Archive for April 25th, 2007

This week’s topic is in honor of Steve Almond’s most wonderful book, Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

What sweets did you eat as a child? Watermelon sticks? Bubble Yum?

Were you a hot tamale in your twenties? Or perhaps a big hunk. 

Do you sometimes feel like a nut?

Write about sugar, sugar. It can be a 10- or 15-minute practice, confectionary haiku, a list of things you like about sweetmeat, a short essay, an ode to jawbreakers–anything you like. It’s all dandy. Just don’t sugarcoat.


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Everything I Know About Green

  1. Green frijoles don’t cause gas
  2. Toads and frogs are cousins to insects
  3. Everything I know about green I learned from a diaper
  4. The NM state question–do you know what it is?
  5. If you like it both ways, it’s called Christmas
  6. If U.S. paper money were pink or orange like in other countries, we might not be so greedy
  7. Green’s not a good camouflage in the desert (ask a horned toad)
  8. My mother taught me that when your nose slime goes from yellow to green, it’s because your virus has turned bacterial (and it’s time to go on antibiotics)
  9. Dad is the green thumb of the family; Mom has toe thumbs
  10. I’m not as green as I’d like; it’s hard being green

-from Topic post, Greening

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My nephew Adam turned 18 this week. A couple years ago I took him and his sister with me to Santa Clara, CA for a week-long conference. I also took along Dee and Em. We stayed at what was then a Westin Hotel across from Great America amusement park. Adam and Beak took the girls to rides during the day while I attended workshops on leadership. Then we met each night for dinner.

I asked Adam to teach me all the latest phrases young people say these days. I wanted to be “in the know,” someone my kids might not be too ashamed of someday when things like that matter. Now, two years later, I only remember two terms Adam taught me. “Sketch,” short for sketchy, is someone or some thing that’s suspect or scary looking. The other is “Your mother,” which is a sort of insult where you respond to a legitimate question such as, “What do you guys wanna eat tonight,” with “Your mother.” Except, well, that one turned out a little more crude than I meant.

ANYHOW, and now, speaking of my mother, I called her today to see how she’s doing. She’s 80 and I like to check in on her a few times each week. Unfortunately, she’s feeling a bit green around the gills, which isn’t surprising given she was exposed to the pestilence the girls brought home last week. Em had the vomiting bug while doing a weekend sleepover at Mom’s, and Dee’s been home three days with the croup. Mom, in the mean time, was in bed all day today a headache, diarrhea, and the shivers. “I’ll lose two or three pounds,” she joked when I told her how sorry I was for sending over a viral grandchild.

That’s Mom for you. We even talked about how sometimes you need a good excuse–something like a mild flu–to stay in bed all day and not feel guilty. And now I’m wondering what color guilt might be. If envy and greed and nausea are all green, and passion and rage are red, and meloncholy is blue, and death black, and faith purple, what color is guilt?

Your mother’s guilt.

Not mine.

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Green Remix with Paint

I remember taking a workshop in Taos with Rob Wilder. He took us in groups into the log cabin at Mabel Dodge Luhan House and had us write down everything we could think of related to certain adjectives. He stood at the front of the room like an army sergeant monitoring our progress. “Don’t stop,” he barked now and then. For the word “yellow,” I wrote lemon, sour, pee, urine, yellow snow, yellow fur, fox fur, yellow mellow, yellow polka dot bikini…and so on. When yellow was done he threw out another word.

I’ve been painting these past three weeks, mixing colors with my Pelikan 12-color paint set. Colors are like words. Maybe there are finite shades of green, but I’ll never know all of them in my lifetime. I used Paint to make a collage of the various greens I’ve dreamed up of late with my real paints. I’m green when it comes to green, I realized.

Olive green and army green, sage and the color of money. Quinces and pears, Granny Smith apples, celery, cucumber skin, canvas (tents and sleeping bags), seafoam green, emeralds. Lime green, Kelly green, yellow-green snot.

I’m not anywhere done with green, but I figured I’d better get started.

-from Topic post, Greening.

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