Archive for December, 2008

Wait a sec!

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I had this vision of representing the changeover to 2009 with some kind of double image, alluding to two-faced Janus, and, while I like this reflection of the lamp in our filmy window, it does’t really convey all that complexity….

Yup, extra second tonight.

Make your plans now!—so as not to waste it!

Mangoes are…

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…magical. Best sorbet I’ve ever had: mango.

And one of my favorite snacks. Fresh or dried (preferably with no added sugar, thank you TJ’s).

This particular specimen was almost perfectly ripe….

It took me a while spending time in rural Mexico to figure out what the 10-cm long fibrous, beige, lozenge-shaped organic discards were that I kept seeking lurking in the dust in villages—mango pits!

Fun mango facts from Wikip: mangos are about 50% of the tropical fruits produced worldwide (>23 million tons in 2001) and the most common commercial cultivar is Tommy Atkins; the name mango comes to English from Asia via Portuguese (those wily traders!); and, apparently there are freestone varieties (never seen them).*

* Watch out for the skins and sap; some varieties contain, uhoh!, urushiol (especially KW!).

Where’s Waldo?

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There’s lots going on here, including reflections, but what I see is that the window is remarkably filthy, smudged, and filmed.

Sigh. The downside of the low-angle winter sun….

Patos and penguins

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There are myriad rhyming arithmetic riddles (chistes, I think…) out there, including (possibly especially) in Spanish. I think this is one I heard in Oaxaca some time ago….

Un pato con una pata, ¿cuántos patos y patas hay?

It employs confusion that is similar to that encompassed by this riddle:

What’s black and white and red all over?*

So: patos are ducks and patas are feet, but also could be a female duck. Therein lies the confusion. Anyway, I was always confused by this riddle (they have never been my strong suit), but I think it says, if there’s a duck with one foot (or a female duck), how many ducks and feet are there? Googling suggests one cheeky answer is “un pato cojo“, meaning a lame duck.

Why do I mention all this? The pastry above is Mexican, and called a pato. And, in this case, no feet…. See how my mind works?

* See, this only works if you hear it, because to be correct you have to spell it “read” not “red”…and the answer is: the newspaper. This is the classic version, anyway. There is a subset of versions that actually rely on “red”, and their answers often refer to gruesome penguins.

The long view…

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We did our idiosyncratic version of shopping today, looking for loose, leaf green tea and tuna steaks for searing. Hecho*.

Heading south afterward on Buford Highway, there’s a spot where you get a good view of downtown. We got caught by a light and I took this photo of the buildings shrouded by some low-hanging clouds, residue, I think, of last night’s rain….

* Spanish for made/done. Commonly seen in the phrase “Hecho en México.”

Yawn…

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Happy Boxing Day!

Wikipedia says the Boxing Day tradition of the wealthy giving gifts to those below them on the social scale (and the Brits are SO aware of this relationship) has its antecedents in the Roman Saturnalia, which also happened in December and featured social role reversals.

Note artwork*

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I conclude that this is an agnostic christmas tree. Not even Saint Nick came to visit. Just us. And very modestly, at that.

Merry. Happy. Nothing. Whatever.

* An lovely original charcoal (I think) by our niece takes pride of place on the chimney….

Night lights

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On this rainy night in Georgia, the many leetle lights are heartwarming….

Eye candy (red red red!)

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Much as I liked yesterday’s autumnal clematis (thanks for the ID, Janet!), I’m going for it today. Here’re some glorious tulips from several years back.

Somehow I failed to put on my to-do list to gather a few bulbs from the local hardware store for forcing. Usually I prepare a small display of paperwhites for Mom for Xmas. Can’t believe I forgot….

Feathery dried-flower

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No new pictures today (oh, wait, there is one, but it’s still incarcerated on the iPhone—but I digress), so I went digging in the archives, thinking the weather’s nasty, I’ll find a fine flower picture to brighten everyone’s day. So, I looked at a bunch of flower pictures, but decided that given the weather it may be a tad depressing to see a lovely lush out-of-season flower. Then I spotted this autumnal dry something-or-other from late September, and decided that it might strike the right note.

You be the judge. Does it?