Thursday, February 26, 2009

If You Have a Snuggie in Baltimore...

Then you have a date with destiny this Saturday. Featured on Midnight Sun's Blog, Snuggies will be the main attraction in a SoBo Bar Crawl. HA! Come out donning your sensual snuggie and enjoy booze discounts across Fed Hill. I only hope there are lots of pictures. 

Bars that will be hit by the Snuggie Bregade:

1. Captain Larry s - $2 Yeungling & Miller Lite Drafts
2. Rafters - $2 Yeungling & Bud Lite Drafts
3. Hogans Alley
4. Idle Hour
5. Don't Know - $2 Miller Lite bottles & drafts & free lite buffet
6. Southside
7. Little Havana's
8. The Tavern on Key Hwy
9. Sly Fox
10. Lime
11. Paul's
12. End at Captain Larry's ...

facebook invite here
pic found on Captain Larry's facebook invite

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Towson W & Post-Meet BBQ

After the track meet this past weekend at UDel, we stopped for a quick bite at the local Wawa in Elkton, MD. I had made my own lunch but wish I had splurged on the decadent BBQ available across the way at Durham's BBQ. Holy bejesus, look at the ribs. Fellow coach, Roger picked up a pulled brisket sandwich with sauteed onions filled to the gills; elbow licking good. They serve an affordable selection of lunch specials with quite a selection of typical southern sides from 11-3. I will surely make this an essential pit stop after all subsequent track meets. 

PS- Towson did a GREAT job at the Colonial Invitational hosted at UDel. Almost every athlete scored at least one point in their respective event and/or had an indoor personal record and it added up to just enough to pull off the W over UDel! I couldn't have been any happier. Some highlights include a 5.38 indoor long jump breakthrough and sub 9.0 60HH race by our one and only senior, not to mention three scorers in the 60HH...AND a qualifying mark in the weight throw by one of our freshman! Stupendous I tell you! Results can be found here :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Asian Horror & Shepard's Pie

My evening last night consisted of a bizarre fusion of experimental Shepard's Pie and provocative yet unnerving Asian thrillers.

I am not an expert on Asian cinema nor am I even well versed in the horror/thriller genre but I can say I enjoyed what I watched; well at least the 'parts' I watched. I was able to distract myself from the gore by cooking! My bf had recently been at a friends who gave him a laundry list of recommended films. By the time I got home, he was already well into an installment of Masters of Horror called Imprint, directed by Takashi Miike.

The colors were vivid, the content both sexual and grotesque. I couldn't tell you much about the narrative because as I said, I was busy cooking...but from what I gathered, it was pretty disturbing.

We then moved on to 3...Extremes, a trilogy of hour long short films by three different directors; Takashi being one of them. The first- Dumplings directed by Fruit Chan, addressed a washed up TV actress' desire to stay young; by means of specially prepared dumplings. Let's just say these dumplings weren't composed of veggies.

While I'm on the topic of are some glamor shots of the Shepards Pie/Pot Pie concoction I made last night.

Vegetable medley filling with chicken pieces covered with a fairly thick coating of mashed red potatoes. It was a bit bland, something was missing...oh I know- BUTTER.

I look forward to finishing 3...Extremes and the rest of the Shepards Pie tonight :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Georgetown BBQ

Made a quick stop for dinner after visiting the grandparents. Headed over to Georgetown and decided on a southern influenced BBQ joint on M street- Old Glory. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants growing up; I would go here almost every year for my birthday with the fam. The food is authentic and fabulous, the ambiance is vibrant, and the staff incorporates memorable moments that keep you coming back like a big surprising rubber stamp on the table as soon as all are seated as well as complimentary tootsie pops with your check. I love these kind of touches.

We were seated near the kitchen which was nice, the grill aromas were enticing. Along with the kitchen, we were near a ruckus group of your typical DC young professionals being yuppy and somewhat obnoxious; I would guess at least 4-5 drinks into their nightly binge.

Our waitress was at our table in minutes. She came bearing sweet corn muffin gifts.
These are significantly smaller than the biscuits that used to be offered, but still very good...and bottomless.

I had a hankering for something traditional-either brisket or pulled pork. I decided on the pulled pork platter, with two heapin sides of collard greens and BBQ red beans. My bf Ross is never as hungry as I am so he opts for an entree that only comes with one side but still seems filling; loaded baked potato with beef brisket topped with beef brisket and a side of cole slaw. Minutes later, our dishes are brought out to us.

The pork was perfectly moist and lightly seasoned with a significant smokey taste. The beans were a nice mixture of spicy and sweet with tidbits of bacon, the collard greens which I usually get as a side was a bit saltier than normal and also had bacon- needless to say there was a lot of bacon accents throughout.

I can't vouch for Ross' dish as I didn't have any, but I will say that his comments on the coleslaw were- "I have had a lot of coleslaw and this is the best I have ever had."

Upon seeing my dish I figured, oh goodness me, this will never be enough...I should order the starter I had been eyeing earlier. As the runner set my dish down, I asked for an order of hush puppies. Seconds go by and they are brought out to us.

Crispy on the outside filled with warm potato and bacon on the inside, with a hint of warmth from minced red peppers. The best part was the accompanying aoili of sorts with a hint of spice that added the perfect amount of moisture to the potato filling. And yes, I ate them all.

What I like most about BBQ is that you can start with a base taste and dress it to your liking; this can be done using the sundry of available house BBQ sauces at Old Glory. BBQ purists will argue that sauces can take away from the dynamic nuances of the BBQ itself but I see it as accessorizing and by no means detracting from the taste but instead embellishing :)

I wasn't able to find descriptions on each individual sauce but they all have their own unique nuance and range from your standard dark and sweet BBQ sauce to a more vinegary option with a hint of mustard. They are all good and I honestly use pretty much all of them...

There is an awesome outdoor patio/bar area that would be fun in the warmer months and also for drinks with friends. I just noticed on their site that Old Glory is affiliated with several other restaurants as part of the Capital Restaurant Concepts group. That sort of makes it seem a bit less authentic since its grouped with a bunch of other unrelated concept restaurants but it doesn't make it any less good. I am familiar with one of the other restaurants, Paolo's and am a big fan also. There is one in Gtown and also one in Towson. There used to be one in the harbor but I think it was recently closed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back to Work(outs)

So I did my first "official" workout after at least 6 weeks of just running distance. Ew. Of course it had to be ridiculously windy which was quite the deterrent. The backstretch of the track was utterly impossible to navigate. That being said, I bailed on the initially planned broken 800s workout and decided on "a bunch of 200's." Being vague on exact quantity of intervals was the key- limiting ourselves to 200's meant we wouldn't have to exert any effort into the headwind. Nice.

20 min warm up on track
5min: 30 seconds TEMPO, 30 seconds JOG

So in my head I thought 10 total would be pushing it, especially if I was trying to hit 35, with 200m jog recovery. Well, the first 6 went something like this-


That is NOT quite consistent 35's. I am officially OUT OF workout SHAPE. I can blame some of this on the wind can't I?

after a 3 min walk recovery, I decided to do 4 more for an even 10...this turned into 6, because my training partner wanted to do an even 1.5 miles. Thanks.


10 min cool down

By 6PM, swirling wind was howling and 3/4 of the track was headwind. Thank god I was done early. But now I can gloat for a week that I did a workout but probably won't touch the track for a bit :(

J'adore Francoise Hardy

Ecoute "Ce Petit Coeur" et "Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles"

Baltimore Featured!

So.....I saw He's Just Not That Into You last night at Landmark Theaters in Harbor East. First of all, every single women in Baltimore was at this showing. Guys, I am telling you, if you want an easy place to pick up women, go see this movie. Honestly, my bf was 1 of 4 guys I counted in an almost sold out showing.

The movie was GREAT. Yes, I am admitting to absolutely truly loving this blatant chic flick. But guess what? So did my bf! This film touches on every potential dysfunctional relationship scenario. Each separate relationship and narrative is intertwined through mutual friends, etc. Every unique subplot was just as exciting- I found myself looking forward more so to the interactions between Justin Long-"Alex" and Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin-"Gigi" (btw, I love this name and totally fit Ginnifer;s character) Her innocence and naive approach to dating was so sweet and well, hopeless. With the help of jaded womanizer-ish, Alex, she believes shes figured out the mystery of men and dating. Trust me, the dynamics of them together are just totally adorable.

While Gigi and Alex are exploring the dating world, Jennifer Aniston- "Beth" and Ben Affleck- "Neil" 7 year relationship is coming to a head as Beth decides she can no longer remain with the guy of her dreams if he will never marry her. This scenario isn't typical because usually the guy who just doesn't want to get married, is sort of not worthwhile; in this case, Neil is a phenomenal, sensitive, compassionate guy...who honestly doesn't exist in the real world. AND he owns a boat which was a nice touch.

I have to mention that Scarlet Johansen looked scandalous in this. It was a combination of the obtuse styling ranging from low cut busty dressses to even sexy sweatpants? The bright red lipstick and bleach blond hair bordered on sloppy. Her vixen aesthetic didn't really fit her yoga teacher lifestyle which is supposedly what she was in the film.

Ok- so throughout the movie, I was able to recognize a number of Baltimore locations...
A lot was filmed in Historic Fells on Thames Street. Alex and Gigi have a date at the Waterfront which they call something else...I think there was a scene in Canton Square...all the row homes were beautiful and so uber Baltimore, I think in Patterson Park or maybe Fed Hill...Basset Hounds were mentioned but that's not really Baltimore-related...I was surprised to not have been able to recognize any of Mt Vernon, I know they did some shooting there...OH! Brewer's Hill is where Kevin Connolly-"Conor" lived. Can I just say that I have never seen Baltimore row home interiors that look as nice as the ones in this movie; someone please tell me where these are so I can go buy one?

I have to say, I think this film really portrayed Baltimore in a positive light and represented it authentically; with the exception of like not a single minority in the entire film-maybe one cameo. So maybe the demographics were off slightly, but at least it was in Baltimore!

This movie is a hit, go see it. Now I better read the book.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Come Back JFX Farmer's Market!

These aren't actually pictures from the Baltimore Farmer's Market under the JFX. These are actually from a Saturday Farmer's Market in Eugene, Oregon but you get the idea. With the weather near 70 today it was hard to remember we are still stuck in February. I still have 3 months to wait until my beloved Sunday Farmer's Market returns...May 3rd; see you guys there!

Ugh- I am craving the falafel!!! Best post-run meal of all time. Once you enter the market, head towards your right and they are next to the meat lady.

Somewhere NOT in Baltimore...

Columbus, Ohio 
Summer 08

Somewhere in Baltimore...

Liberty Street

Monday, February 09, 2009

USATF Task Force Report

After the US track and field teams lackluster performance at the Beijing Olympics, USATF founded a task force - "Project 30" to restructure the "high performance" programs and initiatives currently in place for elite athletes...

Here were the aspects in which improvements are needed, according to the task force ( I agree for the most part) I am glad Logan has made an effort to legitimize track to some extent here in the US. Everywhere else (europe specifically) There are strong organizations backing the sport whereas here even our own federation sorta just coasts through...and hopes for the best.

Overall, there is a lack of accountability, professionalism and cohesion in the areas the Task Force studied.

* The International Team Staff selection system lacks transparency and accountability, creating a culture of mistrust for coaches and athletes alike.

* International staffs need more managers and fewer coaches.

* The criteria for selecting track and field's U.S. Olympic Team should not change, but the Olympic Trials themselves should.

* Excessive travel and poor long-term planning on the part of athletes, their coaches and agents appear to be the greatest controllable factors negatively affecting Team USA performance in Beijing.

* Spending more than $1 million in the last six years, and with as many as 173 athletes taking part in it each year, the National Relay Program has failed to produce results that justify the costs of the program.

I don't even know what the relay program IS; obviously it has not been seen as effective.

* Lack of communication between coaches and athletes, poor management of the relay pools and questions over which coaches were responsible for relays resulted in the 4x100m relay failures in Beijing.


* American coaches and athletes under-utilize the facilities and USATF sport science available to them.

* Inroads have been made into catching and punishing doping cheats, but more must be done to strengthen the anti-doping culture.

I don't know how truthful this is.

* American athletes as a group do not conduct themselves as true professionals, and USATF does not hold them to professional standards.


Based on its findings, the Task Force makes the following 10 Recommendations:

* Hire a professional General Manager of High Performance.

I'll do it! Not really...

* Create a transparent, criteria-based Team Staff selection system.

* Restructure the composition of Team USA staffs.

* Shorten the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field to five days.

fabulous idea. I can only imagine how grueling it is to fly out for the Trials and then wait like 3 days in between heats...that's an exaggeration but seriously.

* Terminate the National Relay Program.

I still have no idea what this is.

* Establish a comprehensive 2012 team preparation program.

* Target technical events for medal growth and develop those events.

* Create a well-defined Professional Athlete designation.

I need further explanation...archetype of US athlete?

* Establish a more stringent anti-doping reinstatement system.

We will see...

* Promote and foster a self-sustaining professional athletes' union.

FULL 69 page report can be found here.

Lazy Sunday

So-yesterday was my favorite day of the year thus far. It was GORGEOUS. Of course I chose to take advantage of it not by going for a long run, but literally relaxing which is seldom done in the House of Rebs. Please observe my pictured lunch. I was super stoked by the hot bar at Whole Foods; ribs, neat mexican style chicken breast, tex mex tofu, sauteed veggies, cauliflower, and mac n cheese. I opted for veggie fare and some black bean salad from the salad bar. Seriously, I dream of winning an unlimited meal plan from the salad bar/hot bar at Whole Foods. They should offer some sort of option?

After lunch we treated ourselves to several petits fours from the bakery department...they really do some innovative and yummy stuff at Whole Foods. I'm sure I was still hungry following but I tried to distract myself.

The harbor was lovely, aside from the trifling appearance of the water as usual...

In tandem with our Harbor East excursion, we stopped in for a cup of coffee at Bluehouse. I am repulsed by the price tags but in awe of the design and product selection. I can only dream of furnishing my home with these types of beautiful things...

Place Setting by Josh Jakus made of recycled rubber with a built-in napkin grabber.

Check out the $3,200 love seat! PS- that's the sale price!

Lovely display of glassware collection, etc...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Raven Run

No, this actually has NOTHING to do with the Baltimore Ravens...

A bud just told me about this crazy guy in South Beach who has been running 8 miles a day EVERYDAY for the last 34 years! The first 8 years or so, he did this predominantly by himself but now greets fellow runners who want to share in the "experience" with him; they call it the Raven Run. Over 560 runners have joined him over the years. It's not the 56 mile weeks that's challenging, its the rate of consistency that is the hardest part. To be somewhere everyday at a certain time to do the same thing; well that is just impressive.

The daily Raven Run starts and ends at the same place; sixth street lifeguard stand everyday without fail. 4PM in the winter and 5PM after daylight savings :)

The ONLY reason this can be accomplished, is because the guy lives in South Beach. Who DOESN'T want to run on the beach everyday and watch the sunset? Come on! Although we could probably find someone crazy enough in Baltimore to get this going. Anyone up to the challenge? Ryan?

The site is really neat and has a lot of interactive components and quirky runner profiles. This kinda stuff is why I like to run...

Thanks Sara!!!

Thanks Giada!

SO I decided on Giada's lasagna roll recipe for din din. Thanks big head, little body! Has anyone else ever noticed how big her head is? She's darling though and I do love her food. But seriously- look at the size of her head!

So my attempt proved fruitful. After work, practice, my workout, grocery shopping, AND THEN cooking, I got this. The ricotta, parmesan, spinach and prosciutto filler was nice. Now that I am comfortable with the recipe, I will probably opt for LESS spinach, add minced mushrooms perhaps, another cheese and diced tomatoes? And probably use a less tart tomato sauce. Oh, and I totally bought the wrong lasagna pieces, they were way too narrow, so the rolls ended up looking like little cinnamon buns instead of mannicotti-esque. Served with some broccolini on top for color and crispness :)

Quelle Surprise!

2 hour delay again! This time I was not clever enough to check the web prior to my commute. Didn't figure it out until already en route! Ended up spending 2 hours vegging out on a couch at the Evergreen; shoes off :)

Way too much coffee was consumed! I am highly caffeinated! Read some quasi-interesting articles in the Post Food Section, esp. a feature on Crepes a-Go-Go in Gburg and Dupont (authentic french crepes; over 30 options!) AND a very compelling feature in the CityPaper about Globe Poster Company, an old poster business/letter press in Highlandtown. This place has been around for 80 years... they still have all the original letter blocks and materials unique to old style printing press. I myself have never seen this type of process used, obvi this isn't the method of printing currently in place as the majority of their print work is done digitally. I am uber impressed that Globe Poster Company has been able to evolve alongside the progressions of print production but still hold onto their past. The materials and knowledge they have on hand with regards to this medium could inspire and teach so many graphic designers who would never see this type of process at work. It's nostalgic but also informative and has the potential to really teach the ART of these processes...

Honestly though- most people don't have patience anymore and would rather draft something quick and dirty on a computer...lazy.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

La Cena

What to have for dinner?

Either Ina will guide me through her Barefoot Contessa recipe for Chicken Pot Pie, OR do a Lasagna roll rendition of Giada...decisions, decisions!

That'll be the day...

RIP Buddy Holly :(

"Well that'll be the day,
when you say good bye,
yes, that'll be the day,
when you make me cry.
Oh you say you're gonna leave,
you know it's a lie 'cause
that'll be the day when I die!"

Buddy Holly
September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959
50th anniv. of the fatal plane crash

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ahh...I get it.

So I figured out what the significance of that cardboard cutout is that I mentioned in an earlier post...

As it seems, Mt Vernon is pushing for a new homeless shelter on Fallsway, at the old Transportation Agency Building. There was some initial resistance being such close proximity to Mt Vernon proper, but it appears that the city officials and community board have come to some sort of compromise.

This is walking distance from my place. I don't really have a problem with this locale; hopefully the Mt Vernon community can recognize the significance of this.

Anyone saying- "Not in my backyard" should actually LOOK in their backyard and realize, their ARE homeless individuals living there (ie: Mt Vernon Parks). We might as well provide a facility with a roof, then those individuals will be less inclined to literally be in your yard! Not a sermon...just a thought :)

Baltimore Sun Article