May 1st, 2007


More Pisa tales

Last night was pretty quiet - I made the roast duck salad for three, then sat on the couch and showed wechsler pictures from Pisa until I crashed the computer trying to load the stupid Golden Compass movie homepage. That said ...

My whole day was improved by the tea I had bought at Cioccolato et Affini ("Chocolate and Friends?"), right next to our hotel (Lungarno Pacinotti 5, Pisa). Margaret's Hope first flush, hurray! I also picked up a double-bag of Rohini, which I think might be second flish - it was the most expensive tea they had and I've been so hard up for some good Darjeeling I just couldn't stand the thought of it being fantastic and me not having access to a second bag. We also got some Keemun and some "White Monkey Hear," which I'm pretty positive is "hair" but for some reason mistranslated.

Our best moment on the trip was likely the visit to Vissidarte (Via Calderia, 20 55100 -Lucca), where the proprietor was singing along with something from La Boheme and proceeded to get into a discussion of the modernity of Pucinni's music, complete with changing the CD on the stereo TWICE and references to John Ford ("The Girl of the Golden West") and Hitchcock ("The Birds"). "This Madama Butterfly is Maria Callas ..." "I bet you have several of them, don't you?" I left with a wine pitcher and a re-usable cork, but as they say, it was the memory that was priceless. I do really hope he goes to see his friend in Port Townsend some day, even if he can't get there until September.

A shop I didn't manage to find was Elio Ruschena's jewelry workshop. There were samples of his work at the airport, and it was just the kind of delicate naturalism that I find really attractive (enamelled alligator cufflinks!). The pictures on the website are so pretty. I guess I should be glad I wasn't able to locate his shop; I would have just been sad that I couldn't afford anything. We did get lots of neat stuff, though: yummy looking olive oil and 8 year old balsamic vinegar; faro and barolo beans; hand-painted perfume bottles from an artist in Lucca; and a brick of parmesan cheese that's about the size of a typical paperback. I anticipate many good meals to come.

Tonight: Catpower. I'm looking forward to it!

The work-safe photo of wrong, and a Proust update

First: Proust at page 965 (I finished yet another book this weekend that was not Remembrance), and this quote deserves to make it to the LJ as a marker of all of the unspoken stuff he writes about: "And one of their cousins, who was only 15, had scandalised the Casino by her unconcealed admiration for Mlle. Lea, whose talent as an actress M. Block Senior rated very high, but whose tastes were understood not to be primarily directed toward gentlemen." Priceless!

It's hard to believe I came across this site while looking at someone's user pictures ... a little more free time and I would be surfing it all day long.
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Why do I want to be in denial that I'm middle aged?

I realized tonight that I'd never realistically be in a rock band ever. I was thinking that it was admitting that you'd never read Remembrance of Things Past that meant you'd hit middle age, but I think that "no me singing on the stage" (other than karaoke) will be my real marker.

Damn damn dammity damn.

Going to see Cat Power when you can't hear what Chan is singing because the music is amplified so badly is no good. I got tired out around 10:30 (the show was supposed to start at 7:30 - it didn't say anything about there being two opening bands) and headed home before the set was over. I was frustrated and not connecting with the performance and missing singing with Howard and realizing I'd never have a birthday that was that much fun again, only 6 more weeks but no croquet and no 16 people jammed into the Old Szechuan and no Howard, and no singing, and the best I can hope for is "Am Dram" and karaoke. And hello 40.

I'm at loose ends on Thursday. Anyone want a visit from a cowgirl? Or a movie or dinner in town?