Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Busy Week

Wow, it has been a really busy week.

Things at work have really picked up. Not that I wasn't busy enough before things picked up. But this passed week has been unusual. Of course there's all the regular stuff for which I am responsible, but then there were some very UNusual things too. One of my clients scheduled a series of 10 webcasts with me about a month ago, but I found out that their office was being closed and that everyone except for one manager had been "released" (read: laid off) on Tuesday. In the 2 1/2 years I've been working here, I think this is the first time a client was laid off DURING a project.

Outside of work, things have been busy too. On Tuesday I had to make an unplanned trip to the shore, related to our old place that's for sale. I decided not to wait until after work, since it would be a 5 hour round trip at a minimum, getting me home very late at night. So, I left the office at 2:30, drove up there, took care of my business, had a bite to eat, and drove back home. Joe would have gone with me, but he had a board meeting to attend that night.

I've also been coordinating some maintenance and repairs for the old place at the beach, so that has captured my time and thoughts more than usual. Plus, I needed to find a new florist to deliver Joe's Valentines flowers on Monday. I used to use a wonderful florist in the town where he worked. The flowers were always nice and fresh, and the arrangements were always stunning. I'd ask them to create something "different", and would often request certain flowers or certain colors. I don't care for multi-color floral arrangements because they remind me of funerals. So often I'd tell them I wanted an 'unusual-looking arrangement just in shades of purple, lavender, lilac, and white", or something like that. But since Joe changed jobs a few months ago and doesn't work in that town, I needed to find a new florist.

Joe loves flowers, and I love to send them to him at his office. So I send him flowers on Valentines Day (Feb), our anniversary (May), his birthday (July), and then on some random 'surprise' date in the fall. It seems unfair to get flowers in winter, spring, and summer, leaving fall out completely. So I pick a random date in fall to surprise him.

Then Thursday night was our regular dinner with Evelyn. Friday night my aunt Mary took Joe & me out for my belated birthday dinner.

It has become a tradition with my aunt Mary for us to take her out for a nice (fancy) dinner on her birthday, and she does the same for us. Since my birthday is in December and we were so busy in December, we didn't get a chance to have our dinner until just this past week. It's always fun, so it is definitely not to be missed. I try to pick new or different places for my birthday, but Joe always picks the same place for his birthday: McCormick & Schmick's. They have very good food and service, but at a price. This time I decided I wanted to go to an Italian restaurant called Esposito's. I knew it wasn't all that fancy, but good Italian food can be so enjoyable that it was worth the try. My aunt, however, who had been there before, thought the food was good but that it wasn't fancy enough to 'qualify' for my birthday dinner, so we decided on another restaurant none of us had tried before. Being a Friday night, I suggested we try to make a reservation, or put our name on the call ahead list. (So many places it seems are getting away from reservations, but will put you on a call ahead list. Isn't that basically the same thing?)

The girl who answered the phone told my aunt they usually had a "wait list", but since it was 5:00 and no one was waiting to be seated, there was no "wait list". My aunt was unsuccessful in explaining that we were going to be arriving at 7:30 when there would definitely be a wait. The girl suggested she call back later when people were waiting. I'm sure my aunt was rolling her eyes and shaking her head in disbelief, but she did as the girl suggested. At 6:30 she called back to put our name on the "wait list" and was informed the wait would be "120 minutes". This baffles me. Why would you put your name on a "wait list" if the wait would be the same amount of time as if you just showed up?

So, we decided to go to my original restaurant choice, Esp0sito's. When we arrived at 7:30 there was no wait, and the food and desserts were fabulous. It was a good birthday dinner!

Saturday we prepared to have guests for dinner. (See my previous post entitled "Keeping my New Year's Resolution".) When we returned from the grocery store, we stuck with our strengths: I cleaned the house and set the table and Joe cooked. He made a pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, biscuits, and corn casserole. Our friends Doug and Jim were to bring dessert when they arrived at 7. The dinner (in the kitchen) was delicious and we had a wonderful time visiting with our friends. They are very sweet guys, and are also dog lovers, so they didn't seem to mind our over-affectionate beagle, Jordan.

Sunday morning we met Kerry, Hugh, and George for brunch at the Capitol City Brewing Company. In the summer we meet there and eat outside because they have large patio. But since it is February we ate indoors. It was fun to see them and to check up on George's post-surgery progress. George had knee surgery a little over a week ago and is doing great. It really helped his mobility. After brunch the three of them headed down the street to the theatre to see "Sideways". We would have liked to have joined them, but the movie would have ended a bit too late for us, as we needed to make another trip to the grocery store (forgot to get dog food) before getting ready for our Sunday dinner guests.

Clark and Mike arrived promptly at 5, bearing the gift of purple tulips. I love tulips! We had a cocktail and talked a bit while 'The Ethel Merman Disco album' played in the background. Yes, its true, Ethel Merman made a disco album. Joe and Mike are fans of The Merm, but I am not. However, this CD does have its entertainment value. Then we had a traditional Italian family Sunday dinner: rigatoni with meatballs and sausage, garlic bread, and salad. It's one of Joe's specialties that Mike & Clark have had before but crave from time to time. We ate in the kitchen and had a great time visiting with them, although we talked a lot about the sad state of politics and how gay people are being "used" by Republicans. They are great friends.

I've had more thoughts this week to share, but haven't had the time to sit down and properly organize my thoughts this week. Hopefully this coming week will be a little less hectic, at least away from work.

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