Crocs: In the Swamp

Fads come and go. Remember Saddleback jeans?

And it was a happy day when most of us (you can do it, Tennessee) kissed the mullet goodbye!

And now, I foretell the fad of Crocs slowing down.

Crocs has filed for Chapter 11. Maybe people have heard about all the law suits from kids getting the shoes stuck in escalators.

Or maybe, the company shot itself in the resin foot.

So here is the conundrum..... The technology exists to make hosiery that doesn't run. Or tires that do not blow. But that would eliminate recurring sales. Should a company deliberately make a sub-par product to encourage repeat business? Is that a good business practice model? Is it ethical? I am tired of cheap junk from China that doesn't last 3 months. So I must admit, I admire that about Crocs. But now it has come back to bite them. Once you buy one pair, you never need to buy another, thanks to their durability.

Do we punish quality in this country?


A Bundle of Firsts

First day of school: in most places it conjures up images of newly sharpened pencil bouquets, crisp fall leaves and argyle sweaters. Where I live it means dragging yourself from the pool and trying to last six hours in school without slurping a sno-cap. We dug in our heels. We tried to stop the steamroller. But school started anyway.

We have many first-day of school traditions. One of them is the infamous FRONT PORCH PICTURE started by my mom and dad.

First Day of School Aug. 25 1981 (Ms. Fish starts 10th Grade)

First Day of School Aug. 24, 1982 (11th Grade - wearing student body officer uniform!)







First Day Disclosures

Yesterday I was reminiscing about first days of school.

'Twas the night before school...and all through our house, the children were squealing, excited as a mouse. Otto and Andy, my 3rd graders, were like vultures in confinement with fresh road kill in the area. They couldn't wait for school. They packed and re-packed their backpacks, compared mechanical pencils, laid out their new duds and kept asking every 10 minutes if it was time for bed.

Did you catch that? Just for dramatic effect, let me repeat: 8 year olds ASKING for bedtime! Their anxious anticipation carried through to the big 'have a great day' send-off!

About 2:45 pm I kept watch out my big picture window for the munchkins to come whistling down the street with backpacks bouncing. Pretty soon...somebody materialized. I thought it was the buddy boys except these children were dragging. Poor pathetic sad little children. When they got closer, I saw it was MY boys! And they were moping. Seriously moping. They came in, plopped down on the couch and stared straight ahead. They didn't even ask for a snack. That is how serious this was.

Oh dear, I thought. Had they been beaten? Had all their friends moved in a mass exodus? I knew I wasn't their teacher...so that wasn't the problem.

"Well...." I anxiously asked. "How was it?"

Landon, allowing his pupils to flicker from his glassy eyed glaze, turned to me and with strong conviction said, "it was like this....

Rules, rules, rules, recess. Rules, rules, rules, lunch. Rules, rules, rules, recess. Rules, rules, rules, home."

Aaahhh.....it was the old high-expectations-falling-short syndrome.

Fast forward 7 years. Aug. 13, 2009. THIS first day of school was different. The palpable excitement of yesteryear was gone. The lure of summer was still exerting great gravitational pull. Paradoxically, low anticipation compounded with low expectations yielded higher returns. The teens bounded in the door with their characteristic energy and said, "high school is cool....it's going to be a fun year!"

Wait a minute. REWIND. Just for dramatic empahsis, let me repeat. Teen-agers...teen-age BOYS no less...excited about school! Thank you Hurricane High!


Is Your Thought ORIGINAL?

Having to write tons, yes TONS, of papers for my master's degree, I was always cognizant of plagiarism. This concept has intrigued me. My advisor said "if you change a word or two in a sentence, you won't be plagiarizing." I think that is a funny thing. Take a look at a journal article and look at the LONG list of references. All we really do is simply copy one another but say it with a different list of vocabulary words.

This made me think...does anyone have completely original thought anymore? Unlikely. Occasionally people say things that bring forth new ways of looking at things (i.e. Gawande, Gladwell), but even that is rare.

I am under the persuasion that for the most part everything that needs to be said has already been said. Great speeches/talks are really just a reworking and re-wording of already established thought.

Agree? or Disagree?


Reine de Saba

photo credit: epicurious

In honor of Julie & Julia opening in theatres today, I made Julia's French Reine de Saba. I give it three out of four forks. But in all honesty, I didn't get an unbiased taste of the recipe. I added coconut extract, omitted the ground almonds, substituted buttermilk for rum and sweetened the frosting. The tastebuds of the French have not embraced sugar quite as readily as the Americans! Or at least THIS American.

The cake is not a high riser. Nor is it light and fluffy but moderately moist and dense. It is a more sophisticated cake than one of my all-time favorite chocolate cakes. And I am rarely sophisticated (I consider french fries the creme' de la creme' of French cuisine).

But at least I'll be ready if Francine Adelais Capucine or Jacques de' eat da Eclair drop by.

So savor!


Summer Skin

Do you sometimes get mistaken for an elephant? No....not because of your size. And not because you have a large proboscis. Oh and not because you are gray or have incisors as long as a yardstick , and not because...oh boy I better move on....

Do your heels have fissures as deep as Yellowstone canyon?

or look like a dry lake bed of Namibia?

Is summer sandal wear wreaking havoc on your normally supple feet backside?

Guess what I use for that? Hemp Chanvre from The Body Shop. And there is not a Body Shop where I live. Mine is almost gone, and I am PANICKING!! My heel skin will turn to eel skin without it.

I am telling you, this stuff works! I love, love, love it! Has sort of an earthy, sage-like aroma. Not for everyone. But I've grown accustomed, yea even, attracted to it. And it feels so good on the feet. Plus, it softens and heals. Heals the heels. I like that.

If I can't get some more Hemp, I may try Bag Balm. I was told in my dermatology class, that this stuff is fantastic and recommended for diabetics who get dry, cracked skin. Made for cow's utters and transferable to humans!

Ahh...the bag balm website has such pretty colors. And the lid has a picture of a green cow circled by flowers!

I may stink like a barn animal, and start leaking milk from my toes but at least I can still hold my head high when wearing sandals.

By the way, you can buy these beach sandals here.


Marinated Steak Burrito with Mango Sauce

In Charlottsville, Virginia, we ate at Rapture. With a name like that, you know things are going to be good. My mom and I both had the Flank Steak Burrito with Mango Sauce. And it was rapture-io-glorioso.

It caused me to forget how much I don't like flank steak. And caused me to consider marrying the Mango Sauce. So I came home and tried to re-create it. Only I used a nice tender tenderloin because I wanted no part of a failed grizzly flank steak. I chickened out on the beef belly.

Steak Marinade

4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T orange juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
3 T olive oil
3 T chopped cilantro
1 tsp liquid smoke

Referigerate for 2-4 hours before grilling. Grill 5 minutes each side for a hot pink center or longer if you like it more in the brownish vicinity. Brush with marinade prior to serving.

Mango Sauce

4 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T brown sugar

Heat 2 tsp oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, ginger, 1/4 tsp salt, allspice, cumin and cinnamon about 3 minutes. Add mango, vinegar, lime juice, and sugar and gently boil, stirring occasionally. Place in blender and blend until smooth. Return to stove and cook until desired consistency.

To assemble burrito:
Frost corn or flour tortilla with layer of mango sauce. Top with thinly sliced steak, carrot matchsticks, cabbage, fresh cilantro, corn, and red onion.

Another fish food to be fond of!
So Savor!


Happy Birthday to Me

and to Mr. Fish, my husband - the big katuna. We share secrets, saliva and horoscopes.

Happy Birthday Handsome!!


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