Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some Food, and Kitty Hilarity (sort of)

Once again, from my postings (or lack thereof), you'd think we haven't been eating, haven't been cooking, or both. Not quite true, although the last few weeks have passed in a blur that meant "catch as catch can" for most meals.

Having said that, though, the new hit around here is a sort of deconstructed pesto & greens pasta dish I put together a couple of weeks ago and replicated yesterday. After all, we have to use up all that farfalle somehow!

In a big iron skillet: lots of garlic, some olive oil, a bunch of chopped chard (or arugula, which I used yesterday), a few leaves of fresh marjoram, a little salt, sauteed until the greens are done to taste. Then finely chopped basil stirred in in the last couple of minutes. Toss that with hot cooked farfalle, a handful of pine nuts, and possibly a bit of tomato and a few olives. Rennet-free parmesan for me, soy gouda for J, and it's a fabulous and fast lunch.

J has also been making hummus a lot lately, and that's been a treat.

As for the kitty: a simple annual checkup turned out to be a day-long ordeal yesterday when she went ballistic in the examining room and had to be sedated. If that weren't bad enough (both that she & all the people involved had to go through it, and that it was expensive!), it's taken her a long time to come down from the sedative and the drug they give to reverse its effects. I do confess that I found her stumbling around a bit funny, and what seemed to be some kitty hallucinations hilarious: she was convinced last night that my cd binder was her mortal enemy, and this morning she was growling at J's bag of clothes to be drycleaned.

Luckily, she's fine now, and the checkup didn't turn up anything wrong, although we haven't gotten blood test results back yet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Go, California!!!!

Need I say more?

Except that Miss J just happened to fly to San Francisco today for a conference at Stanford this weekend, and has been celebrating in the streets since noon! I sure wish I could be there with her, but who knew that today would be the day? Now let's just hope the conservative dumbasses don't go all out to reverse the ruling.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother"

This from Yahoo news today...and I have a lot of questions for this Rev. Funes. For example, why is the extraterrestrial necessarily male? Is the little green gal his sister? What if she happens to be a big ol' dyke who wants to be a cardinal? What if Brother ET is already among us in the form of, say, a parasitic worm? Does brotherhood really extend that far? Uhhhh....

Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens

By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press WriterTue May 13, 4:07 PM ET

Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God,the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation."

In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom, he said.

The interview, headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother," covered a variety of topics including the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and science, and the theological implications of the existence of alien life.

Funes said science, especially astronomy, does not contradict religion, touching on a theme of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made exploring the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.

The Bible "is not a science book," Funes said, adding that he believes the Big Bang theory is the most "reasonable" explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.

But he said he continues to believe that "God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the result of chance."

Funes urged the church and the scientific community to leave behind divisions caused by Galileo's persecution 400 years ago, saying the incident has "caused wounds."

In 1633 the astronomer was tried as a heretic and forced to recant his theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

"The church has somehow recognized its mistakes," he said. "Maybe it could have done it better, but now it's time to heal those wounds and this can be done through calm dialogue and collaboration."

Pope John Paul declared in 1992 that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."

The Vatican Observatory has been at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between religion and science. Its scientist-clerics have generated top-notch research and its meteorite collection is considered one of the world's best.

The observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is based in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the hills outside Rome where the pope has a summer residence. It also conducts research at an observatory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.

But really. It's great that the Vatican is echoing Jodie Foster's line from Contact that if we're the only ones in the universe, it's an awful waste of space.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pasta Salad, Anyone?

Occasionally, J & I order from Fresh Direct, which allows us to lay in heavy dry goods like flour and cat litter without having to carry them home. But Fresh Direct giveth and Fresh Direct taketh away: sometimes they mess up the order a little. So far, none of the mistakes (except for giving us a box of Uncle Ben's Perverted Rice) have been bad enough to complain about--in fact, we once got a free 6-pack of beer!--and it's kind of fun to wonder if, or how, FD will make a mistake this time.

I think this week's substitution is a little funny. Among other things, I ordered a box of linguine, a box of farfalle, and a jar of white vinegar (the cheap stuff, to clean with). The linguine arrived, but no vinegar, and instead of one box of farfalle:

Some poor soul out there was going to make a big huge pasta salad, and got my vinegar instead!

The kitty, of course, has been hard at work lately:

This is just begging for a LOLCATS caption. Any ideas, y'all?