Friday, January 26, 2007

ski trip list on the internets

I figure, why not use the hive mind to make sure I don't forget anything when i go to Mammoth this weekend?

First item on ski trip packing list here: Bible. OK, that's not on my list. I was amused. Almost as amused when AR said she was taking banana bread skiing and it sounded like they were going to schuss down the sloops alongside her. The last person who went skiing with her ruptured his spleen trying to keep up. Lesson: I better not let my ego get caught up in my skiing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Overheard at the dog park

someone calling their dog "buckbeak"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dog crack

apparently, this is the formula: one Hol-ee roller ball, partially destroyed. Insert a tennis ball. Give to curious young dog, too smart for his own good. Crack, I tell you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Meet Bonden

He's my new dog. I got him Sunday from the Westside German Shepherd Rescue group. He's around 2 years old. It's shocking to have a dog in the house other than Mac. It's a good thing Bonden appealing enough to make the shock worth it. He's lovely and outgoing and curious and energetic and friendly and affectionate. He plays fetch (pictured!).

In case you are curious, Bonden was named for a character in a book. You can find a description of the character here (you have to scroll down or search for "Bonden"). The character's full name is Barrett Bonden.

Friday, January 05, 2007

amazing food experience

just back from melisse. i had a creamy onion soup with a small bready cylinder in the middle with a little bit of crab cake on it. the soup was impossibly smooth and yummy. for a main course i had lamb. there were a few lamb medallions, again cylindrical, with some kind of yummy coating, made partially out of cream cheese. wow. the seasoning on those was transcendent. the rest of the food on the plate was fine, but the taste of the lamb dwarfed it. a choco-chocolate dessert that was fantastic. i also had some foie-gras (insanely good), some mushrooms (not bad, but didn't change my world, which was the standard i was quickly developing). the service was personnel-intensive, generally good although disconcertingly in my space. the description of the menu ("it is all special") was overwhelming, and could have been shorter. one of my side dishes was too salty. there was a bit of fatty gristley something in one of my pieces of lamb (but i'm especially squeamish about this kind of thing). i've really had to dredge to come up with any negatives at all, so keep in mind that this place is amazing, probably my best food experience ever.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I just finished The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I am reminded of what a genius she was. She has a special, troubled place in my heart because her writing reminds me of my mom. In "A Book of Common Prayer," the main character shares my mom's own weird combination of flinty competence and thorough denial of reality and ability to be completely dominated. Several of Didion’s other books contained similar characters, and I find some of her discussions about her relationship with Dunne in The Year of Magical Thinking to be troubling.

It’s amazing to me (and not inherently troubling) that for something like 39 of the forty years they were married, they both worked from home, sometimes on the same project. I love what Didion reports her aunt as saying: “For better or worse, but never for lunch.” Of course now its a self-help book because people can't be trusted to expand truisms on their own ( ).

Some of my other favorite quotes from the book:

"In fact I had no idea how to be a wife...[she finds a note John wrote that says] 'as we walked down the aisle, we promised each other that we could get out of this next week and not wait until death did us part.'"

She dismisses the psychological explanation of a dream about how anger creates guilt which creates anger, saying "I did not disbelieve this answer but it remains less suggestive to me than the unexamined image, the mystery of being left alone on the tarmac at Santa Monica Airport watching the planes take off one by one."

I agree. By analogy, as much as I love talking about art and meanings, I think the sensations elicited by art are generally diminished by explanation.