Thursday, July 28, 2005

I have been remiss...

I blame Harry Potter and my new apartment! Yes folks, on Monday I will be moving to the Big Apple! Well, more like Tuesday, but I digress.

In the meantime, a Red Sox pitcher got a ball in the head, there's some discussion of a dude for the Supreme Court (I hear they call them "Justices" or something like that...) and I still haven't sold my 65-gallon fish tank.

I've been talking to a monkey puppet in times of stress, and I fear it's giving me a bad reputation. His name is George, and he offers me moral support.

On an additional happy note, today is my darling sister Jackie's 24th Birthday! Hooray!

Once I get back to having a full-time job I'll get back to blogging on a more regular schedule. This being active and doing stuff not-at-a-desk is distracting!

Now I will make you smile:

LEMURS!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Wee wizzards and late nights...

I confess I'm addicted to Harry Potter. Addicted. I bought the new book first thing Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after its release, and have 200 pages left as of now -- Monday at lunchtime. Mind you, I also spent 8 hours sleeping, 7 hours driving, and then another 6 hours sleeping. Those things were inevitable, I'm afraid.

Driving home last night to Boston along the Merritt Parkway, I was wondering who it was that would get the axe in this volume, but didn't want to know. You see, with every page I read, I come another page closer to the bittersweet end of the book. If I finish it, it's over. I have to wait another 2 years to find out what becomes of Harry and Hogwarts! Does he finally defeat Voldemort? I'll be thirty before I know, and that is mildly depressing.

The book itself is sublime. Each chapter unravels a little more of the Harry mystery with full-blown drama and a smidgen of sexual tension. Yes, 16 year old romance is in the air, and boy do those kids throw some tantrums about it.

But the point of my story is this -- every once in a while something small comes along and lets you fall into a fantasy world for a few hours where the fate of the world is in the hands of a young wizzard, not an old cronie in the White House, and like in James Bond, we are all rooting for Britain to prevail.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sometimes you gotta go

And now you have a way to tell if it's a place suitable for doing your business.

RestroomRatings.com.

What will they think of next?

The Mall of America

Just outside the metropolis of Minneapolis, should one be inclined to call it that, lies the bright and shining Mall of America in all of its concrete glory.

The Mall of America has over 400 stores and one amusement park. There is a Nascar something-or-other and a wave pool. There are two stores on opposite sides of the aisle that both sell Minnesota paraphenalia. I bought a pair of monkey sox and ate at an expensive restaurant that served Walleye and Napa valley cabernet. Not the kind of place you'd expect to find in the Mall of America. This Walleye -- a local fish -- is served in every restaurant I've passed so far on my three-day Minneapolis adventure.

In the center of the mall sits its crowning glory -- Camp Snoopy. A pint-size yet imposing amusement park with two -- yes two -- roller coasters. There is a giant dog bowl full of running water. A ride called "The Axe" and a shop that sells Snoopy and Woodstock shot glasses. (The bird sidekick, not the hippie music festival.)

This evening, in stark contrast to the Mall of America's clean, commercial kitch, I dined at a down-home hipster joint called Ike's. Now, if you've clicked through to find out about Ike's, you'll see that one happy hipster went in for a drink and spent five hours there.

In fact, Ike's became more than a drink pit-stop for my colleague and I this fine Minneapolis evening. We drank like camels at a watering hole. Just kidding. But I did have a tasty chicken sandwich, sick-spicey ribs and my first Courvoisier. Lordy, that stuff is liquid fire in your mouth, but somehow so sweet and delicious. The waiter served it perched on a snifter full of warm water, meant to warm the cognac and release its flavors.

I didn't finish and felt like I was going to fall out of my chair.

What I had wanted to do in Minneapolis, my co-worker thwarted in the name of keeping down expenses (which we did not anyway...) -- head to Nye's Polonaise. A polish restaurant with a live polka bar and 60's diner atmosphere that was just calling out to my little Polish heart.

Alas, my love, it was not meant to be.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sorry for the delay in action, news fans...

I was on vacation in the lovely District of Columbia metro area (i.e. the Virginia suburbs) for a few days. Had some BBQ (lamb sausages are awesome), and hit the Adams Morgan scene.

Today, however, on my way to work I heard the news. London has been bombed. Over 33 people have been killed in 4 blasts. Three trains and one double-decker bus. The bus roof was sheared off from the bomb. I can't imagine what that must have been like.

You never know what life is going to hand you.