31 August 2006

older and...ignoranter?

I am frequently amazed by how little credit some people give members of the senior generations in our country. In my experience, once you hit 70 or 80, you have pretty much seen it all, and seen most of it twice, whether you wanted to or not.

Oh, I know that as we age, our memories and some other faculties weaken. (My memory is already horrible. I've probably blogged about this already.) I'm just not sure that was the case with these circumstances:


"Senior citizens find nutured 'weed' is pot"

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona seniors had no idea what the flourishing plant they nurtured in their driveway was until a passing deputy told them it was marijuana.

A Yavapai County sheriff's department said a deputy spotted the blooming 5-foot-tall marijuana plant growing in the driveway of a retirement community near Prescott, midweek.

"The residents just thought it was a pretty weed and so they decided to nurture it," department spokeswoman Susan Quayle told Reuters by telephone.

The officer yanked out the plant, which Quayle said was either "self-seeded or could have been dropped by a grandchild visiting the community."

"No citations were issued. The officer just educated them," she said.


"Dropped by a grandchild?" Good one!

30 August 2006

blog as pensieve

I have been a bad blogger lately! Sorry for the dearth of posts! Well, let me clear my head and then we can get into some new things.

Project Runway Obsession:
I can't believe Laura is pregnant -- with her sixth!

Tim Gunn's comin' to DC and I have a ticket!

(Woe is me -- what to WEAR?!)

I'm holding out for the flower/plant product episode. I think Michael would blow everyone away with that medium.


We just rewatched Charlie & The Chocolate Factory...and had a debate about it with our neighbors. Sean and I both like Tim Burton's version best (if we have to pick something other than the book).

And God bless Wikipedia and its users for this, a Comparative Literature major's idea of a well-spent hour (reading...I'm sure it took forever to write).


Persian food for dinner last night! Walnut chicken with pomegranate sauce, saffron rice, and a spinach saute I threw together with cranberries, slivered onions, and a dash of cinnamon. The pomegranate sauce is extra-tasty, as one might expect of something made from a pomegranate. I doubled it. Want to try the walnut coating with fish..maybe a thick, fleshy white fish like snapper? pat the coating on top and bake...sounds good to me!


I just sliced off a piece of zucchini bread with a coffee stirrer...and people don't think I could make it in the wild.

(I couldn't. Bugs are scary.)


I am waaaaaaaaaaay behind on correspondence! And Christmas will be upon me before I know it. In fact, I started working on (ideas for) our Christmas card today. I heart personally conceptualizing and assembling complicated paper products. (I did get a tad overwhelmed last year and Sean had to pinch hit by addressing some envelopes.)

If I owe you a thank-you note, I promise to get it in the mail this week!


P.S. It's not in the dictionary yet, but I'm sure it soon will be.

16 August 2006

let down by the internet

I'm a big fan of Wikipedia. It's chock full of interesting, helpful, and usually factual information. It's also a tribute to the basic good in humankind. And not to delve into psycho-babble, but as far as I'm concerned, it's the best, most honest representation of the fact that a good deal of our knowledge is subjective at best.

So I was terribly sad today to type in one of my favorite searches, only to find that the page has been -- sob -- deleted!

I am so sorry to be the one to inform you that you missed the experience of the "List of People Widely Considered Eccentric."

I mean, couldn't you get lost in there for a few hours yourself?!?!


I understand the debate...I just really enjoyed the list! I didn't think badly of anyone for being on it (to the contrary, in fact).

I mean, how else would I ever have learned of the Collyer brothers?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go recycle some old newspapers.

15 August 2006


"You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means."
-- Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride

I just came across this picture I took while we were on our vacation/road-trip back in July:

Talk about variety in your diet.


Were you ever to take the time to really consider the existence of Vienna (am I supposed to capitalize that?) sausages, would you even have imagined that there were this many kinds?

Now that we have all wasted sufficient brain cells contemplating this "meat product," let's move on to more worthy cases of inconceivability, such as the fact that I read today that The Hermitage is in possession of more than three million items.

No wonder I have yet to make it through the "Collection Highlights" on their website.

(I've heard that the largest number most people can visualize is between 60,000 and 100,0000. We have some experience with those numbers since that's about how many people a college football stadium can hold. Personally, I'm not sure I'm holding onto the concept of 3,000 of anything all that well.)

My mind immediately races to the fact that there is surely a catalogue of The Hermitage's three million items. And that catalogue probably includes measurements, condition, provenance, exhibition history...and a dozen other details. Just imagine standing in the copyroom waiting for THAT document to print! ("No, I'm good. I brought granola bars and a sleeping bag.")

I hope some computer genius started capitalizing on that massive programming need...right after he finished beating all the machines at chess.

P.S. Don't worry, The Met has two million. And I would think it possible to catch up much more subtly in the art world than with the space program.

14 August 2006

causing a ruckus

First let me admit that I had to spellcheck ruckus. It just didn't look right. Obviously, it's a highly under-used word. Will have to put that on my List of Things to Remedy, right after Inadequate Degree of Recline of Airline Seats.

So, this past weekend I was down in North Carolina. In the process of helping...perhaps I should say attempting to help...my sister return some duplicate gifts from her wedding registry to Belk's, this happened:

Though you can't really tell from the picture, not only the plastic case, but also the label and the actual featherbed have been pulled below the floor into the escalator's claws of death.

Here's how it went down:

- SmallBean and I were hauling the first load of items up the second-floor Bridal Department. (no, they don't sell brides. it's not that easy. you have to at least go to Russia!)

- As we stepped off the escalator, I felt the enormous, queen-sized, down featherbed being jerked out of my hand.

- I spun to the left and realized it was the Rolling Handrail of Doom and it wasn't messing around. It had grabbed the plastic packaging on the featherbed and was pulling it toward the floor.

- I tried! I pulled so hard! I was overcome! :(

- The CurlyHairDay vs. Escalator Deathmatch did not go well. As I realized I was making no progress whatsoever (that is to say, the ENTIRE FEATHERBED was being eaten), I flipped open the cover and pushed the emergency stop button.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that all this happened in approximately four to six seconds.

A store employee showed up as if called by God...what, they wear beepers for this, but no one's ever near the cash register?...and proceeded to try to pull the featherbed back out. (I know that I'm tougher than I look, but come on...a little credit.) Three more store employees showed up and proceeded to strategize, gawk and chuckle and try to get the escalator to reverse -- no luck. From what I eventually overheard, they will just have to call Tony, and it may take him 24 hours to get there. (Tony is obviously in high demand.)

Oh, and though I tried to explain what happened numerous times, somehow the store employees just kept assuring me that "Tha reason we cain't jes turn it bek own is whut if someone's haayund is een thar? *big eyes* You don't wan it to jes keep eatin' it up."

And I'm thinking, "Um, no, but you do want it to LET GO."

(And I'm FROM North Carolina so don't give me any flack for the spelin'.)

The good news is that the store didn't hassle us about giving my sister credit for the "returned" featherbed.

The bad news is that if--

**wait! disclaimer! I drove down (nine hours!) the previous day, slept for about four hours, got up at 5:30 that morning to help my sister with a yard sale -- in the rain -- sigh ...nevermind, it's still really no excuse**

Okay, so if, unbeknownst to me, a nearby customer happened to have a video camera and you can find out that person's name and address, you should go ahead and leave for Vegas and put money down on their win on next week's American's Funniest Home Videos. In the interest of full disclosure, I had on a grubby tshirt, an ancient blue hoodie, BRIGHT GREEN JOGGING PANTS, and my hair looked like a bird was going to nest, but, finding it too untidy, decided to keep looking. And I was wrestling. An escalator. For a featherbed.

Enjoy your prize money. Send me a postcard.

And do not let your children near those Conveyor Belts of Death!

11 August 2006

ixnay on the antasyfay ootballfay

I still refuse to play fantasy football (I'm not even going to capitalize it! So there!) but I might watch something having to do with football on Tuesday nights this fall.

Friday Night Lights hasn't even premiered yet, and I'm already convinced it's going to be a hit. Every time hear the preview, I have to come back into the room to watch. (I watch a lot of TV from the other room.) Love the song -- click on Collide.

It won't be the next ER (nor will anything else for a least a few more years) and it won't be The One That Is As Good As Friends, but I think that for those of us who enjoyed our youth, and who like television, drama, and puppies, this show is gonna rock.

duu duu da duu da duut...

09 August 2006

bean counters

"Nature also forges man, now a gold man, now a silver man, now a fig man, now a bean man."

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my sister has a bit of an odd nickname. In cased you missed it: here is how it started.

The other thing you need to know is that there are rules.

"Rules," you ask?

Mmm hmmm. Rules.

Like these:

1. SmallBean is the only allowable non-bean name. In the beginning there was the SmallBean, and, as previously mentioned, it is good -- it's a perfect nickname -- so it's staying.

2. Only SmallBean and I can bestow Bean Names. And we are very particular. We have to a) love you and b) have the perfect name for you. It can take us awhile to come around to both. That said, a Bean Name is not a measure of our love. There are people at the top of our lists to whom no nominative legume as been assigned.

See? That wasn't so bad. And now, for the Cast and Crew.

The Beans:

RedBean = me (the hair)

JellyBean = my lovely husband (think about who else liked jelly beans and worked in Washington, DC)

SoyBean = Mama (lactose intolerant)

CoffeeBean = Friend who seemed to subsist entirely on coffee for a few years while the three of us (Small, Red, and Coffee) overlapped working at Starbucks.

GarbanzoBean = we wanted to be able to call her Chickpea!

StringBean = GarbanzoBean's brother (guess what? he's tall and skinny!)

BlackBean and VanillaBean = an Ebony and Ivory team

ButterBean = smooth talker

GreatNorthernBean = Mainer

And we have big news. Per recent discussions, you might read about a brand new Bean Name right here on this blog! How exciting for you!!!

07 August 2006

note to self

I was enjoying some leftover homemade kung-pao chicken today...but then I took one particular bite and thought, "What?! I don't remember there being a bad spot on that green pepper! Weird. Bad mushroom? Tastes strange. Like it was pickled or something? No..." (People at work were probably trying to get my attention during this inner monologue. Can't talk. Busy eating.) Of course I shook it off and continued to enjoy my lunch (inertia) and then when I looked down, a few bites later, I realized I was about to chomp down on a slice of fresh ginger...mystery solved.

I just made this stuff two nights ago! I must figure out a way to remember the ingredients I used while cooking. I mean, this dish only has five ingredients total!

This is just going to get worse as I age and have children. Brace yourselves.