Friends

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Cărtărescu and Hanganu-Bresch on Women and Men

Cristina has translated a piece written by Mircea Cărtărescu titled "A Few Reasons Why We Love Women" (November 1 post) and written her own response. She muses that Cărtărescu's text possibly "could not even be conceived in this culture," and would most likely be read as at best essentialist thinking that takes "men" and "women" as already-constituted groups and reifies the man-woman gender binary (but that's just me in my poststructuralist feminist hat), and at worst would be read as, to use Cristina's terms, a "patriarchal political statement." Yeah, probably. But I have to say, the pieces don't bother me at all. To be honest, though, the fact that Cristina's a good friend of mine and that, well, I wouldn't mind running off to Split with Cărtărescu do have a bit to do with it. :evil:

Birthday Boy

Thirty-five years ago today, Mike was born, and shortly thereafter he was brought home from the hospital, replacing his father's beloved pet at his mother's behest. Maybe he'll tell the story; I hope so. :) Happy birthday, Mike. All the best.

Theme Party Tonight: Prom, 1994

Tonight I'm going to be attending a "canciversary" party for a friend of mine who is celebrating the anniversary of the day she went into remission. She didn't get to go to her 1994 prom because she was in the hospital, so that's the theme for the evening. When I got my invitation, I called my mom to see if she'd mail me my red taffeta prom dress. I wouldn't be that embarrassed to wear it; it's a simple, floor-length dress with a slim skirt and a halter neckline -- imagine this dress in red. My mom looked around but couldn't find it anywhere. She did, however, find two other formal gowns I wore to the little debutante-ball style dances my high school sorority had. She said, "I found a purple one and a black one." I knew exactly which ones she was talking about and, amused, I said, "Okay, that works! Go ahead and send 'em." They both fit, so I think I'm going to go for the ugly, tacky gusto and wear the purple one. In about an hour, I'm going to start getting ready for the party, and, at the request of friends I've talked to on the phone today, I'm going to do an "Ugly Purple Dress, Then and Now" photo comparison. For now, the "Then" (I warn you, it's uuuugly -- oh, and it's from 1991, not 1994, but it's the thought that counts, right?). I hid the face of my date not because I'm ashamed, but because I want to protect his privacy.

UPDATE: Leaving for the party now...behold, purple dress 04. I'll see if I can get a better picture, full-length, at the party. :)

SECOND UPDATE: Oh yes...excellent pictures. See below:

Short Break

Blogging will be light or nonexistent for the next few days, as a good friend is coming here for a visit. :)

Before Bed

I didn't watch Julia Child's show, but all the tributes to her -- and this interview -- have made me want to. I wonder if they'll release it on DVD?

When Krista and I went to the movies recently, I made an excited noise when I saw the standee for Seed of Chucky (link goes to the trailer). A little embarrassing, yes, but what the heck, I've already said I want to watch The Pirate Movie. Krista made the insightful observation that the more theory one reads, the more one wants to watch pleasantly stupid movies. Having been bolstered by this validation, I believe I'll rent both The Pirate Movie and Bride of Chucky tomorrow evening. I've seen Child's Play 1, 2, and 3, but not Bride of Chucky, and I want to respect the narrative sequence.

The Summer in Review

Turns out I'm not doing my tour of Indiana after all. Last night, my friend P. called me and urged me to come home again before the fall semester starts. I had thought I wouldn't be able to find a reasonably-priced plane ticket, and indeed, the flights into Nashville and Huntsville were going for about $500.00, but I found a flight to Birmingham for $226! I leave Tuesday and will be home for six days, which is good, because I've been taking stock of my summer. What have I done? I:

  • Moved into a new apartment
  • Co-authored the introductory chapter of the blog collection and did a lot of editing work before it officially went live
  • Taught a Technical and Professional Writing class
  • Studied for and took prelims (will be done with those soon, anyway)
  • Wrote two short articles for The Encyclopedia of Third Wave Feminism
  • Made some smart, healthy, and long overdue lifestyle changes and, as a result, lost 32 pounds (eleven dress sizes)

Sounds good, but despite the fact that I've been relatively productive compared to summers past, I'm not happy (for an soundtrack, imagine Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" or Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" playing in the background), and I was thinking that if I had spent more time at home, I wouldn't feel this downcast. I hope I'm right about that.

Best Turkey Ever

I am eating the best turkey I've ever had in my life, so good I might have to nudge my mom aside and make this Thanksgiving's meal myself (I'm sure she'd happily hand over that responsibility :) ). Last time I was at the grocery store, I bought two 1-lb. white honeysuckle turkey breasts and froze both of them. I'm already thinking ahead about how I'll cook the other one: with Cajun seasoning or herbes de provence?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After I thawed this turkey breast by leaving it in lukewarm water for a while, I put it in a foil packet with some of the water, plenty of olive oil, tons of hot Madras curry powder, some ginger, minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes. I sealed it up tight and put it in the oven for an hour or so at 325 degrees. It's unbelievably juicy and delicious. I can't take all the credit, though; Charlie reminded me of the foil-packet method of cooking meat, fish, and poultry in the oven. He'll be terribly embarrassed that I'm saying this, but I will anyway: Charlie can give great advice and recommendations on just about any topic. He can tell you how to fix your computer, cook your food, optimize your exercise routine, and improve your teaching. He's also excellent at recommending movies and music.

Today's trifles

  • Had lunch at a Thai restaurant with Laurie today, the same one where I bit into a spring roll only to find a shiny new screw. I'm glad I gave them another chance.
  • Got two care packages today: One was from my friend Andrea, of "Remember: It's not all gumbo," and consisted of some University of Alabama t-shirts and shorts and a CD she made for me. The other was from Mike and contained a necklace made at a summer camp out of twine and two beads. He says it provides "guaranteed good luck." :-)
  • Discovered love of almond butter. I've been wanting to try it for a little while now so bought some when I went to the grocery store today. I could probably eat the whole jar inside of an hour, but I demonstrated the proper restraint and only had a spoonful.
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