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chock-a-block, or Summertime Terror

chock-a-block: extremely full; crowded; jammed: a room chockablock with furniture and plants.

After nearly a month without posting I figure a slight overhaul is in order. Firstly, a name change. I do a lot of blog reading but not a lot of blog posting not for lack of content but rather lack of motivation. What might make it easier? What might motivate me to post? Could something as simple as a name change and shift of focus goose me enough to get me going? Probably not. But we'll see.

Secondly, a template change. Not dedicated enough to the previous design to feel any grief over losing it, figured out how to add a title field to my posts, discovered the new Customization tools. Could something as simple as a new look and possibly a new banner goose me enough to get me going? Probably not. But we'll see.

I think (hope?) my main motivation for posting more regularly might be my sudden planned change in schedule. For the first time in two decades I'm taking the summer off.

See, I'm not sure if that's a gleeful shout or a terrified scream. What I'm hoping to do now with chock-a-blog is document my summer with my son Jack, who won't be going to summer camp this year. We have an entire blissful summer of freedom ahead of us.

What on earth are we going to do?

I'll let you know.


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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

It's easy to tell yourself that you'll write a daily blog entry using the word of the day from dictionary(dot)com as a prompt, and equally easy to temporize your daily entry by waffling over what to write about, or evading your obligation by procrastination. There. Bedtime.

expanding my culinary horizons

After last night's culinary debacle, today's culinary surprise was particularly welcome. My dear friend Rukmi brought me lunch! Rukmi is Sri Lankan. She cooks the best food. I ate a fish and egg croquette, lentil curry, saffron rice, all with delicious chicken and what I thought might be tuna. I asked Rukmi what the meat was, and she told me it's all chicken. "The flat, triangular meat? With the spices? Is it tuna?"

She laughed lightly. "That's a wegetable," she said, in her lovely Sinhalese way.

"Oh, yeah? Like a beet?" That made sense, because it flaked like tuna steak or like beets might.

"It is jackfruit."

Jackfruit? Jackfruit! I ate jackfruit today. Rukmi told me all about it: she used canned young jackfruit she bought at G & L Market on 22nd St.; fully grown jackfruits are gigantic and if one fell on your head it could kill you. When fully ripe, jackfruit is full of big pods that each have a seed in the middle, like a po…

the more things change...

So many reasons it's been a long time since we took the boys out thrift store shopping. Yesterday, Tuesday, both of us had a full day off to spend as we pleased.

First we ate at Chaffin's Diner. They seated us in the less-dinery back room, which ended up being a good thing because we sat directly beneath a fan and didn't notice so much the heat. E drank decaff coffee with cream. I didn't notice sugar. Decaff, like his Uncle D. Coffee, like his Mimi.

We hit Shop for a Cause first, where the boys found nothing and subsequently sulked.

Next we pulled into the Humane Society Thrift Store, which I haven't visited in a long time. Historically I haven't found anything there.

Today we hit the treasure jackpot.

A $2 Ziploc bag containing the comprehensive plastic presidential contingent from Washington through Eisenhower.

Of course E had them ordered in a matter of moments.

Finally we escaped the store with a trove of treasures (more than I've found in one place in …