Monday, October 31, 2011

Soundtrack #16 and stuff

Sometimes you have a miniature break down. And then you work a little harder, walk to the store, do some laundry, throw away things you don't want anymore—and somehow things are a little better. Whatever was clogging your heart-airway comes loose and the act of breathing hasn’t changed at all, but it did get just a bit easier.

I think this song is kind of sweet:

Kiss Me Slowly – Parachute

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Love Affair with Fibrous Baked Goods

A while ago one of my co-workers wanted to bring everyone breakfast. She asked me what I wanted. I told her, "Well, you know I love a good bran muffin." She said, "Yeah, I know. That's kind of weird. What are you—like 95?"

I also seem to wear a lot of purple and some of my favorite movies star Cary Grant.

But whatever.

I love bran muffins. Youthful bran muffins. One of these days they'll discover that bran muffins are the cure to crow's feet and cellulite, and then we'll see who's mocking who.

I've decided that I'm going to find the most delectable healthy bran muffin recipe and then make industrial-sized quantities. Like enough to feed an entire summercamp of overly emotional thirteen-year-old girls. These days I'm in the habit of buying these massive bran muffins from a local grocery bakery. When I say "massive," please envision a baked good the size of a softball. They're very sweet, these muffins. In fact, they're probably more like bran cake (mind-light-bulb: I want bran cake for my birthday!). So while I love them, I think my girlish figure would appreciate it if the "bran" weren't stampeded by "sugar."

These are the first recipes I will be trying:

Bran Muffins III
Bran Muffins
Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins

I'm most excited about the middle recipe (shredded carrot! I just got chills!). And I really mean it when I say "excited."

I don't get out much.

Speaking of birthdays, please get me this:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First place goes to Henry James

Tonight I decided that I needed to read something that would improve my mind. I don't think my brain is getting as much exercise as it needs. I spend the majority of my day at work where I do rather mindless things and then I come home and try to recover from the drowsy-allergy-medicine feeling that my job induces by doing other (different) mindless things: watching hair tutorials on youtube, doing laundry, thinking about how much I should be doing useful things.




That's the sound of my IQ dropping a few points.

So I sat in front of the book shelf, determined to choose something "classic" and "of literary merit." After a while it came down to the books' nationality. It was a toss up between Russia, France, and America.

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Les Misérables/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James

I went with Portrait. I recently read Anna Karenina, so I'm already replete with the delights of Russian novels (long, dark, depressing, dense, but good!) for now. And frankly, I didn't feel like trying to pronounce the French names in my mind (heaven knows I'll say them wrong. Remember how everybody butchered Hermione's name? It's kind of like that). I haven't read anything by Henry James and the text was bigger on the page than the other books. Yep, text size was a consideration. (Baaashlep. There goes another IQ point.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Independent wealth

I would like to be independently wealthy and have at least ten close friends that live within one block of my house who are always hungry at the right times. The house would be my own with a gorgeous fireplace, multiple stories, lots of windows, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases in odd places. I would like to have a large yard with fruit trees, berry patches, a creek, a field, a massive garden, a creaky deck, non-fruit trees, a fire pit, and a pasture for my Jersey cow, Professor WiggleToes (who is a girl). I would like to have five floppy-eared rabbits and a TV station that plays Julia Child episodes every Thursday at 11:00AM (and I would have FoodNetwork too, of course). I also want a breakfast nook, one of those big screened in/ glass window porches, and a fire pole that runs from the top of the house to the bottom for when I'm late for church or I forgot about the rhubarb crisp and I can smell it burning. And then I want to hang around my house in bunchy, slouchy wool socks and sequined sweatpants and Mr. Rogers sweaters and cook and bake everything and anything I want. Then my perfectly hungry friends will come over and we will have boisterous, long, happy meals and everyone will tell about their family vacations and do impressions of their crazy uncles.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Like the rest of us

I keep reading Anne Lamott's books. I started with Traveling Mercies and then moved on to Bird by Bird and then Imperfect Birds. Right now I'm reading her first novel, Hard Laughter. I mostly recommend them all, but with a couple in-bold asterisks. Her books are a high-def jumble of both the reverent and irreverent. If you were to meet one of her characters, you'd probably be able to see their pores and where they missed a spot or two while shaving. If you could smell them, you'd probably pick up a mix of sweat, whatever they ate for lunch, and some kind of bought-in-bulk laundry detergent. If you were to hug one of her characters, their arms would probably tangle awkwardly with yours and they might have a slight paunch. They'd be like real, live people. Only more.

Today as I was reading, a few things stuck out to me:

"My younger brother, who is seventeen, and, like the rest of us, ravenously insecure, feels he must be kind and attentive to the Burn Outs or risk having his dog attacked with a pool cue."

When she says, "the rest of us," I think the narrator's referring to her family, but for a moment, I thought she meant "the rest of US," as in humankind, life, people, whatever.

And next:

"And these are the thoughts I was left with: that romance is stupid and sometimes worth it; that fellowship is risky and always worth it; that I am ridiculous, and that I am not."