Friday, July 29, 2011

:::Lactose Rendevous:::

Today we went to one of those self-service frozen yogurt places and saw a woman fill up a gallon-sized container with chocolate and vanilla yogurt. She sprinkled the top with candied nuts, then generously drizzled hot fudge over the whole thing.

She paid for her yogurt with a debit card, but recorded the purchase in her check register before walking away from the counter.

I like to imagine that she took her $15 extravagance home to share with a lover. Like she slipped out of bed and said, "One moment darling, I'll be right back with the frozen yogurt."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

:::In a Good Place:::

Oh, I feel so good right now.

Today I went to Target, and while I was there I tried on three different nail polishes.

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I bought the purple-y one and I love it. It matches my newly found footloose and fancy free attitude. I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I can't wait for the next step!

I love the idea of having different themes to my life. This chapter of city dwelling life is coming to a close. I may live in a city again some day, but as Aragorn said outside the Black Gate, today is not that day.

I am not sad to leave DC because I've done all that I wanted to do here. I've been very blessed since December 2007, and I'm not leaving with any bad mojo.

I can tell that some people here think that I'm making a bad decision. Through so many words they've said that I haven't given it my all, that by leaving I'm running away from 'real' life, or that the best opportunities for me aren't back in suburbia. Eh, okay.

The truth is that I've had a great time in DC. There are like two things left that I've always wanted to do and haven't yet, but otherwise I've seen and done everything on my to-do list. I love this town, I just don't want to be here anymore. And because I don't have to be here, I don't need to be here. I want to leave, so I am. That's all. I'm excited to be around family again and thrilled to be back West after almost four years of East Coast living. Amen. 

My friends are happy for me and think I'm making a great decision. I still get frustrated when people express doubts about my plans, but we aren't responsible for other people's perceptions of our lives. I am very happy and will leave here without regrets. Amen.

So, a week and some change and then I'm a Westerner again. Ha, ha! I'm so excited to go back! I know that there are going to be great opportunities coming my way, as well as the usual ups and downs of life. I'm ready for it all.

I'll leave you with some delicious photos. Last week I was invited to the going away lunch for dear little coworker Erica, and yesterday was my very own going away lunch.

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Devil-ish Eggs -- Maine Lobster, Crab, Smoked Salmon

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Cornmeal Battered Fried Green Tomatoes with Herb Goat Cheese and Green Goddess Dip
{I almost cried}

Ricotta, Pistachio, and Date Flatbread 

Skillet Corn Bread with Sea Salt and Honey Butter

Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda, Gruyere, Ham, Peas, and Apples

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Pan-Fried Chicken with White Gravy, Waffles, and Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I know it's not an original choice, but I love the food José Andrés makes. I was too busy eating to take many photos.

Pasamontés Manchego, D.O. Manchego
Sheep’s milk cheese, sweet and tangy
Idiazábal, D.O. Idiazábal
Sheep’s milk cheese, smoked, nutty flavor
Murcia al vino, D.O. Murcia
Semi-soft goat’s milk cheese bathed in red wine with a balance of salt and acidity
Garrotxa, D.O. Catalunya
Semi-soft goat’s milk cheese, delicate flavors of milk and a hint of nuttiness
Caña de cabra, D.O. Murcia
Semi-soft goat’s milk cheese, sweet and salty
Valdeón, D.O. Asturias
Blue cheese of cow and goat’s milk, intense flavor
{Those apricots were soaked in some kind of honey/cinnamon concoction that was to die for}

Gambas con Gabardina
Batter-fried shrimp with caper mayonnaise
{My friend ordered these and it totally freaked her out that they came with the heads on. It was hilarious.}

Ensalada de Remolacha con Cítricos
Salad of red beets with citrus segments, Valdeón cheese, pistachios and Sherry dressing

Croquetas de Pollo
Traditional chicken fritters

We also had...

Manzanas con hinojo y queso Manchego
Sliced apples and fennel salad with Manchego cheese, walnuts and Sherry dressing

Tortilla de Patatas al Momento
Spanish omelet with potatoes and onions cooked to order

Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos de Queso
Seared piquillo peppers filled with goat cheese

Dátiles con Tocino ‘como hace todo el mundo’
Fried dates wrapped in bacon that you will want to eat every day
{How's that for a hard sell?}

Gambas al Ajillo
The very, very famous tapa of shrimp sautéed with garlic

Codorniz con Salsa de Romero y Alioli de Miel
Grilled quail with rosemary sauce and honey alioli

Lomo de Buey
Grilled hanger steak with piquillo peppers

Arroz de pato ‘Jean-Louis Palladin’
Rice with duck confit, duck breast, and foie gras cream

We had more than one order of a few of those!

Pastel Vasco con Helado de Leche Merengada
Basque cake with semolina cream, cinnamon-vanilla sauce and ice milk
{So, so very good}

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Compota de Manzana al Pan Perdido con Pedro Ximénez
Apple Charlotte with Pedro Ximénez & vanilla ice cream
{Not mine :)}

Helados y Sorbetes Caseros con ‘Carquinyolis’

Thank you, corporate Amex. :)

:::Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life...:::

...for the next three or four year chunk of time.

Today is my first day of unemployment. Hip, hip, hurray! I cried a little saying goodbye to all of my friends yesterday, but in the end my departure was free from any deep emotions. I always imagined that I'd be full of weepy nostalgia as I rode the elevators one last time, or walked through the doors one last time. Passed the hot dog cart one last time or took a cab or road the metro home one last get the picture. What really happened was that I walked out of the building and went across the street to Macy's to exchange some nylons. The building, not my building. None of that is mine anymore, and thank heavens for that.

So, goodbye to my dear friends, and here's to those who've treated me well...

and all the rest can go know.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

:::I'm Moving:::

I'm moving. I've been waiting to write a big, introspective post about it, but, nope, not feeling it. Friday is my last day at work. I fly out to California on the 19th. I'll stay there for a couple of weeks, then I'll move to Dallas. I don't have a ticket for that yet, so I don't have a date. 

I am so stressed. I always thought my last weeks at work would be a riot, buuuut my boss was fired the day I gave notice, so I've been covering both of our jobs and trying to unravel the hot, holy mess that she left behind. Tomorrow a temp is coming to shadow me for two days. Fun. Just how I wanted to spend my last days in the office.

Salvation Army came to my apartment two different times to cart my stuff away. My boxes are packed, and my clothes are in suitcases. I've been trying to cram in every conceivable medical appointment into the past three weeks to use up my reimbursement account. I feel like I'm treading water at work, things are such a mess.

Oh, it will end eventually.