Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - June 24, 2007

Hi everyone,

I'm actually writing this just before leaving LA - it will be pretty late when we get home tonight so thought I'd get this written now. We've had a great weekend here celebrating Jacob's "graduation" from the Garden School. It has been such a wonderful, warm place for Jacob and the whole family - we will all miss it! Jacob will be moving on to kindergarten in the Fall at the Odyssey Charter School in Altadena. We got to visit his classroom on Friday and it promises to be an enriching and progressive place for him to be. Jexy is pretty excited about getting involved along with several other Garden School families who will be there as well.

Hope our "walkers" had a great morning on Saturday - missed you all!

Book Report -

Susan finished Walking on Eggshells by Jane Isay this week - this was recommended a couple of weeks ago by Jackie - see June 9 post - definitely worth the read whether you are a parent of an adult child or if you are the adult child of an aging parent. Lots of wisdom here - nothing we don't already know but worth being reminded.

Jexy and Jacob are just finishing up Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean - a sequel to J.M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan. They are really enjoying it - I may check it out myself.
Book Description:
In August 2004 the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, who hold the copyright in Peter Pan, launched a worldwide search for a writer to create a sequel to J.M. Barrie's timeless masterpiece. Renowned and multi award-winning English author Geraldine McCaughrean won the honor to write this official sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet. Illustrated by Scott M. Fischer and set in the 1930s, Peter Pan in Scarlet takes readers flying back to Neverland in an adventure filled with tension, danger, and swashbuckling derring-do! \

Jexy read and recommends - AlternaDad by Neal Pollack - a light-hearted memoir about becoming a parent and family

From Publishers Weekly
His novel Never Mind the Pollacks, a hilarious treat, used a fictional "Neal Pollack" to parody the excesses and idiocy of current pop culture. But his self-awareness becomes more self-indulgent (though still witty) in this straightforward memoir of life with his artist wife, the couple's decision a few years ago to have a baby and the attendant strains that his son, Elijah, wreaks on their hipster lifestyle. Pollack details the kind of problems that can be found in almost every memoir on child-rearing, from how to clean up baby poop to figuring out how best to be a "Dad" while being a friend. But he never really defines what it is that makes his parenting so alternative other than that he wants to be a parent and still get high and stay out late. Nevertheless, Pollack hasn't lost his flair for tongue-in-cheek commentary ("I'd begun exerting cultural control over my son; I was going to shape his mind until he was exactly like me").

Jack is currently reading and really loving The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon (Ayelet Waldman's husband)
From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Jess Walter They are the "frozen Chosen," two million people living, dying and kvetching in Sitka, Alaska, the temporary homeland established for displaced World War II Jews in Chabon's ambitious and entertaining new novel. It is—deep breath now—a murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller, so perhaps it's no surprise that, in the back half of the book, the moving parts become unwieldy; Chabon is juggling narrative chainsaws here.The novel begins—the same way that Philip Roth launched The Plot Against America—with a fascinating historical footnote: what if, as Franklin Roosevelt proposed on the eve of World War II, a temporary Jewish settlement had been established on the Alaska panhandle? Roosevelt's plan went nowhere, but Chabon runs the idea into the present, back-loading his tale with a haunting history. Israel failed to get a foothold in the Middle East, and since the Sitka solution was only temporary, Alaskan Jews are about to lose their cold homeland. The book's timeless refrain: "It's a strange time to be a Jew."Into this world arrives Chabon's Chandler-ready hero, Meyer Landsman, a drunken rogue cop who wakes in a flophouse to find that one of his neighbors has been murdered. With his half-Tlingit, half-Jewish partner and his sexy-tough boss, who happens also to be his ex-wife, Landsman investigates a fascinating underworld of Orthodox black-hat gangs and crime-lord rabbis. Chabon's "Alyeska" is an act of fearless imagination, more evidence of the soaring talent of his previous genre-blender, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.Eventually, however, Chabon's homage to noir feels heavy-handed, with too many scenes of snappy tough-guy banter and too much of the kind of elaborate thriller plotting that requires long explanations and offscreen conspiracies.Chabon can certainly write noir—or whatever else he wants; his recent Sherlock Holmes novel, The Final Solution, was lovely, even if the New York Times Book Review sniffed its surprise that the mystery novel would "appeal to the real writer." Should any other snobs mistake Chabon for anything less than a real writer, this book offers new evidence of his peerless storytelling and style. Characters have skin "as pale as a page of commentary" and rough voices "like an onion rolling in a bucket." It's a solid performance that would have been even better with a little more Yiddish and a little less police.

Website of the Week - featuring Johns Hopkins professor PM Forni with his perspective on behaving with civility in our increasingly "un-civil" world. He is a frequent contributor on The Satellite Sisters radio talk show.

Podcast of the Week
NPR's This I Believe - based on the 1950's series with Edward R. Murrow

Vocabulary Word of the Week - schadenfreude
schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.

That the report of Sebastian Imhof's grave illness might also have been tinged with Schadenfreude appears not to have crossed Lucas's mind.
-- Steven Ozment, Flesh and Spirit

He died three years after me -- cancer too -- and at that time I was still naive enough to imagine that what the afterlife chiefly provided were unrivalled opportunities for unbeatable gloating, unbelievable schadenfreude.
-- Will Self, How The Dead Live

Somewhere out there, Pi supposed, some UC Berkeley grad students must be shivering with a little Schadenfreude of their own about what had happened to her.
-- Sylvia Brownrigg, The Metaphysical Touch

The historian Peter Gay -- who felt Schadenfreude as a Jewish child in Nazi-era Berlin, watching the Germans lose coveted gold medals in the 1936 Olympics -- has said that it "can be one of the great joys of life."
-- Edward Rothstein, "Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin", New York Times, February 5, 2000

Schadenfreude comes from the German, from Schaden, "damage" + Freude, "joy." It is often capitalized, as it is in German.

Cooking and Food Report - some pretty good food and cooking this week but not much out of my kitchen:

Jexy made dinner on Thursday evenig and made this wonderful recipe from Sunset Magazine -
Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sage Butter

On Saturday we had a potluck at Jacob's school

Jexy made our family favorite Noodle Pudding (kugel) - this recipe appears in a very early post - you can simply do a search on the blog.

Charlotte's mom, Lori, made the Barefoot Contessa Macaroni and Cheese from the Family Style cookbook - luscious and terrific for a big group! You'll notice that the recipes call for sliced tomatoes on top - Lori didn't do that and I certainly didn't miss them although a nice tomato salad on the side would work well.,1977,FOOD_9936_32868,00.html

Susan made a new appetizer from Giada de Laurentiis - I tried this out earlier in the week and then made them for the potluck - I think they're great and it would be fun to try different toppings. Next time I might try grilling the polenta tartlets before topping them.
Chicken and Polenta Tartlets,1977,FOOD_9936_37043,00.html


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