06 April 2006

Casa humedo

I finally returned to my tiny house after 5 days of dogsitting in suburbia. Mr Stapler and I live about 30 miles apart - just far enough to be an annoyingly long drive - but it might as well be a different world.

Where he lives, there is a Whole Foods Market that sells $30 a pound cheese at the deli counter. Where I live, La Central Market has a jar of orejillas (pig ear strips) on the deli counter.

I went into La Central tonight to get some milk. When you walk in the door, the smell of Mexico hits you. If you have been to Mexico, you know what I mean. It is part good, like ripe oranges and cinnamon and chocolate, and part vile, like meat that is a little too old, and part just WOW! like that super strong Ariel laundry soap that grabs your nose and twists it sideways.

I was only gabacha in there (the English word for gabacha is gringo LOL). It was about 8:30 and the place was packed with people who were getting ready for dinner. Everyone was buying some pan dulces (sweet breads) and there were tons of kids screaming around and it was a total zoo. I felt right at home for some crazy reason.

I love Mexico and Mexicans and Mexican culture (mostly - the corruption and the cockfighting I can do without). If you want to read about how I studied Spanish in Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, I still have a blog up about it. It is in chronological order, so it takes about 10 posts to get out of the airport, off the plane, and into Oaxaca proper, so if you want to read it, keep scrolling and skipping. I tend to whine a lot, but you already knew that.

My house was still intact despite what felt like being gone forever. Well, it was almost intact. A nice big leak has sprung in the bathroom ceiling and there were drips of rusty water all over. Nothing a bucket and my landlord can't fix...eventually.

05 April 2006

My offspring

My friend has a new blog, Bamboo Lemur Boys are Mean to their Girls.

Just from the title you can see why she is my friend. Both weird and funny.

I am so delighted, not just to have had an impact on the blogging world, but by her great writing. Check it out:
"I burp a lot. I'm an airy kinda gal. Probably because I eat a well rounded diet of health food and junk food. I burp so much I don't realize I've burped until I look around and see the appalled and disgusted faces of my fellow New Yorkers.
I've stepped out of the fantasy that teenagers could still think I'm cool. I'm looking more like their mothers and aunts.
Even though I will fight for my right to be less 'lady like' and more 'human', today in the park I burped and a small flock of pigeons flew away. I'm thinking maybe I should at least lower the volume."

I feel all motherly and proud. My girl has done good.

04 April 2006

Life among the links

To keep up my Doggy Blogger cred, here is the daily dog photo:

Goldie is making sure that the pool robot vacuum does not, somehow, this time, escape the confines of the pool. It never has, but you never know. This activity can keep her busy for hours.


I am dogsitting at Mr. Stapler's house. Consider this comparison. My freezer:

Ok, it's a mess, but you could get a full meal out of there, which is the POINT of having a freezer, isn't it??

There's our good friend frozen pizza; some pot stickers; our favorite snack, edamame (soybeans in the pod); a tofutti "ice cream" sandwich for dessert; and most important, the active ingredient of a gin and tonic, Gin.

Now, observe the horror that is Mr Stapler's freezer:

Huh? And he's a bachelor? Where are the frozen burritos? The Hungry Man dinners? Ice cream? Nope. He is some kind of mutant. And all of the other cabinets are equally bare. What is a girl supposed to do for a snack around here? The dog biscuits are starting to look kind of tasty.


It was a cheery day for us raving liberals, wasn't it, what with the evil Tom DeLay announcing that he has put an end to his criminal activities decided to retire from politics. It made me start wondering how many other Republicans have been been caught up in scandals lately. Luckily a link from The Randi Rhodes Show website to The Wayne Madsen Report GOP Scandal Scorecard gives a state-by-state analysis. Does this list show, as a prosecuting attorney would say "a pattern of criminal behavior"?


Here is yet another reason for me to love the Dalai Lama. This quote is from an interview in the Shambhala Sun, a really great Buddhist magazine.
My last question: Your Holiness has always been so good at finding a blessing or a teaching in anything that happens, even in suffering. I was wondering, what is the saddest thing that's happened to you in your life ?

I think when I left the Norbulingka for exile that late night, and I left behind some of my close friends, and one dog.
The Dalai Lama's saddest moment was leaving behind a dog? How sweet is that? It really brought a tear to my eye.


If you travel and like good food, or if you just stay in one place and like good food, check out Chowhound a message board for food fanatics. You can see what restaurants are great, find weird ingredients, or ask any food-related question you can think of. The chowfolks will help you out.


Go Fug Yourself is like dessert to me. A tiny perfect petit-four at the end of my blog surfing, it always makes my day. The combination of great writing AND making fun of weird celebrity outfits is my favorite low-calorie treat.

My favorite holiday

Since people keep congratulating me about the NY Times gig I mentioned in my post of April 1, I thought I had better mention it was an April Fools Day prank. I mentioned that in the comments, but apparently some of you are not as obsessed with this blog as you should be and *gasp* don't read all the comments. I'm telling you, you're missing out. The comments are where the action is.

Speaking of which, I think the famous Dooce may have set a record on her blog with 475 long and passionate comments when she posted about what is apparently the most controversial of subjects: How to Get Your Kid to Freaking Sleep Already."

The funny part to me, as a non-mom, is that Heather's kid sleeps good and wakes up good and is normal, but that isn't enough for some people - nope, they claim she wrecked her kid's life by letting her cry alone for a some nights until she learned to sleep by herself.

Sounds like fundamentalist parenting at its best - if you don't do it our way, you - and your offspring - are damned for all eternity.

But that's just me, and what do I know? I didn't even have kids because I KNEW that, with me as a parent, they would be messed up for all eternity.

03 April 2006

Animal Lover

Like so many others, I am having a bit of spring blog fever. Nothing to say, except
1. I love my new red stapler way beyond how I should. It is the best relationship I have had in decades. It is gorgeous, stylish, hard-working and never fails me. Now if it just...oh never mind.

2. These are my pants and shoes. Which were clean until I came home to Mr. Stapler's adorable new dog.

3. Due to my svengali-like influence, Mr. Stapler, my sister and a friend have all started blogs in the past couple weeks. I am so proud. My sister ("Janet Evening") is linked in my sidebar. Mr. Stapler prefers to fly under the radar. And I will check with my friend once she gets a couple posts up to see how she feels about exposing herself to the tens of Red Stapler readers.

02 April 2006

One for Izzy

I was going to blog something else (wasn't I? I forget - easily distracted) but Izzy over at Moonshine came up with a subject:
I would like you to choose 4 adjectives that describe your personality/character and then elaborate a bit on each one. How much or how little is up to you. Try to avoid generic adjectives like nice or sweet. Go deep!

Ok, Izzy, here goes:
1. Sensitive - this is actually more physical than personality, but it has definitely shaped my personality.
I used to think I was nuts til I read The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. She claims that about 25 percent of the population live with nervous systems that are more cranked up than everyone else. You can spot us by the fact that we are plugging our ears when we are at a loud concert, or holding a hankie to our faces as we walk through the cologne department.

I can hear things no one else can hear. I can smell things long before they become strong enough for other people to smell them. Standing in a spot where I can hear two kinds of music at once is enough to make me want to cry. I have almost fainted from being near people with strong perfume. And I'm not crazy.

If you think you might be a "HSP," there is a Self-Test at the Highly Sensitive Person website.

2. Curious
I love learning new things, anything. That's why being a newspaper journalist was/is so much fun. I get happy learning how the town water system works, or the history of the post office building.

3. Funny
I love to make people laugh. Humor is my drug of choice. A good funny story is like gold to me. I love to figure out what makes people laugh and then be able to do it. My worst experiences have been tempered by thinking "Well, at least this will make a hell of a story." Remember, pain + time = humor.

4. Kind
I may be cranky, I may be impatient, but I really, really try to be kind. The Dalai Lama said "Kindness is my religion" and I hope to be like him. I try to help people out how I can, whenever I can. This does not extend to being a sucker or being co-dependent, though those are sometimes tough distinctions to make. But I think kindness is important above all. A lot of people say how much they feel love for someone, then they turn around and emotionally abuse them. That ain't love. Love is a doing, not a feeling.

Thanks, Izzy, for the opportunity to expound. I hope that I am assessing myself correctly.

Readers, how about you?

In other news, here's a photo of the new dog, where she doesn't look so scared. We do not have a name for her yet. You are welcome to comment on possible monikers.
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