a few discoveries and experiences that have left me feeling happy.
- delicious. it's official: thai nakorn is back. and it's as wonderful as ever. after not having had the absolute perfection of beef panang curry and barbequed catfish, among many other delicious options, for nearly five months, it was heaven to partake again. if you like thai (and you should; if you don't there's something wrong with you), you need to get yourself to the new location. 11951 beach boulevard in stanton (at the intersection of chapman and beach). go. indulge. and give your support to this fantastic restaurant run by some of the nicest people i've met. you won't regret it.
- christian constant. RAF just returned from a whirlwind trip to paris and london. and wonderfully thoughtful man that he is, he returned with a stash of christian constant chocolate for me. four perfect bars of dark chocolate, each with its own distinct flavor based on where the cacao beans were grown. and this time a box of truffles with fillings infused with flowers including tuberoses, frangipani flowers, tahitian vanilla flowers, and more. i'm salivating thinking about them but i need the thai-fullness to wear off.
- macarons. as if the christian constant weren't enough, RAF also brought a selection of macarons from laduree, the home of the 'new' macaron which sandwiches flavored garnishes between two traditional macarons. i can't wait to sample these beautiful little pastries.
- vampires and demons. i've been re-reading dracula this week, as i'm teaching it in my lit class this quarter. and i'm remembering just how fun this book is. it's totally unpredictable in spite of the cultural capital it carries in our society. even having read it before, i'm still surprised by its twists and turns. it will keep you turning pages. it's a fascinating glimpse into the world of the victorian fin-de-siecle--a world of high speed transportation, fabulous new inventions, and crumbling social mores. and it's a compelling examination of the way humans define themselves by establishing, and attempting to police, nebulous borders which are always subject to violation.
- jekyll & hyde. another literary classic that's become such a commonplace in our cultural language that many never bother to check out the original. a quick and entertaining read, the strange case of dr. jekyll & mr. hyde remains startlingly current in spite of its rather far-fetched science. in the fraught cultural atmosphere resulting from last week's tragedy at virginia tech, jekyll & hyde gave my students and me an opportunity to examine the ways we demonize those who commit atrocities in an effort to understand the inexplicable and to reassure ourselves that we could never commit such acts ourselves.