Sunday, October 30, 2005
Gentleman-caller and I threw our Halloween party this weekend. It was a success, I think. Some of my friends (including the lovely Ardenstone) drove a long distance to attend, which I deeply appreciate.
Today a former colleague called, with whom I haven't spoken for about two years. She's in town for a Bengals game, and we're having lunch tomorrow. Woot! I really, really have missed her.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
A coworker asked me that last night as we discussed this story. It was hard to answer - yes, I've read it, not recently, but it's one of the oldest building blocks in my mind. The first time I read it was in second grade after watching the cartoon. One of our teachers actually read it to the class, and I read it on my own either beforehand or concurrently. I remember the blank look on a classmate's face as the teacher defined the lapin term "hraka" as "droppings"; I already knew what it meant, and remember watching the blank face break up into second-grade merriment once he realized what "droppings" were. I've reread it once or twice but associate it the most with second grade. It was my favorite book for a long time, until I got to fifth grade or so and tackled "Gone with the Wind." (I always enjoyed giving withering looks to adults who said "That's a mighty big book you've got.")
I think I liked the survivalist aspect of the plot, and the rabbit mythology laid out in the book. I loved the idea that just a rabbit hopping across the lawn is part of its own epic struggle. It seems odd to label the book "fantasy" but it really is, in an agreeably down-to-earth way. You certainly also learn a lot about real-life rabbits. I didn't know females were called does, or that pregnant ones could reabsorb their litters from stress. Adams puts you in your place a couple times when the rabbits' world intersects with the human - I guess that's his call to respectful stewardship. It would be interesting to reread it as an adult, but it almost seems unnecessary. All the names and details are pretty deep down in my brain - as a deteriorating nonagenarian I fully expect to rant about Fiver and General Woundwort.
I'd never heard of this island before yesterday, though, and was interested to learn it's notable for its sea birds. That explains the oddly (I always thought) prominent role of Keehar.
Finally, while the cartoon appears to have spawned many annoying DVD spinoffs, I was hugely gratified to hear the "Bright Eyes" reference in the Wallace and Gromit movie.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Yesterday I baked pumpkin cookies, largely because I wanted the smell in the apartment. The smell of baking pumpkin is supposed to enhance erections in men, so I figured it might not do me any harm either. I don't actually like sweets, so I took the cookies to work. Well. By the end of the night I had messages from every guy in the office about how good they smelled and tasted. I could not stop laughing. The erection thing strikes me as bullshit - honestly, do erections need a whole lot of help, generally? - but the idea was amusing.
Here's the recipe, you darling nonexistent reader:
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 egg, beaten
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, pumpkin, cooking oil and beaten egg. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder; add to pumpkin mixture. Dissolve baking soda in milk and vanilla and add to mixture. Then add chocolate chips and nuts. Drop on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. Cookies will be soft and moist.
found on the risky but indispensible cooks.com.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Next: "At the Mountains of Madness," which has finally been located at the library. Today it is quite dismal out, so I expect to spend the afternoon baking and reading.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I had so been looking forward to this book. Hawthorne's story "Young Goodman Brown" is an October classic, and I also love "The Birth-Mark." I guess he's more palatable in short form. In theory, there's nothing wrong with this book: It's got ghosts, a haunted house, and a protagonist named Hepzibah. But I was driven mad by the infinite descriptive passages and the utterly immobile plot. Of course, the plot is all about immobility, so Hawthorne probably is a literary genius. The climactic chapter, in fact, traces the course of a day in which a dead man sits in a chair, listing all the things he's NOT doing, and all the things that are NOT happening in the house. I'm talking myself into admiring the book, but finishing it last night was a huge relief. I guess I'm just a sad product of my action-driven generation.
Next: Shirley Jackson's "The Bird's Nest," about a woman with multiple personalities! I think. Hard to find but obtained from the marvelous Mercantile Library.