Dinner is served

It's almost bedtime, but I wanted to share!

That right there is the lovely meal I prepared for B tonight. I have chosen to post about it because I know several of my readers are committed to a healthier 2007, so I wanted to share a recent convenience-cookery tale, and thought that pictorial evidence would help you envision yourselves as chefs!

As you know if you know me irl, I absolutely detest, loathe, abhor and am nauseated by the smell (let's be honest, the stench) of re-heated seafood of any kind, but particularly shrimp and salmon. Now, shrimp is sort of a treat, because it's not especially good for you, so we'll skip right over that (plus which, it's best eaten fresh fresh fresh, so it's a same-day thing and not so bad). However, salmon is a BIG favorite with the male half of the duo, so I try to make it a few times at least every other week. Since B has lost a lot of weight in the past year, due in part to healthier eating, and I'm the cook in this house, the pressure's on, right? But what to do about the frankly dictatorial stance I have on the re-heating? To date, it's been an imposed "You can eat all the fresh-cooked hot salmon you can fit in your maw tonight, my love, but whatever you can't consume must be eaten cold for the rest of the week" rule. But last week I had a sort of mini-brainstorm. Usual practice: marinate 4" squares of salmon (cut from the monster slabs that are sold at Costco) in a mixture of teriyaki sauce and garlic, with a splash of sesame oil, all well sealed up in a Ziploc baggie. "What if I don't cook them all at once," I thought, "but instead cook them on an as-needed basis?" So that's what I did, and it worked out GREAT. One or two pieces a night (because I must tell you only one of us is happy eating salmon every single night of the week -- but the one who is? Really is! So that works out perfectly!), with a handful of snow peas thrown into the same little non-stick pan with about 3 minutes to go, lid on for steaming, then remove the fish, toss in a tablespoon of crushed salted cashews and a sliver (literally, a sliiiiiverrrr) of butter to deglaze the teriyaki/garlic essence from the pan, and Voila! Dinner in 7 minutes, fresh fish every night, and for some reason, the fish didn't even get ucky, 5 days later!

Oh, the picture above? Got new fish yesterday, but couldn't find snow peas at Costco (and whatever you do, don't mistake snap peas for snow peas -- gah!!! Hot snap peas are gross!), so it's salmon on salad this week, equally yummy, and even easier than the snow peas! Greens, radicchio, dried cranberries, chopped almonds, a dash of goat cheese, and a lashing of balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!


This tickled me...

Especially once I realized I could monkey with the html code to write my own recipe. I guess that geek quiz wasn't that far off, after all, eh?

If I were a cocktail, and you were a lady, or

How to make a Dew

4 parts sassitude

3 parts kindness

2 parts independence

1 splash ambition
Blend with ice at low speed for 30 seconds. Top with a sprinkle of wit and colored sugar and enjoy!


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com


Life examined and what is "love"? (baby, don't hurt me)

Dined tonight with a friend from BHS (just a side note to say how weird it is to hang out with someone I've known since I was 14; how can it be that I'm so freakin' old?!), and we were talking about how you know (or how you might know) whether you're in the right place in your life, a propos of this being the year we all turn 40.

Apart from not having children yet (or at least one child; I don't want to be greedy), I am where I want to be (sure, I could be a hell of a lot more fit and somewhat healthier, shut up), personally and professionally. I adore my husband, am blessed with a great marriage, love my friends and family, like my job a lot, and appreciate my lifestyle. As you've read here, there are, of course, things that irk me, but by and large, I am a very happy girl. Part of that is no doubt just who I am as a person, but part of it is certainly contentment, which is a good thing.

My friend, on the other hand, is presently less than content: although he's doing well at a job for which he is fantastically over-qualified (and WAY too smart) and grossly underpaid, he's not hitting the financial milestones he sees as ideal, and that is affecting the relationship he's in, particularly because the young lady (11 years his junior) is ready for marriage and kids now. He works at this job which is in no way a career because it gives him time to write; the problem is that getting in the door at a studio or with a production company is incredibly hard and depends an awful lot on sheer chance or that old stand-by "knowing somebody". He's making connections, but it takes awhile, and it doesn't pay. His argument is that because he can't afford to buy a house in L.A., it's no marriage and no kids for him. Not meaning to stir the pot, I nevertheless suggested to him that if he were actually committed to the woman in question, the financial and logistical issues would sort themselves out -- or at minimum, would seem less insurmountable because he would want marriage and fatherhood, and make any sacrifice (including giving up his dream of writing) to make those goals his priorities. That seemed to be a bit of an eye-opener for him; sorry, buddy.

On the work front, and the writing front, I suggested that he make lists of what he wants and why he wants it -- do a check as to whether some of what he thinks he wants is residual, left over from the goals he set 10 years ago. Revision of those life plans is always a good idea, and I mean that in the British sense of "review" as much as the American sense of "edit."

The tougher question, of course, is the one about the girl, because that one's really about life. He wondered what I thought were the essential ingredients for a stable and healthy relationship. I decided that it comes down to very few things, which is good, because all of us have pretty short attention spans. We get distracted when shiny objects flash by.

Here's your recipe:

  • Laughter: you get a long way down the road to happiness if you and your partner laugh at the same things, especially if you find the same things ridiculous. It helps if s/he thinks you're hilarious, and vice versa. You can get through a lot of shit if you can laugh.
  • Candor: I'm not talking about "Yeah, you look like the side of a barn in those red pants, honey" here, but about openly expressing what you need and want, and what scares you, and creating a safe environment in which your partner can, too. This ingredient might also be called "communication."
  • Respect: you sure as hell don't have to see eye-to-eye on everything (and you never will, so don't even bother trying), but you have to be willing to let someone be who they are, which is not who you are, and which may even be unfathomable to you. Respect means letting them vote Republican, or eat meat, or not floss, or whatever; obviously, it stops (or maybe not obviously for everyone, but obviously to me) with infidelity, abuse or cruelty of any kind, but otherwise, live and let live, baby. Find a way to integrate your differences.
  • Perspective: figure out what your deal breakers are (and I mean in the abstract, not just as a way of ditching someone who farts in the car or picks their nose, or whatever), and let everything else go. Period. Let it goooooooooo. Face it: you are not perfect. No, it's true, you're not. You're close, sure, of course you are, but at the end of the day, you are human and therefore flawed and come with a whole matched set of your own baggage, and you need someone to love you for who you are and all that comes with ya. Extend that same courtesy to the person with whom you fall in love. Make room on the trolley for their past and their tagalongs, and don't sweat the small stuff.
Ok, that's the end of today's lecture. Hope it helps!


Two shiny pennies' worth....

So, you may have guessed that I tend to vote for Democrats more than Republicans, although I have pretty conservative views on things like crime and punishment. Raised in Massachusetts and educated through 12th grade in public schools, I'm a big proponent of things like Head Start and WIC and food stamps, workfare, decent pay for teachers, etc. I do want to know where the money's coming from for those things, however, and am not content for the government to pay for everything (and I'm not just saying that because we're in just about the highest tax bracket), so I guess that makes me socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but anyway....

I find myself troubled by Hillary's declared intention to run for President. While I'm certainly far (far far) from convinced that Barack Obama is experienced enough (or, frankly, even old enough) to be considered a viable candidate for the Presidency, and I'm not sure yet whose candidacy I might support to make up a Democratic ticket, I'm pretty convinced that Hillary is not going to get it done. Her hard work and coalition building in the Senate, as well as her demonstrated moderate stances on some key issues aside, she's sure to be the flashpoint for all the zealots and nutcases to come crawling back out of the woodwork to smear her, both on her own account and her husband's. [Funnily enough, she gets a lot of sneering derision from the Bible Belt folks and the Christian right who really ought to hold her up as the epitome of honor and morality in the central relationship of her life: her marriage. People, if this chick doesn't take vows seriously, I don't know who does. That man cheated on her repeatedly (let's not kid ourselves, ok?), and humiliated her in public on a global scale, and yet she not only stood by him, but seems to genuinely love him, flaws and all. She made a commitment, and she honors it. Religious or not, I daresay not many wives would put up with similar treatment and stay.]

I don't know who the Republicans will put up against the Democratic candidate (although it obviously
won't be ol' shoot-'em-in-the-face Captain Coronary), but I am almost certain that whoever it is (especially if it's McCain) will trounce Hillary. It is my firm belief that no one wants to see the Clinton family back in the White House, if anyone even believes such a thing is possible. I think she'll be used as a scapegoat for all the Clinton-haters out there (and they are legion), and her candidacy has the potential to really hurt the Democratic Party.


G-d, give me patience

So, forgive me for boring you with yet another story about how my mother drives me out of my fucking mind, Internets, but this will only take a minute or two. I'm trying not to scream or break something in the house, and it's too late to call anyone to rant and rave, and I'm trying to spare B, who had a long day, so the 4 people who read this blog will just have to deal. Thanks for your time.

My mother will turn 65 on February 7. When she was here at Thanksgiving, trying to kill me, she said, "I want you to come back east to celebrate my birthday with me. I'll understand if you don't want to come to Boston, but I at least want a nice weekend in New York, ok?" So I said, "Sure. I'll set up a weekend, because the 7th is a Wednesday and that won't work for me. Let me check the dates and I'll let you know what my plans are. I'll get us a hotel room." Now, I'm not saying I do what my mom wants all the time. But it's a milestone birthday (of sorts), and she expressly said she wanted me to come back there, etc. So a couple of weeks ago, I buy a plane ticket and pre-pay for a room at the W on Lex, and it's all set up. I leave her a voicemail informing her of the plan (as promised), and we exchange messages for the next week and a half. We finally speak today.

First, she is surprised that I'm not coming on her birthday. Second, she's surprised that I'm not coming to Boston. Finally, she's surprised that we're not staying with her very sweet (but neurotic) friend in Chelsea. I tell her all the plans, and get her c.c. number so I can make her reservations for the trip from Boston to NY (have I mentioned that she insists on taking the bus like freakin' Yenta Pesha?? No plane for her -- allegedly, she's scared, which I have to say I'm calling bullshit on, but whatever; and no Acela, which may I say is a freakin' 3 1/2 hour DREAM trip from South Station to Penn Station!!). All's well. OR SO I THINK.

She calls me back. Please bear in mind that I arrive in NY at 10 Friday night and leave at 6 Sunday evening -- 44 hours. Says, "I feel guilty. I thought you were coming for a week. I don't want you to come for just one day." "Well, Mom, I bought my ticket and pre-paid for the hotel room, so whether you're coming to New York or not, I'm going for the weekend. I'll be there for two days, not one, and I told you it would be a weekend when you told me you expected me to come back there for your birthday." "Well, I didn't realize it would be for one day...." "It's a WEEKEND, Mom, that's TWO DAYS." "I just feel really guilty...." "You should have thought of that before you requested a command performance."

Have I mentioned that I have a really painful sinus infection right now and cannot. deal. with. her??????

Ok, I'm done. Thanks for reading. Suggestions welcome.


This is what I've been up to...

Here is a sample of a line of handmade cards I've been working on this month. They're free-form collage using rubber stamping, some reproduction advertising and tourist postcard pix, and real stamps I bought in Paris.

I started them as thank you cards for all the kind generosity people showed for Hanumas and my birthday, but then made a set of six for someone who actually bought them from me!!! WOO HOO!! Dew Designs' first sale!!! SAAAWHEEEEET!!!

copyright 2007, dew designs

Now that you've seen that, remind me to post a pic of the quilt top I almost finished at class tonight; I can't decide whether to keep it or give it away -- this has never happened before!


Justice denied

So now the accuser in the Duke so-called "rape" case has changed her story yet again. I won't bother posting a link because I'm certain you've already read about it. Turns out that she was wrong on the time (fair enough) and turns out that Reade Seligman was an observer, she now says, not a participant. Also? During the time the alleged assault took place? A passing neighbor saw her and the other dancer arrive -- this means that they were in the house for a grand total of one hour, not two, and there are multiple cell phone calls and digital pix with time stamps on them, showing that she was never not in the room with the lacrosse team audience for more than 5 minutes. Oh, and her dancing partner spoke up about a month ago and said that she and the accuser were never apart for more than 3 to 5 minutes the entire night -- and how would she know? Well, she was the designated driver and was the sober one that evening, not to mention the one without a history of psychological problems.

Nifong has already been censured and is under investigation by the NC bar. This case already stinks to high heaven of an ill-intentioned ploy to get re-elected in Durham, where without the black vote, you do not get elected. Now this? This is a travesty, people, and it is especially dangerous for the future of real rape cases, which will be tainted by this nonsensical farce in future, as people find themselves wondering whether there, too, an overzealous and duplicitous district attorney, ignoring DNA evidence, police reports, victim and witness interviews, cell phone logs, time-stamped digital photos, and all other credible exculpatory facts, will press on, press on, for political gain.

If you know me, you know for a fact that I am hardly an apologist for drunken frat boys or someone who doesn't recognize that racism is a fact in far too many situations in this country. But none of my personal feelings or sympathy for victims of sexual assault (or racist attacks, for that matter) change the fundamentals of the prosecution of Colin Finnerty, Reade Seligman, and David Evans in this case: it is wrong.

By the by, the defendants' parents are going to be on 60 Minutes tomorrow night; I know I'll be watching. What those families are going through is insane.


40. It IS the new 30, right? RIGHT??

We had a lovely day in L.A. Went out for breakfast near home, then drove up and spent the whole afternoon at the L.A. County Museum of Art, which was having a pretty nifty Magritte exhibit. We both enjoy Magritte, and have seen his work in shows at the MoMAs in SF and NYC, so it was nice to reprise this shared habit.

B had never been to LACMA before (we tried to think of why it seemed familiar to be down that far on Wilshire together, and realized it was because we'd been to the Page Museum of Natural History together, about 11 years ago or so -- we really don't get to L.A. very much, which I'm not sure is a good thing or a bad thing), so it was fun to traipse around the collections together. I was especially pleased to introduce him to my beloved netsuke room, although by the time we were able to get to it, we were pretty much dead on our feet and art-ed out. Still, I'm perpetually amazed by the minute detail of these once-functional items, and just love them. (My pix aren't as clear as they could be, what with the no-flash and taking-the-shot-through- glass and all, but if it helps you to get what I'm talking about, remember that each of these is no more than about 1 1/2" high and/or wide!)