Monthly Archives: December 2007

Gallo(w)’s Humor

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Yesterday afternoon I was checking my e-mail when I got this message from CafePress. Lucky for me that I opened it – there was nothing on it to say that it came from CafePress – just the sender’s name and the title “Notice of IP Violation.” But I did open it, and this is what it said:

Dear Shopkeeper,

Thank you for using CafePress.com!

In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, (A Lawyer’s name) on behalf of E. & J. Gallo Winery provided us with a notice stating that your use of the “GALLO” mark infringes upon their intellectual property rights (trademark). Please click here for more information about intellectual property.

Accordingly, we have set the content that is alleged to infringe the rights of the third party to “pending status” which disables said content from being displayed in your shop or purchased by the public. You may review the content set to pending status by logging into your CafePress.com account and clicking on the “Media Basket” link. The content set to pending status will be highlighted red.

If you believe that you hold the rights to the content alleged to infringe the rights of the third party, we encourage you to contact the alleged rights holder directly for a resolution to this matter. Below please find the contact information for the party alleging infringement.

So, I looked on my site. At first, I looked at my Vive La Raclette! design, since there is a bottle of wine on the design. But, as I thought, there was no brand name on the wine bottle. Surely this would be the logical connection, right?el-gallo-1.jpg

But no – it was not that. It was my El Gallo Loteria card shirt. I altered a card from a knock-off deck, and would have still been surprised to hear from someone. But still, if I had heard from anyone, I would thought it would be Don Clemente, the Loteria people.

So, thinking that this was some sort of misunderstanding, I sent back this explanation:

Regarding the letter below – I have already sent an e-mail clarifying the images mentioned. They are part of a Loteria deck (Loteria is a Spanish version of Bingo that uses words, numbers and images). El Gallo means ROOSTER in Spanish and is a standard card in the deck. I hope this clears things up – the image has nothing to do with wine at all.

Since these guys are in California, I got a response last night. Seems I’m wrong:

Dear Ms. Williams:

The producer of these cards made the same argument to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. They were enjoined for violating my client’s intellectual property rights and my client was awarded $500,000 in attorneys fees and costs. That was in 1995, and they have not sold these items in the United States since that time. Since the producer made these same arguments, lost, was fined, and was enjoined, it is difficult for me to give those same arguments any credence when made by someone who is using the enjoined images. That is why we asked that the images be removed, and that is undoubtedly why Café Press has honored our request. I hope this clarifies matters.

So, Gallo owns the word “gallo” – I wonder if Spanish-speakers know this? I could not believe this was true, but I did find one reference to the case at Elsewhere.org, who posts several Loteria decks on their site, including a very hard-to-find 1960’s version that is out of print. Here is his explanation:

(A representative of Xochico explained) why the company/brand has so many different names: “Pasatiempos Gallo”, “Don Clemente”, “Clemente Jacques”, “CYPSA”. Pasatiempos Gallo was acquired by CYPSA, sued by Gallo Winery and enjoined from doing business in the US using the Gallo name, hence “Don Clemente”. They still do business as Pasatiempos Gallo in Mexico, and Clemente Jacques is the brand name that eventually was used just for foods.

I am so stupified. I hid the shop, and plan to remove the images. If I do come up with my own Rooster Loteria card, I guess I will have to call it “El Gallito”! This is too wacky to make up!

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Sleeping ’til Noon

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So far, I honestly believe that I have not risen until noon or afterward this whole week.  Yes, I have gotten up momentarily (to feed the dog and let her out when I could not bully my husband into doing it, to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, etc.) but I have pretty much gone back to bed after that.  Yesterday was an exception:  I woke up at 7:30 to accompany my husband to the mechanic to drop his car off for servicing.  After breakfast at the Waffle House, we returned home and I went back to bed until sausage/waffle acid reflux woke me up again – then it was time to pick up the car again!

I like to think that I am getting a little bit done when I am awake – I really am a night owl at heart.  But, then again, I am on vacation – right?  In my head, I make detailed plans – like for cleaning the house.  I mentally divide up the house into 7 sections and alot one day per section.  Here’s how it goes:

  • Day One:  Master Bedroom and Bathroom – don’t know if that includes washing and folding clothes yet.  Ii just recently got rid of a lot of clothes, so that should help.
  • Day Two:  Living Room – I have a LOT of stuff in there, as I often drag craft projects up to be more companionable and not stay sequestered in my studio.
  • Day Three:  The Dining Room – we will never have a bare dining room table, but now it is time to clean off the current detritus and make room for more – there’s also the oriental rug that needs to be turned and re-positioned.  This involves moving the table an chairs out, of course.
  • Day Four:  The Kitchen – I generally try and keep the kitchen clean, despite my husband’s tendency to park dishes right above the empty dishwasher and to never throw his empty cans in the trash.  But, I can re-arrange stuff in the fridge and pantry.  I can also clean the half-bath where we feed the dog – she is a very sloppy drinker.
  • Day Five:  My Husband’s Office – if he will let me help him…  Generally, he likes for me just to be nearby while he tears his hair out and wonders aloud how it got to be such a mess.  He is in charge of cleaning his own bathroom.
  • Days Six and Seven:  My bottom floor of the house.  This includes my studio, the entry way (a spill-over area between the garage and my office), the garage (a huge mess since – well, always – but especially since my husband moved a couple of shelves to make way for plumbing work), and the guest bathroom (the sink is going to be permanently stained with paint, but I try to clean anyway).

I did the living room yesterday, so that leaves six more days.  Onward, I say!  I have finally finished my four-volume Larry McMurtry saga – the Berrybender Narratives, so I have to find another book on CD.  Alternately, there is my new Jesus Christ Superstar Original Recording CD and Season 3 of House to keep me company.  I know that I will feel better once I have gotten this all done – hey, I may even have some people over.  Who knows?

Merry Christmas!

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It’s not time for New Year’s Resolutions yet, so I have been eating a bit.  On Christmas Day, we went over to my brother-in-law’s place to eat a dinner (4:30 to 8:30PM – very civilized).  I brought pate and cheeses with crackers for an appetizer – Liver and truffle mousse, a wedge of Brie, and a slice of Bucheron, which is a goat cheese log.  We had turkey with dressing, beans, spinach salad with pear, scalloped potatoes, and an apple cranberry chutney.  My brother-in-law is gluten-intolerant, so my mom made a French Silk pie on a bed of meringue.

I do not feel like I over-indulged that night, but have had a great time with the left-overs, and some candy given as gifts.  My mother made pecan puffs, my sister sent pecan pralines, and there was a lot of chocolate with mint – Lindt truffles, peppermint bark, and Frango mints.  I laid waste to the pate and the pecan puffs yesterday.  It looks like I will be finishing up the pralines and Brie today.  I had some veal stew I had made in the slow cooker, and used the left-overs to make two pot pies.

The only other cooking I have done was to try this Mexican chocolate cupcake recipe – it is gluten and lactose free.   The cupcakes were okay – mainly due to the Ghirardelli chocolate chips – but next time I would use white rice flour instead of brown.  I hope my bro-in-law likes them: they are for his birthday.  I made cupcakes, then a two layer cake with chocolate icing.

Last Friday, I met a friend and we went to eat at Eclipse di Luna – a tapas bar and restaurant across from Perimeter Mall.   I had been to the restaurant at Miami Circle a couple of years ago, and it was by pure accident that we happened along on this one.  I had a glass of cava (Spanish sparkling wine – my latest drink), and two plates: Empanada de Pollo y Chile Poblano (Roasted Chicken and Poblano Pepper Empanada w/ Manchego cheese & fire roasted tomato jam) – it had a cilantro cream squiggled on top.  I also had a mini-panini with roasted vegetables.  For dessert, I had their awesome fig and sherry ice cream.  I’ll definitely have to go there again.

So, I know that there will be more Spanish food in my future – we leave for Barcelona on January 11.  I got a great hotel deal for our first night there, and we are supposed to have accommodations on the coast while my husband is working.  I just need to book a hotel for the last two nights.  I don’t know what is going on that weekend, but the Saturday, Jan 19 rates are significantly higher than the other nights.  It will still average out reasonably, though.

I have left off of my Maison Celeste production a bit – hope to get re-energized in January.  In a bizarre twist, I just got this bedraggled package returned to me – I had mailed it in February 2007 to Austin, then it tried to go to Terlingua, Texas.  Now it’s back to me!  The sheer shrine inside of it was unharmed, but I will have to investigate and see if the person who ordered it can be located!

By the way, we’re going to Spain!

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My husband got a technical writing job – he must go to Spain to document the software.  I am going with him!  We will be traveling to Barcelona, staying there one day, then taking the train to a town north of Barcelona called Palafrugell.  While my husband is documenting all day, I will be entertaining myself in a borrowed apartment in nearby Llafranch, on the coast.   We will spend one or two days in Barcelona before returning home.  Woo hoo!

I have visited Barcelona once.  It was 23 years ago.  I imagine it has changed a bit!  I went with one of my co-students when I was living in Angers and I really loved it.  My husband has never been – so, although he will be working most of the time, I hope that he gets to see stuff.

I have not blogged in a while – I have been very busy with school and with designing more Milagros for my CafePress shop!  I didn’t get to do the tin ornament Feliz Navidad t-shirt, but that’s okay.  Check out my shop – I have added two designs with La Adelita, and one with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I also have put together two new calendars:  Milagros and Quilt Loteria No. 2.

Got to go to bed – I shopped until I dropped yesterday, then had no energy to wrap.  We went to my Mom’s this morning to give her the gifts for my sister’s family and my Dad.  She is going to visit today.  I somehow managed to wrap all 13 packages in 45 minutes – ouch!  I took a nap and then got up and made pizzas, quiches, and peach spice cakes.  Time to go to bed!

Recycling (Repurposing?) Applesauce

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Our school serves free breakfast.  That means that – before school – we teachers have to go to one of the breakfast stations, hand over a class count, and bring two or three bags of food to my classroom.  On Advisement days, I have 5 students.  On A days, I have 12, and on B days, 20.  That’s a lot of food.

On chicken biscuit days, I have to stand over the bag of chicken biscuits and hand them out – to make sure no student takes more than his share.  There are usually several cartons of milk left over, so I take those home – they are just going to be thrown away anyway.  Lately, instead of serving orange juice, they have been serving little containers of applesauce or diced peaches.  I really miss the little packets of cheese – they haven’t had those in a while.

Last week, I had about 16 containers of applesauce not eaten.  I took it home and looked up recipes that use as much applesauce as possible.  Here is the one I used:

My Mom’s Apple Sauce Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar applesauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan or 2 – 8 inch round pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in water and egg. Add flour mixture alternately with applesauce and mix thoroughly. Fold in nuts and raisins.
  4. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.
  5. To make frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and mix in. Add confectioners sugar and orange or lemon juice. Beat until fluffy, then frost cake.

I have not made a cake from scratch in a long time.  It turned out really well, but I have some things I will do differently next time.  The icing was unimpressive – maybe because I substituted neufchatel cheese for cream cheese and applesauce for the orange juice.  It was basically sugar on top.  The cake was moist enough without it.  I also will add more nuts – I used pecans instead of walnuts.

I still have applesauce, and now I have more peaches.  Usually, I make jello with the peaches.  But I think I will tinker with this recipe and make them into loaves.  I may add currants to the applesauce.  I may also puree the peaches and substitute peaches for the applesauce.  I found this awesome-sounding Dulce de Leche Peach Cake – it’s the last recipe on the page.  Sounds complicated, though.  I just bough some pistachios – what about pistachio peach cake?

Last Sunday, I went to Costplus World Market and wandered around.  I bought about 50 4 oz. glass jars with shakers and white tops.  I plan on making spice blends for Christmas gifts.  I also plan on buying some of the spice blends sold at Whole Foods and Star Provisions and parceling them out.  I still have herbs I bought in Provence and Paris two years ago – I can’t use them fast enough.  Yes, they are still good.  I also bought some smaller plastic jars at the Container Store – for more expensive blends.

That’s it for now!  I have been busy adding more Milagros designs to my CafePress Store – check them out!

More Milagros

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I have been having a great time with my new milagro designs.  I can work on theguadaluperedmilagrotshirt.jpgm  from my laptop computer once I have uploaded the templates.  I have a fair store of scans of fabric and papers from my vast collection, and those are what I use to “color” the images.  I am trying to collect more texturized colors – what quilters call a “palette” instead of just using patterns.  This makes the designs a little more clear, I think.  To the rightpink-guadalupe-onesie.jpg is my Red Guadalupe Milagro – part of a series of milagros using some Virgin of Guadalupe fabric panels I bought a while ago.  To the left is a Pink Guadalupe Milagro on a baby’s onesie.  Cute, huh?  I have already ordered a t-shirt with that one.

I had a pretty good week this week.  I have taken to calling parents from the classroom on my cell phone and having them talk to their children… a tactic that I used in ESOL classes.  Frankly, I will forget to call if I put it off.  I certainly don’t want to do it on my own time.  One call still resulted in an office referral when the boy walked back in the room, handed me my phone, and announced, “Well, that was a waste of my mother’s cell phone minutes.”  Funny man gets to go to In School Suspension.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I am trying to get the courage up to have my students do a PowerPoint project just before Christmas.  Advent calendars are very European – German in origin, actually.  I found an Advent Calendar Power Point Template here – you need to look  under the second section , right-hand column.  It says “Advent Calendar Template (Deb Cadman) PPT.”  I am going to play around with it this weekend and see if it easy enough for most of my students to do.  As insurance, I may put them into groups of two.

Now, when I mentioned this to the other French teacher, she said that she had gotten so much guff about teaching anything to do with religion -even as a cultural aspect – that she has given up.  Well, that is ridiculous.  The lesson has very little to do with preaching Catholicism – it is mostly a vehicle for a technology lesson.  I plan on having my students find a series of items about French Culture – monuments, cities, recipes, trivia, songs, etc.  I don’t know if I will make it a list of items, or if I will assign themes to certain groups.  More later.

I am waiting for my husband to finish getting ready – we are going to an afternoon matinée of the Nutcracker.  The daughter of our Colombian friends is playing the little girl – I don’t think she is going to do much dancing, but it is an honor, apparently, to play this role.  I have never seen the Nutcracker performed before – it should be interesting.pink-guadalupe-onesie.jpg