Home Produccion (say it like Adam Sandler)

Soren and I had homegrown lettuce today for lunch. This is a first for me. The leaves were tasty!! How does your garden grow? Do you have yard art like this St. Francis here? What a good guy he was.
This is the fabric Ellery picked out for her summer night gown.

We had the perfect family day yesterday. After eating breakfast at the Waffle House, we saw the Disney movie "Earth." It was well choreographed with these cool satellite photos done in elaspsed time. Anyone interested in photography would like this film I think. Then Ellery and I sewed. When the sewing machine frustrated her, she would say, "Ugh, I give up." And then keep sewing.

She made a purse for Emily who is visiting from England and needed something to put her pics and travel documents in.

I finished her summer pajamas (uh, from a year ago! Jeez.) Orange paisley is something we both agreed on suprisingly. The shorts are roomy eventhough they are a size 6 and she is 7 1/2. That is the nice (or frustrating) thing about sewing patterns. But I think they turned out really cute and she wore them to bed. I had a church meeting but the rest of the fam fired up the jacuzzi AND swam in the cold pool. I got home too late to enjoy this last part (waa). They were in bed before I got home.


Black writes about an employee of hers that had the drive to start up CosmoGirl and I learned that drive comes from having an emotional connection to something. That emotion furnishes enough motivation to succeed at a quest. She says drive is "the act of moving forward on your own initiative." I'll list the little nugget sentences she inserts :

Make like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared

Ask someone who knows

Check and double check (your information. p17 quote: "If your mother says she loves you, check it.")

Pick up the phone

Sell yourself as though you believe in the product. (I would say sell it BECAUSE you believe.)

Go the extra mile and a half

Assume nothing

Make your boss look good (take stress off her/him, anticipate his/her needs by knowing their preferences, never "suprise" your boss.)

I like how on p 28 she says she was determined to "take over responsibilities I had to assume would be mine." That reminds me of a meeting I was in at the TWU nursing department when people were trying to figure out if taking an independant step would be ok with some superiors. One of them said, "If we are given a task, we should assume the authority to carry out that task and not wait for someone to hand it to us." So authority comes when you take the task in hand, maybe?

I remember after I had studied a bit about Branch Davidians and Lois Roden, I had burning questions. I had to know. I booked a room in Waco, called Baylor to make arrangements to see their primary source collection, and took a weekend. As I walked on the Mt. Carmel property, I knew that is where I was supposed to be that day. The makeshift museum I had expected to visit was closed up, a barking dog kept following me. I went house to house until I came to one with blood smeared across the lintel. I knew that the group celebrated traditional Old Testament holy days (like Passover) but still, the blood was a deterrent. But those questions that I had to know, my emotional connection stayed my feet. I was able to have an oral interview (thanks Charles) that not only answered my questions but gave me material for new and better ones (that became my master's thesis). My professors were impressed (albeit a bit concerned for me) that I had gotten there on my own steam. That is one of the few times I have known what it felt like to be truly driven. I carried a bit of this over to travelling with the homeschooler.

Some other stuff I wrote in the margins:

Use your contacts

p20 I thought she was flip when mentioning that her marriage was ending. I would like to know more about this--maybe later in the book?

Believe enough to put it out there

Go to the trouble to make things right

p25 I saw an obvious dig at Iacoca (I think some of this book was written to get back at people from her past?)

p26 use the phrase "seems to make the most sense" when suggesting something.

What did you pick out from the book? When have you felt "Drive." How have you made your boss look good in the past?


Kid Talk

I picked Soren up after he volunteered at our local food pantry. I asked how the ladies treated him. He said, "Those old ladies were sweet but tough. They're not all sugar and butter. (I guess in keeping with the sugar/spice, snakes/snail dichotomy.)

He hauled some adult diapers while he was there. We chatted about that too since he didn't realize adults needed this type of product. I told him under which circumstances they do, hoping not to traumatize him, thereby rendering him unwilling when the time comes for him to put one on me. He said, "Oh. I thought they were just being lazy. Or maybe that they were trying to beat a high score on their video game."
And then there's Ellery. We were at Blockbuster looking at movies to rent. She comes around the corner while I was looking at Brideshead Revisited (Dad, why would you think I would like this movie--the gay guy, the ostentatious show of wealth, the negative stereotype they portray of religious people? Ok I did like it but that doesn't mean I agreed with its premise. OK I digress.) and she shows me the cover of Fiddler on the Roof. "Mommy, mommy, I know what I want to watch. This one, this one." My shoulders straightened and I thought how sophisticated my daughter's taste was for her age. I asked why, thinking she was attracted to Broadway singers, as I pictured her on stage someday singing "You're Gonna Here From Me." She turns the case around, points to the pic of Jews with bottles on their heads and says, "Look, Irish dancing!!!"


Sticks and Stones Asparagus Salad

4 oz bacon
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil + 2 T
Kosher salt, Black pepper
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 sm. honeydew melon, seeded and cut 3/4" cubes
4 oz fresh mozarella, cut 3/4"
2 T pine nuts, toasted (place in pan over med heat and shake occasionally till golden)
Cook bacon and drain on paper towel. Crumble and mix with toasted pine nuts.
Place a grill pan over med heat or preheat a gas/charcoal grill. In med bowl, toss together asparagus and 2 tsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill 2-3 min each side till crisp-tender.
In med bowl, combine lemon juice and 2 T olive oil. Whisk till combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add melon and mozzarella and toss till all are combined.
Arrange asparagus (sticks) on platter. Using slotted spoon, spoon melon mixture on top of asparagus. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over top. Sprinkle bacon and pine nuts (stones) on top and serve.
Ratings: ****(4 out of 5)
I loved this dish. The ingredients are ones I already had, but it was a complex dish with a "special feel." The melon makes it. And if kids don't like it altogether, you can separate out the components and plate them separately for little ones with simpler tastes. I used this as a main dish last night with my go to side dish, coconut rice.
Go To Coconut Rice
1 C dry jasmine rice
1/2 can light coconut milk
1 C cooked peas
1/4-1/2 C sauteed green onion
Cook rice. Add rest of ingredients and stir. My kids ate this like I had occasionally starved them without notice so they didn't know when they would eat again.


Basic Black--Author Intro

Cathie Black came into her own during second wave feminism and seems to be one of those that focused mostly on the type of "glass-ceiling" breaking I really support-proving that women can be administers in public space while not feeling compelled to renounce femininity. She worked for and was instrumental in establishing rags like USA Today, Ms. magazine, and O, the Oprah magazine. She remembers being physically threatened, but mostly ignored and laughed at as she tried to sell ad space for Ms.

I'm hoping she goes into how to balance work and family more than she has so far in my reading. I know Gloria Steinem (whom I respect in many ways) says that men don't ever ask that question. (Uh, yes they do. Rather, mine does. We both ask each other where the balance is all the time.) Glancing over some of the chapters, they are titled with straightforward words like DRIVE, RISK, FEAR. I like that. So different from how I would title chapters. I also am thinking she might have developed some "work-place" ethics. What I mean is that at work sometimes people do the Machiavellian dance--"The end justifies the means." So, I will filter and handpick the traits she has that I want as I do with every human I learn from.


Marlboro Man's Chicken Spaghetti

Blog Recipe Review: from Pioneer Woman. At first I thought "ho hum ingredients, so why the rave reviews from her readers?"
2 C cooked chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C finely diced green pepper
1/2 C finely diced onion
1 4oz jar drained pimientos
3 C dry spaghetti, broken in 2" pieces
2 C reserved chicken broth from pot
1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt&Pepper to taste
1 additional C grated sharp cheddar

Cook chicken with bone and pick off meat. Cook spaghetti in reserved broth till al dente. Do not overcook. Combine spaghetti with remaining ingreds except add'l cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top w/ remaining cheese. Cover and freeze up to 6 months, cover and refridgerate up to 2 days, or bake immediately 350 degrees F for 45 min. till bubbly. Lay foil on top if cheese begins to brown.

I thought, "Still pretty ho hum, and I made too much (as usual)."
Then as Cyler ate it, he said that I should tell him to stop or he would eat the whole thing. (note to self-this is comfort food) Mind you, I know this is not gourmet with cheese and cream of mushroom soup but it is busy family fare and the pimiento and cayenne give it a little suprise kick.

Ratings:*** (3 out of 5)
Good weeknight dish because it's quick to put together. Creamy and filling. Boys liked it. I liked how Ree added freezing info since I underutilize my freezing capabilities. I just recently learned you could freeze bacon and pepperoni.

Basic Black

I consider myself a bit "professionally" immature. Being emotive, impulsive, non-conforming is all well and good if one is an independantly wealthy-artist-fairy-hermit whose friends are eternally forgiving. I want to develop my cool, calm, collected self a bit more. So I will be summarizing/reviewing this book: Now, I'm not asking you all to read with me. You can if you like, or use Absinthe Chatter as a virtual bookclub. Make comments-tell me I'm full of it and to jump in the lake. Or tell me something that you agree with as I bring themes out of the books. I figure I'll get through 2-3 per month so sit back, relax, and let me do the reading.

A Guide to Compartments

I like the feminine imagery of pre-Christian celts who divided a woman's life into 3 cycles/phases: Maiden, Mother and Crone. Mine are respectively named DiaGreen (personal, individual), MamaConfetti (nurturing life, raising children, home management) and Hag (social critique, stirring the pot, wild-haired voice for change), each with its own emphasis. Harpy is self-evident, as is IrishDance. My reading room is named Absinthe Chatter, FeedMe is my recipe file and reviews of recipes I've tried, Religiosa is my exploration of religious praxis/theo(a)logy/sociology of religion, and GlobeSchool charts my foray into the world of traveling with, and building curricula for my homeschooler.


Yes Man Convert

My favorite movie at the moment is "Yes Man." Hil-air-eee-us. If you can get past some language, the theme of the movie is spot on. So now, my religious label is as follows: Progressive LDS with overtones of Celtic neo-paganism/middle path Buddhism with flourishes of Yes Man. If you rent the video, watch after the closing credits to see the happy couple "roller blade." I've got to figure out where I can do that. Plus, who doesn't like Zooey Deschanel---ever since she was the guitar playing music teacher in Bridge to Terabithia, she had me. In this movie, she sings in an experimental theatre band called Munchhausen by Proxy. What did I tell you, hilarious.

Memorable quotes:

The world's a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.

We knew another Carl that we weren't fond of, now did we, Tweed...?
...his name was "Marx."

Don't call me past 11 PM, it won't happen again. You can call me at 10:59 but don't call me at 11 because that's my rule now.

You called me Norm!
Could that like be my nickname?
Ya, I guess.
Ah nice, I like your style, Car. That could be yours.
Ya, Carl's pretty short already but...


Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader

In keeping with past posts, here is Soren's quiz over Asian culture. Don't worry about him Dad--this week he also did:
Math--intergers, compound probability, metric system
Chemistry--learned the difference between ionic and covalent bonds/periodic table/ structure of atoms/forensics/experiment with baking soda disappearing ink
Language Arts--Vocab/how to write directions/Journal
Logic--Consensus, Active Listening Skills
Took a Compass Bike Hike
Visited a photography museum exhibit
Made a soap carving
Worked out
Trimmed trees/cleaned inside my car
Went to scouts
Practiced piano/music theory

True or False:

____1. The Peking man farmed.

____2. Ancient Chinese culture was not as advanced as ancient European culture.

____3. Confucius was a very superstitious man who believed in ghosts.

____4. The Shang dynasty is a myth.

____5. Chinese is a rather newly developed language.

____6. Chinese immigrants to the U.S. were openly welcomed and treated fairly
toward the end of the 19th century.

____7. Thai food and dance is generally unimaginative and of poor quality.

Fill in the blank:

8. The capital of Thailand is ___________.

9. The capital of North Korea is ____________.

10. Peking man used a _________’s wheel.

11. To defend themselves against the Huns, the Chinese built _____ ______ ______.

12. While Greeks and Romans used horses for their primary war transportation, Indians used _____________.

13. Wu Ti, an emporer of the Han Dynasty set ___________ ___________ to make it easier for poor people to buy things.

14. The Han Dynasty used a set of exams to test men for government office instead of simply giving important jobs to _____________ and ____________.

Multiple Choice. Choose the answers that best fill in the blanks.

15. There is no private ownership of land and all resources are combined together then divided among the people. All industries, markets and human endeavors are owned and managed by a central government. This economic system is called: _______________
a. Monarchy
b. Legalism
c. Communism
d. Democracy

16. __________________ was one of the best ways in ancient Asia to encourage trade and help people become wealthy.
a. Building bridges and safe roads
b. Killing whoever disagreed with the king
c. Taking away people’s land
d. Inventing the catapult

17. _____________ was one of India’s most beloved rulers even to this day.
a. Devi Patel
b. Ashoka
c. Dr. Sanjay Gupta
d. King Rama V

18. _____ and ______ are the terms Lao-Tze used to explain how everything in life had its opposite.

a. Rice and pottery
b. Jade and cow dung
c. Monasteries and Massage Parlors
d. Yin and Yang

19. Indian culture starting around 320AD enjoyed advancements in: (Circle all that apply):

Soap making
Fair treatment of people
Sterilizing wounds
Tempered steel
Plastic surgery

20. Hong Kong used to be governed by the ___________Empire but now is governed by
a special regional authority who answers to the ____________ government.

a. Japanese/American
b. British/Chinese
c. Russian/European
d. Roman/British

21. ________________ Leonowens was a British teacher who taught Prince ______________ when he was a boy. He eventually grew up to become ___________ of Thailand. He changed the law so that people did not have to prostrate themselves on the ground to show respect to the king.

a. Beatrice/Ashoka/Prime Minister
b. Patricia/Mahabarata/Emporer
c. Anna/Chulalongkorn/King
d. Deborah/Confucius/Protector

Short Answer. Choose THREE out of the four available topics to write on. Please use your composition notebook, use correct spelling/ grammar, and go into as much detail as you can:

Explain how silk is made.

What is the difference between The Mandate of Heaven and Legalism. What Chinese leader used both concepts as justification for how he governed and how did he use them?

What can you remember about the life of Siddhartha Gautama before he became the Buddha? What are some of the teachings of the Buddha?

Why is yellow an important color in Chinese culture? What does it symbolize and how has it been used?

Essay. Please use your composition notebook:

Explain the circumstances under which the Bridge over the River Kwai (Kwae) was built. Some questions you may want to address are as follows: Who built it and why? During which war? What is interesting about it? How was it destroyed? What role did Thai people play in building or using the bridge? What is a POW?


Bonnets Squared

Our neighbor a few years ago planted some wildflowers in his yard.
He moved away.

Wildflowers started growing in his neighbor's yard.

I wish the wind had blown the seed in our yard, but we can enjoy them every time we turn the corner.

Hats are fun for Easter. I bought this for a Kentucky Derby party and figured I could get some use out of it as an Easter Bonnet. I do like hats--I forget how much until I wear one.

We had a really nice day. Yummy baskets followed by family pic taking session. Church was uplifting with nice talks and pretty music. Made me try to hope again in life after death beyond the idea that we live on in our children and creative endeavors. I got called to be on the Enrighment Board so that will be fun. I only have one more trip so we will be home bound after that enough to do the Board. We don't have family here so we invited the Reynolds' over for dinner. They are from Vegas and we went to High School together. They have 4 kids around and exactly my kids' ages. David and Cyler are golf buddies at times. Good food and good company makes for a nice holiday time to celebrate the change of the season, Jesus's resurrection and new life in general.

Two Treasures Carrot Cake

The two treasures in the carrot cake are 1. BUTTER and 2. PECANS. We have some left over from Easter Sunday's dinner. It is calling my name as we speak.

3 sticks and 1 T unsalted butter
2 C granulated sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 lg eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 C grated carrots
1 C chopped toasted pecans

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1 lb) box confectioners' sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Butter 3 9" cake pans w/ 1 T butter and set aside. Cream butter in lg bowl and add sugar. Beat. In med bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and mix well.

Add dry ingredients alternating with eggs, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Add carrots and beat med speed about 2 min. Fold in nuts. Divide between the 3 cake pans and bake till set, 25-30 min. Remove from oven and rest in pans 10 min. Invert on wire racks and cool.

Cream together the cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add vanilla and pecans.

Place one layer on cake plate and spread top with icing. Top with second then third layer, spreading icing between each layer. Spread icing around sides of cake and let harden slightly before serving. Cut into wedges.


Dec and Roll

Decorations and gifts are more subdued than Christmas around here. The kids are going to decorate eggs tonight while we are on our date. Those and a few things above, and that's it. For the kids, I got some things from Etsy--I will show you when they get them in their baskets. I just talked to my mom and remembered that I wanted to post her recipe for rolls. She says she uses Rhodes now, but she's earned that right. I haven't yet.
My favorite refrigerator rolls. (Lion House recipe)

1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. milk, scalded
1 pkg (1 Tbsp) dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 C. lukewarm water
2 tsp. salt
4 C. flour
3 eggs

Add butter amd 1/4 cup sugar to hot milk. Cool. In another bowl, combine yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and lukewarm water. Let stand 5 miutes to soften yeast (this process is called 'proving your yeast'.)
Add salt to flour. Combine milk and yeast mixtures, and add 1 cup flour. Add eggs and beat well. Continue adding flour gradually, beating until smooth after each addition. This is a soft dough, and most or all of the flour can be handled by the electric mixer. (watch carefully, don't let dough 'climb' the beater.
Cover bowl and place out of draft until dough rises about triple in amount. Punch down. Cover again (airtight) and place in refrigerator OVERNIGHT, or until thoroughly chilled. When ready for use ( DOUGH WILL KEEP WELL UP TO 5 DAYS ) remove from refrigerator and roll and into your favorite shape while cold. (You can handle a much softer dough if it is chilled.) Place on greased pans. Brush dough with melted butter. Let rolls rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake rolls at 375 for around 12 minutes or until desired doneness.

Bee U T

"Let thy kitchen be thy apothecary." --Hippocrates

AND your spa, I might add. A hot date tonight (OK, Thai restaurant and amusement park in Flower Mound, but still) and company for easter dinner compel me to have somewhat of a beauty day. Do this after a hard workout and before a healthy lunch. First I slather my poor, sad, stretchmark-ridden one-pack with cononut oil BEFORE the shower. In the steamshower, I wash my hair then rinse it with white wine vinegar and water. It makes the shower smell like puke but it's good for the hair. After slathering on conditioner, I shave, pumice, and pouf clean. After rinsing out conditioner with cold water, I pour beer on the hair. Then I pour Dr. Pepper on the thighs and rub the dimples. Caffeine is supposed to help skin with the cellulite--it seems to help or maybe it is the massage. No rinsing at this point. Out of the shower I use more coconut oil and then olive oil on my cuticles (toes and fingers) and lips-then I rub the lips with a dry washcloth. I add essential oil to the hair, like orange, ylang ylang or patchouli.
I saw the harpist that accompanies the singing trio, The Priests, and she had bright, short nails. I thought, "I can do that." Some of you know how harpists' hands make pretty music but long nails will never be in the cards for us.
After the robe, comes ear cleaning (I love earcandling but didn't have candles today), tooth brushing, flossing, and snorting some saline water. Becky, I tried the homemade pore cleaner and I need a tutorial--mine was grainy-- but once I get it right, I will add that to my toilette. Then I finish with a mask of avocado, yogurt, molasses, honey and orange juice.

I can't get much cleaner than this. Taking a pic au natural is daunting but I think I'll be glad I did when more age spots and wrinkles begin to. . .well, begin. Good for 39, yes?


Surfing for visas/Retrace where I hanged ten

Sometimes it's fun to surf the internet, but today I got swept away by the Molokai Express! Today I had to research getting visas for my family for entry into Ghana in a couple of months. Then I got distracted. Here's where I went.

1. Looked at taking Soren to Morrocco (you know, Marrakesh, Fes, and Tangier) after Ghana for our last trip. (waa waa waa) And found this info. You know when you're approaching middle age when this sounds a bit exciting. Of course I am joking since you all know I am know a born-again prude after being propositioned by the Thai massage "therapist.":

While you're there
Women travellers
Women can expect a certain level of sexual harassment when travelling in Morocco. It comes in the form of nonstop greetings, leering and other unwanted attention, but it is rarely dangerous. It is best to avoid overreacting and to ignore this attention. In the case where a would-be suitor is particularly persistent, threatening to go to the police or the brigade touristique is amazingly effective. Women will save themselves a great deal of grief by avoiding eye contact, dressing modestly and refraining from walking around alone at night.

2. Encouraged by my initial findings about Morrocco, I stumbled on a blog that I love.

3. Then I thought about how I really want to follow horse racing this season at our local Lonestar Park. Lots of date nights there I am hoping. When all the horses pass by me, it "blows my hair back," as my long-haired brother-in-law, Creighton, would say. I remember when he got really mad at me for touching his wet hair. See, it gets frizzy. . .
4. So I looked at hairstyles, making sure that the one I just got is really the best one (for now). I went to GreatClips.

4. Then I thought about how I could not pronounce Sri Lanka's capital today. Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. Had to look that up. Couldn't find it--can you help?

I did not end up printing out the visa app. Do I have ADD?


Fri Night date

How is this for the Fri. night date Cyler took me on?


It's by the flagship Nieman Marcus store downtown. *sigh*
You may think of this when you think "lifesaver"

This week, I have thought of this:

You see. My water heater broke. Yesterday before conference we all packed in the Beemer to take a shower at 24 Hour Fitness where I am a member so that we could take the last warm shower for a while until the newfangled unit is replaced (under warrantee, whew.) I am blessed however to be selfish enough to have insisted on an automatic boiling water attachment on my sink during the remodel a while back. So this little thing is working over time, providing hot water for everything from washing dishes, washing dog feet, to washing kids' faces and kitchen floors. I lub this lifesaver.
I also think of this. Lifesaver #2:
You see. My bedmate snores. ALOT. I slept so well in Asia that when I got back home to the nightly wakings, my tolerance was low enough to incite a mild rebellion on my part. "You have got to do something!! I can't take it anymore! Do you want to sleep with me or not?!?" OK, this stuff works. It's homeopathic, but I'm just saying-it works. Maybe someone can explain to me why because I feel the same as this reviewer who said:

"I am at a loss as to explain how or why 'SnoreStop' does anything. The homeopathic ingredients -- nux vomica (an appealing name, right up there with 'St John's Wort,' but a.k.a. 'Quaker buttons'), ephedra (not safe in large quantities, and a.k.a. 'Mormon tea'), histaminum hydrochloride (an amino acid derivative) -- are largely a mystery to me."

Bodhi now

Bodhi was born in the spring. His AKC registered name (for canine snobs) is Jerico's Bodacious Wave. His call name is from the movie "Point Break" with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Swayze's beach-blond wavy-haired character, Bodhi, was an anti-establishment, quazi-spiritualist looking for the ultimate wave to surf (he robbed banks to finance his trips). His name is the tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment. Bodhi is the family clown, will lick you to death if possible, HAS to roll in decomposing frogs on the street, knows the words "Bye-Bye" and "Walk," and is top dog until Cyler enters the room at which time he transforms into a male version of my shy dog, Ciboney.


Flight Magazines

International Flights have cool magazines. Here is some of the stuff I read about:

1. http://www.ideahomeshow.co.uk/ "London's vast annual homage to the places we live in." 20 March-13 April. Quickfact: How many hours per week did a British housewife spend on household tasks in 1957? 70
2. Suggested novels: The Boat by Nam Le (2008) A collection of stories that criss-crosses the globe. Solo by Rana Dasgupta (2009) Set in Sofia, a blind man muses on a magazine article he read before losing his sight as he nears his 100th birthday.

3. "I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any." --Mahatma Gandhi

4. Fashion designer Vivienne Tam ( I must have her red chiffon maxi dress with cool sleeves) has teamed up with Hewlett-Packard to create the world's first "digital clutch." (What is that? It sounds exciting.)

5. Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume. Wild strawberries, jasmine, violet, white wood extracts. I lub him.

6. Tokyo's man-made island, Odaiba. Monorails, sky ferris wheel, Venus fort. You get there by a tear-shaped water bus that was designed by a comic-book artist. How cool is this? Humans are cool.

7. http://www.soniarykiel.com/ The violet silk tube dress.