Monday, August 30, 2010

Shoes and toes

Gluten free

One of my neighbors and two of her kids have celiac disease, which means that they can't have gluten - can you imagine? No bread, oatmeal, pasta, beer?? Ugh... it would kill me. There are many gluten free options but often it's a challenge and it means being creative. And keeping a keen eye out for gluten free products.

On Saturday, we crashed their house with a box of DeBoles Gluten Free Corn Spaghetti Style Pasta and a bottle of San-J Thai Peanut Sauce. After adding some chicken, asparagus, and green onions, it was the perfect dish! So delicious!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

National Harbor

Yesterday, Max and I drove out to National Harbor to check out the American Market. Ended up walking around and checking out the shops too.

We had brunch at Ketchup. The food was good. Service was okay. My only complaint is that the manager didn't even ask us if we wanted to sit inside or outside before assuming that we were going to sit inside (when in fact we wanted to sit outside). I had the blueberry pancakes and bacon - delicious! Max had the sloppy joe which he says it wasn't great but it was good... though the fries weren't that good. I would go there again.

If you get a chance to go, definitely check out The Awakening.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Support Wind, Save a Mountain

In 2007 a wind potential study was commissioned to see if there was the potential to place wind turbines on Coal River Mountain. The wind potential study and the following economic study found that it is possible to place 328 MW of wind energy on Coal River Mountain. That’s enough to power 70,000 West Virginia Homes and provide permanent jobs and $1.7 million in taxes to the county every year.

Unfortunately, Massey Energy is applying for permits to mountaintop removal mine the mountain which would destroy the wind potential. This is the last mountain left standing in the area. Please help save it.

1) Email the EPA to protect the mountain and its streams.
2) Contact your US Representative to support the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310) and your US Senators to support the Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696).
3) Donate to help save Coal River Mountain and get this message to more people.
4) Sign the Petition

Friday, August 27, 2010

Turned away by BRABO

Terrible service tonight!

Earlier this week I made reservations for BRABO's new Friday happy hour called "Toast on the Terrace" (where guests pay $25 to enjoy unlimited sangria, charcuterie and cheese on the secluded rooftop adjacent to the Lorien Hotel & Spa's Presidential Suite).

Max and I showed up at 6pm only to be told by the person manning the desk that the terrace was full. I assured him that I had made reservations. He went off next door to check on something only to come back and say that there was no room for us. He made NO attempt whatsoever to make it up to us AT ALL.

We left after that and had dinner at Food Matters instead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Learned about this while I was in NYC:

Hydraulic Fracturing or "Hydrofracking" is a toxic and hazardous process of natural gas extraction.

Large areas of land in upstate New York, including those areas in and near the New York City watershed, have been leased by the gas companies who are ready to drill. Their plans is to inject billions and billions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals at extremely high pressure into hundreds of thousands of gas wells in the region to create miniature underground explosions – fracturing rocks and consequently releasing gas. Radioactive and other carcinogenic, highly toxic substances (frack fluid) will also be release, contaminating aquifers and water supplies throughout the region. Moreover, gas production causes air pollution and ozone exceeding a 200 mile radius. The chemicals used in fracking are not known to biodegrade. There is no known technology able to treat and filter the frack fluid waste.

Join United for Action and take a stand! If we cannot defend our own drinking water, what can we protect?

Max and I signed letters while we were in NYC. If you would like to do this too, the website is

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme

The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme was a good book. Here's the description from the publisher:
As the wounds of the Civil War are just beginning to heal, one fateful summer would forever alter the course of a young girl’s life.

In 1868, on the barren shores of post-war Outer Banks North Carolina, the once wealthy Sinclair family moves for the summer to one of the first cottages on the ocean side of the resort village of Nags Head. Seventeen-year-old Abigail is beautiful, book-smart, but sheltered by her plantation life and hemmed-in by her emotionally distant family. To make good use of time, she is encouraged by her family to teach her father’s fishing guide, the good-natured but penniless Benjamin Whimble, how to read and write. And in a twist of fate unforeseen by anyone around them, there on the porch of the cottage, the two come to love each other deeply, and to understand each other in a way that no one else does.

But when, against everything he claims to represent, Ben becomes entangled in Abby's father's Ku Klux Klan work, the terrible tragedy and surprising revelations that one hot Outer Banks night brings forth threaten to tear them apart forever.

With vivid historical detail and stunning emotional resonance, Diann Ducharme recounts a dramatic story of love, loss, and coming of age at a singular and rapidly changing time in one of America’s most beautiful and storied communities.

The romance between Abby and Benj has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it, which is a little played out but... fine. The racism is both ugly (Abby's father and his cronies) and unfortunately ignorant (all the rich kids) but definitely feels like it fits with the time and suits them. I really liked her description of the landscape, felt like I knew what it looked like.

It's not a great read but it's not bad. Anyone who wants my copy, just let me know!

Trip Advisor

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another weekend in NY

Max and I spent the weekend in New York again - what fun! Friday night we had dinner at Amelia's Bistro:

Let me tell you... definitely try the mac and cheese - it was AMAZING, rich and flavorful. Very satisfying. The kobe burger sliders were also very good. My favorite crostini was the manchego and fig jam. Also good was the tomato, basil and olive oil. Service was great. Our waiter Evan really took care of us - even entertained us with a funny bacon story.

On Saturday we ended up walking around Manhattan. Just happened to stumbled onto the Union Square Greenmarket... the selection is amazing! Prices are fairly reasonable for a farmer's market in the city and there were some unusual foods that I had never seen before - whole smoked duck, husk cherries, lamb jerky, freekah (smoked green wheat), and different varieties of tomatoes and potatoes. Talk about a feast for the senses! For lunch we bought a bottle of currant apple juice and some pastries, found a bench in the park and chowed down. Yum!

Afterward we went to the Strand Bookstore on a recommendation from a friend. LOVED IT! Ended up buying quite a few items including Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, and Little Bee: A Novel.

In the afternoon, we met up with my friend Rick from Toronto who is now working at Christie's Auction House as an art handler. We had drinks and then went to Brooklyn for dinner at Habana Outpost. It was really great catching up with Rick since I haven't seen for 8 or 9 years. Great atmosphere and the staff were all very friendly. Love that it is eco friendly - there are solar panels and rain collection going on. I had the corn and the Mexican grilled cheese sandwich. Max had the cuban sandwich. Everything was great! Seems a shame that they are not open all year round.

Rick Slater

Sunday we met Max's aunt and uncle at Dim Sum Go Go. It had just rained and there were only four or five tables but by the time we left, the line was out the door! Food was very good. We had the BBQ buns (steamed and baked) and they had plenty of good filling - no giant pieces of fat like you sometimes get. Egg tarts were very small but tasty. The duck dumplings were tasty but I was not a fan of the skin - too gummy. The staff was friendly and one guy seemed to speak every dialect of Chinese that there is! I would definitely go back.

After a little more walking around it was time to catch the train back to DC. No delays on the Acela this time, which was nice. A great weekend! Can't wait to do it again sometime soon.

Third time's a charm

Ordered these shoes from Zappos three times to get the right size.
Love them!

Driving update!

My farther foray yet! I drove to work this morning and parked in the underground parking lot! I was a little nervous but I did it - and made it there without a scratch. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Went to try out the kickboxing class at All Star Martial Arts with Mike Logan on August 4... I was sore for four days! Went back again tonight and signed up for the next two months of classes.

The two classes were similar but very different. They started off the same with a light run around the studios to warm up and then a few minutes of stretching.

In the first class I went to, there were only three of us. We did bear crawls, lunges, leg lifts, and sparring with Mike in rotation. Three sets. Ended with punching bags and sparring with Mike.

Tonight there was a larger group, probably nine or ten of us. We did bear crawl, punches, and high knees. Three sets. Rotation from lunges to using the medicine ball, to shuffling around pylons, to sparing with Mike, to beating on a body bag, to punching bags, to jumping jacks. Then crazy moving all over the studios punch combinations with jumping jacks and push-ups and crunches.

By the end of both, I was completely exhausted and felt like jello. But I must say, kickboxing is a good way to end a crap day.

Now... who wants to join me? :)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Creativity enriches you

If you're curious to know what your particular brand of creativity reveals about you, take this little quiz from Psychologies magazine.


Creativity enriches you

Creativity is separate from the real world for you. But it’s a magical world in which you like to immerse yourself. When you’re involved in it, you get the wonderful sensation that there are no limits, that anything is possible. What you are really looking for is harmony — you want to feel you are a part of what you create. Planting flowers, writing poetry, embroidery or putting together a photo album, these are all suited to your sort of quiet creativity. You want to fall in love with what you create. You also think of creativity as a part of you in which you can take refuge and feel protected. As the psychoanalyst D Anzieu explained, creativity acts as an ‘encouraging parent — loving, enriching and supportive’. You would love to use your creativity to retreat into a world that is kind and reassuring. For you, being creative means having the chance to become one with what you create, bathe in the glory of it and allow yourself to be taken over by it. This is why you seem more suited to the sort of creativity that calls for gentleness, subtlety, harmony and patience.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Knit Happens' Closing Sale

When I went today at noon, the store already looked different... emptier, and a little frazzled. Not to mention Holly, who was at the register processing purchases continually the whole time I was there. It was exciting - all that wonderful yarn at such amazing sale prices - but also sad. My yarn store is closing. At some point Fibre Space will probably fill that void... but not yet. No, not yet.

What did I get? First off, this hand-knit sweater (a sample) for only $20.

Also picked up a pair of Addi Turbo needles and these yarns:

And some books!

Altogether, I spent less than $150!