November 26, 2002

poor me

I have laryngitis.

Truth be told, I have never really had laryngitis before. I've had a sore throat and a little hoarseness, but my voice is pretty much totally gone. When I still had a voice on Sunday, I could sing a low C pretty comfortably.

Actually, singing so much on Sunday probably didn't help things. Nor did six straight hours of teaching yesterday. I cancelled my Wednesday class, so after this afternoon, I should be able to just shut up. Hopefully, this will be spiritually enlightening, a vow of silence. More likely, it will just be annoying.

My father, who is still recovering from breaking several bones in his leg after trying to stand up in the living room (!), responded to my plight by telling me, "You get sick a lot." My students had the same response. I told them it was an occupational hazard.

The whole thing reminded me of Reality Bites. Talkin' 'bout my generation. . . Big time points to the first gentle reader to identify correctly which part of the movie. This time, google searches are allowed.

I'm going to go contemplate my navel now. In silence.

Posted by Meredith at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2002

shameless self-promotion

First of all, allow me to say that my pants are falling off me. I am Skinny McFinney. I think that having your workplace built into the side of the hill is definitely the way to counteract the epidemic of American obesity. Go me.

Secondly, Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat, while the Meredith is getting skinny. But fear not. The Meredith has assembled a wish list at for your purchasing pleasure. So, should you with to know what CDs, books, and movies Mere is currently pining for, please visit (and purchase) at your leisure.

Also, in case this isn't clear from the wish list, I think there is a resurgence in American classical music, especially vocal music, and I think that is cool. Oh and there's a Muppet Christmas special on Friday. You should tape it for me.

That is all.

Posted by Meredith at 10:41 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2002

Harry Potter!

I had to check Mike's blog first to see if he'd gotten the scoop. He hadn't. Here goes:

More professors, good. You actually get to see them in class and the adults seem to have somewhat of a character, particularly if they are played by Maggie Smith (sigh) or Kenneth Branagh (particularly girlish and giggly sigh). Also, all of the banquet/dormitory scenes still look like Yale, particularly anything that takes place around Christmas. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Gothic architecture. . .

Like Mike and like Joan, our moviegoing partner, Book Two was the only one I couldn't remember either, although the concluding scene with the phoenix was very well-done indeed. The part with the giant spiders definitely could have been edited, though perhaps that was their bid to compete more effectively with "The Two Towers." In addition to being a sucker for Gothic architecture, well-educated women with English accents and Shakespearean actors, I am also a sucker for Hermione. Too long has the world been without heroines with messy, wavy hair! And a bookworm to boot! Huzzah, I say! Sure, you people with arrow-straight hair complain, but little do you know how lucky you are. Your hair has made a decision. It is straight. We wavy people are completely at the mercy of the weather. The one good thing about living in Florida was my hair was pretty definitely curly. But I digress. .

As for the special effects, yeah, the claymation car sucked rocks. But the Cornish pixies were amazing, as was the basilisk, the phoenix, and the landscape shots of the castle. Dobby the Elf was a little too reminiscent of Jarjar Binks, but you can't have it all.

All in all, a good flick. If you're looking for something else visually stunning to see, might I recommend "Frida," done by Julie Taymor of "Lion King" fame. Also, "Punch Drunk Love" is lovely to behold, and Adam Sandler refrains from any references to masturbating with baby oil (let's see what kind of search queries THAT turns up, shall we?). Next on my list? "Two Towers," the new James Bond, Veggie Tales movie (still haven't seen it!) and anything else with Kenneth Branagh in it.

Posted by Meredith at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2002

For God, For Country, and For Lutherans

Ein feste burg est unser Gott.

That is all.

Posted by Meredith at 12:13 AM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2002

meredith's day out

So, here's how I spent my day.

First, Joan and I jetted (NB: I feel that "Joan" and "jett" should be combined as often as possible) over to Berkeley at about 7:30 a.m. for a Bay Area Writing Project seminar reenvisioning (not my word) the way we teach writing. There, I saw many old friends, including Kelly, Sim, andPatrick, to whom I promised I would link. Apparently, like many gentle readers, Patrick reads the blog and comments in his own, rather than using this nifty discussion board feature. It's an interesting genre study problem -- is a blog a diary, a discussion board, a website, or its own animal? For further insights, check out Garry Trudeau's take on the issue.

Did I ever tell you that I went to church with the man on whom Mike Doonesbury was based? Yale is a truly amazing place.

But I digress.

For dinner, we had hoped to get into one of our favorite restaurants, The Global Village Cafe
. We go there so often that they have memorized our favorite drinks and invite us to sit at special tables. Sadly, after Mike made the reservation, they called back to say they were booked solid, so we went to an inferior Mountain View restaurant that I will not advertise herein and stopped by Global Village afterwards for drinks, where I had their version of the Singapore Sling.

Did I ever tell you that I first drank a Singapore sling at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore?

But I digress. . . .

At GVC was this great folksy pianist named Vienna Teng
, whom we had seen at a folk music night at our local coffee shop. She actually knew what to do with a piano, though she sounded suspiciously like Tori Amos. Anyway, it was her CD release party, and I felt very hip, even if I did have to leave early because the Sling went straight to my head and because I had to get up at 0 dark 30 this morning.

Also, this morning, the BAWP meeting was held in a school library that was plastered with Dia de Los Muertos altars, info for the Gay-Straight Alliance, and ALA posters of celebrities encouraging kids to read. The usual people were featured, including the eminently bilingual Antonio Banderas, but my favorite by far had to be the read poster of -- you guessed it -- . Ani DiFranco

I read for the joy it brings! Cuz I am a reading girl!

Here's to you, Patrick. Way to change a school culture.

Tomorrow -- the new Harry Potter movie! Woohoo!

Posted by Meredith at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2002

yum! persimmons!

My favorite stay-at-home dad, Cliff, sent me these tips on persimmons, in addition to a recipe for persimmon pudding. I share them with you now:

About Persimmons

There are two types of Persimmons:

Fuyus - these light-colored, squat persimmons should be
crisp and firm, but not rock hard. Choose those that are
completely orange, with no trace of yellow. They keep for
weeks, but should be used immediately if they develop any
soft spots.

Hachiyas - The more common persimmon, heart-shaped (what
they had at church and - my personal favorite). Delicious
only when completely soft (otherwise, be prepared for a
very bitter and chalky taste). Pick ones with skin intact
that feels as if its insides are filled with jelly. Eat
as soon as possible (they are sweeter than apricots); it
will be messy. They keep in the refigerator for a short
period. If you get them firm, leave them at room
temperature to soften.
The Chinese like to take Hachiyas that were nearly liquid
inside and freeze them. You slice off the tip, wrap it in
plastic and can freeze for up to three months. You can
eat the persimmons with a spoon once they are partially
thawed like sorbet. Optionally - Pour a little cream over
it - the cream will adhere to the partly frozen fruit.

Doesn't that sound good, gentle readers? After I vote, I think I will make a persimmon run. Any tips on speedier ripening? I'll trade you for the pudding recipe. . .

Posted by Meredith at 09:22 AM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2002

last piece

My husband has eaten the last piece of pizza.

I called this pizza. I owned it. I, who have time for neither lunch nor dinner today, was saving the pizza for a mid-morning snack to help me make it through the day.

It was good pizza. It was Amy's Organic Pizza
Yummy, healthy, and totally gone.

Then, he tried to regurgitate into my hand so I would stop chastising him.

I think I will write a lament, a la William Carlos Williams and those plums. And get a new husband.

Posted by Meredith at 10:49 AM | Comments (7)

November 03, 2002

for all the saints

'For All The Saints' is one of my favorite hymns. My favorite songs, really. And we only ever get to sing it once a year, on All Saints' Day, which it basically is.

So, this morning, after much other singing, it was the very last hymn we sang in church. Because it was a big choir Sunday, I was sitting with two middle school people, whose parents were both in the choir. I explained to them how cool this hymn was. They said they had never heard of it. I said, "Oh, yes you have. You'll recognize it. Just wait."

Then, as the organist played the introduction, one of them turned to me, jaded, and said, "Oh, this. We sing this like _all_ the time."

I explained that, no, we didn't actually sing it all the time, but only once a year, every year, on this day. Kind of like we sing 'Silent Night" all the time, I thought. I was about to explain that my friend Ellen calls me every year on this day from Connecticut to sing me this hymn over the phone, but then more church stuff happened, so I had to shut up.

When we got home, the following message was on our answering machine:

blah blah blah BLAH. . blah BLAH blah BLAH blah BLAH

BLAh blah blah BLAH BLAH, BLAH blah blah blah BLAH

Thy names, Mike and MEREdith, be forever sucky,
A - aa-le-LU-ia
Oh yes, they do-ya

When I called Ellen back, I left the following message:

blah blah blah BLAH, blah BLAH blah BLAH blah BLAH
We feebly struggle, Ellen in glory shines
She SUCKS twelve DONkeys, through a PLASTIC straw
Sock it to ya

Heathen blog readers, I'm sorry you don't get it. I promise I'll write something about how HP Lovecraft sucks twelve donkeys next time. I promise.

When the middle school folks asked why I liked this song so much, I explained that it was one of the few songs where God gets to kick some butt. I said I thought He should get to do that more often. Then, they yelled at me for calling God "He."

Also, I fit into the skinny pants this morning that didn't fit at Christmas. Life is good.

Posted by Meredith at 02:20 PM | Comments (7)