Monday, January 08, 2007

Do you really have to be a "beholder" or what?

A little while later, Andy and Marni were consigned to slave labor for the purpose of removing leaves from the lawn of Marni's parents' beautiful country property. Marni kept dangling leaves in front of her face and saying,"Bet you can't see me!" Andy handled the riding mower like a pro. "It's hard not to get cocky out there," he admitted. "Sometimes you just feel so powerful with that rake in your hand and that big riding mower under you. You just sit back for a second and say, 'I'm towing about a half-bushel of cottonwood leaves right now. A lot of kings, rock stars, and rich businessmen would give anything to be doing what I'm doing right now.'" Remember: it takes a steady hand to hold a large rake.

Wow, it's hard to believe it's a new year! Last August Andy and Marni settled in at Marni's parents' house in Columbus, Montana after returning to the States from Croatia. From there, they were able to take a quick trip down to Louisiana to see Andy's family. This is Andy driving his dad's rather fast Corvette. Marni got to drive it too. While it was almost a perfect all-around car, we both were a little disappointed that it didn't perform like the Audi 80 we drove in Croatia. I found myself wanting to drift off to sleep at the wheel of the Corvette since the muffler never threatened to disengage itself from the undercarriage of the car, and there was nary an odd noise indicating an imminent disaster. All in all, I would say the 'Vette handled a touch better than the Audi, and I do have to admit that it was nice to get dirty looks because people were jealous of the car I was driving and not just disgusted to the point of illness because of it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Marni's new haircut. Posted by Picasa

At first she wasn't so sure about it. Now she says she is "adjusting to it." Andy thinks it looks really good.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

In mid-Jimmy hittin' a 1m wall  Posted by Picasa

My sushi Posted by Picasa

This is some homemade sushi. I thought I might need to point it out because invariably you get these jokers who act like they've never really made it in the sushi business and haven't really gotten out there on their own and gone to town cuttin' and rollin'. The first thing you need to know about sushi is that it's not about the raw fish, silly! It's about the pickled rice! That's what sushi means--pickled rice. If you're not careful, you might get into the habit of referring to the raw fish component. Nothing wrong with the fish, but the rice is the essential ingredient. So, when I make sushi at home, I rarely use raw fish. Usually, I make something along the lines of vegetable and pesto or perhaps I'll use a little chicken. If I'm really in the mood for fish, I won't hesitate to break out the smoked salmon or tuna. The sushi pictured here ended up tasting really great, and I didn't use any raw fish at all. Shame on those who wouldn't consider it sushi because it doesn't have raw fish. A lot of us who have more or less dedicated--probably less rather than more--our lives to sushi didn't give up our lives to have our sushi slandered. Please continue to look for more sushi bulletins in the future.

This is Rijeka, Croatia as seen from Trsatska Gradina, not far from our apartment. Rijeka is unrivaled in character and reveals probably the best representation of overall ability of any city that I have encountered. It's the kind of place you can kick in the stomach, and it just looks up at you and says, "See, that really didn't hurt too bad. I remember the time, you know, when I had lots of industry and was a real center for trade. Maybe things have slowed down a bit, but I know I can become that real Adriatic crossroads once again." And everyone pretty much just nods in agreement because hey, it can be done. Rijeka boasts more parking blocks and parking fences than many cities two and three times its size. And when it comes to cosmopolitan flair, Rijeka is unequaled. Where else can you be eating Hungarian goulash, Austrian schnitzel, Italian gnocchi, and Turkish kebaps within minutes of each other? It is also said that Rijeka is home to the original cafe scouts, who began the effort during the final days of WWII as they fought the political fight in the coffee shops and caffe bars. These guys are true heroes, and although I haven't exactly found the monument erected in their honor, I am currently lobbying local and county governments here to get 'em a square. I would probably say something like Neka dobiju trg! At the same time, it is up to us who realize the difficulties that those first pioneers faced so that we can get coffee at a place on every corner, and often in between. Perhaps it's not a square that they need; perhaps they would rather simply receive a moment of silence. As I stand up and look around, there are children playing and adults laughing. This truly is the prize of the Adriatic.

Probably the thickest French press coffee you've ever seen. Experts say this coffee works to stimulate the body and mind through a substance they are calling caffeine.  Posted by Picasa

A nice (strong and rich, yet not bitter) homemade cappucino! Posted by Picasa

Although this particular cappucino was enjoyed by a Marni Gott during the crisp days of the latter part of this last year, many a cappucino or macchiato is enjoyed at the Gott household regularly. To put matters into perspective, the production of two grade-A cappucinos with cinnamon sprinkled on top was accomplished a mere few hours ago. Consumption of the beverages went off without a hitch, and I think it's safe to say we had two very satisfied customers. "I've been in the homemade cappucino business a long time," Andy Gott (head coffee brewer) said. "I really don't think I'll ever give it up. I just love the business so much." It has been estimated that Mr. Gott actually consumes up to 65% of all coffee produced at the Gott household.

Thursday, June 29, 2006