No rugby this week. Wow... I am amazed at what a difference not having any rugby this week made. Food for thought.
With some of the time I had this week, I decided to cook. Yep, that's right. No ordering in every night. Actually, part of the reason is I may have overdosed on Chinese delivery last week. Cooking is something that has actually fallen out of favor with me, being single and all. Although I do occasionally enjoy cooking and have a few signature dishes, I am not a really big fan of cooking for myself. But this week was an exception. Maybe it was the weather. The cold, gray, damp weather inspired me to make a beef stew on Tuesday. It turned out quite well... actually extremely well if I say so myself. Some nice cubed beef, a little red wine, beef broth, some tomato paste, barley and veggies with a dash of Cayenne for a little kick all came together just right. OK, it may have had a slight bit too much of a kick, enough to make my nose run... LOL. But that kick was something that I added to my stew recipe a few years ago based on some advice I was given about the flavoring. I made enough of the stew that I put a nice sized container of it in the refrigerator for a future cold spell. Next up is my ham and bean soup.
On Thursday, Big Papi (Queso Grande) and I went to Caracas for arepas. After dinner we went to the Landmark Sunshine Cinema to see Innocent Voices. I hear this movie is Mexico's entry into the Oscars. I heard it advertised on Air America, so I decided to check it out on-line. This Luis Mandoki film features Leonor Varela, who you might remember as Nyssa in Blade II. It also features the young Carlos Padilla in his cinematic debut as Chava, a Salvadorean boy who struggles as the new "man of the house" when his father abandons his family during El Salvador's tragic civil war. You may remember, that I previously posted here and here on El Salvador's horrific recent history on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's assignation. This movie, based on a true story, chronicles Chava's battles to survive in a country torn by violence where the army conscripts 12 year olds into active service in a war where troops kill and torture their own people. It also deals with his relationship with his mother, his first love and his early recognition of what is right and what is wrong. The movie is intriguing and griping and is beautifully shot, even if a tad over theatrical. I strongly recommend it. I guess I am actually starting to make some progress on getting caught up on quality films.
On Friday night, I went bowling with about 20 mates from the Gotham Knights. Yes, that's right. There is a little bit of trailer park heaven right here in the heart of NYC (actually in the Port Authority). Thank God that it was all for shits and giggles, because I really sucked. Last year when we did this, I had the highest score. This year, I damn near had the lowest. I think I am might be losing my redneck touch. There was plenty of cardboard pizza and flat beer to be had. All in all it was a great time. There are some pictures here. After bowling we ended up at what seemed to be, at least on Friday night, the heavily perfumed Gym Bar. Two of my favorite people in NYC work there and it is our rugby team's home bar. Yet I am having trouble finding things I like about the place. Although on Friday, there was one thing I liked... Orlando. I met Orlando while ordering a beer and we talked for a few hours. It was really quite nice.
On Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed not having rugby for the first time since early September and marked the occasion by spending the day watching college football. Unfortunately my beloved Pitt Panthers had a bye week.
Today, I hung out with Queso Grande, who by the way is leaving us for a brighter future in Tampa. I will miss you Papi. We started the day meeting for Brunch at Cafeteria. However they had a stated 30 minute wait for seating, which if you know anything about Cafeteria would have been at least 45 minutes. So we instead opted for brunch at the equally gay and almost as pretentious, yet not nearly fabulous Dish. Is it just me or is the food at the dish never actually good, but not really bad either. In any event, after brunch we tried, without any success to somehow come across tickets to Wicked. We tried several approaches, but the confluence of Halloween, the play's anniversary and some street fair called "Wicked Day" conspired to make getting tickets impossible. So at the last minute we headed over to tkts to see what they had available. We were able to get 50% off on 2 tickets to see Fiddler on the Roof starring Harvey Fierstein and Rosie O'Donnell. It was very entertaining, although nothing really worth writing home about. Neither Harvey nor Rosie are particularly good singers, and while Harvey can certainly act... Rosie not so much so. But like I said, it was enjoyable. So for a day that included not eating at our initial choice of restaurants and not seeing our first choice in shows, it was a lot of fun. And what a beautiful day in NYC it was.