Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guess the word - feed the hungry
For a fun, free way to help feed the hungry visit Sponsored by various corporations who actually provide the rice and through the auspices of the UN Hunger Project, is an online word game where each correct answer puts rice in the bowl of one hungry person. The game has already raised 50,000 pounds of rice.

And lest ye think the game is a no-brainer, let me tell you that some of the words are pretty tough. Ophidian? Contemn? Annulate?

Come on folks, play the game. Feed the world.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last Supper: The Musical
The art historian in me loves this.

An Italian musican believes he has discovered musical notes hidden in Leonardo's "Last Supper." How cool is that?
Making room
Oh the joys of a good clear out.
Husband and I are in the process of taking apart our seldom-used spare bedroom and turning it into a music room. (Not "music room" as in "that's where we'll put the harpsichord" but "music room" as in "we have 5000 CDs, where do we put them all?) To that end I've forced myself to become a ruthless "clearer outer" with piles of old clothing, bedding, books, housewares, and various other items we'll never use.

Thanks to the fine folks at the Salvation Army a HUGE load of items was picked up this morning, leaving me with a tremendous feeling of relief and lightness. It really is a magical sensation. Last night I went to bed overburdened with stuff and this morning I'm probably a hundred pounds lighter and much happier.

Of course along the way I had a few moments of "but how can I get rid of this overlarge sweater that I haven't worn in 5 years because nobody looks good in mustard?" I was resolute, however. Out went that beautiful picture book of English churches that I haven't opened in 10 years. Out with the comfy sweatshirts that I really don't have room for (OK, I kept one or two). Into the pile with old purses, jeans that no longer fit, kitchen gadgets that I've used once and vases that I don't recall buying. Ah.....the jettisoning of the unwanted fills me with such peace.

And a strange urge to go shopping...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

All hail the capybara!
Just because.
Monterey notebook
Fo's day-by-day review of the Monterey Jazz Festival is now online. It's so good that I don't mind the 4 days we were apart.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The joys of delayed gratification
These days it's all about "I want it now."

When a webpage takes longer than 3 seconds to load, we give up. When our digital cable takes a few seconds to change channels, we all but swear at the technology. And if the product we order isn't available to ship for longer than 24-hours, we demand an explanation. But sometimes waiting for things can be a delight.

Recently Husband was cleaning up the office and found a mysterious exposed roll of film. We had no idea what was on it. Really, it could have been anything. Christmas from 4 years ago? Our trip to Yosemite? The beach? A Giants game? A weekend in Tahoe? Who knows. The anticipation was delightfully tingly out of all proportion to the tiny plastic canister. An to make it better, it was real film Real, tangible, must-be-developed-which-prolongs-the-mystery film.

OK, so it was just some film but I found myself truly intrigued. What if it was (gasp) film from when I was married to my ex? What if it was footage of my much beloved, gone-too-soon best friend who died of AIDS in the 90s? How long would my hair be? Would Husband be included or would it be from the vast wasteland that was life pre-him? Come on, Walgreens, do your stuff.

And the winner is.... our dear friends Bridget & Dustin's wedding in Minnesota (at which I officiated) and snaps of our trip to Vancouver, B.C. How wonderful the chance to unexpectedly relive those wonderful memories. To recall how absolutely beautiful Bridget looked. To see that gorgeous mansion where they were married. To recall the tremendous honor of being asked to perform the ceremony. And Vancouver! The totem poles at Stanley Park. The architecture down at the waterfront.

There in the middle of an average week we were given the opportunity to have a delicious memory fest of some delightful times. I don't know how we managed to misplace such an important roll of film. But I have to highly recommend it. In fact, in the future I might just do it on purpose. Come back from vacation or a gathering of friends and put the roll of film in a drawer to be forgotten and found again a year or two later. Because there's nothing quite like the unexpected gift of delayed gratification.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The amazing internal cat-clock
Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You If You Don't Agree TM) has an amazing internal clock. 6 am is the wake-up call. 5:30 pm is dinner. 9:30 is play time. You can set your watch by her. In fact, my poor husband hasn't had to use an alarm clock since Cipher came to rule the house.

The whole setting the clocks back thing, however, has really upset her schedule. This morning at 5 am she was raring to go. Last when the clock hit 4 she began to do her "it's dinner time soon, I just know it" pace. And her evening crazies began at about 8:30 and didn't really let up until nearly 10. Cat knows best and the time change is just some stupid human idea designed to keep a cat away from her dinner.

Husband and I have a deal. The cat is mine from 11 pm to 6 am. After 6, she's his. So the extra early wake up is my problem. She'll adjust in a few days (the writer says hopefully), but until then it's going to be hard to keep looking at those beautiful, pleading green eyes at 4:30 and tell her that she needs to wait for dinner.