Monthly Archives: November 2010

Feline, culinary

When it's this cold out, Loki sits on each of us and gives us claws-extended rubs wherever his paws hit

LARGE SCARY KITTY MIGHT EAT ME

Rugs are good places to hide

Sadly, Princess Robin is too big to be stealthy

Today, we both tried a completely-new-to-us fruit. Other than the one time I know I ate an unripe one off a tree in someone’s yard when I was very small, today is the first time I ever tried a persimmon.

 

Hachiya on left, Fuyu on right

It was Dan’s first time too. I decided to capture it for posterity.

Totally different colors and texture inside

While pretty inside, the Hachiya persimmon was sweet but felt very puckery in my mouth, making me feel like I had just licked cotton. Obviously it wasn’t ripe enough. The parts that were squishy and very ripe were just sweet, kind of reminding me of mangoes, and didn’t seem to have much flavor other than cloying.

Cross-section of Hachiya persimmon

The fuyu didn’t have as much ascerbic tannin in the flesh (meaning, it was probably more ripe) but the texture was quite a big different; it was significantly more firm, and the flavor was somewhat deeper and a little more complex. It was still kind of puckery.

Cross section of fuyu persimmon

Neither of us opted to eat more than a couple of bites. From now on, we’ll only eat very very ripe persimmons…or just not bother at all. Maybe I’ll try making persimmon cookies or something someday, but the fruit itself just doesn’t seem worth bothering with. What am I missing?

Today’s notable events

I got an email out of the blue from the guy in this post. Amongst spending the bulk of the email consolidating the notable events of the past fourteen years, he assured me that his musical tastes have expanded to include more than Rush. Ha! And now he only lives about 30 miles away, and was possibly in the same program at the same time as Sara at the school where she got her bachelor’s degree, so I’m wondering whether they had any classes together. Heh.

We went downtown at one point today, got some new library books, and patronized Yogurtdale Boulevard (a frozen yogurt shop with the best name ever). They’ve expanded to soup, pastries, and hot drinks in order to try to stay in business through the winter. I wish them the best of luck.

A few days ago we were in Santa Rosa buying cat food and cat litter at the feed store, and decided to get Robin a new collar. (She looks very fetching in red, as it turns out.) We’d toyed with the idea of getting a harness with a leash to see if either of our feline children might be interested in spending some heavily supervised time outside in the backyard, and decided to just go for it – if they both hated it, we’d only be out 12 bucks. Each of the kitties got a chance to star on the Kitty Show today, and while neither of them seemed to especially enjoy it, neither of them seemed to hate it, either. Maybe we’ll try again on another sunny, warm-(ish) day, and this time I’ll get some photos.

And the most exciting thing that happened today? A friend of ours in Tennessee, who has a college radio show on Monday afternoons, informed me right as the show was starting that she’d be playing a song by Simon’s band. I sent him a message as soon as she told me; unfortunately, I think he wasn’t able to tune in in time. But I’ve put them in touch with one another and she may be playing more of their music during upcoming broadcasts. Hearing their song on the radio (via the internet, of course) was pretty exciting!

To continue the nerdiness

Watching the Lord of the Rings movies becomes even more entertaining when you assume that Frodo and Sam have a master and servant relationship in a more kinky sense of the word. “I think I’ve found the bottom,” says Frodo at the beginning of The Two Towers, and you ask yourself just how many times he’s said that to Sam before. I know I couldn’t get through an entire LOTR movie playing the “Frodo and Sam look longingly at one another” drinking game without passing out or vomiting from drunkenness. Though I suppose it’s a life goal to go on the list.

The best bad guy ever

One of the first movies I remember going to see in the theater was Return of the Jedi. It came out in 1983, which means I probably saw it when I was four years old. Most of what I remember about that first time seeing the film was, of course, the ewoks – the little mobile teddy bears that lived in a primordial redwood forest and somehow managed to take down the Evil Empire despite hardly even having opposable thumbs. I know they were the 1983 version of Jar Jar Binks, and I’m sure the teenage boy contingent hated them, but to a little girl the Ewoks were the best part of Return of the Jedi. They were cute! They kicked ass! They stole speeder bikes and sang the chub yub song! And I’m glad there was something to appeal to four-year-old me in the film, because there sure were a lot of scary parts.

I don’t have much memory of what scared me about Jedi, although having seen the movie dozens of times since then, I can probably guess. Jabba and many of the creatures at his palace; the saarlac pit; Yoda dying: all would have been quite frightening to a four-year-old me. But the scariest part of all, and the only other real memory I have of that first viewing of Jedi, was Darth Vader.

Darth Vader is the best bad guy ever. He’s got a deep, frightening voice, and his breath is all HOOOOOOH HUUUUUR, and his head looks like a shiny insect carapace. That beetle helmet slowly descends onto his scarred head, with a hiss of smoke or steam, and he looms. Scary music follows him wherever he goes. He can choke people with his mind! People who aren’t even in the same room! (Though, now that I think about it, why didn’t he just force choke Obi Wan when he thought about him during the time interim between Revenge of the Sith and Jedi, while Obi Wan was still on Tattooine?) Darth Vader fights with a red laser sword and everyone is afraid of him, and did I mention the HOOOOOOOH HUUUUUR?

That’s the part I remembered the most, for several months after I first saw Jedi. I had nightmares about hearing the breathing and seeing the shiny black helmet-clad bad guy coming after me. I think Darth Vader played my own personal boogeyman until I saw the Rankin-Bass animated version of The Hobbit and then it was Gollum for years and years, or maybe it was Gollum first but he got a break for a while and Vader took his place. My memories of early childhood aren’t especially clear.

What is clear, though, is that Darth Vader holds up as a great bad guy all the way until George Lucas has to go and show us why he became the monster that he did with Episodes 1-3 (and Episode 2 goes a long way; I mean, the guy obviously had some anger management issues and wasn’t especially good with people even before he betrayed everyone he loved and murdered a bunch of children) and we get 2 movies of whiny Hayden Christensen. It’s hard to see Episode 3 and then watch Star Wars again and still feel the same twinge of fear or apprehension when he orders the hit on Alderaan, since the previous time we saw him groveling and sniveling, limbs charred and face half-gone, after his big lava planet fight with Young, Hot Obi Wan. He is, however, still good for this. (Use it wisely. I’ve found many occasions where it came in handy.)

Fungus among us

FUNGUS!

It's alive!

EXTREME CLOSEUP

This could totally be a sea anemone, but it is in fact a fungus on a tree

I was hoping a fairy would be sitting on one of these

Where is the hookah-smoking caterpillar?

More than enough

There’s too much I’m thankful for this year to write it all out, but at this very moment I’m thankful for all the good food and beverages I got to consume today, and that now I’m sitting on my couch in my PJs with two healthy cats and a healthy husband nearby.

A banner day

Monday, Dan got a phone call.

Yesterday, we took advantage of a sale at the Men’s Warehouse, and Dan got two suits with alterations and 6 pairs of socks for under $300.

Today, Dan had a job interview at a creative staffing agency. It went really, really well. The interview was in the city and so he left around 11 AM and I had the whole day to myself. I cleaned, did laundry, showered, took a walk and gathered stuff for another non-floral arrangement, processed a pie pumpkin, and made dinner. Meanwhile, Dan got to have a whole day of driving and San Francisco and coffee with Simon and BART and that whole interview thing. Neither of us has had more than two hours alone in over two months, so it was pretty awesome to have the whole house, yard, and everything to myself all day long.

In the late afternoon, it was brought to my attention that my Oldest Friend had made an unusual choice early this morning during her trip home for Thanksgiving. She went to the airport dressed in a black bikini. It made a pretty big splash; she ended up in a multitude of news media (local, national and international; my mom saw her on the local news, she made Keith Olbermann’s Countdown, and a friend from Canada said she’d been on their news up in Victoria!) this evening. I’m proud of her for doing something she felt was important, and if I were flying during this holiday season I’d probably have done something similar.

All in all, today was an excellent day. I hope everyone else had as good a day as I did today.