It comes as no surprise to me that I spent money this week on things like super-soft clothing and airline tickets. Instant mood-boosters.
What I read:
- Still working on Hillbilly Elegy - I should wrap that up this week and start on my neglected stack of New Yorkers next. I unsubscribed so I could catch up and stop feeling guilty. Speaking of which, this was the last piece I read and it was terrifying.
- This was an interesting read one morning over breakfast.
What I ate:
- Sausage and shells, a signature dish of Joel's, made with fancy pasta we picked up in Seattle. Friday night was so dark and dreary that it needed something comforting but bright. This made us cheerier.
- Pocho Tacos, from Bon Appetit. This will be going into my permanent recipe binder. I didn't use the pine nuts, and I swapped Greek yogurt for creme fraiche and soft corn tortillas for hard shells, but were these ever tasty. I made the salsa and have been enjoying the remainder on scrambled eggs each morning. I also made Deb's recipe for slow-cooker black bean ragout for a side (also good as leftovers with anything).
- Homemade pizza, in a clean-out-the-fridge/pantry style. Salami, olive, red onion, tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. I love making pizza because it is always like a miracle how it just comes together.
- Made-up soup with beans and tomatoes. Joel mixed a couple recipes together with the stuff we had in the fridge and I hope he remembers how to recreate it in the future.
- Swedish sandwich cookies. I'll share the recipe in a future post.
- The Mambo Kings perform with the Spokane Symphony. One of those experiences where if it were any other venue, you'd get up and dance - but, being part of the symphony crowd, my head was the rockingest and my foot was the tappiest of the whole row.
- Murder on the Orient Express. There was a lot I enjoyed about this movie, but ultimately, it was not a favorite. Very fun to see all the celebs in the ensemble cast, though. And it was a fun start to what looks like a promising winter movie season.
- Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (on Netflix). I came away from this documentary asking myself how I might be a little more like Joan. For one thing, her breakfast meal was (maybe still is?) Coke and smoked almonds. If that is not supremely cool, I don't know what is. But I also admired the way she approached writing as a path toward understanding. When she stepped into troubling or tragic situations, she saw gold. She knew the stories needed to be told. I'm ashamed to say I've never read her books, though I've known a bit about her and have read a few pieces here and there. This documentary increased my admiration for her and I'm considering which of her books I'd like to read first. If you're a Didion-ite, please let me know where to start.
What I listened to:
- War Paint, original cast recording. Fascinating true story, with the incomparable Patti Lupone.
- John Mayer, Room for Squares. This was a weird cure for a Thursday afternoon slump. I had this album on repeat during my sophomore year of college. I was in love with John then, when he was yet to become a household name. While I've since moved on in my musical infatuations, I never lost my love for "No Such Thing." I let that tune rip through my tiny computer speakers and I felt better.
- I raked the front yard. Now that we have a giant rake (I've never had one so huge) that can clean a postage-stamp yard like ours in, like, 5 minutes, I'm tempted to start offering to rake the neighbors' for some cash. Raking is the most satisfying yardwork, in my opinion.
- Got a haircut and some fresh color for my long hairstyle. This is likely the last trim before a very dramatic cut in the spring.
- Flash mobs. I got to help coordinate one at Whitworth for our Christmas video. I had stressful dreams about it for two days leading up to it. But it happened and it worked and I had goosebumps for all two minutes and 15 seconds of it.
- Napoleon brandy. I bought it for a recipe but we're about to polish off the bottle after a couple weeks of nightcaps. It's very wintry of us.