March 10, 2011 is the International Day of Awesomeness * In honor of the occasion, permit me to mention a few things I find awesome: 1. Coffee. (Especially this kind and this kind, though not so much the kind that passed through the GI tract of a civet.) 2. Friends with a good sense of humor, especially the ones who make you laugh when you really need it. (I have many of these, and I’m grateful for every one.) 3. Lemon Cupcakes. (Or any cupcakes. Let’s not be stingy.) The best ones come from Icing on the Cupcake, a SacramentoRead more
Month: March 2011
The Boy Who (Was Almost) Called Wolf
As promised, I’m continuing observance of Celebrate Your Name Week with a story of a name that’s not my own. Every name has meaning. Most of them have a story too. This is the story of Tesla’s – or at least what it might have been. Tesla’s name was the subject of some controversy. I had a strong preference for one name (and since he actually received it I won’t be giving it here) but I was the only one who really felt an attachment to it. Ironically, there was no other candidate proposed – the reaction was simply “No,Read more
The Shrimp Has My Back
Deimos the cleaner shrimp has a new friend and it’s made a surprising difference in his behavior. The new cleaner shrimp (not surprisingly named ‘Phobos’) came home just over a week ago. He took an immediate liking to Deimos, though it took big-D a couple of hours to adjust to the smaller shrimp dogging his every step. Where Deimos went, Phobos went. If Deimos tapped something with his feelers, Phobos ran in to do the same. This irritated Deimos in the beginning. He even ran the smaller shrimp off several times, but the moment Deimos’ back was turned little PhobosRead more
What’s in a Name?
March 6-12 is official “Celebrate Your Name Week” and I’ve decided to play along. The first of the questions posed on the NamesUniverse site deals with the meaning and history of one’s own name. In my case, that would be “Susan” (though I’ve been known to answer to other things, some more memorably than others). Susan derives from a Hebrew word meaning “Lily.” The name was extremely popular in the United States between 1920 and 1960 (the #1 girls’ name between 1930 and 1950) but its popularity has waned in more recent decades. As a child, I always thought myRead more
Friday Reads: A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska
Last night I finished A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska: the Story of Hannah Breece – edited and with Introduction and Commentary by Jane Jacobs (Vintage Books, 1997). Old Alaska contains the journals and memoir of Hannah Breece, an unmarried teacher born and raised in Pennsylvania who chose to travel to Alaska and establish schools in native communities between 1904 and 1918. The journals were not originally written for publication, but Jacobs (who is also Breece’s great-niece) worked with Jacobs during the final years of her life to fill in gaps and transform an already interesting memoir into something truly unique.Read more
We’d All be in a Lot of Trouble.
The post title answers the question posed by today’s observance. You see, March 3 is apparently official “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day” – and as any pet owner can attest, that’s a recipe for disaster. Something I know from personal experience, because I once had a cat with opposable thumbs. Technically they weren’t exactly “thumbs” as we know them, of course. The cat was named “Clicker” (for the noise her extra claws made on the floor) and she was a polydactyl, but instead of having just extra toes on her front paws, she had extra pawsRead more
One Day, Two Day, Seuss Day, Today!
March 2, 1904: Theodore Seuss Geisel is born in Springfield, Massachusetts. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Seuss attended Oxford University and then returned to the United States to pursue a career as a cartoonist. His first attempt at fiction, And to Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street, garnered an impressive (though certainly not record-breaking) two dozen rejections before finally achieving publication in 1937. It would be two more decades before Seuss had a bestseller. That book – The Cat in the Hat – remains a much-parodied classic to this day. Seuss died in 1991, at the age ofRead more
Before and After: By Popular Demand
I might have misjudged the popularity of Tuesday Tank-Day. (My not-quite-humble-and-possibly-snickering-apologies to the squeaky wheels.) In the interest of completing the day’s work and also responding to a request I received after last week’s Tank Day post about Fluffy the Wonder Worm, here’s an abbreviated Tuesday Tank Day offering. Fluffy before: Note: Fluffy is the red worm on the right. (as always, pictures by my friend Wing, taken on December 31, 2010) and … Fluffy after: Fluffy is the…yellow…worm on the right. For those of you seeking a way to tell worms from leopards, now you know. Worms can changeRead more
Observations of March 2011*
Despite its leonine approach, the first day of March still surprised me this year. Weeds being what they are, I could have used another day or two in February. Still, March is upon us, so let’s take a look at some of the observances happening this month. March is: National Ethics Awareness Month (Apparently, you don’t need to have them, as long as you know that you don’t.) Credit Education Month (because a credit card is a terrible thing to waste) Caffeine Awareness Month (coffee..Coffee…COFFEE!) Frozen Food Month (peel back foil from observance) and Cheerleading Safety Month (Save the Cheerleader,Read more