Nothing special here, just a random update on life as I attempt (for the X37th time) to make a better mental attempt to use this. I started it, time to go with it some more. Let it evolve somewhere along the way, perhaps? This one is a little long, so steer away unless you’re bored!

Getting into a routine still has not been terribly easy. My friend Rob and I make our weekly visit to The Place on either Tuesday or Wednesday (seems to be Wednesdays, mostly) for some Spaten (I didn’t realize I would like their Oktoberfest!) and Shock Top (which I shockingly just discovered is a Michelob, shows how lousy of a beer snob I am) with some delicious food. I have a hard time saying no to the delicious clams casino (I need to try the steamed clams) or their enormous club. Seriously. First night I ever ate there, I could only eat half of the sandwich. I took the other half home. And then drank my ass off, but that was another story.

Anyways, Wednesday at The Place ends up 50% of the time continuing drinking elsewhere, most often the Thirsty Buffalo as of late. I’m sure we’ll end up somewhere else one of these weeks, but we seem to amusing the other bar-goers every time we’re in there. Don’t ask.

Monday and Thursday nights are likely resorted to network television now. I’m a big fan of 30 Rock, Heroes and House, and getting into Community, Parks & Recreation and The Office as of late. The Office I was disappointed with in their first couple seasons after watching the British series by Rickey Gervais, but the later seasons of the US version seem to have established some redeemable humor in my eyes. In addition to those, I’m trying to finish off my complete series of Arrested Development on DVD, as I’ve still not gotten around to finishing it!

Cleaning comes along whenever I remember to motivate myself to do it. I cannot say I’m the most energetically productive person by the end of the workday, but I can be fairly productive if I jump right on it. It has a tendency to cut into my ambition to cook, and so it becomes a nice back and forth struggle over “to clean” vs “to cook.” Unless it’s laundry. Laundry was soooo convenient having my own washer and dryer before moving. My new place has no hookups for that. I now have to frequent a laundromat again. Boo!

I’ve told myself I’m going to cook at least one (if not two) new dishes each week. My life will be boring enough for a while without me further inflicting any other lack of novelty on a day to day basis! I’ve got two huge cookbooks that were meant to exercise my mental craving for cooking. This week’s dish: swiss chard au gratin!

Living with hardwood floors is a change. I need to get into a habit of vacuuming and mopping. And not letting sharp unviewables make it onto the floor. I’ve impaled my right (yes, only the right) foot three times with fragments of staples from furniture packaging. I have since vacuumed thoroughly in an attempt to avoid this happening ever again.

Computer desk is clean. Dishes are done. Dining room table is clean. Bathroom is scrubbed. Floors need to be vacuumed and maybe mopped. Friends were entertaining the thought of me hosting Sunday football viewing here this weekend. It will be the first “real” company I will have had over since I have gotten moved in and settled (besides Holly stopping by for an item or two). I feel kind of embarrassed that I have no couch for sitting on yet (only a recliner and a papasan chair right now), but they’ve been forewarned so they know what they’re getting!

A ballet studio of sorts has opened across the corner from my place. I actually have a pretty good view in through one of the windows, such that I can watch women in tight, black unitards walk/dance around on the balls of their feet. I’d be more enthusiastic about that thought, but after a couple glances most of the women in there are on the “little too thin” side of my tastes. Regardless, it’s sort of interesting to see what they do for routines vs movie-based depictions I’ve seen on the big screen. I’d tell you the differences if I knew what they were!

I started my lease for my new apartment back on July 15th, so I could at least start moving some stuff into my place prior to my trip to the Midwest to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, I think I only got four or five car loads of packed materials over there prior to making the long drive back to North Dakota. It was probably not the ideal way to do things, but compared to how much more stuff I moved after coming back from the Midwest, I’m a bit glad that I did start my lease two weeks earlier (although it bit me for an additional half-month’s rent). I only just turned in our keys to the old place Wednesday of this week, which was cutting things far closer than I would have anticipated. Granted, our lease was up to expire on the 15th, but being that we both Holly and I had at least two weeks overlap between our old and new leases, there wasn’t any good reason to be out of the apartment early’ish. Oh well.

Elmwood living has been a nice and fairly interesting change in my lifestyle since I have moved down there. The apartment is situated on a rather busy corner of Lexington and Ashland, just a block or so off of Elmwood Avenue itself. I’m not even a 50′ walk across the intersection to a nice lil’ pub/bar called The Place, which inadvertently disappointed upon my first visit there, Wednesday of last week. They had just had their draft feed lines cleaned that day and the keg pressures were all out of whack; you couldn’t get a decent glass of beer out of any of them! Just a tall glass of head…unless that’s the part of a draft you appreciate. Then that would have been your night to make a killing there. Instead, I then ended up having a couple bottles instead and a club for some dinner. I probably could have done without the beers with the size of that sandwich! I ate about half of it before I was too full to finish. I definitely need to stop in there again (and more often), but as of yet haven’t quite gotten back over there.

My dear friend Rob casually tossed out the thought of hitting another bar that night (as The Place closes at 10pm during the summer season when many of the locals like to visit outside of town for beaches and such, so it was explained), so we walked a mere two blocks from my place where we ran into the Thirsty Buffalo. To be honest, I don’t remember a terrible lot of the our excursion there. We promptly took ourselves a couple of seats at the bar, both ordered a tall glass of what I personally thought was some foul beer (Brooklyn Lager, but it tasted to me like it was soaked in birch chips or something), and after that continued the night with mixed beverages to err on the safe side (we couldn’t see drafts from our seats, and I wasn’t about to keep asking between glasses what they had to try out). Lordy, I was expecting them to come out in the typical lowball (or similarly sized) glass that I’ve come to expect from every other bar; goodness no, they came out in a solid 12oz glass, and they came out strong. Our bartender must have been pushing those drinks at least 1/3 to 1/2 Crown in my whiskey 7’s. Tasted wonderful, but they took me out in an awful hurry. Between four of those and a free round of shots with the bartender, she pretty well did us under for the night. I’m definitely tempted to go back there to give the food a try (on a night when I could use a bite), and guaranteed to go back to get some more of those lovely-strong whiskey 7’s.

Both bar visits left me in rough shape Thursday. Very rough shape. I had to hold off on any more alcoholic excursions until after finishing moving the rest of my items from the old apartment and getting it cleaned out and turned back over to the landlord. So to celebrate that occurrence, I figured I’d treat myself out to Nektar just last night, a bit further down Elmwood from my place. They have a lovely riesling that was just dry enough to my liking (too many of the rieslings I try are on the slightly too sweet side) so I indulged in a few glasses of that with an appetizer and just enjoy the atmosphere. The restaurant apparently does not really pick up until around 9 or so, so coming in at 7 I was able to enjoy the atmosphere a little more and chat it up with the bartenders there. Brian apparently is a seasoned veteran in the establishment and lives nearby, so he was able to recommend a couple choices for places to shoot some pool at. Four glasses of wine and an order of stuffed peppers later, I was set to relax for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, the banana peppers lost so much of their kick during the making I imagine, so the stuffed peppers weren’t nearly as hot as I would have liked. They were very good regardless of that situation, however. Again, I’ll likely be returning there in the future to try out some more of their food menu…they’ve got calamari and octopus on their menu!