Tag: denisse

New Year’s Eve

I had to work today, but it was a relatively quiet day at work. We were let out at about 3 PM, but I waited around for Kelly. We picked up a few more items at the grocery store and then headed home. AJ and Denisse were coming over later in the evening.

I made a dip from a recipe that Vicky (of vickyandnorm) gave me. It was a dip she’s made twice and that I really enjoyed. It came out alright, but it was more like a cheese spread than a dip. Still, people seemed to like it. I was hungry so I also made some macaroni and cheese while Kelly napped for a little while. After eating, it was my turn to nap for a while (I’d been up since 4:20 AM) I slept for about 45 minutes or so.

At 8:15, I headed over to the Metro station to pick up AJ and Denisse. We had ordered pizza, and by the time we got back home, the pizza was there. Denisse made guacamole and also a Peruvian drink that was quite good. We spent the rest of the evening, snacking, talking, listening to music, drinking, and watching TV. It was a lot of fun. We ran in the New Year watching the ball drop from Times Square, and toasting with Champagne. It was sometime around 2AM when we finally got to bed.

Saturday morning pancakes

Having already attempting waffles, Kelly and I decided to make pancakes this morning. I had stopped at the grocery store last night to get he necessary ingredients and when we got up this morning, we headed into the kitchen to prepare them. We mixed the pancake mix, milk and egg (no oil–healthier) and made the actual pancakes. It was pretty easy and they came out good. Kelly likes hers thin, so I tried to guess how to make them thinner (we added more milk) and so we had a batch of about 12 pancakes, some thick and some thin. The last two or three came out nearly perfect in color and shape.

I had a handyman over at the house in the morning, doing some repairs above the front door, as well as cleaning out the gutters. It didn’t take them long to get it all done. (The gutters in the back were frozen so he’s going to come by next weekend to finish them up.) Once they left, we ran a few errands, and then headed to Kelly’s place. We lazed around for much of the afternoon, but eventually, we set up and decorated her Christmas tree. We had A Christmas Carol muted on the TV while we worked, and were listening to a terrific “sessions” CD by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington from back in 1961. When I was a kid, I thought of that kind of music as “adult” music, the kind of thing grown-ups listen to at dinner parties. It was great.

We left the house at 6:55 in order to be at AJ and Denisse’s by 7:25 or so. We met them at their place and then headed out to dinner for AJ’s birthday. We went to a nice seafood joint in Georgetown called The Sea Catch Restaurant. The service was a little slow, but the food was good. AJ’s friend Jim joined us and we lingered over our meals, drinking, talking and having a great time. They brought AJ a slice of cake with a candle and we sang Happy Birthday. Kelly and I shared and excellent chocolate mousse for dessert.

Once dinner was over, it was late and we walked back to Foggy Bottom and then headed home.

Going my way

If you’ve ever looked for something fun to do early on a Sunday morning, pop in an old movie. Kelly and I watched Going My Way (for which Bing Crosby won the Best Actor Oscar back in 1944) and it was terrific. I’d seen it before, but it was fun to watch on a fall-like Sunday morning.

Yesterday, after our breakfast adventures, we headed into Georgetown, found a place to park for the day, and then walked over to 37th and P where Todd, John, Matt and Jess were busy working on a documentary film. We watched them for a little while before walked back onto the main Georgetown strip. We stopped in at Gap, where I got a couple of new pairs of jeans and a new shirt. We stopped in at Banana Republic where Kelly did some shopping. Then we tossed our stuff in the car and walked over to AJ and Denisse’s.

We had a late lunch with AJ and Denisse at Austin Grill. We then headed over to Gallery Place with the intention of bowling or seeing a movie. There was a 1-1/2 hour wait for a lane, and there were no movies that leapt out at us as “must-see”, so we headed to Pentagon City to do more shopping. We went into Best Buy, and Costco (where we called kruppenheimer to wish her a happy birthday), and then headed over to the Pentagon City Mall and wandered through several departments in Macy’s as well as other stores.

Around 7 PM, we headed back to Foggy Bottom and said our goodbyes to AJ and Denisse. The weather cooperated with us all day, and it was a perfect, fall-like Saturday.

My plan for the rest of the day is to maybe, just maybe, get some writing done. I’m embarrassingly far behind on the NaNoWriMo pace, but I’m not using that as an excuse to give up. I hope to make some decent progress today. My new pace, given what I have left to write is a hair over 3,000 words a day. Writing anything is better than nothing but I’ll do my best to hit the target.

First fall Sunday

Yes, I realize that today was not the first Sunday this fall, but it felt like it. Even though it is already nearly the end of October, today was sunny, but cool and breezy and it actually felt like fall for a change.

The day began early, even thought sleep came late last night. The Marine Corp marathon took place today and we watched the runners pass by on Lee Highway, which had been blocked off in one direction for just that purpose. Thousands of runners went by. Thousands. It was really rather impressive. We see a lot about what terrible shape Americans are in, but here were a whole large bunch of people running 26.2 miles!

We called AJ and Denisse and asked if they wanted to meet for brunch. We met them around noon outside of their place, and then walked into Georgetown. We finally ended up at Sequoia where we got a table inside, although by a window, with a nice view of the river. When brunch was over, we spent the next several hours wandering through the shops of Georgetown. It was a lot of fun, actually. I even bought some new things. I got a new fall/spring jacket, as well as a couple of new shirts.

Eventually, we took a break and stopped into Hagaan Dazs for our Belgium Chocolate shakes (for AJ and I); Kelly and Denisse had sorbets. Then we headed into a mall that I didn’t even know existed, and wandered about there for a while. It was after 4 PM when we finally left and it was just before 7 PM when I finally got home.

I had laundry to do, and so I took care of that while catching up on some items that TiVo had recorded. I noticed that TiVo had lost the network connection at home. This has happened once or twice. I made sure to reestablish that. It was also cool enough out to require the heat in the house. I guess fall is finally here!

I spoke with Mom briefly. Also talked briefly with Jen.

Early night tonight in order to get a good night’s sleep.

I don’t need your civil war

[Posted on Monday, October 22]

Today, Kelly and I went up to Gettysburg with AJ and Denisse. We picked AJ and Denisse up from the P.G. Plaza metro station at about 10:30 AM and hit the road. The drive to Gettysburg took us about 90 minutes and it was a lot of fun. We passed through some farm land and of course, the leaves are now changing so we managed to catch glimpses of riotous colors (though probably not as nice as what people are seeing further north).

We’re off on the road to Gettysburg

Sunday, lazy Sunday

I was supposed to go back to the convention for day 2 today, but I didn’t. I got to bed late last night and I had a lot of errands and chores to do, so I decided to stay home. I stayed in bed late, watching episodes of The Shield, but eventually managed to get out of bed and shower. I got in touch with A.J. and Denisse and we agreed to meet for lunch. I headed down to their place at around noon and I was at there front door just after 1 PM.

We went to the Guard for lunch, where I managed to have a Monte Cristo sandwich. You don’t see those in too many places, and I love those sandwiches and it was quite good, but truth be told, their fries were even better!

Afterward, we wandered around Georgetown, stopped in at Haagen Dazs for Belgium Chocolate shakes, and then walked down to the waterfront, where we debated politics and economy endlessly. We walked back to A.J. and Denisse’s and shortly thereafter, I headed home.

I had lots of laundry to do and I managed to get through most of it, watching more episodes of The Shield in between loads. My ribs were acting up so I decided to take a pain medicine, even though they’ve been making me feel nauseous. This time it seemed to work a little bit better.

The annual rental property inspection of the house is tomorrow and I have to meet the inspector here at 5 PM. I have a presentation I’m giving at 3 PM but still hope to get out of work a little early to ensure that I get home in time to meet the inspector.

Bourne to be wild

I left the house at noon and headed down to Washington Circle to meet A.J. and Denisse. When I got there, A.J. was not yet back from getting his hair cut and Denisse was in the shower, so I waited patiently out front, absorbed by Up From Dragons. A.J. arrive shortly thereafter, and we sat around chatting for a little while before heading off to the movies.

We saw The Bourne Ultimatum, which I had been looking forward to and by which I was not disappointed. It didn’t exceed my expectations, but it certainly met them and that’s all I hope to get out of my $8.50. It was fun and entertaining and even–for a wonder!–not too long. (Movies these days seem to go well beyond the 2 hour barrier, often unnecessarily. This was was 1:50 and just perfect at that.)

After the movie, we stopped briefly back at A.J. and Denisse’s place so that I could get my book and also because A.J. wanted to show me a few scenes from the movie Kung Pow, which he had on DVD. They were, as kruppenheimer would say, “um, interesting”. After that we headed over to Austin Grill. I was craving their chips and guacamole. We killed a few hours there, eating, drinking and talking and in general having a great time. A.J. and Denisse even insisted on picking up the check which was extremely generous of them. After dinner, we walked to the Mall, chatted for a little while, and then headed our separate ways home.

I’m anxious to get through more of Up From Dragons. In fact, I’m finding that a lot of what it talks about is useful in one of the stories I am (attempting) to write. I’m thinking that up next will be another attempt at Steven Pinker’s book, How the Mind Works, in order to keep up the momentum on this fascinating topic. On the other hand, I received Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday and I don’t want to wait to long to read that as I have been wearing myself out to avoid hearing any spoilers about how the saga ends.

I have the coolest friends

More birthday wishes today. I got a call from Tawnya this morning. At work they put up happy birthday signs all around my office (although I’m not exactly sure how they found out it was my birthday). One of my meetings started today with one of my co-workers in Dallas wishing me a happy birthday.

I got this electronic card from Princess Cruises!

There was a phone message from AJ wishing me a happy birthday and a instant message from his wife, Denisse also wishing me a happy birthday. Oh, by the way, Happy Birthday, Denisse!. (We are “birthday twins.)

jen_ashlock called me at work to wish me a happy birthday. She had gotten back to New York on the red-eye last night and was sounding about as groggy as I was feeling at the time. And kruppenheimer (see, Lisa, I did that linky thing) sent me a gift certificate from Powell’s Books, which happens to be my favorite used bookstore in the world!

Can I just say that I have the coolest friends!

Thank you to everyone who sent along birthday wishes today. It made for a great day!

Sunday in New York

I was up at about 8:30 AM and feeling pretty good. I slept well in the hotel room and the skies were bright and clear. I pulled open the shades and Jen and Jason were awake shortly thereafter. We met AJ and Denisse at the hotel restaurant, Olives, for breakfast and the breakfast was quite good. The only mishap–and the only mishap of the entire weekend–was that Denisse lost her cellphone at breakfast. More than likely she left it under a napkin that was cleared away.

We headed up to Jen and Jason’s place and then to the park via 2nd Avenue. We stopped at Coldstone for shakes, but I was the only one who managed to get a shake because they ran out of milk. Several blocks later, however, we came to a Maggie Moos and everyone else got shakes there. We cut over to the park on 72nd and ended up by the Boathouse and then Bethesda statue. We were there for a while, and then wandered past the elms, heading for the south end of the park and then back toward the subway, where we finally split up, AJ and Denisse to head back to the hotel and then to the bus for the ride home, and Jen, Jason and I back to their place.

Back and Jen and Jason’s I was feeling pretty sick and so I took some medicine and rested for about an hour and a half before heading off to the airport. I checked in and was at the gate about an hour before the flight, and boarded quickly once called. The flight departed a little late, but got into Dulles just after 9 PM. I was feeling terrible at this point. I retrieved my luggage, bought some Advil to take, and headed home. Once home, I sent a message to work saying that I was taking a sick day. Then I took some NyQuil and headed off to bed.

It was a fun weekend and I’m glad I made it through most of it feeling pretty well.

Rainbow Room Dinner 2007

Rainbow Room 2007
Originally uploaded by jamietr.

The eight of us (AJ, Denisse, Jen, Jason, Kevin, Vicky, Norm, and myself) all met the W at Union Square around 6:30 PM and after checking into our rooms, decided to head straight to the restaurant because the bar at the hotel was packed. So we packed into two taxis and off we went. We arrived outside Rockefeller Center at about the same time, took some photos and then headed to the elevator and up 65 floors to the restaurant itself. We had reservations for 8 PM, but since we wanted a window table, we agreed to wait a little longer. We headed for the bar and had drinks. I can’t remember what everyone had, but I had the Planter’s Punch, which I first discovered when I was at the Rainbow Room a year ago, and which I had not had since then. It was excellent!

We were seated about 40 minutes later and we did have a spectacular view of the city. We also had about the best service I have ever had at any restaurant I’ve ever visited. Our table captain was outstanding (and I was sure to give him a very good tip). Norm ordered a few bottles of wine for the table. Meanwhile, we sat around chatting and enjoying the view. The restaurant was crowded but it seemed like we were getting the full attention of our waiters and table captain. We ordered appetizers and then main courses. I had the grilled sirloin, which must have been in the neighborhood of 16 ounces and was excellent! When the meal was over, our table captain brought me a slice of chocolate cake and ice cream with a candle, and everyone else ordered dessert. All told, it was a terrific dinner, the more so because so many of my good friends were able to be there.

We must have left the restaurant at around 11:30 PM. The Rainbow Room proper was hosting a Bar Mitzvah and for those people attending, they were giving away half-dozen boxes of Crispy Creme donuts. It was either Jason or Norm (I can’t remember) who walked up to the donut station and took a box of the donuts, as if they had attended the event. That was pretty funny too.

When we got outside, it was raining pretty hard out, and of course, we couldn’t find a taxi. We tried for a while, but no luck. Finally, we found one and put the girls (and Norm) into it and they headed back to the hotel. The rest of us (me, Kevin, AJ, and Jason) made for the nearest subway and took the subway back to the hotel. We shared a drink at the hotel before calling it a night. It was a terrific evening, and it went by far too fast. I look forward to doing it again next year.

(I took a few pictures, which you can access on Flickr by clicking the image above.)