Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blues With Me

This weekend was just what I needed.  After feeling a bit alone this week, I was more than ready for time with my swing buddies.  Plus, this blues dance workshop marks the 712th day I have known this wonderful young man.  That’s right, two years!

Blues in the Nite 1




[Yes, Jack is wearing the exact same shirt in both pictures and when I giggled
and asked him about it while writing this post he replied: “It’s my dancin’ shirt!”]

As far as this year’s day of workshop classes went, they didn’t present anything new per say.  We had learned almost everything at other workshops at other points in our dancing “careers”, though the moves and such were still fun.  We a nice time rotating and dancing with people we don’t normally get to hang out with on a regular basis.  Lunch was new however!  We went with a group to Pappy’s, a 50s style diner that Jack and I always walk by and say we’re going to go to but never have.  Well, we rectified that.


I ordered a grilled chicken breast melt and he ordered the smokehouse burger.  We split an order of fries and hand-cut, hand-battered onion rings.


My sandwich was dripping with goodness.  The sautéed onions, swiss cheese, and “special sauce” were very yummy. The fries were out of a bag and not super crispy while the onion rings were overboard on the batter.  The onion couldn’t have been more than an 1/8th of an inch thick and the batter was probably twice that on each side.  While it isn’t my preferred ratio, they were still great smothered in ketchup or honey mustard.  =D

When the evening break from classes rolled around Jack and I drove to a dining hall on campus for dinner.  Now I know what you’re thinking: why on Earth would you go to a dining hall voluntarily?!?  Well, for one thing, his school has some kick butt dining options.  For a second thing, this is the location of our “first date”.  This night, two years ago, during dinner break at my first blues dance exchange, we went to this dining hall, had dinner, and got to know each other.  We have gone every year since.

Now this dining hall was buffet-style and we were hungry after a long day of dancing so we sampled basically everything.  I started off with a salad with romaine, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, lima beans, carrots, feta, and raspberry vinaigrette along with some coleslaw.


Second I had some sesame chicken, stir fried vegetables, and a mini egg roll along with a glorious slice of BBQ chicken pizza.  Man it was good.


Afterwards I had some stuffed shells, cinnamon apples, garlic bread, and green beans.  I also had some guilty pleasure fries (two servings in the same day, ahh!) as well with ketchup and what I think was steak sauce.


We ended the meal by splitting some desserts: raspberry lemon icebox cake, “dirt” pudding, cookies & cream and peppermint stick ice cream, and cookies (chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle, chocolate crinkle).


What a fun time we had spending two hours just chatting, eating, and reminiscing over the last two years.  I can’t believe it’s been that long since we first met.  Later on in the evening we made our way to the evening dance (9-11:59p) and late night (12-3a).  I think this is probably my favorite part of the weekend because the songs never stop and your dance card never goes empty.  I danced with a bunch of people, had some great laughs, and a wonderfully friend-filled time.  I needed this to recharge and I’m so glad I got the chance to take it all in.

Jack and I collapsed into bed around 3:30 in the morning and didn’t wake up until something like 11am this morning.  Since it was so close to lunch time we made sandwiches.  He had chicken,spinach, and feta burgers and I made myself a turkey, colby jack, and spicy southwestern mustard grilled cheese along with half an apple and a whole orange.  I also tried a prune for the first time!


After waking up and being sore all over from all the dancing, I decided a day on the couch in my PJs was in order.  I spent the whole day perusing the internet, going through my Google reader, and searching through infertility/assisted reproductive technology literature to see if my thesis idea is feasible/not already done by someone in the relevant field.  Jack did much of the same as well as made some homemade protein bars with four ingredients: oats, pudding mix, protein powder, and almond milk.  They smell delicious and have pretty decent stats: 250 calories and 19g of protein for an 1/8th of a 9x13 pan.  Perhaps I will have to make some for myself soon!

In the middle of the day I did another session with Jillian Michaels.  I’m working on that 6-week 6-pack she promises and though I was sore and really didn’t want to do a whole bunch, I stuck to my plan and made it through another 35 grueling minutes.  Topped off with a shower, I refueled with a late afternoon snack of prunes, crackers with peanut butter, blueberries, and string cheese.


More of nothingness ensued.  It’s amazing how much time you can kill on the internet for sure.  I should not do this same thing tomorrow but rather read some of my articles for class this week.  Oh well, one day of being unproductive is totally warranted and not detrimental this early in the semester.  For dinner, Jack and I had made a Paleo-friendly meatball recipe in the slow cooker.


We promptly made it very un-Paleo by serving it over some pasta with cheese.  It was delicious.  The meatballs were made of beef and pork with some Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, and egg.  They were simmered in crushed tomatoes which reduced into a nice sauce that was just enough to coat the pasta.


Post dinner plans: hunker down on the couch for a movie marathon.  Sucker Punch and 21 are on the list.  Jack and I had wanted to see the former when it first came out but we decided it probably wasn’t worth the astronomical price of movie tickets these days so we figured we would see it after it became available otherwise.  As for the latter, I picked it up in the $5 Walmart bin.  This is the second time I have found a winner buried in there!  Jack hasn’t ever seen it so I think it will be a treat.

Questions: Have you ever found a gem in the $5 bin?
What food place have you been wanting to go to but haven’t made it to yet?


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