My brother is two years younger than me and we inhabited different worlds for most of our growing up. I was books, he was sports. I was rules he was push. I was lonely, he was surrounded. I was nerdy, he was popular. I was struggle, he was ease. By the time we had both settled into attending the same high school (he a sophomore, I a senior) we had our routines down and our orbits really only crossed at the dinner table and on vacations as well as a random day now and then when we did something together.
Except for a few standouts, most of his friends have melded into one friend amalgam. They were of the same time, the kind of hippy, kind of athletic popular kids, who did much more socially than I ever did in high school. Our age difference seemed vast at that time, and I always felt a combination of bemused at their childish/grownup antics and kind of inferior to their social status. I mostly left them alone, though we weren’t unfriendly to each other.
Some of them sought me out, for whatever reason. I found a journal entry that described a party my brother hosted while my parents were out of town (the exact kind of party, in fact, that kept my parents from leaving town for nearly all of my high school experience) where two of his friends found me in my room and chatted me up. I even printed out and saved what they wrote when they were messing around on my word processor. They cracked me up, even twenty years later.
I have a clear memory of one friend–name lost to time–encountering me on the stairs as I was leaving for work. He gripped the Soul Asylum album Grave Dancer’s Union in his hand and was giddy with delight over something. “Look!” he said to me, pointing to the CD cover.
“Butt.” he indicated the naked girl on the right.
“Butt” he indicated the naked girl on the left.
“No butt.” all that was left was the girl in the middle.
I smiled and nodded and continued on my way, confused as always by my brother’s friends. And I think of that encounter every time I think of this song.
This summer I had a great Kale Salad made by bride Casey for her wedding. It was massaged kale and had quoina in it and was very, very good.
Upon receiving a bumper crop of kale from my colleague John, I put together this Kale salad inspired by her creation.
Here’s the recipe:
Bring 1.75 c. water to boil and add 1 c. quoina. Turn heat to low and cook until done, approximately 20 minutes.
Clean and remove the stems from a whole lot of kale. 2-3 bunches from the store, or a huge bowl’s worth from your garden.
Put the cleaned and stemmed kale in a bowl and add 1 t salt. Set a timer for five minutes and squeeze the kale in your hands. Nothing will happen at first, but by the end of the five minutes, the kale will have nicely broken down. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the kale and transfer your kale to a cutting board.
Clean out the bowl, discarding the salty kale juice, then finely chop the kale and return to the bowl.
Grate two carrots on top of the kale.
Cook 2-3 (or possibly 4?) rashers bacon, drain and cool. The chop into small pieces and add to the bowl.
Put those on top of the kale and carrots.
When the quoina is done, add it to the bowl.
Mix up a curry vinaigrette. In a separate bowl add 1/4 c. oil, 1/4 c white vinegar, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 T packed light brown sugar, 1 T minced fresh chives, 1/2 t. curry powder and 1/2 t soy sauce. Mix until combined.
Pour over the salad in the bowl and toss everything to combine. Good cold, also probably good warm.
Tonight was my reading. I meant to take a picture at the bar with my story leaning up against my cocktail and the dark atmosphere really setting the stage. But I forgot. I was nervous and then I was busy listening to the others (I went second) and then I was talking with my friends that came out and then I was talking with the other people in my class and before you knew it, I was home and instead of a dark, atmospheric photo, you got a picture of my Sunday paper and my reading. But you already read it earlier in the week.
Things to note about this experience: I loved it. It was very fun to get up in front of people and read something I wrote. I practiced a lot and thought throughout my many practice sessions, “there is absolutely nothing I can cut from this.” Then when reading I left out entire sentences, thinking, “yep, that doesn’t actually need to be said.” It was very interesting to observe that going down. The lights meant I couldn’t see anyone while I read. That was unfortunate, as I would have loved to see some expressions. But I could hear a bit of laughter in parts, so that was cool.
Quite delicious and easy to make.
I encountered two difficulties. One was that I had a 9 X 13 pan, but not a 10 X 15 pan. My mom did, and I was all set to borrow it, but then left it at her house, and thus, ended up using the 9 X 13. That didn’t seem to make a ton of difference.
My second problem was that the directions didn’t explicitly say to leave the cake in the pan and so I tried to remove it. That was a bad idea and ended with me dropping the cake, causing part of it to shift, as you can see in the picture. I wrote myself a note to leave the cake in the pan for next time. You make the cake, make the frosting, pull the cake out of the oven, pour on the frosting and then let the whole thing cool.
Overall, very good cake and I’m excited to try the variation with cinnamon and coffee.
This was a good season, filled with the usual high-caliber dramatic tension set amongst the High School football field. However, the series ending was so disappointing it colored the entire season and I feel cheated. How could a show built on the foundation of struggle give every single character exactly what they wanted in the end?
Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home, with Matt
I’ve been taking a writing class through the Attic Institute. It is a five-week class that ends this Sunday and culminates (at least to my mind) in a reading. That’s right, I’m doing a reading at a bar. With my other classmates, of course. There was no time for an essay this week, as I’ve been polishing my piece. But perhaps you want to read what I will read? This is from the middle of the book I’m working on, and some of you might recognize part of it from a prompt I wrote earlier this summer. The book has three main characters: Irene, Eddie and Alex. This part mostly concerns Irene and her friends as well as Eddie. Alex is mentioned once, but otherwise is not present.