0

Wednesday, in No Particular Order

When you have lots and lots of inspiration (read: caffeine and time), it’s easy to churn out blog posts. My recent blogging hiatus has not been due to lack of desire, but lack of the time or energy to devote to more than 30 seconds of leisure writing at any given time. With the annual #GBE just a week away, I have to drum up some creativity for my guest post…I don’t even know what I’ll be writing about yet. And since I don’t have the energy right now to do any focused posts on dedicated topics, instead I will treat you (read: torture you) with this– a list of the things on my mind this Wednesday, in no particular order:

1. Family Time

My dad and stepmom just left this morning from a 4 day visit to Pittsburgh. It was a super nice visit. We did lots of excellent cooking and drinking wine. We made and devoured Triple Chocolate Ice Cream (with chopped up Sarris Chocolate bars in it, delicious). We even played Cards Against Humanity, which was all the more hilarious because my stepmom didn’t know what half of the cards meant and had to keep googling things.

The first few days they were here it was cold and wintery, but yesterday was one of those gorgeous Pittsburgh spring days, and we got to go to the park for a bit.

Park

Mr. Beez and I had some work obligations so we were not able to stay home with them the whole time they were here, but I think there is something special about them getting to have time with Baby Beez when we are not there. I’m glad to give them that time together. We also talked about Baby Beez spending time with them up in Oregon during summers, and they are all for it. Although this summer’s plans are all mapped out, I am looking forward to future summers where she’ll get to go visit them, and go camping, fishing, hiking and all kinds of outdoorsy things, and just generally have a nice time together.

We have more family time coming up soon, as we are shortly leaving for a family vacation in Playa del Carmen. We’ll get to hang out with the grown up family members, while Baby Beez will swim and build sandcastles with a bunch of cousins.  I’ve got my audiobooks loaded in my phone, my sunscreen and hat packed, and cannot wait to sit in the sun and do nothing for several straight days.

2. Round and Round

We bought Baby Beez a season pass to the Schenley Carousel again this year. I would have liked to go a few more times last year, but I still think it was well worth the money. It was fun to take her to the carousel, and let her ride it over and over and over and over. We also got snacks at the nearby food vendors, would go over to the library to pick out some books and movies, then go back to the carousel to ride it around another half dozen times.  I’m excited for the carousel’s opening in April, and hope to take her there a whole lot of times this summer.

Schenley Carousels

3.  Bartram House

Mr. Beez and I went to brunch at Bartram House bakery a little while back.  The bakery case is gorgeous, so many beautiful cupcakes, pastries and bars. I had a breakfast burrito full of fresh veggies and cup after cup of hot coffee. I feel like Bartram House is the fresh, local cafe that a certain nationwide bakery-themed eatery is trying to be. While I do like that certain nationwide eatery, there is a something lost in all that homogeneity  Bartram House has all these amazing baked goods, with the authentic personality to boot. And to boot, you get the option of having a croissant as the “bread” side with your breakfast. Yassssss! We really enjoyed this place and are excited to bring Baby Beez for our next visit.

Bartram House


Breakfast Burrito


Bartram House S'Mores Bar

4. Blogga Dinna

I visited Chaz & Odette with blogging friends a little while back. We went scheduled a dinner for a Sunday night, which we did not realize is jazz night. On jazz nights, they feature a jazz band and a limited menu of small dishes. While it didn’t quite fit the goal we had of long-catching-up type conversations, the place did have a pretty cool vibe. I would like to go back there for a date night with Mr. Beez, and I think it would be a fun place to go for something a little different than the usual drinks-and-apps type outing.  On the whole, the food was great. The chicken, in particular, was expertly seasoned. I have a very vivid memory of it and would love to go back to try more of their dishes.

Chaz & Odette Jalapeno Cornbread

Grits

Chaz & Odette Chicken


5. Time to Bake

Mr. Beez has found a new interest in learning to cook, which is JUST FINE BY ME THANKYOUVERYMUCH. Our Temple has recently offered some cooking classes, and we took a hamentaschen baking class the other day. Mr. Beez loves hamentaschen, and this was  fun, different activity for us to do together. It was a small class in our temple’s kitchen, and was just a couple hours on a weeknight. I had been promising Mr. Beez that cooking is easy, and I think he saw from this class that it can be pretty simple. As an added bonus, we got to go home with a whole bunch of treats!

Hamentaschen Class

Hamentaschen

Hamentaschen

Hamentaschen

6.  My pores. My pores. My lovely lady pores.

I loooove me some makeup sampler boxes, and Benefit is by far my favorite makeup brand.  I recently dug a sample size of “The POREfessional” out of my giant tub o’makeup. It feels nice on my skin and makes it look good, but I can’t help but be puzzled that pores are something we can be self-conscious about now? Why do I need to hide or minimize my pores? Pores are something to be worried about? Pores are just part of your face. I recently saw an article in Allure about some fancy lady actress saying the part of her body that she is most self conscious about is her pores? Huh???? Anyway, I am not worried about people seeing my pores because that is ridiculous, BUT Pores No More is actually a nice product and makes my skin look nice, separate and apart from my pores. I LIKE MY PORES. But the product isn’t bad, if I do say so myself.

Pore makeup

0

The Bachman Books

The Bachman Books

I had a recent urge to revisit some of my early favorite books. When I was in Jr. High and High School, my first steps toward developing my own taste in reading was to borrow books from my dad’s bookshelf.  He loved Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and all kinds of other dark stuff.  When I left for college, I stole his copy of Different Seasons (sorry Dad!). I picked it up recently and read through the first novella– Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, before realizing that it actually wasn’t the collection I was wanting to read.  I often mix up Different Seasons and The Bachman Books, because they are both Stephen King collections, made up of books that are scary, not in a supernatural sense, but because they explore how dark, hurtful and sinister people can really be.

Sometimes I read dark stuff, but it’s an escape for me. Not all of my choices in entertainment are so bleak. Maybe I’ll write soon about my recent binge on Fuller House.

The most memorable novella in The Bachman Books is Rage.  It’s a story of a teenager that goes on a school shooting rampage, but as the event goes on, the students change sides and join up with him.  It’s extremely dark, and when I first read it in 9th grade or so, it was so dark as to be beyond all bounds of of belief, and in its own way was a terrible, cathartic escape from the teenage anguish of high school.

I read the book before Columbine. Before Sandy Hook. Before school shooting after school shooting after school shooting showed that Rage was not beyond all bounds of belief.

The Bachman Books

In my most recent urge to revisit some of these old books, I tried to download Rage from my library’s e-collection.  It’s not available there. After some poking around online, I learned that Stephen King had pulled Rage from all future printings.  He pulled it because he learned that school shooters had drawn inspiration from it, and he felt responsible and guilty.  He never intended someone to act like that, and never wanted to inspire others in the future to carry out horrible, violent acts.  He explained that when he wrote the book in the 1970’s, it was a different time, and that the book served its purpose in its day, but that times had changed and it did not have a place in modern day, in the way it was intended.

In general, I oppose removing books or ideas from the marketplace, but I guess I kind of get what King did there. If I were in his shoes, I can’t say I would do anything differently.  However, the book still had a place for me in my life, and I still wanted to read it. It’s easy to find a used copy of The Bachman Books online, containing Rage.  My copy arrived today, and since I’ve got a pretty casual weekend ahead, I’ll probably make a good dent in its pages over the next few days.

I’m happy to have the book for myself, but am left wondering. When my kid begins to develop her own reading taste, and starts digging through my books in this new and different era, am I going to let her read it? Or, like Stephen King, will I pull it from the shelf, because it doesn’t have its place in today’s world, like the purpose it had when it was written?