Archive for March, 2023

March Madness

Sunday, March 26th, 2023
Another gorgeous sunrise

The Razorbacks made it into the Sweet Sixteen of March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, and John figured out a way for us to watch it on television – alas, they didn’t win but we enjoyed watching the first half! I made a quick video call to my old friend Gordo during a timeout. He and I won the Dillard’s pool many years ago, and the tournament always makes me think of him.

Wednesday after work, we visited with Mara’s dad Mark Sloan and his wife Michelle Van Parys, both fascinating artists. Mark spoke highly of his visit to Hendrix a couple of years ago when an exhibit he curated, “Southbound,” was hung at our Windgate Museum. Small world note, Mara’s husband Ben has a great-uncle who was president at Hendrix when I attended — what are the odds of that?! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to chat with both of them.

Friday was a local holiday. Lea came for early morning coffee, then I met Jenae for lunch up the street. We chatted for a couple of hours, then I went to the Museum of Popular Art across the street from her apartment. It’s a tiny museum but they had a fascinating exhibit of ponchos.

Poncho of babies

Yesterday I went by the flea market to see Tony and give him a bagful of bubble wrap (he was thrilled) – he gave me a decorated tie in return. I found this gem that I want to bring home (but didn’t):

I finished Joan Didion’s “Slouching toward Bethlehem” and started “Demon Copperhead.” John and I watched “La La Land,” a film we had avoided for some reason but enjoyed — although it was not the “feel-good” movie we thought it was going to be. But still fun.

Here are a few more ponchos.


And it’s still hot!

Sunday, March 19th, 2023
Old Ford

When John and I were in Buenos Aires in 1996, we saw a ton of old Ford Falcons – there was (is?) a big Ford plant in Argentina, and even in the 90s, they were everywhere. We don’t see as many on the streets today, but we were alongside this one on our way to work this week. I think it’s a Falcon (or maybe a Fairlane?). Anyway, it’s always fun to see them. We also reminisce about the old parking meters we saw back then that were manufactured in Arkansas.

Yesterday I went on an adventure with Mara and her baby Magnolia – I drove the 4Runner for the first time in years and took her to the airport (about an hour outside of town) to pick up her dad and stepmom. She and I both have a bad sense of direction and I was a bit worried about driving the 4Runner after so many years, but we made it fine thanks to Google Maps. Later in the day I walked up to see the dogs for adoption, then John and I delivered some food to our colleague whose wife just had a baby (the baby is only a few days old and just adorable).

Last Sunday Lea and I went for sushi. We met again for Italian around the corner from our apartment at La Locanda to celebrate her birthday – nice cozy place with good food and fresh pasta.

We watched the American version of “A Man Called Ove” last night (“Otto” instead of “Ove”) and thoroughly enjoyed it. We loved the book and the Swedish version of the movie, too, and thought they did a nice job of the US version. We continue to enjoy “Shrinking” and we started the new season of “Ted Lasso.”

Another beautiful sunrise!

Enough with the heat!

Sunday, March 12th, 2023

The heat wave here continues! No bike riding for us this weekend as temps have hit the high 90s. I did get in a ride early last Sunday, then met Lea for lunch at a coffee shop in the early afternoon.

Work seemed busier than usual this week – it’s the time of year when lots of reports, employee evaluations, and award nominations are due on top of our regular duties. The consular section hosted a consular corps reception at Bosch Palace Friday afternoon that was a nice break; our consular colleagues from other missions are fun and interesting, and it was nice to get to know them.

John and I watch the fun (but violent at times) Bollywood movie, “RRR” – really fun (one of the songs is nominated for an Oscar). We’re continuing to watch the excellent “Shrinking” and “The Liaison,” plus we started the Korean series, “Little Women” last night. I finished reading “The Secrets of Happiness” (meh) and have started Joan Didion’s collection of essays, “Slouching toward Bethlehem.”

Catching up

Sunday, March 5th, 2023

I split my time this week between being back in the office and finishing up my DC project from home. We had a DC visitor this week who came to help us with some team building exercises – the other managers and I took him for drinks after work on Tuesday, then Lea and I had dinner with him on Thursday.

Yesterday John and I went to a party upstairs on the (mostly enclosed) roof in our building (the “zum”), hosted by our friends Mara and Ben. Gorgeous views from there! They were celebrating the anniversary of their meeting at a “jorts” party (jean shorts) – it was a fun afternoon chatting with work friends and meeting some new people from other missions.

I finished Graham Greene’s “The End of the Affair.” Ann recommended a new Apple TV show, “Shrinking” and we just love it – the creators of it are also writers/creators of “Ted Lasso.” Really cute.

Not much else to report this week!