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Thursday, September 30th, 2010
11:24 pm - safari photos
okay so something funky happened to the layout of this and i can't figure out what, but i'm also not willing to invest really any time into figuring it out.


i went on safari, got back friday sept 24th. kenya and tanzania!



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Thursday, August 5th, 2010
9:21 pm - america, fuck yeah
fuck yeah, judge walker. right the fuck on.

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Thursday, July 15th, 2010
4:26 pm - In Lard We Trust
I love pig; I have a t-shirt that says “I [heart] Bacon”. This being the case, I had to visit Cochon in New Orleans’ Warehouse District – the name means “pig” in French. I had expected it to be slightly more formal, but was surprised to find one wide-open space with tables throughout, a bar near the front, and the kitchen counter in the back. The host’s stand was somewhat oddly positioned right in front of a table, but the exposed brick walls and honey-colored wood tables and chairs made me feel warmly welcome.

As I was dining alone, I walked over to the bar and asked one of the patrons if anyone was sitting in the empty seat next to him. “You are!” he said with a smile. I seated myself, and was immediately asked by the bartender whether I was eating or drinking. I said “Oh, both!” He laughed, gave me a place setting, and handed me both food and drink menus. I asked the man next to me what he had ordered. “Lima beans,“ he said. He didn’t give me a chance to look skeptical, as he hastened to inform me that these weren’t just plain old lima beans, these were magical delicious lima beans infused with bacon-y goodness. I thought, “Even the lima beans have bacon in them – outstanding!”

Most everything on Cochon’s menu looks tempting, and many items feature delicious pig: spicy grilled pork ribs with watermelon pickle, Louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage, and cracklins – even the bitter green salad has pig ears in it. I asked the bartender, Matthew, what he recommended, and told him of my love affair with pork. He said the Louisiana cochon was a kitchen specialty, and pointed out that the man to my left was in the middle of eating that very dish. I took one look and said “Sold!” I chose to forego appetizers in anticipation of the pig that was shortly to fill my stomach.

With food decided, I turned to the second most important element: drink. I have one terrible restriction when it comes to alcohol – no vodka. As you can imagine, this cuts out a lot of specialty cocktails. I settled on the Country Plumkin, which was Sauza Silver, muddled plums, and Blenheim ginger ale. I felt the drink could have been better balanced, as the tequila taste was a little stronger than I preferred, but the muddled plums lent a novel touch, and the flavor was decent. Overall, though, I wouldn’t order it again.

My cochon arrived quicker than I expected, and I dug in with relish. The pulled pork was tender and flavorful, and the turnips and cabbage added just the right amount of bitterness and crunch. I made sure to compose each forkful of the correct ratio of pig, turnips, and cabbage, while interspersing bites of cracklins. I demolished the dish, and hunted forlornly through the remaining scraps of cabbage for more porky bits when I was done.

I was fairly full, but decided to look at the dessert menu just for fun. My neighbor who’d ordered the cochon had gotten a root beer float, made with local brewery Abita’s root beer, which is sweetened with pure cane sugar. While that sounded intriguing, I was won over by Matthew’s recommendation of the pineapple upside down cake. I was shortly presented with a scoop of pineapple upside down cake drizzled with dulce de leche, accompanied by a scoop of coconut lime sorbet. The cake was phenomenal, definitely the highlight of the meal – and given how I feel about pork, that’s saying a lot. I spent the next four days raving about the dessert to anyone who would listen.

My check totaled $77, including tax and a 20% tip. New Orleans law allows you to take your drinks to go in plastic cups, but I absent-mindedly left my drink behind when I walked out. Though the drink had been only mediocre, delicious pork, a dynamite dessert, friendly patrons, and prompt and courteous service all added up to a fantastic meal at Cochon. I was so pleased with the experience that I even bought the t-shirt: a large pig logo on the front with the words “In Lard We Trust”. Strolling satisfied down the street, the taste of the wondrous pineapple upside down cake lingered delightfully as I made my way into the steamy New Orleans night.

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Monday, July 5th, 2010
6:58 pm - more pretty flowers
i went back to kenilworth aquatic gardens, and here's what i came up with:


pretty! :)

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Friday, June 25th, 2010
12:08 am - lookit what i did
thursday night (tonight, but tomorrow by the time i post this) i went to ArtJamz, this awesome new activity in dc where you pay $60 and you get a 24x30 canvas, and supplies with which to paint, as well as wine, hors d'oeuvres, and music.

i made this:


check it out!! :)

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Saturday, June 12th, 2010
9:34 am - white jeans
white jeans for women: what do we think?

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Monday, May 31st, 2010
9:21 pm - woof.
nothing to do with a dog; woof is for some reason typically what i say when i'm full. it's like "oof" but more so.

on my birthday (last thurs) i went to volt's table 21. phe-nomenal. omg. bryan voltaggio knows what he's doing. this is likely the best meal of my entire life thus far. mm.

1. sparkling mint lemonade crown royal, strawberry foam
2. prosciutto chips, potato dip
3. celeriac macaroon vanilla, foie gras
4. tuna cilantro, avodaco, soy, yuzu, wasabi whitefish roe
5. lobster gnocchi sunchoke, fennel
6. "chicken parmesan" tomato fennel dipping dots, opal basil
7. cherry glen farm goat cheese ravioli celeriac, maitake mushrooms
8. halibut asparagus, strawberry, rhubarb, ginger
9. sturgeon cauliflower, summer truffle, upland cress
10. softshell crab english pea, apple soubise kumquat
11. veal sweetbreads flavors of picata
12. beets goat cheese mousse, upland cress, banyuls
13. foie pistachio, rhubarb, ginger
14. pork belly calypso beans, moustarda, sorrel
15. lamb eggplant caponata, pepper, curry
16. pineland farm beef farro risotto, spring ramps, morel mushrooms, carrots
17. point reyes blue cheese almond, apple, balsamic
18. dulce de leche caramel, granny smith apple
19. pistachio strawberries, ginger, basil
20. textures of chocolate caramel, chocolate ice cream
21. mignardes
21.5. lemon poppy seed muffin to take home, along with menu

high point: hudson valley foie gras wheel on the pistachio mound, with vanilla brioche toast. HOLY SHIT this was amazing, and had us all smiling and laughing with delight. also the pork belly made me moan involuntarily. honorable mentions: yellowfin tuna, goat cheese ravioli, dulce de leche cheesecake. nice thing is i believe most of these are available on volt's regular menu.

two nights later, minibar:

1. passion fruit-mezcal margarita
2. beet "tumbleweed"
3. the popcorn!!
4. sea bean tempura
5. bagels & lox
6. "ferrero rocher"
7. tomato crisp with anchovy caviar
8. blue cheese and almond tart
9. cotton candy eel
10. steamed pita with avgotaraho
11. smoked oyster with apple
12. zucchini in textures
13. "guacamole"
14. sea urchin with hibiscus air
15. green almonds with raisins
16. organic carrots with coconut
17. sweet peas catalan style
18. charcoal salmon with black garlic
19. "tzatziki"
20. parmesan "egg" with migas
21. cigala and horchata
22. "philly cheesesteak"
23. strawberries with cream and "sundried" tomatoes
24. thai dessert
25. japanese baby peaches with burrata
26. mango box
27. "s'mores"
28. bacon and chocolate

way more experimental than table 21, but table 21 won due to sustained deliciousness. minibar had fewer courses where i was like "holy crap that is amazing", but the ferrero rocher was one of them, as was the zucchini, and the organic carrots.

t21 took almost 4 hours, which was necessary due to the quantity of food. minibar was just a shade over 2.5 hours, and the portions were smaller.

so: based on those two experiences, if i had to pick, easily table 21.

i had great dining experiences this weekend! and fabulous company. :)

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010
2:05 am - ah, also
it's my birthday! i survived another year (or, technically, another several hours since i last posted).


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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
4:17 pm - in the jeopardy pool!
so, i passed the jeopardy in-person audition test, and now i'm in the contestant pool. what that means is that they can call me anytime in the next 18 months to appear on the show (seasons film from july-april). however, getting on the show is by no means guaranteed; there are about 1000+ active potential contestants at any given time, and only 400 slots for each year on the show.

the audition was really fun, actually. i'm not allowed to talk about the material on the in-person test, but the sequence of events was:

-arrival and filling out audition form
-getting headshot taken
-going into room and getting told the rules
-getting "warmed up" by one of the three jeopardy people there with some practice clues
-50-question in-person test where they show and have a spoken recording of the category, and a clue, and you have 8 seconds to write down the answer on your answer sheet before the next clue
-mock games with buzzers for 3 people at a time, immediately afterwards followed by the interviews while the three of you are still standing up there

the lovely woman who was directing it all (i forget her name) said, when it came time for my interview, that she had something in common with me. she was looking at the 5 interesting bits about myself i'd written down. she said "i, too, have a deep and abiding love of bacon." :)

anyway, she said we all got into the contestant pool, so go us! i hope i get on the show! :D

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Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
1:45 pm - Tasty sausage

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Market Fair.

Delicious Sausage. Really. Look.

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Friday, April 30th, 2010
8:05 pm - glasses!
i had to spend $810 in HRA money before tomorrow, may 1. i was like "uh uh crap, glasses!"


i got these, with gray prescription polarized lenses.

and i also got these:

the only way in which i'm not 100% thrilled with them is that they're kind of similar to my current glasses, but that's okay, cause my current glasses look good, and these new ones do too.

for reference, my current glasses:

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
11:02 pm - go sox!
i just turned on the tv and switched to the sox game.

just in time to see the 3-2, 2-out pitch to youkilis, which he drove to the left field wall, allowing scutaro to come home!

yay 12th inning walkoff hit!

yay my timing!

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Sunday, April 18th, 2010
5:07 pm - random update
it seems my updates for the past couple months/years have mostly been me saying "hey look at my pictures". so, here's something more, for those of you who still read this.

i just signed up for my second glassblowing class. the first one was awesome, and i'm psyched to continue. i've made paperweights, unintentionally misshapen hollow ornaments, and both clear and colored cylinders.

i'm taking krav maga, which i'm loving. it's very focused on self-defense and being practical; what if you were actually in a fight on the street, what would you do? i've only taken 9 classes so far, but it's really fantastic. i like feeling like i'm learning to defend myself, and i like feeling that i'm getting a bit of a workout too (though i need to pair it with more strictly fitness-based classes to get a full workout, since some krav classes are more focused on techniques than the fitness specifically).

right now, actually, i have some red marks around my neck, since yesterday we were learning to defend against chokes.

i clearly am continuing to take pictures.

work situation is a bit unstable; vecna furloughed and laid off a bunch of people a month ago, and while i wasn't one of those people, my job description is now very very unclear. my future there is a little unclear also, though they've guaranteed me that they will have work for me. how much trust to put in their guarantee is up to me.

i have an in-person audition for jeopardy! on may 26th, the day before my birthday. i'm excited about this, but i think i won't pass the 50-question test. i'm not being afraid or pessimistic, i think realistically i just won't, since i believe i only barely passed the online one. there's also a mock game, but i think you have to do well on both the test and the game to get into the potential contestant files. so we'll see. and thanks, thedan for giving me advice on what to do at the audition!

i have a reservation at table 21 on my birthday, the chef's table at volt. those of you who watch top chef will know the chef of volt is bryan voltaggio, runner-up to his brother michael on their season of top chef. i do not watch top chef, but i am looking forward to 21 courses of deliciousness in the middle of the kitchen.

i'd really like to go to another shuttle launch and spend the money to get a causeway ticket off of craigslist. hotels are pretty booked already for the may 14th launch, though i don't think tickets have even gone on sale.... weird.

i just got a chair and ottoman off craiglist, after looking for the perfect ones for 7 months. i looked not only on cl but also in stores both high- and low-end, and found nothing. so i settled for the one i got, and i think it's a pretty good deal, and i'll be satisfied with it. i am excited to finally be able to sit in a nice chair and read/do crosswords.

i made an upholstered headboard for my bed a while ago. it's gray with two rows of nailhead trim. it looks nice.

i have recently discovered the show glee.

i scored the two-volume hardcover slipcase set of Maus friday at the stone ridge used book sale. other things too, like the decameron, gargantua and pantagruel, madame bovary, kampung boy, the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay, un lun dun, now i can die in peace, a comic book macbeth, and the village by david mamet (not related to the movie).

i cook more.

i'm still volunteering with DAWG, still have a subscription to the shakespeare theater, still eating meat (more meat, actually), still loving bacon, still driving my car.

phew. satisfied now?

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010
12:14 am - Discovery
I saw the shuttle Discovery launch on mission STS-131 at 6:21:25 am on Monday, April 5, 2010.

It was freaking awesome.


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Sunday, March 28th, 2010
6:50 pm - potluck
i organized a potluck lunch at work tomorrow (though it was originally someone else's idea, they weren't psyched about making it happen).

i signed up for deviled eggs.

and i'm also making one of my famous blackberry pies. i was going to make truffles, but i saw blackberries at trader joe's, and that was that.

aren't i nice, making blackberry pie even though i didn't sign up for it?

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Sunday, February 7th, 2010
11:39 am - more snowy pics

we still had no power last night, so i caved and called my parents to come pick me up. they did.

i walked around the neighborhood this morning, and these are some of the resulting photos.

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Saturday, February 6th, 2010
9:34 pm - lookit pretty pictures
we got a crapload of snow yesterday and today.



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Monday, August 31st, 2009
11:48 pm - photos
so, i've added 7 new sets to my flickr account since i last posted here.

check them out!

flickr.com/photos/desultor -- just look down the right-hand side and you'll see them all.

cheetahs, giraffes, and rhinos, oh my!

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Sunday, August 9th, 2009
11:51 pm - kenilworth aquatic gardens
i posted pictures to flickr. they're pretty. here's my description of the set:

I went to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast DC the morning of Sunday, August 9. It was hot and humid, and the lotus flowers and water lilies were past their peak but still beautiful. As always, the only editing I've done is cropping.


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Sunday, July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm - um, what?
i went to sleep around 12:30-1 last night. i woke up for two hours around 7:30 this morning, then went back to sleep.

and then i just woke up 20 minutes ago. what? what happened? how did i sleep til 2????

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