Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Last night, Emma lured me to Brooklyn with a promise of beer and brownies. While waiting for the extremely delayed train to Brooklyn (do the Brooklyn trains ever run smoothly?), I suggested we combine them into beerownies. I then repeated this over and over, as I am wont to do. Anyway, there are no Google results for beerownies! How sad is that? But there is a recipe for Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies provided selflessly by the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Please make some and bring them to me. I will call them "beerownies" and then titter endlessly. Much fun will be had.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Orange crush

The other day at work I was trying to come up with a clever name for my new workstation, and with the help of Ak and David, we decided it would be orangecrush (easier to spell than electrolite, less like an SNL actor than fallonme). But one of my worries was that Orange Crush was kind of a depressing song, although I wasn't quite sure what it was about. Some Googling found that wikipedia, songmeanings, and songfacts all had some interesting tidbits from interviews and concerts (interspersed with the usual population of clueless illiterates). I decided to make a handy dandy Custom Search Engine for the next time I need to do such a search. Try it out, it seems to work better than my other CSE attempts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Colors and figures

(Emma's favorite was Cut)

I finally made it to the Whitney after two years of thinking I'd really like to go, now that there are two artists on exhibit I'd read about, Lawrence Weiner and Kara Walker. Both were as fascinating as I'd hoped. (I also liked the room in the regular collection that featured paintings of modern anxiety.) The profile of Kara Walker in the New Yorker was really interesting to me, since it mentioned how she had started out not thinking much about her race and then sort of grew into it. (Foolishly, I thew out the magazine assuming it would be online, and it's not. You can get a little bit of a sense of it in this interview and in the Times.)

It's not quite the same, but I find it sort of strange that this is the first time in my life I've had Indian friends or really referred to my ethnicity in everyday conversation (notably the ongoing battle with Neil, Ak, Vijay, and Rohit for most brown). I used to be annoyed I wasn't like everyone else, and just did my best to pretend I was, although somehow I was also annoyed if there were other Indians present, because then I wasn't special anymore. Maybe I'm just easily annoyed.

Not wanting to be thought of as Indian feels a bit like my friend's (can I say who you are, friend?) discomfort anytime someone discusses an Asian fetish. She's Asian, and I can sort of see why this sort of conversation might be troubling - it's sort of depersonalizing. I'd like to think that anyone attracted to me didn't just have an Indian fetish, but is that really so different than liking curly hair or a slim figure? (And shouldn't I just be glad someone's attracted to me at all?) I feel like in most cases these "fetishes" aren't really these mindless impersonal things, right?

Anyway, just wanted to put that out there. Say something interesting in the comments.

(Also, I wouldn't be really male without quickly switching the topic from emotions to technology, so... the Walker exhibit had some bits and pieces she'd typed on index cards. I really love the typewriter aesthetic, and the other week we were noticing how well magnetbox did (lcd soundsystem also has a good analog/kitsch vibe, though not so typewritery). After the exhibit, I started playing with trying to make Courier work harder programatically, rather than using fonts or Photoshop, but the best I could do in the moments I stole yesterday looks super-hokey and only works in Firefox. :( )

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Notebook Version!

Just wanted to share my relief at getting a new version of Notebook out the door. It includes the ability to tag and sort notes and integrates with Google Bookmarks, features that people have been wanting since we launched a year and a half ago! It also includes (thanks to David's 20% time and Akshay's whining) the ability to export your Notebook maps into Map Shop. For example, I exported the final route of the Exponential Decay Bar Crawl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Breathless summary of recent events of or relating to Southern California and marriage

I promised Annie a shout-out in honor of her getting married, so (belatedly), Hi Annie! Congrats! She was quite the radiant bride, and the wedding had numerous highlights, including but not limited to

  • the bartender giving me a bottle of Curvoisier to take back to my table
  • Annie's brother-in-law explaining how getting married was choosing a life of "ennobling pain"
  • this Newlywed Game-ish quiz about who does what in their relationship

Wes also did a great job showing me around LA - we went to the Dali exhibit (that man was obsessed with ants), had tasty Italian food, shopped for a couch, went to Trader Joe's for panini ingredients, ate at a pancake place that his friend saw Turk from Scrubs at twice, and went to a tea bar showing football games with scantily-clad waitresses. I guess I should actually thank Yelp, which is where Wes's roommate-to-be found most of these places.

While I was in SoCal, I also got to catch up with Jen, Robin, Vince, Albert, Yaz, Jenn, Judy, Kathy, Richard, and Charles. So many people! Other than the fact that everybody's getting engaged (congrats Yaz and Robin!) or in relationships, the most important thing is that we need to convince Vince to recapture his dream to start a business.

I also spent a lot of time in traffic. How do people put up with that?

Speaking of Southern California - my family was evacuated but is now back home. Thanks to everyone who was checking in - I felt very loved!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cleaning up is hard to do

One of the few things I routinely use my kitchen for is to make popcorn, which is very tasty, but always leaves a frustratingly hard-to-clean oily pot behind. This weekend, Googling in anger, I discovered that I should be using a Dobie pad. Skeptical of the ridiculous name but desperate, I bought one, and it worked miracles! Dobie pad, I love you! The Dobie pad has joined the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Scrubbing Bubbles in my pantheon of life-altering cleaning products.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tips for Manhattanites venturing into Brooklyn

After countless forays into our hipper, less convenient neighbor to the East (mostly to meet up with girls - why do all girls live in Brooklyn? discuss), including one just this Saturday, I feel like I should share the various valuable lessons I have learned:

  1. Bring an umbrella. Especially if Dolapo is coming. Nine out of ten times, if Dolapo is present in Brooklyn, it will be raining. I do not know why this is. Maybe Dolapo secretly controls the weather and does this to give him ammo against future invitations to Brooklyn. Maybe Brooklyn hates Dolapo. The jury is still out, so your umbrella should be, too.
  2. Bring numbers of car services. Dolapo-inspired rain can humble even the most golfish of umbrellas. For example, an awesome Philip Glass/Dracula/Kronos Quartet was cancelled halfway through because the lightning might possibly kill us. If this happened in Manhattan, we would hail a cab and head for safety. This is not an option in Brooklyn, where there is significant religious opposition to cabs. Instead, it's important to bring the numbers of some "car services" which you can call for a ride out.
  3. On a related note, bring a map. Most of Brooklyn is not near a subway and these are often places you want to go, such as the Red Hook ball fields (remember NOT to bring Dolapo!). And the parts that are on the subway turn out not to be near one another. If, for example, you are going from Park Slope to Williamsburg, it's pretty much a toss up between walking, a horse and buggy, and the G train. If you are going from my apartment to Prospect Heights or Fort Greene, it will take at least two transfers, and probably the train will be skipping exactly the stop you intend to get off at.
  4. Be sure to tell people serving you food and/or beverages that you are from Manhattan. For example, the man serving us mojitos on Saturday (in lieu of our ballfields visit, *cough* Dolapo *cough*), was very entertained to hear that we were from Manhattan, and promised to do his best to rival those on our island. Although the drinks were cheap, they also tasted heavily of sour mix.

Don't get me wrong. Brooklyn is awesome. There's tasty food. And a park. And large apartments. Just come prepared.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Oo, my 10-year high school reunion is coming

I was catching up on my blog reading, and it was a good thing, too, because Annie had a link to the web page for our reunion. And now I'm passing it on!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I sold my soul to Apple and all I got was a wasted evening

[ pretend there were some prefatory remarks about not blogging in a while because so many exciting things have happened, too many to enumerate at this late juncture here ]

This Saturday, I lost my phone in a cab (yes, the second time this year, but only the second time in my whole life (not counting some close calls)) just as I was lusting after everybody's iPhones, which was quite convenient, some might say suspiciously so. So Sunday, I finally went to the Apple Store and decided, hell, while I was there, why not get the Mini I've wanted forever as a media PC (if only it could play Netflix movies without buying Parallels!). Being a good OCD shopper, I had already looked up the various options for connecting the Mini to my TV, which suck, since Apple has decided the Mini, because it is useful, should be harder to connect to your TV that the Apple TV, which is neither useful nor more expensive. I believe this is what they call "market segmentation," in so far as I, the market, want to segment my eyeballs in frustration.

So, here I am, it's Monday night. I was up late last night with a tool called DisplayConfigX, which is about user-friendly as its name might suggest, eventually gave up, came home, and tried again for a few hours. There are all sorts of random settings for various TVs posted on the Interwebs, but not the ones for mine. Although my TV claims it can do 1024 x 720, when I feed it that resolution, the image is most definitely cropped on the top and the bottom, and that's even after fiddling with the "front porch" and "back porch" of the signal to get it to center correctly. Did you know video signals had porches? It's fascinating. I'm imagining my desktop drinking mint juleps between frames. Or not.

Right, so, it's Monday night and instead of doing anything remotely useful, I have labored extensively and am now the proud owner of a screen that has a 1 inch black stripe on the right side and is cropped on the top and bottom and another that is center horizontally and vertically but still cropped and ostensibly the wrong resolution. Two great choices.

But I am listening to my mp3s over an optical connection to my receiver, which is hott. And I do love love love my iPhone. Anyway, if anybody has any leads on getting this perfect on my TH-37PHD8UK, I'm all ears.

Update 11/23: I managed to at least make all the pixels show up and not look funny and fill most of the screen at the totally random resolution of 1048 x 700. The settings are Horizontal (16 front, 112 sync, 216 back) and Vertical (40 front, 3 sync, 21 back).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Liveblogging jury duty

The rumors are true, there is Wi-fi in the waiting room! But, for reasons that have not really been explained even during the handy video introduction from some of your favorite national news personalities (including graphic depictions of the trial-by-ordeal that we should be grateful for supplanting with this "jury" thing, a reminder that some day when we're on trial the awesome jury we get will justify all the waiting around, and the specious assertion that jurying is more important than voting), the demand for jurors is incredibly unpredictable. Anyway, we arrived at 8:45, the first people left at 10 something, and around 11:15 they dismissed us from a 3 hour lunch. Now, an hour later, 1 batch of folks has left and the rest of us are sitting around. A girl in front of me has read 150 pages of In Cold Blood so far. Highlight of the day: bubble tea. Yum.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Math makes intoxication classy

Saturday was the long-awaited exponential decay bar crawl. Thanks to a handy-dandy planning notebook, some fuzzy math, and Rohit's task-mastering, things went very well, whiny-trooper-friends-without-any-girls-to-enamor-them-between-64-and-8 notwithstanding. We went to Baker Street @63 (cute bartender), Blockheads @34 (cheap frozen margs), Petite Abeille @20 (very alcoholic Belgian -beer), Bua @8 (espresso martini!), Stillwater @4 (outdoor seating!), dba @2 (mollie bought me framboise!), one and one (dancing! late arrivals! more booze!), and double happiness (more dancing!). All in all, about as ridiculous as you might expect. Luckily, the hangover was not so bad.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My new running secret

A few weeks ago, I discovered that it's possible to cut across Manhattan pretty quickly on Houston, and this pretty much changed my life. Anywhere north or south of Houston is pretty crappy due to a combination of lights and pedestrians - best I've done is Tribeca, but there's a lot of annoying twists and turns involved in that. Today, Ak tagged along on my second 10 miler in the past few weeks, and he was annoyingly in shape considering he doesn't run that much, but fun was had.

I'm also getting a lot of, ahem, mileage out of my new Fuel Belt, which keeps me from buying lots of overpriced and heavy Gatorades en route. It took some getting used to and weighs me down a bit, but it was totally worth it. I'm going to try tracking my runs on Sanoodi, although it's a little annoying because I can't list a date without also listing a time, and I never precisely time anything.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Whence Union Square?

Susannah and I were debating what Union Squares around the US were named for. My vote was railroads, hers was labor unions rallying. We're both wrong.

10 things I learned at my 5-year reunion

1. People don't change much in 5 years
2. Except that all the girls are engaged
3. And everybody is now a lawyer, doctor, or grad student
4. Guys age less attractively than girls
5. Yale runs a stingy open bar
6. The ghetto mall has been turned into upscale apartments with this surreal indoor courtyard thingy
7. When Yale says they are going to serve you $50 tofu ravioli with a side of quinoa, they may decide to omit the ravioli
8. Large groups of people you haven't seen in 5 years are intimidating but fun
9. Skipping out on getting a room and trying to take the 4:40 am train (last train at 11 pm = wtf) is possible, but unpleasant
10. Bars in New Haven are cheap, but close too early

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Personal space

Apropos of almost nothing*, I was thinking about how it is that although my first first kiss definitely occurred when I was sober, pretty much every other first kiss since then has not. The idea that I could ever brashly invade someone's personal space like that without some sort of lubrication seems pretty absurd.** Who knew that girls would actually get more intimidating as I got older?

*I could try to argue the fact that the rental company's smallest car on Monday was a Ford Mustang is a symptom of some deep-seated American need for a maximal radius of inviolability, but I'm not going to play that card.

**The exception to this is of course the oh-right-you're-one-of-those-girls-who-hugs-goodbye goodbye hugs. These are simultaneously awkward and pleasant, but still less awkward than the goodbye handshake with another guy, especially a good friend (When did our personal friendships start to so closely resemble business acquaintanceships? "Thanks for hanging out"? Foolishness.) that turns into a half-handshake half-hug with manly back-patting after a confusing are-we-going-shake-hands-or-hug-i-mean-we're-really-good-friends-we-should-probably-hug-right(?) moment.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It's been a while since my last post, so, for narrative simplicity, I have done some soul-searching and grouped recent events into 3 handy categories: things that make me unaccountably sad, things that make me happy, and things about which I am ambivalent.

Things that make me unaccountably sad:

  • Truffle oil isn't really infused with truffles
  • Online dating. I spent some time trying to fill out a profile on Ok/Cupid before deciding being lonely was probably easier than fabricating and documenting ways in which I'm unique and exciting.
  • Freya. Will I ever beat Guitar Hero on expert? Not at this rate.

Things that make me happy:

Things about which I am ambivalent:

  • Frost/Nixon. I'm glad Zan convinced me to see it, and it was very well staged and provocative and well-acted, but it's somehow annoying that facts were manipulated for dramatic effect (real video, real transcripts)
  • Autograph Man. Entertaining, but a little disjointed and not as good as White Teeth.
  • Orthotics. With new shoes, they're better, but not perfect. Am I doomed? Discuss.
  • Zombie Movies. Somehow Dolapo dragged me to see both Grindhouse and 28 Weeks Later (even though I was much more excited to see Kirsten Dun...Spiderman 3). They were fun and all, but especially Planet Terror (the first part of Grindhouse - the second part is an awesome Quentin Tarantino flick that inspired me to rent Reservoir Dogs) had me cringing the whole time and left me wondering what sort of terrible thing was around the corner in everything I encountered from then on. Damn you, Dolapo, damn you.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Free as in association

So, I lost my voice on Friday, which is one of those things that always sounds fun in that girls-will-find-me-pathetic-andor-sexy-and-swoon-before-me kind of way. And it was sort of entertaining for the first few hours, but on day 3 it's just getting to plain annoying. It especially sucks because I'm going to be out of town a bunch soon and was going to meet up with people I haven't seen in a while, but since meeting up with such people involves obligatory catching-up conversations, we decided that it was best to not meet at all. Which is weird, and yet somehow sensible.

In any case, canceling those plans and my need for warm beverages and entertainment did free me up to explore my neighborhood a bit more. I'm really starting to enjoy it now that I have a favorite coffee shop (Full City, which always has good music and where I randomly ran into someone from work yesterday). I tried out the exotic indie donut shop I always walk past but for some reason decided to play it safe and get a cinnamon bun. I also tried out this new Flicker's Coffee Shop, which didn't have seating, making me skeptical about their prospects. I also went to the library across the street, where I picked up Autograph Man and Human Stain*, but not Interpreter of Maladies. I was very excited that they had a reasonable selection of books in English despite its Chinatownness. At this point, I'm just concerned my rent will go up a bunch and I'll have to leave. Word is that Spike Jonze is moving into a building down the street and there's some organic wine bar opening up near by. Hello gentrification!

Later in the evening, after dinner at Mercadito (awesome drinks and guac, okay taco things), we tried out High Chai, which looked neat when I walked past it. As it turned out, the service was not great and the tea was frustratingly lukewarm, although at least there were live music and tasty scones. I guess trying out new places is a classic high-risk/high-reward activity.

Speaking of high-risk, high-reward, I think this quote from the author of Black Swans in Wired was right on: "All of technology, really, is about maximizing free options. It's like venture capital: Most of the money you make is from things you weren't looking for. But you can find them only if you search."


*About some guy's life being ruined by a misinterpreted racial slur - surprisingly contemporary given the whole Imus thing.

...a virile, youthful middle-aged president and a brash, smitten twenty-one-year-old employee carrying on in the Oval Office like two teenage kids in a parking lot revived America's oldest communal passion, historically perhaps its most treacherous and subversive pleasure: the ecstasy of sanctimony....I myself dreamed of a mammoth banner, draped dadaistically like a Christo wrapping form one end of the White House to the other and bearing a legend A HUMAN BEING LIVES HERE.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are you kidding me?

I think I'm in the wrong line of work for my height.

...in a study of more than 20,000 online daters...They found that a 5-foot-8 man was just as successful in getting dates as a 6-footer if he made more money — precisely $146,000 a year more. For a 5-foot-2 man, the number was $277,000.

Also (and be sure to read comment 84)

on average, a woman got a “yes” from about half the men she met (meaning that the guy would like to go out with her). But a man, on average, got the thumbs-up from only a third of the women


the more attractive women set a higher bar for their partners than less attractive women did. But the German men set about the same bar for their partners no matter what they looked like themselves or how successful they were professionally

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Google Notebook is all grown up!

After a long slog, our sexy new version of Google Notebook is out. There are still bugs and things missing, but I think this version is a lot more fun than the old one. To celebrate (and hunt for bugs - I found 3 scary ones Sunday morning (you really wouldn't believe the mind-blowing Javascript convolutions involved in this bad boy)), I made a notebook about the bars in New York with dancing (I snuck away from my computer last Saturday night to go to Double Happiness). It demonstrates my pet feature, which I've been wanting to do pretty much since Notebook launched: you can view it on a map. I think this would be especially hot for apartment hunting and such. It's also good for my New York to Try notebook. Anyway, enjoy the new Notebook. Tell your friends. I look forward to interacting with human beings, laundry machines, and restaurants on the weekend again. ;-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yay plays

I saw 2 plays in the past 5 days, which is a record for me, both very last minute, which is definitely my style. The first wasn't actually a play, but a bunch of one-acts, some featuring sraub's friend. My favorite part was a chorus of four girls who opened the show and reappeared during set changes. They sang a series of "lullabies" about a guy they dated who died named Jamal. They were pretty haunting and subtle. The rest of the plays had some good performances and clever premises, but except for one about two couples and one about a reading group, were a little overeager.

Anyway, tonight I saw Coast of Utopia when Ardan had an extra ticket. I'd been wanting to see it after sraub and Andrew recommended it, but I'm sure I'd never have gotten my act together on my own. It's about these Russian poets and philosophers in the 1830s, and it's a sometimes-earnest, sometimes-irreverent blend of love, philosophy, politics, and art. The acting was amazing - especially Billy Crudup who plays this sort of insane little guy (Ethan Hawke played a really unlovable character) - and the set blew my mind. So now we have to go back and see parts 2 and 3. Weirdly, the play is directed by Jack O'Brien, who directed basically everything in San Diego when I was a kid.

It's been a busy few weeks at work. I feel guilty enough about taking time out to go to these plays - I definitely shouldn't be blogging much. ;-) (Although, while I'm here, can we discuss how ridiculously slow it is to move money between bank accounts? It would be easier to get cash and ship it UPS. Some industries just don't quite seem to be in the digital age.)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Wine after Wine Index


(For those of you not in the know, Wine after Wine was my dubiously-conceived high-school/wine-party mashup. You can judge the results for yourself.)

Bottles of wine consumed: 18.25 (2 malbecs, 2 cabernets, 2 rieslings, 2 shirazes, 1 sangioevese, 1 moscato d'asti, 1 merlot, 1 pinot noir, 1 haute-medoc, 1 montepulciano, 3 random spanish/portugese reds, 1 random spanish white, part of a bottle of port)

Corkscrews mangled: 2
Corks mangled: 3
Corkscrews purchased mid-party: 1

Fraction of Kushal's party playlist deemed inappropriate for parties: 1/4
Cyndi Lauper songs on said playlist: 2

Ratio at which table salt should be substituted for kosher salt: .5
Approximate number of masa tots made with a substitution ratio of 1: 60
Number consumed: 20

Avocados consumed in guac form: 3

Multimedia message

Discussions about whether Tom is grabbing Lisa's breast in their save-the-date manget: 3

High school yearbooks analyzed: 1

Viewings of Can't Hardly Wait: 1

Failed attempts by Larry to put his name tag on his wine: 3

Thursday, March 1, 2007

New life goal

Pass the Wikipedia notability standards. This one should keep me busy for a while. ;-)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oo, another musical

Making up for lost time, I went to see Company on Sunday (thanks for the invite, sraub!). The music wasn't as rockin' as Spring Awakening, but the book was really interesting, very incisively conveying all the ambivalence about marriage and adulthood that may or may not have led me to make terrible mistakes in my life decisions. ;-) Lots of funny, memorable characters, trippy set, and the whole thing where the singers are also the orchestra is pretty awesome. Great gem of irony from Wikipedia: "Shortly after opening night, Jones withdrew from the show, allegedly due to illness, but actually due to stress he was suffering from ongoing divorce proceedings."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Totally Fucked...

...is my favorite song from Spring Awakening, which I saw with Mollie after she agreed to see it for a second time. We got tickets on the stage, which seemed magically cheap at $31.25 (plus the usual usurious fees) until we got there and realized that it's hard to hear the vocals when the speakers are pointed away from you and you're next to the band and that faux schoolroom chairs are incredibly uncomfortable. But pretty much everything else about the performance was awesome - great songs, cast (including Miles Papazian from 24), lighting, and it was pretty surreal having the action happen all around you.

I always feel better when I take advantage of living in New York. ;-)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Overheard in Taboo

Craig: Shift-6 on a keyboard. Shift 6!
Crowd: Percent? Dollar?
Craig: You can eat it.
Michael: Hash?
Akshay: Colon?

In other news from the Google ski trip, I can almost kinda sorta turn now.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In which TV saves the day

I watched a lot of TV on the 6 hour (plus 1/2 an hour at JFK - can someone explain to me again why the planes can't just be scheduled to board at a time closer to their actual takeoff?) flight last night, and a lot of it was good. Besides the obvious Daily Show (although Bill Gates got to use all the same canned stuff he used on the Today show - is Jon Stewart that much of a shill?) and Colbert and My Super Sweet 16 and 24, there was also Engineering an Empire (which I can't link to directly because apparently the history channel doesn't understand this whole hyperlink/Internet thing). Engineering an Empire is history the way I'd like to learn it, with the occasional mention of wars and politicians as background to various feats of engineering. ;-) Dimitri Martin. Person. also rocked. Yay JetBlue!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kicking the ITunes habit

After an awesome, awesome Essex Green (even better than I hoped, and when I bought a shirt, the band itself was manning the merch table) / Camera Obscura (surprisingly good) concert at the Warsaw (high-school-gym-ish, a little out of the way) last night, I was compelled to buy another EG album, and the "Underachievers Please Try Harder" album from Camera Obscura, which has the haunting track "Books Written For Girls" (well, it was haunting in concert, less hot on the album). As I was about to spend $20 at Itunes for DRM-ed music, I remembered Akshay's insistence that almost everything anyone could want was available on Emusic, so I investigated. Stupidly, Emusic.com shoves you into signing up without seeing what tracks are available, but some Googling helped verify that the CDs I wanted were available. So, I'm now paying less money for music that (gasp) can be copied and shared. I feel liberated. So take that, iTunes. I wonder if Apple will ever be less compulsive about restricting my rights? Maybe they'll be forced to legally? Certainly locking down the iPhone is a step in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Tasty tapas

Dinner tonight at Boqueria was a reminder of how bad I am at predicting what will be best from a menu. The thing I expected to be deliciousest (because, in Spain, it was) - Pa Amb Tomaquet - was the most bland. And the most boring sounding - Patatas Bravas and Pimientos de Padron - were really tasty. Yay tapas, for letting me try lots of stuff. The desserts were uniformly awesome, and we had a good Priorat wine. For a tapas place in New York, it was reasonably priced and the wait wasn't bad.

Added to the good restaurant notebook.

Poll: What's your most-listened song in iTunes?

In honor of international iPhone day, what song has the highest play count in your iTunes? Mine is Don't Know Why by Essex Green with 116. This is surprisingly low given how much I play single songs on loop. Anyway, not coincidentally, I have an extra ticket to an Essex Green/Camera Obscura concert this month, but nobody wants to go. :-(

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Problems. Solutions.

- When I got my hot new HK receiver and JBL speakers, I was all excited to play music off my laptop. But there was this annoying electric hum. Then, last night, it occurred to me that I could use the attenuator I got to use my Shure headphones on airplanes. Voila! Now I'm listening to all the new music I downloaded for running (Fergalicious, Love Generation, SexyBack, Right Here Right Now) with pounding bass and annoying my neighbors! I think I also need to work on lowering the input level at the receiver itself, but that involves more menu navigation than I have the energy for.

- On Friday, I went to Rosa Mexicano. They don't list anything vegetarian on the menu, and I was worried. But as soon as I said I was vegetarian, the waitress said they could make a vegetable enchilada. This was exactly what I wanted, but WHY DON'T THEY JUST LIST THIS ON THEIR MENU? This always happens with French restaurants. I don't get it. In any case, the atmosphere was awesome, but if I'm going to pay obscene amounts of money for enchiladas, I prefer Dos Caminos.

- Last weekend, I did two 6 mile runs in a row, and what felt like my shoes digging into my foot turned into incredible pain. I broke down and went to a podiatrist, who said it was just inflammation (I guess fractures cause the foot to swell up?). Anyway, some Aleve and ice made it go away, although to keep it away, he's suggesting I get ridiculously-expensive custom orthotics. I guess I'll just break down and do it.

- As long-time readers of this blog will know, I'm on an unending and unpleasant quest to find shirts and jackets that fit me. For some reason, small implies wide (and often also tall). I guess that's what happens when you compress two dimensions into one, and why our beloved capitalist system has failed to move beyond this is totally mystifying. Anyway, Catherine spotted XS sweaters at jcrew.com (not available in stores). Very exciting. They also have XS shirts. Akshay & co recently procured a XS fleece from Uniqlo for me (thanks!). And I was able to find a nearly-fitting sportcoat at Zara. Yay.

- Problem: I was almost done with Guitar Hero. Solution: Richard got me Guitar Hero 2 for Christmas! Problem: I keep playing Guitar Hero instead of going to bed. Solution: Caffeine.

- I couldn't go much longer without mentioning that Catherine and I broke up last month after 3 mostly-awesome years. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I broke up with her. I'm pretty sure that makes me an asshole, and possibly stupid. Haven't found a solution to this one yet.

(On a lighter note, Happy Birthday Brian!)