Monday, December 18, 2006

Avoiding Washing Dishes

I should be cleaning the house, so I don't know why I'm writing now. Actually, that's probably exactly why I'm writing now. At least the stove doesn't have mail on it anymore.

Last Sunday, I went to Brasa to celebrate DS's birthday. I'd never been to a Brazillian steakhouse before. They have an appetizer bar with lots of random food, including things like raw oysters and fried bananas. They also have people wandering around with skewers serving various kinds of meat directly at the table. Since I still don't eat beef, I was pleased that they also had pork sausage, pork ribs, pork loin, chicken, cinnamon coated pineapple and chicken hearts. I neglected to sample the chicken hearts and probably will have that flavor remain unknown to me for a good long while.

It was hot at the office on Monday. They are doing some sort of maintenance and the early warnings indicated that it would actually be cooler than usual instead of hot. Apparently it was cooler in some parts of the building, but it was 80F in our cubical area. Fortunately, several of us escaped to the Macaroni Grill. I had lobster ravioli, which is the same thing I ordered almost exactly a year ago when we were there commemorating NW's departure.

That night, my parents and I watched Four Weddings and a Funeral and I enjoyed it. Hugh Grant looked a lot younger over 12 years ago. I guess I did, too.

It was was very hot at the office again. The Duke University Library Staff Association put on its annual holiday party in the Gothic Reading Room. The food was catered by Ole NC Bar-B-Que and was actually pretty good. People were supposed to bring in desserts. A bunch of us had a good time trying to figure out a long list of Christmas carols from a list of their acronyms.

Tuesday night, I met AE, JH, AH and KD at Chai's. I had chicken pad thai and that was good. AE and I went to Shade Tree Coffee afterwards. They were out of decaf espresso beans, so I had the opportunity to discover that their drip coffee is very good.

Wednesday was hot at the office, but not quite as hot as previous days. It was only 77F. I escaped once again and had lunch with NP at Thai Cafe. We shared some Thai Cafe Baskets and I had an order of chicken massaman with spicy coconut soup. As always, the food was superb. Since it was lunchtime, I also got to order Thai Iced Tea, since I didn't have to worry about the caffeine's keeping me awake.

Wednesday night, I had dinner with my parents at the Flying Fish. They were out of oysters! I tried their ceviche and got a side order of fries. That was an enormous amount of food. Either the fries or the ceviche would have been more than I could have eaten for a meal. The ceviche was very good, but it wasn't nearly as good as HC's.

Yesterday, I went to a Staff Development Committee meeting and then had lunch with DS at the Loop. I got to show him around the office afterwards. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that my cube decorations are more of a shock to those who have seen how I decorate my home. It's completely different, although I seem to be accumulating more stuff around the house as more boxes of my grandmother's knickknacks get unpacked.

Last night, I went to JJ and JA's for guitar practice. That was fun, as always. We decided to see if we could get a table at Grasshopper, since it was a Thursday. We did. We shared some really delicious calamari as an appetizer. It was sliced very thin and was just perfect. We also shared fried pork dumplings and fresh spring rolls. For my entree, I had an order of bun with hanging roast pork. It was very similar to the vermicelli dish I had the Kim Son Vietnamese restaurant a couple of weeks ago, but the meat was far better at Grasshopper. I probably like the pickled vegetables and noodles better at Kim Son, but this was very good, too.

I had today off from work, so my parents and I went to the Flying Fish for lunch since we knew another oyster shipment should have come in. Afterwards, we all went to Catherine Callaway's to pick out some earrings. It was nice having a longer chat with her and it was nice to see she was very busy with customers. I used to hang out in her shop quite a bit when I was a teenager and she inspired me more than anyone else to start making jewelry.

Tonight I cooked dinner for my dad. I made my usual shrimp pasta with bacon and garlic. He was supposed to bring a bottle of wine with him, suitable to use as cooking wine, but he had forgotten. As an experiment, I decided to use beer instead. I used most of a bottle of Corona and he drank the rest. I also added a bit of ginger to my basil and chives mixture. It turned out well. I still prefer using wine, but it was a decent substitute.

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