Showing posts from 2012

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Soup

I made it a priority this autumn to eat as many pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored things as possible. So I compiled a list of recipes, stocked up on organic pumpkin puree and pie pumpkins, and made as many pumpkin treats as I could in a single October.

The recipe I was most excited to try was one I found, I'm not at all embarrassed to say, from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess via The Geeky Chef -- Yeto's Superb Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Soup. I'd never paired pumpkin and goat cheese, but just the thought of doing so made my mouth water. The recipe looked a little bare but also easily modifiable, so I made significant alterations (different cheese, different squash, different spices). It's been delicious every time I've made it.

1 small-to-medium pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1" cubes
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into quarters 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock ½ c. goat cheese, or as desired 1 c…

Autumn Round Up

So far this fall I've written several unfinished blog posts. I've stalled on my rigorous reading schedule, taking twice as long to finish Les Misérables than I probably needed. I've knit blanket patches for refugees, weeded too-large and too-small items from my wardrobe, and turned many squash into many soups. I've photo-documented much of this with the intention of uploading images to this blog, but as the days get shorter, it's become harder and harder to do anything but sleep after work.

It's been an autumn of false starts.

Within the next few weeks I'll be curating secret Christmas-gift Pinterest boards, planning for the new year, and baking with copious amounts of cinnamon.
Oh my brothers, this is the point of junction, of those who think and of those who suffer; this barricade is not made of paving-stones, nor of joists, nor of bits of iron; it is made of two heaps, a heap of ideas, and a heap of woes. Here misery meets the ideal. The day embraces the night and says to it: "I am about to die, and thou shalt be born again with me." From the embrace of all desolations faith leaps forth. Sufferings bring hither their agony and ideas their immortality. This agony and this immortality are about to join and constitute our death. Brothers, he who dies here dies in the radiance of the future, and we are entering a tomb all flooded with the dawn.Les Misérables. Victor Hugo.

Restructuring our thinking

There's a huge problem in America with the thinking that if someone can't afford something, he or she does not deserve it; that we're only worth what we can pay for.

I've been mulling over this for a few days, and my thoughts are still cloudy and not fully formed.

McCrory v. Dalton

I am amazingly excited that the NC gubernatorial debates are being broadcast live.

Voting affects everyone. Educate yourself.

a-thread Picks

I always approach giveaways and sweepstakes with a grain of salt because so many people enter. But I also figure that, statistically, if I just keep plugging away, eventually something will come of these entries. And earlier this week it did: I won The Clothes Horse's a-thread giveaway! So now I have $75 to spend in their online shop, and I have no idea what to get. Below are some of my favorites:

Fierce Floral Shift DressScallop Print DressLace Swing DressBig Floral Surplice DressBrooklyn Chambray BlazerSplat Dot Racerback BlouseWoven Peplum Top in Maroon/OrangeSilk Stripes and Flowers Blouse

I can't decide if I should opt for the less expensive items so I can get more than one, or if I should go ahead and blow it all on one piece.

At the end of a hard week, this is one tough decision that's nice to make.

Not even hindsight is 20/20 right now.

I worry about a lot of things. It's easy for me to believe that everything happens the way it's supposed to for other people, but when it comes to my own life I'm plagued by all the little what-ifs.

Did I make the right choice taking time off after grad school? The free time I thought I'd have without classes has turned into a string of endless, numbered days. Work leaves me too exhausted and drained to make much of my evening hours, especially after cooking dinner, cleaning, and preparing for the next day. It's somehow duller, lonelier, and more leeching than the schoolwork that sent me looking for a break in the first place.

Should I have studied music in grad school or even gone to grad school straight out of college at all? As hard as I worked for the degree, it does little for me other than acting as a stepping stone if I ever go back for a doctorate. Maybe another major or an internship or an entry-level job would have been a better post-college choice? It…

Still think funding education through corporations is a good idea?

“There was just no way that truly independent scientists with the expertise required to adequately answer such an important question would ignore the vast and growing body of scientific literature pointing to serious health risks from eating foods produced with synthetic chemicals,” says Vallaeys.“So we were not one bit surprised to find that the agribusiness giant Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural business enterprise, and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which have deep ties to agricultural chemical and biotechnology corporations like Monsanto, have donated millions to Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, where some of the scientists who published this study are affiliates and fellows.”"Stanford's "Spin" on Organics Allegedly Tainted by Biotechnology Funding." The Cornucopia Institute.

"Listen carefully because the subtext is low wages, low wages, low wages."

There’s a pretty strong consensus among all but the most ideologically conservative economists that the solution would involve considerable public investment in education, infrastructure, and green energy, new policies to promote domestic manufacturing, more activist regulation of the financial industry in particular, and a more progressive tax structure. But no matter who wins the election, Faux said, the governing elite has pretty much already ruled out that agenda, in favor of light regulation and governmental austerity."Obama, Romney and the Low-Wage Future of America." Dan Froomkin.

As much as I care about accessible healthcare, marriage equality, and a woman's right to her own body, I would forego another flurry of such news stories for a frank discussion of jobs, especially one that addresses quality in addition to quantity.

This fluff question is eerily appropriate, somehow

Mark Binker interviewed each of the three NC governor candidates for WRAL. Among the typical questions regarding funding, private school caps, and teacher pay, Binker posed this question:
If you could choose any course to go back and study, what would you want to learn more about? The three candidates -- a Republican, a Democrat, and a Libertarian -- responded as follows. Can you guess their political leanings?
"Modern civilization, because you learn a lot from history. . . . We're into a new technical age (like) we have never faced before. But that's true of all history. Every generation, every decade, every century has faced new challenges. How was that handled? ... I continue to learn from that today.""I think we need to teach economics and accounting to more of our kids. . . . I've had to go through more of a self-taught process. I wish I would have had more of that in high school and college." "I might have taken something along the lines of ho…

I'm chomping at the bit

"Carolina Performing Arts and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring through a season of work that re-imagines, re-interprets and explores the lasting impact of this piece. We are presenting 11 new works, nine world premieres, and two U.S. premieres by artists who take inspiration from Stravinsky's original work."
The Rite of Spring at 100. Carolina Performing Arts.
What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure of his life, where there was so little leisure, between gardening in the daytime and contemplation at night? Was not this narrow enclosure, with the heavens for a ceiling, sufficient to enable him to adore God in his most divine works, in turn? Does not this comprehend all, in fact? and what is there left to desire beyond it? A little garden in which to walk, and immensity in which to dream. At one's feet that which can be cultivated and plucked; over head that which one can study and meditate upon: some flowers on earth, and all the stars in the sky.Les Misérables. Victor Hugo.

Cleaning out my camera

When I moved from Florida nearly a year ago I didn't have a clear plan, and things were in limbo for a good six or so months before I decided to move in with Christopher. As such, many of my boxes are only now getting unpacked in the slow process of settling in. While I'd kept my camera in my purse and continued to snap photos, I'd thought my connector cords hopelessly lost until this past weekend when I opened a box and a bunch of electronics spilled out. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the past two years or so:
Downtown Dothan, Alabama, where my mom was born. Christopher and I up and decided to make the drive from Tallahassee for no other reason than that we hadn't been there before.

The Business of Education

UNC Chancellor named among top 100 most influencial business leaders

I am glad the university is being noticed and that those involved in its management are being recognized for their work, but identifying them as "business leaders" rubs me the wrong way. The danger of associating education with business is that it allows efficiency and profit to overshadow growth and intellectual stimulation. Students become numbers, classrooms become conveyor belts, and educators become cogs in an endlessly churning machine managed increasingly by administators.

The CEOs of UNC Health Care and REX Hospital, the chancellor of NC Central University, and the CEO of the NC Museum of Art appear on this list as well. My fears apply to them also.

"Haley said taxpayers could decide for themselves whether to support the arts."

Arts Commission veto upsets local groups, Greenville Online, 7 July 2012
As a four-year participant in the South Carolina arts scene, I am shocked at the abuse and neglect it has been shown recently by local government. Cutting all public funding is a death knell to orchestras, museums, writing programs, theaters, and arts education initiatives -- those things that enrich and sustain communities.
I am hoping for another override, but this pattern in and of itself is damaging.

Readings in Musicology

I decided to forgo a doctorate for the time being and give myself a much needed exhale. And I think for the most part is was a good, if not always exciting or intellectually fulfilling, decision. And while I think that periodic departures from any field or path are important, it is equally important not to drift too far. The fall and winter were rough, but I'm finally returning to a place where I can approach and absorb music again. Now seems a good time to read all those books and articles I wished I'd had time to read during school.
This list is ongoing and nowhere near complete.

Text Books
A History of Music in Western Culture; Mark Evan Bonds
Ideas and Styles in the Western Musical Tradition; Douglass Seaton
The Oxford History of Western Music; Richard Taruskin

The New Grove Twentieth-century French Masters; Jean-Michel Nectoux et al.
Claude Debussy; David J. Code
Claude Debussy; Paul Roberts
The Life of Debussy; Roger Nichols
Le Six: The French Composers and Their Mento…

2012 Reading

It feels so satisfying to select a volume from one of our four bookcases without having to consider syllabi or thesis research. My selections so far this year demonstrate the thrill of this freedom to wander:
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Magic Mountain, Thomas MannKafka on the Shore, Haruki MurakamiEnder's Game, Orson Scott CardA Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy TooleThe Call of the Wild, Jack LondonTravels in Siberia, Ian FrazierWe Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol OatesKettle Bottom, Diane Gilliam FisherInto Thin Air, Jon KrakauerThe Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel HawthorneOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander SolzhenitsynBluefield Breakdown, Rick MulkeyDubliners, James JoyceLes Misérables, Victor HugoMusicophilia, Oliver Sacks

Summer 2012

Now that I've entered the working world, "summer vacation" no longer means two-point-five months of leisure and adventure the way it did when I was in school. Even when I attended summer classes or worked part-time, choice was still very much a part of my decisions. I could pile English class on top of English class, fill the empty space with library work, and still feel like summer was mine to design and control.

And even now that I'm securely settled into full-time work -- albeit, still a temp -- I feel the need to section off my summer from sun-warmed June to humid August and fill it with summer things. I crave travel writing and novels set in faraway places, bossa nova on my living-room stereo, and meals crafted from farmers' market finds. And, like Vachel Lindsay one hundred years before me, I feel the need to go west.
Outside Atchison, Kansas; Birthplace of Amelia Earhart; May 2010
With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailings and half-sobs, and was more the pleading of life, the articulate travail of existence. It was an old song, old as the breed itself -- one of the first songs of the younger world in a day when songs were sad. It was invested with the woe of unnumbered generations, this plaint by which Buck was so strangely stirred. When he moaned and sobbed, it was with the pain of living that was of old the pain of his wild fathers, and the fear and mystery of the cold and dark that was to them fear and mystery. And that he should be stirred by it marked the completeness with which he harked back through the ages of fire and roof to the raw beginnings of life in the howling ages.The Call of the Wild. Jack London.

A good way to begin

I suppose an introduction would be a good way to start. I don't know yet what this blog will become or how I will fill it.

My name is Lindsay. I am twenty-five, have been out of school for a year now, and, having realized that little ever goes according to plan, am contemplating my next major life decision. I am working as a receptionist at a cancer center in the meantime. It is not the most riveting or fulfilling work, but it allows me to buy food, pay my student loans, and purchase the occasional book or wardrobe item.

I am a bit of a higher education junkie, and I hate myself for it a little bit. By the time I decided I needed a break I had three degrees, two senior projects, two theses, and four semesters of summer school under my belt. I still feel like I haven't learned all the things I'd like to learn.

I earned my Bachelor of Music in Music History and my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing, Poetry Emphasis, at Converse College in Spartanburg,…

On Central North Carolina

I love the nowhere places, the long limbs of state highways stretched through wild pine, the whitewashed skins of farm houses peeling away, and tall grass that would feel so good against my bare knees. I love the deer that breakfast in my backyard and the wrenlings that thud into my bedroom window as they learn to fly.

I am becoming unenchanted by the suburban sprawl, cookie-cutter communities in the woods, six-lane main roads unfriendly to bikes and foot traffic.

I feel too young and too old for this place. Change would be welcome.

Learning this on guitar

Convincing Christopher to figure the synth part for harmonica.

The days are getting longer

The concept of "summer" as an autonomous era, ungoverned, removed from the rest of the year, has lost some of its power since I've entered the working world. How does one decide its beginning when the calendar from January through December becomes a long string of 5 + 2 + 5 + 2? The divisions -- month, season -- seem increasingly arbitrary.

I don't know yet what this space will be.