Saturday, August 30, 2008

DragonCon 2008

Now, I think we all know that I'm not much for video games, scifi (unless it is a good book), gaming, etc.

But forgoing all that, Atlanta is the home to DragonCon. A huge conference / party celebrating all things "dorky" (according to M).

DragonCon takes over Atlanta's downtown you can walk down the street and pass a Jedi knight talking to a Klingon, faeries dancing with pirates, and so on. While most of the festivities take place inside the many Atlanta hotels, on Saturday morning they shut down Peachtree and have a parade.

This year I decide to surprise M and take him downtown to enjoy the parade and all of it's glorious dorkiness.

We were not disappointed...

For all of the pictures check out my flickr page
...yes this is just a taste of the glorious dorkiness.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day off!

Well, I had a great day. I lazed around in the morning doing my favorite "sick day" things. Sleeping in, lounging in my pajamas with the kitties on the couch, watching the today show...

It was fabulous!

I then got my act together and went down to city hall to pick up our approved plot!! When I got home M was there, he had taken the afternoon off. We ran over to Decatur and had a nice lunch at Taqueria Del Sol and were able to walk our approved plot through Dekalb county. I have to say that the county is so much easier than the city. We walked to the courthouse and got the plot recorded in the plat book and then over to the GSI department and were done in 1 hour! That is so amazing when it has taken the city a full month to get our plot approved.

We then got the copies made and brought them back to the city to be distributed. Spoke with the zoning lady and set up an appointment with her for next week. This forward progress means we might actually be able to break ground in the next few weeks!

How much do you want to be that it will happen when I am in San Antonio??

Lastly, my favorite sister (okay, my only sister) has started a blog check it out!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The joys of living in L5P...

So, M and I had a great night tonight. We got home drove over to the Glenwood and had a nice dinner.

I have to say though, the place looks completely different when you are sober. The last time I was there was (I think) Ash's birthday. I think it was our third or fourth stop of the night. Let's just say a good time was had by all.

(back to tonight)

We sat on the back deck had a nice meal. They have fabulous food. I had a great Caesar salad and M had some rabbit Brunswick stew. Both were very yummy. We then took a little walk through EAV and drove home.

Now, Moreland is under construction, so traffic was a little snarly and we finally were able to turn onto our street. Just as we are about to approach our entrance. A few guys deliberately walked out in front of us. So I honked at them and got called (earmuffs) a fuckin' bitch. I then proceed to try to turn into our drive and another fine upstanding citizen proceeds to call me again (earmuffs) a fuckin' bitch. And give me a 5 minute diatribe on how I almost ran him over. Now, since I just stopped ever so patiently for the a**holes crossing in front of me. I could not have been going that fast. Besides the fact that I was still in the street, not even touching the sidewalk and the guy had to walk towards the car with his fingers raised just so we could hear him. M and I kind of stared the guy down and he eventually moved on.

Anyway, the combination of the two kind of ruined the mood of our night. I just wish people were a little more conciensous of others, even if they are in cars. It seems to me that some people just like to come to our neck of the woods to act "cool". While the ambiance and mood of L5Ps are the few of the reasons we live here. Cool does not equal nasty and rude.

Well. tomorrow's another day. And I took it off. I'm not going to let the interlopers ruin my 4 day weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

if 10 eggwhites don't make a meringue, then i'm not sure what does...

And so begins my foray in to angelfood cake making.

Now, the story begins long ago with my mum telling me that you should make every cake from scratch except for an angelfood cake. "it is just too much work". I watched our foreign exchange student attempted it when I was in junior high and her cake ended up about 2" high. So, I've basically stuck with my mum's advice. Until Monday night.

I've been reading a lot of Sheri's blog It's Just Not Dinner Without Cat Hair (the story of my life too) and came across this recipe. An angelfood cake! Now, M is a texture eater and it has been a real struggle for him with me taking the wheat out of the house. Everything is a "little grainy", "too gummy" or "just not right". When I found this, I thought it might actually work. M loves angelfood cake and it is mainly eggwhites, so the texture shouldn't change too much.

A dozen eggs later (to get 10 egg whites) and a powdery mess from all of the sifting I had one beautiful angelfood cake baking away in the oven. It baked and rose high and actually stayed pretty tall when it was done.

So, how to serve it?? With lightly sweetened strawberries and creme anglaise, afterall I had 10 egg yolks too. And I fully believe that the whole egg should be together. So, I whipped up a quick creme anglaise from my new favorite gastronomy book, What Einstein Told His Cook 2. Unfortunately I did not have the whole milk and used skim instead. I ended up cooking it in the microwave for a bit to thicken. I thickened it too much, but a quick pass through a mesh strainer and the lumps are mostly gone!

So for this month's Sugar High Friday, I submit not a meringue, but a G-F Angelfood Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Creme Anglaise.

Just don't tell A & J that I had a piece before knitting night. I had to get the picture!! And I'll have another when I get there!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My "jet-setting" lifestyle

So, my boss came up to me last week and said "do you want to go to Neenah next Friday?" Well, usually in those cases it is best to just say "yes". So I did and started thinking about staying over on Friday night and visiting with my sister. Well, that's not quite what happened yesterday.

I couldn't stay over because I was riding up and back on the corporate plane. yup, me with a bunch of big-wigs on a plane for 4 hours yesterday. Now, I have to say, despite the big-wigs. and in actuality they are all really nice people and easy to talk to. This is the way to travel. The plane took off at 7AM, so my boss told me to be there by 6:30. No waiting! No security! no liquid carry-on limits, no lines, and a continental breakfast to boot. The food was way better than first class.

The plane was kind of like what you would see in the movies, with the highly polished wood cabinets and doors, four captain's chairs, and two couches that ran the rest of the length of the plane. Pretty comfy.

Despite the fact that I wasn't allowed to bring my knitting and my headphones and hide in the corner, the ride up and back went well. We mostly just ate and chatted. The Olympics was the hot topic of conversation.

For some reason, I don't think my next trip will be quite so comfy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The stitch took a little longer than I wanted it to, but the blanket turned out great.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Permitting...will it ever end

So, M got me involved in the permitting process this week.

He received a call from the zoning people earlier in the week and went in to chat with them. While there he discovered:
  • He had calculated the height of our house wrong and we were potentially too tall. (the actual definition of building height was buried in the zoning rules so far that it took me an hour and a half to find it)
  • The lot that we had bought and had surveyed was different then what was in the plat books for the county and the city.
  • We may be covering too much of the lot with our house. (we hadn't included the driveway or the decks on the upper stories in our calculations.)
At first the lady in zoning tore him a new one, saying stuff like we weren't going to be able to build it and so on and so forth. Then M gave her the low down. Explaining how far behind schedule we are and how we really can't make too many changes now. Not to mention how much we have already invested in this new house. After explaining our situation a little the lady started working with us. I think she began to feel like she was helping "M and Zilla" build their house, instead of some crazy muckity-muck architect wanting to build some modern atrocity. She and M worked out some sort of a plan and M got me involved.

I spent some time (an hour and a half) going through the zoning codes and found the definition of building height. Then my "crazy math brain" started coming up with about a million different ways to calculated it. The best thing about definitions is how many ways you can interpret them. Let's just say M was pretty glad he married me.

So, the next day M and I started working through the math and came up with a couple different scenarios that had the house all within the height restrictions. The main problem is that we are excavating our driveway and garage to hide them from view on the street, giving that side of the house a height of about 10 ft above the maximum height, but luckily for us it is the average height of the building that matters.

M then had me go to city hall with him to talk to the zoning lady. Once we got into see her, I was amazed at how helpful she was. We got the lot coverage out of the the way (we are at 46% and the max is 50%). Now to deal with building height. We were able to get her sold on our method, with a few corrections. Then she went to verify it with her boss. We could see them talking, it was like two people deciding you fate and you had no control. At first we thought it wasn't going to work, her boss didn't like it at all. Then she went to bat for us. YAY!!! M and I sat and watched her work for about 10 minutes and eventually we saw her boss nodding along with her. When she came back she asked us to move the retaining wall forward on the garage side of the house. (a small change that we could handle) That would move up our average grade and we would be within the maximum height.

Now, we just have to get the plat worked out. M called the county and they were already aware of the issue and were working on it on their end. That is supposed to take 7 days, then it goes to the city, another 15 days. Me being the optimist thinks that maybe we will be able to break ground this month, M thinks it may be September. Either way, I'm glad we signed the year lease at the loft instead of the 6 month.

Now for a couple fun notes:
  1. M won his first commission at work. YAY!!! This is a BIG DEAL for an architect, but he is being his usual modest self about all of it. Hopefully in a couple of years we will all be traveling to Resaca National Battlefield and seeing his plan and buildings complete.
  2. M and I had lunch with the fam at Brines, a Stillwater institution, while we were home. One of my all time favorites ever and a true family favorite. If you are there to eat, you can't walk out without having a hot fudge malt (yes, I know the malt powder may not be good for me, but this is a special treat and I felt fine the rest of the day). If you are there to drink, order yourself a bloody and enjoy the beef stick that comes with it. Mmmm......

Obviously, Bud was enjoying his malt.
This may become my new monitor background at work...