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Reading on a cold day

To make up for the book autopsies (I don't really apologize for that, but I needed a segue...) here is a link that takes you to the most comprehensive list (and pictures!) of the world's most beautiful and intricate libraries. Clear some space, it'll take you a while to go through them all, if you've not seen this before. Oh, so lovely. I loved the chained books in one of the older places. That web blog, Curious Expeditions, is one of my favorite places to visit online. Part Steampunk, part travelogue, this couple posts some of the more thoughtful and through provoking posts you'll find. This link in particular strikes my fancy - it's a flickr set from a museum in Austria that made all of the creatures out of blown glass, instead of traditional taxidermy. Outstanding.

I still think Jay Walker's personal library is one of the most amazing in the world, simply because he has things like Sputnik in it. The actual Sputnik.

Today is Chinese New Year! Happy Year of the Ox! Here's what the kids and I are eating (so far) tonight:

  • Soup with lobster balls

  • Leek and pork pot stickers

  • fried rice

  • Long Life noodles in sauce with steamed veggies (broccoli and cauliflower)

  • blanched spinach with sesame - I use this recipe, and the website is awesome. I love the Engrish and the recipes are DIVINE. Er, mine won't look as pretty as his.

  • and hopefully HOPEFULLY some Xiao Long Bao, which I had the pleasure of having proper Shanghai soupy dumplings in Chinatown, and educated on how to eat them, courtesy of cherusha. I can't remember the name of the crunchy seaweed salad we ate, but my helpful Asian market worker who didn't speak any English tried to understand what I was looking for and... maybe I have it, or maybe I'll have something new?

My Soup with Lobster Ball recipe
I'm lazy and don't make these from scratch, but I have an excellent market that makes these fresh every day. I like to brown them in a skillet, first, because the crunchy texture is nice, but it's not necessary.

You can either make fish stock from scratch, or if you're lazy like me, you can add some fish sauce to boiling water. About a tablespoon for 4-5 C. of water.

Get the water boiling, add some finely minced ginger and a clove or two of garlic, also minced. After a minute or so, add the fish balls (I'm using lobster this time) and some green onion, julienned. I've had this with some pan-fried scallion slivers served on top, a sprinkling of cilantro (coriander leaves) and some delicious Rooster sauce (garlic chili paste) and it's FABULOUS. Very light and refreshing.


I am FREEZING today. Yesterday I tried to race ahead of a cold front and get my onions and potatoes in, which resulted in me spending about 8 hours cleaning up the garden and adding an additional 600 pounds of compost. I'm so sore and my hands are beat to hell. This morning I didn't help things by attempting to go walk in sleet (dumb) so I have hot coffee, my Kindle (reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Anyone checked that out?) and a warm bed. I think I'll spend most of my morning there. Brr.

Oh, one last thing! Everyone's picking up on this in Big Love: "Kansas" is the YFZ ranch in Texas? I snort every time they say the Kansas compound. Ha.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
OOooh! The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is AWESOME! I loved it!!!

And now I'm hungry for lobster.

Jan. 26th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, good to know I didn't buy a crap book. I usually don't go blindly into book buying - burned too many times, but it looked interesting.

Mmmm, lobster. I'm looking forward to dinner tonight, yum!
Jan. 26th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
The Wired article on Jay Walker's personal library was cut out and saved because I couldn't bear to throw it out with the rest of the recycling. As a library & information science student focused on preservation & digital archiving, that is practically Nirvana, lol. Thanks for the other links, can't wait to check them out!
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, that library of his... I DREAM of just sitting in a place like that, you know? You are going to DIE when you see that comprehensive photo set of beautiful libraries around the world, just be prepared to set aside a couple of hours.
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
*sneaks in* I studied that to! :-D
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
I thought you would!
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I have seen those pictures before, and man... I can stare at them for hours... Seriously. Had I been rich, I would have traveled the world looking at libraries... *sigh* Thanx. :-)
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm confused. People whined about the *book autopsies*?
*is boggled*
Jan. 26th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Some people are book lovers, and saw that as a desecration. I did not, however. Not everything is worth keeping and recycling helps the planet. :)
Jan. 26th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Weird. I wouldn't do it to a rare 'last copy ever!!' print of a book, but to books that still exist in 'readable' form elsewhere? Absolutely.

They were so cool.
Jan. 26th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Libraries!
Seriously, though, the majesty of the places can't be described by the pictures. When you walk in to the Library of Parliament- it feels almost holy.
Also, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is aweome
Jan. 26th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Libraries are such a happy place, even when they're not majestic. But when it's an amazing building? I kinda want to live in one. :D

Two votes for my book, yay!
Jan. 26th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Word. The library I remember most fondly was the village one in the village my grandma lives in. It was actually in one of the old wooden houses that place had left over from the twenties. The stacks were on old shelves made from chopped up doors. It was fantastic.

Then I grew up and went to Warsaw and saw the new University Library, which was so freakin' sterile it almost smelled like dentist. Oh, and the 'deep' inscription in Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew and whatnot on the sides? I'll take the village roadside wooden shrine with the Virgin Mary, thank you.
Jan. 26th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Your menu sounds fantastic. Our oriental market only sells frozen lobster and fish balls, and I've never been satisfied with their flavor or consistency. I'm jealous of your access to fresh lobster balls.

I want to be in Jay Walker's library right this minute, and the Viennese blown glass collection is fantastic!
Jan. 26th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
I started off with the frozen variety until I got enough confidence to go to the market where they make it right there. The ladies don't have much English, and I just get nervous. [/dork]

That man's personal library should be one of the wonders of the world!!
Jan. 26th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
me spending about 8 hours cleaning up the garden and adding an additional 600 pounds of compost

*runs a hot bath for you*

Also, I don't think I can say Lobster Balls without cracking up. Hahahahahahahaha! *is inane*
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Oy, I was soooooo sore, J! *leans*
*pours some Epsom salts in there, too*

Ahahahaha, they'd be such wee balls, but well protected! Built in cup! :D
Jan. 27th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Mmm, the lobster ball soup sounds delicious. I'm eating leftover Thai food, and it feels wrong somehow, kind of like I'm desecrating Chinese New Year. Oh well.
Jan. 27th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
It was good! Well, Thai food is in the general vicinity....? :D
Jan. 27th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
I *loved* the libraries! Thanks so much for the link. I've forwarded it on to our school's librarian too. :-)
Jan. 27th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
Weren't they lovely? I hope she loves them, too!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 27th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
I could spend days in each one of them!

We have an ice storm rolling over us right now - I'll trade your snow for this sleet...
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
Those recipes sound delicious. I'm thinking of making Prawns with Honey Walnuts, a favorite of mine.
Jan. 27th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that sounds pretty flippin' tasty, too! I just bookmarked a TON of yummy Asian recipes on my delicious page if you want to go digging around. I've not tried them yet, but they look tasty and not too complex.
Jan. 28th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
if i had a shit-ton of money, the first thing i would do is build myself a personal library. and you can bet it would be cooler than jay's.
Jan. 28th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
If you could make a library even cooler than his, I'd move in and pay you rent.
Feb. 4th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
I've been reading your LJ every now and then since November or December (we never met online or anything but I like your writing) and this is the second time during those few weeks that you've mentioned a Swedish book (the other one being Let the right one in) which is cool :D They are both good reads, too. The original title of TGWTDT is "Men who hate women", isn't that a more interesting one?

Love the libraries!

Feb. 4th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Hi, Emma!

Oooh, I like that title! Yes, it does give a better feeling/insight overall. Thank you for commenting, and come back any time. :)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
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