Thursday, February 24 2022
I awoke this morning to the news that Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine for no reason rising anywhere near the urgency of war. This was the outbreak of the biggest war in Europe since my father was there as a young man in 1945 (if my father were alive now, he'd be 98 years old). It's hard not to have a cloud of anxiety hovering over your thoughts when the world's most unpredictable nuclear power careens into insane behavior. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that I'm no longer find myself living in the most unpredictable nuclear power, as I was only fourteen months ago. (All of this tsuris ultimately flows form Vladimir Putin; who will rise to the occasion and slit his throat?)
The weather today had taken a turn for the bitterly cold, but that didn't stop me from taking another stroll up and down the Farm Road this afternoon. I actually made more progress on the my big work-related project. But the amount of reseach and learning required is the sort of the thing that forces me to take plenty of breaks.
This evening, Gretchen and I drove out to the office in Red Hook to pillage some more of the stuff that will ultimately be junked when its lease expires in April. While there, I saw indications that it had been picked over a bit more since I was last there, and probably not just by the only other people who supposedly have keys (Jon and Jason). This suggests that when keys were "turned in" by those in the part of the company being bought by another company, not all of them were actually turned in. Among the things Gretchen and I got today were three office chairs, a ream of paper, several pair of scissors, a tiny portable thermal printer, a tiny full-page scanner, and lots of little things (including a bottle of rice vinegar likely left by Morning Dave). Gretchen noticed all the glass door panels that had been hung as dividers throughout the space and said we should take some of them to build the walls of a mud room on the entrance deck at the cabin in the Adirondacks. There are also two enormous bean bags in the upstairs office that will certainly be thrown away if I don't take them. But we were already out of room in our Subaru Forester.
For dinner, Gretchen and I went to Cancun's, the old-school Mexican restaurant in downtown Red Hook. We were seated in a booth in the cheerful main dining room, surrounded by colorful Mexican scenes in low-relief on numerous surfaces. There weren't many people there on a Thursday night, and in our booth we felt pretty covid-safe despite the fact that our waitress didn't wear a mask. She didn't speak great English and seemed to be delighted when Gretchen switched to speaking with her in Spanish. I ordered the house margarita with no salt, and after first saying she just wanted water, Gretchen actually ordered an alcoholic beverage, if only nominally so: a Corona light. For food, I got the veggie green burrito, sin crema y sin queso. Gretchen ordered spinach tacos similarly vegan. Later, when the waitress tried to interest me in "una otra margarita," I said "Nooooo!" and Gretchen elaborated that we are "demasiado viejo." The waitress got a kick out of that, and soon came back with two shots of tequila for us, on the house. I ended up having to drink most of both of them, but Gretchen managed to gamely sip a little from hers. We were having such a great time that I declared Cancun's "my favorite restaurant." That said, my burrito was a bit disappointing. They seemed to have stopped covering their dishes with a thick pelt of shredded iceberg lettuce, which is one of the things I most love about old-school Mexican restaurants.
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