Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Update -- Reading and Cleaning

I wanted to finish writing about our Saturday in Santiago, when we went horseback riding in the mountains above Lake Atitlan. But this experience was so monumental, particularly because of the conversations we had with our guide, that I need to take some time to capture it fully. So please bear with me for a day or so.

Instead, here is an update on the first four days of 2009, particularly in regards to resolutions:

I am happy to say that I have started reading my first book of the new year! The novel is the English translation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I had read a few of Murakami's books and short stories translated into German a while back. There was something I really liked about his style: to-the-point, but yet elegant, at times glamourous and mysterious. Murakami is one of Japan's premiere writers.

I'm a bit intimidated by the fact that this book is, as the Washington Post says, "Murakami's most ambitious attempt yet to stuff all of modern Japan into a single fictional edifice." I'm not sure how much of the subtext I will be able to figure out, since my knowledge of Japan is fairly limited. But even if I only minimally grasp what this book is trying to achieve, I can enjoy Murakami's fantastic story-telling ability.

And in order to spend less time on the computer and more time reading, Michael and I finally got the computer out of the living room and into its own nook in the dining room (hey, we live in the New York metro area...at least we have a dining room!). We also bought two lamps for the living room, so it is a lot more cozy. I'm really looking forward to reading there!

We also organized and donated a lot of clothing and other things we don't need to the Salvation Army. And we had a maid service come in and give our apartment a thorough cleaning yesterday.

So I feel a lot more in control of our life and our stuff here. We finally have some more room to move around!

Now I'm off to cook dinner...and not order take-out!

***

10pm update

Dinner turned out great! I made four courses from scratch (except for the pasta) and modified some existing recipes to better fit what I had in the fridge!
  • Romaine Salad with Kalamata Olives and Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Baked Carrots with Cheese (served in tiny cast iron casserole dishes)
  • Spicy Ratatouille Farfalle (Michael helped kick it up a notch with Northwoods Fire)
  • Savory Orange Dessert Salad

3 comments:

mom said...

Hope you thoroughly enjoy the book, Holly! Dad and I thorougly enjoy reading your posts. We know all the time and effort it must take to write such detailed and enjoyable accounts, and to include such great photos. Thank you so very, very much!

mom said...

It never fails! I left out the "h" in the second thoroughly. The other day I wrote someone a message and left out the "f" in gift. One of my resolutions should be to check my writing for "typos" not once, but two or three times!
---- a distressed Mom who
really hates to be
guilty of "typos"

otherone said...

here's to a fresh new year! sounds like you guys got some great things done to organize. we're hoping to get moving on that... i just donated a bunch of clothes too! it felt great.