June 2008 Archives
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years ago, I went to Mexico with a bunch of other teenagers. It was my first big trip and it was OK, though I have to admit that Mexico is not one of the regions of the world that speaks to me most profoundly--I'm not into all that Aztec stuff. (And I do realize that is not the sum of Mexican culture, but it's what we focused on that trip--actually part of what we were doing was looking at sites that might have had historical significance in the Book of Mormon.... Whatever.)
We spent several days in Mexico City, which is where I had what I guess I could call my first smoothie. Down the road from our hotel was a little stand that sold fruit whipped in a blender with milk. I thought it was really novel: a milkshake without ice cream! Fancy that! My favorite flavor was strawberry. It wasn't all that thick and it wasn't all that cold, but it tasted good. And I liked ordering it: fresas con leche, por favor! It was fun to say.
Recently I have been saying not "fresas con leche" but "queso con fresas," because of this:
It looks sorta like a piece of cheesecake, but it's not: It's a hunk of cheese, more specifically, Yancey's Fancy Strawberry Chardonnay. That's right: it's cheese, flavored with wine, and studded with strawberries. It's really good.
Just for the hell of it, I tried making a grilled cheese sandwich with this. I don't recommend it. It wasn't bad; the flavor just wasn't as good as when the cheese was still chilled or at room temperature.
If you can find this, buy it, and eat it with fruit or a little chocolate. You'll be glad you did.
"Conventional wisdom holds that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother, so why should Mother Earth be any exception?"
Judy Berman, a Broadsheet blogger, in Your fuel efficiency is so hot, commenting on research conducted by General Motors concluding that "88 percent of women would rather meet a guy with a fuel-efficient vehicle than a dude with a sports car."
One of the weirdest tourist attractions I've ever seen in my life is Lenin's body, and one of the scariest military rituals I've ever witnessed is the changing of the guard at his tomb. It was totally creepy to see these grim young men carrying rifles goose-stepping towards me--it was probably the first thing that gave me any inkling of what it would be like to live under military occupation.
Anyway, after the guard changed, we all got to file through the tomb and see the body. I got in trouble because my coat wasn't closed--the zipper was broken and I couldn't close it--and that upset one of the guards (actually more of a docent kind of dude; as I remember, the ones with the guns were outside the entrance); apparently you have to keep your coat closed so you are less likely to reach inside it and pull out a weapon. I showed the guard/docent that my zipper wouldn't work--which sucked, because it was February in Moscow, and I would have liked to be able to zip up my coat--and I guess he decided a 20-year-old American tourist wasn't that much of a security risk, because he let me trundle past the body with everyone else.
And I remember that I thought it looked waxy and green, and thought the innumerable statues and paintings and so forth EVERYWHERE YOU WENT were enough to let you know what the guy looked like--I certainly can identify him now. I didn't see why you needed to see his actual dead body, which, at the point I saw it, had been dead for sixty years.
Most days, I manage to love my country enough to be able to live in it, because A) even though it's done some really shitty things throughout its history (and especially of late), it's done some great things as well, and I keep hoping that the balance will be restored again; and B) it's my country, and loyalty works that way.
But this morning I read about these prison ships the government is doing its best to keep secret, and I don't even know how to feel or what to say about this latest atrocious barbarity, except OH MY GOD.