Jul 26, 2004

What a cool weekend! Literally too… highs have been in the low to mid 70’s over the weekend. It was humid, but cool enough that it didn’t really matter. Reminded me of evening beach weather in Southern California, where I grew up. Friday afternoon I met up with Pili, Matt and Ryan from Grace at the Sculpture Garden for an evening of live jazz. It was a nice cool evening and the rain held off until the show was over. We snacked on some cheeses including brie, sliced meats, crackers, and a very good tomato and mozzarella salad. We had a good time.

Saturday I went to Grace’s men’s group at 8am. It was a very good meeting and I understand they will have it twice a month now instead of just once... We’ll see. After the meeting, I ate breakfast and got very sleepy. I was watching Lance kick butt in the Tour and next thing I know, it’s early afternoon. I shook off the sleepies and went shopping for a few things that I have not been able to find at the PX. Specifically, I am looking for a one handed peppermill and a baking pan big enough for pizza. I found the peppermill that I was interested in at Bed, Bath and Beyond… the Pepperball from Chef’n. There were only two left… one did not have a box and the other’s container was in bad shape. I decided to take it home and give it a whirl. It seems to be okay, but it does not put out as much pepper as I hoped it would with each grind. I think it might have been a return and will just need to keep an eye on it. I kept the packaging, just in case. But I am very happy with it! It’s very cool… when I am cooking I often try to keep one hand clean and the other is dirty in the food. Now I can grab the Pepperball and grind in some fresh ground pepper and not have to wash my hands to do it! Am I lazy? I think not! As for the baking pan – no luck there. I’d like to get one of those pans with two layers of metal with air in the middle, but those are quite expensive. Wal-Mart did have a circular baking ‘stone’ for about four bucks. I figure it is better than a metal pan. I just wonder how durable it is and if might break easy. I was going to run back to Wal-Mart from BBB but my friend James called me. He was up in Rosslyn with a friend and wanted to know if I wanted to grab some dinner. How could I turn that down?

I high-tailed it back to Rosslyn and we chatted for a while. His friend (I can’t remember his name) lives in Orange County, CA, so we had a lot to talk about. We grabbed a bite at a really great Thai place called Singh Thai. I had Pad Thai and it was really good. I also enjoyed some Thai Tea and it was amazing. It was kind of like bubble tea without the bubbles. I will definitely go there again.

Sunday I went to the later service at church again. I really like the later service – there are many more people there in my age group. The only problem is that the service gets out at about 12:45 and then everybody usually goes to lunch together – but they don’t get moving until about 13:00. I need to leave by about 13:15 to get to work on time – so I never get to join them. Oh well… maybe my schedule will change in the future. One cool thing: James came to Grace and he seemed to enjoy it. He was even able to join everyone for lunch. He IM'd my phone and said that he had a great time meeting new people. Join the club!

I cooked up some Johnsonville Bratwurst this weekend to have for dinner this week. They are so fun to cook. How do you cook them? Open three beers (any recipe that starts like that has to be good), pour them in a big pot. Add a package of Brats and a quartered onion. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 mins. Remove the Brats and place them on a med-hot grill just to brown the outside. DO NOT POKE THE BRATS!!! This is evil brat abuse! And it will dry them out since it will crate a way for juice to run out and evaporate. That’s pretty much it – people out by the grills were drooling over my brats… mmmmmm. If you want, you can pour off the beer from the pot and caramelize the onions with a little olive oil and cover your brats on the bun with the onions. These are delicious – I guarantee it!

My sister called me on Friday – my grandmother is not doing well. I spoke to my mother and they expect that my Abuelita Eva may not make it through the next few weeks. I spoke to my command and it appears that they will allow me to return to Austin for any services that may take place and to be there for my family. The airfares for something like this (last minute) are very high so, we will just have to see how it all works out. Please pray that my Abuelita does not experience pain during this time and that the family understands that she is going to a better place. I have peace in that I know she is going to heaven.

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