As much as I’ve tried, it’s been hard to sit down and find the time to write lately. Work has continued to be a little bit crazy, but the good news is that not only are we about to file the motion that has required me to go to the office for the past three weekends, but also my coworkers are telling me that I will now be prepared for anything that comes my way at the firm since what I have experienced in the past four (!) weeks has been nothing short of a baptism by fire. I assume that it’s true that things will probably only get easier from here on out (this, at least, is the hope), especially because currently, in addition to my busy work schedule and commute, I’m a single puppy mother. This is the first time Elektra and I will have been on our own for a month, but there was no way getting around it; the Greek had a combination of research and visa issues to attend to and he is now enjoying the many fruits (literally and figuratively) of his homeland while I watch the fog roll in on a nightly basis and try not to be too jealous. And, fortunately, with the help of friends, I have managed to arrange for Elektra to be taken care of while I’m at work. It’s really true that it takes a village to raise a child/dog (parents of real children, please forgive me for equating dogs and human beings, but I honestly believe that our struggles are incredibly similar and the depth of our emotional investment perhaps even the same). 
Because I didn’t want this space to be empty for too long as I try to balance everything, I decided that it might be time for a “food for thought” post with links and ideas. It also seemed the right space to share the Blueberry Poppy Seed Butter Cake I baked this past Saturday. Quite simply, I fell in love with this cake. Maybe it’s because blueberries have always been one of my favorite fruits, but I suspect that even without my love of them, this recipe still would have appealed to me. Full of tart lemony flavor and a whole lot of crunch, the cake makes a lovely vehicle for showcasing sweet summer blueberries. A generous dollop of creme fraiche doesn’t hurt either. 
Although I’m still enjoying the spoils of summer, thanks to the Buvette cookbook, I currently have one eye on all of the the tomatoes, squash and stone fruit I can eat and the other on fall and on all of the Brussels sprouts and apples I plan on eating.
A few of these links are perhaps outdated now, but the beauty of the internet is that articles are always waiting to be rediscovered. These are two that I enjoyed immensely in June: the first is a meta-journalistic look at the ever more ridiculous forms that comments on blogs and online publications take (I laughed really hard; I hope you do, too) and the second is a study on unobtainable standards of beauty. A journalist asked 40 individuals from over 25 countries to use Photoshop to transform a photo of her to reflect that country’s ideal beauty standard. The results are eye-opening; in particular, the American standard of beauty really surprised me.

Before the Greek left, he and I enjoyed an evening out at the Noir Lounge in San Francisco. For any reader who is a local or who ends up passing through town, I highly suggest that you stop by this place for a wine flight and a screening of a classic movie with live music accompaniment. We were lucky to be there on a night when Casablanca was being shown, but I imagine the other featured films would be just as good.

In the Greek’s absence, I’ve started watching The Americans and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a little espionage. 
These days I think a lot about BART etiquette; to be completely honest, I spend a lot of time getting annoyed about BART etiquette. Not only have I always seen the system as flawed (how can a major urban area not have commuter passes?!), but I’ve also always been curious why San Franciscans and other Bay Area-ns think it’s a good idea to line up for the train and block the doors. This video attempts to explain it, but I’m not convinced.
Speaking of BART, I’ve been trying to read Nadine Gordimer on my commute, but am finding it really difficult to enjoy her prose style. Are there any Gordimer fans out there? If so, any favorites? Sport of Nature isn’t quite doing it for me (the New York Times review I just linked to, however, makes me think I ought to reconsider), so I’m now reading this and am truly looking forward to this. Is it just me or does it suddenly seem like I’m already looking beyond summer…?
I promise I’ll get back in the summer spirit this weekend with a zucchini recipe I’ve been wanting to share here.

2 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. That cake looks amazing — the more blueberries, the better! I especially love them in combination with poppy seeds. And thank you for the fascinating links (the American version of beauty was so extremely altered! Maybe we are extra addicted to fixing ourselves here…). I'm sorry that you've been a single mom AND have had to work 6 day weeks relentlessly. I'll be hoping with you that it lightens up and gets easier from here!

  2. Thank you, Moriah. I wholeheartedly agree about blueberries and quality of life issues (I've found that at this time of year they're quite good)! And I'm glad you enjoyed the links; the American version of beauty was so strange; somehow, when I look at current It-Girl Celebrities and the covers of fashion magazines, I don't see high foreheads as being the ideal of beauty, but I suppose it's all subjective, right? I think you're right: the point is that it's all about altering one's appearance. The changes themselves hardly matter….

    I think things should be easier starting tomorrow…Fingers crossed for motion success!

    Hope things are well and still quiet in Dwinelle; I know the onslaught is about to start… 🙂

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