Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Linguistic Anthropology rocks my world.

Who'd have thought? To me, the name implies the squared-off tubular metal of chairs in an HMO doctor's waiting room--clinical, yet a bit dingy and frayed around the edges. Something one does because one ought, rather than because one wants to.

But lo and behold, this stuff is interesting! Last night I read about the ways children are socialized into thinking, talking, and behaving about food in Italian and American families ("Socializing Taste," Ochs, Pontecorvo, and Fasulo, Ethnos 61, 1/2:7-46, 1996). The Americans, not surprisingly, come across quite badly, stressing moral reasons and attempting to 'contract' with their kids to eat vegetables, while the Italians chose to treat their children as people and to talk primarily about the pleasures of food with them.

And just now I read an even more engrossing article by Carol Cohn about language use amongst the people (mostly men) who worked in nuclear war strategy in the Reagan years. Not surprisingly, their language is distinctly gendered (how can it not be, talking about missiles and "penetration aids"?!?), but it also works on themes of male childbearing, religion, and domestic metaphors ("pat the missile," "silos," etc.). She also discusses her experience learning that jargon, and the way it makes expressing certain things (like peace) impossible. That citation, for anyone who's interested (and has JStor access) is "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," Signs, 12/4: 687-718, 1987.

Next I have an article about teaching a magic trick.

As for what this all has to do with music...well, we'll see--but for the moment, I'm having a blast?

The Life-Changing Salmon

By popular request, here it is. Another simple but delicious cooking exploit--pretty much directly out of Joy of Cooking, but with modifications.

2 nice organic salmon fillets + butter/shallot/fresh parsley sauce, with a hint of dried oregano and thyme, and a squeeze of lemon juice. All wrapped up in 2 separate parcels of foil, baked at 500F for about 15 minutes, so it was well-done but anything but dry. We had the leftover sauce over potatoes, and green beans on the side.

Fresh Direct (our local grocery delivery service) seems to be getting better about having good ingredients--I believe the organic salmon is a recent addition, and we're delighted, since that means we don't have to traipse to Citarella to get our fish. I'm sure there's probably a good fishmonger in Park Slope, but we haven't had time to explore much yet.


Here's the cat J & I are looking after for a few weeks (we think...though we acknowledge the possibility that her owner might skip town). We thought she was cranky at first, but she's turning out to be a real love kitty! Her real name is Widget, but that's not a suitable name for a cat--so we've dubbed her "Giblet," though generally she's just "Kitty."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 the beginning

...there was chicken, and it was roasted, and it was good.

That seems like as good a reason as any to begin blogging--postprandial happiness from the wonderful chicken I just cooked. Although like An Briosca Mor, I realised I was spending plenty of time commenting on others' blogs. So here goes. Maybe I'll be an active blogger; then again, maybe not. We'll see.

I'm calling this blog "The Book I'm Not Reading," after Patty Larkin's song and in honor of all the grad school work I should be doing instead of blogging. Then again, maybe the book I'm not reading isn't written yet (to quote PL).

Rob, I'm finally blogging. Now you'll get to see that my (bloggable) life perhaps isn't that interesting after all :-)

Now--as for that chicken. Simple and as delicious as it gets. One 4 pound organic chicken, some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a lemon inside. Hmmmm, wonder where I got the recipe! I like to call it "ass chicken," mainly because "ass" is such a fun word to say. Mwa ha ha.

The article I'm not reading: Hill & Mannheim's "Language and World View."