Blog updating

I need to rework this layout, methinks. Update my links. As Kit-Cat has noted, the Dancing Banana disappeared a long time ago. Alas. Blogger has recently updated itself and added some new tools and such. I need to update my template to be inline with their changes but they’ve warned me that I will lose many of the changes that I may have made to this template in the update process. I don’t think I quite have the ambition to do that right now. Soon, though, perhaps.

I’m trying to decide what to do with my day off today (other than continue to get sucked in by the car-wreck of a novel that is The Corrections. It’s a grey and cold day here by the sea. Looks like it could snow but it’s not going to get quite that cold. It’s 4c now and we have a high only of 6c today.

I’m listening to The Mavericks’ ‘Music for All Occasions’, which I’ve not listened to in quite a while. I think they should have called it ‘Music for when you’re depressed about a breakup’. Not that I’m any more or less depressed about things right now than I’ve been. Actually, I’m in a vaguely better space than I was a few weeks ago round about the one year anniversary of my first date with the ex. I am, perhaps, way too nostalgic for my own good.

I think I’ll shower soon and head out into the world with the new toy. Take it out on the town and go to Casco Bay Books and work on some stuff. I happily was able to retrieve all of my files from my old iBook since it was only the video card that had gone and not the whole thing. I had been working on and off on an essay about the importance of costumer education in coffee and now, especially with my new position, I think it’s really important that I work on that. Make a sort of essay-length mission statement for myself. A raison d’être for the new position. As I keep saying to people as I’ve been explaining my new job, coffee is one of the ways in which globalisation can actually work—as long as it’s done correctly. Coffee is second only to oil in terms of the amount of money traded around the world for it and it impacts so many lives around the globe. Coffee is one of the few things that cuts across global cultures in its consumption and we owe it to the people who produce it to care for it and respect it.

Okay. That’s enough sentimentalism for the moment. I need to save that for the essay.

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NY Times Editorial

As it is, I hate the holidays. Mostly for the stupid family stress (everyone has to get along, dammit) and, of course, the crass consumerism. Even before I started going to church again, the consumerism of the holiday and the complete divorce of the original meaning of Christmas from the non-stop sale that has become ‘The Holiday Season’ really bothered me. I grew up in a house that measured the success of Christmas by how much money had been spent not by how happy everyone was by the end of the day—or the end of the week, even, when all the new toys had essentially been forgotten. (I don’t really have any problems with the more p.c. ‘holiday’ versus ‘Christmas’. It’s easier than assuming the celebration of Christmas or wishing everyone a Happy/Merry/Joyous Kwanzaa/Christmas/Hanukkah/Eid/Etc.)

Anyway, it’s always nice for other people to take notice of these things. Other people like the New York Times. Here’s the conclusion from an editorial this morning:

For all the Santas sprouting in store windows around Halloween, Thanksgiving has remained the national holiday marker, like the Great Wall of China holding back the hordes of the Christmas-shopping frenzied. Now it looks more like a pierced Maginot line. Soon it could all end in a hostile bid to merge Christmas and back-to-school sales.

Click the link to read the rest of it.

Arrival!

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi rirovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Mentre ch’i’ rovinava in basso loco,
dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto
chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.
Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,
‘Miesere di me,’ gridai a lui,
‘qual che tu sii, od ombra omo certo!’

I got my new MacBook today. As I mentioned in a previous posting, when Squirt died, he already had a name before he arrived: Virgil, after Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory. Not a guide so much as a companion as a get through this mid-twenties angst thing that seems to be defining my life right now.

That, and he’ll come in rather handy for work. Now that I’ve been promoted and all. The inevitable has happened and they’ve made me a manager. I say inevitable like it’s a bad thing but actually I’m rather excited about the new position. It’s a new position for the youngest location. I have a lot ahead of me to get things on track and to help to grow that location but it’s going to be oh so much fun too since it’s very much meant to be a location focused more on education and engagement rather than just a place to pop in for a cup of coffee. Tastings, mini-classes, drop-in workshops. Stuff like that. I’m not really going to get into details because most of them have to be worked out but it’ll all start to take shape in the new year. For now, we have to get through the holiday season. Which shouldn’t be too bad. We’re well organised and we made it through last year rather unscathed.

As for myself, Yanksgiving was pretty good last week. Aside from the almost 500 miles of driving in two days and the horrendous rain on the drive home Thursday night. I managed to fit in both Mum and Dad over two days. Dinner with Dad and Step-Mum and that side of the family on Thursday, which was lovely. I hadn’t seen them since last Christmas and it was really great to hang out even if it was only for eight hours.

Other than that, nothing really new to report. My roommate was in Montréal over the holiday (so jealous!) and she brought me back bagels and chocolate. Yum. I’m so easy to please.

That’s all for now, I think. Now that I have a computer of my own again, perhaps I’ll be better at keeping this silly thing up-to-date. Or not. We’ll see.

Oh, one final thing: I started reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections over the weekend. I’m only about 75 pages into it but it’s fantastic. Kind of like a car wreck. Really uncomfortable but you just can’t look away.

Last night…

…I made perhaps the best tomato sauce I’ve ever made. Garlic, some more garlic, and then a bit more garlic. Some purple onion. Some white mushrooms. Sauteed in butter. Throw in some dry red wine and some saffron and cook it down until its almost gone. Then toss in the tomatoes and let it simmer for a while.

It was amazing.

But then I realised that I had no pasta. None.

And that’s pretty much a metaphor for how I feel like my life has been going recently.