Monday, September 29, 2008

Indian Dinner c/o Work and Tiffin

Maybe two days later I was staying late again and it was decided that Indian food was indeed the thing. My boss suggested we order from Tiffin, it seems its owner is a Wharton grad. I didn't think hard enough about what I wanted so I ended up with a slightly unbalanced meal. Little pieces of fish and samosas, and a mango lassi. All was good but I became jealous of my coworkers' curries and more sauced, stewy dishes.
The dragon acted like my meal was a miniature obstacle course. I found this very rude.
(The dragon doesn't really do any of this, I do. I pose a little plastic dragon in my work meals.)

Another Long Day

On another nine plus hour day we ordered Indian food from King of Tandoor for dinner. I ordered the Lamb Passanda, the dragon was so into the lamb cooked in yogurt and spices that before I could stop it, it jumped into my food! I was unfazed and, from all appearances, so was the dragon.

It was good, the dish. And I think my coworkers may have taken to it more than I did, for example I'm pretty sure that in subsequent Indian meals others have ordered the dish. That's me, Lamb Passanda trend setter. I keep telling myself I'll get Bindi Baji (Bhaji?), tasty little okra, mmmm.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dragon In Front of Cheese Lava

So my job involves a busy season, I think I may have mentioned its existence before now. This busy season makes for long days and some weekend work. Right now it seems very busy but we are led to believe that it will, in fact, get busier. That what we consider crazy now is simply the beginning. Or maybe veterans of the season want to pysch us out so that we'll be overly prepared. I don't know. The point is that busy for me equals coming in at 8 and leaving between 6 and 9. I am not alone in this, many of my coworkers actually stay later than me. And one of the perks of these long work hours (and a few hours on a Sunday) is that our company pays for our dinner. At some point last week, maybe Monday? Could have been Tuesday? It probably could have been yesterday (but that's actually not true because yesterday I made soft shell crabs). All this to say we orderd from Fairmount Pizza and I had my first ever meatball sub. It was certainly cheesy but it was not amazing. I think I'd want (I can't believe I'd say this) less melted cheese and a more interesting sauce? Or a cheese with more flavor? It did not live up to its hype but it wasn't bad. The dragon came by and whenever the cheese got cold he would fire breathe in its general direction, thus making cheese lava.

Cheese lava? I don't know.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Is it just me or is Lehrer really trying to pick a fight? Are moderators always so insistent? It's like he's either trying to pick a fight or he's their shrink..

Senator McCain tell Senator Obama how you feel when he says you want to give tax cuts to rich people.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dim Sum c/o Joy Tsin Lau

On Sunday I walked to Chinatown and met up with Mr. Ass and N. for a rousing round of dim sum.
We went to Joy Tsin Lau and properly stuffed ourselves with tasty treats and tea.

There was a fry cart.
Scallion dumplings.
Meat dumplings...with some lemongrass component in the meat, so very good.
Appropriate dim sum comas and crazy dim sum giggles were had.

Roasted Chicken

The rest of my Saturday was spent dyeing my hair and roasting a chicken.

And sitting on my porch, reading 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'.

Monday, September 22, 2008


So, last Sunday I drove up to Bucks County and got a flat tire. I also got a piece of wood that could be carpentered down to my missing futon bar's dimensions. Those of you following the story closely should know: I called the movers, they went to the storage unit and asked somebody if there was access to the elevator shaft and they were told that yes, there was. The end result? I the prodigal futon bar returned (it wasn't really prodigal). All other possible narratives have slipped back into their proper place of fiction. Anyways, though I had a working sofa/futon, the flat tire remained an issue. I made an appointment for Saturday, at 9:30. I arrived at Main Line Honda at 9:20, pulled up to the service check in registered for service, mentioning my appointment. I then went into a small customer waiting area, where I remained for two hours. I finished A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers and saw bits of CNN (learned about the South Carolina plane crash without knowing that medium known music personalities were onboard), a good fifteen minutes of an episode of Hannah Montana (where they, as they often do, had at least two kids walk out to the end of the set to the 'beach'), some of This Old House and who knows what else. Fathers with little children came and went. One of the women in charge of service payment and answering telephones talked a lot about how stupid some of the phone calls were (see, here's my thing as someone who has answered phones before...I'm sure that the people she was talking to were being assholes and impatient but when your attitude makes them moreso can't you see you're making it worse? It's better to simply listen to their problems and try to figure out a way to appease them than it is to be rude, leave them on hold too long or generally antagonize them), which I would understand if there were a door between her and a whole room of customers who could easily imagine themselves on the other side of the phone. Two hours in I was a bit fed up. I think I should have been fed up after an hour but I wondered whether my reservation really meant anything and saw that people who were in before me were still there...but soon I saw a lot of people who came in after me, leave before me. After a bit of a wait, it was realized that my order/paperwork had somehow been unnoticed. They appeased me by saying that it would be another ten minutes and that they would knock half of the price of a new tire off. Oh yes, and the Phillies Phanatic showed up. I have video and additional photographs. Here is a taste.
In this one, the one below, he is jiggling his belly crotch at passing traffic. I'm not sure if you can really tell in the photograph.

So then, after I witnessed the mascot dance for a long while with pre-pubescent boys and kiss babies for enough time, I waited in the lounge for about another fifty minutes. This resulted in a very apologetic service coordinator and an absolutely free tire. It seems that my three hours of waiting was worth $102. I don't know if I'd recommend this place, even though they did right by me. The fact is that my paperwork was lost. But what else could they do but give me a free tire? What else would I have done if it had taken half an hour? There were at least two salesmen in their late fifties, early sixties, with ridiculously dyed hair (though at least one was more likely a toupee).


On Friday still-relatively-fresh-from-Indiana-N. and I decided to meet up for a drink. The bar we planned on going to was too busy. I refuse to go to a bar if there is nowhere for me to sit. So instead we walked a few blocks north to McKenna's. N. had certainly walked by it before, I realized I really need to branch out in terms of my neighborhood walks.

Inside it was busy but not packed, the Phillies vs. Mets game was taking up the majority of the crowd's communication and attention. We ordered our beers and the bartender said the total was four bucks. Admittedly it was Miller Lite and Yuengling, no Duvel or Flat Tire. Still four bucks for two beers on a Friday night at 8 o'clock? Magic! I ordered a sandwich and it came with fries and both elements of the dish were quite good. It was not as cheap at $10-ish. The sandwich had bacon, tomato, grilled chicken, and horse radish mayo;the french fries were crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Or were they more mushy? Nice place until the D.J. showed up with his giant speakers.

M. Makes M. an M&M Cake

Last week one of my office coworkers, M. made a cake for another coworker, M. because her birthday had been the day before. It was a white cake inside, but with a little chocolate cakey-ness on the bottom. And M&Ms as garnish. Well, not garnish, the M&Ms were certainly not the sprig of parsley, slice of lemon or dried up radish of cake.
The cake was pretty much done by the end of the day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dragon Strikes Again

My first long day of work was made a little better by job-subsidized Chinese food for dinner. I then ate this food for lunch the next day. Then the dragon, he struck again...but this time he needed me to hold him over my food in order to properly covet it...while staying in focus.

Work, Vegetables and Feta Cheese

A while back my France-based boss brought the office Kinder Eggs. Inside my chocolate child egg was a little (assembly required) dragon. Since that time the dragon has hung out on the base of my computer monitor. He minds his business, I mind mine.
And then earlier this week (or was it last?) the dragon got a little feisty about my tomato, cucumber and feta salad (no dressing, thanks). He was positively vigilant.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Snacky Pretty.

In the time it took me to change my flat tire it went from warm to absolutely 90+ degrees hot. I was flustered and annoyed and no longer wanted to walk anywhere in the heat. So I didn't. I went to E's instead and just hung out with her, her boyfriend and her family. I felt a little bad about it but not enough to do anything about it. I made an attempt to get a piece of wood for my futon and a spare for my car and struck out in one of those endeavors. Then went back to E's...where we quickly drove over to Mr. Ass' house. There was talk of a carrot cake plan but I didn't stay long enough for that, or a walk that may have happened, I was too worn out from the party, the flat tire and the heat. But I did stay long enough for homemade baba ghanouj, freshly roasted peppers, tasty olives and Greek cheese (the name of which I know and the taste of which I am familiar but that, at this particular moment in time I cannot tell you). I didn't stay long since, well, I still had a craptastic spare tire on my car and didn't feel like driving down 95 in the darkness (the ultimate irony of this you will never know).

So. Work is getting to be busy. Not as busy as it will be but definitely not a 9-5 situation. I left work about ten minutes ago but still have another hour or so of stuff that needs to get done before tomorrow morning. I just couldn't sit in the office any more. It seems that I'm working hard. But there really isn't any other option in this line of either get it all done or you don't. Ah me. I've never been a busy bee but now I see what it's done to me....I don't really, that just rhymed so nicely. (more rhymes!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nuff Said

It was shaping up to be a scorcher of a day but it was still early enough that I thought I'd drive to Tyler State Park and take a walk about. Unfortunately I realized, driving into the park, that something was seriously amiss with my car and I was not at all surprised to find that my front left tire was flat upon safe arrival in a parking lot. Let me ask you this. And by you I mean every one of you who ever stops in and reads this blog. How many flat tires have you had in your life? I encourage comments that include the factors involved in the flat tires and your age. For example, I am 26 and I believe that I have had a total of five flat tires between two cars and nine years of driving.
Let us not forget that Duckie, Ambassador Iron Face was only purchased in April. So that's a total of six months before a flat tire. I believe that this sucks balls.

Early Start

I had already made broad plans to hang out with E. and Mr. Ass on Sunday but when I awoke super early, I decided that I would just head north and take in a few nostalgic sights before figuring out exactly how and when we would see each other. The first sights were, unsurprisingly, a brief tour of my old high school. I try to avoid the place when the possibility of seeing students is high, and 9-10 in the morning on a Sunday is a pretty good bet (I considered waiting around until 10:45 and going to meeting but, in the end, I couldn't bear to see the stream of kids in barely concealed pajama pants straggling down the hill to the meeting house). Below is a photograph of the barn and horse fields. As a Varsity equestrian I spent a fair amount of my fall and spring around the barn. Next to it is the greenhouse and garden, as a senior I spent a modicum of time there. And in the distance you can see Main Dorm, the dorm that I in which I spent my sophomore through senior years.
Another Main shot. If I weren't so lazy I'd draw little arrows to identify the two windows you could see from this angle that I had....and a third arrow to point in the general direction.
The rink (?) when we practiced. During the fall the cross country boys would always run by during practice. I remember always sitting up a little straighter and hoping that I'd be jumping a hard combination in order to seem impressive. It never seemed to matter.
I actually got out of my car. I usually get scared. I remember my high school years in a mix of fondness and dread. I'd honestly have to say I think they were better than the average high schooler's experience but, perhaps, not as idyllic as some of my fellow classmates'.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I continue to enjoy reading. I've said it to people but I'm not sure if I've said it here: I wish that reading could be my exercise. I would be fit. F-I-T, fit! Right now I'm readint A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Here is a passage I just read that I liked (it's written in the first person, from the perspective of a Chinese woman who has come to England in order to learn English in order to help her parents excel in their shoe factory business..and has become the lover of a man 20 years her senior who, usually, is gay): "Home is everything. Home is not sex but also about it. Home is not a delicious meal but it is also about it. Home is not a lighted bedroom but it is also about it." I have long thought about what home is. Recently I found photographs I took to explore that idea. The photographs themselves are not interesting but the memory of my thought process is quite possibly interesting.
Late last week I finished Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, the man has a way of getting inside his characters' heads. This book is simple, perhaps even a 'novella'. It unfolds over the course of a couple's first night together after their wedding in 1961 and has a few flashbacks to their courtship and one fast forward to the man's latter life. I was struck again by how we like, narratively, to think about what could have been different if we only said one additional thing. One syllable and a completely different life would unfold. Good book.
This book, Just Breathe, is a stupid book. It's long and it's dumb and they get together in the end. And the picture on the cover? Has nothing to do with it. The woman get preggers at the opening of the book and stays that way nearly the end, she does not, at any point, stand in front of a beach with a perfect little bikini body. The problem with this whole genre of books, of women with marriages that destruct who then go home again, or to some new place, in order to get their lives together, the problem is that it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous that within days, or even a few weeks, of being in this new environment suddenly the guy they crushed on in high school (but never noticed them) falls for them, or some handsome stranger approaches them in a cafe. And they've always left this materialistically sound life that offered them no emotional solace. But so what? I think a book is far more interesting when the marriage that dissolves didn't start out crappy, or that the husband wanted the wife to wear matching sweater sets all the time. And, in this book, the woman is a cartoonist and the author continuously refers to her strip as 'edgy'....there are examples in front of different chapters and, frankly, it's the opposite of's dumb. This book is dumb, don't read it unless you're dumb or, well, me and unable to stop yourself.

Serious Jackal Action

Pizza, Then Party

On Saturday I misbehaved. It started with L. coming over with a Pete's Pizza and small bottle of bourbon. The plan, which was quite successful, was to eat the pizza, drink the bourbon and play cards then go to our coworker L., and her roommate S.'s party nearby.
So that happened and then D., L. and I made our way to the party. Where, upon arrival, L. and L. realized they were wearing the same dress shirt! The horror! The similar sense of fashion!
We brought chips and a bottle of wine.
And I took a few photographs of my coworkers.
And my coworkers took a picture or four of L. and me. L., I have been led to believe, has better photographs of very jackal-like behavior.

Thanks for the party L., I hope I you find me too misbehaving.

Slow But Steady

Below you can see my attempt to keep my futon properly together with a belt...there's another belt on the other side. I sent an email on Saturday to the movers requesting some sort of futon bar action and today I spoke with a guy and we scheduled a looky-loo on Wednesday. We'll see how that goes.
Though my futon bar search was useless on Saturday, the search for bolts turned out successfully. This was quite happy-making because now I have a desk! My desk! Clearly there still is a lot of clutter going on (I still need to get dressers and bookcases) but my room is beginning to get its shape together and that makes me very pleased.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day's Planning

Last night, though a Friday, I stayed in and behaved myself. I watched a few episodes of Mad Men, and saw what all the fuss was about. It was a very, very rainy day and night and I was glad to stay dry. Today I woke up with a good number of things on my agenda. First and foremost, go to Home Depot and get a replacement futon bar...actually that would tie with go to Home Depot and get proper bolts for my desk so I can stop using a rubbermaid container and a beach chair as my office space. Well, I went to Home Depot and struck out on both counts. I don't know why I thought they'd have dudes just frothing at the bit to help me cut a piece of wood and drill holes in it...that just wasn't going to happen. And the bolt guy said he didn't have my bolts and suggested I go to a smaller store. Hmmpf. So I did.
This is the Divine Lorraine Hotel. I wish I could have taken a picture of the front, with the 3-10 homeless people hanging out on its stoop but I was driving and these pictures were difficult enough. It really is a beautiful, regal old building. I hope that the delays in its restoration/renovation don't morph into a simple demolition. That would be sad.

What Day?

Some time last week, Monday probably, I took a walk into the beginnings of Center City after work. I am attempting to do this sort of thing (walk somewhere farther than Wawa or Rita's Water Ice) after work each day...this is because I have a ridiculously short commute (we're talking seconds) and since I don't like running, or biking, or stretching in front of people or, basically, any exerting myself physically in front of anyone (there may be a few exceptions, swimming being one of them) I am at risk of becoming properly obese. No one wants that. Except obese people who want company. Anyways. So yeah. This is on Race Street I think, or Arch, I get them confused.

So was this building. Or half building.