av8rmike: Text: Resistance is futile (if < 1 ohm) (resistance)
Shakespeare may have written, "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them", but he didn't say anything about having greatness occurring only to people they know. I refer to two incidents in the past week where things happened to other people in my life:

Two co-workers of mine were on a team that caught a 97.5-pound white marlin at this year's White Marlin Open. As such, they get to split over $800,000. We'd better get a lot of doughnuts at the office after this one.

Then yesterday, my brother was on a JetBlue flight back from Pittsburgh to JFK and overheard an irate flight attendant swearing over the PA system and exiting the plane via the emergency slide. Then he encountered the same flight attendant on the train relating the story to another passenger. Naturally he tweets about it, and within hours, the NY Daily News is interviewing him to get the story. By now, most of the major NY and national media have picked up the story and run with it. Too bad I missed his TV appearances on CBS' The Early Show, FOX News, and the Today Show. But, like I told our mother, once these things are out on the Internet, they never really go away.
av8rmike: (food)
To the five Asian readers who were no doubt curious: Operation Eat an Asian Pear from yesterday was pretty much a success. Well, half a success because I only manager to eat half of it today. It was pretty good, but a different texture than I was expecting. Also, contrary to most of the suggestions, I ate the skin with it. It just wasn't possible to peel it while at work.

[livejournal.com profile] tango's entry from earlier today got me thinking about Veteran's Day. I'm probably mis-remembering, but I can think of at least four relatives who served:
My grandfather (mother's side), United States Army
His brother Abe, United States Army
His brother-in-law Paul, United States Air Force
My grandfather (father's side), British Eight Army (North Africa)
av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
The holiday again involved turkey and all the fixings at Dad's place, mostly because I didn't want to make the drive to Pennsylvania. Mom had other guests and plans for tonight, so even if I did drive up, I'd have left by this afternoon anyway. Dad made a small turkey (~10 pounds), so there was just enough left over for maybe one sandwich for each of us. Becki made these "creamed onions", which I didn't eat, and a corn/broccoli casserole that wasn't too bad. There was something of an ideological battle over sage vs. no sage in stuffing, so we'll see how that gets resolved next year.

I'm mostly sitting around today and trying not to piddle all the time away with computer games. Things are pretty dead outside, so this is a good weekend to start cleaning up the place. And no, no 5 AM shopping today. =P
av8rmike: Pumpkin barfing seeds (barf)
Dad took us for Chinese food for last night's dinner, since neither of us will be around next Sunday. I requested Japanese/sushi, but I'd figured he'd veto it, claiming he "wasn't feeling that adventurous." Apparently he was adventurous enough to take us to the nearby Coldstone Creamery, at the request of my stepmother. They'd never been in one before. Dad commented that just looking at and smelling all the stuff was going to put him into diabetic shock.

It should go without saying that he thought $6.50 was way too much to pay for two small cups of half-melted ice cream. Next time, we'll go to Rita's.
av8rmike: (webcam)
As has been the tradition for the last two years, I went back home to play the July 4th concert with the orchestra there. The twist this time was that my brother was also coming back to play, fresh off his own concert season. The program was almost identical to the ones from the last two years, and even the same ringers were back. This year, no one from the 1st violin section bugged me about my tuning technique, nor did we play in the stadium or under a giant tent. There was just enough threat of rain to make the director call the concert indoors, which meant inside the local hockey/multi-purpose arena. That development alone was enough to make my mom decide that we'd all go to either New York or Baltimore (or somewhere else) rather than risk having to play this horrid concert again, and inside the run-down arena.

There was one funny moment, though: Running into my old high school music teacher at the rehearsal, because her five-person a cappella group was performing with the orchestra. She was totally shocked to see not only me, but my brother, after 12 and 15 years, respectively.
Speaking of whom: My brother is a chatty drunk, and unbearable when he's waiting to hear back from a woman. He already knows this, though. :P
av8rmike: Star of David (jewish)
Nothing much interesting to report on from the holiday. Dinner was over at Dad's on Thursday. He had turkey, potatoes, stuffing both inside the bird and out, Pennsylvania Dutch-style dried corn, and of course the jellied cranberry sauce. Oh, and I got tasked to make the green bean casserole. For dessert they made a blackberry-apple crumble, a recipe from England, and some custard that didn't really turn out like real custard. I spent most of the rest of the evening trying to help my stepmother burn photos to CDs and figure out why one of them was just plain unreadable afterwards.

Yesterday I pretty much just puttered around here all day. No way in hell am I going to shop at 5 in the morning, or any other time on Friday. There's nothing I could want that badly. Of course, I have plenty of things to do around here, mostly involving cleaning, none of which got accomplished. I know what the problem is, too. I turn on the TV and get started watching whatever movie is on that I've already seen a million times, and before I know it, the entire day is gone. Fortunately, it looks like there isn't much on today.


Nov. 20th, 2006 04:15 pm
av8rmike: (webcam)
I was in Burlington Coat Factory on Saturday, looking for winter coats. Arundel Mills mall was a madhouse already, but that's another story. So, I'm pushing through all the wool coats when I see something come flittering down from on high. It looks like a $1 bill, but I pick it up, and it's a $20! ($20 can buy many peanuts!) I looked around furtively a little bit, but no one else saw me, and it didn't obviously come from someone nearby. Score!

I was out that night with about 20 people at EDO Sushi in Pikesville, and the amount I ordered came out to about $20. Easy come, easy go.

For the first time in I don't know how many years, I won't be in PA for Thanksgiving. Mom was planning to go with some friends and Dad and my stepmom are going to be here by themselves, so I'll go over there Thursday. Although, Dad confessed to me last night that he likes the jellied cranberry sauce. You know, the kind that remains in the shape of the can after being removed? He said he likes being able to slice it and add it to the turkey sandwiches. I guess I can see his point.
av8rmike: Star of David (jewish)
Why did I watch the replay of Jericho last night? I should have known it was going to freak me out. It's a good thing it's on Wednesday nights, when I have GVO rehearsals. In any case, I don't have time or energy for another ensemble-cast serial show.

All I wanted to do afterwards was walk around the city, maybe patronize a business or two, just to reassure myself it was just a TV show and there were still people around. Which I did, except for the patronizing part. Except for bars, there are surprisingly few places in Mt. Vernon open past 10:00. I talked to Jamie for a while before going to bed after 1 AM.

Now, it probably isn't related to the TV watching, but I must have gotten up three times during the night to pee, the third of which was before 7:00. After that, I couldn't get to back to sleep because I was thinking about the show. I putzed around here for a while before getting breakfast at the farmers' market. I suppose I could have gone back to shul, but I've never in recent memory gone to services on the second day of Rosh Hashana, so why start now?

Maybe I can grab a nap this afternoon, since I won't be going over to Dad's to mooch dinner tonight. They're in England until next Wednesday. Oh yeah, I should also finalize my fantasy football line-up, since it looks like most of the players are done being injured.
av8rmike: (webcam)
In case anyone actually wants to know what was going on all weekend.... but rather than type it all up myself, I'll just excerpt from Jamie's journal and change the relevant pronouns. What was that about great writers just steal? ;)

Thursday - Jamie's (rescheduled) flight got in around 1:00 in the afternoon. We mostly puttered around my place before dinner. We went over to [my] dad's house, where [Jamie] got to meet [my] dad, stepmom, brother Phil (who took the train down from NYC), and [my] very eccentric cousin Gibson (who was visiting from the UK). After a very delicious steak dinner, we retreated to the room with the creepy doll and piano for a jam session. [Phil] plays viola, and played for us the Telemann Viola Concerto, which he's using for an orchestra audition this week. [Jamie] and I played the 2nd movement of the Bach Double, with Gibson playing the orchestral accompaniment on piano. That was a lot of fun. [I] played a number of pieces with Gibson accompanying, including The Lark Ascending, and a Brahms violin sonata. [Jamie], Phil and I played a trio arrangement of the Sinfonia from Handel's Messiah that [her] friend Diana was kind enough to arrange for us, and [she] enjoyed playing it so much [she] asked if we could play it again! ;) Sometime way too late, we left and drove back up to the city and eventually crashed for the night.

Friday- Started bright and early (relatively speaking) by going down to pay Roger, [my] luthier, a visit, as [Jamie] is still on the lookout for a new violin. We spent over an hour playing at least a dozen violins, and [she] ended up leaving with a Sofia violin on trial. That afternoon, [I] took [Jamie] to the music library at Peabody Conservatory, and [Jamie's] mind just about went 'asplodey being surrounded by the thousands of music scores there. We went to the Little Italy neighborhood for a fantastic dinner at [La Scala]. We had a grilled Caesar salad that had a smoked flavor to it from the grilling, and I was surprised at just how good it was. Spicy croutons, too! After dinner, we made our way to the Fells Point neighborhood, and I got to see part of the harbor (though not the Inner Harbor) and other neat stuff.

Saturday - [Jamie] got to see the Inner Harbor, including the USS Constellation, and lots of what I presume were Mennonites handing out "Be Saved!" literature in their white bonnets and long dresses. We headed over to Lexington Market, which is somewhere [her] friend Bruce told [her she] should go. [She'd] never quite seen anything like that. That night, [I] had a string ensemble concert. [She] enjoyed the concert a lot, especially the Corelli Concerto Grosso, and the Boccherini Cello Concerto in [G] major, which was performed with cello soloist Jason Love, who also happens to be the music director of another orchestra [I] play in. He was fantastic; it was quite a treat to see. [Jamie loved the second movement, especially watching me play and wear a tux. ;)] A little excitement ensued during intermission, when the bassist decided to take a swan dive to the floor. (It was really terrible. She was apparently suffering from post-concussion problems and fainted -- fell right to the ground. Not with her instrument, at least. Intermission lasted a little longer while we waited for the ambulance to come and take her away.) We had a late dinner at a tavern close to home after the concert, seated next to three guys who were quite openly gay. As much as [we] tried not to eavesdrop, [we] couldn't help it, and when they started talking about dressing up as a washer and dryer for Halloween ("We could be the stackable washer and dryer." "You'd be on top!") [Jamie] just burst out laughing. Luckily, this amused and didn't upset them.

Sunday - Sunday morning we headed down to the Baltimore Farmers' Market. Fresh produce, butter, cheese and baked goods, along with prepared food dishes, crafts and a trumpet player who apparently only knew four notes. We split a strawberry and Nutella crêpe, and a cinnamon chip scone for breakfast, which was quite delicious. [Jamie] got a chocolate macaroon brownie that was just about the size of the state of Delaware for [her] plane trip. Headed back to his apartment, and did some violin playing. Well, [I] did most of the playing, and [Jamie] spent a lot of time trying to get over [her] fear of playing in front of [me] [but she did very well-- she shouldn't get so worried =)].
After deciding that she couldn't keep the Bulgarian violin we'd borrowed, I had to take her to the airport, where the only meal we could get in time was a plate of tri-colored nachos. Regrettably, her flight wasn't delayed or cancelled or anything, so we had to say our good-byes. I went over to Dad's afterwards, but I think they were just tired of too much company. I did get to see Becki's neat pictures from Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
Well, moderately productive, at least. Yesterday morning I got up a little late but still made it to Harvest Table for the French toast with the running club. Several of my friends were there, and it was good to talk to them again. Afterwards I went to Arundel Mills initially to look for new running shoes. I ended up going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and walking out with a 10" Calphalon omelette pan to match the rest of my set. A few more trips and I should have everything I need that they make. Next up: the covered saucier/"chef's pan".

To make up for not running with the club, I walked all the way down to Fells Point last night, to the Sound Garden and Uncommon Grinds. Now I have all three Star Wars movies, used! =P

Today all I did was go to the Farmer's Market downtown and buy a bunch of produce for myself and to take over to Dad's. Two weeks ago he gave me a guilt trip (all in jest) over not bringing him anything, so this time I bought raspberries, peaches, green beans, and cucumbers for my stepmother to pickle. I did a little practicing, went over for dinner, then came back here to veg again and watch videos on YouTube.
av8rmike: (webcam)
...And posting from Mom's brand-spankin'-new computer. We spent yesterday driving back from Staples in a monsoon with a new computer desk in the back of my truck. The cardboard box was ruined, but the desk pieces were fine. Then I managed to glue one of the goddamned pieces in backwards. Fortunately the glue hadn't set yet.

We also made a zucchini bread and grilled some tuna on Mom's new tiny propane grill. Today, besides setting up the computer, we also lugged bags of pine mulch around the yard. Mom sure knows how to keep me busy. In about two hours is the rehearsal for the symphony concert tomorrow night. There's some weirder stuff this year, like the Nashville and New Orleans song medleys. Rest assured, I'll post all about it, for the benefit of the one person left I know is still interested. ;)
av8rmike: (webcam)
I'd type up a big summary of this weekend, but it's late and my wrists are bugging me from a long rehearsal.

  • Helping [livejournal.com profile] gingy and [livejournal.com profile] weirddave move again, with help from [livejournal.com profile] danceswithcats1, ultrafilter, and some Canadians.
  • Hoping my mom wasn't lost somewhere on the streets of Baltimore.
  • Found her outside my apartment, after she'd wandered around a bit and found a bookstore.
  • Going to HonFest in Hampden and Golden West Cafe for dinner.
  • Going to the massive Wegman's grocery store in Hunt Valley to be a looky-loo.

  • Going to the Baltimore Farmer's Market in the morning for breakfast, and came back with strawberries and herb plants.
  • Killing an hour or two walking around and investigating the MD Historical Society.
  • Seeing Yuri Temirkanov's last concert ever as Music Director of the BSO, conducting Mahler's Second.
  • Mooching dinner from Dad.

I think that's about it. Any questions?
av8rmike: (webcam)
Either there hasn't been much going on, or I just forget to write down the random things I think about posting. Anyway, I never said much about what went on over the weekend in New York. My brother already posted a pretty good summary, so read it, if you dare... I'll get around to posting the pictures one of these weeks.

The vital stats

Shows watched: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a new and very cute musical. For the life of me, I can't figure out why it had to be a musical at all.

Restaurants visited:
Ellen's Stardust Diner in Times Square, the 50s place with the singing waiters.
Chelsea Market, home of the Food Network. It was certainly very nice, but it lacks the "open-market" feeling of a place like Lexington Market.
Mahmoun's Falafel in Greenwich Village.
Magnolia Bakery, also in the Village.
Penang, for Malaysian/Thai, which doesn't seem to have its own web site, but seems to be a popular name for restaurants.
Delta Grill, a Louisiana/Cajun, which my brother decided was good, but still not as good as the real thing in New Orleans. OK, just the beignets.
Phil's friend James' baked ziti Sunday night was good, too, but doesn't count since he's not a restaurant. The Sopranos is a hard show to jump into the middle of.

Celebrities spotted:
Timothy Daly and Željko Ivanek, both of whom are in the play "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial". It also stars some guy named David Schwimmer, but we didn't catch him walking into the theater.
Edward Hibbert (Gil, the British guy from "Frasier"), whom we saw just after leaving a Starbuck's on 9th Ave. We also chose not to shake him down for anything.

Oh yeah, we also went to Zabar's and the English/Scottish import store that has the cat that got stuck in the wall. I can't remember the name, butMyers of Keswick, it's the place in the Village that sells Scottish eggs and Spotted Dick.
av8rmike: (webcam)
I know, no one knew I was away... =P I didn't get much chance to write anything before leaving. Mom got the idea that her and I would go to New York City for Mother's Day and see my brother, something we hadn't done in about 3 years. We left Friday morning by train, and got back about an hour or two ago, then she left to drive back to PA. All in all, it was fun; I'll write more about it some time later and post the pictures.

Unlike while in Korea, I didn't get much chance to check my friends list, and I doubt I'll have time to read everyone's entries. Anybody have great and wonderful things they wrote about that they'd like to inform me of?
av8rmike: (webcam)
Going shopping for clothes this weekend with my mom and brother wasn't as bad as I might have feared. I still need things like shirts, certainly, but I found two pairs of pants and a new pair of dress shoes. My brother's trip in to take a TV off my dad's hands seems to have been pretty successful as well. We even bought Mom a new receiver/amplifier for the ancient stereo, but I may be making another trip north to help her hook it up.

First rehearsal back in Columbia tonight in about 2 weeks. We'll see if the practicing I did over the break made any difference, or if I have a new seat assignment.
av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
Over the break, my mom gave me a check for, well, let's say, over $1000. Not from her, but from an account I've had since a kid and apparently not touched in over ten years. Now I thought we closed that account and transferred everything to a Pittsburgh bank when I started college in '95, but I guess not.

It's not all roses, of course. The set of tires she insisted I get installed before I drove to Pittsburgh on New Year's Eve ran about $650. So, easy come, easy go.

Mom's coming to stay this weekend and help me shop for clothes. Should be fun. Then she's coming again to hear my concert in two weeks.
av8rmike: (webcam)
I'm posting from a Hampton Inn somewhere near Reading, PA, and my brother is being nice enough to let me use his computer and wireless connection to get caught up on my e-mail and friends list. Now I'm going to give him his computer back and let him do whatever he needs to do.

Back in western PA tomorrow!
av8rmike: (webcam)
We had a nice little Christmas family gathering on Sunday, just the five of us. We didn't even change out of our pajamas until well after noon, which I guess is the way the day is supposed to go. I got a nice Gap sweater, a gift card, and some CDs off my wish list. Then we made a brisket and stunk up the house making Chanukah potato latkes.

Yesterday we drove to Pittsburgh to visit some friends of my brother and a relative who's now in a nursing home. We cheered ourselves up after that with some lattes at Starbucks and by buying a microwave at Best Buy that turned out to be too big for the space. Today will most likely involve futzing around the house again and maybe a little shopping. I have to get some more practicing in, since I'll lose a day or two when we go to Reading.

Sad News

Oct. 10th, 2005 07:56 am
av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
I have to take off 2 days of work this week: Thursday for the holiday, and tomorrow to drive up to Pennsylvania in the morning. My step-mother's mother died Saturday morning and the funeral is tomorrow. She was very sick, had been in a nursing home for about a year, and not improving much, health-wise. So, it wasn't exactly unexpected, it was just a question of when.

I still did fun stuff over the weekend, but it doesn't feel right to talk about it all now.

At Home

Sep. 23rd, 2005 11:55 pm
av8rmike: (webcam)
I'm at home, in PA. Mom is doing pretty well, she just has a little scar and a Percoset prescription. She's still not 100%, but we may end up going out & finding stuff to do tomorrow. I'll be back on Sunday, but I can access IM for brief periods while I'm here. Now, it's time to make up for sleep lost over the week.


av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)

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