Archive for August, 2008

Average distractions

I am sitting at a dining room table in a “vintage” house in suburban Chicago. It is not a big house but it is sturdy and tidy and has a huge elm tree in the front yard. It represents the middle of middle class living in the middle of Middle America.  We may have a […]

Thursday politics

I haven’t caught much of the convention. Ted Kennedy was inspiring. Hillary’s speech sounded good on paper, but I haven’t seen the video. I did catch her calling for Obama’s nomination to happen by acclamation, which was a pretty effective piece of political theater, I thought. Bill was pretty great. Biden’s sounding good — “This […]

You say two mottoes

Can you list all of your school mascots? My high school and my undergraduate are the same and relatively common but I’ve had some winners along the way. I’ve been a Viking, a Toro, a 49er, and even (shudder) a Trojan. My most recent school has no mascot whatsoever. This was crazy to me. Sure, […]

Olive Festival

It’s nice to take a road trip every once in a while. You see things you don’t normally see. We drove north on I-5 all day Friday. If you think there’s a whole lot of nothing along the highways in your state, you should try driving eight hours up I-5 in California. Finally, as night […]

Crack House Diary Entry 03: Squatting in Someone’s Home

There are no ‘abandoned’ houses in South Central. If a house or building is left unoccupied long enough someone will eventually make unofficial use of the structure. HUD foreclosed houses are no exception even though HUD officers visit them a couple of times each week looking for evidence of occupation. Our future house, for example, […]

Home coming

As regular readers know, Stella recently moved out of the little gem of a house in D.C. that once contained a delightful garden. (And thank you, dear readers, for your outpouring of garden grief sympathy.) I set out on my home-seeking journey for a one-bedroom condo with a set of very precise criteria: price range; […]

Thursday favorites: Polygamist houses

The polygamist house has always fascinated me. It somehow has to hold multiple wives, a large number of children, and the husband that organizes them all. A few weeks ago, a friend and I spent a day in the polygamist community of Colorado City, Arizona taking pictures of houses. We had some pretty unreal experiences […]

Birthday Cake

Today I’m going to bake a carrot cake for Parrish. Parrish loves carrot cake, and tomorrow is her birthday. The recipe comes from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts. I’ll start by grating 2 cups of carrots. While I grate the carrots, I’ll start thinking about the last time I baked a cake the […]

My first Republican National Convention

My deepest immersion in Republican politics was a crucial step in my becoming a left-winger. I turned 18 years old in February of 1992 as a senior in high school. It was an election year, and as a confirmed political junkie I was following George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign and the challenge by Bill Clinton, […]

Party favors: punch, poems, pic

Pomegranate Cocktail Cover and chill: 5 cups pomegranate juice 2 1/2 cups vodka 1/3 cup orange-flavored liqueur 1/3 cup fresh lime juice Add when cold: 2 1/2 cups chilled ginger ale The wedding at Casa West went swimmingly — thanks for your suggestions a few posts ago. I ended up talking about how, when you […]