October 4th, 2005


I've returned!

After an amazingly good week in the bay area, you would think I would be all perky and happy and raring to go, but unfortunately, this morning I'm a tad cranky. It's partially that I had SUCH a good week that it's a little hard to come back and dive into the routine again, and partially, I'm sure, lack of sleep, since kcatalyst, trom and I got into a bit of a late-night habit out there, and, well, midnight in CA is 3am here in Boston, and so I've been having trouble falling asleep at reasonable hours, despite having to get up early yesterday and today.

Yesterday, I went to pick up my weekly rental car, only to discover that they had not received my reservation (made online). After a bit of shuffling, the woman behind the desk (who knows me, since I'm a regular) said, "Is a small pickup okay?" I'm pretty sure I snorted in disgust, just as I'm sure all of you, my faithful readers, just now snorted in ironically appreciative amusement, knowing how I feel about big vehicles in the city and when they're not needed. Nevertheless, I took the damn truck, because I did need to get to work, but I felt that it boded ill for my first week back. Also, some people have a pretty twisted idea of a "small" truck. This thing had as much cab space as a compact car (including the full seats in the back, not even the little fold-down doohickies that I remember so fondly from childhood) PLUS the rear bed. Pat suggested that after work I could go hire it out at Home Despot for the afternoon and make some extra money. She was, of course, right, but I didn't do that. It's really a shame I didn't have anything big to haul, though. On the bright side, I did not let the car rental place charge me extra for their computer snafu, so I got the silly thing for a compact price.

Work itself was fine. We had a crazy summer of most juggling all the same projects to keep them all above water, but now that things are settling down a bit, we're actually managing to cross things off our to-do list, which means that we're feeling productive, which is a very good thing.

I'll report more later about my trip, if I get around to it. The short form: great trip, amazing food, outstanding company. I'm sorry there are so many people that I missed seeing; I'll try to catch you all the next time around.

Finally, I've been planning to go to Rochester this weekend, but I'm beginning to waffle. The temptation of sticking close to home and chilling out a bit before my parents arrive next week is beginning to grow. The deciding factor will probably be what I can find out about visiting the plant genetic resources orchard in Geneva, NY -- that would definitely tip me over my current inertia.

what's cooking, hot stuff?

I seem to go into a kind of creative hibernation in the summer. Sure, I was playing with a garden this summer, but I wasn't very serious about it, and for whatever reason, when the weather's warm, I'm less inclined to knit, write or collage. Unsurprisingly, I'm also not very inclined to cook in the heat -- between my creative inclinations being under wraps, it's just not that tempting to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with a lot of additional heat and steam and the like.

However, with the cooler evenings, I'm beginning to get the urge to knit and, more importantly to this post, cook again. I'll start planning my next sweater shortly, but for now, I'm getting excited about making real, interesting, complicated food again. No doubt being in California last week also jump-started this urge, since the produce there is so amazing and we had some spectacular meals, both out and at home.

So! I want to cook brisket. Does anyone have a favorite, not-too-fussy recipe?

And, in fact, don't just limit yourself to brisket. What do you like to cook in the fall? Or what's something you always love to cook that you think i might also like?