Happy New Year. For those of you expecting one of our "Old Year Letters" this year, forget it. I don't have the patience or stamina to do it. Read this blog instead. Yes, I have re-designed it for 2008. I stayed up too long and spent too many hours. You better like it, as we're not going back to "black" (in reference to my earlier template scheme). In lieu of a letter, I've culled some old writings that I believe are real gems. Just days ago, I travelled to Florida to visit mis padres and had an enjoyable experience upon the planes of jetBlue. The check-in was quick, the airplane was spacious (I actually had leg room, and they only have 2 seats per side, nice!), and we each got a TV screen with too many channels to get bored with. Excellent. But typically when I fly, I get myself into trouble with all kinds of things. This gem was written in July of 2006. To the lady with long hair who sat in front of me on the 3.75 hour plane ride from Chicago to San Diego: You ladies are quite a bunch. Frequently, you get the seat ahead of me. Your gloriously long locks are indeed beautiful, you must use Pantene. But for the love of what god to whom you worship, please, be considerate of others. I can understand, despite their bounty of beauty, your hairs do indeed deserve to be put "up" into a bun, collected together with that elastic accessory some call the scrungee. Yet, when you are fixing your hair just so, it flops about over your seat, and into my face. Your loose hairs meet my legs with the most fanciful follies, as gravity pulls them down. Now your hair is on my lap. Despite all the wonderful things I could say about your hair, the truth is, I don't like it. On your head, it's fine. But on me, or falling about in my environs, however small they are in economy class, I am uncomfortable. To you, dear lady, please keep your hair to yourself. I want none of it. Yuck, hair! I also found an archive from August 1, 2006, some notes after reading Julia Child's last book:
It has taken me some time, but just minutes ago I finished reading Julia Child's My Life in France, that she wrote before dying, with her grand-nephew. The book surveyed her first, and many subsequent visits to France, and how and why these visits, especially so the first, helped define the second half of her life. She was inspired by her first meal in France, eating a sole fish, that she wanted to learn, taste, and do more: she went to cooking school, wrote a cookbook, taught classes, and eventually became a TV personality. She's pretty honest about her feelings and her what not in the book, so I think you get a pretty accurate sense of who she was. Some biographers paint themselves as someone you of course agree with; Julia showed us more, warts and all. The writing of the book does a good job at summarizing the pages and words with a point: cooking and eating can be a life-changing experience, and always eat well. Watching her on TV when I was a kid (in her PBS shows), I never figured she knew much... she always seemed to be learning from others. The truth was, she was, and she knew quite a bit. She seems like someone who would have been a great pleasure to meet and dine with, or if nothing else, to simply chat for awhile. A highly recommended read.