21.8.06

Notable Quotes

(again, not so notable but - for the second week in a row! - the Acrostic from this Sunday's NYTimes)
My granddaughter wrote a composition for school in which she said she liked her grandmother's imagination. I asked what she was referring to and without hesitation she replied, 'You remember things that never happened."
-- Allen Demy, Invented Country

12.8.06

Did it!

I managed to last 48 hours (more, actually) without an on-line fix! Yay me. Of course, I came back to e-mails that I should have take care of while I was gone... Here's a question: how many of you pay attention to those "Out of Office" e-mails? I put one on my work account, and there was one guy (a vendor, we're working on a project) who e-mailed on Wednesday and Thursday, then at least 5 times Friday asking why I wasn't replying. Uh, I'm out of the office? Maybe his spam filter ate it.

Anyway, Rhinebeck was nice. The Delameter Inn is very charming, and even provides sherry to its guests (free, in a decanter in your room). Only problem: loud plumbing and they were painting, so there was that painting smell. But that's ok. I managed.

We spent the first day in Rhinebeck itself, wandering the town and poking our heads into stores. My mother bought yet another shapeless hat that does nothing for her. The local bookstore was nice, but the selection was a little eclectic (and they carried The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs - reviewed here).

Dinner that night was at Calico, a very cozy (25 seat) restaurant/patisserie. The food was wonderful (I had sole stuffed with crabmeat, and a Key Lime tart), the service even better. My father and I split a Pinot Gris, which I'd never heard of before and am now actively seeking. We then went to Upstate Films to see Scoop (Scarlett does a very nice job of out-Woodying Woody, and the film itself is one of his best in years).

M woke me with the news about the foiled terrorist attack (among other things, like how Lulu was faring). 'Nuff said.

Thursday's activities included a visit to Olana (the house is closed, so I'll have to go back, but we did get a nice tour of the outside and had a very pleasant walk around some of the grounds), Alison Winery (picked up a red, a white, sherry and cassis), lunch (where I had a very passable Fluffernutter!), a tour of Wilderstein (interesting old house in desperate need of someone to fund repairs), a short rest and then dinner at Le Petit Bistro (steak frites for dinner, and a clafouti I'd kill to have again). All-in-all, a very nice day!

Yesterday (aka "Friday"), we packed and headed off to Cascade Mountain Winery, where I did another tasting and we had a very nice outdoor lunch. For those of you who don't know, a wine tasting at a winery usually consists of tastes of a number of wines, thus making it easier to compare. My mother, ever nervous, was concerned that I'd have too much to drink and be unable to get home safely. Silly Mommy. You only taste the wine, which means perhaps a sip (or two) of each. You end up, at one winery at least, with barely half a glass tasted. And, of course, you have to cleanse your palate between tastes, usually with water and/or a nibble. So it's safe to drink and drive. Really. I did buy a case from them (half red, half white), which I'm sharing with M.

Then I wended my way home, down the Taconic. Since I'm hoping to buy a house within the next year, it was a good opportunity to see how far away some of the places in Dutchess and Putnam were from MPOW. Of course, these were near-ideal conditions and that's not going to be the case when I'm commuting daily along with thousands of others, but still... it's a sense of the timing, right? The Boys missed me, but didn't destroy the house and my mail was piled high in the mailbox. I'm so glad I have the weekend to veg and relax and get back to normal after all the activity and good food of my time away.

Next up on the agenda: health related stuff, working around the house, and finishing the summertime tasks at work. Possibly a trip to the Dutchess County Fair (mentioned previously here and here). And, in early September, the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival.

So, what'd you do this past week?

8.8.06

Notable Quotes

Jeeves doesn't have to open doors. He's like one of those birds in India who bung their astral bodies about... the chaps who, having gone into thin air in Bombay reassemble the parts and appear two minutes later in Calcutta
P.G. Wodehouse, Life with Jeeves

(ok, not so notable, but it was this week's NYTimes Acrostic and I usually don't finish those!)

6.8.06

Things that make you go "eeewwwww"

Yesterday I watched On Guard, a film I'd been interested in seeing for some time (Daniel Auteuil is a fun actor to watch). I snuggled up with The Boys, and started this tale of love, loss, revenge, hunchbacks and swordplay. Basically, the cousin of the Duc de Nevers wants him (and his offspring) dead, but Auteuil rescues the daughter and rears her safely amidst a travelling theatre troupe. So far, so good. It's 16 years later, and they're in Paris and hijinks ensue, except... Aurore (the baby at the center of the whole mess) has grown into a beautiful woman, who decides that she's in love with her "Papa", particularly after he tells her that he's not really her father. At the end, when she's restored to her mother and her title and all is well and good with the world, they kiss.

EWWWWWWWWWWWW.

As someone that's potentially in that position, it just skeeves me no end. I mean, there's no reason that I couldn't have that type of relationship with my father, seeing as I'm adopted and all but... he's my father. Blood tie or no, he helped raise me (even taught me to solder and use a sewing machine - such a handy guy!). He's even good looking in a physics-geek kind of way: there's the cutest wedding photo and all that's wrong is there's a carnation where the pocket protector and slide rule should be. But loving him That Way? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Then I started yet another book. This one is called The Love Curse of The Rumbaughs, wherein members of the Rumbaugh family are cursed with loving their mothers too much. In a Psycho kind of way. You see, young Ivy (daughter of Julie and either Ab or Dolph, two identical, strange Twins) loves her mother. Just a bit too much. And lucky for her, Ab and Dolph have this nifty taxidermy hobby. They've even stuffed Mama (don't ask how they split her between them). So when Ivy's mother dies it's only natural to do the same. Right? Because burial is just so final. I mean, you can't go home after a long day at work and talk things over with a coffin. But a stuffed mother? Totally.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

5.8.06

A little haven

Some of my friends don't understand why I like living in The Country (not that Rockland County is in any way, shape or form truly The Country). Well, here's one reason:

I'm sitting in my "office", looking out at my tiny deck and back yard. Playing in the yard are three bunnies, and two blue jays. They can see me, they hear me typing, but that's ok. They're still playing and feeling the cool breeze this evening.

Find that in NYC. I dare ya.

Reading Update

When I go to ALA Conferences, the swag I look forward to most is the Readers Advance books - what's new? what's going to be a really great read I can pass on to my friends/students/colleagues?

Sadly, many of the books I get are just Not Ready For Prime Time Reading. Some are (The Lightning Thief and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time blew me away). Some probably have appeal to an audience other than myself. Some are just, well, clearly a publisher's attempt to catch a genre wave and ride it, and most of those are just poorly written and poorly edited. Any number of trees could have been saved had someone just said "no" to the whole thing.

The most recent book off Mt. Bookpile was a re-release of Harlan Ellison's Spider Kiss. I'd never read anything by him before, and there was a certain amount of "go ahead, amaze me" in my attitude. But this book - out of print for a long time - was really good. I'm not quite sure why reprints didn't happen, to be honest. This feels like a book that read well when it was first published (1961, as Rockabilly) as it does now. It's not his usual fantasy/sci-fi, either. This is grittier, based in the world of early rock'n'roll and told through the eyes of a PR man who sold his soul... and might sell it again...

I may even recommend it to our Upper School students, and a few teacher. And, Dear Readers, I'm recommending it to you.

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