What Actually Happened in Vegas Sunday, Mar 29 2009 

The inspiration for this entry comes from a quote that Lisa said at dinner last night:

“He swung at Grant and Grant punched him three times in the face and Grant and Alexa ran and hid and you went to to the IP and Beth and I were dancing with Mormons!”

Vegas.  In a nutshell.  That sums up that night so well.

That night was so crazy, we hadn’t really figured out exactly what went down until last night.  Alexa and Grant, who live in DC, flew up to Boston for the Duke game, so we grabbed dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s.  This was the first time that the five of us had hung out together since the Vegas trip.

Here’s what happened that night:

We went to XS, the brand-new nightclub at the Encore (we were there for its second weekend open!).  I think I’d go so far to say that it’s my favorite club in Vegas.  Just gorgeous.

Here are the five of us after quite a bit of dancing:

Here’s the video of us (which NEVER gets old!):

And now, the trouble:

There was a weird guy at the club who wanted to get with one of us — we weren’t really sure which one.  He tried to move in on us and Grant told him to back off.

That’s the guy on the left.

After that, the guy did the weirdest thing.  He stepped back, and from about 10 feet away, just STARED at the back of Grant’s head with an intense expression in his eyes.  He didn’t move for at least 30 seconds.

I started to freak out.

And then, apparently after I left the club and Lisa and Beth were dancing with Mormons (who weren’t drinking and made comments about a “hotbed of sin”), the guy took a swing at Grant.

He missed.

Grant punched him three times in the face.

Security kicked the other guy out!!!  They must have seen the first attempted punch.

And THAT is how you end a night in Vegas.  Well, I kid, I kid.  That’s way too early for a night to end in Vegas.  We ended up staying up all night before jumping on a 7:30 AM flight back to Boston.

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The Current Best of FML Sunday, Mar 22 2009 

I’ve recently become a huge fan of the site fmylife.com.  People send in instances when their lives are “f’d,” in one way or another, and people vote on whether or not they deserved them.

I have laughed SO HARD at this site all week!

Here are my current top five favorites.

Today, I got hypnotized in front of my entire school. Once I was hypnotized the guy told me that the hottest celebrity in the world was in the audience and then he told me to point out who I saw. I said I saw Mick Jagger. I’m a guy. FML

Best of all was one of the responses to this one:

Two years ago a group of us were hypnotized in front of our senior class. There was a segment called “Making Out with the Stars” and we all had to choose a celebrity and pretend to make out with them. I choose Denzel Washington, and I’m a 100lb white girl. The only black guy chose Hilary Clinton.

Another classic:

Today, I received my passport in the mail. They got my birthdate wrong. Then I picked up my birth certificate that I had sent in with the application. Turns out my parents have been celebrating my birthday on the wrong day for 16 years. FML

Kind of sad, but funny:

Today, I came home and saw on our fridge, “Please don’t drink anymore, I really worry about your health” written by my 7-year-old daughter. I figured she wouldn’t ever find out, so I opened the fridge. But I found another note on a can that said “So you’re going to drink anyway?” FML

I can see this one easily happening to most of my friends:

Today, I had to run to catch my train, so I didn’t get the chance to buy a ticket. When the conductor was in sight, I saw he was a young man and I opened my top a little, in hopes of not having to pay a fine. When I told him I didn’t buy a ticket he said: “Close your top, I’m gay”. FML

Weird and awesome:

Today, I went skinny-dipping with my best friend. We were on the beach and it was fairly crowded but we got in the water at this really secluded area. While we were swimming I looked up to see a homeless man wearing my clothes, walking away. FML

I pictured the homeless man in a bright-red bikini triangle top.  LOVE IT.

Dining at Mare Saturday, Mar 21 2009 

For Restaurant Week, my friends and I decided to try out Mare, an organic Italian seafood restaurant in the North End.  I’ve been wanting to go there since it opened a few years ago, so I was glad to finally make it there.

Here it is in a nutshell:

THE SETTING:

Not your typical North End restaurant — think sleek, minimalist decor.  There are cool videos of Italian cities on TVs in the corners, and I occasionally yelped out, “My school!  My apartment!” when scenes from Florence were shown.

The restaurant is small and the tiny “bar” only has four seats, so there really isn’t a place to hang out while waiting for your table.

THE SERVICE:

I should chalk it up to being restaurant week, but it wasn’t that good.  It took forever to get someone to acknowledge you, whether it was the hostess or the waiter.  Everyone was polite as long as they were at our table, but take these two instances:

  1. I asked the hostess if our table would be ready soon.  Her response: “Oh, yeah — they’re paying, but I don’t know if some of them are going to want to stay.  But we’re trying to make everyone nervous tonight.”  Great…to say that to someone who is apparently about to become one of those nervous people.
  2. The waiter brought our wine, saying to me, “Here’s your Montepulciano.” I said, “Oh, I actually ordered the Montalcino.” “Oh, yeah. That’s Montalcino.” “Is it really?” I asked. “Because they’re different…” (From two different Tuscan hill towns not far from my adopted city of Florence.) “Yeah. Montalcino.”  (For the record, the wine was delicious and they charged me for a Montalcino.  But still…

THE FOOD:

FANTASTIC.

I like octopus, and I’ve had it several different ways, but THIS was THE BEST OCTOPUS I HAVE EVER HAD.  It was steamed to the point of melting in your mouth — not the usual gumminess — and came with some delicious, flavorful, insanely fresh pesto.  I couldn’t get enough of it.

The main course was pappardelle with wild boar — a dish from San Gimigniano that I used to eat all the time in Florence, but I’d never had it in the US.  And they did it VERY well.  It didn’t blow me away the way the octopus did, but I was impressed nonetheless.

Dessert was tiramisu.  I’m pretty picky about tiramisu — I like it soupy and with as little cake as possible — and though this was cakier than I preferred, I enjoyed it immensely.  Best of all was that there was a little SALTY CHOCOLATE BALL (not kidding) served with it that acted as the perfect counterpart.

My friends enjoyed their meals as well, sampling everything from salmon to gnocchi to Chilean sea bass.

Would I return?  Yeah, if someone else were paying!  I probably wouldn’t go to Mare if I had to pay out of my own pocket.  The prices are on par with some of the pricier restaurants (but not the priciest) in Boston.  But it’s a perfect bargain for the $33.09 Restaurant Week price, and I recommend it.

But you MUST try that octopus!

Twitter and Diddy’s Turkey Sandwich Saturday, Mar 14 2009 

I am obsessed with Twitter, and pretty much everyone knows that.  I’ve tweeted everything from meeting celebrities to blow-by-blow accounts of nights out at clubs to even pictures of prospective apartments, asking my followers to weigh in.

Lately, I’ve become a fan of celebrities on Twitter (and yes, it’s really them).  The two funniest celebrities on Twitter (for very different reasons) are Rainn Wilson and Shaq.  Rainn Wilson is insanely witty and smart; Shaq just says the most random things.

Other celebrities I follow include Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Solange Knowles, Lily Allen, Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer, Ellen DeGeneres and the infamous Diddy.

My favorite celebrity tweet was one of Shaq’s — he took a picture of his hand, and it was kind of obvious that he took it while sitting on the toilet but had no idea.  (It was taken in a bathroom…while seated…without a toilet in sight!!)

(Actually, I have another favorite, though it was a fake celebrity.  Fake John McCain, election night, right after Obama won Ohio: “Anyone know if they’re hiring at the Gap?”)

But as of last night, I have a new favorite:

diddyI LOVE IT.

Diddy has over 150,000 followers, so the responses have been numerous.

diddy2It’s not about connecting, sharing interests, promoting my grammar stuff or staying in touch with friends from afar — moments like these are why I live for Twitter.

U2 in Somerville Thursday, Mar 12 2009 

What do you do when you can’t get tickets to the hottest event in Boston?

If you live for adventures, you don’t let that fact get in your way.

U2 just finished a three-concert tour across the United States.  There were stops in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.  All the concerts were super-exclusive, invitation-only and in small venues.

And they came to the SOMERVILLE THEATER.

The Somerville Theater in DAVIS SQUARE.  The  theater where I almost had beer spilled onto me during Pineapple Express.  The theater that’s home to the Museum of Bad Art.  The theater where I saw The Slutcracker.

U2!!!

Well, this was the most buzzed-about event to come to Boston in a few months, and the biggest thing to happen to Davis Square — my old neighborhood before I moved to the Back Bay — in YEARS.

Ten thousand people were expected in Davis, so I called Beth (who is a HUGE U2 fan) and we headed up to Davis to hang out outside in the hopes of getting a glimpse of the band.

It was crazy down there!

Ticket holders had to meet up in Assembly Square before they were bussed in.  Talk about exclusivity!

A local office gets into the spirit!

Lisa eventually arrived close to the end of the concert.

We were standing behind the theater because you can always hear concerts from back there.  We couldn’t really hear the music that well, but I downloaded the AOL Radio application so we could listen through Mix 98.5.

They played five songs — “Get On Your Boots,” “Magnificent,” “Breathe,” “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” and “Vertigo” — and then had a Q&A with the audience.

So we waited.  And waited.

It got to be really cold, but it was worth it —

because U2 came out to see the fans after the concert!!!!!  AND I GOT TO TOUCH 3/4 OF THEM.

First, the Edge!

I GOT A WHOLE HANDFUL OF HIS HAND.

Then, Adam Clayton:

Again, I got his hand!

And then…

BONO!!!!!!!

I touched his arm through his jacket…no skin-on-skin, hand-in-hand contact this time, but still!  It’s BONO!!!  Beth got Bono’s hand and she was nearly hyperventilating in happiness.

What a night!

I also have to say that I was so glad I was there with Lisa and Beth.  We always have a blast, no matter what we’re doing, and this was no exception.  Lisa is always great at toeing the line between idolizing and heckling, which she did with Channel 5 and security in particular.  🙂

Also, a few of our friends and family members saw us on television that night!

During times like these, I love my city SO much.

Palazzo, here we come! Monday, Mar 2 2009 

Well, we did it again.  We booked yet another Vegas trip.  This one will be from June 11-15.

And this time we are staying at the PALAZZO!

The Palazzo is one of the newer major resorts on the Strip.  It’s the sister resort of the Venetian, and the two properties are connected.  The Palazzo is more upscale and less theme-park-y than the Venetian.  I love the champagne decor and the waterfall.

What’s nice is that the casino is ventilated well — half of the casino floor is nonsmoking, and the whole place smells like FLOWERS!

Lisa, Beth, Jen and I will be staying at the Palazzo, and Carissa, Callie and hopefully Katie and Danielle will be staying across the street at TI.  It’s incredible what good deals you can get in Vegas right now — one effect of the recession is rock-bottom hotel rates.

Here are some of the things that make the Palazzo amazing:

Classy, elegant suites.  All rooms have a sunken living room.  And — wait for it — THREE FLAT-SCREEN TVs.  ONE IN THE BEDROOM AREA, ONE IN THE LIVING ROOM AREA AND ONE IN THE BATHROOM!!!!!  I am SO excited for that!

Fabulous dining, including Sushisamba, CUT, Dos Caminos, Table 10, Restaurant Charlie by Charlie Trotter, and our standby, the Grand Lux.

Fabulous shopping, including Christian Louboutin, Barneys, Catherine Malandrino, Burberry, Fendi, Tory Burch, 7 for All Mankind and Michael Kors.  And that’s just scratching the surface.

Fabulous nightlife, including Lavo.  Jersey Boys is at the Palazzo, too.

Canyon Ranch: the most luxurious spa in Las Vegas.

While there are plenty of pools at the Palazzo, I’m particularly excited to spend time at Tao Beach at the Venetian.  I’ve only been there at night.

I am SO excited.

Best of all, the Palazzo is in the ideal location on the Strip.  It’s right between our three favorite clubs: Tao at the Venetian, Tryst at the Wynn, and XS at the Encore.

I love my friends…I LOVE VEGAS…and this, our third trip within a year, is going to be the BEST TRIP YET!