Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine's Day

I should be studying right now, but I really wanted to get this post up while it is still February. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

On the actual Valentine's Day, I spent the evening listening to a guest speaker for my Entrepreneurial Finance romantic! On the Saturday before Valentine's Day though, Kyler had quite the evening planned for us.

We started out going to Chapman's to eat. They were featuring a special Valentine's Day menu, and after a little deciphering, we both ordered a nice New York Strip Steak with a side of haricot verts. Oh yeah, haricot verts = green beans. Of course, you probably knew that, but I did not. So I inquired about the har-e-cot-verts. And the waiter responded, "Oh, the hairy-co-vares?" Oh yes, right.

Well after a delicious meal and dessert, which was creme brulee without the sugary crust on top, we headed to our next destination.

Everyone knows I love music and theater, and Kyler got us tickets to a local production called Kissing Frogs. It was about a girl getting ready to get married when one of her old boyfriends reappears, and she questions whether or not she's really dated enough to know who is really the one for her. It was being shown at Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Kirkwood.

Kyler wanted to make sure to get there early. Though our show didn't start until 8 PM, the doors opened a half hour early, and since seating was first-come-first-serve, he wanted to make sure we got good seats. So we waited outside and scored second row seats in the middle section.

Now, when we walked in, the air was a bit hazy. Think walking into a smokey bar but without the smokey smell. It was definitely different that I had expected.

Then, as we sat there, I looked up at the stage and it was covered COVERED with instruments. Drums. Keyboards. Guitars. Oh the guitars. I bet there were probably 15 guitars on that stage. Before we had gotten there, Kyler had said that he wasn't positive if this was a musical (apparently it was), and that it was a very contemporary play (possibly explaining the electric guitars).

So we sat, waiting for the show to begin. While waiting, there was some background music playing. Not your typical elevator music, but Led Zepplin. Woah, how contemporary was this play going to be?

After we got settled, I began looking around to see if I recognized anyone. I then realized that we were rare in this setting. Most of the audience was made up of people over 50. There were some younger kids, but mostly kids with their parents. And then I realized that we were mostly surrounded by tie-dye ripped up jeans...with rings around their heads from wearing hats all day. I began getting worried that maybe this play wasn't exactly what Kyler had anticipated, or maybe he didn't explain the WHOLE plot to me.

About ten minutes before the show started, I asked Kyler if he was sure we were in the right place. I had been pointing out all these strange sites and sounds as I noticed them. I all but begged him to please go check to see if there were maybe two theaters in the building. To finally convince him, I pointed out that a man in front of us was wearing a Pink Floyd tee. When we had been standing outside waiting for the doors to open, I had read on the marquee that a tribute band, Pink Droid, would come to the theater soon.

So Kyler went to ask the lady who took our tickets about our show. Meanwhile, I was positive that we were in the wrong place, so I was putting on my coat and kept checking back up the aisle to see if Kyler was coming. Sure enough, here came, following two old guys double-fisting beers.

We were definitely in the wrong place! Apparently there was a smaller theater a couple of blocks away putting on the production. The tickets to the two theaters were identical, shared a box office located in this theater, and the people tearing off our stubs weren't checking the title of the show. So we quickly made our way down the street and got next-to-back-row seats in this theater. Luckily, it was a very small theater, maybe 15 rows, so back row wasn't too bad.

All in all, the night was a blast! We loved the play: very funny. VERY contemporary, and very entertaining. We laughed and laughed on our way back to the car about what we would've done if we had stayed at the other theater. I would've DIED if we had sat through that show, waiting for the bride-to-be to show up, when in reality all we would've seen were old men jamming out on guitars.

I couldn't have thought of a better way to spend my last Valentine's Day as a single lady.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pacers Research

I had an interesting opportunity fall into my lap this week, as my marketing professor sent out an e-mail asking if anyone would be interested in a small research project for the Pacers. I read quickly and saw that there was an opportunity to head up to Conseco to watch a Pacers game and do some market research on the side while we were there. Because my week was extremely busy and because the Pacers were playing the Miami Heat, I decided that I should go. It's a good thing I sent the e-mail on my phone instead of waiting until I got home, because the demand for this first-come-first-serve project blew up quickly, and I was almost the last one to get in.

It was a lot of fun, as seven of my 3/2 classmates went along as well. I can't really tell you what all the survey involved, but I can tell you that we asked a LOT of people their opinion on a few things, and we also had some badges on that pretty much allowed us to walk around the stadium wherever we wanted.

Also, by a random coincidence, I was able to meet up with Dad. After I told Mom I was going to the game, she e-mailed me and let me know that he was going to be in one of the suites during the game. I mentioned that I would try to visit but wasn't sure how everything was going to work out that evening. But, as we were being assigned places to administer the surveys, my teammate Dan mentioned that we should do the "Club Level East". Little did I know that this would literally be right outside of Dad's suite. This turned out to be a great thing, as we didn't have any food to eat and didn't really have a place to watch the game.....Dad offered for us to stop by and eat/watch the game and we definitely jumped at the opportunity! Thanks again, Dad! (He even took the survey.)

I am anxious to figue out the results of the survey that we administered. It was a cool opportunity and gave me something interesting to talk about in the future. Maybe more importantly, I was promised two lower/club level tickets to a future game - which I am definitely going to take advantage of soon!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flaming Crab Rangoons

This semester I ran out of meal was a sad day. No longer could I rely on the great halls of Wright Food Court to provide my lunch and supper. Last semester I had slowly adjusted to the change by packing my lunch and bringing it with me to class everyday - a move I should have made a while back. Daily combinations of chicken salad, chips, a Big K soda, and Star Wars fruit snacks are uplifting during my long days at school. But supper...that is a different story. Considering I had only really cooked for myself a handful of times in my life, I really couldn't make very much.

But, this semester I have reached down deep and made some pretty great dishes - namely my chicken fettuccine alfredo. But earlier this week, I wanted to try something that I absolutely love - crab rangoons. They would not be the main course, but hey, they can't be that hard to make, right?

Egg Batter on the Edges

It started out as a fun little scavenger hunt at the grocery story, where I found canned lump crab meat and some wonton wrappers (which were strangely in the natural refrigerated foods section). Then, I came home and started doing the wrapping project, which was pretty fun and reminded me of making miniature fried apple pies. But then.....the recipe called for them to be fried in hot oil.

Packaging the Cream Cheese/Crab Mix
I warmed up the oil, thought it was hot enough, and then excitedly placed the first crab rangoon into the heat. It bubbled quickly, but when I scooped it out with a utensil 20 seconds later, the floured wrapper was completely black. I mean - charcoal black. I realized that the oil must have been too hot, so I turned it down and left the room temporarily, leaving Kara to check on it. Five seconds later, Kara screams, "It's on fire!" and runs out of the room. I come back in, turn the gas off, (after Kara's instruction to smother the fire) find a lid, and put it on top. Smoke is everywhere and both fire alarms are beeping like crazy. After resetting the fire alarms, I took the pot, lid, and all, and placed it outside on the front porch and took the lid off again....instant flames. It was crazy! Who knows how hot that oil was. Kara was pretty terrified, but I was a little intrigued and checked back in a few minutes to take the lid off again. Smoky the Bear would have been proud that I did not leave it unattended. Nothing for a second...then flames once more.

Rangoon Turned into Charcoal Brick--an Ugly Fate

After leaving the pot be for a long time, I looked at the recipe and noticed that you can also just bake the rangoons or place them in a LITTLE bit of oil and fry them. I had to convince Kara to even continue, but I had already put such of an investment in wrapping the rangoons that I had to finish to the end. I eventually did and put them in the oven.

Was the Smoke Really that Bad You Ask? - Yes, It Was.

They actually turned out pretty decent after all that commotion, and Kara and I both really liked them. We both learned some lessons along the way, and definitely won't be doing the deep frying thing any more.

Finished Product - Pretty Impressive, I Think