Nico (vilakins) wrote,

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Nights out

I just got back from Russian class and I'm still warming up (it's freezing out there, and wet too--as usual). This has been my third night out in a row and it's been hard to find the time to do daily art let alone write anything. Today I squeezed it in between getting home and dinner, but last night I only started at 10:30pm. :-( I'm so looking forward to some warm nights in, but I did enjoy what I did this week.

The art lecture on Monday night, on depictions of women in art in the last 2000 years, was fascinating and often very funny. Due to a pope's mistake (fallible after all!), the western Christian tradition rolled Mary of Magdala, Mary of Bethany--the one with a sister called Martha--and at least two other women described as sinners, all into one Mary. You see, apparently Mary and Salome were wildly popular names back then, like Taylor and Jack now. The eastern orthodox churches didn't mix them up though, and recently the pope (this one or the last one?) admitted the mistake and reinstated the maligned Mary of Bethany as Not Being A Scarlet Woman.

The term 'scarlet woman' BTW comes from the tradition of showing sainted women in red; even Mary the mother of Jesus wears little red shoes peeping out from under her blue robe. :-) Then, just because the multiple-Mary the penitent sinner wore red, it came to be seen as symbolic of Fallen Women.

One of the strangest images was of Martha the Dragon Stayer. No, that's not a typo. French legend has it that the sisters from Bethany, Mary and Martha, went to France where Mary became a contemplative hermit in a cave, and Martha tamed or 'stayed' a dragon that was terrorising a village by speaking kindly to it and telling it what a basically good dragon it was. It became her devoted pet, and she then turned it over to the villagers--who promptly killed it. :-(

Last night I went to a celebrity chef cooking demo. The chef was Sophie Grey the 'destitute gourmet' who teaches both cooking and how to shop smart and cheap. She only buys ingredients and makes everything, including bread, crackers, pasta etc; last night she did a quick pizza base. I was interested that she used a very fast-acting powdered yeast I hadn't heard of before; I'll have to see if I can adapt my sunflower bread recipe for it. She also did minestrone soup which I didn't try because it had bacon in it, curry paste from scratch for a yummy chicken curry, and profiteroles! YUM! With a chocolate ganache! YUM! I love profiteroles, and her idea of putting some liqueur-soaked fruit in them? Genius.

As for my Russian classes, I'm enjoying those apart from the cold, unheated prefab classroom it's in. It's just a pity that my friend who suggested going in the first place has given up because of her inability to learn the alphabet. I may sign on for the intermediate course.

I just found out that I may be going to Bulgaria next year with Greg for a month to see his relatives there. Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic script so this may actually come in useful.

Tags: real life
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