Happy Hour or Bust

Most of the time a chair is just a chair and a table is just a table.  It's there.  You sit in it.  You eat at it.  You don't really think about it all that much.  But when you are in a club or a bar setting a chair is not just a chair and a table is not just a table.  It's turf.  And the competition to control them is fierce.

When the husband told me he wanted to go to Truluck's Seafood, Steaks & Crab House for his Birthday dinner my first thought was damn!  That place is really expensive and he wants to go there again?  They don't even have a parking lot so right off the top that's $8 for valet.  My second thought was if that's what my sweet husband wants then that's what he will get.  My third thought was that we had better make happy hour.   Happy hour is from 5-7 and we got there at 6pm.  I had a back up reservation for 7:15pm if the unthinkable happened and we didn't get a seat in the bar area but I was determined not to need it.  When I walked in I was on a mission.  Happy hour or bust.

It was Friday so the bar area was jam packed.  We joined the ranks of the lost souls floating around without tables.  On my way back from the bathroom I saw 3 people swoop in and grab seats on Mj's watch.  Mj, you gottta be on the look out!  So I'm standing there cutting my eyes left and right looking to see if anyone was wrapping up their meal or if a waitress was bringing anyone their bill.  Another couple happened to be standing near a table where people were leaving and they swooped in and stole that one.  Darn.

A girl walks in glued to her cell phone.  She stalks around scouting for a spot.  She was in the right place at the right time and even though we were there before her she snags two seats at the bar.  Timing  and location is everything when you are competing for bar real estate.  We stand around some more.  By this time it's 6:35pm.

We were standing behind this couple at the bar that looked like they'd been there for a while but she looked a little too cozy and he had barely made a dent in his beer.  They weren't going anywhere.  Another couple wearing black walked in and started trolling the bar.  I'm not the pushy type but I  couldn't let them snatch the next table from us.  My wallet was depending on it.  The couple behind us seemed to be wrapping it up so even though I could see the guy in the black suit pretty close to the table with the same idea I spoke up before he could and asked if they were leaving.  Black suit didn't go away so the girl pointed at us and said she thought we were there first.  His wife did not look happy that they didn't get the table but I told him.  Sorry, we've been looking for a spot since 6.  That table was ours.  And just in time because we had 25 minutes left of happy hour.  The waitress has seen physical fights break out over tables.  I believe it.  I've seen similar situations at other places and my friends and I have been known to be very possessive of "our" chairs.  I'm so glad I didn't have to fight.  Not that I would have.

I cancelled my 7:15 pm reservation on Open Table and ordered sliders, sweet potato fries and two glasses of champagne at 50% off bar menu happy hour prices.  Those are literally the only things I even liked on the whole menu.  Everything else was seafood.  Mj can have his $39 seafood trio in Bearnaise sauce off the dinner menu.  I'm a cheap date.  He's not.  His taste is expensive.  He claims he just likes "good" food and I guess I don't.  I have the palate of a 10 year old.  I don't need a $25 fillet when I'm just as happy with bar food, a simple grilled chicken or a good Cobb salad.  I enjoy eating out I just don't need anything fancy which usually means expensive.  But I don't like chain restaurants either.  The prices are good there are just too many other fun restaurants to explore in our city.

Once we got settled into prime real estate we had a really nice dinner.  I love the ambiance at this place.  When I'm not stalking people for their table that is.  The mouthwash dispenser in the bathroom is pretty cool but they also have a live singer and really great decor.  And they have the best sliders AND sweet potato fries I've ever had.   I took my husband out on a date.  He got his "good" food, I got my budget friendly eats and a good time was had by all.

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Friday Confessions

Happy Friday everyone!  It feels like it takes just about forever for this day to come lately.  I have a date night planned for tonight and will be spending time with family on Sunday for Mother's Day.  Right now, I should be getting ready for work but I'm linking up my post with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for some confessions.

I confess that I'm doing another juice fast next week starting on Monday.  Call me crazy but I actually liked it the first time around.  Link to how that went here.  This time I'm doing it for a more reasonable 3 days and my mom is joining in.  I haven't decided if I'm going to be lazy and buy my juice or actually make it in the juicer.  For those of you ladies who were interested in joining me stock up on veggies and juice this weekend.

I confess that I don't go to Starbucks for the coffee.  My Starbucks treat of choice is the reduced fat turkey bacon and egg white sandwich. It eats like a high calorie fast food equivalent but is only 320 calories.  My Starbucks Gold Card holding husband has introduced me to skinny cafe mocha's and vanilla latte's so I finally know what to order there instead of just plain coffee but I actually prefer 7-11's.  It's so good and only $1.25 with my refillable mug.  I LOVE 7-11!! If you don't have a one it's the equivalent of your average convenience store where you can buy everything from beer and slurpees to mini chicken tacos, pizza, greeting cards and aspirin.

I confess that I entered a giveaway and didn't even realize that I had entered to win an area rug until I came across my entry tweet on Twitter.  I told you I was a giveway junkie and that half the time I don't even know what the prize is before I'm already entering to win.  I'm actually okay with not winning that one because we don't actually need an area rug.  My win count is now up to 5.

I confess that I believe that Amanda Knox is innocent of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher.  There was no real evidence against her, she was crucified by the Italian media and I agree with her when she says she didn't stand a chance.  Jodie Arias on the other hand.  Guility as charged.  I believe she did murder her ex boyfriend and that the lies and evidence speak for itself.  She has the nerve to be tweeting.  She is some kind of crazy.  I confess that I've really gotten into watching the trial on the news. 

I confess that I was totally traumatized from the unfortunate incident of having to kill a daddy long legs in our bathroom yesterday morning.  It was awful.  Mj had already left for work and I knew if I didn't find the sucker I'd be terrified to go in my bathroom later on that day.  There were several screams of bloody murder and I spent the first hour of my day at work very unsettled. What haunts me the most is that I have no idea where it came from.  One minute I was putting on deodorant and the next there was this ugly spider on the counter right in front of me.

I confess that I still can't believe I got a pair of Limited Edition skinny jeans from Banana Republic with a tag that said $69.99 for only $19.99!  Don't you love it when the price is even lower then you thought it would be? And while we're at it why does shopping have to be so fun?

I confess that May kicked my booty financially as usual.  Even when I tell myself to watch out for it somehow every year I'm always left feeling overwhelmed with Car registration, Mother's day and 2 Birthdays.  This year I put off my optometrist appointment for that very reason but I threw in a shopping trip to the outlets and a trip to Vegas (in 2 weeks and counting).  These are all good and fun things; they just cost money.  Minus the car registration.  Necessary evil.  Not fun.

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Baseball. Bar Hop. Shop

From the rooftop bar at Altitude we can see Petco park.  That area with the blue umbrellas is where the party was
Our weekend plans kicked off Friday right after work.  We went straight downtown because Mj's job put on an event at Petco park during the Padre's game.  All you can eat Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Pasta, Beer, Peanuts and Crackerjacks and a baseball game.  So delighted were we with the culinary offerings that we forgot about the game and didn't go to the bleachers to watch some of it until the end.  So this is how it went that night. Altitude for a drink, Palace bar for a drink, Petco Park for a party, baseball game....and a drink, back to Palace Bar for a drink then onto Bar Basic for a drink and a slice of Pizza.  I did not drink at every stop but someone else (my husband) that you all know and love did.  He is really celebrating his release from jail school.  We didn't leave until 1:30am.  At one point I thought I'd fall asleep but I got a 2nd wind and somehow managed to keep it moving. 
Shopping at J Crew by day // Eating a giant wedge salad for dinner by night
Saturday morning started with cleaning.  Had to get that not so fun bit out of the way so I could get on to the good stuff.  I met my girlfriend Ebony at the Las Americas outlets by the border.  It's so close to the border that you can see Tijuana and a giant Mexican flag waving in the wind from the parking lot.   What brought us out there was 40% off the entire store at J Crew but while we were there we were pleasantly surprised to find 50% off at Gap and 50% off the entire store at Banana Republic.  For reals.  I was in shopping heaven.  I pretty much cleaned up and have vowed never to shop again.  Which won't actually happen but I do need to take a break.  It was so fun to shop and catch up with my friend.  She has a 17 month old and is very busy so we don't get together a lot.  Time flies when you are in shopping heaven.  Next thing we knew it was almost 5pm.  We got a snack in the food court and headed home.

Then it was time for part 2 of my Saturday.  We met up with some friends in Hillcrest at the Tractor Room for dinner.  This place is so tiny.  It's basically a house that got converted into a restaurant so we were eating in what probably used to be the living room.  There are only about 9 tables but they also have some outdoor seating.  They have things like wild boar, duck and lamb on the menu.  Weird.  I ordered a salad that I had to eat with a fork AND a knife.  Afterwards we walked over to Babycakes.  It's this weird but really cool bar/cupcake shop hybrid.  You have your typical dimly lit bar with dark wooden tables on the left and a cozy cupcake shop on the right.  We got a peanut butter chocolate cupcake to share and ate it in the bar.

Sunday was all about relaxing.  I didn't do a dang thing.  Mj is still in utter disbelief that he doesn't have to do homework so it's been fun listening to him say that he can't believe he just gets to go home and play his game and bake and do whatever he wants. Which on that particular day meant baking Cinnamon rolls.  He took most of them to work and I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  I wanted to drink a beer or eat some cheesy Mexican food in honor of Cinco De Mayo but I was all partied out and my appetite for party-ing or party food was gone.
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You Know How I am

My husband is so...I guess a good word would be unaffected. He doesn't stress. He doesn't worry.  He is like, whatever about most things.  So when it comes to his Birthday I'm usually at a loss as to what to do for him. He wants to treat his Birthday just like any other day but I think he is special and therefore his Birthday is most definitely not any other day.  What do you want?  I don't know, I don't really need anything.  Do you want cake? No.  Do you want anything special for dinner? No as long as it's low carb and healthy I don't care.  Do you want to go out to dinner? No, it's a Thursday.   He want's nothing and wants to do nothing.  Am I just supposed to ignore my husbands Birthday and act like it's not happening just because he tells me he doesn't care?  Well, luckily his tennis shoes are on their last legs.  They broke this week so a gift card to get new ones was the obvious perfect gift.  Birthday Present-check.
Wine // Meatloaf muffins // Bundtini's
I briefly contemplated picking up KFC on the way home for dinner.  It was a long busy week and we all know I'm not the cook in this operation but it felt wrong to allow my husband to eat KFC on his birthday when I technically had time to make something.  I surfed the interwebs and decided that he was having meatloaf for his Birthday dinner.  Yes, meatloaf but I impressed even myself with how I got creative with it.  I came home, I cooked and I conquered because I made the meatloaf into muffins and he loved them so much that he had 4.  They are only 85 calories each so why not.  Birthday dinner-check.  I've never made him a Birthday cake.  It just feels lame because I would go Duncan Hines and he makes cakes from scratch.  On my lunch break I picked up bundtinis in five different flavors from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  This cake is really amazing.  It literally melts in your mouth and we both love it.  Birthday Cake-check.  We spent the evening drinking wine with dinner, eating cake and watching a movie.

My husband may not care about his Birthday but I do.  I've already established just how awesome I think he is and I would feel like the crappiest wife ever if I didn't at least try to make it a little special for him even if it was a Thursday and he could really care less.  What to do for a man who wants nothing to do with his Birthday.  I mean, you can't do nothing.  A thoughtful gift, a tasty dinner and something sweet and indulgent.  That about covers it.  When we went to bed that night I told him that I hoped he had a good day.  His response.  You know how I am.  And I do.  Which is how I knew he would say that he didn't care and that I would take it upon myself to care for him and do what I could to make it special anyways.

My Husband is Awesome

I don't think working full time and going to school is for everybody.  Lots of people are doing it but I seriously don't know how they survive it.   I am weak.  I'm a baby when I don't get enough sleep and I get stressed out when I have a lot on my plate.  I did two semesters part time at community college and it just about killed me.  I came home from class in tears because I was so exhausted and so tired and had no idea where I would find the time or energy to get everything done.  My husband is a lot stronger then I am.  I already knew that.   WE already knew that, but doing what he did is just one more example of how much stronger.  For the past three years Mj has been a fixture at the dining room table doing homework for hours and hours on end.  I come home from work and there he is posted up in front of his laptops.  I'm chilling on the couch on Sunday catching up on the old DVR and there he is doing homework all. day. long.  I really did feel sorry for him slaving away while I dozed in and out of sleep on the couch.  Some week nights we'd hardly even talk because he'd be doing homework from when I got home until we went to bed. 
He's been counting it down month by month, week by week and day by day.  Literally.  I got an update every week.  I "used" him as motivation to get some writing done and got him to come with me to my favorite coffee shop to work.  I wish I'd started it sooner because I got a lot done with him and it was fun.  He spent all Sunday working on his final project and now after years of hard work he finally has his degree and is so happy to be getting his life back.   Not that he ever really stopped living it.  My husband is a busy body.  He still hung out with his friends.  He cooked and went through all kinds of random baking phases.  He did his Army Drills.  We went on vacations.  We had date nights and DVD nights at home.  He went biking.  He did two cycles of P90X last year.  He did kick ball, dodge ball and is in his second flag football league in a row right now.  In fact, he's in two different leagues.  He just does not stop.  Needless to say he's really good at multi tasking while I'm tired just thinking about it. I'm such a slacker. He says he doesn't know what he's going to do with all this extra time and I'm thinking he may not want to tell me that because I'm sure I can think of a few things to help fill the void.

I'm so very proud of him.  When we met he told me that getting his Bachelor's degree had been a goal that he set out for himself a long time ago.  He did active duty Army, traveled the world then once he went to part time Army the degree was next on his list.  He had some setbacks.  It took him longer then he planned.  Army reserve training, deployments and life in general got in the way but he buckled down and got it done.  And what's really awesome aside from the whole getting your college degree thing is that between the GI Bill and his job benefits he hasn't paid a dime out of his pocket.  How freaking amazing is that in a time where most college graduates are drowning in student loan debt?  He even has a new job position lined up for next month.  He's a smart one alright, and he's cute. I'm just glad I snatched him up when I did.
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