Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It's flipping cold outside. The wind chill is supposed to be below zero, and the wind is absolutely brutal.

Years ago, I acquired a fleece sausage with hand and foot holes. Since that time, the Snuggie has become popular, but I prefer my fleece sausage. I haven't worn it since I moved to Gloucester (at least not that I recall), but I am enclosed within it tonight.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Disaster at Sea

I created a wiki:

I'm not sure how it works if you aren't the owner. Try visiting, and let me know what you find. There isn't any content yet, but I welcome folks to add some!


A co-worker to whom I forwarded an invitation to cook for Gordon Ramsay is going to do just that. It turns out that his life features enough drama to qualify him. Isn't that obnoxious? It's not your cooking that counts, it's how you have managed to survive to cook another day. I feel pretty sure that Rachael Ray wasn't hired for her stoicism in the face of chaos and adversity.

And speaking of work: I'm hoping that, because I now work 4-day weeks, it will be okay if I make special arrangements for the last week of March. Instead of missing Thursday, I really want to miss Friday, so as to get one extra day for our 3-day flight!

Too Much II

Above is a guide/map to aid readers in following my commentary, as regards things New Zealand. As I say below, I had planned to set out from Invercargill (bottom), but we may have to begin in Christchurch.

Map courtesy of worldatlas.com.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


What am I going to do with my 2009 recipe collection? Typically, I gather them all year, then try them out during our vaca on the Outer Banks. No such vaca this year, and I knew all year that there wouldn't be, but still I collected recipes. I have quite a pile.

Hubbie says, "Just try them out here." But that would mess with my rituals—-those involving new (to me) techniques and flavor profiles, cooking for hours, and the to-the-ounce planning of shopping expeditions. I know, I know, other people do that all the time; [sigh] I don't.

I could be manufacturing anxiety. I can't find a couple of Netflix discs, and I've been actively anxious about that all evening. Have you ever put something at the bottom of your mental list, only to have it fall off the list entirely, yet bother you often, just beyond the reach of memory?

Too Much NZ

We went today to Liberty Travel to explore and book travel to New Zealand. It seems that we need to go back tomorrow, when Liberty's NZ expert is working.

We had hoped to get an assist with curtailing our hoped-for itinerary. We have a plan that takes us from Invercargill, at the bottom of the south island, up to Ninety-Mile Beach, north of Auckland (North Island). In addition, I want to have an overnight in Australia.

My husband would like to chop Australia and the extreme-south south island. But he'd also like to add fjord lands (South Island) and the Waiotapu mud pools, south of Rotorua (North Island). Our trip is 98 days away... it is starting to feel real.


I got a catalog today from Burpee. Flipping through it made me feel like spring is right around the corner—-although I know, in truth, that winter only just started.

Burpee is, of course, known largely as a vegetable-seed supplier. I am considering which veggies to grow in 2010. When our vegetable garden is producing, we keep an over-sink colander constantly over our sink. In it we pile (and wash) what is ripe; the selection can decide for us what's for dinner.

This season the Burpee catalog features a hod. I had never heard of a hod before. It's a vegetable-gathering basket with wooden ends and a wire-mesh body. I'm thinking I might need one, to use instead of our over-sink colander. Then we'd have more sink space. But where would the hod drain?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cultural Relativism and the Holidays

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all intellectual.

A classmate said, at our last class meeting of 2009, that she questions the worth of multi-culturalism (which, I confess, I think of as cultural relativism). I immediately understood. Any culture that thinks it's OK to carve away a woman's clitoris needs to be brought up short, not welcomed into community.

But I also read the amazing book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down —- a true must-read, and a book that I will recommend as a last-minute buy to any person still trying to think of a Christmas gift.

I think "relativism" may be, bizarrely, more precise[?] than "multi-culturalism", because the former word permits you to consider what is bad here against what is maybe even worse elsewhere, without accepting either one.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adam Cooper?

Saw Adam Lambert on So You Think You Can Dance last night. Had never seen him perform before, not being an Idol viewer.

He honestly looked like a cross between Alice Cooper and Liberace. He had glitter in his eyebrows. And his voice didn't sound that great—-too many breath tricks. I hope that he does not see himself as a role model for gay youth. He seems to be in search of himself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know it's just "small" stuff. But I've had a bad cold approximately forever. It doesn't help my mood.

I am sinking under the weight of cards to sign and address, papers to write (have to re-write that one from last week, isn't that just the worst?), rebates to submit, memberships to renew (important, if I want to get a prescription filled—-another to-do on my list), gifts to wrap, even newspapers to read.

Maybe I can just recycle the newspapers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


My son Mike's week of finals starts December 14. For the time being, however, he is engaged in something else:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am quite pleased to have found the opaque white one.


My fennel keeps on going. And those red things—-rose hips, maybe?–-look quite nice in the front.


Well worth reading:

Copy that string and paste it into your browser window.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I have to write two papers this week. One is due tomorrow night. I'm stalling.

When I'm doing research, I can't do it with source materials that are available only on my screen. I have to print them out, and then I'm surrounded by paper. I have a stack literally two feet tall in the office, from papers past.

Somebody help me talk about reflective practice.


Did I say that my phone had some new GPS application? Not for FREE, it turns out. It's another $9.99 a month [sigh]. So what did I get in buying a new phone? Answer: It doesn't randomly turn itself off.

Today I got my eyes checked. My pupils are still huge from the drops. I made a bank deposit after my appointment, and I had to give up on the ATM, walk into the bank, and have a teller indicate which end of the check to endorse.

The result of my appointment: I got driving glasses. They are supposed to help with distance perception at night. I certainly hope they do. I've had to slam on the brakes too many times when the car in front of me turned out to be close enough to touch.