Next adventure? Good question

So the company I used to work for “reorganized” last month, and in the process, I got canned.

My severance agreement prevents me from saying anything bad about the company, so I’ll just say that despite the moderate income, it’s not a place I will pine for. I was not a good fit there.

Anyway, so we are now hurtling toward our life’s next phase. Not sure yet what we should do or where to go, but one thing seems pretty clear: Can’t stay in Colorado Springs.

We’ve been seriously considering either Chicago or Dallas. As many of you know, Adrienne runs Pink Kitty Studios, which has done fairly well here in the COS. But that was mostly because of the heavy military presence here, and with the wars winding down, so is her business. So wherever we land, it has to have opportunity for her to do her thing. If ultimately I can’t find any work, though, the unemployment will run out and we’ll be in my mom’s basement (she still thinks I’m joking about this).

Chicago

Scary, but exciting. So much awesome history and big-city amenities. Urban living. Chicago Blackhawks. Pizza. Surely I can find a job there doing something. But the weather. Ugh. Still, it’s Chicago, right? Quit your crying about the weather and be a man.

Dallas

Less scary. Less exciting. Reminds me a lot of Phoenix, where I’ve already lived. Suburban living, automobile culture. Slightly better weather, though, and a lot of very good local music. Barbecue. Can I get a job there? I dunno. Seems like less opportunity in Dallas, but not by much. Certainly more opportunity than the COS. Oh, also, Rick Perry.

So many tough decisions. What do you think, Internet? Chicago or Dallas? Or maybe somewhere else? NYC would rock, of course, but it’s a heftier commitment.

Next adventure

A big plus for Chicago: Rahm Emanuel, the nation's most badass politician.

Next adventure

That this guy won any kind of an election in Texas scares me a little.

Mom's basement

When I'm living in my mom's basement, I will lay around all day with my firearms and play sweet, sweet tunes on my axe. I will also probably have to develop a marijuana habit and get into some kind of gaming.

 

El Taco Rey, Ted’s Montana Grill,Three Margaritas, Dogtooth Coffee, Bubba’s in Dallas and Lots of Home Cookin’

This stuff is not in any order- I can’t keep the days straight when I wait so long between posts!

El Taco Rey Colorado Springs. DangerMike did a review of this place the other day.

The weather has been the usual for Colorado- warm, then snowing, then warm, then snowing and so on and so forth. This was a snowy day!

Lunch at Three Margaritas. I’d never been there before! I guess it’s pretty famous. DM had some kind of combo plate and I had spinach enchiladas that were really good. Their chips and salsa are yummy, too. Did not have any margaritas, tho.

Monday I went to Dallas for the day to do a photo shoot. Here’s the world’s best chicken that I toted back on the plane. It’s from Bubba’s Cooks Country in Dallas and it is SO GOOD! I didn’t bring back any sides, just chicken and dinner rolls. Gotta actually go there for the sides cuz they’re too messy to go. This family also has a bunch of other chicken restaurants in Dallas called Babe’s.

Another snowy day. Cart got stuck in the snow in the parking lot at Whole Foods. LOL.

Some home cookin’- this is the beginning of spaghetti red sauce.

Graeter’s ice cream is an Ohio made ice cream. I had it when I went to Ohio and an old friend  brings it to me whenever he visits L.A. and I’m there, too. BUT NOW they sell it at Kroger/King Sooper’s here in COS- isn’t that amazing? It’s so awesome. This flavor is Blackberry Chocolate Chip- their chips are actually huge hunks of chocolate. DM was stunned by the size of this one, so he had to take a picture. LOL.

More home cookin’- this is baked polenta with apple compote.

The other day we went to Ted’s Montana Grill for lunch. They specialize in bison. This guy was looking down at us saying “Dudes, WTF? I’m awesome, why you gotta eat me?”

One of my recent clients brought me a bottle of this German mulled wine type stuff. I warmed it up and had some and it was really good. There was no way I could drink the entire bottle tho so I decided to make a pot roast with it. I marinated it with the wine, some onions, etc. and some herbs. Then cooked it in the liquid.

It was really good. I highly recommend using mulled wine (next time I might try that premade sangria) for pot roast or stew or anything else that calls for red wine.

Two huge meals in a row! We didn’t actually have them in a row, tho! They were a couple weeks apart. Mini Thanksgiving dinner- roast chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy.

This whole thing started because I had a half a can of pumpkin left from trying to give to the cats for digestive issues- they didn’t like it so I wanted to do something with the leftover. So I made a pie. And you can’t just have a pumpkin pie. You need the dinner, too.

Last night we went out for like half an hour to a ridiculously crowded bar (Southside Johnny’s). I wore the usual witch costume (no pics, sorry) and DM didn’t dress up. We didn’t even get to drink at the bar cuz it was so crowded. So this morning we woke up early- it was especially early for us because of the time change. It was also super nice out. So we decided to take a bike ride up to Dogtooth Coffee. Had a couple of Americanos and shared a bagel. Then we rode back and on the way a guy from the TV news interviewed me about the weather. LOL. I didn’t watch it because I don’t want to see how hideous I looked with no makeup and after a bike ride and in the AM. EEEEK. At least the guy let me keep my sunglasses on!

 

We also went to a cafe called Aiga Sofia in Old Colorado City last week. It was really neat but since I don’t have any pictures of it I’ll talk about it next time and get pics then, too. They put vanilla syrup in their hot chocolate, which was delish. Just thought I’d mention that so I don’t forget next time.
We’re leaving for the L.A. road trip on Thursday so next time I post I should have lots of pics from that.

Road Trip To Dallas and Forth Worth, Old Signs, Cats, and Lots Of Food

Dangermike,  the cats and I went to Dallas last week. We took tons of pictures but about half of them mysteriously disappeared. I have no idea how, why, or where. I thought I loaded them all onto the netbook before erasing the cards.  Oh well.

We rented a trailer so that the cats could ride in the car and have room to move around. We also had to bring some stuff back with us that we don’t need at the new place. The settled in right away and were great travelers.

Cookie Puss wasn’t quite sure at first.

The first day we got up really early so about half way to Amarillo we needed to nap at a rest stop. We wanted to sleep for 20 minutes and ended up sleeping for two hours! It was a long day.

PJ checking things out from the passenger seat.

OK this is out of order. I made a float with coffee ice cream and cream soda that I read on The Kitchn. It was not very good. I’ll stick to root beer and vanilla ice cream.

Now Peedge wants to drive.

Cruisin’ with The Dange.

What.

Yummies from Cafe Brazil.

Um. Ok.

We got to Dallas friday night and DM flew out to St.Louis to see his daughter for her birthday on Saturday morning while I did a photo shoot. Sunday I did a shoot at the new studio to get used to it and DM got back to Dallas on Sunday night. We went out drinking at Lee Harvey’s, which I posted on the ole FB- as I mentioned there, I found it without a map or directions, in the dark, after having only been once before and coming from a different direction. I rule. But then DM bought a GPS because aside from that flukey thing, Dallas is IMPOSSIBLE to navigate.
Monday we went to White Rock Lake near downtown Dallas.

Lunch at The Railhead in Fort Worth on Tuesday.

Using the noggin and taking pics of the signs so I can remember the places we eat.

We are sort of obsessed with architectural salvage places now and read that this was a good one, which it was. We got some shelf brackets here.

Then we wandered around Fort Worth and went down to the (touristy) Stockyard area.

Wanted to pop in here for a quick drink before heading back to Dallas.

But it was open mic night and we stayed for the singers who, for the most part were pretty good.

They included a really old dude in spangles.

A guy who looked like the love child of Kenny and Jason Aldean.

Another Kenny-esque performer.

And yet another Kenny lookalike. After sitting and drinking while 15 acts played, we got pretty drunk. Oh well, so much for one drink.

We were in Dallas for a week but like I said, most of my pictures went missing, so here we are heading back to CO already. This is the broken down town- there were several from this set and then tons that went missing. I just don’t get it! It’s menacing me! Anyhow, here are some cute kittens.

DMs new office.

Cookie Puss is supervising the filling of the car with gas.

Dinner in Amarillo. Yum.

The next day we hung out in Amarillo awhile and went to have lunch and to some antique stores. I bought a cute little orange kitchen cart and we ate delicious BBQ at Ribs and More in Amarillo on 6th Ave aka RT. 66.

Random stuff along the highway in Texas.

We came across an old drive in that was no longer. It was really neat so we explored it awhile.

The screen had fallen down. Right on top of a swing set and bent it completely over.

An abandoned church in a mostly abandoned little town in New Mexico.

And finally, another cuuuuuuute kitten. There were like 10 of them living in this old church.

Cy’s Drive In, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs

Cy’s Drive In. One of three drive ins we like to go to. They apparently have carhop service but we just ordered at the counter and sat outside.

The chocolate shake was made with a soft serve mix, not real ice cream, so there’s points off for that.

The fries were about average. Nothing special but not bad or anything.

The burger seems small in this picture for some reason but it really wasn’t. It had my nemesis, raw onions, but I was able to easily take them off. It was tasty!

This week’s picture of my plants!

We’re going to Dallas next week. We’re driving and because of some recent new health problems with the cats, and the fact that it would cost $300 for the pet sitter to come all the days we’ll be gone, we’re taking the cats with us. I know, insane. But we took them for a trial run for about an hour the other night and they were totally good. Super chill. It’s 8-12 hours in each direction. We’ll be stopping half way in Amarillo both on the way and on the way back so hopefully it will work out. We’re staying at a La Quinta because they allow pets. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’ve been taking a ceramics class this summer. I took ceramics in college like 20 years ago and liked it even tho I wasn’t very good at it. Still not great at it, but it’s lots of fun. Also it’s only three blocks away which is nice for lazy me. I made this little bowl then we raku fired it. I always wanted to do raku in college but was never advanced enough. They’d go out to the beach in SF and build a big pit and a kiln for firing then when the stuff was done, plunged it into sea water. ANYHOW this class had a funky homemade kiln, not in the dirt but we still submerged them in water. Well, I didn’t cuz I wanted mine to be white and crackly, so I stuck it in a dirt hole after firing. LOL. You can’t use raku stuff for food and it was just a small bowl so I decided to use it as a candle holder which I think is pretty neat afterall. The last class is this week and we’ll be firing some more stuff so I can show it to you in a couple weeks when I get back from Dallas. I know you all just CAN’T WAIT.

The other day I read about a happy hour type thing that they have at the zoo on the Sky Ride and thought it would be fun. You take the Sky Ride to the top of the zoo and then there’s wine tastings and stuff like that. We didn’t make it to that event but went the next evening for the regular Sky Ride. OMG what was I thinking? It was horrible. I HATE heights! I was freaking out pretty much the whole way up (7 minutes) and had to also go down again because there was no other way down.
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DM thought it was fun.

Here we are at the top. I was really happy to be off that thing.


DM bought us a $3.50 ice cream bar and a $3.50 root beer.
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I saw a cute chipmonk.

The view was pretty nice, I guess. I think you can drive to nice views, tho.

 Seeeeeeeeeeeeee, it’s dangerous!

Then we came home and made dinner. This was SUPPOSED to be baked brie. I guess next time I should use an actual recipe. However, even tho it looks weird, it tasted pretty good! Not creamy like it should be tho.

Then roasted asparagus with lemon, balsamic and parmesean from My French Kitchen which has turned out to be a really good book and I highly recommend it. DM said it was the best appetizer he’s ever had. Hee hee.
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Pizza (what else!) with fresh tomatoes, basil, and ricotta. This is before it cooked.
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This is after it was cooked. It was yummy. I guess you don’t really need a marble pastry board, marble rolling pin, pizza peel, and pizza stone to make good pizza. You just need a $5 secondhand rolling pin and a $3 Walmart pizza pan. Hrm. Interesting.

OMG there are insane squirrels here. remember the other day I told you that one ate the head right off one of my sunflowers? Well I guess they also go into the upstairs neighbor’s house thru his bathroom window!
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They go in his kitchen and steal his food!He caught one of them in the act the other day, scared it, it ran out onto the deck and dropped a granola bar that whizzed just past my head. Sheesh.

I made this Warm Goat Cheese Salad today for lunch. Also from My French Kitchen

It was really good, too!

Dallas Day Four

This was a short day cuz it’s the day we left. But we got up early and had breakfast at the hotel again. I wanted the french toast the day before but didn’t have it because I knew I would have felt tired and had a sugar crash a few hours later and had too many things I wanted to do. But this day all we needed to do was get on an airplane so I decided to have it. It was really good, as you might expect…:) It was stuffed with some sort of cream cheese and banana concotion and covered in honey instead of syrup. The honey made it lighter somehow. I was able to pretty much finish it which I usually can’t do.

DM isn’t really a breakfast person so he just had some oatmeal, which also looked pretty good.

Then we went back over to Dealey Plaza since we hadn’t taken any pictures the day before. It was raining so the shots aren’t that great and millions of these pictures have been taken so I’m not even sure why we bothered, but we did so… This is the book depository and the street that the motorcade was on when JFK was shot. That square window on the second from the top floor is where the shooter supposedly stood.

Close up of the 6th floor window (it’s the museum now)

The famous “grassy knoll”!

The stockade fence behind which many witnesses said they saw smoke and heard gunfire. So many that there’s home movie and media footage of a bunch of people running over there after the shots rang out to see what or who was back there.

The bridge where witnesses were standing and under which the motorcade sped on it’s way to the hospital. JFK was shot just on the other side of this bridge.

One of those grackle birds eating a cheeto. He picked it out or the bag which was pretty funny.

That’s our trip to Dallas. I noticed, on this trip specifically, that there are really not many differences between different parts of this country anymore. Even the famed Texas accent was hardly apparent at all. It’s getting harder and harder to pick out things to see and do that are really unique to a place. That’s mainly why I stick to regional food and historical places when I travel. Most of Dallas looked exactly like Southern California. In fact if I ever lived there, aside from the weather, it wouldn’t be any different than when I lived in L.A. Some of the neighborhoods are different looking, the houses and stuff, but those look just like Denver. In fact, since we just went to Denver the week before, I’m already mixing the two cities up in my mind. This seems a shame to me- we have such a vast country- so many places to go and things to experience but it’s becoming more and more the same everywhere. It’s been happening for at least 20 years (I noticed it when I took a road trip around the country in 1990) and in a way it’s better now than it was then because people have come to realize this sameness and have rediscovered some of their own quirks- saving old neighborhoods, opening regional style restaurants. Even the JFK museum wasn’t open until 1989! That building was and is being used for something completely different and unrelated. They only opened the museum because so many people would gather in the area with questions. So anyway, there you have it.