Archive for November, 2010

Ode to your reflection in the water

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Scott Menchin

From the NYT:

Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention, has been eliminated from the upcoming manual of mental disorders, which psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness.

Sticks and stones may break his bones

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Fighting an ever uphill battle of trying to discredit Obama, the right has pulled out race, religion, and even birth right, but the best was when they thought they had run out of ammo and grabbed onto elitism because they needed something with some real oomph to try to bring this man down. Here I received with my word of the day, a thought of the day:

Elitism is the slur directed at merit by mediocrity. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist (1917-1986)


Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

It’s hard to remember a time when I would blindly get a hamburger from anywhere but that only changed recently. Nowadays, I can barely tolerate to have my favorite kopuska made with ground meat from Whole Foods – it is only Justin’s grass fed beef or the other provider at the Green Market. Truth to tell, I’m not sure I’m even interested in ground meat no matter where it comes from.

The awareness level of our food supply made only more palpable after Michael Pollan stepped up to the plate has turned me into a locavore and decidely almost anti meat period. But to undo the farming, the animal husbandry, the distribution, the lopsided supply and demand would take nothing short of a miracle.

Here is the first layer of a miracle:

From the NYT:

Senate Passes Overhaul of Food Safety Regulations

The Senate passed a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system on Tuesday that would give the Food and Drug Administration new powers to order recalls of tainted foods, increase inspections, oversee farming and demand accountability from food companies. The vote was 73-25 in favor.

The bill attracted support from major food makers as well as consumer advocates after a series of problems with tainted eggs, peanut butter and spinach sickened thousands of people. Despite unusual bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and a strong push from the Obama administration, though, the bill could still die, because there might not be enough time left in the session for the usual haggling between the Senate and House of Representatives, which passed its own version of the bill last year. Top House Democrats have said that they would consider simply passing the Senate version to speed approval.

On this day

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

We decided to make Heidi’s birthday on November 30th every year, because it was this day a year ago that my mom died. We didn’t want the day haunted by sadness forever. Heidi is six today, my mother would have been 75 this December 28th. Tin’s guardian and our dear friend brought him a book from Germany to explain to him about my mother, his Mimi, passing. It is Jutta Bauer’s Opas Engel and it is the story of a grandfather who is ill in the hospital, and he loves to tell stories so he is telling his grandson about the time he almost got hit by a bus, but it just missed him, and then how he almost fell in a ditch or got beat up by a bully but was saved by some invisible presence, perhaps an angel, and the story proceeds to talk about his Jewish friend who went missing as it was the Nazi era, and all the while, the angel looks after the grandfather.

I never thought about angels before my mother died; never believed in them except to accept the gods and goddesses who stood behind the heros in Homer’s depictions of war. I liked the image, but didn’t subscribe any belief towards it. But I know that Tin has an angel looking after him, I have felt her presence since the moment my mother left this earth, here with me, with him. I was reading this morning that you have to fully grieve for the loss of your mother otherwise it can affect your job, your relationship, your daily life. I didn’t have a moment to grieve since Tin came so quickly into my life, but suffice to say, today on the one year anniversary of her death, with the cold rain outside (yesterday it was 80 degrees), I feel my mother here with all of us, she’s smiling, she’s caressing Tin, she is patting me on the back, she is taking a nibble off of T’s sweets and she’s dancing when the music is playing.

I forgot to light her candle this morning when I woke up – I was distracted by having a houseguest – mom’s Yahrzeit candle – but I will get it now to let her know I am remembering her.

How European of you to notice

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I went to the airport yesterday evening to pick up a colleague and friend of T’s from Spain – “how will I recognize him?” – why bother asking, this gorgeous Spaniard parted the crowd like Moses – while all the other guys were wearing oversized shirts and jeans and hoodies, this guy walks through the crowd impeccably dressed like only a Spaniard could. I wondered why I couldn’t have mustered a little more finesse in dressing for him – there I was in my khaki capris and elephant tee shirt looking as American dorky as possible.

He got in the truck and WWOZ was playing a lot of old cross over country tunes and he looked at the massive dashboard of my Ford F150 and he said, “This is so American.”


50 and holding

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I became a mother at 50 and lost my mother at 50 – what could be more profound? A woman on the bayou told me she doesn’t know if she would be brave enough to become a mother at 50 and I said that’s because you were a mother at 20, so you don’t have to think about those things. Today the man at brake tag office was smiling as he was applying my new tag because I was holding a dump truck in my hand that Tin had left in the backseat. He said with a sly smile, “Grandson?”

I stared at him blankly for a few minutes because I wasn’t connecting the dots. “No, son, as a matter of fact.”

He in turned stared back blankly.

Release your inner artist

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I was going through and taking myself off a couple of networks that I somehow got on – Xing, Plaxo – I already got off Facebook – I don’t need these things complicating my already complicated life. But today from LinkedIn – the one network I am staying on – I got an update about a woman who is doing a webisode and it’s fabulous – this is the third in I believe 18 episodes she has done and I felt like I could have played this scene with my eyes closed.

factoid about menorahs

Monday, November 29th, 2010

A menorah is a candelabra, but is usually represented by the seven branched version that is described in the Torah. The Chanukiah has nine branches. One for the eight nights candles are lighted, and a branch for the shamus. A chanukiah is a menorah, but a menorah isn’t a chanukiah.

I didn’t know this till now – I thought the menorah was only for Hanukkah and had nine candles, one being the shamus to light the eight.

Bury me under a pecan tree

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

My neighbor’s huge pecan tree came down in Katrina – right across my yard that is – causing me to have deal with it. But thankfully a lot of pecan trees survived the storm, such as the one in front of a neighbor’s a few houses down the street. I stop and pick up what I can fill my pockets with almost every day. My other neighbor across the bayou brought me a sack of better pecans – big fat heavy ones.

Louisiana has wonderful pecan trees and my grandmother used to have a big tree in her yard and we always collected pecans in the fall. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of a large pecan tree on a tree lined street.

Ode to Juanita

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Look, how well he cuts
Vegetables one by one
Look, what a nice boy