Friday, February 27, 2009

A Declaration

I am never going to be a customer of United again.  They are the worst airline in the world (except for US Airways) and I hate them.  A couple months ago they made me check my luggage (which is now $25 each way) because it didn't fit in their little carry on bag measurement thingy.  To squeeze a few dollars out of unsuspecting customers, their new policy is to enforce that absurd size requirement.  I only know of one bag that can fit in such a ridiculous size constraint and what the hell can you fit in this?   

Also, I have/had a flight voucher for $100.  Little did I know that their flight voucher only works if you personally show up to the airport and buy a ticket at the counter.  Seems like it would be easy enough to provide the confirmation number printed on the ticket over the phone.  They know I have it, they knew the $ amount but they need me to show up in person for verification purposes?  Give me a break.  Can't wait until we bail those bastards out too.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Colorado Trip Part III - "Over 600 pounds of awful golf"

I can't think of many places where you can be skiing and golfing in the same day in places less than two hours away from each other.  We actually golfed the day after skiing but the above picture prompted Brian's quote and the title of this post.  At first it may seem mean that we laughed about this but keep in mind the following:

1) They were REALLY bad at golf.
2) 600 pounds of bad golf is funnier than lesser amounts of bad golf.  Right?....right?  
3) They could easily have said the same thing about us had we showed up to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest - "That's less than 400 pounds of awfully slow eating."  Too far?  Ok, fine.  

Another highlight of the day was the Coors Brewery Tour.  It was actually surprisingly worthwhile.  Our guide's name was Jayhawk and he was not Native American.  Also, "Coors" does not suffice as an answer for the trivia question, "What beer is known as 'the silver bullet'?"  Coors is "the banquet beer" and I learned it doesn't taste too bad when fresh.    

Colorado Trip Part II - Apres Ski

Where's that damn accent mark when you need it?  Someone please tell me how to do this.  I always have to copy and paste the resume that's pronounced "reh-zoo-may" from the one document that I have that has the accent marks.  It's a real pain, but I digress.

In Colorado, they have my all-time favorite beer (not available in 40 of the 50 states)...

I was, and continue to be a happy camper.  I put a six-pack into my suitcase and spread them out so as to ensure proper cushioning for the ride home.  Unpacking was fun in an easter egg hunt sort of way.  It also ensured that I unpacked right when I got home instead of leaving my suitcase in a corner for two weeks like normal.  If you ever get a chance to try an Alaska Brewing Company beer, I highly recommend it.  

Colorado Trip Part I - The Skiing

Brian (my brother) and I went skiing in Breckenridge this weekend.  In a heroic effort, Brian battled a bad cold to fight through two full days of skiing and a six-pack's worth of high quality beer.  He actually called my mom to tell her where to find his will before we went out, which made me wonder whether it was because he was skiing or because he was on a trip with me.  Probably a combination of the two.    

Sean's first bowl experience - good.  Sean's first t-bar ride - bad, but not as bad as his riding mate's.  About 3/4 of the way up, my cousin Alyssa fell off the t-bar due to my ski catching on something, which caused the bar to rotate and effectively dump her.  Fortunately, she was uninjured and got to ski most of the run.  Sorry again Alyssa.  Here's a picture from the top....


....just kidding.  That's actually a picture from the top of Mt. Everest.  I didn't pull out my camera then because I was too cold.  Here's a real picture:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No posts

Posts have been sparse recently....oh wait I've only been doing this blog a few weeks so recently means sparse from the beginning.  Pretty weak I know.  I'm a work in progress.  I've been spending lots of time throwing my time at different activities all in an elaborately conceived illusion to make it look like I'm busy and like I know what I'm going to do with my life.  

I meant to take a picture of the insanity that is the Chicago Department of Revenue Hearing Center on 2550 W. Addison yesterday when I went to dispute a parking ticket but forgot to bring my camera.  This place is a total disaster.  A parking lot with 40 spaces for about 1,204 cars trying to park.  Worst game of musical chairs ever....well maybe besides this one.  Ultimately, I parked illegally, then the fun really started.  I go inside and wait for an hour and a half.  My situation wasn't as bad as the people who waited in line even longer just to pay though.  Why wouldn't they just mail it in?  The best part is I got a continuation.  I get to go back again next weeek!  For now though, I'm off to Breckenridge for the weekend so next post will be Sunday night.  Holla at a playa when you see him on the slopes!  

Days Unemployed: 28

Sunday, February 15, 2009

That's How You Braise!

Valentine's Day was a great day for me - took the GMAT, made an awesome dinner, and watched a good movie with a great date.  Regardless of how all those things would have gone, it would have been a much better day for me than this guy, who notes his sorrows in an editorial found here.  He makes some great points.  

But back to my day/night.  I decided to braise some short ribs.  I've always wanted to braise something but never have.  They make it sound so simple in cookbooks.  Do this for a couple hours, let cool, do that for an hour, let cool.  Cook three to four hours.  It's not.  By the time you're done, you're looking at an all-day process.  I'm here to say that it was well worth it.  This is how it went down:

1) Went to meat heaven.  No, not a UFC Fight.  Not the Lakeshore Athletic Club locker room hot tub either.  I literally went to the meat packing district and bought massive amounts of beef short ribs.  Then I went to do some bicep curls and practice my primal grunting before donning my apron to cook.  

2) Brined the meat for three hours in this liquid (which had to be boiled, then cooled to room temperature first).  

3) Grilled the meat to sear it (not pictured)

4) Heated the meat up briefly in a stovetop filled with various ingredients, then put it in the oven for just under three hours.  This is the end result.    Note the clean bone on the right.  The meat fell right off.  That's how you braise baby!  You can't stop this!  (Pounding chest with angry/determined look on my face)  

5) Oh, and there was dessert too!  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I love these dogs

This is what running through the neighborhood looks like after dinner.  The table leg makes a good spoon?  Elliot likes to nuzzle.  He will literally shove your arm off whatever you were doing repeatedly until you pet him for an undetermined acceptable amount of time.  Kind of a problem when trying to do a GMAT practice test.  This reminds me, the actual test is this Saturday so wish me luck.  Studying with dogs has added a degree of difficulty that I think makes me well-prepared.  

This too....after the slobber has long since been successfully transferred to his brother's head.  Leonard likes to camp out by the dishwasher, refrigerator, bathroom and other heavily trafficked human areas.  He reportedly ate a whole beef tenderloin off the counter once.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Worst Job Website Ever

So I'm sure a lot of people have signed up for Doostang.  Basically it's a job/networking website similar to LinkedIn but exclusively for Ivy League students and the like.  I've received a bunch of e-mails for it over the last few years but never felt compelled to sign up.  Well, since I no longer have a job, I signed up for it today.  WHAT A SCAM!!!  I'd like to know who runs this thing because they are tricksky, tricksy little hobbitses.  Here's how it works:

1) When you register, they ask you for your career interests (i.e. finance, consulting, marketing,  law, etc.)
2) You conduct a search for jobs. 
3) You are unable to view any of the available jobs that fit into the categories that you selected unless you pay $30/month OR become a premium member another way (first link below gives the details)   

This was so offensive to me that I thought of writing them a very stern letter telling them that I am angry, kind of like the UN does when they give out sanctions (copyright Team America for that joke).  Anyways, I dug in a bit more and found this very informative blog.  That was enough for me to never log onto doostang again until I find a job, at which time I will log onto doostang, then stand in front of my computer screen and do this

Days Unemployed: 21

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kumquat Marmalade (pronounced mar-mah-lahhhd)

This is what unemployed people do with their afternoons...

Wait...that's not true at all.   In fact, I'm willing to guess that Dahm and I were the only ones on the planet making kumquat marmalade yesterday afternoon, except for maybe these people.  Why kumquat marmalade you ask?  Well, mostly because of the name.  It sounds silly, pretentious and like something that is completely unnecessary.  At least two of those three I still agree with after making it.  I was also curious as to what a kumquat tasted like and since you generally don't really eat them according to the people in the cookbook who know what the hell they're doing, marmalade (again, pronounced mar-mah-lahhd) is really all you can do with a kumquat (pronounced kum-quat).  Regardless, I realized today after canning and everything else that I put way too much sugar in.  Then again, is there such a thing as too much sugar?  

Days Unemployed: 16

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Aftermath...

Rambo vs. Commando final scene deaths (yes, it really was this close, and yes the picture above contains anti-tank ammunition):

Rambo - 76
Commando - 75

Best Part of Either Movie:  The military's speculation that the South Americans kidnapped Arnold's daughter (played by Alyssa Milano).   

Serena Williams-style baritone screams let out during ping-pong game:

Sean - 5
Seth - 3

Days Unemployed: 13

Monday, February 2, 2009

Worst restaurant name ever?

I feel like there are a few words missing, or too many words, or something.  There's so much going wrong here.  Let's Go Dinner implies that it is a dinner restaurant, but then it has a picture beside it of a cup of coffee and the word breakfast is to the left.  If you look at it from this angle, it's called "Let's Go Breakfast Dinner Restaurant."  Either way, it appears to be closed, which makes sense.  Here's what they may have meant to say:

"Let's Go To Dinner Restaurant?"
"Let's Go Restaurant?"
"Let's Go Teach Everyone How to Make A Restaurant Fail Restaurant?"

Great Super Bowl.  I took the over on 2:00 being the time for Jennifer Hudson singing the national anthem.   She came in at 2:17.  She was fantastic though.  Great Aussie Open Final also. While the rest of the world either works or sits at home writing pointless blogs, Rafael Nadal and Santonio Holmes are out procreating.  

Days Unemployed: 12