Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cape Cod

I took precious few pictures on this recent trip. See if you can pick the new ones, dear reader.

1) This dog leads a good life. If you don't like your Cape Cod Bagel breakfast sandwich fragment, just spit it out in the back of the Lexus and hold out for better. Show some standards. Walk away from peasants holding cameras.

2) Try to blend in with friends. Stay in the background. This is hard for me.

3) Dining at the Landfall, me wearing industrial dominatrix jewelry for no reason.
(EDIT: One more try! Can you see it?)

4) Some church

St peter's basilica at Vatican city

5) Salad Nicoise on the deck in Falmouth. I ate this in its entirety, after consuming vast quantities of muffins throughout the day. In fact, you could have called it The Muffin Visit.

6) Sippewissett atmosphere or Italian villa. You make the choice.

7) Some other church

8) They're still building new condos at the Cape.

peanut butter muffins with chocolate chips

9) Number Ten Downing Street or security guard at Hannaford's? This is how I learn to deal with students.

Bette_davis_2 10) I have to be so careful sunbathing at the Cape. It's a good way to dry your nails, though.

11) Be darn sure you know the way to the beach.

12) Employees of the Month at Stop 'n Shop Hyannis.

13) Woods Hole senior citizen.


I'm sorry, dear reader, but the muffins are threatening to overtake the blog today, the same way they overtook the vacation. It was delicious fun.

Next? Two weeks of cleaning, perhaps doing my syllabus (GROAN) and preparing for Wild House Party. Later.

A bientot



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chicago, Champaign, and Madison

This is what you see out the window in Illinois.

Corn, baby! Lots of it!

As high as an elephant's eye, I'm pretty sure.

But at Milennium Park in Chicago, you turn around and see this.

This guy spits at another guy. You have to be there. It's also great when you get sprayed if it's 95 degrees, which it was.

Then you drive a ways and get to your U of I alma mater and pose late at night. U of I is way cool, dear reader.

Here I am in an earlier shot in front of the student union. I love it there.

It's stately and majestic. We were ready to test it against the University of Wisconsin. Badger Fever!

U of W is cool because it's the state capital.

You can take a tour and find out it was the thirtieth state, named for President James Madison, who had recently died.
"Forward!" is the motto.

Look in and see the idealistic citizen taking the tour in air conditioned comfort.

They don't have a grand quad as U of I does, but they do have a way cool Terrace, which looks like a resort. Students sit there and look out at Lake Mendota.

Here are two of my acquaintances enjoying the day on the U of W campus. We managed to pound down two pitchers of beer.

I don't even like beer.

But it was cooleo way fun to do. I sacrifice when I have to.

You can visit the Frank Lloyd Wright estate near Madison, which is called Taliesin. If you have read LOVING FRANK, you are waiting for them to tell you in which room was the grisly murder, but they don't.
It's still very interesting, including this piece of a roof which is fighting with the tree for survival.

When you are in Wisconsin, you must eat cheese curds. They are very delicious and they squeak when you eat them. This purchase did not make it back to Illinois.

More later, dear reader.
I am in the middle of Humongous Huge Vacation Travels.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trivial Pursuit Reunion

Time since last match: 15 years, we think.

Some brain cells? Diminished.

Others: sharp as ever.

Items forgotten in the fridge by Becky and never served:
homemade mango salsa

We play men against women. It's vicious.

Wanna know how vicious?

Years ago, the question asked the identity of a famous New York Giants quarterback. We couldn't remember if it was Y. A. Tittle or Tuttle.


Okay? Get it?

Does that set the tone?

Hardy har. They love thinking about that. Just look at them. God, we showed 'em, didn't we?

Sometimes the subject veers off a bit.


Last night the women were asked a series of questions about Supreme Court Justices.

Yeesh. What are we, freakin' lawyers? We got off to a slow start. Shown here a very bad photo of our icon--some old defeated hippie skank playing a guitar. You can't get the wedges into these new icons so we also used an old one and hauled it around next to the new one. It was like having a whole bunch of bratty missionary kids trailing after you. Trust me, you had to be there.

Things finally picked up for us.

There was some inter-gender fraternizing at times.

One question was: "What does DSL mean?" The girls tried to suggest that it was the monogram of Yves St. Laurent's (YSL) little known younger and more tech-savvy brother, Doug (sometimes called Dan'l by law enforcement--he brought the Internet to outlying areas).
Well, shit.
They didn't buy that either.
One of our questions was about which Supreme Court justice performed Rush Limbaugh's goddamn marriage ceremony. I encouraged my team to answer Sandra Day O'Connor and so we got it wrong (Clarence Thomas).
I ate too much and couldn't get to sleep till after 4am.
It was wicked fun.

Tomorrow I am off to the midwest.
Never have I Lived the Dream so fully, dear reader.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Spain Gold, World Cup, July 11

And now for some World Cup analysis.



I think....


The truth is I watched half an hour of the whole thing.

That half an hour did happen to be the final game between Netherlands and Spain (victorious Spaniards shown above). As usual, the action went something like:

A few people kick the ball and EVERYONE RUNS THRILLINGLY DOWN THE FIELD.

Then the goalie comes out and stops the ball, kicks it, and EVERYONE RUNS THRILLINGLY IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.

Repeat for one hour while the game remains scoreless.

I thought I was watching the Lakers give acting performances half the time.


WHAT A TERRIBLE CALL! I think I read that something like eleven "yellow cards" were given and those are for unsportsmanlike conduct or not following the rules or things like that. They're not given if you have bad breath. You have to inadvertently kick your feet in the air and pound someone full-force in the chest. Then you would get one.

The game was decided on an after-match free kick. That doesn't seem right. The commentary was frequently dulled by the horrible penetrating sound of the vuvuzelas.

vuvuzelas the annoying horns at the world cup Vuvuzelas: The Official (and Annoying) Voice of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Instead of hearing crowd noise, you heard this tremendous reverberating, well, what would you call it, a dial tone?--you have reached 1800ATRILLIONMOSQUITOES --that threatened to drown out the deadpan unexcited announcers.

"Yes, you can see the enthusiasm."

"Oh yes."

"Zimfkdjetk inbounds the ball and almost gets a goal on that one."

"You can see the enthusiasm."

Yeesh, you'd think you were at a golf match, although at least the golf announcers get somewhat worked up.

Why don't Americans care about the World Cup? It doesn't make sense. We love sports. We are totally into it. Our kids play it from an early age. People are always saying that soccer interest is going up and up. Is it? I'm not aware of it.


1) We're not that good at it.

2) We didn't start it.

3) We can't keep track of all those countries and are too lazy to look up spelling of vuvuzela.

4) We have too many sports as it is. It's too much to follow.

5) The history isn't there. The rivalries aren't there. So it seems boring.

6) I can't think of another one.

I am off on further travels, dear reader, but I will keep you posted on the Great Yogurt Dilemma. Meanwhile, we should all rejoice that some things are the same the world over.

A bientot



Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I can see the strategy the company uses. First of all, they remain calm. Everyone is calm. No one goes, "OHMYGOD, that was in your MOUTH? YOU ALMOST SWALLOWED IT?"

Words never used in phone conversation:

1) "lawsuit"
2) "sue"
3) "punitive damages"
4) "lawyer"
5) "pain and suffering"

The customer rep was very pleasant and professional. You would have thought we were discussing menu ideas. She did ask me if I was okay.

"You're okay, aren't you?"

I had to say yes.

She asked me if I still had the container. I said yes to that too. I am a genius and don't forget it.

Then she asked me if I still had the top.

The tinfoil top?


Uh, no. I don't have that.

GOTCHA. She didn't say that.

The upshot is I have to mail the gizmo, the little doohickie thing itself, back to them. My son says it looks like a nozzle.
The woman said they have many many metal detectors on the assembly line, so they want to know how this thing got through.


I did say well, good thing I didn't give a spoonful to my nine-month-old granddaughter.

I think there might have been a pause.

Years ago, before the colonoscopy became a regular fun part of medical check-ups, they used to give you this little kit to take home. It was for you to mail a stool sample to the lab.
I am not kidding. They gave you a little wooden popsicle stick for it. For the , uh, sample, or I guess to handle the sample. I never was able to bring myself to do it. [anybody still want to go into the postal service?]

Anyway, they are sending me a kit for this, too. It's reminding me of the other kit, though there won't be a popsicle stick in it.

Nothing is going to happen from this, I can just tell. Even though I deserve the General Foods Good Citizen Award at the very least.
A bientot