Mix tapes and macaroons

You can't have my mix, but you can use this to build your own.
(Buy now)

Do you know what is shiny? My writers group is shiny. I was worried last year that this group had reached its limit, as writing groups will do, but we rallied ourselves and decide to revise the way we do business and to think about how the group can serve each member's needs more individually. It seems to have worked. They were gentle with me, but also gave me lots of fuel to power this next phase of writing/revision/reshaping. Thanks, friends.

Also shiny, my parenting community. Faced with three impossible kid/work/transport situations this coming week (David is starting outreach tour season Wednesday. Whee! And I kind of become solo parent for a while), I reached out to friends, and I have managed to cover them all. I have trouble asking for help, so this is particularly shiny for me.

Reading: Finished the other submission for group. And more of the outsourcing article.

I desire to be a less desultory reader.

Writing: Revising some scenes in Arizona, and the city of Tucson is alive in my mind.

Dinner: Sunday is a good night for using up leftovers. Retooled last week's three-bean chili into "3 Sisters pasta sauce." By which I mean I added some sauteed pumpkin (cut and skinned during last week's curry making but too much for that recipe), onion and peppers, extra spices, and frozen corn. ("3 Sisters" is the Native American set of staples - beans, squash, and corn.) Served over fusilli with grated cheddar and some sriracha sauce.

Soundtrack: David and I wooed each other with mix tapes since the beginning of our relationship. Or mix CDs, as the care may be. And he has made me a mix every 2 years or so since we've been together, with songs that pertain to our lives together during that time. So, songs that were popular, or that we listened to a lot. Songs from movie soundtracks or TV shows (helps that we live in a good sountrack era). Songs from live shows and concerts we went to. More and More, songs that have been important to our children. He makes cover art for them too.

Usually he gives them to me for a roadtrip. Sometime recently ... last summer? for a roadtrip last summer? ... he committed the old cassettes to CD too, and gave me the whole bunch of them. [ed note: anniversary present! tied up in lace. lace is the traditional present for the 13th anniversary.]

So, tonight, I idly turned on the CD player in my car, and one of the disks from the not too distant past was sitting in there waiting for me. It includes an amazing acoustic version of the Siousxie song "Cities in Dust" by our friends, the band Queue Up. Ali's voice is so perfect and immediate and haunting in this recording. This is immediately followed by "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae, which may be one of the most joyous pieces of music ever. Terrific segue, and a perfect snapshot of my friendship with my husband. So much is contained there.

Random thing: Macaroons, what gives? I am getting banner ads fed to me that feature technicolor macaroons. At the art museum on Friday, I noticed a trio of teenage girls all buying a single macaroon each at the dessert counter, and thought "These are the macaroon generation." But why? I think I was first aware of the macaroon thing in Chicago a few years ago. I was staying with friends and stopped in the big Macy's that was Marshall Fields to get a gift for them, and came away with a perfect little parcel of improbably hued macaroons. Seemed like a novelty trend to me then, but now I feel like macaroons they have become mainstreamed, a staple. Like scones or paninis or, god forbid, the wrap.

And, here's a little present for you: