Thursday, September 29, 2005

Humor for Word Nerds

Earlier this year, I drove by a sign in front of a restaurant in St. Johnsbury, Vermont that read, "Busses Welcome."

I had to resist the urge to stop in just to kiss the host on the cheeks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Found Food

My father was into found food.

Every Spring when I was growing up in Vermont, he would go out in search of dandelion greens and fiddleheads. Then he'd try to get the rest of the family to eat them with him.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Shouldn't Go Into Bookstores

On Thursday I took my lunch break to go book shopping. I was looking for a softcover Revised Standard Version Bible to replace the hardcover one that is falling apart and weighing down my briefcase. I carry the Bible in my briefcase to do devotional readings while riding the bus during my morning commute.

I headed first for the Borders on the corner of L and 18th streets. They had plenty of Bibles, but no RSV Bibles, much less in paperback. Next I went to the Olssens on 19th Street and found the same situation. From there I headed to the Books A Million on DuPont Circle. Again, no RSV Bibles. Finally I went to Kramer Books on Connecticut Avenue. They had just one Bible on their shelves, a hardcover King James Version.

Then I spotted a 600 page thick book called Philosophy In The Flesh. I had to have it. I bought it and headed back to work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My Big Fat Greek Food Festival

Last Sunday afternoon, some friends and I headed out after church for (pause for dramatic affect) another church, Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church on 16th Street in the District.

Saints Constantine and Helen was holding their annual Greek festival (this year's theme: It's chic to be Greek). There was a small bazaar inside where vendors were selling icons, Greek groceries, and jewelry. Tours of the nave were also available, but clearly the main attraction was the Greek food being served in the courtyard behind the church.

The food was served cafeteria style along an outside wall of the church. There was ample seating under a large canopy and, something that as a protestant I'm not accustomed to seeing at a church event, there was a bar serving beer, wine, and ouzo (I love ouzo).

Going through the cafeteria line, I selected roasted lamb, manestra (orzo in tomato sauce), and a Greek salad. The lamb was served wrapped in tin foil in which it seemed to have been cooked. It was just as succulent as I had hoped it would be. The manestra was was fine, but nothing special. I was also able to sample from my friends' plates sousoukakia (meatballs in tomato sauce), and fasolakia (string beans tomato sauce). Both were excellent. I regretted not ordering those instead of the lamb. Later I had a glass of ouzo. I added a splash of water to it and watched it turn milky white.

Later still, because I like to eat and we were making an afternoon of it, I tried two pastries, a galactobouriko, a custard between two layers of phyllo dough, and a baklava. Both were very good.

After lunch a member of the Saints Constantine and Helen congregation showed us the nave and let us peek into the sanctuary behind the iconostasis.

This seems to be festival season in Washington. The previous weekend I went to the Adams Morgan festival. I had some good food from the vendors there.

This Saturday, September 24, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church on Alaska Avenue is having a bazaar. I may stop by to see if there is any good food.

Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Massachusetts and 36th streets is having its annual Fall festival from from Friday, September 30 through to Sunday, October 2. I may go to that on Friday.

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist on 17th and Shepherd streets is having a bazaar on October 1 and 2. I won't be able to go to that one as I will be out of town visiting The Boy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

From the Mouths of Babes

On a Sunday in March two years ago, when The Boy was just two and a half, he and I spent an afternoon together, just the two of us, while The Boy's Mother went to her office to get caught up on work.

We headed first to the Capital Children's Museum that used to be on 3rd street north east. When we got there, The Boy wanted to head first to the Japanese bullet train exhibit. He was excited just to sit in the train seat and watch the video of the bullet train. He pointed excitedly at each train that passed across the screen. From the bullet train exhibit we hit the Metro bus, the fire engine, and then the bubble exhibit.

After we'd hit the highlights of the Children's Museum, we stopped at Union Station to get a snack of french fries from McDonald's. The Boy was very insistent that I share his french fries with him. If my hand was empty he would offer me a fry and say "I share." Sometimes he would eat just one half of a french fry, and then offer me the other half. We were having a pleasant chat when I asked The Boy where he got all of his nice qualities from. "From Mommy," he replied.

We headed from there to The Boy's Mother's office. She took a break when we arrived to get something to eat. While we were sitting and talking, I thougth I would impress her by asking The Boy again, "where did you get all of your nice qualities from?"

The Boy looked straight at me and said to my surprise, "from you."

That wasn't the answer I was expecting, and while The Boy's Mother said that was sweet she hadn't been impressed the way I had hoped. I looked at him again and asked this time, "what did you get from Mommy?"

"I stubborn."

Saturday, September 03, 2005