The dinner Firday night went well. I'll post the good recipes in the next post. The avgolemono, potatoes, chickpeas, and watermelon are all keepers. I still need to work on my bean recipes - I still can't seem to recreate some of the awesome white bean dishes I had in Turkey and Greece.
I slept at Allen's Friday night. We woke up at 4:30 to a cold, cold rain. I wanted to bag,& if I had been at my own place I would have. Instead, Allen, Roz, Rob T, & I piled into his truck & headed onto base. We couldn't find an open coffee shop, so I had to make do with Red Bull. It was horrid. I refuse to believe that anyone actually likes this stuff. I think they've all been brain-washed to think it's cool, and that everyone is scared to admit that, really, it tastes like a chemical soup.
At least the rain stopped. It turned out to be a beautiful day. We had four teams running (top), and maybe the same amount there to drink and cheer them on (bottom). I placed myself near the biggest mud puddles to get some good action shots (second). I did a bit better this year in getting more pictures of our guys (third) and less of random hot marines (fourth). Partly, it was because there were fewer random hot marines [there were still a ton, but it wasn't as overwhelming as last year]; partly, it was because my camera battery was low.
The full pics are online here.
Saturday evening I went with Billy and Jerome to Restaurant Epic [Grand Cafe's Anthony Vierra's new place downtown - he partnered with the Changs of Little Village to open it. He's still at Grand Cafe, but (according to the waiter) GC is his mom's restaurant, while this one is his]. The food was very modern, and very well done - we ordered a mess of appetizers, the best of which included seared scallops in a mango sauce, wild-mushroom blintzes, a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing and a poached egg on top, and a "fire and ice" mousse with Mexican chocolate and a touch of cayenne.
They didn't have their liquor license yet, but they claim to have a 'signature' sangria. I'll be the judge of that ... but based on the menu so far I'd guess that it'll be good.
Afterwords I joined Dawn for her birthday party at Pearl. Pearl claims to bring the "luxury lounge experience to Honolulu." Why, they even had velvet ropes! I think that must have impressed all the girls in little black dresses (all of which were far too tight for their chunky little bodies) - the place was packed. If I ever want to find a Filipina wife, I'll come here. There was a whole wall lined with bachelorettes eyeing every man who walked by. It would have been so easy to score here. I don't know why straight men complain so much.
It's located on the roof of a mall, so it didn't surprise me that the velvet ropes were guarding a minor ante-room to hell. And while I was impressed with the decor, the service and music sucked beyond words. I finally managed to buy two bottles of wine for our table after about forty minutes of negotiating with our waitress. Dawn was bummed out about some issues when I got there, but she agreed to dance. We found a dance floor with tables in the middle of it (which makes no sense to me) and packed with girls holding cocktails. Which - that's just trashy. Don't ever bring glassware onto a dancefloor. Even Britney knows better than that.
So we danced half a song to some mediocre hip-hop, and then the dj switched to heavy metal oldies. I'm serious - it was Sweet Child of Mine. Not remixed, and not redone ... it was the original whiny ballad in all its whiny glory. We tried to dance, but between the Asian girls on one side doing faux-lesbo hoochie moves and white girls on the other doing rocker-chick groupie moves to the dj it was all too much. We fled into the night.
Too bad, 'cause I had just enough wine in me that hell was starting to be fun. At least I didn't pay to get in (jumped the queue, but that's another story). Dawn dropped me off just outside Waikiki, just after midnite ... and that was it. I was all dressed up, didn't want to go home, and didn't want to go to frakkin' Angles or Fusions. So I walked around a bit, tried calling some guys who I thought might be up [no luck], and finally gave up on the night.
Sunday was recovery. One of my cichlids went on a killing spree, so I caught him and moved him to a guppy pond. I went to the petstore to replace the victims, did laundry, did the dishes, cleaned up the corpses of the birds my cats caught while I was out playing, and studied some more Arabic. Exciting all the way.