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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Record High

I should come with a warning label this week. This move is taking a lot out of me and my moodiness knows no bounds.

If I snap at you, I promise I'll make it up to you in the near future. If you feel like being extra nice, you could become my hero.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I'm sure everyone has been dying to know how I became The Angry Librarian.

It's not based in real life at all. I have a temper that I try keep in check most of the time. The angry librarian actually comes from a dream I had my final semester of library school when I was under a lot of stress. I dreamed I was in a really boring class. I was glad when it was time for a break, and left with a group of people I was working on a project with to go to lunch. I waited in a line to order my sandwich for what seemed like an excessively long period of time. I started reading a book while I waited.

At some point, I became aware that somehow the people behind me in line had been able to order their food. I got the attention of the woman taking orders and told her I'd been waiting for a really long time. She smiled at me in a shitty way and told me she hadn't thought I wanted any food because I was so busy reading Seventeen magazine.

I didn't read Seventeen when I was a teenager, I definitely wasn't reading it in my early thirties, and I let the woman know it. She had already moved on to another person behind me in the line. I started yelling at her, and she ignored me. In a desperate attempt to get her attention, I took a stack of books and started hitting her over the head with them. She began to bleed. It looked pretty bad, but head injuries often seem worse than they really are.

A couple of the people I'd come to the deli with rushed over to help her. They decided to take her to the hospital.

It was at this moment that I realized my whole MLS program had been reality t.v. show on the process of becoming a librarian, and that I would forever be known as The Angry Librarian.

Dream On_, Librarianship_,Remembrance of Things Past_

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Cheater Pants

I got a chain email from B. the other day.

Normally I don’t respond to that type of thing, but this was a recipe exchange chain. It seemed like a good opportunity to get back into cooking. It has been so long since there was anything in my fridge but olives, capers, yogurt, cheese, half and half, nine rolls of film, and that giant jar of bean salad my mom got me a year ago.

I know it’s not going to be as easy to just pick up a falafel or burrito for dinner when I move. I have to get my act together, and the recipe exchange seemed like a great motivator. I passed on my recipe to the top person on the list within an hour of receiving the email.

Here’s the recipe I shared:

Cauliflower Gratinée in Honor of MFK Fisher

From Pedaling Through Burgundy Cookbook

"I put some fresh pepper on the top, and in a way I can't remember how the little tin oven heated the whole thing and melted the cheese and browned it. As soon as that happened we ate it. The cream and cheese had come together into a perfect sauce, and the little flowers were tender and fresh. We cleaned our plates with bits of crisp bread and drank the wine, and Al and Lawrence planned to write books about Aristotle and Robinson Jeffers and probably themselves, and I planned a few things, too." The Gastronomical Me

1 medium head cauliflower
1 cup mascarpone cheese
sea or coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 ounces of gruyere cheese

Preheat the over to 375. Butter a shallow, 1 and a half quart round or oval
gratin dish (I think I've sometimes used just a glass pie pan if I can't find
anything else).

Trim the cauliflower and break it into bite-size florets. Steam the cauliflower over boiling water until cooked halfway through, 3 to 5 minutes; remove from the heat immediately. Season the mascarpone with the salt, white pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Add the cauliflower and mix it gently but thoroughly into the mascarpone. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Grate the gruyere as finely as possible. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the cauliflower (I think I've used more gruyere and mixed some up with cauliflower, as well as on the top). Bake until bubbling and golden brown on top 40 to 45 minutes. Serve at once with a baguette and a good bottle of wine.

B. was worried the chain would break before she got any recipes, and requested that we email her our recipes, in addition to the person on the top of the list who was really supposed supposed to receive them. I thought this was a great idea, sent her the above recipe, and asked the ten friends I sent the chain to to do the same thing for me. Less than an hour later, I got this response from J.


That's cheating ... and, you know it ....

You can't share in the bounty of the person at the top of the list ...
Or everything will be ruined.

Sorry Pal.


Wow. I had obviously struck a nerve. I actually really hadn’t realized it was cheating, I was just trying to do a nice thing for myself, just find some new recipes to tempt me back into to cooking.

As much as I usually respect J.’s advice, I wasn’t fully convinced that cheating on the chain was a bad thing. I even thought about sending the chain out again to out to ten totally different people, just to increase my odds of getting recipes.

While I was in the middle of contemplating this, a recipe for curried chicken sandwiches was sent to me. It gave me hope…maybe I’ll try to play by the rules after all. I'll let you know what happens.

Meanwhile, I am still looking for new recipes….please send them my way. You can post them as a comment. It’s not part of the chain. It won’t be cheating.

Projects_,Bon Appetit_


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Rockstar and the Fairy Godmother

I've been pretty overwhelmed ever since I was offered a job I applied for over a year ago. It means relocating to Portland, and I hadn't realized until now just how complicated moving to another city is. Looking for an apartment was making me crazy. Apartments on Craig's List were rented 45 minutes after they were posted. Apparently it is not an easy time to get a place in Portland, which is why I am so happy to report I have found an apartment that will make even home owners jealous.

Finding it wasn't easy. I looked at crappy places that were too expensive, and beautiful places that would have required taking three busses to work. By the time I saw my building, I had already cried twice in one afternoon. I don't know what I would have done without N., who drove me around for 8 hours to look at places and served as my therapist the whole time. She is a rockstar who had a gut feeling we should turn down a particular street. I saw my building and told N. how cute I thought it was without even noticing the For Rent sign in the yard. I'm glad N. was paying more attention than me! I called the owner, she told me she had just put the sign up an hour ago.

I now consider my new landlord my Fairy Godmother. She has an impulsiveness I really appreciate; she bought the building without even seeing the inside of it in 1978. She rented me an 1100 square foot apartment with a fireplace, den and dining room for not a ton more than I'm paying for my place in Seattle. The deposit was $1000 less than some of the other places I looked at. She didn't check my credit, which frankly could be a lot better than it is. She didn't call my previous landlords. She said I seemed like a nice person, and that was enough for her.


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