Tag: dining

Dad is in town!

I picked up Dad from the metro station last night at around 7:30 and we made straight for the Outback Steakhouse for dinner. It was surprisingly empty for that time on a Friday. We were seated almost at once and had a very nice meal.

When we came home, we watched TV for a while (we were watching the Orioles game) but when 10 PM rolled around, I was beat and had to head off to bed.

I was up at 7 AM this morning, read for a while, and caught up with some blog reading, and Dad was finally up at 8 AM. We headed to IHOP for breakfast. Afterward, I did some quick laundry and then headed to the gym for an arms/shoulders workout. After that, we decided to head downtown and walk around them Mall.

We headed to L’Enfant plaza, and then made our way up and around the Capitol building, past the Library of Congress, and Supreme Court, and finally to Union Station. It was windy and had cooled off considerably and there was a light drizzle as well. We ate lunch at Union Station and then headed back home. Dad wants to watch the big De La Hoya fight tonight, so I ordered it for him on Pay Per View (I won’t be watching. I will be working on more novel outlining and see if I can figure out a way to make “If By Reason of Strength…” work for me.)

Friday the thirtheenth in Nanuet

Friday the Thirteenth turned out to be a very nice day. I picked up my rental car after work and headed up to Nanuet, New York. I was given a Honda Accord, which was nice, but it took a while to do the paperwork because Hertz’s computer systems were down. Regardless, I made very good time, driving the 240.5 miles in just over 4 hours.

In fact, I got to Norm and Vicky’s before Norm was home from work and so Vicky got to listen to me whine and complain about my work woes. She was a very good sport about it and I should have learned my lesson (I don’t often whine and complain about work) but I didn’t; I whined and complained more when Norm got home. I got to see Norm’s skydiving video which was incredible!

Yes, he went skydiving in New Zeland, a 12,000 foot jump. It decided me. The next time I have the opportunity, I’m going to do it. I mean, after all, if strausmouse can do it and Norm can do it, certainly I can do it!

We headed to the Cheesecake Factory at the Palisades Mall for dinner. Norm’s mom, aunt and uncle met us there for dessert. While there, I got to hear all about Norm and Vicky’s honeymoon in Bora Bora and New Zeland and I set there listening, green with envy. It was at dinner that Norm and I nearly came to blows over the check. I tried to outfox Norm for the check and managed to get my hands on it, after more than the usual effort. And then the villain outfoxed the fox and Norm paid for dinner despite the fact that I had the check. You can’t trust anyone these days.

We all headed back to Norm and Vicky’s place and watched more videos and saw more pictures from their honeymoon. Eventually, it was late enough where sleep was prudent, especially since we had to be up early the next morning.

Twilight Zone at the Outback

I decided to treat myself to a steak dinner tonight. I grabbed my copy of In Memory Yet Green and headed over to the Outback Steakhouse, anticipating a long wait. There was no wait. I was seated at once. I ordered a tall beer, had a salad, steak fillet, fries, and I even ordered the chocolate thunder from down under for dessert. My waiter happened to be a Yankee fan and hadn’t seen the game today so I told him about it.

They were playing good music in the restaurant today. I imagine it was some satellite radio station, but it was almost exclusively classic rock, one good song after another. And something happened that I’ve never before witnessed in an Outback Steakhouse: people began singing out loud to some of the songs. And not one or two people, but whole tables full of people. This seemed to reach it’s peak when “Come Sail Away” played (which is what solidified it in my mind as the perfect vacation song). It seemed as almost the entire restaurant was singing.

Meanwhile, I luxuriated in my food and beer and my reading, enjoying every minute of it. Everything was excellent and the service as super. When the bill came, the waiter had left off the Sprite that I had ordered after my beer. I pointed this out to him and he told me not to worry about it. (It pays to be a Yankee fan!) Nevertheless, when I left the tip, I left my usual 20% and then added an extra $2.00 to it, which is about what it would have cost for the Sprite. It also pays to provide good service.

Spoodles and Jellyrolls

Some rest. We watched a couple of episodes of Friends, including, ironically, the Chandler/Monica wedding episode. It was nice to be able to relax for a while and stay off your feet. Eventually we had to get up and ready for the evening.

Lisa made dinner reservations at Spoodles, which servces a Mediterranean cuisine. It’s an open kitchen which is kind of cool. Lisa and I shared a lamb kabob for an appetizer. I had a beef kabob for dinner and Lisa had a pasta dish which looked much better than what I got. We also shared creme brule for dessert.

After dinner we headed back down the boardwalk to Jellyrolls where we were meeting up with everyone else. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar where the crowd send requests to the piano players and then sings along. It was a smokey, but a lot of fun. We got there at about 10 PM. I got a text from Norm saying they’d be there at 10:30. Then another saying they’d be late. Norm and Vicky showed up sometime well after 11 PM. But AJ, Andy and a bunch of other people got there right around 11 PM. It was the first time I saw AJ since arriving, because he arrived earlier in the afternoon.

I sang quite a bit, and was worried that my voice would be gone the next day. But it really was fun. Lisa made a request for Norm and Vicky and announced they were getting married. The piano guys brought them up on stage and had them do some dancing and other stuff. It was funny.

I think we finally got out of there sometime after 1 AM, but I’m not sure exactly the time. Lisa and I walked back to the hotel (which was not far). I went to bed with the good feeling of knowing that I could actually sleep in the following morning because we didn’t have to be up early to do anything.

Orlando dinner Chicago-style

Andy and a pregnant Mandy came up to our hotel room and we hung out there for a little while before heading off to dinner. Lisa felt the need to show Andy (and everyone else) her favorite Justin Timberlake video, which I then had in my head for the rest of the evening.

We decided on Pizzeria Uno for dinner and Andy drove us out there, with me acting as navigator, and a good thing that! We did have a nice dinner, although my idea of ordering a steak in a pizza joint probably wasn’t one of my better ideas.

We had to be back before 8 PM because that’s when the festivities began for the bachelor/bachelorette parties, so we headed back after we finished our dinners and got ready for the parties.

Ground-stoppage, redux

Our plane pulled away from the gate on time last night at Dulles. The pilot said wheels-up to wheel-down time to La Guardia was 39 minutes. We taxied toward the runway and as soon as I heard the engines spin down, I knew what was going on: another ground-stoppage in La Guardia. This happened the last time I took this flight too.

For those not familiar with the terminology, a “ground stoppage” is when air traffic control halts traffic into an airport that hasn’t already taken off from their departure points. This usually occurs when the skies are so busy that it becomes difficult for ATC to handle all of the traffic. Last time, we were held on the ground for 15 minutes. This time, we sat there for an hour. It was after 8 PM when I finally arrived at La Guardia. Fortunately, it did not take long to get my luggage, nor did it take long to get a taxi and I was at Jen and Jason’s just after 8:30 PM.

We headed over to Jackson Hole for dinner and then back to Jen and Jason’s place to hang out for a while. Jen and Jason gave me my birthday presents, which were awesome! They got me five books, all of which were copyrighted in 1972, the year I was born. There were 2 Isaac Asimov books, a collection of stories by Frederik Pohl, a 1973 yearbook (covering 1972), and the March 1972 issue of F&SF. I was really overwhelmed!

Jason ended up putting Jackass on TV. I’d never seen the show before and found it to be so utterly stupid that it wasn’t even funny. But Jen and Jason seemed to like it. I took some medicine last night and was pretty tired and we made it an early night. Lights out around 11 PM.

Second Annual Rainbow Room Birthday Bash!

Last year, I hosted a dinner at the Rainbow Room for some friends as a kind of birthday celebration. I never really celebrate my birthday, but last year, I figured, why not. It was so much fun last year, that I’m doing it again this year, and we are now just over a week away from the Second Annual Rainbow Room Birthday Bash.

Last year there were five of us, but this year, we’re doubling in size! In addition to me, we’ll have AJ and Denisse in attendance as well as jen_ashlock, jkashlock, the inseperable vickyandnorm, strausmouse and his very pregnant wife rmstraus, and kevnyc.

I’m really looking forward to it. The food and service was outstanding when we were there last year. All the guys have to dress up for dinner, which on rare occasions like these, can be fun. We’re going out for drinks before hand and hanging out afterward.

So all of you who are attending: I’ll see you one week from Saturday!

(And just two weeks after that is vickyandnorm‘s Big Disney Wedding in Orlando!)

Fun times!

Just getting home

It’s after 9 PM and I’m just getting home. Caught a train home from work (I finally left the office sometime after 7 PM) and then decided to stop at the Outback Steakhouse, just across from the PG Plaza metro for dinner. There was a long wait but I got a seat in the bar and had a steak, salad and veggies.

I’m home now (finally!) and it doesn’t seem like today was a Saturday at all. So much so that I kept thinking to myself that I really needed to be home before 8:30 so I could get a full night’s sleep. Turns out I can sleep in because it’s Sunday.

AJ and Denisse, Part Duex

AJ and Denisse called me early yesterday afternoon to ask about a hotel in NYC that they are thinking of staying at. Since none of us were doing much, I decided to head back over to their place. Another friend of theirs was going to be there as well. It turned out to be fun. We hung out for a while, and then headed over to Nathan’s Steakhouse in Georgetown for a steak dinner. It snowed pretty hard, but not for very long. After dinner we headed back to AJ and Denisse’s and watched Office Space. I left by 10 PM and was home just after 11 PM.

I was up at 8 AM this morning and since I have the day off, I headed up to IHOP for breakfast. I have to head to the gym a little later. I missed the gym this weekend and I feel pretty guilty about it, but I will get in my cardio workout today. It’s sunny but cool out today. The snow is still pretty frozen so my car is still in the street. However, it is supposed to warm up into the 50s tomorrow and stay there through the weekend, which will be a nice change compared to the cold weather we have been having.

An evening in Peru

Last night, I headed over to AJ and Denisse’s for dinner. Denisse was whipping up an authentic Peruvian dish and it turned out to be excellent. I forgot to ask her what it was called, but it was layered chicken and potato and hard-boiled eggs and peppers and it was really quite delicious. She also made some homemade guacamole, which I am a sucker for. There was cheesecake and ice cream for dessert. It was all terrific.

We sat around listening to songs on our iPods and eventually settled down to watch L.A. Story which I brought along with me at AJ’s request. I hadn’t seen it in a long time but I couldn’t make it through the whole thing. I didn’t want to get home at 3 AM, so by 11:30, I called it a night and caught the train home. I was back home by 1 AM.

I was up this morning at 8:30 and headed to IHOP for breakfast. When I got back home, I decided to finish up reading what I had left in Volume 1, Issue 5 of SCIENCE FICTION AGE. After that, I decided to be lazy and get another hour or so of sleep.

I’m not sure about my plans for the rest of the day yet. I’m playing it by ear.

Saturday wrapup

Today was a lazy day for me. For one thing, I did not end up going to the gym today. For another, I slept a lot. I didn’t get up until 9 AM, which is late for me. After breakfast, I lazed around, watching TV until just after noon, when I decided to read. That lasted all of a few minutes. I dozed off on the couch for almost 2 hours, during which time I had those kinds of dreams where you dream you are asleep on the couch but can’t quite wake up.

In the late afternoon, instead of going to the gym, I headed over to the Outback Steakhouse, where I ordered the Aussie Cheese Fries (sans bacon) and watched two episodes of The Office on my iPod.

Incidentally, my video iPod has become the second biggest conversation-started, second only to my New York Yankees jacket. I tend to watch stuff on my video iPod when I’m at restaurants by myself. Lately, I’ve had a number of people (often the restaurant employees) come by and ask me what it is I’m watching, and telling me that they didn’t know you could watch TV shows and movies on an iPod. And if they don’t ask about the iPod, then some Red Sox fan will comment on my Yankees jacket.

I finally got a bit more productive later in the day. I completed by second recap of SF AGE. I completed the first draft of my story, “4005 B.C.” I made good progress reading through issue 3 of SF AGE. I spoke to Dad and Jen and Doug on the phone. I sent out some reminder email that I needed to send. I booked my flight into NYC the weekend of March 10-11 (I am taking a bunch of friends to the Rainbow Room Grill at the top of Rockefeller Center for my birthday, just as I did last year.)

I watched the latest episodes of 24 and Scrubs. And I downloaded the pilot episode of Babylon 5, after mabfan gave it a strong recommendation.

When all is said and done, it sounds like a busy day, but I still feel like I was pretty lazy today.

And eerily, I’m having a jkashlock moment: already I’m thinking about and looking forward to breakfast tomorrow morning.

Haircut and a dinner

The place that I get my haircut is in the same shopping center as my gym, so after my workout, I stopped in to get my haircut and I feel much better having done so. When the haircut was done, I decided I needed to eat something, so I headed over to Chevy’s (also in the same shopping center) and had dinner. Freshly made guacamole and chips. Fajitas. Chips and salsa. It all hit the spot.

Strangely, when I got home, there was no mail, which is pretty unusual, even for a Saturday.