Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Long Post Defensively Proclaims: "I've Done Stuff."

Thursday night I made my way to Ann Arbor and spent the next couple of days getting schooled at PhotoShop Soup2Nuts. It wasn't all puppies and kittens and flowers, but most of the session were quite helpful and the whole thing cost CONSIDERABLY less than traveling to Vegas for PhotoShop World this year (both in the cost and probably the fun quotients, but hey, you can't win 'em all). Friday night we had our night on the Ann Arbor town. We ate at Cottage Inn on William St, OF COURSE, and on Brother J's girlfriend's recommendation (phew!) we also checked out the Rendez Vous Cafe for some crepes, which she neglected to mention were GIANT-SIZED. They should make warnings on their website. Seriously, when folded in fourths, they STILL covered a regular 12-inch plate. So much tastiness, though, and at least they got the batter right so my cinnamon-sugar one was spot on.

Saturday night we ate dinner at the nearest thing we could find when hunger hit us all like my cats hit their food bowls (that is: hard), and that place happened to be a Macaroni Grill, and the food was decent, but in retrospect it was unnecessarily fattening. I usually enjoy my nutritional sins, but I had "sauteed chicken breast with mushrooms, artichokes, tangy capers and smoked prosciutto in a lemon butter sauce. Served over capellini pasta." Translation: Death On a Plate with Capers. The butter sauce was smothering my food, not merely seasoning it, the prosciutto was not even seasoning either, preferring instead to sit atop my food like tiny chunks of pure, unmitigated fat. It tasted okay at the time, as franchise Italian goes, but WHY DID I EAT IT? I should have just created me own, much healthier pasta.

Also, I ordered a Cosmopolitan because suddenly, after tasting a good one in Richmond and successfully replicated that taste in Michigan, I LIKE COSMOPOLITANS. Plus, Death on a Plate with Capers wasn't killing me fast enough. Oh and then I had some Creme Brulee at the Westin restaurant because I wanted to read and sitting in my room alone wasn't really doing it for me. I've managed to consume food like a responsible adult since then and have, in fact, exercised since that day, but ouch. That one day's worth of crimes is awfully crimeful!

Wow, that was tangentially related AT BEST, but there I went - WHOOOOOOSH on the fatty-food-complaining train like a bat out of Hades.

Anyway, for me to have EATEN at the Westin restaurant, I must have stayed at the Westin Hotel, and I did. It's IN one of the terminals at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and it's awesome. I stayed the night for the following rate: $75. I CAN'T STAY AT THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FOR THAT. I was so proud. And yes, the bed, shower, soap, and even notepad were all as Heavenly as they proclaimed themselves to be. The one blemish on the moment was the absense of Hubster since the last (and only other) time I there was with Hubster the night after our wedding.

Anything I say now will be irrelevant because you're all either making that stupid "Bow chica WAH OW" noise or rolling your eyes at everyone else who is.

Okay, everyone with me now? Goood. So I flew home Sunday and Hubster picked me up on the way to picking up his real love - a new desk. He's been eyeing some of the ones from IKEA, particularly this one, and he found someone in Reston who was selling a mint-condition one for a good price. We had a DICKENS of time getting it home in Hermano (for those of you just tuning it, it's our CRV - an Arrested Development reference) because the desk top is one huge polygon of car-packing doom. It wasn't exactly the most relaxing thing to do after getting up at 5:45am to travel. Meh, we ate at Chipotle on the way home and then spent the evening putting his new setup together. And he's in heaven. Speaking of heaven, you would not believe how excited he's been about the World Cup. MY HUSBAND. EXCITED ABOUT SPORTS. Perhaps what is most unbelievable is that I'm happy about it. What can I say, I love me some fĂștbol.

I still owe you a post about Detroit and a new template which I have done NOTHING about. Well, I've been tinkering with banners and color schemes, but I also need to reformat my computer and put Adobe CS2 on my system along with the PhotoShop brush and background sets we just bought at the convention, so I'll just put it off and pretend that's what it's about: improving quality with new tools, instead of admitting what it's really about: my utter lack of inspiration. And on that note . . .


Neil said...

Macaroni Grill's the Americanization of Italian food, and I kind of hate it. It pretends to be gourmet, but really it's just fatty grossness. The decor's horrid too; it seems to be basically the same at every restaurant, across the country.

Got I hate chain restaurants... EAT LOCAL.

Neil said...

that should've been 'god i hate...' :)

RedHurt said...

This is the best title I've seen in a while!

I like macaroni grill. It's not cheap, and it's a chain, but sometimes that's what I want, ok? When you're in a new city, sometimes you don't want to be adventurous, and it's nice to know what you're getting into.

E.A.P said...

Whenever possible, I like to explore local, non-chain restaurants. Sometimes, though, and especially when I'm traveling, I have to agree with Redhurt and say that I tend to stick to what I know. It helps when I have adventurous (or at least flexible) people with me. Though Sometimes we end up ordering room service and calling it a night - obviously, that's missing the point entirely.

I'll never give up my Chipotle or Panera, but I do enjoy finding a Rendez Vous Cafe. I love me some Ram's Head Tavern, too, but that's technically a conglomerate encompassing several locations in Maryland. Does that mean it's not "local?" Meh, hard to say. Ah the perils of the suburbs. And cities anymore. Starbucks much?

Neil said...

I do love Panera.

I don't really hate chain fast food type places, but the huge "gourmet" chains like Macaroni Grill or Bravo really get on my nerves. The food ain't that unique or good, and the prices are outrageous.

I'm also terribly pick about Italian food and until 2 years ago had grown up with an Italian restaurant in the family, so that could be part of it... :)