Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pain and Wonder*

I has it.

I had an eventful weekend.

My first stupid move was to catch the inside of my arm in the zipper of my purse.  Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  It would take too long to explain how I managed to do that, but I sometimes go through phases of stupid, freaky accidents like that.  And it hurt.  Ouch!

The real pain and wonder came about Friday night when Richard and I and a group of friends went to Cafe Harika and Hooka Bar in Cordele, GA.  We sat on cushions around a low table which was placed on a platform.  Close to the floor without actually sitting on the floor.  Well, I am not the most limber or agile person on the planet, so I had a hard time getting comfortable.  My friends suggested I sit next to the wall so that I could have something to lean on.  As I was scooting (or my clumsy way of  scooting) into the seat, I lost my balance and fell backwards onto a low wall.  At the same time I heard a loud >crack<, I hit the wall right on my spine (the crack was not my spine).  My first, simultaneous, reactions were pain, fear, and surprise.  I'm always surprised when I do something stupid.  I don't think I'm really like that.  I'm into denial.  I flopped down on the cushions beside me, trying not to cry (I was successful).  I finally lumbered myself into the corner backed by a plethora of soft, supportive cushions.  My friend Jeannie offered me some ibuprofen, which I accepted and which had some effect, and I was glad because it let me enjoy the rest of the evening. 

(Lord, I wish I had pictures of the evening!)

Anyway, the wonder set in when I tasted my dinner.  It was delicious, particularly the shrimp shish kebabs marinated in a saffron paste.  The restaurant advertised themselves as having American Mediterranean food.  They had some Greek dishes, Middle Eastern dishes, and of course, American.  My shrimp was served on a bed of Basmati rice, cooked in some kind of broth to give it some flavor (I'm not crazy about plain white rice).  I was a little fearful when I saw that the shrimp was a bright red and I thought, "Ooh, I hope this is not going to be lethal," but it wasn't.  There was a little spiciness, which took me about halfway through the meal to discern, but I could still taste the shrimp, and I loved it.  Despite my embarrassing myself this time, I'd go back to that restaurant.  I love shrimp, and if it's on the menu, that's what I usually go for.  Most of the other people had lamb shish kebabs, and they all raved over theirs, too.  Our hostess brought out hummus and baba ganoush, along with some freshly-baked and warm naan.  It was all wonderful.  I was afraid I was going to fill up on the hummus and naan and be too full to enjoy my shrimp, but it didn't work out that way.  Before the entree, I had some tabbouleh (very lemony).  For dessert, I had baklava.  (The baklava was good, but my Greek friend Takis in Athens makes better baklava.) 

As if that weren't enough to enjoy, out came a belly dancer.  She was great.  I've only ever seen belly dancers on TV and in the movies, so it was very entertaining to see it live.  She was pretty and graceful and we showed our appreciation with applause after every dance.  I had been warned that men should not speak to the dancers, because then their brothers would come out to "have a word of prayer" with them.  But that turned out to be ridiculous in this case.  After all, this is south Georgia.  The girl is American all the way, from Cordele, but dancing professionally in Atlanta.  She's competed in ballroom dancing and and she was quite forthcoming about her professional life.  Nice and friendly, just the way a Southerner should be.  After she had done her show, she brought out some filmy, triangular scarves with shiny things sewn to them.  These she offered to the women of the group and got four of them up to dance with her.  She tied the scarves around their waists and taught them a few belly-dancing moves.  Richard asked if I was going to get up and dance, and I informed him in no uncertain terms that I was not moving until it was time to get up and go home.  I was too comfy against my pile of cushions.  We did eventually leave, but altogether I had a great time.  Everyone was in a good mood and I laughed a lot. 

Saturday morning we had to take Lila and Dashiell to the vet.  They are so traumatized by being put in carriers, taken outside, put in the car, and driven across town.  They meowed all the way, especially Dashiell.  Poor babies.  The vet visit was quick and relatively uneventful for the cats, but I got to pet other people's doggies.  First there was a black and white terrier type and she was sweet.  She was interested in our cats; her owner said they also have cats at home.  After we saw the vet, there was a grown golden retriever and a puppy.  The grown dog was so friendly and if you know goldens, they frequently look like they are smiling.  This dog was very happy to see me, even though we were strangers.  Later that morning we went to the first ever Southeast Lawn and Garden Expo, sponsored by the Literacy Volunteers of Tifton.  It was small, but they hope to do it again and that it gets bigger.  Anyway, the director of the local animal shelter was there with a rescue dog, a pit bull with scars on his face, so you can guess what he was rescued from.  This was an old dog and very placid, such a sweet old thing.  They say dogs are great judges of character, and this dog seemed to know that he was in loving, caring hands now.

While at the Expo, we also visited most of the vendor booths.  We stopped at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture (Agrirama) booth, where they were selling things that can be bought at the Museum: stone ground grits and cornmeal, and some handwoven rugs and placemats.  And they weren't charging an arm and a leg for them either.  We bought some grits and cornmeal.  At another booth we stopped to chat with a man named Tripp (first name) who was inoculating logs for growing mushrooms.  He and Richard talked for a good  twenty or so minutes about shiitakes and oyster mushrooms.  Richard is trying to grow mushrooms, too.  Mmmmm!  Fresh shiitakes!

Well, that was my eventful weekend.  Oh, we had shrimp and tortellini for dinner on Saturday and today I'm baking a carrot cake with cream cheese icing for Richard's birthday, coming up soon.

*Pain and Wonder is the name of a tattoo parlor in Athens, GA.  I never went there.  There is another tattoo place called the Midnight Iguana.  I don't know where they came up with these names!


Theresa said...

omg. I tried to give you some tickets for the show, but noooooo, you wouldn't have it. That'll teach ya. Your dinner sounded wonderful, but it's time to start taking some yoga classes so you don't end up some crippled old lady that I have to wheel to yarn stores :)

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Looks like your first spam comment Marie. You're FAMOUS!!!

Enjoyed seeing you at the Expo!



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