Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

just delightful

P.S. A thank you to Amanda for sharing this link.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

mourning dove hang-out

to quote calvin and hobbes -

the days are just packed

Trial 7: Three ingredient "tootsie" chews!

Ingredient List: cocoa powder (Real McCoy), honey and natural peanut butter; especially good with a pinch of sea salt

Switching gears. If you're mourning Andy Rooney (and especially if you're a woman and over 40), you've got to check this out. Especially the last line.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Two days ago I heard rumors of a house, about 2 miles away, with some spectacular decorations, including a fake palm tree. Knitted caps donned, we walked up there after supper to check it out.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Winter salad with lettuce and arugula from Menlo Park!
Topped with roasted butternut squash, pear, avocados (we have boatloads), scallion and a citrus dressing (with oranges we picked from our droopy tree).

A pizza for the 'rents that kinda looks like a Christmas tree. (Just squint.)
Shmeared dough with sun-dried tomato pesto. Sautéed the hell out of a couple purple onions and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and honey and layered 'em with red pepper (from Willow!) and mozzarella.

We also slurped some tomato-basil soup with chunks of fennel. I forgot to take a photo.

Then I went bonkers as my mom tried to take "One decent photo of The Kid." Twenty two photographs later, she gave up.

Happy Christmas and last-night

Last night at the Unitarian Universalist Christmas Eve service, we wrapped up the night holding white candles and lighting our neighbors, all from the same chalice flame. The lights dimmed and we listened to a traditional Austrian carol plucked on a harp (a few babies cried throughout). There wasn't prayer, there were a couple Jesus references (obviously), but it was welcoming to everybody. Also, a lot of people wore flannel and jeans. They projected Christmas song lyrics on a big screen, so I could sing along, too -- that might've been my favorite part. I really didn't mind singing songs whose lyrics didn't jive with my sense of self or personal beliefs. It felt unbelievably good to be recognizing a day, steeped in history, with other people in my community. I already can't wait for next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

freedom and hope

There is a dinky, mechanized Christmas tree and a very old menorah on my kitchen table. I'm going to my first Christmas service ever (!) tonight with one of my two Iowan ladies at the Unitarian Universalist church. Tomorrow night, after Christmas shindigs (eat-a-thons) around the neighborhood, my family will whip out the Strike Anywheres and do our special Hanukkah spiel. (By which I mean, we'll light the candles and say about 12 words in Hebrew.)

I was a little bit nervous about attending the Christmas service tonight, but then I remembered something my dad told me. He reminded me that when you condense Hanukkah and Christmas down to their purest meanings (past the gifts, religious fervor, whatever) Hanukkah is really about freedom and Christmas is about hope and new beginnings. When I thought about that, I felt really glad to give Christmas a plug. I am so thrilled to spend tonight with one of my girls. Better go get ready.

why tip-toe around the issue?

My fashion sense = ZERO.

what vacation also looks like

Thirteen more days of vegetating with a stack of 53 books at the foot of my bed.

Item of note: Huffington Post is going to have a book club. PUNKROCK!

that line from Fried Green Tomatoes

You know that line in Fried Green Tomatoes when Ninny tells Evelyn that "friends, best friends" are the most important thing in life? Hot damn, that girl nailed it. There was a moment yesterday -- amid breathtaking laughter that nearly resulted in snorted coffee on a nearby piece of carrot cake -- that I looked at my life (aerial view-style) and thought about two things: One, there was no where else on this planet I wanted to be other than saddled side by side with my friend, snorting coffee. And two, that no matter how much "future trajectory" nervous nellies (ie. jobs, grad school, the like) occupy my thoughts -- there is nothing more life affirming, and really, nothing that feels so good as being with people I'm smitten with. When I gab with my friends, I don't doubt myself for a moment. I don't question where I'm at or what I'm doing because everything (think: stars aligned) seems clear: I am me, they are them, this moment is for us. I don't believe in being "Blessed," but I do believe (emphatically) in friends. I spent all of yesterday gabbing; I spent all evening laughing so hard I cried four times. (Today my abs hurt real bad.) And as I climbed into bed after the laugh-attacks, I rewound the day, like I always do - but my brain charged up rather than down. I felt like I was going to explode -- not from holiday fervor -- but from stretched-out moments with the simplest, arguably most-human purposes: to listen, to eye roll, to cuss with exuberance, to give, to hold hands, to be unhurried.

Friday, December 23, 2011


That is the sound of me puking up my spleen while whipping out my iPhone.
On a less morbid note, I think her title choice is a hoot.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

regarding broccoli rabe

In regard to the subject heading, either I don't know how to cook broccoli rabe or broccoli rabe tastes like sour grass.

P.S. A nightcap etymology: The word "Encourage" dates back to the fifteenth century (latin roots) and literally means to inspire courage. I've been reading this book about linguistics and semantics and for some reason the little bit about "encourage" -- an everyday, arguably kind of bland sort of word -- made me pause for a moment.

What the heck is the Continental Divide?

I've crossed the Continental not once, not twice, but about eight times this year and it occurred to me today -- a delayed lightbulb -- that I had no idea what the heck it is. OH heavens Betsy. HELLO, GOOGLE!

Also called the "Great Divide," it's a natural boundary line that separates water that flows into the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific. It's a north-south line that runs from Alaska to South America. In the Lower 48, it follows the Rockies.


Since listening to The Marriage Plot, I’ve been trying to figure out how an audio book could wield such a possessive force that I felt inclined to stop everything (showering included; gross) to listen. It takes a good plot to do this (duh). But it also occurs to me how much I enjoyed the inherent nature of the medium (audio!) with which I processed the story. I had a complete lack of internal debate while listening to The Marriage Plot. When I read dialog, sometimes I get hung up on a short phrase. I question the inflection with which that part should be read. Is this curt? Is this subtle? Sometimes I read a piece of dialog out loud, trying out different voices, three or four times before moving on. (Yes, I'm that person muttering aloud to themselves on the city bus.) But this time, by listening, I didn’t have to make any of those decisions because the reader made all those interpretations (and, thankfully, I liked his taste). It was perfectly effortless.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

excessive cuddle monster

While flipping through a giant Frida Kahlo book from the library, my pal decided she wanted a belly rub.


I'll be soaking up Tucson -- its crisp air and flair -- for at least a few more months.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

across the pond

Eight years ago I lived in England, surrounded by sexiling girls I pretended to understand, cussing poetry teachers who told us to "shut the fuck up," and a boy with blonde hair and acne who liked soccer (*swoon*) and plays (*double swoon*) and who I quietly liked but didn't feel compelled to tell him so.

I especially like remembering late-summer afternoons, after law exams and writing exercises: I'd sit on the steps of the Bodleian Library with a McDonalds' ice cream cone, loving my prime vantage point for wedding photo shoots. Two times a week, when I had afternoons off, I wandered dusty Oxford streets, visiting every museum within two miles of St. Peter's. During lunch I'd avoid the cafeteria and eat sandwiches on dormitory steps with David, my friend from Guam. He and I poured over The Guardian newspaper and listened to make-out stories from Marie (with the hot-pink hair) and drunk Dr. Peppers. Sometimes I'd avoid David and Marie all together and I'd wander over to Modern Art Oxford (eating my sandwich along the way) where I re-watched a bizarre silent movie, projected on the white wall and then, growing comically bored, I'd watch the movie-watchers instead.

And on my last day in England, my law professor named Paz hollered at me from three stories up. I ran across the cobblestones and stood just beneath her window; she threw something out that landed by my my shoes (green Converse). I picked it up and when I looked up I saw she had shut her window and was waving and smiling from inside. She stepped backward out of view--that was the last I ever saw her (although we remained cross-Atlantic pen pals)--and I looked in my hands and untaped the plastic wrapping. Inside were two Chilean earrings. That afternoon I had a palm-sweaty public presentation for my law class--the culmination of the course. In a note, scrawled inside, Paz told me she was channeling good vibes and should wear the earrings. To this day, that little-note-thrown-out-the-third-story-window is one of the most Classically Romantic gestures I've ever experienced.

punkrock fam

Saturday, December 17, 2011

artist of my eye: WILLY RONIS

I have looked at these photographs for a long time, for many years. The last one is, perhaps, the most incredible photograph I've ever seen in my life.


Friday, December 16, 2011

words, words, words!

papple: to do what babies do to soup with their spoons

timble: to fall over very gently, look around to see who's about, and then yell blue murder

glassel: a seaside pebble which was shiny and interesting when wet, and which is now a lump of rock, which children nevertheless insist on filling their suitcases with after the holiday

iPhone fog & chilly dog

Mille has planted herself by this space heater and will only be coerced into moving when she hears me shuffle (slipper socks) toward the door to the backyard (playground).