What I Learned This Week: #39

Sunday, February 18 – Saturday, February 24


This week JJajang Sauce: This entire week has been stellar and I think it all started with Sunday’s ramen noodle snack which, instead of traditional powdered seasoning, and maybe some oil or soy, this pack had Jjajang Sauce! The dark, mild tasting sauce was lumpy, with lumps I could not identify. I ate it and lived to tell. Jjajangmeyon is actually a real Korean dish of noodles with black bean sauce…I’d like to try that instead of the generic version.

JJajang and unidentifiable lump

The Week in Homemade Waffles: I had President’s Day off and wanted to begin my day by acting like I was having a day off of work. I decided to start with from-scratch waffles, the Mother’s Waffle recipe from an old cookbook I own. It’s kind of a fussy recipe that calls for the eggs to be separated and the whipped egg whites to be folded into to the batter. It’s also the best waffle recipe I’ve tried.


The Week in Music Discovery: I’d never heard of the Minneapolis band Polica or the Berlin-based band (or, more accurately mini-orchestra) Stargaze, but my friends had and they had an extra ticket to their show. The two bands worked together on a new album “Music for the Long Emergency” and they brought their short U.S. tour to Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall. With both bands and 13 musicians on stage, they played a thrilling, thoughtful set of music.

Memorial Hall.jpg
I don’t have the guts to take a picture mid-show. Here’s the pre-show set-up!

The Week in Taco Tuesday Celebrations: Taco Tuesday is about as American as apple pie. The new bar on Main Street, the Pony OTR throws it’s hat in the ring with $3 barbacoa, shrimp, or vege tacos with $3 Modelo. I tried the barbacoa (tasty, but chewy) and the shrimp (delicious with whole pieces of shrimp) and neither was skimpy on ingredients. The Pony is still relatively new and still working out some kinks. It was tough to get a fork even though the over stuffed tacos were destined to fall apart if you didn’t eat them in three bites. Maybe I should have a $3 tequila shot to start, then I won’t care about eating tidy.


The Week in Accidental Cocktails: Heading home on Monday, a friend of mine drove by while I was headed home and he pulled over to say hello. I had him park, and we dropped into Rosedale for an “accidental” cocktail. Three dollars buys drinks here, too. I had the Pub Beer, a light lager that was worth every bit of 3 bucks. It was my first time in Rosedale (The old Neon’s on 12th) and, being a 4EG bar I knew just what to expect: A clean, well-run bar, with a dis-interested bartender. That’s exactly what I got.


The Week In Cabinetry: I ordered a piece of furniture on-line, totally psyched about putting it together. It came in two big boxes that required the maintenance staff to bring to my door. Then I took over. There’s that moment when the first few screws are tightened down that I feel super-confident about the project. Then there are hours of me cussing, assembling, un-assembling, more cussing, and finally reassembling (none of which is pictured or recorded) until I get it done. I got it done.



The Week in Odor: When I go to Music Hall, I expect to talk about the show. Not this week. I went to see the Symphony and just as the show was starting two men sat down in the row in front of me and  I started to smell a noxious odor…like an old, used cat litter box that had been in a closet for months. In between the first and second  piece, I had to move a down couple seats (they were empty) next to a woman who said she was getting occasional wafts and she was afraid to breathe because she didn’t want it inside her. That’s how bad it was. The smell was fainter after intermission, but several people had already moved. I could smell it, and almost taste it in the back of my throat when I got home. I don’t remember hearing the first piece of music at all: I felt I was under assault. Awful. Weird. And Gross.

I should note, before the assault, I made it to Classical Conversations with Assistant Conductor Gene Cheng talking enthusiastically about the night’s selections. A pre-performance talk is scheduled an hour before every CSO performance, and it is a total music geek-out. I love it.

I’m just going to own how crappy this photo is, but Mr. Cheng is really selling the night’s music. And I’m buying!


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