beautiful story

I know everyone is all wrapped up in the snow and the holiday spirit, and I'm supposed to be on a plane in nine hours, but just read this:

"A few weeks ago, Glen was in Chicago for the tour. As he came down the elevator in the morning, an older woman, perhaps 70, in a bright blue coat joined him. He described her face thusly: "You know how you have the face you were born with until you're 25, then from 25 to 40 you have the face that earn, and from 40 to death you have the face you deserve? Well, this woman was beautiful at 70, just one of the most beautiful faces, she definitely had one of those faces you earn." And as he looked over at her, he felt the need to compliment her coat, and so he did. And she got so excited and touched, responding, "Thank you for noticing my coat. This coat means so much to me, thank you for noticing. I bought this coat when I decided to live again. I loved the color and wanted to live. I didn't leave my apartment for two years, and when I did, when I decided to live, I bought this blue coat." Glen was a little surprised and a little touched, and he helped her with her bag to the taxi. As they got to the taxi, she started to tear up and the words started rushing out like when you've had a moment of kindness that unlocks all the emotions that have been sitting around for ages. And she said, "My son died in that tower. He quit on September 10 and went back the next day to pick up some last things. I meant to call him and tell him not to bother going back, but I slept late. And then I didn't leave my apartment for two years. And then I finally decided to buy this coat and live, and you noticed it."

Isn't that lovely? via A Los Angeles Love.


Blue Virginia?

A piece by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate expects perhaps so. WOOHOO!!! Go Virginia. The town of my birth is named in the article, which caught my attention.

And I particularly liked this passage,
A visit to the Obama campaign headquarters in Charlottesville (there is another office at the University of Virginia) yields more proof that this battle for the soul of Virginia isn't a North/South thing. Sarah El Amin is the campaign's regional field director, and she says the Obama campaign doesn't believe that winning the election requires "pumping out the vote in Northern Virginia" and ignoring the rest of the state. The campaign has put field offices in the most rural places in northwestern Virginia precisely because the campaign was unwilling to accept all the old assumptions. "The clichés about military or Christian or rural communities fail to affect our perception of whether he can win there."
I have never accepted the south as monochromatically red. The large majority of my Tennessee high school friends, for instance, have never voted for a Republican. And many if not most of those campaigned for Al Gore, experiencing, by the way, their very first opportunity to vote as heartbreak, but picking up and moving on two years later anyway. I suppose I still feel the loss.

My own grandmother was born a Democrat, and although that distinction may not have meant the same thing in the early twentieth century, she has updated her beliefs with the times. And she steadfastly maintains that the cornerstone of liberalism has always been openheartedness and affirmation of the equal rights of every person to choose her own destiny. Maybe Southern Democrats can stop feeling so outnumbered as to be insignificant and start showing themselves.


in memoriam

via cute overload



Give us those nice, bright colors,

Give us the greens of summer

Makes me think all the world's

A sunny day -- oh-woh, yeah!


Warm weather recipe

Strawberry - Basil - Balsamic Vinegar Sorbet

2/3 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. basil leaves
juice of half a lemon
balsamic vinegar*
1 lb. frozen strawberries, thawed

Mix the water and sugar in a saucepan on low for 3-5 minutes to make a simple syrup.
Pulse the basil leaves in food processor a few times, then add all remaining ingredients and simple syrup. Puree.

I froze mine using our ice cream maker, but I think you could just wrap up the puree and put it in the freezer. There won't be a texture difference from not having been churned since there is no cream in the recipe. Et voila! C. says it's his new favorite.

*I'm really not sure how much balsamic vinegar because I only added a couple of tablespoons at first, but it wasn't enough flavor. Then I doused it pretty well. Definitely less than half a cup, but probably more than a quarter.




Beer reviews

We recently received some sample beers from a family friend, things he tried and wanted to pass on. Here are our reviews, for the reading and future sampling enjoyment of you connoisseurs.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Reddish in color, light in body, spicy in flavor. I guess it was Christmasy?

Backwoods Bastard
Beautiful amber color. Tasted of vanilla and bourbon and other wonderful things. Pretty sweet and malty. I think this was the one aged in the oak barrels previously used to distill bourbon, but don’t hold me to that. One of our favorite beers is Innis & Gunn, definitely uses the bourbon barrels, and it’s awesome.

Skull Splitter

Very smoky. That was the first word out of our mouths. Also a little bit of dried fruit in the undetones, but really overpoweringly smelled of wood burning. Not my kind of beer, really.

Also, ahahahahahahaha.