October 31st, 2008 6:00:45 pm pst by Sterling Camden
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October 31st, 2008 10:58:16 am pst by Sterling Camden
My sister reminded me of a Halloween adventure from when we were young — I think I was maybe six.
Mom bought us each a plastic Halloween mask — a significant expense for us at the time, and we appreciated them greatly. My sister’s was a princess, and mine was Batman. I was a huge Batman fan. I even named my cat Bruce, after Bruce Wayne. The TV show of the same name had debuted earlier that year, and we never missed an episode. Where others appreciated the campy nature of that show, to us it was serious action. My sister and I would play Batman and Robin while riding our bikes. Our great-grandmother even made capes for us out of some spare material — so what if one of them was brown paisley? A Batman mask was the Holy Grail of boyish Batman fanhood. A set of Batman pajamas completed the ensemble.
When you’re six years old and you worship Batman, putting on The Mask doesn’t just make you look like Batman. You become Batman. And when Batman goes trick or treating, he doesn’t walk or skip from house to house — no, he flies.
After leaving one house, I could see through the darkness that the lights of the next house were quite a jaunt away. Plenty of room to zoom. Just as I picked up enough speed to make my cape horizontal and I cried “I’m flying!”, the ground suddenly fell away from beneath my feet.
I failed to fly — or even to land with dignity. My mask was knocked over my eyes, and my plastic pumpkin for treats was broken. For a moment I just lay there, feeling distinctly unsuperherolike, listening to the other children laugh as they ran around the newly dug basement into which I had fallen.
Somehow I managed to scramble back up to the surface and continue trick or treating – but with my superhero powers convincingly debunked, I couldn’t really enjoy it.
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October 30th, 2008 1:00:05 pm pst by Sterling Camden
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October 29th, 2008 1:00:10 pm pst by Sterling Camden
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October 28th, 2008 6:00:49 pm pst by Sterling Camden
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October 28th, 2008 12:07:48 pm pst by Sterling Camden
Tall evergreens line the highway, so regularly spaced and so similar in supernal stature that this scene could easily be Paul Bunyan’s Christmas tree farm. But this time of year, Paul should beware of the bright flames of yellow and orange that flicker up beneath and between the green giants, revealing the presence of the usually unremarkable maples. They’re certainly not unremarkable now — almost no one who beholds their golden tresses can refrain from remarking upon them.
Acer macrophyllum, the Bigleaf Maple, defends its name and reputation by dumping big wheelbarrow-loads of big leaves; leaves that are almost too big to rake. Most are bigger than your face, and some would reach from shoulder to shoulder if draped across your chest. They’d only fit on a Canadian flag if it was a pretty big flag.
We have a Canadian flag in our garage, though I don’t know why. It was there when we bought the house, and there it remains. Our lawn mower, parked beneath it, was made in Canada — it even has a small, red maple leaf painted on the engine cowling. The two of them form a small shrine to our northern neighbors, eh?
In a month or so, we’ll be sick of maple leaves — covering our driveway, clogging the drains, killing the lawn. There’s never enough time to rake them up, and my wife is allergic to them. By that time, they’ll be all brown and mushy from the rains. But now some are still green, transitioning to yellow. Others, on the cusp between orange and brown, a brilliant bronze. For their autumnal awesomeness, and their shade in summer, we’ll forgive the winter wrack.
Posted in Get a Grip | 4 Comments » RSS 2.0
October 27th, 2008 2:00:42 pm pst by Sterling Camden
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October 25th, 2008 7:00:18 am pst by Sterling Camden
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October 24th, 2008 5:34:55 pm pst by Sterling Camden
I love spicy food. I’m not particular about ethnicity, but it needs to have that zing — which usually leads me in a Mexican, Indian, or Thai direction. But there’s also a lot of good spicy Chinese food available. One way to spice up Chinese that you cook at home is to liberally apply a hot mustard. I like to make my own.
Start with some real ground wasabi. For just one helping, I start with about a teaspoon of the powder. Add a teaspoon or two of water to activate it. Mix it up well and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. By now this should be pretty thin. Add a shake or two each of ground cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Then add ground dry mustard until you get to the desired consistency. If you add too much, just add some more water or vinegar.
Scoop up a wad of that mixture on the end of an egg roll, pop it in your mouth, and feel your head explode.
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October 24th, 2008 11:00:18 am pst by Sterling Camden
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