Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekend 3-Way: Guest Bloggers

This is the perfect weekend for a guest blogger, and I have the perfect pair of peeps staying right here in my house to do the honors. Alas and alack, they are reluctant. I must be losing my touch as a bully who gets her way, because I’m letting them off the hook (sissies).

So, this weekend’s 3-way asks, who do you want have as a guest blogger, and why?

I nominate these three sportsfans:

First, the obvious. MB and Mark, together or apart. MB the English major has a way with words, she is smart and funny and she lives in the city. She’s a huge sports fan and knows all about pretty much everything. What more could one want from a blogger? And Mark? He secretly hopes and prays that he’ll get a chance to blog for us, he loooooves us and he loooooves blogs. He has good stories, and he has an interesting vocabulary, particularly noticed when he answers the phone and uses terms of endearment.

Second, my husband,despite the fact that he doesn’t even read this blog. He, like MB and Mark, is funny and interesting and a big sports fan. If any of them want to see more sports on the blog, this is their big chance. My husband is sometimes know as sir mix-a-lot, he knows lots of jokes, and he has good stories from back in the day.

I also nominate the Houstons:

That's Autumn Sunshine and her hot Irish fireman, both have agreed to guest blog in theory, but that's a loooooong way to hitting the ol' publish button. My kids love Autumn's work-related stories of blood and butts, and she claims that Devo was before her time. The fireman reads like 85 newspapers and is passionate about his politics and gets all Irish with his footie and his fookin this and feckin that.

If none of these friends of mine will accept the challenge, I'm going to ask this guy:

Poor Wilbur. He was this close to getting that apple.


You're a crack-up, Jacquie. Yowsa.

So, let me get this straight. You asked peeps to guest-blog and they said no? You are losing your touch, Sistah.

I asked my sister Julie to guest blog and she did. I asked my friend MartyJoCo to guest-blog and she will. I didn’t have to suffer the indignity asking my husband to guest-blog and being refused – Beth asked him to guest-blog and he did. Of course he did! As IF he would say no to the lovely Beth.

So I guess that leaves only one person who I'd like to ask but haven't. I'd like him to guest-blog because he's smart and well-informed and has a good heart and wants to change the world and is a superstar.

Unfortunately, I think he's probably too busy these days.


You two are both crack ups. I thought I was reaching to want the lady from Utah to guest blog, but Obama would be devine....

I very much enjoyed when Mistah was a guest blogger. I think he should guest blog again. I'd also like to see my brother guest blog. He's a banjo playing, mountain bike riding, bike machanic living in Durango, Colorado. He'd bring a lot of fresh ideas to the blog, I think.

I'd also like my boyfriend T to guest blog. He's a funny one. Very funny.

And if that comment by Roger left on the Achoo post was by Roger Zucchet, I'd like to see him guest blog as well.

I'd also like to see people ask us to be guest bloggers. We'd love that!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night my yoga teacher was talking about how we could deepen our practice, how we could get more out of each class, out of each pose. Her advice was to be present. Be present right now.

This is not a new idea to me, or to most of you, probably. It’s a common tenant of Buddhist philosophy and of yoga philosophy. And although it sounds simple, I find it hard to do.

My teacher went on to say that most of us vacillate between the past and the future, and spend very little time actually experiencing the present. She then suggested that the past is usually associated with fear, the present with desire. We spend most of our time moving between fear and desire. Fear and desire. The past, our negative past experiences, has taught us to be cautious, cynical, fearful. While our minds tend to fill the future with all that we long for, with all those things (relationships, financial milestones, new jobs, cars, houses) that would, finally, make us happy, finally bring us fulfillment.

The irony, of course, is that if you’re ever actually going to experience happiness, you have to do it now. Past happiness is gone, and future happiness may or may not arise. If you’re going to find contentment, you better damn well do it now.

My teacher spent perhaps two minutes on this idea, maybe less. It was one of many things she spoke of during the 90-minute class, but it stuck with me. The reason, I think, was because it spoke to me of this coming weekend, Labor day weekend. This weekend is a marker of milestones for me, this year especially.

You see, the Saturday of Labor day weekend marks my 8th anniversary with my husband, and my 1st anniversary with my boyfriend. (Neat trick, huh? And I’m not even French!)

Yes, yes, my soon-to-be-ex husband and I have already signed the divorce agreement and are just waiting for the divorce to be legal. And my boyfriend knows all about it, and was brave enough to get involved with me months before the legal document even came into being. But these two relationships illustrate so well (for me) what my teacher was talking about.

My past is full of relationship failures, the biggest, of course, my recently failed marriage. This makes me cautious, untrusting, cynical. The future is full of endless possibilities, including happily-ever-after with my boyfriend. It’s easy for me to project way into the future, to image all sorts of ways in which this relationship, my current relationship, will fulfill me in the future.

The reality, of course, is that life happens one day at a time; that this Saturday is all its own.

That being the case, let's enjoy it. N-O-W.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Little Girl, Big Dog

With apologies to my nephew, who was fast asleep when I came home from a walk to see this photo shoot had taken place, because he is just as big a fan of our big, big neighbor-dog, who is moving away this weekend . . .

This is my niece, and this is Layla. And this is their love-fest.

What can you say, really? They're the perfect photogenic duo.

I miss that Little Girl. And I'll miss that Big Dog, too

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a good recipe

Disclaimer: this was Ellie’s recipe right up until the moment I stole it.
How to make a rockin dip that all the peeps will love wherever you go:
First, clear all the shit off of your butcher block and look for a photo angle that hides all the other shit on all the other pieces of furniture.
Now gather your ingredients, then thow a fit in a vain search for the tiny can of sliced olives that you bought and paid for, but are NOT FUCKING HERE

Okay, take a deep breath. Get an assistant you can boss around. Make him wash his hands. Twice. We all know where those hands have been.
Laugh at the assistant as he gags over the smell of the cream cheese he is being bossed into “spreading” into a glass pie dish.

Here's a teachable moment: explain to your assistant how you’re going to slice the ½ onion in one direction, then turn it to complete the dice. Turn your attention away momentarily to bag the other ½ onion, then check very closely to make sure there are no fingertips in the onion that your assistant has taken to town with your carving knife.
Have a heart attack.
Give your assistant a slightly smaller knife, and set him loose. Dump prettily chopped onion on top of the cream cheese


Instruct your assistant to open the cans of beans and chiles. Watch, mock, and of course photograph before you help him
Marvel at how young and old he is at the same time. Tell him no he may not open all of the cans in the pantry now that he has mastered the technique.

Dump the chiles (leave what sticks inside the can) and beans (with juices) on top of the onions, commingling everything harmoniously. Stop your assistant from stirring hard enough to cause tectonic rupture of the cream cheese
Dump salsa on top of harmonious mess. Begrudgingly agree with your assistant’s assessment that it looks like barf.

Coax your reluctant cheese-phobic assistant to sprinkle the vile substance all over the top. Promise him for the eighty fifth time that you will not force him to eat the disgusting cheese. Or the barf dip.

Sprinkle the stuck chiles over the cheese. Curse about how this is where the olives would go as well, dammit. And would bring the colors together so nicely.

Cover with foil and cook until it reaches the temperature and consistency of hot, molten lava. About an hour at 350.
The dip must then sit and settle for at least 20 minutes, or you will scald yourself and your friends and you’ll never be invited to another party. This cooling is nicely accomplished on the drive west to the lovely soon-to-be-ex-house of your even lovelier co-blogger, whom you have totally bullied into having this sunset party. Think about that view and the good friends you will see. Ignore your assistant’s remarks in the car indicating that he’d rather smell farts than smell that cheesy barf dip.
When you arrive, ignore everyone. Open the chips and park your ass in front of this magnum opus. Growl menacingly like cujo when anyone else tries to get close enough for a bite.

To finish the recipe, add one blender full of boozy watermelon

One perfect sunset, and lots of great friends.


It’s a keeper.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


On the way home from the weekly swim lesson yesterday afternoon, my youngest daughter said something that caught my attention (not that I’m not paying close attention to every syllable that comes out of the darling’s mouth).

She announced that while she and her best wee girlfriend, who is also four, were playing in my car the other day (did I know they were playing in my car?), they pretended that they were driving but were allergic to music.

Allergic to music?

I’m hoping this wasn’t solely my daughter’s idea, originating from the fact that ever since I somehow managed to blow out my front speakers, I’ve had to crank up the back speakers to even hear the music in the front seat. I hope I haven’t turned her off to Ben Harper, Foghat, the Outta Hand String Band (my little brother’s former band), or God forbid, to music in general.

Allergic to music?

Can you imagine anything worse???

There are, in fact, worse things: terminal cancer, watching your child starve to death, physical torture, etc., but still, it’d be pretty bad to be allergic to music. Wouldn’t it?

Personally, I can’t imagine never listening to “All Along the Watchtower” or “Many Rivers to Cross” or “Message in a Bottle” again (just to name a quick three). Music is so important to me, to my sanity. It’s important to all humans. We have music accompany almost every important cultural ritual, and have for millennium.

All people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music; music has become a fundamental part of human life. It is a means of communication: it speaks of joy, heartbreak, protest; and it often reflects what’s going on in the world at a specific point in time. People share emotions and opinions via music and it changes as the world changes.

A musical allergy, therefore, would be very serious, a blow to something deeply human.

Even the most tone deaf among us still seems to enjoy music. It’s true, right? I mean they like it so much, they still try to sing along, all the while knowing it sounds awful. They just can’t help themselves, music is too good.

A music allergy just wouldn’t do.

But interestingly, it seems that there are some people who have the opposite of a music allergy. Instead, they have an auditory reaction to visual stimulation, they “hear” more than the rest of us.


It’s just now coming to light that perhaps 1% of the population, which is now approximately 6,719,249,978(!!!) people worldwide, have what is termed “auditory synesthesia.”

Caltech lecturer in computation and neural systems, Melissa Saenz, discovered the phenomenon quite by accident (don’t you just love science?), when some students visited her in the Caltech Brain Imaging Center.

These individuals hear sounds, such as tapping, beeping, or whirring, when they see things move or flash.

Surprisingly, the scientists say, auditory synesthesia may not be unusual—and may simply represent an enhanced form of how the brain normally processes visual information.

Sanez writes, “These individuals have an enhanced soundtrack in life.”

An enhanced soundtrack is something I think I could live with.

Alas, I’m neither tone deaf nor enhanced. I took the auditory synesthetes test at the Caltech website and did not hear a damn thing.

Wanna try it?

View the video, they recommend repeatedly, in a quiet location, at: (And although the website directs you to: "Click the bottom left arrow to play," I could find no arrow and simply clicked on the link below the video.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Touché To Shea

Yesterday, I made my final visit to Mighty Shea Stadium.

Peter and Martha hire a bus every year and take the minions on a field trip to Shea, or to Yankee Stadium, alternating years. Since 2008 is the last year both parks are alive, the bus is making trips to Queens and the Bronx this summer.
Lucky Peter and Martha.

Mistah and I have always heard stories about those bus trips, but we're too cheap broke to afford the trip. I mean, Major League Baseball has tons of money, and we have so very little money -- why should we give what we have to them? But Paul, the King of the Cranes couldn't make it, so donated his ticket to me.
Shea is going to be replaced by Citi Field, which is growing right in Shea's backyard. It's a beautiful looking park, reminiscent of the old Ebbets Field.

We arrived at Shea, parked on a grassy knoll, and got out the coolers. Peter and Martha pack about 17 coolers of beer, plus grinders for everybody. There's Peter, next to the Peter Pan bus.

Oh, hello Petah!

It was Jewish Heritage Day at Shea, so the players' names appeared on the scoreboard in Hebrew. I was happy to hear that, since I didn't recognize the letters, and thought it was finally all over for me.

That's Mr. Met with Keith Hernandez, announcing there are only 17 days left at Shea. Mex has bulked up. Too much shrimp scampi.

After doing their beer chores, Peter arrived at the seats with the rest of us . . .

. . . followed by Martha.

Kimmy and Jimmy were in the house . . .

. . . and so, of course, was I.

I could not stop taking photos of the gorgeous field with the new park blooming behind it.

Mistah Schleckah is NOT the only photographer in this family.

Fran and Maddie kept score.

Although that's Carlos Delgado up at bat,

it was Carlos Beltran who hit two home runs.
Yay! Us!

It was t-shirt give-away day, and those shirts are nice. 100% cotton, thank you very much.

Despite Beltran's heroics, the Mets had their usual bullpen woes, and there were a lot of huddles going on out there on the mound.

"Break it up, guys, break it up."

LaGuardia Airport is right around the corner and Owen, as per, counted planes. The total for 2008 was a paltry 119, compared to 2007's 158.
See? There's that shot again.

I smuggled in contraband. What? I can't afford $9 beers.

I'm anti-God Bless America, because it has nothing to do with baseball. But I like this moment because it preceded my Hightpoint of the Day -- the playing of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. . . in Yiddish.

When Owen's not busy being a reporter or a bartender, he's a Hollywood Movie Star.

John's boy Dave wore his fuzzy pink good luck hat all day. Fat lot of good that did.

The Astros tied it up in the top of the 7th, and the rally caps came out in the bottom of the 9th . . .
Fat lot of good that did. Houston scored 2 in the top of the 10th.

And the bad guys won, 6-4.

Peter was awfully sentimental about the demise of Shea for someone who pretends not to be a Mets fan.

Bye, Shea.

The peeps headed home. . .

. . . and we headed back to our bus.

And said see ya later to New York and the Mets and Mighty Shea.

The Kids on the Bus will see you next year . . . at Citi Field.