blind and stab

My lovely new apartment borders a not-so-lovely section of Baltimore. Knowing there will be times I’ll have to park in a rather unsavory spot at night, my boyfriend lent me “the defender”. While I will not give away all tricks of my new weapon, I will say its main uses are for blinding and stabbing. In order to make sure I fully commanded the use of it, boyfriend (Matt) and I practiced using it against each other on the street.

Matt went first. I shuffled near him, pretending to be an attacker, and he flashed the defender in my eyes. While temporarily blinded, he pantomimed stabbing me, to show how easy it would be. After I’d gotten my sight back, it was my turn.

Matt oh-so-casually leaned against a nearby car like a gangster, and when I approached, he straightened and started walking towards me. In all the excitement, I forgot he wasn’t really an attacker, and my adrenaline kicked in. I leapt forward, thrusting the defender in his face, blinding him for much longer than necessary. I moved into a crouch, waving the defender slowly back and forth, searching for weakness. Before he could react, I came forward fast and hard to drive him back with a dazzling succession of parries, quick lunges, and sidesteps. He tried deflecting to break my rhythm, but I flicked my arm out of the way, lunging with the defender. I scored a direct hit, then parried, feigning a swing, and instead of connecting, struck his other arm aside with a decisive downward blow. We both retreated a step and circled one another warily.

NOTE: None of that happened. I’ve been reading too much RA Salvatore (oh, how I love RA Salvatore and Drizzt Do’Urden, the DROW elf); I did blind Matt for a few seconds too long, but that was it. However, this seemed like just the right post for me to try my hand at writing a little fight scene.

The defender is great. I absolutely feel better with it in hand, and while I hope I won’t have the opportunity to use it, I fully intend to blind and stab anyone who dares approach me in a slightly menacing manner. In fact, watch out even if you approach in a friendly manner. Actually, to be safe, don’t approach me at all, especially after dark. I’m bound to think you’re a predator.


ps. read this awesome interview with RA Salvatore, titled “How to Write a Damn Good Fight Scene”, in which he credits The Princess Bride with helping to inspire more intricate and detailed fight scenes in fantasy books.


Wednesday is Spaghetti Day!

One of my favorite days of the week is Wednesday— not because it declares itself halfway through the workweek and opens the gateway to Friday, but because at Ale Mary’s in Fells Point, you can get a delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs for $7. And don’t forget the delicious triangles of crusty garlic bread, slathered in butter, perched atop the mound of pasta. In fact, it’s such a giant bowl of spaghetti, I can usually only eat half. Accompanied by cheap wine specials like the $3 house wine, you can’t go wrong at this awesome spot on Wednesday nights.

Ale Mary’s in itself is a fun place to stop by, decorated with religious decor and featuring creative menu item names such as the Thankful Turkey Sandwich or The Crabby Nun. Don’t forget to get a plate of loaded tots for a complete heart attack feast. Topped with three different kinds of cheeses, crispy bacon and ranch on the side, this tasty meal completes the Wednesday festivities.

the power of a good hair stylist.

A good hair stylist will transform you.

Go see Lindsay at Flaunt. She’s magic.

merlot is the devil.

Drinking merlot is like drinking liquid satan. It possesses your entire body, steals your motor control and memory, and commonly causes you to wake up stark naked in your bed at 3pm the following day, wondering what on earth happened to you.

It was a Saturday night, and I, with three lovely friends, were at Rocky Mountain Tavern in Seoul for a Christmas-themed ladies night. Each ticket for the ladies night came with wine, dinner, and entertainment. We were running late and missed dinner, so we decided to just drink wine.

The entertainment, to our delight, turned out to be male strippers dressed as santa. For modesty’s sake, the strippers only took the top half of their outfits off, gyrating wildly in enormous red pants with fur trim. While chugging our way through three bottles of merlot, we catcalled and cheered the men on, shamelessly ogling their bare chests. My feet became extra hot from all the stomping and clapping, so I removed my boots and made at least five trips to the bathroom in my bare feet – an incredibly skeezy bathroom filled with broken glass and at least two strains of herpes.

Merlot causes bad things. Two bottles in, you’ll be flailing wildly, thinking you’re dancing like Britney Spears or at the very least, Justin Beiber, and enormous chunks of your night are rapidly becoming shrouded with mist. You down another glass and the next thing you know, you’re being dropped on your head by a stripper wearing santa pants.

From what I’ve managed to patch together, after the men had stopped dancing, I had literally climbed one male stripper, monkey style, and he was hauling me around the bar like a sack of cement. In my inebriated state, I decided it’d be fun to play a game more suited for a toddler than a merlot-soaked english teacher. I wrapped my legs around his waist like I was in some bizarre porn Christmas special, and threw myself backwards, my hands brushing the floor. He dutifully pulled me back up, and I threw myself backwards again – only this time, he dropped me on my head.

No one knows what happened after that. The next – and last – thing I remember of the evening is carefully navigating my way down the steep steps and then emerging onto the streets of Seoul. It was snowing.

I woke up completely naked in my bed the next day, my clothes just inside my front door, and the bottoms of my feet completely filthy. I’d like to say this experience taught me a lesson about the dangers of overindulging, but that would be a lie. There have been many such nights since then – although there have been no more stripper incidents.

almond milk yogurt!

Yogurt + fresh, crunchy granola = deliciousness. It’s a perfect breakfast or, if you’re hobbits like us, second breakfast.

We recently discovered Michele’s handmade granola* at the awesome farmer’s market in Baltimore (the one located under 83, at Saratoga and Gay street), so we have the granola bit more than covered – but when you’re not eating dairy, what sort of yogurt can you have? Soy yogurt is one alternative, and there are several great brands out there. However, we were getting worried about eating too much soy, and so thought we might have to give up eating yogurt altogether.

Meet amande yogurt!

It’s cultured almond milk, which is exciting because 1) I didn’t know you could make almond milk into yogurt, and 2) Eating plain almonds is a bit like eating pieces of wood, so I’m always happy to find a new way to ingest them. On a recent trip to Whole Foods, we spotted amande on the shelf and gave it a shot. The texture is a bit surprising, and you need to mix it thoroughly, but it’s delicious! So far we’ve tried the strawberry, cherry, coconut, blueberry, and peach. It also comes in vanilla and plain, but our Whole Foods isn’t carrying those flavors yet. Amande is vegan, gluten, soy, and dairy free, and is flavored with natural fruit juice. It also has six active cultures, so if you’re eating yogurt for the culture benefits and probiotics, you’re covered.

Hooray for almonds and their multi-purposeness!

the senoritas

* Michele’s granola is fantastic. My personal favorite is the ‘ginger hemp’, but ‘pumpkin spice’ is also really delicious. We’ve been buying the granola from Michele herself, who is incredibly nice and friendly. If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, the Whole Foods in Mt. Washington carries her granola, as well. Happy eating!

saturday swine.

Last week, a friend came over for happy hour. The weather was gorgeous and we wanted to sit outside, but we have no patio furniture and our patio is currently undergoing a renovation. To create a miniature garden party, Dani dragged our one piece of inside furniture (a little wicker sofa) outside. We had sangria and homemade guacamole, and it was lovely.

Unfortunately, the saturday swine fell in love with the miniature garden party setup, and has been camped out there since, squealing wildly whenever we approach to fend us off. He pops back indoors to find more snacks whenever our backs are turned, and shows no signs of ever giving up his little kingdom, where he lords over our miniature herb garden and the neighbor’s cat.

Enjoy your Saturday!

The Metro is Run by the Shrieking Eels

I’m sure all of you who ride the metro (or any public transportation for that matter) have heard the shrieking garbled announcements at some point. This morning, Katie and I decided the metro must be run by the shrieking eels instead of humans.

don’t be cheerful in the morning, or someone will eat your bird.

Dani and I are sisters, as most of you know. We get along really well, have quite a bit of fun together, and we’ve managed to co-exist in the loft-style upstairs floor of our row home since June. However, sharing a bedroom gets hectic at times – and no more so than in the morning when we’re getting up for work. Dani does not like optimism or cheerfulness in the morning. I do. This sometimes creates bad feelings and resentment.

And there you have it. Don’t be cheerful in the morning, or someone will eat your bird.

The end.

the senoritas!