Friday, November 30, 2007

the finish line

the crowd cheers,confetti flies and we are all greeted family and friend as we break the finish line and wave goodbye to nablopomo.

like many of us, i entered in to nablopomo with a sense of excitement and intent. i was going to post for 30 consecutive days and my posts would be brilliant. i have papers filled up with ideas and half written stories that i ran out of steam on.

let's see what did make it to the old blog this month:

day 1 my reflections on halloween and costumes.
day 2 deviled egg day!
day 3 day light savings time ends
day 4 sunday ramblings
Day 5 responsible citizen

day 6 boring presentation
day 7 becky's yummy onion soup
day 8 interview becky on sporky
day 9 lord shiva's dance moves
day 10 ask monkey - fruitcake laws
day 11 meditation
day 12 an autumn haiku
day 13 word of the year
day 14 sporky speaks
day 15 ask monkey - autumn leaves
day 16 basil the cat
day 17 meteor shower
day 18 ask monkey - teas
day 19 relish relishing
day 20 bat grooming tip
day 21 no music day
day 22 thanks giving tip
day 23 the season starts
day 24 reflections on no music day
day 25 blessed are the cheese makers
day 26 the best feature on my telephone
day 27 a sufi, a priest and a rabbi walk into a summit.
day 28 nablopomo haiku or two
day 29 holiday tv special - full of wiki goodness
day 30 round up of posts and what didn't make it.

This is what didn't made it to the blog this month

correct hand washing techniques and songs selection to assure 15 seconds of scrubbing.
is there really such a thing as decaffeinated tea?
my favorite holiday movies
why i miss leslie harpole.
how i named my cat.
ice cream vs gelato vs sorbet - frozen confection smack down.
thank you notes.
invention of the tea bag.
gushing admiration of jim henson.
meditation instruction.
panda facts.
bat facts.
know your tibetan lama - interview with a tibetan lama.
detailed explanation of karma.
what is dharma.
quotes i love.
what you can do in a month.
proposal for nablopomohohoho - post every day until christmas about something christmasy.
answer various "ask monkey" questions that arrived.
suggested reading of books i haven't read.
suggested reading of books i have read.
the urban legend about me eating homemade candy from strangers. (without the names changed to protect the fudge maker.)

will any of these make it into my blog in the future? maybe some of them will.

but right now, it's time to put my feet up, relax and wait to see who wins the prize that i donated for a lucky winner of the nablopomo challenge.

thanks mrs. kennedy for doing this to us. making this all possible.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

and they're off!

the holiday season television specials have started. i can only imagine what's in store for unsuspecting viewers. while i hope to avoid anything as scary as the infamous 1977 "little drummer boy" duet with bing crosby and david bowie, i do have a few classics that i like to catch every year.

last night, "how the grinch stole christmas" kicked off my holiday viewing. dr. seuss penned the book of the same name in 1957. director chuck jones brought it to life in glorious animated color in 1966. no where else would you ever hear the melodious voice of the great horror icon boris karloff and the vocal stylings of the grrrrrreat! thurl ravenscroft?

despite my best efforts, i have still not located a recipe for roast beast, but, i have given wikipedia its christmas gift. it was a snap to shop for!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

nablopomo haiku

i write everyday
to meet the blogging challenge
only two more days!

bonus haiku:

i have no subject
to inspire me today.
resort to haiku!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor

it's no laughing matter that religious tension seems to be at an all time high. yet last week, the united nations organized a conference in barcelona, spain where jews, muslims and christians openly cracked religious jokes.

details are sketchy, but, clerics were poking fun of their themselves and their religions to a packed house. from the sufi who kicked off the gig to the catholic who had the last set, they had the audience laughing with them not at them.

what if this kind of humor continues? if they hit the road with their schtick and start playing larger venues? what if others stand-up and join them with their relentless spinning yarns until the audiences sides ache and tears run down their faces? if this keeps up? something more than laughter may break out. that's right, religious tolerance might just be the warm up act to world peace.

i'm not pulling your leg! check out gerry hadden's coverage of the summit for the world.

Monday, November 26, 2007

phone home

i spent the entire evening talking on my telelphone. my ears are sore, my lips are weary and i can't tell if i'm more tired of talking or listening. but, i still love my telephone!

it has two separate lines - one that everyone calls and one secret hotline. it has a speaker phone, a phone book, room monitoring, speakerphone, intercom and conference calling. it dials my alarm company in an emergency all by itself. it tells me who's calling and has a repertoire of ringtones that range from subtle and unobtrusive to blatantly annoying. it has three handsets, one of which is a loner that hides out in the sofa cushions until his battery is dead. i'm sure the base unit is the ringleader among my home appliances and suspect he orders take-away food when i'm not home.

now, everyone's batteries are low and it's time to tuck everyone into their cradles, hit their "do not disturb" buttons and say good night. it's time for my voice mail to have some fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

blessed are the cheesemakers

as you know, i believe in promoting tolerance and understanding. naturally, i get concerned when someone stubbornly proclaims that they are lactose intolerant and unable to partake of any of the selections on the cheese platter or indulge in a comforting grilled cheese sandwich.

i am here today in the spirit of understanding to dispel those myths prejudicing the lactose challenged and swaying them from the the consumption of cheesey comestibles. yes, my abstaining friends, you can partake of cheese without fear of digestive revolt. ok, you can partake of some cheeses...those would be naturally lactose free cheeses.

i can hear you skeptics now: "if it is made with milk, it has lactose." well, according to cheese world insider
paula lambert, cheeses made with rennet and cultures are lactose free. rejoice!

you naysayers can turn to page 134 in the pop-up version of "monkey's complete guide to chemistry and the joy of cheese". as you can see, the belligerent lactose molecule meets the persuasive rennet and his roving band of cultures. a lively conversation ensues, lactose lets his guard down so he's easily converted, and gobbled up by the cultures. the evil lactose has been banished from the final cheese, forever.

please refer to the supplement "the curd among us - lactose's revenge" for the philosophical explanation of why cheese made by using an acid to curdle the milk still harbors lactose. it is clear in the series of glossy photos the offending molecules are not persuaded to convert and remain intact(and probably more than a little annoyed). and so, i say unto you, if your cheese is genuine and the ingredients contain the words rennet and cultures, it is wholesome and fit for all to partake of.

thus ends the today's teaching. now if the congregation will please turn to page 68 in your glorious cheese hymnal, let us all join together to sing "crescenza in carroza".

Saturday, November 24, 2007

do you hear what i hear?

wednesday i participated in "no music day" and what an ear-opener that was!

even without music i have a great soundtrack to my life. my kitty's squeeks as she stretches and i didn't know my candle wick hisses. the 6 am matalic garbage truck solo was mercifully short and the thunderstorm was rhythmically more complex than any jazz drummer. my tea kettle falls silent when the water reaches a boils and someone very small was practicing a soft-shoe in my attic at sunset.

it wasn't all a romp through a natural soundtrack recording (with feel-good subliminal messages). i really did miss the music i love and i might have fallen off the wagon if confronted with an opportunity to enjoy some favorite live music. i know that some people thought that a music fast was a silly idea and that they wouldn't give up their music for anything. for me, it was a valuable experience. but, don't listen to me, listen for yourself.

Friday, November 23, 2007

it's officially here!

not shopping season - nutcracker season. far and wide this is the day that productions of the nutcracker sprout up all over the country and will not go away until after christmas. from the first time a little dancer scurries across the stage as a mouse decades later when she creaks across the stage as a first act guest, it's the only ballet that a ballet dancer cannot avoid in their career. with double matinées, tea parties, holiday benefits and guest appearances - it's a busy life for any sugar plumb fairy, her cavalier and their tutu clad pals.

in russian and throughout europe, "sleeping beauty" was always christmas ballet, but, in the 1950's productions of the tchaikovsky and petipa's nutcracker in new york (under the direction of george balanchine) and chicago (under the direction or ruth page) elevated it to the christmas icon it is today. most people are familiar with at least the music through it's extensive use movies, television and commercials. even public radio's this american life has been sited for use of the sugar plum fairie's theme out of season.

so, for those of you who have never seen or heard of this glorious ballet, let me give you a synopsis in under 30 seconds. that's less than than it takes to get through the overture, so, don't bother to sit back and get comfy.

presenting the nutcracker in under 30 seconds or less:

clara's parents throw a christmas party and her bratty little brother breaks the new toy nutcracker that she gets from her eccentric godfather. exhausted from the festivities, she falls asleep in front of the christmas tree, but, is awakened by a small scale war going on between rats and mice in the parlor. her nutcracker comes to life, kills the mouse king, transforms into a prince and takes clara through dancing snowflakes to the land of sweets. there, she is greeted by the sugar plum fairy who commands various snacks,beverages,and flowers to entertain her guest before she and the prince dance their hearts out for clara . everyone hits the dancefloor for one last terpsichorean fling then calls it a night.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

keep them out of the kitchen

Cuisiner suppose une tête légère, un esprit généreux et un coeur large.

Cooking calls for a tranquil mind, a generous spirit and a big heart.

--Paul Gauguin

when it comes to cooking thanksgiving dinner, i need more than a tranquil mind, i need a tranquil kitchen.

i think people mean well by gathering in my tiny kitchen. i know the old adage "the kitchen is the heart of the home" and all that. but a clogged heart is an unhealthy heart just begging for bypass surgery. so, if you don't clog my thanksgiving cooking space, you will not have to be surgically removed. neither of us want that, do we?

please make yourself comfortable and lounge around the living room which is totally free from pots of boiling liquids, sharp implements and unexpected movements that could cause injury. really you'll be much happier there. honestly, if i need help, i'll call. otherwise, trust me when i say "please, stay out of my kitchen!"

when the table is laden with a glorious selection of treats, than we can don our turkey hats and have a happy and gratitude filled thanksgiving.

if you're not stopping by for dinner or pie, i hope you have a lovely thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

no music day

today is officially no music day. for 24 little hours, i'll be observing a music fast. this holiday goes back as far as 2005 when founder bill drummond decided it was a good idea. i'm all for a day off to refresh my musical palate!

so, today, i'm not humming in the shower, not listening to my ipod and not watching television's bombardment of jaunty little jingles. movies with theme songs and mood music lurking around every corner are out of the question. i've change the ringtone on my phone and i'm not making any phone calls so that i don't get ambushed by hold music. please don't call me and sign. (you know who you are.) i'm ever vigilant so that i don't start humming a tune or let a little earwurm take hold in my brain. i'm taking the stairs and staying clear of shops and malls to steer clear of elevator music or mood music. i think i have this all pretty much under control.

my only concern is that i might inadvertently engage in a john cage composition, but, i'll have to take my chances.

music is such an intrinsic part of my life, this is no small effort. this morning has gone pretty well, but, i could be gasping for tunes any moment. like a starving man, all i can think about is what i will break my fast with. will it be some classical favorite, something soothing yet inspiring? or will it be something that gets my feet dancing and my heart soaring? or will i take my chances and let some music catch me off guard sauntering up the street or snapping on the radio? so much to choose from. should i get professional help from doctor steel or doctor john. (can either of them help with a bad case of loving you?) dive in to a buffet of bowie or brahms. from (laurie) anderson to (joe) zawinal, there a smorgasborg of fast-breaking goodness out there. i'll just have to wait and see...hmmm... waits.

until then, no singing in the rain, no dancing in the streets, no rocking round the clock for me!

your musical fast breaking suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

grooming tip

bats and cats have more in common than a vowel and two consonants. both fuzzy mammals spend a lot of time grooming to keep their fur clean, soft and silky without the use of conditioners or harsh cleaning products.

*this interesting fact is courtesy of nice folks batworld rescue, release and sanctuary.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the relishing of the relish

yes! i really do make mama stamberg's cranberry relish every thanksgiving. honestly.

i have been known to prowl the berry isle in my local market for fresh cranberries and snap up the little crimson gems as soon as they splash down in their faux-bog display. several batches are necessary for holiday consumption and hoarding until a summer sandwich begs to be slathered with the shocking pink concoction.

while i wish that everyone could enjoy the unique flavor of this relish, i know it's not for everyone. still, i encourage you to give it a try keeping in mind, cranberry is not the dominant flavor. this is a dance of dance of cranberry, onion, horseradish, sugar and sour cream. savory yet slightly sweet. tangy and sharp yet tempered with creamy goodness. this is not your grandmother's orange cranberry relish or the number 2 can-shaped cranberry jelly that is a mainstay of many families holiday table. it's a taste delight all it's own. i just wish you were here so that i could express my feeling in interpretive dance.

feel free to drop by anytime during the holiday season with the sandwich of your choice and i'll give you a dollop!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ask monkey - all that's steeped is not tea

dear monkey,

i asked for a cup of tea at cafe today and was bombarded with a staggering list of choices: white, green, black, pooh air, oolong, red, herbal, mushroom, elixer, ginseng and matte. it was all so much, that i opted for orange juice. can you help me naviate through the tea jungle?

thirsty for knowledge,

dear leif,

camellia sennesis is not a foreign film star. it's the official name of the nobel bush that is the source of all genuine tea. originating in asia, this plucky little plant has been the basis of refreshing beverages, medicinal preparations, and colorful legends for thousands of years. white, green, black, ooling and even the trendy puh err all come from the same plant. what varies is the growing, harvesting and processing that gives each type of tea it's distinct charachteristics.

so, if the cup in front of you holds a liquid made from herbs, bark, twigs or berries you're looking at an infusion. like teas, their varieties seem to be endless. either way you go - tea or infusion - it's a cavalcade of beverage adventure. i heartily enocourage you to jump in and splash around!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

twinkle twinkle

i've packed up my cozy lawn chair, a healthy snack and a thermos of hot cocoa. i'm ready to spend some quality time looking skyward at some celestial entertainment courtesy of the leonid meteor shower. i'm hoping this shower scene will be as memorable as the one in psycho (but without the knife or the chocolate syrup going down the drain).

Friday, November 16, 2007

the cat is out of the bag

if i was draped in lox and dusted in cat nip, tito and boone would still be indifferent to me. yet, all i had to do was quietly step over the jackson's threshold and their gentleman cat, basil, would wake from a sound sleep, crawl from his cozy kitty bed (or choice spot in the sun) and pad slowly over to greet me. now that he has passed away, will this silent bond endure? do we have a psychic link that will connect us across the ether? i like to think so. although, he could have been just looking for the sour cream i would bring for him whenever i was cat-sitting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ask monkey - autumn leaves

dear monkey,

when autumn comes, the trees transform into a brilliant palate of colors that are almost good enough to eat. how, i ask you, how does this happen? i must know.

tortured until you reply,

v van gough

dear vincent,

you seem like a guy who understands pigment and this is all about the pigment. those little powerhouses of photosynthesis that we call leaves are chock full of glorious colors all year long. the problem is, they are always being upstaged by boisterous chlorophyll. from spring to fall, you see him everywhere - from pale spring grass to deep forest green. he's always on the job making sure to do his part for photosynthesis and being the best green he can be. (green is the new black, you know!) sadly, he can't keep up his fast paced lifestyle and he starts to wear out and fade. who wouldn't? finally the patient carotene with her vibrant palate of reds, oranges and yellows takes center stage and is recognized for their fine display of what the fashionable leaves are wearing this autumn.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the spork speaks

i've finally caught up with matt aka sporky of the blog

monkey: hi matt! ready for the interview?

sporkulious: oh? an interview with me?

monkey: yes. so that people can get to know that mat that i know. the real sporky.

sporkulious: oh? but won't i have to worry about stalkers?

monkey: no stalkers.

sporkulious: what about people holding celery stalks?

monkey: you never know about things like that - garnish afficiandos are everywhere! you've been blogging before the word blog was even coined. what blogs to you like to keep up with?

sporkulious: i keep up with every single blog on my "blog roll" (i hate that term. i like my rolls to come out of an oven, warm and tasty). my favorites, of course, are , and mimi smartypants . i also keep up with various webcomic sites and some blogs pertaining to my hobbies and interests -,, the usuals. i'm also keeping up with a little furry primate's blog.

monkey: there are so many blogs out there, what makes you get attached to one and dismiss others?

sporkulious: 90% of the time it's the author/blogger. i don't care if they're talking about wiping baby butts or buying rhubarb at a market - as long as they make it sound interesting and fresh i'll keep on reading. having a sense of humor is the #1 way to make it into my daily rotation.

of course, i do fall in and out of love with sites - people change over time and sometimes i have to go my separate way. but i'll always have the memories! (and the google cache)

monkey: any sites you've drifted away from and rediscovered again?

sporkulious: not really. my memory isn't that great, but i can recall if i've been on a site before and it's not my cup of tea anymore. though i can see why some people would leave a site when some sort of shift comes around - like writing about food instead of her daily life, or heather champ writing less and less (or, for this month, more and more) at the only exceptions are when people stop updating their sites and then start up again. i'm a pretty loyal reader and nothing brings me more joy than when someone starts writing again.

monkey: so, i bet you are jumping with joy that i'm blogging daily, right?

sporkulious: i am! it pleases me to no end that you and thousands of bloggers everywhere are writing every day this month. of course, it does make my daily reading list extend past a few hours into the 4-6 hour range

monkey: there's always time for reading! matt, when you read, what's your beverge choice?

sporkulious: i like to have some sweet tea or water to keep my thirst quenched. though i wouldn't sniff at the idea of tossing down a few oranginas

monkey: excellent choices! do you accompany that with a snack or any thing?

sporkulious: there's no snackage going on, due to my abhorrence of a greasy mouse and keyboard, but i do often think of cheese.

monkey: who doesn't? you know how i feel about cheese.

sporkulious: i find my mind often wanders to cheese; to be truthful.

monkey: my feet often wander off to the cheese box to get a little nibble of cheese. what's in your cheese box today?

sporkulious: not much, sadly. i have a wedge of parmesan for grating, some seriously sharp cabot cheddar, a small wedge of pepper jack, some buffalo mozzarella, a few slices of provolone and some american cheese slices.

monkey: very nice selection. i also have a sharp cobot cheddar (thanks for introducing us couple years ago). my parmesan is a roughly shredded regiano. i have a tiny wedge of petit basque and a little chunk of a maytag blue that's next on the roster for my next grilled cheese. organic cultured cottage cheese rounds my collection. as you can see, i need replenish my store at my local cheeserie.

sporkulious: did someone say gouda?

monkey: hmmmm.... is becky around here. she's been known to say gouda. I understand that as a child, she had a tourette's-like syndrome where she would uncontollable blurt our the names of european cheeses.

sporkulious: i hear she was cursed by a gypsy woman after refusing to share a slice of brie.

monkey: is that how it started?

sporkulious: it's hard to get a word out of the schmitz family.

monkey: has she made amends with the gypsy women to get the curse lifted? i haven't noticed that behavior now.

sporkulious: i think it only manifests in her sleep.

monkey: oh! she's getting her own room on the roadtrip.

sporkulious: oh? that's for the best. we don't want any of the gypsy curse to rub off.

monkey: i can't share a room with any one yelling "port de salut" "moirbier" or "camembert" when i'm trying to sleep.

sporkulious: you'd never get to sleep thinking of all that cheese.

monkey: where do you find a midnight cheese monger? that would be the problem. we best let a sleeping becky sleep in her own room.

how's that for a little interview?

sporkulious: i think it's entirely suitable and scandalous for making me want to nibble some cheddar.

monkey: i better go find a nibble myself. thanks for joining me matt!

i think it's time to open up the floor to our readers. what's in your cheese box?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

eat your words

if you are like me, you were up late last night celebrating the the announcement of new oxford american's 2007 word of the year. among the party goers were the distinguished runners-up including bacn, cougar, upcycling and tase. the winner, locavore, arrived tastefully late and resplendent in a locally sourced ensemble.

i'm hoping the my word snackavore (a noun meaning one who eats snacks and rather than meals) has a good shot for next years short list.

Monday, November 12, 2007

autumn haiku

my tissues are here.
they are soft and absorbent.
i have the sniffles.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

meditation - it's not what you think!

i love the sense of calm spaciousness i get from meditation. i do it every day. everything slows down as i follow my breath and "be in the moment".

sometimes, my mind is so quite you can hear a pin drop. that's just before my mind pushes back the furniture, rolls up the carpet, cranks up the music and starts dancing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ask monkey - fruitcake legalitise

Dear monkey--

I have heard that the laws regulating fruitcake vary from state to state. For instance, it is rumored that in Kansas it is illegal to transport a fruitcake in a moving vehicle. A "DWF" will land you in the pokey for up to 48 hours for the first offense. I have also heard of people who so load their fruitcakes with high-proof alcohol via ingenious spray or diffusion devices they could possibly be charged with operating their own illegal still in Vermont or Utah.

Can you please provide a synopsis of fruitcake-related laws in the United States of America for those members of your reading public who are conscientious quick bread consumers?

Thank you in advance,

A candied orange peel in Montana.

dear emma,

the supreme court has ruled that each state must legislate their own laws regarding fruitcake procurement and transport. as we have seen from your examples these laws are diverse and complicated, so, if you are interested in handling a fruitcake outside of your own home or transporting either across state line, i suggest that you become take a comprehensive course offered by your local chapter of the international fruitcake council. they offer programs from home fruitcake safety to internationally recognized licensure in the care and handling of fruitcake.

saddly, very little has been done to legislate the tastiness of fruitcakes. many mass produced fruitcakes, despite their promises popularity and worldliness, fall short of the level of scrumptiousness that i believe a fruitcake should possess. just remember,
homemade is always the best. second best is fruitcake made by any trappist monks. i don't know about fruitcakes made by nuns, since i have not tasted one... yet.

comestibley yours,



Friday, November 09, 2007

mad hot dance skills

long before flashy bollywood musicals, fred and ginger tripping the light fantastic or nijinksy shocking audiences in paris, lord shiva was rocking the casbah with his universe shaking choreography. the real lord of the dance's signature solo destroys all ills and evil while welcoming a new era or peace, hope and happiness. the original blue man with 4 arms, great threads and flair with make-up who is a sure winner on dancing with the gods.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

how they met

it's end of week one of the nablopomo and as far as i can tell no one has been injured.

as a little treat i was going to interview fellow nablopomo participant matt of, but, since he was busy, i interviewed his co-blogger rebecca about him. here's an excerpt my upcoming tell-all unauthorized biography of matt called "sporky - life as a hybrid"

monkey: rebecca, how did you first meet matt?

rebecca: it was several years ago on the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy website. the site was founded by douglas adams and friends, and after he died, the BBC took it over. matt and i met in Asteroid Lil's Atelier. we were discussing important events, world politics and cookies in the salon with the other guests, when we struck up a friendship that lasts to this day. several months after we met, he asked me to post on his blog,

monkey: cookies in the salon, you say? it is true that you and matt toyed that very name for your all accordion band?

rebecca: well, not really.

for more of my hard hitting interview style, check out my interview of jodi bloom of so charmed at crafty query.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

please take bow!

there are many things i love on a chilly autumn day; watching my neighbor rake his leaves as i sip a cup of spiced tea, slurping a mug tomato soup after playing in a pile fallen leaves or nibbling a grilled cheese sandwich after re-raking up my neighbor's leaves back into a pile. still, the one thing that always hits the spot and does not involve foliage of any kind is my homemade onion soup.

the sweet aroma as it simmers, the first glorious sip, sopping up of the final drop with the last bite of crusty bread! ahh! i could never capture that in a recipe. for me, it's more of a dance with whatever onions, stock, herbs and spices show up for the audition. the accompanying cheese and crouton pas de deux is a spur of the moment improv. i wish i could say i was the baryshnikov of the soup world, but, despite my solid technique, lyrical interpretation and nice turn out, my performance is inconsistent.

yet,cloistered in her kitchen, my pal rebecca has honing her own technique and has finally stepping center stage for off off off off off off (off) broadway premier at new west's "the big sky buffet" with her groundbreaking yet sublime solo piece "blue onion soup." i'd love to stay and chat, but, i must dash off to give her a congratulatory bouquet and baguette.

bravo rebecca! bravo!!! i can only hope she will be doing pie for her encore.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

graphs + information = learning fun

today i was treated to a meeting chock-full-of monochromatic graphs accompanied by more facts and figures than you can shake a medium weight stick at. as you know, i take pride in my ability to be fully present and come away with some little gem of knowledge from any situation.

this is what i learned today:

  1. the lady next to me is skilled in the art of styrofoam cup sculpting using only her thumbnail.
  2. from the conference room i have a panoramic view of an open field inhabited by two majestic hawks and one less field mouse.
  3. singing puppets or dancing robots (or both) would have made the meeting memorable.

Monday, November 05, 2007

now, more confused than ever

as a socially responsible primate, i like to stay abreast of local initiatives, so, i tuned-in to a roundtable discussion about a complicated issue on tomorrow's ballot. thank goodness the moderator immediately pointed out that "it is important that voters remember that voting yes means that you are voting no and voting no means that you are voting yes."

now, that was simple, wasn't it?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

sunday sunday, can't trust that day.

today was going to be the day I spend updating my website from a halloween spectacular to something soothing and autumnal. since nothing says autumn like spice cake i decided to make one. naturally, only the freshest ingredients are worthy of my friend inga's mother's swedish spice cake, so, i trotted off to the store with a grocery list in hand. after procuring ground ginger, sour cream and other delights, i felt the calling to drop by the office supply store and get one of those plastic mats that goes on the carpet under your rolly-chair so that it glides with ease. it's a calling that many of us have.

while i was less than enthused that they could not gift wrap it for me, i delivered it to the delighted recipient just before my tummy announce it was snack time. my local ind-pak sweet shop was on the wasy home so i could not resist stopping in to get some gulub-jamun and saffron burfi. to my delight all the nearby shops had big sales for diwali. how could i pass up the chance to shop for a new sari for a friend, some bangles or a bollywood dvd? obviously i couldn't. after a healthy dose of window shopping it really was time for a snack, so, i headed home and enjoyed my sweets with a cup of tea. as everyone knows after snack time comes nap time. invigorated by a nap, i was drawn to peruse my social calendar and i soon found myself making lists of movies i haven't seen, exhibits at the museum that are coming up and other festivities i needed to pencil in to my diary. phone calls needed to be returned, snacks needed to be prepared, i needed to sit in the park and watch the sun go down. now, i'm faced with a blank page and i am have to come up with something witty to blog about for today's post. this will no doubt side track me from my spice cake baking!

i'm begining to think it's an urban legend that god took sunday off to rest. i don't know how he did it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

help! i'm losing an hour!

spring forward and fall back - is it a delightful sequence of dance moves or a cunning plan to steal an hour from me? it's both!

what i want to know is where are all these hours going? think of it. i lose and hour, you lose an hour. all our friends lose an hour. somewhere there warehouses of hours that were snatched away from us in the night. yes, i know, they (who ever they are) say the return those house in the spring, but, i'm never really sure if i get my hour back or it's someone else's. it always looks a little bit worn around the edges than i remember it and it's listless for days. occasionally i get one back that is much too boisterous, makes a little too much noise before dawn and stays up way too late. but soon drifts into a slovenly lifestyle of laying around the pool, taking non-stop on the phone and littering the kitchen with pizza boxes. i don't need to tell you what an ordeal it is to exchange the obviously wrong hour for the right one. by the time you get through all the red tape that hour is falling back to wherever hours fall to and the whole ugly process starts again.

i really prefer the dance step. its a real crowd pleaser in a pas de deux!

Friday, November 02, 2007

happy deviled egg day!

you'd think deviled egg day would be the day after easter? but, i guess it's today so that we can use the left over hard boiled eggs made for our trick or treaters. despite the demonic name, deviling an egg has nothing to do with unholy possession or selling ones yolk to satin. it refers to any food being purred with hot spices.

classic deviled eggs feature egg yolks mixed with mayonnaise, pepper, and mustard. contemporary culinary adventurers have taken them to new heights with additions of everything from wasabi, crab meat, salmon, and caviar to cheese, salsa, chutney, truffles and exotic spices.

so, dust off your deviled egg trays and start deviling! i know i am!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

the day after halloween

halloween is over, all my costumes are put away, the inside of my jack-o-lantern is thick with soot and i'm just starting to hit a sugar slump from sampling my trick-or-treating loot. it's time to haul in the giant inflatable pumpkin with cat and animtronic bats and drag out the light up turkey with realistic gobbling sound and pre-preprogrammed pilgrim that waves his ax and says "happy thanksgiving!" it won't be long before the self-tinseling fiber-optic christmas trees will emerge festooned with color co-ordinated ornaments with audio enhanced rotating stand. the stockings with digital photo display will be hung by the gas hearth and a store bought sugar cookie and a bottle of fancy water will be left for santa.

i love a good radio controlled ghost and 2 story tall turkey as much as the next primate. but, i love turkeys made from hand silhouettes, real christmas trees, carefully strung popcorn chains and handmade halloween costumes even more.

so, if you are trick-or-treating at my house next year and want to score the good candy just show up covered with stuffing from an old pillow and making baahing like a sheep, or draped in a pillow case with uneven eye holes, or wearing only your mother's wedding veil, a unitard and a garland of flowers or anything else that says "i spent hours making this and it's the best costume ever!" (if it's ok with your mom, you can have a home made muffin. she can have one too if she's wearing a costume.) hurry up! halloween is just under a year away! let's get designing!