Sunday, March 30, 2008

365/74 - Life imitates art - Pastourelle (The Shepherdess) by

And here is the one today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


OK, so the Squink just asked me to heat up some dino-nuggets and put them in the "washing machine" as he pointed to the microwave.

When I told him it was a microwave he looked at me a bit perplexed and said said "A microwave machine?"

I <3 Fractals


Really, I mean it.

In college I had a friend with whom I was able to discuss such arbitrary things. He was the one that introduced me to them, and I became intellectually engaged by the thought or idea of them. No benefits other than I was therefore able to be geeky and notice the fractal imagery in The Matrix...


I have not thought about them in a while. Until I happened upon these. Now please, go look at them.

They are so beautiful the commentary (which I only glanced through quickly) invoked the things such as faith, evolution, God.

Marthat Stewart is a sneaky ol' gal

This is why

Are you as surprised by this tomfoolery as I am?

Four Foods on Friday #22

I am starting to really enjoy doing these a lot more than I thought I would! And, I think that this is number 6 for me!!!! If you participated, you would know that I have graduated from FFOF-n00ben3$$.

#1. What’s your favorite form of potatoes?

I have to pick one? I love everything potatoes and everything sorta considered potatoes... but here is a favorite recipe of mine (actually my grandmothers or as she would want me to say a friend of my grandmothers... but I associate it with my grandmother) for spicy mashed potatoes.

#2. Pie crust. Premade or from scratch?

Depends on the pie, usually frozen.

#3. Vegetables. Fresh, frozen or canned?

I like frozen, though fresh is a treat when you live in a desert like I do. Canned... I like canned tomatoes, potatoes, and then there is hominy (that's a vegetable right?).

#4. What one dish do you wish you could prepare better?

I have no fear in the kitchen, everything is usually palatable... I think though, if you asked my husband it would be the ability to follow a recipe... I can't, I never have, and when I try, my heads spins around really fast and smoke comes out my ears.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Durante el pase del niño

Durante el pase del niño, originally uploaded by Angel Gualán.

Easter, or any religious holiday really, has always seemed a bit empty in some ways. As I perused this series of photos I realized that it was not so much that something was missing but that the rituals I was exposed to changed. I suppose I was saying that for the main formative years of my life Easter involved people nailing themselves to a cross, being carried through town, along with dressed dolls representing Jesus. It meant dancing, and parades (or processions along the lines of a pilgrimage), food (there is a fillet of guinea pig there too). As I looked through these pictures I thought about how much I miss those rituals (and it is OK if you think they are barbaric and done by heathens, though know I disagree completely), how much these events fed my faith, how much I loved those times.

This year I went to mass with my Schatz and to my family church afterwards. The closest I came to repeating those was the smell of incense at one church and the Ethiopian choir at the other.

I will take what I can get.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

365/67 - contemplating the Desiderata, putting it in action

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others you may become vain or bitter, for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is ; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Erhmann, 1927

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Bless me

I was super lucky to be able to get a sample of this fabulous new chocolate in development through an online giveaway of sorts.

The chocolate is TCHO


The giveaway-er is Blake Makes

Just look at that color

Now here is my review of the chocolate:
I loved the TCHO chocolate, I loved the packaging, I love the dedication that is indicated by the effort to research and develop the chocolate.

I am looking forward to TCHO's growth. I only wish I could have sampled other varieties, but the one I did was superb and inspiring (in terms of how to incorporate into some dishes. I would have loved to try some in some savory dishes like mole but there was not enough left (especially after my taste test).
I also decided to try the two together (meaning the TCHO chocolate and the Blake Makes peanut butter dulce de leche). And the results were...

just the two of us


The slight bitter notes of the TCHO chocolate were a nice foil for the sweet taste of the Blake Makes PBDDL. I think TCHO's dark chocolate is a nice contrast for the Blake Makes PBDDL and vice versa. Which means they would work very well together in my mole recipe... IFF I had enough. I did the math on the Blake Makes PBDDL and I would have to cut my recipe by over 3/4. I don't think it would even make half of one serving. It goes the same way for the TCHO chocolate. So, I will enjoy what is left of my Blake Makes PBDDL on some french bread toast
for breakfast and sprinkle a few shavings of the last square of TCHO chocolate on top.

Thank you to both companies, I am thrilled to be your friend!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I am thrilled this happened.

About 2 years ago, in an effort to preserve a letter to my mother from Moritz Thomsen, I uploaded it to my Flickr account. I was looking at it the other day and noticed it had some links. This was one (below). It is interesting that the people who used it in the annotated bibliography, without permission I may add, NEVER asked how I came to have it. I have stories, plenty. Apparently there is a conference about him in the summer... frankly, while it interests me, I can't help but think that Moritz might have been horrified.

Image above captured without permission but hosted responsibly.

Found at this site. Linked without permission.

Here is where I blogged about it before.

Here is the post with the photo about the sushi incident mentioned in my previous post


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor: Neuroanatomist

A book meme

From the lovely and talented author of The Sky Isn't Visible From Here, Felicia Sullivan.

On your nightstand now: Goodness gracious! Here they are, in no particular order:
The Scientists
The Dragon of Lonely Island
New Collected Poems (I got this from you Felicia)
The Intellectual Devotional
Vampire Brat
The Memory Keeper's DaughterNoddy: Look and learn Things That Go
The Amber Spyglass
The Sea of Monsters - I love this series!
Memoria De Mis Putas Tristes / Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Favorite book when you were a child: I loved a German book called Sarahs Zimmer, the illustrations were sublime (found out it was Sendak in trying to find a link to the book today). I also loved Kids Are Natural Cooks (mentioned before). I loved Madeline L'Engle as well.

Your top five authors: This changes... but I would definitely say that Moritz Thomsen and Wallace Stegner are among some authors I enjoy very much. I recently started reading Alain De Botton who is a bit clever (and loves Proust). I have always enjoyed Mark Leyner as well.

Book you’ve faked reading: not a one.

Books you are an evangelist for: Moritz's, They are good, darn good... go get one now!

Book you’ve bought for the cover: I do this all the time and the last two are probably Zorro by Isabel Allende and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco.

Book that changed your life: D'Aulaires Greek Mythology.

Favorite line from a book: "Corn corn corn corn Stuckey's. Corn corn corn corn Stuckey's" in My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist by Mark Leyner.

Scene in a book that made you terrified of marriage: I can't think of one.

Book you most want to read again for the first time: A Wrinkle in Time (the whole series really).

I read my way to Ireland, again.

So, rather than take a proactive approach to my reading around the world, I am letting books come to me. Sounds rather enigmatic, I know.
It may be that I am a bit dilatory in this regard, but I have realized that most "for pleasure" books I force myself to read are boring (at least initially), even though as quickly as a month later I am fully capable of dealing with it...
This all came about as I tried to force myself to read Jack Kerouac... that was a freaking nightmare. I hated his books, I thought him to be... argh, I can feel the ire about how I though of him even now. Anyway, the point of this is that about 2 years later I picked up a copy of Desolation Angels by the beat leader of slackdom and selfishness and became a bit more sympathetic. But only a little. I did read more beat lit after that, but more as an ethnographer than anything else... I was intrigued by what made people choose that particular "way of life".

Desolation Angels

So what is key is that I had tried to read him before, but when another book came to me, I was ready, and after that one I was indeed able to read his bewilderingly famous "On the Road".

So, see all those words I wrote above and which you hopefully have just read?

Yeah, those are there to help explain why I chose this book to give me a new Ireland. I did love the first one I put up there, Angela's Ashes... it is a beautiful book, and it was about Ireland... but so was this one: The Celtic Riddle.

So why am I adding a mystery thriller when I can have that frou frou cover best seller? Because I learned a whole heck of a lot about Ireland from this one. It reads like a British (forgive me that Americanism) in that it is well written and proves that an author can have a lovely vocabulary (unlike a whole heck of a lot of American mystery/thriller writers) include a lesson in history, mythology and make the reader gain a whole lot more appreciation about a country than say... any of the Bourne Identity books. Not that there is anything really wrong with them, they just are not written in the same way. So, I am going to add this stop to Ireland over in my book list. Because I loved this book and learned a lot about a country I have visited and have ancestors from.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FFOF #21

#1. What’s your favorite fruit and how do you like to eat it?

My real favorite fruits is not readily available in the USA and those are:
Tomate de arbol (sweet)

In the US I would have to say it is the nectarine, though I do like blackberries an awful lot.

#2. What is the one spice in your kitchen you use more than any other?

cinnamon and cardamom (well, really I wish I used cardamom more)

#3. Pudding. Instant, stovetop or premade?

My favorite pudding is Instant pistachio pudding.

#4. Share a recipe using potatoes.

As a small child I lived in Spain and I loved Tortilla de Patata.
Here is an approximation of my mothers recipe:

  • 2 lbs. of potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 6 to 8 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  1. Cut the onions into about 1/2 inch pieces. Add the pieces to a pan with olive oil and sautee until they turn brown (not burnt).
  2. Cut up the potatoes while the onions are cooking and add them to the onions in the frying pan.
  3. Fry over medium heat, stirring rarely, until slightly brown.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the oil.
  5. Beat 6 eggs in a very large bowl, then add the sauteed potatoes and onions. Add more eggs if the mixture is too dry.
  6. Add more olive oil to the frying pan (preferably large with high sides) and add the mixture. Cook the egg until it sets up. I start first with a high heat and then switch to a low heat.
  7. Turn the tortilla over so that it browns on both sides. Serve hot or cold

7 Random And/Or Weird Things About Me, Again

I was tagged by Schmutzie... a clever and witty blogger who happens to take lovely pictures as well... and she is also one of those bloggers that has a "following" and I would even venture to classify her on that demi-uber blogger status list I have in my head. Getting the tagged comment on my blog made me feel a bit like Sally Field in the "You like me, you really like me" Oscar (?) speech... then reality hit and I realized it wasn't because of anything other than I commented something rather odd on one of her posts recently and she is a lover not a hater and spreads the meme wealth as the great blog-god in cyberspace intended (btw - that was not meant to be irreverent, it was meant metaphorically). Anyway... it was nice of her to do, kinda like a random act of kindness in a pressure laden way... because anyone tagged with this meme either hates sitting there trying to figure it out or doesn't spread the meme.

So, since I was tagged (not so) recently I will not be tagging anyone, and have therefore chosen to invoke the free-will right to stop the meme evolutionary process with me, though it is because I know this one will not die out and it is highly likely I will be tagged again in the future where sufficient enough time has passed that more randomnesses or weirdnesses can be thought of without invoking St Jude.

OK, here goes...

The rules are as follows:
  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
  • Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

1. Though I did not know it at the time, I once dated someone who was in a cult.

2. One of my favorite memories is of a night in college. I was with many friends in what I will refer to as the art park. We played charades, but it was art charades and we had to guess the famous work of art... my boyfriend at the time and I did the pieta (i do not think it was sacrilegious), we stumped everyone but the art student in the group.

3. I want to be Maya from Space:1999, and have wanted to be her since I was little and first saw her in a dubbed version of the show. I found her dotted eyebrows beautiful, I found her to be beautiful. Who would not want to be a metamorph? Well, few of you I am sure... but still... how cool to turn into a Bengal tiger at will.

4. I cry when I hear the National Anthem being sung... actually, I cry when I hear ANY National Anthem that is being sung ever.

5. I hate touching people feet. Not that there is ever an occasion to do so, but the thought makes my insides curdle, like milk. There is one exception, those are Squinks feet... they are precious and lovable and I can even kiss them after I have takes some dirty socks off (mom love is weird).

6. I have about ten magazine subscriptions (which I got for free) and I never read them... I was hoping I would, but I think I generally hate magazines. It breaks my heart that I am wasting so much paper.

7. I think I have terrible taste in music... I think this because I always covet others peoples iTunes. I have shared my play list before, and while it is flattering that the songs are the number one in keywords that bring people to my blog(s), I am convinced it is because they are trying find out what moron really likes those songs.

Phew, that only took me about four weeks!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

365/50 - Where I try to invoke my Cherokee ancestors

I just could not let this go without letting the blog know too.

I realize that I tend to animize or humanize everything....

The "secret" ingredient arrived, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

I am going to make a savory dish using this. and if you read a few posts down, you will know what i mean.

Monday, March 03, 2008

FFOF # 20

FFOF #20

#1. What type of m&m is your favorite?

almond m&m's are my favorite

#2. Peanut butter. Smooth, chunky, creamy. How do you like it?

for a PB&J sandwich, smooth!

#3. Do you usually drink out of glass, acrylic, Tupperware type or paper cups?

What ever is clean, though I usually use glass or plastic.

#4. Share a chicken recipe.

Easy Chicken Mole

I am waiting for a secret ingredient that will not be secret once I try it in my fancy schmancy not so easy method. Let's just say I grind my own achiote for some reason. The thing is... it isn't a tough recipe, just a bit more time consuming than I usually like...there are just a lot of spices that *I* think are more flavorful when done correctly.
It is the best mole ever though! Who can go wrong with chocolate savory dishes!

Things that make me very conflicted

This for example
Ecuador and Venezuela have deployed troops to their borders amid calls for restraint led by the head of the UN.

and how typical:

A spokesman said trade ties would not be affected.

It would be tougher if I did not think Chavez was such a nutjob.

My own Eurovision update

I am rather surprised that Belgium picked something not so "pop" (but just a little) and a little more American... It is rather catchy though.

I have subscribed to the You Tube Eurovision feed... because trying to finagle my way around each individual countries final... was so daunting I only did one.