Wednesday, March 10, 2010

still runnin'

3km yesterday in about 20 minutes, with a couple of minutes of stitch-induced walking thrown in. i think if i'm working up to anything, my max will be 5km...or basically whatever i can do in 20 minutes which seems to be the outer limits of my interest in non-competitive athletic activities. BUT THIS IS BORING. i knows. i'm just compulsive about documenting my life. sorry!

on monday night my bro came over for dinner unexpectedly. he was quite content to eat leftovers and loudly spoiler-alert us in chinglish to upcoming twists and turns on "lost" that weren't yet revealed. i served pouding chomeurrrrr for dessert:

with a bit of vanilla ice cream. fact: maybe as a by-product of my running regimen and training but i haven't really had a taste for sweets lately. like, i EAT it, knowing intellectually that heretofore i've been a dessert hound and i like things like sticky toffee pudding and pouding chomeurrrrrr but my heart's not in it. i don't enjoy it the way i have. maybe this is just signaling that it's time to turn to less wintery desserts and embrace the light, chilled, fruity desserts of spring and summer.

last night we had the roomie over for dinner. i made capellini with broccoli and chickpeas in herbed butter (oregano, parsley, thyme, lemon zest mixed with softened unsalted butter). i actually hate capellini. it's such a beast to work with unless you're dealing with something extra saucy. i had to add quite a few glugs of olive oil to loosen up the fine strands. the salad was romaine hearts in a ceasar-y vinaigrette with croutons and crumbled strips of extra-crispy bacon that the dotytron didn't think were fit for our breakfast sammie on sunday. actual bacon bits in a salad was a BIG TREAT. we NEVER do that.

tonight i went for a massage and then negated all that tenderizing by schlepping my butt to the library to pick up a billion pounds of books that i then carried home lopsidedly over my shoulder in a flimsy bag.

for dinner i made a broiled feta, grape tomato, olive, poached egg and sage dish, served with toasted slices of ace focaccia. the recipe is here. my only deviation is to take some grape tomatoes and toss them with garlic and olive oil and a bit of chopped rosemary and broil them first until they start to burst and get jammy. then i add the olives and feta and sage to the dish and broil again, top with the egg and eat with an intense gusto.

okay, so the latest book that i've read lately to make me go MENTAL was "graceling" by kristin cashore. i turned into a slavering, instant-graceling acolyte, preaching its glories from on high for all who would pay me any mind. it's SO GOOD. it's in the young adult fantasy type demographic, but as usual, i think that genre designation does the work a great disservice - i can tell - you're already raising your eyebrows and your mind has gone into: "DISREGARD!" mode. DON'T. the themes are mature, the characters leap off the page and come to life, the story is engrossing - if you could read harry potter, you can read this. you will LOVE this. it's like the best of tolkein, but with an a**-kickingly strong, intelligent, independent FEMALE heroine for a change. that's right, frodo, you and all your male-centric homoeroticism can take a back seat and let the ladies have the action, adventure, and be the driving force of the story.

wow. i only WISH this type of novel had been around when i was a kid - it's so progressive! the story centres around katsa, a woman born graced, which means that she has eyes of two different colours and has a special skill. gracelings, as they are known, can have useful skills (mind-reading, sword fighting, the ability to divine water, the ability to make people laugh) or random ones (the ability to stand on one's head for long stretches, to hold one's breath, etc.) katsa's grace is killing people and she's been raised by her uncle, the king, as a torture/bullying vehicle for his power machinations. that's only the tip of the iceberg...the story unfolds from there with thrumming dialogue, action, adventure, and a wee bit of a love story...but a forward thinking one - katsa isn't the type of heroine to give up her life and spend her days idly waiting to be rescued/cosseted by her partner.

it's SO GOOD. gah. one worth owning for suresies. i couldn't get enough of it. i'd read it walking to the streetcar, on the streetcar - wishing i could feign ignorance and ride to the end of the line for just a few more minutes with the book, i'd eat with the book propped up before me, and my last companion at night.

i'm not saying it's going to be for everyone. but if you can get over your initial irrational mistrust of all things fantasy and young adult, your open-mindedness will be well rewarded. trust me, i see a mass-market fiction book with a woman in silver skirts and a heaving bosom riding a dragon and wielding a scimitar and i get all skeptical, too. this isn't really even fantasy. think of it as more medieval lit.

anyway, no wonder it's won a tonne of awards and shown up on countless best-of lists.


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