Thursday, July 24, 2008

Arriving in Washington DC, sick as a dog.

Besides a quiet dinner with friends on Tuesday evening and a morning flight from Minneapolis to DC, I spent a straight 48 hours in bed. Fever, delirium, chills, the works ... all because of a sore throat.

This morning I managed to get out of my hotel and wander around Dupont Circle. It's interesting to see how people present themselves on the street here. The best way I can make sense of it is to remember that this city is all about power. Money is a form of power, as are influence, affiliations, titles and such. Creativity, on the other hand, is a power that this city seems to see as a secondary. People's clothes aren't very colorful here, and their hairstyles are relatively tame. This is not to say that people here don't flaunt what they've got. It's just that what they choose to flaunt is somewhat different.

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Teaism in DC

For some reason, I always expect Tea Shops to be either snobby like Kuan Yin in Seattle or quiet and formal like La Societe du The in Minneapolis. I certainly assume that they don't serve food beyond the occasional scone. Gladly, when I walked past Teaism near Dupont Circle in DC, I was just looking for plain, cold, unsweetened iced tea to soothe my throat. I ordered the iced French Vervene Tisane (Lemon Verbena) but also noted that they had some yummy looking lunch foods on the menu.

I sat down to catch up on my emails. (I don't know if they have wifi, I was using my phone.) About an hour passed and the lunch rush had started to arrive. The food they ordered smelled delicious, so I gave the menu another glance. My eye immediately honed in on Ochazuke "Japanese Rice & Tea soup", available with either Salmon or Plum. I ordered the plum version. What arrived on the counter was even cooler than I had imagined. A bowl of rice, covered with shredded veggies, cilantro, and some dried flavorful stuff like seaweed and toasted rice. Perched atop this were two ume plums. Beside it on the tray were a teapot and a tea cup. I was perplexed for a moment until I put 2 and 2 together, pouring the tea over the bowl of rice and veggies. The soup was incredibly flavorful and surprisingly filling. I did discover, however, that I don't like fresh ume plums. They're the only thing I left in the bowl.

The greatest delight was filling that teacup with the spare green tea and sipping at it. The flavor was unnervingly familiar. I'm tempted to claim that it tasted like comfort in tea form. It reminded me of salt water, toasted grains, and soup broth.

After finishing my meal I grabbed a free refill of my iced tea, this time iced assam, and went back out into the DC heat.

Next stop: Mr Yogata frozen yogurt with a friend.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Iranian Missiles & Photoshop Disasters

After reading about the snafu with a doctored photo of Iranian missiles, I popped over to Photoshop Disasters to see what they had to say about it. To be honest, a few months back I dropped Photoshop Disasters from my RSS reader because the content was always nitpicky and a bit lame. Turns out that they have stepped up their game since then. Their comments on the Iranian missile photo [Iranian Govt: Persian Pixels Pwned] are cute, and there are a few genuinely funny posts from the past few weeks as well [Mexx: This Mexx Me Sick][Amazon: Sex In The City Not So Much][Glamour: She's A Witch].

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I've been catching up on my american television...

I caught up on the rest of Lost and Battlestar Gallactica the other week. Now I'm catching up on SNL clips. My favorite so far is Natalie Portman Rapping. I heard about it while I was in Berlin, but didn't get around to watching it until now.

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