[LMB] Very OT: Silliness chez Bejeeber (in the French usage) & weird facts

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Sun May 23 08:56:32 BST 2021

After such silence, a deluge. I have to plow through the posts on AoT, and make my own comments. I am able to hug friends 2-4 weeks after vaccination, and it feels so wonderful after over a year of being unable to do that.

With three family names, and my husband’s fun one year differentiating ordinary Bejeebers from Holy Bejeebers, our household collective name is Chez Bejeeber, in the English usage. 

We live on, but not for very much longer, La Jolla Ave—the owner is selling, and I wouldn’t pay the going rate for this poorly maintained not-up-to-code house with intensely rusting galvi pipes. I know, tell me what I really think. 

•I lived most of my life before college in San Diego. First we lived in the Hillcrest area—across the street from the ER of what was then the County Hospital: it is now the University (UCSD Medical School)-County hospital. Given that Front St was a purely residential area, once the ambulances turned onto it, the sirens were off. There were a lot of skunks that came up the mesa from the canyon, and I guess at one point my brain told the olfactory section to shut down the minute there was a whiff of them. Now, while this is a wonderful thing, the flip side of the intensity control is that I can’t smell what’s cooking unless I leave the room a few yards/metres and come back.

So after living in Albuquerque when our listees in the area were teens or so, we moved back to 'Sandy Eggo'. My parents bought a house in Clairemont Mesa (92117), built for off-base Navy housing, across the canyon, now also a freeway from Miramar Naval Air Station where the Top Gun school is, and from which sonic booms frequently shook the windows (at least). We were across Hwy 5 from La Jolla. UCSD and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography is there, Dr. Seuss and Jonas Salk lived there, as well as it being an artists’ colony, and people 4+ times as wealthy (we weren’t) as us live there. 

We could never afford to live there. So here I am, on this solidly middle-class street. It is hilarious to anyone who’s familiar with the La Jolla area in San Diego County. One of the houses we’d like to visit is on Jenkins Ave. No Leroy crossing it (gamers may know what is funny there).

So Kevin and I are in similar situations. We have two disabled folk here, and need a flat house. My feelings about this move can be seen in the video in this article from last spring  https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2020/05/music-teacher-strikes-a-chord-with-her-online-learning-song.html <https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2020/05/music-teacher-strikes-a-chord-with-her-online-learning-song.html> 

It’s going to be extra ‘fun' with only Arthur and me, plus any help we hire for packing, and Edna’s presence/there-ness/memory&cognition being uncertain. I hope she can handle the transition with a minimum of discomfort. One of the Indian ladies, who has taken cuttings from the shrubs here, volunteered to sit with her to help calm her if needed. That is a gift I could never have expected.

None of our neighbors want us to go, and will write character references. After the last tenants, that’s sort of a low bar to exceed, but they don’t know just how odd we are, in a non-destructive way. The head of the realty that does property management here will vouch for us as good tenants. One good thing out of this.

•My friend mentioned above says I’m well thought of in the NextDoor community here, and possibly just the Gardening group, for my knowledge and generosity in sharing and answering plant care questions. I’m just doing what comes naturally, being a know-it-all who loves to research that which interests me, and it’s no skin off my back to offer cuttings from the (overgrown) shrubs here and share my sources. I seem to have hit a good note among the Indian gardening community in the area, because I know something about India, its cuisines, awareness of the languages, some of the  19th C. on forward history, tea regions—and some knowledge of Hinduism, Sikhism (lots of Punjabis here), and respect for their religious practices, some of which are similar to mine.

•Last summer, I asked the local and gardening communities on NextDoor for monster, too old to eat for dinner, and those sudden discoveries of overlooked zucchini. Five years or more, and no one has foisted such zucchinis on me, so that I could make bread from them! I figured I’d keep something from going to waste. The largest ones were 4-5 pounds, and made several batches each.

I have learnt to make my own masala chai blends. Drinking it after the Brits made Indians drink the tea, for which production many of them were made to work at low wages and under harsh treatment. Drinking that tea, called chai (’tea’), with spice (masala) blends was an act of protest and rebellion. There are lots of masala blends, and you can use powdered or whole spices for masala chai. What you get outside of Indian establishments are a pale bastardization, often appropriated by Anglo individuals and firms, and smacks of cultural appropriation. I have my own spice box, buy fresh ginger, but don’t make it daily. I also have a plastic storage box for my weird-ass pepper corns/berries, and those spices called peppers which are not piperidae.

In the SF Bay area, on 25th May, there’s a Dining for a Cause event, a fundraiser for Indian Covid relief: "funds will go toward “supporting India’s health infrastructure, including oxygen, ventilators, cold storage equipment and temporary hospital facilities as well as protecting front-line workers.”

Besides the Amber India locations in San Jose, Los Altos and San Francisco, fundraiser participants include Broadway Masala in Redwood City; Aurum in Los Altos; Rooh in Palo Alto and San Francisco; and the New Delhi, Bhoga and Besharam restaurants, all in San Francisco.

We’ll use the Amber India in San Jose.

If there’s a similar event where you live (all of you, not just us here in the GBA), won’t you consider getting at least an appetizer or dessert, if not a meal?

•Recent (Inter)National Days of X:
    >The 17th was US National Banana AND Walnut Days. Make Banana bread to celebrate?
    >May 21st is International Tea Day, National Bee Day in the US (at least), and UK National Memo Day—write a note about drinking tea with honey?
My calendar entry says that the 20th is *World* Bee Day.

•There is an anti-nausea drug called Ondansetron. Perhaps it was inspired by a gamer’s/VR disco in France?

•I’ve been buying Greek oregano and thyme grown on the slopes of Mt. Olympus. Neatokeen!

•I bought a relatively tasteless Galia melon, and then wondered if there were Thulia and Thalia melons as well.

•Did you know that you can punctuate with nuts? A comma, Oxford or not, is a cashew. Both hazelnuts and macadamias can be periods, or the lower half of an exclamation or question mark. The upper half of the exclamation mark is an almond, and the cashew can also function as the upper of a question mark. A stack of two hazelnuts or macadamias can be a colon: one of those at the top with a cashew underneath becomes a semicolon.

And yes, I do have a dish declaring that My family Tree is Full of Nuts.

•I attended Pomona College in Claremont (91711), as opposed to CalPoly Pomona farther west and south, which is largely agriculturally focal. CPP has Kellogg Arabians and the late Raymond Burr’s collection of orchids—did you know he was an orchid breeder? Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in coastal-ish Central California is engineering-focal.

Pomona is a humanities-focal college, with a decent science department. Many students there are pre-law, pre-med, or pursue a scientific path. Jennifer Doudna, who with Emmanuelle Charpentier won the 2020 Nobel in Chemistry for their work developing the gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, is a Pomona alumna. The tool has been successful in treating sickle cell anemia in the few cases thus far.

So in the mid-70’s, the saying about male students at the Claremont Colleges was: Pitzies (Pitzer College) to bed, Scrippsies (Scripps College for Women—I covet the architecture & their Goudy Font) to wed, and Pomona girls to the library. Until 1977 or -78, CMC stood for Claremont Men’s College, and was a single-sex college. Any student at the Claremont Colleges could take courses at any of them.  The fifth college was Harvey Mudd, a science and engineering-focal college. (yes, but not Harcourt Fenton, and there was a Seeley Mudd library next to Honnold, the main one).

 So in the late ‘70s, CMC became Claremont McKenna College, admitting female students. The men there were overjoyed, thinking there was dating potential—only to find that each woman admitted was lesbian. Okay then.

                     Star Trek tie-ins to 20th C. non-fiction
•The original hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro) was conceived in 1941 by Swiss engineer <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineer> George de Mestral <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_de_Mestral>. The idea came to him one day after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alps>. He took a close look at the burs <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bur> of burdock <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burdock> that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog's fur. He examined them under a microscope, and noted their hundreds of "hooks" that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook-and-loop_fastener#History

2002 - The Star Trek: Enterprise <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Enterprise> episode "Carbon Creek <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_Creek_(Star_Trek:_Enterprise)>" portrays Velcro as being introduced to human society by Vulcans <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_(Star_Trek)> in 1957. One of the Vulcans in the episode is named "Mestral", after the fastener's actual inventor and founder of the brand.

•On Star Trek: Discovery, the mycologist specializing in well, you know, mycology, physics, spores, and mycelia, which he believes are the building blocks of energy across the universe.

There’s a real-life Paul Edward Stamets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets>

I think there was one last thing, but what memory? I can’t get a memory upgrade, because as I was told in the mid-80s at Xerox, that in spite of being named Marina, I haven’t the necessary port. We know I drink scotch, as mentioned in an earlier post, but we are also aging some ports.


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