Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires.
Francois de la Rochefoucauld
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Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires.
Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Along the shore
In the car
At the table
Across a continent
We are separate, distinct.
The space between mountains, ages, grains of sand.
We are friends, collaborators, mentors
Laughing, sharing, creating.
We are tethered to this meeting place,
Flowing fine filaments, delicate and strong.
We are drifting, surging
Toward our dreams and the sky beyond.
Be neither a conformist or a rebel, for they are really the same thing. Find your own path, and stay on it.
And now, for something completely different. I don’t normally share my ideas on the state of the world, politics, or the economy. Partially because I don’t want to stick my foot in my mouth for lack of information, mostly because it’s nobody’s business but my own. But with all the attention being paid to the film Miss Representation on Facebook and the web, I decided to join the conversation. This morning, I watched the trailer, eight minutes of ideas, commentary, sound bites, and statistics to get people thinking about the roles of girls and women in American society. Without having seen the film in its entirety (it airs on the Oprah Network on the 20th), I don’t know how they address the statistics cited, but here are my thoughts on what is presented.
“3% of positions of clout in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising are held by women. 16% of writers, directors, producers, and cinematographers are women.”
This is depressing and certainly gives a perspective on why so much of the media we see portrays women in a negative light or as mere sexual objects. If we aren’t in the room making the decisions, it’s difficult to change the content.
“The 2010 midterm election is the only time since 1979 that women have not made gains.”
I wonder, were there as many women running for office? If so, were they intelligent and well spoken? An Olympia Snowe or a Patty Murray (or a Shirley Chisolm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed - to use an old school phrase – she was bitchen!) versus a Michelle Bachmann? Bless her heart, she flummoxes me, and, as a woman, I’d make no hesitation in choosing a thoughtful, educated man, regardless of party, over a woman who makes so little sense. None at all. The same goes for any candidate of color. I would love to see more representation, but I am not going to vote for someone who doesn’t put a clear message in my voter’s pamphlet.
“At age seven, equal numbers of girls and boys want to be President, but by age fifteen, there is a large gap.”
At age seven, I wanted to be a pilot, and a boy told me I couldn’t because I was a girl. I cried bullshit but then realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do anyway. I’m forty, and, heaven help me, still don’t have a career path nailed down. However, I can say, rather definitively, that I never, ever wanted to be President. Maybe the girls who said they did at seven had the same change of heart as I did about being a pilot, not because someone told them it wasn’t possible, but because they wanted something different for themselves.
“Women make up 51% of the population yet are only 17% of the Congress.”
Again, I wonder how many women are running? I know I can’t recall many women from Oregon being on the ballot. Also, that is a difficult job, with work that never ends, the majority of which is away from home. It’s certainly not something I would choose. Heck, Mitch Daniels, a man, didn’t run for President for the same reason, “the interests and wishes of my family is the most important consideration of all.” Here’s hoping this is at least partially responsible for the lack of parity.
Finally, to what started me writing this post in the first place. Soon after I watched the trailer, I was doing part of my daily workout, a POP Pilates for long and lean legs, and wondered what my motivation for working on my body is. Do I feel pressured by the media to be something other than what I am? Am I overwhelmed by images of model thin women and feel I must conform? In all honesty, no. First and foremost, I want to be healthy, fit, and strong. Emphasis on the strong. I don’t want to take the easy way out by using prescription drugs instead of good self-care. It’s bad enough that my skin is starting to sag and my hair is turning grey with amazing rapidity. I don’t want to have to start popping pills, too. I’ve seen enough prescription drug ads, as many as I have for wrinkle creams and weight loss, to know that they are bad news. Side effects may include…
So there, I’m done. Happy hump day!
Bill Cunningham New York: Though my “uniform” might suggest otherwise, I LOVE clothes and fashion, and all the inherent juiciness of it. Yes, I am “shallow” (in quotations because I don’t really believe it but lack a better descriptor) enough to spend the whole of a day reading a fashion magazine cover to cover, turning back pages I find inspiring or interesting. I love watching people, well dressed or not, at least to my eye, and absorbing what they’ve got going on. Is it something that fits my aesthetic that I hadn’t previously imagined? What makes it work? Oh jeez, isn’t that what that Tim Gunn guy says? I love the courage it takes to try something outrageous, bold, or just plain different, probably because I lack it myself.
So now, imagine all of this in the hands of a humble, bicycle riding photographer who wants to share with everyone, namely Bill Cunningham of the New York Times, taking photos every single day over a period of decades. The film follows Bill in his daily life, sleeping on a cot wedged between rows of filing cabinets of photos and negatives in a tiny apartment in Carnegie Hall (I didn’t even know this was possible). The man lives for fashion, “I eat with my eyes,” mostly the on the street variety, and takes pictures nearly everywhere he goes. He is earnest, beyond hard working (at 80+ he still works every day!) and impossibly kind, at least to those he photographs, the sort one wants as a friend and fashion consultant.
Adam’s Apples: Ivan is a small-town minister who “rehabilitates” men upon their release from prison. He takes wearing rose-colored glasses to the extreme, patently refusing to see the truth before him, no matter how squarely it is presented. When Adam, a particularly wretched Neo-Nazi, is placed with Ivan for the requisite 12-week program, he is determined to break the man, no matter the cost. A strange, funny, and somewhat violent portrait of unshakable faith.
The Trip: I can’t say I really know who these men are, though they seem quite familiar, but goll-ee, I could watch and listen to them all the live long day. In “mockumentary” style, the gentlemen play themselves, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, two longtime friends on a road trip to England’s finest restaurants and inns. It was meant to be a romantic getaway for Steve, but his girlfriend leaves rather suddenly for New York at the last minute, so Rob fills in. It is an odd and interesting mix. It’s sometimes wildly funny, with some of the best impersonations I have ever heard, mostly of Michael Caine, Sean Connery, and Hugh Grant. Then it’s a little gloomy and sad tale of middle age and being alone, all while exploring beautiful places and serving up exotic dishes at some very posh restaurants. A lot like real life, I think.
Good morning and welcome to our Saturday night! A bit of a tomato fest, it was. We were meant to have friends over (though they couldn’t make it), and when I was trying to think of what to serve, I got this picture in my head of a glass of red wine, pasta with red sauce and sausage, garlic bread, and Caesar salad.
Does your mind work this way? When I have ideas, I see a lot of pictures and then try to make the world match what I see. Sometimes it is hard, as I do not know where to find the picture or how to make it, but most times, I am lucky, and it all works out. For this, I picked all of our remaining ripe tomatoes off the vine and made, quite literally, the best sauce the hubster and I have ever tasted. It was simple, just a little bit of olive oil, five cloves pressed garlic, one pound spicy Italian sausage (via Afton Field Farm), red wine, a pinch of herbs and salt, the tomatoes, and a whole day to bubble over the lowest possible heat.
As for the cake, I had a ton of green tomatoes, and I remembered my friend Lori posted a recipe for a cake last year, so I adapted hers. If you have any green tomatoes still clinging to the vine, I highly recommend making it and put the recipe below. You will never ever know there are tomatoes in it, and, at times, it seems almost banana-y, crazy pinkie swear! Dang, I think that’s my first ever pinkie swear, so you know I mean business.
In response to my absence last week, we were busy, busy, busy. We got a new fence to replace the one nearly blown over in a windstorm and are finishing our basement (the house is eighty years old– it’s about time) and had to get ready, which meant cleaning out the garage so we could shift former basement items there, then clear the basement of about ninety percent of its contents, which was an awful lot of crap, truth be told. The process took three whole days, one of which I was on my own, which was kind of a drag, but I managed. Thankfully we were able to recycle, sell, or donate most of what we had. To let you know the sad state of accumulation, we still took a whopping 520 pounds (!) to the dump, most of which was leftover from the previous owners, a large roll of carpet and some “I made them myself!” cabinets of the heaviest and ugliest variety. We are glad to be rid of them.
Since I remain a silver lining type person, I must say that despite the exhaustion from all the work and the steady stream of people at the house, it was an awful lot of fun to drive our neighbor’s big F150 (Thanks, Kelly) hither and yon to get rid of stuff. It is the one vehicle the hubster absolutely does not like to drive and I absolutely relish. Slovakian farmer roots, maybe?
Lori’s Green Tomato Cake
4 cups green tomatoes, small dice
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon nocino (I know – not something most have, but since I made some, and I love it, it’s a good use for it. Use vanilla if you don’t have it.)
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons nocino (What can I say? The stuff is awesome. Use milk if you don’t have it.)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand ten minutes. Place in colander, rinse with cold water, and drain.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8″ or 9″ round pans or simply grease a 13×9.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, nocino or vanilla, and beat until creamy. Sift dry ingredients together, add walnuts. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Add drained tomatoes and mix well. Spread into prepared pan(s). Bake the round pans for 20-25 minutes, the 13×9 for 40-45. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Allow round pans to cool 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack. Cool 13×9 in the pan.
For the frosting, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat until it is lightly browned. This takes 10-15 minutes. Place sifted powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, add melted butter, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add nocino or milk, the optional vanilla, and whip until spreading consistency. You may need more nocino/milk. Spread over the cake, as desired.
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.
See everything; overlook a great deal; correct little.
Pope John XXIII
The hubster has style.
Kelly has humor!
Matt has speeeed.
I am not a bowler. I bowl. I share shoes and forge community. We are strangers with a penchant for alternate identities. K-Gimmy and Bob Hughes on the line-up tonight, who are you? We are serious for the thirty seconds before the line, rituals combined with less thoughtful spasms of movement before hurling balls: at record speed, worryingly slow, and straight for the gutter. We erupt in joy, dissolve in laughter, or silently pump a fist in triumph, repeat nine more times, ten if you’re really good. Maybe drink a beer or eat nachos or both. Smile.
The Portland Timbers Corn Maize. Yup, we’re going in!
This makes total sense now. Turn left!
I’m all lost in the corn-maize. I can no longer walk happily. I came here for the special offer, a Groupon discount, that’s me! My apologies to the members of The Clash for trashing a fine song. I could not help myself. I really was lost and have a brain programmed for reciting song lyrics.
Lying in bed with the hubster, I heard a sound, while at the same time saw this drop onto the lamp next to the bed. The look of horror in my eyes made the hubster jump out of bed. The fact that it moved so quickly, and I could not see where it was going made me jump up on the bed and scream! I am not normally a jumper or screamer, but fifteen pairs of very long legs moving at high velocity changed my mind in a hurry. Besides, maybe loud noises will kill it. Hey, let’s shove the bed to the center of the room, sweep, and vacuum while we’re at it! You know, because it is better safe than sorry, even if it is totally harmless to humans. Just sayin’.
Random inside jokes for the hubster:
“It’s getting worse!”
“You look tired. I think you need a dough-nut nap.”