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pbj

July 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Growing up, a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich was one of my lunchtime favorites.

I don’t know why, and I don’t even remember when, but somewhere between my teenage years and my 50’s, I stopped having jelly in my peanut butter sandwiches. Once every long while, I would even buy a jar of jelly, but then never actually open the fridge to get it when making a sandwich.

Then one day recently, and again I can’t explain why, I went ahead and added jelly to my lunchtime peanut butter sandwich. It tasted so good, I actually said aloud, “Why did I ever stop doing this??”

last day of staycation

July 1, 2018 Leave a comment

One final “home project” for this last day of our staycation week: weeding the driveway.  It’s pretty hard-packed pebbles, good for absorbing the winter rains, but over the years plenty of tiny weeds, clumps of grass, etc have taken root. It’s warm but not hot today, so I put on a sunhat, start the poetry podcast playlist on my iPod, grab a bucket, sit down on a short stool, and start picking.

Every few minutes, having pulled every weed in reach, I shift the stool a couple of feet and continue. It becomes a rhythm, practically a meditation.

Some oregano from the herb garden in the corner by the sidewalk has started to put out new sprouts into the driveway. I decide to leave them alone, and let it continue to spread where it can — I’ve noticed a pleasant Mediterranean crushed-herb scent lately whenever I get out of the car, which seems like a good thing. The white and purple clovers as well, I leave alone. The bees like them, and I use the green strips as a target in the rear view mirror when backing into the driveway.

but who’s counting?

March 8, 2018 Leave a comment

For much of my life, my reading interests largely were science fiction, fantasy, science non-fiction, and history. Over time I branched out, adding philosophy, eastern and western poetry, and various of the classics of western literature. I never really paid attention much to who the authors were, or their gender, or so I imagined. Several years ago though, early in the second Obama term I think, after coming across by chance books by women authors that struck me with their unique perspectives on things I thought I already knew:

it (finally!) became clear to me that I had to actively seek out a wider diversity of authors, especially women authors.

Looking back now at my reading history in Goodreads, it confirms that from about 600 books read in total, there are 442 books by 260 male authors, and only 160 books by 90 female authors. That’s a good motivator to continue seeking out different voices in reading! Zooming in to just this last year, I’ve read 16 books by women and 15 by men, so at least the trend is in a good direction.

Women authors whose books I’ve liked most over the last few years:

Emily Wilson, Simone de Beauvoir, Jane Smiley, Margaret Atwood, Brenda Shaughnessy, Charlotte Bronte, Ursula LeGuin, Kathleen Moore, Rebecca Goldstein, Jane Austen, Carrie Fisher, Adrienne Rich, Hope Jahren, Mary Oliver, Erica Dunbar, Hilary Clinton, Bell Hooks, Octavia Butler, Elizabeth Gilbert, Phyllis Rose, Edith Wharton, Ann Patchett, Cherríe Moraga, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Toni Morrison, Anne Lamott, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, H.D., Cheryl Strayed, Roz Chast, Kate Beaton, Lydia Davis, J.K. Rowling, Sharon Creech, Louisa Alcott, Hannah Crafts, Denise Kiernan, Margaret Chula, Edith Shiffert, Rachel Swarns, Saima Wahab, Carol Tavris, and Eileen O’Keeffe McVicker.

with apologies to george santayana

January 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Updated aphorism:

Those who learn from history are condemned to the frustration of watching everyone else who didn’t learn it repeat it.

;-)

head scratcher

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Headline in today’s newspaper: “Portland weather: Sunny weekend, but only during day”. Doh!

stating the obvious

June 10, 2013 Leave a comment

OK feel free to laugh at me, but I just discovered that home-made pesto on toast is awesome. Also yummy: blanched broccoli crowns, swiped across butter and a dab of salt, just like sweet corn.

fyi: oscar documentary shorts

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Missed the Superbowl, but watched the amazing Oscar-nominated documentary shorts at the Hollywood Theater. My pick for the Oscar: Redemption, about the NYC “canners” who survive by scrounging recyclables. But all five nominees were very moving, including Inocente (about a homeless girl determined to become an artist), Kings Point (about a retirement community in Florida), Mondays at Racine (about a beauty shop that donates a day a month to women going through chemotherapy), and Open Heart (about a hospital in Africa that provides free treatment for poor victims of heart disease, often children). Update: Inocente won the Oscar.