Friday, May 29, 2009

I Avoided This Until Now

but Rachel tagged me. Here goes:

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1. Graduation
2. Getting the time we have to live apart over with
3. Christmas! Who's not?
4. Buying our first house
5. Getting a real job
6. Seeing the house in Vegas my parents just bought
7. Seeing my famiry (I miss you people)
8. The next vacation (again, who's not?)

8 Things I did Yesterday:
1. Got dressed
2. Worked
3. Turned my suit into the dry cleaner's
4. Napped
5. Chatted
6. Went to dinner with JJ
7. Got red in the face when the lady I thought was cat woman was actually a belly dancer who tried to make me dance with her. UGH. Yucky and embarassing (even though I didn't dance).
8. Watched a very sweet little girl who is staying in my hotel win the National Spelling Bee!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Buy a house (it's a recurring theme)
2. Graduate without taking my last 10 stupid credits
3. Win the lottery
4. Eat a banana just to know what it tastes like (without dying)
5. Go eat Pho with the family
6. Relax! I've been high-stress today.
7. Get JJ a car to have out here while I drive his VW in Utah
8. Go to Thailand

8 TV Shows I Watch (I chose to just say the religiously watched ones... I like TV):
1. Jon & Kate + 8
2. Intervention (haha)
3. Charm School
4. Jacques Pepin (I like Fast Food My Way, but Jacques and Julia was good while it lasted)
5. Throwdown with Bobby Flay (or anything with Bobby)
6. Trading Spouses
7. I Didn't Know I was Pregnant (because I'm an idiot)
8. Hell's Kitchen

8 People I Tag
1. Britt or Joe (or both)
2. Diana Anderson
3. Rochelle
4. Britt Beardall
5. Tabitha
6. Jeffiner
7. Rachael Noxon--You haven't written in forever
8. Ummm... Sandi.

Sorry for tagging, I guess you kinda have to? I won't be offended if you don't do it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oh, herro....

Welcome to a day in the life of the Singers (I'm still not used to being a Singer, even if I've been married for a year. In fact, when I was filling out my paperwork for the new job, I had to ask for a new W4. I'm no longer Marika Roby)!

I guess this is a day in the life of Me, mostly. So here goes:

4:30 AM: Alarm clock #1 rings. I get up, and get into my uniform. It looks like this, except it's brown with a blue shirt, but I'm not supposed to take pictures of uniforms, etc (so this is what I interviewed in).

Then I go across the street to the Metro. I have to catch the very first one (or else I'll be late), so I show up there at about 5:10 AM.

That person actually isn't me, but she looks close enough, right? I wait for the first train, then get on, and show up at work.

7:00ish AM: Alarm clock #2 rings. JJ doesn't have to be at work at any time specific, as long as he puts in his 8 hours. Lucky ducky. He also only has to go 1 stop on Metro, as opposed to my 7. So he gets on and then it's like 3 minutes' ride for him.

I stand in a VIP Lounge all day and make sure everyone is happy. JJ sits at a desk all day and... does a bunch of secret things.

Then we both get on the Metro and come home. I try to stay happy and up-beat, since some people on the metro are grumps.

This is unrealistic, but it's a pic of us going... somewhere. I don't remember. But I'm sure it was fun! I think we were probably going to the mall.

Then we eat dinner, which, on Cinco De Mayo, was fish tacos:

JJ is always very accommodating of my hectic schedule. He usually makes dinner, or at least really helps.
I'm really tired by the time I get off of work, since I'm not good at going to sleep early.

As for today, I'm training to work the night shift, so I don't have to go into work until 3 PM, but I also don't get OFF of work until 11 PM. Oh well, I guess that's what you do to get school credit while doing almost nothing but work. In lieu of dinner with JJ, we're going to lunch at noon. I better get dressed and go on the short little Metro trip.

More blogging later!

By the way... I do know that I still owe you pictures of our apartment. I'll do it. I should've done it yesterday, when JJ had tidied up everything, but, alas. I'll do it when I get a day off (which is most likely Tuesday and Wednesday of next week).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dinner at Komi

For our anniversary, we were supposed to go to Cabo San Lucas with my family. Unfortunately, swine flu happened, canceling our plans :-(. JJ made reservations at Komi, a restaurant in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C.

When JJ got home from his 4th day of work, we got all dolled up, then crossed the street to the Metro (it's SO convenient, especially since we didn't bring a car).

This is Apres-Metro, and it's also the only pic we took besides the one below (of food).

So, I'd never had a tasting menu. For those of you who don't know, at some restaurants, they have a menu that is selected for you by the chef, made up of many smaller dishes, so you can get a taste of their style--In this case, JJ warned them about my allergies to bananas and scallops.

Dupont Circle is a really cute neighborhood--there are tons of brownstones and the roads are pretty much 1-laners. We had to walk a few blocks to the restaurant, but the weather has been gorgeous lately, and so it was a good walk (except that I hadn't really eaten anything all day in anticipation).

We entered the restaurant, and I immediately noticed that there are only about a dozen tables. It was simple and calm, especially compared to the rush of traffic outside. We were seated NEXT to each other at a table--which JJ usually doesn't like. At least it was on corners, not directly next to each other. The restaurant is so small that we couldn't really be across.

We opted for the "degustazione", which is more dishes and includes cheese before the dessert.

The first course came, and it was 2 bites of raw fish in a smoked turbot broth for us to share. It was delcious! Now, I realize that most people probably don't wanna hear about the next 9 small bites that were served, as courses, so I'll just write about favorites. My favorite of the first 10 courses was probably a steamed brioche bun with homemade creme fraiche and caviar. Perfect flavors for me, and I'm a sucker for steamed buns--I like my buns steamy :-). JJ loved a lot of things, but I think his favorite was probably the steak tartare with black truffle ice cream, or the date stuffed with goat's cheese with fleur de sel.

I can tell you one thing--we actually really hated one dish. It was like a shrimp paste, and was the grossest texture I've ever put in my mouth. I had to wash it down with plenty of sparkling water.

The most interesting dish was probably the deep-fried liquid Caesar salad. I don't know how they do it, but it really was just that. A crunchy shell filled with liquid salad.

The cutest thing, was, for sure, the animal crackers, shown here:

I got to eat the elephant (JJ always gives me first picks). They were cheddar and chive flavored.

After the first 10 courses came the pasta course (these are still chosen by the chef). JJ got the cheese ravioli with chorizo sauce. I got the tagliatelle with morels, prociutto, and ramps. My dish won for deliciousness. It was so smooth and buttery, I almost melted right into it, but then it was time to switch (we always switch halfway through).

After that was the main course--roasted suckling pig, served with homemade pitas and 6 tasting sauces. The skin was SO crunchy, and the meat was perfectly tender without being greasy. JJ liked the habanero hot sauce, and I liked the salt with oregano.

The cheese course was delicious, and then we got 3 desserts. The first one was definitely my favorite dessert--A lemon gelee with strawberry-rhubarb sorbet. Then we had an "anniversary" themed dessert, which was tapioca with passion fruit sauce. JJ commented that it was perfect for us, since we got married in Hawaii. Then I got a mint and fleur de sel ice cream sandwich, and he got greek doughnuts with a spiced chocolate milkshake. His definitely won on this one--it was SOO delicious.

The check came, and they included root beer lollipops, I think to distract from the price. Sales tax in D.C. is 10%, which really doesn't help when you're somewhere expensive.

We then went outside, where it had been raining, but it stopped for us to get to the metro (it always rains when we go on dates, or we always go on dates when it rains, I can't decide which). The walk home was peaceful and romantic.

All in all, best date, best meal, ever.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Best week ever, and it's only Thursday! Here are the things that made this week amazing:

It was our anniversary--JJ made delicious lasagna

JJ started his job and really likes it

I had a final interview for a job, and was happy with how I did

We ate at Zola

Our 40" HDTV showed up

I got the cutest jacket ever

I got the job I really wanted

We played billiards with Joe and.. Pete?

I made 7-layer bars

We had time to cuddle and watch a movie

We got a settlement for the damaged mattress (from the move)

I fixed the damaged mattress (we think)


We're going out to dinner tonight at Komi for our anniversary

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Everything seems to be going so much better than we ever expected. Love y'all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chicago-Style Pizza

So, after our deliciousness at Lou Malnati's, I decided to recreate the experience. It was yummy! Wanting to share in the wealth, but having no body around (except Joe and Brit, they're busy), I decided to post the recipe (it's more like instructions):

This picture is not my own. I forgot. But you'll get the basic idea.

Marika's Chicago-esque Pizza Deliciousness

1. Preheat'cher oven, with the rack at the very bottom, to 400*F.

2. Roll out a pre-made pie dough into a pie pan, 8x8, 9x9, or other dish that you think is appropriate, I think a spring-form would be ideal, but the move seems to have lost ours. I used a 9" pie pan (PS You gotta use metal).

3. Spread about half a pound of RAW Italian Sausage (hot if you like) into a disc or square or whatever. This recipe makes me sound stupid. But the sausage should cover the bottom.

4. In a couple of teaspoons of Olive Oil, sautee some mushrooms (I used about a cup of Creminelli, sliced) with 2 cloves of sliced gaaahlic (I'm Italian now) until the garlic begins to soften. Add 1/2 an onion, diced into large-ish pieces, and sautee until the onions begin to soften (you want them kinda crunchy so they don't melt in the pie). Spread this over the sausage, pressing it into the layer a little bit.

5. Drain 1/2 a loaf of fresh mozzarella (it comes in one-pound loaves, if you have a Costco, it's cheap there) and put it on top of the veggies in slices. It'll seem like a lot of cheese, but... It's not supposed to be THAT healthy, people!

6. I put some of our Jimmy John's pickled peppers on top of that, slightly chopped. I'm sure you could use other kinds, but JJ's is the BESTEST!

7. Cover with chunky tomato sauce (I made my own out of diced Italian stewed tomatoes, but you can just use some chunky Ragu or whatevs. Some of you have jobs/kids! The sauce should be pretty thick in consistency.)

8. Sprinkle Parmesean (the dry grated kind) or Pecorino Romano on top. Brush the part of the crust that still shows with some oil or butter or egg yolk or milk.

9. Bake at 400*F for 40 minutes. It's a pie, so let it rest until the juices get sucked up (I'm still not sure where those go, really), about 15 minutes. Slice (that's the hard part) and ENJOY!

If you make this, let me know! I'll come right over!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Move is OVER!

Saturday, April 25th was the big day. We had already loaded up the truck, so all we had to do was jam our suitcases in, and we were off!

The truck was pretty cumbersome, but I luckily have a JJ to do stuff like... driving, dishes, and folding laundry. We took a final picture in our "old" apartment, and then we were officially homeless.

Our first stop for food came in Wyoming. We knew where we were when we ate there, but can't think of what the city's name is now... haha. Oops. BUT! If you ever see this restaurant, and like Thai food, you should eat there, it's way better than expected:

We then paid homage to the land where my ancestors (C.Y.) come from:

I ended up being lame and doing a lot of eating and a lot of this on the drive:

We saw a lot of this:

For those of you who have never made a cross country drive, and are curious, this was our route: I-80 through Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia. I was excited to get my first view of the Mississippi, which was cool, I guess, and the Mid-West, which was... not cool. It was all very flat and boring, except the weather was somewhat entertaining, but has now caused some drama... more on that later.

We stayed the first night in Grand Island, Nebraska. It's not fun. Don't be jealous. We "slept in" as JJ likes to say (woke up at 9 AM, that's NOT late), and got on the road by 10 (after biscuits and gravy... gotta remember the important parts). We had scheduled a night at a Holiday Inn Express in a west-side Chicago suburb, but realized that we were going to make it there way earlier than expected, so cancelled that, and decided to eat at Lou Malnati's Famous Deep Dish Pizza for dinner, which took us about half an hour out of our way. It was the BEST pizza casserole I've ever eaten, and yes... I think it's delicious, but you can't compare it to NYC's thin crust--it's just not the same.

After dinner, we got back in the car and just started driving. We didn't know how far we were going to get, and just said we'd drive until we got tired. Now, I'm not going to say I have a good tolerance for caffeine, but we stopped for an energy drink anyway. I was awake and driving until about 4:00 AM, and we were so close to JJ's parent's by the time I was tired, that JJ(who somehow slept through me being a Rockstar--it was all the drink--to Sheryl Crow-esque music the whole time) thought we could make it the rest of the way.

We got to Ephrata at 9:30 AM (Can you billeee 'dat?!), and slept until about 3:00 PM. Then we woke up to have dinner with JJ's parents, Aunt Debbie, and Grandma. The next morning (This is Tuesday) we got up and drove to Arlington to get settled.

Our apartment is potentially cute, we just need to finish unpacking/organizing. I'll get it done someday, and that day will be the day I take pics for y'all.

OH! The drama that the weather caused is the following: We went through the hardest rain storm ever, and a leak caused our mattress to get wet. Wet mattress=mildew=something nasty I've never dealt with. We put in a claim with Penske, and we'll see how that goes.

On Friday, JJ had planned a "I hope you like that we moved to DC even though you don't know anything about it" date. We went to eat Dim Sum at a place in China Town called Tony Cheng's, and found out that they don't serve Dim Sum at dinner, but ate some good Chinese food anyway. Then we went to the National Symphony Orchestra (at the Kennedy Center). They performed Haydn's The Creation, which would have been cooler if it was in English, and wasn't an Opera, and had more Orchestra solos, but it was still a good introduction to the arts of the area. Here's a pic:

On Saturday, our friends Joe & Brit, who we have missed so much since they moved here... a year? ago, met us at the Embassies to look around. I saw my first real DC-style demonstration:

It's about not killing North Koreans. I probably should care more, but I didn't really get it. They shouted some hilarious things, and then you could hear other people saying "I don't think anyone's listening" in the background. LOVED IT.

We were supposed to be flying to Cabo for a week in the sun/relaxing/getting tan, but I guess that the pigs of the area really didn't want me to crispify myself, and infected everyone with the flu. We got a refund on our tickets, but are still sad. Even though we bought a 40" LCD HDTV with 1080p and all the things JJ was looking for for just more than the plane tickets cost (which makes it free, if you think about it.... almost).

So now we're getting settled. I really like having a metro station right across the street, living on the 6th floor, and having time and space with JJ, but I really miss my family. Especially today (Sunday Dinner), even though they're not having it. I know I'll be home soon enough to finish school and everything, but it's my first time away! Gimme a break. I'm a wuss.