Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More pictures of Leah's visit available here: PICASA.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leah and I had a great sibling bonding trip this month. She arrived late in the evening of August 5th and left the following Tuesday. Just a note to those who engage me in touristing, you should be in training at least 1 month ahead of time, because I will drag you around till you puke! Well, not really puke, but we were more or less exhausted by the end of our week together. Not even from fighting!

First we ended up riding the 18 miles or so to the Morris Arboretum where we saw some great big plants, some ferns, and my favorite, filbert trees. Not delicious until ripe and roasted, I will tell you that much. Interactive displays are pretty cool too, check out Leah with her "forest ears"

We then booked it back to our place, then booked it up to our friend Sara's studio where she does screen printing. This is the origin of Leah's awesome bicycle tee.

Friday involved some procurement of goods in the Italian market as well as the most delicious pizza that we have ever concocted: fig, fire roasted tomato and gruyere cheese. Delicious in a cosmic way. Leah and Jennifer also ended up making some mozzarella cheese, not quite the same sort of success there, but it was a valiant effort.

Saturday was NYC day and we took the Bolt Bus up at 8 am. We ended up walking from the bus station all the way to Chinatown where we met up with Nick and Amy who helped us elbow our way into a soup dumpling house. Delicious. We then ate Pandan and Peanut/Sesame ice creams at the Chinatown Ice Cream Shop. Also Delicious. We then saw such sights as the Brooklyn Bridge, statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Metropolitan museum of art where we only paid them $2! It's a SUGGESTED DONATION! Hah! For dinner Nick and Amy graced us again with their guidance and we ate ramen, the taste of my erstwhile home, Japan.

Sunday was hot as shit, but we drove out to scenic Lancaster county and Leah cheered me on to VICTORY in my bike race. It was my first win in over a year, and I was quite happy to have such an awesome cheer squad. We also saw a giant caterpillar, Amish people in buggies and stopped in a WaWa convenience store. Big day!

Monday we went rock climbing. Also hot as shit. At one point Leah accidentally put her arm on the rock, and slimed it so heavily with her sweat that she was unable to stand on it for the next move upwards.

We also saw the biggest spider that I've ever seen in nature. It was about the size of my hand. Scary.

We stopped by the superb Korean grocery on the way back and prepared ourselves a veritable sushi feast. My favorite part about the whole affair was the fact that Leah would cut up the fish or octopus or whatever and say, "Oh gross, I'm not going to eat that!" but then 30 seconds later she'd be chomping on some. We polished off a large hunk of salmon, a whole octopus arm and about 20 shrimp, not to mention the avocado and cucumber rolls.

Leah and I have the same appeteit for monster amounts of wasabi.

Tuesday was our last day together, and I was a bit sad that I wouldn't have a sibling within 800 miles of me any more. We decided to cap the trip off with a ride around Philly through the hilly reaches of the wealthy inner suburbus. And then we were going to tackle THE WALL. Bike afficionados in the Philly area know the stretch of Levering street in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia as the Wall because it starts off at about 10% grade then gets steep. It's about 1000 meters of uphill road, maxing out at about 17%. Dad didn't make it up the hill when he came out, a fact that I used to goad Leah into trying the hill. We had a valiant non-success that nearly ruined her day, but when we stopped by for "wooter-ice" the Philadelphia dessert specialty, we were all set. I was worried that we wouldn't get a chance to eat a cheese steak, but there, on the road to the airport, we found a shop that made a pretty good "wiz-wit", that is a cheese steak topped with cheese wiz and onions. A little slice of heaven right there.

It was a great trip overall. We have decided what our parents already know, that we are the most similar of any two Ritz's. That is, we both are tall with big butts and no shoulders, complain a lot and are secretly ultra-competetive. Family, a good thing to have to provide you with an exterior example of your own foibles.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I had another one of my standard zombie killing dreams last night. In this type of dream, I usually am faced with a horde of monsters of some kind and I often have to slay them with a sword or something. I have this dream about once a month or so. It's usually not that frightening, just very frustrating as I am unable to kill the monsters/zombies/aliens/attackers.
In this edition, some friends (unspecified) and I were at a house party when some zombies, who looked very much like the other partygoers entered the scene. They started tearing the place up and I ended up fighting with a giant woman zombie who I slashed and stabbed a short broadsword just like the one I saw at the Met the other week. No results, the zombie woman didn't die easily. After a great deal of consternation the zombie became somewhat docile and even let me know her vulnerable points. Then the scene jumped outdoors and I ended up in hand to hand combat with other zombies who just wouldn't die. This time I lost my trusty sword and ended up chopping people with a hatchet. Inelegant to say the least. At some point, I realized that there was some sort of faulty computer program that was generating monsters and I shut down the house computer, saving the day. A modestly successful zombie dream, if I do say so.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Holy crap. That's a bit how I feel right now. Holy crap.

Worked at the bike shop today with 1 other guy. On a Friday. In the summer.

We locked the doors when it was clear that the other 3 of the 5 of us who were supposed to be there were not coming in. We posted a nice little sign that said "If you know that you need something knock or call, otherwise, bug off." Some people heeded, some people didn't. I really have issue with people who are self important enough to disregard written signs. That's not cool with me, especially if I'm already having a bad day. In retrospect though, locking the doors was the only reasonable option, aside from calling all of the people who had services scheduled for the day and telling them that they were out of luck. Oh well, life goes on.