The Irrelevance of Rob Lowe, Dewey and Bigfoot

READ A BIOGRAPHY (OR AUTOBIOGRAPHY) OF SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE

So, when I planned to tackle this as my next challenge, I thought it was going to be too easy.  I mean, people think I read for a living anyway.  But, I’ve started and restarted this post multiple times.  I feel like I have reader’s block.  If you are a big reader you might know this syndrome: a general inability to get into something that you are “supposed” to read.  For me, it usually involves some kind of deadline to start and finish an “assigned” book. It’s probably amazing I ever made it through school!

At this point in life it most frequently manifests itself in book clubs. People often ask me how many book clubs I’m in.  None.  I have enjoyed book clubs over time and would join again if the right situation arose but for now, I’m more than happy to be riding solo.  I’ve got a bit of “stick-it-to-the-man” in me even when it comes to books.

In this particular situation, I actually am “the man”.  I’ve got to get over the assignment feel of this challenge.  Maybe it’s because I read a lot of fiction. For some people, that means I’m wasting my time. Not “learning” anything.  Whatever. It’s not that I don’t read nonfiction, I do. I just like fiction better. It’s like cake. I’ll eat any cake that looks good, but there’s nothing like a white cake with white frosting. That will be a controversial statement for the chocolate cake eaters out there.  Just move on.

I do enjoy a good biography or autobiography.  In fact, while reading a memoir several years ago I was motivated for the first time to reach out to someone famous via social media.  It’s always exciting when someone with some influence talks about libraries. I was enjoying my library copy of Love Life when Rob Lowe told a story about his time in the  library researching Bigfoot as a child. Then this happened: “Has there ever been a more horrific barrier to reading than the Dewey Decimal System? No wonder libraries are becoming irrelevant.”  Well, thanks for that.

 

Why am I promoting this? Actually, his books are good.

The majority of autobiographies or biographies that I read are interesting or entertaining but are not necessarily about people that I admire.  Not that I don’t admire them, but, usually admire would be too strong a word.  See previous Rob Lowe story. I’ve been undecided for awhile on this so I guess it’s going to be a game-time decision.  I’ve started the clock ticking with this post and by next week I need to have selected, read and written about this book. It’s like being in college again!

Are you an autobiography/biography reader?  Do you read about people you admire? Read along with me this week.  Just don’t overthink it like I do! I’d love to hear what you’ve read, this week or previously, and what you recommend. I’ll be back here next week, and hopefully, you will, too.  Thanks for reading!

Before you go…I’m not letting this library thing go.  First of all, Horrific Barriers to Reading for $2000, Alex.  Does the Dewey Decimal System even make the cut? I’m not going to defend the Dewey Decimal System but I will challenge you to go to your local bookstore and try to find a book on Bigfoot without asking anyone for help.  Irrelevant, my a$$.

 

 

 

 

We Ate Things We Didn’t Recognize

I crowd-sourced what cuisine I should try for the TRY ANOTHER COUNTRY’S CUISINE Challenge and the winner was: Ethiopia! (I took a poll on Facebook and Instagram and Ethiopia thumped Russia/Uzbekistan in the voting). This was one of those challenges where I thought, “Why did I say I’d do this?” We did a little research about what we should eat and, maybe more precisely, what we should avoid. Tibs: stir-fried meat, yes.  Kitfo: raw lean ground beef, no. Feeling fairly prepared, we ventured out but I can’t say we were too excited.

Sora
Full disclosure: taken as we were leaving.

Turns out there are six Ethiopian places within walking distance. We chose Sora Ethiopian Market and Cafe, which is only half a mile from out house! It’s not a large place and luckily we weren’t the only diners. Game plan: order some kind of identifiable meat and be comforted by the idea of bread. We had decided we needed to order one of the combo platters that seem to be the staple of Ethiopian cuisine. So we picked the Veggies of the Day and added something called YeShint Tibs: cubed ribeye steak sautéed with onions, garlic, tomato, jalapeño and some kind of seasoning.

menu
Notice the YeShint Tibs. As well as various other Tibs.

In Ethiopia you eat without utensils.  Meals are served with a spongy flatbread called injera which you tear off into small pieces and use to scoop up the meat or vegetables. It’s not bad once you get the hang of it, but messy.

injera
Injera. An endless supply.

So, I’m sure you are wondering, how was the food? It was pretty good! I was surprised that I liked the vegetables better than the bread or the beef.  Let’s start with the bread.  Injera has a strange, almost sour, flavor.  It serves primarily as a vessel to get the food from plate to mouth.  It certainly isn’t something that I would just eat alone but with the veggies or meat it almost disappears flavor-wise. The temperature was off-putting, room temperature with an almost clammy feel.  I’m not sure I’d even describe it as bread? Lee and I were in agreement about the injera.

For the meat entree, YeShint Tibs, I liked the seasoning but the steak was just okay,  I wanted it to be more tender and I thought our server said it would be thinly sliced.  However, looking at the menu now it clearly says “chunk cubes” of ribeye, so…I guess that’s on me.  Lee liked the meat better than I did.

On to the veggies.  I was nervous about them. In the pictures they looked mushy and of indeterminate origin.  However, I liked all but one of the five!

Foodlabeled
All platters are served on injera.

A veggie breakdown:

Messer: spicy lentil stew- my favorite!  Good texture, nice level of spice!

Alicha Messer: non-spicy whole lentil stew- not a lot of flavor and in certain circumstances that’s a win!

Alicha Kik: yellow split pea stew- not a ton of flavor and full disclosure, I thought it was described by the server as being sweet potatoes, which probably made me give it the benefit of the doubt before even tasting it.  The whole dish was kind of an exercise in suspended disbelief anyway because it looked like corn.

Kay Sir: red beets, carrots and potatoes cooked with onions and garlic- surprisingly good!  I do like beets (cooked only, please!) and potatoes, to the picky eater, are a god-send, plus carrots, I can do.  I was good once I realized that even though I couldn’t tell whether a chunk was beet, potato or carrot they all tasted fine.

Gomen: Collard greens cooked with onion and garlic- I saved the best for last…no. This was no bueno.  Wrong language,  I know. Wrong country even, but really just plain wrong. I’m not a fan of collard greens, in general, and these were probably perfectly fine if you like them, but, just no for me.  I did try them and, honestly, it was the only thing I ate all night where I was like, just swallow and try not to make a face.

We admitted to our server that this was our first time eating Ethiopian food and she said we seemed like naturals!  I think she was impressed that we didn’t ask for silverware.  Overall, we enjoyed it.  We might even go back.  Maybe.

coke
Liquid security blanket.

So, did you eat something from somewhere different? What did you think?  I’d love to hear about it!  I was about to write that maybe we’d try out more new food from other countries but, you know, I’m going to pace myself.  I’ve promised to try sushi and we might just give the Uzbek/Russian place by the movie theatre a go but after that I think I’ll give my tastebuds and my overactive imagination a rest.  Thanks for reading!

Before you go…I must admit that Lee tasted everything first and told me what I’d like and what I wouldn’t!  Although, I was going to try everything anyway it helped me to prepare mentally.  Let’s just say he’s my food wing man.