Bridge Over the River Kawaii

September 19, 2018

… for Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrr:

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La décolletagiste dans la cuisine

September 18, 2018

In today’s e-newsletter from bon appétit magazine, celebrity Chrissy Teigen flaunts her ribs — Thai soy-garlic fried ribs — and wields her baguettes — on a tray of banh mi — for family and friends:

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Mornings in Greece and Rome

September 17, 2018

Two morning names: from the 8th, the Greek dessert wine mavrodaphne; and from the 9th, the garment peplum (the ancient Roman garment, based on the Greek peplos; the modern flounce in women’s clothing — and more).

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Proustian paradise poems

September 17, 2018

In the most recent New York Times Magazine, “On a Line by Proust” by Adam Giannelli. Then, from the “graduation dinner” for the 1990-91 Fellows at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, my “class poem”, “Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus” (the very line by Proust). The Giannelli is a villanelle of sorts, for a general audience; mine is very free verse, also occasional verse written for a small community.

In chronological order.

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The news for shoes

September 17, 2018

… and toucans, but not, surprisingly, pandas, despite the brand name.

Originally encountered in ads from the Footwear etc. stores (a California chain with a store on University Ave. in Palo Alto): Wanda Panda,

We Are Wanda Panda

Shoes, ankle boots and sandals for women. Made in Spain. [The company’s headquarters are in Alicante, on the Costa Blanca]

Hours of attention: Monday to Thursday, 9:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 18:00, Friday 9:00 – 13:00 [notably Spanish hours]

Phonemically /wandǝ pændǝ/ in English, apparently involving the bamboo-eating bear Ailuropoda melanoleuca (I have two friends with the panda as a very serious totem animal, so I’m alert to pandas) — but phonemically /wanda panda/ in Spanish, with no allusion to (el) panda ‘panda’ at all; instead the reference is to (la) panda ‘gang, crowd, group of friends’ (in European Spanish slang). And the Wanda Panda mascot is a cartoon toucan (tucán in Spanish):

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Some notes on the shoes. And then a digression on why Wanda and panda don’t rhyme in English (though they do in Spanish).

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Waving your flag

September 16, 2018

(Hunky male model in skimpy underwear and swimwear, comments on male bodies, but nothing X-rated — though not to everyone’s taste.)

It starts with the Daily Jocks ad on the 14th for its Underwear Club, featuring two shots of a Jor model I’ll call Carlos: in a tricolor “athletic brief” (red, white, blue, top to bottom) in the style called Navy; and in a differently arranged tricolor thong (blue, white, red, top to bottom) in the style called Frankie (perhaps to suggest France, whose flag is blue, white, red, left to right).

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Neighborhood flora: Chinese elms

September 15, 2018

Along Homer Avenue in Palo Alto, half a block south of my house, the street trees are mostly Chinese elms. In particular, the north side of the block from Ramona (my street) to Emerson (the Whole Foods street), it’s all Chinese elms, six of them. Here’s the one across Emerson from Whole Foods, in front of 201 Homer:

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An excellent street tree, both pretty and tough, especially satisfying in hot and/or dry areas. Here you can see the interesting mottled bark.

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News for penises: images, accidental and intentional

September 14, 2018

Just in: from a National Weather Service report on 9/11 tracking Hurricane Florence (unintentional phallicity); and gift bottles for the Italian liqueur Limoncello (pointedly intentional phallicity).

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Neighborhood flora: the cranesbills

September 14, 2018

In a fancy planter outside a neighborhood business just up Ramona St. from my house: stunning blue cranesbills — the hybrid Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, here in an image from the web:

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And with this, sweet memories of my first time in Palo Alto, 37 years ago, arriving here just after my birthday (9/6), to start a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences — on the foothills above Stanford, amidst untamed meadows in which a wild cranesbill, rosy-red Geranium dissectum, flourishes once the rainy season gets going.

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Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy

September 14, 2018

(Not suitable for Facebook, because double entendres and incidental naked men, but not actually X-rated. Mostly about food.)

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy. Plus a little Echeveria plant. These are more birthday presents from the 6th, from Juan Gomez and the aging care company he works for (a big tart — not merely una tarta, but un tartone — plus the little succulent) and from Kim Darnell (a cute fruit cream tartlet with a pansy).

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