bad writer, no donut.

(Title taken from the ever-popular not-very diplomatic sticker: )

I haven't written for a while. Everything's fine, but nothing much has been going on. Maybe a quick bullet list:

  1. Things with Anna go so well and smoothly that we find it sort of unsettling. No drama, just a seamless meshing of gears and everything works out.

  2. I stopped sitting in on ESL classes, because I was getting a little antsy. Before finishing, I designed and ran exercises in both classes, which was excellent, though nerve-wracking. I think I'm actually quite good at the classroom interaction part; however, faced with a blank page and creating an exercise from scratch, I have a similar reaction to trying to do a mathematical proof, which involves huddling in a dark corner and rocking back and forth and hoping it will all go away.

  3. Still making bread. I'm very good at it, which doesn't seem very hard to me: for yeast breads I learned from the incredibly explicit illustrated steps in The Tassajara Bread Book, and quickbreads are easy to mess with. Anna tells me many people follow all the steps in a bread recipe, but don't end up with good bread at the end; that seems surreal, but she knows these things. Regardless, I maintain that it's not very hard if you pay attention, and everyone should try it.

  4. Books I've read since unemployment (omitting a few I started and gave up on because they weren't good):
                  How Starbucks Saved My Life
                  What The Buddha Never Taught
                  The Lotus Sutra (half of it, anyway)
                  Cave In the Snow
                  The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam
                  All Is Change: The Two-Thousand Year Journey of Buddhism to the West
                  Warm Smiles From Cold Mountains
                  The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins
                  In Search of Zarathustra
                  The Catholic Imagination
                  Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit
                  Hardcore Zen
                  Why I Am A Catholic
                  Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes
                  Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes
                  The Food of A Younger Land
                  Children Who See Too Much
                  Consider Phlebas
                  Use of Weapons
                  Meetings With Remarkable Women : Buddhist teachers in America
                  Ad Infinitum: a biography of Latin
                  Born to Run
                  Sitting Still (interesting book about a Zen-Catholic intersection)
                  caught up on Fables
                  The Steel Remains
                  Fight: or, everything you ever wanted to know about ass-kicking but were afraid you'd get your ass kicked for asking
                  Waking Up: A Week Inside A Zen Monastery
                  One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism
                  Teaching English As A Foreign Or Second Language
                  Buddha Or Bust
                  The Night Of The Gun
                  The Power of Babel
    They're all pretty good, but the top three I'm recommending to people are Born to Run, Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes, and Destiny Disrupted.