Snow Blood and Coal
Sunday, August 29, 2004
The Kitty Conclusion...
So I went back to the doctor and she looked at me for all of five minutes before she told me that I was healing up fine, and that I wouldn't have to come back for Rabies shots unless it turns out that the cat has the disease, which is a next-to-zero possibility. Then she sent me off, charging me fifteen dollars for her precious time. Delicate Genius...
In other news:
I bought 120 issues of the Journal of American Folklore (From 1958-1998, although not quite complete) for $125 the other day. This is a great find, but I need a new book shelf to fit them all.
I made dinner for a couple of friends the other night and it turned out really well. I made gnocchi with a mushroom cream sauce (one of the best cream sauces I've ever made), and meatballs with a tomato sauce that turned out surprisingly well considering that it's been almost a year since I last did it.
Finally, I went to a beginning of the year party for the folklore department the other night. Very cool. Met lots of new students, all of whom seem very interesting. Also got to catch up with some people I haven't seen all summer. It was lots of fun.
Today, I'm going to lounge around and pretend that school doesn't start tomorrow, and then I'm going to go see Hero with a bunch of people.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I went to the doctor today, and she seemed to think that my cat problems were much more serious than I did. She examined me and took x-rays to make sure that there were no claws or bones in the wounds, then had a nurse wash the wounds and give me a tetanus shot, while she called animal control. She said that chances of rabies were almost nil, but that they had to capture and quarantine the cat just to make sure. She also put me on antibiotics for a slight infection in one of my fingers (horse tablets, actually, that contain a bit of an antibiotic to which I'm allergic. They're the most effective, it seems). Then, she sent me home and told me to return friday afternoon for a follow-up, or alternately, if things get worse in the mean time. I really hope that this is the end of things. Rabies shots would really suck.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I was beaten up by a kitten today.
There's this kitten that's been hanging out in our yard. We've been feeding it, and today, I spent some time playing with it and feeding it by hand. I had it eating out of my hand and rubbing up against me when I tried to pick it up (my plan had been to get it into our enclosed porch because the world at large is simply not safe for an eight-week old kitten). It clawed and bit and yowled and before it was done, I had some seriously nasty cuts and a bruise on my knuckle of unclear origin. Overall, an unsuccessful experiment and not one that I wish to repeat. So we're going to keep feeding the kitten and take it slow, and maybe it'll warm up to us a little. I'm encouraged by the fact that it came back even after all of the unpleasantness. perhaps we have a pet in waiting after all...
In other news, I made really good barbecue-sauce-glazed baked chicken tonight. I also made a broccoli salad that was very nice, and some fresh salsa, slightly spicier than the last batch. It's been a mixed day. A long day, and I think I'm ready to sleep.
Monday, August 23, 2004
1. So I saw Garden State the other night. Very cool. I went in not expecting a whole lot, and it turned out to be a very good first movie, and the kind of movie that's nice and refreshing after a particularly bad summer blockbuster season. And looking forward toward the next three or four months, this should be the first in a line of relatively good movies. God am I glad that the summer season is over.
2. I think I'm getting sick. My appetite is weird and I'm feeling like I'm about to develop a soar throat (dry and scratchy and the like). Yuk.
3. Slowly but surely, we're getting close to having finished this unpacking. There's still some boxes, but Sarah is starting to deal with hers, which means that I'll soon be able to deal with the rest of what's in the living room and the office. Any idea where to put my file cabinet people?
4. School's starting. I have mixed feelings. I need to write a book review and an AFS paper. I just really really don't want to.
5. What do people think about the idea of getting an MLS as well as a Ph.D.? It's only one more year and it may turn out to be useful.
6. I need to start getting serious about thesis writing.
7. The students have returned to Bloomington, and that's kind of depressing. Really depressing, in fact. Parking sucks, and all the places that were loud and obnoxious last year are loud and obnoxious once again. Suck.
8. I need to email some people about Henry's class.
9. We've been going outside with the cat. Before long, he'll be going outside on his own, which will be good for all of us, I think.
10. There is no 'Quick thing' number ten!
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Salsa turned out very well, except totally not spicy. The Jalapeño I used must not have been very strong, because it's barely even a presence. But alas. Maybe tomorrow I'll add a Habañero to the mix. That should spice things up.
Alright. Today so far:
Fresh salsa with both red and yellow tomatoes.
Home made Sangria, slightly fortified with rum.
And how did they turn out, you might ask? Unknown so far. The salsa should be ready to taste tonight and even better tomorrow, while the Sangria won't be ready until tomorrow afternoon, but probably won't be best until the next day. I think that they'll probably both be pretty good. If they are, I may post recipes. We'll see...
More dork stuff...
While I was in Philadelphia, one of the things that I did was read the comic book Marvels, painted by artist Alex Ross. I remember reading a couple of issues of this in the mid '90s and really liking it, but reading the whole thing compiled into one book, it truly exceeded my expectations. It turns out to be one of the better comics that I've ever read, and certainly one of the best that deals with the Marvel pantheon of super heroes. More than most comic books, it really highlights the interesting issues with super heroes in American culture, and then explores them in an interesting way. It very self-consciously looks at the reasons why super heroes are important in 20th and 21st century America--loss of faith in ordinary institutions of government, etc.--and then notes that super heroes replace those institutions with more effective ones, but at what cost? From there, it explores the ethical problem of super heroes, wherein they are very effective as replacements for failing institutions, as national symbols, as almost new gods in which to believe, but they are also ethically very questionable. The book points out that while they battle super-villains, people always get hurt. No matter how altruistic a super hero is, his or her powers always come at a cost to the population at large, and that cost is always, in some respect, being marginalized as a mere pawn in a world where super heroes are kings and queens.
Anyway, great book. Totally recommend it. I'm really excited that they're doing another one.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
By the way...
And by the way, I'm back from Philadelphia, had a good time, lots of fun.
I am outraged! Has anybody seen The Calorie Commando on Food Network?! Boo! Hiss! How can the host of this show take good recipes and gut them just to make them lower fat and lower calorie? He breaded pork chops and baked them, made disgusting baked okra, and ruined mud pie beyond description. If you're so concerned about calories and fat, why make pork chops and mud pie to begin with?! Tofu people! Tofu! So here's the deal--
High Fat meal:
Mississippi Mud Pie
Low Fat meal:
Steamed Mixed Vegetables
Lemon Sorbet with Sour Oranges and Grappa
One meal is as good as the other (perhaps the second is a bit better), but if you're so concerned about the fat, don't ruin the first, just make the second! Come on people!
Friday, August 13, 2004
A sad sad day.
Julia Child died last night in her sleep at age 91.
The full article is here.
I think that in her honor, we should all go out and cook something French tonight.
Happy Birthday Ben!
Aright peeps! I'm off to Philadelphia for a couple of days to do some visiting. I'm pretty excited about it. People I haven't seen in a while, and on their home turf. Plus, it looks like while I'm there, I won't be totally useless. I'll have at least a little bit of time to do some reading and the like. I really should get into the book I have to review for Cultural Analysis, and this seems like a good time to start. Of course, I could start reading Magician: Apprentice by Raymond Feist--a book that a friend from the folklore dept. forced me to borrow. Do you ever wonder if your friends really want you to succeed? But yeah. 10 hours of driving ahead, so I'd better run my errands and do what I need to do before I go.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
I want one.
I want one of these for my car:
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
More cooking things...
So, first of all, I bought this paring knife yesterday, to compliment the very expensive chef's knife that I bought the day before:
It's a J. A. Henckels International Classic series four inch paring knife. Fully forged, but made in Spain instead of Germany, and slightly less sharp out of the box, and thus significantly less expensive. It's entirely workable, however, and as far as I can tell, of nearly the same quality (*nearly*) as my new Wüsthof chef's knife, so I'm pleased with it.
In other news, we had some guests over last night, so I thought I'd go all out with the cooking thing. I think that having a kitchen of my own again is really getting to me. So I made cold blanched broccoli with salsa verde, pasta with a goat's milk béchamel-based gorgonzola cream sauce--relatively light considering the fact that it's a cream sauce--and soy ice-cream with macadamia nuts, dried strawberries, and fresh mint for dessert. And everything turned out quite well, I think, considering that I haven't really cooked in forever. I must say that I am quite pleased.
And now I find myself a salsa verde advocate. It's not very often that I make it, but now more than ever--during the hot hot Bloomington summer--it seems refreshing and appropriate. And so I shall share my recipe (remember, all measurements are approximate):
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup fresh parsley
1/3 Cup chopped green onions
4 Cloves of garlic
4 Fresh mint leaves
3 Sprigs of fresh thyme
A few fresh rosemary leaves if you want them (Optional. Lends a very strong flavor that may be overpowering.)
The juice of half a lemon (I actually use a little bit less than all the juice, partly because I like to eat the leftover.)
Throw all of this in the food processor, add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, puree the motherfucker, chill, and serve with anything from toast to... well... cold blanched broccoli.
If you want, for interesting flavors, you can also add some capers or some greek olives. The greek olives would be good especially if you were serving the salsa verde with grilled fresh fish...
Sunday, August 08, 2004
So my chicken stock is turning out surprisingly well. It's based on a recipe for an italian brown chicken stock that I found online. I changed it here and there, especially in the realm of the bits of chicken to be used. I didn't have any old carcasses, so instead I got myself some hearts, gizzards, and thighs, and went to town. The only work I can really think to describe it now is creamy. Not quite creamy, but almost creamy--soft and delicate--in taste. It'll make great risotto one of these days, or perhaps soup, although it's still a little but hot for soup. Anyway, I'm sure I'll figure out something to do with it. It needs another hour to cook, maybe, and then it's done, so wish me luck the rest of the way (with my luck these days, the whole thing is likely to spill on the floor).
High priced impulse buys...
I just bought this knife:
It's a Wüsthof Grand Prix series eight inch chef's knife that I found on sale (a good deal) at my local cooking supply shop. I really wanted to pass it up because really, it was too expensive, but it was also too good a deal. So I left, then came back and bought it. At least I didn't get the 3.5 inch paring knife to go with it...
But now I must gush. It's a really nice knife, and what a nice knife! It's sharper than any knife I've ever used before, fully forged, and balanced incredibly. I've just been coarsely chopping vegetables and chicken gizzards for stock, but wow. I didn't realize quite how much effort it took to do these things with my old (slightly rusted) knife.
And now to justify it to myself further: I figure it's about time for some new knives, so why not knives that I'll never have to replace?
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Satellite TV rocks.
I think that I will never get any work done ever again. I think that I won't even be able to waste time as I once did. I will wile away my life sitting in front of the TV, eating Ramen and drooling down my chin.
Satellite TV rocks.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I'm so funny!
So on my way home from school today, I saw a truck that belonged to the Confidential Document Destruction Service, and this immediately sprang to mind:
CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT DECONSTRUCTION SERVICE: For only $99.99, not only are we able to subvert both the language and the meaning of your confidential documents, but through our own patented process, we are able to safely and secretly demonstrate the manner in which your documents subvert themselves.
I have DSL...
and it's glorious!
Monday, August 02, 2004
I'm posting here from our new house. We are officially moved, although we are in fact still moving--getting stuff out of the old place to bring over here. So understandably, the past few days have been hectic. Sarah has helped me get stuff over here every morning, then while she's been at work, I've been arranging furniture and unpacking box after box. It's a little bit harrowing and I'm a little bit sore from all the heavy lifting, but it's actually kind of fun--not nearly so miserable as packing itself was.
So here's the deal with the house for those who don't know: A friend of mind from folklore owns it. It was built in 1909 and is not quite an historic landmark, but has an historic plaque and things like that. It's spacious with relatively high ceilings, two front rooms, a fine-sized bedroom, and a big kitchen. The kitchen, in fact, is lovely now with the kitchen cart that I added for more counter-space. One of the front rooms--the one meant to be a dining room, I think, we're using as an office, while the other is our living room (and might end up with a dining table in it too. Oh yeah, and it didn't have indoor plumbing until the '60s, so the bathroom has been squished in by any means necessary, which means that you have to walk through it to get to my closet, and then from my closet is this tiny little door (about 2 feet wide) that leads into the living room. That's weird, but I guess that anybody in the living room so determined to go to the bathroom that they make it through the tiny door won't be too upset about having to traipse through my closet to get there.
And that's about all that's going on, I guess. Today we'll hopefully get lots and lots more unpacked (Sarah is off work today), and by wednesday or thursday, I'd like to be mostly moved in.
Oh yeah, my new address is:
1015 West Howe St.
Bloomington, IN 47403
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