South Africans have this word, “Ubuntu”, for the concept that we are all interconnected. There has to be a Spanish equivalent to it because the stars from Cataln’s Barco team and the stars from Real Madrid aligned perfectly for Spain’s thrilling finale to 2010’s Copa del Mundo.
We watched this one at home on ABC and our little tv while sipping a World Cup drink that first learned about four or five World Cups ago. That would be about twenty years. It has become our tradition. The recipe was in the paper and it may have included other ingredients but the way we do it is: Wine (inexpensive Spanish Red), lime juice and sugar, served over ice.
We watched Saturday’s runner-up game out in East Rochester, Rochester’s Little Italy, at a place called “Lemoncello”. They have a little café like setting in the front of their building with fresh Italian pastries and a cozy dinning room, bar and stage in the rear. Most the people in this place were watching the game outdoors on the patio on a big projection screen. We nixed that idea right away because the picture was sort of bleached by the sun. They also had a merchandise table out there with t-shirts, jerseys and warm up jackets for most of the big teams, Italy being one of them even though they were eliminated so quickly. We watched the game on a big shiny Panasonic in their dining room while eating calamari. This was a great game with Uruguay coming from behind to go ahead before losing to Germany who we earlier had became convinced were going the whole way. But when Spain took on Germany in the semifinals we quickly realigned our allegiances to our post US favorites, España.
After the game I tried on the Spanish warm up jacket and Peggi took a picture. There was way too much polyester there for me to consider it. I settled on red, yellow and black España T-shirt and Peggi announced that she had a premonition that I must wear this shirt until the game in order for Spain to win. The shirt was a little snug and I was worried about putting it in the dryer so I asked if this meant that I had to sleep in it. I didn’t. When we walked the morning of the game I kept the white T-shirt on that I had slept in. And then, well before game time, I put the shirt on. When it was still 0-0 in the second half I began to worry ithat I had jinxed the team and at the end of regulation I was certain I had. With four minutes left in the second overtime Spain came through!
Hydrangeas around here are either pink or blue. Supposedly the color is determined by ph of the soil but that may just be an old wives tale. They are usually more fun than the truth. I’ve seen pink and blue flowers on the same bush. Maybe the pink ones are boys and blue ones girls.
Richard Margolis . The last time we were in the Pelican Restaurant on East Main we were having lunch with our old neighbor, Sparky. It’s changed names now but not cliental. We sat across from a cop who was eatting bacon, eggs and toast. He was reading the front page story on the sentencing of the former Greece NY police chief. We were meeting with photographer, Richard Margolis, who was just back from Tel Aviv. We were planning to meet in his studio but his air conditioning gave out in the heat. We are designing a book of his photos of Israel public art.
Peggi was supposed to take her mom to the doctor this afternoon but we had to cancel that for the World Cup match. We scurried down to our neighbors house to watch the Spain play Germany. We had seen Germany play four times this tournament and we were convinced they were going to go the whole way but it was impossible for us to route against Spain and we were thrilled to see them win 1-0. It really is tough getting work done during the Copa Mundial.
Spanish people know how to eat, not just what to eat. They kind of excel in both. Some restaurants around here offer what they call tapas but they aren’t. The proportions are way too large. You like that much of one thing, order the dish three times, ya slob!
Tapas in Spain are served over a counter and you eat them at the counter, often while standing. The plates are small like saucers and the silverware is even small sometimes. Maybe the fork only has three prongs or two. If you’re having a beer, a small plate of olives is often served on-the-house and sometimes the person behind the counter may even slide you a complimentary tapa. These small servings take the edge off before dinner and sometimes that is all you need.
We had a small tapas party on Sunday with our friends, Alice and Julio. They brought some, we made one in advance and then made a few while we talked. We ordered Padron Peppers from La Tienda and followed a YouTube chef”s instructions. Although they are a Galician dish we had these for the first time while in Madrid. The place was more cafeteria than bar, brightly lit by fluorescents and was somewhere near Plaza Santa Ana. It was late and we stumbled on it. It looked like it had been there for a century but we could not find it when we returned a few years later. They were sensational.
We watched a documentary on The Crips and The Bloods last night. Forest Whitaker narrated and the funniest part was when they showed how much starch the gangbangers put on there jeans. “Enough to make ’em stand up in the corner with nobody in them.”
I was raised Catholic and like they say,”Once a Catholic, always a Catholic”. I can’t help that. And I love Spain. I love the food, the scenery, the Golden Age of Spanish art. I cheer for Spain in the Copa Del Mundo. I even like the pageantry of bullfighting.
So we watched part of PBS’s “Secret Files of the Inquisition” last night and they were profiling Jacque Fournier who left detailed records of his efforts to purify the Pyrenees. He was a bishop in the early 1300’s in what is now part of France and he was determined to eliminate the Cathars who believed the material world was evil and consequently could not accept Jesus in human form. This documentary depicted the Cathars as about as dangerous as aging hippies. Fournier was rewarded for his efforts by being anointed Pope Benedict XII and the Vatican kept his records secret for 700 years. Of course Ferdinand and Isabel (los Reyes Católicos) finished the job in Columbus’ day and Spain was left with very few Jews or Muslims.
I was falling asleep when they talked about Fournier as Pope so I googled his name this morning and found this entry in the “Catholic Encyclopedia“.
“His natural obesity, too, stimulated caricature and undeserved criticism. But history offers a vindication and testifies that, though he failed to cope successfully with the political difficulties to which he fell heir, his piety, virtue, and pacific spirit, his justice, rectitude, and firmness in ruling, his zeal for doctrinal and moral reform, and his integrity of character were above reproach.”
This is probably similar to how history will rewrite Bush’s legacy.