26 February 2009

(Party like it's) 2009

Looks like I'm officially committed to this party. The invitations went out this morning.

Boom.

*sigh*

I know, I sound like I've never done this before. As if.

I'm calling it a cocktail party, but really, it's wine and hors d'oeuvres. Cocktails are fussy (I thought about hiring neighbor B. to bartend for me but the spectre of totally sloshed engineers and lawyers was more than I could handle) and since I've decided to set up hors d'oeuvres "stations," I can pair wines with what's being served at each, which should be sort of fun. Because the group that has been invited is culturally diverse, there are all sorts of complications, a delightful social minefield. There are those who are vegetarian for religious reasons, those who don't consume alcohol for whatever reason, those who only want to drink Scotch (which is beyond reason), and I have no doubt that I will find at least one person I didn't know was vegan looking desperately at the sour cream dip.

The spouse, perusing the proposed menu, said, "Oh, are we doing this on a Friday?" because there were a fair number of fish dishes, the GOHs are practicing Catholics and I'm giving a party during Lent.

"No. Saturday," I told him.

"Then lose some of the fish!" he exclaimed. He doesn't like fish.

"You aren't supposed to eat," I replied. "You are supposed to mingle and make sure people have drinks."

And no, fish isn't meat. To Catholics, anyway. Look, I don't make the rules.

The son also believes he should have a say in what's served even though he isn't invited. I suppose I could dress him up in black trousers and white shirt and make him pass trays. Heh. I kind of like that idea.

I'll admit that I'm doing this as much as a morale booster as I am a sendoff for a couple we've known for many years. I really don't know the mood of the rest of the nation, but here behind the Orange Curtain, it's bad. Between the job losses, the fall of the housing market, threatened cuts in everything, that woman, everyone is just in a state. And there is a terrible sense that we are all waiting for something. Armageddon, maybe. (Personally, I'll take tea. I have no idea how long or even *if* that link will work, but the whole thing was hilarious. And Armageddon? He can get it for you wholesale). Even the kids are feeling this. Not pleasant.

So, a party. Even if the very thought exhausts me. A party starring comfort food. Because everyone seems to need comfort right now.



Menu for a Wine and Cheese Farewell

Homemade hummus with toasted whole wheat pita
Sour cream onion dip with crudité
Hot artichoke dip with water crackers

Brie en croûte with cherries and pistachios with baguette slices
Manchego with membrillo and Marcona almonds
A really good Cheddar I haven't decided on yet with assorted crackers
Sliced meat tray
Mixed olives
Mixed nuts
Dates

Vegetarian sushi rolls
California rolls
Lobster salad on Belgian endive spears
Mini quiches or vegetable samosas
Deviled cocktail sausages
Some sort of grilled or boiled shrimp because the son insists and plans to eat them all himself

Cake
Assorted cookies
Dessert chocolate

Selection of white and red wines
Selection of beer
Soft drinks
Coffee



So...perhaps I should go start washing windows or something?

Go listen to some music: "1999" from the album 1999 by Prince. Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a reason I always favor the use of crudité. It reminds me of a Texas gentleman with whom I worked at UCLA, and when we were involved in planning a party, he kept emphasizing that we had to have crudité! Given a very strong Texas pronunciation. I always smile and think about him when putting together a vegetable platter.

25 February 2009

My favorite headache

Spring training starts today. Uh-huh.

(Yes, I was paying attention all winter long. It was all positively eye-rolling.)

I really do have a headache.

Go listen to some good music: "My Favorite Headache" from the album My Favorite Headache by Geddy Lee.

24 February 2009

Carnivore of sorts

I'm definitely pretty omnivorous, though if you ask my family, they'll say the only thing I eat is salad (yes, but it has steak on it. See?) Right about now, I'm ready to slay the remainder of last night's kim chee, but that's balanced by the fact I'm making pancakes and bacon for dinner.

I know. I hear the question. But it's Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes. Use up all the rich stuff in the house before the fasting and abstinence of the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday.

If you've read here long, you know that I was raised as a Roman Catholic, which to my mind is sort of a religion of its own, as in I-was-raised-as-a-Catholic-but-I-haven't-been-a-practicing-Catholic-for-a-really-really-long-time. My mother still dutifully prays for my return. Call me lapsed, but really, it goes well beyond lapsed. The Catholic that remains is basically cultural.

So that might be something of an explanation as to why I crave meat--I'm not just talking protein, I mean MEAT--right around February. Because I give it up for the most part (and always on Fridays) at Lent. It has nothing to do with religion. I don't believe that I will be struck down for eating a hamburger on a Lenten Friday. It has everything to do with habit, and the fact that I still find Lent fairly useful.

As a child, I always liked Lent, even though it is the most solemn and sad time in the Liturgical Year. It's a time of penitential preparation and meditation on the ultimate sacrifice, whereas Advent is a time of joyous preparation. Even as a kid, I found the Lenten season a very valuable way to take stock of myself and my circumstances and to be very damn glad that they weren't worse than they were. Most of us can find something for which to be grateful, and something that we can improve in ourselves.

So giving up meat is a small thing, and something that reminds me every time I go to the refrigerator to get some turkey for my interminable salad, that I live in luxury relative to a large number of people in the world. I am reminded to share my abundance with others, that what is a 40-day hardship for me, is a lifelong hardship for others. I am reminded to be grateful for what I have, that I have the ability to give something up.

Then there is that room-for-improvement part. I have been known to give up swearing for Lent. I have been known to give up other bad behaviours. Those sorts of "sacrifices" are a lot less easy than giving up meat.

I was amused to see that some people are making a big deal about giving up Facebook for Lent. I've been on Facebook for some time, and I've logged in maybe five times (yes, yes, and Twitter, and myspace, and Stumbleupon), so that wouldn't amount to much for me. I thought about giving up blogging for Lent, but that would make me happy...

(Okay, not really. Much.)

So tonight, pancakes and bacon. And mimosas. Tomorrow, austerity. The spouse doesn't know it yet, but even though he's a non-observant Protestant, that means Brussels sprouts for him.

Go listen to some good music: "Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)" from the EP Chronic Town by REM.

23 February 2009

Boom

The life:

Chaos, often of my own making. That's my life.

A crucible on fire, and I keep putting a lid on it, believing no one will see.

Like a lid makes a difference.

Tick tick tick...

Boom.

I've made the arrangements for New York, but haven't quite pushed the button. Since I decided to go, I've suddenly been charged with hosting a cocktail party for 50 or 60 people the following weekend. Oh, and I'm snack mommy for the daughter's basketball team that Monday. Of course.

(...and suddenly... Two of the most amusing words ever. I thought that as I aged and the kids got older, "and suddenly" would dwindle. Oh no. It increases.)

Well, I'm not going to be derailed by something so minor as a cocktail party. Even if I'm still recovering from the year of living on adrenaline.

Believe it.

The day:

Yesterday, I walked, and the clouds were amazing. Our odd weather seems to have brought spring on early, and I smelled the first faint hint of orange blossom, which always speaks of change, but more importantly, of hope.

This morning, taking the son to the bus stop, the sun rose in the east, creating an incredible rainbow in an indigo cloud to the west. Breathtaking.

Picking up the daughter from basketball at sunset, the sky glowed peach and grey, and was filled with mare's tails. We often have beautiful sunsets, but this was far and away the loveliest I've seen for some time.

Tonight, we were able to find Comet Lulin, the green comet, just below and right of the constellation Leo and directly right of Saturn. You need binoculars, but if you can find Saturn, the little green light is pretty clear.

The story:

One late summer afternoon a few years ago, I took advantage of an opportunity and decided to tell a little story. Whim, and it was whimsical. Space was limited and I had 25 words and a couple of numbers or less. I selected the words based on their immediacy and how quickly they could be read, while the numbers simply were, as numbers tend to be, quite exact. The end result was a little clumsy, not my usual standard, but it said what I wanted to say. Message transmitted, and I saw when I sent it on its way, message received.

And that was that, right? My life is never that simple.

Throw forward a few years, and a woman I'd never seen before approached me and started a conversation with the words, "I thought you should know..."

I didn't think so at the time, but it was good I knew. Stuff happened, and suddenly, like the old cartoon says, a miracle occurred, along with a lot of other things. The whats, the whys, the wherefores are important only to me, maybe to one or two others. It was good; I was happy. Perhaps more importantly, it was the kick that I needed, and I was galvanized. I went places I needed to revist, places I'd never been, and there are yet places to see. I don't ever want to lose that energy, that drive, that sense of joy. I want to make it go on forever.

Twenty-five words and two numbers or less. Such a tiny thing, completely innocent and uncalculated, perpetrated in a moment of silliness, a moment in which I wanted to say something. In itself, unusual for me. I am shy that way.

It was worth every mile.

Go listen to some good music: "Tick Tick Boom" from The Black and White Album by The Hives. I always worry I sound self-aggrandizing. Not what I want. I don't even think I'm interesting. And the 25 words or less? It's about like Twitter. Yes, I'm on Twitter.

22 February 2009

Tick tick tick tick

It's too late...

It's too soon. I'm too tired.

It's the middle of the night.

There was a story. It didn't start with "Once upon a time."

I think it started with "6."

I amaze myself sometimes.

'Cause I have done it before
And I can do it some more...


You know, I've acknowledged that I underestimate others. Unwittingly, generally. I warn others not to underestimate me.

But I underestimate me. And that's when the trouble (and the fun) begins.

I wrote a story, a long time ago. It changed my life even though I didn't know it at the time.

It's too late
It's too soon
Or is it...


Go listen to some good music: "Tick Tick Boom" from The Black and White Album by The Hives. We'll call this a prelude to a post, assuming I don't choke and actually tell the story of the story. By tomorrow, I may have decided it doesn't matter to anyone but...well, it mattered. I think that was good. At the least, it was interesting.

20 February 2009

In the evening

Right about now, I'm supposed to be baking a birthday cake.

If I had a webcam, this is what you'd see:

Me. Baking a cake. Dancing to "In the Evening."

Yeah, the Led Zep "In the Evening."

Plenty of my body is broken. My hips aren't.

"Natural Science" and "Digital Man" up next. The volume control on my voice isn't broken either, just permanently set to "deafening."

Now, you know why I don't have a webcam. And why the mailman runs scared.

Carry on. I have a cake to bake.

Go listen to some good music: "In the Evening" from the album Mothership by Led Zeppelin. It has not been the best week, and I know a lot of other people are already emotionally drained, and I don't want to add to it. So I try to keep things light and on an even keel. Usually that means turning the music up loud. Most of what I was listening to today holds precious and hilarious memories for one reason or another. And I also found an old email that detailed exactly how much I didn't want to get on the tiny plane that was taking me from Moline to St. Paul last May. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

17 February 2009

Beware of darkness

Some days are just sort of excruciating.

But then I looked out the window.

It helped.























Go listen to some good music: "Beware of Darkness" from the album Concrete Blonde by Concrete Blonde. It doesn't matter that Gateway customer service deserved every second of the lengthy tongue lashing I administered. I don't like being that angry.

16 February 2009

Afterimage

Ah, high school.

The horror.

I'm about the only person I know who actually liked high school most days. Oh, sure, plenty of angst. Plenty of horror. But there's a great deal I remember with fondness, even affection.

I first met Mr. H., the high school journalism teacher and newspaper adviser, my freshman year. Through the weirdness that guides my life, I ended up in study hall (also in auto mechanics, which sent the guidance counselors straight through roof. Honors students weren't supposed to take shop classes) and he was the lucky soul who got to monitor that hour of study hall. Study hall. Like the good student I always was, I actually sat quietly and did my homework. I will never forget the boy, a sophomore, skinny with long, lanky hair and a somewhat random moustache, who would sit with an acoustic guitar and play the opening bars of "Stairway to Heaven." Over and over...and over, until even Mr. H. suggested that he please learn something else. But he's another story.

Mr. H. was a small man, neatly turned out in short-sleeved dress shirt and slacks nearly every day. He wore glasses and had the oddest hair, the best exemplar of mouse brown but it sort of stuck straight out, like a flattened brush. He pitched his voice low and never raised it, maintaining control during study hall with a quiet authority that even the hardest cases didn't seem inclined to challenge. It was actually a very calm part of my day, and I got a lot done.

I never really had cause to talk much to Mr. H. during the course of study hall, but near the end of that year, he called me over and said, "You really should take my journalism class."

I smiled and told him I'd consider it.

I was one of those students who took full advantage of public education. To the point where, when I graduated, I had nearly another year's worth of credits. I took unexciting required classes in summer school, and then crammed my regular schedule full of honors and elective classes, so not only did I get auto mechanics, but also electronics, wood working and printing (yes, I learned how to set type. Just one of the many random skills I've acquired in my life), but dance, advanced foreign language, and finally, journalism.

Sophomore and junior years, I would run into Mr. H. periodically, and he would remind me that I really should take journalism! I was never sure why, exactly, I should take journalism, other than Mr. H.'s earnest and friendly assertion that I should do so, but in retrospect, journalism was part of the English Department, and teachers talk, and I was in all the honors writing classes, ergo...journalism. Finally, my senior year, I had an available slot in my schedule, a well-established love of writing, as well as a boyfriend who was the news editor for the school paper. Ergo, journalism.

Journalism was first period. Most years, I'd had a dance class first thing in the morning, and that was one heck of a way to wake up, so journalism seemed almost easy in comparison with flinging myself around in flying leaps at that hour of the morning. There I sat, front of the class, pencil primly poised, ready to go.

(For what it is worth, Mr. H. took the photo of me that appears here, the ghost of emulsion past. I was working on an assignment and I don't remember why he was fiddling with the Polaroid, but I do remember that I was a bit annoyed at being caught unawares--and chewing on my thumb. He just laughed at my teenage female exasperation.)

Mr. H. was one of those rarest of people, a natural teacher. He didn't just lecture, he told stories to illustrate his lessons, and his manner was so engaging, so filled with enthusiasm, that his class quickly became one of my favorites. Already in his 50s then, he had a lifetime of experience to share with us. With his quick wit and dry humor, he'd have all the students snickering when he read particularly badly written news aloud, but we worked and we learned alot. Everything I know about how news is produced I learned from him, and it helped immeasurably when I worked on a news program for the local PBS TV affiliate the summer following high school graduation, and in the years beyond when my job was to edit and publish a news digest weekly for Big Entertainment Company.

Not only did he make his class fun, Mr. H. was an almost unfailingly cheerful person and endlessly kind. Certainly, I saw him angry and frustrated when budget cutbacks threatened the journalism program. Certainly, I saw him get annoyed when students were out of line, but his response was always measured. While he commanded respect, he in turn treated us with friendly regard. He holds the distinction of being the only male to ever get away with calling me by the diminutive of my given name.

I spent a lot of time in the journalism room that final year of high school. It was a pleasant place, people were always hard at work, but there was often laughter, especially as the time came to put the paper to bed each week. I'd wander in after I'd finished with dance class, and help with layout or in tossing off a headline. It turned out that I really had a gift for egregious headlines, and egged on by various staff members as well as Mr. H., I'd come up with dreadful puns and alliteration that live on not only in old copies of the newspaper, but in our senior yearbook.

Mr. H. taught us how to write all manner of news: regular news, entertainment news, even obituaries, so I suppose it's appropriate that I learned of his death from the newspaper yesterday. My heart fell when I saw his picture, but the notice was not unexpected: he would have been 80 this year, and had long been in ill health. It is a measure of the person he was that the lengthy story told me little that I didn't already know: that he'd been a radio personality, that he loved to travel, that he was so highly regarded in his chosen field, all of the aspects of his life that he'd integrated into our lessons and our discussions.

My children have been fortunate already in their young lives to have teachers who have inspired them and guided them, treated them with respect and kindness, taught them wondrous and interesting things, the teachers whose memory one treasures always. I've been blessed in my life to have known several such good people whose words and teachings have left a positive mark upon me, whose lessons I continue to ponder 20 or more years later, whose example still resonates in my life. Even as I write this, I see how Mr. H.'s influence has shaped the way in which I frame the story of how I briefly knew him.

Go listen to some good music: "Afterimage" from the album Grace Under Pressure by Rush.

13 February 2009

Winter time















Sequoia National Park, California
November 2008

Go listen to some good music: "Winter Time" from the album Book of Dreams by Steve Miller Band. I always tend to like the stuff that doesn't get played on the radio. Saw Steve Miller live probably about 1989. He was a hoot.

11 February 2009

Some enchanted evening

Though I grew up in a tiny house with many people, I had a big backyard in which to play, and an alley in which the neighborhood kids gathered for kickball, and a huge freaky dry wash that gave me nightmares, and two neighborhood school yards, not to mention vast expanses of desert, all of which presented endless opportunities for adventure and getting into trouble.

But what I really wanted? An attic. A basement. A place for old trunks that would hold moldering clothes from a bygone era, photos of people I didn't know, the bric-a-brac of other times.

Treasure.

Tucked up in the corner windowseat of the neighborhood library, I plowed through the shelves of the children's section, and trust me, all the lucky kids in those books had huge cobwebby attics and musty basements. Places to explore, places where ghosts lurked (at least until they were unveiled at the end of the story), clothes to dress up in, priceless family heirlooms.

Treasure.

Unlike most of the families in our neighborhood, we did have some unusual items in our house (including lots of books): heavy handloomed wool rugs instead of carpeting, wooden carvings from Africa, tiny storybook and Madame Alexander dolls that belonged to my mother as a child, a large Czech ceramic pot given to my father as a gift, a delicate set of silver demitasse spoons, a few bits of crystal. As well, I had a child's sari, another gift from another life, and a beautiful wooden doll cradle that had belonged to an aunt.

But these things only went so far as treasure.

One afternoon, hot and bored, I sat with my mother in her bedroom while she rested, heavily pregnant with my youngest sister. Her jewelry box, a pretty item covered in blue leather, caught my eye. I asked if I could wind up the music box, and listen. It played "Some Enchanted Evening" until the mechanism wound down.

She told me that would be alright, and I carefully turned the key at the back of the box, cautious not to overwind it and incur my mother's wrath. Then I lifted the lid.

The sweet tune poured out, a note at a time. Listening I gently touched the rings and earrings nestled in the blue velvet compartments in the box. Her class ring from high school, a tiny sapphire band, the diamond cocktail ring that had been made for her 16th birthday from a stone given to her father in payment by a patient. A sterling silver band carved with symbols of the Western U.S., alongside a silver and turquoise ring. A dainty golden circlet with three pearls that she often wore pinned on a scarf or the lapel of her coat. A lovely blue enameled Miraculous Medal and a St. Christopher Medal. Screw-back pearl earrings, and another pair with coiled seed pearls. I remember how elegant she used to look wearing those earrings and the matching necklace, a collar of heavy intertwined loops of seed pearls, never realizing it was a fleeting vision of the young woman lost to time and memory, uprooted from her family and her heritage, as trapped as I was in a small desert town.

Softly, so she wouldn't open her eyes, I lifted out the blue velvet tray that concealed the compartment below. Gently running my fingers over the necklaces, I removed one, slipping the long string of amber crystal beads over my head; this necklace was another gift from her father who died before I was born. There, too, was the traditional string of pearls that all young girls of her era were given, and these were beautiful, smooth and glossy and perfectly matched, large enough to be noticed, but not so large as to be immodest. Coiled in the bottom of the box was a cunning little accessory, a pink chiffon scarf pulled through a coil of artificial pearls and crystal. It could be tied around one's hair, or used as a choker necklace. There was also a white fur collar, the sort girls in the 1950s would wear with their sweaters, and it was soft to the touch, heavy on my shoulders, smelling ever so faintly of...must.

It never occurred to me to covet my mother's jewelry, a store of treasures that in retrospect seems so small for the cherished daughter of a well-to-do East Coast physician. My joy lay in examining them minutely, reading the tiny inscription of carats gold, a class year, a place of origin. I loved to twist the pearls in the afternoon light that filtered through the closed curtains, watching the iridescence slide across the curve of each little near-perfect sphere. The sparkle of her little diamond. The gleam of gold and sterling silver, the tiny chink of her charm bracelet, the kiss of cool rose quartz beads on the back of my neck.

Over time, my mother distributed some of these things. I have the silver rings and the pink chiffon scarf coiled in the artificial pearls and crystal, the latter given to me "because you always liked it." The rabbit fur collar has long since deteriorated, returned, in essence, to its original owner. I also have a few bits of my grandmother's costume jewelry. I have acquired little of my own costume jewelry over the years, most of it thoughtful gifts from friends and family, but I tend not to wear jewelry, so I see no need to buy myself any.

A few years ago, the daughter bemoaned the fact that we have neither attic nor basement.

"I want to look for treasure!" she cried.

"In my closet," I told her. "There's a shoebox."

Off she went, in search of, hot on the trail.

"This one?" she asked, returning a little later.

"Yup," I told her.

Almost shaking with anticipation, she gently set the box down, and slowly lifted the lid.

Go listen to some good music: "Some Enchanted Evening" from the album South Pacific (Original Broadway Cast Recording. And somehow you know, you know even then...

10 February 2009

Burning hell

It is, of course, Science Fair season once again (my kids seem to get off the hook after a couple of years, but for me, the joy just never ends). No one gazing rapturously into my refrigerator this year, just me trying to prevent the daughter from spilling Lugols Iodine all over my kitchen.

(She's trying to determine the extent to which Vitamin C in various juices deteriorates with storage. Titration isn't quite an exact science at the sixth grade level, so we'll see what happens).

And somehow, the son has managed some racket whereby he is not in school Thursday, Friday or next Monday. Which means I am PAYING for him to be at home for three days straight.

Schools do not seem to get the idea that I don't appreciate this at all, and that I don't give a damn about their open houses (wherein my children's work is used as bait to lasso the next round of parents).

Yes, cranky still. Very.

With a refrigerator full of orange juice that is part of a mad scientist escapade.

Then there's the butternut squash.

For reasons I can't quite fathom, I have a half dozen butternut squash in my pantry. They keep appearing and I believe they might be multiplying spontaneously. I like squash just fine, butternut or acorn, and usually I just roast it and serve it with butter and sometimes maple syrup, sometimes salt and pepper.

The kids hate it for some reason. No matter how I serve it.

So naturally, squash are spontaneously spawning all over my kitchen.

In desperation (I have a thing about food waste), I searched "butternut squash cake."

Tons of recipes, most of which seem to be variations on a spice cake theme. It's going back to cold and rainy this weekend, which is always good for baking and spice cake. And squash is so good for you! So, let there be cake. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Go listen to some good music: "Burning Hell" from the album Dead Letter Office by REM. This wasn't meant to be a throw-away post, but suddenly, dear GOD, I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open. Of course, not like me + tired = surprise.

09 February 2009

Over the rainbow

It's been raining for days now, and this has been good. Even though I was whomped by a hailstorm at 9am this morning when I got out of the car at the grocery store. As I said to the man running alongside me in the parking lot, nothing like getting hit in the head with some ice to wake you up in the morning.

Weird weather, today, though, with beautiful, hectic light pouring through a seemingly cloudless sky and rain pouring from...where? Some invisible cloud. I've seen plenty of sun showers, but this was a sun deluge.

Then the clouds came back and the rain stopped.

And started again.

Like life, of course. It's sunny and it's raining or it's doing both. Or you're just getting hit in the head with ice.

Beautiful and maddening and distressing all at once.

The news is bad. It's always bad anymore. It's the economy, of course. It's rage, specific and rage not otherwise specified.

We've been following the news from Australia with horror and sadness, and a terrible sense of deja vu. As we have seen here in California, it isn't only the humans who suffer, but the wildlife. There are ways to help those suffering Down Under. A list of pertinent links is here.

Over the weekend, during the storms, we saw an incredible rainbow, the end of which seemed just down the street. It was so bright and so clear, each color so incredibly defined. The clouds behind were black and purple.

Like life, of course.

I believe tomorrow will be better; we all just need to do what's necessary to make it so.

Go listen to some good music: "Over the Rainbow" from the album The Wizard of Oz (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture).

07 February 2009

Mice circus

Doesn't matter if you think it's scary (there were little tiny kids in the audience with us).

Doesn't matter if you think it's just for kids (there were unaccompanied adults in the audience with us).

Doesn't matter if you've read the book (okay, we were thrown by the addition of a character) or haven't.

Coraline is simply a beautifully made film.

And it's only out in 3D for three weeks--now minus a day.

The 3D effects were really well done (we saw it in Real D), and certainly didn't give me eye strain the way the old fashioned 3D movies did. My favorite scene was the mouse circus, which was cute and utterly creepy and just breathtaking.

It was also totally worth the evening to hear my daughter murmur "Wow!" when Coraline walks into the deserted garden at the beginning of the film.

While the film is visually magnificent, the story is a nice meditation on how warts and all can trump "perfect." And there are moments that are so funny. And one that is truly appalling in a very funny way.

Definitely a magical film.

Go listen to some good music: "Mice Circus" from the album Coraline (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Bruno Coulais.

06 February 2009

One more river

I suppose there isn't much point in worrying about whether the feed is working if I'm not feeding the feed.

(My stats aren't quite working, but that's a surprise).

Anyway, my life tends toward the chaotic side--organized chaos to be sure, but chaos nonetheless. And lately...yeesh. I've things to write about, but not a lot of enthusiasm at the moment.

Still, it's raining (all to the good), and at the moment, the view from the window is a lot like the photo I took about a year ago that appears on the masthead.

Miles to go yet. Cake to be frosted. Gift to be wrapped. Card to be signed. Things to be done.

Is it any wonder I yearn for the occasional escape?

Go listen to some good music: "One More River" from the album Pyramid by The Alan Parson Project. One more river...one more month!

02 February 2009

You move me, pt. 2

Just a heads up for feed readers: the feed's been officially moved, which you shouldn't even notice. I checked several readers and it seemed to show up ok. If, for some reason, you have difficulty viewing it, please let me know at OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

Now, I need to go stand in front of the freezer until something flings itself at me and says "Cook me for dinner!"

Go listen to some good music: "You Move Me" from the album 7 Day Weekend by The CS Angels.