Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I just got back from writing class. It was fun. One of the girls works at a tabloid and talked about how intrusive it is. Apparently she was getting a bikini wax once and she got a call on her cell phone. Someone wanted to tell her, "Nicole Kidman and Urban just got off a plane! We need to send photographers!" She works as a photo editor. She also gets calls while she's watching movies (in the theater) about Angelina and Brad. She says Jennifer Aniston has bad friends. Apparently a lot of Jen's friends leak personal info to the magazine, such as how many times she and Vince Vaughn had sex (eight). And apparently Vince Vaughn has a thumb shaped like a toe. That is why he will never show his hands in a movie. I was happy to hear that this particular girl and 3 people from her department want to come to my first yoga class! I was a little worried because many people have full-time jobs, and the community classes are a bad time slot for that (2:30-3:45). But I guess a lot of people can take a long lunch or whatever. I have to figure out what music I want to use soon.

A bit on my novel. My protagonist is, shall we say, Behaving Badly. It becomes a problem to the extent that it might make her not likable or not sympathetic. The readers find the protagonist's sister more sympathetic. I fully understand this, but I always find the "bad one" more interesting to write about. Maybe because I have always been a "good girl" (I know, how boring), I find it more interesting to write about people who are "bad". I know this is gross oversimplification, but you know what I mean.

I had 2 oranges at home after class. For some reason I find it hard to eat just one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This and that

We had our buddy/mentor meeting tonight. That is, 4 people from yoga came over. T came first. I made pumpkin polenta (which ROCKED. Much, much better than it sounds) and we did some studying for the final. Apparently some people fail the yoga final, and although they attend graduation, they get a little envelope along with their diploma. *Shiver* Although my mentor assured us it doesn't happen often, and I think I know my stuff. He quizzed us. He also said to me, "The old ladies in your building push my buttons sometimes." Apparently he was downstairs, ringing up to come in, and this woman fixed him with a stare and said, "I'm not letting you in." Pretty rude, huh?

We did practice teaching. I tried playing Kate Bush's song "Pi" during it, but I got distracted. It's interesting because I played Zero 7 when I practice taught T alone (not the whole group) and it was fine. I guess I have to experiment with different kinds of background music.

Speaking of which, I went to the gym for an hour because I felt like a tub o' lard and I dredged up all my favorite tacky hits from the '90s. She's Homeless (Crystal Waters), Please Don't Go (Double You), Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-a-Lot), Supermodel (RuPaul), I'm So Sexy (Right Said Fred), Pump the Jam (Technotronic), and Jump (House of Pain) all made an appearance. "Get your booty on the floor tonight/Make my day." I also juxtaposed "Burning Up" (from Madonna's first album) and "Jump" from the current CD. I also listened to "Special" by Garbage about 48 times.

It's raining here, but kind of atmospheric.

Oh, and I almost forgot! T has a puppy, an Australian shepherd. Anyway, her daughter's friend was walking the dog (in New Jersey) and ran into Parker Posey walking her own dog! The girl said to Parker, "You look familiar," and Parker said, "Oh, I'm an actress, that's why." The girl said, "What's your name?" and Parker said, "Parker."

Notes from the one who can't sleep

I have insomnia, so I'm going to play What's in My Reading Pile?

I've got the following from the library:

Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner. I usually hate Red Dress Ink books, but my writing teacher says it's the only good one. The premise does sound pretty funny. It's about a genius with no social skills. Apparently she makes a joke about the metric system on a first date to convince the guy that she's not so serious. For some reason this tickles me ;) I used to be excessively, perhaps rudely bookish as a child. I always brought a book to the family Christmas party (a big shebang; they rent out a hall) until I was 12 or so, at which point my mother gently suggested that I stop.

Two for Joy by Patricia Scanlan. This woman could be Maeve Binchy's cousin. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have caught on in America. I like her though.

Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite. I renewed this one from my previous pile. It looks like a New Orleans murder mystery with some cooking thrown in. It seems like everything in N'awlins revolves around food. Unfortunately it's not very vegetarian (or so I've heard).

Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson. Kate is firmly back in my good graces after the awesome Case Histories.

Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson. This is a trashy vampire series, I enjoy it greatly. The books take about an hour to finish.

I also have Eating Heaven by Jenna Shortridge (I think that's her name) in my "purchased, but not yet read" pile. I think I'll read the library books first.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My baby's back



You may remember my struggles with Apple. Well, they're over now. I heart Apple. They sent me a new pink iPod. I promise to cherish it forevermore, and I will never drop it. (I say that every time).

I also made black bean soup from Crystal's blog. It was splendiferous. It took even less time than the recipe said. I found that it was heated through after 5 minutes, not 15.

I also had a good yoga class. I did a forearm stand (with assistance). That's where you put all your body weight on your forearms, which are on the ground. Yay!

Pictures!


















I didn't have my camera with me on Thanksgiving, but here are some pics from my niece's birthday party the next day. She turned 10 (wow). I remember when she was born, I visited my SIL (she gave birth in a midwife-type place right near the hospital) and I was contemplating getting a belly button ring. My SIL said to my mother, "Don't worry, it's just a phase." I never got one.

The pics include: my niece with her new stuffed black cat; cake; my piece of cake; Shelby, the dominant standard poodle; and my nephew engrossed in his new book, "97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Apples and cilantro

Not too much to report today. I was delighted to see Desperate Housewives and Gray's Anatomy after a 3-hour, 35-minute Amtrak ride. D whipped through the fourth Ladies' Detective Agency book on the train, while I read a bit of Solo by Emily Barr. I also polished off all my Catholic/Protestant holiday cards, and I'll do the Jewish/neutral ones soon.

I thought both shows were awesome. I love the idea of Eva Longoria competing with a nun for her husband's affections. Did you notice that the nun keeps smiling no matter what she says? I'm puzzled, though, as to what the nun will get out of it if she steals Eva's husband. Don't they take vows of celibacy? I also hope the pharmacist doesn't die. I can't believe Bree didn't call an ambulance for him! Gray's Anatomy was awesome as well. Dr. O'Malley was so sweet and comforting to Meredith!

I went grocery shopping at 11 pm. If you've never done this, I recommend it. No lines, no waiting, no shopping cart traffic jams. I bought the ingredients for Crystal's black bean soup, which I'll make tomorrow night. The store had no bell peppers, but I don't think D will be broken up about it because he doesn't like them anyway. Anyway, I bought cilantro for the soup and a bunch of apples (Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious). I was eating one of the Galas in the dark as I read Carolyn's blog and noticed it had an odd but not unpleasant flavor. Turned out a cilantro leaf got pressed against it.

I like the idea of (possibly) becoming a law librarian. People always say there is so much you can do with a JD, but I've never seen any options besides slaving away in a corporate, life-sucking law firm. Now I know of something! Thanks, Liz. I think I will pursue the writing/yoga path for a while longer, but this is something to keep in my back pocket :)

Good movies coming up: Memoirs of a Geisha and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. D read several of the Narnia books this weekend! I have only read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; the others don't grab me somehow. I'm also looking forward to The Family Stone, though it may not be good.

Good night, all.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Like a rock

Did you ever have one of those meals that sits in your stomach like a rock? That just happened to me. I had dinner with Mom and D at this new place in Danvers called "Red Sauce." The space has gone through many incarnations. It used to be Romy's when I was a little girl. They had stale crackers and wonderful cheese.

Anyway, tonight I shared a baby spinach, gorgonzola and roasted fennel salad with my mom (they DRENCHED IT in dressing; sometimes I forget to ask for it on the side). D had arancini (fried risotto balls with mozzarella inside; I had half of one). Then my entree was linguine with tomato sauce and basil. Doesn't sound too heavy, huh? Oh, and I had a little bread. Ugh.

I'm thinking I might want to get my master's in library science. I know I am doing the yoga teaching/writing thing, but I have always (or maybe just recently) liked the idea of working in a library. I could recommend books to people. Like this: if you like Maeve Binchy, try Patricia Scanlan! Really. I got Francesca's Party by Patricia Scanlan from the library, and it's quite cozy. I'm almost done.

Oh, my nephew told me that at his school, they have a "tarantula, a squid and a human backbone." I wonder if it's true; sometimes his details are off ;)
Hi everybody! I think this is the longest I've gone without blogging since I started this thingy in June. D has used his computer wizardry to get a faster connection somehow. I got knocked out by some kind of allergies/cold, but the urge to blog came today. I have pictures, but I'll have to put them up later since I don't have the cord with me.

Thursday: We went to my brother and SIL's house. My brother plied us with brussels sprout soda and turkey and gravy soda. I kid you not. I didn't have any. I also passed up the pie! I did have roasted veggies, butternut squash, and baked ziti (which I made in the morning). I learned that Valerie Bertinelli got my brother through junior high. I'm 11 years younger than him - I didn't even know who she was! My sister brought her new dog Chloe over to join in. She is actually smaller than my brother and SIL's standard poodle. The standard poodle, Shelby, is extremely dominant. She started humping Chloe right away! Shame! Chloe is extremely sweet and good-natured.

Friday: We went to my brother and SIL's house again because it was my niece's birthday. She turned 10! She received many, many books, including a beautiful hardcover edition of The Secret Garden from D. I gave her The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (one of her favorite authors) and Bend It Like Beckham, which she wanted. D also gave my nephew some presents, so he wouldn't feel left out. One of the presents was a book called "97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile." My nephew immediately started trying out the ways on his dog, and wrote down which ones worked and which ones didn't. My niece got a writing journal (I think it was from my mom) and immediately started writing a story called "The Spoiled Kitten," I think from the kitten's point of view. The piece de resistance was an awesome cake that my SIL's mother brought over. My SIL's mother knows a woman who makes cakes in her church basement. These cakes are amazing - buttercream frosting, moist chocolate on the inside, just fabulous. They are the best cakes in the world. The woman's husband left her. WHY?????

Saturday: That's today, I guess. I went on a 2-hour walk, partially with my mom (she got tired and turned around). New England can be very beautiful and treesy, with a carpet of fallen leaves, but I got extremely allergic afterward.

Other news: D and I will probably go to Miami for a week in February.

I am looking forward to catching up on all your blogs and comments! It sounds like a lot of you are sick or congested too, so feel better :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My new painting



So I went to Wai Cafe today and bought "Bird and Turtle Love," which is now hanging proudly in our kitchen.



Here is the artist's business card.

I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, getting ready to go home to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. My niece's birthday presents arrived on time from Amazon. Yay! At any rate, my mother has dial-up, so I may be incommunicado for the next few days.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005


Hi everyone, I made a recipe I haven't made in a while tonight. We had fallen out of touch, like old friends, but now we are reunited. I am now a convert to frozen spinach...easier to work with. And I'm thawing it in the microwave, like Lora recommended. I'll be trying her vegetarian lasagna soon (it's in her October archives if you feel like digging around).

Penne with spinach and chickpeas in garlic sauce (Jeanne Lemlin, Quick Vegetarian Pleasures)

1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed in the microwave
1 lb penne
1/3 c olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 t salt
1/4 c Parmesan (I used more)

Bring a 6-qt pot of water to boil and add the penne. Cook until al dente, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and cook 2 minutes more. Add the spinach, salt and 1/4 c boiling pasta water and stir well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

When the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly in a colander. Return it to the pot or put it in a large serving bowl. Spoon on the sauce and toss well. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, toss again, and serve with additional cheese to pass at the table.

We're watching "How I Met Your Mother" right now. It's not the best show in the world, but I'm always pleasantly surprised when we watch it. Doogie Hawser, all grown up, is pretty funny. He has a snide persona, similar to his character in "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" (a fun movie if you haven't seen it). Another character, Lily (she's played by the Hannigan girl from the American Pie movies, I can't remember her first name for the life of me) is forced to make a 6-layer salad for her future-in-laws. Key ingredients are mayonnaise (16 cups!) and gummy bears.

P.S. I did some online shopping and I am now officially done with my Christmas shopping. THANK GOD. I think Bdogg inspired me with her vow to finish by Thanksgiving. My credit cards are groaning, assaulted by a huge wave of evil...but I'm done.
I just spent $112 on Christmas presents. Okay, you can subtract $3.00 for wrapping paper and $1.97 for a tank top for me (who can turn away a price like that?) It hurts and feels good at the same time ;)

On the way home I saw a fluffy white dog and a black pug. They were sniffing each other, but gave up and rushed over to me. They were both equally eager for attention. When I was going to lunch with D, we saw two shih-tzu type dogs who were very excited! One bounced up and clocked me between my nose and lips with his or her skull.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Forbidden love

That's the name of a Madonna song I like. When we got to yoga school today, one of the directors put in Madonna's new CD and we all danced, then grouped together for a class photo. We talked about sequencing all day. We also got our poses for our physical final! The teacher made a little ritual out of it. She made a deck of sealed notecards with the poses written inside. We each had to shuffle the deck while singing OM, spread out the deck with our right hand, and then pick a card with our left. Then we took a rose petal and a chocolate kiss and went back to our seats after tapping someone else on the head, so that person could take his or her turn.

I was very, very happy with my poses. I got: setu bandha (half-wheel), urdhva dhanurasana (wheel), and supta padungasthasana (lying on your back while holding onto your big toe with a yogic toe-lock). Woo hoo! The first two are backbends and I love backbends. They're kinda like crack. Well, I've never taken crack, but they make you feel good. They accelerate your heart rate and flood you with adrenaline. It's good stuff. Yay!!!!

This was also our last day of lecture. Next weekend we have off, due to Thanksgiving. Has anyone else noticed great, huge mounds (rather, mountains) of sweet potatoes and russet potatoes in their supermarket? I guess they are preparing for the hordes. I snapped up two russets for my and D's lunch. Baked 'em up with melted cheese, parsley and nonfat sour cream. Yummy in my tummy.

Then, the weekend after that, everyone goes to *one* day of practice teaching. Mine is Saturday. So I have Sunday off for the first time since September. The weekend after that, we have our physical final (where we teach the poses mentioned above), and I only have to go on Sunday. The next weekend is the written final (Saturday) and graduation (2 hours on Sunday). So the time of all weekends being filled up is over, over, over. I'm psyched about teaching. January 12 is my first community class. So, if you'll be in NYC then, let me know and I will send you the details.

I met a boxer doggy who shared my name yesterday, a basset hound named Sherman this morning and a 6-month-old bulldog with lots of energy and very white fur tonight.

Update on the artist: I am going to meet him on Tuesday at the restaurant where I saw the painting, so I can buy it! I may put up pictures ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

What a long, strange day it's been

First, I burned the inside of my left wrist cooking spinach. That's right, folks, cooking spinach. I've never used frozen spinach before, and I confess to being a bit of a fresh-vegetable snob. However, this "green gnocchi" recipe of Rachael Ray's called for frozen, so frozen it was. The package directions said to put the spinach in 1/2 c of boiling water in a saucepan, and stab the block of spinach with a fork to hasten thawing. So I stabbed it (it was a small saucepan), and the water in the pan promptly bounced up and burned me.

Then we went to yoga school and dressed up as pregnant women. It was pre-natal day. The teacher went through a stunning litany of what happens to your body when you are pregnant. Most of it is not good: you gain 7 liters of water (14 bottles of spring water), the curve of your spine is exaggerated, etc. Toward the end, no position is comfortable for more than 5 minutes, a fact pre-natal yoga teachers need to remember. And you can't lie on your belly. And you can't lie on your back for very long. Yikes. Anyway, we strapped blankets to our middles and did yoga poses, which were grotesquely transformed. Our center of gravity was thrown off and certain balancing poses were suddenly harder to get into. And the extra weight hanging from our middles was no joke. Still, it was funny seeing the guys pregnant ;)

"The Women's History of the World" had some truly disturbing stuff in it. I don't know if it's good or bad that I'm now aware of it. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss.

I had dinner with T after yoga. There was a beautiful painting in the restaurant, pink, with a turtle and a bird hugging. I know D would like it. I asked if I could buy it (it was only $70, which for paintings is nothing), but the waitress said I would need to call the artist, and gave me his card. I feel shy about calling the artist.

Friday, November 18, 2005

2 burning (or silly) questions

OK, I have 2 burning or silly questions, depending on how you look at them.

1) I'm a fan of Rachael Ray, though I've never seen her show. And Lisa's success with her pumpkin polenta makes me want to try it. I like the whole quick & easy thing she has going on. Oops...that didn't sound quite right. Anyway, you know what I mean. Half hour meals and all. So I had her newest cookbook on my Amazon wish list. But I thumbed through it at the bookstore, and saw tons of meat recipes. There's a vegetarian section which would probably be useful. But is looking at the meat recipes all the time going to make me queasy? And the vegetarian section is pretty short. But I could play with some of the pastas to make them vegetarian. Probably.

2) I've already henna'd my hair dark brown for this month. (Last month was light brown.) I like the whole henna deal and want to continue, but I am still experimenting with colors. My friend T uses chestnut and it looks good. However, I wear pink a lot. Will the chestnut highlights clash?

Thank you for your attention to these weighty matters.

Have a good weekend!
Instead of reading my reviewers' copies, I dived into "A Women's History of the World" by Rosalind Miles last night. This was a recommendation from Bdogg.

It's one of those books that makes you angry, enlightens you, makes you wonder if all this is true, makes you wonder why you didn't know this stuff already, and above all, keeps you reading. I don't want to spoil it for anyone because I think you should all read it. One of my favorite parts of the book is how women were initially treated as goddesses because they had children (or "life flowed through them," as the author poetically puts it) and no one had figured out why. Women rock! Of course, there is a lot of dark and horrible stuff in the book too. But I'm impressed above all by how we just kept going.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I just finished "Twilight" by Stephenie (yes, it's really spelled that way) Meyer, and I thought it was most fabulous. I'm a fan of vampire lit that is not by Anne Rice. My friend Carpe loaned me her book, "Pandora," some years ago and I read it but didn't love it. I do like how she has a Halloween party in N'awlins every year. I don't know if it's open invitation or not though. You do have to come in costume.

Anyway, this book was so good that I tore through it in 2 days despite it being about 490 pages long. It was so well plotted. The author kept throwing in new complications and making the stakes higher and higher. The characters were great too. So well done!

Next I will read either "Lust for Life" or "I Think She's Trying to Tell Me Something", which I'll be reviewing for chicklitbooks.com. Stay tuned.
So writing class was a little intense last night. One of the girls had written some pages, the start of a novel, before, but then she changed her mind and decided to go in a new direction. She wrote about a girl who was talking with her boyfriend, who was much older, and the boyfriend started asking probing questions about the girl's best friend. The girl replied that her best friend was on break from school, and the boyfriend suggested that the three of them go on vacation together. (Can you see where this was going?) The girl, not seeing where it was going, clasped her hands together and said, "That would be so wonderful," etc. Then the guy started saying lewd things about her best friend and saying he wanted the best friend "between us, just like this." The girl's "days and nights became blurred" and she retreated to her bed.

After reading this, I get to class and the girl starts saying, all starry-eyed, that the man and woman are in love, etc., and some older woman leaves her husband for the guy, and the two women become friends, and "there is an interest between them, not necessarily sexual." Not able to contain myself any longer, I was like, "This guy is a CREEP" and a lively debate ensued. Turns out the author of the story dated a 60-year-old when she was 24 and is fascinated with Lolita.

I just found it unbelievable that the girl in the story would put up with this. Another girl in the class thought the guy in the story needs to be younger (in the story, the girl is in her 20s and the guy is in his 50s) or else have something very compelling about him to explain why all these women (not just one) are into him. The author explained that she didn't grow up in America, etc. and was frankly surprised by the other girl's reaction.

I ended up walking part of the way home with the author, who was nice enough to share her umbrella with me. But I was irritated! I was thinking, more likely than not, that the book is "faction" and she has put up with all kinds of crap from pervy older men. Then I talked about it with D and how the whole thing had a dom-sub feeling and he said, "You know, she's probably just very submissive." Then we decided that most women who date much older men (20-year age difference or greater) are probably submissive, with the exception of Anna Nicole Smith, who was just into her husband's money.

I guess I don't really understand the appeal of submissiveness. When my parents met, my mom was 23 and my dad was 33, but it was very much an equal relationship. I guess there are all kinds of preferences out there and all kinds of different thought. I did like the movie Secretary, but I felt that Maggie Gyllenhaal's character was kind of feisty and more into the sub/dom relationship as a kinky thing, rather than being truly passive.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I've been listening to Madonna's new CD some more. I love it. It's like she let all the disco in her soul loose. It's awesome! The lyrics are fun too.

I've been to other places, but I like New York
Other places make me feel like a dork.

Hehe :)

I'm still reading Case Histories. Almost done. It's really, really good and it keeps getting better. Like dessert with surprises. I think y'all should read it. You can ignore the boring title and un-promising beginning. I'd give it an A.

So I'm scheduled to teach my first yoga class in January. I said to my mentor last night, "I'd love to teach a yoga class with all dance music, but I probably shouldn't do it the first time," and he said regretfully, "Probably not." I'm going to sneak a couple of dance songs in there though. Like Track 4 on Madonna's new CD. It's called Future Lovers. :)

Poppy wanted a review of Kate's new CD. I haven't listened to it as much as Madonna's. It's much more subdued, but it's good, and powerful in a quiet way. If you like Kate, you should get it.

Oh, I have a confession to make. I'm obsessed with roasted squash soup. I don't want to make anything else. Well, I made penne a la vodka last night, but you know what I mean. I'm going to make the squash soup today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Aargh...I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Haven't been able to read more of Case Histories. Went to a yoga class this morning (we have to do a beginners' class, plus a 2 or a 2/3, which means intermediate or intermediate/advanced) each week.

I stopped at B&N on the way back and got Madonna's new CD, Kate Bush's new CD (first since '93 -yay!) and the first season of The Nanny, which is kind of a guilty pleasure over here. D used to watch it (reruns, of course) and I was like, "How can you stand her voice?" Then it grew on me.

We're listening to Madge's CD first since D is a Madonna fan, but not a Kate Bush fan. On Madonna's CD, the first song is good, then the others all kind of sound alike until you hit #10. Then 10, 11 and 12 are weird, fun and interesting. I'm predicting that the in-between songs will grow on me.
I have two conflicting desires.

1) For it to be nice and sunny here. However, if it was nice and sunny all the time, people would probably just lie around in the sun, focus on their looks, and lose all ambition. This could be fun for a week or so (South Beach) but it would wear on me pretty quickly. I'm by nature a little neurotic (Woody Allen) so New York is a good fit for me.

2) For it to snow!!! If it's going to be gray anyway, let's have some drama. And the snow is very pretty before it turns dark gray from exhaust (which happens in New York pretty quickly). When I was growing up in MA, I always took my dog for a walk during the first snow. She was a Cairn terrier, pretty small, and jumped from snowbank to snowbank. Sometimes she fell right into a drift of snow and then she'd pop back up. It was cute. She had a lot of spirit, but calmed down as she got older. She was about 16 when D met her, and she just came out to the kitchen wagging her tail. (She liked D right away.) D asked at first, "Why is she so mellow?"

I am loving Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. I'll admit I was turned off by the title. Do you see a book called Case Histories and have a burning desire to read it RIGHT NOW? I thought not. It seems dry. But it's not at all. After a slow beginning, she brings everybody to life. I started it fairly late in the day yesterday and I'm on page 200 or so. Which brings me to my next conclusion. The book I was reading before it, Beginner's Luck by Laura Pedersen, must not have been very good, because it was about the same length (around 300 pages) but took me about a week to finish. D thinks there should be a time limit for books; if it's taking too long, put it down. Hmm.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bookies

I have 7 books waiting for me at the library. Yikes! I better pick 'em up. They are closed on Friday and Sunday, which makes my life more difficult.

Here they are:

Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber (recommended by Crystal)

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry (recommended by Liz)

Francesca's Party by Patricia Scanlan (saw this on Amazon, it looked fun and interesting)

Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite (Babel Babe recommended this on Carolyn's blog; is there any way that's the author's real name? Should I name my kid Opium Nightlight?)

The Thing About Jane Spring (another Babel Babe recommendation that I stole)

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (this was an editor's recommendation at Amazon. It's a YA book about love-crossed vampires. Kind of Romeo and Juliet with some bloodsucking thrown in for good measure. Should be interesting).

Who Cooked the Last Supper? by Rosalind Miles (recommended by Bdogg)

I'm currently sloughing through Beginner's Luck by Laura Pedersen. I don't know why, but it's taken me like a year to finish. By a year I mean about a week. I guess it was a busy week. I'll probably read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson next, or else I'll plunge right into this next batch of library books.
I just found three earplugs floating in the toilet. I don't know why this is blog-worthy, but somehow it is ;)
Aargh, I can't sleep. So I will do one of my late-night specials on a random topic. Tonight's topic is the Bendix.

The Bendix was a much-loved diner on 8th and 21st. They had a weird mural on the wall featuring people with purple hair, etc. Our favorite dishes there were the Thai salad with peanut dressing and soft tofu, and the pad see euw with tofu. Pad see euw consists of broad rice noodles, big chunks of deep-fried tofu and broccoli, all drenched in some kind of greasy, delicious sauce. (We were both a little heavier back then.) We would finish off this cholesto-fest with a large brownie sundae. Let's break it down: a huge, luscious chocolate brownie with walnuts, big scoops of vanilla ice cream, a cherry on top, and mounds of whipped cream. God. I don't know whether to be repulsed or excited when I remember it. At least we shared it.

When I had mono in 2001, the Bendix was there. They delivered their greasy delights in a brown paper bag. I'm sure the grease soaked through sometimes. Another of their yummy offerings was an "Oriental grilled cheese," which they made with thick slices of challah bread, melted cheese, bok choy, tofu and bean sprouts. Their motto, printed out in the front window, was GET FAT! Everyone loved to go there.

Then, sadly, their lease ran out. Bloomie's Nail Salon moved in. The neighborhood will never be the same.

D and I discovered another Bendix, on the East Side. Our loyalty was such that we dragged our butts across town to go there. They had a huge plastic bridge with a plastic Godzilla on the top. We got all our usual dishes. A friendly California surfer-type waiter frequently waited on us. We had the sundae. My college roommate, who lives in D.C., visited us and got the grilled cheese sandwich.

Then they, too, closed. Without even a good-bye letter posted on the glass front of the restaurant (at the West Side Bendix, the manager put up a letter explaining that the lease had run out). My college roommate was looking forward to her next grilled cheese sandwich, but we had to tell her they had closed. Soon, the space was taken by a Japanese restaurant.

Bendix, we miss you. We may be able to wear smaller sizes in your absence, and our waistlines may be grateful, but one day, maybe in heaven, we'd like another thick slab of brownie sundae and pile of pad see euw noodles.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My in-depth review of P&P

So last night we saw Pride & Prejudice. I was a little tired because we went to the 10:00 showing and Bearette's bedtime is around 11:30 these days. The running time was 2 hours and 20 minutes so it was after 12:30 by the time we got home (and that was with a cab; usually I'd walk home). I'd love to see it again when I'm fully awake, and I'll probably buy the DVD for that reason (also because it was a good movie).

Anyway, I couldn't help comparing it to the BBC version at the beginning. I'm pretty sure it was Donald Sutherland playing Mr. Bennet (I think Austen spells it with one t) and that was just weird. He seemed like he was stoned or something. I know he's supposed to be dry and indifferent to the household goings-on, but still. Mrs. Bennet was annoying, but not as good as the BBC Mrs. Bennet, who was fabulous. I thought Keira Knightley was a better Elizabeth than Jennifer Ehle from the BBC version. I always pictured Elizabeth as thin and pixie-ish, maybe a little high-strung, and Jennifer Ehle is more Rubinesque and deliberate in her movements.

At first I was really opposed to the guy they had playing Darcy. Colin Firth is just better. However, this guy did a better job of portraying the obnoxiousness of Darcy. In the BBC version, Colin is so nice that you feel like Elizabeth is just being picky when she turns him down the first time. And the Darcy in this version did a good job of growing on you. (In a preview, I learned that Colin Firth is going to be in some dreadful movie called Nanny McPhee, which also includes Emma Thompson (who is usually super cool). It looks TERRIBLE.)

In the BBC version, Jane actually was a little prettier than Elizabeth, and she wasn't really here. So it wasn't credible that Bingley was falling all over himself for Jane and not noticing Elizabeth at all. Bingley was as usual super-amiable and reminded us both of our friend Mike. However, he was a redhead here, which was startling.

Mr. Collins was cast so well. He was a really freakish character (the minister cousin who crashes at the Bennets' house and hits on Jane, then Elizabeth when he finds out Jane is taken) and stole many scenes. He reminded D of Mr. Bean. Mr. Collins in the BBC version was so annoying that you just wanted him to leave. This Mr. Collins was awesome and a real casting coup. Yay!

I'm trying to think of the other characters. The Lydia/Wickham subplot was really trimmed down here and took up maybe 15 minutes of screen time, as opposed to the BBC version, which really played up the horror (in those days) of Lydia running off with Wickham, becoming damaged goods, and engaging in a hasty marriage. This movie took a more modern approach, saying, "Oh, Lydia and Wickham ran off, Darcy paid for the wedding, how sweet."

The cinematography was beautiful. When Darcy proposes to Elizabeth the first time, they're actually outside in this groovy gazebo. There's also a scene with someone standing on a cliff (filmed from far away so I'm not sure who it was). Keira also gave Elizabeth a fresh quality, as if she were more modern somehow. And again, Mr. Collins was a true riot. I'd share some of his lines but I don't want to spoil them for you. See it!

As a side note, I think commercials (not previews) before movies should be banished. I saw several good previews, though. There's one with Jennifer Aniston and Mark Ruffalo, and one with Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Diane Keaton, and Rachel McAdams. I want to see them both. I think they come out around Christmas. D doesn't want to see either of them because he doesn't like Jennifer Aniston or SJP, and he thinks Diane Keaton is the mark of a "bomb."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Today AT and I went to a yoga class and I felt like my mojo was back. It may have been because of the Dayquil.

AT: (seeing our teacher) She is ripped.
Bearette: Someday I'll have arms like that.
(high five)

This woman has arms like Madonna but with no body fat. Maybe 1% body fat. After class:

AT: That was great.
Bearette: Wasn't it good?
AT: She's like a drill sergeant, though. But I kinda like that.

The funny thing was, before class I thought: "She's kind of military. But AT will probably like that."

The class really did kick butt. I feel perfectly happy during yoga, except when I'm sick. I think it's because I'm not thinking or worrying about anything. Just moving.

Afterward AT, D and I went to Jackson Diner in Queens, which is yummy and cheap. They give you your weight in food for about $5. Okay, I'm exaggerating but the food-to-cost ratio is excellent and the food is yummy to boot. The garlic naan is to die fawr (imagine obnoxious accent here).

I also met one of the top three cutest dogs in the world on my way to yoga. This dog frequents the office across the hall from the yoga studio. He is a baby King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniel puppy and his name is Charlie. His fur is the softest thing in the world and he is beautiful. He was fascinated with my pink hood and sniffed it for several minutes. It is a marvel that I was not late for class.

I recently read a Lorrie Moore book, "Anagrams," where a character who's a professor asks her students to draw a picture of their soul, as they envisioned it when they were children. Then she wants their poetry, all semester, to reflect that. For me, it was so obvious: a small, fluffy puppy! What would you say?

Oh, and we didn't get to see Pride and Prejudice. Maybe next weekend, when it's in wider release. Right now it's "limited," so it's not showing at our friendly neighborhood theater, and it was late when we got back from Jackson Diner.
So I'm hoping to see Pride and Prejudice soon. I don't know if it will be as good as the 6-hour, but fast-paced, BBC version. If you're an Anglophile and you haven't seen it, you should. And that means you, Bdogg :)

I like Keira Knightley, though Elizabeth Bennet is supposed to be plainer than her sister Jane, and I doubt "plain" and "Keira" have ever appeared in the same sentence before. I have qualms about the male lead. Darcy is supposed to have presence! A strong, grumpy personality that later melts! I can't even remember this new actor's name. Come on, Colin. Play Darcy again.

In an unrelated note, I think Charlize Theron looks really cool with black hair.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Celebrities, noses and writing

So I woke up with the strong feeling that I had seen Renee Zellweger in the supermarket, and I was going to blog about it. But as consciousness set in, I realized I hadn't seen a celebrity in a while, and the supermarket in my dream appeared to be the supermarket in my hometown. Notice how I said "the supermarket in my hometown." I doubt I'd see her there.

D and I did see Tyra Banks at Red Cat, a restaurant in West Chelsea, some years ago. She kind of rudely climbed over D as she got into her booth, and he rolled his eyes and seemed irritated (not knowing who she was). Then he said something about her and her group of friends, like, "They're so loud!" Then I was looking at her, thinking, "Someone famous has green eyes like that," and she gave me a big smile and said, "Hi!!!!" Then she said to her friends, "No one is recognizing me. Usually everyone is like, 'Tyra, can I have your autograph?'" That's when I knew for sure it was her, and I told D. D got really amused and started saying, "I got ticked at Tyra!" We also used to go to an Italian restaurant, Gennaro, where Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick went all the time. We saw them there twice. There was great debate about Kevin Bacon's attractiveness. Interestingly, the women thought he looked ordinary, and the men thought he was good-looking. He had on a baseball cap. My first celeb sighting was Susan Sarandon in the Village about 6 years ago. She saw me recognize her and raced away! I wouldn't have harassed her, though. I even waited till she was gone to tell the people I was with. But there have been no celeb sightings for a while. I guess the most recent was Ted, the cook on Queer Eye, a show I no longer even watch. I just forget. I guess the novelty wore off.

How can you tell if someone has a nose job? I will be extremely general here, and not say how I know this person, because you never know who is reading, but I am really curious. The nose in question is upturned, like Janet's and Michael's, but it is a little too broad across the bottom for perfect symmetry. It also somehow looks less natural than the other noses surrounding it. It may also be a slightly different color. Do you think they offer a slightly-too-broad option to throw people off? Interesting.

In other news, my writing class continues. My writing teacher accidentally left her comments at home, but told me she thinks I will probably re-work the chronology at the beginning. She suggested a different point where I could start it. She did say to keep going, finish it up and then re-work the very beginning.

One of the women in my class is very hard on herself about her writing. She said, "Didn't you all have special training, like college?" and we were like, yes, we went to college, but they don't necessarily give you special training for writing. The teacher concurred, saying writing workshops are the way to do it. I have my usual perfume problem where someone is wearing perfume and it makes me allergic. I'll probably bring it up next time. It just makes me feel demanding, but on the other hand, I'm sniffling all through class and I already have a cold anyway.

I brought out the big guns for my cold. I was taking Nyquil at night, but now I'm taking Dayquil during the day too. Let's see if this works. The worst thing about it is that yoga with a cold is no fun. I really miss yoga. I still have to take 2 classes this week (1 down, 1 to go) but it's just not the same with a cold. I feel as if I've lost my mojo. Austin, I feel your pain.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I saw this meme at Poppy's and Lisa's and the results with my real name are just so off-the-wall, I had to include them.

My ten favorites:

Katie needs to talk at talking times only.

Katie needs attention. Lying on my bed waiting for a real man to come slamming into my room. Rip my clothes off without a word spoken.

Katie is in a race with her friend Maggie to see who can build a clubhouse faster. Katie needs your help with vocabulary words to win.

Katie needs to wear pantyhose, longer skirts, and dress professionally.

Katie needs a Project Manager.

Katie needs a wand.

Katie needs a real man, not someone who believes in aliens and acts as though those very aliens gave him an honorary degree in psychiatry.

Katie needs to stay away from those negative websites and focus on what she needs to do.

Katie needs to wear fishnets sometime.

Katie needs to be able to communicate effectively and will spend her first two years learning Mandarin in Kunming City, in Yunnan Province.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I am so excited! Anne Tyler has a new book coming out in May 2006. It is called Digging to America! I was just re-reading parts of The Amateur Marriage the other day. The ending actually made me cry the first time around. I think, for better or worse, I really related to Pauline. It kind of functioned as a cautionary tale for me. For those who haven't read the book, Pauline is kind of a fun, dramatic type but also a little oversensitive.

In other news, I think I fixed my digital camera. The lens was frozen in "zoom" position. I turned it on and off, fiddled with the zoom button a bit and now the lens seems to be behaving itself. I need to buy a memory stick.

Take my quiz!

I saw this over at the Zombieslayer's and I couldn't resist. You make your own quiz and your blog friends take it.

Take my Quiz on QuizYourFriends.com!

Maybe some chocolate for the winner? ;)
I really have nothing to post about today, but I'll post anyway. 'Cause I feel like it. ;)

I'm sick as a dog (well, not really, it's just a cold but I have a taste for drama). I won't be going to MA after all. My brother told me about W (our family friend) when Mom was still in Iceland. She went for a few days with some friends; they were going to go to a 100-degree outdoor pool, among other things. She came home, my brother told her about W, and then I called her to make transportation plans. It turns out she's not able to take any more time off work, because she just came back from vacation and she's taking Wednesday off for the funeral, so she wouldn't be able to pick me and D up at Alewife (a 40-minute trip from her house), and she's going to an event after the funeral so she wouldn't be able to drive us back either. I'd forgotten what a hassle it can be to get back and forth in MA. The public transportation in Manhattan is top-notch (even if it sometimes smells or the A/C is broken on a subway car), but there's no real public transportation between Boston and my hometown. I could get a commuter rail to a nearby town, but I'd still need to be picked up. Oh well. I am very glad I got to visit W a couple weeks ago. And she did seem happy up till the end, which is great, and she was not in pain.

My mom told me that my sister fell down the stairs. I didn't get all the details straight, but I think she was wearing high heels and her dog was being puppyish. So I sent her something in the mail today. I think she will like it. She is apparently fine; her finger got dislocated but they popped it back in. My yoga mentor told us that sometimes people's shoulders pop out in yoga! I think it only happens if you've dislocated your shoulder before. He had someone like that in class; her shoulder popped out, and she nonchalantly popped it back in.

So I am taking a bit of a lazy day because of my cold. I went to the gym for 30 minutes at a slower speed than usual, and I plan to spend the rest of the day reading a library book. (More on that later).

Here are the songs I listened to at the gym, on D's iPod (I made an On-the-Go playlist).
By the way, D let me transfer my songs from my computer to his iPod, since mine is busted. Isn't that nice? He said my songs were probably better anyway ;) And he still has his songs on his computer.

Clark Gable (The Postal Service)
Clocks (Coldplay)
Protection (Everything But the Girl) - one of my favorite songs.
Reelin' in the Years (Steely Dan)
She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby)
Take on Me (A-Ha) - ditto.
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (The Postal Service)
The Samurai in Autumn (Pet Shop Boys)
West End Girls (Pet Shop Boys) - ditto.
What is Love? (Haddaway)

Then, in Lisa fashion, I will list all my newest books from the library.

Anagrams by Lorrie Moore
Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
Beginner's Luck by Laura Pedersen
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Lorrie Moore: On a friend's recommendation, I read Like Life, and then I read Birds of America and Who Will Save the Frog Hospital? After I finish Anagrams and Self-Help, I will be done with her oeuvre. (Is that too pretentious a word to use, ever? I like it because it makes me think of hors d'oeuvres.) She better write some more.

Laura Pedersen: R from chicklitbooks.com sent me a book of hers to review, and I decided to read her other book.

Kate Atkinson: I love love loved Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but was underwhelmed by her other books. Maybe this one will redeem her?

I think I'll start out with Lorrie.

P.S. I put all your recommended books on hold at the library, but I haven't received them yet. Thanks again. I may do that again sometime!
:)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just a quick note before I go to yoga school. Last night TN and I went to Wai, which has sort of multi-cuisine vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. We split a plate of veggie dumplings (well, I had most of 'em; TN weighs less than 100 lbs ;) and then I had a veggie burger and a little salad with their trademark carrot ginger dressing. Then we saw Prime. For the most part, I liked the movie. My biggest complaint was the sound. It seemed very soft to me. And the audience was a little rowdy. Sometimes they would keep laughing and we would miss whole chunks of dialogue. Oh well.

It wasn't the most intelligent script ever, and the characters weren't really well developed, but it was a solid B+. I like chick flicks a lot so there may be some grade inflation. I found the basic concept of the movie (older woman dates younger man; the man's mom is the woman's therapist; the man is Jewish, the woman is not) interesting enough to hold my attention. I do find it unrealistic though that Uma Thurman's character was doing well enough financially to have an ENORMOUS apartment on Three Fifth Ave (probably a fictitious address) and still have oodles of time to play with her boy toy. Also, the boy was kind of a dork. Not that that's a bad thing, but he played Nintendo all the time. I can kind of see why a 14-year-age gap, especially with the guy being younger, is not a good thing.

T slept over on the couch. In the morning we went to Bright Food Shop and both got cornmeal pecan griddlecakes with bananas. They were awesome. Really tender and fluffy. I saw a baby pug outside and ran outside to pat it. The owner was carrying it in a Puppia harness. She explained that pugs have broad chests and the other harnesses chafe them. The pug licked my hand and then my nose like there was no tomorrow.

Yesterday at yoga school, we did forward bends. I was a bit overzealous. I think I gave my hamstrings the workout of their lives. There is one forward bend where you have your legs stretched out in front of you, and you're sitting up. Then you extend your hands until you're holding your heels and your face is pressing against your knees. Then you can have someone else lie on your back (they're looking up to the ceiling) and they stretch back and grab your toes. It feels unbelievable. The other person asked, "Does that hurt?" I said, "No...oh, WOW..." and everybody started laughing. Then, 'cause I'm a greedy Bearette, I had to do it 4 times. I couldn't be the one "on top" though because my partner for this exercise couldn't get her head to her knees. Oh well. It felt good at the time, now I'm regretting it a little. I should probably only have done it once.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This is a really, really good soup. It's more labor intensive than most of my recipes, but it's truly worth it. It's so yummy. And nothing smells better than roasting squash. Maybe onions being sauteed in butter are a close second.

Roasted Squash Soup (Didi Emmons, Vegetarian Planet)

1 small butternut squash, cut in half
1 acorn squash, cut in half
1/2 spaghetti squash (I just used a whole, small spaghetti squash. I cut it in half and used both halves.)
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 t curry powder (I used Pondicherry curry powder from Whole Foods. It smells really good.)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 c sherry
5 c water
1 t salt
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Lay the squash halves cut side down on baking sheets, and roast them for 45 min or until the flesh is soft. When the squash has cooled a little, scoop out the seeds and discard them. With a large spoon, scoop out the flesh of the squash into a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook for 5 min, stirring frequently, until the onion softens. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add the apples and the sherry, and simmer for 10 min, or until the apples soften.
3. Puree the squash flesh with the water in batches in a blender or food processor. Transfer the squash puree to a large saucepan, then puree the apple-sherry mixture, and add this to the pureed squash.
4. Heat the soup, and season it with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and serve.
Lish has a post about blogoholism and how she felt she was very, very sick. She has a link to the test, but I'm afraid to take it ;)

We went to Surya last night. I started getting really strong tummy pains after I ate (might be because I eat REALLY FAST unless I make a conscious effort to slow down). We got some Pepcid AC (over-the-counter now) on the way home. It didn't kick in till we got home, but once it did, it was quite effective.

Other than the pains, dinner was good. J finds his job boring but seemingly tolerable. We asked him about his training program and he said, "It's so boring, I don't even want to talk about it." I guess that's insurance law for you.

D is taking the bus to the Poconos today for his father's 65th birthday party. He's coming back tomorrow. So I'll be having a girls' night out after yoga with my friend TN from NJ. She had a birthday yesterday too (D's father is celebrating a day late). TN hopes 28 will be better than 27. She's younger than me; she was on my hall when I was a senior. I refused to live off-campus that year because I liked this particular residence hall and my freshman/sophomore roommate did too, so we both got singles in the same building. It is now rumored to have bats.

I remember when I was a kid, I wanted to name my kids Peter, Valerie and Angela. I don't think I would use any of those names now. Halley's Comet became visible in 1985 or 1986, when I was in 5th grade, and we had to do a little time capsule about our hopes and plans for the future, to be opened the next time Halley's Comet comes. The teacher said we'll be 80 then.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I got some sad news today. Our family friend, whom I visited a few weeks ago, passed away last night. It was apparently very peaceful, and her beloved cat was with her.

I'll be going home Tuesday and Wednesday.
A note on my iPod progress. The "genius" bar was booked solid at 6 am. Apparently ProCare customers get priority. They can book 7 days in advance. However, to do this, you have to pay $99.

So I'm taking a stab at sending it in. They're going to send me a box and they're charging me $32 for shipping and handling. However, the fee will be waived if it turns out I have an AppleCare Protection Plan. Apparently they can't figure this out until they receive the iPod, even though they can look everything else up by serial number. Also, they may want me to fax in a proof of purchase, so I will have to go down to Tekserve and ask them to print one up. Tekserve has better service than Apple (except they can't replace the iPod), so it shouldn't be a problem, and it's right next to the library, but still.

I'm really annoyed at the song and dance Apple has led me through. I hope at least a few people find this entry looking for Apple or iPod. To assist them:

APPLE IS EVIL

Well, that's not strictly true. I'm happy with my laptop.
In case you're wondering, some people found their way to my blog today by searching for:

"Gwyneth Paltrow in gray dress" (I posted about her new pregnancy recently, but no gray dress was mentioned or depicted).

"What can be made out of potatoes?"
Thank God for the late-night posters, namely Carolyn and Leah. I have some quirk in my genetic makeup that makes it impossible for me to get on a normal sleep schedule. I wonder if I worked out for 3 hours or something, if that would just wipe me out and I'd sleep like a baby. More likely I'd keel over. Apparently I gave up my naps before any of my siblings. My mom would lie down to nap with me and she'd fall asleep and I wouldn't. I really don't want to take sleeping pills though. I have a hard enough time remembering if I took my Claritin and vitamin in the morning.

We're going to Surya tomorrow night, which should be fun. We went there the night of the Halloween parade too. We hadn't been there in a long time before that night, so the waiters didn't recognize us. They did recognize DG, and told him, "You're the best."

D called his cousin J to invite him to Surya with us. D started laughing when he got off the phone. Apparently part of the convo went something like this:

D: So what did you do on Halloween?
J: [in a really mellow voice] Yeah, that was crazy.

When D got off the phone, he wondered if J was stoned.

I don't really like Star Wars movies.

I'm currently reading Friends, Lovers and Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith. It's really good. He writes from the female point of view so well, it's kind of suspicious. I guess not suspicious, but it's surprising.

I hate insomnia. I guess Madonna has it too. Maybe I should hang out with her or something. But I guess she's in England, riding horses.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

If you could recommend one book to me, what would it be?
This is what we had for lunch. It was really awesome. D loved it too. Ordinarily I wouldn't get excited about potato and kale soup, but there is something about being simmered in a garlicky broth that makes kale tender and really, really, good. And of course potatoes are excellent ;)

It doesn't take too long to make, either, which is always a good thing.

Kale and Potato Soup (from Jeanne Lemlin's Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. This is one of my best cookbooks as far as soup goes. It's like one hit after another.)

3 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
8 c vegetable stock (I really like Kitchen Basics. It's not salty like so many other stocks.)
2 medium boiling (waxy) potatoes, peeled and finely diced (Idaho potatoes are good here)
1/2 lb kale (weight with stems), leaves ripped off stems and finely shredded. (I used a pound here, and it was fine.)
1/2 t salt

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 min. Do not let the garlic get all brown. Pour in the stock, raise the heat to high, then bring to a boil.
2. Add the potatoes, lower the heat to a lively simmer, and cook 15 min. Stir in the kale and salt and cook the soup 15 more min.

It's all gone now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sooo....I have some misinformation to correct! At tonight's writing class, the girl whose husband works for Warner Media was not there. The teacher thinks the girl is dropping the class because she didn't email her writing to the class and she didn't show up. BUT a girl who didn't make it last week came this time, and she works for In Touch. She says that:

Kristen Davis is not gay
John Travolta is not gay
Vince Vaughn is not gay

Carolyn will be glad to know the news about JT. I actually thought of JT today, eating one piece of pizza on top of the other in his white gabardine suit. (Is it gabardine? Not sure what gabardine is.) So I probably need to watch Saturday Night Fever soon. Have you noticed that most movies that end with a dance contest or even a solo dance sequence are awesome? Saturday Night Fever, Napoleon Dynamite and Flashdance come to mind. Save the Last Dance is definitely not of that caliber, but was enjoyable.

Another girl in class said she's still deciding what to write a novel about (she wasn't there last week). She mentioned writing a novel about her online dating experiences. Then she mentioned writing a novel about her time at adult fat camp and the class came alive! This girl R who was sitting next to me also went to fat camp, but she went by accident. Everyone looked shocked because she looks to be a size 4. Apparently, she went to an ashram seeking discipline, and then found out it was a fat camp. Everyone had to wear the same uniform and they could only eat fruit and veggies. She inadvertently lost weight. And apparently at fat camps everywhere there is a cute, male massage therapist that everyone has a crush on. The first girl said it was definitely a soap opera.

I still miss my iPod. I know, you're thinking, "Bearette, would you like some cheese with your whine?" but I don't know if I'll be able to get an appointment at the "genius" bar tomorrow. I thought I could sneakily make an appointment online when no one else is up, say 2 am, but they are onto me. You can only make an appointment online during store hours.

Wish me luck.
I am listening to Chaka Khan to ease the pain. My iPod is still dead and the "Genius" bar at the Apple store was booked solid today. Maybe I will get in tomorrow. It irritates me to go there, because I know if I wanted to buy a new iPod, I would be whisked right through. But since I want to get my iPod replaced, I will have to wait for at least an hour (even though I'll make an appointment beforehand) so that some "genius" who is barely old enough to shave will plug my iPod into their computer, determine that it doesn't work and give me a new one. ARRRGGGHHH.

Anywho, I went to the gym and used D's iPod, which has a short battery life but at least works :) In honor of Liz, I listened to "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot. The lyrics raise many questions, or at least one.

When he says, "Call 1-800-Mix-A-Lot and kick those nasty thoughts," does he mean "kick" as in:

1) mull over, discuss OR
2) eradicate?

I await your thoughts on this issue.

It occurred to me that my iPod, food processor, and digital camera bit the dust in the same week. They say bad things happen in threes. Is this some Job-like test? How will I prevail?

My digital camera broke when I tried to take a picture of a riot from my terrace. These people stormed down my avenue, saying how much they hated Bush. Then they disappeared. This happens periodically.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I really miss my iPod. I use it to work out and I have Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You" on it. I know I could listen to it on my computer, but it's just not the same. The shuffle...the element of surprise and delight...sigh. I guess I will just drag my carcass to the Apple store and get it replaced. Hopefully it is still under warranty.

I was able to sneak in a bike ride tonight, wearing a tank top with a sweater over it, and it was plenty warm.

In keeping with Liz's refrigerator meme, I will share the contents of one of my fridge shelves with you. I'm a little embarrassed about my nekkid, New York-style fridge (Liz's looks much more nourishing and healthy) but to heck with it. I'll actually just do all the shelves...the contents are that sparse.

seltzer water (D)
Scotch (D, although he doesn't drink it often)
soy milk (me)
skim milk (D)
raisins
dates
mozzarella cheese
Muenster cheese (my favorite)
sweet potato soup
2 containers of Light 'n' Lively cottage cheese
1 Stonyfield farm yogurt (strawberry flavored)
grapes












































































Today has been eventful already. I was up till 3 am last night, for reasons unknown to anyone including myself, and entertained myself by looking at pics of Lora's new house. Nobody else had posted anything new at that ungodly hour so I went back to bed, woke up at 8 (????) and went to an early yoga class. I dropped my iPod (which is now dead, as well as my food processor, but may be under warranty) and broke up a fight on the way to yoga. I was walking past a nearby design school and saw 2 guys sparring. One was much bigger than the other. Then the bigger one grabbed the smaller one and really started whaling on him. I looked around desperately for someone big enough to pull the bigger guy away and saw 2 security guards. I yelled, "Officer, there's a fight over there!" and they came running over and broke it up. I was really, really, really relieved.

Anyway, yoga was really nice. Headstand is starting to feel easier for me, though I still need the wall. Hopefully I will be able to kick up into handstand and forearm stand without assistance someday ;)

Last night we went to Surya, a really nice Indian restaurant in the Village, so we could see the Village parade. I went a little later than D because he and M wanted to watched the parade before dinner. I got to the resto and no one was there except DG. D and M got stuck in traffic and my friend T did also. Eventually everyone got there, by 9:20 or so (we were supposed to meet at 8:30).

Anyway, here are some pics from the subway, parade and restaurant. Everyone was very nice about letting me take their picture. BTW, the vampire had flashing red teeth, but they did not come out in the photo.