Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reading, and cooking, and baking, oh my

I'm am not going to whine about my hair, and oh Sweet Jesus, I wish everyone would just get OVER their fucking hair.

I've picked up and discarded several novels lately, so I've been spending a lot of time reading my newest fun, non-fiction book.

"The Gargoyles of Notre Dame" by Michael Camille.

and I am loving it!

"Most of the seven million people who visit the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris each year probably do not realize that the legendary gargoyles adorning this medieval masterpiece were not constructed until the nineteenth century. The first comprehensive history of these world-famous monsters, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame argues that they transformed the iconic thirteenth-century cathedral into a modern monument.

Michael Camille begins his long-awaited study by recounting architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s ambitious restoration of the structure from 1843 to 1864, when the gargoyles were designed, sculpted by the little-known Victor Pyanet, and installed. These gargoyles, Camille contends, were not mere avatars of the Middle Ages, but rather fresh creations—symbolizing an imagined past—whose modernity lay precisely in their nostalgia. He goes on to map the critical reception and many-layered afterlives of these chimeras, notably in the works of such artists and writers as Charles Méryon, Victor Hugo, and photographer Henri Le Secq. Tracing their eventual evolution into icons of high kitsch, Camille ultimately locates the gargoyles’ place in the twentieth-century imagination, exploring interpretations by everyone from Winslow Homer to the Walt Disney Company.

Lavishly illustrated with more than three hundred images of its monumental yet whimsical subjects, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame is a must-read for historians of art and architecture and anyone whose imagination has been sparked by the lovable monsters gazing out over Paris from one of the world’s most renowned vantage points."

And, being lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Billy Collins' newest book of poetry, Whale Days, I'm happily reading poetry while not frolicking with gargoyles.

"Billy Collins's thirteenth collection of poems gathers together over 50 new poems which showcase the deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made him one of our country's most celebrated and widely read poets.

These are poems of whimsy and imaginative acrobatics, but they are grounded in the familiar, common things of everyday experience. Collins takes us for a walk with an impossibly ancient dog, discovers the proper way to eat a banana, meets an Irish spider, and invites us to his own funeral. Facing both the wonders of being alive and the thrill of mortality, these new poems can only solidify Collins's reputation as one of America's most durable and interesting poets."

And - I'm baking.

A favorite old stand-by  -  Blueberry Muffins.

Can't seem to get enough!  And I find comfort in baking.

I've pulled out some old cookbooks, including a couple bread baking books.  It may be time for me to get back to bread baking - it's been years since doing that.

I do know there are beezillions of recipes available on-line, but having an old cookbook in my lap is as much fun for me as a new novel.

And - I'm cooking.

Last night (with enough left over for this evening) it was Fettuccine Alfredo.

Donald chose to top his with some bacon.

I chose shrimp.

Both of us were happy little campers.

And in the meantime,  our old beat-up Scrabble board awaits us.

And all this is, in my ever so humble opinion. so much nicer than pitching a daily fit over sheltering at home.  

My hair's a wreck.  Who cares?

My nails are a wreck.  Who cares?


WHO cares?

More than 90,000 people have died in the United States from this virus.

WHY on earth are people whining about their fucking hair?!

And that's all I have to say about that . . . 


Gram said...

Thanks...I now have two new books added to my want to read list. I have my own solution for hair - I am going to revert to my teen years and at 81 I'm soon going to wear a ponytail.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Ponytails are cool, Gram and you will rock it!