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book tags

I've decided to "archive" the books I read with collaged luggage tags, ya know, the kind you buy at JoAnn and gussy up with your collage-y stuff. I still only finish about a book a month, and I'm pursuing this artsy urge I've had to collage. So here's the first in a series: a collage tag for Darin Strauss's Chang and Eng. This book is historical fiction, documenting the life of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, who began their lives under the protective care of their mother and father, who were Mekong fisherfolk trying to live as normally as they can on a floating hovel. The twins are condemned to death by the King of Siam, but once the King meets them he changes his mind about the "bad omen" they portend, instead choosing to believe that they're a harbinger of good luck to Siam. So the King undertakes to educate the twins, who live under his roof for many years before they hear of their father's death. The King releases them once again to the Mekong. While there they are snatched up by a man who promotes freaks. Thus begins Chang and Eng's long career on exhibition as the famous Double-Boy of Siam. Eventually they settle in Wilkesboro, N. Carolina, marrying sisters. The story disintegrates from here, choosing to focus on Eng's infidelity with Chang's wife... we're to believe this can happen because Eng is a staunch Prohibitionist while Chang is a drunkard.

Not the greatest book, but I rather like the tag. Turns out that once the twins died their autopsy revealed that they shared no internal organs and could have been separated simply by severing the band of flesh and cartilage that joined them at the sternum. The tag is double-sided, to reflect that joining, one side showing the twins as boys in Siam, the other showing them as young men in America.


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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').

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expanding my culinary horizons

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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."

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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 …