Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adios 2010

OK, I'll jump on the yearly reflection meme, though these exercises almost always disappoint. Too much will be left out, something big, almost every single small thing. I won't even aspire to capturing a feeling, which is already gone, and might only come back after time with a smell, a song, a death.

A few things I'll remember about 2010:

  • We moved from the house where we had lived for ten years, the longest I've ever lived in one home. It was devastating, a huge pain in the ass, and ultimately the best possible thing. We love our new place, sunny and spacious, with a big west-facing window in the living room, a studio for Greg, and neighbors who regularly bring treats.
  • This was our bonus year with Jackson. After learning that he has chronic kidney disease, we didn't think he would be with us a year later. I can still hear the veterinarian say, after a brief physical exam, "his prognosis is fair to poor". But he has responded very well to treatment, which includes daily injections of subcutaneous fluids, prescription food, and tuna-flavored medication. It's clear that he's feeling great. He's beautiful, social, and full of attitude. He and Bob like our new place too, particularly the fireplace and the big heating vents.
  • Things that were awful at the moment, but that we laugh about now: Lupita with a cone, Lupita with a cast, Mardi Gras Supper Club (workplace potluck turned group food poisoning nightmare), District 9.
What's ahead in 2011 (note: these are NOT resolutions):
  • I will strive daily to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as recommended by Centers for Disease Control.
  • I will eliminate from my vocabulary the word 'cool' as an exclamation and the word 'like' as filler. I may cut back on the F-bomb a bit as well.
  • I will put some things on the walls, write, read, run, show gratitude, and try to make some food that doesn't suck.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jackson update

Disclaimer: this is a post about my cat.

Now that I've filtered out a few readers, I wanted to share some sad news about Jackson with the rest of you, especially those who already love/know of/are in awe of him. We learned last week that he has chronic kidney failure, and now we're just savoring this undetermined number of months caring for and enjoying his handsome self. And because he's always been in charge, we'll continue to jump when he demands breakfast, slink away from his stares that explain that you're sitting in his spot, and watch him hiss, spit, and punch full-bore on the dog.

Jackson spent three days in the hospital last week, where they flushed his kidneys to bring them back up to something like normal function. He responded well to treatment, and since he's been back home, he's comfortable, acting normal, eating his new boutique food, and working it like a pro. We have to give him subcutaneous fluids daily to keep him hydrated, which involves getting him to sit still for a few minutes while 100cc's of something (saline?) flow into him through a hefty, but sharp needle. He couldn't be more cooperative and patient, and I'm finally getting to the point where I'm not shaking like a leaf and sweating like a quarterback every time I do it.

In the picture above, Jackson's the B&W guy on the left. Bob on the right. Notice the "don't f@#$ with me" expression. That's pretty accurate. But at the end of the day, he's a sweetie, like a really hot gangster with a heart of gold.

Thanks to everyone at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital. Without exception, every person we've interacted with there has been caring, thoughtful, and helpful. I can't say enough about that team.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Il Trovatore

A few highlights from date night. First, dinner at Shiki Sushi in Queen Anne, then to the top floor of McCaw Hall for Il Trovatore at Seattle Opera.

I won't attempt to synopsize this complicated plot. I'll just note that the story hinges on a gypsy's fateful mistake when she tosses the wrong baby into the fire, a few plot twists, then finally (spoiler alert) the requisite dead lovers, left lifeless on stage as the curtain drops.

We shared the evening with a number of enthusiastic opera fans. The couple behind us found Il Trovatore to be a rauckous comedic romp, in spite of the subtle scenic clues, such as bodies hanging over the stage. And the dude next to us took every opportunity to emote and cheer. But it's good to see such a passionate, engaged audience. The performance culminated, as is the case with so many Seattle arts events, with a standing ovation (deserved or not). The soprano was quite pinched in the upper registers, but the audience loved her nonetheless. We reserve our highest praise for the mezzo-soprano (my fav), and the tenor (Greg's).

[disclaimer: the audio here is not from Saturday's performance; it is from a lush recording featuring Rosalind Plowright, soprano, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini, Coro e orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecelia, 1984.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Delicious chili mac

Although I'm ambivalent about uttering aloud the phrase 'chili mac', it was, in fact, delicious. It was another desperation dinner based on avoiding a trip to the grocery store, but this is a good recipe to riff on and integrate into your culinary vocabulary, thereby eliminating the need for a Delicious bookmark. Though we didn't follow the recipe religiously, we did meet the spirit of the dish, which turned out very much like something we would have called 'goulash' in grade school. And on a chilly, damp evening, that's more than good enough for me. Bonus: leftovers for lunch for both of us.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Making Delicious stuff, round one

I'm making stuff that I've bookmarked in my Delicious account, but apparently, that doesn't mean that it will all be delicious. This I learned in my first make, a recipe for roasted carrot spread. I know, I hear a couple of you lamb-eating, bacon-grubbing friends out there groaning already. And you would be affirmed in your skepticism, because on a scale of 1-10, this recipe gets a 'meh'. Think hummus, but with carrots instead of garbanzos. Might have been better with a little dried tomato or something acidic to bring out the sparkle in the carrots. Oh well, there's one link I can delete from my Delicious account (good thing, cuz I just added three more).

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Make Delicious Stuff Challenge

Holy crap, I haven't posted since 2008?! Oh well, I don't believe in apologizing for not blogging, unless you're in charge of keeping the nation informed about the flu epidemic or have a cookie-of-the-week blog or something like that. But it's the start of the new year, one that I'm starting out with a cold, so I am looking for something to do, besides eat, while stoned on Alka Seltzer Plus. But I'm also filled with that new year spirit of starting something new, and hoping to create more balance in my life through creative pursuits.

I feel like making something. I often do. Something pretty, usable, useless, small, giftable, edible, glittery, something, anything. But I tend to get in my own way by researching, planning, collecting, contemplating, rather than making. My Delicious account is evidence of this. So my little project, for as long as I feel like it, at whatever intervals I feel like, is to make stuff that I've bookmarked in my Delicious account. Cookies, granny squares, paper garlands, pincushions, handmade books...who knows what I'll manifest into material world from those 1300+ bookmarks? I'll post my productions, small, stolen, improvised, failed or gorgeous. Wanna join me? What's in your Delicious account, forgotten inspiration, waiting to emerge?