Jaime Escalante

Jaime Escalante, the iconic math teacher who inspired the movie "Stand and Deliver," died yesterday. He was only 79.

Mr. Escalante lived not far from me. Many times, I've seen him shopping at Trader Joe's. He seemed like such an unassuming, humble man, striding purposefully, bent toward his destination as though walking against a strong headwind.

I never spoke to him directly, and that is something I now regret. I should have asked him if I could buy him a cup coffee, because I would have so enjoyed listening to him talk. But I never asked, and we never spoke, and now this loving, intelligent, tenacious and charming man is gone.

Jaime Escalante
1930 - 2010

"You can do anything you want to, it is easy.
The hardest part is that you have to believe you can do it.
The rest is a piece of cake."

'Stand And Deliver' Teacher Dies - KCRA.com
Jaime Escalante - Wikipedia

Nature By Numbers

Gorgeous. Watch full screen, if you can.

Serial Poopers

For some unknown reason, several serial pooper stories have crossed my desk recently. In an attempt to bring the world just a wee bit closer to whirled peas, today I'm republishing something I wrote back in April of 2006. I hope it helps.


Some people's heads are chock full of steaming piles of anger and negativity. Their brains are much too small to contain it all, so they must release it or they just might explode.

What these people do, then, is go through the world pooping all over everyone around them. They bitch and yell at other drivers. They frequently cross over the rudeness threshold with the staff of any business they enter. They complain incessantly. They send nasty emails and leave snarky comments on blogs.

Such people are commonly, aptly, referred to as "shitheads."

I am determined not to be a shithead, so I try very, very hard to have an Olympic level of patience with people like this. I try to remember that it is they who are miserable and that I have no obligation (or desire!) to soak up any of that misery from them.

My Pollyanna attitude doesn't seem to make any positive change in them, but I do believe it protects me from the toxicity they're attempting to spread.


And now that you've had your dose of sugar today, here's a cherry to top it off.

See? Notwithstanding the declaration on the tee shirt, how can anyone be poopy after seeing a grin like that?

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

I don't get much feedback on this blog, so I don't know if anyone's watching. Or listening. Or paying attention at all. I hope so, because it's not only my forum for bragging about my unparalleled family, but also the soap box upon which I occasionally stand and preach the value of reaching outside of one's self.

Please, if you're here...if this mic is on...if you can hear me, leave a comment. Just a note to let me know this is reaching someone. You don't need to have a gmail account to comment, although if you leave one as "anonymous" it'd be cool if you end the note with your initials or some secret code just to let me know who you are.

And just in case this blog is not for naught...

Quickie Scampi

(makes 2 servings)


1 lb raw shrimp or prawns, deveined, tails removed
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps butter, divided
10 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 sprigs Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
3 oz dry vermouth (give or take)
seasoning salt
freshly ground pepper


1. Rinse and drain shrimp. Pat dry.

2. Heat olive oil and 1 tblsp butter in large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add garlic to pan, simmer lightly until it just starts to turn golden.

3. Add shrimp to pan. Add seasoning salt and ground pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turn shrimp, cook 3-4 more minutes until shrimp is curled and opaque.

4. Push shrimp to one side of pan. Add remaining tblsp butter to pan, brown just slightly. Add vermouth. Deglaze pan, stirring shrimp and vermouth together and loosening any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add tomatoes and stir just until warmed through.

5. Serve in preheated bowls over angel hair pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Six Years

Today marks six years since I met Steve. If you don't know the story, buy me a glass of wine sometime and maybe I'll spill it. The story, not the wine.

Steve is great to live with. We are completely in synch when it comes to our lifestyles, which is not to say that we enjoy all the same things or are socially inseparable. In fact, that's one thing we share: independence. We have a mutual respect for each other's quiet time and personal space. When he holes up in his man cave to play World of Facebook or Doomed or wtf, I curl up with a book and escape to other lands and times.

We have the same affection for a cozy, tidy, well organized home. We love fine dining and fine wining and have not yet run out of things to talk about. I love cooking and he loves eating. We have the same sick, sarcastic, perverted, offensive sense of humor. Moods and roles are fluid; when one of us is Yin, the other is Yan. We both gag at the phrase "you complete me," and neither of us ever wants to get married again.

So, yavrum, thank you for coming into my life when you did, and for sticking around for the ride, and for making me laugh every single day. Baby, you da greatest!