Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Of rain, running, corn and Bieber.

Around the 10th of August, I declared summer to be over for Belgium after we had a day of grey, wet, and 15 degrees.  Those around me gasped as though in speaking these words I'd just set a curse on the sky.  Only now are people around me beginning to agree with me that our only chance of more nice weather is an Indian summer.  Even if the weather picks up a bit, summer is over for me either way, since it's not summer in my eyes if it's not above 27 degrees Celsius, and this is quite unlikely to happen here.

It hasn't stopped raining for 3 days.  The first day I tried to pretend that nothing was happening, and went running at the track.  Of course, I was the only one there in the downpour.  It was crucial for me, however, to see how my ankle has been healing up since that crappy sprain 4 weeks back.  I wasn't willing to wait for dry weather, and I needed a good flat surface to give it a go.  After sploshing through 5k at a moderate pace, the ankle began to hurt and I chose not to push my luck.  It seems if I'm doing anything on the 5th September (if I even have that day off from work,) it will be the 7k.  I was hoping for better a greater distance after 4 weeks of healing, but I've learned the hard way to listen to my body and respect the signs it gives me, no matter how impatient I am.  I'm pretty hopeful that I'll be back to 10+km runs in a few weeks.

After running in the downpour, I must say this: My lululemon running jacket is amazing.  I said this about it after running in the winter, in the Canadian snowfalls and so on, that "they thought of everything." and really I can say now after running in the pouring rain, they really did.  The drips of water coming from my chin didn't trickle into the interior of the jacket because of how the closure at the neck works.  The long sleeve-shields allowed my hands to remain dry, and still offered the choice of warmer or cooler ventilation.  The vents on the sides of the jacket don't really let water in when open, though let's face it... you're sweating and hot, so eventually you'll still be damp inside even if you open them to let some of the heat out.  The hood stays put while running, and because of the design, running in the rain with an ipod in one of the pockets was no problem.  It's neither too hot nor cold.  It works like it should.  Go lululemon!  I think I've been happy with everything of theirs I've bought so far, and I really hope they keep designing intelligent garments like this one.

And now I'm going to talk about eating corn, and Justin Beiber.  Crucial stuff, so brace yourselves people.

Firstly: I understand this may make me decidedly easy to label as a N. American, but I love this time of year because the corn harvest begins.  For me, this means I'll be tasting all the sunshine of summer packed into little golden kernals, in neat rows on a cob.  My boyfriend, and most Europeans I know are, well... kind of grossed out when they hear that many of us in North America enjoy eating corn on the cob.  I wonder if they can't get over the idea that corn on the cob is fed to livestock, and therefore think it mustn't be fit for people.  Thing is, cows and pigs can't select a ripe cob from the green ones, boil or grill them to the perfect consistency, put sea-salted butter on them, and then sprinkle them with black pepper - and that makes a world of difference.

Despite the disdain it meets here, millions of people do know that corn on the cob is delicious, evidenced by the many forms of "corn skewers" available on the market, and even by the fact that my euro-grocery store now offers a (very limited) selection of corn cobs along with their seasonal produce.  I don't care if the girl at the cash register in Delhaize looks at me funny when I'm buying it, and I don't care if you want to judge me for it (since it's mostly European readers on this blog.)  You must not know what you're missing... or maybe you have never had a properly selected, cooked, and seasoned cob, so when you tried it it was crap to you.  Or maybe you did have it, and just didn't like it.  Either way, I'll profit from that: more for me. :)  I had my first cobs of the season for lunch today, and mmmm, they were good.

Last up: Justin Bieber.  A Canadian cultural export I sincerely do not like.  Mind you, today I stumbled across this.  One of his songs time-stretched to be 8 times longer in duration than normal.  It's like Sigur Ros meets Dead Can Dance.  In working with sound I have recycled things I hate (Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey,) slowing them down, cutting them up, and inverting them in order to turn them into loops and beats I like, but I have to say that the simple act of time-stretching the song (slowing it down without the downward pitch-shift that normally accompanies the slowing down of sound,) turns it quite impressively into something entirely different, pretty epic, (and much better) than the original.  Go on, give it a go.


Mons Ben said...

I'm a European, just, and can vouch for the tastiness of corn on the cob. I used to eat loads when I was growing up. Lots of melted butter on it is a must. A very good starter it is too. Ignore the Belgians. If it doesn't bleed, they won't eat it!

Efrutik said...

It's getting cooler here in US too, well at least my part that is. Which is a welcomed thing...although, occasionally it is a sauna out there, but I don't go out much so it's fine by me. Now on to corn. Really, I didn't even know I disliked corn until not too long ago. There is just something about it...the texture, the look, that odd yellow color and most importantly WTF is it in everything here in the States (pardon my flowery language) ? Really, it bugs me. Although I will admit that I used to eat it in my Chipotle, but then I cam to my senses. As for Bieber guy, I'm so glad he is not American, I thought he was. Sorry ;)