Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We were on the Metro last night and after a gentleman got off somewhere in NoVa, X turned to me and asked, “Should I have told that man that his fly was open?” An interesting question which I only pondered for a few seconds; and my answer is no. My theory is that pointing out an open fly is reserved for family (wife or girlfriend included), friends, or co-workers. It may seem a bit counterintuitive because you think you’re preventing embarrassment but the fact of the matter is that on a public train the pointing out only increases exposure. A man is hard-pressed to zip up, covertly, so just letting it slide is probably best. You also have to realize that you’re probably one of the few that might notice since we’re all standing – more than likely – and guy will be walking when he leaves the train; no one notices an open barn door when someone passed them. They’ll eventually sort out the situation with far fewer folks involved so I suggest letting it go.

Two exciting arrivals at the house yesterday: a new Eva Solo coffee carafe and a (new) classic KitchenAid K-4B mixer. This newborn Eva will represent the third in a line of Solos that I keep breaking (it truly is a lack of caring). I have new procedures in place that involve washing it while using three hands, drying immediately, and storing in a series of pillows and precious nothings. I know you’re thinking the Eva is pricey but it’s truly the best system we’ve had. The idea is simple in that the grounds don’t get crushed (French press) and they don’t actually sit on top of the water and slowly pass through, getting delayed, in the pile grounds. With the floating grounds you get full exposure, no packing, and you then pour the water out of the flask with very little coffee ground stall. Trust me, it’s the best handmade coffee and I have at least one sometimes grumpy, coffee-demanding-on-weekend girlfriend to back me up.

The KitchenAid is a different story. I’ve eyed the behemoths for years but never really convinced myself to drop $300 on one. I used Corey’s a few times when we lived on N. Park and they certainly make any number of things easier; but what I’m really talking about is pie crust and bread dough. I decided to shop around a bit on eBay and also ended up learning there’s an entire Web world of KitchenAid mixer whackjobs, and I use whackjob lovingly. Like anything else these days there are forums, question time, photos, and myriad opinions on every product ever made. The K-4B was introduced in 1944 to replace the K-4A and produced until 1962; as if I knew that off the top of my head. There are loads of people who swear by the older models, particularly the quality of the motors, to the exclusion of the newer, heavy-duty configurations; the K-4B is also a tilting head version mixer so it’ll remind my innocent youth. I finally yanked it out of it peanut packing cocoon this morning and fired it up to make sure everything was in working order. The tinned bowl, whisk, dough mixer (it’s not a hook) all seem in excellent shape and the motor sounds smooth and sweet, sort of like turning over an old, classic car. I’ll send along some photos later tonight. This entire mission reminded me of X buying a 1950s-era Singer sewing machine a few years back. I think it was $50 to haul away and then needed only a tune-up and new belt. That total cost came to something like $125 and the sewing machine repair shop guy showed great interest in either buying or stealing that warrior of a machine. The mixer ran me $48 plus shipping and it seems worth the effort.

Speaking of last night, the Eleven hit the Kennedy Center for the opera. The new season kicked off with The Barber of Seville which I place soundly at the top of my opera rankings. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much technical ability to review the intricacies of opera but The Barber isn’t nearly as deep and dreary as others. I’m sure there’s an entire catalog of comedy operas of which I’m unfamiliar – you know, those where no one die – so maybe there’s others to consider. We like everyone in the show and agreed immediately, post-show, on performances of Rosina (Ketevan Kemoklidze) and Almaviva (Juan Francisco Gatell). As I’ve point out to my sig-other on many occasions, theatre, opera, and live music fill some powerful place for me. Whenever I’m there I always appreciate the fact that all they players are expending all their energy and love of the art just so I can be entertained for two or three hours. Always time well spent.

I have a birthday/dinner party to plan for this weekend; I have the center piece of the meal but having trouble with the peripheries.


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