Month: September 2009

Somebody Call 911…

Part one of the Labor Day weekend roller coaster.

Riding the “it’s 5 o’clock” somewhere high that can only be truly cherished on the front side of a 3-day holiday weekend, I drove home and nestled in for a much needed power snooze.

Then there were sirens.  Incessant, sirens. Wow, they sounded close. I never hear them that vividly, hmmm…..time to look out the window.

WHAT?!

I caught the tail end glimpse of what looked to be a ladder truck.  Rubbing my eyes in disbelief I threw open the closet door and slung on a pair of flippy-flops; I must investigate.  Yes, I am one of those. I enjoy immersing myself in anything and everything that seems to be other peoples business.

Out the door I scurried, leaving Mr.O starring in bewilderment.

Looking around I noticed other tenants emerging as well. As I walked through the parking lot, following the migration of people, I looked up and caught my first glimpse. *Gasp*

Billowing black smoke; raging neon flames leaped into the air.

The apartment complex was on fire!

Standing and starring was all I could do.  Neighbors gathered in a row alongside the road frozen in disbelief.  No one moved for nearly 30 minutes, only the sounds of crackling wood and pressurized water slapping against the buildings could be deciphered in the distance.

While the emergency crews responded with amazing speed and accuracy, the damage had been done.  In just over a half an hour one entire building had disappeared and another severely damaged.

This was as close as I have come to having my personal safety and property utterly destroyed.  The sense of loss I felt for those affected was rivaled only by my internal need to be grateful that I was not among them.

Close, very close, but not among them.

Returning to my apartment I scooped up Oliver and called all my family to let them know I was alright.

Having weathered the first dip of the roller coaster weekend, I showered and headed out for an evening of dinner and drinks with friends.  The events of this evening were only to get better, but that deserves its own post.

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The Lasagna

Sunday date night is finally here!  Yeah – dinner and a movie.  Just as I was about to make my specialty, reservations, my most recent “+1” candidate called and suggested that we make dinner instead.  I’m sorry, do what?

Let it be known that I can’t cook, to the degree that I can single-handedly ruin Mac N’Cheese in a box.  I have accepted this, so has anyone with taste buds.

Being the good sport I am, I reluctantly suppressed my hostility toward Calphalon and slathered on a smile.  “Sure,” I responded, “What do you want me to make?”

“Lasagna,” he eagerly exclaimed.  Death sentence.  Now, I could have chopped and diced my way to a salad,  whipped up a mean batch of PB&J, even boiled water to Top Ramen perfection, but lasagna?!

Great, now I had to Google up something resembling a recipe.  Shocking, I have absolutely none of the ingredients listed.  Off to the grocery store I schlep.

$30 and a bag full of exceptionally anti-South Beach diet foods later, it was time to get started.  Luckily for me I was able to find ‘cheat’ versions of most everything I needed.  Precooked, refrigerated noodles…check!  Canned tomatoes…check!  Tub of lumpy white cheese…check!

I won’t lie to you; I own one round cake pan. I have no idea what size it is and despite what the scribbled instructions said, it won by default.  Taken aback by my layering technique I channeled Rachel Ray as I shouted out, “EVOO.”   This is really happening, I’m going to use the oven….I’m cooking!

Oliver and I patiently sat with bated breath in front of the oven taking in every minute of this magical moment, sipping wine, starring at our reflections in the glass window. Then it was time, I opened the oven door ….. Then shut it.

Where was my beautiful creation?  My masterful mound of layered goodness?  UGH!

There before me was an oozing pile of charcoal.  “+1” emerges from the billowing smoke and delivers his vigilant observation, “It isn’t supposed to look like that!”

The night ended much how I had wanted it to begin. I made my specialty, reservations.