Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rambling grumbling on a sultry Wednesday...

I absolutely hate talking about the weather, but I woke up and for the nth straight day feeling the humidity sitting on my forehead like a big, big....what sits on your forehead? Nothing I can think of. I feel oppressed. Probably the weather and the red wine I drank last night with a friend I will call The Tango Dancer who has had way, way too much loss in her life lately. And in typical male fashion, I tried to fix it instead of listening. Sometimes it's better to shut up. The Ragazzo had a friend over the other day who was telling us how little luck she has had finding a job since moving to a new city and for about twenty minutes he and I were both saying "have you tried this...?" "have you tried this...?" And then suddenly The Ragazzo said - "You're with two men. We're going to try to fix it." Ain't it the truth? Or ain't it the cliche anyway. Someone should do a study to find out if it's really true.

Today I am going to be a subject in a friend's neurophysiology experiment, which means I'm going to have a stretchy cap put on my head with 128 electrodes and then sit in a dark room
look at checkerboard patterns. It's something like four hours long and evidently very boring. I hope I don't fall asleep.

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't read enough in The Informers to say anything new of interest. At least I don't think I have, let me turn to one of my recent sticky markers... Well, this is a nice description of a perfectly hateful character:

Hans Bethke's perfectly shaven face, his little spectacles, everything about him said: I'll smile at you, but turn round and I'll stab you in the back. He had curly, blond, slicked-down hair, and it formed little spirals at his temples. His whole head was a whirl, like sharing a table with one of Van Gogh's trees. And the tree talked. It talked a mile a minute. He used the little he'd done in his life to put down anyone else. Before we'd finished our drinks in the living room, we already knew that Bethke had travelled to Germany when he was twenty, for a short stay, sent by his family to get to know that land of his ancestors, and he'd returned to Colombia more German than the Kaiser.

The writing is largely very strong, but I'm in a rather slow section of the book where Gabriel Santoro, the character whose story we're reading, is learning about the past from his friend Sara. There is something about a second narrator narrating to the first that I'm finding confusing. I keep losing track of what is happening to whom. I hope it picks up soon and tells me how this fits in. I'm getting impatient and feel like either starting something new or making food.

Butter Bean Salad

2 cans of butter beans
1 - 2 baskets of grape tomatoes
about a cup 1/2 of pitted olives (your choice, I use a combo of green and greek black)
1/2 - 3/4 pound of feta (preferably the creamier sheeps milk kind, not the crumbly)
1 shallot
2 large bunches of flat-leaf parsley
a bunch of baby spinach and/or arugula/and/or dill/
good olive oil
black pepper

Halve the tomatoes and squash them gently as you put them in the bowl with the beans and the olives. Cut the feta into squares (very messy). Chop the shallot finely. Mix all this together, adding some dried marjoram if you like. Chop or tear the parsley roughly (leave the leaves in big pieces), toss them into the salad in small bunches otherwise the cheese clumps it all together. Add the juice of a lemon and a few glugs of good olive oil. Mix it all together and stick it in the fridge for several hours or even make it the day before, this will wilt the parsley a bit. When you're going to eat it, roughly chop some baby spinach or arugula and some fresh dill. Mix it in and adjust the olive oil/lemon balance if you need to. Grind on some black pepper and eat it. I know the picture has cucumbers - not in my version, but you're welcome to add them.

That's what we're having tonight for dinner.

Mark is trying to read all of Roth - craaaaazy, better you than me, Mark.

Jonah has resorted to linking neuroscience and Sesame Street songs, in which I was surprised to learn that Elmo is not a bad dancer.

Sheila has a brand new cat.

And my brain has no room for any new neuroscientific facts - marginal or seminal.

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