Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Blown Knees, Beginner's Omelettes, Blueberries, and the Big Bang

It finally happened. I sat down for a good chunk of my work day on Friday, and it pained me to stand up again. I hoped it would work out the kink as usual, ever since the knee problems began. But alas, this was not to be the case. I hobbled around in pain most of the rest of the day, limping enough to even evoke the offer of crutches from my boss. Since Friday, the pain and cramping have eased, the ability to move has shifted off and on again. But I am finally ready to see the Orthopedist. I am waiting for my friends to return from a trip, so they can provide me the name of their referral. The physical therapist believes it is torn cartilage, but I am just not ready for knee surgery. Hopefully the MRI will be revealing, and by revealing I mean I hope in a positive way. Sigh.

Other weekend news. On Saturday, we went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which is my personal favorite of the museums because of all the pop culture and "kitschy" (can't spell it) stuff. We of course saw Fonzie's jacket and Dorothy's ruby red slippers. New since my last visit several years ago was Julia Child's kitchen. Literally, her kitchen. I never really watched her while she was alive, even knowing what an icon of cooking she was. But while there, a video was playing with clips of some of her TV moments. And one of the clips was a really short one on how to make a 20-second omelette. Now, I know omelettes aren't brain surgery, but I'm no master of the kitchen. I once tried to make an omelette with an "omelette maker" contraption my mom had and spilled all of the innards across the entire stove. So imagine my delight after 5 minutes of watching a video in a museum, going home to make omelettes for dinner. Not exactly 20 seconds, for a beginner like me, but about a minute each... and they were delicious and even looked like omelettes! Julia Child said it's the best way for you and 5 of your friends to prepare a meal for 300 guests in 20 minutes... in case you were looking to do that.

On Sunday, we went back to the farms to pick fruit. The strawberries were looking pretty worn at this point, so we opted for raspberries (which I don't like - too many seeds) and blueberries (which I didn't like until we picked them fresh!) Blueberries are apparently some of the best natural food, high in anti-oxidants and one of nature's best. I'm glad I now like them. The ride to the farm was gorgeous again, and there were a lot more people out picking fruit this time, probably because of the summer vacation. Even the families of geese were enjoying a little swim by the nearby lake... if you can call a pooling of water a "lake." I also thought it was exciting to be outdoors in a field among truly red and blue fruit on the weekend celebrating our country's independence. In a few weeks they will have peaches, plums, and corn. I expect we'll be making a few more trips.

On Monday, my wife of course was working... holidays are just extra-busy days for law enforcement. All of the friends I know in the area were out of town for the holiday weekend, so I decided to get out rather than sit on my arse watching fireworks on TV. I am in the nation's capital, after all. So I went by myself to the National Mall, and sat among the millions of others watching in awe as the fireworks exploded over the Washington Monument. It was truly incredible, although a little lonely. I appreciated the adventure and the beauty, as I do in most of what I do. But I know why single people are always looking to be with someone... experiences are enhanced when you have someone to share them with. On the metro ride back home, I reveled in the joy of my new hobby, people-watching. It was all fine until I noticed the clean cut and responsible-looking man coming closer to me. I thought he was talking to me at first, but he said something about a "national search." Then he kept talking about this "national search"... it was hard to tell because the train was so loud I could only hear every few words. I figured he had an earpiece and was on the phone. But then I realized he was repeating the same sentence over and over again about this "national search." Eventaully, he spiced up the conversation, by saying "you should get to the hospital and see your daughter, she might need brain surgery," or something like that. And he ended it by talking about something like "smashing her head in," which he also repeated many times until it was time to exit the train. I made a mental note of his description, in case this turned out to be relevant at some point. Then I hobbled home to watch the fireworks replay on TV.

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