Archive for June, 2009

I am an aunt for the third time. This is James Aaron, 8 lbs 6 oz, born at 6:01 am CA time. I haven’t met him yet but I can already tell he is pretty much the greatest.

My new desktop wallpaper, all three (four in September) of my nephews.


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A few weeks ago I visited my sister and nephew in California. After he went to sleep at night, we would watch something my sister had recorded, usually Jacques Pepin, or Julia Child on DVD. She enjoyed it because she’s a good chef and I enjoyed it as an mediocre former short-order cook. And we both, like all good Americans, love to watch people make food on TV. Jacques Pepin is amazing, because he does cute things like dancing around holding a glass of wine in one hand and scissors in the other, or being French. He loves tortillas, advising viewers to put them in place of pizza dough or as part of an apricot dish.

One point of disagreement between my sister and I, is that she does not watch anything on the Food Network. I would watch PBS more, but without a TIVO I wouldn’t be able to catch Jacques Pepin without a TV Guide schedule. Plus, I love Alton Brown, and one time I heard the Barefoot Contessa declare that bread counted as a vegetable.
However, PBS is great at posting their shows online. I am addicted to American Experience (thanks, Liberty Mutual). Now I can avoid the Food Network, well, the boring shows* anyway, and get a PBS fix thanks to KQED.org, which posts full episodes of Jacques Pepin in all his tortilla loving glory.


*Anything that’s not food history or how things are made like Unwrapped/Secret Life of…,or Alton/Paula Deen. I’m looking at you, Giada.

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President Obama has frequently been compared to many other presidents, but I think it’s more fun to compare all the presidents to all of other presidents. First, Richard M. Nixon and Ulysses S. Grant:


These two Republicans were both right handed, but really, they were probably both left handed and forced to be righties at a young age. This is my deeply held belief about all the presidents who were “right handed” except Harding, and Bush II, who I’ve kicked out of the club.

Play the numbers game: U-L-Y-S-S-E-S (7) S-I-M-P-S-O-N (7) G-R-A-N-T (5). R-I-C-H-A-R-D (7) M-I-L-H-O-U-S (7) N-I-X-O-N (5). Each name has a total of six syllables. Should you keep reading or did I just blow your minds?

They are practically the same person: Both were notorious drinkers. Both served as lieutenants in the first war they fought in. Both served two presidential terms. Each followed a President Johnson, who in turn both followed assassinated presidents, who had all sorts of crazy things in common (sort of). Neither of their successors were elected by a popular vote. Grantism is a term for political corruption. Nixonian has been used to describe dirty politics (even though it means something else).

My list falls apart around here: Nixon was gifted musically; Grant was tone deaf. One hated the Confederacy, the other Communism. Those words both start with C! And so does the word Cookie, which they both probably enjoyed.

Finally: Their middle names are Milhous and Simpson. Milhous(e) is a character on the Simpson(s).




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