Sunday, November 9, 2014

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

3201.  “Mezzo Mix” tastes like Coca-Cola with a slight orange flavor (to it);
3202.  There’s (an) Oktoberfest “cocaine” made from sugar and menthol;
3203.  I need to work on my snorting skills;
3204.  Germans don’t like to use credit cards.  They prefer (using) cash;
3205.  Apparently, “schwein schnitzel” is code for “schweinshaxe;”
3206.  “Huber Weisses Original” beer is pretty tasty;
3207.  Cuban cigars (specifically Habanos S.A.’s Guantanamera Minutos) are very smooth;
3208.  You shouldn’t put your (Cuban) cigar ash in your compost bin. . . . It stinks;
3209.  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;
3210.  Cola-Weizen isn’t half bad. . . . It’s like a shandy made of Coca-Cola and Hefeweizen;
3211.  Europeans (sure do) love their wafer cookies;
3212.  Coaching is making players/people do what they don’t want to do so that they can become what they want to become;
3213.  Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts;
3214.  You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life;
3215.  The price of greatness is responsibility;
3216.  We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give;
3217.  However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results;
3218.  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;
3219.  I didn’t realize how much of your “core” you use (for stability) when you’re exercising muscle groups like your chest and back;
3220.  Nick Saban was an assistant coach at Syracuse (University);
3221.  According to Luisa, I have muscles (now);
3222.  Cristina Scabbia (the lead singer for “Lacuna Coil”) is rather attractive (in person);
3223.  According to Varnia (i.e., “Nadia”), I have nice hands;
3224.  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;
3225.  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;
3226.  Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen;
3227.  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them;
3228.  Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life;
3229.  Chris Bukowski (from “The Bachelorette”) (actually) hangs out at Bracket Room (in Clarendon) . . . sometimes;
3230.  (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;
3231.  After all this time (i.e., almost two years), my heart still beats faster and my mind still goes blank when Robbie’s around;
3232.  Why are (all) sweatshirts so ugly and/or boring (especially college sweatshirts)? . . . It’s one of the great mysteries of the world;
3233.  Apparently, I need to work on my annunciation. . . . When I say “boots” (some) women think I’m saying “boobs;”
3234.  Under certain lighting, I can see the bottom of my belly button;
3235.  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;
3236.  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;
3237.  There are (professional,) freelance, opera singers;
3238.  (I can say) I’ve done a shot of Everclear;
3239.  Drinking a martini from a plastic cup (specifically a red, Solo cup) just seems wrong;
3240.  Megan said I look “dapper;”
3241.  Fortune favors the bold;
3242.  I don’t want to just revolve.  I want to evolve.  As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover;
3243.  Nobody likes rejection, but you can’t be afraid of it or you’ll never move forward;
3244.  It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain as you start out the climb;
3245.  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;
3246.  No matter how bad you may feel, get up, show up, dress up, and never, ever give up;
3247.  The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in D.C. has a bar (downstairs) in the basement;
3248.  (I think) Nick Howard (kind of) sounds like Jason Mraz;
3249.  (I think) Tristan Prettyman’s drummer looks like Ron Howard. . . . (I think) she looks like Ellen Pompeo;
3250.  Eric Hutchinson is from Takoma Park, Maryland;

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;

Sunday, June 1, 2014

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

2901.  If you have a craving for Ben’s Chili Bowl (BensChiliBowl.com), but you don’t have any/enough cash, go to Ben’s Next Door (BensNextDoor.com).  They take credit card and they serve food from Ben’s Chili Bowl on their late night menu;
2902.  Plastic water bottles make up a lot of the trash in the Potomac (River);
2903.  Failure weighs ounces . . . regret weighs tons;
2904.  Sometimes all we need to do is to figure out what’s really bothering us for us to let it go;
2905.  If you’re planning a trip, you might want to use Airbnb (Airbnb.com).  You can find some pretty nice, furnished apartments in good locations for less than what you’d pay for a nice hotel;
2906.  When something’s been on your mind and you haven’t told anyone, it’s kind of cathartic when you finally do;
2907.  One thing I hate about having flat feet is breaking in new shoes.  Without much of an arch, my feet sit lower and it takes time for shoes to form to my feet.  It also means the lip of my shoes bite into my ankles until they soften up;
2908.  If you’re looking for cheap lawn tickets for concerts at Jiffy Lube Live (in Bristow, Virginia), try Groupon the day tickets go on sale to the general public (i.e., not the presales);
2909.  If you ever need a hockey net strung, call Karl Alzner (of the Washington Capitals);
2910.  If you need a babysitter, call Braden Holtby (of the Washington Capitals);
2911.  James Buchanan (i.e., the 15th president of the United States right before Abraham Lincoln) was born on April 23rd;
2912.  Buchanan was single during his entire presidency and he’s the only president from Pennsylvania;
2913.  Washing berries makes them spoil faster; instead, store them by lining a plate or sheet pan with a damp paper towel or cloth to prevent them from molding and getting crushed;
2914.  Look for vibrantly colored zucchini that are nice and firm with no punctures;
2915.  When buying eggplant, make sure to look for a bright, vibrant color and a just-picked aroma.  To store, wrap the entire thing in a slightly moist paper towel;
2916.  Hummus makes a pretty good sandwich spread;
2917.  Everyone runs his/her own race;
2918.  If something in sports is the worst thing that ever happens to you, you’ve lived a pretty good life;
2919.  The French fries at the Drafting Table (DraftingTableDC.com) in D.C. are pretty tasty;
2920.  The orange crushes at SoBe Bar & Bistro in Clarendon are pretty tasty;
2921.  Apparently, biting someone’s neck isn’t (all) that memorable;
2922.  Kettle corn is the perfect mix of salty and sweet;
2923.  Kristin has never had a cavity . . . and she hates flossing;
2924.  La Tagliatella (LaTagliatella.us) in Clarendon has a pretty good Happy Hour.  It runs Monday through Friday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  They have select pizzas for $5.00, draft beers and bellinis for $3.00, sangria and house wine for $4.00 and the specialty cocktail of the day for $5.00;
2925.  Kristin likes pistachio pudding;
2926.  Kristin likes basbousa (i.e., a sweet cake made of cooked semolina soaked in simple syrup);
2927.  I can say I’ve had a bellini at the Italian embassy;
2928.  I can say I’ve had a (Belgian) waffle at the Belgian embassy;
2929.  Nice guys leave most women indifferent;
2930.  It’s easy to be good, it’s hard to be great;
2931.  You should drink sake just above body temperature (i.e., warmed, not boiled);
2932.  The best BLT (i.e., bacon, lettuce and tomato) I’ve ever had may be the Maxine BLT at Maxine’s Bistro & Bar (CatalinaHotel.com/maxines) in the Catalina Hotel (in Miami);
2933.  Cara Rosenthal (formerly of “The Amazing Race”) is a cool chick;
2934.  Cara (Rosenthal) hangs out at Hyde Beach (SLSHotels.com/Southbeach/Hyde_Beach) in the SLS Hotel (in Miami) almost every Friday night;
2935.  Everyone gets blown out . . . even Matthew McConaughey on the beach with his shirt off . . . and Usher in a club when one of his songs was playing;
2936.  Yes, “fingerblast” is a term;
2937.  Your boner knows better than you (do);
2938.  Apparently, Tinder (GoTinder.com) is pointless if you’re not handsome or you don’t look good with your shirt off;
2939.  If you don’t expand, the threshold closes;
2940.  Thresholds will move depending on how fast you push them;
2941.  A woman sitting with her drink up and looking around wants to be talked to;
2942.  Be cool, calm and collected;
2943.  I can say I’ve fingerblasted a “dancer;”
2944.  I know someone who’s friends with Daniel Sharman (of “Teen Wolf”);
2945.  The “dates avec chorizo” (i.e., bacon-wrapped dates with goat cream) at Pubbelly (Pubbelly.com) in Miami are awesome!
2946.  Apparently, Barbara Palvin’s sister’s boyfriend is a cockblock;
2947.  LIV (LIVNightClub.com) (i.e., one of the top club’s in the country) is in the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami;
2948.  If you get bottle service, don’t let the bottle girl make your drinks after the first one.  She’s been instructed to give you heavy pours so you’ll finish your bottle faster in the hopes you’ll order another one;
2949.  When you’re at a club, making a drink for a girl you brought back to your table, fill a glass with ice then fill it with mixer and add a splash of liquor on top;
2950.  “Urban Beach Week” is Memorial Day weekend in (South Beach) Miami;