We went to lunch at A Taste of Thai with our friend Rachel, who works with me in my research group. Rachel had to do some work, so we came back here and attempted to figure out what was going on in Final Destination which was on USA network for some odd reason. The movie seems to have a pretty neat premise, but it's pretty confusing for a meer movie grasshopper as myself. We then went to RZ's, something that's pretty special for me, especially since I haven't been there in maybe nine months. I stopped going because they didn't ahve very good flavors for Itallian Sodas, and since I don't drink coffee anymore, that's about the only thing that's worth it for me tehre at that place. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had several flavors for italian sodas including cherry, so perhaps I'll have to brave the smell of coffee, and frequent the place more often.
To this point, the reader might wonder why I mentioned raw fish? Rachel loves sushi, and I'd never had it before, so we decided that we'd go, and I decided I would indeed take the plunge and try Sushi for the first time. It's was pretty amazing.
I entered the experience with definite trepedation. I don't really even like to touch raw fish when I've caght it, so what was to happen when I ate the stuff? And the seaweed? What was I thinking?
So I started out with the smoked salmon rolls. They had rice covering seaweed, covering smoked salmon and cucumber. They were pretty tasty, and I thought I'd pick the salmon because I've had smoked salmon before. Even though the salmon was cooked, and according to Rachel, not REALLY sushi, I ate it and enjoyed it.
I also ordered tuna sushi, but it was kind of neat that, and I didn't know this, but at most sushi places, you don't get all of your stuff at once. So after I finished the rolls, they brought out my tuna. The first thing I noticed about the tuna, was that raw tuna really doesn't taste like the tunafish you find in a normal everyday tuna sandwich. It tasted really fishy, and I really had to work the rice that was balled up under the fish, into my mouth before it tasted good. The soy sauce did help out, but my mouth still really hurts, and so I had to resort to ginger to deaden the fishy flavor. I still wasn't brave enough, at this point, to try Wasabi (finely ground up horse raddish) because John and Rachel both told me it was hot enough to "clear out the sinuses".
On a recommendation from our waiter, I decided on white tuna next, and that was my favorite of all. All I can think of to describe white tuna is buttery. I don't know how fish can taste buttery, but I guarantee you that this raw fish tasted almost melt in your mouth, and the rice helped out even more to make it more tasty. I think it was at this point, as the waiter and my friends watched, that I tried the wasabi. It wasn't as hot as they said, and actually added some neat flavorfulness to the fish.
On a dare from the waiter and Rachel, John and I decided to really go out on a limb and try something weird. We actually tried octapus. I was expecting rubberiness, kind of like I'd expect with Kalamari, but this was rubbery to an extreme. It wasn't bad, it really didn't have much taste, but I don't think I'd make a habit of eating it. It took me almost too much work to chew the thing much less enjoy it. Rachel commented on the fact that I should consider myself lucky that the octapus didn't have the suckers on it. I have to agree. I declined trying eel next as the octapus was a stretch for sure.
I thought I was done, but the sushi chef wanted to give me some non smoked salmon sushi to try. The first bite almost made me gag. Salmon is very fishy as it is, and raw salmon, even with rice was almost too much for me to handle. Our waiter told me I needed to try it with lemon juice on it and I was amazed at how just adding that juice really helped me be able to eat the stuff. You couldn't even taste the lemon because it had a lot to mask I guess :).
The impression I had of sushi was that (a) it's pretty expensive. For about five bites of tuna for example, Rice Village charged me $5.75 (I think). (b) sushi eaters like to dip things, cover things, and drip things onto their sushi to make it taste not like the real thing. (c) I was glad at times during the meal, that I couldn't see the stuff I was eating. I'm sure it looks pretty, but ... I don't know. I'm just thinkful that the fish didn't start to move as I ate, you have no idea.
I have many pointless pictures of me stuffing sushi into my mouth that I'll show at some point. They say my facial expressions were awesome.
We're planning on going tomorrow morning to a dentist in Fayetteville that Rachel uses to ahve my tooth and gum looked it. It still really hurts, and I can totally tell that the gum is totally stripped back, so the root of my tooth is completely exposed. That's why it probably hurts every two point three seconds and also why I've used probably half a tube of Oragel now. I'll be looking forward to havng the doctor look at it.
We don't know what else we're planning to do, but hopefully it will be fun. I'm going to help the sisters do a lesson tomorrow afternoon, and then tomorrow evening we'll be doing as much home teaching as we can before I leave for Arizona. For those who don't know, home teaching is a way that people in my church reach out to the congregation. All male members have lists of people that they're supposed to contact and set up appointments to meet with them every month. We usually share a short message with them, and most importantly, talk to them just about how they're doing. I really like home teaching because it's fun, and allows me to get to know more people better.
Before I go.
The St. Patrick's Day party at Olivia's house was pretty cool. They had planned to completely clear out the garage, put down a carpet, and then have us eat out there and listen to Irish music. I guess clearing out the garage was too much to do in such a short amount of time. I got to meet some really neat people though, and that made the evening really cool. Harold Chilton is a preacher and musician at one of the Babptist churches nearby here. He came by with his keyboard and speakers, and played for us. I especially liked talking with him about music, chords, and his various stories from being a missionary in the Philipines. I learned lots more about jazz and performing, and got to analyze some of the chord strcture that he used in playing some of the songs he played. Lois Ruth, his wife and I'd call manager, was extremely nice. Melinda is one of Olivia's friends who goes to her Methodist church. She's very energetic, loves to laugh, sing, and tell lots of interesting stories about her church.
Virginia, Rosetta, and her dauter Marcia came a bit later, and I really enjoyed meeting them. They apparently came from another St. Patrick's Day party at a nursing home, and they were, as they said, "just making the rounds". Virginia convinced me, without too much coersion, to eat some of her leftover shepherd's pie. It was awesome, and when I get it, I'm going to post it here so it's immortalized it's just that good. Virginia also has lots of simple and healthy recipes (she's a retired but still working nutritionish), which she told me she would send to me so I'd eat healthy while I'm at Oak Ridge. Rosetta, Marcia's daughter, was quiet, but seemed pretty nice. I found out later that Rosetta has the beginning stages of Alzheimers, but besides having to remind her of my name a couple of times, she seemed pretty sharp. Marcia seems to love her Mom, and love talking about all kinds of things.
I think the reason why I write about all of these people is because they struck me as genuinely nice. They all obviously absolutely love the Lord with all their hearts, and they help to underscore the fact that we are all children of God, and though we may not agree on theology all the time, we do have commonalities. I'm so grateful for that, and grateful that I've made these new friends.
We didn't end up having corn beef and cabbage afterall because it didn't get cooked yet, but ended up ordering pizzas. Oh well, it was worth it to go, even if it was to spend time with Olivia and her boyfriend Lee, and also meet those other neat peple. The Lord blesses me in so many ways, with so many neat people, I am so grateful.
And that is about it. I don't know if this is the longest entry I've ever written, I doubt it, but it sure should rank up there. Let us all reemember those who have died for country and for Iraq's sake on this fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. I don't agree with the war in principle, but I definitely support the troops, and think and pray often for those who have lost family members for the cause, no matter how errant I might think it to be now.