Monday, February 28, 2011

This gets easier and easier every time.

Some of you have been waiting for this a long time. Some of you have not.

As the pattern of my grooming tendencies have stayed fairly consistent over the past few years. The first day of school was the start of my beard. I let it go for a month or two, and then cut my 'almost-famous' (just like the Primanti's sandwich) Amish beard. This, mixed with my pre-Chelsea's wedding hair cut, left me looking rather shaggy. All of my classmates knew me with a beard. People at YadGrad could not imagine me without long hair. Well everything (except clogged arteries from Cookie Stuffed Cookies) fades away... and this past weekend -you may want to sit down (because, I know you are reading this standing up))- I got a hair cut.

I know. In my adult life, a hair cut is a big deal. So I went to Wal Mart and collected the supplies I needed: Black Hair dye, some Elmers, a few combs, a pack of cheap razors (thanks Dad to opening my eyes to cheap razors...), and a hair dryer. At this point, those who know me should be excited. Those who do not know me that well are most likely confused.

My two friends, the honorable Gwyn and Tracey, offered their help in obtaining my cause. I was a little nervous, as I had perviously trusted my head to only Jake and my mother (well, besides professionals). But the girls performed wonderfully.

That is right... Mohawk time!
So this fun took place in my bathroom, which is not known for its space. In fact, it is almost too small for just me. But with the help of an old file folder holder, and a re-purposing of shower space, Tracey and Gwyn were able to work the art of both Scissors, Clippers and Razors.

The prep work.
I think there was a comment about making paint brushes out of my hair...

Two things to note: First: Gwyn, you look way too excited... and Second, Awesome shirt.

Notice the pharaoh beard has been taken away...

I am fairly sure that is the most number of people that bathroom has ever contained at any one time.

And Tracey found my cloak.... :-)
As always, I have gotten some interesting and amusing responses. The best being a little girl who walked past me with a look of wonderment, stopped, turned to her mom and asked: "Why is that man's head all funny?" to which her mom said it was a mohawk, and that when she was young they were really popular... thanks lady.. your daughter was cute, you are just lame.

Last night (Sunday into Monday) Pittsburgh decided to re-enact the events of the Titanic, with my room playing the part of the ship. I was awoken at 5:30 by pouring rain. And not just a little bit, but enough that I could hear it in full surround sound. Then I noticed the plethora of flashes, and then what I am sure woke me up, the loud rumbles of really close thunder. It was rather impressive. I laid there for a good 30 minutes being amused by the light and sound show. But needless to say this morning it was still going on. Having the foreknowledge that a wet mohawk is a sad mohawk, I did not spike it... I will tomorrow though, even if I have to take an umbrella.

Cookie Stuffed Cookies!

I love food.
 Two weeks ago was the second of four movie nights that I have been planning for and with the YadGrad group. (if you are interested in going let me know!!). As it happened, a few days before, Bri posted a link to this interesting site. That is right Cookie Stuffed Cookies. And what better thing to eat while watching 'Book of Eli,' then Cookies inside of cookies.... I am a little sad that I have lived for 23 years and not had the experience of one of these cookies before. So the morning of the movie night I set out on a culinary adventure. And this is how it went.

I decided, after a little research, to follow the recipe that was posted on the site. Looking back, this was not a good choice, but I will get in to that later. So the recipe from Picky Palate is as follows:

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies

Cream the butter and the sugars together.
Throw in the eggs and the vanilla.
Mix in Flower, salt and baking soda.
Once fully mixed, add some Chocolate Chips (go light on the chips... really you could do 6-8 oz and be fine... it is not like there is going to be a whole oreo cookie inside of it...)

Good Idea? Heck Yes!
Then the fun part. They used fancy cookie ballers, but I just used my hands. I put a sizeable wad of dough in my hand, placed an oreo, then put more dough on top. Because of how cake-y the dough was, it was easy to just brush off the excess.

Put Cookies on some wax paper, and a pan, and throw them in the oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes (I had to do more like 24-26 minutes...)
Bake, my creations!
So now my take on it.
First off: DON'T USE THIS RECIPE!!! Really. My cookies tunred in to more like cookie in a cookie tasting biscuit. That was really hard. The dough turned in to a really dry, hard cake thing. Not very cool. It seemed like they were trying to avoid the 'drop' style Chocolate Chip cookies (that would be bad... you would just get an Oreo on top of a ring of cookie.). But this recipe is over the top. I think that mothers, tried and true Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe would work fine (and I will post it in the future, when I try this again.). Mine were almost not edible... the only reason people had them, was so they could see the inside. It was sort of like a jawbreaker... that it hurt to eat, but for some reason, you just kept going.

Second: Nutella. Nutella is like bacon. It makes everything better... in fact, I should try putting bacon in these next time... anyway. For half of the batch, I spread a layer of Nutella on the oreo before encasing it in cookie dough. These turned out, by far, the best. It was great. 

I am certianly trying these again. Even with the bed consistency, everyone liked them!

I know it is hard to tell, but they are small-child-fist sized.

I ate way too many Oreos that morning...

Spring Break Prep.

So next week.. nay, this Thursday at Noon my spring break begins. I have chosen to have a so called 'stay-cation' or a vacation to Pittsburgh!

I realized that there was a ton in this city that I have not experienced, and here is a perfect opportunity to go out and see the awesome things in this city.

So here is the first draft:
Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium (I might go on different days...)
Carnegie Science Center
Another Pass through the Natural History Museum
Another Pass through the Art Museum
The Mattress Factory (it is an art museum)
Strip District (again, I have not been in a long time)
Top of the Cathedral of Learning
Bringing TumbleWeed (my bike) out for a Ride
Taking a picture with every Dinosaur I can find.

EDIT(2/28 2:58PM): Frick Center

I am also going to try to incorporate food in to all of these trips. Should be fun. I am still in search of good mexican food... and I need to have some polish food at some point.

So look forward to next week's posts about Spring Break. I am setting a goal right now to post everyday. If there is anything you want to see, let me know. I just realized that this is going to be a trial run for Chelsea and Caleb's Spring break... except not as fun... because I will be hanging out by myself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee! -CMU Theater

Last week, I had a conversation with Chelsea that went as follows:

[2/19/2011 11:35:14 AM] Chelsea: What are you up to today?
[2/19/2011 11:36:33 AM] Scott Griffith: I am going to go see 25th annual Putnam Spelling Bee with some friends! I am excited
[2/19/2011 11:36:46 AM] Chelsea: Weird.
[2/19/2011 11:39:53 AM] Scott Griffith: why weird?
[2/19/2011 11:40:15 AM] Chelsea: A spelling bee?
[2/19/2011 11:40:22 AM] Scott Griffith: it is a musical... ;)
[2/19/2011 11:40:36 AM] Chelsea: Ohhhh.
[2/19/2011 11:40:43 AM] Chelsea: Now it sounds fun.
[2/19/2011 11:40:51 AM] Chelsea: Are they going to spell in song?
[2/19/2011 11:42:25 AM] Scott Griffith: i think so..

As you can see by the date it was last Saturday. You may be wondering why it has taken me this long to write about this interesting event. That is because I did not go last Saturday... and here is why:

So there were 7 of us that were going to go see CMU's production of 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.' We all decided that this was a notable occasion, and to acknowledge such an even we should go all out. So we all met at 'The Elbow Room' in Shadyside, as per Randy's suggestion. The dress code was 'fancy... but not too fancy.' A side note: I received a text that was to the affect of: 'How fancy are we dressing up? Are you going to be wearing pants?' I thought it was amusing that the level of dress would be determined by my pants... but everyone showed up looking very nice. This establishment reminded me very much of DownRiver, classy, but not too stuck up. Dad, just for you, I ordered the Ruben Sandwich. It was amazing. You would have liked it. Turns out Randy is dating the manager, so after dinner we were offered desserts on the house! Dinner was great. as always good company!

The show was at 8:00, and we were not able to leave the resturaunt until 7:50. This meant that we were in a bit of a time crunch, but didn't have very far to go. We rushed over to CMU, jumped out of the car and ran up to the theater. I was first in, and noticed something odd... there was no one around. Just a very nice girl behind the ticket counter window, with a rather sad face forming as she saw me. Turns out this production was not being held at CMU. It was at a theater on the other side of town. :-(  That is my sad face... Turns out they made a fair effort to let everyone know this, but when they said 'It is at the New Hanzlet Theater!' That did not really register, for all I knew the Theater at CMU was named that... They were kind enough to let us get refunds and to switch to the next weeks show.

This would be effort 3 that I have made to see a show at CMU. And this would be the third time I was shut down. Every single time I try to go it gets progressively harder to see a show, the first time a few days before hand I was told they were sold out, the next time it was the day of. I could not catch a break.

Until today! Of the 7 who were there last Saturday, only 4 of us were able to find a time to go during the remaining run of the show. Tonight's crew was Sam, Tracey and Gwyn. We made sure to get there in enough time to drive to the other side of town if we needed to. When we walked in, the very nice girl who helped us the week before was there and exclaimed: 'Yay! You made it to the right place this time!'

The show is centered around a elementary spelling bee, with crazy students and crazy teachers. It is a highly amusing musical, I would strongly suggest it. And one thing they do is get audience members to also be contestants in the Bee. As in sit up on stage until they get out... the whole time interacting with the cast.

So before hand in the lobby, someone came around and asking people to participate. My friends graciously volenteered me for this role (or threw me under the bus), one which I cautiously took. And I was selected! I will not give away too much about the production, but I got to spend the first half of the show on stage. It was really fun! I got carted around for the musical numbers and I was required to help with some of  the acting.

Some of you nay-sayers (Mother...) have pointed out to me that I cannot spell very well. This is absolutely true. I cannot. My first word was: 'Mexican.' Don't worry. I nailed it. Second word was something that sounded like 'Albumgreekum' and meant something along the lines of poo and leather tanning.... I got it wrong :-( And got sung off stage. I got home an tried to look it up, I could not find anything that would help me. Somewhere in there the announcer gave me a nickname of 'Wolfman Jackson' Or something to that effect, a 13 year old with a beard.

It was a great show, and I am glad that persistence won out and I got to see a show! And being in the show was even better! So much fun!

In other news, last night Bart and I had a basketball evening at 'Brgr' (it is spelled that way...). It was originally intended to be Bart, myself and Gwyn's dad, but sadly he could not make it. So we asked Gwyn to come as a proxy for him... it was not quite the same. I wore all the GU stuff I had! But we didn't stay that late, we all had school/work the next day and GU was on at 11. But I did do some cheering for PITT! It was a great evening and a good cap to a stressful week. And Bart and Gwyn are great people to be around, there was not a humor-less moment. I should also say that the Mushroom burger I enjoyed there changed my perspective on hamburgers. It was a life changer. I have not had a more glorious hamburger. I know that is saying a lot, and I mean it. I have had a number of burgers, and most of the time, they all taste great. I really enjoy anything from backyard bbq burgers to The Onion to Five Guys... but this was magical. I think they may have cooked crack in to it....

Monday, February 21, 2011

PGH weather is a tease.

On Friday, it was a nice and glorious 60 degree, sunny, almost spring day. There were people outside having a good time, there were frisbees being thrown, there were girls sunbathing. It was refreshing.

So this morning, I didn't think twice about rocking my Keens. (my feet have been dying to be free again!) Yeah, that was a bad choice.

So when I got to school it was a little damp, as it had rained the night before. But there was no sign of snow at all. Around 2 ish, I walked from one building to another, and still did not notice anything. At 5:45 when I walked outside to go home, there was about 2.5 inches on the ground already. I don't know if it was because I was over being bothered by the inconvenience, or if I was just done being agitated for the day... I didn't really notice the longer than normal commute.

When I got of the bus, there was at least 3.5 inches on the ground. With the rapid deploment of snow, nothing was shoveled or cleared yet, so that meant a mile walk with sandals on! Yeah! I ran for part of the way to keep the blood moving :) I did stop long enough to snap this: 

Ok... that looked way cooler when I took it.
 Life is going ok, but busy. And frustrating. But nothing I can't handle.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just for Mother.

I was just looking over the comments of this interesting blog, and it seems as though the only regular person is my Mother. So this post is just for you mom!

To answer your question about my class: The class I am trying to switch in to is called 'Economics and Engineering of Electrical Power Systems' (or something like that...) It meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:20, with a recite on tuesdays at 1:30. This makes my Thursdays and Fridays rather nice, with one class Thursday morning and one meeting Friday noon-ish. I think that today I will actually be able to officially get in to it. But we will see.

Watson! Yeah! Gramps told me about this a few months ago, and I have been super stoked! For those of you who do not know about Watson: Long ago (you know.... 13 years ago) Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov. At this moment IBM decided to tackle the next big thing... beating Ken Jennings at Jeapordy. So this week the game has been aired, and CMU people are stoked. Quite a few people have worked on the project, and there are a number of tech talks and presentations. Today there is going to be a Watson -athon. They are having a viewing of the past two days, with presentations in between, ending in a live viewing of the match tonight.

As for what are my classmates thinking about it. We have been discussing it a lot in Robot Ethics as it fits very nicely with the Singularity. People are generally stoked about it, and really excited. I personally am very impressed, but feel as though they changed Jeopardy too much to really give Watson credit. Yes, it is amazing what it does, but I don't think it 'beat Jeopardy.' If it were to be a stand alone system. given all of the inputs of a normal player, then I would give it the mark of winning. I would argue that a large portion of the game is timing (look up the rules if you disagree). It was obvious that Ken knew the majority of the answers, but Watson beat him to it. I would argue not because he computed the answer faster, but because Watson (most likely) receives a signal when he can answer, where the other two players have to time it right with Trebek's ques. Again: Watson is amazing, and worth getting excited about, but he is not quite there in terms of 'beating' Jeapordy. Skanda, who is sitting next to me, disagress completly.

As for the fence: I have the pictures, it is just a bear to post them... Ill get on it soon enough.

For the rest of you: let me know if you are there!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FRODOFEST 2011 Pictures!

So now that I have had time to upload them, here are some pictures!! If you want all of them, check them out here. If you don't know what FRODOFEST is... check this out.

Let's just start with the glorious food:
Lambas Bread!
Sausage biscuits for 1st breakfast!
Full breakfast spread. Thanks Tracey! And Tracey's Parents!

Beef Stew. Only would have been better with Rabbit.
Sam and her 'One Ring' cake. She would have put the script, but she used all of her black to make Steelers cookies the weekend before....
Then the event:
Just for you James Bronder.
Tracey's two dogs that joined us for the viewing
So it begins....
The 5 on the right stuck it out the whole time. Good work team.
Bart also joined us for some Two Tower Action.
The Aftermath:
Sam was so happy for it to be over!

Here we go Pittsburgh, Here We Go

 I promised a Steelers post, so here it is, a whole week and a half after the big game.
My favorite Dino... In Aspinwall.

So many of you know that the Steelers went to the super bowl this year. If you were here in PGH, this would be blatantly obvious if you ventured outside of your house between the playoffs and the big game. I think the easiest way to do this is to bullet this list with observations. There is a lot and none of it really goes together.

Before I start, let me throw out a big thank you to my parents, I got my birthday present a little early this year. I received a 'YINZER' Steelers Jersey in the mail a few days before the game. I sported it with pride.

-It is not uncommon to see people completely dressed in Black and Gold, from giant socks pulled up over their pants, to ladies' nails to beanies. Of course, on game day, everyone had a terrible towel hanging from their back pocket of hung on their shoulder (but more of that later).
Even Carnegii gets a Scarf! The other side says 'Steelers!'
- Obviously the buses had 'GO STEELERS' messages flashing, and people put up signs in their front windows (but this is no different from the 'GO ZAGS!' things in Spokane).
Gigantic house in Shadyside... throwing up some Black and Gold!
- I walked past a house that had a flag that was molded after the American flag, but with Black and Gold stripes, and 3 red, blue and yellow stars in the shape of the steelers logo.
-Students asked if classes on Monday would be canceled if the Steelers won, and professors considered it. I heard that some of the school districts would be canceled on Monday in the event of a Black and Gold win. It is crazy.
-At church, If I had to guess, 50% of the congregation was wearing black and gold colors, and 30% were wearing outright Steelers gear. But most of them had ties, or scarfs, or something classy. I just wore my jersey and terrible towel. I think I was the only one over the age of 10 wearing a jersey, still awesome.
- I have heard stories of people being refused service for wearing the opposing teams colors.
Special Steelers Edition Fence.
And the right side.
The back side.
If you don't know what it is, you should.

The Terrible Towel
For those of you who do not know about this awesome piece of sporting flare, I point you here. I am not going to go in to the traditions, there are a lot of them, some are hilarious...
- So I bought my very first towel at Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill, the Thursday before the play off game against the Jets.
-The week before the big game I tied it to my bag, it sort of draped over it. Interestingly, I was criticized that it was tied down and I would not be able to 'throw it up' if I needed to... I quickly removed it and placed it in my back pocket. It is true, that you need to have quick access.
- Andrew (a curator at the Fort Pitt museum) showed us a picture of Chief Beaver (who is the first thing you see when you walk in the museum) holding out a terrible towel.
- The Towel showed up in church! The pastor, Rev. Leach, Started his sermon with a 'So there is a big game today, I am sure you all know about... (*as he is draping his terrible towel over the lectern*)  and sometimes pastors incorporate it in to their sermons. But we are not going to do that today. We have better things to talk about. Join me in prayer....'  While he was praying he removed it, a little sad.
- I drove from my house to the church (where I was meeting up with people) with my hand out the window, waving my towel. Let me tell you, it was difficult. Both because it was 20 degrees outside, and the mini-spaceship is a stick. I got at least 20 honks in 10 minutes... Then from church to downtown where I was watching the game, I was not driving, so I had the opportunity to fully dedicate my attention to waving. Just walking down the street in Black and Gold caused cheering from passer-buys. It was awesome.
-Now my Towel is hung proudly over my bed. Waiting to be pulled out for next years season.

The Big Game
-There were about 9 of us that met at Elaine's apartment downtown to watch the game. In a very small space, Mike set up a projector. It kind of reminded me of college living with Jake. We had Tacos, Hummus and Pitta Chips, Yuengling (local beer), Stuffed Mushrooms, Chips and Salsa, Cake, Brownies... lots of food. It was great.

Mr. Schwerin, man of the night.
Making Food. Notice the 'Tiny Terrible' on Tracey's shirt...
Post Game. Notice the tired looks...
- Sam (who, like me, is new to this whole Steelers thing) was not with us. She was with her own 'family,' the family she lives with here in PGH. They have a belief that your physical exertion as a viewer of the game has a great effect on the team. So in their house, after half time, ever Steeler's first down and touchdown, everyone has to do 10 push ups. They have a spinning bike set up in their living room, someone has to be on it all the time. If the Steelers are making a big play, the resistance has to be turned up. If the Steelers fall behind, who ever is on the bike, has to get off... As an extension, when cheering, people cheer for the Steelers and the biker. So, out of solidarity, we took on such a task. We pushed up, and had one person doing jumping jacks the whole time. Let me tell you, my calves were shot the next week. I did more jumping jacks that night than I have in my entire life.
- In the past there have been riots after a wining game. When I met up with Andrew, he pointed out that he was wearing Steel toed boots 'just in case.' One of my life long goals is to witness a riot (and sporting ones are relatively peaceful...) Skanda was telling me of the chaos that occurred after the last win, couches were torched, cars were flipped, streets were filled with people... Unfortunately, with a loss there were no exciting events.
There were Hundreds of these all over Oakland
The Aftermath
It is interesting to see an entire town mope. Really, people were sad. Sam told me a story about one of the little girls she lives with, I think the little girl is 8 or 9. On Monday when she and her mom walked to the bus stop, she noticed all of the other kids having fun, and throwing snow balls. She turned to her mother and asked 'Why are they so happy? Don't they know we lost?'
Monday morning... someone took the fence... Notice the crossed out letters :)
If you want to see more pics, go here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 'Tines day!

Happy Valentine's Day! (or as it is called 'Tines day!)

Andrew and I decided that we would not idly sit by when such a momentous day passed. So we went out on a Bro-mantic date (or bro date) to honor being single guys on V day. For those of you who have not heard of this a bro date is, to quote urban dictionary: When two straight males go out on a date. It was great. We went to Tessaro's, a rather solid Gille/bar with amazing hamburgers on Liberty. Truly amazing. I think it may have been the best burger I have paid less then $10 for. Think classy Red Robin. (but sadly without endless fries) And of course, as always good company.

The rest of my evening has been spent talking to people! Not very productive, but still awesome! Thanks Mom, Chelsea, Danny, Tracey, and Gwyn! After talking to Chelsea, I have been tasked with coming up with a list of things to do when she and Caleb come out to visit me! That is why there is another tab up there... check it out. It will be changing as I come up with more stuff.

Oh! And I applied to RE2 for an internship this summer! I am rather hopeful. I talked to a guy at the Job fair last week. Cool company, and in PGH!

I need to hit the sack. Sleep is awesome!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I know I have been stinking at posting. I can point to school for that, but I am guessing that it is almost fixed. Long story short, I was in a class that was way too hard for this guy. So I am hopefully getting in to one that I can handle. But that is not nearly as fun as what I am doing right now...

FRODOFEST! Everyone should know what that is. For those of you who are behind the times, it is a glorious event as a tribute to the grand story of Tolkien. Watching through all of them. Extended edition of course. If you are wondering that would be 12 hours of glory. At the moment Gandalf and Pippin just got to Minas Tirith, so 45 minutes in to the first of two disks of Return of the King. Don't worry Battle of Helms deep was epic as always. We have gathered here at Tracey's house, she and her parents have pulled out the stops. Including Lembas bread! It is awesome! Ill put up some pictures once I am home. There have been 5 of us here the whole time (interesting enough, besides me, all girls), and 3 others have been in and out (all guys...).  Oh! And Sam made a 'The One Ring' cake... I don't know what it looks like, but I am stoked to see it and taste it!

Auntie Donna, Mother, don't worry my cloak has gotten lots of compliments!

Well Frodo almost upset the Witch king... so I am going to get back to watching...

Things that should get posted soon:
Steelers (yes, an entire town can collectively mope)
Job fair (don't have a job yet...)
Dinner with Kendra!
Hanging out at the Art show with Gwyn.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I had plans to post something about the Steelers before tomorrow, but I just got home from the retrete/movie-night/hanging-out-after. I need to go to bed.

So I give you this charm.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bad Day to open your eyes

So I know that everyone is dealing with it being cold, everywhere... but we have got something you might not have, wind. Let me tell you....

This morning when I woke up, I looked outside and saw that it was sunny! And it was 42 some odd degrees! I almost wore my UCLA sweatshirt! I did take the cozy lining out of my coat though, for fear of over heating. First bad choice of the day.

I met with Jackie (the Youth Pastor at Shadyside) for breakfast at Pamela's to talk about an upcoming senior high retreat. Afterward I made the trek from Squirrel Hill to CMU (about a 15 min walk). It was so very windy, sort of awesome to have a beard and long hair.... but so windy! The fairly chilly air mixed with 30-50 mph wind was brutal.

So after class I had dinner in Oakland with Skanda. I then proceeded to walk from there to Church. This is about a 15 minute walk as well, however it had gotten dark and significantly colder. When I got to church my eyes hurt from the wind. They are all blood shot now...

Luckily I was able to bum a ride from Randy (Thanks Randy!). And I am sitting in my nice and cozy room.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Life is Jubilant

Hello Everyone.

I feel as though I have been a little distracted as of late. I have excuses, but they are just that: excuses. So sorry if at any point in the past month or so you have loaded this page an been disappointed or frustrated by a lack of post. Obviously you are putting forth full effort in this relationship, and I have been failing. So my goal is to get back on the horse, to stick to this. We can make it...

Ok, now that you all feel like a neglected girlfriend, on to the good stuff.

So last week was just trouble. Lots of unexpected work and stressful environments. But that is over, and last weekend occurred; which was awesome! I didn't really have any work to carry over in to the weekend, so I was able to just simply have fun.

The weekend definitely started Friday at about 2. About this time, there were a few things that I wanted to do:
1 - Play Carcassone
2 - Fulfill a craving for french fries
3 - Hang out with cool people

So here is the story of how that was fulfilled. First up was a outing to The Church Brew works with Gwyn and Tracey. First let me thank Grandpa Bob for the wonderful Christmas gift! You were certainly thought of and appreciated! Grandpa got me a few gift certificates to a number of fine Pittsburgh establishments, The Church Brew Works was one of them.Surprisingly for a Friday night we were able to get a table right away, right next to the door... so it was cold, but we managed. The fare included some untraditional pierogies filled with Jalapenos, Chorizo, Cheddar and covered in a beer cheese sauce. A fair attempt at pieracos... but not nearly as good. To satisfy my french fry craving I had to go with the Pittsburgh Salad. For those of you who are still new to this whole PGH way of dining, french fries are put on everything, really everything... I am going to try a french fry pizza someday at Maximum Flavor. Not that I was really surprised by it, but it was really good. I would certainly get it again. Tracey and Gwyn are always amusing to hang out with, interesting conversation and lots of laughing. During dinner, plans for Saturday were hatched...

So bright and early, well for the rest of the group at 11 AM, a contingent of us headed up the sledding hill for another round of epic Flagstaff sledding. Sam was also able to join our party. Again, it was great. And again in a four person group sledding effort, the sled train hit the jump that was still there from two weekend before. This time we hit it full speed. And we flew. No one got seriously hurt... don't worry. At precisely the wrong time (as we were heading to the car) I figured out that the walking path from the top of the hill, running down it, parallel to where we were just sledding, was super icy. In my simple plastic sled, this path was like a luge course. I was flying down it! Next time....  

At this point to party lost a member, Tracey was babysitting that evening, and had to leave us. Seeing as the rest of us were all in the same boat in terms of obligations, and we just went sledding, the obvious next step was to head over to Panera for soup! After soup I was able to get Sam and Gwyn excited about Carcassone, and taught them how to play. We have two new fans. Chelsea and Caleb, I will try to get them up to your level by the time you get here so we can have a good 5 person play. There, got #2 crossed off the list, it was great!

Saturday night, there was a benefit dinner for an upcoming Jubilee Conference at the church. I was told that I had to dress business casual, or 'after 5' attire. All that means to me is time to break out the suspenders.

The last time I wore those shoes was inside of the LM building.
Yep. We are that awesome. It took a lot to get this picture out...
 The dinner was great, I sat at an awesome table. From Bart and I making plans to get bow ties and Will (who was wearing one 'I am from the south, it is not a matter of "Do I have a bow tie" it is more a matter of "What color one should I wear..." ') to Gwyn and her mother trying to figure out if the sour cream and butter were ice cream or not, it was a great evening. After dinner there was a little entertainment, two A Cappella groups from Chatham and CMU, it was a great throw back to Big Bing Theory. I guess there was an interpretive dance that I missed... I was in the bathroom... it was uncomfortable apparently.

After dinner, there was a little Birthday get-together for Matt. He had previously moved away from Pittsburgh, but came back for the weekend. It was great to see him and get to hang out with quite a few people that I have met over the past year. I actually felt like I knew people... it was a little scary... but it also fulfilled #3, not that hanging out with Gwyn and Sam all day was not qualifying enough.

Sunday was a good day, with the exception of one thing: I needed cereal. It was one of the only things that I really needed. So I got some Raisin Bran at Giant Eagle. It was great. I was feeling good about it. When I got home, I put the box up above the cabinet next to my dwindling box of fruit loops. Just as I let go, the box disappeared. I didn't know this, but the cupboard is about 4 inches away from the wall. On the side, there is a piece of trim that covers it, so it is not noticeable. However, on the top, there is nothing covering this chasm. So my Raisin Bran is still at the bottom of the pit. There is no way to get in there without moving the refrigerator, un mounting the cupboard, moving it (which will require a full emptying of all of the food...). It was so sad. I stood there for at least a minute trying to figure it out, and what this loss meant to my life.

Anyway... I was able to make it to the store this morning at picked up some Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Raisin Bran might just enter the unwanted category... with grape nuts...

Man... I have so much to tell you! So much happened in the past few days!

Yesterday there was a convening of the Scary Movie club. Skanda, Gwyn and myself went to go see 'The Rite.' Interesting movie. I liked it. I would imagine that a lot of people might not. Very creepy.

Anyway. If you made it this far, I would give you a high five for reading all of that. I hope it is somewhat interesting.

Coming up this week:
Super Bowl Preparations (don't worry Auntie Margaret! A Steelers post is forthcoming)
Senior High Youth Retrete
YadGrad Movie Discussion: The Invention of Lying.