Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for December, 2007

Citrus & beer

Posted by quirksalight on December 30, 2007

This was at Bistro Europa on the 29th, as Don’t Panic was performing. CL and I were drinking beer at the bar while listening; she had a Yuengling and I had a Belhaven Scottish Ale.

Bar dude: Hey, how’s the Belhaven Ale? What is an ale, anyhow?
Me: Well, it’s kinda like a lager, but I like it because it’s not very hoppy and has a slight nutty taste. It reminds me of a Dubel.
Bar dude: Oh yeah, I guess you like the Belgium beers. You know, you have to add an orange to those, to change the chemistry before you drink them.

[at this point, CL is smirking quietly beside me]

Me: [giving the guy an odd look] Um, you’re thinking about hefeweizens, the wheat beers, and you add a lemon to them, not oranges. The acid in the lemon juice kills the foamy head.
Beer dude: Wow, you really know your beer!
Me: I like to know what I’m drinking.

Yes, this was what happened, pretty much verbatim. CL pointed out to me that the Beer dude was drinking a very fruity cocktail as he was talking beer with me. Funny, but odd.

Posted in Alcohol, Alexandria, amusing, ancedotes, Beer, Don't Panic, Humor, VA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bands and Beer

Posted by quirksalight on December 30, 2007

Yesterday was the night of the small get together of people from high school that I organized at Sweetwater Tavern, a bar/restaurant chain in Northern Virginia. Turnout was low; in fact, it ended up being me and one other person. Which actually was a good thing; CL was a friend of mine from HS that I hadn’t talked to in 10 years and we spent a long time catching up and seeing how our lives had taken us. Interestingly enough, we had both gone into the biological sciences with her starting a Ph.D as I was leaving it.

One of the people (DP) who couldn’t come had a gig with her band, Don’t Panic, on the 29th at Bistro Europa in Alexandria, VA. CL and I headed over there after beer and dinner to catch the show and catch up with her.
Pretty sweet… it was a good time. One of the band’s first incarnations and performances were for our high school talent show. The band practicing a cover of U2’s “With or Without You” in the chorus room is a memory that’s flashed through my head over the years, as I associate the song with that scene. Turns out that they still play it (and did tonight); yep, still the memory flashback.

Posted in Alexandria, amusing, annoyance, Beer, Don't Panic, Food, high school, memory, Music, musings, restaurants, VA, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Day after Christmas shopping

Posted by quirksalight on December 27, 2007

Four all day Metro passes: $26

Four tickets to the International Spy Museum and Operation Spy, their interactive adventure: $100

Ethiopian food at Almaz Restaurant for lunch: $74

Tea and sorbet break at Teaism: $12

Bridging a 10, 12, and 16 year age gap and expanding your cousins’ horizons: Priceless

Posted in adventure, amusing, cousins, DC, family, Food, fun, holidays, Metro, museums, People, restaurants, Tea, Washington DC | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 months…

Posted by quirksalight on December 22, 2007

….to cross the continental US via bicycle!!!
The American Discovery Trail

Posted in adventure, bicycling, biking, fun, future, mountain biking, trail, trail riding, US | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just in time for the holidays

Posted by quirksalight on December 22, 2007

A British atheist poet, Carol Ann Duffy, has written a series of new Christmas carols that’s been set to the music of Sasha Johnson Manning.
Called the the Manchester Carols, several of them are re-vamping of the traditional carols without the religious overtones that are in the more familiar traditional carols. You can read the lyrics to one of them here in an article by The Independent.

Other news articles on this from various sources: BBC, Manchester Evening News, The Times, The Agonist

Posted in amusing, atheism, atheist, British poet, Carol Ann Duffy, carols, Christmas, holidays, Humor, Music, news, religion, Sasha Johnson Manning, world news | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“…he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice…”

Posted by quirksalight on December 16, 2007

Dad sells son’s 90-dollar video game online for more than 9000
-Courtesy of Yahoo! News

Posted in amusing, Humor, shopping | Leave a Comment »

Revisiting my gremlin….

Posted by quirksalight on December 16, 2007

I finally went and saw an orthopedic surgeon in Virginia for my knee again. The swelling and joint pain had subsided for a while, but now it’s becoming a bit more frequent.
Playing the Dr roulette, I searched in my insurer network for an Orthopedic Surgeon in the area, that takes my insurance, has multiple hospital privileges, and no malpractice or negative rating shows up in a Google search. The first guy I picked, Dr. S, looks to be a pretty good choice. His specialty is in knee, sports injury, and the articular cartilage, which fits the bill quite well for me. In addition, he did his residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery, which is one of the best places in the country for Orthopedic problems. I tried to get an appointment there, but my health insurance only coverage the hospital fees, but not the doctor’s bill, which can run to $400 + per visit. (ouch!)
My appointment with him was this past Thursday, and it appears that I’ve made a good choice. The office was a little hard to find, and I got there late, so I had to wait a bit longer to see him. On the upside, I got an x-ray of my left knee, which let me see how my kneecap is positioned at the moment. Maybe I’m being a bit optimistic, but it looks like the kneecap is tad more medial then it was 10 months ago.
As I brought all my records from the Orthopedic Surgeons in NY (It’s a little aggravating to know that I’m now on my 4th (!) OS for this problem in less than 5 months), we discussed what I had done in the past, and what options I should be thinking about in the future. He agreed with me that the chrondroplasty/debridement was a bad option and will only cause more problems in the long run. His proposal was a bit interesting; to do a conservative treatment for 6-9 months, which includes physical therapy, NSAIDs, lifestyle changes, and losing weight.
If things aren’t any better after that time period, then he wants me to consider an autologous chrondrocyte implantation and a Fulkerson osteotomy. The former take my own chrondrocytes, ships them off to a lab so they can be grown into cartilage, which is then implanted into the regions of destroyed cartilage. The latter is a physical restructuring of the patellar ligament insertion point in the patella. It’s pretty invasive and is not a minor piece of surgery; from what I’ve read online, the healing process can be anywhere from 4 months to a year. (yikes!) Side effects include IT syndrome, where the IT band rubs/snaps against the distal femur, nerve damage, joint pain, accelerated osteoarthritis, accelerated osteopenia, loss of sensation, and total failure of the surgery. On the upside, there’s a high success rate, especially in the younger population, mostly arthroscopic surgery, and I’d get an injection of my own lab-grown chrondrocytes.
But… decision time is months away and I’ll have a year to think on this. Crossing my fingers….go, go, physical therapy!! 😛

Posted in Arthroscopy, Baker's cyst, cartilage, cartilage damage, Chondral defect, chrondrocytes, full thickness defect, knee, knee surgery, medical, Medicine, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, pain, patellar subluxation, physical therapy, surgery | Tagged: , , , , | 160 Comments »

Scores, the Hustler club, the N and L trains?

Posted by quirksalight on December 11, 2007

The New York Daily News had this interesting article:
Subway Pole Dancers Enrage MTA

Apparently there was a $10K prize to the best pole dancing in public and these girls took the prize for their performance to Prince’s “Erotic City” on the lovely MTA.
What’s really funny are the commentary at the bottom of the page, ranging from, “hey those girls are assaulting that man by dancing on his lap,” to “you go, girls!”

Posted in amusing, dancing, Humor, MTA, Music, MY, news, NYC | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Talking my way to Korea

Posted by quirksalight on December 7, 2007

This morning was my interview with the S. Korean embassy for the EPIK position. It went well; the interviewer was pretty confident that I would get an offer, but he couldn’t promise that, as the final decision is made my the EPIK committee in Korea.
I wasn’t sure what kind of questions to expect when I went there, and the interview was more of a getting to know you type conversation then a formal interview. I did the get ones I expected, such as: How long do you want to stay in Korea? If given a situation A as a teacher, what would you do? Where do you want to be in Korea? What subjects have you taught?
The last one was amusing; the interviewer stopped me in the middle of my answer to say that this question was more for his own sake than as a part of the interview, as his son needed help in AP Chemistry (which is one of the subjects I am currently tutoring). And no, he didn’t offer me a tutoring job for his son.
At the end of the interview, he also mentioned that being a Korean-American will work in my favor in the decision making and more than offset my lack of any teaching certifications. Now, more waiting. [twiddling thumbs]

Oh, after Incheon, my 2nd and 3rd choice locations were Daejeon and Busan, respectively.

Posted in adventure, applications, EPIK, interview, inteview, Korea, teaching, teaching english, travel | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

$10 to fly?!?!?

Posted by quirksalight on December 5, 2007

Skybus, a new low budget airline, is offer airline tickets from $10 and up.
According to the Daily New article, the reason why they can do this is by flying into and out of small airports that are totally out of the way. For example, the closest airport from Washington DC is Richmond. And for NYC, you’ve got to head north to Newburgh.

Personally, it’s going to be a real pain in the butt to use this airline; getting down to Richmond to catch a flight is a long haul. But paying under $100 for a round trip to San Diego… well… the extra hassle may be worth it.

Posted in airlines, airports, amusing, annoyance, flying, travel, US | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »