Welcome to the Sound and Light Show

Sort of a diary for myself ... but you can read it too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Peril in Pittsburgh

*Thank you NTMTO Board.

Recent Happenings ...

Last week, I checked out the restaurant Seviche for the first time ... a Nuevo Latino tapas restaurant and bar located on Penn Avenue downtown near the Convention Center. I met my friend 'Em' there for some after work cocktails and we sampled some fresh seviche:

Seasoned with soy sauce, scallions, sesame oil and capers. Served on sushi rice and nori rolls with white truffle oil wasabi mayonnaise and Tobiko caviar

FIRE AND ICE w/ Hamachi (Yellow Tail Snapper)
Our traditional seviche recipe prepared in a spicier version with habanero peppers and red onion and topped with a cool homemade prickly pear granita.

Marinated in fresh lime, jalapeno, cilantro, scallion, red onion, avocado, corn and red pepper

The seviche was excellent and the prices were not too outrageous. There are drink specials throughout the week and the rest of the menu looked rather tasty. I liked the atmosphere and the service was great ... I can see hanging out there again soon.


Friday, 'Litl' and I succumbed to the peer pressure and went and saw The Dark Knight on IMAX ... cause ya know, 'everyone is doing it'. Pretty amazing film. We ended the night over at 'Z- Lounge' with 'Mrs. Jones', 'JimmyAndrewForest' and others to hear 'Bassclown' spin some records.


On Sunday, 'Em' and I went to Highland Park to listen to some Jazz music. Reservoir Jazz is a summer series showcasing some of Pittsburgh's greatest Jazz talent every Sunday afternoon, free in the park. The weather was beautiful and the place was packed with families picnicking, BBQing, playing and hanging out. Very nice relaxing vibe. (and only about a mile from my house!)


Last night, 'Em' and I went to Regent Square Theater to see Werner Herzog's latest documentary, 'Encounter At The End of the World'. The movie is a visually stunning exploration of the Antarctic community of McMurdo Station, headquarters to the National Science Foundation and home to eleven hundred people during the austral summer (Oct-Feb). Herzog, narrating the film himself in his typical surreal yet sincere fashion, examines human nature and Mother nature, juxtaposing breathtaking locations with the profound, surreal, and sometimes absurd experiences of the marine biologists, physicists, plumbers, and truck drivers who choose to form a society as far away from society as one can get. We both really enjoyed the film especially the questions it raisied about our (in)human nature (Herzog is consistently good at doing this, yo).

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Bowser-Kyles invade PGH.

You may know them from the hit 'How I spent MLK Day' and the popular series 'Atlanta Visit Day 1 - 5' ... this time 'Beaner', 'Bowser' and 'Buddy' took time off their Western PA tour to come and visit me in PGH and boy did we have some good times.

'Buddy' (aka 'Jamhands') stopped by on Tuesday to wreak complete havok on my house. I introduced her to the magic of the polaroid camera and she told me that my house was 'pretty' but that it clearly 'did not have enough toys'. We then had a nice lunch that consited of sliced turkey, strawberries, carrots, cheezits and gummi bears.

Tuesday night, 'Bowser' took 'Buddy' to grandma's house while 'Beaner' (aka 'Gus Macker') and I went down to the Byham Theater to see The Black Crowes. It was an intimate yet lolud and rocking experience catching the band in this small 1300 seat theater. The band played for a good 2 hours, mixing it up between songs from their new album, older albums and even some rare b-side material. They also jammed out some songs into very psychedelic medleys ...

The setlist:

Movin' On Down The Line - (2008 Warpaint)
Goodbye Daughters Of The Revolution - (2008 Warpaint)
Sting Me - (1992 The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion)
Another Roadside Tragedy - (1997 Unreleased)
Nebakanezer - (1996 Three Snakes and One Charm)
There's Gold In Them Hills - (2008 Warpaint)
Poor Elijah - Tribute To Johnson (Medley) (1970 Eric Clapton Cover)
Driving Wheel - (2007 Brothers of a Feather)
Whoa Mule - (2008 Warpaint)
Girl From A Pawnshop - (1996 Three Snakes and One Charm)
My Morning Song - (1992 The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion)
Twice As Hard - (1990 -Shake Your Money Maker)
Oh Josephine - (2008 Warpaint)
Soul Singing - (2001 Lions)
Wounded Bird - (2008 Warpaint)
- encore -
Feathers - (1995 H.O.R.D.E. Tour Promo Disc)
Mean Town Blues (1969 Johnny Winter Cover)

Wednesday afternoon, 'Bowser' and our friend 'Zerbs' (aka 'Lehman') came back into to town to join 'Beaner' and me for an afternoon at the Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museum, and lunch and cocktails in Oakland.

The four of us then went to Soba Restaurant in Shadyside to partake in their Corn Festival Tasting Menu. (we were joined by 'Bassclown' and 'BJ' aka 'Hair Extensions'). This was another fantastic tasting menu just like the one I went to in June except this time the 'secret ingredient' was corn.

The chef started us off with a tasting of Coconut Milk and Ginger Soup

1st Course:

Corn Brulee w/ chili lime salad
Corn and Crab Fitter with soy dipping sauce
Corn and Littleneck Clams with chanterelle mushrooms and yunnan ham sauté

2nd Course:

Halibut Ceviche with corn, plum tomatoes, peaches, chili's, cilantro and crushed coriander oil

3rd Course:

Grilled Medium Rare Flank Steak with roasted corn, tomato, onion, thai chili's, basil, lime and soy sauce

4th Course:

Toasted Steamed Cornbread with cardamom honey peaches, whipped crème fraiche and salted caramel popcorn

We also had the wine pairings with dinner (a Chardonnay, a Riesling, a Cabernet and then an Ice Wine for dessert)

The tasting menu was very fulfilling ... I mean, starting off with a crab cake and creme brulee is pretty hearty ... and the ceviche was out of this world with the combination of halibut, chili's, tomatoes and the surprise taste of peaches. The portion of flank steak was very, very generous too. The corn was prevalent in every dish but it definitely wasn't the main star. Most of us felt that the cornbread topped with cracker jacks was a little lackluster of dessert after an extravagant meal like that but I enjoyed it since I never eat cornbread. Overall, I thought the meal was incredible and I can't wait until their next one. (October: Vegetarian Indian Tasting Menu)

We ended the night having cocktails in Shadyside ...

Everyone left yesterday afternoon, bringing an end to my midweek-mini-vacation.

Let's catch up ...

and clear up any confusion. My latest MRI and the two doctor's appointments I had this week were all just to check up on my cervical spinal fusion from May and to see if that bone lesion in my upper left arm was anything.

Double good news:

The bone lesion is just a cyst growing in the hollow part of my arm. Many people have these and they usually go unnoticed. (Mine just happened to be spotted during one of MRIs). When I asked the Doctor why/how they happen and he said 'they just do'. I'll have to keep tabs on it now since I know it is there but I really shouldn't worry about it too much ... he said to have a yearly xray just to make sure it's not growing or affecting the bone around it. I can live with that.

Also, my spine is healing just fine ... so fine in fact that the doctor decided that I do no need to go to Physical Therapy. Bonus.