† ... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next magnets belong to the fridge of my friend Olivia

Hard to see this--it's Olivia with her niece and nephews
at Marine World.

* Discussion *

What's the most frightening moment weather has ever given you?
Talk about it here.
Or your might want to discuss comfy shoes....
or a police state!

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!


Tipping the Velvet
Sarah Waters


The Music Man
(on stage)

Pictures from the Pride March in SF are now up at Club Photo, as are the photos from our weekend in Santa Barbara.

That's it for today!


10 July 2001

I donít mean to pick on telemarketers again, but I do think they could use a little sensitivity training.

I have previously mentioned how angry it makes me when people refuse to take "no" for an answer. Todayís caller went me one better.

"Good morning!" said the chipper voice. "Is David there?"

"David Sykes?"

"Yes, David Sykes. Is he there."

A giant knot formed in my stomach.

"David died 5 years ago."

"Oh. I wonder how his name got on our list," she said, cheerily.

Then without breaking stride, she moved on, "Well, if this is Mrs. Sykes, could I talk to YOU about our new mortgage plan, then."

How could she have known what her call did to my stomach when it came out of the blue like that. I should have gotten past all that, five years down the road. The mail comes very infrequently now...maybe two or three pieces a year.

His friends donít call any more, which is OK. Theyíve gone on to other lives (as has David, I guess).

I thought weíd gotten inured to Davidís loss when we started having to deal with Paulís.

But somehow this one caught me off guard.

He didnít die "five whole years ago," he died "only five years ago. Thereís a difference in how you look at it. Today five years ago seems like yesterday.

And no, Iím not interested in buying mortage insurance from someone who sticks a knife into my gut and then thinks she can cheerily shift gears and make me her sales target.

However, ever one to "medicate" myself with food, it seemed a good time to go shopping, especially since the fridge was empty and I was starting to snack on mustard.

I went to our local "fancy" supermarket. This place is huge and they have not only the usual stuff you find everywhere else, but the gourmet stuff. So you can find Morton and Goulden and Dijon mustard, but youíll also find Mendocino mustard, and home grown garlic-and-pepper mustard, basil-and-chive mustard, etc. Itís almost too much for the senses to take in.

The produce section doesnít quite rival Harrodís, but itís pretty darn colorful and decorative.

And the cheese section is a cheese houndís delight. We had some marvelous cheeses on our boat trip in May and Iíve been looking for some of them (specifically Wensleydale with cranberries, or with apricots). Apparently they keep all the Wensleydale for Wallace and Gromit, but I did pick up some Stilton with lemon, which is, I think, one of the kinds I liked on the boat.

However, nestled in among all the cheeses was one of my favoritest foods in all the world: clotted cream. Now I know eating clotted cream is really a British thing, and itís like hot dogs--a hot dog never tastes as good unless thereís a ball game in front of it. But for having my own family room in front of me as I took the first bite, this clotted cream experience was pretty darn close.

You canít have clotted cream without scones, of course. And so I also stopped at the bakery and bought a scone.

Americans donít know how to make scones. Iíve had scones all over England and Iíve never seen a scone like we have here. British scones are more similar to our biscuits, with a denser texture--but round and soft and...really yummy. How we got from that to the rocks we have here is beyond me. The scone I bought today was the size and shape of about 1/4 loaf of french bread with a few currants thrown in. And of course it was dry as dust.

However, for clotted cream, Iíd even eat an American scone and, you know--if you put enough clotted cream, and enough jam on this dry hard scone, you can almost close your eyes and hear Big Ben.

And then just to round out the evening, Walt and I went to see Music Man tonight. I was reviewing the show. This is the first big show Paul ever did, as little Winthrop--he did it here in Davis, and that same year in Oakland. Then he did Tommy Djilas as he got older, and he even did "Trouble" during one of his monologue shows. More than any other, this show reminds me of Paul--so naturally while the audience was laughing and clapping, I was crying.

I think itís time for more clotted cream.

I hope wherever David and Paul are these days that they have their own equivalent to clotted cream experiences...and that they donít have to deal with insensitive telemarketers ever, ever again.

One Year Ago:
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 7/9/01 by Bev Sykes