Seven Reasons Women Live Longer Than Men: #1

Even if you’ve seen these photos before – they are always good for a laugh. I inherited my copies fourth hand; if you can help me assign photo credits, please do so!

Number 1: Because Changing Lightbulbs Requires No Special Training

What scariest is that I get the sense he's done this before.

What’s scariest is the sense he’s done this before.

Seven Reasons Women Live Longer Than Men: #2

Even if you’ve seen these photos before – they are always good for a laugh. I inherited my copies fourth hand; if you can help me assign photo credits, please do so!

Number 2: Because Goggles Are Required For Safety

Barefoot does give better traction. Wouldn't want to fall.

Barefoot does give better traction. Wouldn’t want to fall.

Musical Hypocrisy (Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!)

When I was growing up – musically speaking – I hated ultra-pop and ultra-popular. I couldn’t stand Stevie Nicks and it was a big deal when Patti Smith admitted that she liked “You’re the One That I Want” by Newton-John and Travolta. What a relief! I loved that song and thought I was crazy!

But seriously – and it was a big, serious deal; we were rightly passionate about music that was real and music that was bogus – I tried hard to judge music on its merits and not on what was cool. Of course, nowadays saying cool is not cool. Sick. Whatev. Making such an effort was one thing I have in common with my Scar Jewelry character, Heater. (Below I excerpt her remarks* on the subject.)

During the writing of Scar Jewelry there were a few songs that I kept playing again and again, and I quoted them in the book. When I got to quoting “Landslide”, by Smashing Pumpkins, I discovered it had been written by — Stevie Nicks. And it turned out to be incredibly difficult for me to process this fact. I don’t want Stevie Nicks in my book. But I want “Landslide”. But she wrote it. But I don’t want-— you get the idea.

P.S. I won’t try to justify my antipathy to Nicks. Partly some kind of kneejerk purist thing about Fleetwood Mac after Peter Green. A niece is probably named after a Nicks song (not “Landslide”) and I do love her so there you go.

P.P.S. I still love “You’re the One That I Want.”

*Here is what the always-opinionated Heater wrote about this, back in approximately 1979:

Today’s kids got no respect for their elders. Or for anybody else, I am usually proud to report. Respect should be earned, not ordained based on age, status or the other trappings. But so too should disrespect be earned and likewise not be due to superficial claptrap. Punks are no better than rednecks when they disdain Neil Young. So he is from the Sixties, so fucking what. He moved on. He’s always moving on. That’s what makes him an artist. Now I’ve said the A word. So come and get me. You’ll have to catch me first. And I’m moving fast because I just got to interview Neil Young. Who appreciates the great wherever he finds it. Hank Williams, Johnny Rotten. He gets Devo, he gets Kraftwerk, and I’m betting that in another decade he’ll be getting whatever else is new and fresh, while you’re still rattling your rusty safety pins. If he were in Ellay he’d be going out to hear the music that was the most honest and true around. He’d be at all those Alleycats – Differentials nights at Blackies West.

Yeast Bread: Invention or Discovery?

Nowadays I’m not much into cooking but I do like thinking about how recipes and techniques got started. I assume many of them were happened upon, along the lines of gee, nobody in the Singh family ever seems to die after they eat and they sure love spicy food …hmm, maybe those spices can help with spoiled meat.

The capper, for me, is yeast bread. Think about it. You’re a baker like me so you get distracted and when you wander back – yikes, the dough is a monster, over the sides of the bowl, WTF

…So you hit it – why? Fear maybe? Frustration? Popping an air bubble? Oh that looks okay again… but why are the kids screaming? Is there a sabertooth loose in the neighborhood?…

… and you wander away again and when you come back: not again! You hit it a few more times and you decide, better get this thing on the fire before it really gets out of control…

What do you think? Is that how yeast bread happened? Or did someone say, these tiny organisms promote certain chemical reactions, I wonder how they will interact with wheat…