Archive for February 2007

Was that John Travolta Opening the Closet Door?

February 25th, 2007 — 10:17pm

At the Oscars tonight, John Travolta presented an award after a rousing performance by Jennifer Hudson of Dreamgirls. He said that he loved watching performances of zaftig ladies strutting their stuff. Then he said, “but enough about me.” The camera zoomed into Melissa Etheridge’s face, her jaw agape. She was probably thinking, did John Travolta just come out on the Academy Awards in front of 50 million people?

Did he?

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Kill the Crab Already!

February 15th, 2007 — 6:33pm

I was buying some fish from my local fishmonger, when I overheard the woman in front of me say to the man behind the counter…

“So, how do I kill a crab?” she asks.
“Boil it,” he says.

“Won’t that be painful?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the most humane way to kill it?”

“I can whack it on the head — instant death,” he says helpfully.
“Oh Lord, no!” she mutters, then asks, “can I freeze it?”
“I wouldn’t,” he replies.

“What am I going to do?” she wails, looking seriously distressed.

“Become a vegetarian?” I venture tentatively.
She looks at me, her eyes narrow. I think I’ve offended her.

Then she says, “I got it! My husband will kill it!”

She picks up her crab and leaves.

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Dream Girl

February 13th, 2007 — 7:37am

Jennifer Hudson, one of the stars of the movie “Dreamgirls”, will be on the cover of Vogue next month. This is remarkable because Hudson wears a size 12.

In press interviews she has said, in essence, this is who I am, I love who I am, take it or leave it. Crowds seem to be taking it.

I say good for her! No, *great* for her. Size 12 isn’t an aberration — it’s the norm. (Actually, one size larger is the norm). I’m not sure Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, is doing this for the rights of curvy women — she’s more interested in selling newsstand copies and creating buzz (she has succeeded). But notwithstanding, the value of seeing a luscious girl on the cover of Vogue remains commendable.

And makes me just a wee bit prouder of my curves.

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Jello Pie

February 11th, 2007 — 9:56am

My mother has never enjoyed cooking. I grew up on TV dinners and iceberg lettuce salads, which I ate in part because she worked and didn’t have time to cook. On the other hand, she never pretended to enjoy cooking and food never really interested her. My father travelled all the time for his work, so he couldn’t, and wasn’t interested, in taking up the slack.
To say I grew up with a sense of loss around food and eating is an understatement — a loss I’m still trying to make sense of.

But recently I visited my 76 year old mother, and she proudly presented me and my 7 year old boys with a pie she had made — a diet lime jello, pineapple,  and low-fat Cool Whip pie in a graham cracker crust (no cooking, just mixing the ingredients and pouring them on). She brought it out the kitchen with a huge smile on her face and served us each a piece.

Maybe I didn’t enjoy it that much (though my son Matthew liked it), but she served it with joy and love. And in that moment, I felt just a little more full, a little more healed.

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Edible East Bay

February 1st, 2007 — 6:23pm

I wrote a piece on local CSAs (community supported agriculture) for the new issue of Edible East Bay ( Eating locally grown foods is good for you, for the environment, and for your agricultural community and local economy. I’m a long time member of Full Belly Farm (, which is located in the Capay Valley about 150 miles northeast of my home in Berkeley. I pay about $15 a week and in return, get a wildly fresh box of seasonal vegetables, and occasional fruits. By paying the money up front, CSA members somewhat offset the risk of small scale farming, and everyone benefits. The farmers, certainly, who receive income directly and don’t get their profits slashed by distributors, but also the consumer, who gets produce picked that morning, or close to it.

If you live in the East Bay, pick up a copy, and see the many CSAs available in our own back yard.

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