July 4, 2010 |
I'm standing on a slice of paradise in Crete. The sun is burning down out of a blue sky, the sandy beach beneath my feet is stretching to crystal-clear sea, but terror is numbing my senses. Kayak instructor Russ is explaining that we're going to capsize our lightweight Rainbow Lasers, then unsnap the spray skirt holding us in, and eject from the submerged cockpit in a forward rolling somersault. "I didn't join this trip to become James Bond," says Jim, who's busy squeezing what he calls his "good-living gut" into a canary yellow lifejacket.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 1986
Jan. 28 brought back some old and unhappy memories--the Kennedy assassination and the jet crash in San Diego. I remember the shock and aftershocks. At work my thoughts turned to 10-year-old Russ and 8-year-old Megan, our kids. They both had talked about how neat it was that a teacher would be on the Challenger and would actually televise lessons from space. I thought about the shuttle and how that shape had become so familiar to children in models, toys, cutout books, etc. It has fashioned a connection between now and the future for us and our kids.
May 12, 1986 |
The night before had been unseasonably cold for late April, with a low near 20, but now the campus was basking in sunshine. Shirtless joggers bounded past pale co-eds stretched out on blankets, and leafless trees seemed to sprout green buds in a matter of hours, as in time-lapse photography. In a dark and cramped basement room in venerable Sorin Hall, a restless freshman football player slipped on a pair of shorts and boat shoes.
January 31, 2007 |
THANKS to the popularity of fried calamari, almost everyone has eaten squid, even if very few people have cooked it. Really, there's not that much to it. The most important thing you have to know is that squid is almost pure muscle, with little fat. That means it cooks very quickly and overcooks almost as fast. If you've ever had calamari with the texture of rubber bands, it was because someone wasn't paying attention and let it cook a minute or two too long.
May 7, 2001 |
Lineman Ernie Lopez has been rousted out of bed on countless cold, rainy nights. He's climbed 100-foot utility poles in heavy winds and grabbed live electrical lines with nothing but a pair of rubber gloves to protect him. But the hardest thing Lopez has done in 20 years at Southern California Edison is walk away from a darkened apartment building while residents pleaded for their heat. It happened in late January.
August 12, 2009 |
At a certain point in the wonderful new movie "Julie & Julia," there is a plot twist so shocking the audience gasps. Julia Child does something that seems so totally out of character that even on the way out, people were still shaking their heads. "How could she?" Well, that's one mystery I can solve. I was right there in the middle of it. Before I go any further, I have to warn you that this column is as full of spoilers as an unplugged refrigerator in August. If you haven't already seen the movie, you might want to wait to read this until after you have.