tobermory's Diaryland Diary

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Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Weekend wrap-up is further down in this entry.

For those of you lucky enough to live somewhere that it doesnít get too cold in the winter, thank your lucky stars. It is freakiní cold here in Chicago. The kind of cold where your boogers freeze. Iím a piker when it comes to the heating bills so we keep the heat set at 62 deg. and just wear a lot of sweaters and fleece and crank up the electric blanket when we go to bed. I have not yet received my heating bill but I imagine that when it comes despite the pikerlyness I will probably need to turn to either eBay or prostitution to pay it. The main problem is that since the top two floors of the house are unfinished there is no fluffy pink insulation to keep the heat inside the house. Brrrrrrrr. I heard a story on the radio today about a man in Indiana who only spends $40 a month heating his house using a combination of solar power and a corn furnace. If I lived near a cornfield you can bet Iíd be signing up for that but there seems to be a paucity of corn fields in the City of Chicago. Maybe I can find a way to burn used cat litter as thereís no shortage of that at my house but I think that, just maybe, it might smell bad as it burned.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances Steve and I will close on the house next Tuesday. Itís just about the best Christmas present I could possibly get. Sure, concessions had to be made but it all turned out in the end. Now the big push is on to get Steve working up there. We (I) have a target date of being settled in upstairs by Christmas of next year Ė I canít wait to decorate and have a tree up again. Steve seems to think that it wonít take a whole year but I think that if I have a year in my mind and itís done earlier Iíll be pleased. If Iím expecting it to be done in six or nine months and it starts to drag on Iíll get crabby. Itís always best to set your standards and expectations low and then to be surprised when theyíre surpassed.

So as if it isnít cold enough here in Chicago and I donít already have enough stuff going on in my life right now, Steve and I are heading to Wisconsin for the weekend. Back in September when nothing was going on I booked a few days up at the farm we go to every year after Labor Day. Who knew that this wouldnít be the best weekend to head up there? But, it will be nice to spend some time doing nothing Ė just sitting in front of the fireplace reading or napping and drinking warming liquids like tea, port and Barenjager. If there were more snow and less sub-zero wind chill I might think of taking up my cross-country skis. As it stands now Iíll just be bringing a tote bag full of books and magazines that I need to catch up on. I am thinking of bringing up my laptop because I need to submit a couple of sample pieces of writing to a certain beauty product/lifestyle website to see if they pass muster. I have a couple of products that I have in mind to talk up, and since theyíre personal favorites of mine writing about them should be easy-peasy. This was supposed to be romantic getaway, but itís hard to be romantic when itís that special Lady Time and I just figured out that I have the beginnings of a UTI since it feels like Iím peeing hydrochloric acid. Iíll be swinging by my doctorís on the way home to pee in a cup for them so they will give me the magical Cipro prescription to make it all better. Yep, thatís me Ė the Czarina of Timing Ė I just couldnít take the time to look at a calendar and my compact of Ortho Novum at the same time and figure out which weekends would be good and which one would be bad. Oh well.

So this past weekend was fantastically fun! Friday and Sunday were pretty normal fun Ė Friday I went to a Northwestern Alumni Travel Program cocktail party with Steve and my parents (looks like Rome in March might be a possibility!) and then had dinner at a yummy Indian restaurant. Sunday we went over to one of Steveís friendís house (note Ė since Iím not Marion the Grammarian I just had to re-type the previous sentence about three times to get the apostrophes so that they at least look like theyíre in the right place Ė mea culpa if theyíre incorrect) to eat breakfast and watch the Bears game. Luckily Steveís friend has a nice wife and she and I blabbed about home remodeling instead of actually watching the (boring) game. But Saturday! Oh what fun! I went downtown with Steve (and Alli and Mike) and we checked out the holiday Chriskindlmarket in Daley Plaza and then met up with Weetabix, Chauffi, MoPie and a few others at Fogo de Chao. I had dipped my toes into the Brazilian steakhouse phenomenon in Vegas at the Mirageís Samba! Restaurant (proclaimed by Chauffi to be sucky although I deeply enjoyed the riblets that they served) but I was a Fogo virgin. I can see why itís generally understood all the others are merely striving to reach the Fogo pinnacle. For starters their signature Capriniha drink was divine Ė enough fresh limes to provide Vitimin C for a week and enough of the liquor to pack a punch. Then the salad bar! I was warned not to be piggish with the salads and it was tough. They have a lavish spread of such wonderful proportions that I had trouble containing myself to: a marinated artichoke heart, some parmesan cheese hunks, a small ball of fresh mozzarella and a tomato slice, smoked salmon (and not the crap kind either Ė it was the good stuff), giant green olives, and crusty bread. There was way more than that to choose from, but I had to put on the breaks because the real star at Fogo de Chao is the meat Ė 14 cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. I sampled a couple of beefs (the filet was tops in my book), chicken (the bacon wrapped breast Ė amazing) and the pork (parmesan crusted loin chunks Ė Iím still thinking of them right now and my mouth is watering). I took Ms. Bixís wise advise and choked down some of the digestion aiding mango dessert despite being completely full and I do think it helped me to not die of meat poisoning later that night. I really enjoyed getting to catch up with Ms. Bix and Chauffi and it was nice to meet the rest of the crew. The only downside of this adventure will be mentioned in this thought: if you are going to eat that much meat in one sitting I would recommend making sure that you double your daily dose of dietary fiber Ė if you get my drift.

Thatís all for today Ė Iíll try to do an update from Wisconsin!

12:31 p.m. - 2005-12-07

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