The Books of (My) 2015

At midnight on all the other New Years her mother would usually get out some really nice paper, the kind with real bits of flower petal mixed in with its texture, and give her and her father two pieces each. They would each [...] write their wishes and hopes for the new year on to…

A Wave of Gratitude

"You know, writers are like beekeepers. A writer is the thief of knowledge. And we beekeepers, we are honey stealers. In both cases, you have to be a hunter of dreams. Otherwise you cannot dream." -Adam Gollner (from an excellent article on Crete in Lucky Peach 7) Although I have a lot of recipes I…

Slow and Steady

Although the facts of time and place have receded into legend, like many historical records of the birth of Modernism, it is certain that a packet of Japanese prints arrived in Paris around 1860 and instantly created a widening wave of amazement, incredulity, and exhilaration. The shock of encounter was so great, and the moment…

An Act of Appreciation

The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things.-Gilbert K. ChestertonToday I biked the 4 miles uphill to campus, taught an intermediate Russian class for a friend who was taking her Ph.D. exams and then went to a dissertation workshop. Afterwards, inspired by my new "let's get this thing done"…

Almost a "Bah! Humbug!"

"It makes one's mouth hurt to speak with such forced merriment." — David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice)Last time I think I was complaining about feeling like I wasn't getting out of the kitchen. Ironically, enough, now it's the exact opposite! After all, who in the world has time to cook these days? *big sigh of…