Holy Venezuela!

For lunch today I ordered the Hallaca at La Casa de Pedro, which was the special of the day..  It is a traditional holiday meal, so I’m hoping that it is offered throughout the holidays so I can have it again!  It was one of the more delicious things I’ve eaten in awhile..  We’re so lucky to have such a great restaurant with such great lunch deals right here in the complex at work…

Let’s Go Maize!

[info]coco_b and I trekked out to Michigan for her brother Paul’s wedding this weekend past.  Due to some airline BS, we ended up having to fly in and out of Providence, and we hit traffic in both directions, but especially on the way down.  Once we got there though, it was a very nice way to fly.  We got to DTW and picked up our rental, we met up with Corinna’s friend Michelle in Ann Arbor and had dinner at Blue Nile.  It was delicious all-around, but their hot tea was out of control.  After dinner we headed to Corinna’s parents’ place and hung out with them for awhile before her brother Fred and 5 of his 6 kids arrived by car from Georgia.   We hung out with everyone for awhile before passing out.

We woke up first thing Saturday morning to head over to Ann Arbor to watch the Michigan Marching Band practice for the big homecoming game that day against Purdue.  Corinna was part of the band, so she was excited to see them perform, even if we were unable to catch the game.  We brought her niece along for the ride, leaving the house at something like 7 in the morning.  The band practice was really interesting, even if there were some eccentricities that took some getting used to..    For instance, to rest their lips, lungs, and cheeks, the horn sections didn’t actually play their parts for several sections of the rehearsal, instead they brought their horns to their lips and sung their parts.  The announcer, who is apparently very loved among the Michigan community sounded like a Yuk-tastic morning DJ to me, but I guess I just can’t appreciate his grandeur.  We cruised around campus for awhile before heading back to the house to get ready for the wedding.  But on the way to the house, Corinna granted me a wish and took me to lunch at DiBella’s, who’s westward expansion has taken it into Ann Arbor.  How about moving eastward, guys?

The wedding was quite a bit of fun, with a short ceremony leading to a very nice reception.  It was great only only getting to hang out with Corinna’s family members I was already acquainted with, but also meeting several more.  It was especially nice to meet


who I feel like I’ve known for years now through LiveJournal but had yet to meet.  We stayed until the very end, and other than a somewhat creepy garter/bouquet throw narration by the DJ, it was a great time.  We got back to Chelsea just in time to see the Red Sox get beat by the Indians in the 11th inning.

Sunday we just kind chilled out at the house, and in the evening, lots of people came to Chelsea for dinner.  After a great meal, Corinna and I just chatted it up with her family and their friends, and eventually helped her mother prepare rations for her brother and his kids car ride back to Georgia.  Monday morning we got up bright and early, returned the car, and flew back to Providence.  All-in-all it was a very successful trip.  It will be nice to see everyone again in a few months for the Holidays…   Renting a car was also a genius idea, as now that her parents only have one car, and it gave us some extra mobility without bothering anyone.


Dad was up this weekend, both for a visit and to bring back Hawkeye.  It had been awhile since he had been up to Boston, and he had the honor of being the first overnight guest in our new house.  The house is still a complete mess, with boxes all over the place, but at least now all of our stuff is in the house now (and out of storage or my parents’ house).  Now it’s just a matter of unpacking it all and putting things in their place.  I’m trying to get rid of as much crap as I can as I unpack things, especially a lot of the geek cruft I’ve accumulated over the years…  I have several boxes which are just full of cables, and that’s just ridiculous!

Anyway, I got home from work a little early to meet with the RCN technician who was there to install the two CableCARDs into my new Tivo Series3 HD.  It took about 45 minutes, some of which was the technician waiting for someone at dispatch to pick up the phone and activate the cards…  You would think they would just do that before sending out the tech, but that would make sense.  Anyway, after the dispatch guy putzed around for like 20 minutes they were eventually up and running with almost all of the channels, but Discovery HD, HDNet, and HDNet Movies had no picture or sound.  I made an executive decision to neglect to mention this to the tech and deal with someone over the phone instead.  This morning I read on the Tivo Community Forums that those three channels were the only members of the HD Tier, so I assumed that the HD Tier was not activated on my account.  Sure enough, a quick call to RCN resolved that (in theory, I’m at work so I can’t test it.. :P).  Now I just have to get an HD television… :P

After the tech left my dad called and said he was mired in traffic on 90..  Pretty unusual, since most people are leaving Boston around that time, but who can predict traffic around here…  Anyway, Dad arrived around 5:30pm, and Corinna got home for work soon afterwards..  After a quick tour of the new place, we hit up the Summer Shack in Cambridge for dinner..  I normally might have preferred the downtown location, but I was pretty hungry and it was a home game for the Red Sox, so it tends to get a little hairy down there…  Dinner was awesome, and afterwards we headed back to the house and took a walk along the Charles before settling in for the night.

Saturday was pretty busy, we left the house pretty early to head over to the Museum of Science.  We weren’t actually going to the museum, though, instead we were picking up a Duck Tour there.  We got there around 11am, but they were already sold out until 3pm, so we ended up heading over to Harpoon Brewery for one of their tastings.  It was a pretty good time, even if I’m not the world’s biggest beer fan.  I did manage to get a case of their draft root beer, which is delicious.  The Duck Tour was OK, but I think it was pretty redundant for someone who’s lived in Boston for 6+ years..  I did learn a bit about Charlestown, which I had never really explored much…   I made some BBQ chicken and grilled veggies for dinner and we watched a movie which was terrible.  Never watch this movie, and reprimand


for making me write about it.  I now realize they hate me with every fiber of their being.  Little did they know that not only did they attack me, but their car bomb also took out

and my father.

My dad left Sunday morning, but before he did I made some french toast and bacon for breakfast…  It came out pretty good, I used half a baguette I had lying around for a few days, so it was good and stale and really sucked up the custard.  After dad left there was much napping and eventually we saw Crazy Love with the film club.  It was a small turn-out, but it was a good time.  The movie was almost unbelievable, just a crazy story..  We had a good time afterwards discussing the film and other randomness.. 

turned up towards the end, he was passing by on his way to play pool with

at Flattop’s.  After we finished chilling with the film club peeps we popped over to Flattop’s to say hi to the two of them, which was cool…

Peeping Tom

Last night

and I met up with

and Chloe at the Sunset Cantina for dinner and drinks, and to go see Peeping Tom at the Paradise Rock Club.  It was a sold-out show, and doors were at 7, but we decided to grab some grub as opposed to waiting outside in the cold..   After dinner, Corinna decided she was pretty tired and was going to bail on the show, so we sold her ticket and went inside..

The first opening act, Pigeon John, was real fun hip-hop, kinda no consequences fun “let me hear you say ‘Yeah!'” kinda stuff…  Everyone seemed to have a good time, especially for an opening act.  Second up was Miho Hatori, which I didn’t really enjoy at all…  Remember how in Alien: Insurrection they failed at several attempts at cloning Ripley, and ended up with a bunch of goobed out mutants?   Well, imagine if you replaced Ripley with Bjork, you’d have Miho Hatori.  She wasn’t physically goobed, but holy christ was her music awful..  It was as if someone making a commercial WANTED Bjork, but she wouldn’t sign off on the rights, so they hired someone to make a soundalike song..  Fortunately, this middle act gave me the opportunity to vote for Sanjaya 68 times. 

Finally, around 10:45pm, Peeping Tom took the stage…  I was disappointed to find out that Rahzel was missing from the line-up this time around.  Fortunately, we were introduced to Butterscotch, who you’d never expect to be a master Beatboxer, but boy does she have chops..  It was fascinating to watch this tiny little woman blow the fucking doors off the venue.  Also, this time around, Dan “The Automator” was able to make the tour (when Corinna and I saw Peeping Tom open for Gnarls Barkley last year, I believe Kid Koala was filling in on decks).  Anyway, the show was fantastic, and Chloe, who Rory kinda dragged to the show even really seemed to enjoy it.  It was crowded, but I think that the Paradise is my favorite area venue..  It’s shallow but wide, so you feel really close to the stage…

When we were leaving, I almost got into my first fistfight in years!  Some drunk douchebag behind me apparently decided that our egress rate was insufficient and shoved me forward.  I informed him that this was uncool (with my elbow into his ribs), and things got quite tense.  We screamed at each other for a few minutes and at some point Rory and someone who apparently knew this douche stepped in and separated us..   This ass kept screaming at me “all I was trying to do was pass you;  I’ll kick your faggotty purple-shirt wearing ass; yadda yadda”.  I kept trying to explain to him that he didn’t try and “pass” me, he shoved me forward and into the wall…  If you can’t handle your liquor, don’t drink in public…

What a Birthday!

On Saturday, I turned 30, and thanks to my lovely girlfriend, my family, and my friends, it was a great weekend!  On Friday we hung out out with friends at

‘s place…  We played all kinds of board games and snacked on delicious food prepared by Adam..  As board games can be, it was tense at times, but I hope everyone had a good time.. :P 

bought me a Cake Batter flavored ice cream cake from J.P. Lick’s which everyone enjoyed, especially me!

Saturday morning, Corinna woke up early and made me brunch!  I usually wake up several hours before her on Saturday’s, and I sure as hell don’t usually get treated to awesome bacon and french toast!  It was really awesome being able to just kick back and relax while someone else did the cooking for a change!   I also opened some gifts and cards I received in the mail..  My parents got me the Talking Heads Brick, which is badass!  I also got another season of South Park from

 which rules…  Then, for dinner, Corinna had another ace up her sleeve, taking me to the wonderful Grill 23 for dinner, which was fantastic…  What is better than the gift of meat?  Nothing.    After we got home we enjoyed the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who, and all was right in the world…

Sunday we just hung out and caught Les Ordres with the film club, which was pretty good…  Thanks to everyone for such a great birthday!

Roller Boogie

, Audra, and I went to the ALL SKATE Roller Boogie last night at Chez-Vous.  As you may have guessed, this was not my idea, but I try to be good, giving, and game, so I figured what the hell..    It was a good time, although I needed to take a break every time or three around the rink, as I’d guess the last time I wore roller skates was 15-20 years ago.  The DJs they had were good, and none of us fell, so I can’t complain.  Chez-Vous is Boston’s only roller rink, and it totally had the feeling of a business held together by passion and a strong family…  Audra had gone to the ALL SKATE event in December, and she said the place was empty..  Last night, however, it was hoppin’, and there were plenty of people to watch when I was taking a panic break. 

By the end of the night I started to remember how to skate, although I was still really nervous..  I managed to do something to my ankle too, as it is sore today, but such is the price of fun….  Oh yeah, they had a concession with fried dough, and it was great…..   Mmmm…..

Tandoori on the Asphalt

Monday night

 and I decided to order in, and so we had a local Indian restaurant bring us some delicious food.  About 30 minutes after we finished eating, she said she was getting itchy all over, and some bumps started to rise on her arm.  I jumped into action and went out to CVS to get some Benadryl and other treatments.  The car was parked pretty far away, and when I got there, there was a nice thick layer of ice which needed tending…  I drove over to CVS, and it took me awhile to identify the most appropriate treatments..  I returned home….

I had ran out of the house in a sweatshirt, and managed to forget my house keys, so I started buzzing the intercom, but there was no answer.  I called Corinna, and noticed I had missed a call from her..  She was walking herself to the ER (right down the road from us), and so I set out for the hospital myself.  When I got to the hospital she had already been admitted and so I waited in the waiting room until they’d let me in.  I proved useful when one of the admitting ladies needed a bunch of Corinna’s info..  I was probably more knowledgeable than the average boyfriend, A) because we’ve been together for 4 years now, and 2) because I consume trivia like others consume food.

It turns out that soon after I left, Corinna’s reaction kicked into overdrive and she (appropriately) freaked out.  When I missed her call I was already at CVS, so even if I had gotten her call it would have been faster for her to walk to the ER, anyway.   Anyway, when she got there, they saw her immediately and gave her a Benadryl IV which apparently started helping almost immediately.  When I was finally let into her room, she appeared a little red still, but apparently she was one big welt before the IV kicked in.   The doctor and nurse were just telling her that she’d need to take Benadryl for a few days, and I got to look like a rock star when I pulled some out of the CVS bag of holding.  We were in the hospital for about 3 hours total, finally walking home around 12:45a.  When we got home, Corinna’s legs still had some hives (which were concealed under her pants at the hospital), but her upper body was pretty much cleared up. 

The whole situation was freaky;  she’s had Indian several times, but never from this restaurant and never this dish…  We don’t know if this is a new allergy or if she was exposed to a new ingredient.  Needless to say, we probably won’t be eating the leftovers in the fridge any time soon (or, at least, she won’t :P)..

Turkey Weekend

and I headed down to Jersey after work on Wednesday.. We waited until 6:30pm or so to avoid traffic, which worked, until we hit torrential rain in New York state. The traffic wasn’t bad, per se, but the rain really slowed us down. We arrived sometime around 11pm, and crashed pretty quickly. Thursday morning I woke up to the turkey preparations, which were already under way. This year, my parents had access to two kitchens, as our neighbors across the street were out of town and we were watching their house. This inspired my mom to pick up two 20lb. birds! This way we were able to feed 16 people with plenty of leftovers! Corinna prepared Alton’s Cranberry Dipping Sauce, which I was always curious about, and was awesome.

Friday was pretty crazy… Corinna and I were planning on traveling into Manhattan to visit her friends Sara and Dave. Corinna decided that she wanted to do something “touristy” in Manhattan, so she plotted out a window shopping route that would take us from the 33rd street PATH station up 5th to 60th St. This wasn’t something that I was terribly interested in, and expressed displeasure, but never really made it clear how little I wanted to do it… When we got there, Corinna witnessed the power of this fully armed and operational battle station. It was a total sea of people, we could barely move, and by the time we hit Rockefeller Center we gave up. We jumped on the subway to head down to Sara and Dave’s (down by the World Trade Center pit). The rest of the night was tons of fun, though, so we were able to erase the bad taste of Black Friday Retail Hell.

Saturday was ‘s birthday, so we mostly celebrated that, going out to the townie bar Tidal Wave to celebrate after cake. It was a really weird bar; They had a football game playing on the big screen and pool tables in the back, but they also had a DJ spinning the worst dance dreck of today. I also, somehow, ended up as DD, so I couldn’t even drink it away. :P

The trip home on Sunday sucked SOOOOOO badly… A normally 4 hour trip took 6.5 hours, and Corinna and I were ready to tear our eyes out by the end of it… I was so freakin’ crabby and just wanted to find somewhere to hide…

Today I had a physical, my first real physical in ages… Apparently I am still inexplicably healthy, although I will have to wait awhile for the cholesterol and other blood tests to come back. My blood pressure was still pretty good at 110/76… Obviously I have to lose some more weight, but my walking to work seems to be helping in that department.