Saturday, January 28, 2006 ::: It's been a busy start of the semester! So many books to read, presentations to do, job talks to attend and I am also planning our department happy hours, the first of which I orchestrated and was quite successful. I had to take a great many books off my bookshelves to accomodate the new inflow, which has been a bit sluggish (amazon has been sitting on my order) and so I have been doing a lot of last-minute hunting around the library. the other day I cooked artichokes for the first time, having consumed them many times before but having not been party to their preparation. And they were great! I was so proud of myself. But then again, steaming a vegetable for 45 minutes isn't something that requires a lot of careful effort.
Sunday, January 08, 2006 ::: Since I've been on break I've actually had some time to do some pleasure reading. I bought the latest harry potter (the half-blood prince) and I took a day and a half to read it. And when I finished, I felt very unsatisfied, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. and so I looked at some of the online reviews on amazon and realized what I was missing. I don't like the condescending writing style that JK Rowling uses, and her heavy-handed, oversimplified characterizations were particularly disappointing this time around, especially when it came to the dating. and the very long exposition scene at the beginning with snape. The book was so long, and there were so few good parts (the director of the orphanage scene was fairly decent and had good writing as well.
and so I realized what a good book the latest lemony snicket book is despite its unsatisfying ending wherein nothing is resolved. But I loved the writing in the penultimate peril, and the hotel denouement is perhaps the most interesting hotel to have existed in all of fiction. The characters may lack development but it really doesn't seem to matter because the writing is so good, and the picaresque nature of the baudelaire's adventures makes such concerns irrelevant anyway.
Thursday, January 05, 2006 ::: It was a nice christmas and new year's. With some prodding from the boyfriend, it was decided that the time had come for a decent set of matching dishware. And the dishes we bought are quite nice -- plain porcelain, and we also bought some matching silverware. We had a nice new year's eve dinner with the new plates and dishes before heading out to the evening's festivities, leaving the dishes in the sink since it was party time and doing the dishes in our nice clothes was not part of the plan. I stayed over at gonzalo's the night of the 1st, and coming back to my apartment, I noticed a box of thai noodles lying in the middle of the kitchen floor. and then I noticed that one of the cabinets was open and it looked like someone had rifled through it for some reason. Someone has broken in! I thought, but noticed the laptop still sitting where it usually stays. relieved, I realized that the cabinet shelf that held some canned soups and other similar items had collapsed, and most of the cans had fallen into the sink below, shattering one of my new plates! what horrors! I called up gonza to commiserate, and we both agreed that it was a tragedy but the time had come to move on and pick up the pieces.