Saturday breakfast rolls: basic buttermilk, 3:1 strong white/medium cornmeal/sprinkling of coarse cornmeal for texture.
Today's lunch: halibut steaks, marinated in madeira, avocado oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar, smoked over hickory chips, served with sticky rice with lime leaves, samphire stirfried with star anise, and baby golden plum tomatoes halved and dressed with a little salt and sugar and a teaspoon of wild pomegranate vinegar.
And some bonus foodie links from the Observer Food Monthly:
Jay Rayner nails it about the impossibility of ranking 'the best meal I've ever eaten' (something not unique to gastronomy).
Lovely story about a first encounter with avocados in an article about How we stopped worrying and learned to love veg:
A story appeared in the newspapers recently courtesy of the Marks & Spencer archive.... "A lady came back one day to our Manchester store and complained about the poor quality," said Nathan Goldenberg, M&S's first head of food technology. "Because they were called 'avocado pears', she had peeled them, removed the stone, stewed them and served them as dessert with custard. No wonder she complained."
[M]en who write cookbooks love onerous tasks: Rachel Cooke finds that Michael Pollan's new book inspires her to order takeaway... it does sound a bit on that curious borderline of macho/poncey
This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1894050.htm
Exasperating article today on whether Prozac b teh deth ov ART, horrors horrors.
Which has so many unexamined assumptions festering away in the subtext...
One thinks that there have been many creative artists who were not, in fact, bipolar, or suffering more than the kinds of normal unhappiness that are part of human existence, and it is really not necessary to have distressing problems of brain chemistry to produce worthwhile works of art. No, really, not all artists are 'tortured' and it is not the precondition of entry. Mi Romantyk Phallusy, I show u it.
One also considers that there have been artists who have needed a certain degree of uproar and upheaval in their personal lives to get them going, which I think of as Robert Graves syndrome, and recommending marriage guidance counselling would probably be beside the point, alas. (One perhaps feels less sympathy for these artists than for the people within their ambit who are dealing with the fallout from this.)
Above all, however, one wonders whether people were going around, following the discovery of salvarsan/penicillin, and the introduction of isoniazid, bewailing the likely effects on creativity of the eradication of cerebral syphilis and consumption.
I am also, about the allusion to Freud committing suicide, seriously WTF: Freud was over 80, terminally ill with cancer and in excruciating pain for which medication was no longer working; this surely comes under the heading of self-euthanasia rather than being assimilatable to the 'suicidal artist' model that precedes it.
Also, depression is not some romantic gothic black pall, pierced by occasional amazing shafts of light: it's a grey slime of apathy covering everything. At least one of the cited descriptions of the effect of some psychotropic drug sounded exactly like depression, which suggests that it wasn't actually working.
I am never about magic bullets, and there are problems of individual response to particular medications, of an overly pharmaceutical quick-fix approach to mental distress, and, ultimately, it's always more complicated.
Okay, perhaps one could slot people who violate norms into the category of microaggressors?
It is possible that Lucy M has already captured some of this ambivalence:
And, like political correctness, it is both a) a brilliant and fundamentally sound idea that would, if properly practised, result in greater happiness for a greater number of people; and b) capable of quickly leading practitioners down spiralling corridors of guilt, anxiety and negativity that hide the original departure point from view.
And while I rather like her concept of 'microniceties', I regret to say that I am probably not going to notice people who are holding their parting conversation in such a way that they are not blocking the top of the stairway to the egress (something I came across in the course of this week) as much as people who, neglectful of the fact that people might want to get past, do thus hinder the free flow of traffic.
Niceties, perhaps, are about reducing the friction and not negatively snagging one's attention.
I suspect that niceties have to rise above the level of micro to be noticed.
This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1893253.htm
Very minor spoilers below; I don't mention anything specific, but I do talk about things in general terms, so if you don't want to know anything at all, don't read.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but it was nothing special. Iron Man 3 did several of the same things, and did them better.
The cast were all strong. Quinto can run! His eyebrows are so good. Cumberbatch did the physical stuff very well too. Pegg was funny, as always. Saldana didn't have much to work with, but worked it well. The rest all had a moment or two in which to shine, and we got Captain Sulu, which is always a win.
There were far too many white men, though. I really wanted the Admiralty scene to have more women and people of colour, and in particular, the head cheese would have been much, much better as a woman, in every way -- thematically, as a twist, furthering Rodenberry's ideals. Just. Such a missed opportunity. I liked Peter Weller fine, but I'm so tired of that particular character popping up in movies.
The TOS echoes were the highlight of the film for me, along with Zoe Saldana, who really is fabulous, despite having not much to do. There's one scene with her and Kirk in the lift that was so enjoyable; my fannish heart went: YES!
The opening was visually gorgeous, but felt like a cheat; I expect more cleverness from Trek plots. The middle was boring. The ending was pretty spectacular, and I really liked the way they re-worked some of the iconic original Trek moments -- when you see it you will all know which scene I mean in particular.
In the boring moments in the stodgy middle, I found myself thinking about original Trek and making comparisons. For instance:
- There were many clever things about TOS, but one of the writing choices I really admire is that the three leads (and this is why there are three) represent the corners of the rhetorical triangle: Kirk=ethos, Spock=logos, Bones=pathos. That's why they debate things all the time, and why Bones and Spock are polar opposites, and why Kirk is the mediator. It drives nearly all of the plot and conflict, and it's so clever. The first reboot film didn't have this at all, and was weaker for it. I thought it interesting that they started to work that dynamic back into the second film, and highlighting Kirk's ethics was the one saving grace for the otherwise heavy-handed opening sequence.
- Amanda Grayson invented the Universal Translator in TOS. How are they going to deal with that in nuTrek? Or are they not? In any case, it makes Uhura's role more important which I'm all for.
- There's a lot of speculation in TOS fandom that Kirk had a high psi factor of some sort -- probably empathy or pre-cog. It explained a lot of things about him and the choices he made, even though in TOS he had a more logically trained and educated mind. It actually explains rebook Kirk even better, so I'm officially re-instituting this bit of fanon into my personal headcanon.
Spoiler about the main villain( The VillainCollapse )
Rating: 6.5 out of 10.
This entry was originally posted at http://cupidsbow.dreamwidth.org/398
Cool Thing I discovered - glancing through an auction catalogue at work and riffling fast through the section on medieval illuminated manuscripts, my eye caught a woman's name and she was the person to whom this particular ms was attributed and A Known Artist. Apparently this was not entirely unknown in ye medievalz: women were making books in the Middle Ages and illuminating them, some in convents and some in family workshops in the secular world. Okay, hit me again with that explanation about the very limited possibilities available to women in The Past...
Annoying thing: someone, in the debate on women TV presenters and ageism, referring to Mary Beard as 'an old woman'. Beard is several years younger than moi, and still in that phase I would consider middle age.
Puffins: not entirely cutesome. In the course of five-yearly survey of puffins in the UK 'The amount of bites and scars [National Trust rangers] are going to have will be interesting." Though I feel the puffins may have a point, as the census involves people reaching into burrows to see if they are a mated pair with an egg.
This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1892956.htm
Day before yesterday – which would be Wednesday – I didn't begin Chapter 12 of Boxcar Tales, as planned. Late on Tuesday night I'd had a bolt-from-the-blue revelation about what's actually going on in the last third of the story, which meant that I had to do rewrites to #9 and #10. Yes, this is called making work for myself. But this idea is so, so much better than what I originally thought was going on. This is also a great example of how I make it all up as I got along, with virtually no forethought-outlines-etcetera. Anyway, I spoke with my editor, and he said, yes, it wasn't too late to make the changes. Fortunately, Steve Lieber had not drawn that far ahead. So, I spent the day rewriting – which I loathe doing. But, in the end, I was sure I'd done the right thing. So, I sent the rewrites along to David Chabon, my editor at Dark Horse, and, by the way, Michael Chabon's brother, along with the script for #11. Plus, Danielle Stockley – my editor at Penguin – and I have begun trying to put together decent flap copy for Red Delicious, because what the copy writer came up with was...well, I said it "sucks." But that's a very me thing to say. Plus more work on the Centipede Press edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, so a hectic, busy day on Wednesday.
Is this the way my mind works,
Forwards, always forwards?
Is this the way my brain waits,
Backwards, sideways? ~ Wye Oak
Yesterday, the temperature here in Providence soared to 82˚F, and thank fuck. Spooky and I left the house and just...wandered. I couldn't afford a day off, but I took one, anyway. We went back to Paper Nautilus Books (again, I was good and bought nothing) at Wayland Square. We walked up and down Thayer Street. We drove and listened to Wye Oak and R.E.M. I went into a head shop for the first time in years. The sun was brilliant and white and hot on my winter-pale skin. I looked at green trees and ancient houses and birds. I thought about the sea, and we should have gone. Anyway, at Paper Nautilus I decided to take photos of things that were not (well, mostly things that were not) books. Marvelous and ordinary things you might not expect to find in a bookshop, but which help to make Paper Nautilus so cool. This is just one reason I hate the sterility of ebooks.
I have notified my agent of my very, very tentative thoughts of writing a fourth
PLEASE have a look at the current eBay auctions, which end today. I have remiss in speaking of them. Thank you.
Loving the Sun and Air Through My Window (Even If It's Much Cooler Today),
- Current Mood:better
- Current Music:Wye Oak, "We Were Wealth"
Ever wanted to connect with the millions of New Yorkers walking past you? Each day brings opportunities to make new friends and share experiences. All too often, we can forget to notice the people around us. Nametag Day aims to break this barrier and strengthen the human element of the New York experience, adding a bit of spontaneity and silliness to people's day.
Possibly one should be relieved that they are not also about giving hugs?
Is it just me, or would other people fill in the tag with 'Jane Smith' or equivalent? (or, of course, not Jane Smith if that was their name.)
Though I would envisage, if they tried this in London, that well-known London-survival strategy, avoiding people's eyes and not engaging, or even crossing the road.
During Penguicon, my wife noticed what looked like an elongated callus on my right hand, below the ring finger. (Spoiler: It’s not a tumor.) When it was still there two weeks later, I hopped online to do a little research, then went in to talk to the doctor. His diagnosis confirmed my guess, and the winner is…
That link goes to the Wikipedia page, which includes a post-surgical picture with incision and stitches, so don’t click if that kind of stuff gets to you.
Basically, some connective tissue in my hand is misbehaving, which starts to restrict the extension of the tendon. Right now, it’s just a little vertical speed bump on my palm. Eventually, it will restrict the movement of my ring finger, and I won’t be able to extend it beyond a curved, clawlike position.
I think of this soon-to-be claw as the first step in my very, very slow transformation into a werewolf.
The good news is that it’s not painful, and it’s fairly straightforward to correct. Basically, the doctor said to let him know when it starts to become a problem, at which point he’ll hook me up with a hand surgeon to go in and clean out the affected tissue. Six weeks of recovery and physical therapy, and I’m good to go.
Note: I’m not looking for medical advice.
Dupuytren is less common in people my age. I guess I’m just precocious. There seems to be a correlation to diabetes as well. And it sounds like there’s a decent chance of recurrence in the long run.
Compared to some of the medical complications I’ve seen friends and family deal with, this is little more than an annoyance right now. I am a little anxious about the eventual surgery, though. I’m a writer, which is a much easier job for me to do with functional hands.
Fortunately, I should have a little while–maybe a few years?–before that becomes necessary.
The silver lining: It looks like the surgery leaves a zig-zag scar on your palm, which means after I heal, I’ll be able to tell people I stopped a Killing Curse WITH MY BARE HAND!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
And I know Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" does, because she wrote it that way on purpose.
I'm willing to give unreliable narrators a lot of benefit of the doubt, and people in art do not exist to be role models.
Dido's "White Flag," on the other hand...
I'm pretty sure this song does not know how fucked up it is. I'm just saying. And I'm pretty sure the object of the song needs a restraining order.
...It is pretty, though.
- Current Mood: amused
- Current Music:Blondie, unsurprisingly.