Boys don’t have cooties.

I have always considered myself a guys’ girl.

I suppose it’s to be expected. I have an older brother (3 years, 2 grade levels). We grew up constantly bickering, physically fighting, those obnoxious kids on a roadtrip going “he’s on myyy side.”  God bless my parents for surviving us.

They never diminished or tried to alter our relationship, though. My dad would frequently say “Fight back” when I whined that Bro had kicked/hit/pushed me. We all had black belts. It seemed logical. The only downside, I think, is I tended to continue that physical aggressiveness into my adult life. Guys in college don’t really like being hurt by girls in college.

Our relationship, however, produced a lot of positive advantages. I have always felt comfortable with boys, particularly those who weren’t “popular”. I remember being in 5th grade, talking to the nerdy, pale, white-haired guy instead of my ‘cool boyfriend’. In middle school, I had a quasi-fan club: a bunch of really nice, quiet, B & C student guys who liked me primarily because I talked to them. They were funny, they were nice, and there was no pressure. In high school, I liked the popular boys, but I hung out with the social misfits, and I embraced the younger, awkward guys who were trying to fit in. They were fun, I had fun with them, and it was innocent.

Except when they developed crushes. I never knew how to deal with that. I’d find myself hanging out with one of them, and then realize at some awkward moment that he thought this was a date, not a casual movie or tennis ‘hang out’ situation. I never appreciated those guys at those moments. I usually just panicked and told them some variation of the truth: We’re good friends, this isn’t going to happen, I’m not into this.

Over the years, now that I’m a ripe old lady, I appreciate the advantages of all those friendships and relationships. I really enjoy being with a group of guys, sitting around a table, trading dirty jokes and crazy stories and laughter. I like the casual exchange, so much less entwining and ensnaring than girls’ conversations can be. The guys usually aren’t negative, aren’t criticizing, aren’t gossiping. It’s purely about enjoyment, humor, and being in the moment. That, in my opinion, is priceless.

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Oh my Yum…

I skipped lunch today and purposely drove home after work starving, tummy-growling hungry. Why? Because I knew my dinner of left-overs was going to be amazing.

Last night, M & I went to Peter Chang‘s, a restaurant that opened in Fredericksburg a couple of weeks ago.  First, I’d like to roll my eyes at M’s failure to communicate: I was fully expecting another Chinese buffet or Hibachi: Fredericksburg clearly needs more of those.

Our server’s name was Susie, and she was great. She was attentive, pleasant, and gave us some background on the dishes (served in clay pots the same way they are served in the markets in China).  She also mentioned, unfortunately, that most people are asking for the General Tso’s chicken. This is NOT a Gen. Tso’s kind of place. If that’s what you want….head to Fortune’s or order some takeout.

The restaurant is wide and open, and had a steady flow of diners. The me

nu is pretty substantial, broken down by appetizers, soups, types of meat, noodles & rice.   And….it has puffed pancakes.

Puffed Pancakes!The size of his head!

 

A puffed pancake is kind of like Roti on crack. It’s basically thin layers of dough pressed together, then dropped into super-high heat, and the end result is a hollow, magical balloon of deliciousness. You pop it, tear it into pieces, and dip it into a nice yellow curry sauce (not spicy). The dish comes with two puffs, and probably should be split between 3-4 people. M & I managed to kill ours, of course.

This puff was the perfect way to start off: it reminded me of traipsing around Malaysia on a hot muggy night with M’s Grannie yelling directions in Hokkien to find the best late-night Roti spot. It’s a fun, happy, inclusive type of food.

M ordered a cilantro-fish springroll. Another dish meant to share (seeing a theme?), these were thing, cigar-shaped eggrolls stuffed with cilantro and seafood. M enjoyed them, but they could use a sauce for dipping/moisture. Cilantro-fish Egg Roll

For our entrees, we knew the dishes are meant to be shared, but we both wanted different things. M got a clay pot of mixed seafood in spicy black

Seafood

bean sauce. It was one Pepper on the menu and was a pleasingly tingly spice level. The seafood included shrimp, squid, fish, and scallops, as well as garlic cloves, mushrooms, and red peppers. A warm, soupy family.

 

I got a two-Pepper dish – Chicken with Onion and Chili served in a strainer-type basket over a flame. You stir every 2 minutes until the flame goes out, keeping it hot and making it fun! This dish had a nice burn that sticks to your lips, but is slightly addictive. That “but it hurts so good!” kind of deal. Spicy Chicken

We both had fried rice for our sides – well made, a nice blend of soy, veggies, and well-cooked rice. And Diet Pepsis. We were being boring on the drinks.

Friends, be warned: I am going to demand this place for my birthday dinner in October.