Thursday, April 29, 2010

I had been wondering what happened to Tim, a guy that works at the LG. I used to see him every Saturday morning first thing, and since we weren't friends or anything it took me a few weeks to figure out he wasn't around anymore. What happened? I'm so glad you asked! It seems that Tim had been in an accident. He was apparently driving a stolen car in the wrong direction in the middle of the night on the Interstate without headlights on when he struck an oncoming car. Remarkable, nobody was hurt. Tim then leapt from the car and ran barefoot into the woods. Seriously.
I guess I should have known from his 9/11 Conspiracy Theories that he wasn't right, huh?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Wedding was on Saturday. We went by D & S's house (they were getting married in the backyard) early in the day to help set up. The yard looked amazing- everything was in bloom, and the tables had vases full of flowers that had come from their yard, as well as several donated from neighbors. Also, rather than using paper plates and plastic cups and forks, or having to rent dishes, D & S had a huge collection of dishes from thrift stores. And in keeping with a tradition that D and his daughter have had for years, a friend of their s had made them a very large scarecrow. Guess were asked to write a wish on a piece of paper and tie it to the scarecrow, which would then be burned after sundown. There will eventually be photos of this, but let's face it: I'm way behind on this blog, and I'm downstairs and the photos are on the computer upstairs, so it's probably not going to happen tonight.
So the wedding was beautiful and amazing, and everyone had a lovely time. Afterward, the b.h. and I went down to Little Kings to see some friends play. We didn't plan to be there for the Athens Americana Festival, but I'm sure glad we were. Bo Bedingfield and whatever the band is calling itself now were fantastic. I had forgotten how good a guitar player that Marcus Thompson was, too. Damn. Good times.
We eventually met up with A, and followed her back to her house at the end of the night to sleep.
Sunday we slept in, and then kicked around with A for a bit, and eventually headed over to the In Laws. Pa In Law was ill, so we took Ma In Law out to El Sol. (Yes, I ate Mexican food four times in a week. But I hadn't had any since January, so if you measure it out that way... yeah, I am aware that makes no sense.)
Monday was actually pretty easy. We didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, the drive to the airport was so easy that we actually stopped and ate at The Earl in ATlanta for lunch (a treat we did not expect to have time for), and returning our car and getting to our gate was remarkably easy.
The flight was quick, mostly because I slept through all but twenty minutes of it, and when we landed in Boston we decided to seek out Oleana, a restaurant that the b.h. had been interested in for some time. He bought the cookbook awhile back and has been making some incredible meals from it.
We had no reservations, which we stupidly didn't realize would be a problem, since it was Monday night, but as it turned out we got the last available table.
Dinner was excellent, the coffee was strong, and we left feeling fat and sassy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Wednesday, I went to Ike & Jane for a biscuit and a doughnut. I picked up an extra cup of coffee for the b.h. and headed over to pick him up at the In-Laws.
We went downtown to poke around a bit, had lunch at Senor Sol with Jared, and then went shopping for a tie for the b.h. and some shoes to match my dress for the wedding on Saturday.
We had dinner with M and L and their daughter at Big City Bread. My good friend A was finally back in town, so she met up with us as well. I wish I could say I remembered what I ate, but it's been so long now that I have only a vague memory of mac and cheese and a waiter that would not shut up. He was very nice, but he was trying so hard that it was actually painful. Anyway.
We went back to A's house and dropped our suitcases and whatnot, then we all went out for a drink or two. We stayed at A's that night, woke up after she'd gone to work, and once again had Ike and Jane for breakfast.
Thursday night we had drinks at The Manhattan with Mr. Dave, which is always a pleasure. We were met by a few friends, has a great time, swapped stories, etc. It felt like home.
Friday I did some shopping at the local Thrift Store, where I found a ridiculous number of great things that fit me for very little money. Fabulous. Also hit the T@rget with Shayne. After that we went downtown to Cutters, where I finally got to see JB and Bo and JT. Had a quick beer and then went to pick up the b.h. at D & S's house.
We had some dinner and then went down to meet my good friends J and B at Flicker. Drinks were had, memories shared, other people I miss came by. Lovely. The night ended with a set from Dave Marr at Little Kings. I was standing there, outside, New Belgium's Ranger IPA in hand, wearing a t-shirt and a light cardigan sweater while it snowed on our dogsitter back in Vermont.
That is the Athens I miss. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday started bright and somewhat early. The b.h. and I went to Ike & Jane for some egg and cheese biscuits and donuts. We met our friends M & L and their daughter, who was hilarious. The b.h. got an Elvis donut- peanut butter, banana,and bacon. The weather was perfect.
After breakfast we went to see the b.h.'s parents. We hung out for a bit with his dad, then went out to run some errands. We stopped by at the accountant, which as you may recall, is always an adventure. Next up was lunch at The Grit. Golden Bowls all around, then a quick stop at the Local Liquor Store to say hello to my old friends and co-workers. Sam came in a few minutes after we did. He was all in a rush, as usual, but hilarious as ever and it was nice to see him.
Next we picked up more coffee and headed back to the in-laws. We stayed there for dinner and some bad teevee, then headed downtown to see some more friends. Spent most of our time at Flicker, where I discovered the new IPA from New Belgium. Delicious, it was. Ran into a coupe people who had returned to town after we left. That was fun. At the end of the night, I drove the b.h. back to the in-laws, then I drove to S & T's house to sleep. (The In-Laws have four cats, and I am highly allergic, so it seemed like a bad idea to try and sleep there). S & T were asleep when I got there, and they were gone before I got up in the morning.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Will Johnson and Anders Parker played a show at a house here in Montpeculiar the night before we left for Athens. The house was gorgeous and the people were very nice. I was wearing a shirt from someplace in Athens, and as per usual somebody came up to me and asked if I was from there. Yes. "Do you know so and so and his wife? They own whats-it-called." I don't, but a lot of my friends work there. Neat.
The show was beautiful and hilarious. I love a quiet, intimate setting for quiet intimate music. The guys were both obviously comfortable and told great stories between songs, and the crowd was respectful but fun. Lovely. I wish we could do that more often.
We decided to fly out of Boston. This required a three hour drive to the airport, but it saved us about five hundred dollars on the plane tickets and made for direct flights in both directions, which is a luxury I will gladly pay for.
The morning was mostly uneventful, as was the drive. We were fueled by pastries and coffee and neither of us had had anywhere near enough sleep. Fortunately we make an excellent team and were able to find our way into the airport without incident and with plenty of time to spare.
The flight was mostly uneventful, as was the car rental and the drive into Athens. We went immediately to Sr. Sol, our favorite Mexican restaurant, where we were met by our old friend Adam. Adam was going out of town for the week to work, so this was our last opportunity to see him until the weekend.
The food was fantastic and it was great catching up with Adam, and afterward we bade him farewell and went to Todd and Shayne's where we would be spending the night. We stopped on the way to buy beer, and then proceeded to crash their otherwise quiet Monday night, riling up the dogs and generally making a big loud mess while we came in and dumped our bags. Shayne had just returned from a weekend on an island off the coast of Georgia, where she was doing hair for a music video shoot. Her stories had me laughing until I was sick. After we had polished off a couple of beers, we headed into the guest room, finally decompressed enough to get some sleep. As I leaned over to turn out the light, I looked at the b.h. and said "Goddammit this is Just Like Home." He grinned and agreed and we both went to sleep.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sunday I had a paid day off. Some holiday or other. Anyway, I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods behind the house. It was great fun and when we got in far enough I decided to take Kilgore's leash off so he could run around. He immediately left the trail, sniffing furiously and heading over the edge of a fairly steep decline. I started after him, shouting for him to come back. When I crested the ridge, he was at the base of a tree, nosing through an enormous pile of what looked like bird feathers. I ran up to him, re-attaching his leash and realizing with horror that the pile was actually fur. A lot of it. I dragged Kilgore back to the trail, trying hard not to see what was under it. We turned back toward the house after that. After putting a load of laundry in the washer, we headed back out, this time to the park. The river was too cold even for Kilgore to swim, but we had a great time running the trails and I took a few pictures.
On Monday, the b.h. and I went into Burlington. It was warm and lovely and we got some lunch and then headed over to the lake to walk around. D and A were meeting us later for The Hold Steady, but we had lots of time to kill. We had dinner at the Daily Planet and bought some beer at Healthy Living, and were so efficient that we were finished with everything we needed to do well before show time. We headed to the club early and hung out in the back, hilariously tired considering that in Athens we would never have even been out yet.
The show was great, even though they've lost some of their umph without Franz. I somehow managed to fix the crick in my neck by bobbing my head and bouncing up and down. I guess I could save the money I spend on the chiropractor by just getting out more.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

"Smell this." It was not a request, but an order, and one that came at me from the side while I was engaged with another customer.
"Excuse me?"
"I want you to smell this and tell me if you think it's okay." She extended a small plastic tub, the kind we use for bulk cheeses. I looked without reaching for it.
"Is that the Bulgarian feta?"
"Then I don't have to smell it. We sell twenty pounds a week. It's fine."
"It smells strong," she sniffed, raising a used kleenex to her raw, red nose.
"It's a strong cheese," chimed in DeeDee. She gets defensive with customers sometimes. (I think if I stay there for five years I might get a tad short-tempered as well.)
"I know it is. I buy it all the time. But it smells different." She set the tub down and reached into her bag for another kleenex, blowing her nose audibly enough that heads turned in the deli. I picked it up and sniffed it, just to make her happy.
"You don't have to buy it, but I'm telling you it's fine." I was smiling (on the outside), but DeeDee was apoplectic. I stepped between her and the customer, ostensibly to reach for something, but it was really because I was afraid she was going to say something else.
The woman turned and walked away, still not satisfied, but with cheese in hand.
"It's always something with that one," Dee muttered. "Last time she was telling me that the Willoughby smelled off."
This left me wondering how in the hell one would know if Willoughby was "off". It smells like a corpse when it's at it's best. I kept quiet since Dee seemed to be on to something else.
I'm on the couch right now with a glass of Dona Paula Reserve Malbec and Lucinda Williams Radio on my LastFm. (If you haven't yet, do look into It beats pandora by a mile). For dinner, I had two tofu hotdogs (a lovely pairing with the malbec, I assure you) and some rosemary lemon bread with the first fresh local goat cheese of the season. I am experiencing something near to nirvana at the moment. Spring is in the air. Everything has that fresh dirt smell that makes me itch to get in a garden. Mostly though, I think I'm just happy to be alone and away from work.

Honestly, people were going crazy today. We're between two holidays, which means we're particularly busy, but also it means that people are having to deal with their families and (I assume) the added pressure that comes with family gatherings. Which leads to exchanges like this one:
"Can I help you find anything?"
"No. I want Parmesan but all of these have too much rind on them and I have to cut so much of it off that-"
I said "okay" in a pleasant enough voice, and I was wearing a smile at the time, but I ceased to listen at that point and turned and fled into the kitchen. The thing is, the Parmesan is not more rindy than any real Parm anywhere else. What we have is true blue Parm, organic and imported. It's a DOC cheese, and you pay for the quality. If people aren't interested, they can go to another grocery store and buy the fake stuff. But rind is part of the deal, and most people can put it to good use. So anyway, yeah. I have learned an important lesson from Sven: Do not respond. Do not defend. Do not attempt to answer an unanswerable question. And it's working. She had nowhere to go after she said no, so I just walked off.

Did I mention how fucking delicious this wine is? Honestly. I don't know where it's been all my life.

In other news, I got my review at the Local Restaurant, and Harried Manager had nothing but great things to say. I made a few goals for myself which mostly include learning more about the wine and beer lists and teaching what I know to the staff. He put me in charge of picking the wines by the glass for the restaurant, which is glorious. I went to a huge wine tasting up in Stow3 last week, found a bunch of new things I like, and am moving to get some of them into both the LR and the LG. The wine salesmen seem quite happy to have me on board, which is great. Had another tasting at the restaurant before my shift started on Tuesday (that's where tonight's Malbec came from), too. Difficult to feel like working after tasting fifteen wines. I managed. I get a paid day off on Sunday, but the b.h. has a long and arduous day in store. Since it's supposed to be in the upper 70's, I'll likely take the dogs and go somewhere on a long hike. Monday is the Hold Steady show in Burlington. Woot! Now all I have to do is survive the next two days...