Day 13: Back to Work After a Great Weekend

by Eli Hodapp

Last night I went out to dinner with my roommates and our two downstairs neighbors. In an odd coincidence, we went to this fancy restaurant in Gotic called Pla. I didn’t realize it until now, but on Saturday night I went out to Bar del Pla, and was told then that it was the comparatively low-end arm of a much swankier restaurant. It’s so strange that I’d hit both of these restaurants on opposite nights, completely unintentionally.

Ad advertised, Pla was very swanky. I finally got a chance to try the Spanish delicacy that is Iberian ham, which is the cured ham legs you’d typically see hanging in the windows of Spanish shops. It apparently can only come from black Iberian pigs, and depending on how fancy the ham is that you’re eating the pigs might have had a weird strict diet sort of like grass fed beef. High-end Iberian ham has been aged for years. I have no idea of the specifics of the ham I had last night, but it was really good.

Also, after doing a bit of research on the whole thing, it seems that only Iberian ham has only recently been exported to the United States. It’s really expensive there though, and can be sold for anywhere between $50.00 and $100.00 a pound. Still, it’d be cool to find a place locally that sells it to get some for my parents.

Anyway, I got some smoked salmon that was fantastic and then followed that up with a crazy curry-covered apple pastry for dessert. Pla is decorated incredibly well, and the lighting inside of about as close as you can get to perfect. Whoever their interior designer is, I need them to design a house for me. Like most things in Gotic, the area outside couldn’t have looked older. You walk down these windy streets that run in all directions, with completely nonsensical intersections that are usually at very severe angles. If it wasn’t for random obviously modern garbage strewn about, you really wouldn’t know whether you’re in 2012, or warped back in time hundreds of years.

The juxtaposition between these very old streets and the very modern feel of Pla is very cool. Even more so because the best buildings in Gotic seem to design their space around the existing features of the building. For Pla, this meant a slick glass entryway and a multi-level dining room arrangement with lighting to accent the huge stone arch holding the ceiling up. I’m still in awe by how old everything is here.

Today involved a whole lot of excitement to get back to work. With my day shifted so far forward because the time difference, none of my American friends and coworkers are ever online during what amounts to the day here for me. So, I was really looking forward to everyone popping online again to get back to talking to other Americans who say “dude” a lot and appreciate Mitt Romney jokes.

Before that though, I helped Jonathan crimp a CAT-5 cable so we can get WiFi coverage out on the terrace. I’m not sure if the guy originally crimped it did it wrong, or things are just different in Europe but they crimp them with the end upside down, so the first pin is on the opposite side. I did it “American style,” if you’d even call it that, first- So I ended up crimping it twice. No big deal.

TouchArcade has been delightfully busy so far today. Another total ripoff story broke over the weekend, only this one sounds like it actually has some legal teeth behind it. Not because one company stole the other’s idea, but because they entered into this really crazy non-disclosure agreement publishing deal where they had total early access to the game on a basic design level then utilized that knowledge to release an exact duplicate.

I’m getting sort of tired of reporting these ripoff-alerts, but it seems important to keep on top of them. It’s making me miss the days of the App Store where people were taking huge risks, releasing very new and experimental titles, and seeing some sort of financial reward from them. Now days, far too much has shifted from taking a cool game mechanic and iterating upon it with some cool innovation to just flat out stealing mechanics from successful games.

I don’t have any plans for tonight. I’m thinking of just grabbing something quick, like maybe trying a new kebab place. My weekend was pretty intense, and I could use a night to just relax and play some video games.