Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I love weekends like that!

There are so many other weekend updates that I had planned for you. But you'll have to settle for just this one for now.

Red Derby - E* and I met up with a friend we hadn't seen in awhile. Red Derby is about 6 or 7 blocks north of us and they've been open less than a year. I think they're known for their crazy selection of canned beer. That might be all they have - beer in cans. Also, we learned they don't accept credit cards. The beers were good, the food might have been good but I can't say for sure because I've been kind of sick for several days. So like, I feel really sick about 3 bites into any meal. I knew that on Friday, but I kept thinking that the worst was over and that I could start eating like a normal person. I think I ate about 1/3 of the burger and some sweet potato fries. Couldn't finish the beer either.

Goodwill - We've had a box of housewares and a bag of clothes taking up a ton of space in our closet since we moved in. It's just hard to donate this stuff because there's no Salvation Army or Goodwill that's close to anything in the city. It has to be a special trip. So after lazing around Sat. morning, I headed out to the Goodwill in NE that's close to nothing except the Maryland border. But the trip was shorter than I expected so I decided to take a detour on the way home to...

Value Village - a few of my friends make nearly-weekly pilgrimages to Value Village but somehow, I'd never been. I took several passes through the housewares aisles, specifically looking for a key rack for our entryway (it must have a shelf!) but I struck out. I did however score a new-looking mini-muffin tin to augment the one I already have so I can bake off a whole batch in one step (the current tin is just a tad too small).

Garden - Immediately after coming home, I drove out to the garden (opposite direction from everything else) to water and weed. Things are looking better in there - I'm ahead of the weeds, things are finally ready to start harvesting, and there haven't been any deaths of late. I took home a perfect cucumber and a green bell pepper. The tomatoes still aren't ready - maybe this means I'll be eating tomatoes well into the fall unlike last year...? E*'s hops still look good, but no buds yet.

Tonic - We met up with 2 other friends we haven't seen in awhile. We had to keep it a little short however because E* is taking his Step 2 Board exam on Thursday and is in full study mode. Because he's strapped for time, he's following a very aggressive study schedule. Tonic is right between our place and our friends' apartment, about a 5-7 min. walk. We immediately liked the vibe and decor. The food was so-so but we'd heard that about them before. Once again, I barely ate and STILL ended up feeling miserable. Seriously, I haven't had a regular sized meal since Wednesday afternoon. That usually means I'm ravenous when I go to bed, when I first wake up, etc.

Calvert Cliffs - Since E* was taking an 8-hr. practice exam, I escaped the city with a friend to hunt for fossils at Calvert Cliffs. Unfortunately, she's a big liar and there are in fact, no fossils or shark teeth to be found there, but we had a good time nonetheless. It was so nice to smell the sea and play in the sand.

Solomons Island - After a few hours at the Cliffs, we drove 6 miles down the road to Solomons Island. It's just a cute, sleepy seaside village which of course reminded me of Wickford and Block Island. As we approached the main street, I realized I had actually been there before. A couple of years ago, a group of us headed to a beach somewhere on the western shore of MD, got lost, and had to ask for directions in Solomons Island (it actually doesn't feel like an island at all..I don't think it is). Anyway, we stopped for ice cream and looked out across the Patuxent river at more of Maryland. It was such a relaxing day and welcome break from the city. I wish the day could have ended with vegging on the couch due to a sun-coma instead of packing for a work trip.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Look at my view! Aren't you jealous?

Flew in to Miami this morning just in time for Tropical Storm Fay.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Ok, I have this whole other entry lined up to post, but I'm preempting it for no good reason.

Charcuterie. That is the reason, albeit, not a good one.

I don't remember ever reading this word before this morning when I happened to be reading yet another mention about the upcoming opening of Commonwealth in the 1st floor of our building. It states, "The menu of British-style pub fare includes butcher boards of charcuterie (don’t miss the ultra-flavorful Surrey County ham), house-made head cheese, stuffed pigs trotters, deviled sweetbreads, pork belly, and Scotch eggs wrapped in sausage—the chef’s favorite."

Now, I didn't know what it meant initially. But later on, I checked out the picture slideshow, saw the lineup of sausages and other meat products and guessed at the meaning of the word.

And now we get to the reason for this post. Just now, I came across the word again here (under Eric Denman). "Now he has a software job during the day, a bar job a couple nights a week (Rustico, in Alexandria), and an unhealthy obsession with brewing beer, making charcuterie, and learning to play the mandolin in his spare time."

I'm sure this happens to you too. Where you learn about something you never knew about and then suddenly it starts popping up all over the place. I think most people will say that said 'thing' was always popping up, but you just weren't atuned to it. But after you learn about it, you're more inclined to notice when it pops up again. Bullshit. I don't think that answer accounts for all the times it actually happens. Maybe only 40-50% of the time. The rest of the time, I think it actually is a freaky coincidence that defies laws of nature and society.