Monday, September 29, 2008


This weekend showed me that I underestimated the number of nerds in Baltimore and also overestimated my own nerdom. Dave and I ventured out into the rain (torrential downpour) over to the Baltimore convention center Saturday to go to Comic-con. I thought it would be fun to get some free stuff, see all the people dressed up and maybe get some info on new/upcoming movies. When we got there to buy tickets, we realized that whenever there is an opportunity to buy tickets online, we should do so. There were several hundred people in line just to buy admission tickets. The line went all over the lobby and outside into the rain and still wrapped around the building ... it easily would have been over an hour to just get into the event. We were not about to wait that long so we did the next best thing, went drinking and watched the Maryland Terps silence 82,000 people in orange.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Inner Nerd Emerges

So I recently found out that Baltimore has a Comic-con convention and it's this weekend. This is the ninth annual one and this is the first I have heard of it? I knew about the Anime convention they had here, (it was hard to miss all the people dressed as cartoon characters when I was driving through the inner harbor). I think I am going to go. I don't really read comics, and was never really into anything but X-Men (and Wolverine) but I like the idea of them. I also recently read Watchmen after seeing the preview for the movie coming out next March and thought it (the "graphic novel") was awesome. I could also probably watch that movie trailer on repeat for about an hour before I got tired of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Finance from the Future

Great column, and by great I mean really, really sad and quite possibly very likely.

Renewing my License

Yesterday I made a trip to the MVA Express in Columbia to renew my soon-to-be-expired license. I am sad that I no longer have a license with a picture that looks like a mug-shot and instead have one that looks like it should adorn the packaging of Brawny paper towels. At least I thought that until I just (literally, just now) went to get a picture and realized that the new Brawny man is clean-shaven and the old one only had a mustache :-( Hmmm ... well maybe my new license photo could be on the cover of ... damnit ... can't think of anything ... this really ruined my day and it's not even 11 AM yet. Well, my friend's mom calls it a Moses beard ... so that will have to do.
I made an observation while standing in line. The guy standing in front of me was texting and being a half a foot taller than everyone else and "observant" (nosey) I looked at what he was typing ... verbatim - "Word. Can you help get those job postings fo meh?" I didn't see the message he was responding to, and after he glared at me I decided no to read any of the future messages, but thought this was worth mentioning ... mainly because it made my wait in line less agonizing.

Political Thoughts

With the upcoming election and everyone talking about Obama this and Palin that and Tina Fey this and McCain won't make it another 4 years that ... I figured I would talk about why, as a Maryland resident, I am not going to vote. As much as I appreciate being able to cast a vote and being told I have a say in who the future leader of our country is, that is a load of shit. Why? Maryland is a blue state and until the electoral college goes away and this country becomes truly democratic (popular vote), there is no point to me wasting my time to drive somewhere I don't live (my legal address is still in the county) and vote when I already know what the outcome of my state will be. "But Patrick, if everyone thought that way, then McCain could win Maryland." Well, everyone doesn't think that way ... I do, and will continue to until I either move to Ohio, Pennsylvania or get old and end up in Florida (as all old people do). Less then 20% of Maryland's population are registered Republicans (it was 12% in 2002, not sure exactly what it is now) and I don't see a Republican candidate ever winning Maryland in a Presidential election without some pretty extraordinary circumstances (like if Obama chose Palin to be his running mate).

Who else is up for re-election/replacement this term?? Guess I need to do some research and find out if I'll end up voting anyways.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Football Funday

Yesterday was the first Ravens game of the regular season I went to this year. If you recall, I went to the Ravens - Vikings preseason game (for about 15 minutes) but ended up getting rid of my tickets to the Cincinnati game. Rob and I started out at Mother's in Fed Hill around 11:30 for brunch, Brian got there shortly after to meet up with us. Mother's was good and bad ... the good was the Maple leaf 'dilla I had for breakfast and all the TVs showing the 1:00 PM games while we waited for our 4:15 start ... the bad was the complete lack of drink specials. We had our 'dillas (and a couple beers) and headed over to Cross Street Market and got the more valuable $5 32 oz drafts. A couple of those and we headed back to Mother's to watch the games for a little while. Rob and I left Brian to his Eagles and made our way to lot H for some tailgating with my sister's bf and his crew. I also met up with an ex I hadn't seen in several months that was tailgating (I think that was awkward but was drunk and am not sure). Several Natty Boh's and a couple of Jager bombs later we made our way into the stadium. A bag of pistachios, half an order of nachos and another couple beers later the Ravens won and my voice was shot. Rob and I headed back to Cross Street to get picked up by his awesome fiancee. I had her drop me off at Tiburzi's so I could see some of the Dallas - Packers game but fell victim to the long day of being in the sun (nothing to do with drinking) and went home to pass out around 10:30 PM. My fantasy team is down 30 but I have two WRs going tonight, I hope Favre and Rivers have a shoot-out and Cotchery and Chambers come out the best.

Osborne Cox?

After my football game (BSSC, we lost) on Saturday I went out to Mustang Alley's bowling bar thing near Little Italy with a friend from college. This was the first time I had been there and I was impressed. The music was great (a good mix of contemporary and classic rock and hip-hop/r&b and everything else but country), the atmosphere was relaxing and the bar seemed to be full service with every alcohol and real food (not the normal pizza/hot dogs and bud products you find at most bowling alleys). They charge by the hour per lane, $35 (during the time we were there, it's more expensive later at night) which wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't just me and my friend. The benefit though is that we got 4 games in. I won the first two pretty easily, i think it was something like 155-80 and 140-70something. I wouldn't say I felt bad for her but the scores of the last two games were significantly closer and I lost both times. We left there and headed over to Landmark Theaters to see Burn After Reading.

This movie marks the first time I got theater popcorn in over 2 years. I usually pass on it since I can have popcorn at home (homestyle is the best) but since my f'ing microwave decides to burn every bag I have attempted to pop ... I haven't had any in a long time and was going through withdrawal. The movie was great, everyone in it was great, the crowd in the theater was great. Just a really good theater experience. One of the great quotes, "Chad Feldheimer: [on the phone] Osbourne Cox? I thought you might be worried...about the security...of your shit." I love the Coen brothers when they do dark comedy.

After the movie we went back to Canton to get some food at Tiburzi's. They got a new pool table upstairs and we played a few games. I am terrible at pool, absolutely terrible. I won once ... by default ... because she hit the 8-ball in on her third shot. I am really starting to feel at home at Tiburzi's, I know everyone's name, I don't need to worry about wanting to punch someone in the face as I usually feel every time I go out in the square, the beer's cheap, the crowd is relaxed. After Tiburzi's we went and played some darts at my house (I won) then played a couple songs on Rock Band. The whole day was fun and made up for the completely shitty workweek.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm Tired

That's all ... this week needs to be over now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dragonboat Races (Long Post)

So this will be a long post and may go off in different directions at times but it will have everything I want to say in it along with a lot of good pictures (some from my camera, some from teammates, and some from a co-worker that is a photographer on the side [I bet you will be able to tell those]).

My morning started at 4:30 AM, waking up to get my two teammates that crashed in my living room up and make sure we were ready for a third teammate to pick us up at 5 and drive us over to fed hill. We got to the captain's house in fed hill around 5:30 and started packing up the cars with stuff to decorate our tent. Once everyone got there (around 6) we all drove over to Rash Field and started unloading all our stuff. Let the set-up begin:

Once everyone got there and we checked in, we sat around, ate breakfast and waited until 8:15ish for our seeding race. This was against Baltimore City Police and two other organizations. We were in the first lane that went along the end of all the boat slips on our right. We were winning the whole race until the end when we started veering to the right and headed toward the last slip and right for the corner of a large yacht (the one with Route 66 on it ... the owner moved it forward about 10 feet after our close encounter). After coming within about a foot of the boat and our right side paddlers stopping till we passed it, we crossed the finish line (white buoy) a little under 2 second behind the cops. We were seeded 8th out of 21 teams.

I don't really remember how long until our next race, but we went up against Verizon (seeded 8th) and the Mayors office (seeded 17th) in our first "real" race. This one went much better for us ... although we still lost, we posted the 3rd best time during that round. The mayor's office lost control and started going out into the harbor (hence the 3+ minute time). Since time didn't matter anymore, we moved over into the losers bracket.

Our next race was against a couple schools and we won easily. The next team was over 10 seconds behind us. Our time slipped a little to 1:50.6 but we were still happy with our performance.

We had a long break before our next race and relaxed for a while and did our chant to the Gilligan's island theme (every team had to do a chant and most were a couple minutes long, I think ours lasted about 40 seconds). Our team name/mascot was the falcons so don't ask for an explanation regarding the beaks.

Our next race was the most controversial of the day. We got our rematch against the BCPD and also had Suntrust Bank and another organization in the race. We were pretty pumped and knew we could win. The race starts and we are winning be maybe a third to a quarter boat length to Suntrust with BCPD in third. What we didn't know is a water taxi crossed through the lanes after we had already start and since we were in front we got completely turned by the taxi's wake. We start heading in the direction of the Suntrust (on our left, my side) boat and collide we are rubbing against the boat and I am yelling, "keep paddling!" while i wedge my ore between the boats to push off. Once there is room, both teams start paddling and it sounds live an ancient war with swords clashing. We end up getting back into our lane and now the BCPD team was heading toward us (we later found out they were avoiding the boat in the first lane that was also affected by the water taxi's wake). We come to a dead stop and let them pass then start right back up not letting this deter out desire to win. We catch up to them and start gaining but only manage to get to their halfway point. Suntrust ended up winning the race but the organizers reviewed it and (after 20 minutes of waiting and wanting to hunt down the water taxi) determined that the water taxi essentially ruined the race. They allowed us all to advance (BCPD declined though) as if we had won. I wish I had more pictures of this race, but I was in the boat and my picture taker had left. Notice the angle of the boat on the far left in the picture.

While loading into the boats for the next race we got some dirty looks from Suntrust because they felt we didn't deserve to advance even though (with the exception of the water taxi race) we had consistently better times than them. This was the semi-finals and the winner would move on to the finals. So we went out and did our best ... leading for most of the race (with Suntrust right with us) then we started to the left a little bit than back to the right to compensate ... at the end of the race we came in at a slight angle and had no idea if we won. They announced that they needed to review the video because it was too close to even make an unofficial call. We were still happy about how we did regardless of the outcome.

We all got off the boat and asking everyone in the crowd and anyone volunteering for the event who they thought won and no one could tell us. When they announced it, we were winners by 0.4 seconds. We made the finals ... we celebrated:

While we were getting ready for the finals, we got some of the dirtiest looks from people on the Suntrust team, except one guy who came over and congratulated us and shook our hands and all the stuff that this day was about. The race came and went and we got 4th place running our worst time of the day (with the exception of the taxi race). Maybe fatigue had finally set in after being in the 90+ degree heat for 10 hours and not having a break between our semi-final and the final race. It doesn't matter, we were happy we could help a charity and have a day of fun at the same time. Some more pictures of the day:

Monday, September 15, 2008

My dilemma

So I really want to post about the Dragonboat races on Saturday but almost all of the pictures have my company logo all over them. The dilemma is whether or not I care ... my mom (yes, she is probably one of three people that read this ... including me) mentioned that I should only post ones that don't have the company name in them ... but after thinking about it, it really doesn't matter to me. Anyone with a 5th grade education, and some of those advanced 3rd and 4th graders would be able to figure out where I work in less than 5 minutes based on past posts or just by putting my name into facebook. I don't shy away from putting my picture out there or fully sharing my adventures (as poorly written as they may be), that is pretty much all I do.

I guess the deeper question is ... is there anything on here that I think can be seen as detrimental to my career or may result in a backlash of some sort from work?

I don't think so ... I don't complain about work on here (yet?) ... I don't talk about co-workers in the workplace (many are friends and pictured throughout this) ... I don't hide my lifestyle from people at work (they all know I drink and live in a shell of a house, the two main themes of this blog)

I'll think about this on my drive home and decide what pictures I want to post and how I want to present the races on Saturday, in the meantime here is a picture to hold you over (which shows the blurred, but still legible logo):

Irish Festival, Friday Night

I went to the Irish festival in Canton on Friday around 6:00 PM, just after it opened. There was constant but light rain when I got there and I didn't mind so much. The music was really good, a band called Donegal Xpress was playing and had a violinist the looked pretty hot (who was definitely hotter because she was playing the violin). Tir Na Nog was one of the vendors there offering Shepard's Pie and Irish Stew ... aside from the ridiculously small portion for the price, the Irish Stew was amazing. Unfortunately, the festival didn't have any good drink specials ... I thought the point of these were to get a mass of people to come there instead of go to the bars, the Guinness was $6 for a pint ... I can get it equal or cheaper at most of the bars on the square without having to deal with the rain. One of the stands (it was more of a table off to the side) was Baltimore GAA, the Gaelic Athletic Association. I talked to the girl there for a while and think I would like to try out some of their stuff, except practice/try-outs are Sunday when I will be getting ready (drinking) for the Ravens-Browns game. Maybe I can drop-in later in the season?

Anyways, the light rain turned into a heavy downpour and after the band played a cover of Dropkick Murphys "Shipping up to Boston" I was happy enough to leave and head to Looney's for some shelter and less expensive beer (now I need to go home and watch the Departed). Ran into some friends and went to another place where some band was playing then went home to crash for my 4:30 AM wake-up call for the Dragonboat Races (more on that later).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Week

So far this week has been pretty boring overall. The only things that have been interesting to me this week were finishing season 3 of Six Feet Under (Disc 1 of Season 4 should be arriving today) ... and checking out the re-opening of Tiburzi's in Canton last night, causing me to get a little drunk because I talked to the new owner for an hour about how to market the new bar with the square being so close and what specials might attract a crowd (same owners, new management, it's becoming a sports bar [Terps and Ravens] instead of the failed attempt at a nice Italian restaurant). Tonight should be fun though; meeting up with a friend from college that I was in a play with my sophomore year but was never really friends with but ran into each other this past weekend at Noble's in Fed Hill (love those stream of consciousness sentences). Tomorrow I am working from home then heading to Rash Field in Fed Hill to set up for the dragonboat races this weekend. I am looking forward to them except that I have to be up by 4:30 AM on Saturday and then be expected to row for at least 3 races. All I know is I am going to the closest bar once the races are done.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Christmas Thoughts in September

I just got out of the shower and am heading to dinner and while combing my beard realized that I am going to put up with this for the next 4 months because I am being Santa Clause for a kid's party sometime in late November or early December. Right now my beard is mid-length for me (not as bad as it was when I was in Ireland and when I went to sleep my face didn't touch the pillow) but it grows pretty fast and gets super annoying and super itchy pretty quickly ... but since my godson Breccan is one of the kids that is going to be at the party I feel obligated to tuff it out. The only problem right now is that the party is tentatively scheduled for the same day as the Redskins-Ravens game and that is an issue for several of the families involved. I don't know if the woman organizing it realizes how committed some of these families are to their local football teams and that they would probably miss it since this game only happens once every four years during the regular season. Personally, I don't mind because I feel like I could sell the tickets for 2 or 3 times what I paid (I have season ravens tickets this year). I would like to go the game, but not as much as I would like more money in my pocket ... and, of course to make the kids happy by pretending to be a fictional character. Maybe I'll post some beard pictures as it progresses.

Fundraiser Fun

So the fundraiser on Wedesday turned out great and we raised a good amount of money to donate to our Charity Organization. We ended up closing out the night at Magerk's after coming in 4th or something in trivia at Mad River. The actual happy hour was from 7 - 10 and each hour one of the people from the dragonboat team bartended ... I got the 9- 10 shift. Anyways, it was a great time and we raised money for a good cause.

Lee, Me and Shelley (Bartenders)

Me bartending

Doc, 'Ish, and Paris

The group at Magerk's

I guess this is turning into a photo blog, but since I do love pictures I don't mind.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fall TV Line-up Wrap-up

I was out sick from work yesterday and dodn't feel like continuing my TV line-up in the same format. Instead, I am just going to list the remaining shows from Yahoo's list that I want to see or will consider seeing when it comes out on DVD.
  • Grey's Anatomy - I didnt watch any of last season and probably won't watch any of this season but will eventually catch up ... I blame Sandra Oh
  • The Office - I haven't really been able to catch much of this since early in the second season but one day I will have a weekend marathon and get through it
  • Dexter - I am almost done the second season (will be done tonight) and can't wait because this show is amazing
  • Californication - I haven't seen an episode yet, but this seems like the kind of show I will put into my queue and get drawn into
  • Chuck - I guess this is a comedy, but since it is serialized I think I can enjoy it more ... and I used to work at Best Buy and Circuit City so I appreciate all those scenes
  • Pushing Daisies - I enjoyed the first season and my old roommate couldn't understand why but for some reason she always watched it with me
  • Friday Night Lights - Nothing beats the first season of this and while the second season got a little out of hand, I think it still will be a good show
  • Life - Love everything about it

Well, thats all I got. I'll post about the happy hour we did for charity on Wednesday night later and will hopefully have some good stories from this weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall TV Line-up Pt. 2 (26-50)

This is a continuation of the list from yesterday in the same format. Apparently the Yahoo! list I was working off of deletes the shows that have already premiered.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - It's a comedy, but promising ... maybe I'll catch it someday on my Blockbuster queue
  • 20/20 - Why is this on the list, I thought this was a continuous news program
  • In Harm's Way - Don't know what this is, doubt I will find out
  • Valentine - Another show on the CW? Does this station has shows running 30 hours each day?
  • Easy Money - Again with the CW, won't be watching this
  • Dancing with the Stars - I'll check out the final episode if Warren Sapp or Misty May-Treanor are on it
  • The Big Bang Theory - The actors voices are so whiny and it's a comedy
  • How I Met Your Mother - I love NPH and the few episodes I have seen are great, but I don't see myself watching this on a regular basis
  • Heroes - NBC, Monday @ 9 I will be somewhere in the vicinity of a TV to watch this every week
  • Two and a Half Men - Funny show, but like How I Met Your Mother I may only see something here or there
  • Worst Week - All I know about this show is the title and it really doesn't look appealing
  • CSI: Miami - I just can't get into any of these
  • Boston Legal - Never watched it except during the couple episodes Micheal J. Fox was in, those were good enough, but not for me to become a regular viewer
  • NCIS - CSI in the Navy? ... not for me
  • Opportunity Knocks - One of those reality contest things the world could do without
  • The Mentalist - saw a commercial for this were he said the victim was gay because he had a pedicure ... terrible choice of clips to show if you want to appeal to the largest possible audience, I won't be watching it
  • Without a Trace - CBS, Tuesday @ 10 Love the actors/actresses and their group dynamic but will wait for DVD
  • Law & Order: SVU - NBC, Tuesday @ 10 Best of the bunch and the acting is top notch ... plus it has Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street (great Baltimore show), will have to wait for DVD though
  • Knight Rider - I watched the mini-movie preview thing in the spring and was let down, the only positive about this show is the car
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine - Apparently this is a great show and very funny, I believe it but will leave it to others
  • Gary Umarried - No thanks
  • Criminal Minds - Best actor left the show (the guy from Dead Like Me - amazing show), don't need to watch
  • CSI: NY - See CSI: Miami
  • Lipstick Jungle - I don't think I am the intended audience for this show and will comply
  • Survivor: Gabon - Not big on the reality shows, especially in their 17th season

Another 25 a little bit later ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall TV Line-up Pt. 1 (1-25)

Since I don't have cable and still haven't gotten the antenna JWER suggested a month ago, my plan is to go to the gym and watch the shows I like while either riding a bike, walking on a treadmill or doing whatever it is you do on an elliptical. I just hope there aren't too many nights with more than one hour-long show playing in a row. The ones I will watch (or would like to someday when they come out on DVD) are in RED. Here is the breakdown of the fall line-up according to Yahoo! Be warned, it's a long list.
  • 90210 - Don't care, wouldn't watch it if I was being paid
  • The Shield - Can't watch it, I am only through the 3rd season, but will get to it eventually
  • America's Next Top Model - Nope
  • Bones - Fox, Wednesday @ 8PM (I'll be at a fundraiser at Mad River and so should you) Will catch it online later in the week, great show!
  • Ghost Hunters - Don't believe so don't care
  • Top Design - If they were designing the interior of my rowhome I would tune in
  • Sons of Anarchy - FX, Wednesday @ 10 (see Bones) Can't wait to see the new FX "pushing the boundries" show but it might wait until the season comes out on DVD
  • Are you smarter ... I am not finishing that
  • Cops - "now the longest running show on TV after the Simpsons!!" really, this is still on the air?
  • America's Most Wanted - ibid (does that fit in this situation?)
  • True Blood - HBO, Sunday @ 9 Too bad my gym doesn't have HBO on the TVs, I tend to like most of HBO's shows (however, Carnival was a little out there for me)
  • Entourage - HBO, Sunday @ 10 Again, no HBO ... but I have been able to wait for the DVD for each of the past four seasons and will do that again for this one
  • Terminator: SCC - Fox, Monday @ 8 Will definately be able to ride for an hour and not notice during this show
  • The Rachel Zoe Project - Who is Rachel Zoe?
  • Fringe - Fox, Tuesday @ 8 I'll try anything by J.J. Abrams at least once ... yes, anything
  • Privileged - Any that has the letters CW somewhere in the description is written off by me ... is that being unfair?
  • Til Death - I just don't really get into comedies on TV
  • Do Not Disturb - Comedy = no
  • Kitchen Nightmares - Reality falls into the same category as comedies, just not too into them (there are some that can grab my attention though)
  • Don't forget the Lyrics - Won't need to waste time on this
  • House - Fox, Tuesday @ 8 This will be a DVD season since I didn't see any of last season yet
  • Lincoln Heights - While I believe ABC Family has some good shows, I won't be watching this one
  • Biggest Loser: Families - Great concept and if they could just make the cast 200 million Americans it would be awesome (yes, I would be part of that cast)
  • Smallville - I think this show has a passionate following, but I am not among them
  • Supernatural - It's on the CW but when Best Buy runs a 19.99 (or lower) sale on the first season I might have to break that rule

There are 94 shows on Yahoo's list so there will be 4 more posts just like this one. Depending on how busy I am at work tomorrow, I might be able to get all of them out ... if today's 5 (this being 6) posts are any indication ... the list will be done tomorrow.

Happy Hour for Charity - Mad River 9/03 7-10

Not that I believe anyone reads this blog (I really write everything for me since I don't remember what I did this morning let alone last week), but I figured since I subscribed to Blogtimore, maybe the headline will reel someone in.

Where: Mad River - Federal Hill, Baltimore
When: Wednesday, September 3rd, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Why: I am on the Dragonboat team for my work and we are raising money for our charity oganization, Anna's House
What: $10 cover (goes to Anna's House), $1 off specials for domestic beer, house wines and liquor (not top shelf though) and 1 free drink ticket with each paid cover, all tips also go to Anna's House and I will be "guest bartending" from 9:00 - 10:00 PM

I appreciate anyone coming out to support Anna's House, they have been great supporting us during our dragonboat practice the past several weeks.

Labor Day Weekend Wrap-up

My friend Vanessa came down to visit me this weekend because apparently the neighborhood she where she lives in Brooklyn is on the edge of the Caribbean section and the was a big parade/festival thing going on that gets pretty out of hand and she didn't want to be there. Saturday she spent all day shopping and lounging around while I was at the Maryland-Delaware football game. On Sunday she and I went out to brunch with my dad and his girlfriend. We went to Eggspectation in Columbia ... one of the best breakfast places there is. I had a waffle with fresh blueberries and she had their strawberry and banana crepes ... the crepes are so good my dad and gf ended up splitting an order as a dessert.

I was tired from the previous day's activities and headed back downtown to take a nap before dinner. Vanessa's bday was earlier this month so I took her to a nice dinner at Flemming's in Harbor East as a belated gift. We had the "Wicked Cajun Barbecue Shrimp" as an appetizer, they were really good but not spicy as the waitress made them out to be. We both ordered the filet mignon (she got the petite) and split a bunch of a la carte sides; a baked potato, chipotle cheddar macaroni and cheese, and grill asparagus. I had a couple glasses of wine (a Cabernet and a Cab-Merlot blend), she left her ID in NYC and isn't a big drinker anyways. She ended it with chocolate lava cake, no desert for me (not a big fan of chocolate or cakes).
Some of each of the sides and my filet

Does it look like I got some sun at the Terps game? (Keep in mind I generally have a traditional Irish (pale) complexion.

After dinner we walked across the street to the Landmark Theater and saw Pineapple Express. Good movie and a lot more violent than I expected. Reminds me of when James Franco and Seth Rogan were on Freaks & Geeks (great show, everyone should see it)

I dropped Vanessa of at the train Monday afternoon and went to my mom's in Columbia for her bday celebration (it was last Thursday). My friend and former roommate Ali came and we had a great time. Basically this was a weekend of great meals .. better than the ones I had in Vegas the previous weekend (except maybe the Wynn's buffet). My mom's bf made steamed mussels from his "secret" recipe (we have these whenever there is a big dinner at my mom's and they are amazing). My dad and his gf (yes, my mom and her bf and my dad and his gf all had dinner for my mom's bday at my mom's house; my dad's sister was there too) brought the drinks, white sangria with lots of fresh fruit in it mixed with a splash of ginger ale. Both my sisters were there and one brought her bf (the other's bf was hosting a dinner of his own so she came for dinner than left to go back to his cookout). We had steaks from the Laurel Meat Market (one of the best butcher's in the area) cooked on the grill by my dad and seasoned to perfection. There were left-over grilled mixed veggies from my tailgating that we re-heated (on the grill) and added to fresh ones that I grilled at the time. Desert was angel food cake with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries topped with whipped cream. I know what I said about deserts and cake, but there is something about angel food cake that I like, maybe how light it is ... i don't know. My mom opened her cards and gifts and then we all went our separate ways. It was a great end to a great weekend.

The Amazing Race

Please disregard the napkins, they are so we could judge how much was spilled. This was a redo because Brian didn't know how to record using my camera and it turned out pretty bad. I feel like this was a poor performance on my part, and I assume on Dundalk's too because this is about 3 hours into the tailgate after lots of food and drinking.

Me vs. Dundalk Rob

Maryland vs. Delaware

Several things came together to make Saturday a great day:

- Terps football season opener
- Opponent was Delaware (a bunch of my friends went there)
- Tickets were easily available
- Game was at 3:45
- Tailgating started at 11:00
- The rain decided to stay away
- We didn't run out of beer
- The food was awesome
- Maryland won (even if they looked pretty bad)

The rest will be shown through pictures and captions.

Me displaying finesse required to play cornhole

Jones and Bob waiting to throw

Can you say vegetables?

I think it's going in the hole

Waiting for the food to be ready

"It's Paris, with an E"

Meggett about to run over some Blue Hens

"Go Terps!"

Watching in the stands

The end result

Back from Vegas

So, I got back from Vegas over a week ago and am only now finding time to post about it. The trip was mostly relaxing and not nearly as crazy (or crazy at all) as I had anticipated. I blame it on the fact that I have an addiction to poker ... not gambling, just poker. I spent about 16 hours playing poker when I should have been out at clubs or seeing a show or doing something more exciting than sitting at a table with 9 other guys (and the occasional woman) giving my money to each of them in small chunks. On the plus side, my friend Brian that I went with is a food lover so we definitely ate well while we were out there and tried a variety of places. I don't regret the trip because I needed the rest, but wish I chose to go somewhere intended to be relaxing, like a cruise or something. Next time I go it will be like my last trip when I went with a larger group and we tried everything.

The next time I go to Vegas I have decided that the following conditions must be met:
- At least six people going
- Thursday - Monday
- During March Madness
- Someone assigned to keeping me out of the poker room
- Stay at the Wynn
- Go out every night
- Go to at least one show
- Drink fewer triples of SoCo straight up before noon

And now some pictures for fun:

Out the plane's window over the Grand Canyon

View from our room in the MGM Grand (New York New York straight across and Excalibur on the corner)

Last course of breakfast from the MGM's buffet (worst of all the food we had)

One of the lion's from the indoor habitat in MGM Grand

Me in front of the lion habitat

Some of the food from the Wynn buffet that Brian won by signing up for a player's card (the best buffet food I have ever had)