Friday, January 20, 2012


This is going to be another random grab-bag of a post.  I'm not quite ready to sit down and tell you all in excruciating detail why I loved The Fault in Our Stars and why you should all read it.  We just watched 50/50 last night (who knew that the theme of my cultural consumption for the week was going to be "cancer"?) so I'll probably review them both at the same time.

Today was my day off.  I had a massage and then grocery shopped and prepped dinner and cleaned the house in preparation for Chinese New Year, which we're not really allowed to observe this year - we're supposed to wait until 1 year after the anniversary of Kung Kung (and also, Poppa D's) passing(s).  We're not supposed to give out lucky money, because that would be like "giving out death."  We're having the Dotytron's family over for dinner on Monday - it's going to be a Chinese food dinner, but it's not going to be "Chinese New Year" dinner, per se, in order to get around the whole Chinese juju aspect.

I picked up the Big Yam from daycare early and we're hanging out.  I'm hoping we get a lot of snow soon because I want to take him sledding again.   I can't believe he's like, a semi-sentient being.  He has a favorite book.  It's a pretty hackneyed selection from his library, in my opinion, but he loves it.  When I say the word "story" he walks over on his cabbage roll feet and grabs it and then crawls all over me or the Dotytron trying to get into his "story" position.  I can't believe he's showing a preference for a cultural artifact.  It's kind of blowing my mind.  BTW, his favorite story of the moment is I Love You Through and Through.  On Tuesday night, when I got home from class, I asked the Dotytron for a debrief.  "Oh he was fine," he filled me in, "we were cracking up during dinner."  The idea of the two of them cracking each other up is so cute and mind-blowing at the same time.  Like, the fact that the Boobla is starting to have a sense of humour?!?  And he started off as a cell in my lady parts?!?  WTF?!?

So yeah, I'm guilty of being able to have my mind blown by the miracle of life.  That doesn't mean that I don't find Jay-Z going buck over Blue Ivy to be super-annoying.  He wrote this ghey song for her, featuring her, called Glory, and it's seriously the weakest, lamest, most hackneyed attempt at expressing the wonders of creation, like, ever.  I get it, I do.  But that doesn't mean that Beyoncé is like, special in any way for being able to squirt out a brat.  It also doesn't mean that you get to "dear diary" a rap tune.  Also in Jigga Man annoying news: he's said he's not going to use the word "b***h" anymore on account of his baby girl.  FRAB!  So weak!  I'm sure pro-lifers and pro-choicers are interested in knowing at precisely what point in Blue's gestation did she become a "girl" enough for him to lay off calling people b***hes?  As my FB friend said, why not swear off on account of his wife, mom, or any of the other remarkable women in his life?  It's just so...typical Jigga.  Thinking that he's so G-D special or something that anyone CARES that you've been "reformed."  Double FRAB.

In other news, we received our first gift subscription (from the Dotytron's Uncle Mert) issue of Reader's Digest this week.  I haven't cracked it open yet.  Am I wrong in thinking that Reader's Digest is a magazine with religious undertones?  Am I making this up?  I feel like I always see headlines like, "The Christian side of Islam" out of the corner of my eye at the grocery check out.  

Finally, to round out the "am I right or am I right?" observational stand-up comedy stylings of this post, it kind of infuriates me when I see recipes for "lightened up fettucini alfredo" in my food blogs.  I feel like if you want fettucini alfredo, you should just eat the G-D fettucini alfredo!  Lightening it up is like, the worst.  It does a disservice to the dish and to you, cuz you're not even going to get what you want.  It's just like, why you guys gotta lighten everything up?  Just let it BE!  If you want a chocolate chip cookie, eat it.  But if you're a chunky wunky who can't handle chocolate chip cookies with butter, rather than trying to "lighten up" a million 1000 calorie meals, just EAT SOMETHING ELSE THAT'S HEALTHY AND ALREADY DELICIOUS.  Lightened up fettucini alfredo isn't going to help you.  

That's actually a good segue into the non-cancer book I read recently.  Born Round is a memoir by Frank Bruni, former restaurant reviewer for the New York Times.  It chronicles his unlikely journey from the over-fed, well-loved, son of an Italian-American family (with the stereotypical, Italian Nonna, always pushing food on him), to the restaurant reviewing post at the Times, an unlikely position for someone who battled an eating-disorder and an unhealthy relationship with food and his own body, for much of his life.  Bruni is an excellent writer - funny, observant, capable of bringing his beloved mother and his nonna to life, all the while peppering the recollections with the kinds of salivation-inducing descriptions of food that only a true-blue eater can conjure.  Bruni is someone who loves food, who loves eating, who loves the whole gamut of tastes, textures, and memories that food can evoke.  He can rhapsodize equally over his Nonna's frits (fried dough, either dragged through sugar, or stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce) as his first experience eating cold sesame noodles.  Amidst all the eating, Born Round documents Bruni's struggle with his weight, his unhealthy tendency to gorge and overeat, and his failed attempts at achieving slenderness (and peace with himself) through shortcuts like occasional flirtations with bulimia, laxatives, and fad diets.  He also documents his journey through the world of journalism, which in itself is kind of fascinating - how he went from the Detroit Free Press to the Times, moving from section to section - covering Washington D.C. with no political reporting experience, then becoming the Rome correspondent, before finally landing as the Chief Restaurant Critic.  

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Bruni is a likeable person, and his writing is open and honest, drawing you in.  I don't usually love all memoirs, but either because the subject matter was near and dear to my heart, or through the strength of the writing and story alone, I really liked this.

On Wednesday night, we had whole wheat farfalle with broccoli pesto.  An oldie but a (healthy), goodie.  


Last night we had the roomie over for leftovers and bean salad (made by her - delicious).  Feeling bad about serving a guest (insofar as the roomie constitutes a guest in our home) leftovers, I whipped up a batch of the Milk bar chocolate-chocolate cookies.  The above video shows the Big Yam in action whenever the mixer gets whipped out.  He loves it more than anything.

Tonight we had shrimp and cheddar grits.  The grits were made in the slow cooker - simmered all day in a mixture of milk and water, with a touch of cream.  They were sooooo creamy and delicious.  



Chris said...

Damn you Mercy! Tired all day after staying up way too late finishing Fault in Our Stars. Loved it.

karl lagerfeld, esquire said...

Yes! One down in my The Fault In Our Stars campaign. Isn't it the best?!? I cried like a baby.

Chris said...

Kate is into it now, so that's two! It is fantastic.