Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


No, we have not dropped off the face of the earth. But we've mostly finished with schoolwork, and we had a long weekend, and... oh, just have some clickage.

1. First up, a clip from that classic crime drama, Bohemian Rhapsody.


2. The kids are all signed up for the summer reading program at the library, the sort of thing where you track your reading in fifteen-minute implements, and at six hours and twelve hours you get prizes. This is the sort of thing that makes me realize: I would not have been a good scientist. I don't mind doing stuff, even stuff that takes a lot of time or repetitive work, but I'm terrible at keeping records. I don't want to track how many hours I read. I just want to read.

The smaller kids and I were going to do a science project where we planted seeds in cups, and then put them in windows on different sides of the house, and kept track of what days we watered and rotated them to see which area was the most beneficial. Well, we did water our plants, and rotate them, and all the good stuff you need to do -- but after the first day we didn't write anything down or mark our charts.

People themselves are motivated to keep their reading logs, because prizes, but the ones who are going to have a harder time are the ones for whom I have to help keep time.


3. Speaking of reading, we just finished our readaloud: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). This is one of my favorites, but I'm sad that I've reached a point where I can read about the can of pineapple without dissolving into choking tears of hysteria.

Now taking recommendations for a good summer readaloud.


4. Time to go to the beach. Anne Kennedy has you covered:
So, helpfully, right there on the main page, were 12 things you need, NEED for your summer trip away. I’m just going to list them real quick and then offer my own alternative list. The twelve things you need, NEED for this summer are, in order 
A Brightly Colored Bikini (Hahahahahahaha) 
The Perfect One Piece (obviously, because you can definitely get the perfect one piece. It is possible to do that. You just need to go to like a store or like the internet and just pick anything out because it will fit, it will, and when you’re wearing it, its perfection will keep you from wanting to die. It’s going to be great. Just go out and get it, that perfect one piece, go on. Why are you crying?)

5. Speaking of things that make you want to die, which Shakespearean corpses spend the longest time languishing on stage? Here's a handy chart.


6. Speaking of things worth dying for, yesterday I actually got up and made a dessert: a chocolate semifreddo. It's lot easier than making homemade ice cream, and very very tasty.

I don't know if the WSJ article will unlock for you all, so here's the recipe.

Dark Chocolate and Toasted Almond Semifreddo
Note: The eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked.

Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 4¼ hours (includes freezing) Serves: 8

½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate (63% cacao or higher), melted, warm but not hot
¾ cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds

1. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. In bowl, whisk together sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks and a pinch of salt until very pale and thick, 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat cream to soft peaks. Set aside ⅔ cup of whipped cream for serving and chill, covered, in the refrigerator until needed.

3. Use a rubber spatula to fold chocolate into egg mixture and then quickly but gently fold in whipped cream, stopping when cream is about three-quarters of the way mixed in.

4. Add almonds to chocolate mixture and quickly but gently fold in until completely incorporated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

5. To slice the semifreddo, turn it out onto a serving platter and peel off plastic wrap. (You can do this step ahead of time and store, covered, in the freezer until ready to serve.) Slice and serve with a dollop of the reserved chilled whipped cream.


7. If you're looking for some summer enrichment for your teens, Brandon Watson is running an Introduction to Modal Logic series which we've been working through with the 15yo.

For more philosophy:


8. The older girls are going out tonight for auditions for the community theater production of Godspell. I'd be right up there with them if I weren't a) 8 years past the age cut-off for this particular show, and, more crucially b) going into labor the week of the performances. This is how you can tell what's important to me. If it were sports or dogwalking or a summer job, I'd be all, "Kids, we just can't do that this year. I'm going to have a baby, after all." With theater, I'm all, "Sure, I may be having contractions, but the show must go on! You'll get there somehow!"

I'm very sad, though, to have missed another opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream of belting out this number, originally sung by Sonia Manzano, who later went on to find fame as Maria on Sesame Street.

Break a leg, girls!


Michael said...

for your summer read-aloud, I'd suggest something by George MacDonald. The Light Princess is short, amusing, and delightful. The Princess and the Goblin and its sequel, the Princess and Curdie, are longer, and lovely stories of honor and faith. George MacDonald deeply influenced CS Lewis. He was a Church of Scotland minister, but got in trouble with his church for not being Calvinist enough.

Finicky Cat said...

So many great links!

I've never read the Jerome book...maybe never even heard of it?...but now it's on my list. And if you like old funny books about dogs and boats (not to mention the men), maybe try Farley Mowat's Dog Who Wouldn't Be.