Wednesday, May 31, 2006

non, je ne regrette rien

I joined a mailing list at
the Karmann Ghia club.
This is how we sign ourselves
when we post on the list
(to protect everyone's
anonymity I am using myself
as an example):

Los Gatos, CA
72 vert

Took me a minute
to figure it out.

Vert stands for convertible.

I thought it meant
their car was green.

And thats pretty much
all that remains
of my French.

Edit is great, though.

Friday, May 26, 2006

they are not going in the soup

So the sliding door to the closet is broken.
Almost crushed my finger.
It hurt a lot.
Wrapped a bag of frozen peas around it.
That helped. I can type with it now.

The peas were left over from when my
sweetheart had the blackest eye ever
in November, and then again in December
after he had surgery.

Those are good peas there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

no genetically manipulated anythings

I am watching Alice Waters on TV.
She is the founder of the Chez Panisse
restaurant in Berkeley, and the
mother of the California Cuisine
and the Edible School Yard project.
She preaches:
Grow your own vegetable.
Eat everything fresh.
Never eat anything out of season.
Shop at local farmers' markets.
I try.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

meet the ham and cheese sandwich

Someone close to me
got hungry for real food.
Bread, mayonnaise,
tomato, cheese, "turkey ham".

Dr Pepper.

(Hold the Dr Pepper please.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Rhubarb cut in half inch pieces,
sugar, splash of water,
simmer, corn starch.
Eat with cold milk.
Super good, and
super cheap, if you
don't have to buy the rhubarb
at the snobby store.

it's that time of year

I was looking at my desk today.
I sighed and turned around.
My office mate also gardens.

Monday, May 22, 2006

yes that can be an expensive hobby

When my car was young
it looked like this.
It doesn't anymore.
The engine especially
doesn't look like this.
Not even $778 later it does.

That hurt.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

just think of oysters

That's saltwater there.
My mom has been
telling me for years that
flushing your sinuses with
saltwater helps
when you have a cold,
or allergies.
I've tried it
a couple of times before
but never kept it up.
But now I have,
for a week.
And it works.

You can buy a kit
at a drugstore for $9.99,
complete with little
packets of water.
Or you can make your own.
Put water in a saucepan,
add salt until it tastes
like the ocean, and let it boil.
Cool it off, and suck it up
one nostril.
Then the other.
You could use
the gadget that
comes with a kit,
but I just dunk
my nose in there.
Voila! nose fully

Saturday, May 20, 2006

scar on the face of paris

Went to see The DaVinci Code.

Paris was lovely.
Audrey Tautou was lovely.
Both British and French police officers
were scruffy, and lovely.

And then there was Tom Hanks.
I'll be honest, I can't remember
when I liked him last.

And again they made it seem
as if the American
was the only one
without an accent.

dr pepper

Coke, toothpaste,
and almond extract.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

that would be a career change

I heard an assemblywoman speak briefly today.
This particular one works for worthwhile causes.
I was inspired.
Maybe now finally I will go into politics.
In a country where I am not allowed to vote?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

syttende mai 1999

May 17, 1999, I received notice that
I had won the right to apply for a
Green Card through the
Diversity Visa Lottery.
Big day for me.

The lottery was my only way
of obtaining a green card.
The current immigration bill would
terminate the program.

Someone asked what was the
first thing I did when I had learned
I had won.

I bought perennials, and planted

syttende mai

Today, May 17, Norway celebrates
its independence, and its constitution.
It's a big day for a small country.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

upon entering my classroom at 11:50AM

Kid in the back: You look tired!
Me: I do?
Girl in front: You don't say that to a woman.
Kid: But it's the truth.
Girl: But you don't say that.
Kid: But she usually doesn't come in and LEAN on the thing!

I was leaning on the podium.
My nose hurt.
My whole face hurt.
This is prime allergy season.
Supposedly flushing your sinuses with saltwater helps.
I don't know about that.
I just think it hurts in a whole new way.

dinner (five minutes)

Soup out of a cartoon.
(Tomato and red
Frozen shrimp.
Cubed fresh
basil, garlic,
olive oil.

Monday, May 15, 2006

immigration (2)

I like Edward James Olmos. As an actor and as an activist he has worked on interesting projects. He did Stand And Deliver, a film about a high school teacher who inspires his working class Latino students beyond everybody's expectations. It's based on a true story too. And he helped produce Americanos, a photo exhibit that shows all sorts of aspects of Latino life in the United States. Any time Mr. Olmos shows up in a small role in a TV-series you know it's going to be interesting. It seems he thinks about what he is doing, and why.
Tonight on Larry King Edward James Olmos was sitting next to Jim Gilchrist, founder of The Minute Men, a nationwide neighborhood watch group that has taken it upon themselves to draw attention to the immigration issue. (And it's fair to say that they have not exactly come out in favor of people crossing the border.)
So there they were, Olmos and Gilchrist, side by side. Larry King had cowboy boots on. Eddie and the other guy wore leather jackets. They were outdoors in the cool California evening, sitting on those high director's chairs. And they were agreeing.
Larry didn't manage to get them to disagree on anything. They both thought Mexico is the root of the problem. They both thought Vicente Fox needs to work things out in his country.
President Bush made a speech tonight. I didn't hear it. No one seemed to have liked it.
Personally I am leaning more and more towards just granting everybody amnesty and have it over with. I don't understand how anyone could administer thousands of people traveling to border posts to file paperwork, wait for it to be processed, and travel back. I have spent some mornings (starting at 6AM) in line at the San Jose INS. That was chaotic enough.
I have learned that people traveling on the roofs of fright trains from Central America and all through Mexico to come here have very little to eat. They bring babies with them, and the babies cry of hunger.
All they want is
to escape poverty and make a better life for themselves in the US. When they get here a friend or relative looks after the baby when the mother goes to work at her two or three jobs. All the time they worry about deportation. The children grow up knowing never to tell the entire truth. Something needs to be fixed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


We've had several long and somewhat heated discussions about immigration lately. I think the entire issue is very hard. I have nothing but compassion for all of those who are inbetween homelands, illegally or not. At the same time it's hard to see people fleeing countries for economic reasons, without the situation in those countries being made a topic of conversation. If I were a country I'd be sad to see my people leave, and I would want to do something about that. That doesn't really seem to be happening. At the same time I am beyond tired of hearing about the American Dream. Americans seem to think foreigners naturally flock here for that reason. Some even say that every person in the world has the right to the American dream. To me that is ethnocentric.

I guess I just naively want people to have the right to make choices for themselves without being pressured by the global economy, or limited by immigration quotas. Nothing of this adds up of course. And I managed to say nothing.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I didn't do much today.
The sun was shining.
I read a book.
Washed some clothes.
Went for a calorie
burning walk.
Had some cake.
Watered the plants.
I really really like
doing nothing.

Friday, May 12, 2006

upon his return

"Do you know what I've realized sweetheart?
There are no in-between sizes for cakes."

Happy Birthday Jeanne!

This arrangement was created by
a girl who graduated years ago.
She gave it to me when she moved away.
The plants were healthier then.
She moved to DC and then to San Francisco.
As far as I know she is in New York now.
And today is her birthday!

(You thought I didn't remember.)
Hope you had a fabulous day.

all naked

This is the basement that
was underneath that house
they moved the other day.
Apparently they had a
fireplace down there.
I bet they got there using
those stairs over there.
Basement without a house.
Doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

that's a big move

They are moving an
entire house
a block and a half.
Half way it got stuck under a tree.
You'd think they would have

Monday, May 08, 2006

the grumpy hat (2)

Sometimes when it's cold at night
it's nice to sleep with a hat on.

pink dots

I saw these flowers on a low bush.
I don't know what they are,
but I think they look as if a kid
made them up.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dan doesn't smoke

He just found a cigar someone
brought over once and we
had forgot about.


Lazy hazy Sunday afternoon
in the backyard.

There is a film called
Smoke. It has Harvey
Keitel in it. It's good.
This is Mr. Keitel in The Piano,
even though the photo makes
you think more of Driving Miss
I think it's his smile.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Safeway, 10:12PM

Guy in front of us in line: icecream, bottled water.
Guy in front of him: icecream, milk.
Us: icecream, gum.

Other news:
How to spot a Scandinavian in May
(any continent):
Lobster on the front,
pale as a ghost on the backside.

Friday, May 05, 2006

peach cobbler

We had peach cobbler for dessert today.
A cobbler is a distinctly American dish.
It's a pie without a bottom, but it's different
from a Swedish smulpaj. The cobbler
topping sometimes is not really a
pie crust at all, it's more like a spicy
sponge cake, made with baking soda.
Almost any fruit or berry can be
used, or a combination, like
Cobbler is really really good,
and it should be exported.

colbert again

My favorite part:

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Dan's favorite part:

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

People's views on Stephen Colbert differ.
Some say he was simply not funny.
I think what he did was breathtaking.
Meaning I could hardly breathe the
first time I saw and heard the speech.
We've watched it three times now.
I still try to imagine what it may
have felt like hearing it with
president Bush sitting right there.

Like this:

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the movie was "A Day Without a Mexican"

May 1, 2006, was 'A Day
Without Immigrants'.
Huge protest marches
against the proposed
immigration bill, and
a boycott of businesses,
to show the impact
immigrants have on
the economy.
People also walked out
of school and work.
It doesn't look as if the
manicured lawns on my
campus suffered, though.
The grass is actually cut
in two lengths there.
Golf green short next
to the curb, and a bit
longer a few inches in
from the concrete divider.
The groundskeepers
often speak only Spanish.
Sometimes you see Latino
faculty members chatting
with them. And that is kind
of what California history
looks like.