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Friday, February 13, 2004

The dark side of February showed itself today. Winter has reasserted its stranglehold. Not only was it cold, but it was also wet. And dark. Dark all day long (and even darker at night). To someone who already thinks a nap in the middle of the day isn't a half bad idea, the darkness was like an invitation. It was as if February were telling me it's all right to close my eyes and sink back into the recliner. There's nothing to see out there anyway.

This is a North Bay February, so the worst of it is that it rained hard and the wind howled loudly for an hour or so this afternoon. We've had much wetter and darker winters, but that doesn't mean I have to like what I'm handed on a day like this. It's dreary, really dreary. Look at that word. Even the word "dreary" is dreary. Somebody make it go away.

So how did I handle it? I tried a new recipe — and it wasn't even one of Rachael's (although I did get it off the Food Network site). I had these big, thick, beautiful pork chops, and this halfway exotic recipe, with things like hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, ginger and honey. And you don't have to stand over a spluttering skillet with this one, because all the cooking takes place in the oven.

The pork chops weren't as good as I'd hoped, but the experience of whisking together the sauce I coated them in was therapeutic. I think next time I'll try a little less of the sweet stuff and see if that helps. And I'll definitely use less Dijon mustard. The recipe called for two tablespoons of Dijon, but I didn't have a tablespoon small enough to fit into the jar. So I guessed. Apparently I guessed poorly.

They weren't inedible. In fact, I ate two of them and saved the third for a leftover night. But they could have been better, and next time they will be. I'll just try not to let them remind me of a dreary day in February whenever I fix them.

12 February 2004

The southwest corner of the house (and beyond).

The five-day forecast, for what it's worth, shows rain every single day. Five straight days of rain could bring me just about to the saturation point. It'll take me where no pork chop can save me. By the middle of next week, there might be no help for me this side of a chocolate donut.

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This was a first from Netflix: A DVD that came in today's mail was in three pieces, as if someone had sat on it or run over it or, well, snapped it into three pieces. Anyway, it's going back with a note. So I watched the other two DVDs they sent me, The 4th Floor and the Capturing the Friedmans bonus disc. The first was creepy but dumb. The second was truly scary, but I already wrote about the movie itself (briefly) in this entry.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Viewer's Choice
"You know I love sappy romantic dramas, but I enjoy a little vicarious grub-eating and back-stabbing, too."

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Trouble in mind, I'm blue,
But I won't be blue always,
'Cause the sun is gonna shine in my back door someday.