Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Bookshelf—Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883) translated poetry written by Omar Khayyám, a twelfth-century Persian. Fitzgerald shaped and edited the poetry so much, that the result—"Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám"is as much or more Fitzgerald's poem than it is Omar Khayyám's. The "Rubáiyát" is a sort of carpe diem poem, beautifully written, that gained an almost cult status. I've excerpted some of it here. It's long, but reading the entire poem is well-worth your time.

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
     "Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
"Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring  
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
     The Bird of Time has but a little way  
To fly—and lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

And look—a thousand Blossoms with the Day 
Woke—and a thousand scatter'd into Clay: 
     And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose 
Shall take Jamshýd and Kaikobád away.

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, 
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou 
     Beside me singing in the Wilderness—  
And Wilderness is Paradise now.

I sometimes think that never blows so red 
The Rose as where some buried Cæsar bled; 
     That every Hyacinth the Garden wears 
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

And this delightful Herb whose tender Green 
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean—  
     Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows 
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best 
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest, 
     Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before, 
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

Ah, fill the Cup :—what boots it to repeat 
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet: 
     Unborn TO-MORROW, and dead YESTERDAY, 
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide, 
And wash my Body whence the Life has died, 
     And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt, 
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass 
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass, 
     And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot 
Where I made one—turn down an empty Glass!

Friday, April 27, 2012

In the Kitchen—Smoothie Ingredients

I make myself a smoothie more days than not. In fact, I'm drinking one right now. They are a quick and enjoyable way to get a lot of nutrients. My usual smoothie has frozen berries, unsweetened soy yogurt, spinach, cucumber, and flax seed. I might add other fruits and veggies depending on what I have on hand and what I need to use up. You're surely familiar with fruit and yogurt smoothies, but here are some smoothie ingredients you might not have considered before:

Cooked oatmeal
Nut butters
Cocoa powder

When I have a 6 AM shift at work, I'll make a smoothie out of cooked oatmeal, almond butter, soy yogurt, flax, a banana, and matcha. I make it the night before (many people might not be down with a pre-made smoothie, especially if they use frozen ingredients, but my roommate wouldn't appreciate me using the blender at 5 AM), and then getting ready for work the next morning is so much faster and easier, and I've got my entire breakfast in a format I can bring along to work with me if necessary.

When I imagined writing this post, I remember that list being longer. I know that's just a fraction of the many things people put in smoothies, so if you have anything to add to the list or any recommendations for smoothie combinations you should leave a comment. I've even heard of putting raw garlic in to give an immune boost.

In the Kitchen—Menu

What I'm eating/will be eating around this time:

Tofu scramble with broccoli and yams
Sugar-free banana bread

Whole-grain pitas with lentil hummus (Recipe for hummus in the March 2012 issue of MS Living. Yum!)

Fresh veggies including celery with almond butter


Poached egg over asparagus, with toasted olive bread and goat's milk butter. I bought a loaf of the Co-op's olive bread earlier in the week, but once that runs out I'm going to try making my own. Also, I poached my first egg this week. A thrilling success!

Bananas, walnuts (These are what I bring as snacks to work.)

Little indulgences (but not all of these in one day):

Toaster pastries
Dark chocolate
Sweetened soy yogurt
Red wine

If this doesn't prove enough food throughout the day, I'll make quinoa and chickpea salad to round things out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the Garden—Late April To-Do List

Things to do in my garden between now and May 5 (but preferably before April 29):

Prepare west-facing plot. Add compost, coffee grounds, cornmeal, or similar soil-improvers.

Plant in this plot snap peas (look into inoculent), spinach, and strawberries.

Plant chives next to daffodils and tulips. Get rid of some of the veronica in this area.

Start calendula, oregano, and sweet peas indoors.

Look into dill, nasturtiums, marigolds, and sunflowers. Figure out whether to sow indoors or directly in the ground, and when.

What are you doing in your garden right now? Any tips on planting this time of year?

Monday, April 23, 2012

On the Bookshelf--Children's Books Involving Dragons

Everyone loves dragons, right? Here are three storybooks I enjoyed that involve dragons.

Guess What I found in Dragon Wood, written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Gwen Millward. A twist on the "child brings home stray pet" story: a dragon finds a Benjamin in Dragon Wood and takes him home to show his parents. He brings the Benjamin to school for show and tell, and everyone marvels at the Benjamin's strange ways.

Bee Frog, written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth, the duo that brought us Little Bear. Bee Frog plays make-believe, imagining she is a scary dragon, but her family won't take notice of her. She hops off to be a fierce dragon all by herself, but begins to wonder if dragons ever get lonely...
I'm not sure why I liked this story so much, something about the adorable protagonist, lush illustrated world, or maybe just that I myself still enjoy playing make-believe. But usually I pretend to be a fierce tiger.

Baby Dragon, written by Amy Ehrlich, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Like Bee Frog, this is a story about an adorable young protagonist feeling a bit abandoned by family. The dragon's mother tells him to wait for her by the red fern until she comes back. Baby Dragon finds ways to amuse himself for a while, but when night comes he wonders if his mother will ever come back, and decides to climb on Crocodile's back to go looking for her.

Do you have any favorite dragon books?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Potluck Pasta Salad

I invented this dish last year when looking for a vegan alternative to the pasta salad I was craving. I've brought it to two potlucks and it's gone over well. The only problem is that after the potluck I have no left-over pasta salad to eat.

Potluck Pasta Salad
Prep: 30 minutes     Chill: 2 to 24 hours
Makes: 16 side-dish servings


3 cups whole-wheat rotini or other pasta (8 ounces)
1 red bell pepper, cut into short strips
16 kalamata olives, halved
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano or basil, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried oregano or basil (or combination)
1 recipe vinaigrette (about 3/4 cup, see below)
1 cup avocado, cubed (about 1 large avocado, do not cut until step 4)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions (boil about 8 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water, drain.
2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except vinaigrette and avocado. Then add vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat.
3. Chill 2 to 24 hours.
4. A half hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and add avocado. Toss gently.

Basic Vinaigrette
Prep time: 10 minutes or less
Makes: About 3/4 cup


1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon snipped fresh herbs, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried herbs (basil, oregano, or thyme)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Add all ingredients to a screw-top jar.
2. Shake, shake, shake!

I like to cut all the vegetables after the pasta has cooked and been rinsed, while letting the pasta cool. Olive oil will thicken when refrigerated, thus we take the pasta salad out 30 minutes before serving. We add avocados last minutes so they won't turn brown or mushy.

I like to use half oregano and half basil for both the vinaigrette and the pasta. This is a good basic vinaigrette recipe to play around with, trying different herbs or mustards; use on salads or dip bread in it. If you use fresh herbs, the vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for three days. If using dried herbs, one week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the Garden—Spring Flowers and Cats

Pictures of my garden!

This is Kingsly, one of the neighborhood cats. The neighborhood cats like our yard; they like to sit in the sun on our back steps or lie under the lilacs and annoy the birds. But most of them run away if you get near. Kingsly, however, is very friendly, and will even try to get in the house.

I remember buying a variety pack of tulip bulbs, but so far all the ones that have bloomed are the most cheerful shade of vermilion.

Ice folly daffodils.

I don't know what type of daffodil this is, but isn't it lovely with all its layers?

More pictures of Kingsly just for fun:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Was it only John, think you, who saw the heavens open? The dreamers see it every day.

—Olive Schreiner, from The Story of an African Farm

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Bookshelf

There will always be something worth living for while there are shimmery afternoons.

—Olive Schreiner, from The Story of an African Farm

On the Bookshelf—Children's Books with Beautiful Artwork

It is my opinion that you are never too old for children's books. I find they're not just good for putting toddlers down for naps, they are also the perfect light reading when I myself lie in bed, mind still active but trying to settle down. Here are a few books I've read recently that feature great illustrations.

Elephants Aloft, written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Keith Baker. This is a whimsical story of two young elephants traveling by hot air balloon from India to visit their aunt in Africa. The text is extremely simple, letting the gorgeous illustrations tell the story of how the elephants bathe in waterfalls, sleep in balloon-supported hammocks, and never touch the ground on their voyage to another continent.

Sailor Cats, written by Emily Whittle, illustrated by Jeri Burdick. Two bored housecats decide to sail the ocean in a rubber tire. They encounter fierce sharks, friendly dolphins, and drenching storms. What really made this book stand out to me are the beautiful pictures and swirling colors.

The Dreamkeeper, written and illustrated by Robert Ingpen. The Dreamkeeper, with help from his sister and a dwarf, captures rogue dragons, goblins, and other dangerous creatures that threaten our dreams. I was a little put off by the male protagonist who has female and racial other as his sidekicks, but the illustrations are wonderful and highly-detailed. There's a charming mix of traditional and modern fantasy.

What storybooks do you love for their illustrations?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sundry Sunday—Spanish Music Videos

I spent last summer hiking across Spain (if you're interested, posts tagged "Spain"). I spent a lot of times in bars, either alone or with others, not necessarily for drinking, just that most consuming happens at bars. Sometimes they'd have TVs and a sort of hispano hablante MTV would play. The music videos fascinated me, and also kept me company. So picture me, a scruffy worn-out pilgrim, sitting alone in a bar with a plate of tortilla and a beer watching these videos.

This video I saw three times in Spain. It became a motif for my trip. I love the outfits, the catchy tune, and the fact that there are yellow arrows. On El Camino de Santiago, the yellow arrow is way important.

This one I find amusing and funny:

I like the simplicity of this one, and there's something charming about the faces that keeps me from looking away. This is the song that lately I find myself singing a lot.

Friday, April 13, 2012

In the Kitchen—Menu

Some of the things I'm eating for the next few days. As I've said before, I don't eat meals so much as I snack throughout the day. It's better to eat lots of small meals throughout the day, but also to eat any largish heavier meals in the morning, and have each meal get progressively smaller (breakfast as the biggest meal rather than having dinner be the big meal, like is not uncommon in our culture). I'm trying to arrange my snacks similarly. Adelle Davis said, "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." I don't know why exactly this is, but breakfast revs up your metabolism for the day.

Grapefruit or pear
Breakfast stir fry. I first started making this about a year and a half ago, and it was like a tofu and veggie scramble with ayurdvedic spices (turmeric, cardamom, etc.). It's progressed to become more of a stir fry. Kale, onions, chickpeas, the same curry spices, topped with tomato and lemon.

Egg salad sandwiches. Localish cage-free eggs and vegenaise. Open-faced, tomatoes and spinach and multi-grain bread. The boyo and I are going to dye Easter eggs soon.

Pizza with goat cheese and barbecued tempeh.

Pitas and hummus.
Chips and guacomole.
Cut vegetables.


Smoothies made of soy yogurt, frozen berries, and greens.

Dark chocolate.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring in Moscow, Idaho

Moscow last week:

view from my bedroom window

Moscow today:

my garden 

squirrel on my roof, as seen from living room window

On Sunday my first daffodil bloomed. On Monday I noticed the first tulip flower forming. This week we've had sunshine and warm weather, even summery weather a couple days, and my flowers are growing in leaps and bounds. I planted three types of daffodils, but all I remember is that the pale ones, the butter-colored ones, are Ice Follies, one of my favorite varieties. The tulips I planted will be a surprise, because I got a variety pack. Two tulips today are opening, blushing behind their green.

The grass is growing lushly in our yard, and yesterday I fell asleep in the grass and sun with a book over my face. Little flying things hover in clouds over the grass. Boxelder bugs climb across the dirt and daffodils. Muskrats swim up Paradise Creek.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the Garden—Palouse Pollinators

Last week I went to a sort of panel or fair on pollinators of the Palouse. For those of you not in the area, the Palouse is a region in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon that is geographically unique and used to be mostly prairie. It's now primarily wheat and lentil fields, and of course towns, strip malls, and housing developments. This event was about how to make your yard into habitat for local pollinators by using native plants in your garden. Because 99% of the Palouse Prairie has been developed in the last 150 years, pollinators have trouble traveling between the scattered bits of habitat. By making our yards more hospitable, we create corridors and islands for the pollinators.Using indigenous plants not only attracts bees, butterflies, and birds, the garden will also be low maintenance and require much less water. Plus, bees and butterflies like the same things in gardens that we do: diverse colorful flowers all summer.

I'm only living in Idaho for another year, so I don't really have time to grow indigenous plants (the native plants aren't instantly gratifying the way many annuals are, and the next tenants might tear out whatever I've planted thinking they're weeds), but I think some of the information is useful and interesting no matter where you're gardening, and maybe my readers in this area will be inspired to incorporate some of these native plants into their yards.

Local pollinators, creatures that transfer pollen from plant to plant to fertilize them, include bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, and small mammals. Even ladybugs are pollinators. 10 species of bumble bees have been spotted in what's left of the Palouse Prairie, and 15 species have been spotted in our area. There are more than just the fuzzy yellow and black bees we're familiar with: this green metallic bee is part of the Halictidae family, just one example of many species of bees in our area.

When it comes to choosing flowers for your garden, choose multiple colors and shapes. Some species of pollinators like red flowers, some like blue. Some pollinators have long proboscae to reach into deep flowers, some have short proboscae and need a differently shaped flower. I've also heard that a pollinator-friendly garden has at least 9 species of plants: 3 to bloom early in the growing season, 3 to bloom in the middle, and 3 to bloom toward the end of the growing season. By choosing plants that grow in succession you guarantee there is always nectar available.

When creating butterfly habitit, it is important to provide not just plants with nectar, but also host plants. Butterflies lay their eggs on specific host plants, and the larvae will eat that plant after they hatch. Without the host plant, butterflies can't survive. So choose a few plants knowing they'll be sacrificed to the butterflies.

Each species of butterfly likes a different species of host plant. Some like birch trees, some serviceberry, some fennel. This Melissa Blue butterfly, one of our local pollinators, likes lupine as a host plant. That's good for you, because lupine is a lovely flower to have in your yard.

Another local, Sheridan's Green Hairstreak, lays it's eggs on wild buckwheat.

Milbert's Tortoiseshell lays its eggs on stinging nettle. That might not sound immediately appealing in your yard, but nettle leaves are rich in calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and many other nutrients. I use to saute them and eat them like spinach.

To make your yard butterfly friendly, it's also good to have wet sand or gravel and flat stones in warm areas for basking. For the bees, it's good to have a bit of bare dirt, because 70% of native bee species nest underground. Both birds and bees will appreciate it if you don't get rid of dead trees and logs they can nest in. There are also birdhouses and even beehouses you can put up. Birds will enjoy a birdbath, just make sure to change the water every 2 or 3 days in warm weather so mosquito larvae won't get in there. Put the birdbath about 10 feet from dense shrubs and cover where predators might be hiding.

That's enough for today. I'll talk more about native plant species next week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

On the Bookshelf—Goodreads

Are you on Goodreads, the social network where you can keep track of books you read, share reviews, make recommendations? If you are, let's be friends!

On the Bookshelf—Review of Clockwork Angel

The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
First book in The Infernal Devices series
Prequel to The Mortal Instruments series
Fantasy, Young Adult, Steampunk

I read this book in two days, so you know it's good. It begins when Tessa Gray, finding herself orphaned, goes to Victorian England thinking to live with her brother, but instead is abducted by a pair of women known as the Dark Sisters. Tessa Gray is forced to learn to use a magical power she never knew she had. She is introduced to a world of warlocks, vampires, demons, and the Shadowhunters—the Nephilim—skilled warriors descended from angels who enforce peace and try to protect humans from the supernatural creatures that might harm them.

One of these Shadowhunters is Will Herondale, a long-lashed young man with a mocking air and dark secrets in his past. He has way more personality than Edward Cullen, and is exactly the sort of romantic hero my fourteen-year-old self would have been head over heels for. My 23-year-old self knows that rogues (no matter how much they sweep you off your feet) and troubled youths (no matter how much they awaken your mothering instinct) are not the sort to get romantically involved with, but it's fun to put aside such wisdom to indulge in escapist romance and be 14 again.

Now Tessa Gray must come to terms with her own powers, find her brother amidst the seamy dangerous underworld of London, sort out her feelings for Will, and ultimately question where she comes from, if she is human, and who essentially is Tessa Gray.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sundry Sundays—"Something in the Water" by Brooke Fraser

Ever since my dear friend Rhiannon linked to this video, I have been listening to it over and over. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

In the Kitchen—Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I reveal my secret vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe! When I've brought these to MFA potlucks they're all gone by the end of the night, and I always get compliments. And they're great because if you have a sudden sugar craving they're relatively quick to make and the ingredients are usually on hand.

Esme's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 8 minutes per batch
Oven: 375 F      Makes: 24 cookies


1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance, slightly softened*
3/4 cups Sucanat (or a half cup packed brown sugar and a quarter cup white sugar)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose
1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips**
3/4 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl combine flax seed and water.

2. In a large bowl beat the margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add Sucanat and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in flax mixture and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can, stir in any remaining flour. Fold in chocolate and nuts (dough will be very thick). The great thing about vegan cookie dough is that you can eat it without fearing salmonella.

3. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet (I always grease mine) about two inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Mine always take 8 minutes. They'll be soft, even a bit raw looking, but maybe browned on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Just kidding, I know you'll eat them when they're warm and gooey.

*Vegan margarine, when left at room temperature, can get too soft. Beware!
**Check ingredients—many, but not all, chocolate chips are vegan

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In the Garden—Planting Plans Part 2

Last week I told you some of my plans for what I'll grow in my garden. Here's some more of those plans.

After the last frost I'll plant herbs, sunflowers, nasturtiums, and marigolds. These I'll plant in any of the plots, except the sunflowers which will go in the south-facing plot, where they will hopefully grow tall and stately. Sunflowers have the added benefit of attracting birds, including hummingbirds. Nasturtiums repel a lot of harmful insects, and act as a trap crop for aphids, especially black aphids. They'll add some color to my garden, and the leaves, flowers, and seeds are all edible. Interestingly, they do well in poor soil, and may even flower better in poor soil.

Marigolds will add color to my garden, and are great at deterring harmful insects and nematodes (roundworms). However, they do attract spider mites and slugs. I well-know slugs love of marigolds from when I planted the flowers in my plot in the Fairhaven College garden and they were utterly destroyed. But I don't think Idaho has as much of an issue with slugs as western Washington. If slugs do look like they'll be a problem, I can surround the plants or my little plot with used coffee grounds.

When frost is long gone I'll plant oregano, basil, and tomatoes. The basil and tomatoes will definitely go in the south-facing bed; in past years tomatoes have done very well there, even reseeded itself. Basil improves the growth and flavor of tomatoes. I'll also have chives here because they grow well with tomatoes and keep the aphids away. The dill will not go here because it attracts tomato horn worm. However, my roommate Aleks has told me that if there are horn worms anywhere in the vicinity of Moscow they will find my tomatoes.

In August I'll plant more spinach and calendula, which will still grow in cooler September weather. I also would not be surprised if when shopping for seeds and plants, something unplanned shouts at me to be planted. Pansies or peppers or English daisies.

To find out the last frost in your area, go here. To find out more about companion plants, go here.

Do you have any gardening plans?

Monday, April 2, 2012

On the Bookshelf—"The Sea and the Hills"

"The Sea and the Hills"
Rudyard Kipling

Who hath desired the Sea?—the sight of salt wind-hounded—
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber win hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm, grey, foamless, enormous, and growing—
Stark calm on the lap of the Line or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing—
His Sea in no showing the same his Sea and the same 'neath each showing:
His Sea as she slackens or thrills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills!

Who hath desired the Sea?—the immense and contemptuous surges?
The shudder, the stumble, the swerve, as the star-stabbing bow-sprit emerges?
The orderly clouds of the Trades, the ridged, roaring sapphire thereunder—
Unheralded cliff-haunting flaws and the headsail's low-volleying thunder—
His Sea in no wonder the same his Sea and the same through each wonder:
His Sea as she rages or stills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.

Who hath desired the Sea? Her menaces swift as her mercies?
The in-rolling walls of the fog and the silver-winged breeze that disperses?
The unstable mined berg going South and the calvings and groans that de clare it—
White water half-guessed overside and the moon breaking timely to bare it—
His Sea as his fathers have dared—his Sea as his children shall dare it:
His Sea as she serves him or kills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.

Who hath desired the Sea? Her excellent loneliness rather
Than forecourts of kings, and her outermost pits than the streets where men gather
Inland, among dust, under trees—inland where the slayer may slay him—
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed—at the last that shall never betray him:
His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills.

From what I gather, the "Hills" here are the Himalayas. This poem makes me think of home, the 22 years I spent between ocean and mountain. Of the home I grew up in on the foothills of Mount Rainier and the Cascades, and of Bellingham, the city where the bay was always just around the corner, and Mount Baker nearby. Idaho—though I have come to love it—is so flat and dry and suffocatingly landlocked in comparison.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sundry Sundays: Jeeves and Wooster

Have you ever read P.G. Wodehouse? He is wonderful. I forgot to mention on my Spring Reads post that his novel Leave It to Psmith is a funny light-hearted book to read this time of year.

While I had the mumps I took to watching Jeeves and Wooster, the series from the early nineties based on Wodehouse's stories of socialite and wastrel Bertie Wooster and his valet, the subtle and brilliant Jeeves. Hugh Laurie plays Wooster and Stephen Fry is Jeeves. The show portrays the hijinks Wooster and his friends get up to in 1915 Britain, and Jeeves must always come to the rescue with some clever plan. The show gets funnier the more I watch it (I'm now on season three). I highly recommend both the books and show.

Watch this clip of Jeeves, who has strong opinions on what gentleman should and should not wear:

I also wanted to show a couple clips from the episode "The Full House" where Jeeves encounters American women, but unfortunately no YouTuber has yet made a neat video of Jeeves and the ladies. If you're inclined, watch the below videos at the minutes I indicate to see these clips. If you start from the beginning you can watch the opening credits, which I rank up there with Masterpiece Theater's Edward Gory opening.

Watch this from 7:30 to 8:14 :

Watch this one from 0:15 to 0:44: