We interrupt this holiday for no good reason
I am putting on an impressive layer of fat while visiting my parents for the holiday. There is a wheel of Brie in the house that we as a family of three have agreed to kill over the 8 days that I will be home.
We eat to excess and then fall asleep. Get up and do it again. I feel like a sea lion or a giant walrus lazing on a rock in the sun - minus the big rock to sun myself on, the strong sunshine, and the knowledge that there are hungry sharks and polar bears all around me looking for a fatty snack.
Beyond that it's been difficult to do much else. I came bearing my best intentions. I brought a physics textbook so that I could read ahead and do as many problems in as many chapters as there are waking hours. I brought "Middlesex" and a book of essays by Clive James, who I think I might end up liking almost as well as I like Chuck Klosterman and DFW (but in a different way.) And I brought my computer so that I could research to write the last of my assignments for my News Reporting class. A sports column.
No physics has been learned. I have been reading "Middlesex" in fits and starts and non-consecutive chapters. It's a pretty entertaining read. Though I suspect much more entertaining when read from start to finish. I have also been thumbing through "The Poisonwood Bible" in non-consecutive chapters. This also looks to be a pretty engaging read, with the same caveats. I forget how much I like Kingsolver. And then I pick up a book and am reminded again. (A young man recently said the same of my company when taking me out to dinner.) Clive James has stayed tucked in my bag and the internet has mostly been used to watch Netflix movies online.
I have been reading my parents subscription to the New Yorker. I never read it while in New York but am captivated when I am not. They have this article in the December 21, 2009 issue about stovemakers. There is a community of people who have been on a quest to design the perfect stove.
"How do you build cheap, durable, clean-burning stoves for three-billion people? About half the world’s population cooks with gas, oil, or electricity, while the other half burns wood, dung, coal, or other solid fuels. As global temperatures have risen, the smoke from Third World kitchens has been upgraded from a local to a universal threat. The average cooking fire produces about as much carbon dioxide as a car, and a great deal more soot, or black carbon. Cleaning up these emissions may be the fastest, cheapest way to cool the planet."
- Burkhard Bilger
If I were a reporter, that is the story I would want to tell. GAWD, it kinda kills me that I am not the person who covered it. Such a simple problem. One that is hardly recognizable as a problem, even. And the solution is nowhere near the neighborhood of the simplicity of the problem. Hell of a story.
'Tis been the season for season's greetings by text message. I have had a good number of texts wishing me a Merry Xmas. More texts than Xmas cards. Which is a switch for me. Is this a trend or have I finally join the present day?
I have also discovered that Men's Health carries recipes. They apparently have about 476 sandwich recipes. And now I really want to devote some time to the art of sandwich making.
Up to now my only New Year's resolution has been to set a timer whenever I put tatertots in the oven. Too often I have been forgetting the tots in the oven. I really must be more careful....
Perhaps 2010 should be devoted to getting in shape and making sandwiches.