Monthly Archives: December 2009

Vacation from the Internet

Hola!  I just wanted to let my faithful readers (all 2 of you) know that I’m taking a week off of blogging and tweeting!

Hope everyone had a great holiday AND a very Happy New Year!  :-)

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Traditions are What You Make of Them

I didn’t want to my last post before Christmas to be a bitch fest about the douchebags that had classes with in my grad school career.  Although I’m dying to blog about the horrifically uncomfortable post-ceremony celebratory lunch with my parents and in-laws.  I just chatted with my friend, Kristin, who I was thankful to have there because my parents ARE SO SOCIALLY AWKWARD.  Honestly – I wonder how I share the same DNA with them.  But I love them.  And I digress…

Last year, Jeremy and I picked up Indian take out (from Akbar Restaurant in Mt Vernon) because (1) We didn’t really want to go anywhere, (2) we love Indian food and (3) we knew they’d be open for dinner.  :-)

After realizing what an awesome plan that was (pigging out on Indian food in the comfort of our own home) – we decided to make it a tradition.  I realize that I seem very anti-family around the holidays and that isn’t really the case.  My in-laws live about an hour away (and we go there for Christmas) and my parents are most likely spending their Christmas Eve at the Delaware slot machines.  (I will be thankful when slots come to Maryland because the idea of them driving late at night worries me… mostly because their driving in the daytime is scary!)

I’d love it if my brother came over but he lives over an hour away and generally has plans with friends.  Plus I got this voicemail message from him the other week:

Kimmy – I’m saying FUCK CHRISTMAS this year!  I’m not doing anything.  I’m not buying anyone anything.  So if you were planning on getting me anything, don’t.  I love you.  Fuck Christmas.

I invited Geoff over to share in our Christmas Eve tradition and I’m happy that he accepted.  So tonight – we’ll be dining on Indian food and watching whatever movies we have in the house or maybe an episode or two (or three) of The Wire.  We’ve made it to Season 4!

Merry Christmas everyone!  (and a very belated Happy Hannakah to my Jewish friends)

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Depreciation of my Degree

I was going to post pictures from my commencement ceremony but they weren’t really that exciting.  My mom probably has a totally different perspective on the event because every time I looked up at her, she had the largest grin on her face like I was accepting the Nobel Peace Prize or something.

My school changed up the commencement ceremony this year and separated the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies.  While the president of the university said it made our ceremony more “intimate”, it just made it feel empty… and made the fact that I was wearing a non-breathable fabric with strange hood all the more bizarre.

After a bunch of speeches (and sadly, the president of the SGA gave one of the corniest speeches I’ve ever heard.  All of his joked bombed… I cringed for him) – the PhD students were awarded their degrees first.  And holy shit – they are some smart motherfuckers. 

Every PhD student walked the stage with their mentor (who then “hooded them”) – and as they were being hooded, the announcer gave a brief bio of what the PhD student’s thesis/research entailed.  The research ranged from developing some chemical compound that could cure Hepatitis C to public policy research that revolutionized Turkish government’s approach with its citizens (and something with terrorists) to who knows.  I sort of spaced out because some of the things these people studied didn’t even make sense to me! 

I felt like they should have just thrown us our Master’s degrees and told us to fuck off and actually do something difficult that matters.  ha!

Aaanywho – the PhD students did not cause me to feel that my degree didn’t matter.  No no… it was seeing some of the people who ALSO got their Master’s degrees that caused me to feel like my university gave degrees to any asshole willing to pay the tuition.

I know that I bitch about at least one of my class teammates every semester.  What can I say?  I don’t get along with everyone.  However, in the 5 semesters and 10 classes that I’ve taken – there has been one douchebag that has stood above the rest.  I’ve been referring to him as “king douchebag” because that’s what he is.  If there was a country of douchebags, he’d be their president.

He was one of the dumbest guys I’ve ever worked with in class.  But even so – I can forgive those that don’t always understand the material as long as they try to learn it.  But this guy didn’t.  He would ask people for the answers to homework questions.  All of his contributions to our projects had to be redone because they were ALL WRONG.  Even worse?  He was always late in contributing his piece of shit work.

When he was called out on it, he used the fact that he has kids as a reason.  Look – I don’t want to dog on parents here but when you register for graduate school, you should understand that there is a level of dedication you must give to school or else why bother?  It got so heated in my last group project with him that the motherfucker threatened to have his wife come to the class to show us “what’s up”.  I kid you not.

So – guess who fucking graduated?  King douchebag!  When I saw him, I had a visceral reaction of horror.  When they called his name, I refrained from yelling, “You suck, asshole!!”

Anywho – while everyone has given me kudos and finally graduating, I can’t help but feel like its meaningless because they awarded that asswipe a degree too.  UGH!

(I realize it is not a very Christmas-y thing to bitch about – I should just be happy for him and his accomplishment.  But I’m a mean person, what can I say? )

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Sweet Relief

I really wanted to blog about the crazy snowstorm that hit Baltimore this weekend (almost 2 feet of snow!) and how my asshole neighbors didn’t bother to help my poor husband shovel the sidewalks.  Only 2 people were outside shoveling: 1 elderly man that is in remission from prostate cancer and 1 15-year old kid.

Aaanywho – I can’t formulate a particularly interesting or witty blog post because all I can say is…

I AM FINISHED GRADUATE SCHOOL!

I took my last final exam this evening and left that room confident that I at least got a ‘B’. 

All the douchey teammates I’ve had to deal with.  All the stress.  All the bullshit.  It’s over.

Tomorrow is my commencement ceremony and while I feel too old to be “walking the stage” with some crazy looking gown with a detachable hood, I’m happy to do it to give my mom a good memory that her only daughter is on par with her best friend’s daughter.  What can I say?  Koreans are a competitive bunch when it comes to their children.  :-)

But I am done.  Done done done! 

And now I need a new hobby to occupy my time!

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Movie Madness

This week has been a movie intensive week for me.  Between my need to watch 3 Netflix movies (so that I can get 3 new releases next week… don’t question it.  I have a system) and attending a movie “premiere” Thursday night… I think I’m movied out.

I had initially won free passes to see The Young Victoria Thursday night (courtesy of Atomic Popcorn). 

A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

I love these types of movies so I was pretty stoked I could see it for free.  But then…

I won tickets to the Avatar premiere!  My department holiday lunch was on Thursday and there was a trivia contest.  The winners had their choice of FREE movie passes to see a number of movies with the catch that it was THAT night (Thursday).

Needless to say, my trivia team won (sadly without help from me) but I work with mostly parents… parents that did not have the luxury of seeing movies on Thursday nights.  Score for me!

In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na’vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture.

I’ll be honest – I am usually NOT into these types of movies.  Lots of special effects, weird blue people (described best by DC 101 as “blue Jar Jar Binks”) and war?  Not so much.  But the main star (Sam Worthington) is my boyfriend.  After watching another atypical movie (Terminator: Salvation) – I got all hot and bothered when I saw him so decided I would enjoy seeing him in 3D. 

This movie was ridiculously long (2 hr 40 min) but it didn’t feel long to me.  And those weird CGI blue people?  So frickin’ realistic.  I was very entertained by this movie.  I don’t know what else to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. 

I then powered through a bunch of Netflix movies:

Taking Woodstock – A man working at his parents’ motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.  This movie starred Demetri Martin, Liev Schreiber, Emile Hirsch and many others. 

I thought it was entertaining.  It wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen nor was it particularly funny.  But it wasn’t awful.  I will say that I half watched it (I was working on my project paper) so perhaps I’m not the best person to review it.

Jeremy’s review? “Eh… it was okay.”  Basically – don’t go out of your way to rent it but if you happen to see it on TV, you might as well watch it.

G-ForceA specially trained squad of guinea pigs is dispatched to stop a diabolical billionaire from taking over the world.  Starring Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett and with voices by Sam Rockwell, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan and Nicholas Cage.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I rented this movie.  I love animals.  I thought it looked cute.  And dammit, it WAS cute.  I think Jeremy was a bit horrified that I made him watch it but I thought it was a great kids movie.  There were even a few adult jokes laced in (and I love it when a kids movie makes an effort to entertain adults).

My verdict?  If you have kids, rent this movie and you’ll enjoy it with them.

Inglorious Basterds - In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.  Starring Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger and lots of other people…

I loved this movie.  I think if you’re a Quentin Tarantino, you will not be disappointed.  Very funny, very violent and very graphic.  I cringed a few times (watching people get scalped or having their heads bashed in with a baseball bat was gross). 

I also appreciated the reimagination of how WWII ended.  I think it would have made History class much more interesting.

My verdict?  Rent it. 

I also spent my snowed in weekend watching Season Three of The Wire.   I love their portrayal of Martin O’Malley (obviously played by the white womanizing politician).  Hilarious!

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Random

Is it me or is Saturday Night Live not funny anymore?  Don’t get me wrong, there are always a few funny skits here and there but overall it is not funny.  And their new additions?  NOT funny.

Regardless, since I’ve been trapped in my house for the last couple of days I wanted to share the last two skits that made me laugh out loud.  Perhaps its the cabin fever or perhaps they were really funny…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT49xyu6V9Q

I love James Franco. There is something about his smile that is infectious.

Then there was this one from the other week:

It started off terribly but the doorbell for the guy that likes computers made me laugh.  Repeatedly.

Oh god, I need to get out of this house.

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Latest Dining Conquests

Despite how often I eat out, I rarely post about it.  I really need to stay on top of these things because I feel like the “Charm City” part of my blog is lacking.

So here’s a blip about the last 3 places where I’ve dined.

Sabatino’s – Little Italy

I feel bad about what I’m going to say about this place because it seems a lot of people like it (or at least have fond memories of it).  But this place sucks.  I went for a girls dinner Friday night (there were like 15 in this group).  I’ve always associated Sabatino’s with large group accommodations but never could remember much else about the place.

While I will say that they accommodated our large gaggle of ladies, their service was ridiculously slooooow.  The waitresses were super nice but holy hell, they were slow.  And I was starving.  Since just about every lady ordered a drink (mostly wine… and Theresa and I split a bottle of champagne like we were toasting an anniversary) – it just prolonged the amount of time it took for them to take our food orders. 

They did bring out fresh (?) bread and it was delightful although I’m not sure if I liked it so much due to being SO!HUNGRY! 

I ordered the gnocchi with marinara sauce. 

Words cannot being to describe how much I did not enjoy this meal.  I ate half of it because I was SO!HUNGRY! Did I mention the ridiculously slow service?  But it was a bland plate of mush balls.  I took the rest home to share with Jeremy and he stopped eating once he injested 3 of them.

I’ve chatted about my experience with some friends and it seems that people fall into 2 categories when it comes to Sabatino’s: they love it or they hate it.  I’m now firmly planted in the “hate it” group.

Also – I was irritated with some of the other patrons.  Apparently people don’t understand that 15 people = a loud and boisterous bunch.  Jeremy  likes to point out that it was 15 women as though that makes a difference in decibels but there was a group of 3 people next to our table that spent the majority of their dinner complaining about the volume of our conversations.  I have to say, what a sad dinner for the 3 people if they had nothing better to chat about.  Shoot me if that happens to me.

Pasta Mista – Canton

After my sock monkey saturday fiasco, my friend and I stopped in here for lunch.  In retrospect, we should have stayed at the AVAM and eaten at Mr. Rain’s Funhouse (conveniently located in the AVAM and veg-friendly) but I was worried that my pal might have gotten a parking ticket (since I had only paid for 2 hours of parking not knowing that making a Sock Monkey is ridiculously laborious and it took us nearly 4 hours). Anywho – we left and I couldn’t think of where to eat and Pasta Mista is a go-to place for me and it was located near the Squidfire Art Mart.

I love this place.  My husband and I get pizza here regularly (the Zappatore with sauce).  It surprises me when people don’t like this place.  It’s delightful and delicious.

My favorite pizza (the zappatore) is comprised of: mushrooms and eggplant.  I don’t know what else is on there but it is like a flavor orgy in my mouth.  I love it.  And their prices are right on par with most of the other pizza places in the area (unlike some of the “fancy” pizza places I’ve patronized).

Indigma – Mount Vernon

I had the pleasure of dining here with some great pals (Geoff and Jamie).  Jeremy and I have eaten here for a total of 3 times now and each experience has always been great.  We love Indian food and this place does not disappoint. 

I’d categorize this place as fancy Indian.  Instead of regular ol’ Samosas, they serve “open face” Samosas.  They have fancy plating and their manager is on top of providing good customer service.

I can only speak to what Jeremy and I ate since that is all I sampled (but Geoff and jamie liked their meals as well).

For starters I got an open face samosa (coriander pods, flash fried spinach, potatoes, burnt garlic and mango chutney).  Delightful.  I actually prefer this as an open face app because it makes it easier to eat.

Jeremy got the avocado pakora (cilantro, amchur, sweet lentils and mango syrup).  He really liked it.  I had a bite and it was very light.  And good.

And of course we had to get naan (although jeremy got fancy and ordered garlic naan).

Sadly – I don’t remember what Jeremy got for dinner.  Or even what my dish was called.  My dish had cauliflower in it (no potatoes) and I ordered it mild.  It was so damn good.

Jeremy got some sort of vegetarian masala dish and ordered it very spicy.  I had a bit (and dipped my naan in the sauce) and it was good.  But I know that I could not have handled that much spice.

For dessert we ordered the caramelized mango (sweetened ginger, vanilla ice cream and pomegranate syrup).  Apparently we ordered this last time.  I think that pretty much implies that its a good dessert.

I’ll probably go back to this place again… and again… and again.

But a side note – I think we were getting the stink eye from some other patrons.  Is there something about me?  I thought that we were pretty pretty quiet.  I noticed a pair of women constantly staring our way.  Maybe she didn’t understand the 1 woman to 3 men dynamic or something.

To summarize this post:
Sabatinos (Italian) – gross
Pasta Mista (pizza) – delish
Indigma (Indian) – awesome

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