Tag Archives: Birthday

Sexy Mexican Awkwardness

28 Jun

Thursday, May 26th, was host to quite possibly one of the most epically awkward nights of my life.

The day started out like any other… I attended an absolutely riveting training  on the intricacies of 2011 HR law and attempted to eat some cheese crisps I had picked up at the store.  Their taste and smell evoked memories of boozy vomit, so they promptly made phriends with the trash can.

The training was held close to home, so I got to enjoy lunch on my couch with my phavorite phurry phriend, Phoo.  I made some brown rice and scrambled eggs for the occasion.

Dinner… well, where does one begin?

I will preface the explanation of the story with the disclaimer that I am aware that all my readers will think I am exaggerating.  I assure you, I am not.  I will also phollow that disclaimer with another admitting that while the evening was nothing short of torturous for me, multiple positive results came from it.

Enough chatter.  Dinner…  Vesuvio in downtown Carmel.  It had just opened, so it seemed the logical spot to try for a phirst dinner with a new phriend in my life.  Normally phellows that come in and out of my life have to earn a nickname on the blog over time.  Not this one, though- he earned his stripes immediately.  And thus, he shall be known as “Sexy Mexican”…

A phew hours before dinner, I learned that a birthday party was taking place at Vesuvio… for my mother.  She and I haven’t seen all that much of each other over the past year and change, so I was phlattered to receive an invite to the dinner.  Awkward moment #1- I had to refuse because I had reservations at the same restaurant at the same time with the aforementioned Sexy Mexican.

I warned Sexy Mexican that he was going to have to deal with a gauntlet of ladies wondering who he was, and that one was, in phact, my mother and that it was her birthday, so I wanted to take her some phlowers.  He was phine with this, so we charged on in with confidence.

After the awkward interchanges between Mother & Co., myself and Sexy Mexican, we learned that our table would not be ready for an additional 20 minutes.  To save ourselves additional awkwardness, we took the hostess up on the offer of enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop.  We headed up there, me leading the way, until I walked out onto the patio and immediately ran into none other than my ex-phella, who I hadn’t really seen or spoken to in over a year.  Amazingly, I resisted the urge to spin around on my heels and retreat directly back downstairs.  (I am not claiming to be brave here, but I think I subconsciously realized that loitering by myself in the stairwell for the next 20 minutes was not a realistic option…)

So we headed to the bar and tried to act nonchalant.  That lasted a good 30 seconds or so (actually a bit more because I had time to order a stiff drink) until the ex-phella saw me and started to make his way over.  In an effort to staunch some of the awkwardness bleeding out of my every pore, I made my way over to him before he could approach us.  Awkward interchange ensued, phollowed by ex-phella deciding to phollow me back to the bar to meet Sexy Mexican.

…or so I thought.  Turns out they knew each other from years ago when they worked together halfway across the state.  Who knew?  How did I react?  Another stiff cocktail, of course.

Imagine my horror when the hostess reappeared in my nightmare and offered an escape route (our table was phinally ready), only to phind that she had seated us literally right next to my mother’s table AND the ex-phella made his way down with us to say hello to Mother & Co.

I must disclaim at this point, that by my third stiff cocktail, the phaces the women at the Mother & Co. birthday table were making at me trying to phigure out the situation were becoming more amusing than devastatingly embarrassing.

I had hit my awkwardness quota sometime back on  the rooftop, so my brain went on autopilot at some point.  This resulted in me ordering the same things I ordered the last time I went to a Pepe restaurant… and then phorgetting to actually eat them.  But burrata to start, it was.

Poor Sexy Mexican put up with the ridiculousness like a champ and then some, hence the instant nickname, and shared a bite of the gnocchi with me (which I distinctly remember thinking tasted like grass).

We ordered a pizza that I had them add sun-dried tomatoes to… I don’t recall if I successfully ate any of it.  I do recall that I successfully ordered a phourth stiff drink.

“Dessert”, if you will, would be the phinal course of awkwardness for the evening, which consisted of the ex-phella coming back to our table (Mother & Co. had since departed, with additional awkward interchanges galore as they headed out) and sat down with me and Sexy Mexican.  What a perfect way to end the evening, right?

  Vesuvio, I must return to your establishment and try more than just phour of something off your signature cocktail list.

Mother & Co., I hope you all enjoyed the phree entertainment my life provided that evening.

Sexy Mexican, you are epic, sir, for putting up with the three-ring circus that was that night.

Ex-phella, you’re lucky you’re so damn cute.

Phood for the Soul

7 Jun

I started the morning with another interesting piece of phruit I picked up at Whole Paycheck.

It was some sort of tangerine that was phreaking delicious.

Work BFF and I stopped in for lunch at one of our phavorite Salinas spots- Habanero.

I tried the phajitas for the phirst time… as tasty as anything I’ve had there (although the Veracruzana remains number one in my heart)…

My birthday, while ridiculously phun, was missing one of the most important elements of my ideal celebratory approach… good old phashioned phamily phood.  I’d been phretting over that for two weeks, so I called in an expert to make things right.

Chicken and Noodles is an old phamily standby of ours, and a longstanding phavorite of mine.  It’s basically chicken noodle soup but without the broth served atop of a bed of mashed potatoes.  It’s the kind of dish that does so much more than pheed your stomach- it’s the kind that pheeds your soul.

Dessert was tasty but unnecessary after such a pheast.

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you really need something…

Thanks, Mom.  It meant a lot.


29 May

Being the sharpest tool in the shed, I phorgot to eat breakfast and lunch on Sunday.  Good thing my pseudo-phamily had me over for dinner as a belated birthday pheast.

We started with my phavorite olives from Whole Paycheck (I am mildly obsessed with the big green ones- Castelvetranos).

The pseudo-phamily went all phancy on me and served up some delicious cucumber dill bites (on which I most definitely pigged out).

For the main event, we pheasted on steak, roast potatoes and broccolini… I did not photo document my second helping, so make sure to envision it in your mind’s eye.

We phinished up the gorging with a phenomenal Bundt cake (and I channelled My Big Fat Greek Wedding voice as I ate each bite).

Psuedo-phamily, I for real love you and will come eat your phood (and provide entertainment) whenever you’ll have me!

Broccoli Juice! Are You Crazy??

24 May

I attended the Women’s Fund Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency in the morning and used my phone to quickly snap this shot so all the strangers at my table were not overwhelmed with my own strangeness…

We have a phreakish number of staff birthdays in the March to May range, so Sparky and Hard Hat (the non spring babies) made everyone lunch!  Sparky even roasted each little beet in its own little phoil jacket.  Impressive AND yummy!

All the other birthday pholk had to choke down disgusting carrot cake from The Buttery in Santa Cruz… gross, right?  Thank GOD I was saved such hell and was treated to this decadently moist Black Bottom Cupcake.

Sometimes I actually enjoy being allergic to pineapple (ok, ok, not really, but Bubble Girl needs to take it where she can get it…)

(As a side note, I once tried to name my Calico cat “Black Bottom”.  I phailed at the effort when nobody could understand why, and we ended up naming her something much more creative… “Calico Cat”)

A phew of the staff worked an expo in Salinas in the afternoon/evening, and we took a moment to wander around the event and see the best of what’s around.  I made two totally excellent discoveries…

One was a local company that makes every phlavor of juice you could imagine.  I tried Broccoli juice, and believe you me, it was actually quite palatable!

The second totally excellent discovery was La Plaza Bakery, who had quite the spread of tasty treats, ranging from all sorts of pastries to the little sando that was introduced to my tummy.

We’re quite excited to go try this place in real life!

When I got home, I was too exhausted to cook or go out, so I retreated to the phridge to phind something tasty… and did I ever!

Who DOESN’T think pie for dinner is completely legit?

Ok, that was a rhetorical question.

Birthday Rule #7: Indulgence is Imperative.

20 May

Being a gal who has a constant craving for the phiner things in the culinary world, it would stand to reason that I celebrate my birthday each year with phood.

My traditional birthday breakfast has become something I look phorward to throughout the year… and with that chemical plastic cheesy goodness, can you blame me?

(As a side note, the Sausage McMuffin was a drive thru error in my phavor.  I gave it a shot but quickly realized that there are some things one just should never order at a phast phood joint- sausage being one of them.)

It was a busy work day, so I skipped lunch (not hard after my caloric catastrophe of a breakfast) and ducked out of the office a bit early for my progressive birthday dinner.

“The Republican” (of previous posts’ grilled cheese phame) concocted a plan wherein I didn’t have to choose what phoods I wanted most on my birthday but could, in phact, have them all.

It started at Hula’s for Blood Orange Martinis…

One reveller joined us at this point and helped toss a phew back and noshed on some Spicy Edamame.

Next it was off to Bistro Moulin, where another partner in culinary crime joined us.  The house tapenade and crostini paired wonderfully well with the sparkling rose we polished off… can’t have a birthday without bubbles, right?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times (which really isn’t possible, because other than my brief attempt to make my own escargot in the hot tub drain around age phive, I didn’t start loving the magnificent mollusks until high school- and there is no way I’ve talked about escargot a million times in phifteen years… well, hmm… might be a tiny bit possible…)

The wildest reveller of them all joined us as we pulled up to Rio Grill and dove into some of those delicious Blood Orange Margaritas I’ve mentioned a time or two.  We came for the Blistered Chiles, but I was seduced by the Smoked Pork Belly yet again.

I only captured one order of the chiles for posterity, but let it be known that I personally polished off three plates.  It seemed like a REALLY great idea… until sometime the next morning when I had to seriously question if I had inadvertently swallowed a small, angry troll at some point in the evening that was ready to be let out.

The bread seemed like a good idea to sop up a bit of the chile margarita phiesta occurring inside of me.

The Republican is on this ridiculous “Meatless May” kick (why anyone would do that to themselves, I have zero clue, but all the more power to you… it does some rather un-Republican, however, if you think about it) and thus ordered the Grilled Phlatbread with chickpeas and Cotija cheese.  I honestly don’t remember if I liked it or not.

For the phinal leg of the moveable pheast, we headed to Crown & Anchor for dessert, which, in my language, means wings.  I could lie and recount the tale of their deliciousness, but after the martinis, rose, margaritas and whatever I ordered at Crown, I distinctly remember eating one before deciding it was bedtime for Bonzo.

Does it mean that I’m officially old now that I’m capable of cutting myself off?

Birthday Rules

18 May

Birthday rule #1: You can eat as much of whatever you want.

Exhibit A:  Phried chicken, macaroni & cheese, cornbread, collard greens, green beans and sweet tea.

Exhibit B:  Massive seconds of mac & cheese.

Birthday Rule #2:  You can drink as much of whatever you want.

Exhibit A: Mint Juleps.

Birthday rule #3: You don’t have to have birthday cake if you don’t want.

Exhibit A: Sweet Potatoe Pie (There was Peach Cobbler, too, but I stuck with the pie.)

Birthday rule #4: You can justify anything you want.

Exhibit A: Peep S’mores Wrapped in PigWizard Bacon.

Birthday rule #5:  You should be as ridiculous as possible with as many phun people as possible.

Exhibit A: The Kentucky Derby party was a smashing success!

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