Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back Online

I just got back home to Lima and am recovering from my wedding, honeymoon, etc. and will share some stories about it all when I feel like it. I get home this weekend on Saturday night, so I will have some time to write about some stuff on Sunday - my day of rest before returning to the boredom of everyday work! Some quick notes about everything though;
  1. I was thrilled that those of you who attended the wedding came! I had a great time and I don´t think that the wedding could have gone any better. You can blame Erika for that, she spent a lot of time getting things ready! In my unbiased opinion, it was better than I expected and the best wedding I have been to!
  2. We did a couple tours around Lima to show some sites to the gringos and I think it worked out well that way. Renting a bus was definitely the way to go, especially since people got to sit next to new people and by the end of the day trips, everyone knew everyone else, which was just perfect.
  3. Like always, I had a lot of fun in Brazil, though the trip was definitely different in style to the other trips. Daniel and Kelly and their family were excellent hosts and showed us Sao Paulo, the Carneval parade in Sao Paulo (AMAZING!), and the beach town of Peruibe, where we spent hours talking by the pool, drinking beers, barbequing, trying to find places not overwhelmed by Paulistan tourists (impossible during the Carneval holidays), and walking through the flooded streets up to my knees (or higher)

So, stay tuned. Pictures and videos will have to wait since my camera is staying in Peru for one more week with the lady of the house!

J. Riley, and I´m spent!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

C U Next Tuesday!

Last night, for my last North American social event as a "bachelor"
(though a married one), Susannah and her Irishman Shane took a
road-trip (underground rail-trip?) to visit me in Astoria to have some
food, drink, and friendly football banter since he is a blue-nose
Everton fan (Liverpool's cross-town arch rivals who played recently).

For the first time since the fall, we indulged in glorious gluttony at
one of my favorite restaurants in Astoria: Mundo. It is appropriately
named as it was started by one guy from Argentina, has a waitress from
Uruguay, and two cooks from Turkey - and the sumptuous food is a
reflection of this diversity. We had way too much food, but it was so
worth gaining an extra few pounds to fill out my slim-fit wedding
outfit to it's full content. We ordered a carrot dip (grated carrots
sautéed in olive oil mixed with homemade garlic-yogurt - it was
awesome) with warm pitas, the Red Sonjas (their house specialty, Red
lentil patties with cracked wheat (bulgur), scallion, parsley &
oriental spices on a bed of lettuce with lemon wedges), falafels
(Mashed chickpea balls with
oriental spices on mixed greens sided with hummus), Ottoman dumplings
Turkish dumplings with ground beef in garlic-yogurt sauce with melted
butter & mint) and gnocchi al pesto, not to mention two pitchers of
red sangria. This place is great...

After waddling out of Mundo, we headed down to check out the Crescent
Lounge, a place that I had eyeballed a few times while walking past.
In the summer, the doors and windows were opened, revealing lots of
strange couches and dim lighting. Turns out they also have games
(though no Jenga or Connect-4), which we played for a good hour.
Anyone ever played Chairs? It's an interesting engineering game that
is the complete opposite of Jenga - how high can you stack these
chairs before it crashes.

J. Riley, a very mild, very local night that was very fun, despite
Shane being a Charley Uniform November Tango type of guy. Well, I'm
off to Peru in a few hours!

Monday, February 09, 2009

T Minus Six Days

I totally fell off the wagon last week, just in time for my trip to Peru. It all started with the fact that my company is broke and didn't have any money for a Christmas party - not a free one anyway. They had plenty of other parties, most of which we had to pay for ourselves (lame). But there were some departments that bought some stuff, so we used to find out who and were and get our fix. But it became too much and I had to cut back due to health concerns. I mean, the body can only take so much before it starts breaking down.

Last week, we had an after-work engagement, so we sat around filling our bellies. I resisted for a while before I gave in and said "I'll just have one"...which turned into two. After our activity, we had some left over so everyone loaded me up with it since I live the closest to work and could probably get away with finishing it off since Erika is out of town.

So, I pretty much had one or two a night until Friday, when it was finished off. It was cheap stuff, so it wasn't exactly "good" but it was there and easily available so I couldn't resist a cold one at night, despite the weather. Saturday rolls around and I had to get up early due to a volunteer activity (that will soon cease to exist after three years of trusty and faithful leadership ;o) and I was jimmying for another one, but I had already finished it off and made a smoothy instead, hoping to cleanse my body of impurities digested during the previous week's binge. After the activity, we took the kids across the street from the cathedral where we were going to have lunch and seeing it right when we walked in, I knew that I was going to have to go for one.

And maybe it's only because of the low quality stuff I'd been downing all week, but damn, once it hits your lips, it's so good! But, I swear, I will never eat pizza again! I've just had too much!!!!

In other news, I had a nice little weekend planned. Mostly it centered around the volunteer event, celebrating Liverpool's inevitable win, and a birthday party at SOB's nightclub Saturday night. I got invited to go out to dinner, but I just didn't know if I would have the TIME. But since it was going to be in the same neighborhood as SOB's, I obliged and joined them at Philip Marie, which had one of the best menus and food that I've had in a long, long time, no small words for a foodie in New York. Everything on the menu seriously had something that I fiercely desired, and the quality (and value, really) was immaculate. Not bad for a place that I had bypassed a few years back in lieu of eating some cheap Asian noodles across the street (not by my choice).

After getting home at 4:00am from SOB's on Sunday morning (god, I love that place), I spent the rest of the weekend pretty much glued to my TV, watching the PBS show Frontline, which, like all PBS shows, is available via their website for free. I learned about Afghanistan and the Iraq war fiasco (Bush's War, highly recommended) before I finally burned out on too many documentaries....

J. Riley, two days til liftoff...