Cookie monster: The Villaj Idiut

I called Chef Chu’s the other day and ordered, very precisely, the Chef Chu’s World-Famous Chinese Chicken Salad because, well, I wasn’t sure that they would know what to do over there if I had ordered the Locally Known Plain Chicken Salad.


My solar clothes dryer: A Piece of My Mind

My cousin periodically sends me Internet nostalgia with comments along the lines of “Are you old enough to remember this?” One of her recent items struck me as newly useful in our energy-conservation-conscious times:

The Basic Rules for Clotheslines: (If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, a quick look on Google or Wikipedia will clarify.)


An ode to nirvana's neighbor: The Villaj Idiut

July. It’s my favorite month.

It’s the month when my family takes our annual vacation to a family camp in the Sierra Nevada, for which we say the first day of it is the best day of the year, and the day we are leaving the worst day of the year. That day, our kids start the 358-day countdown to the next “best day of the year.”


Eat, drink and be merry

I come from a long line of teetotalers: No one in my entire extended family drinks. I’m not bragging, I’m just stating what’s true. As a result, I don’t personally associate alcohol with parties or socializing. Any occasion my family celebrates is completely liquor-free, including champagne toasts at weddings, during which people hold their glasses up and then promptly put them down without even grazing their lips.


The death knell of suburbia: A Piece of My Mind

The orchards are gone. The single-story ranch house is seen as a waste of valuable land and air space. An eight-lane freeway thunders past the bridle paths in Los Altos Hills. But nothing has signaled the death of suburbia more strongly than the announcement last month that Sunset, the “Magazine of Western Living,” is abandoning its rambling, garden-focused headquarters in Menlo Park and relocating to an urban shopping/restaurant hub in Oakland.


Like me: Haugh About That?

Growing up surrounded by highly explosive XY chromosomes, the expectation was clear from an early age: learn sports, play sports, love sports – or die. I chose to live.

As a child, if I wanted a playmate, I had to become one with stinky socks, sweat and male activities. Not only did I live with three brothers, but the entire neighborhood was dominated by the male beast.


A year in the life: No Shoes, Please

Last May, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and underwent surgery to remove a portion of my colon. Unrelated to the cancer, I also had a hysterectomy – a surgical twofer.

Afterward, I was supposed to receive six months of chemotherapy, the standard treatment recommended by oncologists from Stanford, UC San Francisco and El Camino hospitals, and by my friends in the medical field. I had a long debate with myself about undergoing chemotherapy, but long story short, I opted to forgo further treatment. Instead, I decided to address my remaining cancer with immune system enhancement via nutrition, exercise and nontraditional healing methods.


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