Typing “odds and ends” makes me think of something I read during the “new games” age in the 70s. Instead of choosing sides, which is hard on the ones chosen last (and do I remember that from school-days), make teams by dividing into odd and even birthdates. Then the Evens can say “the Odds are against us!”
I’m doing exercises to recover from an arthritis attack in my left knee, and I have to count them out slowly. I can’t count and daydream so it’s boring, plus I tend to rush. I got a tip from one of the swimmers at the Y: count in Spanish. It works. It slows me down and keeps me interested because I’m not that good at it. And when I get so I can count quickly and automatically, I’ll dig up my French and German.
Victoria in NYC sent a copy of page 191 of Alison Bechdel’s Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. In this strip, from 1997, one of the characters sings a phrase from “Little Boxes” to signal her reluctance to move to the suburbs, a move her partner is trying to convince her will be good for them and their kid. Funny strip, recommended book.
I’m writing this at an outdoor table at the Pine Cone Diner in Point Reyes Station (good feta-sun-dried-tomato scramble, good pie when they have it, but today it’s cobbler). I see in the local paper that they are rewriting their land use plan to anticipate the rise in sea level, which will put part of downtown Bolinas under water at high tide. Not for decades yet, but you do have to plan ahead. In other news, Mother Jones says McDonalds uses wood flour to thicken their milk shakes. I do remember reading about people in Europe eating tree bark during famines centuries ago just to make their stomachs not ache from emptiness even though there was no nourishment in the bark. On the other hand, MJ reports on an ex-football-hero starting an urban farm in Milwaukee to bring cheap fresh produce to the inner city, where typically stores don’t carry any.  And he’s making money at it.
Now, Mother Jones is certainly part of “the liberal media,” but Parade Magazine is not, IMHO. Yet they had a brief article this week on how sanctions are costly and don’t work, haven’t changed the government in Cuba, Sudan, etc. What they didn’t mention is that sanctions have forced Cuba to develop nearly petroleum-free agriculture (organic and local), and there is much we need to learn from them to prepare for the end of cheap oil. Lifting the sanctions and promoting cultural exchange would help us more than it would help Cuba. In the following issue, their article on the ten worst dictators includes the ruler of Saudi Arabia (our ally) but not Cuba (under sanctions).
I noticed a mistake in a quiz in a trivia magazine and wrote to the magazine about it. The question asked what two countries’ wild cats were the ancestors of domestic cats. The answer was “Africa and Europe.” When I pointed out that these were continents, not countries, I got this reply: IM SORRY. SARAH PALIN WROTE OUR TRIVIA.
We usually stop at Fairfax Coffee Roastery on the way to West Marin. On the way back we wanted to kill some time, so instead we went to the bookstore cafe around the corner, BookBeat, for coffee, live guitar music, and of course I found a little book I wanted to buy—Li: Dynamic Form in Nature, about mud crackle patterns and tree branchings and all. Li is the Chinese name for the study of such. Both the Roastery and BookBeat were full of bicyclists taking a break from the Saturday morning ride that attracts hundreds. And next door to BookBeat a mod toy store with an Obama action figure in the window labeled “An Action Figure You Can Believe In!”
©2009 by Nancy Schimmel
lolcats, a site known for adorable animals and idiosyncratic spellinghttp://icanhascheezburger.com/
Friday, March 20, 2009