Archives for the month of: January, 2009

ellen sent me this and…wow.

So much geeking out, so little time.
Pasadena Convention Center

A group of us headed down to Long Beach for whale watching and it was the perfect day for it: over 80 degrees in January and plenty of whales in the ocean.

dude down the street changed his ‘la cucaracha’ car horn to the theme from ‘the godfather’.

Game night started with Settlers of Catan, but then Cameron and I finally had some takers for Super Jenga, a hypothetical game we’ve been itching to try since we realized we both had Jenga. What if we put the two Jenga sets….together? Into ONE TOWER??

Turns out, Super Jenga is more entertaining/nervewracking than we could have imagined, especially since the tower lasted way longer than we all anticipated. This was our Friday night, folks. :)

second time in less than a year. wtf. good thing i don’t have a job or i would’ve caused quite the scene, writhing on the floor in a cold sweat.

via buzzfeed

On our last day in Argentina I got up and packed, then ate an alfajor on the balcony and watched San Telmo wake up.

We hit Hipopótamo for breakfast croissants, ran across a fresh-meat truck, then went to the el Zanjón underground museum. It was super cool and we suspect the last-minute tour guide was the project manager, or maybe the owner of the property. He had a lot of fun inside stories about the discovery of the ruins and development of the project, and he clearly loved the project a great deal.

We took a cab to Belgrano to have lunch at a high-end restaurant called Sucre (on Calle Sucre). We had an amazing meal that would’ve cost at least $100 each in the US for about $30 each: i had Famiglia Bianchi sauvignon blanc 2007 (we split a bottle), risotto with orange, dried tomato, pine (matsutake) mushrooms and parsley, procuitto and cheese croquettes, dulce de leche volcano cake with green tea ice cream, orange chocolate cheesecake, and some dessert wines. The food was amazing, the service was fantastic, and the restaurant itself was a glass and cement masterpiece. The bar had a two story lighted wall of bottles, the door was a 10′ tall 4′ wide section of the wall that swung open effortlessly, and a large temperature-controlled wine vault dominated the dining room, while splitting it into different areas.

After lunch we walked across the street to Plaza Mexico and took some photos – we told a little story in stills that was hilarious at the time, but I’m not sure what the end result will look like.

We went back to San Telmo to finish packing, then walked to Puerto Madeira for dinner. We ate at a huge Italian-y place called Capisci (narrowly beating a tour bus-load of people) where I had the caprese cappionetta. We ran back to the apartment to meet our check-out time then took a taxi to the airport.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! over christmas i found out that my cousin (who lives in DC) and her mom are going to the illinois inaugural ball. after considering a trip to DC to just be in the city for the inauguration, and then rejecting the idea due to lack of job, financial responsibility, etc etc…i got a surprise call today that my mom is going to pay for my flight to DC and my grandma is buying me a ticket to the ball!! the ball! of obama’s home state! so he’s practically guaranteed to make an appearance! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG i can’t believe it! SOOO!!!! EXCITED!!!!!! BEST PRESENT EVER!!!!

We took a cab to Congreso to have lunch at a Peruvian restaurant recommended by a couple of our guide books. But of course, since it’s Argentina, the restaurant wasn’t going to open until an hour later than posted. So, we went to la Moncloa for licuados and coffee to kill some time. Then we walked around the block a few times in an effort to avoid a creepy probably-homeless guy who was trying but not trying to sell some weird rings, and was (maybe) attempting to teach us some words in Spanish. We were all really uncomfortable until I remembered to say, “No molestar!” and we scurried away.

Finally Chan Chan opened, and it was really good! The restaurant was brightly painted (including the bathroom) and the food was plentiful and cheap. We ordered a ceviche sampler – five different kinds of ceviche – as an appetizer, but when it came out, each portion was big enough for a meal. I had lamb stew and there were some delicious little corn nut type things for snacks.

Sunday is market day in San Telmo, and we wanted to get some presents for people back home. Market day. Was. Crazy. The streets were completely filled with people – a complete about-face from the rest of our stay. We saw a great tango band, lots of neat antiques and jewelry, and a group of young people holding up signs offering free hugs! We went to Havana to buy dulce de leche and alfajores then headed back to the apartment to relax before dinner. On the way back, a pigeon flew by me and pooped on my foot. ON MY FOOT. AS I WAS WALKING. HOW!??? Anyway, luckily I was wearing flip flops so it easily washed off with water from one of our omnipresent bottles, but unluckily I was wearing flip flops so the poo was all over my bare toes and warm and slimy and so gross I wanted to cry.

We were at the apartment for an hour or so when we started to feel some weird vibrations. It was kind of a ‘Jurassic Park’ moment. It got closer and closer until we realized some drums were headed our way. We went out on the balcony and saw a drum and dance group heading down Defensa!

We had dinner at Manolo so we could have steak one last time. Cecile and I ate our entire steaks, making sure to slather them in Manolo’s delicious chimichurri.

last night i was boarding my flight from jfk to lax, and i walked by them in first class. yes, spencer still has the terrible beard, but he’s better looking in person. heidi is gorgeous, tiny, and has fantastic hair (though it’s the fake-est color ever).

since apparently ficlets is being shut down, i reprint here the one ficlet i managed to write. i had intended to write them regularly but inspiration was rare.

If Only It Were Pickles

“Does this smell OK to you?” Jack asked.

Sam recoiled. “I dunno what it’s supposed to smell like. It looks…OK. I guess.”

Jack gave the jar a lazy shake and watched the contents quiver. He shrugged. Sam held out the backpack and Jack dropped the jar inside. Sam staggered under the extra weight and winced. He balanced the bag on his thigh and tried to zip it shut.

“My mom says it’s four miles away,” Sam gasped, hopping a bit on one leg. “How long do you think it’ll take to get there?”

On the other side of the garage, Jack started picking through a stack of boxes and opened one marked “TOOLS”. He didn’t answer.

Sam took a breath and carefully shifted the backpack over one shoulder. “How long d’you think?” He eyed Jack and frowned. “What’re you looking for? That’s my dad’s.”

Jack pulled a long screwdriver out of the box, feeling its balance. “Something sharp. Or heavy. I’m not taking that thing anywhere without something I can depend on.”

Sam heard the jar gurgle. He was starting to have second thoughts.

Kind of on a whim, I decided to come to New York City for New Year’s since I’d never been before. I stayed with Travis at his place in Brooklyn. I spent my first afternoon wandering around SoHo, checking out the shops (and crazy packs of shoppers) while waiting for Travis to get off work. We went back to his place, changed, and headed back into the city to the Village. We ate at a great Thai place called Cafetasia and walked to Kate’s birthday party at Fat Cat Billiards. Fat Cat is in a big basement and has billiards, ping pong, tabletop shuffleboard, chess, scrabble, and who knows what else. Mike and Jon and Riana were there too! Eventually we had to leave because it was insanely hot and stuffy down there.

On New Year’s Eve, Travis and I made an obligatory trip to Times Square – we got there, I took two photos, and I said, "Ok. Let’s go." It was really cold and windy and snowing but already at NOON there were people lining the street, holding a place for the big celebration. These people had blankets (well, some of them did) and snow was slowly building up and drifting around them. CRAZY.

We walked down to Bryant Park to see the tree and ice skaters, then took the subway back down to SoHo for lunch. We met up with Travis’s coworker, Ed, and ate at The Cupping Room Café, where we saw a girl that totally looked like Nako.

Travis and I went back to his place and watched ‘Snatch’ then bought champagne, liquor and snacks and started getting ready for people to come over. By this time it was seriously windy and cold outside, so we weren’t sure how many people would actually venture out. We killed a good hour and a half with some Family Guy before Will stopped by. Then Kathleen, Tony, Nicole and Ed arrived. It was a really good time – very laid back. A good group of people. Kathleen brought party favors – the usual fare plus moustaches and glow bracelets. We watched the ball drop via Hulu and spent the rest of the night listening to the weird noises outside (maybe whales?), watching videos on YouTube and texting and receiving texts. Which I know doesn’t sound that thrilling, but was pretty damn fun.