Monday, September 28, 2009

Now That He's Part of the Family...

I really owe Sean for being such a good sport about going apple picking and winery-visiting with my family in the Shenandoah Valley this weekend...

Political Identity as Fashion

On the Metro recently I got to thinking about flags as fashion statements. One thing particularly endemic to the U.S. is the American flag on everything. In my case, I found myself on a crowded Metro train full of tourists, all of them covered with tacky “I Love DC” shirts or, of course, U.S. flags.

I tried to think of any other country where one would see something like that. Canadians I’ve come across in traveling love to put the maple leaf on their backpacks and suitcases, (it’s as if they are trying desperately to say “I am NOT an American!”… and I can’t blame them) but somehow it doesn’t come across in quite the worshipful way it does when Americans do it. I think there’s also a parallel with Europeans and their national football/soccer shirts. But with us, I feel, it reaches patriotic overkill.

On the crowded metro train I found myself rolling my eyes at the tackiness. But then I realized I’m guilty of flags-as-fashion to a degree myself. It’s no secret I have a thing for Union Jacks. I think for a lot of non-British people it’s a fashion icon that transcends its literal symbolism… maybe our love of British icons has its roots in idolizing the “Swingin’ London” of years past? I have Union Jacks on rugs, belt buckles, shoes (thanks to Ben Sherman), shirts, mugs, etc. Thought I doubt it would be as fun or fashionable where I actually in the U.K.

What passes for an ironic fashion statement in one place has an entirely different meaning somewhere else. Just a musing…

"Adam, are you sure it's not a bit much? I mean, you're bathroom's lovely, but really..."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Productive Day

I've been very productive, both personally and at work today, which is odd considering it's Friday and usually it's a day I completely blow off, staring at the clock and waiting for the weekend to begin. Actually most of this week has been spent doing just that. Sometimes when I'm overwhelmed with stuff, I fall into an apathetic/catatonic state where I don't have the drive to do anything. Ask me again how I feel next Monday, but for now I'm feeling better overall.

Here's a soup recipe I want to try soon, from the guys who run The Inn at Little Washington. It looks very fall-ish, so maybe I'll be inspired during the day tomorrow... I'll finally get to put my Cuisninart food processor!

Apple Rutabaga Soup

1 stick butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup granny smith apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 cup rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup butternut squash, peeled seeded and roughly chopped
(I'd use the pre-chopped squash one finds in stores nowadays, cutting butternut squash is a royal pain in the ass.)
1 cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 qt. chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
salt & cayenne pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan over medium-hi heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, apple, rutabaga, squash, carrots and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Simmer 20-25 mins, or until all the vegetables are tender.

Puree the veggies in a blender/food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into pot. Add the cream, maple syrup, salt & cayenne. Bring the soup to a simmer and serve.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Long TIme, No Post

Alright, it's been while since I bothered posting, so here's a pretty picture to make up for it...

Let's see... I went out on Friday with some of Chef Tom's friends to dinner at an oyster bar on 17th st (as a side, I love oysters. I know raw oysters turn some people's stomachs, but I don't care) and then a few drinks. I swear to god we saw a guy with a Kate Gosselin hairdo. For real... I'm still wondering if he was doing as part of a prank or some pre-Halloween thing. I really hope the poor guy wasn't really trying to rock that. Of course the bar was JR's. And no, it was Drunky McDrunkerson in drag. Man with a Kate Gosselin "hairdon't"... I'm an athiest and I'm praying for that dude. Help him, Jeebus! Anywho...

Sunday Chef and I went to the Ukrainian Festival out in Maryland to get in touch with his mother's side-of-the-family roots. There was borscht, pierogies and pivo (beer) to be had!

We also spent the later afternoon at the Mayorga Coffee Factory in Silver Spring. It's funny sometimes, the little things. Like just spending Sunday afternoon having coffee and reading the newspaper together. It was really... just really pleasant in it's own boring yet comfortable way. I can't help but feeling we've reached some turning point in our relationship. You know, the one where reading the paper together feels natural.

Friday, September 11, 2009

When Bears Attack! And other tales

Thankfully, it seems like Fall is here - my favorite time of year! I've always loved fall - even if it's partially because it's the best season for mens fashion.

Sean and I have both been really stressed at work, but we try to see each other as much as possible after work and on the weekends. We both are unhappy with our jobs, but trying to work on that. We try to have fun when we're together, even if our energy levels are low. I apologize to some friends for whom I've been sort of laying low. It's been a shitty summer, really, from the stress of douchebag former bosses, finding a a new job, finding myself less-than-happy in my new one, it's been a lot of strain.

So sometimes I like to get far away from the city with Sean, whether it be the beach or mountains, and we decided to visit Shenandoah National Park last weekend just to get away and spend some one-on-one time. We decided to explore the trails through the forest and everything was going fine until...

A large adult black bear stumbled into our path, about six feet away. Sean and I, needless to say, froze in our tracks. Now, one would think Eagle Scout Sean would know what to do in the case of a bear encounter... well since it's not something that happens everyday I'll forgive him. (Incidentally, this page tells you the proper steps when facing a black bear. )

As you can guess, we've both lived to tell the tale... the bear lost interest in us and sauntered off into the woods. I put up a brave front for Sean, making him get behind me and such. Let me tell you, if I'd been alone my ass would still be up in a tree somewhere screaming like a girl for help! Oh wait, black bears can climb trees. Shit.

Last night my friends and I went to a fashion/wine event at Sean's restaurant- and thank you for everyone who came, and the water witch for driving! I'm so glad it's the weekend now, though it never feels long enough.

Oh, and in a recent previous post, I was blogging about things I wanted to see in life, and mentioned, among other things, wanting to see the Mayan ruins. Sean reads this blog from time to time, and what does he do? He books us a trip in January to Mexico to go see Chichen Itza! It's very sweet - I love you, Sean! I can't wait!!

It just comes to show the power of blogging ;) I seriously need to get ready - I haven't been to the beach/pool as much as I normally do this summer, so I'm a little on the pasty side. Get me some of Lindsay Lohan's "Sevin Nine" tanning cream STAT!