Friday, June 28, 2002

Ok....I've been meaning to take my stab at the Friday Five:



When was the last time you...



1. ...sent a handwritten letter?



Hmm...I wrote Jen a big sappy letter in her Valentines Day card. I guess that counts (even though it was hand-delivered).



2. ...baked something from scratch or made something by hand?



We made enchiladas last week. They were great. The whole "from scratch" thing throws me off because what really is "from scratch" these days anyway? I made jen that apple jam when she was sick, and my world famous Pecan Pie over Christmas. That's good for now.



3. ...camped in a tent?



That's easy. Schwartz's 30th Birthday Party on the river last summer. Before that? Berkfest the summer prior, I believe. Maybe I should do it once this summer to keep my pattern alive.



4. ...volunteered your time to church, school, or community?



I am horribly selfish, so its been a while. I did a bunch of community service activities with work during my first year with the company. The last one was about a year ago, painting schools in Bed-Stuy.



5. ...helped a stranger?



I do chivalrous stuff for strangers all the time, however, the last really significant thing was about a year ago, taking a guy from my office that was visitng from Baltimore to the hospital when he started having a heart attack. He had no family in town, so I contacted his fam and hung with him until everything was ok.
"Wayne in the marathon - I've been praying every night that the gods would see fit to call Wayne on this ludicrous plan and today my prayers have been answered. This may add up to be the funniest experience of my life." - Martin Brehenny

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Pledge Declared Unconstitutional: This is absolutely ridiculous.
Teoma is the bomb.
How cool is this? I just found this guy Barry Brooks' web site dedicated to Lucinda Williams, and he reprints my review of the show at Count Basie Theater back in June 2001 where Elvis Costello joined her. I posted it to IDD that night when I got home. Crazy stuff. You can read it here. Just look for my name and the June 9, 2001 entry.
Magnetic Future: Cool new developments in data storage from IBM and GE.
Ahhh.....the beauty of Hotmail.
The Register has a pretty amazing analysis of Microsoft's new Palladium project that promises to defeat the problem of PKI through a new hardware/software combo, that in the same breath will de-legitimize Linux and the GPL. Crazy stuff. I'm sure the government will be psyched though, considering the problems that PKI has caused them.
Saudi Arabia bans products featuring the Star of David.
Reading this story about IO makes me realize that I have still never seen a volcano.
China Executes 64 on Anti - Drug Day. Don't you love to live in America? You should...

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Wow...its been a whirlwind week. Jen and I headed out to St. Louis this weekend for Jeff and Mindy's wedding. We got in early Saturday morning and checked into a pretty crazy hotel that had big stuffed bears and suits of armor and other crazy stuff. My buddy Casey that I met while working in Kansas City cruised over and picked us up and took us on a two hour tour of the city, so I was able to see the Budweiser headquarters, the famous St. Louis Arch, and all the places down on the waterfront. Then we got crazy ice cream blendy things at this place called Maggie Moos. Great to see Casey again; I only hope next time I can spend more than two hours with him. Maybe I can get him out to our hood.



The wedding was definitely awesome. I finally got to meet Jen's famous friend Patrick, as well as, a host of other Mizzou peeps. The wedding was held in the Missouri History Museum, right under the Spirit of St. Louis. We consumed many glasses of wine, and Jen and I tore up the dance floor (especially when the Motown stuff came on). By the end of the night, we were glowing, giddy messes....but it was well worth it. It was definitely one of the cooler weddings I had been to, complete with people singing college fight songs, bagpipes, kazoo blowing, ruby slippers, and acapella garth brooks tunes. Wild stuff.



We got back that night and ordered pizza, promptly passing out before it even arrived. Hee.



The next day, Jen and I rolled out to Columbia to see the famous Bethie-poo and the legendary Mizzou itself. We got to see Beth's new house, and her evil cat Snowball. Within a short while, I was taken out to Shakespeare's pizza (definitely lived up to its reputation) and all over the Mizzou campus. I even got to stop in the Delta Sig house there, which was just as much of a hell-hole as our house was at Rutgers. Downtown Columbia was pretty cool too. I had a coffee shake at the legendary Lakota (awesome), and we stopped in a bunch of cool stores to buy books, cards and other useless junk. We are good at that. Later that evening, we headed over to a great restaurant called Addisons, where we found a bottle of the Newton Claret that we loved so much at Butterfield 9. :) The gods were smiling on us that day. We finished up the night back at Beth's place, eating dump cake, drinking Lakota coffee and looking at pictures of the college days. Quite a busy day. Needless to say, we were pretty much exhausted after that. Luckily, Beth would have Lakota coffee and zucchinni bread to revive us in the AM.



Yesterday was basically travel-packed. There was the drive from Columbia to the St. Louis airport, the flight back, and the cab ride to my apartment. Then we rolled to Summit, where I was invited to see Jen's bro Justin graduate from the eight grade. Crazy. It was a pretty cool experience though. Then was the ugly drive back to DC last night; I rolled in about 1:30 and crashed hard. Today was pretty cool, being that I had plenty of time to get stuff done all day. I caught the Bourne Identity a few hours ago, did tons of laundry and cleaned my pad. Now I'm done. I may have forgotten something that we did this weekend, but right now, my brain is so tired it eludes me. Goodnight.



I read this thing on Infowar, and thought it was pretty funny:



How the Internet Began



In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham

Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com

was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had

been called Amazon Dot Com.



She said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far from town

to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"



And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short

of a camel load, but simply said, "How, Dear?"



And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in

between to send messages saying what you have for sale

and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale

can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."



Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the

drums. The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all

the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent.



But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret

himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the

young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take

to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican

Siderites, or NERDS for short.



And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the

deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were

going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates,who bought up every

drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that

would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.



Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by

others."



And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be

known "eBay" he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are," and Dot

replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."



"YAHOO", said Abraham.



And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I'm surprised I never located this before, but FSU maintains a pretty good repository of terrorism related material. Not too shabby.



In other news....we had Jen's surprise party last night at HR-57 in DC. She didn't suspect a thing. :) I have to say that the lemon-citron Spongebob Squarepants cake with relighting candles was one of my favorite parts of the evening (but i'm biased). The band even called Jen up and embarassed her with a little jazzy happy birthday tune while she struggled to blow out the candles in front of everyone. There was a plethora of wine for all, and Jen got some really great gifts including HER OWN backnick, a Crazy Creek Chair, some Cardinal Zin, and a Spongebob pillow. I'm jelled.



Anyway....I feel pretty horrible today, but otherwise, I'm in a great mood. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Swing into Nice for Jazz Fest. I'm down...Anyone else?
...in the Israeli Parliament on Tuesday, members demanded a fierce response. "For every Jew who is buried as a result of an attack, we must make sure 1,000 Palestinians are killed,"



Read the article yourself in today's NY Times: Israel Acts to Seize Palestinian Land After 19 Die in Blast
So, last night was Jen's birthday. After work, I rolled by her place with flowers and presents (I know I rock). Then we went to eat dinner at Butterfield 9, which is in case you didn't know, one of the best restaurants in this dang city. All I can say is...top notch. I had the mixed greens, potato gnocci, and the Bison medallions for dinner followed by the Strawberry-Rhubarb Trifle for dessert. Jen had the Jackie'O tasting menu....which was pretty mean in itself, although a bit too dainty for my tastes. In addition, we knocked back two bottles of Newton Claret 1998, which has to be one of the best wines I have tried in ages. Good times...good times.

Monday, June 17, 2002

In today's NY Times: Lure of Millions Fuels 9/11 Families' Feuding Another disgusting article to restore your faith in your fellow Americans. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

The party last Saturday night was great. I haven't been to an old fashioned, house-party in a while.....and not one with a keg of Sierra Nevada either! We had a great time, although the majority of the guests stayed on Jen and Mircalla's front porch the entire night, which was fun. Mircalla made several gallons of an incredible guacamole, which was completely gone by the time the morning came. I got my pictures back and have to say that they are mostly good; a few ugly shots, but overall....awesome. I was even able to meet some assorted characters such as the legendary Lloyd from Montana. While I usually pride myself in being awake until the end of the party, this time I managed to wake up fully clothed and shoes-on the next day. Breakfast at the Florida Ave Grill made every ounce of hangover go away though...



Saturday we hit an awesome festival in Alexandria, VA where we bought all sorts of miscellaneous salsas, jams and chocolate sauces, drank wine, ate sloppy sandwiches and watched little kids dance to the music on the lawn. An awesome Thai dinner and some shopping for useless crap rounded out the evening and left us thoroughly exhausted for a Sunday of running errands.



Monday night, I finally got to put the legendary Backnick (thanks Lo) to use at the Blues Traveler show at Wolf Trap. I have to say that we were amongst the best prepared there, with a whole assortment of food and more wine than we could drink. Coca-Cola dudes were even there handing out as many free Vanilla Cokes as one could carry! Good times!



After that kind of weekend, work has been relatively boring. At least I've been busy though, and I can't complain about that. This weekend: Jersey, baby.
hehehehe....Bush said "lurking".
washingtonpost.com: German at Center Of Sept. 11 Inquiry



There are more people in custody than one might think...

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Did anyone catch this story about the two democratic candidates from AC that had a knife fight? Very nice. It's good to know my great state is allowing people like this to run for office...

Monday, June 10, 2002

Great weekend. Lots to talk about. Jen and Mircalla had their 2nd Annual Ghetto No-Furniture Party on Friday night. It was awesome. I even got great pictures. More about that later, because I'm trying to finish my work in time to get out of here and go see Blues Traveler at Wolf Trap....
The new SALT talks.
Just when you thought things were getting boring: U.S. Detains Alleged Dirty Bomb Terrorist (washingtonpost.com)

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Marvel Comics launches series on New York's heroes. Hokey yes, but the artwork looks great.
There is a horrible story that just came over the BBC about a Syrian dam collapsing and flooding a bunch of villages. See it here. The only thing that was cool about this article was that they mention the word "noria" as a name for the type of old wooden water wheel on the damn. So cool. The first and last time I heard that word used was when Link named one of his songs Noria. Crazy.
Ok...so...our vacation. Pretty awesome. Here's the rundown....



I kicked off the weekend by meeting Jen and Clarence in Georgetown and heading over to Raku in Dupont for drinks outside (as it was one of the few places where we could actually do that at the time). We enjoyed some great drinks, horrible service, and Clarence's money new shades. I also got a surprise from Jen.... a cool baby blue, zip-up Guayabera. Woo-ha! That night, Jen and I headed over to the 9:30 club to see Sloan and Pete Yorn. A couple complaints on the show: First of all, Sloan played all new songs, and most of the crowd didn’t know who they were. Second, Pete Yorn is pretty damn pretentious in concert. The songs were too loud and too fast, and he didn't even introduce his band, and he had spotlights behind him and smoke all around. Pretty cheesy. We left early.



The next day we headed out on the road to begin our Massanutten adventure. Before getting on the road, we stopped at McDonalds for some snacks and received a little stuffed Winnie-the-Poo as our Happy Meal prize. From that point on, we decided that he would be our trip mascot, and be photographed doing everything we did. Yes we are weird…. and dorks. Arriving at the resort around 5-5:30, we found a giant line just to check in. People were furious; most waiting close to an hour and a half to check in. Finally, the people took mercy on us by offering free sodas and cookies while we were in line. We thought that if we held out a little longer that they might even bring us dinner, but alas.... no luck on that front. Then to our surprise we found out that our little unit was located on top of a giant hill that required the climbing of no less than 40 stairs to get to. Not fun. After finding out that the accommodations were not quite what we expected, Jen and I rolled out to get some dinner and make the most of our vacation. We rolled into Harrisonburg, VA to a place called Calhoun’s that had a great rooftop deck, great food and wine, and their own beer. After a really nice dinner, I scooped up a huge growler of ale and hauled it back home with us. :)



Sunday morning, we took a drive down skyline drive though Shenandoah National Park. So beautiful. We took it for a couple of hours until we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and then rolled out into the countryside to hit a few vineyards. That day, we visited Wintergreen (where we sampled some great dipping sauces and bought a couple wines), Hill Top (where we picked up a nectar plum wine and a blackberry one that goes great with chocolate, and I was complimented by the owner for having “such great manners”, and we met a cool couple that is moving to Arlington), and Mountain Cove where they were having a great festival in the middle of the most beautiful little valley. Finding Mountain Cove may have been the best part of the day, driving along these great little roads listening to “She Thinks I Still Care”. At the winery, we sampled and purchased some great wines and chilled out with a cool couple from the Richmond area that met on the Internet. They told us how beautiful we were together, took our pictures and pretty soon we were all dancing to the band on the lawn. Great times.



Monday, we rolled out to Oakencroft vineyards, which was by far one of our favorites. They were having a nice little festival there, and we sampled several great wines and took the tour. A couple other patrons even noticed our Poo photo shoot. :) After the winery, we cruised into Charlottesville to look around and have dinner. Noticing a fellow sorority sister outside her house, Jen popped in to see what her sorority was like at UVA where they gave her a free t-shirt. We ate at a little place called Northern Exposure that was based on New York; great eats and great service.



The next morning, we drove to the Spa at the Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville to get massages. Oh my god…. those were so desperately needed. The place is definitely amazing; the nicest spa that I have ever been to. I’m definitely looking into going back. All massaged out, we hit the Michie Tavern and Monticello during the afternoon. Michie Tavern is a pretty awesome old-time southern food eatin’ colonial buffet type thing that rocks, and Monticello, for all of you ignorant folks was the former home of Thomas Jefferson. After that we checked out the famed Barboursville Winery (beautiful but snobby and disappointing) and Horton Vineyards, which was not bad. We returned to Charlottesville for dinner at a former-gas-station-now-restaurant called Station and walked around the outdoor mall. A couple of cups of coffee and some obligatory CD buying followed, and finally, our return to our mountain hideaway ensued.



Wednesday, we decided to partake in a canoeing (or Float Trip for all you Missourians) down the Shenandoah River along with some of our fellow resort folks. Now, I have to say that this was much better that the other canoeing trips that I have been on in the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, as there were actually all sorts of cows, muskrats, ducks, geese, and turtles chilling out on the river banks. After getting a mean tan on the river, Jen and I hit the pool for a bit and headed back to the casa for some beers and a nap. That night we tried to roll back to Harrisonburg and see what else the town had to offer, which was unfortunately, not much. We had dinner at a funny little place called Finnegan’s Cove where little kids mooned us from outside the window and then had coffee and dessert at a sweet coffeehouse called the Artful Dodger.



Thursday morning, we trekked back to Shenandoah National Park, and did a hike down by some cool falls, perching on the rocks above. After a brutal walk back, we drove north through the park up to Luray Caverns where we did the tour and took pictures of Poo in the underground. Jen almost killed a little Asian boy who could not keep his hands off the stalagmites, despite the warnings of arrest by the tour guide. That night we decided it was time for a touch of Generica and headed over to Chilis in Harrisonburg for margueritas and tex-mex food.



Friday, we kept it low-profile. Hit the pool for a while until they closed it, packed up and played some mini-golf at the elusive course near our place. Back in DC in time for dinner, we unloaded our gear and hit Whitlows on Wilson for dinner. I had a great time on our little date.



Saturday we had to roll back to NJ for my 10-year Madison Central High School reunion. I took Jen to Pad Thai, which used to be one of my favorite places for Thai food, but they messed up her Pad Thai (their signature dish – go figure). Anyway…the reunion. As many of you know, only about 40 people showed out of our class of 330, but we still had a great time. The Jack and Cokes were flowing freely, and I saw a few great old faces. Of course, I had to baby-sit my partner in crime after too many Jack and Cokes were consumed. Hee.



Sunday was all about visiting parents and relaxing and heading back to DC. We crashed like aging rock stars back on tour to get up in time for work the next day. All I can say was that after a great night’s sleep, I still knew that I was not ready to come back to work. Last night, my baby and I had a great home-cooked meal and a nice bottle of wine and I realized how good I have it.



And there it is.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

--H.L. Mencken
For any fellow Palahniuk fans, the official lullaby site has been launched. The story sounds awesome.

Monday, June 03, 2002

This years Berkshire Mountain Music Festival is looking pretty slick. Not as many good bands as the last couple of years though...
I am obsessed with Trading Spaces. Please help me.
So, somehow, this cheesy little bar by my apartment in Arlington called Summers, has become the hub of World-Cup Socer mania in the DC area. Go figure. Check out this article in the Post about it.
ok...So before anyone asks why I haven't updated the site in over a week, I will begin with the disclaimer that I have been on vacation since the 25th. I'm a little busy right now but will jump back on later to give a recount. :)