Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A girl on Facebook (friend from college) just got a new job "specializing in retrospective observational public health/epidemiology studies."  I'm happy for her, but I don't really know what this means. I definitely prefer straightforward job titles like carpenter, writer, teacher, gardener, etc.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

If you're looking for something good to read, both Margaret Atwood and Jojo Moyes came out with new books today!

I'm also reading the fourth book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series...featuring a huge cast of intense, intellectual Italians.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I thought this knitting pattern was very funny. Now I kind of want to read the designer's comics, but I think they are only written in Korean.
A lot of people make fun of pumpkin spice aficionados on Twitter, but I love it. I just saw a recipe for pumpkin sugar cookies on Pinterest. I've also been thinking of the first things I cooked. The very first was a simple dessert from a kids' Betty Crocker cookbook with a red-and-white cover. You just bought some biscuits, twisted them into figure eights, dipped them in a mixture of butter, cinnamon and sugar, and cooked them a bit. They were very good. My first real "meal" was potatoes Anna, from a potato-themed cookbook that I've lost track of.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today I tried a new recipe - cauliflower gratin from the New York Times. It was the first NYT recipe I've tried...I don't trust Mark Bittman somehow - he seems like one of those types who wants you to soak beans instead of using canned ones (the mark of someone who probably has helpers in the kitchen). But I discovered Martha Rose Shulman, whose recipes seem to be up my alley. The gratin was pretty good, though oddly sweet from the cinnamon she included.

T and I saw Black Mass (new movie starring Johnny Depp as Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger, a notorious South Boston gangster). The movie was very good, but chilling. I am used to seeing kids' movies at this point, so the violence was a bit much for me. T and I both had to look away from the screen at times. Later, I read an interview with Kevin Weeks (one of the real-life people who is played by an actor in the movie) and he had all kinds of issues with the film: they made him look too dumb, the chronology wasn't accurate, and the violent scene at the beginning of the movie never actually happened. The movie did kind of put you under a spell, but I think I will pick a gentler offering for my next outing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eric still enjoys being read to, so I ended up reading him 43 pages of Mouseheart tonight. Very good if you have a little one (or just enjoy reading children's books).

I also came across this list of books and discovered that I had read all of them except #5 (which I couldn't get into).
I love grilled cheese sandwiches, and this looks like a good one.

I also might check out the cookbook it was featured in - Bountiful. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I read an article in the New Yorker about different "online shows." The article said that Amazon's Catastrophe was the best. I didn't try it right away because I have never been a TV person. Finally I watched it today and I was hooked. I watched the whole season (6 23-minute episodes) in one sitting. I did some research and found out it is a British show, available in the US exclusively through Amazon Prime. I do like British shows better than mainstream American fare. The actors look like real people, the humor is quirky and intelligent, and there is no laugh track. Recommended.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Feeling sleepy, but I just wanted to jot down that I saw Hamilton yesterday. It was a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, etc. Burr was a fascinating character and portrayed sympathetically. I liked most of the hip-hop songs and they gave the play a lot of energy. The actors were good dancers too. The second half was a little sad. We had good seats - second row from the stage. Apparently you couldn't get tickets for the front row - it was reserved for friends and family of the cast. The guy who played Hamilton's son saluted at someone in the front row.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Today we went to a birthday party where the parents had rented a couple of ponies. (That's Manhattan for you.) E enjoyed it wholeheartedly. Z was a little nervous.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zoe is excited for Halloween. She wanted to try on her Minions costume.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Today was E's first day of school. I feel a little bit emotional. It's weird to have him gone after having him around so much during the summer. Z doesn't start until next week. But I'm bringing her to school at 10 for 20 minutes, to meet her teachers. It's a thing they do. One of them was a "floater" in her class last year, so she knows her already. The other one used to be E's teacher when he was four, and I liked her a lot. So I feel good about her teachers. I haven't met E's new teacher yet.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

I just finished A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan. I liked the author's writing style - crisp and different - though it took me a little while to get used to. What really bothered me, though, was that the protagonist, Alice, had a horrible job, and it took her way too long to realize it!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

My mother is visiting this weekend. She confided that she has become addicted to some Spanish soap opera (Victoria). She almost wants it to be over so she will be out of its grip. She said it feels like a loss, not being able to watch it for a few days. (We don't have a TV.)  I said she could probably find it online, and she said nobly, That's ok.

It's funny because she likes to read biographies of founding fathers and presidents, yet also loves Victoria and The Bachelor :) She told me that Jennifer Weiner has been doing a running commentary on The Bachelor. It's funny, I met Jennifer Weiner at a bookstore in 2005 (there's a blog entry about it) and she was very down to earth. Now she seems pretty glamorous: she did a bookstore reading with Hoda Kotb, and wears hair extensions (by her own admission). Not all the time, though. I think she also got Botox. The thought of bacteria being injected in your face freaks me out.
Recently I read The Good, the Bad and the Furry by a British author who is starting to be published in the States. It was very funny. The writer's father was very eccentric. (It was nonfiction, set in the British countryside.) At one point, the father had a toad living in his shoe. He kept a Post-It on the shoe to remind him. Then the toad moved out and another moved in. The father didn't like the second toad as much as the first. "Well, maybe another nice one will move in," the son told him. "It was all decided a long time ago, anyway." The father said, "You're learning!" He was a firm believer in predestination.

I really like the line, "It was all decided a long time ago, anyway." It takes the stress out of things.