Two for the Road

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blogging has begun to make me dramatic. Let me rephrase that, it's begun to make me more dramatic than usual. I've begun saying things like, "a blogger's job is never done" and "you just don't understand the artistic temperament." So far, everyone around me has indulged me in these little fits of drama, but I don't expect that to last much longer.

I've also reached a point where the books I've already read are starting to blur together. I was having a conversation about the blog yesterday and I was asked what books I've read so far that were good. I could only name 2 of them. I can only imagine how bad this problem will be by October. I have a horrible mental image of being asked a specific question about one of the books and not being able to remember anything about it. I'm quickly reaching the point where I'm going to have to read my own blog to refresh my memory.

Today's book:

"In this rollicking memoir, Jane and Michael Stern tell what it's like to eat everywhere across the U.S.A. Driving more than three million miles, eating twelve meals a day, they discover not only the pleasure of biscuits and gravy and cherry pie but also a world of cooks, customers, and fellow roadfood devotees for whom good food is one of life's essentials."

Today's thoughts:

  • I strongly disagree with the description of the book as "rollicking" - but that's becoming par for the course. The publishing companies always go one step too far in describing the book. The description sounds honest, the book sounds enjoyable, and then they start tossing around words like "rollicking" and "excruciatingly beautiful" and "breathtaking" - and they wreck it. It's starting to become a "boy who cried wolf" kind of thing for me now. One of these days I'm going to run across a book that truly is breathtaking or excruciatingly beautiful and I'm going to mutter under my breath, "yeah right, sell it somewhere else" and put it back on the bookstore shelf. Don't they know that we'll still read the book anyway even if they don't insist that it's "sheer perfection that will change your life forever."

  • Mid-way through the book I got bored and decided to make one of the recipes. I picked the recipe for stewed apples because it was the easiest one to alter to accommodate my allergies and because I've always wondered about stewed apples. Yep, that's right, that's the kind of boring crap I sit around thinking about all day, "I wonder what stewed apples taste like." But the recipe called for 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour, and since I'm allergic to wheat I had to substitute oat flour. I quickly discovered that when they say all-purpose flour, they mean business. My version never quite thickened, and so I am left with a mind that is still filled with boring thoughts like, "I wonder what stewed apples tastes like," along with stuff like, "I wonder what would happen if I microwaved fruit snacks" and "I wonder where the expression 'little miss round heels' originated." In other words, it's like a trip back to fourth grade in my brain.

  • I woke up this morning and I didn't feel like reading. I just wasn't in the mood, and I began to have whiny thoughts, "No fair. But I just read a book yesterday." So I procrastinated for a few minutes by looking up books on the Internet, and justified it by telling myself it was research, before sitting down and forcing myself to read today's book. It wasn't the most enjoyable reading experience I've ever had, but it wasn't the worst either. I muddled through the book - and there were even a few moments that I found enjoyable. Overall I wasn't crazy about the book, but that could just be my artistic temperament talking.