Quick Takes.

No Thanks.

creditcardI got a credit card offer in the mail that said “You’ve been pre-selected!” What does that mean?
I’ve been selected before I’ve been selected? Am I now selected or do I have to apply? Have I been selected to apply? According to the fine print that’s what it means. I’ve been selected to apply but my approval isn’t guaranteed. I’ve really just been invited to apply but I may not get a credit card. The credit card company, on the other hand, gets my information, including the fact that I’m really that gullible.
So I’ve made a pre-decision to not apply for the credit card.

Election Year.

Analysts are stumped by this year’s election with a confirmed three-way tie between the major candidates. Even with the end of the campaign in sight it’s too soon to tell who the final winner will be.

election1As we go into the home stretch here’s a refresher on the candidates.

election2

Boo Berry

Hometown: Bangor, Maine

Boo Berry has been making a strong push for affordable housing and stricter standards for the textile industry. He would also like to see the repeal of the 22nd Amendment and an embargo on all cheese from Belgium.

 

 

election4Franken Berry

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Franken Berry’s primary issues are healthcare and energy security, a bride, and the restoration of ’80’s hairstyles for women.  He would also like it made clear that in spite of the shared last names he and Boo Berry are not related. Within his first one hundred days in office he plans to create a whole new system of organ donations.

 

 

 

 

 

election3Count Chocula

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky

Count Chocula’s largest concerns are Social Security and better care for the elderly. He also wants to promote improved relations with Romania. His lawyers say this does not represent a conflict of interest in spite of his massive holdings there. He wants broad reform of the Executive Branch, a thorough examination of all trade agreements, and an embargo on all asparagus from Hungary. He hopes for his legacy to be full voting rights for birds.

 

 

 

 

One of these three is expected to win in spite of a widespread write-in campaign for Yummy Mummy (Memphis, TN) and Fruit Brute (Poughkeepsie, NY) and also reports of candidates offering cash in exchange for votes.

All candidates approve this message and contain eight essential vitamins and minerals, promise to stay crispy in milk, and are part of this complete democracy.

election5

 

Zombie Survival Guide.

Worried about the zombie apocalypse? Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind that will help you stay safe and allow you to continue your existence in the nightmarish world of the animated deceased.

  1. At all costs protect your head and neck.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Mindless wandering is a path to destruction.
  3. Slow and stealthy is the key.
  4. Whenever possible attack from behind. If this isn’t possible move on.
  5. Keep an eye on stairs. What goes up must come down.
  6. Fire is bad for everybody.
  7. Every weapon has a weakness. Bats and blades only work at close range. Guns need reloading.
  8. Good places: farmhouses, abandoned shopping malls. Bad places: open fields, military bases.
  9. Go with the right crowd. Between thirty and fifty will give you good cover. More and you’ll have too much competition.
  10. No vehicle is a safe vehicle. This is especially true of helicopters.
  11. Traffic will not stop for you. In many cases cars will aim right for you.
  12. Don’t get sentimental. Friends and family are now food.
  13. Use your brain to get their brains. Their tasty, tasty brainssss…leaving

Let’s Brew Up A Little Something.

Source: The Ghost Diaries

Source: The Ghost Diaries

Kate: Hello, and welcome back to Cauldron Cooking, the show that puts the magic back in your kitchen. I’m your host Kate. Earlier in the show we talked about new uses for poison ivy, and I also want to tell listeners who are just tuning in that our recipe for cream of vulture soup is on the show’s website. Check it out.

All right, now it’s time to take some calls. We have Diane from Salem on line seven. Hi, Diane, what’s your question?

Diane: Hi Kate, thank you so much for taking my call. This isn’t exactly a cooking question but I have an issue with my stepdaughter and I wondered if you could suggest anything.

Kate: Oh, yes, kids. They’re always hard to deal with, aren’t they? Especially when they grow up.

Diane: Right. That’s my problem. She’s getting older and she’s starting to really get in my way.

Kate: But you don’t want to kill her.

Diane: Well, I did, but  not anymore. I’d just like something that’ll, you know, take her out of the picture.

Kate: Let me think. Okay, I have just the thing for you. We have a great recipe for a poison apple.

Diane: That won’t kill her?

Kate: No, this is perfect. It will just put her in a coma. Have you got a crypt or something where you can put her while she sleeps?

Diane: I’ve got a crystal case that rests on a plinth out in the woods.

Kate: Fabulous. She’ll be perfectly preserved there for as long as you want, and here’s the good part: she can only be revived with a kiss from a charming prince. And it’s not like there are a lot of those wandering around the forests, am I right?

Diane: Yes. That sounds absolutely perfect. Thank you so much Kate!

Kate: No problem, and good luck. Email us some pictures so we can see how it’s worked out. We’ll put them on the website. Thanks for your call, Diane.

Well, it looks like the witching hour is almost up, so I’ll just leave you with this: When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Of course you know it’ll be the same time next week. I’ll see you then.

First World Problems Require First World Solutions.

Silence isn’t golden. Silence is the deep, velvety blackness of the early morning. At no time are you more aware of the depth of that silence and how easily broken it is than when you’re going through your usual morning routine without waking up the person in the next room. You become intensely aware of just how much noise you make.

The door hinges creak. The latch snapping into place sounds like a gunshot.

The toilet flush is a cannonade.

The shower isn’t merely running water; it’s a thundering cataract, a waterfall of immense proportions. Adjusting the temperature, moving it from scalding to lukewarm to a final reasonable medium only  intensifies the crash.

Even the steam seems to make noise as clouds of it pound the walls.

The soap squeaks in your hands like a rabbit in a poacher’s trap.

The shampoo and conditioner bottles burp out their liquid allotments.

Halfway through you realize you’re singing Duran Duran’s “The Reflex” at the top of your lungs.

Old habits are hard to break.

The faucet creaks as you turn off the shower. Water floods from the now open tap with the sound of an angry river.

After the rush even the stillness seems loud.

The activity of drying off brings the noise level down, a quiet dance with a thick terrycloth veil.

The toothpaste cap twists off with only a gentle sigh.

As the loud ratchet sound of you brushing your teeth fills the room you realize those post-shower moments of silence were just long enough that a person might be able to go back to sleep.

More silence follows. It’s blissful. You feel peace spread through the house you’ve disturbed.

Then the electric razor snaps into action, a chainsaw felling the hairy seedlings that have sprouted from your face over the past day. In the harsh glare of the bathroom bulb you wipe away the five a.m. shadow and you’re racked with guilt for breaking everyone else’s hibernation.

Sound familiar? If so I’m giving you a chance to get in on the ground floor of my latest invention: the sound-proof bathroom!

shower

Mixed Nuts.

nuts-Hey Phil. Phil, you here?

-Yeah, a little shaken, but I’m here. What’s up Wally?

-Just checking. Everything got crazy there and now it’s gone quiet. Really quiet.

-Yeah, I know. I’m okay with the quiet. Better than dealing with—

-HEY EVERYBODY! AL’S IN THE HIZZOUSE!

-Whoop. Let’s party like it’s 2006.

-GOOD ONE PHIL!

-I’m Wally.

-DON’T BE A HATER PHIL. WHERE’S MY MAN BRAZZY? BRAZZY, YOU HERE?

-Da.

-AWESOME. THIS IS MY GUY!

-Ich hasse dich so sehr.

-HE’S THE MAN, AM I RIGHT EVERYBODY? LET ME HEAR EVERYBODY SAY YEAH!

-You two want to be alone?

-DON’T BE LIKE THAT. YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU PHIL!

-I’m Wally.

-WHERE’S PHIL?

-Over here, next to your Teutonic twin.

-Ich verachte Euch alle.

-Some of us can understand you, Brazzy.

-Mein Name ist Bertholletia.

-YOU SPEAK SPANISH PHIL?

-I’m Wally. And [sigh] the most common language there is Portuguese, and anyway he’s speaking…forget it. Yes, Al. Yes I do.

-Dies ändert nichts

-COOL, COOL. WHAT’S HE SAYING?

-That you’re his best friend in the world, Al.

-HA! YOU BET I AM! EVERYBODY LOVES ME! AM I RIGHT EVERYBODY? LET ME HEAR EVERYBODY SAY YEAH!

-Wenn es einen Gott ist, werden Sie das erste zu sterben sein .

-YOU SAID IT BRAZZY! HE PHIL, HELP ME OUT HERE. WHAT’S HE SAYIN‘?

-I’m Wally.

-YEAH. WHAT’D HE SAY?

-He’s trying to butter you up.

-WHOA, HARSH BRAZZY, HARSH. I KNOW THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU MEANT BUT HARSH ANYWAY. I HAD SOME COUSINS WENT DOWN THAT WAY.

-Ich würde Sie mich zerquetschen, wenn ich könnte.

-He says he’s sorry.

-THANKS PHIL. I GOT THAT. AND BRAZZY REMEMBERS GOOBER TOO. A MINUTE OF SILENCE FOR OUR OLD FRIEND GOOBER.

-Y’all keep it down.

-WHO SAID THAT? SOUNDS LIKE GOOBER! GOOBER, YOU HERE?

-Der einzige von euch, die erträglich für mich ist.

-Y’all make more ruckus than a mess of hounds done got a possum.

-Who is that?

-Pecan.

Fishing For Compliments.

A recurring theme in my part-time pottery hobby has been fish. It started one night when I was going through the instructor’s box of patterns and found a fish one, so I used it to make a pencil jar and a coffee mug, both of which now adorn my desk.

Also pictured: Mark Twain, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Star, and a few unmentionables.

Also pictured: Mark Twain, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Star, and a few unmentionables.

I also just made some flat fish for, er, some reason. They’re purely decorative.

schooloffishAnd that, combined with a desire to find a bigger project, gave me an idea. I started making more fish.

fishbowl1 fishbowl2 fishbowl3fishbowl4Then I formed them around a mold and a base. I applied vinegar, which makes clay stick to itself, gradually building up layers.

fishbowl5fishbowl6It’s a fish bowl. Get it?

fishbowl7I have no idea how this will ultimately turn out which is why I’m sharing the process with you now. Pottery tends to explode or fall apart or do other strange things and, as the saying goes, the journey is more important than the destination. So I’m sharing it now before the destination disintegrates.

Entrances, Exits, and Errors.

This year for its annual Shakespeare in the Park event the Nashville Shakespeare Festival is putting on A Comedy of Errors. So of course I walked down to Centennial Park on my lunch break to check out the set.

I went to a university with a highly respected theater program and went to see every play but the one thing I still regret not doing is sneaking in and taking a look behind the scenes. Not that there was ever that much to see, but I like to look at theater sets from the back, to see the inner workings, even when they’re not particularly complex. And I’m used to being in the audience so I like to get some idea of the view from the actors’ perspective, although in my limited acting experience it’s best to pretend the audience isn’t even there.

And with its hilariously tangled plot full of mistaken identities–it’s probably the closest thing to slapstick you’ll find in Shakespeare with a story about two pairs of twins who keep getting mixed up–it’s fitting to check out A Comedy of Errors from the other side.

shakespeare1   shakespeare2 shakespeare3 shakespeare4 shakespeare5 shakespeare6Given the topsy-turvy plot it’s also fitting that the stage has its own ersatz version of the world-famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

shakespeare7

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