Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Blogus Interruptus

I am having trouble getting online. Consequently there may be a hiatus for an undetermined period of time. Sorry about the technical difficulties!

So I will take this opportunity to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all the very best for 2004.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

A Day in the Life: Sun and Fun, Work and Toil

Today was a close duplicate of yesterday. The weather was fantastic again: sun, warmth, blue skies. Sara, the pooch, and I ventured for a walk again. This time we headed down to the river-walk in downtown Providence. The stroll up the river to Waterplace Park (seen here in a picture taken by Sara this past summer) is so nice.

It is actually kind of sad that there is such an amazing stretch of urban landscape and such an amazing day, yet there really wasn't anyone around. We skipped the architecture book this time. We just took in the sun's glorious rays and enjoyed the vistas. The dog kept a close lookout for any ducks that swam by. We got some coffee at Brewed Awakenings (sorry the link is pretty lame, but it is actually a pretty cool coffee house) right by Waterplace Park and sipped it while sitting in the sun.

The afternoon found me sitting at my desk, listening to Italians rattle on and on about many things. When they got to something that was useful, I typed it into my computer. It is amazing how much I have to listen to before I actually type anything. I have a couple more interviews I want to go through before I sit down and start the actual sorting and outlining process. This should all get done tomorrow.

Wait, let me rephrase that.

This WILL all get done tomorrow.

There that is better.

Oh yeah, check out the new poll.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Work and Play

Or I should say play and work. Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperatures were warm (for this time of year - almost 50 degrees). The perfect day to use one of my gifts from Sara of the past days: Guide to Providence Architecture. It is a lovely book that has thematic tours (most of them walking tours) that go through the fascinating architecture of this fine city.

After lunch we put the leash on our dog and headed out for a nice stroll through the now empty campus to learn more about the buildings we walk by everyday. It was great. Lovely day, lovely buildings, lovely company. The dog had a blast to hunting down squirrels who were also making the most of the fine weather. We only did a fraction of the tour, but it was enough. We will definitely be putting this book to good use. I hope we have many nice days like today.

The escapade early in the day meant that the late afternoon had to be devoted to work. I have not gotten nearly enough done over the past couple days and new deadlines are looming. I am not sifting through mounds of data I collected in Italy to see what I can use in the two chapters I am putting together now. This evening was spent listening to interviews, which can be interesting at times, but can also be endlessly tedious (more of the latter today). I need to sit through most of them, though, transcribing parts that will be useful. There will be more of this tomorrow. Joy, joy, joy.

The weather is supposed to be nice again. There may be another venture outside in the works.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Happy Boxing Day

For the holidays I made Sara a cake from a recipe I found on Michelle's site: Gingerbread with Poached Pears [thanks, Michelle]. I knew Sara would like it because she loves ginger and she loved having poached pears when we were in Rome. I just was not sure if I could pull it off. First I had to get all the ingredients. I went a few days before Christmas to avoid the chaos. It was still crazy and I had to battle frenzied crowds to buy my share of groceries. Then on Christmas Eve, I realized I did not have a loaf pan. So back to the store I ventured to get one.

The actual baking and cooking went well and was quite enjoyable (of course it was also an effective procrastination method to keep me from my dissertation).

I think it turned out well, except for the fact that not all the pears fit on top of the bread. Close enough and now we have some extra poached pears. Sara took some pictures so you can have a look:


There was some leftover, so if you are nice to Sara she might share [by the way, you can head over to Corn Smut and sneak a peek at her mid-hiatus mini-post].

Hope you all are having a nice holiday, have eaten well, and are having fun. Happy final days of Hanukkah!!! The menorah will be bright tonight and the days are getting longer. YAY!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Feliz Nochebuena!

In Mexico, my family celebrated Christmas Eve, known as Nochebuena (or the good night, which is also the name of Poinsettias in Mexico, from where they originate) more than Christmas Day. Although my father, mother, sister, and I would exchange our gifts Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve, we would go over to my grandmother's house in the evening. She lived on the other side of Mexico City, so it was about a forty minute drive (without traffic).

My grandmother's house was rather big, with a big family room where we would spend most of the evening. All my aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there. There were always other people whom I was never quite sure who they were. The decorations included a very large tree and a big nativity scene with figures that were about ten inches tall.

As the evening progressed, all the children would eat dinner and then open their gifts. We would also go outside and set off fireworks. The adults would observe all of this, chatting, drinking, smoking, and commenting on the gifts and our reactions. After all the fun and commotion, the children would drift to bedrooms upstairs and go to sleep. Then all the adults would adjourn to the formal dining room where they would have a big and very late dinner. At some point in the wee hours of the morning, my father would come and carry me and my sister back to the car and we would drive home. I still remember sleeping on the floor below the back seat of my father's Caprice Classic. When we got home, I was always curious to see if Santa had already come, but he never had. We would stagger to our rooms and go to sleep. Early the next morning, my sister and I would be up and eagerly awaiting to head downstairs to see what that year's booty was. Our parents were still exhausted, of course, having only slept a couple of hours. After much nagging they would come down and we would discover the goodies brought by Santa and then exchange presents. Later in the day, we would go back to my grandmother's house and eat left-overs. Us children would always bring our recently received toys and compare them.

As we got older, we all wanted to be invited to dine with the adults later in the evening. Then me and a male cousin, Ricardo, being the two oldest, were told we could stay up for the later diner. It was so exciting! It turned out to be an utter disappointment. It was so incredibly boring. My relatives all would drink and argue and eat and argue and smoke and argue. Someone would get offended and storm off, then come back and argue some more. It was such an unpleasant experience that the following year I ate the earlier meal and went to bed with the other "children". I felt bad for my mother, though. She was always marginal in these conversations and I could tell that she was as bored with the whole situation as I was. She would ask my father if we could go, but he would insist on staying.

Two years after my first "adult" dinner, we went to Northern California for Christmas with my mother's parents. That was a completely different experience. One to be told at a different time.

With that I bid you a Joyful Christmas Eve, Best Wishes for a Good Christmas, and a Happy Sixth Day of Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I should be working on my dissertation, but I am tired and I cannot focus. It is probably all the starch and carbohydrates I had for dinner. Or maybe it is the wine. Whatever it is, little work is getting done.

Instead of being productive, I am posting a picture from that mystery roll of film. It is a picture of me at a lodge near Estes Park, Colorado. It isn't the best picture of me, but it will have to do.

As you can tell I am a little shy. Some may say I am shadowy figure, dark and mysterious.

But isn't Colorado lovely?
Strange Behavior

Even though I am an anthropologist, I have yet to figure out why Rhode Islanders like to park in random places and just sit in their cars by themselves. Even when it is very cold or hot outside. Sometimes it is just downright creepy...
Quick Wishes

I have just under an hour to wish you all a Happy Fourth Day of Hanukkah! And while I am at it, let me wish you a Happy Fifth Day of Hanukkah! One nice thing about having Hanukkah last beyong the solstice is that you witness how the days stop getting shorter and they start getting longer. This is because you light the menorah at sunset, and sunset will be a minute later today than it was yesterday. Yay!

[Since some of you have been asking, no I am not Jewish. Two of Sara's grandparents were and the traditions are important to her, so that is why we learn about them and celebrate them. If I were to label my religious beliefs, I would say that I am a Unitarian and thus embrace the commonalities shared by most religions. I also have constructed my own theology and spirituality, and as such am interested in the spirit behind many religious festivities. Thus to me, Hanukkah represents the freedom to Choose a religious belief and the light of hope and promise that shines through this the darkest time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere, of course). Likewise, Christmas is rebirth and hope. The solstice is a reminder of the balance that occurs in nature. These are all simplifications, but they are small examples to illustrate how I approach these days.]

Monday, December 22, 2003

Buenas Noches

La Cena:
Huachinango a la veracruzana
Camarones con salsa de chile, limón y tequila
Platanos fritos con canela
Frijoles de olla con chiles poblanos y queso
Pan Fresco

El Vino: Columbia Crest Gewürztraminer

La Música: Manu Chao – Clandestino

El Estado de Ánimo: Huevón

[Let me know if you need a translation or a recipe]
Mystery Film - Part III

It is no longer a mystery. I picked the pictures up this afternoon and there wasn't anything terribly exciting. There were some pictures Sara took of a blooming bulb she had, many pictures of our dog, and some pictures of a road trip we took for a wedding between Albuquerque and Estes Park, Colorado. Maybe I will post a few of them later on...

Sorry, Kat, no nude party. You must have been thinking of someone else (or we just have not found that particular roll of film yet).

Oh yeah, and Happy Third Day of Hanukkah and a peaceful First Day of Winter!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

More Holiday Greetings

May you be warm and safe tonight, the longest night of the year. Best wishes for the Winter Solstice!

Happy Second Day of Hanukkah!

There is something indescribably wonderful about bagels and lox with a good cup of coffee for brunch while reading the voluminous Sunday newspaper with your sweetheart in your snug warm apartment with a dog at your side as winter arrives outside...

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Need a healthy recipe for the Holidays? Why not try this?

Xoloitzquintle's Mediterranean Salad

2 Parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Part Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Honey per 1/2 cup of dressing
1 Tbsp. of Mayonaise
1 tsp Pepper per 1/2 cup of dressing
Pinch of salt

Blend all the ingredients in a blender or with a mixer to emulsify (I use a hand-held blender that works very well). You can store the dressing in the fridge for several days.

Baby Spinach
Arrugola (aka. Rucola, Rockets)
Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Red Peppers
Feta Cheese (I use cow feta because it is milder)

Toss all the ingredients and serve. Add dressing to tast to individual salads.

I like the combination of the smooth acidity of the balsamic vinigar, the sweetness of the honey, and the saltiness of the pistacchios and cheese. You can also add some Granny Smith Apples, figs, dates, and/or olives to the salad.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Why Can't Spam take a holiday?
Shelo yichbe neiro l'olam v'ed

Happy First Day of Hanukkah to All! [It starts at sundown today]

Blessings to be read at the lighting of the menorah:

First Blessing
Baruch ata Adonai elohanu melech ha olam, asher kiddishanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah. [Blessed are you our God, Ruler of the world, who makes us holy through your mitzvoth, and commands us to kindle the Hanukkah lights].

Second Blessing:
Baruch ata Adonai elohanu melech ha olam, she asa nisim l'avoteinu, bayamim ha-hem, bazman ha zeh. [Blessed are you our God, Ruler of the world, who worked miracles for our ancestors in days long ago at this season].

Third Blessing:
Baruch ata Adonai, elohanu melech ha olam, sheheheyanu, v'kiyimanu, v'higiyanu, lazman ha zeh. [Blessed are you our God, Ruler of the world, who has given us life, sustained us, and has brought us to this season].

Mystery Film - Part II

I went to pick up the pictures from that roll of film. As usually happens to me, they were not ready.

Try back on Monday, they said. Good thing I am laid back. I said, ok, thanks.

The mystery continues.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Blog Templates

Have you ever found yourself reading a blog and thinking it was someone else's blog because they have the same template?

That happened to me this morning. I was thinking, man did this person change overnight? Then I realized it wasn't who I thought it was.

Ok, so I am out of it. I need more coffee.
Mystery Film

The other day my wife brought walked into my office with a roll of film. Neither of us knows what its from. I am not sure where she found it. It does seem like we have used it because the little bit of film that sticks out on a new roll isn't sticking out [those of you who are photographically inclined are probably cringing right now at my terminology].

It's been sitting on my desk for the past couple of days. Every now and then I will stare at it and wonder what images are captured on it.

I will take it to get developed today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Of Mud and Dogs

Today our dog got to frolic in the mud.

By the end he was filthy. He was able to use some of his pent-up energy. He also got a nice warm bath went we got home. Now he gets to roam naked and damp.

I am actually kind of envious.

I could use a frolic in the mud. Followed by a long warm bath. And maybe some hot chocolate. I like to put my pjs on afterward, though.



I always wondered about this:

rowlf jpeg
You are Rowlf.
You are a loner, and love classical music, You can
play the piano without opposable thumbs. Then
again, you are just a Muppet.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Ol' Brown Ears
HOBBIES: Piano playing, punning, fetching.
QUOTE: "My bark is worse than my bite, and my piano playing beats 'em both."
FAVORITE MOVIE: "The Dogfather"
FAVORITE SONG: "I've Never Harmed An Onion, So Why Should They Make Me Cry?"

What Muppet are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

[Via Lux]

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


These short days and early, dark evenings are sapping the life out of me. I have no energy, no enthusiasm.

I can't afford this lethargy. There is so much to do.
Does my ass look fat?

I am getting a little too pudgy, round around the edges, puffy in the middle, swollen, bloated, chunky, heavy, flabby, lardy, stout, wide...

...you get the picture.

I should eat less, but I love food.

I should exercise more, but it is too cold outside.


Kristin was a little confused about my dessert pizza. So here is the recipe for clarification.

Xoloitzquintle’s Dessert Pizza

1 ¾ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp. Sugar
½ tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Flax Meal
¾ Active Dry Yeast
¼ Cup Granola
¾ Cup Water (at room temperature)

2 Tbsp. Butter (Optional)
½ Cup Fresh Cranberries
¼ Cup Slivered Almonds
¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts
½ Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Mix the dry dough ingredients until well blended. Add water slowly to form a consistent dough. Knead. Let rise covered with a damp towel for 20 minutes. Knead thoroughly for five minutes. Let rise covered for 20 minutes. If you have a bread-maker, you can use it to make the dough for you (this is what I do).

Preheat over. If using a pan – 350 degrees F. If using a stone 325 and be sure the stone sits in the hot oven for at least twenty minutes.

Using flour to avoid stickiness, work dough into a thin flat layer with your hands or a rolling pin. Form the shape of your baking pan or stone and place it on it.

Optional step – once shaped and flattened, rub top of pizza with soft butter.

Spread cranberries, almonds, and walnuts over the top. Drizzle generously with honey.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until slightly crisp.

Mix confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Remove from oven and sift confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon mix over the pizza.

Serve warm.

I particularly like the mix of the sweetness confectioner’s sugar and honey with the tartness of the cranberries. You can use other fruit as well. If the fruit you are using is dry and small, you can add it to the dough or add it after you have baked the pizza (otherwise it will burn during baking). You can also mix other spices with the confectioner’s sugar, such as nutmeg, cloves, cardamom or powdered ginger.

It’s a pizza, be creative! And if you come up with some interesting combinations, be sure to let me know.

Monday, December 15, 2003

My Sweet Wife

Seeing that I was sad and mopey, my wife asked me to play Trivial Pursuit. She knows I like that game and I know she doesn't really enjoy it. So it meant a lot to me that she was willing to play to try to cheer me up. She is so sweet and I am so lucky to be married to her.
Holiday Smiles

Do the holidays, the gray dismal days, or other things have you down and glum?

Go over to Fishbucket and read December 14 offering of "A xmas tale".

It definitely gets you into the holiday spirit! Thanks Anne.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sunday Evening

It snowed.

Now it's raining. It's a mess outside. It is a good thing we don't have to go anywhere.

I am sad. I am a mess inside. It's a good thing we don't have to go anywhere.

Somedays are good. Somedays are bad. I guess today was more of the second than the first.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

I hope.


[via Kristin]

The people who live below us have their kitchen below my office. They have an obsession of cooking with onions and the odor wafts up into my office until it is intollerable. What's worse is that I am allergic to them and the smell makes me ill.


Failed Attempt

My recipe didn't work yesterday.


I might have to try it again sometime.

Tonight I made a dessert pizza instead.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Another random thought

Tomorrow is our department holiday party. I am making a dessert from Mexico. It is the first time I try it. It is called Puercoespina (Porcupine). It is a little like Tiramisu', which I have made for previous parties, except it is in the shape of the animal with toasted almonds on the top that resemble the spines. If it works, it should be pretty cool and very tasty.

Maybe if you are nice to me, I will even post the recipe. :P

Me sacaron punta

Got a haircut yesterday. I like it. It's hard to get a good haircut.

The barbers I go to are a father and son team. The father is from Sicily. The son usually cuts my hair, but yesterday I got the father. I was unsure whether to speak to him in English or Italian. My Sicilian is a bit rusty, so that was out of the question. I ended speaking to him in an unintelligible mix, but somehow he understood it.

[The title is the colliquial way of saying I got a haircut in Mexico. Literally is I got my head sharpened (like in a pencil sharpener). That was your cultural reference lesson for the day].


I woke up much too early this morning.

Sara had to catch a 7:00 train to Boston and I was her ride to the station.

Once I am up and about, I have a hard time getting back to sleep. The problem is that if I am up too early, my mind is pretty much useless for the rest of the day (not that it is that much better when I get sleep until a reasonable hour).

The nice thing about waking up early is seeing the sun come up and fill my office with amazing colors. There is something comforting and warm about that. Not worth getting up for, mind you, but if I am already up, I like it. So I am happy that today is a sunny day; unlike yesterday that was dark and rainy. And don't get me started on the slushy mess it left behind...

It is difficult constructing a linear narrative when your thoughts are jumbled and random. So I will stop writing.

[YAWN] *Sigh*

Thursday, December 11, 2003

More politics:

I took this quiz [link via Enigma] to see which candidate matches my political positions. Here are the results:

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (84%)
3. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (83%)
4. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (80%)
5. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (74%)
6. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (64%)
7. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (63%)
8. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (61%)
9. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (48%)
10. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (44%)
11. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (41%)
12. Libertarian Candidate (31%)
13. Bush, President George W. - Republican (8%)
14. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (2%)

I would have probably put Clark and Kerry before Dean, and Kucinich lower. Of course, this only measures certain issues and does not take into consideration other non-issue factors such as charisma, leadership, image, etc.

Even before this quiz, I thought a Dean/Clark or Clark/Dean ticket would be very strong and one I would strongly support.

Bil at A Cry for Help will be very pleased with these results. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A little politics for a change

So Howard Dean got Gore's endorsement. I don't think it means much. I guess it does not bode well for Lieberman's campaign though. It actually sucks for him. Although any sympathy he may have garnered from me was soon lost when he started whining about it.

I am still undecided about who I would support for the Democratic spot would I to vote today. But byt the time I'll get to vote, I don't think I will have much of a choice. At this point, barring any catastrophic event, I would venture to say that Dean has the nomination in the bag.

I don't buy this crap that Dean can't win a national election. I remember a year ago when I first learned about Dean running. No one thought he had much of a chance. The manner in which he galvanized support I think indicates that he has the potential to win anything. The question remains as to whether the American public will wake up to the fact that a few individuals (I don't even want to say Republicans, but rather Bush, Rove, and the other chumps that are part of that oligarchy of power) are screwing the country (and other countries) for the own benefit.

I won't be holding my breath.
Somewhere between the banal and the intellectual: Postmodernism

theory slut
You are a Theory Slut. The true elite of the
postmodernists, you collect avant-garde
Indonesian hiphop compilations and eat journal
articles for breakfast. You positively live
for theory. It really doesn't matter what
kind, as long as the words are big and the
paragraph breaks few and far between.

What kind of postmodernist are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Dissertation? What Dissertation?

Oh yeah, I am supposed to be writing one of those, aren't I? Between the snow shoveling, dog walking, grocery restocking, errand running, house cleaning, and other stuff, I almost forgot about that.

Never mind that we are starting with the holiday party lineup. Gosh, wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were going to all the welcome back and good start to the school year events?

Got the dog to the field where he could run today. There was almost two feet of pristine snow on it. Watching him bounce through it is very entertaining. He looks like a gazelle bounding across the savanna. I also threw the ball for him. The ball is a surrogate small creature. He chases it down and pounces on it. Except for today. The ball went up and ploop into the snow, leaving a hollow in its wake. The dog runs to the hole and sticks his nose in it, searching for the critter-er-ball. After some head poking and mad-digging he bounces into the air with the ball and runs back. Repeat as necessary. The only problem - the more he chases the ball, the wetter it becomes and the more snow and ice sticks to it. Soon the ball is too cold for him to hold. That's a dilemma that is hard for a dog to resolve. Come to think of it, I am not sure how to fix it either.

Maybe it is time for bed. Maybe I will get to the dissertation tomorrow. Hmmm...maybe.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Sunny and Warm

Sara Says "Let's Go There"


Puerto Rico!

And the view from our hotel room:

Hard to believe that only a few weeks ago we were there getting a tan!

[Sara gets the photo credits]
Snowy Mess!!!

The view from my office window:

It's hard to imagine that a few months ago I was complaining about the heat and humidity.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Winter Activities

What do you do after 18 inches (about 45 cm) of snow falls? You shovel and shovel and shovel.

There was so much snow to move. We need to go somewhere early tomorrow, so I needed to make sure we could get the car out. It was buried deep. Not only was it all the snow, but the wind blew some drifts that were about three feet (one meter) high around the car. Right off the street, the plows left an equally high pile of snow at the bottom of the driveway. That snow is the worst, because having been plowed, it is thick and dense.

At first I did not mind the shoveling. After being stuck inside for almost three days, it was nice being outside. It was cold and windy. And for most of the time, the snow was still falling. Not as heavy as yesterday, though.

Another nice thing about snow, it brings people out. People were all digging themselves out and there is something about snow that makes people more gregarious. Individuals that usually rush past one another, barely acknowledging each others' existence on most days, stop and chat after a snow storm. Today I met several of our neighbors who at best I wave hello to during my busy schedule. One of them even put together an impromptu cookout in his driveway. It was rather odd standing around in the cold, with snow still falling, drinking, eating, and exchanging conversation with people I only had seen in passing.

Our dog also loves the snow. He seems happier when we take a walk through the snow (as if being happier during a walk is even possible for him). He was also suffering from cabin fever and it isn't really possible to indulge him with his requisite runs during these storms. The back up is a walk through the snow covered streets. Since there was little traffic and most people had not shoveled their sidewalks, we actually walk on the streets. The way I tire our dog is to send him running up the snow embankments on the side of the street. When he gets to the top, he sinks and then has to leap out of the piled snow. Repeating this activity as we walk down the street provides him with a good work out and me with comic entertainment. It is hilarious seeing him leap in and out of the snow. Fortunately, he is tired now.

But so am I. And I am very sore. I am out of shape and today's activities are a reminder.

A long hot bath is in store this evening. I only wish our tub were a little longer. It is hard curling my tall body into such a small place. It will be nice and relaxing nonetheless.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Shakin' Saturday Evening Fun

Snowed in? Bored? Or just need to deal with some frustration?

Give the Online SnoGlobe a shake!

[link via Anne]
As if I did not know this already...

California is where you should live. Unless of
course you lied on the quiz which would be
stupid. It's crowded as balls there but the
weather is perfect, except for the occasional
earth quake.

What State Is Perfect For You?
brought to you by Quizilla

This result is especially taunting as the wind is howling outside and the snow continues to fall.
I say potato, you say potato

Annamatic had this on her site. Being the curious anthropologist that I am, it would be interesting to see the different answers people have based on their ages and where they live. So if you care to indulge me, answer the following questions (either in my comments or on your site and mentioning in my comments that you did so):

Your Age?
Where did you grow up?

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks?
2. The thing you push around the grocery store?
3. A metal container to carry a meal in?
4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?
5. The piece of furniture that seats three people?
6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?
7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?
8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?
9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?
10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?
11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?
12. Shoes worn for sports?
13. Putting a room in order?
14. A flying insect that glows in the dark?
15. The little insect that curls up into a ball?
16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down?
17. How do you eat your pizza?
18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
19. What's the evening meal?
20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
21. A window covering on rollers that pulls down?
22. A new, limited access, multi-lane road?
23. Heavy garments worn for work?
24. The highest grade of gasoline?
25. A stretchy narrow loop used to hold things (such as papers) together?

Thank you.

Friday, December 05, 2003

New material from the UK

From people with too much time on their hands:

Sad Apes - find out why. [linked in Sara's honor - it would have been Corn Smut material - which is on hiatus, if you haven't heard yet].

Strange Hedgehogs.
Lethargy and Snow

I know I have promised to write about the word above my blog. But I don't have the enthusiasm that it deserves so I will put it off yet again.

Today was one of those days that held so much promise for productivity and it has turned out to be an utter disappointment. And tonight is one of those evenings you feel like going somewhere and doing something. Anywhere and anything. Just out. Change of scenery. But I can't. It's snowing and the streets are treacherous.

The snow is actually coming down pretty quickly. This storm actually panned out. Not like the usual drill. Big fuss and no snow.

I like the snow.

It's so peaceful.

I took the dog out [he needed to do his business - but I will respect his privacy and not reveal any other details] and gazed in awe at the scene. The silence is amazing when it snows. Briefly interrupted by the occasional passing car that slips and slides through the neighborhood. It was too cold to stay out for too long (and I was in my PJs).

I did not see snow until I was five. It never snows in Mexico City. It did once, actually. In 1968. That occasion is legendary. Everyone that was there remembers it.

The first time I saw snow was during a summer trip to Oregon. We drove up Mt. Hood where there was still some snow left. I was in heaven. I loved it. Ever since I have been fascinated by snow, and even more by falling snow.

In Mexico percipitation is always dramatic. Pouring rain, lightning, thunder, gusts, and so forth. Snow is the opposite. It's gentle, quiet. I like that. Although I like dramatic storms as well. Both fascinate me for different reasons. What I don't like is drizzle, especially weeks on end.

Ah, the wind is howling through my window. It is nice being warm and listening to the wind. Comforting.

Side note: the howling wind is a nice added effect to the song "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes that is currently playing from my computer. Maybe you don't care, but I just thought I would share.

I still would like to go somewhere. Oh well.

A long walk through the fresh snow is in store for tomorrow. Followed by a nice cup of hot cocoa made with chocolate from Oaxaca. Mmmm.

Had some tonight. It was very good.

Time to bring these random thoughts borne out of lethargy to an end.

Good night and may you all be cozy and warm.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Coming Soon

Due to popular demand, I will soon address the issue of what Xoloitzquintle means, how you pronounce it, and why I chose it.

Right now I need to recover from a late night and a hectic day. The paper proposal is in the mail, though. Yay. [Yawn]

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Vacuous Mind

It seems like I am plagued by writer's block.

I have not written much here.
I have done nothing on my dissertation.
I need to submit a paper proposal for a conference at Harvard. Not much progress there either.

No enthusiasm. No motivation. No ganas [Spanish reference from Mexico that sums up the previous two statements].

No Entiendo

You are Manuel (played by Andrew Sachs)! You may be from Barcelona in Spain, and you may not speak English very well. Or maybe you just don't know what's going on. In any case, you
You are Manuel (played by Andrew Sachs)! You may be
from Barcelona in Spain, and you may not speak
English very well. Or maybe you just don't know
what's going on. In any case, you try your
best, and even though you seem to make a
mistake here and there, it's alright. We still
love you.

Which Fawlty Towers Character Are You???
brought to you by Quizilla

[via Kristin]

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

New Poll

Check it out in the sidebar and vote!
Winter is Officially Here

The first few snow flakes fell today. It was actually kind of pretty.

Of course, the blustery wind and cold isn't so nice (wind chill of about 10 degrees F).

Monday, December 01, 2003

Procrastination Method # 3333

Doodle your worries away with Mr. PicassoHead.

[Stolen from Anne]
Thanksgiving revisited

My wife and I decided to go out for Thanksgiving. We went out last year and had a good meal without the usual fuss. This year, we both had much work to do and the thought of cooking and cleaning for a big meal seemed too much of a distraction. We decided to go out to the same place we went to last year. By the time I called to make a reservation, the only spot they had was at 11:30 am. So we were going to have an early meal.

Before we started, we also made a point not to eat too much. We already had eaten too much during our trip to Chicago. We had a wonderful meal and ate about half of what was on our plate, taking the rest home for later.

Back home, when we reheated our leftovers for subsequent meals, our apartment filled with the lovely aromas of a Thanksgiving meal. We were both overcome with nostalgia and we wished we had actually cooked a meal so we could partake in the consumption of left-overs during the following week.

So yesterday I endeavored to cook up a Thanksgiving meal a few days late. My wife had turkey on Thursday, but she is trying to avoid eating meat. She did not want turkey again, so I only bought a turkey breast for myself, roasting squash with maple ginger butter for her instead. The rest of the menu looked like this.

- Apple ginger cinnamon sauce for the turkey/squash
- Three potatoes mashed potatoes (Yukon, red, and sweet potatoes)
- Herb stuffing
- Almond garlic green beans
- Home-baked light rye bread
- Home-made cranberry sauce (my wife makes the best cranberry sauce in the world).

We also had an excellent wine: McManis Merlot (2002). I highly recommend it.

Everything turned out well. We were also good about not eating too much, so now there are left-overs for this whole week. Yay!

Of course, I still need to clean up. There are still some pots and pans in the kitchen sink waiting to be washed. I guess that's the price to pay.