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Wishing for Gold

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06.02.2016 - 6:18 p.m.

still here? good gracious

03.24.2005 - 9:39 p.m.

because we can never get enough LotR

I want to know who did the character drawings for the credits of Return of the King. (No doubt John Howe or Alan Lee, or both.) What I really want is for him/them to do a similar drawing of ME (because it's all about me, right? right?), because that artwork is stunning. It's accentuated, of course, by the characters, the actors, the fact that it's The End of The Story; and not least by the lovely song underneath - "Into the West," sung by Annie Lennox.

But the drawings - they knock my breath out. Of course they look like the actors, but even more, they capture the presence of the characters. Just so beautiful - luminous, they make me want to weep ... so perfectly embodying the idea that if you look at something long enough and well enough, you see the beauty in it. So sympathetic, compassionate. It makes me ache....

03.15.2005 - 3:54 p.m.

baking bread; or, intimidated by yeast

(My, aren't we all Dickensian with our titles. It makes us cool, don't you know.)

Warm bread, fresh baked. There's nothing like it, and certainly nothing quite like the smell of it. Don't try to deny that your mouth is watering just thinking about it. Bakeries are delightful places.

I'm decent at various sweet, quick breads - banana and "amish" friendship bread, stuff like that. I can even make some pretty tasty baking soda biscuits (if I do say so myself). But yeast just plain intimidates me. I've never made real rising bread. There's the time required of course as well - my life (or more precisely, my way of living it) has in general not been conducive to an activity you have to plan so far ahead for and give it several hours to rise.

But I'd like to try it - really getting your hands sticky in the dough, a whole upperbody workout with kneading; an exercise in patience. And most of all the wonderful smell filling the house. The smell of bread really says you care, enough to invest all that time - maybe that's why it seems so welcoming.

03.10.2005 - 12:04 p.m.

good fortune

[from notebook #18, written on 10/26/2003]

Fortune cookies. Of course, the In Bed Game is always amusing. I have, since college, collected the fortunes that seem particularly appropriate for that game. I don't eat Chinese/Asian food that often, so I only have four or five of them, but it does seem that everytime I do get a fortune cookie it is strangely apt for the IBG.

I slide them into my wallet and pull them out for amusement, usually while opening a new cookie, showing them to my eating companions for a laugh. These include:

Quality counts and you've got it.
Happiness is a state of mind.
Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.

But then things seemed to change a little, as if everyone involved in the process -- from whoever dreams up these things to the packagers and the people who fold them into the cookies, to the server who brings them to us with the bill -- all were conspiring. But not against me, rather the opposite -- conspiring for me. It could also be that my limited evil-mindedness has been evaporating. (Though Niles and I are still mildly amused by the IBG.)


Your artistic talents win the approval and applause of others.

seemed to me not so much humourous as encouraging.

Then. Last time we went to a local buffet, New China, just me, Niles and Ananda. Stuffed ourselves (and while Niles and I stuff much more easily than we used to, what with eating less and working out, the child still requires a good deal of stuffing -- maybe more than ever before). Then the waiter brought us the bill and three cookies. I broke one open for the baby. Neil picked one up, and for some reason I said, "Sweetie, I think that one's mine." He opened it anyway, looked at the fortune and said, "You're right, it is." And handed it to me. [Someday I will get a real account and upload a scan, but for now you're just going to have to take my word for it.]


So delightful. I showed N.D., who I think of as my local mentor of encouragement, and she suggested I make it into a bookmark, even offered her laminator's services. So I have, with embossed gold Oriental stamps. I will read it often, and take it as a good omen.

03.09.2005 - 3:40 p.m.

of fruit (salad)

My darling girl is just tearing it up in the language acquisition department. But like all two-and-a-half year olds, there are always some interesting quirks.

For example, we often discuss (i.e. Mommy informs her) that we don't play with this or that object because it is "not a toy." The other day I got out my wooden whistle (but I did not spend THAT much) to practice a little. Now the wooden whistle is not exactly cheap, not like the two or five or ten dollar metal "tin" whistle type, which Ananda often gets to play with. (Well, not THAT often, the shrill crazed noise is not exactly melodious, even from a genius toddler.) When Ananda saw me with the wooden whistle she asked me what I was doing with it.

"I'm going to play it," I replied.

"No, Mama, it's not a toy," she sternly informed me.


Of late, she has been asking for "fruit." Which is fantastic because PLEASE PLEASE EAT SOMETHING ANYTHING and a request for something that is not baby marshmallows or chocolate is to be met with instant action! Quick! Before she changes her mind!

But ... "fruit" means "fruit salad" which is a little more involved than just handing her an apple. That's okay though, because I picked up some cans of fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges and pineapple, and even some fresh strawberries on the last foray to the grocery store, in anticipation of the "fruit" request.

"Okay, honey, Mom's going to make you some fruit salad right now," I say as I start washing and coring and slicing and draining.

"No, not fruit salad!"

At first I think this is the Toddler Whim striking YET again. Which is Very Uncool. But she follows this up immediately with, "Not fruit salad, fruit!"

And It All Becomes Clear (because, after being constantly with the toddler, I am usually able to follow the leaps in toddler-logic (an oxymoron if ever I heard one); though this is not something we DARE count on). Because last time we had fruit salad, she wouldn't eat it with the cool whip mixed in, only plain, without. Which is great and fine, but ... no cool whip? Where did you come from, child?

So, "fruit salad" = with cool whip, and that's that. I tried to explain that this was fruit salad without cool whip, but no, no, no fruit salad, only fruit.

So instead we are calling it "fruit bowl," because Mama can't handle it without another noun attached; she doesn't like to say we're putting the sliced bananas into the fruit. It sounds like an incomplete sentence. Fruit... fruit what? Fruit BOWL, that's what.

I must also add that the real reason that Ananda wants to eat fruit salad at all is so that she can hold up a piece of it and say, "Oh well, hakuna matata," then slurp it into her mouth, chew a little and gulp, followed by, "Slimy yet satisfying." Which is incredibly funny, especially when she does it with mandarin oranges, which are disturbingly grub-looking if you think about it -- DON'T. DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. -- even if she does do it after every. single. bite.

But hey, SHE'S EATING. Which, believe me, when faced with the threat of the Low Blood Sugar Madness, is all that matters.

The only question left is: do mini marshmallows and maraschino cherries cancel out the nutritional goodness of fresh sliced strawberries, apples, bananas, and chunks of pineapple (canned in it's own juice, even)?

03.2005 - a new dawn

Well, to celebrate the re-emergence we will try this a bit.... And, of course, so we can be like all the cool kids.


before - after