Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cooking Day: Empanadas

Yesterday, Sam and I got a lesson in making Argentine-style empanadas at Martha's house.  There was a lot of kneading and rolling and filling involved, and some cooking.  And lots of flour.

We also had some "help" and company from a very hungry Bongo:

Godric (yes, like Gryffindor), the older dog, was content to ignore us and snooze by the stove.

After about 2 hours, we had many plates full of empanadas:

There were meat empanadas, cheese and spinach, cheese and basil, cheese and basil and tomato...and even some sweet apple empanadas.  Plus, a luscious orange-based dessert that Ximena brought.

Even Mr. Bobo enjoyed himself:

A lot of work, but a good time and great company.  Martha has one of the coziest homes in Quito, I think, that mirrors her casual and friendly being.  

I think Sam and I could cook these on our own.  We're told we'll have to if Martha visits us in the U.S.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Up Close

What I spend my days doing, seeing...when I'm not at home trying to finish book revisions.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let's start with the Good:

Anya, adorably snuggled under a comforter on the couch...

Who is always, oddly, surprised when this lulls her to sleep. 

A beautiful moon over the mountains: 

Sam's drawing of a koala: 

The Bad (and I'll spare pictures here):

1) The bug bites have returned, after only a week and a half reprieve (don't ask, you don't want the details).
2) I have a cold and feel like a rag doll, completely w/o energy. 

The Ugly: Watching big, black clouds roll in over Quito yesterday: 
It was quite a thunder storm--close lightning, loud thunder.  I was glad that I hadn't decided to stay at the archives until they closed, because I surely would have been caught in this and stuck walking home.

What's the good, bad, and ugly in your life these days?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gender at the National Library

My usual solitary pursuit of Ecuador's gendered past is less lonely these days--or, at least, for a couple more days.  Nicola has been in Quito, and we've been meeting up to do work research at the
National Library's holdings of El Comercio.  It's nice to have company!  (And such good company, too.)

And then there are the things that I am finding.  It's a hunt, but I am finding some things regarding gender, home, and child care.  I am also finding lots of fascinating/funny ads, like the one above.  This particular ad promises "Developed, reconstituted, beautiful, fortified BREASTS"...if only you buy this product.  Some things don't change, huh?  

Sadly, we also have to deal with a library staff member who is...rather creepy with women.  I'll leave it at that. The things I put up with for my work...

Next week it's back to working alone full time, alas.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Where I can find it

My run of bad luck continues--bad enough that I don't even want to write about it right now.  So instead I am going to keep trying to appreciate beauty and pleasure where I can find them.

Like in the clouds and the mountains--so easy to find, just outside our window:

And in teeny tiny tangerines.

We also got teeny tiny lemons. These are Sam's.  He named them all Fred (which makes sense, if you know Sam).  My, but I do love that boy. 

I suppose I should get over myself, and my exhaustion, and finally get to the archives today.  But, wouldn't it be okay to take just one day off to be completely decadent and read and knit--in silence, w/o the kids?  (It's okay if I take just one day. Don't you think it's okay if I take just one day?  Oh yes.  Yes, yes, yes, yes.)* 

We'll see what happens.  Just please, universe, keep sending me small beauty. 

*This is an adapted line from Munsch and Martchenko's children's book, Angela's Airplane.  We haven't read that book to the kids in years, but somehow a variation of the line still comes up from time to time...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Observations on Life in Academia

1. Peer review makes me feel vulnerable and stupid, even when it proves useful in the end.

2. There will always be someone out there trying to tell you how to write the book they would have written--but didn't.

3. Researching civil court cases is its own special form of purgatory--going nowhere most of the time, and only occasionally paying off with rewards. 

4.  I really, really need a bookcase in this house.

5. Even on a grant to do archival research, there are times that I need to be working out of the apartment in order to keep other parts of my professional life going--or even to make sure that this particular research keeps moving forward. 

6. The twentieth century is soooo much easier to research than the nineteenth century. 

7. Many academics are superficial, mostly interested in who/what will get them "ahead" professionally.  A  few are the best people/colleagues/friends a person could ever have.  I am lucky to have found a fair share of the latter. 

How the heck did I end up in this gig?