Oh, hi! Hello there! I did not mean to disappear for so long, I swear I didn't. It's just that last week my kids were on Spring Break, and this week my mucus membranes are so caked in oak pollen and I am sneezing so often and so violently that it has taken me three hours to type what I've typed here so far. Not much that's supposed to be getting done around here is getting done, you know?
Also I'm still recovering from something very traumatic that happened a couple of weeks ago: P switched us from Time Warner to DirecTV. I know. It's awful. I am the worst person in the world when it comes to change, or learning curves, or things not staying exactly the same forever and ever and ever. I do not like this DirecTV thing, I do not like having to learn it, I do not like how it keeps recording shows I don't want and not recording shows I do want and changing the channel all by itself when I'm watching something I want to watch. I think it might be possessed, or maybe I'm just stupid. I'm pretty much watching all of my TV online now, which I also do not like. Argh.
There are some things I HAVE been liking just fine, though. Like, the bluebonnets are up! I have no photos to show you, alas, because they're all along the highways and I'm bad at taking pictures out the window of a moving car. Especially when I'm the one driving. Plopping your kids down in a field of these suckers for a photo op is kind of a thing down here, but I have never done that with my kids, because hello! HIGHWAY. Moving cars. Death, doom, destruction. Also, bees. *shudder* (Also, my kids are teenagers now and one of them is bigger than me so my kid-plopping days are over before they even began. If you want to hum a few bars of "Sunrise, Sunset" somewhere in here, I won't stop you.)
More things liked recently: two very different books. The first was I Want It Now! by Julie Dawn Cole, the actress who played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (that's the one with Gene Wilder, kids)(also known as my favorite movie of all time). The bulk of the book deals with her experiences filming the movie, though she does bookend that bit with the story of her childhood and how she came to be an actress, and the various projects she's done in the 40 or however many years since the movie came out. Really wonderful and fascinating stuff. I kind of fell in love with her. And there are a TON of pictures. I got this book for free on my Kindle Keyboard (it's not free anymore) but went ahead and bought the paperback so I could get a better look at the photos, letters, postcards, etc., of which there are many. However, both the Kindle Keyboard and the paperback are black and white, and some of the photos are actually in color, which I found out by paging through the Kindle version on my laptop. So! If you can find a way to read this sucker on a color screen, do. It's delightful.
The other book I read and loved was Lauren Groff's Arcadia. Oh, how I loved this book. It follows (with some serious time gaps) 50 years in the life of fictional character Bit Stone, from his childhood and adolescence in a '70s hippie commune to his life as a middle-aged father caring for aging parents. Wait, that sounds kind of boring. It probably could be in other hands, but Groff is seriously one of the most lyrical, beautiful writers I've ever read. The whole thing is a bit like a wonderful dream, the kind that comes when you're dozing in the sunshine on a gorgeous balmy day and the sun shining through your eyelids as you nap makes everything look all funny when you open your eyes. It's an absolutely lovely book, but not ultimately a very HAPPY book. More of a melancholy, bittersweet book. Don't let that keep you from reading it, though. I loved it anyway.
In other news, Mark Bittman is confusing.
"This will probably kill you, but here's how you should cook it." Alrighty, then.
(Dear Everyone: Eating meat is not bad for you if your body can't metabolize non-heme iron. In that case, NOT eating meat is really REALLY bad for you. Just saying.)
Okey doke. Back to sneezing and complaining.