Monday, August 18, 2014

This Post is Totes "Khac Nhau", Am I Right?!

The science of Monday Morning Blues is undeniable (just like evolution you dummies!)  Sleep deprivation caused by an interrupted sleep schedule, and of course alcohol, damage your fragile brain, and impede your body's ability to repair those damaged parts in a timely manner.  Therefore, when you wrench yourself out of bed on Monday morning to the tune of some brain exploding alarm clock questioning every decision you've made in life that got you to the point where you were a slave to a 6 AM alarm clock, wondering if life would be better in Spain, it can be a bit rough.  You have only some small victories.  The oatmeal you made the night before so you don't have to wonder about breakfast.  The fact that the laundry was both done AND put away earlier in the weekend.  And the lack of Monday traffic, maybe due to shifting patterns now that school has started.  These little things were all angels of mercy on this morning where I could barely keep my eyes open, and even the terrible keurig coffee waiting for me at work sounded wonderful.

But what caused this disrupted sleep pattern you ask?  (You probably didn't ask did you...you were just sitting here saying, "where the hell are the pictures?  Ungrateful!)

Well to answer your slash my question, it was another fun filled action packed weekend that caused my current malaise.  Friday night, I went to a Rockies game with some friends.  $15 gets you tickets to the stadium's rooftop party deck, a bi-level deck with a sports bar, cabanas, and a railing to watch the games while drinking your favorite (read: cheapest) beer.  The best part is the ticket also covers about $6 in food and beverage, so it's really a cheap ticket to watch a game.  Unfortunately, we forgot to actually watch any of the game, spending more time instagramming pictures of the stadium and each other.  Money well spent if you ask me.  Things get blurry after that, but there was a pool hall and shots made with all liquor.  Not a bunch of liquor.  ALL liquor.

Most of Saturday was spent recovering, however, I did manage to go out that night for dinner to Denver's best kept Vietnamese secret.  In a city full of great Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon Bowl really stands out above the rest.  Each of these dishes below could have fed the two of us....so of course we ordered three things.  All this for $30!

Thit Nuong Banh Trang - Grilled Pork Summer Rolls (DIY)

Chau Ca - Rice Porrige w/ Fish

Goi Thom Thit - Traditional Vietnamese Salad with Pork, Shrimp and Cabbage
After dinner, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel film starring that guy from Parks and Rec and Vin Diesel as a guy who only has one line in the movie but says it 1000x.  Seriously, that's the only kind of acting Vin Diesel should do.  Also his character was CGI so you didn't even have to look at his bald, way to much skin showing head.  The movie was surprisingly funny and a pretty good time.  I think it was 2 hours long, but don't worry it has the greatest 80s soundtrack since Detroit Rock City.

On Sunday, after having brunch downtown, my friend wanted to check out this Wild Life Sanctuary in BFE, CO.  BFE is basically anywhere that's 1 mile outside of Denver or Boulder.  It's a vast wasteland of farm equipment and circus folk.  Probably.

This "sanctuary", which I repeatedly whispered like it was something out of LOST, is a haven for large mammals that are rescued primarily from private owners.  And when I say privately owned large mammals, I'm not talking somebody's Alpaca farm in California.  I'm talking Lions, Tigers, and Bears OH MY!  There was some intro up front, which I ignored except for when the lady said there's more privately owned tigers in Texas right now then there are in the wild.  Seriously, maybe Texas should keep their guns.  THEY OWN TIGERS.  What the crap, Texas?  WHAT. THE. CRAP.

anyways, I took this voyeuristic photo of a tiger bathing.  I can only assume that this bath is just like in its natural habitat. 

These lions probably built this structure too.  You can tell by the way they're all territorial about it like, "This is our shit.  Hakuna Matata Bitches!"


What else did I do this weekend?  Oh yeah, I saw Divergent.  The film is about a girl who doesn't have normal human reactions to stressful situations because there's this boy you see....no not twilight.  It's set in a future world where people are divided up into different groups.  No not hunger games.  It has to do with love and growing up.  No not twilight and hunger games.  Why won't you believe it's different than that?!  Because it's not.  Apparently it's a pretty huge market right now to write teenage love stories set in improbable worlds where worrying about life and death comes second to dealing with those butterflies in your stomach when he looks at you from across the room.  I can only imagine that the movie is called Divergent because it diverges from any sense of realistic situation in life.  Don't get me wrong, I just bought the series.  My reading level is on a steep decline.

Friday, August 15, 2014

There's SORT OF a Robin Williams Tribute in this Post

Being back from my DC rotation has had mixed reactions from people.  Don't get me wrong, everybody has been happy to have me back, which is a nice ego booster for sure, but when discussing how I was able to do FOUR WHOLE MONTHS in DC has hit the full gamut of responses.  Anywhere from, "Ugh...that sounds awful....hotel living gets so old after awhile!" and "Living out of your suitcase must be so terrible!"  Mostly I just get unsure questions like, "so...are you glad to be back, or do you just wish you never came back?"  That last one is kind of the harshest one.  Are YOU glad I'm back?

But let me take some time to answer those questions.

1.  Yes, a hotel room, less than 400 SF, is basically just a bed, a TV and a bathroom.  and sure you miss the comforts of your couch and DVR (unless you live in a modern age of Hulu and Netflix and owning your own computer, in which case those luxuries travel with you), but really is it so bad?  I spent minimal time in my room, and instead was meeting people for drinks every night, or for dinner.  Of course being on per diem helped a lot with that.  A fact I need to remember when I'm having a $20 lunch downtown nowadays.  Also i'm not staying at an hourly rate roach motel....I was as the top tier hotels where my biggest quandary was deciding whether to take a sauna before or after my workout in the state of the art gym.

2.  I'm not sure what you think travel is, but most hotels I've stayed in have closets....so I don't know really what living out of a suitcase entails.  I would unpack the first day of travel, iron my clothes, put my toiletries in the bathroom....pretty standard stuff.  Maybe I'm just not that fussy about hotel rooms.  I mean sure, I get mad at the occasional housekeeper who refuses to stay out of the room while i'm in the bathroom despite my angry screams, but I feel like that was probably an isolated incident.  Somebody in DC was surprised that I was going home every other weekend, mostly because of "having to unpack and pack" every time.  How lazy in your life do you have to be that you can't dump a suitcase full of dirty clothes into a washing machine, and then fold them back into your suitcase.  Wouldn't you be doing the same thing at home anyways?  I love conversations with people where they say the first empty thought in their head and expect me to put any amount of thoughtfulness into my response.  So unless you're a contortionist, I doubt anybody out of town is actually living out of their suitcase.

3.  Are you glad to be back?  This is a tough one.  There's a lot I missed about Denver while I was gone.  Friends, climate, my kitchen, project angel heart, and my car.  I love driving.  But what I didn't miss was the daily thoughts about what am I supposed to do with my yard...everybody else has done something with there's while the constant rains this summer have washed a lot of my soil out into the alleys.  It's a wonder it hasn't become a controversial topic on our facebook page yet.  Clearly I'm the least equipped person to own or maintain a home, as evidenced by this photo:


I think I must have unwittingly started playing a game of Jumanji...

And while living in Stapleton has it's benefits like...uh....property value?  I still hate the lack of decent public transportation.  I've given up on the dream of sharing a commute with other professionals headed to their jobs downtown.  Instead, I've replaced my sketchy bus ride through the most poverty stricken areas of Denver with a NPR fueled drive to work.  Paying for parking is a lifestyle.  Also, I was looking for ways to increase my carbon footprint so...win win.  Driving regularly to work also reminded me that I have some pretty bad road rage, although it really only comes out for 3 types of people.

1.  People who don't use turn signals before cutting me off.  I seriously would let you in if you had a turn signal.  I'm a courteous driver normally!

2.  People who wait until the last second to get into the lane.  You had plenty of time to get over you joker.  Waiting till the last minute is only acceptable if there's nobody around you.

3.  People behind me on the on-ramp, who, typically before it's legally permissable try to swerve around me and get into the lane we ALL have to merge into.  Seriously, I have murderous thoughts when this happens.  My mind goes all Michael Bey and I just want to see things explode. 

Oh well...I guess it's a good way to wake up for work.

I know I know...it all sounds very hostile.  But honestly, there are wonderful people here that I love and am so happy to be around again.  The friends who come over for a paella party my first weekend back....the people that scream out from across the hall, "WE MISSED YOU!" and want to chop carrots next to you despite their arthritis just to catch up with you, and stylist who is so happy her best tipping customer is back, (whatever after that Chinese lady in DC I never want to go somewhere else for a haircut).  Now i just need to hire some people to clean my yard before I lose the game and disappear for 12 years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Subtlty of Subtitles

Friday after work, I rode the rails, much the same way that homeless people have been doing it for years, and as further represented by the animals of Madagascar 3, jumping into a train car, wondering if the people I would meet in there would be friendly hobos or pyschotic killers stabbing me for my loot.  Slash, I bought a round trip ticket to NYC on the Northeast Regional Amtrak train.  The ride is roughly 4 hours from DC, and I was lucky enough to find a long lost friend on the train.  After running out of things to say to said friend after 20 minutes, I was even more lucky she was getting off in Baltimore and I'd never have to see her again.

The rest of my ride was a blur...I watched a movie (review to come at a later date) and played some Pet Rescue, and listen to the gentle sounds of my grumbling stomach, angry that I had decided to not feed it laying on the hotel bed (instead of working out) as I had done every other day that week.  Thankfully, the train did in fact get me to NYC safely (and stab free!)  Upon arrival at the hotel, my friend and I immediately walked to Chinatown for a delicious and impressive meal of Chinese Hot Pot.  Hot Pot is basically simmering broth that you cook various meats and vegetables in.  In our selection below, we decided to only get a few items....

Clockwise, congee, spicy broth and herbal broth.  We didn't know how to eat any of these.


Above two photos:  Fried tofu skin, beef, tai gon? cabbage, blue crabs, chicken, shrimp, rice noodles, mini sausages, straw mushrooms, silken tofu, and deep fried tofu.  Later on we also got udon noodles, bok choy and lamb.

So yeah just a few things.  I tried to convince my friend to get the pig brains, but he wasn't having it.  We were woefully unprepared for an authentic hot pot experience, as the lady replacing our burning broth with fresh normal looking broth quickly realized.  I think by the time we finished eating, we had started getting the hang of how to eat it.  That must be why babies cry so much.  They just don't get it!

The next morning, cool and quiet after an early rain shower, we went down to pay our respects at the reflecting pool and World Trade Center.






After a quick breakfast in TriBeCa, we walked for what seemed like miles, and what google maps verified were miles through the West Village, and presumably other villages.  On such an unusually nice summer day, my mind wandered to a faraway time when all the villages of NYC were separately run fiefdoms (Gangs of New York style) and the West Village was probably bourgeoisie land of forested huts and a growing art scene.  Now it's mainly just a mexican restaurant called Dos Caminos.  But these idle thoughts led me to early afternoon, when another friend joined us and our real New York adventure began.  After a walk down the Highline, we went and had lunch at Grimaldi's Pizza Place or something, and then walked around finding bars, and bakeries and black and white cookies.  Of course, during all of this a great distraction was weighing heavily on my very soul.  *Cue sorrowful music, with haunting lilt to produce feelings of discomfort and intrigue

During our weekend, trouncing about the streets of Manhattan, my friend wore barefoot running shoes.  These shoes, which resemble feet that have been walking barefoot for 30 years, are the very representation of everything I hate in this world.  FEET.  To highlight the ridiculousness of these shoes, I'd like to take you on a visual tour of our day through the Hollywood magical trick of FOOT-O-VISION.


Seriously, these shoes make me happy there's psychos out there chopping off peoples' feet.





Gross Feet riding the subway

Gross Feet drinking a maragarita

Gross Feet eating banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery







































Gross Feet standing on a sewer grate

In that last picture, the Gross Feet were probably staring longingly at this string of shoes hanging from a power line....hoping that the sewer grate would just collapse beneath them, ending their miserable lives.....  (Too much?)


Some of the aforementioned antics while this was going on included the following:

Eating black and white cookies

Wondering if bartenders understood fruit "garnishes"

Looking perplexed as I took a shot

Getting yelled at for not taking his shot
Things I didn't take a picture of include going out in Brooklyn to find hipsters, a group of super drink young Chinese people, and a homeless schizo singing Iggy Azalea.  Yeah....we definately didn't get drunk at all this weekend.

 




Friday, August 1, 2014

I Rocked This Town Like a Hurricane



One of the many ways I will use to validate my entire life will be if I ever get a hurricane named after me.  But every year, while the names get stranger and stranger, no Indian name has cracked the list.  I mean, we’ve had hurricane George, which we were told to pronounce jjjjjeeeeeoooorrrjjjjjje.  Now we have this tropical storm on the horizon, and they decided it should be named Bertha.  Because that’s a name anybody gives their child anymore.  Oh our baby is beautiful jjjeeeeooorrrjjj!  Let’s call her Bertha so that she hates her life and commits suicide at the age of 15.  In her suicide note she’ll say, “but at least I got a storm named after me!”

So my time in DC is nearing its end.  I came like a storm into this town, and I’m leaving much the same way.  With less than a week left here, I should reflect on my last 4 months.  It’s gone by in a whirlwind.  A tempest of fun, wine, food and wine.  Also wine.  There was also a flirtation with popcorn, but it was more hype than anything.  Lots of ideas were born in the last 4 months, all of which will be future Blue Langentine Production projects.  There was:

1.      L Ron Hubbard’s Pizzatology – What’s a better way to convert somebody than with pizza?
2.      Cult Hotels – They offer free body removal.
3.      IV Bars – You get your hangover cure WHILE you’re getting drunk!
4.       Pierce Brosnan’s Acting School for James Bond – Because those who can’t....teach.
5.      And of course L’Bike – Ohio’s greatest indoor cycling class ever known.

There was delicious foods.  So many delicious foods.

Dosa from Amma's

Fried Rice from Rice Paper
Fish Congee from Rice Paper


Caramelized Short Ribs from Rice Paper
DYI Summer Rolls from Rice Paper
Pretzel Bites from Farmers Fishers and Bakers
Banana Pudding Trifle from Farmers Fishers and Bakers
 And what’s a trip this seedy and squalid underbelly of politics without a bomb scare....
Or my friend Lesiure Suit Larry here....

But the time for me to wake up from this fun fantasy is here.  Back to my 45 minute bus rides before sunrise.  And my 9 hours of staring at a computer screen searching for the elusive end of the internet.  And better blog posts because it will be the highlight of my day.  But I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, and seeing my friends back home, and testing some of these above ideas on my focus group at Project Angel Heart.  But before that comes, there’s still a week’s worth of things to do!  First stop, NYC for the weekend.  Then, last ever Monday night at Circa!  Then, Cirque Du Soleil!  And that’s all before my last night here!  Oh yeah, and I’m going to Chile.  Did I mention that?