Month: September 2004 Page 1 of 3


We’re moving today. The phone number should remain the same, but you won’t be able to reach us until some time tomorrow. I won’t be able to access e-mail from home until we get set up in a couple of weeks, so I won’t be online until Monday.

Later 🙂

Hot chocolate.

Now this, I have to try:

Mayan Hot Chocolate

2 cups boiling water

1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)

5 cups light cream or whole or nonfat milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 to 2 cinnamon sticks

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4″pieces

2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste

l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine

Whipped cream

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile pepper to boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts and whipped cream.

Site includes information about the history of chocolate.

Question of the Day.


The question of this morning was, “Where’s the best place to get new men’s size eight, low-top Chuck Taylor converse shoes in black (but with the regular soles)?”

With shipping and including Ebay, the answer still seems to be at any local Famous Footwear outlet, for thirty bucks. Everyone that wants to sell them more cheaply also wants to charge you more than it could possibly cost to ship a pair of shoes, unless it’s by private courier or overnight airmail, which they weren’t.

I don’t want to collect them! I just can’t get the same type of soles anywhere else!


Dang it. The internet gods wiped this out last night.*


I had so much fun messing with the Chinese Dictionary question that I decided to write down a dozen or so other no-so-personally-pressing questions and see what I could find on the net.

Yesterday’s question: What’s Yom Kippur?

It’s the Jewish Day of Atonement. Basically, everyone gets together and apologizes for their sins over the past year before they’re written down in the books of judgement forever. (If it isn’t covered by sunset of Yom Kippur, too bad.) Not only do individuals apologize for their individual acts, but their acts as a community and as Jewish people all together.

Other items I had no clue about:

You can convert to Judism; Sammy Davis Jr. did.

Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat.

Jews have a greater sense of community than most cultures:

“When a Jew does something illegal, immoral or shameful, we all feel the shame, and we all feel that it reflects on us. As Jews, many of us were embarrassed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, because Lewinsky is a Jew. We were shocked when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was killed by a Jew, unable to believe that one Jew would ever kill another.

“And when a Jew accomplishes something significant, we all feel proud. A perfect example of Jews (even completely secular ones) delighting in the accomplishments of our fellow Jews is the perennial popularity of Adam Sandler’s Chanukkah songs, listing famous people who are Jewish. We all take pride in scientists like Albert Einstein or political leaders like Joe Lieberman (we don’t all agree with his politics or his religious views, but we were all proud to see him on a national ticket). And is there a Jew who doesn’t know (or at least feel pride upon learning) that Sandy Koufax declined to pitch in a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur?”

–Tracey R Rich

How does a Chinese dictionary work?

You know, I’ve wondered about this for years. I still don’t know. But here are some notes from my online meandering in search of the answer:

On-line Chinese Tools contains a number of interesting links, including “Get a Chinese Name.”

Ray’s is Kong Rui su, “Sharp Revive.”

Lee’s is Kuang Ling en, “Soul Charity.”

Mine is Kong Dao ning, “Way Peaceful.”

More later…


The characters are organized by brush strokes. See here for a Chinese character dictionary.


I got the QC job. The boss was surprised that I was on pins an needles. “We knew for a couple of weeks,” he said. “We’re just waiting for HR to catch up.”

And the apartment is a go.

And the procedures are done. The chica in charge of them called me to thank me for having them done on time, ready to go, and well done. They still need to be reviewed by the work directors, but my first 350-page opus is going to be used, picked apart, and read. And you know what? I’m proud of the length, because it wasn’t 150 pages longer. I’ve learned a lot from her so far, very cool stuff. None of the sadness of finishing a work of fiction, that’s for sure.

I don’t plan to coast though my last few weeks in my department — too much to do. But I do plan to relax about it. Ahhhhhhh…..

P.S. Plus, my horoscope said tonight would be a good night for a romantic interlude.

Story updates.

I haven’t accomplished much on the story in the last two months, but the last couple of weeks have been interesting.

I’m going through each character and working out more of the details, more of the plot on an individual basis. First, I go through the story and write down everything I run into for that character. Second, I write an informal bio sheet for the character. It delights me to discover so much about the characters, just from the things I wrote about them. “Aha! This person knew what was about to happen!” “Aha! This person didn’t!”

So far, one of my bad guys has been motivated by a sense of order, another by sheer loneliness, and a third by self-centered immaturity. Loneliness is a terrible thing. I think the main bad girly has the same problem, that.


The same people who didn’t hire me for either a tech writing or a newsletter/communications position volunteered me to work on a departmental newsletter. “Can’t think of anybody else who could do it,” they said.

Still waiting on the new QC job.


This is an article who was unable, for a week, to get a D&E abortion (dialation and extraction). She was bleeding. The baby was nineteen weeks old. And dead.

via ***Dave.

I’m proud to have had my daughter in a country where abortion is legal. On those days when I hate being a parent, I can never say, “I wish you had never happened.” She will never be something that happened to me, because I looked at her and said yes.

Word of the Day.


“People who live on the opposite side of the globe and, of course, whose

feet are directly opposite to ours.” –Rev. John Boag’s Imperial Lexicon…of every word usually employed in

science, literature, and art, c 1850

–From Jeffrey Kacirk, Forgotten English Daily Calendar 2004.

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