Interstellar Adventures

November 29, 2007

Lame, But With House Photos

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 1:38 am

That’s me. Eleven days since I updated this thing that used to be a blog.

When I last left you, I was painting and staining my little heart out. I didn’t finish everything, but I did have the cabinet doors, door hardware, and lighting panels installed before Thanksgiving day. I went to bed at 2 am Thursday and was back up at 6 am to cook the stuffing and stuff the bird, which I feared was still slightly frozen in the middle. This was confirmed when I had to cold-rinse and pry the neck out of the turkey.

The fortunate thing was I had assigned out a lot of the side dishes. I had turkey, stuffing (or dressing, whichever), cranberry sauce, appetizers and rolls. I actually got to sit, briefly, before everyone arrived. All 17 of ’em. Thankfully Nick & Zed to Pop to see brother-in-law Bubba for the day. That was 3 less mouths to feed.

Happily, the bird turned out perfect, juicy and brown. The gravy was delicious, and I managed to have seating for everyone thanks to the miraculous appearance of additional folding chairs.

I didn’t go to bed until after 11 pm that night. And then on Friday, I slept. A lot. I didn’t pry my ass out of bed until 2:30 pm. Over 14 hours of sleep, after about 14 hours total Sunday – Wednesday. I think I’m still at a deficit though.

It was back to work this week though. This phase of my project is closing out this week, and we’re gearing up for the next phase. I’ve been in a windowless meeting room all this week and the week before Thanksgiving. It’s been ‘casual week’ all week, which has made it easier to quickly get ready for work. And I’m taking off Friday. Something to do with candles, cake, cards, and getting another year older or some such nonsense.

I leave you with long-promised photos. Before and after pictures of my poor kitchen. Which is now my almost-happy kitchen. Finishing touches include baseboards and completing the grouting of tile backsplash. I’m pretty happy with how it’s all turned out. The photos have lots of notes. Check out the befores and afters!

Before:  

After:

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November 18, 2007

Paint & Stain

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 7:03 pm

Arrrgh. I spent from 10 am to 6:30 pm staining and painting trim today. And I’m not done. Today’s 80-degree weather and humidity kept the stain tacky. I haven’t put any on since about 3, and as of 7 pm, I still can see the sheen of tacky. More happily though, I’m painting over the ugly brown trim, and my hall looks much brighter, and wider, making me quite pleased. And that’s something these days.

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Pop is coming home tonight after three weeks away. Somehow Nick & I managed to get two semi-quiet weekends in, which again, amazes me. I don’t think we’re ready for the chaos to kick back in, but we seem to be tumbling headlong toward it. Fasten seat belts.

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Three days until turkey day. And I only have seating for 6. I need 10 more chairs. Anyone have any that fold up and fit in the mail?

November 13, 2007

I want to be done

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 4:33 pm

I want to be done painting.

I want to be done with staining.

I want to be done with baseboards.

I want to be done with tile.

I want to be done with cleaning.

I want to be done with spackling.

I want to be done with lighting.

I want to be done with worrying.

I just want to be done…

November 7, 2007

Put away the Sour Grapes

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:37 pm

One of the lessons that I individually, and our various team coaches collectively, have tried to teach both Elle and Zed is that you have to be both a good winner and a good loser. And both kids have gotten to experience their fair share of winning and of losing. They always shake hands with the other team, win or lose, and they’re never allowed to ‘rub in’ a win, or vice versa, they’re not allowed to kick around and grouse about a loss.

Last night, Elle had a playoff game for her club team. She was goalie, and it was a tough game, which we ended up losing 3-1. Two of those goals were scored on Elle, and she was devestated. I had to remind her that she can’t win always, and that it takes a lot to get in goal and defend for your team. They can’t all be saves.

Tonight, Elle had another playoff game for her rec team. The team we faced we’ve played twice this season, and won both games. We played this team twice last season, and we each split a win. They’re tough on defense, and have one girl that can clear it half way across the field. It’s always a close game when we play them. Our last regular season game on Saturday was a 1-0 win over this team. Tonight we won 2-1. All the goals were scored in the last half of the game, and both teams were worn out from playing their hearts out.

And just now I found an email in by inbox from our coach. Another mom and I had to sub in as coaches because our coach had to attend a funeral service. The email was forwarded from our league coordinator, and contained a complaint against our girls tonight for ‘overly aggressive play’. It really upsets me that the other team would suggest that we were out to ‘win at all costs’. Both teams played hard. It was essentially an instant replay of our previous games against this squad.

Soccer isn’t a non-contact sport. Contact happens, and it’s not unusual to see girls running, shoulder to shoulder, leaning, to try to get or maintain control of the ball. And as long as there is no pushing, shoving, or tripping, there’s no foul. I have seen fouls happen in the past, both from girls on our team and girls on other teams. I know what overly aggressive play looks like, and our girls absolutely don’t play that way, and certainly not tonight. We don’t play dirty.

And what’s more, it’s rec soccer. It’s not World Cup. It’s third grade girls, on a field, with a ball, playing their best. And that’s all we ask of them – play hard, and win or lose, hold your head high because you did your best. Maybe the other coaches need a lesson.

November 5, 2007

Going for Principle, Bordering on Cheap

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Hobbies,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 10:54 am

With all the work being done on the house, I’ve had to pay extra attention to budget. For a while there, I was doing really well with all my coupon-ing activities. But then, with all the change, I slacked off, and every single one of the coupons in my coupon folder expired. And I hadn’t replenished in a while. I even let a whole gaggle of coupons go to waste from my near and dear grocery retailer, Then I got another mailer, and lo, there were more coupons! The last two weeks of coupons in the paper were rather weak, but this week there were FOUR coupon inserts. Most likely in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. So, I dutifully cut my coupons, sorted them into the expandable folder-holder, and Elle and I set off for the store.

I didn’t actually need that many things, because last week I bought a lot of meat that was on sale. A few vegetables, cans of beans, rice, and ingredients for desserts for the workplace bake-off, and I was ready to check out.

Elle, as my little helper, has the responsibility of putting all the groceries on the conveyor belt. I prepare my coupons, get out my store card and check card. For some reason, I wasn’t really paying attention as she scanned all my coupons, and as I was walking out the door, checking the receipt, I noticed that I had given her 5 coupons, but only 4 had been scanned. Whoa nellie!

Debating with myself for a moment, I knew that I had two 50-cent coupons, one 25-cent coupon, and one 20-cent coupon, plus the big $6 off/$60 in groceries purchased coupon. I was missing a 50-cent coupon scan. With the bonus coupon, that was a whole $1. Did I really want to go back over a dollar? It’s not that big of a deal. A dollar. But then I decided, hell, if I spent all the time cutting and sorting, and then to have the fruits of my labors diminished by a careless checkout clerk, I was due my dollar.

What I didn’t realize was that this would involve a manager opening the coupon depository at the register, sorting through to find my missed coupon, and then going to guest services to get my refund. And then I realized how cheap I looked.

I’m really trying to convince myself that this was a good lesson for Elle. Get what you pay for. If you’re due a discount, don’t let their carelessness cost you more. I mean, a dollar here and there today adds up eventually. It’s the principle I tell you! Next time it might be $10!

But I still look damn cheap, don’t I?

November 2, 2007

Put Up Your Feet and Sit a Spell

Filed under: Adventures,Memes & Quizzes,Real Good Food,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:46 am

I was tagged by Mr. Sparky Duck for a weekend-in-your-city meme. Check out his suggestions for the City of Brotherly Love! I think we all need to go for a tour! I did a Dallas City tour last year with lots of photos of some of the more famous landmarks in the city. But, I didn’t consider some of these other Bests of my fair city. Also, next weekend I’ll be spending some time in Fort Worth, so be prepared for more photos and tidbits about our sister-city that makes up the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Best Place to Eat: Wow, this is a toughie. It all depends on the kind of food you want to eat. I once heard that Dallas is one of the toughest places in the US to open and have a successful restaurant. Of course we have the chains, but who really cares about those. If one of you were to come to Dallas (well, except Carn – I’d have to find us a good vegetarian spot), I would probably take you for some of the best damn fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. Babe’s and Bubba’s is where we took Nick’s sister when she came to town from Michigan, and where we took my uncle and his fiance when they came to town from Cape Cod. We also celebrated Elle’s birthday there. Family style chicken with all-you-can-eat mashed potatoes, creamed corn, green beans, and biscuits. Better wear your buffet pants!

Best Shopping Mall: Another toss up. This one depends…do you want to see where the Old Dallas money shops? Then Northpark Center is your place. But you’d better bring your Platinum card. Or would you prefer more plastic surgery and a see-and-be-seen atmosphere? If so, head to the Dallas Galleria. Want to laugh at the nouveau-riche as they sip lattes and meet for play-dates? We’ll head north and play around at the Stonebriar Centre.

Famous Landmark: Besides the Cowboys and JR Ewing, for what else is Dallas internationally famous? That’s right. Sadly, the assassination of our President Kennedy. Dealy Plaza attracts millions that come play in traffic and figure out for themselves just who shot JFK.

Best Tourism Attraction: Second to above? I honestly don’t know. Is Dallas a tourism hot-spot? Why would anyone come here except to visit with family and friends? I don’t really think of it in terms of being a place people go for vacation. Maybe our sports teams. We have the Dallas Mavericks (basketball), Dallas Stars (hockey), Dallas Cowboys (football, and also, related, the World Famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders), Texas Rangers (baseball), FC Dallas (soccer – yes, it’s a sport!), Texas Motor Speedway (NASCAR), Lone Star Park (horse racing), and even a championship golf tournament, the Byron Nelson. Whatever your addiction, we’ve got it!

Best Place for the Kids: Except for it’s location, I’d say the Museum of Nature and Science. It has lots of hands-on exhibits, and a first-class IMAX theater.

Popular Outdoor Activity: Um. This is Texas. Our popular outdoor activity is sweating. You’ll only find us outside between October and April. Otherwise it’s just too damned hot. OK, I jest. A little. It is HOT here in the summer, and so you have to plan for the weather. Heck, it was 80 degrees here on Halloween. So, that’s why you’ll find a lot of Texans in the water. At our lakes, water parks, pools, sprinklers, or even in fountains. Wherever it’s cool. Another hot-bed (har har) of outdoor activity is around White Rock Lake. It’s nine-mile paved trail is popular with walkers, runners, bikers, fishers, sailors and about anyone that’s looking for a place to relax.

Breath-taking Views: It’s flat here. So, besides the High Five Overpass, or the President George Bush Tollway fly-over, your best bet for a view is from a seat in the Antares Restaurant atop Reunion Tower. During your meal, you’ll get a 360-degree view of Dallas and surrounding areas, as the restaurant turns slowly over an hour. But you’d better hurry up. Starting November 16, the entire tower will be closed for about a year due to renovations.

Only Found In: The State Fair of Texas. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything else quite like it. For just three weeks each year, Fair Park lights up and millions flock to the Midway, Car Show, Stock Show, and Exhibits. There are sights to see, some familiar every year, and others new and exciting. The Texas vs. OU football game is held during the fair each year, and there are concerts and contests for everyone.

So, your best bet would be to request off now for vacation at the beginning of next October. The Fair will be on and the temps will have cooled down. Except for the Rangers – I can’t recall when they were last even in the playoffs, most of our sports teams will have action going on, Antares will be open for dinner, and we can eat fried chicken and mall-walk our way through the days. I’ll start taking reservations now, so get in on the action early. And don’t forget your boots!

After we party it up here in Dallas, I’d like to have visits with these five people in their home towns!

1. Carnealian
2. Bone
3. ~M
4. Nancy @ Live Love Read
5. Laura @ Vitamin Sea

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