Updates from June, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 5:27 pm on June 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Paula Deen, South, southern cooking, tomatoes   

    Tomatoes Are Like Golden Apples… or plump things with navels 


    Still life with author and tomato

    Some people have never seen a real tomato.  I’m not talking about the perfectly uniform red spherical or slightly elongated varieties that typically line supermarket bins and veggie trays in typical neighborhoods, but real lumpy beefy acidic nightshades with genetic histories beyond the greengrocer’s unholy laboratories.  Some whole countries have never seen the real thing I suspect, Thailand for instance, which prides itself on the finest sweetest least-fibrous variety of every possible fruit (no comment on the women), but in this case relegated to the cardboard-cut-out picture-perfect puff-pieces that serve as little more than filler to an honest sandwich or salad.


    Many countries and cultures don’t necessarily eat sandwiches, of course, so I can’t blame them for their negligence, any more than I can blame the happy Mexicans who produce most of the ones we Americans eat these days.  They invented the blessed fruit, after all, or at least nurtured its evolution from some primordial berry into the lusty beefsteaks (sometimes) available today, though such varieties are hard to find in Mexico itself (be prepared to ask for jitomates if the word tomate doesn’t work, presumably the most direct etymological descendant of an earlier aboriginal form, something like xitomatl, meaning ‘plump thing with a navel’ in Nahuatl).  Sounds like someone I know.  Italians see them as ‘golden apples,’ pomodoros.

    (More …)

  • hardie karges 10:30 am on June 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    A day without the smile of a child is like a day without sunshine: innocent and fresh, outward expanding, barely conscious, attractive by nature…

  • hardie karges 11:18 pm on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    It’s amazing how much 60’s music still gets played by even the hippest modern stations, not just dino-rock… as if we were also listening to Al Jolson way back then, or maybe Rudy Vallee…. OK, Frankie Valli, sure, and maybe a little bit of Sinatra, at least in the early years, but 50-year-old music? No way! 60’s politics may have sucked, but the music rocked! It set off ripples around the world that are still being felt…

  • hardie karges 8:30 pm on June 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Sunday Lunch: Etymology Already, Now Onomatopoeia 

    Isn’t all war ultimately about onomatopoeia? Think about it: the rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns, the hiss of spitfires overhead, and the drone of bombing in the background. I imagine the word ‘onomatopoeia’ itself came from the trenches of WWI when a Brit and a Yank with a southern accent (OK, not so Yank, maybe Johnny Reb) passed each other in the rat-maze one too may times and the rap went something like this:

    REB: I might pee right here if the Germans don’t hold their fire soon (but what the Brit heard was more like “onomatopeia rot heah,” etc…)

    BRIT: You’re pissed. I told you not to drink that rotgut swill. This is a bloody trench! There’s no latrine…

    REB: It’s bloody, all right, but I don’t need no Catholic rites yet. And I ain’t pissed, either, ain’t got no reason to be. I jus’ need to TAKE a piss, and I aim to do it right here, if I cain’t find no better place…

    BRIT: I hope you aim that thing better than you aim your gun… and better than you speak English..

    And then I woke up. It was all just a bad dream, two native English-speakers lost in translation. I must’ve ety-lotta-mology and gotten sick, had a nightmare. But that’s about how English works, isn’t it? I concede defeat on the battle fields of orthography. I’ve fought enough already, with the ploughboys in the roughest slough, and coughing up dough in the toughest boroughs, all for nought..

    It’s fun to dream up weird wacko word origins, though. After all, without a true linguistic genome project, we can just make up anything we want, right?

  • hardie karges 5:56 pm on June 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bipolar, , manic depression   

    It’s funny how, when there’s a mass murder in America, the first thing everyone thinks is ‘mental illness.’ But when a suicide bomber blows himself up in Israel, no one says that, even though, in any other circumstance, suicide is always considered as such, depression or bipolarity usually the immediate cause. “Bipolarity’ was formerly known as ‘manic depression’, of course, mania being just the opposite of depression, hence the term ‘bipolarity’. Now if you could have the mania without the depression, then you’d have something. I guess that’s what drugs try to accomplish.

  • hardie karges 9:02 am on June 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chokwe Lumumba, , Harlem, Jackson,   

    Welcome to America and the South: Harlem, Jackson and Chokwe Lumumba 


    Jackson’s New Mayor

    My grandmother was born in Harlem around turn-of-the-previous-century, and now Chokwe Lumumba is mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.  I can’t decide which is more significant, or a better lead-in to the theme of this write, but it’s obvious we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.  Such are the parameters of my accidental inheritance of Deep South heritage, something I’m still not totally reconciled with.

    Now my grandmother probably never considered Harlem home, but if she did, she never mentioned it.  How could she, what with all the changes it and she had been through?  She ended up in Texas and never looked back, not to New York anyway.  For even a second-generation immigrant, ‘home’ is likely to be the old country, in this case Germany, something I could never fully appreciate until I actually went there for the first time in 1996, and it all came back to me at the bed-and-breakfast table—the same white dishware, the same well-oiled furniture, the same well-oiled machinery and smiles. (More …)

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