Friday, November 30, 2007


Your children well.

CSNY - "Teach Your Children"

Today Kate and I made a trip to civilization (AKA Salisbury, MD) to do some Christmas shopping and spotted something a little like this in the parking lot:

Katie P. yelled in amazement, "Look at 'dat car!"

There was a brief pause, during which I anticipated a follow-up exclamation like "it's so pretty!" or "why, oh why can't we have 'dat?". Instead she shouted a vehement and emphatic...


Then she warbled a little Katie song "TACKY, TACKY, TACK, TACK. TACKY TACKY TACKY TACK" as she skipped into the store.

As Clairee says in Steel Magnolias; "Your Momma raised you right!".

Yeah, I'm crunchy-granola, liberal and all that, but I have taste, too.

Later, exhausted by her brush with tastelessness, Kate napped in her brand new hat. We bought it today and she refused to remove it. It came in handy when, as she muttered in her drowsiness, "de sun bodderin' me".

Another Clairee quote comes to mind, "the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize".

And criticize, I suppose, Clairee.

This post is for you, Yo Yo. It is essential to the survival of our species that we had down knowledge through the generations. Wanted you to know I am working hard at it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Night time flowers, evening roses

Bless this garden that never closes

Treat her gently, treat her kind
Tenderloin will last all night.

Blue Oyster Cult - "Tenderloin"

One of the many events that occurred during my blogging absence was my birthday. My present was a trip ATB (Across The Bay for you non-Shore people; going Across The Bay involves driving 1.5 hours, traveling across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and forking over $12 for the pleasure of doing so. It's where Shore folk go for a little civilization.) to go out to dinner and listen to David Sedaris. David Sedaris is a humorist who is often featured on NPR or in the New Yorker, and is one of my favorite writers. We were accompanied by our friends Tom and Mary, fellow Sedaris fans and also vegetarians. What does that matter, you ask? The significance of their dietary preferences will become clear later.

We planned to eat at a great little restaurant in downtown Norfolk but it was full to capacity, so we strolled in search of a dining adventure. Indian? No, Tracy doesn't care for Indian. Oops, the tapas place is closed on Sundays. Mexican? No, we can get that on the Shore. What shall we eat?

Then, like a Beacon in the night, we spot a Brazilian restaurant. Why not? It wasn't crowded.The interior was attractive and welcoming. We were seated by a waitress of some Ukranian-type descent. As we waited for our menus we noticed an odd item on the table. It resembled a multicolored salt shaker painted red, yellow and green. Then we saw, in the distance, a waiter with a sword (I am not kidding) of meat.

As we muttered under our breath wondering what in the world we had gotten ourselves into, our waitress approached and asked in her heavily accented English if we had been to a Brazilian restaurant before. When we confessed our ignorance, she picked up the salt-shaker thingy and explained "If you vant to eat ze meat you turn to ze green. If you want to stop ze meat or take a break from meat, turn to ze red".



After she left there was some nervous laughter and glancing around in an attempt to learn from observation of other diners. We hemmed and hawed but finally decided to "turn to ze green". What the hell.

Within seconds a waiter magically appeared with the giant sword. He was closely followed by another, also armed with a sword of meat. They described the cuts and preparation of each. I looked across the table at the vegetarians, who's eyes were wide with horror and disbelief. Tracy and I, on the other hand, were eager to have some of the bacon-wrapped filet and spiced grilled chicken (both were some of the most deliciously prepared meats I have tasted, by the way). These swords were later followed by others that included pork and lamb as well as more beef and chicken fabulously cooked in a variety of ways.

The waiters seemed concerned about Tom and Mary. They were especially perplexed by Tom. Mary did eat a little chicken, but Tom steadfastly declined each offer of "you like ze meat?". I believe they began to take it as a personal challenge, perhaps making bets in the kitchen about who could ply this mysterious diner with the choicest cuts. No dice.

In addition to ze swords of meat, as we began to refer to them, they also had a fantastic buffet with lots of vegetarian options. Everything was delicious. It was clear that the staff took great pride in the quality of the food, evidenced by the owner/chef (an elderly foreign woman) following Tracy almost INTO the men's room to ask "Do you like ze meat? Are you pleased with ze meat?". Tracy assured her he was, then fled from her.

At some point we decided to "take a break from meat". It became exhausting having to converse with the men with swords as they hawked their wares and looked crestfallen when Tom politely declined, again. So we "turned to ze red" and feel delirious with power when the sword men immediately faded away.
Finally, too full to eat any more of "ze meat", we left and walked to the David Sedaris reading. He is side-splittingly funny and I laughed a lot, but I think we laughed almost as much about the oddball restaurant experience. I have since learned that this is SOP at a Brazilian place, and evidently they are suddenly the "in" thing. Who knew we were so cutting edge? I would highly recommend it.

Unless you are a vegetarian.

**Today's photos are clearly Halloween. In case you are wondering why Tracy's nether regions look a little, um, odd, he was "Testicles, Greek God of male sex organs".

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mother, mother ocean,

I have heard you call.

Wanted to sail upon your waters

since I was three feet tall.

You've seen it all, you've seen it all

Watched the men who rode you

switch from sail to steam .

In your belly you can hold the treasures

few have ever seen.

Most of 'em dreams, most of 'em dreams.

Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late

The cannons don't thunder,

theres nothin' to plunder

Im an over-forty victim of fate

Arriving too late, arriving too late.

Jimmy Buffet -- "A Pirate Looks at Forty"


I wasn't around for this photo on the left, but I have been fortunate enough to be around for the others in one capacity or another. And I have loved you during all of them. It's hard to believe that we have been together for half of your life, old man.
Now on to the next 40! You are armed with your boat and fishing supplies, cigars in the humidor, I Tunes and Napster, your guitar and your family. What else does a pirate need?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's better to burn out

Than it is to rust.

Neil Young "My My Hey Hey"

Well, at least Neil approves of my recent blogging lapse.

No, I did not have a post-surgical relapse. I've just, I suppose. Busy. Busy doing, instead of just writing about life for a change.

Part of my lapse has been because of productive, active scheduling. I feel sooo much better and am spending most of my time catching up on all the numerous things I have let slide in the last year. But part of my absence has truly been a blog burn out. What do you do when you feel like you have nothing to entertain folks with? Are you REALLY interested in the new paint colors in my den? Okay, Clare and Janice, I know you are, but are the rest of you? Do you truly want to see photos of India's first field trip? Will you be entranced by candids from our annual Halloween party? My Hotel Hershey Spa trip with my mother and sister (there are some funny stories there, but perhaps they should remain between us and our chocolate martinis)? How about the various meetings, school pick ups and drop offs, schleps to ballet lessons, toilet scrubbings, etcetera?
Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

I think I've just been motivated in a different direction lately because of my vastly improved health. It's cliche to say you didn't realize how sick you were 'til you felt better, but by god it's so true. I have energy again! It feels great to cook healthy meals, visit with friends and family, exercise, watch a movie without falling asleep, and generally feel in control of my life for a change.

Of course, Short People life continues unabated. Kate, when informed we would see a friend of hers who moved over the summer, exclaimed "I have not seen Chwistopher in TWENTY YEAWS!". India repeatedly asks when she will develop either a loose tooth or breasts. Kate now exclaims that she is "just bad, bad ole Katie" when she screws up. India suddenly began to read during a five minute period two weeks ago, to the surprise of everyone especially herself. Kate has named a stuffed animal after a different color each day (purplish, yellowish, orangeish, reddish). India asked me what language her friends in New York speak. Yeah, they are still the Short People.

Now that I am back in the land of the bloggers I vow to post more. And I thank those of you who checked in to make sure I hadn't succumbed to a horrible, painful death. Forgive me if the Holidays intervene in my postings, but know I will be there when I can. And finally, know that I missed you!
In the meantime, enjoy these photos from out family beach trip during the first week of October. Over the next few blogs I will catch you up with the new den colors, India's first field trip and the Halloween party. The Hotel Hershey Spa photos will be conspicuously absent. I will not bore you with any photos of household chores, I promise!