Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday: Man Day

Spent Sunday lunch at The Magyar household, enjoying traditional Eastern European fare. For those of you that don't know what that means, it's basically potatoes, cabbage and some sort of meat. In this instance it was fried chicken. Very delicious, and not like the fried chicken I'm used to here in the states. It was leaner, and not breaded. I'll say this: Hungarians eat well. Of course, that's when there's not a Soviet commander in some building ordering rations of all supplies.

Speaking of rations, the food was pretty good and I had quite the appetite, so I requested seconds. This resulted in Mama Magyar referring to me (in Hungarian) as a "real man." Don't know how I feel about that exactly, but so it goes. If you like food and eat a lot of it, you're a real man in Hungary. Grrr! My testicles swelled with pride, and then I ate two portions of dessert as well.

So we had a nice lunch, after which we met up with some more Magyars to suck back some traditional Hungarian brandy (the specific name of which I can't recall). The stuff was essentially futyulos; if you've never had Futyulos, it's a cross between kerosene and Everclear, with some sort of fruit flavor beneath the burn. In this instance we were offered Pear and Plum, both of which I was encouraged to try and which resulted in me getting just a wee bit tipsy.

So at this point we were having a very Hungarian day and I wanted to go plow fields and hunt wolves and what not, but the girl had other plans. There were pub quizzes to be taken, so off we went to Berkeley.

In Berkeley we met up with Jon, her old friend, and his lady. They have an awesome loft in this old converted hangar (at least, that's what it appeared to be to my untrained architectural eye). Jon had a genius idea to barbecue in the loft citing the high ceilings and sky lights which he opened. People were skeptical, but I applauded Jon for his foresight and ambition. Grilling indoors? We've got adequate ventilation and drive, what's to stop us?!

Cut to 30 minutes later when we've placed a tri-tip on the grill and the thing is smoking like mad. Smoke alarms start to go off and general panic ensues. Jon and I make a quick assessment of where the smoke alarms are located, and we get to work. Jon takes care of the down stairs culprit and I go upstairs only to realize that the smoke alarm is located near the ceiling, about 8 feet from the roof of the bathroom (already 8 feet tall).

Not wasting any time, and putting our team work instincts to use, Jon boosted me to the roof of the bathroom (he's like 6'6", so this was a no-brainer) and then he handed a tall chair up to me, so I could rip the battery out of the alarm. Disaster averted, no authorities were summoned. I even got to use a Metal Gear Solid move in getting down from the bathroom roof by hanging off the ledge and reducing the drop distance from 9 feet to about 3. Yeah, go ninja me!

After this little episode we sped off for the pub quiz at The Albatross. In the mean time Magyar got some disappointing news and was a Grumplestilskin, but she tried her best to wear a smile through it all. The Albatross is an awesome place and we had a great time, despite the fact that our team fared pretty poorly at the quiz itself.