promise showing.

I know the posts just come and go here like junkies under a highway overpass in an Anthony Kiedis radio ballad, and I apologize. I've got several forces working against me, the majority of them are operating from inside my own body ("The call is coming from inside the house!").

Sickness update: sick. Operating at about 55% power, which is a definite step up from days previous, but still not exactly like being alive. Dennis and I were supposed to go to some sort of manly lunch today while the dames spun off in an artsier direction, but my own coughing ruined my night's sleep and I had to cancel. Bummer, because I was looking forward to seeing what a manly lunch looked like in Amsterdam. In my own manlier days, it used to mean martinis and burgers in a ruby-lit Atlanta cave called the Highland Tap. Here, I was having trouble figuring out where the bad people went to lunch.

As luck would have it, I didn't have to worry about unadulterated manliness because the new schedule hooked us up with the womens down on the Weesperzijde, and that left us with limited options for lunching. We chose the option called De IJsbreker because the other immediate option, Aan de Amstel was way too "mom-ish", not that we don't love moms, because we do, but it just looked too crowded with perky people sitting too close to each other, and none of us really do perky very convincingly.


We've been to De IJsbreker enough times between the two of us to know what to expect: tasty, interesting sandwiches, comprehensive beverage options, and extremely unreliable service during peak dining times. Fortunately, we were here at 15:00, and things were relaxed and manageable.

After a round of hot chocolate, lunch showed up and everyone's food was unexpectedly delicious. Dennis had an uitsmijter with ham and cheese. Jeanie and Mara both had a very fresh-seeming bowl of snert and they split a pressed foccaccia sandwich with chorizo, blue cheese, and roasted red peppers...this was frankly fantastic, like something from a Spanish Pizza Hut. I had a smoked salmon club sandwich with an excellent horseradish mayonnaise, cucumbers, and a subtle mix of young greenery. Really, it was all just about ideal. And remind me again: why don't all sandwiches have three pieces of bread?


We then skedaddled to Muntplein to catch David Cronenberg (and Viggo Mortensen)'s nasty new piece of shattered normalcy, Eastern Promises. I thought it was easily the 2nd-best movie I've seen this year up until the last 15 minutes or so, at which point the editing starting showing its seams and I remembered I was watching a movie. But still, the first 90% of the movie is thoroughly captivating, and Cronenberg's new confidence is really something else. It's still probably the 2nd-best movie I've seen this year, go see it.


The we went to De Zotte for dinner, and it was also totally top-notch as always, including the always-elusive (in our fair city) "service" department. Completely human and pleasant in every way.

Pâté with warm brown bread was received, shall we say, "enthusiastically" by our table, but then this crazy maiskoek contraption came out: two almost crispy cornmeal pancakes, with cheese between them and on top, surrounded by rucola and roasted cherry tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. We ate this in about 4 seconds.

Then, perfectly cooked medium-rare steak with a mushroom jus, and a roasted poussin with squash and potato purees, all accompanied by frites and mayo. Oh yeah, and some of the best beers in the known world. Yes....we made it look easy today.


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