Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What We Saw

Here are some photos from our day of vacation during our recent trip to San Francisco. Most important, I finally got to see and stand in the Pacific Ocean! I can cross that off my bucket list.

From a distance we saw Alcatraz Island, home of a military prison as early as 1868, a federal prison (1933-1963), and an occupation by Indians of All Tribes (IAT) (1969-1971). Maybe next time we'll take a ferry cruise to it.

Murals in the Mission District -->
(from Sunday before dinner)

What we didn't see:
We had hoped to see the Camera Obscura at Cliff House, but it had apparently closed early due to a really wicked wind that was blowing by the time we made it from Muir Woods to the Land's End look-out point (check out DH's pants in the photo; also, that's why I'm holding onto my sunglasses above).

We also didn't get any closer to the Sutro Baths than the top of the hill, since the wind was so bracing, and we needed to get across the bay to Oakland in time for the baseball game. The Baths were once the world's largest indoor swimming pool complex: 1 fresh-water pool, 6 salt-water pools of various temperatures, a travel museum, a concert hall, and later an ice-skating rink. The complex burned in 1966 and is now a favorite haunt for locals and tourists alike. Click here for a photography project.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Is Love?

Some people don't bother to fix vegetables when eating by themselves but dutifully prepare them if their partner puts them on the menu the night they cook. And sometimes they defy expectations and are even creative about it, fixing delightful salads with all manner of nuts, berries, fruits, and chopped veggies.

One night this week it was Dear Husband's turn to cook. I happened to be away all day on campus, forgot my phone at home, and managed--oh so brilliantly--to dial my number from the office phone when trying to call him to say I wouldn't be home to eat before my evening meeting.

The pop singer Haddaway asked in his 1993 hit, What is love? It's a salad waiting for you to get home for dinner, still sitting forlornly on the table when you walk in at 9:30pm that night. (But love is not, apparently, a fork with which to eat said salad. I guess it takes a real commitment to get utensils in a relationship.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What We Ate

Editor's note: The following is just a sampling of what we ate on our San Francisco vacation. These are not in the order in which they were consumed, nor were they consumed all in the same day!

Breakfast: Lemon Blintz with Creme Fraiche from Crepes on Cole. Kinda pricey but organic and yummy. Dear Husband had French Toast with Fruit, which he thought was better than the short stack of pancakes he'd had the day before.

Lunch: Paninis from Il Piccolo in Sausalito. In retrospect I agree with one of the reviewers on Google: best view in town, but poor food and over-priced. DH's mozarella and basil panini was fine, but my veggie one was still cold in the center. The second half, which I stashed in my purse for latter, tasted better once the bread had cooled and the patty had warmed up.

Dinner #1: Argentinian pockets of warmed meaty or cheesy goodness from Venga Empanadas in the Mission District. Also a tossed salad and a tamarind soda. DH had beef, while I chose spinach (below).

Dinner #2: One night after the conference, several of us rode the cable cars down to Boudin's on Fisherman's Wharf, where a gal pal and I shared seafood chowder in a sour dough bread bowl (below). In addition to a restaurant and cafe, they also have a small (free!) museum on their famous sour dough bread, whose start goes back to 1849 and was rescued by the family matriarch from the earthquake in 1906. (Click here for some stunning period photographs.)

Dinner #3: finally, our ballpark food. DH got a Coliseum Dog, which was "better than average." He scarfed it down right quick, because we had waited until after the first-inning rally to get dinner. Having read a positive review in a local free newspaper on the BART on our way to the game, I opted for the pricey Ribs & Things BBQ; it is, according to multiple sources, the only thing worth your money at the stadium. Thankfully we didn't use very much of our money, as each of our $12 seats came with a $6 food coupon. The potato salad and bread were okay, but the pork tips were a little burnt, and the sauce wasn't sweet enough to my taste. In retrospect I wondered if the food staff looked at me funny for ordering the pork while wearing my scarf like so (the warmest get-up I could devise, as we were seriously under-dressed for as cold as the weather had turned: it was in the 30s!).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

If you're going to San Francisco...

Regular readers of this blog know that last weekend Dear Husband and I were in San Francisco so I could give a couple of papers at a conference and so we could have a mini-vacation. Ahead of time, I researched and wrote a series "Poetry and the Pacific" to celebrate the occasion; but as I tried to indicate in editor's notes and quick editing, our travel plans were set topsy-turvey from the beginning. We had to improvise quite a bit. Later I'll post about our time in San Francisco but spare you the details of our return trip, which fell on the same day as that big computer glitch. Here is what happened on travel day 1:

7:55am Left home 10 minutes "late" but arrived at airport in good time since we weren't checking anything. Apparently it is possible to take a sewing needle and a shaving razor through the x-ray machine, but a barrette in your hair will set off the metal detector. I am willing to get dressed again at the airport after removing my shoes, jacket, and scarf to go through security, but I draw the line at doing my hair again! I got a pat down. DH did too, although we're not sure why. Maybe because of his thighs of steel from training for all those half-marathons? (The next one is this coming Saturday.)

8:55am Lingering rain was causing delays at O'Hare. Finally boarded and took off a little late.

Wolkenkrätzer = skyscrapers
10:30am Jogged through two terminals at O'Hare only to discover the second flight was even later. Boarded with confidence and congratulated ourselves on making it after all and on finally being on our way to San Francisco, which we had wanted to visit since getting engaged. Then the captain came on the intercom to announce that a mechanic had broken something, and we might have to change planes.

Shiva as Lord Who Is Half Male, Half Female
(Ardhanarishvara), 14th century, India
We had to change planes. Almost immediately, the flight was cancelled, and an entire plane-full of people had to reschedule their travel. Facing the choice of getting into San Jose in the evening and missing 2/3 of our vacation or shifting our departure and return back by a day (courtesy of the airline), we chose the latter.

12ish Ate burgers for lunch at the airport Chili's. Airline offered to pay for dinner, hotel, and breakfast, and the ticket agent gave us a tip to visit the Art Institute of Chicago while we were grounded.

1:45pm Caught shuttle to hotel. Discovered I had left my laptop in the seatback pocket of the decommissioned plane. Frantically called various official phone numbers. Left a message with Lost & Found. (I have since made many more phone calls and sent many emails. So far no luck.)

2:45pm Caught shuttle from hotel back to airport, where we transferred to the Blue Line to downtown. Giggled about the stops "California" and Damen/O'Hare (Damen und Herren).

Shiva and Uma Seated on the Bull Nandi
in Loving Embrace , 9th century, India
4pm Arrived at Monroe Street. Having entertained a fantasy of attending a Thursday night taping of "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me," we settled for "obstructed view" seats to "Book of Mormon" at the Bank of America Theater.

4:10pm In the meantime, pleased to discover the Art Institute is open until 8pm in Thursdays--and even more pleased so find out about "Free at Five" for Illinois residents. Left museum for an early dinner at the Potbelly Sandwich Shop across the street (a Chicago original).

5pm I didn't want to see any Western art, so we headed for the Alsdorf Galleries of Indian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan Art to look at Buddhist, Hindu, and Jainist art, mostly sculpture. Reading all the art history descriptions on the labels, I wished for more of a world religions education. DH remembered from reading he has done that being a pantheistic religion, Hinduism was historically relatively welcome to Buddhism. Meanwhile, Buddhists debated how much to deify Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha. My understanding is that Buddism is often practiced today more as a philosophy than as a religion, but I am willing to be corrected in the comments section.

6pm DH wanted to attend the keynote lecture by Oxford historian Christopher Kelly on early Christian appropriations of classical art and culture, "Confronting the Classical—The Making of Christian Art," to celebrate the opening of the new Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art with some items on loan from the British Museum.

7:30pm We concluded our impromptu religions symposium with "The Book of Mormon." A charming psychological coming-of-age story staged as a musical about missionaries in "Uganda," this is a satire, folks, not a documentary. (It's by the creators of South Park.) The salty language and ridiculous propositions were hilarious to the young people sitting behind us who had obviously come to make fun of Mormonism. But the show--which has won 9 Tonys--also prompted more thoughtful questions, like what does the faith of a 9-year-old get you as an adult? Does religion have to be factually accurate, or do metaphors suffice (like "Salt Lake City" as paradise)? The Catholics I talked to during intermission didn't like an early song cursing God for misery, but I reasoned it was easy to miss God in the midst of human suffering. More disturbing to me than some of the criticisms of Mormonism (which are applicable to conservative Christianity, too) was the humor predicated on physical and medical problems--but I suppose that is my personal bone to pick. We probably won't go back to that theater, since the ushers seemed unable to seat anyone on time or properly, but the music for the show was catchy, the acting was quite good, and they collected donations for an HIV charity afterward.

10pm Caught Blue Line back to O'Hare.

11:15pm Caught shuttle back to hotel and a little shut-eye before attempting--and succeeding--to fly to San Francisco, where there is sourdough bread in creative shapes, seafood galore, redwood trees, and much more.

...be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Poetry of the Pacific, Day 5

Editor's note: This blog was pre-written. In fact, we are traveling on Tuesday.

We woke up early this morning for a day of traveling, in order to get DH home in time for his rehearsals tonight. You could say I'm "putting out the light" on our trip and this Poetry of the Pacific series with this poem by San Francisco native Robert Frost (1874-1963). If all you know of Frost is "I took the Road Less Traveled," his verses may sound quaint to your jaded ears, but in fact he was a modern poet who used contemporary English to express a range of often dark emotions. This sonnet captures psychological dread at loneliness and at the destructive capability of nature. Found on Famous Poets & Poems.com.

Once By The Pacific (1928)

The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

File:Point Bonita Lighthouse, January 2013.jpg
Point Bonita light house; the suspension bridge became necessary after strong
waves eroded the land bridge. Click here to read about this and other lighthouses
around San Francisco. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Poetry of the Pacific, Day 4

San Francisco is known as much for its neighborhoods and characters as it is for its sights, so I decided to feature one of them: Chinatown. It's supposed to be the oldest one in the Western Hemisphere, having been founded around 1848 for immigrants working on the gold rush and the transcontinental railroads. Due to the determination of its residents, it survived the destruction of the 1906 earthquake and plans to expand the Financial District into the area. Now it stands in the heart of a bustling, gritty urban center. More than just a collection of Chinese restaurants, Chinatown supports Asian-American art, culture, and activism.

paper lanterns chinatown san francisco free photo
Red lanterns in San Francisco's Chinatown, dwsmiley (pixabay.com)
Today's poem was written by San Francisco native, poet, playwright, and performer Genevieve "Genny" Lim (1946- ). It is the title selection from her book, Winter Place (1989). Whereas her more recent pieces have tackled more expansive or universal themes, her older work like "Winter Place looks at the world from my alley window." She is particularly known for Paper Angels, a play about Chinese immigrants incarcerated at Angel Island. Borrowed from Jaime Wright's website.

Winter Place

I live in this foghorn moon of a fishhole alley
Every night there's a derelict dog, mangy with a cataract stare
Lickin' the wounds of old North Beach
Leftovers, fish'n chips, upchucked cheesesteak, antipasti
Blasted against the antiseptic glare of trendy resaurants,
glossy Gelatos
Where MTV couples glide frozenly by
Catching in the corners of their ray-banned eyes
Their store-bought reflections 

It ain't so bad
Sundry hookers straining their fleshbait
out of windows, doorways
Orifices of the Europa glistening like fish
It ain't so bad
The winos and the refugees, bag can ladies and panhandlers
Eye-talians, Chinamen, tourists, punks, junkies
Boat people and runaways
Converging on this teeming waterhole
where the corporate buffalo roamed 

The city reeks of crab shells, fishheads, cabbages
Soiled pampers, cappuchino and Kotex
in shocking orange-and-pink
Day-glo shopping bags ripped and spewing out the
Guts of Chinatown 

They all come
The natives like homing pigeons
Midwesterners like homesteaders
Southerners like shipwrecked sailors
Eastcoasters like fugitives
Through the fog-laden cable cars plummeting
over Russian Hill backyards and
narrow chopstick alleyways
where camera-toting tourists
eat cheap chop-suey and
snap moon-faced babies wide-eyed on their mothers' backs
out of curiosity 

It ain't so bad
the Indians once said
They traded their land for horses 

It ain't so bad
the Coolies reasoned
as they jumped ship only to
Sweat in baskets
with pickaxes and dynamite
Twenty-thousand feet in the Sierras
like wet human laundry

copyright 2001, Genny Lim

p.s.--You should absolutely click here to watch Genny Lim perform a version of this poem.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Poetry of the Pacific, Day 3

Editor's note: these were pre-written posts, but due to a comedy of errors (not on our part), we did not actually arrive in San Francisco Thursday afternoon. I will post the story at the end of this series. Until then, please enjoy the poetry!
Golden Gate Bridge in fog, from toptravellists.net.

Lonidier Rampant 
            As from a distance, watch yourself
            Disintegrate in foaming seas.
                              -- Weldon Kees

You are too near the bridge
To have such hair
Hair a man would love
To comb his fingers through

Walking down the old familiar street
Doorways reappear
Shoe Repair New Soles
Smell of polish and leather
Where you sat in a chair
Swinging bobby soxed feet

Salvation waits on the corner of doughnut holes
Six to a bag
And in Mr. Bay's barber chair
Platinum bangs feathered on the floor

The bridge Lonidier and the sea Lonidier
And the dark morning hours
Chew through your brain
Looking for innocence
Lost Lonidier 

And the stab in your heart where the intersection
Of life and death is marked

Cool fingers of fog have been waiting
All these years
Knowing one day you'd be theirs
You are too near the bridge

To have such hair
So you'll cut it off
Leave its stories behind
Or if they stay
Whispering in the roots
You'll feel it pulled by the updraft
Of love you left behind
Lonidier Your hair
Will be the last of you
To hit the sea
The city that saved you again and again
Rising swiftly
To still you
To sleep

The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. When it was completed in 1937, it was an architectural marvel in "international orange": 8,891 feet long, 6 lanes and 90 feet wide, 4,000 feet between towers standing almost 820 feet tall from top to bottom buried under the water. At 220 (or 245?) feet above the water, it sadly also presents an opportunity for suicide. Today's poem, courtesy of the literary group Big Bridge, considers the possibility. It was written by California poet Katherine Hastings, known for her   beautiful, haunting, often mythical poems. This poem is dedicated to Lynn Lonidier (1937-1993)--teacher, feminist, poet, cellist, lesbian, activist--who committed suicide by jumping off a cliff in San Francisco.

As a bonus, when researching Hastings I found out she had led a campaign among Californian poets to raise money toward saving some of the state's parks from being shuttered due to budget cuts. The campaign is over, but she still had a copy of the resulting anthology, What Redwoods Know, to send me. That is a far better souvenir than any trinket I could buy in a gift shop.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Poetry of the Pacific, Day 2

Editor's note: these were pre-written posts, but due to a comedy of errors (not on our part), we did not actually arrive in San Francisco Thursday afternoon. I will post the story at the end of this series. Until then, please enjoy the poetry!

Image of California redwood trees from Picryl (2016, CC0)

This series of posts has an alliterative title, but as I alluded to yesterday, not all of the poems will be about the Pacific Ocean. Today's verse concerns a more terrestrial topic: the redwood forest. These evergreens are some of the tallest and oldest trees we know of. They reach more than 200 feet into the air, with a trunk diameter of 10-15 feet. In the wet and temperate climate of the Pacific coast (from central California up through Oregon), the trees can live for more than 2000 years. Redwoods are of course part of a larger ecosystem, as they support an impressive variety of plants, insects, and animals, from their roots up to their crowns. Unfortunately, between the Gold Rush and the founding of Redwood National Park in 1968, 90% of the forest in California was cut down for timber. (Click here for haunting black and white photographs of big trees, little men, and the horses and oxen involved old logging efforts.)

Dear Husband got a tip from a friend to check out Muir Wood National Monument (est. 1908), the result of early conservation efforts. So yesterday, on our first day in San Francisco, we rented a car and drove north, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to this old-growth forest nature preserve named for the founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir (1838-1914). He is supposed to have said of the gift of having the park named after him, "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world." To mark the occasion, today's poem is courtesy of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. Yes, you read that correctly. Chief Engineer Joseph P. Strauss (1870-1938)--a native of Cincinnati and the man who took credit for the building of the Golden Gate Bridge--penned these stanzas a few years before that architectural marvel connected Muir Woods in the north to the city of San Francisco in the south.

DH wants to know when we're visiting the Gulf stream waters?

The Redwoods (1931)

Here, sown by the Creator's hand.
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.

The greatest of Earth's living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.

The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now--their splendor gone:
But these proud monarchs still live on.

So shall they live, when ends our days,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials' span.

This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life's proper goal:

To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Poetry of the Pacific, Day 1

This weekend I am giving two papers at a conference in San Francisco--and I managed to convince Dear Husband to take the weekend off to come with me. (SF was our first choice for a honeymoon, but we ditched it when the baseball schedules didn't jive, so it's been on our bucket list since then.) We're going a little early to do some sightseeing, and then DH will explore on his own while I'm attending panels. I'll post some photos later, but for now, I am so excited about seeing/standing in the Pacific Ocean that I found a series of poems about that great body of water (and the sights around it) and will post one per day. Also, April is National Poetry Month, so consider this my contribution to the celebration of verse.

Because we are traveling today, the first installment is "The Discovery of the Pacific," a poem by Anglo-American poet Thom Gunn (1929-2004), who followed his college sweetheart Mike Kitay to San Francisco. He taught writing at Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley and is most well known for his collection of poems entitled The Man with Night Sweats (1992). Although his work was often an autobiographical catalog of his bohemian lifestyle, this poem only partially fits that pattern. It involves a heterosexual couple, but one that finds its true nature as they move westward, toward and finally into the Pacific Ocean. Found on the blog Wandering Minstrels.

The Discovery of the Pacific

They lean against the cooling car, backs pressed
Upon the dusts of a brown continent,
And watch the sun, now Westward of their West,
Fall to the ocean. Where it led they went.

Kansas to California. Day by day
They travelled emptier of the things they knew.
They improvised new habits on the way,
But lost the occasions, and then lost them too.

One night, no-one and nowhere, she had woken
To resin-smell and to the firs' slight sound,
And through their sleeping-bag had felt the broken
Tight-knotted surfaces of the naked ground.

Only his lean quiet body cupping hers
Kept her from it, the extreme chill. By degrees
She fell asleep. Around them in the firs
The wind probed, tiding through forked estuaries.

And now their skin is caked with road, the grime
Merely reflecting sunlight as it fails.
They leave their clothes among the rocks they climb,
Blunt leaves of iceplant nuzzle at their soles.

Now they stand chin-deep in the sway of ocean,
Firm West, two stringy bodies face to face,
And come, together, in the water's motion,
The full caught pause of their embrace.

Jim Kucharek Photography: Misc. &emdash; Iceplant along the Monterey California coast 
Iceplant along the Monterey California coast; credit Jim Kucharek.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gird Your Loins! It's Breakfast

Saturday morning was a real treat, as friends invited me to breakfast the Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. Despite being a Market at the Square regular, I had somehow missed this opportunity (and my evangelizing friend had neglected to convert me!). In March and April, before the farmers market starts for the season, the farm opens for breakfast on Saturday mornings. Folks drive from all around to stand in a long line, order from their hilarious menu, and eat a scrumptious slow-food meal in a converted barn. I don't doubt that such an operation benefits from a combination of do-gooder foodie-ism and the novelty of the farm for the couples and young families who make the short trek out from town.

Gird Your Loins! It's Breakfast #3

On the menu this week were biscuits and gravy; grit cakes with poached egg, tomato pesto, and greens; tamales ("If we were in North Korea this pack of two tamales would be called the Kim Jong Illest."); yogurt-granola parfait; coffee cake; and a short stack of pancakes for the kiddies. To drink was coffee, tea, goat milk ("really local"). and goat milk hot chocolate.

I had the grit cake with all the toppings and a goat milk hot chocolate. This was second breakfast for me, but I polished it right off. The cocoa smelled different than cow's milk--I thought maybe like almonds. It was good, too. (That's some multi-grain honey wheat bread I bought from one of the vendors. It was a little more than I like to pay for a loaf, but we had run out at home several days before, and I was starting to get desperate for my usual sandwich for lunch.)

Despite the size of the crowd, turn over was pretty quick. We also vacated our spots for the next group, and went outside to visit the goats. The farm has all different kinds: black, brown, tan, some with big floppy ears and others with hardly any ears. They keep the ones of similar ages/sizes together. Here you can see the youth playing "king of the hill." They had some very liiittle ones, and in the next pen over was a whole pile of goats. You can see the lamps to keep them warm; there is also a jug of milk with rubber nipples. (The mamas have their own barn.)

Then it was time to drive home again. It was a nice reminder that winter is finally over. I am very much looking forward to my weekly trips across town to the market. Last season we were introduced to turnips, kale, and chard, so I can only wonder what new  foods and recipes we will try this year. Now that it's spring, what are you looking forward to? Are you growing any of your own vegetables, or are you waiting for something in particular to appear at your local market?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Frohe Ostern!

Weil wir so weit weg von unseren Familien wohnen, können wir  nicht zu Ostern nach Hause gehen. Also, wenn wir keine Einladung zum Abendessen anderswo haben, öffnen wir unser Haus für einen Potluck mit anderen DoktorandInnen. Gestern Nacht waren wir neun um den Tisch (und auf der Sofa). Auf der Speisekarte waren Schweinefilet mit pikanter Brombeersoße; Apfel-Reis-Salat; hausgemachte Hummus mit einer speziellen Gewürzmischung von Austin, Texas; geröstete Wurzelgemüse; Reis mit Kichererbsen und Grünkohl; pastellfarbene gefüllte oder russische Eier; grüner Salat mit Erdbeeren; und endlich Schokoladenkuchen. Auch eine reizende Pinot Grigio und ein Krimsekt aus der Ukraine.

Das Gespräch war lebhaft, schwankte von Waffenbesitz zu den literarischen Verdienste verschiedenen TV-Shows zu Jazz-Bassist Henry Grimes (der 1968 in Californien "verschwand" und 2002 wieder auftauchtet). Am allerbesten waren die Gäste so begeistert über die Ostereierjagd wie ich, als ich die plastischen Eier Samstagabend auffüllte und verstecke. Jede hatte eine eingewickelte Schokolade (auch aus der Ukraine) und entweder ein Osterzitat oder einen Kalauer. Die Gäste fanden 16 der Eier, die Katze hatte 2 unter der Sofa "versteckt," und ich habe das 19. Montag Morgen endlich gefunden.

Ich hoffe, dass euer Ostern genau so lecker und fröhlich war wie unser!

Unser Herr hat die Verheißung der Auferstehung geschrieben, nicht in Bücher allein, sondern in jedem Blatt im Frühjahr. ~Martin Luther

Ein Mann, der völlig unschuldig war, bot sich selbst als Opfer für das Wohl der anderen, darunter seine Feinde, und wurde das Lösegeld der Welt. Es war eine perfekte Leistung. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Ostern geschah, nicht wann eine Leiche aufstand sondern wann die Jüngern fingen an, Christus in einander zu sehen. ~Jim Rigby

Knock, knock! Who's there? Harvey. Harvey who? Harvey good Easter everyone!

Happy Easter 2013!

Because we live so far from our families, we can't go home for Easter. So if we don't have an invitation to a dinner somewhere else, we open our house to fellow graduate students for a potluck dinner. Last night there were nine of us around the table (and on the couches). On the menu was blackberry-glazed pork tenderloin, apple-rice salad, homemade hummus with a special spice blend all the way from Austin, TX, roasted root vegetables, rice with chickpeas and kale,  pastel-colored devil's eggs, tossed green salad with strawberries, and chocolate cake. Also a lovely pinot grigio and a novel sparkling red wine from Ukraine, Krim.

The conversation was lively, ranging from gun control to the literary merits of various television shows to jazz bassist Henry Grimes (click to find out what makes him so interesting). Best of all, the guests were as enthusiastic about hunting Easter eggs as I was about stuffing and hiding them Saturday evening. Each one had a wrapped chocolate (also from Ukraine) and either an Easter quotation or a corny joke. They found 16 of the eggs, the cat had "hidden" 2 under the couch, and I didn't find the the 19th until Monday morning.

I hope your Easter was as delicious and delightful as ours was! 

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Easter happened, not when a corpse got up, but when the disciples began to see Christ in each other. ~Jim Rigby

I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs... but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. ~Caroline Rhea

Knock, knock! Who's there? Harvey. Harvey who? Harvey good Easter everyone!