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September 08, 2003

Weekend Recap

Oh no. I have become one of those expat New Yorkers who bemoan the quality of the local bagels. True, I did have a decent everything bagel at Einstein Bros, even though I'm sure they used to make garlic bagels, and that was what I hoped to have. And the cinnamon crunch bagels at Panera are also really good, especially with the hazelnut cream cheese. But what is it with the timid toasting down here? I specifically asked, very nicely, both times to have my bagels toasted, and while they were warm, they didn't have the toasted crunchiness one expects. *sigh* I'm going to have get all high-maintenance and spell it out for them: "I want it toasted - can you make sure it's well toasted, as in crisp and crunchy, but not burned?" My friend Marco thinks that they should ask you how much toasting you want - light, medium or dark, but I suppose this brilliant, sensible idea is rather beyond these establishments.

Friday night we went to a dessert reception hosted by the dean and his wife to welcome new faculty. Not long after we'd gotten there, I sorely wished to be back at home. A house completely full of strangers to whom I'm supposed to perform, and I'm merely someone's spouse, not even a networking contact. I drank my wine way too quickly, and the bits of dessert, delicious to be sure, seemed to stick in my throat.

But we slogged through. Scott did meet some people. I spoke briefly with a chemist, one of the university librarians, who told me to keep my eye out for some openings, and a Ukrainian physicist, who was a very nice man, but I wasn't sure if he kept talking to me to be polite, or if he was latching onto the conversation as desperately as I was. Eventually I found Scott talking with his department chair, and since it was near the end of the evening, I could finally let down a little of my reserve, which takes the form of giddy nonsensical talkativeness. The best part of the evening was when the dean's wife let the pets roam the house again, so I introduced myself to the family dog and cat, both of whom were eagerly receptive to my attentions. If only they'd come out sooner, I might have had someone to talk to! I suppose there will be more of these functions. Somehow I've got to get over this anxiety - I should be more like Lizzy, rather than Darcy. Perhaps with practice, I won't quite seem like a deer in headlights.

Saturday - Like a bee to honey, I was drawn in to one of the local used bookstores, Book Nook. And I did not come out empty-handed - a paperback of Nick Hornby's How to Be Good, a pocket Oxford edition of Wuthering Heights, a compendium of three Gothic novels (The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho (abridged, alas) and Jane's Northanger Abbey, Samuel Richardson's Pamela, and season one of Buffy. And while it is rather pathetic that I'm already buying books when I've got boxes and boxes at home, I know I've still got stuff that I can bring in for credit. So it all works out. Or that's what I'm telling myself.

Kitchen and bathroom are pretty much done. Pantry is filled. CDs are mostly unpacked. Clothes need to be unpacked (and ironed, bleah). Living room is beginning to emerge. Office, is, well, a storage room at the moment.

The weather is beginning to cool. Have actually turned off the A/C. We went with Marco and his dog on a long, lovely walk to Candler Park, with a detour on the swings. Afterwards, I made black cherry Kool-Aid and we did an impromptu dinner - baby spinach & arugula salad with bits of carrot and honey roasted almonds with a balsamic vinaigrette, spaghetti and garlic bread. So Marco was our first official dinner guest, and we hope to do this cooking and gathering together on a regular basis.

Yours, &c., LC | 11:16 AM | Slice o' Life | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

You do realize, I assume, that the problem with Atlanta bagels extends far beyond their inability to toast? They're plain ol' bread! A little ring of bread.

I highly recommend the used bookstore in Little Five, btw. Amoeba, I think it's called? Certainly the most erudite selection in Atlanta. Not even in the same stratosphere as The Strand, mind you, but not so bad.

Posted by: mrw at September 8, 2003 12:07 PM

Yes, but I was trying not to harp on it. The bagels were chewy, but not the way a bagel is chewy. The texture isn't quite right. It's hard to pin down, but after you're so used to the perfection of an H&H bagel, this is a bit of a letdown. Oh, how I suffer. ;)

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at September 8, 2003 12:26 PM

The common adulation I hear of the Strand is overstated. Sure, they have a lot of books, but organization is poor and some of their collections are weak or overpriced. Their social science section, for instance, is a joke. It's mostly pop psychology and self-help books. Some legitimate social science shows up in the economics and business section and some in "Americana." Their math and statistics section is full of outdated volumes at twice what they're worth and the Springer catalog selling for about what they cost new.

I miss the Aspidistra bookstore in Chicago, which closed a few years ago. Atlanta, on the other hand, is like a different city without the Oxford chain, which died some time ago as well.

Posted by: Scott at September 8, 2003 12:40 PM

Well, I'm going to have to just take your word on The Strand. Not only are they poorly organized, they're literally impossible to traverse even in my tiniest of tiny wheelchair.

Posted by: mrw at September 8, 2003 01:35 PM

Last thing, I promise. The old main Oxford location on Cheshire Bridge was, at one point, going to be turned into a Sundance Film Center. Any word on whether or not that's still happening?

Posted by: mrw at September 8, 2003 01:38 PM

It was a pipe dream. I think it's yet another Buckhead bar scene now. Or worse, condos.

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at September 8, 2003 05:44 PM

Yeah, that Sundance thing sounded pretty sweet. I don't know how much of that was idle rumor and how much was solid BS from developers. The location was Pharr Road, though.

Posted by: Scott at September 9, 2003 08:59 AM

Pharr Road. Right. I think it was a pretty solid plan, though. There was a big sign complete with an rendering of the building up at one point. Then again, in the late '90s they had "concrete plans" to put an Angelika across from Phipps. That turned into what is now the Old Navy strip mall.

Posted by: mrw at September 9, 2003 12:45 PM