Possible Blog Posts for Today

– How I came to clean Kate’s pee off of Will’s bedroom floor this morning.
– The many ridiculous hours it takes to prepare for a board meeting, and by extension, the high suck-factor found in Kinko’s website.
– My fantasy workday, complete with regular deliveries of food I do not cook.
– A discussion of when self-help books become lame and indulgent.
– Paul’s sudden decision to empty, clean, purge, and re-organize the entire kitchen.
– A philosophical quandary regarding house-disruptive projects: does timing matter?
– What mattress is best?
– A 6-year old debate on which is stronger: gorillas or boxers?

Mi Familia

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Epiphany 101

Borrowing from the incomparable list-making of Alejna, this is a list related to EPIPHANY.

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Epiphany: In name and title

Epiphany: Sudden flashes of realization

  • Epiphany, the sudden discovery of some meaning.
  • Epiphany is also used to describe religious visions, such as Theophany, Hierophany, and Darsana.

Epiphany: A holiday around the world

  • According to the Gospel of Matthew, the three Kings (Magi) followed a Star in the heavens to the Baby Jesus, arriving with gifts for him on the day now celebrated as Epiphany.  Melchior represented Europe, arrived on horseback and brought gold.  Gaspar represented Arabia, arrived in camel, and brought frankincense.  Balthazar represented Africa, arrived on elephant, and brought myrrh.  Most Christian calendars recognize this date as January 6th.
  • Some branches of Christianity celebrate the coming of Epiphany by honoring it as the Twelfth Night.  These Christians Twelve Holy Days from December 26th to January 6th is considered the spiritual heart of the year to follow, with January 6th as “Holy of the Holiest.”
  • In England, “Twelfth Night” is traditionally the last opportunity to party before the resumption of post-holiday work.  The “Yule Log” is kept lit until Twelfth Night to bring good fortune in the new year.
  • Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the Baptism of Jesus with the Feast of Theophany (literally, “manifestation of God”) on January 6th.  They also perform the “Great Blessing of the Waters.”  In Greek Orthodox tradition, during the “Blessing of the Waters” celebration, young men dive into the water to retrieve a cross that was thrown in by a priest after being blessed.  The first man to find it is believed to have good luck for a year.
  • In Ireland, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th under the name Little Christmas (Nollaig Bheag) , or Women’s Christmas.  This is the first time I’ve heard of Women’s Christmas (Nollaig na mBan), but the general idea is that men take up all duties related to house, home, and family, and women party all day.
  • Italian children hang their socks on the eve of January 6th for Befana to visit to fill them with candy or coal, behavior dependent.  This is similar to Russia’s Baboushka,  who also provides presents on the eve of Epiphany.
  • In Spanish tradition, on the even of the Day of the Kings (El Dia de los Reyes), children polish and leave their shoes ready to accept presents from the Kings.  Roscon, a special type of bread decorated with candy fruit, is made.
  • In Mexico, children may leave shoes near the family nativity season or under a tree, with notes with toy requests for the Kings, sometimes with offerings of hay for the Kings’ animals.  A bread called Rosca de Reyes is made in the shape of a King’s crown and holds a small doll inside.  The person who finds the doll in their bit of Rosca is responsible for throwing a party on February 2nd, “Candelaria Day”.
  • Similarly, in Puerto Rico, children traditionally fill a box with hay and put it under their beds.  They eat Rosca de Reyes in the evening, with a small doll inside representing the baby Jesus.
  • The Christmas season ends on January 6th in the Philippines for Tatlong Hari (“Three Kings”).  Children here also leave shoes out, so that candy or money may be placed inside.  Others greet one another with the phrase “Happy Three Kings!”
  • The gâteau des Rois is eaten in France on Epiphany.  This is a kind of king cake, with a trinket (usually a porcelain figurine of a king) or a bean hidden inside.  The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes “king” for a day.  King cakes are eaten in other areas of Europe, including Belgium and Portugal.
  • King Cake is also available in Louisiana starting on January 6th, as Epiphany marks the start of the Carnival Season, which lasts to Mardi Gras Day.  (Side note: I’m all about blasphemy, but eating King Cake before January 6th is seriously messed up.)

Epiphany: The day that comes tomorrow

  • Epiphany = January 6th = tomorrow.
  • It is the last day of the yearly daily blogging event, Holidailies.
  • King cakes will go on sale in New Orleans; Paul will have jury duty; and Kate will go to the Aquarium on a field trip.
  • My age will change from age 21 to age 22.  In hex.
  • Tomorrow, January 6th, is My Birthday.



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Searching for Inspiration: The 2009 Post Round-Up

Like last year, I am doing a post round-up by listing the first sentences from the first post from each month in 2009.

Looking back on that post, I see that I made a few blog-related resolutions.  Things I would do, or finish, or whatever.  Predictably, I did none of them.  Resolutions are not my strong-suit.

But wait!  I may be redeemed… were any of my first sentences improvements on those from last year??

January: “You will not believe what I am about to tell you.”

February: “Remember the back of our house?”

March: “We’d been discussing it for years, when would be the best time?”

April: ““Stand by Me” performed by musicians around the world

May: “I took these last fall in Boston — my continued obsession with shutter speed.”

June: “Did that belly dancing class make us uppity?”

July: “Surprise!”

August: “The last two days have been a bit of a daze, punctuated by periodic conversations that go something like this, “where the heck are we?””

September: “I wrote each name and order of comment on a little slip of paper, folded them up, and stuck them in bowls — one for new friends and one for the old friends.”

October: “On the can.”

November: “Will had his second ear surgery on Friday.”

December: “Try as I may, I just can’t get the job of independently wealthy woman of leisure.”

Maybe half-credit?  Good enough.

Have you ever made a resolution and saw it to the end?

And, do you have favorite things you read on a blog this year?  Looking for inspiration to bring in the New Year!


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Looking for some JUST POSTS

Alejna and I are rounding up the JUST POSTS for October. In case you’re new to Just Posts, they are a monthly roundtable of posts written on personal blogs that reflect or inform others on social justice issues. You can read more about them here or here.

Please send in your nominations!


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Just Posts: August 2009

I have a confession.

I used to be very angry.  And the more I learned, the more I found out about how sick and twisted and unfair and awful the world can be, the angrier I got.  It felt a little like Sophie, who gets so very angry that she explodes like a volcano and runs and runs and runs.  Eventually, I realized that all that anger and exploding and running wasn’t really doing me or anyone else any good.  That no matter how angry and active and upset, the world was still sick and twisted and unfair and awful.

Sophie cries to let it all out.  I become cynical and apathetic.

How can I find a middle-ground with someone who refuses to let the President of the United States, a position that should be respected regardless of your political stance, address their child in a pubic space?  Where I can start to educate an individual who enjoys their Medicare coverage on the fact that their insurance is a government plan?  And if those ridiculous conversations cannot be fixed by reason and rational thought, then what future do we have?

I’d get mad, but I don’t think it’s going to help anything.

Is it to cliche to say I’m glad to read regular folks who write about these issues (and more)?  So thank you for the reading, for bringing these posts to my attention, and for suggesting them for this space.  Thank you.

August 2009 Just Posts…

Girl Griot at If You Want Kin… with: Choking on a Wishbone; Oh I See, Profiling is Colorblind; and What’s Good for the Goose

Kitty at The Show Must Go On with: Fallen into a hospital and can’t get out

Barbara at An American in Lima with: Government extends State of Emergency; more children to die

Holly at Cold Spaghetti with: Superheros; Thoughts on Rising Tide 4; and Why does New Orleans have different moral rules of conduct?

Painted Maypole at The Painted Maypole with: What Jesus would do and 4-years ago today Katrina made landfall

Laura at Our Feet are the Same with: B is for Backpack

Julie at Using my Words with: Why Playing the Whore Card in reference to Mommybloggers is not so cool

Catherine at Their Bad Mother with: Baby Got Boob

Margaret at Mostly in the Afternoon with: Youth in Asia

Elizabeth at A Moon, as if it had been worn by a shell with: Thursday Rant

Ilina at Dirt and Noise with: Marriott is a Disgrace

Angela at The Many Hats with: How dare you take your vagina out in public!

Jen at One Plus Two with: Culture Clash

Magpie at Magpie Musings with: You want to know how much a colonoscopy costs?

Chani with Finding my way back home with: War on Women

Fireweaver at Laboratory Tested with: Foolishness is Free

Contributors to this month’s roundtable:
Painted Maypole


(Note: please forgive formatting and font issues here… the latest WordPress upgrade destroyed something important and I haven’t had a chance to track it down.)


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Happy Birthday, Cold Spaghetti

I wrote each name and order of comment on a little slip of paper, folded them up, and stuck them in bowls — one for new friends and one for the old friends.  Will chose number 8 — Heather at Finding Atman!  Kate chose number 10 — Harriet at Spynotes!   Send me your address y’all… I’m feeling some Derby Pottery love comin’ your way!


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Free Booze, Accolades, and Housekeeping

Well, it won’t be booze unless you’re in NOLA and I can justify why it’s made by a New Orleans artist, but it will be free. Friends, new and old, please leave a comment so I can include you in my gift-giving to celebrate Cold Spaghetti’s 5th year and to pay tribute to New Orleans 4 years after The Thing by sending something from a New Orleans artist. (Go to the link and leave a comment there.)

Also! It’s that time again! Just Posts are here and Alejna and I would love your nominations for the August Round Table. For more information, please visit the Just Posts page.


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Birthdays, Anniversaries… and NOLA-love surprises.

Cold Spaghetti is now five years old. My first post was written August 26th, 2004 — then on another site — and would move twice before ending up here in its own special domain.  I’m blushing as I admit this, but there is a lot of unfinished business on this site. One of my post-dissertation project-dreams is to re-vamp it, clean up old posts, set tags and labels, and properly archive everything in a cool kind of way (after all, it’s the closest I’m going get to cool).  That is how I’m getting through, you know… making all sorts of PLANS for what I’m allowed to do AFTER the dissertation.  Those AFTER plans?  They are BIG PLANS, let me tell you!  Life changing, earth-shaking plans!  In fact, I love to talk about the PLANS so much, that all the other stuff, like getting to AFTER, can fall to the wayside.  Oof.  If I’m going to make November, it may be time to raise the bar.  What do people do to finish a book, I wonder?  What drastic measure or extra-cool incentive helps others?  Should I deny myself chocolate or wear a chastity belt or something?   (Suggestions welcome.)

This week also marks the date of my inaugural post (granted, a cross-post, but a post nonetheless!) to NOLAFemmes — a website written by New Orleans women about New Orleans issues important to women. It’s a great site for information about local artists, events, and politics — and a good way to get an idea how the women of our city are healing our collective wounds, raising our future citizens, and carrying on life in this difficult, but beautiful place.

Most importantly, this week holds another anniversary in these parts. That of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. I don’t want to wax on about those pivotal events, only to say that we’re still here. The real work of recovery, of looking at our past and future and determining how to heal our inequalities, is just beginning. There is so much opportunity and hope; it is a really exciting time to be in New Orleans.

In honor of both events, I want to share the NOLA love. I’m hoping for comments from folks that read but haven’t commented before… just a lil’ shout out. I confess that since moving to (two!) years ago, I haven’t been tracking traffic and I have no idea who is visiting or from where. (See, I wasn’t kidding about not being on top of the website.)

Make a comment here between now and September 1st — particularly if you’re new to coldspaghetti or never commented before — and I’ll send a NOLA-themed gift from a NOLA-based artist to one repeat commenter and one new commenter.  Selections will be made via random number and I’ll announce names on September 2nd.

Glasses raised to joie de vivre — no matter where you are!

Recovery and Rebirth

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15 Books

Dear Dissertation: I promise I am getting back to it after this quick lunch break.

Facebook note!
What 15 books will stay with you forever?

Here are the rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. They don’t have to be the greatest books you’ve ever read, just the ones that stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Copy these instructions and tag 15 ( or more) friends, including me – because I’m interested in seeing what books are in your head.

1. The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison)
2. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
3. Birth as an American Rite of Passage (Robbie Davis-Floyd)
4. Native Son (Richard Wright)
5. Killing the Black Body (Dorothy Roberts)
6. Death Without Weeping (Nancy Scheper-Hughes)
7. Fast Food Nation (Eric Schlosser)
8. Betrayal of Trust (Laurie Garrett)
9. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
10. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
11. The Woman and the Body (Emily Martin)
12. The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)
13. D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (Eric and Ingrid D’aulaire)
14. Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
15. Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)



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June Just Posts for a Just World

June has been a difficult month, with posts that reflect this with writing on the thoughts and life changes that come with civil unrest, national conflict, and personal loss. Two countries which we have deep personal connections, Honduras and Peru, have been immersed in violent clashes. I’m still not sure where I stand with the Honduran coup d’etat… I’m not even sure if I feel right calling it a coup. I do hope that the International community keep Honduras in it’s sights no matter how the situation continues to unfold: it is a country of beautiful, open, forgiving people, 70% of whom live in poverty. Any sanctions or separation imposed on the country due to its political situation will ultimately work to the detriment of the nation’s most vulnerable. The Big Picture, the fantastic photography site hosted at, posted a collection of photographs of the protests.

Peru also has experienced civil unrest. For years, indigenous peoples have lived in remote areas of the Amazon rain forest with protection from development. But the country wants to use it’s natural resources, particularly it’s forests and oil reserves, to comply with agreements the government made in the US-Peruvian free trade agreement. Violence erupted at roadblocks where people gathered to protect their land from entering developers. You can read more about the conflict at Life in Peru, particularly this post.

Also, as was pointed out by another Peruvian blogger, Peru also lost one of it’s musical legends, Alicia Delgado, who was unexpectedly murdered (a true-to-life telenovela type story). In honor of Alicia (and with appropriate homage to Alejna’s musical JPs) here is Ms. Delgado:

Below are the June Just Posts. Thank you thank you thank you.

This month’s readers:

Be sure to head over to Alejna’s for more Just Post love and musical thought!


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