The week of National Sales Meeting is my most dreaded part of the year because it’s a week when Brian spends all his waking moments at the hotel where their work convention is held. He’d often leave at 6 AM and not be home until 11 PM. As if the long hours apart aren’t bad enough, I actually have to drive myself around and pump my own gas. Having to fend for myself gives me a taste of what it would be like to be single. Not that much fun. I’m so glad I have Brian. And, I’m so glad that NSM only lasts a week. Blech.
There are some good things about NSM, though. It means I get to see our Latin American friends, brief as it may be.
Tonight we had a wonderful dinner at Wasabi, one of our favorite restaurants. Brian thought he wouldn’t be able to join us at first. I picked up Toby and Jorge and the three of us were finishing the last of our starters (we got deep-fried vegetable and chicken dumplings and crab cakes and a rice crispy, which isn’t pictured but it’s Jorge’s favorite at Wasabi) when Brian arrived. Apparently, things were under control at the IT bunker at the hotel and his bosses could spare him. Thank you, Jesse and Justin!
We also got a couple of orders of the shrimp tempura crazy roll, which is one of our favorite rolls at Wasabi. That’s what we always get. I did get to try something new this time. Toby ordered the BSCR. I think that the acronym stands for baked scallop crab roll. It was delicious. Even Brian, who doesn’t usually eat scallops, liked it.
I’m glad that I got to try it. There are several things on the menu that we still haven’t tried yet. I’m sure they’re all really good. We’ve yet to order anything at Wasabi that we didn’t like. It’s our favorite sushi joint in town. It seems that it’s become a favorite for Jorge and Toby too.
NSM may not be my favorite time of year, but I always enjoy seeing Brian’s friends in sales specially Toby and Jorge. Dinner with these two almost makes up for being without Brian during NSM week. Thanks for dinner, Jorge and Toby!
We had a busy day on Saturday. Did my stair climb first thing in the morning, made it in time for Spanish class at 9 AM and then taught my Zumba class at 10 AM.
We had our usual post-workout brunch and then I participated in Jenni’s thrift store video blog. After that we went to mom and dad’s for dinner. Mom made menudo and, now that we live less than 15 minutes away, we can just drop on by whenever they have some good grub. LOL.
After dinner we were off to Hideki’s mini Rock Band party. Hideki throws the best parties. His bar is stocked better than most restaurants and he has a full Rock Band setup complete with pro drums, keyboard, and multiple microphones.
These next couple of photos were taken by Meader. He takes the best photos.
We had a blast as always and would have stayed longer if only Brian didn’t have to work this morning. Thanks for a great Rock Band party, Hideki!
I didn’t end up making it to Urban Groove (that’s what Amie’s classes are called now) on Thursday night because we ended up at Thai House. Brian and I had been craving it for a while, but never had the time to go.
On Thursday night, I was supposed to do Boot Camp Express with Darcy. However, I had my fitness assessment appointment with Jodi after work that day. When we were done, we chatted a little about the stair climb that we were doing for the American Lung Association. By the time Brian and I were ready to go, we were too late for Boot Camp Express but too early for my Urban Groove.
Since we had time and we were going to be in that part of town, we decided that we should satisfy our Thai House craving. Brian warned me not to eat too much though because then I would be miserable during class. It had been several months since our last visit and the food was so delicious so I cleaned my plate. I just couldn’t resist. By the time we were finished with dinner I was so stuffed that there was no way I was going to make it through the group exercise class.
Yesterday, when I did the stair climb at Cessna Stadium with Jodi and Sheila, I regretted missing my workout on Thursday. Actually, the stair climb made me regret all of the workouts that I’d missed over the last few months. I totally underestimated the effort it would take. We were going up-down, up-down, up-down. It seemed to never end. I’m glad I did it, though.
My goal for next year is to get Brian to do it with us. Who wants to make a wager?
We had a nice dinner with our pals last Saturday in honor of our friend Jay’s birthday. We didn’t stay out late though, because I’d been going to Spanish class on Saturday mornings. We stayed long enough to watch Jay open his present and pretend to be Daryl, unfortunately for everyone else present. LOL.
Dinner last weekend was held at Back Alley, which is actually a great place to have dinner with friends, specially if you like watching sports because they have TV screens everywhere — large and small. Their giant pizza is a great value and feeds a lot of people. The drinks are also pretty reasonably priced.
We will definitely consider Back Alley for our next birthday gathering. The Alley also has an awesome deal on Friday and Saturday nights where you can pay a flat fee for unlimited bowling, go karts, and laser maze. I’m not quite sure what laser maze is, but the unlimited bowling and go karts alone are worth the deal. Brian and I will have to do a bowling and go karts date very soon.
Brian and I had been talking about doing a walking tour of Wichita State University’s outdoor sculptures for a while now. However, various things like weather, family events, and other commitments kept preventing us from going through with our plans. Well, we finally got around to doing it yesterday. Other than being a tad windy, it was the perfect day for walking around campus.
I’m filing this as a cheap date idea because it was a lot of fun and it doesn’t cost anything other than time. Set aside at least two to three hours of your day if you want to see all of the sculptures.
We took so many pictures yesterday afternoon that I can’t possibly highlight them all here. I will share with you guys some of my favorites, though. For instance, this horse sculpture by artist John Kearney is one that I used to walk by all the time because it’s outside Hubbard Hall and right by my favorite parking lot.
We also have a horse sculpture by the same artist outside my work building downtown (the Bank of America on Douglas and Broadway).
I was actually short enough to fit under this one.
The funny thing is that we got asked for directions twice during our walking tour and we really had to rack our brains. Neither of us have really been on campus in several years (five for me). Well, I attend Leadership Elite through CMD but I really don’t go anywhere beyond the Woodman Alumni Center.
Brian and I concluded that we must look like a couple of college students or something. We told our friend April this yesterday and she was like, “Perhaps they thought you were college professors.” And here, we were patting ourselves on the back for looking young enough to be mistaken for college kids. Gee, thanks, April.
There were several sculptures that I recognized from my days at the university but there were others, like this one, that I hadn’t seen before. I believe that the Tom Otterness Millipede sculpture was installed shortly after I graduated with my MBA. I really hadn’t been deep in the campus grounds since.
Have any of you guys ever noticed this detail on the Millipede?
Brian and I thought it was cute. Naturally, we had to take a closer photo.
I used to walk by these two Fernando Botero sculptures all the time when I was in college. It always amused me because the longer I was in school, the more I resembled these two figures. Seriously. They say you gain ten pounds each year in college. That was pretty much true for me. By the time I got done with grad school, I looked a lot like the woman in the sculpture. LOL.
I also used to walk by Francisco Zuniga’s Tres Mujeres Camindando (Three Women Walking) sculpture all the time because the ladies are located right by Clinton Hall which is where almost all of my business classes were held.
Here’s Brian taking a picture of Accord Final by Arman Ferndandez. This is one of the many sculptures that I’d never seen before until now because I never had reason to go to that part of the campus.
You’d think that after attending WSU on and off for over ten years I’d have seen everything. Nope. The campus is 330 acres. I really only got to see the areas where I had my classes, which was pretty much concentrated in the Jabara Hall, Clinton Hall, and Ablah Library triangle. I didn’t get to see much of the campus at all.
And back then I honestly had no interest and seeing the campus. I just wanted to get from my car, which always seemed to be parked ten miles from my first class of the day, to class without being late. My back was often sore from my 40-pound backpack filled with overpriced textbooks and my feet ached. I had absolutely no desire to walk around campus. I just wanted to get from my car to the classroom in the shortest amount of time possible. Even on when I had no classes, I had no desire to do it. Even if it would have occurred to me then (which I suspect it probably did because I know I’ve been wanting to do this walk for a long, long time), I had no time. I was working full time and attending classes full time. My free time was spent doing homework. LOL.
I was really grateful that we had the opportunity to go on our walk yesterday. When I proposed the idea to Brian, I told him that we were going on a sculpture scavenger hunt. We printed a map of the outdoor sculpture collection from the WSU web site and we set off on our mission. Brian wanted to drive to various parts, but I insisted that we walk the entire time. We were blessed with a beautiful day and I wanted us to enjoy it.
We had participated in a couple of photo walks before with some local photographers so naturally Brian observed that we were really doing a photo walk consisting of just the two of us. I said, “True. But this is a date! I’m taking you on a sculpture scavenger hunt date. Isn’t it fun?” I may be biased because it was my idea, but I do think that Brian enjoyed our afternoon date.
For those who are averse to walking around for hours, you can always check out the sculptures online. I don’t think it’s quite as fun as my sculpture scavenger hunt idea but it’s a suitable alternative for rainy days or if you are physically incapable of walking for extended periods. If none of those are true, then don’t be lazy. Get up off your butt and go see these works of art in person. Your body (walking burns calories, just sayin’) and your spirit will thank you.
I can’t wait until summer so I can start laying out and sunbathing in my backyard. Kind of like this… (Brian says I sleep with my arms folded up like in the photo and that’s why my back is always achy. I only started doing it recently. I must already be dreaming of sunbathing. LOL.)
BTW, we finally assembled our new patio furniture. We had to retire the old one that we got from Bed Bath & Beyond three years ago. Well, we didn’t really retire it. We just moved it downstairs in the walkout pit. It’s our smoking area. Just for the record, Brian and I are nonsmokers, but we had to create a designate a specific smoking area for our friends who do.
We love, love, love the new patio furniture except we kind of overestimated the size of our deck. Mostly Brian did. I knew that the walkout pit was larger than the deck and I kept telling him that, but he kept insisting that they were the same size. It wasn’t until after we put the new patio furniture out on the deck that he conceded.
These chairs are a lot bigger in person than they look online. They make Brian look like a little kid. We could almost both fit in one. LOL. They are super comfy, though. I can’t wait to start hanging out on the deck. Now, if the weather would just cooperate…
We were expecting more people last Saturday so ended up with lots of leftovers. Brian and I have been trying to finish the rest of it throughout the course of the week.
Leftover Pulled Chicken
Leftover Mexican Rice
Leftover Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake
The best leftover concoction by far was when we made chicken nachos out of our leftover chips and queso. Even after eating leftovers for two days straight, we still had so much left. Good thing Nicole and Jenni came over on Monday night and helped us eat the rest of the food we had left. LOL.
We had fun celebrating both of our dads’ birthdays this weekend.
Jenni ordered a special cake for dad.
Brian also baked a cake so we had two. I had a little bit of both.
Brian’s cake was a chocolate poke cake with chocolate pudding and chocolate Cool Whip frosting. He did a great job!
We like to make crockpot chicken tacos because they’re easy.
We realized that we had a second crockpot so we also made some meat queso.
As always, we had way more food than visitors.
Donna made some Texas trash dip.
I made some Mexican rice. I also made sangria.
Mom brought some lumpia, which is always a hit at parties.
We had a great time watching the WSU vs. Louisville game even though we lost.
It was a beautiful day. The kids had fun playing outside.
Later that evening, we released some sky lanterns into the evening sky.
BTW, these sky lanterns had the worst instructions ever. They didn’t make any sense at all. Good thing we didn’t need them! =P
Ever felt like you just stepped out of a time machine into a different era? That’s what going to the Candle Club is like. It reminds me of old downtown Las Vegas.
We aren’t members, but we had the opportunity to dine there last Friday because the Fabulous Fleshtones were playing that night. We got a table right in front of the stage.
We had the lavosh and their spinach and artichoke dip to start. Except we both got really fully on the appetizers and ruined our appetites.
Instead of eating dinner, we just skipped directly to dessert. We got to try a couple of their dessert items: the molten chocolate cake (pictured above) and the crème brûlée (pictured below).
Both were delicious, but I preferred the crème brûlée because the chocolate cake was just too rich. The crème brûlée was perfect. Its consistency reminds me of the ones they serve at Bonefish which Brian loves.
I also got to try a couple of martinis that night: a chocolate martini (pictured above) and a lemon drop martini (not pictured). Both were very good as well. We had a wonderful evening watching the Fabulous Fleshtones perform and celebrating Doug’s retirement. Several people from work even joined us.
Overall, I really like the Candle Club and wouldn’t mind going there again. Of course, we can only go whenever our friends are performing because we’re not members. That’s probably a good thing.
We had our friends over for The Walking Dead season finale at our house. Brian was all nervous because Chef Jason was coming. LOL. My baby is so funny.
It was the perfect day to play Ladder Golf. We got a couple of rounds in. Becca actually won against Jay and me. Way to go, Becca!
Dinner turned out great. Chef Jason gave the lion stew his seal of approval. Just kidding. We used beef. We don’t want any protestors knocking on our door.
My favorite part of the dinner was the banana pudding that Brian made the day before. Thanks to Jay for requesting it. We hadn’t made it in a while and I’d almost forgotten how much I love it.
Here are some pictures of Brian making dessert.
Here are the ingredients in case you want to make it also.
3-4 bananas (we used 5 this time)
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
1 package of cream cheese
1 container of whipped cream
2-3 packages of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
2 cups of milk
Pour milk into a large bowl. Add pudding. Mix until they’re completely blended. Add the softened package of cream cheese and the whipped cream. Mix until smooth.
Layer the pan with the Chessmen cookies, then add half of the pudding mixture. Add a layer of sliced bananas. Use the remaining half of the pudding mixture on top of the banana layer. Cover the top with another layer of Chessmen cookies. That’s it.
P.S. For best results, make it the night before so that the cookies have time to absorb the moisture and soften a little.
We’ve made several variations of this dessert since the first time we made it. We’ve made it into a pie and we’ve also made it with chocolate pudding. For this last Sunday, we decided to go back to basics. Although, I think next time we’re going to try making it with Nutella. We will invite Chef Jason for that for sure!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. We did. Thanks to everyone who came and watched Walking Dead with us. Love you guys!