Contemplating big issues at end of another decade

There’s nothing like the end of a year — especially one that concludes a decade — to make one reflective.

I mean, there’s a reason “Auld Lang Syne” gets played 87 bazillion times annually between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, capisce?

The humans like to take time to think about what’s transpired in the past 365 days as they prepare to step forward into a new batch of ’em.

You may or may not be aware that the iconic New Year’s Eve song is based on a 1788 Robert Burns poem. The phrase literally translates to “old long since,” or “days gone by.” Hence the connection with the end of the year.

And so, as we ready ourselves for 2020, I find myself pensively contemplating a great many things.

The state of the country … the climate … the rain forest … the very essence of the meaning of life.

Sure, all that. But other really important stuff, too, such as:

How does Giada De Laurentiis eat all that fattening food and still look like Twiggy?

Oh, for the four people living under a flavorless rock where there’s no signal connecting them to the Food Network, Giada is one of the channel’s most popular, celebrated and, dare I say, hot, chefs. The Italian-born beauty is completely stunning and looks more supermodel than chef extraordinaire; she’s sorta both.

A classically trained (Le Cordon Bleu, thank you very much!) chef of Hollywood film lineage (her grandfather was acclaimed movie director Gino De Laurentiis and her grandmother was actress Silvana Mangano), she has written several cookbooks, hosted many Food Network shows, has a line of cookware and owns restaurants in Las Vegas. #DrivenDiva

But how does she retain Barbie doll looks despite creating some of the most calorific delicacies this side of the Amalfi Coast?


Speaking of food mysteries of the universe, here’s something else I’m a wonderin’ in these waning days of 2019.

Why is it vanilla almond cake? When I was a kid, I swear it was called white almond. So what gives? Isn’t vanilla white? What the heck is the difference?

And for that matter, if we’ve always called brown cake chocolate, why haven’t we always called white cake vanilla? Oooh, and what’s the deal with yellow, anyway? It tastes kinda the same as white — is it a matter of food coloring?

(FYI, I searched this and found that white cake uses egg WHITES, vanilla uses the whole egg and yellow incorporates custard. You’re welcome.)

Also, why, when you order “half and half” — or marble flavored cake — why is it always yellow and chocolate / brown? Why not white and brown? Hmm.

Speaking of colors…

Why are some trees prematurely colorful — or entirely bald by early autumn — while others remain green until late January? And I’m not exclusively referring to pine (read: “evergreen”) trees but those weird “holding onto my leaves like grim death” suckers out there.

Rotten late bloomers; like the danged 57-year-olds still getting carded when they buy wine at the grocery store.

Extra hmpf.

While we’re on hues…

Why is permanent hair color only permanent on everything (porcelain sinks, towels, wall and floor tiles, um, my forehead) but my grays?


What I’m really wondering most of all is: why is some silly sap waxing over the inconsequential when there’s a whole new year of hope and opportunity looming just around the bend to ponder? Oh, don’t even get me STARTED on what I’m wondering for the next 365…

Happy 2020, all!

Lots of trivial matters roll around in Kimerer’s noggin. Check some of them out at www.patriciakimerer.com


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