Hey, munchkins. Lazy…

Hey, munchkins. Lazy Friday, still recovering, but feeling much better than yesterday. Picked up some books in Berkeley and spices; Ethiopian cookbook, David Lodge's Changing Places, Calvin and Hobbes's Weirdos from Another Planet. Read and enjoyed the C&H, almost ruptured myself laughing at the Lodge. Have you guys read his stuff? He also wrote a novel Small World -- both are hilarious, totally evil takes on academia, love, sex, marriage, etc. Must-read for academics, though I'm not sure that you should take them as models for real life. In Changing Places, an exchange takes place between two professors -- one from miserably Rummidge, in England, and Euphoria, a very thinly disguised Berkeley (one can view the Silver Span on a clear day, for example, and it lies near the cities of Ashland and St. Gabriel). Funny funny funny. Occasionally touching.

Today I'm reading a book for class, Carol Maso's Ghost Dance. Since I'm only about 40 pages into it, I'll just quote to you from the back cover. 'Like the poet-mother in this debut novel, Maso works to ensure her readers understand and come to accept sorrow as a knowable and tactile presence. Narrating a family story through the voice of a young writer whose mother has recently been killed, Maso invites readers to experience firsthand both womens' love and courage, capabilities of imagination, their persistence of memory, and generosity of spirit.' Sounds good so far, yes? Reads pretty well too...we'll see how it goes. My teacher really loved it.

Not much else to report, except that I bought an idli maker yesterday, and made idli and sambar for breakfast this morning. Yum! (David was less impressed. Spicy food for breakfast is a bit much for him. :-) I'm trying to think how to explain idli. If they taste like anything, it's a little bit like Ethiopian injera; they're slightly sour. I *think* they're made from ground rice, but I honestly don't know -- I used a packet. Add water, let sit for fifteen minutes, stir. Spoon into idle stand, place in pot with 3-4 cups water, steam until done. They come out like slightly sticky little white round cakes, almost. Very hard to describe. Serve with sambar (a sauce with onion and tomato and spices) and hot chutney.

I didn't have a very good time on my last trip to Sri Lanka, for rather complicated personal reasons. I did, however, love the mornings. I never really switched over entirely to the time zone, and tended to wake around 4 a.m. We were staying in a 5 star hotel (easier if you're in a country with an exchange rate of 30:1), and so the very nice restaurant was open 24 hours. I'd come down with a book or pen and paper, sit down by the window overlooking the garden, and drink a cup of milked and sugared coffee (the only coffee I've ever enjoyed was in Sri Lanka, though I can drink Thai iced coffee (I prefer Thai iced tea)). Work for a couple of hours, and then have idli and sambar for breakfast, or perhaps some naan and curry. They had American breakfasts too, but they just weren't very tempting compared to spicy fish curry, passionfruit juice, fresh pineapple slices and fresh-baked naan. I highly recommend Sri Lanka for a holiday -- just don't go north to the war zone, and you'll be fine.

1:30 - Revamped a chunk of the home page. Moved the Amusing section so the top page is tighter. Added 15 Worst Opening Lines of Romance Novels.

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