Monday, January 28, 2008

this post is brought to you by the letter "p"

tonight i'm having a friend from high school over for dinner. we COMPLETELY lost touch when we both graduated (me a year early because i fast-tracked) and i've probably seen him a total of 2 times (enough for a "hi, how are you" and that's it) in the intervening 10 years. his name is paul, and through the magic of facebook and us having friends in common (there's considerable overlap with his crew and the dotytron's highschool crew), he suggested we get together while he's in town. you'd think that i would meet this prospect with considerable trepidation, but we met up with him when we went to see a movie (the other "p" in the post) on saturday with my friend deena, and i remembered how genial and personable he is. he's really easy to talk to, very engaged and engaging, and all in all, i'm glad that he's kind of come back into my life (although for a brief time, as he works in south america - for the last 3 years in guatamala, and in a few weeks, chile).

that's the big thing i like about my friend deena, too. both her and paul and 99% of the people that i'm drawn to and take onto my limited roster of "friends", all tend to be really confident, self-possessed people, who have a really good sense of "who" they are. i don't like it when people don't have a sense of who they are, because it tends to bleed into other aspects of their personality, and tends to be really palpable. anyway, the point is: i think the fact that paul is so cool and chill and easy-going and down with who he is, means that i can see him being a long-term friend and i'm glad he's back in my life.

we also watched the movie persepolis on saturday. it was fantastic! the drawing style was fluid, evocative, stark, and expressive and supported the narrative beautifully. some of my favorite parts were when marji was a young girl, as the character is spunky, rambunctious, and seems real in a way that dakota fanning only wishes she were. it's a really poignant coming of age tale, made all the more urgent by the historical elements woven throughout. we in the west are so inundated with one dimensional depictions of countries like iran and china that it's very difficult for even the most left-leaning liberal not to construct stereotypical straw men to bolster our political ideals. from our padded, cushion splendour in the decadent north, it's really easy to think that we would never do what others do, or allow to have happen, not understanding the massive upheaval that prolonged war can induce and the myriad factors that allow certain political forces to hold sway.

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dinner with paul was a success! everything i suspected about how the evening would unfold was true - that is, we spent 3 hours talking like we've been holding weekly salons for the past 10 years...and nothing escaped us...the nature of death, ourselves, politics, travel...it was stimulating, funny, and everything you want good conversation to be.

i made this little BATS salad (Bacon Avocado Tomato Spinach - just kidding...i think all these restaurant attempts to use acronyms to play on the BLT concept is ridculous "BALTA" "BETS" etc)...that consisted of baby spinach, crispy bacon pieces, red onion, chunks of plum tomato, and croutons, dressed with a light, lemon-mayo dressing. delicious. the veggie lasagne also turned out really well. it was made with "fresh" (prefab) pasta sheets layered with a butternut squash and mascarpone layer, then a spinach and gorgonzola layer, topped with a parmesan bechamel.

now i'm doing homework. i'm reading these fabulously catty articles for my sociology of culture. this woman, wendy griswold, used reflection methodology to talk about the differences in "national character" between England and America as reflected in late 19th century novels. then we read a letter to the journal that initially published the work savaging the piece...one of the critics said it [the methodology]: "consigns itself to vacuity and inconsequentiality if it accepts the project that reflection theory recommends. But this is the very theory and project that griswold would like to exhume, tart up, and put back on the streets" (!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahahahahaahahaha). i LOVE the cattiness and snippiness of academics. "the tenuous of the argument is matched only by the hubristic self-reifying rhetoric that griswold employs in a painfully transparent attempt..." <-- i just made that up on the fly, but that's the general gist, and it also goes to show you that if you could make an academic career out of savaging others, i'd have it MADE.

tomorrow is a long day. i packed leftover lasagne and a crapload of fruit and i have some mixed nuts for dinner. i'm also going to venture into the law library to work on my first assignment. snooze.

fin.

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