Monday, January 26, 2009

OFT No. 17 - Visit from Val

Ok, so the last reported OFT was the river cruise, and clearly we've done many other fun things since then, but I've been lazy about posting on them! To name a few: Ashley came to visit on a job interview (how do I not have any photos of this?!), a holiday fried-food party, a Conor Oberst show, and a play at the Steppenwolf, "The Seafarer" with one of my favorites, John Mahoney. Seriously, we're not totally lame :)

Val came to town for the weekend, even though the day before she arrived we had the coldest day on record this year! But, being the proud Canadian that she is, she didn't mind a bit. We didn't have much planned other than to eat and catch up, anyway. She got in late Friday. Saturday started out with brunch at Frontera Grill with the three of us and Donald, and then she and I spent several hours doing some damage to the shops on State Street (woohoo!)

Val's general food request for the weekend was "tasty" with one specific request for deep dish pizza. So after we tired of shopping, we called Brian and he met us at Gino's East downtown. We don't eat deep dish much (for the sake of our arteries!) but it definitely hits the spot once in a while. Copious amounts of cheese, sausage, and crunchy bready crust... yum! After that, we went home and watched Wall-E (thanks for bringing it, Val!) and ate bowlfuls of ice cream with some imported crushed-up Skor bar.

Sunday we started with lunch at an Indian restaurant on Devon that was new to us, and quite yummy. We had gotten tickets to a play at the Royal George Theater for 5pm, so we headed home for a couple of hours. For some reason I really wanted to make cookies with my new cookie gun (a wedding present I haven't gotten around to using yet), so I whipped up a dough and baked off a couple of batches. Once again, no pictures, but I'll definitely take some the next time I make them, because they are pretty neat! The kitchen looks like a little cookie factory, with all the shapes lined up in rows. Maybe I'll make some next weekend when I'm feeling better, and post about it. They weren't bad for a first try, and I threw a bunch in a baggie to take with us to the play.

The play, "Don't Dress for Dinner" was pretty terrific. It is a silly relationship farce with a lot of action, laughs and miscommunications. Brian whispered to me at one point, that it was a "long episode of Frasier" - nothing but praise to my ears. We were excited to see it because it got good reviews in the Trib, and also because one of the actors was Jeffrey Donovan, who stars in a new TV show that we like (Burn Notice). Right before the end of the first act, one of the actresses slipped on some spilled sauce (the spill was part of the play, the slip was not) and it was quite hilarious. The actors fought not to break character, but in the end they all burst out laughing as the lights went out. That's what's great about live theater (and boxed chocolates) - you never know what you're gonna get!

Dinner afterward was at a Thai restaurant that we discovered a little while ago (the same one we went to with Ashley) that has some great, authentic dishes that are new to us. One of my favorites is "naem khao thawt" which is this delicious deep fried rice salad with "pressed ham." So good. Back at home, we had more ice cream (heehee) and played some Wii.

I am really bad at taking pictures these days, I keep forgetting. So the only pic I have from the whole weekend is this one:
Val and Brian playing Monkeyball "Simon Says"
Note the concentration required.
Oh! and you can see some of the cookies I made in the bottom right corner.

I took Val to the airport on Monday morning (MLK day). It was a very short but very sweet visit, and made me hope that I can head west to LA again soon.

Love ya Val! Sending you lots of good thoughts!

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