Archive | November 2012

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LIVING LIFE BY THE BOOK


“Islandia” is a a classic novel of utopian fiction by Austin Tappan Wright, a U.C. Berkeley Law School Professor. Written as a hobby throughout his life, it was posthumously published in 1942, after being edited down from a bulky 2300 pages! Wright created a fully realized world much like Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, but […]

OF STEPS AND STAIRCASES


a> “Staircase To Heaven” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen “Blue Steps” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen “Waves” handmade paper by kayti sweetland rasmussen Stairs present a mystery. They can manifest man’s desire to elevate himself to the highest level, to enable him to understand his place in the world. At the top of […]

A PAEAN TO THE LOWLY FOOT


I know you probably don’t want to think about it, but that appendage at the end of your leg has become big business, both for the fashion and the medical industry. Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo and Dr. Scholl are coining big bucks off those twinkle toes. From classy six-inch heels to corn plasters, we tender a […]

THE VIRTUES OF LATKES AND FRUITCAKE


There is a great difference between Hanukkah and Christmas materiel. Latkes begin with a tasteless vegetable—potatoes—that are cleverly fashioned into something everyone likes. Fruitcake begins with fruit, which is delicious to begin with, and then gets pounded into dense oblivion and kept in the freezer until the day you move out of your apartment. Unbeknownst […]

BUT I CAN’T SPEAK SPANISH GRANDMA


Mark Twain once said, “My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years.” Well, how hard it is to learn a language depends on what language you speak to begin with. If you speak […]

THE SPORT OF FALCONRY


We stopped into a funky little store in Pescadero for an ice cream cone, and were surprised to see the young man behind the counter holding a hooded falcon on his hand. Never having seen a falcon up close and personal, we were fascinated with the creature. The young man was a member of a […]

EVERYDAY TRANSLATING


“The art of wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.” Previously I said I was in awe of translators, but heck, we’re all translators. Everytime we talk to our family, our dogs, our friends—we’re translating what they are saying into something we want to hear. What did your friend really mean with that […]