Sunday, September 25, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 09/24/16: Shoe Inserts and Eye-Popping Photos, Beer Bliss, Is Potato Salad a Salad?

1.  As I walked the path around Greenbelt Lake this afternoon, my feet felt fine and, hoping not to jinx myself by thinking this, I wondered if maybe I have, through trial and error, fashioned the right shoe and the right combination of shoe inserts.  I also thought a lot about taking pictures. Mostly, I questioned the value of the description I read often: "eye-popping" -- or the idea of "make your photographs pop". I'm not ready to post them yet, but I took pictures along the trail that I like because they are not eye-popping, not dramatic, and don't arrest a viewer's attention. They capture quiet moments of light slanting on a tree or dappling the path.

2.  From Greenbelt Lake, I drove down to DC Brau's tasting room.  I wanted to try their recently released Oktoberfest beer and then enjoy some Wings of Armageddon. I loved the Oktoberfest -- I'm not sure I have words for what I loved except to say that because it's a lager, the beer had enough taste similar to the lagers of my youth that I smiled nostalgically, but its flavors were more complicated than Lucky Lager beer, hoppier, while also tasting a little sweet, just as I had hoped it might. If it weren't for the irresistible allure of the Wings of Armageddon, I would have quaffed another Oktoberfest, but I couldn't stop myself and went to the counter, ordered a pint of Wings, and as I carried it back to seat, without even putting my nose to the rim of the glass, I could smell the citrus rising from my beer and my knees nearly buckled with pleasure.  I was in for a pint of bliss.

3.  While I drank my beers, I listened to podcasts I had downloaded. One mini-podcast from the program The Sporkful really delighted me.  The podcast featured a seventeen year old caller. She wanted to discuss her conviction that potato salad, pasta salad, egg salad, ham salad, and other salads of this kind should not be called salads.  The ensuing conversation lasted just under ten minutes and I loved her arguments -- especially when one of the hosts said that if this was a court of law she would have to tell how she had been harmed by a salad that she didn't consider a salad being called a salad. She had a story ready. It happened at her Latin Club potluck She had been told there would be salads at the potluck and she felt she came to the potluck legitimately expecting vegetable salad to be available.  But, no.  Only pasta salad. Had she known that no one would bring a leafy salad, she could have packed her own vegetables to the potluck, and, moreover, if pasta salads were not called salads, no one would have brought one in the first place. They would have known to bring a real salad.  I loved this caller. She was the Sisyphus of food nomenclature. Want to hear this discussion?  Just go here.  (And if I didn't quite get the details of the call exactly right, please pardon me. It's the beer talking.)

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