Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mongo's Mongolian Barbecue

We decided to go check out Mongo's Mongolian Barbecue on Saturday night. It was quite an adventure. It's a really cool concept. The menu is very simple. There's a stir fry bar (my word) and a salad bar. You can go to the bar for one price, add a trip to the salad bar for a little more or do an all you can eat deal for about $15.00. The bar has all kinds of veggies and meats. I was pleasantly surprised to find in addition to the chicken and steak I expected to find an assortment of meats including lamb, calamari, shrimp, tilapia and scallops. There was a wide variety of sauces to put on your dish. You could go from anything as mundane as just spaghetti with marinara sauce to the most wild creation you wanted to make. There was also a variety of herbs and spices. Making our own dishes was fun. Watching the cooks cook our food was fun. But, I think the most fun was watching other people at the bar seeing how full they could pack their bowls.

The meal wasn't super cheap once you added in the fact that Kayla is no longer a kid by their standards (under 10). I may have tipped a little generously considering the servers' only responsibilities were bringing drinks and bringing our tab. But, it was a lot of fun and very good.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xmas 2007

Christmas was fun. The girls were ecstatic with their haul, as usual. They got iPod nanos (last generation) as a surprise. They were not expecting them. (Those are the best kinds of gifts). I lucked into finding a Wii almost two months before Christmas. I happened to be at Costco at opening one day and there was a pile of Wiis. I hadn't even given a Wii more than a few passing moment's thought before then but when I saw people grabbing at a pile of stuff, I grabbed one too, then figured out later what I had (isn't mimetic rivalry a weird thing?). I called Ty and we decided to keep the Wii. But, she made me wait until Christmas to present it to the family. It was a hit, even though the girls had no clue they were going to get one. They hadn't even asked because, for some reason, they had figured they would not get one. I'm not sure why because there's much they have asked for that they haven't gotten.

I bought a Troll bracelet for Ty. This was another sweet gift because she had asked for it so late and I had convinced her that there was no way I was buying into that racket. But, after visiting a shop with Jon and spending a couple of hours looking at the things, I became convinced they actually are very nice (even if priced at about 2X what they are worth). You can buy charms for those special occasions in life. We started her off with six beads including "Ty", her birthstone, a Xian fish symbol and a couple of glass beads.

Ty got me a nice speaker system for the iPod (so I could have music in the basement). The remote was broken however, so we returned it and I went to Costco and picked up another system. I also got the Eagles' new album which is fantastic!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gingerbread House

Shayna was so intent on getting this gingerbread house when she saw it at Costco. After getting it and getting it home, we realized the reason was she thought you put it together, then proceeded to eat it. Ever obsessed with anything sweet, she thought this was a pretty good thing. She was still excited to put it together and leave it on display. But not nearly as excited as if she had been able to devour it.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Treasured Locks Bracelets

Always looking for ways to promote Treasured Locks, we found this site where we could get customized bands. It was interesting trying to photograph this and not have a distracting background. Thanks to PhotoShop Elements I think this turned out OK.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Watching TV with Shayna

A rare picture of me.

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Judyism

I miss some of the cute little sayings the girls used to have and the few words they would mispronounce. Kayla calling Monopoly Mono (short o) Poly (long o). They way they both said renember instead of remember (still do sometimes). But, Shayna still gives us a chuckle every once in a while.

Last night we were coming back from dinner at Macaroni Grill and were discussing the holiday season and different people's celebrations- Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, etc. We were talking about Dave and Kristi and the fact that he, a Jew, married a non-Jewish woman. I was explaining to the girls how Judaism was traditionally handed down through the mother's line. Shayna said "Judy? I thought her name was Kristi."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Two Places At Once

Last night (Friday), the girls had overlapping events. Unlike most of the families around us, we are not usually over committed even though the temptation is always there and seems to grow. Kayla has sewing classes and Girl Scouts. Shayna has dance, basketball and Brownies. But, on Friday, the perfect storm came together as Kayla had her Christmas play on the same night Shayna had her Winter dance recital. The dance recital started at 6:30 and the play at 7:00. Throw in that it was the night for the annual IBM reunion in Lexington and something had to give (guess what was the first thing to go).

Ty took Kayla to play rehearsal at 3:00 and she was there until her play started. We drove separately to Shayna's recital in case something went wrong and one of us had to rush to Kayla's play. Shayna was scheduled for the first half of the recital (just before intermission) and Kayla was not going to be doing the main part of her performance until after 7:30. So, if everything went perfectly, we'd be on the road around 7:10 and get there just in time to see Kayla do her thing.

The dance recital started on time. So far so good. The numbers were timed and were back to back. So, it went without a hitch until... In the middle of Shayna's number, the music stopped. We later found out someone had created a chopped off version of the song and put it on the CD given to the guy playing the music. The girls were devastated as their song stopped, the handlers rushed the stage and herded them off with looks of disbelief on their little faces. The next group was up and since they didn't have the right version of the song, they were just out of luck. I had no choice but to leave, it was 7:06 and I had to get to the car and on the road to catch Kayla's play. Ty would pick up Shayna and meet us at the church where Kayla's play was.

Ty called me about 5 minutes into my drive. They had found the full version of the song and were going to let the girls perform again. Good thing. They were crushed. I guess there were no tears. But, they were close.

I got to the play in time to see Kayla do her cheerleader routine (yeah, Kayla as a cheerleader). Ty and Shayna missed it. Thank G-d for camcorders. I missed Shayna's dance routine and Ty and Shayna missed Kayla's cheerleader deal. So much for the timing working out.

p.s.- turns out the electronics curse struck again. Ty recorded her conversation with me (over the cell phones) where she asked me how to use the camcorder. But, she did not record Shayna's routine. So, all we have is the cut off version that I shot before I left.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

The Season Ends on December 2nd.

Maybe it's just frustration at how we continue to find ways to lose games. But, I'm almost inclined to say yes to firing Marvin. Last night we lost to the Squealers for the second time this year.

I've found this season particularly frustrating as the only consistency has been our inconsistency. The offense can't play when the defense plays decent ball and vice versa. We start off a game looking great and finish looking like a bunch of guys who have never played football before. Our offensive line goes through periods where they can't seem to stay in their stances until the ball is snapped. Last night, I finally saw that deer in the headlights look you guys have been talking about. Of course Marvin had to throw that challenge flag. Near the end of the game, Chad didn't know when it was 4th down. How do you not know that?

I'm extremely frustrated. I figured 8-8 at the beginning of the year. But, this team is worse than I thought. Something has to be done. Last night we handed another game to the Squealers. We have proven we cannot win two games in a row and we have to admit the 4 wins this year are more of a fluke than the 8 losses. The only problem is when you're so inconsistent in so many areas, it's hard to figure out what to do. Would firing Marvin help?

When I predicted 8-8, I didn't think the season would end on December 2. It's officially over now boys. We get to play 4 games for "pride" now. And, we don't even get to look forward to any good things like possibly playing the Squealers to knock them out of the playoffs.

I'd have to put the loss last night on Carson. He was awful. The defense continued to get turnovers for us. They played decent ball. But, the offense couldn't do anything with it. The conditions, of course, were awful. But, Carson was even awfuller.

I'm trying to find the silver lining in this season. But, it's pretty well hidden. Maybe we'll get a new offensive and defensive coordinator out of it (probably not). I'd like to say this frees up my next four Sunday afternoons. But, like a true masochistic Bengals fan, I'll continue to watch this train-wreck until the end.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Kayla's Birthday Party

Kayla had a few girls over for a skating party, pizza and a make over. Then, they watched movies until the wee hours of the morning. She's 11 now, well into her "double digits".

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