Monday, July 12, 2004

Quote of the week, from Christie: "It's pronounced patronizing."

Runner up, with distinction, from some guy on the streets of Ann Arbor, the most liberal city in Michigan, when asked to sign a petition to get Nader on the ballot: "No way in hell!"

This was an odd vacation. First of all, instead of going straight to the cottage on the lake, we first spent two days in Ann Arbor, visiting Christie's grandparents, who won't be able to make it to the wedding. I was reminded again and again of Christie's very wise words on my (occasionally contentious) relationship with my mother, "Of course she can still push your buttons! She installed them." 'Nuff said.

Second of all, we didn't bring the camera, and were mostly inactive, instead of the usual array of daytrips, long walks, etc. Some of it was the weather, which was cool, gray, and rainy, but I think mostly it was about temperament. Last year was Christie's first at the lake, and there was so much to show and do, and for the previous two years there was so much not to think about that keeping busy was a survival issue. This time around, I wasn't freaking out, wasn't stressed, and didn't have anything I particularly wanted to do except spend time with my second family and read a few good books.

Speaking of which, I heartily recommend Michael Chabon's Summerland and Arturo Perez Reverte's The Nautical Chart.

On the way up, we spotted a billboard for a Crate and Barrel outlet store in Michigan City, IN, and resolved to check it out. There turned out to be a massive outlet mall there, that would have been well worth the side trip if Christie wasn't feeling a summer cold looming and I didn't have a migraine. No, actually, it was still worth the side trip, as we got a massive butcher's block at Crate and Barrel, and this (though even cheaper than Amazon's clearance price!). Christie and I both love to make soups and stews, but have to choose between a crappy old stock pot that just doesn't do the job or an antique cast iron dutch oven that my dad gave me a few years back. The dutch oven's great, don't get me wrong! Cast iron is, in fact, my favorite surface to cook on. But it's reactive with a lot of foods, which can effect the food and the pan both. And I've been wanting to have some Le Creuset in the kitchen pretty much since I started cooking. It's impractical as hell, I'll admit, but so what?

Now I just need to find someplace to put it.

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