not the rhino
Recent (as of March, when I postponed and abandoned this entry) fun things/places/people described in two sentences or less (reviews for the impatient.)
Now I remember why I abandoned this entry in March. I felt like I should add links for all those things, and, to quote The Brits, "I couldn't be arsed." Though I would feel remiss if I didn't include a bit more info about Tryst, since it was really great. For example, a photo. And the address: 2459 18th Street, NW, Washington DC.
- The futureheads: I saw them, weeks ago at the Double Door in Chicago. They were good, bouncy fun!
- Washington DC: Wow, is there a lot of marble in DC. I think I notice that every time I go there, but it is really true.
- Tryst: There is one happy place in DC that is open late and has free wireless internet, and that place is Tryst. Also, squishy couches. Coffee. Booze.
- The DC Comedy Festival: I did not pee myself, as the t-shirts advertised, but I laughed a lot.
- The Elephants Larry: awesome.
- Troop! also awesome. Elephant Larry's BFF's-not-in-NYC.
I keep paying for the idea of coffee.
A bit of meta-blogging, at first, if I may. I'm not sure why, but I'm not very good at updating this website. I read other people's great sites
and then I think: "Oh, I wish I had a cool site like that," and sometimes I even absentmindedly check my own site to see if it has been updated... maybe by helpful elves. I get to this page and I think: "Still no new content on this crappy blog. Wait. That's my page. Hrm."
Anyway, hrm. I would like this site to look cooler and have categories for the posts and maybe comments and more pictures, but I would also like a team of helpful elves to do those things for me. In conclusion, if you market blogging software called "Helpful Elves" and it could type my entries for me, let me know.
Back to the coffee. Twice
this weekend, I paid for the idea of coffee. Normally, I pay for actual coffee, which I then consume. I think that's the way that it usually goes. Saturday, however, I was at the always-exciting Earwax
for breakfast in Wicker Park. The place is friendly and funky and brightly colored (oooh, colors!) and I ordered eggs and toast and coffee. The waitress brought my coffee, and then came back around ten minutes later to see if I needed "a warm-up," but I realized I'd had maybe one sip of the coffee so far. I sheepishly declined, and realized I didn't actually want the coffee that much. I did want to order it and have the warm mug and sit in a cafe and drink coffee, but I guess I wanted the idea of coffee more than the coffee itself.
The next morning at Tom and Laura's I went across the street to bring back breakfast from Gourmand
(which is also super-awesome -- Chicago has many sexy breakfast places!) and I ordered coffee again. I got the coffee and sat at a table for a while, reading a paper while they made the to-go breakfast order. I sat for 10 or 15 minutes and realized I hadn't had any of the coffee yet. Huh? Did I just order the idea of coffee, again
? I need to watch out. I wonder what other things I am buying that I am only buying the idea of... "Hi, I'd like to buy the idea of those shoes, please." "Let's go out - I'm really feeling like the idea of dancing." "Yes - I'm looking to purchase the value system of that beer, and if I could get some of the general feeling of those pretzels, too, that would be great."
Breakfasts in Chicago:Gourmand
- south loop - counter service, homey, healthy food and coffee. comfy couches.Orange
on Harrison - south loop - schmancy, drizzled with sauces kind of breakfast. yummy.Orange
- Lakeview - ditto. my favorite.Stella's
- Lakeview - diner-y but with a california feel (AKA: they have vegetables)The Bagel
- Lakeview - jewish diner/deliIntelligentsia
- Lakeview - scones, muffins, freshly roasted sexy coffeesClarke's
- Lakeview - diner+ ... 24 hours!Ann Sather
- Lakeview, Wicker Park, all over - midscale dinerEarwax
- WickerPark - funky, tofu scramble kind of place, or eggs and turkey sausageFilter
- the Wicker Park Gourmand, sandwiches, coffee, etc.
and those are just the ones that I know...
I am almost home!
... wherever home is, these days. When you have a toothbrush in as many cities as I do (I count three at the moment) it's a little hard to feel completely home. I am almost back to my mailing address, though, and that should count for something.
Miles traveled over this Christmas break:
Chicago to Pittsburgh -- 450 miles
Pittsburgh to Rochester (to the spoons-fam) -- 300
Rochester to Cleveland (to my fam) -- 250
Cleveland to Landaff, NH (to visit A+E
) -- 630
NH to Pittsburgh -- 670
and today: Pittsburgh to Cleveland to AA -- 150 + 180 = 330
then tomorrow or Friday: AA to Chicago -- 280
Just under 3000! For scale, from NYC to Seattle is about 2870.
We also drove all over NH and Vermont -- to Montpelier, Barre, Stowe, St. Johnsbury, Littleton and hiking in NH.
A good time was had by all.
and I had two short/long car trips back and forth to Cleveland. The were of the six or seven hour variety, but the time flies when you talk as much and as fast as us, and listen to good music and have snacks. We also got to enjoy some of the Chicago nightlife with T&L before Stefan had to go back to NYC. No worries - he will be back soon
News I have been reading instead of working on my paper:
The new Homeland Security guy is bad ass.
Three years after joining the NYPD, Bernard became a fearless narcotics detective nicknamed the 'Mayhem Magnet.' "I grew my hair down to the middle of my back, had a big goatee and six diamond studs in my ear with a gold loop at the bottom. I sort of looked like Charles Manson. My buy areas were Harlem, Spanish Harlem and Washington Heights, and it was probably one of the hardest jobs and roughest jobs I've ever had. We seized more drugs, more cocaine than any cops in the history of the NYPD in over a two and a half year period — about 10 tons of cocaine and about 60 million dollars in cash."
And Marcel Duchamp's urinal got voted the most influential piece of artwork
of all time, beating out a lot of people who actually painted and sculpted things. This makes people angry, which justs makes Duchamp's point, all over again. Whenever you argue about him, he wins, people. Seriously.
Melted electronics smell bad...
My laptop adpater inexplicably fried itself last week, so all the pictures that I have that I want to post are sitting on my laptop, which is about as functional as a brick. I ordered a new adapter on ebay, so when it gets here, there will be pictures galore!
Until then, here's a bunch of recipes I keep meaning to link to:
Labor day end-of-summer menu:
Start out with some mint juleps (recipe to follow tomorrow - I've got to get it from my dad again...)
Grilled, Marinated Flank Steak
for the creole seasoning, use Emeril's Essence
(ew.) but replace the 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne with only 1 teaspoon, otherwise it just tastes like Cayenne.
with spicy yogurt sauce -- great technique for grilling eggplant, in general
Serve with corn-on-the-cob and potato salad
Finish off with a yummy berry pie
Some excellent baked goods you can try at home:
Awesome ginger cookies
Crispy Almond Biscotti
White-Chocolate Lime "Blondies"
- Don't worry about all the craziness in this recipe with the foil, and cutting them in half, and filling them with strawberries or whatever -- I just make the blondies in an 8 x 8 pan and eat them.
Time to move, for real
It is a beautiful bright day in Chicago. After staying over at T & L's last night, I have been walking around through some of the various neighborhoods on a quest to find Chicago's best coffee places. Today's goal was to find someplace with free wireless access, so that I can "do work."
Having found a place with free wireless, of course, I've just been reading J's trip to Australia
non-blog, sending emails, and contemplating but dreading trying to get a haircut.
I think I could measure my feeling of impermanence in the world by how I feel about getting my hair cut. Right now, I'm still living in Ann Arbor, haircut-wise. I haven't been able to bring myself to find a place here to go -- not that I have a special place in AA to go either -- the whole thing is just fraught with frustration for me. Even after three years of having shorter hair, the kind that requires someone other than me to cut it, I still feel strange paying for a haircut. My mom cut my hair the whole time I was little, and then I cut my own hair until I was 23 or 24, so I don't think I ever developed the right vocabulary for talking to haircut-people. The decision between the $12 and $30 or $40 cut is one I wrestle with, since I don't really care THAT much about my hair, but I also don't really trust a cheap haircut to be good.
Ideally, I would develop a relationship with a haircut-person that I could trust, but I've moved so many times in the last few years that I have never gotten around to doing that. Even though I have lived near Chicago since January, I haven't gotten my haircut here once. I waited it out, then when I was in Cleveland for something or other, my dad and E intervened and sent me off to their trusted haircut-place... see, I can't even use the words. Salon. Stylist. Whatever. Maybe I will just type the word haircut a few more times for good measure. Haircut. Haircut. Haircut.
Having moved so many times, and somewhat reluctantly each time, I notice that there are certain events that mark my mental adjustment to the new place. For example, when I was moving from SF to Ann Arbor, I remember that my black Dr. Martin's needed fixing. I made a mental note to bring them to SF on my next trip back to visit spoons, so that I could take them to the shoe repair shop near the Powell St. BART stop. I caught myself, though: taking my shoes to SF to get them fixed was just ridiculous refusal to really move to a new place. There was a small shoe repair place a _block_ from my house in Ann Arbor that I walked past every day. It was silly of me to bring shoes to California to fix them, when I could do so near my own house, in the the Place Where I Actually Live.
Right now, I'm in that state for the haircut. I guess I'm slower to adapt to new places than I sometimes think. Therefore, today shall be the day. I will now venture out in search of a haircut. In Chicago, where I live. (Well, almost. I live in Batavia, but Chicago is close enough. :) )
Here are the new Mom and Dad, Candace and John!