Friday, August 14, 2009

Monthly flight pass

So I was reading Gizmodo this week, and they posted a deal by JetBlue where you can buy what amounts to a 1 month flight pass for $599 to anywhere in the US. So I figure if I can make two west coast trips, I could make this ticket worth my time. Any veggies have some free time over the weekends between September 8th till October 8th and have a place for me to stay? :P

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dinner at the Big Apple

It’s been a while since I had gone to NYC, so I jumped at the opportunity to go when Blue Orca invited me to join the EVACs gang for dinner up in Manhattan this past weekend.  We had quite a big group together as 11 of us circled around two tables connected to each other at A La Turka, a Turkish restaurant if you didn’t imply from the name :P  Since most of us hadn’t been to a Turkish restaurant before, picking out what to eat became a slight chore, but the store manager was kind enough to come out and work with us to put together an large appetizer and entree order that everyone could share together.  We also ordered two pitchers of Sangria (one red win and one white wine), which I found pretty refreshing to drink considering I’m not the biggest fan of wine, but I’m guessing the addition of the fruit diluted the alcohol to make it easier (at least for me) to drink.

The two giant appetizer plates that came out for each end of the table consisted of various “dips” (humus, bean salad, yogurt, a spinach-tasting dip, etc) that everyone could dive into using these large “disks” of bread that the waiters were quick to replenish once everyone started tearing into their basket of bread.  The appetizers went quickly, but the two giant entree plates consisting of lamb, beef, and chicken kebabs along with some rice and veggies plates came in just in time to continue the feast!

There was also a fish order put in, and it was quite the spectacle seeing it brought over on a flaming tray!

Fire Fish

We figured out later that the first was covered in some sort of breading that was set on fire, and the manager used a mallet to break open the breading and cut up the fish.  While the presentation was cool, the fish unfortunately didn’t taste as good.  Fortunately the kebab meat platter had a lot of good meat to go around so the fish didn’t put a damper on the dinner.

As we finished up dinner, it was brought up that we’d all head over to Serendipity 3 for desserts.  But a giant hoard of people waiting outside greeted us as we got there, which added up to a 2 to 3 hour wait.  So we decided to keep walking around, and eventually we ran into Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Willy Wonka would be proud

This store was probably the dream child of Willy Wonka’s other persona named Dylan, because practically every candy and sweet you could think of can probably be found at this store.  Heck even the stairs had candy imbedded in it!

I wonder how many people tried licking the stairs...

Before we browsed around, we went to the second floor cafe to get some desserts.  I settled on the Perfectly Peanut Butter Sundae, which was good but there was sooo much chocolate and peanut butter syrup in the tall plastic cut that the sundae was served in that right now I’m still tasting the sugar.  But this was nothing compared to the monster that was the 10 scoop sundae…

Even with 10 scoops you can't see the ice cream from all the toppings :PEven with 5 people working on it, I don’t think they managed to finish it :P

Fresh off our sugar high, we looked around the store and found some interesting chocolate bars and candy themes.

So that's how marriage works...  The anti-viagra

Here's the cure all guys are looking for for their wives and girlfriends

That's where all those dots came from

Thought this was cute

There was also a display of celebrities signatures on boxes containing their favorite candy.  The funniest one was the half eaten Payday bar with Bill Clinton’s signature :P

All in all it was good to see the EVACS group again and walk though Manhattan.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend at Y's

I hadn't seen Y since VOV, so I went over to his condo this past weekend to visit. Y has a condo in Virginia, but with the downturn in the housing market, he and his wife have been taking a look around for a house, and in anticipation of getting a house, Y has been renovating one of his bathrooms in anticipation of renting out his condo. Also, my high school friend T also happened to live relatively in the same area as Y, so I drove over to pick up T to join in on the fun. After eating a delicious lunch prepared by Y's wife, Y, T, and I engaged in some Wii Sports golf action to see who would reign supreme on the virtual golf course. The competition was intense as I went into the last hole with a 1 shot lead, but I managed to dunk my 2nd shot into the water as Y managed to get his way to the green safely. However, the Wii decided to freeze as T was beginning to take his shot, so I declared victory on the golf course :P Afterwards, we hit up the nearby tennis courts near Y's condo. Despite rustiness all around, we managed to get into a grove with our shots, but my lack of exercising began to take its toll as my knees began to scream in soreness. After we were all tired, we retired back to Y's condo where Y's wife joined in a 4 player battle of Mario Party 8. This was a fierce battle of hotel ownership for stars, and Y's wife managed to pull off the win at the end by getting the 3 star hotel at "grandmas" and by getting bonus stars from buying and using the most candy powerups. The game itself was sort of cheesy, but it's surprisingly fun with a group of friends. After getting some dinner at a local small Chinese place, we ended the day with some Texas Hold'em, which ended up going way too long into the night. Y had to go to work for a bit on Sunday, so when it came down to heads up between me and Y, I did my best to end the game by going all in blind, but that plan seemed to backfire as I won the next 6 hands in the row as T managed to deal Y 4/5 off-suit for like 4 of the 6 hands. But you can't go all in in the dark forever, so the statistics evened themselves out in the end and Y was victorious. I took T back to his place and then came back to Y's condo for bed.

The next day, Y, Y's wife, Y's dog Gizmo, and I went down to DC to take a look at the cherry blossoms that were in full bloom. It was the perfect day to be outdoors to enjoy the sights, and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. We made our way along the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial since I've never been there before, and we ran into a large group of people watching a cultural performance in front of the memorial. But I managed to sneak into the memorial and cap a few pictures of Jefferson's statue before being overwhelmed by the crowd. By this time, Gizmo had seemed to reach his limit of walking, so we decided to head on back, but before heading back to the condo, we stopped for some lunch at a pizza place and did some shopping at Trader Joe's, which Y's wife really wanted to go to. Upon returning to Y's condo and inspired by the drumming performance, Y wanted to do some Rock Band drumming, so we assembled the drum set I brought over and rocked out till dinner, which was Y's friend R, who has a gigantic house and allegedly lives close to Gilbert Arenas. Yan managed to find out that the mix of Coke and Captain Morgan's results in a chocolate tasting drink, but I argued it really tasted like vanilla. On a side note, I'm beginning to realize that alcohol accelerates my heart rate rather than act as a depressant, but I can't find any good reasons for that. Also, the slight shortness of breath that accompanied it told me it was time to stay away from Y's new drink. After dinner and a tour of R's remodelled bathroom, we headed back and I started by drive back to MD. On the way back, I forgot that there was a toll road I needed to go through, and I didn't have any cash on me and the booth didn't take credit cards -_- But fortunately, the woman working at the booth was rather nice despite it being about 12:45 am and basically said that a bill will just be sent for $2 (which is the regular toll cost) to my house, so I was relieved.

Thanks to Y and Mrs. Y for having me over!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poor man's Guitar Hero

Check out JamLegend, which gives you the GH experience just with your keyboard. What's especially funny is if you tried to play the songs "jam style" as they suggest :P

Things to fill free time with...

Now that I've crossed the finish line and finished all my degree requirements, I have a lot more time to myself after work, and since I don't want to be a couch potato, I began thinking of things to do.

1) Reading for leisure: I think the last time I read a book for leisure was the last Harry Potter book, and that wasn't really for leisure since I was speed reading through it so that I wouldn't be left behind in all the HP discussions :P Any good suggestions out there?

2) Get my butt in shape: The funniest reminder to me that I need to get back in shape came this past summer when Dragon and I tried to do some suicide runs on the tennis court, and we were pumped up to do this across all four courts. Needless to say, we gave up after only going halfway across one court and just collapsed to the ground with laughter at how pathetically incapable we were -_- The issue with this is that I don't like going to the gym and would rather play sports to stay in shape. I'm thinking of looking into maybe joining a local tennis club or something because I have an itch to get back onto the courts after hearing about KiraTomato's attempts to take over as the number 1 tennis veggie :P

3) Finish video games that I bought: Yeah, I know I said that I wouldn't be a couch potato, but I want to get full value from all these games that I bought!

4) Take a trip on weekends to someplace different: It'll be hard for me to get lost in the Kungmobile, so I figure to try to plan a weekend trip somewhere interesting. Might lead to some interesting blogging and some photography practice.

5) Read up on investing: Might as well put the $$$ I make to work for me.

6) Learn to cook: Frozen foods just don't cut it taste-wise...

I'm sure I'll think of more things to do since I hate being idle and doing nothing...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crossing the finish line

As of this morning, I am officially DONE with grad school! :) All the paperwork has been turned in, all fees have been paid, and my dissertation has been submitted. Fortunately, the dissertation submission was done online, so I didn't have to make another trip all the way to Columbus to turn it in myself. And yes, =VGI= has been incorporated into the acknowledgment section, so people who these crazy people are when they read my thesis ;)

But seriously, I want to thank everyone for all their encouragement while I was in school :) You all helped pull me through!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The End of a Journey

It's hard to believe that back in 2003 that I would have found myself going down the graduate school path towards a Ph.D. (especially when people had asked me before whether I would go for more studies, and I vehemently told them that I wouldn't), but now the path has started to turn its last corner, and I'm coming down the home stretch. My defense is next Tuesday on the 17th, which happens to be St. Patrick's day. Hopefully I won't need that much luck, but a little bit helps :P

The presentation slides are almost done, and I'm debating right now whether I should reference the veggies in the acknowledgment section by their veggie name. I don't think too many people will be looking at my thesis in the future, but apparently my thesis will be archived in variously Ohio Libraries and the Library of Congress, and I just think it would be funny for someone to randomly pull up my thesis, read the acknowledgment section, and wonder "who the heck are these people? Cucumbernator? GrapeofWrath? Catnipped? jOrangeJuice? Kiratomato? ..."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Support Blue Orca!

My friend Blue Orca entered to win a dream photography assignment to photograph orcas, and she needs your help! She needs to get into the top 20, and right now she's on the bubble, so if you can go here and submit a vote for her, she'd appreciate it :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kindness to furry animals :)

While fighting the raging fires in Australia, a fireman manages to find a lone koala in the woods, and here's what happens :)

Sam is safe and recovering according to this story.

Monday, January 19, 2009


So this past Friday as I was coming back from work and entering into my apartment unit, I see a sign that says "Extermination of the building will begin January 19, 2009", and for some reason, I'm thinking that they're going to be blowing up the building and I'd have another headache on my hands to worry about. But of course this wasn't the case, and on my door, there was a flying giving tips on how to prepare your house for the exterminator, which basically meant that you had to move all of your furniture away from the walls so that he can spray the base board and the ceiling. Fortunately, my furniture and bed are relatively light and I didn't have too much stuff to move around.

So today, the exterminator and one of the apartment maintenance guys came by at around 10:30, and the exterminator proceeded to inoculate my rooms. I asked the maintenance guy what prompted the spraying as I wasn't having any bug problems, and he mentioned that one of the apartments above me was apparently having major issues with bed bugs, so they decided to spray all the apartments in my building as a precaution. The process was pretty quick, and the exterminator had my entire place sprayed in like 10 minutes, though I found it sort of strange that he was spraying each of the wall sockets (I had images of the sockets blowing up, but that didn't happen :P). But after the spraying, I had to be out of the apartment for two hours, so I killed the time browsing at the local Circuit City to see if there were any extraordinary sales. They had everything marked 10% off, but nothing really jumped out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vegas Loot

I had some time today to take a look at my current chip count from Vegas hotels on the strip, and I'm getting ever so close to collecting them all. Missing right now are Planet Hollywood, Bally's, and Sahara (Casino Royale doesn't count :P). I liked the old Luxor chip better (the one with the hieroglyphics on it) since it's nifty looking and doesn't look like every other chip, and for whatever reason I like the design of the Mirage chip, but the luckiest chip has to be the Wynn chip as I made up a great deal of my poker losses there this past January :P

In sadder new, the XM8 that Cucumbernator brought for me had a rough trip in my luggage, and the back end of it broke off -_- But fortuantely, everything else worked after I plugged the battery, so maybe I'll just duck tape the back end to give it the battle worned look :P And I will confirm that the sound the gun makes after you let go of the trigger does sound similar to the plasma blast in Star Control 2.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lunch PUNishment

I just had to roll my eyes at the name of the place we tried for lunch today, even though the sub I had there was good.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 New Years Resolution

Looking back, I didn't do too badly in fulfilling my resolutions of 2008 in going 3.5/5.  For 2009, the major resolution that I want to get in my pocket by the end of March is to get my research done and graduate from graduate school.  It'll be a tough road these next 2.5 months or so, but I think I'll be able to grind it out and finish it up.  Until then, I'm not going to have any other resolution in my mind, but I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to think of many more once I finish up.  So hopefully I'll be able to bat 1.000 on this one.