30 June 2008

About that Mandoline

Years ago, my father gave us a fancy french mandoline for Christmas. It's a vicious kitchen implement for cutting vegetables into perfect slices or flawless julienne. It has razor sharp blades and comes with a guard to keep your fingers away from the cutters.

One day, soon thereafter, we decided to make a Patricia Wells leg of lamb recipe - a delicious concoction which involves suspending the leg over a gratin of sliced potato, onion, and tomato. While the lamb cooks, its lovely juices drip down and flavor the vegetables, a perfect one pot meal (providing you can figure out how to hang seven pounds of meat over your gratin dish). I was still at work when I got the phone call from my husband - I'm in the emergency room. I went straight to Lenox Hill and found my husband still waiting; while making the gratin, he'd sliced the tip of his finger off with the mandoline, because he thought he didn't need to use the guard. Yup. I waited with him for a while, but eventually I gave up and went home, leaving him there (because I have accompanied him to the ER with cut fingers one* too many times** and no longer feel the necessity to stay through to the bitter end). I finished up the lamb, ate my portion, and went to bed.

When he finally got home after six hours in the ER, six hours waiting for them to cauterize the little artery he'd nicked, six hours with not even a stitch to show for it, I got out of bed and made him a plate of food (only because he had only one working hand, not because I'm a servile wife). I then proceeded to pass out, flat on the floor, eyes rolled up into my head, dreaming in psychedelic technicolor.

He called an ambulance.

I came to before the EMTs turned up, but they still took me off to the ER in the bus. This time, we went to Mt. Sinai; W. had no interest in returning to Lenox Hill for the second time in an evening. One thing led to another; a CT scan, an MRI, an EEG and twelve hours later, they sent me home. Syncope. I'd fainted.

Ever since then, and we're talking a decade at least, that mandoline has sat in our kitchen, in its original box, unused. I've been scared of it. W. won't go near it.

But when it came time to make that cole slaw the other day, that turnip cole slaw, I dug out the mandoline. And you know? It really does does do a great job of slicing and julienning those vegetables.

And no blood was shed, because I used the finger guard.

*like the time I came home to a note that said "I'm at Lenox Hill. Don't go in the kitchen." In the kitchen was a bloody knife and a bloody loaf of bread.

**or the time he was working with the table saw in my mother's basement and came up clutching his hand asking to be driven to the ER. My mother and I dropped him off, and went out for bagels. A nun held his other hand while they stitched him up. I guess I'm heartless.

29 June 2008

Food Ruminations

You know that our food supply is all screwed up. It's one of the reasons I love the CSA so much - six months out of the year, I don't have to buy produce at the supermarket.

Apparently, Obama agrees. Here's a snip from an interview with him:

As president, I would implement USDA policies that promote local and regional food systems, including assisting states to develop programs aimed at community supported farms. I also support a national farm-to-school program and am pleased that the Farm Bill provides more than $1 billion to expand healthy snacks in our schools.

I hope he means it.

* * * * * * * * *

It's funny, last year I was totally into cataloging the vegetables every week, even though it became a little like a millstone (make the list, make the post, oh no!). The past few weeks, I've stood in my kitchen after the CSA pick-up, wondering what was missing. Some little OCD part of my brain wanted to make that list before putting the stuff in the fridge. So I've been scribbling the list on an index card and sticking it to the refrigerator. It's helping me keep track of what's come in, and when.

Old habits die hard.

* * * * * * * * *

I was tickled to see that Jennifer (Ponderosa) was posting her own lists - I feel off the hook, blogosphere-wise. This week her CSA delivery included "1 caterpillar".

* * * * * * * * *

I had to make something for the potluck supper at the graduation the other night, so I checked my index cards and decided to make a cole slaw. The CSA had sent out a recipe for an asian turnip slaw; I, of course, couldn't find that recipe and anyway it had peanut butter in it (a no-no at the peanut-free daycare center). So I invented.

2 carrots, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 japanese turnips, julienned with the mandoline
1 small arrowhead cabbage, shredded
a handful of parley, minced

soy sauce
champagne vinegar (because that's what there was)
vegetable oil
jarred grated ginger
ground pepper

I can't give proportions for the dressing because I kept adding a bit of this and a smidge of that until it tasted right - but there was about a tablespoon of honey and the same of ginger, and about a third of a cup of soy and vinegar and oil. And it definitely needed a couple of hours in the fridge for the vegetables to wilt and amalgamate. It was good - and a good way to address the abundance of those lovely japanese turnips.

28 June 2008

The Graduating Day

The pumpkin graduated from pre-school yesterday. Sniff. I may be turning into a sentimental fool, but I thought it was pretty sweet.

The celebration included live music (with many kids taking a turn at the microphone), a potluck supper (with a lot of pizza and many store bought cookies; I brought a turnip cole slaw), and homemade mortarboards. The only thing missing was the wine. I know, I know - it's pre-school - but, it was nice hanging out with other parents in a low-key social situation, and wine would have been nice.

Monday she returns to daycare, but then it'll be "summer camp" and they'll "bask around in their bathing suits" and run under the sprinklers all day.

And kindergarten starts in September.


27 June 2008

Filch It Friday: I Say

It's Friday and I'm filching from Blackbird - most of these things come out of my mouth every day.

No aimless archeology.

Hey, let's put an ad in ArtSearch! Entire staff of performing arts organization - available!


Oh honey, I love you too.

Sharks patrol these waters.

And if you don't know where that last one comes from, you missed a great band now defunct because the lead singer died of a heart attack.

* * * * * * * *

I took the plunge - I bought a plane ticket and registered for Blogher. It's going to be fun, right?

26 June 2008

Ladybug, Ladybird

On the subway stood a nerdy young man, listening to his iPod, oblivious to the ladybug slowly crawling up to the collar of his swimming pool blue polo shirt. I was mesmerized and I didn't have the heart to tell him about it; I was afraid he would brush her away into oblivion.

* * * * * * *

Did you know there was a second couplet to the ladybug nursery rhyme?

Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are gone
All but one, and her name is Ann,
And she crept under the pudding pan.

But sometimes Ann is Nan, and she might hide under a frying pan. And sometimes she's not a ladybug at all, but a ladybird instead.

* * * * * * *

If the ladybug has no spots, is she spotless (clean) or unspotted (unseen)? English is so tricky.

25 June 2008

And the winners are...

Remember this?

I printed out the post (on the back of a draft of a brief), cut the comments into little strips, discarded the outliers (who weren't interested in a bathing suit), and sorted the entries into a boy pile and a girl pile.

And I picked a winner from each pile.

Eva gets the girl package, and Slouching Mom gets the boy package. Yeah! It's summertime!

24 June 2008

The Sisterhood of the Black Heart

so much hinges

the little black

streaked with tear

under the fierce

(With thanks to Niobe, who knows why, and apologies to William Carlos Williams, who doesn't.)

23 June 2008


Full of wist? Well, yes, though wist is now obsolete, and the meaning of wistful has morphed over time – from closely attentive to yearningly eager to musingly sad.

We went to the ballet the other night – to see New York City Ballet, and to sit, perhaps for the last time, in my mother’s seats. She’s had a subscription to City Ballet since they moved into the State Theater in the sixties, and for most of that time, she’s had the same seats – a pair in the third row of the center section of the first ring. In other words, she had great seats.

When she started going, she was still married to my father, so they’d go to the ballet together. She’d get dressed up and wear Youth Dew, and we kids stayed home with a babysitter. Later, after she was divorced, she’d take one of the kids, or go with a friend, but she always went. She knew the people in the seats around her; she knew all the repertory and all the dancers. She observed Edward Gorey holding court at intermission in his fur coats and sneakers and rings. And this spring season was the first time she hasn’t gone to any of the performances; she’d renewed the subscription back in the winter, before she started her decline.

So, my brother and his wife went to two of the four performances, my sister went to another, and W. and I went on Friday night. I looked around and recognized the man to our right, and Clive Barnes across the aisle. We saw Tom Gold’s penultimate performance and I saw Joaquin de Luz dance for the first time.

And I was wistful.

I thought back on how many times I’d sat in those same seats. And how many times I’d been to other performances in the same theater. I thought about the times that my mother took me out of school to attend a dress rehearsal - like the 1973 dress of Cortège Hongrois and the 1971 dress of Goldberg Variations. I remembered that my mother and I had been at the performance the night after Lincoln Kirstein died – when Peter Martins gave a little eulogy and everyone in the audience got a shot of vodka at intermission.

My husband said “why don’t you keep the subscription?” But it’s ferociously expensive, those tickets, and, it feels as though the moment has passed. That was her thing, her constant extravagance. But I don’t know. The renewal for the winter season hasn’t come in yet.

Maybe I’m wistful in the “yearningly eager” sense of the word, and not just “musingly sad”.

20 June 2008

Sumer Is Icumen In

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which means that summer has officially begun. Memorial Day is the "it's okay to wear white shoes" day, not to mention the "it's time to starting drinking gin & tonic" day, and lots of kids are already out of school, but this is it, folks. The summer solstice is the real deal. Time to wiggle your toes in the long grass, nap in a hammock, make iced tea by the gallon.

To celebrate, we're giving away some kid's bathing suits - actually, I'm not, I'm just the conduit for Lands' End. There are two sets - one for a girl, one for a boy. Each package includes a bathing suit (tankini for the girl, board shorts for the boy) along with a rash guard top (for body-surfing) and a beach towel. Leave a comment by Monday 6/23 and tell me if you're interested in the GIRL or BOY package. We'll do a random pick on Tuesday. And please, make sure I can find your email address somewhere (on your site, in your profile or in your comment).

Of course, if you're a glass-half-empty sort of person, you know that from here on out until the winter solstice, the days will be getting shorter and shorter. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

19 June 2008

More Than it Hurts You

Words, Darlene thought, are amazing little implements. Because of words something can be awful and untrue, while still being factual.

Darin Strauss's new book "More Than It Hurts You" is a fascinating construction - it pits family against bureaucracy, white against black, news media against ordinary people, rich against poor. Set in a semi-fictional Long Island, the novel centers around an "alleged" case of Munchausen by proxy. A black female doctor suspects a white stay-at-home mother of harming her child, though how and to what end is in question.

We, the omniscient reader, know the "cold, iron-gray secret" - but the doctor doesn't, the lawyers and child protective services people don't, the husband/father doesn't, the press doesn't.

The book moves inexorably from the ominous opening line "Fifteen minutes before happiness left him" which introduces Josh - the husband/father and a successful attractive frat boy salesman. Josh's wife Dori has rushed their 8 month old son to the emergency room, where he's admitted to the pediatric ICU by Dr. Darlene Stokes. In short order, we meet Dr. Stokes, and learn her complicated backstory (brought up by a single mother, now a single mother herself), meet the father she never knew (who's just been released from jail), and continue down the carefully plotted path of denouement.

Leo...would commute...until the morning he died.
This changed Dr. Stokes's life forever.
Josh considered May 27th the most truly horrific day he'd known.

CPS takes the child, the press gets involved, accusations of reverse racism are leveled at the black doctor trying to break up a white family. And finally, you're left to ponder what's going to happen next? Not left hanging, ready for a sequel, but wondering what will happen to Josh, to Dori, to baby Zach? What will happen to Darlene? Will any of them find peace within? It's a compelling and provocative read.

I did find some sloppy edits (something happened on the 3rd visit, the 4th visit, the 3rd visit; and Darlene's mother had sex once in 1966 but Darlene was born in 1968) and I found the Long Island setting disconcerting. Not because it didn't seem like Long Island, but because there was a curious mix of real places (Glenwood Landing, Searingtown Road, Roslyn, Old Country Road) and fictitious ones ("Washington Harbor" for Port Washington?, "Sand's End" for Sands Point?). And, at one point, Darlene takes the train to go on a date in another Long Island town. That would simply never happen - the LIRR doesn't work that way, and anyone with a car would drive. But those quibbles about LI are idiosyncratic - I grew up there. Most readers wouldn't notice the little discrepancies.

Five stars. Well-written, irresistible and so stimulating that I'm going to keep the review copy that I got from Mother Talk because I think it might be a good book club read.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Strauss is about to kick off a book tour, and will be blogging about it for Newsweek.

18 June 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Pattern at the Greenmarket

The ends of bunches of chives:

Stacked carrots and radishes:

16 June 2008

Bantooka Maker!

Warning: This is a completely gratuitous rave about a toy!!

Last fall, M. got a set of Tubation tubes for her birthday. It's a clever building toy and she's been enchanted with it - making houses for dolls, strange contraptions, and bantookas. You might ask, "what's a bantooka?" Well, it's a musical instrument - a wacky shaped thing into which you blow. You know, a bantooka.

The only problem with the set was that 40 pieces weren't enough - we kept running out of bits. So I figured I'd get another set.

And what did my marveling eyes find on Amazon? A compatible set of tubes to create your own musical instruments! I ordered it instantly, and we are smitten. The Saxoflute set is even better than described - in addition to a couple of mouthpieces and bells, it comes with stoppers for the ends of the tubes, and straight tubes with holes so you can play multiple notes. I think it's genius. Besides being fun, it's educational - you can explore how a wind instrument really works by changing what you've got strung together. Many a bantooka is in our future.

15 June 2008

What Would Shakespeare Do?

Isn't the best gift something that you really want for yourself?

A couple of months ago, my sister-in-law sent me the link to an artist - a guy who makes books into bookcases. It completely appealed to my sense of whimsy and I filed it away in the back of my head, waiting for the right moment.

Then, I googled bookcases one day, because we're finally moving towards addressing the lack of bookcases in our house (the carpenter is coming tomorrow!) and I wanted to see some built-ins for inspiration. Lo and behold, I found an article which included all manner of off-beat bookcases, including the artist guy that my sister-in-law had dredged up.

It was a sign.

I promptly ordered a tiny shelf and we gave it to W. for Father's Day. I love it for the quality and wit of the object. W. was an English major and poet once upon a time, so the Shakespeare theme was perfect.

I think we'll hang it in the dining room, and put a little vase on top. Would Shakespeare like that?

14 June 2008

Ballerina, Not.

In news from the department of cartoons, both Strawberry Shortcake and Angelina Ballerina have gotten makeovers. I don't care if the powers that be want to reinvent cartoons to "modernize" them; I certainly don't have any strong attachments to these characters.

But in the case of Angelina Ballerina, I have a strong and visceral reaction to the fact that she's no longer a ballerina.

On the left is the old version. She's on pointe, her back leg is in a lovely well-turned out arabesque, she's making a beautiful line.

The updated version is on the right. Look at her! She's no longer on pointe, there's no arch to her standing foot, her working leg isn't turned out, and her head and neck are lumpen.

In short, the original Angelina Ballerina was drawn by someone who understood ballet, who knew what a dancer should look like. The new one? That person has never seen a dancer. Period.

13 June 2008

Stay At Home Survival Guide

When Mother Talk offered up an opportunity to review Melissa Stanton's Stay-at-Home Survival Guide (Field-Tested Strategies for Staying Smart, Sane, and Connected When You're Raising Kids at Home), I jumped because secretly? I kind of want to be a stay-at-home mother. Next fall, my daughter will be heading off to kindergarten, and even though it's "full-day" kindergarten, there aren't enough hours for me to be able to get into the city and back to continue working as I do. So, either I need to take that sabbatical I've been dreaming of, find a part time job near home, or sign up her for the school-based childcare at the beginning and end of the day.

Stanton was, once upon a time, a magazine editor in NYC and is now a stay-at-home mother. The persona that comes through in the book is a defensive one - it feels as though she's writing the book to validate something, to prove that she's still got those Type A chops, even though she's no longer a high powered magazine executive.

Interestingly, the book doesn't really seem like a guide to staying home with kids, but a general guide to raising kids. More often than not, all you have to do is take "stay-at-home" out of one of Stanton's sentences and the sentence rings true for all parents. Like here: "By the time a stay-at-home mom, like me or you, has spent the day caring for kids and keeping a house together gets into bed, she's pooped." Take "stay-at-home" out of that sentence, and add in "earning a living" and you've described me to a T, along with every mother I know.

Woven throughout the book are anecdotes Stanton garnered from a survey of about 60 mothers. It's a very warm touch, and the book ends with three pages of "Final Words of Wisdom from the Experts". But again, most of those words of wisdom are equally applicable to stay-at-home parents and all other parents.

There's plenty of material that I found just plain irritating, starting with her frequent use of the word "gal". At one point, she sticks in a side bar of "great (little) escapes" that is so unimaginative as to be comically depressing: "watch Oprah", "email friends or family", "shop for yourself, by yourself". Really - do you need someone to write out a list like that and put it in a book? I don't think so.

Stanton does have some useful information, especially regarding issues about money (like what happens to your future Social Security earnings if you stop paying into the system for a while). My overall takeaway about her parenting style and parenting advice is that she's saying take pride in what you do and it's okay to not always love being a mom. That's good advice - but not advice that's uniquely needed by stay-at-home parents, it applies to all of us.

In short, if I do take some time off from working full-time, I don't think I'll need this book. It just doesn't have enough to offer beyond common-sense tips that seem self-evident. Then again, I'm not much for self-help books, so maybe I'm simply not the right demographic for the book regardless of my employment status.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you think it might be a useful book for you, I'm giving away my copy. Leave a comment with your email address, by the end of the day on Monday 6/16, and I'll make a random pick on Tuesday.

12 June 2008

Relay Redux

Last month I mentioned that my sister will soon be doing her third Relay for Life, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Well, she started with a fundraising goal of $1500, upped it to $2500, and has now passed that goal with $7 to spare, just in time for the event tomorrow.

From the bottom of my little black heart, thank you.

* * * * * * * * *

I'm burnt out. I just hit "mark all read" in Bloglines, because I just can't read any more right now. It's not you; it's me. I'll keep posting (because I love the new ability to schedule posts in Blogger), and I'll be back visiting...soon.

11 June 2008

Link Lint and a Stolen Joke

I see things, I stumble upon things, I read things - all day long. And sometimes, I just need to share them - because there's truth, and weirdness, and utility, and humor, and things to be sad about - all over the interwebs (and in the newspapers). Herewith:

  • Go read this blog post from the righteous Momocrats, the title of which says it all: "Why a Vote for John McCain Is a Vote Against Feminism".

  • Erika wrote a wonderful piece about food and taste and eating, spun off as a riff on a recent New Yorker piece about a cutting edge chef with tongue cancer who lost his sense of taste as a result of treatment.

  • Undoubtedly, you have friends and relatives that forward detritus to you, like bad jokes and urban legend "information", right? Go to Stop Forwarding, and you can send them get a polite but anonymous email asking them to cease and desist.

  • It's that time of the month, the Just Post time of the month (and I'm secretly thrilled to have been included). Go visit Jen or Su or Mad to check out the lists, and give Mad a hug while you're there - she had some bad news last week.

  • Today's Times confirmed that Nabisco has indeed stopped production of Crown Pilots. Bastards. I hope the folks up in Maine are successful with their pestering - after all, they have a track record, because Nabisco tried this stunt once before.

  • I was poking around looking for some bit of medical equipment for my mother, and found a truly weird and depressing product: the smoker's apron. I can't put a finger on it, but something about the photograph in that link is just ineffably sad.

  • And, I wasn't looking for information about menopause, but here's a good run-down, from a blogging gynecologist. It's also the source of this nice joke:
A woman goes to her gynecologist for a check up. "Doctor", she complains, "There are pennies coming out of my vagina."

"Take this medicine", says the doctor, "It should stop the problem."

Two weeks later, the woman is back. "Well, the pennies stopped, but today I found a nickel."

"Let's increase the dose", says the doctor, and writes her a new prescription.

Two weeks later, she's back. "Now it's dimes", she complains.

The doctor reaches for his prescription pad.

"But doctor," cries the woman. "What is wrong with me?"

"Nothing," he says. "In fact, it's completely natural. You're just going through your change."

10 June 2008

Evidence of Body

For the past month, the kids in Miss M.'s class have been learning about the body. They've learned about their organs and what they do and where they are. Two class doctor/parents have come to visit - a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. They've learned songs like "kidneys clean and filter blood" to the tune of "Mary had a little lamb". And they've made lots of art. She brought home these two self-portraits which were accompanied by the following dictated self-description:

I am big, I am a coconut.
I have legs, feet and a
body. My hair is gold, my
eyes are blue.

It slays me. It leaves so much out, yet veers into poetry. And it gets away from physical description into state of being: the "coconuts" are the pre-K class at her daycare. She's very into being a coconut; she tells random strangers "I'm a coconut" to their befuddlement. The "coconuts" are the big men on campus - the biggest kids at her daycare. And despite the fact that she's so ready for and excited about kindergarten, I'm ever so slightly tinged with worry - she won't be the big one anymore. She'll be one of the younger kids in the class because of her November birthday, and even though she's tall and sturdy, I wonder how well she'll keep up.

I have three months to get used to this.

09 June 2008

Daily Sex

Why am I not surprised that the most emailed article on the Times site today is the one about two recently published books about married people having sex every day? As in, every single day. As in, 365 days in one book and 101 nights in the other.

What I’d love to know is who’s sending it to whom. Is it wives to husbands, or vice versa? Is it woman to best friends, or men to co-workers? Hell, is it wife to wife, husband to husband?

Did you send it to your spouse? Will you now that you've seen it?

Steal This Badge!

The other day, after someone made a (complimentary) comment about my crack about my lefty-commie-pinko heart, I made a badge. Want it? Take it. Show the blogosphere that you're a lefty-commie-pinko too.

07 June 2008

The Coconut

Once upon a time, in November of 2001 to be exact, W. and I went to Florida for the weekend. We had unused airplane tickets from the year we didn't go to Chicago for Thanksgiving because the cat had suffered a "degloving" incident when he got his tail caught in the door to the apartment. We finally got around to trading in the tickets and set out for Florida instead. W. lived there once upon a time, so he knew the lay of the land, and we spent most of the time driving around in a rented convertible. It was great. It was like visiting a foreign country.

At some nature preserve somewhere, I found a coconut in the parking lot. It had fallen out of a tree. I scooped it up and tossed it in the back of the car, because I just needed it. Later in the day, we passed a Mailboxes Etc. and I shrieked "stop the car!" I ran in, asked for a box, sealed the coconut inside, and mailed it to my sister. No note. No explanation. And we went on our merry way.

At Christmas the following month, I opened a box. Inside was the coconut, now adorned with yarn hair and Sharpie eyes. And with that, the coconut began an international journey of subterfuge and deception. It's been left under the seats of cars, hidden in closets. It's been passed on to other (innocent) people with the instruction "wrap this and give it to my sister". It's been shipped across the country. It's had a few more makeovers - including glued on googly eyes and new brown hair and earrings.

Last Christmas, my sister had possession of the coconut. She mailed it to our sister-in-law's sister in Canada, and asked her to wrap the box (without opening it) and give it to our sister-in-law when they opened their presents. Shock and hilarity ensued.

The coconut spent a couple of months in the guest room at my mother's house; it's now living in Brooklyn with my brother and sister-in-law. I don't know where it's going to turn up next. I only wish that we'd taken more pictures of its travels.

06 June 2008

Filch It Friday: Mosaic

I filched from Gina and SheShe, thinking this would be a lazy post for the end of the week. But it took longer than I expected, all that thinking and typing and cutting and pasting and outputting and uploading and posting...

The answers:

The questions:

  1. What is your first name?
  2. What is your favorite food?
  3. What high school did you go to?
  4. What is your favorite color?
  5. Who is your celebrity crush?
  6. What is your favorite drink?
  7. What is your dream vacation?
  8. What is your favorite dessert?
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  10. What do you love most in life?
  11. What is one word that describes you?
  12. What is your Flickr name?
The process:
  • Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
  • Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
  • Copy and paste URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

05 June 2008

Meme of Randomnicity

Okay, okay. Scribbletown’s Fresh Hell tagged me for another meme – and I’m with her – no stinkin’ rules. Besides, how hard is it to figure out rules?

What Was I Doing Ten Years Ago?
Same damned thing I’m doing now. Oh wait, ten years ago, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, with my husband and two cats but no child. Otherwise, same damned thing. Don't get me wrong - I have a great job. I've just been doing it for twelve years and I need a sabbatical.

Five Things on My To-Do List Today:

  1. Fix M.’s bad haircut (which isn't really that bad)
  2. See about renewing the homeowner’s policy for less money
  3. Write a note to the minister’s wife
  4. Plant the tomatoes I bought over a week ago
  5. Thank Mary Ann for the cool magnets
Snacks I Enjoy:
  • Peanut butter on rice cakes
  • Cheez Doodles
  • Bagel chips
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese
Things I’d Do If I Had A Billion Dollars (which is A LOT of money):
  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Take a sabbatical
  • Fund Miss M.’s college savings account
  • Put some money away for retirement
  • Use most of it (like $998 million) to set up a private foundation to provide support to small to mid-sized non-profits working on social, educational, cultural and environmental issues - and anything else that strikes my lefty-commie-pinko heart.
Places I’ve Lived:
  • Camp Lejeune, NC (but I don’t remember any of it)
  • New Haven, CT (ditto on the remembering)
  • A Long Island suburb of NYC
  • Wellesley, MA
  • New York, NY (3 apartments in 21 years)
  • A northern suburb of NYC
Who I Want To Know More About:

04 June 2008


Herewith let it be known that…

Nah, I have no cautionary tales today, but I couldn’t resist titling the post “PSA: CSA”. Because, hallelujah, today is our first CSA pick-up for this season and I am quivering with excitement even though their website says we’re only getting lettuce and braising greens and apples this week.

It really makes me happy to participate in the CSA. At the end of the day, we pay a reasonable price for 25 weeks of terrific quality produce - $503 for the vegetables and $70 for the fruit. It’s local. It’s organic. The farmers are taking care of the land, and they are thinking and writing and proselytizing about what they do. So, in addition to simple nutritional sustenance, they provide an intellectual stimulus and framework in which to better understand the food we eat and the choices we make. And I appreciate that.

[PS: if you have no idea what I am talking about, CSA is "community sponsored agriculture". I compulsively posted the produce haul each week last summer - click here to see all of those posts. If you want my explanation of how the CSA works, click here.]

03 June 2008

PSA: Hair

Herewith let it be known that, if a four and half year old child has an irretrievable rat's nest of hair in the aftermath of the application of too much ice-cream and other sticky stuff, it is somewhat less than advisable to decide to give said child a haircut after one glass of wine, as the results will require remediation.

That is all.

02 June 2008

PSA: Blue

Herewith let it be known that, if a four and half year old child eats Carvel ice in a not-found-in-nature shade of intense turquoise blue, it will stain her face and hands and legs, and, on the following day, it will cause her poop to be blue.

That is all.