Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Manchurian Candidate for the Supreme Court

As I mentioned to a friend that Chief Justice Roberts had a seizure, her remark back was "the Bush administration needs to turn down the mind-control diodes."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Phantom

I went to see "Phantom of the Opera" tonight with my Dad. I had never seen it before, it was great. Before the show, I was having dinner with my Dad at the Kennedy Center cafe. He told me a story about when he saw Phantom one time in New York:

The show was scheduled to begin at 7:30, but when the time for curtain call came, the show did not begin. Fifteen minutes passed, then thirty. My father got curious, so he went down to see what was going on. When he got down to the lower level, he saw a man on the floor with people performing CPR on him. Being a doctor, he stuck around to make sure everything was okay. While the paramedics were wheeling the guy out of the theater, with the guy's wife trailing closely behind, someone from outside the theater yelled out, "Hey lady, you gonna use those tickets?" Only in New York.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A new American

To keep myself busy this summer, I have been volunteering at the Montgomery County Dept that deals with refugees and immigrants. I have been tutoring immigrants for their citizenship exam, and my first student passed her exam today. A huge congratulations to Fannie Zambrano, who passed her citizenship exam with flying colors (red, white and blue). She was sworn in as an American the same day. Welcome to America, Fannie.

Monday, July 02, 2007

iCon

"The devil doesn't carry a gun, the devil carries fast food, cheap appliances and bad television.”
-Children of the Revolution

I leave that quote for all you suckers who waited in line to shell out 500 bucks for your new golden calf, the iphone. Ok, maybe cheap doesn't apply. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Canada and 4-5

Watching Sicko, and its approbation for the Canadian health care system, I was reminded of another Canadian perk. When I was in Luang Prubang, Laos, I met a lovely Canadian family who was traveling for a year. She was a teacher, I don't remember what he did, and they were traveling all over the world with their 11-year old son. The reason they were able to do this was because the woman was a teacher in the Canadian school system.

The Canadian school system has a 4-5 program, in which she earned 80% of her salary for four years, and in return she got a fifth year paid salary without having to teach. The family was busy traveling on the wife's salary, which was a considerable amount of money in Southeast Asia. Not a bad deal, eh?

Charm City

I spent the weekend up in Baltimore, hanging with rockers and enjoying "Charm City." I went up to see my friend Andy and his band. I haven't hung out in Baltimore before, even though it is so close. The show was at a place called Ottobar, the only place in Baltimore that I had previously hung out at. The first band was cool, kind of an alternative country. The second band was soooo unbelievably loud, I could feel the permanent hearing loss setting in. Skipped the third band and hung out in the "green room" for the bands. My friend's band, Names Can Own, was last, and they put on a great show- really had the place rocking. I spent the rest of the evening hanging with the rockers and listening to old vinyls. It was cool, but being around rockers meant that they broke out Charlie. Being around it always makes me uneasy, as if Charlie crosses the line. Out till the wee hours of the morn, ah the rockstar lifestyle.

Saturday was spent having brunch at Fells Point, at a delicious place called Blue Moon cafe. Small little place, where we had to wait thirty minutes to get a table. We were starving and sizing up the shrubbery for a mid-day snack. The food was worth the wait, as I had a veggie scramble and a homemade biscuit. For desert, we went to a French patisserie called Bonaparte's. Fluffy meringues and decadent chocolate-almond croissants covered in powdered sugar.

After a midday nap, we went to see Sicko. It was a fantastic movie, very compelling and very well done. Scary to see how bad health care coverage is for people who have it. I personally don't these days, its kinda sad that the only time I am covered is when I am traveling because then I can afford health insurance. Small anecdote, over dinner my parents were debating getting insurance for our dog, then they realized that the dog would have insurance but their two oldest children would not. Back to Moore's flick, highly recommended. It's amazing to see what other countries offer their citizens, and I credit Moore for bringing it to our attention and making us realize that it doesn't have to be the way it currently is.

The rest of the night was spent hanging at the hipster bars. First a place called Rocket to Venus for dinner of appetizers, then onto a cool brew pub called the Brewer's Art. The brew pub was cool because it was two floors. First floor was like a fancy old living room, the basement was like Poe's catacombs. Great beer too.

So B-more was a great time, with a very different feel than DC. Baltimore felt more like Philly than DC. Kind of an old, gritty charm to the city with some cool areas. It was a much needed trip away and a fun break.