January 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!

Fifty-five years ago, on this very day, Neva and Merill of California welcomed their first child into the world and her name was Karen Sue. They were pleased as punch and the world, too, sighed in contentment at the good, giggly soul that had been brought forth (and I don't just say that because she wound up producing me). She, too, was of the gnomely persuasion--shorter, with ample cheeks that flush red, a solidly curvy shape, and a perpetually happy attitude. My mother is a very bubbly woman who makes snowmen for Christmas by stuffing birdseed into socks and adding buttons, a clove nose. She loves Betty Boop and her sweet husband. Together (with Betty, of course) they shall all one day move to Kentucky and live on a rural property with a lake where they can raise Shelty puppies and spoil Grandkids.

Happy Birthday, Momma. And remember, you don't have to go to the matinee shows to save money anymore.... Just use your new discount!

January 29, 2006

Flash Fiction Friday

Thanks to JJ, for posting this little exercise, and to the universe that has allowed me the time to actually do it this week. Don't know if I like this piece, this thing I have created. But once the thought was there, I had to exorcise it, put it down so I could analyse it. Just don't know if I like it, though. (For more info on this Flash Fiction business, go here.)

I thought you were supposed to be a writer.

I am.

You went to school for it. To be a writer. You teach it.


Well, doesn’t seem like one should go to school for it. To get some letters to place behind their name that spell it out.

MFA doesn’t spell writer.

You’re supposed to be a writer and you don’t even get my metaphor.

Rewind it, then.

Art can’t be taught at school. It’s something you either have or you don’t. You can refine it, sure, but writing is art.

If you want, I can bring out my lesson plan for this debate. It happens every first day of every freshman workshop.

I don’t want a lecture, I want a writer. I want Hemmingway in Cuba and Spain. With his little notebook in the trenches of France.

He was a journalist in the beginning and he became an artist. He didn’t just spring out of the womb and write a Pulitzer Prize winner with a red crayon.

It’s not about the words. I like your words. You write good little stories. Little? Sorry, I didn’t mean to say little.

But you want Hemmingway’s cirrhosis, is that it?

Well, there is something romantic in that. Don’t deny it. Parties and mistresses and muses. Disillusionment. Travel. The alcoholic author.

Think about Bukowski. That man could drink.

They say Kerouac was so prolific because of the cocaine. And Lewis Carroll and his opium, that hookah-smoking caterpillar.

So you are saying that you would still love me if I did more drugs or drank?

Not really. I’m saying that brilliance is usually associated with some sort of tragic flaw, some sort of wild and unmanageable vice. A wild-eyed passion of some sort, any sort. Artists, authors are allowed to swim outside the realm of the normal so they can return to the rest of us and share what they saw.

If you want an alcoholic, you can always go date-hunting at an AA meeting. Don’t think what you see will turn you on the way you think but…

Authors are supposed to be depressed. Messy. Absent-minded. Libidinous. A bit crazy. Nietzsche went insane at 44.

I went to a psychiatrist for three years.

But you were cured. And your house is neat as a pin. I’ve seen you work and it’s with a non-fat smoothie, a thesaurus, and like clockwork. Writers are supposed to scribble down jolts of inspiration on the backs of napkins, to say weird yet poignant things to perfect strangers. Not carefully plot out a character like writing a To Do list on a Palm Pilot.

You don’t like my work.

No, I do like it.

Then what?

There is just something a little bit quiet about it. About you.

Brilliance and art are products of flaw then. And I’m not brilliant to you.

Not like I expected.

What if I said that if you left me, I wouldn’t know what to do? That I would kill myself out of desperation. Would that make me crazy enough for you to respect me?

I wouldn’t believe you.

You are a waitress, for Christ’s sake!

And you were supposed to be a writer.

Swiped from McSweeney's

Lifted straight from the pages of McSweeney's Internet Tendency. If you haven't been there before, pack for a long voyage to a funny little place (funny=Ha ha and funny=wierd) where you may need to pack incontinence supplies as you will laugh that hard.

A Mother's Plea
By Jim Stallard

- - - -

Dear Fellow Hawthorne Kindergarten Parents,

Many of you probably know me as the "banana-bread mom" from the last few parent-teacher nights. I hope this e-mail finds you in good health and spirits as we start the new year. I've met some of you in person, and I hope to meet the rest by the time our little ones start their first summer vacation. (Oh my God! Are we ready? Just give us a few more months! Kidding.)

Now, as you have probably heard, our son Tyler is going through a biting phase. This is not unusual behavior for a 5-year-old, especially for a bright, inquisitive boy eager to explore the boundaries of interpersonal contact.

However, the reaction from some of you, as well as from Ms. Wilson (don't get me started—does she even like children?), has turned this molehill into a mountain. So I'd like to give you a few tips that I hope you will pass on to your children. Tyler is just a sensitive boy who happens to have a small number of triggers that can set him off.

Don't hold eye contact with Tyler for more than one second. If we can teach our kids not to stare at the sun during an eclipse, there's no reason we can't ingrain this in them as well. Tyler's father and I have learned to focus on the natural hollow between the neck and the sternum.

Never approach Tyler from behind. On a biological level, we're all animals, so naturally the perception that he is about to be ambushed causes Tyler's "fight-or-flight" hormones to take over. And Tyler is definitely a fighter! (Wonder who he got that from?)

Don't make sudden moves that may startle him. Many bites have resulted from classmates abruptly standing up from their seats, raising their hands, or sneezing. These actions should be preceded by an announcement in a calm, indoor voice.

If a child believes Tyler is moving toward him or her with intent to bite, the child should quickly assume the "submissive" position. We all know this one: Drop to the floor, roll onto your back, and expose your throat. Again, just as we learned to "duck and cover" back in the day, our kids should have no problem picking this up.

Don't mention any type of salad dressing while in Tyler's presence. I really can't explain this one, but we all know what happened to the substitute teacher.

If your kids can remember these few precautions, we can keep these incidents to a minimum. As a parent, I found it's very helpful (and fun) if you incorporate tips like this into a song that you and your child can sing around the house or in the car.

To be honest, I think this unpleasantness has been exaggerated. There have been children in the class who claim to have been bitten by Tyler, even though there were no witnesses. We know children do all sorts of things to get attention—and that includes biting themselves. Of course, when I asked to take a dental impression of that one girl's teeth, people reacted like I was a monster, so I just dropped it.

One final note: Tyler's father and I will no longer fully reimburse for tetanus shots. We were happy to do this for a while, but began to feel people were taking advantage of our generosity. From now on, we will pay half the cost. We believe this is more than fair, as every biting incident involves two people.

I hope we can put this conflict behind us and focus on the real adversary for the rest of the year: the so-called "adult" in that classroom who has a great deal to answer for. To give just one example, why is she so stingy with her self-esteem awards?

January 28, 2006

When You Spell A-S-S, It Isn't a Naughty Word

One of my favorite student's name is Skeet. That is his full first name, Skeet, though we wind up calling him Skeeter, Mosquito, Skeeto. He is a Navajo, which explains the name and also his hair. Long, jet black hair that shines from root to end, course and thick. It is long, falling down to his shoulder blades in the braid his mother creates for him. Sometimes it is one standard braid, sometimes two merging into one, sometimes a series of ponytails waterfalling into a long rope on his two-year old back. After naptime, stray wisps wriggle out of the braid to form a halo around his head when the light shines from behind him. Other parents often mistake him for a girl if they don't look closely. Other kids on occasion too, when they have occasion between the sand box and the toy box to consider it. He has such beautiful eyes too from his Indian descent--round and almost Asian, with no arching line along the eyelid like I have. Smooth from brow to lash.

His appearance is not the only thing that draws me to him, though. It's his personality. He's pure boy, he's a spark of energy wrapped in baby fat arms--pudgy in the hand and the arm but with that little crease at the wrist, as if there were a rubber band around it, as he wraps those arms around your neck. To wake him up from nap, I pick him up, shake him a bit, and he often falls right back to sleep in my arms, melting against my chest. Pure boy--when he first came to school his only words were "truck" and "nana" and he calls all his teachers "nana." Now he calls me "Nana Gnomey" but his vocabulary is expaning very quickly. "What that? What that?" Or he points at anything and says, "This?" and then repeats your response.

"Tree. This?"
"This red car?"
"Yes, Skeet."

Well, he's a joy to have around most the time and I'm pretty sure he likes me too. It's me he comes to when he wants to show off something. When he needs something. To play with. But here comes the actual story, if you are still listening that is.

The other afternoon, we came in from outside and he was all riled up and happy. We all took off our coats and I had my back turned for a moment when I he ran at my legs to give me a hug. A big, roaring, wrestling-like hug. I felt his arms go around my legs, up close to the hips and then, bang, his teeth went into my ass. Well, I was a bit stunned and my yelp stunned him too. I whipped around and the other teacher, also, was standing aghast. After the yell, we then dissolved into laughing. I told The Boyfriend about it that night and he didn't really know what to think.

"Well, because he's two and he doesn't really know how to express anything."
"But I thought he liked you."
"Yeah, he was playing. Kind of wrestling and he bit in the process."
"Well, I think I'd like to have a word with this Skeet." The Boyfriend, hand on hips, tried to look tough. "Now, listen here..."
"If you want to have a word with him, it better be either Nana or Truck, Boyfriend."
"Okay, how about 'If you bite Nana's ass, I'm going to take away your truck?'"
"Could work. But you can't say ass. We say bottom."
"Then, if you bite Nana Gnomey's A-S-S, no truck for you?"

January 27, 2006

.... Makes Gnomey a Dull Girl

All work + no play (well, you know how it goes) = No blogging. Sorry. Had to work several ten hour days this week and when you work with children, let me tell you, those extra two are the one-two punch to the massive headache. You could hold one in each arm, but they have the strength to make you feel like a Mack truck not only ran over you, but backed up a few times and then stopped for coffee.

Ah, trucks. Truck books. Truck toys--that make noises, that move, big sharp-edged metal ones and plastic jobbies with ergonomic handles, ones with tools in the back, dumptrucks, tractor trucks, trucks, trucks, trucks. I know a lot about trucks.

"My truck, my truck!" says one boy, pointing to the yellow dumptruck across the playground. Another child is filling it with sand--a cute sight but only if you are unaware that he is about to dump that load of sand on the sidewalk, in front of your classroom door. Oh, and the fact that he ripped it out of the first child's hands and then scratched him along the cheek with a ragged fingernail.

"Nana," says one boy (who calls all his teachers "Nana" for unknown reasons), "Truck! Truck!" He jumps in anticipation and pulls my hand over to the fence, where he can see the garbage truck hauling away this weeks leftover milk and chicken nuggets. I lift him up to my shoulder so he can see--little boys and their trucks, don't know what it is--and then we say, "Bye bye garbage man." Another teacher believes we should say 'Waste Disposal Man' but these are young children, some of whose vocabulary consists primarily (say, 20%) of the word 'truck.' PC or no PC, it's too big of a mouthful.

"Truck," says one girl, sitting in the cab of the iconic Playschool car. You know the one, round and red with black wheels and a horn that barely makes a squeak? You know it. "No, it's a car," I say. "Truck," she says. (Okay, I will just go along.) "Yes, it's a pretty truck," I say. "A cool truck." "TRUCK. TRUCK!" she says, growing frantic. Slapping my head, I remove the wheels of the truck from the deep sand where she was "stuck."

Ah, how The Boyfriend loved to be regaled with tales of my children at work--him, the free and easy, travel-happy, never say roots say "jumping off point" (as in, "We should move to Seattle. It could be a great jumping off point to so many adventures."). Kind of scares him, I think, what I do for a living. And though I like the job, he is always happy to know that I feel comfortable keeping it as a job, as opposed to a life choice. But, oh, the anecedotes I get to tell! Stay tuned.

January 22, 2006

A New Look

So I revamped the page a bit. It's still oh so templated but I like it. Plus, I have added a new feature that I have been meaning to do for soooooo long. In lieu of my blogroll (sorry, I don't update it correctly and that makes it very useless. I plan to put in a new version soon.) I have create a reading list. Well, my reading list that is. I am in the progress of writing about each book that I read and have read. I have done my best to reconstruct my list back into the end of November but I'm finding it difficult to remember. Which, hey, is one reason why I am creating these reviews. To remind myself about each book's tone, style, plot to use for my own reference at a later date. And, I remember things better if I sit down and put it in my own words. For those of you who are big readers like me, maybe it will give you a few ideas. I know I always appreciate some. Lately, I've been reading some classics but I hope to get back into newer stuff very soon. Please let me know what you think in response to my reviews and return the favor of suggestions. So many books, so little time. Check out all my literary litanys at http://gnomereviews.blogspot.com/.

Chicken Marsala

... with porcini mushrooms and pancetta, served with linguini. The second recipe I have made from my new subscription to Bon Appetit magazine. The first was a vegetarian dish--curried lentil stew, garnished with a spoonful of plain yogurt, an unusual touch that added just the right freshness to the heavy, spicy lentils. But back to the marsala--mmmmmm--dredging the chicken lightly in flour made the breast melt in your mouth and the richness of the sauce (butter and the pancetta, which is mostly fat, will do that) made a little go a long way.

In my culinary experience, I am constantly amazed at how a short but stellar list of ingredients coupled with a bit more prep time makes restuarant cuisine managable in the comfort of your own home. In your slippers and pajamas no less! So many people claim that they cannot cook, as if it were a talent that got handed out at birth and they were sold short. I believe it is more a matter of interest, of the enjoyment of food not only in the moment when it meets your tongue but at every step of it's creation. The pleasure of smelling an orange for ripeness, the sharp crunch of chopping parsley, the crackling of a saute. The satisfaction of doing something yourself. Maybe it's cannibalism, really--infusing yourself into the food you eat. And of sharing sustenance/life/energy with your loved ones and sharing it in such a way that the pleasure derived turns that basic survival need into a celebration.

I know I'm not the first to find cooking sensual. Not by far. In fact, it brings me back to the book I just finished (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I know, I know. I've been on a Rand kick lately). In that novel, the main character is a strong independent woman, whose thoughts on this subject I definitely identify with:

"The special plesaure she had felt in watching him eat the food she had prepared--she thought, lying still, her eyes closed, her mind moving, like time, through some realm of veiled slowness--it had been the plesaure of knowing that she had provided him with a sensual enjoyment, that one form of his body's satisfaction had come from her... There is reason, she thought, why a woman would wish to cook for a man... oh, not as a duty, not as a chronic career, only as a rare and special rite in symbol of... but what have they made of it, the preachers of woman's duty? The castrated performance of a sickening drudgery was held to be woman's proper virtue--while that which gave it meaning and sanction was held as a shameful sin... the work of dealing with greases, steam and slimy peelings in a reeking kitchen was held to be a spiritual matter, an act of compliance with her moral duty--while the meeting of two bodies in a bedroom was held to be a physical indulgence, an act of surrender to an animal instinct, with no glory, meaning of pride of spirit to be claimed by the animals involved."

The Boyfriend said, "Two thumbs up. We are having this one again, yes? Please?"

January 17, 2006

The Gila National Forest

Another trip this weekend, though not on the bike (she says with a sigh of disappointment). Actually, much of the trip was a trifle disappointing. Not that I'm complaining about a three-day weekend, spent with The Boyfriend, in a national forest, and he drove all of the way. (Though I did buy him a Chai Tea Latte in Silver City so I think I am off the guilt hook on that one.)

To the point, we took off from Phoenix to Silver City, New Mexico, which was about a five hour drive. After we got out of the megalopolis that Phoenix is--man, that takes almost two hours really--we picked up on some astonishing roads. Highway 78 in particular. You drive up this very swine-like environment. That sounds bad but it's truly not. First there are the creamy backs of sleeping piglets rising from the desert. Then, their rougher boar cousins emerge with bristles along their spines. Topped with the exposed tusks of pure rock. The view we left in our wake was picture perfect and, of course, The Boyfriend took a fabulous one.
Silver City itself was the downer, I think. We were expecting this cute little village the likes of which we have seen many times. Not all are Jerome, of course, but the majority of these towns with nearby wilderness or road trips are worth seeing. Silver City, though, seemed to be serviceable--grocery stores, quick eats (lots of greasy spoons and chain stores), and hotels--and drab. We did find the historic downtown later. That section was definitely worth seeing with it's boutiques, used book stores, bed and breakfasts, yoga studios, coffee shops. But it was hidden and tragically small.

The Gila National Forest was picturesque. A very nice drive that made us miss the bike with every curve we hugged, every undulation up and down and side to side. Camping was free (yes, free!) but it got down to 20 degrees. I know, I know. It's January and I should have known. I thought I did know but my nose didn't. The poor scapegoat nose. He is the only part who is forced to remain on the outside of the sleeping bag. You can pull him inside. Your breath will create some heat (good) but also humidity (bad--nothing like a cold sweat in such a situation).
The Cliff Dwellings were my favorite part. We've seen quite a few in the last year at both Tonto National Monument and Mesa Verde. Nothing can rival Mesa Verde, I know. But here, we were actually allowed to walk within the dwelling to an extent that you are usually not supposed to by pain of... hmmm. A stern speech by the grey-haired volunteer guide? No, more like the shame of desecration, culturally, historically. But, dammit, I like to touch things! And they had preserved corn cobs that were used by the ruin's population in the 13th century! Some very nice pictures taken here.
They rest of the valley, again, was desolate. Promising little dots on the map turned out to be towns of trailers with a post office housed in a pre-fab building. Desolate? Sheesh, I am forgetting the oh so scenic and inspiring (note the sarcasm) "open pit" mine. The oldest still in operation in the Southwest! Sorry, I mean, I know I need copper. To turn on my lights, to use all the alloy metals that make my car run, to type, to... hmmmm ok, so I don't know all the uses but I know I need it. But why oh why does the result have to look like this? Do we not have better techniques for mining at this point in the technical evolution of man? Couldn't they at least, call me crazy, take all that extra dirt and make a huge sand castle out of it? Imagine the increased tourism if you'd include a bar, a hotel, etc. It would be like the Ice Bars they create in Nordic lands.
The Boyfriend and I have shared many adventures, many of them adding up to be better than this little jaunt. (See his take on the trip here.) But I think all those adventures may make me a bit picky about this one. Perhaps it was just because it was January. Peak time to visit doesn't begin until the Spring, when the article I was researching will come out. Oops! Did I let my little secret out?

January 16, 2006

Because I feel like a little destruction...

Lyrics off of Franz's Ferdinand's You Could Have it so Much Better. Don't know why this song is striking me at the moment.

The Fallen

So they say you're trouble boy
Because you like to destroy
All the things that bring idiots joy
Well what's wrong with a little destruction?

And the Kunst * won't talk to you
Because you kissed St Rollox** Adieu
Because you robbed a supermarket or two
Well, who gives a damn about the prophets of Tesco***?

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
For the fallen are the virtuous among us
Walk among us
Never judge us
Yeah we're all...

Up now and get 'em boy
Up now and get 'em boy
Drink to the devil and death to the doctors

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
5000 users fed today
as you feed us
won't you lead us
to be blessed

So we stole and drank champagne
On the seventh seal you said you never feel pain
"I never feel pain, won't you hit me again?"
"I need a bit of Black and Blue to be a Rotation"

In my blood I felt bubbles burst
There was a flash of fist an eyebrow burst
You've a lazy laugh and a red white shirt
I fall to the floor fainting at the sight of blood

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
Be they Magdelen or virgin you've already been
You've already been and we've already seen
That the fallen are the virtuous among us
Walk among us
Never judge us to be blessed

So I'm sorry if I ever resisted
I never had a doubt that you ever existed
I only have a problem when people insist on
Taking their hate and placing it on your name

So they say you're troubled boy
Just because you like to destroy
You are the word - the word is Destroy
I break this bottle and think of you fondly

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
To the whore in a hostel
Or the scum of a scheme
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
It's not a jag in the arm
It's a nail in the beam
On this Barren Earth
You scatter your seed
Be they Magdelen or Virgin
You've already been
Yeah you've already been
We've already seen
That the fallen are the virtuous among us
Walk among us
If you judge us
We're all damned

* Kunst = german for modern art?
** St Rollox = a church in Glasgow, Catholic of course
*** Tesco = basically the Walmart conglomerate of Europe, grocery and all else

January 11, 2006

Though I am not Bill Cosby...

Kids say the darndest things! They can also be little demons, their hell fire being the fever you will catch and the smell of sulfer (no, worse) coming from their diaper. Case in point, I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged. If anyone out there is not familiar with this Ayn Rand book, it's almost 1200 pages and very engrossing. I got it at Christmas and have finished 600 pages in about 7 days. Anyway. So I am sitting with a two year old at nap time, rather she is sitting on me for two reasons: one, she has big brown eyes that gets all dewy when she says "your lap? your lap?" and makes you feel all special and loved. Two, she will stop her crying and not wake up all the other childrens if I let her. She sat and I read my book. I then got up for a moment to do, oh hell I don't remember what, but I froze when I heard a thin but piercing tearing s0und. And there she was with a page in hand, a page separated from my engrossing book, and those dewy eyes looking at my face as if they could save her.

In an angry whoosh, I swooped her up under her armpits and pulled her to the other side of the room, behind a partition from the rest of the kids. I put her on her bottom and I said lots of stuff about being very sad with her (that's PC talk for "you made me mad" but we're not allowed to say mad) and how ripping books is not okay (that's PC talk for "you did a bad thing" but we're not allowed to say bad). I said, "Do I go to your house and rips up your books? Can I come to you room and rip up your books?" I then fixed my page, which I had thankfully already read, the best I could with some tape. Doesn't look too bad. I asked her to kiss the page to "make it better" and then hug me and say she was sorry. She did and I could tell that I had freaked her out a bit with the emotion I showed. (I'm very patient on the whole. Even this incident, I think, showed patience.)

I thanked her and put her back with her blanket but I did not sit there. I sat on the other side of the room next to a different child. Every 3 minutes, she said, "Your lap? Your lap?" and I refused. "Not right now. Maybe later. Not right now." Then, with incredible understanding for a two year old and pretty impressing language skills too, she said, "I won't tear your book anymore."

"Promise?" I asked.


So I came back and let her sit on my lap.

January 08, 2006

Jerome: "We are all here because we are not all there"

... Or so reads the souvenir bumper sticker from this town, the latest in The Boyfriend and I's excursions on the motorcycle. Took the scenic route up through Prescott, AZ into Jerome--a tiny, antique town perched upon a steep flank of a mesa. Some buildings are supported with stilts on the edge that faces downhill, which creates amazing panoramic vistas. Where we ate, for example, The Flatiron Cafe, the three-table large dining area was enclosed on all sides with windows. It gave the perception that we sat at the prow of a ship pointed downhill, into a narrow curve of road that drifted with gravity down, down, down, like water, a stream. And the panninis were delectible--nothing to beat fresh basil on mozzarella or horseradish on thick-sliced, pink roast beef. The town is of the type we've stumbled on once or twice--Bisbee, AZ or Julian, CA come to mind--where history was abandoned only to be reclaimed by artists, antiquers, and colorful characters. Where the noise of motorcyles rumble through town and the original brickwork peeks out of newly painted walls.

We also used our new Gerbing jackets for the first time since we got them in September. Mine is a close-fitting inner coat I wear in lieu of my usual jacket liner. It feels bunchy due to the wires running inside of it and I am still getting used to how to carry the control box--it runs from a cable inside the coat near my stomach, out to a little heat control knob and on into the plug that jacks into the bike's power. I must say it kept me toasty warm and that is no mean feat given that I am a typical, always frosty, cold-toed woman. We did have some trouble using both the jackets at the same time, however, which must be resolved. But hey, I figure if one of us is going to take presidence it should be me given the aforementioned icy-footed female condition. Then again, he does break the wind for us so...

Also picked up some new postcards for my collection--Oh yes, did I mention I collect antique postcards? Well, all postcards really but the antique ones are my most favoritist. There is something freeing and intrisically witty about a medium that must be kept so short. I am constantly amazed at the variations and continuities of humor over the ages. This one, for instance, was sent in 1907:

The handwriting reads, "I feel well but don't look it. Ha!"

Inside, "I drop you this card to let you know I am here, with a letter soon." Sent at 3 pm on Nov 4, 1907 to Minnesota. I believe the official seal indicates it was sent in Montana, though I am not certain.

I also picked up a blank-backed one, which does not have as much human interest and can't be dated. Printed in England is all I know. But I couldn't resist anyway. I think I shall make this cartoon's attitude another of my New Year's resolutions.
Having too much fun laying around reading and idly tinkering with my computer today and so I didn't get around to FFF as I promised JJ I would. Sorry, Purgy, and I'll make it up to you somehow. Just not feeling inspired to write any snippets at the moment. Researching a current project instead--top secret, hush hush, details to follow.

January 04, 2006

My latest obsession

Musically, that is, is Death Cab for Cutie. I have been trying to get their new album (Plans) for about four months now but have either
  1. not had the money
  2. the store did not have the album
  3. I had the album in hand only to be told that I could get it cheaper online "next time we order some CD's" which it turns out is not that often.
I must say I am loving it. Give me a boy with a good voice and powerful lyrics and you can pretty much guarantee I will be a repeat customer. One reviewer said this album's lyrics were so poignant and unique that they could have been stolen from Amy Mann's dressing room. Here is my (current) favorite example:

"'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station

Where I send my thoughts off to far off destinations

So they may have a chance of finding a place where they're far more suited than here."

I also enjoy the line where I am assuming the title of the album is pulled from:

"And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time."

Yeah for Christmas gift certificates! I got so many albums that I have been meaning to, including:

January 02, 2006

The Last Feast of 2005

My kitchen is my home. Who needs a bed? Give me a range anyday and my new subscription to Bon Appetit. One of my resolutions, in fact, is to cook a three course meal out of every issue of this year's run of the magazine. And, of course, share the lovely pictures with all of you.

Here then, was the last feast of 2005, served New Year's Eve before, during and after a viewing of Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, extended edition. The Boyfriend did want to use his tripod to cut down on glare/blurriness and he was probably right. But, hey, the food was getting cold and I was hungry.

Potato and Leek Soup.

Beef Tenderloin with Bourbon Sauce.
Asparagus Almondine.
Sauteed Mushrooms (which somehow look reflected in the wine glasses. crazy.)

Chocolate Marquise - and I quote, "a chocolate mousse so dense and fudgy it can be sliced like pâté." Next time I shall add a raspberry sauce.

Thank you for Aunt Heather for the beautiful backdrop--she made this elegant dish towel by hand, beginning to end, from spinning the thread all the way through the loom. Lovely pattern.

January 01, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi ho, To Iowa We go...

Important Delivery Information

Delivery Date / Time: 30-December-2005 / 2:23 PM
Delivery Location: RECEPTION
Signed by: CUMMER

Shipment Detail

Ship To:
The Writer's Workshop
102 Dey House
507 N Clinton St
Weight:1.0 LBS

Well, there goes my baby. Good luck honey. I raised you the best I could, with the world the way it is and all. Hope your morals are okay. But I've cut the apron strings. Bye bye, sweetheart, and good luck. Bring me home something good. Momma wants a new set of shoes! Leather and not pleather, please.