Life update

Wow. It seems just yesterday that we returned from our vacation and I wrote the last big post here. Much has happened since then: a new school year has begun, the leaves are starting to turn (the dogwoods are already red; they get their leaves first in the spring and lose them first in the fall), and life continues its unfolding.

A few highlights:

Reading: Do-Over!: In which a forty-eight-year-old father of three returns to kindergarten, summer camp, the prom, and other embarrassments, by Robin Hemley. The first half of this book (with its tales of interactions with little kids) is much funnier–and just generally better–than the second half (which deals with his adolescence and young adulthood), but the entire book is worth reading. I think we all have our own “I wish I could do this over” moments, and it’s reassuring so know that some of life’s most embarrassing moments have an element of universality. And laughing out loud while reading a book–I can’t remember the last time I did that. This one was a fun read.

Watching: Watchmen, which I loved. Was it as good as the book? No, of course not. The book was written to take advantage of the genre, and it’s impossible to translate it perfectly to a screen. That said, this film was clearly a labor a love on the part of the filmmakers, true fans of the book, and is the best realization possible.

Also watching: Ponyo. We are huge fans of Hayao Miyazaki in this house, as evidenced by Jan’s Halloween costume from last year and Sylvia’s plan to dress as Kiki this year. (She already has a plan for next year’s costumes, too: “Daddy will be the big Totoro, Mommy will be the medium Totoro, and I will be the little Totoro!”) Ponyo isn’t his best work, but we still loved it.

Winning: A contest, run by Barbara Bretton, who’s both an author and a knitter. The prize: two skeins of Elann’s Silken Kydd (their version of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze) and a lovely totebag with Barbara’s logos. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with this yarn, but I think I want to cast on soon, since it’s toasty stuff and I’d love to have something ready for this winter. Thanks, Barbara!

Meeting: Deborah! She was my downstream pal in the last Secret Pal swap I did, two years ago. We’ve kept in touch ever since, and a few days ago we actually got to meet in person! She lives in New York and came to Philadelphia last weekend to run the half marathon (which she totally rocked), and Jan, Sylvia, and I met her and her boyfriend for lunch afterward in Chinatown at our favorite restaurant, New Harmony Vegetarian. We had a great time, and I hope we can get together like this again. She’s planning to run in Philly again next fall, so I’m sure I’ll see her then!

Eating: Peaceable Imperatrix has accomplished the impossible: she’s helped me find a way to like kale. Amazing! I have tried many preparations of this vegetable and really wanted to like it (leafy greens! good for you!) but had not succeeded until yesterday. PI posted a couple of weeks ago about making kale chips, and I thought I’d give them a try. So I picked up some kale at the local growers’ market and chipified them yesterday afternoon. They were delicious (though a bit salty–I have to remember to tone that down next time)! The best part: Sylvia loved them, too. It didn’t hurt, I’m sure, that I introduced them to her as “Jenny Greenteeth Chips.” (She is currently obsessed with Jenny Greenteeth. And pirates.)

7 Responses to “Life update”

  1. One Tall Robon 22 Sep 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I really enjoyed “Watchmen” although I’ve never read any graphic novel. (I have read some novels that were quite graphic, but that’s another story.) I’m a huge Jackie Earle Haley fan, who’s terribly underrated. And hey, seein’ blue guys nekkid is never wrong.

    Your comment about it the “best realization possible” resonated for me for “LotR.” Perfect film series? Definitely not. Best that can be done with the vast expanse that is Middle Earth? I think so. Psyched to see how “The Hobbit” turns out.

  2. Imperatrixon 22 Sep 2009 at 2:17 pm

    From the title, I was afraid the Do Over! book was about a SOD (start-over dad), and I don’t have much admiration for those people. I’ve been meaning to watch Watchmen — it is on our list!

    So glad the kale chips worked out for you! I was nervous that I had billed them as more amazing than you would think. But, yay! (and yes– they are easily oversalted, aren’t they?) Now to get you to try kale in soup!

    (As to Jenny Greenleaf: When the girls were toddlers, I would make Mother Wolff [as in, grandma whose last name is Wolff] soup from Sundays at Moosewood. The girls thought it was “Mother wolf” soup, and we had lots of interesting conversations about why a wolf mother would think to make this delicious soup for her pups.)

  3. Shannahon 22 Sep 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Kale chips?! You have intrigued me! I must visit that website, and find the recipe… ;)

  4. Frankon 22 Sep 2009 at 8:05 pm

    We’ll have to try kale chips too. I’m not a huge fan of kale. I wonder if it would work for parsnips too?

  5. Marshaon 23 Sep 2009 at 10:47 am

    @One Tall Rob: I agree with you about LotR. When I first saw Moria on the screen, I thought, “That’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like.” Jackson made a few changes I don’t agree with (e.g., Arwen’s increased prominence, Faramir’s initial refusal to release Frodo and intent to keep the ring), but overall I think the films are excellent. Let’s hope “The Hobbit” turns out all right, too. While you’re waiting for that movie to come out, get yourself a copy of “Watchmen” and read it–seriously.
    @Imperatrix: If you haven’t already read “Watchmen,” do try to read it before you see the film. There is so much detail on the book that just doesn’t make onto the screen (for example, posters in the background). With the book you can travel at your own pace and let your eyes linger on a panel and really take it in.
    @Shannah and Frank: By all means, go chipify some kale! I’m sure you will love it! And Frank, I’m sure if the same process would work for parsnips, but if you slice them very thinly (as in: you need a mandoline for this job) and deep fry them, you end up with DIY Terra Chips.

  6. Bethanyon 23 Sep 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Wait wait wait! you won TWICE! Don’t forget us!

    And it will come in two parts!

  7. Marshaon 23 Sep 2009 at 3:20 pm

    @Bethany: Oh don’t worry–I won’t forget you! I wrote this post before I heard from you. :)