Monday, April 09, 2012

Trifecta of Unhappiness

Charlottesville  Half Marathon + opening day of downtown farmer's market + holiday weekend = Patience nearly weeping with frustration in traffic on Water St.on Saturday. Particularly heinous:  the city's placement of the orange cones blocking traffic from turning onto McIntire in a spot where they were invisible to drivers until you were practically on top of them and then had to merge back into the middle lane in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  I don't know, maybe the cones weren't really invisible, and the driver in front of me was just so fucking stupid that he drove right up to them and then had to merge, forcing everybody behind him into the same predicament.

So that was fun.

Since it's spring break/Easter/Passover Charlottesville is clogged with visitors from out of town.  Every day last week, stepping onto the trolley was like being transported to Naples or Managua or Disney World--places that share a common trait of notoriously crowded buses.  There were the usual suspects: vagrants, UVA staff, Asians with suitcases, and now,  tourists, standing frozen faced while the vagrants try to engage them in conversation and the locals smile to themselves.

I can just imagine the conversations at home before people come to Charlottesville:

Let's go to Charlottesville!  We'll tour Monticello and check out this "Downtown Mall" that everybody is talking about. 
I hear they have an Urban Outfitters! 
We'll ride the trolley and ask strangers for lunch recommendations and take up all the restaurant tables, and when we're not in restaurants, or on the Trolley, we'll drive up and down Main St. very, very slowly and when we see orange traffic cones blocking a lane, we'll pull right up to them to see what it's all about.
Sounds divine!

I had an epiphany. One reason I'm not a fan of Easter is the traditional Easter dinner which is so fucking boring.  I hate cooking a ham, or worse, a leg of lamb, with potatoes and asparagus.  Eating this meal is as boring as cooking it.  I turned to my New York Times Cookbook for a more interesting menu suggestion. Their Easter menu:  Monte's Ham, Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley, Asparagus Mimosa.  Et tu, New York Times?  In the end, I did a Spanish menu: Deep Fried Chick Peas dusted with smoked paprika, Pan con Tomate, Potato, Ham, and Piquillo Pepper Croquettes, Marmitako (Basque tuna soup).  For dessert I made strawberry rhubarb mousse specifically because I thought it would give us diarrhea, and thus cleanse us of our Easter feast.  You think I am being facetious, but I'm not.

I was literally cooking all day and the meal was delicious, but the mousse did not have its desired effect, and I feel gross today, which is par for the couse for Easter Monday, also known as Dyngus Day.  I am taking the day off from work, because Seamus is getting his braces.  It was poor planning on my part to schedule the braces for the day after Easter when the house is full of candy, but that's the way the jelly bean crumbles.  It's nice to have an extra day off, even if it does mean spending two hours at the orthodontist's and another two hours at the DMV while Grace gets her learner's permit. 

Szczęśliwy dzień dyngus!


  1. Even as a runner, while I appreciate streets being closed for races, I'm still appalled by the way a few can clog things up for the many. If I weren't a runner, I'd be pretty pissed if it inconvenienced me.

    Good luck with braces today. That was us a year ago and it was a long day. Of course, we still have one more child to go through it with, not to mention my own, but at least it will be a while before I invest that kind of money on my own mouth.

  2. I got a few blocks up Rose Hill on the way to market myself before I realized that my way downtown was blocked....I felt like I was driving around my elbow to get my thumb....Was there any warning whatsoever that this race was going on?

    I found driving on 29 last week almost delightful - it felt like everyone left town, we certainly did. Maybe they were all downtown.

    For years, we have had salmon for Easter Dinner, coated in some sort of pesto (artichoke lemon this year) and while it's usually broiled, this year we grilled. We're not big meat eaters and I really despise lamb, so therefore I refuse to cook it, much to the dismay of the rest of the people that live here, as they apparently love it.

    I've done eaten most of the candy in this house, so a day after Easter braces would work for us. At least I wouldn't get yelled at for having eaten most of the candy.

  3. It's always an unpleasant Monday when you're hoping for diarrhea that never arrives. We had roasted chicken for Easter. Luckily my kids haven't yet figured out that people do special dinners on holidays.

  4. I don't think that there is a traditional Easter meal in the Uk or NZ. We had roast pork, roast potatoes and spinach (cooked in the pork gravy)Delicious.

    I find I stay away from all main centres during holidays. Just too busy.

  5. I was so irritated by the traffic on Ridge St Saturday morning that I finally just pulled over and parked, then walked a few blocks to the market. I might've not saved time, but I needed the exercise and the lessened frustration. Bonus: I wasn't as tempted to buy plants that will certainly succumb to an inevitable late April freeze.

  6. Jen, I'm a runner and I've run several races, so I appreciate that roads need to be closed, but drivers would benefit from advance warning. I knew about the C'ville 10 miler and was able to plan my morning errands to avoid the course. Who schedules races in the same city, two weekends in a row?

    Becky, ha, exactly. Some warning would have been nice.

  7. Even when you're grouchy, you make me laugh.