Saturday, June 03, 2006

Fluffy Mackerel Pudding

Planning your next dinner party?

May I suggest Cabbage Casserole Czarina followed by 'Caucasian Shashlik'?


Friday, June 02, 2006

R. I. P. 25 Dec 03 - 01 June 06

I cannot believe you have left me so soon. Our time together was too short. But in that time you became family to me. We were inseparable. And so intimate. You always snuggled close, in my ears, in my pocket; I often kept you cradled in my hand and gave you frequent caresses. And you knew me, better than almost anyone else. You had an uncanny perception of my mood and through your shuffle you provided the perfect soundtrack to my life. You worked and played with me. You comforted me in sad times, shouted with me in angry times, laughed with me in happy times. You made life bearable when I've been in places I didn't want to be. You protected me from hearing things I did not want to hear; you were a powerful and impenetrable barrier between me and unwanted others. Even in crowds, you could make it feel like you and I were the only two things that existed in the world.

We were a team. But somehow I let you down. It's true, I was not always as gentle with you as I should have been. Sometimes we were clumsy. I cannot say there were no accidents that might have contributed to your early demise. You had some ups and downs -- you had those little creaks and aches and pains that come along with age -- a little skip here, a little freeze here, your stamina was waning, you had to rest more often than you used to. But I didn't mind all that. Yes, I did worry about you, but I thought I took good enough care that, well, while I didn't think you would live forever, I thought we still had years together. Until yesterday, when you froze that final time. Like always, I energized you as soon as I could. But then the dreaded, fatal sign appeared on your sweet square face: the folder/exclamation point. I consulted experts. I attempted to follow their advice to the letter. But when I plugged you into your home base, Toshi couldn't even recognize you -- you "failed to mount". I know you struggled to survive: I could hear the agonized churns coming from your center. And in sympathy, my insides churned. Despite heroic efforts, I could not save you. I am sorry. You will be missed.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mrs. Jesus

I'm no different from perhaps a billion people on this planet -- I've read The DaVinci Code -- and Angels and Demons. I have to admit I was enthralled by the former, but then felt a little bit duped when reading Angels and Demons made it obvious how much the two are the cookie-cutter image of one another. I swore that two Dan Brown novels were enough for me and refuse to even look at the cover of a third. Dan, you are writing novels, not episodes for a TV series like Gilligan's Island. Stop trying to get off the island!

With all the critical writing and discussion going on about the new movie, however, I hope that this critical analysis of Brown's treatment of Mary, her transformation from one female stereotype (prostitute) to another (the wife and mother), is not overlooked.

Cast in this light, it reminds me of a dear friend of mine, who is an extraordinary political theorist. In her award-winning dissertation, she presented a very insightful and complicated analysis of the use of virtue and vice both within and outwith feminist circles -- of how both sides of this binary are used against women as well as how difficult it is for feminists to theorize outside and beyond virtue and vice.


Beyond this, and on a personal note, this May has been the second crappiest May of all time for me. The last May that was this crappy happened in 1987. Which actually may be a source of hope. Both of these crappy Mays were, in part, due to serious malfunctions in judgment on my part. That doesn't mean that I did not have judgment malfunctions between these Mays. It just means that, given the fact that the first May really has had no negative impact on my life, maybe this May, in time, will not either. But I doubt it.

I thought we were supposed to become wiser as we become older. Sometimes I think I just get older and none the wiser. How long does it take to develop good judgment and caution? How long does it take to tame impulsiveness so that it occurs only in harmless contexts? I don't want to become such a cautious mouse that I never act spontaneously, but I am tired of creating unnecessarily painful situations for myself.