Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Last Thin Mint

I've eaten my last Thin Mint.  I managed to consume an entire box in TWO DAYS.  I have to admit I have a problem.  I don't seem to have this problem with other cookies, or chocolate, or any other sweet treat - with the possible exception of donuts, which is why I've learned to RARELY buy donuts.  Yeah, a person really shouldn't eat an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies by themselves in two days.  So I am gonna have to pull the string and get off the Girl Scout Cookie bus.  I apparently can't have just one.  Or two, or seven. 

I admire the organization and will probably continue to purchase cookies for my husband.  (Especially after hearing about the latest flap involving some far-right state senator from Indiana denouncing the Girls Scouts - seriously!?)  Hubby likes the Trefoils, which could sit on my kitchen counter tops for weeks and I'd eat like three.  Shortbread, meh.  Samoas are pretty good, and Tagalongs are alright, although they leave a slightly slimy film on the tongue.  But Thin Mints are apparently laced with magic fairy keep-you-fat dust.  And I'm sick of my pants fitting too tightly.  So I'm out.  (I'll miss you!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Rut!

Sweet potato fries!  I've been reading some bad books lately.  First there was the new P.D. James Death Comes to Pemberley, a mystery set six years after the events of Pride and Prejudice.  Lifeless.  Snore.  Then there was Twain's Feast, our February book group pick.  It has a great premise (examining foods on Mark Twain's favorite American foods list - what do people still eat today and what's extinct?)  In the hands of a more skilled writer it could have been a lot better.  Then came Bruno, Chief of Police.  I'm a bit of a Francophile and thought a mystery set in a small town in the Southwest of France would be magnifique.  Quel dommage, I was wrong.  Setting, good.  Mystery and characters, flat. 

What's wrong with me?  Why do I keep picking losers?  Obviously my selection process needs some tweaking.  I've been going on pure whim, but perhaps a bit more intentionality would offer better choices.  Or maybe I just need to learn to cut bait and run.  Among my many quirky reading habits is the notion that I can't quit a mystery novel before I learn who did it.  And I don't like to abandon a book group pick, although I have done so a couple of times.  (We Need to Talk About Kevin comes to mind, which I shelved on Goodreads under "Yuck!")  But with limited reading time (J's nap time, lunch break at work) I need to get better about cutting my losses.  Maybe I've simply been experiencing a run of bad luck.

My luck may be turning around.  I'm reading, no, devouring, Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy.  This is a book to get lost in, a rich page-turner.  You need not have read one word of Jane Eyre (of which it is a re-imagining) to enjoy it.  Actually, I haven't read Jane Eyre since I was a freshman in high school, and have forgotten all but the basic plot outline, so I couldn't tell you how closely it follows the original anyway.  It's set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and 60s, and Gemma is a heroine I instantly wanted to root for.  The setting is just as deliciously broody and damp as any Anglophile would dream of.  About two-thirds of the way through I don't want to put it down; simultaneously, I don't want it to end. I've really enjoyed all the novels of Livesey's that I've read, and intend to read the rest before too long. 

So how do you go about choosing the books that you read?  Whim, cover-judging, magazine reviews, friend recommendations?  I'm always interested in the whys and hows of people's reading choices.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Connection, Schmonnection

I came across this quote this week on BookRiot from Pulitzer prize-winning author Jennifer Egan (author of A Visit From the Goon Squad and The Keep:) 

But, she said, the “fetishization of connection itself” fascinated her.

“Who cares that we can connect?” she said. “What’s the big deal? I think Facebook is colossally dull. I think it’s like everyone coming to live in a huge Soviet apartment block, [in] which everyone’s cell looks exactly the same.”

I'm getting sick of Facebook myself.  But I can't cut the cord yet.  I keep thinking I'll miss out, be even more out of the loop than I already am as a new mother.  Plus, honestly, I like showing off pictures of my cute baby boy!  But half the time it's just updates about what so-and-so's listening to on Spotify (turn off notifications, dude!) and updates from people I don't actually TALK to, you know, with my VOICE, like EVER.  So I'm mulling it over.  I think I need to impose a limit on myself about checking Facebook, and then it wouldn't get on my nerves so badly.  If someone really needs to contact me, what the heck's wrong with email?  Or a phone call? 

Half the time I don't want to be "connected" anyway.  Not in the modern sense.  I want connection that involves hearing a friend's voice or sitting across a room from someone, sharing our lives over cups of tea and baked goods.  With a squirmy, squeaky baby rolling around on the floor between us, of course.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Me Again!

I'm sorry I haven't been posting anything lately - I apologize to my three devoted readers.  :)  Seriously, I don't know who reads this besides my best friend and some people from Russia whom I suspect are some sort of spammers anyway.  But that's okay, I don't really do it for others - I don't think - I mainly do it for myself.  It's a space in which I can be myself, vent, opine, and maybe, just maybe, connect with another soul out there who's going through something similar.  Instead of posting I've been fiddling with the design and text colors.  I was bored with the "French Windows" or whatever my old design template was called.  Now it's appropriately named "Book Club!"

I almost posted a political rant last week after my blood got to boiling over something one of the candidates said.  And then I thought, why put that negativity out there into the universe?  Isn't there already enough negative energy in our society, especially in the political arena?  I held back.  And vented to my husband instead, who capably fulfilled the role of listener for me.

Speaking of my husband, have I told you lately how wonderful he is?  He is the best dad.  Affectionate, playful, caring, funny - all the qualities that made me fall in love with him have just blossomed beyond limits towards our son.  J.'s first word, not surprisingly, is "Dada."  He only says something like "mama" when he's crying!  They are big buddies, which I hope lasts forever. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where Have You Been All My Life?

So my newest culinary discovery is peanut butter and Greek yogurt.  I feel like a doofus for not thinking of this combination before, but better late than never!  I was inspired by a dessert I saw on Pinterest, my new internet addiction.  It was a peanut butter Greek yogurt pie.  I just decided to eliminate the pie crust.

I whipped these two ingredients together a few days ago, slathering it on toast and just eating it off the spoon.  My husband skeptically tried it and pronounced, with a sour look on his face, "It's just fluffy peanut butter."  And WHAT exactly is bad about that??  "Well, I just like peanut butter IN stuff, like peanut butter crackers."  Okaaayyy, more for me.

I feel virtuous, thinking of all the calcium, protein, and good bacteria I'm ingesting.  Makes up for all those gluten free Udy's chocolate chip cookies I've been eating lately.  Almost.  They're gluten free, so they're practically just air, right?