Saturday, November 29, 2008

the holly & the ivy

Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.

Louisa May Alcott (b, 29 november 1832 - 1888) writer, feminist, and abolitionist

I thought last year flew by, but it was nothing compared to 2008. this year is breaking speed records, I fear my head is still in august or maybe september and in a couple days it is going to be december! is anyone ready?

tempus fugit! here we are in the midst of the thanksgiving weekend and the 'official' start of the holiday season. well, bring it on! that is bring it on if the holiday season turns out to be as delightful as this weekend is turning out to be! we had a wonderful thanksgiving day. we literally went over the river and through the woods but not to grandmother's house, but to the beautiful home of l&j who live in an eastern suburb of cleveland. both l&j have been trained in the culinary arts in france, the food was delicious. e and I were only asked to cover the dessert portion of the menu.. even though e and I love to cook and create things, bringing food to the home of people who are actually trained by 'the masters' was a bit stressful. but we held our own and received universal thumbs ups for our contributions.

we ate on the early side so there was plenty of time after dinner for a bit of a nature hike in a nearby park.


this weekend marks the 10th anniversary of monty the snake as a member of our household. coincidentally, the other family who joined us at l&j's house, spent thanksgiving with us ten years ago and jj was a part of the whole monty rescue story - a story best left for another time. these friends, who I will refer to as d, jj & z, live in the d.c. area. a few years ago they introduced us to l&j and their boys when l&j lived near them. the summer before last, j was transferred to cleveland. it is kind of magical when things like this happen with people! expand the circle and share friends.

d, jj & z headed to our home yesterday to wrap up the rest of their time in cleveland. we saw them off this morning at the crack of dawn.

last night we had a good old fashioned homemade pizza party. we made four varieties - two red and two white. one of the reds was a traditional sausage and mushroom pizza; although the mushrooms were a tad more exotic than boring button mushrooms - oyster, shiitake, and baby portabellos have such better flavor!

I think the winner of last night's combos was the other red pizza which featured roasted asparagus, bacon, and two varieties of cheese - aged mahon and parmigiano-reggiano. however, the butternut squash pizza was also receiving quite a bit of ooohs and ahhs; but since there is not a slice of sausage and mushroom left maybe it was a three-way tie. the fourth pizza was a feta anchovy concoction - I had hoped to make some anchovy converts. but alas, that didn't happen. the anchovy lovers loved it, the anchovy avoiders avoided it!

d saw that making homemade pizza with the aid of a breadmaker is a snap. since she has a much underutilized breadmaker she asked for my dough recipe. d - here you go!

mouse's breadmaker pizza dough (sufficient for two pizzas)
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

place ingredients in order listed in bread bowl fitted with the kneading paddle. select dough large setting - start and voilà in less than 2 hours pizza dough! hopefully the recipe will work with all breadmakers.

to start off the holiday season, one of my favorite holiday tunes 'the holly and the ivy' - it is the only song I could think of that mentioned deer! here's a lovely rendition of the classic by the ever ethereal loreena mckennitt:


photos: from top to bottom - deer (this week's saturday safari) in l&j's yard; z,e,d and me; d placing the final item on the table before everyone sits; the gang (minus e - but plus 'indy' who was almost the feature for saturday safari - indy's portrait will come another day, I promise) at squire castle for an après dinner hike; jj wishing monty a happy 10th anniversary/birthday - monty was a baby snake when we found him and since we don't know exactly when he was hatched we consider the thanksgiving weekend his birthday; roasted asparagus pizza before baking.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

Five fat turkeys are we.
We spent all night in a tree.
When the cook came around,
We were no where to be found
And that's why we're here you see!

TURKEY, n. A large bird whose flesh when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) writer, editor and author of the devil's dictionary

here's some trivia about thanksgiving for your holiday entertainment:

in december 1960 the pilgrims arrived in north america on the mayflower and were the first to celebrate thanksgiving in the new world during the fall of 1621 in plymouth, massachusetts. however, thanksgiving is just another take on harvest festivals which of course date back much earlier than the pilgrims arrival in north america.

here's an interesting quote by w.u. westermayer (whoever he/she is) on the american thanksgiving:
“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”
the wampanoag indians were the people who taught the pilgrims how to cultivate the land and were invited guests at the first thanksgiving. this thanksgiving, by the way lasted three days.

new york officially made thanksgiving an official holiday in 1817.

in 1827 sarah josepha hale of boston, a writer and editor , is credited as the individual most responsible for making thanksgiving a national holiday. previously thanksgiving was celebrated only in new england. hale wrote letters to five presidents – zachary taylor, millard filmore, franklin pierce, james Buchanan and abraham lincoln. her letter to lincoln did the trick. . on october 3, 1863 abraham lincoln issued a 'thanksgiving proclamation' and officially declared the last thursday of november as thanksgiving and a national day for giving thanks and prayer. prior to 1863, presidents would make an annual proclamation to specify which day thanksgiving was to be held. george washington issued the first national thanksgiving day proclamation in 1789.

in 1941 congress passed a bill which declared thanksgiving be held on the fourth thursday of november. prior to 1941, in spite of lincoln's proclamation, since the date of thanksgiving was not a matter of law, presidents or states would ‘declare’ thanksgiving on a thursday other than the last thursday of the month. for example in the midst of the depression, fdr moved thanksgiving to the third thursday in order to help stimulate the economy. if a year had five thursdays in november – watch out confusion ran rampant!

in addition to her efforts to make thanksgiving a holiday, sarah jospha hale is the author of the popular nursery rhyme ‘mary had a little lamb’ – perhaps this is why lamb is not a traditional thanksgiving menu item?

since at least 1947, the national turkey federation has presented the president with one live turkey and two dressed turkey in a ceremony known as the national thanksgiving turkey presentation. the live turkey is pardoned and lives out the rest of its days on a peaceful farm. it is commonly held that this pardoning tradition began with harry truman in 1947, however, no one has found any evidence for this. the earliest turkey pardon on record is in 1989 when george h.w. bush made a big deal over a turkey pardon. others claim that the tradition dates back to abe when he pardoned his son’s pet turkey.

in 2007, the u.s. per capita consumption was 17.5 pounds of turkey – in the u.s. 97% of turkey consumed is done at thanksgiving. since 1970 turkey consumption in the u.s. has increased by 116% and production has increased by 300% - lots of other countries have jumped on the turkey eating bandwagon. in fact, 87% of people in the uk have a traditional roast turkey and israelis eat the most turkeys at 28 pounds per person.

the first thanksgiving feast consisted of deer, codfish and boiled pumpkin. the pilgrims had no ovens to bake bread and no sugar or milk so most certainly they didn’t have any type of holiday pie!

I wish everyone a happy thanksgiving! I hope the spirit of thanksgiving - of togetherness, gratitude, counting blessings, prayer, and eating well (but not too much!) is with you every day - not just on the fourth thursday of november (or whatever day your country calls its national day of prayer and giving thanks).

photo: five turkeys somewhere in rural ohio

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

blessed are...

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), minister, abolitionist, and writer

tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the assassination of harvey milk, the courageous politician and gay-rights activist, whose life was tragically cut short. because of gus van sant's upcoming biopic of harvey milk which stars sean penn as harvey, milk may become known to people who are unaware of the groundbreaking work he did to further gay rights - which of course means to further human rights. harvey milk is regarded to be the first openly gay man to be elected to public office. unfortunately the movie isn't opening this weekend, perhaps hollywood didn't think the thanksgiving weekend the weekend to release a movie about a slain politician.

speaking of gay rights, there is some good news. a judge in miami ruled that florida's ban on gays adopting was unconstitutional.

photo: tsuki is thankful for notch and cat t.v.


joan baez singing blessed are...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

spark

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
jean baptiste massieu (1743-1818) french monk

when I was writing yesterday's post I lost sight of one of the lessons from 'mouse medicine' and found myself getting so locked into details reporting our weekend activities, I lost sight of the 'big picture.' whoops! when I reread the post hours later, I found the it most tedious, I did something I never have done in close to two years of blogging and in over 550 posts - I zapped most of the post. there was one gem embedded in my long-winded whine - the photograph of the quilt that I was working on last week and over the weekend.

this is before the the top was layered and quilted. hopefully, pictures of the completed quilt will be going up on the studio blog sometime soon.

spark by 'over the rhine'


photo of toast in honor of megan, who's the most, 300th post!

Monday, November 24, 2008

thank you

Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so let us all be thankful.

Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

one of my favorite songs by singer-songwriter dido. thank you dido! yes, it's not so bad


9:50 pm: post edited, whining, complaining and boring bits removed! sorry if you endured the earlier post!

photos: dixie and matilda, november 2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

phenomenal cat

A long, long time ago,
In the land of idiot boys,
There live a cat, a phenomenal cat,
Who loved to wallow all day.

the song "phenomenal cats" is from the kink's concept album the kinks are the village green preservation society which was released on 22 november 1968. the songs on the album were recorded between 1966 and 1968.


saturday safari photo: sam the cat. as with so many of us, sam does enjoy a good wallow every now and then. oberlin, november 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

cinnamon girl

Life is extraordinarily suave and sweet with certain natural, witty, affectionate people who have unusual distinction and are capable of every vice, but who make a display of none in public and about whom no one can affirm they have a single one. There is something supple and secret about them. Besides, their perversity gives spice to their most innocent occupations, such as taking a walk in the garden at night.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) novelist, essayist and critic

Garlic is as good as ten mothers.
proverb and title of a 1980 documentary by Les Blank

Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go.
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) humorist and writer

There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man's spice-box seasons his own food.
Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960) American folklorist, writer, anthropologist

The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and, all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
Henry Vaughan (1622-1695) Welsh metaphysical poet and medical practitioner

The food in such places is so tasteless because the members associate spices and garlic with just the sort of people they're trying to keep out.
Calvin Trillin (b. 1935) journalist

Variety's the spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.
William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet and hymnodist

notes on photos:
1,2,5,7 - herbs and spices at various markets in france

3 - the urban herbs spice booth at the west side market, cleveland

4 - after reading an article in the paper about the healing properties of these four spices (turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ginger) I took this picture with the intention of writing a post. weeks then months passed, the clipping got lost, and the post has gone unwritten, but the photo remains. on a positive note, I have increased my use of these spices in food preparation. of the four, the most under-utilized in american kitchens is probably turmeric. this is unfortunate as turmeric is believed to be superstar of spices as it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. I couldn't find the article on the internet, however, I did find this piece - it includes nutmeg in its list of 'spices for life' - the article I read probably included nutmeg, but I know for a fact I didn't have any nutmeg seeds around! nutmeg is definitely an underutilized spice in my kitchen!

6 - spices at sahadi's market in brooklyn.

cinnamon girl as performed by neil young and crazy horse (1969) - classic young and a good slide show

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

november


This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer's voice come bearing summer's gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns. Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning's rays
Wildly shine upon and slowly melt,
Too late to bid the violet live again.
The treachery, at last, too late, is plain;
Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
What joy sufficient hath November felt?
What profit from the violet's day of pain?

Autumn Sonnet Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) writer

photo: to think just two weeks ago this is what this was going on here, november 17 2008

change can happen!


wow! a most interesting morph. I need to watch it again when I have another 4 minutes to spare. I found myself particularly interested in the eyes, mouths, and presence of facial hair. skin tone and gender - well, until obama (#44) - the hegemony is homogeneous.

we don't see teeth or a broad smile until we get to jimmy carter (#39). although there were plenty of 'mona lisa' type smiles. for some weird reason, I found truman's smile particularly sweet. after jimmy, all the faces show teeth and sport wide smiles. there was a lot of facial hair on presidents for quite awhile - then after taft (#27) no more whiskers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

waltzing matilda

this weekend a new member of the extended family arrived on avenue c. matilda is a beautiful and sweet australian cattle dog who was rescued from the local apl by lin. regular readers of the mouse may remember, lin lost her olivia, her beloved canine companion of many many years, a month ago.

when one is a die-hard animal lover it is hard not to have animal companions around. although she put on a good face, I know lin really missed that magical connection that sharing our lives with animals brings. fortunately the grief she was feeling over the loss of olivia dissipated enough for her to wander out and see who needed a home.

lin didn't get much back-story from the apl as far as matilda's history. all they could tell her was that she was found tied up to the apl's loading dock, young and pregnant. there is speculation that perhaps her owners couldn't afford to provide for matilda and her puppies. but whatever the story, matilda has now found a wonderful home. it is clear that for both lin and matilda it was love at first sight. however, even though it was love at first sight, before lin officially adopted matilda she made sure matilda did passed the kid test. and she passed with flying colors. ms t and lil b will be very happy to meet the new addition!

the apl gave the dog her name, and lin decided to keep it. matilda suits her and celebrates her breed and lineage. of course all of us are familiar with the austrialia's most famous folk song.

june tabor's beautiful and haunting song "the band played waltzing matilda" from her 1976 album "airs and graces." I have always felt this song is a powerful anti-war anthem and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

"airs and graces" was june's first solo album. over the years, june has collaborated with many musicians and some many remember her as one of the two 'silly sisters.' I have had the good fortune to see june in concert a couple times. she is surprisingly funny with her on-stage banter. one of the most memorable concerts I went to was a show of june and the oysterband - geez two of my favorite musical talents together! unfortunately I haven't gotten wind of june returning to the u.s. for concerts in a very long time. according to her website it seems as if she pretty much stays in the u.k. or other european countries.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

come gather round people

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, spiritual & political leader

yesterday's H8 rally was great! although it was difficult to count how many people showed up with the sea of umbrellas and the unrelenting rain, at least a couple hundreds of people gathered at cleveland's free stamp for a rally of brief speeches and testimonials in support of the right of gays to marry and in opposition of prop 8 (and other recent statewide initiatives curbing the rights of gays). the turnout was most impressive given that the heavy rain that did not let up and the plummeting temperatures. just think of the number if the weather would have been good.

it was a broad group of people who gathered - gays, straights, whites, people of color and young and old. I spoke to a few people and the bottom line everyone shared is the belief that the right to marry who one loves is a basic human right. perhaps one of stories that touched me most was told to me by a couple of men around my age (50s). they live in the cleveland area but had flown to california in mid-october to 'become official.' after twenty years of living together as partners, these men were ecstatic to be able to exchange vows in front of family and friends and to finally be recognized by 'society' as two individuals who love one another and are committed to live out their lives together as a couple. their wedding was officiated by one man's sister who is an ordained minister. they were devastated when two weeks after their wedding california passes proposition 8. however, they told me "we are married, prop 8 has not taken this away. it's just a matter of time before propositon 8 gets overturned. and we came down here to help make that so."

it was a horrible day to take photos but I did manage to snap a few. thanks julio for holding your umbrella over me, it reduced my paranoia about having to send my camera back to the shop! to see a few of my images of the rally click here.

the story behind yesterday's rally is amazing - in just the course of a week people were mobilized and rallies took place in over 300 cities, in all 50 states and in eight countries. to read more about yesterday's gatherings go here and here.

photo: people gathering before h8 rally, cleveland

an early vid of bob singing his classic 'the times they are a changin'

Saturday, November 15, 2008

in my life

last saturday I had the squirrely idea to designate saturdays as animal photo day on mouse medicine. initially I thought I'd just post pictures of squirrels on saturday (if you made it through last saturday's post you might even recall my mentioning this). then I realized that was problematic. given the way my brain works, I'd probably want to designate a day for photos of cats and another day for dogs (although there is no alliteration for cats and dogs with respect to the days of the week). geez, and next thing I'd start thinking that maybe it would be a fun to start a blog just for animal photos! whoa, have to put the brakes on that idea, I don't maintain the blogs I already have!

today's photo should be one of a duck considering the type of day it is - it's the kind of day that folks say is a good day for ducks - wet and rainy and no sign of it easing off. I hope the rain doesn't dampen people's desire to head downtown this afternoon for the fight the H8 rally. there are rallies scheduled in every state today as part of an initiative called join the impact.

on november 4th there was great cause for celebration in these united states; many of us felt that a major victory was won in terms of advancing civil and human rights as we elected the first person of color to the 'highest office.' but tuesday was another case of two steps forward and one step backward (or would it be one step forward and four steps backward). four states - california, florida, arizona, and arkansas voted down equal rights for all citizens. if you don't know what I'm talking about check out judith warner's piece, "what it felt like to be equal" in thursday's new york times for a nice, brief, and accessible article.

one of the major opponents to giving gay people the right to marry have been the mormons. as matthew posted this is high on the irony scale:
you would think that a group of people who were almost wiped out and had to flee across the country because they "redefined marriage" would be a little more understanding.
gotta run. quack. quack.

"in my life" by john lennon and paul mccarthy (released 1965)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

autumn leaves

In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) English artist, sage writer and social critic

Men are like trees; each one must put forth the leaf that is created in him.
Henry Ward Beecher(1813-1887), minister, abolitionist, and writer

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother's secret hope outlives them all!
Washington Irving (1783-1859)American author, historian, and biographer

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
John Muir (1838-1914) writer, conservation and environmental activist

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) American naturalist and essayist

Never say that there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) German medical missionary, musician, and philosopher

notes on photos: all photos taken in november in and around cleveland

edith piaf singing autumn leaves (les feuilles mortes)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

heart of gold

As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn't see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more.

It's better to burn out, then to fade away.
neil young (born 12 november 1945)

hey, hey, my, my today is the birthday of one of my all time favorite rockers and singer-songwriters the indefatigable neil young. in my book, if you haven't been to a neil young concert you haven't been to a rock concert! neil's concerts are pretty much like he is - they keep on going and they keep on giving.

musician. activist. filmmaker. citizen of the world.

young's songs have provided the soundtrack for most of my life. this month is the fortieth anniversary of young's first solo album entitled simply neil young. can you believe it. time flies. however, this is one musician who will never rust.

a couple years ago oscar winning director jonathan demme made a documentary on neil entitled neil young: heart of gold. I don't usually go to a movie more than once but I did see this film a couple times on the big screen, and as soon as it was released on dvd I snagged a copy for the home film library. the film features many of my favorite young songs and is particularly poignant considering what was going on in neil's life in the year or two leading up to the film (e.g. death of his beloved father, life threatening brain aneurysm).

mouse query for those readers game to play : what are your favorite neil young songs? inquiring minds love to know!

wiki has a pretty decent bio on young for those interested.

1971 - neil unplugged playing heart of gold

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

open book

She's writing, she's writing,
She's writing a novel.
She's writing, she's weaving,
Conceiving a plot.
It quickens, it thickens.
You can't put it down now.
It takes you, it shakes you,
It makes you lose your thought.
But you're caught in your own glory.
You are believing your own stories.
Writing your own headlines.
Ignoring your own deadlines.
But now you've gotta write them all again.
selected lyrics from 'open book' by cake (1996)

not much time to write a proper post it's babies and book (library) day! last night on the way to the monthly science cafe, we drove by the abandoned factory (pictured above) with the 'public service announcement.' I realized I forgot to include this photo in last thursday's book post, which, of course, was the whole reason I took the photo!

better late than never, here's the photo and a song I really dig from e's h.s. days...

Monday, November 10, 2008

consider yourself

And so it is back to work. Oh yes, we can savor the moment for a while, for a few days, perhaps a week. But well before inauguration day we will need to be back on the job, in the community, in the streets, where democracy is made, demanding equity and justice in places where it hasn’t been seen in decades, if ever. Because for all the talk of hope and change, there is nothing–absolutely, positively nothing–about real change that is inevitable. And hope, absent real pressure and forward motion to actualize one’s dreams, is sterile and even dangerous. Hope, absent commitment is the enemy of change, capable of translating to a giving away of one’s agency, to a relinquishing of the need to do more than just show up every few years and push a button or pull a lever.

The worst thing that could happen now would be for us to go back to sleep; to allow the cool poise of Obama’s prose to lull us into slumber like the cool on the underside of the pillow. For in the light of day, when fully awake, it becomes impossible not to see the incompleteness of the task so far.

So let us begin.
the above excerpt is from a recent post by tim wise entitled, "good, and now back to work: avoiding both cynicism and overconfidence in the age of obama." you can find the entire article here. if you aren't familiar with tim wise you are missing out. professor michael eric dyson of georgetown university has referred to tim as: "One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation." some praise. dyson by the way has been hailed as one of the most influential african-americans in the united states today.

aside from the normal weekend chores there wasn't much work going on this weekend at avenue c - we're still enjoying a post-victory high and luxuriating in the absence of political advertisements and phone calls. no parties this weekend, but plenty of impromptu hanging out with family and friends.

we returned to our normal saturday night routine of pizza and games. since there were four for pizza, this week we played cards.

the pizza du jour was butternut squash pizza. I never used squash as a topping for pizza before, but let me say I sure will again. it was terrific and easy! earlier in the day I peeled a butternut squash, chopped it into chunks, sliced an onion, and put squash and onion in a baking dish. drizzled olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. when it came time to make the pizza (we make our own dough) we rolled out the dough, lightly spread a bit of olive oil on top of dough, covered with roasted squash and onions, added crumbled goat cheese and seasoned with thyme. cooked in hot oven (450) until done (usually about 10 minutes).

sunday was a laid back day. this weekend weather turned cold, in the space of a few days it seemed like we went from summer to fall to winter. except for a morning mission to oberlin I spent sunday making lasagna, reading, and quilting while listening to michael connelly's latest which we checked out from the library as an audiobook. since e had to work dixie came over to hang - which unfortunately confined the cats to the second floor for the day - but they didn't complain as there's plenty of nooks to sleep in or windows to look out in order to watch the outside activity.
sunday night the kids came over for dinner. then e took dixie home and we went to bed so early I didn't even check out my 'sunday show' - but that's cool, if I'm really motivated e said I can catch it on the internet.

continuing the musical extravaganza from my previous post, my second favorite song from oliver! or maybe it's my favorite, can't decide between it and food, glorious food. whatever, here it is:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

food, glorious food

the other day e posted her response to a blogging challenge cooked up by andrew of very good taste (a blog about eating and drinking). I have long considered myself a foodie, however, if what andrew claims is true, maybe not. here's what he says and what to do:
Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out (or italicize) any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

5) optional extra extra: annotate the list as desired a la e!


The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison - there are hunters among my mother's family, as I child I ate venison. but that was many, many years ago and I would never consciously eat it again.
2. Nettle tea - I don't think I have, but if this is accurate perhaps I should!
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - I don't think so, annie, have I? if I haven't I definitely want to! sounds divine!!
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - I had a great uncle who made wine from you name it!
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries to eat wild berries while hiking is the best!
23. Foie gras - I have, but as with venison that was long ago before the emergence of my food peculiarities (no cute animals, no organs)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - no way!!!
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche - yum
28. Oysters - double yum!
29. Baklava - my mom's is the best!!
30. Bagna cauda - never encountered this, but now that I've read what it is I want to!!
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat - in the category of kim's cute animals
42. Whole insects - depends on the insect, my nephew loves grasshoppers
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - doubt I will experience this
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala - yum I have a great recipe!!!!
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin - I've eaten it and I hate it!!
51. Prickly pear - I did live in texas
52. Umeboshi - and very similar to salty seeds!!!!!
53. Abalone
54. Paneer - yum - saag paneer is a favorite! and I've been told my rocks!!
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - sorry to say I have
56. Spaetzle - my mom's is the best!!!
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV - coincidentally thanks to e I had double dead guy ale the other day!! I give it an A!
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips - but similarly to decaffeinated coffee why bother!
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads -gag!
63. Kaolin -huh?? clay???
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis - no way! ref sweetbreads
69. Fried plantain - yum
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - ref haggis
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe - definitely want to, just waiting for someone to give me a bottle!
74. Gjetost, or brunost - sounds intriguing, definitely interested
75. Roadkill - doubt it
76. Baijiu - sounds dangerous!
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail - yum vehicles for butter and garlic!
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini - sounds yummy!
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky - an impulse item from the asian market!
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare - cute animal!!
87. Goulash
88. Flowers - violets and nasturiums
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate - maybe had some incredibly expensive chocolate in paris
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa - expect I have since I've eaten plenty of dishes of north african origin
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake


wow, I have a lot of items in bold, maybe I am a foodie after all. one item that I think andrew should have included but didn't is hákarl - one really hasn't lived until one has tried this icelandic specialty. it is truly disgusting - even worse than uni (sea urchin)!

I love this song!!


photo: I've created a monster - this squirrel is now begging for food every morning at the back door. hum, maybe saturdays will become squirrel saturday on the mouse!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

wrapped up in books

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American philosopher and naturalist

What makes a book great, a so-called classic, is its quality of always being modern, of its author, though he be long dead, continuing to speak to each new generation.
Lawrence Clark Powell (1906-2001) American librarian, writer, literary critic

All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech writer

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1869-1762)English writer and early feminist

The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) New Zealand writer

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) Dutch humanist and theologian


I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
Anna Quindlen (b. 1952) American jouranlist and novelist

notes on photos:
1) outside new york public library. april 2008
2) bloomsday celebration and public reading of james joyce ulysses. cleveland june 2008
3) a clever construction wall, somewhere in london. 2002
4) thinking and missing ched, visible voice books. cleveland 2008
5) one of my favorite corners at loganberry books. cleveland 2008
6) a bookshelf at gem & her hon's house. cleveland 2008
7) shakespeare and company. I took this photo for mj who once had a poetry reading here while she was living in paris in the 1960s. 2005
8) a tired ms t (btw the book is by one of her and my favorites maurice sendak) summer 2008

scottish indie-rock group belle and sebastian singing wrapped up in books from their album "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" on Rough Trade Records

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

obama, obama

congratulations to barack obama, joe biden, their families, and all the people who worked so diligently to return the office of president and vice-president to individuals who will restore honor not only to their positions but to the united states of america!

after eight years of the bush catastrophe there is much work ahead. today is only the beginning. the real beginning will come 20 january 2009. let's pray w and darth don't f**k things up even more between now and then!

thanks to everyone who voted (even if you didn't vote for the O man, you exercised your right and duty). and thanks to all of my international friends who sent up 'good vibes' and directed positive energy our way!

here on avenue c, not only were we optimistic but we were prepared!
cheers, sláinte, salut, salud, skaal, a votre santé, l'chaim, cin cin, mabuhay, rathima andu atene....
to the health and well being of all people! and to peace in every land!


and I am so happy to be able to say that finally I am a blue grrrl in a blue state!!! which reminds me, a blogging friend's blog is titled "a blue girl in a red state" - guess it's time for her to change her name! yeah team!!!


november 4, 2008 a day that the complexion of america changed. a day that will be forever remembered. a day when we redefined the meaning of WE!

we are the ones.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

changing colors

America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.
Walter Cronkite (born 4 november 1916), American broadcast journalist

today is election day! it is also veteran broadcaster walter cronkite's 92nd birthday. walter was once referred to as the most trusted man in america. I betcha walter would say vote obama!


photo: fall color at shaker lakes, ohio, november 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

wassup 2008

brilliant - hope you can find two minutes to watch...

(thanks parker for sending the link!)

in twenty-four hours it will all over!!

I am hopeful ......YES WE CAN! and YES WE DID (just as long as everyone remembers to vote, and no nefarious forces were at work stealing another election.....)

working on a dream

one day to go! ringo the cat says vote for obama!!

like so many folks I'm completely preoccupied with thoughts of what tomorrow will bring.

a few photos from the weekend.

bella the fairy dog greets trick or treaters and say vote obama!




friday evening was devoted to celebrating halloween. there were plenty of trick or treaters on avenue c this year. a couple of my neighbors and I hit the wig bin and provided a colorful array - if only we had had the foresight to make some wings, we could have been called ourselves the candy fairies of avenue c!

after trick or treating ended, we all checked out the halloween party other neighbors were throwing. who would have expected to see ms. pain and joe the plumber in attendance!

saturday a few friends gathered to be helper fairies and aided mj make the transition from her home of 40+ years to her new home - many hands make work light

sunday afternoon on my way home after spending most of the weekend on the east side of town, I stopped and checked out cleveland's el dia de los muertos celebration. this is the fourth year cleveland has celebrated the day of the dead. hopefully I'll find some time and put up a flickr album, until then here's a little taste:

obama and bruce springsteen were in town yesterday. since I had been running around all weekend, I elected to skip the gathering - but 80,000 other folks showed up, I'm happy to report! I was able to find this on youtube of bruce singing a welcoming song for barack and his family!