Monday, February 11, 2013
Saturday, February 09, 2013
"Calories only exist if you count them. Love, Dove."
Okay, as Jon Stewart would say after a particularly offensive Fox News clip, two things. One, calories are not like fairies. They exist whether you believe in them or not. No hand clapping is necessary. Don't patronize me.
Two, this is like telling someone, "Don't think about a pink elephant!" Thanks, Dove, with your stupid platitude, for making me think about counting calories when I should be thinking about this delicious piece of chocolate.
P.S. Thanks for the Bro, Mayor Bloomberg.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Enter: gnocchi recipe on my wonderful friend's blog, Matzo & Rice.
Electing to watching the Jets/Patriots game (go LT!) and make gnocchi from scratch instead of writing, here's what I did:
Gwen says, "Hurry up and boil, potatoes!"
Once the potatoes were boiled, I mashed up a cup of potatoes with butter and salt and pepper (per the very clear and excellent recipe). At this point I thought, why ruin delicious mashed potatoes by making them into a gnocchi that I will inevitably botch? But the Jets were pressing on, and so did I.
Next came the dough! One cup of flour was plenty. The directions said knead, so I punched it warily a few times, then decided if you could see my knuckle imprints in the dough, it was good enough. Then I shaped the gnocchi into bite sized bits and got a good man to make the gnocchi sauce:
Now I feel much happier about the world. If only that meant my story was done and winding its brilliant way to the New Yorker.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
As I said in my new year's day post, I am excited for all the reading that I'm going to do in 2011. I am especially excited about pushing my boundaries a bit more than usual by venturing into the realm of short story collections in addition to novels (basically the only thing I read).
In the mail for me was:
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguru
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, by Maile Meloy
Best European Fiction 2011 (on my Kindle), edited by Aleksandar Hemon
Lahiri and Ishiguru have been on my radar for a long time, I've seen Jennifer Egan's book making a splash in book stores and reviews, and Meloy and the European fiction are short story collections that I bought out of a spirit of mad, unknowable adventure! This is how I go wild, okay? Five whole new books and they are all mine!
What new books are you reading in 2011? Any recommendations?
Saturday, January 08, 2011
The Imperfectionists is a book I encountered after it was reviewed (glowingly) by the New York Times. Comical in the way Graham Greene books are comical (sometimes because the situation is absurd, often because the situation is quietly tragic), the book is about people who work for and read an English language newspaper in Rome. Each chapter is a different character’s story, starting from the inception of the newspaper, through its heyday, to its demise. Each character has his or her problems: too much ambition, too little, and so on, but you are made to love all of them. The writing is clear and concise, letting you see each person honestly for the coward, dreamer, or faker he is, but it increases instead of detracts from your empathy with him.
As far as I know, this book has not won or been short-listed for any prizes this year. Nor has it gotten the same kind of attention as Freedom (also mysterious missing from the National Book Award list). I have read both and enjoyed both books, but I would have to say that I loved The Imperfectionists while I enjoyed and respected Freedom. I’ve seen both Tom Rachman and Jonathan Franzen speak in the last year. Both are good speakers, both with a quick sense of humor.
The two books are hard to compare, as they differ greatly in scope and structure. But I would say that while Freedom at times gets lost in detailing the absurdities and failures of both characters and countries, The Imperfectionists is always stepping back to the next mundane task of getting the newspaper published, getting groceries in the refrigerator, getting a shower and shave before a dinner that still has some hope or promise. The characters always seem a moment away from perhaps, at long last, fulfilling the promise that every part-way decent person has, to make their lives better. In Freedom, the descent of the characters is, immediately, inevitable. It is simply slow, and very very artful. And the ending is barely redeeming.
If you haven’t read The Imperfectionists, please run out and buy it. He deserves your money and you deserve the experience of reading his book. If Tom Rachman is in your area soon giving a book talk, go out to see him. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
All the blogs I read are full of new year's resolutions, so here are mine:
My life is pretty simple. If I do those three things, I will be happy. If I don't do them, I won't be.
To make this a better writing year than last, I need to write every day. My writing group, a year old, will keep me on track. For reading, I need to be more intentional about what books I pick up to read. The end of 2010 got away from me (Outlander, anyone?), but my book orders for 2011 are already in and I am raring to go! First up: Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Running is just about going and, with my coworker and good friend by my side, I know I will. Nothing gets rid of stress for me like running.
Here's to another year of making myself happy and getting better at the things I love.
And here's to making a better looking carrot cake for 2012! First step: make sure the frosting doesn't look like Elmer's glue. Next step: steal the carrot cake recipe from the Carleton College bakery.
Happy New Year to all! If you have any resolutions yourselves, I'd love to know.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
My boyfriend and I, both Carleton alums, sat up straight in our chairs, looked at each other, and asked, "Is that our Schiller? It is! It must be! How many hilarious busts of Schiller can possibly be in circulation?"
So a tip of my hat, as Stephen might say, to the intrepid Carl who got Mr. Schiller on the show. All hail the maize and blue!
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Sign Off - Friedrich Schiller|