You've just gotta love the blues. After work today I listened to South Carolina blues woman Wanda Johnson sing a few songs, backed up by Shrimp City Slim - down at the Mills House on Meeting Street. The place was packed (hey, it was a free show) - the drinks were flowing - and Wanda was great (as always). I saw her for the first time several years ago, as part of the Lowcountry Blues Bash. It's the last few days of performances, but I'm sure glad that I got to sit for awhile and listen to Wanda sing before it's all over for '07. From what I've heard about Wanda, she writes most of the lyrics to the songs she sings - and all I can say is that she must have a mighty fine man...
But today wasn't so much about the blues as it was about pie. Key Lime pie. Tomorrow is my mother's 72nd birthday, and since Key Lime pie is her favorite dessert, I couldn't resist ordering her one of Sublime Pies and Cakes' award-winning pies. Sublime doesn't ship just yet, but when I arrived there at 10 am this morning to pick up the pie, the Pie Queen herself was there - and my pie was frozen, vacuum-wrapped, and I was given precise instructions on how to ship the pie to my mother. First, I had to get the $4.99 styrofoam cooler from Publix, and while I was there, I needed to get 5 lbs of dry ice (I got a little over 8 lbs). The pie, which was in a cardboard box, went into the cooler first, then I added the dry ice, and then some packing material. Now, finding someone to ship the pie was a bit more challenging - I stopped by the UPS Store next to the Publix, and it ends up that they don't have Saturday delivery to my parent's zip code in Virginia. Hmmmm. Luckily FedEx would deliver it overnight - but first the styrofoam cooler had to be packed into a cardboard box. All I can say is that tomorrow at some point in the morning, my mother is going to receive a very large box that contains a normal-sized pie. I'm guessing that when my mom takes her first bite of her award-winning birthday pie, she'll have to ask my father 'I wonder how much it cost to do this' and she'll shake her head like she's thinking her daughter is a nutcase. But I'm also guessing that she'll love the pie.
But I couldn't resist - the pies are beyond delicious - and the Pie Queen herself was about as nice a person as I've come across in awhile (so go and order a pie, 843-225-LIME). In fact, I became a fan of her little store and bought another pie on the spot - one that I took back to the lab where we renamed it New Guy Pie in honor of the postdoctoral fellow's first day. I am so thrilled that the New Guy is here - and was even more thrilled that he was anxious to get things going - and I had to laugh when he said that folks where he was working, back in Maryland, told him that he'd get sick of academic life real fast because everyone in his new lab would be nerdy and arrogant. Okay, well, maybe a little nerdy and arrogant (okay again, some might say alot nerdy) - but I had to laugh since Katherine was off with her husband to a poetry event in West Virginia and Maria spent the day with her hair in a gazillion braids in preparation for an 80's party she was going to later (where I'm guessing she'd convince folks to do the salsa) and Ben was pondering whether his broccoli seedlings were surviving the cold and I had just spent the entire morning figuring out how to mail a pie. I think the New Guy, who claims to be a jazz musician and sculptor, will fit in just fine.
So on the way to hear Wanda sing, I stopped off at LimeBlue and gave Jeff a piece of New Guy Pie and petted his dog Janie. Jeff told me about something he had heard on one of the morning shows, where they were interviewing a guy who was talking about what would happen if oil-degrading microorganisms were released into the world's oil reserves/reservoirs. This guy seemed to think that microorganisms were going to biodegrade all of the world's oil, disrupting an already disrupted power base, reeking havoc on the planet. Jeff couldn't remember if the microorganisms were native ones or if they were genetically-engineered - but he thought it sounded silly and I'd have to agree. In theory it's a fantastic tale of microbial might, in reality it'd be a hard sell. Plus, I've heard that 10% of oil gets damaged already in the refining and transport process - in other words, microbes are there already. But if they were close to 'eating up' oil - all 3,000 plus compounds found in oil - then there'd be far less of the stuff contaminating the planet as it is. I'm sure thought that a few folks heard this guy and were terrified and pondering the evil microorganism and it's erradication. Heck, don't they know that if microorganisms weren't around, oil wouldn't have been made to begin with? Any anyway, I'd personally like to engineer a microorganism that degrades plastic - I think we need to get rid of 90% of the stuff.
Anyway...just so no Key Lime pie-eating microbes take over in the next 24 hours, my mom should be enjoying a fine piece of pie tomorrow afternoon for her birthday.