Ode to Breakfast

Check out this omelet action! No gaping holes, fillings spilling out, might as well be a scramble of some sort...this is a bona fide omelet. The secret is in the swish. Mmmmm...with bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and mushrooms...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Speaking of fabulous breakfasts, I've also been making a Lance family classic: German Pancakes. These fluffy, eggy pancakes are the ones me and my bros would beg mom to make just about every Saturday morning. Sometimes she'd relent, and we'd scarf up 3 or 4 pans of these things. Instead of maple syrup, I've been heating up some frozen strawberries (thanks Costco!), add a spoonful of sugar a la Mary Poppins*, and you've got strawberry goodness to pour on the top. Es ist kostlich!

*For the darker side of Mary Poppins check this out....


"I knew a girl named Pandora once...."

Okay, so this is one of the greatest discoveries I've ever had, thanks to Jackie and her blog. It's called Pandora Internet Radio and how it works is you just enter a song or artist that you like, and it will search through it's database of thousands of songs to find stuff that's similar. Apparently these guys did some thing called the Music Genome Project, where they classified all these songs by chord structure, beat, instrumentation, etc., so they use that to find your tunes. But wait, there's more. As you listen, you can tell your player whether you like the song or not. If you don't like it, that song will be skipped and it helps the player to refine it's choices to more suite your tastes. Ahh...a music lover's dream! New tunes just the way you want 'em. Enjoy!


This is my cousin.

Heh heh. Sorry, Eric. It had to be done. Thanks, Kate.
Don't you just love our family?


$100 a month.

As a result of constant brewing over the issue of wealth, and how we westerners have the bulk of the world's wealth, while the rest of the world is living on less than $2 a day, and the questions of responsibility that come with that knowledge, (is this a run-on sentence, or what?) my friend Jackie has started this blog. We've each decided to allot $100 a month for charity. Small potatoes for some, but for those of us who instinctively hoard their money, it's a little bit hard to let go. But it's a start. And if we in the first world can start to give generously to those in less fortunate countries, we could really make a difference. There's no reason why those people shouldn't have food and clean water and education. We have the resources, so let's use them. This is not a guilt trip. Just an invitation to consider what would happen if we all gave....


Hukt awn fonix....

It's over!!! I survived intensives! (Intensives, for those who don't know, are the extra 3 hours of classes we have had to teach every weekday in January.) Now, I must clarify that two of my three classes were quite good; great, in fact. The starter class was adorable and so creative (see "fangs" boy), and the middle schoolers were quiet, but awesome kids. But the phonics class I taught: Phonics from hell. Yes, I never thought a, e, i, o, u fit in the realm of the demonic, but with these kids...as you can see from their test scores above, they could care less about short "a" sounds and "s" blends, and they weren't afraid to show their utter disdain. So, Phonics class, I bid a final farewell to your "fraff" and "sris" and "baj" (that is, "fluff","slice", and "beds"). And with that, a sigh of relief.


An overshadowed truth

As I started watching 'An Inconvenient Truth', I was hopeful, anticipating evidence that might convince the skeptics (myself included) that we are, in fact, facing a crisis and that it is time for a lifestyle change for most of the developed world. And to some degree, my expectations were met. The facts were startling, and when presented in a coherent, orderly way, gave a disturbingly clear picture of the direction our lifestyles are taking this world. The U.S. alone is responsible for %30 of the world's CO2 emissions. But, most importantly, this can change! All we have to do is take action. So, for this reason, go, see the movie. And when it's finished, check out the website, particularly this part, which gives practical ways to change your habits and household to make a difference (make sure to see all the pages of this section).

Sadly, as my hopes were being met, my fears were also. The ugly beast of partisan finger-pointing reared its all too prevalent head as Gore decided to use this documentary as a chance to get back some of his own after the farcical Florida debacle in the 2000 election. An all-too-lengthy non sequitur delving into Gore's post-election pity party assured that any right-wingers in the audience would recall that they don't like Al Gore, making the message of his movie a moot point. As if that didn't cinch the deal, the makers of the movie decided to use political weights to tug at the partisan heart-strings of America. A bit of Bush-bashing as well as the ever-abused use of Hurricane Katrina's political leverage, and you have a successfully politicized movie. Add in a pinch of Invincible American Syndrome (and I quote: "Something new for America (speaking of Katrina in disbelief). But how in God's name could that happen here?"), and the package is complete.

As a result, instead of convincing those who are on the fence, or cynical, or skeptical, the movie ends up turning this pertinent topic into a partisan playing card. Instead of inciting action and urgency, it merely gives the Democrats a smug pat on the back.

So, I'm waiting for another movie: one that calls all individuals, regardless of political alignment, to stop blaming their government for the waste they are creating and the damage they are causing, and to start taking serious and immediate action in their own lives.