06 December 2008

Starchy Traveler

It was a Carbs in the Car kind of day in more ways than one.

YOU know Carbs in the Car, don't you? One of those busy days where you have to run around doing so many errands that you end up grabbing food wherever you can, and not good food, either, but the kind of food that would make Dr. Atkins put you in handcuffs and drag you off for a protein-style In-n-Out burger?

Carbs. Bready, lovely carbs. They are perfect for the car because they don't drip or squish or spill.

My carb-loaded day began with a Morning Glory muffin at Peets after swimming and ended 14 hours later with a Jalapeño-Cheese bagel (I KNOW a jalapeño-cheese bagel is a shondeh, shut up) when I picked up a bottle of Tanqueray (do NOT have a drinking problem, shut up again) at the grocery store on the way home from a Christmas party.

And if a pre-diabetic diet wasn't bad enough for my insides, I had to spread the love to my outer world as well.

I made a giant crock pot of chili for the party and was driving over there while it was still piping hot. I put the lid on the crockpot and put the whole thing in a bag and do you know what is coming?

OMG SUDDEN STOP! Tilty crockpot splashing happens, and suddenly there are beans up one side and down the other, and I have a feeling my car is going to have a lovely cumin and chipotle smell for a long, long time.

That's me, baby. Graceful AND talented. Why couldn't I just be smart like that other person and bring mini cans of Pringles to the potluck? (Not complaining! Just totally jealous that I didn't think of it).

Carbs in the car, carbs on the car. It's a lifestyle that few can pull off with the aplomb that I do. Sorry, world. I'm just special that way.

02 December 2008

The Very First Bad Holiday Sweater Contest

**Updated to be more ecumenical and inclusive!**

This is the most wonderful time of the year for awful fashion choices. Yes, you know what I'm talking about: the terrible Holiday sweater.
Christmas sweater spirit

To get into the Holiday spirit, I want to do a Holiday sweater contest. Email me your photo of you or a family member (suebobdavisATgmail) in a spectacular holiday sweater and I will post them for the world to see. Historical family photos especially appreciated. Let's make the photo deadline Dec. 15. Then we can have a couple days of voting.

To make it worth your time to dig up and scan dusty old photos or to dig out that sweater in the back of the closet, the winner will get either a $50 Peets, Starbucks or Target gift card, your choice, and, of course, glory.

30 November 2008


One of the charming things about living in modern America is that we don't have to worry about what happens to our trash. People just come and pick it up.

It isn't somewhere primitive like Naples, for goodness sake.

At least that is what probably happens in your neighborhood. In my little nutty corner of California, trash is more of an interactive sport than waste disposal.

We have three cans: trash, recyclables and green waste. Simple. Except that the recyclable cans, with their treasure trove of bottles and cans, have become revenue sources for scavengers. Starting about 4:30 a.m. on trash day, you can hear people rooting around in the recycling bins.

I'm not putting these people down, far from it. People who get up before dawn to scavenge through sharp-edged tin cans in search of bottles with a 5 cent redemption value have nothing but my respect. One of these scavengers is in a wheelchair and has a complicated cart divided into three sections by pieces of chicken wire. God bless him. Obviously a man with no health insurance, a great work ethic and creativity to boot. It sucks that he isn't on the city council instead of pushing his wheelchair from house to house, searching for aluminum cans.

The early risers are so efficient that I want to tell the people I see when I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. "What is wrong with you? Don't you know the good stuff is gone by 5?"

On the flip side are the scofflaws. I don't know who the hell they are, but if I catch them, there is going to be hell to pay. These are the people who don't want to pay for trash collection, but instead drive around as soon as the trash truck has come by, stuffing their garbage in recently emptied cans.

Last week my trash can was 75% full within 3 hours of the truck coming by. This I do not appreciate.

The good thing about living here is that you can leave pretty much anything out by the curb and it will disappear. So far I have rid myself of a 2-year-old living Christmas tree that was badly potbound, a used shower chair for the handicapped, a terribly thin large tamale pot, and a clothes washer that had a sign in 2 languages "Works but leaks a lot of water," all by putting them out near the street.

It is interesting, seeing the little ecosystem that has developed around my trash cans. I no longer thing of my trash as waste, but rather a work in progress.
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