Erin and I have been

Oct 7, 2001

Erin and I have been lucky to quickly meet new friends here in North Carolina. Many of Erin’s classmates share our interests and experiences; there are many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and others who like to travel and talk about social issues around the world. One couple is especially close to us. Becky, like Erin, is a student in the maternal and child health program. She’s from the Pacific island of Saipan. Her boyfriend, Blaine (he’s from California, and like me, unemployed), has joined her here. Last week, when I was in Cleveland, Blaine was kind enough to babysit little Anna while Erin went to class. Last night, Erin and Anna and I met Becky and Blaine at the university to watch the women’s volleyball team take on Florida State; if the noise that the small crowd made for this exciting game is a sign of cheering to come at the UNC basketball games, we’re in for some great sports action.

Today, Blaine and I went to nearby Durham for the annual World Beer Festival, and even though the rainy day had us shivering, we kept warm by tasting a tenth of the 300 beers available. My favorites included Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout, Wild Goose’s Oatmeal Stout, Goose Island’s Lamar St. Golden Ale (this one’s from Chicago), Harpoon’s IPA, and a beer from the island of my youth, St. Croix, called Blackbeard Ale. I tried a mango flavored beer that was too sweet, but Carolina Beer Company’s Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale was excellent. This may be sacreligious for a Zuiker to say—what with the strong tradition of ballpark beer salesmen in our family—but I prefer microbrews to anything the corporate breweries can produce. Is there a brewery or brewpub in your neighborhood that makes an excellent brew? Please tell us what that is. Click on the Comments link at the end of the next paragraph to note your favorite beer. (All visitors to Zuiker Chronicles are welcome to comment.)

Then, this evening, Becky and Blaine came over to our apartment for dinner. Erin made pizza and an apple crisp, and Becky brought an excellent cabernet sauvignon from Wolf Blass winery in Australia. We shared the meal and wine and good conversation. Becky and Blaine love the movie The Princess Bride, same as us. And Blaine distinctly remembers the very episode of The Six Million Dollar Man that gave me nightmares well into my twenties; check out this site and help me find the right episode. In that segment, Steve Austin is chased down by a robot tank. I found this frightening as a kid, and when I dreamt about it I felt myself under an inhuman pressure. I’m over it now, thank goodness. Now I’m dreaming about President Bartlet’s reelection chances.

Anton Zuiker

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