Archive for March, 2008

I know…

that no one reads this, but I’m putting up a vacation note anyways!

I’m traveling overseas for two weeks, photos and updates when I return.

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A few weeks ago a friend and I decided to try a new restaurant, something un-Metro accessible because the red line has been a nightmare all weekend, and also because we liked trying things off the beaten path. We chose Colorado Kitchen, so called because of it’s address and it’s informal style. The place is busy, busy for a restaurant in a neighborhood where there are no other lighted storefronts!


The decor is like a diner, with kitschy salt and pepper shakers, silver diner tables with red fake leather, plastic menus, and a array of colorful sodas including a root beer du jour! But the menu, except for the plastic part, is nothing like a diner. It is Southern modern American comfort food but upscale.

We wanted to try the goat cheese fritters to start, supposedly one of the highlights of menu, but sadly they were out. Instead we had a yummy mixed green salad with great dressing. For our main course, my friend had the fish special, ray (sting?) with these puffy sweet potato fritters and a vegetable. I had the garlic encrusted pork chop with creamy polenta and carmelized onions. It was heavy food, but comforting and good for the cold evening.

Our entrees were very good, especially the ray, but the real star was our dessert. As it’s gotten to be a trendy dessert item, I have had my share of molten chocolate lava cakes, or sometimes they are just called chocolate torts. But this one beat them all, it was warm and chocolatey and accompanied by delicious cinnamon ice cream.

All in all, the service was friendly (if a bit stressed because of the busy tables) and the food was innovative and delicious. I would definitely recommend Colorado Kitchen!

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March Books!

Whew, I haven’t done a book post in a long while. I’m happy to be back to what brought me to blogging in the first place, and I’m also happy to have a life again where I can read a lot of books! I felt like a long review this month instead of more books, so if you need another recommendation, feel free to drop a comment for me! So without further ado….

Life Class by Pat Barker

One Sunday a few weeks ago, my roommate convinced me to watch Private Ryan for the first time. I don’t enjoy war movies, or violent movies in general, but I think they are important to watch. As I was lying awake trying to get the war images out of my mind, I decided to pick up the book I was reading, Life Class. Unfortunately, World War I replaced World War II as what kept me up at night!

Life Class is principally the story of Paul and Elinor, two art students who meet at Slade, a premier art college in London. Paul is struggling, having used landscapes to escape his alcoholic mother and depressed father, he cannot paint anything “real” that does not allow him to devolve into fantasy. Elinor is talented but restless, kept under the thumb of her proper mother and famous journalist father. Elinor is desired by both Paul and Neville, though the two men could not be more different. Where Paul is awkward Neville is smooth, where Paul is sincere Neville is flighty, and where Paul is artistically stuck Neville has his first gallery show. Both men, frustrated by England’s sputtering entry into the war, join up on the Belgian front. Paul works in a field hospital as an orderly and hopes to be promoted to ambulance driver.

Paul’s time in the field hospital is where the story intensifies and becomes increasingly complex. Elinor goes to the front to visit Paul, and finds herself overcome with the depth of Paul’s experience, the suffering of the patients, and barrenness of the war zone. Meanwhile, Paul is again using an escape hatch to suppress his feelings: Elinor.

I won’t give away the ending, but I recommend it based on the author’s vivid writing of the World War I period and the complexity of the relationships between young people barely able to comprehend the events the world has wrought.

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