On Saturday, aureth and jenwolf were hosting a party over at their place. I thought I’d try to make a couple of new dishes to bring: Spicy Baked Plantain Chips and Salsa Verde. The plantain chips did not turn out well – a bit leathery, unfortunately. They were close to burning, but could have used a bit more time in the oven to crisp up. The salsa verde was… well, it wasn’t up to my standards. Way too salty, and the four Serrano chiles in the recipe made it mighty damn hot! This was a good reminder that I really need to only make tried-and-true recipes for these sorts of things.
mirkowuff arrived Saturday afternoon with his malamute, Chase. Buddy seems to be feeling better (though his appetite still isn’t up to snuff – possibly due to the continued antibiotics) and so greeted Chase with a wagging tail…and then spent the next hour trying to mount him. Oy. At this point I have to assume it’s a dominance thing. Chase let him know it wasn’t appreciated, and eventually they got things sorted out, but it was certainly comical to watch. We were a little late to the party because Mirko wanted to watch some basketball thing or something with his alma mater. He spent the rest of the evening squee-ing about the game 🙂
The party was a lot of fun. Jim’s brown ale was excellent, and the company was wonderful. I wish that we could have stayed later, but we had to get up stupidly-early the next day, so we grabbed hartree and Mirko and headed back to our place.
On Sunday morning, Hartree and Mirko and I left before 8 AM (well, left the first time – we had to double back because I forgot my ticket. Doh!) for the Illinois Rail Museum Snowflake Special CTA Tour. This was a 9-hour tour of the Chicago elevated train system. We were joined by dexcat, rustitobuck, and linnaeus. The tour went from Rosemont (right next to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare!) to downtown, out to UIC, down the South Side to 61st Street, then north to Evanston, with numerous stops and detours along the way. I have to say I was very much impressed by the IRM’s organization, and the quality of the tour was very good as well, with near-continuous narration provided by a pair of very knowledgeable fellows. I took over 180 pictures, and I’ll post some of those soon.
We had lunch in The Loop, stopping at the Qdoba on Randolph. We were unexpectedly joined by a rather loquacious train fan who was maybe 10 years old. He talked a blue streak, and while he knew his stuff, it was amusing to listen to him rattle on about the wisdom of the Circle Line while his parent nodded wearily beside him with that look of, “Oh thank God, he’s talking to someone else for a change.” After lunch we had time for a quick stop at Intelligentsia Coffee, then it was back on the train. All in all, I have to say that it was about seven hours of an interesting tour – the last two hours really dragged and it was a bit of a relief when we pulled back into Rosemont. takaza, roho, and genet met us there (with Chase, who went home with Mirko from there). The rest of us went down for dinner at Smoque, which was excellent, as usual.
And here we are at a new week. I have some errands to run after work, then I’ll grill up dinner while Dan works on the FCN con book. It sounds like we’re going to go see “How To Train Your Dragon” tomorrow night at one of my favorite local theaters, so we’re off to a great start to the week!