Monthly Archives: January 2003

Emily’s Turkish Kittens

I got a phone call (!) from Emily J on Saturday. She’s living it up in Turkey with two new puffballs that she claims are cats. They’re pretty darn cute, whatever they are. Decide for yourself:

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My upstairs neighbor, Jeanne, met me in the garage yesterday and asked me if I worked for a restaurant because she always smells such delicious cooking smells coming from my apartment. She thought maybe I cook the food here and bring it somewhere else. (Which is kind of a strange thing to think, but I digress). Little did she know those fabulous meals she was smelling were just my boring little dinners and whatnot. I wish I had more people in Ithaca to cook for. And after reading a really depressing article yesterday about how incredibly tight the software engineering job market is these days, maybe I should look into food preparation as a vocation. In any case, I watched Rachael Ray make these really good Chicken Parmagiana cutlets on 30-minute meals the other day on Food Network and had to try them myself. They’re probably not very good for you, but they sure were delicious. So good, I made another batch last night and am holding on to them for snacks. Continue reading

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Ludicrous weather

This being my fifth winter in Ithaca, I am told that this is the first “real winter” we’ve had here. I believe that weather of this sort is an indication that this area of the planet is simply not fit for human habitation. My power mysteriously went out on Wednesday (welcome to the 21st century) at around 7:15 PM. I had just gotten out of the shower, so I had to dress myself in the dark. I hope I picked out reasonable-looking clothes. When I realized I didn’t have any candles or even a flashlight, it occurred to me that the only light sources I had that didn’t need plugging in was my laptop and my cell phone. So I groped around my room and found my laptop, but the battery was out so I couldn’t turn it on until I groped it in its bag to find the replacement battery I so cleverly purchased a month or so ago and replaced the battery and turned on the computer. Using the light from the screen I was able to find my keys, shoes, wallet and cell phone and I left to go see The Two Towers with Em and Cross, hoping the power would be back on when I got back (not unreasonable considering the length of the film). However, no such luck! When I got home the power was still out and it was too scary in my apartment in the dark all alone so I went over to Jessie’s apartment and slept there instead. Of course I barely made it to work on time the next morning because I wasn’t in my own apartment and there was snow all over the place.

Fast forward to Friday. The snow is coming down like crazy and my driver’s side windshield wiper lost some of its rubber so it is not properly clearing the windshield. With my visibility severely handicapped I make my way to work and do my thing, then around 4 I decide that I ought to replace the windshield wiper before it gets dark because darkness+snow+broken windshield wiper=difficult driving. That was mostly successful and it only took me 4 tries to figure out how to remove the old wiper. I could do it quickly now. Anyhow, I leave work at 6:30 for shabbat dinner at the Calvos and shortly after arriving, the power flickers a few times then goes out. Rita is delighted at the romantic aspects of dinner by candlelight but is worried about her mother possibly being unable to find her non-powered oxygen source in the dark. Fortunately she called and let us know that she managed fine but that she only had 20 hours of oxygen and should the power still be out mid-afternoon on Saturday she would be out of luck. After dinner we noticed an enormous downed tree limb completely blocking the street they live on that was also leaning on 3 power wires, but the next-door neighbors had power and it turned out it wasn’t causing the outage, although it might have caused one of the wires broke. The cops show up around 9:30 to set up flares and radio in about the downed limb. I do manage to dig out my car and leave successfully and go over to Em and Cross’s for a while. When I finally leave around 1:45AM there are very few cars on the road and there is lots of snow on the road. Lots. I drove home very carefully and choose a longer route that would be easier if there was lots of snow. When I turned down the road leading to the road my house is on, about 1/4 mi down the way I see a giant tree limb completely blocking the road. I also notice it has brought down some electrical wires with it and all the houses are completely dark. I had said before I left Em and Cross’s that I was going to sleep at Jessie’s again so I wouldn’t have to deal with driving in the snow, but I drove home anyway. So I had to drive about 2 miles out of my way now to get around the tree limb, and of course the power was out in my house when I got there. But it was on this morning! Whew! Anyhow, snow -> downed tree limbs -> downed power lines = power out = 19th century = Ithaca is not inhabitable by humans. Conclusion: I will not be living here forever. Continue reading

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Bad David!

Ok, I know I have been bad for not posting an update in a while. I should just call this the “three sentences per month” web log by David Friedland, but wishful thinking will live on.

Went to Las Vegas (first time), stayed in the Luxor. Lost $80 on games with the largest house edge, American Roulette, Keno, and slots. Next time I’ll have memorized the blackjack basic strategy card and will try that, maybe. Maybe I won’t gamble at all. Note to Teppan-yaki lovers traveling to Vegas: don’t eat at Shintaro in Bellagio… it is waaaaay overpriced, and I don’t mean overpriced like $35 for steak, I mean overpriced like $35 for chicken and up to $200 for steak. Better bets are to be had elsewhere, for sure. In fact our tastiest meal was at the steakhouse restaurant in the Luxor, our first night there. Anyhow, the thing that was most interesting to me was the elevators in the Luxor go up at an angle along the edges of the pyramid (39 degrees I think I read somewhere), which must have been an unusual project for the engineers at Otis. I was disappointed those elevators (or inclinators as the signs on the ground level called them; the signs on the upper floors called them elevators) didn’t have windows. Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything. Also, the $12 elevator trip to the top of the half-high replica of the Eiffel Tower is not worth it, especially on a really cold (for Las Vegas) day in December. Finally, needless to say, Christmas in Las Vegas is pretty much a non-event. There were people sitting at the video Keno machines when we checked out Christmas morning just as there were every other day we were there. I imagine there were people elsewhere in the casino, but I didn’t look. My sister won $30 in the slot machines on our way out, just a pull of luck on her second or third quarter into the slot. Lucky her! Especially because if she had won too much more, they would have taken it away because she’s only 19. My flight back was a huge pain in the ass because they couldn’t get the right jet engine to start (they said it was a problem with something called an “exciter box”) and it took 45 minutes to fix it and when I got to Pittsburg I had missed my (and the last) flight to Ithaca for the night, so I had to spend the night in a (admittedly not that bad) hotel in Pittsburg, but ugh, especially because a certain friend of mine who will go unnamed but currently resides in the Pittsburg area didn’t return my calls and in fact I have been home for a week now and hasn’t contacted me at all. Actually now that I think about it maybe she wasn’t there at all and is at home and hasn’t gotten my message yet. Last, the new year’s party scene here in Ithaca, if it was any good, I missed it. I did have a pleasant time at Dan and Kate’s, but exciting, drunken or raucous it was not. I did find out that I have a starring frame on the Kevin Smith DVD though (Watch for me). Continue reading

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