Archive for February, 2003

Bad interviews, bad momsMy first

Bad interviews, bad moms

My first experience with real potty training this morning – not a good time as I was trying to work – and also because it seemed to be Day of Diarrhea. Aw man. I was ready to puke.

It was NOT fun sitting on the bathroom floor reading “My first counting book” and “Baby Bear can do it all by himself” like 50 times whilst next to another human being taking a giant prolonged squirty dump. And then having to LOOK at it.

Meanwhile the transcription, while audible today, was making me nuts. It used to always be M

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UnderdogI just noticed in an

Underdog

I just noticed in an article in the NY Times that the original US Pledge of Allegiance didn’t have the words “under God”. That was added in 1954 by Congress – sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

Very odd!




To do next week:Go to

To do next week:

Go to Stanford library and look up stuff in Uruguayan dialect dictionaries

Kinko’s – print all finished j. de i. translations to send to the people who want to read them

take M. for pony ride ?

go to palo alto thrift stores on kids’ book run for Chimera

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also look up “badger bag”

also look up “badger bag” at library

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BadgeringNo one has asked me

Badgering

No one has asked me what “badger bag” means yet…

I really don’t know!

In a couple of the P. O’Brian books someone dresses up as “Badger Bag” during the crossing the line ceremony. But I have never figured out what this character is supposed to be. Maybe in the O.E.D.? I don’t have online access to it…

What I do know about crossing the line: it was a sort of Saturnalia where members of the crew dressed up as Neptune or King Poseidon and other weird characters. They get to shave and wash and dunk anyone who is crossing the equator for the first time. Or, if you were a passenger or high ranking person you could pay or stand the crew drinks, to get out of being shaved.

I also think that various scraps or mixed fiber are called “badger” in weaving or paper making. But I could be making that up. It is because the little scraps – like threads and shreds of rag – look rough and variegated like a badger’s grizzled fur. (I am definitely making THAT up, but it sounds plausible enough.)

There was/is a British sport of badger baiting. You catch a badger, then put it in a bag or a barrel with a) another random animal b) a fierce dog. Then bet on who wins. A badger is very fierce when cornered and very tough – it can be almost dead and yet keep fighting for hours or days. Thus the word “badger” meaning “to pester incessantly” (as these people would continually torment the poor fierce badger). This information also is coming straight out of my ass, as usual.

Unfortunately when I consult my shorter OED (Thanks skh!) I see that there is no entry for badger bag… How about the 1911 Britannica ? (Thanks, in-laws!) There I find an entry for “badger” meaning a wandering huckster of butter or cheese or grain. In the 1500s they were strictly regulated and had to be licensed.

So, various theories.

Maybe a badger bag refers to a bag of fabric scraps or junk. People used to wander the streets buying rags and old clothes (ragpickers?) and then sell them to paper mills. Maybe they carry a big bag and thus the character of “Badger Bag” ?

Maybe a guy carrying a big bag of food to sell – the peddler or huckster?

Maybe the bag used in badger baiting – so a squirming lumpy bag? But then, how would this connect to the character in the crossing the line ceremony?

None of these theories seem even vaguely right.

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Home of the Fighting TigersAt

Home of the Fighting Tigers

At the park just now M. and I played with some maybe 6 year old kids who were there with the YMCA day care. Two girls who I got collecting tiny sequoia pine cones and piling them up for squirrel treasures (with feathers for decoration). This went on for a while but no squirrels came.

M. suggested that I be a tiger and he would fight me with a stick. Straight out of the end of Jungle Book. The two big girls then began to be tigers and some even bigger boys came over on their hands and knees being quite convincing and scary tigers. At this point I was sitting at a picnic table and just watching.

M. with his stick was completely surrounded by roaring tigers who pawed the air and clawed his legs. Keep in mind he is maybe 31 inches tall, not quite even 3 feet! He took a bold fencing stance and said “En garde, ho, ha, ho, ho ha” in proper style. Very brave!

I had kind of expected him to run to me or at least hide his face. But no – he fought the tigers… He especially loved the one boy who would fall down dead in a very dramatic way when whacked with the stick.

Don’t worry, the stick was a tiny little twig deemed incapable (by me) of putting anyone’s eye out.

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Just made whump’s birthday cake.

Just made whump‘s birthday cake. I was thinking of how jhk was making fun of me last night – how I would be “The Worst Project Manager in the World”.

“Okay, uh…. we have a meeting today for… ummmm…. what was it? I had it written down somewhere, oh yeah, it was on a little piece of paper here in my pocket, no, wait a minute, dammit, it was the other pants. So, we were going to meet to talk about… that thingie… No, maybe the other thingie… I was thinking about that other thingie this morning while I was doing that other thing and that made me think of this OTHER thing. So, what were we talking about?”

This made me think of how he would be poking fun at my cooking “skills” if he were in the room. He would run in fear. But how silly. I am really, actually, a good cook,.

As I thought this I poured exactly three times the vegetable oil into the bowl on top of the chocolate cake mix. “Ooops. Okay, no problem, we’ll just scoop out a bunch of the oil and dump it in the sink. Oops. I guess it already kind of mixed in with the chocolate stuff. Oh. Oops. Now the sink and all the dishes that were in there are covered in chocolaty oil. Oh wow that makes me think of the thing in The Crying of Lot 49 where they say the words ‘Rich, chocolatey goodness.’ Or was it some other book? I should look it up. Uh. Oops.”

I realized the eggs had been coddling a little too long and quickly retrieved them. I didn’t spill anything. Coddling, because that way I can eat the batter without being paranoid about getting some horrible illness from the raw egg. (thank you D. for this great idea!) Since they were a little over-coddled I had to kind of scrape the half-cooked whites out from the shell with my finger.

To comfort myself I think of what my ex husband m.m.m. used to say when cooking, “Oh, it doesn’t matter if you fuck up, you should follow the 10 percent rule. You can mess up any recipe plus or minus 10 percent and it won’t matter for most things.” (Said with a sort of ineffable snottiness as if pitying the rest of the world for being foolish enough to actually use measuring cups).

I think of him saying that quite often while cooking and it will probably remain a comfort for the rest of my life.

I successfully hand-mixered the batter, which looked normal – not too oily really, maybe? And the lumps of egg white disappeared, good.

Congratulating myself, I pressed the “eject” button on the hand mixer, thinking smugly, “I’ll be careful not to actually push the “mix” button instead of the “eject” button, thereby spattering batter everywhere and probably amputating several fingers.”

And the eggbeater mixer thingies shot off with tremendous force like little chocolatey bottle rockets and disappeared deep in the bowl of cake batter.

“Ha ha, oops, well, all the more batter for me to lick off the eggbeater thingies!”

I think what outrages jhk so much is not that I fuck up constantly, but that I don’t mind fucking up. It doesn’t faze me! Ever!

Oh, oops, walked away from oven without setting timer. That was a close one!

Now I have some nice looking cake, untasted, cooling on stove.

Just now realized I forgot to flour the greased pans. It probably won’t matter – too much?

The thing that worries me is that someday I might REALLY FUCK UP and do some dumb careless thing that will kill someone. “Oops, I thought I was in reverse. Sorry, beloved husband and child, didn’t mean to run over you…”

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BY just added photos of

BY just added photos of me to his photo essay (?) called “Portrait of the Artist as a Moveable Feast”. I look the moody poet, how odd!

Am eternally grateful to B.Y. for editing out those 2 huge zits.

It was fun to do though oddly unnerving. He kept going “Now, fiddle with your hair. The way you always do.” I just try not to think about how I look or what weird expression is passing across my face. A good thing considering how funny I look in some of the proofs…