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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

My Busy Weekend

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

My Busy Weekend

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a friend you haven't met
First of all, I owe two birthday wishes!

Happy (Belated) Birthday, fanged_geranium!

I'm so embarassed that this is late because I thought everyday, "Don't forget to post a birthday marquee for Lois!" then promptly failed to do so. Yay me. Anyhoo, I will eventually finished "Election" for you. Meaning sometime, maybe, in the next millenium. Hopefully in the next couple of years. ;)

I am sorry for being late and hope that you enjoyed your day.

And also....

Happy (Slightly Early) Birthday, satismagic!

Well, it's slightly early by my time, though in your time, I'm spot on! Have a wonderful day!

Is it any surprise that my weekend has been packed to the point that I have barely seen my apartment to sleep in it?

Friday night, Bobby and I decided that we felt like pizza and so tried a new pizza joint. It was absolutely meh. And on the lower end of meh too. Bobby and I are very easy to please, and besides that, it's pizza! It's not difficult!

We ordered green peppers and eggplant as toppings. Halfway through, we were both picking off the eggplant because the pieces were so big that it was slimy and you could taste nothing else. Bleh. The pizza itself was dismally average, though the Greek salad was very yummy. Also, it was "European cafe" style dining, but to get drink refills, you had to go stand in the line to order, which was rather long. And they only gave sixteen-ounce cups half-filled with ice, so it was impossible to make it through a sixteen-inch pie on eight ounces of soda.

Also, it was expensive for what we got and the quality.

So we won't be going back there, but we so rarely strike out on restaurants that we really can't complain.

After that, we went to the Haunted Ruins at the Patapsco Female Institute. The PFI was once a school of etiquette for wealthy girls, but the place was cold and drafty and some of them died. It was also a Civil War hospital, since Ellicott City is on the rail line and Maryland was divided between the North and the South. After that, it was a hotel and a hospital again during World War I as well as a private residence.

However, what makes PFI notable is that it is considered one of the most haunted places in Maryland. Numerous investigators have observed paranormal activity there, with one ghost in particular named Annie, a girl that they discovered died there of influenza when the place was an etiquette school.

This year, the site was home to a haunted house called Haunted Ruins that was based off of the history and paranormal experiences common to the site. Because Bobby and I adore Halloween, we generally try to go to one of these things each season, though we've long stopped being scared of them. This one was no exception: It was creepy and cool to be out in the woods in the dark on a chilly night, and the PFI site was absolutely awesome, but the event wasn't particularly scary. We waited in line between a dad with two pre-teen boys in front of us and a group of Catholic-school teenybop girls behind us. The guy was hilarious; as we waited in line, masked actors walked through the crowd, and one little dude with a mask with a big stretched mouth came up, and the guy chuckled and said, "Oh wow, would you look at that?" We were hoping to get put in his group, but of course, we got stuck with the teenybops.

The teenybops wouldn't have bugged me except that every time something "scary" came through the crowd, they started shrieking and bumping into me. I don't like being touched by strangers. So I pushed back, hoping that one might tumble down the hill. No such luck.

Also, they were such dismally clueless rich girls. Ai.... I hate seeing young women who center their identities on their stupidity or who think that stupidity makes them cool. Also, they remind me of why I don't use "OMG" unless I'm making fun of their very type of person. OMG.

Of course, while on the walk, the actors targetted them, allowing Bobby and me to enjoy being inside the site of so many famous hauntings on such a perfect autumn night, just looking around, taking it all in. The building no longer has a roof, so while walking through the house, one can look up and see thousands of stars where the roof should be. We didn't have any legitimate experiences, but it was cool nonetheless.

Saturday, we had aquarist-assistant training all day. Details are posted at the_nautilus for anyone interested in reading such geeky things. The training was great, but getting there was harrowing. First of all, training had already been rescheduled once because they had the streets closed for the Baltimore Marathon. Unbeknownst to the coordinators, the streets were closed again this week for a cancer march. We received an email late Friday afternoon, behooving us to avoid certain streets, but traffic was terrible as a result, even at 8 a.m. There was no hiding the resentment of the coordinators to this activity and the City of Baltimore in general because of it. It was said that Baltimore is a big city trying to have a small-town mentality, and I have to agree. The Inner Harbor is our city's tourist hub. Saturday is the busiest day downtown. So where and when do they close the streets? In the Inner Harbor, on a Saturday.

Was it for a good cause, though? Perhaps. But when the organization in question devotes one-third of its profits to glossy marketing campaigns (not awareness campaigns, marketing campaigns) rather than actually "finding a cure," I rather doubt it. I'll give my time and energy to organizations that use both almost exclusively for research and awareness, thankeeverymuch.

After training was over, we hopped in the car and drove to Greenbelt to catch the train into Washington. We had tickets for the Caps game that night, the procurement of which went something like this:

Dawn: We have a busy weekend, so maybe we shouldn't go to the Caps game on Saturday.
Bobby: You think?
Dawn: Yeah, let's stay home.
Bobby: Okay.

(some days later)

Bobby: You know what I found out today?
Dawn: What's that?
Bobby: Saturday's Caps game is federal employee night.
Dawn: Really?
Bobby: Yeah, I can get really good seats at center ice for $25.
Dawn: Really?
Bobby: Yeah.
(...a several-second pause...)
Dawn: So you want to go?
Bobby: Yeah, I'll order the tickets.

It took so much convincing! Anyway, we had a good amount of time after arriving before the game started, so we tried a new fancy-schmancy Mexican restaurant first called Rosa Mexicano. Here, we made up for our crappy pizza experience the night before. We started with a guacamole appetizer, made fresh at tableside. It was literally the best guacamole I'd ever had. For a main course, I had the chili rellenos de espinaca: three poblano peppers stuffed with spinach, pine nuts, and raisins; topped with goat cheese; and all in an orange-colored sauce. At first, I thought that the combination of poblano peppers, goat cheese, and raisins sounded a little odd, but it worked. Oh, it worked very, very well. Bobby had some sort of chicken tortilla pie (I can't get the menu to load, so I can't give an exact name) that he loved, and we had some sort of ice cream for dessert.

This put us right on time for the game. Unfortunately, the game sucked (because the Caps lost 6-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning) except for the fact that Ovie got two goals. The defense looked terrible. Alex Squared (that being Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin) looked phenomenal, but two guys can't carry a team, even if they are Alex Squared. Olie the Goalie had a decent game, considering. And the officiation was a travesty. They were calling the Caps for every little bump but overlooking egregious fouls on the part of the Lightning. It sucks to play one's opponent and the game officials.

Needless to say, after a day like that, Bobby and I fell into bed and died last night. Today, we woke up, hoping to go to the Renn Fest, but the meteorologists were calling for rain, so we went to the movies instead. Of course, it turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day. Figures. Yet more proof of why never to trust a Baltimore meteorologist.

Bobby is off playing two games tonight: first his debut for the Bulldogs, then his second game an hour later for the Baltimore Piranhas, so he's likely going to fall into bed and die tonight as well.

Tomorrow, we have both taken off to go hike in the Catoctin Mountains and to observe some gorgeous autumn colors. We are taking the camera and two changes of batteries, so hopefully, we'll bring back more beautiful autumn pictures.
  • Sometimes, it's the simplest things, like pizza, that are the hardest to do right. Because they are so simple, and it's impossible to hide any mistakes the way you can do in a more complicated dish.

    I made spinach-mushroom quiche yesterday, and it was gooooooood. For a treat tomorrow night, I bought some quinces, and I'm going to do them up Italian style.
    • That does sound good! Though the only quiche I've had is crab quiche, which was a staple in my family growing up.

      With pizza, it doesn't help that Bobby and I have found plenty of pizza places in the area that meet our somewhat-exotic tastes reasonably well, so everyone gets held to a higher standard as a result.
      • French Pony's Recipe Service to the rescue! Here is the Spinach Quiche recipe, adapted from the nursing school cookbook that Little Sister Pony gave me for graduation. Written in the Joy of Cooking format, because JoC is just awesome that way:

        Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Acquire an unbaked piecrust and put it in a pieplate. Melt 2 TB butter and saute 3 cloves chopped garlic and 1 small chopped onion until they look done. Add in 1 package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed, natch), 1 small can of drained mushrooms and 6 - 8 oz. (depending on what size package you can get at the store) of garlic-herb feta, crumbled. Apply salt and pepper liberally.

        Mix all this together real good, so that it's combined, heated through, and there's just enough melted feta in the skillet to make washing up mildly problematic. Turn this all out into the piecrust and spread it around evenly. Beat 4 eggs and 1 cup milk, and add more salt and pepper. Pour this over the mixture in the pieplate, making sure it gets into all the cracks.

        Pop the quiche into the oven for 15 minutes. You can while away the time by starting to clean the melted feta off the skillet. After 15 minutes, sprinkle Parmesan evenly over the top of the quiche, and stick it back in the oven for another 35 - 40 minutes. Once you take it out, let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes so it can settle down before you cut it. Tastes great either hot or cold.

        our somewhat-exotic tastes

        Yes. Eggplant. Vies with endive and boiled okra for the title of World's Most Disgusting Vegetable EVAR. Winner gets an all-expenses-paid vacation with avocado, the World's Most Disgusting Fruit.
        • Thanks for the recipe! I shall give Bobby a nudge. ;)

          Yes. Eggplant. Vies with endive and boiled okra for the title of World's Most Disgusting Vegetable EVAR. Winner gets an all-expenses-paid vacation with avocado, the World's Most Disgusting Fruit.

          Never had endive or boiled okra (though we loves fried okra, precious!), so I can't comment there. As for eggplant, I adore eggplant parmesan, particularly when the eggplant is thin and crispy. Eggplant recipes where the eggplant is slimy or bitter...bleh.

          Uno's Pizzeria successfully uses eggplant on pizza, so I know it's possible!

          And avocado...I love that too. I think I was meant to be a vegetarian.
          • Belgian endives are the reason that foreign powers like to invade Belgium. The theory being that, if you whup the Belgians enough, eventually they'll stop growing the damn things. Hasn't worked yet, but people keep trying. Picture a hard, bitter heart of Romaine lettuce that you boil and wrap ham around. If you are particularly unlucky, someone will drown the thing in Velveeta under the illusion that this might make it more palatable.

            Ha, I say ye, ha.
            • Okay, that sounds completely and 100% nasty. Especially with Velveeta cheese, which is even dodgy as a nacho cheese, much less mixed with lettuce hearts and ham.

              I stick to my eggplant and (fried) okra, thank you!
              • Except they aren't lettuce hearts. They're endives, which are extremely bitter, much more so than lettuce hearts, and quite hard.
  • I see your crappy eggplant pizza and raise you one helping of "steamed red potatoes" which were actually lime green! Ha, top that. :P

    Funny you should mention Halloween. My friend Elina played us a creepy song called "The Suicide of the Hungarian" or something. Then we started talking about the game Bloody Mary, and how we should snare people into an elaborate rendition of it on Halloween. *rubs hands together evilly*

    Tableside guacamole is Teh Best!! Or rather, homemade guacamole is the best!

    I wish I could take off a day from class and go hike. Oh wait, I could if I wanted to fail my classes and re-injure my ankle. Haha. I'll pass.
    • I see your crappy eggplant pizza and raise you one helping of "steamed red potatoes" which were actually lime green!

      I'm beginning to wonder if a Geiger counter might be in order when eating at your university. Seriously. Food that is that discolored is probably bad and shouldn't be used. I'd have serious issues with that.

      I wish I could take off a day from class and go hike. Oh wait, I could if I wanted to fail my classes and re-injure my ankle. Haha. I'll pass.

      Yeah, it's up a mountain too and rated "Difficult," so probably not a good idea, given your fragile state. ;)
      • Food that is that discolored is probably bad and shouldn't be used.

        Lol, well, we had a good time trying to figure out what the heck they did to the potatoes. Seriously, I grabbed a pickle which was the same color.

        Yeah, it's up a mountain too and rated "Difficult," so probably not a good idea, given your fragile state. ;)

        Hmm...well, Horsetooth Rock is up a mountain and rated "Difficult", iirc. I'm actually contemplating going back to the doctor (or maybe finding a real better one) if it isn't satisfactorilly better by the end of the week. (Not that I said that last week, and pushed the date back or anything...)
  • EGGPLANT? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • Bobby makes an eggplant parmesan that I think that even many eggplant-haters might like. The eggplant is cut thin and cooked till it's crispy, so it's not slimy or bitter, which are two ways to ruin a good eggplant dish.

      But I'm vegetarian, so I have developed a taste for most vegetables that "normal" people hate. :^P
  • Thank you. :-) Now it's official on both sides of the globe, I guess: I am a year older again...
    • You're welcome! I hope that you had a lovely day. :)
      • It was quite and featured raspberry cake, a dinner with pasta & pumpkin, and more work on the revision of my novel.

        This year's unfavourable conditions apart - I've been trying to pinpoint when birthdays stopped being important to me. Maybe around the same time when years became a "short time"? My friend K. noted yesterday how we have been friends for more than 25 years now. And how that would have been unimaginable for us as kids. Well, for a four years old one year is a fourth of her life-time... and now it's just a little while.
  • Also, it was "European cafe" style dining, but to get drink refills, you had to go stand in the line to order, which was rather long. And they only gave sixteen-ounce cups half-filled with ice, so it was impossible to make it through a sixteen-inch pie on eight ounces of soda.

    We have that happening a lot at most MacD's. You order a diet coke, but half of it is filled with ice. Maybe it is run by a Scot or a Dutch person ;)

    Sounds like a busy weekend and I am just amazed how you both can die and still be running around the next day *wink*
    • Oh, the soda thing drives me nuts, especially in places where they don't offer free refills.

      At The Piece, we were told that carryout beverages should be 3/4 filled with ice. Now when the soda is cold to begin with, why do you need that much ice?

      Luckily, most of these sorts of places over here have also discovered that paying someone to fill sodas (and not offering free refills) is more expensive than offering free refills and making the customers fill their own. And I have no complaints with that! :)

      Maybe it is run by a Scot or a Dutch person ;)

      LMAO! Italian, I think. ;)

      Sounds like a busy weekend and I am just amazed how you both can die and still be running around the next day

      Ah, yes...we're apparently zombies many times over.
  • Thanks for the birthday wishes - I had a good day and a fun party.
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