It’s been a very eeyore type of week over here, with me labouring against nausea. All things considered I’d rather have pain than nausea, any day. I think I’m going to be taking a vacation from the Methotrexate because nothing is helping. I can’t keep giving myself a case of the flu for four out of every seven days. I wasn’t going to write a blog entry today but my writing muscle feels like it’s getting very rusty. I need to get back on the bike. Did I just quote Lance Armstrong? Unintentionally. Anyway, here are the various things that have floated through my mind:
- Would Maeve Binchy have been a better writer if she were a mother? This was a controversy about six months ago that got stirred up by a mother (natch) in the UK Telegraph just a couple of days after Binchy passed away. I love Binchy, I’ve read all of her books (except the most recent) at least three times apiece. As far as I’m concerned her only flaw as a writer was an inability to do accurate American dialogue. Since Americans don’t talk that often in her books it’s not an insurmountable concern. What gets me about the Telegraph piece is not the slagging off Binchy but the assumption that only mothers truly understand deep emotion. It’s so completely arrogant, so self-centered, so…bordering on cruel.
- Why is Extra Virgin Olive Oil sometimes so bitter? I eat bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with parmesan cheese on occasion. It makes a nice light supper that tamps down a queasy stomach. The sour vinegar and sharp cheese go well with a good artisan bread. A couple of weeks ago I found out the hard way that EVOO sometimes goes bad, leaving a bitter aftertaste. Researching this, I read horror stories about expensive salads, cassaroles, soups and pasta dishes ruined by bad EVOO. Apparently nobody knows exactly why, but there is a plethora of voodoo kitchen tricks to avoid this outcome. What I really don’t understand is why people don’t just buy a different kind of oil. Despite Rachel Ray’s assertions, EVOO isn’t magic.
- What happened to respect for the dead? We’re waiting for the third in the Famous Death Troika; in the past two weeks we’ve lost Roger Ebert and Margaret Thatcher. I can only hope that whenever the third person dies I don’t get inundated with blog entries and FB status posts that take advantage of the person’s death to make a position statement on faith or politics. Even though I’m devout (despite what some folks think) I’ve never been a fan of the Funeral Conversion Speech. I don’t see Christianity as a hotbox insurance policy–“Sign on today to avoid An Eternity In Hell! A Bargain at Any Price! Act Now And We’ll Throw In A Free Swim!” Christianity is a huge commitment to an often difficult and misunderstood life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, of course, because living in the mystery of Grace, walking in communion with God is an awesome thrill. But it’s not simple or easy. Anyway, I’m off track. My point is that I’ve never been comfortable with preachers standing over a casket and scaring folks to Jesus and all the blog entries about Ebert and Thatcher felt like more of that.
- What am I gonna do without ‘Justified’? My usual ritual has been to make it through the barf Monday-Wednesday and then have an actual meal on Wednesday night while watching the newest episode of Justified. Now that the season has wrapped up I realized I have lost that goalpost. Somehow “I gotta get over this so I can watch ‘How I Met Your Mother’ ” just isn’t the same.