Crafts: The crocheted coral reef exhibit is opening this weekend. I am hoping to get over to the Museum of Natural History on Sunday morning, before the meeting for volunteers at the upcoming Science Festival on the mall. But what I wanted to mention now was one of the other satellite reefs that I found interesting. It was made by inmates of a women's prison in Indiana.
Celebrity death watch: I should mention the opera singer, Joan Sutherland, but the most recent celebrity death was of Carla Cohen, co-founder of Politics and Prose, an excellent independent bookstore in northwest Washington, D.C. She had been in poor health for a while (and the shop is for sale partly because of that). Until reading her obituary, I had not realized that one of her brothers is Mark Furstenberg, owner of the well-regarded sandwich shop, Bread Line (as well as Marvelous Market, which I am less impressed with).
Amazing Race: Sunday night's episode came down to two things - luck with taxis and attention to detail. The Princeton boys did well (despite taking way too long to find Ghana on the map) because they actually read the clue for the construction materials challenge. And they were the only team who actually found the decoder key for what should have been the easier challenge.
I was annoyed at tattooed guy for his meanness to his girlfriend, though he did apologize when she had the asthma attack. I have also concluded that the doctors won't last much longer, given that they were the only team who had trouble finding the marked path to the pit stop.
Notes to myself: Does anybody have any idea what the possible significance of "303/357" might be and why I wrote it in my planner a couple of weeks ago? Or why I wrote "3200-11" a couple of days later? (Lest you think all of my notes to myself are cryptic and/or useless, I am reasonably sure that one string of letters and numbers was a temporary web password for a site I forgot my password to and had called to get reset. And I actually know that "Elstar" is a type of apple, about which more later.)
Yoga: There is a Baptist minister who has been getting skewered in the press for saying that yoga is un-Christian. I don't see the big deal. It isn't any secret that yoga has spiritual practices associated with it and it should not be surprising that those might be incompatible with other religious traditions. (By the way, I know of at least a couple of synagogues that have special yoga classes that have been designed to avoid some of the practices that are un-Jewish.)
Apples: The farmer's market has been full of apples for the past several weeks. The Elstar apples definitely had an unusual flavor, which is why I made a note about them. They were fine for a change of snacking pace, but I will stick to the Rome and (especially) Cortland apples for the most part. Were I ever going to bake a pie, they have a good supply of Northern Spy, which are the definitive pie apple as far as I am concerned.
Speaking of baking: I baked a chocolate cake for a colleague's 50th birthday. Basically, I used a recipe from Hershey's web site, substituting brown sugar for half the granulated sugar (because I ran out of granulated sugar) and tossing in a bag of chocolate chips for good measure. My ambitions are limited, however, and I used boughten frosting. It was a success and I will use that cake recipe again.
Words: Does anybody else use "boughten" to mean "store bought" or is that something I picked up somewhere obscure?
Endangered languages: I went to hear K. David Harrison's talk at National Geographic on Tuesday night. I picked up a copy of his book, The Last Speakers while I was there. He was an entertaining and informative lecturer and played clips of several speakers of endangered languages. The funniest part involved a love song from a tribe in Papua New Guinea. The lyrics were along the lines of "Your village is swampy and has death adders. I don't want to live there. Come and live in my village where there are no death adders."
I think that brings me up to date.