Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I’ve been trying to blog; really, I have. Work conspires against me, however, and when I get home there’s the usual beddy-bye routine and then dinner/sack out on couch with CNN. So let’s see; what’s been on my mind?

1. Why do the chocolate chip cookies that I bake in Colorado always turn hard 30 minutes after they are out of the oven? Before I moved here, I prided myself on my ability to turn out a perfect Nestle toll house cookie, but now following the same recipe yields lousy results (not that it stops me from hacking away at all of them with my pointy little choppers). I’m guessing it has something to do with the altitude, but what is it I need to change?

2. Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. I can barely even watch you anymore. I cringe every time I see what new “scrappy fighter” tactic you’ve embraced in your race to the bottom. Before the start of your campaign, I was a huge supporter; I was a die-hard defender and genuine admirer of you and Bill, lamented the passing of his administration, thought you were cool as grits, and was excited to throw myself wholeheartedly into supporting your campaign. Shit, I even voted for you in our caucus. But while in the abstract I still want a woman president, I’ve stopped caring if that woman is you. I don’t like how you’ve handled your campaign at all, and I do very much like how Barack Obama has handled his. Every time you throw some more nasty politics-as-usual his way, he manages to keep his cool and stay above the fray. I think that will be a real diplomatic advantage. Also, you can try to drum it into my head that he’s not experienced, or that he’s a cult of personality, but with respect to the experience issue: (a) I don’t completely agree with that, and (b) I don’t care as much as you think I should, and with respect to the personality issue: (c) I agree he is getting a lot of mileage out of his positive message and his easy charisma, but I don’t think it means he’s not a person of substance as well, and (d) I LIKE positive. You could learn from that. Basically, my support for you was yours to lose, and so you did.

3. My birthday is next week – 39 years old. I can hardly believe it. It’s not so much that the age itself freaks me out (although, okay, it does a little), it’s more that I’m not sure how I’ve already gotten to it. Have I really had 39 full years of adventures already? Does that mean I only have 39 more? And really, at least from the perspective of my 17-year old self, it just sounds fucking OLD. Over the hill. Irrelevant. Of course, from the perspective of my 38 years and 359 days old self, I know that’s a load of horseshit. If I could get off my ass and do anything new with my life, 39 would be a good age to start. That said, I have no plans on the big day to get off said ass; in fact, I’m taking the day off, taking Eeyore to school, and doing whatever I want all day long. So far that only involves reading and getting a pedicure, which might be enough.

In other news, Cindy over at Figs tagged me for a meme, and now I have to come up with five things about myself. As if the 100 self-absorbed comments in the sidebar weren’t enough!! But hey, I’m always happy to talk about ME:

1. I live 45 minutes away from some of the best skiing in America, and I can’t ski. As is the case for lots of things in my life, because I can’t already do it I say I don’t want to do it. Then I feel secretly upset with myself for letting myself constrain my own existence.

2. After spending most of my life in major urban areas (Atlanta, D.C., the Bay Area, London and Paris), I find I am happiest with the scale of little ol’ Denver. It surprises me a little, because it is a slightly dinky city, but it’s a very easy place to feel comfortable. My biggest complaints about the place are the lack of proximity to water and the expense of flights out of here.

3. I’m not proud of it, but I have a hard time identifying with people that I think are, by my own definition, a little rough around the edges. I suspect my bafflement and vaguely disdainful lack of identification is written all over my face, which surely endears me to these delightful, undoubtedly salt-of-the-earth folk. It’s like that slogan from Café Press: “Intellectual Elite – you say that like it’s a bad thing.” So I like the obvious fruits of an education: reasonable grammar, a decent haircut. Is that so wrong? (Yes, thanks, I know it is.)

4. I regret the loss of some of my most important friendships; some of them have ended for reasons I still don’t completely understand. Still, I do believe that friendships wax and wane according to where we are in our lives, and that some friendships are not meant to outlive the parameters of the microcosms in which they flourished. See, e.g., most of my law school friendships.

5. In the interest of living a peaceful life I keep trying to convince myself otherwise, but try as I might I just don’t like my choice of career that much. I would love to stay home to write a newspaper column, books of essays, a novel; but this is the real world and baby needs a new pair of shoes. Or he would if he wore shoes, so maybe that’s no excuse after all.


Woolly said...

I agree with you on the Hilary thing, totally. except my vote means nothing, in fact I don't get a vote.

eccentricego said...

I identify with your number 1 meme; I find myself often questioning why I just don't "jump". As far as your predicament, maybe this is THE year? If you chicken out on the bunnyslope, perhaps tubing down a snowdrift would be more doable.

eccentricego said...
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eccentricego said...

P.S. Your chocolate chip dilemma --maybe you're stirring too aggressively so that the gluten in the flour is being developed? If not, here is a decent recipe that might help you out:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter for 30 seconds. Add the sugars and baking soda. Beat mixture till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much flour as you can, without over mixing, and finish with remaining flour by hand stirring. Fold in nuts if desired.

2. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 60 cookies. Store in an airtight container.

Broady said...

I'm with you on Hillary. I think the bitter tone of her aggressive campaigning gave Obama quite an edge. I'm disappointed, b/c as far as facing the very real prospect of having a Dem for president, I would have preferred Hillary over Obama. But it seems she done herself in with the negativity act.

Skiing- my most favorite active pursuit in the world, although Florida's not doing anything for me in that respect. Get a friend and sign up for a few beginner lessons together... just being up on the mountain is beautiful experience, if nothing else.

Also, chances are Eyeore will get into skiing if he grows up in Denver, so you could do family ski days. I was always jealous of my friends whose parents would take them skiing...

Kate said...

Gentle - thanks for the recipe; it's definitely worth trying. Maybe the Crisco makes the difference?

Broady - I'm interested to know why you would have preferred Hillary over Obama? Also, re skiing: R. is a big skier so he will definitely be up on the mountain with Eeyore. If I don't figure something out, I'm going to be left behind!

Broady said...
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Broady said...

In short order, here are the top reasons I prefer Hillary:

1. Foreign Policy- I think Obama's willingness to speak w/ foreign leaders of countries such as Cuba and Iran would be a terrible mistake. For example, I believe that once the POTUS begins formally recognizing illegitimate leaders who hold their citizens hostage (Castro 2.0), it's a slippery slope. To me, the next logical step is recognizing and negotiating w/ terrorist organizations under the guise of "diplomacy"-- which is dangerous on so many levels, in my opinion. In addition, I don't have a lot of respect for Obama's "non-vote" on Iraq. Such an historical vote was no place to lay low to protect a political future (which I believe was his intent). Every Senator was duty-bound to cast a yay or nay on that one. I find it outrageously hypocritical that skirted going on the official record, but now claims credit for opposing the war.

2- Domestically, Hills and Obama are pretty darn similar, so far as I can tell. But Obama's proposed solution to the current mortgage/foreclosure crisis galls me much more than Hillary. I think a federally-funded bail-out program is a horrendous idea. So many people abused the "stated income" programs and teaser rates to purchase properties they *knew* they could not afford, and when their get-rich quick/turn-and-burn attempts eventually faltered, they got caught holding the bag. It was a risky game to play. I think that banks, brokers and greedy/giddy consumers equally share blame in this debacle, and those citizens and businesses who demurred to participate in wild real estate speculation, poor financial judgment and lax lending requirements should not have to pay the price for those who were gambling with "theoretical money" and now have to pay up with the real thing. Self-responsibility and all…

3- Bill. Excepting my many reservations and disappointments of some of his choices during his administration, the man is a brilliant statesman. For a sitting Pres. to have the advantages of close "advisor" with his breadth of experience and diplomatic credibility is unprecedented, and only a fool would discount the tangible benefits he would bring to Hillary's administration. Along those lines, I think Hillary's hands-on experience in the White House is a rather unique qualification.

There are a couple other reasons, but these are probably the most pressing. Sorry to hijack your comments!

Cindy said...

Good job on the meme! Thanks for playing!

Concerning skiing: Sign up for some lessons!! There's nothing greater than having your whole family out on the slopes--even if you're not going very fast. And the (somewhat) new parabolic skis are so much easier to ski on than the old straight sticks: you think, they turn.

And about opting out of the workplace: I'm with you, sister. But isn't it nice we've discovered there is more in life than our jobs? We'll do swimmingly in retirement.

Hillary: Will it never end? But when it does, I'll probably look back in sadness that a great primary campaign--with a woman and an African American--is over.