Friday, December 22, 2006

Something to spend gift cards on...

I just have to share it. I am now obsessed with the band Blue October's latest album, Foiled. My favorites are the song "Into the Ocean" and "X-Amount of words". Can't believe it took 5 albums for them to come to my attention, but of course there is always the possibility that this album is just better. I have heard some of the History for Sale album and I like the more up-tempo songs of this one. I'm so exceeding pathetic I listened to the "X-Amount of words", "Drilled A Wire Through My Cheek", "Sound of Pulling Heave Down", and "Everlasting Friend" song sequence repeatedly fore most of the drive from DC to Breezewood, on the way to da 'Burgh. Here's hoping I don't overdo it and ruin my appreciation.

In other music news don't forget to get your tickets to the Snow Patrol show at the American University arena, they are playing with OK Go, and it looks to be an amazing show, I can't wait! (use the above link to check out some of their music videos on Launch, especially OK, Go, their videos are awesome)

Secret Santas and the Nog!

Merry Christmas!

The second annual gift exchange/student in the kitchen party appears to have been a hit. It was such a blast. All my friends are excellent chefs, especially with desserts. If you where there I thank you for you company and hope you had as much fun as I did. For anyone who loved it as much as I did, here is the Egg Nog recipe. If you are expecting more than 4 or 5 people, I highly
recommend doubling this recipe.


1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Qt. milk
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pint whipping cream (half a tub of cool whip)


1. in one bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.
2. in a second bowl beat cream until it holds peak
3. in third, large bowl, beat egg yellows until foamy (i'd reccomend beating separately before adding to large serving bowl)
4. Add milk, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla to 3rd bowl
5. fold in whipping cream, then egg whites
6. flavor with alcohol as desired :-).

(pics thanks to heathpie's picasa album, such a good camera she has :-)

Seasonal musings

Ahhh... Christmas... finally some time to take off and reminisce on the year past and muse for the year to come.

In the year past, I've had some great adventures: skiing in Idaho, sunning in the Outer Banks, and drinking in Boston, all of which I never got around to listing on my blog. I feel I should share the highlights for those of you who might adventure to these locales, or just take interest in this sort of thing.

Idaho, specifically Boise, was a blast. I must recommend the skiing at Sun Valley, of course it was my first Rockies mountain so it may just be lack of experience talking. Lots of good trails for those who are of moderate skill. If there you must visit the Seattle Ridge Lodge at the top of the mountain for some of the best backed potatoes I have ever had! Speaking of potatoes, you must check out the "Chick Bacon on a Tater", which contains chicken breast, bacon, BBQ sauce, and backed potato wedges wrapped in a tortilla. They are sold by the street vendors near the downtown bars and are a great substitute for the Jumbo Slice, and a stunning example of the local potato culture.

The Outer Banks was AWESOME! Sorry Ocean City, but you now completely suck in my book. North Carolina is the way, especially when you rent a house with a pool and sleeping room for a dozen. The beach goes for ever, and isn't nearly as crowded. The days in the sun, the nights of karaoke and DDR, and never having to drive through traffic anywhere once after arrival. I can't wait to head back again next year, which we should probably start planning soon.

The Boston trip, the only trip here that was after my blog started, was a blast, that I somehow forgot to mention here. I must say that the best part was the night spent at Ned Devine's in Faneuil Hall of downtown Boston. Had a blast drinking and dancing with Ann ;-) and her sisters. The local bars and restaraunts of South Boston were also quite the experience. The accents are amazing, Good Will Hunting doesn't even scratch the surf ace. If you can't afford the international flight but want a taste of Ireland, just hang out at the blue collar bars of this neighborhood. I should also mention that the only condo I want is one in a converted school house, you can't beat the HUGE windows and tall ceilings, I'm so jealous of those who already have one :-p.

This has been a great year, I can't wait to see what next year brings. I'll put it in writing here so it is almost a contract for the next year. Goals are to visit Seattle, Idaho, Europe, Vegas (again) and the bike trail from da'Burgh to DC. Hope to see you all along the way!

Monday, December 04, 2006

So cold.......

Brrr.... Looks like winter is finally here. At least the ski resorts are finally able to make some snow, i can't wait to try out my new skis.

Tis the Season

Ho, ho, ho, and all that jazz. Nothing says it is the holiday season like a horde of Santas drinking their from Midtown, through Dupont, and all the way to Adams Morgan. Picking up many random new friends along the way. My neighborhood social coordinator was able to organize an entertaining event that began at 2 pm and continued through 11 pm, with a new bar every hour. If you ever wish to spread holiday cheer, I must suggest stopping at Party City. Not only can you get a Santa suit for a mere 29 dollars, but you can get Mardi Gras beads in both Christmas and Hanukkah themes. We began with just a few Santas drinking at the Bottom Line and playing a little drinking dradle, we then traveled up to Dupont, back to Midtown, and then even further up to Adams Morgan. It was great to feel the holiday spirit just walking down the street and seeing the smiles on peoples faces just from your presence. Luckily we all held it together late enough that no kiddies had to see a sloppy drunk Santa. It was a wonderful time, and I hope everyone can join in again next year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Las Vegas! Ah, Jet Blue, the only way to travel. A flight so nice sets a good tone for the entire weekend that follows.

Touchdown 11pm Wednesday, let the insomnia begin. Wednesday night set the tone for my whole weekend. From the losses in gambling to the gluttony of Dennys and the late night wanderings. I was reminded of a valuable lesson i shoud have learned long ago. When playing "Let It Ride", if you don't win big in the first dozen hands or so, just walk away, otherwise it will take all your money. Unfornatually i didn't even learn this lesson on Wednesday, it took me until Friday to give up on "Let It Ride" and most other gambling attempts. I should have known my luck could be cursed after we checked into room 666 at the Imperial Palace (of course it didn't effect my roommates so much, so I probably just owed Vegas karma for my previous winning adventures).

Much of thursday was spent wandering the Strip. With stops at the immense m&m store and a variaty of casinos (visited most everything from Treasure Island through Mandalay Bay at some point). The cursed desert sun gave me a wonderful sunburn, even in november my pasty flesh is no match for the southern sun. But at least the weather was beautiful for the duration. The m&m store is a huge tourist trap, with 4 floors of merchandise (all i could think of was the Mel Brooks scene in Spaceballs, "Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money... is made"), but still you can't help yourself from spending a little money on some cutsy m&m action figure or souvenir. Went clubbin thursday night in the Mirage, Paul Okenfold played some good stuff, and the atmosphere was nice, however many of the other guests were definately trying to hard to prove something with their attire. This was the first of many major hits to the credit card. To escape my sleep deprived funk i drank $14 Red Bull and Vodkas all night ($8 for the vodka, $6 for the redbull), thought it was a ripoff, but apparently it is the norm in all the casino clubs.

Speaking of casino clubs, while much of the group was sipping expensive vodkas and drinking martinies at Red Square in Mandalay Bay, the birthday boy and i were having a blast next store with rum and cokes at Rum Jungle. This place took the club scene to levels I had never before witnessed. Not only where their gogo dancers dancing in cages, they had acrobats swing on trapezes and hanging from ropes over the bar. Quite a sight to behold, unfornatually the 30 minute wait to use the bathroom knocked the overall atmosphere of the place. The most rediculous part was that the bathroom had a separate line for the VIP section guests, who didn't have to wait at all, and made things even worse for us commoners. The evening was saved by closing the 9 Fine Irishmen bar in New York New York. Awsome band, as always, and fun crowd. I must reccomend this place if you can't get into NY,NY's piano bar, this is a fantastic alternative.

We slowed things down a little on Saturday, the whole group made it out to chill at a bar and watch the Ohio State v. Michigan football spectacular. Saturday night was spent at a comedy show, part of Cesars Palace Comedy Festival. We attended a midnight show featuring Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis, and Sarah Silverman (aka Sarah Silverman and her magical friends Weirdo and Beardo). Even got to see celebrities like Jay More and Fred Willard in the audience. The show was awsome, with Zach Galifianakis stealing the show of course. You can check out some of his bits on YouTube, but for true comedy see Out Cold, where he has some of the best "laugh out loud" scenes around.

I spent a little more money gambling and wandering on Sunday before catching an 11pm red-eye flight back to Dulles. Upon arriving home at 8am i took a quick 5 hour nap at home and went into work for a full day afterward. I hope to someday readjust to a normal east coast time schedule...

Happy Turkey Day to all!!

Only in DC

One of the great DC living experiences takes place on election night. Where else do bars offer competing happy hours and expect a full house on a Tuesday night, all just to watch election returns. Many DC area residents work in government and try to ignore politics on a daily basis, however election night is different. A significant change in government can result in changes of the work life of many of us locals (democrats usually give bigger raises to civilian government employees :-). If you missed out on it this year, I must insist that you hit up a great election night party in two years time, it will be huge. And lets hope for a big raise this year...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The most wonderful time of the year...

Ah Halloween, that once yearly celebration of imagination. What's there not to love, the candy, the costumes, the parties.

Spent my Halloween weekend hitting up a gigantic hair 80s cover band at the Clarendon Grill on Friday night. I really enjoy the Grill, especially the super short and affordable cab ride home when I don't feel like walking in my ridiculous "Atomic Wedgie" costume. Saturday was spent with the massive "Nightmare on M Street" downtown bar crawl. We luckily made it out early and had some good times before the inevitable, massive crowd push. Was a great time for costume observations. Not sure what was up with all the adult Rainbow Bright costumes, but it appears the costume companies are getting caught up with the huge 80s nostalgia obsession of my 20 somethings generation. My other random costume observation is that, in my opinion, the Borat movie owes much of its success to the free publicity by one in twenty costumed people portraying the high-fiving Borat.

Halloween night itself was spent being much more mature. Hanging out at my friends Capital Hill place handing out candy to all costumed kiddies was plenty entertaining. The weather couldn't have been better and we hung at the outside patio sipping beers while waiting for the kids (their Trick'or'Treat escorts were often jealous :-). Can't wait till next year, I'm already plotting a costume.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I still love ya baby...

It wasn't an affair, it was just a fling... You are the one I love, DC. New York and I were just having some fun this weekend, I hope you can forgive me...

I spent Friday night hitting up some crazy fun bars on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The one with the Skeeball was awesome (unfortunately it is almost impossible to get the 500 points necessary for a free beer), and the Three of Cups was a cool place with intruiging music selection. Went to another 2 or 3 places, but they were all similar and no one stands out in my memory. I must say that I truly did not enjoy crashing at my friend's place at Columbia University, steam pipe heating systems are out of control, you can't sleep comfortably when you can't turn off the heat or open the window, as is the case in his guest room.

As for Saturday, the hour and a half subway trip from the Upper West Side, to the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn was miserable. I was fired up to try an authentic Brooklyn bagel after my many satisfied trips to the "Brooklyn bagel" store in Arlington (Courthouse). Unfortunately, my breakfast bagel was not so good. Correction: my breakfast bagel was horrible. I definitely do not recommend the bagel Hole. The "thanks for 20 years" banner is not an indication of quality that keeps people coming back, it is more likely an indication of low rents and a neighborhood with no tastebuds. Picture eating a rock shaped like a bagel and over flowing with butter. Lunch was good, delicious burgers on paninni rolls, at a much better Brooklyn restaurant (Bar Toto), I love Italian restaurant, there is always something good on the restaurant even when you are experimenting with new food (not all restaurants are like that, more later).

Much of Saturday was spent walking around Brooklyn in search of a seemingly nonexistent coffee shop, which I believe we walked by or very near as I found it online at Tea Lounge. Tragically the google text message service let me down. If you have never used it you must check it out here. Apparently if I had done "tea lounge nyc" instead of just "tea lounge" it would have worked. I find this interesting, because every time I have used the service it knows your GPS location and will tell you which compass direction and how far to go, so I would think a city indication would be unnecessary, but alas I was wrong and we had sore feet to pay for my arrogance and Brooklyn Friend's uncertainty of his own neighborhood.

Eventually we found our way to Manhattan and were taken by Japanese Friend to a wonderfully authentic Japanese restaurant near Times Square. I know it was authentic for two reasons.
1. My group were seemingly the only non-Japanese or Japanese descended people to occupy the restaurant
2. The menu was in Japanese with such limited translation that it would have been hard for me to order anything correctly without a translation.
I would recommend the restaurant to any adventuresome eaters, but would not necessarily classify it as a safety type restaurant. I tried some new foods, but my genetic inability to enjoy spicy, sea food, and/or vegetable flavorings, I was a disappointment at best.

The highlight of the whole weekend was ATB at Pacha. Japanese Friend and Capital Hill friend came out for the beginning and only Capital Hill Friend and I stuck around till the wee hours. Definitely a different experience than a night out in our nations capital. Not only were you still able to get drinks at 4 am, but there was still a significant crowd, upon our departure at 4:15 am or so. I enjoyed almost all the music ATB played, he started out with one of my favorite songs "ecstasy", the video for which has mysteriously vanished from his website, and continued through all of his good stuff, as well as some remixes of music I didn't know as well, but still enjoyed immensely. Unlike some other DJs I've seen in person, ATB delivers a fantastic, energizing and enduring show without watering down the music that makes his CDs so good, I can't wait for his new album to come out next month.

Other new york observations:
  • HUGE, every time I come I see new neighborhoods, but am still overwhelmed by the immensity of the city and the variety of neighborhoods.
  • Say what you will about reliability on the DC Metro, NYC Subway has them beat hands down for torturing visitors with many seemingly random train reroutings for the weekends, making any subway map useless.
  • Cabs are by far the best way to get around, especially late at night. So much cheaper than in DC and the lights are timed to allow you to fly around town.
  • If you haven't been there, go. If you've been there, go again. In my book, New York is the only city that America has done correctly (of course I haven't seen all that many cities outside the sprawling east coast).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

worst...cold...ever..."The SuperCold"

SuperCold, day 5: I have now entered "Stage Two", where stuffy head and sore throat are replaced by runny nose and cough. The SuperCold is kind enough to give you one day of illusionary health between Stage One and Stage Two, but be warned, do not let your guard down and stock up on NyQuil (I love you, you big fuckin' Q). Remember, always wash your hands and don't pet strangers, and you just might be one of the few to avoid the SuperCold's evil grip.

I guarentee the SuperCold moniker will become part of the general dictionary, because all words with random capitals in the middle are soo totally cool...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

All Aboard!!

Hello World!

Who knew, there was actually room on the Blogging bandwagon for me. Just one more method for relieving my boredom :-)