Sunday, July 22, 2007
9:45 AM. Two National Geographics and one Sunset Magazine later, I sigh and get my computer (no internet!) to do a little work on my dissertation.
10:39 AM. Kind UPS delivery man drops off long-awaited package. Move over Peter Philips, I'm Harry Potter's mistress today!
10:45 PM. DONE! I hand the book over to dear, patient Z and promise that tomorrow I will cook for him as he has done for me.
11:30 PM. As I cool my brain with a little late-night TV movie, courtesy of John Hughes, Z runs in and asks: "Quick, give me a recap! What happened in Book 6 again?"
1:35 AM. Been trying to fall asleep for about an hour but am distracted by little gasps and "ah-HA"s from Z on my right. As I finally drift off I hope I don't give away anything in my sleep!
Friday, July 20, 2007
(Not only did Z remember his old box number and the combination, but we couldn't beLIEVE that it still opened!!)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
All year I'd been telling myself I'd like to apply a little of what I've learned in Belgium to my new life here in the Pacific Northwest. Among those things include a renewed ability to decompress, enthusiasm for scholarly work, taking time to enjoy long meals, walks, books. And, of course, a higher respect for fine food and drink.
As part of his efforts to make my transition back to American life a smooth one, Z bought a six-pack of beer. This was no large feat for the man who enjoys fine beer, but this was very special beer. Z understood that, along with the general anxieties related to reverse culture-shock (big cars, big coffee, etc.), I would also need to teach my taste buds to enjoy American beer again. My friends back in Belgium had been warning me all year that I would never be able to go back, and I feared that it could be true. So I was more than a little hesitant to try this new beer, Abbey Ale brewed by New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. One evening soon after my return Z and I retreated to the back porch. Since we lacked an appropriately Euro-style nibble, we picked the last of the cherries from our tree. Folding chairs out, cherries in bowl, a little REM on the stereo, the late-afternoon sun still high in the sky...we were poised for our first sip.
I was flabbergasted. I am telling you I have never tasted anything so good from an American brewer! And my apologies to N, D, and S back in Belgium, but it was every bit as good as many Belgian beers. And it sells for only $7 a six-pack right down the street! It was a beautiful "Old World Meets New World" moment.
"The color of just-polished mahogany crowned with a tightly laced, mousse-like head, our Abbey Belgian Ale raises eyebrows just on sight alone. An ethereal swirl of banana, spice and smoky aromas compels further study. Cross the liquid threshold and discover flavors evoking ripe fig, caramel, coffee and clove. Settle into the solace of Abbey’s other-worldly finish. This is ale consecration." --www.newbelgium.com
Sunday, July 1, 2007
First, Mad Byrd reflects my love of early music. The name combines elements from the first two early music groups helped to start: Early Byrds and The Mad Consort.
Secondly, for those who don't know, William Byrd is in my opinion the greatest composer of his generation. He just rocks.
Finally, think of "mad" as "mad about" or "crazy." I am not angry about anything.
And now enough of the pleasantries. Welcome to Washington!