Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cookbook, a political rant, and sushi

You never know what day will turn out to be exciting. This morning I thought the day ahead looked fairly dull, except for dinner with Betty, but email brought the page proofs and cover of my cookbook/memoir, Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books. I couldn't get it to upload tonight, but the cover features Jacob's school photo in which, for some reason, they dressed him in a tocque and chef's jacket, and put a whisk and wooden spoon in his hand. He has an uncharacteristically solemn expression, but it's a wonderful photo. When the editor told me the designer wanted to use it, I said my youngest daughter would be thrilled and the rest of my kids would be pissed. Jamie has written, "Don't talk to me," and Brandon wrote, "Ah, well. Life is never easy. We'll have to sit Sawyer and Ford down and explain to them that their grandmother loves another grandson better." I told him I'd hit him upside the head if he did that.
Reading the page proofs is fun, although I am notoriously poor as a proofreader, but I'm trying to be careful. I guess one trouble is I've read this stuff soooo many times. Still sounds good to me, though, and I'm excited about having the book in print. The press that is publishing it operates under a historical grant and told me quite some time ago everything they publish has to have an historical slant. I told them I'm old enough that some of my recipes are history.
I know this is not a political blog, although sometimes my opinons creep in, like my exhaltation on inauguration day. But tonight I really want to rant about Texas' own Senator John Cornyn. He's always distressed me, because he votes the party line without question, and I think that fake ad of him in a cow pasture was ridiculous. But someone really needs to tell him that Bush is no longer president and the Republicans aren't in power. First he held up Hillary Clinton's nomination because of concerns about Bill Clinton's foundation, concerns which the Obama people had worked out some time ago. Now he's holding up Eric Holder's nomination as attorney general for fear Holder will prosecute some of the Bush administration who sanctioned torture. If I'm not mistaken, justice is a big part of the American way. If those people broke laws (and the Geneva Convention) with their atrocious interrogation methods, they must stand by what they did. I think Cornyn is trying to engage in payback politics, and he's going to lose face--and maybe his next election. We can only hope. It's always frustrating to me to live in Texas when I was urged to write my senators on matters of liberal concern. It's like writing to a stone, and when I did get an answer, it spouted the party line.
Meantime, I applaud President Obama for the speed with which he's moved, especially toward transparency of government. It can't all be done in one day or two, but he sure has moved ahead in rapid and reassuring ways. For the Obama girls' sake, I hope the media gets over fascination with them, so they can lead normal lives. They are adorable.
I've had other frustrations--today I had a list of people to call about business matters--the mail-order pharmacy, TIAA-CREF about my minimum withdrawal distribution (which I didn't realize I don't have to do this year), Citicard about the time I paid double and what happened to the money, my accountant. Inauguration day, when my lunch guests left and I settled down at my desk to work and watch TV, the TV wouldn't work--thank goodness, one quick call to AT&T solved that. And then last night when I decided to allow myself a few minutes of relaxation reading, my Kindle wouldn't turn pages--once again, I'm grateful for instant tech support. It was easily fixed, and I was soon happily reading. But many of my calls involved navigating automated phone systems, which are really awful, especially when you follow directions, punch in this, that, and the other, only to be told, "Our offices are presently closed."
But all my frustrations disolved in soy with wasabi tonight. Betty and I went to our favorite sushi place, and I had something called the Russian--white tuna, California roll, smoked salmon, and topped with just a dab of caviar (I actually couldn't taste the caviar). Me, who can't eat spicy southwestern food, can take a good bit of wasabi in my soy sauce--I love it. Betty had something with shrimp in it and declared it the best she'd ever had. It had a spicy red sauce, so I couldn't have eaten it for two reasons--shrimp (to which I'm allergic) and spice.
Back to proofreading my own recipes.

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