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Sigh

27.July 2009

I’ve lapsed. The one-a-day plan hasn’t exactly worked out, for reasons of technology, laziness, and humidity, but I have been shooting and developing lots! The spirit of the project is not lost! For today, here are a couple of photos and one recipe.

After having a lovely breakfast and trip to the airport and watermelon ice and chat with the lovely author of Sweet Amandine (who I’m going to presumptuously say is becoming a dear friend), I felt hungry and decided to steal her recipe for Sesame Noodles. Knowing, however that I, like her sister, am very particular about my Sesame (and/or Peanut) Noodles, I adapted the recipe a bit. I used Angel Hair Pasta and made the whole thing cold. I also added a glop of chunky peanut butter and a little ginger paste. Delicious.
And this is my little hot puppy. Posing nicely for the camera. She needs a haircut, but I am loath to lose her big fuzzy bear paws.
In other news, I’ve been doing a good deal of for-fun reading and I have two EMPHATIC recommendations for you: 1. All Over Creation, by Ruth Ozeki and 2. Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan.

Both of these authors are Smithies. Ozeki has a way of being very political about farming practices while weaving a really riveting story on top of it. In her first book – My Year of Meats, Ozeki takes on the beef industry and in this one she takes aim at genetically engineered vegetables, specifically potatoes. While yes, this book makes me want to eat 100% organic vegetables, the most memorable part of it was the family’s story that she tells along the way. It’s kind of the opposite of my experience with The Jungle, where I remember the gruesome scenes in the meat packing plant, but don’t remember the personal plight of the characters at all. Sullivan plumbs her personal experience in college and writes what amounts to a nostalgic ode to Smith. Yes, it does deal with illegal sex traffic in a pretty graphic and stirring way, but the book is really all about Smithies and love and friendship. It’s like Sex and the City, but real and relevant to my life.

What strikes me about both of these books (granted, I did read the two of them in the space of about three days) is that maybe Smith did really leave a lot of us with a real desire to make a difference in the world, regardless of the arena in which we choose to work. And wasn’t that the idea anyway? I still haven’t found a way to do this in any concrete way in my life, unless you count the dissemination of German articles and adjective endings as some sort of social change. But these women, deeply invested in writing, which so often becomes a solitary, self-indulgent activity, find a way to comment on their (and our) lives and relationships while writing an entertaining story AND raising awareness about serious social issues. Well, done Smithies.

Rather upsettingly, Sullivan graduated a year ahead of me. I haven’t published a (really great) novel yet, have you?

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