Thursday, April 27

In which we will never use any baking powder except Rollings Reliable

Domesticity abounded last night as I devoted an entire evening to making a layer cake. At 12, I kept my family well supplied with desserts, but those days have long been gone. So it was with some excitement and trepidation that I made a careful search for a recipe with just the right balance between easy and challenging—no cake mixes, but no candy thermometers either. I finally settled on "Louella's Coconut Cake" from The Mitford Cookbook. Martha McIntosh, the editor, grew up in Mt. Olive as well, and I know she is a cook to be trusted. The whole process took about 5 hours, but before you dismiss me as completely crazy, bear in mind that this included a lot of time warming (eggs and butter to room temperature) and cooling (cake layers) and a trip to the grocery store for 8 more ounces of sour cream, as well as breaks for supper and to read The Fellowship of the Ring. The result? A gooey mound of sugar, coconut and various dairy products that will probably send us all into diabetic comas. So I plan to serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness.

Wednesday, April 26

I would like you to dance (birthday)

Twenty-three years ago today a legend was born. When Mr. and Mrs. Benson found a baby boy in their handbag after leaving the cloak room at a Clinton, Mississippi train station, they little knew how young Nathan—as they came to call him—would change theirs and other lives. Early exploits included watching cartoons and letting his imagination run away with him. Nathan later came to be known for roles such as “Great Uncle Bob,” “Kermit the Frog,” and “Cedric Diggory.” He now divides his time between Hinds and Belhaven, where he lives with his two roommates and a large pink bear.

Tuesday, April 25

New music Tuesday

Nashville musician Andrew Osenga is beginning to put songs from his upcoming album The Morning on his website. Listen to After the Garden and Santa Barbara now, because they'll only be up for a few days. The Morning releases May 16 along with a re-mastered version Photographs, his first solo album after The Normals disbanded. Photographs will also have new art, which is exciting to me because I never thought the first release looked very professional. This looks great, though—and captures the flavor of the album well. I’m still digesting the new songs, but it’s exciting to hear Andy cut loose like the rock star we know he is. Makes me think of The Normals (sniff). “I miss those days…”

Tuesday, April 18

In which every chapter is better than the one before

The quote for today comes from Andrew Osenga:

One of the greatest aches is a few moments after snapping out of a reverie. Maybe heaven is like snapping out of real life and into the reverie forever.

Monday, April 17

Goober and the art of love

There's nothing like negative publicity to pique curiosity. On Thursday I read another blog in which a guy tried taking eHarmony's free personality profile, only to discover at the end that he didn't have any matches. "No matches! Are you kidding?" I thought. And then: "I wonder if I'd have any matches." A few mouse clicks later I'm filling out a personality profile. I tried to be as honest as possible, but I did use an assumed name. How embarrassing would it be to run into someone you know on a site like that! A little over an hour later, I finish the survey. When I send my final results, a bar moves dramatically along the bottom of the screen while images of happy couples embracing and an explanation of why eHarmony is superior to other matching sites flash above.

Aaaaand... I have two matches. One is from Meridian, and the other is from Jackson. What are the odds that out of all 8 million eHarmony users, my only matches live within an hour and a half of me? This seems pretty fishy to me. Over the weekend, I seem to have become more compatible, because when I checked it this morning, I had seven more matches, about half of which were from the northeast. A couple of them sound like okay guys, but some of the language makes me laugh:
Below are some of the important interests that you and Sean share:
Oh, yeah, walking is a great way to begin a relationship! I bet he breathes and eats too!

One important thing to know about eHarmony in case you're at all interested in it—I try these things out so you don't have to—is that they make no differentiation between subscribers and those on the 7-day free trial. I have no intention of subscribing, but my matches don’t know that, and I can’t communicate with them until I fork over the money. In other words, a new user could be used as “bait” to get some guy to subscribe, only to find that he still can’t communicate with her because she was only on the free trial. I tried to remedy this situation by putting “I am not a subscriber” in my profile.

So no matter how appealing Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make an online romance look in You’ve Got Mail, I’m not going to be jumping into the world of online dating any time soon. "Goober, you were on a date—you weren't taking medicine."

Tuesday, April 11


Overheard at Twin Lakes last weekend:

Male Guest: Did you know that R.C. Sproul was in this week?
Female Guest: (Unimpressed) Where?
Male Guest: (With confidence) Here.
Female Guest: (Now suppressed excitement) Really?

Unnamed Chaperone: Beer is the most disgusting stuff on earth, and I don't understand why anyone would want to drink it.
Me (thinking): Mmmmmmm... beer.