Day 40 – Umbria; This I Believe…

9 02 2010

Umbria is a great Italian restaurant in SOMA. It’s it only 2 blocks from my office so I often discount it when I think of good Italian restaurant to go to. But it is good!

We took a group of 7 to an early dinner there tonight. The food and service were great… We tried the bruchetta, a variety of entrees and finished with a sampling of desserts – and I was home by 7:30! The Gnocchi was the perfect sized serving and I got to sample both the tomato sauce and the Gorgonzola sauce. The Gorgonzola was very strong – full of blue mold flavors, and the tomato sauce was bright and fresh. Yum! For the desserts, the cheesecake was my favorite, followed by the Tiramisu…

Only 7 more days for me to enjoy desserts before 6 weeks of sugar free, fried food free, days. I’m enjoying it now, while I can. And likely gaining back some of the weight I have lost in the process. I am, however, still fitting into some of my clothes I want to wear, so I’m not feeling too terrible. And I do have 6 weeks of control coming up…

I got home just in time for American Idol, followed by a trip to check in on my new neighbors – they are in the midst of choosing paint colors (tons of blotches painted on walls), buying furniture, and hanging pictures. It’s so great to have good friends so close by!

But my day has not been completely unfocused… I was able to spend a few minutes reading “This I believe”… There were two stories that have stuck with me today.

The first was by Newt Gingrich. He wrote about understanding the rise, prosperity and ultimate fall of civilizations in the past – Mayans, Incas and Romans – and realizing that our civilization, if not led by strong, capable leaders, could end up in a similar demise if handled inappropriately… So scary to think America could fall someday, but I’m sure the Romans for hundreds of years would never have believed it would be possible for them to fall either.

The second was by an Autistic women. She sees ideas and words as pictures or sounds – so for the word Love she would see a mother horse with her colt or hear a Beatles song. She understands examples of what is nice or not nice – hitting is not nice. Giving cookies to a neighbor is nice. But if you were to say “be nice” she wouldn’t know what you meant. She is now a professor and has worked to design Slaughterhouses and Ranches for cows so that they may have the most humane end to life. Amazingly sad, yet so honorary. Being a vegetarian and a animal-tarian (is that a word?), I don’t even want to think of animals going to a slaughterhouse… Yet knowing there is someone out there caring for the way animals are treated, so they do not undergo stress, so they are not panicked or scared, even within the most dire of situations, makes my heart feel good… Good that someone is, and can, look out for those animals going through one of apparent necessity, of loss of life, just to fill the supermarkets and restaurant needs. While this may not be something I want to know much about, I’m so glad to know someone is out there making life just a little better for animals even in the most difficult situations.

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