Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday Five(s)

The Excuse

As you’ll read below, I was just a bit busy this past week. At the moment I’m currently sitting on CO1689, watching a little DirecTV and heading home, with the hope of just a little sleep in my not too distant future.

The Weeks

Wow. I mean, just wow.

Sorry - still no kidsTwo weeks ago I was sent to the city so nice they named it twice for a weeklong course. As anyone who reads this knows, New York is my favorite city on the planet, and there’s a lot of people to go visit. As a result, Karin joined for the first part of the weekend, flying out on Saturday and home on Monday. That Sunday we were able to schlep[1] out to Long Island to visit our friends Megan and DaIMG_1177vid, who recently welcomed Hunter into their family. I have to say that Hunter is a rather cute baby. Megan and David are going to make great parents.

Unfortunately, that was the only day that we were able to visit the friends we’d intended to visit. But it did give us the opportunity to get out to Pegu Club[1] for a couple of cocktails.

IMG_1181Of course, there was work to do at some point. But the nice part about the location I work at in New York is its location. It’s right on the southern tip of Manhattan, affording an amazing view. The timing of my trip[3] wasn’t lost on me. While I wasn’t at all worried about what might happen, I will say I did get a bit startled during the week. They were IMG_1189filming some TV show in the floor above the one I was working in. At one point on Thursday there was a loud “bang”, that caused my heart to skip a beat.

While Karin left way too soon and even though I was working during the day, I was certainly out playing every night. I was able to hook up with the friends that weren’t available when Karin was in town, not to mention a little trip to the new Yankee Stadium. While I didn’t get a good chance to roam around the stadium, I have to say I was impressed by it. IMG_1188But I’ll still take the original any day of the week.

From there, my week only got crazier. I flew on Friday from New York to Atlanta. The reason being I had to put in my first 20 mile run. For those of you not up marathon training, most every training plan caps out at 20 miles, making it the biggest and most important run of the program. Because I had to be in Atlanta on that Saturday evening, I wasn’t able to do that run from home. Fortunately, the run went off without a hitch in Atlanta.

After the run? Well, can you believe my week went back to being even more insane? Yes, that’s right – it was TechEd week. For those of you scoring at home[3], TechEd is Microsoft’s biggest annual conference. This week was particularly busy for me as I was chosen as the Study Hall/Exam Cram lead for the week. This meant quite a bit of additional work, especially at the beginning of the conference. That said, it did eventually settle down, and I was able to catch up with great friends.

IMG_1224During the week, I was able to get to see a bit of the city. My dining experience certainly ran the gamut. On one end was Monday night at a rather nice restaurant with my dear friend Susan. On the other end was Friday with a few friends at Gladys Knight’s waffle house. While I certainly enjoy high-end cuisine, there’s just something about a pile of amazing fried chicken and a waffle.[4]

GeneRACEtionUpon the end of TechEd, Susan, Michael, his wife Laurie and I ventured out for a 10K called the GeneRACEtion 10K. It was the first for Michael, and both he and Laurie did an amazing job. As for me? Well, I hit a PB (49:45) and I beat Susan. :-) Considering the week I had, and how hilly the course was, I’m thrilled with the time I was able to post.

In all it was a great couple of weeks. I’m hoping by mid-June I’ll have caught up on my sleep.

The Travel Note

Added to the list of things forgotten: My fleece.

The Restaurant Cocktail Bar

With the rebirth of the love of the classic cocktail comes the recreation of speakeasies. The one in San Diego I’ve been trying to visit for quite a while is Noble Experiment. You need to have a reservation to get in, which guarantees you a seat. It also means you have to get your reservation a couple of weeks in advance or you’re just not getting in. Once I heard Abram was coming to town I knew I wanted to get a chance to take him there.

The bar itself is in the back of a bar, behind a wall of kegs. Basically, walk towards the restroom, take a right, and then walk through the wall in front of you. You’ll be greeted by the hostess who will then show you to your table or seats at the bar.

The bar itself is amazingly small – a few small tables line the outside of the area, and the bar itself has about 10 stools. The décor is suave but understated. The bar itself is perfectly well stocked with all the items you’d want for putting items together.

Upon sitting down, I started with a sazerac, and unfortunately I’ve long since forgotten what Abram started with. It took a couple of drinks, but we eventually worked up a rapport with the bartender and were eventually just ordering by base and if we wanted it citrusy. I don’t know that Eric poured a drink that either of us didn’t like; some better than others, but none worth sending back.

The one thing I didn’t like about the place was there wasn’t a bathroom in the speakeasy part of the bar. This meant you had to leave the area, thus breaking the illusion of the speakeasy. But outside of that, Noble Experiment is currently my favorite cocktail bar in San Diego.

The Five

As always, I’m looking for ideas for here. My couple of usual spots to find ideas have been pretty dry lately, so I’m having to come up with some all on my own. Here’s 5 things about TechEd.

  1. Because TechEd is basically a nonstop event, I wasn’t able to get in my usual number of runs last week. I have to say I felt it emotionally; I was in a bit of a funk the days I didn’t run.
  2. The downside to working the event is you’re unable to do really anything else, in particular attend any sessions.
  3. The upside is you are able to make some great connections and meet some remarkable people. Basically it’s adult summer camp for geeks.
  4. I was able to see a bit more of Atlanta than I see of most other cities when I’m travelling for work, but I still don’t feel like I have a good handle on Atlanta. Either that, or it really is just there for Delta, Coke and Ted Turner.
  5. For me personally, this was a great show. I presented three Cram4Exam sessions, and I ranked 1st, 4th and 5th. :-)

[1] Yes, schlep.
[2] Have I mentioned how much I love the Pegu Club?
[3] ...or even if you’re alone.[5]
[4] Yes, I finished that entire plate. Did I mention I ran 20 miles?
[5] I can hear you saying it, Sarah.

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