Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Extra Sauce, Hold the Mustard

My friend Eric just tagged me for a quick food meme. Here are the Rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 food facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them)
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Hmmm, having never been part of a meme, here goes:

1. I’m a vegetarian - my rule of thumb is, if I can’t do what it takes to bring it to the table – I don’t eat it.

2. I can really relate to “When Harry Met Sally”, as I’m married to the male version of Sally. Tom has all kinds of crazy food rules. Here are a few of my favorites:
Food should never touch or be mixed in anyway. This eliminates anything in the casserole family – a challenge, as I sure do love a good casserole..
Must have extra salad dressing, extra sauce on pizza, extra mustard on sandwich, extra on everything. I personally think this is a direct result of being the youngest of four boys, often resulting in a “Lord of the Flies” battle over who got the last piece of pizza

3. Mexican food is better than sex……..seriously…….well at least most of the time.

4. My favorite childhood treat was taking the sugar powder out of candy straws, and spreading it on a piece of wonder bread.

5. I grew up in a house of wonderful cooks. But when I left home, I only knew how to make chocolate chip cookies. My mom was very worried that I would go hungry, so she decided to write down super easy recipes for me to follow. Here’s one that I would like to share with you:
Buy jar of pasta sauce.
Open Jar and heat sauce.
Poor sauce over cooked pasta. (Mom never did teach me how to cook the damn pasta....)

So in the spirit of the meme, I tag the following people:

Lovely Marotness, who cooked wonderful and exotic dishes for us, but also burned our tongues!

Worldly Nina, who is married to a food star at Nina's Place

Passionate Tyra, who understands the importance of fried okra.

Witty and wise Susan at tunicate.

Funny and talented Dil at This So Called Life

Chasing the Mosquito Man

This morning while getting ready for work, Tom and I overheard a report on CNN regarding the horrible dangers of mercury. We had a good laugh, as Tom remembers playing with pure mercury as a child, going so far as to let the little liquid balls roll around on his tongue.

You see, Tom and I grew up in the 60’s - a time that scientists and historians refer to as the “Ignorance is Bliss” decade. It was a time of great fun – a period when parents and kids did unthinkably foolish things – mainly because we just didn’t know any better.

Pregnant mothers chain-smoked and were encouraged by their doctors to drink at least one martini a day.

We never used seatbelts or car seats, and siblings fought over whose turn it was to ride “shotgun” curled up in the back window of the family automobile.

As children we rode bikes with the daring of a Hollywood stuntman, often standing on the seat with no hands , no shoes, and always without a helmet.

Sunburns were encouraged, after all vitamin D is good for you

Holding firecrackers and bottle rockets in your tiny little hand, waiting until the very last second to throw them.

Forget about “stranger danger”, most of us spent all day roaming around the neighbourhood, only coming home at dusk, when Daddy whistled, signalling that it was time for dinner.

I personally think that I should get the “Stupid 60’s Kid” award for one of my favourite childhood past times. Most people have fond childhood memories of the ice cream man visiting their neighbourhood– but in my hood, it was all about the Mosquito Man. Each evening he drove a small truck through our little town, pulling a trailer that spewed toxic clouds of pale green gas, a chemical soup guaranteed to kill a West Texas mosquito dead in his tracks. When we saw the Mosquito Man, all of the kids in the neighbourhood jumped on our bikes and took off. The trick was to see how long you could keep up with the Mosquito Man, pumping our little sun-burned feet for blocks, positioned right in the middle of his toxic cloud.

Damn, those were good times.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why I Blog

A wise man (or woman) once said there are three things that should never be discussed in polite company – Sex, Religion and Politics.

I’ve come to believe the person who came up with that pearl of wisdom obviously had a blog.

It’s easy to be your true self with friends, as most of us choose to hang with people who have a similar belief system. It's a little trickier with family. If you live far from home, the way I do – it’s often easier to simply be the person they need and want you to be.

I started this blog because I want to have a different relationship with my son Tyler. I’m sure that there are going to be things we disagree on (don’t even get me started on his tattoo) - but I’m willing to risk it. I want to go through this world knowing who my son really is. I also believe he should know what his mother's thoughts, dreams and beliefs are.

So, at the risk of sounding like a narcissist – this blog really is All About Me. It’s not meant to be safe, nor controversial. I’m just trying to keep it real – at least from my humble perspective.

At times, my friends and family may not agree with my view of the world, and I’m okay with that. I promise to be as open and respectful to your point of view, as I hope you will be to mine.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oh Happy Day

When I first met Tom, he was very liberal. I know this is hard to believe – but in our dating years, he was even further to the Left than I was.

Then came the Dark Years - a time when some sort of alien being controlled my husband's mind and body - turning him into a dreaded Conservative. Like most families, we try our best to hide the skeletons in our closet. For years Tyler and I lived in fear that the truth would come out – how would we explain to our friends that Tom actually supported George W. Bush? You have no idea the pain that comes from living in a bipartisan family.

But, not long ago, Tom made a startling announcement. It wasn’t exactly an apology – but it was good enough for me. It seemed he now realizes the error of his ways, going so far as to say that it would take several generations of Americans to recover from the economical, environmental and diplomatic damage that GW has done.

It gets even better! Tom is now giving his full support to Obama. What happened to bring about this sudden change of heart? Is it possible that Tom is having an affair with a Democrat? Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ve decided not to ask questions, and simply embrace and love the new Tom.

Free at last.....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sticks and Stones

There are words I love simply for the way they sound – Africa, Nepal, arroyo – most of them have to do with geography. In fact, Tyler is Tyler because of Tom. If it had been up to me, we would have named him something like “River Santiago Ryan”. (Sorry son, that’s why it’s a good thing to have two parents, as someone always has to be the voice of reason.)

And there are words I love for their meanings. Here is one of my recent favorites:

Animist – a person who respects the diverse community of living beings and spirits with whom humans share the world / cosmos.

Come to think of it, I like Cosmos for the way it sounds too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Old Dogs and New Tricks

This morning I dropped Stella off at our local car dealer, nothing serious, just time for her regular six month checkup. It gave me an opportunity to take a different route to work - it was a beautiful, clear day - so I decided to walk.

As I made my way, I noticed a middle age man walking an older black lab. Maybe it’s because Tex and Maggie are seniors, but I really have a thing for dogs with grey faces. The labs name was Sam and it was obvious that he was well loved and cared for.

What took me off guard was the man – who seemed like your normal average Joe –that is, until I started talking to him. The first thing he asked me was if he could come and visit sometime. My initial reaction was – scary guy – must avoid making eye contact! It didn’t take me long to realize that he was harmless - not crazy or drugged - just a gentle soul who marched to the beat of a different drum.

Turns out it wasn’t me he was interested in visiting, he was actually trying to arrange a play date for Sam, Tex and Maggie. We walked and talked for a few blocks, mainly about dogs, nothing earth shattering.

I dropped Sam and his owner off at a dilapidated building on Vancouver’s East Side – a shelter for homeless people.

In a strange way it felt like a blessing of sorts. Who knows, if we're lucky, maybe we'll run into Sam and his man on one of our pug walks.

Monday, February 18, 2008

For Women Everywhere

There are two kinds of men in this world - those who get it - and those who don’t have a clue. It is only recently that scientists have discovered that a significant portion of the male population is born without a very important gene, making it impossible for them to communicate with the female sex and ultimately threatening the survival of their species.

As much as I adore my husband, I’ve decided that it’s time for an intervention. Bless his heart, the poor guy was born without the ability to edit. So for the sake of women everywhere, I’ve decided to write a brief manual. While it may not result in world peace - my hope is that it will help those men who are unable to read verbal / body cues and recognize danger. Here are a few of the topics I intend to include
  • "Whatever" actually means NO.

  • There is only one answer to the question “Does this make me look fat?” – No, no and no.

  • Stop trying to coach us…..we really aren’t that concerned with improving our miniature golf game.
  • We appreciate the fact that you want to support and motivate our efforts to get in shape -but taping before and after photos on the fridge – illustrating the transition from phat to fat – probably isn’t the best idea.

  • Learn to relax when we drive – no need to tell us to slow down, merge, check our blind spots, or critique how we parallel park.

  • Unless it is on her wish list, it is ill advised to buy a microwave for her birthday.

  • A six pack and pizza isn’t our idea of a 7 course meal.

  • Sometimes we just want you to listen. You don’t always have to try to fix everything.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Janes Special Day

This is Tyler's girlfriend Jane, at her university graduation. A wonderful accomplishment, we are proud of you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hitchin a Ride

Tom has some very strange passions – including an obsession with anything related to weather or geography. His latest theory has to do with spring, a season sandwiched between winter and summer.

According to his precise calculations, spring starts in the south somewhere around Mexico, and slowly but surely makes her way north, covering about 1000 miles per month – or about 32.25806 miles per day.

I personally like this idea, and prefer to imagine Spring as a young woman – hitchhiking north, while always sticking to the back roads.
If Tom’s theory is correct, Spring is at this very moment, shooting pool in an Oregon truck stop - just off Highway 97 North.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

I have just returned from New York - with the New Yorks Giants winning the superbowl, and all the hype about Super Tuesday - it was a very interesting time to be in the USA.

While there I managed to go shopping for books - as Tom will tell you they are my one big extravagance. So had to share this quote from The Geography of Bliss.

"Until the eighteenth century, people believed that biblical paradise, the Garden of Eden, was a real place. It appeared on maps - located, ironically, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now modern-day Iraq."