Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day 30

Wouldn't you know it, today on the last day of NaBloPoMo, our internet went out. I'm sitting in a PJ's Coffee, trying to get this posted before the nasty squall of thunderstorms that I can see out the window hits. Wouldn't be sad if after a month of faithfully posting everyday, a failure of home internet and failure of regional electricity kept me from reaching the goal?

Also, this is quick refuel stop for caffeine and sugar in a marathon of dentist/gym/honorary nephew playdate/library volunteer work/evening shift paint fun day.

Oooooh, the sky is BLACK. Posting now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Signs of Progress

This afternoon some workers from the city came and poured concrete for a missing chunk of sidewalk in front of a house. There had been no sidewalk there for months, ever since the sewage and water board came and replaced some pipes. I honestly didn't ever think that sidewalk would be replaced. It gives hope that other things will eventually be fixed as well.

The house is across the street from an elementary school. There is no sidewalk across the front of the school. I don't know how it disappeared, but last year after the storm, all that was there was mud. Now there is grass and a foot-worn path from where the sidewalk ends to where the sidewalk begins again, half a block away.

Also in front of the school is a giant crater of a pothole. It used to have a safety cone sprouting out of it, but that went away. The crater is pre-storm. The abandoned house catty-corner from the school is post-storm. The brick fence at the back of the property fell down over a year ago. The wooden side-fence fell over within the last week or two.

Did I mention that we live in a relatively unscathed New Orleans neighborhood?

The sidewalk in front of one home got replaced. It's actually cause for a small celebration.

Little by little. Poco a poco. Progress is made.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Hunch

There's an empty lot near where I work that always gives me the creeps. No one is around and the grass grows long. The area is a failed subdivision with a couple of streets that pass through, hedged in by the overgrowth. Sometimes there are abandoned cars that have been left to rot. I ended up driving through those streets once. It was a Shakespearean moment, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." I sped out of there. It seemed like the kind of place where bodies are dumped.

Tonight as our work crew drove off to our job site, we passed the creepy place and saw yellow crime scene tape and police cars. Detectives were prowling around in the field. We didn't know what was going on, but I could guess.

Hours later when I got home from work, I asked my father if he'd watched the news. He had. "Were any bodies found in a field today?" Yes. He wanted to know how I knew that.

The hair on the back of my neck told me so.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Hiro

Three days left (not counting the rest of tonight). Three days left of NaBloPoMo and three days left of Hurricane season. I think we're going to make it.

I have nothing of particular interest to say tonight. My mind is still all wrapped up in the latest Heroes episode. I don't know how I got sucked into the show. Usually superheroes are not my thing. But it's so clever. And beautiful. Last week they saved the cheerleader. This week, time travel.

Week after week I fall in love with Hiro. His katakana English melts my heart. Hiro makes Japanese nerdy boys look cool and that's a heroic feat in and of itself.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Falling Into Place

Today I learned that I have a place to live in New York. An apartment fell out of the sky.

As of January I'll be living in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with three other roommates in the top floor of a brownstone. One of the roommates is Ms. Nola. I've been so happy all day that I've alternately danced in circles and broken out into little jigs. There's been singing too.

The room is small but cozy and has a window with a lovely view of a tree-lined street. There's room for my Turkish rug. All I need is my rug and computer and I'm good to go. Who needs furniture?

Looking up the new neighborhood on Wikipedia, I learned that Park Slope is a place where big things have been known to fall out of the sky, actually just a couple doors down from the soon-to-be-home. It's somehow fitting that Donnie Darko's real-life sister happens to live around the corner.

The only things I want to see falling out the sky for the next two years are rain, snow, and gingko leaves.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Boat is Gone

There have been two sailboats in our backyard for a number of years. Small, one person sailboats. Damaged sailboats, waiting to be fixed and sent to a lake where children could sail them and enjoy their summers. In the meantime, they have been growing grass and collecting leaves.

Today was the joyous day on which my parents and I and lifted up one of the repaired boats onto the top of my father's car, tied it down, and drove it to it's new life in Mississippi.

There were casualties. My mother's toes. My ear. But one boat is finally gone. I had wanted to take a picture of the boat on top of the car, an image which provoked lots of looks and finger pointing on the interstate. But when we arrived to the destination and there was a big burly man there who could help lift the boat off the car, the impulse was to seize the moment and get rid of the obscenely heavy thing and not pause for photo taking.

I did get one picture of the car with it's fancy boat carrying cradle. It looks kind of like a giant hair accessory.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Nerd Alert

New Orleans, LA

Two nights ago I downloaded Booxter software for keeping inventory of books. The first night I stayed up until 2am downloading information into the database. Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, with the luxury of having nothing urgent to do and nowhere in particular to be, I spent the entire day cataloging books. Hundreds of books. It was a very happy day.

There are at least twelve giant plastic tubs of books up in the attic. There used to be 45 cardboard boxes, but Katrina taught a lesson about paper, water, and ruination. I think I may be spending the better part of next week up in the attic.

In the past 48 hours I've learned a lot of about Library of Congress Control Numbers and International Standard Book Numbers too. I've come to dread the stacks of pre-1966 books. Number-free, they are tedious to extract information from. I'd rather have automated searches of Amazon and the Library of Congress do all the dirty work.

Talking to Ms. Nola about the inventory software, she asked if I had a barcode scanner. One of her friends has been scanning his books with a magic scanner wand. It's good to know that there is company in madness.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful for Pizza

I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving.

The thanking part is good. I'll give you that. The food part, I can skip. Turkey and all the meat gravies and overcooked vegetables.... blah. My stomach feels uncomfortable just imagining all the heavy fixings.

We had a homemade pesto pizza tonight for dinner. Pumpkin bread for dessert. It was our little nod to the holiday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I've been pet sitting for the last few days, feeding a cat dried food every morning. It's regular cat food, some kind of Purina mix, but it looks and smells like snack mix. Cheese flavored snack mix. The smell is so attractive that I looked at the ingredients on the bag to see if it was vegetarian or not. Off-limits. Saved from gastronomical ignominy by animal by-products.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Race to Be Fastest to the Red Light

There are a lot of angry drivers in New Orleans. Many of these angry drivers probably also have guns. It's surprising the number of people here who have guns. In their cars.

Normally I love driving. I will drive for hours, as long as it's possible to sing while doing it. My longest driving stint was 24 hours through central Japan, trying to make it to Mt. Fuji by dawn. (That was a dumb idea.) But now I actually dread driving more than 10 minutes in my home city.

There is no speed limit anymore. If you feel like going 60mph in a 35mph zone, there's no one to stop you. If you feel like going through the red light, well, why not? It's in the way. And who said everyone has to be going in the same direction on a one-way street? It's much more efficient to just go any way you want to go.

Two weeks ago, I saw police set up a speed trap, pulling cars over and giving people tickets. I cheered. A little civilization brought back to the wild wild Westbank. I acutally waited to clap until just after passing the police officers. I didn't want to attract their attention and have them pull me over too.

I try not to get mad. I try not to say bad words or make hand gestures or do anything that would provoke guns when other drivers frustrate me. Instead I smile a saccharine smile and make a wish, "a ticket upon you, a very very expensive ticket upon YOU." Sometimes it works.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mr. Obama

I'm jumping on the bandwagon, turning into a fan of Barak Obama. The buzz about his political future has been increasing and I've been trying to find out more about him. His memoir, Dreams from My Father, is well written and insightful. I checked out his Congressional website. The man has podcasts. Podcasts! Today I saw part of an interview with him on CNN.

Can I tell you how refreshing it is to listen to a political figure speak intelligently and knowledgeably about a range of global issues and find myself saying, "Yes. Yes!" in response to his ideas?

The only time I stand to hear George W. speak is when it comes packaged in a short sound-byte on David Letterman's "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Melting Pot Meltdown

We had a really horrible fondue tonight. I would write about it, but most of what I already wrote regarding the clueless waiter, the burning fondue pot, and liquid Hershey's syrup "chocolate dessert fondue" was erased with the press of an ill-placed finger.

Stupid finger.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A First

It's been a long day of subway, bus, and flights. I am quite pleased to have gotten all the way from the subway at 157th St. to LaGuardia Airport for $2.

It's good to be home, even if the New Orleans airport smells.

Today's photo (too exhausted to write...) is of one of my honorary nephews. Mr.Man turned ONE today. Happy first birthday little man!

Friday, November 17, 2006


It would be extremely embarrassing to keep a food diary. Some days the sheer volume and variety of foodstuffs consumed is astonishing. Gilmoresque.

Today there was breakfast at Cafe Luxemburg. Lunch at Joe's Pizza. Dessert at Magnolia Bakery. After dessert beverages at Caffe Reggio. Dinner fixings and deli samples from Zabar's.

There's a new hobby to pursue come January when I'm in here full time. Zabar's stocks six hundred varieties of cheese. The English Huntsman and Shropshire Blue both get thumbs up.

2 down, 598 to go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Picture of the Day

After spending the afternoon in the International Center for Photography, I really really wanted to take some photos. I whipped out the tiny little monopod and snapped this one image right outside the museum. Then the camera's battery died.

Since I have no more photos of my own to share, here is a link to a photographer who had three works featured in the museum's Ecotopia exhibit. Joan Fontcuberta is a Spanish artist who creates imaginary landscapes using the freeware program Terragen. Even though his images aren't actual places, they look a hell of a lot like New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Best Thing About New York...

A lot of things have changed since I moved away from New York. Some things good, something bad. The absolute best development in the last ten years is the Metrocard.

It used to be that it was necessary to figure in transportation costs to the cost of doing anything in the city. A movie wasn't just ten dollars if it meant a subway ride. It was more like $13.

With a week's pass for just $24 I've been zipping around the city like never before. Within the last 24 hours I've visited Morningside Heights, Chinatown, SoHo, Mid-town, Washington Heights and gone to Brooklyn three times. It's no big deal.

Viva la Metrocard!

Early in today's round of neighborhood visits, I spent a while at St. John the Divine. It's very possibly the most peaceful place in New York. It's under extensive renovation for fire damage, so the peace is interrupted now by the sounds of pressure washing. It was quieter outside in the sculpture garden. I've gone to the garden countless times but today was the first time I noticed the little tiny sculptures that surround the massive centerpiece. One in particular caught my eye.

A woman in the leaves with a bird. Peace personified.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


If one has to become trapped in a small elevator, it's preferable to be trapped in one that has a small viewing window that looks out into the lobby. Besides relieving the feeling of claustrophobia, there is a greater chance of someone on the outside seeing said trapped person through the window and performing a rescue.

Thank you Mr. Rescue Man.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rain Rain Go Away

The carbon monoxide detector has been purchased and even has a battery installed. No more worries.

This afternoon I paid a visit to B&H Photo. It's the first time I've been there since their Super Store opened. It was overwhelming. The building is what I imagine Santa's Workshop would feel like if all Santa made for good little boys and girls was photographic equipment and if all his elves were male Orthodox Jews.

The cashier I went to was incredibly sweet. It's one of those places where they ask your zip code. When he realized I was from New Orleans he became really concerned about how the city was doing. I said progress was being made, houses are being bulldozed, forgetting that progress in local terms might sound horrifying to someone who doesn't know the full context into which that information fits. Buildings that have become breeding grounds for rats, maggots, and mold are getting bulldozed. In that context, "Hurray for bulldozing?"

It's such a complex situation. There is no easy explanation to how the city is doing, at least not an easy enough one for a New York checkout line. This stranger's genuine concern was touching, especially since he took a whole lot longer than a New York minute to try to get an answer.

Anyway, I bought a monopod that's small and light enough to fit in my purse. It replaces the bigger, clunkier one that dies in Europe. I used it to steady the camera enough to take this photo of the Empire State Building touching the clouds.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It Wasn't a Drugged Banana

Happy to be posting before the deadline. Happy to be posting at all. More on that later.

In spite of the afternoon rain, it was a really lovely day. I met Ms. Nola a couple of blocks north of my soon-to-be grad school to eat bagels. It was amazing to see all the trees changing colors. I haven't seen that up here in Washington Heights and we didn't see many trees down in the Village and SoHo yesterday.

One of the things that drove me from New York after college was the lack of contact with greenery. When people hear that they always retort, "Hey, what about Central Park?" Yes, Central Park has thousands upon thousands of trees but when life is all taking place 50 blocks away... those thousands of trees don't green up daily life.

But oh, school is surrounded by trees. Glory hallelujah. And right now their leaves are yellow, red, green, and orange. I might spend tomorrow in Central Park, rain be damned, glorying in the colors.

After bagels, Ms. Nola and I took the bus over to the Metropolitan. I think we spent more time talking and catching up than we did looking at art.

A little while ago I came back to Tinkerbell's were just sitting here talking as I ate a banana. Tink was talking when suddenly the room started spinning around and around in circles. I asked Tinkerbell if the banana from the bodega could have possibly been drugged. Unlikely. "Does the apartment have any fumes? Carbon monoxide sources?"

As the room turned, Tinkerbell checked the stove's pilot light. It was out. We threw the windows open and I shoved my head outside. Deep breaths.

I've only felt the world spin in circles like that once before. There was a week in Mexico City where everything was spinning. Spinning standing up. Spinning lying down. I've never been so dizzy in my life. It was all explained in the newspaper one day. The air pollution levels were so intense that people were advised to not go outdoors.

You live and you learn and begin to recognize the message the spinning has to share. Tomorrow I'm buying Tinkerbell a little apartment present: a carbon monoxide detector.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


It was a day of much walking. Thankfully the throbbing ankle from yesterday seems to have recovered in the night.

What throbbing ankle?

That would be the formerly sprained one that has been healing quite nicely these last two months. Then yesterday in the airport, while sitting in the waiting area outside Gate 12, a hyperactive and portly boy smashed into it while running down the aisle at mock speed. His adult handler yelled, "Say you're sorry!!!" as he rocketed off to the snack stand without a backward glance. I wish I my throbbing foot had at least tripped him. A little poetic justice please.

Last night my foot kept me up until the pills kicked in.

It's kind of odd to be back in New York with the knowledge that I will soon be living here again. It's been over 12 years since I moved away and the old haunts have reinvented themselves so many times, that its comes as a pleasant surprise to find something recognizable.

Tonight as we brainstormed dinner ideas, my friend Tinkerbell and I stumbled upon Two Boots To Go-Go. I used to eat there all the time in college. It's still there, and the slice of Larry Tate (spinach, plum tomatoes, & fresh garlic on a white pie) is still delicious.

The UNIQLO mother store was interesting. More like a disco than a store. I think it would make me ill if I had to spend more than 20 minutes in there. Too much boom boom boom boom for the head.

Tomorrow the plan is to meet Ms. Nola at her place of work and then wander over to the Metropolitan Museum. Whenever I go there, I like to imagine being one of the kids in the book From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, hiding out in the Met, stealing pennies from the fountain for lunch money and sleeping roaming the halls at night. It's definitely a pre-motion detector/security camera plot.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Heading Out

Within the next ten minutes, packing must be finished, hair must be dried, teeth must be brushed, pets must be petted, and the post must be posted. Lots of hurry hurry rush rush (fears of interstate traffic) so that it will be possible to clear security and then sit at the gate for an excessive amount of time. Airplane travel. Bah humbug!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Can I have today off?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh YES!!

Friday I'm headed to New York for a week. I've been looking forward to the visit (aside from dreading the cold weather). Yesterday I got an elegant tailored coat so the hate of cold has turned to anticipation of wearing something that flares out if one twirls. It doesn't go with my hiking shoes though. Something has to be done about the footwear.

There are a few of goals to accomplish in going to New York. First and foremost is to visit my graduate program. Check out the new neighborhood way way Uptown. Friends to visit. Bagels and knishes to eat. The Apple Store. Hopefully a movie or two. Museums... And today I found out that there will be UNIQLO.



In Japan, there was only one place that I could dependably buy Western-woman sized clothes: UNIQLO. I how I love that store. Love. LOVE. LUV.

Simple, cheap, comfortable clothes. Things that last. Basics. Good socks. Camisoles. Sweaters. Stretchy corduroy pants...

The mother-of-all-stores is opening in NY on Friday. The MOTHER STORE. The biggest UNIQLO shop in the world. やった! For all it's multitudinous ills, sometimes globalization feels like a beautiful thing.

Oh yeah, and Rumsfeld's out, the Democrats are in, and Britney finally Fed-Exed K-Fed. Yes, yes, and yes. Hell yes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Cat Snores

There's a cat sitting on my arm. It makes typing rather difficult.

I've been sitting in front of the TV for a while, watching the election returns come in. There are a lot of new local reporters and many of them are bad. Lots of convoluted run-on sentences... which brings up the fact that not a single person has contributed an entry to Run-on-O-Rama. There's a little less than two hours left to submit and have a chance to win the grand prize. Maybe it's a good thing no one has given it a try, I've become rather attached to that sushi eraser in the past week.

The TV is too loud for me to concentrate. And with the cat slumbering on my elbow, it's not possible to reach the remote...

I'll leave you with a game.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don't Forget

Tomorrow's election day. Voting time...

This is an ugly counter, but I do like seeing the numbers get smaller.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"The List"

There are many things in New Orleans my family tries not to take for granted any longer. The rebirth of local restaurants is a cause we have been wholeheartedly supporting. In an effort to do our part for the local economy (jobs, sales tax...) we've been spreading our business around, trying out places we've never been before. We call it "eating our way into recovery."

To help in our quest, we've compiled a list. It's become a living thing, growing and expanding. The list has become an object of great curiosity among our friends. They want to know which restaurants have made the list. Which places have earned a star? Which places have been branded with a minus?

My mother has one list. I have another. We have different expectations. My list has a vegetarian bias and there are places on her list that would offer nothing for me to eat. There are a lot of renowned Creole restaurants in this city that can offer a vegetarian nothing more than bland buttered vegetables over pasta. Blah! Shame on ya.

The first part of the list details the places we have eaten (post-storm only). Restaurants that I liked (and that's most places) are simply on the list. Places that received stars were outstanding, prompting strong cravings for future meals. One restaurant's food was so great that it earned two stars. Places I would not willingly visit again got a minus. Let there be death to overcooked vegetables.
Abita Brew Pub
Acropolis Cuisine
Angelo Braccato's *
August Moon
Basil Leaf *
Bennachin *
Bluebird Cafe
Cafe Cafe
Cafe Du Monde *
Cafe Rani
Clancy's (-)
Country Flame (-)
Creole Creamery *
Dante's Kitchen *
Dick & Jenny's **
Director's Cut
Emeril's (-)
Frankie & Johnny's
Fresco Cafe
Gumbo Shop *
Hookah Cafe
Kim Son *
Korea House
Kyoto *
Lebanon Cafe
Lola's *
Maple Leaf Cafe
Mark Twain's Pizza Landing *
Mat and Naddie's *
Mo's Pizza
Mona's *
Moon Wok
Morning Call
Nile Cafe (-)
Nine Roses
Ninja *
Nola (-)
Panda Cafe (-)
Pyramid Cafe
Oak Street Cafe
Olive Branch Cafe
Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe *
Sara's *
Slim Goody's
Tacqueria Corona
Tan Dihn
Theo's Pizza
Tout de Suite
Vincent's *
Ye Olde College Inn (-)
The second part of the list has the names of places I'd like to eat. Some of them I've been to years ago, but not post-storm.
Bywater Bar-B-Que
Cafe Nino
Cafe Reconcile
China Doll
Crepe Nanou
Crepes A La Cart
Commander's Palace
Fellini's Cafe
Ferret Cafe
Frosty's Cafe
Irene's Cuisine
Juan's Flying Burrito
Kosher Cajun New York Deli
La Petite Grocery
Melting Pot
Pho Tau Bay
Port of Call
Sake Cafe
Santa Fe
taco truck
Tacqueria Mexciana
Tang Tang
So that's the list. My version anyway. It's length helps explain why I felt compelled to join a gym...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Promises Fulfilled

Today has been a big day. It's been a day to assuage guilt from things left too long undone.

I finished two books that had been lingering in half-read states for far too long. One of them was the book group book from earlier in the week. The other was book five in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. One more half-read book about museum education to go. It's a book that's been renewed form the library four times. Good thing no one else wants to read it.

I went to the gym and worked out for a couple of hours. After going almost everyday for two months, it had been depressing to see how little change there had been on the scale. I've been building muscle mass almost as quickly as I'd been burning the fat. But today the scale said there was officially 5 lbs. (2.27 kg) less of me than there had been on the day I joined the fitness center.

To celebrate the milestone, I asked my mom to bake some double chocolate brownies. It's not fitness sabotage; it's all about living it up and burning it off again. Eating them was guilt free.

I've spent the evening working on catching up with long-overdue emails. There used to be 350+ emails in my inbox that needed answering. A couple of months ago, 300 of them disappeared into the ether. Oopsie. Mil disculpas. Lots of email guilt.

And then there are the photos I took of friends that were snapped with the express purpose of posting them to the blog. Today is the day for them to make their debut.

First, we have Robyn and I in our construction worker safety outfits. This was taken a month or two before the scaffolding collapsed. It was also five pounds and two haircuts ago.

The next photo is a sneaky picture of James and Anna.

I went to Austin to visit them after my brother brought us together. We sat up late into the night, telling stories, laughing and crying. It would be nice to get back to Austin sometime before Christmas. I didn't promise that - but it would be nice.

And finally, I managed two blog posts today. Has that ever happened before? I haven't been feeling any blog guilt whatsoever since NaBloPoMo started. That's a positive change! Thank you Mrs. Kennedy.

The Prize

There haven't been any official takers for the Run-on-O-Rama. Maybe it's because I didn't entice anyone with a specific prize.

So, here's the prize I'm offering up. It's an authentic egg sushi eraser. Expertly styled, the eraser realistically portrays a scaled down model of a portion of rice, lovingly topped by a slice of omelet, and held together by a faux strip of seaweed. A real collectible, this item remains in it's original Japanese packaging. Leave it sealed and watch the value appreciate over the years.

What are you waiting for?

I did receive a random run-on sentence from a Ms. Anderson today, but I think she wanted more than the sushi eraser.

Right now, my husband and I are looking for a representative in the (AMERICA) who can be helping us to cash the U.S POSTAL MONEY ORDERS IN THE (AMERICA) and wire the cash to here in UNITED KINGDOM UK, we have a lot of customers in AMERICA and they all wanted to pay us with U.S POSTAL MONEY ORDERS, so we write you to seek for your assistance in partnership, we want you to be our AMERICA REPRESENTATIVE so that all our customers can be issuing the MONEY ORDERS to your name and you will CASH THE MONEY ORDERS and send the money to us here in UNITED KINGDOM UK.
Had she mentioned "AMERICA" a fifth time, I might have ended up sending her the grand prize due to the lack of other entries. Unfortunately, she does not quality.

Post your run-on in the comment section by November 7th and you can possibly win a really fabulous eraser because everyone kneads erasers unless they use pens or have mechanical pencils with the erasers already attached, but you know who you are and that eraser may come in handy for the lucky you and your erasing needs.

(See, it's not hard to do).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sloth Time

This hectic week has come to an end. Thank god.

I have a habit of getting involved in a lot of little things, all commitments that seem innocuous at first. Taken individually, they are quite harmless and non-time-consuming. But they multiply.

It's like going to the 100 yen shop in Japan. Things are cheap, only 100 yen ($.84). Maybe the reason for going into the store is to buy one particular 100 yen item. But it's so easy to keep throwing things in the basket because, hey, it's cheap. 100 yen shops in Japan are not like the crappy dollar stores in the US. They actually sell useful, sometimes beautiful, well-made things. Once the basket is full and the cash register rings up the total, suddenly the quest for an $.84 plastic binder has led to the purchase of $25 or more worth of other little goodies.

At least that's what always happened with me.

This week I was over-ambitious with how much could be done in a finite amount of time. This is not something new. But this week it was extreme. I ended up half-doing a lot of things because there wasn't enough time to go around. That never feels good.

My goal is to be slightly slothful this weekend. Even if it is only for a couple of hours, I want to sit and feel pressured to do absolutely nothing. I want an empty basket.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


tired tired tired tired tired...

SOOOOooooo tired. Writing a post tonight feels like doing homework. The bed is calling. It will be warm in the bed. Soft too. But first, must post.

It's NaBloPoMo. Must post.

There. I posted. 'Night.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Menu

Once again, it is book group eve, and I have not yet finished this month's book. It seems to be a pattern. Last month I finished The Secret History exactly one and a half hours before book group started.

This month the book is my pick, so it's kind of bad form not to finish reading. The problem is not that the book isn't interesting. M.F.K. Fisher's The Gastronomical Me fascinates. There is no plot. The book creates a loose chronology of the author's fond memories of food and life.
It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. - M.F.K. Fisher
Part of the reason I still haven't finished reading is that I was at the grocery store late tonight, making selections. At book group, food is probably more important than the month's reading selection. The book picker is also the food provider for the evening.

What to serve when the book is all about great meals and tastes?

I'm going with old favorites. Our appetizer will be guacamole (heavy on the lemon, garlic, and cayenne pepper) with tortilla chips. Next is spinach salad (live dangerously!) sprinkled with toasted almonds, blue cheese, strawberries, and a poppy seed dressing. It's not meant to be a green theme, but the entre will coincidently be green in color. Rotini pasta with fresh pesto Genovese, pine nuts, grated Parmesan, and grape tomatoes. Desert is sesame seed dumplings drizzled with honey. To drink, we'll have a selection of beverages, but the special offer will be mango-banana lassis.

I don't know how well all these tastes will go together. With a Mexican appetizer, American salad, Italian main course, Tibetan desert and Indian drink... it will be interesting. I will like it. I hope the combination agrees with everyone else's palates.