Archive for February, 2011

DJ Progresso

February 18th, 2011

My friend DJ Progresso sent me this hilarious link about himself recently. His other alias is as state House Representative Tom Brower, and for the past four years, he's been delivering the opening day invocation as a rap:

While not a former songwriter, nor a professional rapper (really?), he does have a decade of radio deejay experience working at KSSK, KPOI, and one talk radio station. "My next invocation will be another rap called "Info Brief Your Ego,'" Rep. Brower hints.



If you're interested in catching the live performance, DJ Progresso will be at the State Capitol Chamber on March 28 at noon. The public is invited- fo' shizzle.


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Bee sting

February 17th, 2011

I don't get guys. When Claus was headed towards the shower last night, he took off his shirt and said to me, "Want to see what a collision at 30 miles per hour with a bee looks like?" There was a huge red welt across his pectoral. It hurt me to look at. I don't quite understand how this was an afterthought for him.

Apparently, he was bicycling along in the morning when he felt a <whap> on his chest. "It radiated quite a bit of pain for about ten minutes," he said. That finally prompted him to look down and notice it was a bee that he had slammed into. He brushed it off his shirt and kept biking.

"When I got to the locker room at the gym, I took my shirt off and noticed the stinger was still in my skin. I guess I got the full brunt of the venom since it was in me for about 20 minutes," he casually remarked.

By the time I looked at it at the end of the day, it was an angry red splotch across his chest. I'll spare you the hairy photo. It has to be about four inches in diameter. It was hot to the touch, but he insisted he was not in pain or not itchy.

I still looked it up on the internet, where various medical websites say you should get medical help if it's more than three inches across! I then freaked out. "If you think you're going into anaphylactic shock, you must wake me up overnight," I insisted.

He brushed me off like a sulky teenager. "Yes, yes, I'm fine," he replied. I worry. I'm a worrier.

He lived through the night, and lived through the bee sting. I swear, the next time he crumples up and needs TLC because he's felled by some flu virus, I'm going to remind him he has and can ignore worse pain!

What's your weird insect story?


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The Dilemma

February 14th, 2011

On a rare date night, Claus took me to see The Dilemma. We normally like more thoughtful movies (The King's Speech), but that night, we wanted to just coast on auto-pilot and have some easy laughs. Too much brain-drain all week. Need something that requires no thinking.

If you don't know, the movie is about a man who finds out his best friend's wife is having an affair, and all the ways he tries to tell this friend. The plot was pretty silly and not all that credible, but we knew what we were getting into.

Here's the foreshadowing question that sets up the movie in the first scene: Can you ever really know somebody completely? And when does that moment come? The two couples are sitting around a dinner table debating the answer to that. Naturally, one couple's answer is yes, and the other couple's answer is no.

Oscar Wilde said, "The final mystery is oneself." To the degree that one can know oneself fully, then a person can get to know his partner fully. That was, at least, my initial answer. I thought I knew all there was to know about my husband after a decade with him.

However, the next day, Claus and I were having a conversation about friendships, and he said he was a bad keep-in-toucher. "Really?" I exclaimed. "But you have your circle of high school friends in Denmark who you see every other year. You seem pretty close to them."

"Yes, but I only write to them once a year. Twice, if the second e mail consists of my travel dates home," he corrected.

I had always thought he was a good long-distance friend. He said he isn't. He gave me an example of an adult friendship that fell by the wayside due to neglect. Apparently, it's the tight bonds of youth that keeps his Danish friendships alive.

I was truly surprised to have to re-frame my perspective of Claus as an absentee friend. I mean, he makes an effort to keep in touch with me when I'm on a trip. I guess that's different.

My question to you is: Can you ever really know somebody completely? And when does that moment come?


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Valentine's Day gifts

February 11th, 2011

At least three times a year (Valentine's, birthday, Christmas), I run into this issue with gift giving: what to buy my husband. We have been together long enough to not "need" to exchange gifts, but sometimes, we do, and it's nice. We've been together long enough for me to know that he buys himself the things he wants, anyway.

This year, he told me he got me something. That's the signal that he's not ambushing me on the 14th. That means I have to get him something. Any suggestions?

He likes to fly planes (as opposed to fly in planes, as a passenger) and train for triathlons. Short of ponying up $75,000 for a small twin engine (not gonna happen), I'm still open to ideas.

At a different time of life, I would consider buying him a trip somewhere to enjoy, say, Tour de France with his buddies. I have no problem with him going away for a week with his friends, but at this stage of our lives, I am not going to be stuck with figuring out how to watch our three-year-old by myself for multiple days, while also juggling a full time job.

Hmm. OK, unless someone has a great idea, I may have to revert to my old standby of a really nice dinner out on the town. Though, probably on the 15th since I have not made reservations!

Which also makes me curious: What are your Valentine's Day traditions with your sweetie? What are you planning to give (or get)?

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Giant ants

February 9th, 2011

One of the oddest things I"ve eaten as of late is a giant ant. Two, actually. I was served toasted ants as a snack at a fancy dinner party (thanks, Dave), and my seat mate was squeamish about it. Waste not, want not; I ate hers so it wouldn't be wasted.

It's not so bad. It has a nutty taste, which some describe as bacon-like. I thought it more like musty coffee. It is NOT covered in chocolate. It is toasted and lightly salted, so one can feel every shard of crusted abdomen and hardened leg going down one's throat. It's about one inch long and rather frightful for the average American unaccustomed to insect consumption.

Curious when I got home, I looked it up. Apparently, it's the world's largest species of ants, harvested in the Columbian Amazon for hundreds of years. They are a rare delicacy of the Guane Indians.

The leafcutter ant's scientific name is atta laevigata, but the locals call it hormigas culonas. The ants are harvested for about nine weeks every year, at the time of the rainy season, which is when they make the nuptial flight. Only the queens are collected, because the other ants are not edible. The legs and wings are removed; after that, the ants are soaked in salty water and roasted in ceramic pans.

Apparently, it's a little dangerous to harvest the ants, because they have strong mandibles and often bite the harvesters. The ants supposedly have a high level of protein, very low levels of saturated fat, and an overall high nutritional value.


Oh yeah, and they're often given as a wedding gift because they're believed to be an aphrodisiac. In that case, bring on the ants!


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