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pho, food
(Subject line a play on Ning queries: In reality, it should be more like XN_Query::create("Content")->filter("owner")->filter("type", "=", "LifeUpdate")->order("random()")->execute().)

I'm tired. Lots of life going on around me, and not so much work.

Last night, went to Craigie Street Bistrot, courtesy of my boss. Jess was supposed to go with me, but got ill at the last minute. Since cancellations cost $25/seat, I decided to take Kristan with me. The prices were ridiculous, and the food was quite frightening - do you want potato fingerlings with artichoke puree? However, after informing the waitress I had no clue whatseover what to eat, she pointed me to the three course Prix Fixee menu, from which both Kristan and I ordered, and it was absolutely divine. As I described it, "There's an orgasm in my mouth!" My favorite part of the meal was the Potage and Tempura. I have no idea what Potage or Tempura are, but put them together and you've got some absolutely incredible taste.

However, I was definitely out of my league. The prices were ridiculous, and since Kristan is underage (although she was repeatedly offered wine, so I doubt it would have been an issue) and I have negative feelings towards wine, we skipped it, not something to do in a French restaurant. ;) The conversations you could overhear were interesting as well - it was very odd to see someone with a dainty fork sipping a glass of wine while discussing college shenanigans, or overhearing the people on the other side of us arguing the merits of The West Wing vs. Commander in Chief.

I wish I had thought to bring ursamajor along with me - she would have known what to do, and been able to tell me what to do. ;) I'm no Foodie, but I think that she would have loved the place. (Have you ever heard of it, Lynne? Ever been there?)

This week has in large part been one of relaxation for me: Jess has finally started to get over her illness, which means that 3 of the 5 days this week, I didn't have to get up with the kids, and Jess took care of almost everything. After almost 5 weeks of mostly single parenting, it's a welcome relief, although I'm now into "Stress-that-I'm-a-Bad-Dad because I'm not doing anything" stage that I always hit after I haven't done things for a couple days. When you're taking care of almost everything, and it just goes away all of a sudden, it takes a bit to understand that just because you aren't doing it doesn't mean it isn't getting done.

The house is a mess, but some things about it have been improving: I've started moving the recycling bins to the back of the house after recycling day, so we never have more than a days worth of recycling lying around anymore.

I've been playing Vice City a bunch lately - an hour or so a day. Jess started a new game with the goal of achieving everything. I recently accomplished level 12 Firefighter and Vigilante levels, which is nice.

Kristan bought an iBook yesterday with financial aid money, in large part becuase her HP laptop has almost completely bit the dust. Zeus is being cranky and not starting up - I'm going to have to drag a monitor over to look at that, since there's not one plugged into him. Emmy bought an iPod Nano, which is redoubling my want to get one of the video iPods now, but I'm trying to wait until Christmas and see if Santa wants one.

I am seriously considering getting a Digital SLR-like camera to replace my Kodax CX4230. I want something with manual focus and exposure: So much of the fun for me was always playing with exposure and seeing how well I could get something to come out. Having a black and white mode would also be nice. I'd like to do some erotic photography, and although the Kodak is fine for snapshots, in low light it's full of artifacts, and the lower resolution doesn't help it there either. I'm not sure when I'm going to make this purchase: I'm thinking that if I bought it at the end of November-ish it would let me ask for accessories and the like for Christmas, which might be nice. I'm hoping to find something in the < $300 range, which gives me a good range of SLR-like 5MP cameras that I'm looking through. Dpreview mostly advises Minolta Konicas, although I'm not sure how accurate that is. Experience in the field welcome.

Found a torrent recently with all the James Bond movies. Started watching a couple of the ones that I've never seen, like Moonraker, which is ridiculous and amusing from a sci-fi perspective. It also made me wish for commercial spaceflight *sigh*. The movies are way cheesier than I realized: I hadn't seen a lot of the earlier ones despite owning them all at one point, so it was kind of a shock to me how close to the Austin Powers movies some of them are.

Anyway, that's a random sampling of life and my brain recently. I've run out of steam writing this after being interrupted by a phone call, so this will have to be the end.

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Coincidentally, Allyson and I also went out to a nice restaurant and had the prixe-fixe menu last night. :)

I use Minolta DiMage's and Pentax *IST's at school, and I can tell you that the Pentax's are of better quality and much easier to control - it is near impossible to do much with a DiMage without the manual for help at every turn. I don't know about either company's other brands though - I could ask my teachers though.

<3 Tempura. I've not had it in aaages.

Oh goodness. Craige Street is THE BEST. Ahhhh, food.


dude, the craigie street bistro has been on my list of WHY HAVE I NOT GONE THERE YET for about two years now. granted, i'm no more help on the wine than either you or k (much to my dad's despair ;) ), but i keep hearing yummy combinations coming out of tony maws' kitchen. particularly the sunday night specials where he basically cooks what he feels like, totally off menu. mmmm. and i can *walk* there. so except for the whole "expensive" part, and honestly, i do manage to go to comparably expensive meals every few months or so, i really have no excuse anymore!

oh, and potage is the french word for soup; tempura is individually battered fish/meats/veggies fried in hot oil japanese style.

I know nothing about digital cameras, but FWIW my brother-in-law recommended the Kodak DX6490 to me a while ago. 4 MP, 10x optical zoom. Has a manual exposure setting but IIRC it only lets you control f-number or exposure time (the other being determined automatically). And no manual focus, either. (I've never used it, so I'm a bit shaky on the details.)

*checks manual* Ah, the mode is called "PASM" and you can choose "P" (Program mode: you control exposure compensation, the camera determines shutter speed and aperture/f-stop), "A" (Aperture priority mode: you control aperture and exposure compensation, the camera determines shutter speed from that), "S" (Shutter priority mode: you control shutter speed and exposure compensation, the camera determines aperture from that), and "M" (Manual mode: you control aperture and shutter speed, the camera determines exposure compensation).

It does have a B&W mode (and a Sepia one, too, if you want that).

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