My weekend

Oct. 11th, 2004 01:27 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
[ profile] m_shell and I went up to Northampton (which is apparently sometimes called "Noho," for reasons best known to ... total weirdos) to visit [ profile] sineala and [ profile] lysimache in their new apartment.

Their new apartment is totally fabulous -- it's tucked under the roof and has fabulous windows and a hardwood floor and a kitchen that I wanted to take home with me, although I don't know where I would put it. So so pretty!

Anyway, we drove up on Friday night, getting stuck in traffic in NJ. Traffic was basically stopped for seven miles because someone had stalled in the left lane on the NJ Parkway. Because, see, then people had to merge, which as we all know is an abomination and anyway merging is something other people do and we don't need to bother because we always go first. We passed a lot of landscape that would probably be very pretty in the daytime, and a lot of not-so-pretty things (um, Hartford?), and the ridiculous Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, and basically didn't eat dinner (unless Pringles and Luna bars and bananas count). We arrived in N'ton after eleven, stayed up and chatted with [ profile] sineala and [ profile] lysimache. And with Greta.

And they showed us around Northampton, which is all cute and New Englandy with victorians and really nice fall foliage. And it's all arts-y, which is totally cool, and has that small-college-town vibe. Whee! Plus, any town with that many bookstores must be okay. Especially when the bookstores have organic fair trade espresso bars inside. We got briefly distracted by the weirdest dollar-store sort of thing ever, Acme Surplus, which sold many kinds of tape and rope and rubber mallets and crayons and Hunchback of Notre Dame stickers in German and Portuguese Crest toothpaste and silk kimonos and chenille gloves. Heh.

And we went to the Rice Pudding place for lunch, where the sign said they had twenty-one flavors of rice pudding, but they actually didn't. They had twenty-three flavors of pudding, but three of them were tapioca, so either way you look at it the number was wrong. I tasted many kinds of pudding, having gotten over my whole thing about tasting things and asking questions. I even tasted the varieties that they had just for tasting as tests. And then I asked the woman what she'd advise -- I wanted butterscotch and what would go with that? So I ended up with butterscotch and chocolate hazelnut pudding. Because rice pudding and a veggie hotdog make an excellent lunch, right? *g*

Then back to the apartment, and then off to an orchard, where we got cider donuts (mmm, cider donuts. with cinnamon and sugar! yay) and a 5 pound jar of local apple-blossom honey (it was only $13!). And once again, I was all "foodie asking for advice," because I asked the woman who was working there to tell me all about the kinds of apples I didn't know. And then I asked her what her favorite cooking and eating apple was at that moment ("at that moment" being important, as apple flavors vary throughout the year). She recommended spartans because they were just getting sweet, and so they were crisp and semi-tart semi-sweet. So we got a half-peck of those. They're really neat -- very yummy, and with an interesting entirely white flesh -- no yellow at all. Which I speculate may be the reason they're called spartans. Regardless, they are tres yummy, and we ate three of them on the drive back from MA. La. I may not end up having enough of them left to cook with. Mmmm. Semi-crisp, with a tart after and a sweet fore. Lovely.

And then Jen drove us through Amherst so's we could see UMass (all high-risey and not really pretty at all; Smith in N'ton was way purtier) and so's we could see Emily Dickenson's house (pretty, which is good since she never left it). And then to the apartment and played with Greta and pondered dinner. We ended up going to a place that makes their own pasta fresh, where I had pesto and chicken on black pepper fettucine. Nummy. And then ice cream at Herrell's, the famous ice cream place where oreos were first put into ice cream (as my mother said, "I'm not sure that improves the ice cream..."). Anyway, the ice cream was good -- they make their own, and I had cider sorbet, the rice pudding having dairied me out for the day. It was very, very cidery and good.

And then we watched the high points of the OaT movie, where no clowns on trampolines fire machine guns. Which is sad. I guess they were trying to be all Serious and stuff.

The next morning, we had cider donuts, homemade apple sauce, and apple cider for breakfast. So there was kinda a theme. And then we hung out and chatted and petted Greta's belly. One of the things we chatted about was the origin of the name "Biff" -- what it's a nickname for -- and so Jen googled it. And found nothing. Which was sad. And then Jen made us coconut soup for lunch. Yummy!

Eventually, though, we had to leave. We got sandwiches on the way out of town and then drove for a very. very. long time. The landscape is quite pretty, when you can see it.

This morning, I checked some baby name books, and found nothing. And so then I went to the Q&A Cafe, where you can chat live with a reference librarian, and the phrasing sounds kinda like porn, but, while reference librarians are hot, I think very few people get turned on by discussions about encyclopedias. Anyway. The reference librarian couldn't find anything, either, so she forwarded the question on up to the Big League Reference Librarians. It just seems so odd that it's not in any baby name books, since it was so popular in the 50s. And now it's preying on my mind. And yes, I am a big dork. But dude, don't you want to know where it came from? Why "Biff?" Why'd it take off? Why did it die a painful death?


eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

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