Daily Archives: June 19, 2009

Now Promenade…(06/09)

Normally when someone thinks of prom, something like this comes to mind:

promdresses01c

Not the case in Carson McCullers 1940 book, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

The story’s main character, Mick Kelly, a tween as we would say these days, decides to throw a prom party. The rules of this party are to dress up in your best suit or dress and to fill out a prom card. ‘To prom’ with someone did not mean a dance, but a walk around the block , a promenade if you will.

This got me curious about proms as we know them today and when the tradition originated. Here is what I found from WIKI answers:

The word “prom” was first used in the 1890s as a shortened form of “promenade,” a reference to formal dances in which the guests would display their fashions and dancing  skills during the evening’s grand march.

In the United States, it came to be believed by parents and educators that a prom, or formal dinner-dance, would be an important lesson in social skills, especially in a theoretically classless society that valued behavior over breeding. The prom was seen as a way to instill manners into children, all under the watchful eye of chaperons.

The first proms were held in the 1920s. By the 1930s, proms were common across the country. For many older Americans, the prom was a modest, home-grown affair in the school gymnasium, often decorated with crepe-paper streamers. Promgoers were well dressed but not lavishly decked out: boys wore jacket and tie and girls their Sunday dress. Couples danced to music provided by a local amateur band or a record player. After the 1960s, and especially after the 1980s, the high-school prom in many areas became a serious exercise in conspicuous consumption…

I can’t decide which prom tradition Mick follows more, but her party isn’t like any rom I ever went to.

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What Could be Worse? (06/08)

Well the day has come, I have finished reading Musicophilia by Dr. Oliver Sacks. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the inter-workings of the brain and its response to music. What I like most about Dr. Sacks’ writing style is that he teaching you, not talking at you. Which makes sense, as he is a professor. Perhaps I should save the book review for goodreads and get on with my post…

This word came up often towards the end of the book: Anhedonia

Now I provide you with a definition…

anhedonia |ˌanhēˈdōnēə; -hi-|
noun Psychiatry
inability to feel pleasure.

DERIVATIVES
anhedonic |-ˈdänik| adjective.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from French anhédonie, from Greek an- ‘without’ + hēdonē ‘pleasure.’

Perhaps if I realized that the root of the word was hedonic, I would have figured it out sooner.

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What Did You Swai? (06/07)

I do my best to eat well, this includes trying to eat fish once a while.

Normally I stick to catfish and tilapia – I feel safe with those options (I am admittedly not the bravest eater). However, when I was out to dinner they were out of both.

So I tried Swai.

What sold me was it was explained as a white fish somewhere in between a catfish and tilapia – and it was. Here is the reason why it tasted like catfish:

Swai, along with basa and tra, two related varieties also appearing at more and more stores, belong to what’s called the Pangasius family and they’re similar in character to catfish. In fact, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, which has an authoritative site that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the fish that end up on our dinner plates, describes swai as a river-farmed catfish, sometimes simply referred to in the U.S. only as catfish (be sure to look for country of origin labeling at the fish counter to determine whether your catfish is from the Mekong Delta or the Mississippi Delta).

Swai is a white-flesh fish (typically available in fillet form) with a sweet mild, taste and light flaky texture that can be broiled, grilled, or coating with bread crumbs and fried, according to experts. It can be prepared simply, but also takes well to sauces. A 3.5-ounce serving of plain fish contains around 90 calories, 4 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 45 grams of cholesterol and 50 milligrams of sodium. Not bad.

from consumer reports.

Swai - Asian Catfish

Swai - Asian Catfish

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