West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays

Those who regularly visit this site have surely noticed the decreasing frequency with which I have posted updates to this blog. Interesting stories can come out of moving to a new state and getting used to a new way of life, so hopefully you've been occasionally interested and entertained. But as I continue to adjust to my new life on the East Coast, I have fewer and fewer "newsworthy" events to recount here. As a writer, I can also find interesting stories in everyday life, but telling such stories was not the purpose of this blog.

So with the holidays upon us and the close of the year drawing near, this seems as good a time as any to retire this blog. (If only other bloggers knew when to quit.) West has met East.

Happy Holidays to you all, and may 2006 bring everything that you desire.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Miserable Evening

Last Saturday night, CJ treated me to a positively miserable evening.

Heading into D.C. through a snow-carpeted winterscape, we made our first stop at Butterfield 9, a posh restaurant a couple of blocks from the White House. We started with a pair of delicious appetizers, though inattentive service kept us hungry for longer than it should have. CJ enjoyed a succulent Virginia veal confit, while I defrosted with a savory butternut squash soup. Next came a rack of lamb for CJ and a beef filet for me, perfectly paired with a couple of glasses of excellent red wine. We were on a timetable, but found a few minutes to enjoy a piece of blackberry shortcake.

After our meal, we took a stroll through the brisk nighttime air, down to our destination on Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Theatre. With just minutes to spare, we found our seats for a performance of Les Miserables. Though I love theater—whether musical, opera, or stage play—I had never seen this show, called by many the best musical ever. The story, set in pre-Revolution France, dealt with such universal themes as redemption, mercy and liberty. And it illustrated a truth that I firmly believe in, that life is shades of gray.

I’ve owned the CD soundtrack to this show for years, but seeing the music come to life onstage was a truly wonderful experience. In fact, that’s how I would describe the evening overall. Who would have thought a miserable evening could be so much fun?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Snow at Sunrise!

Winter has arrived. We received our first big dump of snow yesterday, and this morning I awoke to this beautiful view. I might be less excited in a half-hour, when I try to drive to work on icy roads. And my excitement will probably wear off by January, when this becomes the norm. But for now, I'm loving it!