Where have I been?! Completely distracted by the weather, I guess. It's downright balmy. Not just plum trees but even some of the crabapples are blooming! It's ridiculous! Makes me want to load up the van with my Holgas & woks, drive off to Montana (I know, it's freezing there right now) or Alabama or something. Check out what all those Chinese restaurants out there are up to. (Wow, that's an awful lot of prepositions in that sentence.)

Besides ogling flowers on trees, I've also been trying to drum up some institutional support (that means: writing residency applications, grant proposals, &c.) for this project. If you, dear reader, have any funding ideas for me, I'd sure love to hear 'em. Or hey, be direct: just send me money. & takeout menus. I don't want much, do I?


It's my blog & I'll be off-topic if I want to... I just have to say, that peace march yesterday was absolutely TREMENDOUS. I have never seen anything so big! The crowd was massive, the vibe was positive, the energy was high... I barely thought about Chinese restaurants at all!


You know how it is when you're working on a project, it seems like the whole world is all about that thing. Everywhere you go, everyone is talking about Chinese restaurants... ok, well, so, not exactly, but this New Yorker article by Calvin Trillin makes me pretty dang cheerful. That, and the bizarre Chinese takeout carton Christmas-tree ornament recently given to me, no kidding: it's that old-school kind of glass ornament with the sort of frosted/metallic surface, tapering to a pointed hole on the bottom (where they blow the glass from? I don't know) capped with a decorated metal finial. Except it's a Chinese takeout box instead of the usual red or green sphere! Now, who besides me would ever want such a thing??


I've been reading this fabulous new book by J. A. G. Roberts, China to Chinatown: Chinese Food in the West, which Dan found for me. I'm completely engrossed! Here is a particularly satisfying passage:

"The aversion to the eating of dogs and cats has been expressed so loudly by Westerners that it is important to point out that dog-eating was certainly practised in Germany until early in the twentieth century, and that the killing and eating of cats, as an ingredient in spells or for medicinal purposes, was common in France in the eighteenth century." (p. 20)

Spells! Oh my....


Yes, it's true, even a fiend like me can reach Chinese food saturation. Masses of relatives converged in town over the holidays & pummelled me with large quantities of food every time I dared show my face. I think I have fully satisfied my crustacean cravings for at least the next few months. (One uncle sent himself to the emergency room with a crab OD, I kid you not.) Most recently we had some very lovely steamed fish in black bean sauce, the likes of which Wyoming cannot even dream. Also at that meal: fried milk?! Someone enlighten me, please... is it milk like from a critter (shades of crab rangoon! eek!) or is it soy milk (more what I would like to believe)?

I'm not knocking Wyoming; they can't help being so far from the ocean. It's not their fault, really. I mean it!