Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3251.  (I think) Tristan Prettyman’s drummer looks like Ron Howard. . . . (I think) she looks like Ellen Pompeo;
3252.  Eric Hutchinson is from Takoma Park, Maryland;
3253.  (Except for banana bread,) I don’t (usually) like anything mixed with bananas, but I’ll make an exception for the banana and chocolate dessert panini at barmini (minibarByJoseAndres.com) in D.C.  It’s pretty tasty;
3254.  The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in (Old Town) Alexandria (actually) has a theatre for hosting concerts. . . . Who knew?
3255.  (Carl Orff’s) “Carmina Burana” has 25 movements;
3256.  The ting from a triangle can be rather annoying;
3257.  The bass drum sounds like a cannon;
3258.  BRABO (BraboRestaurant.com) in (Old Town) Alexandria has a Sunday Happy Hour.  From 5 o’clock until close, it’s half off the bar menu and $5.00 for house red and white wines and Tecates;
3259.  Celery meringue . . . sweet tasting celery just seems odd;
3260.  Be open to everything and attached to nothing;
3261.  If you’re shopping for fresh beets, choose smaller beets over larger, tougher beets and pass over any beets that are cracked, shriveled or look very dry;
3262.  If the beet greens are still attached to the root, they should be crisp looking and not at all wilted or slimy;
3263.  Beets should be cooked with their peel on to preserve nutrients and to prevent their deep red color from leaking out, which turns them brown, making them unappetizing in appearance;
3264.  When cooking beets, you should leave about half an inch of the stem on so that the pigment doesn’t leak out of the top;
3265.  Once your beets are done cooking, peel the skin off while wearing gloves, unless you don’t mind (having) your hands stained a deep red;
3266.  People say everything happens for a reason.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true.  I think some things can just happen.  But I do think you can learn something from everything that happens to you . . . good and/or bad. . . . Of course, some lessons are harder to learn than others.  Some might require you to take a long, hard look at yourself, face the truth and be willing to take responsibility for your actions and not blame others for what’s happened to you;
3267.  The Glenlivet distillery is the oldest, legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet;
3268.  Bourbon is whisky made in the U.S.  It has to be made with at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred, oak barrels;
3269.  I (still) haven’t gotten over Robbie. . . . I know she’s not perfect. . . . She has her faults and her vices . . . being human, we all do. . . . But sometimes I wonder if I can’t get over the “real” Robbie or some idealized version that I’ve made up in my mind;
3270.  (Your) looks get you in (the door).  (Your) personality determines if you stay;
3271.  It’s interesting how our tastes can change (over time).  After not eating a lot of sugar for three to four months, fruit, desserts and even some vegetables taste so much sweeter to me (now);
3272.  Failure isn’t (necessarily) bad as long as you learn from it and don’t make the same mistake over and over again;
3273.  Teddy Roosevelt used to live in the row house that’s (now) Eighteenth Street Lounge (in D.C.);
3274.  Almonds are packed with tyrosine, an amino acid that helps your brain create dopamine – a neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain’s pleasure center;
3275.  Broccoli contains chromium, a mineral that helps increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your brain.  That means a more level head and even mood.  In fact, chromium is being studied as a possible treatment for depression;
3276.  Spinach and clams are good sources of folate also known as vitamin B9 and vitamin B12, a known depression-fighting duo;
3277.  Saffron is believed to help make serotonin more available, much in the same way that Prozac does;
3278.  Vitamin D activates genes that release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.  Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which is why during the winter many people experience a drop in vitamin D levels and, subsequently, depression.  You can help replenish your vitamin D supply with eggs – specifically egg yolks;
3279.  Studies have found a connection between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and depression, and though they are an essential part of brain health, the body cannot produce them on its own.  You can get them by eating fish like salmon;
3280.  Chocolate contains anandamide, a neurotransmitter that acts a lot like T.H.C. (the most important component of marijuana).  The sugar in chocolate also helps boost endorphin levels;
3281.  When our brains detect capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that make them spicy, they release endorphins in order to calm the body down.  If the peppers are spicy enough, the result can be almost euphoric;
3282.  There’s a truly magnificent side to the unknown, but we aren’t taught how to welcome it, let alone explore the breadth of its possibilities;
3283.  Ube ice cream tastes like (Danish) butter cookies;
3284.  The fish B.L.T. (specifically with salmon) and the apple slaw at Harpoon Larry’s (HarpoonLarrys.com) (in Newport News) are pretty tasty;
3285.  Apparently, there’s such a thing as a tattoo party;
3286.  At Gap, if the price ends in .47, .49, .97 or .99, it’s a discounted or clearance price;
3287.  At American Eagle Outfitters (“A.E.O.”), a price ending in .95 is full price and prices ending in .00 or .99 is a clearance price and your best bet.  Your single best strategy for holiday savings at A.E.O. is to wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.  Go in to the store on that weekend or shop online and head straight for the clearance rack and look for items ending in .00 or .99.  Why?  Because they always offer coupons on clearance items that time of the year which will help you Christmas shop at close to 80% off the original price.  You’ll save 20-30% more than any other time of the year;
3288.  Prices ending in .99 are full price at Costco, ending in .97 are a discounted price and an asterisk (“*”) in the upper right hand corner of the price tag means it’s a clearance item.  So when shopping for Christmas gifts at Costco, always start by looking for items ending in .97 or with the * on the price tag.  The .97 and/or * always provides the best value.  Let’s say you’re buying your mom a coffee maker and they have three different brands for sale.  By buying the coffee maker ending in .97 or with the * on the tag you’ll end up getting the item for 20%-30% cheaper than anywhere else. . . . Be sure to start looking for deals now, don’t wait until Black Friday or early December as the more time you have the better your chances of finding a deal.  Costco notoriously carries quality brands across the board so stop being a brand loyal shopper and instead use the price tag code and shop for the best value. . . . Also, while at Costco, look for items that end in .00 (i.e. $25.00).  It is either a returned, unopened item that has already been deleted from the system or a one-of-a-kind item and is always the lowest price;
3289.  At The Home Depot, a price ending in .06 and on a yellow price tag means it is a clearance item and has six weeks until the next markdown.  After that six-week period, it will be marked down to .03, which means three weeks until the item is liquidated. . . . You’ll find some good Black Friday deals on tools at The Home Depot but few of the deals will be as good as the yellow tag deals ending in .06 and .03;
3290.  At JCPenney, .00 is the full price, .99 is the first clearance markdown price, .97 is the final clearance price and then the price will be cut in half every two weeks.  The absolute lowest price an item can get is $2.97. . . . JCPenney keeps its clearance section in the far back of the store and it’s usually stocked with great gift ideas like housewares, dishes, apparel, heating blankets, silverware, linens and pillows.  Look for items ending in .97 and, if they have a bunch of any particular item, wait a week or two, come back and the item’s price will be cut in half;
3291.  Look at the digital shelf tag at Kohl’s, particularly in the upper right hand corner.  If you see a “NM,” it means new markdown and the item will go on sale that night or the following morning.  “GV” means great value and is a limited time price drop.  “S” is simply a sale item.  While the NM can be somewhat elusive, the GV can be found fairly easily.  Look for the GV and only Christmas shop in those sections of the store.  By doing so you’ll save a minimum of 25% off your purchase. . . . Also, be aware that you can use a Kohl’s printable coupon on all clearance items.  So be sure to stack a coupon on top of your clearance purchase to save close to 50%;
3292.  At Office Depot, a price ending in a 1 (i.e., $18.21) is the first clearance markdown, ending in 2 is the second clearance markdown, ending in 3 is the third markdown, a price ending in 4 is the “holy grail” and represents the final markdown price and the absolute best value. . . . Office Depot marks things down every 7-10 days.  So if you’re shopping for gift ideas and stocking stuffers and they have an item at the first or second clearance markdown, wait and come back.  By Christmas shopping early you’ll have plenty of time to come back and get items only when the price ends in a 3 or a 4. . . . Items that present the best buying opportunities are as follows: basic office supplies, small electronics, printers, software, packing supplies and desk organizers. . . . Office Depot is notorious for unloading some great clearance deals on Black Friday.  Shop on Black Friday and instead of fighting over the door-buster deals, head for the clearance sections of the store for better savings;
3293.  At Old Navy, prices ending in .47, .49, .97 and .99 denote a clearance item. . . . The single best time of the year to shop at Old Navy, for both gift ideas and the ability to stock up for the following year, is Black Friday weekend.  You can easily save 65-80% off the original retail price on pants, sweaters, dress shirts, outerwear and dresses. . . . The real value of shopping on Black Friday at Old Navy is taking advantage of the clearance deals. . . . In-season styles are typically not that great of a deal. . . . Plus, Old Navy typically offers some great clearance coupons on Black Friday that you can stack for even more savings;
3294.  When shopping at Sam’s Club, check out the letter in the upper right hand corner of the shelf tag and look for the “C.”  This means the item is cancelled and is a clearance price and, thus, provides the best value. . . . Similar to Costco, Sam’s Club stocks quality brands and products across the board.  So if you’re Christmas shopping for your sister and she needs a new crock-pot, go to the one with the “C” in the upper right hand corner of the price on the shelf tag.  The “Cancelled” item almost always provides savings in the 25-35% range. . . . A price ending in 1 is a sale price and on clearance;
3295.  At Sears, .99 is full price, .97 is a discontinued item on clearance and .88 is the final markdown price. . . . Where in the store should you look for items ending in .97 or .88?  This works best in the tools section as well as in electronics and appliances.  The price will typically be close to 30% cheaper than Amazon.com. . . . Take advantage of additional Sears coupons and clearance deals on Black Friday for maximum savings;
3296.  At Target, a price ending in .99 is full price.  .04, .24, .88 or .98 is a clearance item. . . . Check out the upper right hand corner of the clearance sticker for the tiny little number.  It will say 15, 30, 50, 75 or 90 and that represents the percent off the original price. . . . Clearance items get marked down every 10 to 14 days. . . . When Christmas shopping, the best departments in Target are: electronics, apparel, shoes, small kitchen appliances, housewares and linens. . . . When looking for bargain gift ideas, always look for items where the store has many in stock.  By doing so, you’ll be able to start shopping early and use the price codes to your advantage;
3297.  At BJ’s Wholesale Club, a price ending in 9 is full price.  .00 or .90 is a manager’s special, discounted 10% per week until gone for a maximum of 60% off;
3298.  At Pier 1 Imports, a price ending in .95 or .00 is full price.  .48, .95 or .98 is a clearance or reduced item;
3299.  At PetSmart, a price ending in 9 (i.e., .09, .49 or .99) is full price.  A price ending in 7 (i.e., .07, .27 or .97) is a clearance or reduced item;
3300.  At Lands’ End, a price ending in .00 or .50 is full price.  A price ending in .97 or .99 is a marked down price often a clearance or a temporary sale item;

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3201.  Weltenburger Kloster is the oldest monastery (existing) in the world still brewing beer;
3202.  “Mezzo Mix” tastes like Coca-Cola with a slight orange flavor (to it);
3203.  There’s (an) Oktoberfest “cocaine” made from sugar and menthol;
3204.  I need to work on my snorting skills;
3205.  Germans don’t like to use credit cards.  They prefer (using) cash;
3206.  Apparently, “schwein schnitzel” is code for “schweinshaxe;”
3207.  “Huber Weisses Original” beer is pretty tasty;
3208.  Cuban cigars (specifically Habanos S.A.’s Guantanamera Minutos) are very smooth;
3209.  You shouldn’t put your (Cuban) cigar ash in your compost bin. . . . It stinks;
3210.  When (you’re) wandering around Munich, watch (out) where you’re walking . . . (like in the Netherlands, )they have designated bike paths, where they have the right of way;
3211.  Cola-Weizen isn’t half bad. . . . It’s like a shandy made of Coca-Cola and Hefeweizen;
3212.  Europeans (sure do) love their wafer cookies;
3213.  Coaching is making players/people do what they don’t want to do so that they can become what they want to become;
3214.  Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts;
3215.  You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life;
3216.  The price of greatness is responsibility;
3217.  We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give;
3218.  However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results;
3219.  In 2006, being over the NFL salary cap could have been a million-dollar-a-day fine.  For something very minor, it could be a five-thousand-dollar slap on the wrist.  If it’s something really egregious, they could take draft picks away and fine you even more than the million;
3220.  I didn’t realize how much of your “core” you use (for stability) when you’re exercising muscle groups like your chest and back;
3221.  Nick Saban was an assistant coach at Syracuse (University);
3222.  It’s interesting that we can mourn people we barely know.  I wasn’t (particularly) close to my (paternal) grandmother.  I think I may have met her (only) twice (in my life), the last time when I was eleven years old.  I can’t remember her having said a (single) word to me (in either English or Cantonese), but when I heard that she had passed, I (genuinely) felt sad about it;
3223.  According to Luisa, I have muscles (now);
3224.  Cristina Scabbia (the lead singer for “Lacuna Coil”) is rather attractive (in person);
3225.  According to Varnia (i.e., “Nadia”), I have nice hands;
3226.  Tell people what you feel and what you need.  Be honest about it.  They might dislike you for a moment, but if you’re honest, they can never fault you;
3227.  In every baseball draft year, some 1,500 players are given the chance to see which half-dozen will emerge as undeniable major league stars and which 20-30 will survive as legitimate professional ballplayers;
3228.  Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen;
3229.  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them;
3230.  Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life;
3231.  Chris Bukowski (from “The Bachelorette”) (actually) hangs out at Bracket Room (in Clarendon) . . . sometimes;
3232.  (I can say) I was at Nicklas Backstrom’s 500th (regular-season) NHL game. . . . Too bad, I didn’t see him get this 500th (regular-season) NHL point;
3233.  After all this time (i.e., almost two years), my heart still beats faster and my mind still goes blank when Robbie’s around;
3234.  Why are (all) sweatshirts so ugly and/or boring (especially college sweatshirts)? . . . It’s one of the great mysteries of the world;
3235.  Apparently, I need to work on my annunciation. . . . When I say “boots” (some) women think I’m saying “boobs;”
3236.  Under certain lighting, I can see the bottom of my belly button;
3237.  If you want to stick to your healthy eating regimen while eating fast food/out, follow these three guidelines: 1.  Control your calories by avoiding breaded and deep fried items and excess dressings; 2.  Get as much protein as you can; 3.  Opt for vegetables over grains;
3238.  I used to think (that) I hated to cook.  But when I thought about it, the shopping isn’t (so) bad and the cooking (itself) isn’t all that bad (either).  What (really) sucks is the cleanup.  So I really don’t hate cooking.  What I (actually) hate is doing dishes;
3239.  There are (professional,) freelance, opera singers;
3240.  (I can say) I’ve done a shot of Everclear;
3241.  Drinking a martini from a plastic cup (specifically a red, Solo cup) just seems wrong;
3242.  Megan said I look “dapper;”
3243.  Fortune favors the bold;
3244.  I don’t want to just revolve.  I want to evolve.  As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover;
3245.  Nobody likes rejection, but you can’t be afraid of it or you’ll never move forward;
3246.  It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain as you start out the climb;
3247.  For some reason, when it’s around Halloween or Thanksgiving, I’ve got the urge to try anything that’s made with pumpkin, . . . but, at any other time of the year, I (really) couldn’t care less;
3248.  No matter how bad you may feel, get up, show up, dress up, and never, ever give up;
3249.  The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in D.C. has a bar (downstairs) in the basement;
3250.  (I think) Nick Howard (kind of) sounds like Jason Mraz;

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3151.  Apparently, I should wearing size “small” t-shirts;
3152.  It’s amazing how much better your clothes look when you wear the right size;
3153.  You (really) can’t run/jog when your calves are sore/hurting;
3154.  The Fillmore in Silver Spring is (like) the modern day version of the 9:30 Club. . . . It’s what I’d imagine it’d look like if it were built today;
3155.  Robert Zakaryan (the lead guitarist for “Adelitas Way”) looks like he’s having (a lot of) fun playing the guitar;
3156.  Your leg can fall asleep while you’re standing up. . . . Who knew?
3157.  Taylor Momsen (the actress and lead singer for “The Pretty Reckless”) has a set of pipes on her.  She can (really) sing;
3158.  Color can give an indication of the wood used to mature whisky;
3159.  Darker shades are not necessarily an indication of age.  Generally, they’re a giveaway that the whiskey was aged in a sherry cask.  The tannins that darken the clear liquor also dry it out, creating a richer, fruitier taste;
3160.  Lighter whiskeys, on the other hand, tend to show more vanilla and creamy characteristics associated with Bourbon cask maturation.  If you can see through your whiskey, expect oak lactone flavors, which are actually sweeter smells that – if you could separate them out – would resemble toffee;
3161.  To taste whisky: Take a small sip then roll it around your mouth like a mouthwash.  Then swallow the whisky and let your palate get used to the alcohol.  Repeat the process, but on the second go-round, open your lips slightly and draw in some air.  The intake buoys the flavor up the esophagus to the epithelium.  You’re now getting the entire effect of the drink.  Try to locate the areas of your palate most sensitized and the four primary tastes.  Once you’ve got a handle on all of that, you’ve basically drawn a taste map.  You’ll (now) know how you got to enjoyment and you’ll know how to get back (there);
3162.  To thaw thin cuts of meat, simply place them on a cast-iron or steel pan at room temperature – they will thaw in about an hour.  Or simply place chicken breasts, steaks or chops in a zipper-lock bag and submerge in 140-degree water.  The chicken is defrosted in 8 minutes; the others in just 12;
3163.  (I can say) I (now) own leather pants (specifically lederhosen);
3164.  Six ways to make the most of not so stellar wine selections: 1.  Chill it down.  As temperatures drop, flavors become muted.  Most of us drink our worthy white wine too cold, but just above freezing is the perfect temperature for lesser bottles; 2.  Adulterate it.  That is, make it a spritzer.  Or sangria.  Or the Basque specialty kalimotxo (i.e., red wine and Coke); 3.  If it’s red, drink it with mushrooms.  For reasons that wine-world pseudoscience hasn’t yet ventured to explain, umami-rich mushrooms tend to make ho-hum reds taste better.  If your wine’s specific problem is a sandpapery mouthfeel, add red meat: Fat and protein both neutralize rough tannins; 4.  If it’s sweet, drink it with something spicy.  Sadly, assertive cuisines like Thai and Indian tend to obliterate the delicious nuances of great wines.  Happily, they’ll also obliterate the unpleasant nuances of bad wines.  If your palate is busy dealing with garam masala or another intense spice combination, it’s not going to notice that your low-rent Riesling is lacking a bit in acidity; 5.  If it’s oaky, drink it while you’re grilling.  Does your cheap Chardonnay smell like a burning 2-by-4?  It may have been subjected to a process whereby big teabags full of charred wood chips were dunked in it prior to bottling.  No matter.  Smoky foods work well with smoky wines, and a charcoal-grilled burger is the best kind of distraction for your palate; and 6.  Drop a penny into it.  This won’t work on any old not-so-great wine, but if you have a bottle that smells like struck matches or rotten eggs, adding a penny to your glass might actually help.  Certain sulfur-related compounds can cause these smells and copper makes them dissipate.  Clean a coin, drop it in, swirl, remove and enjoy.  When it works, the difference is amazing;
3165.  To extend the life of an open bottle of wine, you need to a) expose it to less oxygen, b) slow down time or c) both;
3166.  Slowing down time is the simplest method.  All you do is put the cork back in the bottle and put the bottle in the fridge.  Chemical reactions happen more slowly at lower temperatures and oxidation is no exception.  This is true for reds as well as whites.
3167.  Exposing an open bottle to less oxygen is more complicated, but there’s a whole world of gadgets out there that purport to do this task.  There are two main approaches: pumps, like the Vacu Vin, which ostensibly suck air out of the bottle, leaving a partial vacuum; and cans of tasteless, odorless, nonreactive gas, like Private Preserve, that you spray into the bottle displacing the oxygen that’s there;
3168.  Putting the half-finished bottle of wine in the fridge is best.  Gassing it is second best.  The pump is the worst, and in some cases actively detrimental, as the vacuuming process seemed to suck out the aroma of the wine too (several models of pumps were tested with the same negative results each time).  But the most effective method was a combination of gassing the wine and putting it in the fridge;
3169.  Older wines oxidize (very) rapidly;
3170.  Mathias Kiwanuka( of the New York Giants)’s grandfather, Benedicto Kiwanuka, was (elected) Uganda’s first prime minister (in 1961);
3171.  Vince Lombardi coached the (Washington) Redskins;
3172.  Joe Paterno and Vince Lombardi were good friends;
3173.  You’d think the terminal your gate is (located) at would be printed on your boarding pass . . . nope, not when your (connecting) flight is through Logan (International) Airport;
3174.  It’s kind of hard to make your connecting flight when your boarding pass doesn’t say which terminal your gate is at;
3175.  Logan (International) Airport is the strangest airport I’ve ever been in.  It’s the only airport that I’ve had to exit so I can take a bus to get to another terminal only to have to go through security again to get to my (connecting) flight;
3176.  Don Shula coached the (Baltimore) Colts;
3177.  It’s kind of hard to make your connecting flight when your boarding pass and the departure boards don’t say which gate your flight is at;
3178.  If you’re flying (on) Iberia from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (in Spain) and your boarding pass doesn’t say what gate your flight is at, go to one of Iberia’s customer service stations and check the departure boards (located) there;
3179.  John Elway’s dad, Jack, coached at San Jose State;
3180.  Bavarian food is very “heavy.”  It includes a lot of meat (especially pork) and dumpling (either potato or bread) dishes;
3181.  Germans tip between 5-10%;
3182.  They don’t have vanity plates in Germany;
3183.  In German(y), an “eagle” (spelled “igel”) isn’t a bird.  It’s a hedgehog;
3184.  In Bavaria(, which includes Munich), stores close by 8 o’clock and don’t open on Sundays except for restaurants, bars and gas stations and bakeries on Sunday morning(s);
3185.  Leberkäse (i.e., Bavarian meatloaf) tastes (a lot) like a hot dog;
3186.  I find it interesting (that) for a society that’s such a stickler for following (the) rules, there are certain laws (that) Germans will even break . . . like speeding;
3187.  Oktoberfest (in Munich) is one big tent city and a carnival mixed together;
3188.  The dirndl must’ve been one of the world’s first push-up bras;
3189.  Most houses in Germany are made using cinder blocks;
3190.  In Germany, don’t turn off the switch with the red light.  It’s the switch to the water heater;
3191.  In Germany, there are no right turns on red unless there’s a specific sign (present) indicating it’s allowed;
3192.  At first, it seems like dirndls and lederhosen are all the same, but if you look closely, you’ll notice they vary quite a bit in (the) details, (the) materials and (the) quality;
3193.  Some kinds of sauerkraut taste like coleslaw;
3194.  The “Kaiserschmarrn mit Apfelmus” (i.e., a cut pancake with almonds, raisins and mashed apples) at Zum Augustiner (Augustiner-Restaurant.com) (in Munich) is really tasty;
3195.  What do you get when some (random) drunk guy (dressed) in lederhosen tries to stand (up) on your table?  The answer is: Four broken masses (i.e., mug glasses), a bleeding (random) drunk guy (dressed) in lederhosen and a cut (index) finger;
3196.  Bavarians (do) love (their) pretzels;
3197.  German vanilla sauce is delicious;
3198.  The beer they serve at Oktoberfest (in Munich) is a special brew with a higher alcohol content (than usual);
3199.  The Germans (sure do) love their John Denver (especially “Take Me Home, Country Roads”);
3200.  German “Getränkemarkts” put U.S. beer stores to shame;

Monday, September 15, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3101.  Body fat (really) isn’t a very good source of energy (at all).  It could’ve been stored there for years.  So it’s not a fresh energy source;
3102.  (I think) I might’ve witnessed a first . . . (I think I saw) a bicep vein popping out;
3103.  An Alice Cooper concert is very theatrical.  It’ll probably be the only concert you’ll see someone get his/her head cut off with a guillotine;
3104.  Vince Neil looks old (and fat);
3105.  A (beach) towel makes a decent (makeshift) poncho;
3106.  Tommy Lee can play the drums upside down;
3107.  Cayenne pepper and ginger increase your metabolism and (your) core body temperature;
3108.  (It sounds crazy, but) green peppers, mushrooms, pineapple and jalapeño peppers (actually) make a (pretty) good pizza combination. . . . Who knew?
3109.  Mini sweet (bell) peppers may be my favorite new (healthy) snack;
3110.  You can have any life you want.  You can persevere.  Anything you want, you are entitled to it.  There are no limits on you if you don’t put them on yourself;
3111.  A(dding a) little peanut butter will give your (quick, one-minute) oatmeal some flavor;
3112.  What does it mean if you’re wearing a white mask in Chinese opera?  The answer is: You’re (probably) the bad guy;
3113.  The guban (i.e., a small, high-pitched drum and wood clapper) used in Chinese opera is pretty annoying;
3114.  It costs about 2,000 euros to get a driver’s license in Germany;
3115.  Leptin is a key signaling molecule that controls the relationship between fat reserves, appetite and energy expenditure;
3116.  Decreased leptin signaling in the brain leads not just to hunger, but also to increased metabolic efficiency;
3117.  People who eat fish regularly tend to have lower levels of the hormone leptin in their body.  Since higher levels of leptin have often been associated with a decreased rate of metabolism, fish has become an essential food for anyone trying to lose fat;
3118.  Most people get fat from eating too many carbohydrates, eating carbohydrates alone and eating them late at night;
3119.  What people should do is eat carbohydrates in combination with complete proteins and good fats;
3120.  Eating carbohydrates alone will lead to an increase in blood glucose.  This increase in blood glucose causes an over release of insulin and then triggers a fat storage response by the body.  This triggers the body’s hunger mechanism as well as its sugar craving mechanism;
3121.  When carbohydrates are combined with proteins and fats, glucose in the blood stream is buffered by the metabolites of the consumed proteins and fats.  This will not lead to an over release of insulin and, thus, not fat storage, hunger or sugar cravings;
3122.  When you are sleep deprived, your body reacts in different ways on a hormonal level, which can impede weight loss;
3123.  During times of sleep deprivation, your body is on high alert thinking that there is a danger (or else you would be sleeping), so your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.  Second, your appetite is higher (due to elevated levels of cortisol) looking for food for more energy.  Third, your food choice becomes effected in that your body tends to crave high carbohydrate, high fat foods because they help produce serotonin, which helps calm you down from this aroused state;
3124.  To make size gains, you need at least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight to support optimal growth;
3125.  To get lean, you may increase your protein to as many as 1.5 grams per pound of body weight;
3126.  If you feel like you’re not recovering from training or you’re losing muscle, up the protein (intake) fast;
3127.  The best protein sources are eggs, chicken, fish, lean beef, turkey, quinoa (for vegetarians) and protein powder;
3128.  A three-ounce portion of lean meat or fish is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand and contains 20-25 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat or fewer and 0 carbohydrates;
3129.  Research, including a study at the University of Washington School of Medicine, has found that exercise – particularly strength training – increases insulin sensitivity in the muscles.  So if you’ve just worked out, more of the carbohydrates you eat afterward will be carried by insulin directly to your muscles for replenishment.  Incidentally, this goes for protein too, which is why it’s helpful to consume a mixture of protein and carbohydrates after training;
3130.  According to John Meadows, C.S.S.N., a nutrition coach and national-level bodybuilder, if someone is in fat-loss mode, s/he should limit carbohydrates to pre-, intra- and post-workout meals, when they’ll go to where you want them – that is, to muscle tissue;
3131.  For muscle gain, Meadows prefers to add carbohydrates (shakes included) to meals around training time first, before adding them to other meals;
3132.  Carbohydrate foods include potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, oats, fruits and vegetables;
3133.  Fruits should be consumed in their whole-food form and limited to two or three pieces daily (excess fructose, the sugar in fruit, is stored as fat);
3134.  Green vegetables can be eaten steadily regardless of the goal;
3135.  Eat one gram of carbohydrate per pound of your body weight when dieting and two grams per pound when you want to put on muscle;
3136.  A fist-size portion of cooked rice or potatoes is about one cup and gives you 40-45 grams of carbs and negligible protein and fat;
3137.  Fat, particularly the much-maligned saturated kind, helps in the creation of testosterone, which does everything from getting you big and lean to keeping your “little friend” ready to say hello;
3138.  Contrary to popular opinion, when dieting, you don’t need to drop your fat intake much, if at all; fat loss comes fastest when carbohydrate intake is reduced;
3139.  Most of your fats should come by way of your protein foods, but avocados, nuts, seeds and a small amount of oil like coconut and olive oil can be included as well;
3140.  Aim for 0.4 grams of fat per pound of your body weight daily to start.  One tablespoon of any oil is about 15 grams of fat and one cup of almonds or peanuts has 70 grams of fat.  Two tablespoons of nut butter is about the length of your thumb and contains 15-20 grams of fat;
3141.  Research hasn’t yet clarified the optimal amount of protein or carbohydrates you should eat around workouts for the maximum benefit.  But it is clear that some is better than none and the presence of both is crucial;
3142.  A 2006 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology gave male subjects one of the following to consume after weight training: a 6 percent carbohydrate solution, six grams of amino acids (components of protein), a combination of both or a placebo.  Those drinking the carbohydrate and amino acids shake experienced greater muscle gains than any of the other groups, which the researchers presumed was because the concoction did the most to reduce muscle protein breakdown after training;
3143.  Meadows recommends taking in 25-50 grams of protein, 25-35 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of fat before training.  Afterward, consume another 20-40 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of carbohydrates – you can begin chugging this shake during the workout as well to limit muscle breakdown even further, though this may not be necessary and could upset your stomach;
3144.  It’s recommended to make shakes with whey isolate or hydrolysate as the protein source and Vitargo or highly branched cyclic dextrin for the carbohydrates;
3145.  If powders and shakes aren’t in your budget, you can go old-school and eat fruit pre- and post-workout.  One or two pieces should provide enough carbohydrates to halt muscle breakdown.  And a lean three-ounce slice of protein to accompany it is fine;
3146.  I can do a pull-up (five actually);
3147.  Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the eggplant to the United States;
3148.  When a hard-boiled egg is difficult to peel, it means it’s very fresh;
3149.  A cloudy egg white means the egg is very fresh; a clear egg white indicates aging;
3150.  Apparently, I’ve been wearing the wrong sized t-shirts all (of) this time;

Monday, August 18, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3051.  I’d describe Dave Matthews (Band) fans as hippie yuppie.  They can be as diehard as Dead/Phish Heads, but they’ve got (way) more money to spend;
3052.  Dave Matthews (Band) acoustic isn’t all that different from Dave Matthews (Band) electric (i.e., plugged in);
3053.  You might want to leave some drinks and/or snacks in your car when you go to an event at Jiffy Lube Live (in Bristow, Virginia). . . . It takes forever to get out of the parking lot;
3054.  I’m a fan of (Sunday) brunch on Capitol Hill (i.e., 8th Street, SE) . . . at least during the summer;
3055.  Rebecca (i.e., the bartender at Senart’s Oyster & Chophouse) and I, we go way back;
3056.  You shouldn’t leave your rice in the cooker for more than a couple of days;
3057.  Megan can’t buy me a drink if I only get one;
3058.  Passion always trumps excuses.  If you have passion, there is no need for excuses, because your enthusiasm will trump any negative reasoning you might come up with.  Enthusiasm makes excuses a nonissue;
3059.  Hamburgers without the buns aren’t very filling;
3060.  Hot dogs without the buns aren’t very filling either;
3061.  Don’t expect someone to take care of you when you don’t even know how to look after yourself;
3062.  (Sometimes) if someone hasn’t had many relationships, it doesn’t (necessarily) mean that that person doesn’t like them or doesn’t want one.  That person just doesn’t like the prospective men/women s/he could have one with, or they don’t like her/him (in return);
3063.  The costumes in “The Lion King” (i.e., the musical) are really creative and imaginative;
3064.  Ushers in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House (specifically in the upper tiers) don’t like it when you put your playbill on the guardrail;
3065.  It’s amazing how cold water tastes so much better than (luke)warm water;
3066.  Your workout shake blends better if you put the Vitargo (powder) at the bottom of the Blender Bottle under the whey protein and the wire whisk ball;
3067.  My lower ab(dominal) muscles are weak;
3068.  It’s easier to trim (fat from) chicken if the chicken is (partially) frozen;
3069.  (Fresh Wave) Fresh Pods (FreshWaveWorks.com) (actually) seem to work;
3070.  Satisfaction is the beginning of regression.  Never be satisfied, keep working hard;
3071.  Mini (sweet) bell peppers are pretty tasty;
3072.  If you want to avoid the lines getting into the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, there’s a little known (side) entrance to the left of the National Park Service (NPS) administration building;
3073.  A paradox is the truth standing on its head to attract attention;
3074.  Stress, including the mental stress of uncertainty, is an ingredient in attachment or love and that perhaps even manifestations of hatred (its polar opposite) somehow enhance love;
3075.  Uncertainty psychologically can lead to some of the greatest feelings of attachment and dependence;
3076.  I can say I’ve seen an Oscar winner in concert (i.e., Jared Leto, the lead singer of “30 Seconds to Mars”);
3077.  Jared Leto could’ve been a cheerleader in another life;
3078.  Linkin Park sounds “heavier” live;
3079.  Chester Bennington (the lead singer of “Linkin Park”) doesn’t look like he’s aged much;
3080.  According to Luisa, we think alike;
3081.  Unless you actually convey femininity as a woman or masculinity as a man, you’re not going to attract a suitable companion of the opposite sex;
3082.  To put it plainly, you are programmed to reproduce;
3083.  By virtue (or vice) of being smart, you eliminate most of the planet’s inhabitants as a dating prospect;
3084.  The purpose of relationship (and perhaps all of life) is to practice loving.  No partner is going to be 100 percent perfect anyway, so learn to appreciate people for what they have to offer, not what they don’t.  And love them for that.  That’s what real loving is;
3085.  Nobody’s asking you to lower your standards; you should spend time only with worthwhile company.  But do question the standards to see whether they’re serving you or you’re serving them;
3086.  Given a choice between happy-go-lucky and picky-but-lonely, happy sounds like more fun;
3087.  You will have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to;
3088.  According to both 2006 and 2009 studies published by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and “theory of mind,” which is the ability to hold opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own.  They can entertain other ideas, without rejecting them and still retain their own;
3089.  It’s no surprise that readers are better people.  Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference;
3090.  Another 2010 study by Mar reinforces this idea with results that prove the more stories children have read to them, the keener their “theory of mind.”  So while everyone thinks their kids are the best, the ones who read have the edge as they truly are the wiser, more adaptable and understanding children;
3091.  The bulk of vocabulary growth during a child’s lifetime occurs indirectly through language exposure rather than through direct teaching;
3092.  Readers are more intelligent, due to their increased vocabulary and memory skills, along with their ability to spot patterns.  They have higher cognitive functions than the average non-reader and can communicate more thoroughly and effectively;
3093.  It takes roughly 20 minutes to walk up and down the stairs in my building 16 times from the basement (garage) floor to the second floor gate;
3094.  Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” has a rock (opera) vibe to it;
3095.  Cirque du Soleil – where ballet dancers and gymnasts (go to) work when their competitive days are over;
3096.  August 17th 2014 was my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary;
3097.  Absolut Citron with a splash of ginger ale and a lot of limes tastes pretty good.  It’s like alcoholic limeade;
3098.  Avery said I had a lot of potential;
3099.  When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems.  When you focus on possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities;
3100.  Your beliefs don’t make you a better person your behavior does;

Monday, July 21, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3001.  Comfort and luxury are usually the chief requirements of life for your ego – its top priorities tend to be accumulations, achievements, and the approval of others;
3002.  By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it.  The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired;
3003.  The Cajun chicken at Whole Foods (Market) is really tasty;
3004.  What do you call getting charged ($.50) extra for ordering a drink in a “tall” glass?  The answer is: Complete bullshit . . . yeah, I’m talking to you, Union Street (Public House);
3005.  The space conveys a story;
3006.  How you interact with the space can also convey a story;
3007.  Identify your purpose and your imagination can communicate your thoughts and ideas;
3008.  Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances;
3009.  Practice radical appreciation – joyfully engage with the things you take for granted such as your home, garden, meals, clothes, family, and friends.  Choose to pay attention by giving thanks and loving appreciation;
3010.  See paradise all around you – rethink your belief that you must travel, be worldly, and experience distant lands and people to have a fulfilling life.  Change your view to see the pleasure in what you have, where you’re located, and who you are.  Find joy and solace in the simple and cultivate your utopia in every cubic inch of space;
3011.  Devote a day to food – appreciate the mysterious intelligence that created food for your health and pleasure, and say a prayer with every connection to it;
3012.  Broccoli is (actually) a good source of protein;
3013.  When putting together your workout shake the night before, don’t leave your wire whisk ball at the bottom of your “Blender Bottle.”  It might get stuck;
3014.  Your bicep (only) makes up 30% of your upper arm while your triceps make up 70%;
3015.  How can you tell if a sweet potato has gone bad?  The answer is: If the flesh is brown and/or black;
3016.  Cooking fish stinks;
3017.  How to hard-boil eggs: Place the eggs in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, put a lid on it and turn off the heat.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes. . . . Don’t boil them; that’s what turns the (egg) yolks green and makes them pungent. . . . Cool in a bowl of cold water until they’re no longer hot to the touch;
3018.  If your vacuum starts smoking and there isn’t any hair or other debris interfering with the (rotating) brush, try cleaning the filter;
3019.  I hate washing/doing the dishes;
3020.  Cooking broccoli stinks;
3021.  I’m not very good at peeling (hard-boiled) eggs;
3022.  (Chicken) wings aren’t very filling when you don’t eat the skin;
3023.  You shouldn’t eat simple (i.e., fast-burning) carbohydrates right before you go to bed;
3024.  You’ve got to love yoga pants;
3025.  Every time you do a kindness without any hope of credit or return, God cries a teardrop of happiness;
3026.  Know that your word is good enough to manifest anything you want.  The law of attraction will work for you;
3027.  It’s not a (half) bad looking crowd walking around in the mornings;
3028.  There are (definitely) benefits to living across the street from a yoga studio (especially one that’s next door to a Starbucks);
3029.  Know that every day you are entitled to your share of the miracles of that day.  In fact, if you trust the universe, miracles will be delivered each day;
3030.  So say to yourself, I dedicate today’s miracles to everyone else.  I want none of them, but I hope everyone else will benefit;
3031.  Picture all of the people around you enjoying the miracles that were meant for you and living healthier, wealthier and wiser lives because of those miracles;
3032.  Smile, knowing that the truth you have cultivated has now set everyone else free;
3033.  “Pumpkin” face and “raisin” face aren’t good looks;
3034.  A good way to work on your word articulation is to say, “Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice concentrate” (over and over again);
3035.  (William) Shakespeare really was a genius;
3036.  (William) Shakespeare was an actor (too);
3037.  There’s a lot more to acting than I (first) thought;
3038.  (Apparently) if you ever want to memorize something, just read it aloud 27 times in a row;
3039.  It blends (a little bit) better if you dry mix your workout shake before adding water;
3040.  You (really) don't use your calves much walking up stairs;
3041.  I kind of like trimming (fat from) chicken;
3042.  The reason trees make sap is to protect their roots from the (cold) winter;
3043.  What does it mean if you put your maple syrup in the freezer and it turns solid?  The answer is: It’s not (real) maple syrup;
3044.  It takes 40 gallons of tree sap to make one gallon of (maple) syrup;
3045.  (The province of) Quebec makes roughly 75% of the planet’s maple syrup;
3046.  (Apparently) maple syrup comes in grades.  “A” is lighter and less rich.  “B” is darker and more flavorful.  Unfortunately, to consumers, “B” (just) sounds inferior.  For this reason, it’s often less expensive despite tasting way more syrupy and intense;
3047.  When speaking (aloud), drive the thought through to the end;
3048.  If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go as a group;
3049.  Brent (Stansell from the Shakespeare Theatre Company) says I have a powerful, booming voice and (that) I could do voiceover and radio work;
3050.  My forearms are (pretty) weak;

Monday, June 30, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

2951.  Sushi (actually) has a natural sweetness to it . . . that is, if it’s not drowned out by soy sauce and/or wasabi;
2952.  I know one of the cofounders of (the now defunct) “Consumption Junction;”
2953.  The Cuban sandwich at La Carreta Café (LaCarreta.com) (in the Miami airport of all places) is pretty tasty;
2954.  Hunan Number One (HunanOne.com) (in Clarendon) has a pretty good crowd;
2955.  Wawa’s (Wawa.com) chicken noodle soup is pretty tasty;
2956.  I can say I’ve “christened” the men’s room in Carr’s Hill (i.e., the president’s house at the University of Virginia);
2957.  Katie Couric is (actually) pretty funny;
2958.  When Katie Couric smiles, she reminds me of Robbie (smiling);
2959.  Apparently, 150 people a year are killed from falling coconuts.  That’s 15 times the number of deaths attributed to sharks;
2960.  Sylvia’s Pizza is now Christian’s Pizza (www.ChristiansPizza.com) (in “The Corner” district) in Charlottesville, Virginia;
2961.  I can say I’ve had breakfast with Katie Couric (sort of);
2962.  Modern (college) dorms are way nicer than most of the (apartment) complexes I’ve lived in (specifically the “new” new dorms at the University of Virginia);
2963.  I can finally say I’ve had Crozet Pizza (CPBBB.com). . . . It’s pretty good;
2964.  Our beliefs as a people determine what we eventually see;
2965.  You come into this world with a dharma, a life purpose, choices to make – how do you know when you are doing what you are here to do?  You feel good.  How do you know which path to take?  Choose based on your excitement, how it makes you feel.  You feel good when you are doing what you are here to do.  It’s who you really are;
2966.  There are really only two emotions – fear and love.  When we are in fear, there is no room for love; when we’re in love, there is no room for fear;
2967.  The elevator to success is out of order.  You’ll have to use the stairs . . . one step at a time;
2968.  Shaving with a dull razor versus a sharp one is like night and day;
2969.  It’s kind of weird driving behind a car without any exhaust pipes (specifically the Tesla Model S);
2970.  Megan loves steak;
2971.  “Power” yoga (pretty much) means a lot of downward-facing dog;
2972.  Show respect before teasing;
2973.  A drop of experience is worth a bucket full of knowledge;
2974.  Stop focusing on what you don’t want and start focusing on what you do want. . . . Whatever you look for, you’ll find;
2975.  I cannot fail.  I can only learn and grow;
2976.  Be the light bulb not the moth;
2977.  Be the gatekeeper of your own mind;
2978.  It’s not about the idea of being better than another person.  It’s about being mature, confident and secure in yourself;
2979.  Parents are not for leaning upon, but rather exist to make leaning unnecessary;
2980.  If someone comes at you in a judgmental way and you judge them for it, you just doubled the amount of judgment in the space you’re both in;
2981.  An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind;
2982.  Who I used to be or what I used to do, does not shape who I am or what I do today;
2983.  We become what we think about, like it or not.  If we think in terms of judgment and criticism and competitiveness, we’re going to attract more of the same into our lives;
2984.  If we have constant thoughts of negativity, we will only find more negativity showing up in our lives.  In order to see things change, we have to change the way we think about things;
2985.  As the Abraham-Hicks teachings say, stop telling it like it is and start telling it like you want it to be.  Life isn’t happening to you, it is responding to you;
2986.  You can’t please everyone.  When you’re too focused on living up to other people’s standards, you aren’t spending enough time raising your own.  Some people may whisper, complain, and judge.  But for the most part, it’s all in your head.  People care less about your actions than you think.  Why?  They have their own problems!
2987.  You must first love yourself and be filled with love in order to be able to give it away.  Once you are filled with that love and it is all that you have inside of you, then that is all that you will have to give away;
2988.  What you keep inside you is what you will have to give away.  And once you truly understand and practice this idea, then it will become your own personal habit;
2989.  Bring to all of your endeavors what you would most like to receive;
2990.   Bring kindness to every encounter, regardless of whether you were the recipient of kindness; give away what you have inside and it would be returned to you.  It’s the Law of Attraction;
2991.  You must decide to be filled with joy, and this is what you will bring to every encounter – this is what you will give away.  And guess what?  This is what you will see returning to you as well.  But if you bring your own sadness to what you think of as a sad or unhappy occasion, you will simply be doubling the amount of negativity, and then blaming the person or the nature of the event for your own discontent;
2992.  When we hide whom we really are in order to fit in or belong, we are suffocating our souls.  Our true calling may pass us by while we’re trying to make other people happy;
2993.  We cannot experience peace if our inner dialogue is always at war with itself.  A mind at war with itself – which is another way of saying a mind that rejects its true calling, its own nature and body – is a mind that cannot experience eternal gentleness;
2994.  The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why;
2995.  No one can find his/her purpose by attempting to be just like everybody else or to attempt to live out someone else’s idea of what that purpose ought to be;
2996.  Do not always pull verbally;
2997.  Kristin is a golfer;
2998.  Pro(fessional) golfers are (pretty) tall;
2999.  In a fight, never confuse a noncombatant with a loser;
3000.  What do you do if you don’t have a toothbrush?  The answer is: Try eating an apple, celery, radishes, carrots, broccoli and/or cucumbers. . . . All of these foods are excellent at freshening your mouth.  Eat them at the end of a meal or after a snack;