...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reading For Today

Read this on The Anchoress and it really cheered me up. Good stuff, even though I am not a Catholic and thus I do not share some of her practices and doctrinal beliefs.

Monday, July 30, 2007


My stepmom's mother passed away this morning, after a long illness. May God have mercy on her soul.

I did not need this on top of everything else.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

News from East of the Water II

The Husband survived the vampires and the bears, and rolled into my dad's apartment tonight (Local time) from their Transylvania trip. He's exhausted and sunburned, but full of stories. There will be updates on his blog as soon as he's web-near, which is tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Do You Remember?

Here's another trip down memory lane, at least for me, while waiting, listening and remembering old and new memories:

Twist In My Sobriety-Tanita Tikaram (From her album-Ancient Heart)

All God's children need travelling shoes
Drive your problems from here
All good people read good books
Now your conscience is clear
I hear you talk girl
Now your conscience is clear

In the morning I wipe my brow
Wipe the miles away
I like to think I can be so willed
And never do what you say
I'll never hear you
And never do what you say

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

We just poked a little pie
For the fun people had at night
Late at night don't need hostility
The timid smile and pause to free

I don't care about their different thoughts
Different thoughts are good for me
Up in arms and chaste and whole
All God's children took their toll

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

Cup of tea, take time to think, yea
Time to risk a life, a life, a life
Sweet and handsome
Soft and porky
You pig out 'til you've seen the light
Pig out 'til you've seen the light

Half the people read the papers
Read them good and well
Pretty people, nervous people
People have got to sell
News you have to sell

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you'll never be
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety
More than twist in my sobriety

Friday, July 27, 2007

This Morning's Song

Have a good Friday.

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas,
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'

(hold your head up)
(keep your head up)
Movin' on.
(hold your head up )
Movin' on.
(keep your head up)
Movin' on.
(hold your head up)
Movin' on.
(keep your head up)
Movin' on.
(hold your head up)
Movin' on.
(keep your head up)

Some of them want to use you...
Some of them want to get used by you..
Some of them want to abuse you..
Some of them want to be abused..

Sweet Dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas,
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'

Sweet Dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas,
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'

Sweet Dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas,
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'

Sweet Dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas,
Everybody's lookin' for somethin'
Sweet Dreams are made of this

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Well today is St. Anna's day--in Hungary, where we celebrate name-days, this would be mine (name days are BIG where I come from). My dad called me today in the morning, very thoughtfully not at 0600 when he usually does but an hour later (I was up and cleaning the catbox, incidentally...) wishing me all good things and telling me how sweet his grapes are at the lake house, plus his car woes with The Boat (a Ford Focus European stationwagon) that has died AGAIN last week due to heat exhaustion of the engine cooling system.

My plans? I am going to pick up something small and delicious at Tom Thumb, then go home, feed the kitties, go to the gym, come home, clean whatever mess the cats made, eat the tasty treat, maybe watch an old favorite movie on the DVD player, then go to bed.

I always knew cats were weird...

...so I better look out when next time Rudy sits on my chest...

Weiiiird...but did we not hear stories like this through the centuries, resulting in the death of a countless number of cats as servants of Death? This one, at least is doing a service to the family members of those whose final hours are near.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Morning

So I got up this morning to find a little gift that Mr. Rudy the 19-year old cat left in the guest bathroom. Well, it was not that little. It was large, extensive, liquid and smelling something awful. Enough said, right?
After a gazillion wads of paper towels and disinfecting cleaner, I pronouced the damage repaired, lectured the cat sternly about at least _trying_ to do this into the litterbox, to which he replied meekly with a 'meouw'while looking at me pitifully, then I had to run out of the house to get gas and drive to work.
It is natural I was listening to U2's Beautiful Day blasting from the car's loudspeakers on my way to work with the windows down, right? :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

God Part II

I am re-listening to songs I always liked but when first I listened to them my English was not suffcient yet to really appreciate the words. Now, for one reason or another, they still resonate with me.

Such as this U2 song, from Rattle and Hum:
God Part II
Don't believe the devil
I don't believe his book
But the truth is not the same
Without the lies he made up.
Don't believe in excess
Success is to give
Don't believe in riches
But you should see where I live.
I, I believe in love.

Don't believe in forced entry
Don't believe in rape
But every time she passes by
Wild thoughts escape.
Don't believe in Death Row
Skid row or the gangs.
Don't believe in the Uzi
It just went off in my hands.
I, I believe in love.

Don't believe in cocaine
Got a speedball in my head
I could cut and crack you open
Did you hear what I said?
Don't believe them when they tell me
There ain't no cure.
The rich stay healthy
The sick stay poor.
I, I believe in love.

Don't believe in Goldman
His type like a curse
Instant karma's gonna get him
If I don't get him first.
Don't believe that Rock 'n' Roll
Can really change the world
As it spins in revolution
Yeah, it spirals and turns.
I, I believe in love.

Don't believe in the sixties
The golden age of pop
You glorify the past
When the future dries up.
Heard a singer on the radio
Late last night
Says he's gonna kick the darkness
Till it bleeds daylight.
I, I believe in love.

Feel like I'm fallin'
I'm spinnin' on a wheel
It always stops beside a name
A presence I can feel.
I believe in love.

Monday, July 23, 2007

News From East of the Water

The Husband is off to Transylvania: it is past 0500 Tuesday morning there and I just hung up with him (status: WAY too sleepy and miserable due to heat and prospect of even warmer weather over there). Should be quite an adventure: him driving, with his archaeologist friend and his 7 years old son, and a historian buddy, in a Suzuki Swift, which is NOT big car(and as far as I can tell, the European model does not come with an A/C either). Hopefully they have a map...It will be interesting to see if the cell phone he has with him will work so he can radio in to my dad at least. Whee!

An Observation

You know you work in a cool place when you get on the weekly conference call and the first question one of the managers asks is 'Well, did you read the Book?" Which then results in five minutes of discussion who did and who did not, what do we think and who went with their kids to the midnight party to stand in line...
I am re-reading the second time, BTW, just to savor the tiny details and get more of the richness of the layers.
Dinner plans for tonight: artichoke-filled ravioli with farm fresh butter and garlic sauce, blueberry cobbler. Go ahead, hate me now...:-)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Finished last night around midnight: about twelve hours, punctuated with some breaks for eating, ardening, bathroom, etc. Not bad, considering it's not my native language- I think I am up to my reading speed I have in Hungarian with English now, provided I like what I read.
For the sake of those who have not read the bok yet, I will NOT give away plot points or spoilers or anything. Me liked it, and exactly twice I even cried. I am totally vindicated on one of my theories (YAY!) and 50% on the other, but I know why Rowling ended up writing it the way she did, and I am very, very happy that she did (that was #2 of me crying when I got to that point).
It is very fast-paced, full of violent duels and battles and tension and 17-year old teenage angst (geez, do YOU remember what a total dork YOU were at 17? I sure do...) and beautiful and heart-breaking scenes and revelations. The ending...well, do NOT read it first. I mean it--you really need to arrive to that point to fully appreciate the way it ends.

Later, when hopefully everyone is done with it,. I can post more of my thoughts. Now I am off to do mundane things like folding laundry and dishes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lunch With Harry

So I looked up from this book around Page 179 slightly dazed, realizing that I have not eaten since that bowl of cereal with The Lemur and his Cupcake several hours before...and moved the theater of operations (i.e. the book and myself) to the kitchen to concoct a quick lunch that goes well with both the humidity and the undoubtedly DARK tone of this volume. This is what I came up with:

Spring Pea Soup
Saute 1 tiny onion in about 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the stalks of 2 large portabello mushrooms you find in your fridge (or 2 chopped up small button mushrooms). Stir and saute for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of frozen spring peas. Salt, pepper. Pour in 1 can of low-sodium natural chicken broth. Add 1 more cup of water. Heat until boiling point, then cook in the little dumplings.
Dumplings: 1 whole egg beaten, mixed with 4-5 tablespoons of flour and as much water as needed to make a stiff dumpling dough. Add more flour or water as needed. When soup is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and with a spoon make little dumplings into the boiling soup. Cover and cook until dumplings are all on top of soup, about 102 minutes.
Serve with sour cream on top.

Mushroom Sandwich As I like It
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse cap of 1 portobello mushroom. Sprinkle with 4 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 fistful of chopped fresh parsley. Top with 2 tablespoonfuls of butter. Stick into oven for 25 minutes.
Cut 1/2 of a small ciabatta, or demi-batard into two halves. When mushroom is done, place it on a plate and wipe the juices up with the two bread halves. Smear some fine mustard on the bottom half, add some salad leaves, and place the portabello on it. Top with top half of bread. Eat.

Excuse me now--I am back to reading.


Got The Book.

This morning, after I had the oil changed in Squishy the alien car. No lines, no crazed kids high on sugar, no nothing. Just walked in, smiled at the nice girl behind the local B&N's customer service desk, told her I had a reserved copy, and she handed me one. Since it looks like it's going to rain any second now and I cannot continue lawnmowing, I'll just make do with some tangerine soda, the couch in the sunroom and Book 7. i had about 10 pages of it this far, so no telling, but gosh, it's dark.
And no, I am not going to peek at the last page...:-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rice Pudding

Well, last night, after the mushroom sandwich I promised myself, and the fresh cherries, I still craved something as a comfort food ending for the day, and since I was trolling Nigella's How To Eat? for recipes anyway, I decided to give a try to her Risotto Style Rice Pudding, which was very similar to how I make rice pudding anyway.

It turned out really, really good, so here is how I made it for those who also need some comfort these days:

3 cups of full organic milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large tablespoon of real butter
2 tablespoons of Demerara sugar
1/4 cup of Italian Arborio rice (this is important)
2-3 tablespoons of real cream (or more, to taste)

Heat milk on stovetop or microwave until almost boiling; add vanilla extract and set aside on stove. In heavy saucepan, melt butter and add 1 tbsp. of sugar. Stir and wait until it smells caramelly. Add rice, stir quickly to coat.
Add hot milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as it bubbles. As the milk gets absorbed in the rice and gets thicker, keep adding more milk. It will take about 30 minutes for the rice to absorb the milk and get cooked in the process--so keep stirring and watching. Depending on your stove and the rice, you might or might not need all 3 cups of milk, or you might need additional milk. I used the full amount.
When the milk is used up and the rice is soft and is covered in thick, creamy sauce, take it off the heat, add the other tablespoon of sugar (or more, according to your taste), and mix in the tablespoons of cream, as much as you would like.
If you want, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
This makes two after dinner servings, or one huge guilt trip, well worth it.

Small Favors

The cats did NOT wake me up at 0500 this morning insisting that it is 0600 and I really, really had to feed them, as they did every night before (including once at 0300). Woo-hoo! Maybe I can even sleep in until 0700 tomorrow, since it is Saturday????

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Good Essay

As it seems everybody is awaiting the release of the last Harry Potter book, I am trolling the blogosphere for good reading that is NOT spoiling how the series will end (for those who did not peg me as a HP reader, I came to the series late, but willing and learned to rather like it). I came across this essay which meshes up rather well with how I think about one of the most controversial figures of the series (and my personal favorite) Severus Snape. I have my theory about how the seventh book will turn out, and it is not a pretty ending, but I think it is the correct one (in line with the central themes of the previous ones, that is, that great sacrifices must be made in order for good to prevail). I am curious to see whether I am right and after Saturday I'll let you know, my dear five readers...:-)

A Conspiracy of Chocolate Cakes and Emails

I just got a very sweet email from The Husband, who is visiting my auntie and uncle's for lunch, and all of them crowded the computer, resulting in a four-person email to me, a couple of lines from him, from my aunt, my cousin and my uncle. It was very cute...they are eating this chocolate cake really fast before it melts, as it is 105 there right now. Yes, Budapest got our weather for this week, it seems, as DFW only boasts a meager 93 today.
So it seems that despite the migraine he had earlier this mroning, The Husband prevails...yippee! Now if they could only send me some of that chocolate cake...::sigh::

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

iPoding again...

This for The Husband, who is overseas...:-) The Imp ion the iPod is strangely appropriate sometimes...

Penelope's Song- Loreena McKennitt, from her album : "An Ancient Muse"

Now that the time has come
Soon gone is the day
There upon some distant shore
You’ll hear me say

Long as the day in the summer time
Deep as the wine dark sea
I’ll keep your heart with mine.
Till you come to me.

There like a bird I‘d fly
High through the air
Reaching for the sun’s full rays
Only to find you there

And in the night when our dreams are still
Or when the wind calls free
I’ll keep your heart with mine
Till you come to me

Now that the time has come
Soon gone is the day
There upon some distant shore
You’ll hear me say

Long as the day in the summer time
Deep as the wine dark sea
I’ll keep your heart with mine.
Till you come to me

And I just learned Loreena MIGHT come to Dallas this fall...Whee!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I want Mushrooms!

Darn, I am craving Nigella Lawson's portabella mushroom sandwich from "How To Eat" something fierce! And it is 3:40 and I am at work.

Sigh. I see now that I'll have to get to the store today. Or tomorrow the latest...


Monday, July 16, 2007

A Thousand Years

While I am by myself for two weeks, while I am percolating the story I am writing currently and all the changes it will have to go through (part of it due to my recent visit back to Budapest), I am listening to music...I always have my best ideas either while traveling and looking at the landscape, or while listening to music; the combination of rhythm, words and melodies helps to give birth to ideas that until that particular moment were just formless clouds in the back of my mind. I am an image-oriented writer--I see images, scenes, faces, actions very vividly and quite often I start to write without knowing where it will end or even who these people are. But apart from two or three times, I did not start stories out of dreams; I very rarely have dreams that vivid (like I said, maybe two or three, and those stories are still unwritten. Well, one of them is partially done.)

So right now, I have this in my head after listening to, again, Sting's Brand New Day album:

A thousand years, a thousand more,
A thousand times a million doors to eternity
I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times
An endless turning stairway climbs
To a tower of souls
If it takes another thousand years, a thousand wars,
The towers rise to numberless floors in space
I could shed another million tears, a million breaths,
A million names but only one truth to face

A million roads, a million fears
A million suns, ten million years of uncertainty
I could speak a million lies, a million songs,
A million rights, a million wrongs in this balance of time
But if there was a single truth, a single light
A single thought, a singular touch of grace
Then following this single point , this single flame,
The single haunted memory of your face

I still love you
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves
Like galaxies in my head

I may be numberless, I may be innocent
I may know many things, I may be ignorant
Or I could ride with kings and conquer many lands
Or win this world at cards and let it slip my hands
I could be cannon food, destroyed a thousand times
Reborn as fortune's child to judge another's crimes
Or wear this pilgrim's cloak, or be a common thief
I've kept this single faith, I have but one belief

I still love you
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves
Like galaxies in my head
On and on the mysteries unwind themselves
Eternities still unsaid
'Til you love me

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I Am Back

For those who care--I am back in the US, after an adventurous journey into Hungary to see my dad, my sister and my 4 month old nephew, Martin Attila. It was an eventful trip with too much happening, and I need some time to rest and gather my thoughts so I can get some chronicling done. The Husband is still there, finishing his 3-week course of intensive Hungarian ending his stay with a weeklong trip to Transylvania.
My lovely sister-in-law picked me up at the airport and our two cats (whom she and my brother-in-law cared fo admirably while we were away) demanded immediate attention and food as I walked in the door. Currently they nap. Go figure...:-)
It is good to be back.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Off To Budapest

Well, if everything plays right (including British Airways which had some things to worry about lately...) we'll be off to Hungary today. While I'll be back in two weeks, The Husband will stay until August 2nd to study Hungarian in an intensive 5-days-a-week course (as he's so fond of saying:' so that I can finally talk to my wife in her own language without her having to indulge me...' ). Blogging will be intermittent at best.
Have fun, everyone & wish us smooth sailings!

Monday, July 02, 2007

From Bitter Searching of the Heart...

Villanelle For Our Time-Leonard Cohen-From his album Dear Heather

Words by Frank Scott (1899-1985)

From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.
This is the faith from which we start:
Men shall know commonwealth again
From bitter searching of the heart.
We loved the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part.
The lesser loyalties depart,
And neither race nor creed remain
From bitter searching of the heart.
Not steering by the venal chart
That tricked the mass for private gain,
We rise to play a greater part.
Reshaping narrow law and art
Whose symbols are the millions slain,
From bitter searching of the heart
We rise to play a greater part.

Bridge to Terabithia

So we visited with friends over the wekend, combined with a totally awesome feast of grilled salmon, catfish, shrimp and buffalo burgers (yes, we were excessive, but since we won't be in town over the 4th, I figured, what the heck)... and as a treat, we were served the movie Bridge to Terabithia after the meal.

We were warned it was a tear-jerker (apparently the store clerk told this to our friend), but that was a mild description. It is a painfully beautiful and sometimes eerily familiar movie about growing up, friendship and the power of loss. And to all of those who were put off by the rather lame trailer when this came out in the theaters and thought that it was just another LOTR or Narnia-clone (the traliers were heavy on the CGI-characters)--those are strictly kept to the minimum,.

All the actors are excellent--I especially loved how Robert Patrick, one of my favorite character actors could, with just a tinly flicker of the eye and mouth, tell long tales about the father's character.

It is good, my friends--if you are not afraid of totally sohwing your emotions by the end of the 96 minutes of roll time--go and rent it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rain, rain, rain...

For once, not only here in Texas but apparently at home too. I spoke my sister today, and she warned me that the weather over there is almost exactly as here: relatively hot and steamy when sunny, then sudden and fierce downpours occur daily. As we are getting ready to embark on our yearly Hungary trip, this little warning was very much welcome. I know now to pack exactly the way as if I was just taking a hop to Houston...
In other news, we officially cleared the "wettest June in Texas recorded weather history" record as of yesterday. Whee!