Yesterday I baked bagels -- and very good ones, I must say: buttery, noncrumbly, breadlike (isn't that reassuring?) but still light in the middle. (All thanks, praise, and credit due to "The Joy of Cooking.") Six of them are going to the Park Slope United Methodist Church bake sale this Saturday, if you'd like to try them for yourself. I may make some other yet-to-be-determined item for the bake sale as well, likely with a higher sugar content, because I love sugar and baking and especially the two combined.

Finished The Buccaneers, which I quite liked, except I could tell when the writing responsibilities shifted from Edith Wharton to Marion Mainwaring and my interest dwindled with the quality of the prose. Now drifting among Villette, one of my Resolution Books; The Browser's Ecstasy: A Meditation on Reading by Geoffrey O'Brien, purchased yesterday at a Seventh Avenue bookshop that sadly is going out of business; Summerland (although I'm afraid I left it in the laundromat on Saturday); and as of today, Dead Even by Brad Meltzer, which I'll read as long as I can stand the emotional broadcasting. I also shot through Hot Six by Janet Evanovich in the last week -- good, dirty, big-hair fun.

Lastly, the Lawyer and I went on two outings this weekend: One to "The Mikado," as performed by the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and one to the "Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibit at the Whitney. About "The Mikado": I can understand why some people like Gilbert and Sullivan, and I can understand why some people would rather have their eardrums extracted with gardening tools. But the Whitney exhibit was incredibly beautiful and sad -- the quilters' fierce individuality, their gift for color and rhythm in their designs, the love and the history they sewed into their work is all dying out now -- there's no next generation in Gee's Bend, Alabama. Much to my surprise, I was also inspired and moved by "Listening Post," which displays text from ICQ and other Internet dialogues on 100(?) small digital screens suspended from the ceiling, with audio accompaniment; sometimes it was voices speaking the text, sometimes sweeping, crashing music, all forming a fascinating mosaic of life on the Internet (meaning humanity -- at least the North American educated-with-computers set) at any given moment. Recommended for little maids from school, Grand Pooh-Bahs, and wandering minstrels alike.