Mar 29, 2015: Starstruck!

Okay, I can officially die a happy woman now. I was inches—mere inches!!—from one of my Top Five on Saturday! Inches!!

You know what I mean by Top Five, right? The people who, even though we’re happily married, we harbor a massive crush on? Chris’s Top Five list, for example, contains such lovely women as Princess Kate, Shania Twain, Halle Berry, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and…hmmm. I forget who the fifth is. But he has one.

My Top Five list has a couple of relatively common men. Johnny Depp and Colin Firth, for example. But I also have a few crushes on lesser-known men who aren’t conventionally thought of as necessarily hunks—the smart, kind, sorta “nerdy” guys with the eyes that twinkle when they smile. One is our old vet when we lived in Sacramento—adorable! And he loved my dogs, so of course that further endeared him. Another is a professor I had in grad school—probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and super kind and sweet, too. And then there’s Hubert Keller. Oh, Hubert…

I love Hubert Keller. I pretty much fell into a heavy crush when I saw him cook macaroni and cheese in a college-dorm shower on Top Chef Masters some years ago. I was simultaneously revolted (cooking in the dorm shower?!) and charmed. After all, it was a cooking challenge where they had to prepare a delicious meal in a dorm using only a hot plate or whatever else they could find. And what did he find for hot water? Why, the shower, of course!

But what I really loved about Hubert Keller was that, unlike many of the celebrity chefs you see on these cooking-challenge shows (which Chris and I love to watch!), he seemed to be very humble and free of a massive ego. Really, if you watch these cooking shows at all, you know that a healthy ego seems to come with the territory for a lot of these guys. But Hubert…he just is always sweet and friendly on these shows, and his food looks fantastic! And he has those twinkly eyes that get me every time. (This is why Sam gets away with murder, by the way—he has the twinkly smile. I’m a sucker for it.)

So anyway, twice Chris has taken me to Hubert’s fancy restaurant in San Francisco (which unfortunately closed recently, after having been an iconic restaurant in SF for many years), and both times we had fantastic meals…but I never did catch sight of Hubert. (Which is probably lucky for Chris, because apparently I don’t hold it together very well when I do…but more on that in a moment.)

Hubert has a number of restaurants, and even though Fleur de Lys is now closed, he still has Burger Bar in San Francisco. It’s a pretty casual place that makes a mean burger and milkshake. So when my friend Amber suggested a lunch/movie girls’ date in San Francisco and brought up Burger Bar, I was all over it!

So there we are, in Burger Bar and enjoying our lunch of veggie burgers, fried dill pickles (best fried pickles I’ve had!), and nutella milkshakes (to…die…for!), and I’m talking to Amber…and suddenly who walks by our booth? Hubert Keller!! My eyes got huge as I gasped and mouthed “HUBERT KELLER!” to Amber, who also loves Hubert. She gasped too, and we both started laughing as we realized how ridiculously starstruck we looked. But then, suddenly, there was Hubert again! Bussing the booth right next to us, which the server hadn’t yet cleared. And not looking the least bit annoyed about doing the bussing, I have to say…he seems to be as humble as he appears on TV. Instead of summoning someone else over to do it, he just grabbed a nearby tub and started clearing the table. While Amber and I stared. And then he turned around and nodded at Amber and smiled at her! And then smiled at her again when he walked by a third time!

Oh my. Our day was pretty much made! I don’t blame him for not smiling at me, by the way—I’m the crazy lady who stopped talking midsentence, gasped, and went nuts when he walked by. He was probably frightened of me. 😉

So yeah…our brief brush with stardom. And we were both too shy to ask for a picture, darn it! We had toyed with the idea of ordering alcoholic milkshakes, since we had ridden BART into the city and thus didn’t have to drive, but we settled on nutella instead. Too bad—if I’d had the irish cream milkshake laced with whiskey, I might’ve been bold enough to ask for a picture with my crush!

Naturally, by the way, I had to text Chris to tell him of my Hubert sighting, as he is well aware that Hubert is on my Top Five list. “No way!!!” he texted back…and then followed up with, “Well, I’m sure I’ll get to see whoever is cooking at Dickie’s BBQ when I take the boys tonight.” Ha! Poor Chris…stuck with Dickie’s while I’m rubbing elbows with Hubert! He’s a good sport….

When we had recovered from our Hubert sighting, Amber helped me go evening-dress shopping at Macy’s. I’ve never worn an evening dress before—never gone to a prom or any formal event, really. My wedding was just about the only time in my adult life that I’ve really dressed up. So I wasn’t sure what to wear…and frankly, I’m not feeling overly lovely these days, with this lousy weight gain. But Chris and I have been given tickets to a gala that benefits Down Syndrome Connection, and hey…who are we to turn down a fancy night out? So we’re going…and I needed a dress. But I didn’t want to spend much, since I’m sure I’ll only wear it once. (Plus, you know, we just bought a house and all that!) I had poked around at Ross and found nothing that was even remotely flattering, so I took Amber up on her offer to help at Macy’s.

Turns out Amber is the dress genius! We headed to the clearance rack, and I picked out several dresses. She held up one and said, “This is really pretty!” and I said, “Yeah, it is”—and silently thought, “…and it’s going to look awful on me. No way to camouflage my post-C-section tummy in that.” But I’m a good sport, so I tried it on.

Well. I need to hand the wardrobe decisions over to someone else more often. The dress is really pretty! I won’t say I look thin in it, because you just can’t shave off what’s already there, you know? But I look nice and classy, I think…and that’s more than I can say for any other dress I tried on! And my tummy? It doesn’t look too bad. I guess a well-made dress can hide some flaws. I even came in under budget! I didn’t want to spend more than $50 (I know, I know… “elegant evening attire” costs money! But still…I didn’t want to spend more than $50), and my normally $178 dress rang up at $44! Woohoo! And I already have some jewelry to match it. Now I just need to find some shoes, since I don’t think Birkenstocks or clogs count as “elegant evening footware,” and that’s all I own.

We also saw a movie while we were out: Kingsman. All I knew was that it had Colin Firth in it, and two Top Five men in one day was just too much to miss out on! Turned out to be kind of an odd movie and not what I was expecting, but still entertaining.

Most of the rest of the week revolved around house stuff. I got a horrendous painting estimate, so now I’m waiting for a second estimate for that. (We can do most of it ourselves, but we have a couple of rooms with vaulted ceilings, and we’re both afraid of heights. So, we had thought to hire a painter just for those couple of rooms.) We also got a couple of flooring estimates…which were also horrible. I’m waiting on a third one that I hope will be a bit cheaper. Floors are expensive! Eeek. And we’re going with the less-expensive options of laminate instead of hardwood, and vinyl instead of tile…plus carpet in the bedrooms. But it’s still expensive. Ouch.

Chris got to come spend some more time at the house while I was there with painters and flooring people and the handyman who is going to do the work we need done, and he is very excited. He hasn’t gotten to spend much time in the house yet (I’ve been doing all of the appointments, since he’s at the office most days), and he was very excited to spend an hour poking around and looking at everything. Afterwards, he stood in the middle of the deck, surveyed the jungle that is our future backyard, and announced, “This is awesome!” Indeed. I think we’re going to be very happy with it in the long term!

I did some sleuthing (because I’m nosy) and discovered that the seller of the house has to be in his nineties, which would explain why he hadn’t been able to keep things up. His wife passed away at age 77 in 2003, and he still has a fair amount of her things. I know nothing about these people other than that, but for some reason I have them envisioned as the sweet elderly couple in the movie Up, which is one of my favorite love stories of all time, despite being an animated Pixar film. Since I think it’s so sweet, I’m just going to continue to think of them as Carl and Ellie from Up—it makes me happy to think of our house as a place where two people were happy and loved each other. 🙂

Other than that, it’s been a pretty normal week. Sam is feeling comfortable enough at preschool to throw his three-year-old tantrums, and they have the same response as me—have to turn around so he doesn’t see them smiling. Because it’s hard not to smile when he throws himself dramatically onto the floor, starts to boo-hoo, and then rolls over and starts giggling. 🙂

Theo’s not a big fan of moving, so he’s been a little feisty, but he’s hanging in there. Hopefully this move will go smoothly and with a minimum of upheaval for him. We’re trying to emphasize the stability aspect—we’ll now own our home, so we won’t ever have to move unless we want to. And he’s excited about sharing a room with Sam. I have my doubts that those two will get any sleep at all, but I bought a video monitor so that we can watch the proceedings and bellow, “GO TO SLEEP!” through the monitor if they’re messing around in there. 🙂

Sorry for the minimal pictures this week—I haven’t hauled my camera out in quite a while! A certain member of this household turns seven years old next weekend, though—on Easter, in fact—so hopefully we’ll get some good pictures. 🙂

Have a good week, all!

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