Miss Letting-Go-Getting


Alone and Hungry: Miss LGG’s Book of the Week
April 27, 2008, 3:13 am
Filed under: Books | Tags: , ,

Like food?

Ever lived alone? Dined solo at a restaurant?

Looking for something good to read?

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone

edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

This week I bring you a collection of essays by writers contemplating the troubles and joys of dining alone and cooking for one. A former co-habitator, I relished cooking for two–the entire process of making a menu, carefully selecting produce, preparing, serving and enjoying my creation with another person. Now living solo, my refrigerator is often empty and the collection of cookbooks sits neglected on the shelf. This ritual seems somewhat sad and empty without the all important element of sharing food with a loved one. Concocting elaborate gourmet meals with fancy, hard to find ingredients seems ridiculous and often wasteful and I now find myself resorting to quick and easy (horror of horrors) frozen meals, mac and cheese and other throw-backs to the college days including eating random things out of cans. This book inspired me to share the joy of cooking with myself–it also made me cry. Seriously. In a good way.

“It is the privilege of loneliness; in privacy one may do as one chooses” — Virginia Woolf

“Dinner alone is one of life privileges. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.” — Laurie Colwin

In the spirit of the book I confess to routinely eating saltine crackers with grape jelly, and peanut butter, pickle and cheese sandwiches. I will no longer feel shame for those concoctions, but more importantly I will no longer deny myself the pleasure of cooking a damn good, complicated meal, pour moi!

Please share your weird food habits or favorite solo meals!

XXXOOO

Miss LGG

P.S. For my fellow actor friends–there is also great monologue material in this book!

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“O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!”
April 23, 2008, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Happy sort of 444th Birthday William Shakespeare or Sir Francis Bacon or whoever you really are!

Thanks for many, many things, especially:

the words gossip, eyeball, lonely, lustrous, besmirch, amazement and radiance, your sonnets, especially #30 and #98, for “I am not a slut, but I thank the God’s that I am foul,” “brevity is the soul of wit,” and “to thine own self be true,” for Jacques, Kate, Rosalind, Malvolio, Viola and Richard III, and for As You Like It, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida and yes, even Pericles.

XXXOOO

Miss LGG

P.S Please feel free to add your favorite Shakespearean inventions!



Better Late than Never: National Library Week!
April 20, 2008, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Library Land, Videos | Tags: ,

Last week was National Library Week! Check out these videos and celebrate belatedly by visiting your local library! It has free stuff!

As an information maven, I can attest to answering such an array of strange, personal and random questions:

Links to Miss LGG’s favorite libraries:

Chicago Public Library

Library of Congress

The Newberry Library

Folger Shakespeare Library

XXXOOO

Miss LGG



Wow, Wao! Miss LGG’s Book of the Week
April 19, 2008, 4:13 am
Filed under: Books | Tags: ,

Looking for something good to read? This week I bring you one of my top books of the year…

This debut novel by Junot Diaz contains one of the most memorable, endearing characters I’ve encountered in a long while. Pushing 250 lbs, young “ghetto nerd” Oscar Wao, aspiring science-fiction author and role-playing game master, dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien. He also loves, loves, loves the ladies, but his extreme social awkwardness prevents him from having his affections requited. His family is also cursed. Poor guy.

“You really want to know what being an X-Man feels like? Just be a smart bookish boy of color in a contemporary US ghetto. Mamma mia! Like having bat wings or a pair of tentacles growing out of your chest.”

Though you could read the book for the title character alone, there is soooo much more packed into this fast-reading, artfully constructed (yet not pretentious) debut and Pulitzer-prize winning novel. Oscar’s family, the de Leons have roots stretching back to the Dominican Republic of the brutal, almost supernaturally evil dictator Rafael Trujillo–the source of the De Leon’s (and many Dominican’s) curse or fuku. The family has the bad habit (and don’t I know it) of falling hopelessly in love with the wrong people.

Believe the hype! Alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, filled with magical elements, historical details of the Trujillo reign, and plenty of nerdy sci-fi, superhero, Tolkien references The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a stunning novel of a family seeking love and redemption in the New World.

Read it and we’ll discuss!

XXXOOO

Miss LGG



Moving Up: Moving Away as Office: Oregon?
April 16, 2008, 3:40 am
Filed under: Life | Tags: ,

Packin’, movin’ and leavin’ has been par for the course during the past couple of weeks. First off, I finally left the dark, depressing windowless office in which I have moped away one-fourth of my life for a bigger, brighter space with a view of Lake Michigan. Granted it’s through a window with chicken wire which makes me go all cross-eyed, but whatever–it’s still a WINDOW! looking out at the LAKE! I didn’t realize what an impact a little daylight could make on the spirit until today when I was basking in the sunshine streaming through my big old new window, staring at the aqua blueness of the lake, actually enjoying my work, and SMILING. I was half afraid I had turned into a vampiress after spending so much time in my bat-cave of a former office, but nope, what I experienced today was pure glee! Hopefully it will last (or at least get me through my final months at this never-ending gig)!

Here are some pics of the old digs and the new view! There is also a creepy face in the molding on the building across from my window–I feel like he’s judging me as I opt for a little game of Chicktionary rather than crunching the numbers.

In addition to moving offices, a dear friend of mine abruptly decided to leave Chicago after ten years of living here. As I helped her pack up the truck last night, I couldn’t be too sad, because she is excited and ready for big change. That being said…though I know the move will be good for her, I’ve watched many friends drive their loaded cars and trucks away from the city over the years and it keeps getting harder to say goodbye.

So…I’ve got moving on my mind. A little change of scenery if you will. A room with a view, and a good friend leaving has inspired me to revisit my own desire for big change. The packing up a truck, driving through flatlands and mountains until I reach the ocean kind of big change. I suppose the notion has been on my mind for quite some time now, but I’ve been hesitant because

  • I love Chicago with all of my being
  • It took me a long ass time to love Chicago with all of my being
  • I don’t want to feel like I’m running away
  • I thrive on the thrill and rush of city life (as frustrating as it can be)
  • My darling parents, brother and dear friends are near

BUT

  • I’ve always wanted to move to Oregon, and I’ve always had a hunch that I should be there
  • Mountains, oceans, forests, snowboarding, rafting, climbing, hiking…need I say more?
  • Good friends making good theatre
  • My darling brother, mentor and second family would be near
  • Solitude if I seek it, would be minutes away

Oh what to do, what to do?

XXXOOO

Miss LGG



Making Many Lists and Checking Them Whenever I Want
April 10, 2008, 6:25 am
Filed under: Web Resources | Tags: ,

As a librarian/information maven-in-training I am constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of books, websites, articles, etc. In this age of information overload it is certainly hard to keep all of these amazing resources straight. Well tonight, I learned of a web resource designed to do just that. The following link goes out to all of my fellow list-makers:

Ta-da lists is a free website allowing you to create and keep track of personal lists, whatever they may be! You can access them whenever and wherever you are connected. Goodbye sticky notes and other random pieces of paper!

Here are the ones I’ve created thus far:

  • Things to do this month
  • Things to do this year
  • Things to do in this lifetime
  • Books I want to read
  • Books I should read
  • Websites for fun
  • Websites for reference
  • Blogs by friends
  • Blogs by librarians
  • Blogs by other random awesome folk

Make some lists, save some trees and enjoy!

XXXOOO

Miss LGG



Rock on Judy Blume
April 9, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Books, Life | Tags: ,

Did you know? Young Adult author Judy Blume has five books on the ALA’s 100 most frequently challenged books list. Also on the list are such horrifying and corrupt tales as Harry Potter, Where’s Waldo and Huckleberry Finn.

Judy Blume! Author of classics such as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, and Are You There God It’s Me Margaret!

I remember being in seventh-grade Catholic school all knee-socked, and plaid-jumpered, covertly passing the book Forever by Judy Blume under our desks, the tingle-inducing parts marked with folded pages. See in Catholic school, we didn’t learn about the in’s and out’s of the birds and the bees. Get my drift? We knew that something bad (yet good) happened to result in a baby, but we were never quite told the dirty details, leaving us all a confused and obsessed lot. Judy Blume answered many questions for us young ladies and I will always be grateful to her for that. At that tender age, we were thinking about it, we were looking for the answers, and if we didn’t find it in Judy Blume, we eventually would have found it in our older brother’s porn collections. Did reading those honest pages makes us run out and screw everything in sight? Of course not! It was however, nice to know the un-catholicized truth.

In this video she talks about censorship and why she wrote the book Forever. Basically she wrote it in response to her fourteen year old daughter reading all sorts of literature relating sexuality to guilt and punishment.

“I wanted to allow a young women to enjoy her sexuality.”

Rock on Judy Blume!

“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” Judy Blume

XXXOOO

Miss LGG