June 26th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances


All is better now. Yesterday's too-much-to-do franticness has subsided and my latin-doing partner agreed to postpone our meeting by four hours, enough time to give me a chance to feel more prepared. The air-conditioning has been restored to reasonableness, we have materials to fill in our mosquito-breeding barrel (courtesy of the landlady who left us said device in the first place), we've managed to have an impromptu deck party, and the plane tickets are bought!

The strike hasn't happened yet but looks more and more likely each day. Happily, the garbage people came around extra early today, so if the strike happens later today, we'll have the longest to wait before there's rotting garbage around people can't be bothered bringing to the collection sites. But maybe it won't come to that either.

As C. predicted (against my hopes an underdog would make it through), it's going to be a German-Brazil World Cup final.

Back to latin.
Fishy Circumstances

The Language of Cheese

Although manufacturers may complain that names like 'parmesan' and 'champagne' ought to designate a generic product of the right ilk by now, I'm still rather charmed by the idea that local names can designate a local product. I don't mind that Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate must be referred to as a being a milk-chocolate-like product. And I certainly don't mind that the EU has just ruled against non-Parma area parmesan makers, saying that it is not "real" parmesan cheese.

In the same vein, I'm often struck by how few cheeses the US bothers with. Cheese is something richly varying and extremely local, at least in Italy, England, and France. There's an astounding lack of variation and creativity in mass market American (or Canadian) cheeses. I'm not saying there aren't good cheese out there... but there's certainly no real tradition of distributing them.
Fishy Circumstances


Now I'm really glad that our garbage was collected first thing this morning: there's now a strike with the city workers and, unless the unexpected happens, it could well last a while. Some spokespeople are fretting over whether or not it'll be over and the city cleaned up again by the time the pope visits in late July. C. pointed out that if we wanted to go to any of the parks, we should do so soon. It's been a remarkably good year for NOT having strikes, actually. I was wondering when a real one would actually happen, and here it is.