Friday, November 24, 2006

Sweet Potatoes

My post Thanksgiving thoughts are all about sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes you say; isn’t Thanksgiving a turkey holiday, you say? Maybe, but today, my thoughts stray to sweet potatoes.

First, after peeling the fourth sweet potato, I turned to my husband and asked, “Do you think this is enough sweet potatoes?” He asked, “Who likes sweet potatoes?” I said, “No one.” He said, “Then that’s enough.”

Second, while transferring the butter and maple syrup glazed sweet potatoes to their serving dish, my mother in law said, “You better tell people that they’re sweet potatoes and not carrots so they’ll eat them.” See comment above.

Third, I flinched when my mom said, “Pass the yams.” I’m not saying it again people—they’re sweet potatoes, not yams. Chances are, you’ve never eaten a yam. Yams aren’t grown in the United States. Yams aren’t eaten here, unless you eat a lot of Asian or African cuisine. Your grocer lies to you. “Yams” are a marketing ploy ‘cause some yokel wanted to differentiate between his sweet potatoes and some other yokel’s sweet potatoes, so he started calling them yams. They’re not yams. Go to your recycling bin and take out that can of “Candied Yams” and look at the ingredients: yep, it says “sweet potatoes;” nary a yam in sight.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The New Yoga Mat

I finally did it—I finally broke down and bought a new yoga mat. It’s not like I needed one. It’s not like every time I did an inversion, little purple bits snowed down on me. It’s not like I didn’t leave a little purple trail everywhere I carried the mat. The mat was not presentable enough to take to yoga classes. So, I finally did it, and bought a new one.

The new mat is eco-friendly. I asked the clerk what that meant. He proceeded to explain the term “eco-friendly.” I said, “No, I know what ‘eco-friendly’ means, what is the mat made of?” The clerk did not know. He also didn’t know whether or not it would off-gas. I hate waiting for a new mat to finish off-gassing. It’s one of the reasons that I put off buying a new mat—though I’ve needed one for over a year now.

So I tried out the new mat this morning, and it’s nice. It’s firm, and sticky, and doesn’t leave small spongy bits of itself wherever it goes.

Did I mention that it’s pink? Actually, it’s not pink, it’s PINK. It’s brighter than ballet pink. It’s brighter than rose pink. It’s brighter than cotton candy pink (really). It’s PINK like the color of the little hard candy beads on those candy necklaces that little girls love so much. No, I don’t know what I was thinking. There was a limited color selection, and in the store filled with many other objects in brilliant Indian colors, the pink didn’t stand out.

In my muted living room it does. In my house the thing positively glows.

By the end of this morning’s session I was getting used to its PINKNESS (and the off-gassing), so I guess it’ll work out. I just need to be careful to use it only in daylight hours, so as not to wake the neighbors.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Last week the moonrise was stunning. There was a haze of smoke in the air from the fires burning all over the West. The moon was a golden glowing orb, with strands of smoke clouds blowing over it.

I said, “It looks like a Chinese painting.”

My son said, “It looks like something from a Harry Potter movie.”

My husband said, “It looks like the moon from the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland.”

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Title of This Blog Appears at the End

I don’t generally like movies, and the few I do aren’t run of the mill, to say the least. If I would ever finish the list of my favorite movies and post it here, then you would know what I mean. Suffice it to say that my taste runs to the offbeat.

Well, the problem with offbeat films, is that since they aren’t formulaic, it is impossible to decide at what point it is safe to leave to the theater to use the facilities. Now—don’t laugh--I never make it all the way through a film without having to use the restroom. Usually, this isn’t a problem, as with most films I (or anyone for that matter) can figure out exactly what will happen, and even generally when it will happen, in the first five minutes of the film. I can choose to go during one of the many chase scenes if it is an action flick. Or, if it’s a love story, I can choose to go during the part where they fight and decide they’re not right for each other, before they get to the part where they really do love each other after all. Or, it the fight seems as though it will be more entertaining, I can wait until they promise undying love. Easy.

However, if the film is not formulaic; if it doesn’t march along inexorably in all of its banality, it is impossible to know when one can leave.

Today, I saw such a film. You will rarely hear me say that I liked a movie, but I have to admit, that something about Stranger Than Fiction kept me sitting uncomfortably in a freezing theater waiting to see what might actually happen to the off center characters assembled there. So, I guess maybe you should see the movie—but be sure you don’t drink a large cup of tea before heading out the door, and just accept the fact that you will not be able to leave the theater at any point during the film, even if you really need to use the bathroom.

Also, be prepared to make cookies.

Now, for the title: my son suggested the perfect title for this blog: To Pee, or Not to Pee.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I did my best to get your papers back this week.

I tried really hard.

You only had to write one--I had to grade 40.

I have other classes you know.

I was sick.

My kid was sick.

My dog was sick.

My computer was down.

I forgot you’d want them back.

My other class didn’t mind my turning them back late.

Yes, those excuses sound just as lame when the teacher gives them as when the students give them. I can’t use these excuses to excuse myself from grading student papers, but student papers can provide a nifty excuse for not blogging.

See, I was going somewhere; it just took a bit.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The real reason we have cell phones

You might think that the real reason we have cell phones is to call for help when stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire.

You might think that the real reason we have cell phones is to make business deals from restaurants.

You might think that the real reason we have cell phones is to give us something to do while stuck in traffic.

You might think that the real reason we have cell phones is to text our friends and lovers.

You might think that the real reason we have cell phones is to call our significant other and get him or her to stop at the store for milk on the way home from work.

You might think that the real reason we have cells phone is to call for pizza delivery on the way home, so it’s waiting for you when you get there.

But, I know the real reason for cell phones.

The real reason we have cell phones is to call the rest of our party when we are standing in the middle of Toon Town waiting for them, only to find out that they are in fact in Fantasyland waiting for Snow White.

That’s the real reason for cell phones.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Vicious Sea Lion?

The reason you haven’t heard much from me lately, is that I have been buried under student term papers, and haven’t had the time to blog. It’s not that I’m truly caught up, but I just couldn’t let this one get by.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a woman was bitten today by a probable sea lion while swimming in San Francisco Bay. The woman belongs to the Dolphin Club, whose members swim year round in the Bay.

Now, I have only one thing to say about this: San Francisco Bay--is this woman insane? It’s November; the Bay is frigid in August, what would possess anyone to swim in the Bay in November? This woman shouldn’t complain about being bitten by a sea lion, she should be grateful that she isn’t dead of hypothermia. What was she thinking?

I’m thinking, some time under observation in the local mental ward is in order.

Oh, and by the way, this woman is quite possibly the fourteenth person bitten by this sea lion, according to National Public Radio. Who are these people?

The Dolphin Club could not be reached for comment. Yeah, I wouldn’t answer the phone either.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night

My son’s favorite television shows are The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, in that order.

It’s fifteen minutes until the polls close here on the West Coast.

My son is currently in the living room watching the East Coast election results on C-SPAN. A few minutes ago he cheered out loud at Bob Mendez’ (New Jersey) acceptance speech.

My son is eleven years old.

He better not grow up to be president.