Sunday, April 30, 2006


My first time going to Foxfield was yesterday. It's a big party disguised as a horse race. MTH and a couple of friends and I got in to Charlottesville on Friday night. They went out but I went to sleep. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through the day (from 11am-6pm out in the sun) on Saturday if I stayed out too late. They got in at 2:30am. There's definitely no way I would have been able to function on Saturday if I'd stayed out with them. They had fun though so that's what counts. Plus, they were able to function on Saturday. Although MTH did not go out to dinner with us that evening after Foxfield as he was fading fast. The races themselves were actually exciting to watch but there's a lot of down time in between. Thus, there were snacks and drinks. Plus, we all stand around talking and catching up. It was quite fun. Then, this evening, a couple friends came over and we grilled out. We had those homemade brats from Whole Foods again. They're awesome. I also grilled some sweet potatoes. I brushed them with a fresh herb mixture. Then, we had Thin Mint milkshakes for dessert. It was a great meal and overall a great weekend.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I'm back...

but just for the evening. I'll leave for Richmond for 4 days tomorrow. I was in Macon for the weekend for my Wesleyan college reunion. It's been TEN years since I graduated. Definitely hard to believe! It was fun to see people I hadn't seen in a long time. Some it had only been a couple and some it had been the entire 10 years. The weekend was well planned and the weather cooperated for the most part. I also got to see ETK, KS, MD, LS, ETK's husband, Jason and Jason's friend. We went to brunch at Einstein's in Midtown (at 12th and Juniper). I enjoyed my cheddar shortcakes although I couldn't even eat half.

This week at work is all training. The first 2 days are the All Stat conference. It'll be 100 statisticians in one place :) Then, the last 2 days are an actual training where we dicuss some theory as well as policy. I'm actually presenting a 45 minute presentation so I'm a bit nervous.

Next weekend, MTH and I are going to Charlottesville to Foxfield. I've somehow never made it to this annual event. I just hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back from Sin City

Yes, MTH and I went to Las Vegas on Easter weekend. Everything was open! We had a great time. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so unless MAK and/or PT give me permission, there will be no picture story. Nothing else interesting to report from the nation's capital.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cafe MMH

Instead of going out for dinner last night, I cooked dinner for us. The menu was as follows:

Warm Arugula salad (without the croutons)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sour Cream
Skirt Steak with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

If you clicked on the recipes, you'll notice that I changed the first two. They still turned out good. The recipe for the salad would have taken close to 2 hours if I had followed the recipe. Instead, I did some of the things at the same time and omitted the croutons. The only thing that would have made the salad better is if Whole Foods had better arugula. It was on sale for a reason!

For the sweet potatoes (or yams as they called them), I wasn't able to find creme fraiche so I substituted sour cream. Plus, it didn't seem worth it to buy a whole pack of chives just for a topping.

For the skirt steak, I basically followed the recipe. We really enjoyed the flavor of the cumin spice rub with the cilantro garlic sauce. These would be good in corn tortillas (like fajitas).

As you can see, I was the chef. MTH filled in as the sommelier. My mom gave us a wine fridge as a wedding gift. The wine we drank from a Bordeaux Grand Vin. It was a gift from our flight attendant on the flight from Atlanta to Dublin for our honeymoon. We had upgraded to Business Class for that leg of the trip.

After dinner, we listened to music and played Chinese Checkers and Scrabble. I won every game. I only tell you this fact because MTH already gloated about winning the last Scrabble game on his blog.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Our Town is Smaller Than I Thought

MTH and I decided to check out a new restaurant, Rustico, in our neighborhood. It's about 1.5 miles away. Originally, when the weather forecast for Friday was good, we were going to walk over and then take a taxi back home. The reason we didn't want to drive is that one of the restaurant's specialties is beer. We wanted to be able to try out a few of the brews. But, the weather didn't turn out as we had hoped and there were thunderstorms. So, we took a taxi there. The driver seemed nice. He had a clean taxi and didn't talk on his cell the entire time we were in the car. That's a big deal around here as most cars are very dirty and the driver will be on the phone the entire time. He dropped us off and we went to the restaurant. The restaurant doesn't take reservations so we had to wait about 30 minutes for a table. While waiting, we had some beer. I had a Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. MTH had a lighter beer to start (I can't remember the name - will add later) and then a Breckinridge Avalanche Ale. At dinner, we decided to have some wine. It was a nice rioja from Spain. My dinner consisted of salad and pizza with roasted wild mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. Both were very good. The pizza has a crispy thin crust that's been baked in a pizza oven. It has that nice smoky flavor. MTH tried out the asparagus fritto misto as an appetizer and pizza with Italian sausage, pickled red peppers, smoked mozzarella and smoked tomato sauce. His pizza was much richer in flavor due to the meat. The pizza's are quite large so we have lunch in the fridge.

To get home, we needed to take a taxi. So, MTH called the taxi company and then we went to wait outside - it had stopped raining by this time. We waited a few minutes and then the taxi shows. We get in and I notice that the seat cover that the taxi driver has looks very similar to the one who drove us to the restaurant. MTH and I look at each other thinking the same thing. Then, the driver says "Back to your house, then?". It WAS the same driver. He knew exactly where to go since he'd already been there once before that night. In the grand scheme of things, our town is not that large but there are at least 200,000 just in our city and the region has several million. So, it's not like we live in Baxley where there's probably only one taxi driver.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Proof that I Ran the Race

It's a terrible picture but here's the proof. It's interesting - I look like I'm walking.

MMH at around Mile 3

The Weekend is Here

No real plans but am definitely happy to have the weekend here. It's our last one at home for 4 weeks. Next weekend is the trip to Vegas. I'm looking forward to my hot stone massage! MAK and PT get there Friday afternoon. We'll probably go to a low key restaurant that night and hopefully out to a club. On Saturday, MAK will definitely hit the shops while PT and MTH hit the tables. That night we're going to Bouchon, a restaurant that has been touched somehow by the guy who runs French Laundry in Napa. I'm definitely hoping that I'll make it to that restaurant one day soon. MAK also wants us to go to a buffet on Saturday. I wanted to go to one last year but the lines always looked horrendous. I just have to suck it up and stand in line. Then, we leave pretty early on Sunday. I've decided I can't deal with red eye flights anymore. I need my bed. So, we'll get back Sunday afternoon and it'll give us some time to adjust back to the East Coast. Then, that Thursday, I'm off to Atlanta. I'll see MTH's parents Friday morning - I'll be getting to their place very late that night. Then, I'll be off to Macon for the weekend for my 10th year college reunion - yes, my age is finally showing. Should be a fun and entertaining weekend. The last weekend of April will be spent in Charlottesville at the world famous steeple chase horserace called Foxfield. You haven't heard of it? You're so out of it! (JK).

So, as you can see, MTH and I need to get a few things done this weekend or everything will fall apart. The first thing on the list are taxes. Yes, we're lazy. The second thing are a few more thank you notes. Again, yes, we're lazy. The others are just normal, run the house kind of things like wash clothes, wash dishes, clean out the litter box, etc.

Now, the weekend's doesn't seem quite as fun as it did when I started writing this entry.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Sinful Delight

I've found a new cheese to recommend: Pave d'Affinois. It's kind of like a brie but richer. Also, if you clicked on the previous link, you'll see that it says if the cheese ages for a few weeks, it'll become runnier, more like a brie. I don't think that this piece of cheese will around to find out! Maybe next time.

One note of caution, if you don't like eating the rind on a brie, you will NOT like this cheese. It's small so a large portion of the cheese is made up by the rind. I like the flavor that it adds to the cheese but realize that not everyone agrees.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

MTH is the BEST husband!

He got up with me at 5:45am (felt like 4:45am due to the time change) to cheer me on for the 10 mile run!!! I was able to see him at miles 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and just before the finish line. Unfortunately, the way the course was set up, those were the only feasible places for him to see me. He's not a crazy cheerleader but seeing him as I'm running up gives me that extra bit of energy to keep going - especially at the end. I was VERY tired. There was no way I was going to stop running but after seeing him, I was able to speed up for most of the last part. Overall, it was a successful race although I didn't meet my goal time of 1:30. I ran it in 1:36:53 (updated with official time). I can make excuses (time change, too many people in the way, etc) but next time I just have to train to go faster so that I can make up that time.

I don't have any specific races picked out yet but some possibilities are: the half marathon in VA Beach, the Army 10 Miler again, or the Chicago Half Marathon. I do want to do a half marathon. I just need to do some more research on what ones are coming up.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Taunting Squirrel

Today, I was sitting in the living room with the doors and windows open filling out a survey for the JLW and looking over the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile course map. I kept hearing this really weird noise that didn't sound like anything Phoebe had ever done before. But, I figured it must be her and just ignored it. Finally, I decided to investigate. It turns out that it was a squirrel. I didn't realize that squirrel's could be so loud. Also, I've never seen one be so brave. It was probably 10 feet away from the door where Phoebe was sitting looking at it. The only thing I could figure is that the squirrel knew Phoebe couldn't get outside and eat it. So, it was taunting her - "I'm out here and you're not (sticking tongue out)"

Squirrel after it jumped up on the railing when it saw me - it still made that noise even after I showed up

Daniel O'Connells

A new Irish pub has opened in Old Town. It's about 2 blocks from the waterfront in the building that used to house Bullfeathers. I never went to this previous establishment so I have no idea what it was like. The new place seems pretty cool. It has 4 bars (some are extremely tiny but the point is that each of them serve drinks). It's also a fine dining restaurant. That was the reason MTH and I were there last night. We finally had our date night (he stood me up last week to go to the Wichita State/George Mason University game with some colleagues - I've forgiven him).

We arrived late for our 8:15pm reservation but they were still able to seat us right away (although without any menus - I guess they're still figuring out how many they need). We sat at the table for probably at least 10 minutes with no menu but we did get water and bread so that made the wait not so bad. The waitress finally stopped by with our menus. The menu was VERY short. Everything on it looked good but there was virtually no choice (only one chicken dish for ETK - at least it wasn't on the bone). We ordered cocktails - kir royale for me and a Guinness for MTH (so a Guinness isn't exactly a cocktail but we were in an Irish pub!). We decided on what we wanted to order: beef tenderloin for MTH and seared tuna for me. MTH also ordered a side of macaroni. We both ordered a glasses of wine. I had a shiraz blend and he had a cabernet sauvignon, I believe.

The food arrived in what seemed about the right amount of time. The taste of the tuna was wonderful but it was lukewarm. Although seared tuna is basically raw, it should not be lukewarm. This must mean it was sitting out waiting on MTH's tenderloin. His was very good and the right temperature but he thought it was a bit big (I think he would have rathered had a smaller piece of tenderloin and more side dishes that came with the meal). The macaroni and cheese was nothing special.

We decided to share a dessert. It was called mini-doughnuts with semi-freddo espresso. I didn't understand what the second part meant until it was served - coffee ice cream (semi-freddo must mean something about frozen). The idea of the dessert was awesome but the mini-doughnuts were a bit doughy. I think they need to turn up the heat on their fryer.

Overall, we enjoyed the restaurant will definitely go back. Hopefully, next time it's on a Saturday and we'll feel like checking out one of the 4 bars after dinner.

Phoebe: A Salute to a Spoiled Cat

Pictures downloaded from my camera phone.