Busy weekend! Got the chicken coop framed out. Finally cleaned the junk out of the back seat of the car. And in terms of the garden/yard:
Put compost in the narrow bed in front of the house, and planted some kale
Cleaned weeds and grass out of the north garage garden, amended the soil, and planted kale and wildflower seeds.
Amended the soil on the corner of the garage garden and planted Swiss chard.
Planted wildflowers in the south garage garden.
Moved squash seedlings from seed pucks into small pots.
Hilled the potato plants.
Cleaned out the alley strip and planted sunflower seeds.
Weeded a lot.
Mowed the front lawn really well.
On top of all that, went to the lad’s music class, got some great Thai food for lunch, ran a few shopping errands, went to a really fun Fantastic Hosts party in City Park, and had dinner with my folks Sunday night.
So we really like having folks over for cocktails or meals, and we’ve been really great in the last months about hosting. But we’ve got quite a few friends with “special food preferences.” Vegan. Gluten-free. No carbs on certain days. No meat unless it’s organic.
I should point out that all of these are preferences, not requirements. Our vegan-diet friend is on the diet to lose weight. In fact, none of our friends’ “special requirements” is either a life-threatening allergy or a religious conviction. They’re all either to lose weight or because it’s healthier.
It kind of sucks because it adds layers of complexity (and sometimes time, and cost) to having people over, even for appetizers or a picnic.
To be fair, I don’t think that any of these people were like, “Thank you for the invite; by the way, I’m not eating gluten.” Since they’re our friends, we just happen to know about their eating habits. Unfortunately, now that we know, we’d kind of be jerks if we just had an all-meat barbeque and invited our vegan-diet friend.
“Now that Ann is using the details of her domestic life for political purposes, journalists and Obama supporters are sure to focus on parts of that existence that might reflect less well on her and her husband. For example, she has said that when Mitt was in college, the two of them were so financially strapped that they had to liquidate some of their stock portfolio to get by. At the time Mrs. Romney said that she was engaged in a “struggle” to bring up her children, the family was living in a seven bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom mock-Colonial mansion in Belmont, Massachusetts, while spending summers at their five-thousand-square-foot vacation home, which sits on eleven lakefront acres in New Hampshire.”—
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy, chronicling the hardscrabble roots of the Romney family. At one point, it’s rumored that they even had to cut back on collecting Faberge eggs.
This may have changed since I was there in the ’90s, but at the time, Lagos, Portugal was the major backpacker paradise-on-the-beach for southwestern Europe. Most every traveler on the Iberian peninsula is either headed or coming from there. I stayed in a great youth hostel (the official IYH, no less!), and the schedule of the day, every day, was thus: 10:55 a.m., get up just in time to get breakfast (which closed at 11:00, obviously). Spend the day at the beach, or go on a day trip out of town. Come back. Nap. Make a big communal dinner. Watch videos, play pool, drinking games in the courtyard, etc., until about 11:00, then go out to the pubs until they close at 2:00. Then you either go sleep on the beach, come back and (futilely) try to have a “whisper party” in your room, or go to a dance club or restaurant that’s open until later. It was pretty cool, and when I was there a group of about a dozen people from different countries had coalesced, and it was really comfortable. There was always someone you knew to go to the beach or to make dinner or to play pool with.
Four months later in Salzburg, Austria, I re-met not one but two Australians that I’d hung out with in Lagos, on the same night!
We watched the first few episodes of Parks and Recreation last week, since people said, “Oh, you like Community? You should see this!” And…meh. There were some funny bits, but overall, we really didn’t like it.
It seemed that a lot of the humor comes from laughing at how clueless/unhip the main character was, or how the others treated her, even though she herself is full of optimism. I dunno…it just felt kind of mean.
The other thing is, though, that we really like Community—the fast pace, the ensemble cast, the humor, the characters, the cultural references, the story arcs, the imagination and creativity. And there have been few other TV shows that we like as much (Flight of the Conchords), so every other show pales in comparison.