Monday, February 8, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Good News: Working for about an hour, each taking a half-hour shift, my spouse and I have finally freed one of the cars.
Bad News: We're about to be snowed in again. Significant snow will hit the region (again) sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday. Right now they're predicting 12-18 more inches. On top of the 25-30 we got this weekend.

Good News: Being snowed in has given Sparrow and I time to pack.
Bad News: We've run out of tape, twine, and boxes.

Good News: I've been getting good stuff on cross-dressing marines in the British navy, 1700s.
Bad News: I can't get to the library to pick up books on the subject. Good thing early English newspapers are available via Internet.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cooking with Ellie Krieger

Inspired by the film, Julie/Julia, and, more particularly, by the tale of Julia Child's own trials and triumphs, I have decided to share my love of food and cooking with all of you. The first step was to find the appropriate cookbook. I avoided Julia Child's guide to baking, since, forgive me Julia, I just cannot live with the amounts of butter she was fond of. Since I want this to be a weekly practice, I needed a cookbook that would give me tasty food, but also healthy food.

Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave fit the bill, and so that is the cookbook I've chosen. This project is not thematic, nor very organized. Each week for as long as it takes, I will cook one recipe out of Ellie Krieger's cookbook. This week it was Roasted Cauliflower with Nutmeg. Astoundingly simple, this recipe only required four ingredients: cauliflower, olive oil, nutmeg, and salt. You sort of just mix it all together and roast it in an oven-safe dish for about an hour at 350°. Ms. Krieger swears that this recipe will turn cauliflower haters into lovers of the white, bush-like vegetable.

I admit that I am a cauliflower hater, and while this was the best tasting cauliflower I've ever had, I'm no convert. Still, Fox loved it, and even Thorn had a small helping. It will return to our table again.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Best of Broadway (IMHO) #1

Because all good things must come to an end. Because not all endings are final. And, because sometimes you have to stand up and say "World, this is my time now." For all that, and because it makes me cry, this song from Gypsy is my number one.

#1: "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy

The Best of Broadway (IMHO) #2

Much subtlety is lost in our hyper, stylized, and glossy media world. There are things to be said about old actors and their ability to bring to life so much with so little. While some modern actors have this talent, and many old actors didn't, I think, if recent trends at the box office are any indication, that subtlety is no longer quite so important. This song is an ode to a fading art. As a classicist, I appreciate this very much.

#2: "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard 

Slowly Shrinking

Thursday is weight checking day here, and as has become my new habit, I climbed onto the scale this morning to see if there has been some progress. And, to my surprise, there was! I have broken the 180 lb barrier, which is one of the hardest things for me to do. I've been here before. Actually, I've been here a couple of times. I hope I can maintain my new under 180 weight, but history indicates that it will be an uphill battle. Eating this week hasn't been great. I've cooked nothing of interest, and I've been subsisting on hummus, yogurt, and sesame seed-buttered bagels. I need to get the vegetables up. Thank goodness for V8 Fusions. I'll be trying a cauliflower recipe this weekend. I don't normally go for that particular vegetable, but this new recipe has me interested.

Starting Weight: 186 lbs.
Current Weight: 178.3 lbs.
Goal Weight: 159 lbs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shivers and Anguish

We just got two new fantasies which have us both in shivers and anguish, and I really want to share them with you, so you can shiver too.

The first is Robin Hobb's Dragon Keeper. It's the beginning of a series set in the same world as her Assassins, Ships, and Tawny Man trilogies. Specifically, it focuses on the Rain Wilds, and from the character list at the beginning, includes some old Ships characters. As the Ships books are our favorites in this particular Hobb universe, we are understandably aquiver with anticipation. Now if only Hobb can recover from her Soldier Son novels...

The second book is Except the Queen, by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder, from a short story of the same name in the award-winning Fair Folk compilation. Easily the best of the stories, Except the Queen captured our imaginations -- and those of the publisher, no doubt. We were ecstatic when we learned it was to be transformed into a full-length novel. Hopefully the fruit of the promising flower will be as lovely. Again, shivers.

Now you might ask why, with such potentially wonderful novels in our collective grasp, we are also in anguish. Ah, my friends, it is simple:

We don't have time to read them until this weekend.



Maybe we can give up eating. Or showering. Or read in the shower. I wonder if there are waterproof editions...