When cooking = depression…

Great meal tonight. After the iChat experience, I did some pork chops on the grill. Quick brush with garlic, black pepper, and soy sauce, grilled, and brushed with lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped sage leaves.

And I thought about how I haven’t been eating so many vegetables lately, and decided to try a new green bean recipe from Marcella Hazan: steam the green beans, then toss them in butter and a quarter cup of grated parmigiano. Mmm, vegetables. —What? I figure that Julie Powell shouldn’t be the only one taking a cholesterol bullet for her readers. I do this for you, my friends.

And I thought about how when I cook elaborate meals and then sit on my ass and read the web and listen to music and drink a beer, and then go to bed feeling vaguely dissatisfied with myself…

Wait a minute, I thought to myself. It’s like when you’re working when you’re depressed. And when have I had nights that haven’t been like that, when I’m cooking for myself while Lisa’s on the road? Man, I’ve got to find better things to do with myself.

No excuse for not communicating

Lisa and I (Lisa in NJ, I in Seattle) got my mother in law set up with iChat AV and Timbuktu this weekend. Now we can talk in crystal clear CDMA-format audio, and we can watch her screen if she calls with a tech support problem. To which I say: Nifty. (We tried the audio chat built into Timbuktu first, but gave up: static-y, and half duplex—stepping on each other’s words—doesn’t cut it.)

Speaking of half-duplex, it appears that audio chatting with iChat AV degrades to a one-way conversation if one participant is on broadband and one on dialup. Thanks to Greg for trying the experiment.

Aux armes, citoyens!

Won’t you join me and Greg in raising a glass to that home of liberty (and Bordeaux, and Fauré, and the second best cuisine in the world after Italy’s), America’s oldest friend and ally, what Thomas Jefferson called “the most agreeable country on earth”?

No, not Great Britain…

(Incidentally, one of the sweatiest performances I’ve ever given was a summer sing in July at the Washington National Cathedral (no air conditioning!) at which we sang the entirety of the Marseillaise. And then proceeded to swoon with something in between patriotic fervor and heat prostration. Ah, the glories of amateur music.)