Friday, May 25, 2007


This is mostly for Reva's benefit, but here's a little more domestic geekiness for you. The photo is of the sexiest washer-dryer combo I've ever seen, spied by me and my mom last week while we wandered Lowe's in search of good potting soil. I know only two things about it:

1. It' s made by Samsung.

2. This is the first time I'm ever felt turned on by a household appliance.
You want one, don't you? The sweet irony of my posting this is that I haven't done laundry in weeks and my lovely, patient, overworked husband is down to one clean pair of socks. I should get on that.
In a change to my recent modus operandi, I didn't cook today. Yesterday and today I met good girlfriends for lunch, and thanks to both of them I feel a renewal of both creative energy and motivation to hit my MA reading list. My (possibly unrealistic) plan for summer is to read a book a week, taking detailed notes, and to start work on the Great Not-So-American Novel. Lola feels a creative surge coming on, and this time it's far less calorically dense.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


So, I lived through the end of the semester, barely. I got wonderful grades in the seminars I was worried about and a dismal grade in the blow-off undergrad class I was painfully required to take. I guess that’s what I get for exerting minimal effort. Oh well. It was (barely) a decent enough grade to keep me from getting booted from the MA program, which is a little frightening. How pathetic would that be, to be dismissed from the program for getting a low grade in an undergrad class? At least I’m past having to deal with that possibility.

In other news, I was rejected by the State Department along with about 3200 other applicants to the Arabic program (for 150 positions, so I don’t feel so bad) and consequently will not be spending my summer in Tunisia. Truthfully, I’m relieved in some ways, and I had bought a ticket to Guadalajara before I got the rejection notice from the government, but I still felt a little stung by the rejection. I should have anticipated it-- really, “Spanish is related historically to Arabic and that‘s why you should give me this scholarship” is a far weaker argument than something along the lines of “I’m studying conflict resolution” or “I hope to do intelligence work” or other tailored statements that were likely presented by students of international relations or economics or other shiny pretty useful disciplines. Sigh. I guess I’ll just go hang in La Ciudad de la Primavera Eterna for the summer and take in some art and music and good food. I’m pretending to be productive by taking a writing class at UdeG and “gathering preliminary conversational data for the purposes of hypothesis construction”, but we all know this is really about spending some time unplugged and re-immersed. Also, the husband will be joining me at the end of the summer, and I’m excited about that. Él no habla español, and I’ll have to interpret for him, but part of me is tempted to keep my mouth shut and let him see how far he can get on his own-- you know, force him to learn the language just like I had to. Though, I’m sure he’ll feel more annoyed than desperate with a bilingual wife at his side. Maybe we can play hide-and-seek in the city, with me hiding and leaving hints in Spanish and making him come find me. That’d make him learn!

Enough poking fun at my pobre güerito. He’s such a great sugar daddy and I should be nice to him.

I’ve been cooking for him lots lately. I have so much time on my hands. I was lost the first few days after the semester was over, but I rediscovered my kitchen and I’ve been experimenting. The latest project has been learning crème brulée. A few things I’ve learned:

1. My oven overheats and doesn’t heat consistently. 350 is really around 400 in some spots. Adjusting for this is tricky. I hate my oven.

2. Undercooked custard is creepy and foul.

3. Vanilla beans ground up into the sugar turn to cinders under the torch, and they taste awful.

4. Orange extract in the crème makes it smell, but not taste, like Dream-sicle.

5. Eating experimental crème brulées day after day makes me feel extravagant and fat.

Yesterday I finally got it right. If I can repeat that performance I can be impressive at potlucks. Oooh, such a goal. . .I am finding, though, that I kind of enjoy the whole house-wife thing. Of course, I’m neglecting all things domestic that take place outside of the kitchen, like laundry, but Queen of the Kitchen sounds almost as nice as Dr.. . .Just how appealing is that PhD?

Some words of wisdom from everyone’s favorite Mexican feminist nun will wrap up this entry:
“Si Aristóteles hubiera guisado, mucho más hubiera escrito”. Ha! Who says you can’t learn chemistry at home?