Friday, October 16, 2009

Furlough - the middle

My DSL has been spotty all week so I'm going to try to crank this out before it goes down again, but no promises.

Wednesday night I went to the Beer & Chocolate Tasting event at Tap and Mallet - a local pub that carries a wide variety of beer - and many dark ones. As a lover of "beer you can chew", the beer/ chocolate combo is quite natural to me - I love several chocolate stouts - hmmm can't think of one gone wrong so I guess I love any chocolate stout you put in front of me. I was surprised by the reaction of some people - lips curled, their body weight shifted away as if I had said something horrid. If it had been lemonade & chocolate - I learned in high school that combo is wretched, then I'd understand.
Anyways, the chocolate was exquisite - the dark beers in the pairings were quite nice (I skipped the paler beers - not my style and why spoil it?)

Thursday, I harvested the sage and most of the chives (one bunch was forgotten). This was such an odd year for the garden. Too much rain and cold to produce a lot berry-wise, flowers died fast in all the wet, too. But now I go out there and see that others took the opportunity to totally take everything over. Lemon balm is popping up where it never had before. Strawberries have infiltrated far further into the heart of the flower bed than I ever expected. Lots of clearing to do this fall/ next spring and then I'll have to keep a tighter reign next year.

Speaking of sage. I have tons. And it lasts - plus it is very rare to use more than 1 tbsp max in any meal. I have two large spice containers full of processed sage, 2 clementine boxes of dried sage to process, and a large shopping bag full of the latest. Have to think of a craft project that uses this stuff or else everyone gets a keg of it for Christmas. Thoughts?

Book #18 - Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. Pretty good. I want Sonny to read it. Some of the commentary on art school was great, though some of it got a bit long. One of those - "I would totally have seen it coming and bailed before they got me" - type books.

Book #19 - Straken by Terry Brooks. You guys know I love these books. They follow a pretty clearcut formula - a kid who doesn't think he/she is so special winds up being the only one who can save the land via the magic they didn't know they had. But it pulls you in deep real fast and you become immersed in it. The character development is great. In almost every book of these series, a character dies or comes close to dying and I cry. You wind up caring that much. Linked to the Word and the Void series in a way I haven't got to yet, the Shannara books tend to be more complex, with more plot lines running, but all well done.

Book #20 - Sylvie by Gerard de Nerval. I'm reading On Literature by Eco right now - a collection of essays & lectures. One is on this book - he opens it by gushing about how it "bowled him over" and talking about the love both he and Proust had for the short piece. He also highly recommended reading it before reading his essay. I'm thinking it's one of those stories (like "The Yellow Wallpaper" or "Turn of the Screw") that you really have to read in a critical setting - like a class or partnered with a critical evaluation to get anything out of. I read it and felt "meh". Do have to say, first book I've read on Google Books via my Touch - pretty cool that.

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