April 18, 2015 archive


The Breakfast Club (Clichéd)

Well, it’s been 10 years and I hope I’m constantly surprising you with facets of my character I have not yet revealed even when I write within a restricted format (which is the essence of poetry).

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI hate Borodin, just because of that commercial.

My therapist is leaving the medical group (oh, don’t worry, it’s all related) with which I am associated and in our final session they asked me-

“Do you answer to ek hornbeck?”

Yes, of course I do.

It’s not a common name so it’s easily picked out of the crowd whereas regular names like Robert or Bob have instantly a dozen heads spinning.

Well, I’m not like that.  Not that my head doesn’t spin because it might be someone I know personally, but because I don’t share myself on the Internet.  Personally I Google rather poorly, ek hornbeck much better, and my onion layers are part of the fascination-

Is he in Heaven?  Is he in Hell?  That damned elusive Pimpernel.

Except I’m more on the Robespierre side.

Tout institution qui ne suppose pas le peuple bon et le magistrat corruptible est vicieuse.

Yup, one of 500 and ignored on a rainy day.

But by 1833 when Borodin was born the struggles of 1789 were far in the past (hah). and he…

Well, he was an award wining chemist.

He dabbled in music and wrote several things but rarely finished any of them, still he attracted the attention of the more serious composers who saw flashes of talent and was considered one of The Balakirev Circle of new wave nationalist Russians because he was so conciously derivitative of popular folk tunes.

The Polovtsian Dances referenced in the commerical above were a part of his (unfinished) opera, Prince Igor, which was about the suppression of native Mongolians (the Polovtsians) by Prince Igor and has all the charms of Opera…

Let’s review the rules, shall we?

The 3 rules of Opera.

  1. It must be long, boring, and in an incomprehesible foreign language (even if that language is English).
  2. The characters, especially the main ones, must be thoroughly unsympathetic and their activities horrid and callous.
  3. Everyone must die, hopefully in an ironic and gruesome way.

Ballet is the same, but with more men in tights and without the superfluous singing.

with an admirable mixture of genocide of the culture you are stealing.  It has all the charm of a musical about Greasy Grass in which Custer wins.

Oh and it and several other snippets were stolen by Broadway for Kismet.  Someday I’ll chat about Nellie Forbush, a thoroughly unsympathetic character.

To his credit Borodin was an early advocate of Women’s Rights and despised by his “revolutionary” contemporaries in ‘The Five’ for writing in conventional formats like Quartets, Concertos, and Symphonies of which I offer you the two that he indesputedly finished all on his own.

So what does this say about me (aren’t we all the star of our own movie)?  I like this role.  He’s exactly like me only more in your face-

I’m not trying to prove anything. All I want to do is teach my students that man just wasn’t planted here like a geranium in a flowerpot. That life comes from a long miracle; it didn’t just take seven days.

But it’s against the law. A school teacher’s a public servant. He should do what the law and the school board want him to.

Has the accused have anything to say in his own defense? If not, I sentence you to life as a public servant. A silent butler in the service of your school board. Waste baskets for ideas on sale in the outer lobby.

I don’t see anything funny in this Mr. Hornbeck.

Objection sustained. Neither do I.

Then why don’t you just leave us alone? You newspaper people have stirred up enough trouble for Bert. What do you want anyway?

I came to tell Boy Socrates here that the Baltimore Herald is opposed to Hemlock and will provide a lawyer.


Who? I don’t know yet but what’s the difference? A new lawyer with old tricks, an old lawyer with new tricks. Wake up Copernicus! The law is still on the side of the lawmakers and everything revolves around their terra firma.

Then why bother, you and your newspaper?

Because I know that the sunrise is an optical illusion. My teacher told me so.

Sigh.  I have to break in a new therapist.  I think I’ll start with this one-

What do you call a schizophrenic Buddhist?

Someone who is at two with the universe.

And actually, that’s multiple personality disorder and I’ve never been diagnosed as anything except depressed and anxiety prone.


Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

On This Day In History April 18

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 18 is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 257 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1775, British troops march out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen.

By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government had approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from Great Britain to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against Concord and Lexington.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

On the night of April 18-19, 1775, just hours before the battles of Lexington and Concord, Revere performed his “Midnight Ride”. He and William Dawes were instructed by Dr. Joseph Warren to ride from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British Army, which was beginning a march from Boston to Lexington, ostensibly to arrest Hancock and Adams and seize the weapons stores in Concord.

The British army (the King’s “regulars”) had been stationed in Boston since the ports were closed in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, and was under constant surveillance by Revere and other patriots as word began to spread that they were planning a move. On the night of April 18, 1775, the army began its move across the Charles River toward Lexington, and the Sons of Liberty immediately went into action. At about 11 pm, Revere was sent by Dr. Warren across the Charles River to Charlestown, on the opposite shore, where he could begin a ride to Lexington, while Dawes was sent the long way around, via the Boston Neck and the land route to Lexington.

In the days before April 18, Revere had instructed Robert Newman, the sexton of the Old North Church, to send a signal by lantern to alert colonists in Charlestown as to the movements of the troops when the information became known. In what is well known today by the phrase “one if by land, two if by sea”, one lantern in the steeple would signal the army’s choice of the land route, while two lanterns would signal the route “by water” across the Charles River. This was done to get the message through to Charlestown in the event that both Revere and Dawes were captured. Newman and Captain John Pulling momentarily held two lanterns in the Old North Church as Revere himself set out on his ride, to indicate that the British soldiers were in fact crossing the Charles River that night. Revere rode a horse lent to him by John Larkin, Deacon of the Old North Church.

There were other riders that night besides Dawes, including a woman, Sybil Ludington. The other men were Israel Bissel and  Samuel Prescott. a doctor who happened to be in Lexington “returning from a lady friend’s house at the awkward hour of 1 a.m.”

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Asparagus: Spring’s Most Versatile Vegetable

Asparagus: Spring’s Most Versatile Vegetable photo 01recipehealth_600.jpg

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

There’s a lot you can do with asparagus besides just eating it unadorned, steamed for five minutes or – if you’ve got nice, fat stalks – roasted. Delicate, thin stalks go wonderfully with eggs, either stirred into scrambled eggs or tossed with a vinaigrette and finely chopped hard-boiled eggs. I love to toss asparagus with pasta, and I often use it in soups. Children seem to like it, too. If the family table has seen too much broccoli, asparagus makes a fine alternative. [..]

When cooking asparagus, you must first break off the tough stem ends by bending the stalk. [..]

The tender, edible part of this lovely plant is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as a very good source of a number of other nutrients, including tryptophan, B vitamins, manganese, dietary fiber, phosphorus and potassium. All this comes in a very low-calorie package: there are about 40 calories in a cup of cooked asparagus.

~ Martha Rose Shulman ~

Roasted Asparagus

Roast asparagus this way and it becomes positively juicy.

Pasta With Asparagus, Arugula and Ricotta

This recipe works best if you use thin asparagus and peppery wild arugula, available at some farmers’ markets.

Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

Both thick and thin stems will work.

Asparagus With Green Garlic

When you sauté or roast asparagus in hot olive oil, the asparagus will have a much more concentrated flavor than it would if steamed or blanched.

Asparagus Salad With Hard-Boiled Eggs

A classic Italian salad, there are many versions of this dish.

Free Nicoll

Nicoll Hernández-Polanco tried to enter this country twice when she was 17.  The Guatemalan native was caught and deported.  

In October of 2014, Nicoll again crossed the Sonora desert to the Arizona border.  This time she turned herself in and asked for asylum.  Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere for transgender women, battling for second with Honduras behind Brazil.

Having experienced about a decade of sexual and physical abuse in Guatemala and then Mexico, ICE threw the new fish into the shark tank that is their Florence, AZ all-male detention center.  Since she has been there she has been assaulted by another detainee, forced to shower with men, verbally abused by both the guards and the other inmates, and placed in solitary confinement for standing up for herself.

Mariposas Sin Fronteras (Butterflies without borders), the Transgender Law Center, and other LGBT and immigration rights advocates have been fighting for her release…for an end to the torture…but ICE refuses to budge.  In their eyes, her deportation is a priority because of her two previous deportations.