...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

August 20th

I am getting all sloppy here...and it's work! Not supposed to...But anyway--I am reminiscing, because you see, it's August 20th, which is the largest national holiday in my honeland, Hungary, being St. Stephen's Day. King St. Stephen was the founder of the Christian Hungarian kingdom in AD 1000, and always had a special place in every Hungarian's heart, or so I think.
And I used to be be all judgemental about the expats who got teary and sad and depressed around this time of the year...Well...it's just amazing what life can bring. Here I am in the great state of Texas in 100 degree weather, in a sales office, and I wish I'd be up at the top of the Castle Hill in Budapest where the traditional fair is held with all the craftsmen and dancers and performer groups, eating freshly baked bread, looking at pottery and handmade lace and forged goods (yes, usually with at leat one working forge)...MMM...
Granted, it was terribly crowded, and the crowd increasingly became more and more rude as the years went by...but it was still the bestest point of the summer's end. So I was looking at the online reports from it, and I got sloppy for a moment there.

I will also miss the fireworks. See, fireworks used to be real magic when I was a kid. We only had one, I repeat, one fireworks event every year: August 20. Granted, under the communists they called August 20th the "Celebration of the Constitution and the New Bread" ::shudder::, but we still had the 0900pm lightning show over the river Danube, which for long years, due to the lucky location of our apartment, we could watch from our balcony. In later years, the holiday got its original name back, the fireworks became longer and spiffier, and we moved...so the last few ones I'd only seen through boradcasts. Except the one where (was it 1999?) we went out to the banks of the Danube with about a hundred thousand more BUdapestians to see it from there, and got into the biggest trafic jam of the city's history--on foot. We felt from time to time that the crowd would just overwhelm us...there were some really tense moments as everybody tried to go home at the exact same time at the end of the show (go figure...) but then everybody realized that there simply was not enough space. The banks and the small streets that enclose it were NOT designed for crowds. Some friends with a more evil mindset than mine own suggested it was consciously done at the end of the last century by the Habsburgs, wishing to avoid potential places where rebellious Magyars can congregate...and the 40 years of occupation by Russians just reinforced this landscape design.

But at the end we got through the bridge over the Danube and the crowd thinned out. We could walk then, hand in hand, on the strangely quiet streets, under the stretlights, with some folks who were doing just the same...That night was the night of holding hands and being all smiley and happy. it was good.

So that's August 20th for me: crowds, hot weather, loud craftsmen selling beautiful handmade pottery, honeycakes, woodcarvings and traditional felt hats, dancers in their colorful costumes, fireworks over the river cascading down like colored lace on black velvet...and all over it the scent of freshly baked bread, and the memory of harvests and traditions a millennia old.

Monday, August 11, 2003

3rd Anniversary

Well, time indeed does fly... I was totally lax in my blogging last week; thus did not even mention the fact that we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 6th. We had a nice dressed-up dinner at Jeroboam's at dowtown Dallas--great French cuisine of the pure and simple sort, surprisingly affordable and excellent (my only complaint was the little bit too salty sauce on my venison chop, but Russ's yellowfin tuna was to die for). Anyone who ventures there: the creme brulee is absolutely heavenly! Just the right amount of sweetness, you can taste the real heavy cream in it, and the caramel crust on top has just that right touch of dark and dusky flavor that signals that this was indeed cooked on the fire, but not burned because someone watched it very, very carefully.
So after consuming this exquisite dinner without completely emptying our collective purses, my sweet husband took me up to the 51st floor of the Bank of America tower where he works, and showed me the world...well, at least the slice of it that is visible from there, and it's more than I've ever seen short of peeking form an airplane. Now, I don't have the complete agorafobia my dad has, but I must confess that after about one and a half minutes, I had to step away from the sheet glass. Dallas at night, from a skyscraper is breathtaking, literally. Russ says when it is clear and daytime, one can see Ft. Worth in the distance as well.
So: three years in marriage, five years together (counting our 'heroically long engagement' as Russ called it from the beginning)...here is to you, my love, and to all the many years to come!

Friday, August 08, 2003

And yet another Friday...

Time DOES fly...especially weekends. Fridays, on the other hand, seem to drag on.
This here place I work, for example. My boss had the excellent idea to introduce a weekly 'debrief' conference call, as he calls it, in addition to the Monday regualr conference calls. I have to take notes. On both of these; then consolidate, type up, and email it to the participants.

Did I mention this Friday call is at 1600???? Until further notice????

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Long time No Blog...

Yes, I know...for the (maybe) two people who read this, I just did not have time. Since (shame on my head) I mostly blog in my copious free time at work, and well, I did not have much of that in the past week, I had no opportunity to post. On the weekends, as I spend practically 98% of my office time in front of the screen, I try not to use the 'puter much either.

So: I am through with the three available volumes of G. R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series; trying to determine if I hallucinated when I thought I've seen Feast For Crows in hardback in the McArthur Barnes&Noble...given that I haven't seen it on either amazon.com or on the online B&N site...I might have been. I was repeatedly shell-shocked by the series of dramatic, disturbing, beautiful and terrible event that befell the characters in this trilogy (will be strictly 6 books, or so Mr. Martin promises)--my hubbie and my roomies were looking at me much amused as I wandered around the house with this glassy expression on my face murmuring some ancient Hungarian curse under my breath, referring to one of the more dramatic ways in which Author-in-question finished a chapter (or finished off a character). Yes, in this series people die when they make too many stupid decisions.
Yes, I liked Aliens too, for precisely the same reason. Also Pitch Black. But I am known to be weird.

In other news, Russ has returned from the pleasantly warm Notheast, being an instructor at the yearly ISMAC event at Lansing, MI; translated this means that he taught people how to hit each other on the head with an axe, while his teacher taught people how to hurt each other with Western body movements. Apparently, they had huge fun: some of the organizers want them back next year, some of the participants never, ever want to see them again. And they are threatening the world with launching a new website: Roaches of the Intellect...I shiver!