Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Martha Stewart's Fall Favorites for You and Your Family to Enjoy

First of all, happy halloween and happy birthday to Lola and Jon! and happy belated birthday to Ted! anything else happy in the world? i think that sums it up. furrowboofrown.

when jaci and i were eating dinner tonight, she suddenly whispered SHHH! and her hand shot out with panther-like agility and precision and she flipped off our light switch. what?? i hissed back over our now-shadowed lasagna. "i hear trick or treaters! and we don't have any candy!" wow, no sound passeth thru my lips henceforth. but we giggled. and hovered. in the dark. until we were sure kids would bypass our door and we wouldn't have to face them. To add to our unusual hollow-ween spirit, i actually heard jaci say on her cell phone that she "expects our pumpkins to be smashed against our door by the morning". i do not think that will happen. a) they are the small kind, not the rotting carved kind- decorative, autumnal; not a fire hazard or a satanic symbol. b) delivery guys never find our door; assuming drunk local teenagers will seems almost arrogant. we'll see...

Second, sweet potato pie is the best dessert on the planet. Make it from scratch and make it immediately. My tongue does not appreciate dessert while on chemo, but my memory does.

Third. At Fletcher, you are expected to take 4 courses per semester. Go-getters who clamor for 5 receive the gentle lecture about how they would miss out on too much of the experience that transpires outside the classroom: the speakers, the cultural events, the parties. However, I remember the only complaint I really heard consistently during my stint there was how, still, the worse thing about Fletcher was having to choose between classwork and attending the speech of a foreign dignitary, a festival celebrating a country's culture, or even touring Boston's main historical sites. So, dear professors, if any of you happen upon this, my friends/your students are learning a ton, but they seem so overtasked by midterms that their Fletcher "experience" is stymied. There are people at the school who feel that the "D" in the MALD degree has been forgotten; from an ex-foreign service officer, Diplomacy is best learned and practiced at happy hour. Just some unfiltered observation from a drop-out.

Politically-sensitive, pls skip next paragRANT. Apathetic or progressive, rock on.

Number Three, speaking of mid-terms... does anyone care about the mid-term elections coming up? i'm sure adam seiden and susan massey are on top of it, but anyone else? did moveon.org's servers crash (or did their grassroots internet magic die when the supreme court got to pick our pres?) and who's willing to give the Young Dems their cell phone number in the effort to mobilize via mobiles. not me! i'm just sad that politics are so stale. i'm sad that the commercials on TV seem like they could have been written by the same old mud-slinging/cheesy campaign managers. Everyone "hates" politics BUT everyone has an opinion. Everyone can see straight through the smoke and mirrors of campaign promises and most people agree that it is unfair that you need to be rich to mount a successful attempt at higher public office. but what changes? AND, every four years (can't wait for 08), when people again question "why do we have an electoral college again?" "did YOU elect our state's 'electors'? who are they?'", we scratch our heads and believe that there must be something good about it. Like the theory of relativity which has been explained to me by various patient geniuses, I just cannot get it through my thick skull where the electoral college's place is in modern presidential elections. But, like the rest of our mass citizenry, I forget the illogical non-democratic system that elected our current president despite losing the popular vote, only to be reminded when the media pretends to question it four years later. I'm pretty sure the Men in Black use a satellite version of their forgetfulness-flasher on all of the US just before inauguration day. Thank goodness. (I just feel bad for the rest of the world who doesn't get the placating effects of a forgetfulness-flasher [read: economic prosperity, wag-the-dog press,a million staged "reality" shows], so the rest of the world thinks we're silicone-wasp-cowboys & playgirls and we wonder why. don't be a hater Osama, don't be snobby Pierre,come on duuuude.) One more thing, if you don't think about anything but gay marriage and abortion when you go to the polls, please please read more. My blog is mean-spirited and slanted and angry- go to your state's non-partisan election guidance page(start here maybe). and, if you're too busy or you live in the famously-prop-happy state of California, you can just google "voter information" and certain groups (like gun activists or pro-choicers or hispanics) will TELL you who to vote for.

Jaci is taking a course on the madness of crowds and although i rant and rage, I am a cow in the best herd on the planet. the US has glorious faults, but i wouldn't trade our history or our system for that of any other country. patriotism is an essential part of a constructive rant and it's only because i care that this stupid stuff keeps me up at night. Moooooo.


Leslie Edwards said...

I love you Erica. You are such a fantastic writer/entertainer and although I rarely comment because I usually go straight for the phone instead, I just wanted to give you a quick message to tell you how much you inspire me and make me smile. It was FABULOUS to see you in San Fran...I know you are pooped out from the trip, but I know it was worth it. As for my next trip to Boston...let's start planning. :)

alison said...

My mom and I were just talking about what a gifted writer you are! We've decided you should look into a new past time: newspaper/magazine writing. Really!

Kellie(Lutz)Munro said...

Just to let you know...I am one of those that you probably would never suspect checking your blog on a regular basis. You have an amazing strength within you! Stay strong, and know that there are many unsuspectfuls that think and pray about you daily!
Love, Kellie (Lutz) Munro

Kellie(Lutz)Munro said...

Just to let you know...I am one of those unsuspectfuls who reads your blog regularly. Your strength and insight is amazing. Stay strong and know that you have "silent" troops standing behind you and cheering you on!
Love, Kellie (Lutz) Munro

Kellie(Lutz)Munro said...

oops...i didn't know the first one posted ;)

Kent said...

Hey guys,

First of all, thank you for the mention two posts ago. I do wish I were still in Bean Town, even if it would lead to my continual humiliation at Taboo.

I have been out of touch due to the fact that I have been moving around. I finally got into my new place a week or so ago, but I had no internet, no lights, no furniture...you get the the picture. I am settled in Ebisu, just a stone's throw from your and Chris' old place. I like the neighborhood and it is quite close to work.

Speaking of Chris, we got together last week for dinner. It was good to see him and catch up. I hope to see more of him now that we are in similar necks of the woods.

I don't have much else to say; I just wanted to say hello. I miss you guys. Take care and I will write more later.

Kent said...

oh, you mentioned that you have been looking for input regarding new music. Well, somoeone recently told me about an album called Dub Side of the Moon (I am probably the last person on the planet to know about it), but it is basically a cover of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" by a reggae band called the Easy Star All-Stars.

Anyway, I don't know if you ever had a "Pink Floyd" phase, but if you did then this is a nice take on a classic. If not, then think of it as an interpretation by a bunch of stoners on the masterpiece of another bunch of very culturally different stoners....kind of like Marley doing Hendrix...if Hendrix were white....and British...or maybe Ziggy putting Kerouac to music...anyway, it is worth a listen.

Kellie(Lutz)Munro said...

Thought you might like to read this article from the Santa Maria Times... (link & article included)

Local teen files lawsuit over cancer

A Santa Maria teen is the latest resident in the Sunrise Hills neighborhood to file suit against oil companies for environmental contamination there resulting from years of oil production in the area.

Scott Chenoweth, 18, filed suit Thursday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court against six oil companies, claiming his diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia was the result of living in a neighborhood contaminated by past oil drilling.

The suit filed Thursday claims that officials with Unocal, Union Oil Company, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Kerr-McGee, and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation failed to properly decommission the site and that their negligence allowed the contamination of the Sunrise Hills neighborhood, which was built after oil production ceased.

Chenoweth, who was diagnosed in July, has lived at 750 Raintree Drive all of his life, the suit states. A relative said Thursday he was out of town and that the family would have no immediate comment.

The suit asks for general damages, medical expenses, economic losses, the cost of the suit and punitive damages.

Chenoweth, who was featured by the Santa Maria Times in August, graduated from St. Joseph High School and had planned to attend Hancock College's firefighter program this fall. He told the paper at that time his plans were on hold.

Gonzalo Garcia, a spokesman for Chevron, said he could not comment because he had not seen the suit.


The company does not comment on current litigation, he added.

Garcia said he was sorry to hear that the suit had been filed. “Always our preference is to work with the involved homeowners,” Garcia said.

Officials from ConocoPhilips and Kerr-McGee could not be reached.

The Sunrise Hills neighborhood is in the midst of cleanup effort launched by the oil companies to find the contaminated areas and replace them with clean soil.

Throughout the neighborhood the companies are finding and removing sumps, or pits that were dug next to oil wells to collect crude oil, mud, water and other debris during production.

However, the process of testing and locating contamination is long and some residents have resorted to litigation in order to find relief.

Chenoweth's parents, Jeff and Lisa Chenoweth, were among several plaintiffs in a suit filed June 22 with the same law firm of Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy against the oil companies.

Along the Chenoweths' street, Chevron purchased and demolished three homes, at 753, 759 and 767 Raintree Drive, in order to clean up the sites.

Other companies also bought and demolished homes in the neighborhood.

In the past, when oil wells were decommissioned, the sumps were either buried or left to dry out, unmarked. That met legal standards at the time, oil company officials have said.

Malia Spencer can be reached at 739-2219 or mspencer@santamariatimes.com.

Nov. 3, 2006

Anna said...

Hi doll!
I just had to tell you that I happened to be reading your blog aloud to my mom (which I've never done) and thought it was hilarious that you mentioned her. Such as you guessed, she has been involved in the Move-on campaign to get the dem. vote out in all the crucial swing states, as well as knocking on doors here in town. She's only managed to drag me to phone banking once. Let me tell you, people in Virginia don't like to discuss politics with strangers! The longest conversation I had was with an African American lady telling me how she can understand George Allen's racist comments because sometimes she makes racist comments about Puerto Ricans and it's just words, so she'll probably vote for him. (!!) We must be a terribly emotionally wounded society... I love and miss you. stay strong.

Mary Pat said...

soooo Bess and I were sitting at Stanford Mall yesterday and talking about you while we ate a fat free turkey hot dog...(because it is fat free does that mean it is any better for you than the other kind? I think not!my stomach still hurts...) and I was telling her the same thing that apparently every one here agrees on...you are a gifted writer and such a joy to follow. Your words make me feel like I am sitting there with you enjoying a cup of coffee. You have a real gift and thank you for sharing it!!! I think of you daily and look forward to your blogs...

Mary Pat said...
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