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Friday, December 31, 2010

ATCs Again

A while ago I posted about ATCs (artist trading cards). I have been making and trading cards for some time now and recently displayed some of my cards, along with other paper crafts, at the nearby University library (where I worked up until a few weeks ago).

I have to tell you it was a definite thrill to be asked to "show" my art. As a performer I am no stranger to the stage but as an artist, well, I am still quite the novice. My sister, who really is an artist, was encouraging and supportive. "Do it", she said. And since there is no arguing with her, I had to do it.

She gave me advice on how to set up my dispaly. I included some hand bound journals I had made as well as some origami cranes and folded paper stars. On her advice I also included some of the tools and materials I use in making the ATCs such as sciccors, paint, colored pencils, rubber stamps, cutting knife and other tools. She was right - they made an interesting display. It was a strange sensation to know people were coming to look at the things I had made. As I had seen others do, I left a blank book and a pen in case people wanted to leave comments. Some did, all favorable.

Most exciting was the day I dropped in to leave the book and saw someone actually looking at my display. We chatted a bit and she asked me to contact her about leading a workshop. She had an idea the cards would be a good way for her students to express themselves. She wanted to coordinate making the cards with a reading program. Sort of a book report in trading card form. Sounded good to me and I agreed to contact her!

The library likes to keep a display up most of the year. In March, during Women's History Month, they include a display of works by women. Maybe I can show some more of my creations next spring

Quoteable Quotes; in the category Sometimes I Think There's Nobody There!

"Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul - and you answer." Terri Guillemets

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hot Diggity-Dog!

Edited to add: Unfortunately, Bumpas closed a few months after posting this.

I am the queen of the cheap lunch. With the existence of the dollar menu at McDonald's, Burger King & Wendy's, I pride myself on being able to fashion a $2 lunch (sandwich & fries) almost anywhere. $3 if I decide to include a drink. Other places might be more challenging. The Korean grocery stores usually sell Kim Bop (think Korean Sushi rolls) for only $2, sometimes $3 or $3.50. 11 pieces of sushi roll for two bucks can't be beat. Chopsticks & soy sauce included. The school cafeteria was out - the burger alone was over three dollars and was usually pretty inedible anyway.

I am willing to spend a little more for dinner - say $3 to $3.50 for two hot dogs, fries and a drink or $3.50 to $4 for a cheeseburger, fries and drink at our local pizza/Italian Beef/Chicken & Ribs take out. If Bill & I are not too hungry we can get by on a dog and half an order of fries apiece. If we're extra hungry we get both, cut the burger in half and each have our own dog & fries. The only drawback is our local place has crummy soda - RC Cola, Sprite and bad lemonade.

Now I think I have found nirvana. I have outdone even myself for the cheap lunch. Last week Bill stopped at Bumpas Beef. This place opened near us a year or so ago. I tried their BBQ Pork sandwich. Bleech. A few shreds of stewed pork on a bland bun and only a trickle of tasteless BBQ sauce. Friends defended the place saying their burgers were "not bad". That's like saying Jack the Ripper was "an okay guy". Did I mention the prices were nowhere near the bargain levels I demanded?

But things change. Lately, there have been signs at Bumpas advertising a Hot Dogs & Fries for $1.99. Sounds like my two dollar lunch is back! No drink but if you have coke or squirt in the fridge, which you bought for about 50 cents a can at the grocery store, you're still on budget.

Last week Bill brought home a dog & fries for me. $1.99 bought a real Chicago hot dog with a snappy bite, in a soft steamed roll, and the requisite neon green relish. I also prefer onion and mustard. The french fries were hand cut and nicely cooked. A gourmet delight for two bucks and a trip around the corner.

Bill got himself the Foot Long. Anyone from Detroit is familiar with the foot long hot dog. Here they called it a "1 Foot" but lets not quibble about terms. Bill's dog was as good as mine, snappy casing, soft bun and all (Bill only likes mustard on his dog and neither of us are into the Chicago style dog which is usually dressed with tomato, pickle wedges, peppers, mustard, relish, onion and the ubiquitous celery salt). He pronounced it a quality dog and the fries a success (woe the place that sells Bill an undercooked french fry).

A week later we were out on a shopping spree at the Dollar store (can't figure out why they have things priced at $2.75 or $3.99 but whatever). On the way home Bill suggested stopping for a dog at Bumpas since we were both hungry and neither felt like cooking. I agreed.

$3.00 plus Chicago sales tax bought us a 1 Foot (Foot Long) hot dog and a big mess of fries (seems we got more fries by eating there than with our take-out). I finished about half the dog then Bill scraped off the offending relish and onion and ate the rest. We split the fries. Bill likes to dowse the whole pile with ketchup while I like to dip but we have learned to share. I asked the counter guy who told me the dogs weighed in at about 5.3 oz. each. Trivia buffs may be interested to know there is (or was) a cut-rate casino in Vegas that sold a 1 pound Foot Long. We saw it on Public TV. Not an attractive sight. 'Nuff said.

This was the best $3.00 dinner I ever ate. $1.50 each if you want to know the truth. And the cans of soda in the fridge at home promised a 50 cent "dessert" that could not be beat. If you are not a hot dog snob (Hot Doug's serves gourmet dogs made of goose, elk and other glamour meats and cooks their hand cut fries in duck fat) stop in at Bumpas for a dog & fries. Combo's are a little more expensive but come with a 20 oz. bottle of soda.

The place is decorated in standard Chicago Hot Dog Stand red & yellow and has been designed to look like a Taylor Street transplant. Black and white photos of Brando, Marilyn & Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) are adorned with clever quips. A walk up window and outdoor seating are available in good weather, not that Chicago ever has any.

Quotable Quotes; in the category I've Never Been To The Ball Park But Bogey Wouldn't Lie!

"A hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz."
Humphrey Bogart

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sit alone and talk . . . and watch a hawk . . .

Bill saw hawks fledging. That means babies learning to fly. He was driving home and saw a strange looking bird sitting on a garbage can in an alley. As he got nearer the bird hopped onto the fence and Bill saw that it was a hawk. Then he realized it was a juvenile. Then he saw its brothers (or sisters) in a nearby tree. Being Bill, of course, he stopped to watch. He was rewarded by the sight of young hawklets (hawklings?) on their awkward early flights. He watched until he felt he could legitimately linger no longer. As he pulled away, he looked around and saw the neighbors across the street, sitting quietly in lawn chairs, enjoying the show. They silently acknowledged each other and their fascination with the raptors, and Bill drove home.

Quotable quotes; in the category Yes, I’m Sure That’s What I Saw!

“When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
William Shakespeare: Hamlet

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adobo

Adobo (not to be confused with the seasoning blend sold by that name) is a sort of stew in a salty/tangy/sweet sauce. It can be made with beef, chicken or pork. My recipe is authentic as it was given to me by a girl whose mom made it for the family. I made it once and took it to the International Dinner at church and was told it was “just like my mom’s” so I guess it’s authentic. However, I have been told that other recipes roast or broil the meat after stewing to achieve a sticky glaze. I have never tried it that way.

If you are going to make pork adobo, buy a pork shoulder roast. These are big so you can plan enough adobo for the family, or cut the meat into smaller portions and use one for adobo and the others for other dishes. You might also find country style ribs for sale. These make good adobo too, cut into chunks or left whole. The pork will have to cook quite a while to become tender. Plan on an hour or so at a low simmer. Using chicken, your cooking time will only be about 25 – 35 minutes.

As with most dishes, I learned to make this then started making adjustments, substitutions and alterations almost immediately. Bill likes to add some beer or wine when he makes it. I am satisfied with water, if needed. I figure everybody cooks according to their own tastes and what is on hand. If the food is good, why worry about it?

Adobo
(Measurements are approximate)
Pork or Chicken – two or three chicken leg/thigh pieces is enough for two with maybe some leftover. Likewise two or three country ribs or a 1/3 to ¼ piece of a big pork shoulder is enough for two. If you want leftovers, double the amount of meat.
½ - ¾ cups soy sauce (use up the packets you have from all that Chinese take-out)
3 – 4 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
3 – 4 tablespoons rice wine or shaoxing wine
3 – 4 tablespoons vinegar – use rice, wine, cider, plain or Asian vinegar
dark soy, sweet soy, mirin, beer, wine, or water. Total liquid should be a cup or more.
1 onion, sliced
Several cloves garlic, smashed or minced
A fat pinch of sugar
A fat pinch of basil
Fresh ground pepper
A pinch of red pepper flakes

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a pot that is narrow and deep. You will want the meat to be covered by the liquid as much as possible. Add the meat and brown, adding the herbs and spices, then add the liquid (I mix them all together in a cup or bowl and pour them into the pot) and sugar. Give it a good stir and bring to a boil. Lower the heat as low as you can, cover the pot and simmer about an hour for pork or beef, half that time for chicken. When tender uncover the pot partway and turn up the heat a little. This will cook off some of the liquid and the sauce will thicken. Be careful not to let it burn.

Meanwhile, make some rice. Follow the instruction for your rice cooker or do this. Place rice in a heavy bottomed pot. Each cup of rice will make two to three cups when cooked.

Optional – add some oil and cook over low heat a few minutes until the rice becomes chalky looking. Now add water, chicken broth or a combination of both until the water is two finger widths (or about an inch or so) above the level of the rice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reaches the level of the rice. Give it a good stir, cover and lower the heat and leave it to cook for 20 minutes. Do not uncover the pan! Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam about 5 minutes more. You can move it to a cool burner if you wish.

When the adobo is ready, uncover the rice and stir to fluff it up. Serve the adobe and sauce over the rice.

If you have leftovers, you might wish to chill the sauce in a separate container. The excess fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off before reheating with the meat. Or you can pack the adobe, sauce and rice in separate containers for easy reheating at lunch time.

If you have too much leftover rice, be sure to make garlic fried rice the next day – or make extra and plan on it!

Quotable quotes; in the category Be Sure To Let Me Know Which Pot To Avoid!

“I guess I fell into cooking.” Bobby Flay

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Penny Found

I found another penny. This one was on my front porch and was caked with dried on mud. I rinsed it off while watering the flower pots. The date was 2003. That is the year I graduated with my Masters degree in Music.

I cannot really think of anything of great significance that happened in that year. Heck, isn't that enough?

Quotable Quotes; in the category Wait, you mean 18 years is not enough?

"Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garlic Fried Rice

Simple pleasures are best. How often have we heard that one? Very often it proves to be true!

Bill and I like to eat or take out occasionally from a Philipino restaurant in Chicago called Pampanga’s. Our favorite dishes there are Tocino and Longanisa. Tocino is a bacon-ey sort of fatty pork dish, redolent of garlic and spices and some sort of subtly tangy glaze. Longanisa are sausages (Bill loves sausage, all sausage), with similar spicy, garlicky flavors. Bill used to get an order of each and we shared them (I got all the pickle and papaya – I thought it was limp cabbage slaw until a friend set me straight). Since each order came with a generous amount of steamed white rice we did not feel the need to order any extras. Indeed, we both ended up stuffed and offering remaining bits of pork and sausage to each other when we had trouble finishing.

Once we ordered garlic fried rice. It was delicious. I don’t remember what we ordered with it – probably Tocino and Longanisa - but that doesn’t matter. I am talking of rice!

Essentially, this was leftover rice stir fried with bits of garlic. I decided to try to make it at home. I mean, how hard could it be? I gave it a try and it was good – but I decided to check it out anyway and googled garlic fried rice. Lots of hits came back but they were all about the same. The only real difference I found was that some recipes sauteed the chopped garlic in oil for only a few seconds, and others cooked it until it became brown and crispy. Try both ways, they should both be good.

Garlic fried rice seems to be a breakfast food and a means of using up yesterday’s leftover rice. Serve it with sausages and eggs, alone or with anything you usually eat for breakfast (or anything that sounds good). Or serve it with tonight’s Pork Adobo or stir fry or whatever! Three ingredients, one pan, it’s all good.

Garlic Fried Rice

Garlic, minced or chopped – 3 to 6 cloves or even more!
Olive oil or Vegetable oil, a few tablespoons
Leftover cooked rice (match the amount of oil and garlic to how much rice you have)Note: You can buy the garlic pre-toasted and add it to the rice, or use it as a garnish.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and stir and sizzle anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes or until it begins to brown and turn golden. You can let it continue browning or add the rice now. Stir and toss the rice, combining well with the garlic and oil. Press into a single layer and cover the pan. The rice should be heated through. You can continue to cook and toss until the rice begins to brown or serve as soon as it is hot.

Last time I made this I served it with Pork Adobo I had made that day. The rice was leftover Basmati rice I had made a couple days before and served with Keema (spicy ground beef, Pakistani style). The Basmati made a delicious garlic fried rice. Try this with any leftover rice – Jasmine, Basmati or plain old long grain. It has to be good.

Next time, I’ll tell you how to make Adobo. And garlic fried peanuts!

Quotable Quotes; in the category Some Things You Just Cannot Do Without!

“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook”

Chinese Proverb

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Penny For My Thoughts

A few days ago I was walking with a friend when she found a penny and picked it up. She told me that when she finds a penny, she picks it up and looks at the date. She then reflects on that year and the things that had happened that had relevance to her life. Okay, whatever.

I was used to picking up pennies for good luck, and had even heard that if the penny was laying tail-side up, then picking it up could bring bad luck. Not that I believed in that much. A penny is a penny and worth just as much heads or tails up, so I generally pick up coins of any denomination. But this was the first time I heard about reflecting on the penny’s date of issue.

A few days later, I passed several pennies on the ground. I was in a hurry and there were a lot of people around so I did not stop to pick them up – but the next day, when I passed that spot, one of those pennies was still there. I picked it up and looked at the date. It was the year of my high-school graduation (we really don’t have to concern ourselves with the actual date, do we)?

I carried the penny for a few moments, reflecting on that year, before slipping it into my pocket. Graduation day was also the day of the choir picnic. We had spent the day at the beach, feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken (nowadays they just call it KFC) and christening the choir director’s balding pate with soda-pop.

Of course, on the way home, the car I was driving (dad’s van, his pride and joy) broke down, stranding me and everyone driving with me. A long afternoon of guessing what was wrong, tow trucks, bent drive shafts and other headaches left me with the prospect of lengthy explanations to my dad, expensive car repairs and being late for graduation. My friend was hardly speaking to me because she wanted to wash, dry and set her hair for the event.

I took a shower when I got home and resigned myself to attending the ceremony with wet hair and a pair of cut off shorts that would not stay buttoned. At least I would have a robe over them for the ceremony. After that, I hardly cared.

When dad got home from work he looked at me, bewildered, and asked where the van was. I told him what had happened and where the car was, at a gas station 20 miles away from home. I fully expected to be blamed for the mishap and even to be expected to pay for the damage caused by the tow service. Instead dad floored me by merely saying “oh” and “I guess we’ll have to go pick it up tomorrow”.

That is when I finally broke down. Now that I knew there were to be no yelling or recrimination, I was able to let go. Dad watched for a moment then said “you need a drink” and went to prepare one for me (people of my age were legal at that time and in that place). It was my first sanctioned drink at home – a bourbon and water on the rocks. I am sure it helped.

Soon, my friend arrived in her dad’s red convertible (we knew exactly how to assign the chauffeur service, the right vehicle for the occasion) and arrived at the high-school in style, our hair air-dried and wind-blown. I remember little else about the ceremony except that my shorts would not stay buttoned and the principal mispronounced my name. Typical. There were a few other notable occasions that year – my first date with my now husband and a presidential election among them.

It was interesting to take that trip down memory lane, inspired by the date on a penny. I will keep an eye out for future coins and future remembrances. Maybe I’ll let you know about them, too.

Quotable Quotes; in the category Look What A Penny Can Do!

"To attract good fortune, spend a new penny on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon."

proverb

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, to be in England, eating oatmeal!

The first time we went to London we stayed in the Hotel St. Ermin in St. James Park. It’s an Edwardian hotel with a lovely grand staircase, just right for making an entrance when one comes down to tea in the afternoon, and a tiny elevator (capacity 6 without luggage) for those times when you just can’t trudge another step.

Our package included the daily breakfast. Bill was in heaven. In case you don’t know, an “English” breakfast is roughly the equivalent of the American “Country” style breakfast. Eggs, toast, sausages, potatoes, bacon (not the same as American bacon but good), and other things such as fried bread, dripping toast, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, beans and porridge (oatmeal). This does not include the cereals – dry cereals, flakes, clusters, puffs, and things like shredded wheat, “Wheatabix”, oat cakes and other things served in a bowl with milk or cream.

On entering the dining room, we were shown to our table and asked if we preferred coffee or tea. Almost immediately a tray containing cup, saucer and pot of tea or coffee was presented along with a jug of milk. Also presented was a rack of toast – six slices of various toasted breads, cut in half and buttered, along with a pot of jam. This was just to get started.

I first went to the “buffet” to get a bowl of porridge. Yes, I know it’s oatmeal, but the porridge was nothing like the gloppy, gluey oatmeal we usually have when cooking whole oats, or the bland, texture less mass obtained by pouring boiling water over a packet of instant. This was porridge – real Goldilocks style porridge, neither too hot nor too cold but just right. Thick and creamy, warm and comforting, stuff that could convert a confirmed Yank into a full fledged Anglophile.

The porridge was self-serve. Arrayed on a small tray in front of the porridge pot was a jug of cream, thick as butter, and on alternate days a bottle of treacle or one of Golden Syrup. One morning there was a bottle of “American” (Maple) syrup on the tray and one cold, rainy morning, a tiny bottle of Scotch whiskey (The St. Ermin was a Scottish hotel).

After a bowl of delectable sustenance I went back for the rest of the meal. I usually chose bacon, maybe a sausage, potatoes and an egg cooked to order by the chef. A few mushrooms and maybe a grilled tomato and I was good for the day. That was the great thing – after a breakfast like that, I did not need another meal until late in the afternoon. Bill was good for at least two trips through the buffet line. He loves sausages in all their permutations and the variety offered pleased him greatly.

One morning, there was no porridge. I was crushed. Instead of the porridge pot the chef was making waffles in a waffle iron. I passed on the waffle but I missed my porridge. But the pot returned the next day. Before our stay ended I asked the chef how he cooked the porridge, explaining that I wanted to achieve its creamy texture at home. He warned me to use only steel cut oats (in America we often find rolled oats or old fashioned oats – not the same thing). He also told me to basically double the amount of liquid called for in the package instructions, and to replace half the water called for with milk. In a nutshell, here is how to make porridge.

Finding the oats is the first task. If you can find McCann’s steel cut oats that is a good place to start. Even better is Hamlyn’s “pinhead” oatmeal. The oats are even finer cut than McCann’s and make a creamier porridge. Even their instructions on the label are closer to what the hotel chef told me.

For each ¼ cup of oats use about 3/4 to one cup water and 3/4 to one cup milk. Add a bit of salt and cook over low heat until creamy and tender. Of course, you will experiment and find the amount of liquid and cooking time that suits you best. And here are some tricks to make the job easier, faster or better.

Try using a double boiler, or simply a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Put the oats and liquid in the bowl and cook until done.

Try toasting the oats before cooking. Spread them in a small skillet and cook over low heat for a few minutes, stirring, until they release a nutty fragrance. Continue as usual.

Soak them over night. Place the oats (toasted or not) and water in a pan or double boiler overnight. Next morning, add the milk and continue as usual.

Prepare them in a small crock pot. I have one that is meant for keeping hot dips and sauces hot. I place my oats, milk and water in the little pot and plug it in when I go to bed. Next morning my oats are done and ready to eat.

Serve them with milk, cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, syrup, honey, jam or molasses. Some people still like a lump of butter on their oatmeal. I will not discourage you.

Leftovers can be reheated or stirred into soups, stews or bread dough! Be sure to sprinkle rolled oats over the top of your oatmeal bread loaves before baking!

Eating this oatmeal, or “porridge” can transport me back to St. James Square, to the Albert Pub in Victoria Street where Bill enjoyed watching the Chelsea Pensioner nursing his pint and where Bill himself sampled a small pork pie. Back to Covent Garden and Charing Cross Road, to the Garrick Theatre and the Army & Navy and to a tea shop in York. To the food halls in Harrod’s, the Underground (mind the gap) and Canterbury. I don’t eat porridge nearly often enough. Maybe I’ll have some this weekend.

Quotable Quotes; in the category Remember, I said this was a Scottish Hotel!

“Oats. A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” Samuel Johnson

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Monkey See? Or Not?

My brother used to have the most fascinating things in his room, not including himself. A hookah, which he used to smoke while pretending to be the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, much to the delight of my sister and me; impossibly thin and sharp tweezers with which he would extract the occasional splinter from my finger (he was the only one I would allow to perform this delicate and potentially painful operation); a Morse code key that clicked enticingly when he sent or received messages from friends – yes, it was connected and operable.

Perhaps not as fascinating but no less interesting was his paperweight. It was a brass or bronze sculpture of those famous monkeys, one with his paws over his eyes, one over his ears and the last over his mouth. You remember See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. The monkeys were on a leather pad embossed with the words “Do Not Monkey With Things On This Desk”.

We understood this to mean that should we be so brazen as to enter his room uninvited or unbidden and actually touch anything on his desk, the consequences would be severe. Probably no more than a cessation of invitations to enter – but that was a grave punishment indeed!

Tony was the coolest, the best, the most awesome older brother to ever walk the earth. At least, that’s how he seemed to my sister and me. Any chance to spend time with Tony was not to be passed up. The fact that many of our friends found him to be sinister or even creepy had no impact on our affection for him. One of his favorite ploys was to come into the basement where we were playing with friends, enter dad’s workshop, flip on the power saw (wwwrrrrraaaaaaaaugh!) and remark, with a demonic grin, “Hey, come in here a minute. And bring your friend”.

Such action was practically guaranteed to send any friends (who had not left already) scurrying up the basement stairs and out the back door faster than you can saw wood! Now that I think of it, this may have been a ruse to get rid of excess neighbor kids at supper time.

No matter, Tony was and is the hero of the younger members of the family (don’t know about the older ones, we were not in the same age group and did not communicate in the same way).

I often think of his desk monkeys and wonder where he got them and what happened to them. I often wish I had a similar talisman to place on my desk, to keep away inquiring minds and hands and eyes. And I often wish I possessed his particular power to strike awe and fear into those to whom he chose.

Quotable quotes; in the category You Better Stay Out Of My Room

"Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite." Marlon Brando

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Would You Believe Part III?

Okay who would have guessed that only weeks after reading Catcher in the Rye and presenting it for Book Club discussion the venerable and reclusive J. D. Salinger would leave this earth?

I wonder if ours was the last club to select this classic for discussion before Salinger’s death. I don’t know of any way to find out, but it is interesting to contemplate. At least, it is to me. You may not think so.

Quotable quotes; in the category Beauty is truth but truth is in the mind of the beholder.

"People always think something's all true."
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catcher in the Rye Part II

Well it was interesting to re-read Catcher in the Rye. I knew I had forgotten much of it but I think I forgot more than I knew. But the gist was the same. Poor Holden Caulfield, kicked out of yet another boarding prep school and unwilling to go home to face his parents, less willing to stick around for the final weekend before school closes for the holiday break.

His answer is an unrealistic sojourn of New York City nightlife. Unfortunately, Holden seems to lack both the funds and the proper identification to get into all but the most flea-bitten of night clubs. The people he meets and the drinks he cannot get only add to his sense of desperation.

On this re-read I had to ask myself – what did I ever see in this guy? The old adage about art imitating life comes to play here. If that seems cryptic I think I will just leave it that way, at least for now.

The book club discussion was quite interesting, much to my surprise. I was afraid I had chosen a real dog but the club members seemed to enjoy the re-read (most had read the book years ago for school assignments or for pleasure) and all seemed to enjoy discussing it. I concede the symbolism. It definitely seems to be there and who am I to argue?

Anyway, I think Holden Caulfield and Salinger are both pretty much out of my system. Now I can get my Salinger book collection off my shelf and to the used bookstore. Maybe there will be room for my Harry Connick cds. I am going to listen once more before I decide if I am all over Harry, too.

Note: listened to Harry’s “We Are In Love” yesterday. Definitely NOT over Harry!

Quotable Quotes; in the category I Wish I Hadn’t Done That!

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."
- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye