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April 26, 2011

Two Days in April: In Pictures

Our Second First Date Anniversary

If you'll think back to a year from this April 17th, you may remember it's the day Steve and I got engaged. And if you think back two years, you... probably won't remember anything special about it. Two days after taxes were due? A Friday? (If you even remember that...) But I will! It was my first date with this guy Elaina sort of set me up with.

Last year, we partially reconstructed our first date by going back to the same restaurant, Cafe Firenze. This year, we reconstructed last year by going to Cafe Firenze (a tradition by now!) AND to the park in which we got engaged. There was no proposal this time around, but it was nice to take in the details I was too preoccupied/distracted/excited to notice back then.

Stargazer Park

Stargazer Park

Site of the proposal, one year later

Site of the proposal

One year later
One year later!

Easter Sunday

We work so hard during the week only to spend our weekends catching up on all the responsible things we didn't get to, right? I decided I wanted one weekend of pure (or... mostly pure) relaxation. We did our cleaning and our errand running after work last week and left the weekend FREE! It was lovely.

We started our Easter morning with homemade Belgian waffles topped with fresh strawberries. We spent the day catching up on TV shows that have been stacking up on the DVR. (While we watched, I cleaned out my closet, we worked out, and cooked meals for the week, so it wasn't a totally lazy day.)

And then we colored eggs!

Easter Egg Garden

My Easter Garden

Steve's eggs
Steve's Eggs

We each colored six, then got tired and just did the last six ROYGBV. And would you know, the packages of egg dye we bought from the 99 Cent Store included twelve colors? There were three different greens! Two pinks and a red! A yellow, yellow-orange, and orange-orange! Twelve is too many to handle. Twelve is overwhelming. Twelve is too hard to find enough jars/glasses/mugs to hold! But overall, fun.

We also ate chocolate, because what's Easter without a couple of chocolate bunnies?

And what are chocolate bunnies without creating your own Easter card image?

"My butt hurts." "What?"

"My butt hurts." "What?"

April 12, 2011

Can't Opener

I don't even remember when I purchased it (years ago), but sometime last year I got rid of my crusty, old can opener. It worked fine, but it was really old and a little rusty, and it got replaced with a shiny, NEW can opener!

Which did not work.

Every can opened with New Can Opener would stay attached at exactly two spots, opposite each other. And getting those spots unattached proved to be nearly impossible.

Picture this: I rolled the thing back and forth, trying to puncture the little attached pieces of metal. I jabbed at it with a fork. I pushed on the top of the can, sawed at it with a knife, and got increasingly frustrated. If my life was a cartoon, I'd bring out the giant wooden hammer next, a power saw, and then the dynamite, and it still wouldn't open. Pretty sure. Almost enough to make a person just swear off canned food altogether.

After can after can of annoyance, frustration, and infuriation, I decided to go old-school and low-tech with the cheapest can opener I could find. This model was so low-tech it was all metal, no comfortable plastic grips. It had only a metal point to pierce the can, not a rolling blade. While the effort it took to open a can was significantly more than New Can Opener, at least it opened the can all the way around.

Until it didn't anymore.

Is this user error? Am I can-opening-challenged? Now my low-tech opener spins without moving when it gets stuck. The metal point will raise up and just score the top of the can, instead of piercing it, when I move it clockwise, but will get stuck altogether when trying to go counter-clockwise over an un-scored part of the can. To compensate, I end up going clockwise for about an inch, then over the same spot counter-clockwise.

This? Is a LOT of effort. Just to open a can!

I wish I hadn't thrown out my crusty-but-trusty old can opener. Where do I go from here? I can't get any more low-tech... so do I go ultra-high-tech? Is there a middle ground that works? Do YOU have a can opener you love?

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! I can't open my canned tuna!

April 11, 2011

Q is the Name of the Game

When I was a kid, the only day we were allowed to eat dinner in front of the television was Star Trek night. Jessica and I would sit on the wood floor of the family room, tucked under our Cabbage Patch Kids TV trays, carefully eating while keeping our eyes on the TV. When the opening music started, Dad would turn the volume up to its maximum, sometimes loud enough to make us cover our ears and cry, "DAA-AAAD!"

I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it's more nostalgia than something I know.

This weekend, my friends had a Q marathon. We watched all the episodes of TNG featuring Q (about eight hours' worth), and ate all Q-foods. We had nachos with queso, quinoa chili, quiche, quesadillas, Quality Street chocolates, quince tart (my contribution), Quaker Oats granola bars, queso-flavored chips. There was Q Syrah, SapporoQ and PranQster beers.

(FYI: quince needs to be boiled before it's tasty, making it possibly not worth the effort over using apples when not trying to fit a Q-foods theme.)

So even though I wouldn't consider myself all that much of an expert on Star Trek these days, it was quite enjoyable for episodes to be nostalgically familiar. And I think the most fun came in figuring out what Q-foods were out there! People were so creative!

Great way to spend a Sunday.