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It’s been a bit busy lately–we went to Seattle and have been ushering a lot. (seriously, yesterday’s play, which I liked, and the transportation to and from it basically tanked our day). Andrea‘s astounding picassa show was up way before my lazy ass could post this pile of words! up later, but in the meantime here’s a foodcentric rundown of last weekend:

  • Broke fast at tilth, wonderful tilth (our waiter’s tourette’s led to about 30 dollars worth of heirloom bloody mary’s)
  • At a new ice-cream place in Wallingford, I attempted to eat the strangest sundae ever: chocolate ice cream, bergamot-infused olive oil, sea salt, and whipped cream. Will stick to the basics next time.
  • For a bus tour of Seattle, bought some lemonade, tequila, and sunglasses. One should never ride a hot bus in Seattle without a thermos of faux margaritas.
  • Arrived at the Madison Park beach in the mid to upper 80’s, which inspired Andrea to jump in the lake.
  • Landed at Green Leaf, a terrific new Vietnamese place in the ID. Andrea doesn’t like Vietnamese food usually, but she dug Green Leaf (maybe it was the blood cube in her soup).
  • Watched Mariner’s beat the Pods, danced with the little one, and had one more beer at the best bar on Phinney ridge.
  • Woke up, shook off hangover, walked to Senor Moose and ate some fancy beans.
  • Hit the Ballard farmer’s market and walked away with some frozen blueberries, four pounds of rhubarb, and lot of green garlic, mint, and #2 heirlooms.
  • Had a leisurely afternoon making a prosecco sangria (with mangos, canteloupe, grapefruit and the rest of that pomegranate lemonade), blue-cheese/chipotle turkey burgers, roasted potato/garlic salad, a big green salad with the market’s bounty, and a giant rhubarb/blueberry crisp.
  • Proceeded to feed a lot of people this food. Had a contest with Natty to see who could expand their belly the most. Unexpectedly, I lost.
  • Luckily, this boring list comes to life in Andrea’s pictures!
  • Retired to Silver Cloud stadium, which had been billed as ‘close to pike’s place market’ on Hotwire. I noticed afterward that the highlighted portion of the map had a small strip that extended several miles south to include this place. Did Tom DeLay end up working for hotwire?
  • Met with folks at UW, did a little work.
  • Dinner at Jerry’s where I got to meet Ida, who is so cute that she makes buttons look like shit.
  • Post-dinner at Micah’s. Had such a good time talking I never even thought about getting out their wii.
  • The next day, after several aborted meetings, we went to Salumi. It’s a Seattle institution that I’ve never paid my respects too. It’s sort of like being the only guy to have not seen Star Wars, but for foodies. (that’s a little more tasteful than the ‘lost my meat virginity’ phrase that I was originally going to toss out)
  • Attended the department’s awards banquet which had a nice spread and the vundervul Andreas handling mike duties. Andrea was a little overwhelmed by the sea of nerds. Fortunately Paul C. lightened the mood with tails of dropping stuff (beds, etc) on people when he was at the top of one of Columbia’s student towers.
  • Andrea stayed out way late with her ‘reans. I was not invited to their karaoke party at China Gate Great Wall, but should’ve crashed it in retrospect. I guess calling and asking if a “group of Koreans” are at the asian restaurant is a version of crashing. Andrea also apologized for getting carried away and making me worry which I appreciated. What a sweetie!
  • Took a bus to the airport and returned to Chicago. As a reminder to the fact that we were, indeed, back in Chicago, there was a gang-related shooting about 30 feet from our apartment. Yee haw.

Ok, kids, I was going to wax on about my new garden at Argonne, but apparently I’ve rambled too long so I’m waxing off.

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Last night was a good time. We ended up driving for what seemed like hours to get to this little all-night Korean restaurant, Hai Woon Dae that had gotten good reviews. Andrea decided against reason to take the long route from the Kennedy to some city streets…or maybe it was her Asian radar leading her to Lawerence street in Albany Park where there were a ton of Korean restaurants, bakeries, churches, and things. We scuttled up California street to Hai Woon Dae and were not dissapointed: the place is similar to most Korean BBQ joints, but better, with actual coal-fired tabletop grilling and 15 (!) types of banchan. Had we known that there was going to be enough food for us with just the banchan, we wouldn’t have ordered three entrees.

Stumbling out afterward, in a full blown meat-sweat (thx) we drove dropped in Cary’s, a little bar on the eastside of Devon where the air was literally thick with the smell of curry. Cary’s has several things going for it: (1) Free pool with a good table and cues (2) Real dart boards (3) No tv’s/fratty boys (4) good, plentiful beer (5) What looked like a homemade jukebox, ala the Monkey (7) Live country music, which goes down nice after a few (6) hand’s down, the friendliest set of regulars in Chicago (Fabian, Don, Geraldo, Valter!). I got a $4 Hoegaarden that got poured into what appeared to be a half-gallon juice glass that required two hands and a lemon.  Carefully signing up for pool led to one of the regs (Fabian ‘natch) yelling out something like, ‘Hey everyone, it’s Tim and his white man’s 40’. Two hours of pool and trash talking later and I wish Cary’s was closer to home.

At long last–here are 69 pictures from our trip to Chicago. Thanks to our Andrea for getting those set up and adding spiffy captions!

What did I miss? …on Friday I made some crabcakes and a salad and brought some beers over to Matt and Julie’s house. I owed them since they’ve been driving me to work (and I like to cook for people). I finished the night with bananas spiked with cachaca. Julie took to calling it bananas fister.

On Saturday I biked a zillion miles all over flat, flat Chicago culminating in a hilarious evening at The Brauhaus for a traditional Oktoberfest with a bunch of nerdy Reedy’s. There I received an honorary doctorate to go with my smoked pork chop and liter of this beer. Drunk people in lederhosen, st. pauli girls, a polka band, a packed dance floor, and I forgot my camera! D’oh! On the way to the beer hall I picked up some used books, including a pretty 1927 edition of Dorothy Parker’s Enough Rope (for $4) to cheer me up. Never read her? Here’s a taste:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp;
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live

flea.JPGSo, I have fleas in my apartment. I don’t know how they got there, but it’s been a real pain to get rid of them. Knowing they’re around makes my skin crawl, so I’ve been trying quite hard to deal with them. Right now I am stuck in the basement/laundry room in our apartment complex, chilling with the bears for four hours until that toxic fog settles down. I’ve washed everything in the house, and now I have to wash everything in the kitchen to be safe. Yeesh. Anyways, props to the exterminators for not giving me any guff when I called up and asked for some additional work. They were here within three hours and did it for free. Kind of wish I had planned ahead and brought some dvd’s and a sixer down here though. (just kidding…mostly)

Random stuff from the last 24 hours…I did fairly well at pool last night, going 12-2, mostly against Adam (who was a bit off after his trip to Michigan and two whiskeys). Adam introduced me to his pal Ed, this english phD with a mohawk. Ed spontaneously gave me a backrub later on (he was giving backrubs to everyone). It was such a good backrub that I gave him one back. Maybe it was the beer, but that whole episode felt like I was in a game of the Sims. I was skimming through a zillion references for the carboranes and I found a short paper on a theoretically predicted molecule C6B12 molecule that’s shaped like a wheel. If you don’t understand what the phrase ‘shaped like a wheel means,’ the authors have included a figure for you:

c6b12-wheel.JPG

What a waste of paper and time making both figures…speaking of wasting time making figures, J. Aleksi Soininen is flying in from Helsinki tonight and will be working with the Rehrs this quarter. Since he’s an expert in what I do, I asked if he could stay in my office the next three months. John said ‘ok’ and I began to think of all things we could do together…not just physics-y things–fun stuff, like showing him the student shop, goofing around at the aquarium, checking out the view from skyscrapers, and maybe an intimate dinner at this Korean bar in Vancouver…or maybe not..ok, I got to get back to work. Tomorrow I’m hitting the farmer’s market, hard…so look for some foodie stuff.

These Spaten Optimators from TJs knock me out. Not as potent as the infamous pitcher of Brown Shugga, but still. I ruined Adam Clark’s love of this beer when I said it tasted like raisins and now that’s all he gets from it. I dunno…the folks at Beer Advocate like this brew too, but there were complaints about it’s ‘loose mouthfeel,’ whatever-the-fuck that and all she got was this brickis (I kid, I kid–I like that people are getting all gourmet about beer. After a few days on the East Coast recently I realized how lucky Seattlites are to have more than Heiniken for our fancy beers. Speaking of which–I should post some pictures from my recent visit to lovely, sweltering Andrea in lovely, sweltering DC…ok, here we go: that one on the right is her brick. That’s right, her very own brick for graduating from George Washington. I only got a slip of paper saying I graduated–this is way more cool (apart from the gum). Then we have Andrea trying on her new glasses she got at Secondi…I think she likes them. Then we have our most touristy picture at the Lincoln memorial–a.k.a. the cool one.

andrea likes her new shades

us and lincoln
Wasn’t I talking about beer? Well that’s just boring, and I need to get back to my physics-y stuff)