Archive for April, 2008

Truck Nuts

A Few Nuts

Originally uploaded by nodigio


Yanno, I know they’re out there. I’m sure I’ve probably seen hundreds of them. After all, I live in a part of the country that prides itself on its machismo. I bet my brother has a pair dangling from every vehicle he owns, and my brother in law would if my sister would let him. My youngest doesn’t only because he’s been in Iraq since this became available, but I bet he’ll have a pair for his truck , his jeep, and his bride’s car as soon as he gets back to the states. He’d probably love it if I sent him a pair to hang on his tank – it’s just the sort of thing soldiers (of any gender – my Army daughter-in-law, for example) would love.

All that said, I haven’t actually noticed any. I guess it’s because I don’t waste my time looking for things that will offend me.


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List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.

Seven, huh?

Let’s see.

  1. I cannot abide stupidity. I am not talking here about ignorance or people with lower levels of intelligence.  I am talking about people who are smart and choose not to be.  They deliberately blind themselves to the reality around them and to the facts, choosing to build a little world of their own and to viciously attack anyone who accidentally broaches their walls.  I’m talking about people who know running a red light can cause accidents and yet choose to do so anyway.  I’m talking about people who hear and see the rising the gasoline prices and yet choose to buy a vehicle that guzzles gasoline.  I’m talking about people who feel the effects of pollution in their breathing and yet vote against air cleaning laws.  Stupidity on any level angers me almost into incoherence.
  2. I have very high standards for myself. I do not apply my standards to other people.  They have a different, much lower, set of standards I expect from them.  And it varies according to the person.  I expect much more of people I have seen are capable than I do of people I don’t know at all.  I have lower expectations from children than I do adults.  I have different expectations from a police officer than I do from a doctor.  I tailor my expectations according to the person and their profession and other habits.  My standards for me are high because I know what I’m capable of.
  3. I am a sensual person. I love good food well prepared and well presented.  I love the feel of different textures, the odors of different fragrances, the colors of various things.  The shapes and positions of things can please me inordinately.  I am a synesthete, which means my senses are sort of scrambled.  Colors are also fragrances and textures to me, temperatures are textures as well – hot things are sharp and pointy.  Flavors come through as color and texture.  The one sense that seems to be lacking is sound.  Almost everything is muted and sound comes through to me as sound only.  I don’t hear variations in pitch or tone, only volume.  The words of a song mean more to me than the musical score.  What music I understand and “hear” is based upon words alone, the textures, images, and emotions they evoke.
  4. My spirituality is integral to my life. It doesn’t need to be shared, it doesn’t need to be validated by outside sources, it doesn’t need someone else’s permission or interpretation.  Everything I do is based upon my spiritual beliefs from the food I select and prepare to the words I say and the deeds I accomplish.  The very air I breathe is a part of my spirituality.  There is no moment I am not aware of the gift of life I have been given.  This is part of the reason I have such high standards for myself – I have been given a great gift of life and I feel it is wrong to squander it in any way, but most especially in trying to control other lives.  We each have this wonderful gift and we each have been given all the tools and senses and skills and abilities we need to survive and thrive and be.  Anything less is a sin.
  5. When I love, it is forever and unconditional. When I decide to love someone, even if that decision is made viscerally or subconsciously and without my fully informed consent, it is a forever thing.  The people I love don’t need to love me back.  They don’t even need to know I love them.  Time, distance, actions – none of that matters.  My love transcends all of these things.  If I love someone and don’t see them for 20 years, that love will still be as fresh and vital as it was 20 years ago. I have never said “I will love you only if you….” or “If you do … I will stop loving you” and I never will.  My love is constant, abiding, and will endure for as long as I live.  Maybe longer.  Nothing the other person can do will change that.  I am always surprised if someone loves me back.  I don’t expect it.  It – humbles – me to be loved by someone else.
  6. My anger is a flash. I have a lot of “breakers” that snap and reset quickly so my anger rarely lasts for long.  A few words, a mean look, and voila, it’s history and I’m not mad anymore.  I’m ready to move on and get on with life.  I don’t hold a grudge and I can’t wrap my mind around people who do.  I think it’s a waste of time to nurse a grudge and let it consume my life to the point that nothing else matters but revenge and getting even.  I snap, I move on.  Life is too full of other things to stop at one event.
  7. My hatred is forever. That seems to be a contradiction of the last point, but it isn’t.  Anger is over little things – flash, boom and it’s done, like a power surge through a breaker box.  Hatred is a big thing, caused by large issues.  My response to hatred is usually avoidance if it is directed against a person.  If I must deal with a person I hate, I will be meticulously polite, but not friendly.  It takes a lot for a person to elicit hatred from me, and I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the people I hate.  When I hate a situation, my reaction is to change it, make it less hateful.  Whether that’s campaigning to change a law (very rarely to enact a law, we have so many laws there’s bound to be one that applies in every situation that can be changed, there’s no need to confuse things with ever more new laws), working to change conditions so the hated event can’t exist, or eliminating the hated thing so it ceases to be, I take action.  This makes me an activist in many ways.

And there you have it, seven of my little quirks.

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Baklava up close

Originally uploaded by nodigio

I buy donuts every Friday for my co-workers.

When I started doing this, I’d found a donut shop I loved. The owner was delighted about owning the shop and it showed in his donuts. They were light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The glaze had a hint of almond and cinnamon in it. For three years, he owned this shop, then he passed it on to his children, who saw the donut shop as a job, not as a skill or a craft the way their father did.

The donuts suffered, but were still better than anyone else’s in town.

Then, they started passing the shop around among their relatives and the donuts were simply a way to make a lot of money. The donuts were hit-or-miss for being good. Some days, the donuts were raw in the middle. Apparently, enough people complained that they brought back the son to make the donuts and the quality evened back out. It was kind of rocky for a while there, and I investigated other donut shops in case they continued their downward spiral.

I dismissed Krispy Kreme because I really detest their waxy glaze. My mother-in-law adores them and I know a lot of other people really like them, but I can’t stand the excess paraffin they use to make their glaze firm.

I dismissed Dunkin’ Donuts because they’re out of the way and sort of hard to get to.

There is no Winchell’s anywhere nearby, so that lets them out.

That left only 2 other donut shops that were on the way to work. One is a franchise run by a single man – who makes really good donuts but if some of my co-workers ever saw the inside of his donut shop, they’d gag. He’s not very tidy as he makes his donuts. They are good, though. Almost as good as the first donut shop’s were when the original owner still made the donuts.

The other is locally owned and been passed down in the family. People have aved about this bakery for years, but I’ve never been impressed with them. They’re expensive, they’re sort of rude (not all of them, I’ve met one who was polite – not friendly, just polite), and the items I’ve purchased from them were, let’s go with “adequate”. I’d never bought their donuts, though. Maybe that’s what people were raving about. So I bought donuts there.

Eeew. The worst donuts ever – even worse, in my opinion, than Krispy Kreme! They were small, and hard. You didn’t even have to touch them to know they were hard. They looked hard. The glaze was uneven and laminated in thick flakes. When you bit into it, the donut was tough. It had a thick crust, as if it had been fried in cold oil. The dough on the inside was too firm for a yeast donut. It was almost too firm for a cake donut. It was like they hadn’t had time to rise at all; just mixed, let to rest long enough to roll out, cut, and fried immediately. The flavor was overly sweet. Maybe that’s where the raves come in – the people raving about how wonderful these donuts are like them really sweet.

Me, I like my yeast donuts to be soft, light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a thin glaze. This means they need to rise until they are at least doubled in size. They need to be fried in hot oil so they puff and seal quickly. They need to be glazed while still hot so the glaze spreads evenly and thinly and the glaze shouldn’t be too sweet.

I shan’t be returning to the family bakery for donuts, bagels, bread, or sandwiches because I’ve been disappointed in all of them. I’ve really tried to see what it is people love about this bakery so much and I just can’t see it.

But, you know, out of 5 donut shops, only 2 fail to met my standards, so that leaves me with 3 choices (assuming I change my route to work to pass by a Dunkin’ Donuts). Since the original donut shop stabilized again and the donuts, while not as good as the father’s, are good again. Three good donut shops makes me happy.

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