Archive for February, 2010

Odds & Ends

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Nothing too substantial to report (like that has ever prevented me from blogging).  Let’s see, we found a nice little Mexican/Latin-American place in AA (the city in MI, not the substance abuse program) that has delicious pozole.  It has the big fat white corn kernels in it and everything.  It’s served with spicy dried-pepper flakes, herbs, and a lime wedge to add yourself.  It’s good, but it will stain your face orange and you might walk around the rest of that day with an orange upper lip and look like a total tool (pfft, not that I or Cati did).  It’s available at Sabor Latino

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Also, we had to spend a weekend in NYC, and we stayed in a comically small hotel in Midtown.  They didn’t have a baby crib, but they did bring up lots of extrabedding and a mattresss and we built a little bed for Nina. 

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So after nine months of living here in MI, I finally made it into The D. 

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I had lunch at Andiamo in the Ren Cen.

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For Valentine’s day, Cati and I went out for Korean barbeque and a movie here in AA.  The movie we saw was “Up In The Air.”  We both thought that this movie could have used some ninjas or something– totally boring.  It was trying to be all “emotionally resonant,” but it was just Hollywood poop; if you ask me.  This movie was trying to be “Rachel Getting Married“– a far better flick.  I don’t have any photos of the Korean bbq to share, because we were too busy fighting…I mean, lovingly gazing into one anothers’ eyes.     

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The following night, we went to dinner at our friends’ place and had delicious, home-made, traditional Japanese food.  It was really great, and my buddy and I killed a bottle of sake to boot. 

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Nina even got to try some chocolate ice-cream treats wrapped in rice paper.  She liked it. 

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We had Nina present flowers to our hosts. 

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Nina and Nacho have been enjoying the snow.

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But Nacho  still prefers his warm naps on the couch with Mom after getting back home.   

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The Keys to Happiness– Part 2 of 2

Monday, February 15th, 2010

For a special dinner on New Year’s Eve, Cati and I went to Pisces (formerly Cafe des Artistes).  They were having a prix fixe menu.  For our first course, we both chose the “Roulade Czarina”.   It comprised smoked salmon and goat cheese rolled in paper thin potato.  It was slightly seared, served warm, and topped with a truffle vinaigrette and caviar.  I was going a little crazy for this dish.  It was so good and the smoked salmon went beautifully with the goat cheese.  Cati prefers her appetizers on the lighter side, but I thought it was perfect in richness and quantity.  I had a glass of champagne with this course.  The rich goat-cheese, caviar, seared potato, and luxurious presentation make me want to visit Moscow. 


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For our entrees, I had an out-of-this-world crispy-skinned roast duckling, and Cati had a grouper filet in champagne sauce.  I don’t think I even tried Cati’s dish.  Mine was so good.  Looking at my notes from dinner, I recall that I had a six-pack of Heineken during our sailing excursion, some champagne at 1800 EST, a whisky before dinner, a glass of champagne during the appetizer, and a glass of red wine during the entree.  My scribblings are those of a drunken poet in love.  I am too embarrassed to share any of my inebriated gushing; let’s just say, I liked this place and our dinner.  Ah, wine is indeed a mocker. 

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For dessert there was a fantastic plate of candied pecans, an ice-cream thereof, and a Valhrona chocolate frozen mousse.  It was easily among the best desserts I had ever had–  I was reeling (and I don’t think it was only because of the booze [hiccup]).

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As if the food weren’t enough of a draw, there were original Warhol prints all over the walls.

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In short, if you are in Key West, you have to eat here:

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The next day, we went on an excursion to the abandoned Civil-War-era military base (Fort Jefferson) on the Dry Tortugas.  After the imbibing I had done the night before, I was interested in anything with “dry” in its name.  It was a two hour boat ride to the former military base, which now serves as a national park.  Fort Jefferson struck me as an ambitious project but complete failure– it has a pretty interesting history

Take a look at the dismantled docks in the lower middle left of the photo below. 

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The waters in that area were teeming with beautiful wildlife.  While snorkeling, we were close enough to touch the following: stoplight parrotfish, spotted cowfish, barracuda (freaky), anglefish, damselfish, lobster, coral, sea urchin, and a whole lot more.  It was really incredible.  I don’t have an underwater camera, so you’ll have to take my word for it.  The views from the fort were really nice too. 

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On the way back to Tampa, we spent the day in Miami.  It didn’t leave us with a good impression.  Is South Beach where L.A. banishes people who are too douchey for L.A.?  We saw a lot of 60-yr old men in popped collars and flashy designer jeans.  Plus there’s a eurotrash element that made us both point and giggle a few times.  Maybe we need to go back– maybe not.

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On an unrelated note, we are rethinking the name of our anticipated new daughter.  We thought we had decided on “Emi,” but several of Cati’s friends have recently had daughters and have gone with “Emmy” or some variant thereof.  Also, Emma and Emily are the #1 and #3 most common baby names right now.  So now we are thinking about going with something else.  So basically we are undecided as for the second one’s name.  We want it to be short, and not change between Spanish and English.  Suggestions?