Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Now I Know How Lady Macbeth Felt

Advice to the home chef:

When working with jalapeno peppers, wear latex gloves. 

Alternatively, be prepared not to touch you hands to any part of your body for the next six weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Terrorist Attack in France During Ramadan

The problem: (from today's WSJ)
PARIS—A U.S.-owned industrial gas factory in southeastern France was targeted in a suspected terror attack on Friday morning, French authorities said, noting the decapitated remains of one victim were found at the site of the assault.
Authorities found a decapitated body along with an inscription, French President Fran├žois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels. Two police officers said a severed head was also found at the site. The officers said the inscription was in Arabic.
The Interior Ministry said Yassine Salhi, 35, who had previously been under surveillance by French intelligence services and is believed to have links to an ultrafundamentalist strain of Islam, had been detained in connection with the attack.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion around 10 a.m. on Friday. Mr. Hollande said a vehicle drove into the plant with an intent to “provoke an explosion.” The president said the driver of the car might have been accompanied by someone else.
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. ENLARGE
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
“The attack is terrorist in nature,” Mr. Hollande said, adding that two people were injured. “We must carry our values and never give in to fear.”

The solution:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Country Life

I suppose I should call it "Life in what is still now technically 'country' as it has farms but is probably going to be a suburb in five years' time, what with all the new developments going up."

I live in one of those new developments, but once I leave the development it's just me and the cornfields.  When I walk the dog in the mornings it's mostly farms we pass.

Farms and greenhouses.  This morning a dog from the greenhouse followed us a ways- bored, I suppose, with greenhouse life.  We walked her back to her owner.  The greenhouse lady told me not to touch her dog-- "I prefer that pedestrians don't interact with her"-- and lectured the dog on "not being a good listener."  I guess that's what constitutes country talk in these parts.

I am a suburbanite, born and bred.  The worst kind of suburbanite, in fact: I grew up on Long Island.  To me "wildlife" is cats and squirrels.  The only birds I can reliably recognize are robins and pigeons.

Now, though, I'm seeing some amazing birds.  The other day I saw two bluebirds.  Not bluejays--  real bluebirds.  I'd never seen one in my life, and there they were, two of them right in front of me.  I have to tell you it was kind of a thrill.

I'm also encountering quite a few wild turkeys.  They are very loud.  Does anyone know if they're edible?  Just a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Feast Day, St Thomas More

 This clip from "A Man For All Seasons."

Stormy Weather

I have the best intentions, I really do.  I wake up early enough and I have my running shoes all ready.  The dog's leash is hanging on its hook, just waiting for me and the dog. 

But I don't fight with the weather.  When the sky is that weird color and the "severe thunderstorm warning" thing flashes on my computer screen, I believe lazy self-indulgence is my best option.  So I'm sitting in my living room, warm and dry (as is the dog), happily sipping tea and watching the storm through the window.

I've always loved thunderstorms.  They're exciting, dramatic, freaky.  Even after experiencing some serious storm damage, I still enjoy them, provided I'm inside and the roof isn't leaking.  And the power stays on.

So despite my good intentions I will probably not do a long walk today.  That's too bad;  I'm always inordinately proud of myself whenever I get a little exercise in.  I'll have to find some other way of inflating my self-esteem today.

The floor is open to suggestions.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Does anyone need any further proof that Evil is a reality?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rick Santorum

Yesterday my daughter's school hosted a speech by Senator Rick Santorum.

Santorum was there to talk about his new book,  "Bella's Gift:  How One Little Girl Transformed a Family and Inspired a Nation."  The Santorums' eighth child was born with Trisomy 18, a profoundly debilitating condition.  90% of children born with Trisomy 18 don't live past their first birthday.  Next week, Bella will be seven years old.

So we are talking about Victory here, with a capital "V."  The Santorums, as a family, are victorious.

Rick Santorum also know something about defeat.  He lost the 2012 Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, and Romney went on to lose the country.

For all the astonishing, mega-stressful, beyond demanding circumstances in his life, Santorum struck me as -- well, how to put this.  Calm?  Sane?  Normal?

I don't know how people it the public eye do it.  I especially don't know how Rick Santorum does it.  This morning I read that the Disney is planning a sitcom based on the "comedy" of Dan Savage.  You remember him.   The guy who's go-to line when disagreed with is "S*ck my d*ck," and who harbors a special hatred for Rick Santorum.  I won't quote him here.  If you want to read the kinds of things Savage says, here's a link for you:


In a world where people like Dan Savage are offered truckloads of money and televisions contracts, Rick Santorum stands up for sanity and class.  Choose your side, reader.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Move, Cont.

Well I finally had it:  I had The Move Nightmare.

We all remember the Final Exam Nightmare.  The one where you walk into a room to take a final, and it dawns on you that all semester long, you never attended the class.  My version of the drean always continues the same way:  at first I think, Okay, I'm just going to have to fake it.  I'll bluff my way through.  Then I realize the subject is physics or chemistry, and I can't bluff science!  Then, hopefully, I wake up, usually in a cold sweat.

We moved into the new house ten days ago,  and are still surrounded by boxes and boxes and boxes.  I had to go out and buy a new remote before we could watch tv, and I still haven't found the coffee pot.

Last night I dreamed that, boxes or not, I was going to invite some friends for dinner.  Then it dawned on me I only had one pot.  OK, I thought, I got this:  I'll make clam sauce, pour it into a bowl for the microwave and then use the pot again to cook the pasta.

I could only find one can of clams,  I was psyching myself  up to deal with that. Then I realized:  I still haven't found the box with all the spices.  I have no oregano.  I have no dried parsley.  I have no garlic powder,

I  am screwed!

I was just begging my husband to gather our guests together and stall them with some dazzling monologues when I woke up.  In a cold sweat.

I gotta find some more pots.