And I got to try a new wine they had created for Valentine's Day called "Amore." It smelled like chocolate, and tasted like chocolate port. Yum! When we got home, the Scientist gave me a bottle of it as a Valentine's gift. It seems he had called ahead to put a bottle on reserve for me. Sneaky!

So then we kind of sat around like "What are we gonna do until dinner?" And I decided to give the Scientist his present a day early as well. I bought him a Wii. I know, I know. But it's a twofold gift. I've been putting money aside so that I could get him something nice to celebrate when he got a full-time job. And it just so happened to coincide with Valentine's Day, so I was like "Screw it, he's getting the Wii." So his brother G came over to help us set it up, and soon after he was playing games on it. So the two of us did that for a little while, and then went to Toscana's for dinner. The food there was excellent, especially our appetizer of spinach and rice balls flash-fried and served with sundried tomato aioli. YUM. And we got so much food that we took the leftovers home, and that's lunch today. Hooray! Then we skipped out seeing Wolfman in order to go home and play more Wii. That was a wise decision, I think.

Sunday I woke up to find he'd not only made me breakfast, but he'd snuck out and bought me a dozen roses. Awwww. Then he had to go to a meeting at the theater. Boooo. I did some cleaning while he was gone and chatted with [livejournal.com profile] xica_s for the first time in forever. Then he came home and more Wii was played. He did boxing for a good twenty minutes (and says he's feeling it in his arms today), and then I discovered I'm actually decent at golf. Who knew? Not me! I then did some grocery shopping, talked to my parents, and then the Scientist and I updated the wine blog. From there we headed over to his parents' house, caught the last half of Survivors on BBC America, played Skip-Bo with J, and had dinner. It was a good day.

And now I'm back at work, so that's that.

***


In other news, it seems that good old RPattz has created a media firestorm over his "I'm allergic to vaginas" comment in Details. I will say, if this is a well-calculated move on his part to alienate the rabid fans then good job, kid. But I still love is this comment from a CNN reader:

"Little does this pretentious little dork know, most vagina (the grown-up variety that isn't 13 and brainwashed by media) is likely allergic to him."

Bwa ha ha ha ha! Priceless.
eee1313: (Firefly - Kaylee shiny)
Yesterday I stayed home from work. I had this prearranged with my boss, simply because a) there is no work for me to do at work, and b) I had a package coming for the Scientist for Valentine's Day. I'm actually really glad I stayed home, because the package never came, and when I checked the UPS website it said it was delivered. I don't think so! So I called UPS, and it seems they delivered it to #8 instead of #18. Great. So I went over to my neighbor's house and had to explain who I was (we've never met before), and that he had my box and I wanted it back. So if I hadn't stayed home and been crazy-paranoid about the box not arriving, my neighbor might have taken it to the UPS store and had it shipped back. Phew!

My sister-in-law J came over and we chatted and watched one more episode of Felicity. Once we get through enough episodes I'll post another bunch of recaps.

Then the Scientist got home from work, and we headed over to Binny's for a Pacific Northwest Region wine tasting. $10 a pop, and all the wine you could drink. However, the place was CRAZY CROWDED. So we tried all 50 (not each, we'd get a sample and split it), and in the end our favorite wine was the cheapest (on sale for $12). There was one wine that smelled -- I kid you not -- like feet and baby diapers. Another guy said it smelled like a gym locker room. DISGUSTING! But our $12 cheapo bottle should be good.

After that we went to the movies. It was between Wolfman and Percy Jackson & the Olympians. We went with the latter, since it started sooner. Both of us actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Yes, it's a kids' movie, but it's definitely skewed towards older kids. I fully enjoyed it. And then we had a conversation on the ride home trying to remember which Greek god equals which Roman god. I'm really rusty on that. My eighth grade English teacher would be disappointed.

Later today we're heading out to Oswego for a chocolate & wine tasting at the Fox Valley Winery, so that should be fun. And then tonight we're putting a gift certificate to use for dinner. There's an ice sculpture festival in Downer's Grove, so we're going to walk around and look at all of that after dinner. And I have no idea what we're doing tomorrow.

Anyway, I hope you all are having nice weekends. Enjoy Presidents' Day off (if you get it off), and have a wonderful Valentine's Day with the people you love, be it a significant other, your friends, your family, your pet, whatever.
eee1313: (Aaaaaaaaah!)
My sister-in-law loaned me her copy of Twilight for the second time for me to watch. (The first time we tried, the DVD had scratches.) I'm sorry to everyone who loves it, but you should probably stop reading right now, because this movie is KILLING ME. Honest to God, I think I've called [livejournal.com profile] deeablo about four times while watching this, either in peals of laughter or groaning in pain. Really, Bella? Really, Edward? REALLY, Stephanie Meyers? Just... REALLY??????????

Please, someone tell me that "You better hang on tight, spider monkey" is a direct quote from the book. Because otherwise I'm going to have to track down the screenwriter and simultaneously bitchslap her and thank her for the LOLs.

There just isn't enough wine in the world to get through this movie in one take.
eee1313: (Wine)
For the past few weeks, the Scientist and I have been working on a project together. Seeing as how we've been to so many wineries over the last few months, and seeing as how we have several cases of wine to work our way through, we decided to start a blog to catalog everything. If you're interested, you can check it out at Wining Aloud.
eee1313: (Default)
This summer cold has kicked my butt eight ways to Sunday. Seriously, it's been bad. Last night I was so tired, I didn't even watch Project Runway. I know, right? Bah. When the Scientist got home from work last night, he found me passed out in bed and covered in Vick's Vap-O-Rub. That stuff may stink, but it sure helps. I woke up and he gave me some decongestant, some pill to make me sleep (boy, did I ever!), a cold compress for my forehead, and a warm compress for my cheek where it was swollen from sinus pain. Man, he is the best.

Thankfully, today I'm feeling much better. I'm still mildly congested, but my body is working through it. So I should be up and running at full speed tomorrow, just in time for the weekend. Yay! I think that tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean may come over to watch Point Break with me. (Hey, it's the only Swayze movie I own, people. And it's awesome.) Then on Sunday, the Scientist and I are hitting up the Vintage Illinois wine festival out at Starved Rock State Park. It's the biggest wine fest in the state, and there will be wineries from all over Illinois coming to this. We're just planning to hit up the ones from Southern Illinois, as we can't get to those easily. This will be the last fling of wine season, and I'm looking forward to it.

What else? Last night I watched The Vampire Diaries while on the phone with [livejournal.com profile] deeablo. Man, that show is BORING when Ian Somerhalder is offscreen. Seriously, he makes that show. What amazes me is that Paul Wesley (formerly Wasilewski -- I still miss misspelling that name) was so charismatic as Lucas Luthor on Smallville, and was fun to watch in Fallen, and supposedly quite good during his stint on Everwood as well. Unfortunately, this show just sucks all the life right out of him. As for the lead girl... I just don't like her. I really find this show just so dull when it's about Stefan and Elena. Just bring on Ian Somerhalder already, and let him be an asshole. At least he's fun to watch!
eee1313: (Katamari - how I roll)
I haven't updated in a while, so I'll do a quick recap of what I've been up to.

On Saturday the Scientist worked, and I stayed home just in case my parents stopped by on their way to a wedding. Stupidly, though, I forgot that the wedding was on Sunday, not Saturday. So I could have gone out, but didn't. When the Scientist got home we made a big fancy dinner at home, which was nice. Then we watched a terrible, terrible movie called Immortal. I had seen it at Target and thought it looked interesting. We were smart and rented, not purchased, this movie. It made absolutely no sense. It's French sci-fi. I don't know what it is about France, but if it's not Luc Besson, then they just can't do sci-fi. This was a two-bottle-of-wine movie, people. Bad, but not Movie Dictator worthy.

Sunday I had planned to surprise the Scientist with something to do, so without telling him what was up we did a mini wine tour. First we drove up to Carpentersville to the Village Vintner, who had some very good wines. We ended up buying an amazingly buttery, oaky Chardonnay unlike any I've ever had before. Very tasty. Then we drove down to the historic (aka oldsy-timesy) Long Grove Village. They were doing an Irish festival there, which meant parking was a bitch, but eventually we found somewhere to park and made our way through the crowd to the Glunz Family Winery. Most of their stuff was just okay, but their Glogg was phenomenal. Needless to say, we bought a bottle to hoard for the winter. I was debating on taking the Scientist to the Valentino Vineyards, which was just around the corner, but the tasting at Glunz took far longer than I expected due to the crowds, and the place was closing by the time we got back to the car. Oh well, that place is pricey, anyway.

From there we headed back home, at which point we went to Buca di Beppo for our friend Tammy's surprise 30th birthday party. A bunch of people were there, and Tammy was totally shocked by everyone who showed up. (Seeing as how I got together with her and our mutual girlfriends on Friday for "her birthday party," she was really surprised. Nothing like having a party to fake a person out when it comes to the REAL party.) We all ate tons of food, and it was delicious.

Yesterday we woke up early to help my friend move furniture at the last minute. Hey, what's Labor Day without some manual labor, right? After that we went home, cleaned up, and chilled for a while. Then we headed downtown to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean and [livejournal.com profile] aj. We hung out at a coffee shop for a few hours and played Sorry and Uno. I won Sorry, which meant I was destined to lose at Uno. After that we went to the Scientist's parents' house for dinner, and that's about it.

Right now I'm just ticking down the hours till the weekend, when the Scientist and I will head up to Michigan for the Wine & Harvest Festival. Yay!
eee1313: (Robbie - ring-a-ding-ding)
This was a nice weekend. Friday night I honestly don't remember what I did. I think the Scientist and I just hung out around the house, watched Eureka, etc.

On Saturday he went to work, and [livejournal.com profile] fishdoctorpost came out to visit. I was like "I don't know what we'll do until the Scientist gets home." It ended up that we talked for something like three hours, nonstop. Heh. Then he came home, we introduced her to The Middleman and ate salsa, and then hung out some more. [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean was running late, so we had dinner without her. Bison burgers = mmmmm! Then the Scientist had to go back to work at the theater (back to school party for the college kids) around 11, so he took fishdoctorpost back to the train.

Yesterday we woke up early (especially for him, as he only got four hours of sleep). We picked up his sister J and fava, and then headed down to the Peoria area for a wine trip. First we stopped at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, which was very pretty and has a lovely outdoor area complete with a stage for bands. From there, we drove through crazy rainstorms on our way to Kickapoo Creek Winery outside of Peoria. We had tried their chocolate strawberry wine at the Oswego wine fest earlier this year and all loved it. It tastes like chocolate-covered strawberries thrown in a blender. Amazing. Anyway, it turns out they were having a grape stomping competition that we didn't know about (not on the website), and we had to pay $5 a head to get in. However, this covered all of our tastings, so we more than made up for it. Then we drove through Peoria, through a town called Eureka (which is not even close to the Eureka on TV), and headed north to Utica. August Hill Winery is there, and the Scientist and I went there over Valentine's Day. Unfortunately we got there five minutes before closing, so we couldn't try anything, but we did buy a few bottles we liked when we were there before. Then we came home, dropped off fava, had dinner at his parents' house, and came home and collapsed into bed by 9:00. LAME. But it felt good to sleep.
eee1313: (Iron Giant)
Last night the Scientist and I got on the phone with T-Mobile and combined our accounts onto one. Not only are we now saving money, but all in-provider calls are free. I can now chat with him and [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean for free! That will cut down my used minutes by half, at least. Depending on how the new plan works out, we might upgrade to newer MyFaves-ready phones and switch over to that plan. Then, depending on if in-provider calls are STILL free with that plan, we can both pick five people to call for free and essentially cut down our used minutes even more. So if things work according to plan, we might be able to chop about $50 off our monthly phone bills.

After dealing with that, we went out to have dinner. A new tiny Italian bistro opened near us, and I've been wondering for a while if it's any good. Then we got a coupon in the mail and decided to check it out. For $25 we got an appetizer, salad, an entree each, two glasses of wine, and dessert to share. Not a bad deal at all. The food was pretty good, and we both think we'll head back. (Though I could have used less Andrae Bocelli over the speakers.) And I ate roasted garlic, which is oh so yummy. Normally I try to limit my garlic intake, because for some reason garlic clings to me for days after eating it. It's gross, and it upsets me because I love garlic but it makes me so stinky that I try not to eat it. However, I figured there was only one day left at work, and the Scientist won't get home from work until midnight, so I won't be bothering too many people with my garlic smell. Yay, garlic!

From there we went back home and watched The Iron Giant and split a bottle of wine. I knew that movie would make me cry, and it did. Such a good movie! Oh, Giant, you are Superman! Afterwards I was at that point where I just needed to cry more, though it wouldn't all come out. But then Serenity was on SciFi, and it was just at the point where the ship got all smashed and then the Imminent Death happened, and I cried some more. Stupid too much wine. Stupid emotions. Stupid Giant and dead character whom I loved.

But despite my wet face and puffy red eyes, I had a really nice evening.
eee1313: (Wedding ducks)
This weekend marked our one-year wedding anniversary. The Scientist had to work Friday night and Saturday during the day, but Saturday night when he got home we took off for Chicago. One of our first dates was going to Greek Islands restaurant in Greektown, so we decided to hit up Greektown again. We went to Parthenon this time, and the food was wonderful. After that we came home, cracked open at 20-something-year-old bottle of wine and watched a romcom together.

Sunday morning we got up and went to Sweet Tomatoes for breakfast (we had a coupon). We filled up on biscuits & gravy and breakfast burritos, and all was well. Then we hopped in the car to road trip out to the country. We headed towards DeKalb and went to a town called Genoa, which is tiny and absolutely charming. The Prairie State Winery is there, and the guy working was really helpful and nice. We got a few bottles, including their Recession Noir, which not only tastes good, but has a great label and money from the sale of each bottle goes to the local Salvation Army. From there we headed south towards DeKalb, stopping in Sycamore to visit the Sycamore Winery. Unfortunately their wines weren't very good. Both the Scientist and I think that some of their wines had gone bad. We had heard (both on the website and from the guy at Prairie State) that the family that runs this winery was having health problems, and they were looking to get out of the business. I think because of that we felt obligated to buy, kind of out of pity. Luckily their pink grapefruit and pomegranate wines were good, so we got those. THEN we headed way south of DeKalb to a winery in the middle of nowhere. Waterman Winery is the only winery in northern Illinois to actually grow all their own grapes and fruits. Their winery is in their barn, next to all the giant John Deere tractors. The couple working were extremely nice, and talked with us for at least a half hour. Then the husband took us out to the other barn where they do all their winemaking to show us around. He even pointed out the different vines in the fields to tell us which ones make which wines. It was really interesting. When he found out it was our anniverary, he gave us complementary glasses of their watermelon wine. Very nice. THEN we drove to Geneva, which is one of the farthest western suburbs of Chicago. There was another winery there (a satellite location for a big winery close to Iowa), so we tried some more wine there and bought a few more bottles.

Needless to say, we are fully stocked when it comes to wine now.

We got home, and the Scientist took a nap while I watched TV. Then we went to Clara's for dinner. Clara's is this tiny Italian place near our house. They make all their own pasta, and it's WONDERFUL. The Scientist took me there for our first official date, and we haven't been back since. So I figured this was a good reason to return. The food was absolutely awesome. I couldn't finish it all, so guess what I'm having for dinner?

Today I am staying home from work to hang out with the Scientist. I had pre-approved this absence with my boss, so it's all good. I have no idea what we're going to do today, though. Originally we were hoping to go to the Oriental Institute, but they're closed Mondays. Then we were thinking of going to the Lincoln Park Zoo, but it's rainy and chilly. So I don't know what we'll be doing. We'll think of something. Right now he's downstairs making biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Mmmmm.

Anyway, it's been a great weekend. And it's been a great Year One. Despite having a whole bunch of bad shit thrown our way, this has been an absolutely wonderful year, and I've never been happier. :D

ETA: The Scientist is now putting our anniversary gift to use: a new Dyson vacuum. My parents and [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl went in to give us money for it, and combine that with the 20% off coupon that yakgirl sent, we only spent $140 on it! Nice. So the Scientist has been having fun sucking up cat hair and trying to attack me with the vacuum hose. Heh.
eee1313: (WWNPHD?)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl for the tip.

NPH on Sesame Street as the Shoe Fairy.

***


We had a pretty good weekend. Friday night the Scientist and I headed up to see my parents in Michigan. On Saturday we took off to see my grandma, which just wasn't good. We followed that up by going to the Michigan Wine & Harvest Festival in Paw Paw, which was a lot of fun. Both St. Julian and Warner Vineyards were open and hosting free tastings. We had a lot of wine. A LOT. I tried about eight different kinds at Warner, and then pretty much ever kind they had at St. Julian. We walked away with many bottles of wine, and a really awesome buzz. On me, that is. He was just fine. That night we ended up giving my parents a few bottles, so we had to stop again on the way home today. We got a few more. Whoops. We also drove my dad back to Chicagoland, as he was picking up his new 1980 white Corvette T-top. He's a happy guy, I'm sure. Next time we go to visit, he's promised us rides.

Oh, and fall is officially on its way. Not only are the leaves starting to change color, but last night I had pumpkin ice cream. Wooooo! You know what that means? Pumpkin spice latte season will soon be upon us (if it's not already -- I've put off checking just because I know it will sap my wallet dry).

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