Wednesday, February 07, 2007

food & friends

I got home last night from my trip to see family and friends in Virginia and D.C. There were highlights and frustrations. This post has links, but lacks pretty photos. I'm sorry. I didn't bring the camera...

Bad stuff #1) It was so dang cold that I couldn't breathe. I wondered (not idly) if I might die in broad daylight while walking home to my folks' house from the metro station, which is all of a quarter mile from their house. The high that day was 10F. Then, their kitchen faucet froze up. That's cold.

Bad stuff #2) A neighbor recreationally set off 1 AM, several nights running. This made all of us grouchy. I tried to be good humored but since my body clock says "good morning, wake up!" by about 7, I found the firecrackers and bad manners frustrating. Luckily, the cold weather seemed to stop him or he froze to death trying to light them so by the last night I was there, I slept through the night.

Good stuff #1) I saw both my brothers, their wives, my folks, and my grandmother. We celebrated her 91st birthday here at L'Auberge Chez François. This was an incredible meal. Yes, we ate at 5 pm on Superbowl Sunday and the restaurant closed after it served us, but if I had to choose between this meal and any sporting event, well, there's no choice. Just look at the appetizers, Entrees,and the desserts, well, desserts. It was amazing. I had a chocolate soufflé for dessert, by the way.

Good stuff #2) I got to hang out with Nate, the incredible nephew, for quite a while. This one year old can really dance, especially to the Latin music. It's amazing! I love getting to be Auntie Joanne for a little bit. He's a rocking kid and decided to smile at me almost right away.

Good stuff #3, 4 and 5) I saw three good friends. One, a former student of mine, is home safe from Iraq, with all his bubbly good humor, sarcasm, and good looks intact. Seeing him was a delight, as usual, I'm so proud of how he "turned out" and I'm honored that he wants to keep up with me. (He reminds me that I used to be a hip English teacher once, and that I might still be interesting.)
- I saw the professor's second cousin, who just exactly our age, expecting her second kid, and she took me out for lunch where I ate potato knishes and chopped liver. (notice the food theme about visiting the hometown?)
-Then I saw my buddy from high school and we went out for Afghan food. Pat, who not only is part of a band, The Franchise, but he's a full-time writer who's gone and bought a house and become a grown up. He and his wife are going to be parents, too. Amazing, especially when I remember how he used to skip math to eat lunch with me in high school, just so we could take Algebra II together the next year. This guy is now a responsible adult. Hard to believe!

All considered, it was a nice break from the computer, the collegetown, and home. It was a great chance to eat ethnic food, buy books, talk with smart people, read a big city newspaper and get lots of hugs. I missed the professor and my dog guys, but we're all home again. Harry suffered--he hurt his nose somehow at the kennel, and Sally is hoarse from barking at the indignities of dog jail. It's hard to be the dog...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what potato knishes are but it could be interesting. I am afraid however, it might take quite a bit to entice me to sample the chopped liver.

February 7, 2007 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Welcome home:-)

February 8, 2007 at 5:21 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Marti, chopped liver is like fois gras without harming any geese. If you like any kind of pate on your crackers, chopped liver might be for you. (anyway, I've been eating it at family special occasions since I was a kid, I love it and don't know better.) That said, the professor doesn't like it so I don't make it at home!

February 9, 2007 at 10:59 AM  

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