Archives for the month of: December, 2008

ok weird – on regis & kelly, kelly is visiting a ballet studio and the pianist is playing music from…jurassic park. um.

oh god.

last week mark sent me this mushroom soup recipe and i decided to give it a go. the first time i made it, it came out weird. the recipe says to use 1/4 cup sherry, but that is WAY too much sherry. i added a lot of milk to mellow it, and that made it palatable, but i was not pleased.

so, today i made the soup again and it is great! i used only 2 tablespoons of sherry and used 16oz of mushrooms (2 whole packages). i added probably 1 1/2 cups of milk at the end – just enough to balance the sherry so the soup is creamy and umami but has a little bit of tang around the edges. i added a couple shakes of salt and a lot of pepper (i love pepper)…and the soup is delicious! i would like to try it again, maybe with yogurt instead of milk to see what happens, and also try out some different kinds of mushrooms.

We woke up early on Thursday and moved to the apartment we had originally booked on Cochabamba. We ate lunch at el Hipopótamo (banana licuado and sweet croissants with ham and cheese!) then took a taxi to La Boca.

La Boca is one of the rougher neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. It is also the home of the Boca Juniors, one of the city’s four major soccer teams. We bought presents at the CABJ stadium then walked to Caminito – the touristy area of the barrio where the buildings are brightly painted – for more souvenirs.

We returned to San Telmo so Cecile and I could pack for our trip to Iguazu Falls. We got groceries and made sandwiches. We filled our backpacks and headed to the subte. After a long and incredibly sweaty walk, we finally got to the bus station and boarded our luxury (cama) bus for the 18+ hour trip to Iguazu. The bus only seated about 24 people, and the seats converted into beds. We were served two meals and shown movies. Pretty luxurious – I got a great night’s sleep!

note: this is the last post before the 100+ photo iguazu waterfall extravaganza. prepare yourself.

see the list and how pathetic my viewership is over at my tumblelog.

pride & prejudice in facebook form. brilliant.

i had chick-fil-a for lunch AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!!

pear-pear lost his/her/its contact!

pear-pear is my new favorite web comic. eric pointed me to it and it is ADORABLE. a pear and a mug are friends/in love/whatever and they communicate via pictures (kind of like owly). see the first pear-pear here.

Catcalls in Argentina are very common, including ‘konichiwa’ shouted at Asians, but one caught me off guard. We were walking to the San Juan subte and a guy yelled ‘Obama!’

We took the subte to Plaza San Martin in Retiro, where we saw Palacio Paz, Circulo Militar and the monument to San Martin. We walked to around the corner to Filo, a pizza place that was recommended to us. The pizza selection was vast and the pizzas were very good. Plus the interior of the restaurant was interesting. Ingrid met us there then we walked past the Big Ben replica in Plaza Britannica on our way to Comme Il Faut.

Comme Il Faut is an exclusive brand of Argentine tango shoes, and the boutique in Retiro is hidden away in a fancy arcade. We gave our shoe size and they brought out every shoe in that size. Cecile and I bought tango shoes – hers are bright yellow and mine are leopard print. Yes yes I know, but they’re kind of totally awesome and are pretty comfortable. I can’t wait to start taking tango lessons!

Since we were close, we decided to walk to Teatro San Martin on Corrientes to buy tickets for a play that night. On the way we passed the Palacio de Justicia de la Nación in Plaza Lavalle. We continued on to the Plaza de los Dos Congresos and the nearby Palacio Barolo, which was designed with Dante’s Divine Comedy as a guide.

We headed home to clean up and change, then went back to Corrientes for the play. We had drinks and snacks across the street at Farandula, then walked over to Teatro San Martin for the performance of ‘Dejala Sangrar’.

Ok – when we saw the poster for this play, we thought it must be about vampires. First, the name. Then the poster showed a woman in a red dress with people in black around her, and they’re standing in what looks like a grave. The play. Was not. About vampires. It was a very abstract production that had a lot of talking (which we didn’t understand) and not much actual action, which made it impossible to follow. Also it was bizarrely sexual. We didn’t enjoy it much, but it was pretty memorable!

After the play we had dinner around the corner at Oye Chico, a Cuban restaurant. My dinner was fantastic; I had some amazing beef and a great mojito.

  1. buy blender
  2. buy stuff to make this mushroom soup mark says is easy and amazing
  3. see ‘rachel getting married’
  4. make the soup
  5. eat the soup
  6. desperately fight urge to sign up for another daytum account

i’m trying out daytum and i love it. it allows me to be even MORE anal, if that’s at all possible. so far i’m mostly tracking what i eat and exactly how nerdy are my reading habits, but once they allow more data sets and panels i’ll be adding more. a ton more. it’s really interesting to see what other people are tracking – food is popular, as are books and movies.

one of the site’s creators is nicholas felton, who puts out these insane yearly reports of his life. they’re information design masterpieces, but for crying out loud dude. how do you keep track of all this stuff?

…did i mention you can update daytum via twitter? yeah. i’m in trouble.

We started the day by watching the news, and we saw the most surreal weather forecast EVER. It was a 3D animation of dancing suns on the beach. And it lasted way too long. And behind them was Wilson the volleyball from ‘Cast Away’. I’m completely serious.

We dropped off our laundry at the place next door and bought a few groceries, then headed to Bar Britannico for lunch. I had a surprisingly good salami and cheese sandwich and split a raspberry tart with Cecile. We went to the internet cafe to look up some schedules and check email. I took the opportunity to call my Dad and wish him a happy birthday.

We took the subte to Abasto, the plan being to see the Guardel museum. Unfortunately it was closed that day so we made due with photos of the painted buildings in the neighborhood, and headed back to the giant Abasto mall for some bargain hunting. We bought a few things then took a taxi to el Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore in Barrio Norte.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid used to be a theater and then a movie house. The inside is gorgeous – quite the experience. We had a snack at the bookstore’s Impresso Café, which is situated on the stage. You can look out over the main stacks and see up into the dome and upper floors where the music and education books are shelved.

Back in San Telmo we picked up our laundry and grabbed a quick bite at Desnivel (I had delicious carne and pollo empanadas) before cabbing it to Café Tortoni in Microcenter. Tortoni is a big tourist attraction – tango shows and great atmosphere. The show was fun, but after seeing traditional tango up close, show tango seemed a bit vulgar and stilted

After the show, Cecile and I walked back down Calle Florida, stopping at a little artists’ market where Cecile bought a traditional painted sign. Then, at the end of Calle Florida near Galleria Pacifico, we caught the very very end of a performance by some young tango buskers.

gorgeous photos of snowflakes!

We took a taxi to Palermo Chico for lunch at the café at Malba. However, it being Buenos Aires, the museum wasn’t quite open yet. So, we walked back along Figueroa Alcorta towards the National Fine Art Museum to take photos of the Floralis Generica – a huge metal flower that closes at night and opens during the day. As we were walking back to Malba we ran into Cecile and Nora’s friend Lauren, a member of their book club who, along with her fiancé, had been on our flight from Miami to Buenos Aires.

At Malba we had sandwiches at the Café des Arts and saw some cool Latin American art; there was a whole exhibit of mechanical/motorized art. We walked across the street to the Jardin Japonais and took photos of the koi and the little bridges and water features. Since we were close and it had been recommended to us, we walked to the far side of the series of parks to Volta, a gelato place. The gelato was really good and perfect for the hot day.

After gelato we walked back across the parks through Plaza Holanda. The original plan was to go paddle boating but we had done so much walking and it was so hot that we just wanted to get to our final destination: the Hipódromo Argentino.

We walked into the wrong part of the stands at first and ended up sitting in the cheap seats with the hard core gamblers. Sort of awkward, sort of awesome. We watched a race then walked over to the swanky part of the race track – a lawn with umbrella-ed tables where we were waited upon.

We headed back to San Telmo for Cecile’s tango lesson. The lesson was pretty early (for Buenos Aires time) but at the awkward time where it would be difficult to get something to eat beforehand, since everything is closed for a few hours in the evening. Nora and I decided to go to Desnivel; I got a delicious choripan (chorizo sausage on bread roll slathered in chimichurri) and Nora got a couple empanadas – the best ones in Buenos Aires so far. We ate on the go and finished up outside of La Independencia while we waited for it to open.

The tango lesson was pretty great to watch – Alfredo and Eva showed some new steps and lifts to the more experienced dancers, while being sure to offer alternative ornamentations to the beginners. I took a lot of video of the dancing (see them here). One of the attendees was a scientist who splits his time between Buenos Aires and Fermilab, outside of Chicago! Nora got his card and a promise for a tour of Fermilab when he gets back into town.

After the tango lesson we walked to Bar Federal so Cecile could have dinner and we could all unwind with some beers.

ok so i’ve played through the first bit of bioshock…i think i’ve logged about 5 hours? and IT IS FANTASTIC. it is so so so cool. and i got all of these new plasmids (at first you only have one – electro bolt) including one that makes the big daddies follow you and protect you and it is like the best plasmid EVER. and i got a tonic that makes hacking bots easier so i’m hacking every machine i can find, but now i’m experiencing that weird thing that happens when, for example, you play too much tetris and everything you see looks like tetris – except that this is the pipe puzzle you get when you’re hacking a bot. every time i close my eyes i see it. i had dreams last night that were tangentially related to bioshock or horrible plastic surgery (makes sense if you’ve played the game) or art deco locations. i’m addicted. except – and here’s the thing that’s preventing me from just holing up and playing this game forever – i can only play it on pat & asa’s 360. so like, once a week, twice if i get lucky. which is frustrating, but also probably my salvation; this limitation may be what keeps me sane, people. if i disappear off the face of the planet, or you find me comatose and mumbling about the spider splicers, then you know it’s because asa has gone out of town, leaving the xbox free 50% more of the time, or i’ve found a way to break into their apartment while they’re at work and have chained myself to the tv.

and don’t even get me started on portal.