Monday, December 15, 2008

excuses, excuses, excuses

I had meant to blog Friday night, but while I was out running errands Friday afternoon, Dan was calling his parents and arranging a date with me for Saturday afternoon. When I got home, I discovered that they'd agreed to keep SuperCat for the afternoon and that we'd be able to spend several hours together.

How can a girl turn down a date with the best guy in the world?

I couldn't.

And so Friday night, instead of writing, I did a lot of the things I had planned to do Saturday morning like: clean the kitchen, and work on Christmas crafts. I was still behind when I finished, but I was behind when I started, so I think it all evened out somehow.

Saturday morning we took Supercat to her grandparents, where she stayed to help them decorate their massive fresh-from-the-snowy-forest Christmas tree and we left for lunch. There are a large handful of restaurants in their little town, but since I don't eat wheat, most were out of the question. We settled on Chili's.

Normally, I prefer non-chain restaurants, and I honestly didn't think Chili's had anything I'd be able to eat, and had already mentally decided on a plain salad (sigh), but once inside, was really surprised. First, they have a menu specifically for Celiacs, which changes frequently and how awesome was that? Second, they describe on the menu what needs to be done to tweak regular menu items so that they can be made safe. They did all of the hard work ahead of time.

For example: I know that croutons have wheat in them, so it's easy to ask for them to be left off, but if the waitstaff isn't well informed, it's difficult to figure out if say, the veggies are dusted with seasoning that has flour, or exactly what the salmon is crusted with. Instead, the waiter was super helpful, answered every question knowledgeably, and as a result we had a stress-free, leisurely meal. Here's Chili's allergen menu(^) (alert: it's a .pdf file), in case you ever wondered what people with food allergies do when they go out to eat.

The service and the food were both great. I had a salad, a steak and veggies, which were all prepared the way I had asked. Dan had the habanero ribs.

We split a frosty chocolate milkshake for dessert and laughed and talked about html standards and and funky conspiracy theories.

We talked about a port knocking application that showed up on my phone's marketplace. I always laugh when I hear the words, cause they sound vaguely obscene. What it really is: remotely opening external ports on a firewall by making connection attempts on certain closed ports. It's the computer geek version of knocking shave and a haircut to gain entry into the all-boys club. Enabling port knocking prevents hackers from getting in easily, because they can't knock on just one port (door) to get in. They have to knock on several to enter just one, and it has to be in the right sequence.

I also always giggle when he mentions "IPTables", the firewall in the Linux operating system, but which to me sounds like the sorts of names Bart makes up when he prank calls Moe's Tavern on The Simpsons. From the episode Some Enchanted Evening:

Moe: Moe's Tavern.
Bart: Hello, is Al there?
Moe: Al?
Bart: Yeah, Al. Last name: Coholic.
Moe: Lemme check... [calls] Phone call for Al. Al Coholic. Is there an "Alcoholic" here? [bar denizens laugh] Wait a minute...[to phone] Listen, you little yellow-bellied rat jackass, if I ever find out who you are, I'll kill ya!

IPTables reminds me of that. I need to grow up.

I took pictures of him while we chatted and ate. He doesn't always want his picture taken, but he's usually a pretty good sport about it:

Don't go toward the light! You'll miss lunch!

He finally gives in to the picture taking

After lunch... well, the small town where his parents live is just that: small. Not much to do, but we were committed to staying out for the several hours we'd booked, so we ended up at Wal*Mart, picking up a few small things, looking at all the electronic gadgetry, and marveling at the zillion-and-one flashy Christmas decorations. We made fun of the truly horrible Bratz Dolls (it looks like they are going away in January, don't cha know?(^), and saw what was new in sporting goods. We tried to find wooden skewers (they were out) and did find a new coffee maker to replace the old, busted coffee maker, and so on until it was time to check out and go get the SuperCat.

When we got there, SuperCat was so excited! She'd had a great time helping with the tree, and she had done a very good job. On the way home, she fell asleep, tuckered out.

We were happy, too. It's important to spend alone time together once in a while, even if it's just to walk around Wal*Mart and look at stationary and talk and pick out new coffee makers.

So that was Saturday.

Sunday I sewed. I sewed and sewed and sewed, mostly by hand, mostly small dolls for small doll houses for Christmas. I'd take pictures, but it's late and I'm tired and the light is bad.

I absolutely positively will tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the parking lot at Target I took tonight while Dan ran in. It was 3 degrees below zero, and just starting to snow (again).

It felt bleak and dismal.

It looks like the set from Alien.
You know, when they're on the planet and find the alien for the first time?

Current Mood: Photobucket(freezing)

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