Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Vacations or BUST

Now that I'm back from Costa Rica it's time to figure out where I'm going to travel for the rest of the year. I'm hoping it comes up something like this:
• March – Vegas (??) we’ll see if this works out, it’s the alternate to the failed trip to Egypt in February
• May – Reno for Memorial Day to visit mom
• Summer – Ocean City, MD as often as possible (love it there!!)
• December – 10-day Hawaiian Island Cruise

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Food Coma

Restaurant week in NYC is a great time of year. Many top notch NY restaurants offer up a prix fixe lunch & dinner menu to die for. Today for lunch, I hit up Dos Caminos on Park Avenue South. The restaurant has inviting décor, comfy seating and the wait staff was very friendly. For the prix fixe menu, usually there is a choice of about 3 items in the categories of appetizers, entrees and desserts.
First, we ordered guacamole which was made in front of us at the table. We ordered it spicy and after we had finished eating it we could feel the heat in our mouths. Dos Caminos has 140 kinds of tequilas so we also felt obligated to order some margaritas.
As my appetizer, I ordered Sopa de Calabaza which was roasted butternut squash, cheese filled corn masa dumplings and ancho chile crema. Overall, the dish was good though perhaps a little bland. For an entrée, I ordered the Enchiladas Verdes which were enchiladas filled with spinach and mushrooms and toped with Oaxaca cheese, salsa verde and served with Mexican red rice on the side. These were excellent, the salsa verde had great flavor. Although I was completely stuffed after the entrée, I had to eat my dessert of Mexican Chocolate Empanadas. These chocolate filled empanadas were a total sin complete with Patron XO espresso ice cream and sun dried cherry salsita.
After lunch I was barely able to drag myself out of the table for the 4 block walk back to my office. Tonight, I am going to the gym!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Today I got an email that A&E and Bud Light have combined forces to bring the USA Rock Paper Scissor League to bars across America.
The press release reads:
Bud Light, the world’s best-selling light beer announced today that it would host a nationwide tournament with the USARPS League to find the best Rock Paper Scissors player in the country. Starting in January in bars all across the U.S., competitors 21 and older will have the opportunity to play the sport in a classic tournament ladder structure. In April, more than 500 finalists and their guests will be flown to The House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to play for a grand prize of $50,000.
I don't know about you guys but I think this is totally rad! I'm a pretty good RPS player and I'm hoping to come across some bar challenges in the near future. Watch out Vegas, here I come!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Costa Rica Chica

Me, Colin & Sara - out in El Pueblo

Wednesday, January 11
Costa Rica here we come!! Unfortunately we did not have a direct flight and stopped in Miami and Panama before actually hitting up San Jose. Finally, we arrived at the hostel around 8:30pm. Sara had already checked in and we found her on the computer (free internet access) where she would spend much time while we were at the hostel. We freshened up a little, changed over some American dollars and headed out to El Pueblo, a town that is bars, clubs, restaurants and art galleries. Sara introduced us to the Costa Rican Guaro shot. Apparently, Costa Rican’s drink this rum shot like a tequila shot with some salt & lime. Perhaps I should have read this warning I found on a website before drinking: If you want to experience [Guaro] safely, the main thing to know is to not drink it straight like tequila: a couple of shots may numb various parts of your body you might have planned to use later in the day.
So, at every bar and club we visited we did shots of Guaro and drank a Pilsen beer. After about 6 or so bars I was pretty wasted, tripped, fell, bruised my leg and ripped my jeans. whoops!

Thursday, January 12
God was I hungover. I did not want to get out of bed. Luckily, we didn’t have anything planned so we all slept in and kind of wasted half a day. After getting up we wandered around San Jose, took a dip in the pool, ate some food, wandered around San Jose again and drank Pilsen. We met lots of cool people at the hostel throughout the day and made plans to go out with a bunch of people to Carnival. That plan got nixed so then we decided to go to the reggae bar in San Pedro. We started trying to leave for the bar at 9:30pm. Around midnight we actually made it into a taxi and over to the club. The club was nothing special so we took in the sights and were about ready to leave by 1:15am. This is when we discovered that Sara had left us to fend for ourselves (she was super drunk and didn’t realize). Normally, when out on vacation I always have the address of the place I’m staying at, it’s a good rule of thumb. Of course, in this instance I had no idea what the address was, just the name and the people in San Pedro had no idea where I was talking about. Luckily, I knew that we were by a Holiday Inn which I figured people would know. They did. We made it back to the hostel and stopped at a bar next door for a few more Pilsens.

Friday, THE 13th!!
We all managed to wake up at 7:30am so we could go on a rainforest canopy/white water rafting tour for the day. The drive took about two hours and we ended up somewhere by the Sarapiqui River. First up was the canopy tour which is a series of ziplines and platforms built through the trees in the rainforest. The three of us along with 2 guides and 2 of their co-workers zipped through the forest FAST. It was a definite thrill. We had a huge lunch prepared for us when we were done with the tour and the place we were at was like a tropical paradise complete with a butterfly reserve, exotic birds and hammocks to chillax in.
Next up, white water rafting. The rapids were only a class II so it was nothing too tricky but it was a beautiful day and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Our guide was really fun and made us spin in circles, crash into the banks, fall in the water and eat fresh pineapple and watermelon. It was really sad when the whole trip was over and we had to return to San Jose.
When we got back to San Jose, we got all our stuff together and headed over to the Coca-Cola bus station where we caught a bus to Sara’s town, Puntarenas. We dropped all of our stuff at her house, took showers and headed out for a night in this port town. Sara is going to school in Puntarenas so a lot of her friends were back in town for the start of the new semester. We also got to see the ocean for the first time and it was fantastic!

Saturday, January 14th
Today we were going to head to Jaco beach to go surfing. This time, we didn’t have an alarm to wake us up and we missed the 11:30 bus to Jaco. Sara then decided that she didn’t have the money to continue to travel with us so we hung around Puntarenas until the 4:30 bus when Colin & I left Sara to Jaco on our own. I was a little nervous since my Spanish isn’t so great but we made it there OK and even found a cool hostel. The hostel was booked up so Colin & I ended up staying in different rooms but that was totally cool. A bunch of people from the hostel were all hanging out in a common area outside so after we got some dinner and a 6-pack (of Pilsen) we sat down and chatted with the other travelers. Most of them were lucky enough to be spending months in Costa Rica. I was pretty jealous! I think around 11pm or so everyone decided to head out to Monkey Bar which was a place close by. It was PACKED to the brim with Ticos and tourists alike. The DJ was really good and everyone was having a great time. Eventually, Colin & I had to leave since we were waking up at 6am to go surfing!

Sunday, January 15th
6am – ugh, so early in the morning but it was time for SURFING!!!! We got up, got ready and then found out we couldn’t rent surfboards until 7:30am so we went out and got some breakfast. When we got back around 7:15 we were able to pick up some boards and we walked the ½ block to the ocean. There weren’t too many people on the beach and no one else was surfing. The waves were gnarly and strong. I got my ass kicked pretty bad a couple of times when I fell off my board. We also both got sunburned even though we had put on sun tan lotion. After a bunch of good rides, a couple of hard falls, bruising my chin & getting stung by something, I headed out of the water after 10am. Around 10:30 the waves weren’t too good anyway. It turns out that the current had shifted recently and brought a whole bunch of garbage and sea creatures into the beach area so a lot of people were getting bitten by crabs and stung by man-o-wars. I’m glad I didn’t know that before I went out!
We went out to lunch with some of the guys at the hostel and when we returned it started raining. January is the dry season in Costa Rica so it was weird for them to get so much rain. After the storm, I took off on my own in search of postcard stamps and a look around the town.
Most of the people at the hostel had left and those of us who remained were leaving Monday so we all hung out in the common area outside. I finally went to bed a midnight since we had to catch the bus to San Jose in the morning.

Monday, January 16th
7am – woke up, got ready and headed to the bus station. Our bus to the San Jose airport was leaving at 8am. Around 10am we got to the airport, checked in, went through security and finally ate some breakfast. Our non-stop flight home left at 1:30pm. Bye Costa Rica!! I’ll miss you!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Special Report :: Stalkers

Generally, people take stock at the end of the year of their accomplishments, failures and how many concerts they made it to. For stalkers, I guess they see this time to reach out to the women in their lives that they lost.
Case in point:
My co-worker, S, went on a date with a well-off single male who is looking to be married. However, he is very dedicated to being a Hasidic Jew and needed her to convert in order for the relationship to work. She said no. End of story? Of course not. He sent 3 books to the office with titles like “Hasidic Jews for teenagers” which S definitely is not. That is weird and creepy.
Second case in point:
Another co-worker, A, met a guy, went out with him once and then he gave her a bizarre reason why they shouldn’t see each again. This was fine with A. Then he started calling and she didn’t pick up or return his phone calls. Just before Christmas, he left another message telling her that if she received an Ugly Doll it was from him. She told me this story on the day that a package arrived for her at work. I couldn’t believe that she didn’t want to open it right away and see what it was! A was afraid it was an Ugly Doll with a stake in its heart or something along those lines. Well, long story short, the package was an Ugly Doll. A never called the guy back and now, said Ugly Doll is on my desk because she didn’t want it. This is also weird and creepy.
My case in point:
I have 2 stalkers that have been trying to contact me lately. I haven’t talked to either of them since the spring of 2005 so I don’t know why they think I want to talk to them now. Stalker one called several times and finally left a poem on my answering machine. The poem was amusing but nonetheless weird and creepy. Stalker two sent me text messages on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and another day this January saying how great I am and how lucky he is to have me in his life, etc. Um, call me crazy but if I don’t call you or answer your text messages, I’m not in your life.

Let this be a lesson to all of you out there who are thinking of doing any of the aforementioned things…

Monday, January 09, 2006

Flin Flon

Over the years many of my CDs have been stolen from my car & apartment. Sadly, many of these CDs have not been replaced and I go through periods of longing. About a week ago I finally decided to reorder Flin Flon's 1998 wonder, A-OK. This bass and drum heavy album is a work of genius by Mark Robinson, Matt Datesman and Nattles. I strongly recommend that everyone check this album out.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

it's all about first impressions

The new Strokes album came out on January 3 and I was filled with anticipation. I absolutely loved the first two records and couldn’t wait for some more rockin’ tunes. I pre-ordered the CD so I got the “deluxe” package which included a 7” of their single “Juicebox.” Well, after a few days of excitedly coming home and checking the mail, last night it was waiting for me when I got home from work. The first cool thing about “First Impressions of Earth” is that the deluxe edition comes with “picture cards” of each band member so you can have your favorite as the cover (or change it up or keep the original cover pictured here). The Strokes have always had cool looking art included with the albums and this one is no exception.
So, time for the music.
Well, at this point I only listened to the CD once so I don’t feel I’m giving it a fair assessment at all, BUT where are all the rockin’ songs??? Julian Casablancas (love that name), you go and get married and you can’t rock out anymore??? I was disappointed. A few reviews I read of the album were all gushing about The Strokes “mature” sound but I liked the fun, quirky, short, dance, rock songs of the previous two albums and “First Impressions” doesn’t have any. Don’t get me wrong, the music sounds great and I absolutely love Julian’s lounge-rocker voice but I miss the beats you can dance to!! So, that is my first impression of “First Impressions of Earth.”

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Day

January 1, usually, this day should be saved for recovering from December 31 the year before but not in 2006. I just read my 2006 horoscope and apparently I’m going to be even more active/energetic this year than normal and for those of you that know me this will be no small feat as I am generally the busiest girl in the world.
So, this is how I actively started off 2006:
10:45 am – dragged myself out of bed & took a shower
12:45 pm – met up with Mike, stopped at Starbucks for Gingerbread Latte (skim with whip)
1:00 pm – parked car at Harrison PATH & hopped on the train for the city
2:30 pm – frolicked with butterflies at the Museum of Natural History, one tried to go AWOL on Mike’s pant leg but the security guard was on point and caught said butterfly before it wreaked havoc on the other museum goers
After the museum we visited Starbucks again, this time for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (skim with whip). Then, we stopped in at Tower to buy some CD’s (I bought Quasi to replace my long stolen CD & Mike bought Beck’s Guero & a Billy Joel hits CD) all the while walking through Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Times Square where there was still confetti flying in the sky. We stopped at Mars 2112 to take a quick trip to Mars for a drink but unfortunately the bar was closed. Apparently Martians celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1 as well.
Sometime after 5:00 pm – stopped for drinks at my favorite mid-town bar, The Blarney Stone
8:45 pm – hailed a cab to Tribeca for dinner, Ninja was closed so we went to Maryanne’s (awesome Mexican food)
10:40 pm – got kicked out of Maryanne’s, walked to the WTC and took the PATH back to Harrison
11:45 pm – returned home only to get sucked into the Degrassi marathon on the-n for the 3rd day in a row. damn you Degrassi