Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zee Weekend

Last week felt a little bit like it would never end. I think this might be the unfortunate but inevitable result of an extended vacation. But the weekend did finally come, and we did our best to enjoy it.

Friday night we met up with our friend Kara, who is usually up for the wackier of our entertainment choices. For dinner Becky wanted to try something new (Shake Shack overload I guess) and suggested a Bosnian restaurant called Djerdan. I was doubtful, but agreed. Since I was running late Becky and Kara ended up first having a drink at a Spanish place down the block. Suffice it to say that the sangria was made with Carlo Rossi's finest. Alas. But Djerdan was excellent! We shared an appetizer of some doughyness in yogurt sauce that was decent. The highlight though was the main dish, the house speciality, burek. Becky and I shared, so we got to try slices of cheese and meat (spinach is the third choice). Burek is apparently a scrumptious stuffed phyllo dough pie. It was savory and greasy in the most delicious way, and each slice only cost $5! I'm quite excited that we now know of another tasty and inexpensive option that is convenient to Port Authority and most Broadway theaters.

We then headed over to Madison Square Garden for the entertainment portion of the evening: the 2011 Professional Bull Riders Invitational*! I had no idea there would be so many cowboys in New York City. The festivities started while Kara and I were buying pretzel beer (pictures of which are sadly on Kara's camera and therefore not currently available to me). But, as photodocumented by Becky, they poured gasoline on the dirt and lit a giant PBR on fire.
Good start, good start. An invocation was prayed, and then we sang the national anthem while saluting a giant waving American flag stitched together by tornado survivers from flag pieces somehow associated with 9/11. I think that speaks for itself.

Then came the bull riding!
Trusty Wikipedia, via the Motorola Droid, filled us in on the rules and various controversies related to the sport. Basically, each rider climbs on a bull and has to hang on with only one hand for eight seconds. If he (as far as I can tell, they're all men) succeeds, then his performance is ranked 0-50 and the bull's performance is ranked 0-50. The scores are combined, and the rides are ranked. Watching the bull-riding was moderately exciting for eight second increments, but overall a bit slower paced than we expected. At one point a rider was dragged behind a bull for a few seconds, and at another point a bull with a lasso around his neck pulled free of the cowboy who lassoed him.
Saturday we planned to do errands and all kinds of boring stuff around the house. We debated about whether to walk to the closer grocery store or to dig the car out of the snowbank and drive to Target and Trader Joe's. Digging out won. That is, until we went to start the defroster and found that the car didn't start. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with AAA and another hour idley waiting for the tow truck to come. Despite fears that it would be worse, we're fairly sure that the car is fine, but that the battery just couldn't hold a charge while parked in once place for three weeks in cold weather. Friendly tow truck operator jumped us and away we went. Except for one catch. The hood of the car will not completely latch, which seems to be related to some fraying of the cord near the hood release switch in the car. Becky and I know pretty much nothing about cars (a cause for some concern), but the tow truck man told us not to drive on the highway until it somehow starts latching... Troublesome.

Sunday we headed to Queens for brunch with our friend Stephanie. She made the most delicious baked French toast, eggy casserole, coffee cake, homemade hot chocolate, and served us mimosas. Yum. We provided raspberries, blackberries, and thawed strawberries from our summertime adventures. We had a lovely time chatting with Stephanie and playing with Stephanie's two-year old.

This evening we watched the Packers beat the Eagles - go yellow pants!

*No Friends of Animals protestors were injured in the writing of this blog entry.

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