Daily Archives: August 11, 2009

Alone in the kitchen with an eggplant

Sounds vaguely ominous, yes? In fact, it is a title of a great looking book, containing essays and articles by writers talking about dining solo.

Here’s what the author says:

“Dinner alone is one of life’s pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.” —Laurie Colwin, “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant”

Sounds like the perfect thing to eat with eggplant parmigiana. đŸ™‚ Actually I confess that the thing I like to make when I am eating alone is steak frites with a rich glass of red wine, followed by some good dark chocolate. Or an omelet and a green salad and a glass of white.

Found at the great blog, A CUP OF JO


Crowdsourcing Opera

And now for something completely different! According to BBC NEWS:

The Royal Opera House is to stage an opera created through social networking site Twitter. Members of the public have been invited to submit their “tweets” online – messages of up to 140 characters – which will form the new libretto.

The first scene of the as-yet-untitled work has already been completed and features a man who has been kidnapped by a group of birds.

Now for some, this is a great way of engaging more people in Opera (assuming the libretto comes out well). For others, they may say: well, the libretto doesn’t count for much anyway! Either way you look at it, it promises to be a novel and innovative way of connecting opera with…well, everyone.

Go to the BBC article for more info.

Seeing a doctor in Canada vs. the U.S.

James Fallows has alot of good things to say about many things, including the recent debate about health care in the U.S. In this post,
On why I can’t get in to see my doctor, he quotes a writer from Nova Scotia, Parker Donham, who wrote:

I live in a tiny Nova Scotia community, about 45 minutes from the nearest small city. When I want to see my “good-but-normal” doctor (the same one I’ve had for 35 years), I don’t make an appointment. I call and ask what hours he will be in the office that day, then show up at a time convenient for me. I bring The Atlantic to read for the 10-20 minutes it takes to see him.

As we watch Americans debate the future of their health care system, it’s galling for Canadians to hear opponents of reform demonize our single-payer system with discredited tales of health care denied. I am in good health, and enjoy excellent medical care. A close relative whose serious congenital heart condition leads to frequent, sometimes grave emergencies and occasional surgical interventions likewise receives superb care.

I emphasized the line in bold because I feel exactly the same way. After a recent accident, I phoned up to see my doctor (who is in Toronto) for a checkup. It wasn’t an emergency, so it took me a few days to see her. (Somedays I have gotten in on the same day, but she is busy, so it usually takes me a day or two. And by the way, I have a harder time getting a haircut appointment or a plumber.) I had to get an X-ray and an ultrasound. I literally walked out the door to the office building 1 minute away and put my name down for both. They said the wait would be an hour. I went and had lunch and then got it done. I was called by the nurse with the results in two days. Total cost for all this care: $0.

Can our health care system be better? Certainly. I don’t think there is a country in the world that would not say that. But the nonsense and propaganda I read about our health care system by some American writers amounts to lying. I don’t see how that helps the debate in the U.S. or the health of Americans.