July 09, 2005

Happy Belated Birthday, JP

This year, on June 21st to be exact, marked Jean-Paul Sartre's centennial. A 100th birthday, even if the birthday boy isn't around to celebrate, calls for a cake, and I've found the perfect one. The recipe even comes from The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook by Marty Smith:
Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word "cake." I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

Of course, the live beaver definitely appeals to the Canadians around here.

Speaking of being and nothingness, or the fluffy and inconsequential (but often great fun), I found Marty's blog from a mention on a website my father of all people sent to me this morning. I'm not sure where he found it, but I am sure that Philip Greenspun is a very, very funny man. Of course, especially with a builder in the family (and a secret addiction to shelter magazines), I always enjoy stories about kitchen remodelings, especially other people's stories; I've lived through my own kitchen project, when I was 8.99 months pregnant, and only because Tom is an excellent and highly efficient craftsman did we all live to tell the tale.

By the way, in his main article on materialism, Greenspun quotes another French existentialist, Camus: "It is a kind of spiritual snobbery to think one can be happy without money." It's hard to remodel a kitchen without it, too.

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