Sunday, 11 April 2010

Co-eds and Coworkers until 3 AM, A Steeplechase Deathmatch, and a MUCH NEEDED night of sleep...


And a good afternoon to you from across the Pond on a BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY in the Mother Country. I am broadcasting to you live from the soundstage here in our living room, staring out the window at GORGEOUS sunshine and bright blue skies. And best of all - it's actually above 60 degrees out there! But I get ahead of myself - let's go back to Friday evening.

So Friday was a GREAT day. For starters, I ran 4 km's baby!!!!! Oh man, what an AMAZING feeling to FINALLY have your lungs give out in earnest before your foot. Now granted, that is just 2.4 miles, so it's a long, LONG way back to glory. However, as the weather turns and 5K season approaches, I feel MUCH better about making good on my personal commitment to run a race in this country before I head back to the colonies.
Also, lunch was a GREAT meal at Wahaca. I rocked some Pork Pibil tacos (tasty), a herring dish (less than optimal), and a black bean & two cheese quesadilla (which was WICKED AWESOME). The highlight of the meal was when Hitman asked me "Sam, what's the Pork Pibil main plate like?" I responded that it was a burrito. He says, "Well, it says it comes wrapped in a parcel - that doesn't sound like a burrito to me." I told him to trust me....

10 minutes later, the waiter comes out with a thin white bag and sets it on his plate. Basically, the parcel is a sack of pork, oil, and spices, which you then dump onto rice and beans. To say the least, he was NOT initially impressed. For the record, both he and K-Dub found their food quite good (it was a group of 8 of us), but the caption of the photo you see (taken by Brother Dan) was: Sean eats lunch from Diaper. Quality...

After work, we rolled over to Covent Garden, where we met AC & Jeebs as well as some work peeps at the Lamb & Flag. This little pub is one of the more famous in London, and we had a great evening drinking and catching up. JT got some rare and precious time talking to other girls, whilst I got to chat with Donkapotamus and the Ray "Old School Cool" Tavares. Since I hadn't really had a chance to chat with those donkeys all week, it was a good night out to catch up.
Muffin, AC, Jeebs, and I then rolled over to Manoram, where we had some GREAT Thai food. After that, however, as it was 11, there was a decision to be made. Knowing that I wouldn't see a lot of the donkey convention again, I said good night to perfect pumpkin and Team Brothernidies and rolled into Chinatown, where the work gang was finishing up some dinner. Whilst at the restaurant, I "appropriated" a glass that I really liked (half pint glasses for Tiger = EXTRA AWESOME). With the glass tucked safely into my shirt, we rolled to the featured event of the evening - the meat market late night dance club/bar called O'Neills.

So this joint is the largest of the O'Neills chain, and it's open until 3 AM. That is nice because you can stay out late (American style), and we were determined to make this night count. It was a GREAT night catching up, singing "U Can't Touch This" and "Bad Romance" until the we hours of the morning. However, I almost didn't get in when the bouncer noticed the weird protrusion in my chest.
Bouncer: "What's this?"
Sam: "It's a glass I took from the restaurant we just left." (I thought honesty and make accent would get me somewhere).
Bouncer: "You can't bring that in here."
Sam: "I can't bring a glass into a bar full of glasses?"
Bouncer: "It could be a weapon."
Sam: "Mate, I love this glass. I'm not gonna crack it over anyone's head."

The bouncer ponders this for a bit as though I am the only person to EVER attempt to smuggle a glass INTO a bar (and hey - maybe I am). Finally he let's me through, at which point I boogie the night away like one of the people on "So You Think You Can Dance?" that gets made fun of and dismissed in an early episode. I also did a few shots of tequila, including one from Brother Tavares who accepts the shot and then says, "Wait, I'm allergic," and hands it to me. RT - I just hope you aren't allergic to kerosene...
I got home at 3 AM, which was tough considering I got up just before 9 AM for a big Saturday with the gang. We left the house around 9:45, walking over to the British Museum and taking Team Brothernides on the "Sam Taylor Power Tour." Because John was a history major, we took a little more time and hit a few more rooms, which was a lot of fun for me as well because I got to spend a little time staring at artifacts and rooms I don't normally check out. We also made time for a photo with "Rameses." That's right, sports fans - there's always next year. :-)
We then rolled down to Borough Market, where we spent the next 2 hours DEVOURING food. As a collective, we took down a lamb & halloumi sandwich, Ubriaco (drunk cheese), LOADS of sausage, cheese, and oil samples, a double chorizo sandwich, a pork belly sandwich, olives filled with garlic, Raclette cheese over potatoes, mushroom truffle cheese, and other bits and bobs. Talk about FULL (peepy cheekies).
We then met up with J-Wade and Rebecca, at which point we rolled over to the Barrow Boy and Banker. This pub, an old bank (still with the same interior), was AWESOME. The girls hung out outside whilst the boys chilled in the pub, drinking Fuller's beers (I tried the Lancer IPA - QUALITY).
The highlight of the afternoon was the 4:15 Grand National. Okay, this is basically Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on horseback. Picture a 20 minute, 4 mile steeplechase involving 30 fences of varying heights and 40 riders just knocking each other around and racing in an inward spiraling circle. It was AWESOME. I'd never heard of it until yesterday, but it's a BIG to-do here in the UK. Of the 40 riders, only 8 finished, and there were some NASTY tumbles as riders were thrown off their mounts and then the rest of the competition literally "rode roughshod" over the top of them. WOW.
After that we rolled into Leicester Squate, where we had a few drinks with J-Wade, Becca, and two of their Kiwi mates before they popped off to catch a show. We then rolled back home, where we got Thai takeout and watched the Master's until midnight. We said goodbye to AC and Jeebs, who had to get up at 5 AM and catch their 9:45 flight back to the Queen City. And now, here it is, at 2:49 PM, and JT and I are just settling down to our coffee.
We are gonna go for a walk in a bit and begin a rapid detox program. After all, we've got company coming on Thursday!!!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. I would say "chat tomorrow," but you can expect another blog later today from Wife Muffin - stay tuned!


Sam and Jenny

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