Friday, December 30, 2011

Mitt Romney:Liar.

Of course we know he's willing to unsay what he just said and disavow policies that actually helped hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts, and now we know he'll just lie, lie, lie like a rug. (I'm a little law with this post, but better late than never.....)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pork Cake on Fire

Many years ago I spent an evening with Melissa and her ex-husband (I think) and our friends Josh and Ana, who have long since also split up. We were in Josh and Ana's Brooklyn Heights apartment, which was just about the perfect Brooklyn Heights apartment. Charming and slightly off-kilter, it was three flights up in a brownstone, the kitchen was in a pass-through between the living and bed rooms and you had to go through the bedroom to get to the bathroom. It had two cats, this lovely study off the living room, and, I think, a mantle. In any case, being in that apartment at that time with those cats and those friends was very reassuring, even cosseting, and the evening I'm thinking of may even have been some kind of holiday like Christmas or New Year's. Whatever it was we (or I) ate just an enormous amount, and I purposefully didn't save any room for dessert because I knew Melissa had made something from one of the Laurie Colwin books (Home Cooking or More Home Cooking) that involved whole lemons and suet, or what I understood to be the fat that's wrapped around the pancreas of a cow. I wasn't expecting much, but, you won't be surprised to read, my expectations were all wrong. I was completely devastated when I bit into my bit of suetty, lemony, toffee-liquor-drenched stuff to discover nothing short of perfection on a fork. I don't remember anything more about the dessert (like it's name) but I do remember being so sad that I'd already eaten so much because I knew I was about to eat a whole lot more of that dessert, personal comfort and health be damned. It was something, that dessert, and this post on Melissa's web site, with its recipe for pork cake that one sets on fire before drinking too much reminded me of that very, extremely, lovely, and filling, night. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

E-Books, Revisited

Lately, the thought of curling up with my Nook to read a good Book just makes my toes curl. I know I'm not the only woman giving up on screen reading. K.J. Dellantonia, our new Motherlode blogger, has done the same. I wish my reasons for not wanting e-books were as clear as hers. She wants her kids to see her reading. This means Ms. Dellantonia has "quiet time" in her house during which they all read together. We don't have that. Then again, my kids are early readers so I shouldn't feel bad yet for not having quiet reading time. I can wait for two years from now when, I hope, my kids will be reading away but not during the quiet time when we all read together. No, I'm not that into e-books just BECAUSE. Because I'm tired of screens being everywhere and doing everything. It's not that I don't appreciate the screens I use. I've come to quite like this new computer, and I'm not ready to give up my TV, even though I watch it less and less. But, I can't help it. I still like reading books that are only books and don't glow, except, you know, on the inside. So will I read Villette, my next big not-chilrden's novel, on the Nook? Or, will I get it from the library? I guess we'll just have to see how long this jag of grump lasts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Secret Garden

For a while now I've wanted to write something about The Secret Garden. I read it for the first time a few weeks ago, and when I started it, I thought, "Oh this is magic!" But the more I read of it, what with what happens to Miss Mary Quite Contrary in dank, infected India and then how she blossoms once returned to the moors and sent outside; and then how the lovely and pan-like Dickon comes along and opens the secrets in the garden Mary's found; and then how Dickon's mother, and mother to 13 others, Susan Southeby, is full of motherly wit and wisdom, not to mention the kindheartedness to buy a poor little rich girl a jump rope; and how Colin is discovered and saved....well, it all got to be a little too much. I was going to suggest it was, possibly, the weirdest children's books ever, but then Marjorie Ingall blogged about what I'd forgotten was actually the weirdest children's book ever. Now I'll just say it's an extremely odd and discomfiting book for all it doesn't recognize about itself. It's all that unconscious reinforcement of the healing power of rosy cheeks and fresh milk that makes me nervous. I know that sounds kind of awful, because really, what could be wrong with rosy cheeks and fresh milk? But there are things deeply wrong with said cheeks and milk The Secret Garden because the author seems to think they're So Right. For odd and off, I suppose I'd rather read a book like Coraline which knows that it's being very odd and plays with the whole idea of the big English house, along with some other pretty wonky ideas about mothers and power and buttons for eyes. All this to say, I may never hand Helen or Elliot The Secret Garden and say, "You've got to read this!" Then again, maybe I'll do exactly that, because if I do, Helen, at least, won't ever read it, at least not for a good long while, and I think that may be AOK.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Celebrity Sighting: Carla Hall!

There we were, waiting on the line to board the train from Washington, DC to New York City, and there she was, red glasses and all. My husband said, "Did you see the chef?" It was all I could do not to run up to her and gush, politely, discretely, briefly, about the love.

Love that Carla Hall.