Saturday, April 30, 2011

I heart Kindle

Never, ever thought I would want one. I treated myself to a Kindle a couple months ago (justified by buying my little guy a Flip camera too). I am a voracious reader, and love books. Ordering books, going to the library, shopping for books and finding gems. But I am totally addicted to my Kindle. Sure, it's not a satisfying as reading a good old fashioned paperback, the lovely musty book smell of old books, the hours spent browsing bookstores, but to be able to have so much reading material available inside one handheld computer thingy is very attractive.

Years ago, in college, in History of The English Language class our professor told us that books will soon be a thing of the past and there will be computerized versions. I was horrified! I thought it totally signaled the downfall of civilization. But now here we are. It's not bad. I would never, ever give up my hardbacks or paperbacks, but a Kindle, or any other "reading device" is essential to one's library now. Just consider it an extension of your collection.

Some of my favorite all time bookstores in NYC.

 East Village Books & Records

 St. Marks Bookshop

 The Strand

Shakespeare and Company.

Books saved my life. They got me through those awful high school years, enlightened me in college, kept me company in cars, airplanes, subways and buses. Reading a book in the hot sun on a beach is about as good as it gets. And years ago, when I lost my job and couldn't pay rent I looked around my belongings and thought "what do I have of value". Boxes and boxes, shelve upon shelve of books. So I took an inventory, figured out prices, and set up a table on Bedford Ave in Brooklyn and joined the other booksellers to sell my wares. I made about 50-70 bucks a day and was able to pay my rent. It was so wonderful to hang out in all weather, hawking and haggling.

I love books, and although an electronic reader will never replace the experience of buying books, finding books, exchanging books, I feel it is a very nice, modern extension of your personal library.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Signs of Spring

It's been gray and overcast this past week, but today the sun managed to pop through the clouds and dissolve all that gloom. A tad cool, a bit breezy, but lovely enough for a nice long walk. Along the way I found some other "signs" of spring.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ode to an Airstream Trailer

I have been living here in Forest Park, IL for about nine months or so. In those nine months I have seen this Airstream trailer on my daily walk. Always parked in the same spot, it has never been moved as far as I can tell. Always in the same spot, always a shiny silver, always beckoning. I want this trailer. I want to ask whomever owns it if they want to sell it. They don't seem to be using it. I keep hoping I will see the owner loitering around it so I may ask them. I keep looking for a "For Sale" sign to be taped to the window. I expect to wake up one morning (it's owner somehow knows how much I desire it) and find this silver lightning parked in front of my house, a big banner bearing the words "the open road belongs to you, adventurous one!". Oh, thudding silver beat of my heart, if you belonged to me, we could go such places!

I would drive you to the loveliest of mountain ranges in this here U.S. of A. We would head down to the Sangre De Christo Mountains in New Mexico.

 Smell that sage, breathe that chile smoke-infused air. There is nothing to compare.

This is the door to our future, just picture your satiny sleekness speeding us towards it!

Or, perhaps we can bump, jump and roll on down U.S. 1 to Key West, Florida.

Swaying palms wave hello at our arrival. We are wrapped in lustrous, sweet humidity, birds chirping, waves crashing. We've reached the "End of The Line" you and I. And couldn't be happier.

Maybe a cooler climate would appeal. Crisp, sunny summers, cold, wet Maritime winters. I haven't been there yet, but Prince Edward Island sounds lovely indeed. I have always wanted to visit, and I see an adventure up ahead, my sterling beast of comfort!

Look at those flowers! I could pick a few, some for me, some for you!

Until then, I will walk past you, parked, untouched, and lonely. Don't worry, my darling glassy gas guzzler, I'll have you yet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

G is for Gravlax

New Scandinavian Cooking is one of my favorite cooking shows. That cute host Andreas is so enthusiastic about everything and makes it look so easy, I just want to follow him around Norway in search of cheeses and little fishies and cook with him on a boat. But, alas, that is not an option, so I decided to attempt to make gravlax at home, with travels to Norway in my heart.

I went with smaller pieces of salmon, covered in equal parts salt and sugar, and lots of dill.

The salmon was wrapped in plastic wrap, then placed between two plates with a weight on top. I've read different recipes where it may be kept like this in the fridge to preserve for 48 hours, or 3-4 days. I kept mine in for 4 days just to be sure it was cured, and a little nibble proved me correct.

After wiping off the salt, sugar and dill it's ready to be sliced and served.

Mustard dill sauce, radish spread, pumpernickel bread, capers, lemon, chopped cucumber, onion and tomato. Also a can of smoked sprats, very delicious!

 Little bites to nibble on.

By all accounts the salmon was pretty tasty, and I definitely want to attempt it again. Here's a great site where I found tips and the radish spread recipe, in addition to lots of other fish delicacies.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lovely Spring Sunday

The sun is not out today, but the wind is warm and soft, perfect for a nice long walk with the pup. We walked around River Forest, there are so many fantastic houses to enjoy. Here are some of the sights we saw along the way.

 I find this house to be both beautiful and creepy at the same time.

Like a church or a house from a gothic novel.

 Cool tree house

 The neat hanging lights are eyeballs

 Rusted old train tracks

Spring flowers!

Puppy Love

My better half and I have been contemplating getting a dog for some time, but didn't want to get a dog just to have one.We have been patient and not impetuous, not wanting just to get a dog just to "own a dog". We went to our nearest shelter, the wonderful Animal Care League in Oak Park. We told the ultra friendly staff we were interested in adopting, and was told they only had two puppies. Ok, we shall see! The second we went to the cages I laid eyes on, and totally fell in love with, this little creature.

I was hooked! We got to speak at length about the adoption process, our living conditions, past pet-owernership experiences, etc. then we got playtime with her and I just knew we had to have her. She took to us so quickly and lovingly, the staff was impressed. We decided at once and Dave went off to fill out an hour's worth of paperwork. I just absolutely fell in love with her, and when you know, you know. So welcome home Shelby!

 First dinner at home!

 Napsies after a loooong walk.

 Settling in!

 She jumped on me and was licking my face, a happy girl :)

Can't wait to wake up to her tomorrow, it will be like Christmas. The most wonderful thing you can do in adopting a pet is to seek out your nearest shelter first. Much thanks to the wonderful people at The Animal Care League. Very thorough, loving, and caring pet people who only want the best for these little guys.