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June 2014

I decide to watch some of the soccer.

I don't give a crap that you call it football. I think that's perfectly fine. Stop competing for specialer; you sound silly. Nothing is only. Anyway. Here is a conversation about that.

Okay, and it turns out I feel bad that Corea del Sur was robbed of a chance at a 3rd goal. But they needed to be more dignified about that, poor fellas.

















Opera, relevance, art, censorship

I rarely cry "censorship." But I will in this case, because I believe the pressure that led to this decision is causing exactly that. Here are posts I made in other spots, with their links, collated in this spot.

Met Opera Cancels Simulcast of Klinghoffer. This is disappointing and alarming. I think the following comment excerpt says it best,

The suggestion that composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman have in essence written an anti-Semitic opera is profoundly libellous. Furthermore, their critics are trying to silence them without letting others judge. The excuses made by those involved in cancelling the simulcasts ("I don't believe this is anti-Semitic, but it could inflame anti-Semitism") are illogical, hypocritical and craven. Thanks, Metropolitan Opera, for making sure I can't see an opera because three people and some rich donors don't want me to.

I like what I've heard of John Adams' work so far (it is "different,") and was looking forward to seeing something contemporary and challenging this fall.

The Death of Klinghoffer: if John Adams's opera isn't antisemitic, how can it fan antisemitism?

Here on the east side of Cincinnati, me and the twenty old people who attend these things are being done a disservice, for an illogical purpose that sure sounds like it must have money talking behind it. Not our $22.50 apiece, though.

Here's a 2012 interview with the librettist.

And a review of the 2012 London production.

Dreaming of olives, and some stuff

I'm in a cooking mood. I am making the olives today, first off. It's called olives scaciati, but when my mom made it, we called it the olives. Note: there are no carrots or vinegar in it. That would be weird, and not the olives. Also, it has to sit for two weeks before eating. I didn't buy enough olives to sneak-taste, either.

Because I got the big fat Sicilian olives at Jungle Jim's Eastgate, naturally I bought the small dark Greek ones. That is what Mom did when we went to Scimeca's, and no matter how many delicious olives JJ's and Abigail Street offer that touch me in special places, those are the ones I always go back to.

I'm also going to try this Baked Spanish-Style Chicken and Vegetables recipe Jungle Jim's posted the other day. Will report back on that. No, seriously, I really will. It's summer, and I am on this thing.

What I want to share now, though, is my birthday present to me, which arrived a couple days ago. It was meant to be twelve of these 1965 cookbooks with the index, but the eBay seller told me he couldn't find the bread one, which is sad, because I would have probably actually used that one. He gave me free shipping as a trade-off. It turns out, anyway, that there were eighteen volumes produced, so now I will hunt down the other seven. And share bits on my cooking page.


Simultaneously running through my head: "The Clapping Song" by Shirley Ellis, and the Speed Racer theme.


The Heyer Blue List

A few things to know about Georgette Heyer books. She practically invented the "Regency Romance," and no one has done it so well since. However, she wrote pretty much only four heroines, and she wrote nearly every story twice.

It's just that they are so well researched and form their own internal logic so perfectly, fans of her books simply don't mind.

The first one I read was Cotillion. It still has my favorite young hero. Also, a Young Lady Dependent on Stingy Relatives. Cotillion.pdf

Early efforts include These Old Shades and Devil's Cub, which are best read in order. They both are the kind of story that seem to begin right in the middle of something, but before long, you're in the middle of it as well.
These Old Shades.pdf
Devil's Cub.pdf

Black Sheep and Lady of Quality are extremely similar. They are the "on the shelf but doesn't care" late 20s heroine meets gentleman others dislike or fear, who is actually awesome type. I favor Black Sheep slightly over the other.
Lady of Quality .pdf
Black Sheep.pdf

Arabella is just one of the best written. She's one of the Very Young But Practical girls who's always having escapades. Arabella.pdf

The Grand Sophy has an Unconventional Miss who delights clever people and worries dull ones. You will love her. The Grand Sophy.pdf

The Unknown Ajax is the Perfect Catch, Dark and Stormy variety. The other Perfect Catch variety is awesome but bored with being wanted so much... The Unknown Ajax.pdf

Birthday Countdown Blitz F: Facing facts

I had the man switch out my old Look pedals for "conventional" ones. I just haven't been comfortable with them for awhile. And I decided I wanted to ride a bike instead of cycle. But it was a very depressing thing to admit; took me awhile to work up to it.

I suppose that when I put it back on the trainer when it's cold again, I can use the clipless pedals then.



Windmills of my Mind: a Birthday Countdown Post

See, I wrote about four posts in my head that you never saw. One was written in my head a few nights ago when I suddenly couldn't sleep, which is super weird, because sleep is one of the things I do best. It was all about my career in being best at math in school and then being left behind because of some pretty weird educational "experiment," so that when it came time to help my son learn the Law of Cosine, I just basically failed.

And then I went to my notes on the desktop to search for the things I'd been planning to share about the number 49 (which I will now do on Wednesday,) and found the following, instead:

1. Those who consider the pre-determined gender title of male part of their general natural or established makeup: there are these men, though (whoops, sorry, I do not have the exact precise up-to-the-moment percentage, but assume I don't mean you, and I'm ever so sorry if somehow you might think I did mean you, instead of specifically to whom I'm actually referring,) who are feeling the contemporary effects of women getting along pretty well in life without seeking out a "steady date," husband, or even occasional lover, like {that one specific guy she mentioned but also x others where x=>0 but <all} and they really want to talk to a woman, but don't know how, so they "kid" her about her smile or lack of one, and so forth. They tend to be of (but not 100% inclusive of) a certain generation. When I was "young and pretty," I encountered it often (by which I mean rather more often than never, but not precisely all of the time,) and found it creepy, yet I had the understanding they didn't realize how off-putting it was.

2. lamp, potato battery, extension cord,

3. Well...is it okay for someone to say, "Everybody knows the Chinese can't even sew on buttons?" Perhaps if she'd said, "It's my belief Chinese products are awful," that'd be somewhat less rude.

Do you desire context? Too bad.

On Saturday, I did the unthinkable and set my blanket in an area for baseball viewing where I'd be around other actual people, and had some general conversation with one, sort of two. I showed you a phone pic of me that day, but good lord, the phone was like, "let's make a caricature of you, just for kicks!" And what I'm saying is that I looked pretty good that day, but I'm also going to be terrible and say this isn't really difficult in relative terms, because what I do is what I don't do. I don't wear ill-fitting man t-shirts with funny sayings on them, or old "athletic" shoes, or the adult version of Garanimals from 1989. I wear contemporary clothing suited to my age and figure, and attractive coordinating footwear, which I remove as soon as possible. And surely you know about my pretty feet by now. They are the stuff of legend. This is in part because I almost never wear shoes, but also, Raphael.*

And so this man, whose son needs help correcting his swing and some time at the batting cages to improve his timing, ends up whispering to me, "Are you still married?" This after I'd done that thing I do, practically given him and his...younger relative a satellite view of where I live, how we'd ended up there, and more, because if you ask me questions in person, I either demure like you're a spy hunter, or I tell you everything ever. However, I never think to ask like questions in return, because I don't care about any of your mundane details, even though if we were on a "date," I would be polite and ask you about your job and pretend it's fascinating. If we were talking at baseball, though, my conversation would be about baseball. Poor Mr. Polomsky failed with me.

And where was I? Oh, yes. I said, "Mmhmm." And then he whispered, "Oh, I saw you weren't wearing your wedding ring."

So I answered somewhat loudly,"Yes, I'm still married. It is actually very Facebook complicated, but mainly, I don't think my ring fits anymore."

And he told me he is in fact no longer married anymore, so therefore he wondered. And then ran away.

If you've read the entire 700 words up to now, you can see why that's always for the best.

*No, but yes. I receive many compliments on my feet, regularly, when I'm out and about places. If they appear in a photo I share on Google+ which is actually supposed to be about the ovarian arrangment of items on the cover of a Nero Wolfe book, someone has to comment on that instead of pondering if that's the reason police officers' hats are smaller these days. And the point is, my mama would talk about how important it was to make really proper shoe selection, because her father, who hand-fashioned orthopedic shoes as his trade, insisted upon it. But that's not actually the point at all. Maybe if I had not been born with incredibly attractive feet, I'd have taken less care to ensure they were never misshapen by poorly designed footwear. They don't make up for having lost out in the dental lottery, though.

Here is your reward for in case you read that entire thing. I was going to share the one with "Bob and Donna's" wedding, because wow did Bob lay a kiss on her. But it was too melancholy.