Monday, May 18, 2009

In With The Cold, Out With The Brit

Ok, so maybe it's not that cold.

At long last, cooler winds have descended upon Buenos Aires and Casa Cochabamba. The cold, rainy weather we had heard would come months ago finally came, and quite honestly, I'm not thrilled. Early mornings, however relatively few they may be, have become unbearable. Even with a now-functioning hot water heater and radiator, I emerge from my shower around 7:30 AM needing a jacket to keep from shivering all the way to my room, where the pain of getting dressed is akin to a rite of passage that rhymes with reenrage smirkskumskission (read: painful). A sweater or jacket is now necessary for the full day, not just when leaving the house. (Brief aside: My work wardrobe screams "business casual", usually consisting of jeans or khakis, occasionally donning some nice gray slacks, with at least a polo shirt, but usually a long-sleeve button-down shirt that would be appropriate for any night jaggerbombs. One building requires an access card, while I can walk in and out of others without so much as an odd look. True, there are plenty of suits coming and going, but the majority of workers remain informal, so I usually fit right in. Except one brisk day, when I decided to wear a track jacket instead of a sweater - I didn't even make it half way to the elevator before the security guard asked me where I was going. Maybe it's time to find a more professional coat option...) Last week, we had multiple days in a row of cold, dreary weather that made me long for spring in New England. I'm not saying it's unbearable by any means, but rather, my previously held dreams of evading winter's icy breath for more than a year may be of the pipe persuasion.

No, not that kind of pipe.

Luckily, it wasn't too cold last Friday night when I lit up the parrilla in my first bout as head griller of a grand asado in honor of Jess's last weekend in Buenos Aires. I can't take all the credit - Ulises and Nick provided much needed support. But by and large I was in charge of cooking meat for the masses, and masses there were. I would say the head count topped off at 50 when the house was at it's most crowded, and thanks again to the fact that the rooftop was a bearable locale, all those people were spread between both floors so it wasn't too crowded. Granted, when the food was out on the table and those greedy pigs surrounded it like pigeons landing on an old man handing out bread crumbs, the bottom floor resembled a boliche. Luckily for me, as the first person to see the cooked bits of beef, pork, chicken, and sausage, I could reserve specific morsels of juicy goodness and only had to push through the artery-block of people to gain access to the fixings (shout out to Phil who made a delicious red-pepper sauce that really hit my spicy taste buds). Once people dispersed from the table area, which of course coincided with the end of my tour of duty on the parrilla, the downstairs cleared out a little bit, more people migrated upstairs (for space and a spot next to the heat producing parrilla) and speakers started blasting electronic music (louder than it should have) on both floors.

Well, maybe not that crowded.

We decided to start politely ushering people once five-thirty rolled around, tired from more than seven hours of cooking, hosting, and general revelry. Everyone seemed to have a great time, most important of which was the guest of honor and the fiesta's raison d'ĂȘtre, Jessica. She departed lovely Buenos Aires to return back to Foggy London Town on Monday after spending nearly a full year in our fair city. When all is said and done, she definitely will be nominated for "Best Supporting Actress in Our Blog", and who knows, she may walk away with the award. Her resume includes (sorry if this reads like a biography from a high school Shakespeare production, I swear it's not what I intended): being the reason why we live in Casa Cochabamba, my most consistent Lexulous nemesis and first friend from England, the titles "Bringer of Cheer and Merriment", "Official Supplier of Marmite", "Fastest Speaker Known To Man", and "Guvna' of The House", member of Super Hands, champions of the Monte Hermoso Beach Ultimate 2009, devoted Cadillac, dance instructor to Santi, volunteer at ACORN, and newsletter writer at WIKD. She is an enthusiast of pesto, dancing til the wee hours of the mourning, and buena onda. She will be sorely missed at Cochabamba 478, and I genuinely hope that we cross paths somewhere down the line. We got a new female roommate, and while she is incredibly cute, she will ultimately fail to fill the void left by Jessica. But onward and upward, chin up guvna'.

Governor? Yes, for now. Guvna'? No way.

Not So Quick Post Script: You know what is the problem with commencing the writing process 4 days ago? First, it gives Julia time to write 10 million posts in the meantime, while mine is buried at the bottom since it's published by the date I started writing. Secondly, it gives conditions on the ground time to change; the past two days in Buenos Aires have resembled summer with plus 25 degree Celsius weather - that's above 75 degrees Ferienheit for all you out there unfamiliar with Celsius.

What's funnier is that my blog-posting gaffes are nothing compared to the upcoming midterm elections in Argentina, which have been moved up to late June instead of late October due to the crisis. However, the representatives-elect will still talk office in December, just as if the elections had taken place in October. Amazing, right? Doesn't it make more sense to get these newly elected public officials into office on an equally expedited schedule, seeing as the elections were moved up in order to combat the current state of affairs (or so they say), instead of heeding the traditional one that was trumped in the first place by, no less, the wife of the very President that banned the moving-up of elections in the first place? Doesn't that defeat the so-called purpose of holding early elections? Does any of this make any sense? Who are they trying to fool with these games? Can you imagine if that were the case in the US, especially with this last election? If the election had taken place in late August, much less July - I know, at both of these points neither party had held their conventions and thereby had yet to officially put forth a candidate, but bear with me - there is a very strong chance that John McCain would be President right now and (gulp) Sarah Palin would be Vice-President. Without the economic crisis hitting hard in September, and John McCain's subsequent mismanaging/playing politics with the situation, he could very well have emerged victorious. What a thought. Even though the US electoral system has it's shady attributes (easily hackable electronic voting machines, all types of voter fraud, etc), I think we've got this one right.

The weather may turn back to the cold we experienced earlier this week, for the forecast predicts rain alllllll weekend, which reminds me, Happy Memorial Day everyone! We, too, have a three day weekend, thanks to one-half of the two-part Argentine independence, because let's face it, one day just isn't enough. We need a Constitution Day, End of the Revolutionary War Day, or We Burned The South To The Ground, Stunted Their Economic Growth For Decades To Come, And Left Blacks Out To Dry By Failing To Enforce The Reconstruction Acts But Preserved The Union Day, or something like that. Let's make this happen people, YES WE CAN!

Also, I will not go all Maureen Dowd on you and not give credit where credit is due, and admit that my photos and captions were very much inspired by those included in our friend Andrew's blog posts reviewing the new Star Trek movie. If you haven't read his blog yet, please do (if for no other reason that it's his birthday), he's much better at this stuff than we are. Also, I used this same joke (Maureen Dowd and plagiarism) in commenting on one of his three blogs, so you can see how uncreative I am. Beat that joke to death, baby, no mercy!


Reed said...

...and when you finally see the movie depicted above, you can then drop the line "Give me your clothes" - since it's cold. Heehee. I'm terrible.

Anyway, let me be a witness for a second. That was one helluva party. Two days later at frisbee everyone was talking about how much fun they had.

And thanks for the shoutout (linkout? whateveritscalled). You're too kind and I am constantly have an awed respect for this blog. You guys are the best ex-pat bloggers I know. Tons of great postings all the time.

Austin said...

BUSINESS CASUAL!!!1!!one!!@!1!!!!

Josh said...

More expert wit on display. Thank you, Austin.