Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
A few examples: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the site's privacy issues by saying "Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls." Ariel Kaminer, commenting on the plethora of cell-phone cameras in Times Square, noted, "That’s surveillance far more intensive, and more granular, than anything Walgreens or Bank of America will ever manage." And today Journalism.co.uk reported, "For those of you that have been in hiding and didn’t know, Apple’s iPad launched in the UK today with granular reports from the media on who was the first to buy the device to who was the first to emerge from Apple's London store holding one (hopefully we’ll soon have details of who’s been the first person to leave theirs on the London Underground or to ask for a refund)."
I don't think they're talking about sugar.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
On another note entirely (and perhaps not appropriate in the same post as food, but irresistible): a proctology joke. I'm sure there are a lot of proctology jokes out there, but this one was uttered by an actual proctologist. The doctor who's scheduling me for an early colonoscopy said he's just being "anal compulsive."
Monday, May 10, 2010
The day before Other’s sister died, she left a message on our answering machine. Other listened to it and erased it. After her death, he remembered the voicemail and wanted to listen to it again, just to hear her voice. But it was gone. Ever since then, I’ve felt reluctant to erase the chip after I’ve listened to my messages. It could be the last time.
For a long time after my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law kept his greeting on her answering machine. Partly it was to ward off any would-be predators with the suggestion of a male presence. Partly it was to hang on to his voice, to hang on to him.
On our answering machine, it is Other’s voice on the greeting, although he invites callers to leave a message for me, our daughter C and our son J. My mother, who has had a stroke, always gets confused by hearing Other’s voice when she’s calling me. She says, “Oh, Other, I must have the wrong number” or “Oh, Other, could you tell Mia I called?” or “Oh, Other, how nice to hear your voice. I’ll hang up and call Mia.”
It’s funny, her confusion, because my mother was one of the early adopters of the answering machine. Back then, it was I who was confused. I’d call home in an emergency and hear her voice and start to talk to her and get enraged when I realized it was only a recording. Just another of her mean tricks, I thought.
My parents are almost always home these days, but on the rare occasions when I call and get the answering machine, it is my older brother’s voice on the greeting. He must have set up the answering machine for them and completed the task by recording the greeting. Still, it always catches me off guard. What’s he doing there? I wonder.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I don't mind bundling up the garbage, scrubbing down the bathroom, cleaning the windows. Nobody expects those chores to yield anything but cleanliness. But the aura of creativity that surrounds cooking has always seemed to me to be a big lie. If you follow the instructions, the recipe yields the predicted results, and everyone applauds. But how is that different from, say, successfully cheating on an exam, where you take the known answer and copy it and get an A? Of course, in cooking (as in test-taking) the alternative is veering off the tried-and-true path and suffering spectacular and humiliating failure—like my infamous creamed onions (with spontaneously added cheese) that kept Other and me in our apartment with the windows open for three days.
But buckling under to the notion of fair play and practicality, I have been dutifully (slavishly) following recipes for a few weeks now. This has resulted in a larger-than-expected vegetarian-lasagna-rollup project that temporarily festooned the apartment with cooling pasta and spattered the environs with tomato sauce but was otherwise uneventful—and edible—and a curried-cauliflower dinner (I dared to serve it on quinoa instead of rice!) that met with approval, as well as some other less notable meals.
Pleased as I am that I did not have to throw these dishes out, I can't say I gained much satisfaction from making them. Where's the joy? Where's the adventure? Where's the risk? I just don't think I'm cut out for this.