Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Favourite Cookbook

A creature of the Internet age, I have a shelf full of cookbooks that I rarely use. I really ought to just get rid of all but a handful, but somehow having them there gives me comfort, even though I've not cooked a thing from some of them.

There is one cookbook that I prize highly, though, not only for the delicious food it has directed me into making, but for the memories and associations it offers me.


The Rebar, for the unfortunates who know it not, is a wonderful funky, healthy restaurant in Victoria. To me, it epitomizes the entire West Coast ethos... fun, not taking itself too seriously, unafraid to try new things, yet respectful of life. When I lived in Vancouver, I made regular pilgrimages to Victoria's Bastion Square to eat there, and miss it badly now that I'm trapped so far away from my beloved West Coast.

When the cookbook came out, I bought it immediately and drew much solace from its pages. Although the recipes tend to be a little complex from the aspect of ingredients- I rarely have all the ingredients for a specific dish in my rather well-stocked larder- they are all worth the effort. The beautiful lay-out, the personable writing, the comforting feel of this book in the hand, and the many wonderful recipes make me pick up this cookbook over and over, even when I don't intend to cook a thing.

Comfort food, indeed, when just the cookbook itself is so satisfying. Pick it up and leaf through it next time you're browsing your local bookstore, and see if you aren't inspired by the best of the West Coast, as well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mission Aborted

Well, that was entertaining. I prowled the 'net and found a couple of blog templates I'd like to try, and plugged them in to see how things might look. One or two of them might have looked okay, but for the fact that all my text stayed orange. As far as I can tell, there's no way to change all the text at once... and I don't have the time or desire to change it all manually. So, for now... orange and black it is. (Good techie that I am, I saved the original template before I frigged around with it.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tedium Alert?

What with being so immersed in school right now, the only blog posts I find time to write seem to me very heavy. I've not posted anything light or crafty or even taken pictures for what seems like forever. My reality right now is very book-bound; it's extremely exciting on a personal level but learning COBOL, SQL, Java, computer architecture, and Fedora do not for good blog fodder make.

Yes, I'm a Blogger Without Obligation Or Apology, and I'm apologizing for possibly being tedious.

Another thing I find tedious is the layout of this blog. Now that I have just enough HTML to be dangerous, expect some major cosmetic surgery to the blog in the near future. This orange on black thing has to go.

This concludes tonight's random musings.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In Which Things Aren't As They Seem

Two very unexpected things were revealed to me over the last couple of days. It was really a lesson in trying not to form assumptions about situations, because whatever you're thinking, it's probably wrong.

The largest issue involves DH's children. His ex is at a point where she can wrap up her career, and is married to a lawyer in Europe. Since his law training is useless in Canada, and her career is at a point where she's pensionable, I (and everyone else) assumed that she would move to be with him. Of course, the big question here would be what might happen with his children... do they go with her or stay with us? As the archetypal evil stepmother, I was very much in favour of them leaving the country... although DH would have been dinged for support, I would have been much happier with the kids out of my life. DH, of course, being the good father he is, strongly favoured the girls remaining with us permanently. There were no ideal solutions for anyone.

I learned yesterday that DH's ex's foreign husband was selling his house and moving to Ottawa. I was gobsmacked... it makes no sense for them as far as money goes, but it's by far the better solution for the people. I asked DH if maybe it means his ex actually gave a damn about the kids, and he said no, she was probably pressured into it by her parents and friends. That makes more sense. It's a good solution; the right solution... but I didn't ever think it might happen. I feel... relieved.

A minor issue has been regarding a certain friend at school. We were in each other's back pockets for the entire first semester; travelling in a pack, as it were. Then in the second semester, he became distant and even hostile, repeatedly rebuffing my attempts at resuming our friendship. This last week we've not even made eye contact, let alone talked... I missed our friendship, was hurt by his behaviour, and completely did not understand what I'd done to deserve this treatment. Because, of course, this was all about me. Right?

He's let me know since that he was suffering from severe depression over the last few weeks. I knew he had a history, and considered it to be a possibility, but I didn't think it might explain everything about his behaviour. Of all the people at school, I know him best... therefore I was the one that he felt he needed to distance himself from the most aggressively. I don't think I could have got through to him by trying harder, but it makes me feel good for trying as hard as I did to get through to him.

So, it's been an educational weekend for me and my assumptions. I doubt I've learned any lessons here... old dog, new tricks and all, but perhaps next time I'll consider the possibility that it might not be all about me.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stupid Dumb Boys

I am aware that men don't necessarily have the market on stupidity cornered, but you can't prove it by me this week. I have witnessed no fewer than four men of my acquaintance, both extremely close and not-so close, reap exactly what they sowed and then be all surprised and indignant about it.

One man in my life abused his body for decades with crap food and a sedentary lifestyle, mocking his wife's best efforts to encourage a healthier lifestyle. He's now diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and boy is he reading those nutrition labels carefully now. A little bit of that concern for his own well-being a few years back and he wouldn't necessarily be staring disease in the face.

Another man of my acquaintance didn't think money was a big deal... until his credit cards were all maxed and he couldn't even pay the interest any more. Now, money is a very big deal indeed to him, and will continue to be for years to come. A little needs/wants assessment and budgeting might have saved him and everyone else a whole lot of heartache.

A third little darlin' that I know thinks that skipping class isn't a big deal. Little does he know that he's now on his last strike... one of the classes he's persistently skipped has a "miss three and you fail" rule, but how would he know, since he's never in class?

The fourth story is not my story to tell... but I'm sure my good friend Raina could speak volumes about her stupid dumb boy. I feel your pain, hon.

I could scream with frustration at the actions of these boys around me. No, I'm not perfect, by any means, but some of these problems are so easily avoided.

My grandma has an analogy that I find amusing. She says that the brains of men are like waffles... they crawl into a hole, and then they crawl out and fall into another hole. The brains of women, on the other hand, are like a plate of spaghetti... twining all directions and all over the place at the same time.

Give me patience, Lord, and preserve me from the waffle-brains in my life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Semester, Ho!

I completely and totally rocked last semester, if I do say so myself... I even surprised myself with an A in Java, which meant I must have walked on water for that final exam. In Database I got the B that I expected... but that didn't stop the chair of our department from sending me a letter today, telling me that he thought I rocked, too. Very, very good stuff.

Second semester looks scary, and I'm only a couple of days in. However, I think I was scared for the first semester, too... every time I feel overwhelmed I'll log in and read my marks again.

I'd like to thank the anonymous smarty-pants who corrected my writing on the last post. While it's a perfectly valid point, and I did indeed mean "bated breath", rather than "baited breath" as written... dude, don't you have anything better to do than to anonymously nit-pick blogs? At least have the balls to offer your name along with your criticism.

(Had to laugh at the imagery of worms in my mouth, though. Nicely phrased, despite it all.)