Monthly Archives: September 2009

>Woe is me!

>As most of you know, I have a boyfriend. He and I spend what I would consider a lot of time together, as most couples do. I spend a lot of nights at his house. We talk every night before we go to bed. We chat on IM during work. We are really connected.

This week he went on a cruise. I’m an adult and I am happy he is going on this vacation. I know that he really needs one, but I’ll admit that I am sad that he is not here. Granted, I’m being a total baby. He’s been gone since Sunday, but he’s still in Florida. He’s on a boat and as of this morning they arrived in Key West.

Last night was rough and I really wanted to talk to him, but I couldn’t so I sucked it up and went to sleep. This morning, I was making breakfast and got a text message. I assumed it was Twitter, so I didn’t check it for about ten minutes. I was so happy when I did. They had docked in Key West and he was able to send me a quick note. Ten minutes later, I got a phone call from him and that really made my day.

I know I will be fine and very busy until he comes home. That is definitely a good thing. I’ll tell you all more about last night later. Right now, work is calling.

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>Cameron and Courtney’s Outback Adventure

>In case I have failed to mention him before, Cameron is my little brother. By little brother I mean, he is 6’5”, but three years younger than me. It’s unfortunate. I was large and in charge until he turned 13. He then transformed into a mutantly large human being, which is lucky for him because it offsets the sheer wingspan of those ears. (Gimme a break, he’s my little brother. I gotta bust his chops.)

Cameron and I get together for dinner about once a week. We like food, books, and hanging out for short periods of time. Last night, I was craving some beef. We discussed Longhorn Steakhouse, Cody’s, and Sam Seltzer’s, but Cam wanted to go to Outback Steakhouse. I missed the turn lane for my choice so we headed for Outback.

We went to the Outback Steakhouse in Largo located at 3690 E Bay Drive. We found an excellent parking space and headed in. We arrived at about 7:50pm and were seated immediately. Our server was Sarah. She had the patience of a saint. Cameron and I took our time ordering and attempting to plan out the meal. We lamented the complete and utter lack of Spinach dip on the menu (to ourselves). We settled on the Bloomin’ Onion. I realize it has enough calories and fat to feed a small country for a few days, but it’s delicious and we don’t worry about our weight. (Cam has to support those ears, after all.) You can never go wrong with a Bloomin’ Onion and even though we only ate half of it, it was so worth it. I love the horseradish sauce that comes with it. I could eat that on almost anything.

I always forget to take the pictures before I eat.
For our main course, we ordered the Outback Special. I got the 9oz and Cam got the 12oz. (He is a growing boy afterall. I mean, man. Very manly man. The manliest of men. Moving on…)
The Outback Special is described on their website as follows: “Our signature sirloin is seasoned with bold spices and seared just right.” It is served with a salad and a side. It comes with a Blue Cheese Wedge salad, but I don’t like them so I asked for a house salad with blue cheese dressing instead. Cameron stuck with the Wedge. He doesn’t like to rock the boat or give the server a hard time. (NOTE: Cam is a server too at a different restaurant.) For my side item I chose the seasonal vegetables and Cam got the potatoes. (I told you, very manly.)
My untouched food as it was given to me.

Here’s my take on the steak. I found it to be kind of gritty. It was flavored appropriately, but it just had a strange mouth feel this time. I still ate it and enjoyed it though. Cameron said his was good. My only real problem with my meal was the seasonal vegetables. I love vegetables and no matter what they would have been I would have been fine, except for the fact that they were overcooked and mushy. This kind of made them flavorless. Cameron said that his garlic mashed potatoes were killer.

This was on the table and also repeated on the website. While I can’t agree with it because I think that Tampa Bay has several places in the same price range that are better for steak, I enjoyed my meal. I’d also like to say that our server was wonderful and she timed everything perfectly. That always makes me very happy.

Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

>Babies and birthday parties.

>   This weekend consisted of my and the kids running around to different events. Friday night we saw the Lightening defeat the Atlanta Thrashers in overtime. It was great. We got there just late enough so that by the time the kids wanted to leave, the game was over. We left the Forum in pouring rain. The kids thought that was freaking awesome. They slept the whole way home and late into the morning. Well, until 7:30am.

   Saturday, we went to a birthday party for my nephew. It was Carter’s third birthday and he was very excited to have other little kids to play with. The kids were positively filthy by the time we left in the early evening. They had their faces painted by my cousin. (If you need a face painter in Pasco or Hernando, let me know. She’s great.) They ate everything in sight and then drank enough Hawaiian Punch to drown a horse.

   I held a baby for a good portion of the time. He was so cute. See:

>Welcome to the Senate, Senator LeMieux

>Dear Readers,
Below is a letter I wrote to a new Senator. I am not sure how I got on his email list, but since he was sending me an email, I thought I would take the time to write him back. If you want to send him an email also you can send it to info@lemieux.senate.gov.

Court-

Dear Senator LeMieux,
I want to take this time to welcome you to the senate. I know that you take your job very seriously and I hope you will do your best to serve the people of Florida.

I am also a native Floridian. I, however, grew up in Pasco county. Pasco county has a very large segment of senior citizens. My grandmother, who is in her eighties, lives there and through her I see the suffering of our elderly. She lived during the depression and World War II. She had many children. She has watched some of them die. She is part of the culture that helped America become what it is today, but she only gets enough social security to pay her light bill and phone bill. My grandmother, despite being nearly blind, still cooks the best collard greens I have ever had and remains relatively active. She is not alone though. There are many other seniors who don’t have the large family that I have. Even in the best of economic times, they struggle. They make very hard choices. They need support.

Do you know the heartache of hearing your grandparent tell you that they are no longer interested in living? I do. I’m currently twenty eight. I have friends who are both older and younger than me. I have my brothers and my parents that love me. I have people who have lived through my lifetime and that I can relate to. When you are in your eighties you have, most likely, lost your parents, siblings, and the majority of your friends. You have seen the majority of the people you love, look up to, and look to for support die. That’s in addition to being less able, in many cases, to take care of yourself.

I also ask you to please take a look into nursing homes. I know that the best way to help a family member in a nursing home is to visit often, keep lines of communication open, and to familiarize yourself with the staff. However, some of these people don’t have a family or their family is not local. It is wrong that these people are so often abused or treated harshly. It is wrong that it happens so often that it isn’t news anymore. It is wrong that people have to die afraid and alone. We wouldn’t tolerate it if it was happening to children and we shouldn’t tolerate abuse in the elderly either.

Senator, I am asking you to please take these people into consideration when you consider health care issues. End of life care is not only about keeping the body healthy, but it is about providing a life that is worth living. Happiness is awfully hard to pursue when you’re elderly and you need a hand.

There are many other issues that I could write you about and that are important to me like the ability for people to marry the person that they love, the need for a high speed rail, or the preservation of the environment in the state that I love so much. I can’t promise that I won’t write you about those things later, but I’d like you to please consider the elderly.

Sincerely,

Courtney Schoenfeld

>Today is not all sunshine and roses like tomorrow should be.

>I got to work and realized, as I was screaming loudly at the router located in another room, that I was a bit grumpy. I realized not too long after that, that I was in the full swing of PMS. My coworker came in and made silly jokes, bought me breakfast, and then got to work. I told her that I was grumpy and then I apologized in advance. I’m good like that. I rarely get grumpy, but when I do it’s bad news bears.

My coworker soon got a call that her grandma was being rushed to the hospital. She, of course, ran to the hospital along with the rest of the family. You see, her whole freaking family is here in town because my coworker is getting married. Tomorrow. She kept me updated with the progress until we finally got the message that her Grandma had passed on. I thought I might puke.

My mother is about the same age as her grandma. They are not old ladies. They are young. They are older than me, but young by anyone’s standards. I know that death is natural and as much a part of life as birth is, but intellectually knowing is not enough.

I also can’t do anything to help. Part of me wants to bake something for her. Part of me keeps weeping (mostly my tear ducts, honestly.) Part of me just wants to shut down.

>Chaos and consumables

>I have been incredibly busy. I had a wonderful weekend with my boyfriend and even visited my Grandma. I was prepared for a tough week since my boss is in Vegas for a trade show, but it has taken a turn towards Suckville.

Last night, my boyfriend proved that he’s pretty awesome. I knew I was going to be in the office for a good portion of the evening. He offered to drive about 45 minutes to bring me dinner. That, my loyal reader(s), is love.

Tonight, I don’t think I will be so lucky. I planned ahead. By planning ahead I mean that I took out my crockpot, threw things in it, and hoped for the best. I’m telling you what is in it so that if I die you will know not to ever eat such a meal yourself.

Courtney’s Chaotic Concoction (AKA Dinner)

  • One pound baby bella mushrooms (Whole since I had no time to chop them.)
  • One can of diced tomatos.
  • One can of black beans.
  • One can of mixed vegetables.
  • One can of tomato soup.
  • Half of one medium onion. (Chopped in big chunks due to time.)
  • One soup can of water.
  • One can of light red kidney beans.
  • One shot of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. (In the crock, not in your mouth. It’s 6am, people!)
  • One Teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
  • One Teaspoon of hotsauce.
  • Salt
  • Pepper.
  • Broccoli.

Throw everything into the pot. I have listed the ingredients in the order I tossed them in, which is also the order I thought of or saw them. I put the crock on low and I will be back home about 13 hours after turning it on.

This might be one of the reasons I am not married. I have no food fear, except for the fear of feeding other people. This is why. I will almost eat anything.