In the rain I held his hand and finished my Christmas shopping. Dinner out, then reading and music in. Some tears with arms wrapped around me, but a sweet goodbye and a sweeter message later when he found out that he got an A on the paper. I will miss him so.

Read and write here.

Aragorn Fever

Spent half the weekend in the horrid haze of a deep fever and cough – and the rest of it entranced by hot, hot Aragorn. We brought Sarah up to speed on the trilogy Friday and Saturday, then went to see Return of the King tonight to top it off. Russ was down on Saturday, so we had curry. Finished House of Leaves on Saturday – whew – on to less convoluted reading materials. But first, sleep.

Friends have been dealt hard blows this weekend – dealing with hard things, working through hard problems – I feel blessed that what’s on my mind most right now is how much I’m going to miss that boy when he goes home for Christmas. I know it’s less than a week – but we see each other almost daily, so even a brief absence can feel pointed after such constant comfort. *

This love

I finished Wizard and Glass yesterday in a whirlwind of reading while Shawn worked on his Dictee paper. It was really good – not sure if it’s the strongest in the series, but it was damned good and some of the portrayals of love, the sacrifice of love, the doomed nature of love, really grabbed at my heart.

Finally got a chance to see Alien Sex Party, courtesy of director Paul Yates, who somehow found my old blog and offered to send me a copy. It simply defines reterrible. Evil Dead previously held this title. It was crazy and funny and bizarre and definitely worth the watch, if only for The Pork Guys’ rendition of “Fuck Christmas, Fuck You.” Thanks, Paul!

Hannah, Shawn, and I saw Over the Rhine at the High Dive – they were awesome, and it’s super fun going to concerts just down the street. They played a bunch of my favorites, including “I Radio Heaven” and “All I Get for Christmas is Blue.” After the show we walked in the snow to Aroma, where we had tasty food and got to see the smallest laptop ever. (OK, maybe not EVER.)

Today’s been full of reading and stretching and more reading and stretching and coffee and Saddam’s capture. Did you know he was in a hole? Hey, yeah, he was in a hole. Let the finger pointing and “I told you so’s” begin. I hope the Democratic party can keep the focus on the issues and not let this overrun any hopes of a proper election. I hung out at Shawn til mid afternoon reading House of Leaves (which is insane and brilliant), then headed home so he could get some work done without distraction. I’ll be glad when the semester’s over and my friends have some free time – they’ve all been stressed, and that’s wearing on everyone. I love you guys – it’s almost over.

Had a few hard emotional moments this weekend – but they seem to pass fairly quickly. I can’t just not deal with things, even if the dealing is difficult. I can’t imagine being on the other side of this, loving me and taking care of me though it, but I’m so grateful for those who are here and holding me and helping me get through it all. I can’t imagine dealing with this alone. In many ways I’ve moved on – completely – I have a new life and new friends and new loves and new things – but the grief and guilt will haunt me for a long time. I am so lucky that those who I love and who love me realize that I have room enough in my heart for grief and pain AND love.

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
—Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

Tomato Bisque

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme – may substitute dried
1-2 T basil (or dill)
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 C chicken broth
3 T honey
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground pepper
1/3 c heavy cream
In a medium pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender – about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and basil and stir until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, broth, honey, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by a quarter – approx. 15-20 minutes. Puree in blender – BE CAREFUL as soup will be extremely hot and has a tendency to go everywhere if you’re not looking. Return to pot and add cream. Heat gently and adjust seasonings. Good with soft French bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

I love this recipe. I love homemade soup on a cold and dreary day. Yum.

Recipe from Fine Cooking

First I was Elizabeth Marie.
I am Elizabeth by my father’s choice – and Marie for my mother’s best friend.
As a child I was E.
Briefly I was Beth.
Then, in junior high and high school, I was Liz.
Then, in college, I was Elizabeth.
And now I am Elizabeth and E – the ‘Liz’ has been nearly eliminated and ‘Beth’ not even a distant memory.

So strange the ways names change – and the way they change us. E was my name as a child when my brother couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth – and it stuck. I am E to my closest friends – to those as intimate as family. To the rest of the world (and one special other) I am Elizabeth. I always thought that if I moved away to start an entirely new life I would go by my middle name – Marie. Not sure why that didn’t happen. I think I really like the idea of a private name – a secret name – and then the name known by all. Maybe it’s the intimacy and possession that sharing such a name suggests. All I know is that this name carries weight – that when I am Elizabeth instead of E it means something – it sets me apart – it pulls at the secret, hidden parts of me.

Hey, guess what? I started another blog. Well, it won’t be a real blog – but since I got rid of vinny’s site, I don’t have anywhere to put my recipes online. This didn’t seem the right place – so, voila! Why devil sauce? When I was in London, we were served something by that same name in the refectory. When asked what devil sauce entailed:

Cook: You know brown sauce?
me: Yeah. It’s brown.
Cook: Well, it’s kind of like that.
me: Oooook. Thanks.

So it seemed an apt title. 🙂