Thursday, July 30, 2009

Condo madness

I am on my condo association's board. And let's just say it's not all that much fun.

At first it seemed like a really good idea. A way to take my Type A personality and make sure that I was involved and had a say in what was going on. But, dude, it's been difficult to say the least.

We've been working on a construction project that has taken the better part of last summer and this summer to complete. Let's just say that most of our time is taken up with either working around the fickle Chicago weather or trying to get the fickle contractors, subcontractors, and assorted handymen out to our property to work on stuff. Add in an architect/engineering firm and 23 residents and it's been an absolute nightmare to organize. Luckily we have a management company (who some of the residents don't like... and I would quit if we didn't have them around!) who coordinates a lot of the work. But it's difficult for them too - they have multiple other buildings they manage so they only have so much time to execute a project management role. Additionally, there are many snafus - right after the stairwells were painted, someone tracked the black paint out onto the sidewalk. Then, Right after we sealed the sidewalk someone let their dog walk through the sealant and tracked the (grey) sealant back out into the stairwells.

Oy. It's like herding cats.

Heading up my Beef List on the condo association are two things in particular:
  • Everyone complains about everything.
  • No one ever comes to the meetings we have and no one wants to serve on the board. I don't get this... why spend roughly a hojillion dollars on something and then not give a flying rip about how it's managed? The meetings are IN our building and we give people two weeks' notice.... how does no one show up?! Plus since no one shows up we are scraping by trying to get people to serve on the board. Last time the only three people who showed to the meeting HAD to be officers.
What I've taken from this is that no one actually wants to help work on anything, they just want to complain. I somehow feel like I'm back in the sorority. Except back then people fought tooth and nail for offices b.c that established the sorority-girl hierarchy.

Add in the fact that everyone wants to do something else to the property, and if we did all these things the condo association would have no money whatsoever. But if we don't do them then we are automatically not listening to the residents.... I would like to just get this big construction project done and THEN talk about other minor improvements that can be done. One step at a time, my peeps.

Hubs has said he'll take over my board seat if it gets to be too much for me, but my Type A Control Freak personality wigs a little over even him taking it over. I guess that Hubs taking over would be a better scenario than someone else altogether taking it over, right?? If I could even GET someone else to take it over!

I guess I'm starting to see why people avoid condo associations. At least ours doesn't dictate too much about how we live our lives... I've heard some ridiculous horror stories.

So what do you think? Stick it out? Make Hubs take over? Say to heck with it? Has anyone else had condo association madness?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Random Wednesday purchase

How did we go to Macy's to get my boss some new sunglasses at lunch and he ended up with no sunglasses and I got a watch? Oh well.

At least we stuck to our lunch guns and didn't eat over there. Which was soooo hard, I love the Macy's cafe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walking taco

So one of the random swag items I picked up at Blogher was a couple 100 calorie packs of Fritos. "I have been fiending for a walking taco," I told Michelle. "Take more! Take them all!" insisted the poor Frito-Lay dude that got stuck manning the desk. I didn't have to be asked twice - we each took a couple more and put them in our bags. And last night I was having Stacy over for Tacos and to watch the Bachelorette finale (woot! Go Team Ed!).... it was like a perfect storm that said "Make thyself a walking taco and NOW!"

Since I love them so, I thought I would take and post some pics, even though it's like the most ridiculously easy recipe EVAH.

I used to eat these all the time at the Evansville Fall Festival, county fairs, the state fair, etc in Indiana. Since I've been living in Chicago (6 years! eek!) I have been to very few of those kind of events. Sure, we have street fairs but they have fancy food like Chicago Style Pizza or Pad Thai. Therefore this was a long time coming.

First throw the meat in a pan (1 pound). I used ground turkey, because that's what I had. But if you get 95% ground sirloin it's really the same calorie content as turkey. Sure you save some fats with turkey, but not a whole lot (unless you get the 100% white meat... but then it's just not as juicy and the meat is really dry... not as appetizing)

First: get a box, second: cut a hole in the box... wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, here is the meat all browned up.
Then pour in 2/3 cup of water
Grab some of this stuff. You can buy the generic stuff or Lawry's. I buy the Old El Paso because I'm pretty sure that's what my Mom bought when I was younger. Plus they have this "less sodium" version which is probably good for me or something.
Pour that junk into the pan and stir it all up
Let the meat simmer until the liquid is pretty much all gone. Somehow I didn't get a pic of the liquid being all gone, but you get my point.
Take out your swag bag and get your bag of Fritos. Cut off the top of that bag, yo.
Put some meat in the bag on top of the Fritos. A random Frito fun fact - they are like the simplest chips ever. If you look at the ingredients list, they only contain whole corn, corn oil, and salt. That must mean they are health food!
Put a dollop of Daisy on it. I think I've been watching too much TV. Anyways, this is the light stuff and it's only like 40 calories for 2 tablespoons. I estimate this to be about 10 calories' worth.
A bit of reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese comes to the party
A sliced-up cherry tomato, some olives, and green onions add some color
Salsa rounds out the mix. This stuff is Mrs Renfro's Mango Habanero salsa. When I get down to one full jar I get all freaked out and run out and buy more. This stuff makes plain eggwhite omelettes delectable.
Stir it up and eat! Something about the Fritos being in a bag makes this so much better. Maybe because all the toppings staying on the Fritos instead of getting all over a bowl. I don't know and I don't care, I just know that this walking taco had a lifespan of about 10 seconds.
So wrong but it feels so right. Actually, with all the lowfat stuff, this thing only had a bit over 200 calories. Not bad! WAY better than the State Fair version, I'm sure!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blogher 09

Michelle did a pretty good job summing up our Blogher experience. I don't know if I would travel to go to such an event, but I could see how once you got to know a few people it would be a more fun girls-weekend-out experience. I was a bit sad that I couldn't really go to any after-parties (or even stay the whole day on Saturday) because of other obligations I had in Chicago - so I see how it would be fun to be in a different city without the responsibilities of home. And yet I don't know if for me it would be worth it to drop a grand or so to travel/eat/stay away from home. I don't know. But I could see it would be more worth it if you actually had a big readership and/or made money off of your blog.

When we first got there, we waited about 45 minutes for Michelle's name tag b.c the guy who first tried to find it for her couldn't, so he thought it had to be reprinted. Suck! Once we got to the front of the reprinting line, she figured out he just didn't know what he was doing. Oh well, it's not like we needed that hour of our life or anything. I was holding Sam while we were waiting, and people kept coming up to me and asking me if I wanted free stuff for the baby. I kept going, "She's my friend's baby, but I'm sure she'd be open to that!" So Michelle ending up scoring some Born Free stuff and a sling for Sam by just sitting around there for awhile. I can't complain, Sam is super cute and I had fun hanging out with her! After the nametag debacle we headed upstairs to drop Sam at daycare, where they slapped her name on her back and proceeded to love hanging out with her the whole day. Everytime we dropped in to check on her, someone was holding her and playing with her. The daycare workers seemed to sweet and fun, and they really seemed to enjoy hanging out with the kids.
Walking around the expo, we ran into Jessica and then we walked over to meet Rick Bayless. I asked if we could get a pic with him, and then the girls who were working the booth were all like "Let them through! Rick invited them back!" I felt Very Important for all of like 2 seconds, but Rick was super nice. I told him that I get my groceries and chop up all my veggies/prepare meals for the week while watching Top Chef so I feel like I'm in the middle of the action, and we discussed a cooking technique I'd seen on the show and didn't quite understand. I was so glad to have met him!

I told one of the girls at his booth: "You see all these bloggers that you read and you feel like you know and you don't want to be the fangirl, but I will totally be the fangirl for Rick Bayless." She laughed and asked if I wanted a pork tshirt. Uh, ok.

We also met Mrs. Potatohead. She was one cool homegirl. And Short!!!
I knew I definitely wanted to meet a few of the people whose blogs I read, but it was very rare that I ran into anyone in a manner that let me do so. I mean, I am NOT going to run up to someone out of the blue when they are talking to someone else. When I saw the people I wanted to say hi to, they were usually talking to someone else or on the move walking somewhere with a group of other women. But I did get a chance to say hi to Amalah, Leah, and Kristin. They were all pretty nice. Amalah's baby Ezra was even more adorable in real life than over the Internets, and so was Leah's baby Wombat. I got to tell Leah that I loved her talking about how they decided to have Wombat, and got to find out Wombat's real name (not for internet ears!). I walked up and introduced myself to Kristin at the cocktail party and she was so sweet! I loved even briefly meeting her and getting to chat! I was also glad to meet some people in person that I feel like I know because I've read their blogs for so long! All in all, I am glad I made myself step up and say hi. They all seemed like Good People.

On the second day of Blogher,
Michelle and I hit up a session that Workplace was sponsoring, which was interesting. Although Workplace hadn't sent anyone to man the booth they had with materials in front of the session. Weird. Oh well, I got some cool notebooks with the company logo for myself and a coworker!

We also heard that Paula Deen was going to make an appearance around lunchtime, so of course we got there around 45 minutes early to make sure we got good seats. And we did, first row, front and center. We were excited!

Then Paula's flight got delayed and we were a little less excited.
Finally she arrived and gave a short talk and took some questions. People kept asking her questions about recommended recipes for a new husband, for kids, for a vegetarian. What I really wanted to know was Where were the hot guys who carry out the butter on her show? I would have totally brought them along with me if I was her. Regardless of hot butter guys or not, she was HILARIOUS. One girl asked how to please her new husband in the kitchen and Paula told her to not wear anything under her apron. Her bodyguard/coordinator guy Hollis was cracking up as she answered questions, could barely look at her during some of her answers, and had tears rolling down his face. Let's just say he has a pretty fun job.
Of course I had to snap some random pictures. Paula had on jellies with bling-bling.
Speaking of bling-bling... she put her hand on Michelle's leg a coupla times to reach back and hand the microphone to someone in the next row. I had to take a picture. She got so many carats it's like she's a vegetarian (name that rap song!) The couple women around us burst out laughing when I snapped this one. Which was half the reason I did it, to entertain myself. And to show Andy how much Paula was hitting on his wife :)
We wanted to bounce after this talk, as Michelle had her father-in-law's birthday party to go to, I had a wedding to attend in the 'burbs, so when I realized that we wouldn't have time to stand in line and get a picture with Paula we started taking pictures like this:

So cheesy yet so fun.

Overall the experience was pretty fun. It was funny-odd for me, because as the resident event-planner in my group I felt the grand need to want to show everyone around and make sure they had fun - but it seemed like most of the women there had NO problem with that! So I wasn't all that helpful on that front, but threw in some random twitter advice when I could. I am glad that so many women seemed to enjoy our city and alot of what it has to offer, and share my opinion that it truly is a great place to be!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 Things I Like about Gayle

According to Birthday Tradition, here is 10 things I like about my Mom, a little late (her bday was Wednesday, July 21!):
  1. My Mom just GETS it. She gets me perhaps more than anyone.
  2. My Mom is great with kids. I don't know what she does, but she can get Gracie to sleep in 5 min flat when Katie's been trying for hours to no avail. Earlier this year I told her "I don't know how you do that, but you should bottle it and SELL it!" She has a natural talent with the childrens!
  3. My Mom can order/heat up pizza like no one's business. When my Mom was in college, my Uncle counted during one finals week and we had pizza 5 times in one week. I would like to think that all her non-cooking days have given me a fine appreciation for pizza as it's own food group.
  4. Mom knows all about the Information Technology. Sometimes when I have a question about a certain system, I'll tell someone at work that I need to talk to my "Subject Matter Expert" and then call Mom to ask how the system would work or if someone is pulling my chain. Plus she is helpful in fixing all the stuff I mess up.
  5. I help her argue with her auditors. I love giving my Mom ammo to fight back against her audit issues at work. It is way too much fun.
  6. She is one of my favorite people to gossip with. From family drama to what is going on with the people back home, Mom's always got the dirt.
  7. I've gotten some really great recipes from Mom, even if 95% of them involve some kind of ground beef. And I love that she is always down for eating out, especially at Los Bravos or Rafferty's.
  8. Mom is a great minister's wife and I love that she supports and loves my Dad. Mom sits through and is involved in countless church activities with a patience that I doubt I could ever muster. And I suspect that she thoroughly enjoys most of them!
  9. Venting to my Mom is the best thing ever. I will have talked about something to a few friends or Mike, and if it's something that is REALLY weighing on me, nothing really lifts the burden off my shoulders like talking to my Mom. After hanging up the phone with her I feel immediately lighter and better about the world.
  10. My Mom knows exactly what to say. Whatever I'm venting about, she always has the perfect thing to make me laugh or give me perspective.
As you can see, I love to just CHAT with my Mom... she is the best :)


So I'm going to Blogher this weekend. I am kind of nervous. I read Swistle's entry today and thought it was interesting. Why did I not go a couple years ago when it was also in Chicago?

First of all, my blog is really more of a place for friends and family to catch up on my life. I am not a great writer, I am not a great photographer. I share a bit, but there are many things that I don't put on this blog about our life. I censor myself perhaps more than I should, and have major trouble trying to write about honest struggles and things that go on in life for fear of offending/angering people or jeopardizing me or Hubs' jobs. In addition, I have never really tried to be a "big" blogger. I am comfortable with the niche I have - and the blog gives me a great way to let people who don't live in Chicago know what we've been up to. For all these reasons and more my blog is not followed by a ton of people. Which, again, is OK with me. But the fact that I am not a "big" blogger makes me feel like a bit of a poser at a big conference like this.

This year I convinced Michelle to come to Blogher with me. The main reason I didn't go to Blogher two years ago was because I couldn't convince anyone to go with me. I'm typically pretty decent in social situations, since I have components of both my mom (who is sweet and can put anyone at ease) and my dad (who could talk to a brick wall) in me. However, I get super nervous when it's just me and a bunch of people I don't know. I don't like to force social interactions, and I feel that is what ends up happening when you are somewhere by yourself - you feel like you HAVE to talk to someone so you don't look like a Loser.

Another reason that I get a bit nervous about going is that I feel like I am a fun and social person already, and meeting these new people (many of whom already know and have fun with each other) feels a bit contrived. Like, "Hey! I am fun! I swear! Just give me a chance!" I mean, I know a TON about these people b.c I read their blogs, but they know nothing about me. So they don't know how fun I am, not to mention that it's SUPER weird to want to try to make real-life friends with someone you feel like you already know. To want to make them want to know more about you. No one wants to be that idiot fangirl. Why would they want to know more about someone they don't know when they already HAVE friends? So weird.

Anyways, I'm going to make it a goal to go up and say hi to at least a few bloggers that I read. I mean, what can go wrong?

On that note, I should make a mental note to ask questions and listen, since I can tend to talk someone's ear right off when meeting them. Note to self: shut up!

We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We had a BUSY weekend. Check out all we did:
  • Thursday we headed to Friar Tuck's for the annual actuary night. It was so fun, and we got to hear lots of people rock out to karoke. Jay sang "Don't you want me" and Smiller sang some Michael Jackson and they both went for broke on them - just belting out the tunes. It was great, although I cannot leave out that I am WAY disappointed that CFunk has retired "Kung Fu Fighting" from his karoke repertoire. So disappointing. The best story of the night was that when standing waiting in the bathroom, the girl behind me in line asked a couple other girls if we were there for a party. The other girls replied "Yeah, it's actuaries, you know, they do math." First Girl goes "Meth? That is REALLY GROSS." Other girls replied "NO, MATH. Like, Mathematics!"... if possible the first girl looked even more disgusted knowing that they did MATH and not METH. I just burst out laughing.
  • On Friday we headed to Steve Miller Band at Ravinia. It was tons of fun even if we got there 2 hours prior and couldn't find anywhere to sit other than behind some tents in the back of the park. I guess the gates open at 4 and you kind of have to be there then? What? Strange... but yet it was a good time. Everyone brought a sandwich and then a side. I brought Dixon Family Taco Dip (thanks for the recipe, Dort!) and it was gooooood. I'm still working on eating it. And the sandwiches I brought Mike and I were goat cheese, olive oil, proscuitto, salami, and fresh basil on a whole wheat baguette. I was going for the gold on that one or something!
  • Saturday AM we got up and hit the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was cool to see all the movie props, but as my friend Amy said, it was a bit disappointing to see Hermione's pinkish-purple dress from HP4 and realize I wouldn't even be able to fit a thigh in it. Holy cow, that chick is small.
  • On the way home from the Museum, Mike and I stopped in at Chili's to get carryout. Then we got stuck in some major traffic on the way home as the red line of the El had some trash fire in the tunnel. There were cops and fire trucks blocking off the whole red line route, and black smoke billowing from the air ducts along the way. Crazy!
  • After a long nap at home, we decided to get going and take Milly to the Sheffield Garden Walk. We got down there and started to go in - then realized that the sign in front said "Please no pets." BOO. Not beagle-friendly! So we turned around and went home, stopping at the "Wiggly Field" dog park on Sheffield on the way home. I was pretty disappointed b.c I was looking forward to seeing my girls at the street festival. And then at the dog park Milly was a total shy-guy, running to hide behind us when any of the other dogs wanted to play. She was being so weird!
  • For dinner we hit up Cafe Babareeba with my brother Jay and his girlfriend Kim, and some other friends Kelsey and Rachel. It was Rachel's bday and her fam is friends with ours from Evansville, so it was definitely good to see her. And I have to say the seared scallops were excellent as always! I love that restaurant.
  • Sunday we headed to Kenosha to see Mike's dad, his stepmom, his two sisters, and nephew. It was a good time, walking around the Kenosha art fair and shooting the breeze with the fam. His Dad grilled up a massive feast and we all ate until we could hardly move anymore. I hadn't had french onion dip in a long time and it was sooooo yummy. Plus I finally found someone who could properly burn a hot dog for me (I don't think Mike was taking me seriously when I say I like them charred.... they always come back only slightly burnt!)
After all that, we were pretty beat when we got home on Sunday. We have so many fun weekends coming up, but I'm starting to really need some downtime! I guess that'll come when it's cold out, eh?

As a random aside, is anyone watching this MTV show "16 and Pregnant"? I am finding it massively addicting and it's far better put-together than a show I would expect to be airing on MTV!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Katie's bachelorette festivities

So Katie's bachelorette party went very very well. I only hope ALL the girls had as much fun as I did. By the looks of it, I'm pretty sure they did!

I had booked a hotel room in downtown Indy for a really great price on Woot! I knew we wanted a big suite, and I knew we could at least guarantee a suite while booking at Embassy Suites (since that's all they have). I had the option at booking to get a corner executive suite for $10 more, which ended up being the best idea ever. Let's just say the room was as big as the entire first floor of my condo, if not slightly bigger. We had two double beds in the bedroom and then this massive living room with pullout couch and plenty of room to toss down the queensize air mattress I'd toted along. There were 7 of us, so it ending up being just PERFECT.

Additionally, I'd been to another bachelorette party in downtown Indy where we'd had dinner at Buca di Beppo and that had been really nice. Buca is super reasonable in price, very good, and super laidback but still a nice restaurant. And it was across the street from our hotel. Score. We ended up walking just a block or two in between stops, and the location of the hotel near the restaurant and bars ended up being super key.

So we all met up around 3:30, and proceeded to get settled and decide what to wear. Of course we had to dress Katie up:
Then we started the festivities around 5, with a questionnaire about Katie and Drew (where did they meet, first date, cute stuff like that). Casey lost and had to sport Ye Ol Ball & Chain! We all got a good hearty laugh out of that one.

Then we did presents. Katie opened them up and modelled some of them for us. This scarf was a fave.
One of the presents was masks with feathers and names for each girl. Katie passed them out and we took some pics. I was "Wild".... hahaha...
And of course we ALL had to take pics with Katie.... in all kinds of configurations. Here she is with her Eville gals.
Family pic! Kim (my brother's girlfriend), Katie and I. Katie and I love Kimmy and tell Jay if they would have ever broken up, the girl he dated subsequently would have had a rough time of it trying to get us to like her! (as an aside, when I tried on this dress for Mike he made a face as if he wanted to puke. Guess he didn't like it.... oh well!)
Then we took off for dinner at Buca di Beppo. On the way, Katie shows of her guns. Which way to the beach?
After Buca, we had a ton of time before Howl at the Moon, so we headed back to the hotel for a few drinks and made Katie pose with the cake we kept forgetting to eat (chocolate fudge with raspberry buttercream made from scratch!)
At Howl, they showed us to our table and we got Katie to bust a few moves.
And I bought the two whiteboards up front. Jay tipped me off that you could do this, and he told me to put one of Katie's friend's phone numbers up there and say she was looking for a good time. Instead, I did this. The one on the left is what Katie said after going to Howl at the Moon for the first time. The one on the right was my gift to Jay, and it stayed up there the whole time we were there, until around 11:30. He got about 42 missed calls in half an hour, so classic.
Our table reservation came with a free shot for the bride, but I think it was mostly whipped cream since it was a jell-o shot. Oh well.
And then the piano players got the brides up on stage and sang to them. No one could believe Katie has a little baby, look how tiny she is!
We headed to another bar where we got Katie dancing a little more...
And played the Bachelorette Truth or Dare game. This guy let us draw a tattoo on his back!
Finally we ended the night with my favorite pizza. Of course. I can't be in Indiana and NOT have some!
Good times, girls! Thank you so much for all the fun and laughter, the night was great!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some pics of the condo



Here's what we've done:
  • Painted Walls: Front hallway, living room/kitchen, fireplace, stairwell, upstairs hall, den, one wall in master bedroom, and master bathroom
  • Painted all trim in the entire condo
  • Put in new carpet
  • New light fixtures in the bathrooms, and new other fixtures (towel rack, etc) in the master bath
  • Installed glass tile backspash in the kitchen

Separately from our home improvement efforts of this spring, we've also put in a new air conditioner, new mini blinds in the living room, and totally tore out our front deck and put in one made with recycle plastic (like Trex).... I also painted the bedrooms and downstairs bath when we first moved in. I think that's it! Now we're done for a while!


This weekend was so fun! I still need to recap it, b.c we have tons of fun pictures from Katie's bachelorette party, but let's just summarize it by saying I can totally not hang with the 24 year olds. I had fun, but I think I am still recovering. My 29 year old liver called Uncle about halfway through the party.... regardless, it was one of the most fun nights/parties ever!

On Sunday we got to visit with Baby Gracie and my sis and her fiance Drew a bit. Gracie is getting to be SUCH a big girl. We got her to say Jay-Jay, which made Uncle Jay very very happy.

She's a Mama's girl

She can feed herself Tater Tots (yum, Sonic!)

Holy crap, she can stand up unassisted (and can crawl like lightning!) Katie, your days are numbered!
She can smack you in the face with her bear

She's already loving the mardi gras beads. Watch out!

She loves her little rocking chair

This is my favorite shot, though. OMGWTHBBQ! So freaking cute!

I got some good shots even though I'd left my Uber-low-light lens at home. Shouldn't do that!

More on the bachelorette festivities to come! I've been busy trying to clean/get the condo in order after the carpeting guys did their thing. After all the dog hair the vacuum got off the couch last night, I'm surprised Milly isn't bald.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random thought

So there have been a lot of times that I thought would make me "feel" like a grownup... and they did, to an extent:
  • Having a real full-on full-time job
  • Getting engaged & married
  • Buying a condo
  • Getting a dog

And what gives me a HOLY CRAP AM GROWNUP moment? New carpet that makes our condo NOT look like a crapped-out frathouse!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

4th of July

So as per usual, we headed to southern Michigan to our friends' lakehouse for the long 4th of July tradition. I think this was the 4th year they did the gathering, and are pros at it by now. 30 people came, it was crazy. My sorority sister Amy invites our group of girls and her husband Tom invites his group of guys (who we hung out with a lot in college). His parents clear out of their 5 bedroom lakehouse and let us have the run of the place. Tom's dad built the house, and was a shop teacher for a long time - I think he spent a long time designing it, because it is basically THE perfect place for a gathering.

Mike and I were the first ones there (party MVPs yo!) and so got to see everyone as they trickled in.
I was super excited to see my girls! Me, with Em and Jenn. Jenn lives in South Carolina so we don't see her much. I was so glad she could make it!
Of course, good times were had by all.

I took this photo of our friend Danny on the way to the Willows (bar on the lake we go to with boats). I think he looks very cool here.
In the past when we got to the Willows, we took up a ton of room on the deck. Since there were 30 of us, we had to take both boats and one car to get there. Thus to make sure we had enough space/tables on the deck, we got there when it opened. At 11:00 AM. Naturally. We kept the waitresses busy getting us big beers.
Amy got a baby beer. "Someone has to drive you people home!" she said.
While we were only there about an hour and a half, I'm pretty sure we scared off most of the locals. Here, one of the guys shows off his Jorts as Jenn showcases them and we all laugh. Loudly.
Emily brought a packet of patriotic temporary tattoos (in the past we bought them out of the vending machine in the bathroom, but at 50 cents a pop that gets expensivo!) and we all set about to apply them. Once that was done and our beers were gone, we moved the tables back to get ready to leave. I looked over and another friend was running his hand along a pole. I knew what he was thinking, and rushed to get my camera. And WAS NOT disappointed. Pretty impressive.
As is tradition, we got a group pic by the boats before taking off and leaving the place to talk about us all day long (when I went to the bathroom earlier I heard the waitresses regaling each other with the story of us coming in "and then I looked outside and it was like, FULL!").
On the way back to the lakehouse, Jenn busted a move to Single Ladies by Beyonce
And entertained us all
Back home, Amy takes charge and starts on dinner. She had the meals all down, they were so well-organized, which was MAJORLY impressive for having 30 people there. Dinner was brats one night, hamburgers another, a huge crock of sloppy joe the third. And lunch was cold cut sandwiches with pasta salad, cole slaw, chips, chex mix and the like. There were always snacks out and yummy sweets to munch on. Again, I was majorly impressed. And I think I gained like three pounds.
The last night, Top Gun was on. One of the guys goes by the nickname Goose, so I called him when we got to the scene where Goose was dying. He and another guy re-enacted the scene as it played, which was hilarious.
Good times! I love that we can get together and laugh and catch up. I miss my friends, but if living far away from some of them means we can have times like this when we see each other, it's something I can live with in life.

Thanks for throwing the party, Amy and Tom!!