The Dishwasher Saga

When we moved into our house the only new appliance we purchased was our fridge.  And it’s awesome, we love it.  In the meantime we have been living and working with the old appliances which includes a hand-me-down (from college from a younger sibling) microwave that is ugly, a nice yet older oven & stove with a cracked glass cooktop, and an old, ugly, rusting, cream dishwasher.  Everything functions fine even though they don’t look great so new appliances were (and still are) rather low on the list.  Although, they are climbing up there as the list gets shorter.

A few weeks ago, I used a sample dishwasher soap and must not have read the instructions correctly because the dishwasher overflowed and also leaked down into the basement where we could see the water stain the wood ceiling in the bar.  We cleaned everything up but that did not help the fact that the insulation downstairs got wet.  After returning from vacation a couple of weeks ago we were hit with the smell of wet insulation and knew something must be done.photo 4 photo 1

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nasty, wet insulation

Last Friday, P and I cleaned our the bar and tore down the ceiling which was only a few months old and took out a whole wall of wood panels.  We removed all of the insulation from that area – disgusting, never want to do it again.  My parents came down Saturday and Dad & P reinstalled the ceiling and wall with new, non-smelly, and supposedly non-itchy insulation.photo 5photo 3

Where does the dishwasher come back in?  Well, my parents are finally remodeling their kitchen which has been their dream since buying their house 15 years ago.  When I heard they were going to be donating their old appliances I said, NO!  Please give your dishwasher to me.  It is not new, more like circa 2001, but it is black like our oven and a Bosch of much better quality than we had.  Plus, no rust.  We will eventually completely upgrade to stainless but not anytime soon.

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Picture this all the way out and surrounded by towels!

I get home last night from the grocery store in anticipation of cooking a meal for 6-8 people for Monday Night Football.  P’s team, the Redskins, unfortunately did not play very well but anyway… I get home and P had actually beaten me there and had decided to start removing the old dishwasher himself.  Never a good idea especially when it’s your first time.  I walk into panic and lots of water, “Get me a towel!” Water was also leaking into the bar, again.  The bar we just spent a whole weekend fixing because of leaking… Hopefully there is no long-term damage; here wasn’t much water down there. photo 3 copy

Long story short, guests start arriving as we try to stop water, and he tries to install the new appliance which turns out needed a new hose.  After much ado, much cleaning, a trip to Home Depot, and some cursing (both because of the game and also the project) we have a new (to us) dishwasher.  Has it been tried yet or tested?  No.  Am I a little worried about that?  Yes.  Fingers crossed.  But at least dinner turned out pretty good.  I can help in a crisis & man the grill: multi-tasker.photo 1 copy

Jack N’ Diane’s, Dueling Pianos

Saturday night P & I celebrated a friend’s birthday with a large group reservation at the official grand opening night for the new dueling piano bar downtown, Jack N’ Diane’s.  (I’ve never understood the apostrophe after the N; shouldn’t it replace the missing “i”?)  J&D’s has replaced the old Brown Street club on Brown Street downtown.  We loved Brown Street which had great jazz and blues performances and heavy wine pours.  I hear it also had great food.

View from my seat

View from my seat

We arrived shortly after 7pm for our 7pm reservation – we had two tables reserved for our large group right beside the stage.  In fact, our area was elevated to stage level.  We had no idea that it was the official opening night but some of our friends did.  I wish we had known this or had been able to see the menu online (it’s not currently available) before we got there because we would have just eaten before.  As you can expect, service was pretty bad.  And I don’t think it was just opening night; it was a server who should not be a server.  I felt bad for the girl except I also wanted to tell her to just suck it up (not in a mean way!) and at least try to fake a smile.  She looked pained and on the verge of tears the whole night.  You could tell she was just extremely overwhelmed even before it got crowded, which it did around 8:30.  But, the other servers looked much more at ease and even helped to check on us through the night so I think we just had a very new girl.  I hope she gets the hang of it.  Serving can be hard but I always enjoyed it and in a place like that it should be fun.  This is where P always clues in with his own personal experience of being an awful server haha, it’s not for everyone!photo 2

We waited for drinks, we definitely waited for food and by the time we got it, after 9, some people were in desperate need of it.  We probably waited a little too long to order.  We should have done it while the place was half empty.  I had originally had my eye on the fish and steak tacos but another couple at our table had them and weren’t impressed.  Even looking at them it looked like the flour tortilla had not even been warmed.  It put a damper on the menu for us which was small to begin with:  sliders, tacos, mini calzones, and salads.  No one really screamed over anything eaten there but we did get a taste of the quesadilla and if we had to eat there again, I would order it.  It’s hard to mess with cheesy goodness.  I ordered the Diane salad: spinach, dried cranberries, goat cheese with house dressing.  It was good but then again, they didn’t have to cook anything.  I could have made it at home.  P ended up eating a Greek salad and a mini Italian calzone.  I did not taste his meal and he ate all of it but he was pretty much starving by the time it came.

So it would seem from my description thus far that it was a lackluster evening but it wasn’t.  The show was great.  It started at 8.  The premise is that the audience requests songs on little sheets of paper provided.  When you request a song, you’re supposed to leave a little tip and the highest tipped request gets played first.  There was a $5 cover to get in, by the way, and then you have to tip to request songs, and you can pay to get sayings written on the board by outbidding the previous phrase (lots of back and forths of “Go Cocks!” and “Go Tigers!” – Univ. of South Carolina and Clemson for all you non-SC people out there) – the point being, the evening can get expensive.  But it was really fun.  We were there until 10:30ish, so over 3 hours.photo 5

my favorite performer

my favorite performer

There were 5 musicians that rotated on the piano and even occasionally jumped in on the guitar, drums, and bass.  It seems like all of them could play at least 3 instruments.  Some were better singers than others and some were definitely more fun and better at getting the audience to participate.  I was impressed by there respective talents, for sure.  There was one of the guys who tried a little too hard to be funny and perverted and it kind of fell flat but oh well.  He was the last guy to switch in so most people were probably too drunk to care.  I was driving so only had a couple of drinks early on.

One thing that really bothered me about the menu is that they had a list of about 10 specialty cocktails but there was no description on them.  So, we had to ask our nervous server who could not remember all of them (it was a lot of drinks) and we had to yell over the music.  I would definitely recommend the manager/owner put their descriptions on the menu.  I ended up with the Santagria (no, not sangria) because it seemed the safest bet.  It was a blend of Blue Moon, red wine, and I guess fruit.  Pretty tasty and at $7 not too bad for a mixed cocktail.

Santagria

Santagria

Back to the show.  People requested everything from Billy Joel to Imagine Dragons.  They even pulled out the Thong Song at one point as well as the 80′s classic, Pour Some Sugar On Me.  I really found the evening to be greatly entertaining.  I found myself clapping and singing along. I was surprised when we left there was actually a line out of the door for people to come in.  Surprising for a place with a cover.  I know $5 doesn’t seem like much but Greenville doesn’t do covers.  (And I was already annoyed we had to pay for parking – we almost never have to here.)  But, I would definitely recommend anyone who enjoys some good entertainment to check this place out.  Just eat before you go.

Best Buy Bonding

P and his brother take a field trip to Best Buy almost every weekend.  I used to tag along but I no longer even bother to pretend to want to go.  Best Buy, like Home Depot, is a store that I have spent way too much time in over the last several years despite not wanting to go.  Besides, it is good they have brotherly bonding time.  But this weekend, I went with P.  Best Buy represents money to me, lots and lots of our money.  Every time P goes with his brother I feel like I have to check our budget, ask what he plans to purchase, and I’m afraid to ask what he got when he gets home.  Half the time they just go to look – I don’t get it!  Anyway, the point is P and I went together this past weekend to buy things we needed for our bar downstairs.  No, I have not mentioned the bar on here yet.  I’ll get to that in another post.

My definition of what we need for this bar is extremely different than P’s – it’s more about timing than anything.  Why do we need all of this at the same time, can’t we space out the expenses?  Apparently not, especially since right now the bar does not have walls (more details to come!) and it is the perfect time to do all the electrical, wiring, and set up.  Makes sense even though it hurts my heart, I mean, wallet.

So we spent quite a bit of money at Best Buy last weekend, on top of what he had already spent.  Speakers, wires, sound bars, a new 60″ tv…  Not to mention the electrical work, lighting, acid stained floors, walls, and ceiling – finishing the room itself.  But, I have to say I am really impressed with what we got for the money because they are having a great tv sale.  

We actually got two tvs because our 32″, 5 year old, tv stopped working after 6 months of non-use when we finally got cable.  Yep, that happened last week too.  So, that brings our total tv count to 4: 32″, 42″, and two 60″.  I really think that two 60″ tvs in one house is kind of ridiculous and obscene but strangely the tv in the bar doesn’t seem nearly that big.  I hate to admit it, but it looks good in there.  Of course, now I find P and myself spending a lot of time apart in front of different tvs as we have very different tv tastes and after months of having no HGTV or Food Network I find myself unable to tear myself away.  P is, of course, enjoying all the live sports he can… I’m hoping this is just a temporary case of us starving for cable and we will eventually find ourselves back in front of the same screen!

How do you solve this problem of wanting to watch different tv shows than your spouse/significant other?  Do you just give in or take turns?