Across the river, Manhattan shimmered in the moonlight — miles of white buildings sparkling like a forest of fireflies.... Manhattan, a cage of white ribs and a mass of glowing crystal, seemed nearly alive. The beauty in it lifted them far above their enemies and their troubles in the world, as if they were looking at life from the vantage point of the dead. Suddenly overcome with affection for the people they loved, they saw before them the city of sunshine and shadow, now covered in moonlight, and they loved it so much that they wanted to hold it in their arms. (520)It goes on, but you get the idea. Really, the author had me from "...the whole world has poured its heart into the city by the Palisades, and made it far better than it ever had any right to be." That's the third sentence of the Prologue. This book, it does not pull any punches. I am loving it. And life is pretty okay, too.
- Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
- Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
- Include these instructions, and share the love.
I'm finally back to working on the Nepal trip pictures.
This morning I woke up from a long, complicated, Wizard of Oz-style "and you were there, and you were there, and you were there" kind of dream where I caught up with a lot of people, some of whom I hadn't thought of in a long time, and we talked, and some of us performed, or showed off art, or writing, or kids (who mostly showed off themselves), or other projects that have been not consuming us so much as transforming us and our recent and not so recent lives (and vice versa), to the point where maybe we haven't been in touch as much as we might like. Anyway. All of the people in this dream were very dear to me, so I wrote a mushy Open Letter about it, but I wanted to tell everyone the most important part of the letter, which goes like this:
Friends, it was good to see you. No matter how long it's been since we last saw each other, or spoke, or wrote, or exchanged stupid email or whatever little time sucks the Web just distracted us with, I've missed you. I hope this letter finds you well --- at least as well as you were in my dream last night, if not better (and we were all pretty great). I think you are both the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that our friendship is the best thing I do, and every time I edit this sentence it gets a little longer and clumsier when what I really mean is just: You're the best. Thank you.
There ya go. Everything else can wait.
I think I sent my last batch of postcards from Nepal one month ago today, and I know I sent one to our home address here in Eugene, but it hasn't arrived yet, which has me a little worried. So here's my request to everyone who asked for a postcard (that links back to the original comments-filtered address collecting post, which was how I started my "to mail" list): could you please reply to this post and let me know if you got mail from my sojourn on the other side of the world? Again, comments will be screened.
Thanks so much!
I got back from my Asian adventures very late last night, and today I have mostly been wandering around the house touching everything as if to convince myself that I'm really back and not just dreaming it. (Also I have been petting the cats.) Not one but three memory cards bearing a ridiculous number of pictures suggests that the trip was not a dream either, but dealing with all of that is pretty intimidating --- there is so much! Which reminds me: I wrote something mushy for all of you at the end of the trekking portion of the trip, and posted it on TracyFood, where it was probably way too easy to overlook what with all the automagical post stuff, so I am calling attention to it now.
Anyway. Here is a picture of me in front of some very large mountains:
and that picture is as good a way as any to get to my Flickr, where I'll be posting lots more from the trip. Also I might have a thing or two to write about it on TracyFood eventually, just maybe (LOL I AM TEH FUNNAY --- ok, not really, but really it's amazing that I've managed to string together even this many semi-coherent sentences).
It is awesome to be home.
( These are the top 106 books most often marked as 'unread' by LibraryThing's users (as of whatever day this meme got started because I sure didn't double-check LibraryThing today). Bold indicates what I've read, italics what I started but couldn't finish, and strike through what I couldn't stand. )
In other news, Iggy Pop just jumped up on a wheeled chair such that it slid about a yard into the wall. He was most perplexed, and very cute. Yay my cat!
Dear Internet Friends,
Peter and I have successfully returned from our awesome vacation and tandem bike tour around the IJsselmeer. Home is every kind of awesome. Now I do not know if I will ever catch up on reading Teh EllJay, let alone freaking Google Reader (it seemed like such a good idea at the time, but oy). But I still love you all and am now much easier to contact, even if I put my cellphone through the wash in Holland and might be sort of hard to reach in that regard until I get a replacement. So email me if you want to get my attention, in particular if anything really important happened in the last three weeks that OMG Tracy Must Know About.
I haven't seen any lightning, but even if I do, it will not keep me away from the next-to-last session of Urban Farm. (Yay Urban Farm! Best class ever! I am going to miss it so much that I am looking into volunteering at one of Eugene's community gardens after the end of the term, just to get my "really big garden that I share with a bunch of people and we all hang out and work on it together" fix, because it is that awesome, even if I totally got a sunburn doing just that last Saturday.) And now I must finish proofreading my review of Michael Pollan's Second Nature, which I will be turning in today --- it turned out really well and I'm super-proud, especially of the way I used the phrase "really gets on my tits" in a way that was almost entirely appropriate except for how it's sort of an academic paper and all. Tee-hee! I'll put the full book report on TracyFood sometime soon, perhaps in sections because I rambled on and on and on for almost seven pages (only one of which was devoted to my deep aversion to the masculine generic --- Inclusive language forever, baby!)
Hot damn, it's pouring out. I'd better go let Iggy Pop in from the rain, and then look at bus schedules.
I'm reading The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer and Jim Mason, and it might be my favorite piece of "when in doubt, don't eat the animal product" propaganda to date (besides cookbooks, anyway). But I just got to the chapter on eating out, and I'm a little worried, because of this passage:( Oh please don't be endorsing whiny bitchitude. All y'all: Be kind to waitstaff, especially when they put up with your shit. This has been a public service announcement. )
That ranted, I am hoping very much that Singer and Mason will conclude that if you really want to eat out ethically, you should either patronize only restaurants that proudly advertise the origin of their ingredients, or forget it and eat only what you cook at home from ingredients whose sources you know and love (and good luck with that; this book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and of course Marion Nestle's fantastic What To Eat are good places to start). I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because the book has been very smart and in touch with reality so far, and I'm more than halfway through. And now I will return to my reading.
Update, 11:18 PM --- Nope, but then again the chapter turned out to be a more general thing about the food industry and three businesses in particular. I thought they went a little too easy on Whole Foods, too, but oh well. Maybe they'll give the "either choose your restaurant with care or stay home" advice in the conclusion of the book.
I will once again be observing my traditional April 1 internet fast this year, on account of the stupidest holiday and its all-too-often mean-spirited online manifestations. If you need to reach me, there's always the godsforsaken phone.
In other news, I am highly distrustful of the "fresh scent" kitty litter purchased last week in a fit of "OMG THEY'RE OUT OF OUR REGULAR KIND", and suspect we'll be going back to the regular unscented kind in the not-too-distant future. Here's hoping Iggy and Otis don't mind the experiment as much as I seem to. And now, bed. Yay bed!
Some people I know swear that summer is their most carnivorous season — they just can’t resist dead animal flesh cooked on the grill. Not me. I get closest to veganism or even (gods and goddesses forbid) a raw foods diet during the hottest days of the year, when everything growing is so ripe and fresh it’s hard to think of eating anything else.
kuddliphish asked if there was an LJ RSS feed for TracyFood yet, and
there isn't, in part because I need a paid account to set that up and also because if I automate the "hey, check out TracyFood" messages I'll never update LJ again, which would be lame it turns out there's one at tracyfood and I don't know who's responsible (it sure wasn't me!) but I'm very happy it exists. Also, I'm thinking maybe I'll make weekly TracyFood summaries on LJ instead of entries every time I put a post up there, for purposes of laziness and not wanting to feel like I'm spamming. Any thoughts, dear readers?