New Office

We have lived in our current home for over thirty years. It is a small ranch with three bedrooms upstairs and a full basement. Prior to moving here, we lived for six years at Hampshire College. We were Directors of Academic Life (DALS) – dolls.

We lived in a big house with many rooms. I was able to have my own office with wood shelves running the span of one large wall. The room had big windows with a view of campus.

Every place I had lived, as an adult, up to that point, I had office space with windows. When we moved to our current house, we needed the bedrooms upstairs for us and our two sons. Because we wanted more space, we had two rooms and a stall shower bathroom built in the basement before we moved in.

I suppose I could have made the boys share a bedroom and then I could have used the remaining room for an office, but it never occurred to me. Instead, the room in the basement without windows became a playroom and the other room, with windows, became my office.

Eventually my younger son started using the playroom as a bedroom, but I still had my office downstairs. His ten-by-ten bedroom upstairs subsequently became a family room. When my older son graduated college and left home, my husband started using his room as an office.

As you may remember, my office and many of my papers, both for my book and personal items going back many years, got ruined in the flood we had three years ago. Since then, I have had mixed feelings about my basement office. It is cold and musty and basically triggering when I go down there.

I have continued to use it but recently we redid my husband’s home office, painting, getting a new desk, file cabinet, and a new rug. This necessitated moving some furniture out of his room and moving a table into the family room. I started using it as a desk. After a while I decided I could turn the family room into a combination office dressing room. We have now begun that process. I don’t’ know why it has taken me thirty-two years to realize I deserve a room of my own upstairs, but I finally can see the street again.

 

Foreign Wives

A few years ago, my dermatologist, Dr. Wyatt, who is my favorite doctor, diagnosed me with rosacea. He recommended a book, The Clear Skin Diet by Alan C. Logan and Valori Treloar. I didn’t try it at the time but last week I started using the recipes and menus in the book. Some of it is based on Japanese cooking and its effect on the skin.

After the first week, I got interested in Japanese cooking and did some Internet searching for cookbooks. One that intrigued me was Rice Paddy Gourmet. It turns out that the author, Joan Itoh, wrote it while she was living in Japan as a foreign bride. The cookbook contained recipes and some of the columns she wrote there,

While in Japan, she formed an organization for women in a similar position to her. Here is some information about the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese which still exists.

Joan Itoh lived in Japan for 17 years. She subsequently left that country and remarried. Besides the cookbook, she also wrote at least one novel. Joan Itoh Burk died in 29023. For more information about her, click here and here.

It is always interesting to me to see how women, when they become wives, try to find meaning and purpose, often, within an constrained space.

National Beer Day

Sorry for the delay in posting. The day for doing that is still a moving target.

Last Sunday was National Beer Day. It celebrates the day in 1933 when low alcohol beer and wine became legal after 13 years of Prohibition. This article discusses what are currently the bestselling beers. That honor goes to Modelo.

Here is a post written February 19, 2020, just before the pandemic, about Mexican beer. I have edited it slightly.

Mexican Beer

Before 1910 most beer in Mexico was brewed by small brewers. In the 1890s big modern breweries developed and by 1899 five firms controlled sixty three percent of the market. By 1910 the major brewers distributed nationally. The companies were vertically integrated, holding monopolies in everything from bottles to the railroads.

Corona Extra is the sixth largest beer brand in America and the top import. Constellation Brands owns Corona and Modelo. Modelo is the seventh largest beer brand. An industry analysis of Constellation stated “Constellation’s story includes … a powerful demographic tailwind. Its core consumer base skews towards Hispanics, a sizable demographic whose primacy will only increase over the coming years. We find it fairly intuitive that Hispanics place a premium on Mexican beer, as it speaks in part to a shared culture and heritage, and in our view, these dynamics are at the heart of Constellation’s superb operating profile…”  There are some stereotypical assumptions in this analysis. For the full analysis, click here.

In 2010 Heineken bought the Mexican brewer Femsa; its brands are Dos Equis and Tecate. The company had a 43 percent share of the Mexican beer market. Dos Equis is twentieth. A German brewer in Vera Cruz created it in the nineteenth century. Tecate is 29th; Since 2013 it has had a 35 percent decrease in shipments. For the  full list of the top 31 brands, go here.

Mexico has a small craft brewing segment. These brewers produce ale; the majority of Mexicans drink lager. Most Mexican craft beer is exported since there is not really a market for it within Mexico. Mexico is third in global exports of beer, most of which goes to Canada and the United States.

 

 

 

 

Worlds

As I mentioned last week, I spent over a week in Montreal, attending the World Figure Skating Championships. The skating was amazing; so many talented people competed.

Ilia Malinin had a unique free skating, completing six quad jumps, including a quad axle. That jump is actually 4 and 1/2 half rotations in the air. It was a phenomenal experience. I have seen Ilia perform the quad axel live both times he did it. At both Skate America in 2022 and at Worlds in March 2024, I also got to speak to him. He seems like a nice and thoughtful young man.

Although I enjoyed attending Worlds, I am on the fence about going to next year’s event which will be in Boston. Montreal, of course, was cold and it snowed. Boston’s weather in March will not be that much better. It was hard to sleep in a hotel for that many days. The food at the Bell Center was often cold and always unhealthy.

I have now attended 2 Skate Americas, 2 USFSA Nationals and 2 Worlds. That might be enough. Next year, I can devote the same week to watching skating, but view it in the comfort of my own home, sleep in my own bed, and have better food.

I am publishing this today, because – believe it or not- tomorrow, I am going to a skating show. On Sunday, my club, the Skating Club of Amherst, has its annual show. There’s a lot of skating this weekend. I am excited to attend and thrilled that I am not performing.