Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winning, Spinning, and Wining

I can recall a Nielsen meeting, back in my earlier tenure with the company in beautiful Schaumburg, IL. It must have been in the spring of 2007 or so. One of the attendees was from England and at the end of the day's proceedings, he jumped online and said, "We have a new prime minister!" Tony Blair had previously hinted that he would be stepping down, and Gordon Brown was ready to take over. My reaction was complete indifference. I saw no way it would impact anyone's life, even my coworker who was so interested in the news.

So it was certainly a surprise to me that Josh and I found ourselves hosting an inauguration party last Tuesday. I've certainly never given a damn about an inauguration before! I remember back after Bushy took over, it wasn't considered polite to talk politics. And especially after 9/11, they had us all browbeaten to stifle our dissent. Whenever someone would utter the slightest comment against Bush, suddenly it was like you and your friend had a secret password or something. It's easy to forget that such a climate was so pervasive, and for a really long time. But here in Buenos Aires, most of the extranjeros are young, and obviously pretty worldly people. There was never fear of coming across a ditto-head who would claim that "Bushy has kept us safe" or some such nonsense.

Anyway, I don't need to dwell on that. It definitely feels different today, doesn't it? We watched youtube videos of Bushy's buffoonery at the party. That I could no longer tell my friends, "That's your president!" was awfully elevating. I didn't think I'd be this excited, but I have had extra bounce in my step in the last week, and it is definitely for Obama. Way to go, America! We're not dinguses anymore. On my way to work the day after the inauguration, I passed a Farmacity (think Walgreen's), and posted in their window was a sign saying "bienvenidos" directly above another one that said, "hope". I can't imagine that this had anything to do with politics, especially of foreign countries, but I'll repeat it anyway... "Welcome, hope!"

So my life has changed here a bit over time. I suppose that was expected. I'm settling in a bit more and finding my way. I didn't realize that I wasn't settled in, but now it seems more clear. We still don't have enough furniture in the apartment, and there are some random things that need to be ironed out, but life is in a bit more of a routine. And that's a good thing. Even though the moneda crisis has worsened due to an increase in the bus fare, Josh's discovery of a reliable lavadero just around the corner has alleviated a bit of that pain. Work is going well; things are great with Belu; the apartment is going well; and Frisbee is picking up. I'm not finding enough time to write, but I am finding some time.

Speaking of Ultimate, we are starting to build up a fledgling league here. This Saturday will be the first official game in the new Buenos Aires Ultimate league. Actually, I don't even know what the heck the league is called! Ultimate Argentina, I think, and here's the new website. I've done none of the work, but have contributed a couple ideas that people seemed to like. Anyway, this Saturday at 18:00, the wily veterans of Discosur will take on my team, Big Red. I may have mentioned this before, but Red means network in Spanish, and we think of our team as a global network of people who dig buena onda, teamwork, and the spirit of the game. We have people from the US, Argentina, Colombia, and Japan already. Who knows, maybe we can eventually cover the globe like the British Empire in its heyday...

In addition to the normal pickup games on Saturdays, we've been having team practices every Wednesday. As we were leaving one of them, Kyla said something about getting some choripán. I had no idea what she was talking about which shocked the entire group (it sounded like a dessert or something). Martín wheeled his car around and took us back to the park. "Andrew, you have to have a choripán." It's basically chorizo (no, not your Mexican variety) on a bun with plenty of fixins. And after a rigorous frisbee practice, it hits the spot. I'm sure we'll be getting more of these on Wednesday nights, even though they're served up by a grimy dude in the park.

I dabbled a bit with a caffeine addiction when I was writing last spring, and now I'm afraid it's a full on problem. Well, not a problem exactly. We have a really kickass coffee machine in the office (it's a Bianchi, Dad). So I get my fix whenever I want without issue. But it could be the start of a lifelong habit. I'd be nervous if I weren't so high right now.

This is the second article about Malbec my dad has sent me recently. I've had my share bottles so far, and plan to have many more. Josh and I have a deal that whenever we go to the grocery store, we pick up a bottle. I'm still having problems with the grocery stores here - I am generally having horrible luck choosing which line to get in. Often times it's the people who "forgot that one thing" or grabbed something, but it turned out to be dirty so they send one of the staff back to find another one. This can take upwards of fifteen minutes. When shopping for the Obama party, the store was virtually empty, but I ended up in the checkout where two cranky ladies had made their purchase, but then decided to return half of their items. This turned out to be a 25 minute problem. Awesome. But anyway, the wine is great, and we downed a bottle in celebration. For more, check out Julia's take on her trip to Mendoza (an excursion her report has only made me that much more eager to take myself).

Finally, I've been a busy blogger lately, though not so much in this space. My apologies, but if you want to read more, head over to Road Games and check out these recent postings:
And at Fighting the Youth:Sorry for the delay here, and sorry for the lack of photos. I'll try to be a better blogger going forward. Saludos!


Josh said...

You...never...had...choripan?! My goodness, welcome to Argentina my friend! This post also reminded me that I completely forgot to respond to your invitation to the inauguration b, but I was sick. Change!

Julia said...

Damn, Josh beat me to it, I can't believe you have never had a Churipan!!!

Reed said...

I should clarify just a bit. I had eaten chorizo, and plenty of it. I'd eaten it with bread and chimichurri. I just hadn't eaten it from a wooden stand in the park. Looking forward to my next gut-bomb!

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