Tuesday, June 14, 2005

An ode to olive oil

I would not be the person I am today without olive oil. I worship the places where it is made. Cold pressed. Virgin. Extra virgin. Sexy words for a sexy liquid gold. A deal-breaker for me: I could not have affect for anyone who did not also like, nay, love olive oil.

Another break from work, another moment to fiddle with the camera, focusing it this time not on a mirror but on my two treasures, pushed back into the shadows of the kitchen, but within sight, so that I can make myself happy just looking at them:
my gift to me, from France Posted by Hello

One of your own kind…

So B and I have been spending a lot of time together. We are not inseparable, but when I need to go somewhere, I usually call on him to go with me.

I do think, though, that when you have this connection going, you tend to assume that the other is comfortable adjusting to your pace, your world, your ideas. You forget that they have a past, that they have roots that are often quite different from your own.

I know very little of B’s background. Since I want to show more respect and concern for his past, today we went exploring it together. Suddenly I was in a place which had more looking like him than like me. For once he was among his own kind. B’s relief was palpable. We’ll go back Thursday evening and hang out. They’re so nice to him there – they treat him like he’s something special. He really is starting to shine with so much attention and I am happy about that. He and I – we do things for each other.
B's world Posted by Hello

Where I politely decline

There is a list of law profs who blog going around. I read that if we put all five blogging profs from our Law School on it, we will boost our position to second place in the country. And we’ll boost the distressingly low numbers of women law profs who blog.

My loyalty to my school abounds. I would do much for the place, and not only because it has done tons for me. But here I must politely decline.

Whereas my colleagues here and elsewhere intersperse light posting with serious notes and commentaries, Ocean sticks to a path that does not fit well with the law prof blog mold. It runs posts on love affairs with B, on Cosmo indulgence and trains speeding through rzepa fields. And the author – me, kep, or the latest name picked by a fellow blogger – coyote camic, I’m just not meant to have my portrait up with the blogging academicians. I’m the type that thinks nothing of taking a picture of myself in the mirror and posting it the next day, just for the hell of it (see sidebar and photo below). And I’m not wearing silken robes or tailored suits either. Yesterday I worked all day dressed… informally, and I don’t mean corporate casual:
work break: playing with the camera Posted by Hello
So, no listing for me, thanks. But I applaud those (here and here) whose efforts are in line with what is expected of a law prof. Their texts are noble vintage. Mine – it’s table wine, nothing more.


I read with interest Oscar’s deliberations about buying a cup of coffee in Germany. He was posting away at a Berlin Starbucks and assuring us that mutter necessity (really: a better than average brew, in a smokefree environment) drove him to it. Me, I’d do it for the sleek and comfortable looking ambience. (Scroll down to the second photo here.)

I’ve written before about my horror when Starbucks put up a drive-through on University Ave. in Madison. And how I now routinely violate my own “horrified stance” by driving up (only when I am in a hurry, I promise).

But all this made me think that, unlike Oscar, I am without principles – or, at the very least, mine are thinly drawn and definitely arbitrary. I admit it. I make no sense. Here’s my honest list of when I will cave for the love of the service or product (or for the sheer convenience associated with it), overcoming my feeling of loyalty to the little guy and when I absolutely will not touch the tainted stuff:

1. I will drink Starbucks coffee (even though its corporate goal is to operate more than 30,000 retail outlets worldwide);
2. I will shop endlessly at Borders (even though it has some 500 stores, to say nothing of the horrible Walden chain, also under its management);
3. I will shop at Whole Foods and I’ll even write a letter of love and devotion to the owner of the chain for substantially improving my grocery shopping experience (even though I hear he is an arrogant jerk face);
4. I would rather hunt nuts and berries than set foot in Taco Bell, McDonalds or KFC. The last time I was in one was a year ago when the person I was with developed a severe hydration need. I was in pain the entire three minutes we were there. Never, ever, ever will I willingly set foot in one again.
5. And here’s a weird one: champagne. It’ll always be from the little guy. I have such great affection for those who are figuring out ways to turn the fermenting bottles by hand and trying to make a go of it with tiny tiny fields of rock and dirt that I want to put in my pennies into their coffers.

I could go on, but I think this short list says it all: I have sold my soul and conscience. I am without scruples. Mostly, I really like to be surrounded by yummy foods and good books, while sipping a steaming cup of dark roast with frothy milk. Those cravings satisfied, I'll take a look at the corporate ledger. But first thing's first.