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Like my brownhouse:
   we never order quite enough Burmese food
Wednesday, November 21 2012

location: Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland

While Gretchen and even Sarah spent time in the kitchen working on tomorrow's vegan feast, I mainly kept to myself, doing little more than visiting my familiar haunts on the World Wide Web. About the only useful thing I did today was walk the dogs in nearby Sligo Creek Park. On the end of one such walk with Gretchen and Sarah, our dogs chased an orange cat belonging to Gretchen's parents' neighbors, perhaps the most multicultural family in the world. The family consists of two lesbians and their adopted children. One of the mothers is Chinese from Indonesia, and while one of the kids is simply Guatemalan, the other is a mix of three different ethnicities from regions spread about equidistant across the globe. Anyway, I ran after the dogs and this led to a situation where Gretchen was happily chatting with the Indonesian Chinese woman while the Sarah, me, the kids, our dog, and their dog all milled about. Eventually their dog found his tennis ball and plopped it in front of us, and so began a loop wherein one of us would toss the ball, the dog would retrieve it, drop it in front of us, Ramona would grab it and run off, and then eventually one of us would throw it again. Dogs who like to retrieve tennis balls never seem to have any other interests. Meanwhile Gretchen was finding out that the two moms of the most multicultural family in the world had actually broken up, but now they were practicing something called "bird nesting," where the kids stay at one house and the two separated parents take turns living there with them. That way the kids don't have to transition between two different geographies on a regular basis.
One great thing to do when one is bored while on vacation is to take a bath. That was one of the two or three things I did this afternoon.
This evening Gretchen's parents took Sarah, Gretchen, and me out to Mandalay, the wonderful Burmese restaurant in Silver Spring. That place is awesome, but for some reason we never order quite enough food when we go there. They make the kind of food you want to split your gut over. I was the only person at our table who ordered a beer, in this case a Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale, which was very good. I've had bad experiences with IPA clashing with various foods I've eaten (particularly french fries with ketchup) but I'm here to report that IPAs work well with Burmese food, particularly if one adds lots of proprietary hot sauce to it.
After dinner, we drove to a Jewish cultural center in Washington to attend a musical biographical play about Woody Guthrie entitled Woody Sez. I'm not a big fan of early 20th Century folk music, especially when it comes with a strong leftie message, but Gretchen grew up on and loves that stuff. So there we were in that auditorium, surrounded by a largely leftie-jewish crowd, while four musicians regaled us with 90 minutes of Woody Guthrie music draped on a thin skeleton of historical narration. The plot was a bit thin and glossed over some of Guthrie's less-savory aspects (particularly the drinking and womanizing). But occasionally the performances were powerful, particularly during a performance of a song entitled "Dust Storm Disaster." I've had some bad experiences suffering through live performances, and though my expectations weren't high, I was pleased that they were exceeded.
Back at the house we had a late snack of soy-based icecream that was so convincing that I could almost imagine becoming as addicted to it as I once was to Ben & Jerry's. (Buckets of KFC and pints of Ben & Jerry's are two of the things I most miss as a vegan.)

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