Laurie Gould: Don


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YouTube -- Twitter -- Facebook --


Social Me-dia

I am a bit sluggish getting up the social media learning curve.

I have the blog that you are reading now, and the website where it resides.   I have a personal Facebook page, plus another for my musical alter ago; I have a Twitter account (that I use infrequently) and a Pinterest account (on which I never post; but Pinterest turns out to be a good way to research potential hairstyles).  

And of course I have a YouTube channel for posting my music videos.    I posted a new music video this week, in fact!   So far, it has 197 views.  

197 is a pretty insignificant number in social media terms.   5,000 hits is considered to be barely making a dent.   100,000 is the absolute minimum to be considered "viral."   Real social media splashes number in the millions.

Although I want to point out that if I were counting in Base 3, 197 would be 21,022.  Which is way more, even though it’s the same.


Look!    A new music video!   Special thanks to Steve Ansolabehere for the aerial photography.

Netflix and Chill

Last weekend was a quiet one, and I found myself with some free evenings, nobody else in the house, and a lingering case of jetlag.  Perfect moment for Netflix and knitting.   

If it were less cold outside and I were less tired, I’d just go to the theatre, because there are at least half a dozen movies playing right now that I really want to see.   Isn’t that always the case?  And if I just turn to Browse Recent Releases, won’t I then run into all the movies from 2016 and 2017 that I was eager to see at the time, but didn’t quite catch while they were in active circulation?

For example: I remember that a year or so ago, before a Wim Wenders documentary about life in Siberia, there was a delightful trailer for a movie about a Welsh farm boy who makes it as a world-class operatic tenor.  Shouldn’t that opera movie be hitting the streaming services right around now?

I flip on Netflix, and I am greeted with a somewhat overwhelming array of choices:

Hell Outta Bat, revisited

On Wednesday evening I returned home from a work trip.   I had been teaching a course -- three full days in front of a classroom.    It's an activity I quite enjoy, but this time I was kind of sick, so by the end of it I was pretty fried.   Yeah, I know:  bitch, bitch, bitch.   But it sure felt great to climb into my very own bed and settle in for a good night's sleep.

That good night's sleep came to a an abrupt end at around 1:30 in the morning, when my younger daughter, home for the holidays from college, burst into the hall yelling, "There's a bat in my room!"  I believe there were also expletives involved.

High Security

You can't be too careful these days.   There are Internet thieves, election hackers and general evil-doers lurking around every cyber corner.   So WebWorld is working to find ways to make us safer, to protect our identities, to do business only after verifying that we are exactly who we pretend to be.

Thus security questions, the answers to which can be provided by you, and only by you.   These are items so deeply ingrained in your consciousness that the answers are always with you, and thus you do not have to write them down, because if you write them down then Russians will invade you home and find those scraps of paper and then we will elect Donald Trump.

I am generally mystified by security questions, because I find I can answer so few of them.    My favorite color?   Well, I guess I had official Favorite Colors when I was growing up.   When I was five, it was pink.   When I was nine, it was burgundy.     When I was 15, it was steel gray and fuck you.   But now?   Depends on the day; and even then, on most days I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.  


Just in time for cold and flu season:   a new music video!

Special thanks to funny lady Rebecca Ansolabehere for comedic inspiration on this one.


Leafy greens and perpetual pests

The tax bill introduced last week would (among other disasters) gut funding for affordable housing preservation and development--this at a moment when 39 million American households live in homes they cannot afford.  My working life is all about affordable housing preservation and development.  I am alarmed.

And so I am going to write this blog post about kale.


Kale became a big thing 5 or 6 years ago; 2012 was declared the Year of Kale (by whom, I'm not sure).  I'm pretty sure some other things, perhaps of lesser importance, also happened in 2012.   Nevertheless, by 2012, people were slamming back kale smoothies and toasting up kale chips like nobody's business.    According to the Internet (which as we know is never wrong), prior to the current Kale-splosion, the biggest buyer of kale in America was Pizza Hut, which used it as an ornamental on salad bar displays.

I have documentary evidence that I was growing kale as early as 2005 --- witness this photo from my 2005 garden:

Notes from the Iberian Peninsula

My Spanish is OK, not great; one of the anticipated benefits of a vacation in Spain is the chance to practice.   But my first day in Bilbao, sleepless and jetlagged, all I can really access is Language B, which includes a little bit of everything other than English that I've picked up over the years. 

すみません, je voudrais un café con leche пожалуйста.  Asante sana.

Look it up.


Bread of Atonement

We are in the middle of the High Holy Days, a time when the Jewish community comes together for celebration and reflection.  At Rosh Hashanah services last Wednesday evening I looked around the full sanctuary and thought, how remarkable it is to be in this room with others with whom I share so much!   Mostly this:

Hundreds of people who have the same hair as me!   Imagine the fellowship.

Of course, we share other things, too. 

Basic black and brown

A few months back, I downloaded a recipe for Black Bean Brownies from a blog called "Chocolate Covered Katie."    You make them by blitzing rolled oats and black beans in a food processor, with a little maple syrup or agave nectar, enriched with a healthy dose of cocoa powder; then you fold in some chocolate chips and bake.   I thought:   wow, that could be really good! Beans are creamy and toothsome, and they could be a fine vehicle for chocolate.  I would love to try that!

You know that sound you just made?   The guttural “BLECH!” emerging of its own accord from the back of the throat?   That’s the sound that everyone in my family would make if I told them I was going to make brownies out of black beans.   And that’s why I never got around to trying this recipe.

AHA!  But none of them are home at the moment!   A few days ago I found myself at the cusp of the weekend, with a batch of black beans fresh from the slow cooker, and all the other ingredients ready to go in the pantry.   What was to stop me?  I whipped a batch right up!


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