Friday, January 30, 2009


Last night my awesome husband and I had a very nice date. We were extremely excited to bet going out and spending a little bit of money as we have been existing on a tight budget thanks to my unemployment. The perfect opportunity arose with Restaurant Week! Restaurant Week is an excellent way to feel like you are living it up on a budget!
We arrived promptly at 6:45 pm to Mercato, a small corner restaurant on Spruce St. The hostess told us our reservation was actually for 7 p.m. Well,you see, I am fairly certain I did not mishear 6:45 being that is sounds quite different from 7 p.m.... Oh well! That is ok, we went down the street a block to one of the Tria's in Philly to have a glass of wine before dinner. Here is where basic simplicity becomes my issue of the evening.
Tria is a lovely restaurant with excellent beer and wine choices. The decor is simple and extremely tasteful. With nice soft lighting it all comes together to create quite a relaxing experience. That is until you have to use the restroom. After settling in I excused myself to do so. This is a small place, as most city restaurants are, so I figured that even though I had never been there it should be no problem to locate the bathroom. After a moment, I realized I was wrong. I found two different unmarked doors, one on each level of the restaurant as the dining room is set a few steps above the bar. So I paused on the stairs and saw a waitress behind me. She told me the bathroom was to my right in a somewhat rushed yet polite tone. Now, I am CERTAIN she has answered this question about a thousand times. So Why on God's Green Earth would you not label your restroom??? I suppose it is something that doesn't fit with the decor? It can't merely be an oversight as my husband suggested. This makes me absolutely crazy! You are asking your customers to feel foolish, bumbling around in your way as you try to serve appetizers to the seated patrons. This is not hospitable. If you think it is tacky to write Restroom on the darkly painted doorway in the dining room, then do what Mercato did, and use another language like "el bano" or "la toilette" or even the adorably small word "loo." Want even less on your door? Simply put WC on the door. Heck, you could even paint those letters the same color as the door and it would still be better then a blank door. I almost walked into your kitchen, Tria, and in my opinion that would NOT have been my fault.
On a non-ranty note, we tried two excellent glasses of wine at Tria and then had a fantastic meal at Mercato. Overall, a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A True Philadelphia Night

My husband rules.
We had a fantastic date night this week that was both inexpensive and very fun. It fit our goal of exploring this city to a tee!
We started out by parking near the Greyhound station in Chinatown. Woo! Good date so far right? There were many interesting folks to see in this particular area... We walked about two blocks to a Malaysian restaurant called Penang on 10th St. The place had good atmosphere and we were seated right away. They provided us with a pot of tea at the table automatically so we just stuck with that. We decided to order three appetizers and enjoyed them all. Our most favorite was home made Roti Canai (Indian Pancake)a crispy style pancake & curry chicken potato dipping sauce. The three apps did a great job filling us up so we asked for the check. It came with a smile and two complimentary small bowls of Tapioca Green Bean Soup! Hmmm..this is definitely not something that I would have looked twice at...but not wanting to offend after such a kind gesture I took a small sip. Sure enough the soup was really pretty good! It was sweet like a dessert and I am sure it had fiber content.
We left the restaurant feeling pretty happy and headed over to The Trocadero for special movie night! This place for those of you who don't know is much like the 9:30 Club in D.C. A good venue for a variety of bands. However, on certain evenings they host $3 movie nights which turns out to basically be a free movie that you can drink during due to the $3 token they give you when you pay at the door. The movie this particular evening that we attended was Pineapple Express which we could not have seen in a better setting. Even with the low over hang making the top half of the movie a mystery to us! This is one of those movies that was meant to be seen with a large rowdy group.
Finally to cap the evening off we headed to The Barbary in Fishtown where our friend Rabbit DJ's on occasion. We chatted with her and her friends while watching the timid dancing crowd evolve into a confident pulsing mob underneath the large disco ball as the evening crept into the wee hours.
All in all, an excellent night.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What to feel, What to feel

I have an interview!!
I began this job search about a month and a half ago and here I am with my first interview. I am quite excited by this fact. More excited then I might have expected and here is why. In these past weeks I have gone through a whole range of emotions. Unfortunately for me, the predominant emotion involved in this job search has been guilt.

Guilt has been the overriding feeling because I fear what other people must think of me as the new wife with no job. For that matter, what do I think of myself? Who do I think I am? This lazy mooch sits on the couch and eats bon bons while watching soaps and her husband slaves away making a living. This is not true of course, I have been trying to make myself useful by making three meals a day for us and doing the general cleaning, all the while spending a couple hours a day on the job hunt. But then I realized that the guilt isn't completely because I don't have a job. I think that I feel guilty for kind of enjoying not having a job... That in turn makes me feel ashamed which guilt and shame combined can bring you pretty low.

But let's throw in feeling a little lost as well! I realized recently that for four years I was defined by my job. It was who I was in every way I could mean that. I was on call 24/7 so every time my phone rang I got a little crawly feeling in the pit of my stomach. I worked nearly every single weekend, feeling like I was not doing a good job if I arranged to have a weekend off to go away. Every time I did go away it was for a reason such as a friends wedding or to see a dear grandmother. I don't know of any time during my last job that I went away with my husband just for the sake of getting away. Don't get me wrong, I was and am very happy. But now that I am not defined by this any longer, it has left me feeling strange and volatile.

THUS, I am excited to have an interview. It may not be for my ideal job, but either way it makes me feel productive, gives me practice in an interview situation, and gives me something to tell people. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

PBS Rules

Ok, so today I am going to write about something that is often considered controversial. Most anyone who would read this blog knows how I feel on the subject matter that I am getting to.
Nature vs. Nurture and Homosexuality.
A big topic for sure, which was brought to mind the other evening when my husband and I stumbled upon The Gorilla King on PBS. If you have not already seen this excellent documentary, please do. It is an incredible tale about a silverback gorilla named Titus in the Virunga Mountains in Rawanda.

Titus was born 34 years ago to a fairly typical group of gorillas. There are many politics and family dynamics swirling around within any group and his was no exception. In an atypical move the group allowed an single outside male named Beetsme to join. When the silverback leader, Uncle Bert, was killed by poachers, Beetsme saw it as an opportunity to make this his group. He became aggressive and showed his dominance by killing the infants in the group. This is a common move so that the new leader would be able to sire his own infants. One of these infants was Titus' sister by Flossie, an influential female in the group. Flossie and the other females left after this leaving the males to form their own group for a while. This is not normal in the gorilla world for so many males to cohabit so peacefully but it worked for a while. They would spend their days eating and playing. They did not seem to be concerned that there were no females around. When another group near by disbanded and the females joined Titus and the others, Beetsme drove off all of the males except Titus. Here is where I get to my point..

Papoose, a female, took a liking to Titus and tried to mate with him. At this point, Titus had been with a group of males for so long that Papoose had to help him mate correctly. This surprised me as I always thought of this as something quite instinctual in nature. If he 'forgot' how to mate does that imply it is a learned behavior, not an instinctual one? I have always been on the Nature side of the Nature vs. Nurture and Homosexuality debate. However, Titus' behavior seems to be an argument for the Nurture side of the debate.

Regardless whether the answer is Nature or Nurture or a little of both, it is my opinion still that homosexuality is not a choice made by an individual. In light of many species proving to mate for life with another of the same sex, I had been pretty much sold on Nature only. I have now opened my mind to the possibility of Nurture playing a part as well.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

For my three readers...Happy 2009!