Archive for February, 2012
Hmmmm, an aspirin between the knees. Never thought of that.
I love the idea that we might feel better about what we eat if we can look at the animal’s picture first, and know his name and his level of happiness. I also love that the waitress refuses to “speak to that level of knowledge.”
It’s come to my attention that the Hulu version only be watched in the U.S. so here is a copy from youtube.
642 hits so far today, wait, now it’s 669, mostly by people apparently looking for a picture of J-Lo’s nipple. In fact, this seems not to be that rare of a sighting; maybe you should just keep paying attention and someday you, too, can claim that you saw it, along with most of the modern Western world. We can all say we knew you when.
I apologize to my faithful readers, if you feel that you are being unfairly scolded. A good opportunity to apply the “if the shoe fits, wear it” adage.
Wouldn’t we all be better off if we spent more time thinking/worrying/doing something about/empathizing over things like politics, religion, parenthood, marriage, life, womanhood; things that matter I imagine, no, hope, to many in the world?
I don’t have a picture of J-Lo’s nipple, and I’m not going to look for one, although nothing’s stopping you from trying here.
I thought, briefly, about putting up a picture of one of mine, but that would just be weird, and wrong, and weirdly wrong, and I imagine there are at least 15 of you out there who just heaved a giant sigh of relief. (The rest of you, please just keep whatever you’re thinking to yourself thankyouverymuch.)
You’ll have to content yourself with this nipple-like picture of the halo effect caused by a lunar eclipse.
Besides, a nipple’s a nipple. What possible difference could it make?
Ew. Just made the mistake of looking to see if I could find a picture of a “generic” nipple to post.
Now I have to go poke my eyes out.
Tomorrow we shall return to serious topics, like Rick Santorum saying that the separation of church and state makes him feel sick to his stomach. Take THAT Tea Partiers.
Okay, first of all, I was really curious as to why I had 51 hits in one hour last night when the usual hourly rate is more around 10-20. Then I discovered that J-Lo apparently had a wardrobe malfunction, and I had a post about J-Lo from a couple New Years Eve’s ago. Really? This is all you have to do? Look for a picture of J-Lo’s nipple? I’m betting it looks pretty much like anybody else’s.
ANYway. . .
…I have just wasted 30 minutes I can’t get back looking at pictures from the Red Carpet “ceremony” (seriously? it’s a ceremony now?) so I thought I would waste a few more commenting on them.
But first a question. How much Botox is too much? The bottom half of Billy Crystal’s face looked 60+, but his forehead NEVER moved. Weird.
For the sake of fairness/disclosure, all of the photos below (unless otherwise noted) were taken from theenvelope.latimes.com.
In her pre-skeleton days she used to be beautiful.
I just don’t get it. Why does this repeatedly happen, where there seems to be no such thing as “thin enough”?
Speaking of skeletons. . .
Stand up girl! You’re at the Oscars!
“Princess Charlene and Prince Albert”
Enough of the ridiculous, now for the “Stunning”:
(I am a little curious about the back.)
I know I “promised” at some point to post a soup recipe every Sunday, but we didn’t make soup today.
I did make some kick-ass oatmeal bread recipe yesterday, though. I’ll put the recipe at the end.
Just some observations for now.
1. Veterinarians should seriously reconsider using anesthesia for any surgical procedures involving dogs. I’m thinking peanut butter in a Kong is sufficient.
2. Apparently, the line between political candidates and organizations known as “PACs” is getting blurry, casting doubt on whether it is actually possible that the one hand does not know what the other hand is doing.
3. Many of the leaders in our government seem to think that the U.S. offers some kind of moral compass; an ideal for the rest of the world to strive for.
This, in retaliation for American soldiers openly burning copies of the Koran. (If, as they say, they contained “messages,” couldn’t they have been burned maybe a little more discretely? How would Americans react to Islamists burning Bibles? Sheesh — a little respect wouldn’t hurt anybody.)
This, depicting American soldiers urinating on slain foes.
Or how about this, where our rights of due process etc., etc., seem only to apply to American citizens.
Wouldn’t our arguments about human rights have a little more validity if we applied them to, well, humanity?
4. Mod*el: perfect example: an excellent example that deserves to be imitated
At the risk of repeating myself.
The last thing I want my daughter to be “modeling” herself after. How about, instead,
5. Started using the “Fitness Tracker” app on Friday. Decided that it was appropriate for me to compare how much I’m actually eating to how much I think I’m eating. It’s been very revealing. You do “earn” calories by exercising, so that’s a good motivation, but most of the calorie information comes from prepared foods and we prepare most of our food ourselves, so that’s a bit of a bother.
Have also discovered that higher-than-expected percentage of my daily caloric intake is in the form of alcohol. That sounds bad. Mostly wine with dinner, but I do enjoy a little tippet of cognac (for medicinal purposes) as well, especially on these cold February nights. Am thinking I can balance it out by walking further or doing more vigorous yoga. Not sure what it says about me that I need to think twice about whether I want cheese on my chili or that 2nd glass of wine. . .
Anyway, according to the tracker, if every day is like yesterday I will have lost 8 lbs in 5 weeks. We’ll see.
Oatmeal Bread (Husband claims this is the best bread he has ever eaten. He might just be being nice, but still.)
Prepare 1.5 c. of steel cut oats (dry) for breakfast, following instructions on the can.
Leave 2 c. of prepared oats in a separate bowl. Eat the rest (giving the lion’s share to Husband, who likes porridge a heck of a lot more than you do), sprinkled with dried cranberries and with maple syrup and soymilk.
Soften 1 pkg. of yeast in 1/3 c. warm water.
When the 2 c. of remaining oatmeal has cooled, with the flat paddle on the mixer and the mixer running, add 3 T. canola oil, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and the yeast/water mixture.
Add 2 c. whole wheat flour; keep beating until the dough begins to get very stringy/stretchy.
Switch to the dough hook; add another 2 c. of unbleached flour.
Allow the dough to knead until completely smooth — 5-7 minutes.
Add another scant 1/2 c. of unbleached flour and let knead just until flour completely incorporated.
Allow to raise in a buttered bowl, punching down twice.
Divide and place in 2 buttered 8″ bread pans.
Allow to raise again (this is a good time to take a nap, or a “nap,” whichever you prefer).
Bake for 35 minutes at 350˚, 325˚ if using a convection oven.
Cool out of pans on a wire rack. If you can’t wait and must slice it while hot, turn it on its side first.
Really, really good.
Just discovered that there’s a website called “alexa” that can track the traffic to your blog, so I thought I’d go see what I could see.
Here’s what I saw:
How many blogs do you think there are out there, anyway?
It also showed this graph:
(I’m including the category “Blatant Self Promotion.” Is that ironic?) (Or just sarcastic?)
I love the particular quiet
of a deeply snowy day
and that the swirl you met
at the top of the driveway
kept you home today
so that when I awoke you
were just returning to bed
and we lounged there until
almost 10, you snoring
while I read my book
(you know, the one I like
but wish I could have edited)
and Hannah came to the
door occasionally to see
if we were going to ever
We made apple cinnamon crepes
and bacon and drank cups and
cups of cappuccino
and then went back to bed
knees to knees, forehead to forehead
and slept some more
until I snuck out in my thick socks
and drove to get the oil changed
in my car.
I only slid a little at the bottom
of the driveway, and then navigated
down slushed roads as trees dropped
snowballs on me in their passive-agressive
way and the dog in the Kia waved
its tail at me as I passed.
I sit, now, in the “quiet” room,
waiting for new oil and something
called a PCV valve
and ponder the important questions:
whether I can take another nap when I get home,
what I should do with the next twenty
years of my professional life,
what to make for dinner.
This is way cool. No pun intended. Okay it was, just a little.
As Husband points out, girls make up 51% of the population.
How hard does one really need to look?
And am I the only one who’s offended by the use of the phrase “on the hunt”? Like for rabbits?
And what do you suppose the criteria is which one must meet in order to “represent the FOX Sports Detroit brand”?
Oh, never mind.
It’s said that, all told, $6 billion will be spent on the 2012 presidential election.
I can’t help but wonder how many children that would feed, or educate, or pay health care costs for. How many factories or schools could be kept open. How many college scholarships could be provided. How many roads and bridges repaired.
Maybe if we gave money to the thing that we feel most strongly about, or that actually needs our support, rather than to the person we think will help get us that thing we’d all be better off.
Or maybe that’s just me.
When a dog chases his own tail, does he know it’s his own tail which he is chasing?
Husband and I had a good laugh over this at dinner tonight, in between random tears over how Billy Collins just seems to know exactly how to say something, just right, at just the right time, right in the middle of talking about something we all know/do/think/feel.
Sailing Alone Around the Room. If you don’t have it, get it.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses good-bye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
But which concerns you more?
Only Daughter: “If I weren’t lucky enough to have you as a mom” (see, already a diplomat, and she’s only 11!), “I would like Kristi” (the mom of two of my piano students), “or Mrs. B_____” (the mom of a friend of hers), “to be my mom.“
Me: “Yeah, they’re probably a bit more cheerful than I am.“
OD: “Ya’ think?“
Long, awkward, silence.
Me: “There are more important things than cheerful.“
Lost my driver’s license over the weekend.
Decided that in between 4 hours of teaching and rehearsing this morning and 3.5 hours of teaching this afternoon I would try to replace it online.
Went to the Secretary of State’s website, found this:
Oh, happy day! As I am a U.S. citizen, have a valid Social Security number, and my license has not expired or been cancelled, and is not “enhanced” (whateverthatmeans), so this should be no problem. Maybe I won’t have to try to squeeze in a trip to the DMV in a week during which I am working something like 60 hours.
So I click on the “ExpressSOS” link, and get this:
Do you suppose they’re being ironic?
They don’t actually expect that I’ve written this number down somewhere, do they?
Why is it that many people who are religious feel compelled, no, instructed to share their faith with everyone, but recoil if someone suggests that he or she does not agree with them, or, horror of horrors, doesn’t believe in “religion” at all?
Out-of-the-closet atheists are often treated as if they are, inherently, evil. As if saying you don’t believe in a god is saying that you molest children for fun or sacrifice virgins or puppies in the forest around raging bonfires on Saturday nights.
Is it really so impossible to believe that humanity would do good, or right, because it is the right thing to do, without the impetus of fear-of-eternal-damnation?
I often wonder if the people focused on their salvation, their redemption, in the next life are not, in fact, missing the point. So many relationships with the people here on earth sacrificed, in the name of “standing up for what [I] believe in” or, even worse, for “The Truth,” as if they know, with absolute certainty, what that is.
How can it be wrong to find wisdom and beauty and joy and morality and justice and love from works of Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky, and Merwin, and Robert Frost, rather than from a book cobbled together over centuries by men with differing agendas?
And don’t we all see that if we argue morality through the lens of religion we’ll never agree?
A couple of clips to watch. You might not agree with everything said, but at least give it some thought.
(thank you treacle talks)
(the interview starts around minute 4)
Started snowing at 9 a.m. yesterday and was still snowing when I went to bed.
Here is what greeted us when we awoke this morning.
So the heart is hiding the kiss, and the star is hiding. . .? Is it possible that no one in editing noticed that this was a little strange?
Reporting on the primary in Nevada included a photo from a “Pimping for (Ron) Paul” event. Seems like maybe Mr. Paul would ask them to please, maybe, come up with a different name? Or is he being ironic? I guess it’s possible that some politicians recognize that they are, basically, ahem, selling themselves to the highest bidder sotospeak. Maybe we should congratulate him on his honesty.
Speaking of honesty, do you trust this face?
Meh. Me, neither.
there’s a picture you hung in
our bedroom the day I knew you would move in
a black and white drawing
and I always felt that it was us
lovers entwined, not clear
which parts of which body was whose
dark shadows and random letters
and people and shapes in the background
the world around us but us in it
not waving our arms to keep it away
but better because we are in it together
what will you do when you
turn around one day and find us
off our pedestal
feet dirty, asses sore from
when we hit the ground?
I think you want to live a life
and I don’t think you can
but that you should try only to
regret that which
you thought about and decided
there was just no other way
life’s a nuisance and a pain and
maybe you’re right and we
would be happier if we could just
live hiding under the bed
but we can’t
and we don’t
so what then?
A poem by Margaret Atwood.
Seems so obvious, when she puts it like that.
Yes, we should. Congratulations to Ms. Kilburn. I’m sure she’ll do a wonderful job.
But pardon me if I pour a little cynicism into the soup by posing two questions:
First of all, why is this the first female band conductor hired by a prestigious academy that has been operating for 50 years, an offshoot of an arts camp founded in the 1920s?
Secondly, (pointing out again that I don’t disagree that we should all celebrate these milestones), it still angers me that these ARE milestones, and that they warrant celebration.
Should it be exciting to see women moving into the “men’s” areas of the arts? For decades it was considered appropriate for women to play the piano (as long as it was only a “little”; it was not, appropriate for her to be “too good” or to seem to care “too much” or to try “too hard”). It was also acceptable for her to sing, and to study musicology. Eventually it was even expected that women interested in music as a career would be a piano or voice teacher, or study music education and teach in an elementary school.
It was NOT considered suitable for a woman to do something so vulgar as to play as a brass or woodwind instrument, nor strings (especially not a cello, as the sitting/instrument placement position would be unseemly at best.) Nor was it seemly for a woman to be a composer. Felix Mendelssohn claimed that his sister Fanny was a much better composer than he was, and valued her opinions and input regarding all of his musical compositions; but she was not “allowed” to published her own. Clara Schumann was a concert pianist, but her “career” really took off after Robert’s hospitalization and then death from mental illness, probably because it was considered absolutely necessary for her to pursue this career in order support her family. When Gustav and Alma Mahler began their relationship, Gustav wrote her a letter, telling her that he was looking for a wife, not a colleague, and that it would only make things complicated if they were both to pursue careers as composers (can you imagine?). Amy Beach willingly gave up her performance career at the request of her new husband, and became Mrs. Henry Harris Aubrey Walker Beach.
A woman should certainly NOT be so presumptuous as to place herself at the front of an ensemble and tell the musicians, some of whom one could expect would be men, what to do and when or how to do it.
Just in case you think I’m being paranoid, let’s look at some numbers:
At the college where I teach there are eight full-time faculty plus the director. Two of them are women — the head of the piano area, and the head of the theory/composition area. Less than 25%.
At the college where my husband teaches women constitute 3 of 8 brass faculty, 1 of 7 piano faculty, 1 of 7 string faculty (harp), 3 of 7 woodwinds, 1 of 8 conductors (choral), 1 of 6 music theory, and 3 of 6 music education.
This is 10 out of the listed 49 full-time positions. 20%. This is shameful. Granted I haven’t included voice which is 3 and 3, or composition, which is 0 for 4. Hmmmm. Not really helping.
Just to pick another large school in my state with a reputable music program, let’s look at the numbers at the University of Michigan: All ten conductors are male; two of the eleven jazz faculty are women, although five of the six music education professors are women (see?); two of fourteen full-time positions in percussion/winds/brass are held by women. Six of fourteen music theorists are women, so that’s pretty good, but really?
If we omit the music education professors, we have 10 out of 39. Still around 25%
I believe I pointed out in a previous post that even most of the VISITING performers to the Interlochen Visiting Artists concerts are men.
How can this be?
If you look around in a piano studio or a school band or orchestra or choir, or even at the most prestigious arts camps like Interlochen, the majority of the students are women.
Where do they go?
And why isn’t anybody else noticing, or doing something about it?
Oh, yeah. We’re celebrating.
Guess I was too caught up in my domestic tasks and my pre-menstrual/perimenopausal mood swings to notice.
. . .if there is a single thing in life I don’t feel conflicted about.
Meryl Streep’s commencement speech at Barnard, 2010.
Love all of it, except the last sentence. I think she could have done better.
How about, rather, make yourself proud?
Anyway, here it is; watch it through to the end — good stuff around minute 13 and beyond that’s worth waiting for.
Reading the instructions that came with the washing machine, trying to determine if I can wash our queen-size down comforter in it without ruining it. Found this on the “troubleshooting” page:
Problem: Washer will not start.
Possible Cause: Washer door not closed completely.
Solution: Close washer door.
What could happen when your sports event accepts corporate sponsorship:
You don’t suppose they mean?
Maybe more like something like this:
There’s even a water hazard.
(Actually, this isn’t really funny. If you click on the picture above it will take you to a National Geographic webpage that shows some of the horrific things we are doing to this planet. Please do what you can to stop it, including avoiding plastic bags whenever possible, recycling EVERYTHING, and using a refillable water bottle instead of buying water bottles at the store.)
Heard on Prairie Home Companion:
This year’s Republican primaries have come down to the Mormon and the Polygamist.
Today’s soup: Beef Chili
In a large pot, sauté one large coarsely chopped onion and 4 cloves minced garlic.
Add 1 lb of stew meat, with the chunks sliced into thin strips. Brown.
Add 1 diced red pepper, 3 dried cayenne and/or chili’s snipped, 1 T. chili powder, 1 T. cumin, and/or 1 T. Southwest Seasoning. Stir until spices release their fragrance.
Add 2. large cans petite diced tomatoes, and 1 can each canned kidney and black beans.
Cover, lower heat, and simmer for however long you want.
About 15 minutes before you want to serve, add 1-2 c. frozen corn.
Serve with grated cheese, sour cream or yogurt, and taco chips on the side.
As it has been said:
Love and a cough
cannot be concealed.
Even a small cough.
Even a small love.
- Anne Sexton
1. Dexter the Dancing Dog will go to great lengths to lick the cayenne-laced-butter I’ve applied to the pole that holds the bird feeder (trying to discourage poaching by the resident squirrel population), but will not eat a salt-and-vinegar potato chip. He seems to think it’s trying to attack him.
He also will play outside for an hour and then come in and pee on the kitchen floor. Any suggestions? I’ve just about had it.
2. Nothing tells internet sites to make your passwords not work like your being in a hurry.
3. Komen backed down, and has reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood. Girl power!
(We need a salute — anybody got any ideas?)
Although I just found out that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. Why not? Maybe they should.
4. Only Daughter came to me last night with a dental flosser and a request to remove the “seed” from behind her last tooth. It was a new tooth. And lo and behold, there was another one on the other side! She’s 11. Barely. A very tiny 11. Aren’t these supposed to come in around 12 or 13? Hope there’s room. Plus she wanted to know if these were her “smart teeth” like her brother just had taken out.
5. A girl around 12 fell off the balance beam last night at Only Daughter’s meet, and hit what seemed to be seven points on her way down. She laid on the mat for what seemed to be a really long time while the coach leaned over the beam and encouraged her to get back up. (O.D. sat, a handful of feet away, hands over her mouth in horror.)(She’s terrified of the beam, as well she should be. But still.) The girl stood up, gave the coach “ten,” got back up, and nailed the rest of her routine. I had tears in my eyes. Granted, I was a complete sap yesterday to start with — I also cried over Billy Collins’ line from On Turning Ten “I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light; if you cut me I would shine” while attempting to read it to a student. (It is a really good line. But still. Get a grip forcryin’outloud.)
During the meet First Son called asking for my homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. I emailed it to him. That was kind of fun, in a “look at you all grown up” sort of way. (I can write that because he tells me he doesn’t read this blog anymore. So much for my captive audience.)
6. O. D.’s friends for her birthday sleepover finally just arrived — 13 minutes late. She stood at the window, Dexter in her arms, wondering if they were going to show up or not. I made her a heart cake with chocolate frosting and lots of different kinds of sprinkles, thinking about a colleague of mine whose son just died of complications from Hodgkins disease and a rare blood disorder. He was 26. I was picturing her making him his 11th-birthday cake, and envisioning his life, and not seeing this in a million years. Meanwhile Jeff Buckley sang about how, when his time comes, he knows he will leave the world with a satisfied mind. I wonder how many weeks before he died it was when he recorded that song.
Life’s too short. And too busy.
I suggested to Husband that we quit the ratrace and start an alpaca farm. In Italy. I think he thought I was kidding. I’m not. Well, not completely.
In a not-really related story; a conversation from earlier in the week:
Husband: I think we need to get a more “manly” dog like a German Shepherd or a Wolfhound or something. I feel like such a whimp walking Dexter.
Me: But he’s so cute.
Husband: I know. That’s the problem. He’s all puffy, and plus he doesn’t really walk, he kind of prances and bounds around. It’s humiliating.
Me: Maybe we can put a leather vest and one of those collars with the spikes on him.
Husband: Well that might help a little. Like the really long spikes?
Me: Sure. But think of the attention you can get from women who see you; we’re all saps for cute dogs.
Husband: I saw some women while I was walking him. I think they were laughing at me.
Me: What made you think that?
Husband: Well, they were walking and smiling, and kind of talking out of the corners of their mouths like I wouldn’t notice that they were talking, and then when they met me one of them said, “Okay, that might be just about the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.”
Husband: Exactly. Completely emasculating.
I’m thinking this:
So the buzz on NPR this morning is that “Catholics” are upset about a new proposed law that would require all insurance companies to cover contraception.
At the same time, reportedly, 98% of the women in this country use contraception at some point in their lives.
There are approximately 313 million people in this country, and, according to this chart, 24% of them are Catholic. It seems safe to assume that approximately half of that 24% are female, 98% of whom apparently use contraception — 36,808,800, according to my calculations; would it be presumptuous to think that perhaps this 37 million are not at all upset?
Has anyone asked them?
And even if no one has, one can still presume.
So who’s upset?
The cardinals, priests, bishops, the POPE forcryingoutloud?
Why do they even get to voice their opinion? They don’t need contraception. They’re MEN, who can’t procreate, because they’re not supposed to be having sex. (If they are, they’re probably molesting young boys.) They shouldn’t get to decide this.
So either Catholic women are using contraception and not talking about it (shame on them), or, well, what? What’s the alternative here?*
Why is this even an issue? As we are living on a planet that’s about to collapse under the collective weight of humanity, can “they” possibly still believe that the “be fruitful and multiply” is a good edict to follow? I’m sure that’s useful to the woman in Kenya with 14 babies and living through famine.
Women who have a say in their procreation have more power. Is that the problem? We all know how “the Catholics” (not to mention the rest of the
men world) feel about women with power.
Does anyone else have a problem with a religious organization, run by “celibate” men, telling women that they have no right to claim control over when and if they procreate?
And if we all have a problem with it, why don’t we say anything?
And now the biggest supporter of breast-health and breast-health-awareness has decided not to give money to Planned Parenthood to be used for breast cancer screening by women who maybe can’t otherwise afford it.
And then we have women putting themselves forward as viable candidates for this country’s highest office, namely Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman, (whose primary selling points seem to be general attractiveness and nice hair rather than intellectual rigor or experiential qualifications), questioning the fairness of laws protecting women’s rights to access to contraception.
Is this the best we can do?
We should get to decide if and when we have babies or not — especially since women who have children are automatically considered to be less viable in the workplace. How many men give up their careers against their will because they had children?
And if the insurance companies are going to pay for Viagara, they should pay for our Apri, or our IUD, or our diaphragm.
*I have very good, self-aware, contraception-using, parents-of-gay-children, female friends who consider themselves to be “good Catholics.” I don’t get it. The people running your particular show are telling you that you’re sinning and you’re wrong and you and/or your children are going to burn in hell, but you go every week and find great comfort in the ritual or something. Maybe it’s the incense. I don’t get it. I. Don’t. Get. It.
Maybe someone can explain it to me?