this week i

rekindled an old flame, baltimore. jhsph fall formal required a visit, so we piled into a borrowed mini-van, booked a last-minute hotel room via iphone, and crashed the bi-annual prom. maryland science center this year, though all of the best dinosaur bones were cordoned off. pretty difficult to boogie inside a t-rex rib cage, i guess. ended our journey at the finest late-night diner: paper moon.

hosted a norwegian and icelandic couchsurfing duo, both exchange students studying in iowa. jazz festival at the kennedy center meant a week of free concerts to choose from, so we met at monday's show and watched some excellent musicians play old doo-wop hard bop.

analyzed medicare beneficiaries who spend disproportionately high amounts on health care (top 10% maybe? we haven't decided where to draw the line, we'd like to focus on chronic high spenders, rather than isolated injury cases). we tore into the medicare current beneficiary survey data, and generated a bunch of charts, graphs, and tables. i'm excited about turning this into a predictive regression.

noticed the inaugural construction forced the decades-old nuclear vigil ( outside the white house to relocate to h street.

landed in jamaica with no real plan, no idea what to expect, no place to stay. immigration apparently doesn't take kindly to that, so i called this guy ( and got his address in negril; that's not where i ended up.

saw your thanksgiving turkey and raised you a jerk chicken in the caribbean sunshine.

this week i

gave the dupont circle sports bars a chance on friday; front page for happy hour, buffalo billiards into the night. the fire alarm broke up our evening at the latter, so we went to the cosi across the street, celebrating being forced out without paying the bill. an hour later, one of us remembered that our credit card was still there on the tab. we cut our losses with a game of shuffle-board.

hosted a really likeable brazilian physicist couchsurfer saturday - tuesday. he was here for the neuroscience conference, presenting something about primate vs. rodent brain fold-length. i was more interested in knowing that i've got a place to crash in rio, should the mood strike me.

celebrated a friend's birthday on saturday with my first sake bomb. i was terrified that the shot glass wouldn't fall into the (japanese) beer. this might be a bonding experience, but it doesn't make friends with anyone at nearby tables at the restaurant. missed the 18th street lounge's -no cover before 10pm- by thirty seconds, then enjoyed some deafening house music.

received a revolutionary flyer on our way home from the bar. about ten cop cars were stationed on my street, no sirens, but full strobe, the eeriest setting. i asked different cops what they were doing: the first said, "i don't talk to the press," the second, "talk to the captain," the third and most reasonable, "there's a protest or something, i don't know."

ate chipotle. bad for the heart, good for the soul.

fell in love with mozarella all over again. also decided that kurt vonnegut was mark twain reincarnate.

watched a discussion between health policy people from heritage and brookings: they agreed on more than they disagreed, made me optimistic about the future of my field.

played poker with SAIS friends thursday night, into friday morning. hookah on the side, blues in the background, well-worth the ten dollars i lost. pretty hard to bluff when you're surrounded by diplomats.

this week i

went to the hirshhorn after hours on friday night with a friend. we ate pizza standing in line, the people near us didn't even hide their drool. then we enter: so they furnish this fancy art museum with ten foot-high speakers, multiple liquor vendors, and a few thousand twenty-somethings. no one was looking at the artwork. after that, we watched the midnight showing of pulp fiction at the e street cinema. my favorite line: "mushroom cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker" my father's favorite line: "check out the big brain on brad"

went hiking in the shenandoah on saturday. old rag trail, lots of rock climbing, ten miles. still feel it. after, ate some delicious overpriced food at pennsylvania & 7th, went to an obama karaoke event, sang along, resisted the devil on my shoulder that desired to run up, grab the mike, and make an ass of myself. concluded the evening in the greatest jumbo-slice ever - dark, loud music, and disco lights, on u street.

hosted a mexican couchsurfer, four nights. she was working on a farm in cape cod. my spanish is terrible, but it's good to practice. monday night, i took her to a friend's birthday party at rocket bar. skee-ball: she was ahead 200 to 100, one ball remaining. i hit the 100 hole, she gutter-balls it. tie goes to the underdog.

am still shocked by, and celebrating, obama's victory.

took her to habana village on tuesday night, it's only open wed - sat. want to go back.

went to the ethiopian embassy wednesday for a jewish/ethiopian mish-mash. my dad is friendly with the ethiopian owner of the 7-11 near his house. my dad mentioned i'm going there for christmas, and this man insisted we meet. when i called him, he tells me we'll sit down and talk about my trip, then tuesday he invites me to some craziness at the embassy the next day. i shook some hands, ate some sponge-bread, you know the drill. i need to attend more embassy functions. the world got a little smaller with every verse of the mostly-ethiopian crowd's hava nagila.

had some delicious calzones on thursday, then watched back-to-back free persian films at one of the evening smithsonians. another untapped resource.