Life Gives You Lemons

Moving on over
December 28, 2007, 4:33 pm
Filed under: odd random thoughts

Not that you’d know it yet, but Life Gives You Lemons has moved to a new home at You can subscribe to our new feedburner feed right here (that’s

Posts coming soon include a sad salute to Benazir Bhutto, a run at Unilever/Axe and “Twintimates” – a feature wish for Twitter… Please stay tuned!

Kidnoise on NPR
November 8, 2007, 5:52 pm
Filed under: business life, kidnoise, parenting | Tags:

Heh. Two-year-old makes an early debut on NPR show. Ever since blogging about kidnoise early on, I want to start collecting this stuff. Please do send if you see anything…

October 30, 2007, 12:10 am
Filed under: lemons, odd random thoughts

When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!!

I don’t understand this
October 16, 2007, 7:00 pm
Filed under: news of the weird, random beauty

I don’t know what a sim is, or the exact definition of machinima. But I don’t have to. You don’t have to either.

This is beautiful. A “video” of creating Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night within second life.

Found on Christopher Penn’s blog.

Cleaning Up?
October 15, 2007, 7:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Blog Action Day, today. Theme to write about: the environment. Huge category. Enormous. Fraught with lots of personal guilt and shallow feel-good gesturing too. What can we, any of us do, for real, about the environment?

Look, if you want quick tips, hit up Google, read a book on it or check out some blogs and podcasts on the topic:

InhabitatGreenpeaceTreehugger EcoTumble | Lighter Footstep | Vote for Trees | Five Limes 

But for this moment, would you take your thoughts on this issue to a different level? Can you step away from knee-jerk pro or con or eco-gestures and consider a bigger picture? About what kind of person you want to be in the world? Can you try to think about your life as connected, and take into consideration how you care for and regard yourself, others around you and total strangers?

Do you accuse and assign blame? Do you look for quick fixes to assuage your own guilt? Or are you earnestly trying to keep your mind open about what could be better, where to find ideas, how to spread them? What actions in your quiet private everyday can make you healthier and more able to contend with complex issues like the environment? Can you source your actions from love and can you take the time to understand how you affect the broader world? Can you see beyond your selfish opinions and wants and try to imagine how your actions and positions play out on larger and larger scales?

Can you start cleaning up the environment inside your head, be patient with yourself, but earnestly start?

Can that lead to looking at your life just a little bit more clearly every day, and beginning to adopt, sustainably, the kinds of individual actions, thoughts and habits that can lead to less personal environmental impact in the future?

Activism tweaks the nose of patience. But, I think patience does more with time. Next time you fly (and, natch, offset your carbon), stare down the hills and valleys and contours traced by gazillions of rivulets over time and know the whole friggin landscapes can be shaped by water. How will you apply this to shaping your own life?

Powerful Women: But are they Ugly? Hot? Cute?
October 14, 2007, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

No Tara, it’s not just you:

Is it just me, or does everyone else notice that women who make it to some reasonable level of power in North America are painted as either sluts, junkies, airheads, bitches, witches* or some other awfully negative female stereotype?

We attack and demean what we feel is threatening. So, 1) why is our culture so threatened by strong women? and 2) do we attack and demean women in fundamentally more harsh, shallow, callow ways?

Why the pressure on strong women to be “everything” and not just who they are. Remember Hillary being compelled to share her chocolate chip cookie recipe to somehow prove she was also a decent mom & wife? Blegh.

But this, from the comments, bothered me even more:

It’s a difficult balancing act to need to be seen as a pro-active, ambitious leader, yet a gentle and caring woman, and I think it results in some women with good intentions looking a lot more ruthless than they are.

Ok waiddaminnit. Do we ask our male leaders to pull off this sleight of hand too? Really? To the same degree?

Not With MY Daughters!
October 4, 2007, 3:32 pm
Filed under: business life, parenting, rants, women

<rant>I get a more than a little edgy over our sexpectations for women. Don’t get me wrong, sex is great. Sexy can be a lot of fun. But when it seems overwhelmingly that sexy = “hot women scantily clad” (oh boy, bring on the spiders) as opposed to sexy = “awesome things between pairs (or, whatever) of people,” that can just suck.

There are lines I draw in the sand. There are lots of things people find acceptable — or at least fail to question — that set me right off, especially when a woman’s sex appeal gets pulled into business and other inappropriate settings.

So without trying to parse “what is ok?” and “what isn’t?” in laborious detail, can we all watch this and just agree *something* is very very wrong?

Next time you laugh or leer at outrageously raunchy women in a very public setting, tell me — is this really how you want your daughter to look, feel and behave?

I’m all for bringing sexy back. I just think it’s way sexier when sexy is shared a little more evenly. </rant>

Recipe: Saturday Evening with Old Friends
September 23, 2007, 1:57 am
Filed under: random beauty, recipes

This meal built around

  • truffled reggiano cheese

So you’ll want a very good cheese shop. You can substitute (or magnify the effect) by using black truffle oil when you “dress” the cooked pasta.

In a market you trust, buy:

  • fresh pasta (gnocchi, tortellini or other “small bits” shape works best)
  • sweet italian sausage
  • red peppers – sound, ripe
  • asparagus – look for finer, slender stalks and good green color
  • mushrooms – look for clean, tender ones. almost any variety is ok

Rinse the red peppers and asparagus, but NOT the mushrooms. Set the asparagus aside to drain and pat the red peppers dry.

Prepare the Asparagus. Hold your hands as if to play the piano and take each end of a spear of asparagus lightly between thumb and fingertips. Hold the whitish end near the base and the budding end 2/3 of the way along. Gently flex the stalk while rolling your right thumb up the back of your finger, twisting slightly. Allow the stalk to snap where it wants to. Don’t be anxious about how much “good” asparagus is wasted. It’s NOT that good. And, you can use it in stock or compost it.

Prepare the Mushrooms. With a very clean dishtowel, lightly whisk off any flecks of dirt. Do not wash. Slice. Sautee in a small amount of olive oil or butter, almost as if you were toasting them lightly. Cover and allow to weep. You can add minced shallots or a very small amount of finely chopped onions to the oil before the mushrooms, if desired. Fleck with black pepper. Set aside.

Boil Water. Fresh pasta won’t need to cook long, but have the water ready.

Light the Grill. Fire roast the red peppers until they’re charred on all sides. Remove from the grill, cool slightly, and place into a paper bag. Grill the sausages. Tag someone who’s drinking a beer and shooting pool to be your grill buddy and keep an eye on them for you. After the grill is off, set your crusty bread, wrapped in foil, on or near it to warm lightly.

Finish the Red Peppers. Once cool enough to handle, rub the charred skin off the red peppers. Work under cool running water, and peel/rinse away the stem and seeds also. Tear the peppers into slabs and slice the slabs into neat strips. Serve them cool or rewarm them in the steam or hot water from the pasta, later. Dust with mixed spices and good balsamic.

Now you’re cooking. Set the asparagus tips into a colander or steamer insert and steam them over the boiling water. Boil the pasta lightly, drain and toss with just enough oil or butter to coat (butter, good olive oil, truffle oil, etc.). While the pasta is still very hot, shave plenty of the truffled regiano over all the pasta, tossing gently to mix well.

You can add finely minced ribbons of fresh, young basil or mention the phrase “freshly ground black pepper” while standing near the serving dish. Then again, you can use velveeta. Truffles are subtle. If you tamper, you could miss the point entirely. If you need more flavor, the answer is more truffled regiano, not more stuff.

When the asparagus is done, transfer it immediately to the serving dish. Arrange mushrooms, pasta, asparagus, red peppers and sausages on a large platter. Serve with warmed crusty bread, more regiano and a grater, plenty of red wine and laughter. Linger long at the table — you all have tales to tell.

Recipe: White Russian Latte
September 20, 2007, 1:46 am
Filed under: recipes

Hmm, tall mug of hot, frothy milk, healthy shots of vodka and kahlua. Sit back and enjoy.

Oh Hell Yeah! Those OBSCENE Breastfeeding Mothers
September 14, 2007, 10:11 pm
Filed under: parenting, rants, women

Ok, Mojo of a Mama, Ms. Tara, you just swatted it out of the park my friend.

If you’re too lazy to click through to her brillarious post, Cliff’s notes follow: