Blurt!Sben

Today’s kitchen victory: loaves of bread, for the first time in months. This time the dough was significantly easier to work with than it was in the past, probably because I kneaded it longer.

Also, the bolognese sauce was great, but was about two hours too late for dinner, so had to use an emergency jar of pasta sauce instead, so we’ll call that a partial victory.

Wed., Feb. 1, 2023, 11:17:46pm PDT

Huh, it’s snowing lightly.

Tue., Jan. 31, 2023, 7:01:47am PDT

Finished reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This was a big chonker of a book, about Thomas Cromwell’s rise from son of a blacksmith to most trusted councilor of Henry VIII (Henry the Butthead). Very enjoyable. I had one significant kvetch: Whether a writing tic or a stylistic choice, there were many passages with ambiguous pronoun references; sometimes I had to reread multiple times to understand what was happening.

Sun., Jan. 29, 2023, 10:04:28pm PDT

Went to Mom’s for brunch, with Greg and Jocelyn and the kids.

Sun., Jan. 29, 2023, 9:30:07pm PDT

Walked from Roosevelt to Greenwood and then up the Interurban Trail and home: I didn’t keep good track, but it was something like 16K steps, eight miles.

Sat., Jan. 28, 2023, 8:31:38pm PDT

I guess it’s just straight-up snowing, big fat flakes. Very little sticking.

Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, 12:49:24pm PDT

Current earworm: “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.

Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, 10:43:36am PDT

The most obvious St. John Mandel motif in The Glass Hotel was the improbable connections between characters; some of the characters were hapless, but not as intensely so as in her earlier books.

Wed., Jan. 18, 2023, 8:19:55pm PDT

Finished reading The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. Ostensibly (and, to be fair, mostly) about a financial con, it’s also somehow about ghosts and maybe alternate realities. I think this is my favorite of her books (so far; I still haven’t read Sea of Tranquility).

Tue., Jan. 17, 2023, 9:46:42pm PDT

I’ve now reread the ending of Golden Hill two or three times, which I never do.

Sat., Jan. 14, 2023, 9:32:35pm PDT

Walked from home to Roosevelt Station via Meridian and Green Lake: approx. 13K steps and 6½ miles.

Sat., Jan. 14, 2023, 4:17:08pm PDT

Current earworm: “Gonna Make You Sweat” by C+C Music Factory.

Fri., Jan. 13, 2023, 9:23:12am PDT

Finished reading Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Set in 1746 New York, it felt Austinesque like the best Aubrey/Maturin stories, though without the nautical adventure. It started out as a fun romp; by the end it became something else, very satisfying but more melancholy. It’s early in the year, but I bet this will be one of my favorite books.

Thu., Jan. 12, 2023, 8:26:19pm PDT

Had Mom over for daube Provençal last night.

Sun., Jan. 8, 2023, 8:22:08am PDT

Speaking of reading, I started Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock at the end of the year, but set it aside and am probably not returning to it any time soon. It’s part of a collection of Elric stories in order of fictional chronology, and I think this didn’t do the collection any favors: The first part (“Elric of Melniboné”) was pretty good, but I could not get interested in the next (“The Fortress of the Pearl”). In the third (“The Sailor on the Seas of Fate” — a badass title), Moorcock brings together several protagonists from his other stories, and seems to expect that I have read about and care about those protagonists, and then they smash together and become Voltron or something?, and I just had to put it down. I like the idea of Elric, but could not enjoy these stories.

Fri., Jan. 6, 2023, 9:44:12pm PDT