Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 dying, post from Autlán, México

2008 fades
a year full of surprises
as is always life

i started the 2008 Neujahrstag
in Bielefeld, Germany

this was my Grand Canyon year
an unforgettable experience

and now i write from a mexican keyboard
finally i can reach easily the "ñ" & the accents
and even though i love my little Sandiegan life
it will be hard to leave this colorful mexican town
Autlán, Jalisco, México

and after a couple of days spent here
i realize that no matter how far i travel
the wonders of Europe, the convinience of the USA
the exotique and rich cities of the worlds
my heart belongs in México
my tongue feels so comfortable to
hablar en Español

anyways here wishing a late "Feliz Navidad"
and a wonderful 2009
to the souls who dare read here

wishing you that the kitchen of your heart
cooks wonderful dishes for your soul for you this 2009
esperando que la cocina de su corazón
cocine para ustedes los mejores platillos para su alma
para el año 2009

Thursday, December 18, 2008

christmas self-giving, nothing to be frightened of

i am not done yet with
my Christmas-presents buying
for friends and family
but i have already collected
a good amount of unplanned-to-buy items
for myself, every time i try to buy
something for my family or friends
i don't seem to find anything that could fit them
but curiously enough i seem to find every time
something for myself
so i decided no more gifts for me!
these are enough, specially since i think
i am more on the naughty side this year
anyway my latests indulgences

1. a 2009 small enough to fit in my purse agenda
since 1999 i have been collecting these agendas
but in these agendas i rarely keep appointments
i take quick/random notes & impressions of the day
(not daily)

2. a calendar for my kitchen
i had a cool one for 2008 and liked the idea
of seeing it on my kitchen, those cute art deco
posters of old food items are always charming
and they work for home appointments
and to remember when not to park my car
'cause of street sweeping...

3. On Beauty, by Zadie Smith, a recommendation
of mister Insky, a fine collector of interesting music,
great photographer, and avid reader who introduced
to mister Julian Barnes, and Paul Auster, amongst many
others, rather influencing along with my best friend's dad
on American authors, American and English literature.
So when I saw one of his recommendations and having read
a bit over miss Zadie Smith, on how witty and hilarious are
her books, the wonders of her story-telling, she's been
called a modern-day Dickens, a hard-cover for $5.99
oh yeah!

4. and then ah one of my favorite authors
Julian Barnes
the 1st non-fiction book of his I am about to read
Nothing to be Frightened Of
Barnes style is ironic, clever, elegant and well,
I heard about this book a couple of months ago
but my mind got distracted and wandered
then per conversations with Herr Georg
and after reading his famous post on
Religion, Power, and Money
I remembered Barnes' latest book
so i revisited this article about the book
Dying of the Light by Garrison Keillor
in the New York Times

the idea of reading Barnes' words, ideas,
and memoirs on aging, death, faith, and religion
feels like an oasis in my cluttered mind
i am currently reading Carls Hiaasen's Sick Puppy
but i suspect that Barnes' book will be my 1st one for 2009

5. this colorful Guatemalan scarf

6. the many bears are part of some Christmas packages
I am putting together for friends, I just thought a group
photo of them would be a good memory before sending
them all to different homes

so i guess i have enough of unnecessary necessities
for myself to cover 2009
well, except for the books, i hope i will be needing
at least another couple dozen of those thru the year...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

rain Regen lluvia

kalt und feucht
cold and wet
frío y mojado

that's our town today
Monday we had the 1st winter storm
& Wednesday even colder and wetter
and you can feel all that 'scattered' energy
in the air, the uncertainty of mother nature's
behavior translates into this powerful feeling
of being under her mercy, and then the Christmas rush

my street this morning, as i drag myself to work

i personally enjoy
cold winter days, but the wetness
and having to drive the freeways
amongst a bunch of Californian
lousy drivers is not something
i look for... still i look for some
little enjoy on the comfort of these
my street's palm trees versus this grayness
it's an usual sight for us after all

Monday, December 15, 2008

simple green tea noodle soup

for cold or sunny days
this soup is very easy to make
and very healthy too

after trying some wild vegetable soup
with some green noodles
at a little Tokyo Izakaya in Los Angeles
named Haru Ulala, a couple of months later
i saw the same kind at a 99 Ranch store
and realized that the green color of the noodles
was 'cause they were Green tea flavored noodles

i didn't know how to replicate the recipe
of the original soup but i remembered
some of the ingredients, shiitake mushrooms
and green beans, and other veggies

so gave it a try since the ingredients are cheap
i thought, oh well! if i doesn't come OK i can just toss it...
i made a very small batch and
since i didn't have green beans i made my soup with only
dried shiitake mushrooms
and some small broccoli florets
at the 1st try came out OK, very similar to the soup i had
and very edible indeed, by now it has become a favorite
quick fix when craving soup

here the quick instructions:

-soak the dry mushrooms for at least 15 minutes
in lukewarm water

- cut the broccoli or any other veggies in very small sizes
(i don't cook the veggies, they just cook with the boiling water
of the soup right after serving, so they are still crunchy and crisp
but make sure to use veggies that don't require a lot of cooking time
such as potatoes, i think small carrots or green beans are good options)

-in boiling water, add the amount of noodles you will eat
and cook for 4 to 5 minutes

-in the same water you cooked the noodles, add the mushrooms
and the broccoli (or other veggies)

- serve & eat it right away! while steaming

it has a very earthy fresh healthy taste
and afterwards your belly & spirit shall be warm

Sunday, December 14, 2008

emergency: breakfast

a late cold Sunday morning
a breakfast idea request!

[my head's recalling that cold pint of New Castle
at the Ould Sod yesterday]

any ideas?
what do you usually eat on Sunday mornings?
or days off?

looking forward your appreciated information

disclaimer: all data collected will benefit
'the hungry stomach in need, assoc.'
a non-profit run by me

Saturday, December 13, 2008

winter time friends

today was a cold day
54ºF or 12ºC
winter has finally arrived!

and cold winds brought
4 cool dear friends
cold wind outside
warmed by the shared smiles
nothing like having a good friend
stopping by in a lazy gray day

and as every winter
my consumption of Good Earth tea
has increased
[i rarely drink this tea in the summer days]
thus the quota
of tea-advices
here for you to 'suffer' thru them

and why i drink so much Good Earth tea
on winter days? 'cause as the label says
it is sweet & spicy, you would think
it has sweeteners but not! just a
very zesty rich bold taste

Ingredients of the Good Earth blend: Red Rooibos, Chicory Root, Artificial Flavor, Rosehips, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Papaya, Chamomile, Panax Ginseng Leaves, Anise Seed, Ginger Root, Dandelion Root, Orange Peel and Orange Oil.

December little poem

the office upstairs smells
like old coffee and paperwork

before long, then smells like
a-moment-ago opened-door
and like a new oomph,
as a life-force,
crossing the threshold,
the breezing coil folded up
blowing out papers stacked up for months
in an endless up-the-wind hunt

i smiled
the moment broke

(just the smell took place
the rest, just metaphors rapt in this old skull)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

ah! Christmas again

[a lovely traditional red Cardinal, a mini-ornament
one of those old-fashioned now-infamous chinese led toys]

so Christmas has arrived, officially, to meinem kleinen Haus
¡si si si!
Feliz Navidad und Merry Christmas & all that!

[this crown was a gift from my friend Stephanie
she moved, driving all the way, from San Diego to Michigan
no room for x-mas stuff]

a weekend of dusting off the old little tree
& recovering cheap ornaments that i stored mixed with memoirs
of past Christmas, past homes, past friends
this will be my 3rd Christmas
in this little so cold/so warm home
my rented shaky little house

[the little trees was a gift from my friend Iliana
back in 2001! for the 1st Christmas i spent in San Diego]

and as you see ornaments and lights
you might think i am a Christmas aficionado
and not always have i been a Christmas fan
i have had my years of holiday-dissidence
mostly discouraged by the senseless profiteering
of the season

but then these later years of my life
some romantic sentiment warms me up
when holidays and traditions come around
and i forget about the economics of holidays
and just enjoy the warm good side of them
i guess i got tired of fighting
i guess i am OK with things i wasn't OK when i was younger
i guess is the coldish weather
i guess is the age

but also...
i am starting to suspect
that Christmas like other cheerful dates
is for romantic fools, for innocent children,
for candid believers, and softies on advanced age
and since i do have a bit of all of the above

sure then too!
my little inexpensive non-matching ornamented
little merry Christmas i enjoy!

& i hope you enjoy yours too!
and don't forget to hang a little ornament
or two, on your table, on your door
but mostly, put a little Christmas light
between your soul

[even for my little outside table
i had a tree, a very cheap one i got a while ago
in a thrift store, this is the one with the miniature
love red cardinals]

Monday, December 08, 2008

the good and the bad in San Diego today

a hectic Monday for San Diego

very sad news
[jet crash]

very good news
[new Mexico-California border crossing]

Monday, December 01, 2008

a Monday dissertation on mortality, tea, and bees

on my drive home from work
on a foggy evening
this poor bee got stuck to my windshield
i tried to leave it behind in some bushes in a stop attempt
before jumping on the freeway

she refused!
and more on a stubbornly fashion than a proud act
she decided to face what i think was his/her
detachment from life

ah! the imminent mortality!
she flew away, but i will never be sure
of her late fortune

once at home, i looked for some warm comfort
the nightly, almost automatic arrival routine
rinsed the tea pot, roar-boiled water
ripped the fragrant little bag of tea
instantly, a cozy feeling invaded me
an ease lifted my spirit
and my soul with the satisfaction
of arriving to one's home
and then i carefully read
my homely tea advice

and what is my surprise!
to my rhetoric on mortality thoughts
on a Monday evening
while driving a bee on the freeway,
i got answered by this anonymous tea-advice

do you believe in coincidences?


do you believe in tea, bees, and home-made magic
in a foggy California town?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

book Sunday reading

so few times lately i feel proud of myself
i do work every day
and i do what a 'regular' sort of responsible
citizen is expected to do
but since i don't exercise anymore,
those little feelings of accomplishments
and self-fulfillment that come with running an extra-block
or swimming an extra lap, haven't been around
i don't really go out of my way to do much these days

but today
but i was able to finish Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential
'right on time!'

as i posted before
i was being lazy even with books!
so i pushed a little and today
last day of November i was able to finish on time the book

it took some effort to concentrate to confess
and with this tendency i have to sabotage myself
i had to be extra careful, i left the house so i didn't have
many distractions, i buried myself in a Starbucks
and ordered a black coffee, sat & read & read & read

of course, i got distracted many many many times
by the colorful walls and the squarish semi-art

my mind tricked me into counting the birds on top of
this coffee drinker seated outside

later it made me focus on the lady-in-black
crossing the street

even the backs of chairs were
appealing... and every time, i'd be too distracted
i'd take a photo and go back to read... it worked!
lots of bad rushed photos, lots of pages read
a cheap way of entertaining yourself

and even thought, by the time i left Starbucks
i wasn't done with the book, i made a huge advance there

i came home, made an extra mug of cherry green tea
and devoured the Afterword
i have the 'updated edition'
so like in a trance, i read all the extra materials
'A Conversation with Anthony Bourdain',
an article by Bourdain on New York dinning recommendations
and others

i read the whole thing!!
and just to make sure, i wasn't being a flake, as i usually am
i read the colophon, the printing credits
the back cover and even the back of the book a couple of times

it was so cool update it at
from the currently-reading to read shelf...

ah!! nothing like the sense of accomplishment
after doing something just for the pleasure of doing it
and for yourself, no work to complete, no social engagement
just following your own rules
nice when it works!

now to keep in one-per- month book state
until i am back on good-reading-shape
and comes to me automatically, spontaneously
as it once did

even with the fun things in life
sometimes one has to shake laziness
and discipline yourself to have fun out there

yeah yeah yeah
read a little book you too, today
or listen to a whole album, start to finish
or a cool article...
ah anyway another week comes ahead...

movie Saturday night

Ken Cinema in Kensington - San Diego, California

the film indeed met its expectations
[an a little more!]
Fear(s) of the Dark / Peur(s) du noir
it was not only scary and interesting
but even a tad disturbing at times

Now-playing poster spot at 'the Ken'

a rather interesting black & white
animation on human primordial fears
i wouldn't recommend it for kids
or young teenagers, even though
the violence is not so graphic
(although it is some times)
the whole tone of the film
is dark not just on the supra-natural taste
of things, but dark when it comes to human nature

experimental, noir, and literally black & white
highly recommended if you want to be a little
horrified and don't mind being disturbed too

and yes! there are moments in the film
when you'll have too
fear(s) of the dark

it kept me awake
and was a good thing on a Saturday night
but then i came back home and slept fine

strange unremembered dreams
weren't the film to blame about
just this inconsistent feeling of
having dreamed a forgot on the waking times

another Sunday, warmer, drier
life, with its seconds and minutes
all together, passing by

we can close our eyes -but
we can't close our ears -and
we can't stop the time

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fear(s) of the Dark / Peur(s) du noir

perusing around the Ken cinema schedule
[Ken cinema is an originally kept movie theater from the mid 40's walking distance from my house, rather charming place]
discover they are showing today

Fear(s) of the Dark / Peur(s) du noir

so checked the trailer and website
& wow! a rather interesting animation film!
sounds perfect for an after rain chilly Saturday film
please check this link
with samples of the different artists who worked
on the animation on the film
all different styles, but all black & white
and all rather creepy!

here some stills from different artists styles
and their names, taken from images sections
of the official site

Charles Burns

Richard McGuire

Lorenzo Mattotti

Marie Caillou

Pierre Di Sciullo

Richard McGuire

can't wait to watch it!

the trailer

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2009

on a rainy with beautiful sunny patches day

we celebrated a lovely and delicious
Thanksgiving dinner this past Thursday
in San Diego

here some of the delights we shared
we had all the traditional trimmings too
mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
sweet potatoes, my friend Jena
tried a recipe of sweet potatoes with apples
raisins and pecans, i really liked it!
the apples gave the sweet potatoes a milder
softer texture, great combo!

but surely the star of the night
was my friend perro's roasted cranberry sauce
an original twist on the traditional cranberry sauce
that is made just with sugar and cranberries
he added roasted cardamom pods, cinnamon,
and jalapeños, and not sure what else
but it was surprisingly good treat

also his Russian bread with caraway seeds
that we ate before dinner, with this delicious
fondue of Gruyère cheese and Brandy...
it was exquisite!
all this accompanied by a couple of glasses
of chardonnay and other blanc wines

my job was the same as the past couple of years
in charge of pumpkin pie

worth mentioning that our hosts, apart from trimming
and turkey, baked a delicious sweet potato pie
with pecans on top, home-made crust...

this American holiday has become not only sharing
this traditional menu with the goods of the Autumn,
but a warm celebration of thankfulness for the good things
we have in our life

as surely i am thankful, for those wonderful fluffy clouds on the skies
for the fortunate fragrances and tastes of not just the delicious meal above
but the meals i get every day, as i never go hungry or cold
and i am thankful to be able to see the smiles of friends
and families and too the ones online!
thankful for being happy of being alive

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the coming rain

& driving back home tonight
my eyes posed over layers of images
a steering wheel, my cold hands,
the dirty windshield, the dusty board
and then followed this spectacular
woolly blanket of clouds

... the imminent signs in the sky of
a promised-long-overdue rain

and later
this night

as i type,
a lone sound outside
[nearly foreign to me now]

is that one of she! wet!
typing too, with her clean clear big drops
she falls
on the ground
on the grass
on the floor & w/
her fresh crisp claims
launders it all
leaving traces of hope

after a little while,
like these words,
she will dry out,

Jhumpa Lahiri and

I found this little gadget on
where you can share your books' reviews
and your reading lists, recommendations, etc.
on your blog and
i recently started adding books & words there
a couple of days ago my friend Risa
wrote me a lovely e-mail saying that
after reading this review she decided
to read this book
so here, sharing
it is indeed a wonderful book!

Interpreter of Maladies Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
rating: 5 of 5 stars
My review:
This book is a collection of soulful short stories of Indian immigrants living in the US and I think some stories where in India too, I read this book maybe in 2006 or 2007 but every time I think of a book that really touched me emotionally I think of this book or Alice Munro's short stories. I came across Interpreter of Maladies by chance, it was left at the lunch table at my office where co-workers exchange used items. I picked up and didn't read it for a while... After reading the 1st short story, I was immediately excited about the jewel I've found for free. Every story is about love and relationships and quirkiness of the human soul. Every story, regardless of being about love between lovers, or an old-lady working alone in an abandon building, reveals some kind of magic. With few books I cry while I read, and this one, in such a humanitarian point of view, made me cry a couple of times. I am really surprised to see how young is the beautiful author, because her words sound like those of an old soul. A must read. You'll appreciate every turn of the each story.
View all my reviews.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Presidio park: haven of peace

tasted like copper this Sunday
at the Presidio Park

not radiant like Summer gold
not cold like Winter silver
but a warm orange
cooper Sunday

and i followed unexpected my own steps
3.12 pm (15.12 Uhr)
a sudden need for nature
the sight of a tree
a walk, i needed freedom!
and almost automatically drove
to these
prairies and trees
it was the mild orange of copper
today at the Presidio park
and i walked, and breathed
and caressed with my little camera
oh so many trees!

Autumn and blooming

cold and sunny Sunday in San Diego
but last week the late Summer was visiting still
sprouting, flowering

an wide orange smile

too early? or too late Spring?

blooming late November, still

this jar with sprouts of an old root of Peppermint

thursday bad, friday not

last Thursday was bad
migraine again
and no work

Friday, not so bad!
finished the 1st scarf of the Autumn
with left overs of yarn from last year
so it's a shorty one

and following a long-time ago advice
from my dear friend al
i now got a more colorful yarn
to make more psychedelic scarfs while snoozing out
behind the TV on the colder evenings this winter
and yes! we do have some cool nights in San Diego

also Friday got to wear my new walking-witch model

they are really comfortable!
and remind me of the shoes i wore
on the 70's when i was a girl
i haven't wear shoes with laces, except for tennis shoes
in a while, i thought these would be good for a change

and in the evening, i got my tea-advice
from my cup of Good Earth tea
a sweet and spicy blend