Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apple Seeds

Ronnie's been eating a lot of apples. I'm not sure whether he knows they're organic or not, but that doesn't really matter. Yesterday I was on a conference call and pacing around the room. At some point, I figured I should make myself useful so I began sweeping up the living room. I was annoyed because I saw appleseeds on the floor. I mean, really, how hard is it to either pick them up or not let them fall everywhere in the first place. So I sweep it all into a pile, put down the broom and keep walking around the room. A minute or two later I glance over at the pile I swept up (but did not yet pick up because that's Ronnie's job) and I see that the apple seeds are moving. Yes, they've got legs. I look more closely and see that they are ladybugs. I fess up to the people I'm on the phone with at which point one of them tells me that what I thought was first and apple seed and then just a brown ladybug is actually a Japanese beetle.

So disappointing. I mean, how interesting would it be to have walking apple seeds?!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Katrina Pie and Other Things Heard...

The Definition of a Katrina Pie - a pie in which the filling overflows and/or breaks through the crust/levee.

On two neices having matching underwear: "It's like having friendship bracelets, only less public."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I know why the beached whale groans...

It's because it ate too much pie. Or sweet potatoes. Or stuffing. Or green beans. Or cranberries. Or stew. Or some combination of it all. We learned tonight that some whales beach themselves for a reason. It should not always be for Green Peace to decide that they need to be sent back. Give them a few days to digest, and then they'll be ready and go on their own.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dissertating and other such words

I know someone working on their PhD. She insists that the process of writing her PhD is "dissertating". You can't just make up words like that. You write a dissertation. You don't dissertate!

This is the same person who uses the word "cohere". I will admit that it is a word, but I will not agree to use it.

This weekend, I heard a word show on NPR that discussed collective nouns. I learned that one would say:
  • a smack of jellyfish
  • a charm of finches
  • an exhaltation of larks, and
  • a blabber of radio hosts (not true).
What I don't know, is why you can't just say, "there's a smack in the ocean". Why do you have to say, "there's a smack of jellyfish in the ocean"? If 'smack' implies a group of jellyfish, isn't "a smack of jellyfish" redundant? This question was not answered.

I also learned that James Lipton, of Inside the Actor's Studio fame, wrote a book titled, "An Exhaltation of Larks" about collective nouns.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gurgling Heat and other Random Things

Well, our heat is finally on. And of course it was in the 50s yesterday and we didn't really need it. And when it kicks in, the baseboard radiators gurgle. Like a really, really upset stomach. Or someone trying to plunge a toilet. Or a big pot of boiling water, which I guess the radiator actually is.... My contribution to the effort was "wholly irreverant".

Trader Joe's fresh pizza dough made with mushrooms and carmelized onions - excellent pizza.

Note to self - on a heat scale of 1-10, don't order a 7 for your paad thai unless you know how hot a 5 might already be or you have a few pitchers of water nearby.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Preaching to the Choir

So I just spoke on a panel at a session attended by 50 or so people already invested in the general "travel to Israel for 10-days" work. We had to sign podcast releases which I was against. Just on principle.

And because of the podcasting, we had to wear lavalier microphones. Here's the problem with them - you can't make snide comments to the person next to you when someone else is talking because everyone else in the room, not to mention anyone who will download the session, will hear you. In my case, the person next to me is not a fan of mine and so any comments I may have wanted to make probably would have been about her anyway.

My understanding, to anyone who is interested, is that there is still chili waiting to be eaten at home....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Too Much Chili

I started soaking beans on Wednesday. I mentioned this to a friend and they asked why I was soaking beans rather than buying them already ready at the store. Because beans are cheap and cans are heavy. And soaking them really isn't such a big deal. Plus, I figured I'd throw the ones I didn't use for chili, whenever I got around to making it, into the freezer for the next time.

Here's what I learned in the soaking and cooking process - when you include four different types of beans, and one type is a navy bean (which is actually white and not blue), and one type is a black bean (which, true it's name is actually black), the white navy beans turn gray. I suppose it won't actually taste gray, but it doesn't look as nice.

I didn't get around to making chili until tonight. And just by rote, I was opening cans of diced tomatoes and dumped them in and realized I had just overwhelmed my chili with too many tomatoes. So in went more beans, more water, more spices and more tvp. In the interest of full disclosure, the spices and tvp come together in a package conveniently put out by Fantastic Foods who also tell you how much water, beans and tomatoes to add.

And now, rather than having just a goodly amount of chili, we have a really huge pot of chili. Here's hoping it freezes well....

Goin' to Opryland

I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow, and specifically, Opryland. I'm not sure why UJC decided to have their General Assembly there, but it will at least be a more interesting location than the last few. You don't usually get to see much outside the hotel so it doesn't usually matter what city the GA is in. But at least the hotel and environs should be give us a little more local flavor. Plus, who knows, maybe Dolly Parton will stop by.

And after Nashville, there's no traveling for at least 8 days. It's like my sabbatical week (and a day).

Friday, November 02, 2007

Here and There Commuting

My regular commute is a 5 minute walk to Einstein's to sit for a while, drink a few cups of coffee and read the paper. If there's time, I can even finish the sudoku. There's a regular crowd that is there every morning and my walk back is only slightly longer because I have to be more careful carrying my coffee refill.

I'm in DC now, and the train from Silver Spring to the office this morning took 50 minutes. It usually takes 17. And it was crowded, which means it's too hard to do the sudoku with people bumping into you all the time. And there was no coffee. I don't know how people do this everyday.