Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Just keeping it light...

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I made cookies!

[Don't try this at home]

The snow kept falling...

...and falling...

...and falling....

So, being snowed-in for the second day in a row (well, not totally snowed in, but enough to use it as an excuse to stay in my pajamas and fluffy sweater all day), and driven by a strong desire to do something that carries a sort of symbolism for me, I decided to make cookies!

I've never made cookies before. And, in spite of my Italian blood, I generally suck as a cook (though I like my pasta al dente, and I can prepare a decent tomato sauce). So I was not surprised at the less-than-visually-pleasing result of this desperate enterprise.

But still, you know me and my projects... I carefully documented every step of it, so I am proud to present to you...

My chocolate peanut butter chip cookies: The true story!

A) The recipe.
I was sent a recipe for these cookies, but when I went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients I forgot it at home. So I just used the recipe off the peanut butter chip package that i found on a shelf:

[Click to enlarge, if you are crazy and really want to try this...]

B) The ingredients
Here are all the ingredients you need. Actually you only need 2 eggs, but I dropped the box on the way back and broke two of them, as you can see...

C) The three main components
After mixing the stuff that has to be mixed, you end up with three things you have to put together:

D) Put it all together, and here's what you get:

E) Then drop bits of that stuff on the paper thingy, and things start looking really ugly:

F) Throw it in the oven, and watch it in agony as the cookies expand...

and start sticking to each other...

What the hell!

G) Take it out. It looks just like cow dung, doesn't it?

Some look a little more decent...

... but still cow dung! Rats!

H) Well, the last bit is kind of straightforward. Let them cool, split them and throw them in a fancy box.


I tasted them, and they're not that bad really.

But I need an expert opinion, so I'm gonna pay a visit to the post office.


(PS. I really hope this helps a little...)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nothing Everything

[Some of the other cats]

All my love to both of you.

Good luck, kid!

Let it snow

Sunday, January 22, 2006


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I read recently that it’s bad luck to see an owl in daylight, but it’s happened to two of us now, so I guess, even if I’m doomed, I’m in good company. Actually, a bit of googling turned up the not unexpected fact that owls tend not to bode well under many circumstances. Still, I was happy to spot this guy in Shenandoah National Park. The experience was made even more dramatic by the fog –- there was nothing like the sound of his wings, and only that, as he disappeared into the eerie white wood. The fog, in fact, was probably the only reason this owl was making such a public appearance during the day.

I know he’s not as cute as Lu’s, and neither is his name. Hers was a boobook. Mine was just a barred.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

'Neath the Pines

(click to enlarge)

Addressed to: Miss Altha E. Farnham, Dalton Pa. R.F.D. # 2.

Dear Altha: Rec'd your postal all right. I did not see you to the dance Sat. night -- I was there and had a dance with the fellow who wears the rubber collar. I had a fine time. I am going up to Maybells Thur. for a few days. Ans. soon. Eva.

Friday, January 13, 2006

relative complexity

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I was given two books for Christmas, both excellent. One about a childhood (thrillingly disturbing, complex, and sweet) in Africa, and the other, a timely anthology of poetry (best represented by a lonely woman in a handkerchief in the rain?). Both books were given to me by a friend, who came to the following conclusion about problems in her present relationship(s): “It’s very complex, and all this complexity isn’t very sexy.” Well, I read the first maniacally; it kept me up at night. The second I’m reading slowly; I stop at lines I like, I reread, I study the words.

Sexy is relative, as is complexity.

This poem is nice. It’s by Stephen Dunn, who says he’s interested in “clarity in the service of complexity.” I’m all for that.

On TV the showbiz of war,
so I turn it off
wishing I could turn it off,
and glance at the five white roses
in front of the mirror on the mantel,
looking like ten.
That they were purchased out of love
and are not bloody red
won’t change a goddamned thing –
goddamned things, it seems, multiplying
every day. Last night
the roses numbered six, but she chose
to wear one in her hair,
and she was more beautiful
because she believed she was.
It changed the night a little.
For us, I mean.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I realize now I don't have much to say about my trip. Or much to show for it. The pictures from Amsterdam came out way too dark, even the ones I shot in late “morning,” and way too typical, full of thick bikes and skinny houses. The city is doing this 400th anniversary of Rembrandt thing, so there was a really cool sculpture of “Nightwatch” in Rembrandt Square that lets you get inside the painting (I pretended to kick the little dog), but the coolest thing about being in Amsterdam (again) was being able to call it Amstradam Pikipikiram a thousand times. Maybe it was only funny the first.

It was cold in America. I could never decide which coat to wear, one a little too thin and the other a little too bulky.

On the second day, I met my best friend for lunch. She had also flown halfway around the world to be there. She told me to think about what I want, not what seems possible. Her partner says she wants a genderless relationship, so we also talked about what this could mean.

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Two days after that, the table was elegantly set for Christmas Eve dinner, which was later cancelled. My first thought was that at least my mom’s antique chairs would remain intact, not having been sat upon and humiliatingly broken by various members of my extended family, as has been known to happen in years past. I really want her to replace those chairs. People just aren’t so dainty anymore.

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Bego was a snob, but she's so darn cute.

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After Christmas, we headed north and toured an area so full of memories for me I could hardly stand it. But none of those memories were ever shared with anybody in the car. We spent the next day swimming upstream at the (very crowded) National Aquarium in Baltimore. The dolphins were nice.

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Closer to home, the nicest day was spent in the nicest place, a former president’s mansion in the Piedmont (aptly named). This place is a 20-minute drive from where my parents live, in the heart of horse country.

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On one final excursion, we headed up the mountains, but unfortunately Skyline Drive didn’t exactly live up to its name. Half the road was closed due to ice and the other half was invisible due to fog, which of course led to lots of jokes about being “lost in a fog.” It was a metaphor with potential.

No sooner had I set foot back in Greece than Greece started quaking beneath me. I may have traveled far, but I ended up right back where I started, a little shakier.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Caro diario

There are days when everything seems to be going well and bad at the same time; when good news sound like bad news, and bad news like good; when the distance between sadness and happiness seems miniscule, and hope and desperation go hand in hand.

Today, I call these days of confusion Nanni Moretti days.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dogs and rabbits and silly neighbours

[rabbit dog from a photoshop contest]

This is the other story I heard over dinner. Not sure this is true, but I thought it's kind of fun, so here goes nothing.

Apparently there is a village just outside Corinth, where there are two neighbouring houses with adjacent gardens. The owners of these houses were already not talking to each other for various reasons, but things got even worse after the dog owned by the one family tried to massacre a poor little rabbit owned by the others. The rabbit was saved at the last moment, but a lot of fighting took place, until they decided to build a small wall between their gardens to prevent the two animals from coming within range of each other.

Anyway... one day both houses were empty, the families being away or something, and the dog was left to wonder unsupervised in its respective garden. As the owners of the dog returned, they witnessed a horrifying scene. The dog had jumped over the fence into the neighbour's garden, and had the rabbit between its teeth. It was shaking it, smashing it against the ground, trying to tear it into pieces. The state of the rabbit I won't even describe. The owners of the dog jumped at it, removed the rabbit from it's mouth, took the dog back into its garden, and tried to resuscitate the rabbit. But in vain; it was totally dead.

What now, they pondered. The other family was not back yet, so they decided to carefully clean the rabbit, dry it with a hairdrier, puff it up, and put it back in its garden, as if it were simply asleep. When, later, the owners would discover it dead, they would pretend they had nothing to do with it. And so it happened.

A few hours later, they watched the other family walk into their garden. To their surprise, as soon as the mother saw the rabbit at a distance of about 10 meters, she screamed "OH MY GOD!!! MY RABBIT!!!" and fainted. There was a big fuss as the rest of the family tried to bring her about, slapping her face and throwing water at her. The owners of the dog jumped out and ran also, more out of curiosity than altruism.

One of them just couldn't resist the temptation. "But, how did she know the rabbit was dead?".

"What are you talking about", came the reply from the woman's husband. "The rabbit died two days ago! She buried it herself in the garden yesterday!"

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Leav(es)in Virginia

[photo by me, a long time ago]

Welcome back!

Friday, January 06, 2006


By the way I just realised that this blog is one year old today.

For a moment I was tempted to write something about blogs and blogging and blogers and stuff, but I will refrain. I will however say that:

- Blogs are not people.
- This blog was nothing before Sissy.

More of them mountains, and some wildlife

Summer vs winter

A snowy mountaintop...

Another snowy mountaintop...

Put the two together...


Up Country (Άνω Χώρα)



Warm and fuzzy (and a haircut on its way).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The other mountains

Rain, rain, and more rain...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Off to the mountains!