Monday, July 14, 2014

Like a communicable disease

Mike came down a few weekends ago for an interview. Was going to be two, but the second wasn't available until the following week. The job hunt currently continues!

While he was visiting, Nathan and Jamie had a going away party with their close friends that we were invited to. Started off with dinner at Jig and Reel, and then a dessert party at one of their friend's houses (Chris.) Was definitely a really great time! Chris owns 3 donkeys and 4 or 5 dogs, so there were lots of animals to pet for sure :D The donkeys were so sweet!

There's water in that cup, by the way! No, I was not drunk around Chris' ass :P

I couldn't not bring a dessert, so I decided to make cake balls. Was actually fairly simple. Bake a cake.

Let it cool, then dig it up.

Stir in a jar of frosting.

Melt dark chocolate (fail at melting white chocolate.) Ball-up cake mixture.

(Fail at dipping the balls.) Drizzle melted chocolate over the balls. Refrigerate.

Was actually a really fun process :) And everyone loved my balls!! XD

I also made a coffee cake with an identity crisis for Nathan and Rose's going away party in the office. Was supposed to be a lemon coffee cake, but it turned out to be more of a cobbler, so we'll go with lemon coffee cobbler! It was a hit regardless of what it was :) Made lemon pie filling from fresh-squeezed lemons and everything.

Also concocted my own homemade, fresh-squeezed limeade that came out deliciously well :)

Now where did all this lemon and lime juice come from, you might be asking yourself. (Well, from lemons and limes, of course.) But why would I have all this fresh fruit in my house?? I decided that I wanted to make my own limonchello! Turns out it's really quite simple, so long as you can be patient. Purchase Everclear.

Zest some fruit.

Steep. Wait 2-4 weeks

After which time you boil down sugar into water (amount equal to Everclear used), add to the strained steeped mixture, and refrigerate for a day before enjoying. It keeps up to a year in the freezer, too!

For fun, I decided to see what it would be like with limes, too (lime-chello?) Since effectively, you can make a ~chello with anything that you can zest. I'll finish them up next week and see if they came out well :) Hopefully they'll be good with wine! I originally got this idea from the "sangria" that is served at the Peter Kern's Library speakeasy (red wine + limonchello.)

I've been practicing my drawing and vector art. Have already learned a couple of lessons (the hard way... but that may be the best way.) My new FB coverart is half of the first piece I feel like it's okay-enough to share with the Internets. The intent of this blog entry is to include the entire picture, given the other half has been finished... and it has been!

Feels so good to be sketching again. Just keeping at it, and I feel like I may be getting a little better :) Just have to let myself relax while I draw. Keep telling myself "it doesn't matter if it looks like crap!"

Liz invited me over to her and JR's new house for the 4th of July. They did a cookout with one of their married couple friends (I can't remember their names :( ) But we all had a really great time! The couple brought over this delicious corn + feta cheese dip that was to die for. I even put it on my burger (which was also delicious!) Definitely a nice hang-out time :) We could even enjoy the fireworks from their back porch :D

The following day was Desiree's post-wedding party. She and her husband had been married about a month ago, but they kept the ceremony very small. Her new in-laws decided to throw this separate party for everyone to come and enjoy. They certainly had the room for the 50+ people who were there. They even had requested you park at a nearby church and take a shuttle bus that they had arranged to their house! :o (No surprise here, but their ONE shuttle bus was more efficient than the two or three that were employed for the day of the dragonboat races.)

There were a couple of people from work that attended, but I didn't know anyone else. Sampled the food, and spent most of my time on the couch with the other wallflowers watching the Netherlands vs Costa Rica game (go Netherlands!) Almost immediately after the game ended there was a mass exodus, which included myself XD Was a good time despite not really knowing anyone. I hadn't gotten to enjoy much of the World Cup this year unfortunately :( The XBox now requires you to have a provider for ESPN to be able to stream any of their shows. Didn't used to be that way :(

Friday night Michelle texted me wanting to hang out. She had her daughter, so we just hung out at her parents' place watching TV and movies. We both enjoy the Bachelorette (/vice) so we gushed on that XD I also introduced her to the movie Don Jon, which I think she enjoyed!

Yesterday, I cleaned the entire apartment from the counters, to the toilets, all the way to every floor. Also cleaned-out the inside of my car, although it wasn't that bad. Even brushed the kittens! (Which I definitely need to do more often.) Liz and JR both called/texted me later in the day asking me if I could go help them out with their engagement photoshoot, as they needed someone to assist with holding the reflector. I was tired and dirty from cleaning, but I showered-up for them and came out to help :) Met their photographer (Rob) and the four of us headed down to Cade's Cove to shoot some photos in the creek. We then drove around the park loop, stopping every once in awhile to shoot some more. Was lots of fun :) Liz and JR are so adorable! On our way back into town we stopped at the Smoky Mountain Brewery for some dinner, which was great! I had not yet been to any of those restaurants.

I, of course, couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the scenery. No bears tho :(

Work has been going well. Seems to go from one blazing fire to the next with downtime in between. You would think that'd allow for it to be generally consistent work... but you'd be wrong! :P I'm loving it though :)

I'm almost in dire need of new shoes. I thought I really liked these (Sketchers), but the material is already peeling off the top of both shoes. Meh.