Wednesday, July 6, 2011

With love and squalor

Today is the day I finally got up the gumption got my lazy butt in gear and moved the stacks of folded clothes from my floor to their temporary home, as long as my home is dresserless. The floor feels so... clean. Except for the fact that I don't own a vacuum (yet) and there were cardboard bits strewn on the carpet during the moving process. It's not too dirty, but it's not preferable.

That scallion ginger sauce nearly did away with my scallions (upcoming recipe will show you what I'm doing with the last of them), but the poor chives are still hanging about, dangling perilously over a precipice below which are the depths of Yellowed, Limp, and Unusable Canyon. What to do, what to do...

Crackers! These use very little butter--only 3 tablespoons for four dozen crackers--and I substituted half the white flour for whole wheat. And then there are the tasty, tasty chives, of course. And I got to those golden beets just in time as well. I based my full meal on this recipe, making crackers topped with golden beets (and one regular that got in my bunch somehow) marinated in dressing, with goat cheese and pistachios, on a kale salad (but just for show, before the cracker got soggy).

Of course, I started out carefully assembling a couple crackers, but then got impatient and ditched the goat cheese and stirred the shredded kale in with the beets; it was the same dressing, so I figured it didn't matter. This was so delicious I ate tomorrow's intended lunch salad portion. Oops.

While my research is proceeding more slowly than a Pleistocene glacier chewing its way down the Eastern seaboard, literarily everything is bouncing right along. I received the Goodreads equivalent of a friend request today, reminding me that while I'd created an account months ago, I'd never actually added books, since I've been using LibraryThing for much longer. Now seemed as good a time as any to get on that. Unfortunately, importing from the .csv I downloaded from LibraryThing didn't go so well*, so my Goodreads account is in no way the accurate reflection that my LibraryThing account is of what I've read, what I want to read, and what I actually own. First-world problems, I know.

The latest book I've added on LibraryThing is the collected short stories of Amy Hempel, which I'd mentioned yesterday. These stories are mind-blowing. She writes in the way I wish I had the talent to write, exposing the reader to the rawest and most painful experiences a person can have, but insidiously such that her stories are all the more powerful. For her characters, happiness and above all stability are not the norm, nor are they expected to be. Sadness and discontent are lived matter-of-factly, and sometimes even affably. It's captivating.

And last but not least, science: Blaser Lab's meeting today was a guest talk on molecular beacons. In and of itself, the concept is great, and it's going (and has gone) some really exciting places for science and medicine. But what got me the most was the joy in the speaker's voice. This wasn't a particularly advanced talk, and he must have given it dozens of times, but his heart was practically pounding out of his chest as he spoke with the rapidity not of boredom-inducing practice, but of joy at communicating his life's work. It's a work he clearly loves. I hope to be lucky enough to speak about my own future career with such ebullience.

*Among the more minor but most frustrating aspects of this is the fact that there is one book, one, that did not import itself. Am I tempted to go through my LibraryThing account book by book to find it? At the risk of admitting moderate mental illness, yes, yes, I am. But maybe when I've actually got Internet in my apartment and don't waste the time I convince myself to spend in the med center library in the evenings on indulging my obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem with goodreads - all my tagged books appeared in multiple depending on how many tags they had. And a couple hundred simply didn't upload (somehow I was able to determine which, but have been too lazy to deal with it).