Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And now we break from our regularly scheduled program

I don't even have a good excuse for why I haven't posted. All I can say is that I recently figured out that General Relativity, often referred to as "Gee Are" really should be referred to as "grrrrr."

How about some wedding pictures to distract you?
Andrew apologizes for a cheeky remark- good practice for the rest of our marriage.
The fathers, probably practicing their after-dinner speeches.
Andrew and his parents outside the church.My mother celebrates the fact that both of her children are married off by finishing off a magnum of champagne.

Have a terrific Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008


My niece is showing many signs of becoming the clambering monkey that my brother was. One of her more memorable exploits occurred a few months ago when she managed to pull down part of my brother's computer, including his oh-so-expensive, very large, very beloved (and quite new) monitor. Which broke into many pieces, but did not break her in any way. This was a much luckier fate than my brother has suffered in the past: two broken arms and so many stitches I lost count.

For his birthday, we made a contribution to the "Replace the Monitor Fund" and received this perfectly lovely thank you from my brother:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Misty morning

Today is a cool, wet, gray November day. As I was walking to my office in the mist and fog, I was enjoying the trees with their muted colors, and the lonely leaves clinging to bare branches. I love fall. Actually, I love having four seasons: early winter evenings that make your home feel like a cozy haven, the burst of light and chlorophyll that is spring, the deep green of summer, and the crispness of fall. (Cliched descriptions, but nonetheless true.) I've occasionally wondered if I love winter and the change of the seasons because I spent most of my growing-up years in the Midwest. On the other hand, my father claims to abhor winter because he grew up in Minnesota, but I notice that he's still living in the Midwest. So is it environment or personality that determines this particular desire?

What about you? Do you live in a climate that is akin to where you grew up or is it radically different? And do you wish you could change the weather where you live?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


At the end of summer, a number of my friends became less available to me, due to a combination of physical distance (i.e. some moved) and lack of time (i.e. some had a baby). This meant that my pool of really good friends, the ones that you can ask for a ride to the airport when your plane leaves at 5 a.m., had dwindled to two. So I've been a little lonely. But today I found out that a good friend who has been living abroad will be returning to Maryland in January. This increases the number of names on my "really good friends list" by 50%. Yippee.

(And don't worry, E. I was kidding about the 5 a.m. flight - I never schedule a flight before

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You can't escape Freud, I guess

When I met my husband-to-be, he was not particularly handy. He didn't own any tools, and I don't know if he had ever changed a car's oil himself. As we started dating, though, a transformation took place. He bought a car, and expressed an interest in trying to do the maintenance. I loaned him my tools, and he started messing around. He discovered the great wide community of Internet mechanics. (Did you know there are people who post detailed instructions on how to replace the engine mounts on a Ford Escort? Neither did I.)
Since I come from a rather do-it-yourself kind of family, this new interest was only encouraged by my family. He started receiving power tools for Christmas and tool boxes for his birthday. He built some furniture for the house. Last week the toilet started leaking, and he didn't have time to repair it right away, so he showed me how I could turn off the water at the base of the toilet and turn it on just when it needed to refill. As I was going through this ritual a half a dozen times daily, I reflected that my life is now EXACTLY as it was in my childhood. I'm surrounded by ingenious temporary fixes, which eventually morph into creative permanent solutions. I'm told that we can't move to Europe because it would be too hard to take the tools. I'm spending far too much time in hardware stores, praying we'll be able to leave soon.

In other words, in spite of a promising beginning, I have married a man who turned into my father.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Time for comfort food

We had a quiet weekend. Lately I've spent half of the weekend cooking; my homework load this semester is (as I have already extensively complained here) rather large and I find that if I can make a couple of big dishes on Saturday or Sunday I can coast until about Thursday without doing any significant cooking. Leaving me to devote more time to homework.

Saturday I baked an enormous winter squash and mushroom lasagna. I made it once, about a year ago, and it must have made an impression on Andrew because he asked for it again this year. It's not in our regular menu rotation because it's the kind of dish that takes about four hours to make. But then you get about five pounds of heavenly lasagna, so that makes it an occasional indulgence.

I also got to experience some good cooking karma. I baked two apple cakes like this one and gave one to some friends.
This morning, my neighbor gave me a pumpkin pie which he had make with his Jack o'lantern pumpkin. I thought jack o'lantern pumpkins weren't supposed to be very good eating, but this was a terrific pie:

So, you might ask, which did you decide to have for breakfast? Neither, I answer, we made beignets:

which were excellent, but a recipe of 18 fried dough lumps is perhaps a tad too much for two people's breakfasts. Not that we let that stop us, of course.